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PAUL RATCLIFFE'S ADVENTURES.

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PAUL RATCLIFFE'S ADVENTURES. A STOEY OF WILD LIFE. I CHAPTER T. TEE rain ceased, we moved our tents, and away we went through prairie land. We passed many weary miles without catehing sight of game; at length Paul Batcliffe shouted- Here we are, lads. I smell him;" and sure enough we saw before us one of the most hideous monsters I had ever beheld. It was a wild boar; the bristles on its back were at least six inches IODg, and stuck out like a porcupine's quills, while hia long t asks looked most formidable. I He gave a glance at us, an ugly grunt, and then seemed disposed to turn his course in another direc- tion. Paul Ratcliffe waited for a broadside, and hoped to plant a bullet in his heart; he fired, however, but the only effect it produced upon the beast was to make him quicken his pace three of us then fired our rifles upon his back, but it was all no use, the animal did not even condescend to give us a grant. He managed to get through the thick grass quicker than our horses could do, and, though we determined to follow him, we feared it would be a. hopeless task. Night now set I in, and we were obliged to give up the chase till morning; but how should we find our companions and I the tents ? J Never mind," said Paul, they are sure to follow on our trail;" and sure enough they did. Our tent was soon erected, and, wearied and hungry, we gladly J partook of the dry provisions we had by us; we were dissatisfied with ourselves, however, that we had killed I no game. j Paul Ratcliffe, however, wagered that before that J time to-morrow night we would have the tent filled with game. He pictured to our minds the spread we J were to have the following day, and made our very j mouths water. j Well, we did not Bleep much that night; we were 3 anxious for sport, and at- early morn we were on the j track of the wild boar. We could sow and then trace J blood, and felt assured he would be ours, when what was our surprise to hear the report of a rifle directly ahead of us, and sounds of voices shouting, He's a dead'un." We soon came up to three men, who were putting J the finishing stroke to our wild boar. Paul asserted our right to the animal, saying how many miles we had followed him, but it was all no use. They proved to us that the law was in favour of the man who should possess himself of the animal, however he may aave been wounded by other parties. So we thought it best to make friends, and offered to buy a share of ihe flesh. No, they would not have that. Two were Englishmen like myself, and had gone out on about the same wild goose chase. The third man in their party was a kind of guide to the others he was desceaded from one of the aborigines of the country, and had a wild romantic look about him. This man rejoiced in the name of Roderick Random," given to him, I suppose, from his habits of life. We soon became friend's. They agreed to share the boar with us, and we invited them to our tent, where wa had the wild boar's flesh quickly cooked, and eat a hearty meal. In the morning after meeting our new friends their guide took us to. a thriving little village called Fiskdale. Here there is a steep, rooky, wood-covered elevation, known to the dwellers in that vicinity as Mount Dan. Frosi the summit of this mountain, you have one of the most delightful and picturesque views in all that region. Standing here, on a calm j bright day in midsummer, far above the busy world, in the solemn stillness of nature in her solitude, with j the eye reaching the distant blue horizon in a great circle, and gathering in at a single glance all the beauties spread out before your enchanted gaze, the j heart unconsciously becomes filled with :the poetic inspiration of the-beautiful scene. Before you, facing eastward, the eye ranges down a precipitous ] descent, over the tops of tall, gigantic trees, dense with their green foliage of sweetly blending shades I ana iaus upon a shining sneer, ot saver —a fairy lakelet in a valley—environed by sloping hills margined by sylvan belts, and fed by imterBal appinga— a long, irregular mirror, in a framework of Gothic tracery-reflecting every surrounding object, with the blue concave above, far down in its pellucid depths. Beyond this, far away in every direction, the country" cleared and wooded, rises, in gentle undulations, for miles on miles, till the reaching vision rests upon the sky-blending hills in the dim, blue distance with many a quiet farm-house peeping oat from its surrounding shrubbery, and many a peaceful village, with its lofty spires and white, clustering dwellings, dotting the lovely view—the whole falling upon the mind with so soft and dreamy a repose, as to fit the beholder for listening to the romantic legend which the airy wood- nymph of the mountain is ever ready to unfold. On a clear, balmy day in midsummer, with three of my fallow-travellers and Roderick Random as our g lide, we floated ever the silvery lakelet, pushed our way through the dense shrubbery, toiled up the sharp steeps, climbed up the precipitous rocks, and gained the rugged crest of old Mount Dan; and there, under the cool canopy of interlocking boughs, with a perfume- laden breeze to fan 11s, amid the caroling of birds, the m humming of bees, the rustling of leaves, and the nod- ding of flowers, we looked off upon the world below, Buryeved the enchanting scene 1 have so feebly portrayed. "Paul Eatcliffe gathered from our guide the following romantic Indian legend, whieh he gave to me ere we separated, written out probably accord- irig? to his own poetic fancy. Here it is, however, in his own words :— THE BEAUTIFUL OOLULAH AND HER LOf-IlE. Far back, beyond the memory of the first white man that ever beheld this delightful region, the valley of the little lake was a sylvan grove, through which roamed the wild beasts of the forest; and at the head of this valley, upon the sloping hill seen away to the left, lived Winnepecannough, sachem of his tribe, who had a daughter, straight a.s an arrow, graceflil as a j fa,wn, with hair like the raven's wing, eyes like the stars of night, and a face like the loveliest day in spring. Oolulah was indeed beautiful; and there was not a daring orave, or heroic chief, for many a league around, that would not have felt his heart bound and blood quicken at the assurance of the favour of this iovely descendant of a royal line. Many were the advances, overtures, and rejections, before the maiden, who inspired ail others with, passion, came to feel it herself. But at last her heart was touched. Mocandah, messenger from a distant nation, came to her father's village on affairs of importance. His retinue of braves was distributed among the leading warriors of the tribe, but he himself found hospitality in the lodge of Winaepeoannough. There he first beheld the beauti- ful maiden, and Oolulah. first knew her heart was no longer her own. Mocandah was worthy of her involuntary regard. Tail, lithe, and graceful, with a handsome face, an eagle eye, and a commanding presence, he was one to inspire his foes with respect, his friends with esteem, and his chosen with love. They met, as many before,' in all age's past, have met—as many more, in all ages to come, will meet—to know and feel that their des- tiniea blended—that henceforth the fate of each would have its bearing, for weal or woe, upon the other. When the time of Mocandah's mission had expired —when the feasts, dances, hunts, and other sports, given in his honour, as the princely ambassador of a powerful nation, had ceased-when his retinue of braves, in all the pride of paint, drees, wampum, and j arms, were drawn up in warlike array before the as- sembled tribe, ready to follow their noble young leader back through the great pathless wilderness to their home—then it was Mocandah stood forth, in the presence of all, and, bowing to Winnepecannough, j' addressed him thus "Great father andcnief of a natiou of warriors! Moca,ndah ia about to depart to the land of his fathers, I' to say to them that sent him, that he found the Moganset-s with straight tongues, big hearts, and open hands—that he ate with them, drank with them, made his treaty with them, and with them smoked the calumet ol peace. So far Mocandah is ready for Ms long, homeward journey of many suns. Bat ere his trail again winds through the trackless wilderness, he would crave a boena. While in the lodge of the great chief, his eye looked upon the comely form of Ooluiah, whose voice is like the music of' running waters, and hia heart has become as soft as a woman's towards the bright- eyed maid, and he would bear her I to his distant: lodge, to become the wife of one who I will one day be proud and happy to lay at her feet the J honours of a valiant chief." j At this declaration, a frown, like a cloud, gathered I upon the brows of the warriors who had themselves been suitors for her hand, and the sagacious chief reading the thoughts of his assembled braves, replied that Mocandah asked a boon greater than he could grant. The young leader was surprised and humbled. For a few moments he looked steadily at the chief, and then glanced at the faces bent upon him, and then let j his eyes fall upon the ground. I "Mocandah is not worthy of so bright a destiny! j he muttered, as if rather thinking aloud than address- | ing any one present. j j He was about to turn away, with a sad heart, when j S Oolulah herself, who had not been present when he I preferred his request, but had overheard all, came j walking forth from her father's lodge. Her head was j erect with pride, her eye bright with a firm and noble j purpose, and there was a lofty, queen-like grace in her f every movement. The warriors nearast her stepped aside, with an air of profound respect, to let her pass, J and every eye was fixed admiringly upon her, as she j advanced to the space between her father and her lover, and turning to the chieftains said:- The ears of Oolulah have been open, and she has heard the brave Mocandah crave a boon, which the great chief of the Moganaets has declined to grant. Let Oolulah's voice join with Mocandah'a!, for she would go with him who will take away her heart. If j Mocandah goes alone, Oolulah will never more hear j the music of the birds, the breeze, and the running streams, because there is-no-m-usic for her who is witnouti a heart; she will never more behold the beauty of the heavens and the earth, because there is no beauty for her whose heart is away. All music, all beauty, all joy, is in the heart, and Mocandah has the heart of Oolulah." On hearing these words from the lips of his daughter, the sachem of the Mogansets turned away and called a council of his warriors. They entered the council- house, leaving Mocandah to await their decision. The interval of suspense, which was not long, was occupied by the lovers in conversation. They feared the decision of the council would be adverse, and arranged matters accordingly. They had at length resolved, let the consequences be what they might, they would not remain apart; and should Mocandah be sent forth witheut Oolulah, he was to return, at the midnight hour, to the great spring by the oak in the valley, whereas he would meet him, to join their fortunes and their fates for ever. At length the lovers were summoned before the council, and judgment rendered with due solemnity, It was that they must now part, never to meet again, on penalty of death. On hearing this cruel decision, they exchanged silent but hopeful farewells. Oolulah was at once conducted to her father's lodge under guard, and Mocandah took leave of the tribe with a cold and haughty air. When at a proper distance, he pricked his arm, soiled the feathers of a,n arrow with his own blood, and shot it into the heart of the village, in token that the late treaty was at an end, and that henceforth his own tribe and the Mogansets would meet only as deadly foes. At this the whole nation was greatly enraged, and many would 'have I followed him for his destruction, had not Winnepe- cannough commanded that time should be allowed the haughty young warrior to reach his own people before the commencement of hostilities. Mocandah quietly pursued his way homeward till the close of day, when seeing his companions comfor- tably eneamped, he stole away from them, without telling them his purpose, and made haste to return to the spring where he had agreed to meet Oolulah, reaching the place not far from the midnight hour. It was a beautiful spot, shaded by a from the very roots of which welled up a spring of clear, cold water, which, after forming in a littlo basin, ran ] down through the pleasant valley, like a silver thread I rove through a carpet of green. At that same midnight hour, Oolulah stole silently from the lodge of her father, and, with a timid but harried, step, went forth to meet her lover and dep, art with him to his distant home. A jealous rival, who was on the watch, saw her, and, divining her purpose, followed her stealthily with fell intent. The lovers met by the spring, and, with a low cry of joy, rushed into each other's arms. ButtSieir happi- ness was of short duration—for scarcely were they clasped in each other's embrace, when the gleaming knife of the secret foe was plunged to the hilt in the 3 back of Mocandah, who sank down dead at the feet of '] his mistress, his life-blood mingling with and making j red the clear waters of the spring. ° j When Oolulah fairly comprehended her loss, through .1 the foul deed ofuua ur her .f,>ou, slie sent forth such shrieks of agony that the whole village was aroused, and all came hurrying to the spot, eoiae bearing torches. When the foremost reached her, sh was standing over the .gory corpse of her lover, with a glea.ming knife in her hand—the same knife which had destroyed Mocandah and had been left by the flying assassin. I In a few solemn, impressive words, she upbraided her father for his eruelty in seeking to separate her j from him who held her heart; and then taming her j beautiful face upward, toward the bright stars twink- ling in the far-off heavens, she exclaimed :— "Meoandahis already .gone to the happy hunting- grounds of hia fathers, and his spirit-voice calls on Oolulah to follow." With this she suddenly plunged the reeking knife into her own true heart, and fell back into the bub- bling spring, a corpse beside her lover. I Then, while all stood aghast, strange rumblings were heard far down beneath, the earth heaved and j shook and vomited fire and smoke, and then opened and sunk, taking down the living and the dead. The earth sunk, the forest sunk, and bright waters rolled over the 'learful scene, to wash away the stain of crime and'blood. „. Such is the legend of the silver lakelet that stretches beneath you like a mirror as you stand upon the rooky :• summit of old Mount Dan. To conclude my story for the present, Paul ;3atcliffe loved adventure, and so did the new friends we had met; for myself, I was getting tired of a wild life, and took the earliest opportunity of returning to the civilised world. I hope, however, again to see Paul Ratcliffe, and to be enabled to give his further adven- tures in these columns.

IA VILLAINOUS COACHMAN.

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