Author: James Fenimore Cooper
Release Date: Sep, 1999 [Etext #1880] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on February 25, 2002] [Most recently updated: August 22, 2003]
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The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Pathfinder, by James Fenimore Cooper ******This file should be named pthfn11.txt or pthfn11.zip******
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This etext was prepared by Nigel Lacey, Leicestershire, Uk.
The Pathfinder or The Inland Sea
By James Fenimore Cooper
The plan of this tale suggested itself to the writer many years since, though the details are altogether of recent invention. The idea of associating seamen and savages in incidents that might be supposed characteristic of the Great Lakes having been mentioned to a Publisher, the latter obtained something like a pledge from the Author to carry out the design at some future day, which pledge is now tardily and imperfectly redeemed.
The reader may recognize an old friend under new circumstances in the principal character of this legend. If the exhibition made of this old acquaintance, in the novel circumstances in which he now appears, should be found not to lessen his favor with the Public, it will be a source of extreme gratification to the writer, since he has an interest in the individual in question that falls little short of reality. It is not an easy task, however, to introduce the same character in four separate works, and to maintain the peculiarities that are indispensable to identity, without incurring a risk of fatiguing the reader with sameness; and the present experiment has been so long delayed quite as much from doubts of its success as from any other cause. In this, as in every other undertaking, it must be the “end” that will “crown the work.”
The Indian character has so little variety, that it has been my object to avoid dwelling on it too much on the present occasion; its association with the sailor, too, it is feared, will be found to have more novelty than interest.