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"And yet, Pathfinder," said Mabel, looking so prettily and sweetly even while she played with the guide's infirmity, that he forgave her in his heart,-" you, who speak so reverently of the power of the Deity, appear to doubt that a fish can fly."


"I have not said it, I have not said it; and if Master. Cap is ready to testify to the fact, unlikely as it seems, I am willing to try to think it true. I think it every man's duty to believe in the power of God, however difficult it may be.'

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"And why isn't my fish as likely to have wings as your squirrel?" demanded Cap, with more logic than was his wont. "That fishes do and can fly, is as true as it is reasonable—”

"Nay, that is the only difficulty in believing the story," rejoined the guide. "It seems unreasonable to give an animal that lives in the water wings, which seemingly can be of no use to it."

"And do you suppose that the fishes are such asses as to fly about under water, when they are once fairly fitted out with wings ?"


Nay, I know nothing of the matter; but that fish should fly in the air seems more contrary to natur' still, than that they should fly in their own element-that in which they were born and brought up, as one might say."

"So much for contracted ideas, Magnet. The fish fly out of water to run away from their enemies in the water; and there you see not only the fact, but the reason for it."


"Then I suppose it must be true," said the guide, quietly. "How long are their flights?"

"Not quite as far as those of pigeons, perhaps; but far enough to make an offing. As for those squirrels of yours, we'll say no more about them, friend Pathfinder, as I suppose they were mentioned just as a make-weight to the fish, in favour of the woods. But what is this thing anchored here under the hill?”

"That is the cutter of Jasper, uncle," said Mabel, hurriedly; "and a very pretty vessel I think it is. Its name, too, is the 'Scud.'


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Ay, it will do well enough for a lake, perhaps; but it's no great affair. The lad has got a standing bowsprit, and who ever saw a cutter with a standing bowsprit before?"

"But may there not be some good reason for it, on a lake like this, uncle?"

"Sure enough-I must remember this is not the ocean, though it does look so much like it."


'Ah! uncle, then Ontario does look like the ocean after all?" "In your eyes, I mean, and those of Pathfinder; not in the least in mine, Magnet. Now you might set me down out yonder,

in the middle of this bit of a pond, and that, too, in the darkest night that ever fell from the heavens, and in the smallest canoe, and I could tell you it was only a lake. For that matter, the Dorothy (the name of his vessel) would find it out as quick as I could myself. I do not believe that brig would make more than a couple of short stretches, at the most, before she would perceive the difference between Ontario and the old Atlantic. I once took her down into one of the large South American bays, and she behaved herself as awkwardly as a booby would in a church with the congregation in a hurry. And Jasper sails that boat? I must have a cruise with the lad, Magnet, before I quit you, just for the name of the thing. It would never do to say I got in sight of this pond, and went away without taking a trip on it."

"Well, well, you needn't wait long for that," returned Pathfinder; "for the Sergeant is about to embark with a party, to relieve a post among the Thousand Islands; and, as I heard him say he intended that Mabel should go along, you can join company too."

"Is this true, Magnet?"

"I believe it is," returned the girl, a flush so imperceptible as to escape the observation of her companions, glowing on her cheeks, "though I have had so little opportunity to talk with my dear father, that I am not quite certain. Here he comes, however, and you can inquire of himself."

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Notwithstanding his humble rank, there was something in the mien and character of Sergeant Dunham that commanded respect of a tall imposing figure, grave and saturnine disposition, and accurate and precise in his acts and manner of thinking, even Cap, dogmatical and supercilious as he usually was with landsmen, did not presume to take the same liberties with the old soldier as he did with his other friends. It was often remarked that Sergeant Dunham received more true respect from Duncan of Lundie, the Scotch laird who commanded the post, than most of the subalterns; for experience and tried services were of quite as much value in the eyes of the veteran major, as birth and money. While the Sergeant never even hoped to rise any higher, he so far respected himself and his present station, as always to act in a way to command attention; and the habit of mixing so much with inferiors, whose passions and dispositions he felt it necessary to restrain by distance and dignity, had so far coloured his whole deportment, that few were altogether free from its influence. While the captains treated him kindly and as an old comrade, the lieutenants seldom ventured to dissent from his military opinions; and the ensigns, it was remarked, actually manifested a species of respect that amounted to something very

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like deference. It is no wonder then, that the announcement of Mabel put a sudden termination to the singular dialogue we have just related, though it had been often observed that the Pathfinder was the only man on that frontier, beneath the condition of a gentleman, who presumed to treat the Sergeant at all as an equal, or even with the cordial familiarity of a friend.

"Good morrow, brother Cap," said the Sergeant, giving the military salute, as he walked in a grave stately manner on the bastion. "My morning duty has made me seem forgetful of you and Mabel; but we have now an hour or two to spare, and to get acquainted. Do you not perceive, brother, a strong likeness in the girl, to her we have so long lost?"

"Mabel is the image of her mother, Sergeant, as I have always said, with a little of your firmer figure; though, for that matter, the Caps were never wanting in spring and activity.”

Mabel cast a timid glance at the stern rigid countenance of her father, of whom she had ever thought as the warm-hearted dwell on the affection of their absent parents; and, as she saw that the muscles of his face were working, notwithstanding the stiffness and method of his manner, her very heart yearned to throw herself on his bosom, and to weep at will. But he was so much colder in externals, so much more formal and distant than she had expected to find him, that she would not have dared to hazard the freedom, even had they been alone.

"You have taken a long and troublesome journey, brother, on my account: and we will try to make you comfortable while you stay among us."

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"I hear you are likely to receive orders to lift your anchor, Sergeant, and to shift your berth into a part of the world where they say there are a thousand islands?"

"Pathfinder, this is some of your forgetfulness?”

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Nay, nay, Sergeant, I forgot nothing; but it did not seem to me necessary to hide your intentions so very closely from your own flesh and blood."

"All military movements ought to be made with as little conversation as possible," returned the Sergeant, tapping the guide's shoulder in a friendly but reproachful manner. "You have passed too much of your life in front of the French not to know the value of silence. But no matter; the thing must soon be known, and there is no great in use in trying now to conceal it. We shall embark a relief party shortly for a post on the lake, though I do not say it is for the Thousand Islands, and I may have to go with it; in which case I intend to take Mabel to make my broth for me; and I hope, brother, you will not dispise a soldier's fare for a month or so."

"That will depend on the manner of marching. I have no love for woods and swamps."

"We shall sail in the Scud; and, indeed, the whole service, which is no stranger to us, is likely enough to please one accustomed to the water."

"Ay, to salt-water if you will, but not to lake-water. If you have no person to handle that bit of a cutter for you, I have no objection to ship for the v'y'age, notwithstanding; though I shall look on the whole affair as so much time thrown away, for I consider it an imposition to call sailing about this pond going to sea."


Jasper is every way able to manage the Scud, brother Cap; and in that light I cannot say that we have need of your services, though we shall be glad of your company. You cannot return to the settlements until a party is sent in, and that is not likely to happen until after my return. Well, Pathfinder, this is the first time I ever knew men on the trail of the Mingos and you not at their head."

"To be honest with you, Sergeant," returned the guide, not without a little awkwardness of manner, and a perceptible difference in the hue of a face that had become so uniformly red by exposure," I have not felt that it was my gift this morning. In the first place, I very well know that the soldiers of the 55th are not the lads to overtake Iroquois in the woods; and the knaves did not wait to be surrounded when they knew that Jasper had reached the garrison. Then a man may take a little rest after a summer of hard work, and no impeachment of his good-will. Besides, the Sarpent is out with them; and if the miscreants are to be found at all, you may trust to his inmity and sight; the first being stronger, and the last nearly, if not quite, as good as my own. He loves the sculking vagabonds as little as myself; and, for that matter I may say, that my own feelings towards a Mingo are not much more than the gifts of a Delaware grafted on a Christian stock. No, no; I thought I would leave the honour this time, if honour there is to be, to the young ensign that commands, who, if he don't lose his scalp, may boast of his campaign in his letters to his mother, when he gets in. I thought I would play idler, once in my life."


And no one has a better right, if long and faithful service entitles a man to a furlough," returned the Sergeant kindly. "Mabel will think none the worse of you for preferring her company to the trail of the savages; and, I dare say, will be happy to give you a part of her breakfast if you are inclined to eat. must not think, girl, however, that the Pathfinder is in the habit of letting prowlers around the fort beat a retreat without hearing the crack of his rifle."


"If I thought she did, Sergeant, though not much given to showy and parade evolutions, I would shoulder killdeer, and quit the garrison before her pretty eyes had time to frown. No, no; Mabel knows me better, though we are but new acquaintances, for there has been no want of Mingos to enliven the short march we have already made in company."

"It would need a great deal of testimony, Pathfinder, to make me think ill of you in any way, and more than all in the way you mention," returned Mabel, colouring with the sincere earnestness with which she endeavoured to remove any suspicion to the contrary from his mind. "Both father and daughter, I believe, owe you their lives, and believe me, that neither will ever forget it."

"Thank you, Mabel, thank you with all my heart. But I will not take advantage of your ignorance neither, girl, and therefore shall say, I do not think the Mingos would have hurt a hair of your head, had they succeeded by their devilries and contrivances, in getting you into their hands. My scalp, and Jasper's, and Master Cap's there, and the Sarpent's too, would sartainly have been smoked; but as for the Sergeant's daughter, I do not think they would have hurt a hair of her head."

"And why should I suppose that enemies, known to spare neither women nor children, would have shown more mercy to me than to another? I feel, Pathfinder, that I owe you my life."

"I say nay, Mabel; they wouldn't have had the heart to hurt you. No, not even a fiery Mingo devil would have had the heart to hurt a hair of your head. Bad as I suspect the vampires to be, I do not suspect them of anything so wicked as that. They might have wished you, nay, forced you to become the wife of one of their chiefs, and that would be torment enough to a Christian young woman; but beyond that I do not think even the Mingos themselves would have gone."

“Well, then, I shall owe my escape from this great misfortune to you," said Mabel, taking his hard hand into her own frankly and cordially, and certainly in a way to delight the honest guide. "To me it would be a lighter evil to be killed than to become the wife of an Indian."

"That is her gift, Sergeant," exclaimed Pathfinder, turning to his old comrade with gratification written on every lineament of his honest countenance, "and it will have its way. I tell the Sarpent, that no Christianizing will ever make even a Delaware a white man; nor any whooping and yelling convert a pale-face into a red-skin. That is the gift of a young woman born of Christian parents, and it ought to be maintained."

"You are right, Pathfinder; and so far as Mabel Dunham is

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