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and of little larning, though I fear with an ambition beyond my desarts, and I'll do my endivours to do justice to beth sides. In the first place, it is allowed that so far as feelings in your behalf are consarned, we love you just the same; Jasper thinks his feelings must be the strongest, but this I cannot say, in honesty, for it doesn't seem to me that it can be true; else I would frankly and freely confess it, I would. So in this particular, Mabel, we are here before you, on equal tarms. As for myself, being the oldest, I'll first say what little can be produced in my favour, as well as ag'in it. As a hunter, I do think there is no man near the lines that can outdo me. If venison, or bear's meat, or even birds and fish, should ever be scarce in our cabin, it would be more likely to be owing to natur' and Providence, than to any fault of mine. In short, it does seem to me, that the woman who depended on me, would never be likely to want for food. But, I'm fearful ignorant! It's true, I speak several tongues, such as they be, while I'm very far from being expart at my own. Then, my years are greater than your own, Mabel; and the circumstance that I was so long the sarjeant's comrade, can be no great merit in your eyes. I wish, too, I was more comely, I do; but we are all as natur' made us, and the last thing that a man ought to lament, except on very special occasions, is his looks. When all is remembered, age, looks, larning and habits, Mabel, conscience tells me I ought to confess that I'm altogether unfit for you, if not downright unworthy; and I would give up the hope, this minute, I would, if I didn't feel something pulling at my heart strings which seems hard to undo."
"Pathfinder ! — noble, generous Pathfinder!"—cried our heroine, seizing his hand, and kissing it with a species of holy reverence; "you do yourself injustice-you forget my poor father and your promise-you do not know me!"
"Now, here's Jasper," continued the guide, without allow. ing the girl's caresses to win him from his purpose; " with him, the case is different. In the way of providing, as in that of loving, there's not much to choose atween us, for the lad is frugal, industrious and careful. Then he is quite a scholar-knows the tongue of the Frenchers-reads many books, and some, I know, that you like to read yourself—
can understand you at all times, which, perhaps, is more than I can say for myself."
"What of all this"-interrupted Mabel, impatiently"why speak of it now-why speak of it, at all?"
"Then the lad has a manner of letting his thoughts be known, that I fear I can never equal. If there's any thing on 'arth that would make my tongue bold and persuading, Mabel, I do think it's yourself; and yet, in our late conversations, Jasper has outdone me, even on this point, in a way to make me ashamed of myself. He has told me how simple you were, and how true-hearted, and kind-hearted; and how you looked down upon vanities, for though you might be the wife of more than one officer, as he thinks, that you cling to feeling, and would rather be true to yourself, and natur', than a colonel's lady. He fairly made my blood warm, he did, when he spoke of your having beauty without seeming ever to have looked upon it, and the manner in which you moved about like a young fa'an, so natʼral and graceful like, without knowing it; and the truth and justice of your idees, and the warmth and generosity of your heart-"
Jasper !" interrupted Mabel, giving way to feelings that had gathered an ungovernable force by being so long pent, and falling into the young man's willing arms, weeping like a child, and almost as helpless. "Jasper!-Jasper !-why have you kept this from me?"
The answer of Eau-douce was not very intelligible, nor was the murmured dialogue that followed, remarkable for coherency. But the language of affection is easily understood. The hour that succeeded, passed like a very few minutes of ordinary life, so far as a computation of time was concerned; and when Mabel recollected herself, and bethought her of the existence of others, her uncle was pacing the cutter's deck in great impatience, and wondering why Jasper should be losing so much of a favourable wind. Her first thought was of him, who was so likely to feel the recent betrayal of her real emotions.
"Oh! Jasper!" she exclaimed, like one suddenly self convicted" the Pathfinder !"
Eau-douce fairly trembled, not with unmanly apprehen. sion, but with the painful conviction of the pang he had given
his friend, and he looked in all directions, in the expecta tion of seeing his person. But Pathfinder had withdrawn, with a tact and a delicacy, that might have done credit to the sensibility and breeding of a courtier. For several mi es the two lovers sate, silently waiting his return, uncertain what propriety required of them, under circumstances so marked, and so peculiar. At length they beheld their friend advancing slowly towards them, with a thoughtful and even pensive air.
"I now understand what you meant, Jasper, by speaking without a tongue, and hearing without an ear," he said, when close enough to the tree to be heard. "Yes, I understand it, now, I do, and a very pleasant sort of discourse it is, when one can hold it with Mabel Dunham. Ah's me!-I told the sarjeant I wasn't fit for her; that I was too old, too ignorant and too wild, like-but he would have it otherwise.'
Jasper and Mabel sate, resembling Milton's picture of our first parents, when the consciousness of sin first laid its leaden weight on their souls. Neither spoke, neither even moved; though both, at that moment, fancied they could part with their new-found happiness, in order to restore their friend to his peace of mind. Jasper was pale as death; but, in Mabel, maiden modesty had caused the blood to mantle on her cheeks, until their bloom was heightened to a richness that was scarce equalled in her hours of light-hearted buoyancy and joy. As the feeling, which, in her sex, always accompanies the security of love returned, threw its softness and tenderness over her countenance, she was singularly beautiful. finder gazed at her, with an intentness he did not endeavour to conceal, and then he fairly laughed in his own way, and with a sort of wild exultation, as men that are untutored are wont to express their delight. This momentary indulgence, however, was expinted by the pang that followed the sudden consciousness that this glorious young creature was lost to him for ever. It required a full minute for this simple-mind ed being to recover from the shock of this conviction; and then he recovered his dignity of manner, speaking with gravity-almost with solemnity.
"I have always known, Mabel Dunham, that men have their gifts," he said; "but I'd forgotten that it did not belong to mine, to please the young, and beautiful, and
l'arned. I hope the mistake has been no very heavy sin; and if it was, I've been heavily punished for it, I have. Nay, Mabel, I know what you'd say, but it's unnecessary; I feel it all, and that is as good as if I heard it all. I've had a bitter hour, Mabel-I've had a very bitter hour, lad—”
"Hour!" echoed Mabel, as the other first used the word, the tell-tale blood, which had begun to ebb towards her heart, rushing again tumultuously to her very temples. "Surely not an hour, Pathfinder!"
"Hour!" exclaimed Jasper, at the same instant—“ no--no-my worthy friend, it is not ten minutes since you left us !"
"Well, it may be so; though to me it has seemed to be a day. I begin to think, however, that the happy count time by minutes, and the miserable count it by months. But we will talk no more of this; it is all over now, and many words about it, will make you no happier, while they will only tell me what I've lost; and quite likely how much I desarved to lose her. No-no-Mabel, 'tis useless to interrupt me; I admit it all, and your gainsaying it, though it be so well meant, cannot change my mind. Well, Jasper, she is yours, and though it's hard to think it, I do believe you'll make her happier than I could, for your gifts are better suited to do so, though I would have strived hard to do as much, if I know myself, I would. I ought to have known better than to believe the sarjeant; and I ought to have put faith in what Mabel told me at the head of the lake, for reason and judgment inight have shown me its truth; but it is so pleasant to think what we wish, and mankind so easily over-persuade us, when we over-persuade ourselves. But what's the use in talking of it, as I said afore? It's true, Mabel seemed to be consenting, though it all came from a wish to please her father, and from being skeary about the savages—
"I understand you, Mabel, and have no hard feelings, I hav'n't. I sometimes think I should like to live in your neighbourhood, that I might look at your happiness; but on the whole, it's better I should quit the 55th altogether, and go back to the 60th, which is my natyve rijement, as it might be. It would have been better, perhaps, had I never left it, hough my sarvices were much wanted in this quarter, and
I'd been with some of the 55th, years agone-Sarjeant Dun ham, for instance, when he was in another corps. Still, Jasper, I do not regret that I've known you-"
"And me, Pathfinder!" impetuously interrupted Mabel"do you regret having known me ?-could I think so, I should never be at peace with myself!”
You, Mabel!" returned the guide, taking the hand of our heroine, and looking up into her countenance with guileless simplicity, but earnest affection—" how could I be sorry that a ray of the sun came across the gloom of a cheerless đây? that light has broken in upon darkness, though it remained so short a time! I do not flatter myself with being able to march quite as light-hearted, as I once used to could, or to sleep as sound, for some time to come; but I shall always remember how near I was to being undesarvedly happy, I shall. So far from blaming you, Mabel, I only blame my self for being so vain as to think it' possible I could please such a creatur'; for, sartainly, you told me how it was, when we talked it over, on the mountain, and I ought to have believed you, then; for I do suppose it's nat'ral that young women should know their own minds better than their fathers. Ah's me! It's settled now, and nothing remains but for me to take leave of you, that you may depart; I feel that Master Cap must be impatient, and there is danger of his coming on shore to look for us all."
"To take leave!" exclaimed Mabel.
"Leave!" echoed Jasper: " you do not mean to quit us, my friend?"
""Tis best, Mabel-'tis altogether best, Eau-douce; and it's wisest. I could live and die in your company, if I only followed feeling; but, if I follow reason, I shall quit you here You will go back to Oswego, and become man and wife as soon as you arrive; for all that is determined with Master Cap, who hankers after the sea again, and who knows what is to happen: while I shall return to the wilderdess and my Maker. Come, Mabel," continued Pathfinder, rising, and drawing nearer to our heroine, with grave decorum, "kiss me. Jasper will not grudge me one kiss:
then we'll part."
"Oh! Pathfinder,” exclaimed Mabel, falling into the arms of the guide, and kissing his cheeks again and again, with a