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Sant' Ilario
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To Him That Hath
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Terance, This is Stupid Stuff
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FILE NO. 113
A Woman Sold
Marguerite Verne
Over the Border: Acadia
The Revolt of Man
Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom
The Last House in C-- Street
The Secret of the Stradivarius
The Parasite
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THE Amorous Prince, OR, THE Curious Husband
A Bubble Burst: How a Stock Exchange Scare Dislocated the Life of the Empire For Two Days
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Bygone Beliefs
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Revolt of Netherlands, V3
Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre--Buch 2
By Shore and Sedge
The Progress of Wit and Other
A Woman's Thoughts About Women
MY STRANGE PETS AND Other Memories of Country Life

The Settlers in Canada

Captain Marryat

Chapter I.

It was in the year 1794, that an English family went out to settle in Canada. This province had been surrendered to us by the French, who first colonised it, more than thirty years previous to the year I have mentioned. It must, however, be recollected, that to emigrate and settle in Canada was, at that time, a very different affair to what it is now. The difficulty of transport, and the dangers incurred, were much greater, for there were no steamboats to stem the currents and the rapids of the rivers; the Indians were still residing in Upper and many portions of Lower Canada, and the country was infested with wild animals of every description —some useful, but many dangerous: moreover, the Europeans were fewer in number, and the major portion of them were French, who were not pleased at the country having been conquered by the English. It is true that a great many English settlers had arrived, and had settled upon different farms; but as the French settlers had already possession of all the best land in Lower Canada, these new settlers were obliged to go into or towards Upper Canada, where, although the land was better, the distance from Quebec and Montreal, and other populous parts, was much greater, and they were left almost wholly to their own resources, and almost without protection. I mention all this, because things are so very different at present: and now I shall state the cause which induced this family to leave their home, and run the risks and dangers which they did.

Mr. Campbell was of a good parentage, but, being the son of one of the younger branches of the family, his father was not rich, and Mr. Campbell was, of course, brought up to a profession. Mr. Campbell chose that of a surgeon; and after having walked the hospitals (as it is termed), he set up in business, and in a few years was considered as a very able man in his profession. His practice increased very fast; and before he was thirty years of age he married.

Mr. Campbell had an only sister, who resided with him, for their father and mother were both dead. But about five years after his own marriage, a young gentleman paid his addresses to her; and, although not rich, as his character was unexceptionable, and his prospects good, he was accepted. Miss Campbell changed her name to Percival, and left her brother's house to follow her husband.

Time passed quickly; and, at the end of ten years, Mr. Campbell found himself with a flourishing business, and at the same time with a family to support, his wife having presented him with four boys, of whom the youngest was but a few months old.

But, although prosperous in his own affairs, one heavy misfortune fell upon Mr. Campbell, which was the loss of his sister, Mrs. Percival, to whom he was most sincerely attached. Her loss was attended with circumstances which rendered it more painful, as, previous to her decease, the house of business in which Mr. Percival was a partner failed; and the incessant toil and anxiety which Mr. Percival underwent, brought on a violent fever, which ended in his death. In this state of distress, left a widow with one child of two years old —a little girl —and with the expectation of being shortly again confined, Mrs. Percival was brought to her brother's house, who, with his wife, did all he could to soften down her grief; but she had suffered so much by the loss of her husband, that, when the period arrived, her strength was gone, and she died in giving birth to a second daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, of course, took charge of these two little orphan girls, and brought them up with their own children.

Such was the state of affairs about ten or eleven years after Mr. Campbell's marriage, when a circumstance occurred as unexpected as it was welcome.

Mr. Campbell had returned from his round of professional visits; dinner was over, and he was sitting at the table with his wife and elder children (for it was the Christmas holidays, and they were all at home), and the bell had just been rung for the nurse to bring down the two little girls, and the youngest boy, when the postman rapped at the door, and the parlour-maid brought in a letter with a large black seal. Mr. Campbell opened it, and read as follows:—

Sir, —We have great pleasure in making known to you, that upon the demise of Mr. Sholto Campbell of Wexton Hall, Cumberland, which took place on the 19th ultimo, the entailed estates, in default of more direct issue, have fallen to you, as nearest of kin; the presumptive heir having perished at sea, or in the East Indies, and not having been heard of for twenty-five years. We beg to be the first to congratulate you upon your accession to real property, amounting to fourteen thousand pounds per annum. No will has been found, and it has been ascertained that none was ever made by the late Mr. Sholto Campbell. We have, therefore, put seals upon the personal property, and shall wait your pleasure. We can only add, that if in want of professional advice, and not being already engaged, you may command the services of your most obedient,

Harvey, Paxton, Thorpe, & Co.

"What can be the matter, my dear?" exclaimed Mrs. Campbell, who had perceived most unusual agitation in her husband's countenance.

Mr. Campbell made no reply, but handed the letter to his wife.

Mrs. Campbell read it, and laid it down on the table.

"Well, my dear!" exclaimed Mr. Campbell, joyfully, and starting up from his chair.

"It is a sudden shock, indeed," observed Mrs. Campbell, thoughtfully and slowly. "I have often felt that we could bear up against any adversity. I trust in God, that we may be as well able to support prosperity, by far the hardest task, my dear Campbell, of the two."

"You are right, Emily," replied Mr. Campbell, sitting down again; "we are, and have long been, happy."

"This sudden wealth cannot add to our happiness, my dear husband, I feel it will rather add to our cares; but it may enable us to add to the happiness of others; and with such feelings let us receive it with thankfulness."

"Very true, Emily; but still we must do our duty in that station of life to which it has pleased God to call us. Hitherto I have by my profession been of some benefit to my fellow-creatures; and if in my change of condition I no more leave my warm bed to relieve their sufferings, at all events, I shall have the means of employing others so to do. We must consider ourselves but as the stewards of Him who has bestowed this great wealth upon us, and employ it as may be acceptable to His service."

"There my husband spoke as I felt he would," said Mrs. Campbell, rising up, and embracing him. "Those who feel as you do can never be too rich."

I must not dwell too long upon this portion of my narrative. I shall therefore observe that Mr. Campbell took possession of Wexton Hall, and lived in a style corresponding to his increased fortune; but, at the same time, he never let pass an opportunity of doing good, and in this task he was ably assisted by his wife. They had not resided there three or four years before they were considered as a blessing to all around them —encouraging industry, assisting the unfortunate, relieving the indigent, building almshouses and schools, and doing all in their power to promote the welfare and add to the happiness of those within many miles of the Hall. At the time that Mr. Campbell took possession, the estate had been much neglected, and required large sums to be laid out upon it, which would much increase its value.

Thus all the large income of Mr. Campbell was usefully and advantageously employed. The change in Mr. Campbell's fortune had also much changed the prospects of his children. Henry, the eldest, who had been intended for his father's profession, was first sent to a private tutor, and afterwards to college. Alfred, the second boy, had chosen the Navy for his profession, and had embarked on board a fine frigate. The other two boys, one named Percival, who was more than two years old at the time that they took possession of the property, and the other, John, who had been born only a few months, remained at home, receiving tuition from a young curate, who lived near the Hall; while a governess had been procured for Mary and Emma Percival, who were growing up very handsome and intelligent girls.

Such was the state of affairs at the time when Mr. Campbell had been about ten years in possession of the Wexton estate, when one day he was called upon by Mr. Harvey, the head of the firm which had announced to him his succession to the property.

Mr. Harvey came to inform him that a claimant had appeared, and given notice of his intent to file a bill in Chancery to recover the estate, being, as he asserted, the son of the person who had been considered as the presumptive heir, and who had perished so many years back. Mr. Harvey observed that, although he thought it his duty to make the circumstance known to Mr. Campbell, he considered it as a matter of no consequence, and in all probability would turn out to be a fraud got up by some petty attorney, with a view to a compromise. He requested Mr. Campbell not to allow the circumstance to give him any annoyance, stating that if more was heard of it, Mr. Campbell should be immediately informed. Satisfied with the opinion of Mr. Harvey, Mr. Campbell dismissed the circumstance from his mind, and did not even mention it to his wife.

But three months had not passed away before Mr. Campbell received a letter from his solicitor, in which he informed him that the claim to the estate was carrying on with great vigour, and, he was sorry to add, wore (to use his own term) a very ugly appearance; and that the opposite parties would, at all events, put Mr. Campbell to very considerable expense. The solicitor requested Mr. Campbell's instructions, again asserting, that although it was artfully got up, he considered that it was a fraudulent attempt. Mr. Campbell returned an answer, in which he authorised his solicitor to take every needful precaution, and to incur all necessary expense. On reflection, Mr. Campbell, although much annoyed, determined not to make Mrs. Campbell acquainted with what was going on; it could only distress her, he thought, and he therefore resolved for the present to leave her in ignorance.

Chapter II.

After a delay of some months, Mr. Harvey again wrote to Mr. Campbell, informing him that the claim of the opposite party, so far from being fraudulent as he had supposed, was so clear that he feared the worst results.

It appeared that the heir to the estates, who had remained between Mr. Campbell's title, had married in India, and had subsequently, as it had been supposed, died; but there was full and satisfactory proof that the marriage was valid, and that the party who claimed was his son. It was true, Mr. Harvey observed, that Mr. Campbell might delay for some time the restoration of the property, but that eventually it must be surrendered.

As soon as Mr. Campbell received this letter, he went to his wife and acquainted her with all that had been going on for some months, and with the reasons which induced him to say nothing to her until the receipt of Mr. Harvey's letter, which he now put into her hands, requesting her opinion on the subject. Mrs. Campbell, after having read the letter, replied—

"It appears, my dear husband, that we have been called to take possession of a property, and to hold for many years that which belongs to another. We are now called upon to give it up to the rightful owner. You ask my opinion; surely there is no occasion to do that. We must of course, now that we know that the claim is just, do as we would be done by."

"That is, my dearest, we must surrender it at once, without any more litigation. It certainly has been my feeling ever since I have read Mr. Harvey's letter. Yet it is hard to be beggars."

"It is hard, my dear husband, if we may use that term; but, at the same time, it is the will of Heaven. We received the property, supposing it to have been our own; we have, I hope, not misused it during the time it has been intrusted to us; and, since it pleases Heaven that we should be deprived of it, let us, at all events, have the satisfaction of acting conscientiously and justly, and trust to Him for our future support."

"I will write immediately," replied Mr. Campbell, "to acquaint Mr. Harvey, that although I litigated the point as long as the claim was considered doubtful, now that he informs me that the other party is the legal heir, I beg that all proceedings may be stopped, as I am willing to give immediate possession."

"Do so, my dear," replied his wife, embracing him. "We may be poor, but I trust we shall still be happy."

Mr. Campbell sat down and wrote the letter of instructions to his solicitor, sealed it, and sent a groom with it to the post.

As soon as the servant had closed the door of the room, Mr. Campbell covered his face with his hands.

"It is, indeed, a severe trial," said Mrs. Campbell, taking the hand of her husband; "but you have done your duty."

"I care not for myself; I am thinking of my children."

"They must work," replied Mrs. Campbell. "Employment is happiness."

"Yes, the boys may get on; but those poor girls! What a change will it be for them!"

"I trust they have been not so badly brought up, but that they will submit with cheerfulness, and be a source of comfort to us both. Besides, we may not be absolutely beggars."

"That depends upon the other party. He may claim all arrears of rent; and if so, we are more than beggars. However, God's will be done. Shall we receive good, and shall we not receive evil?"

"There's hope, my husband," replied Mrs. Campbell, in a cheering tone; "let us hope for the best."

"How little do we know what is for our good, short-sighted mortals as we are!" observed Mr. Campbell. "Had not this estate come to us, I should, by following up my profession as surgeon, in all probability, have realised a good provision for my children: now, this seeming good turn of fortune leaves me poor. I am too old now to resume my profession, and, if I did, have no chance of obtaining the practice which I left. You see that which appeared to us and everyone else the most fortunate occurrence in my life, has eventually proved the contrary."

"As far as our limited view of things can enable us to judge, I grant it," replied Mrs. Campbell; "but who knows what might have happened if we had remained in possession? All is hidden from our view. He acts as he thinks best for us; and it is for us to submit without repining. Come, dearest, let us walk out; the air is fresh, and will cool your heated brow."

Two days after this conversation, a letter was received from Mr. Harvey, informing them that he had made known Mr. Campbell's determination to resign the property without further litigation; that the reply of the other party was highly honourable, stating that it was not his intention to make any claim for the back rents, and requesting that Mr. Campbell and family would consider Wexton Hall at their disposal for three months, to enable them to make arrangements, and dispose of their furniture, etc.

The contents of this letter were a great relief to the mind of Mr. Campbell, as he was now able to ascertain what his future means might be, and was grateful for the handsome behaviour of the new proprietor in not making any claim for back rents, which would have reduced him at once to penury. He wrote immediately to Mr. Harvey, requesting him to send in his account of legal expenses, that it might be liquidated as soon as possible. In three days it arrived, and a letter with it, in which Mr. Harvey acquainted him, that it was in consequence of his having so handsomely surrendered the property as soon as the claim was substantiated, together with the knowledge how much the estate had been improved during the ten years in which it had been in his possession, which induced the new proprietor to behave in so liberal a manner. This was very gratifying to Mr. Campbell, but the legal expenses proved enormous, amounting to many thousand pounds.

Mr. Campbell read the sum total, and threw the huge heap of papers down on the table in despair.

"We are still ruined, my dear," said he, mournfully. "Let us hope not," replied Mrs. Campbell. "At all events, we now know the worst of it, and we must look it boldly in the face."

"I have not so much money as will pay this bill by nearly a thousand pounds, my dearest wife."

"It may be so," replied Mrs. Campbell; "but still there is the furniture, the horses, and carriages; surely, they are worth much more."

"But we have other bills to pay; you forget them."

"No, I do not; I have been collecting them all, and they do not amount to more than three hundred pounds, as near as I can judge; but we have no time to lose, dearest, and we must show courage."

"What then do you advise, Emily?" said Mr. Campbell.

"We must incur no more expense; our present establishment must be dismissed at once. Send for all the servants to-morrow morning, and explain what has occurred. This evening I will make it known to the two girls and Miss Paterson, who must of course be discharged, as we can no longer afford a governess. We must retain only the cook, housemaid, one footman, and a groom to look after the horses until they are sold. Send a letter to Mr. Bates, the auctioneer, to give notice of an early sale of the furniture. You must write to Henry; of course, he can no longer remain at college. We have plenty of time to consider what shall be our future plans, which must depend much upon what may prove to be our future means."

This judicious advice was approved of by Mr. Campbell. Miss Paterson was greatly distressed when the news was communicated to her by Mrs. Campbell. Mary and Emma Percival felt deeply for their kind benefactors, but thought nothing of themselves. As Mrs. Campbell had truly observed, they had been too well brought up. As soon as they were informed of what had happened, they both ran to Mr. Campbell's room, and hung upon his neck, declaring that they would do all they could to make him happy, and work for him, if necessary, from morning till night.

The next day the whole household were summoned into the dining-room, and made acquainted by Mr. Campbell with what had taken place, and the necessity of their immediate removal. Their wages had been calculated, and were paid them before they quitted the room, which they all did with many expressions of regret. Miss Paterson requested leave to remain with them as a friend for a few days longer, and as she was deservedly a favourite, her request was acceded to.

"Thank Heaven, that is over!" said Mr. Campbell, after all the household had been dismissed. "It is quite a relief to my mind."

"Here's a letter from Alfred, uncle," said Emma Percival, entering the room. "He has just arrived at Portsmouth, and says the ship is ordered to be paid off immediately, and his captain is appointed to a fifty-gun ship, and intends to take him with him. He says he will be here in a very few days, and—"

"And what, dearest?" said Mrs. Campbell.

"He says his time will be short, but he hopes you won't object to his bringing two of his messmates down with him."

"Poor fellow! I am sorry that he will be disappointed," replied Mr. Campbell. "You must write to him, Emma, and tell him what has happened."

"I must write to him, uncle?"

"Yes, dear Emma, do you write to him," replied Mrs. Campbell; "your uncle and I have much to attend to."

"I will, since you wish me," said Emma, the tears starting in her eyes, as she quitted the room.

"Mr. Bates, the auctioneer, wishes to see you, sir," said the footman, as he came in.

"Request that he will walk in," replied Mr. Campbell. Mr. Bates, the auctioneer, came in, and presented a letter to Mr. Campbell, who requested him to take a chair while he read it. It was from Mr. Douglas Campbell, the new proprietor of the estate, requesting Mr. Bates would ascertain if Mr. Campbell was willing that the furniture, etc., should be disposed of by valuation, and if so, requesting Mr. Bates to put a liberal value on it, and draw upon him for the amount.

"This is very considerate of Mr. Douglas Campbell," observed Mrs. Campbell; "of course, my dear, you can have no objection."

"None whatever; return my best thanks to Mr. Douglas Campbell for his kindness; and Mr. Bates, if you can possibly value by to-morrow or next day, I should esteem it a favour."

"It shall be done, sir," replied Mr. Bates, who then rose and took his leave.

As soon as the valuation was finished, Mr. Campbell was enabled to make an estimate of what remained to them out of the property, and found that the whole sum amounted to between seventeen and eighteen hundred pounds.

Chapter III.

It may appear strange that after having been in possession of the estate for ten years, and considering that he had younger children to provide for, Mr. Campbell had not laid up a larger sum; but this can be fully explained. As I before said, the estate was in very bad order when Mr. Campbell came into possession, and he devoted a large portion of the income to improving it; and, secondly, he had expended a considerable sum in building almshouses and schools, works which he would not delay, as he considered them as religious obligations. The consequence was, that it was not until a year before the claim was made to the estate, that he had commenced laying by for his younger children; and as the estate was then worth two thousand pounds per annum more than it was at the time that he came into possession of it, he had resolved to put by five thousand pounds per annum, and had done so for twelve months. The enormous legal expenses had, however, swallowed up this sum, and more, as we have already stated; and thus he was left a poorer man by some hundreds than he was when the property fell to him. The day after the valuation, the eldest son, Henry, made his appearance; he seemed much dejected, more so than his parents, and those who knew him, would have supposed. It was, however, ascribed to his feeling for his father and mother, rather than for himself.

Many were the consultations held by Mr. and Mrs. Campbell as to their future plans; but nothing at all feasible, or likely to prove advantageous, suggested itself to them. With only sixteen or seventeen hundred pounds, they scarcely knew where to go, or how to act. Return to his profession Mr. Campbell knew that he could not, with any chance of supporting his family. His eldest son, Henry, might obtain a situation, but he was really fit for nothing but the bar or holy orders; and how were they to support him till he could support himself? Alfred, who was now a master's mate, could, it is true, support himself, but it would be with difficulty, and there was little chance of his promotion. Then there were the two other boys, and the two girls growing up fast; in short, a family of eight people. To put so small a sum in the funds would be useless, as they could not live upon the interest which it would give, and how to employ it they knew not. They canvassed the matter over and over, but without success, and each night they laid their heads upon the pillow more and more disheartened. They were all ready to leave the Hall, but knew not where to direct their steps when they left it; and thus they continued wavering for a week, until they were embraced by their son Alfred, who had made all speed to join them, as soon as the ship had been paid off. After the first joy of meeting between those who had been separated so long was over, Mr. Campbell said, "I'm sorry, Alfred, that I could not give your messmates any fishing."

"And so am I, and so were they, for your sakes, my dear father and mother; but what is, is —and what can't be helped, can't —so we must make the best of it; but where's Henry and my cousins?"

"They are walking in the park, Alfred; you had better join them; they are most anxious to see you."

"I will, mother; let us get over these huggings and kissings, and then we shall be more rational: so goodbye for half an hour," said Alfred, kissing his mother again, and then hastening out of the room.

"His spirits are not subdued, at all events," observed Mrs. Campbell. "I thank God for it."

Alfred soon fell in with his brother and his cousins, Mary and Emma, and after the huggings and kissings, as he termed them, were over, he made inquiries into the real state of his father's affairs. After a short conversation, Henry, who was very much depressed in his spirits, said, "Mary and Emma, perhaps you will now go in; I wish to have some conversation with Alfred."

"You are terribly out of heart, Harry," observed Alfred, after his cousins had left them. "Are things so very bad?"

"They are bad enough, Alfred; but what makes me so low-spirited is, that I fear my folly has made them worse."

"How so?" replied Alfred.

"The fact is, that my father has but one thousand seven hundred pounds left in the world, a sum small enough; but what annoys me is this. When I was at college, little imagining such a reverse of fortune, I anticipated my allowance, because I knew that I could pay at Christmas, and I ran in debt about two hundred pounds. My father always cautioned me not to exceed my allowance, and thinks that I have not done so. Now, I cannot bear the idea of leaving college in debt, and, at the same time, it will be a heavy blow to my poor father, if he has to part with two hundred pounds, out of his trifling remainder, to pay my debt. This is what has made me so unhappy. I cannot bear to tell him, because I feel convinced that he is so honourable, he will pay it immediately. I am mad with myself, and really do not know what to do. I do nothing but reproach myself all day, and I cannot sleep at night. I have been very foolish, but I am sure you will kindly enter into my present feelings. I waited till you came home, because I thought you had better tell my father the fact, for I feel as if I should die with shame and vexation."

"Look you, Harry," replied Alfred, "as for outrunning the constable, as we term it at sea, it's a very common thing, and, all things considered, no great harm done, when you suppose that you have the means, and intend to pay; so don't lay that to heart. That you would give your right hand not to have done so, as things have turned out, I really believe; but, however, there is no occasion to fret any more about it. I have received three years' pay, and the prize-money for the last eighteen months, and there is still some more due for a French privateer. Altogether it amounts to two hundred and fifty pounds, which I had intended to have made over to my father, now that he is on a lee-shore; but it will come to the same thing, whether I give it to you to pay your debts, or give it to him, as he will pay them, if you do not; so here it is, take what you want, and hand me over what's left. My father don't know that I have any money, and now he won't know it; at the same time he won't know that you owe any; so that squares the account, and he will be as well off as ever."

"Thank you, my dear Alfred; you don't know what a relief this will be to my mind. Now I can look my father in his face."

"I hope you will; we are not troubled with such delicate feelings on board ship, Harry. I should have told him the truth long before this. I couldn't bear to keep anything on my conscience. If this misfortune had happened last cruise, I should have been just in your position; for I had a tailor's bill to pay as long as a frigate's pennant, and not enough in my pocket to buy a mouse's breakfast. Now, let's go in again, and be as merry as possible, and cheer them up a little."

Alfred's high spirits did certainly do much to cheer them all up; and after tea, Mr. Campbell, who had previously consulted his wife, as soon as the servant had quitted the room, entered on a full explanation of the means which were left to them; and stated, that he wished in his difficulty to put the question before the whole family, and ascertain whether any project might come into their heads upon which they might decide and act. Henry, who had recovered his spirits since the assistance he had received from Alfred, was desired to speak first. He replied—

"My dear mother and father, if you cannot between you hit upon any plan, I am afraid it is not likely that I can assist you. All I have to say is, that whatever may be decided upon, I shall most cheerfully do my duty towards you and my brothers and sisters. My education has not been one likely to be very useful to a poor man, but I am ready to work with my hands as well as with my head, to the best of my abilities."

"That I am sure of, my dear boy," replied his father. "Now, Alfred, we must look to you as our last hope, for your two cousins are not likely to give us much advice."

"Well, father, I have been thinking a good deal about it, and I have a proposal to make which may at first startle you, but it appears to me that it is our only, and our best, resource. The few hundred pounds which you have left are of no use in this country, except to keep you from starving for a year or two; but in another country they may be made to be worth as many thousands. In this country, a large family becomes a heavy charge and expense; in another country, the more children you have, the richer man you are. If, therefore, you would consent to transport your family and your present means into another country, instead of being a poor, you might be a rich, man."

"What country is that, Alfred?"

"Why, father, the purser of our ship had a brother, who, soon after the French were beaten out of the Canadas, went out there to try his fortune. He had only three hundred pounds in the world: he has been there now about four years, and I read a letter from him which the purser received when the frigate arrived at Portsmouth, in which he states that he is doing well, and getting rich fast; that he has a farm of five hundred acres, of which two hundred are cleared; and that if he only had some children large enough to help him, he would soon be worth ten times the money, as he would purchase more land immediately. Land is to be bought there at a dollar an acre, and you may pick and choose. With your money, you might buy a large property; with your children, you might improve it fast; and in a few years, you would at all events be comfortable, if not flourishing, in your circumstances. Your children would work for you, and you would have the satisfaction of knowing that you left them independent and happy."

"I acknowledge, my dear boy, that you have struck upon a plan which has much to recommend it. Still, there are drawbacks."

"Drawbacks!" replied Alfred, "yes, to be sure, there are; if estates were to be picked up for merely going out for them, there would not be many left for you to choose; but, my dear father, I know no drawbacks which cannot be surmounted. Let us see what these drawbacks are. First, hard labour; occasional privation; a log-hut, till we can get a better; severe winter; isolation from the world; occasional danger, even from wild beasts and savages. I grant these are but sorry exchanges for such a splendid mansion as this —fine furniture, excellent cooking, polished society, and the interest one feels for what is going on in our own country, which is daily communicated to us. Now, as to hard labour, I and Henry will take as much of that off your hands as we can: if the winter is severe, there is no want of firewood; if the cabin is rude, at least we will make it comfortable; if we are shut out from the world, we shall have society enough among ourselves; if we are in danger, we will have firearms and stout hearts to defend ourselves; and, really, I do not see but we may be very happy, very comfortable, and, at all events, very independent."

"Alfred, you talk as if you were going with us," said Mrs. Campbell.

"And do you think that I am not, my dear mother? Do you imagine that I would remain here when you were there, and my presence would be useful? No —no —I love the service, it is true, but I know my duty, which is, to assist my father and mother: in fact, I prefer it; a midshipman's ideas of independence are very great; and I had rather range the wilds of America free and independent, than remain in the service, and have to touch my hat to every junior lieutenant, perhaps for twenty years to come. If you go, I go, that is certain. Why, I should be miserable if you went without me; I should dream every night that an Indian had run away with Mary, or that a bear had eaten up my little Emma."

"Well, I'll take my chance of the Indian," replied Mary Percival.

"And I of the bear," said Emma. "Perhaps he'll only hug me as tight as Alfred did when he came home."

"Thank you, miss, for the comparison," replied Alfred, laughing.

"I certainly consider that your proposal, Alfred, merits due reflection," observed Mrs. Campbell. "Your father and I will consult, and perhaps by to-morrow morning we may have come to a decision. Now we had better all go to bed."

"I shall dream of the Indian, I am sure," said Mary.

"And I shall dream of the bear," added Emma, looking archly at Alfred.

"And I shall dream of a very pretty girl that I saw at Portsmouth," said Alfred.

"I don't believe you," replied Emma.

Shortly afterwards Mr. Campbell rang the bell for the servants; family prayers were read, and all retired in good spirits.

The next morning they all met at an early hour; and after Mr. Campbell had, as was his invariable rule, read a portion of the Bible, and a prayer of thankfulness, they sat down to breakfast. After breakfast was over, Mr. Campbell said—

"My dear children, last night, after you had left us, your mother and I had a long consultation, and we have decided that we have no alternative left us but to follow the advice which Alfred has given: if, then, you are all of the same opinion as we are, we have resolved that we will try our fortunes in the Canadas."

"I am certainly of that opinion," replied Henry.

"And you, my girls?" said Mr. Campbell.

"We will follow you to the end of the world, uncle," replied Mary, "and try if we can by any means in our power repay your kindness to two poor orphans."

Mr. and Mrs. Campbell embraced their nieces, for they were much affected by Mary's reply.

After a pause, Mrs. Campbell said—

"And now that we have come to a decision, we must commence our arrangements immediately. How shall we dispose of ourselves? Come, Alfred and Henry, what do you propose doing?"

"I must return immediately to Oxford, to settle my affairs, and dispose of my books and other property."

"Shall you have sufficient money, my dear boy, to pay everything?" said Mr. Campbell.

"Yes, my dear father," replied Henry, colouring up a little.

"And I," said Alfred, "presume that I can be of no use here; therefore I propose that I should start for Liverpool this afternoon by the coach, for it is from Liverpool that we had better embark. I shall first write to our purser for what information he can procure, and obtain all I can at Liverpool from other people. As soon as I have anything to communicate, I will write."

"Write as soon as you arrive, Alfred, whether you have anything to communicate or not; at all events, we shall know of your safe arrival."

"I will, my dear mother."

"Have you money, Alfred?"

"Yes, quite sufficient, father. I don't travel with four horses."

"Well, then, we will remain here to pack up, Alfred; and you must look out for some moderate lodgings for us to go into as soon as we arrive at Liverpool. At what time do the ships sail for Quebec?"

"Just about this time, father. This is March, and they will now sail every week almost. The sooner we are off the better, that we may be comfortably housed in before the winter."

A few hours after this conversation, Henry and Alfred left the Hall upon their several destinations. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and the two girls had plenty of employment for three or four days in packing up. It was soon spread through the neighbourhood that they were going to emigrate to Canada; and the tenants who had held their farms under Mr. Campbell, all came forward and proffered their waggons and horses to transport his effects to Liverpool, without his being put to any expense.

In the meantime a letter had been received from Alfred, who had not been idle. He had made acquaintance with some merchants who traded to Canada, and by them had been introduced to two or three persons who had settled there a few years before, and who were able to give him every information. They informed him what was most advisable to take out; how they were to proceed upon their landing; and, what was of more importance, the merchants gave him letters of introduction to English merchants at Quebec, who would afford them every assistance in the selecting and purchasing of land, and in their transport up the country. Alfred had also examined a fine timber-ship, which was to sail in three weeks; and had bargained for the price of their passage, in case they could get ready in time to go by her. He wrote all these particulars to his father, waiting for his reply to act upon his wishes.

Henry returned from Oxford, having settled his accounts, and with the produce of the sale of his classics and other books in his pocket. He was full of spirits, and of the greatest assistance to his father and mother.

Alfred had shown so much judgment in all he had undertaken, that his father wrote to him stating that they would be ready for the ship which he named, and that he might engage the cabins, and also at once procure the various articles which they were advised to take out with them, and draw upon him for the amount, if the people would not wait for the money. In a fortnight they were all ready; the waggons had left with their effects some days before. Mr. Campbell wrote a letter to Mr. Douglas Campbell, thanking him for his kindness and consideration to them, and informing him that they should leave Wexton Hall on the following day. He only begged, as a favour, that the schoolmaster and schoolmistress of the village school should be continued on, as it was of great importance that the instruction of the poor should not be neglected; and added, that perceiving by the newspapers that Mr. Douglas Campbell had lately married, Mrs. Campbell and he wished him and his wife every happiness, etc., etc.

Having despatched this letter, there was nothing more to be done, previous to their departure from the Hall, except to pay and dismiss the few servants who were with them; for Mrs. Campbell had resolved upon taking none out with her. That afternoon they walked round the plantation and park for the last time. Mrs. Campbell and the girls went round the rooms of the Hall to ascertain that everything was left tidy, neat, and clean. The poor girls sighed as they passed by the harp and piano in the drawing-room, for they were old friends.

"Never mind, Mary," said Emma, "we have our guitars, and may have music in the woods of Canada without harp or piano."

The following morning the coach, of which they had secured the whole of the inside, drove up to the Hall door, and they all got in, the tenants and poor people standing round them, all with their hats in their hands out of respect, and wishing them every success as they drove away through the avenue to the park gates. The Hall and the park itself had been long out of sight before a word was exchanged. They checked their tears, but their hearts were too full for them to venture to speak.

The day afterwards they arrived at Liverpool, where Alfred had provided lodgings. Everything had been sent on board, and the ship had hauled out in the stream. As they had nothing to detain them on shore, and the captain wished to take advantage of the first fair wind, they all embarked four days after their arrival at Liverpool; and I shall now leave them on board of the London Merchant, which was the name of the vessel, making all their little arrangements previous to their sailing, under the superintendence of Alfred, while I give some little more insight into the characters, ages, and dispositions of the family.

Chapter IV.

Mr. Campbell was a person of many amiable qualities. He was a religious, good man, very fond of his wife, to whose opinions he yielded in preference to his own, and very partial to his children, to whom he was inclined to be over indulgent. He was not a person of much energy of character, but he was sensible and well-informed. His goodness of heart rendered him very liable to be imposed upon, for he never suspected any deceit, notwithstanding that he was continually deceived. His character was therefore that of a simple, good, honest man.

Mrs. Campbell was well matched with him as a wife, as she had all that energy and decision of character which was sometimes wanting in her husband. Still there was nothing masculine in her manners or appearance; on the contrary, she was delicate in her form, and very soft in her manners. She had great firmness and self-possession, and had brought up all her children admirably. Obedience to their parents was the principle instilled into them after their duty to God; for she knew too well that a disobedient child can never prosper. If ever there was a woman fitted to meet the difficulty and danger which threatened them, it was Mrs. Campbell, for she had courage and presence of mind, joined to activity and cleverness.

Henry, the eldest son, was now nearly twenty years of age. He possessed much of the character of his father, was without vice, but rather inclined to inaction than otherwise. Much was to be ascribed to his education and college life, and more to his natural disposition.

Alfred, the sailor, was, on the contrary, full of energy and active in everything, patient and laborious, if required, and never taking anything in hand without finishing it, if possible. He was rough, but not rude, both in his speech and his manners, very kind-hearted, at the same time very confident in himself and afraid of nothing.

Mary Percival was a very amiable, reflective girl, quiet without being sad, not often indulging in conversation, except when alone with her sister Emma. She was devotedly attached to her uncle and aunt, and was capable of more than she had any idea of herself, for she was of a modest disposition, and thought humbly of herself. Her disposition was sweet, and was portrayed in her countenance. She was now seventeen years old, and very much admired.

Her sister Emma, who was but fifteen, was of a very different disposition, naturally gay, and inclined to find amusement in everything —cheerful as the lark, and singing from morning to night. Her disposition, owing to Mrs. Campbell's care and attention, was equally amiable as her sister's, and her high spirits seldom betrayed her into indiscretion. She was the life of the family when Alfred was away: he only was her equal in high spirits.

Percival, the third boy, was now twelve years old; he was a quiet, clever lad, very obedient and very attentive to what was told him, very fond of obtaining information, being naturally very inquisitive.

John, the fourth boy, was ten years old —a sturdy, John Bull sort of boy, not very fond of learning, but a well-disposed boy in most things. He preferred anything to his book; at the same time, he was obedient, and tried to keep up his attention as well as he could, which was all that could be expected from a boy of his age. He was very slow in everything, very quiet, and seldom spoke unless first spoken to. He was not silly, although many people would have thought him so, but he certainly was a very strange boy, and it was difficult to say what he would turn out.

I have now described the family as they appeared at the time that they embarked on board of the London Merchant; and have only to add, that on the third day after their embarkation, they made sail with a fair wind, and ran down the Channel.

The London Merchant sailed for Cork, where the North American convoy were to assemble. At the time we speak of, the war had recommenced between this country and the French, who were suffering all the horrors of the Revolution. On their arrival at Cork, our party recovered a little from the sea-sickness to which all are subject on their first embarkation. They found themselves at anchor with more than a hundred merchant vessels, among which were to be perceived the lofty masts and spars of a large fifty-gun ship, and two small frigates, which were appointed to convoy them to their destination.

The rest of the party, still suffering, soon went down below again, but Alfred remained on deck, leaning against the bulwarks of the vessel, his eyes and his thoughts intently fixed upon the streaming pennants of the men-of-war, and a tear rolled down his cheek, as he was reminded that he no longer could follow up his favourite profession. The sacrifice that he had made to his family was indeed great. He had talked lightly of it before them, not wishing them to believe that it was so. He had not told his father that he had passed his examination for lieutenant before he had been paid off at Portsmouth; and that his captain, who was very partial to him, had promised that he should soon be advanced in the service. He had not told them that all his wishes, all his daily hopes, the most anxious desire of his existence, which was to become a post-captain, and in command of a fine frigate, were blighted by this sacrifice he had made for them and their comfort. He had concealed all this, and assumed a mirth which he did not feel; but now that he was alone, and the pennant was once more presented to his view, his regrets could not be controlled. He sighed deeply, and turning away with his arms folded, said to himself: "I have done my duty. It is hard, after having served so long, and now just arrived at the time in which I have reason to expect my reward —to rise in the service —distinguish myself by my zeal, and obtain a reputation, which, if it pleased God, I would have done —very hard, to have to leave it now, and to be hid in the woods, with an axe in my hand; but how could I leave my father, my mother, and my brothers and sisters, to encounter so much difficulty and privation by themselves, when I have a strong arm to help them! No! no I —I have done my duty to those who ever did their duty to me, and I trust that my own conscience will prove my reward, and check that repining which we are too apt to feel when it pleases Heaven to blight, what appear to be, our fairest prospects... I say, my good fellow," said Alfred, after a while, to a man in a boat, "what is the name of that fifty-gun ship?"

"I don't know which ship has fifty guns, or which has a hundred," replied the Irishman, "but if you mean the biggest of the three, she is called the Portsmouth."

"The Portsmouth! the very ship Captain Lumley was appointed to," cried Alfred. "I must go on board."

Alfred ran down to the cabin, and requested the captain of the transport, whose name was Wilson, to allow him the small boat to go on board the man-of-war. His request was granted, and Alfred was soon up the side of the Portsmouth. There were some of his old messmates on the quarter-deck, who welcomed him heartily, for he was a great favourite. Shortly afterwards, he sent down a message by the steward, requesting that Captain Lumley would see him, and was immediately afterwards ordered to go into the cabin.

"Well, Mr. Campbell," said Captain Lumley, "so you have joined us at last; better late than never. You're but just in time. I thought you would soon get over that foolish whim of yours, which you mentioned in your letter to me, of leaving the service, just after you had passed, and had such good chance of promotion. What could have put it in your head?"

"Nothing, sir," replied Alfred, "but my duty to my parents. It is a most painful step for me to take, but I leave you to judge whether I can do otherwise."

Alfred then detailed to Captain Lumley all that had occurred, the resolution which his father and mother had taken, and their being then on board the timber-ship, and about to proceed to their new destination.

Captain Lumley heard Alfred's story without interruption, and then, after a pause, said: "I think you are right, my boy, and it does you honour. Where you are going to, I have no doubt but your courage and your protection will be most important. Yet it is a pity you should be lost to the service."

"I feel most sincerely, sir, I assure you, but—"

"But you sacrifice yourself; I know that. I admire the resolution of your father and mother. Few could have the courage to have taken such a step —few women, especially. I shall call upon them, and pay my respects. In half an hour I shall be ready, and you shall accompany me, and introduce me. In the meantime you can go and see your old messmates."

Alfred left the cabin, much flattered by the kindness of Captain Lumley, and went down to his former messmates, with whom he remained until the boatswain piped away the crew of the captain's barge. He then went on deck, and as soon as the captain came up, he went into the boat. The captain followed, and they were soon on board of the London Merchant. Alfred introduced Captain Lumley to his father and mother; and in the course of half an hour, being mutually pleased with each other, an intimacy was formed, when Captain Lumley observed: "I presume, that much as you may require your son's assistance on your arrival in Canada, you can dispense with his presence on board of this vessel. My reason for making this observation is, that no chance should ever be thrown away. One of my lieutenants wishes to leave the ship on family concerns. He has applied to me, and I have considered it my duty to refuse him, now that we are on the point of sailing, and I am unable to procure another. But for your son's sake, I will now permit him to go, and will, if you allow him to come on board of the Portsmouth , give Alfred an acting lieutenant's order. Should anything occur on the passage out, and it is not at all impossible, it will ensure his promotion; even if nothing occurs, I will have his acting order confirmed. At Quebec, he shall, of course, leave the ship, and go with you. I don't pretend to detain him from his duty; but you will observe, that if he does obtain his rank, he will also obtain his half-pay, which, if he remains in Canada with you, will be a great assistance; and if things should turn out so well, that you can, after a year or two, do without him, and allow him to return to the service, he will then have already gained the most important step, and will, I have no doubt, soon rise to the command of a ship. I will give you till to-morrow to decide. Alfred can come on board in the morning, and let me know."

"I think I may say, Captain Lumley," replied Mrs. Campbell, "that my husband could have but one reason in hesitating a moment, and that is, to ascertain whether I would like to part with my son during our passage out. I should, indeed, be a very weak woman, if I did not make such a trifling sacrifice for his benefit, and, at the same time, feel most grateful to you for your kind intentions towards him. I rather think that Mr. Campbell will not find it necessary to have till to-morrow morning to consider the proposal; but I leave him to answer for himself."

"I can assure you, Captain Lumley, that Mrs. Campbell has only expressed my own feelings, and, as far as we are concerned, your offer is most gratefully accepted."

"Then Alfred," replied Captain Lumley, "has only to make his appearance on board of the Portsmouth to-morrow morning, and he will find his acting order ready for him. We sail, I believe, the day after, if the weather is at all favourable; so, if I have not another opportunity to pay my respects to you, you must allow me to say farewell now. I shall keep my eye upon your vessel during the passage; at all events, Alfred will, I'm very sure."

Captain Lumley then shook hands with Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, bowed to the rest of the cabin party, and quitted the ship. As he went over the side, he observed to Alfred "I perceive you have some attractions in your party. It is quite melancholy to think that those pretty cousins of yours should be buried in the woods of Canada. To-morrow, at nine o'clock, then, I shall expect you. Adieu!"

Although the idea of Alfred leaving them during the passage out was not pleasant, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were most happy at the chance which had offered itself for their son's advantage, and seemed in good spirits when he took leave of them on the following morning.

"Captain Wilson, you sail so well, that I hope you will keep close to us all the passage out," observed Alfred, as he was taking leave.

"Except you happen to come to action with an enemy, and then I shall haul off to a respectful distance, Mr. Alfred," replied Captain Wilson, laughing.

"That, of course. Cannon-balls were never invented for ladies, although they have no objection to balls —have they, Emma? Well, good-bye! once more. You can often see me with the spyglass if you feel inclined. Recollect that."

Alfred shoved off in the boat, and was soon on board of the Portsmouth. The following day they sailed with a fair wind and moderate weather; the convoy now increased to one hundred and twenty vessels.

We must leave Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and family on board the London Merchant, and follow Alfred in the Portsmouth, during the passage to Quebec.

For several days the weather was moderate, although the wind was not always fair, and the convoy was kept together, and in good order. The London Merchant was never far away from the Portsmouth , and Alfred employed a large portion of his time, when he was not keeping his watch, in keeping his spyglass upon the vessel, and watching the motions of his cousins and the rest of the family. On board of the London Merchant they were similarly occupied, and very often a handkerchief was waved by way of salute and recognition. At last they arrived off the banks of Newfoundland, and were shrouded in a heavy fog, the men-of-war constantly firing guns, to inform the merchant-ships in what direction they were to steer, and the merchant-vessels of the convoy ringing their bells, to warn each other, that they might not be run foul of.

The fog lasted two days, and was still continuing when the party on board the London Merchant, just as they were sitting down to dinner in the cabin, heard a noise and bustle on deck. Captain Wilson ran hastily up, and found that his vessel had been boarded by a French boat's crew, who had beaten down the men and taken possession. As there was no help, all he could do was to go down to the cabin, and inform his passengers that they were prisoners. The shock of this intelligence was very great, as may be supposed, but still there was no useless lamentation or weeping. One thing is certain, that this news quite spoiled their appetite for their dinner, which, however, was soon despatched by the French officer and his men, after the boat had left, and the vessel's head had been put in an opposite direction.

Captain Wilson, who had returned on deck, came down in about a quarter of an hour, and informed the party, who were silently brooding over this sudden change in their prospects, that the wind was very light, and that he thought the fog was clearing off a little, and that if it did so before it was dark, he was in great hopes that they should be recaptured. This intelligence appeared to revive the hopes of Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, and they were still more encouraged when they heard the sound of guns at no very great distance. In a few minutes afterwards the cannonading became very furious, and the Frenchmen who were on board began to show strong signs of uneasiness.

The fact was, that a French squadron, of one sixty gun ship and two corvettes, had been on the look-out for the convoy, and had come in among them during the fog. They had captured and taken possession of several vessels before they were discovered, but the sixty-gun ship at last ran very near to the Portsmouth, and Alfred, who had the watch, and was on a sharp look-out, soon perceived through the looming fog that she was not one of the convoy. He ran down to acquaint the captain, and the men were immediately ordered to their quarters, without beating the drum, or making any noise, that might let the enemy know they were so near. The yards were then braced in, to check the way of the Portsmouth, so that the strange vessel might come up with her. Silence was kept fore and aft, not a whisper was to be heard; and as the Frenchman neared them, they perceived a boat putting off from her to board another vessel close to them, and also heard the orders given to the men in the French language. This was sufficient for Captain Lumley: he put the helm down, and poured a raking broadside into the enemy, who was by no means prepared for such a sudden salute, although her guns were cast loose, ready for action, in case of accident. The answer to the broadside was a cry of "Vive la Republique!" and, in a few seconds, both ships were hotly engaged —the Portsmouth having the advantage of lying upon the bow of her antagonist.

As is often the case, the heavy cannonading brought on a dead calm, and the two ships remained in their respective positions, except that the Portsmouth's was the more favourable, having drawn ahead of the French vessel, so that her broadside was poured into her opponent, without her being able to return the fire from more than four or five of her guns. The fog became more opaque than ever; the two ships had neared each other considerably, or it would have been impossible to distinguish. All that they could see from the deck of the Portsmouth was the jib-boom and cap of the bowsprit of the Frenchman, the rest of her bowsprit, and her whole hull, were lost in the impenetrable gloom; but that was sufficient for the men to direct their guns, and the fire from the Portsmouth was most rapid, although the extent of its execution was unknown. After half an hour of incessant broadsides, the two vessels had approached each other so close, that the jib-boom of the Frenchman was pointed between the fore and main rigging of the Portsmouth. Captain Lumley immediately gave orders to lash the Frenchman's bowsprit to his mainmast, and this was accomplished by the first lieutenant, Alfred, and the seamen, without any serious loss, for the fog was still so thick, that the Frenchmen on their forecastle could not perceive what was doing at their bowsprit's cap.

"She is ours now," said Captain Lumley to the first lieutenant.

"Yes, sir —fast enough. I think, if the fog were to clear away, they would haul down their colours."

"Not till the last, depend upon it," replied Captain Lumley. "Fire away there, on the main-deck, give them no time to take breath. Mr. Campbell, tell the second lieutenant to let the foremost lower deck guns be pointed more aft. I say, not till the last," repeated Captain Lumley to the first lieutenant; "these republicans will take a great deal of beating, even upon the water."

"It's clearing up, sir, to the northward a little," said the master.

"I see —yes, it is," replied Captain Lumley. "Well, the sooner the better; we shall see what has become of all the shot we have been throwing away."

A white silvery line appeared on the horizon, to the northward; gradually it increased, and as it rose up, became broader, till at last the curtain was lifted up, and a few feet were to be seen above the clear blue water. As it continued to approach, the light became more vivid, the space below increased, and the water was ruffled with the coming wind, till at last the fog rolled off as if it had been gradually furled, and sweeping away in a heavy bank to leeward, exposed the state and position of the whole convoy, and the contending vessels. The English seamen on board of the Portsmouth cheered the return of daylight, as it might truly be termed. Captain Lumley found that they had been contending in the very centre of the convoy, which were still lying around them, with the exception of about fifteen vessels, which were a few miles apart, with their heads in an opposite direction. These were evidently those which had been captured. The two frigates, which had been stationed in the rear of the convoy, were still two or three miles distant, but making all sail to come up and assist the Portsmouth. Many of the convoy, which had been in the direction of the fire, appeared to have suffered in their masts and sails; but whether any injury had been received in their hulls it was not possible to say. The French line-of-battle ship had suffered dreadfully from the fire of the Portsmouth. Her main-mast and mizen-mast were over the side, her forward ports were many of them almost beat into one, and everything on board appeared to be in the greatest confusion.

"She can't stand this long," observed Captain Lumley. "Fire away, my lads."

"The Circe and Vixen are coming down to us, sir," observed the first lieutenant; "we do not want them, and they will only be an excuse for the Frenchman to surrender to a superior force. If they recaptured the vessels taken, they would be of some service."

"Very true. Mr. Campbell, make their signal to pursue captured vessels."

Alfred ran aft to obey the orders. The flags had just flown out at the masthead, when he received a bullet through his arm; for, the French, unable to use the major portion of their guns, had, when the fog cleared up, poured in incessant volleys of musketry upon the decks of the Portsmouth. Alfred desired the quartermaster to untie his neck-handkerchief for him, and bind up his arm. Having so done, he continued to do his duty. A bold attempt was now made by the French to clear their vessel by cutting the fastenings of the bowsprit, but the marines of the Portsmouth were prepared for them, and after about twenty gallant fellows had dropped down on the booms and gangways of the Portsmouth, the attempt was given up, and four minutes afterwards the French colours were hauled down. She was boarded from her bowsprit by the first lieutenant and a party of seamen. The lashings were cast off, and the vessels cleared of each other, and then the English seamen gave three cheers in honour of the victory.

Chapter V.

The French sixty-gun ship proved to be the Leonidas; she had been sent out with two large frigates on purpose to intercept the convoy, but she had parted with her consorts in a gale of wind. Her loss of men was very great; that on board of the Portsmouth was trifling. In a couple of hours the Portsmouth and her prize in tow were ready to proceed with the convoy, but they still remained hove-to, to wait for the frigates which were in chase of the captured vessels. All of these were speedily come up with except the London Merchant, which sailed so remarkably well. At last, to the great joy of Alfred (who as soon as the bullet had been extracted and his arm dressed, had held his telescope fixed upon the chase), she hove-to, and was taken possession of. Before night, the convoy were again collected together, and were steering for their destination. The next morning was clear, and the breeze moderate. Mrs. Campbell, who, as well as all the rest, was very anxious about Alfred, requested Captain Wilson to run down to the Portsmouth, that they might ascertain if he was safe. Captain Wilson did as she requested, and writing in chalk "all well" on large letters upon the log-board, held it over the side as he passed close to the Portsmouth. Alfred was not on deck —fever had compelled him to remain in his hammock —but Captain Lumley made the same reply on the log-board of the Portsmouth, and Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were satisfied.

"How I should like to see him," said Mrs. Campbell.

"Yes, madam," observed Captain Wilson, "but they have too much to do on board of the Portsmouth just now; they have to repair damages and to look after the wounded; they have a great quantity of prisoners on board, as you may see, for a great many are now on the booms; they have no time for compliments."

"That is very true," replied Mr. Campbell, "we must wait till we arrive at Quebec."

"But we did not see Alfred," said Emma.

"No, miss, because he was busy enough below, and I daresay no one told him. They have said that all's well, and that is sufficient; and now we must haul off again, for with such a heavy ship in tow, Captain Lumley will not thank me if I am always coming so close to him."

"I am satisfied, Captain Wilson, pray do nothing that might displease Captain Lumley. We shall soon see Alfred, I daresay, with the spyglass."

"I see him now," said Mary Percival, "he has his telescope, and he is waving his hat to me."

"Thank God," replied Mrs. Campbell; "now I am satisfied."

The Portsmouth cast off the French line-of-battle ship, as soon as they had jury-masts up and could make sail on them, and the convoy proceeded to the mouth of the St. Lawrence.

"Captain Wilson," said Percival, whose eyes were fixed on the water, "what animals are those, tumbling about and blowing —those great white things?"

"They are what are called the white whale, Percival," replied Captain Wilson; "they are not often seen, except about here."

"Then what is the colour of the other whales?"

"The northern whales are black —they are called the black whales; but the southern, or spermaceti whales, arc not so dark in colour."

Captain Wilson then, at Percival's request, gave him an account of how the whales were caught, for he had been several voyages himself in the northern whale fishery.

Percival was never tired of asking questions, and Captain Wilson was very kind to him, and always answered him. John, generally speaking, stood by when Captain Wilson was talking, looking very solemn and very attentive, but not saying a word.

"Well, John," said Emma to him after the conversation had been ended, "what was Captain Wilson telling you about?"

"Whales," replied John, walking past her.

"Well, but is that all you can tell me, John?"

"Yes," replied John, walking away.

"At all events, Miss Emma, he keeps all his knowledge to himself," observed Captain Wilson, laughing.

"Yes; I shall know nothing about the whale-fishery, unless you will condescend to tell me yourself, that is evident," replied Emma, taking the offered arm of Captain Wilson, who, at her request, immediately resumed the subject.

In three weeks from the date of the action they had anchored off the town of Quebec.

As soon as they had anchored, Alfred obtained leave to go on board of the London Merchant, and then, for the first time, his family knew that he had been wounded. His arm was still in a sling, but was healing fast.

I shall pass over the numerous inquiries on his part relative to their capture and recapture, and on theirs, as to the action with the French ship.

While they were in conversation, Captain Lumley was reported to be coming on board in his boat. They went on the deck of the vessel to receive him.

"Well, Mrs. Campbell," said Captain Lumley after the first salutations were over, "you must congratulate me on my having captured a vessel somewhat larger than my own; and I must congratulate you on the conduct and certain promotion of your son Alfred. He has richly deserved it."

"I am very thankful, Captain Lumley, and do most heartily congratulate you," replied Mrs. Campbell; "I only regret that my boy has been wounded."

"The very thing that you should, on the contrary, be thankful for, Mrs. Campbell," replied Captain Lumley. "It is the most fortunate wound in the world, as it not only adds to his claims, but enables me to let him join you and go to Canada with you, without it being supposed that he has quitted the service."

"How so, Captain Lumley?"

"I can discharge him to sick-quarters here at Quebec. If they think anything about it at all at home, it will be that his wound is much more severe than it really is; and he can remain on half-pay as long as he pleases. There are plenty ready to be employed. But I cannot wait any longer. I am going on shore to call upon the Governor, and I thought I would just see you in my way. You may assure yourselves that if I can be of any use to you, I will not fail to exert any little influence I may have."

Captain Lumley then took a cordial leave of the whole party, telling Alfred that he might consider himself as discharged from the ship, and might rejoin his family.

"Heaven sends us friends when we most need them and least expect them," said Mrs. Campbell, as she watched the boat pulling away. "Who would have imagined, when we anchored at Cork, that such good fortune should have awaited us; and that, at the very time Alfred had given up his profession for our sake, his promotion in the service was awaiting him?"

Shortly afterwards Mrs. Campbell and Henry went on shore with Captain Wilson to look out for lodgings, and present the letters of introduction which he had received for some Quebec merchants. As they were looking for lodgings in company with a Mr. Farquhar, who had kindly volunteered to assist them, they met Captain Lumley on his return from the Governor.

"I am glad to have met you, Mrs. Campbell," said Captain Lumley; "I found, on paying my respects to the Governor, that there is what they call the Admiralty House here, which is kept furnished by Government for the senior officers of His Majesty's ships. It is at my disposal; and as the Governor has requested me to take up my abode at Government House, I beg you will consider it at your service. You will find better accommodation there than in lodgings, and it will save you considerable expense."

"We need look no farther, Mrs. Campbell," said Mr. Farquhar.

Mrs. Campbell expressed her acknowledgements to Captain Lumley, and returned on board with this pleasing intelligence.

"Oh, Alfred, how much we are indebted to you, my dear boy," said Mrs. Campbell.

"To me, mother? —to Captain Lumley, I should rather think."

"Yes, to Captain Lumley, I grant; but still it has been your good conduct when under his command which has made him attached to you; and it is to that we owe his acquaintance, and all the kindness we have received from him."

The next day the family disembarked and took possession of the Admiralty House. Mr. Farquhar procured them a female servant, who, with a man and his wife left in charge of the house, supplied all the attendance they required. Mrs. Campbell settled with Captain Wilson, who very generously refused to take any money for Alfred's passage, as he had not remained on board of the London Merchant: promising, however, to accept their invitation to come to them whenever he could find leisure, he took leave of them for the present, and they were left alone in their new residence.

In a few days the Campbells found themselves comfortably settled in the Admiralty House, but they had no intention of remaining there longer than was necessary; as, notwithstanding the accommodation, their residence at Quebec was attended with expense, and Mr. Campbell was aware that he had no money to throw away.

On the fourth day after their landing Captain Lumley called to take leave; but the day previous he had introduced them to the Governor, who returned Mr. Campbell's call, and appeared to be much interested in their welfare, owing of course to the representations of Captain Lumley. It was not, therefore, surprising that they should part with regret from one who had proved himself such a kind friend; and many were the expressions of gratitude which were made by the whole party. Captain Lumley shook hands with them all; and, assuring Alfred that he would not lose sight of his interests, wished them every success, and left the house. An hour afterwards the Portsmouth was under weigh, and running out with a fine breeze.

On the following day the Governor requested Mr. Campbell would call upon him; and when they met, he pointed out to him that he would have great difficulties, and, he was fearful, great hardships, to encounter in following up his plan of settling in Upper Canada. He did not dissuade him from so doing, as he had nothing more promising to offer which might induce him to change his mind, but he thought it right to forewarn him of trials, that he might be well prepared.

"I feel, of course, a strong interest in any English family, so well brought up, and accustomed, as I find yours has been, to luxury, being placed in such a situation; and the interest which my old friend, Captain Lumley, takes in you, is quite sufficient to induce me to offer you every assistance in my power: that you may depend upon, Mr. Campbell. The Surveyor-General is coming here immediately, I must first introduce you to him, as it is from him that the land must be obtained, and of course he can advise you well on the point of locality; but you must recollect that it is not much more than thirty years since these provinces have been surrendered to Great Britain, and that not only the French population, but the Indians, are very hostile to the English, for the Indians were, and still are, firm allies to the French, and detest us. I have been reflecting upon the affair, and I hope to be of some service to you; if I am not, it will not, I assure you, be from any want of will; under every advantage which may be procured for you, at all events, you will require stout hearts and able hands. Your son Alfred will be of great service, but we must try and procure you some other assistance that can be trusted."

A long conversation then took place between the Governor and Mr. Campbell, during which the latter received much valuable information: it was interrupted, however, by the arrival of the Surveyor-General, and the topic was resumed.

"The land that I would propose for Mr. Campbell," observed the Surveyor-General, after a time, "if there is no objection to part with it, is a portion of what has been laid aside as Government reserve on this part of the Lake Ontario; there are lands to be obtained nearer to Montreal, but all the land of good quality has been purchased. This land, you will observe, Mr. Campbell, is peculiarly good, having some few acres of what we call prairie, or natural meadow. It has also the advantage of running with a large frontage on the beach, and there is a small river on one side of it; besides, it is not a great distance, perhaps four or five miles, from Fort Frontignac, and it might be easy to obtain assistance if required."

The Surveyor-General pointed to a part of the map, near to Presqu'Ile de Quinte, as he made this observation to the Governor.

"I agree with you," replied the Governor, "and I observe that there is already a settler on the other side of the stream."

"Yes, sir," replied the Surveyor; "that allotment was granted before it was decided that the rest should be a Government reserve; and if proof were required of the goodness of the land, it would be found in the person who took it. It was taken four years ago by the old hunter, Malachi Bone; he has been over every part of it, of course, and knows what it is. You recollect the man, don't you, sir? He was a guide to the English army before the surrender of Quebec; General Wolfe had a high opinion of him, and his services were so good that he was allowed that tract of one hundred and fifty acres."

"I now remember him," replied the Governor, "but as I have not seen him for so many years, he had escaped my recollection."

"It will be a great advantage to you, Mr. Campbell, having this man as a neighbour."

"Now," continued the Governor, addressing the Surveyor-General, "do you know of any person who would be willing to serve Mr. Campbell, and who can be depended upon; of course one who understands the country, and who would be really useful?"

"Yes, Governor, I do know a very good man, and you know him also; but you know the worst part of him, for he is generally in trouble when you see him."

"Who is that?"

"Martin Super, the trapper."

"Why, that is the young fellow who breeds such disturbances, and who, if I recollect right, is now in prison for a riot."

"The very same, sir; but Martin Super, although a troublesome fellow at Quebec, is worth his weight in gold when he is out of the town. You may think it strange, Mr. Campbell, that I should recommend a man who appears to be so unruly a character; but the fact is, that the trappers, who go in pursuit of the game for their skins, after having been out for months, undergoing every privation that can be imagined, return home with their packages of skins, which they dispose of to the merchants of this town; and as soon as they have their money, they never cease their revelry of every description until their earnings are all gone, and then they set off again on their wild and venturous pursuit. Now Martin Super, like all the rest, must have his fun when he comes back, and being a very wild fellow, he is often in scrapes when he has drunk too much, so that he is occasionally put into prison for being riotous; but I know him well, he has been with me surveying for months, and when he is on service, a more steady, active, and brave man I do not know."

"I believe you are right in recommending him," observed the Governor, "he will not be sorry to get out of gaol, and I have no doubt but that he will conduct himself well if he once agrees to take your service, Mr. Campbell, for one or two years. As for the Canadians, they are very harmless, but at the same time very useless. There are exceptions, no doubt; but their general character is anything but that of activity and courage. As I said before, you will require stout hearts, and Martin Super is one, that is certain. Perhaps you can arrange this for Mr. Campbell."

The Surveyor-General promised to do so; shortly after which, Mr. Campbell, with many thanks, took his leave of the Governor.

Mr. Campbell, who had gained every possible information relative to what would be most necessary for him to take with him, was actively employed for a fortnight in making his purchases. During this time much attention was shown to them both by the English and French residents at Quebec. Alfred, whose wound was now nearly healed, was as active as usual, and Henry was of great assistance to his father in taking inventories and making out lists, etc. Nor were Mrs. Campbell and the two girls unemployed; they had purchased the coarse manufactures of the country, and were very busy making dresses for themselves and for the children. Mr. Campbell had been one morning at Mr. Farquhar's, the merchant's, to make inquiries about a conveyance up to his new purchase (for he had concluded his arrangements with the Surveyor-General), when the Governor sent a message by one of his aides-de-camp, to say that it was his intention in the course of ten days to send a detachment of soldiers up to Fort Frontignac —news having been received that the garrison was weakened by a fever which had broken out; and that if Mr. Campbell would like to avail himself of the opportunity, he and his family, and all his luggage, should go under the escort of the officers and troops. This offer was of course joyfully accepted, and on Mr. Campbell's calling upon the Governor to return his thanks, the latter told him that there would be plenty of room in the bateaux and canoes for them and all their luggage, and that he need not give himself further trouble, or incur any further expense.

Chapter VI.

The next day the Surveyor-General called, bringing with him Martin Super, the trapper.

"Mr. Campbell," said the Surveyor, "this is my friend Martin Super; I have spoken to him, and he has consented to take service for one year, and he will remain, if he is satisfied. If he serves you as well as he has served me when I have travelled through the country, I have no doubt but you will find him a valuable assistant."

Martin Super was rather tall, very straight-limbed, showing both activity and strength. His head was smaller than usually is the case, which gave him the appearance of great lightness and agility. His countenance was very pleasing, being expressive of continual good humour which was indeed but corresponding to his real character. He was dressed in a sort of hunting-coat of deer-skin, blue cloth leggings, a cap of racoon's skin, with a broad belt round his waist, in which he wore his knife.

"Now, Martin Super, I will read the terms of the agreement between you and Mr. Campbell, that you may see if all is as you wish."

The Surveyor-General read the agreement, and Martin Super nodded his head in acquiescence.

"Mr. Campbell, if you are satisfied, you may now sign it; Martin shall do the same."

Mr. Campbell signed his name and handed the pen to Martin Super, who then for the first time spoke.

"Surveyor, I don't know how my name is spelt; and if I did, I couldn't write it, so I must do it Indian fashion, and put my totem to it."

"What is your name among the Indians, Martin?"

"The Painter," replied Martin, who then made, under Mr. Campbell's signature, a figure like [...] saying, "There, that's my name as near as I can draw it."

"Very good," replied the Surveyor-General; "here is the document all right, Mr. Campbell. Ladies, I fear I must run away, for I have an engagement. I will leave Martin Super, Mr. Campbell, as you would probably like a little conversation together."

The Surveyor-General then took his leave, and Martin Super remained. Mrs. Campbell was the first who spoke. "Super," said she, "I hope we shall be very good friends, but now tell me what you mean by your —totem, I think you called it?"

"Why, ma'am, a totem is an Indian's mark, and you know I am almost an Indian myself. All the Indian chiefs have their totems. One is called the Great Otter; another the Serpent, and so on, and so they sign a figure like the animal they are named from. Then, ma'am, you see, we trappers, who almost live with them, have names given to us also, and they have called me the Painter."

"Why did they name you the Painter?"

"Because I killed two of them in one day."

"Killed two painters!" cried the girls.

"Yes, miss; killed them both with my rifle."

"But why did you kill the men?" said Emma; "was it in battle?"

"Kill the men; miss? I said nothing about men; I said I killed two painters," replied Martin, laughing, and showing a row of teeth as white as ivory.

"What is a painter, then, Super?" inquired Mrs. Campbell.

"Why, it's an animal, and a very awkward creature, I can tell you, sometimes."

"The drawing is something like a panther, mamma," exclaimed Mary.

"Well, miss, it may be a panther, but we only know them by the other name."

Mr. Farquhar then came in, and the question was referred to him; he laughed and told them that painters were a species of panther, not spotted, but tawny-coloured, and at times very dangerous.

"Do you know the part of the country where we are going to?" said Henry to Super.

"Yes, I have trapped thereabouts for months, but the beavers are scarce now."

"Are there any other animals there?"

"Yes," replied Martin, "small game, as we term it."

"What sort are they?"

"Why, there's painters, and bears, and cat-a'-mountains."

"Mercy on us! do you call that small game; why, what must the large be, then?" said Mrs. Campbell.

"Buffaloes, missus, is what we call big game."

"But the animals you speak of are not good eating, Super," said Mrs. Campbell, "is there no game that we can eat?"

"Oh, yes, plenty of deer and wild turkey, and bear's good eating, I reckon."

"Ah! that sounds better."

After an hour's conversation, Martin Super was dismissed; the whole of the family (except Alfred, who was not at home) very much pleased with what they had seen of him.

A few days after this, Martin Super, who had now entered upon service, and was very busy with Alfred, with whom he had already become a favourite, was sent for by Mr. Campbell, who read over to him the inventory of the articles which they had, and inquired of him if there was anything else which might be necessary or advisable to take with them.

"You said something about guns," replied Martin, "what sort of guns did you mean?"

"We have three fowling-pieces and three muskets, besides pistols."

"Fowling-pieces —they are bird-guns, I believe —no use at all; muskets are soldiers' tools —no use; pistols are pops, and nothing better. You have no rifles; you can't go into the woods without rifles. I have got mine, but you must have some."

"Well, I believe you are right, Martin; it never occurred to me. How many ought we to have?"

"Well, that's according —how many be you in family?"

"We are five males and three females."

"Well, then, sir, say ten rifles; that will be quite sufficient. Two spare ones in case of accident," replied Martin.

"Why, Martin," said Mrs. Campbell, "you do not mean that the children and these young ladies and I are to fire off rifles?"

"I do mean to say, ma'am, that before I was as old as that little boy," pointing to John, "I could hit a mark well; and a woman ought at least to know how to prime and load a rifle, even if she does not fire it herself. It is a deadly weapon, ma'am, and the greatest leveller in creation, for the trigger pulled by a child will settle the business of the stoutest man. I don't mean to say that we may be called to use them in that way, but it's always better to have them, and to let other people know that you have them, and all ready loaded too, if required."

"Well, Martin," said Mr. Campbell, "I agree with you, it is better to be well prepared. We will have the ten rifles, if we can afford to purchase them. What will they cost?"

"About sixteen dollars will purchase the best, sir; but I think I had better choose them for you, and try them before you purchase."

"Do so, then, Super; Alfred will go with you as soon as he comes back, and you and he can settle the matter."

"Why, Super," observed Mrs. Campbell, "you have quite frightened us women at the idea of so many firearms being required."

"If Pontiac was alive, missus, they would all be required, but he's gone now; still there are many outlying Indians, as we call them, who are no better than they should be; and I always like to see rifles ready loaded. Why, ma'am, suppose now that all the men were out in the woods, and a bear should pay you a visit during our absence, would it not be just as well for to have a loaded rifle ready for him; and would not you or the young misses willingly prefer to pull the trigger at him than to be hugged in his fashion?"

"Martin Super, you have quite convinced me: I shall not only learn to load a rifle but to fire one also."

"And I'll teach the boys the use of them, ma'am, and they will then add to your defence."

"You shall do so, Martin," replied Mrs. Campbell; "I am convinced that you are quite right."

When Super had quitted the room, which he did soon afterwards, Mr. Campbell observed: "I hope, my dear, that you and the girls are not terrified by the remarks of Martin. It is necessary to be well armed when isolated as we shall be, and so far from any assistance; but it does not follow, because we ought to be prepared against danger, that such danger should occur."

"I can answer for myself, my dear Campbell," replied his wife; "I am prepared, if necessary, to meet danger, and do what a weak woman can do; and I feel what Martin says is but too true, that, with a rifle in the hand, a woman or a child is on a par with the strongest man."

"And I, my dear uncle," said Mary Percival, "shall, I trust, with the blessing of God, know how to do my duty, however peculiar the circumstances may be to a female."

"And I, my dear uncle," followed up Emma, laughing, "infinitely prefer firing off a rifle to being hugged by a bear or an Indian, because of two evils one should always choose the least."

"Well, then, I see Martin has done no harm, but, on the contrary, he has done good. It is always best to be prepared for the worst, and to trust to Providence for aid in peril."

At last all the purchases were completed, and everything was packed up and ready for embarkation. Another message from the Governor was received, stating that in three days the troops would be embarked, and also informing Mr. Campbell that if he had not purchased any cows or horses, the officer at Fort Frontignac had more cattle than were requisite, and could supply him; which, perhaps, would be preferable to carrying them up so far. Mr. Campbell had spoken about, but not finally settled for, the cows, and therefore was glad to accept the Governor's offer. This message was accompanied with a note of invitation to Mr. Campbell, the ladies, and Henry and Alfred, to take a farewell dinner at Government House the day before their departure. The invitation was accepted, and Mr. Campbell was introduced to the officer commanding the detachment which was about to proceed to Fort Frontignac, and received from him every assurance of his doing all he could to make them comfortable. The kindness of the Governor did not end here: he desired the officer to take two large tents for the use of Mr. Campbell, to be returned to the fort when the house had been built, and they were completely settled. He even proposed that Mrs. Campbell and the Misses Percival should remain at Government House until Mr. Campbell had made every preparation to receive them; but this Mrs. Campbell would not consent to, and, with many thanks, she declined the offer.

Chapter VII.

Although it was now the middle of May, it was but a few days before their departure that there was the least sign of verdure, or the trees had burst into leaf; but in the course of the three days before they quitted Quebec, so rapid was the vegetation, that it appeared as if summer had come upon them all at once. The heat was also very great, although, when they had landed, the weather was piercing cold; but in Canada, as well as in all Northern America, the transitions from heat to cold, and from cold to heat, are very rapid.

My young readers will be surprised to hear that when the winter sets in at Quebec, all the animals required for the winter's consumption are at once killed. If the troops are numerous, perhaps three or four hundred bullocks are slaughtered and hung up. Every family kill their cattle, their sheep, pigs, turkeys, fowls, etc., and all are put up in the garrets, where the carcases immediately freeze hard, and remain quite good and sweet during the six or seven months of severe winter which occur in that climate. When any portion of meat is to be cooked, it is gradually thawed in lukewarm water, and after that is put to the fire. If put at once to the fire in its frozen state, it spoils. There is another strange circumstance which occurs in these cold latitudes; a small fish, called the snow-fish, is caught during the winter by making holes in the thick ice, and these fish coming to the holes in thousands to breathe, are thrown out with hand-nets upon the ice, where they become in a few minutes frozen quite hard, so that, if you wish it, you may break them in half like a rotten stick. The cattle are fed upon these fish during the winter months. But it has been proved, which is very strange, that if, after they have been frozen for twenty-four hours or more, you put these fish into water and gradually thaw them as you do the meat, they will recover and swim about again as well as ever. To proceed, however, with our history—

Mr. Campbell found that, after all his expenses, he had still three hundred pounds left, and this money he left in the Quebec Bank, to use as he might find necessary. His expenditure had been very great. First, there was the removal of so large a family, and the passage out; then he had procured at Liverpool a large quantity of cutlery and tools, furniture, etc., all of which articles were cheaper there than at Quebec. At Quebec he had also much to purchase: all the most expensive portion of his house; such as windows ready glazed, stoves, boarding for floors, cupboards, and partitions; salt provisions, crockery of every description, two small waggons ready to be put together, several casks of nails, and a variety of things which it would be too tedious to mention. Procuring these, with the expenses of living, had taken away all his money, except the three hundred pounds I have mentioned.

It was on the 13th of May that the embarkation took place, and it was not until the afternoon that all was prepared, and Mrs. Campbell and her nieces were conducted down to the bateaux, which lay at the wharf, with the troops all ready on board of them. The Governor and his aides-de-camp, besides many other influential people of Quebec, escorted them down, and as soon as they had paid their adieus, the word was given, the soldiers in the bateaux gave three cheers, and away they went from the wharf into the stream. For a short time there was waving of handkerchiefs and other tokens of good-will on the part of those who were on the wharf; but that was soon left behind them, and the family found themselves separated from their acquaintances, and silently listening to the measured sound of the oars as they dropped into the water.

And it is not to be wondered at that they were silent, for all were occupied with their own thoughts. They called to mind the beautiful park at Wexton, which they had quitted, after having resided there so long and so happily; the Hall, with all its splendour and all its comfort, rose up in their remembrance; each room with its furniture, each window with its view, was recalled to their memories; they had crossed the Atlantic, and were now about to leave civilisation and comfort behind them —to isolate themselves in the Canadian woods —to trust to their own resources, their own society, and their own exertions. It was, indeed, the commencement of a new life, and for which they felt themselves little adapted, after the luxuries they had enjoyed in their former condition; but if their thoughts and reminiscences made them grave and silent, they did not make them despairing or repining; they trusted to that Power who alone could protect —who gives and who takes away, and doeth with us as He judges best; and if hope was not buoyant in all of them, still there was confidence, resolution, and resignation. Gradually they were roused from their reveries by the beauty of the scenery and the novelty of what met their sight; the songs, also, of the Canadian boatmen were musical and cheering, and by degrees, they had all recovered their usual good spirits.

Alfred was the first to shake off his melancholy feelings and to attempt to remove them from others; nor was he unsuccessful. The officer who commanded the detachment of troops, and who was in the same bateau with the family, had respected their silence upon their departure from the wharf —perhaps he felt much as they did. His name was Sinclair, and his rank that of senior captain in the regiment —a handsome, florid young man, tall and well made, very gentleman-like, and very gentle in his manners.

"How very beautiful the foliage is on that point, mother," said Alfred, first breaking the silence; "what a contrast between the leaves of the sycamore, so transparent and yellow, with the sun behind them, and the new shoots of the spruce fir."

"It is, indeed, very lovely," replied Mrs. Campbell; "and the branches of the trees, feathering down as they do to the surface of the water—"

"Like good Samaritans," said Emma, "extending their arms, that any unfortunate drowning person who was swept away by the stream might save himself by their assistance."

"I had no idea that trees had so much charity or reflection, Emma," rejoined Alfred.

"I cannot answer or their charity, but, by the side of this clear water, you must allow them reflection, cousin," replied Emma.

"I presume you will add vanity to their attributes?" answered Alfred; "for they certainly appear to be hanging over the stream that they may look and admire themselves in the glassy mirror.

"Pretty well that for a midshipman; I was not aware that they used such choice language in a cockpit," retorted the young lady.

"Perhaps not, cousin," answered Alfred; "but when sailors are in the company of ladies, they become refined, from the association."

"Well, I must admit, Alfred, that you are a great deal more polished after you have been a month on shore."

"Thank you, cousin Emma, even for that slight admission," replied Alfred, laughing.

"But what is that?" said Mary Percival, "at the point, is it a village —one, two, three houses —just opening upon us?"

"That is a raft, Miss Percival, which is coming down the river," replied Captain Sinclair. "You will see, when we are nearer to it, that perhaps it covers two acres of water, and there are three tiers of timber on it. These rafts are worth many thousand pounds. They are first framed with logs, fastened by wooden tree-nails, and the timber placed within the frame. There are, perhaps, from forty to a hundred people on this raft to guide it down the stream, and the houses you see are built on it for the accommodation of these people. I have seen as many as fifteen houses upon a raft, which will sometimes contain the cargoes of thirty or forty large ships."

"It is very wonderful how they guide and direct it down the stream," said Mr. Campbell.

"It is very dexterous; and it seems strange that such an enormous mass can be so guided, but it is done, as you will perceive; there are three or four rudders made of long sweeps, and, as you may observe, several sweeps on each side."

All the party were now standing up in the sternsheets of the bateau to look at the people on the raft, who amounted to about fifty or sixty men —now running over the top to one side, and dragging at the sweeps, which required the joint power of seven or eight men to each of them —now passing again over to the opposite sweeps, as directed by the steersmen. The bateau kept well in to the shore, out of the way, and the raft passed them very quickly. As soon as it was clear of the point, as their course to Quebec was now straight, and there was a slight breeze down the river, the people on board of the raft hoisted ten or fifteen sails upon different masts, to assist them in their descent; and this again excited the admiration of the party.

The conversation now became general, until the bateaux were made fast to the shores of the river, while the men took their dinners, which had been prepared for them before they left Quebec. After a repose of two hours, they again started, and at nightfall arrived at St. Anne's, where they found everything ready for their reception. Although their beds were composed of the leaves of the maize or Indian corn, they were so tired that they found them very comfortable, and at daylight arose, quite refreshed and anxious to continue their route. Martin Super, who, with the two youngest boys, had been placed in a separate boat, had been very attentive to the comforts of the ladies after their debarkation; and it appeared that he had quite won the hearts of the two boys by his amusing anecdotes during the day.

Soon after their embarkation, the name of Pontiac being again mentioned by Captain Sinclair, Mrs. Campbell observed—

"Our man Super mentioned that name before. I confess that I do not know anything of Canadian affairs: I know only that Pontiac was an Indian chief. Can you, Captain Sinclair, give us any information relative to a person who appears so well known in the province?"

"I shall be happy, Mrs. Campbell, as far as I am able, to satisfy you. On one point, I can certainly speak with confidence, as my uncle was one of the detachment in the fort of Detroit at the time that it was so nearly surprised, and he has often told the history of the affair in my presence. Pontiac was chief of all the Lake tribes of Indians. I will not repeat the names of the different tribes, but his own particular tribe was that of the Ottawas. He ruled at the time that the Canadas were surrendered to us by the French. At first, although very proud and haughty, and claiming the sovereignty of the country, he was very civil to the English, or at least appeared so to be; for the French had given us so bad a reputation with all the northern tribes, that they had hitherto shown nothing but the most determined hostility, and appeared to hate our very name. They are now inclined to quiet, and it is to be hoped their fear of us, after the several conflicts between us, will induce them to remain so. You are, perhaps, aware that the French had built many forts at the most commanding spots in the interior and on the lakes, all of which, when they gave up the country, were garrisoned by our troops, to keep the Indians under control.

"All these forts are isolated, and communication between them is rare. It was in 1763 that Pontiac first showed his hostility against us, and his determination, if possible, to drive us from the lakes. He was as cunning as he was brave; and, as a Indian, showed more generalship than might be expected —that is, according to their system of war, which is always based upon stratagem. His plan of operation was, to surprise all our forts at the same time, if he possibly could; and so excellent were his arrangements, that it was only fifteen days after the plan was first laid that he succeeded in gaining possession of all but three; that is, he surprised ten out of thirteen forts. Of course, the attacks were made by other chiefs, under his directions, as Pontiac could not be at all the simultaneous assaults."

"Did he murder the garrisons, Captain Sinclair?" said Alfred.

"The major portion of them: some were spared, and afterwards were ransomed at high prices. I ought to have mentioned, as a singular instance of the advance of this chief in comparison with the other Indians, that at this time he issued bills of credit on slips of bark, signed with his totem, the otter; and that these bills, unlike many of more civilised society, were all taken up and paid."

"That is very remarkable in a savage," observed Mrs. Campbell; "but how did Pontiac contrive to surprise all the forts?"

"Almost the whole of them were taken by a singular stratagem. The Indians are very partial to, and exceedingly dexterous at, a game called the 'Baggatiway': it is played with a ball and a long-handled sort of racket. They divide into two parties, and the object of each party is to drive the ball to their own goal. It is something like hurly in England or golf in Scotland. Many hundreds are sometimes engaged on both sides; and the Europeans are so fond of seeing the activity and dexterity shown by the Indians at this game, that it was very common to request them to play it, when they happened to be near the forts. Upon this, Pontiac arranged his plan, which was that his Indians should commence the game of ball under the forts, and after playing a short time, strike the ball into the fort: of course, some of them would go in for it; and having done this two or three times, and recommenced the play to avoid suspicion, they were to strike it over again, and follow it up by a rush after it through the gates; and then, when they were all in, they would draw their concealed weapons, and overpower the unsuspicious garrison."

It was certainly a very ingenious stratagem, observed Mrs. Campbell.

"And it succeeded, as I have observed, except on three forts. The one which Pontiac directed the attack upon himself, and which was that which he was most anxious to obtain, was Detroit, in which, as I have before observed, my uncle was garrisoned; but there he failed, and by a singular circumstance."

"Pray tell us how, Captain Sinclair," said Emma; "you don't know how much you have interested me."

"And me, too, Captain Sinclair," continued Mary.

"I am very happy that I have been able to wear away any portion of your tedious journey, Miss Percival, so I shall proceed with my history.

"The fort of Detroit was garrisoned by about three hundred men, when Pontiac arrived there with a large force of Indians, and encamped under the walls, but he had his warriors so mixed up with the women and children, and brought so many articles for trade, that no suspicion was created. The garrison had not heard of the capture of the other forts which had already taken place. At the same time the unusual number of the Indians was pointed out to Major Gladwin, who commanded the fort, but he had no suspicions. Pontiac sent word to the major, that he wished to 'have a talk' with him, in order to cement more fully the friendship between the Indians and the English; and to this Major Gladwin consented, appointing the next day to receive Pontiac and his chiefs in the fort.

"Now it so happened, that Major Gladwin had employed an Indian woman to make him a pair of mocassins out of a very curious-marked elk-skin. The Indian woman brought him the mocassins with the remainder of the skin. The major was so pleased with them that he ordered her to make him a second pair of mocassins out of the skin, and then told her that she might keep the remainder for herself. The woman having received the order, quitted the major, but instead of leaving the fort, remained loitering about till she was observed, and they inquired why she did not go. She replied, that she wanted to return the rest of the skin, as he set so great a value on it; and as this appeared strange conduct, she was questioned, and then she said, that if she took away the skin then, she never would be able to return it.

"Major Gladwin sent for the woman, upon hearing of the expressions which she had used, and it was evident that she wanted to communicate something, but was afraid; but on being pressed hard and encouraged, and assured of protection, she then informed Major Gladwin, that Pontiac and his chiefs were to come into the fort to-morrow, under the plea of holding a talk; but that they had cut the barrels of their rifles short, to conceal them under their blankets, and that it was their intention at a signal given by Pontiac to murder Major Gladwin and all his officers who were at the council; while the other warriors, who would also come into the fort with concealed arms under pretence of trading, would attack the garrison outside.

"Having obtained this information, Major Gladwin did all he could to put the fort into a state of defence, and took every necessary precaution. He made known to the officers and men what the intentions of the Indians were, and instructed the officers how to act at the council, and the garrison how to meet the pretended traders outside.

"About ten o'clock, Pontiac and his thirty-six chiefs, with a train of warriors, came into the fort to their pretended council, and were received with great politeness. Pontiac made his speech, and when he came forward to present the wampum belt, the receipt of which by the Major was, as the Indian woman had informed them, to be the signal for the chiefs and warriors to commence the assault, the Major and his officers drew their swords half out of their scabbards, and the troops, with their muskets loaded and bayonets fixed, appeared outside and in the council-room all ready to present. Pontiac, brave as he really was, turned pale: he perceived that he was discovered, and consequently, to avoid any open detection, he finished his speech with many professions of regard for the English. Major Gladwin then rose to reply to him, and immediately informed him that he was aware of his plot and his murderous intentions. Pontiac denied it; but Major Gladwin stepped to the chief and drawing aside his blanket, exposed his rifle cut short, which left Pontiac and his chiefs without a word to say in reply. Major Gladwin then desired Pontiac to quit the fort immediately, as otherwise he should not be able to restrain the indignation of the soldiers, who would immolate him and all his followers who were outside of the fort. Pontiac and his chiefs did not wait for a second intimation, but made all the haste they could to get outside of the gates."

"Was it prudent in Major Gladwin to allow Pontiac and his chiefs to leave, after they had come into the fort with an intent to murder him and his men?" said Henry Campbell. "Would not the major have been justified in detaining them?"

"I certainly think he would have been, and so did my uncle, but Major Gladwin thought otherwise. He said that he had promised safe conduct and protection to and from the fort before he was aware of the conspiracy; and, having made a promise, his honour would not allow him to depart from it."

"At all events, the major, if he erred, erred on the right side," observed Alfred. "I think myself that he was too scrupulous, and that I in his place should have detained some of them, if not Pontiac himself, as a hostage for the good behaviour of the rest of the tribes."

"The result proved that if Major Gladwin had done so he would have done wisely; for the next day, Pontiac, not at all disarmed by Major Gladwin's clemency, made a most furious attack upon the fort. Every stratagem was resorted to, but the attack failed. Pontiac then invested it, cut off all their supplies, and the garrison was reduced to great distress. But I must break off now, for here we are at Trois Rivières, where we shall remain for the night. I hope you will not find your accommodations very uncomfortable, Mrs. Campbell: I fear as we advance you will have to put up with worse."

"And we are fully prepared for it, Captain Sinclair," replied Mr. Campbell; "but my wife and my nieces have too much good sense to expect London hotels in the wilds of Canada."

The bateaux were now on shore, and the party landed to pass the night at the small stockaded village of Trois Rivières.

Chapter VIII.

Captain Sinclair having stated that they would have a longer journey on the following day, and that it would be advisable to start as soon as possible, they rose at daylight, and in half an hour had breakfasted and were again in the boats. Soon after they had pushed into the stream and hoisted the sails, for the wind was fair, Mr. Campbell inquired how far they had to go on that day.

"About fifty miles if we possibly can," replied Captain Sinclair. "We have made seventy-two miles in the first two days; but from here to Montreal, it is about ninety, and we are anxious to get the best part over to-day, so that we may land on a cleared spot which we know of, and that I feel quite sure in; for I regret to say, you must trust to your tents and your own bedding for this night, as there is no habitation large enough to receive us on the river's side, anywhere near where we wish to arrive."

"Never mind, Captain Sinclair, we shall sleep very sound, I daresay," replied Mrs. Campbell; "but where do all the rest of the party sleep? —there is only one tent."

"Oh! never mind the rest of the party; we are used to it, and your gentlemen won't mind it; some will sleep in the bateaux, some at the fire, some will watch and not sleep at all."

After some further conversation, Mary Percival observed to Captain Sinclair: "You had not, I believe, Captain Sinclair, quite finished your account of Pontiac where you left off yesterday, at the time when he was blockading the fort of Detroit. Will you oblige us by stating what afterwards took place?"

"With great pleasure, Miss Percival. There was great difficulty in relieving the fort, as all communication had been cut off; at last the Governor sent his aide-de-camp, Captain Dalyell, who contrived to throw himself in the fort with about two hundred and fifty men. He shortly afterwards sallied out to attack the entrenchments of the Indians, but Pontiac having received intelligence of his intention, laid an ambuscade for him, beat back the troops with great loss, and poor Dalyell fell in the combat, that took place near a bridge which still goes by the name of Bloody Bridge. Pontiac cut off the head of Captain Dalyell, and set it upon a post."

"So much for Major Gladwin's extreme sense of honour," exclaimed Alfred; "had he detained Pontiac as a prisoner, nothing of this would have happened."

"I agree with you, Mr. Alfred," replied Captain Sinclair, "it was letting loose a wolf; but Major Gladwin thought he was doing what was right, and therefore cannot be well blamed. After this defeat, the investment was more strict than ever, and the garrison suffered dreadfully. Several vessels which were sent out to supply the garrison fell into the hands of Pontiac, who treated the men very cruelly. What with the loss of men and constant watching, as well as the want of provisions, the garrison was reduced to the greatest privations. At last a schooner came off with supplies, which Pontiac as usual attacked with his warriors in their canoes. The schooner was obliged to stand out again, but the Indians followed, and by their incessant fire killed or wounded almost every man on board of her, and at length boarded and took possession. As they were climbing up the shrouds and over the gunnel of the vessel, the captain of the vessel, who was a most determined man, and resolved not to fall into the hands of the Indians, called out to the gunner to set fire to the magazine, and blow them all up together. This order was heard by one of Pontiac's chiefs acquainted with English; he cried out to the other Indians, and sprang away from the vessel; the other Indians followed him, and hurried away in their canoes, or by swimming as fast as they could from the vessel. The captain took advantage of the wind and arrived safe at the fort; and thus was the garrison relieved and those in the fort saved from destruction by the courage of this one man."

"You say that Pontiac is now dead, at least Martin Super told us so. How did he die, Captain Sinclair?" inquired Mrs. Campbell.

"He was killed by an Indian, but it is difficult to say why. For many years he had made friends with us and had received a liberal pension from the Government; but it appears that his hatred against the English had again broken out, and in a council held by the Indians, he proposed assailing us anew. After he had spoken, an Indian buried his knife in his heart, but whether to gratify a private animosity or to avoid a further warfare with those who had always thinned their tribes, it is difficult to ascertain. One thing is certain, that most of the Indian animosity against the English is buried with him."

"Thank you, Captain Sinclair," said Mary Percival, "for taking so much trouble. I think Pontiac's history is a very interesting one."

"There was much to admire and much to deplore in his character, and we must not judge the Indian too harshly. He was formed for command, and possessed great courage and skill in all his arrangements, independent of his having the tact to keep all the Lake tribes of Indians combined —no very easy task. That he should have endeavoured to drive us away from those lands of which he considered himself (and very correctly too) as the sovereign, is not to be wondered at, especially as our encroachments daily increased. The great fault of his character, in our eyes, was his treachery; but we must remember that the whole art of Indian warfare is based upon stratagem."

"But his attacking the fort after he had been so generously dismissed when his intentions were known, was surely very base," remarked Mrs. Campbell.

"What we consider a generous dismissal, he probably mistook for folly and weakness. The Indians have no idea of generosity in warfare. Had Pontiac been shot, he would have died bravely, and he had no idea that, because Major Gladwin did not think proper to take his life, he was therefore bound to let us remain in possession of his lands. But whatever treachery the Indians consider allowable and proper in warfare, it is not a portion of the Indian's character; for, at any other time his hospitality and good faith are not to be doubted, if he pledges himself for your safety. It is a pity that they are not Christians. Surely it would make a great improvement in a character which, even in its unenlightened state, has in it much to be admired.

"When the form of worship and creed is simple, it is difficult to make converts, and the Indian is a clear reasoner. I once had a conversation with one of the chiefs on the subject. After we had conversed for some time, he said: 'You believe in one God —so do we; you call Him one name —we call Him another; we don't speak the same language, that is the reason. You say, suppose you do good, you go to land of Good Spirits —we say so too. Then Indians and Yangees (that is, English) both try to gain same object, only try in not the same way. Now I think that it much better that as we all go along together, that every man paddle his own canoe. That my thought.'"

"It is, as you say, Captain Sinclair, difficult to argue with men who look so straight forward and are so practical in their ideas. Nevertheless," said Mrs. Campbell, "a false creed must often lead to false conduct; and whatever is estimable in the Indian character would be strengthened and improved by the infusion of Christian principles and Christian hopes, so that I must still consider it very desirable that the Indians should become Christians, and I trust that by judicious and discreet measures such a result may gradually be brought about."

It was two hours before sunset when they arrived at the spot at which they intended to pass the night; they landed, and some of the soldiers were employed in setting up the tent on a dry hillock, while others collected logs of wood for the fire. Martin Super brought on shore the bedding, and, assisted by Alfred and Henry, placed it in the tent. Captain Sinclair's canteen provided sufficient articles to enable them to make tea, and in less than half an hour the kettle was on the fire. As soon as they had partaken of these refreshments, and the contents of a basket of provisions procured at Trois Rivières, the ladies retired for the night. Captain Sinclair stationed sentinels at different posts as a security from any intruders, and then the remainder of the troops with the other males composing the party lay down with their feet towards a large fire, composed of two or three trunks of trees, which blazed for many yards in height. In a short time all was quiet, and all were in repose except the sentinels, the sergeant and corporal, and Captain Sinclair, who relieved each other.

The night passed without any disturbance, and the next morning they re-embarked and pursued their course. Before sunset, they arrived at the town of Montreal, where it had been arranged that they should wait a day. Mr. Campbell had a few purchases to make here, which he completed. It had been his intention also, to procure two of the small Canadian horses, but by the advice of Captain Sinclair, he abandoned the idea. Captain Sinclair pointed out to him, that having no forage or means of subsistence for the animals, they would be a great expense to him during the first year without being of much use; and further, that in all probability, when the garrison was relieved at Fort Frontignac on the following year, the officers would be too glad to part with their horses at a lower price than what they could be purchased for at Montreal. Having a letter of introduction to the Governor, they received every attention. The society was almost wholly French; and many of the inhabitants called out of politeness, or to satisfy their curiosity. The French ladies shrugged up their shoulders and exclaimed, "Est-il possible?" when they heard that the Campbells were about to proceed to such a distant spot and settle upon it. The French gentlemen told the Misses Percival that it was a great sacrifice to bury so much beauty in the wilderness; but what they said had little effect upon any of the party. Captain Sinclair offered to remain another day if Mr. Campbell wished it; but, on the contrary, he was anxious to arrive as soon as possible at his destination; and the following morning they again embarked, having now about three hundred and sixty miles to ascend against the current and the occasional rapids. It would take too much space if I were to narrate all that took place during their difficult ascent; how they were sometimes obliged to land and carry the cargoes off the boats; how one or two bateaux were upset and some of their stores lost; and how their privations increased on each following day of the journey. I have too much to relate to enter into this portion of the narrative, although there might be much interest in the detail; it will be sufficient to say that, after sixteen days of some peril and much fatigue, and of considerable suffering, from the clouds of mosquitoes which assailed them during the night, they were landed safely at Fort Frontignac, and treated with every attention by the commandant, who had received letters from the Governor of Quebec, desiring him to do all that he possibly could to serve them. The commandant, Colonel Foster, had showed Mr. Campbell and his party the rooms which had been provided for them, and now, for the first time after many days, they found themselves all together and alone.

After a short conversation, in which they canvassed and commented upon the kindness which they had received, and the difficulties which they had, in consequence, surmounted, during their long and tedious journey from Quebec, Mr. Campbell observed: "My dear wife and children, we have thus far proceeded without serious casualty: it has pleased the Almighty to conduct us safely over a boisterous sea, to keep our spirits up by providing us with unexpected friends and support, and we have now arrived within a few miles of our destination. But let us not suppose that our perils and difficulties are terminated; on the contrary, without wishing to dishearten you, I feel that they are about to commence. We have much privation, much fatigue, and, perhaps, much danger to encounter, before we can expect to be in comfort or in security; but we must put our trust in that gracious Providence which has hitherto so mercifully preserved us, and at the same time not relax in our own energy and industry, which must ever accompany our faith in the Divine aid. It is long since we have had an opportunity of being gathered together and alone. Let us seize this opportunity of pouring out our thanks to God for His mercies already vouchsafed, and praying for a continuance of His protection. Even in the wilderness, let us walk with Him, trust in Him, and ever keep Him in our thoughts. We must bear in mind that this entire life is but a pilgrimage; that if, during its course, we should meet with affliction or distress, it is His appointment, and designed undoubtedly for our good. It is our wisdom, as well as duty, to submit patiently to whatever may befall us, never losing our courage or becoming disheartened by suffering, but trusting to the mercy and power of Him who can and will, at His own good time, deliver us from evil." Mr. Campbell knelt down, surrounded by his family, and, in a fervent and feeling address, poured forth his thanksgiving for past mercies and humble solicitation for further assistance. So powerful and so eloquent were his words that the tears coursed down the cheeks of his wife and nieces; and when he had finished, all their hearts were so full, that they retired to their beds without further exchange of words than receiving his blessing, and wishing each other good-night.

Chapter IX.

The party were so refreshed by once more sleeping upon good beds, that they were up and dressed very early, and shortly after seven o'clock were all collected upon the rampart of the fort, surveying the landscape, which was indeed very picturesque and beautiful. Before them, to their left, the lake was spread, an inland sea, lost in the horizon, now quite calm, and near to the shores studded with small islands covered with verdant foliage, and appearing as if they floated upon the transparent water. To the westward, and in front of them, were the clearings belonging to the fort, backed with the distant woods: a herd of cattle were grazing on a portion of the cleared land; the other was divided off by a snake fence, as it is termed, and was under cultivation. Here and there a log-building was raised as a shelter for the animals during the winter, and at half a mile's distance was a small fort, surrounded with high palisades, intended as a place of retreat and security for those who might be in charge of the cattle, in case of danger or surprise. Close to the fort, a rapid stream, now from the freshets overflowing its banks, poured down its waters into the lake, running its course through a variety of shrubs and larches and occasional elms which lined its banks. The sun shone bright —the woodpeckers flew from tree to tree, or clung to the rails of the fences —the belted king fisher darted up and down over the running stream —and the chirping and wild notes of various birds were heard on every side of them.

"This is very beautiful, is it not?" said Mrs. Campbell; "surely it cannot be so great a hardship to live in a spot like this?"

"Not if it were always so, perhaps, madam," said Colonel Forster, who had joined the party as Mrs. Campbell made the observation. "But Canada in the month of June is very different from Canada in January. That we find our life monotonous in this fort, separated as we are from the rest of the world, I admit, and the winters are so long and severe as to tire out our patience; but soldiers must do their duty whether burning under the tropics or freezing in the wilds of Canada. It cannot be a very agreeable life, when even the report of danger near to us becomes a pleasurable feeling from the excitement it causes for the moment.

"I have been talking, Mr. Campbell, with Captain Sinclair, and find you have much to do before the short summer is over, to be ready to meet the coming winter; more than you can well do with your limited means. I am happy that my instructions from the Governor will permit me to be of service to you. I propose that the ladies shall remain here, while you, with such assistance as I can give, proceed to your allotment, and prepare for their reception."

"A thousand thanks for your kind offer, Colonel —but no, no, we will all go together," interrupted Mrs. Campbell; "we can be useful, and we will remain in the tents till the house is built. Do not say a word more, Colonel Forster, that is decided; although I again return you many thanks for your kind offer."

"If such is the case, I have only to observe that I shall send a fatigue party of twelve men, which I can well spare for a few weeks, to assist you in your labours," replied Colonel Forster. "Their remuneration will not put you to a very great expense. Captain Sinclair has volunteered to take charge of it."

"Many thanks, sir," replied Mr. Campbell; "and as you observe that we have no time to lose, with your permission we will start to-morrow morning."

"I certainly shall not dissuade you," replied the commandant, "although I did hope that I should have had the pleasure of your company for a little longer. You are aware that I have the Governor's directions to supply you with cattle from our own stock, at a fair price. I hardly need say that you may select as you please."

"And I," said Captain Sinclair, who had been in conversation with Mary Percival, and who now addressed Mr. Campbell, "have been making another collection for you from my brother officers, which you were not provided with, and will find very useful, I may say absolutely necessary."

"What may that be, Captain Sinclair?" said Mr. Campbell.

"A variety of dogs of every description. I have a pack of five; and, although not quite so handsome as your pet dogs in England, you will find them well acquainted with the country, and do their duty well. I have a pointer, a bull-dog, two terriers, and a foxhound-all of them of good courage and ready to attack catamount, wolf, lynx, or even a bear, if required."

"It is, indeed, a very valuable present," replied Mr. Campbell, "and you have our sincere thanks."

"The cows you had better select before you go, unless you prefer that I should do it for you," observed Colonel Forster. "They shall be driven over in a day or two, as I presume the ladies will wish to have milk. By the bye, Mr. Campbell, I must let you into a secret. The wild onions which grow so plentifully in this country, and which the cattle are very fond of; give a very unpleasant taste to the milk. You may remove it by heating the milk as soon as it has been drawn from the cows."

"Many thanks, Colonel, for your information," replied Mr. Campbell, "for I certainly have no great partiality to the flavour of onions in milk."

A summons to breakfast broke up the conversation. During the day Henry and Alfred, assisted by Captain Sinclair and Martin Super, were very busy in loading the two bateaux with the stores, tents, and various trunks of linen and other necessaries which they had brought with them. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, with the girls, were equally busy in selecting and putting on one side articles for immediate use on their arrival at the allotment. As they were very tired, they went to bed early, that they might be ready for the next day's re-embarkation; and after breakfast, having taken leave of the kind commandant and the other officers, they went down to the shore of the lake, and embarked with Captain Sinclair in the commandant's boat, which had been prepared for them. Martin Super, Alfred and Henry, with the five dogs, went on board of the two bateaux, which were manned by the corporal and twelve soldiers, lent by the commandant to Mr. Campbell. The weather was beautifully fine, and they set off in high spirits. The distance by water was not more than three miles, although by land it was nearly five, and in half an hour they entered the cove adjoining to which the allotment lay.

"There is the spot, Mrs. Campbell, which is to be your future residence," said Captain Sinclair, pointing with his hand; "you observe where that brook runs down into the lake, that is your eastern boundary; the land on the other side is the property of the old hunter we have spoken of. You see his little log-hut, not much bigger than an Indian lodge, and the patch of Indian corn now sprung out of the ground which is inclosed by the fence. This portion appears not to be of any use to him, as he has no cattle of any kind, unless, indeed, they have gone into the bush; but I think some of our men said that he lived entirely by the chase, and that he has an Indian wife."

"Well," said Emma Percival, laughing, "female society is what we never calculated upon. What is the man's name?"

"Malachi Bone," replied Captain Sinclair. "I presume you expect Mrs. Bone to call first?"

"She ought to do so, if she knows the usage of society," replied Emma; "but if she does not, I think I shall waive ceremony and go and see her. I have great curiosity to make acquaintance with an Indian squaw."

"You may be surprised to hear me say so, Miss Emma, but I assure you, without having ever seen her, that you will find her perfectly well bred. All the Indian women are —their characters are a compound of simplicity and reserve. Keep the boat's head more to the right, Selby, we will land close to that little knoll."

The commandant's boat had pulled much faster, and was a long way ahead of the bateaux. In a few minutes afterwards they had all disembarked, and were standing on the knoll, surveying their new property. A portion of about thirty acres, running along the shore of the lake, was what is termed natural prairie, or meadow of short, fine grass; the land immediately behind the meadow was covered with brushwood for about three hundred yards, and then rose a dark and impervious front of high timber which completely confined the landscape. The allotment, belonging to the old hunter, on the opposite side of the brook, contained about the same portion of natural meadow, and was in other respects but a continuation of the portion belonging to Mr. Campbell.

"Well," said Martin Super, as soon as he had come up to the party on the knoll, for the bateaux had now arrived, "I reckon, Mr. Campbell, that you are in luck to have this piece of grass. It would have taken no few blows of the axe to have cleared it away out of such a wood as that behind us. Why, it's as good as a fortune to a new settler."

"I think it is, Martin," replied Mr. Campbell.

"Well, sir, now to work as soon as you please, for a day is a day, and must not be lost. I'll go to the wood with five or six of the men who can handle an axe, and begin to cut down, leaving you and the captain there to decide where the house is to be; the other soldiers will be putting up the tents all ready for to-night, for you must not expect a house over your heads till next full moon."

In a quarter of an hour all were in motion. Henry and Alfred took their axes, and followed Martin Super and half of the soldiers; the others were busy landing the stores and pitching the tents, while Captain Sinclair and Mr. Campbell were surveying the ground, that they might choose a spot for the erection of the house. Mrs. Campbell remained sitting on the knoll, watching the debarkation of the packages; and Percival, by her directions, brought to her those articles which were for immediate use. Mary and Emma Percival, accompanied by John, as they had no task allotted for them, walked up by the side of the stream towards the wood.

"I wish I had my box," said John, who had been watching the running water.

"Why do you want your box, John?" said Mary.

"For my hooks in my box," replied John.

"Why, do you see any fish in this small stream?" said Emma.

"Yes," replied John, walking on before them.

Mary and Emma followed him, now and then stopping to pick a flower unknown to them: when they overtook John, he was standing immovable, pointing to a figure on the other side of the stream, as fixed and motionless as himself.

The two girls started back as they beheld a tall, gaunt man, dressed in deer hides, who stood leaning upon a long gun with his eyes fixed upon them. His face was browned and weather-beaten —indeed so dark, that it was difficult to say if he were of the Indian race or not.

"It must be the hunter, Emma," said Mary Percival; "he is not dressed like the Indians we saw at Quebec."

"It must be," replied Emma; "won't he speak?"

"We will wait and see," replied Mary. They did wait for a minute or more, but the man neither spoke nor shifted his position.

"I will speak to him, Mary," said Emma at last. "My good man, you are Malachi Bone, are you not?"

"That's my name," replied the hunter, in a deep voice; "and who on earth are you, and what are you doing here? Is it a frolic from the fort, or what is it, that causes all this disturbance?"

"Disturbance! —why, we don't make a great deal of noise; no, it's no frolic; we are come to settle here, and shall be your neighbours."

"To settle here! —why, what on earth do you mean, young woman? Settle here! —not you, surely."

"Yes, indeed, we are. Don't you know Martin Super, the trapper? He is with us, and now at work in the woods getting ready for raising the house, as you call it. Do you know, Mary," said Emma, in a low tone to her sister, "I am almost afraid of that man, although I do speak so boldly."

"Martin Super —yes, I know him," replied the hunter, who without any more ceremony threw his gun into the hollow of his arm, turned round, and walked away in the direction of his own hut.

"Well, Mary," observed Emma, after a pause of a few seconds, during which they watched the receding form of the hunter, "the old gentleman is not over-polite. Suppose we go back and narrate our first adventure?"

"Let us walk up to where Alfred and Martin Super are at work, and tell them," replied Mary.

They soon gained the spot where the men were felling the trees, and made known to Alfred and Martin what had taken place.

"He is angered, miss," observed I; "I guessed as much; well, if he don't like it he must squat elsewhere."

"How do you mean squat elsewhere?"

"I mean, miss, that if he don't like company so near him, he must shift and build his wigwam farther off."

"But, why should he not like company? I should have imagined that it would be agreeable rather than otherwise," replied Mary Percival.

"You may think so, miss; but Malachi Bone thinks otherwise; and it's very natural; a man who has lived all his life in the woods, all alone, his eye never resting, his ear ever watching; catching at every sound, even to the breaking of a twig or the falling of a leaf; sleeping with his finger on his trigger, and one eye half open, gets used to no company but his own, and can't abide it. I recollect the time that I could not. Why, miss, when a man hasn't spoken a word perhaps for months, talking is a fatigue, and, when he hasn't heard a word spoken for months, listening is as bad. It's all custom, miss, and Malachi, as I guessed, don't like it, and so he's rily and angered. I will go see him after the work is over."

"But he has his wife, Martin, has he not?"

"Yes; but she's an Indian wife, Master Alfred, and Indian wives don't speak unless they're spoken to."

"What a recommendation," said Alfred, laughing; "I really think I shall look after an Indian wife, Emma."

"I think you had better," replied Emma. "You'd be certain of a quiet house —when you were out of it —and when at home, you would have all the talk to yourself, which is just what you like. Come, Mary, let us leave him to dream of his squaw."

The men selected by the commandant of the fort were well used to handle the axe; before dusk, many trees had been felled, and were ready for sawing into lengths. The tents had all been pitched: those for the Campbells on the knoll we have spoken of; Captain Sinclair's and that for the soldiers about a hundred yards distant; the fires were lighted, and as the dinner had been cold, a hot supper was prepared by Martin and Mrs. Campbell, assisted by the girls and the younger boys. After supper they all retired to an early bed; Captain Sinclair having put a man as sentry, and the dogs having been tied at different places that they might give the alarm if there was any danger; which, however, was not anticipated, as the Indians had for some time been very quiet in the neighbourhood of Fort Frontignac.

Chapter X.

The next morning, when they assembled at breakfast, after Mr. Campbell had read the prayers, Mary Percival said: "Did you hear that strange and loud noise last night? I was very much startled with it; but, as nobody said a word, I held my tongue."

"Nobody said a word, because everybody was fast asleep, I presume," said Alfred; "I heard nothing."

"It was like the sound of cart-wheels at a distance, with whistling and hissing," continued Mary.

"I think I can explain it to you, as I was up during the night, Miss Percival," said Captain Sinclair. "It is a noise you must expect every night during the summer season; but one to which you will soon be accustomed."

"Why, what was it?"

"Frogs —nothing more; except, indeed, the hissing, which, I believe, is made by the lizards. They will serenade you every night. I only hope you will not be disturbed by anything more dangerous."

"Is it possible that such small creatures can make such a din?"

"Yes; when thousands join in the concert; I may say millions."

"Well, I thank you for the explanation, Captain Sinclair, as it has been some relief to my mind."

After breakfast, Martin (we shall for the future leave out his surname) informed Mr. Campbell that he had seen Malachi Bone, the hunter, who had expressed great dissatisfaction at their arrival, and his determination to quit the place if they remained.

"Surely, he hardly expects us to quit the place to please him?"

"No," replied Martin; "but if he were cankered in disposition, which I will say Malachi is not, he might make it very unpleasant for you to remain, by bringing the Indians about you."

"Surely, he would not do that," said Mrs. Campbell.

"No, I don't think he would," replied Martin "because, you see, it's just as easy for him to go farther off."

"But why should we drive him away from his property any more than we leave our own?" observed Mrs. Campbell.

"He says he won't be crowded, ma'am; he can't bear to be crowded."

"Why, there's a river between us."

"So there is, ma'am, but still that's his feeling. I said to him, that if he would go, I daresay Mr. Campbell would buy his allotment of him, and he seems quite willing to part with it."

"It would be a great addition to your property, Mr. Campbell," observed Captain Sinclair. "In the first place, you would have the whole of the prairie and the right of the river on both sides, apparently of no consequence now, but as the country fills up, most valuable."

"Well," replied Mr. Campbell, "as I presume we shall remain here, or, at all events, those who survive me will, till the country fills up, I shall be most happy to make any arrangement with Bone for the purchase of his property."

"I'll have some more talk with him, sir," replied Martin.

The second day was passed as was the first, in making preparations for erecting the house, which, now that they had obtained such unexpected help, was, by the advice of Captain Sinclair, considerably enlarged beyond the size originally intended. As Mr. Campbell paid the soldiers employed a certain sum per day for their labour, he had less scruple in employing them longer. Two of them were good carpenters, and a sawpit had been dug, that they might prepare the doors and the frames for the window-sashes which Mr. Campbell had taken the precaution to bring with him. On the third day, a boat arrived from the fort, bringing the men's rations, and a present of two fine bucks from the commandant. Captain Sinclair went in the boat to procure some articles which he required, and returned in the evening. The weather continued fine, and in the course of a week, a great deal of timber was cut and squared. During this time, Martin had several meetings with the old hunter, and it was agreed that he should sell his property to Mr. Campbell. Money he appeared to care little about —indeed it was useless to him; gunpowder, lead, flints, blankets, and tobacco, were the principal articles requested in the barter; the amount, however, was not precisely settled. An intimacy had been struck up between the old hunter and John; in what manner it was difficult to imagine, as they both were very sparing of their words; but this was certain, that John had contrived to get across the stream, somehow or another, and was now seldom at home to his meals. Martin reported that he was in the lodge of the old hunter, and that he could come to no harm; so Mrs. Campbell was satisfied.

"But what does he do there, Martin?" said Mrs. Campbell, as they were clearing away the table after supper.

"Just nothing but look at the squaw, or at Malachi cleaning his gun, or anything else he may see. He never speaks, that I know of, and that's why he suits old Malachi."

"He brought home a whole basket of trout this afternoon," observed Mary, "so he is not quite idle."

"No, miss; he's fishing at daylight, and gives one-half to you, and the other to old Bone. He'll make a crack hunter one of these days, as old Malachi says. He can draw the bead on the old man's rifle in good style already, I can tell you."

"How do you mean, Martin?" said Mrs. Campbell.

"I mean that he can fire pretty true, ma'am, although it's a heavy gun for him to lift; a smaller one would be better for him."

"But, is he not too young to be trusted with a gun, uncle?" said Mary.

"No, miss," interrupted Martin, "you can't be too young here; the sooner a boy is useful the better; and the boy with a gun is almost as good as a man; for the gun kills equally well if pointed true. Master Percival must have his gun as soon as I am at leisure to teach him."

"I wish you were at leisure now, Martin," cried Percival.

"You forget, aunt, that you promised to learn to load and fire a rifle yourself," said Mary.

"No, I do not; and I intend to keep my word, as soon as there is time; but John is so very young."

"Well, Mary, I suppose we must enlist too," said Emma.

"Yes; we'll be the female rifle brigade," replied Mary, laughing.

"I really quite like the idea," continued Emma; "I will put up with no impertinence, recollect, Alfred; excite my displeasure, and I shall take down my rifle."

"I suspect you will do more execution with your eyes, Emma," replied Alfred, laughing.

"Not upon a catamount, as Martin calls it. Pray, what is a catamount?"

"A painter, miss."

"Oh! now I know; a catamount is a painter, and a painter is a leopard or a panther. As I live, uncle, here comes the old hunter, with John trotting at his heels. I thought he would come at last. The visit is to me, I'm sure, for when we first met he was dumb with astonishment."

"He well might be," observed Captain Sinclair; "he has not often met with such objects as you and your sister in the woods."

"No," replied Emma; "an English squaw must be rather a rarity."

As she said this, old Malachi Bone came up, and seated himself, without speaking, placing his rifle between his knees.

"Your servant, sir," said Mr. Campbell; "I hope you are well."

"What on earth makes you come here?" said Bone, looking round him. "You are not fit for the wilderness! Winter will arrive soon; and then you go back, I reckon."

"No, we shall not," replied Alfred, "for we have nowhere to go back to; besides, the people are too crowded where we came from, so we came here for more room."

"I reckon you'll crowd me," replied the hunter, "so I'll go farther."

"Well, Malachi, the gentleman will pay you for your clearing."

"I told you so," said Martin.

"Yes, you did; but I'd rather not have seen him or his goods."

"By goods, I suppose you mean us about you," said Emma.

"No, girl, I didn't mean you. I meant gunpowder and the like."

"I think, Emma, you are comprehended in the last word," said Alfred.

"That is more than you are, then, for he did not mention lead," retorted Emma.

"Martin Super, you know I did specify lead on the paper," said Malachi Bone.

"You did, and you shall have it," said Mr. Campbell. "Say what your terms are now, and I will close with you."

"Well, I'll leave that to Martin and you, stranger. I clear out to-morrow."

"To-morrow; and where do you go to?"

Malachi Bone pointed to the westward.

"You'll not hear my rifle," said the old hunter, after a pause; "but I'm thinking you'll never stay here. You don't know what an Ingen's life is; it an't fit for the like of you. No, there's not one of you, 'cept this boy," continued Malachi, putting his hand on John's head, "that's fit for the woods. Let him come to me. I'll make a hunter of him; won't I, Martin?"

"That you will, if they'll spare him to you."

"We cannot spare him altogether," replied Mr. Campbell, "but he shall visit you, if you wish it."

"Well, that's a promise; and I won't go so far as I thought I would. He has a good eye; I'll come for him."

The old man then rose up, and walked away, John following him, without exchanging a word with any of the party.

"My dear Campbell," said his wife, "what do you intend to do about John? You do not intend that the hunter should take him with him?"

"No, certainly not," replied Mr. Campbell; "but I see no reason why he should not be with him occasionally."

"It will be a very good thing for him to be so," said Martin. "If I may advise, let the boy come and go. The old man has taken a fancy to him, and will teach him his wood craft. It's as well to make a friend of Malachi Bone."

"Why, what good can he do us?" inquired Henry. "A friend in need is a friend indeed, sir; and a friend in the wilderness is not to be thrown away. Old Malachi is going farther out, and if danger occurs, we shall know it from him, for the sake of the boy, and have his help too, if we need it."

"There is much good sense in Martin Super's remarks, Mr. Campbell," observed Captain Sinclair. "You will then have Malachi Bone as an advanced guard, and the fort to fall back upon, if necessary to retreat."

"And, perhaps, the most useful education which he can receive to prepare him for his future life will be from the old hunter."

"The only one which he will take to kindly, at all events," observed Henry.

"Let him go, sir; let him go," said Martin.

"I will give no positive answer," replied Mr. Campbell. "At all events, I will permit him to visit the old man; there can be no objection to that —but it is bedtime."

Chapter XI.

We must pass over six weeks, during which the labour was continued without intermission, and the house was raised, of logs, squared and well-fitted; the windows and doors were also put in, and the roof well covered in with large squares of birchbark, firmly fixed on the rafters. The house consisted of one large room, as a dining-room, and the kitchen, with a floor of well-beaten clay, a smaller room, as a sitting-room, and three bed-rooms, all of which were floored; one of the largest of them fitted all round with bed-places against the walls, in the same way as on board of packets; this room was for the four boys, and had two spare bed-places in it. The others, which were for the two girls and Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, were much smaller. But before the house was half built, a large outhouse adjoining to it had been raised to hold the stores which Mr. Campbell had brought with him, with a rough granary made above the store-room. The interior of the house was not yet fitted up, although the furniture had been put in, and the family slept in it, rough as it was, in preference to the tents, as they were very much annoyed with mosquitoes. The stores were now safe from the weather, and they had a roof over their heads, which was the grand object that was to be obtained. The carpenters were still very busy fitting up the interior of the house, and the other men were splitting rails for a snake-fence and also selecting small timber for raising a high palisade round the premises. Martin had not been idle. The site of the house was just where the brushwood joined to the prairie, and Martin had been clearing it away and stacking it, and also collecting wood for winter fuel. It had been decided that the four cows, which had been driven round from the fort, should be housed during the winter in the small building on the other side of the stream, which had belonged to Malachi Bone, as it was surrounded with a high snake-fence, and sufficiently large to hold them and even more. The commandant had very kindly selected the most quiet cows to milk, and Mary and Emma Percival had already entered upon their duties; the milk had been put into the storehouse until a dairy could be built up. A very neat bridge had been thrown across the stream, and every morning the two girls, generally attended by Henry, Alfred, or Captain Sinclair, crossed over, and soon became expert in their new vocation as dairymaids. Altogether, things began to wear a promising appearance. Henry and Mr. Campbell had dug up as fast as Martin and Alfred cleared away the brushwood, and the garden had already been cropped with such few articles as could be put in at the season. The commandant had some pigs ready for the settlers as soon as they were ready to receive them, and had more than once come up in the boats to ascertain their progress and to offer any advice that he might consider useful.

We must not, however, forget Malachi Bone. The day after Bone had come to Mr. Campbell, Emma perceived him going away into the woods, with his rifle, followed by her cousin John, and being very curious to see his Indian wife, she persuaded Alfred and Captain Sinclair to accompany her and Mary to the other side of the stream. The great point was to know where to cross it, but as John had found out the means of so doing, it was to be presumed that there was a passage, and they set off to look for it. They found that, about half a mile up the stream, which there ran through the wood, a large tree had been blown down and laid across it, and, with the assistance of the young men, Mary and Emma passed it without much difficulty; they then turned back by the side of the stream until they approached the lodge of old Malachi. As they walked towards it, they could not perceive anyone stirring; but at last a dog of the Indian breed began to bark; still nobody came out, and they arrived at the door of the lodge where the dog stood; when, sitting on the floor, they perceived the Indian girl whom they were in search of. She was very busy sewing a pair of mocassins out of deer leather. She appeared startled when she first saw Alfred; but when she perceived that the young ladies were with him, her confidence returned. She slightly bowed her head, and continued her work.

"How very young she is," said Emma; "why, she cannot be more than eighteen years old."

"I doubt if she is so much," replied Captain Sinclair.

"She has a very modest, unaffected look, has she not, Alfred?" said Mary.

"Yes; I think there is something very prepossessing in her countenance."

"She is too young a wife for the old hunter, at all events," observed Alfred.

"That is not unusual among the Indians," said Captain Sinclair; "a very old chief will often have three or four young wives; they are to be considered more in the light of his servants than anything else."

"But she must think us very rude to talk and stare at her in this manner; I suppose she cannot speak English."

"I will speak to her in her own language, if she is a Chippeway or of any of the tribes about here, for they all have the same dialect," said Captain Sinclair.

Captain Sinclair addressed her in the Indian language, and the Indian girl replied in a very soft voice.

"She says her husband is gone to bring home venison."

"Tell her we are coming to live here, and will give her anything she wants."

Captain Sinclair again addressed her, and received her answer.

"She says that you are beautiful flowers, but not the wild flowers of the country, and that the cold winter will kill you."

"Tell her she will find us alive next summer," said Emma; "and, Captain Sinclair, give her this brooch of mine, and tell her to wear it for my sake."

Captain Sinclair gave the message and the ornament to the Indian girl, who replied, as she looked up and smiled at Emma —"That she would never forget the beautiful lily who was so kind to the little strawberry-plant."

"Really her language is poetical and beautiful," observed Mary; "I have nothing to give her —oh! yes, I have; here is my ivory needle-case, with some needles in it. Tell her it will be of use to her when she sews her mocassins. Open it and show her what is inside."

"She says that she shall be able to work faster and better, and wishes to look at your foot, that she may be grateful; so put your foot out, Miss Percival."

Mary did so; the Indian girl examined it, and smiled and nodded her head.

"Oh, Captain Sinclair, tell her that the little boy who is gone with her husband is our cousin."

Captain Sinclair reported her answer, which was, "He will be a great hunter and bring home plenty of game by and by."

"Well, now tell her that we shall always be happy to see her, and that we are going home again; and ask her name, and tell her our own."

As Captain Sinclair interpreted, the Indian girl pronounced after him the names of Mary and Emma very distinctly. "She has your names, you perceive; her own, translated into English, is the Strawberry-plant."

They then nodded farewell to the young Indian, and returned home. On the second evening after their visit, as they were at supper, the conversation turned upon the hunter and his young Indian wife, when John, who had as usual been silent, suddenly broke out with "Goes away to-morrow!"

"They go away to-morrow, John; where do they go to?" said Mr. Campbell.

"Woods," replied John.

John was correct in his statement. Early the next morning, Malachi Bone, with his rifle on his shoulder and an axe in his hand, was seen crossing the prairie belonging to Mr. Campbell, followed by his wife, who was bent double under her burthen, which was composed of all the property which the old hunter possessed, tied up in blankets. He had left word the night before with Martin that he would come back in a few days, as soon as he had squatted; to settle the bargain for his allotment of land made over to Mr. Campbell. This was just before they had sat down to breakfast, and then they observed that John was missing.

"He was here just before prayers," said Mrs. Campbell. "He must have slipped away after the old hunter."

"No doubt of that, ma'am," said Martin. "He will go with him and find out where he puts up his wigwam, and after that he will come back to you; so there is no use sending after him; indeed, we don't know which way to send."

Martin was right. Two days afterwards, John made his appearance again, and remained very quietly at home during the whole week, catching fish in the stream or practising with a bow and some arrows, which he had obtained from Malachi Bone; but the boy appeared to be more taciturn and more fond of being alone then ever he was before; still he was obedient and kind towards his mother and cousins, and was fond of Percival's company when he went to take trout from the stream.

It was of course after the departure of the old hunter, that his log hut was taken possession of and the cows put into the meadow in front of it.

As the work became more advanced, Martin went out every day, accompanied either by Alfred or Henry, in pursuit of game. Mr. Campbell had procured an ample supply of ammunition, as well as the rifles, at Quebec. These had been unpacked, and the young men were becoming daily more expert. Up to the present, the supply of game from the fort, and occasional fresh beef, had not rendered it necessary for Mr. Campbell to have much recourse to his barrels of salt pork, but still it was necessary that a supply should be procured as often as possible, that they might husband their stores. Martin was a certain shot if within distance, and they seldom returned without a deer slung between them. The garden had been cleared away and the pig-sties were finished, but there was still the most arduous portion of the work to commence, which was the felling of the trees to clear the land for the growing of corn. In this they could expect no assistance from the garrison; indeed, from the indulgence of the commandant, they had already obtained more than they could have expected. It was in the last days of August, and the men lent from the garrison were about to be recalled; the houses were completed, the palisade had been raised round the house and storehouse, and the men were now required at the fort. Captain Sinclair received several hints from the commandant that he must use all convenient despatch, and limit his absence to a few days more, which he trusted would be sufficient. Captain Sinclair, who would willingly have remained in society which he so much valued, and who had now become almost one of the family, found that he could make no more excuses. He reported that he would be ready to return on the first of September, and on the morning of that day the bateaux arrived to take back the soldiers, and bring the pigs and fowls which had been promised. Mr. Campbell settled his account with Captain Sinclair, by a draft upon his banker at Quebec, for the pay of the soldiers, the cows, and the pigs. The Captain then took leave of his friends with mutual regret, and many kind adieus, and, accompanied by the whole of the family to the beach, embarked with all his men and pulled away for the fort.

Chapter XII.

The Campbells remained for some time on the shore of the lake watching the receding bateaux until they turned round the point and were hidden from their sight, and then they walked back to the house. But few words were exchanged as they returned, for they felt a sensation of loneliness from having parted with so many of their own countrymen; not that they were, with the exception of Captain Sinclair, companions, but that, accustomed to the sight of the soldiers at their labour, the spot now appeared depopulated by their departure. Martin, too, and John, were both absent; the latter had been two days away, and Martin, who had not yet found time to ascertain where old Malachi Bone had fixed his new abode, had gone out in search of it, and to mention to him Mr. Campbell's wishes as to John's visits to him, which were becoming more frequent and more lengthened than Mr. Campbell wished them to be.

When they entered the house, they all sat down, and Mr. Campbell then first spoke.

"Well, my dearest wife, here we are at last, left to ourselves and to our own resources. I am not at all doubtful of our doing well, if we exert ourselves, as it is our duty to do. I grant that we may have hardships to combat, difficulties to overcome, and occasional disappointments and losses to bear up against; but let us recollect how greatly we have, through Providence, been already assisted and encouraged, how much help we have received, and how much kindness we have experienced. Surely we ought to feel most grateful to Heaven for blessings already vouchsafed to us, and ought to have a firm and lively faith in Him, who has hitherto so kindly watched over us. Let us not then repine or feel dispirited, but with grateful hearts do our duty cheerfully in that state of life to which it has pleased Him to call us."

"I agree with you, my dear husband," replied Mrs. Campbell; "nay, I can say with sincerity, that I am not sorry we are now left to our own exertions, and that we have an opportunity of proving that we can do without the assistance of others. Up to the present, our trial has been nothing; indeed, I cannot fancy to myself what our trials are to be. Come they may, but from what quarter I cannot form an idea: should they come, however, I trust we shall show our gratitude for past blessings, and our faith derived from past deliverances, by a devout submission to whatever the Almighty may please to try or chasten us with."

"Right, my dear," replied Mr. Campbell; "we will hope for the best; we are as much under His protection here in the wilderness, as we were at Wexton Park; we were just as liable to all the ills which flesh is heir to when we were living in opulence and luxury as we are now in this log-house; but we are, I thank God, not so liable in our present position to forget Him who so bountifully provides for us and in His wisdom ordereth all our ways. Most truly has the poet said—

"'Sweet are the uses of adversity!'"

"Well," observed Emma, after a pause, as if to give a more lively turn to the conversation, "I wonder what my trials are to be! Depend upon it, the cow will kick down the pail, or the butter won't come!"

"Or you'll get chapped fingers in the winter-time, and chilblains on your feet," continued Mary.

"That will be bad; but Captain Sinclair says that if we don't take care we shall be frost-bitten and lose the tips of our noses."

"That would be hard upon you, Emma, for you've none to spare," said Alfred.

"Well, you have, Alfred, so yours ought to go first."

"We must look after one another's noses, they say, as we cannot tell if our own is in danger; and if we see a white spot upon another's nose we must take a bit of snow and rub it well; a little delicate attention peculiar to this climate."

"I cannot say that I do not know what my trials are to be," said Alfred, "that is, trials certain; nor can Henry, either. When I look at the enormous trunks of these trees, which we have to cut down with our axes, I feel positive that it will be a hard trial before we master them. Don't you think so, Harry?"

"I have made up my mind to have at least two new skins upon my hands before the winter comes on," replied Henry; "but felling timber was not a part of my university education."

"No," replied Alfred; "Oxford don't teach that; now, my university education—"

"Your university education!" cried Emma.

"Yes, mine; I have sailed all over the universe, and that I call a university education; but here come Martin and John. Why, John has got a gun on his shoulder! He must have taken it with him when he last disappeared."

"I suppose that by this time he knows how to use it, Alfred," said Mrs. Campbell.

"Yes, ma'am," replied Martin, who had entered; "he knows well how to use and how to take care of it and take care of himself. I let him bring it home on purpose to watch him. He has fired and loaded twice as we came back, and has killed this wood-chuck," continued Martin, throwing the dead animal on the floor. "Old Malachi has taught him well, and he has not forgotten his lessons."

"What animal is that, Martin —is it good to eat?" said Henry.

"Not very good, sir; it's an animal that burrows in the ground, and is very hurtful in a garden or to the young maize, and we always shoot them when we meet with them."

"It's a pity that it's not good to eat."

"Oh! you may eat it, sir; I don't say it's not fit to eat; but there are other things much better."

"That's quite sufficient for me, Martin," said Emma, "I shall not taste him; at all events, not this time, whatever I may have to do by and by."

"I spoke to old Bone, sir, and he says it's all right; that he won't keep him more than a day without first sending him to you to ask leave."

"That's all I require, Martin."

"They have been out these two days, and had only just come home when I arrived there. The game was still in the wood."

"I shot a deer," said John.

"You shot a deer, John!" said Alfred; "why, what a useful fellow you will be by and by."

"Yes, sir; Old Malachi told me that the boy had shot a deer, and that he would bring it here to-morrow himself."

"I'm glad of that, for I wish to speak with him," said Mr. Campbell; "but, John, how came you to take the rifle with you without leave?"

John made no answer.

"Answer me, John."

"Can't shoot without a gun," replied John.

"No, you cannot; but the rifle is not yours."

"Give it me, and I'll shoot everything for dinner," replied John.

"I think you had better do so, father," said Henry, in a low voice; "the temptation will be too strong."

"You are right, Henry," replied Mr. Campbell, aside. "Now, John, I will give you the rifle, if you will promise me to ask leave when you want to go, and always come back at the time you have promised."

"I'll always tell when I go, if mamma will always let me go, and I'll always come back when I promise, if—"

"If, what?"

"If I've killed," replied John.

"He means, sir, that if he is on the track when his leave is out, that he must follow it; but as soon as he has either lost his game or killed it, he will then come home. That's the feeling of a true hunter, sir, and you must not baulk it."

"Very true; well then, John, recollect that you promise."

"Martin," said Percival, "when are you to teach me to fire the rifle?"

"Oh, very soon now, sir; but the soldiers are gone, and as soon as you can hit the mark, you shall go out with Mr. Alfred or me."

"And when are we to learn, Mary?" said Emma.

"I'll teach you, cousins," said Alfred, "and give a lesson to my honoured mother."

"Well, we'll all learn," replied Mrs. Campbell.

"What's to be done to-morrow, Martin?" said Alfred.

"Why, sir, there are boards enough to make a fishing-punt, and if you and Mr. Henry will help me, I think we shall have one made in two or three days. The lake is full of fish, and it's a pity not to have some while the weather is so fine."

"I've plenty of lines in the store-room," said Mr. Campbell.

"Master Percival would soon learn to fish by himself," said Martin, "and then he'll bring as much as Master John."

"Fish!" said John, with disdain.

"Yes, fish, Master John," replied Martin; "a good hunter is always a good fisherman, and don't despise them, for they often give him a meal when he would otherwise go to sleep with an empty stomach."

"Well, I'll catch fish with pleasure," cried Percival, "only I must sometimes go out hunting."

"Yes, my dear boy, and we must sometimes go to bed; and I think it is high time now, as we must all be up to-morrow at daylight."

The next morning, Mary and Emma set off to milk the cows —not, as usual, attended by some of the young men, for Henry and Alfred were busy, and Captain Sinclair was gone. As they crossed the bridge, Mary observed to her sister—

"No more gentlemen to attend us lady milkmaids, Emma."

"No," replied Emma; "our avocation is losing all its charms, and a pleasure now almost settles down to a duty."

"Alfred and Henry are with Martin about the fishing-boat," observed Mary.

"Yes," replied Emma; "but I fancy, Mary, you were thinking more of Captain Sinclair than of your cousins."

"That is very true, Emma; I was thinking of him," replied Mary, gravely. "You don't know how I feel his absence."

"I can imagine it, though, my dearest Mary. Shall we soon see him again?"

"I do not know; but I think not for three or four weeks, for certain. All that can be spared from the fort are gone haymaking, and if he is one of the officers sent with the men, of course he will be absent, and if he is left in the fort, he will be obliged to remain there; so there is no chance of seeing him until the haymaking is over."

"Where is it that they go to make hay, Mary?"

"You know they have only a sufficiency of pasture round the fort for the cattle during the summer, so they go along by the borders of the lake and islands, where they know there are patches of clear land, cut the grass down, make the hay, and collect it all in the bateaux , and carry it to the fort to be stacked for the winter. This prairie was their best help, but now they have lost it."

"But Colonel Forster has promised papa sufficient hay for the cows for this winter; indeed, we could not have fed them unless he had done so. Depend upon it, Captain Sinclair will bring the hay round, and then we shall see him again, Mary; but we must walk after our own cows now. No one to drive them for us. If Alfred had any manners he might have come."

"And, why not Henry, Emma?" said Mary, with a smile.

"Oh! I don't know; Alfred came into my thoughts first."

"I believe that really was the case," replied Mary. "Now I'm even with you; so go along and milk your cows."

"It's all very well, miss," replied Emma, laughing; "but wait till I have learnt to fire my rifle, and then you'll be more cautious of what you say."

On their return home, they found the old hunter with a fine buck lying before him. Mr. Campbell was out with the boys and Martin, who wished his opinion as to the size of the punt.

"How do you do, Mr. Bone?" said Mary. "Did John shoot that deer?"

"Yes; and shot it as well as an old hunter, and the creature can hardly lift the gun to his shoulder. Which of you is named Mary?"

"I am," said Mary.

"Then I've something for you," said old Malachi, pulling from out of his vest a small parcel, wrapped up in thin bark, and handing it to her; "it's a present from the Strawberry."

Mary opened the bark, and found inside of it a pair of mocassins, very prettily worked in stained porcupines' quills.

"Oh! how beautiful, and how kind of her! Tell her that I thank her, and love her very much. Will you?"

"Yes; I'll tell her. Where's the boy?"

"Who, John? I think he's gone up the stream to take some trout; he'll be back to breakfast, and that's just ready. Come, Emma, we must go in with the milk."

Mr. Campbell and those who were with him soon returned.

Malachi Bone then stated that he had brought the buck killed by John; and that, if it suited, he would carry back with him a keg of gunpowder and some lead; that he wished Mr. Campbell to calculate what he considered due to him for the property, and let him take it out in goods, as he required them.

"Why don't you name your own price, Malachi?" said Mr. Campbell.

"How can I name a price? It was given to me and cost nothing. I leave it all to you and Martin Super, as I said before."

"You show great confidence in me, I must say. Well, Bone, I will not cheat you; but I'm afraid you will be a long while before you are paid, if you only take it out in goods from my storehouse."

"All the better, master; they will last till I die, and then what's left will do for the boy here," replied the old hunter, putting his hand upon John's head.

"Bone," said Mr. Campbell, "I have no objection to the boy going with you occasionally; but I cannot permit him to be always away. I want him to come home on the day after he has been to see you."

"Well, that's not reasonable, master. We go out after the game; who knows where we may find it, how long we may look for it, and how far it may lead us? Must we give up the chase when close upon it, because time's up? That'll never do. I want to make the boy a hunter, and he must learn to sleep out and do everything else as concerns a hunter to do. You must let him be with me longer, and, if you please, when he comes back keep him longer; but if you wish him to be a man, the more he stays with me the better. He shall know all the Indian craft, I promise you, and the winter after this he shall take beavers and bring you the skins."

"I think, sir," observed Martin, "it's all in reason, what the old man says."

"And so do I," said Alfred; "after all, it's only sending John to school. Let him go, father, and have him home for the holidays."

"I'll always come to you, when I can," said John.

"I am more satisfied at John's saying that than you might imagine," said Mrs. Campbell; "John is an honest boy, and does not say what he does not mean."

"Well, my dear, if you have no objection, I'm sure I will not raise any more."

"I think I shall gain more by John's affection than by compulsion, my dear husband. He says he will always come when he can, and I believe him; I have, therefore, no objection to let him stay with Malachi Bone, at all events for a week or so at a time."

"But his education, my dear."

"He is certain to learn nothing now that this fever for the woods, if I may so call it, is upon him. He will, perhaps, be more teachable a year or two hence. You must be aware that we have no common disposition to deal with in that child; and however my maternal feelings may oppose my judgment, it is still strong enough to make me feel that my decision is for his benefit. We must not here put the value upon a finished education which we used to do. Let us give him every advantage which the peculiarity of his position will allow us to do; but we are now in the woods, to a certain degree returned to a state of nature, and the first and most important knowledge is to learn to gain our livelihoods."

"Well, my dear, I think you are correct in your views on the subject, and therefore, John, you may go to school with Malachi Bone; come to see us when you can, and I expect you to turn out the Nimrod of the West."

Old Malachi stared at the conclusion of this speech; Alfred observed his surprise, and burst into a fit of laughter. He then said, "The English of all that is, Malachi, that my brother John has my father's leave to go with you, and you're to make a man of him."

"He who made him must make a man of him," replied Bone; "I can only make him a good hunter, and that I will, if he and I are spared. Now, master, if Martin will give me the powder and lead, I'll be off again. Is the boy to go?"

"Yes, if you desire it," replied Mrs. Campbell; "come, John, and wish me good-bye, and remember your promise."

John bade farewell to the whole party with all due decorum, and then trotted off after his schoolmaster.

Chapter XIII.

In the course of a week or two, things found their places, and the family began to feel more comfortable; there was also a degree of regularity and order established, which could not be effected during the time that the soldiers were employed. Mrs. Campbell and Percival took upon them all the work inside and round the house during the morning; the latter attending to the pigs and fowls, bringing water from the stream, etc. Mary and Emma milked the cows, and then assisted their mother during the day in washing, etc. Mr. Campbell instructed Percival, worked in the garden, and assisted as much as he could, where he might be found most useful; but he was too advanced in years to be capable of much hard work. Alfred, Henry, and Martin Super were employed during the whole day, clearing the ground and felling the timber; but every other day, one or the other went out with Martin into the woods to procure food, bringing home with them deer, wild turkeys, or other game, which, with an occasional piece of salt pork, and the fish caught, were sufficient for the family consumption. Percival was now permitted to accompany the hunting parties, and became somewhat expert with his rifle. He required only a little more practice to be a good shot.

They rose at half-past five —were all assembled to prayers at half-past seven, previous to going to breakfast. They dined at one, and had a combined tea and supper at seven o'clock. At nine o'clock they went to bed. Before two months had passed away, everything went on like clockwork. One day passed away so like another, that the time flew imperceptibly, and they wondered that the Sundays came round so quick. They had now time to unpack everything, and the books which Mrs. Campbell had selected and brought with her had been arranged on shelves in the parlour; but they had not as yet much time to read, and were generally too tired before the day was over not to long for their beds. Indeed, the only interval of leisure during the whole day was between supper and bed-time, when they would all assemble in the kitchen and talk over the little matters which had occurred, either during the chase or at home. But they were now in the middle of October, the winter was fast approaching, and they looked forward to it with some degree of anxiety.

John had kept his word very sacredly. He was occasionally absent for three or four days, but if so, he invariably came to the house and remained a day or two at home. Alfred and Martin had long finished the fishing-punt, and as it was light and easily handled, Henry and Percival went out in it together, and when he was at home, John and Percival would pull half a mile out into the lake, and soon return with a supply of large fish. Mrs. Campbell, therefore, had salted down sufficient to fill a barrel for the winter's use.

One day they were agreeably surprised by Captain Sinclair making his appearance. He had walked from the fort, to communicate to them that the hay had been gathered in, and would be sent round in a day or two, and also to inform Mr. Campbell that the commandant could spare them a young bullock, if he would wish to have it for winter provision. This offer was gladly accepted, and, having partaken of their dinner, Captain Sinclair was obliged to return to the fort, he being that night on duty. Previous, however, to his return, he had some conversation with Martin Super, unobserved by the rest of the party. Afterwards he invited Alfred to walk back to the fort with him and return on the following morning. Alfred agreed to do so; and two hours before it was dark they set off, and as soon as they were on the opposite side of the brook they were joined by Martin Super.

"My reasons for asking you to come back with me were twofold," said Captain Sinclair to Alfred. "In the first place, I wish you to know the road to the fort, in case it should be necessary to make any communication during the winter; secondly, I wished to have some conversation with you and Martin relative to information we have received about the Indians. I can tell you privately what I was unwilling to say before your mother and cousins, as it would put them in a state of restlessness and anxiety, which could avail nothing and only annoy them. The fact is, we have for some time had information that the Indians have held several councils. It does not appear, however, that they have as yet decided upon anything, although it is certain that they have gathered together in large numbers not very far from the fort. No doubt but they have French emissaries inciting them to attack us. From what we can learn, however, they have not agreed among themselves, and, therefore, in all probability, nothing will be attempted until next year, for the autumn is their season for sending out their war-parties. At the same time, there is no security, for there is a great difference between a junction of all the tribes against us, and a common Indian war-party. We must, therefore, be on the alert, for we have a treacherous foe to deal with. And now, for your portion of interest in this affair. If they attack the fort, which they may do, notwithstanding our treaties with them, you of course would not be safe where you are; but, unfortunately, you may not be safe even if we are not molested; for when the Indians collect (even though the main body decide upon nothing), there are always bands of five to ten Indians, who, having left their homes, will not return if they can help it without some booty; these are not regular warriors, or if warriors, not much esteemed by the tribe; in fact, they are the worst classes of Indians, who are mere robbers and banditti. You must, therefore, be on the look-out for the visits of these people. It is fortunate for you that old Bone has shifted his abode so many miles to the westward, and that you are on such good terms with him, as it is not very likely that any party of Indians can approach you without his meeting with them or their tracks during his excursion."

"That's true, Captain," observed Martin, "and I will go myself and put him on his guard."

"But, will they not attack him before they attack us?" said Alfred.

"Why should they?" replied Sinclair. "He is as much an Indian almost as they are, and is well known to most of them. Besides, what would they gain by attacking him? These straggling parties, which you have to fear, are in quest of booty, and will not expect to find anything in his wigwam except a few furs. No; they will not venture near his rifle, which they fear, when there is nothing to be obtained by so doing. I mention this to you, Alfred, that you may be prepared and keep a sharp look-out. It is very possible that nothing of the kind may occur, and that the winter may pass away without any danger, and I mention it to you and Martin, as I consider that the probabilities are not sufficient to warrant your alarming the other members of the family, especially the female portion of it. How far you may consider it advisable to communicate what has now passed to your father and Henry, it is for you to decide. As I said before, I do not imagine you have much to fear from a general attack; it is too late in the year, and we know that the councils broke up without coming to any decision. You have only to fear the attempts of small parties of marauders, and I think you are quite strong enough, both in numbers and in the defences of your habitation, to resist them successfully, if you are not suddenly surprised. That is all that you have to fear; and now that you are warned, half the danger is over."

"Well, Captain, I'll leave you now," said Martin, "I shall go over to old Malachi's to-night; for it occurs to me that any attack is more likely to be made between the fall of the leaf and the fall of the snow than afterwards; so the sooner I put Malachi on his guard the better. Good evening, sir."

Captain Sinclair and Alfred continued on their way to the fort. They had contracted a strong friendship, and were unreserved in their communication with each other.

"You have no idea, Alfred," said Captain Sinclair, "how the peculiar position of your family occupies my thoughts. It really appears almost like madness on the part of your father to bring out your mother and cousins to such a place, and expose them to such privations and dangers. I can hardly sleep at night when I reflect upon what might happen."

"I believe," replied Alfred, "that if my father had known exactly what his present position would have been, he would have decided upon not leaving England; but you must remember that he came out with much encouragement, and the idea that he would only have to surmount the hardships of a settler in clearing his land. He fancied, at least I'm sure we all did, that we should be surrounded by other farmers, and have no particular danger to incur. When at Quebec, he found that all the good land near to civilisation was bought up or possessed by the French Canadians; he was advised to come farther westward by those who ought to have been aware of what he would have to encounter by so doing, but who probably considered that the danger we now apprehend no longer existed; and he has followed that advice which I have no doubt was conscientiously given. I think myself, even now, that the advice was good, although we are accompanied by females who have been brought up in so different a sphere, and for whose welfare such anxiety is shown; for observe now, Sinclair, suppose, without having made our acquaintance, you had heard that some settlers, men and women, had located themselves where we have done; should you have considered it so very rash an undertaking, presuming that they were merely farmers and farmers' wives?"

"I certainly should have troubled myself very little about them, and perhaps not thought upon the subject."

"But supposing that the subject had been brought up at the fort, and you heard that the parties had a stockaded house and four or five good rifles to depend upon, with the fort to fall back upon if necessary?"

"I admit that I should most probably have said that they were in a position to protect themselves."

"Most assuredly, and therefore we are equally so; your feelings of interest in us magnify the danger, and I therefore trust that in future you will not allow our position to interfere with your night's rest."

"I wish I could bring myself to that feeling of security, Alfred. If I were only with you, to assist in protecting them, I should sleep sound enough."

"Then you would not be of much use as a watch," replied Alfred, laughing. "Never fear, Sinclair, we shall do well enough," continued he, "and if we require assistance, we will apply for you and a party of soldiers."

"There would be much difficulty about that, Alfred," replied Captain Sinclair; "if there were sufficient danger to make that demand upon the commandant, the same danger would require that he should not weaken his force in the fort; no, you would have to retreat to the fort, and leave your farm to the mercy of the Indians."

"It certainly would be the wisest plan of the two," replied Alfred; "at all events, we could send the women. But the Indians have not come yet, and we must hope that they will not."

The conversation was then changed, and in half an hour more they arrived at the fort.

Alfred was welcomed at the fort by Colonel Forster, with whom he was a great favourite. The Colonel could not refrain from expressing his opinion, that Mr. Campbell and his family were in a position of some danger, and lamenting that the female portion of the family, who had been brought up with such very different prospects, should be so situated. He even ventured to hint that if Mrs. Campbell and the two Misses Percival would pass the winter in the fort, he would make arrangements to accommodate them. But Alfred at once replied that he was convinced no inducement would persuade his mother or cousins to leave his father; they had shared his prosperity, and they would cling to him in his adversity; that they all were aware of what they would have to risk before they came out, and his father preferred a life of honourable independence attended with danger, to seeking the assistance of others.

"But still I cannot perceive any reason for the ladies remaining to encounter the danger."

"The more we are, the stronger we are to repel danger," replied Alfred.

"But the women, surely, will only be an encumbrance!"

"I think differently," replied Alfred. "Young and delicate as my cousins are, they will not shrink any more than my mother when their services are required. They now can all of them use a rifle, if required, and to defend a house, a determined woman is almost as effective as a man. Depend upon it, if it comes to the necessity, they will do so. You see, therefore, Colonel, that by taking away our ladies, you will weaken our force," continued Alfred, laughing.

"Well, my dear fellow, I will press it no more. Only recollect that I shall always be ready to send you any assistance when required."

"I have been thinking, Colonel Forster, that, as we have no horses at present, if you have any rockets, they might be useful in such a case. At the distance we are:from you a rocket would be seen immediately if fired at night, and I promise you, that it shall not be fired without great necessity."

"I am glad that you have mentioned it, Alfred; you shall have a dozen to take with you. You go back with the boats that carry the hay to-morrow morning, do you not?"

"Yes; I shall take that opportunity to save wearing out my shoes, as we have no cobbler near to us. I presume it will be the last trip made by the boats this season."

"Yes," replied the Colonel, "the frost will soon set in now. In another fortnight we shall probably be visited with a heavy fall of snow, and the ground will then be covered till the spring. But I suppose we shall see or hear from you occasionally?"

"Yes; as soon as I can push along in my snowshoes, I will pay you a visit," replied Alfred, "but I have that art to learn yet."

The following morning the sky was clear and the day brilliant. The sun shone upon the dark scarlet-tinged foliage of the oaks and through the transparent yellow leaves of the maple. A slight frost had appeared for two or three mornings about a month back, and now they were enjoying what was termed the Indian summer, which is a return of fair and rather warm weather for a short time previous to the winter setting in.

The soldiers were busy carrying the hay down to the bateaux, and, before noon, Alfred bade farewell to Colonel Forster and the other officers of the fort, and, accompanied by Captain Sinclair, went down to embark. All was ready, and Alfred stepped into the boat; Captain Sinclair being on duty and not able to accompany him back.

"I shall not fail to give directions to the sentries about the rockets, Alfred," said Captain Sinclair, "and so tell your mother and cousins; and mind to show them how to fire them off from out of the barrel of a musket. Good-bye; God bless you, my dear fellow."

"Good-bye," replied Alfred, as the boats pulled from the shore.

Chapter XIV.

After Alfred's return from the fort, a few days passed away without any incident; Martin had paid a visit to Malachi Bone, who had promised that he would be on the look-out and would give immediate information and assistance in case of any hostile measures on the part of the Indians. He told Martin, that in a few days he would discover what had taken place and what might be looked forward to. When Martin returned with this communication, Alfred was satisfied, and did not acquaint anybody except his brother Henry with the information which he had received from Captain Sinclair.

The monotony of their life was, however, broken in upon by the arrival of a corporal from the fort, who was the bearer of the first despatches which they had received since their arrival at the settlement. Letters, yes, letters, not only from Quebec but from England, were announced. The whole house was in confusion, all crowding round Mr. Campbell while he unsealed the large packet. First a bundle of English newspapers from the Governor of Quebec —these were laid aside; a letter from Mr. Campbell's agent at Quebec —this was on business and could wait his leisure; then the letters from England —two long, well-filled double letters from Miss Paterson to Mary and Emma; another from Mr. Campbell's agent in England, and a large one on foolscap paper with "On His Majesty's Service," directed to Mr. Alfred Campbell. Each party seized upon their letters, and hastened on one side with them. Mrs. Campbell being the only one who had no correspondent, anxiously watched the countenance of Alfred, who, after a hasty glance, cried out, "I am confirmed to my rank, my dear mother; I am a lieutenant in His Majesty's service —huzza! Here's a letter inclosed from Captain Lumley; I know his handwriting." Alfred received the congratulations of the whole party, handed the official letter to his mother, and then commenced the perusal of the one from Captain Lumley. After a short silence, during which they were all occupied with their correspondence, Mr. Campbell said, "I also have good news to communicate to you; Mr. H. writes to me to say that Mr. Douglas Campbell, on finding the greenhouses and hothouses so well stocked, considered that he was bound to pay for the plants; that they have been valued at seven hundred pounds, and that he has paid that money into my agent's hands. This is extremely liberal of Mr. Douglas Campbell, and I certainly did not expect, as I found plants there on my taking possession, that I was entitled to any remuneration for what I left. However, I am too poor to refuse his offer from any feelings of delicacy, and shall therefore write and thank him for his generous behaviour." Alfred had read the letter from Captain Lumley, which made him very thoughtful. The fact was, that his promotion and the observations in Captain Lumley's letter had brought back all his former regret at having quitted the service, and he was very melancholy in consequence; but as his cousins read their letters aloud, he gradually recovered his spirits.

At last all the letters were read, and then the newspapers were distributed. No more work was done that day, and in the evening they all sat round the kitchen fire and talked over the intelligence they had received until long after their usual time of retiring to bed.

"I have been thinking, my dear Emily," said Mr. Campbell, the next morning before they quitted their sleeping-room, "what a very seasonable supply of money this will be. My funds, as you have seen by the account of my Quebec agent, were nearly exhausted, and we have many things yet to procure. We shall require horses next year, and we must increase our stock in every way; indeed, if we could have another man or two, it would be very advantageous, as the sooner we clear the ground, the sooner we shall be independent."

"I agree with you, Campbell; besides, we shall now have Alfred's half-pay, poor fellow, which will help us very much; I have been thinking more of him than anything else this night; I watched him when he read Captain Lumley's letter, and I well understood the cause of his seriousness for some time afterwards; I almost feel inclined to let him return to his profession; it would be painful parting with him, but the sacrifice on his part is very great."

"Still, it's his duty," replied Mr. Campbell, "and, moreover, absolutely necessary at present, that he should remain with us. When we are more settled and more independent of his assistance, we will talk over the subject."

In the meantime, Mary and Emma had gone out as usual to milk the cows. It was a beautiful clear day, but there was a bracing air which cheered the spirits, and the sunshine was pleasantly warm in situations sheltered from the winds; one of the few fine days just before the rushing in of winter. They had milked their cows, and had just turned them out again, when they both sat down with their pails before them on a log, which was in front of Malachi's lodge, now used as a cow-house.

"Do you know, Mary," said Emma, after a pause, "I'm almost sorry that I have received a letter from Miss Paterson."

"Indeed, dear Emma!"

"Yes, indeed, it has unsettled me. I did nothing but dream all last night. Everything was recalled to my mind —all that I most wished to forget. I fancied myself again engaged in all the pursuits of our much-loved home; I was playing the harp, you were accompanying on the piano as usual; we walked out in the shrubberies; we took an airing in the carriage; all the servants were before me; we went to the village and to the almshouses; we were in the garden picking dahlias and roses; I was just going up to dress for a large dinner-party, and had rung the bell for Simpson, when I woke up, and found myself in a log-hut, with my eyes fixed upon the rafters and bark covering of the roof, thousands of miles from Wexton Hall, and half an hour longer in bed than a dairymaid should be."

"I will confess, my dear Emma, that I passed much such a night; old associations will rise up again when so forcibly brought to our remembrance as they have been by Miss Paterson's letters, but I strove all I could to banish them from my mind, and not indulge in useless repining."

"Repine, I do not, Mary, at least, I hope not, but one cannot well help regretting; I cannot help remembering, as Macduff says, that 'such things were.'"

"He might well say so, Emma; for what had he lost? his wife and all his children, ruthlessly murdered; but what have we lost in comparison? nothing —a few luxuries. Have we not health and spirits? Have we not our kind uncle and aunt, who have fostered us —our cousins so attached to us? Had it not been for the kindness of our uncle and aunt, who have brought us up as their own children, should we, poor orphans, have ever been partakers of those luxuries which you now regret? Ought we not rather to thank Heaven that circumstances have enabled us to show some gratitude for benefits heaped upon us? How much greater are these privations to my uncle and aunt now that they are so much more advanced in years, and have been so much longer accustomed to competence and ease; and shall we repine or even regret, unless it is on their account? surely, my dear Emma, not on our own."

"I feel the truth of all you say, Mary," replied Emma; "nay, all that you have now said passed in my own mind, and I have argued to myself in almost the same words, but I fear that I am not quite so much of a philosopher as you are; and, acknowledging that what you say is correct, I still have the same feeling —that is, I wish that I had not received the letter from Miss Paterson."

"In that wish there can be no harm, for it is only wishing that you may not be tempted to repine."

"Exactly, my dear Mary; I am a daughter of Eve," replied Emma, laughing, and rising from her seat; "I will put away Miss Paterson's letter, and I daresay in a day or two shall have forgotten all about it. Dear Alfred, how glad I am that he is promoted; I shall call him Lieutenant Campbell till he is sick of it. Come, Mary, or we shall be keeping my uncle waiting; come, Juno."

Emma's calling Juno to follow her, reminds me that I have not yet introduced the dogs to my little readers, and as they will have to play their parts in our history, I may as well do so at once. Captain Sinclair, it may be remembered, had procured five dogs for Mr. Campbell from the officers of the fort —two terriers, which were named Trim and Snob; Trim was a small dog and kept in the house, but Snob was a very powerful bull-terrier, and very savage; a fox-hound bitch, the one which Emma had just called Juno; Bully, a very fine young bull-dog, and Sancho, an old pointer. At night, these dogs were tied up; Juno in the storehouse; Bully and Snob at the door of the house within the palisade; Trim indoors, and old Sancho at the lodge of Malachi Bone, where the cows were put in at night. Mr. Campbell found it rather expensive at first feeding these dogs, but as soon as Martin and his companions brought home game, there was always plenty for them all. They were all very sharp and high-couraged dogs, for they had been born in the fort and had been brought up to hunting every kind of game indiscriminately; and I need hardly add that they were excellent watch-dogs, and considered by Mr. Campbell as a great protection.

For the next two days, the family remained rather unsettled; there was so much news in the newspapers; so many recollections brought up by their perusal; so much to talk about and discuss, that very little work was done. The weather, however, was now becoming much colder, and for the two last days the sun had not shone. The sky was of one uniform, murky, solemn gray; and everything announced that the winter was close at hand. Martin, who had been hunting, when he came home bid them prepare for an immediate change in the weather, and his prediction was speedily verified.

Chapter XV.

It was on the Saturday evening, when they had all assembled round the fire, for it was more cold than it had hitherto been, that the moaning of the wind among the trees of the forest announced a gale of wind from the northward.

"We shall have it soon," observed Martin, "winter mostly comes in with a gale."

"Yes; and this appears as if it would be a strong gale," replied Alfred. "Hark! how the boughs of the trees are sawing and cracking against each other."

"I reckon we may get our snow-shoes out of the storehouse, John," said Martin, "and then we shall see how you can get over the ground with them when you go out hunting. You have not shot a moose yet."

"Is the moose the same as the elk, Martin?" said Henry.

"I do not think it is, sir; yet I've heard both names given to the animal."

"Have you ever shot any?" said Mrs. Campbell.

"Yes, ma'am; many a one. They're queer animals; they don't run like the other deer, but they trot as fast as the others run, so it comes to the same thing. They are very shy, and difficult to get near, except in the heavy snow, and then their weight will not allow them to get over it, as the lighter deer can; they sink up to their shoulders, and flounder about till they are overtaken. You see, Master Percival, the moose can't put on snow-shoes like we can, and that gives us the advantage over the animal."

"Are they dangerous animals, Martin?" inquired Mary Percival.

"Every large animal is more or less dangerous when it turns to bay, miss. A moose's horns sometimes weigh fifty pounds, and it is a strong animal to boot; but it can't do anything when the snow is deep. You'll find it good eating, at all events, when we bring one in."

"I'll bring one," said John, who was cleaning his rifle.

"I daresay you will as soon as you can manage your snow-shoes," replied Martin. "The wind is getting up higher. I guess you'll not find your way back to Malachi's lodge, Master John, as you thought to do to-morrow morning."

"It is certainly a dreadful night," observed Mrs. Campbell; "and I feel the cold very sensibly."

"Yes, ma'am; but as soon as the snow is down, you'll be warmer."

"It is time to go to bed," observed Mr. Campbell, "so put away your work; and, Henry, give me down the Bible."

During that night the gale increased to almost a hurricane; the trees of the forest crashed and crackled, groaned and sawed their long arms against each other, creating an unusual and almost appalling noise; the wind howled round the palisades and fluttered the strips of bark on the roof, and as they all lay in bed, they could not sleep for the noise outside, and the increased feeling of cold. It was also the first trial of this new house in severe weather, and some of the wakeful party were anxiously watching the result. Towards the morning the storm abated, and everything was again quiet. In consequence of the restless night which they had passed they were not so early as usual. Emma and Mary when they came out of their room found Martin and Alfred up and very busy with shovels; and, to their astonishment, they perceived that the snow was at least three feet deep on the ground, and in some places had been drifted up higher than their heads.

"Why, Alfred!" cried Emma; "how shall we be able to go after the cows this morning? This is, indeed, winter come on with little warning."

"It still snows," observed Mary; "not much, indeed, but the sky is very black."

"Yes, miss; we shall have some more of it yet," observed Martin. "Mr. Campbell and Mr. Henry have gone to the storehouse for more shovels, for we must work hard, and clear a footpath, and then get the snow up against the palisades."

"What a sudden change," said Emma; "I wish the sky would clear, and then I should not care."

"It will to-morrow, Miss Emma, I daresay; but the snow must come down first."

Martin and Alfred had only time to clear a path to the storehouse; Mr. Campbell and Henry returned with more shovels, and as soon as breakfast was over, they commenced work. As for Mary and Emma going to milk the cows, that was impossible. Martin undertook that task until they had cleared a pathway to the hunter's lodge, in which the animals were shut up every night.

By the advice of Martin, the snow next the palisades was piled up against the palings like a wall, as high as they could reach or throw it, by which means they got rid of the snow about the house, and at the same time formed a barrier against the freezing winds which they had to expect. All worked hard; Percival and John were of great use, and even Mrs. Campbell and the girls assisted collecting the remainder of the snow, and clearing it off the window-sills and other parts. By noon the snow left off falling, the sky cleared up, and the sun shone bright, although it gave out but little warmth.

After dinner they renewed their labours, and commenced clearing away a path to the lodge, where the cows were locked in, and before nightfall they had accomplished their task as far as the bridge over the stream, which was about half-way. It had been a day of great fatigue, and they were glad to retire to rest. Mrs. Campbell and the girls had put an additional supply of blankets and skins upon the beds, for the cold was now intense, and the thermometer stood far below the freezing point.

The following morning they resumed their task; the sky was still unclouded, and the sun shone out clear and bright. By dinner-time the path to the cow-house had been completed; and the men then employed themselves in carrying as much fire-wood as they could, before it was dark, within the palisades.

"Well," observed Alfred, "now things may go on as usual within doors; and what have we to do out, Martin?"

"You must first get on your snow-shoes, and learn to walk in them," observed Martin; "or otherwise you'll be a prisoner as well as the ladies. You see, John, you're not at Malachi's lodge."

"Go to-morrow," replied John.

"No; not to-morrow, for I must go with you," said Martin; "I cannot trust you for finding your way; and I cannot go to-morrow nor the next day either. We must kill our beef to-morrow; there's no fear but it will keep all the winter now, and we shall save our hay."

"My larder is but poorly furnished," observed Mrs. Campbell.

"Never mind, ma'am, we'll soon have something in it, which will save our beef. In another week you shall have it well stocked."

"John," said Mr. Campbell, "recollect you must not go away without Martin."

"I won't," replied John.

All the game in the larder having been consumed, they sat down to salt pork and some of the fish which had been cured. The latter was pronounced to be excellent.

"What is the name of this fish, Martin?"

"It is called the white-fish," replied Martin; "and I have heard gentry from the old country say that they have none better, if any so good."

"It is certainly most excellent," replied Mr. Campbell, "and we will not forget to have a good provision for next winter, if it pleases God to spare our lives."

"Where were you born, Martin?" said Henry, as they were sitting round the kitchen fire, as usual in the evening.

"Why, Mr. Henry, I was born at Quebec. My father was a corporal in the army under General Wolfe, and was wounded in the great battle fought between him and the Frenchman Montcalm."

"In which both generals were killed, but the victory was to us."

"So I've heard, sir," replied Martin. "My mother was an Englishwoman, and I was born about four years after the surrender of Quebec. My mother died soon afterwards, but my father was alive about five years ago, I believe. I can't exactly say, as I was for three or four years in the employ of the Fur Company, and when I returned, I found that he was dead."

"And you have been a hunter all your life?"

"Not all my life, and not exactly a hunter. I call myself a trapper, but I still am both. I first was out with the Indians when I was about fourteen, for you see my father wanted to make me a drummer, and I could not stand that; so I said to him, 'Father, I won't be a drummer.' 'Well,' says he, 'Martin, you must help yourself, for all my interest lies in the army.' 'So I will,' says I; 'father, I'm off for the woods.' 'Well,' says he, 'just as you like, Martin.' So one fine day I wished him good-bye, and did not see him again for more than two years."

"Well, and what took place then?"

"Why, I brought home three or four packages of good skins, and sold them well. Father was so pleased, that he talked of turning trapper himself; but, as I told the old man, a man with a lame leg, for he had been wounded in the leg and halted, would not make his livelihood by hunting in the woods of Canada."

"Was your father still in the army?"

"No, ma'am, he was not in the army; but he was employed in the storekeeper's department; they gave him the berth on account of his wound."

"Well; go on, Martin."

"I haven't much more to say, ma'am. I brought home my furs, sold them, and father helped me to spend the money as long as he was alive, and very welcome he was to his share. I felt rather queer when I came back from the Fur Company and found that the old man was dead, for I had looked forward with pleasure to the old man's welcome, and his enjoying his frolic with me as usual."

"I'm afraid those frolics were not very wise, Martin."

"No, sir, they were very foolish, I believe; but I fear it will always be the case with us trappers. We are like sailors, we do not know what to do with money when we get it; so we throw it away, and the sooner the better, for it is our enemy while we have it. I assure you, sir, that I used to feel quite happy when all my money was gone, and I was setting off to the woods again. It's a hard life, but a life that unfits you for any other; a life which you become very fond of. I don't mind being here with you by way of a change; indeed, as long as there is hunting, it is almost as good as if I were in the woods, but else I think I shall die a trapper."

"But, Martin," said Mr. Campbell, "how much more wise it would be to put your money by, and after a time purchase a farm and settle down a steady man with property, perhaps married and the father of a family."

"Perhaps it might be; but if I do not like it so well as trapping, I don't see why I should do so; it would be changing my life to please others and not myself."

"That's very true, Martin," said Alfred, laughing.

"Perhaps Martin may change his mind before he is an old man," replied Mrs. Campbell. "Dear me! what noise was that?" exclaimed Mrs. Campbell, as a melancholy howl was heard without.

"Only a rascally wolf, ma'am," said Martin; "we must expect the animals to be about us now that the snow has fallen, and the winter has set in."

"A wolf! are they not dangerous, Martin?" inquired Mary Percival.

"That depends, miss, how hungry they may be; but they are not very fond of attacking a human being; if we had any sheep outside, I fancy that they would stand a bad chance."

The howl was repeated, when one or two of the dogs, which had been admitted into the house and were stretched before the fire, roused up and growled.

"They hear him, ma'am, and if we were to let them out, would soon be at him. No, no, John, sit still and put down your rifle; we can't afford to hurt wolves; their skins won't fetch a half dollar, and their flesh is not fit for a dog, let alone a Christian. Let the vermin howl till he is tired; he'll be off to the woods again before daylight."

"There is certainly something very melancholy and dreadful to me in that howl," said Emma; "it frightens me."

"What, Emma, afraid?" said Alfred, going to her; "why yes, really she trembles; why, my dear Emma, do you recollect how frightened you and Mary were at the noise of the frogs when you first came here; you got used to it very soon, and so you will to the howl of a wolf."

"There is some difference, Alfred," replied Emma, shuddering as the howl was repeated. "I don't know how it is," said she, rallying her spirits, "but I believe it was reading Little Red Riding Hood when I was a child, which has given me such a horror of a wolf; I shall get over it very soon I have no doubt."

"I must say, that it does not create the most agreeable sensation in my mind," observed Mrs. Campbell, "but I was aware of what we were to encounter when we came here, and if it is only to be annoyed with the cry of a wild beast, we may consider that we get off very cheaply."

"I should feel more at ease, if all the rifles were loaded," said Mary Percival in her usual quiet way.

"And I too," said Emma.

"Well, then, if that will at all relieve your minds, it is easily done," said Mr. Campbell; "let us all load our rifles, and put them back in their rests."

"Mine's loaded," said John.

"And the rest soon shall be," said Alfred, "even the three appropriated for your use, mother and cousins. Now don't you feel some satisfaction in knowing that you can load and fire them yourselves? the practice you had during the fine weather has not been thrown away, has it, dear Emma?"

"No, it has not, and I am very glad that I did learn it; I am a coward in apprehension, Alfred, but, perhaps, if I was put to the test, I should behave better."

"That I really believe," replied Alfred; "a gale of wind at sea sounds very awful when down below jerking about in your hammock, but when on deck, you don't care a fig about it. Now the rifles are all loaded, and we may go to bed and sleep sound." They did retire to rest, but all parties did not sleep very sound; the howling of one wolf was answered by another; Emma and Mary embraced each other and shuddered as they heard the sounds, and it was long before they forgot their alarm and were asleep.

Chapter XVI.

The next morning was bright and clear, and when Emma and Mary went out, attended by Alfred, to go and milk the cows, although the cold was intense, everything looked so brilliant and sparkling in the sunshine that they regained their spirits. The lake was still unfrozen, and its waters, which were of an azure blue, contrasted with the whole of the country covered with snow, and the spruce firs with their branches loaded presented an alternate layer of pure white and of the darkest green. Birds there were none to be seen or heard. All was quiet, so quiet that as they stepped along the path which had been cleared away to the cow-house, they almost startled at the sound of their own voices, which the atmosphere rendered more peculiarly sonorous and ringing. Alfred had his rifle on his shoulder, and walked in front of his cousins.

"I have come to prove that all your fears are groundless, my dear Emma, and that you need not have any alarm about a skulking, cowardly wolf," said Alfred.

"Well, that may be," replied Emma, "but still we are very glad of your company."

They arrived at the cow-house without any adventure, let loose Sancho who had been tied up, as it was decided that the dog should remain at home with the others, and proceeded to milk the cows. Having finished that task, and supplied them with fodder, Mary Percival observed, as they were retracing their steps—

"I must say that it would not only be more convenient but more agreeable if the cows were kept nearer to the house."

"It would be certainly," replied Alfred. "It is a pity that there is not a cow-shed within the palisades; but we have no means of making one at present. Next year, when my father has purchased his horses and his sheep, which he talks of doing, we are to build a regular yard and sheds for all the animals close to the house, and palisaded round as the house now is, with a passage from one palisade to the other. Then it will be very convenient; but 'Rome was not built in one day,' as the proverb says; and we must, therefore, wait another winter."

"And be devoured by the wolves in the meantime," replied Emma, laughing.

"Why, you are getting over your fright already, Emma."

"Yes; I feel pretty bold, now I think there is nothing to be afraid of."

The remainder of the week was passed away in practising upon the snow-shoes by the males of the party, the women scarcely ever venturing out of doors, as the cold was very severe. Mary and Emma were accompanied by Alfred for the first three or four days; and after that, notwithstanding that the howling of the wolves was heard every night, they took courage when they found that the animals never made their appearance by daylight, and went as before to milk the cows by themselves. On the Saturday, they were in the hopes of seeing old Malachi Bone, but he did not make his appearance, and John, who could now get on very well in his snow-shoes, became very impatient. Alfred and Martin were also very anxious to see the old man, that they might ascertain if he had made any discoveries relative to the Indians. Sunday, as usual, was a day of rest from labour; the services were read by Mr. Campbell, and the evening passed in serious conversation. Mr. Campbell, although usually in good spirits, was certainly not so on that evening; whether it was that the severity of the winter which had set in and the known long duration of it which they had to encounter had an effect upon his spirits, he was melancholy as well as serious. He more than once referred to their former residence when in England, which was a very unusual thing for him to do, and by degrees the conversation was turned in that direction, and, although no one said so, they all felt what a change there was in their present position from that which they had been forced to leave. Mrs. Campbell, who perceived that a gloom was gathering over the whole party, made several remarks tending to reconcile them to their present lot, and, after a time, Mr. Campbell observed—

"Perhaps, my dear children, it may be a divine mercy which has sent you here to this wilderness; true it is that we are removed from civilisation, and shut up here by a severe winter, deprived of the enjoyments and pleasures which were to be found in the society which we were compelled to leave; but let us also bear in mind that we are removed from the many temptations which might have there assailed us."

"But still, papa, you would be very glad if circumstances would permit us to return to England; would you not?" said Percival.

"Yes, my child, I should, and even if I had remained here so long as to have become attached to the place and to the isolation which at first is felt so irksome, I would still return to England and to society, if I had the means. As Christians, we are not to fly from the world and its temptations, but to buckle on our armour, and, putting our trust in Him who will protect us, fight the good fight; that is, doing our duty in that state of life to which it shall please God to call us."

"But if ever we were to return to England, there would be no chance of our living as we did before we left it, would there, papa?"

"I see none, my dear boy; but we never know what is in store for us. Should any of us ever return, I presume it would be to live in a more humble way; and for my part, I should prefer that it were so, for although I trust I did not greatly misuse that wealth which I so long supposed to be mine, I should not be sorry to have much less, and therefore less responsibility."

"Indeed, my dear Campbell, imperfect as we all are, I do not believe that many could have made a better use of it than you did."

"I thought so at the time, my dear," replied Mr. Campbell, "but since it has been lost to me, I have often thought that I might have done more good with it. But the fact is, my dear children, there is nothing so dangerous to our eternal welfare as great wealth; it tends to harden the heart by affording the means of constant self-indulgence: under such circumstances, man is apt to become selfish, easily satisfied with his own works, and too proud to see his errors. Did you observe in the Litany, which I read at this morning's service, how very appropriately is inserted the prayer for deliverance under the perils of wealth?—

"'In all time of our tribulation, in all time of our wealth , in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment, good Lord deliver us.'

"Examine this, my dear children: in all time of our tribulation —that is in poverty and distress, and perhaps famishing from want (and in few positions are people so incited to crime), then in all time of our wealth, evidently and distinctly placing wealth as more dangerous to the soul's welfare than the extremest poverty and its accompanying temptations; and observe, only exceeded by the most critical of all dangerous positions, when all has been done and nothing can be undone —the hour of death, followed by the day of judgment."

Mr. Campbell ceased speaking, and there was a pause for a minute or two in the conversation, when Mary Percival said, "What then, my dear uncle, do you consider as the most enviable position in life?"

"I consider a moderate independence as the most enviable; not occupied in trade, as the spirit of barter is too apt to make us bend to that which is actually fraud. I should say, a country gentleman living on his own property and among his own tenants, employing the poor around him, holds a position in which he has the least temptation to do wrong, and the most opportunities of doing good."

"I agree with you, my dear Campbell," said his wife; "and yet how few are satisfied even with that lot."

"Because the craving after wealth is so strong, that everyone would have more than he hath, and few men will be content. This desire of aggrandisement overcomes and masters us; and yet, what can be more absurd than to witness the care and anxiety of those to gain riches, who have already more perhaps than is necessary for their wants —thus 'heaping up riches, not knowing who may gather them,' and endangering the soul to obtain that which they must leave behind them when they die. Others amass wealth, not actuated by the avarice of hoarding it up, but by the appetite for expending it; who collect unjustly that they may lavish profusely; these are equally foolish, and how important is that lesson given in the Scriptures." Mr. Campbell opened the Bible which lay before him and read—

"'And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:.

"'And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?.

"'And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods..

"'And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry..

"'But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.'"

After a short silence, Mrs. Campbell observed: "I have often reflected since I have been here upon what might have been our position had we decided upon remaining in England. We might at this moment have been in the greatest distress, even wanting a meal; and I have, therefore, often thanked God that He left us the means of coming here and providing for ourselves as we have done, and as I have no doubt shall, with His blessing, continue to do. How much better off are we at this moment than many thousands of our countrymen who remain in England! How many are starving! How many are driven into crime from want! while we have a good roof over our heads, sufficient clothing, and more than sufficient food. We have, therefore, great reason to thank God for the mercies He has vouchsafed to us; He has heard our prayer, 'Give us this day our daily bread.'"

"Yes," continued Mr. Campbell, "'Give us this day our daily bread,' is all that we are taught to ask for; and it comprehends all; and yet how heartlessly is this pronounced by many of those who do repeat their daily prayers. So is the blessing asked at meals, which is by too many considered as a mere matter of form. They forget, that He who gives can also take away; and in their presumption, suppose their own ability and exertion to have been the sole means of procuring themselves a daily supply of food; thanking themselves rather than the Giver of all good. How many thousands are there who have been supplied with more than they require from their cradle down to their grave, without any grateful feeling towards Heaven; considering the butcher and baker as their providers, and the debt cancelled as soon as the bills are paid. How different must be the feeling of the poor cottager, who is uncertain whether his labour may procure him and his family a meal for the morrow, who often suffers privation and hunger, and, what is more painful, witnesses the sufferings of those he loves. How earnest must be his prayer when he cries, 'Give us this day our daily bread.'"

This conversation had a very strong effect upon the party, and when they retired to rest, which they did shortly after, they laid their heads upon their pillows not only with resignation, but with thankfulness for the mercies which had been vouchsafed to them, and felt that in the wilderness, they were under the eye of a watchful and gracious Providence.

Chapter XVII.

On the Monday morning, Alfred and Martin went to the cow-house, and slaughtered the bullock which they had obtained from the commandant of the fort. When it was skinned it was cut up, and carried to the storehouse, where it was hung up for their winter consumption.

As the party were sitting down to dinner, they were greeted by Captain Sinclair and a young lieutenant of the garrison. It hardly need be said that the whole family were delighted to see them. They had come overland in their snow-shoes, and brought some partridges or grouse, as they are sometimes called, which they had shot on their way. Captain Sinclair had obtained leave from the commandant to come over and see how the Campbells were getting on. He had no news of any importance, as they had had no recent communication with Quebec or Montreal; all was well at the fort, and Colonel Forster had sent his compliments, and begged if he could be useful, that they would let him know. Captain Sinclair and his friend sat down to dinner, and talked more than they ate, asking questions about everything.

"By the bye, Mr. Campbell, where have you built your pig-sties?"

"Inside the palisade, next to the fowl-house."

"That is well," replied Captain Sinclair, "for otherwise you may be troubled by the wolves, who are very partial to pork or mutton."

"We have been troubled with them," replied Emma; "at least with their howlings at night, which make me tremble as I lie awake in bed."

"Never mind their howling, Miss Emma; we have plenty of them round the fort, I can assure you; unless attacked, they will not attack you, at least I never knew an instance, although I must confess that I have heard of them."

"You will of course sleep here to-night?"

"Yes; we will, if you have a bear or buffalo skin to spare," replied Captain Sinclair.

"We will manage it, I have no doubt," said Mr. Campbell.

"And if you could manage, Captain Sinclair," said Emma, somewhat archly, "as you say that they are not dangerous animals, to bring us in a few skins to-night, it would make the matter easy."

"Emma, how can you talk such nonsense?" cried Mary Percival. "Why should ou ask a guest to undertake such a service? Why have you not proposed it to Alfred or Henry, or even Martin?"

"We will both try, if you please," replied Alfred.

"I must put my veto on any such attempts, Alfred," said Mr. Campbell. "We have sufficient danger to meet without running into it voluntarily, and we have no occasion for wolves' skins just now. I shall, however, venture to ask your assistance to-morrow morning. We wish to haul up the fishing-punt before the ice sets in on the lake, and we are not sufficiently strong-handed."

During the day, Captain Sinclair took Alfred aside to know if the old hunter had obtained any information relative to the Indians. Alfred replied, that they expected him every day, but as yet had not received any communication from him. Captain Sinclair stated that they were equally ignorant at the fort as to what had been finally arranged, and that Colonel Forster was in hopes that the hunter would by this time have obtained some intelligence.

"I should not be surprised if Malachi Bone were to come here to-morrow morning," replied Alfred. "He has been away a long while, and I am sure is as anxious to have John with him as John is impatient to go."

"Well, I hope he will; I shall be glad to have something to tell the Colonel, as I made the request upon that ground. I believe, however, he was very willing that I should find an excuse for coming here, as he is more anxious about your family than I could have supposed. How well your cousin Mary is looking."

"Yes; and so is Emma, I think. She has grown half a head since she left England. By the bye, you have to congratulate me on my obtaining my rank as lieutenant."

"I do indeed, my dear fellow," replied Captain Sinclair. "They will be pleased to hear it at the fort. When will you come over?"

"As soon as I can manage to trot a little faster upon these snow-shoes. If, however, the old hunter does not come to-morrow, I will go to the fort as soon as he brings us any news."

The accession to their party made them all very lively, and the evening passed away very agreeably. At night, Captain Sinclair and Mr. Gwynne were ushered into the large bedroom where all the younger male portion of the family slept, and which, as we before stated, had two spare bed-places.

The next morning, Captain Sinclair would have accompanied the Misses Percival on their milking expedition, but as his services were required to haul up the fishing-punt, he was obliged to go down with all the rest of the men to assist; Percival and John were the only ones left at home with Mrs. Campbell. John, after a time, having as usual rubbed down his rifle, threw it on his shoulder, and, calling the dogs which lay about, sallied forth for a walk, followed by the whole pack except old Sancho, who invariably accompanied the girls to the cow-house.

Mary and Emma tripped over the new-beaten snow-path to the cow-house, merry and cheerful, with their pails in their hands, Emma laughing at Captain Sinclair's disappointment at not being permitted to accompany them. They had just arrived at the cow-house, when old Sancho barked furiously, and sprang to the side of the building behind them, and in a moment afterwards rolled down the snow heap which he had sprung over, holding on and held fast by a large black wolf. The struggle was not very long, and during the time that it lasted the girls were so panic-struck, that they remained like statues within two yards of the animals. Gradually the old dog was overpowered by the repeated snapping bites of the wolf, yet he fought nobly to the last, when he dropped under the feet of the wolf, his tongue hanging out, bleeding profusely and lifeless. As soon as his adversary was overpowered, the enraged animal, with his feet upon the body of the dog, bristling his hair and showing his powerful teeth, was evidently about to attack the young women. Emma threw her arm round Mary's waist, advancing her body so as to save her sister. Mary attempted the same, and then they remained waiting in horror for the expected spring of the animal, when of a sudden the other dogs came rushing forward, cheered on by John, and flew upon the animal. Their united strength soon tore him down to the ground, and John coming up, as the wolf defended himself against his new assailants, put the muzzle of his rifle to the animal's head, and shot it dead.

The two sisters had held up during the whole of this alarming struggle; but as soon as they perceived the wolf was dead and that they were safe, Mary could stand no longer, and sank down on her knees, supporting her sister, who had become insensible.

If John showed gallantry in shooting the wolf, he certainly showed very little towards his cousins. He looked at Mary, nodded his head towards the wolf's body, and saying "He's dead," shouldered his rifle, turned round and walked back to the house.

On his return, he found that the party had just come back from hauling up the punt, and were waiting the return of the Misses Percival to go to breakfast.

"Was that you who fired just now, John?" said Martin.

"Yes," replied John.

"What did you fire at?" said Alfred.

"A wolf," replied John.

"A wolf! where?" said Mr. Campbell.

"At the cow-lodge," replied John.

"The cow-lodge!" said his father.

"Yes; killed Sancho!"

"Killed Sancho! why, Sancho was with your cousins!"

"Yes," replied John.

"Then, where did you leave them?"

"With the wolf," replied John, wiping his rifle very coolly.

"Merciful Heaven!" cried Mr. Campbell, as Mrs. Campbell turned pale; and Alfred, Captain Sinclair, Martin, and Henry, seizing their rifles, darted out from the house, and ran with all speed in the direction of the cow-house.

"My poor girls!" exclaimed Mr. Campbell.

"Wolf's dead, father," said John.

"Dead! Why didn't you say so, you naughty boy?" cried Mrs. Campbell.

"I wasn't asked," replied John.

In the meantime the other party had gained the cow-house; and, to their horror, beheld the wolf and dog dead, and the two young women lying on the snow close to the two animals; for Mary had fainted away shortly after John had walked off. They rushed towards the bodies of the two girls, and soon discovered that they were not hurt. In a short time, they were recovered and were supported by the young men to the house.

As soon as they arrived, Mrs. Campbell took them into their room, that they might rally their spirits, and in a quarter of an hour returned to the party outside, who eagerly inquired how they were.

"They are much more composed," replied Mrs. Campbell; "and Emma has begun to laugh again; but her laugh is rather hysterical and forced; they will come out at dinner-time. It appears that they are indebted to John for their preservation, for they say the wolf was about to spring upon them when he came to their assistance. We ought to be very grateful to Heaven for their preservation. I had no idea, after what Martin said about the wolves, that they were so dangerous."

"Why, ma'am, it is I that am most to blame, and that's the fact," replied Martin. "When we killed the bullock, I threw the offal on the heap of snow close to the cow-lodge, meaning that the wolves and other animals might eat it at night, but it seems that this animal was hungry, and had not left his meal when the dog attacked him, and that made the beast so rily and savage."

"Yes; it was the fault of Martin and me," replied Alfred. "Thank Heaven it's no worse!"

"So far from its being a subject of regret, I consider it one of thankfulness," replied Mr. Campbell. "This might have happened when there was no one to assist, and our dear girls might have been torn to pieces. Now that we know the danger, we may guard against it for the future."

"Yes, sir," replied Martin; "in future some of us will drive the cows home, to be milked every morning and evening: inside the palisade there will be no danger. Master John, you have done well. You see, ma'am," continued Martin, "what I said has come true. A rifle in the hands of a child is as deadly a weapon as in the hands of a strong man."

"Yes; if courage and presence of mind attend its use," replied Mr. Campbell. "John, I am very much pleased with your conduct."

"Mother called me naughty," replied John, rather sulkily.

"Yes, John, I called you naughty, for not telling us the wolf was dead, and leaving us to suppose that your cousins were in danger; not for killing the wolf. Now I kiss you, and thank you for your bravery and good conduct."

"I shall tell all the officers at the fort what a gallant little fellow you are, John," said Captain Sinclair; "there are very few of them who have shot a wolf, and what is more, John, I have a beautiful dog, which one of the officers gave me the other day in exchange for a pony, and I will bring it over, and make it a present to you for your own dog. He will hunt anything, and he is very powerful —quite able to master a wolf, if you meet with one. He is half mastiff and half Scotch deerhound, and he stands as high as this," continued Captain Sinclair, holding his hand about as high as John's shoulder.

"I'll go to the fort with you," said John, "and bring him back."

"So you shall, John, and I'll go with you," said Martin, "if master pleases."

"Well," replied Mr. Campbell. "I think he may; what with Martin, his own rifle, and the dog, John will, I trust, be safe enough."

"Certainly, I have no objection," said Mrs. Campbell, "and many thanks to you, Captain Sinclair."

"What's the dog's name?" said John.

"Oscar," replied Captain Sinclair. "If you let him walk out with your cousins, they need not fear a wolf. He will never be mastered by one as poor Sancho was."

"I'll lend him sometimes," replied John. "Always; when you don't want him yourself, John."

"Yes, always," replied John, who was going out of the door.

"Where are you going, dear?" said Mrs. Campbell. "Going to skin the wolf," replied John, walking away.

"Well, he'll be a regular keen hunter," observed Martin. "I daresay old Bone has taught him to flay an animal. However, I'll go and help him, for it's a real good skin." So saying, Martin followed John.

"Martin ought to have known better than to leave the offal where he did," observed Captain Sinclair.

"We must not be too hard, Captain Sinclair," said Alfred. "Martin has a contempt for wolves, and that wolf would not have stood his ground had it been a man instead of two young women who were in face of him. Wolves are very cunning, and I know will attack a woman or child when they will fly from a man. Besides, it is very unusual for a wolf to remain till daylight, even when there is offal to tempt him. It was the offal, the animal's extreme hunger, and the attack of the dog —a combination of circumstances —which produced the event. I do not see that Martin can be blamed, as one cannot foresee everything."

"Perhaps not," replied Captain Sinclair, "and all's well that ends well."

"Are there any other animals to fear?" inquired Mrs. Campbell.

"The bear is now safe for the winter in the hollow of some tree or under some root, where he has made a den. It will not come out till the spring. The catamount or panther is a much more dangerous animal than the wolf; but it is scarce. I do think, however, that the young ladies should not venture out unless with some rifles in company for fear of another mischance. We have plenty of lynxes here; but I doubt if they would attack even a child, although they fight when assailed, and bite and claw severely."

The Misses Percival now made their appearance. Emma was very merry, but Mary rather grave. Captain Sinclair, having shaken hands with them both, said—

"Why, Emma, you appear to have recovered sooner than your sister!"

"Yes," replied Emma; "but I was much more frightened than she was, and she supported me, or I should have fallen at the wolf's feet. I yielded to my fears; Mary held up against hers; so, as her exertions were much greater than mine, she has not recovered from them so soon. The fact is, Mary is brave when there is danger, and I am only brave when there is none."

"I was quite as much frightened as you, my dear Emma," said Mary Percival; "but we must now help our aunt, and get dinner ready on the table."

"I cannot say that I have a wolfish appetite this morning," replied Emma, laughing; "but Alfred will eat for me and himself too."

In a few minutes dinner was on the table, and they all sat down without waiting for Martin and John, who were still busy skinning the wolf.

Chapter XVIII.

"Here come Martin and John at last," said Mr. Campbell, after they had been about a quarter of an hour at table.

But he was mistaken; instead of Martin and John, Malachi Bone made his appearance, and, to their surprise, accompanied by his young squaw, the Strawberry Plant.

Everyone rose to welcome them, and the Misses Percival went to their little female acquaintance, and would have made her sit down with them, but she refused, and took her seat on the floor near the fire.

"She an't used to chairs and stools, miss; let her be where she is," said old Bone, "she'll be more comfortable, and that's what you want her to be, I'm sure. I brought her with me, because I could not carry all the venison myself, and also to show her the way in and out of the house, and how it is fastened, in case of sending a message by night."

"Of sending a message by night," said Mrs. Campbell, with surprise, "why, what possible occasion could there be for that?"

Captain Sinclair and Alfred, who perceived that the old hunter had said too much, were quite at a loss what to say. They did not like to frighten Mrs. Campbell and the girls about the Indians, especially as they had just been so much alarmed with the accident of the morning. At last Alfred replied, "The fact is, my dear mother, that 'forewarned is being forearmed,' as the saying is; and I told Martin to request Malachi Bone, if he should hear of any Indians being about or near us, to let us know immediately."

"Yes, ma'am, that is the whole story," continued Malachi. "It's the best plan, when you're in the woods always to have your rifle loaded."

Mrs. Campbell and the girls were evidently not a little fluttered at this fresh intimation of danger. Captain Sinclair perceived it, and said: "We have always spies on the look-out at the fort, that we may know where the Indians are and what they are about. Last month, we know that they held a council, but that it broke up without their coming to any determination, and that no hostile feeling was expressed so far as we could ascertain. But we never trust the Indians, and they, knowing that we watch them, have been very careful not to commit any outrages; they have not done so for a long while, nor do I think they will venture again. At the same time, we like to know where they are, and I requested Alfred to speak to Malachi Bone, to send us immediate word if he heard or saw anything of them: not, however, that I intended that the ladies should be wakened up in the middle of the night," continued Captain Sinclair, laughing; "that was not at all necessary."

Malachi Bone would have responded, but Alfred pinched his arm; the old man understood what was meant, and held his tongue; at last he said—

"Well, well, there's no harm done, it's just as well that the Strawberry should know her way about the location, if it's only to know where the dogs are, in case she comes of a message."

"No, no," replied Mr. Campbell, "I'm glad that she is come, and hope she will come very often. Now, Malachi, sit down and eat something."

"Well, but about the Indians, Captain Sinclair," said Mrs. Campbell; "that you have not told us all I am certain, and the conviction that such is the case, will make me and the girls very uneasy; so pray do treat us as we ought to be treated; we share the danger, and we ought to know what the danger is."

"I do not think that there is any danger, Mrs. Campbell," replied Captain Sinclair, "unless Malachi has further information to give us. I do, however, perfectly agree with you, that you ought to know all that we know, and am quite ready to enter upon the subject, trifling as it is."

"So I presume it must be, my dear," observed Mr. Campbell, "for I have as yet known nothing about the matter. So pray, Captain Sinclair, instruct us all."

Captain Sinclair then stated what he had before mentioned to Alfred, and having so done, and pointed out that there was no occasion for alarm, he requested Malachi Bone would say if he had any further information.

"The Inguns did meet as you say, and they could not agree, so they broke up, and are now all out upon their hunting and trapping for furs. But there's one thing I don't exactly feel comfortable about, which is, that the 'Angry Snake,' as he is called, who was at the 'talk,' and was mighty venomous against the English, has squatted for the winter somewhere here about."

"The Angry Snake," said Captain Sinclair. "Is that the chief who served with the French, and wears a medal?"

"The very same, sir. He's not a chief, though; he was a very good warrior in his day, and the French were very partial to him, as he served them well; but he is no chief, although he was considered as a sort of one from the consequence he obtained with the French. He is an old man now, and a very bitter one. Many's the Englishman that he has tied to the stake, and tortured during the war. He hates us, and is always stirring up the Inguns to make war with us; but his day is gone by, and they do not heed him at the council now."

"Then, why are you uncomfortable about him?" said Mr. Campbell.

"Because he has taken up his quarters for the winter hunting not far from us, with six or seven of the young warriors, who look up to him, and he is mischievous. If the Ingun nation won't make war, he will do something on his own account, if he possibly can. He's not badly named, I can tell you."

"Will he attack you?"

"Me! no, no; he knows better. He knows my rifle well; he has the mark on his body; not but that he would if he dared, but I am Ingun myself, and know Ingun craft. Then, you see, these people have strange ideas. During the whole war they never could even hit me with their rifles, and they think I am not to be hurt —that's their superstition —and my rifle, they think, never misses (they're almost right there, for it does not once in a hundred times), so what with this and that, they fear me as a supernatural, as we call it. But that's not the case with you all here, and if the Snake could creep within these palisades, he might be mischievous."

"But the tribes know very well that any attack of this kind would be considered as a declaration of hostilities," said Captain Sinclair, "and that we should retaliate."

"Yes; but you see the Snake don't belong to these tribes about us; his nation is much farther off —too far to go for redress; and the tribes here, although they allow him to join the 'talk' as an old warrior who had served against the English and from respect to his age, do not acknowledge him or his doings. They would disavow them immediately and with truth, but they cannot prevent his doing mischief."

"What, then, is the redress in case of his doing any mischief?" said Henry.

"Why, upon him and his band, whenever you can find them. You may destroy them all, and the Inguns here won't say a word, or make any complaint. That's all that can be done; and that's what I will do; I mean to tell him so, when I meet him. He fears me, and so do his men; they think me medicine."

"Medicine! What is that?" said Henry.

"It means that he has a charmed life," replied Captain Sinclair. "The Indians are very superstitious."

"Yes, they be; well, perhaps, I'll prove medicine; and I'll give them a pill or two out of my rifle," said Malachi, with a grim smile. "Howsomever, I'll soon learn more about them, and will let you know when I do. Just keep your palisade gates fast at night and the dogs inside of them, and at any time I'll give you warning. If I am on their trail the Strawberry shall come, and that's why I brought her here. If you hear three knocks outside the palisade at any hour of the night, why, it will be her, so let her in."

"Well," said Mrs. Campbell, "I'm very glad that you have told me all this; now I know what we have to expect, I shall be more courageous and much more on my guard."

"I think we have done wisely in letting you know all we knew ourselves," said Captain Sinclair. "I must soon take my leave, as I must be at the fort before sunset. Martin and John are to come with me, and bring back the dog."

"An't the boy going with me?" said Malachi.

"Yes; to-morrow morning he may go, but after his return from the fort it will be too late."

"Well, then, I may as well stay here," replied Malachi. "Where is he?"

"He is gone to skin a wolf, which he shot this morning," replied Alfred. "He will soon be here."

Mrs. Campbell shortly related to Malachi the adventure of the wolf. The old hunter listened in silence, and then gave a nod of approbation.

"I reckon he'll bring home more skins than that this winter," said he.

The party then rose just as Martin and John made their appearance. Captain Sinclair conversed with the Misses Percival, while the old hunter spoke to the Strawberry Plant in her own dialect; the others either went out or were busy in clearing the table, till Captain Sinclair took his departure with John and Martin, each armed with a rifle.

"Well, this has been an exciting day," observed Mr. Campbell, a little before they retired to bed.

"We have much to thank God for, and great reason to pray for his continued protection and assistance. God bless you all, my children; good-night."

Chapter XIX.

The next morning, a little after daybreak, Martin and John made their appearance, leading the magnificent dog which Captain Sinclair had given to John. Like most large dogs, Oscar appeared to be very good-tempered, and treated the snarling and angry looks of the other dogs with perfect contempt.

"It is, indeed, a noble animal," said Mr. Campbell, patting its head.

"It's a fine creature," observed Malachi, "a wolf would stand no chance against him, and even a bear would have more on its hands than it could well manage, I expect; but, come here, boy," said the old hunter to John, leading the way outside of the door.

"You'd better leave the dog, John," said Malachi, "the crittur will be of use here, but of no good to us."

John made no reply, and the hunter continued—

"I say it will be of use here, for the girls might meet with another wolf, or the house might be attacked; but good hunters don't want dogs. Is it to watch for us, and give us notice of danger? Why, that's our duty, and we must trust to ourselves, and not to an animal. Is it to hunt for us? Why, no dog can take a deer so well as we can with our rifles; a dog may discover us when we wish to be hidden; a dog's track will mark us out when we would wish our track to be doubted. The animal will be of no utility ever to us, John, and may do us harm, 'specially now the snow's on the ground. In the summer-time, you can take him and teach him how to behave as a hunter's dog should behave; but we had better leave him now, and start at once."

John nodded his head in assent, and then went indoors.

"Good-bye," said John, going up to his mother and cousins; "I shall not take the dog."

"Won't take the dog! well, that's very kind of you, John," said Mary, "for we were longing to have him to protect us."

John shouldered his rifle, made a sign to Strawberry Plant, who rose, and looking kindly at Mrs. Campbell and the girls, without speaking, followed John out of the hut. Malachi certainly was not very polite, for he walked off, in company with John and the squaw, without taking the trouble to say "Good-bye." It must, however, be observed that he was in conversation with Martin, who accompanied them on the way.

The winter had now become very severe. The thermometer was twenty degrees below the freezing point, and the cold was so intense, that every precaution was taken against it. More than once Percival, whose business it was to bring in the firewood, was frost-bitten, but as Mrs. Campbell was very watchful, the remedy of cold snow was always successfully applied. The howling of the wolves continued every night, but they were now used to it, and the only effect was, when one came more than usually close to the house, to make Oscar raise his head, growl, listen awhile, and then lie down to sleep again. Oscar became very fond of the girls, and was their invariable companion whenever they left the house. Alfred, Martin, and Henry went out almost daily on hunting excursions; indeed, as there were no crops in the barn, they had little else to do. Mr. Campbell remained at home with his wife and nieces; occasionally, but not very often, Percival accompanied the hunters; of Malachi and John, they saw but little; John returned about every ten days, but although he adhered to his promise, his anxiety to go back to Malachi was so very apparent, and he was so restless, that Mrs. Campbell rather wished him to be away, than remain at home so much against his will.

Thus passed away the time till the year closed in confined as they were by the severity of the weather, and having little or nothing to do, the winter appeared longer and more tedious than it would have done if they had been settled longer, and had the crops to occupy their attention; for it is in the winter that the Canadian farmer gets through all his thrashing and other work connected with his farm, preparatory for the coming spring. This being their first winter, they had, of course, no crops gathered in, and were, therefore, in want of employment. Mrs. Campbell and her nieces worked and read, and employed themselves in every way that they could, but constantly shut up within doors, they could not help feeling the monotony and ennui of their situation. The young men found occupation and amusement in the chase; they brought in a variety of animals and skins, and the evenings were generally devoted to a narration of what occurred in the day during their hunting excursions, but even these histories of the chase were at last heard with indifference. It was the same theme only with variations, over and over again, and there was no longer much excitement in listening.

"I wonder when John will come back again," observed Emma to her sister, as they were sitting at work.

"Why, he only left two days ago, so we must not expect him for some time."

"I know that; I wonder if Oscar would kill a wolf, I should like to take him out and try."

"I thought you had had enough of wolves already, Emma," replied Mary.

"Yes, well; that old Malachi will never bring us any more news about the Indians," continued Emma, yawning.

"Why, I do not think that any news about them is likely to be pleasant news, Emma, and therefore why should you wish it?"

"Why, my dear Mary, because I want some news; I want something to excite me, I feel so dull. It's nothing but stitch, stitch, all day, and I am tired of always doing the same thing. What a horrid thing a Canadian winter is, and not one-half over yet."

"It is very dull and monotonous, my dear Emma, I admit, and if we had more variety of employment, we should find it more agreeable, but we ought to feel grateful that we have a good house over our heads, and more security than we anticipated."

"Almost too much security, Mary; I begin to feel that I could welcome an Indian even in his war-paint, just by way of a little change."

"I think you would soon repent of your wish, if it were gratified."

"Very likely, but I can't help wishing it now. When will they come home? What o'clock is it? I wonder what they'll bring, the old story I suppose, a buck; I'm sick of venison."

"Indeed, Emma, you are wrong to feel such discontent and weariness."

"Perhaps I am, but I have not walked a hundred yards for nearly one hundred days, and that will give one the blues, as they call them, and I do nothing but yawn, yawn, yawn, for want of air and exercise. Uncle won't let us move out on account of that horrid wolf. I wonder how Captain Sinclair is getting on at the fort, and whether he is as dull as we are."

To do Emma justice, it was seldom that she indulged herself in such lamentings, but the tedium was more than her high flow of spirits could well bear. Mrs. Campbell made a point of arranging the household, which gave her occupation, and Mary from natural disposition did not feel the confinement as much as Emma did; whenever, therefore, she did show symptoms of restlessness or was tempted to utter a complaint, they reasoned with and soothed, but never reproached her.

The day after this conversation, Emma, to amuse herself, took a rifle and went out with Percival. She fired several shots at a mark, and by degrees acquired some dexterity; gradually she became fond of the exercise, and not a day passed that she and Percival did not practise for an hour or two, until at last Emma could fire with great precision. Practice and a knowledge of the perfect use of your weapon gives confidence, and this Emma did at last acquire. She challenged Alfred and Henry to fire at the bull's-eye with her, and whether by their gallantry or her superior dexterity, she was declared victor. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell smiled when Emma came in and narrated her success, and felt glad that she had found something which afforded her amusement.

It happened that one evening the hunters were very late; it was a clear moonlight night, but at eight o'clock, they had not made their appearance; Percival had opened the door to go out for some firewood which had been piled within the palisades, and as it was later than the usual hour for locking the palisade gates, Mr. Campbell had directed him so to do. Emma, attracted by the beauty of the night, was at the door of the house, when the howl of a wolf was heard close to them; the dogs, accustomed to it, merely sprang on their feet, but did not leave the kitchen fire; Emma went out, and looked through the palisades to see if she could perceive the animal, and little Trim, the terrier, followed her. Now Trim was so small that he could creep between the palisades, and as soon as he was close to them, perceiving the wolf, the courageous little animal squeezed through them and flew towards it, barking as loud as he could. Emma immediately ran in, took down her rifle and went out again, as she knew that poor Trim would soon be devoured. The supposition was correct, the wolf instead of retreating closed with the little dog and seized it. Emma, who could now plainly perceive the animal, which was about forty yards from her, took aim and fired, just as poor Trim gave a loud yelp. Her aim was good, and the wolf and dog lay side by side. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, and Mary, hearing the report of the rifle, ran out, and found Percival and Emma at the palisades behind the house.

"I have killed him, aunt," said Emma, "but I fear he has killed poor little Trim; do let us go out and see."

"No, no, my dear Emma, that must not be; your cousins will be home soon, and then we shall know how the case stands; but the risk is too great."

"Here they come," said Percival, "as fast as they can run."

The hunters were soon at the palisade door and admitted; they had no game with them. Emma jeered them for coming back empty-handed.

"No, no, my little cousin," replied Alfred, "we heard the report of a rifle, and we threw down our game, that we might sooner come to your assistance if you required it. What was the matter?"

"Only that I have killed a wolf, and am not allowed to bring in my trophy," replied Emma. "Come, Alfred, I may go with you and Martin."

They went to the spot, and found the wolf was dead, and poor Trim dead also by his side. They took in the body of the little dog, and left the wolf till the morning, when Martin said he would skin it for Miss Emma.

"And I'll make a footstool of it," said Emma; "that shall be my revenge for the fright I had from the other wolf. Come, Oscar, good dog; you and I will go wolf-hunting. Dear me, who would have thought that I should have ever killed a wolf —poor little Trim!"

Martin said it would be useless to return for the venison, as the wolves had no doubt eaten it already; so they locked the palisade gate, and went into the house.

Emma's adventure was the topic of the evening, and Emma herself was much pleased at having accomplished such a feat.

"Well," said Martin, "I never but one woman who faced a wolf except Miss Emma."

"And who was that, Martin?" said Mrs. Campbell. "It was a wife of one of our farmers, ma'am; she was at the outhouse doing something, when she perceived a wolf enter the cottage-door, where there was nobody except the baby in the cradle. She ran back and found the wolf just lifting the infant out of the cradle by its clothes. The animal looked at her with his eyes flashing; but, having its mouth full, it did not choose to drop the baby, and spring at her; all it wanted was to get clear off with its prey. The woman had presence of mind enough to take down her husband's rifle and point it to the wolf, but she was so fearful of hurting the child, that she did not put the muzzle to its head, but to its shoulder. She fired just as the wolf was making off, and the animal fell, and could not get on its feet again, and it then dropped the child out of its mouth to attack the mother. The woman caught the child up, but the wolf gave her a severe bite on the arm, and broke the bone near the the wrist. A wolf has a wonderful strong jaw, ma'am. However, the baby was saved, and neighbours came and despatched the animal."

"What a fearful position for a mother to be in!" exclaimed Mrs. Campbell.

"Where did that happen?"

"On the White Mountains, ma'am," replied Martin. "Malachi Bone told me the story; he was born there."

"Then he is an American."

"Well, ma'am, he is an American because he was born in this country, but it was English when he was born, so he calls himself an Englishman."

"I understand," replied Mrs. Campbell, "he was born before the colonies obtained their independence."

"Yes, ma'am, long before; there's no saying how old he is. When I was quite a child, I recollect he was then reckoned an old man; indeed, the name the Indians gave to him proves it. He then was called the 'Gray Badger.'"

"But is he so very old, do you really think, Martin?"

"I think he has seen more than sixty snows, ma'am; but not many more; the fact is, his hair was gray before he was twenty years old; he told me so himself, and that's one reason why the Indians are so fearful of him. They have it from their fathers that the Gray Badger was a great hunter, as Malachi was more than forty years ago; so they imagine as his hair was gray then, he must have been a very old man at that time back, and so to them he appears to live for ever, and they consider him as charmed, and to use their phrase 'great medicine .' I've heard some Indians declare, that Malachi has seen one hundred and fifty winters, and they really believe it. I never contradicted them, as you may imagine."

"Does he live comfortably?"

"Yes, ma'am, he does; his squaw knows what he wants, and does what she is bid. She is very fond of the old man and looks upon him, as he really is to her, as a father. His lodge is always full of meat and he has plenty of skins. He don't drink spirits, and if he has tobacco for smoking and powder and ball, what else can he want?"

"Happy are they whose wants are so few," observed Mr. Campbell. "A man in whatever position in life, if he is content, is certain to be happy. How true are the words of the poet—

"'Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long!'

"Malachi Bone is a happier man than hundreds in England who live in luxury. Let us profit, my dear children, by his example, and learn to be content with what Heaven has bestowed upon us. But it is time to retire. The wind has risen, and we shall have a blustering night. Henry, fetch me the Book."

Chapter XX.

Alfred and Martin brought in the wolf which Emma had killed, but it was frozen so hard, that they could not skin it. Poor little Trim was also carried in, but the ground was too hard frozen for them to bury the body, so they put it into the snow until the spring, when a thaw would take place. As for the wolf, they said nothing about it, but they remained up when the rest of the family retired, and after the wolf had been some time before the fire, they were able to take off the skin.

On the following morning when the hunters went out, they were particularly desired to shoot a wild turkey if they could, as the next day was Christmas day.

"Let us take Oscar with us," said Alfred; "he is very swift and may run them down; we never can get up with them in our snow-shoes."

"I wonder whether they will get a turkey," said Emma, after the hunting party had left.

"I think it will be difficult," said Mrs. Campbell; "but they will try all they can."

"I hope they will; for Christmas-day without a turkey will be very un-English."

"We are not in England, my dear Emma," said Mr. Campbell; "and wild turkeys are not to be ordered from the poulterers."

"I know that we are not in England, my dear uncle, and I feel it too. How was the day before every Christmas-day spent at Wexton Hall? What piles of warm blankets, what a quantity of duffel cloaks, flannels, and worsted stockings were we all so busy and so happy in preparing and sorting to give away on the following morning, that all within miles of us should be warmly clothed on that day! And, then, the housekeeper's room with all the joints of meat, and flour and plums and suet, in proportion to the number of each family, all laid out and ticketed ready for distribution. And then the party invited to the servants' hall, and the great dinner, and the new clothing for the school-girls, and the church so gay, with their new dresses in the aisles, and the holly and the mistletoe. I know we are not in England, my dear uncle, and that you have lost one of your greatest pleasures —that of doing good and making all happy around you."

"Well, my dear Emma, if I have lost the pleasure of doing good, it is the will of Heaven that it should be so, and we ought to be thankful that, if not dispensing charity, at all events, we are not the objects of charity to others; that we are independent and earning an honest livelihood. People may be very happy and feel the most devout gratitude on the anniversary of so great a mercy, without having a turkey for dinner."

"I was not in earnest about the turkey, my dear uncle. It was the association of ideas connected by long habit, which made me think of our Christmas times at Wexton Hall; but, indeed, my dear uncle, if there was regret, it was not for myself so much as for you," replied Emma, with tears in her eyes.

"Perhaps, I spoke rather too severely, my dearest Emma," said Mr. Campbell; "but I did not like to hear such a solemn day spoken of as if it were commemorated merely by the eating of certain food."

"It was foolish of me," replied Emma, "and it was said thoughtlessly."

Emma went up to Mr. Campbell and kissed him, and Mr. Campbell said, "Well, I hope there will be a turkey, since you wish for one."

The hunters did not return till late, and when they appeared in sight, Percival, who had descried them, came in and said that they were very well loaded, and were bringing in their game slung upon a pole.

Mary and Emma went out of the door to meet their cousins. That there was a heavy load carried on a pole between Martin and Alfred was certain, but they could not distinguish what it consisted of. As the party arrived at the palisade gates, however, they discovered that it was not game, but a human being, who was carried on a sort of litter made of boughs.

"What is it, Alfred?" said Mary.

"Wait till I recover my breath," said Alfred, as he reached the door, "or ask Henry, for I'm quite knocked up."

Henry then went with his cousins into the house, and explained to them that as they were in pursuit of the wild turkeys, Oscar had stopped suddenly and commenced baying; that they went up to the dog, and, in a bush, they found a poor Indian woman nearly frozen to death, and with a dislocation of the ankle, so severe that her leg was terribly swelled, and she could not move. Martin had spoken to her in the Indian tongue, and she was so exhausted with cold and hunger, that she could just tell him that she belonged to a small party of Indians who had been some days out hunting, and a long way from where they had built their winter lodges; that she had fallen with the weight which she had to carry, and that her leg was so bad, she could not go on with them; that they had taken her burden, and left her to follow them when she could.

"Yes," continued Alfred; "left the poor creature without food, to perish in the snow. One day more, and it would have been all over with her. It is wonderful how she can have lived through the two last nights as she has. But Martin says the Indians always do leave a woman to perish in this way or recover as she can, if she happens to meet with an accident."

"At all events, let us bring her in at once," said Mr. Campbell. "I will first see if my surgical assistance can be of use, and after that we will do what we can for her. How far from this did you find her?"

"About eight miles," replied Henry; "and Alfred has carried her almost the whole way; Martin and I have relieved each other, except once, when I took Alfred's place."

"And so you perceive, Emma, instead of a wild turkey, I have brought an Indian squaw," said Alfred.

"I love you better for your kindness, Alfred," replied Emma, "than if you had brought me a waggon-load of turkeys."

In the meantime, Martin and Henry brought in the poor Indian, and laid her down on the floor at some distance from the fire, for though she was nearly dead with the cold, too sudden an exposure to heat would have been almost equally fatal.

Mr. Campbell examined her ankle, and with a little assistance reduced the dislocation. He then bound up her leg, and bathed it with warm vinegar, as a first application. Mrs. Campbell and the two girls chafed the poor creature's limbs till the circulation was a little restored, and then they gave her something warm to drink. It was proposed by Mrs. Campbell that they should make up a bed for her on the floor of the kitchen. This was done in a corner near to the fireplace, and in about an hour their patient fell into a sound sleep.

"It is lucky for her that she did not fall into that sleep before we found her," said Martin; "she would never have awoke again."

"Most certainly not," replied Mr. Campbell. "Have you any idea what tribe she is of, Martin?"

"Yes, sir; she is one of the Chippeways; there are many divisions of them, but I will find out when she wakes again to which she belongs; she was too much exhausted when we found her to say much."

"It appears very inhuman leaving her to perish in that way," observed Mrs. Campbell.

"Well, ma'am, so it does; but necessity has no law. The Indians could not, if they would, have carried her, perhaps, one hundred miles. It would have, probably, been the occasion of more deaths, for the cold is too great now for sleeping out at nights for any time, although they do contrive with the help of a large fire to stay out sometimes."

"Self-preservation is the first law of nature, certainly," observed Mr. Campbell; "but, if I recollect right, the savages do not value the life of a woman very highly."

"That's a fact, sir," replied Martin; "not much more, I reckon, than you would a beast of burden."

"It is always the case among savage nations," observed Mr. Campbell; "the first mark of civilisation is the treatment of the other sex, and in proportion as civilisation increases, so are the women protected and well used. But your supper is ready, my children, and I think after your fatigue and fasting you must require it."

"I am almost too tired to eat," observed Alfred. "I shall infinitely more enjoy a good sleep under my bear-skins. At the same time I'll try what I can do," continued he, laughing, and taking his seat at table.

Notwithstanding Alfred's observation, he contrived to make a very hearty supper, and Emma laughed at his appetite after his professing that he had so little inclination to eat.

"I said I was too tired to eat, Emma, and so I felt at the time; but as I became more refreshed my appetite returned," replied Alfred, laughing, "and notwithstanding your jeering me, I mean to eat some more."

"How long has John been away?" said Mr. Campbell.

"Now nearly a fortnight," observed Mrs. Campbell; "he promised to come here on Christmas-day. I suppose we shall see him to-morrow morning."

"Yes, ma'am; and old Bone will come with him, I daresay. He said as much to me when he was going away the last time. He observed that the boy could not bring the venison, and perhaps he would if he had any, for he knows that people like plenty of meat on Christmas-day."

"I wonder whether old Malachi is any way religious," observed Mary. "Do you think he is, Martin?"

"Yes, ma'am; I think he feels it, but does not show it. I know from myself what are, probably, his feelings on the subject. When I have been away for weeks and sometimes for months, without seeing or speaking to anyone, all alone in the woods, I feel more religious than I do when at Quebec on my return, although I do go to church. Now old Malachi has, I think, a solemn reverence for the Divine Being, and strict notions of duty, so far as he understands it —but as he never goes to any town or mixes with any company, so the rites of religion, as I may call them, and the observances of the holy feasts, are lost to him, except as a sort of dream of former days, before he took to his hunter's life. Indeed, he seldom knows what day or even what month it is. He knows the seasons as they come and go, and that's all. One day is the same as another, and he cannot tell which is Sunday, for he is not able to keep a reckoning. Now, ma'am, when you desired Master John to be at home on the Friday fortnight because it was Christmas-day, I perceived old Malachi in deep thought: he was recalling to mind what Christmas-day was; if you had not mentioned it, the day would have passed away like any other; but you reminded him, and then it was that he said he would come if he could. I'm sure that now he knows it is Christmas-day, he intends to keep it as such."

"There is much truth in what Martin says," observed Mr. Campbell; "we require the seventh day in the week and other stated seasons of devotion to be regularly set apart, in order to keep us in mind of our duties and preserve the life of religion. In the woods, remote from communion with other Christians, these things are easily forgotten, and when once we have lost our calculation, it is not to be recovered. But come, Alfred, and Henry, and Martin must be very tired, and we had better all go to bed. I will sit up a little while to give some drink to patient, if she wishes it. Good-night, my children."

Chapter XXI.

Christmas-Day was indeed a change, as Emma had observed, from their former Christmas; but although the frost was more than usually severe, and the snow filled the air with its white flakes, and the north-east wind howled through the leafless trees as they rasped their long arms against each other, and the lake was one sheet of thick ice, with a covering of snow which the wind had in different places blown up into hillocks, still they had a good roof over their heads, and a warm, blazing fire on the hearth: and they had no domestic miseries, the worst miseries of all to contend against, for they were a united family, loving and beloved; showing mutual acts of kindness and mutual acts of forbearance; proving how much better was "a dish of herbs where love is, than the stalled ox with hatred therewith." Moreover, they were all piously disposed; they were sensible that they owed a large debt of gratitude to Heaven for all its daily mercies in providing them with food and raiment, for warding off from them sickness and sorrow, and giving them humble and contented hearts; and on this day, they felt how little were all worldly considerations, compared with the hopes which were held out to them through the great sacrifice which the goodness and mercy of God had made for them and all the world. It was therefore with cheerful yet subdued looks that they greeted each other when they met previous to the morning prayers.

Mr. Campbell had already visited his patient and re-adjusted the bandage: her ankle was better, but still very much swelled; the poor creature made no complaints, she looked grateful for what was done and for the kindness shown to her. They were all arrayed in their best Sunday dresses, and as soon as prayers were over, had just wished each other the congratulations so general, so appropriate, and yet too often so thoughtlessly given upon the anniversary, when Malachi Bone, his little squaw the Strawberry, and John entered the door of the hut, laden with the sports of the forest, which they laid down in the corner of the kitchen, and then saluted the party.

"Here we are all together on Christmas-day," said Emma, who had taken the hand of the Strawberry.

The Indian girl smiled, and nodded her head.

"And, John, you have brought us three wild turkeys; you are a good boy, John," continued Emma.

"If we only had Captain Sinclair here now," said Martin to Emma and Mary Percival, who was by Emma's side, shaking hands with the Strawberry.

Mary coloured up a little, and Emma replied, "Yes, Martin, we do want him, for I always feel as if he belonged to the family."

"Well, it's not his fault that he's not here," replied Martin; "it's now more than six weeks since he has left, and if the Colonel would allow him, I'm sure that Captain Sinclair—"

"Would be here on this day," said Captain Sinclair, who with Mr. Gwynne, his former companion, had entered the door of the house without being observed; for the rest of the party were in conversation with Malachi Bone and John.

"Oh, how glad I am to see you," cried Emma; "we only wanted you to make our Christmas party complete; and I'm very glad to see you too, Mr. Gwynne," continued Emma, as she held out a hand to each.

"We had some difficulty in persuading the Colonel to let us come," observed Captain Sinclair to Mary; "but as we have heard nothing further about the Indians, he consented."

"You have nothing more to fear from the Indians this winter, Captain, and you may tell the Colonel so from me," said Malachi. "I happened to be on their hunting ground yesterday, and they have broken up and gone westward, that is, Angry Snake and his party have; I followed their track over the snow for a few miles just to make sure; they have taken everything with them, but somehow or other, I could not find out that the squaw was with them —and they had one in their party. They carried their own packs of fur, that I'll swear to, and they had been thrown down several times; which would not have been the case, if they had not been carried by men; for you see, the Ingun is very impatient under a load, which a squaw will carry the whole day without complaining. Now that party is gone, there is no other about here within fifty miles, I'll be bound for."

"I'm very glad to hear you say so," replied Captain Sinclair.

"Then, perhaps, this poor woman whom you succoured, Alfred, is the squaw belonging to the party," observed Mr. Campbell. Mr. Campbell then related to Malachi Bone what had occurred on the day before; how the hunting party had brought home the woman, whom he pointed to in the corner, where she had remained unnoticed by the visitors.

Malachi and the Strawberry went up to her; the Strawberry spoke to her in the Indian tongue in a low voice, and the woman replied in the same, while Malachi stood over them and listened.

"It's just as you thought, sir; she belongs to the Angry Snake, and she says that he has gone with his party to the westward, as the beaver were very scarce down here; I could have told him that. She confirms my statement, that all the Indians are gone, but are to meet at the same place in the spring, to hold a council."

"Is she of the same tribe as the Strawberry?" inquired Henry.

"That's as may be," replied Malachi; "I hardly know which tribe the Strawberry belongs to."

But they speak the same language.

"Yes; but the Strawberry learnt the tongue from me," replied Malachi.

"From you," said Mrs. Campbell; "how was that?"

"Why, ma'am, it's about thirteen or fourteen years back, that I happened to come in upon a skirmish which took place on one of the small lakes between one of the tribes here and a war party of Hurons who were out. They were surprised by the Hurons, and every soul, as far as I could learn, was either scalped or carried away prisoner. The Hurons had gone about an hour or two, when I came up to the place where they fought, and I sat down looking at the dead bodies, and thinking to myself what creatures men were to deface God's image in that way, when I saw under a bush two little sharp eyes looking at me; at first, I thought it was some beast, a lynx, mayhap, as they now call them, and I pointed my rifle towards it; but before I pulled the trigger, I thought that perhaps I might be mistaken, so I walked up to the bush, and there I discovered that it was an Indian child, which had escaped the massacre by hiding itself in the bush. I pulled it out; it was a girl about two years old, who could speak but a few words. I took her home to my lodge, and have had her with me ever since, so I don't exactly know what tribe she belongs to, as they all speak the same tongue. I called her the 'Strawberry,' because I found her under a bush close to the ground, and among strawberry plants which were growing there."

"And then you married her," said Percival.

"Married her! no, boy, I never married her; what has an old man of near seventy to do with marrying? They call her my squaw, because they suppose she is my wife, and she does the duty of a wife to me; but if they were to call her my daughter, they would be nearer the mark, for I have been a father to her."

"Well, Malachi, to tell you the truth, I did think that she was too young to be your wife," said Emma.

"Well, miss, you were not far wrong," replied the old man. "I do wish I could find out her tribe, but I never have been able, and indeed, from what I can learn, the party who were surprised came a long way from this, although speaking the same language; and I don't think there is any chance now, for even if I were to try to discover it, there have been so many surprises and so much slaughter within these last twenty years, that it's scarcely possible the search would be attended with success."

"But why do you wish to find out her tribe?" said Mary.

"Because I'm an old man, miss, and must soon expect to be gathered to my fathers, and then this poor little girl will be quite alone, unless I can marry her to someone before I die: and if I do marry her, why then she will leave me alone; but that can't be helped, I'm an old man, and what does it matter."

"It matters a great deal, Malachi," said Mr. Campbell; "I wish you would live with us; you would then be taken care of if you required it, and not die alone in the wilderness."

"And the Strawberry shall never want friends or a home, while we can offer her one, Malachi," said Mrs. Campbell; "let what will happen to you, she will be welcome to live here and die here, if she will remain."

Malachi made no reply; he was in deep thought, resting his chin upon his hands which held his rifle before him. Mrs. Campbell and the girls were obliged to leave to prepare the dinner. John had sat down with the Strawberry and the Indian woman, and was listening to them, for he now understood the Chippeway tongue. Alfred, Sinclair, and the other gentlemen of the party, were in conversation near the fire, when they were requested by Mrs. Campbell to retreat to the sitting-room, that the culinary operations might not be interfered with. Malachi Bone still continued sitting where he was, in deep thought. Martin, who remained, said to the Misses Percival in a low voice—

"Well, I really did think that the old man had married the girl, and I thought it was a pity," continued he, looking towards the Strawberry, "for she is very young and very handsome for a squaw."

"I think," replied Mary Percival, "she would be considered handsome everywhere, Martin, squaw or not; her features are very pretty, and then she has a melancholy smile, which is perfectly beautiful; but now, Martin, pluck these turkeys, or we shall not have them ready in time."

As soon as the dinner was at the fire, and could be left to the care of Martin, Mrs. Campbell and the Misses Percival went into the sitting-room. Mr. Campbell then read the morning service of the day, Henry officiating as clerk in the responses. Old Malachi had joined the party, and was profoundly attentive. As soon as the service was over, he said—

"All this puts me in mind of days long past, days which appear to me as a dream, when I was a lad and had a father and a mother, and brothers and sisters around me; but many summers and many winters have passed over my head since then."

"You were born in Maine, Malachi, were you not?"

"Yes, ma'am, half-way up the White Mountains. He was a stern old man, my father; but he was a righteous man. I remember how holy Sunday was kept in our family; how my mother cleaned us all, and put on our best clothes, and how we went to the chapel or church, I forget which they called it; but no matter, we went to pray."

"Was your father of the Established Church, Malachi?"

"I can't tell, ma'am; indeed, I hardly know what it means; but he was a good Christian and a good man, that I do know."

"You are right, Malachi; when the population is crowded, you find people divided into sects, and, what is still worse, despising, if not hating each other, because the outward forms of worship are a little different. Here in our isolated position, we feel how trifling are many of the distinctions which divide religious communities, and that we could gladly give the right hand of fellowship to any denomination of Christians who hold the main truths of the Gospel. Are not all such agreed in things essential, animated with the same hopes, acknowledging the same rule of faith, and all comprehended in the same divine mercy which was shown us on this day? What do all sincere Christians believe but that God is holy, great, good, and merciful, that His Son died for us all, and that through His merits and intercession if we conform to His precepts —whether members of the Church of England, or any other communion —we shall be saved and obtain the blessedness of heaven? We may prefer, and reasonably prefer, our own mode of worship, believing it to be most edifying; but we have no right to quarrel with those who conscientiously differ from us about outward forms and ceremonies which do not involve the spirit of Christianity."

After a pause, Mary Percival said, "Malachi, tell us more about your father and your family."

"I have little to tell, miss; only that I now think that those were pleasant days which then I thought irksome. My father had a large farm, and would have had us all remain with him. In the winter we felled timber, and I took quite a passion for a hunter's life; but my father would not allow me to go from home, so I stayed till he died, and then I went away on my rambles. I left when I was not twenty years old, and I have never seen my family since. I have been a hunter and a trapper, a guide and a soldier, and an interpreter; but for these last twenty-five years I have been away from towns and cities, and have lived altogether in the woods. The more man lives by himself, the more he likes it, and yet now and then circumstances bring up the days of his youth, and make him hesitate whether it be best or not to live alone."

"I am glad to hear you say that, Malachi," said Mr. Campbell.

"I little thought that I should ever have said it," replied the old man, "when I first saw that girl by the side of the stream," looking at Emma, "then my heart yearned towards the boy; and now this meeting to praise God and to keep Christmas-day —all has helped."

"But do you not pray when you are alone?" said Mary.

"Yes in a manner, miss; but it's not like your prayers; the lips don't move, although the heart feels. When I lie under a tree watching for the animals, and I take up a leaf and examine it, I observe how curious and wonderful it is —I then think that God made it, and that man could not. When I see the young grass springing up, and how, I know not, except that it does so every year, I think of God and His mercy to the wild animals in giving them food; and then the sun reminds me of God; and the moon, and the stars, as I watch, make me think of Him; but I feel very often that there is something wanting, and that I do not worship exactly as I ought to do. I never have known which is Sunday, although I well recollected how holy it was kept at my father's house; and I never should have known that this was Christmas-day, had it not been that I had met with you. All days are alike to a man that is alone and in the wilderness, and that should not be —I feel that it should not."

"So true is it," observed Mr. Campbell, "that stated times and seasons are necessary for the due observance of our religious duties; and I am glad to hear Malachi say this, as I trust it will occasion his being with us more than he has been."

"Come to us every Sunday, Malachi," said Mrs. Campbell.

"I think I will, ma'am, if I can —indeed, why I say if I can , I know not; it was wrong to say so."

"I wish you to come not only on your own account, but for John's sake; suppose you agree to come every Sunday morning, and leave us every Monday. You will then have the whole week for your hunting."

"Please God, I will," replied Malachi.

"And bring the Strawberry with you," said Mary.

"I will, miss; it cannot but do her good."

Dinner was now announced, and they all sat down, a happy party. Mr. Campbell on this occasion produced two or three bottles of his small store of wine, which he kept rather in case of illness than for any other reason, for they had all been so long without wine or spirits, that they cared little about it. Their dinner consisted of white fish (salted), roast venison, boiled salt beef, roast turkey, and a plum-pudding, and they were all very merry, although they were in the woods of Canada, and not at Wexton Hall.

"My children," said Mr. Campbell, after dinner, "I now drink all your healths, and wish you as much happiness as the world affords, and at the same time accept my most hearty thanks and my dearest love. You have all been good, obedient, and cheerful, and have lightened many a heavy load. If when it pleased Providence to send us into this wilderness, it had been part of my lot to contend with wilful and disobedient children; if there had been murmuring and repining at our trials; discontent and quarrelling among yourselves, how much more painful would have been our situation. On the contrary, by your good-humour and attention, your willing submission to privations, and your affectionate conduct towards me, my wife, and each other, you have not allowed us to feel the change of position to which we have been reduced. I say again, my dear children all, you have my thanks, and may the Almighty bless and preserve you!"

Chapter XXII.

When we left off our narrative, our Canadian settlers were enjoying themselves on Christmas-day. On the following morning, Malachi Bone, the Strawberry, and John set off for their abode to the westward, and Captain Sinclair and his companion went back to the fort. The Indian woman was better, and the family resumed their usual occupations. We must now briefly narrate a few events which occurred during the remainder of the long winter. Malachi and John made their appearance, accompanied by the Strawberry, almost every Sunday, and the old hunter appeared gradually to become more reconciled to the society of others, and sometimes would remain for a day or two over the Sunday. The Indian woman in the course of three weeks was quite recovered, and signified, through the Strawberry, her wish to leave, and join her tribe. To this, of course, no objection was raised; and having received a supply of provisions, she took her leave at the latter end of the month of January.

February —March followed, and the winter still continued, but the sun became more powerful, and the weather was not so severe. It was not till the middle of April that the lake was clear of ice, and the thaw commenced, and then it was so rapid, that the little stream became quite an impetuous torrent, and a large portion of the prairie land was under water. A few days, however, sufficed to change the scene; the snow which had covered the ground for so many months had all disappeared; the birds which had been mute or had migrated during the winter, now made their appearance, and chirped and twittered round the house; the pleasant green of the prairie was once more presented to their view, and Nature began to smile again. Other ten days passed, and the trees had thrown out their leaves, and after one or two storms, the weather became warm and the sky serene.

Great was the delight of the whole party at this change; and now the cows were put out to their pasture, and Emma and Mary went milking as before, no longer afraid of meeting with the wolves. The boat was launched, and Percival and John went out to procure fish. Alfred, Henry, and Martin were very busy picking up the cleared ground, to sow the first crop. Mr. Campbell worked all day in the garden; the poultry were noisy and bustling, and soon furnished an abundant supply of eggs; and as now the hunting season was over for a time, Malachi and the Strawberry were continually coming to visit them.

"Oh! how delightful this is," exclaimed Emma, as she stopped at the bridge and looked on the wide blue lake; "is it not, Mary, after having been cooped up for so many dreary months?"

"It is, indeed, Emma; I do not wonder at your flow of spirits; I feel quite another person myself. Well, if the winter is long and dreary, at all events, it doubly enhances the value of the spring."

"I think it's very odd that Captain Sinclair has not come to see us; don't you, Mary?"

"I certainly did expect him before this," replied Mary; "I presume, however, his duty will not permit him to come."

"Surely he could get leave now that the weather is fine; there was some reason for his not coming during the winter. I hope he is not ill."

"I hope so too, most sincerely, Emma," replied Mary; "but come, sister, we must not loiter; hear how the calves are bleating for us to let them have their breakfasts; we shall have more of them very soon; yes, and plenty of milk, and then we shall have plenty of churning; but I like work when the weather is fine."

After breakfast, Emma expressed her surprise to Alfred at Captain Sinclair's not having made his appearance, and her fear that he was not well. Alfred, at her request, promised to walk to the fort in the afternoon, and ascertain how matters were.

John, who had not forgotten the advice of Malachi, brought in a basket of fine trout from the stream almost every day, and the supply of fish and eggs proved very acceptable, for the beef had all been consumed, and the family would otherwise have been reduced to salt pork.

Alfred, as he had promised Emma, set off for the fort, accompanied by Martin. He returned the next morning full of news. Captain Sinclair was, as Emma had imagined, unable to come, having had a severe fall, by which he had injured his knee, and was laid up for a time: he was, however, in very good spirits, and the medical officer had promised that he should be well again in a fortnight; he sent his kind regards to all the family. The commandant also sent his compliments to Mr. Campbell, and desired to acquaint him that in a week or ten days, it was his intention to send a boat to Montreal, and if Mr. Campbell had any purchases to make, or wished to send anyone by the opportunity, he might do so, and the boat would bring back the articles he required. They had had no further communication with Quebec, but expected a runner to come every day with the letters from England and newspapers; and further, that he hoped soon to be able to pay his respects in person.

Such was the information brought by Alfred; Emma made many inquiries relative to Captain Sinclair as Mary stood by, and Alfred laughed at her extreme inquisitiveness. The proposition of the commandant relative to the trip to Montreal was then discussed. Old Malachi had several packages of furs to dispose of. Martin had five, Alfred three, and Henry two; for, although we made no mention of it, on their hunting excursions, whoever killed the animal was entitled to the skin. The packages of Malachi were, however, of some value, as he had many beaver and other skins, while those of Martin and the others consisted chiefly of deer-skins. The question was whom to send down with them. Malachi was not inclined to go, Martin could not well be spared, and, moreover, would very probably get into some scrape if he went to Montreal; whereas Henry and Alfred did not know anything about the value of skins; otherwise, Mr. Campbell, who wished to purchase flour and pork, besides several other articles, would have preferred sending one of them. But the difficulty was soon removed by old Malachi, who observed, that he had made a valuation of his skins, and that the others could be valued also before they were packed up; and that if not sold for what they ought to fetch, or nearly so, they had better be brought back. Mr. Campbell was satisfied with this arrangement, and Henry was appointed to undertake the journey. Mr. Campbell made out his inventory of articles; Mrs. Campbell added her list, and all was ready as soon as they received notice that the boat was to leave. Martin did not appear at all annoyed at not being selected for the expedition; since Malachi Bone had informed them that the Strawberry was not his wife, as they had supposed, Martin was continually by her side. She began to speak a few words of English, and had become a great favourite with everybody.

Mr. Campbell, as soon as he perceived that Malachi no longer avoided them, thought it but his duty to offer him his land back again, but Malachi would not consent to accept it. He said he did not want the land, although, perhaps, he might raise his lodge a little nearer to them than it was; at present, things had better remain as they were; after which Mr. Campbell did not renew the subject. Malachi soon acted upon his remark, that perhaps he might raise his lodge a little nearer, for a few days afterwards, he made his appearance with the Strawberry and John, all three loaded with his household utensils, and in a very short time he had erected another wigwam within sight of the house at the western end of Mr. Campbell's prairie. This gave great satisfaction to Mrs. Campbell, because John was now always near to them; indeed, he no longer slept in the lodge, but at the house, in the room with his brothers. The major part of the day he passed at the lodge or in company with the old hunter; but by this new arrangement they gradually became, as it were, one family; not a day passed that the Strawberry did not come to their house and make herself useful, assisting in everything that she could, and rapidly learning what she did not know.

One or two evenings after the message from the fort, Mrs. Campbell asked Malachi some questions relative to the habits of the beaver, as she had heard much of the sagacity of that animal.

"Well, ma'am," said Malachi, "it's a most reasonable animal certainly, and I will say, I never was tired with watching them; I've even forgot in the summer time what I came out for, from having fallen in with them at work."

"And so have I," said Martin. "I once was lying down under a bush by the side of a stream, and I saw a whole council of them meet together, and they talked after their own fashion so earnestly, that I really think they have a language as good as our own. It's always the old ones who talk, and the young ones who listen."

"That's true," replied Malachi. "I once myself saw them hold a council, and then they all separated to go to work, for they were about to dam up a stream and build their lodges."

"And what did they do, Malachi?" said Mrs. Campbell.

"Why, ma'am, they did all the same as Christians would have done. The Inguns say that beavers have souls as well as themselves, and certainly if sense gave souls, the Inguns would be in the right. The first thing that they did was to appoint their sentinels to give notice of danger; for the moment anyone comes near them, these sentinels give the signal and away they all dive, and disappear till the danger is over."

"There are many beasts as well as birds that do the same," observed Mr. Campbell; "indeed, most of those which are gregarious and live in flocks."

"That's true, sir," replied Martin.

"Well, ma'am, the beavers choose a place fit for their work. What they require is a stream running through a flat or bottom, which stream of water they may dam up so as to form a large pond of a sufficient depth by the water flowing over and covering the flat or bottom several feet; and when they have found the spot they require, they begin their work."

"Perhaps," observed Mr. Campbell, "this choice requires more sagacity than the rest of their labour, for the beavers must have some engineering talent to make the selection; they must be able to calculate as exactly as if they took their levels, to secure the size and depth of water in the pond which is necessary. It is the most wonderful, perhaps, of all the instincts, or reasoning powers rather, allotted to them."

"It is, sir; and I've often thought so," replied Malachi; "and then to see how they carry all their tools about them; a carpenter's basket could not be better provided. Their strong teeth serve as axes to cut down the trees; then their tails serve as trowels for their mason's work; their fore feet they use just as we do our hands, and their tails are also employed as little carts or wheelbarrows."

"Pray go on, Malachi," said Mary; "I am quite interested already."

"Well, miss, I have known these little creatures as they are, raise banks four or five hundred paces in length, and a matter of twenty feet high in some parts, besides being seven or eight feet thick; and all in one season —perhaps five or six months' work."

"But how many of them do you reckon are at the work?" said Henry.

"Perhaps a hundred; not more, I should say."

"Well; but how do they raise these banks, Malachi?" said Emma.

"There, miss, they show what sense they have. I've often watched them when they have been sawing through the large trees with the front teeth; they could not carry the tree, that's sartain, if the whole of them were to set to work, so they always pick out the trees by the banks of the stream, and they examine how the trees incline, to see if they will fall into the stream; if not, they will not cut them down; and when they are cutting them down and they are nearly ready for falling, if the wind should change and be against the fall, they will leave that tree till the wind will assist them. As soon as the trees are down, they saw off the branches and arms, and float the log down to where the dam is to be made; they lay them across, and as they lay them one upon the other, of course the water rises and enables them to float down and place the upper ones. But before that, as soon as the lower logs are in their places, the animals go and fetch long grass and clay, which they load upon their flat tails, and drag to the dam, filling up the holes between the timber till it is as strong as a wall, and the water is completely stopped."

"Yes," said Martin; "I have heard them at night working away so hard and flapping and spattering with their tails, that I could imagine there were fifty men at work instead of a hundred of those small animals. But they work by day and by night, and never seem tired, till the dam is sound and their work is complete."

"But the raising of the dam is only preparatory, is it not, to their building their own houses?" observed Mrs. Campbell.

"Nothing more, ma'am; and I think the rest of the work is quite as wonderful."

"But it is time to go to bed," observed Mr. Campbell, "and we must, therefore, leave the remainder of Malachi's story till another evening."

"I am sure that there is not one of the party who is more anxious to hear it than I am," replied Mrs. Campbell, rising, "but as you say, it is past ten o'clock, and Malachi and the Strawberry have to go home, so, good-night."

"Oh, dear! what a pity!" cried Percival, "I shall dream of beavers all night, I'm sure I shall."

Chapter XXIII.

For two or three days, Mr. Campbell was very busy making out an inventory of the articles which he required. His funds at Quebec were rather low, but the communication which his agent had made to him of Mr. D. Campbell's intention of paying for the greenhouse and hothouse plants, made him feel very easy on that score; and he now determined to procure a small flock of sheep, and one or two of the Canadian ponies or Galloways, as they would soon be required for the farm, as well as two carts or light waggons used in the country. In the meantime, Alfred, Martin, and Henry were very busy putting the seed in between the stumps of the felled timber, merely hoeing up the earth and raking it in, which was all that was required. The quantity of land cleared was about twelve acres, half of which was sowed with oats, and the other with wheat; the piece cleared on the other side of the stream by Malachi Bone and railed in was sown with maize, or Indian corn. As soon as the seed was in, they all set to putting up a high fence round the cleared land, which was done with split rails made from the white cedar, which grew in a swamp about half a mile distant, and which, it may be remembered, had in a great measure been provided by the soldiers who had been lent to assist them on their arrival. The piece of prairie land, on the side of the stream next to the house, was put apart for an early crop of hay; and as soon as they could, they intended to turn the cows into the bush, that is to feed in the forest, that they might obtain hay from the other side, which had belonged to Malachi; but the prairie required to be fenced in, and this was the job that they took in hand as soon as the seeds were sown.

"I hope when the Colonel comes over," observed Martin to Alfred, "that we shall persuade him to let us have some soldiers this summer, for we shall want them both for the fencing and getting the hay crop in. Our summers are not very long, and there is plenty to do."

"I think my father intends to make the request," replied Alfred.

"Ah, sir; he will now see the value of this bit of prairie land to a new settler; instead of having to go in search of hay, as they must do at the fort now, we have plenty for hay, and plenty for feed. So we are to have some sheep, I find?"

"Yes, and I suppose we must build a winter yard for them."

"To be sure we must, for the wolves are very partial to mutton; I think, on the whole, that they like pigs better. I wish we could get the fence up round the prairie, but that we never can do this year without we have help from the fort."

"But will it be safe to turn the cows into the bush?"

"Oh yes, sir; they will not be hurt by anything in the summer-time; sometimes we have trouble to find them again, but not when they have calves; they are certain to come home every evening to their young ones."

"We shall have quite a herd of cattle; eight calves and eight cows."

"We must only bring up the cow calves, unless your father intends to have oxen for the yoke. We shall require them about the time they are fit to break in, that is in two or three years."

"Yes, we shall be great farmers by and by," replied Alfred with a sigh; for at the moment he was thinking of Captain Lumley and his nautical profession.

In the evening of the day on which this conversation took place, Malachi Bone was requested to resume his observations upon the beavers.

"Well, ma'am, as I said the other night, as soon as they have dammed up the river and made the lake, they then build their houses; and how they manage to work under water and fix the posts in the ground is a puzzle to me, but they do fix six posts in the ground, and very firmly, and then they build their house, which is very curious; it is in the form of a large oven, and made of clay and fat earth, mixed up with branches and herbs of all sorts; they have three sets of rooms one above the other, so that if the water rises from a freshet or sudden thaw, they may be able to move higher and keep themselves dry. Each beaver has his own little room, and the entrance is made under the water, so that they dive down to go into it, and nothing can harm them."

"How very curious, and what do they live upon, Malachi?"

"The bark of what we call asp-wood, ma'am, which is a kind of sallow; they lay up great quantities of it in the autumn as a provision for winter, when they are frozen up for some months."

"Well, but how do you take them, Malachi?"

"There are many ways, ma'am; sometimes the Indians break down the dam, and let off the water, and then they kill them all except a dozen of the females and half a dozen males; after which they stop up the dam again, that the animals may breed and increase; sometimes, when the beaver lake is frozen hard, they break into the beaver house from the top; when they do that, the beavers all dive and escape, but as they must come up to breathe at the holes in the ice, they place nets and take them in that way, but they always leave a sufficient number to keep up the stock; they also take them in traps baited with the asp-wood; but that is more difficult.

"But there is another sort of beaver, ma'am, called the land-beaver, which is more easily taken," observed Martin; "they make holes in the earth like rabbits. The Indians say that these beavers are those who are lazy and idle, and have been driven out by the others for not working."

"Now, tell us what you do when you go out to hunt the beaver in the winter, Malachi."

"We never hunt the beaver only, ma'am; we go out to hunt everything; we go to the beaver lakes, and then we set our traps for beaver, otter, martin, mynx, cats, foxes, and every other animal, some traps large and some small. We build our hut, and set our traps all about us, and examine them every day; we eat what flesh is good, and we employ ourselves skinning the animals which we take."

"Is the beaver flesh good?"

"Yes, ma'am, very tolerable eating; perhaps the best we find at that time."

"But what a miserable life that must be," said Mrs. Campbell.

"Well, ma'am, you may think so, but we hunters think otherwise," replied Malachi; "we are used to it, and to being left alone to our own thoughts."

"That's true," observed Martin; "I'd rather pass the winter hunting beavers, than pass it at Quebec, miserable as you may imagine the life to be."

"There must be a charm in the life, that is certain," observed Mr. Campbell; "for how many are engaged in it who go out year after year, and never think of laying up any of their earnings."

"Very true, sir," replied Martin; "what they make from their skins is spent as soon as they get to Quebec, as I know well, and then they set off again."

"Why, they are like sailors," observed Alfred, "who after a long cruise spend all their wages and prize-money in a few days, and then go to sea again for more."

"Exactly," replied Malachi; "and what's the use of money if you keep it? A trapper can always take up as much powder and ball as he wants upon credit, and pay with a portion of his skins on his return. What does he want with the rest? It's of no use to him, and so of course he spends it."

"But would it not be better to put it by until he had sufficient to buy a farm, and live comfortably?"

"But does he live comfortably, ma'am," said Malachi; "has he not more work to do, more things to look after, and more to care for with a farm, than when he has nothing?"

"It's very true philosophy after all," observed Mr. Campbell; "happy is the man who is content to be poor. If a man prefers to live entirely upon flesh as the hunters do, there is no reason why he should work hard and till the ground to procure bread; when the wants are few, the cares are few also; but still even the savage must feel the necessity of exertion when he has a wife and family."

"Yes, sir, to be sure he does, and he works hard in his own way to procure their food; but trappers seldom have wives; they would be no use to them in the woods, and they have no one to provide for but themselves."

"It appears to me like a savage life, but a very independent one," said Mrs. Campbell, "and I presume it is the independence which gives it such charms."

"That's it, depend upon it, ma'am," replied Martin. "But what do you do all the summer-time, Malachi?" "Why, ma'am, we take to our rifles then; there are the deer, and the lynx, and the wild cats, and squirrels, and the bear, and many other animals to look after; and then sometimes we go bee-hunting, for the honey."

"Pray tell us how you take the honey, Malachi."

"Why, ma'am, the bees always live in the hollows of the old trees, and it's very difficult in a forest to find them out, for the hole which they enter by is very small and very high up sometimes; however, when we get a lead, we generally manage it."

"Tell us what you mean, Malachi."

"We catch the bees as they settle upon the flowers to obtain honey, and then we let them go again. The bee, as soon as it is allowed to escape, flies straight towards its hive; we watch it till we can no longer see it, and walk in that direction and catch another, and so we go on till we see them settle upon a tree, and then we know that the hive and honey must be in that tree, so we cut it down."

"How very clever," said Percival.

"It requires a sharp eye though," said Martin, "to watch the bee far; some of the trappers catch the bees and give them sugar mixed with whisky. This makes the bee tipsy, and he cannot fly so fast, and then they discover the hive much sooner, as they can run almost as fast as the bee flies."

"That's capital," cried Percival; "but tell me, Martin, how do you kill the bears?"

"Why, Master Percival, with our rifles, to be sure; the easiest way to kill them is when they are in their holes in the hollow trees."

"How do you get them out?"

"Why, we knock the tree with our axes, and they come out to see what's the matter, and as soon as they put their heads out, we shoot them."

"Are you in earnest, Martin?"

"Yes, ma'am; quite in earnest," replied Martin.

"It's all true, ma'am," said the hunter; "the bears about here are not very savage. We had much worse down in Maine. I've seen the Indians in a canoe on a river watching the bears as they swam across, and kill in the water six or seven in one day."

"Still a bear is an awkward sort of animal when it's angry," replied Martin; "and, as we may have them down here in the autumn, it's as well not to let them be thought too lightly of."

"Indeed, there's no fear of that," said Emma; "as for Malachi, he thinks nothing dangerous; but I have no wish to see a bear. You say we may expect them, Martin. Why so?"

"Because, miss, they're very fond of maize, and we have a field of it sown, which may tempt them."

"Well, if they do come, I must trust to my rifle," replied Emma, laughing; "at all events, I do not fear them so much as I did when I first came here."

"Don't fire, miss, without you're sure of killing," said Malachi. "The creatures are very dangerous when wounded."

"Don't be afraid; I'll only fire in self-defence, Malachi; that is, when I have no other chance left. I had rather trust to my heels than my rifle. Were you ever hugged by a bear?"

"Well, I wasn't ever hugged; but once I was much closer to one than ever I wish to be again."

"Oh! when was that? Do, pray, tell us," said Emma.

"It was when I was young, that one day I sounded a tree in the forest with my axe, and I was certain that a bear was in it; but the animal did not show itself, so I climbed up the tree to examine the hole at the top, and see if the bear was at home; as if so, I was determined to have him out. Well, miss, I was on the top of the hollow trunk, and was just putting my head down into the hole, when, all of a sudden, the edge of the tree which I kneeled upon gave way, like so much tinder, and down I went into the hollow; luckily for me I did not go down head foremost, or there I should have remained till this time, for the hole in the middle of the tree, as I found, was too narrow for me to have turned in, and there I must have stuck. As it was, I went down, with the dust and crumbles smothering me almost, till I came right on the top of the bear, who lay at the bottom; and I fell with such force, that I doubled his head down, so that he could not lay hold of me with his teeth, which would not have been pleasant; indeed, the bear was quite as much, if not more, astonished than myself, and there he lay beneath me very quiet till I could recover a little. Then I thought of getting out, as you may suppose, fast enough, and the hollow of the tree, providentially, was not so wide but that I could work up again with my back to one side and my knees to the other. By this means I gradually got up again to the hole that I fell in at, and perched myself across the timber to fetch my breath. I had not been there more than a quarter of a minute, and I intended to have remained much longer, when I perceived all of a sudden the bear's head within a foot of me; he had climbed up after me, and I saw that he was very angry, so in a moment I threw myself off my perch, and down I went to the ground at the foot of the tree, a matter of near twenty feet, even faster than I went down inside of it. I was severely shaken with the fall, but no bones were broken; in fact, I was more frightened than hurt; I lay quite still for a little while, when the growl of the bear put me in mind of him; I jumped on my legs, and found that he was coming down the tree after me, and was within six feet of the ground. There was no time to loose; I caught up my rifle and had just time to put it to his ear and settle him, as he was placing his fore foot on the ground."

"What a narrow escape!"

"Well, perhaps it was; but there's no saying, miss, which beats till the fight is over."

Chapter XXIV.

A notice arrived that the departure of the boat to Montreal would take place on the next morning. When the boat came up, it brought Captain Sinclair, to the great delight of the whole party, who had felt very anxious about one with whom they had so long been intimate and who had shown them so much kindness. His knee was almost well, and, as soon as the first interrogations were over, he made known to them that he had obtained six weeks' leave of absence, and was about to proceed to Quebec.

"To Quebec!" cried Emma, "and why are you going to Quebec?"

"To confess the truth, Emma," said Captain Sinclair, "my journey to Quebec is but the preparatory step to my return to England, for perhaps two or three months."

"To England! Oh! how I wish—" but here Emma stopped, she was going to say how much she wished that she was going also, but her uncle and aunt were present, and, recollecting that it might pain them and induce them to think that she was discontented, she added, "that you would bring me out all the new fashions."

"All the new fashions, my dear Emma!" said Henry. "Why, do you wish to be fashionably dressed in the woods of Canada?"

"Why not?" exclaimed Emma, who felt that she must appear to be very foolish, but could not get out of her scrape. "I can look at myself in the glass, at all events."

"I will try to bring you out something which will give you pleasure," replied Captain Sinclair, "but as for the fashions, I know you are only joking, by your trusting a person so incompetent as I am to select them."

"Well, I do not think you would execute my commission very well, so I will not trouble you," replied Emma; "and now let us know why you are going to England."

"My dear Emma," said Mr. Campbell, "you ought not to put such questions; Captain Sinclair has is own reasons, I have no doubt."

"It is very true that I have my own reasons," replied Captain Sinclair, "and, as I have no secrets, I will with pleasure gratify Emma's curiosity. I do not know whether you are aware that I was an orphan at a very early age, and have been under the charge of a guardian. When my father died, he left directions in his will that I was not to take possession of my property till I was twenty-five years of age. I was twenty-five years old last year, and my guardian has written requesting me to come home, that he may be relieved of his responsibility, by making over to me the trust which has been confided to him."

"Will it detain you long?" inquired Mr. Campbell.

"It must not. It is very difficult to obtain leave of absence from your regiment in time of war. It is only through interest that I do so now. On my arrival at Quebec, the Governor will put me on his staff, and then he will give me leave. I shall not stay longer than is necessary, as I am anxious to be with my regiment again. You may, therefore, be certain that, if I am spared, I shall be with you again before the winter, if not much sooner. So now if you have really any commissions for me to execute, I can only say I shall be most happy to comply with your wishes to the best of my ability."

"Well," observed Emma, "we really were not aware that Captain Sinclair was a man of fortune. You think now you will come back," continued she, gravely, "but if once you get to England, you will remain, and forget all about Canada."

"My fortune is not very large," replied Captain Sinclair; "in England, hardly sufficient to induce a young lady of fashion to look upon me, although enough, perhaps, for a sensible woman to be happy upon. My fortune, therefore, will not detain me in England, and, as I said before, my greatest wish is to rejoin my regiment."

"Whether you come back or remain," observed Mr. Campbell, "you will always have our best wishes, Captain Sinclair. We are not ungrateful for your kindness to us."

"Nor shall I forget the many happy hours I have passed in your society," replied Captain Sinclair; "but we shall be melancholy if we talk too long upon the subject. The boat cannot remain more than two hours, and Henry must be ready by that time. The commandant is anxious that it should start for Montreal this very evening."

"Then, indeed, we have no time to lose," observed Mr. Campbell; "Henry, get your trunk ready, and Martin will take it down into the boat before we sit down to dinner. It will be a long while before we have you to dine with us again," continued Mr. Campbell to Captain Sinclair; "but I wish you your health and much happiness till you return. Come, girls, look after the dinner. Mary! where's Mary?"

"She went into the room a few minutes ago," said Emma, "but I'm here, and can do all that is required without her or my aunt either. Come, Percival, lay the cloth; Alfred, come and help me, this is almost too heavy for me. Oh, here comes my aunt; now you may go away, Alfred; we can get on better without you."

"There's gratitude," said Alfred, laughing.

As Henry had been in daily expectation of the summons, he was not long in his preparations, and in a few minutes made his appearance, accompanied by Mary Percival. They then sat down to dinner, not very cheerful, for Captain Sinclair's unexpected departure had thrown a gloom over them all; however, they rallied a little towards the close of the meal, and Mr. Campbell produced one of his bottles of wine to drink success and happiness to the travellers. It was then time to start. Captain Sinclair and Henry shook hands with Mr. Campbell and the Misses Percival, and, accompanied by the gentlemen of the party, walked down to the beach.

"I can't bear parting with anyone that I have been so intimate with," said Emma, after they were left alone. "I declare I could sit down and have a hearty cry at Captain Sinclair's departure."

Mary sighed, but made no answer.

"I am not surprised to hear you say so, Emma," said Mrs. Campbell. "In England, when we were surrounded with friends, parting was always painful; but here where we have so few, I might almost say only Captain Sinclair, it is of course most painful. However, it's only for a time, I hope."

"It must be very dull to be on duty at the fort," said Mary; "I should not be surprised at Captain Sinclair's not returning."

"I should be most exceedingly surprised," replied Emma; "I am sure that he will come back, if he is not unavoidably prevented."

"Since he has expressed so much desire to rejoin his regiment, I should be surprised as well as you, Emma," said Mrs. Campbell. "He is not a volatile young man; but come, we must clear away the dinner-table."

Mr. Campbell, Alfred, Percival, and Martin soon returned, for Captain Sinclair was obliged to push off immediately, that he might return in time to the fort, in obedience to his orders. Malachi and John had gone out on a hunting expedition, and the Strawberry was at her own lodge. The party that sat in the kitchen in the evening was, therefore, much reduced, and the taking farewell of Captain Sinclair did not dispose them to be very lively. A few words were exchanged now and then, but the conversation drooped. Emma spoke of Captain Sinclair's expectation and projects.

"We never know what may come in this world of change, my dear Emma," said Mr. Campbell. "All Captain Sinclair's plans may be overthrown by circumstances over which he has no control. How seldom do we meet with results equal to our expectations. When I was practising in my profession, I little expected that I should be summoned to take possession of Wexton Hall; when once in possession, as little did I expect that I should be obliged to quit it, and to come to these desolate wilds. We are in the hands of God, who does with us as He thinks fit. I have been reading this morning, and I made the observation not only how often individuals, but even nations, are out in their expectations. I do not know a more convincing proof of this than the narration of events, which from their recent occurrence, hardly yet be considered as history, has offered to me. Perhaps there never was so short a period in which causes have produced effects so rapidly, and in which, in every case, the effects have been directly opposite to what short-sighted mortals had anticipated. It was in 1756, scarcely forty years ago, that the French, being in possession of the provinces, attempted to wrest from us those portions of America which we occupied. What was the result? After a war which, for cruelty and atrocity, is perhaps unequalled in history, both parties employing savages, by whom the French and English were alternately tortured and burnt to death, France, in attempting to obtain all, lost all, and was compelled, in 1760, to surrender its own provinces to Great Britain. Here is one instance in which affairs turned out contrary to the expectations of France.

"Now again, at no period was England more prosperous or more respected by foreign nations than at the close of the war. Her prosperity made her arrogant and unjust. She wronged her colonies. She thought that they dared not resist her imperious will. She imagined that now that the French were driven from the Canadas, America was all her own; whereas it was because the French were driven from the Canadas that the colonies ventured to resist. As long as the French held this country, the English colonists had an enemy on their frontiers, and consequently looked up to England for support and protection. They required aid and assistance, and as long as they did require it, they were not likely to make any remonstrance at being taxed to pay a portion of the expense which was incurred. Had the French possessed an army under Montcalm ready to advance at the time that the Stamp Act, or the duty upon tea, salt, etc., was imposed, I question very much if the colonists would have made any remonstrance. But no longer requiring an army for their own particular defence, these same duties induced them to rise in rebellion against what they considered injustice, and eventually to assert their independence. Here, again, we find that affairs turned out quite contrary to the expectations of England.

"Observe again, the American colonists gained their independence, which in all probability they would not have done had they not been assisted by the numerous army and fleet of France, who, irritated at the loss of the Canadas, wished to humiliate England by the loss of her own American possessions. But little did the French king and his noblesse imagine, that in upholding the principles of the Americans, and allowing the French armies and navies (I may say the people of France en masse) to be imbued with the same principles of equality, that they were sowing the seeds of a revolution in their own country which was to bring the king, as well as the major part of the nobility, to the scaffold.

"There, again, the events did not turn out according to expectation, and you will observe that in every attempt made by either party, the result was, that the blow fell upon their own heads, and not upon that of the party which it was intended to crush."

"I remember," said Alfred, after Mr. Campbell had finished speaking, "having somewhere read a story of an Eastern king who purchased a proverb of a dervish, which he ordered to be engraven on all the gold and silver utensils in the palace. The proverb was, 'Never undertake anything until you have well considered the end.' It so happened, that there was a conspiracy against the king, and it was arranged that his surgeon should bleed him with a poisoned lancet. The surgeon agreed —the king's arm was bound up, and one of the silver basins was held to receive the blood. The surgeon read the inscription, and was so struck with the force of it, that he threw down the lancet, confessed the plot, and thus was the life of the king preserved."

"A very apt story, Alfred," said Mrs. Campbell.

"The question now is," continued Alfred, "as two of the parties, France and England, have proved so short-sighted, whether the Americans, having thrown off their allegiance, have not been equally so in their choice of a democratical government?"

"How far a modern democracy may succeed, I am not prepared to say," replied Mr. Campbell; "but this I do know, that in ancient times, their duration was generally very short, and continually changing to oligarchy and tyranny. One thing is certain, that there is no form of government under which the people become so rapidly vicious, or where those who benefit them are treated with such ingratitude."

"How do you account for that, sir?" said Alfred.

"There are two principal causes. One is, that where all men are declared to be equal (which man never will permit his fellow to be if he can prevent it), the only source of distinction is wealth, and thus the desire of wealth becomes the ruling passion of the whole body, and there is no passion so demoralising. The other is, that where the people, or, more properly speaking, the mob govern, they must be conciliated by flattery and servility on the part of those who would become their idols. Now flattery is lying, and a habit equally demoralising to the party who gives and to the party who receives it. Depend upon it, there is no government so contemptible or so unpleasant for an honest man to live under as a democracy."

"It is my opinion, sir, and I believe a very general one," said Alfred.

"How far the Americans may disprove such an opinion," continued Mr. Campbell, "remains to be seen; but this is certain, they have commenced their new form of government with an act of such gross injustice, as to warrant the assumption that all their boasted virtues are pretence. I refer to their not liberating their slaves. They have given the lie to their own assertions in their Declaration of Independence, in which they have declared all men equal and born free, and we cannot expect the Divine blessing upon those who, when they emancipated themselves, were so unjust as to hold their fellow-creatures in bondage. The time will come, I have no doubt, although perhaps not any of us here present may see the day, when the retribution will fall upon their heads, or rather upon the heads of their offspring; for the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children, even to the third and fourth generation. But it is time for us to think of retiring —good-night, and God bless you all."

Chapter XXV.

In two days Malachi and John returned, bringing with them the skins of three bears which they had killed —but at this period of the year the animals were so thin and poor, that their flesh was not worth bringing home. Indeed, it was hardly worth while going out to hunt just then, so they both remained much at home, either fishing in the lake, or taking trout in the stream. Alfred and Martin were still occupied with the farm; the seed had come up, and they were splitting rails for the prairie fence. About a fortnight after Captain Sinclair's departure, Colonel Forster came in a boat from the fort, to pay them a visit.

"I assure you, Mr. Campbell," said he, "I was very anxious about you last winter, and I am rejoiced that you got over it with so little difficulty. At one time we had apprehensions of the Indians, but these have passed over for the present. They meet again this summer, but the Quebec government are on the alert, and I have no doubt but that a little conciliation will put an end to all animosity. We expect a large supply of blankets and other articles to be sent up this spring, as presents to the tribes, which we hope will procure their good-will; and we have taken up several French emissaries, who were working mischief."

"But still we shall be liable to the assaults of straggling parties," said Mr. Campbell.

"That is true," replied the Colonel, "but against them you have your own means of defence. You would, in so isolated a position, be equally liable to a burglary in England —only with the difference that in England you would have the laws to appeal to, whereas here you must take the law into your own hands."

"It certainly is not pleasant to be in a continual state of anxiety," observed Mr. Campbell, "but we knew what we had to expect before we came here, and we must make the best of it. So you have lost Captain Sinclair, Colonel; he is a great loss to us."

"Yes, he is to go to England for a short time," replied the Colonel, "but we shall soon have him back again. He must be very fond of his profession to remain in it with his means."

"He told us that he was about to take possession of a small property."

"A property of nearly two thousand pounds per annum," replied the Colonel. "He may consider it a small property, but I should think it otherwise if it had fallen to my lot."

"Indeed, I had no idea, from what he said, that it was so large," said Mrs. Campbell. "Well, I have a high opinion of him, and have no doubt but that he will make a good use of it."

"At all events, he can afford the luxury of a wife," said the Colonel, laughing, "which we soldiers seldom can."

The Colonel then entered into conversation with Mr. Campbell, relative to his farm, and after many questions, he observed—

"I have been thinking, Mr. Campbell, that it will be very advantageous to the Government as well as to you, when your farm is cleared and stocked, if, with the water power you possess here, you were to erect a flour-mill and a saw-mill. You observe that the Government has to supply the fort with flour and provisions of all kinds at a very heavy expense of carriage, and the cattle we have at the fort will cost us more than they are worth, now that we have lost your prairie farm, so conveniently situated for us. On the other hand, your produce will be almost useless to you, at the distance you are from any mart, as you will not find any sale for it. Now, if you were to erect a mill, and grind your own wheat, which you may do in another year, if you have funds sufficient; and as you may have plenty of stock, you will be able to supply the fort with flour, beef, pork, and mutton, at a good profit to yourself, and at one-half the price which Government pays at present. I have written to the Governor on the subject, stating that we have not the means of keeping our stock, and pointing out to him what I now point out to you. I expect an answer in a few days, and should he authorise me, I may make arrangements with you even now, which will be satisfactory, I have no doubt."

Mr. Campbell returned the Colonel many thanks for his kindness, and of course expressed himself willing to be guided by his advice. He stated that he had funds not only sufficient to erect a mill, but also, if he were permitted, to pay for the labour of any party of men which the Commandant would spare during the summer season.

"That is the very point which I wished to ascertain; but I felt some delicacy about making the inquiry. Now I consider that there will be no difficulty in our arrangements."

The Colonel remained for some time looking over the farm and conversing with Mr. Campbell, and then took his leave.

In the meantime, Alfred and his cousins went out to walk; the weather was now beautifully clear, and in the afternoon the heat was not too oppressive. As they sauntered by the side of the stream, Mary said, "Well, Alfred, what do you think of the Colonel's proposition?"

"Yes," observed Emma, "you are a party deeply concerned in it."

"How so, dear coz?"

"Why, don't you perceive that if the mill is erected, you will be the proper person to have charge of it? What a change of professions, from a sailor to a miller. I think I see you in your coat, all white with flour, coming in to dinner."

"My dear Emma, you don't intend it, I am sure, but you do not know that you are inflicting pain upon me. When the Colonel made the proposition, I felt the importance of it, as it would be a source of great profit to my father; but at the same time, I don't know how it is, I have always indulged the idea that we may not stay here for ever, and this plan appeared so like decidedly settling down to a residence for life, that it made me low-spirited. I know that it is foolish, and that we have no chance of ever removing —but still I cannot, even with this almost certainty before my eyes, keep my mind from thinking upon one day returning to my profession, and the idea of becoming a miller for life is what I cannot as yet contemplate with any degree of composure."

"Well, Alfred, I only did it to tease you a little —not to hurt your feelings, believe me," replied Emma. "You shall not be a miller if you don't like it. Henry will do better perhaps than you; but as for our quitting this place, I have no idea of its being ever possible. I have made up my mind to live and die in the Canadian woods, considering it my wayward fate that all 'my sweetness should be wasted on the desert air.'"

"Repining is useless, if not sinful," observed Mary Percival. "We have much to be thankful for; at least we are independent, and it we are ever to repay the kindness of our uncle and aunt, who must feel their change of condition so much more than we do, it must be by cheerfulness and content. I have been thinking as well as you, Alfred, and I'll tell you what was in my thoughts. I looked forward to a few years, by which time, as the country fills up so fast, it is very probable that we shall have other settlers here as neighbours, in every direction. This will give us security. I also fancied that my uncle's farm and property became of value and importance, and that he himself became a leading man in the district; not only at his ease, but, for a settler, even wealthy; and then I fancied that, surrounded by others, in perfect security, and in easy and independent circumstances, my uncle would not forget the great sacrifice which my cousin Alfred had so nobly made, and would insist upon his returning to that profession, to which he is so much attached, and in which I have no doubt but that he will distinguish himself."

"Well said, my sweet prophet," said Alfred, kissing his cousin, "you have more sense than both of us."

"Answer for yourself, Alfred, if you please," said Emma, tossing her head as if affronted. "I shall not forget that remark of yours, I can assure you. Now, I prophesy quite the contrary; Alfred will never go to sea again. He will be taken with the charms of some Scotch settler's daughter; some Janet or Maggie, and settle down into a Canadian farmer, mounted on a long-legged black pony."

"And I too," replied Alfred, "prophesy, that at the same time that I marry and settle as you have described, Miss Emma Percival will yield up her charms to some long-legged, black, nondescript sort of a fellow, who will set up a whisky shop and install his wife as barmaid to attend upon and conciliate his customers."

"Emma, I think you have the worst of this peeping into futurity," said Mary, laughing.

"Yes, if Alfred were not a false prophet, of which there are always many going about," replied Emma; "however, I hope your prophecy may be the true one, Mary, and then we shall get rid of him."

"I flatter myself that you would be very sorry if I went away; you would have no one to tease, at all events," replied Alfred, "and that would be a sad loss to yourself."

"Well, there's some sense in that remark," said Emma; "but the cows are waiting to be milked, and so, Mr. Alfred, if you are on your good behaviour, you had better go and bring us the pails."

"I really pity Alfred," said Mary, as soon as he was out of hearing; "his sacrifice has been very great, and, much as he must feel it, how well he bears up against it."

"He is a dear, noble fellow," replied Emma, "and I do love him very much, although I cannot help teasing him."

"But on some points you should be cautious, my dear sister; you don't know what pain you give."

"Yes I do, and am always sorry when I have done it, but it is not until afterwards that I recollect it, and then I am very angry with myself. Don't scold me, dear Mary, I will try to be wiser; I wonder whether what you say will come to pass, and we shall have neighbours; I wish we had, if it were only on account of those Indians."

"I think it very probable," replied Mary; "but time will show."

Alfred then returned with the pails, and the conversation took another turn.

A few days afterwards, a corporal arrived from the fort bringing letters and newspapers; the first that they had received since the breaking up of the winter. The whole family were in commotion as the intelligence was proclaimed; Mary and Emma left the fowls which they were feeding; Percival threw down the pail with which he was attending the pigs; Alfred ran in from where he and Martin were busy splitting rails; all crowded round Mr. Campbell as he opened the packet in which all the letters and papers had been enveloped at the fort. The letters were few; three from Miss Paterson, and two other friends in England, giving them the English news; one to Alfred from Captain Lumley, inquiring after the family, and telling him that he had mentioned his position to his friends at the Board, and that there could be no call for his services for the present; one from Mr. Campbell's English agent, informing him that he had remitted the money paid by Mr. Douglas Campbell for the plants, etc., to his agent at Quebec; and another from his Quebec agent, advising the receipt of the money and inclosing a balance-sheet. The letters were first read over, and then the newspapers were distributed, and all of them were soon very busy and silent during the perusal.

After a while, Emma read out. "Dear uncle, only hear this, how sorry I am."

"What is it, my dear," said Mr. Campbell.

"Mrs. Douglas Campbell, of Wexton Hall, of a son, which survived but a few hours after birth."

"I am very sorry too, my dear Emma," replied Mr. Campbell; "Mr. Douglas Campbell's kindness to us must make us feel for any misfortune which may happen to him, and to rejoice in any blessing which may be bestowed upon him."

"It must have been a serious disappointment," said Mrs. Campbell; "but one which, if it pleases God, may be replaced; and we may hope that their expectations, though blighted for the present, may be realised on some future occasion."

"Here is a letter from Colonel Forster, which I overlooked," said Mr. Campbell; "it was between the envelope. He says that he has received an answer from the Governor, who fully agrees with him in his views on the subject we were conversing about, and has allowed him to take any steps which he may think advisable. The Colonel says that he will call upon me again in a few days, and that if, in the meantime, I will let him know how many soldiers I wish to employ, he will make arrangements to meet my views as far as lies in his power. We have to thank Heaven for sending us friends, at all events," continued Mr. Campbell; "but at present, we will put his letter aside, and return to our English news."

"Dear England!" exclaimed Emma.

"Yes, dear England, my good girl; we are English, and can love our country as much now as we did when we lived in it. We are still English and in an English colony; it has pleased Heaven to remove us away from our native land, but our hearts and feelings are still the same, and so will all English hearts be found to be in every settlement made by our country all over the wide world. We all glory in being English, and have reason to be proud of our country. May the feeling never be lost, but have an elevating influence upon our general conduct!"

Chapter XXVI.

It was nearly five weeks before Henry returned from his expedition to Montreal. During this time, the Colonel had repeated his visit and made arrangements with Mr. Campbell. A party of twenty soldiers had been sent to work at felling timber and splitting rails, for whose services Mr. Campbell paid as before. The winter house and palisade fence for the sheep were put in hand, and great progress was made in a short time, now that so many people were employed. They had also examined the stream for some distance, to ascertain which would be the most eligible site for the watermill, and had selected one nearly half a mile from the shore of the lake, and where there was a considerable fall, and the stream ran with great rapidity. It was not, however, expected that the mill would be erected until the following year, as it was necessary to have a millwright and all the machinery from either Montreal or Quebec. It was intended that the estimate of the expense should be given in, the contract made, and the order given during the autumn, so that it might be all ready for the spring of the next year. It was on a Monday morning that Henry arrived from the fort, where he had stayed the Sunday, having reached it late on Saturday night. The bateaux, with the stock and stores, he had left at the fort; they were to come round during the day, but Henry's impatience to see the family would not allow him to wait. He was, as may be supposed, joyfully received, and, as soon as the first recognitions were over, he proceeded to acquaint his father with what he had done. He had obtained from a Canadian farmer forty ewes of very fair stock, although not anything equal to the English; but the agent had worked hard for him, and procured him twenty English sheep and two rams of the best kind, to improve the breed. For the latter he had to pay rather dear, but they were worth any money to Mr. Campbell, who was quite delighted with the acquisition. In selecting the sheep, of course, Henry was obliged to depend on the agent and the parties he employed, as he was no judge himself; but he had, upon his own judgment, purchased two Canadian horses, for Henry had been long enough at Oxford to know the points of a horse, and as they turned out, he had made a very good bargain. He had also bought a sow and pigs of an improved breed, and all the other commissions had been properly executed: the packages of skins also realised the price which had been put on them. As it may be supposed, he was full of news, talking about Montreal, the parties he had been invited to, and the people with whom he had become acquainted. He had not forgotten to purchase some of the latest English publications for his cousins, besides a few articles of millinery, which he thought not too gay for their present position. He was still talking, and probably would have gone on talking for hours longer, so many were the questions which he had to reply to, when Martin came in and announced the arrival of the bateaux with the stores and cattle, upon which they all went down to the beach to see them disembarked and brought up by the soldiers, who were at work. The stores were carried up to the door of the storehouse, and the sheep and horses were turned into the prairie with the cows. A week's rations for the soldiers were also brought up from the fort, and the men were very busy in the distribution, and carrying them to the little temporary huts of boughs which they had raised for their accommodation, during the time they worked for Mr. Campbell. Before the evening set in everything was arranged, and Henry was again surrounded by the family and replying to their remaining interrogatories. He told them that the Governor of Montreal had sent them an invitation to pass the winter at Government House, and promised the young ladies that no wolf should venture to come near to them, and that the aides-de-camp had requested the honour of their hands at the first ball, which should be given after their arrival, at which they all laughed heartily. In short, it appeared that nothing could equal the kindness and hospitality which had been shown to him, and that there was no doubt, if they chose to go there, that it would be equally extended to the other members of the family.

There was a pause in the conversation, when Malachi addressed Mr. Campbell.

"Martin wishes me to speak to you, sir," said Malachi.

"Martin," said Mr. Campbell, looking round for him, and perceiving that he was not in the room; "why, yes, I perceive he is gone out. What can it be that he cannot say for himself?"

"That's just what I said to him," replied Malachi; "but he thought it were better to come through me; the fact is, sir, that he has taken a liking to the Strawberry, and wishes to make her his wife."


"Yes, sir; I don't think that he would have said anything about it as yet, but you see, there are so many soldiers here, and two or three of them are of Martin's mind, and that makes him feel uncomfortable till the thing is settled; and as he can't well marry while in your service without your leave, he has asked me to speak about it."

"Well, but the Strawberry is your property, not mine, Malachi."

"Yes, sir, according to Indian fashion, I am her father; but I've no objection, and shan't demand any presents for her."

"Presents for her! why we in general give presents or money with a wife," said Emma.

"Yes, I know you do, but English wives an't Indian wives; an English wife requires people to work for her and costs money to keep, but an Indian wife works for herself and her husband, so she is of value and is generally bought of the father; I reckon in the end that it's cheaper to pay for an Indian wife than to receive money with an English one; but that's as may be."

"That's not a very polite speech of yours, Malachi," said Mrs. Campbell.

"Perhaps it an't, ma'am, but it's near the mark nevertheless. Now I am willing that Martin should have the Strawberry, because I know that he is a smart hunter, and will keep her well; and somehow or another, I feel that if he made her his wife, I should be more comfortable; I shall live with them here close by, and Martin will serve you, and when he has a wife he will not feel inclined to change service, and go into the woods."

"I think it an excellent proposal, Malachi, and am much pleased with it, as we now shall have you all together," said Mrs. Campbell.

"Yes, ma'am, so you will, and then I'll be always with the boy to look after him, and you'll always know where we are, and not be frightened."

"Very true, Malachi," said Mr. Campbell; "I consider it a very good arrangement. We must build you a better lodge than the one that you are in."

"No, sir, not a better one, for if you have all you want, you can't want more; it's big enough, but perhaps not quite near enough. I'm thinking that when the sheep-fold is finished, it might be as well to raise our lodge inside of the palisades, and then we shall be a sort of guard to the creatures."

"A very excellent idea, Malachi; well then, as far as I am concerned, Martin has my full consent to marry as soon as he pleases."

"And mine, if it is at all necessary," observed Mrs. Campbell.

"But who is to marry them?" said Emma; "they have no chaplain at the fort; he went away ill last year."

"Why, miss, they don't want no chaplain; she is an Indian girl, and he will marry her Indian-fashion."

"But what fashion is that, Malachi?" said Mary.

"Why, miss, he'll come to the lodge, and fetch her away to his own house."

Alfred burst out into laughter; "that's making short work of it," said he.

"Yes, rather too short for my approval," said Mrs. Campbell. "Malachi, it's very true that the Strawberry is an Indian girl, but we are not Indians, and Martin is not an Indian, neither are you who stand as her father; indeed, I cannot consent to give my sanction to such a marriage."

"Well, ma'am, as you please, but it appears to me to be all right. If you go into a country and wish to marry a girl of that country, you marry her according to the rules of that country. Now, Martin seeks an Indian squaw, and why not therefore marry her after Indian fashion?"

"You may be right, Malachi, in your argument," said Mrs. Campbell; "but still you must make allowances for our prejudices. We never should think that she was a married woman, if no further ceremony was to take place than what you propose."

"Well, ma'am, just as you please; but still, suppose you marry them after your fashion, the girl won't understand a word that is said, so what good will it do?"

"None to her at present, Malachi; but recollect, if she is not a Christian at present, she may be hereafter; I have often thought upon that subject, and although I feel it useless to speak to her just now, yet as soon as she understands English well enough to know what I say to her, I hope to persuade her to become one. Now, if she should become a Christian, as I hope in God she will, she then will perceive that she has not been properly married, and will be anxious to have the ceremony properly performed over again; so why not do it now?"

"Well, ma'am, if it pleases you, I have no objection; I'm sure Martin will have none."

"It will please me very much, Malachi," replied Mrs. Campbell.

"And although there is no chaplain at the fort," observed Mr. Campbell, "yet the Colonel can marry in his absence; a marriage by a commanding officer is quite legal."

"Yes," replied Alfred, "and so is one by a captain of a man-of-war."

"So be it then," replied Malachi; "the sooner the better, for the soldiers are very troublesome, and I cannot keep them out of my lodge."

Martin, who had remained outside the door, and overheard all that passed, now came in; the subject was again canvassed, and Martin returned his thanks for the permission given to him.

"Well," said Emma, "I little thought we should have a wedding in the family so soon; this is quite an event. Martin, I wish you joy; you will have a very pretty and a very good wife."

"I think so too, miss," replied Martin.

"Where is she?" said Mary.

"She is in the garden, miss," said Malachi, "getting out of the way of the soldiers; now that the work is done, they torment her not a little, and she is glad to escape from them; I'd tell them to go away, but they don't mind me; they know I must not use my rifle."

"I should hope not," replied Mrs. Campbell; "it would be hard to shoot a good man merely because he wished to marry your daughter."

"Why, yes, ma'am, it would," replied Malachi; "so the sooner she is given to Martin, the sooner we shall have peace."

As the boat was continually going backwards and forwards between the fort and the farm, Mr. Campbell wrote to the Colonel, stating what they wished him to do, and the Colonel appointed that day week, on which he would come and perform the ceremony. It was a little fete at the farm. Mrs. Campbell and the Misses Percival dressed themselves more than usually smart, so did all the males of the establishment; and a better dinner than usual was prepared, as the Colonel and some of the officers were to dine and spend the day with them. Martin was very gaily attired, and in high spirits. The Strawberry had on a new robe of young deer-skin, and had a flower or two in her long black hair; she looked as she was, very pretty and very modest, but not at all embarrassed. The marriage ceremony was explained to her by Malachi, and she cheerfully consented. Before noon the marriage took place, and an hour or two afterwards, they sat down to a well-furnished table, and the whole party were very merry, particularly as the Colonel, who was most unusually gay, insisted upon the Strawberry sitting at the table, which she had never done before. She acquitted herself, however, without embarrassment, and smiled when they laughed, although she could understand but little of what they said. Mr. Campbell opened two of his bottles of wine, to celebrate the day, and they had a very happy party; the only people who were discontented were three or four of the soldiers outside, who had wanted to marry the Strawberry themselves; but the knowledge that their Colonel was there, effectually put a stop to anything like annoyance or disturbance on their part. At sunset, the Colonel and officers departed for the fort, the family remained in the house till past ten o'clock, by which time all the soldiers had gone to bed. Mr. Campbell then read prayers, and offered up an additional one for the happiness of the newly-married couple, after which they all saluted the Strawberry and wished her good-night; she was then led to the lodge by Martin, accompanied by Alfred, Henry, Malachi, Percival, and John, who all went home with them as a guard from any interruption on the part of the disappointed suitors.

Chapter XXVII.

"How cheerful and gay everything looks now," observed Emma to Mary, a few mornings after the celebration of the marriage. "One could hardly credit that in a few months all this animated landscape will be no thing but one dreary white mass of snow and ice, with no sounds meeting the ear but the howling of the storm and the howling of the wolves."

"Two very agreeable additions certainly," replied Mary; "but what you observe was actually occurring to my own mind at the very moment."

The scene was indeed cheerful and lively. The prairie on one side of the stream waved its high grass to the summer breeze; on the other, the cows, horses, and sheep were grazing in every direction. The lake in the distance was calm and unruffled; the birds were singing and chirping merrily in the woods; near the house the bright green of the herbage was studded with the soldiers, dressed in white, employed in various ways; the corn waved its yellow ears between the dark stumps of the trees in the cleared land; and the smoke from the chimney of the house mounted straight up in a column to the sky; the grunting of the pigs, and the cackling of the fowls, and the occasional bleating of the calves, responded to by the lowing of the cows, gave life and animation to the picture. At a short distance from the shore the punt was floating on the still waters. John and Malachi were very busy fishing; the dogs were lying down by the palisades, all except Oscar, who, as usual, attended upon his young mistresses; and under the shade of a large tree, at a little distance from the house, were Mr. Campbell and Percival, the former reading, while the other was conning over his lesson.

"This looks but little like a wilderness now, Mary, does it?" said Emma.

"No, my dear sister. It is very different from what it was when we first came; but still I should like to have some neighbours."

"So should I; any society is better than none at all."

"There I do not agree with you; at the same time, I think we could find pleasure in having about us even those who are not cultivated, provided they were respectable and good."

"That's what I would have said, Mary; but we must go in, and practise the new air for the guitar which Henry brought us from Montreal. We promised him that we would. Here comes Alfred to spend his idleness upon us."

"His idleness, Emma; surely, you don't mean that; he's seldom, if ever, unemployed."

"Some people are very busy about nothing," replied Emma.

"Yes; and some people say what they do not mean, sister," replied Mary. "Well, Alfred, here is Emma pronouncing you to be an idle body."

"I am not likely to be that, at all events," replied Alfred, taking off his hat and fanning himself. "My father proposes to give me enough to do. What do you think he said to me this morning before breakfast?"

"I suppose he said that you might as well go to sea again as remain here," replied Emma, laughing.

"No, indeed; I wish he had; but he has proposed that your prophecy should be fulfilled, my malicious little cousin. He has proposed my turning miller."

Emma clapped her hands and laughed.

"How do you mean?" said Mary.

"Why, he pointed out to me that the mill would cost about two hundred and fifty pounds, and that he thought as my half-pay was unemployed, that it would be advisable that I should expend it in erecting the mill, offering me the sum necessary for the purpose. He would advance the money, and I might repay him as I received my pay. That, he said, would be a provision for me, and eventually an independence."

"I told you that you would be a miller," replied Emma, laughing. "Poor Alfred!"

"Well, what did you reply, Alfred?" said Mary.

"I said yes, I believe, because I did not like to say no."

"You did perfectly right, Alfred," replied Mary. "There can be no harm in your having the property, and had you refused it, it would have given pain to your father. If your money is laid out on the mill, my uncle will have more to expend upon the farm; but still it does not follow that you are to become a miller all your life."

"I should hope not," replied Alfred; "as soon as Emma meets with that long black gentleman we were talking of, I'll make it over to her as a marriage portion."

"Thank you, cousin," replied Emma, "I may put you in mind of your promise; but now Mary and I must go in and astonish the soldiers with our music; so good-bye, Mr. Campbell, the miller."

The soldiers had now been at work for more than two months, and a large portion of the wood had been felled and cleared away. With what had been cleared by Alfred, and Martin, and Henry the year before, they had now more than forty acres of corn-land. The rails for the snake-fence had also been split, and the fence was almost complete round the whole of the prairie and cleared land, when it was time for the grass to be cut down and the hay made and gathered up. This had scarcely been finished when the corn was ready for the sickle and gathered in, a barn had been raised close to the sheep-fold, as well as the lodge for Malachi, Martin, and his wife. For six weeks all was bustle and hard work, but the weather was fine, and everything was got in safe. The services of the soldiers were now no longer required, and Mr. Campbell having settled his accounts, they returned to the fort.

"Who would think," said Henry to Alfred, as he cast his eyes over the buildings, the stacks of corn and hay, and the prairie stocked with cattle, "that we had only been here so short a time?"

"Many hands make light work," replied Alfred; "we have done with the help from the fort what it would have taken us six years to do with our own resources. My father's money has been well laid out, and will bring in a good return."

"You have heard of the proposal of Colonel Forster, about the cattle at the fort?"

"No; what is it?"

"He wrote to my father yesterday, saying, as he had only the means of feeding the cows necessary for the officers of the garrison, that he would sell all the oxen at present at the fort at a very moderate price."

"But even if we have fodder enough for them during the winter, what are we to do with them?"

"Sell them again to the fort for the supply of the troops," replied Henry, "and thereby gain good profit. The Commandant says it will be cheaper to Government in the end than being compelled to feed them."

"That it will, I have no doubt, now that they have nothing to give them; they trusted chiefly to our prairie for hay; and if they had not had such a quantity in store, they could not have fed them last winter."

"My father will consent, I know; indeed, he would be very foolish not to do so, for most of them will be killed when the winter sets in, and will only cost us the grazing."

"We are fortunate in finding such friends as we have done," replied Alfred. "All this assistance would not have been given to perhaps any other settlers."

"No, certainly not; but you see, Alfred, we are indebted to your influence with Captain Lumley for all these advantages, at least my father and mother say so, and I agree with them. Captain Lumley's influence with the Governor has created all this interest about us."

"I think we must allow that the peculiar position of the family has done much towards it. It is not often that they meet with settlers of refined habits and cultivated minds, and there naturally must be a feeling towards a family of such a description in all generous minds."

"Very true, Alfred," replied Henry; "but there is our mother waiting for us to go in to dinner."

"Yes; and the Strawberry by her side. What a nice little creature she is!"

"Yes; and how quickly she is becoming useful. She has almost given up her Indian customs and is settling down quietly into English habits. Martin appears very fond of her."

"And so he ought to be," replied Henry; "a wife with a smile always upon her lips is a treasure. Come, let us go in."

Another fortnight passed away when an incident occurred which created some uneasiness. Mr. Campbell was busy with Martin and Alfred clearing out the store-room and arranging the stores. Many of the cases and packages had been opened to be examined and aired, and they were busily employed, when, turning round, Mr. Campbell, to his great surprise, beheld an Indian by his side, who was earnestly contemplating the various packages of blankets, etc., and cases of powder, shot, and other articles, which were opened around him.

"Why, who is this?" exclaimed Mr. Campbell, starting.

Martin and Alfred, who had their backs to him at the time of Mr. Campbell's exclamation, turned round and beheld the Indian. He was an elderly man, very tall and muscular, dressed in leggings and deer-skin coat, a war eagle's feather, fixed by a fillet, on his head, and a profusion of copper and brass medals and trinkets round his neck. His face was not painted, with the exception of two black circles round his eyes. His head was shaved, and one long scalp-lock hung behind. He had a tomahawk and a knife in his belt and a rifle upon his arm. Martin advanced to the Indian and looked earnestly at him.

"I know his tribe," said Martin; "but not his name; but he is a chief and a warrior."

Martin then spoke to him in the Indian tongue. The Indian merely gave an "ugh" in reply.

"He does not choose to give his name," observed Martin; "and, therefore, he is here for no good. Mr. Alfred, just fetch Malachi; he will know him, I daresay."

Alfred went to the house for Malachi; in the meantime the Indian remained motionless, with his eyes fixed upon different articles exposed to view.

"It's strange," observed Martin, "how he could have come here; but to be sure neither Malachi nor I have been out lately."

Just as he finished his remark, Alfred returned with Malachi. Malachi looked at the Indian and spoke to him.

The Indian now replied in the Indian language.

"I knew him, sir," said Malachi, "the moment I saw his back. He's after no good, and it's a thousand pities that he has come just now and seen all this," continued Malachi; "it's a strong temptation."

"Why, who is he?" said Mr. Campbell.

"The Angry Snake, sir," replied Malachi. "I had no idea that he would be in these parts before the meeting of the Indian council, which takes place in another month, and then I meant to have been on the look-out for him."

"But what have we to fear from him?"

"Well; that's to be proved; but this I can say, that he has his eyes upon what appears to him of more value than all the gold in the universe; and he's anything but honest."

"But we have nothing to fear from one man," observed Alfred.

"His party an't far off, sir," said Malachi. "He has some followers, although not many, and those who follow him are as bad as himself. We must be on the watch."

Malachi now addressed the Indian for some time; the only reply was an ugly "ugh."

"I have told him that all the powder and ball that he sees are for our rifles, which are more than are possessed by his whole tribe. Not that it does much good, but at all events it's just as well to let them know that we shall be well prepared. The crittur's quite amazed at so much ammunition; that's a fact. It's a pity he ever saw it."

"Shall we give him some?" said Mr. Campbell.

"No, no, sir; he would only make use of it to try to get the rest; however, I believe that he is the only one of his party who has a rifle. The best thing is to close the doors, and then he will go."

They did as Malachi requested, and the Indian, after waiting a short time, turned round on his heel, and walked away.

"He is a regular devil, that Angry Snake," observed Malachi, as he watched him departing; "but never mind, I'll be a match for him. I wish he'd never seen all that ammunition, nevertheless."

"At all events, we had better not say a word in the house about his making his appearance," said Mr. Campbell. "It will only alarm the women, and do no good."

"That's true, sir. I'll only tell the Strawberry," said Martin; "she's an Indian, and it will put her on the look-out."

"That will be as well, but caution her not to mention it to Mrs. Campbell or the girls, Martin."

"Never fear, sir," replied Malachi; "I'll watch his motions nevertheless; to-morrow I'll be in the woods and on his trail. I'm glad that he saw me here, for he fears me; I know that."

It so happened that the Indian was not seen by Mrs. Campbell or any of them in the house, either upon his arrival or departure; and when Mr. Campbell and the others returned to the house, they found that no one there had any idea of such a visit having been paid. The secret was kept, but it occasioned a great deal of anxiety for some days. At last the alarm of Mr. Campbell gradually subsided. Malachi had gone out with John, and had discovered that all the Indians had come down near to them, to meet in council, and that there were many other parties of them in the woods. But although the visit of the Angry Snake might have been partly accidental, still Malachi was convinced that there was every prospect of his paying them another visit, if he could obtain a sufficient number to join him, so that he might obtain by force the articles he had seen and so much coveted.

Chapter XXVIII.

Mr. Campbell acceded to the offer made by the Commandant of the fort, and purchased of him at a moderate price eighteen oxen, which were all that remained of the stock at the fort, except the cows. He also took six weaning calves to bring up. The cattle were now turned into the bush to feed, that they might obtain some after-grass from that portion of the prairie on which they had been feeding. The summer passed quickly away, for they all had plenty of employment. They fished every day in the lake, and salted down what they did not eat, for winter provision. Martin now was a great part of his time in the woods, looking after the cattle, and Malachi occasionally accompanied him, but was oftener out hunting with John, and always returned with game. They brought in a good many bear-skins, and sometimes the flesh, which, although approved of by Malachi and Martin, was not much admired by the rest. As soon as the after-grass had been gathered in, there was not so much to do. Henry and Mr. Campbell, with Percival, were quite sufficient to look after the stock, and as the leaves began to change, the cattle were driven in from the woods, and pastured on the prairie. Everything went on in order; one day was the counterpart of another. Alfred and Henry thrashed out the corn in the shed, or rather open barn, which had been put up by the soldiers in the sheep-fold, and piled up the straw for winter fodder for the cattle. The oats and wheat were taken into the storehouse. Martin's wife could now understand English, and spoke it a little. She was very useful, assisting Mrs. Campbell and her nieces in the house, and attending the stock. They had brought up a large number of chickens, and had disposed of a great many to the Colonel and officers of the fort. Their pigs also had multiplied exceedingly, and many had been put up to fatten, ready to be killed and salted down. The time for that occupation was now come, and they were very busy curing their meat; they had also put up a small shed for smoking their bacon and hams. Already they were surrounded with comfort and plenty, and felt grateful to Heaven that they had been so favoured.

The autumn had now advanced, and their routine of daily duty was seldom interrupted; now and then a visit was paid them from the fort by one or other of the officers or the Commandant. The Indians had held their council, but the English agent was present, and the supply of blankets and other articles sent to the chiefs for distribution had the expected effect of removing all animosity. It is true that the Angry Snake and one or two more made very violent speeches, but they were overruled. The calumet of peace had been presented and smoked, and all danger appeared to be over from that quarter. Malachi had gone to the council, and was well received. He had been permitted to speak also as an English agent, and his words were not without effect. Thus everything wore the appearance of peace and prosperity, when an event occurred which we shall now relate.

What is termed the Indian summer had commenced, during which there is a kind of haze in the atmosphere. One morning, a little before dawn, Mary and Emma, who happened to be up first, went out to milk the cows, when they observed that the haze was much thicker than usual. They had been expecting the equinoctial gales, which were very late this year, and Mary observed that she foresaw they were coming on, as the sky wore every appearance of wind; yet still there was but a light air, and hardly perceptible at the time. In a moment after they had gone out, and were taking up their pails, Strawberry came to them from her own lodge, and they pointed to the gloom and haze in the air. She turned round, as if to catch the wind, and snuffed for a little while; at last she said, "Great fire in the woods." Alfred and the others soon joined them, and having been rallied by Emma at their being so late, they also observed the unusual appearance of the sky. Martin corroborated the assertion of the Strawberry, that there was fire in the woods. Malachi and John had not returned that night from a hunting expedition, but shortly after daylight they made their appearance; they had seen the fire in the distance, and said that it was to northward and eastward, and extended many miles; that they had been induced to leave the chase and come home in consequence. During the remainder of the day there was little or no wind, but the gloom and smell of fire increased rapidly. At night the breeze sprang up, and soon increased to a gale from the north-east, the direction in which the fire had been seen. Malachi and Martin were up several times in the night, for they knew that if the wind continued in that quarter, without any rain, there would be danger; still the fire was at a great distance, but in the morning the wind blew almost a hurricane, and before twelve o'clock on the next day, the smoke was borne down upon them, and carried away in masses over the lake.

"Do you think there is any danger, Martin, from this fire?" said Alfred.

"Why, sir, that depends upon circumstances; if the wind were to blow from the quarter which it now does, as hard as it does, for another twenty-four hours, we shall have the fire right down upon us."

"But still we have so much clear land between the forest and us, that I should think the house would be safe."

"I don't know that, sir. You have never seen the woods a-fire for miles as I have; if you had, you would know what it was. We have two chances; one is that we may have torrents of rain come down with the gale, and the other is, that the wind may shift a point or two, which would be the best chance for us of the two."

But the wind did not shift, and the rain did not descend, and before the evening set in the fire was within two miles of them, and distant roaring rent the air; the heat and smoke became more oppressive, and the party were under great alarm.

As the sun set, the wind became even more violent, and now the flames were distinctly to be seen, and the whole air was filled with myriads of sparks. The fire bore down upon them with resistless fury, and soon the atmosphere was so oppressive that they could scarcely breathe; the cattle galloped down to the lake, their tails in the air, and lowing with fear. There they remained, knee-deep in the water, and huddled together.

"Well, Malachi," said Mr. Campbell, "this is very awful. What shall we do?"

"Trust in God, sir; we can do nothing else," replied Malachi.

The flames were now but a short distance from the edge of the forest; they threw themselves up into the air in high columns; then, borne down by the wind, burst through the boughs of the forest, scorching here and there on the way the trunks of the large trees; while such a torrent of sparks and ignited cinders was poured down upon the prairie, that, added to the suffocating masses of smoke, it was impossible to remain there any longer.

"You must all go down to the punt, and get on board," said Malachi. "There is not a moment for delay; you will be smothered if you remain here. Mr. Alfred, do you and Martin pull out as far into the lake as is necessary for you to be clear of the smoke and able to breathe. Quick, there is no time to be lost, for the gale is rising faster than before."

There was, indeed, no time to be lost. Mr. Campbell took his wife by the arm; Henry led the girls, for the smoke was so thick that they could not see the way. Percival and Strawberry followed. Alfred and Martin had already gone down to get the boat ready. In a few minutes they were in the boat, and pushed off from the shore. The boat was crowded, but being flat-bottomed she bore the load well. They pulled out about half a mile into the lake before they found themselves in a less oppressive atmosphere. Not a word was spoken until Martin and Alfred had stopped rowing.

"And old Malachi and John, where are they?" said Mrs. Campbell, who, now that they were clear of the smoke, discovered that these were not in the boat.

"Oh, never fear them, ma'am," replied Martin; "Malachi stayed behind to see if he could be of use. He knows how to take care of himself, and of John too."

"This is an awful visitation," said Mrs. Campbell, after a pause. "Look, the whole wood is now on fire, close down to the clearing. The house must be burnt, and we shall save nothing."

"It is the will of God, my dear wife; and if we are to be deprived of what little wealth we have, we must not murmur, but submit with resignation. Let us thank Heaven that our lives are preserved."

Another pause ensued; at last the silence was broken by Emma.

"There is the cow-house on fire —I see the flames bursting from the roof."

Mrs. Campbell, whose hand was on that of her husband, squeezed it in silence. It was the commencement of the destruction of their whole property —all their labours and efforts had been thrown away. The winter was coming on, and they would be houseless —what would become of them?

All this passed in her mind, but she did not speak.

At this moment the flames of the fire rose up straight to the sky. Martin perceived it, and jumped up on his feet.

"There is a lull in the wind," said Alfred.

"Yes," replied Martin, and continued holding up his hand, "I felt a drop of rain. Yes, it's coming; another quarter of an hour and we may be safe."

Martin was correct in his observation; the wind had lulled for a moment, and he had felt the drops of rain. This pause continued for about three or four minutes, during which the cow-house burnt furiously, but the ashes and sparks were no longer hurled down on the prairie; then suddenly the wind shifted to the south-east, with such torrents of rain as almost to blind them. So violent was the gust, that even the punt careened to it; but Alfred pulled its head round smartly, and put it before the wind. The gale was now equally strong from the quarter to which it had changed; the lake became agitated and covered with white foam, and before the punt reached the shore again, which it did in a few minutes, the water washed over its two sides, and they were in danger of swamping. Alfred directed them all to sit still, and raising the blades of the oars up into the air, the punt was dashed furiously through the waves till it grounded on the beach.

Martin and Alfred jumped out into the water, and hauled the punt farther before they disembarked; the rain still poured down in torrents, and they were wet to the skin; as they landed, they were met by Malachi and John.

"It's all over, and all is safe!" exclaimed Malachi. "It was touch and go, that's sartain; but all's safe, except the cow-house, and that's easily put to rights again. You all had better go home as fast as you can, and get to bed."

"Is all quite safe, do you think, Malachi?" said Mr. Campbell.

"Yes, sir, no fear now; the fire hasn't passed the stream, and even if it had, this rain would put it out, for we only have the beginning of it; but it was a near thing, that's sartain."

The party walked back to the house, and as soon as they had entered, Mr. Campbell kneeled down and thanked Heaven for their miraculous preservation. All joined heartily in the prayer, and, after they had waited up a few minutes, by which time they were satisfied that the flames were fast extinguishing and they had nothing more to fear, they took off their wet clothes, and retired to bed.

The next morning they rose early, for all were anxious to ascertain the mischief which had been occasioned by the fire. The cow-house, on the opposite side of the stream, was the only part of the premises which had severely suffered; the walls were standing, but the roof was burnt. On the side of the stream where the house stood, the rails and many portions of the buildings were actually charred, and, had it not been for the providential change of the wind and the falling of the rain, must in a few minutes have been destroyed. The prairie was covered with cinders and the grass was burnt and withered. The forest on the other side of the stream to a great extent was burnt down; some of the largest trees still remained, throwing out their blackened arms, now leafless and branchless, to the sky, but they were never to throw forth a branch or leaf again. It was a melancholy and desolate picture, and rendered still more so by the heavy rain which still continued to pour down without intermission.

As they were surveying the scene, Malachi and Martin came to them.

"The stock are all right, sir," said Martin; "I counted them, and there is not one missing. There's no harm done except to the cow-house; on the contrary, the fire has proved a good friend to us."

"How so, Martin?" asked Mr. Campbell.

"Because it has cleared many acres of ground, and saved us much labour. All on the other side of the stream is now cleared away, and next spring we will have our corn between the stumps; and in autumn, after we have gathered in the harvest, we will cut down and burn the trees which are now standing. It has done a deal of good to the prairie also, we shall have fine herbage there next spring."

"We have to thank Heaven for its mercy," said Mr. Campbell; "at one time yesterday evening, I thought we were about to be rendered destitute indeed, but it has pleased God that it should be otherwise."

"Yes, sir," observed Malachi; "what threatened your ruin has turned out to your advantage. Next year you will see everything green and fresh as before; and, as Martin says, you have to thank the fire for clearing away more land for you than a whole regiment of soldiers could have done in two or three years."

"But we must work hard and get in the corn next spring, for otherwise the brushwood will grow up so fast, as to become a forest again in a few years."

"I never thought of inquiring," said Mary, "how it was that the forest could have taken fire."

"Why, miss," replied Malachi, "in the autumn, when everything is as dry as tinder, nothing is more easy. The Indians light their fire, and do not take the trouble to put it out, and that is generally the cause of it; but then it requires wind to help it."

The danger that they had escaped made a serious impression on the whole party, and the following day, being Sunday, Mr. Campbell did not forget to offer up a prayer of thankfulness for their preservation.

The roof of the cow-house was soon repaired by Alfred and Martin, and the Indian summer passed away without any further adventure.

The day after the fire, a despatch arrived from the fort to ascertain their welfare, and the Colonel and officers were greatly rejoiced to learn that comparatively so little damage had been done, for they expected to find that the family had been burnt out, and had made arrangements at the fort to receive them.

Gradually the weather became cold and the fires were lighted, and a month after the evil we have described, the winter again set in.

Chapter XXIX.

Once more was the ground covered with snow to the depth of three feet. The cattle were littered down inside the inclosure of palisades round the cow-house; the sheep were driven into the inclosed sheep-fold, and the horses were put into a portion of the barn in the sheep-fold which had been parted off for them. All was made secure and every preparation made for the long winter. Although there had been a fall of snow, the severe frost had not yet come on. It did, however, in about a fortnight afterwards, and then, according to the wishes of the Colonel, six oxen were killed or the use of the fort and taken there by the horses on a sledge; this was the last task that they had to fulfil, and then Alfred bade adieu to the officers of the fort, as they did not expect to meet again till the winter was over. Having experienced one winter, they were more fully prepared for the second; and as Malachi, the Strawberry, and John were now regular inmates of the house, for they did not keep a separate table, there was a greater feeling of security, and the monotony and dreariness were not so great as in the preceding winter: moreover, everything was now in its place, and they had more to attend to-two circumstances which greatly contributed to relieve the ennui arising from continual confinement. The hunting parties went out as usual; only Henry, and occasionally Alfred, remained at home to attend to the stock, and to perform other offices which the increase of their establishment required. The new books brought by Henry from Montreal, and which by common consent had been laid aside for the winter's evenings, were now a great source of amusement, as Mr. Campbell read aloud a portion of them every evening. Time passed away quickly, as it always does when there is a regular routine of duties and employment, and Christmas came before they were aware of its approach.

It was a great comfort to Mrs. Campbell that she now always had John at home, except when he was out hunting, and on that score she had long dismissed all anxiety, as she had full confidence in Malachi; but latterly Malachi and John seldom went out alone; indeed, the old man appeared to like being in company, and his misanthropy had wholly disappeared. He now invariably spent his evenings with the family assembled round the kitchen fire, and had become much more fond of hearing his own voice. John did not so much admire these evening parties. He cared nothing for new books, or indeed any books. He would amuse himself making mocassins, or working porcupine quills with the Strawberry at one corner of the fire, and the others might talk or read, it was all the same, John never said a word or appeared to pay the least attention to what was said. His father occasionally tried to make him learn something, but it was useless. He would remain for hours with his book before him, but his mind was elsewhere. Mr. Campbell, therefore, gave up the attempt for the present, indulging the hope that when John was older, he would be more aware of the advantages of education, and would become more attentive. At present, it was only inflicting pain on the boy without any advantage being gained. But John did not always sit by the kitchen fire. The wolves were much more numerous than in the preceding winter, having been attracted by the sheep which were within the palisade, and every night the howling was incessant. The howl of a wolf was sufficient to make John seize his rifle and leave the house, and he would remain in the snow for hours till one came sufficiently near for him to fire, and he had already killed several when a circumstance occurred which was the cause of great uneasiness.

John was out one evening as usual, crouched down within the palisades and watching for the wolves. It was a bright starry night, but there was no moon, when he perceived one of the animals crawling along almost on its belly, close to the door of the palisade which surrounded the house. This surprised him, as, generally speaking, the animals prowled round the palisade which encircled the sheep-fold, or else close to the pig-sties which were at the opposite side from the entrance door. John levelled his rifle and fired, when, to his astonishment, the wolf appeared to spring up in the air on his hind legs, then fall down and roll away. The key of the palisade door was always kept within, and John determined to go in and fetch it, that he might ascertain whether he had killed the animal or not. When he entered, Malachi said, "Did you kill, my boy?"

"Don't know," replied John; "come for the key to see."

"I don't like the gate being opened at night, John," said Mr. Campbell; "why don't you leave it as you usually do till to-morrow morning; that will be time enough?"

"I don't know if it was a wolf," replied John.

"What then, boy, tell me?" said Malachi.

"Well, I think it was an Indian," replied John; who then explained what had passed.

"Well, I shouldn't wonder," replied Malachi; "at all events the gate must not be opened to-night, for if it was an Indian you fired at, there is more than one of them; we'll keep all fast, John, and see what it was to-morrow."

Mrs. Campbell and the girls were much alarmed at this event, and it was with difficulty that they were persuaded to retire to rest.

"We will keep watch to-night, at all events," said Malachi, as soon as Mrs. Campbell and her nieces had left the room. "The boy is right, I have no doubt. It is the Angry Snake and his party who are prowling about, but if the boy has hit the Indian, which I have no doubt of, they will make off; however, it will be just as well to be on our guard, nevertheless. Martin can watch here, and I will watch in the fold."

We have before observed that the lodge of Malachi, Martin, and his wife, was built within the palisade of the sheep-fold, and that there was a passage from the palisade round the house to that which surrounded the sheep-fold, which passage had also a palisade on each side of it.

"I will watch here," said Alfred; "let Martin go home with you and his wife."

"I will watch with you," said John.

"Well, perhaps that will be better," said Malachi; "two rifles are better than one, and if any assistance is required, there will be one to send for it."

"But what do you think they would do, Malachi?" said Mr. Campbell; "they cannot climb the palisades."

"Not well, sir, nor do I think they would attempt it unless they had a large force, which I am sure they have not; no, sir, they would rather endeavour to set fire to the house if they could, but that's not so easy; one thing is certain, that the Snake will try all he can to get possession of what he saw in your storehouse."

"That I do not doubt," said Alfred; "but he will not find it quite so easy a matter."

"They've been reconnoitring, sir, that's the truth of it, and if John has helped one of them to a bit of lead, it will do good; for it will prove to them that we are on the alert, and make them careful how they come near the house again."

After a few minutes' more conversation, Mr. Campbell, Henry, and Percival retired, leaving the others to watch. Alfred walked home with Malachi and his party to see if all was right at the sheep-fold, and then returned.

The night passed without any further disturbance except the howling of the wolves, to which they were accustomed.

The next morning at daybreak, Malachi and Martin came to the house, and with John and Alfred, they opened the palisade gate, and went out to survey the spot where John had fired.

"Yes, sir," said Malachi; "it was an Indian, no doubt of it; here are the dents made in the snow by his knees as he crawled along, and John has hit him, for here is the blood. Let's follow the trail. See, sir, he has been hard hit; there is more blood this way as we go on. Ha!" continued Malachi, as he passed by a mound of snow; "here's the wolf's-skin he was covered up with; then he is dead or thereabouts, and they have carried him off, for he never would have parted with his skin, if he had had his senses about him."

"Yes," observed Martin, "his wound was mortal, that's certain."

They pursued the track till they arrived at the forest, and then, satisfied by the marks on the snow that the wounded man had been carried away, they returned to the house, when they found the rest of the family dressed and in the kitchen. Alfred showed them the skin of the wolf, and informed them of what they had discovered.

"I am grieved that blood has been shed," observed Mrs. Campbell; "I wish it had not happened. I have heard that the Indians never forgive on such occasions."

"Why, ma'am, they are very revengeful, that's certain, but still they won't risk too much. This has been a lesson to them. I only wish it had been the Angry Snake himself who was settled, as then we should have no more trouble or anxiety about them."

"Perhaps it may be," said Alfred.

"No, sir, that's not likely; it's one of his young men; I know the Indian customs well."

It was some time before the alarm occasioned by this event subsided in the mind of Mrs. Campbell and her nieces; Mr. Campbell also thought much about it, and betrayed occasional anxiety. The parties went out hunting as before, but those at home now felt anxious till they returned from the chase. Time, however, and not hearing anything more of the Indians, gradually revived their courage, and before the winter was half over they thought little about it. Indeed, it had been ascertained by Malachi from another band of Indians which he fell in with near a small lake where they were trapping beaver, that the Angry Snake was not in that part of the country, but had gone with his band to the westward at the commencement of the new year. This satisfied them that the enemy had left immediately after the attempt which he had made to reconnoitre the premises.

The hunting parties, therefore, as we said, continued as before; indeed, they were necessary for the supply of so many mouths. Percival, who had grown very much since his residence in Canada, was very anxious to be permitted to join them, which he never had been during the former winter. This was very natural. He saw his younger brother go out almost daily, and seldom return without having been successful; indeed, John was, next to Malachi, the best shot of the party. It was, therefore, very annoying to Percival that he should always be detained at home doing all the drudgery of the house, such as feeding the pigs, cleaning knives, and other menial work, while his younger brother was doing the duty of a man. To Percival's repeated entreaties, objections were constantly raised by his mother —they could not spare him, he was not accustomed to walk in snowshoes. Mr. Campbell observed that Percival became dissatisfied and unhappy, and Alfred took his part and pleaded for him. Alfred observed very truly, that the Strawberry could occasionally do Percival's work, and that if it could be avoided, he should not be cooped up at home in the way that he was; and, Mr. Campbell agreeing with Alfred, Mrs. Campbell very reluctantly gave her consent to his occasionally going out.

"Why, aunt, have you such an objection to Percival going out with the hunters?" said Mary. "It must be very trying to him to be always detained at home."

"I feel the truth of what you say, my dear Mary," said Mrs. Campbell, "and I assure you it is not out of selfishness, or because we shall have more work to do, that I wish him to remain with us; but I have an instinctive dread that some accident will happen to him, which I cannot overcome, and there is no arguing with a mother's fears and a mother's love."

"You were quite as uneasy, my dear aunt, when John first went out; you were continually in alarm about him, but now you are perfectly at ease," replied Emma.

"Very true," said Mrs. Campbell; "it is, perhaps, a weakness on my part which I ought to get over; but we are all liable to such feelings. I trust in God there is no real cause for apprehension, and that my reluctance is a mere weakness and folly. But I see the poor boy has long pined at being kept at home; for nothing is more irksome to a high-couraged and spirited boy as he is. I have, therefore, given my consent, because I think it is my duty; still the feeling remains, so let us say no more about it, my dear girls, for the subject is painful to me."

"My dear aunt, did you not say that you would talk to Strawberry on the subject of religion, and try if you could not persuade her to become a Christian? She is very serious at prayers, I observe; and appears, now that she understands English, to be very attentive to what is said."

"Yes, my dear Emma, it is my intention so to do very soon, but I do not like to be in too great a hurry. A mere conforming to the usages of our religion would be of little avail, and I fear that too many of our good missionaries, in their anxiety to make converts, do not sufficiently consider this point. Religion must proceed from conviction, and be seated in the heart; the heart, indeed, must be changed, not mere outward forms attended to."

"What is the religion of the Indians, my dear aunt?" said Mary.

"One which makes conversion the more difficult. It is in many respects so near what is right, that Indians do not easily perceive the necessity of change. They believe in one God, the Fountain of all good; they believe in a future state and in future rewards and punishments. You perceive they have the same foundation as we have, although they know not Christ, and, having very incomplete notions of duty, have a very insufficient sense of their manifold transgressions and offences in God's sight, and consequently have no idea of the necessity of a mediator. Now, it is perhaps easier to convince those who are entirely wrong, such as worship idols and false gods, than those who approach so nearly to the truth. But I have had many hours of reflection upon the proper course to pursue, and I do intend to have some conversation with her on the subject in a very short time. I have delayed because I consider it absolutely necessary that she should be perfectly aware of what I say, before I try to alter her belief. Now, the Indian language, although quite sufficient for Indian wants, is poor and has not the same copiousness as ours, because they do not require the words to explain what we term abstract ideas. It is, therefore, impossible to explain the mysteries of our holy religion to one who does not well understand our language. I think, however, that the Strawberry now begins to comprehend sufficiently for me to make the first attempt. I say first attempt, because I have no idea of making a convert in a week, or a month, or even in six months. All I can do is to exert my best abilities, and then trust to God, who, in His own good time, will enlighten her mind to receive His truth."

The next day the hunting party went out, and Percival, to his great delight, was permitted to accompany it. As they had a long way to go, for they had selected the hunting-ground, they set off early in the morning, before daylight, Mr. Campbell having particularly requested that they would not return home late.

Chapter XXX.

The party had proceeded many miles before they arrived at the spot where Malachi thought that they would fall in with some venison, which was the principal game that they sought. It was not till near ten o'clock in the morning that they stood on the ground which had been selected for the sport. It was an open part of the forest, and the snow lay in large drifts, but here and there on the hillsides the grass was nearly bare, and the deer were able, by scraping with their feet, to obtain some food. They were all pretty well close together when they arrived. Percival and Henry were about a quarter of a mile behind, for Percival was not used to the snow-shoes, and did not get on so well as the others. Malachi and the rest with him halted, that Henry and Percival might come up with them, and then, after they had recovered their breath a little, he said—

"Now, you see there's a fine lot of deer here, Master Percival, but as you know nothing about woodcraft, and may put us all out, observe what I say to you. The animals are not only cute of hearing and seeing, but they are more cute of smell, and they can scent a man a mile off if the wind blows down to them; so you see it would be useless to attempt to get near to them if we do not get to the lee side of them without noise and without being seen. Now, the wind has been from the eastward, and as we are to the southward, we must get round by the woods to the westward, before we go upon the open ground, and then, Master Percival, you must do as we do, and keep behind, to watch our motions. If we come to a swell in the land, you must not run up, or even walk up, as you might show yourself; the deer might be on the other side, within twenty yards of you; but you must hide yourself, as you will see that we shall do, and when we have found them, I will put you in a place where you shall have your shot as well as we. Do you understand, Master Percival?"

"Yes, I do, and I shall stop behind, and do as you tell me."

"Well then, now, we will go back into the thick of the forest till we get to leeward, and then we shall see whether you will make a hunter or not."

The whole party did as Malachi directed, and for more than an hour they walked through the wood, among the thickest of the trees, that they might not be seen by the animals. At last they arrived at the spot which Malachi desired, and then they changed their course, eastward towards the more open ground, where they expected to find the deer.

As they entered upon the open ground, they moved forward crouched to the ground, Malachi and Martin in the advance. When in the hollows, they all collected together, but on ascending a swell of the land, it was either Malachi or Martin who first crept up, and, looking over the summit, gave notice to the others to come forward. This was continually repeated for three or four miles, when Martin having raised his head just above a swell, made a signal to them who were below that the deer were in sight. After a moment or two reconnoitring, he went down and informed them that there were twelve or thirteen head of deer scraping up the snow about one hundred yards ahead of them, upon another swell of the land; but that they appeared to be alarmed and anxious, as they had an idea of danger being near.

Malachi then again crawled up to make his observations, and returned.

"It is sartain," said he, "that they are flurried about something; they appear as if they had been hunted, and yet that is not likely. We must wait and let them settle a little, and find out whether any other parties have been hunting them."

They waited about ten minutes, till the animals appeared more settled, and then, by altering their position behind the swell, gained about twenty-five yards of distance. Malachi told each party which animal to aim at, and they fired nearly simultaneously. Three of the beasts fell, two others were wounded, the rest of the herd bounded off like the wind. They all rose from behind the swell, and ran forward to their prey. Alfred had fired at a fine buck which stood apart from the rest, and somewhat farther off; it was evident that the animal was badly wounded, and Alfred had marked the thicket into which it had floundered; but the other deer which was wounded was evidently slightly hurt, and there was little chance of obtaining it, as it bounded away after the rest of the herd. They all ran up to where the animals lay dead, and as soon as they had reloaded their rifles, Alfred and Martin went on the track of the one that was badly wounded. They had forced their way through the thicket for some fifty yards, guided by the track of the animal, when they started back at the loud growl of some beast. Alfred, who was in advance, perceived that a puma (catamount, or painter, as it is usually termed), had taken possession of the deer, and was lying over the carcase. He levelled his rifle and fired; the beast, although badly wounded, immediately sprang at him and seized him by the shoulder. Alfred was sinking under the animal's weight and from the pain he was suffering, when Martin came to his rescue, and put his rifle ball through the head of the beast, which fell dead.

"Are you much hurt, sir?" said Martin.

"No, not much," replied Alfred; "at least I think not, but my shoulder is badly torn, and I bleed freely."

Malachi and the others now came up, and perceived what had taken place. Alfred had sunk down and was sitting on the ground by the side of the dead animals.

"A painter!" exclaimed Malachi; "well, I didn't think we should see one so far west. Are you hurt, Mr. Alfred?"

"Yes, a little," replied Alfred, faintly.

Malachi and Martin, without saying another word, stripped off Alfred's hunting-coat, and then discovered that he had received a very bad wound in the shoulder from the teeth of the beast, and that his side was also torn by the animal's claws.

"John, run or some water," said Malachi; "you are certain to find some in the hollow."

John and Percival both hastened in search of water, while Malachi, and Martin, and Henry tore Alfred's shirt into strips and bound up the wounds, so as to stop in a great measure the flow of blood. As soon as this was done and he had drunk the water brought to him in John's hat, Alfred felt revived.

"I will sit down for a little longer," said he, "and then we will get home as fast as we can. Martin, look after the game, and when you are ready I will get up. What a tremendous heavy brute that was; I could not have stood against him for a minute longer, and I had no hunting-knife."

"It's a terrible beast, sir," replied Malachi. "I don't know that I ever saw one larger; they are more than a match for one man, sir, and never should be attempted single-handed, for they are so hard to kill."

"Where did my ball hit him?" said Alfred.

"Here, sir, under the shoulder, and well placed too. It must have gone quite close to his heart; but unless you hit them through the brain or through the heart, they are certain to make their dying spring. That's an ugly wound on your shoulder, and will put a stop to your hunting for five or six weeks, I expect. However, it's well that it's no worse."

"I feel quite strong now," replied Alfred.

"Another ten minutes, sir; let John and me whip off his skin, for we must have it to show, if we have all the venison spoiled. Mr. Henry, tell Martin only to take the prime pieces and not to mind the hides, for we shall not be able to carry much. And tell him to be quick, Mr. Henry, for it will not do for Mr. Alfred to remain till his arm gets stiff. We have many miles to get home again."

In the course of ten minutes, Malachi and John had skinned the puma, and Martin made his appearance with the haunches of two of the deer, which he said was as much as they well could carry, and they all set off on their return home.

Alfred had not proceeded far when he found himself in great pain, the walking upon snow-shoes requiring so much motion as to open the wounds and make them bleed again; but Malachi gave him his assistance, and having procured him some more water, they continued their route.

After a time the wounds became more stiff, and Alfred appeared to be more oppressed by the pain; they proceeded, however, as fast as they could, and at nightfall were not far from home. But Alfred moved with great difficulty; he had become very faint, so much so, that Martin requested John would throw down the venison, and hasten before them to the house to request Mr. Campbell to send some brandy or other cordial to support Alfred, who was scarcely able to move on from weakness and loss of blood. As they were not more than a mile from the house, John was soon there, and hastening in at the door, he gave his message in presence of Mrs. Campbell and his cousins, who were in a state of great distress at the intelligence. Mr. Campbell went to his room for the spirits, and as soon as he brought it out, Emma seized her bonnet, and said that she would accompany John.

Mr. and Mrs. Campbell had no time to raise any objection if they were inclined, for Emma was out of the door in a moment, with John at her heels. But Emma quite forgot that she had no snow-shoes, and before she had gone half the distance, she found herself as much fatigued as if she had walked miles; and she sank deeper and deeper in the snow every minute that she advanced. At last they arrived, and found the party: Alfred was lying insensible on the snow, and the others making a litter of branches, that they might carry him to the house.

A little brandy poured down his throat brought Alfred to his senses; and as he opened his eyes, he perceived Emma hanging over him.

"Dear Emma, how kind of you," said he, attempting to rise.

"Do not move, Alfred; they will soon have the litter ready, and then you will be carried to the house. It is not far off."

"I am strong again now, Emma," replied Alfred. "But you must not remain here in the cold. See, the snow is falling again."

"I must remain now till they are ready to carry you, Alfred, for I dare not go back by myself."

By this time the litter was prepared, and Alfred placed on it. Malachi, Henry, Martin, and John took it up.

"Where is Percival?" said Emma.

"He's behind a little way," replied John. "The snow-shoes hurt him, and he could not walk so fast. He will be here in a minute."

They carried Alfred to the house where Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and Mary were waiting at the door in great anxiety; poor Emma was quite knocked up by the time that they arrived, and went into her own room.

Alfred was laid on his bed, and his father then examined his wounds, which he considered very dangerous, from the great laceration of the flesh. Mr. Campbell dressed them, and then they left Alfred to the repose which he so much required. The state of Alfred so occupied their minds and their attention, that nothing and nobody else was thought of for the first hour. Emma too had been taken very ill soon after she came in, and required the attention of Mrs. Campbell and Mary. It was not until they were about to sit down to supper that Mr. Campbell said, "Why, where's Percival?"

"Percival! Is he not here?" was the question anxiously uttered by all the party who had been hunting.

"Percival not here!" exclaimed Mrs. Campbell, starting up. "Where —where is my child?"

"He was just behind us," said John; "he sat down to alter his snow-shoes: the ties hurt him."

Malachi and Martin run out of doors in consternation; they knew the danger, for the snow was now falling in such heavy flakes, that it was impossible to see or direct their steps two yards in any direction.

"The boy will be lost for sartain," said Malachi to Martin; "if he has remained behind till this fall of snow, he never will find his way, but wander about till he perishes."

"Yes," said Martin, "he has but a poor chance, that is the truth; I would have given my right arm this had not happened."

"Misfortune never comes single," replied Malachi; "what can we do? Madam Campbell will be beside herself, for she loves that boy beyond all measure."

"It's useless our going out," observed Martin "we should never find him, and only lose ourselves; but still we had better go back, and say that we will try. At all events we can go to the edge of the forest, and halloo every minute or so; if the boy is still on his legs, it will guide him to us."

"Yes," replied Malachi, "and we may light a pine torch; it might be of some use. Well, then, let's go in, and tell them that we are going in search of the boy; as long as madam knows that we are seeking him, she will not lose hope, and hope will keep up her spirits for the time, till she is better prepared for her loss."

There was much good sense and knowledge of the human heart in the observation of Malachi, who, although he was aware that all search would be useless, could not resolve to destroy at once all hope in the mind of the afflicted and anxious mother.

They went in, and found Mrs. Campbell weeping bitterly, supported by her husband and Mary. They stated that they were going to search for the boy, and bring him home if they could, and, taking three or four pine torches, one of which they lighted, they set off for the edge of the forest, where they remained for two hours with the light, shouting at intervals; but the snow fell so fast, and the cold was so intense, for the wind blew fresh from the northward, that they could remain no longer. They did not, however, return to the house, but went to their own lodge to recover themselves, and remain there till daylight. They then went out again; the snowstorm had ceased, and the morning was clear and bright; they went back into the forest (on the road by which they had come home) for three or four miles, but the snow now fallen had covered all the tracks which they had made the day before, and was in many places several feet deep. They proceeded to where Percival was last seen by John, who had described the spot very exactly; they looked everywhere about, made circuits round and round, in hopes of perceiving the muzzle of his rifle peeping out above the snow, but there was nothing to be discovered, and after a search of four or five hours, they returned to the house. They found Mr. Campbell and Henry in the kitchen, for Mrs. Campbell was in such a state of anxiety and distress, that she was in her room attended by Mary. Mr. Campbell perceived by their countenances that they brought no satisfactory tidings. Malachi shook his head mournfully, and sat down.

"Do you think that my poor boy is lost, Malachi?" said Mr. Campbell.

"He is, I fear, sir; he must have sat down to rest himself, and has been overpowered and fallen asleep. He has been buried in the snow, and he will not wake till the day of resurrection."

Mr. Campbell covered his face with his hands, and after a time exclaimed, "His poor mother!"

After a few minutes, he rose and went into Mrs. Campbell's room.

"What of my child, my dear, dear Percival?" exclaimed Mrs. Campbell.

"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away," replied Mr. Campbell; "your child is happy."

Mrs. Campbell wept bitterly; and having thus given vent to the feelings of nature, she became gradually more calm and resigned; her habitually devout spirit sought and found relief in the God of all comfort.

Chapter XXXI.

Thus in one short day was the family, or Mr. Campbell changed from a house of joy to one of mourning. And true was the remark of Malachi, that misfortunes seldom come single, for now they had another cause of anxiety. Emma, by her imprudent exposure to the intense chill of the night air and the wetting of her feet, was first taken with a violent cold, which was followed by a fever, which became more alarming every day. Thus, in addition to the loss of one of their children, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were threatened with being deprived of two more; for their nieces were regarded as such, and Alfred was in a very precarious state. The wounds had assumed such an angry appearance, that Mr. Campbell was fearful of mortification. This accumulated distress had, however, one good effect upon them. The danger of losing Emma and Alfred so occupied their minds and their attention, that they had not time to bewail the loss of Percival; and even Mrs. Campbell, in her prayers, was enabled to resign herself to the Almighty's will in taking away her child, if it would but please Him to spare the two others who were afflicted. Long and tedious were the hours, the days, and the weeks that passed away before either of them could be considered in a state of convalescence; but her prayers were heard, and as the winter closed, their recovery was no longer doubtful. A melancholy winter it had been to them all, but the joy of once more seeing Emma resume her duties, and Alfred, supported on cushions, able to be moved into the sitting-room, had a very exhilarating effect upon their spirits. True, there was no longer the mirth and merriment that once reigned, but there was a subdued gratitude to Heaven, which, if it did not make them at once cheerful, at least prevented anything like repining or complaint. Grateful for the mercies vouchsafed to them in having Alfred and Emma spared to them, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell consoled themselves in reference to Percival, with the reflection, that at so early an age, before he had lived to be corrupted by the world, to die was gain —and that their dear boy had become, through Divine grace, an inhabitant of the kingdom of Heaven. By degrees the family became again cheerful and happy; the merry laugh of Emma once more enlivened them, Alfred again recovered his former health and spirits, and Mrs. Campbell could bear the mention of the name of Percival, and join in the praises of the amiable child.

The spring now came on, the snow gradually disappeared, the ice was carried down the rapids, and once more left the blue lake clear; the cattle were turned out to feed off the grass the year before left on the prairie, and all the men were busy in preparing to put in the seed. As soon as the snow was gone, Malachi, Martin and Alfred, without saying a word to Mrs. Campbell, had gone into the forest, and made every search for the body of poor Percival, but without success, and it was considered that he had wandered and died on some spot which they could not discover, or that the wolves had dug his remains out of the snow, and devoured them. Not a trace of him could anywhere be discovered; and the search was, after a few days, discontinued. The return of the spring had another good effect upon the spirits of the party; for, with the spring came on such a variety of work to be done, that they had not a moment to spare. They had now so many acres for corn, that they had scarcely time to get through all the preparatory work, and fortunate it was that Alfred was so much recovered that he could join in the labour. Malachi, John, and even Mr. Campbell assisted, and at last the task was completed. Then they had a communication with the fort, and letters from Quebec, Montreal, and England: there were none of any importance from England, but one from Montreal informed Mr. Campbell that, agreeably to contract, the engineer would arrive in the course of the month, with the bateaux containing the machinery, and that the water-mill would be erected as soon as possible. There was also a letter from England, which gave them great pleasure; it was from Captain Sinclair to Alfred, informing him that he had arranged all his business with his guardian, and that he should rejoin his regiment and be at the fort early in the spring, as he should sail in the first vessel which left England. He stated how delighted he should be at his return, and told him to say to Emma that he had not found an English wife, as she had prophesied, but was coming back as heart-whole as he went. Very soon afterwards they had a visit from Colonel Forster and some of the officers of the garrison. The Colonel offered Mr. Campbell a party of soldiers to assist in raising the mill, and the offer was thankfully accepted.

"We were very much alarmed about you last autumn when the woods were on fire, Mr. Campbell," said the Colonel; "but I perceive that it has been of great advantage to you. You have now a large quantity of cleared land sown with seed, and if you had possessed sufficient means, might have had much more put in, as I perceive all the land to the north-west is cleared by the fire."

"Yes," replied Mr. Campbell; "but my allotment, as you know, extends along the beach, and we have sown the seed as far from the beach as the property extends."

"Then I should recommend you to write to Quebec, and apply for another grant on each side of the stream; indeed, at the back of and equal to what you now have."

"But if I do, I have not the means of working the land."

"No, not with your present force, I grant; but there are many emigrants who would be glad of work, and who would settle here upon favourable conditions."

"The expense would be very great," said Mr. Campbell.

"It would; but the return would indemnify you. The troops at the fort would take all the flour off your hands if you had ever so much."

"I am not inclined at present to speculate much further," replied Mr. Campbell, "but I shall see how this year turns out, and if I find that I am successful, I will then decide."

"Of course, you will but act prudently. You can send down to your agent at Quebec, and ascertain what would be the probable terms of the men you might require. But there is another way, which is to give them the land to cultivate, and the seed, and to receive from them a certain portion of corn in return, as rent; —that is very safe, and your land will be all gradually brought into cultivation, besides the advantage of having neighbours about you. You might send one of your sons down to Montreal, and arrange all that."

"I certainly will write to my agent and institute inquiries," replied Mr. Campbell, "and many thanks to you for the suggestion; I have still a few hundreds at the bank to dispose of, if necessary."

About three weeks after this conversation, the bateaux arrived with the engineer and machinery for the flour and saw-mills: and now the settlement again presented a lively scene, being thronged with the soldiers who were sent from the fort. The engineer was a very pleasant intelligent young Englishman, who had taken up his profession in Canada, and was considered one of the most able in the colony. The site of the mill was soon chosen, and now the axes again resounded in the woods, as the trees were felled and squared under his directions. Alfred was constantly with the engineer, superintending the labour of the men, and contracted a great intimacy with him; indeed, that gentleman was soon on such a footing with the whole family, as to be considered almost as one of them, for he was very amusing, very well bred, and had evidently received every advantage of education. Mr. Campbell found that Mr. Emmerson, for such was his name, could give him every particular relative to the emigrants who had come out, as he was so constantly travelling about the country, and was in such constant communication with them.

"You are very fortunate in your purchase," said he to Mr. Campbell, "the land is excellent, and you have a good water power in the stream, as well as convenient carriage by the lake. Fifty years hence this property will be worth a large sum of money."

"I want very much to get some more emigrants to settle here," observed Mr. Campbell. "It would add to our security and comfort; and I have not sufficient hands to cultivate the land which has been cleared by the fire of last autumn. If not cultivated in a short time, it will be all forest again."

"At present it is all raspberries, and very good ones too, are they not, Mr. Emmerson?" said Emma.

"Yes, miss, most excellent," replied he; "but you are aware that whenever you cut down trees here, and do not hoe the ground to sow it, raspberry bushes grow up immediately."

"Indeed, I was not aware of it."

"Such is the case, nevertheless. After the raspberries, the seedling hardwood trees spring up, and, as Mr. Campbell says, they soon grow into a forest again."

"I do not think that you would have much trouble in getting emigrants to come here, Mr. Campbell, but the difficulty will be in persuading them to remain. Their object in coming out to this country is to obtain land of their own, and become independent. Many of them have not the means to go on, and, as a temporary resource, are compelled to act as labourers; but the moment that they get sufficient to purchase for themselves, they will leave you."

"That is very natural; but I have been thinking of obtaining a larger grant than I have now, and I wish very much that I could make an arrangement with some emigrants. The Colonel says that I might do so by supplying them with seed, and taking corn in return as rent."

"That would not be a permanent arrangement," replied Mr. Emmerson. "How much land do you propose applying for?"

"Six hundred acres."

"Well, sir, I think it would meet the views of both parties if you were to offer terms like the following —that is, divide the land into lots of one hundred acres each, and allow them to cultivate for you the fifty acres that adjoin your own land, with the right of purchasing the other fifty as their own property, as soon as they can. You will then obtain three hundred acres of the most valuable land, in addition to your present farm, and have fixed neighbours around you, even after they are enabled to purchase the other fifty."

"I think that a very good arrangement, Mr. Emmerson, and I would gladly consent to it."

"Well, sir, I shall have plenty of opportunities this summer of making the proposal to the emigrants, and if I find any parties who seem likely to prove advantageous as neighbours, I will let you know."

"And with such expectations I will apply for the additional grant," said Mr. Campbell, "for to have neighbours in this solitude, I would almost make them a present of the land."

"I suspect that in a few years you will have neighbours enough, without resorting to such an expedient," replied Mr. Emmerson, "but according to your present proposal, they may be better selected, and you may make terms which will prevent any nuisances."

The works at the mill proceeded rapidly, and before the hay-harvest the mill was complete. Alfred was very careful, and paid every attention to what was going on, and so did Martin, that they might understand the machinery. This was very simple. Mr. Emmerson tried the mill, and found it to answer well. He explained everything to Alfred, and put the mill to work, that he might be fully master of it. As it was a fortnight after the mill was at work before Mr. Emmerson could obtain a passage back to Montreal, Alfred and Martin worked both mills during that time, and felt satisfied that they required no further instruction. The soldiers, at the request of Mr. Campbell, were allowed to remain till the hay-harvest, and as soon as the hay was gathered in, they were paid and returned to the fort. Captain Sinclair, who, from his letter, had been expected to arrive much sooner, came just as the soldiers had left the farm. It need hardly be said that he was received most warmly. He had a great deal to tell them, and had brought out a great many presents; those for poor little Percival he kept back, of course. Emma and Mary were delighted to have him again as a companion and to resume their walks with him; a fortnight thus passed away very quickly, when his leave of absence expired, and he was obliged to return to the fort. Previous, however, to his going away, he requested a private interview with Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, in which he stated his exact position and his means, and requested their sanction to his paying his addresses to Mary. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, who had already perceived the attentions he had shown to her, did not hesitate to express their satisfaction at his request, and their best wishes for his success; and having so done, they left him to forward his own suit, which Captain Sinclair did not fail to do that very evening. Mary Percival was too amiable and right-minded a girl not at once to refuse or accept Captain Sinclair. As she had long been attached to him, she did not deny that such was the case, and Captain Sinclair was overjoyed at his success.

"I have spoken frankly to you, Captain Sinclair," said Mary; "I have not denied that you have an interest in my affections; but I must now request you to let me know what are your future views."

"To do just what you wish me to do."

"I have no right to advise, and no wish to persuade. I have my own path of duty pointed out to me, and from that I cannot swerve."

"And what is that?"

"It is, that under present circumstances, I must not think of leaving my uncle and aunt. I have been bred up and educated by them; I have as an orphan shared their prosperity; I have a deep debt of gratitude to pay, and I cannot consent to return to England to enjoy all the advantages which your means will afford, while they remain in their present isolated position. Hereafter circumstances may alter my opinion, but such it is at present."

"But if I am willing to remain with you here to share your fortunes, will not that satisfy you?"

"No, certainly not; for that would be allowing you to do injustice to yourself. I presume you do not mean to quit your profession?"

"I had no such intention; but still, if I have to choose between you and the service, I shall not hesitate."

"I trust you will not hesitate, but determine to adhere steadily to your profession for the present, Captain Sinclair. It will not do for you to give up your prospects and chance of advancement for even such a woman as me," continued Mary, smiling; "nor must you think of becoming a backwoodsman for a pale-faced girl."

"Then, what am I to do if, as you say, you will not leave your uncle and aunt?"

"Wait, Captain Sinclair; be satisfied that you have my affections, and wait patiently till circumstances may occur which will enable me to reward your affection without being guilty of ingratitude towards those to whom I owe so much. On such terms I accept you, and accept you willingly; but you must do your duty to yourself, while I must discharge my duty towards my uncle and aunt."

"I believe you are right, Mary," replied Captain Sinclair; "only I do not see any definite hope of our being united. Can you give me any prospect to cheer me?"

"We are both very young, Captain Sinclair," observed Mary; "in a year or two, my uncle and aunt may be less lonely and more comfortable than at present. In a year or two the war may end, and you may honourably retire upon half-pay; in fact, so many chances are there which are hidden from us and come upon us so unexpectedly, that it is impossible to say what may take place. And if, after waiting patiently for some time, none of these chances do turn up, you have yet another in your favour."

"And what is that, Mary?"

"That, perhaps, I may be tired of waiting myself," replied Mary, with a smile.

"Upon that chance then I will live in hope," replied Captain Sinclair; "if you will only reward me when you consider that my faithful service demands it, I will serve as long as Jacob did for Rachel."

"Do so, and you shall not be deceived at the end of your services, as he was," replied Mary; "but now let us return to the house."

Captain Sinclair departed the day afterwards, quite satisfied with Mary's resolution.

Chapter XXXII.

As Henry had predicted, during the autumn the whole family were fully employed. The stock had increased very much, they had a large number of young calves and heifers, and the sheep had lambed down very favourably. Many of the stock were now turned into the bush, to save the feed on the prairies. The sheep with their lambs, the cows which were in milk, and the young calves only were retained. This gave them more leisure to attend to the corn harvest, which was now ready, and it required all their united exertions from daylight to sunset to get it in, for they had a very large quantity of ground to clear. It was, however, got in very successfully, and all stacked in good order. Then came the thrashing of the wheat, which gave them ample employment; and as soon as it could be thrashed out, it was taken to the mill in the waggon, and ground down, for Mr. Campbell had engaged to supply a certain quantity of flour to the fort before the winter set in. They occasionally received a visit from Captain Sinclair and the Colonel, and some other officers, for now they had gradually become intimate with many of them. Captain Sinclair had confided to the Colonel his engagement to Mary Percival, and in consequence the Colonel allowed him to visit at the farm as often as he could, consistently with his duty. The other officers who came to see them, perceiving how much Captain Sinclair engrossed the company of Mary Percival, were very assiduous in their attentions to Emma, who laughed with and at them, and generally contrived to give them something to do for her during their visit, as well as to render their attentions serviceable to the household. On condition that Emma accompanied them, they were content to go into the punt and fish for hours; and indeed, all the lake-fish which were caught this year were taken by the officers. There were several very pleasant young men among them, and they were always well received, as they added very much to the society at the farm.

Before the winter set in the flour was all ready, and sent to the fort, as were the cattle which the Colonel requested, and it was very evident that the Colonel was right when he said that the arrangement would be advantageous to both parties. Mr. Campbell, instead of drawing money to pay, this year for the first time received a bill on the Government to a considerable amount for the flour and cattle furnished to the troops; and Mrs. Campbell's account for fowls, pork, etc., furnished to the garrison, was by no means to be despised. Thus, by the kindness of others, his own exertions, and a judicious employment of his small capital, Mr. Campbell promised to be in a few years a wealthy and independent man. As soon as the harvest was in, Malachi and John, who were of no use in thrashing out the corn, renewed their hunting expeditions, and seldom returned without venison. The Indians had not been seen by Malachi during his excursions, nor any trace of their having been in the neighbourhood; all alarm, therefore, on that account was now over, and the family prepared to meet the coming winter with all the additional precautions which the foregoing had advised them of. But during the Indian summer they received letters from England, detailing, as usual, the news relative to friends with whom they had been intimate; also one from Quebec, informing Mr. Campbell that his application for the extra grant of land was consented to; and another from Montreal, from Mr. Emmerson, stating that he had offered terms to two families of settlers who bore very good characters, and if they were accepted by Mr. Campbell, the parties would join them at the commencement of the ensuing spring.

This was highly gratifying to Mr. Campbell, and as the terms were, with a slight variation, such as he had proposed, he immediately wrote to Mr. Emmerson, agreeing to the terms, and requesting that the bargain might be concluded. At the same time that the Colonel forwarded the above letters, he wrote to Mr. Campbell to say that the interior of the fort required a large quantity of plank for repairs, that he was authorised to take them from Mr. Campbell, at a certain price, if he could afford to supply them on those terms, and have them ready by the following spring. This was another act of kindness on the part of the Colonel, as it would now give employment to the saw-mill for the winter, and it was during the winter, and at the time that the snow was on the ground, that they could easily drag the timber after it was felled to the saw-mill. Mr. Campbell wrote an answer, thanking the Colonel for his offer, which he accepted, and promised to have the planks ready by the time the lake was again open.

At last the winter set in, with its usual fall of snow. Captain Sinclair took his leave for a long time, much to the sorrow of all the family, who were warmly attached to him. It was now arranged that the only parties who were to go on the hunting excursions should be Malachi and John, as Henry had ample employment in the barns; and Martin and Alfred, in felling timber, and dragging up the stems to the saw-mill, would, with attending to the mill as well, have their whole time taken up. Such were the arrangements out of doors, and now that they had lost the services of poor Percival, and the duties to attend to indoors were so much increased, Mrs. Campbell and the girls were obliged to call in the assistance of Mr. Campbell whenever he could be spared from the garden, which was his usual occupation. Thus glided on the third winter in quiet and security; but in full employment, and with so much to do and attend to, that it passed very rapidly.

It was in the month of February, when the snow was very heavy on the ground, that one day Malachi went up to the mill to Alfred, whom he found alone attending the saws, which were in full activity; for Martin was squaring out the timber ready to be sawed, at about one hundred yards' distance.

"I am glad to find you alone, sir," said Malachi, "for I have something of importance to tell you of, and I do not like at present that anybody else should know anything about it."

"What is it, Malachi?" inquired Alfred.

"Why, sir, when I was out hunting yesterday, I went round to a spot where I had left a couple of deer-hides last week, that I might bring them home, and I found a letter stuck to them with a couple of thorns."

"A letter, Malachi!"

"Yes, sir, an Indian letter. Here it is." Malachi then produced a piece of birch bark, of which the drawing below is a facsimile.

"Well," said Alfred, "it may be a letter, but I confess it is all Greek to me. I certainly do not see why you wish to keep it a secret. Tell me."

"Well, sir, I could not read one of your letters half so well as I can this; and it contains news of the greatest importance. It's the Indian way of writing, and I know also whom it comes from. A good action is never lost, they say, and I am glad to find that there is some gratitude in an Indian."

"You make me very impatient, Malachi, to know what it means; tell me from whom do you think the letter comes?"

"Why, sir, do you see this mark here?" said Malachi, pointing to the one lowest down on the piece of bark.

"Yes; it is a foot, is it not?"

"Exactly, sir; now, do you know whom it comes from?"

"I can't say I do."

"Do you remember two winters back our picking up the Indian woman, and carrying her to the house, and your father curing her sprained ankle?"

"Certainly; is it from her?"

"Yes, sir; and you recollect she said that she belonged to the band which followed the Angry Snake."

"I remember it very well; but now, Malachi, read me the letter at once, for I am very impatient to know what she can have to say."

"I will, Mr. Alfred; now, sir, there is the sun more than half up, which with them points out it is the setting and not the rising sun; the setting sun therefore means to the westward."

"Very good, that is plain, I think."

"There are twelve wigwams, that is twelve days' journey for a warrior, which the Indians reckon at about fifteen miles a day. How much does fifteen times twelve make, sir."

"One hundred and eighty, Malachi."

"Well, sir, then that is to say that it is one hundred and eighty miles off, or thereabouts. Now this first figure is a chief, for it has an eagle's feather on the head of it, and the snake before it is his totem, 'the Angry Snake,' and the other six are the number of the band; and you observe, that the chief and the first figure of the six have a gun in their hands, which is to inform us that they have only two rifles among them."

"Very true; but what is that little figure following the chief with his arms behind him?"

"There is the whole mystery of the letter, sir, without which it were worth nothing. You perceive that the little figure has a pair of snow-shoes over it."

"Yes, I do."

"Well, that little figure is your brother Percival, whom we supposed to be dead."

"Merciful Heaven! is it possible?" exclaimed Alfred; "then he is alive."

"There is no doubt of it, sir," replied Malachi; "and now I will put the whole letter together. Your brother Percival has been carried off by the Angry Snake and his band, and has been taken to some place one hundred and eighty miles to the westward, and this information comes from the Indian woman who belongs to the band, and whose life was preserved by your kindness. I don't think, Mr. Alfred, that any white person could have written a letter more plain and more to the purpose."

"I agree with you, Malachi; but the news has so overpowered me, I am so agitated with joy and anxiety of mind, that I hardly know what I say. Percival alive! we'll have him, if we have to go one thousand miles, and beat two thousand Indians. Oh, how happy it will make my mother! But what are we to do, Malachi? tell me, I beseech you."

"We must do nothing, sir," replied Malachi.

"Nothing, Malachi!" replied Alfred, with surprise.

"No, sir; nothing at present, at all events. We have the information that the boy is alive, at least it is presumed so; but of course the Indians do not know that we have received such information; if they did, the woman would be killed immediately. Now, sir, the first question we must ask ourselves is, why they have carried off the boy; for it would be no use carrying off a little boy in that manner without some object."

"It is the very question that I was going to put to you, Malachi."

"Then, sir, I'll answer it to the best of my knowledge and belief. It is this: the Angry Snake came to the settlement, and saw our stores of powder and shot, and everything else. He would have attacked us last winter if he had found an opportunity and a chance of success. One of his band was killed, which taught him that we were on the watch, and he failed in that attempt: he managed, however, to pick up the boy when he was lagging behind us, at the time that you were wounded by the painter, and carried him off, and he intends to drive a bargain for his being restored to us. That is my conviction."

"I have no doubt but that you are right, Malachi," said Alfred, after a pause. "Well, we must make a virtue of necessity, and give him what he asks."

"Not so, sir; if we did, it would encourage him to steal again."

"What must we do, then?"

"Punish him, if we can; at all events, we must wait at present, and do nothing. Depend upon it, we shall have some communication made to us through him that the boy is in their possession, and will be restored upon certain conditions —probably this spring. It will then be time to consider what is to be done."

"I believe you are right, Malachi."

"I hope to circumvent him yet, sir," replied Malachi; "but we shall see."

"Well; but, Malachi, are we to let this be known to anybody, or keep it a secret?"

"Well, sir, I've thought of that; we must only let Martin and the Strawberry into the secret; and I would tell them, because they are almost Indians, as it were; they may have some one coming to them, and there's no fear of their telling. Martin knows better, and as for the Strawberry, she is as safe as if she didn't know it."

"I believe you are right; and still what delight it would give my father and mother!"

"Yes, sir, and all the family too, I have no doubt, for the first hour or two after you have told them; but what pain it would give them for months afterwards. 'Hope deferred maketh the heart sick,' as my father used to read out of the Bible, and that's the truth, sir. Only consider how your father, and particularly your mother, would fret and pine during the whole time, and what a state of anxiety they would be in; they would not eat or sleep. No, no, sir; it would be a cruelty to tell them, and it must not be. Nothing can be done till the spring, at all events, and we must wait till the messenger comes to us."

"You are right, Malachi; then do as you say, make the communication to Martin and his wife, and I will keep the secret as faithfully as they will."

"It's a great point our knowing whereabouts the boy is," observed Malachi; "for if it is necessary to make a party to go for him, we know what direction to go in. And it is also a great point to know the strength of the enemy, as now we shall know what force we must take with us in case it is necessary to recover the lad by force or stratagem. All this we gained from the letter, and shall not learn from any messenger sent to us by the Angry Snake, whose head I hope to bruise before I've done with him."

"If I meet him, one of us shall fall," observed Alfred.

"No doubt, sir, no doubt," replied Malachi, "but if we can retake the boy by other means, so much the better. A man, bad or good, has but one life, and God gave it to him. It is not for his fellow-creature to take it away unless from necessity. I hope to have the boy without shedding of blood."

"I am willing to have him back upon any terms, Malachi; and, as you say, if we can do it without shedding of blood, all the better; but have him I will, if I have to kill a hundred Indians."

"That's right, sir; that's right; only let it be the last resort; recollect that the Indian seeks the powder and ball, not the life of the boy; and recollect that if we had not been so careless as to tempt him with the sight of what he values so much, he never would have annoyed us thus."

"That is true; well then, Malachi, it shall be as you propose in everything."

The conversation was here finished; Alfred and all those who were possessed of the secret never allowed the slightest hint to drop of their knowledge. The winter passed away without interruption of any kind. Before the snow had disappeared the seed was all prepared ready for sowing; the planks had been sawed out, and all the wheat not required for seed had been ground down and put into flour-barrels, ready for any further demand from the fort. And thus terminated the third winter in Canada.

Chapter XXXIII.

It was now April, and for some days Malachi and John had been very busy, assisted by the Strawberry; for the time had come for tapping the maple trees, to make the maple sugar, and Mrs. Campbell had expressed a wish that she could be so supplied with an article of such general consumption, and which they could not obtain but by the bateaux which went to Montreal. In the evening, when Malachi and John were, as usual, employed in cutting small trays out of the soft wood of the balsam fir, and of which they had already prepared a large quantity, Mrs. Campbell asked Malachi how the sugar was procured.

"Very easily, ma'am; we tap the trees."

"Yes, so you said before; but how do you do it? Explain the whole affair to me."

"Why, ma'am, we pick out the maple trees which are about a foot wide at the bottom of the trunk, as they yield most sugar. We then bore a hole in the trunk of the tree, about two feet above the ground, and into that hole we put a hollow reed, just the same as you would put a spigot in a cask. The liquor runs out into one of these trays that we have been digging out."

"Well, and then what do you do?"

"We collect all the liquor every morning till we have enough to fill the coppers, and then we boil it down."

"What coppers will you use, then?"

"There are two large coppers in the store-room, not yet put up, which will answer our purpose very well, ma'am. They hold about a hogshead each. We shall take them into the woods with us, and pour the liquor into them, and boil them down as soon as they are ready. You must come and see us on the boiling-day, and we can have a frolic in the woods."

"With all my heart," replied Mrs. Campbell. "How much liquor do you get from one tree?"

"A matter of two or three gallons," replied Malachi, "sometimes more and sometimes less. After we have tapped the trees and set our trays, we shall have nothing more to do for a fortnight. The Strawberry can attend to them all, and will let us know when she is ready."

"Do you tap the trees every year?"

"Yes, ma'am, and a good tree will bear it for fifteen or twenty years; but it kills them at last."

"So I should suppose, for you take away so much of the sap of the tree."

"Exactly, ma'am; but there's no want of sugar maples in these woods."

"You promised us some honey, Malachi," said Emma, "but we have not seen it yet. Can you get us some?"

"We had no time to get it last autumn, miss, but we will try this autumn what we can do. When John and I are out in the woods, we shall very probably find a honey tree, without going very far. I did intend to have looked out for some, if you had not mentioned it."

"I know one," said Martin; "I marked it a fortnight ago, but I quite forgot all about it. Since the mill has been in hand, I have had little time for anything else. The fact is, we have all plenty to do just now."

"That we certainly have," replied Henry, laughing; "I wish I could see the end of my work in the barn; I doubt if I shall be able to get out with my rifle this winter."

"No, sir, you must leave the woods to John and me," replied Malachi. "Never mind, you shan't want for venison. Do you require the sledge to-morrow, Mr. Alfred?"

Malachi referred to a small sledge which they had made in the winter, and which was now very useful, as they could, with one horse, transport things from place to place. It was used by Alfred for bringing down to the storehouse the sacks of flour as fast as they were ground in the mill.

"I can do without it for a day. What do you want it for?"

"To bring all the honey home," said Emma, laughing.

"No, miss, to take the coppers out into the woods," replied Malachi, "that they may be ready for the liquor. As soon as we have tapped the trees, we will look for the honey."

"Did you send your skins down to Montreal by the bateaux?" inquired Mr. Campbell.

"Yes, father," replied Alfred, "Mr. Emmerson took charge of them, and promised to deliver them to the agent; but we have not so many this year as we had last. John has the largest package of all of us."

"Yes, he beats me this year," said Malachi; "he always contrives to get the first shot. I knew that I should make a hunter of the boy. He might go out by himself now, and do just as well as I do."

The next morning, Malachi went out into the woods, taking with him the coppers and all the trays on the sledge: during that day he was busy boring the trees and fitting the reed pipes to the holes. Strawberry and John accompanied him, and by sunset their work was complete.

The next morning when they went out, only Malachi and John took their axes with them, for John could use his very well for so young a lad. They first went to the tree which Martin had discovered; he had given a description where to find it. They cut it down, but did not attempt to take the honey till the night, when they lighted a fire, and drove away the bees by throwing leaves on it and making a great smoke; they then opened the tree, and gained about two pails full of honey, which they brought in just as the family were about to go to bed. When they went out the next morning, they found a bear very busy at the remains of the comb, but the animal made off before they could get a shot at him.

Every morning the Strawberry collected all the sap which had run out of the trees, and poured it into the coppers which had been fixed up by Malachi, ready for a fire to be lighted under them. They continued their search, and found three more hives of bees, which they marked and allowed to remain till later in the season, when they could take them at their leisure. In a fortnight they had collected sufficient liquor from the trees to fill both the coppers to the brim, besides several pails. The fires were therefore lighted under the coppers, and due notice given to Mrs. Campbell and the girls, that the next day they must go out into the woods and see the operation; as the liquor would towards the afternoon be turned into the coolers, which were some of the large washing-tubs then in use, and which had been thoroughly cleansed for the purpose.

As this was to be a holiday in the woods, they prepared a cold dinner in a large basket, and gave it in charge of Henry. Mr. Campbell joined the party, and they all set off to the spot, which was about two miles distant. On their arrival, they examined the trees and the trays into which the juice first ran, the boilers in which the liquor was now simmering over the fire, and asked questions of Malachi, so that they might, if necessary, be able to make the sugar themselves; after which the first cooler was filled with the boiling liquor, that they might see how the sugar crystallised as the liquor became cold. They then sat down under a large tree and dined. The tree was at some distance from the boilers, as there was no shade in the open spot where Malachi had placed them, and the afternoon was passed very agreeably in listening to Malachi's and Martin's stories of their adventures in the woods. While they were still at dinner, Oscar and the other dogs which had accompanied them, had strayed to about a hundred yards distant, and were soon very busy scraping and barking at a large hole.

"What are the dogs after?" said Alfred.

"Just what the Strawberry wants, and told me to get for her," replied Malachi; "we will dig him out to-morrow."

"What is it, Strawberry?" said Mary.

The Strawberry pointed to her mocassins, and then put her finger on the porcupine quills with which they were embroidered.

"I don't know the English name," said she, softly. "A porcupine, you mean," said Mary; "the animal those quills come from."

"Yes," replied the Strawberry.

"Is there a porcupine there, Malachi?" said Mrs. Campbell.

"Yes, ma'am, that is certain; the dogs know that well enough, or they would not make such a noise. If you like, we will go for the shovels and dig him out."

"Do, pray; I should like to see him caught," said Emma; "it shall be our evening's amusement."

Martin got up, and went for the shovels; during his absence, the dinner was cleared away, and the articles replaced in the basket; they then all adjourned to where the dogs were still barking and scratching.

It was more than an hour before they could dig out the animal, and when, at last, it burst away from the hole, they could not help laughing as they witnessed the way in which one or two of the dogs were pricked with the quills of the animal, who needed no other defence; the dogs ran back, pawed their noses, and then went on again. Oscar was too knowing to attack it in that way; he attempted to turn it over, so that he might get at its stomach, when he would soon have killed it, but Martin despatched the poor beast with a blow on the nose, and the dogs then rushed in upon it. The party amused themselves selecting all the best of the quills for the Strawberry, and then they went back again to the coolers to see the sugar which had been made.

As they neared the spot, Emma cried out, "There is a bear at the cooler; look at him!"

Malachi and John had their rifles ready immediately. Mrs. Campbell and Mary were much alarmed, as the animal was not one hundred yards from them.

"Do not be afraid, ma'am," said Malachi; "the animal is only after the sugar. He likes sugar just as well as honey."

"I don't doubt but he's the same beast that you saw at the honeycomb the other day," said Martin. "Let us stay where we are and watch him. We may lose a few pounds of sugar, but I expect he will make you laugh."

"I really see nothing laughable in such a terrific brute," said Mrs. Campbell.

"You are quite safe, ma'am," said Martin; "Malachi and Mr. John have both their rifles."

"Well, then, I will trust to them," said Mrs. Campbell; "but I should prefer being at home, nevertheless. What a great brute it is."

"Yes, ma'am; it is a very large animal, that's certain; but they are not very fat at this time of the year. See how he's smelling at the liquor, now he's licking the top of it with his tongue. He won't be satisfied with that, now that he has once tasted it. I told you so."

The eyes of the whole party, some frightened and some not, were now fixed upon the bear, who, approving of what he had tasted as a sample, now proceeded to help himself more liberally.

He therefore placed his paw down into the contents of the cooler, but although the surface of the liquor was cool, the lower part was still scalding hot, and he had not put his paw in for a moment, when he withdrew it with a loud roar, rearing up and sitting upon his hind legs, and throwing his burnt paw in the air.

"I said so," observed Malachi, chuckling; "he has found it hotter than he expected."

John, Alfred, and Martin burst out laughing at the sight; and even Mrs. Campbell and the two girls could not help being amused.

"He'll try it again," said Martin.

"Yes, that he will," replied Malachi. "John, be all ready with your rifle, for the brute has seen us."

"Why, he won't come this way, will he?" exclaimed Mrs. Campbell.

"Yes, ma'am, that he most likely will when he is angry; but you need not fear."

"But I'm afraid, Malachi," said Mary.

"Then perhaps you had better go about fifty yards back with Mr. Campbell, where you will see the whole without danger. There he goes to it again; I knew he would."

Martin, who had got all the dogs collected together and fast by a piece of deer's hide, as soon as they had discovered the bear, went back with Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and the girls.

"You need have no fear, ma'am," said Martin; "the rifles won't miss their mark, and if they did, I have the dogs to let loose upon him; and I think Oscar, with the help of the others, would master him. Down —silence, Oscar —down, dogs, down. Look at the Strawberry, ma'am, she's not afraid, she's laughing like a silver bell."

During this interval the bear again applied to the cooler, and burnt himself as before, and this time being more angry, he now gave another roar, and, as if considering that the joke had been played upon him by the party who were looking on, he made directly for them at a quick run.

"Now, John," said Malachi; "get your bead well on him, right between his eyes."

John kneeled down in front of Malachi, who had his rifle all ready; much to the horror of Mrs. Campbell, John permitted the bear to come within twenty yards of him. He then fired, and the animal fell dead without a struggle.

"A good shot, and well put in," said Malachi, going up to the bear. "Let the dogs loose, Martin, that they may worry the carcass; it will do them good."

Martin did so; the dogs were permitted to pull and tear at the dead animal for a few minutes, and then taken off; in the meantime, Mr. Campbell and the ladies had come up to where the animal lay.

"Well, ma'am, isn't John a cool shot?" said Malachi. "Could the oldest hunter have done better?"

"My dear John, you quite frightened me," said Mrs. Campbell; "why did you allow the beast to come so near to you?"

"Because I wanted to kill him dead, and not wound him," replied John.

"To be sure," replied Malachi; "to wound a bear is worse than leaving him alone."

"Well, Malachi, you certainly have made a hunter of John," said Mr. Campbell. "I could not have supposed such courage and presence of mind in one so young."

John was very much praised, as he deserved to be, by the whole party; and then Malachi said, "The skin belongs to John, that of course."

"Is the bear good eating now?" said Mrs. Campbell. "Not very, ma'am," replied Malachi, "for he has consumed all his fat during the winter; but we will cut off the legs for hams, and when they are salted and smoked with the other meat, you will acknowledge that a bear's ham is at all events a dish that anyone may say is good. Come, John, where's your knife? Martin, give us a hand here, while Mr. Campbell and the ladies go home."

Chapter XXXIV.

It was in the first week of June that Malachi, when he was out in the woods, perceived an Indian, who came towards him. He was a youth of about twenty or twenty-one years old, tall and slightly made; he carried his bow and arrows and his tomahawk, but had no gun. Malachi was at that time sitting down on the trunk of a fallen tree; he was not more than two miles from the house, and had gone out with his rifle without any particular intent, unless it was that, as he expected he should soon receive some communication from the Indians, he wished to give them an opportunity of speaking to him alone. The Indian came up to where Malachi was, and took a seat by him, without saying a word.

"Is my son from the West?" said Malachi, in the Indian tongue, after a silence of one or two minutes.

"The Young Otter is from the West," replied the Indian. "The old men have told him of the Gray Badger, who has lived the life of a snake, and who has hunted with the fathers of those who are now old. Does my father live with the white man?"

"He lives with the white man," replied Malachi; "he has no Indian blood in his veins."

"Has the white man many in his lodge?" said the Indian.

"Yes; many young men and many rifles," replied Malachi.

The Indian did not continue this conversation, and there was a silence of some minutes. Malachi was convinced that the young Indian had been sent to intimate that Percival was alive and in captivity, and he resolved to wait patiently till he brought up the subject.

"Does not the cold kill the white man?" said the Indian, at last.

"No; the white man can bear the winter's ice as well as an Indian. He hunts as well, and brings home venison."

"Are all who came here with him now in the white man's lodge?"

"No, not all; one white child slept in the snow, and is in the land of spirits," replied Malachi.

Here there was a pause in the conversation for some minutes; at last the young Indian said —"A little bird sang in my ear, and it said, 'The white man's child is not dead; it wandered about in the woods and was lost, and the Indian found him, and took him to his wigwam in the Far West.'"

"Did not the little bird lie to the Young Otter?" replied Malachi.

"No; the little bird sang what was true," replied the Indian. "The white boy is alive and in the lodge of the Indian."

"There are many white men in the country who have children," replied Malachi; "and children are often lost. The little bird may have sung of the child of some other white man."

"The white boy had a rifle in his hand, and snow-shoes on his feet."

"So have all they who go out to hunt in the winter's snow," replied Malachi.

"But the white boy was found near to the white man's lodge."

"Then why was not the boy taken back to the white man by the Indians who found him?"

"They were going to their own wigwams and could not turn aside; besides, they feared to come near to the white man's lodge after the sun was down; as my father says, he has many young men and many rifles."

"But the white man does not raise his rifle against the Indian, whether he comes by day or by night," replied Malachi. "At night he kills the prowling wolf when he comes near to the lodge."

The Indian again stopped and was silent. He knew by the words of Malachi that the wolf's skin, with which the Indian had been covered when he was crawling to the palisades and had been shot by John, had been discovered. Malachi, after a while, renewed the conversation.

"Is the Young Otter of a near tribe?"

"The lodges of our tribe are twelve days' journey to the westward," replied the Indian.

"The chief of the Young Otter's band is a great warrior?"

"He is," replied the Indian.

"Yes," replied Malachi, "the Angry Snake is a great warrior. Did he send the Young Otter to me to tell me that the white boy was alive, and in his wigwam?"

The Indian again paused. He perceived that Malachi knew where he came from, and from whom. At last he said —"It is many moons since the Angry Snake has taken care of the white boy, and has fed him with venison; many moons that he has hunted for him to give him food; and the white boy loves the Angry Snake as a father, and the Angry Snake loves the boy as his son. He will adopt him, and the white boy will be the chief of the tribe. He will forget the white men, and become red as an Indian."

"The boy is forgotten by the white man, who has long numbered him with the dead," replied Malachi.

"The white man has no memory," replied the Indian, "to forget so soon; but it is not so. He would make many presents to him who would bring back the boy."

"And what presents could he make?" replied Malachi; "the white man is poor, and hunts with his young men as the Indian does. What has the white man to give that the Indian covets? He has no whisky."

"The white man has powder, and lead, and rifles," replied the Indian; "more than he can use, locked up in his storehouse."

"And will the Angry Snake bring back the white boy if the white man gives him powder, and lead, and rifles?" inquired Malachi.

"He will make a long journey, and bring the white boy with him," replied the Indian; "but first let the white man say what presents he will give."

"He shall be spoken to," replied Malachi, "and his answer shall be brought, but the Young Otter must not go to the white man's lodge. A red-skin is not safe from the rifles of the young men. When the moon is at the full I will meet the Young Otter after the sun is down, at the eastern side of the long prairie. Is it good?"

"Good," replied the Indian, who rose, turned on his heel, and walked away into the forest.

When Malachi returned to the house, he took an opportunity of communicating to Alfred what had taken place. After some conversation, they agreed that they would make Captain Sinclair, who had that morning arrived from the fort, their confidant as to what had occurred, and decide with him upon what steps should be taken. Captain Sinclair was very much surprised, and equally delighted, when he heard that Percival was still alive, and warmly entered into the subject.

"The great question is, whether it would not be better to accede to the terms of this scoundrel of an Indian chief," observed Captain Sinclair. "What are a few pounds of powder, and a rifle or two, compared with the happiness which will be produced by the return of Percival to his parents, who have so long lamented him as dead?"

"It's not that, sir," replied Malachi. "I know that Mr. Campbell would give his whole storeroom to regain his boy, but we must consider what will be the consequence if he does so. One thing is certain, that the Angry Snake will not be satisfied with a trifling present; he will ask many rifles, perhaps more than we have at the farm, and powder and shot in proportion; for he has mixed much with white people, especially when the French were here, and he knows how little we value such things, and how much we love our children. But, sir, in the first place, you supply him and his band with arms to use against us at any other time, and really make them formidable; and in the next place, you encourage him to make some other attempt to obtain similar presents —for he will not be idle. Recollect, sir, that we have in all probability killed one of their band, when he came to reconnoitre the house in the skin of a wolf, and that will never be forgotten, but revenged as soon as it can be. Now, sir, if we give him arms and ammunition, we shall put the means of revenge in his hands, and I should not be surprised to find us one day attacked by him and his band, and it may be, overpowered by means of these rifles which you propose to give him."

"There is much truth and much good sense in what you say, Malachi —indeed, I think it almost at once decides the point, and that we must not consent to his terms; but then what must we do to recover the boy?"

"That is the question which puzzles me," replied Alfred, "for I perfectly agree with Malachi, that we must not give him arms and ammunition, and I doubt if he would accept of anything else."

"No, sir, that he will not, depend upon it," replied Malachi. "I think there is but one way that will give us any chance."

"What, then, is your idea, Malachi?"

"The Angry Snake with his band were tracking us, and had we not been too strong, would have attacked and murdered us all, that is clear. Not daring to do that, he has stolen Percival, and detains him, to return him at his own price. Now, sir, the Young Otter has come to us, and offers to come again. We have given him no pledge of safe conduct, and, therefore, when he comes again, we must have an ambush ready for him, and make him prisoner; but then you see, sir, we must have the assistance of the Colonel, for he must be confined at the fort; we could not well keep him at the farm. In the first place, it would be impossible then to withhold the secret from Mr. and Mrs. Campbell; and, in the next, we should have to be on the look-out for an attack every night for his rescue; but if the Colonel was to know the whole circumstances, and would assist us, we might capture the Indian lad, and hold him as a hostage for Master Percival, till we could make some terms with the Angry Snake."

"I like your idea very much, Malachi," replied Captain Sinclair, "and if, Alfred, you agree with me, I will acquaint the Colonel with the whole of what has passed when I return to-night, and see if he will consent to our taking such a step. When are you to meet the Indian, Malachi?"

"In three days, that is on Saturday; it will be the full of the moon, and then I meet him at night, at the end of the prairie nearest to the fort, so that there will be no difficulty in doing all we propose without Mr. and Mrs. Campbell being aware of anything that has taken place."

"I think we cannot do better than you have proposed," said Alfred.

"Be it so, then," said Captain Sinclair. "I will be here again to-morrow —no, not to-morrow, but the day after will be better, and then I will give you the reply of the Colonel, and make such arrangements as may be necessary."

"That's all right, sir," replied Malachi; "and now all we have to do is to keep our own secret; so, perhaps, Captain Sinclair, you had better go back to the young ladies, for Miss Mary may imagine that it must be something of very great importance which can have detained you so long from her presence;" and Malachi smiled as he finished his remark.

"There's good sense in that observation, Malachi," said Alfred, laughing. "Come, Sinclair."

Captain Sinclair quitted in the evening, and went back to the fort. He returned at the time appointed, and informed them that the Colonel fully approved of their plan of holding the young Indian as a hostage, and that he would secure him in the fort as soon as he was brought in.

"Now, do we want any assistance from the fort? Surely not, to capture an Indian lad; at least, so I said to the Colonel," continued Captain Sinclair.

"No, sir, we want no assistance, as you say. I am his match myself, if that were all; but it is not strength which is required. He is as little and supple as an eel, and as difficult to hold, that I am certain of. If we were to use our rifles there would be no difficulty, but to hold him will give some trouble to two of us, and if once he breaks loose, he would be too fleet for any of us."

"Well, then, Malachi, how shall we proceed?"

"Why, sir, I must meet him, and you and Mr. Alfred and Martin must be hid at a distance, and gradually steal near to us. Martin shall have his deer thongs all ready, and when you pounce upon him, he must bind him at once. Martin is used to them, and knows how to manage it."

"Well, if you think that we three cannot manage him, let us have Martin."

"It isn't strength, sir," replied Malachi, "but he will slip through your fingers, if not well tied, in half a minute. Now, we will just walk down to where I intend to meet him, and survey the place, and then I'll show you where you must be, for we must not be seen together in that direction to-morrow, for he may be lurking about, and have some suspicion."

They then walked to the end of the prairie nearest to the fort, which was about a mile from the house, and Malachi having selected his ground, and pointed out to them where to conceal themselves, they returned to the house, Alfred having made arrangements when and where he and Martin would meet Captain Sinclair on the day appointed.

The next day passed, and Malachi, as the sun sank behind the lake, walked out to the end of the prairie. He had not been there ten minutes, when the young Indian stood before him. He was armed, as before, with his tomahawk and bow and arrows, but Malachi had come out expressly without his rifle.

Malachi, as soon as he perceived the Indian, sat down, as is the usual custom among them when they hold a talk, and the Young Otter followed his example.

"Has my father talked to the white man?" said the Indian, after a short silence.

"The white man grieves for the loss of his boy, and his squaw weeps," replied Malachi. "The Angry Snake must bring the boy to the lodge of the white man, and receive presents."

"Will the white man be generous?" continued the Indian.

"He has powder, and lead, and rifles, and tobacco; will such presents please the Angry Snake?"

"The Angry Snake had a dream," replied the Indian, "and he told me his dream. He dreamt that the white boy was put into his mother's arms, who wept for joy, and the white man opened his store, and gave to the Angry Snake ten rifles, and two kegs of powder, and as much lead as four men could carry away."

"'Twas a good dream," replied Malachi, "and it will come true when the white boy comes back to his mother."

"The Angry snake had another dream. He dreamt that the white man received his child, and pushed the Angry Snake out from the door of his lodge."

"That was bad," replied Malachi. "Look at me, my son; say, did you ever hear that the Gray Badger said a lie?" and Malachi laid hold of the Indian's arm as he spoke.

This was the signal agreed upon between Malachi and the party concealed, who rushed forward and seized the Indian. The Young Otter sprang up in spite of their endeavours to keep him, and would certainly have escaped, for he had got his tomahawk clear, and was about to wield it around his head, had not Martin already passed one of the deer thongs round his ankle, by which the Indian was thrown again to the ground. His arms were then secured behind his back with other deer-skin thongs, and another passed round his ankle, and given to Alfred.

"You were right, Malachi," said Captain Sinclair, "how he contrived to twist himself out of our grasp I cannot imagine; but he certainly would have been off, and probably have broken our heads before he went."

"I know the nature of these Indians, sir," replied Malachi; "they're never safe, even when tied, if the thong does not cut into the bone; but you have him now, sir, fast enough, and the sooner you get to the fort the better. You have your rifles in the bush."

"Yes," replied Martin, "you'll find them behind the large oak tree."

"I'll fetch them; not that I think there's much danger of a rescue."

"We have not far to take him," said Captain Sinclair, "for, as I wished you and Alfred not to be so long away as to induce questions to be asked; I have a file of men and a corporal about half a mile off, concealed in the bush. But, Malachi, it is as well to let the Indian know that he is only detained as a hostage, and will be returned as soon as the boy is sent back."

Malachi addressed the Indian in his own tongue, and told him what Captain Sinclair requested.

"Tell him that there are several Indian women about the fort, who will take any message he may send to the Angry Snake."

The Young Otter made no reply to anything said by Malachi, but looked around him very impatiently.

"Be off as fast as you can," said Malachi, "for depend upon it the Angry Snake was to meet him after his talk with me; I see it by his wandering eye, and his looking round for assistance. I will go with you, and return with Alfred and Martin, for I have no rifle."

"You can take mine, Malachi, as soon as we come up to the soldiers."

This was done in a few minutes. Captain Sinclair then took charge of the Indian, and set off with his party for the fort. Malachi, Alfred, and Martin returned to the house, and before they entered the prairie, Martin detected the tall figure of an Indian at a short distance, in the shade of the trees.

"Yes, I was sure of it," said Malachi. "It was well that I did not go back without you. After all, in the woods, a man's no man without his rifle."

Chapter XXXV.

Martin was right when he stated that he perceived the form of the Angry Snake under the shade of the trees. The chief was then watching what occurred, and had been witness to the capture of his emissary, and, following those who had the Young Otter in charge, saw him conveyed to the fort. In the meantime, Malachi, Martin, and Alfred went home without any suspicion being raised among the other branches of the family of what had occurred. This gave them great satisfaction.

"Well, Malachi," said Alfred the next morning, as they were all busily employed getting the seed into the new cleared land; "what do you imagine will be the steps now taken by the Angry Snake?"

"It's hard to say, sir," replied Malachi; "for he well deserves the name of a snake, if, as the Scripture says, it's the subtlest thing on earth: he will try all he can, you may be sure; and if it were not that he is afraid of us, he would attack us immediately; but that I have no idea that he will venture upon."

"No, for your letter says, that he has only two rifles in his band, which are not enough to give him any chance of success."

"Very true, sir. I hear that the bateaux are coming from the fort for the plank and flour."

"Yes, to-morrow, if there is not so much wind as there is to-day; it blows very fresh. Where is John?"

"I left him with the Strawberry, sir; they were busy with the sugar."

"By the bye, how much have you got, Malachi?"

"About three or four hundred pounds, sir, as near as I can reckon; quite as much as madam will require."

"Yes, I should think so; now we shall have preserves of all sorts and the fruit for nothing; the wild raspberries are nearly ripe, and so are the cherries; my cousins want John to help to gather them."

"Well, sir, I daresay he will do so, although I believe that he would rather do anything else. He said he was going to fish this morning."

"The water is too rough, and he will not be able to manage the punt by himself."

"Then that's the very reason why he'll go out," replied Malachi; "he don't like easy jobs like picking raspberries. Is it true, Mr. Alfred, that we are to have some more settlers come here?"

"Yes, I believe so; my father is very anxious to have them; he thinks it will be a great security, and he has offered very advantageous terms; you won't much like that, Malachi."

"Well, sir, I daresay you may think so, but it is not the case; if anyone had told me two years ago that I could have remained here, I would have said it was impossible, but we are all creatures of habit. I had been so used to my own company for so long a time, that when I first saw you, I couldn't bear the sight of you; no, not even that of your pretty cousins, Miss Mary and Emma, although Heaven knows they might tame a savage; but now, sir, I feel quite changed; I have first borne with company, because I fancied the boy, and then I felt no dislike to it, and now I like it. I believe that in my old age I am coming back to my feelings as a boy, and I think very often of my father's farm and the little village that was close to it; and then I often fancy that I should like to see a village rise up here, and a church stand up there upon the mount; I think I should like to live on till I saw a church built and God worshipped as He ought to be."

"This is indeed a change, Malachi; well, I hope you will see a church on the mount, and live many years afterwards to be present at the weddings and christenings."

"As it pleases God, sir. There's one thing, Mr. Alfred, that has given me great content, and more than anything, perhaps, reconciled me to my new way of living; and that is, that the Strawberry, by the blessing of God and the labour of your mother and cousins, has become a good Christian; you don't know how pleased I am at that."

"She's an excellent little creature, Malachi; everyone is fond of her, and I believe Martin is very strongly attached to her."

"Yes, sir, she's a good wife, for she never uses her tongue, and obeys her husband in all things. I think Martin has now become quite steady, and you might send him to Montreal or anywhere else without fear of his getting into the prison for making a disturbance... I see that a bear has been over into the maize-field last night."

"What! did he climb the snake-fence?"

"Yes, sir, they climb anything; but I have got his tracks, and this night I think that I shall get hold of him, for I shall lay a trap for him."

Malachi and Alfred continued to work for two or three hours, when they were summoned by Emma to go in to dinner. "I cannot find John," said Emma, as they walked home; "Strawberry says that he left her some time back, and went to fish; have you seen him pass by the river's side?"

"No," replied Alfred; "but, Malachi, you said that he was going to fish in the punt, did you not?"

"Yes, sir."

"Do you see the punt on the beach, Emma?"

"No, I do not," replied Emma; "but it may be behind the point."

"Nor can I; I hope he has not been carried away by the wind, for it blows very hard; I'll run down, and see if he is there."

Alfred ran down to the beach; the punt was gone from the shore, and after looking for some time to leeward, which was to the eastward, in the direction of the rapids, Alfred thought that he perceived something like a boat at a distance of three or four miles but the water of the lake was much ruffled by the strong wind, and it was not easy to distinguish.

Alfred hastened back, and said to Emma: "I really am afraid that John is adrift. I think I see the boat, but I am not sure. Emma, go in quietly and bring out my telescope, which is over my bed-place. Do not let them see you, or they will be asking questions, and your aunt may be alarmed."

Emma went to the house, and soon returned with the telescope. Alfred and Malachi then went down to the beach, and the former distinctly made out that what he had seen was the punt adrift with John in it.

"Now, what is to be done?" said Alfred. "I must take a horse, and ride off to the fort, for if they do not see him before he passes, he may not be picked up."

"If he once gets into the rapids, sir," said Malachi, "he will be in great danger; for he may be borne down upon one of the rocks, and upset in a minute."

"Yes; but he is some way from them yet," replied Alfred.

"Very true, sir; but with this strong wind right down to them, and helping the current, he will soon be there. There is no time to be lost."

"No; but I'll go in to dinner, and as soon as I have taken a mouthful, just to avoid creating any alarm, I will slip out, and ride to the fort as fast as I can."

"Just so; you will be there in good time, for he is now three miles above the fort; indeed, he cannot well pass it without their seeing him."

"Yes, he can, now that the water is so rough," replied Alfred; "recollect that they are soldiers in the fort and not sailors, who are accustomed to look on the water. A piece of drift timber and a punt is much the same to their eyes. Come, let us in to dinner."

"Yes, sir; I'll follow you," replied Malachi "but, before I come in, I'll catch the horse and saddle him for you. You can tell Miss Emma to hold her tongue about it."

Alfred rejoined Emma, whom he cautioned, and then they went in to their dinner.

"Where's John?" said Mr. Campbell; "he promised me some lake fish for dinner, and has never brought them in; so you will not have such good fare as I expected."

"And where's Malachi?" said Alfred.

"I daresay he and John are out together somewhere," observed Henry, who, with Martin, had come in before Alfred.

"Well, he will lose his dinner," said Mrs. Campbell.

"That's what I cannot afford to do, mother," said Alfred; "I am very hungry, and I have not more than five minutes to spare, for that seed must be put in to-night."

"I thought Malachi was with you, Alfred," said Mr. Campbell.

"So he was, father," replied Alfred; "but he left me. Now, mother, please to give me my dinner."

Alfred ate fast, and then rose from the table, and went away from the house. The horse was all ready, and he mounted and rode off for the fort, telling Malachi that his father and mother thought John was with him; and that, therefore, he had better not go in to dinner, but keep out of the way.

"Yes, sir, that will be best, and then they can ask no questions. Be quick, sir, for I am not at all easy about the boy."

Their plans, however, to conceal the danger of John did not succeed; for Mrs. Campbell, after the loss of poor little Percival, had become more than ever solicitous about John, and a minute or two after Alfred had left the house, she rose from the table, and went to the door, to see if she could perceive Malachi and John coming in. As it happened, Alfred had just set off in a gallop, and she saw him, as well as Malachi standing by himself and watching Alfred's departure. The very circumstance of Alfred's mysterious departure alarmed her. He had never said that he was going to the fort, and that John was not with Malachi was certain. She went into the cottage, and, sinking back in her chair, exclaimed, "Some accident has happened to John!"

"Why should you say so, my dear?" said Mr. Campbell.

"I'm sure of it," replied Mrs. Campbell, bursting into tears. "Alfred is riding away to the fort. Malachi is standing by himself outside. What can it be?"

Mr. Campbell and all the others ran out immediately, except Mary Percival, who went to Mrs. Campbell. Mr. Campbell beckoned to Emma, and from her obtained the real state of the case.

"It will be better to tell her at once," said Mr. Campbell, who then went to his wife, telling her that John was adrift, and that Alfred had ridden to the fort to pick him up in one of the bateaux , but there was no danger to be apprehended.

"Why should they conceal it, if there was no danger, Campbell?" replied his wife. "Yes, there must be danger now the water is so rough. My child, am I to lose you as well as my poor Percival!" continued Mrs. Campbell, again sobbing.

Every attempt was made to console her and assuage her fears, but with indifferent success, and the afternoon of this day was passed in great concern by all, and in an extreme state of nervous anxiety on the part of Mrs. Campbell. Towards the evening, Alfred was seen returning on horseback at full speed. The whole of the family were out watching his arrival, with beating hearts; poor Mrs. Campbell in almost a fainting state. Alfred perceived them long before he had crossed the prairie, and waved his hat in token of good tidings.

"All's well, depend upon it, my dear," said Mr. Campbell. "Alfred would not wave his hat if there was any disaster."

"I must have it from his own mouth," said Mrs. Campbell, almost breathless.

"Safe?" cried out Martin to Alfred, as he approached.

"Safe, quite safe!" cried Alfred, in return.

"Thank Heaven!" cried Mrs. Campbell, in a low voice, clasping her hands in gratitude.

Alfred leapt off his saddle, and hastened to communicate the news. John, trusting too much to his own powers, had gone out in the punt, and soon found out that he could not manage it in so strong a wind. He attempted to get back to the beach, but was unsuccessful, and had, as we have said, been carried away by the wind and current down towards the rapids; but it so happened that before Alfred had arrived at the fort, Captain Sinclair had observed the punt adrift, and, by the aid of a telescope, ascertained that John was in it, exerting himself very vigorously, but to no purpose. Captain Sinclair, having reported it to the Commandant and obtained permission, had launched one of the bateaux, manned by the soldiers, and had brought John and the punt on shore, about four miles below the fort, and not until they had arrived in the strong current of the rapids, which in another hour would have, in all probability, proved fatal. Alfred, from the fort, had seen Captain Sinclair gain the shore, with John and the punt in tow, and, as soon as he was satisfied of his brother's safety, had ridden back as fast as he could, to communicate it. This intelligence gave them all great delight, and now that they knew that John was safe, they waited his return with patience. Captain Sinclair arrived, with John behind him, or horseback, about two hours afterwards, and was gladly welcomed.

"Indeed, Captain Sinclair, we are under great obligations to you. Had you not been so active, the boy might have been lost," said Mrs. Campbell. "Accept my best thanks."

"And mine," said Mary, extending her hand to him.

"John, you have frightened me very much," said Mrs. Campbell; "how could you be so imprudent as to go on the lake in such a high wind? See, what a narrow escape you have had."

"I should have been at Montreal to-morrow morning," said John, laughing.

"No, never; you would have been upset in the rapids long before you could get to Montreal."

"Well, mother, I can swim," replied John.

"You naughty boy, nothing will make you afraid."

"Well, ma'am, it's a good fault, that of having confidence in yourself, so don't check it too much," replied Malachi. "It saves many a man who would otherwise be lost."

"That's very true, Malachi," observed Alfred; "so, now that he is safe back, we won't scold John any more. He will know better than to go out in such rough weather again."

"To be sure I shall," said John; "I don't want to go down the rapids."

"Well, I'm glad to hear you say that," replied Mrs. Campbell.

Captain Sinclair remained with them that night. Before daylight, the family were alarmed by the report of a gun, and it was immediately supposed that some attack had been made on the lodge occupied by Malachi, Martin, and his wife. Captain Sinclair, Alfred, Henry, and John sprang out of bed, and were clothed in a minute. As soon as they had armed themselves, they opened the door cautiously, and, looking well round, went through the passage to the sheep-fold where the lodge was built. Everything, however, appeared to be quiet, and Alfred knocked at the door. Malachi answered to the inquiry, "What is the matter?"

"We heard the report of a gun close to the house just now, and we thought something might have, happened."

"Oh!" cried Malachi, laughing, "is that all? Then you may all go to bed again. It's my trap for the bear —nothing more. I forgot to tell you last night."

"Well, as we are up, we may as well go and see," said Alfred; "the day is breaking."

"Well, sir, I am ready," said Malachi, coming out with his deer-skin jacket in one hand and his rifle in the other.

They walked to the maize-field on the other side of the river, and found that the trap had been successful, for a large bear lay dead at the foot of the snake-fence.

"Yes, sir, I've got him," said Malachi.

"But what was the trap?" said Henry.

"You see, sir, I tracked the brute over the rails by his broad footmark, and as I knew he would come the same way, I fixed the rifle with a wire to the trigger, so that as he climbed up he must touch the wire with his fore-paws, and the muzzle, pointed a little downwards, would then about reach his heart when the gun went off. You see, sir, it has happened just as I wished it, and there's another good skin for Montreal."

"It is a she-bear," said Martin, who had joined them, "and she has cubs; they can't be far off."

"That's true," replied Malachi; "so now you had better all go back again. Martin and I will hide, and I'll answer for it in an hour we will bring the cubs home with us."

The rest of the party returned to the house. The Strawberry had already made known to Mr. and Mrs. Campbell the cause of the report. About an hour before breakfast, Malachi and Martin came in, each with a cub of a few weeks old. The little animals had come in the track of the mother in search of her, and were pawing the dead body, as if trying to awaken her, when Malachi and Martin secured them.

"What a charming pet," said Emma; "I will rear it for myself."

"And I'll have the other," said John.

No objection was raised to this, except that Mr. Campbell observed, that if they became troublesome as they grew up, they must be parted with, which was agreed to. Emma and John took possession of their pets, and fed them with milk, and in a few days they became very tame; one being chained up near the house, and the other at Malachi's lodge. They soon grew very playful and very amusing little animals, and the dogs became used to them, and never attempted to hurt them; indeed, very often Oscar and the bear would be seen rolling about together, the best friends in the world. But in a few months they became too large for pets, and too troublesome, so one was despatched by a bateau going to Montreal, as a present to Mr. Emmerson, and the other was taken to the fort by Captain Sinclair, and became a great favourite of the soldiers.

Chapter XXXVI.

Captain Sinclair was now very constantly at the house, for in the summer-time the Commandant allowed much more liberty to the officers. Although the detention of the Young Otter and the cause of his being detained, had been made known to the Angry Snake, weeks passed away, and yet there appeared no intention on the part of the chief to redeem his young warrior by producing Percival. Every day an overture on his part was expected, but none came, and those who were in the secret were in a continual state of suspense and anxiety. One thing had been ascertained, which was, that the Indian fired at by John had been killed, and this occasioned much fear on the part of Malachi and Martin, that the Angry Snake would revenge the death upon young Percival. This knowledge of the Indian feeling, however, they kept to themselves.

Towards the close of the summer they had an arrival of letters and newspapers, both from England and Montreal. There was nothing peculiarly interesting in the intelligence from England, although the newspapers were, as usual, read with great avidity. One paragraph met the eye of Henry, which he immediately communicated, observing at the time that they always obtained news of Mr. Douglas Campbell on every fresh arrival. The paragraph was as follows: "The Oxley hounds had a splendid run on Friday last;" after describing the country they passed through, the paragraph ended with, "We regret to say that Mr. Douglas Campbell of Wexton Hall, received a heavy fall from his horse, in clearing a wide brook. He is, however, we understand, doing well." The letters from Montreal were, however, important. They communicated the immediate departure from that city of four families of emigrants, who had accepted the terms offered by Mr. Emmerson, and were coming to settle upon Mr. Campbell's property. They also stated that the purchase of the other six hundred acres of contiguous land had been completed, and sent the Government receipts for the purchase money.

The news contained in this letter induced Mr. Campbell to send a message to the Commandant of the fort, by Captain Sinclair, acquainting him with the expected arrival of the emigrant families, and requesting to know whether he would allow a party of soldiers to assist in raising the cottages necessary for their reception, and begging the loan of two or three tents to accommodate them upon their arrival, until their cottages should be built. The reply of the Commandant was favourable, and now all was bustle and activity, that, if possible, the buildings might be in forwardness previous to harvest-time, when they would all have ample occupation. Indeed, as the hay harvest was just coming on, without assistance from the fort they never could have got through the work previous to the winter setting in, and it would have been very inconvenient to have had to receive any of the emigrants into their own house.

The sites of the four cottages, or log huts, were soon selected; they were each of them nearly half a mile from Mr. Campbell's house, and while some of the party, assisted by a portion of the soldiers, were getting in the hay, the others, with another portion, were cutting down the trees, and building up the cottages. In a fortnight after they had commenced, the emigrants arrived, and were housed in the tents prepared for them; and as their labour was now added to that of the others, in a short time everything was well in advance. The agreement made by Mr. Campbell was, that the emigrants should each receive fifty acres of land, after they had cleared for him a similar quantity; but there were many other conditions, relative to food and supply of stock to the emigrant families, which are not worth the while to dwell upon. It is sufficient to say that Mr. Campbell, with his former purchases, retained about six hundred acres, which he considered quite sufficient for his farm, which was all in a ring fence, and with the advantage of bordering on the lake. The fire had cleared a great deal of the new land, so that it required little trouble for his own people to get it into a fit state for the first crop.

While the emigrants and soldiers were hard at work, the Colonel paid a visit to Mr. Campbell, to settle his account with him, and handed over a bill upon Government for the planks, flour, etc., supplied to the fort.

"I assure you, Mr. Campbell, I have great pleasure," said the Colonel, "in giving you every assistance, and I render it the more readily as I am authorised by the Governor so to do. Your arrival and settling here has proved very advantageous; for, your supplying the fort has saved the Government a great deal of money, at the same time that it has been profitable to you, and enabled you to get rid of your crops without sending them down so far as Montreal; which would have been as serious an expense to you, as getting the provisions from Montreal has proved to us. You may keep the fatigue party of soldiers upon the same terms as before as long as they may prove useful to you, provided they return to the fort by the coming of winter."

"Then I will, if you please, retain them for getting in the harvest; we have so much to do that I shall be most happy to pay for their assistance."

I have said that there were four families of emigrants, and now I will let my readers know a little more about them.

The first family was a man and his wife of the name of Harvey; they had two sons of fourteen and fifteen, and a daughter of eighteen years of age. This man had been a small farmer, and by his industry was gaining an honest livelihood, and putting by some money, when his eldest son, who was at the time about twenty years old, fell into bad company, and was always to be seen at the alehouses or at the fairs, losing his time and losing his money. The father, whose ancestors had resided for many generations on the same spot, and had always been, as long as they could trace back, small farmers like himself, and who was proud of only one thing, which was that his family had been noted for honesty and upright dealing, did all he could to reclaim him, but in vain. At last the son was guilty of a burglary, tried, convicted, and transported for life. The disgrace had such an effect upon the father, that he never held up his head afterwards; he was ashamed to be seen in the parish, and at last he resolved to emigrate to a new country, where what had happened would not be known.

He accordingly sold oft everything, and came to Canada; but by the time that he had arrived in the country, and paid all his expenses, he had little money left, and when he heard from Mr. Emmerson the terms offered by Mr. Campbell, he gladly accepted them. The wife, his two sons and his daughter, who came with him, were as industrious and respectable as himself.

The second family, of the name of Graves, consisted of a man and his wife, and only one son, a young man grown up; but the wife's two sisters were with them. He had come from Buckinghamshire, and had been accustomed to a dairy farm.

The third family was a very numerous one, with a man and his wife, of the name of Jackson; they had been farmers and market-gardeners near London, and had brought out some money with them: but, as I have mentioned, they had a very large family, most of them too young to be very useful for a few years. They had seven children: a girl of eighteen, two boys of twelve and thirteen, then three little girls, and a boy an infant. Jackson had money enough to purchase a farm, but being a very prudent man, and reflecting that he might not succeed at first, and that his large family would run away with all his means, he decided upon accepting the terms proposed by Mr. Campbell.

The fourth and last of the emigrant families was a young couple of the name of Meredith. The husband was the son of a farmer in Shropshire, who had died, and divided his property between his three sons: two of them remained upon the farm and paid the youngest brother his proportion in money, who, being of a speculative turn, resolved to come to Canada, and try his fortune. He married just before he came out, and was not as yet encumbered with any family; he was a fine young man, well educated, and his wife a very clever, pretty young woman.

Thus there was an addition of twenty-one souls to the population of Mr. Campbell's settlement, which with their own ten made a total of thirty-one people, out of whom they reckoned that thirteen were capable of bearing arms, and defending them from any attack of the Indians.

Before harvest time, the cottages were all built, and the emigrants were busy felling round their new habitations, to lay up firewood for the winter, and clearing away a spot for a garden, and for planting potatoes in the following spring. The harvest being ripe again, gave them all full employment; the corn was got in with great expedition by the united labour of the soldiers and emigrants, when the former, having completed their work, returned to the fort, and the Campbells, with the addition to their colony, were now left alone. Visiting the emigrants in their own cottages, and making acquaintance with the children, was now a great source of amusement to the Misses Percival. Various plans were started relative to establishing a Sunday-school and many other useful arrangements; one, however, took place immediately, which was, that divine service was performed by Mr. Campbell in his own house, and was attended by all the emigrants every Sunday. Mr. Campbell had every reason to be pleased with their conduct up to the present time; they all appeared willing, never murmured or complained at any task allotted to them, and were satisfied with Mr. Campbell's arrangements relative to supplies. Parties were now again formed for the chase; Meredith and young Graves proved to be good woodsmen and capital shots with the rifle, so that now they had enough to send out a party on alternate days, while one or two of the others fished all the day and salted down as fast as they caught, that there might be a full supply for the winter.

But although Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and the Misses Percival, as well as the major part of the family, were fully satisfied and happy in their future prospects, there were four who were in a state of great anxiety and suspense. These were Alfred, Malachi, Martin, and the Strawberry, who, being acquainted with the existence of young Percival, found their secret a source of great annoyance, now that, notwithstanding the capture and detention of the Young Otter, no advance appeared to be made for his exchange, nor any signs of an overture on the part of the Angry Snake. Captain Sinclair, who was usually at the farm twice during the week, was also much fretted at finding that every time Malachi and Alfred had no more information to give him than he had to impart to them. They hardly knew how to act; to let a second winter pass away without attempting to recover the boy, appeared to them to be delaying too long, and yet to communicate intelligence which might only end in bitter disappointment, seemed unadvisable; for the Indian chief, out of revenge, might have killed the boy, and then the grief of the father and mother would be more intense than before. It would be opening a wound to no purpose. This question was frequently canvassed by Alfred and Captain Sinclair, but an end was put to all their debates on the subject by an unexpected occurrence. Mary Percival had one morning gone down to a place called the Cedar Swamp, about half a mile from the house to the westward, near to the shore of the lake, to pick cranberries for preserving. One of the little emigrant girls, Martha Jackson, was with her; when one basket was full, Mary sent it home by the little girl, with directions to come back immediately. The girl did so, but on her return to the Cedar Swamp, Mary Percival was not to be seen. The basket which she had retained with her was lying with all the cranberries upset out of it on a hill by the side of the swamp. The little girl remained for a quarter of an hour, calling out Miss Percival's name, but not receiving any answer, she became frightened, imagining that some wild beast had attacked her; and she ran back as fast as she could to the house, acquainting Mr. and Mrs. Campbell with what had happened. Martin and Alfred were at the mill; Malachi, fortunately, was at his own lodge, and Strawberry ran for him, told him what the girl had reported, and having done so, she looked at Malachi, and said, "Angry Snake."

"Yes, Strawberry, that is the case, I have no doubt," replied Malachi; "but not a word at present; I knew he would be at something, but I did not think that he dared do that either; however, we shall see. Go back to the house, and tell Master and Missis that I have gone down to the Cedar Swamp, and will return as soon as possible, and do you follow me as fast as you can, for your eyes are younger than mine, and I shall want the use of them: tell them not to send anybody else, it will do harm instead of good, for they will trample the ground, and we may lose the track."

Malachi caught up his rifle, examined the priming, and set off in the direction of the swamp, while the Strawberry returned to the house to give his message to Mr. and Mrs. Campbell. Leaving Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, who were in a state of great alarm, and had sent the little girl, Martha Jackson, to summon Alfred and Martin (for John and Henry were out in the woods after the cattle), the Strawberry went down to the Cedar Swamp to join Malachi, whom she found standing still, leaning on his rifle, near the basket which had contained the cranberries.

"Now, Strawberry, we must find out how many of them there were, and which way they have gone," said Malachi, in the Indian tongue.

"Here," said Strawberry, pointing to a mark on the short grass, which never could have attracted the observation of one unused to an Indian life.

"I see, child; I see that and two more, but we cannot tell much as yet; let us follow up the trail till we come to some spot where we may read the print better. That's her foot," continued Malachi, after they had proceeded two or three yards. "The sole of a shoe cuts the grass sharper than a mocassin. We have no easy task just now, and if the others come, they may prevent us from finding the track altogether."

"Here, again," said Strawberry, stooping close to the short dry grass.

"Yes; you're right, child," replied Malachi. "Let us once follow it to the bottom of this hill, and then we shall do better."

By the closest inspection and minutest search, Malachi and the Strawberry continued to follow the almost imperceptible track till they arrived at the bottom of the hill, about a hundred yards from where they started. It had become more difficult, as the print of Mary's foot, which was more easily perceptible than the others, had served them for a few yards; after which it was no more to be distinguished, and it was evident that she had been lifted up from the ground. This satisfied them that she had been carried off. When they arrived at the bottom of the hill, they could clearly distinguish the print marks of mocassins, and by measuring very exactly the breadth and length of the impressions, made out that they were of two different people. These they continued to follow till they arrived at the forest, about a quarter of a mile from the swamp, when they heard the hallooing of Alfred and Martin, to which Malachi answered, and they soon joined him.

"What is it, Malachi?"

"She has been carried off, sir, I've no doubt," replied Malachi, "by the Snake. The rascal is determined to have the vantage of us. We have one prisoner, and he has made two."

Malachi then explained why he was certain that she had been carried away, and Martin agreed with him immediately. Alfred then said, "Well, but now, before we act, let us consult what is best to be done."

"Well, sir," replied Malachi, "the best to do now, at this moment, is for the Strawberry and me to follow the trail, and try if we cannot obtain more information, and when we have got all we can, we must form a party, and go in pursuit. Let us only get fairly on the trail, and we will not lose it, especially if the Strawberry is with us, for she has a better eye than any Indian I ever knew, be it man or woman."

"Well, that is all right, Malachi; but what shall I do now while you are following up the trail?"

"Well, sir, you must prepare the party, and get them all ready for a start; for we must be off in three hours, if possible."

"Captain Sinclair had better come with us. He will be quite frantic if he does not," said Alfred.

"Well, then, perhaps he had, sir," replied Malachi, coldly; "but I'd rather he were away. He won't be so cool and calm as he ought to be."

"Never fear; but I must now go to my father and mother, and tell the whole of the circumstances which have occurred. I must tell them that Percival is alive."

"Why so, sir?" replied Malachi. "It will only fret them more. It's quite sufficient that they should have to lament Miss Percival being carried off, without their knowing what fresh cause for anxiety there is about the boy. I would only say that Miss Mary has been carried off by somebody, and leave out all about our having captured the Young Otter, and why we took him."

"Well, perhaps it will be better," said Alfred; "then I'll leave Martin here, and ride off to the fort to Captain Sinclair. Shall I ask for any soldiers?"

"Yes, sir; if there are any good backwoodsmen among them, we may find a couple of them of service. We ought to have a larger force than the Indian; and the latter, if you recollect, is stated at six with the chief. Now, there are you, Martin, and I, that's three; Captain Sinclair and two soldiers would be six; young Graves and Meredith make eight. That's sufficient, sir; more than sufficient does harm. Mr. Henry must stay, and so must Mr. John, because he will not be home before we are away. I'm sorry for that, as I should have liked him to be with me."

"It can't be helped," replied Alfred. "Well then, Martin and I will go back at once; in two hours I will return with Captain Sinclair, if I possibly can."

"As quick as you please, sir, and Martin will get everything ready for the journey, for we must not fire our rifles, if we can help it."

Alfred hastened away, and was soon followed by Martin, to whom Malachi had given some directions. Malachi and the Strawberry then continued to follow the trail, which they traced through the thickest of the wood for more than an hour, when they came upon a spot where a fire had been lighted, and the ground trodden down, evidently showing that the parties had been living there some time.

"Here was the nest of the whole gang," resumed Malachi, as he looked round.

The Strawberry, who had been examining the ground, said—

"Here is her foot again."

"Yes, yes; it's clear enough that two of them have carried her off and brought her here to where the others were waiting for them, and from here the whole party have made their start. Now we have the new trail to find, and that they have taken every care to prevent us, I do not doubt."

The Strawberry now pointed to a mark near where the fire had been lighted, and said, "The mocassin of a squaw."

"Right, then she is with them, so much the better," replied Malachi, "for, as she sent me that letter, she may serve us still, if she chooses."

Chapter XXXVII.

Previous to his starting for the fort, Alfred had a hasty communication with his father and mother, in which he informed them simply that it was evident that Mary had been carried off, and that it was the opinion of Malachi and Martin, that the Angry Snake was the party to be suspected.

"But what cause could he have?" said Emma, weeping.

"Merely to get powder and shot as a reward for bringing her back again," replied Alfred; "so there is not anything to fear as to her being ill-treated; but if he has any other reason for what he has done, it is well known that an Indian always respects a female. But here comes my horse."

"But what are you going to do, Alfred?" said Mrs. Campbell, who was in a state of great agitation.

"Ride to the fort for assistance, bring Captain Sinclair, and go in pursuit as fast as we can, mother. Martin will get all ready by my return, Malachi is following up the trail with Strawberry. But there is no time to be lost; I shall soon be back."

Alfred then sprang upon his horse, which Martin had brought to the door, and galloped away to the fort.

As it may be supposed, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and Emma were in great distress; this did not, however, prevent them from listening to Martin, and supplying him with all that he requested, which was salt pork and other food for their journey, powder and shot for their rifles, etc. Having specified all that was wanted, Martin then went off to summon young Graves and Meredith; they were soon found, and when they heard the intelligence, were ready in a minute for departure. Their rifles and an extra pair of mocassins each was all that they required for the journey, and in a few minutes they accompanied Martin to the house. After they had been occupied for a little time in dividing the various articles into different packages, that each might carry his proportion, Mr. Campbell said—

"Martin, supposing that you and Malachi are correct in your supposition, where do you think that they will take my poor niece?"

"Right away to their own wigwams, sir," replied Martin.

"Have you any idea how far that may be?" said Mrs. Campbell.

"Yes, ma'am, I have heard that the Angry Snake's quarters are about twelve days' journey from this."

"Twelve days' journey! how far is a journey?"

"As far as a stout man can walk in a day, ma'am."

"And will my niece have to walk all that way?"

"Why, yes, ma'am; I don't see how it can be otherwise; I don't know of the Indians having any horses, although they may have."

"But she cannot walk as far as a man," replied Mrs. Campbell.

"No, ma'am, and so I suppose they will be twenty days going instead of twelve."

"Will they ill-treat or ill-use her, Martin?" said Emma.

"No, ma'am, I shouldn't think they would, although they will make her walk, and will tie her at night when they stop."

"Poor Mary; what will she suffer!" exclaimed Emma; "and if you do come up with them, Martin, will they give her up to you?"

"We shan't ask their leave, miss," replied Martin; "we shall take her."

"But not without bloodshed, Martin," said Mrs. Campbell.

"No, ma'am, certainly not without bloodshed, for either the Indians must destroy us or we them; if we conquer, not an Indian will be left alive, and if they master us, it will be about the same thing, I suppose."

"Heaven protect us, but this is dreadful; I was prepared for difficulties and annoyances when I came out here," exclaimed Mrs. Campbell; "but not for such trials as these."

"Never fear but we'll bring her back, ma'am," said Martin; "Malachi is a better Indian than them all, and he'll circumvent them."

"How do you mean?"

"I mean, ma'am, that we will, if possible, fall upon them unawares, and then we'll have the advantage, for half of them will be killed before they know that they are attacked; we'll fight them Indian fashion, ma'am."

Mrs. Campbell continued her interrogations till Alfred was seen at the end of the prairie returning at full speed, accompanied by Captain Sinclair and two other men, also on horseback.

"Here they come," said Martin; "and they have lost no time, that's certain."

"Poor Captain Sinclair! what must be his feelings, I pity him," said Mrs. Campbell.

"He must take it coolly, nevertheless," observed Martin; "or he may do more harm than good."

Alfred and Captain Sinclair now dismounted; they had brought with them two of the soldiers who were well used to the woods, and excellent shots with the rifle. A hurried conversation of a few minutes took place, but time was too precious, and Alfred, embracing his father and mother, who as they shook hands with Captain Sinclair, expressed in a melancholy way their hopes for their success, the party of seven which had been collected set off to rejoin Malachi and the Strawberry.

Malachi and Strawberry had not been idle; the latter had run back to their lodge and procured a bow and arrows, and since that they had tracked the foot-marks through the forest for more than a mile, when they had come to a small rivulet which ran through the forest. Here the trail was lost, at least it was not to be perceived anywhere on the opposite side of the rivulet, and it was to be presumed that to conceal their trail the Indians had walked in the water, either up or down, for a certain distance before they put their feet on the other side; but as it was near the time that they might expect the arrival of Alfred and the others, Malachi had returned to the spot where Alfred and Martin had left them, leaving the Strawberry to walk down and up the side of the rivulet to recover the trail. As soon as the party joined him, they and Malachi set off to where the trail had been lost, and the latter had left the Strawberry.

There they waited some time as the Strawberry was not in sight, and they took this opportunity of distributing the provisions and ammunition among them. Captain Sinclair, although his feelings may well be imagined, was very active in arrangements, and showed that if his heart was smitten, his head was clear. The order of the march was settled by Malachi and him, and as soon as all was arranged, they waited impatiently for the return of the Indian girl; she came at last, and informed them that she had recovered the trail about three miles up the course of the stream, and they all started immediately. As was agreed, they kept perfect silence, and followed the newly-discovered trail for about a mile, when on their arrival at a clear spot in the woods, where the grass was very short and dry, they were again at fault. They went over to the other side of this heath, to see if they could again fall in with it, but after half an hour's search, could not discover it, when they were summoned by a low whistle from the Strawberry, who had returned to the spot where the trail had been lost.

"They have turned back again," said the Strawberry, pointing to the former footmarks; "see, the track of the mocassins is both ways."

"That's true," said Malachi, after a close examination; "now then, Strawberry, to find out where they have left the old trail again. I told you, sir," continued Malachi to Alfred, "that the Strawberry would be useful; she has the eye of a falcon."

It was not till another half-hour had elapsed that the spot where they had left the trail, which, to deceive those who might pursue them, the Indians had returned upon, was discovered, and then they started again, and proceeded with caution, led by the Strawberry, until she stopped and spoke to Malachi in the Indian tongue, pointing at a small twig broken upon one of the bushes.

"That's true, let us see if it happens again."

In a few moments the Strawberry pointed out another.

"Then all's right," said Malachi, "I said that she could help us again if she chose, and so she has. The Indian woman who wrote the letter," continued Malachi, turning to Captain Sinclair and Alfred, "is our friend still. See, sir, she has, whenever she has dared to do it without being seen by the Indians, broken down a small twig, as a guide to us. Now, if she has continued to do this, we shall not have much trouble."

They continued their course through the woods until the sun went down, and they could see no longer, having made a journey of about nine miles from the settlement. They then lay down for the night under a large tree; the weather was very warm, and they did not light a fire, as they had some cooked provisions.

The next morning, as soon as it was daylight, they made a hasty meal, and resumed their task. The trail was now pretty clear, and was occasionally verified by the breaking of a twig, as before. This day they made sixteen miles' journey, and at the close of it they arrived at the borders of a lake about ten miles long, and from one and a half to two wide; the trail went right on to the shore of the lake, and then disappeared.

"Here they must have taken to the water," said Alfred; "but what means have they had to cross?"

"That we must discover, somehow or another, sir," replied Malachi, "or else we shall not find the trail again; perhaps, however, we shall see to-morrow morning; it is too dark now to attempt to find out, and we may do more harm than good by tracking down the bank. We must bring to for the night. There is a high rock there on the beach farther up, we had better go there, as we can light a fire behind the rock without being discovered by it, supposing the Indians are on the opposite shore; and to-night we must cook all our provisions if we possibly can, for, depend upon it, we have travelled faster to-day than they can have done with the young lady, and if we can once get well on the trail again, we shall soon be up with them."

"God grant that we may!" exclaimed Captain Sinclair; "the idea of what poor Mary must suffer, almost drives me mad."

"Yes, sir, she will be terribly foot-sore, I have no doubt," replied Malachi, "but the Indians will not treat her ill, depend upon it."

Captain Sinclair sighed, but made no reply.

As soon as they arrived at the mass of rock which Malachi had pointed out, they all commenced collecting firewood, and the Strawberry in a few minutes had a sufficient fire for their purpose. They had not any cooking utensils with them, but the pork was cut in slices, and stuck upon the ends of small sticks round the fire, until it was sufficiently cooked, and then it was packed up again in parcels, with the exception of what was retained for their supper. They had finished their meal, and were sitting round the embers of the fire, conversing, and calculating the probabilities as to their overtaking the Indians, when Martin sprang up, with his rifle ready to bring to his shoulder.

"What is it?" said Alfred in a low tone, as Martin held up his finger as a sign for silence.

"There's somebody coming this way —he is behind that large tree," said Martin; "I see his head now, but it is too dark to make out who it may be."

As Martin said this, a low and singular sort of whistle between the teeth was heard, upon which the Strawberry gently put down Martin's rifle with her hand, saying—

"It is John."

"John? Impossible!" said Alfred.

"It is," replied Strawberry. "I know well that whistle. I go to fetch him. Have no fear."

Strawberry stepped out from the group, and went up to the tree, calling John softly by name, and in a few seconds afterwards returned, leading John by the hand, who, without saying a word, quietly seated himself down by the fire.

"Well, John, how did you come here?" exclaimed Alfred.

"Followed trail," replied John.

"But how —when did you leave home?"

"Yesterday," replied John, "when I came back."

"But do your father and mother know that you have come," said Captain Sinclair.

"I met old Graves, and told him," replied John. "Have you any meat?"

"The boy has had nothing since he left, I'll answer for it," said Martin, as the Strawberry handed some of the pork to John, "have you, John?"

"No," replied John, with his mouth full.

"Let him eat," said Malachi, "it's long for a lad to be two days without food, for I'll answer he left as soon as he heard we were gone, and did not wait for yesterday's supper. Indeed, he must have done so, or he must have followed the trail some time yesterday to be up with us to-night, so let him eat in quiet."

"What surprises me, Malachi, is how he could have found his way to us."

"Well, sir, I do confess that I'm as much surprised almost as I am pleased," replied Malachi. "It is really a great feat for a lad to accomplish all by himself, and I am proud of him for having done it; but from the first I saw what a capital woodsman he would make, and he has not disappointed me."

"There are not many who would have been able to do it, that's certain," said Martin; "I wonder as much as you do, Mr. Alfred, how he could have done it —but he has the gift."

"But suppose he had not come up with us, how would he have lived in these woods? It's a mercy that he has fallen in with us," said Captain Sinclair.

John slapped the barrel of his rifle, which was lying by him, and which Captain Sinclair had not perceived.

"You don't think that John would come into the woods without his rifle, sir, do you?" said Malachi.

"I did not perceive that he had it with him," said Captain Sinclair, "but I certainly ought to have known John better."

John having finished his supper, they all lay down to rest, one keeping watch that they might not be surprised.

At daylight, they made their breakfast, and then went down again to the borders of the lake, where the trail had been lost. After a long examination, Malachi called the Strawberry, and pointing to the edge of the water, asked her to look there. The Strawberry did so, and at last decided that there was the mark of the bottom of a canoe which had been grounded.

"Yes, I thought so," said Malachi. "They have had their canoe all ready, and have crossed the water; now, we must walk quite round the lake to discover the trail again, and that will give them half a day's start of us."

They immediately set off coasting the shores of the lake, until they arrived at the other side, carefully examining the ground as they went. This took them till noon, by which time they had arrived at that part of the lake which was opposite to the large rock behind which they had kindled their fire the night before; but no traces were to be perceived.

"They have not crossed over in a straight line," said Captain Sinclair, "that is evident; we must now try more to the northward."

This they did; and at last discovered that the canoe had crossed over to the north point of the lake, having coasted along the eastern shore the whole way. The spot of landing was very evident, and for some distance they could trace where the canoe had been hauled up. It was now late in the afternoon, and it became a question whether they should follow the trail, or discover the place of concealment of the canoe, as it might be advantageous to know where it was when they returned. It was decided that they should first discover the canoe, and this was not done till after a search of two hours, when they found it concealed in the bushes about one mile from the lake. They then followed the trail about two miles; the twigs had been bent and broken, as before, which was a great help to them, but the night was now closing in. Having arrived at a clear knoll, they took up their quarters under the trees, and retired to rest. At daybreak they again started; and, after two hours' walk, had to track across a small prairie, which gave them some trouble, but they succeeded in finding the trail on their arrival at the wood on the opposite side, and then they made a very rapid progress, for the twigs were now more frequently broken and bent than before. During this day, with the bow and arrows brought by the Strawberry, Martin had procured them two wild turkeys, which were very acceptable, as their provisions would not last more than seven or eight days longer, and it was impossible to say how far they would have to travel. It was not far from dark when the quick ears of the Strawberry were attracted by a noise like that of a person breathing heavily. She at last pointed with her finger to a bush; they advanced cautiously, and on the other side of it they found an Indian woman lying on the ground, bleeding profusely. They raised her up, and discovered that it was the Indian whom they had cured of the sprained ankle, and who, they presumed, had been then discovered breaking the twigs that they might follow the trail, for on examination they found that she had received a heavy blow on the head with a tomahawk; but, fortunately, it had glanced sideways, and not entered into the brain. She was not sensible, however, at the time that they discovered her, for she had lost a great deal of blood. They stopped the effusion of blood with bandages torn from their linen, and poured some water down her throat; it was now dark, and it was not possible to proceed any farther that night. The Strawberry went into the woods and collected some herbs, with which she dressed the wound, and, having made the poor Indian as comfortable as they could, they again lay down to rest; but not until Malachi had said to Alfred—

"There is no doubt, sir, but that the Indians have discovered this woman was marking the trail for us, and that they have tomahawked her for so doing, and have left her for dead. I think myself that the wound, although it is a very ugly one, is not dangerous, and so says the Strawberry. However, to-morrow will decide the point; if she is not sensible then, it will be of no use waiting, but we must go on as fast as we can."

When they awoke the next morning they found the Strawberry sitting by the Indian woman, who was now quite sensible and collected, although very weak and exhausted. Malachi and Martin went to her, and had a long conversation with her at intervals. Malachi had been right in his supposition; the Angry Snake had discovered her in the act of bending a twig, and had struck her down with his tomahawk. They gained from her the following information: The Angry Snake, irritated at the detention of the Young Otter, had resolved to have another hostage in lieu of him, and had carried off Mary Percival. He had six Indians with him, which were the whole of his grown-up warriors. They were now but one day's journey ahead of them, as Miss Percival was very sore on her feet, and they could not get her along, but that in every other respect she had been well treated. That the Indians were not going to their lodges in a direct course, but by a circuitous route, which would make a difference of at least six or seven days; and that they did this that they might not: be seen by some other tribes who were located in their direct route, and who might give information. She said that it was she who had written the Indian letter which Malachi had received the autumn before, and that she had done it because she had been so kindly treated by Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, when she had been found in the forest with her ankle sprained. That Percival was at the Indian lodges quite well when they left, and that if the Angry Snake did not receive a large quantity of powder and shot and a great many rifles in exchange for him, it was his intention to adopt the boy, as he was very partial to him. On being asked if the boy was happy, she replied that he was not at first, but now he was almost an Indian; that he was seldom permitted to leave the lodges, and never unless accompanied by the Angry Snake. In answer to their questions as to the direction and distance to the lodges, she said that they were about seven days' journey by the straight road; but that the party with Miss Percival would not arrive there in less than fifteen days, if so soon, as she was every day less able to travel. Having obtained all this information, a council was held, and Malachi spoke first, having been requested so to do.

"My opinion is this," said Malachi, "that we can do no better than remain here at present, and wait till the woman is sufficiently recovered to travel and show us the direct road to the lodges. In two or three days she will probably be well enough to go with us, and then we will take the direct road, and be there before them. The knowledge of the place and the paths will enable us to lay an ambush for them and to rescue the young lady without much danger to ourselves. They will have no idea of falling in with us, for they of course imagine the woman is dead; a tomahawk seldom fails."

After a long parley, the advice of Malachi was considered the most judicious, and a further conversation with the Indian woman confirmed them in the resolution. As they had no fear of the Indians discovering that they were on their trail, Martin and Alfred went out in pursuit of game for provisions, while the others raised up a large hut with branches of trees, for the accommodation of the whole party. In the evening Martin and Alfred returned, carrying a fine buck between them. The fire was lighted, and very soon all were busy cooking and eating. The Indian woman also begged for something to eat, and her recovery was now no longer considered doubtful.

Chapter XXXVIII.

It was a great annoyance to Captain Sinclair to have to wait in this manner, but there was no help for it. He was satisfied that it was the most prudent course, and therefore raised no objection. Alfred, too, was uneasy at the delay, as he was aware how anxious his father and mother would be during the whole time of their absence. They were glad, however, to find that the Indian woman recovered rapidly, and on the fifth day of their taking up their abode in the forest, she said that she was able to travel if they walked slow. It was therefore agreed that on the sixth day they should start again, and they did so, having saved their salt provisions, that they might not be compelled to stop, or use their rifles to procure food. The evening before, they roasted as much venison as they thought they could consume while it was good, and at daylight again proceeded, not to follow the trail, but guided by the Indian woman, in a direct course for the lodges of the Indian band under the Angry Snake.

As they had now only to proceed as fast as they could without tiring the poor Indian woman, whose head was bound up, and who was still weak from loss of blood, they made a tolerable day's journey, and halted as before. Thus they continued their route till the sixth day, when, as they drew up for the night, the Indian stated that they were only three or four miles from the Indians' lodges, which they sought. Thereupon a council was held as to how they should proceed, and at last it was agreed upon that they should be guided by the Indian woman to a spot where they might be concealed, as near as possible to the lodges, and that when the party had arrived there, that the woman and Malachi should go and reconnoitre, to ascertain whether the chief and his band, with Mary Percival, had returned or not. The night was passed very impatiently, and without sleep by most of them, so anxious were they for the morrow. Long before break of day they again started, advancing with great caution, and were led by the Indian till they were within one hundred and fifty yards of the lodges, in a thick cluster of young spruce, which completely secured them from discovery. Shortly afterwards Malachi and the Indian woman, creeping on all fours, disappeared in the surrounding brushwood, that they might, if possible, gain more intelligence from listening. In the meantime, the party had their eyes on the lodges, waiting to see who should come out as soon as the sun rose, for it was hardly clear daybreak when they arrived at their place of concealment.

They had remained there about half an hour, when they perceived an Indian lad come out of one of the lodges. He was dressed in leggings and Indian shirt of deer-skin, and carried in his hand his bow and arrows. An eagle's feather was stuck in his hair above the left ear, which marked him as the son of a chief.

"That's my brother Percival," said John, in a low tone.

"Percival!" replied Alfred, "is it possible?"

"Yes," whispered the Strawberry, "it is Percival, but don't speak so loud."

"Well, they have turned him into a regular Indian," said Alfred; "we shall have to make a pale-face of him again."

Percival, for he it was, looked round for some time, and at last perceiving a crow flying over his head, he drew his bow, and the arrow brought the bird down at his feet.

"A capital shot," said Captain Sinclair, "the boy has learnt something, at all events. You could not do that, John."

"No," replied John, "but they don't trust him with a rifle."

They waited some little time longer, when an Indian woman, and then an old man, came out, and in about a quarter of an hour afterwards, three more women and an Indian about twenty years old.

"I think we have the whole force now," said Martin.

"Yes, I think so too," replied Captain Sinclair; "I wish Malachi would come back, for I do not think he will find out more than we know ourselves."

In about half an hour afterwards, Malachi and the Indian woman returned; they had crept in the brushwood to within fifty yards of the lodges, but were afraid to go nearer, as the woman said that perhaps the dogs might give the alarm; for two of them were left at home. The woman stated her conviction that the party had not come back, and now a council was again held as to their proceedings. The Indian force was nothing —an old man, one lad of twenty, and four women. These might be easily captured and secured, but the question was whether it would be desirable so to do, as in case one should by any means escape, information of their arrival might be conveyed to the absent party, and induce them not to come home with Mary Percival. This question was debated in a low tone between Malachi, Captain Sinclair, and Alfred. At last John interrupted them by saying, "They are going out to hunt, the old and the young Indian and Percival —they have all their bows and arrows."

"The boy is right," said Malachi. "Well, I consider this to decide the question. We can now capture the men without the women knowing anything about it. They will not expect them home till the evening, and even if they do not come, they will not be surprised or alarmed; so now we had better let them go some way, and then follow them. If we secure them, we can then decide what to do about the women."

This was agreed upon, and Malachi explained their intentions to the Indian woman, who approved of them, but said, "The Old Raven (referring to the old Indian) is very cunning; you must be careful."

The party remained in their place of concealment for another quarter of an hour, till the two Indians and Percival had quitted the open space before the lodges, and had entered the woods. They then followed in a parallel direction, Malachi and John going ahead; Martin and Alfred following so as to keep them in sight, and the remainder of the party at about the same distance behind Martin and Alfred. They continued in this manner their course through the woods for more than an hour, when a herd of deer darted past Malachi and John. They immediately stopped, and crouched, to hide themselves. Martin and Alfred perceiving this, followed their example, and the rest of the party behind, at the motion of the Strawberry, did the same. Hardly had they done so, when one of the herd, which had been pierced by an arrow, followed in the direction of the rest, and after a few bounds fell to the earth. A minute or two afterwards the hunters made their appearance, and stood by the expiring beast, where they remained for a minute or two talking, and then took out their knives to flay and cut it up. While they were thus employed, Malachi and John on one side, Alfred and Martin from another direction, and the rest of the party from a third, were creeping slowly up towards them; but to surround them completely it was necessary that the main party should divide, and send one or two more to the eastward. Captain Sinclair despatched Graves and one of the soldiers, desiring them to creep very softly till they arrived at a spot he pointed out, and then to wait for the signal to be given.

As the parties gradually approached nearer and nearer to the Indians and Percival, the Old Raven appeared to be uneasy, he looked round and round him, and once or twice laid his ear to the ground; whenever he did this, they all stopped, and almost held their breaths.

"The Indian woman says that the Old Raven is suspicious; he is sure that someone is in the woods near him, and she thinks that she had better go to him," said the Strawberry to Captain Sinclair.

"Let her go," said Captain Sinclair.

The Indian rose, and walked up in the direction of the Indians, who immediately turned to her as she approached. She spoke to them, and appeared to be telling them how it was that she returned. At all events, she occupied the attention of the Old Raven till the parties were close to them, when Malachi arose, and immediately all the others did the same, and rushed upon them. After a short and useless struggle they were secured, but not before the younger Indian had wounded one of the soldiers, by stabbing him with his knife. The thongs were already fast round the arms and legs of the Indians, when Percival, who had not been tied, again attempted to escape, and, by the direction of Malachi, he was bound, as well as the other two.

As soon as the prisoners were secured, Martin and Graves and the soldiers employed themselves cutting up the venison and preparing it for dinner, while the Strawberry and the Indian woman were collecting wood for a fire. In the meanwhile, Captain Sinclair, Alfred, Malachi, and John were seated by the prisoners, and directing their attention to Percival, whom they had been compelled to bind, that he might not make his escape; for his sojourn of nearly two years in the woods with the Indians, without seeing the face of a white man had (as has been invariably proved to be the fact in every instance where the parties were very young) wholly obliterated, for the time, his recollections of his former life —so rapid is our falling off to the savage state. To the questions of Alfred he returned no reply, and appeared not to understand him.

"Let me try him, sir," said Malachi, "I will speak to him in the Indian tongue, he has perhaps forgotten his own. It's wonderful how soon we return to a state of nature when we are once in the woods."

Malachi then spoke to Percival in the Indian language; Percival listened for some time, and at last replied in the same tongue.

"What does he say, Malachi?" said Alfred.

"He says he will sing his own death song; that he is the son of a warrior, and he will die like a brave."

"Why, the boy is metamorphosed," said Captain Sinclair; "is it possible that so short a time could have produced this?"

"Yes, sir," replied Malachi; "in young people a very short time will change them thus, but it won't last long. If he were to meet again with his mother at the settlement, he would by degrees forget his Indian life and become reconciled; a woman has more effect than a man. Let the Strawberry speak to him. You see, sir, he is bound, and considers himself a captive, and let him loose we must not, until we have done our work; after that, there will be no fear, and when he has been with us a short time, he will come all right again."

Malachi called the Strawberry, and told her to speak to Percival about his home and his mother, and everything connected with the farm.

The Strawberry sat down by Percival, and in her soft tones talked to him in her own tongue of his father and mother, of his cousins, and how he had been taken by the Indians when he was hunting, how his mother had wept for him, and all had lamented his loss; running on in a low musical key from one thing to another connected and associated with his former life in the settlement, and it was evident that at last he now listened with attention. The Strawberry continued to talk to him thus, for more than an hour, when Alfred again addressed him and said, "Percival, don't you know me?"

"Yes," replied Percival in English, "I do; you are my brother Alfred."

"All's right now, sir," said Malachi; "only he must be kept fast; but the lad's coming to his senses again. The Strawberry will talk to him again by and by."

They then sat down to their meal; the two Indians were removed to a distance under the guard of one of the soldiers, but Percival remained with them. John sat by Percival, and cutting off a tempting bit of venison, held it to his mouth, saying to him, "Percival, when we go home again, your hands shall be untied, and you shall have a rifle of your own instead of a bow and arrows; come, eat this."

This was a long speech for John, but it produced its effect, for Percival opened his mouth for the venison, and being fed by John, made a very good dinner. As soon as their meal was over, they consulted as to what steps should next be taken. The question discussed was whether they should now capture the women who were left in the lodges, or remain quiet till the Angry Snake and his party arrived.

Malachi's opinion was as follows:—

"I think we had at all events better wait till to-morrow, sir; you see, the women will not be at all surprised at the hunting party not returning for even a day or two, as they know that they will not return without game, and may not find it immediately; their absence, therefore, will create no suspicion of our being here. I think we should return to our former place of concealment, and watch their motions. There is no saying when the party with Miss Percival may return, they may have arrived while we have been away, or they may come to-morrow. It will be better, therefore, not to encumber ourselves with more prisoners unless it is necessary."

This opinion was at last assented to, and they set off, on their return to the Indian lodges. They arrived about an hour before dusk at their hiding-place, having taken the precaution to gag the two Indians for fear of their giving a whoop as notice of their capture. Percival was very quiet, and had begun to talk a little with John.

Scarcely had they been five minutes again concealed among the spruce fir-trees, when they heard a distant whoop from the woods on the other side of the lodges.

"They are now coming on," said Martin; "that is their signal."

One of the Indian women from the lodges returned the whoop.

"Yes, sir, they are coming," said Malachi. "Pray, Captain Sinclair, be quiet and sit down; you will ruin all our plans."

"Down, Sinclair, I beg," said Alfred.

Captain Sinclair, who was very much excited, nevertheless did as he was requested.

"Oh, Alfred!" said he; "she's so near."

"Yes, my good fellow, but if you wish her nearer, you must be prudent."

"True, very true," replied Captain Sinclair.

In about half an hour more, the Angry Snake and his party were seen to emerge from the woods, and it was perceived that four of the Indians carried a litter made of branches between them.

"She could walk no farther, sir," said Malachi to Captain Sinclair; "so they are carrying her; I told you that they would not hurt her."

"Let me once see her get out of the litter, and I shall be satisfied," replied Captain Sinclair.

The Indians soon were over the clearing, and stopped at one of the lodges; Mary Percival was lifted out, and was seen to walk with difficulty into the wigwam, followed by two of the Indian women.

A short parley took place between the Angry Snake and the other two women, and the chief and the rest of the party then went into another lodge.

"All's right so far, sir," observed Malachi; "they have left her to the charge of the two women in a lodge by herself, and so there will be no fear for her when we make the attack, which I think we must do very shortly, for if it is quite dark, some of them may escape, and may trouble us afterwards."

"Let us do it immediately," said Captain Sinclair.

"No, not immediately, sir; we have yet an hour and a half daylight. We will wait one hour, for I think that as they have nothing to eat, and are pretty well tired from carrying Miss Percival, they will, in all probability, go to sleep, as Indians always do. An hour hence will be the best time for us to fall upon them."

"You are right, Malachi," replied Alfred. "Sinclair, you must curb your impatience."

"I must, I believe," replied Captain Sinclair; "but it will be a tedious hour for me. Let us pass it away in making our arrangements; we have but six to deal with."

"And only two rifles," replied Alfred; "so we are pretty sure of success."

"We must watch first," said Martin, "to see if they all continue in the same lodge, for if they divide, we must arrange accordingly. Who will remain with the prisoners?"

"I won't," said John, in a positive manner.

"You must, John, if it is decided that you do," said Alfred.

"Better not, sir," replied Malachi; "for as soon as the boy hears the crack of the rifles, he will leave his prisoners, and join us; that I'm sure of. No, sir, the Strawberry can be left with the prisoners. I'll give her my hunting-knife; that will be sufficient."

They remained for about half an hour more watching the lodges, but everything appeared quiet, and not a single person came out. Every man was directed to take up a certain position, so as to support each other. John was appointed to the office of looking after his cousin Mary, and preventing the women from escaping with her from the lodge in which she was confined; and John took this office willingly. Leaving the prisoners to the charge of the Strawberry, who, with her knife drawn, stood over them, ready to act upon the slightest attempt of escape on their part, the whole party now crept safely towards the lodges, by the same path as had been taken by Malachi and the Indian woman. As soon as they had all arrived, they waited for a few minutes, while Malachi reconnoitred, and when they perceived that he did so, they all rose up and hastened to their allotted stations round the lodge into which the Angry Snake and his followers had entered. The Indians appeared to be asleep, for everything remained quiet.

"Let us first lead Miss Percival away to a place of safety," whispered Captain Sinclair.

"Do you do it then," said Alfred; "there are plenty of us without you."

Captain Sinclair hastened to the lodge in which Miss Percival had been placed, and opened the door. Mary Percival, as soon as she beheld Captain Sinclair, uttered a loud scream of delight, and, rising from the skins on which she had been laid, fell upon his neck. Captain Sinclair caught her in his arms, and was bearing her out of the lodge, when an Indian woman caught him by the coat; but John, who had entered, putting the muzzle of his rifle into her face, she let go and retreated, and Captain Sinclair bore away Mary in his arms into the brushwood, where the Strawberry was standing over the Indian prisoners. The scream of Mary Percival had roused the Indians, who, after their exhaustion and privations, were in a sound sleep; but still no movement was to be heard in the lodge, and a debate, between Malachi and Alfred, whether they should enter the lodge or not, was put an end to by a rifle being fired from the lodge, and the fall of one of the soldiers, who was next to Alfred. Another shot followed, and Martin received a bullet in his shoulder, and then out bounded the Angry Snake, followed by his band, the chief whirling his tomahawk, and springing upon Malachi, while the others attacked Alfred and Martin, who were nearest to the door of the lodge. The rifle of Malachi met the breast of the Angry Snake as he advanced, and the contents were discharged through his body. The other Indians fought desperately, but the whole of the attacking party closing in, they were overpowered. Only two of them, however, were taken alive, and these were seriously wounded. They were tied and laid on the ground.

"He was a bad man, sir," said Malachi, who was standing over the body of the Indian chief; "but he will do no more mischief."

"Are you much hurt, Martin?" inquired Alfred.

"No, sir, not much; the ball has passed right through and touched no bone; so I am in luck. I'll go to the Strawberry, and get her to bind it up."

"He is quite dead, sir," said Graves, who was kneeling by the side of the soldier who had been shot by the first rifle.

"Poor fellow!" exclaimed Alfred. "Well, I'm not sorry that they commenced the attack upon us; for I do not know whether I could have used my rifle unless they had done so."

"They never expected quarter, sir," said Malachi.

"I suppose not. Now, what are we to do with the women? They can do no harm."

"Not much, sir; but, at all events, we must put it out of their power. We must take possession of all the weapons we can find in the lodges. We have their two rifles; but we must collect all the bows and arrows, tomahawks and knives, and either destroy or keep possession of them. John, will you look to that? Take Graves with you."

"Yes," replied John, who, with Graves, immediately commenced his search of the lodges.

The two women, who had been in the lodge with Mary Percival, had remained where they were, as John's rifle had kept them from leaving the lodge; but the other two had escaped into the woods during the affray. This was of little consequence; indeed, the others were told that they might go away, if they would; and, as soon as they heard this from Malachi, they followed the example of their companions. John and Graves brought out all the arms they could find, and Malachi and Alfred then went to the bushes to which Mary Percival and Sinclair had previously retired. Alfred embraced his cousin, who was still too greatly agitated to say much, being almost overpowered by the sudden transition in all her thoughts and feelings; and, in the variety of her emotions, perhaps the most bewildering was that occasioned by the reappearance of Percival, like a restoration from the dead. Alfred was in consultation with Malachi, when he perceived the flames bursting out of the lodges. Martin, as soon as his wound was dressed, had returned and set fire to them.

"It's all right, sir," said Malachi; "it will leave the proof of our victory, and be a caution to other Indians."

"But what will become of the women?"

"They will join some other band, sir, and tell the story. It is better that they should."

"And our prisoners, what shall we do with them?"

"Release them; by and by, sir, we shall have nothing to fear from them; but we will first take them two or three days' march into the woods, in case they have alliance with any other band whom they might call to their assistance."

"And the wounded Indians?"

"Must be left to Providence, sir. We cannot take them. We will leave them provisions and water. The women will come back and find them; if they are alive, they will look after them; if dead, bury them. But here comes John, with some bears' skins, which he has saved for Miss Mary; that was thoughtful of the boy. As soon as the flames are down, we will take up our quarters in the clearing, and set a watch for the night; and to-morrow, with the help of God, we will commence our journey back. We shall bring joy to your father and mother, and the sooner we do it the better; for they must be anything but comfortable at our long absence."

"Yes," said Mary Percival; "what a state of suspense they must be in! Truly, as the Bible saith, 'Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.'"

Chapter XXXIX.

Not one of the party slept much on this night. Captain Sinclair, as it may be supposed, was fully occupied with Mary Percival, of whom more anon. As soon as they had taken up their position in the clearing, and made arrangements for the accommodation of Mary, they relieved the Strawberry from her charge of the prisoners, whom they brought to the clearing, and made to sit down close to them. Percival, who had not yet been freed from his bonds, was now untied. The first object which caught his eye was the body of the Angry Snake. He looked on it for some time, and then sat down by the side of it; when a hole having been dug out by one of the party, the body was put in and covered up. Percival remained a few minutes by the side of the grave, and then turned to the two wounded Indians. He brought them water, and spoke to them in the Indian tongue; but while he was still with them, Mary sent for him to speak with him, for as yet she had scarcely seen him. The sight of Mary appeared to have a powerful effect upon the boy; he listened to her as she soothed and caressed him, and appearing to be overcome, he lay down, moaned, and at last fell fast asleep.

The soldier who had been shot by the Angry Snake was buried before they buried the chief. Martin's wound had been dressed by his wife, the Strawberry, who was very skilful in Indian surgery. She had previously applied cataplasms made from the bruised leaves which she and the Indian woman had sought for, to the feet of Mary Percival, which were in a state of great inflammation, and Mary had found herself already much relieved by the application. Before the day dawned, the two wounded Indians died, and were immediately buried beside the chief.

Alfred and Malachi had resolved to set off the next morning on their return home, if they found it possible to convey Mary Percival; but their party was now reduced, as one of the soldiers had been killed, and Martin was incapable of service. The Indian woman would also be fully loaded with the extra rifles, the two which they had captured from the Indians, the one belonging to the soldier, and Martin's, who could not carry anything.

They were now only six effective men, as John could not be of much use in carrying, and, moreover, was appointed to watch Percival. Then they had the two prisoners to take charge of, so that they were somewhat embarrassed. Malachi, however, proposed that they should make a litter of boughs, welded together very tight, and suspended on a pole, so as to be carried between two men. Mary Percival was not a very great weight, and by relieving each other continually, they would be able to get some miles every day, till Mary was well enough to walk with them. Alfred assented to this, and as soon as it was daylight went into the woods with Malachi, to assist in cutting boughs. On their return, they made their breakfast on their salt provisions, and as soon as the meal was over, they put Mary upon the litter and set off, taking the Indian prisoners with them. The first day they made but a few miles, as they were obliged to stop, that they might procure some food. The party were left under a large tree, which was a good landmark, under the charge of Captain Sinclair, while Malachi and Alfred went in search of game. At nightfall they returned with a deer which they had killed, when the Strawberry informed them that the Indian woman had told her, that about two miles to the southward there was a river which ran into the lake, and that there were two canoes belonging to the band, hauled up in the bushes on the beach; that the river was broad and swift, and would soon take them to the lake, by the shores of which they could paddle the canoe to the settlement. They decided that they would go to the river, and take the canoes, as the Indian woman said that they were large enough to hold them all.

The next morning, guided by the Indian woman, they set off in the direction of the river, and arrived at it in the afternoon. They found the canoes, which were large, and in good order, and having carried them down to the beach, they resolved to put off their embarkation till the following day, as they were again in want of provisions for their subsistence. Alfred, Malachi, and John went out this time, for Percival had shown himself so quiet and contented, and had gradually become so fond of being near Mary Percival, that he appeared to have awakened from his Indian dream, and renewed all his former associations. They did not, therefore, think it necessary to watch him any more —indeed, he never would leave Mary's side, and began now to ask many questions, which proved that he had recalled to mind much of what had been forgotten during his long sojourn with the Indians. The hunters returned, having been very successful, and loaded with meat enough to last for four or five days. At daylight the next morning, they led the prisoners about half a mile into the woods, and pointing to the north, as to the direction they were to go, cast loose the deer thongs and set them at liberty. Having done this, they embarked in the canoes, and were soon gliding rapidly down the stream.

The river upon which they embarked, at that time little known to the Europeans, is now called the river Thames, and the town built upon it is named London. It falls into the upper part of Lake Erie, and is a fine rapid stream. For three days they paddled their canoes, disembarking at night to sleep and cook their provisions, and on the fourth they were compelled to stop, that they might procure more food. They were successful, and on the next day they entered the lake, about two hundred miles to the west of the settlement. Mary Percival was now quite recovered, and found her journey or voyage delightful; the country was in full beauty; the trees waved their boughs down to the river side, and they did not fall in with any Indians, or perceive any lodges on the bank. Sometimes they started the deer which had come down to drink in the stream, and on one occasion, as they rounded a point, they fell in with a herd which were in the water swimming across, and in this position they destroyed as many as they required for their food till they hoped to arrive at the settlement.

Percival was now quite reconciled to his removal from an Indian life, and appeared most anxious to rejoin his father and mother, of whom he talked incessantly; for he had again recovered his English, which, strange to say, although he perfectly understood it when spoken to, he had almost forgotten to pronounce, and at first spoke with difficulty. The weather was remarkably fine, and the waters of the lake were so smooth, that they made rapid progress, although they invariably disembarked at night. The only annoyance they had was from the mosquitoes, which rose in clouds as soon as they landed, and were not to be dispersed until they had lighted a very large fire, accompanied with thick smoke; but this was a trifle compared with their joy at the happy deliverance of the prisoners, and success of their expedition. Most grateful, indeed, were they to God for His mercies, and none more so than Mary Percival and Captain Sinclair.

On the sixth day, in the forenoon, they were delighted to perceive Fort Frontignac in the distance, and although the house at the settlement was hid from their sight by the point covered with wood which intervened, they knew that they were not above four or five miles distant. In less than another hour they were abreast of the prairie, and landed at the spot where their own punt was moored. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell had not perceived the canoes, for although anxiously looking out every day for the return of the party, their eyes and attention were directed on land, not having any idea of their return by water.

"My dear Alfred," said Mary, "I do not think it will be prudent to let my aunt see Percival at once we must prepare her a little for his appearance. She has so long considered him as dead, that the shock may be too great."

"You say true, my dear Mary. Then we will go forward with Captain Sinclair, and Malachi, and John. Let Percival be put in the middle of the remainder of the party, who must follow afterwards, and then be taken up to Malachi's lodge. He can remain there with the Strawberry until we come and fetch him."

Having made this arrangement, to which Percival was with difficulty made to agree, they walked up, as proposed, to the house. Outside of the palisade they perceived Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, with their backs towards them, looking towards the forest, in the direction which the party had taken when they left. But when they were half-way from the beach, Henry came out with Oscar from the cottage, and the dog immediately perceiving them, bounded to them, barking with delight. Henry cried out, "Father —mother, here they are —here they come." Mr. and Mrs. Campbell turned round and beheld the party; they flew to meet them, and as they caught Mary in their arms, all explanation was unnecessary —she was recovered, and that was sufficient for the time.

"Come, mother, let us go into the house, that you may compose yourself a little," said Alfred, that she might not perceive Percival among the party that followed. "Let me support you. Take my arm."

Mrs. Campbell, who trembled very much, did so, and thus turned away from the group among whom Percival was walking. Emma was looking at them attentively, and was about to exclaim, when Captain Sinclair put his finger to his lips.

As soon as they arrived at the house, and had gone in, Alfred, in a few words, gave them an account of what had passed —how successful they had been in their attempt, and how little they had to fear from the Indians in future.

"How grateful I am!" exclaimed Mrs. Campbell. "God be praised for all His mercies! I was fearful that I should have lost you, my dear Mary, as well as my poor boy. He is lost for ever —but God's will be done."

"It is very strange, mother," said Alfred, "but we heard, on our journey, that the Indians had found a white boy in the woods."

"Alas! not mine."

"I have reason to believe that it was Percival, my dear mother, and have hopes that he is yet alive."

"My dear Alfred, do not say so unless you have good cause; you little know the yearnings of a mother's heart; the very suggestion of such a hope has thrown me into a state of agitation and nervousness of which you can form no conception. I have been reconciled to the Divine will; let me not return to a state of anxiety and repining."

"Do you think, my dear mother, that I would raise such hopes if I had not good reason to suppose that they would be realised? No, my dear mother, I am not so cruel."

"Then you know that Percival is alive," said Mrs. Campbell, seizing Alfred by the arm.

"Calm yourself my dear mother, I do know —I am certain that he is alive, and that it was he who was found by the Indians; and I have great hopes that we may recover him."

"God grant it! God grant it in His great mercy!" said Mrs. Campbell, "my heart is almost breaking with joy: may God sustain me! Oh, where is —my dear Alfred —where is he?" continued Mrs. Campbell. Alfred made no reply, but a flood of tears came to her relief.

"I will explain it to you when you are more composed, my dear mother. Emma, you have not said one word to me."

"I have been too much overjoyed to speak, Alfred," replied Emma, extending her hand to Alfred, "but no one welcomes your return more sincerely than I do, and no one is more grateful to you for having brought Mary back."

"Now, Alfred, I am calm," said Mrs. Campbell, "so let me hear at once all you know."

"I see you are calm, my dear mother, and I therefore now tell you that Percival is not far off."

"Alfred! he is here; I am sure he is."

"He is with Malachi and the Strawberry; in a minute I will bring him."

Alfred left the house: the intelligence was almost too overpowering for Mrs. Campbell. Mary and Emma hastened to her, and supported her. In another minute Alfred returned with Percival, and the mother embraced and wept over her long lost child.

"How this has happened, and by what merciful interference he has been preserved and restored to us," said Mr. Campbell, when their first emotions were over, "we have yet to learn; but one thing we do know, and are sure of, that it is by the goodness of God alone. Let us return our thanks while our hearts are yet warm with gratitude and love, and may our thanksgivings be graciously received."

Mr. Campbell knelt down, and his example was followed by all the rest of the party assembled. In a fervent tone he returned thanks for the recent mercies vouchsafed to his family, which, he expressed a hope, would never be forgotten, but would prove a powerful inducement to them all, to lead a more devout life of faith in Him who had so graciously supported them in the hour of peril and affliction —who had so wonderfully restored to them their lost treasures, and turned all their gloom into sunshine —filling their hearts with joy and gladness.

"And now, my dear Alfred," said Mrs. Campbell, whose arms still encircled the neck of Percival, "do pray tell us what has taken place, and how you recovered Mary and this dear boy."

Alfred then entered into his detail, first stating the knowledge which Captain Sinclair, Malachi, and himself had of Percival being still in existence from the letter written by the indian woman, the seizure and confinement of the Young Otter in consequence, which was retaliated by the abduction of Mary. When he had finished, Mr. Campbell said—

"And poor Martin, where is he, that I may thank him?"

"He is at his own lodge, with the Strawberry, who is dressing his wound; for we have not been able to do so for two or three days, and it has become very painful."

"We owe him a large debt or gratitude," said Mr. Campbell; "he has suffered much on our account. And your poor man, Captain Sinclair, who fell!"

"Yes," replied Sinclair, "he was one of our best men —but it was the will of Heaven. He lost his life in the recovery of my dear Mary, and I shall not forget his wife and child, you may depend upon it."

"Now, Mary, let us have your narrative of what passed when you were in the company of the Indians, before your rescue."

"I was, as you know, gathering the cranberries in the Cedar Swamp, when I was suddenly seized, and something was thrust against my mouth, so that I had no time or power to cry out. My head was then wrapt up in some folds of blanket, by which I was almost suffocated, and I was then lifted up and borne away by two or three men. For a time I kept my senses, but at last the suffocation was so great, that my head swam, and I believe I fainted, for I do not recollect being put down; yet after a time I found myself lying under a tree, and surrounded by five or six Indians, who were squatted round me. I was not a little terrified, as you may imagine. They neither moved nor spoke for some time; I endeavoured to rise, but a hand on my shoulder kept me down, and I did not attempt a useless resistance. Soon afterwards, an Indian woman brought me some water, and I immediately recognised her as the one whom we had succoured when we found her in the woods. This gave me courage and hope, though her countenance was immoveable, and I could not perceive, even by her eyes, that she attempted any recognition; but reflection convinced me that if she intended to help me, she was right in so doing. After I had raised myself, and drank some water, the Indians had a talk in a low voice. I observed that they paid deference to one, and from the description which my father and Alfred had given of the Angry Snake, I felt sure that it was he. We remained about half an hour on this spot, when they rose, and made signs to me that I was to come with them. Of course I could do no otherwise, and we walked till night came on, when I was, as you may imagine, not a little tired. They then left me with the Indian woman, retiring a few yards from me. The woman made signs that I was to sleep, and although I thought that was impossible, I was so much fatigued that, after putting up my prayers to the Almighty, I had not lain down many minutes before I was fast asleep.

"Before daylight, I was awakened by their voices, and the woman brought me a handful of parched Indian corn; not quite so good a breakfast as I had been accustomed to; but I was hungry, and I contrived to eat it. As soon as the day broke we set off again, and towards evening arrived at a lake. A canoe was brought out from some bushes; we all got into it, and paddled up along the banks for two or three hours, when we disembarked and renewed our journey. My feet were now becoming very sore and painful, for they were blistered all over, and I could scarcely get along; they compelled me, however, to proceed, not using any great force, but still dragging me and pushing me, to make me keep up with them. I soon perceived that I was a prisoner only, and not likely to be ill-treated if I complied with their wishes. Towards evening, I could hardly put one foot before the other, for they had obliged me to walk on the water of a stream for two or three miles, and my shoes were quite worn out in consequence. At night they again stopped, and the Indian woman prepared some herbs, and applied them to my feet. This gave me great relief, but still she continued to take no notice of any signs I made to her. The next morning I found I had received so much benefit from the application of the herbs, that for the first half of the day I walked on pretty well, and was a little in advance, when hearing the chief speak in an angry tone behind me, I turned round, and, to my horror, saw him raise his tomahawk, and strike down the poor Indian woman. I could not refrain from hastening to her; but I had just time to perceive that her skull was cloven, and that she was, as I imagined, dead, when I was dragged away and forced to continue my journey. You may imagine how my blood curdled at this scene, and how great were now my apprehensions for myself. Why I had been carried away I knew not, for I was as ignorant as you were of Percival being alive, and of the Young Otter having been detained at the fort. My idea was, when the chief struck down the Indian woman, that it was to get rid of her, and that I was to replace her. This idea was almost madness, but still I had hope, and I prayed as I walked along to that God who sees the most secret act, and hears the most silent prayer of the heart, and I felt an assurance while praying that I should be rescued. I knew that my absence would be immediately discovered, and that there were those who would risk their lives to rescue me if I was still in existence; and I therefore used all my efforts to walk on as fast as I could, and not irritate the Indians. But that night I had no one to dress my feet, which were bleeding and very much swelled, and I was very wretched when I lay down alone. I could not drive from my thoughts the poor Indian woman weltering in her blood, and murdered for no crime or fault —nothing that I could discover. The next morning, as usual, my food was some parched Indian corn, and of that I received only a handful for my sustenance during the twenty-four hours; however, hunger I never felt, I had too much pain. I was able to drag myself on till about noon, when I felt that I could not proceed farther. I stopped and sat down; the chief ordered me to get up again by signs; I pointed to my feet, which were now swelled above the ankles, but he insisted, and raised his tomahawk to frighten me into compliance. I was so worn out, that I could have almost received the blow with thankfulness, but I remembered you, my dear uncle and aunt and others, and resolved for your sakes to make one more effort. I did so; I ran and walked for an hour more in perfect agony; at last nature could support the pain no longer, and I fell insensible."

"My poor Mary!" exclaimed Emma.

"I thought of you often and often, my dear sister," replied Mary, kissing her.

"I believe it was a long while before I came to my senses," continued Mary, "for when I did, I found that the Indians were very busy weaving branches into a sort of litter. As soon as they had finished, they put me upon it, and I was carried by two of them swinging on a pole which they put on their shoulders. I need hardly say, that the journey was now more agreeable than it was before, although my feet were in a dreadful state, and gave me much pain. That night we stopped by a rivulet, and I kept my feet in the water for two or three hours, which brought down the inflammation and swelling very much, and I contrived after that to gain some sleep. They carried me one more day, when they considered that they had done enough, and I was again ordered to walk; I did so for two days, and was then in the same condition as before. A litter was therefore again constructed, and I was carried till I arrived at the lodges of the Angry Snake and his band. What passed from that time you have heard from Alfred."

When Mary Percival had finished her narrative, they all sat down to supper, and it hardly need be said that Mr. Campbell did not fail, before they retired to rest, again to pour forth his thanksgivings to the Almighty, for the preservation of those who were so dear. Next morning, they all rose in health and spirits. Martin came early to the house with the Strawberry; his wound was much better, and he received the thanks of Mr. and Mrs. Campbell.

When they were at breakfast, Mr. Campbell said, "John, in our joy at seeing your brother and cousin again, I quite forgot to scold you for running away as you did."

"Then don't do it now, sir," said Malachi, "for he was very useful, I can assure you."

"No, I won't scold him now," replied Mr. Campbell; "but he must not act so another time. If he had confided to me his anxious wish to join you, I should probably have given my permission."

"I must now take my leave, and return to the fort," said Captain Sinclair; "I do, however, trust I shall see you all again in a few days, but I must report the results of the expedition, and the death of poor Watkins. May I borrow one of your horses, Mr. Campbell?"

"Certainly," replied Mr. Campbell; "you know the bateau is expected every day from Montreal; perhaps you will bring us our letters when it arrives."

Captain Sinclair took his leave, as it may be imagined, very reluctantly, and in a day or two the family again settled down to their usual occupations. The emigrants had, during, the absence of the expedition, gathered in a great portion of the corn, and were now employed in finishing the harvest.

"How happy we are now, Mary," said Emma to her sister, as they were walking by the stream, watching John, who was catching trout.

"Yes, my dear Emma, we have had a lesson which will, I trust, prevent any future repining, if we have felt any, at our present position. The misery we have been rescued from has shown us how much we have to be thankful for. We have nothing more to fear from the Indians, and I feel as if I could now pass my life here in peace and thankfulness."

"Not without Captain Sinclair."

"Not always without him; the time will, I trust, come when I may reward him for his patience and his regard for me; but it has not yet come; and it's for my uncle and aunt to decide when it shall. Where's Percival?"

"He is gone into the woods with Malachi, and with a rifle on his shoulder, of which he is not a little proud. John is not at all jealous. He says that Percival ought to know how to fire a rifle, and throw away that foolish bow and arrows. Do you not think that his residence among the Indians has made a great change in Percival?"

"A very great one; he is more manly and more taciturn; he appears to think more and talk less. But Henry is beckoning to us. Dinner is ready, and we must not keep hungry people waiting."

"No," replied Emma; "for in that case I should keep myself waiting."

Chapter XL.

Captain Sinclair on his return to Fort Frontignac reported to the Colonel the successful result of the expedition, and was warmly congratulated upon it, as the Colonel had been made acquainted with the engagement between him and Mary Percival. The Young Otter, who had remained in confinement during Captain Sinclair's absence, was now set at liberty; and the Colonel, who was aware that Captain Sinclair must be very anxious to remain at the settlement for a short time after what had occurred, very kindly offered him leave for a few days, which it may be supposed Captain Sinclair did not fail to avail himself of. The Colonel at the same time sent a message to Mr. Campbell, stating that as soon as the bateaux should arrive from Montreal, he would bring any letters or newspapers that might arrive for them, and take that opportunity of offering in person his congratulations.

Captain Sinclair did not, however, return for two or three days, as he had many letters to write in answer to those which had arrived during his absence. On his return to the settlement, he found them all well and happy; Mary quite recovered from her fatigue, and everything going on in the same quiet order and method as if the expedition had never taken place, and had never been necessary. Indeed, nothing appeared now wanting to the happiness of the whole party, and their affairs were prospering. The emigrants who had joined Mr. Campbell were industrious and intelligent, very civil, and very useful. They paid the greatest respect to Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, who were certainly very liberal and kind to them, assisting them in every way in their power. Although the farm had been so much increased, the labour was light, from the quantity of hands they could command; the stock had increased very fast; old Graves had taken charge of the mill during the absence of Alfred and Martin, and had expressed his wish to continue in that employment, which Alfred gladly gave up. In short, peace and plenty reigned in the settlement, and Alfred's words when he recommended his father to go to Canada had every prospect of becoming true —that his father would be independent, if not rich, and leave his children the same. In three days Captain Sinclair arrived; he was received with great warmth by all the party, and after dinner was over, Mr. Campbell addressed the family as follows:—

"My dear children, your mother and I have had some conversation on one or two points, and we have come to the decision that having so much to thank God for, in His kindness and mercies shown towards us, it would be selfish on our parts if we did not consult the happiness of others. We are now independent, and with every prospect of being more so every day; we are no longer isolated, but surrounded by those who are attached to us, and will protect us should there be any occasion. In short, we are living in comfort and security, and we trust to Providence that we shall continue so to do. You, my dear Alfred, generously abandoned your profession to which you were so partial, to come and protect us in the wilderness, and we knew too well the value of your services not to accept them, although we were fully aware of the sacrifice which you made; but we are no longer in a wilderness, and no longer require your strong arm and bold heart. We have therefore decided that it is our duty no longer to keep you from the profession to which you belong, but, on the contrary, to recommend you now to rejoin it and follow up your career, which we trust in God may prove as prosperous as we are convinced it will be honourable. Take our best thanks, my dear boy, for your kindness to us, and now consider yourself at liberty to return to England, and rejoin the service as soon as you please.

"And now I must address you, my dear Mary; you and your sister accompanied us here, and since you have been with us, have cheered us during our stay by your attentions and unwearied cheerfulness under all the privations which we at first had to encounter. You have engaged the affections of an honourable and deserving man, but at the same time have never shown the least disposition to leave us; indeed, we know what your determination has been, but your aunt and I consider it our present duty to say, that much as we shall regret to part with one so dear, you must no longer sacrifice yourself for us, but make him happy who so well deserves you. That you will remain here is of course out of the question; your husband's connections and fortune require that he should return to England, and not bury himself in the woods of Canada. You have therefore our full permission, and I may say, it will be most pleasing to us, if you no longer delay your union with Captain Sinclair and follow your husband; whenever and wherever you go, you will have our blessings and our prayers, and the satisfaction of knowing that you have been to us as a dutiful daughter, and that we love you as dearly as it is possible for parents to do. Take her, Captain Sinclair, from my hands, and take with her our blessings and best wishes for your happiness, which I do not doubt will be as great as we can expect in this chequered world; for a dutiful daughter will always become a good wife."

Mary, who was sitting between Mrs. Campbell and Captain Sinclair, fell upon her aunt's neck and wept; Mr Campbell extended his hand to Captain Sinclair, who expressed in return his warmest thanks and gratitude. Alfred, who had said nothing more, went up to his mother and kissed her.

"I wish you to go, Alfred," said his mother; "I wish you to rejoin a service to which you are a credit. Do not believe otherwise, or that I shall grieve too much at your departure."

"Go, my son," said Mr. Campbell, shaking him by the hand, "and let me see you a post-captain before I die."

Mrs. Campbell now took Mary Percival into the next room, that she might compose herself, and Captain Sinclair ventured to follow. Everyone appeared happy at this announcement of Mr. Campbell except Emma, who looked unusually serious. Alfred, perceiving it, said to her, "Emma, you are very grave at the idea of losing Mary, and I do not wonder at it, but you will have one consolation —you will lose me too, and I shall no longer plague you as you continually complain that I do."

"I never thought of that," replied Emma, half angry; "well, you are a great plague, and the sooner you go—"

Emma did not, however, finish her speech, but left the room, to join her sister.

Now that Mr. Campbell had announced his wishes, the subject of Mary's marriage and Alfred's return to the service was, for a few days, the continual subject of discussion. It was decided that Mary should be married in a month, by the chaplain of the fort who had returned, and that Captain Sinclair, with his wife and Alfred, should leave the settlement at the end of September, so as to arrive at Quebec in good time for sailing before the winter should set in. It was now the last week in August, so that there was not much time to pass away previous to their departure. Captain Sinclair returned to the fort, to make the Colonel acquainted with what had passed, and to take the necessary steps for leave of absence, and his return to England. This, from his interest with the Governor, he was sure to obtain, and when in England, it would be time sufficient to decide whether he should leave that service or exchange into some regiment at home. As every prospect of war or disturbance in Canada was now over, he could take either step without any censure being laid upon him.

A week afterwards, the bateaux arrived from Montreal, and the Colonel and Captain Sinclair made their appearance at the settlement, bringing with them the letters and papers from England.

Having received the congratulations of the Colonel, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, with his permission, opened their letters, for all the family were present, and all, as usual, anxious to hear the news. The first letter Mr. Campbell opened, to the surprise of all, produced an immediate change in his countenance. He read it a second time, and laying it down on his knee, appeared to remain in a state of complete abstraction.

"No bad news, I hope, Campbell," said his wife, anxiously, as all looked up with astonishment.

"No, my dear Emily, no bad news, but most unexpected news; such as it has been my fortune in life to receive once before this time. You remember, although years have since passed, the letter that was brought us to our little parlour—"

"Which put you in possession of Wexton Hall, Campbell."

"Yes, I did refer to that; but I will not keep you all in longer suspense. This is but a counterpart of the former letter."

Mr. Campbell then read as follows:—

May 7, 18—.

Dear Sir, — It is with great pleasure that we have again to you that you may return, as soon as you please, and take possession of the Wexton Hall property.

You may remember that many months back Mr. Douglas Campbell received a fall from his horse when hunting. No serious consequences were anticipated, but it appears that his spine was injured, and after some months' close confinement, he expired on the 9th of April. As Mr. Douglas Campbell has left no issue, and you are the next in tail, you have now undisputed possession of the property which you so honourably surrendered some years since.

I have taken upon myself to act as your agent since Mr. Campbell's decease. Mrs. D. Campbell has a handsome settlement upon the property, which will of course fall in upon her demise. Waiting your commands, I am, dear Sir, Yours truly,

J. Harvey.

"Mr. Campbell, I congratulate you with all my heart," said the Colonel, rising up, and taking his hand. "You have proved yourself deserving of such good fortune; Mrs. Campbell, I need hardly add that my congratulations extend to you."

Surprise at first rendered Mrs. Campbell mute; at last she said—

"We are in the hands of Him, and do but execute His will. For your sake, my dear Campbell, for the children's sake, perhaps, I ought to rejoice —we hardly know. That I am happy here, now that my children have been restored to me, I confess. I doubt whether that happiness will be increased by the return to Wexton Hall; at all events, I shall leave this place with regret. We have had too many revolutions of fortune, Campbell, since we have been united, not to have learnt by experience that a peaceful, quiet, and contented home is more necessary to our happiness than riches."

"I feel as you do, Emily," replied Mr. Campbell, "but we are growing old, and have been taught wisdom practically, by the events of a chequered life. Our children, I perceive, think otherwise —nor do I wonder at it."

"I shan't go," said John; "I shall only be sent to school; no master shall flog me —I'm a man."

"Nor me," cried Percival.

The Colonel and Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, as well as the elder portion of the party, could not help smiling at the exclamations of the two boys. They had both played the part of men, and it was but too evident how unfitted they would be for future scholastic discipline.

"You shall neither of you go to school," replied Mr. Campbell, "but still you must render yourselves fit for your stations in life, by improving your minds, and attending to those who will instruct you."

It is hard to say whether much real joy was felt by any of the party at the prospect of returning to England. It is true that Mary Percival was delighted at the idea of not being so far from her aunt and uncle, and that Emma was better pleased to be in England, for reasons which she kept to herself. But it was not the coming into the large property which occasioned pleasure to any of them. However, if there was not much pleasure derived from this re-accession to property, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell knew their duty too well to hesitate, and every preparation was commenced for their return along with Alfred and Captain Sinclair. John, however, still continued obstinate in declaring that he would not go, and Percival was very much of John's opinion, although he did not speak so plainly.

When Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were alone, the former said to his wife—

"I do not know what to do about John. He appears so resolute in his determination not to go with us, that I fear he will run away into the woods at the time of our departure. He is now continually with Malachi and Martin, and appears to have severed himself from his family."

"It is hard to decide, Campbell; I have more than once thought it would be better to leave him here. He is our youngest son. Henry will of course inherit the estate, and we shall have to provide for the others out of our savings. Now this property, by the time that John is of age, will be of no inconsiderable value, and by no means a bad fortune for a younger son. He appears so wedded to the woods and a life of nature, that I fear it would only be the cause of continual regret and discontent if we did take him to England; and if so, what comfort or advantage should we gain by his returning? I hardly know what to advise."

"I have serious thoughts of leaving him here, under the charge of Martin and Malachi," replied Mr. Campbell. "He would be happy; by and by he would be rich. What could he obtain more in England? But it must be for you to decide, my dear Emily. I know a mother's feelings, and respect them."

"I cannot decide at once, my dear husband. I will first talk with John, and consult with Alfred and Henry."

The result of Mrs. Campbell's communicating with her sons, was a decision that John should remain in Canada, under the charge of Martin and Malachi, who were to superintend the farm, and watch over him. Martin was to take charge of the farm. Malachi was to be John's companion in the woods, and old Graves, who had their mill under his care, engaged to correspond with Mr. Campbell, and let them know how things went on. When this was settled, John walked at least two inches higher, and promised to write to his mother himself. The Colonel, when he heard the arrangement, pledged himself that as long as he was in command of the fort, he would keep a watchful eye, not only over John, but the whole of the settlement, and communicate occasionally with Mr. Campbell.

A month after the receipt of the letter, the whole family, with the exception of John, embarked in two bateaux, and arrived at Montreal, where they remained a day or two, and then proceeded to Quebec.

At Quebec, their agent had already taken all the cabins of one of the finest ships for their passage, and after a run of six weeks, they once more found themselves at Liverpool, from which town they posted to Wexton Hall, Mrs. Douglas Campbell having retired to a property of her own in Scotland.

We have now finished our tale, and have only to inform our little readers what were the after lives of the Campbell family.

Henry did not return to college, but remained with his father and mother at the Hall, employing himself in superintending for his father the property to which he afterwards succeeded.

Alfred was appointed to a ship commanded by Captain Lumley. He soon rose in the service, was highly distinguished as a gallant, clever officer, and four years after his return to England was married to his cousin Emma —at which the reader will not be surprised.

Mary Percival was married to Captain Sinclair, who sold out, and retired upon half-pay, to live upon his estates in Scotland.

Percival went to college, and turned out a very clever lawyer.

John remained in Canada until he was twenty years old, when he came home to see his father and mother. He had grown to six feet four inches high, and was stout in proportion. He was a very amusing fellow, and could talk fast enough, but his chief conversation was upon hunting and sporting. The farm had been well conducted; the emigrants had adhered to the agreements, and were now cultivating for themselves. Martin had three little papooses (as the Indians call the children) by the Strawberry. Malachi had grown too old to go out often into the woods, and he sat by the fire in the winter, and basked in the sun at the door of the house during the summer. Oscar was dead, but they had some fine puppies of his breed. Mr. Campbell gave John a deed, on his return, conveying to him the Canadian property, and shortly afterwards John picked up a little Canadian wife at Quebec, who made him perfectly happy.

Mr. and Mrs. Campbell lived to a good old age, respected as long as they lived, and lamented when they died. They had known prosperity and adversity, and in each state of life had acquitted themselves with exemplary propriety, not having been elated by the one, or depressed by the other. They knew that this world was a world of trial, and but a preparation for another; they, therefore, did their duty in that state of life to which it pleased God to call them —proving in all their actions, that they remembered their duty to their God, and their duty to their neighbour; living and dying (as I hope all my young readers will) sincere and good Christians.

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