Pretty soon the young, fresh, blooming, mirthful girl came along; and David fell in love with her at first sight. Not much formality of introduction was necessary: each was looking for the other. Both of the previous loves of the young man were forgotten in an instant. He devoted himself with the utmost assiduity, to the little Irish girl. He was soon dancing with her. After a very vigorous “double shuffle,” as they were seated side by side on a bench intensely talking, for David Crockett was never at a loss for words, the mother came up, and, in her wonderfully frank mode of match-making, jocosely addressed him as her son-in-law.
Even David’s imperturbable self-possession was disturbed by this assailment. Still he was much pleased to find both mother and daughter so favorably disposed toward him. The rustic frolicking continued nearly all night. In the morning, David, in a very happy frame of mind, returned to the Quaker’s, and in anticipation of soon setting up farming for himself, engaged to work for him for six months for a low-priced horse.
Marriage and Settlement.
Rustic Courtship.—The Rival Lover.—Romantic
Purchase of a Horse.—The Wedding.—Singular Ceremonies.—The
Termagant.—Bridal Days.—They commence Housekeeping.—The Bridal
Mansion and Outfit.—Family Possessions.—The Removal to Central
Tennessee.—Mode of Transportation.—The New Home and its
Surroundings.—Busy Idleness.—The Third Move.—The Massacre at Fort
David took possession of his horse, and began to work very diligently to pay for it. He felt that now he was a man of property. After the lapse of a few weeks he mounted his horse and rode over to the Irishman’s cabin to see his girl, and to find out how she lived, and what sort of people composed the family. Arriving at the log hut, he found the father to be a silent, staid old man, and the mother as voluble and nervous a little woman as ever lived. Much to his disappointment, the girl was away. After an hour or two she returned, having been absent at some meeting or merry-making, and, much to his chagrin, she brought back with her a stout young fellow who was evidently her lover.
The new-comer was not at all disposed to relinquish his claims in favor of David Crockett. He stuck close to the maiden, and kept up such an incessant chatter that David could scarcely edge in a word. In characteristic figure of speech he says, “I began to think I was barking up the wrong tree again. But I determined to stand up to my rack, fodder or no fodder.” He thought he was sure of the favor of her parents, and he was not certain that the girl herself had not given him sundry glances indicative of her preference. Dark night was now coming on, and David had a rough road of fifteen miles to traverse through the forest before he could reach home. He thought that if the Irishman’s daughter cherished any tender feelings toward him, she would be reluctant to have him set out at that late hour on such a journey. He therefore rose to take leave.