Pathfinder; or, the inland sea eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about Pathfinder; or, the inland sea.
to a long-exercised deference to Lundie and his family; for, while the Major himself was much too acute to be the dupe of one so much his inferior in real talents and attainments, most persons are accustomed to make liberal concessions to the flatterer, even while they distrust his truth and are perfectly aware of his motives.  On the present occasion, the contest in skill was between two men as completely the opposites of each other in all the leading essentials of character as very well could be.  Pathfinder was as simple as the Quartermaster was practised; he was as sincere as the other was false, and as direct as the last was tortuous.  Both were cool and calculating, and both were brave, though in different modes and degrees; Muir never exposing his person except for effect, while the guide included fear among the rational passions, or as a sensation to be deferred to only when good might come of it.

“My dearest friend,” Muir commenced, —­ “for ye’ll be dearer to us all, by seventy and sevenfold, after your late conduct than ever ye were, —­ ye’ve just established yourself in this late transaction.  It’s true that they’ll not be making ye a commissioned officer, for that species of prefairment is not much in your line, nor much in your wishes, I’m thinking; but as a guide, and a counsellor, and a loyal subject, and an expert marksman, yer renown may be said to be full.  I doubt if the commander-in-chief will carry away with him from America as much credit as will fall to yer share, and ye ought just to set down in content and enjoy yoursal’ for the remainder of yer days.  Get married, man, without delay, and look to your precious happiness; for ye’ve no occasion to look any longer to your glory.  Take Mabel Dunham, for Heaven’s sake, to your bosom, and ye’ll have both a bonnie bride and a bonnie reputation.”

“Why, Quartermaster, this is a new piece of advice to come from your mouth.  They’ve told me I had a rival in you.”

“And ye had, man, and a formidible one, too, I can tell you, —­ one that has never yet courted in vain, and yet one that has courted five times.  Lundie twits me with four, and I deny the charge; but he little thinks the truth would outdo even his arithmetic.  Yes, yes, ye had a rival, Pathfinder; but ye’ve one no longer in me.  Ye’ve my hearty wishes for yer success with Mabel; and were the honest Sergeant likely to survive, ye might rely on my good word with him, too, for a certainty.”

“I feel your friendship, Quartermaster, I feel your friendship, though I have no great need of any favor with Sergeant Dunham, who has long been my friend.  I believe we may look upon the matter to be as sartain as most things in war-time; for, Mabel and her father consenting, the whole 55th couldn’t very well put a stop to it.  Ah’s me!  The poor father will scarcely live to see what his heart has so long been set upon.”

“But he’ll have the consolation of knowing it will come to pass, in dying.  Oh, it’s a great relief, Pathfinder, for the parting spirit to feel certain that the beloved ones left behind will be well provided for after its departure.  All the Mistress Muirs have duly expressed that sentiment with their dying breaths.”

Project Gutenberg
Pathfinder; or, the inland sea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook