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.

“I am a soldier’s daughter, as you know, Jasper Western, and ought to be ashamed to confess fear.”

“Rely on me —­ on us all.  Your uncle, Pathfinder, the Delaware, were the poor fellow here, I myself, will risk everything rather than harm should reach you.”

“I believe you, Jasper,” returned the girl, her hand unconsciously playing in the water.  “I know that my uncle loves me, and will never think of himself until he has first thought of me; and I believe you are all my father’s friends, and would willingly assist his child.  But I am not so feeble and weak-minded as you may think; for, though only a girl from the towns, and, like most of that class, a little disposed to see danger where there is none, I promise you, Jasper, no foolish fears of mine shall stand in the way of your doing your duty.”

“The Sergeant’s daughter is right, and she is worthy of being honest Thomas Dunham’s child,” put in the Pathfinder.  “Ah’s me, pretty one! many is the time that your father and I have scouted and marched together on the flanks and rear of the enemy, in nights darker than this, and that, too, when we did not know but the next moment would lead us into a bloody ambushment.  I was at his side when he got the wound in his shoulder; and the honest fellow will tell you, when you meet, the manner in which we contrived to cross the river which lay in our rear, in order to save his scalp.”

“He has told me,” said Mabel, with more energy perhaps than her situation rendered prudent.  “I have his letters, in which he has mentioned all that, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the service.  God will remember it, Pathfinder; and there is no gratitude that you can ask of the daughter which she will not cheerfully repay for her father’s life.”

“Ay, that is the way with all your gentle and pure-hearted creatures.  I have seen some of you before, and have heard of others.  The Sergeant himself has talked to me of his own young days, and of your mother, and of the manner in which he courted her, and of all the crossings and disappointments, until he succeeded at last.”

“My mother did not live long to repay him for what he did to win her,” said Mabel, with a trembling lip.

“So he tells me.  The honest Sergeant has kept nothing back; for, being so many years my senior, he has looked on me, in our many scoutings together, as a sort of son.”

“Perhaps, Pathfinder,” observed Jasper, with a huskiness in his voice that defeated the attempt at pleasantry, “he would be glad to have you for one in reality.”

“And if he did, Eau-douce, where would be the sin of it?  He knows what I am on a trail or a scout, and he has seen me often face to face with the Frenchers.  I have sometimes thought, lad, that we all ought to seek for wives; for the man that lives altogether in the woods, and in company with his enemies or his prey, gets to lose some of the feeling of kind in the end.  It is not easy to

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