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.
and to those on the shore it was evident that, by a timely application of his skill and strength, the canoe had received a sheer which alone carried it clear of a rock over which the boiling water was leaping in jets d’eau, —­ now leaving the brown stone visible, and now covering it with a limpid sheet, as if machinery controlled the play of the element.  The tongue cannot always express what the eyes view; but Mabel saw enough, even in that moment of fear, to blend for ever in her mind the pictures presented by the plunging canoe and the unmoved steersman.  She admitted that insidious feeling which binds woman so strongly to man, by feeling additional security in finding herself under his care; and, for the first time since leaving Fort Stanwix, she was entirely at her ease in the frail bark in which she travelled.  As the other canoe kept quite near her own, however, and the Pathfinder, by floating at her side, was most in view, the conversation was principally maintained with that person; Jasper seldom speaking unless addressed, and constantly exhibiting a wariness in the management of his own boat, which might have been remarked by one accustomed to his ordinarily confident, careless manner.

“We know too well a woman’s gifts to think of carrying the Sergeant’s daughter over the falls,” said Pathfinder, looking at Mabel, while he addressed her uncle; “though I’ve been acquainted with some of her sex that would think but little of doing the thing.”

“Mabel is faint-hearted, like her mother,” returned Cap; “and you did well, friend, to humor her weakness.  You will remember the child has never been at sea.”

“No, no, it was easy to discover that; by your own fearlessness, any one might have seen how little you cared about the matter.  I went over once with a raw hand, and he jumped out of the canoe just as it tipped, and you many judge what a time he had of it.”

“What became of the poor fellow?” asked Cap, scarcely knowing how to take the other’s manner, which was so dry, while it was so simple, that a less obtuse subject than the old sailor might well have suspected its sincerity.  “One who has passed the place knows how to feel for him.”

“He was a poor fellow, as you say; and a poor frontierman too, though he came out to show his skill among us ignoranters.  What became of him?  Why, he went down the falls topsy-turvey like, as would have happened to a court-house or a fort.”

“If it should jump out of at canoe,” interrupted Jasper, smiling, thought he was evidently more disposed than his friend to let the passage of the falls be forgotten.

“The boy is right,” rejoined Pathfinder, laughing in Mabel’s face, the canoes being now so near that they almost touched; “he is sartainly right.  But you have not told us what you think of the leap we took?”

“It was perilous and bold,” said Mabel; “while looking at it, I could have wished that it had not been attempted, though, now it is over, I can admire its boldness and the steadiness with which it was made.”

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