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.

“That will depend on the manner of marching.  I have no love for woods and swamps.”

“We shall sail in the Scud; and, indeed, the whole service, which is no stranger to us, is likely enough to please one accustomed to the water.”

“Ay, to salt-water if you will, but not to lake-water.  If you have no person to handle that bit of a cutter for you, I have no objection to ship for the v’y’ge, notwithstanding; though I shall look on the whole affair as so much time thrown away, for I consider it an imposition to call sailing about this pond going to sea.”

“Jasper is every way able to manage the Scud, brother Cap; and in that light I cannot say that we have need of your services, though we shall be glad of your company.  You cannot return to the settlement until a party is sent in, and that is not likely to happen until after my return.  Well, Pathfinder, this is the first time I ever knew men on the trail of the Mingos and you not at their head.”

“To be honest with you, Sergeant,” returned the guide, not without a little awkwardness of manner, and a perceptible difference in the hue of a face that had become so uniformly red by exposure, “I have not felt that it was my gift this morning.  In the first place, I very well know that the soldiers of the 55th are not the lads to overtake Iroquois in the woods; and the knaves did not wait to be surrounded when they knew that Jasper had reached the garrison.  Then a man may take a little rest after a summer of hard work, and no impeachment of his goodwill.  Besides, the Sarpent is out with them; and if the miscreants are to be found at all, you may trust to his inmity and sight:  the first being stronger, and the last nearly, if not quite as good as my own.  He loves the skulking vagabonds as little as myself; and, for that matter, I may say that my own feelings towards a Mingo are not much more than the gifts of a Delaware grafted on a Christian stock.  No, no, I thought I would leave the honor this time, if honor there is to be, to the young ensign that commands, who, if he don’t lose his scalp, may boast of his campaign in his letters to his mother when he gets in.  I thought I would play idler once in my life.”

“And no one has a better right, if long and faithful service entitles a man to a furlough,” returned the Sergeant kindly.  “Mabel will think none the worse of you for preferring her company to the trail of the savages; and, I daresay, will be happy to give you a part of her breakfast if you are inclined to eat.  You must not think, girl, however, that the Pathfinder is in the habit of letting prowlers around the fort beat a retreat without hearing the crack of his rifle.”

“If I thought she did, Sergeant, though not much given to showy and parade evolutions, I would shoulder Killdeer and quit the garrison before her pretty eyes had time to frown.  No, no; Mabel knows me better, though we are but new acquaintances, for there has been no want of Mingos to enliven the short march we have already made in company.”

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