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the bullet has missed the bones; but I believe, sir, you will now admit my title to the venison.”

"Admit it!" repeated the agitated Judge; “I kere give thee a right to shoot deer, or bears, or any thing thou pleasest in my woods, for ever. Leather-stocking is the only other man that I have granted the same privilege to; and the time is coming when it will be of value. But I buy your deer-here, this bill will pay thee, both for thy shot and my own."

The old hunter gathered his tall person up into an air of pride, during this dialogue, and now muttered in an under tone

"There's them living who say, that Nathaniel Bumppo's right to shoot in these hills, is of older date than Marmaduke Temple's right to forbid him. But if there's a law about it at all, though who ever heard tell of a law that a man should'nt kill deer where he pleased!-but if there is a law at all, it should be to keep people from the use of them smooth-bores. A body never knows where his lead will fly, when he pulls the trigger of one them fancified fire-arms."

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Without attending to the soliloquy of Natty, the youth bowed his head silently to the offer of the bank note, and replied

"Excuse me, sir, I have need of the venison." “But this will buy you many deer," said the Judge; "take it, I entreat you," and lowering his voice to nearly a whisper, he added-"it is for a hundred dollars."

For an instant only, the youth seemed to hesiiate, and then, blushing even through the high colour that the cold had given to his cheeks, as if with inward shame at his own weakness, he again. proudly declined the offer.

During this scene the female arose, and, regard.

less of the cold air, she threw back the hood which concealed her features, and now spoke, with great


"Surely, surely,-young man-sir-you would not pain my father so much, as to have him think that he leaves a fellow-creature in this wilderness, whom his own hand has injured. I entreat you will go with us and receive medical aid for your hurts."

Whether his wound became more painful, or, there was something irresistible in the voice and manner of the fair pleader for her father's feelings, we know not, but the haughty distance of the young man's manner was sensibly softened by this appeal, and he stood, in apparent doubt, as if reluctant to comply with, and yet unwilling to refuse her request. The judge, for such being his office, must in future be his title, watched, with no little interest, the display of this singular contention in the feelings of the youth, and advancing, kindly took his hand, and, as he pulled him gently towards the sleigh, urged him to enter it.

"There is no human aid nearer than Templeton," he said; " and the hut of Natty is full three' miles from this;-come-come, my young friend, go with us, and let the new doctor look to this shoulder of thine. Here is Natty will take the tidings of thy welfare to thy friend; and should'st thou require it, thou shalt be returned to thy home in the morning."

The young man succeeded in extricating his hand from the warm grasp of the judge, but continued to gaze on the face of the female, who, regardless of the cold, was still standing with her fine features exposed, which expressed feelings that eloquently seconded the request of her father. Leatherstocking stood, in the mean time, leaning upon his

long rifle, with his head turned a little to one side, as if engaged in deep and sagacious musing; when, having apparently satisfied his doubts, by revolving the subject in his mind, he broke silence

"It may be best to go, lad, after all; for if the shot hangs under the skin, my hand is getting too old to be cutting into human flesh, as I once used to. Though some thirty years agone, in the old war, when I was out under Sir William, I travelled seventy miles alone in the howling wilderness, with a rifle bullet in my thigh, and then cut it out with my own jack-knife. Old Indian John knows the time well. I met him with a party of the Delawares, on the trail of the Iroquois, who had been down and taken five scalps on the Schobarie. But I made a mark on the red-skin that I'H warrant he carried to his grave. I took him on his posteerum, saving the lady's presence, as he got up from the amboosh, and rattled three buck shot into his naked hide, so close, that you might have laid a broad joe upon them all here Natty stretched out his long neck, and straightened his body, as he opened his mouth, which exposed a single tusk of yellow bone, while his eyes, his face, even his wacle frame, seemed to laugh, although no sound was emitted, except a kind of thick hissing, as he inhaled his breath in quavers. "I had lost my bullet mould in crossing the Oneida outlet, and so had to make shift with the buck shot; but the rifle was true, and did'nt scatter like your twolegged thing there, Judge, which don't do, I find, to hunt in company with."

Natty's apology to the delicacy of the young lady was unnecessary, for, while he was speaking, she was too much employed in helping her father to remove_certain articles of their baggage to hear him. Unable to resist the kind urgency of the

travellers any longer, the youth, though still with an unaccountable reluctance expressed in his manner, suffered himself to be persuaded to enter the sleigh. The black, with the aid of his master, threw the buck across the baggage, and entering the vehicle themselves, the judge invited the hunter to do so likewise.

"No-no-" said the old man, shaking his head; "I have werk to do at home this Christmas eve-drive on with the boy, and let your doctor look to the shoulder; though if he will only cut out the shot, I have yarbs that will heal the wound quicker nor all his foreign 'intments." He turned and was about to move off, when, suddenly recollecting himself, he again faced the party, and added

"If you see any thing of Indian John about the foot of the lake, you had better take him with you, and let him lend the doctor a hand; for old as he is, he is curious at cuts and bruises, and it's likelier than not he'll be in with brooms to sweep your Christmas ha'arths.'

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"Stop-stop," cried the youth, catching the arm of the black as he prepared to urge his horses forward; "Natty-you need say nothing of the shot, nor of where I am going-remember, Natty, as you love me.”

"Trust old Leather-stocking," returned the hunter, significantly; "he has'nt lived forty years. in the wilderness, and not larnt from the savages how to hold his tongue-trust to me, lad; and remember old Indian John."

"And, Natty," said the youth eagerly, still holding the black by the arm, "I will just get the shot extracted, and bring you up, to-night, a quar ter of the buck, for the Christmas dinner."

He was interrupted by the hunter, who held up his finger with an expressive gesture for silence,

and moved softly along the margin of the road, keeping his eyes steadfastly fixed on the branches of a pine near him. When he had obtained such a position as he wished, he stopped, and cocking his rifle, threw one leg far behind him, and stretching his left arm to its utmost extent along the barrel of his piece, he began slowly to raise its muzzle in a line with the straight trunk of the tree. The eyes of the group in the sleigh naturally preceded the movement of the rifle, and they soon discovered the object of Natty's aim. On a small dead branch of the pine, which, at the distance of seventy feet from the ground, shot out horizontal-. ly, immediately beneath the living members of the tree, sat a bird, that in the vulgar language of the country was indiscriminately called a pheasant or a patridge. In size, it was but little smaller than a common barn-yard fowl. The baying of the dogs, and the conversation that had passed near the root of the tree on which it was perched, had alarmed the bird, which was now drawn up near the body of the pine, with a head and neck erect, that formed nearly a straight line with its legs. So soon as the rifle bore on the victim, Natty drew his trigger, and the partridge fell from its height with a force that buried it in the snow "Lie down, you old villain," exclaimed Leather-stocking, shaking his ramrod at Hector as he bounded towards the foot of the tree, "lie down, I say. The dog obeyed, and Natty proceeded, with great rapidity, though with the nicest accuracy, to reload his piece. When this was ended, he took up his ganie, and showing it to the party without a head, he cried-"Here is a nice tit-bit for an old man's Christmas-never mind the venison, boy, and remember Indian John; his yarbs are better nor all the foreign 'intments. Here,

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