Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 75 pages of information about October Vagabonds.
no means so pleased with beautiful Cohoctori Valley as we were.  Here, we gathered, was another beautiful ne’er-do-well of Nature, too occupied with her good looks to be fit for much else than prinking herself out with wild-flowers, and falling into graceful attitudes before her mirror—­and there were mirrors in plenty, many streams and willows, in Cohocton Valley; everywhere, for us, the mysterious charm of running water.  Once this idle daughter of Ceres used to grow wheat, wheat “in great plenty,” but now she could be persuaded to grow nothing but potatoes.

All this and much more we learned from a friend who drew up beside us in a buggy, as I was drinking from a gleaming thread of water gliding down a mossed conduit of hollowed tree-trunks into an old cauldron sunk into the hillside, and long since turned in ferns and lichen.  Colin was seated near by making a sketch, as I drank.

“I wouldn’t drink too much of that water, lads,” said the friendly voice of the dapper little intelligent-faced man in the buggy.

What! not drink this fairy water?

“Why, you country folk are as afraid of fresh water as you are of fresh air,” I answered, laughing.

“All right, it’s up to you—­but it’s been a dry Summer, you know.”

And then the little man’s attention was taken by Colin.

“Sketching?” he asked, and then he said, half shyly, “Would you mind my taking a look how you do it?” and, climbing down from his buggy, he came and looked over Colin’s shoulder.  “I used to try my hand at it a bit when I was a boy, but those blamed trees always beat me ... don’t bother you much, seemingly though,” he added, as he watched Colin’s pencil with the curiosity of a child.

“I’ve a little girl at home who does pretty well,” he continued after a moment, “but you’ve certainly got her skinned.  I wish she could see you doing it.”

His delight in a form of skill which has always been as magical to me as it seemed to him, was charmingly boyish, and Colin turned over his sketch-book, and showed him the notes he had made as we went along.  One of a stump fence particularly delighted him—­those stump fences made out of the roots of pine trees set side by side, which had been a feature of the country some miles back, and which make such a weird impression on the landscape, like rows of gigantic black antlers, or many-armed Hindoo idols, or a horde of Zulus in fantastic war-gear drawn up in battle-array, or the blackened stumps of giants’ teeth—­Colin and I tried all those images and many more to express the curious weird effect of coming upon them in the midst of a green and smiling landscape.

“Well, lads,” he said, after we had talked awhile, “I shall have to be going.  But you’ve given me a great deal of pleasure.  Can’t I give you a lift in exchange?  I guess there is room for the three of us.”

Follow Us on Facebook