Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Annie; and in case he could not find bottom, in water, and which way to go to find a drier
it was agreed that they should hold on to the spot I couldn't tell. Hows'ever, I thought
boat together, and trust to providence for de- best not to stan' there all night, so I told the
liverance. After giving these directions, he folks to keep still a minit, and I'd feel round
seated himself in the group with little Annie and take a prospect. I wasn't long a findin'
between his feet, and both hands employed, there was deep water on both sides of me, so
reaching from side to side, in hopes of falling I tried the middle, and found which way the
in with some object to seize upon. Occasion- land lay, but we hadn't gone more than twenty
ally they were borne with the speed of the steps when I herd that etarnal fall pourin'
wind down a gentle declivity, and again car- over there. Then I was scart-I knew where
ried noiselessly away in what appeared to be I was then ; and tho' we wasn't quite out of
an eddy, or over a level plain. They knew water yet, I didn't dare go a step furder till
when they were passing a wood patch, by the daylight. And then we wasn't much better
rushing sound of the wind amid the trees, but off'; the old stump was the only thing out of
nothing could be seen. Joe said he “ couldn't water, and it looked mighty ticklish gettin' to
tell how long they went on in this way, but it it, but I was afraid we'd all catch our death in
seemed to him like a week since he left neigh- the water, so I tried it and found it was solid,
bor Hanford's cottage, when all 'twonst, when and there we all staid till you come.”
they was sailin' along smooth as clover, bump, Hanford and his family found a present
and over wert the old skiff, spillin' 'em all out shelter in the cottage of their neighbor, Bar-
in shoal water."

nard Bradley, the blacksmith; and ten years “Yes,” said Mrs. Hanford, and such a scream after the events of that frightful night in Sepas I and Annie give then !!!

tember, Joe Bradley, the thriftiest farmer of "I didn't hear no scream,” said Joe; "all I western Pennsylvania was made the happiest know is, that when I found we was overboard | man on earth, (as all bridegrooms are,) by where there was bottom, I clinched both on leading to the altar of Hymen the person of ye, and let the skiff look out for herself.” the once "little Annie,” but now a full blown

" And a mighty bad look she made of it,” rose of a woman, with a dowry equal to his interposed his father. If she hadn't thrown own estate. Joe never forgot the fortitude you out where she did! You --" A shud- with which his infant charge bore the vicissider ran through the whole party, as Joe inter- ' tudes of that perilous voyage, and somehow, rupted him.

from that time forward she became his especial "But she did throw us out there, father ; favorite. If she was not then, as in the words, thank her for that. She couldn't 'a done better of her father, " of the size for him," she became if she'd had eyes and hands to do with. Well, I so in good time, and, if history tells the truth, there we was,” continued the lad, “knee deep he has, indeed, “ made her a good husband."

THE TEST

BY THE REV. RALPH HOYT.

In thy early prime, when thy heart is gay,

And a merry voice calleth,-up! away! Away, and partake of the choicest things

The world in its folly around thee flings; Pluck every flower of ill delight

That poisons the heart, and deceives the sight; If thou hast a friend, who a friend would prove,

He will chide thy course, though he lose thy love. When the sign of manhood comes on thy brow,

And ambition pilots thy daring prow; Though thy way be over the smoothest sea,

And the prize of fame seemeth just a-lee, Or thy eager hand be already laid

On the glorious goal thy desires have made ; When thou dreamest not of an hour of care,

True friendship will counsel thee still,--prepare!

And when that the trial is come, and all

Thy stateliest fancyings fade and fall;
When the car of envy hath heard thy fame,

And the blight of slander is on thy name;
When fortune's propitious breezes fail,

And adversity shatters thy silken sail,
And roaring surges thy bark o'erwhelm,

If thou hast a friend, he will sieze the helm.
When hope's last sun is adown the west,

And shadows darken thy lonely breast;
When the bursting bosom can hold no more,

And the fount of sorrow is running o'er;
And the writhing heart, in its burning cell,

Conceives a thought it were sin to tell;
Oh, then, for the true and enduring love,

And the mightiest Friend, look,-look above !

NIGHT HUNTING IN ELK COUNTY.

BY JOHN OF YORK.

The sun was within an hour's travel of the every city boy kin pink a buck like old longwestern horizon, when Tom W- Hanks , shot there, with the paddle." Dill G-- and Brooks, started from Ridgway! "Well, a quart that I kill the first critter for the Five Mile Lick, in a canoe, not over to-night; mind, I kill one before you do; if nineteen feet long, and so narrow and rocky neither kills, it's a draw bet.” that all had to sit quietly on the bottom of the The bet was made, and silence grew over frail vessel, or run a pretty sure chance of being the party. We had just passed Mill Creek upset. On each side of the Clarion, (or Stump Mouth, when something resembling footsteps Creek, or Big Toby- the stream has three were heard upon the bank above, but some names,) high, thickly wooded hills rose up rods ahead of us. The stream had been around us, and the banks were closely stocked dammed below, and ran very slow : and we with gigantic pines, the present wealth of that rode upon its dark surface as still as night wild region. The crows and ravens were itself. Dill, whose quick ear never mistook a slowly wending their ways to their homes in wood sound, noiselessly turned the canoe into the depths of the forest, and some of the night an eddy, and all sat in breathless silence, waitbirds had begun to pipe their organs, prepara ing for the enemy. Presently, the footsteps tory to the monotonous concert, which was were again heard, and approached nearer and about to come off.

nearer the edge of the water. How gloriously quiet is the hour of night. “An old he one,” said Dill, in a scarcely fall, in those grand old woods! Not a breath audible whisper, at the same time cocking his of air moved to ripple the clear water of the rifle without a click. river, in whose depths, even in the twilight, The deer came on, evidently for the purpose we could see trout, bass, and other delicious of drinking, and stopped on the low bluff, as if sport-rewarders, enjoying their evening meals to reconnoitre. We could just see his form upon the silly insects who continually threw against the dusky sky, but in the deep shade themselves upon the surface of the water, as if below, he could not discover us. Dill, who had for the very purpose of being devoured by the not moved from his kneeling position in the finnies. The only annoyance was the armies | bottom of the canoe, now slightly raised his of punkies, (gnats,) that swarmed about us and tall figure, drew his rifle to his eye, and kept hands and cigars tolerably busy in the brought the muzzle to bear upon the obscure work of self defence.

object above him. We all held our breaths. “What time does the moon rise ?'' asked A low, sharp whistle from the hunter cansed Dill, raising his dripping paddle out of the the buck to start, and two glaring eyes were Tater, and leaning upon it,—the very life-turned towards the place whence the sound picture of the hunter and river man.

proceeded. Crack! went the rifle, and a heavy “Not 'fore two in the mornin'," replied plunge into the water followed. But to our Brooks, the man addressed ; “ have you any astonishment, the buck rose and struck out for. tobacker ?"

the opposite side of the river. "Yes, (pitching him a quid,) and I'll bet! And now the fun began. The shot, instead you a quart that I'll fetch a six year old before of being, as we guessed, in the buck's head, moonrise; will you bet ???

had lodged in his shoulder, and he was not * Well, I don't mind the cost of the licker,'' | going to give up for that. said Brooks, " but bet with John, there; he's "Pull away, boys," shouted Dill, at the same up here on the new county business, and they time grasping a setting pole, and forcing the do say that thar's 'brads’ about. How's that, canoe across the stream with astonishing veloold Sceldelfy ?"

city. The deer snorted and plunged, in his "Oh, agreed ; I'll take Dill's bet, and make agony, and was fast losing ground until he you another."

got into deep water. We were five rods above “Come on-plank your sentiments. 'Taint him when the pursued and the pursuer reached

the current, we a little ahead in the race across cleared the animal, but the rocks were slipthe river. The buck saw this, and knowing pery, and a mis-step sent him rolling into the from instinct that he could use his wounded water beneath the stag's feet. The noble ani. limb to more advantage in the water than on mal raised both fore feet, and struck the prosland, turned his head down stream.

trate hunter a violent blow in the shoulders, "Let me have a crack at that fellow,” said and he was in a fair way to demolish him, if I to Dill.

Brooks had not rushed to the assistance of his "Pop away; but I'll bet a pound of tobacco comrade. A smart blow with the butt of his you miss him. Aim for his head ; don't spoil rifle caused the deer to turn his attention to the hide."

Brooks, which gave Dill a chance to recover. “Go ahead," shouted Brooks, as he saw me “ Keep him there,” shouted Dill, blowing the taking pretty deliberate aim; “I want a crack water out of his mouth, and in an instant he at him myself.”

was again on his feet. The deer made a I banged away, from the bow, and had the plunge at Brooks, and fell upon his knees. satisfaction of hearing my ball strike the water “Now's your time!" cried Brooks; "cut his about a yard to the right of the deer. for which confounded throat.” I very religiously swore at the wobbling of the Dill did not want prompting. Quick as canoe. Three other shots were fired with no thought, he sprang upon the buck, seized him better success, for we were then in the shade by one of his antlers, and plunged his hunting of the mountain and its dense pine trees, and knife hilt deep into the neck of his victim. such a thing as getting a sight was out of the The buck bounded to his feet, reared high in question.

the air, and fell dead at the feet of the badly "Drop your rifles and use the paddles," said bruised hunter. Dill looked at the conquered Dill, impatiently. “We must overhaul that animal an instant, and then quietly remarkedfellow on the riffle yonder, or we'll lose him ; ' “Pretty snug fight, I call that-let's have besides we are frightening away all the game some liquor, “and he took a pull at the jug within ten miles.”

with the utmost complacency. To the paddles we betook ourselves, in good | The canoe was once more got into deep earnest, and when the deer was within a rod water, the deer put in tow, and, after a jolly of the head of the riffle we were not two rods health all round to Dill, we resumed our voybehind him.

age to the lick. “ Stand clear and give me a chance at the It was after ten o'clock when we were fairly bow there," shouted Dill, and with two strides ensconced behind the murderous “blind" at he had passed to the front, and with his hunting the salt lick. For over an hour we waited knife in his teeth, sprung upon the setting without hearing anything but the screaming pole with increased vigor.

of wolves and catamounts, who scented us, but As the buck struck the rocks that here filled were too cowardly to attack. Several times the bed of the stream in broken masses, he Dill called our attention to the crackling of began to plunge and snort as before, and dry twigs a little distance in our rear. At stumbling upon one higher than the rest, fell. times the sounds seemed to approach, and He was evidently bleeding profusely.

again they would recede. “Now, altogether!" shouted the herculean “ A bar arter our vension,” said Dill. “Where hunter, and as we all sprang to our propellers did you hang it, Brooks ?! the canoe was run upon a rock beside the prey. “On that beach thar, in front of the blind. and tipped upon the side. My first idea was Thar aint no bar anxious to come thar for it, to keep my rifle and powder dry, but Dill | I rather guess.” sprang into the water and grappled with the “Hist! there,” said Dill, "a little fellow, I buck just as he was rising from his fall. take it; but it's a deer sure.”'

Did you ever see a wounded buck at bay? Sure enough, the next minute we heard the If you have not, I can tell you that he is not plashing of footsteps in the mud around the the pleasantest customer in the world to play | lick. with. The old wood monarch saw the ap- “Give me a chance, now, Dill," said I. “You proach of the hunter, and, as the latter came have won your bet, and I must have a chance within fighting distance, turned his fiery eye for mine." balls upon him, and made a desperate plunge. “Agreed,” said Dill; “ but wait a minitThe hunter sprang to one side, and would have "thar'll be more of 'em 'fore long, and maybe

I'll get a crack at that bar along with you." " Why to kill the first deer, of course.” The bear had been creeping nearer and near “Well, that is cool-but how are we to deer, and was evidently bent on stealing the dead cide the bet ?'' buck

“Leave it to Dill.” In a short time, two other deers came down Accordingly Dill was selected to decide who to the lick, and I began to grow impatient. had won, and after examining the wound with

“Let's shoot, Dill, those fellows won't stay all the pomp and circumstance of a country there all night.”

doctor, and inspecting the pieces, like a gay “Wait 'till I strike a light,” said the hunter. | old hunter, as he is, decided that the wound “Now, are you both ready."

was made by a ball from a cut rifle. Brooks I replied in the affirmative, and Dill, having used a smooth bore, and had to give in-bvt he crept out of the blind, lighted some tarred never paid the quart of Monongahela. oakum, which blazed up, and gave us a good We had no more sport that night, and at sight of the deers, who gazed upon the sudden day dawn Dill went to look for his buck. It light with astonishment.

was gone; and jumping upon the trail, he “Fire !---you fool!" growled Dill, and two started upon a dog-trot into the thicket. In rifles answered the order.

less than twenty minutes, we heard the crack The field was reconnoitered, and one young of his rifle, and fllowing the course of the redoe was found to be shot directly between the port, found him quietly skinning old Bruin. eyes.

It was a monstrous bear, and as pork was 5 What the deuce did you shoot for ?" asked scarce in that region, we were well satisfied I of Brooks, after we had returned to the blind. with the change.

[ocr errors]

WOLVUS VAN DEEK.

THE DUTCHMAN OF KIPP'S BAY.

A HISTORY SHOWING THE DANGERS ENCOUNTERED AND THE TRIALS ENDURED BY TIE ENTERPRISING

ANCESTORS OF MODERN GOTHAM.

BY J. C. M.

Two hundred years ago this great city, the Vanderskatens, the Van Sauns, and whatwhich we call New-York, Gotham, and like somever other Vans there might have been, names, was but a wee bit of a place, extending all two hundred years agone. But trees have its bounds not farther than what is now termed not thus spoken, friend reader; however, Broad-street, on the east, and Rector-street on legend and history have. I presume, at this the north. This island, above these streets, present time to unfold a few historic pages, was then either a dense forest, or, where a few and, with the aid of a little legendary lore, Dutch pioneers had encroached upon it, culti- give to the world an almost unbelievable story. vated fields. If trees could speak of deeds of I must, however, before entering upon my arman, wonderful would be the tales told by the duous labor, that you may appreciate in the forest of Nieu Amsterdam, of the achievements right spirit what I intend telling, caution you of our Dutch forefathers ;-how, when their with the fact that there are many in this world watch-dogs gave notice of the approach of the who are too credulous and others not credured-skins, they would sally forth to the field, lous enough, ---be neither of these, for, in my or rather wood, of anticipated battle, and, see- opinion, half-way in matters of this kind, gening the enemy--return to their homes with the erally, is the better. It must be known to butts of their blunderbusses pointed behind almost all New-Yorkers, that on the east them. The woods would tell of the Dutch side of this island there exists the remnant of man's courage in more ways than this : they what in olden time was a beautiful little cove. would speak of the unheard exploring exploits called “Kipp's Bay.” The river winds into upon our rivers by such noble men as the Van the land about five hundred feet, and washes Winkles, the Van Tromps, the Dundersmashers, I a shore which was once most beautifully picturesque. The high hill on the north side, as his place. One afternoon, in the fall of 1640, now by the vandal hand of man in rapid pro- a party of these aquaeous Dutchmen entered gress of leveling, was covered with magnificent the hut of Van Deek and with woful countetrees, which reared their heads in grandeur nances spake to him of the impassable spot, high into the air, and appeared like giant man above alluded to. Now Van Deek, although a in a green old age, smiling upon the lovely great discoverer round about this island, had landscape on either side of the river. The never ventured so far as the mystic barrier, and shore, southward, was comparatively level, and for this reason he was fearful lest he might bordered with thick underbrush which acted, be drawn into “the gate” above, which was a apparently, as the spirit of affection, connect-| | world of horror to a Dutchman. He had deing, as it did, the different tribes of Arbori in voted his attention mostly to ascertaining the a net-work of lovely relationship. The waters sources of Newtown and Bushwick creeks, of the bay were remarkable for their serenity while searching for crabs on the opposite side even in stormy weather, for the powerful out- of East river, and it was but a few moments side currents sweeping past it prevented a di- after his return from one of these hazardous vergence into its circle, and this may account excursions, that the party just referred to, for the proverbial calm which reigned there. reached his domicil. Wolvus, as usual, laugh

In the year 1640, a Dutchman, named Wol- ed vociferously, but not a smile, of the thinnest vus Van Deek, had built himself a log-hut species, illumined the visages of his guests; on hard by the shore of this bay, into which he the contrary, dark clouds played upon them, had ensconced himself in all the glory of bach- / which Wolvus perceiving, caused him to reelorship, for be it known he had attained the no- strain his mirth; he then condescendingly ble age of forty, and still assisted himself single- enquired the reason of their gloom, and Hans handed, though not as many might be led to be- Dundersmasher, the spokesman, informed him lieve by the above expression, a one-armed man. of their inability to accomplish their desire of Wolvus was a very "considerable” looking in- going beyond the “barrier." dividual; his circumference did not exceed “ Vell,” said Wolvus, “ vhat do you vant me seven feet, nor was his height less than four feet to do? and ten inches. His head was one of a species “Vhy,” replied Hans, “it ish our vish dat intended to sustain many ups and downs (in you shall pass de place ve cant-ve ish deschipolite language, ascendities and declensions) with ded dat you ish de mans' vhat can do twice as out any injurious results to either its interior mooch as to our vonce." or exterior qualities. Wolvus had limbs like "Vell,” said Wolvus, " I vill twice as mooch." other humans, but it is needless to describe His answer was satisfactory, and after a them-suffice it, they were in strict proportion draught of skiedam had been disposed of by to his body. Contrary to what might be opined each, the exploring party gave five cheers and from his dimensions, Wolvus was of a very retired. sweet disposition, yet capable of being made Wolvus, so soon as his guests were out of the exponent of another kind, resembling what sight, sat himself down and soliloquized thus : some people now-a-days use in the manufac- “ Vell, mine aspirations vill pe reached! mine ture of pickles, viz., vitriol. We shall see the frients vant me to make var against te tyvil of effects of the latter in this history.

te parrier, ant I vill! If I looshe mine preath It seems, from chronicles of the time in which in te var, Hans, and te whole people vill put Van Deek lived, that the venturesome explorers te name of Wolvus Van Deek in te town clock from the city could never attain any distance vhere all in te future vill think I am going for. beyond where the shot-tower now stands, for effer. If I fight te var fictorious, I vill eat ash so soon as they reached that spot a violent mooch ash I likes. Up mit you, Wolvus !" storm or quicksilver-calm would interfere with Having concluded his soliloquy he bestirred them and compel them to return. In their ex- | himself in preparation for the next night, upon cursions they would frequently knock against which he had concluded to make his efforts to Wolvus's door, and he, in his jovial manner, pass the mysterious obstruction. The early always welcomed them with a laugh such as morning found Van Deek hard at work caulkhe alone, of all Nieu Amsterdamers could usher / ing and tarring his boat. Before noon this lainto existence. In consequence of his friendly | bor was finished, and he commenced laying in nature he was known to all the explorers who a heap of stores-four hams, a dozen cabbages, had had the temerity to run up the river as far l fifty or more sassengers, a keg of skiedam and

« AnteriorContinuar »