Oak Openings eBook

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

“Thank you, Pigeonswing,” said the young matron.  “No pale-face could be a better provider, and many are not one-half as good.”

“What provider mean, eh?” demanded the literal-minded savage.  “Mean good; mean bad, eh?”

“Oh! it means good, of course.  I could say nothing against a hunter who takes so good care of us all.”

“What he mean, den?”

“It means a man who keeps his wife and children well supplied with food.”

“You get ’nough, eh?”

“I get enough, Pigeonswing, thanks to your industry, such as it is.  Injin diet, however, is not always the best for Christian folk, though a body may live on it.  I miss many things, out here in the Openings, to which I have been used all the early part of my life.”

“What squaw miss, eh?  P’raps Injin find him sometime.”

“I thank you, Pigeonswing, with all my heart, and am just as grateful for your good intentions, as I should be was you to do all you wish.  It is the mind that makes the marcy, and not always the deed.  But you can never find the food of a pale-face kitchen out here in the Openings of Michigan.  When a body comes to reckon up all the good things of Ameriky, she don’t know where to begin, or where to stop.  I miss tea as much as anything.  And milk comes next.  Then there’s buckwheat and coffee—­though things may be found in the woods to make coffee of, but tea has no substitute.  Then, I like wheaten bread, and butter, and potatoes, and many other such articles, that I was used to all my life, until I came out here, close to sunset.  As for pies and custards, I can’t bear to think of ’em now!”

Pigeonswing looked intently at the woman, as she carefully enumerated her favorites among the dishes of her home-kitchen.  When she had ended, he raised a finger, looked still more significantly at her, and said: 

“Why don’t go back, get all dem good t’ings?  Better for pale-face to eat pale-face food, and leave Injin Injin food.”

“For my part, Pigeonswing, I wish such had ever been the law.  Venison, and prairie-fowls, and wild ducks, and trout, arid bear’s meat, and wild pigeons, and the fish that are to be found in these western rivers, are all good for them that was brought up on ’em, but they tire an eastern palate dreadfully.  Give me roast beef any day before buffalo’s hump, and a good barn-yard fowl before all the game-birds that ever flew.”

“Yes; dat de way pale-face squaw feel.  Bess go back, and get what she like.  Bess go quick as she can—­go today.”

“I’m in no such hurry, Pigeonswing, and I like these Openings well enough to stay a while longer, and see what all these Injins, that they tell me are about ’em, mean to do.  Now we are fairly among your people, and on good terms with them, it is wisest to stay where we are.  These are war-times, and travelling is dangerous, they tell me.  When Gershom and Bourdon are ready to start, I shall be ready.”

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Oak Openings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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