MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.
at a distant village, to which he pointed, for the night; and said that in the morning he would give me further instructions how to conduct myself.  This was very discouraging.  However, as there was no remedy, I set off for the village; where I found, to my great mortification, that no person would admit me into his house.  I was regarded with astonishment and fear, and was obliged to sit all day without victuals in the shade of a tree; and the night threatened to be very uncomfortable, for the wind rose, and there was great appearance of a heavy rain; and the wild beasts are so very numerous in the neighbourhood that I should have been under the necessity of climbing up the tree, and resting among the branches.  About sunset, however, as I was preparing to pass the night in this manner, and had turned my horse loose that he might graze at liberty, a woman, returning from the labours of the field, stopped to observe me, and perceiving that I was weary and dejected, inquired into my situation, which I briefly explained to her; whereupon, with looks of great compassion, she took up my saddle and bridle and told me to follow her.  Having conducted me into her hut, she lighted up a lamp, spread a mat on the floor, and told me I might remain there for the night.  Finding that I was very hungry, she said she would procure me something to eat.  She accordingly went out, and returned in a short time with a very fine fish; which having caused to be half broiled upon some embers, she gave me for supper.  The rites of hospitality being thus performed towards a stranger in distress, my worthy benefactress (pointing to the mat, and telling me I might sleep there without apprehension), called to the female part of her family, who had stood gazing on me all the while in fixed astonishment, to resume their task of spinning cotton, in which they continued to employ themselves great part of the night.  They lightened their labour by songs, one of which was composed extempore; for I was myself the subject of it.  It was sung by one of the young women, the rest joining in a sort of chorus.  The air was sweet and plaintive, and the words, literally translated, were these:—­“The winds roared and the rains fell.  The white man, faint and weary, came and sat our tree.  He has no mother to bring him milk, no wife to grind his corn.” Chorus—­“Let us pity the white man; no mother has he,” etc., etc.  Trifling as this recital may appear to the reader, to a person in my situation the circumstance was affecting in the highest degree.  I was oppressed by such unexpected kindness, and sleep fled from my eyes.  In the morning I presented my compassionate landlady with two of the four brass buttons which remained on my waistcoat; the only recompense I could make her.


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MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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