Scarcely had they succeeded, after several attempts, in effecting a bright, ruddy blaze—which threw from their forms, dark, fantastic shadows, against the earth, trees and neighboring bushes—when Caesar uttered a low, deep growl; and Boone, grasping his rifle tightly, motioned his companions to follow him in silence into an adjoining thicket. Here, after cautioning them to remain perfectly quiet, unless they heard some alarm, he carefully parted the bushes, and glided noiselessly away, saying, in a low tone, as he departed:
“I rather ’spect it’s Isaac; but I’d like to be sartin on’t, afore I commit myself.”
For some five or ten minutes after the old hunter disappeared, all was silent, save the crackling of the fire, the rustling of the leaves, the sighing of the wind among the trees, and the rippling of the now swollen and muddy waters of the Ohio. At length the sound of a voice was heard some fifty paces distant, followed immediately by another in a louder tone.
On hearing this, our friends in the thicket rushed forward, and were soon engaged in shaking the hands of Isaac and his comrades, with a heartiness on both sides that showed the pleasure of meeting was earnest, and unalloyed.
As more important matters are now pressing hard upon us, and as our space is limited, we shall omit the detail of Isaac’s adventures, as also the further proceedings of both parties for the present, and substitute a brief summary.
The trail on which Isaac and his party started the day before, being broad and open, they had experienced but little difficulty in following it, until about noon, when they reached a stream where it was broken, which caused them some two hours delay. This, doubtless, prevented them from overtaking the enemy that day; and the night succeeding, not having found quarters as comfortable as Boone’s, they had been thoroughly soaked with rain. The trail in the morning was entirely obliterated; but pursuing their course in a manner simitar to that adopted by Boone, the result had happily been the same, and the meeting of the two parties the consequence, at a moment most fortunate to both.
All now gathered around the fire, to dry their garments, refresh themselves with food, tell over to each other their adventures, and consult as to their future course. It was finally agreed to cross the stream that night; in the hope, by following up the Miami, to stumble upon the encampment of their adversaries; who were, doubtless, at no great distance; and who, as they judged, feeling themselves secure, might easily be surprised to advantage. How they succeeded in their perilous undertaking, coming events must show.
[Footnote 8: A similar occurrence to the above is recorded of Boone’s first appearance in the Western Wilds.—See Boone’s Life—By Flint]
THE RENEGADE AND HIS PRISONERS.