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RAQUETTE LAKE-NUMBER OF
LOVE FOR AN EAGLE-FIERCE STRUGGLE BETWEEN AN
EAGLE AND A SALMON.
RAQUETTE LAKE, August.
It is only about a mile and a half from Crotched or Forked to Raquette Lake. For about three quarters of a mile up the inlet, where Mitchell shot the deer the first night we arrived at Forked Lake, it is fair rowing to the falls—then for a half a mile you are compelled to shoulder your boats. But at length the beautiful sheet of Raquette Lake opens on the view, shining like an opal amid an interminable mass of green. Stretching away for nearly thirteen miles, it lies embosomed in the unshorn shores, and reflecting in its pellucid depths the clouds, as they float over the heavens which seem immeasurably high here in this
clear atmosphere—and presents one of the most beautiful scenes the eye ever rested upon. When, however, the mountain storm sweeps over its breast, and the confined thunder breaks and bursts upon it, it looks like any thing but a gentle being.
It is the largest body of water in this wild region, and with a shore as irregular as it could well be made. Though only thirteen miles long and six broad, it has a coast of fifty miles in extent. With its long, wooded points and promontories and deep bays, it would look, to a man placed above it, like a huge scollop. This waving outline completely deceives one, in sailing over it, as to the extent and direction of the main body of water. As you round one point, the lake seems to take a' turn, for it goes miles away, piercing the very heart of the distant forest. But, by the time a second point is weathered, a broad and beautiful surface is seen spreading in another direction. Thus there is a constant succession of new views—in fact, as you slowly float along, you seem to behold a dozen different lakes, each rivalling the other in picturesque beauty. It has three large inlets, one of which comes from the Eckford
as the hunters call
them, Blue Mountain and Tallow Lakes, pouring a stream of crystal into its bosom. The south inlet is a river of such magnitude that it can be navigated for eight miles by a boat of a ton's burthen. The third is Brown's inlet, of almost half the size of the
Imagine this broad expanse of water in the midst of a vast wilderness, dotted with islands, with deep bays fringed with green-bold slopes reaching to the clouds, clothed with green-distant mountains enfolding mountains, all waving with the same rich verdure-blue peaks dreaming far away, and far up in the heavens, and not a sign of vegetation—not a boat to break the solitude, and you will have some idea of the sights that meet you at every turn, charming the soul into pleasure.
Thus rowing along, with no living thing but the wild bird, and wilder deer, which has come down from the mountains to drink, and raises his head as the sound of your voice is borne to his ear, to interrupt the Sabbath quietness around, you at length come in sight of "Indian Point,” so called because there was once an Indian settlement upon it. Now two huts are standing there, looking like oases in the desert, occupied by two men, who dwell thus shut out from civilized life.
These two cabins are the only ones on this whole fifty miles of coast,* and the two hunters that occupy them the only inhabitants that are or have been on the shore for the last nine years. Without a wife or child they have lived here winter and summer, as ignorant of what is going on in the great world without, and as indifferent to it as the savage of the Rocky Mountains. One of them was once a wealthy manufacturer ; but overtaken by successive misfortunes, he at length fled to the wilderness, where he has ever since lived. There is also a rumor, of some love adventure-of blasted affections followed by morbid melancholy, which is probably
ower true”—being the cause of this strange selfcxile.
However that may be, here he lives, and here he is likely to live and be buried. These two Robinson Cru. soes have cleared about ten acres of land, on which they raise such vegetables as they need, while the fishing line and rifle supplies them with meat. An easy life is theirs—no taxes to pay-no purchases to
* There are others now.
make-and during most of the year, fish and deer and moose ready to come almost at their call.
This beautiful lake is thronged with salmon and speckled trout. Talk about Pisico Lake and Lake Pleasant, and other border waters, where fishing has become a business. Come here, if you wish to see the treasures the wilderness encloses. The most beautiful and savory trout that ever swam are found in such quantities that you can take them without even a fly, or bait of any description. 'Look at that inlet—there sits my friend B-n with a pole and line big enough to play a sturgeon with, and nothing but a piece of white paper on his coarse hook. He is skipping it, or as the fishermen call it, “skittering " it over the water, and there rises a two pounder, and there a three pounder, and a one pounder by his side-heigh ho, a full dozen of them, with their speckled, gleaming sides and wild eyes, are making the water foam about it. The hungry, unsophisticated fellows have never yet learned that there is such a thing as a hook, and dart fiercely at every object that tempts their appetite, without fear of being caught. You can sit here of a fine day, and with bait take out these speckled trout till your arms