starting-post, when expecting the signal to commence the trial of speed. They tossed their arms wildly in the air, leaping up and down more like exulting children than sober men, and continued to utter the most frantic cries.

In the midst of this tumultuous disorder a rushing sound was heard, similar to that which might be expected to precede the passage of a flight of buffaloes, and then came the flocks and cattle of Ishmael in one confused and frightened drove.

“They have robbed the squatter of his beasts!” said the attentive trapper. “The reptiles have left him as hoofless as a beaver!” He was yet speaking, when the whole body of the terrified animals rose the little acclivity, and swept by the place where he stood, followed by a band of dusky and demon-like looking figures, who pressed madly on their rear.

The impulse was communicated to the Teton horses, long accustomed to sympathise in the untutored passions of their owners, and it was with difficulty that the keepers were enabled to restrain their impatience. At this moment, when all eyes were directed to the passing whirlwind of men and beasts, the trapper caught the knife from the hands of his inattentive keeper, with a power that his age would have seemed to contradict, and, at a single blow, severed the thong of hide which connected the whole of the drove. The wild animals snorted with joy and terror, and tearing the earth with their heels, they dashed away into the broad prairies, in a dozen different directions.

Weucha turned upon his assailant with the ferocity and agility of a tiger. He felt for the weapon of which he had been so suddenly deprived, fumbled with impotent haste for the handle of his tomahawk, and at the same moment glanced his eyes after the flying cattle, with the longings of a Western Indian. The struggle between thirst for vengeance and cupidity was severe but short. The latter quickly predominated in the bosom of one whose passions were proverbially grovelling; and scarcely a moment intervened between the flight of the animals and the swift pursuit of the guards. The trapper had continued calmly facing his foe, during the instant of suspense that succeeded his hardy act; and now that Weucha was seen following his companions, he pointed after the dark train, saying, with his deep and nearly inaudible laugh—

“Red-natur’ is red-natur’, let it show itself on a prairie, or in a forest! A knock on the head would be the smallest reward to him who should take such a liberty with a Christian sentinel; but there goes the Teton after his horses as if he thought two legs as good as four in such a race! And yet the imps will have every hoof of them afore the day sets in, because it’s reason ag’in instinct. Poor reason, I allow; but still there is a great deal of the man in an Indian. Ah’s me! your Delawares were the redskins of which America might boast; but few and scattered is that mighty people, now! Well! the traveller may just make his pitch where he is; he has plenty of water, though natur’ has cheated him of the pleasure of stripping the’ arth of its lawful trees. He has seen the last of his four-footed creatures, or I am but little skilled in Sioux cunning.”

“Had we not better join the party of Ishmael?” said the bee-hunter. “There will be a regular fight about this matter, or the old fellow has suddenly grown chicken-hearted.”

“No—no—no,” hastily exclaimed Ellen.

She was stopped by the trapper, who laid his hand gently on her mouth, as he answered—

“Hist—hist!—the sound of voices might bring us into danger. Is your friend,” he added, turning to Paul,” a man of spirit enough?”

“Don’t call the squatter a friend of mine!” interrupted the youth. “I never yet harboured with one who could not show hand and zeal for the land which fed him.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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