“Mrs. Wolston,” said Fritz, “I am charged to invite you and your family to Falcon’s Nest this day week.”
“The invitation is accepted, unless my daughters have any objections to urge.”
“How can you fancy such a thing, mamma?” said both girls.
“The fact is, that my daughters have got such a dread of cold water, that they dread to wet the soles of their shoes, unless one or other of you gentlemen is within hail.”
“Mamma does so love to tease us,” said Mary; “we are afraid of nothing but putting you to inconvenience.”
“Well, in that case, we shall be at Falcon’s Nest on the appointed day, unless the roads are positively submerged.”
“In that case,” said Jack, “a line of canoes will be placed upon the highway, between the two localities.”
As the prospect of a prize incites the young scholar to increased exertion—as the prospect of worldly honors urges the ambitious man on in his career—as the oasis cheers the weary traveller on his journey through the desert, and makes him forget hunger and thirst—as the dreams of comfort and home warm the blood of a wayfarer amongst snow and ice—as hope smooths the ruggedness of poverty and softens the calamities of adversity, so the prospect of meeting again mitigates the regrets of parting.
WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY—MUCIUS SCAEVOLA—WHAT’S TO BE DONE?—BRUTUS TORQUATUS AND PETER THE GREAT—AUSTRALIA, BOTANY BAY, AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN—NEW GUINEA AND THE BUCCANEER—VANCOUVER’S ISLAND—WHITE SKINS—DANGER OF LANDING ON A WAVE—HANGED OR DROWNED—ROUTE TO HAPPINESS—OMENS.
The old saw, Where there’s a will there’s a way, means—if it means anything—that a great deal may be effected by energy. A man without energy is a helpless character, and invariably lags behind his fellow mortals in the stream of life; like a cork in an eddy, he is rebuffed here and jostled there, and goes on travelling in a circle to the end of the chapter. Not so the man of action; no jostling thwarts him, no rebuffs retard him; he breaks through all sorts of obstacles, and floats along with the current.
Such a man was Becker. Though surrounded with dangers, and harassed by the elements, almost alone he had converted a wilderness into fertile fields; he pursued the track that his judgment suggested, and followed it up with invincible resolution; he manfully resisted the severest trials, and cheerfully bore the heaviest burdens; his reliance on Truth or Virtue and on God were unfaltering; but had he provided for every emergency? Is mortal power capable of overcoming every difficulty? We shall see.
A day or two after the entertainment at Rockhouse, Becker whispered to the Pilot—
“Willis, take a rifle, and come along with me; I have something to say to you.”
They walked a quarter of an hour or so without uttering a word, when Willis broke the silence.