His stratagem proved successful. The girl immediately came, leaving her other companion, and in earnest tones entreated him not to go that evening. The lover was easily persuaded. His heart grew lighter and his spirit bolder. She soon made it so manifest in what direction her choice lay, that David was left entire master of the field. His discomfited rival soon took his hat and withdrew, David thus was freed from all his embarrassments.
It was Saturday night. He remained at the cabin until Monday morning, making very diligent improvement of his time in the practice of all those arts of rural courtship which instinct teaches. He then returned home, not absolutely engaged, but with very sanguine hopes.
At that time, in that region, wolves were abundant and very destructive. The neighbors, for quite a distance, combined for a great wolf-hunt, which should explore the forest for many miles. By the hunters thus scattering on the same day, the wolves would have no place of retreat. If they fled before one hunter they would encounter another. Young Crockett, naturally confident, plunged recklessly into the forest, and wandered to and fro until, to his alarm, he found himself bewildered and utterly lost. There were no signs of human habitations near, and night was fast darkening around him.
Just as he was beginning to feel that he must look out for a night’s encampment, he saw in the distance, through the gigantic trees, a young girl running at her utmost speed, or, as he expressed it in the Crockett vernacular, “streaking it along through the woods like all wrath.” David gave chase, and soon overtook the terrified girl, whom he found, to his surprise and delight, to be his own sweetheart, who had also by some strange accident got lost.
Here was indeed a romantic and somewhat an embarrassing adventure. The situation was, however, by no means so embarrassing as it would have been to persons in a higher state of civilization. The cabin of the emigrant often consisted of but one room, where parents and children and the chance guest passed the night together. They could easily throw up a camp. David with his gun could kindle a fire and get some game. The girl could cook it. All their physical wants would thus be supplied. They had no material inconveniences to dread in camping out for a night. The delicacy of the situation would not be very keenly felt by persons who were at but one remove above the native Indian.
The girl had gone out in the morning into the woods, to hunt up one of her father’s horses. She missed her way, became lost, and had been wandering all day long farther and farther from home. Soon after the two met they came across a path which they knew must lead to some house. Following this, just after dark they came within sight of the dim light of a cabin fire. They were kindly received by the inmates, and, tired as they were, they both sat up all night. Upon inquiry they found that David had wandered ten miles from his home, and the young girl seven from hers. Their paths lay in different directions, but the road was plain, and in the morning they separated, and without difficulty reached their destination.