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most branches, forming one broad and seemingly interminable carpet of foliage, that stretched away towards the setting sun, until it bounded the horizon, by blending with the clouds, as the waves and the sky meet at the base of the vault of heaven. Here and there, by some accident of the tempests, or by a caprice of nature, a trifling opening among these giant members of the forest permitted an inferior tree to struggle upward toward the light, and to lift its modest head nearly to a level with the surrounding surface of verdure. Of this class were the birch, a tree of some account in regions less favoured, the quivering aspen, | various generous nut-woods, and divers others that resembled the ignoble and vulgar, thrown by circumstances into the presence } of the stately and great. Here and there too, the tall straight trunk of the pine pierced the vast field, rising high above it, like some grand monument reared by art on a plain of leaves.
It was the vastness of the view, the nearly unbroken surface of verdure, that contained the principle of grandeur. The beauty was to be traced in the delicate tints, relieved by gradations of light and shade; while the solemn repose induced the feeling allied to awe.
"Uncle," said the wondering but pleased girl, addressing her male companion, whose arm she rather touched than leaned on, to steady her own light but firm footing, "this is like a view of the ocean you so much love!
"So much for ignorance, and a girl's fancy, Magnet,”—a term of affection the sailor often used in allusion to his niece's personal attractions,-" no one but a child would think of likening this handful of leaves to a look at the real Atlantic. You might seize all these tree-tops to Neptune's jacket, and they would make no more than a nosegay for his bosom."
"More fanciful than true, I think, uncle. Look thither; it must be miles on miles, and yet we see nothing but leaves! what more could one behold, if looking at the ocean ?"
"More!" returned the uncle, giving an impatient gesture with the elbow the other touched, for his arms were crossed, and the hands were thrust into the bosom of a vest of red cloth, a fashion of the times," More, Magnet? say, rather, what less? Where are your combing seas, your blue water, your rollers, your breakers, your whales, or your water-spouts, and your endless motion, in this bit of a forest, child?"
"And where are your tree-tops, your solemn silence, your fragrant leaves, and your beautiful green, uncle, on the ocean ?” "Tut, Magnet, if you understood the thing, you would know that green water is a sailor's bane. He scarcely relishes a greenhorn less."
"But green trees are a different thing.-Hist! that sound is the air breathing among the leaves!"
"You should hear a nor-wester breathe, girl, if you fancy windaloft. Now, where are your gales, and hurricanes, and trades, and levanters, and such like incidents, in this bit of a forest? and what fishes have you swimming beneath yonder tame surface?"
"That there have been tempests here, these signs around us / plainly show; and beasts, if not fishes, are beneath those leaves." "I do not know that," returned the uncle, with a sailor's dogmatism. They told us many stories at Albany, of the wild animals we should fall in with, and yet we have seen nothing to frighten a seal. I doubt if any of your inland animals will compare with a low latitude shark.”
"See!" exclaimed the niece, who was more occupied with the "boundless wood," than with her uncle's arguments," yonder is a smoke curling over the tops of the trees,-can it come from a house?"
"Ay, ay; there is a look of humanity in that smoke," returned the old seaman, "which is worth a thousand trees. I must show
it to Arrowhead, who may be running past a port without knowingit. It is probable there is a caboose where there is a smoke.” As he concluded, the uncle drew a hand from his bosom, touched the male Indian, who was standing near him, lightly on the shoulder, and pointed out a thin line of vapour that was stealing slowly out of the wilderness of leaves, at a distance of about a mile, and was diffusing itself in almost imperceptible threads of humidity, in the quivering atmosphere. The Tuscarora was one of those noblelooking warriors that were oftener met with among the aborigines of this continent a century since, than to-day; and, while he had mingled sufficiently with the colonists to be familiar with their habits and even with their language, he had lost little, if any, of the wild grandeur and simple dignity of a chief. Between him and the old seaman the intercourse had been friendly, but distant; for the Indian had been too much accustomed to mingle with the officers of the different military posts he had frequented, not to understand that his present companion was only. a subordinate. So imposing, indeed, had been the quiet superiority of the Tuscarora's reserve, that Charles Cap, for so was the seaman named, in his most dogmatical or facetious moments, had not ventured on familiarity, in an intercourse that had now lasted more than a week. The sight of the curling smoke, however, had struck the latter like the sudden appearance of a sail at sea; and, for the first time since they met, he ventured to touch the warrior, as has been related.
The quick eye of the Tuscarora instantly caught a sight of the
smoke; and for quite a minute he stood, slightly raised on tiptoe, with distended nostrils, like the buck that scents a taint in the air, and a gaze as riveted as that of the trained pointer while *} he waits his master's aim. Then falling back on his feet, a low exclamation, in the soft tones that form so singular a contrast to its harsher cries, in the Indian warrior's voice, was barely audible; otherwise, he was undisturbed. His countenance was calm, and his quick, dark, eagle eye moved over the leafy panorama, as if to take in at a glance every circumstance that might enlighten his mind. That the long journey they had attempted to make through a broad belt of wilderness was necessarily attended with danger, both uncle and niece well knew; though neither could at once determine whether the sign that others were in their vicinity was the harbinger of good or evil.
"There must be Oneidas, or Tuscaroras, near us, Arrowhead," said Cap, addressing his Indian companion by his conventional name; "will it not be well to join company with them, and get a comfortable berth for the night in their wigwam ?"
"No wigwam there," Arrowhead answered, in his unmoved manner-" too much tree.”
"But Indians must be there; perhaps some old messmates of your own, Master Arrowhead.”
No Tuscarora-no Oneida-no Mohawk-pale-face fire.” "The devil it is! Well, Magnet, this surpasses a seaman's philosophy: we old sea-dogs can tell a soldier's from a sailor's quid, or a lubber's nest from a mate's hammock; but I do not think the oldest admiral in his Majesty's fleet can tell a king's smoke from a collier's."
The idea that human beings were in their vicinity, in that ocean of wilderness, had deepened the flush on the blooming cheek and brightened the eye of the fair creature at his side; but she soon turned with a look of surprise to her relative, and said, hesitatingly, for both had often admired the Tuscarora's knowledge, or, we might almost say, instinct
"A pale-face's fire! Surely, uncle, he cannot know that ?"
66 Ten days since, child, I would have sworn to it; but now I hardly know what to believe. May I take the liberty of asking, Arrowhead, why you fancy that smoke, now, a pale-face's smoke, and not a red-skin's?"
"Wet wood," returned the warrior, with the calmness with which the pedagogue might point out an arithmetical demonstration to his puzzled pupil. "Much wet-much smoke; much water-black smoke.'
"But, begging your pardon, Master Arrowhead, the smoke is not black, nor is there much of it. To my eye, now, it is as light
and fanciful a smoke as ever rose from a captain's tea-kettle, when nothing was left to make the fire but a few chips from the dunnage."
Too much water," returned Arrowhead, with a slight nod of the head: "Tuscarora too cunning to make fire with water; paleface too much book, and burn anything; much book, little know."
"Well, that's reasonable, I allow," said Cap, who was no devotee of learning: "he means that as a hit at your reading, Magnet; for the chief has sensible notions of things in his own way. How far, now, Arrowhead, do you make us, by your calculation, from the bit of a pond that you call the Great Lake, and towards which we have been so many days shaping our
The Tuscarora looked at the seaman with quiet superiority, as he answered
Ontario, like heaven; one sun, and the great traveller will know it."
"Well, I have been a great traveller, I cannot deny, but of all my v'y'ges, this has been the longest, the least profitable, and the farthest inland. If this body of fresh water is so nigh, Arrowhead, and at the same time so large, one might think a pair of good eyes would find it out; for, apparently, everything within thirty miles is to be seen from this look-out."
Look," said Arrowhead, stretching an arm before him with quiet grace; "Ontario!"
Uncle, you are accustomed to cry 'land ho!' but not 'water ho!' and you do not see it,” cried the niece, laughing, as girls will laugh at their own idle conceits.
"How, now, Magnet, dost suppose that I shouldn't know my native element, if it were in sight?"
"But, Ontario is not your native element, dear uncle; for you come from the salt water, while this is fresh.”
"That might make some difference to your young mariner, but none in the world to the old one. I should know water, child, were I to see it in China."
"Ontario," repeated the Arrowhead, with emphasis, again stretching his hand towards the north-west.
Cap looked at the Tuscarora, for the first time since their acquaintance, with something like an air of contempt, though he did not fail to follow the direction of the chief's eye and arm, both of which were directed, to all appearance, towards a vacant point in the heavens, a short distance above the plain of leaves.
"Ay, ay; this is much as I expected, when I left the coast to come in search of a fresh-water pond," resumed Cap, shrugging
his shoulders like one whose mind was made up, and who thought no more need be said. "Ontario may be there, or, for that matter, it may be in my pocket. Well, I suppose there will be room enough, when we reach it, to work our canoe. But, Arrowhead, if there be pale-faces in our neighbourhood, I confess I should like to get within hail of them."
The Tuscarora now gave a quiet inclination of his head, and the whole party descended from the roots of the uptorn tree in silence. When they had reached the ground, Arrowhead intimated his intention to go towards the fire, and ascertain who had lighted it; while he advised his wife and the two others to return to a canoe,. which they had left in the adjacent stream, and await his return.
Why, chief, this might do on soundings, and in an offing where one knew the channel," returned old Cap; "but in an unknown region like this, I think it unsafe to trust the pilot alone too far from the ship: so, with your leave, we will not part company."
"What my brother want?" asked the Indian, gravely, though without taking offence at a distrust that was sufficiently plain. "Your company, Master Arrowhead, and no more. I will go with you, and speak these strangers."
The Tuscarora assented without dificulty, and again he directed his patient and submissive little wife, who seldom turned her full rich black eye on him, but to express equally her respect, her dread, and her love, to proceed to the boat. But, here, Magnet raised a difficulty. Although spirited, and of unusual energy under circumstances of trial, she was but woman; and the idea of being entirely deserted by her two male protectors, in the midst of a wilderness, that her senses had just told her was seemingly illimitable, became so keenly painful, that she expressed a wish to accompany her uncle.
"The exercise will be a relief, dear sir, after sitting so long in the canoe," she added, as the rich blood slowly returned to a cheek that had paled, in spite of her efforts to be calm; "and there may be females with the strangers."
"Come, then, child; it is but a cable's length, and we shall return an hour before the sun sets."
With this permission, the girl, whose real name was Mabel Dunham, prepared to be of the party; while the Dew-of-June, as the wife of Arrowhead was called, passively went her way towards the canoe, too much accustomed to obedience, solitude, and the gloom of the forest, to feel apprehension.
The three who remained in the wind-row, now picked their way around its tangled maze, and gained the margin of the woods,