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- misnamed them. That yell is one of rejoicing, and it is as conquerors they have given it. The body of the Sarpent, no doubt, dead or alive, is in their power!"
"And we!"-exclaimed Jasper, who felt a pang of generous regret, as the idea that he might have averted the calamity presented itself to his mind, had he not deserted his comrade.
"We can do the chief no good, lad, and must quit this spot as fast as possible."
"Without one attempt to rescue him!-without even knowing whether he be dead or living?"
"Jasper is right," said Mabel, who could speak, though her voice sounded huskily and smothered; "I have no fears, uncle, and will stay here until we know what has become of our friend."
"This seems reasonable, Pathfinder," put in Cap. "Your true seaman cannot well desert a messmate; and I am glad to find that motives so correct exist among those fresh-water people."
"Tut-tut-" returned the impatient guide, forcing the canoe into the stream as he spoke, "ye know nothing, and ye fear nothing. If ye value your lives, think of reaching the garrison, and leave the Delaware in the hands of Providence. Ah's me! The deer that goes too often to the lick meets the hunter at last!"
"And is this-Yarrow ?-this the stream
Of which my fancy cherished
So faithfully a waking dream?
An image that hath perished?
O that some minstrel's harp were near,
And chase this silence from the air,
THE scene was not without its sublimity; and the ardent, generous-minded Mabel felt her blood thrill in her veins, and her cheeks flush, as the canoe shot into the strength of the stream to quit the spot. The darkness of the night had lessened by the dispersion of the clouds; but the overhanging woods rendered the shores so obscure that the boats floated down the current in a belt of gloom that effectually secured them from detection. Still there was necessarily a strong feeling of insecurity in all on board them; and even Jasper, who by this time began to tremble in behalf of the girl, at every unusual sound that arose from the forest, kept casting uneasy glances around him, as he drifted on, in company. The paddle was used lightly, and only with exceeding care, for the slightest sound, in the breathing stillness of that hour and place, might apprise the watchful ears of the Iroquois of their position.
All the accessaries added to the impressive grandeur of her situation, and contributed to render the moment much the most exciting that had ever occurred in the brief existence of Mabel Dunham. Spirited, accustomed to self-reliance, and sustained by the pride of considering herself a soldier's daughter, she could hardly be said to be under the influence of fear; yet her heart often beat quicker than common, her fine blue eye lighted with
an exhibition of a resolution that was wasted in the darkness, and her quickened feelings came in aid of the real sublimity that belonged to the scene, and to the incidents of the night.
"Mabel!" said the suppressed voice of Jasper, as the two canoes floated so near each other that the hand of the young man held them together, "you have no dread, you trust freely to our care, and willingness to protect you?"
I am a soldier's daughter, as you know, Jasper Western, and ought to be ashamed to confess fear."
Rely on me on us all. Your uncle, Pathfinder, the Delaware, were the poor fellow here, I myself, will risk everything rather than harm should reach you."
"I believe you, Jasper," returned the girl, her hand unconsciously playing in the water. "I know that my uncle loves me, and will never think of himself until he has first thought of me; and I believe you are all my father's friends, and would willingly assist his child. But I am not so feeble and weakminded as you may think, for though only a girl from the towns, and, like most of that class, a little disposed to see danger where there is none, I promise you, Jasper, no foolish fears of mine shall stand in the way of your doing your duty."
"The serjeant's daughter is right, and she is worthy of being bonest Thomas Dunham's child," put in the Pathfinder. "Ah's me! pretty one, many is the time that your father and I have scouted and marched together on the flanks and rear of the enemy, in nights darker than this, and that, too, when we did not know but the next moment would lead us into a bloody ambushment. I was at his side when he got the wound in his shoulder, and the honest fellow will tell you when you meet, the manner in which we contrived to cross the river that lay in our rear, in order to save his scalp."
"He has told me," said Mabel, with more energy perhaps than her situation rendered prudent. "I have his letters, in which he has mentioned all that, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the service. God will remember it, Pathfinder; and there is no gratitude that you can ask of the
daughter, which she will not cheerfully repay for her father's life."
"Ay, that is the way with all your gentle and pure-hearted creatur's! I have seen some of you before, and have heard of others! The serjeant, himself, has talked to me of his own young days; and of your mother, and of the manner in which he courted her, and of all the crossings and disapp'intments, until he succeeded at last."
"My mother did not live long to repay him for what he did to win her," said Mabel, with a trembling lip.
"So he tells me. The honest serjeant has kept nothing back, for being so many years my senior, he has looked on me, in our many scoutings together, as a sort of son."
"Perhaps, Pathfinder," observed Jasper, with a huskiness in his voice that defeated the attempt at pleasantry," he would be glad to have you for one, in reality."
“And if he did, Eau-douce, where would be the sin of it? He knows what I am on a trail, or a scout, and he has seen me often face to face with the Frenchers. I have sometimes thought, lad, that we all ought to seek for wives; for the man that lives altogether in the woods, and in company with his enemies, or his prey, gets to lose some of the feelin' of kind, in the end."
"From the specimen I have seen,” observed Mabel, "“I should say that they who live much in the forest forget to learn many of the deceits and vices of the towns."
"It is not easy, Mabel, to dwell always in the presence of God, and not feel the power of his goodness. I have attended church-sarvice in the garrisons, and tried hard, as becomes a true soldier, to join in the prayers; for though no enlisted sarvant of the king, I fight his battles and sarve his cause,—and so I have ende'voured to worship garrison-fashion, but never could raise within me the solemn feelings and true affection that I feel when alone with God in the forest. There I seem to stand face to face with my Master; all around me is fresh and beautiful, as it came from his hand; and there is no nicety or doctrine
to chill the feelin's. No, no; the woods are the true temple, a'ter all, for there the thoughts are free to mount higher even than the clouds."
"You speak the truth, Master Pathfinder," said Cap, “ and a truth that all who live much in solitude know. What, for instance, is the reason that seafaring men, in general, are SO religious and conscientious in all they do, but the fact that they are so often alone with Providence, and have so little to do with the wickedness of the land! Many and many is the time that I have stood my watch, under the equator perhaps, or in the Southern Ocean, when the nights are lighted up with the fires of heaven; and that is the time, I can tell you, my hearties, to bring a man to his bearings, in the way of his sins. I have rattled down mine, again and again, under such circumstances, until the shrouds and lanyards of conscience have fairly creaked with the strain. I agree with you, Master Pathfinder, therefore, in saying if you want a truly religious man, go to sea, or go into the woods."
"Uncle, I thought seamen had little credit, generally, for their respect for religion."
"All d -d slander, girl! Ask your seafaring man what his real, private opinion is of your landsmen, parsons and all, and you will hear the other side of the question. I know no class of men who have been so belied as seafaring men, in this particular; and it is all because they do not stay at home to defend themselves, and pay the clergy. They haven't as much doctrine, perhaps, as some ashore, but as for all the essentials of Christianity, the seaman beats the landsman, hand-over-hand."
"I will not answer for all this, Master Cap," returned Pathfinder, "but I dare say some of it may be true. I want no thunder and lightning to remind me of my God, nor am I as apt to bethink me most of all his goodness, in trouble and tribulations, as on a calm, solemn, quiet day, in a forest, when his voice is heard in the creaking of a dead branch, or in the song of a bird, as much in my ears at least, as it is ever heard in uproar and gales. How is it with you, Eau-douce; you face the tempests as