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And thoughts, as pure as moonbeams bright,
To mar the sacred rest,
Of woman's virgin breast.
THE HUNTER OF LOST RIVER.
Oh! think not I could ever pine
There are many smaller valleys lying beyond the mountains which make the wesiern limit of the great valley of Virginia. For insiance, in the counties of Berkeley, and Morgan, ale Back creek, Sleepy creek, and Cacapon valleys, not to speak of many still smaller, which channelled by mere rivulets, narrow in places inio glens, sometimes indeed into ravines. This aliernation of mountain and vale extends along the western side of the great valley, very generally, from the northern to the southern line of Virginia.
One of the prettiest, and most fertile, of these subordinate valleys is that of Lost River. It com
mences near Brock's gap in the county of Shenandoah, extends twenty-five miles in a northern direction, and terminates at the foot of Sandy ridge, under which the river disappears, 10 rise again, Three miles farther on, as the head-spring of the Cacapon. The name Lost River' suggests the idea of a great chasm, and of the plunge and mysTerious disappearance of a turbulent siream into it. We are apt to imagine something like the strange picture which Coleridge has given us in Kubla Khan :
Night came again—can I tell the tale?
“And from ibis chasm, with ceaseless iurmoil seething, The crimson cheek of the Rose was pale,
As if this earth in fast i bick pants were breathing, She mourned for the Fount with its smile of light, Amid whose swist half-intermiited burst
A mighty fountain momenily was forced : It had passed away from her yearning sight,
Huge sragmenis vaulted like rebound; ag bail, And while her sweets on the breeze were shed, Or chaffy grain beoeaih The thresher's flail: She bowed in death her queenly head.
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung op momently the sacied iver. Thus, like that Fountain in the earth,
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion,
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, Love has its hid and mystic birth.
Toen reached the caverns measureless to man
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean."
Whoever imagines aovibing so grand of Lost Watered by dews of Modesty;
River, will find the reality very disappointing. It The stars of Hope shine fair above
has indeed its spring-head, course, and termination The newborn fount of virgin love;
all amongst mountains, like the “sacred river Of Joy, the fresh and budding rose
Alph," but there is no "seething," and there are Upon the wave its shadow throws.
caverns measureless to man." An inconsid.
erable stream rising quietly, running in no remark-, spokes, and Nelly, assuming a prim look, turned to able manner, and sneaking away. at last, through face the young couniryman. a number of liitle holes in the ground, wiih a noise “]s it ihee, John ?" no louder than a gurgle-This is all that Lost River “ I have some doubis as to that, Nelly." really is. I need scarcely say, afier this, ibat iho * As to what, Joba ?”! historian of the vallev, my old Sriend Mr. Kerchi- "As to wheiber or no I am John Carper." val-a rare lover of traditions, and as earnest an “ Thee is in a gay humor this morning, John." itinerant as ever hunted out natural curiosities-- "No, Nelly, only out of my head with thinking is a little hyperbolical in calling Lost River “a of you. But listen to me for a little while. I sto pendous evidence of the all-powerful arm of left Broad-brim salling his catile in the hills, and God."
came down to have a word or two with you. This On an insiep, if I may so speak, of the moun- is what I have to say; I love you, and you love tains, west of Lost River, and wiibin a few huo. me”dred yards of it, lived in ihe year 1781 a substan- “Thee is not overstocked with modesty to say tial Quaker named Joshua Blake. His house was a as much as that." log cabin of one story, divided into two large rooms " Come, Nelly : you know that I am only speakby a great central sione chimney. The roof was ing the truth. It is not so long since you gave me of clap-boards, held in their places by poles pinned to understand that you did love me ; to be sure you across them. A loog porch fronied the river. In did not say so, which, as an honest girl, I think this porch, hanging from pegs driven into the hewn you might do without doing any harm—but you did logs of the cabin, were generally ranged the Qua- enough, and I kissed you, which made it a bargain. ker's saddle, the side-saddle of his niece, Nelly Now Nell, I am as grave as the lean parson at Blake, sels of plough or wagon harness, linsey Morefield; so put off that pretty bantering humor, huoling.frocks, and other minor articles of house and hear me like a true-hearted girl as you are. I wifery, or farm-thrift. Here, too, Nelly Blake's have tried to live wiihout you, but I find it isn't spinning wheel had its permanent summer-place. possible. Old Broad-is. im has three hundred pounds A few young and vigorous apple and other fruit of yours which he must give up when you are trees flanked the house. A wide meadow lay in married, or come of age. Now he puts himself front, between the foot of the hill and the tree-between you and me, and gives me the cold shouldskirted river; and on the line between bill and er, because if we are married, the law will make low-ground, just within the yard enclosure, was a him give up the money. You are hardly eighteen; range of bee-gums, whose busy occupants, at the three years are an age to wait; besides, something dale of my story, were in full enjoyment of the may happen to keep us from ever getting married. apple-blooms. In the rear of bis rude, but com- Now, Nelly, let Broad-brim have the three hunfortable dwelling-house, Joshua had expended bis dred pounds, and let me have you—or you have ed'i re slock of tasie in the ereciion of a barn, with me—it is ihe same thing. I will work for you, bigh blank gables, painted into a perfect blaze of and we will never miss ihe money. It would buy Doich red.
catile to bring money in again, but I and Sharpli was late in April, 1781, that Nelly Blake, nose here can find yon venison enough, and keep ibe li ile Quakeress, worked at her spioning- the wolves from the sheep, and yon can spin the wheel on the porch, in the sunshine of a very wool, and sing at your spinning. How I should pleasant morning. Whilst she worked away, intent like to hear you singing in my cabin, Nelly!" The onlv, as it seemed, opon her thread and the filling speaker had by this iime left his position outside of of the coil 10 the spindle, a young countryman, the porch, and stood very near the Quakeress. dressed in homespun, came to the bannister at her" Nelly-dear Nelly," he said in a coaxing tone, back, and leading an arm on it whilst the other held as he took her hand, “ do say yes-give up the a ride in its curve, looked at her for some minutes money to Broad-brim, and be my wife at once : be wibou leiting his presence be known. A tall, my dear little wise. I will take such good care of brindled dog, with a sharp nose and feai hered tail, you, and love you so much.” stood at his heels, as moijonless as if he had the “John Carper,” said the girl, become now quite coe to be qojet. Forward passed the Quakeress grave, " thee knows very well that ihere is love bewith a spring of the insiep, and a bend of her pretty iween us. If uncle Blake will take the money, and neck, back she came, her livle feet fairly iwink-lhee will take me without it-here is my hand. But ling as ankle passed ankle, her bost expanded, and John, uncle Blake will hardly do so wicked a thing. her dimpled chin thrown up; whilst the surly wheel, He will be ashamed to rob the child of his brother. shiling from a dismal groan to a furious roar, ac- He will be ashamed to take the money; and not companied wiih such variations her coming and generous enough to give it up before the end of going. la the midst of this din which her indus- the three years. I am afraid that thee will have try made, she heard her name called. The wheel to wait for me. Is that so hard to do John ?" stopped with a clatter of the check-stick upon its “ Hard? yes, Nelly, impossible. If you love
be his squaw.
“ To be sure.
me, and Blake is such an old hunks as to refuse has not the skill to make moccasins like the slimthe offer to take the money, and give you up, run fingered lad. There is the difference between the away with me. We can ride in a night to More. track of Girty and such as thee would make, that field-be married—come back-beg Broad-brim's there is between the tracks of a buck and an or." pardon--go to house-keeping, and be as happy as “ Hum !" grunted John, not much pleased with the bees here in the apple blossoms. Say the word, the illustration. Nell, or if you mean yes, but can't say it for smoth- “ But this is not all," continued Nelly; " I pickering the crying fit that makes your eyes looked up this knife at the spring.” Here she pulled a away from me, turn your mouth a little, and let knife from the pocket of her dimity apron. “I me kiss you."
knew it at once as Girty's knife. He bought it " It is a grave word, John, to speak between a of the pedlar when he came on his rounds, last fall, kiss and a cry. Thee must not be so swift and a little before uncle Blake drove the lad away. peremptory with me. My duty is not clearly be- What advice, John, does thee give in these matfore me.
The thread is tangled. Give me a little ters ?" time, John. We can speak of this when thee has "My advice, Nelly, is that you keep in-doors, sounded uncle Blake upon the matter of giving up unless it is pleasant to have the lad asking you to the money. Thee rust leave me now."
I can't see any danger of worse. After some farther speech, and a kiss, John Car- The Indians have not come in on us for ten years; per called to his dog Sharpnose, who had gone off since the peace was made with the chiefs. They on a foraging expedition amongst the outhouses, are killing and stealing on the Ohio again, but it is shouldered his rifle, and was about to depart. Nel- a long way from there here. Smith, the surveyor, ly, however, called him back.
is to be at my cabin to day; but I will take Sharp“ John," she said in a low tone, “I have my trou- nose to-morrow, and scout in the hills until I learn bles to day; and thee seems to me to be a fitting something of the lad." person to communicate them to."
" There is another matter, John," said the Qua. “Speak out, Nelly.”
keress, but then paused, and seemed to consider “ Thee remembers the Indian boy, Girty ?" very busily for a minute.
I remember all about hiin, from Speak it out, Nelly, like an honest girl." the time that drunken scoundrel, old Girty, brought “ Does thee know anything of the movements him in and bound him prentice to Blake, to the time up the river ? Uncle Blake is riding to William Broad-brini gave him a beating and drove him off. Mace's, and elsewhere, in a very unusual manner. Old Girty was the arrantest white rascal west of I heard him tell William Mace, who was here last the mountains, and the boy's mother was a squaw; night, that the young men must fight it out here, so that, if young leather-face didn't deserve the if they were interrupted, but that the movements beating, there is nothing in blood."
ought to be very quiet, and the companies ought to “ He did deserve the beating, John. But does get down over the Blue Ridge, and join the true thee not know the cause of it? The boy showed men in some county there; that Cornwallis was in me disrespect."
William Mace laughed and called “ How? I never heard of that."
uncle Blake the 'fighting Quaker,' but uncle said “ He asked me to be his squaw, John," said that it was for putting down arms that arms were Nelly with a laugh and a blush.
laken up, and besides, that he had no idea of fight** The infernal copper-skin--the leather-faced ing himself. What is the meaning of it all, John ?" rascal! Why didn't you tell me all about it, before John Carper laughed. “For a knowing man, I he ran away? By the"-
must say that Broad-brim is working into a conside“Thee should not swear, John, and there is no rable difficulty. You remember the twelve Philadeluse to be so savage. But this is what I have to phia Quakers that Congress sent to Winchester, · say : I think young Girty has come back, and is hi- because they were so hot in preaching against our ding in the neighborhood."
fighting, * that at last it looked as if they were Carper pricked up his ears, as did his dog Sharp- ready to fight us for fighting ?"
The dog had shown a singular attention at the calling of the Indian boy's name.
* Some of our politicians, when measures go against “Why I think that the lad is here,” continued them, are as ready with their “ protests” as notaries public.
But the most extraordinary case of protesting on record is Nelly, “is this : I went this morning to the syc- furnished in the conduct of Mr. Fisher, one of these arrested amore spring, to fill uncle Blake's pitcher; I saw, Quakers. “ Among the prisoners were three of the Pemin the mud the print of a moccasin."
bertons, two of the Fishers, an old Quaker preacher named “ But I wear moccasins myself, Nelly, and was Hunt, and several others, amounting in all to twelve, and at the spring yesterday.
with the druggist and dancing master, fourteen. One of the
Fishers was a lawyer by profession. He protested in bis Nelly looked down at her hunter's feet and laugh
own name, and on behalf of his fellow prisoners, against ed. “ Thee has a larger foot, John—as well be being taken into custody by Col. Smith; stated that they fits so strong and large a person. Besides thee had protested against being sent from Philadelphia ; that
“ Yes," said Nelly, “ Uncle Blake took me with him to Winchester, whilst they were there. Thee
CHAPTER II. should have seen the respectable persons. John Pemberton was a grave, great-looking, elderly
John Carper gained his cabin, found Smith, the man. There was a Master Swift, a dancing mas- surveyor, there, spent the day in running the lines ter, came on with them, whom they admonished of his farm, to set at rest a dispute which had sharply for teaching the people frivolous things. arisen with a neighboring land-holder, slept from Master Swift was dressed in pink and blue, and dark to dawn in so hearty and sound a manner was a very light, frolicksome person.”
as to cast some doubt on the reality of that un“ You were something of a little minx then, happiness which he had pleaded in his suit to his Nelly, and no doubt admired the dancing man very Quakeress, and by sunrise was well-advanced on mach. But it would have been much better if his way back to the house of Joshua Blake. Sharpyour uncle Broad-brim had put his slim shanks nose followed the long swinging walk of his master under the fiddle of Master Swift, instead of slip- at a brisk trot, and was evidently greatly disturbed ping his crafty head into John Pemberton's noose. by something. Carper saw, without much obseryHe has been an evil wisher to the country ever ing, the whimsical passion of his dog; he was very since, and now,
Quaker as he is, there is no man intent on a speech which he intended to make to doing more than he does to stir up a tory insurrec- the Quaker. “ First,” said he to himself, “I must tion."
drop the Broad-brim and call him Mr. Blake; we Nelly Blake looked greatly surprised, and then must not set the old man horns foremost. Then I infinitely distressed. The word tory had in that must smooth down that matter of the money. It day, and indeed retains to this, a horror of its own would be barefaced knavery to take Nelly's poras a mere word, apart from the horrors of the tion just so, Blake is not a downright rascalbloody civil strife of which it was a type. An in- only too close to be always fair. I must propose a tense popular feeling will consecrate or desecrate loan of the money to him, without interest or sewords, until, from sounds, they become things—curity-something of that sort. What's the matsaving or fatal things, as the case may be.
ter, Sharpnose ?" "And is oncle Blake a tory, John ?" said Nelly,
The hunter and his dog had approached within with a pale face and unsteady eye.
sight of Blake's house. No smoke issued from the "A sort of half-tory, Nelly; because he is prin- pyramid of a chimney. There seemed to be no cipled against fighting with his own hands-which movement about the barn or stables. Joshua Blake may mean that he is principled against being shot was striding up and down on the long porch, his at. But he is doing his best to make full tories, coat tails straightened by the rapidity of his moand is likely to get himself into trouble. General tion. Sharpnose bristled, crept in front of his mas. Morgan is at home, down below Winchester, and ter, nosed the ground eagerly, gave a low whine, there can be no rising here that he could not put and looked up into his face. down with a pile of stones * at a cross-roads. At “ What are you telling me, dog ?" said Carper, any rate the crack of his rifles would clear Lost beginning to feel an alarm for which he could not Rirer.”
account. The dog, in answer, moved away rap“What would thee advise me to do in this, as in idly toward a gorge in the western mountain, evithe rest, John ?"
dently carrying a scent breast high. Carper called “To attend to your spinning, Nelly, until the him in and hurried to the house. Joshua Blake day comes for running away with me."
gave him no time for the first question.
“ Thee is slow, John Carper-slow. Does thee
know the truth? Fire off thy gun, and raise the ibey had again protested at the Pennsylvania line against being taken out of the State ; had repeated their protest at
country.” the Maryland line against being taken into Virginia," etc.,
“What's in the wind, Broad-brim ?-Mr. Blake, etc. Kerchival's History of the Valley, p. 19). It was a
I mean." natoral remark of one of the Pembertons—"Friend Fisher, “ The Indians have stolen away Nelly-killed the protests are unavailing; thee should dispense with old Abel in his loft--carried off the boy Tobe-them.” The stout-hearted Quaker, requiring to be listed killed my six fat beeves in the cattle pen—robbed over state lines, and, clamoring out his protests, would make a good comic picture.
my chest--ruined me. Fire thy gun, John Carper, • General Morgan fought a great many batiles after the and raise the country.” Revolation with these homely weapons. ** Peace hath her The Quaker's speech told the truth, which Carvictories,” etc. Battlelown, a village within a few miles of per was slow to comprehend in its full force. this spot, acquired its name from Morgan's street-fights in
“Where have you been all night, Mr. Blake ?" it. He would take post at a central spot, with a pile of
" Up at Mace's. But why does thee stay to quesstones at his feet, and throw them with such effect as to poi all hostile comers to rout.
His residence, to which tion ? Fire thy gon.” John Carper alludes, was Saratoga, six miles south of Bai- “Carper roused himself, and rapidly, but with detown-at present the seat of Mr. N. Burwell, senr. extraordinary calmness, made an examination of the premises. Nelly was gone. Her little closet, bringing a bit of dingy paper which he had torn boarded off in a corner of one of the two great from a blank book, and an ink horn from the adrooms, like a college dormitory, was empty, and joining room. “Whilst I am writing down the stripped of its few articles of ornament. Abel, an pot-hooks, do you cut me off ten pounds of jerked old working man, crippled with rheumatism, and beef in strips of a pound, as near as you can come bed-ridden, was certainly dead, and lay horribly to it. I filled my powder horn last night, and put mutilated and scalped, upon the floor of his loft, in four dozen bullets in my pouch. The beef will an outhouse. Tobe, his grandson was missing. make me ready." An oaken chest had been dragged from under Whilst the Quaker went to procure the beef, Joshua Blake's bed, forced open, and rifled of its Carper cast about writing an agreement as to Nelconients—amongst the rest, Joshua said, of a bag ly's hand. of dollars. The wooden trenchers, and other uten- “Every thing of this sort,” said he, “should sils of the kitchen had been broken and tossed begin with in the name of God, amen'-no, that about. The servant girl, to whose province they begins a will. This should begin with a 'whereas' belonged, had fortunately gone, the evening before, I think," and he wroie-realizing the prodigious to spend the night with her mother, on the other difference, to men like himself, between talking and side of the river. Her brother, a half-witted lad, writing. who had been in the house, and present throughout “Whereas, Joshua Blake and John Carper are the visit of the Indians, had been spared, probably wishing to get back my dear Ellen Blake from the from the superstitious reverence, common amongst felonious Indians, in whose blood-thirsty hands she the tribes, for such unfortunates. He now sat in is fallen, and whereas John Carper mistrusts in any the kitchen, upon a wicker-chair, mending the mind, the said Joshua Blake of a promise he has broken trenchers and wooden bowls, with an awl made of Nelly to me for a wife, if I bring her back; and shoe-maker's thread. Carper gained no in- now the said Joshua Blake binds himself and his formation from him, except that Girty was one of heirs to said John Carper, to give my dear Nelly the party, that there were many others, and that Blake to said John Carper for a wise." Nelly and the boy Tobe were trudged off loaded Carper mused over this production, which he with bundles. He examined the catile pen. Six wrote in a large, awkward hand, and for the punclarge beeves, called from Joshua's herd, and penned luation of which he is indebted to his historian, for and housed for grain fattening, were killed; pieces some moments as if not altogether satisfied with of flesh were cut from them, and from some sin- it. His countenance, however, presently became gular whim many of the colored spots had been assured. carefully cut out from the skins, and carried off. " There is a mixing up,” he critically communed The matted frontal skin and horns of one of the with himself, “ somehow of John Carper and me, largest of the oxen had also been removed. The and me and John Carper that makes it a liule horses, except the Quaker's dun gelding, which he clumsy, but the meaning is pretly straight, and had ridden to Mace's, had been at pasture over the when Broad-brim signs it, all will be right enough." river, and were siill visible, feeding quietly, knee- Blake presently brought the beef, and after fordeep in the plentiful grass of ihe fats.
mally reciting the paper, signed it. Carper stowed “Joshua Blake,” said Carper, after making the provision about his person, pinched the agreerapid but full examination of the premises, “ I am ment into the corner of a pocket, enjoined on the about to set off after Nelly. You can raise the Quaker, whom his own sleadiness had almost recountry and follow on. But before I go, one thing stored to a clear state of mind, to collect the neighmust be settled. If I bring her back, I must have bors without losing an hour, and put them on the her for my wife."
way io the head walers of the Youheganey, shoul“Thee may surely have her, John, and an old dered his rifle, gave Sharpnose a sign to go before, man's blessing if thee bring the child back. Bul, and struck for the mountain. John, whilst thee is up and doing, thee will do well
[To be continued.] to get back also the bag of silver dollars. Thee shall have a just portion for compensation of thy trouble.”
“D-n the dollars,” exclaimed Carper rather irreverently; “this mixing up of your money bags with poor Nelly is not decent, and it makes me
THE PURSUIT OF LETTERS. bold to ask for a word from under your pen giving her to me for my wife if I bring her back." The Germans for learning enjoy great repute ;
Blake assented to this, declaring, however, its But the English make letters still more a pursuit; unimportance, and suggesting to Carper that his
For a Cockney will go from the banks of the Thames suspicions lost him time and a mile of his journey. To Cologne for an O, and to Nassau for Ms. “I will make it up with my legs," said the hunter,