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adds to the demand; and the demand must be sup- in the roseate tints of the western sky; the cows, as plied, say the dealers; and rent must be paid, say the usual, were returning of their own accord from their shooters; and we too must live, say the poachers; pasturage, and passing, unattended, in single file, into and so the poor grouse, in the end, pays for all. the further yard. This little specimen of African
routine' was quite charming: and by the time I had
effectually demonstrated the efficacy of the “cold-water NIGHT-VIEW OF A NEGRO TOWN.
remedy ' in overcoming drowsiness, an odour of stewed Last April, an African traveller favoured us with a something, with indubitable boiled rice, was borne into Photograph of a Negro Town. It was taken, as such the house by our two handmaidens, who whisked off pictures demand, in the daytime, and shewed the again with an involuntary giggle, and the king and place in its quiet, dreamy state, winking in the sun. the chiefs were once more retiring from the yard on He has now sent us à companion-picture, yet of their way to the mosque. another kind. The town has roused itself up, for As the evening advanced, both piazzas resumed darkness bias come down; and we view by firelight for a while something more of the social aspect. It the employments and recreations of the inhabitants. seemed, however, that courtesy, or mere ceremony, with
The sun had reached its half-way degree from the possibly a spice of unsatiated curiosity, dictated the meridian towards the horizon by the time my cicerone | visits, rather than a desire for interchange of ideas had fulfilled his office and taken liis leave; and feeling among the visitors themselves; and after some occaas if I had shared in the evolutions of a field-day, I sional sententious remarks, a little snuff now and then, was glad to find our quarters deserted, and to throw and a listless handling of the beads wliich some few myself into the king's gay white net hammock, which wore round their necks, most of them retired, and we seemed specially to commend itself to my notice, as a accompanied the minister across the yard for a chitsort of sudatory strainer. I took to it instinctively; chat with the king. But it was one of those lovely my head and shoulders gravitated down an inclined nights when external nature seems to appeal to us so plane in one direction, my feet followed the example irresistibly for sympathy, and to inspire at once that in the other, and the dorsal column thus formed a dreamy complacency which disposes us rather to think luxurious curve. There was a charm, too, in the cool than to talk, and which renders it irksome, or, at mellow light of the piazza, in the blandness of the least, demands something like an effort to sustain even atmosphere, and the dead stillness of the hour; and I a desultory conversation. The blue vault of heaven felt that I was at home,' and cared not a straw about was studded with glittering stars ; the moon, now its want of the social element.
advancing to the zenith, was mingling her silvery The hammock has decided attractions for fatigue as beams with the light of the radiant host that surwell as indolence, and is as great a promoter of day- rounded her; and nothing disturbed the prevailing dreaming as of sleep. It will not do, it is true, for a silence but our own voices, till suddenly the distant long night's stage--for the turnings and twistings of sound of the native drum, and the low murmuring the dyspeptic, plethoric, phlegmatic, or rheumatic cadences of the evening-song, came upon my ears. sleeper; but as the passage from a serious prolepsis or We soon took our leave of the king, and I taxed the the pages of a dull book into a dozy .dog-sleep’or a courtesy of the minister for liis company in a walk. wholesome nap, or for a parenthetical siesta before While leisurely pursuing the same direction I had dinner, it is unquestionably a commendable contriv- taken in the morning, we now met with several indiance, and worthy of a more civilised origin than is viduals and small groups of loquacious young women, commonly ascribed to it. It claims, however, to be who, in passing, exchanged some short complimentary enjoyed al fresco; and in this respect, whether in a observation with the distinguished functionary who warm climate, or warm weather in any climate, the accompanied me. The close-fitting wrappers of the couch or easy-chair has no pretensions either to its damsels, with cloths over their heads, after the fashion pleasantness or its sanitary virtues.
of the mantilla, were sufficient to betray their sex in But on this occasion, after a time, a restless sense the equivocal liglıt of the hour, had their voicés not of loneliness came over me. What had become of the proclaimed it. In the meantime, the wild sounds of king and the chiefs whom I had so recently left on the the drums in different quarters of the town, the simple spot? Ah! yes--the fourth period of daily prayer- swelling strains from the leading voices, and the lower probably so; still, very odd, all so silent; no one to be cadences of the responsive chorus, subsiding into a seen; nothing moving ; nothing--and yet stillness murmur, gradually became more and more distinct. itself seems audible, like the breathing of silence; a The patches of liglit, that gleamed here and there, whispering of some spirit in the air, or the 'running Nickered brighter and brighter against the lower of the sand in the great hour-glass of Time;' while region of the sky, and brought a large portion of the those long expansive shadows, stealthily creeping, high funnel-shaped roofs, the interjacent trees, and creeping over the earth, are measuring off the remnant especially the tall palms with their crested heads, of the day. But somewhere hereabout my concep into bold relief. The nearest fire was now close at tions must have turned a corner, for I lost sight of land. Its glowing light streamed through the open them. I was now in the misty regions of Queen Mab, doorways of the zadingy across the street as we and doing a fair bit of business in the shadowy line approached, but here, neither sound of drum nor of myself. I at length, however, acquired some vague voices was to be recognised. Voices, however, came sense of sound, like the murmuring surges of the upon my ears simultaneously with the sudden glare ocean; a sense of secing also ensued, and gradually I upon my sight as we entered the yard, and I beheld in recognised six or eight chiefs seated about the piazza, the centre of it a dark group of figures surrounding listening with a sedate complacency to a recital of my the flames and transient bright sparks that waywardly morning adventures from my voluble attendant. As flickered and glittered in the fantastic folds of the soon as he saw that my eyes were open, bang went his smoke that was spreading its gloomy canopy above 'English' at me in a moment.
their heads. They were all seated in close order Ah! kimmerforty, ole man,' said he, 'you slip, you upon the ground, forming a complete circle; but the slip (sleep)--fine slip, fine slip, eh ?- berry fine; fine monotonous jabbering of their voices, as well as the walk, fine town, fine women-berry fine, eh? yes!' sedateness of their demeanour, gave no indication of
The king, seated in the piazza of his house opposite, hilarity. Possibly, it was some religious ceremony, seemed engaged in a desultory conversation with his some nocturnal freak of superstition to which their minister and two or three other chiefs. The last attention seemed riveted by the earnestness of their beams of the retiring sun were now to be seen only I credulity—some propitiatory worship, perhaps, of the element which awes while it cheers and fascinates. boys. We found several men of different ages now Such might have been the inference in the mind of assembled in the piazzas of two or three of the a stranger, from the character of the scene on first houses within the yard; either seated or occupying a entering the yard; the fire materially increasing in hammock, and interchanging their ideas on current or effect the proportions of the dark opaque group of traditionary events. Their great dependence upon figures around it, as well as of the towering conical | tradition causes them to indulge habitually in retroroofs of the adjacent buildings; whilst the details spection, and in lauding the auspicious events of of the enclosure below, thrown into obscurity by departed days. But our visit served to concentrate their lengthened shadows,,conspired to create that for a while their speculations on the passing present, mysterious solemnity which seemed to have settled with which I was specially identified, and more espe. upon the spot.
cially on the very odd notion of my coming among them On approaching the circle, however, I found that it only to see the country' and say how do?' This was composed of between twenty and thirty boys, puzzled them; they could not make it out; they shook varying in their ages from eight to sixteen, with one their heads, and pondered ; and took snuff-the only adult only—an elderly man of spare figure and form in which they use tobacco-to clear their percepattenuated limbs, with a long triangular-shaped visage, tions. But distant sounds were inviting us in another high cheek-bones, small deep-set eyes, peering from direction ; so, after shaking hands, and receiving their under the eaves of a high projecting forehead, and a compliments, we left them with an interesting subject bristling crop of white stubble covering his chin, and to dilate upon, and work out a solution at their leisure. contrasting strangely with the other swarthy features. After passing out of the yard into the street, we Our presence caused no interruption to the steadfast- were soon again within the range of light from the ness of their purpose, whatever it might be. The old next fire. The sound of drums and voices broke upon gentleman raised his head, and then rounded his our ears, and another interesting picture opened before shoulders a little more into a bend of courtesy; but us. Here, too, a living circle of some fifty or sixty the jabbering still went on among the youngsters. individuals was formed in the middle of the yard, the At length one of the boys suddenly raised his voice fire being at one side. The circle was composed and pointed to another; a short pause ensued, and chiefly of young men and women standing intersomething that seemed a brief admonition having come mingled, with the drummer seated on one side of the from the old president, on they went again. A similar fire tum-tum-a-rumming with an air of great selfinterruption occurred again and again, till at length sufficiency, whilst two young fellows were flinging the fire began to languish, and a youngster jumped up, them ves angular attitudes as they whirled hurried to a heap of dried sticks, tied in separate small round within the area ; eliciting, as it seemed, in a bundles, and was again squatting and jabbering in his long measured strain, the extempore criticisms of the place as the fire began to feed on his donation. The drummer as the leader, and the chorus accompaniment young tyros, it appeared, were graduating in the mazes of the surrounding company. But our arrival, as soon of that Mohammedan treasury of knowledge called as it was observed, at once changed the burden of the Koran, and rehearsing the task of the night. the strain; the drum-sticks announced the transition Whenever a boy made a slip in a word or pronuncia- in a brief rattling flourish, and opened a gap for the tion, he was checked by another boy, the old preceptor running commentary that ensued on the welcome we having a manuscript portion of the Book before him; were entitled to, and the attributes we were respectand the boys seemed pretty eager in their watch upon ively presumed to possess--quite a burden in themone another. In short, the scene before us was a school. selves. Comparatively few of the company composed The sons of different neighbours were in class with the the corps de ballet, although all were numbered among sons of the owner or occupier of the premises; and the vocal performers. The dancing was, indeed, rather in this way the several karamojahs, or schoolmasters, of the impulsive or ad libitum order—as devoid of any within the town attend their classes-cach boy always fixed principles or rules as of what we would call grace providing a bundle of wood to maintain the fire. -the turning the toes inward, for instance, was awful,
‘But why,' I inquired of my companion, 'make and even impulse itself was now and then kept in check, night the period of tuition ?'
or became ludicrously confounded with something like • Oh, day made for work,' he replied. Some boys mauvaise honte, or sheer incapacity for its work. The have school by fire in the morning too, before sunrise.' commonest achievement was that of a young fellow
How very little idea have we in England of anything jumping straight across the ring, and figuring for a like schooling or education going on among the negro moment or two before an opposite damsel, as an tribes of Africa, saving that which is exclusively the invitation or challenge to draw hier out. In this he work of our own missionaries! How remote from all was generally unsuccessful, and he returned jumpour conceptions of their general character, habits, and ing disconsolately to his place. Two of the more aspirations, is the fact that learning' held in accomplished and self-sufficient of the young men at high estimation, and forms a claim to distinction and length began to display their powers; and a damsel respect; that Arabic is studied in public schools of followed the example, although disdainfully, seeming to wide repute in the heart of Nigritia, or the land of the figure about with an air of independence, and eyeing negroes, within a few degrees of the equator; and that, the capering gallants askance, as if to say: Wha' among the swarthy natives, men are to be met with as you wānt? Gò 'long-le'v me 'lone!'. Inspiriting well versed in Biblical history as the generality of applause was of course accorded to her by the laymen in England, and who are familiar also with audience, which had now somewhat increased, and two or three languages besides their own. It is true those of the number who composed the front row bad that their intellectual pursuits and acquirements are squatted upon the ground. The leader of the band' not very profound, and that elementary instruction is was here relieved by another, fresh and vigorous for pretty much limited to reading and writing; but this the task; and this change was effected so quickly, is precisely the case with Mohammedan nations or that there was no palpable pause in the action of the tribes in general. The fact, however, appears to be drum-sticks. Another rattling flourish, and another little known, or little regarded, that the deism of leading voice, with some appropriate morsel of vocal Mecca is fast gaining ground upon the fetichism of sentiment, proclaimed the inauguration of the new the pagans, and exercising a powerful influence upon conductor. To the responsive voices of the spectators the social and moral condition of the negro tribes of was now added general clapping of hands with one these regions.
sharp simultaneous blow in unison with the time; the But our attention was not wholly directed to the drum itself spoke out with a more impressive staccato
intonation, and the fire, responding cheerfully to a Bidding adieu to my mother and sister, I took the
the diverging track. I knew it well: I had oft trodden
I hesitated — halted. Strange thoughts careered
through my bosom; resolves half-made, and suddenly
abandoned. The rein grew slack, and then tightened.
The spur threatened the ribs of my horse, but failed to CHAPTER XX.-FRONTIER JUSTICE.
strike. I was not allowed long to enjoy the sweets of home. "Shall I go? Once more behold her ? Once A few days after my arrival, I received an order to more renew those sweet joys of tender love? Once repair to Fort King, the Seminole agency, and head-more- Ha, perhaps it is too late! I might be no quarters of the army of Florida. General Clinch there longer welcome-if my reception should be hostile ?
Perhaps 'commanded. I was summoned upon his staff. Not without chagrin, I prepared to obey the order. road to tha fort.'
Wha' you doin dar, Massr George? Daat's not tha It was hard to part so soon from those who dearly
'I know that, Jake, I was thinking of making a loved me, and from whom I had been so long separ- call at Madame Powell's plantation.' ated. Both mother and sister were overwhelmed with Mar’m Pow'll plantayshun! Gollys! Massr George grief at my going. Indeed, they urged me to resign -daat all you knows 'bout it?' my commission, and remain at home.
* About what ?' I inquired with anxious heart. Not unwillingly did I listen to their counsel: I had
Dar's no Mar'm Pow'll da no more; nor hain't a no heart in the cause in which I was called forth; but been, since better 'n two year—all gone clar 'way.'
Gone away? Where?' at such a crisis I dared not follow their advice: I
Daat dis chile know nuffin 'bout. S'pose da gone
"And who lives here now?' whether to my liking or not. This is called patriotism!
Dar ain't neery one lib tha now: tha ole house am
desarted.' There was yet another reason for my reluctance to part from home. I need hardly declare it. Since my
'But why did Madame Powell leave it?' return, my eyes had often wandered over the lake, hear um, Massr George?'
* Ah-daat am a quaw story. Gollys ! you nebber -often rested on that fair island. Oh, I had not
No-never.' forgotten her!
Den I tell um. But s'pose, massr, we ride on. 'T I can scarcely analyse my feelings. They were mingled am a gettin' a leetle lateish, an' 'twont do nohow emotions. Young love triumphant over older passions to be cotch arter night in tha woods.' -ready to burst forth from the ashes that had long main road, Jake riding by my side. With aching
I turned my horse's head, and advanced along the shrouded it-young love penitent and remorsefuldoubt, jealousy, apprehension.
heart, I listened to his narrative. All these were active
*You see, Massr George, 'twar all o'Massr Ringgolwithin me.
tha ole bosst daat am-an' I b’lieve tha young ’un had Since my arrival, I had not dared to go forth. I 'im hand in dat pie, all same, like tha ole 'un. Waal, observed that my mother was still distrustful. I had you see Mar'm Pow'll she loss some niggas dat war ha not dared even to question those who might have slaves. Dey war stole from ha, an' wuss dan stole. satisfied me. I passed those few days in doubt, and Dey war tuk, an' by white men, massr. Tha be folks at intervals under a painful presentiment that all who say dat Mass' Ringgol-he know'd more 'n any
body else 'bout tha whole bizness. But da rubb'ry war was not well. Did Maümee still live? Was she true ?
blamed on Ned Spence an' Bill William. Waal,
True! Had she reason? Had she ever loved me?
That portion of Florida reserved for the Seminoles by the There were those near who could have answered the treaty of Camp Moultrie, made in 1823. It was a large tract, and first question ; but I feared to breathe her name, even occupied the central part of the peninsula.
+ Master or proprietor; universally in use throughout the Southern to the most intimate.
States. From the Dutch baas?'
Mar’m Pow'll she go to da-law wi' dis yar Ned an' Bill; reasons that left no room for doubt; in fact, it was an' she 'ploy Massr Grubb tha big lawyer dat lib down only in keeping with the general conduct of the border tha ribba. Now Massr Grubb, he great friend o' adventurers towards the unfortunate natives with Massr Ringgol, an' folks do say dat boaf de two put whom they came in contact. tha heads together to cheat dat ar Indy-en 'ooman.' Border adventurers, did I say? Government agents, How?'
members of the Florida legislature, generals, planters, ‘Dis chile don't say for troof, Massr George; he rich as Ringgold, all took part in similar speculations. hear um only from da brack folks ; tha white folk say I could give names. I am writing truth, and do not diff'rent. But I hear um from Mass' Ringgol's own fear contradiction. nigga woodman-Pomp, you know, Massr George ? It was easy enough, therefore, to credit the tale. an' he say dat them ar two bosses did put tha heads It was only one of twenty similar cases of which I had together to cheat dat poor Indy-en 'ooman.'
heard. The acts of Colonel Gad Humphreys, the In what way, Jake?' I asked impatiently.
Indian agent-of Major Phagan, another Indian agent Waal, you see, Massr George, da lawya he want -of Dexter, the notorious negro-stealer-of Floydda Indy-en sign ha name to some paper-power ob of Douglass--of Robinson and Millburn, are all historic 'turney, tha call um, I b’lieve. She sign; she no read —all telling of outrages committed upon the suffering tha writin. Whugh! daat paper war no power ob Seminole. A volume might be filled detailing such 'turney: it war what tha'lawyas call a “ bill ob sale."' swindles as that of Grubbs and Ringgold. In the "Ha!'
mutual relations between white man and red man, it “Yes, Massr George, dat's what um war; an' by requires no skilful advocate to shew on which side dat same bill ob sale all Mar’m Pow'll’s niggas an' must lie the wrongs unrepaired and unavenged. all ha plantation-clarin war made ober to Massr Beyond all doubt, the Indian has ever been the Grubb.
victim. Atrocious scoundrel !'
It is needless to add that there were retaliations : Massr Grubb he swar he bought 'em all, an' paid how could it be otherwise ? for 'em in cash dollar. Mar'm Pow'll she swar de One remarkable fact discloses itself in these episodes berry contr'y. Da judge he decide for Massr Grubb, of Floridian life. It is well known that slaves thus ’kase great Massr Ringgol he witness; an' folks do stolen from the Indians always returned to their owners say Massr Ringgol now got dat paper in um own safe whenever they could! To secure them from finding keepin', an’ war at tha bottom ob tha whole bizness." their way back, the Dexters and Douglasses were
• Atrocious scoundrels ! oh, villains! But tell me, under the necessity of taking them to some distant Jake, what became of Madame Powell ?'
market, to the far 'coasts' of the Mississippi—to "Shortly arter, tha all gone 'way-nob’dy know Natchez or New Orleans. wha. Da mar'm haself an' dat fine young fellur you. There is but one explanation of this social phenoknow, an'da young Indy-en gal dat ebberybody say menon; and that is, that the slaves of the Seminole war so good-lookin'-yes, Massr George, tha all gone were not slaves. In truth, they were treated with an 'way.'
indulgence to which the helot of other lands is a stranger. At that moment an opening in the woods enabled They were the agriculturists of the country, and their me to catch a glimpse of the old house. There it Indian master was content if they raised him a little stood in all its gray grandeur, still embowered in the corn-just sufficient for his need—with such other midst of beautiful groves of orange and olive. But vegetable products as his simple cuisine required. They the broken fence—the tall weeds standing up against lived far apart from the dwellings of their owners. the walls—the shingles here and there missing from Their hours of labour were few, and scarcely compulthe roof-all told the tale of ruin.
sory. Surplus product was their own; and in most cases There was ruin in my heart, as I turned sorrowing they became rich_far richer than their own masters, away.
who were less skilled in economy. Emancipation was
easily purchased, and the majority were actually free CHAPTER XXI.
---though from such chains it was scarcely worth while to escape. If slavery it could be called, it was the
mildest form ever known upon earth-far differing It never occurred to me to question the genuineness from the abject bondage of Ham under either Shem of Jake's story. What the black folks' said was or Japheth. true; I had no doubt of it. The whole transaction It may be asked how the Seminoles became possessed was redolent of the Ringgolds and lawyer Grubbs- of these black slaves ? Were they runaways' from the latter a half-planter, half-legal practitioner of the States—from Georgia and the Carolinas, Alabama, indifferent reputation.
and the plantations of Florida ? Donbtless a few were Jake further informed me that Spence and Williams from this source; but most of the runaways were not had disappeared during the progress of the trial. Both claimed as property; and, arriving among the Indians, afterwards returned to the settlement, but no ulterior became free. There was a time when by the stern steps were taken against them, as there was no one to conditions of the Camp Moultrie Covenant these prosecute!
absconding' slaves were given up to their white As for the stolen negroes, they were never seen owners; but it is no discredit to the Seminoles, that again in that part of the country. The robbers had they were always remiss in the observance of this no doubt carried them to the slave-markets of Mobile or disgraceful stipulation. In fact, it was not always New Orleans, where a sufficient price would be obtained possible to surrender back the fugitive negro. Black to remunerate Grubbs for his professional services, as communities had concentrated themselves in different also Williams and Spence for theirs. The land would parts of the reserve, who under their own leaders were become Ringgold's, as soon as the Indians could be got socially free, and strong enough for self-defence. It out of the country—and this was the object of the was with these that the runaway usually found refuge bill of sale.'
and welcome. Such a community was that of 'Harry A transaction of like nature between white man and amidst the morasses of Pease Creek—of Abram'at white man would have been regarded as a grave Micosauky—of 'Charles' and the “mulatto king.' swindle, an atrocious crime. The whites affected not No; the negro slaves of the Seminoles were not to believe it; but there were some who knew it to be runaways from the plantations; though the whites true, and viewed it only in the light of a clever ruse ! would wish to make it appear so. Very few were of
That it was true, I could not doubt. Jake gave me this class. The greater number was the 'genuine
A CIRCUITOUS TRANSACTION.
property of their Indian owners, so far as a slave can It is a mistake to suppose that the negro brain is be called property. At all events, they were legally incapable of that acute reasoning which constitutes a obtained- some of them from the Spaniards, the cunning hunter. I have known black men who could original settlers, and some by fair purchase from the read sign’ and lift a trail with as much intuitive American planters themselves.
quickness as either red or white. Black Jake could How purchased ? you will ask. What could a tribe have done it. of savages give in exchange for such a costly com- I soon found that in this kind of knowledge he was modity? The answer is easy. Horses and horned now my master; and, almost on the instant, I had cattle. Of both of these the Seminoles possessed vast cause to be astonished at his acuteness. herds. On the evacuation by the Spaniards, the I have said that the sight of the cattle-tracks created savannas swarmed with cattle, of Andalusian race- no surprise in either of us. At first it did not; but we half-wild. The Indians caught and reclaimed them had not ridden twenty paces further, when I saw my became their owners.
companion suddenly rein up, at the same instant giving This, then, was the quid pro quo-quadrupeds in utterance to one of those ejaculations peculiar to the exchange for bipeds !
negro thorax, and closely resembling the wugh' of a The chief of the crimes charged against the Indians startled hog. was the stealing of cattle—for the white men had their I looked in his face. I saw by its expression that herds as well. The Seminoles did not deny that there he had some revelation to make. were bad men among them-lawless fellows difficult to “What is it, Jake?' restrain. Where is the community without scamps ? "Golly! Massr George, d' you see daat?'
One thing was very certain. The Indian chiefs, • What?'
“Yes—there is one larger than the rest.' It differed little how they acted, so far as regarded "By Gosh! it am de big ox Ballface-I know um their character among their white neighbours. These track anywha-many's tha load o' cyrpess log dat ar ox had made up their mind that the dog should be hab toated for ole massr.' hanged ; and it was necessary to give him a bad • What? I remember Baldface. You think the cattle name. Every robbery, committed upon the frontier, are ours ?' was of course the act of an Indian. White burglars “No, Massr George-I'spect tha be da lawya Grubb's had but to give their faces a coat of Spanish brown, cattle. Ole massr sell Ballface to Massr Grubb more 'n and justice could not see through the paint.
a year 'go. Daat am Bally's track for sartin.'
"But why should Mr Grubbs's cattle be here in Indian ground, and so far from his plantation ?-and with Indian drivers, too ?'
* Dat ere's jest what dis chile can't clarly make out, Such were my reflections as I journeyed on Massr George.' suggested by the sad tale to which I had been There was a singularity in the circumstance that listening.
induced reflection. The cattle could not have strayed As if to confirm their correctness, an incident at so far of themselves. Their voluntary swimming of the that moment occurred, exactly to the point.
river was against such a supposition. But they were not We had not ridden far along the path, when we came straying; they were evidently conducted—and by Indians. upon the tracks of cattle. Some twenty head must Was it a raid ?—were the beeves being stolen? have passed over the ground, going in the same
It had the look of a bit of thievery, and yet it was direction as ourselves – towards the Indian ‘reserve.' not crafty enough. The animals had been driven along The tracks were fresh-almost quite fresh.
a frequented path certain to be taken by those in quest tracker enough to know that they must have passed of them; and the robbers—if they were such-had within the hour. Though cloistered so long within used no precaution to conceal their tracks. college walls, I had not forgotten all the forest-craft It looked like a theft, and it did not; and it was taught me by young Powell.
just this dubious aspect that stimulated the curiosity The circumstance of thus coming upon a cattle-trail, of my companion and myself—so much so, that we fresh or old, would have made no impression upon me. made up our minds to follow the trail, and if possible There was nothing remarkable about it. Some Indian ascertain the truth. herdsmen had been driving home their flock; and that For a mile or more, the trail coincided with our the drivers were Indians, I could perceive by the moc- own route; and then turning abruptly to the left, it casin prints in the mud. It is true, some frontiers-men struck off towards a track of hommock' woods. wear the moccasin; but these were not the footprints We were determined not to give up our intention of white men. The turned-in toes,* the high instop, lightly. The tracks were so fresh, that we knew the and other trifling signs which, from early training, i herd must have passed within the hour-within the knew how to translate, proved that the tracks were quarter-they could not be distant. We could gallop Indian.
back to the main road, through some thin pine-timber So were they, agreed my groom, and Jake was no we saw stretching away to the riglit; and, with these slouch' in the ways of the woods. He had all his life reflections, we turned head along the cattle-trail. been a keen 'coon-hunter-a trapper of the swamp
Shortly after entering the dense forest, we lieard hare, the possum,' and the 'gobbler.' Moreover, he voices of men in conversation, and at interrals the had been my companion upon many a deer-hunt- routing of oxen. many a chase after the gray fox, and the rufous 'cat.' We alit, tied our horses to a tree, and moved During my absence he had added greatly to his forward afoot. experiences. He had succeeded his former rival We walked stealthily and in silence, guiding ourin the post of woodman, which brought him daily in selves by the sounds of the voices, that kept up an contact with the denizens of the forest, and constant almost continual clatter. Beyond a doubt, the cattle observation of their habits had increased his skill. whose bellowing we heard were those whose tracks we
had been tracing; but equally certain was it, that the It is art, not nature, that causes this peculiarity; it is done voices we now listened to were not the voices of those in the cradle.
who had driven them !