Oak Openings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about Oak Openings.
thicket, into which there was a narrow but practicable entrance on the side the least likely to be visited.  When all was accomplished the four went to the lookout to ascertain how far the canoes had come.  It was soon ascertained that they were within a mile, driving down before a strong breeze and following sea, and impelled by as many paddles as there were living beings in them.  Ten minutes would certainly bring them up with the bar, and five more fairly within the river.  The question now arose, where the party was to be concealed during the stay of the savages.  Dolly, as was perhaps natural for the housewife, wished to remain by her worldly goods, and pretty Margery had a strong feminine leaning to do the same.  But neither of the men approved of the plan.  It was risking too much in one spot; and a suggestion that the bee-hunter was not long in making prevailed.

It will be remembered that le Bourdon had carried the canoes within the field of wild rice, and bestowed them there with a good deal of attention to security.  Now these canoes offered, in many respects, better places of temporary refuge, under all the circumstances, than any other that could readily be found on shore.  They were dry; and by spreading skins, of which Boden had so many, comfortable beds might be made for the females, which would be easily protected from the night air and dews by throwing a rug over the gunwales.  Then, each canoe contained many articles that would probably be wanted; that of the bee-hunter in particular furnishing food in abundance, as well as diverse other things that would be exceedingly useful to persons in their situation.  The great advantage of the canoes, however, in the mind of le Bourdon, was the facilities they offered for flight.  He hardly hoped that Indian sagacity would be so far blinded as to prevent the discovery of the many footsteps they must have left in their hurried movements, and he anticipated that with the return of day something would occur to render it necessary for them to seek safety by a stealthy removal from the spot.  This might be done, he both hoped and believed, under cover of the rice, should sufficient care be taken to avoid exposure.  In placing the canoes, he had used the precaution to leave them where they could not be seen from the cabin or its vicinity, or, indeed, from any spot in the vicinity of the ground that the savages would be likely to visit during their stay.  All these reasons le Bourdon now rapidly laid before his companions, and to the canoes the whole party retired as fast as they could walk.

There was great judgment displayed on the part of the bee-hunter in selecting the wild rice as a place of shelter.  At that season it was sufficiently grown to afford a complete screen to everything within it that did not exceed the height of a man, or which was not seen from some adjacent elevation.  Most of the land near the mouth of the river was low, and the few spots which formed exceptions had been borne in mind when the canoes were taken into the field.  But just as Gershom was on the point of putting a foot into his own canoe, with a view to arrange it for the reception of his wife, he drew back, and exclaimed after the manner of one to whom a most important idea suddenly occurs: 

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Oak Openings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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