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a moment. I stood rebuked, not only by my own feelings, but by the Indian with me. I was shocked that this hunter who had lived so many years on the spoils of the forest, should teach me tenderness of feeling. That mother's voice found an echo in his heart, and he would not harm one feather of her plumage ; nor could the bribe be named that would then have induced me to strike the anxious affectionate creature. As I saw her thus sacrificing herself to save her young, provoking the death-shot in order to draw attention from them, I wondered how I could for a single moment have wished to destroy her. I leaned over the boat and watched her movements for nearly half a mile. She would keep just ahead of us, sailing backwards and forwards, now striking her wings on the water, as if struggling with all her strength to fly, yet unable to rise; and now screaming out as if distressed to death at her perilous position ; yet cunningly moving off in the meantime, so as to allure us after, in order to increase the distance between us and her offspring. While we were near the nest, she swam almost under our bow; but as we continued to advance she grew more timorous, as if beginning to think a little more of herself. I could
NEW MODE OF EATING TROUT.
not blame her for this, for she had hitherto kept within reach of certain death if I had chosen to fire. But it was curious to observe in what exact proportion her care for herself increased as the danger to her offspring lessened. She would rise and fly some distance, then alight in the water, and await our approach. If she sailed out of sight a moment, she would wheel and look back, and even swim back, till she saw us following after, when she would move off again. The foolish thing really believed she was outwitting us, and, I have no doubt, had many self-complacent reflections on the ease with which ducks could humbug human beings. After we had proceeded in this way about half a mile, she rose into the air, and striking the Raquette River, sped back by a circular sweep to her young. As her form disappeared round a bend of the stream, I could not help murmuring, “Heaven speed thee, anxious mother.” Ah, what a chattering there was amid the reeds when her shadow darkened over the hiding-place, and she folded her wings amid her offspring, and listened with matronly dignity to the story each one had to tell ?
All this, however, was speedily forgotten as we emerged on the lake, whose bosom was swept by a strong wind, against which we were compelled to force our tiny skiffs as we pulled for the camp. It was now nine o'clock, and I never waited with so much impatience for a meal as I did for the johnnycake that was slowly roasting amid the ashes. We had but one pan, and until the cake was done we could not cook our trout-and so stretched under the shadow of a huge stump, with my chip-plate in my hand, I lay and watched the crackling flames with all the philosophy I could muster.
Mitchell, however, acted on philosophy of another description, and while we were waiting for the pan, dressed a pound trout, and cutting a long limber stick, thrust one end of it through the fish lengthwise, and sticking the other end in the ground, placed it at a proper distance and angle over the fire. He then lay down near it to superintend the cooking, which after sundry changes and turns was completed. This I had seen him do before, but now came the perfection of laziness. Sitting up, he swung the stick around towards him, so that as he fell back on his elbow, the trout hung suspended over his head ; and thus while it bobbed up and down, he quietly peeled off the delicious morsels and ate them. That grave,
AN INDIANS THOUGHTFULNESS.
swarthy Indian stretched on the leaves, with the trout nodding above him, as he slowly stripped away the flesh, furnished a picture I should like to have taken.
After breakfast we had no dishes or forks to clean, but throwing them both away, wiped our knives on a chip, and in a moment were ready for a start. It was Saturday, and the heavens which had been so clear the night before, now began to gather blacknessthe burdened wind moaned through the forest, or went sobbing over the lake that was every moment fretting itself into greater excitement, and everything betokened a gloomy and tempestuous day. We were fourteen miles from a human habitation; and though I expected that day to have gone thirty miles farther into the forest and spent the Sabbath, the storm that was approaching made the shelter of a log cabin seem too inviting, and I changed my mind. But to row fourteen miles against a head wind and sea was no child's play, and for one I resolved not to do it. So, making a bargain with Mitchell, the Indian, I wrapped my oil-skin cape about me, and
and laying my
aying my rifle across my lap, ensconced myself in the stern of the boat, and made up my mind to a drencher. The black clouds came rushing over the huge mountains, and the rain soon began to fall in torrents. Now hug. ging the shore to escape the blast, and now sailing under the lee of an island—once compelled to land till the hurricane had passed-we crawled along until at length, late in the afternoon, we found ourselves comfortably housed.
The log hut of Mitchell, in which I spent the Sabbath, was in the centre of two or three acres of cleared land; all the rest was forest. During the day, I was struck with the sense of propriety, and delicacy of feeling shown by him. Sunday must have been a weary day to him, yet he engaged in no sports, performed no work, that I saw, inappropriate to it. In the afternoon, however, he took down his violin, and I expected such music as would distress one to hear on the Sabbath. But he refrained from all those tunes I knew he preferred, and played only sacred hymns, most of them Methodist ones. I could not imagine where he had learned them ; but this silent respect for my feelings made me love him at once, and I conceived a respect for him I shall never lose.
The day went out in storms, and as I lay down that night on my rough couch, I could hardly believe I