Oak Openings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 515 pages of information about Oak Openings.
shrouded this part of his history as veiled all the rest.  In his hunts, various opportunities occurred for exhibiting to the females manly attentions, by offering to them the choicest pieces of his game, and pointing out the most approved Indian modes of cooking the meats, so as to preserve their savory properties.  This he did sparingly at first, and as a part of a system of profound deception; but day by day, and hour after hour, most especially with Margery, did his manner become sensibly less distant, and more natural.  The artlessness, the gentle qualities, blended with feminine spirit as they were, and the innocent gayety of the girl, appeared to win on this nearly remorseless savage, in spite of his efforts to resist her influence.  Perhaps the beauty of Margery contributed its share in exciting these novel emotions in the breast of one so stern.  We do not mean that Peter yielded to feelings akin-to love; of this, he was in a manner incapable; but a man can submit to a gentle regard for woman that shall be totally free from passion.  This sort of regard Peter certainly began to entertain for Margery; and like begetting like, as money produces money, it is not surprising that the confidence of the girl herself, as well as her sympathies, should continue to increase in the favor of this terrible Indian.

But the changes of feeling, and the various little incidents to which we have alluded, did not occur in a single moment of time.  Day passed after day, and still the canoes were working their way up the winding channels of the Kalamazoo, placing at each setting sun longer and longer reaches of its sinuous stream between the travellers and the broad sheet of Michigan.  As le Bourdon had been up and down the river often, in his various excursions, he acted as the pilot of the navigation; though all worked, even to the missionary and the Chippewa.  On such an expedition, toil was not deemed to be discreditable to a warrior, and Pigeonswing used the paddle and the pole as willingly, and with as much dexterity, as any of the party.

It was only on the eleventh day after quitting the mouth of the river, that the canoes came to in the little bay where le Bourdon was in the habit of securing his light bark, when in the openings.  Castle Meal was in full view, standing peacefully in its sweet solitude; and Hive, who, as he came within the range of his old hunts, had started off, and got to the spot the previous evening, now stood on the bank of the river to welcome his master and his friends to the chiente.  It wanted a few minutes of sunset as the travellers landed, and the parting rays of the great luminary of our system were glancing through the various glades of the openings, imparting a mellow softness to the herbage and flowers.  So far as the bee-hunter could perceive, not even a bear had visited the place in his absence.  On ascending to his abode and examining the fastenings, and on entering the hut, storehouse, etc., le Bourdon became satisfied that all the property he had left behind was safe, and that the foot of man—­he almost thought of beast too—­had not visited the spot at all during the last fortnight.

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Oak Openings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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