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Title: Allegheny Episodes - Folk Lore and Legends Collected in Northern and Western - Pennsylvania, Vol XI. Pennsylvania Folk Lore Series
Author: Shoemaker, Henry Wharton
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                          Transcriber’s Note:

This version of the text cannot represent certain typographical effects.
Italics are delimited with the ‘_’ character as _italic_.

The illustrations have been re-positioned slightly to avoid falling
within a paragraph.

Minor errors, attributable to the printer, have been corrected. Please
see the transcriber’s note at the end of this text for details regarding
the handling of any textual issues encountered during its preparation.

                                 INDEX

                                  ---

                                                       Page
             Foreword                                     3
             Introduction                                 5
             Tulliallan                                   9
             At His Bedside                              31
             The Prostrate Juniper                       40
             Out of the Ashes                            51
             Wayside Destiny                             64
             The Holly Tree                              77
             The Second Run of the Sap                   96
             Black Chief’s Daughter                     108
             The Gorilla                                122
             The Indian’s Twilight                      135
             Hugh Gibson’s Captivity                    147
             Girty’s Notch                              161
             Poplar George                              175
             Black Alice Dunbar                         186
             Abram Antoine, Bad Indian                  199
             Do You Believe in Ghosts?                  219
             A Stone’s Throw                            234
             The Turning of the Belt                    247
             Riding His Pony                            265
             The Little Postmistress                    271
             The Silent Friend                          290
             The Fountain of Youth                      298
             Compensations                              310
             A Misunderstanding                         326
             A Haunted House                            339

[Illustration:

  OUTPOSTS OF THE ALLEGHENIES. (Photograph by W. H. Rau.)
  Frontispiece
]

                           Allegheny Episodes

                   Folk Lore and Legends Collected in
                   Northern and Western Pennsylvania

                        _By_ HENRY W. SHOEMAKER

                Volume XI Pennsylvania Folk Lore Series

[Illustration]

“The country east of the Mississippi was inhabited by a very powerful
nation. * * * Those people called themselves Alligewi. * * * The
Allegheny River and Mountains have been named after them. * * * The
Lenni-Lenape still call the river Alligewi Sipu, the river of the
Alligewi, but it is generally known by its Iroquois name–Ohe-Yu–which
the French had literally translated into La Belle Riviere, The Beautiful
River, though a branch of it retains the ancient name Allegheny.”

                                                  –John Heckewelder.

                         ALTOONA, PENNSYLVANIA
                Published by the Altoona Tribune Company
                                  1922
                    Copyright: All Rights Reserved.

[Illustration]

                               _Foreword_


The author tells me that I was his discoverer, and that without a
discoverer we cannot do anything. Very true; one American author had to
write till he was forty-eight, and then be discovered in Japan. Henry W.
Shoemaker was discovered nearer home, and by a humbler scholar.

In my last foreword I emphasized the value of folk-lore. Its
significance grows upon me with age. I have now come to regard it as a
kind of appendix to Scripture. Outside of mere magic, an abuse of
correspondences, as Swedenborg calls it, there is in folk-lore a digest
of the spiritual insight of the plain people. It also contains actual
facts boiled to rags. For instance, in 1919 the dying Horace Traubel saw
in vision his life-long idol, Walt Whitman, and the apparition was also
seen by Colonel Cosgrave, who felt a shock when it touched him.

The flimsy modern paper whereon the scientific account of this is
printed will soon perish, and then there will be nothing left but loose
literary references and memories to witness that it happened. Any
skeptic can challenge these, and the apparition will become folk-lore.
As it is in its scientific setting in the Journal of the American
Society for Psychical Research for 1921, it is a side light on the
Transfiguration. For if Whitman appeared to Traubel in 1919, and
Swedenborg appeared to Andrew Jackson Davis in 1844, why should not the
great predecessors of Christ appear also to him?

Such is the value of folk-lore, and for this reason the Armenian Church
did well to attach an appendix of apocrypha to the Holy Gospel. In such
a document as the uncanonical Gospel of “Peter” (this was not one of the
Armenian selections, but it ought to have been, in spite of the fact
that the Mother Church of Syria had suppressed it) the life of Christ is
seen in a dissolving view, blending with the folk-lore of the time; and
let us hope that some day this valuable piece of ancient thought will be
printed with the New Testament instead of some of the unimportant matter
that too often accompanies it.

                                             ALBERT J. EDMUNDS.
                             THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA,
                                        Philadelphia, March 1, 1921.

                             _Introduction_


It is a good thing to make resolves, but a better thing, once having
made them, to keep them. On two previous occasions the compiler of the
present volume has stated his resolve in prefaces to issue no more books
of the kind, but has gone ahead and prepared more. Probably the motive
that brought into existence the first volume can be urged in extenuation
for the eleventh, namely, the desire to preserve the folk-lore of the
Pennsylvania Mountains.

The contents of the present volume, like its predecessors, were gathered
orally from old people and others, and written down as closely as
possible to the verbal accounts. In order to escape ill feeling, as in
the case with the earlier volumes, some names of persons and places, and
dates have been changed. This has been done with the greatest
reluctance, and only where absolutely necessary. The characters are real
persons, and most of them appear under their rightful names. Many of the
legends or incidents run counter to the accepted course of history, but
tradition is preserved for what it is worth, and the reader can draw his
own conclusions. While some of these tales end unhappily, the proportion
is not greater than in life as we know it, and the general ascendency of
right over wrong shines through the gloomiest passages. Life could not
exist, or the world go on, unless the majority of events ended
fortuitously; it is that happy preponderance which makes “hope spring
eternal,” and is so often rewarded by a realization of the heart’s
desire.

The various phases of the supernatural in the ensuing pages depicts
probably a more normal condition of our relationship with the unseen
world than the crude and clumsy mediumship found in the big cities, and
may present a rational explanation of life “behind the dark curtain.”

There is certainly a spiritual life, and a purely spiritual God, and all
the events of the soul are regulated by divine laws, which have only too
frequently been confused with the physical life so subject to chance and
reversion back to chaos.

The origins of Pennsylvania folk-lore seem to the writer like a happy
blending of Indian and European elements which would have gradually, had
backwoods conditions continued, developed into a definitely
Pennsylvanian mythology. The fact that the writer had so many more
legends in form of notes, which otherwise would have been mislaid and
come to nothing, prompted him to break his resolve and prepare the
present volume. And, for good or ill, he has many more, dealing with
other parts of the State. What shall be their fate? Are they worthy of
perpetuation as folk-lore? Apart from the general idea of preserving
legendary matter for future generations, there is the added reason that
the heroic lines of some of the characters appealed to him, and, to save
them from the oblivion of the “forgotten millions,” their careers have
been herein recorded.

Probably one-half of the stories were told to the compiler by one
lady–Mrs. W. J. Phillips, of Clinton County--who spent some of her
girlhood days, many years ago, on the Indian Reservations in
Pennsylvania and southwestern New York.

Professor J. S. Illick, Chief of the Bureau of Research of the
Pennsylvania Department of Forestry, is due thanks for securing many of
the illustrations. Four of the chapters–Nos. IX, XV, XXI, XXII–are
reprinted from the compiler’s historical brochure, “Penn’s Grandest
Cavern,” and the first chapter, “Tulliallan,” was published in the
“Sunbury Daily”; otherwise none of the chapters of this book have
hitherto appeared in print.

Persons interested in more intimate details concerning the origins and
characters of the various tales will be cheerfully accommodated “for
private circulation only.” Like James Macpherson of “Ossian,” it can be
said “the sources of information are open to all.”

The compiler hopes that through this book a more general interest in the
Pennsylvania folk-lore can be created; its predecessors have missed
achieving this, but there is always that hope springing afresh to
“Godspeed” the newest volume. No pretense at style of literary
workmanship is claimed, and the stories should be read, not as romances
or short stories, but as a by-product of history–the folk-lore, the
heart of the Pennsylvania mountain people. With this constantly borne in
mind, a better understanding and appreciation of the meanings of the
book may be arrived at.

The kindly reception accorded to the previous volumes, and also to
“North Pennsylvania Minstrelsy” by the press and by a small circle of
interested readers, if equalled by the present volume will satisfy the
compiler, if his ambitions for a wider field of usefulness are not to be
realized.

To those of press and public who have read and commented on the earlier
volumes go the compiler’s gratitude, and to them he commends this book,
the tales of which have had their origins mostly along the main chain of
the Allegheny Mountains and on the western watershed. Sincere thanks are
due to Miss Mary E. Morrow, whose intelligence and patience in
transcribing the manuscripts of this and the majority of the earlier
volumes of the series has had much to do with whatever recognition they
may have achieved, and a pleasant memory to the author, as well.

                                                 HENRY W. SHOEMAKER.

Department of Forestry,
  State Capitol, Harrisburg,
    February 23, 1922.

P. S.–Thanks are also due to Mrs. E. Horace Quinn, late of Bucknell
University, for her kindness in revising the proofs.

                                                                 9-5-22.

[Illustration]

                                   I
                              _Tulliallan_


“Why, yes, you may accompany your Uncle Thomas and myself to select the
plate which we plan to present to the battleship of the line, ‘The
Admiral Penn,’ which the First Lord, His Grace, Duke of Bedford, has
graciously named in honor of your distinguished grandsire,” said Richard
Penn, pompously, answering a query addressed to him by his young son,
John.

The youth, who was about eighteen years of age and small and slight,
seemed delighted, and waited impatiently with his father for Uncle
Thomas’ arrival. Soon a liveried footman announced the arrival of Thomas
Penn, and the brothers, after embracing, started from the imposing
mansion in New Street, Spring Gardens (near the Admiralty Arch),
accompanied by the younger scion and a retinue of secretaries, retainers
and footmen.

It so happened that the leading silversmith in the city, James Cox, was
of the Quaker faith, to which William Penn, the famous founder of
Pennsylvania, and father of Richard and Thomas, belonged, and was
particularly pleased to be the recipient of this costly and important
order. It was an occasion of such importance to him that his wife, sons
and daughter had come to his place of business to witness the
transaction and, perhaps, meet the aristocratic customers.

As they entered the establishment, the tradesman himself opened the
door, bowing low as the two portly gentlemen, with their plum-colored
coats, snuff boxes and walking sticks, entered arm in arm, followed by
the diminutive John, in a long, red coat, while the minions of various
degrees waited outside, clustered about the gilded chairs.

It must be understood that these sons of William Penn were not members
of the Society of Friends, but had assumed the faith of their
grandfather, the Admiral, and founder of the family fortunes, and young
John was nominally a member of the same faith.

The portly and self-important gentlemen were soon absorbed in studying
the various designs of silver services, while the restless and
half-interested gaze of young John wandered about the salesroom. It was
not long in falling on the slender, demure form of Maria Cox, the
silversmith’s only daughter. Clad in her Quaker garb and bonnet, she was
certainly a picture of loveliness, almost seventeen years old, with deep
blue eyes, dark brows and lashes, fair complexion, with features
exaggerately clearcut, made John Penn’s senses reel in a delirium of
enthusiasm.

Ordinarily he would have become impatient at the delay in selecting the
silver service, for the older gentlemen were slow of decision and he was
a spoiled child, but this time he was lost in admiration and he cared
not if they remained in the shop for the balance of the day. John Penn,
himself, for a small lad was not unprepossessing; his hair was golden,
his eyes expressive and blue, his complexion like a Dresden china
doll’s, his form erect and very slim, yet few girls had fancied him, for
he was selfish and not inclined to talk.

Seeing that he was not assisting his elders in selecting the silverware,
Mrs. Cox, the wife, and a woman of some tact and breeding, introduced
conversation with the young man, eventually drawing her daughter into
it, and it was a case of love quickly on both sides.

When, after four hours of selecting and changing and selecting again,
the Penns finally accepted a design and placed their order, John had
arranged that he was to dine with the Cox family and see the young
beauty frequently. All went well until the day appointed for the visit
to the home of the silversmith. John Penn presented himself before his
father attired in his best red velvet coat with gold facings, white
satin knee breeches, pumps with diamond buckles, his face much powdered,
and sporting a pearl inlaid sword. The elder Penn demanded to know the
cause of the youth’s magnificence, for ordinarily his Quaker blood
showed itself in a distaste for fancy apparel.

“To dine with Mr. and Mrs. James Cox and their charming daughter, whom I
much admire,” was the calm rejoinder.

“What, what,” fairly shouted the father, almost having an apoplectic
attack on the spot; “dining with common tradespeople! You must be in a
frenzy, son; we’ll have you in Bedlam.”

“I don’t see why you talk that way, father,” said John, retaining his
composure. “Are we so very different? It was only a few generations back
when the Penns were plain rural yeomen, and Madame van der Schoulen, or
Grandmother Penn, your own mother, was she not the daughter of a Dutch
tradesman?”

“Don’t speak that way, lad; the servants may hear, and lose respect,”
said the father.

The lad had touched a sore subject, and he preferred to let him keep his
engagement rather than to have an expose on the subject of ancestry.

The dinner and visit were followed by others, but at home John’s romance
did not run smoothly, and he quickly realized that his father and Uncle
Thomas, whose heir he was to be, would never consent to his marriage
with the daughter of a silversmith. Consequently, a trip to Gretna Green
was executed, and John Penn, aged nineteen, and Maria Cox, seventeen,
were duly made man and wife.

When Richard Penn and his brother Thomas were apprised of what he had
done they locked him in his room, and after night got him to the
waterfront and on a ship bound for the French coast. He was carried to
Paris and there carefully watched, but meanwhile supplied with money,
all that he could spend. Temporarily he forgot all about Maria Cox,
plunging into the gaieties of the French Capital, gambling and betting
on horse races, the “sport of kings” having been only recently
introduced in France, until he was deeply in debt. He became very ill,
and was taken to Geneva to recuperate. There he was followed by
representatives of his creditors, who threatened to have him jailed for
debt–a familiar topic in family talk to him, for his grandfather,
William Penn, despite his ownership of Pennsylvania, had been arrested
for debt many times and was out on bail on a charge of non-payment of
loans made from his steward at the time of his death.

John wrote frantically to his father in London, who turned a deaf ear to
the prodigal; not so Uncle Thomas. He replied that he would save the boy
from jail and pay his debts, provided he would divorce his wife and go
to Pennsylvania for an indefinite period. John was ready to promise
anything; a representative of the Penn’s financial interests settled all
the claims in and out of Paris, and John Penn was free.

While waiting at Lille for a ship to take him from Rotterdam to
Philadelphia, the young man was advised to come to London for a day to
say good-bye to his relatives. The packet was expected in the Thames on
a certain day, but got into a terrific storm and was tossed about the
North Sea and the Channel for a week, and no one was at the dock to meet
the dilapidated youth on his arrival at Fleet Street.

As he passed up the streets in Cheapside, to his surprise he ran into
the fair figure of his bride, the deserted Maria Cox-Penn. He was again
very much in love, and she ready to forgive. They spent the balance of
the day together, enjoying a fish ordinary at a noted restaurant in
Bird-in-Hand Court. Over the meal it was arranged that Maria should
follow her husband to America; meanwhile, he would provide a home for
her over there under an assumed name, until he became of age, when he
would defy his family to again tear them asunder.

None of John Penn’s family had the slightest suspicion of anything out
of the usual when he presented himself in their midst, and he returned
quietly to Lille, where he remained until the ship was announced as
ready to take him to America. He arrived in New York during a terrible
tornado, in November, 1752. At Philadelphia he evinced little interest
in anything except to take a trip into the interior. As he had plenty of
money, he could accomplish most anything he wanted, and was not watched.
On his way to the Susquehanna country he traveled with an armed
bodyguard, as there were even then renegade Indians and road agents
abroad. A number of less distinguished travelers and their servants
were, for safety’s sake, allowed to accompany the party. Among them was
a man of fifty-five, named Peter Allen, to whom young John took a
violent fancy.

It was not unusual, for Peter Allen was what the Indians recognized as a
_gentleman_, although he was only a cadet, or what we would call
nowadays a “poor relation” of the proud Allen family, the head of which
was William Allen, Chief Justice of the Province, a man about Peter
Allen’s age, and for whom Northampton or Allensville, now Allentown, was
named.

Peter Allen had built a stone house or trading post, which he called
“Tulliallan” after one of the ancestral homes of the Allen family in
Scotland, on the very outpost of civilization, twenty miles west of
Harris’ Ferry, where all manner of traders, hunters, missionaries,
explorers and sometimes Indians congregated, where balls were held with
Indian princesses as guests of honor, and the description of this place
fired John Penn’s fancy.

The idea had flashed through his mind that Maria could harbor there
unknown until he became of age, and some day, despite the silly family
opposition, she would become the Governor’s Lady. John Penn went to
Peter Allen’s, and not only found a refuge for his bride, but liked the
frontier life so well that it was as if he had been born in the
wilderness. Mountains and forests appealed to him, and his latent
democracy found full vent among the diversified types who peopled the
wilderness.

Peter Allen had three young daughters, Barbara, Nancy and Jessie, whom
he wished schooled, and John Penn arranged that Maria should teach them
and, perhaps, have a select school for other children of the better sort
along the Susquehanna. Peter Allen was secretly peeved at his family for
not recognizing him more, and lent himself to anything that, while not
dishonorable, would bend the proud spirit of the Proprietaries and their
favorites, one of whom was the aforementioned “Cousin Judge” William
Allen.

John Penn returned to Philadelphia, from where he sent a special
messenger, a sort of valet, to London, who met and safely escorted Maria
to America. She landed at Province Island on the Delaware, remaining in
retirement there for a month, until John could slip away and escort her
personally to Peter Allen’s.

The girl was bright, well-educated and sensible, and found the new life
to her liking, and her young husband loving and considerate.

It was in the spring of 1754 when they reached the stone house at the
foot of the Fourth or Peter’s Mountain, and during the ensuing year she
taught the young Allen girls and three other well-bred children, and was
visited frequently by her husband. She assumed the name of Mary Warren,
her mother’s maiden name, which proved her undoing. All went well until
representatives of the Penns in London learned that Maria Cox-Penn was
missing, and they traced her on shipboard through the name “Mary
Warren,” eventually locating her as the young school-mistress at
“Tulliallan.”

The next part of this story is a hard one to write, as one hates to make
accusations against dead and gone worthies who helped to found our
beloved Pennsylvania; but, at any rate, without going into whys and
wherefores, “Mary Warren” mysteriously disappeared. Simultaneously went
Joshua, the friendly Indian who lived at the running spring on the top
of Peter’s Mountain, and Arvas, or “Silver Heels,” another Indian, whose
cabin was on the slopes of Third (now called Short) Mountain, near
Clark’s Creek.

[Illustration: VIRGIN WHITE PINES, WARREN COUNTY, 1912]

It was in the early summer of 1755 when John Penn, accompanied only by
one retainer, John Monkton, a white-bearded veteran of Preston, rode out
of the gateway of the stockade of John Harris’ trading post, bound for
Peter Allen’s. His heart was glad and his spirits elated for, moody lad
that he was, he dearly loved his wife and her influence over him was
good.

On the very top of the Second Mountain he drew rein, and in the clear
stillness of the Sunday morning listened to a cheewink poised on the
topmost twig of a chestnut sprout, and viewed the scenes below him. In
an ample clearing at the foot of Fourth Mountain he could see Peter
Allen’s spacious stone mansion, where his love was probably at that
minute instructing the little class in the beauties of revealed
religion. They would soon be united, and he was so wonderfully happy!

As the cool morning breeze swayed the twig on which the cheewink
perched, it sang again and again, “Ho-ho-hee, ho-ho-hee, ho-ho-hee!” in
a high key, and with such an ecstasy of joy and youth that all the world
seemed animated with its gladness, yet Penn’s thought as he rode on was,
“I wonder where that bird will be next year; what will it have to
undergo before it can feel the warmth and sunlight of another spring?”

He hurried his horse so that it stumbled many times going down the
mountain, and splashed the water all over old Monkton in his anxiety to
ford Clark’s Creek. He lathered his horse forcing him to trot up the
steep contrefort which leads to “Tulliallan,” though he weighed hardly
more than one hundred and twenty pounds. He drew rein before the door;
no one rushed out to greet him, even the dogs were still. He made his
escort dismount and pound the heavy brass knocker, fashioned in the form
of an Indian’s head. After some delay, Peter Allen himself appeared,
looking glum and deadly pale.

“What is wrong?” cried Penn who was naturally as intuitive as a woman,
noting his altered demeanor.

“Can I tell you, sir, in the presence of your bodyguard?”

“Out, out with it, Allen,” shouted Penn, “I must know _now_.”

“Mary Warren has been gone a fortnight, we know not whither. She had
taken the Berryhill children home after classes, and left them about
five o’clock in the evening. She did not return, and we have searched
everywhere. Strange to relate, George Smithgall, the young serving man
whom you left here to look after your apartments, and who accompanied
Mary from London is gone also; draw your own inferences.”

John Penn’s fair face was as red as his scarlet cloak. Despite Allen’s
urging he would not dismount, but turned his horse’s head toward the
river. He rode to Queenaskawakee, now called Clark’s Ferry, where there
was a famous fording, and, accompanied by his guard, he made the
crossing and posted for the Juniata country. Near Raystown Branch he
caught up with the company of riflemen and scouts organized by “Black
Jack,” the Wild Hunter of the Juniata, who was waiting for General
Braddock’s arrival to enlist in the proposed attack on Fort Duquesne at
Shannopin’s Town, now Pittsburg. Black Jack was no stranger to him,
having often met him at social gatherings at Peter Allen’s, and the
greeting between the two men was very friendly. John Penn occupied the
same cabin as the Wild Hunter, and he told him his story.

“It is not news to me,” said Captain Jack. “I heard it before, from
Smithgall. He went through here last week hunting for Mary.”

Despite this reassuring information, Penn refused to believe anything
but that the lovely Quakeress had proved false and eloped with the
German-American serving man. Word came in a few days that the vanguard
of General Braddock’s army had reached the Loyalhanna, and were encamped
there. Captain Jack, with John Penn riding at his side, and followed by
his motley crew with their long rifles–Germans, Swiss, Frenchmen,
Dutchmen, Indians, half breeds, Negroes and Spaniards–approached the
luxurious quarters of General Edward Braddock, late of the Coldstream
Guards. The portly General, his breast blazing with decorations, wearing
his red coat, was seated in a carved armchair in front of a log cabin
erected for his especial use by his pioneers, who preceded him on the
march. A Sergeant-Major conveyed the news of “The Wild Hunter’s”
presence to the General’s Aide, who in turn carried it to the august
presence.

“I cannot speak to such a fellow, let alone accept him as a brother
officer,” said Braddock, irritably. “Besides, his methods of fighting
are contrary to all discipline, and I want no Pennsylvania troops. Tell
him that if he insists I will make him top-sergeant, and place my own
officers over his company.”

Captain Jack was half angry, half amused, when the rebuff was handed to
him via the sergeant major.

“My father was a Spanish gentleman from the Minisink, and my mother a
woman of tolerably good Hessian blood. I see no reason for such rank
exclusiveness.”

Quickly turning his horse’s head, the sturdy borderer ordered his troop
to proceed eastward.

“Don’t act too rashly, Captain,” entreated Penn. “General Braddock is
ignorant of this country and Indian methods of warfare. He may have
orders not to enlist native troops, yet without your aid I fear for the
success of his expedition. Please let me intercede with him; he will do
it when he hears that I am your friend.”

“To the devil with him and his kind, the swinish snob,” growled Captain
Jack, while his black eyes flashed a diabolical hatred; his Spanish
temper was uncontrollable. That night, when Captain Jack and John Penn
were seated at their camp fire at Laurel Run, a messenger, a Major, not
a Sergeant Major, from General Braddock was announced.

Saluting, the officer asked to be allowed to speak with John Penn,
Esquire. Penn received the officer without rising, and was cooly civil
throughout the interview, which consisted principally of reading a
letter from Braddock, expressing deep regret “that he had not known that
the son of his dear friend, Richard Penn, had been with –-- Jack,” and
offering Penn the captaincy of _Black Jack’s_ company of scouts, “–--
Jack to be First Lieutenant.”

Naturally, Captain Jack was more enraged than ever, but he said: “Take
it, John, I’ll withdraw and turn my men, who, you know, are the best
shots in the Province, over to you. They would go through hell for you.”

“Never fear,” replied Penn, and, turning to the Major, he said: “Tell
General Braddock, with my compliments, that I decline to accept a
commission which he has no authority to tender. As for my companion,
Captain Jack (laying emphasis on the Captain) the General had _his_
decision earlier in the day. Goodnight, Major.”

Thus terminated the “conference” which might have changed the face of
history. As the result of Braddock’s pride and folly, his defeat and
death are a part of history, known by every Pennsylvanian.

John Penn was wretchedly unhappy, even though Captain Jack tried to
console him, when he shrewdly inferred that “Mary” had been kidnapped by
emissaries of his relatives, and had not eloped with a vile serving man.
His heart was too lacerated to remain longer with the Wild Hunter, now
that no active service was to be experienced; so, accompanied by
Monkton, the veteran of Preston, he set out the next morning for the
West Branch of the Susquehanna to the unexplored countries.

At Waterford Narrows they passed the body of a trader recently killed
and scalped by Indians.

“May I draw one of his teeth, sir?” said the old soldier, “and you can
carry it in your pocket, for the old people say ‘The only thing that can
break the enchantment of love is the tooth of a dead man’.”

Penn shook his head and rode on. For a considerable time Penn and Old
Monkton visited with Dagonando (Rock Pine), a noted Indian Chief in
Brush Valley (Centre County), for the young man, like the founder of
Pennsylvania, possessed the same irresistible charm over the redmen.

Years afterwards, in Philadelphia, speaking to General Thomas Mifflin,
Dagonando stated that had it not been for his unhappy love affairs, John
Penn would have been the equal of his grandfather as Governor, and
prevented the Revolutionary War. But his spirit was crushed; even a mild
love affair with Dagonando’s daughter ended with shocking disaster.
Reaching Fort Augusta, Penn became very ill; a “nervous breakdown” his
ailment would be diagnosed today. During his illness he was robbed of
his diary. He reached Philadelphia in the fall, and almost immediately
set sail for England. He remained abroad until 1763, when he returned as
Governor of Pennsylvania. He arrived in Philadelphia on October 30, in
the midst of the terrific earthquake of that year, and on November 5,
George Roberts in a letter to Samuel Powell, in describing the new Chief
Magistrate, says:

“His Honor, Penn, is a little gentleman, though he may govern equal to
one seven feet high.”

Charles P. Keith has thus summed up Penn’s career from the time of his
first arrival in Pennsylvania: “He was one of the Commissioners to the
Congress at Albany in the summer of 1754, and made several journeys to
the neighboring colonies. Nevertheless, his trouble made him again
despondent; he began to shun company; he would have joined Braddock’s
army had any Pennsylvania troops formed part of it, and perhaps have
died on the field which that officer’s imprudence made so disastrous.
Some two months after the defeat he returned to England.”

On June 6, 1766, a brilliant marriage occurred in Philadelphia. John
Penn, Lieutenant Governor, aged thirty-seven years, married Anne, the
daughter of William Allen, Chief Justice; a strange fate had united the
relative of Peter Allen of “Tulliallan” to the husband of Maria Cox,
pronounced legally dead after an absence of eleven years in parts
unknown. Commenting on this alliance, Nevin Moyer, the gifted Historian,
remarks: “The marriage was an unpleasant one, on his (Penn’s) account,
for he was found very seldom at home.” It was during the wedding that a
fierce electrical storm occurred, unroofing houses and shattering many
old trees.

It was not long after this marriage when a feeling of restlessness
impelled him to start another of his many trips to the interior. This
time it was given out that he wished to visit Penn’s Valley, the
“empire” discovered in the central part of the province by Captains
Potter and Thompson, and named in his honor, and Penn’s Cave, the source
of the Karoondinha, a beautiful, navigable stream, rechristened “John
Penn’s Creek.” He managed to stop over night, as everyone of any
consequence did, at “Tulliallan,” and slept in the room with the Scotch
thistles carved on the woodwork, and saw Peter Allen for the first time
in twelve years.

A foul crime had recently been committed in the neighborhood. Indian
Joshua, who used to live at the running spring, had gone to Canada the
year of Braddock’s defeat (the year of Mary’s disappearance, Penn always
reckoned it) and had lately returned to his old abode. He had been shot,
as a trail of blood from his cabin down the mountain had been followed
clear to Clark’s Creek, where it was lost. In fact, pitiful wailing had
been heard one night all the way across the valley, but it was supposed
to be a traveling panther. Arvas, or Silver Heels, had also come back
for a time, but, after Joshua’s disappearance, had gone away.

“Maybe he killed his friend,” whispered Allen, looking down guiltily, as
he spoke what he knew to be untruthful words.

“It is all clear to me now, Allen,” said Penn. “I should have believed
Captain Jack, when in ’55 he told me that my late wife was carried off
to Canada by Indians; the kidnappers came back, and for fear that they
would levy hush money on those who had caused my Mary to be stolen,
murdered Joshua as a warning.”

Allen did not answer, but Penn said: “You have kept a public house so
long that you have forgotten to be a gentleman, and I do not expect you
to tell the truth.”

In 1840 seekers after nestlings of the vultures climbed to the top of
the King’s Stool, the dizzy pinnacle of the Third Mountain. There they
found the skeleton of an Indian. It was all that was left of Joshua, who
had climbed there in his agony and died far above the scenes which he
loved so dearly. The hunters put the bones in their hunting pouches and
climbed down the “needle,” and buried them decently at the foot of the
rocks.

The King’s Stool is named for a similar high point near Lough Foyle,
Ireland, and there are also King’s Stools in Juniata and Perry Counties.
The North of Ireland pioneers were glad to recognize scenes similar to
the natural wonders of the Green Isle!

A great light had come to John Penn, but he accepted his fate
philosophically, just as he had the abuse heaped upon him for his
vacillating policy towards the Indians. He followed up his vigorous
attempt to punish the Paxtang perpetrators of the massacres of the
Conestoga Indians at Christmas time, 1763, by promulgating the infamous
scalp bounty of July, 1764, which bounty, to again quote Professor
Moyer, paid “$134 for an Indian’s scalp, and $150 for a live Indian, and
$50 for an Indian female or child’s scalp.”

There are not enough Indians to make hunting for bounties in
Pennsylvania a paying occupation today, so instead there is a bounty on
Wildcats and foxes, wiping out desirable wild life to satisfy the
politicians’ filthy greed.

John Penn returned to Philadelphia without visiting Penn’s Valley or
Penn’s Cave or John Penn’s Creek. He had seen them previously in 1755
when they bore their original Indian names, and his heart was still sad.
It was not long after returning that he again started on another
expedition up the Susquehanna, traveling by canoe, just as his
grandfather, William Penn, had done in his supposedly fabulous trip to
the sources of the West Branch at Cherry Tree, in 1700. A stop was made
at Fisher’s stone house, Fisher’s Ferry. A group of pioneers had heard
of his coming and gave the little Governor a rousing ovation. He felt
nearest to being happy when among the frontier people, who understood
him, and his trials had, like Byron, made him “the friend of mountains”;
he was still simple at heart. In the kitchen, seated by the inglenook,
he heard someone’s incessant coughing in an inner room. He asked the
landlord, old Peter Fisher, who was suffering so acutely.

“Why, sir,” replied Fisher, “it’s an Englishwoman dying.”

In those days people’s nationalities in Pennsylvania were more sharply
defined, and any English-speaking person was always called an
“Englishwoman” or an “Englishman,” as the case might be.

“Tell me about her,” said the Governor, with ill-concealed curiosity.

“It’s a strange story, it might give Your Worship offense,” faltered the
old innkeeper. “They tell it, sir, though it’s doubtless a lie, that
Your Excellency cared for this Englishwoman, and your enemies had her
kidnapped by two Indians and taken to Canada. The Indians were paid for
keeping her there until a few years ago, when their remittances suddenly
stopped and they came home; one, it is said, was murdered soon after.
Arvas, his companion, was accused of the crime, but he stopped here for
a night, a few weeks afterwards, and swore to me that he was guiltless.
The Englishwoman finally got away and walked all the way back from a
place called Muskoka, but she caught cold and consumption on the way,
and is on her death-bed now. I knew her in all her youth and beauty at
Peter Allen’s, where she was always the belle of the balls there; she
had been brought up a Quaker, but my, how she could dance. You would not
know her now.”

“I want to see her,” said the Governor, rising to his feet.

It was getting dark, so Fisher lit a rushlight, and led the way. He
opened the heavy door without rapping. His wife and daughter sat on
high-backed rush-bottomed chairs on either side of the big four-poster
bed, which had come from the Rhine country. On the bed lay a woman of
about forty years, frightfully emaciated by suffering, whose
exaggeratedly clear-cut features were accentuated in their marble look
by the pallor of oncoming dissolution. Her wavy, dark hair, parted in
the middle, made her face seem even whiter.

“Mary, Mary,” said the little Governor, as he ran to her side, seizing
the white hands which lay on the flowered coverlet.

“John, my darling John,” gasped the dying woman.

“Leave us alone together,” commanded the Governor.

The women looked at one another as they retired. The thoughts which
their glances carried indicated “well, after all the story’s true.”

They had been alone for about ten minutes when Penn ran out of the door
calling, “Come quick, someone, I fear she’s going.”

The household speedily assembled, but in another ten minutes “Mary
Warren,” alias Maria Cox-Penn had yielded up the ghost. She is buried on
the brushy African-looking hillside which faces the “dreamy
Susquehanna,” the Firestone Mountains and the sunset, near where
travelers across Broad Mountain pass every day. John Penn returned to
Philadelphia and took no more trips to the interior. He divided his time
between his town house, 44 Pine Street, and his country seat
“Lansdowne.”

During the Revolution he was on parole. He died childless. February 9,
1795, and is said to be buried under the floor, near the chancel, in the
historic Christ Church, Philadelphia, which bears the inscription that
he was “One of the Late Proprietors of Pennsylvania.” Most probably his
body was later taken to England. His wife, _nee_ Allen, survived him
until 1813.

The other night in the grand hall of the Historical Society of
Pennsylvania in the Quaker City, a notable reception was given in honor
of the grand historian-governor, William C. Sproul, fresh from his
marvelous restoration of the Colonial Court House at Chester. As he
stood there, the embodiment of mental and physical grace and strength,
the greatest Governor of a generation, receiving the long line of those
who came to pay their respects and well wishes, Albert Cook Myers, famed
historian of the Quakers, mentioned that the present Governor of the
Commonwealth was standing just beneath the portrait of John Penn, one of
the last of the Proprietaries. And what a contrast there was! Penn
looked so effete and almost feminine with his child-like blonde locks,
his pink cheeks, weak, half-closed mouth, his slender form in a red
coat, so different from the vigorous living Governor. Penn was also so
inferior to the other notable portraits which hung about him–the sturdy
Huguenot, General Henri Bouquet, the deliverer of Fort Duquesne in 1758
and 1763; the stalwart Scot, General Arthur St. Clair, of Miami fame,
who was left to languish on a paltry pension of $180 a year at his
rough, rocky farm on Laurel Ridge; the courageous-looking Irishman,
General Edward Hand; and, above all, the bold and dashing eagle face of
General “Mad Anthony” Wayne. Such company for the last of the Penns to
keep! Though lacking the manly outlines of his fellows on canvas, who
can say that his life had one whit less interest than theirs–probably
much more so, for his spirit had felt the thrill of an undying love,
which in the end surmounted all difficulties and left his heart master
of the field.

Though his record for statecraft can hardly be written from a favorable
light, and few of his sayings or deeds will live, he has joined an
immortal coterie led down the ages by Anthony and the beautiful Egyptian
queen, by Abelard and Heloise, Dante and Beatrice, Petrarch and Laura,
Alfieri and the Countess of Albany, and here in Pennsylvania by Hugh H.
Brackenridge and the pioneer girl, Sabina Wolfe, and Elisha Kent Kane,
and the spiritualist, Maria Fox. Love is a force that is all-compelling,
all-absorbing and never dies, and is the biggest thing in life, and the
story of John Penn and Maria Cox will be whispered about in the
backwoods cabins and wayside inns of the Pennsylvania Mountains long
after seemingly greater men and minds have passed to forgetfulness.

But for a few lines in the writings of Charles P. Keith, H. M. Jenkins,
Nevin W. Moyer and various Penn biographers, such as Albert Cook Myers,
the verbal memories of ’Squire W. H. Garman, James Till, Mrs. H. E.
Wilvert and other old-time residents of the vicinity of “Tulliallan,”
all would be lost, and the inspiration of a story of overwhelming
affection unrecorded in the annals of those who love true lovers.

                                   II
                            _At His Bedside_


When old Jacob Loy passed away at the age of eighty years, he left a pot
of gold to be divided equally among his eight children. It was a pot of
such goodly proportions that there was a nice round sum for all, and the
pity of it was after the long years of privation which had collected it,
that some of the heirs wasted it quickly on organs, fast horses, cheap
finery and stock speculations, for it was before the days of
player-pianos, victrolas and automobiles.

Yolande, his youngest daughter, was a really attractive girl, even had
she not a share in the pot of gold, and had many suitors. Though farm
raised and inured to hardships she was naturally refined, with wonderful
dark eyes and hair, and pallid face–the perfect type of Pennsylvania
Mountain loveliness.

Above all her admirers she liked best of all Adam Drumheller, a shrewd
young farmer of the neighborhood, and eventually married him. Three
children were born in quick succession, in the small tenant house on his
father’s farm in Chest Township, where the young couple had gone to live
immediately after their wedding.

Shortly after the birth of the last child old Jacob Drumheller died, and
the son and his family moved into the big stone farmhouse near the banks
of the sulphurous Clearfield Creek. It was not long after this
fortuitous move that the young wife began to show signs of the favorite
Pennsylvania mountain malady–consumption. Whether it was caused by a
deep-seated cold or came about from sleeping in rooms with windows
nailed shut, no one could tell, but the beautiful young woman became
paler and more wax-like, until she realized that a speedy end was
inevitable. Many times she found comfort in her misfortune by having her
husband promise that in the event of her death he would never remarry.

“Never, never,” he promised. “I could never find your equal again.”

He was sincere in some respects; it would be hard to find her
counterpart, and she had made a will leaving him everything she
possessed, and he imagined that the pot of gold transformed into a bank
balance or Government bonds would be found somewhere among her effects.

Before ill health had set in he had quizzed her many times, as openly as
he dared, on the whereabouts of her share of the pot.

“It is all safe,” she would say. “It will be forthcoming some time when
you need it more than you do today,” and he was satisfied.

As she grew paler and weaker Adam began to think more of Alvira Hamel,
another comely girl whom he had loved when he railroaded out of
Johnstown, at Kimmelton, and whom he planned to claim as his own should
Yolande pass away.

[Illustration: SCENE IN SNYDER-MIDDLESWARTH PARK]

Perhaps his thoughts dimly reflected on the dying wife’s sub-conscious
mind, for she became more insistent every day that he promise never to
remarry.

“Think of our dear little children,” she kept saying, “sentenced to have
a stepmother; I would come back and _haunt_ you if you perpetrate such a
cruelty to me and mine.”

Adam had little faith in a hereafter, and less in ghosts, so he readily
promised anything, vowing eternal celebacy cheerfully and profoundly.

When Yolande did finally fade away, she died reasonably happy, and at
least died bravely. She never shed a tear, for it is against the code of
the Pennsylvania Mountain people to do so–perhaps a survival of the
Indian blood possessed by so many of them.

Three days after the funeral Adam hied himself to Ebensburg to “settle
up the estate,” but also to look up Alvira Hamel, who was now living
there. She seemed glad to see him, and when he broached a possible union
she acted as if pleased at everything except to go on to that lonely
farm on the polluted Clearfield Creek.

By promising to sell out when he could and move to Barnesboro or
Spangler, a light came in her dark eyes, and though he did not visit the
lawyer in charge of his late wife’s affairs, his day in town was
successful in arranging for the new alliance with his sweetheart of
other days.

In due course of time it was discovered that the equivalent of Yolande’s
share of the pot of gold left by old Jacob Loy was not to be found. “She
may have kept it in coin and buried it in the orchard,” was some of the
very consoling advice that the lawyer gave.

At any rate it was not located by the time that Adam and Alvira were
married, but the bridegroom was well to do and could afford to wait.
After a short trip to Pittsburg and Wheeling the newly married couple
took up housekeeping in the big brick farmstead above the creek.

The first night that they were back from the honeymoon–it was just about
midnight and Alvira was sleeping peacefully–Adam thought that he heard
footsteps on the stairs. He could not be mistaken. Noiselessly the door
opened, and the form of Yolande glided into the room; she was in her
shroud, all white, and her face was whiter than the shroud, and her long
hair never looked blacker.

Along the whitewashed wall by the bedside was a long row of hooks on
which hung the dead woman’s wardrobe. It had never been disturbed;
Alvira was going to cut the things up and make new garments out of them
in the Spring. Adam watched the apparition while she moved over to the
clothing, counting them, and smoothed and caressed each skirt or waist,
as if she regretted having had to abandon them for the steady raiment of
the shroud.

Then she came over to the bed and sat on it close to Adam, eyeing him
intently and silently. Just then Alvira got awake, but apparently could
see nothing of the ghost, although the room was bright as day, bathed in
the full moon’s light.

Yolande seemed to remain for a space of about ten minutes, then passed
through the alcove into the room where the children were sleeping and
stood by their bedside. The next night she was back again, repeating the
same performance, the next night, and the next, and still the next, each
night remaining longer, until at last she stayed until daybreak. In the
morning as the hired men were coming up the boardwalk which led to the
kitchen door, they would meet Yolande, in her shroud coming from the
house, and passing out of the back gate. On one occasion Alvira was
pumping water on the porch, but made no move as she passed, being
evidently like so many persons, spiritually blind. The hired men had
known Yolande all their lives, and were surprised to see her spooking in
daylight, but refrained from saying anything to the new wife.

Every day for a week after that she appeared on the kitchen porch, or on
the boardwalk, in the yard, on the road, and was seen by her former
husband many times, and also her night prowling went on as of yore. The
hired men began to complain; it might make them sick if a ghost was
around too much; these spooks were supposed to exhale a poison much as
copperhead snakes do, and also draw their “life” away, and they
threatened to quit if she wasn’t “laid.” All of them had seen spooks
before, on occasion, but a daily visitation of the same ghost was more
than they cared about.

Had it not been for the excitable hired men, Adam, whose nerves were
like iron, could have stood Yolande’s ghost indefinitely. In fact, he
thought it rather nice of her to come back and see him and the children
“for old time’s sake.” But the farm hands must be conserved at any cost,
even to the extent of laying Yolande’s unquiet spirit.

The next night when she appeared, he made bold and spoke to her: “What
do you want, Yolande,” he said softly, so as not to wake the soundly
sleeping Alvira at his side. “Is there anything I can do for you, dear?”

Yolande came very close beside him, and bending down whispered in his
ear: “Adam,” said she, “how can you ask me why I am here? You surely
know. Did you not, time and time again, promise never to marry again, if
I died, for the sake of our darling children? Did you not make such a
promise, and see how quickly you broke it! Where I am now I can hold no
resentments, so I forgive you for all your transgressions, but I hope
that Alvira will be good to our children. I have one request to make:
After I left you, you were keen to find what I did with my share of
daddy’s pot of gold. I had it buried in the orchard at my old home,
under the Northern Spy, but after we moved here, one time when you went
deer hunting to Centre County, I dug it up and brought it over here and
buried it in the cellar of this house. It is here now. There are just
one hundred and fifty-three twenty dollar gold pieces; that was my
share. The children and the money were on my mind, not your broken
promise and rash marriage, which you will repent, and which I tell you
again I forgive you for. I want my children to have that money, every
one of the one hundred and fifty-three twenty dollar gold pieces. I
buried it a little to the east of the spring in the cellar, about two
feet under ground, in a tin cartridge box; Dig it up tomorrow morning,
and if you find the one hundred and fifty-three coins, and give every
one to the children, I will never come again and upset your hired men.
Why I have Myron Shook about half scared to death already, but if you
don’t find every single coin I’ll have to come back until you do, or if
you hold it back from the children, you will not be able to keep a
hireling on this place, or any other place to which you move. Many live
folks can’t see ghosts; your wife is one of these; she will never worry
until the hired men quit, then she’ll up and have you make sale and move
to town. Be square and give the children the money, and I’ll not trouble
you again.”

“Oh, Yolande,” answered Adam in gentle tones, “you are no trouble to me,
not in the least. I love to have you visit me at night, and look at the
children, but you are making the hired help terribly uneasy. That part
you must quit.”

“That’s enough of your drivel, Adam,” spoke Yolande, in a sterner tone
of voice. “Talk less like a fool, and more like a man. Dig up that money
in the morning, count it, and give it to the children and I’ll be glad
never to see you again.”

To be reproached by a ghost was too much for Adam, and he lapsed into
silence, while Yolande slipped out of the room, over to the bedside of
the sleeping children, where she lingered until daylight.

Adam was soon asleep, but was up bright and early the next morning,
starting to dress just as the ghost glided out of the door. By six
o’clock he had exhumed Yolande’s share of the pot of gold which was
buried exactly as her ghostly self had described.

It was a hard wrench to hand the money over to the children, or rather
to take it to Ebensburg and start savings accounts in their names. But
he did it without a murmur. The cashier, a horse fancier, gave him a
present of a new whip, of a special kind that he had made to order at
Pittsburg, so he came home happy and contented.

Night was upon him, and supper over, he retired early, dozing a bit
before the “witching hour.” As the old Berks County tall clock in the
entry struck twelve, he began to watch for Yolande’s accustomed
entrance. But not a shadow appeared. The clock struck the quarter, the
half, three quarters and one o’clock. No Yolande or anything like her
came; she was true to her promise, as true as he had been false. It was
an advantage to be a ghost in some ways. They were honorable creatures.

Adam did not know whether to feel pleased or not. His vanity had been
not a little appealed to by a dead wife visiting him nightly; now he was
sure that it wasn’t for love of him or jealousy, she had been coming
back, but to see that the children got the money that had been buried in
the cellar. And at last she had spoken rather unkindly, so the great
change called death had ended her love, and she wasn’t grieving over his
second marriage at all. However, he fell to consoling himself that she
had chided him for breaking his word and marrying again; she must have
cared for him or she would not have said those things. Then the thought
came to him that she wasn’t really peeved at anything concerning his
marriage to Alvira except that the children had gotten a stepmother. He
wondered if Alvira would continue to be kind to them. Just as he went to
sleep he had forgotten both Yolande and Alvira, chuckling over a pretty
High School girl he had seen on the street at the ’burg, and whom he had
winked at.

[Illustration]

                                  III.
                        _The Prostrate Juniper_


Weguarran was a young warrior of the Wyandots, who lived on the shores
of Lake Michigan. In the early spring of 1754 he was appointed to the
body-guard of old Mozzetuk, a leader of the tribe, on an embassy to
Bethlehem, in Pennsylvania, to prevail on the holy men there, as many
Indians termed the Moravians, to send a band of Missionaries to the
Wyandot Country, with a view of Christianizing the tribe, and acting as
advisors and emissaries between the Wyandots and allied nations with the
French and other white men, who were constantly encroaching on the
redmen’s territories.

Weguarran the youngest and the handsomest of the escort, was very
impressionable, and across Ohio and over the Alleghenies, he made
friends with the Indian maidens of the various encampments passed en
route.

The reception at Bethlehem was cordial, but not much hope was held out
for an immediate despatch of Missionaries as the Moravians were anxious
to avoid being drawn into the warlike aspirations of the English and
French, preferring to promote the faith in pacified regions, as very few
of them were partisans, but if they had a leaning at all, it was toward
the French. This was due to the fact that the French always understood
the Indians better than the English, were more sympathetic colonizers,
and while many French Missionaries carried forward the tenets of Rome,
there was no religious intolerance, and Missionaries of every faith
seemed to thrive under their leadership.

While at Bethlehem and Nazareth, Weguarran was much favored by the
Indian maids of those localities, but did not wholly lose his heart
until one afternoon at the cabin of an old Christian Pequot named
Michaelmas. This old Indian, a native of Connecticut, lived in a log
cabin on a small clearing near the Lehigh River, where he cultivated a
garden of rare plants and trees, and raised tobacco. All his pastimes
were unusual; he captured wild pigeons, which he trained to carry
messages, believing that they would be more valuable in wartime than
runners. He also practiced falconry, owning several hawks of race,
goshawks, marsh hawks and duck hawks. The goshawks he used for grouse,
wood-cocks and quails; the marsh hawks for rabbits, hares and ’coons;
and the duck hawks for wild ducks and other water birds, which fairly
swarmed on the Lehigh in those days. He was a religious old man, almost
a recluse, strong in his prejudices, and was much enthused by the
Wyandot embassy, giving his waning hopes a new burst of life for an
Indian renaissance.

He took a great fancy to the manly and handsome Weguarran, inviting him
to his cabin, and it was there that the youthful warrior met the old
man’s lovely daughter, Wulaha. She was an only child, eighteen years of
age. Her mother belonged to the Original People and was also a
Christian.

Love progressed very rapidly between Weguarran and Wulaha, and as the
time drew near for the embassy to depart, the young girl intimated to
her lover that he must discuss the subject with old Michaelmas, and
secure his approval and consent, after the manner of white Christians.

The old Pequot was not averse to the union, which would add another
strain of Indian blood to the family, but stated that a marriage could
only take place on certain conditions. Weguarran, in his conversations
with Michaelmas, had told him of his military affiliations with the
French, which had filled the old man’s heart with joy for the hopes of a
new order of things that it seemed to kindle. When he asked the hand of
the fair Wulaha in marriage, Michaelmas “came back” with the following
proposition:

“Weguarran, I am getting old and feeble,” he said. “I may pass away any
time, and I could not bear the thought of my squaw being left alone,
which would be the case if you married Wulaha and took her to the
distant shores of Lake Michigan. However, there are greater things than
my death and my squaw’s loneliness, the future of the red race, now
crushed to earth by the Wunnux, as we call the white men, but some day
to be triumphant. You have told me that within this very year the French
and Indians are sure to engage the English in a mighty battle which will
decide the future history of the Continent. You can marry Wulaha right
after that battle, if you are victorious; otherwise you can do as the
Missionaries tell us the Romans did–fall on your sword. You can never
return here, as I do not want my daughter to marry and continue the race
of a beaten people. I would far rather have her die single, and have our
seed perish, for if this victory is not won, doomed is every redman on
this Continent. The only wish of the English is to encompass our
extermination. Wulaha will remain at home until after that battle, when
you can come for her and claim her as your own, and we will give her to
you with rejoicing.”

“What you say is surely fair enough, Father Michaelmas,” replied
Weguarran, “for I would see no future for Wulaha and myself if the
English are victorious in this inevitable battle. As soon as it is
won–and it will be won, for the high resolve of every Indian warrior is
to go in to win–I will hurry back to the banks of the Lehigh, never
stopping to rest, sleep or eat, to tell you of the glad tidings, and
bear away my beloved Wulaha. I want to ask one special favor of you. I
have admired your wonderful cage of trained wild pigeons, which you say
will carry messages hundreds of miles. Lend me one of these pigeons, and
as soon as the victory is won, I will release the bird, and while I am
speeding eastward on foot, our feathered friend will fly on ahead and
end the suspense, and bring joy to yourself, your squaw and Wulaha.”

“I will gladly let you have my best trained pigeon, or hawk, or anything
I possess, if I can learn of the victory, but in turn I will ask a favor
of you. I listened with breathless interest to your tales of the
Prostrate Junipers which grow on the shores of the great lakes, which
cover two thousand square feet, and are hundreds of years old. You
promised to bring me a scion of one of those curious trees, so that I
might plant it in my garden of rare trees and shrubs. Now, here will be
a chance to associate it with the great victory; pluck a stout but small
scion, and if the victory is won, affix it firmly to one of the pigeon’s
legs and let it go. If it comes back without the twig of Juniper I will
know that our cause has lost, and while you fall on your sword, I and my
family will jump into the Lehigh.”

“I will gladly do as you say, Father Michaelmas,” said Weguarran, “and
will send a twig that will grow, and some day make a noble tree, and in
years to come, our people will call it Weguarran’s Victory Tree. The
fact that it is a Prostrate Tree makes it all the more appropriate, as
it will represent the English race lying prostrated, crushed by the red
race they wronged, and by our kindly and just French allies.”

Weguarran was so inspired by the thought of the pigeon messenger, the
sprig of Prostrate Juniper, and the impending victory that it assuaged
his grief at the parting from Wulaha, sending him away determined to
give a good account of himself in all things.

Old Michaelmas selected a handsome cock pigeon, with a dragon’s blood
red breast–his very best and most intelligent, and surest flyer, named
Wuskawhan, which he placed in a specially built, bottle shaped basket,
which had no lid, yet the top was too small for the bird to escape. In
this way it could rise up and peer out, as it was carried along, and not
bruise its wing coverts or head, as it would if it flew against the top
of a square basket with a lid.

After a touching parting with Wulaha, her mother and father, the young
warrior went his way with his precious burden.

The Indians, even old Mozzetuk, were rapid travellers, and in due time
they reached the country of the Prostrate Junipers on the shores of Lake
Michigan. They arrived in what seemed like an armed camp, for all the
braves had been called to arms, which plotted to drive Indians and
French to the uttermost ends of the earth.

Weguarran was quickly mobilized, and a musket in one hand and tomahawk
in the other, while on his back he bore the sacred pigeon, he marched
toward his foes. In the excitement he had not forgotten to slip into his
pouch at his belt a sprig of the Prostrate Juniper, which would be the
emblem of the English race prostrate under the foot of French and Indian
allies.

In due course of time the army of which the picked Wyandot warriors
formed a part, met their English foemen on Braddock’s Field, completely
routing and all but annihilating them. General Braddock himself was shot
from behind by one of his own men in the wild stampede, and the French
and Indians were completely victorious.

Surveying the gorey scene, every wooded glade lying thick with dead
redcoats and broken accoutrements, Weguarran carefully opened the
panther skin pouch at his best, taking out the sprig of Prostrate
Juniper. Then he lifted the handsome wild pigeon from its bottle-nosed
cage of oak withes, and with a light leathern string, affixed the little
twig, on which the berries still clustered, to the bird’s leg, then
tossed the feathered messenger up into the air.

The pigeon quickly rose above the trees, circled a few times, and then
started rapidly for the east, as fast as his broad, strong wings could
carry him.

This done, Weguarran visited his chief, obtaining leave to proceed to
Bethlehem to claim his bride, promising to report back with her on the
banks of the Ohio as speedily as possible. The pigeon naturally had a
good start, and by the next morning was flying over the palisaded walls
of John Harris’ Trading Post on the Susquehanna.

A love story was being enacted within those walls, in the shadow of one
of the huge sheds used in winter to store hides. Keturah Lindsay,
Harris’ niece, an attractive, curly-haired Scotch girl, was talking with
a young Missionary whom she admired very much, Reverend Charles Pyrleus,
the protege of Col. Conrad Weiser.

Unfortunately they had to meet by stealth as his attentions were not
favored by the girl’s relatives, who considered him of inferior
antecedents. They had met in the shed this fair July morning, whether by
design or accident, no one can tell, and were enjoying one another’s
society to the utmost.

In the midst of their mutual adoration, the dinner gong was sounded at
the trading house, and Keturah, fearful of a scolding, reluctantly broke
away. As she came out into the sunlight, she noticed a handsome wild
pigeon drop down, as if exhausted, on one of the topmost stakes of the
palisade which surrounded the trading house and sheds.

Keturah, like many frontier girls, always carried a gun, and quickly
taking aim, fired, making the feathers fly, knocking the bird off its
perch, and it seemed to fall to the ground outside the stockade. In a
minute it rose, and started to fly off towards the east. She had
reloaded, so fired a second time, but missed.

“How strange to see a wild pigeon travelling through here at this time
of year,” she thought, as carrying her smoking firearm, she hurried to
the mess room of the big log trading house.

The messenger pigeon had been grievously hurt, but was determined to go
“home.” On and on it went, sometimes “dipping” like a swallow, from loss
of blood, but by sheer will power keeping on the wing. As it neared the
foothills of the South Mountains, near the village of Hockersville, with
old Derry Church down in the vale, it faltered, spun about like a pin
wheel, and fell with a thud. Gulping and blinking a few times, it spread
out its wide pinions and lay on its breastbone–stone dead–the twig of
Prostrate Juniper still affixed to one of its carmine feet. There it
lay, brave in death, until the storms and winds shivered it, and it
rotted into the ground.

Weguarran was a rapid traveler, and in forced marches came to the shady
banks of the Lehigh in three or four days. He was so excited that he
swam the stream. He brought the first news of the great victory in the
west to the surprised Michaelmas and his friends. But where was the
prized wild pigeon, Wuskawhan? It could not have gone astray, for such a
bird’s instinct never erred. “Caught by a hawk or shot down by some
greedy fool of a Wunnux” was the way in which old Michaelmas explained
its non-appearance.

The news spread to the white settlements and to the towns, and there was
consternation among all sympathizers with the Crown–with all except a
few Moravians who were mum for policy’s sake, and the Indians, whose
stoical natures alone kept them from disclosing the elation that was in
their hearts.

[Illustration: A MAMMOTH SHORT-LEAF PINE]

“The English never wanted the Indians civilized,” said Michaelmas,
boldly. “They drove the Moravians out of Schadikoke and from the
Housatonic when they saw the progress they made with our people; were it
not for the Quakers in Pennsylvania, they would have had no place to
harbor; those of us who felt the need of these kind friends followed
them in their exile, but we can never forgive that we had to leave the
Connecticut country of our birth under such circumstances. I am glad
that our enemies were beaten and annihilated.”

Weguarran was baptized, and he and the lovely Wulaha were married by one
of the Moravian preachers, and started for the great lake country, which
was to be their permanent home.

Michaelmas and his squaw were too old to make the long journey, but they
were happy in their garden of rare trees and plants, the wild pigeons,
the hawks of race, and the dreams of an Indian _renaissance_. They lived
many years afterwards, and are buried with the other Christian Indians
at Bethlehem.

Out in the foothills of the South Mountains, overlooking old Derry
Church, in the fertile Lebanon Valley among the pines and oaks and tulip
trees, a strange seedling appeared in the spring of 1756, different from
anything that the mountain had known since prehistoric times. Instead of
growing upward and onward as most brave trees do, it spread out wider
and greater and vaster, until, not like the symbol of the Anglo-Saxon
prone beneath the heel of French and Indian, it was the symbol of the
all diffusing power of the English speaking race, which has grafted its
ideals and hopes and practical purposes over the entire American
Continent. Nourished by the life’s blood of the travelling pigeon that
bore it there, it had a flying start in the battle of existence, and
today, after all these years, bids fair to last many years longer, to be
the arboral marvel and wonder of the Keystone State.

Well may the Boy Scouts of Elizabethtown feel proud to be the honorary
custodians of this unique tree with its spread of 2,000 feet, for apart
from its curious appearance and charm, it has within it memories of
history and romance, of white men and red, that make it a veritable
treasure trove for the historian and the folk-lorist, and all those who
love the great outdoors in this wonderful Pennsylvania of ours!

[Illustration]

                                  IV.
                           _Out of the Ashes_


Last Autumn we were crossing Rea’s Hill one afternoon of alternate
sunshine and shadow, and as we neared the summit, glanced through
several openings in the trees at the wide expanse of Fulton County
valleys and coves behind us, on to the interminable range upon range of
dark mountains northward. In the valleys here and there were dotted
square stone houses, built of reddish sandstone, with high roofs and
chimneys, giving a foreign or Scottish air to the scene. Some of these
isolated structures were deserted, with windows gaping and roofs gone,
pictures of desolation and bygone days.

Just as the crest of the mountain was gained, we came upon a stone house
in process of demolition, in fact all had been torn away, and the
sandstone blocks piled neatly by the highway, all but the huge stone
chimney and a small part of one of the foundation walls. Work of the
shorers had temporarily ceased for it was a Saturday afternoon. Affixed
to the chimney was a wooden mantel, painted black, of plain, but antique
design, exposed, and already stained by the elements, and evidently to
be abandoned by those in charge of the demolition.

The house stood on the top of a steep declivity, giving a marvelous view
on four sides, almost strategic enough to have been a miniature
fortress!

It was the first time in a dozen years that we had passed the site; in
1907 the house was standing and tenanted, and pointed out as having been
a temporary resting place of General John Forbes on his eastern march,
after the successful conquest of Fort Duquesne, in 1758. Now all is
changed, historic memories had not kept the old house inviolate; it was
to be ruthlessly destroyed, perhaps, like the McClure Log College near
Harrisburg, to furnish the foundations for a piggery, or some other
ignoble purpose.

As we passed, a pang of sorrow overcame us at the lowly state to which
house and fireplace had fallen, and we fell to recounting some of the
incidents of the historic highway, in military and civil history, the
most noteworthy road in the Commonwealth. The further, on we traveled,
the more we regretted not stopping and trying to salvage the old wooden
mantel, but one of our good friends suggested that if we did not are to
return for it, we should mention the matter to the excellent and
efficient Leslie Seylar at McConnellsburg, who knew everyone and
everything, and could doubtless obtain the historic relic and have it
shipped to our amateur “curio shop.”

The genial Seylar, famed for his temperamental and physical resemblance
to the lamented “Great Heart,” was found at his eyrie and amusement
centre on top of Cove Mountain, and he gladly consented to securing the
abandoned mantel. As a result it is now in safe hands, a priceless
memento of the golden age of Pennsylvania History.

But now for the story or the legend of the mantel, alluded to briefly
last year in the chapter called the “Star of the Glen,” in this writer’s
“South Mountain Sketches.” The story, as an old occupant of the house
told it, and he survived on until early in the Nineteenth Century was,
that General Forbes, on this victorious eastern march, was seized many
times with fainting fits. On every occasion his officers and orderlies
believed that the end had come, so closely did he simulate death. But he
had always been delicate, at least from his first appearance in
Pennsylvania, though when campaigning with the gallant Marshal Ligonier
in France, Flanders and on the Rhine, participating in the battles of
Dettingen, Fontenoy and Lauffeld, no such symptoms were noted. Although
less than fifty years of age when he started towards the west, he was
regarded, from his illnesses, as an aged person, Sherman Day in his
inimitable “Historical Collections” states that there was “much
dissatisfaction in the choice of a leader of the expedition against Fort
Duquesne, as General Forbes, the commander, was a decrepit old man.”

What caused his ill health history has not uncovered at this late date.
It has been said that he was an epileptic, like Alexander and other
great generals, or a sufferer from heart trouble or general debility.
His military genius outweighed his physical frailties, so that he rose
superior to him, but it must not be forgotten that he was aided by two
brilliant officers, Colonel George Washington and Colonel Henry Bouquet.

His immediate entourage was a remarkable one, even for a soldier of many
wars. Like a true Scotsman, he carried his own piper with him, Donald
MacKelvie, said to be a descendant of the mighty MacCrimmons; and his
bodyguard was also headed by a Highlander, Andrew MacCochran, who had
been a deer stalker on one of the estates owned by the General’s father.

Forbes himself, being a younger son, was not a man of property, and
Pittencrief House, his birth-place, was already occupied by an older
brother, from whom, so Dr. Burd S. Patterson tells us, all who claim
relationship to him are descended.

The General was carried in a hammock, with frequent stops, from Harris’
Ferry to Fort Duquesne, and back again, borne by four stalwart
Highlanders, in their picturesque native costumes, wearing the tartan of
the Forbes clan. The deerstalker, MacCochran, was the major domo, and
even above the chief of staff and Brigade Surgeon, gave the orders to
halt when the General’s lean weazened face indicated an over-plussage of
fatigue.

It was late in the afternoon as the returning army had neared the summit
of Rea’s Hill; the pipers were playing gaily Blaz Sron, to cheer foot
soldiers and wagoners up the steep, rocky, uneven grade, with the
General in the van. The ascent was a hard one, and the ailing
commander-in-chief was shaken about considerably, so much so that
MacCochran was glad to note the little stone house, where he might give
him his much needed rest.

Old Andrew McCreath and his wife, a North of Ireland couple, the former
a noted hunter, occupied the house; their son was serving in the
Pennsylvania Regiment, which formed a part of General Forbes’
expeditionary forces. The old folks were by the roadside, having heard
the bagpipes at a great distance, eager to see the visitors, and catch a
glimpse of their hero son. They were surprised and pleased when
MacCochran signalled the halt in front of their door, which meant that
the entire procession would bivouac for the night in the immediate
vicinity. There were several good springs of mountain water, so all
could await the General’s pleasure.

Permission was asked to make the house “general headquarters” for the
night, which, of course, was quickly given, as the old couple were
honored to have such a distinguished visitor. There was a great couch,
or what we would today call a “Davenport” in front of the fire, and
there the General was laid, the room dark, save for the ruddy glow of
the roaring fire, which illuminated every nook and corner, and made it
at once as cheerful as it was warm and comfortable.

The General’s eyes were wide open, and he gazed about the room, while
his faithful domestics watched him to anticipate every wish. When he was
ill he excluded his Staff, but kept his servants with him, and they,
with McCreath and his wife, stood in the corners of the room, back of
the couch, waiting for his commands.

The piper asked if he could liven his master with a “wee tune or two,”
but the General shook his head; his sandy locks had become untied, and
flapped about his bony face; he made a motion with his hand that
indicated that he wanted to be alone, to try and get some sleep.
McCreath and his wife, and their stalwart son, the other bearers of the
hammock and litters, and the surgeon of the expedition, Major McLanahan,
who had slipped into the room, withdrew, leaving the piper and
MacCochran standing in the corner back of the couch, to aid the General
should he become violently ill in his sleep.

The General dozed, and the bodyguard became very tired, for they had had
a hard march, and sank down on the floor, with their backs to the wall.
All was still, save for the tramp, tramp of the sentry outside the
window, or the crackle of some giant bonfire in the general campground,
or the barking of some camp follower’s dog. The fire had died down a
little, but threw great fitful shadows, like a pall, over the sleeping
General, and caused an exaggerated shadow of his bold profile to appear
on the wall.

All at once, without the slightest warning, he jumped to his feet, with
the elasticity of a youth, and arms outstretched, seemed to rush towards
the fire. He might have tripped over the pile of cord wood, and fallen
in face foremost, had not the ever watchful piper and MacCochran,
springing forward, caught him simultaneously in their strong arms. They
did not find him excited, or his mind wandering, like a man suddenly
aroused from slumbers. On the contrary, he was strangely calm. He
whispered in MacCochran’s ear:

“Andy, I have seen my lady of Dunkerck. She came out of the ashes
towards me. I rushed forward to greet her, and she went back into the
hearth and was gone.”

The General would say nothing further, but allowed himself to be laid
out on the couch once more, and be covered with buffalo robes, and while
he lay quiet, he slept no more that night, but every minute or so kept
looking into the fire. At daybreak, at the sounding of Surachan on the
pipes, he was able to start, and the balance of the march executed
without incident.

He reached Philadelphia in safety, but within a short time after
arriving there he passed away unexpectedly, and was buried in historic
Old Christ Church, where a tablet with the following inscription was
erected in the Chancel by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Society of
Colonial Wars: “To the Memory of Brigadier-General John Forbes, Colonel
of the 17th Regiment of Foot, born at Pittencrief, Fifeshire, 1710, died
in Philadelphia, March 11, 1759.”

MacCochran was released from the army, and being enamored of the wild
mountain country in the interior of Pennsylvania, returned to the
forests. Later, though nearly fifty years old, he enlisted and served
through the Revolutionary War in Captain Parr’s Riflemen. After peace
was declared he bought the little stone house on Rea’s Hill from young
McCreath, who had served with him in the Rifle Brigade, and lived there
alone until he died about 1803. He said that he liked the place for its
memories of General Forbes, and he was always fond of telling to his
mountaineer friends when they dropped in of an evening for a smoke and a
toddy, of his hero’s exploits in peace and war, and more than once
recounted the tale of the wraith which appeared to the General at the
fireplace, during his eastward journey from Fort Duquesne.

General Forbes, he said, as noted previously, was a younger son, and had
entered the army early in life. He had been too busy campaigning to
marry, but not always too busy to fall in love. Yet he was a
serious-minded man, and his romances were always of the better sort, and
would have ended happily on one or more occasions but for the exigencies
of his strenuous campaigns, which moved him from place to place.

Of all his love affairs, the one that hit him the hardest, and lasted
the longest, occurred after the victory of Lauffeld, won by Marshal
Ligonier, when, as Lieutenant-Colonel, he was quartered with his
regiment at Dunkerck, preparatory to embarking for England. Colonel
Forbes’ billet was with one Armand Violet, a rich shipowner, who resided
in a mediaeval chateau, which his wealth had enabled him to purchase
from some broken-down old family, on the outskirts of the town. It was
built on a bare, chalky cliff, overlooking the sea, where the waves beat
over the rocks, and sent the spray against the walls on stormy nights,
and the wind, banshee-like, moaned incessantly among the parapets.

Violet was away a good deal, and his wife was an invalid, and peculiar,
but their one daughter, Amethyst Violet, was a ray of sunshine enough to
illuminate and radiate the gloomiest fortress-like chateau. She was
under eighteen, about the middle height, slimly and trimly built, with
chestnut brown hair, blue eyes, and a fair complexion; her hair was worn
in puffs over her ears and brushed back from her brows, just as the
girls are again wearing it today; she was vivacious and intelligent, and
detected in the Colonel, despite his thirty-seven years, a man of
superior personality and charm.

In the long wait, due to conflicting orders, and the non-arrival of the
transport, Forbes and Amethyst became very well acquainted, in fact the
Colonel was very much in love, but would not dream of mentioning his
passion, as he deemed it folly for a man of his years and experience to
espouse a mere child. The girl was equally smitten, but more impulsive,
and less self-contained.

Every evening the pair were together in the great hall, sitting before
the fire in the old hearth, their glances, which often met, indicating
their feelings, but the Colonel confined his talk to descriptions of
military life, Scotland, its glens and locks and wild game, old legends
and ballads which he loved to recite. He was particularly fond of
repeating the old ballad of Barbara Livingston.

One night while the wind was howling, and the spray was lashing against
the castle walls, and the rain dashed and hissed against the panes, the
time to retire had come, and Amethyst, instead of tripping away, sprang
right into Forbes’ arms, and lay her fluffy head against his bespangled
breast.

“You are the coldest man in the world” she sobbed, looking up with
tear-dimmed blue eyes. “What have you meant all these nights, we two
alone for hours and hours, your eyes on only the sparks as they swept
upwards through the ‘louvre,’ and your thoughts only on battles and
mountain scenery. I love you more than all the world, and yet you could
not see it, or did not care. I can restrain my feelings no longer; tell
me the truth, for I cannot bear the suspense and live.”

Forbes revealed his love by holding her very tight, and covering her
wet, hot eyelids with kisses. “Oh, foolish, darling Amethyst,” he said,
“I love you just as much as you care for me. I have from the first
moment I saw you, and hoped that the transport would never come, but I
am twice your age, and battered by many hard campaigns, and while I
think I could make you happy now, ten years hence I would be an old man,
and you would despise me.”

Amethyst looked up into his sad, steady eyes, saying, “I don’t care what
happens ten years from now; we might both be dead. I love you, and I
want you. I will give you a week to decide; if you do not, I will jump
off the highest parapet into the sea, and you can have yourself all to
yourself, and prosper if you will with your stern Covenanter’s
principles.”

The Colonel, though moved, was too prudent a Scot to capitulate. He took
the case under advisement, and every night for a week, though chivalrous
and charming, neglected to set the beautiful girl’s mind at rest. Yet
when he retired to his room, he paced the floor all night, for he knew
that the exquisite girl could revive his youth.

The fatal night arrived. Perhaps the result might have been different if
Amethyst had reminded her lover of her threat. She was too proud to do
so, and the Colonel, thinking that she had forgotten her rash words–to
some extent at least–was mum, and they parted gaily, Amethyst darting
out of the hall humming the old love song of Barbara Livingston as light
on foot, and apparently as light-hearted as any carefree child.

She was never seen again–at least not until Forbes saw her come out of
the embers at the fireplace on Rea’s Hill, more than thirteen years
later.

When the word came that her room in one of the turrets was empty, a
general search was made, revealing the trap-door to the parapet open. In
her haste she had omitted dropping it. From that Forbes knew that the
worst had happened. When MacCochran told it to him, standing pale and
frigid by the ancient hearth, he tried to stroke his small military
mustache, to show his sang-froid, but fell in a swoon on the stone
floor, lying unconscious for a week.

That was the beginning of the fainting fits that plagued him for the
rest of his life, and the commencement of his distaste of life, which
caused him to ask for active service in America, in a new and wild
environment, far from scenes similar to the terrible tragedy of his love
and pride. And yet, out of the fire, in distant Pennsylvania, had
appeared the long lost Amethyst Violet, perhaps as a “warning” of his
fast approaching end, to open the portals to that better world where
they would be together, and all things be as they should.

MacCochran, philosophic and superstitious Scot that he was, had many
reasons for lingering in the little stone house. Often he said, when he
sat smoking late at night, the shadows from the dying fire would cast
dark shapes, much like General Forbes’ bold features, on the walls, and
he felt the magnetic spell of his old Master’s presence. Perhaps out of
the ashes would emerge Amethyst Violet, or her spirit self, and the
lovers could be re-united before his eyes in a shadowland.

But nothing ever happened so fortuitous, and the engraved likenesses of
“Bonnie Prince Charlie” and Madame d’Albany, unhappy lovers also, which
hung on either side of his Revolutionary rifle, above the mantel, looked
down on him as if in sympathy, for his fidelity which had survived the
grave. The long looked for visitations never came; perhaps among the
vaults and cornices and lofts of Old Christ Church, where the General is
resting, the reunion of the lovers has taken place, but wherever it has,
the place is known only to the spirits of Forbes and the fair Amethyst
Violet; there are no witnesses.

And now the present owner of “General Forbes’ Fireplace,” as he calls
it, is waiting to set it up in some study or hunting lodge, beneath the
skull and antlers of the extinct Irish elk, from Ballybetag Bog, where
amid forest surroundings, in the dead of night, he can keep vigil like
MacCochran, after reading “Volumes of Quaint and Forgotten Lore,” and
maybe be rewarded by a sight of the true lovers from out of the ashes.

[Illustration]

                                   V
                           _Wayside Destiny_

Like many natives of the Pennsylvania Mountains, Ammon Tatnall was a
believer in dreams and ghosts. Even in his less prosperous days, when
life was considerable of a struggle, he had time to ponder over the
limitless possibilities of the unseen world. Probably his faith in the
so-called supernatural was founded on a dream he had while clerking in a
hotel at Port Allegheny, during the active days of the lumber business
in that part of the Black Forest.

It seemed that his mother was lying at the point of death, and wanted
him to come to her, but as she did not know his whereabouts, was
suffering much mental anguish. Just in the midst of the dream the alarm
clock went off, but he awoke and got up with the impression that his
vision had been real. In the office he informed the landlord of his
dream. Like a true mountain man, the proprietor merely asked him to come
back as soon as he could, such occurrences being not unusual in his
range of experience.

[Illustration: AMONG THE VIRGIN HEMLOCKS, BLACK FOREST. (_Photograph by_
W. T. Clarke.)]

At home, in the Wyoming Valley, he found conditions exactly as
reproduced in the dream. His sudden coming proved the turning point in
his mother’s illness; she rallied and got well. During her
convalescence, for Tatnall remained longer than he had expected, she
told him of a story which her mother had told her of the straight
dreaming of some of their ancestors, pioneers of the North Branch.

The woman in question, who lived many years before, dreamed one night
that her daughter who lived in Connecticut, and who had married just as
they left for Wyoming, appeared to her with a baby in her arms. She said
she herself was dead and she desired the baby to be given to the
grandmother. As a sign of the reality of the vision, she placed her hand
on the wrist of the grandmother, leaving a mark on it that could never
be effaced.

The grandmother took the long journey to Connecticut and found that
everything had happened as told in the dream. The child grew up, and
became the wife of a well-known Methodist preacher, and was famed
throughout Northern Pennsylvania for her good deeds.

Tatnall gradually advanced in life, and became agent or traveling
salesman for several wholesale lumber concerns. He had gotten his start
by being polite to the manager of one of the companies who came up from
Pittsburg every week and stopped at the hotel. He made a success as a
salesman, and it was a matter of quiet satisfaction to him that in ten
years he had sold 160,000,000 feet of lumber. But he had been too busy
to marry, too busy to have a home; was a driving, pushing machine in the
interests of his employers. Sometimes on the trains he met with
intelligent people, but generally his associates were like himself,
human dynamos, but without his interest in the supernatural.

There was one railway journey which he took frequently, and on fast
trains. His westbound trips carried him through the most mountainous
part of the country in the late afternoon, but there was generally light
enough to show the various aspects of the wild, rugged landscape. There
was a little abandoned graveyard, all overgrown, with an uneven stone
wall around it, near where the tracks crossed the river bridge. Standing
among the lop-sided and battered tombstones, the tips of some of the
older ones of brownstone being barely visible, looking as if they were
sinking into the earth, he would always see the figure of a young woman
attired completely in grey. The train was always traveling so fast that
he counted a different number of stones every time he went by–there were
probably a “Baker’s Dozen.”

For a long time he thought that she must be some particularly devoted
mourner, a recently bereaved widow, but it did seem a strange
coincidence that she should be there on the same days and hour that he
passed by in the fast train. Once he called his seat-mate’s attention to
the figure, but the companion could see nothing, and laughingly said:
“Why, you must be seeing a ghost.”

The word _ghost_ sent a thrill through Tatnall, and after that he said
no more to anyone, but conceded to himself that the girl in grey was a
wraith of some kind. Though the train did not pass close to the
graveyard, and was always moving rapidly, he fancied that he could
discern the ghost’s type of feature, or imagined he did; at any rate he
had an exact mental picture of what he thought she looked like, and
would pick her out in a crowd if he ever saw her in hailing distance.

This had kept up for five years, and he began to feel that it was
getting on his nerves; he must either abandon that particular train or
go to the graveyard and investigate. He chose the latter course, and one
afternoon arrived at the nearest station, via a local train. The
graveyard was on the opposite side of the river, and there seemed to be
very little hurry on the part of the boatman, who lived on the far
shore, to carry him across. It was late in the fall, after Thanksgiving,
and the trees were bare of leaves, and shook and rattled their bare
branches in the gusts of wind that came out of the east.

He sat down on an old rotting shell of a dugout by the bank, watching
the cold, grey current, for the river was high after many days of fall
rains. It was a dreary, but imposing scene, the wide, swollen river, the
wooded banks and hills beyond, and back of him, high rocky mountains,
partly covered with scrubby growth and dead pines.

Finally, in response to frequent calling, he could see the boat
launched; it looked like a black speck at first, and gradually drew
nearer to him and beached. The boatman was a tiny man, with a long
drooping mustache and goatee, wearing a Grand Army button; he was
pleasant, but inquisitive, though he “allowed” Tatnall could have no
other business than to be a “drummer” bound for the crossroads store on
the opposite bank.

Tatnall had remembered a small, dingy store in a hamlet, about half mile
from the little cemetery; he had intended going there as he wanted
information concerning the families who were buried there. Perhaps he
could learn all he wanted to know from the riverman, and save the walk
down the track to the store, but for some reason held his tongue.

The boatman’s final remark was that it was strange for anyone to be
willing to pay a dollar to be ferried across the river, when most people
walked the railroad bridge. It was trespassing on railroad property, and
dangerous to do it, but it was worth the risk, many travelers thought.

Arriving safely across the roily current, Tatnall paid and thanked the
boatman, and started in the direction of the little country store. In
front of the store was a row of mature Ailanthus trees, which seemed
like sturdy guards over the old stone structure, which had once been a
tavern stand. The porch was filled with packing cases and barrels.

As Tatnall opened the door, he could see a number of habitues seated
about on crates and barrels. One of them, a white bearded Civil War
Veteran, rose up, leaning heavily on his cane, and bid the stranger
welcome. Almost before he had a chance to engage in conversation with
the regulars, he glanced behind the counter, where he beheld a young
woman, who had just emerged from an inner apartment behind the store
room.

In the dim half-light, the dark aquiline face and meagre figure seemed
strangely familiar. She was more Oriental than Indian in type, with that
curly hair and wonderful nose, those thin lips, and complexion, the deep
pink tone of a wild pigeon’s breast. Where had they met before? For a
moment his mind refused to correlate, then like a flash, he realized
that she was the counterpart of the girl in grey who haunted the little
disused cemetery so regularly. And the way she looked at him was as if
they had seen one another before; on her face was a look of mild
surprise.

Addressing some pleasantries to her, they were soon engaged in
conversation, as if they had known each other for years. It was getting
late, time to light lamps and fires at home, so the long-winded
dissertations of the habitues were left off, to be continued after
supper. One by one they filed out of the store; if they had any opinion
of the stranger conversing with Elma Hacker, the store-keeper’s niece,
it was that he was probably some traveling man, “talking up” his line of
goods.

When the last one had gone, and the acquaintance had progressed far
enough, Tatnall, leaning over the counter, confided bravely the purpose
of his visit to the remote neighborhood. For five years he had been
seeing a figure in grey, in the late afternoons, while passing by the
little graveyard in the western express. No one else could see it, yet
he was certain that his senses were not deceiving him. Did she know
anything of this, and could she help him fathom the mystery?

The dark girl dropped her eyes and was silent for a moment. She was
hesitating as to whether to disclaim all knowledge, or to be frank and
divulge a story which concerned her soul.

“Yes, I do know all about it, how very funny! I, too, have had the power
of seeing that figure in grey, though very few others have ever been
able to, and many’s the time I’ve been called crazy when I mentioned it.
‘The girl in grey,’ as you call her, strangely enough was an ancestress
of mine, or rather belonged to my father’s family, and while I have the
same name, Elma Hacker, I don’t know whether I was named for her or not,
as my parents died when I was a little girl.

“It used to make me feel terrible when I was a little girl and told
about seeing the figure. I hated to be regarded as untruthful or
‘dullness,’ but at last my uncle, hearing of it, came to the rescue and
told me not to mind what anyone said, that, from the description, he was
sure I had seen the ghost. He had never had the power to see her, but
his father, my grandfather had, and other members of the family.

“It was a sad and curious story. It all happened in the days of the very
first white settlers in these mountains, when my ancestors kept the
first stopping place for travellers, a Stone fortress-like house, in
Black Wolf Gap; the ruins of the foundations are still visible, and
folks call it ‘The Indian Fort.’ The Hackers were friendly with the
Indians, who often came for square meals, and other favors from the
genial pioneer landlord and his wife. The Elma Hacker of those days had
a sweetheart who lived alone on the other side of the Gap; his name was
Ammon Quicksall, and from all accounts, he was a fine, manly fellow, a
great hunter and fighter.

“He would often drop in on his beloved on his way home from his hunting
trips, at all hours of the day. One one occasion four Indians appeared
at the tavern, intimating that they were hungry, as Indians generally
were. Elma carried a pewter dish containing all the viands the house
afforded to each, which they sat eating on a long bench outside the
door.

“One of the Indians was a peculiar, half-witted young wretch who went by
the name of Chansops. He came to the public house quite often, being
suspected of having a fondness for Elma and for hard cider. She always
treated him pleasantly, but kept him at a distance, and never felt fear
of any kind in his presence. No doubt his feelings were of a volcanic
order, and under his stoical exterior burned a consuming passion. He was
munching his lunch, apparently most interested in his food, when Ammon
Quicksall and his hunting dogs hove in sight.

“Their barking and yelping were a signal to Elma, who rushed out of the
house to greet her lover, perhaps showing her feelings a trifle too
much; though she had no reason to imagine she should restrain herself in
the presence of the Indians. All the while Chansops was eyeing her with
gathering rage and fury. When Elma took her lover’s arm–she must have
been a very impulsive girl–and rested her head against his shoulder, it
was too much for the irate Indian.

“He jumped up, firing his pewter dish into the creek which flowed near
the house, and danced up and down in sheer fury. His companions tried
hard to calm him, as they wanted to keep on good terms with the
innkeeper’s family, but he was beyond all control. Quicksall and Elma
were walking on the path which led along the creek; their backs were
turned, and they little dreamed of the drama being enacted behind them.
The other Indians, realizing that Chansops meant trouble, lay hold of
him, but he wrenched himself free with a superhuman strength,
threatening to kill anyone who laid hands on him again.

“Old Adam Hacker, Elma’s father, finally heard the commotion and came
out, and asked in Dutch what the trouble was all about. One of the
Indians, the oldest and most sensible, replied that it was only Chansops
having a jealous fit because he saw Elma walking off with Quicksall.
While these words were being said, Chansops was edging further away, and
looking around furtively, saw that he had a chance to get away, and
sprang after the retreating couple. Bounding like a deer, he was a few
paces behind Quicksall in a twinkling of an eye. He had a heavy old
flint-lock pistol with him, which he drew and fired point blank into the
young lover’s back at two or three paces. With a groan, Quicksall sank
down on the ground, dying before Elma could comfort him.

“Before Adam Hacker or the friendly Indians could reach the scene of the
horrid tragedy, Chansops had escaped into the forests, followed by
Quicksall’s hounds yelping at his heels. He was seen no more. The dogs,
tired and dejected, re-appeared the next day; evidently they had been
outraced by the fleet Indian runner.

“It was a blow from which the bereaved girl could not react. She was
brave enough at the time, but she was never the same again. She
gradually pined away, until she was about my age, she died, and was
buried not in the little graveyard, but in her father’s yard. That was
done because it was feared that the crazy Chansops might return and dig
up her body, and carry it away to his lodge in the heart of the forest.
Quicksall was buried in the pioneer cemetery, and that is the place
where Elma Hacker of those days evidently frequents, trying to be near
her sweetheart’s last resting place, and to reason out the tragedy of
her unfulfilled existence.

“It is a very strange story, but odder still, to me, that you, a
stranger, should have seen the apparition so frequently, when others do
not, and been interested enough to have come here to unravel the
mystery.”

“It is a strange story,” said Tatnall, after a pause. He was figuring
out just what he could say, and not say too much. “The strangest part is
that the figure I have been seeing is the image of yourself, bears the
same name, and my name, Ammon Tatnall, has a somewhat similar sound, in
fact is cousin-german to ‘Ammon Quicksall.’”

In the gloom Elma Hacker hung her pretty head still further. She was
glad that there was no light as she did not want Tatnall to see the hot
purple flush which she felt was suffusing her dark cheeks.

“The minute I came into the store,” Tatnall continued, “you looked
familiar; it did not take me a minute to identify you as the grey lady.”

“And you,” broke in Elma, “appear just as I always supposed Ammon
Quicksall looked.”

How much more intimate the talk would have become, there is no telling,
but just then the door was swung open, and in came old Mrs. Becker, a
neighbor woman, to buy some bread.

“You must be getting moonstruck, Elma,” she said, “to be here and not
light the lamps. Why, it is as dark as Egypt in this room, and you were
always so prompt to light them.”

Elma bestirred herself to find the matches, and soon the swinging lamps
were lit, and the store aglow.

Again the door was thrown open, and Elma’s uncle came in. He was Adam
Hacker, namesake of the old-time landlord, and proprietor of the store.
Mrs. Becker got her bread and departed, and Elma introduced Tatnall to
the storekeeper. Soon she explained to him the stranger’s business, to
which the uncle listened sympathetically. At the conclusion he said:

“It is really curious, after all these years, to have an Adam Hacker, an
Elma Hacker and an Ammon Tatnall–almost Quicksall–here together; if
Chansops was here it would be as if the past had risen again.”

“Let us hope there’ll be no Chansops this time,” said Tatnall. “Let us
feel that everything that was unfulfilled and went wrong in those old
days is to be righted now.”

It was a bold statement, but somehow it went unchallenged.

“I believe in destiny, the destiny of wayside cemeteries, of chance and
opportunity,” he resumed. “It can be the only road to true happiness
after all.”

“How happy we’d all be,” said Elma demurely, “if through all this we
could only lay the ghost of my poor ancestress, the grey lady.”

“Nothing that is started is ever left unfinished,” answered Tatnall.
“And we of this generation become unconscious actors in the final scenes
of a drama that began a couple of centuries ago. In that way the cycle
of existence is carried out harmoniously, else this world could not go
on if it was merely a jumble of odds and ends, and starts without
finishes; as it is, everything that is good, that is worthwhile,
sometimes comes to a rounded out and completed fulfillment.”

The moon, which had come out clear, was three parts full, and shed a
glowing radiance over the rugged landscape. After supper Ammon and Elma
strolled out along the white, moon-bathed road. Coming to a cornfield
the girl pointed to a great white oak with a plume-like crest which
stood on a knoll, facing the valley, the river, and the hills beyond;
they climbed the high rail fence, and slipping along quietly, seated
themselves beneath the giant tree. Of the many chapters of human life
and destiny enacted beneath the oak’s spreading branches, none was
stranger than this one. There until the flaming orb had commenced to
wane in the west, they sat, perfectly content. “Oh, how I like to rest
on the earth,” said she. “How I love to be here, and look at your
wonderful face,” he whispered, as he stroked the perfect lines of her
nose, lips, chin and throat.

[Illustration]

                                   VI
                            _The Holly Tree_


It was while on a mountain climbing trip in the French Alps, when
stormstayed at a small inn at Grenoble, that a chance acquaintance
showed The Viscount Adare a copy of “The Travels of Thomas Ashe,” a book
which had recently appeared in London and created a sensation in the
tourist world. The Viscount had already perused “Travels Beyond the
Alleghenies,” by the younger Michaux, but the volume by Ashe, so full of
human interest, more than sharpened his old desire to travel in the
United States, now that a stable peace between the young republic and
the Mother Country was a matter of some years standing.

The mountains, as described by both Michaux and Ashe, seemed stupendous
and inspiring, wild game and mighty forests were everywhere, and a
glimpse might be caught of the vanishing redmen, without journeying as
far west as the Mississippi River.

Thomas Ashe excelled in descriptions of the life along the mountain
highways, though nothing could be more vivid than Michaux’s pen picture
of his feast on venison cooked on the coals on the hearth at Statler’s
stone tavern on the Allegheny summits, near Buckstown. This ancient
hostelry is, by the way, still standing, though misnamed “The Shot
Factory,” by modern chroniclers, much to the disgust of the accurate
historian of Somerset County, George W. Grove.

All during his trip among the Alps of Savoy, and Dauphiny, The Viscount
Adare was planning the excursion to Pennsylvania. His love of wild
scenery was one compelling reason, but perhaps another was Ashe’s
description of his meeting and brief romance with the beautiful Eleanor
Ancketell, daughter of the innkeeper on the Broad Mountain, above Upper
Strasburg, Franklin County.

It was well along in August, the twenty-first to be exact, when Ashe’s
book was first shown to him, therefore it seemed impracticable to make
the journey that year, but the time would soon roll around, and be an
ideal outing for the ensuing summer. From the time of his return to
London, until almost the date set for the departure, The Viscount Adare
busied himself reading every book of American travel and adventure that
he could lay his hands on, besides accumulating a vast outfit to take
along, although the trip was to be on foot, and without even a guide.

Needless to say, with such an interesting objective, the year passed
very rapidly, not that The Viscount had no other interests, for he had
many, being a keen sportsman and scientist, as well as a lover of books,
paintings and the drama.

It was on the twenty-third of August, a little over a year after his
first acquaintance with the writings of Ashe, that The Viscount embarked
for Philadelphia, on the fast sailing ship “Ocean Queen.” Very few
Englishmen went to America for pleasure in those days as the sting of
the Revolution was still a thorn in their sides. Many Britishers did go,
but they were mostly of the commoner sort, immigrants, not tourists.

The Viscount Adare, even before sailing, had his itinerary pretty well
mapped out. He would tarry a week in Philadelphia to get rid of his “sea
legs,” then proceed by carriage to Louisbourg, then beginning to be
called Harrisburg, and go from there to Carlisle, Shippensburg, and
Upper Strasburg, at which last named place he would abandon his
conveyance, and with pack on back, in true Alpine fashion, start
overland, traversing the same general direction of Michaux and Ashe
towards Pittsburg. At Pittsburg he planned to board a flat boat and
descend the Ohio, thence into the Mississippi, proceeding to New
Orleans, at which city he could set sail for England.

It was an ambitious trip for a solitary traveler, but as he was known by
his Alpinist friends as “The Guideless Wonder,” some indication may be
divined of his resourcefulness.

The journey across the Atlantic was interesting. A school of whales
played about the ship, coming so close as to create the fear that they
would overturn it. The Captain, a shrewd Irishman, was not to be
daunted, so he ordered a number of huge barrels or casks thrown
overboard, which immediately diverted the attention of the saurians,
with the result that a smart breeze coming up, they were left far
astern.

A boat, said to be a pirate, was sighted against the horizon, but
fortunately made no attempt to come close, heading away towards the
Summer Islands, where, say the older generation of mountain folks, arise
all the warm south breezes that often temper wintry or early spring days
in the Pennsylvania Highlands, with blue sky and fleecy clouds.

The Viscount Adare was pleased with these trifling adventures, and more
so with ocean travel, as it was his first long sea voyage, though he had
crossed the Channel and the Irish Sea scores of times.

He debarked in Philadelphia after a voyage lasting nearly six weeks,
consequently the green foliage of England was replaced by the vivid
tints of Autumn on the trees which grew in front of the rows of brick
houses near the Front Street Landing Wharf. He had letters to the
British Consul, who was anxious to arrange a week or two of social
activity for the distinguished traveler, but The Viscount assured him
that he must be on his way.

The ride in public coaches to Lancaster and Harrisburg was accomplished
without incident. His fellow travelers were anxious to point out the
various places of interest, the fine corn crops, livestock and farm
buildings, but the Englishman was so anxious to get to the wilds that
this interlude only filled him with impatience.

[Illustration: BARK-PEELERS AT WORK. BLACK FOREST]

He was impressed not a little by the battlefields of Paoli and
Brandywine, but most of all by the grove where the harmless Conestoga
Indians were encamped when surprised and massacred by the brutal Paxtang
Boys. The word “Indians” thrilled him, and whetted his curiosity, which
was somewhat appeased on his arrival at Harrisburg by the sight of five
Indians in full regalia, lying on the grass under John Harris’ Mulberry
Tree, waiting to be ferried across the river.

He tarried only one night at Harrisburg, then hiring a private
conveyance, started down the Cumberland Valley, where he most admired
the many groves of tall hardwoods–resting at Carlisle and
Shippensburg–as originally planned. At Carlisle, he was waited on at his
inn by a German woman, who explained to him that she was none other than
“Molly Pitcher,” or Molly Ludwig, the intrepid heroine of the Battle of
Monmouth.

It was on a bright autumnal morning that, with pack on back, and staff
in hand, he started for the heights of Cove Mountain, towards the west
country. On the way he passed a small roadside tavern, in front of which
a few years before had played a little yellow-haired boy, with a turkey
bell suspended around his neck so that he could not get lost. The German
drovers who lolled in front of the hostelry were fond of teasing the
lad, calling him “Jimmy mit the bells on,” much to the youngster’s
displeasure. His mother was a woman of some intellectual attainments,
and occasionally would edify the society folk of Mercersburg by reciting
the whole of Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”

In time this boy became known as James Buchanan, the only Pennsylvanian
to occupy the Presidential chair.

There were many taverns along the road, considering the wildness of the
country, and The Viscount thought how much history and tradition was
being made about their inglenooks and home-garths. The forests of
chestnuts, yellow pine and rock oak, the grand scenery of distant
valleys and coves, interested him more, and the occasional meetings with
the mountain people along the way, whom he enjoyed conversing with,
about the local folk-lore, game and Indians. On many of the log barns
and sheds were nailed bear paws, deer horns and wolf hides, and the
hieroglyphics and signs, to ward off witches, were keenly interesting to
his inquiring gaze.

It was amazing how the road wound in serpentine fashion among the
mountains; the distance could have been much shortened, he thought.

One morning a backwoodsman with a black beard that hung almost to his
feet, explained to him the “short cuts,” or paths that went down the
steep slopes of the mountains, lessening the distance of the regular
roads followed by the packers around the elbows of the mountain ravines.

The Viscount Adare enjoyed these “short cuts” hugely. They reminded him
of his Alpining days, and they led him right through the forests, under
the giant oaks and pines where he saw many unusual looking birds, such
as Pileated Woodpeckers and Carolina Paraquets, while occasionally a
Deer or Gray Fox crossed his path. He had reached the bottom of a ravine
where a stream headed at a big spring, while taking one of these “short
cuts,” when he came in sight of a clearing which contained a corn field,
a pasture lot or commons, a log house, log barn, and a smaller log
cabin, that looked like a smoke-house. Smoke was issuing from an opening
in the roof of the tiny structure, which might have passed for a child’s
play house, modelled after the larger log dwelling. As he neared the
little hut, which reminded him of an Alpine _baracq_, and which stood
close to the path, the door opened and two most curious looking figures
emerged. In old England he had seen sweeps, but these were more
grotesque and grimier than any he could recall. As he drew nearer, he
perceived that while one appeared to be a man, the other was a young
woman. Both were entirely unclad, save that the woman’s locks were
covered by a homespun cap of the tam o’shanter pattern. Both were
literally black, from head to foot.

When they saw the traveler, the woman ran back into the cabin, pulling
the door shut, while the “Jim Crow” man waited in the path until joined
by the surprised Viscount.

“What is all this, my good man,” he queried, “been cleaning your chimney
and fallen through it into a barrel of tar?”

“Oh, no,” said the grimy mountaineer, smiling, his teeth looking very
white against his swarthy visage. “My business is to make lamp black,
and my friend and I have been sweeping down the walls, collecting the
output this morning, and boxing it, and had just finished when you
appeared in sight.”

The fellow made no attempt to apologize for his outlandish appearance,
but stood there in the sunlight like an imp of darkness, chatting with
the Englishman.

“I don’t want to keep your lady friend penned up in there any longer,”
said The Viscount, as he started to move away.

“Oh, don’t go,” said the maker of lamp black, “I don’t know why she acts
that way; stay and have dinner with us. We never let a stranger go by
without furnishing him with some food.”

Ordinarily, The Viscount Adare, unconventional as he was, would have
scurried away from such grimy surroundings, but there was something that
appealed to him about the lamp black maker’s lady, even in her coat of
ebony grime, that made him decide to tarry.

“Thanks, I will stay,” he replied, “but I’ll go to the barn so as to
give your ‘friend,’ as you call her, a chance to come out.”

“Don’t you bother to do that,” said the black man. “She is acting
foolish today; don’t give her the satisfaction to move a step. She never
minded showing herself to anybody before.”

These last words were secretly pleasing to the Viscount, as it showed
that the young woman recognized in him a person of superior
sensibilities, but he hurried to the barn until he knew that she had
been given time to escape to the house. But he could not help hearing
the lamp black maker loudly chiding her for modesty, a trait she had
never displayed previously. Pretty soon he saw the fellow making trips
to the spring, carrying water buckets into the house. The Viscount sat
on the doorstep of the barn, watching the juncos flying about among the
savin bushes in the clearing, or his eyes feasting on the cornelian red
foliage of the sassafras trees on the hill, inwardly speculating if with
her black disguise washed off, the young woman, whose higher nature he
had aroused, would be as good looking as he imagined her to be. He made
a mental picture of her loveliness, ranking her close beside that of
high bred beauties of his own land, of the types depicted by Romney,
Kneller and Lely.

It was not long before he saw her emerge from the house, all washed and
scrubbed, with her hair neatly combed, clad in a spick and span
“butternut” frock. As she came towards him, he noted that she was a
trifle above the average height, and her feet, despite the rough brogans
she wore, were very small. He saw, to his amazement, that she was the
counterpart of his mental picture, only more radiantly lovely. When she
drew near, she asked him, her face lighting up very prettily, as she
spoke, if he would like to come to the house to rest, that she would
soon prepare dinner, and hoped that he would not be too critical of her
humble efforts as a cook.

Her eyes seldom met his, but he could see that they were large and
grey-brown, with delicately penciled black brows, and black lashes. Her
face was rather long and sallow, or rather of a pinkish pallor. Her hair
was cameo brown, her nose long and straight, the lines of her mouth
delicate and refined, with lips unusually thin. He had noticed, as she
came towards him, that her slender form swayed a little forward as she
walked, reminding him of the mythical maiden Syrinx, daughter of the
River God, whom the jealous-hearted Pan changed into a reed.

The Viscount Adare was far more disconcerted than his hostess, as he
followed her to the log house. Just as they approached the door she
whispered, “I hope that you will forgive the awful exhibition I made of
myself.”

Indoors she sat down on one of the courting blocks by the great open
hearth, where pots of various sizes hung from the cranes. The man, who
was still trying to get the lamp black out of his curly hair and beard,
was only partially dressed, and looked all the world like pictures of
the lascivious Lupercalian Pan himself.

The Englishman felt strangely at ease in the cabin, watching the
slender, reed-like girl prepare the meal, and enjoyed the dinner with
his humble entertainers.

Shortly after the repast another bearded backwoodsman appeared at the
door. The lamp black maker had an appointment to go with him to some
distant parts of the Shade Mountains to examine bear pens, and asked to
be excused. He would not be back until the next day; it was nothing
unusual for him to leave his friend alone for a week at a time on
similar excursions.

The Viscount was in no hurry to go, as never had a woman appealed to him
as did the lamp black maker’s young assistant. Perhaps it was the
unconventional character of their first meeting that shocked his love
into being; at any rate he was severely smitten; probably John Rolfe was
no more so, on his first glimpse of the humane Pocohontas.

After the two hunters had gone, the young woman sat down on the other
courting block, on the opposite of the inglenook, and The Viscount
decided to ask her to tell him the story of her life. She colored a
trifle, saying that no one had ever been interested in her life’s
history before, therefore, she might not repeat it very well.

She had been born at sea, of parents coming from the northern part of
Ireland. They had settled first in the Cumberland Valley, then, when she
was about a dozen years old, decided to migrate to Kentucky. They had
not gotten much further than the covered bridge across the Little
Juniata, when they were ambushed by robbers, and all the adult members
of the party, her parents and an uncle, were slain. The children were
carried off, being apportioned among the highwaymen. She fell to the lot
of the leader of the band, Conrad Jacobs, who took more than a fatherly
interest in her.

He was a middle-aged married man, but he openly said that when the girl
was big enough, he would chase his wife away and install her in her
place. But she was kindly treated by the strange people, even more so
than at home, for her mother had been very severe and unreasonable.

When she was fifteen she saw signs that the outlaw was going to put his
plan into effect–to drive his wife out into the forest, like an old
horse–and probably would have done so, but for Simon Supersaxo, the lamp
black man, who came to the highwayman’s shanty frequently on his hunting
trips.

The robber became jealous of the young Nimrod and threatened to shoot
him if he came near the premises again. A threat was as good as a
promise with such people, so Supersaxo was ready to kill or be killed on
sight.

He met the highwayman one evening in front of McCormick’s Tavern, and
drawing the bead, shot him dead. He was not arrested, but feted by all
the innkeepers for ridding the mountains of a dangerous deterrent to
travel, while she, her name was Deborah Conner, went to help keep house
for him, along with the outlaw’s widow, but in reality to help make lamp
black.

That was four years before. Since old Mother Jacobs had died and
Deborah, now nineteen years of age, was being importuned by Supersaxo to
marry him.

Previous to the Englishman’s coming that morning, she had never felt any
shame at working in the lamp black hut with her employer, or appearing
before passers-by unclad, but now a great light had come to her; she was
free to confess that she was changed and humiliated.

The Viscount looked her over and over, and far into those wonderful
stone grey eyes that mirrored a refined soul lost in the wilderness.
Then he made bold to speak:

“Deborah”, he said, “since you have been so frank with me in telling the
story of your life, I will freely confess to you that I loved you the
minute my eyes rested on you, even in your unbecoming homespun cap, and
lamp black from head to foot. I realize that your being here is but an
accident, and my coming the instrument to take you away. I will marry
you, and strive always to make you happy, if you will come away with me,
and I will take you to England where, among people of refined tastes,
you will shine and always be at peace.”

Deborah opened her thin delicate mouth in surprise, and her eyes became
like grey stars. “Really, do you mean that”? she said.

“I mean every word,” replied The Viscount Adare.

“I know that I feel differently towards you than any man I have seen, so
I must love you, and I will always be happy with you,” resumed the girl.
“And while I owe Simon Supersaxo a deep debt of gratitude for saving me
from being forced into marrying that horrid old road-agent, I owe myself
more, and you more still. I will go with you whenever you are ready to
take me, no matter what my conscience will tell me later. Though I’ll
say to you honestly that I never thought there was any life for me
further than to make lamp black, until you came.”

She explained to him that at Christmastime the lamp black man always
went with a party of companions on a great elk hunt to the distant
Sinnemahoning Country, and if The Viscount would return then, she would
arrange to meet him at a certain place at a certain day and hour, and go
away with him. “There is a little clearing or old field on the top of
the ridge, beyond this house,” and pointing her slender white hand,
showed to him through the open door. “Meet me there on the day before
Christmas, and I will be free to go away with you rejoicing.”

The balance of the visit was passed in pleasant amity, until towards
nightfall, when The Viscount shouldered his pack and seized his staff,
and started away, not for Pittsburg, but eastward again. Deborah, her
slender reed-like figure swaying in the autumn breeze, walked with him
to the edge of the clearing. She kissed him goodbye among the savin
bushes, and he kissed her many times in return, until they parted at the
carnelian-leafed sassafras trees on the hill, and he commenced the
ascent of the steep face of Chestnut Ridge.

The trip back to Philadelphia was taken impatiently, but with a
different kind of impatience; he wanted the entire intervening time
obliterated, until he could get back to his strange exotic mountain
love. In Philadelphia he engaged passage for England the first week in
January, and wrote letters abroad to complete the arrangements for
taking his wife-to-be to his ancestral home. He could never forget the
last afternoon in the Quaker City. Christmas was coming, and the spirit
of this glad festival was in the air, even more so than in “Merrie
England.” He was walking through Chancellor Street when he came upon two
blind Negro Christmas-singers, former sailors, who had lost their sight
in the premature explosion of a cannon on the deck of a frigate on the
Delaware River during the Revolutionary War. He stopped, elegant
gentleman that he was, listened enraptured to their songs of simple
faith: “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.”

“If they had so much to be thankful for,” he mused, “how much more have
I, with lovely Deborah only a few days in the future.”

Then he gave them each five shillings and moved on. A little further
down the street, he met an old Negro Woman selling sprigs of holly with
bright red berries. He bought a sprig. “I’ll take it to Deborah,” he
said to himself.

He returned to Harrisburg by the stage coach, accompanied by a Negro
body-servant well recommended by the British Consul. At Harrisburg he
purchased four extra good horses. With these and the Negro he retraced
his previous journey. He left the Negro and the horses at McCormick’s
Tavern, continuing the balance of the journey on foot, his precious
sprig of holly, with the bright red berries, fastened on the top of his
staff, that had often been decked with the _edelweiss_ and the Alpine
rose. Deborah had said that she knew all the mountain paths back to
McCormick’s, so they could reach there quickly, and be mounted on fast
horses almost before her employer missed them.

His heart was beating fast as he neared his trysting place, the little
clearing on the ridge, the morning before Christmas. Peering through the
trees, he observed that Deborah was not there, but surely she would soon
come, the sun was scarcely over the Chestnut Ridge to the east! A grey
fog hung over the valley, obscuring the little cabin in the cove.

He waited and waited all day long, but no Deborah appeared. He walked
all over the top of the ridge to see if there were other clearings, lest
he had gotten to the wrong one. There were no others, just as she had
said. Cold beads of perspiration stood out on his forehead; he was
angry; he was jealous; the day was closing bitterly cold. “The woman
that I want, she will not come.”

Finally as the sun was going down behind the western summits of the
Alleghenies, he untied the sprig of holly from the end of his
mountain-staff, and bending over, stuck it in the fast freezing earth, a
symbol of his faithless adventure, and started down the mountain,
straight towards Deborah Supersaxo’s cabin.

At the foot of the hill he met her coming towards him–her face was
deadly pale, her thin lips white as death–instantly his hate changed to
tender love again.

“Kill me if you wish,” she cried out before he had time to speak, and
held out her arms to show her non-resistance, “for I have been unworthy.
I broke my faith with you, and was not going to come; I repented at
leaving Supersaxo, who had been so good to me when I was in distress. I
was going to leave you in the lurch. Then, then,” and here tears
trickled down her ghastly cheeks, “I was sitting on the courting log by
the fire, commending myself for my loyalty, when a few minutes ago one
of his friends came in to say that the day before yesterday, while
looking at somebody’s bear pen near the Karoondinha, it fell in on him
and broke his neck. I was just coming up the hill to tell you, if you
were still waiting, how wicked I had been to you, and how I had been
punished. Kill me if you wish, I can never be happy any more.”

The Viscount Adare did not hesitate a moment, but flinging down his
staff, he rushed to the girl and caught her in his arms. “Doubly blessed
are we this night, dear Deborah, for there is now no impediment to our
happiness; no misdirected sense of duty can cast a shadow on the joy
that lies before us. I want you now more than ever before, after this
final trial, and you must come with me!”

“Never say must again,” said Deborah, sweetly, looking up into his eyes,
“I am your willing slave; I will go with you to the ends of the earth: I
want to redeem this day by years of devotion, years of love.”

Picking up his staff, The Viscount Adare and the mountain girl resumed
their journey, past the now deserted log house and the lamp black shack
where they had first met, up the steep mountain, and off towards
McCormick’s Tavern, near where, in a deep pine grove, the Negro
body-servant would be waiting with the horses.

That is all that has been recorded in the mountains concerning the lamp
black girl and The Viscount Adare. In England there is an oil painting
of a certain Viscountess of the name that bears a striking resemblance
to the one time Deborah Conner.

Up on the ridge, in the little clearing, one or more of the seeds of the
sprig of holly took root, and grew a fine tree. In order that this story
may be localized, it is said that this is one of the points furthest
north of any specimen of the native holly in Pennsylvania. In time it
died off, but not before other scions sprang up, and there has always
been a thrifty holly tree on the hill, as if to commemorate a lover’s
tryst, whose heart when on the point of breaking from hideous despair,
found the fullness of his happiness suddenly, and whose story is an
inspiration to all aching hearts.

[Illustration]

                                  VII
                      _The Second Run of the Sap_


The selective draft, according to Dr. Jacobs, a very intelligent Seneca
Indian, residing on the Cornplanter Reservation in Warren County, was
practiced by Pennsylvania Indians in some of their earlier conflicts,
notably in the bloody warfare in the Cherokee country.

In the war against the Cherokees, there was a popular apathy at home, as
it was not undertaken to repel an unjust invasion, but for the purpose
of aggression, after the murder of a number of Cherokees by the Lenape,
and as such did not appeal to the just and patient tribesmen in general.

In order to increase the invading armies beyond the limits of the
volunteer quotas of warriors and chiefs, who were of patrician
antecedents, the draft was resorted to, with the result that a
formidable host departed for the Southland, ravaging the enemy’s
country, and bringing in many prisoners.

The Cherokees were not completely vanquished, as they were victorious in
some of the conflicts, and also made numerous prisoners. Some of these
were tortured to death, others were adopted by families that had lost
their sons, while a few escaped and made their way Northward.

[Illustration: THE FALLEN MONARCH, PORTAGE CREEK]

The war was followed by the usual period of upheaval and reconstruction,
and the moral code of the redmen suffered as much as did modern
civilization as an aftermath of the world war. Many Cherokee prisoners
were brought to Pennsylvania and put at menial work, or bartered as
slaves while others intermarried with the northern tribes, so that
Cherokee blood become a component part of the make-up of the
Pennsylvania aboriginies. The Cherokee legends and history lingered
wherever a drop of their blood remained, so that the beginnings of some,
at least, of our Pennsylvania Indian folk-lore hark back to the golden
age of the Cherokees.

They certainly have been the martyr-race, the Belgians of the North
American Indians, even to the time of their brutal expulsion from their
Carolina homes during the Nineteenth Century by U. S. troops at the
behest of selfish land-grabbers, and sentenced to die of exhaustion and
broken hearts along the dreary trek to the distant Indian Territory.

Among the bravest and most enthusiastic of the Pennsylvania invaders was
the young warrior In-nan-ga-eh, chief of the draft, who led the drafted
portion of the army against the Cherokee foemen. He was of noble blood,
hence himself exempt from the draft, but he was a lover of war and
glory, and rejoiced to lead his less well-born, and less patriotic
compatriots into the thick of battle. Although noble rank automatically
exempted from the draft, the young scions of nobility enlisted
practically to a man, holding high commissions, it is true, yet at all
times bold and courageous.

In-nan-ga-eh was always peculiarly attractive to the female sex. Tall,
lithe and sinewy, he was a noted runner and hunter, as well as famed for
his warlike prowess. At twenty-two he was already the veteran of several
wars, notably against the Ottawas and the Catawbas, and thirsted for a
chance to humble his southern rivals, the Cherokees. He wished to make
it his boast that he had fought and conquered tribes on the four sides
of the territory where he lived, making what is now the Pennsylvania
country the ruling land, the others all vassal states.

He was indiscriminate in his love making, having no respect for birth or
caste, being different from his reserved and honorable fellow
aristocrats, consequently at his departure for the south, he was mourned
for by over a score of maidens of various types and degrees. If he cared
for any one of these admirers, it was Liddenah, a very beautiful, kindly
and talented maiden, the daughter of the noted wise man or sooth-sayer,
Wahlowah, and probably the most remarkable girl in the tribe.

That she cared for such an unstable and shallow-minded youth to the
exclusion of others of superior mental gifts and seriousness of purpose,
amply proved the saying that opposites attract, for there could have
been no congeniality of tastes between the pair. Temperamentally they
seemed utterly unsuited, as Liddenah was artistic and musically
inclined, and a chronicler of no mean ability, yet she would have given
her life for him at any stage of the romance. She possessed ample
self-control, but when he went away her inward sorrow gnawing at her
heart almost killed her. She may have had a presentiment of what was in
store!

During invasions of this kind, communication with home was maintained by
means of runners who carried tidings, good or bad, bringing back verbal
lists of the dead, wounded and missing, some of which they shamefully
garbled.

In-nan-ga-eh was decorated several times for conspicuous bravery, and
was reported in the vanguard of every attack, until at length came the
shocking news of his ambush and capture. Over a score of the most
beautiful maidens along the Ohe-yu and Youghiogheny were heartbroken to
distraction, but none more so than the lovely and intellectual Liddenah.
This was the crowning blow, her lover taken by his cruel foes, being
perhaps boiled alive, or drawn and quartered. Seated alone in her lodge
house by the banks of The Beautiful River, she pictured all sorts of
horrors befalling her beloved, and of his own deep grief at being held
prisoner so far from his homeland.

It was a humiliation to be captured, and by a band of Amazons, who
begged permission to entrap the fascinating enemy. Finding him bathing
in a deep pool, they surrounded it, flinging at him slightly poisoned
darts, which made him partially overcome by sleep, so that he was only
able to clamber out on the bank, there to be secured by his fair captors
and led in dazed triumph to their chief.

The Chieftain was elated at the capture, and treated the handsome
prisoner with all the deference due to his rank. Instead of boiling him
in oil, or flaying him, he was feted and feasted, and the warlike bands
became demoralized by catering to his pleasure.

It was not long before the chief’s daughter, Inewatah, fell in love with
him, and as her illustrious father, Tekineh, had lost a son in the war,
In-nan-ga-eh was given the choice of becoming the chief’s adopted son or
his son-in-law. He naturally chose the latter, as the wife-to-be was
both beautiful and winning.

The war resulted in defeat for the Cherokees, although the old chief
escaped to fastnesses further south with his beautiful daughter and
alien son-in-law. All went well for a year and a half after the peace
when In-nan-ga-eh, began to feel restless and listless for his northern
mountains, the playground of his youth. He wanted to go on a visit, and
asked the chief’s permission, giving as his word of honor, his love for
the chieftain’s daughter, that he would properly return.

The Cherokee bride was as heartbroken as Liddenah; she had first asked
that she might accompany him on the trip, which was refused, but she
accepted the inevitable stoically outwardly, but with secret aching
bosom.

In-nan-ga-eh was glad to get away; being loved too much was tiresome;
life was too enervating in the warm sunshine on Soco Creek; he liked the
camp and the hunting lodge; love making, too much of it, palled on him.
He wanted to be let alone.

Accompanied by a bodyguard of selected Cherokees, he hurriedly made his
way to the North. One morning to the surprise and delight of all, he
appeared at his tribal village by the Ohe-yu, as gay and debonair as
ever. As he entered the town almost the first person he saw was
Liddenah. She looked very beautiful, and he could see at one glance how
she loved him, yet perversely he barely nodded as he passed.

When he was re-united with his parents, who treated him as one risen
from the dead, his sisters began telling him about the news of the
settlement, of his many friends, of Liddenah. Her grief had been very
severe, it shocked her mother that she should behave so like a European
and show her feelings to such an extent. Then the report had come that
he had been put to death by slow torture. “Better that,” Liddenah had
said openly in the market place, “than to remain the captive of
barbarians.”

Once it was taken for granted that he was dead, Liddenah began to
receive the attentions of young braves, as they came back from the South
laden with scalps and other decorations of their victorious campaign
against the Cherokees. Liddenah gave all to understand that her heart
was dead; she was polite and tolerant, but, like the eagle, she could
love only once.

There was one young brave named Quinnemongh who pressed his suit more
assiduously than the rest, and aided by Liddenah’s mother, was
successful. The pair were quietly married about a year after
In-nan-ga-eh’s capture, or several months before he started for the
North, leaving his Cherokee bride at her father’s home on the Soco.

Quinnemongh was not such a showy individual as In-nan-ga-eh, but his
bravery was unquestioned, his reliability and honor above reproach. He
made Liddenah a very good husband. In turn she seemed to be happy with
him, and gradually overcoming her terrible sorrow.

When In-nan-ga-eh had passed Liddenah on entering the village, he had
barely noticed her because he supposed that he could have her any time
for the asking. When he learned that she was the wife of another, he
suddenly realized that he wanted her very badly, that she was the cause
of his journey Northward. The old passion surged through his veins; it
was what the bark-peelers call “the second run of the sap.”

Through his sisters, who were among Liddenah’s most intimate friends, he
sought a clandestine meeting with his former sweetheart. They met at the
“Stepping Stones,” a crossing near the headwaters of Cowanshannock, in a
mossy glade, which had formerly been his favorite trysting place with
over a score of doting maidens in the ante-bellum days.

Liddenah, inspired by her great love, never looked more beautiful. She
was probably a trifle above the average height, gracefully, but solidly
made. Her skin was very white, her eyes dark, her hair that of a raven,
while her aquiline nose, high cheek bones and small, fine mouth made her
resemble a high-bred Jewess more than an Indian squaw, a heritage
perhaps from a remote Semitic origin beyond the Pacific. She showed
openly how happy she was to meet In-nan-ga-eh, until he told her the
story of his tragic love, how she had broken his young heart by cruelly
marrying another while he languished in a Southern prison camp. In vain
she protested that, on all sides came seemingly authentic reports of his
death; he was obdurate in the destiny he had decreed. Quinnemongh must
die by his hand, and he would then flee with the widow to the country of
the Ottawas. The hot blood surging in his veins, like a second flow of
sap in a red maple, must be appeased by her submission.

Liddenah was horrified; she came of eminently respectable ancestry, she
admired Quinnemongh, her husband, almost to the point of loving him, but
where that affection ended, her all-pervading obsession for In-nan-ga-eh
began and knew no limitations in her being.

“Tonight”, said In-nan-ga-eh, scowling dreadfully, “I will surprise the
vile Quinnemongh in his lodge house, and with one blow of my stone
war-hammer crush in his skull, then I will scalp him and meet you at the
stepping stones, and by the moonlight we will decamp to the far free
country of the Ottawas, his scalp dangling at my belt as proof of my
hate and my bravery”.

Liddenah gave a reluctant assent to the fiendish program when they
parted. On her way home through the forest path her conscience smote her
with Mosaic insistence–the blood of her ancestors, of the Lost Tribe of
Israel, would not permit her to sanction the murder of a good and true
warrior. She would immolate herself for her family honor, and for her
respect for Quinnemongh.

Arriving at the lodge-house she went straight to Quinnemongh and
confessed the story of her meeting with the perfidious In-nan-ga-eh, all
but the homicidal part. Quinnemongh was not much surprised, as he knew
of her great love for the ex-Cherokee prisoner, and In-nan-ga-eh’s
capricious pride.

“Quinnemongh”, she said, between her sobs, for, like a white girl, she
was tearful, “I was to meet In-nan-ga-eh tonight, when the moon is over
the tops of the trees, by the stepping stones, and we were to fly
together to the country of the Ottawas. You present yourself there in my
stead, and tell the false In-nan-ga-eh that I have changed my mind, that
I am true to my noble husband”.

Needless to say, Quinnemongh was pleased at this recital, and promised
to be at the ford at the appointed time. Like most persons under similar
circumstances, he was eager to be on his errand, and departed early,
armed with his favorite scalping knife. Liddenah kissed and embraced
him, calling him her “hero”, and once he was out of sight, she darted
into his cabin and lay down among his blankets and buffalo robes,
covering herself, all but the top of her brow, and huddling, all curled
up, for the autumnal air was chill.

The moon slowly rose higher and higher until it reached the crowns of
the giant rock oaks along the edge of the “Indian fields”. The gaunt
form of In-nan-ga-eh could now be seen creeping steadily out of the
forest, bounding across the clearing and, stone axe in hand, entered the
cabin where he supposed that Quinnemongh was sleeping. A ray of shimmery
moonlight shone full on the upturned forehead of his victim. Animated by
a jealous hate, he struck a heavy blow with his axe of dark diorite,
crushing in the sleeper’s temples like an eggshell. Leaving the weapon
imbedded in his victim’s skull, he deftly cut off the long bushy scalp
with his sharp knife, and, springing out of the hut, started off on a
dog-trot towards the stepping stones, waving his bloody, gruesome
souvenir.

He approached the fording with the light of the full moon shining on the
waters of the brook; he was exultant and grinding his teeth in lustful
fury. Who should he see there–not the fair and yielding goddess
Liddenah, but the stalwart form of the recently butchered and scalped
Quinnemongh. Believer in ghosts that he was, this was almost too much of
a visitation for him. Pausing a minute to make sure, he rushed forward
brandishing the scalp in one hand, his knife, which caught the moon’s
beams on its blade in the other.

“Wretch”! he shrieked at Quinnemongh, “must I kill you a second time to
make you expiate your sin at marrying Liddenah”?

Quinnemongh, who stood rigid as a statue at the far side of the ford,
replied, “You have not killed me once; how dare you speak of a second
time”?

“Whose scalp have I then”? shouted In-nan-ga-eh, as he continued to rush
forward.

“Not mine surely”, said Quinnemongh, as he felt his comparatively sparse
locks.

Just as the men came face to face it dawned on both what had happened,
and with gleaming knives, they sprang at one another in a death
struggle. For half an hour they fought, grappling and stabbing, kicking
and biting, in the shallow waters of the ford. Neither would go down,
though Liddenah’s scalp was forced from In-nan-ga-eh’s hand, and got
between the breasts of the two combatants, who pushed it, greasy and
gory, up and down as they fought. They literally stabbed one another
full of holes, and bit and tore at their faces like wild beasts; they
carved the skin off their shoulders and backs, they kicked until their
shin bones cracked, until finally both, worn out from loss of blood,
sank into the brook and died.

In the morning the scalped and mutilated form of Liddenah was discovered
among the gaudy blankets and decorated buffalo robes; a bloody trail was
followed to the stepping stones, where the two gruesome corpses were
found, half submerged in the red, bloody water, in an embrace so
inextricable, their arms like locked battling stags’ antlers that they
could not in the rigidity of death be separated. Foes though they were,
the just and patient Indians who found them could do nothing else but
dig a common grave in the half-frozen earth, close to the stepping
stones, and there they buried them together, with Liddenah’s soggy scalp
and their bent and broken knives, their bodies to commingle with earth
until eternity.

[Illustration]

                                  VIII
                        _Black Chief’s Daughter_


It was the occasion of the annual Strawberry Dance at the Seneca
Reservation, a lovely evening in June, when, after a warm rain, there
had been a clear sunset, and the air was sweet with the odor of the
grass, and the narrow roads were deep with soft, brown mud and many
puddles of water.

In the long, grey frame Council House all was animation and excitement.
The grim old Chief, Twenty Canoes, decked out in his headdress of
feathers, followed by the musicians with wolf-skin drums filled with
pebbles had arrived, and taken places on the long bench that ran almost
the entire length of the great hall. Other older and distinguished
Indians, Indian guests from the Cornplanter Reservation in Pennsylvania,
and from the New York Reservations at Tonawanda, and the Geneseo, and a
few white visitors, including the Rev. Holt, the Town Missionary and
Attorney Vreeland, the agent, with their families, completely filled the
lengthy bench.

The Indian dancers, male and female, gaily attired, had been gathering
outside, and now, with the first rattle of the drums, filed into the
room and began to dance. As the first loud tattoo was heard, the dancers
commenced shaking their shoulders, holding their arms rigid, and the
“Shimmy” of decadent New York and Philadelphia of nearly half a century
later, was rendered effectively by its originators, the rhythmic
aborigines. As they danced in single file around the visitors’ bench and
past the Chief, to the beat of the wolf skin drums, they melodiously
chanted, first the men, and then the women: “Wee-Wah, Wee-Wah, Wee-Wah,
Wanna; Wee-Wah, Wee-Wah, Wee-Wah, Wanna.” At times the women joined in
the general song, swelling the volume of the melody, until it drowned
out the drum-beats. The windows were open and the perfume of lilacs was
wafted in on the evening breeze, as the swaying files of Indian braves
and maidens shimmied around and around. Among the white visitors was one
young man who was particularly impressed, as he was there not out of
idle curiosity, but to study the manners and customs of the last of the
Senecas, in order to write his doctor’s thesis at the University, the
subject being “The Later History of the Seneca Indians in New York.”

Christian Trubee, for that was his name, had always been interested in
the redmen, a natural heritage from pioneer and frontiersman ancestors
who had fought the Indians all along the Allegheny Mountains and in the
Ohio River basin. He had lately come to Steamburg, putting up at Pat
Smith’s “long house,” where he had quickly become acquainted with Simon
Black Chief, a handsome Indian youth who picked up a living as a
mountebank among the frequenters of the ancient hostelry.

Simon was a wonderful runner, and if he could interest the lumber buyers
and the traveling men, would match himself against a little black mare
owned by Smith and usually ridden by the landlord’s stepson, for a half
mile or mile, and generally beat his equine rival. Other times he would
ride the horse at a gallop, without saddle or bridle, over the common
between the hotel and the Erie Railroad Station, picking up
handkerchiefs, cigars and quarter dollars off the greensward without
ever once losing his equilibrium.

On the evening in question, he invited the young student to accompany
him to the Strawberry Dance at the Council House, and passing by the
one-roomed board shack where he lived, his sister, known as Black
Chief’s Daughter, came out and joined them, so that the trio proceeded
single file to the scene of the festivities. Neither Simon nor his
sister danced that evening, but sat near their distinguished guest,
explaining as best they could the methods and art of the performers, for
they were very proud of the Indian dancing and music. As the evening
progressed, Christian Trubee found himself admiring the Indian maid at
his side more than he did the shimmying hordes on the floor, or the
quaint picturesqueness of the unique ceremonial.

Black Chief’s daughter was certainly the best looking girl present,
almost more like an American than an Indian in appearance, for her
profile was certainly on refined lines, and it was only when looking her
full in the face did the racial traits of breadth of the bridge of the
nose, flatness of lips and deep duskiness of complexion reveal
themselves. Her dark eyes were very clear and expressive, her teeth even
and white, her neck and throat graceful, and her form long, lithe and
elegant.

Christian Trubee liked her very much, and was entirely absorbed by her
at the time of the last beat of the drums when, with a loud yell, the
dance concluded, and the now limp and perspiring Indian dancers crowded
out of doors into the cool moonlight. On the way back Simon Black Chief
led the way, his long hair blowing in the breeze, his sister following.
Trubee did not follow single file, but walked beside the fair damsel.
She was as tall as he was, though she wore deerskin shoes without heels.
When they parted, in the long lush grass, before the humble cabin, she
promised to show him some of the interesting spots on the
reservation–the grave of Blacksnake, the famous chief and orator, the
various tribal burial places, and a visit to King Jimmerson, who
alternated with Twenty Canoes as President of the Seneca Nation, to see
the silver war crowns of Red Jacket, Blacksnake and The Cornplanter, and
to Red House to meet Jim Jacobs, the venerable “Seneca Bear Hunter.”

All of these excursions duly came to pass, about one a day, as the
weather turned steadily clear, day after day, when the Keewaydin blew,
and the distant mountains along The Beautiful River wore a purple green,
and fleecy white clouds tumbled about in the deep blue sky. On these
excursions Black Chief’s Daughter seemed to be the equal of her brother
and Trubee as a pedestrian, was never tired, always cheerful and anxious
to explain the various points of interest.

At one of the graveyards she pointed out the last resting place of an
eccentric redman known as “Indian Brown,” with two deep, round holes in
the mound, made according to his last wishes, because he had been such a
bad Indian in life, that when the Devil came down one hole to get him,
he would escape by the other!

The three young people got along famously on the trips and Trubee was
absorbing an unusual amount of aboriginal history and lore, and under
the most pleasant circumstances. While he never said a word of affection
or even compliment to Black Chief’s Daughter, he felt himself deeply
enamored, and often, in his quiet moments, pictured her as his wife.
Once or twice came the answering thought, how could he, a man of so much
education and refinement, take for life a mate who could not read, and
whose English was little better than a baby’s jargon? Where would he
take her to? Would she like his life, for surely he could not become a
squaw man on the reservation? On the other hand, she was gentle,
sympathetic and thoughtful, and the blood of regal Indian ancestors gave
her a refinement that sometimes education does not convey. But he was
happy in the moment, as are most persons of adaptability of character.
He was at home in any company, or in any circumstances, and had he been
old enough to enlist, would have made a brilliant record in the Civil
War; as it was he was but ten years of age when the conflict ended.

[Illustration: READY FOR THE LOG DRIVE, KETTLE CREEK]

As the days wore on, each one more delightful than its predecessor,
Simon Black Chief and his sister vied with one another to plan trips to
points of interest. One evening Simon asked his white friend if he had
ever seen a wolf-house, the local Indian method of trapping these
formidable animals.

“What was it like, and where was there one?” was Trubee’s instant reply.

“A wolf-house,” said Simon, "is a walled trap like a white man’s great,
big mouse-trap, with a falling door. There is still one preserved over
at the Ox Bow, at the tall, stone mansion called ‘Corydon,’ across the
Pennsylvania line."

Trubee’s interest was aroused, not only in the wolf-house, but the “tall
stone mansion” and its possible occupants. Simon explained to him that
an English gentleman lived there, a son-in-law of one of the heads of
the Holland Land Company. He had been a great hunter in his earlier
days, following exclusively the methods taught him by the Indians. It
was a longer trip than any yet attempted, but Trubee secured Pat Smith’s
little black mare and two other horses, so that the trio departed on
horseback for the distant manor house. Black Chief’s Daughter, who rode
astride, was a skillful and graceful horsewoman, even though her mount
was a poor excuse of horseflesh.

The trip along The Beautiful River was very enjoyable, and at length
they came in sight of “Corydon” on the hill, above the river, a great,
high, dark stone structure, ivy grown, standing in a group of original
white pines, some of these venerable monarchs being stag-topped, while
others had lost their crests in sundry tempests. There was a private
rope ferry across the river, but they rode the horses through the
stream, which was so deep in one place that the animals were forced to
swim. They rode into the grounds, past the huge stone gate posts, up the
hill, under the dark pines. As they neared the front door, the portico
designed by the famous Latrobe, several dogs which looked like Scottish
deerhounds rushed down from the porch and began to leap about the
horses’ throatlatches, barking loudly.

Trubee checked his horse, and asked Simon, who was acquainted with the
family, to dismount and inquire if he might inspect the wolf-house,
which stood on a heathy eminence behind the garden. Once wolves had been
so plentiful and so bold that five of the monsters had been caught in
the trap in the space of three months.

Before Simon Black Chief could dismount, two figures emerged from the
house, a young man and a young woman. Trubee’s quick glances made mental
pictures of both. The man was about thirty-five years of age, short and
thickset, with blond hair parted in the middle, a small mustache and
“Burnsides,” decidedly military in his bearing. The girl was of medium
height, possibly twenty years of age, decidedly pretty, with Sudan brown
hair, hazel eyes, clear cut features, a fair complexion and wearing a
flowing Mother Hubbard gown of prune-colored brocade.

Trubee rode up to them, bowing, reining his horse, which he turned over
to Simon and, dismounting, apologized for his intrusion. He explained
how the Indian had told him of the curious wolf-house back of the garden
and how it would help him in his researches to see it. The girl
graciously offered to show it to him, but first invited the Indian girl
to dismount and rest. The young man remained talking to the Indian, but
the Seneca maid continued to sit on her horse, rigid and silent as a
Tanagra. On the way to the wolf-house, Christian Trubee introduced
himself, and, being able to mention several mutual acquaintances, which
put him on an easy footing with the fair chatelaine of “Corydon”.

The charming girl told him that she was Phillis Paddingstowe, the
daughter of the lord of the manor, which made Trubee feel like saying
how natural it was to find _Phillis_ at _Corydon_! The young
military-looking man, “the little Colonel” she called him, was
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Caslow, who had served with General
Huidekoper, “the hero of Gettysburg” in that immortal conflict, and was
at Corydon for a few days on a trout fishing trip. The old garden
through which they passed on the way to the wolf-house was full of
boxwood trees, which had been brought from Bartram’s gardens in
Philadelphia by wagon to Warren, and up the Ohe-yu in flat boats. They
gave a spicy, aromatic odor to the summer afternoon atmosphere. The
wolf-house was falling to decay, but Trubee took out his note book and
sketched it and recorded its dimensions. It was surprising that wolves
should come so close to a habitation, but Phillis stated that when she
was a baby they had actually killed and eaten three of her father’s
favorite Scotch deerhounds in one night, though they were chained to
kennels at the rear of the house.

By the time they had returned from their inspection, Clement
Paddingstowe, Phillis’ father, had appeared, and supplemented his
daughter’s cordial invitation that they stay to tea. Trubee might have
remained, but Black Chief’s Daughter, though she was again urged by
Phillis and her father, seemed disinclined to partake of the
hospitality. They rode down the drive all a changed party. The Indian
girl had heard Trubee accept an invitation to return to “Corydon” in the
near future, and noted his admiring glances at her fair person; she felt
for the first time that she stood no chance against a white girl of
gentle blood, though her own native antecedents were of as noble
quality, for was she not Black Chief’s Daughter, and the granddaughter
of the undefeated warrior, Destroy-Town?

She was silent and hung her head the whole way back to Steamburg.
Phillis, though delightfully courteous by nature, seemed a trifle
distant to the little Colonel that evening. Simon Black Chief was piqued
at himself for having brought unhappiness to his sister. Christian
Trubee was in love with Phillis Paddingstowe. Nevertheless, the young
collegian was too much a man of the world not to value the kindnesses
bestowed on him by Simon and his Sister, their parents and other Indians
of the reservation, to become suddenly cold and indifferent. Yet, alone,
he wondered why he had ever for a minute contemplated marrying an Indian
girl, and how slight would be their spiritual intercourse? Yet he was
here underrating Black Chief’s Daughter, who was not of the
earth-earthy, and had called herself to him “an imaginative person.”

He tried to be polite and attentive to the Indian girl, but she noted
that on several occasions where she planned trips for certain days, he
demurred on account of engagements at “Corydon.” His manner was
different; the Indian girl, uncannily intuitive, would not be deceived.
The summer wore along, and Trubee saw that he could not keep up pleasing
Black Chief’s Daughter, a break must come somehow. And the neglected
maiden, unknown to him, was reading his every thought, and prepared to
make that break first. She had brought some late huckleberries to Pat
Smith’s wife at the long house, where she was told that Trubee had been
absent for three days at “Corydon”; that it was rumored he would marry
Clement Paddingstowe’s daughter in the Fall.

As she walked along the path between the yellow, half-dead grasses,
swinging the little iron pot that had contained the berries, she began
planning for the dissolution of her unhappy romance. There were many May
apples or mandrakes ripening in the low places, and, stooping, she
uprooted several plants, half filling the pot with them. Then she left
the trail, and started across the meadow toward a group of ancient
hemlock trees, beneath which was the Cold Spring. Near the spring were
large, flat stones laid up like seats, and the remains of some stone
hearths where the Indians often roasted corn. She had her flints and
steel with her, and gathered enough dry twigs and punk to light a fire.
Then she sat down on one of the flat stones and, with her hands over her
face, she reviewed the story of her love for Trubee. He had cared for
her at first; that was consolation, but she was helpless beside the
white rival; red blood was as nothing beside blue. Then she nervously
tramped out the fire, as if to start on again. This life was a very
little thing, after all; if her dream had failed in this existence,
better end it, and come back again and fulfill it, even as a flower or
bird; it was impossible to prevent living again. She began to munch the
roots of the May apples which she had gathered, and then began to walk
across the fields toward the graveyard which contained the tomb of
“Indian Brown,” the bad man.

As she came near the road which led to “Corydon” she made an effort to
run across it, but in the middle of it a dizziness seized her, then a
sharp pain, and she staggered and dropped in a heap, the dust rising
from the dry highway as she fell. The sand got in her eyes, nose and
mouth as she lay on the path, her legs twisting in convulsive spasms.
The sun was beginning to sink close to the tops of the long, rolling
summits of the western mountains as the form of a horseman came in sight
away down the long stretch of level road. It was Christian Trubee
returning from “Corydon,” flushed with the progress of his love making
with the fair and dainty Phillis Paddingstowe. He saw a black object in
the road; a wool sack fallen from some wagon, was his first conjecture.
Coming closer, he perceived it to be a human being, a woman, Black
Chief’s Daughter.

He threw the bridle rein over the little mare’s head and sprang to the
ground. As he caught the limp form of the Indian girl in his arms, she
half opened her eyes and looked up at him.

"Oh, Mr. Trubee, let me be, I pray of you; let me stay here and die; I
haven’t anything more to live for since we visited at ‘Corydon’."

The young man did not know how to answer her, for he was honest always.
He lifted her on the saddle behind him, holding the long, lean arms
around his waist, while her head bobbed on his shoulder, and started the
little trappy black at a trot for the long house. It was supper time as
he neared the old hotel. In order to avoid attention, he rode up to the
kitchen door, at the back of the house. A small, ugly, very black
colored boy, with a banjo, from Jamestown, was strumming a Negro melody
to amuse the cooks.

“Get on this horse quick, boy,” Trubee called to him, as he dismounted
with his limp burden, “and bring over Doctor Forrester; Black Chief’s
Daughter is in a bad way from poison.”

Pat Smith’s wife and the other cooks ran out, and, taking in the
situation at a glance, carried the almost unconscious but uncomplaining
girl into the house where they laid her on a bench in the dance hall,
all unknown to the guests, munching their huckleberry pie in the nearby
dining room. The Doctor’s buggy was standing in front of his cottage,
and putting his horse to a gallop he raced the little Negro back to the
hotel. It did not take him long, as he was a noted herbalist, to
diagnose the case as poison from May apple root, very deadly, but a
drastic Indian emetic, administered just in time, preserved her life.

It was a grisly scene in the bare, cheerless ball room; Black Chief’s
daughter, all undressed, lay on a bench, while Old Black Chief, her
father, and Taleeka, her mother, Simon, Pat Smith, his wife, his
daughter, Sally Ann, Doctors Forrester and Colegrove, and Christian
Trubee stood near her, or coming and going, most of them holding lighted
candles, which cast fretful shadows against the walls and
close-shuttered windows of this scene of much former ribald merrymaking.
All present knew why the girl had sought to take her life, yet not a
single accusing word was uttered. All wanted to save her–for what? Later
she was carried into one of the adjoining guest rooms and put to bed.

Somewhat later Pat Smith’s wife, a motherly woman, met Trubee in the
hall, saying to him:

“Won’t you please let me whisper to her that you are happy her life is
saved, and that you will marry her as soon as she is able?”

The young man hesitated, then faltered: “I rather you’d not say it just
now.”

When she was almost to the door he ran after her, saying: “Tell her what
you suggested, in my presence.”

He followed her into the room. The landlady bent over the stricken girl
and gave her the message. Black Chief’s daughter looked up at Trubee,
and trying to smile, said:

“I can’t do it; all I ask is that everything be as it was before you
came to the Reservation.” “ said the young man, "that I return to the
University, having everything as it was before we went to the Strawberry
dance, or before you took me to ‘Corydon’".

“That is exactly my meaning”, the girl whispered faintly. “Then all will
be well”.

“I think I can gather my things together and make the three o’clock
train east this morning; it is only right that I should go; I have made
everybody unhappy since I came here.” “replied Black Chief’s daughter,
"only me, and then only since the trip to ‘Corydon’."

With a lingering hand clasp they parted, and Christian Trubee, like one
dazed by his unsuccessful tilt with Fate, moved off towards his room,
not knowing whether to be glad or sorry, but secretly eased in spirit
for accepting the only course that would extricate him from his
triangular dilemma.

After he was gone, Black Chief’s daughter fell into a peaceful slumber
and did not wake, even when the roaring express train, with its blazing
headlight slowed down at Steamburg for its solitary eastbound passenger.

                                   IX
                             _The Gorilla_


If Sir Rider Haggard was a Pennsylvanian he would doubtless lay the
scenes of his wonderful mystery stories in Snyder County. It is in that
ruggedly picturesque mountainous county where romance has taken its last
stand, where the old touches the new, and hosts, goblins and witches and
memories of panthers, wolves and Indians linger in cycle after cycle of
imaginative reminiscences. Every now and then, even in this dull,
unsympathetic age, when the world, as Artist Shearer puts it, “is
aesthetically dead”, Snyder County is thrilled by some new ghost, witch,
panther or mystery story. The latest of these in the last days of 1920
and the first of 1921–the giant gorilla–has thrilled the entire
Commonwealth by its unique horror.

The papers have told us how a gigantic man-ape escaped from a carnival
train near Williamsport, and seeking the South, fled over the mountains
to Snyder County, where it attacked a small boy, breaking his arm, held
up automobiles, rifled smoke houses and the like, and then appeared in
Snyder Township, Blair County, still further South, his nocturnal
ramblings in that region proving an effective curfew for the young folks
of a half-dozen rural communities.

This story sounds thrillingly interesting, but as gorillas live on
fruit, and do not eat flesh, the animal in question would have starved
or frozen to death at the outset of his career in the Alleghenies, and
there the “X”, unknown quantity of the real story begins. The newspapers
have only printed the most popular versions of the gorilla mystery, only
a fraction of the romance and folk-lore that sprang up mushroom-like
around the presence of such an alien monster in our highlands. Already
enough has been whispered about to fill a good sized volume, most of it
absolutely untrue, yet some of the tales, if they have not hit the real
facts, have come dangerously close to it.

Let the readers judge for themselves. Probably one of the most widely
circulated versions among the Snyder County mountaineers, the hardy
dwellers in the fastnesses of the Shade, Jack’s and White Mountains, is
the one about to be related. It is too personal to warrant promiscuous
newspapers publication, and even now all names have been changed and
localities altered, but to a Snyder County Mountaineer “all things are
plain”. This is the “authoritative”, confidential Snyder County version,
unabridged:

To begin with, all the mountain people know Hornbostl Pfatteicher, whose
log cabin is situated near the heading of Lost Creek, on the borders of
Snyder and Juniata Counties. He has never been much of a worker, living
mostly by hunting and fishing, prospering greatly during the days when
the State raised the bounty on foxes and wild cats to an outrageously
extravagant figure–but no one cares; let the hunter’s license fund be
plundered and the taxpayers be jammed.

He was also very noticeable during the Spring and Fall forest fires,
which never failed to burn some art of his mountain bailiwick annually.
He was opposed to Forester Bartschat, regarding him as too alert and
intuitive, and made valiant efforts through his political bosses to have
him transferred or removed. He was regular in his politics, could always
have a hearing at Harrisburg, and though an ardent fisherman, saw no
harm in the dynamiting or liming of streams, and upheld the right of
“the interests” to pollute the waterways with vile filth from paper
mills and tanneries. In other words he was, and probably is, typical of
the professional mountaineer that the politicians, through the nefarious
bounty laws, have maintained in the forests, to the detriment of
reforestation and wild life.

Hornbostl, about 1915, was in love with a comely mountain girl, Beulah
Fuchspuhr, the belle of Lost Creek Valley, but he was away from home so
much, and so indifferent, and so much in his cups when in the
neighborhood that she found time to become enamored of a tie-jobber
named Heinie Beery, and ran away with him to Pittsburg.

During the flu epidemic, about the time of the Armistice, she was seized
with the dreaded malady, and passed away, aged twenty-eight years.

Hornbostl was in the last draft, but the Armistice was signed before he
was called to the colors, much to the regret of the better element, for
he was the sole pro-German in the mountains–a snake in a brood of
eaglets–and all allowed he should have been given a chance to fight his
beloved Kaiser. Though his name had a Teutonic flavor, he was only
remotely of German ancestry, and should have known better than to root
for a despotism–he, above all others, whose sole creed was personal
liberty when it came to interfering with his “vested rights” of hunting
and fishing out of season, and all other privileges of a lawless
backwoodsman.

After attending the funeral of his wife in Pittsburg, he took the train
to Philadelphia, and while there the news of the Armistice was received,
consequently his grief was assuaged by this very satisfying information.
He boarded on one of the back streets in the southern part of the Quaker
City, in a rear room, which looked out on an alley where there were
still a number of private stables or mews, occupied for the most part by
the horses and carriages of the aristocracy.

Hornbostl liked to sit at the window after his day’s work at Hog Island,
smoking his stogie and watching the handsome equipages coming and going,
the liveried colored coachmen, the long-tailed horses, with their showy
brass mounted harness, with jingling trappings, the animated groups of
grooms, stable boys and hangers-on. Some of the darkies kept game
roosters, and these occasionally strutted out into the alley and crowed
when there was bright sunshine and the wind came from the “Summer
Islands”.

One afternoon he saw a strange spectacle enacted at the stable opposite
his window. A large collection of moth-eaten and dusty stuffed animals
and birds were unloaded from a dray–stuffed elks, horns and all, several
buffalo heads, four timber wolves, with a red bear like they used to
have in Snyder County, a golden eagle, with tattered flopping wings and
a great black beast that stood upright like a man were the most
conspicuous objects. A crowd of mostly Negro children congregated as the
half a hundred mangy specimens of this “silent zoo” became too much for
Hornbostl, and putting his stogie between his teeth, sallied out the
back door, hatless and in his shirt sleeves, a brawny rural giant who
towered above the puny citified crowd.

He was greatly interested in that huge black beast which stood upright,
and could not quite classify it, though its hair was like that of a
black bear in its summer pelage. He sought out the tall Negro coachman
who was in charge of the stable, and asked why a museum was being
unloaded at that particular moment.

“Yer see its jest dis way”, said the darkey, confidentially, “old Major
Ourry have died an’ ’is heirs dey didn’t want de stuff about, so dey
sent ’em down to de stable fer me to put in de empty box stalls”.

As the conversation progressed the Negro intimated that the
aforementioned heirs would be glad to sell any or all of the specimens
at a reasonable figure.

“I’ll give you ten dollars for that big animal that looks like a cross
between a Snyder County black bear and a prize fighter”, said Hornbostl.

“The _gorilla_, you mean”, interposed the darkey.

“Yes, I mean the gorilla”, answered the backwoodsman.

“It’s yours”, said the Negro with a grin, for he was to get half of the
proceeds of all sales. He wondered why the uncouth stranger wanted a
stuffed gorilla, but of all the animals in the collection, he was most
pleased to get rid of that hideous effigy, the man-ape that might come
to life some dark cold night and raise ructions with the horses.

Hornbostl offered five dollars more if the Negro would box the monster,
and they finally arranged to box it together, and keep it in the stable
until he would be let out at Hog Island. Eventually they got it to the
freight station, billed to Meiserville.

At the time of the purchase it is doubtful if Hornbostl had any definite
idea of what he was going to do with his “find”, all that came later.
Hornbostl was glad to return to his mountain home, and sank complacently
back in his seat on the 11.30 A. M. train for Selim Grove Junction. It
was an uneventful trip, for he was an unimaginative person, taking
everything as a matter of course, though he did notice an unusually
pretty high school girl with a wonderfully refined face and carriage,
who got off the train at Dauphin, and followed her with his eyes as she
walked along the street back of the station and across the bridge that
spans Stony Creek, until the moving train shut her from view behind
Fasig’s Tavern. He thought that he had never seen anything quite so
lovely before; if his late sweetheart who had run away had been one
quarter as beautiful and elegant she would be worth worrying about.

He reached Meiserville well after dark, for it was almost the shortest
day of the year, and put up there for the night. In the morning he
inquired at the freight office for his consignment, but hardly expected
it that soon. He had to wait three days before it arrived, but when it
did, he secured a team which hauled it to his mountain retreat,
depositing the crate in front of his door. After the teamster with his
pair of heavy horses, decked out with jingling bells, departed,
Hornbostl unpacked his treasure, and the huge, grinning man-ape stood
before him, seven feet tall. It was set up on a platform with castors,
so he ran it into the house, leaving it beside the old-fashioned open
fireplace, where he used to sit opposite his mother while they both
smoked their pipes in the old days.

[Illustration: LAST RAFT IN THE WEST BRANCH OF SUSQUEHANNA]

That night after supper, when the raftered room was dark, save for one
small glass kerosene lamp, and the fitful light of the embers, the
mountaineer sat and smoked, trying to conjure up the history of the
hideous monster facing him across the inglenook. Instead of evolving
anything interesting or definite, the evil genius of the man-ape, as the
evening progressed, seemed to take complete possession of him. He became
filled with vicious, revengeful thoughts; all the hate in his nature was
drawn to the surface as the firelight flashed on the glass eyes and
grinning teeth of the monstrous jungle king. All at once the maelstrom
of nasty thoughts assumed coherent form, and he realized why he had
brought the gorilla to Snyder County.

He had heard since going to Philadelphia that the hated Heinie Beery had
taken a tie contract on the Blue Knob, the second highest mountain in
Pennsylvania, somewhere on the line between Blair and Bedford Counties.
He wanted to kill his rival, and now would be a chance to do it and
escape detection. He would dress himself up in the hide, and proceed
overland to Snyder Township, reconnoitre there, find his victim and
choke him to death, which the Negro coachman had told him was the chief
pastime of live gorillas in the African wilds.

Suiting the action to the word, he drew his long knife and began cutting
the heavy threads which sewed the hide over the manikin. He soon had the
hide lying on the deal floor, and a huge white statue of lath and
plaster of Paris stood before him, like an archaic ghost. He did not
like the looks of the manikin, so pounded it to a pulp with an axe to
lime his kitchen garden. The hide was as stiff as a board, but between
the heat of the fire and bear’s grease he had it fairly pliable by
morning. By the next night it was in still better shape so he donned it
and sewed himself in. Physically he was not unlike the man-ape, gross
about the abdomen, sloping shouldered and long-armed, while his
prognathous jaw and retreating forehead were perfect counterparts of the
gorilla’s physiognomy.

Arming himself with a long ironwood staff, he started on his journey
towards the Blue Knob country. He had to cross the Christunn Valley in
order to get into Jack’s Mountain, which he would follow along the
summits to Mount Union. It was a dark, starless night, and all went well
until he suddenly came upon the scene of a nocturnal wood chopping
operation. The wood-cutter, a railroader, had no other chance to lay in
his winter’s fuel supply than after dark, and by the light of a lantern
placed on a large stump had already stacked up a goodly lot of cordwood.
His son, a boy of fourteen, was ranking the wood. At the moment of the
gorilla-man’s appearance in the clearing the man had gone to the house
for a cup of hot coffee, leaving the lad alone at his work. The boy
heard the heavy footfalls on the chips, and thinking his father was
returning, looked up and beheld the most hideous thing that his eyes had
ever looked upon. He uttered a shriek of terror, but before he could
open his lips a second time the “gorilla” was upon him, slapping his
mouth until the blood flowed, with one brawny paw, while he wrenched his
arm so severely with the other that he left it limp and broken, hanging
by his side. Then the monster, looking back over his shoulder, loped off
into the deep forest at the foot of Jack’s Mountain.

The boy, more dead than alive from fright, was found a few minutes later
by his father, to whom he described his terrible assailant.

After that the man-ape was more careful when he traveled, although he
was seen by half a dozen persons until he got safely to the vicinity of
“the Monarch of Mountains”.

Blue Knob is a weird and impressive eminence around which many legends
cluster, some of them dating back to Indian days. Its altitude at the
new steel forest fire tower is 3,165 feet above tide.“is a beautiful
word picture of the disappearance of two little tots on the slopes of
Blue Knob, from the gifted pen of Rev. James A. Sell, of Hollidaysburg.

Heinie Beery was living alone in a small shack on Poplar Run, a stream
which has its heading on the slopes of Blue Knob, not far from the home
of the mighty hunter, Peter Leighty. Since the loss of his wife he was
gloomy and taciturn, and refused to live with his choppers and teamsters
in their big camp further down in the hollow.

While searching for Beery, the man-gorilla was seen by several of the
woodsmen, and the lonely camp was almost in a panic by this savage
visitation. The man-ape was glad that his outlandish appearance struck
terror to all who saw him, else he might have been captured long before.
He watched his chance to get Beery where he wanted him, and in the
course of several days was rewarded. Meanwhile he had to live somehow,
and at dead of night broke into smoke-houses and cellars, eating raw
eggs and butter when hunger pressed him hard. In some ways it was no fun
playing gorilla on an empty stomach.

One Sunday afternoon Beery, after eating dinner with his crew at their
camp near the mouth of the hollow, started on a solitary ramble up the
ravine which led past the small shanty where in the local vernacular, he
“bached it” towards the top of the vast and mysterious Blue Knob. Little
did he know that the man-ape was waiting behind his cabin, and followed
him to the summit, which he reached about dusk, and sat on a flat rock
on the brink of a dizzy precipice watching the lights flashing up at
Altoona and Johnstown, the long trains winding their way around Horse
Shoe Curve. He heard the brush crack behind him, and looking around
beheld the hideous monster that he had supposed his workmen had conjured
up out of brains addled by too much home-brew.

Heinie Beery was a fighting Dutchman, but on this occasion his curly
black hair stood straight on end, and his dark florid face became as
ashen as death. He lost his self-control for an instant, and in this
fatal moment the giant “gorilla” gripped him behind the shoulders and
sent him careening over the precipice “to take a short cut to Altoona”.

With a shout of glee the monster turned on his heel, his mission
accomplished, to return along the mountains and through the forests to
his cabin near the sources of Lost Creek. He was seen by a number of
children at Hollidaysburg and Frankstown, late at night, frightening
them almost out of their wits; he terrified several parties of
automobilists near Yellow Springs; he had all of Snyder Township in an
uproar before he had passed through it, but he eventually got to Shade
Mountain safe and sound.

Once on his home mountains, overlooking Lewistown Narrows, a strange
remorse overcame him; he began to regret his folly, his odd caprice. He
sat on a high rock near the top of the mountain, much in the attitude of
Rodin’s famous “Penseur”, and began to sob and moan. It was a still
night, and the trackwalkers down in the valley heard him and called to
him through their megaphones. But the more they called the worse he
groaned and shrieked, as if he liked to mystify the lonely railroad men.
At length he got up and started along the mountain top, wailing and
screaming like a “Token”, until out of hearing of the trackwalkers and
the crews of waiting freight trains. He had played a silly game, made a
_monkey_ of himself and was probably now a murderer in the bargain. He
could hardly wait until he got to his cabin to rip off the hideous,
ill-smelling gorilla’s hide, and make a bonfire of it. He hoped that, if
no evil consequence befell him as a result of his mad prank, he would be
a better man in the future.

However, as he neared his cabin, all his good resolves began to ooze out
of his finger tips. By the time he reached the miserable cabin he
decided to stick to his disguise, and continue the adventure to the end,
come what may. If he would be shot down like a vile beast, it would only
be retribution for Heinie Beery hurled off the crag of Blue Knob,
without a chance to defend himself. The night was long; he would travel
until morning and hide among the rocks until night, picking up what food
he could along the way.

In his northward journey he had many thrilling experiences, such as
crossing the covered bridge at Northumberland at midnight, riding on the
trucks of a freight train to Jersey Shore and frightening fishermen at
Hagerman’s Run. When last seen he was near the flourishing town of
Woolrich, frightening old and young, so much so that a young local
sportsman offered a reward of “five hundred dollars dead, one thousand
dollars alive”, putting the Snyder County gorilla in the same category
with the Passenger Pigeon as a natural history curiosity.

And in this terrible disguise Hornbostl Pfatteicher is expiating his
sins, black as the satanic form he has assumed, and when his penance is
over to be shed for the newer and better life.

                                   X
                        _The Indian’s Twilight_


According to Daniel Mark, born in 1835, (died 1922), when the aged
Seneca Indian, Isaac Steel, stood beside the moss-grown stump of the
giant “Grandfather Pine” in Sugar Valley, in the early Autumn of 1892,
he was silent for a long while, then placing his hands over his eyes,
uttered these words: “This is the Indians’ Twilight; it explains many
things; I had heard from Billy Dowdy, when he returned to the
reservation in 1879, that the tree had been cut by Pardee, but as he had
not seen the stump, and was apt to be credulous, I had hoped that the
report was untrue; the worst has happened.”

Then the venerable Redman turned away, and that same day left the
secluded valley, never to return.

The story of the Grandfather Pine, of Sugar Valley, deserves more than
the merely passing mention already accorded it in forestry statistics
and the like. Apart from being probably the largest white or cork pine
recorded in the annals of Pennsylvania sylviculture–breast high it had
to be deeply notched on both sides, so that a seven foot cross-cut saw
could be used on it–it was the sacred tree of the Seneca Indians, and
doubtless of the earlier tribes inhabiting the country adjacent to the
Allegheny Mountains and the West Branch Valley.

It was a familiar landmark for years, standing as it did near the mouth
of Chadwick’s Gap, and could be seen towering above its fellows, from
every point in Sugar Valley, from Schracktown, Loganton, Eastville and
Carroll.

Professor Ziegler tells us that the maximum or heavy growth of white
pine was always on the winter side of the inland valleys; the biggest
pines of Sugar Valley, Brush Valley and Penn’s Valley were all along the
southern ridges.

Luther Guiswhite, now a restauranteur in Harrisburg, moving like a
voracious caterpillar easterly along the Winter side of Brush Valley,
gradually destroyed grove after grove of superb original white pines,
the Gramley pines, near the mouth of Gramley’s Gap, which Professor
Henry Meyer helped to “cruise”, being the last to fall before his
relentless juggernaut.

Ario Pardee’s principal pineries were mostly across the southern ridge
of Nittany Mountain, of Sugar Valley, on White Deer Creek, but the tract
on which the Grandfather Pine stood ran like a tongue out of Chadwick’s
Gap into Sugar Valley, almost to the bank of Fishing Creek. It is a well
known story that after the mammoth pine had been cut, Mike Courtney, the
lumberman-philanthropist’s woods boss, offered $100 to anyone who could
transport it to White Deer Creek, to be floated to the big mill at
Watsontown, where Pardee sawed 111,000,000 feet of the finest kind of
white pine between 1868 and 1878.

The logs of this great tree proved too huge to handle, even after being
split asunder by blasting powder, crushing down a number of trucks, and
were left to rot where they lay. Measured when prone, the stem was 270
feet in length, and considering that the stump was cut breast high, the
tree was probably close to 276 feet from root to tip. The stump is still
visible and well worthy of a visit.

In addition to boasting of the biggest pine in the Commonwealth, one of
the biggest red hemlocks also grew in Sugar Valley, in the centre of
Kleckner’s woods, until it was destroyed by bark peelers in 1898. It
dwarfed the other original trees in the grove, mostly superb white
hemlocks, and an idea of its size can be gained when it is stated that
“breast high” it had a circumference of 30 feet.

When Billy Dowdy, an eccentric Seneca Indian, was in Sugar Valley he
told ’Squire Mark the story of the Grandfather Pine, then recently
felled, and while the Indian did not visit the “fallen monarch” on that
occasion, he refrained from so doing because he said he could not bear
the sight. The greatest disaster that had yet befallen the Indians had
occurred, one that they might never recover from, and meant their final
elimination as factors in American history.

Dowdy seemed unnerved when he heard the story of the demolition of the
colossal pine, and it took several visits to the famous Achenbach
distillery to steady his nerves so that he could relate its history to
his old and tried friend the ’Squire. In the evening, by the fireside,
showing emotion that rarely an Indian betrays, he dramatically recited
the story of the fallen giant.

Long years ago, in the very earliest days of the world’s history, the
great earth spirit loved the evening star, but it was such an unusual
and unnatural attachment, and so impossible of consummation that the
despairing spirit wished to end the cycle of existence and pass into
oblivion so as to forget his hopeless love. Accordingly, with a blast of
lightning he opened his side and let his anguish flow away. The great
gaping wound is what we of today call Penn’s Cave, and the never ending
stream of anguish is the wonderful shadowy Karoondinha, now renamed John
Penn’s Creek.

As time went on fresh hopes entered the subterranean breast of the great
earth spirit, and new aspirations towards the evening star kindled in
his heart of hearts. His thoughts and yearnings were constantly onward
and upward towards the evening star. He sought to bridge the gulf of
space and distance that separated him from the clear pure light of his
inspiration. He yearned to be near, even if he could not possess the
calm and cold constellation so much beyond him. He cried for an answer,
but none came, and thought that it was distance that caused the
coldness, and certainly such had caused the great disappointment in the
past.

His heart was set on reaching the evening star, to have propinquity with
the heavens. Out of his strong hopes and deep desires came a tall and
noble tree, growing in eastern Sugar Valley, a king among its kindred,
off there facing the shining, beaming star. This tree would be the
symbol of earth’s loftiest and highest aspirations, the bridge between
the terrestrial and the celestial bodies. It was earth’s manliest,
noblest and cleanest aspiration, standing there erect and immobile, the
heavy plates of the bark like gilt-bronze armor, the sparse foliage dark
and like a warrior’s crest.

The Indians, knowing full well the story of the hopeless romance of the
earth spirit and the evening star, or _Venus_, as the white men called
it, venerated the noble tree as the connecting link between two
manifestations of sublimity. They only visited its proximity on sacred
occasions because they knew that the grove over which it dominated was
the abode of spirits, like all groves of trees of exceptional size and
venerable age.

The cutting away of most of the bodies of original pines has
circumscribed the abode of the spiritual agencies until they are now
almost without a lodgement, and must go wailing about cold and homeless
until the end of time, unless spiritual insight can touch our
materialistic age and save the few remaining patches of virgin trees
standing in the valley of the Karoondinha, the “Stream of the Never
Ending Love”, now known by the prosaic cognomen of “Penn’s Valley”.

The Tom Motz tract is no more, the Wilkenblech, the Bowers and the Meyer
groves are all but annihilated. Where will the spirits rest when the
last original white pine has been ripped into boards at The Forks, now
called Coburn? No wonder that Artist Shearer exclaimed, “The world is
aesthetically deal!”

The Indians were greatly dismayed at the incursion of white men into
their mountain fastnesses, so contrary to prophecy and solemn treaties,
and no power seemed to stem them as they swept like a plague from valley
to valley, mountain to mountain. The combined military strategy and
bravery of Lenni-Lenape, Seneca, Cayuga, Tuscarora and Shawnee failed
before their all-conquering advance. How to turn back this white peril
occupied the mind and heart of every Indian brave and soothsayer.

One evening just as Venus in the east was shedding her tranquil glory
over the black outline of the pine covered ranges of the Nittanies, a
mighty council of warriors and wise men, grave and reverent, assembled
under the Grandfather Pine. Hitherto victory, while it had rested with
the white invaders, had not been conclusive; there was still hope, and
the Indians meant to battle to the end.

It was during this epochal conclave that a message was breathed out of
the dark shaggy pigeon-haunted tops of the mighty tree. Interpreted it
meant that the Indian braves and wise men were reminded that this great
pine reached from heaven to earth, and by its means their ancestors used
to climb up and down between the two regions. In a time of doubt and
anxiety like this, the multitudes, conferring beneath the tree, were
invited to ascend to hold a council with the stars, to exchange views
and receive advice as to how the insidious white invader could be kept
in proper bounds, and to preserve the glory and historic dignity of the
Indian races. The stars, which were the spirits of undefeated warriors
and hunters and huntresses of exceptional prowess–their light was the
shimmer of their silvery targets–had always been the allies of the red
men.

In solemn procession the pick of the assemblage of Indian warriors and
wise men ascended the mighty tree, up, up, up, until their forms became
as tiny specks, and disappeared in the dark lace-like branches which
merged with the swart hues of the evening heavens. They set no time for
their return, for they were going from the finite to the infinite, but
they would be back to their beloved hills and valleys in plenty of time,
and with added courage and skill, to end the regime of the pale faced
foes.

Every wife and mother and sweetheart of a warrior who took this journey
was overjoyed at the privilege accorded her loved one, and none
begrudged being left behind to face the enemy under impaired leadership,
or the risk of massacre, as in due course of time the elite would return
from above and rescue them from their cruel tormentors.

Evidently out of space, out of time, was almost the equivalent of “out
of sight, out of mind” for all who had witnessed the chosen band of
warriors and warlocks ascend the pine, even the tiny babes, reached
maturity and passed away, and yet they had not returned or sent a
message. The year that the stars fell, in 1833, brought hopes to the
anxious ones, but never a falling star was found to bring tidings from
that bourne above the clouds.

Generation after generation came and went, and the ablest leaders still
were absent counseling with the stars. Evidently there was much to
learn, much to overcome, before they were fully fledged to return and
battle successfully.

The succeeding generations of Indian braves fought the white foes as
best they could, yet were ever being pushed back, and they were long
since banished from Sugar Valley where grew the Grandfather Pine.
Occasionally those gifted with historic lore and prophecy journeyed to
the remote valley to view the pine, but there were no signs of a return
of the absent Chieftains.

It was a long and weary wait. Were they really forsaken, or were there
affairs of great emergency in the realm of the evening star that made
them tarry so long? They might be surprised on their return to find
their hunting territories the farms of the white men, their descendants
banished to arid reservations on La Belle Riviere and beyond. They had
left in the twilight; they would find the Indians’ Twilight everywhere
over the face of the earth. It was a sad prospect, but they never gave
up their secret hope that the visitors to strange lands would return,
and lead a forlorn hope to victory.

Then came upon the scene the great lumberman, Ario Pardee. The bed of
White Deer Creek was “brushed out” from Schreader Spring to Hightown, to
float the millions of logs that would pile up wealth and fame for this
modern Croesus. What was one tree, more or less–none were sacred, and
instead of being the abode of spirits, each held the almighty dollar in
its heart.

Pardee himself was a man of dreams and an idealist, _vide_ Lafayette
College, and the portrait of his refined and spiritual face by Eastman
Johnson, in the rotunda of “Old Pardee”. Yet it was too early a day to
care for trees, or to select those to be cut, those to be spared; the
biggest tree, or the tree where the buffaloes rubbed themselves, were
alike before the axe and cross-cut; all must fall, and the
piratical-looking Blackbeard Courtney was the agent to do it.

Perhaps trees take their revenge, like in the case of the Vicar’s Oak in
Surrey, as related by the diarest Evelyn–shortly after it was felled one
of the choppers lost an eye and the other broke a leg. Mike Courtney, it
is reported, ended his days, not in opulent ease lolling in a barouche
in Fairmount Park with Hon. Levi Mackey, as had been his wont, but by
driving an ox-team in the wilds of West Virginia!

The Grandfather Pine was brought to earth after two days of chopping by
an experienced crew of woodsmen; when it fell they say the window lights
rattled clear across the valley in Logansville (now Loganton). It lay
there prone, abject, yet “terrible still in death”, majestic as it
sprawled in the bed that had been prepared for it, with an open swath of
forest about that it had maimed and pulled down in its fall.

Crowds flocked from all over the adjacent valleys to see the fallen
monarch, like Arabs viewing the lifeless carcass of a mighty lion whose
roar had filled them with terror but a little while before.

Then came the misfortune that the tree was found to be commercially
unprofitable to handle, and it was left for the mould and the moss and
the shelf-fungi to devour, for little hemlocks to sprout upon.

Billy Dowdy was in the West Branch Valley trying to rediscover the Bald
Eagle Silver Mine–old Uriah Fisher, of the Seventh Cavalry, can tell you
all about it–when the story was told at “Uncle Dave” Cochran’s hotel at
Pine Station that Mike Courtney had conquered the Grandfather Pine. It
is said that a glass of the best Reish whiskey fell from his nerveless
fingers when he heard the news. He suddenly lost all interest in the
silver mine on the Bald Eagle Mountain, which caused him to be roundly
berated by his employers, and dropping everything, he made for Sugar
Valley to verify the terrible story. ’Squire Mark assured him that it
was only too true; he had strolled over to Chadwick’s Gap the previous
Sunday and saw the prostrate Titan with his own eyes.

The Indians’ twilight had come, for now the picked band of warriors and
warlocks must forever linger in the star-belt, unless the earth spirit,
out of his great love, again heaved such a tree from his inmost creative
consciousness.

[Illustration: A FENCE OF WHITE PINE STUMPS, ALLEGHENIES]

Sometimes the Indians notice an untoward bright twinkling of the stars,
the evening star in particular, and they fancy it to be reassuring
messages from their marooned leaders not to give up the faith, that
sometimes they can return rich in wisdom, fortified in courage, ready to
drive the white men into the sea, and over it to the far Summer Islands.
When the stars fell on the thirteenth of November, 1833, it was thought
that the starry hosts were coming down en masse to fight their battles,
but not a single steller ally ever reported for duty.

Old John Engle, mighty Nimrod of Brungard’s Church (Sugar Valley), on
the nights of the Northern Lights, or as the Indians called them, “The
Dancing Ghosts”, used to hear a strange, weird, unaccountable ringing
echo, like exultant shouting, over in the region of the horizon, beyond
the northernmost Allegheny ridges. He would climb the “summer” mountain
all alone, and sit on the highest summits, thinking that the wolves had
come back, for he wanted to hear them plainer. In the Winter of 1859 the
distant acclamation continued for four successive nights, and the Aurora
covered the entire vault of heaven with a preternatural brilliance.
Great bars of intensely bright light shot out from the northern horizon
and broke in mid-sky, and filled the southern skies with their
incandescence. The sky was so intensely red that it flared as one great
sheet of fire, and engulfed the night with an awful and dismal red
light. Reflected on the snow, it gave the earth the appearance of being
clothed in scarlet.

The superstitious Indians, huddled, cold and half-clad, and half-starved
in the desert reservations, when they saw the fearful glow over beyond
Lake Erie, and heard the distant cadences, declared that they were the
signal fires and the cries for vengeance of the Indian braves imprisoned
up there in star-land, calling defiance to the white hosts, and
inspiration to their own depleted legions, the echo of the day of
reckoning, when the red men would come to their own again, and finding
their lost people, lead them to a new light, out of the Indians’
twilight.

[Illustration]

                                   XI
                       _Hugh Gibson’s Captivity_


After the brutal massacre, by the Indians, of the Woolcomber family,
came fresh rumors of fresh atrocities in contemplation, consequently it
was considered advisable to gather the women and children of the
surrounding country within the stockade of Fort Robinson, under a strong
guard, while the bulk of the able-bodied men went out in companies to
reap the harvest. Some of the harvesters were on guard part of the time,
consequently all the men of the frontier community performed a share of
the guard duty.

Among the most energetic of the guardsmen was young Hugh Gibson, son of
the Widow Gibson, a name that has later figured prominently in the
public eye in the person of the Secretary of the American Legion at
Brussels, who endured a trying experience during the period of the
over-running of the Belgian Paris by the hordes of blood-thirsty Huns,
as rapacious and merciless as the red men of Colonial Pennsylvania.

Hugh Gibson, of Colonial Pennsylvania, was under twenty, slim and dark,
and very anxious to make a good record as guardian of so many precious
lives. As days wore on, and no Indian attacks were made, and no fresh
atrocities committed by the blood-loving monster, Cooties, the terror of
the lower Juniata Valley, even the punctilious Gibson relaxed a trifle
in the rigidity of his guardianship.

It was near the end of the harvest when the majority of the men
announced that they would remain away over night at a large clearing on
Buffalo Creek, as it would be difficult to reach the fort by nightfall
and be back at work by daybreak the next morning. Hugh Gibson was made
captain of the guard and placed in charge of the safety of the stockade
full of refugees.

All went well with Gibson and his fellow pickets until about midnight,
when the Indians launched a gas attack. The wind being propitious, they
built a fire, into which they stirred a large number of oak balls, and
the fumes suddenly engulfing the garrison, all became very drowsy, with
the result that the nimble redskins rushed in on the defenders, who were
gaping about, thinking that there must be a forest fire somewhere, but
too dazed and semi-conscious to think very succinctly about anything.

When the guards saw that it was red men, and not red fire, they roused
themselves as best they could, and fought bravely to save the fort and
its inmates. By throwing firebrands into the stockade, the women and
children, and cattle, were stampeded, and by a common impulse burst open
the gates, and dashed past the defenders, headed for the creek, to
escape the threatened conflagrations. Then the Indians closed in, and in
the darkness, amid the crackling of the fire–for a forest fire was now
in progress, and part of the stockade wall was blazing, amid war whoops
and shrieks of hatred and agony, the barking of dogs, the bellowing of
cattle running amuck, rifle shots, the crack of tomahawks on defenseless
skulls, the midnight air resounded with uncouth and horrible medley.

The fight continued all night long, until the approach of dawn, and the
danger of the forest fire cutting them off made the Indians decamp. They
did not stop until in the big beaver meadow at Wildcat Valley, they
paused long enough to take stock of prisoners, and to count wounded and
missing. They had captured an even dozen prisoners, and as the light
grew stronger they noticed that they had one male captive, his face
almost unrecognizable with soot, and mostly stripped of clothing, who
proved to be none other than the zealous Hugh Gibson himself.

It was a strange company that moved in single file towards the
Alleghenies, eleven women and one man, all tied together with leather
thongs, like a party of Alpinists, one after another, not descending a
monarch of mountains, but descending into captivity, into the valley of
the shadow. The Indians were jubilant over the personnel of their
captives. In addition to Hugh Gibson, late captain of the guard, they
had taken Elsbeth Henry, daughter of the most influential of the
settlers, a girl of rare beauty and charm, who had enjoyed some
educational advantages among the Moravians at Nazareth, the pioneers of
women’s education in America.

Gibson had for a year past, ever since he first appeared in the vicinity
of Fort Robinson, admired the uncommonly attractive girl, and being
ambitions in many ways, aspired to her hand. She had never treated him
with much consideration, except to be polite to him, but she was that to
everyone, and could not be otherwise, being a happy blend of Huguenot
and Bohemian ancestry.

The minute that Gibson saw that Elsbeth was his fellow prisoner he
forgot the chagrin at being the sole male captive, and congratulated
himself in secret on the good fortune that would make him, for a year or
more, the daily companion of the object of his admiration. He would
redeem the humiliation of this capture by staging a sensational double
escape, and then, after freeing the maiden, she could not fail to love
him and agree to become his wife. He was, therefore, the most cheerful
of prisoners, and whistled and sang Irish songs as he marched along at
the tail end of the long line of captives.

It seemed as if they were being taken on a long journey, and he surmised
that the destination was Fort Duquesne, to be delivered over to the
French, where rewards would be paid for each as hostages. He could see
by the deference paid to Elsbeth Henry that the redmen recognized that
they had a prisoner of quality, and as she walked along, away ahead of
him, whenever there was a turn in the path, he would note her youthful
beauty and charm.

She was not very tall, but was gracefully and firmly built. Her most
noticeable features were the intense blackness of her soft wavy hair,
and the whiteness of her skin, with minute blue veins showing, gave her
complexion a blue whiteness, the color of mother of pearl almost, and
Gibson, being a somewhat poetical Ulster Scot, compared her to an
evening sky, with her red lips, like a streak of flame, across the
mother of pearl firmament, her downcast eyes, like twin stars just
appearing!

The further on the party marched the harder it was going to be to
successfully bring her back in safety to the Juniata country, through a
hostile Indian territory, for he had not the slightest doubt that he
would outwit the clumsy-witted redmen and escape with her. It might be
best to strike north or northwest, out of the seat of hostilities, and
make a home for his bride-to-be in the wilderness along Lake Erie, and
never take her back to her parents. But then there was his mother; how
could he desert her? He must go back with Elsbeth, run all risks, once
he had escaped and freed her from her inconsiderate captors.

After a few days he learned that the permanent camp was to be on the
Pucketa, in what is now Westmoreland County. Cooties was located there,
and since his unparalleled success in massacring whole families of
whites, he was apparently again in favor with the Indian tribal
Chieftains. He was to take charge of the prisoners, and when ready,
would lead them to Fort Duquesne, or possibly to some point further up
La Belle Riviere, to turn them over to the French, who would hold them
as hostages.

It was in the late afternoon when the party filed into Cooties’
encampment, at the Blue Spring, near the headwaters of the beautiful
Pucketa. Cooties had been apprised of their coming, and had painted his
face for the occasion, but meanwhile had consumed a lot of rum, and was
beastly drunk, so much so that in his efforts to drive the punkis off
his face, which seemed to have a predilection for the grease paint, he
smeared the moons and stars into an unrecognizable smudge all over his
saturnine countenance.

As he sat there on a huge dark buffalo robe, a rifle lying before him, a
skull filled with smoking tobacco on one side, and a leather jug of rum
on the other, smoking a long pipe, his head bobbing unsteadily on its
short neck, he made a picture never to be forgotten. The slayer of the
Sheridan family was at best an ugly specimen of the Indian race. He was
short, squat–Gibson described him as “sawed off”; his complexion was
very dark, his lips small and thin, his nose was broad and flat, his
eyes full and blood-shot, and his shaven head was covered with a red
cap, almost like a Turk’s fez.

He was too intoxicated to indicate his pleasure, if he felt any, at the
arrival of the prisoners. In front of where he sat were the embers of a
campfire, as the weather–it was early in March–was still very cold. He
had the prisoners lined up in front of him beyond the coals, while he
squatted on his rug, eyeing them as carefully as his bleared, inebriated
vision would permit. Calling to several of his henchmen, he had them
fetch fresh wood and pile it beside the embers, as if a big bonfire was
to be started later.

Just as they were in the midst of bringing the wood, a group of six
stalwart Indians rushed on the scene, literally dragging a rather
good-looking, dark-haired white woman of about thirty years, whose face
showed every sign of intense terror. From words that he could
understand, and the gestures, Gibson made out that this woman had
belonged to another batch of prisoners, but before she could be
delivered at Shannopin’s Town had somehow made her escape.

To deliver a body of prisoners short one of the quota had brought some
criticism on Cooties, and he was in an ugly frame of mind when she was
brought before him. There was an ash pole near the wood pile, to which
prisoners were tied while being interrogated, and Cooties ordered that
the unfortunate woman should be strapped to it. The Indian warriors,
needless to say, made a thorough job and bound her to it securely, hand
and foot.

Though she saw twelve or more white persons, the bound woman never said
a word, and the captives from Fort Robinson and other places were too
terror-stricken to address a word to her. They stared at her with that
look of dumb helplessness that a flock of sheep assume when peering
through the bars of their fold at a farmer in the act of butchering one
of their number. Sympathy they may have felt, but to express it in words
would have availed nothing.

Once tied to the tree, Cooties ordered that the wood be piled about her
feet. It was ranked until it came almost to her waist. Then the cruel
warrior turned to his victim, saying to her in German, “It’s going to be
a cold night; I think you can warm me up very nicely.”

Then he grinned and looked at each of his other prisoners menacingly.
Silas Wright in his excellent “History of Perry County” thus quotes Hugh
Gibson in describing the scene then enacted: “All the prisoners in the
neighborhood were collected to be spectators of the death by torture of
a poor, unhappy woman, a fellow-prisoner who had escaped, and been
recaptured. They stripped her naked, tied her to a post and pierced her
with red hot irons, the flesh sticking to the irons at every touch. She
screamed in the most pitiful manner, and cried for mercy, but the
ruthless barbarians were deaf to her agonizing shrieks and prayers, and
continued their horrid cruelty until death came to her relief.”

After this fiendish episode, the Fort Robinson prisoners were sick at
heart and in body for days, and most of them would have dropped in their
tracks if they had been compelled to resume the long, tedious western
journey.

It appeared that in the foray on Fort Robinson one young Indian had been
slain; rumor among the Indians had it that he had been shot by mistake
by a member of his own party. At any rate his parents, who lived near
Cooties’ camp-ground, took his end very hard, and the squaw, who was
Cooties’ sister, demanded the adoption of Hugh Gibson to take the place
of her lost warrior son. This was a good point for Gibson, although the
warrior’s father, Busqueetam, acted very coldly towards him, and he
feared he might some day, in a fit of revenge and hate, take his life.
However, the young white man, by making every effort to help his Indian
foster parents, who were very feeble and unable to work, won their
confidence, and also that of Cooties, who requisitioned him to do all
sorts of errands and work about the encampment.

One day Busqueetam was in a terrible state of excitement. His spotted
pony, the only equine in the camp, and the one that he expected to give
to Cooties to ride with chiefly dignity through the portals of the Fort
had strayed off in the night.

Most of the Fort Robinson and other prisoners who had been brought in
from various directions since their arrival, to make a great caravan of
captives to impress the commanders at Shannopin’s Town, like a Roman
triumph, were allowed their liberty during the daytime. At night they
were all tied together as they lay about the campfire, not far from the
charred stump of the ash pole where the poor white woman had been burned
to death, and where the small Indian dogs were constantly sniffing.
There were about twenty-five prisoners, all told, and with these were
tied about half a dozen guards, and all lay down in a circle about the
fire, guards and prisoners sleeping at the same time. It was a different
system from that of the whites, for if a prisoner got uneasy or tried to
get up, he or she would naturally pull on the leather thongs, and rouse
the guardians and other prisoners. The thongs were around both wrists,
so a prisoner was tied to the person on either side.

Hugh Gibson managed to have a few words with Elsbeth, when he heard of
the horse’s disappearance. Much as he would like to have talked to her,
few words passed between them during the captivity. Elsbeth was
naturally reserved, and had never known Hugh well before, and he was
playing for big stakes, and saw how the Indians resented any hobnobbing
among their prisoners. He managed to whisper to her that he would
volunteer to hunt for Busqueetam’s missing pony, but would return at
night and wait for her in the Panther Glade, a dense Rhododendron
thicket through which they had passed on their way to the campground;
that she should gnaw herself free with her teeth, and that done, with
her natural agility and moccasined feet, could nimbly spring away into
the darkness and escape to him. He thought he knew where the pony was
hiding, and she could ride on the animal to civilization. And now let
Gibson tell the adventure in his own words:

“At last a favorable opportunity to gain my liberty. Busqueetam lost a
horse and sent me to hunt him. After hunting some time, I came home and
told him I had discovered his tracks at some considerable distance, and
that I thought I would find him; that I would take my gun and provisions
and would hunt him for three or four days, and if I could kill a deer or
a bear, I would pack home the meat on the horse.”

Hugh Gibson, the privileged captive, strolled out of camp with a
business-like expression on his lean face, and carrying Cooties’
favorite rifle. He took a long circle about through the deep forest, and
at dark was ensconced in the Panther Glade, to wait the fateful moment
when Elsbeth, his beloved, would come to him, and as his promised wife,
he would lead her to liberty.

It was a cold night, and his teeth chattered as he squatted among the
rhododendrons waiting and listening. The wolves were howling, and he
wondered if the girl would feel afraid!

At the usual time the various prisoners and their guards were lashed
together, and lay down for their rest around the embers of the campfire.
Most of them were short of coverings, so they huddled close together.
Not so Elsbeth, for Cooties looked after her and provided her with four
buffalo robes, which she would have loved dearly to share with her less
favored fellow prisoners, but they would not allow it. The Indians made
the captives work hard during the day cutting wood, dressing furs and
pounding corn. They did not feed them any too well, as game was scarce
and ammunition scarcer, so all were tired when they lay down by the
campfire’s soothing glow.

One by one they fell asleep, all but Elsbeth, who, covering her head
with the buffalo robes, began to gnaw on the leather thongs as if they
were that much caramel, first this side, then the other. She felt like a
rodent before she was half through, and her pretty pearl-colored teeth
grew shorter and blunter before she was done. It was a gigantic task,
but she stuck to it bravely, and some time during the “wee, sma’” hours
had the delicious sensation of knowing she was free, even though she
felt horridly toothless and sore-gummed in her moment of victory.

Like a wild cat she slipped out from under the buffalo robes, wiggled
along among the wet leaves and moss, then crawled to her feet and was
off like a deer towards the Panther Glade, regardless of the howling of
the wolves. Hugh Gibson’s quick sense of hearing told him she was
coming, and he walked out so that he stood on the path before her, and
clasped her white shapely arms in heartfelt congratulations.

“Now that we are free,” he said, “I will take you to the pony in three
hours’ travel. I want to arrange the one final detail to make this
reunion always memorable for us both. We have shared common hardships
and perils; we have plotted and planned for freedom together. Let us
guarantee that our lives shall always be together, for I love you, and
want you to be my wife.”

Elsbeth drew herself back out of his grasp, and a shudder went through
her supple little frame. “Why I have never heard the like of what you
say, much as I have appreciated all you have done; ours was only a
common misfortune. I could not care for you that way, even though
recognizing your bravery, your foresight and your kindliness.”

For a moment Hugh Gibson was so angry that he felt like leading her back
to Cooties, where she would probably have been received with open arms,
and be burned at the stake, but he finally “possessed his soul” and
accepted the inevitable.

They found the pony by morning, but it took some maneuvering to capture
the wily beast, and packed him across the Kittanning Path, where, at
Burgoon’s Run, they came upon a party of traders headed by George
McCord, who had lately come from the Juniata.

McCord told them the details of the conflict at Fort Robinson, of the
shocking killing of Widow Gibson, Robert Miller’s daughter, James
Wilson’s wife, John Summerson, and others, on that bloody night of gas,
forest fires, smoke and surprises.

It was the turning point in Hugh Gibson’s life; his mother gone, and not
a sign of weakening in Elsbeth Henry’s mother-of-pearl countenance; in
fact, the indistinct line of her mouth was more like a streak of crimson
flame than ever. A new light had dawned for him out of these shocking
misfortunes; his purpose would be to redeem his inactivity at Fort
Robinson, his overconfidence, his over self-esteem, by going at once to
Carlisle to secure a commission in the Royal American Regiment of
Riflemen. He left Elsbeth in charge of the McCord party who would see
her back to her distracted parents, while he tramped over the mountains
towards Reastown and Fort Littleton, by the shortest route to the
Cumberland Valley.

[Illustration]

[Illustration: BILL BREWER, “HICK” PREACHER]

                                  XII
                            _Girty’s Notch_


The career of Simon Girty, otherwise spelled Girtee and Gerdes, has
become of sufficient interest to cause the only authoritative biography
to sell at a prohibitive figure, and outlaw or renegade as he is called,
there are postoffices, hotels, streams, caves and rocks which perpetuate
his name throughout Pennsylvania.

Simon Gerdes was born in the Cumberland Valley on Yellow Breeches Creek,
the son of a Swiss-German father and an Irish mother. This origin
guaranteed him no high social position, for in the old days, in the
Cumberland Valley, in particular, persons of those racial beginnings
were never accepted at par by the proud descendants of Quakers, Virginia
Cavaliers, and above all, by the Ulster Scots. After the world war
similar beginnings have correspondingly lowered in the markets of
prestige, and a century or more of gradual family aggrandizement has
gone for nil, the social stratification of pre-Revolutionary days having
completely re-established itself.

Unfortunately for Simon Gerdes, or Girty, as he was generally called, he
was possessed of lofty ambitions, he aimed to be a military hero and a
man of quality, like the dignified and exclusive gentry who rode about
the valley on their long-tailed white horses and carried swords, and
were accompanied by retainers with long rifles. There must have been
decent blood in him somewhere to have brought forth such aspirations,
but personally he was never fitted to attain them. He had no chance for
an education off there in the rude foothills of the Kittochtinnies; he
was undersized, swarthy and bushy headed; his hands were hairy, and his
face almost impossible to keep free of black beard. Analyzed his
features were not unpleasant; he had deepset, piercing black eyes, a
prominent aquiline nose, a firm mouth and jaw, and his manner was quick,
alert and decisive.

Such was Simon Girty when his martial dreams caused him to leave home
and proceed to Virginia to enlist in the Rifle Regiment. A half century
of Quaker rule in Pennsylvania had failed to disturb the tranquility of
the relations between whites and Indians, but in the Old Dominion, there
was a constant bickering with the redskins along the western frontier.

As Girty was a sure shot, he was eagerly accepted, and in a short time
was raised to the grade of Corporal. Accompanied by a young
Captain-lieutenant named Claypoole, he was sent to the Greenbrier River
country to convey a supply train, but owing to the indifference of the
officer, the train became strung out, and the vanguard was cut off by
Indians, and captured, and the rearguard completely routed.

As Girty happened to be the vidette, the Captain-lieutenant, who was in
the rear and should have come up and seen that his train traveled more
compactly, had a splendid opportunity to shift the blame. An
investigation was held at Spottsylvania, presided over by a board of
officers recently arrived from England, who knew nothing of border
warfare, and were sticklers for caste above everything else.

Someone had to be disciplined, and if a fellow could be punished and a
gentleman exculpated, why then of course, punish the fellow. This was
speedily done, and Girty was taken out before the regiment, stripped of
his chevrons, denounced by the Colonel, forced to run the gauntlet,
Indian style, and drummed out of camp.

Girty, though humiliated and shamed, felt glad that he was not shot; he
would have been had he been actually guilty of neglect; he was punished
as badly as an innocent man dare be punished to shield a guilty
superior. After receiving his dishonorable discharge, Girty sorrowfully
wended his way back to the parental home on the Yellow Breeches, his
visions of glory shattered. He did not tell his parents what had
happened, but they knew that something had gone wrong, and pitied him,
as only poor, lowly people can pity another.

Henry Fielding, a gentleman born and bred, has said: “Why is it that the
only really kindly people are the poor,” and again, “Why is it that
persons in high places are always so hard?”

About this time Simon Girty found work breaking colts on the estate of
an eccentric character named Gaspar, known in the Cumberland Valley as
“French Louis,” who resided near the mouth of Dublin Gap, on the same
side of the trail, but nearer the valley than the present Sulphur
Springs Hotel. All that remains of his ambitious chateau is the chimney,
which was recently photographed by Professor J. S. Illick, head of the
research bureau of the State Department of Forestry.

“French Louis” Gaspar was a Huguenot, a Gascon, and prided himself on a
resemblance to Henry of Navarre, and wore the same kind of fan-shaped,
carefully brushed beard. His wife was also of French origin, a member of
the well-known Le Tort family, and a woman of some education and
character. They had several daughters, all of whom married well, and at
the time of Girty’s taking employment, but one was at home–the
youngest–Eulalie.

She was a slim, dark girl, with hair and eyes as black as Girty’s, a
perfect mate in type and disposition. It is a curious thing while
unravelling these stories of old time Pennsylvania, that in seeking
descriptions of the personal appearance (which is always the most
interesting part) of the persons figuring in them at an early day,
scarcely any blondes are recorded; the black, swarthy Indian-like
visages so noticeable to strangers traveling through Pennsylvania today,
were also prevalent, commonly met with types of our Colonial period.

Eulalie Gaspar could see that there was something on Girty’s mind, and
tried to be kind to him and encourage him, but she asked no questions,
and he volunteered no information. If he had not received such a
complete social setback at Spottsylvania, the youth might have aspired
to the girl’s hand, but he now was keenly aware of the planes of caste,
realizing that he stood very low on the ladder of quality.

He seemed to be improving in spirits under the warm sun of encouragement
at Chateau Gaspar, as “French Louis” liked to call his huge house of
logs and stone, for the Huguenot adventurer was much of a Don Quixote,
and lived largely in a world of his own creation. Eulalie, hot-blooded
and impulsive, often praised his prowess as a horseman, and otherwise
smiled on him.

There was a great sale of Virginia bred horses being held in the market
place at Carlisle, and, of course, “French Louis” mounted on a superbly
caparisoned, ambling horse, and wearing a hat with a plume, and attended
by Simon Girty, were among those present.

The animals ranged from packers and palfreys to fancy saddlers of the
high school type, and although Gaspar had every stall full at home, and
some wandering, hobbled about the old fields, he bought six more at
fancy prices, and it would be an extensive task to return them safely to
the stables at the “Chateau”.

It was near the close of the sale when a young Virginian named Conrad
Gist or Geist, one of the sellers of horses, who had been a sergeant in
Girty’s regiment, and witnessed his degradation at Spottsylvania, came
up, and in the presence of the crowd, taunted young Simon on being
court-martialed and kicked out of camp.

Girty, though the humiliating words were said among divers of his
friends, bit his lips and said nothing at the time. Later in the tap
room, when “French Louis” was having a final jorum before starting
homeward, the Virginian repeated his taunts, and Girty, though half his
size, slapped his face. Gist quickly drew a horse pistol from one of the
deep pockets of his long riding coat, and tried to shoot the affronted
youth. Girty was too quick for him, and in wresting the pistol from his
hand, it went off, and shot the Virginian through the stomach. He fell
to the sanded floor, and was soon dead.

Other Virginians present raised an outcry, in which they were upheld by
those of similar social status in the fraternity of “gentlemen horse
dealers” residing at Carlisle. Threats were made to hang Girty to a tree
and fill him full of bullets. He felt that he was lucky to escape in the
melee, and make for the mountains. Public opinion was against him, and a
reward placed on his head. Armed posses searched for him for weeks,
eventually learning that he was being harbored by a band of escaped
redemptioners, slaves, and gaol breakers, who had a cabin or shack in
the wilds along Shireman’s Creek. It was vacated when the pursuers
reached it, but they burnt it to the ground, as well as every other roof
in the wilds that it could be proved he had ever slept under.

By 1750 he became known as the most notorious outlaw in the Juniata
country, and pursuit becoming too “hot”, he decided to migrate west,
which he did, allying himself with the Wyandot Indians. He lived with
them a foe to the whites, more cruel and relentless, the Colonial
Records state, than his adopted people.

Some of his marauding expeditions took him back to the Susquehanna
country, and he made several daring visits to his parents, on one of
which he learned to his horror and disgust, that Eulalie Gaspar, while
staying with one of her married sisters at Carlisle, had met and married
the now Captain Claypoole, the author of his degradation, who had come
there in connection with the mustering of Colonial troops.

During these visits Girty occupied at times a cave facing the
Susquehanna River, in the Half Fall Hills, directly opposite to Fort
Halifax, which he could watch from the top of the mountain. The narrow,
deep channel of the river, at the end of the Half Fall Hills, so long
the terror of the “up river” raftsmen, became known as Girty’s Notch.
The sinister reputation of the locality was borne out in later years in
a resort for rivermen called Girty’s Notch Hotel, now a pleasant,
homelike retreat for tired and thirsty autoists who draw birch beer
through straws, and gaze at the impressive scenery of river and mountain
from the cool, breezeswept verandas.

But the most imposing of all is the stone face on the mountain side,
looking down on the state road and the river, which shows clearly the
rugged outlines of the features of the notorious borderer. An excellent
photograph of “Girty’s Face” can be seen in the collection of
stereoscoptic views possessed by the genial “Charley Mitchell”
proprietor of the Owens House, formerly the old Susquehanna House, at
Liverpool.

It was after General Braddock’s defeat in 1755 that Captain, now Major
Claypoole, decided to settle on one of his parental estates on the
Redstone River, (now Fayette County) in Western Pennsylvania. Being
newly wedded and immensely wealthy for his day, he caused to be erected
a manor house of the showy native red stone, elaborately stuccoed, on a
bluff overlooking this picturesque winding river. He cleared much land,
being aided by Negro slaves, and a horde of German redemptioners.

When General Forbes’ campaign against Fort Duquesne was announced in
1757, he decided to again try for actual military laurels, though his
promotion in rank had been rapid for one of his desultory service; so he
journeyed to Carlisle, and was reassigned to the Virginia Riflemen, with
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel of Staff.

He was undecided what to do with his young wife in his absences, but as
she had become interested in improving “Red Clay Hall,” as the new
estate was called, he decided to leave her there, well guarded by his
armed Virginia overseers. The Indians had been cleared out of the valley
for several years, and were even looked upon as curiosities when they
passed through the country, consequently all seemed safe on that score.

However, while Lieutenant-Colonel Claypoole was at Carlisle, before the
Forbes-Bouquet Army had started westward, an Indian with face blackened
and painted, in the full regalia of a chief, appeared at the door of
“Red Clay Hall” and asked to see the lady of the manor, with whom he
said he was acquainted–that she would know him by the name of Suckaweek.

This was considered peculiar, and he was told to wait outside, until
“her ladyship” could be informed of his presence. Eulalie Gaspar
Claypoole, clad in a gown of rose brocade, was in her living room on the
second story of the mansion, an apartment with high ceilings and large
windows, which commanded a view of the Red Stone Valley, clear to its
point of confluence with the lordly Monongahela. She was seated at an
inlaid rosewood desk, writing a letter to her husband, when the German
chief steward entered to inform her of the strange visitor waiting on
the lawn, whom she would know by the name of Suckaweek.

Taking the quill pen from her lips, for she had been trying to think of
something to write, the dark beauty directed the steward to admit the
visitor at once, and show him into the library. Hurrying to a pier
glass, she adjusted her elaborate apparel, and taking a rose from a
vase, placed it carefully in her sable hair, before she descended the
winding stairway.

“Suckaweek” (Black Fish), which was a pet name she used to call Girty in
the old days, was waiting in the great hall, and the greeting between
the ill-assorted pair seemed dignified, yet cordial. They spent the
balance of the afternoon between the library and strolling over the
grounds, admiring the extensive views, dined together in the state
dining room, and the last the stewards and servants saw of them, when
informed their presence would be no longer required, was the pair
sitting in easy chairs on either side of the great fireplace, both
smoking long pipes of fragrant Virginia tobacco.

In the morning the Indian and Madame Claypoole were missing, and an
express was sent at once to Carlisle to acquaint the Colonel with this
daring abduction of a lady of quality. The news came as a great shock to
the young officer, who obtained a leave of absence and a platoon of
riflemen to engage in the search for his vanished spouse.

The marriage had seemed a happy one, but in discussing the case with his
father-in-law, “French Louis,” indiscreetly admitted that his daughter
had once seemed a little sweet on Simon Girty, the outlaw. All was clear
now, the motive revealed.

It was the truth, the lovely “Lady” Claypoole, as she was styled by the
mountain folks, had gone off with the seemingly uncouth renegade, Simon
Girty.

Why she had done so, she could never tell, but doubtless it was a spark
of love lain dormant since the old days at Chateau Gaspar, when she had
seen the young outlaw breaking her father’s unmanageable colts, that
furnished the motive for the elopement.

In the glade, where at an early hour in the morning, Girty and his fair
companion joined his entourage of Indians and white outlaws, Simon, in
the presence of all, unsheathed his formidable hunting knife, a relic of
his first campaign against the Indians when he belonged to the Virginia
“Long Knives,” and cut a notch on the stock of his trusty rifle, which
was handed to him by his favorite bodyguard, a half Jew, half Indian,
named Mamolen, a native of Heidelberg in Berks County.

Although during the past eight years he had personally killed and
scalped over a hundred Indians and whites, Girty had never, as the other
frontiersmen always did, “nicked” his rifle stock.

Turning to Lady Claypoole with a smile, he said: “Some day I will tell
you why I have cut this notch; it is a long and curious story.”

In order to have her safe from capture or molestation, Girty took the
woman on a lengthy and perilous journey to Kentucky, “the dark and
bloody ground.” To the country of the mysterious Green River, in what is
now Edmonson County, land of caves, and sinks, and knobs, and
subterranean lakes and streams, amid hardwood groves and limestone, he
built a substantial log house, where he left her, protected only by the
faithful Mamolen, while he returned to fight with the French and Indians
along the banks of the Ohe-yu, “The Beautiful River.”

The defeat of the allied forces by the British, and the abandonment of
Fort Duquesne, were sore blows to Simon Girty’s plans and hopes, but his
position and prestige among the Indians remained undimmed.

Claypoole, though promoted to full Colonel, did not take part in any of
the battles, being intermittently off on leave, hunting for his recreant
wife, and spluttering vengeance against “that snake, that dog, Girty,”
as he alternately called him. It seemed as if the earth had swallowed up
the lovely object of the outlaw’s wiles, for though Girty himself was
heard of everywhere, being linked with the most hideous atrocities and
ambushes, no Indian prisoner, even under the most dreadful torture,
could reveal the Lady Claypoole’s whereabouts. The reason for that was
only two persons in the service knew, one was Mamolen, the other Girty,
and Mamolen remained behind with the fair runaway.

It was not until after the final collapse of the French power in 1764,
and the western country was becoming opened for settlement, that Colonel
Claypoole received an inkling of Eulalie’s whereabouts. It did not
excite his curiosity to see her again, or bring her back, but merely
fired his determination the more to even his score with Girty. When he
was sober and in the sedate atmosphere of his correctly appointed
library on Grant’s Hill, in the new town of Pittsburg, he realized how
foolish it would be to journey to the wilds to kill “a scum of the
earth,” he a gentleman of many generations of refined ancestry, all for
a “skirt” as he contemptuously alluded to his wife.

But when in his cups, and that was often, he vowed vengeance against the
despoiler of his home, and the things he planned to do when once he had
him in his clutches would have won the grand prize at a Spanish
Inquisition.

If it was Girty’s destiny to notch his rifle once, Nemesis provided that
Colonel Claypoole should also have that rare privilege. At a military
muster on the Kentucky side of Big Sandy, during the Revolutionary War,
Simon Girty boldly ventured to the outskirts of the encampment, to spy
on the strength and armament of the patriot forces, as he had done a
hundred times before. Colonel Claypoole, riding on the field on his
showy, jet black charger, noticed a low-brewed face, whiskered like a
Bolshevik, peering out through a clump of bushes. Recognizing him after
a lapse of over a quarter of a century, he rode at him rashly, parrying
with the flat blade of his sabre, the well directed bullet which Girty
sent at him. Springing from his mount, which he turned loose, and which
ran snorting over the field, with pistol in one hand, sabre in the
other, he rushed into the thicket, and engaged his foe in deadly combat.
He was soon on top of the surprised Girty, and stamping on him, like
most persons do with a venomous snake, at the same time shooting and
stabbing him.

When his frightened orderly, leading the recaptured charger, rode up,
followed by a number of excited officers and men, and drew near to the
thicket, they were just in time to see Colonel Claypoole emerging from
it, red-faced but calm, carrying a long rifle.

“I see you have put a notch in it already,” said one of his companions,
as he eagerly wrung his hand.

“So I perceive,” replied the Colonel, “but it was hardly necessary, for
I have only killed a snake.”

There are some who say that Colonel Claypoole’s victim was not Simon
Girty at all, but merely a drunken settler who was coming out of the
bushes after a mid-day nap, and a coincidence that the fellow was armed
with a rifle on which there was a single nick. Yet for all intents and
purposes Colonel Claypoole had killed a good enough Simon Girty, and had
his rifle to prove it.

Other reports have it that Simon Girty survived the Revolution, where he
played such a reprehensive part, to marry Catharine Malott, a former
captive among the Indians, in 1784, and was killed in the Battle of the
Thames, in the War of 1812.

C. W. Butterworth in his biography of the Girty family, says that Simon,
in later life, became totally blind, dying near Amlerstburg, Canada,
February 18, 1818, was buried on his farm, and a troop of British
soldiers from Fort Malden fired a volley at his grave.

                                  XIII
                            _Poplar George_


“I have been reading your legends of the old days in the ‘North
American,’” said the delegate to the Grange Convention, stroking his
long silky mustache, “and they remind me of many stories that my mother
used to tell me when I was a little shaver, while we were living on the
Pucketa, in Westmoreland County. There was one story that I used to like
best of all. It was not the one about old Pucketa the Indian warrior for
whom the run was named, but about a less notable Indian, but more
esteemed locally, known as ‘Poplar George.’

“It isn’t nearly as interesting an Indian story as the one that Emerson
Collins tells, of the time when his mother, as a little girl on the
Quinneshockeny, went to the spring for a jug of water, finding a lone
Indian sitting there all by himself, looking as if he was in deep
thought. As he made no move to molest her, she filled her jug, and then
scampered back to the house as fast as she could tote the jug there.

“She was a little shy about telling of her strange experience, but
finally, when she mentioned the subject, her mother said, ‘maybe the
poor fellow was hungry.’ Quickly spreading a ‘piece,’ she hurried back
to the spring, but no Indian was to be found, only a few prints of his
mocassined feet in the soft earth by the water course. If it hadn’t been
for those footprints she would have always felt that she had not seen a
real live Indian, but a ghost.

“It was the last Indian ever heard of on the Quinneshockeny, and he had
probably come back to revive old memories of his happy childhood. No,
Poplar George was hardly like Emerson Collins’ ‘last Indian,’ as he, my
mother averred, was part Indian, part ghost. He was also the last Indian
that ever visited the Pucketa, which had been a famous stream in its day
for redmen, from the time when old Pucketa, himself, came there to spend
his last days, after having been driven out from his former hunting
grounds at the head of Lost Creek, which runs into the ‘Blue Juniata’
above Mifflintown.

“The principal part of this story revolves around two large trees that
used to stand near the Pucketa, one a big tulip or ‘whitewood’ tree,
hollow at the butt, so much so that a half grown person could hide in
it, and a huge water poplar tree, or ‘cottonwood,’ a rare tree in
Pennsylvania, you know, that stood on lower ground directly in line with
it, but on the far side of the creek, which ran parallel with the road.
It wasn’t much of a road in those days, I’m told, isn’t much of one yet,
little better than a cow path, with grass and dandelions growing between
the wagon tracks, and worn foot-path on the creek side of it. Many’s the
time I’ve gone along that path to and from school, or to fetch the cows.

[Illustration: AGED FLAX-SPINNER AT WORK, SUGAR VALLEY]

“In my boyhood there were two big stumps which always arrested my
attention, the stumps of the ‘cottonwood’ and the tulip which I have
already mentioned. The native poplar stump, which was chopped breast
high for some reason, had been cut before my day, but the tulip tree had
stood a dead stab for many years, and was not finally cut until my
babyhood. I was too young to recall it, and its stump had been sawed off
almost level with the ground.

“When my mother was old enough to notice things, say along six, or seven
or eight years of age, both trees was standing, and despite their
venerable age, were thrifty and green; the hollow trunk of the tulip did
not seem to lessen its vitality. Trees in those days, of all kinds, were
pretty common, and regarded as nuisances; the farmers were still having
‘burning bees’ in the spring and fall when all hands would join in and
drag with ox-spans the logs of the trees that had been cut when they
were clearing new ground, and making huge bonfires, burn them like a
modern section foreman does a pile of old railroad ties, and by the way,
the time is going to come soon when tie burners will be as severely
condemned as the instigators of the ‘burning bees’ in the olden days.

“Trees were too plentiful to attract much attention or create affection
or veneration, but these two trees had a very special human interest.

“Long after the Indians passed out of our country they came back as
ghosts or ‘familiars,’ just as the wolves, panthers and wild pigeons do,
so that the stories of folks seeing them after they became extinct,
while not literally true, are in a sense correct. Closely associated
with the life of the big cottonwood was an old Indian, mother said; he
wasn’t a real live Indian, yet not a ghost, was probably a half ghost,
half Indian, if there could be any such thing.

“The tulip tree was inhabited by a very attractive spirit, an Indian
girl, an odd looking one too, for her smooth skin was only a pumpkin
color and her eyes a light blue. They all called her ‘Pale Eyes,’ and
she was described as slight, winsome and wonderfully pretty. The Indian
man, because he spent so much time under the cottonwood or water poplar,
became generally known as ‘Poplar George.’ He would appear in the
neighborhood early in the spring, in time to gather poke, milkweed,
dandelion and bracken for the farmer’s wives, and to teach the young
folks to fish, to use the bow and arrow, and snare wild pigeons and
doves.

“It was a sure sign of spring when the young people would see him
squatting before a very small fire of twigs under the still leafless
branches of the ancient poplar tree. He would remain about all summer
long, helping with the harvest, so he must have been real flesh and
blood, in a sense, and in the fall he gathered nuts, and later cut some
cordwood for those who favored him–but in truth he never liked hard,
downright work overly much.

“He was a creature of the forests and streams. When he went away in the
fall, after the wild pigeons had left, he always said that he wintered
south, on the Casselman River, where the weather was not so severe, in
that wonderful realm of the Pawpaw, the Persimmon and the Red Bud.

“Often when he took the young folks of the neighborhood on fishing
trips, and his skill with the angle and fly were unerring, the pretty
Indian maiden, ‘Pale Eyes,’ would turn up, and be with the party all
day. When asked who she was, he would sometimes say that she was his
daughter, other times his niece, or grand-daughter, but when anyone
asked of ‘Pale Eyes,’ she would shake her pretty head, indicating that
she only spoke the Indian language. Poplar George could speak Dutch and
a little English.

“No one knew where Poplar George slept, if it wasn’t in the open, under
the cottonwood tree. If he slept in barns, or under haystacks, no one
had ever seen him coming or going, but a detail like that, mattered
nothing as long as he was kindly and harmless, and took good care of the
children.

“He was a master of woodcraft, much like that old Narragansett Indian
‘Nessmuk,’ who furnished the late George W. Sears with his inspiration
as well as ‘nom de plume.’ Poplar George could call the wild birds off
the trees, so that they would feed on the ground before him, the
squirrels and even the shy chipmunks climbed all over him, and extracted
nuts from his pockets.

"The old Indian was an odd person to look at, so my mother said; of
medium height, meagre, wrinkled and weazened, tobacco colored, with
little black shoe-button eyes, and a sparse mustache and beard. He
dressed in rags, and was often bare-footed, yet he never complained of
the cold. He was always jolly and cheerful, had always been the same; he
had been coming to the Pucketa Valley for several generations before my
mother’s day; in fact, no one could remember when he hadn’t been there,
but that wasn’t saying much, as it was a new country, dating only from
the time when Pucketa and his tribesmen had enjoyed it as a hunting
ground for big game.

"Once when some hunters killed a bear, they were going to nail the paws
on the end of a log barn, but Poplar George begged for them, and invited
the children to a feast of ‘bear paw cutlets’ under the cottonwood tree.
My mother sat beside ‘Pale Eyes,’ and took a great fancy to her; she was
able to talk with her in sign language, and Poplar George, seeing how
well they got on together, occasionally interpreted for them.

"Mother managed to learn that ‘Pale Eyes’’ abode was in a huge hollow
tulip tree, but that she, too, wintered in the south, but beyond the
Maryland line. Those were all gloriously care-free, happy days, and my
mother, in later life, never tired talking about them.

"Once in the fall when the buckwheat harvest was in progress, millions
of wild pigeons came in, and mother could never forget the sight of old
Poplar George sitting on a ‘stake and rider’ fence, with a handsome cock
pigeon resplendent with its ruddy breast, pearched on one of his wrists,
while it pecked at some buckwheat seeds in his other hand. Beside him
sat the demure ‘Pale Eyes,’ a speckled squab of the year in her lap,
stroking it, while other pigeons, usually so wild, were feeding in the
stubble about them, or perched on the stakes of the fence.

"Some of the boys of sixteen years or thereabouts, grown lads they
seemed to my mother, wanted to be attentive to ‘Pale Eyes,’ but she was
so shy that she never let them get close to her. As it was a respectable
backwoods community, and all minded their own business, no further
efforts were made to have her mingle in society.

"There was a rich boy, Herbert Hiltzheimer from Philadelphia, whose
father was a great land owner, and who sometimes came with his parents
to stay with their Agent while inspecting their possessions, who, at
first sight of ‘Pale Eyes,’ fell violently in love with her. On rainy
days he was not allowed out of doors, and sent word to Poplar George
that ‘Pale Eyes’ should go to the Agent’s house, and play with him. Old
Poplar George replied that he was willing if his niece would consent,
but she always ran away into the depths of the forest, and was never
once induced to play with him indoors. She did not dislike the city boy,
only was very timid, and was afraid to go inside of a house.

"My mother was made a confidante of by Herbert,who offered her five
dollars, a collosal sum in those days, if she would induce ‘Pale Eyes’
to at least come into the Agent’s yard, and play with him alone. He had
her name cut on everything, even on the window frames, and wrote verses
about her which he carried in his pocket, and sometimes tried to read to
her.

"In the fall he was taken back to Philadelphia to school, but said that,
the evening before, when he walked up the lane, weeping over his
misfortune, he opportunately met the fair Indian maid alone at the tulip
tree, and actually kissed her. She broke away and ran into the hollow
trunk, and while he quickly followed her into the aperture, she had
disappeared.

"The lands on which the cottonwood and the tulip tree stood were a part
of a farm belonging to ’Squire George Garnice, an agreeable, but easy
going old gentleman, who never learned to say ‘no’ to any one, though
not much to his detriment for he was very generally respected.

"One fall some of the Fiedler boys suggested to him, that he let them go
on his property and cut up a lot of old half-dead good-for-nothing trees
for cordwood and of course he assented. The first tree they attacked was
Poplar George’s favorite, the mighty cottonwood. They were skilled
axemen, and cut a level stump but too high for these days of
conservation. Soon the big poplar was down, and the boys were trimming
off the sweeping branches. Before cutting into stove lengths, they
hopped across the creek and started on their next victim, the hollow
tulip tree, the home of ‘Pale Eyes.’

"One of the boys, the youngest, Ed, had gotten a new cross-cut saw, and
begged them to try it on the tulip. They notched, and then getting down
on their knees, started to saw a low stump, for some reason or other.
They had sawed in quite a distance on both edges of the hollow side when
they heard a piteous shrieking and wailing down the road, toward the old
’Squire’s barn.

"Leaving saw, axes and wedges, they ran to where the cries came from,
and to their horror, found ‘Pale Eyes’ lying on the grassy bank beside
the road at the orchard, her ankles terribly lacerated, front and back,
clear in to the bones, and bleeding profusely. On this occasion she was
able to speak in an intelligible tongue.

“‘Run quick to the ’Squire’s, and get help,’ she said, in Pennsylvania
German; ‘I am dying, but I want something to ease this dreadful pain.’

“The sympathetic boys, without waiting to inquire where she received her
grevious hurts, scurried down the road and through the ’Squire’s gate.
The old gentleman was in his library, drawing up a legal document, when
the long, lanky youths, hatless and breathless, burst in on him.

“‘Oh, sir,’ they chorused, ‘the Indian girl, ‘Pale Eyes,’ you know, has
cut herself, and is dying up the road, and wants help.’

"The ’Squire always kept an old-fashioned remedy chest in his desk, so
seizing it, and adjusting his curly wig, so that it would not blow off,
he ran out after the nimble mountaineers. As they left the gate they saw
old Poplar George running across the orchard in the direction of the
wounded girl. Evidently he, too, had heard her cries.

"When they reached the spot where marks on the greensward showed where
‘Pale Eyes’ had been lying, she was nowhere to be found, neither was
Poplar George. There were no signs of blood, only a lot of sawdust like
comes from the workings of a cross-cut saw.

"The old ’Squire was nonplussed, but consented to accompany the boys to
the scene of their wood cutting operations. ‘Pale Eyes’ was not there
either, nor Poplar George. The newly formed leaves of the cottonwood–it
was in the month of May–although the tree had only been cut and sawed
into but an hour before, were scorched and withered.

"The ’Squire showed by his face how heartbroken he was to see the two
picturesque trees so roughly treated, but he was too kindly and
forgiving to chide the boys for their sake. As he was standing there,
looking at the ruin, a number of school children, among them my mother,
came along, for it was during the noon recess, or dinner hour. They saw
the butchered trees, and learned of the events of the morning; several
of them, prosaic backwoods youngsters, though they were, shed bitter
tears.

“‘Dry your eyes,’ the ‘’Squire urged them, ‘else your people will think
that the teacher licked you.’ Then they all chorused that it was a shame
to have ruined the retreats of Poplar George and ‘Pale Eyes.’

“Evidently ’Squire Garnice was wise in the lore of mysticism, for he
shook his head sadly, saying, ‘Never mind, you’ll never see Poplar
George nor ‘Pale Eyes’ again.’

“It was a dejected company that parted with him at his gate. The old
’Squire was right, for never more was anything seen or heard of Poplar
George and the mysterious ‘Pale Eyes.’ They must have been in some
unknowable way connected with the lives of those two trees, the
cottonwood and the tulip–their lives or spirits maybe, and when they
were cut into, their spirits went out with them.

“I knew of a wealthy man who had a cedar tree in his yard, that when he
fell ill, the tree became brown, but retained a little life. Finally it
was cut down as an eyesore, and the gentleman died suddenly a few days
afterward. That tree must have contained a vital part of his spirit.

“By fall the tulip tree looked as if it had been dead for years, and the
bark was peeling off. As the wood of the poplar would not burn, and set
up a fetid odor, the Fieldler boys never bothered to finish cutting down
the hollow tulip tree, of which the shy wood sprite, ‘Pale Eyes,’ had
been the essence.

"Much of the mystery and charm of that old grass-grown way along the
gently flowing Pucketa had vanished with its Indian frequenters. But the
memory of Poplar George and ‘Pale Eyes’ will never be forgotten as long
as any of those children who were lucky enough to know them, remain in
this world."

                                  XIV
                          _Black Alice Dunbar_


Down in the wilds of the Fourth Gap, latterly used as an artery of
travel between Sugar Valley and White Deer Hole Valley, commonly known
as “White Deer Valley,” a forest ranger’s cabin stands on the site of an
ancient Indian encampment, the only clearing in the now dreary drive
from the “Dutch End” to the famous Stone Church. Until a dozen years ago
much of the primeval forest remained, clumps of huge, original white
pines stood here and there, in the hollows were hemlock and rhododendron
jungles, while in the fall the flickers chased one another among the
gorgeous red foliage of the gum trees.

Now much is changed; between “Tom” Harter and “Charley” Steele, and
other lumbermen, including some gum tree contractors, little remains but
brush and slash; forest fires have sacrificed the remaining timber, and
only among the rocks, near the mouth of the gap, can be seen a few
original yellow pines, shaggy topped in isolated grandeur. Some day the
tragic Indian history of White Deer Hole Valley will come to its own,
and present one of the most tragic pages in the narrative of the passing
of the red man.

It was into this isolated valley, that terminates in Black Hole Valley,
and the Susquehanna River, near Montgomery, that numbers of the Monsey
Tribe of the Lenni-Lenape, called by some the Delaware Indians,
retreated after events subsequent to the Walking Purchase, made them
outcasts on the face of the earth. It was not long afterwards that
warlike parties of their cruel Nemesis, the Senecas, appeared on the
scene, informing the Monseys that they had sold the country to the
whites, and if they stayed, it was at their peril.

Even at that early day white men were not wholly absent; they came in
great numbers after the Senecas had sold the lands of the Lenni-Lenape
to the “Wunnux,” but even coincident with the arrival of the Delawares,
a few white traders and adventurers inhabited the most inaccessible
valleys.

Alexander Dunbar, a Scotchman, married to a Monsey woman, arrived in
White Deer Hole Valley with the first contingent of his wife’s
tribes-people, settling near the confluence of White Deer Hole Creek and
South Creek. Whether he was any relation to the Dunbar family, who have
long been so prominent in this valley is unknown, as his family moved
further west, and the last heard of them was when his widow died and was
buried in the vicinity of Dark Shade Creek, Somerset County.

Dunbar was a dark, swarthy complexioned man, more like an Indian than a
Celt, and dressed in the tribal garb, could easily have passed off as
one of the aboriginies. At one time he evidently intended to remain in
the Fourth Gap, as in the centre of the greensward which contained the
Indian encampment, he erected a log fortress, with four bastions, the
most permanent looking structure west of Fort Augusta. In it he aimed to
live like a Scottish Laird, with his great hall, the earthen floor,
covered with the skins of panthers, wolves and bears, elk and deer
antlers hanging about, and a huge, open fireplace that burned logs of
colossal size, and would have delighted an outlaw like Rob Roy
MacGregor.

When the Seneca Indians penetrated into the valley they were at a loss
at first to ascertain Alexander Dunbar’s true status. If he was related
to the prominent Scotch families identified with the Penn Government, he
would be let alone, but if a mere friendless adventurer, he would be
driven out the same as any one of the “Original People.”

Dunbar was a silent man, and by his taciturnity won toleration for a
time, as he never revealed his true position. When the Senecas became
reasonably convinced that, no matter who he had been in the Highlands of
Scotland, he was a person of no importance in the mountains of
Pennsylvania, they began a series of prosecutions that finally ended
with his murder. This took its first form by capturing all members of
the Lenni-Lenape tribe who ventured into the lower end of the valley,
for those who had settled further down, and on the banks of the
Susquehanna and Monsey Creek had moved westward when they learned that
they had been “_sold out_.” However, the residents of Dunbar’s
encampment occasionally ventured down South Creek on hunting and fishing
expeditions. When the heads of half a dozen families, and several
squaws, young girls and children had been captured, over a dozen in all,
and put into a stockade near the present village of Spring Garden, and
rumor had it that they were being ill-treated, Alexander Dunbar,
carrying a flag of truce, set off to treat with the Seneca Council, at
what is now Allenwood, with a view to having them paroled.

The unfortunate man never reached the Senecas’ headquarters, being shot
from ambush, and left to die like a dog on the trail, not far from the
Panther Spring, above the present John E. Person residence.

While the surviving, able bodied Monseys could have risen and started a
warfare, they deemed it prudence to remain where they were, and to make
Sugar Valley, and the valleys adjacent to White Deer Creek, their
principal hunting grounds.

While Dunbar had lived, squaw man, though he was, he was the leader of
the Indians among whom he resided, else they would never have permitted
his erecting a pretentious fortress in the midst of their humble tepees
of hides and poorly constructed log cabins. At his death the leadership
devolved on his eighteen-year-old daughter, “Black Agnes,” his widow
being a poor, inoffensive creature, a typical Indian drudge.

“Black Agnes” was even darker complexioned than her father, but was
better looking, having fine, clear cut features, expressive dark eyes
which flashed fire, although she was much below medium height, in fact,
no bigger than a twelve-year-old child. She wore her hair in such a
tangled way that her eyes, lean cheeks and white throat were half hidden
by the masses of her sable tresses. She usually attired herself in a
blue coat and cape, a short tan skirt trimmed with grey squirrel tails,
and long Indian stockings. She was in miniature a counterpart of Miriam
Donsdebes, the beautiful heroine of one of the chapters in this writer’s
book “South Mountain Sketches.”

While it may have given the Senecas added cause to repeat their jibe of
“old women” at the Lenni-Lenapes, for not avenging Dunbar’s death, it
was a case of living on sufferance anyway, and foolish to have attacked
superior numbers. The Senecas always had white allies to call on for
arms and ammunition, while from the first, the Delawares were a
proscribed people, slated to be run off the earth and exterminated.

During this lull, following the Scotchman’s murder, which the Senecas
would have doubtless have disavowed, an embassy appeared at the Dunbar
stronghold to ask “Black Agnes’” hand in marriage with a young Seneca
warrior named Shingaegundin, whom the intrepid young girl had never
seen. While it would have been extremely politic for “Black Agnes” to
have accepted, and allied herself with the powerful tribe that had
wronged her people, she sent back word firmly declining.

After the emissaries departed through the gate of the stockade, she
turned to her warriors, saying, in the metaphorical language of her
race: “The sky is overcast with dark, blustering clouds,” which means
that troublesome times were coming, that they would have war.

The embassy returned crestfallen to Shingaegundin, who was angry enough
to have slain them all. Instead, he rallied his braves, and told them
that if he could not have “Black Agnes” willingly, he would take her by
force, and if she would not be a happy and complaisant bride, he would
tie her to a tree and starve her until she ceased to be recalcitrant.

The bulk of the Monseys having departed from the valleys on both sides
of the Susquehanna, to join others of their tribe at the headwaters of
the Ohe-yu, left the Dunbar clan in the midst of an enemy’s country, so
that it would look like an easy victory for Shingaegundin’s punitive
expedition.

“Black Agnes” had that splendid military quality of knowing ahead of
time what her adversaries planned to do–whether “second sight” from her
Scotch blood, or merely a highly developed sense of strategy, matters
not. At any rate, she was ready to deal a blow at her unkind enemies.
Therefore she posted her best marksmen along the rocky face of the South
Mountains, on either side of Fourth Gap. Behind these grey-yellow,
pulpit-shaped rocks, the tribesmen crouched, ready for the oncoming
Senecas. “Black Agnes” herself was in personal command inside the
stockade, where she was surrounded by a courageous bodyguard twice her
size. The women, old men and children, were sent to the top of the
mountain, to about where Zimmerman’s Run heads at the now famous
Zimmerman Mountain-top Hospice. At a signal, consisting of a shot fired
in the air by “Black Agnes” herself, the fusillade from the riflemen
concealed among the rocks was to begin, to make the Fourth Gap a
prototype of Killiecrankie.

In turn the entrance of the Senecas into the defile was to be announced
by arrow shot into the air by a Monsey scout who was concealed behind
the Raven’s Rock, the most extensive point of vantage overlooking the
“Gap.”

When “Black Agnes” saw the graceful arrow speed up into space, she again
spoke metaphorically, “The path is already shut up!” which meant that
hostilities had commenced, the war begun.

The little war sprite timed her plot to a nicety. When the Senecas were
well up in the pass, and surrounded on all sides by the Monseys, whom
they imagined all crowded into the stockade, “Black Agnes” fired her
shot, and the slaughter began. The Senecas began falling on all sides,
thanks to the unerring aim of the Monsey riflemen, but they were too
inured to warfare to break and run, especially when caught in a trap.

Shingaegundin, enraged beyond all expression at again being flouted by a
woman, and a member of the tribe of “old women,” determined to die
gamely, and within the stockade which harbored “Black Agnes.” He seemed
to bear a charmed life, for while his cohorts fell about him, he plunged
on unhurt. The gate of the stockade was open, and “Black Agnes” stood
just within it, directing her warriors, a quaint but captivating little
figure, more like a sprite or fairy than one of flesh and blood.

[Illustration: OLD CONESTOGA WAGON, BRUSH VALLEY]

Shingaegundin espied her, and knew at a glance that this must be the
woman who the wise men of his tribe had selected to be his bride, and
the cause of this senseless battle. His was a case of love at first
sight, the very drollness of her tiny form adding to his passion, and he
ran forward, determined to be killed holding her in his arms and
pressing kisses on her dusky cheeks.

Such thoughts enhanced his ambition and courage, and he shouted again
and again to his braves to pick themselves up and come on as he was
doing. Dazed with love, he imagined in a blissful moment that he would
yet have the victory and carry “Black Agnes” home under his arm like a
naughty child.

Just outside the palisade he was met by three of Agnes’ bodyguard, armed
with stone hatchets. None of his warriors were near him; shot and
bleeding, they were writhing on the grass, while some were already in
the hands of the Monsey braves, who had come down from their eyries, and
were dexterously plying the scalping knives. Few of the mutilated
Senecas uttered cries, although as the scalps were jerked off, it was
hard to suppress involuntary sobs of pain.

“Black Agnes” saw nothing in the long, lank form of Shingaegundin to
awaken any love; she detested him as belonging to the race that had sold
her birthright and foully murdered her father, and she called to her
warriors: “Suffer no grass to grow on the war-path,” signifying to carry
on the fight with vigor.

Shingaegundin was soon down, his skull battered and cracked in a dozen
places. Even when down, his ugly spirit failed to capitulate. Biting and
scratching and clawing with his nails like a beast, he had to have his
skull beaten like a copperhead before he stretched out a lifeless,
misshapen corpse. As he gave his last convulsive kick the Monsey
warriors began streaming through the gates, some holding aloft scalps
dripping with blood, while others waved about by the scalp locks, the
severed heads of their defeated foemen.

Never had such a rout been inflicted on the Senecas; perhaps “Black
Agnes” would be a second Jeanne d’Arc, and lead the Lenni-Lenape back to
their former glories and possessions!

The victorious Monseys became very hilarious, hoisting the scalps on
poles, they shimmied around “Black Agnes,” yelling and singing their
ancient war songs, the proudest moment of their bellicose lives.

“Black Agnes” was calm in triumph, for she knew how transitory is life
or fame. Biting her thin lips, she drew her scalping knife and bent down
over the lifeless form of Shingaegundin, to remove his scalp in as
business-like a manner as if she was skinning a rabbit. Addressing the
grinning corpse, she said: “Bury it deep in the earth,” meaning that the
Seneca’s injury would be consigned to oblivion. Then, with rare
dexterity, she removed the scalp, a difficult task when the skull has
been broken in, in so many places.

Holding aloft the ugly hirsute trophy, she almost allowed herself to
smile in her supreme moment of success. Her career was now made; she
would rally the widely scattered remnants of the Delawares, and fight
her way to some part of Pennsylvania where prestige would insure peace
and uninterrupted happiness. But in these elevated moments comes the
bolt from the blue.

One of the panic-stricken Senecas, bolting from the ignominious ambush
of his fellows, had scrambled up the boulder-strewn side of the
mountain, taking refuge behind the Raven’s Rock, lately occupied by the
chief lookout of the Monseys–he who had shot the warning arrow into the
air. Crouching abject and trembling at first, he began to peer about him
as the fusillade ceased and smoke of battle cleared. He saw his slain
and scalped clansmen lying about the greensward, and in the creek, and
the awful ignominy meted out to his lion-hearted sachem, Shingaegundin.
At his feet lay the bow and quiver full of arrows abandoned by the scout
when he rushed down pell mell to join in the bloody scalping bee.

The sight of “Black Agnes” holding aloft his chieftain’s scalp, the
horribly mutilated condition of Shingaegundin’s corpse, the shimmying,
singing Monseys, waving scalps and severed heads of his brothers and
friends, all drew back to his heart what red blood ran in his veins.

“Black Agnes” stood there so erect and self-confident, like a little
robin red-breast, ready for a potpie, he would lay her low and end her
pretensions. Taking careful aim, for he was a noted archer, the Seneca
let go the arrow, which sped with the swiftness of a passenger pigeon,
finding a place in the heart of the brave girl. The tip came out near
her backbone, her slender form was pierced through and through. The
slight flush on her dark cheeks gave way to a deadly pallor, and, facing
her unseen slayer, “Black Agnes” Dunbar tumbled to the earth dead.

The dancing, singing Monseys suddenly became a lodge of sorrow, weeping
and wailing as if their hearts would break. The Seneca archer could have
killed more of them, they were so bewildered, but he decided to run no
further risks, and made off towards his encampment to tell his news,
good and bad, to his astounded tribesmen.

When it was seen that “Black Agnes” was no more, and could not be
revived, the sorrowful Monseys dug a grave within the stockade. It was a
double death for them, as they knew that they would be hunted to the end
like the _Wolf Tribe_ that they were, and they had lost an intrepid and
beloved leader.

According to the custom, before the interment, “Black Agnes’” clothing
was removed, the braves deciding to take it as a present to the dead
girl’s mother, to show how bravely she died. They walled up the grave
and covered the corpse with rocks so that wolves could not dig it up,
graded a nice mound of sod over the top, and, like the white soldiers at
Fort Augusta, fired a volley over her grave.

That night there was a sorrowing scene enacted at the campground near
the big spring at Zimmerman’s Run. The grief-stricken mother wanted to
run away into the forest, to let the wild beasts devour her, and was
restrained with great difficulty by her tribesmen, who had also lost all
in life that was worth caring for, peace and security.

With heavy hearts they started on a long journey for the west, carrying
the heart-broken mother Karendonah in a hammock, to the asylum offered
to them by the Wyandots on the Muskingum. The bereaved woman carried the
blood-stained, heart-pierced raiment of her heroic daughter as a
priceless relic, and it was in her arms when she died suddenly on the
way, in Somerset County, and was buried beside the trail, on the old
Forbes Road. The Monseys, however, took the costume with them as a
fetich, and for years missionaries and others interested in the tragic
story of “Black Agnes” Dunbar were shown her blue jacket with the hole
in the breast where the arrow entered.

That arrow pierced the hearts of all the Monseys, for they became a
dejected and beaten people in their Ohio sanctuary.

While it is true that most of the very old people who lived in the
vicinity of the Fourth Gap have passed away, it may yet be possible to
learn the exact location of the cairn containing the remains of “Black
Agnes” and place a suitable marker over it. One thing seems certain, if
the tradition of the Lenni-Lenape that persons dying bravely in battle
reach a higher spiritual plane once their souls are released, her ghost
will not have to hunt the hideous, burnt-over slashings that were once
the wildly romantic Fourth Gap; it has gone to a realm beyond the
destructive commercialism of this dollar-mad age, where beauty finds a
perpetual reward and recognition.

[Illustration]

                                   XV
                      _Abram Antoine, Bad Indian_


Abram Antoine, a Cacique of the Stockbridge Tribe of Oneida Indians, had
never before while in Pennsylvania been off the watershed of the Ohe-yu,
or “The Beautiful River,” called by the white men “Allegheny,” until he
accepted the position of interpreter to a group of chiefs from the New
York and Pennsylvania Indians, to visit “The Great White Father,”
General Washington, at Mount Vernon.

While the General had not been President for several years, and was
living in retirement at his Virginia home, the red Chieftains felt that
his influence would be such that he could secure redress for their
wrongs. Cornplanter had been on many such missions, and come home elated
by promises, few of which were ever fulfilled in any shape, and none in
their entirety, consequently he declined to accompany the mission on
what he termed a “fool’s errand.”

Abram Antoine, through life in New England, New York and Canada, had
become much of a linguist, speaking English and French with tolerable
fluency, besides being well versed in the Seneca and other Indian
tongues. He was a tall, handsome type of redman, powerfully muscled, his
career on “The Beautiful River,” where he rafted and boated between the
Reservations and Pittsburg, and his service as a ranger for the Holland
Land Company, had developed his naturally powerful form to that of a
Hercules. Previously he had served in the American Navy, during the
Revolutionary War, which had instilled in him a lifetime respect for the
name of Washington. He was eager therefore to act as interpreter on an
occasion which would bring him into personal contact with the Father of
his Country.

The Indians took the usual overland route, coming down the Boone Road,
to the West Branch of the Susquehanna at the mouth of Drury’s Run; from
there they intended _hiking_ across the mountains to Beech Creek, there
to get on the main trail leading down the Bald Eagle Valley to Standing
Stone (now Huntingdon), and from thence along the Juniata to Louisbourg,
then just beginning to be called Harrisburg. It had been an “open
winter” thus far.

At the West Branch they met an ark loaded with coal, bound for
Baltimore, in charge of some Germans who had mined it in the vicinity of
Mosquito Creek, Clearfield County, near the site of the later town of
Karthaus. A friendly conversation was started between the party of
Indians on shore and the boatmen, with the result that the pilot of the
ark, Christian Arndt, invited the redmen to climb aboard.

The invitation being accepted with alacrity, the ark was steered close
to the bank, and the Indians, running out on an uprooted snag which hung
over the water, all leaped on the deck in safety. It made a jolly party
from that moment on. The time passed happily, and many were the
adventures and experiences _en route_. No stops of any consequence were
made except at the mouth of Mianquank (Young Woman’s Creek), and
Utchowig (now Lock Haven), until the Isle of Que was reached, where
other arks and flats and batteaux were moored, and there were so many
persons of similar pursuits that a visit on dry land was in order.

There was much conviviality at the public houses of Selin’s Grove, and
the Germans amused themselves trying to carry on conversations with the
native Pennsylvania Dutchmen, dusky, dark-featured individuals, who saw
little affinity between themselves and the fair, podgy “High Germans.”
In wrestling and boxing matches, throwing the long ball, running races,
and lifting heavy weights, the Germans were outclassed by the native
mountaineers, but they took their defeats philosophically. A shooting
match was held, at which all the Indians except Abram Antoine held
aloof, but his marksmanship was so extraordinary that he managed to tie
the score for the up-river team. This was a consolation for the Germans,
and they left the Isle of Que well satisfied with their treatment.

Other arks left their moorings at the same time, mostly loaded with
grain or manufactured lumber from the Christunn and the Karoondinha, and
the fleet was augmented by a batteau loaded with buffalo hides, at the
mouth of the West Mahantango. This was the last consignment of
Pennsylvania bison hides ever taken to Harrisburg, the animals having
been killed at their crossing over the Firestone or Shade Mountains, the
spring previous.

It was a picturesque sight to see the fleet of arks and other boats
coming down the noble river, the flood bank high, driving up flocks of
water birds ahead of them, while aloft like aeroplanes guarding a convoy
of transports, sailed several majestic American Eagles, ever circling,
ever drifting, and then soaring heavenward.

Out from the Juniata came several more arks, consequently the idlers in
front of the rivermen’s resorts at “The Ferry,” as some of the
old-timers still called Harrisburg, declared that they had never seen a
flood bring in a larger flotilla at one time. All, however, were anxious
to get in before the river closed up for the winter.

When the up-river ark with its load of Teutons and redmen made its
moorings for the night near the John Harris tree, they noticed that all
the flags were at half-mast–there were many displayed in those days–and
there was a Sunday calm among the crowds lolling along the banks in the
wintry sunshine.

“Who’s dead?” inquired Abram Antoine, as he stepped on the dock; his
naval training had made him alert to the language of the flag.

“_General Washington_,” was the awed reply.

The big Stockbridge Indian’s jaw dropped, his lifetime ambition of
conversing with the “first in the hearts of his countrymen,” and the
purpose of the mission had been thwarted by a Higher Will.

Turning to the gaudy appareled chief behind him, he conveyed the unhappy
message. The Indians shook their heads so hard that their silver
earrings rattled, and were more genuinely sorry that Washington was no
more than the failure of their quest. All ashore, they held a conclave
under the old Mulberry tree, deciding that there was no use to go any
further, but would spend a day or two in the thriving new town,
Louisbourg or Harrisburg, whichever it was proper to call it, and then
return home. There was no use going to Philadelphia again, and a new
prophet sat in the chair of the Father of his Country at the Nation’s
Capitol.

The party then separated for the present, most of them hurrying to the
nearest tavern stands to refresh thirsts made deeper by the sharp, fine
air on the river. Abram Antoine stood undecided, one hand resting on the
trunk of the historic Mulberry, a crowd of small boys watching him
open-mouthed and wide-eyed, at a respectful distance.

Pretty soon he was accosted by a very old, white-bearded Dutchman, with
a strip of soiled gray silk on the lapel of his coat, which indicated
that he was a veteran of the Royal American Regiment of Riflemen that
had figured at Fort Duquesne in 1758. Abram Antoine had seen many such
veterans in and about Pittsburg, and held out his hand to the aged
military man. The old soldier signalled with his cane that the Indian
come and sit with him on a nearby bench, which he did, and they passed
an hour pleasantly together.

The conversation turned principally to soldiering, and then to firearms,
and all the ancient makes of rifles were discussed, and their merits and
demerits compared. The veteran allowed that the best rifle he had ever
owned was of Spanish make, the kind carried by the Highlanders in the
campaigns of 1758 and 1763; it was of slim barrel, light and easily
handled, and unerring if used by a person of tolerable accuracy.

There was one gunsmith in the alley over yonder, a veteran of the
Revolution, named Adam Dunwicke, who made a rifle close to the early
Spanish pattern. It was the best firearm being turned out in the State
of Pennsylvania. The gunsmith, anyhow, was a man worth knowing, as his
shop was filled with arms of many makes and periods, and he liked to
talk with any one who was an enthusiast on guns.

Abram Antoine was fired by what the veteran told him, and as it was
still early in the afternoon, asked if he would escort him thither. It
would be fine if he could get an extra good rifle as a souvenir of his
ill-starred trip to Mount Vernon. The old man had too much time on his
hands as it was, and was only too glad to pilot the redman to the
workshop. They made a unique looking pair together, the old soldier,
bent and hobbling along on his staff, the Indian, tall, erect, and in
the prime of life. Their high, aquiline noses, with piercing, deep-set
eyes, were their sole points of physical similarity.

When they reached the gunshop, in the dark, narrow alley that ran out
from Front Street, the veteran banged the grimy knocker, and it was
almost instantly opened by Dunwicke himself, a sturdy man of medium
height, who wore great mustaches, had on a leather apron and his sleeves
were rolled up, revealing the brawny biceps of a smith.

Standing by the gunmaker, in the shadowy, narrow entry, was a very
pretty girl in a dark blue dress. She was as tall as the smith, but very
trim and slight, and her chestnut brown hair was worn low over her ears,
throwing into relief her pallid face, and the rather haunted, tired look
in her fine grey eyes, the marvelous smooth lines of her chin and
throat.

A third figure now emerged from the gloom, a small Negro boy, to whom
the girl was handing a letter, with her trembling white hands. As the
Indian, the veteran and the gunsmith withdrew into the workroom, Abram
could hear her saying to the lad, as she closed the door by way of added
emphasis: “Tell him to be sure and come.”

He could hear the footsteps of the girl as she went upstairs, and
henceforth he lost most of his interest in the question of obtaining a
rifle of the Spanish design. All his _designs_ were elsewhere, and he
was glad when the smith suggested they visit another room on the
opposite side of the entry, to look at several sets of extra large horns
of the grey moose or elk, which had recently come down on an ark from
somewhere up Tiadaghton.

As they crossed the hallway, Abram Antoine looked up the flight of
stairs–there were three that he could make out–wondering on which floor
the fair apparition retired to; he presumed pretty near the roof, as he
had not heard her on the loose laid floor above the workshop.

When they returned to the gun shop, the Indian, knowing the smith well
enough by then, inquired who the lady was whom they had seen in the
entry.

“Oh, I don’t quite know what she is,” he replied. “She stays upstairs,
under the roof; you know that the upper floors of this building are let
for lodgers.”

Instantly a life’s story, tragic or unusual, grouped itself about his
image of the girl, and his heart was filled with yearning. He was hoping
against hope that she would come down again. He had no excuse to go up,
but several times while the smith was chatting with the veteran of the
Royal Americans, he managed to wander across the hall, looking up the
well towards the grimy skylight, and then took another perfunctory
glance at the huge antlers standing against the wall. He prolonged his
stay as long as he could, saying that he liked to watch gunmakers at
work, and having ordered and paid for a costly rifle, he felt that his
presence was justified.

It was well into the gloaming when “knock, knock, knock” on the front
door resounded through the hollow old building. Abram Antoine’s blood
ran cold; he could have shot the visitor if he was the slender girl’s
recalcitrant lover, but fervently hoped that, whoever it was, would have
the effect of bringing her downstairs.

True enough, before he could get to the door at the smith’s heel, he
heard the light, familiar footsteps, and the girl, trying to look
unconcerned, was the first to turn the lock.

It was only Simon Harper, a big, lean hunter from Linglestown, over by
the Blue Mountain, who had come to take delivery of a rifle made to
order.

“Oh, I am so disappointed,” said the girl, as she turned to run
upstairs.

The smith was escorting his swarthy customer into the shop. Abram
Antoine’s opportunity had come, if ever.

“Do you have the letting of the rooms upstairs?” he said, politely, hat
in hand.

The girl looked at him; it was probably the first time during the
afternoon that she had noticed his presence, so pre-occupied she had
been.

“No,” she said, softly; “the lady lives on the next landing, but I saw
her going out.”

Abraham was well aware how closely she had been watching that doorway!
“Are there any vacancies?”

The girl dropped her head as if in doubt about carrying on the
conversation further, then replied: “I think there are.” “said the
Indian.

Whether it was loneliness or desperation at the non-arrival of the
person to whom she had sent the letter, or the tall redman’s superlative
good looks and genteel demeanor–for a handsome man can attempt what a
plain one dare never aspire–at any rate without another word, she turned
and led the way up the long, steep stairs.

It was with no sense of surprise that she brought him to the top of the
house, into her own garret, with its two small dormer windows which gave
a view in the direction of the Narrows at Fort Hunter, and the broad,
majestic river. There was a narrow bed with a soiled coverlet, a
portmanteau, a brass candlestick, and two rush-bottomed chairs, and
nothing else in it. In those days lodgers washed at the well in the back
yard.

Both sat down as if they had known each other all their lives; the
frigid barrier of reserve of a few minutes earlier had broken down. They
were scarcely seated when the ominous “Clank, clank, clank,” that the
girl had been listening for so intently all afternoon, resounded up the
dismal vault of the stairway.

Casting a frightened look at the big Indian, as much as to say, “What
will _he_ say if he finds you here?” she bounded out of the room,
descending the steps two or three at a time.

Abram Antoine did not take the hint to retire, if such was meant, and
sat stolidly in the high-backed, rush-bottomed chair, in the unlighted
room. It was only a few minutes until she returned, her face red, all
out of breath, carrying the same letter which he had seen her hand to
the colored boy earlier in the afternoon.

[Illustration: OLD SCHELLSBURG CHURCH, LINCOLN HIGHWAY]

“Not in town, don’t know when he will return,” she was chanting to
herself, as she came through the open door. She started back, as if
surprised to find her new champion _still_ there. Without speaking, she
dropped down on the bed, facing him, fanning her flushed cheeks with the
envelope, although the little room was quite cold.

“I am sorry that your letter was undelivered,” said Abram Antoine, after
a considerable silence. There was another pause, and then the girl,
still clutching the fated letter, revealed her story of embarrassment.

“It isn’t a long story,” she began. "My name is Ernestine de Kneuse. My
father is the well-known miller and land-owner at New Berlinville, in
Berks County–Solomon de Kneuse. About a year ago a young stranger, Carl
Nitschman, I think a High German, came to the town, stopping at the
‘Three Friends’ Inn, which it was rumored he was to purchase. While
negotiating, he naturally met many of the leading people. He was
handsome and engaging, and all the girls went wild over him. It gave me
a fiendish pleasure to think that he favored me above the rest, and one
afternoon I cut my classes at the Select Academy, where I was in my
third year, and went walking with him.

"My father, who belonged to the old school, had a hatred for any one who
might even consider going into the liquor business, saw us together and
told mother. On reaching home, although I was eighteen and had not had
even a spanking for several years, and thought I had outgrown it, my
mother took me to my room and administered a good, sound ‘scotching’
with the rod.

"Previously they had forbidden the young man the house, and when I
informed him how I was treated, he told me if I was disciplined again,
to run away.

"Not long afterwards I was kept in at school, and mother accused me of
meeting my lover. I told her to go to the school and find out for
herself, which she did, but nevertheless that evening my mother visited
me in my room with the strap, and walloped me until I was black and blue
from shoulders to ankles.

"Meanwhile Carl’s negotiations for the purchase of the tavern had fallen
through, and he was preparing to leave for Reading. Through one of my
girl friends who was not so strictly raised, I communicated to him the
story of this latest indignity, begging him to take me with him. He
replied that he would be traveling about for some time before settling
down there, but as soon as he was located, he would send me his address,
and to come.

"I recall the morning of his departure, how I crawled out of bed before
dawn, and pressed my tear-stained face against the window lights as he
climbed on the coach at the inn, which was across the street from where
we lived, and settling down among his goodly store of bags and boxes,
was driven away.

"Weeks passed, and I eventually got a letter through one of my girl
friends whose parents were less strict, that he had gone to Harrisburg,
and I should join him there. By exercising a great amount of ingenuity,
I got out of the house, and on the night stage for Reading, during one
of the terrible Equinoctial rains, making close connections with another
stage for Harrisburg, and I came to my present abode a month before, but
have never once seen Nitschman in the interval.

“I’ve now learned that my parents are on my track, and will reach town
tonight; I have spent my last cent, and my letters to Nitschman receive
no satisfactory answers. I am now penniless, and cannot pay my lodging,
have eaten nothing all day, and have no place to go. I would not return
for all the world and subject myself to an irate mother.”

The Indian was much interested by the recital, and told her that he had
loved her the minute he laid eyes on her, and would marry her if she
would return with him to his home, which adjoined the Cornplanter
Reservation, in Warren County. “I will marry you right away if you will
accept.”

Pressed and harassed on all sides, and hungry as well, Ernestine,
looking up into the handsome face of the redman, capitulated. Closing up
her scanty belongings in the shabby portmanteau, she went down to the
landlady and settled her bill in full out of a “Double Eagle” which
Abram gave her, and then the pair quickly left the building. The gunshop
was locked, and dark, the veteran of the Royal Americans and the smith
had forgotten all about their Indian friend and gone their ways
regardless.

They soon found the leading hotel stand, where they enjoyed a good
supper and learned of a preacher who would marry them.

Just as they were about to leave the tavern the stage from Reading and
Stitestown pulled in, horses and running gear all spattered with mud and
slush. Among the first to clamber out was old Solomon de Kneuse and his
wife, but they gave them the slip in the darkness and confusion.

At the manse, after the ceremony, the clergyman mentioned that his
brother was to be a juryman the next day at the trial of Nitschman, the
highwayman, who had held up and robbed the aristocratic McAfee family on
the road to York Springs. “May he pay dearly for interfering with
quality,” he added, seriously.

Ernestine hung her head; she understood now why it was she had been
unable to see her lover since she came to the town; he had been in jail,
and perhaps she was stung with some tiny feelings of remorse to have
renounced him so quickly. However, necessity knows no law, but she
thought she knew her man.

Before daybreak the newly married couple were ensconced in the stage
bound for Northumberland and Williamsport, and in due course of time
reached their future home, just across the river from Corydon.

None of the other Indians returned for several weeks. When they did,
they were miserable looking objects from drink, and Abram half blamed
himself for not looking after them, but love had blinded him to
everything else. He provided a comfortable home for his bride, and as an
agent for the Holland Land Company, mingled with respectable people, who
were considerate to his wife. Among these were the family of Philip
Tome, that indomitable Indian-looking Nimrod, author of “Thirty Years a
Hunter,” whose prowess in the forests of Northern Pennsylvania will
never be forgotten while memory of the big game days lasts.

Ernestine was really happy, and did not aspire to any different lot.
Though she was fearless, she hated to be left alone when her husband was
absent on inspection trips, and he generally managed to have an Indian
boy or girl–one of the O’Bails or Logans–remain with her when he was
away.

In due time his handsome Spanish-type rifle, with its stock inlaid with
mother-of-pearl and silver, like the gun of some Moorish Sheik, reached
him, and of it he was justly proud, partly because it was the instrument
of his meeting Ernestine.

On the first anniversary of their wedding he killed a fine stag with it
on the Kinzua, while hunting with Philip Tome. It was in the fall of the
second year of their marriage that Abram Antoine was called away during
a heavy flood in the Ohe-yu, which flowed in front of their house. Old
Shem, the one-eyed, half-breed ferryman, had difficulty in getting him
across in the batteau, so swift was the angry current. He was to be
gone, as usual, several days.

On the night when she was expecting him home, Ernestine heard a loud
knocking at the kitchen door. Opening it she beheld Old Shem standing
outside, the rain dripping from his hat and clothing.

“Missus Antoine,” he wheezed, “Abram is over to the public house at
Corydon, a very sick man, and wants you to come to him at once.”

Ernestine was horrified, but, jerking down her cloak from the nail on
which it hung, ran out into the storm, and followed the aged ferryman
down the steep bank to the landing. The wind was bellowing terribly
among the almost bear hickories and butternuts along the shore, the
current was deep, dark and eddying.

When one-third the way over, Old Shem looked up, saying: “Missus, it
hain’t Abram that’s sick; it’s your _other_ man, Mister Nitschman, what
wants you.” “shouted Ernestine. “I never had any other man. Take me back
home at once, you treacherous old snake in the grass.”

Just then a pile of buffalo robes in one end of the deep batteau
stirred, and the form of a man arose–Carl Nitschman, back from jail.

“Talk sensibly, Ernestine,” he said. “I have come for you, and will
forgive everything. You know you belong to me; your going off with that
Indian was all a hasty mistake.”

Ernestine glared at him and again ordered the ferryman to take her home.
Instead he seemed to be trying to reach the Corydon shore the faster.
Just then Nitschman stepped forward, with arms outstretched, as if to
seize her.

The slight and supple Ernestine sprang up on the gunwale, the boat
tipped; she either fell or jumped into the dark, swirling current. She
was gone before an effort could be made to save her, and the two
frightened men, white as ghosts, pulled for the light which gleamed
through the storm, in the tavern window at Corydon, with redoubled
energy. With a thud the prow hit the muddy bank and slid on shore.

To their surprise Abram Antoine was standing on the bank. The one-eyed
ferryman began to cry, a strange thing for any one of Indian blood. “I
was fetching your wife across to meet you and she fell in the river.”

Just then Nitschman, who had climbed out of the boat, was passing by
Antoine, who seized him by the collar. “Who is this son of –--?”
demanded the six-foot Indian.

It was then that the ferryman broke down completely and confessed all.

Antoine shook his captive like a rat, and slapped his face many times,
eventually tumbling him into the mud and kicking him like a sack of
flour. Then, picking up an oar, he beat the ferryman over the head until
he yelled for mercy. The noise roused the habitues of the hotel, and as
the victims were shouting “murder,” the local Constable, who ran the
hotel, placed Abram Antoine under arrest, beginning his fatal brand as
“Bad Indian.”

Nitschman did not appear to press the charge next day, and the ferryman
apologized for his part in the affair, so Abram was free, minus his
beautiful wife and his reputation.

It was beginning with that terrible tragedy that he began to find solace
at the tap room of the public house at Corydon. Philip Tome and even old
Cornplanter himself tried his best to save him, but he became an Indian
sot, losing his position with the land company, his home and his
self-respect. All that he held on to, and that because being an Indian
he was sentimental, was his Spanish rifle with the inlaid stock. He
spent more and more of his time in the forests, shunning white people
and fraternizing only with his own kind. He made a protege out of young
Jim Jacobs, a Seneca hunter of unusual ability, and they spent many
weeks at a time in the forests.

To him he confided that before he died he would literally have
Nitschman’s scalp, have the blood atonement against the destroyer of his
happiness.

A score of years had to pass before he met the ex-highwayman face to
face. He had heard of the early exploits of this modern Claude Du Val,
who was supposed to have reformed, and his blood boiled that such a
villainous wretch could wander about scot free.

It was in the fall of the year, about 1822 or thereabouts, when the
great county fair was in progress at Morris Hills, one of the leading
towns above the New York State line, adjacent to the Indian
reservations. All manner of persons were attracted by the horse races,
displays of cattle, Indian foot races and lacrosse games, as well as the
more questionable side shows and gambling performances.

Abram Antoine’s Indian friends had been sobering him up for weeks, and
he presented a pretty good appearance for a man of over sixty, when he
appeared to challenge all comers in tests of marksmanship with the
rifle. Never had “The Chief,” as everybody called him, done better than
the afternoon of the first day of the fair. The wild pigeons were flying
high overhead in the clear, blue atmosphere of that fine crisp autumn
day, but whenever he turned his rifle upwards he brought one down for
the edification and applause of the crowd.

Just as he had shot a pigeon, his keen eye noticed a medium-sized,
fair-haired man, loudly dressed, edging hurriedly through the throng, as
if trying to get away. Antoine had never seen Nitschman except that
night when he had trampled him into the mud, but this fellow’s size and
general demeanor Corresponded with his mental conception of the one that
he had ever afterwards regretted that he had not slain.

Moving with rapid strides through the crowd, pigmies beside his giant
stature, he blocked his little enemy’s further progress. “Nitschman, I
believe you are,” he said.

“No, no; that hain’t my name,” spluttered the short man, coloring to the
roots of his faded yellow hair.

“Yes, it is, Chief,” yelled a young Indian who was standing close by.

That confirmation was all that Abram Antoine, bad Indian, wanted.
Swinging his rifle above the crowd, he brought it down with terrific
force on the head of his foe, crashing right through his high, flat
brimmed beaver hat and shattering the lock.

To use the language of Jim Jacobs, Nitschman fell to the turf like a
“white steer,” and laid there, weltering in blood, for he was dead.

All the latent hate and jealousy in the crowd against Indians
immediately found vent, and an angry mob literally drove Abram Antoine,
bad Indian, out of the fair grounds to the town lockup. It was some time
during 1823 that he expiated his crime on the gallows.

[Illustration]

                                  XVI
                      _Do You Believe in Ghosts?_


A. D. Karstetter, painstaking local historian, tells us that there was
no more noteworthy spot in the annals of mountainous Pennsylvania than
the old Washington Inn at Logansville. Built after the fashion of an
ancient English hostelry, with its inn-yard surrounded by sheds and
horse stables, it presented a most picturesque appearance to discerning
travelers. The passage of time had obliterated it, long before the great
fire on June 24, 1918, swept the town, removing even the landmarks which
would have showed where the old-time inn was situated.

Many are the tales, grave or gay, clustered about its memory, far more,
says Mr. Karstetter, than were connected with the Logan Hotel, run by
the Coles, which was erected at a much later day, just when the old
coaching days were passing out, and the new era coming in. All of the
history that grew up about the Washington Inn ante-dated the Civil War,
while that of the Logan Hotel was of the period of that war and later.
This gives one a good mental picture of the type of legend interwoven
with the annals of the ancient Washington Inn.

A winter rain had set in, just at dusk, as the great lumbering
five-horse coach (three wheelers and two leaders) from Hightown entered
the straggling outkirts of Logansville. The post boy on the boot blew
his long horn vociferously, waking the echoes up Summer Creek, then back
again, clear to the “Grandfather Pine” at Chadwick’s Gap.

A whimsical old German, who worked at Jacob Eilert’s pottery, picked up
his old tin horn that he used to blow as a boy when wolves or Indians
were about, and answered the clarion in cracked, uncertain notes. Lights
glimmered in cabin windows, and many a tallow dip, fat lamp or rushlight
was held aloft to get a good view of the coach as it swirled along
through the mud, and its crowded company. Everybody was standing up,
buttoning their coats and gathering together their luggage, as the big,
clumsy vehicle checked up under the swinging sign, on which was painted
the well-loved features of the Father of His Country.

The old landlord, his wife and the hostlers and stable boys and
household help were outside to assist the travelers to alight and show
them into the comfortable glow of the lobby.

“When do you start out in the morning?” all were asking of the
rosy-cheeked driver, although the hour for continuing the journey west
from Logansville was printed in big letters on the rate card at the
posting office at Hightown, as “Sharp, 6.00 A. M.”

In the candle-lit lobby, by a blazing fire of maple logs, the travelers
surveyed one another, the landlord and their surroundings. They were an
even dozen in number, nine men and three women. Some of the men were
hunters and had their Lancaster rifles with them; the others commercial
travelers. The women were also engaged in business pursuits.

The stage was the sole means of penetrating into the back country, and
the canals and the Pennsylvania Central Railroad (now known as the Main
Line) the only methods of crossing the Keystone State in those early
days.

A good supper was served–hickory smoked ham and eggs, hot cakes and
native grown maple syrup, and plentiful libations of original Murray
“Sugar Valley” whiskey, which put the huntsmen and the drummers in
capital humor. After the meal they brought out their pipes and sat in
groups about the fire in the great, low-ceilinged room. The three women,
who were middle-aged and of stolid appearance, sat together, talking in
undertones.

All at once, when the fire suddenly spluttered up, one of the drummers,
a big, black-bearded fellow, said loudly enough so that all could
hear–he was evidently trying to make the conversation general–"In the
mountains they say that it’s a sign of a storm when the fire jumps up
like that."

“And I guess we’re having it,” said another of the travelers, a little
man with gray side whiskers, dryly.

Then, as wide shadows fell across the floor, another of the men, a
hunter, ventured the remark: “Do you believe in ghosts?”

There was a pause, as if no one wanted to take up such a very personal
topic before strangers. It was in the days when the Fox sisters were
electrifying all of Pennsylvania, including the celebrated Dr. Elisha
Kane, with their mediumship, so that it was as popular a topic then as
now, in the days of Sir Oliver Lodge and Mrs. Herbine.

At length one of the men, also a hunter, from Berks County, broke the
silence by asking if any one present had heard the story of the Levan
ghost of Oley Township, in Berks; if not, he would tell it. None had
ever heard it, so he told of the young Levan girl who had lost her
father, to whom she was particularly attached.

One evening, while milking, she was seized with a very strong feeling
that her father was near, which feeling kept up for a week, growing
stronger daily. At last one evening she went into her room–the house was
built all on one floor–and she saw her father, as natural as life,
seated on an old chest that had come from France, for the Levans were
Huguenot refugees.

The girl did not seem to be afraid to see her father, about whom a light
seemed to radiate, and they conversed some time together, mostly on
religious topics. Her mother and sisters, who were in another room,
heard her talking, and the voice which sounded like that of the
departed, and came to the door, which was ajar.

“Who are you talking to?” the mother inquired.

“To father–he is here; come in and see him,” replied the girl, calmly.

The family was afraid to enter, remaining outside until the conversation
had finished and the ghost vanished. When the girl rejoined them, the
side of her face that had been turned to her father was slightly
scorched or reddened, as if she had been close to a fire. And that
tenderness of skin remained as long as she lived.

While other versions of the story have appeared, this is the way it was
told that stormy night in the Washington Inn in the long ago.

The ice having been broken, one of the women spoke up, saying that the
part of the story which told of the girl’s face being burned by the
_aura_ from the ghost interested her most, that over in the Nittany
Valley there was a case in the old Carroll family of a woman who had an
only child which she loved to distraction, but which unfortunately died.
The mother took on terribly, and during the night when she was sitting
up with the little corpse, besought it to prove to her that the dead
lived, if only for just one minute.

In the midst of her weeping and wailing, and romping about the cold,
dimly-lit room, the dead child rose up in its little pine box and
motioned its sorrowing mother to come to it. The woman ran to the coffin
and the little one touched her forehead with its finger, which burned
her like a red-hot poker. Then it sank back with a gasp and a groan, and
was dead again. Ever afterwards there was a sore, tender spot on the
woman’s forehead where the corpse had touched it.

Then another of the women told how she had been selling Bibles in the
Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, and one of the wheels of her
carriage became dished from the bad roads. She had tried to put up with
a mountaineer who would not take her in, and gave her the choice of
sleeping in the barn with the team and the driver, or to occupy a room
in a deserted Negro “quarters” across the road.

All night long she had been annoyed by her candles being blown out and
the door blowing open, though she locked it time and again.

It was a commonplace sort of a ghost story, and one of the hunters
yawned at its conclusion. The evening’s reminiscences might have ended
then and there if the third woman traveler, the youngest and sturdiest
of the lot, who thus far had been the quietest, turned to the landlord,
who sat smoking in the settle, with a couple of his guests, asking him
if he remembered the Big Calf.

“What do you know about the Big Calf?” he said, quizzically, looking at
the woman in order to see if he could recognize her.

“I know as much as you do, I reckon,” she said. “I lived in this town
for a year learning millinery with Emilie Knecht.” “said the landlord.

“I surely am,” responded the woman, “and I knew you well, Jakey
Kleckner, in those days.” “said the boniface, sitting up very straight.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF SCHELLSBURG CHURCH]

“Long years ago,” began the business woman, "when this public house was
first opened, the landlord’s cow gave birth to an unusual calf. At six
weeks it was as big as most heifers of six months, and it was handsome
and intelligent, a brown-gray color–‘Brown Swiss’ they called the breed.
All the drovers and cattle buyers in the mountains wanted that calf for
a show, and her fame spread all over the ‘five counties.’

"There were two buyers from out about Greensburg that came in all the
ways to get her, but the price was too steep. They hung around all day,
drinking with the landlord in the tap room, and though he took too much
in this drunken bout, kept enough of his wits with him to refuse to
lower the price one shilling. The next morning he had to go away on
important business, and in the afternoon the drovers returned, telling
the landlord’s wife that they had met her husband on the road, and he
had consented to accept a lower figure.

"The woman replied that while she was sorry her ‘man’ had shown such
weakness to change his mind so quickly, when on leaving he had told her
that he had been sickened by the importunities of the two strangers the
day before, yet she claimed, the calf as hers and it would not leave the
premises for any price, and except over her dead body. She prized it
especially since she had also raised the mother, which had recently been
killed by a wandering panther.

"The men departed in an ugly mood. When the boniface returned in the
evening he was indignant at what his wife told him; he had not met the
drovers on the road, and if he had, the calf was not for sale.

"Shortly after his arrival a German Gypsy, one of the Einsicks, appeared
in the inn-yard with a big she-bear, a brown one, which he took about
the mountains to dance and amuse the crowds at public houses, fairs and
political meetings. The stables were full, but after some arguing the
landlord consented to let the bear occupy the box stall where he kept
the Big Calf, which he removed to the smoke house.

"During the night, which was very dark, the covetous drovers returned,
and, not knowing of the Big Calf’s changed quarters, one of them went
into steal it. In the darkness the bear seized him and hugged him almost
to death. His companion, vexed at his slowness in fetching out the Big
Calf, called to him, and he made known his predicament.

"There was no way to free the captive but to begin clubbing the bear,
which set up such a loud growling that it aroused the owner and the
landlord, who ran out with pistols, just in time to see the two would-be
cattle thieves decamping from the inn-yard. They both fired after them,
but the scoundrels got off scot free. They never returned.

"The Big Calf grew into a very handsome cow, and was the pride of the
mountain community. It was always brought in from pasture at night and
milked, lest it share its mother’s fate and be pulled down by a
Pennsylvania lion.

"One evening, while the landlord’s only daughter, a very pretty,
graceful girl, was driving the cow home, she was joined by a handsome,
dark-complexioned young man, mounted on a superb black horse. He
accompanied her to the stables, where he watched her milk, and then put
up for the night at the inn. Next day he became very sick, and several
doctors were called in, who bled him, but could not diagnose his
ailment.

"Meanwhile he proposed marriage to the landlord’s daughter, who nursed
him, pretending that he was a young man of quality from Pittsburg, which
flattered the innkeeper and his daughter mightily.

"All this while he was trying to learn if the landlord kept any large
sum of money in the house. It was not long until the girl confided to
him that her father had gone into debt buying a farm in Nippenose
Bottom, as he wanted to retire from the tavern business. It was there
where he was when the two dishonest drovers from Greensburg had returned
and tried to euchre his wife out of the Big Calf.

"Satisfied that there was no booty in the house, the fellow rose one
morning before daybreak, dressed quietly, although the girl was in the
room, wrote a note to her which he left on the clothes press, and made
his escape. The wording of the letter ran about as follows:

“‘Dearest Love:–I am sorry to have left without saying goodbye, but my
intentions were not sincere, for while I admired your beauty and good
sense, which none can deny, I was only here to find out where your
father kept his money. But since he has none, and has gone into debt, I
need remain no longer. I thank you for all the information you gave me,
and for your kind attentions. Gratefully yours, David Lewis.’

“The poor girl had been one of the dupes of the celebrated ‘Lewis the
Robber,’ or some one impersonating him, as he had many _alter egos_,
some more daring than himself, and understudies. If half the stories
told of his exploits were true, he would have had to be a hundred years
old to do them, and get to so many places.

"At any rate, the pretty girl was frightfully cut up by her misfortune,
and took to the bed lately vacated by ‘Lewis.’ She had told all of her
friends that she was to marry in a fortnight, and go to live in a big
house on Grant’s Hill, Pittsburg, and it was all terrible and
humiliating. Rather than let the real story get out, the girl’s parents
connived with her to say that word had been brought that the young
gentleman, while riding near Standing Stone Town, had been thrown from
his horse and killed. Hence when the girl was able to reappear, she was
dressed in black, as if in mourning for her dashing sweetheart.

"The first time she came out of doors she went for a walk alone just
about dusk, so that not many people would be abroad, towards the lower
part of the village. She was never seen or heard of again. There was no
stream or pool big enough for her to drown herself in; a panther could
hardly have dragged her off and not left signs of a struggle; she might
have fallen in a cave or sink, it is true. At all events, it seemed as
if the earth had swallowed her up. Perhaps Lewis, or whoever he was,
came back after her.

"When I came to Logansville to learn millinery with Emilie Knecht, I
lived in her house over the store, just across the way from this hotel;
the building was burned down afterwards. How such a gifted milliner came
to settle off here in the mountains I could never tell, but I suppose
mountain ladies must have nice hats just like those in the valleys.

"We became good friends, and very confidential, though at that time she
was over thirty years of age and I was at least a dozen years younger.
She would never tell where she came from, except that it was down
country, and there seemed to be something on her mind which weighed on
her terribly. Though I think she was the loveliest looking woman I have
ever seen, she cared absolutely nothing for the men. As she believed in
ghosts, and so did I, we compared experiences.

"I told her of a ghostly episode which left a deep impression on my
childish nature, which happened when I was six years old. My father
worked in the mines, and was on ‘night shift.’ Mother locked the doors
and we all went to bed. Mother’s room adjoined mine and my sister’s.
After we were in bed for some time, but not yet asleep, a man–he seemed
to be black–came to the door which led from mother’s room to ours, and
smiled at us. He drew back, re-appeared and smiled again, or rather
grinned, showing his white teeth; it was a peculiar smile.

"I wanted to call mother, but sister, who was eight, said I must not
speak, I must keep very still.

"Next morning we asked father what time he came home, and he said ‘not
until morning.’ We told our experience, but father and mother seemed to
think we had only imagined it.

"But two persons do not imagine the same thing at the same time.
Besides, we were not afraid. I have often wondered what it was. My
sister died shortly after that. Could it have been a ‘warning,’ I
wonder?

"The pretty milliner’s story was even more startling and unusual. She
declared that her grandmother’s ghost had come to her bedside every
night since she was a small child. She said that she never feared it,
but took it as a matter of course. I think that these nightly
visitations took a whole lot out of her. I can see her yet running down
the steep, narrow stairs in the mornings to the shop where I was
working–I was always an early riser–her face looking as if it had been
whitewashed, more so perhaps because her hair and eyes were so dark.

"She was often nervous and irritable, and I laid it all to the vital
force which the ghost must be drawing out of her to materialize, but she
said it was only her liver which made her so dauncy. I begged her to let
me sleep with her, that I did not think that the ghost would come if I
was present, and if it did it could draw on some of my vitality, as I
was a big, strong, hearty girl. She would not let me sleep with her,
saying that she had gotten used to the ghost.

"One evening Miss Knecht and I were invited to a chicken and waffle
supper at the home of old Mrs. Eilert, wife of the potter, whose house
was the last one in town. In those days there was quite a distance not
built up between the potter’s home and the rest of the village. The
holidays were approaching, and we were getting ready for the Christmas
trade, consequently stayed later in the shop than we had expected.

"As I said before, Mrs. Eilert lived at the extreme end of town. When we
were a few squares from home we noticed a woman dressed in mourning who
seemed to be following us, or at least going in our direction. She was
an entire stranger to us, and we wondered where she could be going; so
each house we came to I would look back to see whether she entered. When
we were half a square from where we were going, we passed a house which
stood back pretty far from the road. There was considerable ground to
the place, and a high board fence all around. After we passed the gate I
turned, as before, to see whether this woman would enter. She did not. I
watched her until she was past the gate quite a ways. I turned and told
my companion she had _not_ entered, and immediately turned to look at
her again, and she was gone!

"Where could she have gone in those few seconds in which I was not
looking at her? Everywhere there was open space–nowhere for her to hide.
Had she jumped the fence she could not have gotten out of sight in those
few seconds. I have often wondered since what it was.

"When we reached the Eilert home I noticed that Miss Knecht was in a
highly unstrung condition, more so than I had ever seen her before. We
told the story, and the old potter smiled grimly, saying: ‘You surely
have seen the ghost of the landlord’s daughter who disappeared, all
dressed in black, after being jilted by the robber.’

"Emilie shook her pretty dark curls, muttering that she feared it was
something worse. She was afraid to go home that night, and we spent the
night with our friends; yet she would not remain unless given a room by
herself. In the morning she was in a most despondent mood; she had not
seen her grandmother–what could it mean?

"The woman in black must have been her ‘familiar’ leaving her, warning
her to that effect, and not the ghost of the landlord’s daughter after
all, she maintained. I tried to reassure her that she would see her
grandmother once she was in her own room, but next morning brought the
tidings that the faithful spirit was again absent. This continued for a
week, my friend becoming more nervous and despondent.

"One morning she did not come downstairs, so at eight o’clock I went up
after her, to see if she were ill. The bed was empty, and had not been
slept in. I searched the house and found her lying dead on a miserable
cot in the cellar–beautiful in death–which an elderly Dutchman sometimes
occupied, when cutting wood and taking care of the garden for us. She
had drunk a potion of arsenic that she had bought some months before to
poison rats which infested the cellar, but her lovely face was not
marked.

“I left town shortly afterwards, and have never been back until
tonight.”

The burly commercial traveler who had started the general conversation
stroked his long black beard.

"I guess it is time for all of us to retire. I don’t think we need to
ask this lady again, ’Do you believe in ghosts?‘"

[Illustration]

                                  XVII
                           _A Stone’s Throw_


When land warrants were allotted to Jacob Marshall and Jacob Mintges, of
the Hebrew colony at Schaefferstown, there were elaborate preparations
made by these two lifelong friends to migrate to the new country of the
Christunn. That the warrants were laid side by side made the situation
doubly pleasant, a compensation in a measure for any regrets at leaving
the banks of the beautiful Milbach. The country was becoming too closely
settled, opportunities were circumscribed, and the liberality of the
Proprietary Government should be taken advantage of.

When the two groups of pioneers were ready to start for the new home, it
was like some scene from the patriarchal days of the Old Testament. The
long, lean, gaunt, black-bearded Jews, black-capped, cloaked to their
heels, and carrying big staffs, led the way, followed by their families
and possessions of live stock, farming and household utensils. Each head
of a family had an Indian and Negro servant or two, which added to the
picturesqueness of the caravans. Dogs, part wolf, herded the flocks of
sheep, goats and young cattle, while the women rode on mares, the foals
of which trotted along unsteadily at their sides.

Rachel, Jacob Marshall’s handsome daughter, was mounted on a piebald
filly; on her back was slung her violin, a genuine Joseph Guarnerius,
with which she discoursed sacred music around the campfire in the
evenings, just as her ancestors may have done on some harp or cruit in
remote days in Palestine or in the Arabian highlands.

These German Jews, who came to Pennsylvania in 1702 to re-convert the
Indians, whom they believed to be the lost tribe of Israel, back to the
ancient faith of Moses, while destined to fail as proselyters, became
one of the potent root sources of the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch, “The
Black Dutch” of the Christunn, Philadelphia, New York and the World.

The Pennsylvania Dutch are the most adaptable race in the world,
altering the spelling of their names, their genealogies and traditions
with every generation. They find success in all callings and in all
walks of life like the true Nomads that they are. A Pennsylvania
Dutchman’s lineage is kaleidoscopic any way–possibly German, Jewish,
probably Indian, with sure admixtures of Dutch, Quaker, Swiss,
Scotch-Irish, Greek, Bohemian, Spanish or Huguenot. And there were some
propagandists shallow enough to try to line them up with Kaiserism in
the days just anterior to the World War, and call them “Pennsylvania
Germans.”

Their very swarthiness and leanness, the intenseness of their black
eyes, gave the lie to any Teutonic affiliations, despite the jargon that
they speak. And what a race of giants they have produced–Pershing,
Hoover, Gorgas, Schwab, Replogle, Sproul, the Wanamakers, Newton Diehl
Baker, Jane Addams–a group as potent as any other in the sublime effort
of making the world “safe for democracy.”

When the pilgrims reached the Karoondinha, they were met by the local
agents and surveyors of the Proprietors, who escorted them to their new
estates, which were bounded on the south by the Christunn, now renamed
“Middle Creek,” and on the north by the craggy heights of the
culminating pinnacle of Jack’s Mountain, the famed “High Top,” climbed
by the Pennsylvania Alpine Club, August 24, 1919.

A large gray fox, or Colishay, having led Mintges‘ dogs away from the
camp, caused this “Father in Israel” to be absent during the critical
moments when the line between his property and that of Marshall was
being confirmed by the Proprietary surveyors. When he returned,
exultingly swinging the fox’s pelt above his head and looking all the
world like a lower Fifth Avenue fur jobber, the day was almost spent and
the surveyors were gathering up their instruments.

Marshall, who was a kindly and just man, tried to explain to his friend,
before the sun went down, just where the line was blazed. It seemed fair
enough at the time to Mintges. Later on, when alone one day, he walked
over the line, comparing it with the warrant, and it did not seem to
satisfy him as much. He believed that the surveyors had deviated a rod
or two all along, to his disadvantage. Doubtless if such was the case,
it had been due to their haste to get through, for they had a daily
grind of similar cases, but Marshall, he thought, should have compelled
them to follow the parchment drafts, and not uncertain instruments.

Nevertheless, he decided to say nothing to his friend; they had always
been good intimates, why should their relations be jeopardized for a
paltry rod or two. Mintges confided the mistake to his wife, and later
on to his children. It was unfortunate, but where there were so few
neighbors it was hardly worth a fight.

As Mintges grew older the matter began to prey on his mind, to obsess
him. It worried him until his head ached, and he could not drive it
away. Marshall and his heirs were profiting at his expense; it should
not be allowed to rest that way.

The surveyors had placed a great stone at the upper corner of the line,
at the slope of the mountain, and there Jacob Mintges repaired one
moonlight night, armed with a crowbar, and reset the stone two rods on
the alleged domain of Jacob Marshall. Mintges was an old man at the
time, rabbinical in appearance, and he chuckled and “washed his hands”
as he stood and viewed the fruits of his labor. A wrong had been quietly
righted; why hadn’t he done it twenty years ago?

It so happened that Jacob Marshall went out for chestnuts a week or so
after Mintges’ performance, and saw the altered position of the stone.
Instead of hastening to his friend’s house and asking him for a frank
explanation, he, not being conscious of any wrong-doing, moved the stone
back to its original position, to rebuke the presumptuous Mintges. Then
he stood admiring his work, while he stroked his long black beard.

A few weeks later Mintges and his sons went to the mountain to brush out
a road on which to haul logs with their oxteams in the winter-time. One
of the boys, named Lazarus, called his father’s attention to the stone’s
position. It made the old man “see red,” and he would not rest until,
with the aid of his sons, it was again set where he felt it should
rightfully be.

All this produced a coolness, almost a feud, between the two families,
which kept up until Jacob Mintges died at the age of eighty years. Jacob
Marshall, friend of his youth and companion of his “trek” to the
wilderness, did not attend the obsequies.

It was not many nights afterwards when reports were made on all sides
that Mintges’ spook was abroad, walking about the fields and lanes
adjacent to Jacob Marshall’s home, his arms holding aloft a great block
of stone. Marshall saw the apparition several times, but shunned it as
he had the living Mintges the last years of his life.

What he wanted was very plain, for sometimes the night wind wafted the
mournful words down Marshall’s bedroom chimney (for he always kept his
windows nailed shut): “Where shall I put it; oh, where shall I put it?”

The ghost began his hauntings in the spring, kept it up all summer,
fall, winter, then another spring and summer. He had affixed himself to
the family, Marshall thought, as he racked his brain to lay the
troublesome night prowler.

It was during the fall of the second year that a big party of moonlight
’coon hunters went up the lane which led between the Marshall and
Mintges farms, headed for the rocky heights of Jack’s Mountain. In the
party was Otto Gleim, the half-witted drunkard of Selin’s Grove, little,
dumpy, long-armed High German, high-shouldered Otto Gleim, who was left
at the foot of the mountain to hold one of the lanterns.

Gleim was half full on this occasion, as it was in the cider season, and
he staggered about under the aged chestnut trees, while his wits
revolved in his head with the speed of an electric fan. He felt
lonesome, sick and uncomfortable. It was a relief to see a great, tall
figure, with a long, black beard, approaching him, holding aloft a huge
stone. It looked like “Uncle Jake” Marshall at first; no, it wasn’t–it
was no one else but the late “Uncle Jake” Mintges, his neighbor.

As the gaunt figure drew nearer, it began groaning and wailing: “Where
shall I put it; oh, where shall I put it?” in tones as melancholy as
those of the Great Horned Owl on a New Year’s Eve.

“Put it where it belongs,” spluttered Otto Gleim, the drunkard, with a
gleam of super-human prescience, and lo and behold, the ghost set the
stone where it had been for twenty years after the surveyors had placed
it there. Then the apparition vanished, and Gleim, in a matter-of-fact
way, sat down on the cornerstone, where he waited until the ’coon
hunters returned.

Jake Mintges’ ghost ceased to wander and lament, but instead allied
itself closely with Jake Marshall’s family as private stock banshee,
warning, token or familiar. Whenever a disaster was due to any member he
would show his grinning tusks, as much as to say: “Now, make the best of
what is coming; life is short anyway.”

No doubt his visits of forewarning strengthened the nerves of the family
to face trouble with a greater degree of equanimity; in all events the
poor old fellow meant it that way. Old and young, rich and poor, in
cities or in the wilds, wherever the blood of Jacob Marshall flowed, the
ghost of Mintges was in evidence at the climacteric moments of their
lives. They were all used to him, and never resented his visits or tried
in any way to lay him.

The scene shifts to one of the last to encounter this strange old ghost.
It is in a great city, in a high-ceilinged, yet gloomy room, furnished
in the plush and mahogany of the middle eighties of the last century. A
very dark girl, with full pouting lips and black eyes, half closed and
sullen, yet beautiful in the first flush of youth withal, is seated on
one of the upholstered easy chairs. Standing in the bay window facing
her is a very tall man, equally dark, his drooping black mustache and
long Prince Albert coat making him appear at least ten years older than
the twenty-eight which was his correct age.

[Illustration: LOOKING TOWARDS SUMMER CREEK GAP FROM LOGANTON]

On a centre table, with a top of brown onyx, on which were also several
bisque ornaments, lay an ancient violin and bow, a veritable Joseph
Guarnerius. It was made of a curious piece of spruce which, when growing
in some remote forest of Northern Italy, had been punctured by a “Gran
Pico” or large green woodpecker, and the wood stained, giving a unique
and picturesque touch to this specimen of the skill of the old master of
Cremona.

“I have determined to go home tonight,” said the dark girl, with
decision, “and nothing can stop me. When any of our family see the face
of Jacob Mintges, it means disaster to some one near to us; my mother
and her old parents, whom I left so suddenly, may be grieving to death;
I will go to them tonight.”

The tall man fumbled with his long fingers among the tassels on the back
of a chair in front of him, as if trying to frame up a decisive answer.
“This is what I call base ingratitude,” he faltered at length, in high,
almost feminine tones. “Just when I have had your musical talent
developed, turning you from a common fiddler to a finished artiste, and
having you almost ready to make your stage debut as a popular juvenile,
you leave me in the lurch, and all because you imagined you saw a
ghost–_imagined_, I say, for there are no such things.”

The dark girl sat perfectly still, biting her full red lips, her immoble
face as if made of ivory.

“What are you, anyway?” she finally responded; “nothing but what my
father called a mountebank; he hated them, an _actor_, and I owe you
nothing but contempt for having brought me here to be your plaything
while my youth and good looks last.”

Then, as she got up and started towards a door, the tall man darted
after her.

“I’ll not let you make a fool of yourself,” he hissed, theatrically.
Catching her by the wrists, he attempted to detain her.

“Sit down; we must have this out.”

She was almost as tall as he, and very muscular, and the Jewish strain
in her blood was hot. The pair struggled about the room, until the man
in his anger seized the old violin and hit her a heavy blow over the
head. She sank down on the floor in a limp mass, and the man, picking up
his brown Fedora, ran out of the room and down the long flight of stairs
and out into the street. The girl was not badly hurt, only stunned, and
came to herself in about fifteen minutes. She saw that she was alone,
and the Guarnerius was around her neck.

Gathering herself up, her first thought was for the violin, and tying
the smallest chips in her handkerchief she went to the inner room and
began to pack a large portmanteau. Then she put on her hat, veil and
cloak and, locking the apartment door and slipping the key in her grip,
she left the house and hurried down town towards the railroad depot.

It was dark when she reached there, and she quickly boarded a local, to
wait in the suburbs until the night sleeping car train for Derrstown
made its stop there. All went well, and by midnight she was boarding the
sleeper and was soon afterwards undressed and under the sooty-smelling
blankets in a lower berth.

She did not know how long she had been sleeping when the train suddenly
stopped with a jerk and she was awake. Looking around, she saw a face
peering through the curtains. It was not the porter, but the leering,
open mouth, old Jacob Mintges himself, tusks and all.

Twice now in twenty-four hours he had come to her, for the night
previous she had waked just in the gray half light before dawn, and had
seen him standing grinning by her bedside.

An inexperienced person might have screamed, but not so Eugenie
Carlevan, the great-great-granddaughter of Jacob Marshall. When their
eyes met, Mintges quickly withdrew, and the girl, wide awake, began
thinking over the past years of her life, as the train again started to
roll on into the night. She had always been fond of music and theatres.
The violin given to her on her sixth birthday by her grandfather
Marshall had become the evil genius of her destiny. Her father had died
and her mother was too much of a drudge to control her. She had attended
every circus, burlesque, minstrel show or dramatic performance that had
come to the town where she had lived, since she was thirteen years old.

When the young Thespian who called himself Derment Catesby had come to
Swinefordstown, where she was visiting an aunt, with the “Lights
O’London” Company, she had fallen violently in love with him, had made
his acquaintance, and he, struck by her imperious beauty and musical
predilections, had asked her to go away with him.

She had joined him a few days later in Sunbury, bringing her precious
violin, and traveled with him to the great city. There the actor soon
signed up to play in repertoire at a stock company. She liked him well
enough, despite his vanity and selfishness, for he was very handsome. It
was before the days when actors were clean-shaven like every servant,
and looked much like other people. However much she had loved him, Jacob
Mintges’ ghost had revealed a more pressing duty twice, and she was on
her way home.

Soon she fell asleep again, and did not wake until the porter’s face
appeared to notify her that the train was leaving Sunbury. Her mother
lived with her aged parents out near Hartley Hall, among the high
mountains; it would be a relief to see those lofty peaks and wide
expanse of vision once more, after the cramped outlook of the city. How
peculiarly sweet the air seemed, with the sun coming up behind the
fringe of old yellow pines and oaks along the river! What refreshing
zephyrs were wafted from those newly-ploughed fields. The bluebirds and
robins were singing in the maple trees about the station. On a
side-track stood the little wood-burner engine, with its bulbous stack,
puffing black smoke, ready to pull its train of tiny cars out to the
wonderful, wild mountain country, the land of Lick Run Gap, the Lost
Valley, the High Head, Big Buffalo, Winklebleck and Shreiner!

How well she remembered the first time she had seen that wood-burner, as
a little tot, going on a visit with her father and mother. It was in the
golden hour, and deep purple shadows fell from the station roof athwart
the golden light on the platform!

All these thoughts were crowding through her head until the bell on the
little engine reminded her that the L. & T. train was soon to depart.

She reached home in time for dinner, was received with no enthusiasm,
for her mother and grandparents were true mountaineers, and their
swarthy faces masked their feelings, yet she was made to feel perfectly
welcome.

Nobody had died, no one was sick, the house hadn’t burned down,
evidently the trials foretold by Jake Mintges were yet to come.

That afternoon she showed the broken violin to her grandfather, who took
it to his workbench in an out-house to repair it, undaunted by the
seeming endlessness of the reconstruction.

Eugenie seemed perfectly contented to be at home, She had had enough of
the _bizarre_, and reveled again in the humdrum. Five or six days after
her return the weekly county paper appeared at the house, with its
boiler plate front page and patent insides. Some instinct made her open
the wrapper as it lay on the kitchen table. On the front page she saw
the likeness of a familiar face, the well-known full eyes, oval cheeks,
rounded chin and drooping mustache, Derment Catesby. Then the headlines
caught her eyes, “Handsome Actor Shot to Death by Insanely Jealous
Husband at Stage Door.” Then she glanced at the date and the hour. It
was the night that she had taken the train–the very moment, perhaps,
that Jacob Mintges’ grinning face had looked through the curtains of her
berth. Yes, the murderer had waited a long time, as the victim had
tarried in the green-room.

Eugenie sucked her full lips a moment, then looked hard at the picture
and the whole article again. Then she turned to her mother and
grandparents, who were seated about the stove.

“Say, folks,” she said, coldly, “there’s the fine gent I went away with
from Swinesfordstown. I got out in time, the very night he was
murdered.”

The mother and the old people half rose in their chairs to look at the
wood cut.

“How did you know he was playing you false?” said the old grandfather.

“How did I know, gran’pap?” she replied. “Why, the night before, Jake
Mintges came to me, and I knew _something_ was due to go wrong, and home
was the place for little me. You see I missed it all by a stone’s
throw.”

"You’re right, ‘Genie’," said the old mountaineer. “Mintges never comes
to us unless he means business.”

                                 XVIII
                       _The Turning of the Belt_


There are not many memories of Ole Bull in the vicinity of the ruins of
his castle today. Fifteen years ago, before the timber was all gone,
there were quite a few old people who were living in the Black Forest at
the time of his colonization venture, who remembered him well, also a
couple of his original colonists, Andriesen and Oleson, but these are no
more. One has to go to Renovo or to Austin or Germania to find any
reminiscences now, and those have suffered through passing from “hand to
mouth” and are scattered and fragmentary. They used to say that the
great violinist was, like his descendants, a believer in spiritualism,
and on the first snowy night that he occupied his unfinished mansion,
chancing to look out he saw what seemed to him a tall, white figure
standing by the ramparts.

Fearing that it was some _skeld_ come to warn him of impending disaster
to his beloved colony, he rushed out hatless, only to find that it was
an old hemlock stab, snow encrusted.

Disaster did come, but as far as local tradition goes Ole Bull had no
warning of it. The hemlock stab which so disturbed him has been gone
these many years, but a smaller one, when encased in snow, has
frightened many a superstitious wayfarer along the Kettle Creek road,
and gone on feeling that he had seen “the ghost of Ole Bull.”

But unaccountable and worthy of investigation are the weird strains of
music heard on wild, stormy nights, which seem to emanate from the
castle. Belated hunters coming down the deep gorge of Ole Bull Run, back
of the castle, or travelers along the main highway from Oleona to Cross
Forks, have heard it and refused to be convinced that there is not a
musician hidden away somewhere among the crumbling ruins. The “oldest
inhabitants,” sturdy race of trappers, who antedated Ole Bull’s
colonists, declare that the ghostly musician was playing just the same
in the great virtuoso’s time, and that it is the ghost of a French
fifer, ambushed and killed by Indians when his battalion was marching
along the “Boone Road” from Fort Le Boeuf to the memorable and
ill-starred attack on Fort Augusta at Sunbury in 1757.

At the mention of “Boone Road” another question is opened, as there is
no historic record of such a military highway between Lake Erie and the
West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The afore-mentioned very old
people used to say that the road was still visible to them in certain
places; that there could be no doubt of its existence and former
utilization.

Daniel Boone, if he be the pioneer of that name who first “blazed it
out,” was a very young man during the “French and Indian War,” and his
presence in that part of the country is a mooted question. Perhaps it
was another “Boone,” and a Norseman, for many persons named “Bonde” or
“Boon” were among the first Swedish settlers on the Lanape-Wihittuck, or
Delaware River, unconsciously pioneering for their famous cousin-German,
Ole Borneman Bull.

In all events, the French fifer was shot and grievously wounded, and his
comrades, in the rout which ensued, were forced to leave him behind.
After refreshing himself at the cold spring, which nearly a century
later Ole Bull named “Lyso”–the water of light–he crawled up on the
hill, on which the castle was afterwards partly erected, to reconnoitre
the country, but dropping from exhaustion and loss of blood, soon died.
The wolves carried away his physical remains, but his spirit rested on
the high knoll, to startle Ole Bull and many others, with the strains of
his weird, unearthly music.

It seems a pity that these old legends are passing with the lives of the
aged people, but the coming of Ira Keeney, the grizzled Civil War
veteran, as caretaker for the handsome Armstrong-Quigley hunting lodge,
on the site of one of the former proposed _fogderier_ Walhalla, has
awakened anew the world of romance, of dashing exploits in the war under
Sheridan and Rosecrans, of lumbering days, wolves, panthers and wild
pigeons, all of which memories the venerable soldier loves to recount.

Yet can these be compared with the legend that Ole Bull, seeing a Bald
Eagle rise from its nest on the top of a tall oak near the banks of
Freeman’s Run, named the village he planned to locate there Odin, after
the supreme deity of the Scandinavian mythology, who took the form of an
eagle on one period of his development. His other settlements or
_herods_ he called Walhalla, Oleona and New Bergen. Planned at first by
the French to be a purely military route for ingress to the West Branch
country, but owing to the repulse at Fort Augusta, very infrequently
traversed by them, if at all, it became principally an overland “short
cut” for trappers, traders, travelers and settlers, all of whom knew its
location well.

Who could have laid out such an intricate road over high mountains and
through deep valleys, unless a military force, is hard to imagine, even
if for some strange reason it was never written into “history.”

After the Revolutionary War there was naturally an unsettled state of
affairs, and many farmers and adventurers turned their thought to the
country west of the Allegheny Mountains and River, as the land of
opportunity, consequently there was much desultory travel over the Boone
Road. Unemployment prevailed everywhere, and hordes of penniless
ex-soldiers, turned adrift by their victorious new nation, traveled
backwards and forwards along all the known highways and trails, picking
up a day’s work as best they could, their precarious mode of living
giving them the name of “cider tramps.” A few more reckless and blood
thirsty than their fellows, claimed that the country which they had
freed owed them a living; if there was no work and no pensions, and they
could not get it by hook they would take it by crook. In other words,
certain ex-service men, became strong-arm men, road agents, or
highwaymen, whichever name seems most suitable.

The Boone Road, in a remote wilderness of gloomy, untrodden forests,
made an ideal haunt for footpads, and when not robbing travelers, they
took their toll from the wild game, elks, deer, bears, grouse and wild
pigeons which infested the region. Law and order had not penetrated into
such forgotten and forbidding realms, and obscure victims could report
outrages and protest to a deaf and dumb government. How long it was
before these robbers were curbed is hard to say.

One story which the backwoods people about Hamesley’s Fork used to tell
dates back to five years after the close of the Revolution, about 1788.
Jenkin Doane, possibly a member of the same family that produced the
Doane outlaws in the Welsh Mountains, was one of the notorious
characters along the Boone Road. Like others, he was an ex-soldier, a
hero of Brandywine and Paoli, but his plight was worse, for just before
peace was declared, when a premature rumor to that effect had reached
his company, lying at Fort Washington, he had assaulted and beaten up an
aristocratic and brutal officer who was the terror of the line. For this
he had been sentenced to death, but later his sentence was commuted, and
finally, because there were no satisfactory jails for military
prisoners, he was quietly released, _sans h. d._ and the ability to make
a livelihood.

He finally became a wagoner and hired out with a party of emigrants
going to Lake Erie, who traveled over the Boone Road. He saw them safely
to their destination, but on his return journey tarried in the
mountains, hunting and fishing, until his supplies were gone, when he
turned “road agent.” He evidently had a low grade of morals at that
time, for he robbed old as well as young, women as readily as men. He
was fairly successful, considering the comparative lightness of travel
and the poor class of victims financially.

In an up-and-down country, where feed and shelter were scarce, he kept
no horse, but traveled afoot. He had no opportunity to test his heels,
as he never ran away, all his attacks being followed by speedy
capitulation. If a trained force of bailiffs had been sent out to
apprehend him, doubtless he could have been caught, as he had his
favorite retreats, where he lingered, waiting for his prey.

There were not many such places in the depths of the seemingly endless
forests of giant and gloomy hemlocks and pines, places where the sun
could shine and the air radiated dryness and warmth. One of his
best-liked haunts was known as the Indian Garden, situated in an open
glade among the mountains which divide the country of Kettle Creek from
that of Drury’s Run.

“Art.” Vallon, one of the oldest hunters on Kettle Creek, who died
recently, once described the spot as follows: “More than sixty years ago
my father on a hunting trip showed me a clearing of perhaps half an
acre, which he told me was called ‘The Indian Garden.’ I visited it many
times afterwards on my trapping excursions. It impressed me as very
unusual, being entirely free from undergrowth, except the furze grass
one sees on poor, worked-out land.

“It was a perfect square of about half an acre, and was surrounded by
the deep, primeval forest. There was a fine spring not very far away.”

It was there that Jenkin Doane and two other reckless characters who had
served with Simon Girty and acted as his henchmen lolled for hours in
the sun, waiting for victims. It was there that he usually maintained
his “camp fire” and at night slept on the ground in a sleeping bag of
buffalo hides.

One night in the late winter, when there were still patches of snow on
the ground, Doane dreamed very vividly of a girl whom he had never seen.
He could hardly realize he had been dreaming when he awoke and sat up
looking about him, to where his vision was cut off by the interminable
“aisles of the forest.” He seemed to be married to her, at least they
were together, and he had the pleasure of saving her life from drowning
in a deep torrent where she had gone, probably to bathe.

He had never seen a person of such unusual beauty. Her hair was dark and
inclined to curl, complexion hectic, her eyes hazel, but the chief charm
lay in the line of her nose and upper lip. The nose was slightly turned
up at the end, adding, with the curve of her upper lip, a piquancy to an
expression of exceptional loveliness.

All the day he kept wishing that this charming young woman might
materialize into his life; he could not bring himself to believe but
that such a realistic vision must have a living counterpart.

It was during the morning of the second day, when he had about given up
hope, that he saw coming towards him, down a steep pitch in the Boone
Road–it is part of the Standard Oil Pipe Line now–a young woman on
horseback, wearing a red velvet hat and a brown cloak. She was mounted
on a flea-bitten white horse of uncertain age and gait. Close behind her
rode two elderly Indians, also indifferently mounted, who seemed to be
her bodyguard, and between them they were leading a heavily-laden
pack-horse.

He quickly turned his belt, an Indian signal of great antiquity, which
indicated to his companions that they would make an attack.

Just as the white horse touched fairly level ground he commenced to
stumble and run sideways, having stepped on a rusty caltrop or “crow’s
foot” which the outlaws had strewn across the trail at that point for
that very purpose. Seeing the animal’s plight, the young equestrienne
quickly stopped him and dismounted. She had been riding astride, and
Doane noticed the brown woolen stockings which covered her shapely legs,
her ankle-boots of good make, as she rolled off the horse’s back.

As she stood before her quivering steed, patting his shoulder, Doane and
his companions drew near, covering the three with their army muskets. It
was then to his infinite surprise he noticed that the girl in brown,
with the red hat, was the heroine of his dream, though in the vision she
had been attired in black, but the gown was half off her shoulders and
back when he drew her out of the water.

It would have been hard to tell who was most surprised, Doane or the
girl. Much as he admired her loveliness, there had been the turning of
the belt, which meant there could be no change of purpose; his comrades
were already eyeing the well-filled packsaddles.

The frightened Indians had dismounted, being watched by one of the
outlaws, while Doane politely yet firmly demanded the whereabouts of her
money. Lifting her cloak and turning her belt, she disclosed two long
deerskin pouches, heavy with gold. Unbuckling them, she handed them to
Doane, while tears began to stream down her cheeks.

“You may take it, sir,” she sobbed, "but you are ruining my chances in
life. I am partly Indian, Brant’s daughter, grand-daughter of the old
Brant, and my father had arranged a marriage for me with a young officer
whom I met during the war, and I love him dearly. Though I told him of
my love, he would not marry me without a dowry of $3,000, and it took my
father five long years to gather it together. I would not care if I did
not love him so much. I was on my way to his home at the forks of
Susquehanna, and now you have destroyed all my hopes."

The brigand’s steely heart was for a moment touched. “Brant’s daughter,”
he said, “you Indian people know the turning of the belt, which means
that what is decided on at that moment must be carried out; before I saw
who you were I resolved to rob you. It must be done, for I have two
partners who will demand their shares.”

"You said ‘before you knew who I was,’" broke in the girl, her tearful,
piquant face filled with curiosity. “You never saw _me_ before.”

“Oh, yes, I did,” replied Doane, “in a dream a couple of nights ago.”
“she said, as a final appeal.

“I am afraid not,” he answered, as his comrade started to open one of
the pouches. Then he paused, saying: “I will not take all. I’d not take
anything from _you_ except that I have these partners. I will retain
half for them, and let you go on your way with the rest. Your good
looks–for you are truly the prettiest thing I ever laid eyes on–will
outweigh with your lover a paltry fifteen hundred dollars in gold.”
“cried the girl weeping afresh. “He does not love me; he only wants the
gold. I am the one that loves, and am lost and discarded without the
dowry.”

Meanwhile one of the outlaws had drawn the caltrop from the horse’s
frog, and having smeared it with bear’s grease, the animal was walking
about in a fairly comfortable manner.

[Illustration: AN ALLEGHENY EPISODE]

The girl stood looking at Doane. He was young, strong, and had a fairly
decent face. How could he be so cruel? Then she looked at his partners,
low-browed wretches, who were already muttering at the delay, and she
realized there was no hope. Doane gave up his share, and tossed the
other of the bags of gold to his “pals,” then ordered the girl and her
escort to proceed. He said that he would accompany her to the river, to
where the danger of meeting other highwaymen would be passed. The girl
traveled on foot the entire distance, to ease her horse over the rough,
uneven trail, walking side by side with the highwayman.

They parted with civility, and on Doane’s side with deep regret, for the
dream had inflamed his soul, and the reality was so startlingly lovely
that he was deeply smitten. Before he had reached the river he wished
that he had shot his grasping companions, rather than endanger this
beautiful creature’s future happiness.

“That was an unlucky turning of the belt,” he said to himself, as he
retraced his steps towards the Indian Garden.

Brant’s daughter rode with a heavy heart the balance of the journey, for
she knew her lover’s nature. The Indian bodyguards were equally
downcast, for they had sworn to deliver her safe and sound at the forks
of the Susquehanna.

When she reached the handsome colonial gray stone house, on a headland
overlooking the “meeting of the waters,” her lover, a handsome
upstanding youth, with a sports suit made of his old officer’s buff
uniform, and surrounded by a pack of his hunting dogs, came out to greet
her. His manner was not very cordial. With penetrating eyes he saw that
she was disturbed over something, so he quickly asked if she suffered
from fatigue after the long overland journey.

“No, Major,” she replied, “I am not at all tired in body, but I am in
heart. I cannot postpone the evil moment. On the Boone Road we were
stopped by three highwaymen, armed, who took from me half of my dowry.”

The Major’s handsome countenance darkened. “Why did you not tell them
you needed it to get married?” he blurted out angrily. “A pretty wench
like you could have honey-foogled them to keep it.” “replied the girl,
confidently, “and for that reason the chief of the band, a very pretty
man, let me keep the one-half, but he had to retain the rest for his
companions.” “ “I think I came off well,” she said, hanging her pretty
head, her cheeks all crimson flush. She was sitting on the horse, her
feet dangling out of the stirrups, her skirts turned up revealing those
shapely legs, and he had not asked her to dismount.

The Major drew nearer, with an angry gesture. “I have a mind to smack
your face good and hard for your folly,” he stormed. “What do you think
I have been waiting for, a paltry _fifteen hundred dollars_?”

Brant’s daughter turned her belt and handed him the pouch of gold, which
he threw down testily. It was quickly picked up by one of his German
redemptioner servants, who carried it into the house.

“Aren’t you going to ask me to come in?” pleaded the now humiliated
love-sick girl. “You can slap me all you want. Punish me any way you
will,” offering him her stiff riding crop, “only don’t cast me off.”

“Come down if you wish; I don’t care,” he mumbled in reply. “I wouldn’t
exert myself enough to whip you, but your hide _ought_ to be tanned for
your stupidity.”

Cut to the heart, yet still loving abjectly, she slid off the horse and
meekly followed the imperious Major into the mansion. During the balance
of the afternoon, and at supper, and until she begged to be allowed to
retire, she was reviled and humbled in the presence of his
redemptioners. He declared that no one man in a thousand, in his station
of life, would consider marriage with a person of Indian blood; that it
was worth twice three thousand dollars, the figure he had originally
named. Nevertheless, he had carefully put the money bag in his strong
box, even though saying nothing about setting a date for a marriage.

She was shown into an unfinished room. There was no bed, only a few
chairs, and two big walnut chests. Tearful and nervously unstrung, she
took off her shoes and, wrapping herself in her cloak, lay down on the
cold wooden floor. She could have called for blankets, and doubtless
gotten them, but her pride had rebelled and she resolved to make the
best of conditions. She could not sleep, and her mind was tortured with
her love for the Major, anger at his ungrateful conduct, and an
ever-recurring vision of the highwayman on the Boone Road. She heard the
great Irish clock in the hall below strike every hour until one.

Suddenly she got up, her face brightened with a new resolve. Tying her
shoes together, she threw them them across her shoulder and tiptoed to
the door, which she opened softly, and went downstairs. Her Indian
bodyguards were sleeping on the stone floor in the vestibule, wrapped in
their blankets.

“Exundos,” she whispered in the ear of the oldest, “get me out of this;
I am going to go away.”

The trusty redskin, who always slept with one eye open, nudged his
comrade, Firequill, and made their way to the door. It was locked and
chained, and the key probably under the Major’s pillow.

Exundos was determined to redeem his record. He rushed upstairs to where
a portly German was sleeping in the officer’s antechamber. He knocked
the valet senseless with the butt of his horse pistol. Then he sprang
like a panther over the prostrate body into the Major’s apartment. In a
moment he had gagged him with the caltrop extracted from the horse’s
foot, then bound him hand and foot.

The key was under the pillow. In five minutes the fugitives were on the
front lawn, surrounded by the Major’s pack of yelping, snarling hounds.
Getting by them as best they could, the trio made for the bluffs, found
a dugout in which they crossed the river, and were soon in the shelter
of the friendly mountains.

In the morning the Major’s other servants who slept in quarters near the
stables, found the half-dazed bodyguard with a bloody head, and their
gagged and helpless master. Once released, the Major decided not to send
a posse after the runaways; he was heavily in debt, and needed that
pouch of fifteen hundred dollars in gold.

Brant’s daughter, after her fortuitous escape, was not completely happy.
She had longed for the Major for five years, and had almost gotten him
as the result of severe privations. It was pretty hard to lose him now.
She was going home defeated, to die unwed. Her feelings became desperate
when she reached the Boone Road, with all its haunting memories.

As she clambered up the steep grades, and the Indian Garden came into
view, she reached down and turned her belt, the symbol of resolution. No
one was about as she passed the garden, which made her heart sink with
loneliness for some strong man’s love.

When Kettle Creek was reached and crossed near the Cold Spring, she
decided to rest awhile. After a meal, which she barely tasted, she told
the Indians that she was going for a little walk in the woods.

“I am safe now,” she said, bitterly; “I have no gold.”

Past the Cold Spring she went, on and on up the wild, narrow gorge of
what is now called Ole Bull Run, where a dark and dismal hemlock forest
of colossal proportions bent over the torrent, keeping out the light of
day.

While she was absent, who should appear at the Cold Spring but Doane,
with his colleagues in crime.

“So he took her after all, with only half the money,” he said, almost
regretfully, to the Indians.

“I don’t know,” replied one of the bodyguard. “He was very ugly when he
heard it, wanted to slap her, and she ran away in the night, leaving
horses, saddle-bags and gold. Oh, she felt terribly, for she truly loved
the monster.” “said Doane, in surprised tones.

The Indian pointed up the dark gorge of the run. That moment the outlaw
thought of his dream, of his rescuing her from an angry torrent.
Motioning to her guards to follow, he made haste along the edges of the
stream, slipping often on the moss-grown rocks. Half way to the top of
the gigantic mountain, he heard the roar of a cascade. There was a
great, dark, seething pool beneath. Just as Doane came in sight of this
he beheld, to his horror, Brant’s daughter, hatless and cloakless,
plunging in. It was like a Dryad’s immolation!

With superhuman effort he reached the brink and sprang after her. He
caught her, as she rose the first time, by her profuse brown hair, but
as he lifted her ashore a snag or branch tore her shirtwaist, so that
her shoulder and back were almost completely bare, just as in the dream.
Aided by the faithful Indians, he laid her tenderly among the moss and
ferns, and poured some rum from a buffalo horn flask down her throat.
She revived and opened her pretty hazel eyes quizzically.

“Am I at the Indian Garden?” she said.

“You are with the one who turned his belt there,” answered Doane; “only
this time I don’t want anything for my comrades. I only want you for
myself.” “said Brant’s daughter, having now fully recovered the power of
speech. “When I came back to the Garden and you were not there, I turned
my belt.” “said Doane, “for that last resolve has brought us together. I
should have known from the beginning my destiny was revealed in that
dream.” “said the girl.

“Of course I will, anywhere with you, and never follow the road again,
or anything not strictly honorable. Wrongdoing, I see now, is caused by
the preponderance of the events of life going against us. Where things
come our way, and there is joy, one can never aspire to ill. Wrong is
the continued disappointment. I could never molest a soul after I saw
you, and have lived by hunting ever since. I made my partners return the
purse of gold; it shall go to your father to buy a farm.”

Brant’s daughter now motioned to him that she felt like sitting up, and
he propped her back against an old cork pine, kissing her pretty plump
cheeks and shoulders many times as he did so. “And that scoundrel would
have smacked you,” he thought, boiling inwardly. Then taking her cold
hands in his, he said:

“Out of evil comes good. I do not regret this one robbery, for if I had
not taken that gold for my comrades, some one would have robbed me of
you!”

[Illustration: SHAWANA]

                                  XIX
                           _Riding His Pony_


When Rev. James Martin visited the celebrated Penn’s Cave, in the Spring
of 1795, it was related that he found a small group of Indians encamped
there. That evening, around the campfire, one of the redskins related a
legend of one of the curiosities of the watery cave, the flambuoyant
“Indian Riding Pony” mural-piece which decorates one of the walls.

Spirited as a Remington, it bursts upon the view, creates a lasting
impression, then vanishes as the power skiff, the “Nita-nee,” draws
nearer.

According to the old Indians, there lived not far from where the
Karoondinha emerges from the cavern a body of aborigines of the
Susquehannock tribe who made this delightful lowland their permanent
abode. While most of their cabins were huddled near together on the
upper reaches of the stream, there were straggling huts clear to the
Beaver Dams. The finding of arrow points, beads and pottery along the
creek amply attests to this.

Among the clan was a maiden named Quetajaku, not good to look upon, but
in no way ugly or deformed. In her youth she was light-hearted and
sociable, with a gentle disposition. Yet for some reason she was not
favored by the young bucks. All her contemporaries found lovers and
husbands, but poor Quetajaku was left severely alone. She knew that she
was not beautiful, though she was of good size; she was equally certain
that she was not a physical monster. She could not understand why she
could find no lover, why she was singled out to be a “chauchschisis,” or
old maid. It hurt her pride as a young girl, it broke her heart
completely when she was older.

Gradually she withdrew from the society of her tribal friends, building
herself a lodge-house on the hill, in what is now the cave orchard.
There she led a very introspective life, grieving over the love that
might have been. To console herself she imagined that some day a
handsome warrior would appear, seek her out, load her with gifts,
overwhelm her with love and carry her away to some distant region in
triumph. He would be handsomer and braver than any youth in the whole
country of the Karoondinha. She would be the most envied of women when
he came.

This poor little fancy saved her from going stark mad; it remedied the
horror of her lonely lot. Every time the night wind stirred the rude
hempen curtain which hung before the door of her cabin, she would
picture it was the chivalrous stranger knight come to claim her. When it
was cold she drew the folds of her buffalo robe tighter about her as if
it was his arms.

As time went on she grew happy in her secret lover, whom no other
woman’s flame could equal, whom no one could steal away. She was ever
imagining him saying to her that her looks exactly suited him, that she
was his ideal.

But like the seeker after Eldorado, years passed, and Quetajaku did not
come nearer to her spirit lover. But her soul kept up the conceit; every
night when she curled herself up to sleep he was the vastness of the
night.

On one occasion an Indian artist named Naganit, an undersized old
wanderer appeared at the lonely woman’s home. For a living he decorated
pottery, shells and bones, sometimes even painted war pictures on rocks.
Quetajaku was so kind to him that he built himself a lean-to on the
slope of the hill, intending to spend the winter.

On the long winter evenings the old woman confided to the wanderer the
story of her unhappy life, of her inward consolation. She said that she
had longed to meet an artist who could carry out a certain part of her
dream which had a right to come true.

When she died she had arranged to be buried in a fissure of rocks which
ran horizontally into one of the walls of the “watery” cave. On the
opposite wall she would like painted in the most brilliant colors a
portrait of a handsome young warrior, with arms outstretched, coming
towards her.

Naganit said that he understood what she meant exactly, but suggested
that the youth be mounted on a pony, a beast which was coming into use
as a mount for warriors, of which he had lately seen a number in his
travels on the Virginia coast, near Chincoteague.

This idea was pleasing to Quetajaku, who authorized the stranger to
begin work at once. She had saved up a little property of various kinds;
she promised to bestow all of this on Naganit, except what would be
necessary to bury her, if the picture proved satisfactory.

The artist rigged up a dog-raft with a scaffold on it, and this he poled
into the place where the fissure was located, the woman accompanying him
the first time, so there would be no mistake. All winter long by
torchlight, he labored away. He used only one color, an intensive
brick-red made from mixing sumac berries, the pollen of the Turk’s Cap
Lily, a small root and the bark of a tree, as being more permanent than
that made from ochers and other ores of stained earth.

Marvelous and vital was the result of this early impressionist; the
painting had all the action of life. The superb youth in war dress, with
arms outstretched, on the agile war pony, rushing towards the
foreground, almost in the act of leaping from the rocky panel into life,
across the waters of the cave to the arms of his beloved.

It would make old Quetajaku happy to see it, she who had never known
love or beauty. The youth in the mural typified what Naganit would have
been himself were he the chosen, and what the “bachelor maid” would have
possessed had nature favored her. It was the ideal for two disappointed
souls.

Breathlessly the old artist ferried Quetajaku to the scene of his
endeavors. When they reached the proper spot he held aloft his quavering
torch. Quetajaku, in order to see more clearly, held her two hands above
her eyes. She gave a little cry of exclamation, then turned and looked
at Naganit intently. Then she dropped her eyes, beginning to cry to
herself, a rare thing for an Indian to do!

The artist looked at her fine face, down which the tears were streaming,
and asked her the cause of her grief–was the picture _such_ a terrible
disappointment?

The woman drew herself together, replying that it was grander than she
had anticipated, but the face of Naganit’s, and, strangely enough, the
face she had dreamed of all her life.

“But I am not the heroic youth you pictured”, said the artist, sadly. “I
am sixty years old, stoop-shouldered, and one leg is shorter than the
other.” “ Naganit looked at the Indian woman. She was not hideous; there
was even a dignity to her large, plain features, her great, gaunt form.

“I have never received such praise as yours. I always vowed I would love
the woman who really understood me and my art. I am yours. Let us think
no more of funeral decorations, but go to the east, to the land of war
ponies, and ride to endless joy together.”

Quetajaku, overcome by the majesty of his words, leaned against his
massive shoulder. In that way he poled his dog-raft against the current
to the entrance of the cave. There was a glory in the reflection from
the setting sun over against the east; night would not close in for an
hour or two. And towards the darkening east that night two happy
travelers could be seen wending their way.

[Illustration]

                                   XX
                       _The Little Postmistress_


It was long past dark when Mifflin Sargeant, of the Snow Shoe Land
Company, came within sight of the welcoming lights of Stover’s. For
fourteen miles, through the foothills on the Narrows, he had not seen a
sign of human habitation, except one deserted hunter’s cabin at Yankee
Gap. There was an air of cheerfulness and life about the building he had
arrived at. Several doors opened simultaneously at the signal of his
approach, given by a faithful watchdog, throwing the rich glow of the
fat-lamps and tallow candles across the road.

The structure, which was very long and two stories high, housed under
its accommodating roofs a tavern, a boarding house, a farmstead, a
lumber camp, a general store, and a post office. It was the last outpost
of civilization in the east end of Brush Valley; beyond were mountains
and wilderness almost to Youngmanstown. Tom Tunis had not yet erected
the substantial structure on the verge of the forest later known as “The
Forest House.”

A dark-complexioned lad, who later proved to be Reuben Stover, the son
of the landlord, took the horse by the bridle, assisting the young
stranger to dismount. He also helped him to unstrap his saddle-bags,
carrying them into the house. Sargeant noticed, as he passed across the
porch, that the walls were closely hung with stags’ horns, which showed
the prevalence of these noble animals in the neighborhood.

Old Daddy and Mammy Stover, who ran the quaint caravansery, quickly made
the visitor feel at home. It was after the regular supper-time, but a
fresh repast of bear’s meat and corn bread was cheerfully prepared in
the huge stone chimney.

The young man explained to his hosts that he had ridden that day from
New Berlin; he had come from Philadelphia to Harrisburg by train, to
Liverpool by packet boat, at which last named place his horse had been
sent on to meet him. He added that he was on his way into the
Alleghenies, where he had recently purchased an interest in the Snow
Shoe development.

After supper he strolled along the porch to the far end, to the post
office, thinking he would send a letter home. A mail had been brought in
from Rebersburg during the afternoon, consequently the post office, and
not the tavern stand, was the attraction of the crowd this night.

The narrow room was poorly lighted by fat-lamps, which cast great,
fitful shadows, making grotesques out of the oddly-costumed, bearded
wolf hunters present, who were the principal inhabitants of the
surrounding ridges. A few women, hooded and shawled, were noticeable in
the throng. In a far corner, leaning against the water bench, was young
Reuben, the hostler, tuning up his wheezy fiddle. As many persons as
possible hung over the rude counter, across which the mail was being
delivered, and where many letters were written in reply. Above this
counter were suspended three fat-lamps, attached to grooved poles,
which, by cleverly-devised pulleys, could be lifted to any height
desired.

[Illustration: SETH NELSON, JR., AFTER A GOOD DAY’S SPORT]

The young Philadelphian edged his way through the good-humored concourse
to ask permission to use the ink; he had brought his favorite quill pen
and the paper with him. This brought him face to face, across the
counter, with the postmistress. He had not been able to see her before,
as her trim little figure had been wholly obscured by the ponderous
forms that lined the counter.

Instantly he was charmed by her appearance–it was unusual–by her look of
neatness and alertness. Their eyes met–it was almost with a smile of
mutual recognition. When he asked her if he could borrow the ink, which
was kept in a large earthen pot of famous Sugar Valley make, she smiled
on him again, and he absorbed the charm of her personality anew.

Though she was below the middle height, her figure was so lithe and
erect that it fully compensated for the lack of inches. She wore a blue
homespun dress, with a neat checked apron over it, the material for
which constituted a luxury, and must have come all the way from
Youngmanstown or Sunbury. Her profuse masses of soft, wavy, light brown
hair, on which the hanging lamps above brought out a glint of gold, was
worn low on her head. Her deepset eyes were a transparent blue, her
features well developed, and when she turned her face in profile, the
high arch of the nose showed at once mental stability and energy. Her
complexion was pink and white. There seemed to be always that kindly
smile playing about the eyes and lips.

When she pushed the heavy inkwell towards him he noticed that her hands
were very white, the fingers tapering; they were the hands of innate
refinement.

Almost imperceptibly the young man found himself in conversation with
the little postmistress. Doubtless she was interested to meet an
attractive stranger, one from such a distant city as Philadelphia. While
they talked, the letter was gradually written, sealed, weighed and paid
for–it was before the days of postage stamps, and the postmistress
politely waited on her customers.

He had told her his name–Mifflin Sargeant–and she had given him
hers–Caroline Hager–and that she was eighteen years of age. He had told
her about his prospective trip into the wilds of Centre County, of the
fierce beasts which he had heard still abounded there. The girl informed
him that he would not have to go farther west to meet wild animals; that
wolf hides by the dozen were brought to Stover’s each winter, where they
were traded in; that old Stover, a justice of the peace, attested to the
bounty warrants–in fact, the wolves howled from the hill across the road
on cold nights when the dogs were particularly restless.

Her father was a wolf hunter, and would never allow her to go home
alone; consequently, when he could not accompany her she remained over
night in the dwelling which housed the post office. Panthers, too, were
occasionally met with in the locality–in the original surveys this
region was referred to as “Catland”–also huge red bears and the somewhat
smaller black ones.

If he was going West, she continued in her pretty way, he must not fail
to visit the great limestone cave near where the Brush Mountains ended.
She had a sister married and living not far from it, from whom she had
heard wonderful tales, though she had never been there herself. It was a
cave so vast it had not as yet been fully explored; one could travel for
miles in it in a boat; the Karoondinha, or John Penn’s Creek, had its
source in it; Indians had formerly lived in the dry parts, and wild
beasts. Then she lowered her voice to say that it was now haunted by the
Indians’ spirits.

And so they talked until a very late hour, the crowd in the post office
melting away, until Jared Hager, the girl’s father, in his wolfskin
coat, appeared to escort her home, to the cabin beyond the waterfall
near the trail to Dolly Hope’s Valley. She was to have a holiday until
the next afternoon.

The wolf hunter was a courageous-looking man, much darker than his
daughter, with a heavy black beard and bushy eyebrows; in fact, she was
the only brown-haired, blue-eyed one in the entire family connection. He
spoke pleasantly with the young stranger, and then they all said good
night.

“Don’t forget to visit the great cavern,” Caroline called to the youth.

“I surely will,” he answered, “and stop here on my way east to tell you
all about it.”

“That’s good; we want to see you again,” said the girl, as she
disappeared into the gloomy shadows which the shaggy white pines cast
across the road.

Young Stover was playing “Green Grows the Rushes” on his fiddle in the
tap-room, and Sargeant sat there listening to him, dreaming and musing
all the while, his consciousness singularly alert, until the closing
hour came.

That night, in the old stained four-poster, in his tiny, cold room, he
slept not at all. “Yet he feared to dream.” Though his thoughts carried
him all over the world, the little postmistress was uppermost in every
fancy. Among the other things, he wished that he had asked her to ride
with him to the cave. They could have visited the subterranean marvels
together. He got out of bed and managed to light the fat lamp. By its
sputtering gleams he wrote her a letter, which came to an abrupt end as
the small supply of ink which he carried with him was exhausted. But as
he repented of the intense sentences penned to a person who knew him so
slightly, he arose again before morning and tore it to bits.

There was a white frost on the buildings and ground when he came
downstairs. The autumn air was cold, the atmosphere was a hazy,
melancholy gray. There seemed to be a cessation of all the living forces
of nature, as if waiting for the summons of winter. From the chimney of
the old inn came purple smoke, charged with the pungent odor of burning
pine wood.

With a strange sadness he saddled his horse and resumed his ride towards
the west. He thought constantly of Caroline–so much so that after he had
traveled ten miles he wanted to turn back; he felt miserable without
her. If only she were riding beside him, the two bound for Penn’s Valley
Cave, he could be supremely happy. Without her, he did not care to visit
the cavern, or anything else; so at Jacobsburg he crossed the Nittany
Mountains, leaving the southerly valleys behind.

He rode up Nittany Valley to Bellefonte, where he met the agent of the
Snow Shoe Company. With this gentleman he visited the vast tract being
opened up to lumbering, mining and colonization. But his thoughts were
elsewhere; they were across the mountains with the little postmistress
of Stover’s.

Satisfied that his investment would prove remunerative, he left the
development company’s cozy lodge-house, and, with a heart growing
lighter with each mile, started for the east. It was wonderful how
differently–how vastly more beautiful the country seemed on this return
journey. He fully appreciated the wistful loveliness of the fast-fading
autumn foliage, the crispness of the air, the beauty of each stray tuft
of asters, the last survivors of the wild flowers along the trail. The
world was full of joy, everything was in harmony.

Again it was after nightfall when he reined his horse in front of
Stover’s long, rambling public house. This time two doors opened
simultaneously, sending forth golden lights and shadows. One was from
the tap-room, where the hostler emerged; the other from the post office,
bringing little Caroline. There was no mail that night, consequently the
office was practically deserted; she had time to come out and greet her
much-admired friend. And let it be said that ever since she had seen him
her heart was agog with the image of Mifflin Sargeant. She was canny
enough to appreciate such a man; besides, he was a good-looking youth
though perhaps of a less robust type than those most admired in the Red
Hills.

After cordial greetings the young man ate supper, after which he
repaired to the post office. By that time the last straggler was gone;
he had a blissful evening with his fair Caroline. She anticipated his
coming, being somewhat of a _psychic_, and had arranged to spend the
night with the Stovers. There was no hurry to retire; when they went out
on the porch, preparatory to locking up, the hunter’s moon was sinking
behind the western knobs, which rose like the pyramids of Egypt against
the sky line.

Sargeant lingered around the old house for three days; when he departed
it was with extreme reluctance. Seeing Caroline again in the future
appeared like something too good to be true, so down-hearted was he at
the parting. But he had arranged to come back the following autumn,
bringing an extra horse with him, and the two would ride to the
wonderful cavern in Penn’s Valley and explore to the ends its stygian
depths. Meanwhile they would make most of their separation through a
regular correspondence.

Despite glances, pressure of hands, chance caresses, and evident
happiness in one another’s society, not a word of love had passed
between the pair. That was why the pain of parting was so intense. If
Caroline could have remembered one loving phrase, then she would have
felt that she had something tangible on which to hang her hopes. If the
young Philadelphian had unburdened his heart by telling her that he
loved her, and her alone, and heard her words of affirmation, the world
out into which he was riding would have seemed less blank.

But underneath his love, burning like a hot branding iron, was his
consciousness of class, his fear of the consequences if he took to the
great city a bride from another sphere. As an only son, he could not
picture himself deserting his widowed mother and sisters, and living at
Snow Shoe; there he was sure that Caroline would be happy. Neither could
he see permanent peace of mind if he married her and brought her into
his exclusive circles in the Quaker City.

As he was an honorable young man, and his love was real, making her
truly and always happy was the solitary consideration. These thoughts
marred the parting; they blistered and ravaged his spirit on the whole
dreary way back to Liverpool. There his colored servant, an antic
darkey, was waiting at the old Susquehanna House to ride the horse to
Philadelphia.

The young man boarded the packet, riding on it to Harrisburg, where he
took the steam train for home. In one way he was happier than ever
before in his life, for he had found love; in another he was the most
dejected of men, for his beloved might never be his own.

He seemed gayer and stronger to his family; evidently the trip into the
wilderness had done him good. He had begun his letter-writing to
Caroline promptly. It was his great solace in his heart perplexity. She
wrote a very good letter, very tender and sympathetic; the handwriting
was clear, almost masculine, denoting the bravery of her spirit.

During the winter he was called upon through his sisters to mingle much
with the society of the city. He met many beautiful and attractive young
women, but for him the die of love had been cast. He was Caroline’s
irretrievably. Absence made his love firmer, yet the solution of it all
the more enigmatical.

The time passed on apace. Another autumn set in, but on account of
important business matters it was not until December that Sargeant
departed for the wilds of mountainous Pennsylvania. But he could spend
Christmas with his love.

This time he sent two horses ahead to Liverpool. When he reached the
queer old river town he dropped into an old saddlery shop, where the
canal-boat drivers had their harness mended, and purchased a neat side
saddle, all studded with brass-headed nails. This he tied on behind his
servant’s saddle.

The two horsemen started up the beautiful West Mahantango, crossing the
Shade Mountain to Swinefordstown, thence along the edge of Jack’s
Mountain, by the gently flowing Karoondinha, to Hartley Hall and the
Narrows, through the Fox Gap and Minnick’s Gap, a slightly shorter route
to Stover’s.

On his previous trip he had ridden along the river to Selin’s Grove,
across Chestnut Ridge to New Berlin, over Shamokin Ridge to
Youngmanstown, and from there to the Narrows; he was in no hurry; no
dearly loved girl was waiting for him in those days.

Caroline, looking prettier than ever–she was a trifle plumper and redder
cheeked–was at the post office steps to greet him. Despite his avoidance
of words of love, she was certain of his inmost feelings, and opined
that somehow the ultimate result would be well.

Sargeant had arranged to arrive on a Saturday evening, so that they
could begin their ride to the cave that night after the post office
closed, and be there bright and early Sunday morning. For this reason he
had traveled by very easy stages from Hartley Hall, that the horses
might be fresh for their added journey.

Sargeant’s devoted Negro factotum was taken somewhat aback when he saw
how attentive the young man was to the girl, and marveled at the
mountain maid’s rare beauty. Upon instructions from his master, he set
about to changing the saddles, placing the brand new lady’s saddle on
the horse he had been riding.

It was not long until the tiny post office was closed for the night, and
Caroline emerged, wearing a many-caped red riding coat, the hood of
which she threw over her head to keep the wavy, chestnut hair in place.
She climbed into the saddle gracefully–she seemed a natural
horse-woman–and soon the loving pair were cantering up the road towards
Wolfe’s Store, Rebersburg and the cave.

It was not quite daybreak when they passed the home of old Jacob
Harshbarger, the tenant of the “cave farm;” a Creeley rooster was
crowing lustily in the barnyard, the unmilked cattle of the ancient
black breed shook their shaggy heads lazily; no one was up.

The young couple had planned to visit the cave, breakfast, and spend the
day with Caroline’s sister, who lived not far away at Centre Hill, and
ride leisurely back to Stover’s in the late afternoon. It had been a
very cold all-night ride, but they had been so happy that it seemed
brief and free from all disagreeable physical sensations.

In those days there was no boat in the cave, and no guides; consequently
all intending visitors had to bring their own torches. This Caroline had
seen to, and in her leisure moments for weeks before her lover’s coming,
had been arranging a supply of rich pine lights that would see them
safely through the gloomy labyrinths.

They fed their horses and then tied them to the fence of the orchard
which surrounded the entrance to the “dry” cave, which had been recently
set out. Several big original white pines grew along the road, and would
give the horses shelter in case it turned out to be a windy day. The
young couple strolled through the orchard, and down the steep path to
the mouth of the “watery” cave, where they gazed for some minutes at the
expanse of greenish water, the high span of the arched roof, the general
impressiveness of the scene, so like the stage setting of some elfin
drama.

They sat on the dead grass, near this entrance, eating a light breakfast
with relish. Then they wended their way up the hill to the circular
“hole in the ground” which formed the doorway to the “dry” cave. The
torches were carefully lit, the supply of fresh ones was tied in a
bundle about Sargeant’s waist. The burning pine gave forth an aromatic
odor and a mellow light. They descended through the narrow opening, the
young man going ahead and helping his sweetheart after him. Down the
spiral passageway they went, until at length they came into a larger
chamber. Here the torches cast unearthly shadows, bats flitted about;
some small animal ran past them into an aperture at a far corner.
Sargeant declared that he believed the elusive creature a fox, and he
followed in the direction in which it had gone.

When he came to this opening he peered through it, finding that it led
to an inner chamber of impressive proportions. He went back, taking
Caroline by the hand, and led her to the narrow chamber, into which they
both entered. Once in the interior room, they were amazed by its size,
the height of its roof, the beauty of the stalactite formations. They
sat down on a fallen stalagmite, holding aloft their torches, absorbed
by the beauty of the scene.

In the midst of their musing, a sudden gust of wind blew out their
lights. They were in utter darkness. The young lover bade his sweetheart
be unafraid, while he reached his hand in his pocket for the matches.
They were primitive affairs, the few he had, and he could not make them
light. He had not counted on the use of the matches, as he thought one
torch could be lit from another; consequently had brought so few with
him. Finally he lit a match, but the dampness extinguished it before he
could ignite his torch.

When the last match failed, it seemed as if the couple were in a serious
predicament. They first shouted at the top of their voices but only
empty echoes answered them. They fumbled about in the chamber, stumbling
over rocks and stalagmites, their eyes refusing to become accustomed to
the profound blackness. Try as they would, they could not locate the
passage that led from the room they were in to the outer apartment.

Caroline, little heroine that she was, made no complaint. If she had any
secret fears, her lover effectually quenched them by telling her that
the presence of the two saddle horses tied to the orchard fence would
acquaint the Harshbarger family of their presence in the cave.

“Surely,” he went on, “we will be rescued in a few hours. There’s bound
to be some member of the household or some hunter see those horses.”

But the hours passed, and with them came no intimations of rescue. But
the two “prisoners” loved one another, time was nothing to them. In the
outer world, both thought, but neither made bold to say, that they might
have to separate–in the cave they were one in purpose, one in love. How
gloriously happy they were! But they did get a trifle hungry, but that
was appeased at first by the remnants of the breakfast provisions, which
they luckily still had in a little bundle.

When sufficient time had elapsed for night to set in, they fell asleep,
and in each other’s arms. Caroline’s last conscious moment was to feel
her lover’s kisses. When they awoke, many hours afterwards, they were
hungrier than ever, and thirsty. Sargeant fumbled about, locating a
small pool of water, where the two quenched their thirsts. But still
they were happy, come what may.

They would be rescued, that was certain, unless the horses had broken
loose and run away, but there was small chance of that. They had been
securely tied. It was strange that no one had seen the steeds in so long
a time, with the farmhouse less than a quarter of a mile away–but it was
at the foot of the hill.

Hunger grew apace with every hour. After a while drinking water could
not sate it. It throbbed and ached, it became a dull pain that only love
could triumph over. Again enough hours elapsed to bring sleep, but it
was harder to find repose, though Sargeant’s kisses were marvelous
recompense. Caroline never whimpered from lack of food. To be with her
lover was all she asked. She had prayed for over a year to be with him
again. She would be glad to die at his side, even of starvation.

The young man was content; hunger was less a pain to him than had been
the past fourteen months’ separation.

Again came what they supposed to be morning. They knew that there must
be some way out near at hand, as the air was so pure. They shouted, but
the dull echoes were their only reward. Strangely enough, they had never
felt another cold gust like the one which had blown out their torches.
Could the shade of one of the old-time Indians who had fought for
possession of the cave been perpetrator of the trick? suggested lovely
little Caroline. If so, she thought to herself, he had helped her, not
harmed her, for could there be in the world a sensation half so sweet as
sinking to rest in her lover’s arms?

Meanwhile the world outside the cavern had been going its way. Shortly
after the young equestrian passed the Harshbarger dwelling, all the
family had come out, and, after attending to their farm duties, driven
off to the Seven Mountains, where the sons of the family maintained a
hunting camp on Cherry Run, on the other side of High Valley.

The boys had killed an elk, consequently the guests remained longer than
expected, to partake of a grand Christmas feast. They tarried at the
camp all of that day, all of the next; it was not until early on the
morning of the third day that they started back to the Penn’s Creek
farm.

They had arranged with a neighbor’s boy, Mosey Scull, who lived further
along the creek below the farm house, to do the feeding in their
absence; it was winter, there was no need to hurry home.

When they got home they found Mosey in the act of watering two very
dejected and dirty looking horses with saddles on their backs.

“Where did they come from?” shouted the big freight-wagon load in
unison.

“I found them tied to the fence up at the orchard. By the way they act
I’d think they hadn’t been watered or fed for several days,” replied the
boy.

“You dummy!” said old Harshbarger, in Dutch. “Somebody’s in that cave,
and got lost, and can’t get out.”

He jumped from the heavy wagon and ran to a corner of the corncrib,
where he kept a stock of torches. Then he hurried up the steep hill
towards the entrance to the “dry” cave. The big man was panting when he
reached the opening, where he paused a moment to kindle a torch with his
flints. Then he lowered himself into the aperture, shouting at the top
of his voice, “Hello! Hello! Hello!”

It was not until he had gotten into the first chamber that the captives
in the inner room could hear him. Sargeant had been sitting with his
back propped against the cavern wall, while Caroline, very pale and
white-lipped, was lying across his knees, gazing up into the darkness,
imagining that she could see his face.

When they heard the cheery shouts of their deliverer they did not
instantly attempt to scramble to their feet. Instead the young lover
bent over; his lips touched Caroline’s, who instinctively had raised her
face to meet his. As his lips touched hers, he whispered:

“I love you, darling, with all my heart. We will be married when we get
out of here.”

Caroline had time to say: “You are my only love,” before their lips came
together.

They were in that position when the flare of Farmer Harshbarger’s torch
lit up their hiding place. Pretty soon they were on their feet and, with
their rescuer, figuring out just how long they had been in their
prison–their prison of love.

They had gone into the cave on the morning of December 24th; it was now
the morning of the 27th; in fact almost noon. Christmas had come and
gone.

Caroline still had enough strength in reserve to enable her to climb up
the tortuous passage, though her lover did help her some, as all lovers
should.

The farmer’s wife had some coffee and buckwheat cakes ready when they
arrived at the mansion; which the erstwhile captives of Penn’s Cave sat
down to enjoy.

As they were eating, another of Harshbarger’s sons rode up on horseback.
He had been to the post office at Earlysburg. He handed Sargeant a tiny,
roughly typed newspaper published in Millheim. Across the front page, in
letters larger than usual, were the words, “Mexico Declares War on the
United States.”

Sargeant scanned the headline intently, then laid the paper on the
table.

“Our country has been drawn into a war with Mexico,” he said, his voice
trembling with emotion. “I had hoped it might be avoided. I am First
Lieutenant of the Lafayette Greys; I fear I’ll have to go.”

[Illustration: BIG SNYDER COUNTY WILD CAT]

Caroline lost the color which had come back to her pretty cheeks since
emerging from the underground dungeon. She reached over, grasping her
lover’s now clammy hand. Then, noticing that no one was listening, she
said, faintly:

“It is terrible to have you leave me now; but won’t you marry me before
you go? I do love you.” “replied Sargeant, with enthusiasm. “I will have
more to fight for, with you at home bearing my name.”

Love had broken the bonds of caste.

[Illustration]

                                  XXI
                          _The Silent Friend_


Every one who has hunted in the “Seven Brothers’”, as the Seven
Mountains are called in Central Pennsylvania, has heard of Daniel
Karstetter, the famous Nimrod. The Seven Mountains comprise the Path
Valley, Short Bald, Thick Head, Sand, Shade and Tussey Mountains. Though
three-quarters of a century has passed since he was in his hey-day as a
slayer of big game, his fame is undiminished. Anecdotes of his prowess
are related in every hunting camp; by one and all he has been acclaimed
the greatest hunter that the Seven Brothers ever produced.

The great Nimrod, who lived to a very advanced age, was born in 1818 on
the banks of Pine Creek, a: the Blue Rock, half a mile below the present
town of Coburn. In addition to his hunting prowess, he was interested in
psychic experiences, and was as prone to discuss his adventures with
supernatural agencies as his conflicts with the wild denizens of the
forests. There was a particular ghost story which he loved dearly to
relate.

Accompanied by his younger brother Jacob, he had been attending a dance
one night across the mountains, in the environs of the town of Milroy,
for like all the backwoods boys of his time, he was adept in the art of
terpsichore. The long journey was made on horseback, the lads being
mounted on stout Conestoga chargers.

The homeward ride was commenced after midnight, the two brothers riding
along the dark trail in single file. In the wide flat on the top of the
“Big Mountain” Daniel fell into a doze. When he awoke, his mount having
stumbled on a stone, Jacob was nowhere to be seen. Thinking that his
brother had put his horse to trot and gone on ahead, Daniel dismissed
the matter of his absence from his mind.

As he was riding down the steep slope of the mountain, he noticed a
horseman waiting for him on the path. When they came abreast the other
rider fell in beside him, skillfully guiding his horse so that it did
not encounter the dense foliage which lined the narrow way. Daniel
supposed the party to be his brother, although the unknown kept his
lynx-skin collar turned up, and his felt cap was pulled down level with
his eyes. It was pitchy dark, so to make sure, Daniel called out:

“Is that you, Jacob?”

His companion did not reply, so the young man repeated his query in
still louder tones, but all he heard was the crunching of the horses’
hoofs on the pebbly road.

Daniel Karstetter, master slayer of panthers, bears and wolves, was no
coward, though on this occasion he felt uneasy. Yet he disliked picking
a quarrel with the silent man at his side, who clearly was not his
brother, and he feared to put his horse to a gallop on the steep, uneven
roadway. The trip home never before seemed of such interminable length.
For the greater part of the distance Daniel made no attempt to converse
with his unsociable comrade. Finally, he heaved a sigh of relief when he
saw a light gleaming in the horse stable at the home farm. When he
reached the barnyard gate he dismounted to let down the bars, while the
stranger apparently vanished in the gloom.

Daniel led his mount to the horse stable, where he found his brother
Jacob sitting by the old tin lantern, fast asleep. He awakened him and
asked him when he had gotten home. Jacob stated that his horse had been
feeling good, so he let him canter all the way. He had been sleeping,
but judged that he had been home at least half an hour. He had met no
horseman on the road.

Daniel was convinced that his companion had been a ghost, or, as they
are called in the “Seven Brothers,” a _gshpook_. But he made no further
comment that night.

A year afterwards, in coming back alone from a dance in Stone Valley, he
was again joined by the silent horseman, who followed him to his
barnyard gate. He gave up going to dances on that account. At least once
a year, or as long as he was able to go out at night, he met the ghostly
rider. Sometimes, when tramping along on foot after a hunt, or, in later
years, coming back from market at Bellefonte in his Jenny Lind, he would
find the silent horseman at his side. After the first experience, he
never attempted to speak to the night rider, but he became convinced
that it meant him no harm.

As his prowess as a hunter became recognized, he had many jealous rivals
among the less successful Nimrods. In those old days threats of all
kinds were freely made. He heard on several occasions that certain
hunters were setting out to “fix” him. But a man who could wrestle with
panthers and bears knew no such thing as fear.

One night, while tramping along in Green’s Valley, he was startled by
some one in the path ahead of him shouting out in Pennsylvania German,
“Hands up!” He was on the point of dropping his rifle, when he heard the
rattle of hoof beats back of him. The silent horseman in an instant was
by his side, the dark horse pawing the earth with his giant hoofs. There
was a crackling of brush in the path ahead, and no more threats of _hend
uff_.

The ghostly rider followed Daniel to his barn yard gate, but was gone
before he could utter a word of thanks. As the result of this adventure,
he became imbued with the idea that he possessed a charmed life. It gave
him added courage in his many encounters with panthers, the fierce red
bears and lynxes.

Apart from his love of hunting the more dangerous animals, Daniel
enjoyed the sport of deer-stalking. He maintained several licks, one of
them in a patch of low ground over the hill from the entrance to the
“dry” part of Penn’s Cave. At this spot he constructed a blind, or
platform, between the two ancient tupelo trees, about twenty feet from
the ground, and many were the huge white-faced stags which fell to his
unerring bullets during the rutting season.

One cold night, according to an anecdote frequently related by one of
his descendants, while perched in his eyrie overlooking the natural
clearing which constituted the _lick_, and in sight of a path frequented
by the fiercer beasts, which led to the opening of the “dry” cave, he
saw, about midnight, a huge pantheress, followed by a large male of the
same species, come out into the open.

“The pantheress strolled from the path,” so the story went, "and came
and laid herself down at the roots of the tupelo trees, while the
panther remained in the path, and seemed to be listening to some noise
as yet inaudible to the hunter.

"Daniel soon heard a distant roaring; it seemed to come from the very
summit of the Brush Mountain, and immediately the pantheress answered
it. The the panther on the path, his jealousy aroused, commenced to roar
with a voice so loud that the frightened hunter almost let go his trusty
rifle and held tighter to the railing of his blind, lest he might tumble
to the earth. As the voice of the animal that he had heard in the
distance gradually approached, the pantheress welcomed him with renewed
roarings, and the panther, restless, went and came from the path to his
flirtatious flame, as though he wished her to keep silence, as though to
say, ‘Let him come if he dares; he will find his match’.

"In about an hour a panther, with mouse-color, or grey coat, stepped out
of the forest, and stood in the full moonlight on the other side of the
cleared place, the moonbeams illuminating his form with a glow like
phosphorescence. The pantheress, eyeing him with admiration, raised
herself to go to him, but the panther, divining her intent, rushed
before her and marched right at his adversary. With measured step and
slow, they approached to within a dozen paces of each other, their
smooth, round heads high in the air, their bulging yellow eyes gleaming,
their long, tufted tails slowly sweeping down the brittle asters that
grew about them. They crouched to the earth–a moment’s pause–and then
they bounded with a hellish scream high in the air and rolled on the
ground, locked in their last embrace.

"The battle was long and fearful, to the amazed and spellbound witness
of this midnight duel. Even if he had so wished, he could not have taken
steady enough aim to fire. But he preferred to watch the combat, while
the moonlight lasted. The bones of the two combatants cracked under
their powerful jaws, their talons painted the frosty ground with blood,
and their outcries, now gutteral, now sharp and loud, told their rage
and agony.

"At the beginning of the contest the pantheress crouched herself on her
belly, with her eyes fixed upon the gladiators, and all the while the
battle raged, manifested by the slow, catlike motion of her tail, the
pleasure she felt at the spectacle. When the scene closed, and all was
quiet and silent and deathlike on the lick, and the moon had commenced
to wane, she cautiously approached the battle-ground and, sniffing the
lifeless bodies of her two lovers, walked leisurely to a nearby oak,
where she stood on her hind feet, sharpening her fore claws on the bark.

"She glared up ferociously at the hunter in the blind, as if she meant
to vent her anger by climbing after him. In the moonlight her golden
eyes appeared so terrifying that Daniel dropped his rifle, and it fell
to the earth with a sickening thud. As he reached after it, the flimsy
railing gave way and he fell, literally into the arms of the pantheress.
At that moment the rumble of horses’ hoofs, like thunder on some distant
mountain, was heard. Just as the panther was about to rend the helpless
Nimrod to bits, the unknown rider came into view. Scowling at the
intruder, mounted on his huge black horse, the brute abandoned its prey
and ambled off up the hill in the direction of the dry cave.

"Daniel seized his firearm and sent a bullet after her retreating form,
but it apparently went wild of its mark. Meanwhile, before he had time
to express his gratitude to the strange deliverer, he had vanished.

"Daniel was dumbfounded. As soon as he had recovered from the
blood-curdling episodes, he built a small fire near the mammoth
carcasses, where he warmed his much benumbed hands. Then he examined the
dead panthers, but found that their hides were too badly torn to warrant
skinning.

"Disgusted at not getting his deer, and being even cheated out of the
panther pelts, he dragged the ghastly remains of the erstwhile kings of
the forest by their tails to the edge of the entrance to the dry cave.
There he cut off the long ears in order to collect the bounty, and then
shoved the carcasses into the opening. They fell with sickening thuds
into the chamber beneath, to the evident horror of the pantheress, which
uttered a couple of piercing screams as the horrid remnants of the
recent battle royal landed in her vicinity.

“Then Jacob shouldered his rifle and started out in search of small game
for breakfast. That night he went to another of his licks on Elk Creek,
near Fulmer’s Sink, where he killed four superb stags,” so the story
concludes.

But to his dying day he always placed the battle of the panthers first
of all his hunting adventures. And his faith in the unknown horseman as
his deliverer and good genius became the absorbing, all-pervading
influence of his life.

                                  XXII
                        _The Fountain of Youth_


Old Chief Wisamek, of the Kittochtinny Indians, had lost his spouse. He
was close to sixty years of age, which was old for a redman, especially
one who had led the hard life of a warrior, exposed to all kinds of
weather, fasts and forced marches. Though he felt terribly lonely and
depressed in his state of widowerhood, the thought of discarding the
fidelity of the eagle, which, if bereaved, never takes a second mate,
and was the noble bird he worshipped, seemed repugnant to him until he
happened to see the fair and buxom maid Annapalpeteu.

He was rheumatic, walking with difficulty; he tired easily, was fretful,
all sure signs of increasing age; but what upset him most was the sight
of his reflection in his favorite pool, a haggard, weazened, wrinkled
face, with a nose like the beak of an eagle, and glazed eyes as
colorless as clay. When he opened his mouth the reflected image seemed
to be mostly toothless, the lips were blue and thin. He had noticed that
he did not need to pluck the hairs from his skull any more to give
prominence to his warrior’s top-knot; the proud tuft itself was growing
sparse and weak; to keep it erect he was now compelled to braid it with
hair from a buffalo’s tail.

Brave warrior that he was, he hated to pay his court to the lovely
Annapalpeteu when on all sides he saw stalwart, six-foot youths, masses
of sinews and muscle, clear-eyed, firm-lipped, always ambitious and
high-spirited, more suited to be her companions.

But one afternoon he saw his copper-colored love sitting by the side of
the Bohundy Creek, beating maize in a wooden trough. Her entire costume
consisted of a tight petticoat of blue cloth, hardly reaching to the
knees, and without any ruffles. Her cheeks and forehead were neatly
daubed with red. She seemed very well content with her coadjutor, a
bright young fellow, who, except for two wild cat hides appropriately
distributed, was quite as naked as the ingenuous beauty. That
Annapalpeteu had a cavalier was now certain, and immediately it rankled
what flames remained in his jaded body; he must have her at any cost.

Down by the Conadogwinet, across the Broad Mountain, lived Mbison, a
wise man. Old Wisamek would go there and consult him, perhaps obtain
from him some potion to permanently restore at least a few of the fires
of his lost youth. Though his will power had been appreciably slackening
of late years, he acted with alacrity on the idea of visiting the
soothsayer. Before sundown he was on his way to the south, accompanied
by several faithful henchmen. Carrying a long ironwood staff, he moved
on with unwonted agility; it was very dark, and the path difficult to
follow, when he finally consented to bivouac for the night. The next
morning found him so stiff that he could hardly clamber to his feet. His
henchmen assisted him, though they begged him to rest for a day. But his
will forced him on; he wanted to be virile and win the beautiful
Annapalpeteu.

The journey, which consumed a week, cost the aged Strephon a world of
effort. But as he had been indefatigable in his youth, he was determined
to reach the wise man’s headquarters walking like a warrior, and not
carried there on a litter like an old woman. Bravely he forged ahead,
his aching joints paining miserably, until at length he came in sight of
his Promised Land.

The soothsayer, who had been apprised of his coming by a dream, was in
front of his substantial lodge-house to greet him. Seldom had he
received a more distinguished client than Wisamek, so he welcomed him
with marked courtesy and deference.

After the first formalities, the old chief, who had restrained himself
with difficulty, asked how he could be restored to a youthful condition,
so that he could rightfully marry a beautiful maiden of eighteen
summers. The wise man, who had encountered similar supplicants in the
past, informed him that the task was a comparatively easy one. It would
involve, however, however, first drinking the waters of the Warm Springs
(in what is now Perry County), then another journey across mountains.

Wisamek shouted for joy when he heard these words, and impatiently
demanded where he would have to go to be finally restored to youth.

“Across many high mountain ranges, across many broad valleys, across
many swift streams, through a country covered with dark forests and
filled with wild beasts, to the northwest of here, is a wonderful
cavern. In it rises a deep stream of greenish color, clear as crystal,
the fountain of youth. At its heading you will find a very old man,
Gamunk, who knows the formula. Give him this talisman, and he will allow
you to bathe in the marvelous waters and be young again.”

With the final words he handed Wisamek a red bear’s tooth, on which was
cleverly carved the form of an athletic youth. The old chief’s hands
trembled so much that he almost dropped the precious fetich. But he soon
recovered his self-control and thanked the wise man. Then he ordered his
henchmen to give the soothsayer gifts, which they did, loading him with
beads, pottery, wampum and rare furs.

Despite the invitation to remain until he was completely rested, Wisamek
determined to depart at once for the warm springs and the fountain of
youth. He drank the warm water copiously, enjoying the beautiful
surroundings at the springs. He was so stimulated by his high hope and
the mineral waters that he climbed the steep ridges, crossed the
turbulent streams and put up with the other inconveniences of the long
march much better than might have been the case. During the entire
journey he sang Indian love songs, strains which had not passed his lips
in thirty years.

His followers, gossiping among themselves, declared that he looked
better already. Perhaps he would not have to bathe in the fountain after
all. He might resume his youth, because he willed it so. Indians were
strong believers in the power of mind over matter.

When he reached the vicinity of the cave he was fortunate enough to meet
the aged Indian who was its guardian. Though his hair was snow white and
he said he was so old that he had lost count of the years, Gamunk’s
carriage was erect, his complexion smooth, his eyes clear and kindly. He
walked along with a swinging stride, very different from Wisamek’s
mental picture of him. The would-be bridegroom, who handed him the
talisman, was quick to impart his mission to his new-found friend.

“It is true,” he replied, “after a day and a night’s immersion in the
cave’s water you will emerge with all the appearance of youth. There is
absolutely no doubt of it. Thousands have been here before.”

With these reassuring words Wisamek again leaped for joy, gyrating like
a young brave at a cantico.

The party, accompanied by the old guardian, quickly arrived at the
cave’s main opening, where beneath them lay stretched the calm,
mirror-like expanse of greenish water.

“Can I begin the bath now?” asked the chief, impatiently. “I am anxious
to throw off the odious appearance of age.” “replied the old watchman,
who took him by the hand, leading to the ledge where it was highest
above the water. “Jump off here,” he said quietly. Wisamek, who had been
a great swimmer in his youth and was absolutely fearless of the water,
replied that he would do so. “But remember you must remain in the water
without food until this hour tomorrow,” said the guardian.

As he leaped into the watery depths the chief shouted he would remain
twice as long if he could be young again. Wisamek was true to his
instructions; there was too much at stake; he dared not falter.

The next morning his henchmen were at the cave’s mouth to greet his
reappearance. They were startled to see, climbing up the ledge with
alacrity, a tall and handsome man, as young looking as themselves. There
was a smile on the full, red lips, a twinkle in the clear eye of the
re-made warrior as he stood among them, physically a prince among men.

The homeward journey was made with rapidity. Wisamek traveled so fast
that he played out his henchmen who were half his age.

Annapalpeteu, who was seated in front of her parents’ cabin weaving a
garment, noticed a youth of great physical beauty approaching, at the
head of Chief Wisamek’s clansmen. She wondered who he could be, as he
wore Wisamek’s headdress of feathers of the osprey or “sea eagle.” When
he drew near he saluted her, and, not giving her time to answer,
joyfully shouted: “Don’t you recognize me? I am your good friend
Wisamek, come back to win your love, after a refreshing journey through
the distant forests.”

Annapalpeteu, who was a sensible enough girl to have admired the great
warrior for his prowess, even though she had never thought of him
seriously as a lover, was now instantly smitten by his engaging
appearance. The henchmen withdrew, leaving the couple together. They
made marked progress with their romance; words of love were mentioned
before they parted.

It was not long before the betrothal was announced, followed shortly by
the wedding festival. At the nuptials the bridegroom’s appearance was
the marvel of all present. It was hinted that he had been somewhere and
renewed his youth, but as the henchmen were sworn to secrecy, how it had
been done was not revealed.

The young bride seemed radiantly happy. She had every reason to be; the
other Indian maids whispered from lip to lip, was she not marrying the
greatest warrior and hunter of his generation, the handsomest man in a
hundred tribes? Secretly envied by all of her age, possessing her
stalwart prize, the fair bride started on her honeymoon, showered with
acorns and good wishes.

So far as is known the wedding trip passed off blissfully. There were
smiles on the bright faces of both bride and groom when they returned to
their spacious new lodge-house, which the tribe had erected for them in
their absence, by the banks of the sparkling Bohundy. But the course of
life did not run smoothly for the pair. Though outwardly Wisamek was the
handsomest and most youthful-looking of men, he was still an old man at
heart. Annapalpeteu was as pleasure-loving as she was beautiful. She
wanted to dance and sing and mingle with youthful company. She wanted
her good time in life; her joy of living was at its height, her sense of
enjoyment at its zenith.

[Illustration: BLACK BEAR, KILLED IN SUGAR VALLEY]

On the other hand, Wisamek hated all forms of gaieties or youthful
amusements. He wanted to sit about the lodge-house in the sun, telling
of his warlike triumphs of other days; he wanted to sleep much, he hated
noise and excitement.

Annapalpeteu, dutiful wife that she was, tried to please him, but in due
course of time both husband and wife realized that romance was dying,
that they were drifting apart. Wisamek was even more aware of it than
his wife. It worried him greatly, his dreams were of an unhappy nature.
He pictured the end of the trail, with his wife, Annapalpeteu, in love
with some one else of her own age, some one whose heart was young. He
had spells of moodiness and irritability, as well as several serious
quarrels with his wife, whom he accused of caring less for him than
formerly.

The relations became so strained that life in the commodious lodge-house
was unbearable. At length it occurred to Wisamek that he might again
visit the fountain of youth, this time to revive his soul. Perhaps he
had not remained in the water long enough to touch the spirit within. He
informed his spouse that he was going on a long journey on invitation of
the war chief of a distant tribe, and that she must accompany him. He
was insanely jealous of her now. He could not bear her out of his sight.
He imagined she had a young lover back of every tree, though she was
honor personified.

The trip was made pleasantly enough, as the husband was in better
spirits than usual. Annapalpeteu enjoyed the waters of the warm springs,
would liked to have tarried. He thought he saw the surcease of his
troubles ahead of him!

When he reached the Beaver Dam Meadows, at the foot of Egg Hill, near
the site of the present town of Spring Mills, beautiful level flats
which in those days were a favorite camping ground for the red men, he
requested the beautiful Annapalpeteu to remain there for a few days,
that he was going through a hostile country, he would not jeopardize her
safety. He was going on an important mission that would make her love
him more than ever when he returned. In reality no unfriendly Indians
were about, but in order to give a look of truth to his story he left
her in charge of a strong bodyguard.

Wisamek’s conduct of late had been so peculiar that his wife was not
sorry to see her lord and master go away. Handsome though he was, a
spiritual barrier had arisen between them which grew more insurmountable
with each succeeding day. Yet, on this occasion, when he was out of her
sight, she felt apprehensive about him. She had a strange presentiment
that she would never see him again.

Wisamek was filled with hopes; his spirits had never been higher, as he
strode along, followed by his henchmen. When he reached the top of the
path which led to the mouth of the enchanted cave he met old Gamunk, the
guardian. The aged redman expressed surprise at seeing him again.

“I have come for a very peculiar reason,” he said. “The bath which I
took last year outwardly made me young, but only _outwardly_. Within I
am as withered and joyless as a centenarian. I want to bathe once more,
to try to revive the old light in my soul.”

Gamunk shook his head. “You may succeed; I hope you will. I never heard
of any one daring to take a second bath in these waters. The tradition
of the hereditary guardians, of whom I am the hundredth in direct
succession, has it that it would be fatal to take a second immersion,
especially to remain in the water for twenty-four hours.”

Then he asked Wisamek for the talisman which gave him the right to
bathe. Wisamek drew himself up proudly, and, with a gesture of his hand
indicating disdain, said he had no talisman, that he would bathe anyhow.
He advanced to the brink and plunged in. Until the same hour the next
day he floated and paddled about the greenish depths, filled with
expectancy. For some reason it seemed longer this time than on the
previous visit.

At last, by the light which filtered down through the treetops at the
cave’s mouth, he knew that the hour had come for him to emerge–emerge as
Chief Wisamek–young in heart as in body. Proudly he grasped the rocky
ledge and swung himself out on dry land. He arose to his feet. His head
seemed very light and giddy. He fancied he saw visions of his old
conquests, old loves. There was the sound of music in the air. Was it
the martial drums, played to welcome the conqueror, or the wind surging
through the feathery tops of the maple and linden trees at the mouth of
the cave? He started to climb the steep path. He seemed to be treading
the air. Was it the buoyant steps of youth come again? He seemed to
float rather than walk. The sunlight blinded his eyes. Suddenly he had a
flash of normal consciousness. He dropped to the ground with a thud like
an old pine falling. Then all was blackness, silence. Jaybirds
complaining in the treetops alone broke the stillness.

His bodyguards, who were waiting for him at old Gamunk’s lodge-house,
close to where the hotel now stands, became impatient at his
non-appearance, as the hour was past. Accompanied by the venerable
watchman they started down the path. To their horror they saw the dead
body of a hideous, wrinkled old man, all skin and bones, like a
desiccated mummy, lying stretched out across it, a few steps from the
entrance to the cave. When they approached closely they noticed several
familiar tattoo marks on the forehead, which identified the body as that
of their late master, Wisamek.

Frightened lest they would be accused of his murder, and shocked by his
altered appearance, the bodyguards turned and took to their heels. They
disappeared in the trackless forests to the north and were never seen
again.

Old Gamunk, out of pity for the vain-glorious chieftain, buried the
remains by the path near where he fell. As for poor Annapalpeteu, the
beautiful, she waited patiently for many days by the Beaver Dam, but her
waiting was in vain. At length, concluding that he had been slain in
battle in some valorous encounter, she started for her old home on the
Bohundy.

It is related that on the way she met and married a warrior of her own
age, living happily ever afterwards in a comfortable cabin somewhere in
the majestic Bower Mountains. In him she found the loving response, the
congeniality of pleasures which had been denied the dried, feeble soul
of Wisamek, who bathed too often in the fountain of youth.

[Illustration]

                                 XXIII
                            _Compensations_


It seemed that Andrew McMeans and Oscar Wellendorf were born to be
engaged in rivalry, although judging by their antecedents, the former
was in a class beyond, McMeans being well-born, of old Scotch-Irish
stock, a valuable asset on the Allegheny. Wellendorf, of Pennsylvania
Dutch origin, of people coming from one of the eastern counties, was
consequently rated much lower socially, had much more to overcome in the
way of life’s obstacles. The boys were almost of school age; Wellendorf,
if anything, was a month or two older. In school in Hickory Valley
neither was a brilliant scholar, but they were evenly matched, and
although not aspiring to lead their classes, felt a keen rivalry between
one another.

When school days were over, and they took to rafting as the most obvious
occupation in the locality, their rivalries as to who could run a fleet
quickest to Pittsburg, and come back for another, was the talk of the
river. In love it was not different, and despite the talk in McMean’s
family that he should marry Anna McNamor, daughter of his father’s
life-long friend, Tabor McNamor, the girl showed an open preference for
Oscar Wellendorf.

The old Scotch-Irish families were, as the London Times said in
commenting on some of the characteristics of the late Senator Quay
(inherited from his mother, born Stanley) “clannish to degree,” and
Anna’s “people” were equally anxious that she marry one of her own
stock, and not ally herself with the despised and socially insignificant
“Dutch”. Old Grandmother McClinton called attention to the fact that the
headstrong beauty was not without a strain of “Dutch” blood herself, for
her great, great grandmother had been none other than the winsome
Madelon Ury, a Swiss-Huguenot girl of Berks County, who, when surprised
in the field hoeing corn by a blood-thirsty Indian, had dropped her hoe
and taken to her heels. She ran so fast over the soft ground that she
would have escaped her moccasined pursuer had she not taken time to
cross a stone fence. This gave the red man the chance to throw his
tomahawk, striking her in the neck, and she fell face downward over the
wall. Just as her foe was overtaking her, Martin McClinton, a sword
maker from Lancaster, who was passing along the Shamokin trail en route
to deliver a sabre to Colonel Conrad Weiser, at Heidelberg, rushed to
her rescue and shot down the Indian, so that he fell dead across his
fair victim.

McClinton extricated the tomahawk from her neck, bound up the wound with
his own neckerchief and carried her to her parent’s home, near the
Falling Springs. He remained until the wound healed, when he married
her. Later the pair migrated west of the Alleghenies.

Madelon McClinton was very dark, with an oval face and aquiline
features, possibly having had a strain of Pennsylvania Jewish blood to
account for her brunette type of beauty. She always wore a red scarf
wrapped about her neck, being proud and sensitive of the ugly long white
scar left by the Indian’s weapon.

This ancestress, so Grandmother McClinton thought, was responsible for
Anna’s affinity for the rather prosaic Dutchman Wellendorf. Although the
girl was open in her preference for Oscar, she did not make a decision
as to matrimony for some time. When Wellendorf was absent, she was nicer
to McMeans than anyone else. However, if Oscar appeared on the scene,
she had eyes and ears for no other.

On one occasion when the two young men started down the river on their
rafts, proudly standing at the steering oars in the rear, for the
Allegheny pilots rode at the back of the rafts, whereas those on the
Susquehanna were always at the front. Anna was at the water’s edge,
under a huge buttonwood tree–or, as Wellendorf called it in the breezy
vernacular of the Pennsylvania Dutch, a “wasserpitcher”–and waved a red
kerchief impartially at both.

McMean’s raft on this trip was of “pig iron”, that is unpeeled hemlock
logs, as heavy as lead, and became submerged when he had only gotten as
far as the mouth of French Creek. He had to run ashore to try and devise
ways and means to save it from sinking altogether, while Wellendorf
floated along serenely on his raft of white pine, and was to Pittsburg
and back home before McMeans ever reached the “Smoky City.” “John C.
French tells us, "White Pine (pinus strobus) was King, and his dusky
Queen was a beautiful Wild Cherry, lovely as Queen Alliquippa of the
redmen. Rafting lumber from Warren County began about 1800, and it
reached its maximum in the decade, 1830 to 1840. The early history of
Warren County abounds in very interesting incidents, along the larger
Allegheny River, from rafts of pine lumber assembled to couple up for
Pittsburg fleets.

"After the purchase of Louisiana, in 1804, the hardy lumbermen decided
to extend their markets for pine beyond Pittsburg, Wheeling, Cincinnati
and Louisville–to go, in fact, to New Orleans with pine and cherry
lumber. So large boats were built in the winter of 1805 and 1806 at many
mills. Seasoned lumber of the best quality was loaded into the flat
boats and they untied on April 1, 1806, for the run of two thousand
miles, bordered by forests to the river’s edge.

"It was in defiance to ‘All Fools’ Day’, but they went through and sold
both lumber and boats. For clear pine lumber, $40.00 was the price per
one thousand feet received at New Orleans–just double the Pittsburg
price at that date. For three years thereafter the mills of Warren
County sent boats to New Orleans loaded with lumber, and the men
returned on foot. Joseph Mead, Abraham Davis and John Watt took boats
through in 1807, coming back via Philadelphia on coastal sailing ships.

"The pilots and men returned by river boats or on foot, as they best
could. The markets along the Ohio from Pittsburg to St. Louis soon took
all the lumber from the Allegheny mills, and the longer trips were
gladly discontinued.

"It was in 1850 that there came the first lumber famine at Pittsburg.
Owing to the low price of lumber and an unfavorable winter for the
forest work, few rafts of lumber and board timber went down the
Allegheny on the spring freshets, but the November floods brought one
hundred rafts that sold for more favorable prices than had previously
prevailed. Clear pine lumber sold readily for $18.00 and common pine
lumber for $9.00 per one thousand feet.

"The renown of these prices stimulated lumbering on the Allegheny
headwaters and the larger creeks. So the demand for lumber was supplied
and the railroads soon began to bring lumber from many sawmills. The
board timber was hewed on four sides, so there were only five inches of
wane on each of the four corners. These rafts of round-square timber
were sold by square feet to Pittsburg sawmills.

"Rafts of pine boards at headwater mills were made up of platforms, 16
feet square and from 18 to 25 courses thick, 9 pins or “grubs” holding
boards in place as rafted. Four or five platforms were coupled in tandem
with 3 feet “cribs” at each joint, making an elastic piece 73 feet or 92
feet long for a 4 or 5 platform piece as the case might be, 10 feet
wide.

"At Larrabee or at Millgrove four of these pieces were coupled into a
Warren fleet, 32 feet wide, 149 feet or 187 feet long.

"Four Warren pieces or fleets were put together at Warren to make up a
Pittsburg fleet. At Pittsburg four or more Pittsburg fleets were coupled
to make an Ohio River fleet. Some became very large, often covering
nearly two acres of surface, containing about 1,500,000 feet of lumber
at Cincinnatti or at Louisville. They each had a hut for sheltering the
men and for cooking their food. They often ran all night on the Ohio. To
find where the shore was on a very dark night, the men would throw
potatoes, judging from the sound how far away the river bank was and of
their safe or dangerous position. These men were of rugged bodies and of
daring minds.

"A small piece, in headwaters and creeks, had an oar or sweep at each
end of the piece to steer the raft with. Each oar usually had two men to
pull it. An oar-stem was from 28 to 35 feet long, 8″ by 8″, and tapered
to 4″ by 4″, shaved to round hand-hold near the end toward center of
raft. The oar blade was 12′, 14′ or 16′ long, and 18″ to 20″ wide, a
pine plank, 4″ thick at the oar-stem socket, and 1″ thick at the
out-end, tapered its whole length.

"There were other sizes of stem and blade, but the above indicates the
power that guided a raft of lumber along the flood-tides, crooked
streams, and over a dozen mill dams to the broader river below.

"From the Allegheny boats or scows, 30 feet long and 11 feet wide,
carried loads of baled hay, butter, eggs and other farm produce to the
oil fields of Venango County in the ’60’s, sold there and took oil in
barrels to the refinery at Pittsburg. Then sold the scows to carry coal
or goods down the Ohio.

"Mr. Westerman built five boats at Roulette about 1870, 40 feet long and
12 feet wide, loaded them with lumber and shingles and started for
Pittsburg, but the boats were too long for the dams and broke up at
Burtville, the first dam.

"Much of the pine timber of the west half of Potter county was cut in
sawlogs and sent to mills at Millgrove and Weston’s in log drives down
the river and Oswayo Creek into the State of New York. The lumber was
shipped via the Genesee Valley Canal to Albany and New York City and
other points on the Hudson River.

"The first steamboat to steam up the river from Warren was in 1830. It
was built by Archibald Tanner, Warren’s first merchant, and David Dick
and others of Meadville. It was built in Pittsburg; the steamer was
called Allegheny. It went to Olean, returned and went out of commission.

"The late Major D. W. C. James furnished the incident of the Allegheny
voyage. A story was told by James Follett regarding the trip of the
Allegheny from Warren, which illustrates the lack of speed of steamboats
on the river at that early day.

"While the steamer was passing the Indian reservation, some twenty odd
miles above Warren, the famous chief, Cornplanter, paddled his canoe out
to the vessel and actually paddled his small craft up stream and around
the Allegheny, the old chief giving a vigorous war hoop as he
accomplished the proud feat.

"Chief Cornplanter, alias John O’Bail, first took his young men to
Clarion County, about 1795, to learn the method of lumbering, and in
1796 he built a sawmill on Jenneseedaga Creek, later named Cornplanter
Run, in Warren County, and rafted lumber down the Allegheny to Pittsburg
for many years.

"Many tributary streams, such as Clarion, Tionesta and Oswayo,
contributed rafts each year to make up the fleets that descended the
Allegheny River from 1796 to 1874, our rafting days.

"We must mention the Hotel Boyer, on the Duquesne Way, on the Allegheny
River bank, near the “Point” at Pittsburg, where the raftsmen and the
lumbermen foregathered, traded, ate and drank together, after each trip.
Indians were good pilots, but must be kept sober on the rafts.
‘Bootleggers’ along the river often ran boats out to the rafts and
relieved the droughty crews by dispensing bottles of ‘red-eye’ from the
long tops of the boots they wore."

Of the big trees in the Allegheny country, Dr. J. T. Rothrock, “Father
of Pennsylvania Forestry,” has said: "About 1860, when I was with a crew
surveying the line for the Sunbury & Erie Railroad, we had some
difficulty in getting away from a certain location. A preliminary line
came in conflict with an enormous original white pine tree, and the
transitman shouted ‘cut down that tree’. After it was felled another
nearby was found to be in the way, and was ordered out. The stump of the
first tree, four feet above the ground measured 6 feet, 3 inches in
diameter; of the second tree a trifle over 6 feet. Such was the
wastefulness of the day."

As soon as Oscar returned he saw Anna forthwith. She was in a
particularly pliant mood, and in response to his direct question if she
would marry him, replied she would, and the couple boarded the train at
Warren for Buffalo City, where they were married.

When Andrew McMeans came back from his protracted expedition they were
already home from their honeymoon, and residing with the elder McNamors
in the big brick house, overlooking the Bend. Andrew McMeans felt his
jilting deeply; it was the first time that any real disappointment had
come in the twenty-one years of his life; he had imagined that, despite
her predilection for Wellendorf, he would yet win her, and his pride as
well as his heart was lacerated. Outwardly he revealed little, but
inwardly a peculiar melancholy such as he had never felt before overcame
him, and like Lincoln, after the death of Ann Rutledge, he realized that
he must either “die or get better.”

Anna seemed happy enough in her new life, and liked to flaunt her
devotion to Oscar whenever her rejected lover was about. Ordinarily this
might have wounded him still deeper, but he was absorbing fresh
anxieties, reading Herbert Spencer, whose abominable agnosticism soon
wrecked his faith, and bereft of love and the solace of immortality, he
became the most wretched of men.

It was five years after Anna’s elopement, and when she was twenty-one
years old, that one morning she started for Endeavor to get the mail and
make some purchases at the country store. It was a cold, raw day in the
early spring, and the wild pigeons were flying. The beechwoods on both
sides of the road were alive with gunners, old and young. Some one fired
a shot which hurtled close to the nose of the old roan family horse, a
track horse in his day, and he took the bit in his teeth and ran away
madly, with the buggy careening after him. Anna, standing up in the
vehicle, was sawing on the lines until he crashed into a big ash tree
and fractured the poor girl’s skull. She was picked up by some of the
hunters and carried home unconscious the next thing was to get the news
to her husband. Oscar at that time had just finished a raft on West
Hickory Creek, while his old time rival, McMeans, was completing one on
East Hickory, which stream flowed into “The Beautiful River”, almost
directly opposite to the West Hickory Run.

About the moment that Anna received her cruel death stroke, the two
rafts were being launched simultaneously, with much cheering on both
banks, for partisanship ran high among dwellers on either side of the
river. Members of the family hurried to the river side to watch for the
Wellendorf raft, to “head him off” before it was too late. It was
several hours after the accident when the two rival rafts, with the
stalwart young pilots at the sterns, swept around the Bend, traveling
“nip and tuck”. It promised to be an evenly matched race, barring
accidents, clear to Pittsburg. The skippers of the contending yachts for
the American Cup could not have been more enthused for their races than
were Andrew McMeans and Oscar Wellendorf.

In front of the McNamor homestead several women were to be seen running
up and down the grassy sward, frantically waving red and green shawls.
What could they mean? They were so vehement that Oscar divined something
was wrong, and steered ashore, followed by McMeans, who, noting the
absence of Anna from the signaling party, feared that a mishap had
befallen her.

Both young men jumped ashore almost simultaneously, leaving their rafts
to their helpers. The worst had happened–Anna was in the house with a
fractured skull, and the doctors said she could not live the night. If
anything, McMeans turned the paler of the two. The men said little as
they followed the women up the boardwalk to the house.

That night McMeans, who asked to be allowed to remain until the outcome
of the case, for the river had lost its attractions, was sitting in the
kitchen with Grandmother McClinton. The raw air had blown itself into a
gale after sundown, and during the night the fierce wind beat about the
eaves and corners of the house like an avenging fury. The old tall
clock, made years before by John Vanderslice, of Reading, on top of
which was a stuffed Colishay, or gray fox, with an uncommonly fine
brush, was striking twelve. Amid the storm a wailing voice joined in the
din, incessantly, so that there was no mistaking it, the Warning of the
McClintons.

[Illustration: RUINS OF FORT BARNET. BUILT IN 1740. (Photograph Taken
1895.)]

The old grandmother watched McMeans’ face until she saw that he
understood. Then she nodded to him. "It is strange how that thing has
followed the McClinton family for hundreds of years. In Scotland it was
their ‘Caointeach’, in Ireland their ‘Banshee’, in Pennsylvania their
‘Token’ or ‘Warning’. It never fails."

As McMeans listened to the terrible shrieks of anguish, which sometimes
drowned the storm, he shivered with pity for the lost soul out there in
the cold, giving the death message, so melancholy and sad, and perhaps
unwillingly. Anna lay upstairs in her room, facing the river, or
windward side of the house, and the Warning was evidently somewhere
below her window, where the water in waves like the sea, was
over-running the banks.

On a kitchen chair still lay a red Paisley shawl that had been used to
signal to Wellendorf earlier in the day. It seemed ample and warm.
Picking it up, McMeans went to the kitchen door, which he opened with
some effort in the force of the gale, and, walking around the house,
laid it on one of the benches at the front door, saying, “Put on this
shawl, and come around to the leeward side of the house.”

When he returned, he said to Grandmother McClinton, “That Token’s voice
touched me somehow tonight. Something tells me she hated her task, is
cold and miserable. I left the shawl on the front porch and told her to
come out of the wind.”

After that they both noticed that the unhappy wailings ceased, there was
nothing that vied with the storm.

“Perhaps you have laid her,” said Grandmother McClinton. “Anna may now
pull through.”

But these words were barely out of her mouth, when Oscar Wellendorf,
pale as a ghost, appeared in the kitchen to say that Anna had just
passed away. Andrew felt her death keenly, but he was also satisfied
that perhaps he had by an act of kindness, removed the Warning of the
McClintons. He was more convinced when a year later Anna’s father joined
the majority, then her mother, with no visits from the mournful-voiced
Warning.

Five years more rolled around, and Andrew McMeans, still unmarried, and
cherishing steadfastly the memory of his beloved Anna, embarked his
fleet for Pittsburg. It was a morning in the early spring, the air was
soft and warm, and the shad flies were flitting about. He arrived in
safety, but was some time collecting his money, as he was dealing with a
scamp, and meanwhile put up at a boarding house on the river front, near
the Hotel Boyer. The afternoon after his arrival he was sitting on the
porch of his lodgings, gazing out at the rushing, swirling river, which
ran bank full, on a bench similar in all ways to the one on which he had
laid the shawl to warm the freezing back of the Warning of the
McClintons. Somehow he fell to thinking about that ghost, and its
disappearance, and of Anna McNamor; how much he would give if only he
could see her again.

He recalled how the old grandmother had told him that some families
married out of the Warning, while others married into it, much as he had
heard was the case with the Assembly Ball in Philadelphia. The McClinton
Warning had evidently clung to the female line, as it had been very much
in evidence when Anna McNamor’s time had come.

Something made him look up the street. Coming slowly towards him was a
slender school girl, with a little green hat perched on her head, the
living image of Anna, dead for five years! He almost fell off the bench
in surprise, to note the same slim oval face, the aquiline features, and
hazel eyes that he had known and loved so well. She paused for a moment
in front of the house next door, holding her school books in her arms,
while she looked out at the raging river. The spring breezes blowing her
short skirts showed her slim legs encased in light brown worsted
stockings. Then she went indoors.

It did not take him long to seek his landlady and learn that she was a
flesh and blood, sure enough girl, Anna Harbord by name, whose mother,
widow of Mike Harbord, an old time riverman, also ran a boarding house.
It was not many days before some errand brought the girl to the house
where McMeans was stopping, and matters fortuitously adjusted themselves
so that he met her.

He was struck by her similarity to the dead girl, even the tones of her
voice, and it seemed strange she should have such a counterpart. She
appeared friendly disposed towards him from the start, and it was like a
compensation sent after all his years of disappointment and loneliness.
She was then sixteen years old, and must have been eleven when her
“double” passed away.

As their acquaintance grew into love, and all seemed so serene, as if it
was to be, Andrew McMeans gradually regaining his faith, human and
divine, felt he owed his happiness to the Warning of the McClintons’,
whose misery he had appeased by taking the cloak out to her, while
engaged in her disagreeable duty of fortelling the coming dissolution of
the unfortunate girl.

McMeans and Anna Harbord married. They decided to remain in Pittsburg,
and he became in a few years a successful and respected business man.

If few persons had been kind to ghosts, certainly he had profited by his
interest in the welfare of the “Warning of the McClintons”. The girl’s
mother informed him that in the early spring, about five years before,
her daughter had been seized with a cataleptic attack, had laid for days
unconscious, and when she came out of it, her entire personality, even
the color of her eyes, had changed. Could it have been, the young
husband often thought, as he sat gazing at his bride with undisguised
admiration, some act of the grateful “Warning,” in sending Anna
McNamor’s soul to enter the body of this girl in Pittsburg, and
reserving her for him, safe and sound from Wellendorf and all harm,
until his travels brought her across his path! Human personality, he
reasoned, is merely a means to an end. The unfinished life of Anna
McNamor could not go on, like a flower unfolding, until her fragrance
had been spent on the one who needed it most. Then he would shudder at
the idea that if the school girl, who stopped to look at the flooded
river, had started on again, passing him by, never to see her again. He
would feel that he had been dreaming perhaps, until, touching his wife’s
soft creamy cheeks, would realize that she was actually there, and his.

Through her his soul took on new light, and from a vigorous young
woodsman, he was slowly but surely passing into an intellectual
existence. He had been strangely favored by the mainsprings of destiny,
and why should he not give the world all that was best in him. Life,
ruthless though it seems, has always compensations, and if we live
rightly and truly, the debt will be owing us, whereas most of us through
mistakes and misdeeds, have a great volume of retribution coming in an
inevitable sequence.

                                  XXIV
                          _A Misunderstanding_


It was the night before Christmas in the little mountain church near
Wolfe’s Store. The small, low-roofed, raftered chapel was illumined as
brightly as coal oil lamps in the early stage of their development could
do it; a hemlock tree, decked out with candles and tinsel stood to one
side of the altar, an almost red-hot ten-plate stove on the other, while
the chancel and rafters were twined and garlanded with ground pine and
ilex, or winter berries. In one of the rear pews sat a very good looking
young couple, a former school teacher revisiting the valley, and his
favorite pupil. Lambert Girtin and Elsie Vanneman were their names.

The young man, who was a veteran of the Civil War, possessed the right
to wear the Congressional medal, and while teaching at the little red
school house on the pike near the road leading to Gramley’s Gap, had
noticed and admired the fair Elsie, so different from the rest of his
flock. She was the daughter of a prosperous lumberman, a jobber in
hardwoods, and her mother was above the average in intelligence and
breeding, yet Elsie in all ways transcended even her parents.

She had seemed like a mere child when he left her at the close of the
term the previous Christmas, but he could not evict her image from his
soul. It was mainly to see her, though he would have admitted this to no
one, that induced him to revisit the remote valley during the following
holiday season. The long drive in the stage through drifted roads had
seemed nothing to him, he was so elated at the thought of reviving old
memories at the sight of this most beloved of pupils.

In order not to arouse any one’s suspicions, he did no more than to
inquire how she was at the general store and boarding house where he
stopped.

“You would never know her,” exclaimed old Mother Wolfe, the landlady.
“Why, she’s a regular young lady, grown a head taller,” making a gesture
with her hand to denote her increased stature.

On Christmas Eve there was to be the usual entertainment at the Union
Church, and Lambert Girtin posted himself outside the entrance to wait
for the object of his dreams. The snow was drifted deep, and it was
bitterly cold, yet social events were so rare in the mountains that
almost every one braved the icy blasts to be present. It was not long
before he was rewarded by a sight of Elsie Vanneman. It _was_ remarkable
how tall she’d grown! As he expressed it to himself, “An opening bud
became a rose full-blown” in one short year!

She of course recognized him, and greeted him warmly, and they entered
the church together. Inside by the lamplight he had a better chance to
study her appearance more in detail than by the cold starlight on the
church steps. She had grown until she was above the middle height, yet
had literally taken her figure and her grace with her. She was slender,
yet shapely, dainty and graceful in the extreme. Her violet eyes were
even more deeply pensive than of yore, her cheeks were pink and white,
her lips red and slightly full. Her hair was a golden or coppery brown,
and shone like those precious metals in the reflected light of the lamps
and the stove; the slight upward turn of her nose still remained.

How demure, earnest and sincere she was! In the intervening year he had
never seen her like in Bellefonte, Altoona or Pittsburg. She seemed to
be happy to be with him again, minus the restraint existing between a
pupil and teacher. Instinctively their fingers touched, and they held
hands during most of the evening.

Towards the end of the sermon, which was long and loud, and gave the
young couple plenty of opportunity to advance their love making
unnoticed, Girtin whispered to her: “Have you an escort home, dear
Elsie?”

The answer was a hesitating “Yes.”

The young man felt his heart give a jolt, then almost stop throbbing,
and an instant hatred of some unknown rival made his blood boil
furiously. How could she act that way? She had, even as his pupil, been
indifferent to all of the opposite sex except him, and during the period
of their separation her sprightly letters had borne evidence of tender
sentiments, to the utter exclusion of all others. Had he not believed in
her, he would not have taken that long journey back into the mountains,
that many might have been glad to quit for good. Her beauty and her
grace had haunted him, and he had determined to wed her, until this sign
of duplicity had been sprung on him. Of course she did not know he was
coming, and had made the fatal arrangements before; yet, if she cared
for him as he did for her, she would not be making engagements with the
boys, especially at her tender age.

He tried to console himself by noticing a shade of regret flit over her
blushing face after she said the fateful words, but until the close of
services he was ill at ease and scarcely opened his mouth. At the
benediction he managed to stammer “Good evening,” and was out of the
church in the frosty starlight night before any one else.

With long strides he walked up the snowy road ahead of the crowd who had
followed him. The sky was very clear, and the North Star, “The Three
Kings,” or Jacob’s Rake, Job’s Coffin, and other familiar
constellations, were glimmering on the drifted snow. Instead of
observing the stars, had he looked back he would have seen that the
“escort” she referred to was none other than a girl friend, Katie Moyer,
and both, Elsie in particular, would have been only too happy to have a
sturdy male companion to see them through the snow banks.

As a result of his disappearance, Elsie was as unhappy and silent as
Girtin had been, as she floundered about in the drifts. Despite her
gentle, sunny nature, she was decidedly out of sorts when she reached
home at the big white house near the Salt Spring. She gave monosyllabic
answers to her parents in response to their queries as to how she had
enjoyed the long-looked for Christmas entertainment. She did not sleep
at all that night, but tossed about the bed, keeping her friend awake,
and on Christmas Day was in a rebellious mood. Her mother reminded her
how ungrateful she was to be so tearful and sullen in the face of so
many blessings and gifts.

There was no stage or sleigh out of the valley on Christmas Day, else
Girtin would have departed. He moped about all day, telling those who
asked the matter that he was ill. Elsie, knowing that he was still in
the valley, hoped up to bedtime that he would at least come to pay her a
brief Christmas call, but supper over, and no signs of him, she was
uncivil to her mother to such a degree that her friend openly said that
she was ashamed of her.

Though Katie and she were rooming together, it did not deter her mother,
goaded by the remarks of the younger children to visit her room while
they were undressing, saying “that she deserved a good dose of the gad,”
and, ordering her to lay face downward on the bed, administered a good,
old-fashioned spanking with the flax-paddle. After this humiliating
chastisement in the presence of her friend, the unhappy girl cried and
sobbed until morning.

It was a wretched ending for what might have been a memorable Christmas
for Lambert Girtin and Elsie Vanneman.

The next morning the young man managed to hire a cutter and was driven
to Bellefonte, leaving the valley with deep regrets. Through friends in
the valley he learned afterwards that Elsie had gone as a missionary to
China.

Life ran smoothly in some ways for Lambert Girtin, for he became
uniformly successful as a business man. The oil excitement was at its
height, and he was sent by a large general supply house in Pittsburg to
open a store in Pithole City, “the Magic City,” to the success of which
he contributed so much that he was given an interest in the concern.

At heart he was not happy. He could never focus his attentions on any
woman for long, as in the background he always saw the slender form, the
blushing face, the pansy-like eyes and the copper-brown, wavy hair of
his mountain sweetheart, Elsie Vanneman. Her loveliness haunted him, and
all others paled beside her. He was in easy circumstances to marry;
friends less opulent were taking wives and building showy homes with
Mansard roofs, along the outskirts of the muddy main thoroughfare of
Pithole City, where landscape gardening often consisted of charred,
blackened pine stumps and abandoned oil derricks.

Sometimes, in his spiritual loneliness, he betook himself to strange
companions. One of these was a Chinese laundryman, a prototype of Bret
Harte’s then popular “Heathen Chinee,” who seemed to be a learned
individual, despite his odd appearance. Girtin, who had read of the
exploits of the Fox sisters and other exponents of early spiritualism,
was unprepared for the learning and insight possessed by this
undistinguished Celestial.

Drawn to him at first because he could possibly tell about conditions in
China, where Elsie was supposed to be, he became gradually more and more
absorbed by the laundryman’s philosophic speculations. The fellow
confided at length that he was married, and had five children at
Tien-Tsin, to whom he was deeply attached. He would have died of a
broken heart to be so far away from them but for the power he had
developed by concentrating on the image of his native mountains, which
yearning was reciprocated, and at night he claimed that his spirit was
drawn out of his body and “hopped” half the span of the globe to the
side of his loved ones. There must be something after all in the old
Scotch quotation, “Oh, for my strength, once more to see the hills.”

Girtin expressed a strong desire to be initiated into these compelling
mysteries. In order to cultivate his psychic sense, the Chinaman induced
him to smoke opium, which, while repellent to Girtin, he undertook in
order to reach his desired object. If he had been a man of any mental
equilibrium, he would have secured a leave of absence from business and
gone to China and claimed the fair Elsie, if she was still unmarried. He
would not do that because he was still tortured by the memory of her
preferring another at the moment when his hopes had been highest, yet he
wanted to see her, hoping that he could do so without her knowing it.

The results attained were beyond his expectations. He quickly mastered
his soul and “hopped” to the interior of China. Elsie was there,
surrounded by her classes; at twenty-one more wondrously lovely and
beautiful than when he had parted from her that frosty night, with the
Dipper and Jacob’s Rake shining so clearly in the heavens.

Though there were many missionaries and foreign officials who would have
courted her, her dignity and quiet reserve were impenetrable. Was she so
because of the love for the youth who was to escort her home from church
that night, or did she cherish the memory of her whilom schoolmaster
admirer? These were the thoughts that annoyed him by day, the “hang
over” of his spiritual adventures at night.

The opium and the intense mental concentration were taking a lot out of
him. He became sallow and irritable, and neglected many business
opportunities. One of the head partners of the firm in Pittsburg was
going to Pithole City “to have it out with him,” as the mountain folks
would say. Before he could reach the scene word was telegraphed that
Lambert Girtin, frightfully altered in appearance, was found dead one
morning in a bunk back of the Charley Wah Laundry at Pithole.

He had no relatives in the town, and his sisters, who could not come on,
telegraphed to bury him in the new Mount Moriah Cemetery, now all
overgrown and abandoned, like Pithole itself! There could be no doubt as
to his death, as Bill Brewer, just coming into fame as the “Hick
Preacher,” officiated at the obsequies. So Lambert Girtin was quickly
forgotten in most all quarters. If he was remembered for a time, it was
in the remote valley in which he had taught school, and where news of
his early demise occasioned profound regret.

Years passed, and Elsie Vanneman, after giving some of the best years of
her life to missionary activities in various parts of China, resigned
her position, in consequence of a shattered nervous system, caused by
overwork during a great earthquake, where she ministered to thousands of
refugees, and started for home. Her parents had died while she was in
the “Celestial Kingdom,” but she had a number of brothers and sisters
who were glad to welcome her, and with whom she planned a round of
visits.

She was only thirty when she returned, a trifle paler and a few small
lines around her mouth, but otherwise a picture of saintliness and
loveliness. One of the first bits of news she heard on reaching the
valley was of the ignominious end of Lambert Girtin in a Chinese
laundryman’s shack–"a promising career cut short," all allowed.

It was shocking to Elsie, as she had dreamed of this young man nearly
every night from a certain period of her stay in China. She was on the
street during the great quake, and as the earth cracked and swallowed
countless victims, she fancied she saw a European, the counterpart of
Girtin, plunged into the deadly abyss. She had come home with the
intention of learning definite news of him, and if he was not the
earthquake victim, and still lived, perhaps to renew their old-time
interests.

She had been so upset by his failure to call, or even to write, after
the Christmas eve at the little country church, that she had never
communicated with him again. Her dreams had been most vividly realistic,
as if he had been really near to her in China, and she could not make
herself believe that he was dead in Pithole City, Pennsylvania.

Owing to this piece of bad news, she did not remain as long in the
valley as she had planned, and almost from the day of her arrival had
pined to be back in the Far East. The valley seemed dull, anyway;
saw-mills were making it as treeless as China; she hated to see Luther
Guisewhite destroy those giant original white pines, which reared their
black-topped spiral heads along the foot of the mountains on the winter
side; the wild pigeons no longer darkened the sky with their impressive
flights, the flying squirrels were being shot out in Fulmer’s Sink, near
her old home; her parents were gone–everything was different.

Unsettled and dissatisfied, especially after a visit to the girl who had
accompanied her home on the eventful Christmas Eve, now the mother of
eight handsome children, she decided to return to China. The vast herds
of buffaloes that had impeded the progress of her train on her first
journey westward were gone. The Indians who occasionally furnished a
touch of color to the prairie landscape, likewise had disappeared.
Civilization was spreading through the Great West.

She timed her arrival in San Francisco so as to be there shortly after
the arrival of a ship from China, so as to go back on its return
journey. She would have several days to wait in the City of the Golden
Gate but it was quaint and picturesque, the time would pass quickly.

One evening–she was not afraid, as she knew the language and customs of
the Celestials–she decided to take a stroll through the famous Chinese
Quarter. As she was walking along, her head down, her mind abstracted
and noticing little, some one touched her on the arm. Looking around, as
if to resent a familiarity, to her bewilderment she beheld her long-lost
friend, Lambert Girtin.

“Lambert Girtin!” she said, in amazed tones.

“Elsie Vanneman–it is surely you?” he replied.

“Of all people, after all these years! I had been hearing that you died
five years ago in the oil regions somewhere; what _are_ you doing?”

The ex-schoolmaster took hold of both of her hands, there in the
crowded, moving throngs of Chinatown, saying: “I came in from China
today, after what I thought was a hopeless search for you. Years ago,
after our separation, a Chinaman showed me how to visit China in my
dreams, and be close to you. It took a whole lot of mental
concentration, was pulling me down physically. I kept it up too long,
for one night I dreamed I was in a terrible earthquake. It was so vivid
that my physical as well as my spiritual being was translated to China,
and I found myself there penniless. But, search as I may, I could not
find you. If I died in the oil regions, it must have been another
physical self, shed as a snake does his skin, for the Lambert Girtin who
stands before you is fully alive, and resolved never to part from you
again.”

[Illustration:

  JESSE LOGAN, PENNSYLVANIA INDIAN CHIEF
  (Photograph Taken 1915 by P. C. Hockenberry)
]

Old memories came to Elsie Vanneman, conquering her fears, and her face
flushed as in schoolgirl days: "You speak of our ‘separation’–pray, tell
me more about it; why did you leave me so abruptly and run away that
Christmas Eve after meeting? I could never understand why you did not
even come to wish me a ‘Merry Christmas’ the next day. Why didn’t you
ever write me a line? What did I do to merit such neglect?"

“What did _you_ do?” replied Girtin, drawing her aside from the passing
stream of pig-tailed humanity into a shadowy doorway. “It doesn’t seem
very serious now, but it hurt me a whole lot at the time. You told me
you had an engagement with some one to see you in from church, and I was
angry and jealous, for I had been imagining that your thoughts had only
been of me, that you cared for no one else.” “replied the girl with
alacrity.

Girtin turned as pale as death; his sufferings, mental and physical, his
wanderings, physical and actual, his wasted years, all had been caused
by a misunderstanding. He was at a loss for words for some time, but he
held on to Elsie’s hands, looking into her beautiful, ethereal face, the
vari-colored light of a Chinese lantern shining down on her coppery-gold
hair.

“Do you care for me at all, _now_?” he said, at length.

“Yes, I think I do; I must, or I would not have came back all the way
from China to hunt _you_,” she answered.

“Then we have both suffered,” he said, sadly. “What shall we do now?”
“she said.

“That’s where I want to go,” he replied, “if I can ever live down that
dying story in Pithole City.” “said Elsie. "There was a case in our
valley of a soldier reported as killed at Gettysburg; they sent his body
home, began paying his widow a pension; she married a former sweetheart,
and then, worse than ‘Enoch Arden,’ he appeared as if from the grave. He
had no explanations to make, and our mountain people asked no questions,
all having faith in supernatural things. Neither will I ask any of you.
I have seen too much in the east to make me disbelieve anything, or that
we can die two or three times under stress of circumstances, shedding
our physical selves–to use your words–as snakes do their skins. I am
only happy I did not marry some one else, as I was tempted to do when I
imagined you were engulfed in the earthquake."

That night in Chinatown for once a misunderstanding ended happily.

                                  XXV
                           _A Haunted House_


When Billy Cloyd prospered in the lumber and milling business, he
determined to erect a mansion overlooking the arrowy waters of the
Sinnemahoning that would reflect not only his success, but the social
status of his family as well. Accordingly Williamsport architects who
made a specialty of erecting houses for the wealthy lumbermen of that
community were commissioned to prepare plans for what was to be the
grandest private dwelling on the outposts of civilization, a structure
which would outdo the already famous club house built for the use of the
stockholders of the Philadelphia Land Company at Snow Shoe, or the
offices of the agents of the Queen of Spain at Reveltown and Scootac.

The result was a large, square house, along Colonial lines, with a
spacious doorway, above which was a transom of antique colored glass
brought all the way from the home of one of his ancestors at Old
Carlisle. Windows were numerous, commanding views up and down the
beautiful, billowy stream, then teeming with fish and aquatic bird life.

The surrounding mountains were covered with virgin pine forests, while
the great hemlocks, oaks and birches hung over the water’s edge. There
was a clearing in which the mansion stood, the chief feature of which
was an old-fashioned garden of carefully laid design, with plenty of
columbine, called by the mountain folks “church bells,” and eglantine,
with boxwoods from the “Quaker City,” purchased from the heirs of
“Eaglesfield.”

The dark forest came to the back of the garden, and stood black in the
gorge of Mill Creek near the projected flouring and fulling mills, to
the east of the mansion; the ever-busy saw-mill, the chief symbol of the
prosperity of Castlecloyd, as the domain was called, was situated near
the mouth of the creek. There was barely a distance of two hundred yards
from the sloping banks of the Sinnemahoning to where the forest and the
steep mountains began, consequently the mansion, mills, workshops,
stables and mill hands’ and woodsmen’s houses were all close together.

Along the water’s edge carpenters were steadily at work building arks
and flats which carried the products of the mills to the terminus of the
railroad at Lock Haven, or to Sunbury or Harrisburg.

Now all is changed. The view from the portico and the lawn of
Castlecloyd is upon a stream flowing with a liquid the color and texture
of ink, frowning with fine yellow bubbles; not, a living fish has been
seen, according to the present occupant of the premises, the venerable
Seth Nelson, Jr., since 1899, when the paper mill at Austin sent down
its first installment of vile pollution. Then the fish leaped on the
shore in frightful agony, dying out of water, but away from the
insidious poisoning of the acids.

The water birds are gone; they cannot drink the polluted water, and give
the region a wide berth. Instead of cooling zephyrs, when the wind blows
off the creek towards the house, there comes a stench worse than a
week-old battlefield in Flanders.

No forests of virgin timber are to be seen, if you strain your eyes
looking up or down stream, nothing but charred, brown wastes, the
aftermath of killing forest fires which followed the lumbering
operations. Here and there on some inaccessible cliff a lone original
white pine or hemlock has its eyrie, but even there the fires are
finding them, and they are all scorched and shaky at the butts, and go
down easily in sharp gales. Altar Rock, famed in song and story, still
has one pine standing on its top, but it is dead, and will soon share
the fate of its mate, which was blown down over twenty years ago.

The entire scene is one of loneliness and desolation, yet a quiet,
peaceful home for the octogenarian hunter Nelson and his devoted and
equally aged sister. How different all this from what it was in the
hey-day of prosperous Billy Cloyd! The hum of the mills, the busy teams
of horses and ox-spans bringing in the logs, the carpenters and boatmen,
the large family of the successful woodsman, their guests, and the
hunters and surveyors who often made the house their headquarters.

It was at the time that the line of the Sunbury and Erie Railroad was
being surveyed from Rattlesnake, now Whetham, to Erie, and one surveying
crew was quartered at Castlecloyd. A few weeks earlier Dr. J. T.
Rothrock had stopped there, but was now further west, camping with Mike
Long, the wolf hunter, in the midst of a great deer and pigeon country
in Elk County.

Those were days of reckless waste of our natural resources, according to
the good Doctor. One of the surveyors, so as not to have to curve his
line, ordered that three giant original white pines be cut. All the
stumps were measured by Dr. Rothrock and averaged considerably over six
feet in diameter. They were, of course, left to rot in the woods,
thousands of feet of lumber of priceless value today!

Philip L. Webster, who died a few years ago in Littletown, now Bradford,
was also a member of one of these surveying parties on Elk Creek, a
branch of the Clarion River; on one occasion he saw four elks together,
in a swale.

As “Buffalo Bill” had been the professional hunter for the Northern
Pacific engineering crews, Jim Jacobs, “The Seneca Bear Hunter,” was
attached to Mr. Webster’s organization in the same capacity. Instead of
bison roasts, Jacobs was to furnish fresh elk steaks, and he kept the
surveyors, axmen and chain-carriers supplied with plenty of it all
summer long.

The members of the party billeted at Castlecloyd were composed of young
Philadelphia gentlemen, sons of prospective stockholders in the new
railroad, finely educated, traveled youths, whose love of adventure had
been fired by the deeds of their colleagues, the Brothers Kane. One of
them stood out more brilliantly than the rest for his scholarly
attainments and poetic nature. He was young Wayne Stewardson, scion of a
distinguished Quaker house of that name, and probably connected with the
family who owned the lands on Kettle Creek, once occupied by Ole Bull.

The young man had been educated at the university in his native city,
and in Europe. His early upbringing had been in great cities, and his
sentimental tastes came out in a peculiar admiration of spires,
chimneys, towers, stacks, vanes, arched roofs, corbels and crockets. He
would wander for hours just at evening watching the skyline in the
changing light, peopling the growing shadows with all manner of
grotesque shapes and chimeras. His love of shadowland was so great that
he fell naturally to cutting charming silhouettes of his friends, his
likeness of the lovelorn and ill-fated Dr. E. K. Kane being highly
prized.

His visit to the Sinnemahoning Country was his first induction into the
heart of nature, and his admiration of man’s handicraft as exemplified
in minarets and high gables softened to a deep reverence for the spiral,
columnar forms of the giant pines as they serrated the skyline of the
Allegheny summits.

There was a bench between two red maple trees, on the bank of the
Sinnemahoning, just in front of Castlecloyd, where he would sit after
supper, watching the crimson sunset reflected in the stream, with the
dusky shapes of the ancient trees athwart, and the sky gradually
becoming less of rose and more of mother-of-pearl, behind the sentinel
pines on the comb of the mountains beyond Birch Island. It was more
beautiful than anything he had ever seen in cities, in its sheer
ferocious wildness.

One evening, on hearing a woman’s voice humming an old tune, he looked
around, beholding Cloyd’s pretty daughter sitting, watching the
afterglow from the portal of the classic doorway. Her knees were
crossed, revealing pretty, plump little legs, encased in blue cotton
stockings. His first thought at seeing her was to recall Poe’s youthful
lines, “Helen Thy Beauty is to Me.” Previously he had not noticed her
much, except that she seemed more than ordinarily good-looking and
refined, for the drudge’s life she was living. Now that, like himself,
she was a person who took notice of her surroundings, she must be
different, he thought, and have a soul more in keeping with her lovely
appearance.

When she saw that he had observed her, instead of jumping up and running
into the house and slamming the door, like some crude backwoods girl
might have done, she came forward and stood leaning against one of the
red maples, and chatted pleasantly about the wonderful scenery.

It was a blissful experience for Stewardson, and as he had hardly spoken
to a girl for a month, was in a particularly susceptible mood. He
studied her appearance minutely. She was probably a trifle under the
middle height, very delicately made, with chestnut hair and eyes of
wondrous golden amber. Her skin was transparently white, and the
delicate peach-blow color in her cheeks was too hectic to betoken good
health. But the outstanding feature was the nose, the most beautiful
nose he had ever seen, the bridge slightly aquiline, yet a sudden
shortness at the tip that transcended the retrousse. She was modest and
simple, reticence being her chief trait, as she told about the deer
which often took harbor in the stream, in front of where they were, when
pursued by dogs.

She said that she had been christened Marie Asterie, but was generally
called by her second name, though the first was shorter and easier to
pronounce.

Just as they were becoming nicely acquainted, a young woodsman, whom she
introduced as Oscar Garis, put in an appearance, and the two walked away
together, leaving Stewardson still meditating on the bench. Evidently
they were lovers, thought the young surveyor, and when he looked out on
Sinnemahoning, the light was gone–the water ran dark and menacing.

Though he had noticed the girl’s unusual nose the first time he saw her,
he had been too busy to become well acquainted, but he recalled that she
occupied a small interior room, just off where he slept, in the
second-floor lobby. He had seen her go upstairs to retire every night,
but proximity had meant nothing to him, so deeply had he been imbued
with ideas of class. Tonight it would be different.

He walked around a while longer, watching the bats flit hither and
thither, and listening to the plaintive calling of the whippoorwills,
then he went indoors and joined his fellow surveyors in the lobby. He
kept watching the clock and watching the door for Asterie to return,
amusing himself trying to cut her marvellous profile, the like of which
King Henry VIII or King Arthur may have admired, for she was evidently a
“throw back” to some archaic type. It was always the rule for the men to
remain downstairs until the women had retired, and on this occasion they
were all yawning but Stewardson, waiting for Asterie, who was the last
to come in, close to ten o’clock.

Garis seemed indifferent to her, but it was the negligence of bad
manners rather than lack of interest. This gave Stewardson a chance to
light her fat lamp for her, and she closed the door and went upstairs.
When the young surveyor and his companion ascended the stairs, he noted
the rays of light from her room, streaming from the crack beneath her
door. The night after the lights were out, and his friends asleep, he
drew his mattress nearly to her door, repeating to himself the lines of
Horace’s Ode X, in Book III:

            “O Lyce, didst thou like Tanais,
            Wed to some savage, what a pity ’tis
            For me to lie on such a night as this
                Before your door,
            My feet exposed where haunting north winds hiss,
                And angry roar.”

The concluding lines of which were:

            “O thou as hard as oak no storm can break,
            As pitiless as Mauritanian snake,
            Not thus forever can I lie and quake,
                Nor thus remain
            Before thy threshold, for thy love’s sweet sake,
                Soaked by the rain.”

But it wasn’t a terrible night, only a fairly chilly one in early June,
with all the stars out, and Asterie’s worst offense was that she was
“keeping company” with another!

The young man could not sleep all night and wondered if the girl was
similarly afflicted, as the light continued to burn; or maybe she was
only like many mountain people, and slept with a night-light, for no
sound came from her tiny apartment. After that night his pleasures at
Castlecloyd were ended. He loved the fair and fragile girl, whom he
hated to see working so hard, so patient and so misunderstood. He
dreaded the thought of her inevitable marriage to Garis, a rough, common
fellow of no refinement. He could not think of courting her himself as
his family had never in ten generations been declasse. There was nothing
to do but to sigh in vain, and watch that light coming from beneath her
door. And on nights when the wind howled, and the rain beat about the
roof, or some particularly hard gust sent a few cold drops pattering
through a crack in the shingles, on his face, he found consolation by
reciting to himself the lament of Horace in his Ode X. But he did
present her with her silhouette, which she blushingly accepted, and on
several occasions when she sang at the organ, complimented her on her
sweet contralto voice.

In the autumn when the red maples had cast the last of their leaves, and
the pines and hemlocks looked the blacker in contrast, Stewardson’s
particular work was done, and he prepared to return to Philadelphia.
John Smoke, aged Seneca, professional hunter of the outfit, agreed to
take him and one of his chums to Rattlesnake in a birchbark canoe. Seth
Iredell Nelson, another hunter, would take two more of the young men in
another canoe. Asterie was on the leaf-strewn bank to see them depart,
dressed in her best pink denham frock, and cherry colored peach-basket
straw bonnet. It made him resentful to watch Garis put his arm on her
shoulder as the canoes shoved away, to the tune of old Smoke’s Seneca
chant.

Billy Cloyd himself was not present; he excused himself as not feeling
well, and Went upstairs shortly after breakfast. On the journey old
Smoke confided to his passengers the cause of the landlord’s backward
conduct. A black calf had been born the night before; whenever one
appeared in the family it brought bad luck; that had been a belief with
Cloyd’s people even in the remote days when they lived in the “old
country.”

Then the aged Indian told the legend of how the redmen came to the
American continent. They had been driven eastward by famines until they
came to a great sea, across which they found a narrow strip of land,
which they crossed. They came to a country teeming with game, and made
themselves at home, wandering great distances to enjoy the chase and
visit the natural wonders.

Later they decided to revisit their old home, but the sea had washed
over the strip of land, and their canoes were not stout enough to breast
the angry waves.

Stewardson listened to this and other old tales in a half-abstracted
way; his thoughts were back with Asterie Cloyd; she with that wonderful,
impossible-to-silhouette nose, her sweet voice, and quiet, restful
manner. He did not marry any of the stately Junoesque beauties whom he
knew, upon returning to Philadelphia, but became critical of the fair
sex, and shunned their company whenever possible. About two years later
the Civil War broke out, and being intimately acquainted with the Kane
family, he hurried to Harrisburg, and the genial “Colonel Tom” gave him
a commission in his 1st Rifle Regiment, soon to win deathless fame under
the name of “Bucktails.”

One evening in camp Colonel Kane and Captain Stewardson were sitting
before their tents, stroking their long fair beards, for it was the aim
of every young soldier to be the most shaggily hirsute. The Colonel was
telling of his memorable trip on rafts from McKean County to Harrisburg
with his recruits and how he spent a night with a man named Garis, who
had acted like a copperhead, and though an expert rifleman, declined to
enlist. “Yet he had ample cause to be out of sorts” continued the
Colonel. “He had lately buried his wife, who, from all accounts, was an
exceptionally pretty girl, one of Billy Cloyd’s daughters.”

If he had watched Stewardson’s face carefully, he would have seen it
growing paler, even in the camp fire’s ruddy glow, beneath that mighty
beard.

“Cloyd, who before the girl’s marriage, had lost his wife,” continued
Colonel Kane, "went up Bennett’s Branch, to take out spars, and started
to clear a farm on the mountain top, and build an even more ambitious
mansion. Garis told me that the old man had recently sold the whole
property, including the timber, to William E. Dodge of New York, who
intends naming it after the President, the ‘Lincoln Farm’, and using it
for a private summer resort."

Captain Stewardson did not care to hear more; as soon as he could
consistently excuse himself from his commanding officer, he did so, and
wandered off among the pines, inwardly moaning.

In the early part of 1864, as the result of wounds, he was given an
indefinite sick leave, but instead of going home, he resolved to visit
Asterie’s grave.

The railroad was completed to Renovo, and the ties were down, ready for
the rails, almost to Erie. A mail carrier on horseback travelled from
Renovo to the backwoods settlements of Sinnemahoning and Driftwood, and
hiring an extra horse, the now Major Stewardson arranged to accompany
him. They had not ridden far through the snowy road when the mail man,
Wallis Gakle, began telling about the Haunted House, Billy Cloyd’s old
place that they would pass. “Nobody’s lived there,” he said, “since
Oscar Garis moved out in the summer of ’61, after burying that pretty
wife of his. They say he worked her to death, making her do all the
cooking for all the lumber and mill crews, and was always after her to
do more; he literally hounded the poor little child to death.”

Then he went on to tell how towards nightfall people were afraid to go
past the deserted house for the awful screaming and yelling, like a
woman in torment, that came from the upper rooms. Travellers never went
on that side of the creek, unless in parties of four or five together,
preferring to follow the right-of-way of the railroad across the creek,
but even there they could hear the shrieks and moaning. Some were even
hinting that Garis, who had gone to live with his late father-in-law on
the Clarion, had in a fit of temper murdered his wife. At the time it
was said that she had died of lung trouble.

All this was interesting to the young soldier, and he next inquired
where the poor girl was buried.

“She’s lying on the hillside, overlooking the meeting of the First Fork
and the Driftwood Branch, a beautiful spot, but it’s cold and bleak
under the pines when the country is covered with snow.”

Just beyond the present town of Westport, Gakle and Stewardson fell in
with two hunters tramping along on snowshoes with their dogs, headed for
the panther country. They were the veteran Nimrod Jake Hamersley and a
young hunter named Art Vallon.

“Glad to meet you, gentlemen,” said old Jake, half joking; “we wanted a
little bolstering up before passing the haunted house.” “said Gakle, “I
am never afraid, but my horse rears like one of the deil’s own buckies
when he hears those dreadful screams. I always try to get by before
dark, for they say the racket is a lot worse after sundown.”

As the party wended its way along the narrow trail by the river’s edge,
all manner of hunting and ghost stories were recounted. All were in an
eerie frame of mind, as with the rays of the setting sun shining in
their faces, they neared the deserted Castlecloyd. The deep woods
screened the clearings and gardens, but long before they came in view a
melancholy wailing, like a woman tortured by fiends, echoed through the
aisles of the primeval forest.

“I guess we’ll have to face it,” said the mail carrier, "but four man
sized men, and a like number of varmint hounds ought to be able to
‘rassle’ any spook."

As they neared the house, the setting sun tinted to the brilliancy of
the stained glass of some mediaeval cathedral the vari-coloured lights
above the classic portal. They noticed that the door stood open. From an
upper room came the doleful groans and lamentations.

“What’s those tracks?” said the keen-eyed young Vallon, who had run on
ahead with the dogs.

Coming up the bank from the ice-bound Sinnemahoning, crossing the trail,
and entering the mansion by the front door, were huge round footmarks
like those of some mammoth cat. “Painter, painter” they all cried, as
they looked at them, while the dogs, knowing well the ferocity of the
Pennsylvania Lion, slunk about their master’s feet.

All wanted to go indoors, and no one cared to mind the horses. They tied
the jaded beasts to the red maple trees, on either side of Major
Stewardson’s one-time favorite resting place. Gakle had an old-time,
flint-lock horse pistol that had been carried by David Lewis, the
Robber, when he was wounded on the First Fork; Stewardson had his army
pistol, while the two hunters had their flint-lock Lancaster rifles.

They followed the tracks into the lobby, and by the snow and mud left on
the floor, to the staircase, which they ascended. Stewardson’s eyes fell
on the green-painted door of the little room once occupied by his
beloved, which was ajar. He rushed forward, pistol in hand, and pushed
it wide open.

On the bed, a small affair of the four poster type which he had never
viewed before, the scene of the fair Asterie’s vigils, stood a great
lithe, lean pantheress, clawing the counterpane and mattress with all
four feet, and beating her fluffy tail with a regular rhythm against the
headboard. In her mouth was a huge rat, bleeding, which she had lately
captured.

Before he could recover from his amazement and shoot, the greycoated
monster sprang over the foot-board, and through the window, carrying the
sash with her. The other men appeared just in time to see the brute’s
long tail disappearing through the casement.

Quickly turning, they seized the dogs by their collars and pushed them
down the narrow winding stairs. Outside, in the fading light, the spoor
could be seen at the side of the house where the lioness bounded over
the lawn, and down the bank, and crossed the stream on the ice.

The dogs took up the scent, and were away, the hunters following gamely.
The baying of the hounds echoed and re-echoed through the narrow valley;
by their volume the quarry was not far ahead. The snow was deep and very
soft in the woods, and it was getting very dark. Perhaps the chase would
have to be abandoned, and the panther or spook, whichever it was, got
away after all.

Soon the barking of the dogs indicated that the beast had been run to
cover. It was just at dark when the hunters saw the pantheress crouched
in a rock oak at the forks, on the steep, stony face of the Keating
Mountain, with the dogs leaping up frantically, the monster feline
hissing and growling savagely.

Jake Hamersley was selected to give the death shot, “taking” the brute
between the eyes. She fell with a thud, and with a few convulsive kicks,
expired on the snow. Major Stewardson built a military campfire while
Hamersley and Vallon carefully skinned the carcass, and fed the flesh to
the dogs. The Nimrods offered the hide to the young Major as a trophy,
but he declined with thanks. He could not bear to have such a
remembrance of a creature that had disported itself so recently on his
loved one’s little four poster bed. Perhaps it had partaken of her
spirit, from absorbing the environment where she had pined away to
death.

He only wanted to visit her grave, above the meeting of the waters, to
drop there a few tears, a part of the boundless water of life. His heart
would always be a Haunted House.

It was verging on the “witching hour,” and an ugly winter drizzle had
begun to fall, as the triumphant hunters ascended the soggy bank, and
stood before the portals of Castlecloyd, undecided as to whether they
should bivouac there until morning. Major Stewardson was muttering to
himself the concluding lines of that Ode of Horace,

            “Not thus forever can I lie and quake,
                Nor thus remain,
            Before thy threshold for thy love’s sweet sake,
                Soaked by the rain.”

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           Transcriber’s Note

Compound words that are hyphenated on a line or page break retain the
hyphen if warranted by the preponderance of mid-line instances of the
same word elsewhere. Where hyphenation is inconsistent in mid-line
occurrences, the text is given here as printed.

There are numerous instances of commas appearing as full stops, which we
attribute to the printing process (vi.6, vii.31, 16.5, 26.1, 30.25,
46.2, 108.4, 114.30, 115.23, 121.18, 292.11, 350.27).

Errors deemed most likely to be the printer’s have been corrected, and
are noted below. Where the apparent error occurs in quoted text, we
defer to the text as printed.

The references are to the page and line in the original.

  v.5      to issue no [no ]more books                    Removed.

  vii.28   the meanings of the book may be arrived at[.]  Added.

  34.7     but the brid[g]egroom was well to do           Removed.

  37.29    [“]That’s enough of your drivel, Adam,”        Added.

  40.11    betwe[e]n the Wyandots and allied nations      Inserted.

  40.15    the handsomest of the es[oc/co]rt              Transposed.

  44.22    The [The ]fact that it is a Prostrate Tree     Removed.

  46.7     Surveying the [gorey] scene                    _sic_

  47.19    fall to the ground outside the st[a/o]ckade.   Replaced.

  47.27    had been gr[i]eviously hurt                    Inserted.

  49.7     I am glad that our enemies were beaten and     Added.
           annihilated.[”]

  52.19    we sh[a/o]uld mention                          Replaced.

  53.22    was a decrepit old man.[”]                     Added.

  55.18    make the house “general hea[r/d]quarters”      Replaced.

  58.20    the exigencies of his strenuous c[o/a]mpaigns  Replaced.

  58.28    which his wea[l]th had enabled him to purchase Inserted.

  65.6     [s/S] said she herself was dead                Replaced.

  65.23    that in ten years he [r/h]ad sold              Replaced.

  71.7     The Elma Hacker of those days had a            Replaced.
           swee[a/t]heart

  72.14    to keep on good terms with the in[n]keeper’s   Inserted.
           family

  82.9     about their inglenooks and home-garths[,/.]    Replaced.

  83.22    by a homespun cap of the tam o’shant[t/e]r     Replaced.
           pattern

  83.27    until joined by the surp[r]ised Viscount.      Inserted.

  91.25    a few days in the future.[”]                   Added.

  105.19   the sleeper’s temples like an eg[g]shell       Inserted.

  106.22   was forced from In-nan-[ag/ga]-eh’s            Transposed.
           In-nan-ga-eh’s hand

  107.13   their bodies to com[m]ingle> with earth until  Inserted.
           eternity.

  110.8    losing his equilibr[i]um                       Inserted.

  114.10   to leap about th[t/e] horses’ throatlatches    Replaced.

  116.10   she was again urged by Phillis and her father, Inserted.
           se[e]med disinclined

  117.16   prepared to make that break first[.]           Added.

  124.15   have maintained in the fore[t]sts              Removed.

  131.31   Meanwhile he had to live some[w]how            Removed.

  135.10   I had heard from[ from] Billy Dowdy            Redundant.

  140.3    “The world is aesthetically dead[”!/”]         Transposed.

  145.1    Som[e]times the Indians notice                 Inserted.

  149.24   into the valley of the shadow[,/.]             Replaced.

  153.6    a big bonfire was to be started later[,/.]     Replaced.

  153.11   whose face showed every sign[s] of intense     Removed.
           terror.

  153.12   From words that he could understand, and the   Removed.
           g[r]estures

  161.6    there are postoff[i]ces, hotels, streams,      Inserted.
           caves and rocks

  161.22   Unfortun[at]ely for Simon Gerdes               Inserted.

  165.17   mounted on a superbly c[om/a]parisoned,        Replaced.
           ambling horse

  173.4    he realized how foolish it would be to[ to]    Redundant.
           journey

  175.3    in the ‘North American[’]”                     Added.

  177.30   are in a sense correct[,].                     Removed.

  179.8    other times his n[ei/ie]ce                     Transposed.

  180.30   [pearched] on one of his wrists                _sic_

  181.28a  made a confidante of by Herbert [( /,] who     Replaced.
           offered her five dollars

  181.28b  a [collosal] sum in those days                 _sic_

  182.24   too high for these days of conservation[.]     Added.

  183.19   she received her [grevious] hurts              _sic_

  188.1    the centre of the greensw[o/a]rd               Replaced.

  191.9    he would take[ take] her by force              Redundant

  194.29   with rare dex[i]terity                         Removed.

  195.18   his lion-hear[t]ed sachem                      Inserted.

  199.22   with tolerable fluen[e/c]y                     Replaced.

  200.26   invited the redmen to climb ab[r]oard          Removed.

  213.19   was called away[ away] during a heavy flood    Redundant.

  219.10   The passage of time had obli[t]erated it       Inserted.

  237.7    but where there[ there] were so few neighbors  Redundant.

  238.1    while [t]he stroked his long black beard       Removed.

  239.22   in tones as melanc[oh/ho]ly                    Transposed.

  245.28   Some instinct mad[e] her open the wrapper      Added.

  246.15   “Say, folks,” she said, coldly,[,]             Removed.

  250.2    the supreme d[ie/ei]ty of the Scandinavian     Transposed.
           mythology

  253.4    “It> was a perfect square                      Added.

  256.6    her tearful, piqua[i]nt face                   Removed.

  257.22   for they had sworn to de[il/li]ver her         Transposed.

  259.6    “only don’t cast me off[.]”                    Added.

  269.10   the face of N[i/a]ganit’s                      Replaced.

  269.18   N[i/a]ganit looked at the Indian woman.        Replaced.

  287.15   when he r[e]ached the opening                  Inserted.

  291.15   it did not en[c]ounter the dense foliage       Inserted.

  295.26   now [gutteral], now sharp and loud             _sic_

  296.5    approached the battle-g[r]ound                 Inserted.

  296.28   As soon as he had recovered from the           Added.
           blood-curdling episodes, [he ]built

  298.23   the proud tuft[s] itself was growing sparse    Removed.
           and weak

  299.14   That Annapalpete[a]u had a cavalier            Removed.

  300.2    he wanted to be v[e/i]rile and win             Replaced.

  300.3    the beautiful Annapalp[a/e]teu.                Replaced.

  307.3    [“]I have come                                 Added.

  310.4    to be engaged in riva[rl/lr]y                  Transposed.

  312.13   On one occa[is/si]on when the two young men    Transposed.
           started

  312.20   vernacular of the Pennsl[y]vania Dutch         Inserted.

  315.6    [Cincinnatti] or at Louisville                 _sic_

  317.8    rafted lumber down the Alle[hg/gh]eny          Transposed.

  335.30   after the ar[r]ival of a ship from China       Inserted.

  319.17   and carried home [unconscious the] next thing  _sic_
           was

  320.2    with the stalwart young pilots a[t] the sterns Added.

  320.11   franti[c]ally waving red and green shawls.     Inserted.

  320.15   the absence of Anna from the signaling part[y] Added.

  320.20   and the do[c]tors said she could not live      Inserted.

  320.25   until the out[c]ome of the case                Inserted.

  321.7    The old grandmother watched McMeans[’] face    Added.

  331.21   in his spir[i]tual loneliness                  Inserted.

  334.4    Years pass[s]ed                                Removed.

  338.21   to use [y]our words                            Added.





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