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* An't my victuals good enough for you?'
This produced a laugh from the shoe-maker, who seemed to think his patron very witty, while the school-master, not knowing but the stranger might happen to be one of his examiners next year, produced only a faint giggle, and then reducing his countenance instantly to an awful gravity, helped himself to his seventh potato.
The rain which now poured violently, not only outside but through many a crevice in the roof, naturally kept Mr. Willoughby cool; and finding that dry potatoes gave him the hiccups, he withdrew from the table, and seating himself on the shoe-maker's bench, took a survey of his quarters.
Two double-beds, and the long cradle, seemed all the sleeping apparatus ; but there was a ladder which doubtless led to a lodging above. The sides of the room were hung with abundance of decent clothing, and the dresser was well stored with the usual articles, among which a tea-pot and canister shone conspicuous, so that the appearance of inhospitality could vot arise from poverty, and Mr. Willoughby concluded to set it down to the account of rustic ignorance.
The eating ceased not until the hoop was empty, and then the company arose and stretched themselves, and began to guess it was about time to go to bed. Mr. Willoughby inquired what was to be done with his horse.
• Well! I s'pose he can stay where he is.' • But what can he have to eat ?'
'I reckon you won't get nothing for him, without you turn him out on the mash.
• He would get off, to a certainty!' • Tie his legs.'
The unfortunate traveller argued in vain. Hay was' scuss,' and potatoes were 'scusser;' and in short the ‘mash' was the only resource, and these natural meadows afford but poor picking after the first of October. But to the 'mash' was the good steed despatched, ingloriously hampered, with the privilege of munching wild grass in the rain, afier his day's journey.
Then came the question of lodging for his master. The lady, who had by this time drawn out a trundle-bed, and packed it full of children, said there was no bed for him, unless he could sleep' up chămber' with the boys.
Mr. Willoughby declared that he should make out very well with a blanket by the fire.
• Well! just as you like;' said his host, but Solomon sleeps there, and if you like to sleep by Solomon, it is more than I should.'
This was the name of the old Indian, and Mr. Willoughby once more cast woful glances toward the ladder.
But now the school-master, who seemed rather disposed to be civil, declared that he could sleep very well in the long cradle, and would relinquish his place beside the shoe-maker to the guest, who was obliged to content himself with this arrangement, which was such as was most usual in those times.
The storm continued through the night, and many a crash in the woods attested its power. The sound of a sturin in the dense forest is almost precisely similar to that of a heavy surge breaking on a rocky beach; and when our traveller slept, it was only to dream of wreck and disaster at sea, and to wake in horror and affright. The wild rain drove in at every crevice, and wet the poor children in the loft 80 thoroughly, that they crawled shivering down the ladder, and stretched themselves on the hearth, regardless of Solomon, who had returned after the others were in bed.
But morning came at last; and our friend, who had no desire farther to test the vaunted hospitality of a western settler, was not among the latest astir. The storm had partially subsided ; and although the clouds still lowered angrily, and his saddle had enjoyed the benefit of a leak in the roof during the night, Mr. Willoughby resolved to push on as far as the next clearing, at least, hoping for something for breakfast beside potatoes and salt. It took him a weary while to find his horse, aud wien he had saddled him, aud strapped ou bis variuus accoutrements, he entered the bouse, and inquired what he was to pay for his entertainment — laying somewhat of a stress on the last word.
His host, nothing daunted, replied that he guessed he would let him off for a dollar.
Mr. Willoughby took out his purse, and as he placed a silver dollar in the leathern palm outspread to receive it, happening to look toward the hearth, and perceiving the preparations for a very substantial breakfast, the long pent-up vexation burst forth.
'I really must say, Mr. Pepper 'he began : his tone was certainly that of an angry man, but it only made his host laugh.
• If this is your boasted western hospitality, I can tell you
• You 'd better tell me what the dickens you are peppering me up this fashion for! My name is n't Pepper, no more than yours is ! May be that is your name ; you seem pretty warm.'
*Your name not Pepper! Pray what is it, then ?
* Ah! there 's the thing now! You land-hunters ought to know sich things without asking.'
• Land-hunter! I'm no land-hunter !'
*Well! you 're a land-shark, then -swallowin' up poor men's farms. The less I see of such cattle, the better I 'm pleased.'
Confound you !' said Mr. Willoughby, who waxed warm, 'I tell you I 've nothing to do with land. I would n't take your whole state for a gift.' • What did
tell my woman you was a land-hunter for, then ? And now the whole matter became clear in a moment; and it was found that Mr. Willoughby's equipment, with the mention of a 'hunting party,' had completely misled both host and hostess. And to do them justice, never were regret and vexation more heartily expressed
• You need n't judge our new-country folks by me,' said Mr. Handy, for such proved to be his name ; 'any man in these parts would as soon bite off his own nose, as to snub a civil traveller that wanted a supper and a night's lodging. But some how or other, your lots o' fixin,' and your askin' after that 'ere Pepper - one of the worst land.
sharks we've ever had here made me mad; and I know I treated you worse than an Indian.'
• Humph !' said Solomon.
old woman can't set a good breakfast, when she 's mind to. Come, you shan't stir a step till you've had breakfast; and just take back this plaguey dollar. I wonder it did n't burn my fingers when I took it!'
Mrs. Handy set forth her very best, and a famous breakfast it was, considering the times. And before it was finished, the hunting party made their appearance, having had some difficulty in finding their companion, who had made no very uncommon mistake as to section corners and town-lines.
• I'll tell ye what,' said Mr. Handy, confidentially, as the cavalcade with its baggage-ponies, loaded with tents, gun-cases, and hampers of provisions, was getting into order for a march to the prairies, “I'll tell ye what; if you ’ve occasion to stop any where in the Bush, you'd
But Mr. Willoughby had already had a caution.'
Ose effort more, my soul! one effort more!
Thy bloom, thy youth, thy strength, thy friends, thy pride,
SKETCHES OF A TRIP TO LAKE SUPERIOR.
Castle-Island, iugust 14. The coast of the lake, west of Grand Island, exhibits a noble series of bays, curves, and islands, which it would require a topographer to delineate, and a painter to depict. We came here, however, only to gaze and admire; and we gazed without tiring, till the sun went down in the world of waters before us, and the mountains threw their dark drapery of shadows over the scene. As night came on, the men rowed us into one of the most romantic inlets in the world, studded with islands of moss-covered granite, fringed with pines. We encamped in a quiet little sub-bay of this inlet, near Granite Point, so completely shut out from the great ocean of storms near us, that its very solitude inspired a hallowed feeling. And when darkness approached, the generous camp-fire of blazing pine, which the men kindled, cast such a strong glare of scarlet light on the contiguous objects, as would require all the powers of one of the old masters of the pencil to imitate.
We passed the night in this fairy spot, with the conic pinnacle of the Totosh Mountain in the back-ground; and were only disturbed by a flock of brant, which lighted on the pines near us; a scene that put our boatmen, who had guns, to their mettle; but although a number of shots were fired, the result added nothing to our travelling larder. We were pleased, in the morning, to find the lake calm, with a light breeze off shore; for it had been our plan, in the evening, to visit a dimly-seen island, lying off this part of the coast, should the weather prove fair. Our Indian guides told us that this island had never been visited by white men, except in two instances, both of which consisted of Couriers de Bois, or fur-traders, who had been driven out of their track, by contrary winds and floating ice, and thus escaped destruction. Preparatory to this adventure, our barge was drawn ashore, turned over, washed out, and thoroughly re-pitched and payed over, and then re-launched and re-loaded, with all convenient speed. Meantime, the formalities of a breakfast, under the
heavens, were finished, and we embarked, with light hearts, for the unexplored island.
Columbus himself could not have felt more deeply the interest of novelty, than did our whole party, particularly the children, whose eyes glistened with sensations of new delight. As soon as we had fairly wound ourselves out of the involutions of the inlet, the object presented itself as a distant speck on the horizon, but was not at all times equally visible. We could discover with a glass, as we approached, that it was rocky and precipitous, with a few large trees. We were not aware of any mist in the atmosphere, until the fact was rendered apparent by the looming of the island. All at once, as if by magic, the rocks and trees squared themselves up, and assumed, at one time the appearance of a ship under sail,* and at another, of a castle with banners. From the last trait, we applied a name to it. All this vanished, before we came near enough to see things plainly with the naked eye; and instead of castles and canvass, we gazed on bold masses of dark rock, rising abruptly out of the depth of the lake, and terminating in two blunt cliffs, separated by a wooded depression or small valley. So far as the storm-dash of the waters reached, the rocks were worn smooth, but above that line, they exhibited their natural irregularity of surface, covered with the lichen, locally called tripe de roche. This abruptness and elevation appeared to forbid the idea of effecting a landing. Gulls set up their wild screams, as we swept round the west and north-west cliffs. Not a hand's-breadth of beach or pebble could be discovered, or was eventually found. The whole island turned out to be a volcanic formation, consisting of trap and syenite. I got out on a point of rock to explore, directing the men to keep round on the north side, in the hope of finding some aperture into which the boat might be pushed. In this they suc- ceeded, having entered the area of trap dyke, from which the tempests had washed out the fractured basaltic rock. This dyke was wide and deep enough to admit the boat freely; and what added to the convenience of landing, was the step-like recession of the rock, as it extended inland, which permitted the whole party to get ashore. The only danger to be apprehended, in this situation, arose from the fear of the wind's shifting to the North, in which event it would have driven the waves of the wide lake into this dyke, and rendered the wreck of the boat inevitable. On examination, it was found to be the only opening around the island, where a boat could enter.
A thermometer placed in the sun could scarcely bave shown a more rapid ascent of the mercurial column, than did our spirits from the moment of our getting to the highest peak of this romantic little island. Others had been driven upon it by force, but we came of good will, and were certainly the first visitors who ever came to enjoy from its summit a prospect of the noble lake. Toward the north, north-west, and north-east, nothing met the view but water and skics, with the light under-tapestry of summer clouds. South and south-west, the picturesque shores of the lake formed a rich and varied view of headlands, capes, and mountains. Prominent in
* HENCE sometimes called NoBikwox, by the Indians.