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"The gun scatters well, Natty, and has killed a deer before now," said the traveller, smiling good humouredly. "One barrel was charged with buck shot; but the other was loaded for birds only Here are two hurts that he has received; one through his neck, and the other directly through his heart. It is by no means certain, Natty, but I gave him one of the two."

"Let who will kill him," said the hunter, rather surlily, "I suppose the cretur is to be eaten." So saying, he drew a large knife from a leathern sheath, which was stuck through his girdle or sash, and cut the throat of the animal. "If there is two balls through the deer, I want to know if there wasn't two rifles fired-besides, who ever saw such a ragged hole from a smooth-bore, as this is through the neck and you will own yourself, Judge, that the buck fell at the last shot, which was sent from a truer and a younger hand, than your'n or mine 'ither; but for my part, although I am a poor man, I can live without the venison, but I don't love to give up my lawful dues in a free country. Though, for the matter of that, might often makes right here, as well as in the old country, for what I can see."

An air of sullen dissatisfaction pervaded the manner of the hunter during the whole of this speech; yet he thought it prudent to utter the close of the sentence in such an under tone, as to leave nothing audible but the grumbling sounds of his voice.

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Nay, Natty," rejoined the traveller, with undisturbed good humour, "it is for the honour that I contend. A few dollars will pay for the venison; but what will requite me for the lost honour of a buck's tail in my cap? Think, Natty, how I should triumph over that quizzing dog, Dick Jones,

who has failed seven times this season already, and has only brought in one wood-chuck and a few gray squirrels."

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"Ah! the game is becoming hard to find, indeed, Judge, with your clearings and betterments, said the old hunter, with a kind of disdainful resignation. "The time has been, when I have shot thirteen deer, without counting the fa'ns, standing, in the door of my own hut !—and for bear's meat, u one wanted a ham or so from the cretur, he had only to watch a-nights, and he could shoot one by moonlight, through the cracks of the logs; no fear of his over-sleeping himself, n'ither, for the howling of the wolves was sartin to keep his eyes open. There's old Hector,"-patting with affection a tall hound, of black and yellow spots, with white belly and legs, that just then came in on the scent, accompanied by the slut he had mentioned; "see where the wolves bit his throat, the night I druve them from the venison I was smoking on the chimbly top-that dog is more to be trusted nor many a Christian man; for he never forgets a friend, and loves the hand that gives him bread.”

There was a peculiarity in the manner of the hunter, that struck the notice of the young female, who had been a close and interested observer of his appearance and equipments, from the moment he first came into view. He was tall, and so meagre as to make him seem above even the six feet that he actually stood in his stockings. On his head, which was thinly covered with lank, sandy hair, he wore a cap made of fox-skin, resembling in shape the one we have already described, although much inferior in finish and crnaments. His face was skinny, and thin almost to emaciation but yet bore no signs of disease;—on the contrary, it had every indication of the most robust and en


during health. The cold and the exposure had, together, given it a colour of uniform red; his gray eyes were glancing under a pair of shaggy brows, that overhung them in long hairs of gray mingled with their natural hue; his scraggy neck was bare, and burnt to the same tint with his face; though a small part of a shirt collar, made of the country, check, was to be seen above the over-dress he wore. A kind of coat, made of dressed deer-skin, with the hair on, was belted close to his lank body, by a girdle of coloured worsted. On his feet were deer-skin moccasins, ornamented with porcupines' quills, after the manner of the Indians, and his limbs were guarded with long leggings of the same material as the moccasins, which, gartering over the knees of his tarnished buck-skin breeches, had obtained for him, among the settlers, the nick-name of Leather-stocking, notwithstanding his legs were protected beneath, in winter, by thick garments of woollen, duly made of good blue yarn. Over his left shoulder was slung a belt of deer-skin, from which depended an enormous ox horn, so thinly scraped, as to discover the dark powder that it contained. The larger end was fitted ingeniously and securely with a wooden bottom, and the other was stopped tight by a little plug. A leathern pouch hung before him, from which, as he concluded his last speech, he took a small measure, and, filling it accurately with powder, he commenced reloading the rifle, which, as its butt rested on the snow before him, reached nearly to the top of his fox-skin


The traveller had been closely examining the wounds during these movements, and now, without heeding the ill-humour of the hunter's manexclaimed


"I would fain establish a right, Natty, to the

honour of this capture; and surely if the hit in the neck be mine, it is enough; for the shot in the heart was unnecessary-what we call an act of supererogation, Leather-stocking.'

"You may call it by what larned name you please, Judge," said the hunter, throwing his rifle across his left arm, and knocking up a brass lid in the breech, from which he took a small piece of greased leather, and wrapping a ball in it, forced them down by main strength on the powder, where he continued to pound them while speaking. "It's far easier to call names, than to shoot a buck on the spring; but the cretur come by his end from a younger hand than 'ither your'n or mine, as I said before."

"What say you, my friend," cried the traveller, turning pleasantly to Natty's companion; "shall we toss up this dollar for the honour, and you keep the silver if you lose; what say you, friend?”

"That I killed the deer," answered the young man, with a little haughtiness, as he leaned on another long rifle, similar to that of Natty's.

"Here are two to one, indeed," replied the Judge, with a smile; "I am outvoted-overruled, as we say on the bench. There is Aggy, he can't vote, being a slave; and Bess is a minor-so I must even make the best of it. But you'll sell me the venison; and the deuce is in it, but I make a good story about its death."

"The meat is none of mine to sell," said Leather-stocking, adopting a little of his companion's hauteur; "for my part, I have known animals travel days with shots in the neck, and I'm noue of them who'll rob a man of his rightful dues."

"You are tenacious of your rights, this cold eveLing, Natty," returned the Judge, with unconquer

able good nature; "but what say you, young man, wili three dollars pay you for the buck?"

"First let us determine the question of right to the satisfaction of us both," said the youth, firmly but respectfully, and with a pronunciation and language vastly superior to his appearance; "with how many shot did you load your gun "With five, sir," said the Judge, gravely, a little struck with the other's manner; 66 are they not enough to slay a buck like this ?"


"One would do it; but," moving to the tree from behind which he had appeared, "you know, sir, you fired in this direction-here are four of the bullets in the tree."

The Judge examined the fresh marks in the rough bark of the pine, and shaking his head, said with a laugh

"You are making out the case against yourself, my young advocate-where is the fifth ?"

66 Here," said the youth, throwing aside the rough over-coat that he wore, and exhibiting a hole in his under garment, through which large drops of blood were oozing.

"Good God!" exclaimed the Judge, with horror; "have I been trifling here about an empty distinction, and a fellow-creature suffering from my hands without a murmur? But hasten-quickget into my sleigh-it is but a mile to the village, where surgical aid can be obtained;-all shall be done at my expense, and thou shalt live with me until thy wound is healed-ay, and for ever afterwards, too."

"I thank you, sir, for your good intention, but must decline your offer. I have a friend who would be uneasy were he to hear that I am hurt and away from him. The injury is but slight, and

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