The Canadian Brothers, or the Prophecy Fulfilled a Tale of the Late American War — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 533 pages of information about The Canadian Brothers, or the Prophecy Fulfilled a Tale of the Late American War — Complete.
distance, it was long before the noble animal lost its footing, and thus had its rider been enabled to arrive within a few paces of the canoe, at the very moment when the increasing depth of the water, in compelling the horse to the less expeditions process of swimming, gave a proportionate advantage to the pursued.  No sooner, however, did the Centaur-like rider find that he was losing ground, than, again darting his spurs into the flanks of his charger, he made every effort to reach the canoe, Maddened by the pain, the snorting beast half rose upon the calm element, like some monster of the deep, and, making two or three desperate plunges with his fore feet, succeeded in reaching the stern.  Then commenced a short but extraordinary conflict.  Bearing up his horse as he swam, with the bridle in his teeth, the bold rider threw his left hand upon the stern of the vessel, and brandishing his cudgel in the right, seemed to provoke both parties to the combat.  Desborough, who had risen from the stern at his approach, stood upright in the centre, his companion still paddling at the bows; and between these two a singular contest now ensued.  Armed with the formidable knife which he had about his person, the settler made the most desperate and infuriated efforts to reach his assailant; but in so masterly a manner did his adversary use his simple weapon, that every attempt was foiled, and more than once did the hard iron-wood descend upon his shoulders, in a manner to be heard from the shore.  Once or twice the settler stooped to evade some falling blow, and, rushing forward, sought to sever the hand which still retained its hold of the stern; but, with an activity remarkable in so old a man as his assailant, for he was upwards of sixty years of age, the hand was removed—­and the settler, defeated in his object, was amply repaid for his attempt, by a severe collision of his bones with the cudgel.  At length, apparently enjoined by his companion, the younger removed his paddle, and, standing up also in the canoe, aimed a blow with its knobbed handle at the head of the horse, at a moment when his rider was fully engaged with Desborough.  The quick-sighted old man saw the action, and, as the paddle descended, an upward stroke from his own heavy weapon sent it flying in fragments in the air, while a rapid and returning blow fell upon the head of the paddler, and prostrated him at length in the canoe.  The opportunity afforded by this diversion, momentary as it was, was not lost upon Desborough.  The horseman, who, in his impatience to avenge the injury offered to the animal, which seemed to form a part of himself, had utterly forgotten the peril of his hand; and before he could return from the double blow that had been so skilfully wielded, to his first enemy, the knife of the latter had penetrated his hand, which, thus rendered powerless now relinquished its grasp.  Desborough, whose object—­desperate character as he usually was—­seemed now rather to fly than to fight, availed himself of this
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The Canadian Brothers, or the Prophecy Fulfilled a Tale of the Late American War — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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