Micah inhabited his house usually only a few months during the year, as he was a cordial lover of the unbroken wilderness, and was as migratory in his habits as the native Indian. On the morning after the events related in the last chapter, he happened to be at home. While Adele was guiding the missionary to his cottage, he was sitting in his kitchen, which also served for a general reception room, burnishing up an old Dutch fowling-piece.
The apartment was furnished with cooking utensils, and coarse wooden furniture; the walls hung around with fishing tackle, moose-horns, skins of wild animals and a variety of firearms.
Micah was no common, stupid, bumpkin-looking person. Belonging to the genus Yankee, he had yet a few peculiar traits of his own. He had a smallish, bullet-shaped head, set, with dignified poise, on a pair of wide, flat shoulders. His chest was broad and swelling, his limbs straight, muscular, and strong. His eyes were large, round, and blue. When his mind was in a state of repose and his countenance at rest, they had a solemn, owl-like expression. But when in an excited, observant mood, they were keen and searching; and human orbs surely never expressed more rollicking fun than did his, in his hours of recreation. He had a habit of darting them around a wide circle of objects, without turning his head a hairsbreadth. This, together with another peculiarity of turning his head, occasionally, at a sharp angle, with the quick and sudden motion of a cat, probably was acquired in his hunting life.
Micah had never taken to himself a helpmate, and as far as mere housekeeping was concerned, one would judge, on looking around the decent, tidy apartment in which he sat and of which he had the sole care, that he did not particularly need one. He washed, scoured, baked, brewed, swept and dusted as deftly as any woman, and did it all as a matter of course. These were, however, only his minor accomplishments. He commanded the highest wages in the lumber camp, was the best fisherman to be found in the region, and had the good luck of always bringing down any game he had set his heart upon.
Micah had faults, but let these pass for the present. There was one achievement of his, worthy of all praise.
It was remarked, that the loggery was situated on the edge of a grove. This grove, when Micah came, was “a piece of woods”, of the densest and most tangled sort. By his strong arm, it had been transformed into a scene of exceeding beauty. He had cut away the under growth and smaller trees, leaving the taller sons of the forest still rising loftily and waving their banners toward heaven. It formed a magnificent natural temple, and as the sun struck in through the long, broad aisles, soft and rich were the lights and shadows that flickered over the green floor. The lofty arches, formed by the meeting and interlaced branches above, were often resonant with music. During the spring and summer months, matin worship was constantly performed by a multitudinous choir, and praises were chanted by tiny-throated warblers, raising their notes upon the deep, organ base, rolled into the harmony by the grand old pines.