The Heart of the Hills eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 340 pages of information about The Heart of the Hills.
and following her gaze, he saw a tall mountaineer slouching down the path.  Quickly he crouched behind the fence, and the aged look came back into his face.  He did not approve of that man coming over there so often, kinsman though he was, and through the palings he saw his mother’s face drop quickly and her hands moving uneasily in her lap.  And when the mountaineer sat down on the porch and took off his hat to wipe his forehead, he noticed that his mother had on a newly bought store dress, and that the man’s hair was wet with something more than water.  The thick locks had been combed and were glistening with oil, and the boy knew these facts for signs of courtship; and though he was contemptuous, they furnished the excuse he sought and made escape easy.  Noiselessly he wielded his hoe for a few moments, scooped up a handful of soft dirt, meshed the worms in it, and slipped the squirming mass into his pocket.  Then he crept stooping along the fence to the rear of the house, squeezed himself between two broken palings, and sneaked on tiptoe to the back porch.  Gingerly he detached a cane fishing-pole from a bunch that stood upright in a corner and was tiptoeing away, when with another thought he stopped, turned back, and took down from the wall a bow and arrow with a steel head around which was wound a long hempen string.  Cautiously then he crept back along the fence, slipped behind the barn into the undergrowth and up a dark little ravine toward the green top of the spur.  Up there he turned from the path through the thick bushes into an open space, walled by laurel-bushes, hooted three times surprisingly like an owl, and lay contentedly down on a bed of moss.  Soon his ear caught the sound of light footsteps coming up the spur on the other side, the bushes parted in a moment more, and a little figure in purple homespun slipped through them, and with a flushed, panting face and dancing eyes stood beside him.

The boy nodded his head sidewise toward his own home, and the girl silently nodded hers up and down in answer.  Her eyes caught sight of the bow and arrow on the ground beside him and lighted eagerly, for she knew then that the fishingpole was for her.  Without a word they slipped through the bushes and down the steep side of the spur to a little branch which ran down into a creek that wound a tortuous way into the Cumberland.


On the other side, too, a similar branch ran down into another creek which looped around the long slanting side of the spur and emptied, too, into the Cumberland.  At the mouth of each creek the river made a great bend, and in the sweep of each were rich bottom lands.  A century before, a Hawn had settled in one bottom, the lower one, and a Honeycutt in the other.  As each family multiplied, more land was cleared up each creek by sons and grandsons until in each cove a clan was formed.  No one knew when and for what reason an individual Hawn and a Honeycutt had first

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The Heart of the Hills from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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