Pathfinder; or, the inland sea eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 536 pages of information about Pathfinder; or, the inland sea.

“I do not see the prudence of that, Mabel.  The blockhouse will be the first spot assailed should there really be an attack; and it’s no’ well provided for a siege, that must be allowed.  If I might advise in so delicate a contingency, I would recommend your taking refuge in the boat, which, as you may now perceive, is most favorably placed to retreat by that channel opposite, where all in it would be hid by the islands in one or two minutes.  Water leaves no trail, as Pathfinder well expresses it; and there appears to be so many different passages in that quarter that escape would be more than probable.  I’ve always been of opinion that Lundie hazarded too much in occupying a post so far advanced and so much exposed as this.”

“It’s too late to regret it now, Mr. Muir, and we have only to consult our own security.”

“And the king’s honor, pretty Mabel.  Yes, his Majesty’s arms and his glorious name are not to be overlooked on any occasion.”

“Then I think it might be better if we all turned our eyes towards the place that has been built to maintain them instead of the boat,” said Mabel, smiling; “and so, Mr. Muir, I am for the blockhouse, intending to await there the return of my father and his party.  He would be sadly grieved at finding we had fled when he got back successful himself, and filled with the confidence of our having been as faithful to our duties as he has been to his own.”

“Nay, nay, for heaven’s sake, do not misunderstand me, Mabel!” Muir interrupted, with some alarm of manner; “I am far from intimating that any but you females ought to take refuge in the boat.  The duty of us men is sufficiently plain, no doubt, and my resolution has been formed from the first to stand or fall by the blockhouse.”

“And did you imagine, Mr. Muir, that two females could row that heavy boat in a way to escape the bark canoe of an Indian?”

“Ah, my pretty Mabel, love is seldom logical, and its fears and misgivings are apt to warp the faculties.  I only saw your sweet person in the possession of the means of safety, and overlooked the want of ability to use them; but you’ll not be so cruel, lovely creature, as to impute to me as a fault my intense anxiety on your own account.”

Mabel had heard enough:  her mind was too much occupied with what had passed that morning, and with her fears, to wish to linger longer to listen to love speeches, which in her most joyous and buoyant moments she would have found unpleasant.  She took a hasty leave of her companion, and was about to trip away towards the hilt of the other woman, when Muir arrested the movement by laying a hand on her arm.

“One word, Mabel,” said he, “before you leave me.  This little flag may, or it may not, have a particular meaning; if it has, now that we are aware of its being shown, may it not be better to put it back again, while we watch vigilantly for some answer that may betray the conspiracy; and if it mean nothing, why, nothing will follow.”

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Pathfinder; or, the inland sea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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