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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 515 pages of information about Oak Openings.

CHAPTER XVI.

The raptures of a conqueror’s mood
Rushed burning through his frame;
The depths of that green solitude
Its torrents could not tame,
Though stillness lay, with eve’s last smile,
Round those far fountains of the Nile

                                                    —­Mrs Hemans.

When the bee-hunter and Corporal Flint thus went forth in midnight, from the “garrison” of Castle Meal (Chateau au Miel), as the latter would have expressed it, it was with no great apprehension of meeting any other than a four-footed enemy, notwithstanding the blast of the horn the worthy corporal supposed he had heard.  The movements of the dog seemed to announce such a result rather than any other, for Hive was taken along as a sort of guide.  Le Bourdon, however, did not permit his mastiff to run off wide, but, having the animal at perfect command, it was kept close to his own person.

The two men first moved toward the grove of the Kitchen, much to Hive’s discontent.  The dog several times halted, and he whined, and growled, and otherwise manifested his great dislike to proceed in that direction.  At length so decided did his resistance become, that his master said to his companion: 

“It seems to me best, corporal, to let the mastiff lead us.  I have never yet seen him so set on not going in one way, and on going in another.  Hive has a capital nose, and we may trust him.”

“Forward,” returned the corporal, wheeling short in the direction of the dog; “one thing should be understood, however, Bourdon, which is this—­you must act as light troops in this sortie, and I as the main body.  If we come on the inimy, it will be your duty to skrimmage in front as long as you can, and then fall back on your resarves.  I shall depend chiefly on the baggonet, which is the best tool to put an Injin up with; and as he falls back, before my charge, we must keep him under as warm a fire as possible.  Having no cavalry, the dog might be made useful in movements to the front and on our flanks.”

“Pooh, pooh, corporal, you’re almost as much set in the notions of your trade as Parson Amen is set in his idees about the lost tribes.  In my opinion there’ll be more tribes found in these openings before the summer is over than we shall wish to meet.  Let us follow the dog, and see what will turn up.”  Hive was followed, and he took a direction that led to a distant point in the openings, where not only the trees were much thicker than common, but where a small tributary of the Kalamazoo ran through a ravine, from the higher lands adjacent into the main artery of all the neighboring watercourses.  The bee-hunter knew the spot well, having often drank at the rivulet, and cooled his brow in the close shades of the ravine, when heated by exertions in the more open grounds.  In short, the spot was one of the most eligible for concealment,

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