The baskets and pails were heavy and full, and the whole party walked along, carrying them carefully towards the place where Jonas had come from. Rollo’s Hither led the way. They entered into a little thicket, and passed through it by a narrow path. They came out presently into a sort of opening, on a brow of the mountain. On one side they could look down upon a vast extent of country, exhibiting a beautiful variety of forests, rivers, villages, and farms. On the other side was a rocky precipice, rising abruptly to a considerable height, and then sloping off towards the summit of the mountain. They walked along a few steps on a smooth surface of the rock, between patches of grass and blueberry-bushes, until Lucy and Rollo ran forward to a brook which came foaming down the precipice, and then, after tumbling along over rocks a little way, took another foaming leap down the mountain, and was lost among the trees below.
The party all stepped carefully over this brook, and then walked along up the bank on the opposite side until they came to the precipice. Here they were surprised and pleased to see a large bower built, in front of a little sort of cavern or recess in the rock. Jonas had built it of large limbs of trees and bushes, which he had leaned up against the rock, in such a manner as to enclose a large space within. There was an opening left round on the farther side, next the rock, and they all went round mid went in—Rollo first, then Lucy, then the others. They found that smooth and clean logs and stones were arranged around the sides of the bower; and in the middle, on a carpet of leaves, was very abundant provision for a rustic dinner.
There was bread, and butter, and ham, and gingerbread, and pie, and glasses for water from the brook. Rollo and Lucy wondered how all those things could have got up the mountain. Presently, however, they recollected that, when they were coming up, Jonas had two covered baskets to bring, and they thought, at the time, that they seemed to be heavy.
Thus the day passed away, and towards evening they came down the mountain. Some remarkable things happened when they were coming down, which will be related in the story called “TROUBLE ON THE MOUNTAIN.”
[Illustration: “Coming down the Mountain”]
TROUBLE ON THE MOUNTAIN
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“How pleasant it is here!” said Rollo to his cousin Lucy, as they were gathering blueberries high up on old Mount Benalgon, the day they went up with Rollo’s father and mother, and uncle; “and how thick the blueberries are, Lucy!”
“Yes,” said Lucy, “they are very thick, I think; and how far we can see now, we are up here so high! I wish we were up on that great high rock.”
Rollo looked where Lucy pointed, and he saw, away above them, a rocky summit projecting out from the mountain. The front of the rock was ragged and precipitous, but it was flat and mossy upon the top, and firs and other evergreen trees grew there, some of them hanging over the edge.