grievous journey that I made; a grievous toil to pass through falling timber and to breathe the thick air of smoky clearings, week after week, as I did! ’Tis a far country too, that state of York from this!”

“It lies ag’in the outer edge of old Kentuck, I reckon; though what the distance may be I never knew.”

“A gull would have to fan a thousand miles of air to find the eastern sea. And yet it is no mighty reach to hunt across, when shade and game are plenty! The time has been when I followed the deer in the mountains of the Delaware and Hudson, and took the beaver on the streams of the upper lakes, in the same season: but my eye was quick and certain at that day, and my limbs were like the legs of a moose! The dam of Hector,” dropping his look kindly to the aged hound that crouched at his feet, “was then a pup, and apt to open on the game the moment she struck the scent. She gave me a deal of trouble, that slut, she did!”

“Your hound is old, stranger, and a rap on the head would prove a mercy to the beast.”

“The dog is like his master,” returned the trapper, without appearing to heed the brutal advice the other gave, “and will number his days, when his work amongst the game is over, and not before. To my eye things seem ordered to meet each other in this creation. ’Tis not the swiftest running deer that always throws off the hounds, nor the biggest arm that holds the truest rifle. Look around you, men; what will the Yankee Choppers say, when they have cut their path from the eastern to the western waters, and find that a hand, which can lay the ’arth bare at a blow, has been here and swept the country, in very mockery of their wickedness. They will turn on their tracks like a fox that doubles, and then the rank smell of their own footsteps will show them the madness of their waste. Howsom- ever, these are thoughts that are more likely to rise in him who has seen the folly of eighty seasons, than to teach wisdom to men still bent on the pleasures of their kind! You have need, yet, of a stirring time, if you think to escape the craft and hatred of the burnt-wood Indians. They claim to be the lawful owners of this country, and seldom leave a white more than the skin he boasts of, when once they get the power, as they always have the will, to do him harm.”

“Old man,” said Ishmael sternly, “to which people do you belong? You have the colour and speech of a Christian, while it seems that your heart is with the redskins.”

“To me there is little difference in nations. The people I loved most are scattered as the sands of the dry river-beds fly before the fall hurricanes, and life is too short to make use and custom with strangers, as one can do with such as he has dwelt amongst for years. Still am I a man without the cross of Indian blood; and what is due from a warrior to his nation, is owing by me to the people of the States; though little need have they, with their militia and their armed boats, of help from a single arm of fourscore.”

“Since you own your kin, I may ask a simple question. Where are the Siouxes who have stolen my cattle?”

“Where is the herd of buffaloes, which was chased by the panther across this plain, no later than the morning of yesterday? It is as hard—”

“Friend,” said Dr. Battius, who had hitherto been an attentive listener, but who now felt a sudden impulse to mingle in the discourse, “I am grieved when I find a venator or hunter, of your experience and observation, following the current of vulgar error. The animal you describe is in truth a species of the bos ferus, (or bos sylvestris, as he has been happily called by the poets,) but, though of close affinity, it is altogether distinct from the common bubulus. Bison is the better word; and I would suggest the necessity of adopting it in future, when you shall have occasion to allude to the species.”

“Bison or buffaloe, it makes but little matter. The creatur’ is the same, call it by what name you will, and—”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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