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Arth. Is there nö remedy' ?
None, but to lose your eyes.
A grain', a dust', a gnat', a wand'ring hair,
, feeling what small' things' are boist'rous there,
Must need want pleading for a pair of eyes':
And would not harm mé.
I can heât it', boy.
Being create for comfort', to be used'
And strewed repentant ashes on his head'.
And glow with shame of your proceedings', Hubert':
Creatures of noté, for mercy-lacking uses.
For all the treasures that thine uncle owns';
With this sāme vēry iron to burn them out'.
You were disguised".
Peacè: no morè. Adieù ;
That Hubert', for the wealth of all the world',
Will not offend theé.
Much danger do I undergo for thee. (Exeunt.)
LESSON L X X I V.
MAGIC BALLS. On the following morning we were rejoined by the rangers who had remained
at the last encampment, to seek for the stray horses. They had tracked them for a considerable distance through bush and braké, and across streams', until they found them cropping the herbage on the edge of a prairie. Their heads were in the direction of the fort', and they were evidently grazing their way homeward', heedless of the unbounded freedom of the prairie so suddenly laid open to thein.
About noon the weather held up, and I observed a mysterious consultation going on between our half-breeds and Tonish': it ended in a request that we would dispense with the services of the latter for a few hours', and permit him to join his comrades in a grand foray.* We objected that Tonish was too much disabled by aches and pains for such an undertaking; but he was wild with eagerness for the mysterious enterprise, and, when permission was given him', he seemed to forget all his ailments in an instant.
In a short time the trio were equipped and on horseback'; with rifles on their shoulders and handkerchiefs twisted round their heads', evidently bound for a grand scamper. As they passed by the different lodges of the camp, the vain-glorious little Frenchman could not help boasting to the right and left, of the great things he was about to achieve ; though the taciturn Beatte, t who rode in advance, would every now and then check his horse, and look back at him with an air of stern rebuke. It was hard, however, to make the loquacious Tonish play “Indian.”
Several of the hunters, likewise, sallied forth, and the prime old woodman', Ryan', came back early in the afternoon, with ample spoiľ, having killed a buck and two fat does. I drew near to a group of rangers that had gathered round him as he stood by the spoil, and found they were discussing the merits
of a stratagem sometimes used in deer hunting. This consists in imitating, with a small instrument called a bleat', the
of the fawn', so as to lure the doe within reach of the rifle. There are bleats of various kinds, suited to calm or windy weather, and to the age of the fawn. The poor animal, deluded by them', in its anxiety about its young will sometimes advance close up to the hunter. I once bleated a doel,” said a young hunter," until it came within twenty yards of me, and presented a sure mark. I levelled my rifle three times', but had not the heart to shoot', for the poor doe looked so wistfully, that it in a manner made my heart yearn. I thought of my own mother', and how anxious shē used to be about me when I was a child'; so to put an end to the matter', I gave a halloo', and started the doe out of rifle shot in a moment."
“ And you did right',” cried honest old Ryan. part, I never could bring myself to bleating deer. I've been with hunters who had bleats, and have made them throw them away. It is a rascally trick to take advantage of a mother's love for her young.'
Towards evening, our three worthies returned from their mysterious foray. The tongue of Tonish gave notice of their approach, long before they came in sight'; for he was vociferating at the top of his lungs', and rousing the attention of the whole camp. The lagging gait and reeking flanks of their horses, gave evidence of hard riding'; and on nearer approach, we found them hung round with meat', like a butcher's shambles. In fact they had been scouring an immense prairie that extended beyond the forest, and which was covered with herds of buffalo. Of this prairie, and the animals upon it', Beatte had received intelligence a few days beforé, in his conversation with the Osages'; but had kept the information a secret from the rangers, that he and his comrades might have the first dash at the game. They had contented themselves with killing four'; though, if Tonish might be believed', they might' have slain them by scores.
These tidings', and the buffalo meat brought home in evi. dence', spread exultation through the camp', and every one looked forward with joy to a buffalo hunt on the prairies. Tonish was again the oracle of the camp', and held forth by the hour to a knot of listeners', crouched round the firé, with their shoulders up to their ears. He was now more boastful than ever of his skill as a marksman. All his want of success in the early part of our march, he attributed to being “out of luck',” if not “ spell-bound';" and finding himself listened to with apparent credulity', gave an instance of the kind', which
he declared had happened to himselfv, but which was evidently a tale picked up among his relations', the Osages.
According to this account', when about fourteen years of agé, as he was one day hunting, he saw a white deer come out from a ravine. Crawling near to get a shoť, he beheld another and another come forth', until there were seven', all as white as snow. Having crept sufficiently near', he singled one out and fired, but without effect'; the deer remained unfrightened. He loaded and fired again', and again he missed. Thus he continued firing and missing until all his ammunition was expended', and the deer remained without a wound. He returned home despairing of his skill as a marksman', but was consoled by an old Osage hunter. These white deer', said he', have a charmed lifè, and can only be killed by bullets of a particular kind.
The old Indian cast several balls for Tonish, but would not suffer him to be present on the occasion', nor inform him of the ingredients and mystic ceremonials.
Provided with these balls', Tonish' again set out in quest of the white deer', and succeeded in finding them. He tried at first with ordinary balls', but missed as before. A magic ball
, however', immediately brought a fine buck to the ground; whereupon the rest of the herd immediately disappeared and were never seen again.
LESSON L X X V.
A FRONTIER FARM-HOUSE.
In the course of the morning we came upon Indian tracks, crossing each other in various directions; a proof that we must be in the neighborhood of human habitations. At length', on passing through a skirt of wood, we beheld two or three log houses, sheltered under lofty trees on the border of a prairie, the habitations of Creek Indians, who had small farms adjacent. Had they been sumptuous villas, abounding with the luxuries of civilization, they could not have been hailed with greater delight.
Some of the rangers rode up to them in quest of food; the greater part, however, pushed forward in search of the habitation of a white settler, which we were told was at no great distance. The troop soon disappeared among the trees', and I followed slowly in their track'; for my once fleet and generous steed faltered under me, and was just able to drag one foot
after the other'; yet I was too weary and exhausted to spare him.
In this way we crept on, until, on turning a thick clump of trees, a frontier farm-house suddenly presented itself to view. It was a low tenement of logs, overshadowed by great forest trees', but it seemed as if a very region of Cocagne* prevailed around it. Here was a stable and barn', and
granaries teeming with abundance', while legions of grunting swiné, gobbling turkeys', cackling hens', and strutting roosters', swarmed about the farm-yard.
My poor jaded and half-famished horse raised his head and pricked up his ears, at the well-known sights and sounds. He gave a chuckling inward sound', something like a dry laugh; whisked his tail
, and made great leeway toward a corn-crib', filled with golden ears of maize ; and it was with some difficulty that I could control his course', and steer him up to the door of the cabin. A single glance within was sufficient to raise every gastronomict faculty. Therè sat the captain of the rangers and his officers', round a three-legged tablé, crowned by a broad and smoking dish of boiled beef and turnips. I sprang off my horse in an instant', cast him loose to make his way to the corn-crib', and entered this palace of plenty. A fat goodhumored negress received me at the door. She was the mistress of the houses, the spouse of the white man, who was absent. I hailed her as some swart# fairy of the wild, that had suddenly conjured up a banquet in a desert; and a banquet was it in good sooth. In a twinkling she lugged from the fire a huge iron pot, that might have rivalled one of the famous flesh pots of Egypt, or the witches' caldron in Macbeth. Placing a brown earthen dish on the floor', she inclined the corpulent caldron on one side, and out leaped sundry great morsels of beef', with a regiment of turnips tumbling after them', and with a rich cascade of broth', overflowing the whole. This she handed me with an ivory smile that extended from ear to ear'; apologizing for our humble fare', and the humble style in which it was served up. Hûmble få re ! hùmble stýle! Boiled beef and turnips', and an earthen dish to eat them from'! To think of apologizing for sûch a treat' to a half-starved man from the prairies'; and then such magnificent slices of bread and butter' ! Head of Apicius', what a banquet"!
* Cocan, a as in bat. Region of Cocagne is a region of plenty, abundance.
† Gastric, it should be; there is no such word as gastronomic.—Pertaining to stomach. 1 A as in tall.