The Lost Hunter eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 516 pages of information about The Lost Hunter.
Thus, with downcast eyes, or casting side long glances at each other, as in expectation of the wished-for eulogy, and with the deepest gravity, they followed round and round, but still with sealed lips.  The defunct must have been a strange being to deserve no commendation.  Could it be?  Did he possess no one good quality by which he could be remembered?  Had he never done a kind act?  Could he not hunt, or fish, or make baskets, or plant corn, or beans, or potatoes?  Surely he must have been able to do something.  Had it never happened that he did some good by mistake?  Perhaps that would answer the purpose.  Or had he been the mere shape and appearance of a man, and nothing more?  He had vanished like a shadow; was he as unsubstantial?  Were they not mistaken in supposing he had lived among them!  Had he been a dream?

Confused thoughts like these passed through the simple minds of the rude race, as with tired steps they followed one another in that weary round.  But was there to be no cessation of those perpetual gyrations?  Yet no gesture, no devious step betrayed impatience.  On they went, as if destined to move thus for ever.  Looks long and earnest began now to be cast upon the new-made hillock, as if striving to draw inspiration thence, or reproaching its tenant with his unworthiness.  No inspiration came, and gradually the steps became slower and more languid, yet still the measured tread went on.  A darker and darker cloud settled on their weary faces, but they could not stop; the duty was too sacred to remain unfulfilled.  They could not leave without a word to cheer their friend upon his way, and yet the word came not.  When would some one speak?  Who would relieve them from the difficulty?  At length the countenance of an old squaw lighted up, and in low tones she said, “He was a bery good smoker.”  The welcome words were instantly caught up by all, and with renewed strength each one moved on, and rejoicing at the solution of the dilemma, exclaimed, “He was a bery good smoker.”  The charm had taken effect; the word of affectionate remembrance was spoken; the duty performed; and each with an approving conscience could now return home.

What thin partitions divide the mirthful from the mournful, the sublime from the ridiculous!  At the wedding we weep, and at the funeral we can smile.

Holden who had been standing with folded arms leaning against the rail fence that enclosed the yard, and contemplating the ceremonies till the last Indian departed, now turned to leave, when the constable with a paper in one hand approached, and touching Holden with the other, told him he was his prisoner.  The Solitary asked no questions, but waving his hand to the constable to advance, followed him in silence.


    “If it please your honor, I am the poor duke’s constable, and
    my name is Elbow.  I do lean upon justice, sir, and do bring in
    here before your good honor two notorious benefactors.”

Project Gutenberg
The Lost Hunter from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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