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Title: Lodrix the Little Lake Dweller
Author: Wiley, Belle, Edick, Grace Willard
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lodrix the Little Lake Dweller" ***

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                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]



                                 LODRIX
                        THE LITTLE LAKE DWELLER


                                   BY
                              BELLE WILEY
                                  AND
                          GRACE WILLARD EDICK

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]


                        D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
                            NEW YORK    MCMV

                          Copyright, 1904, by
                        D. APPLETON AND COMPANY


                                   TO
                              THE CHILDREN



                                CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                                           PAGE
  I. The people                                                        1
  II. The home                                                        12
  III. Preparation for the enemy                                      18
  IV. On shore                                                        25
  V. Lodrix lost                                                      36
  VI. The capture                                                     45
  VII. The message                                                    55
  VIII. With the bear people                                          65
  IX. The return                                                      78

                        [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]



                               CHAPTER I
                               THE PEOPLE


Many years ago, there lived in the high regions of Switzerland and
France a people called the Lake-Dwellers.

These people did not live on land, as we do, but on the many lakes
hidden among the high mountains.

The mountain-sides were thick with forests which hid the lake-houses
from the people who lived on the land.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Lodrix was the chief’s son, and he was a very brave boy though he was
only twelve years old.

This little boy had flaxen hair and blue eyes. His fair skin was very
much tanned, because he was out of doors much of the time.

His clothing was of deerskin and was thrown loosely about him.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Lodrix looked very much like his mother, but her dress was very
different.

Her waist was of coarse brown cloth fastened under a skirt of deerskin,
and her shoulders and arms were bare.

Her thick light hair was coiled on the top of her head and had many bone
and bronze pins in it.

Around her neck were beads of amber, bone and glass, and a necklace made
from the teeth of wolves.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

On her arms and legs she wore wide bronze bracelets. She was very proud
of them, because not many women among the Lake-Dwellers had bracelets
made of bronze.

Lodrix’s father, the chief of the Dormorants, was a very brave man.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

His people loved him and always obeyed him.

One day, when the chief and his son were on the lake fishing, they heard
the sound of a horn.

Lodrix listened, then said, “That is mother’s call; she must need us.”

In great haste they paddled toward the sound of the horn, and across the
lake they could see the mother waving her hands to them.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

She stood on a platform which was built upon thousands of cedar piles,
driven into the bottom of the lake.

These piles were held in place by stones and rushes that had been let
down into the water.

As they paddled nearer, they could see that something had happened.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

They hurried to climb the notched ladder which led to the platform.

Then they followed the mother into the one-room hut which was their
home.

They sat down on blocks of wood about the stone fire-place, while the
mother told the chief what had happened.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

She said that one of their tribe, who had just returned from hunting,
had told her that the Bear tribe on the land was getting ready to burn
down the Lake-Dweller homes.

When Lodrix heard this, he ran to his father and said, “May I get ready
to fight, father?”

The chief put his hands on his son’s head, saying, “My brave boy.”

Then he told Lodrix to go out and call the people together.

Soon they came, hundreds of them, from the many square huts which were
crowded about the chief’s home.

These houses were built from cedar poles matted together with twigs and
plastered both inside and out with two or three inches of clay.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

There were one or two small windows without shutters and one low door.

The roofs were made of straw or rushes and the floors were often
plastered with clay and gravel.

In the center of the roof was a hole through which the smoke escaped,
and in the floor was a small trap-door that opened over the lake.

The Lake-Dwellers often fished from these doors.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]



                               CHAPTER II
                                THE HOME


While Lodrix summoned the people, the chief rushed out to pull back the
drawbridge which connected their homes with the land.

The lake people were very much frightened. They knew that the people on
land were their enemies; so they were ready to obey every command of
their chief.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

First he called for the messenger who had brought the news.

A youth with a deer hanging from his shoulder stepped forward.

Laying the deer at the chief’s feet, the boy said, “My chief! As I was
hunting, I met the boy Tevico, whom you once saved from the wolves in
the forest.

“He told me that his tribe was getting ready to make war upon us and to
burn our dwellings.

“So I hurried here to tell you, that we, too, might prepare for war.”

Just then Lodrix, running into the house, shouted, “O father! Come
quickly!”

Out rushed the chief, followed by his people.

What they saw made them tremble with fear.

On the shore of the lake stood hundreds of people waving their stone
axes and shouting in great anger.

The chief had pulled up the drawbridge just in time.

When the Bear people found they could not reach the Lake-Dwellers, they
went away.

The chief of the Dormorants told his people that they must keep close
watch, for their enemies would surely come back.

After choosing men to guard the village, the people went back to their
homes, while the chief and his son went into the house.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

They sat down on the blocks of wood which were the only furniture of
their home; then Lodrix watched his mother skin the deer with the sharp
stone knife, and his father light the fire in the stone fireplace.

The chief was so hungry that he ate the deer meat nearly raw.

Lodrix did not care for the meat, but ate some cakes which had been made
from powdered grain and cooked on the hot stones. He ate some sour
cherries too, and plums which had been picked from the trees on the
shore of the lake and dried.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]



                              CHAPTER III
                       PREPARATION FOR THE ENEMY


When the father had finished eating, Lodrix fed the horses, the sheep,
and the goats that were waiting outside for their dinner.

The mother threw the bones of the deer into the lake, through the
trap-door, and laid the skin in the sun to dry.

When he had made sure that everything was secure and had sent Lodrix
with a message to one of the Lake-Dwellers, the chief lay down on a skin
to sleep.

Lodrix hurried off to do his father’s bidding.

He was to say that the drawbridge must not be put down for several days,
for they were afraid the Bear people might enter their village.

As the chief’s son entered the hut where he was to leave his message, he
saw a little baby.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

The baby was tied by a long cord to one of the blocks of wood to keep
her from falling through the trap-door.

He told the baby’s father what the chief had said and then went toward
the child, who stretched out her little hands to him.

Lodrix loved babies and was glad to play with this little one.

He took her to the trap-door, keeping tight hold of her hand. Then he
took a basket made of rushes and lowered it, through the opening, into
the lake.

The baby clapped her hands with glee as she saw the little fish
squirming in the basket when Lodrix drew it up.

Lodrix laughed, too, because the little baby was happy.

The baby’s sister, who sat grinding grain in the stone mortar, looked up
and smiled at the happy children.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Even the mother smiled as she worked busily at the loom, where she was
weaving coarse cloth from threads of flax which the Lake-Dwellers had
raised on the shore of the lake.

At sunset Lodrix said, “good-by” and started for home.

On his way the beautiful clear moon seemed to speak to him.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Lodrix stopped a moment and prayed to it; prayed that his people might
be safe from their enemies on the land.

As he walked along, he spoke to many people who were anxiously watching
the opposite shore.

They were straining their eyes for the first glimpse of the people on
the land, because they feared that at nightfall these enemies might come
again.

Lodrix wished to join in the watch, but he was only a little boy and the
chief said that he must stay at home with his mother.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]



                               CHAPTER IV
                                ON SHORE


So the little boy went into the house and was soon fast asleep.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

The mother lay down on a bearskin and rested her head on a clay
crescent.

The Lake-Dweller women needed these head-rests because they did not take
down their hair when they slept, and the bronze and bone pins made their
heads very heavy.

And now while the men were on guard peace rested upon the village of the
Dormorants.

The next day, the watchers slept while others took their places.

For three days, the Lake-Dwellers looked for signs of the enemy, but the
Bear tribe seemed to have forgotten them and to have returned to their
homes.

If the Lake-Dweller chief had been on land, he might have seen some of
the Bear tribe hiding behind the tall oak and cedar trees in the forest.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

They were watching to see what the lake people would do, and to report
what they saw to their chief.

On the fourth day, when everything seemed quiet, the chief of the
Dormorants ordered the drawbridge to be put in place, and stationed a
man at the end to watch for the enemy. Then he sent a messenger to the
chief of a Lake-Dweller village near by.

The messenger was to ask the chief to be ready at any time to help the
Dormorants, if the Bear tribe should attack them.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Then the chief ordered his men to be prepared for battle at any moment,
because he was afraid that the enemy would soon try again to reach the
village.

He ordered them to sharpen their swords, lances and axes, and get ready
their bows and arrows.

Lodrix was so excited that he could not keep still, and almost hoped
that the enemy would come back, so that he might have a chance to fight.

The chief’s son had never been in a battle, and he was anxious to take
part in one.

He begged his father to let him take the sword which hung in the bronze
scabbard on the wall.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

But his father gave him another sword, because the one in the scabbard
was too large and heavy for a young boy.

Lodrix was very proud of his sword, and ran about showing it to his
friends.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Soon the men were ready to start. Some of them lowered their cedar
dugouts, and climbed down the notched poles with their fishing spears in
their hands.

They paddled to that part of the lake where they knew they could catch
some fine fish.

Others crossed the bridge, with their bows and arrows hanging from their
shoulders.

They wished to kill some deer in the forest and cut down some cedar
trees for fire-wood.

Lodrix pleaded so hard to go hunting that his father said he might go,
so he started off with the men.

They stopped to look at the fruit trees growing along the shore.

“Where is the fruit?” asked Lodrix.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

“The Bear people have taken it!” answered one of the men.

“See! They have taken our grain, too!” said another.

This made Lodrix wish more than ever that he might fight these people.

He knew his father would be angry, too, when they told him what had been
done.

They wondered where they would get food for the winter.

They knew they must work very hard to get the soil ready for more grain,
and that they must fish and hunt a great deal or they would have no
dried meat to store away.

These thoughts made them very sad, and they did not say much as they
walked on through the forests.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]



                               CHAPTER V
                              LODRIX LOST


“Look!” said Lodrix, darting off toward a deer whose antlers he saw in
the distance.

The men smiled at one another, proud to see their chief’s son fond of
the hunt.

They did not follow, for they wished to see if Lodrix could kill the
deer alone.

They turned toward a mound which held the tomb where their former chiefs
were buried.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

This tomb was a small stone room which the Lake-Dwellers had built, and
then covered with soil.

They thought of the time when they had carried Lodrix’s grandfather to
this stone room. The men had stood about with lighted torches, and the
women with their hair hanging over their faces had shed many bitter
tears for the dead chief.

Then, after they had put the bronze and stone weapons beside their
chief, they had gathered about the hill and chosen a new one.

They always chose for their new chief the bravest and strongest man of
all the tribe. The brave and strong chief they chose that day was
Lodrix’s father.

For a time the men had forgotten Lodrix, then one of them said: “Lodrix
has not come back. Where can he be?”

They looked about, but could see no trace of their chief’s son.

With fear in their hearts, they separated and ran in many directions
through the forest.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

They shouted, “Lodrix! Lodrix!” but their calls were not answered.

They did not stop to shoot the deer, but ran on and on, so anxious were
they to find the boy.

Again and again they called, but no answer came.

They could not find Lodrix, and yet they dared not go home without him.

All day the men hunted for Lodrix, shouting the boy’s name as loudly as
they could.

At nightfall they stood on the shore of the lake looking toward their
village and wondering how they could tell their chief that his son was
lost.

Silently they walked toward the bridge and with bowed heads they crossed
it.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

When they reached the round hut of their chief, they stood quite still,
fearing to go in.

The chief, who had been watching for his son, came out of the low door.

“What is the matter?” he said. “Where is Lodrix?”

The men stood silent. They could not answer.

“My son! Where is my son?”

Then one of the men said, “He is lost in the forest, my chief. We looked
for him all day, but could not find him.”

The chief raised his hands to the moon, praying that his son might be
found.

Then he asked the men for the whole story.

It was but a few minutes before all the men in the village were roused
and a hunting party started out to look for their chief’s son.

Some of the men stayed to guard the homes, but the chief went with the
hunting party.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]



                               CHAPTER VI
                              THE CAPTURE


Lodrix had no fear as he chased the deer into the thick forest.

He forgot that his father had told him not to stray far from the men.

On and on he ran, thinking of nothing but the deer.

At last he saw the beautiful deer not far away. Softly he knelt down. He
raised his bow and took steady aim.

He did not hear stealthy footsteps coming nearer and nearer behind him.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Suddenly he was held in strong arms, and looking up, he saw many strange
faces about him.

He was too frightened to call for help, for he knew that these were the
Bear people.

As they carried him away, he struggled, but the arms that held him were
very strong and he could not free himself.

They walked on and on, through the thick forest, farther and farther
away, and Lodrix wondered where he was going and what would happen.

He thought of his father and mother and the men who, he knew, were
looking for him.

Tears came to his eyes, but he did not cry, because he was too brave a
boy.

These people did not talk to him, nor did they talk to one another.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Lodrix could hear nothing but the cry of the wolves in the distance.

Everything seemed strange, and the boy did not know where he was.

He had never been so far from home before.

On and on they went.

Lodrix could hardly walk, he was so tired.

Just as the sun went down, they came to the village of the Bear people.

The men led Lodrix to one of the huts and gave him food.

When he had eaten some meat, he threw himself on a skin and fell asleep.

While he slept, the Bear people were talking about him and the chief was
deciding what should be done.

Lodrix slept long, and when he wakened the sun was shining through the
doorway.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

The boy looked about him in wonder and for a moment did not know where
he was.

Then he saw Tevico, who was standing near him.

Tevico had been left to guard the prisoner, but the Bear people did not
know that Lodrix’s father had once saved Tevico’s life.

This young watcher felt very friendly toward the Lake-Dweller people,
and he was ready to help the captive boy.

When Lodrix saw Tevico, he said, “Where am I? Why am I here?”

“You have been taken prisoner by the Bear people because they hate your
father and your people.

“I have been left here to guard you, and I will be your friend if you
will let me. I have not forgotten that your father once saved me from
the wolves.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

“You must be very careful not to show my people that we are friends or
they will not let me stay with you.

“When I get a chance I will let your father know where you are and how
he can get you.

“Last night, my people held a council and decided to kill you, but I
told them that your father had much bronze which he would give my tribe
for your safe return.”

Lodrix stood up and grasped Tevico’s hand, for he was glad to find a
friend here, among his enemies.

“My father will give anything your people ask for my freedom,” said the
boy. “Send to him and tell him where I am.”

“I can not go till my chief sends me,” Tevico said. “Do not fear. You
will soon be at home again.

“Here is some deer meat for you. Eat it, for you must be hungry.”

Lodrix tried to eat, but could not, for he was so homesick that he could
scarcely keep from crying.



                              CHAPTER VII
                              THE MESSAGE


Tevico had stooped down and was looking through the low doorway.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

“Here comes my chief!” he said. “See! He is coming toward this hut.”

Lodrix looked too, and saw a large man coming toward him.

As the chief came up, Lodrix said to him: “Send to my father; he will
give you and your people all that you ask if you will take me home.”

“We ask bronze,” said the chief. “Will your father give that?”

“The chief of the Dormorants has much bronze,” said Lodrix. “He will
give you all you ask if you will send a messenger to him.”

“Go, Tevico,” said the chief. “Go to the chief of the Dormorants, and
tell him that we hold his son a prisoner. We will not harm him and will
send him home if he will give us all the bronze in his village.”

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Tevico bowed to his chief and ran swiftly away through the forest.

He hurried onward, never stopping to look at the deer as they crossed
his path or to answer the birds as they sang in the tree tops.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

He did not even stop to rest, though he was panting for breath.

As he raced on he saw a man in the distance.

When the man saw Tevico, he called loudly to him.

“Our chief’s son is lost in the forest. Have you seen him?”

Tevico stopped and waited till the man came near him.

“Where is your chief?” the boy asked. “Is he in the forest?”

The man nodded his head and pointed in an opposite direction.

“I must see him. I have news of his son,” said Tevico.

“Come with me, I will take you to him,” said the man eagerly, and away
they both ran to find the chief.

They did not speak as they ran swiftly through the forest.

On their way, they met others of the Lake-Dwellers who had been
searching for Lodrix.

As they came up to the chief, he was looking sadly about him.

All night long they had hunted, but had found no trace of the lost boy.

When Tevico approached, the chief raised his eyes and looked at him with
wonder.

Then Tevico stood before him and said: “I bear a message from the chief
of my people to the chief of the Dormorants. Your son is safe in the
hands of the Bear people.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

“If you will give to my tribe all the bronze of your village, they will
return your son to you.

“If you will not give your bronze, Lodrix will be killed, because the
Bear people are your enemies.”

The chief listened to the words of the boy, then called his men to him.

He told them what the messenger had said, then stood silent, wondering
what their answer would be.

The men wished to fight, but they knew fighting could not save Lodrix,
for the Bear people would surely kill him.

Their bronze was very precious to them and they hated to give it to
their enemies, but they loved their chief and knew that Lodrix must be
saved. So they said:

“Chief, what we have is yours. Take our bronze if it will bring your son
back to us.”

Then the chief said to Tevico: “Hasten back to your chief! Tell him that
the Dormorants will give to him all the bronze of their village for the
safe return of Lodrix.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

“Tell him to send Lodrix to the shore of our lake at sunrise. A
messenger will be there who will give him the bronze he asks.

“Now go, Tevico, and carry my message to your chief.”



                              CHAPTER VIII
                          WITH THE BEAR PEOPLE


Tevico turned homeward, leaving the Lake-Dwellers glad that they had
news of Lodrix, but sad that they must give their bronze to their
enemies.

Together they walked through the forest to the shore of the lake and
crossed the bridge to their village.

The women were crowded together, waiting for tidings of Lodrix.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

The chief’s wife rushed toward him crying: “Lodrix, my son! Where is he?
Did you find him?”

“He is safe, but in the hands of our enemy,” said the chief. “He will be
returned to us at sunrise, but we must give to these people all the
bronze in our village.” Turning to his people, he said: “Let us collect
our treasure at once, that it may be ready in time.

“Some day my son shall repay you for this great sacrifice.

“Go, now, to your homes and bring the precious metal to me.”

The men started off to obey the command of their chief.

Slowly they walked to their huts and quietly collected what bronze they
had.

It was only a short time before they were again together at the chief’s
hut.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

They entered and placed their bronze in a pile on the floor.

The chief had collected his bronze too, and motioned to one of the men
to put it with the rest.

There were many kinds of weapons in this pile: bronze scabbards, knives
with bronze handles, bronze hammers, bronze hooks, and bronze bracelets
and pins which the women had given.

The chief had given most of all. He had a great amount, because the
people of other lake villages had often sent him presents of bronze.

The people looked longingly at the treasure for a few moments, then, at
the order of their chief, put it in a large skin bag ready for the
messenger.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

All day long the Lake-Dwellers thought of Lodrix in the hands of the
enemy, and they could hardly wait for the morning when he would return.

In the village of the Bear tribe, Lodrix was watching and waiting for
Tevico.

He hoped that the messenger would find his father, and he knew that his
people would give their precious bronze for his return.

He almost wished that Tevico had stayed and that some other messenger
had been sent, for now he was alone among his enemies.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

As Lodrix sat in the hut, he heard a shout, and looking up, he saw a
little boy standing in the doorway.

“Come out, Lodrix,” said the boy. “I am the chief’s son, and I will show
you our village.”

Lodrix jumped up, very glad to get out of the hut, and the two boys
walked off together through the village.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

As they went along, Lodrix saw many strange things.

He had never seen a land village before, because his people never went
far from the lake.

These huts were not built on piles as the lake huts were, and it seemed
strange to see no water and no boats.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

The sheep and goats that were running about, looked very much like his
own, and as they came toward Lodrix, they seemed friendly.

“Come to my house,” said the little boy. “My father wishes to see you.”

So the boys ran toward the largest hut in the Bear village.

They were out of breath when they reached it and were glad to throw
themselves on the bearskin which lay outside the door.

The chief came out of the hut, and looked kindly at the two boys.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

He beckoned Lodrix to him, and said:

“How much bronze is there in your father’s village?”

Lodrix answered:

“There is more bronze in the village of the Dormorants than in any other
village on the lake.”

“Is there more than one messenger can carry?” said the chief.

“You must send a strong messenger,” said Lodrix, “for our bronze is very
heavy.”

The chief thought a moment, then turned to his son and said, “You may
take Lodrix about the village, but do not go far, for Tevico will return
at sunset.”



                               CHAPTER IX
                               THE RETURN


Just as the moon was rising Tevico came.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

He was very tired, for his journey had been a long one, but he was glad
to bring good news to his people and to Lodrix.

The Bear people had come together and were waiting for Tevico.

They were very glad to hear the message for it meant great wealth for
them.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

They would now have more bronze than any other land tribe.

“Lodrix must be sent home. We must have a messenger,” said the chief.
“He must be very strong, for the bronze is heavy.”

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Then he chose one of the strongest of the men, who started off with
Lodrix.

At sunrise, they reached the shore of the lake.

There the Lake-Dweller messenger was waiting with the bronze.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

Not a word was spoken.

The messenger of the Bear tribe took the bag of bronze, and Lodrix with
the other messenger hurried across the bridge to his home.

There his mother and father and all his tribe were waiting to welcome
him.

They crowded about the chief’s hut and listened, as Lodrix told the
story of his capture.

When Lodrix had finished his story, he went into the hut to rest.

He soon fell asleep, tired from his long journey.

Then the chief sent two men to pull up the drawbridge which had been
down since early morning.

He still feared that the Bear tribe would attack them.

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

After this had been done, the chief said to his people: “My son has
returned to us. Now we must think of winter.

“Our fruit-trees have been destroyed by our enemies and we have very
little dried fruit left.

“We will have to hunt and fish every day, that we may have enough food
to last us through the winter.”

As the chief was talking, a messenger, who had been sent by the people
of another Lake village, came up.

He said: “Chief, my people offer help to you and your tribe.

“They know that your fruit-trees have been destroyed.

“They have plenty of food to give you if you need it.

“They are glad that your son has been returned to you.”

                     [Illustration: (uncaptioned)]

This message made the Lake-Dweller people very happy, and before
separating, they planned to come together that night for a feast of
thanksgiving.

At sunset, as they sat eating and drinking, they made a solemn pledge
that some day they would conquer the Bear tribe and get back their
bronze.

That night the moon shone upon them, as they stood with outstretched
arms, praying to it for strength to fulfil their vow.


                                THE END



                          Transcriber’s Notes


--Copyright notice provided as in the original—this e-text is public
  domain in the country of publication.

--In the text versions, delimited italics text in _underscores_ (the
  HTML version reproduces the font form of the printed book.)

--Silently corrected palpable typos; left non-standard spellings and
  dialect unchanged.





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