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The Baldwin Library
CAMPIMN G-O UT
BY C. A. STEPHENS.
Entered according to Act of Congress, ii, the year 1872,
By JAMES R. OSGOOD & WO.
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.
WE are well aware that the title of our little
Narrative will have to brave public opinion.
Our people generally despise fox-hunting: not with-
out pretty good reason, it is to be feared; for your
local fox-hunter is often no saint. In short, what
the "impecunious Bohemian" is to the town, the
fox-hunter is to the country, poor, slack, and
shiftless," in rustic phrase; "too lazy to work,"
the farmers say of him.
Furthermore, fox-hunting, considered as a busi-
ness, is notoriously unprofitable. This of itself
would be stigma enough in any average Yankee
community. Our people have a radical antipathy
to unremunerative callings. They will neither
engage in such, nor yet, so far as public sentiment
goes, allow their fellow-citizens to do so. Hence
a hound following at a man's heels, and claiming
him as master, discounts his owner's character at a
pretty heavy percentum.
But, beyond these considerations, there is un-
doubtedly another, and what may be termed an
hereditary, antipathy to this sport. In England,
the squires, even the lords and dukes, used to
hunt the fox. It was a standard amusement with
the landed gentry. The land was theirs, and they
overrode it at will: fences and fields were no bar-
riers to them. Now, the class of people who
emigrated from Old England to New England were
not of the fox-hunting class: they were of the
class the fox-hunters had overridden. They
brought with them well-defined objections to the
sport. Our institutions" were projected on a
different plan. No troop of aristocrats would be
allowed to ride down our fences, and poach our
fields. The law would stop them promptly; and,
if the law did not, something else would, very
quick. Our people have their rights, and the
temper to sustain them.
Nevertheless, an infusion of fox-hunting blood
must have come over even in The Mayflower."
It crops out here and there. In every inland county
there is always at least one whose instincts declare
the fatherland, be it never so rudely.
But we should not, methinks, deal too hardly
with this hardy old Anglo-Norman sport. Much
of the robust English health started here; and we
cannot but hope some good from fox-hunting on
American soil. Our youth, our young ladies espe-
cially, are lamentably destitute of healthy out-door
sports. The ill effects of this lack are sad enough,
Heaven knows, to fill us with well-grounded anxi-
ety for the future, lest we see the delicately-beauti-
ful Anglo-American fade utterly from the Western
Some such feeling as this has emboldened us to
submit the account of an attempt to Americanize,
in a clumsy way, this grand old field-sport of our
J. W. R.
BOSTON, May, 1878.
The Old "Curlew to be turned into a Crack Yacht.- Hamilton's
SMetaphysics."- We fall into Difficulties. Kit's Letter.- A Gay
Young Lady's Advice to a Youngster. The Fox.hunting Scheme 11
The Trip to Maine.--The Double Wagon.- A Grand Old Fireplace.
Bome Scorched Overshoes.-"The Freshman."- The Latin Les.
son. -" Scribo, scribere, scratcheye, scrinktum." A Talk about
Latin.--Some Sweet Cider, and how it was made. -A Good Tem.
plar.- The Thirteen-inch Sponge-Russets.- Some Music. 18
CH APTER IL.
The Hounds, "Jim," "Nance," and "Ginx," with Some Account of
SEach.- The" Fox-Bait."- Whoa, ye kicking old Rep I "-AFour.
dollar Horse 381
Chilly Weather. The Frozen Lake.- Skating. -" The Fire-Eater on
Skates." A Trip to the "Store." Roundwood Berries. Robins.
We visit Mr. Graves's School. Some Pretty School-Girls. The
Pearl of the Schoolroom. -The Class in English Analysis.- Intro-
ductions.-Miss Kate Edwards.--The Pretty Misses Wilbur.--
Wash as a Ladies' Man .
The Ball on the Ice. --- The Beacon-Fires. The Supper-Table. Some
Stunning Toilets. Wash Refulgent. Wade Refulgenter."- Miss
"Jule." Some Rapid Skating.- A Grand Rink. -A Promenade
with Miss Kate. The "Poetry of Motion." The Hemlock-Top. -
A Partridge. A Fox. What a Pretty Girl thought of Wash. -A
Race.-- Wash grows Audacious.- A Chat with Miss Nell.- Going
Home with Jule. The "Ten-year-old." Rather a Joke. 51
Snow.- Wash Ungrateful; Wade Regretful.-Ho for Fox-Hunting I
-A Dull Day. -A New Project on Foot. -A New Sort of Latin
The Fox-Hunt .
Trapping Foxes.- The Fox-Bait.- Shooting Foxes by Moonlight.-
Cunning Rogues.- Tenderer Scenes.- Miss Kate's Admirer.-
Where were Kit's Eyes ?. 110
Latin in the Background. Charades and Fair Charaders. -A Geo-
graphical Game.- Wash and Mr. Graves.- Wash spends an Even.
ing with Miss Kate, and afterwards has a Little Confidential Chat
with the Bed-Post. Wash talks of leaving Town. -A "Cross
Gray" Fox. Miss'Kate has a New Admirer. Somewhat of Mys.
tery 0 . US
Wash defers hearing Nilsson. Wade shines. Wash presumes to give
him a Word of Advice, which is not well received. Kit gives
an Opinion. Jule. -What "Granny" Sylvester thought of it as
reported by the "Ten-year-old." The Usual Reward doubled. -
A "Martyr in a Good Cause" .. 12L
A Thaw. Coasting. Downing Hill. Some Pescription of the same.
Four Hundred Feet through Space. Nervous. Mr. Graves
very Nervous. The Old Pung. Wilkins's Bend. Some fearfully
Rapid Coasting. ... .131
More Coasting. -The Old Pung comes to Grief. Long "Train,."-
Toiling up with Jule. Rather Late. On behind. Snapped at
Wilkins's Bend. Jule snaps me. A Quarrel 143
Another Crisis."- Wade in Trouble: he waxes Vehement, and talks
of visiting his Mother in Baltimore. Meanwhile I catch Sight of a
Desirable Vacancy, and become a Humorist. Queerie Day-." -
Something like a "' Glamour." The Fox-hunters' Soire 149
Wash has the Impudence to offer me Advice, which I reject with Merit-
ed Scorn.- Out in the Barge again. A Strange Track. Kit's
Story. The Lumbermen. Dan. Gee, Buck! A Wild Ride
along a "Logging Road."-" Treed."- Smoked out.-A Scare.-
Holding the Horses. Felling the Hemlock. The Game shows
Fight. A Lively Scrimmage. Our Fair Companions show the
"White-Feather." A Fisher. The Ladies refuse to ride with the
Game. .. .. 1
I am betrayed into contradicting St. Paul, and suffer Amatory Decapi-
tation; but am constrained to vindicate Miss Kate.- I also feel the
Need of a Change of Air.- Wash and Wade console me with
Worldly-minded Philosophy.- We congratulate Mr. Graves, who
seems much confused 178
We go on a Moose-Hunt. A Thirteen-mile Tramp.--A Logger's
Camp. The Party from Mattawamkeag. Monson, Jake, and
Louis." A Moose -Yard." Driving in a Moose." We buy
instead of capturing a Moose. -1 "Breaking" the Animal. A Novel
Sled.- Harnessing a Moose.- We ride Home. The very Abrupt
Departure of the Freshman 18
We give our Fair Companions an Invitation to ride behind a Tame
Moose." We meet the Morning Stage." A Mutual Panic.--
Dagon" runs away with us. A Smash-up. Dagon" escapes,
after shedding his Antlers. -All Four of us arrested.--" Trial-
Justice" Hobbs. Twenty Dollars and Costs .
High Times at the Edwards's. Carpe Diem. --We start an Opera. -
"Romeo and Juliet." Private Buffoonery. A Masquerade. -
"Hide-and-Seek."- The Old Chest.- Kit and Kate. Somewhat
of a Revelation.--Capt. Mazard's Letter.--The Yacht done.-
Adieu to our Lady Friends 200
NOTES ON THE RED FOx (Vulpes futvs)
NOTES ON THE MOOSE (Alces Americanu)
TH GRAY WOLVES OF MAINm .
* S S S S -5U
The Old Curlew" to be turned into a Crack Yacht. Hamilton's
"Metaphysics." We fall into Difficulties. Kit's Letter. A
Gay Young Lady's Advice to a Youngster. The Fox-hunting
IT had been our intention to sail for Europe in October,
after our return from the Geysers in August.
But a matter of party pride came up. We did not
care to present ourselves in Old-World waters in our
The Curlew" was a stanch, new, finely-modelled craft,
rakish and fleet enough: but she was not very stylish;
decidedly too homely for European ports. The more we
thought of it, the more we grew sure of this. Something
stylish and nobbyy," and, withal, fleet, like the old
" America," was our dream. We could not think of
so far demeaning our national yacht-reputation as to
present ourselves in the English Channel on the present
But The Curlew had "good points." Capt. Mazard
declared her hull couldn't be bettered. To finish, refur-
nish, and, in a word, turn the schooner into a gay, crack
yacht, with grand saloon and state-rooms, and perhaps
rechristen her as The Rambler," or something of that
sort, all to the tune of fifteen hundred or two thousand,
was our scheme. Capt. Mazard undertook to superin-
tend the job. But we could not count on her being
ready for sea again before March or April., We set our-
selves, therefore, to pass the winter in study; and, in
order to make a brave beginning, we entered on the
month of November with Hamilton's Metaphysics."
In explanation, I should say that we had feared that
perhaps so much Tyndall and Darwin might be too
physical. A well-meaning but utterly deluded elderly
friend had recommended Hamilton's Metaphysics as
a work well calculated to restore the proper intellectual
equipoise. We immediately invested in four volumes of
Bowen's American edition, and fell to work. Kit, mean-
while, had to return to Maine; but he took his Hamil-
ton," and agreed to keep pace with us, and report every
Our programme was to thoroughly master twelve pages
per diem, five days in a week. Never was there a better-
laid or a more conscientious plan. But, to my chagrin,
I can but record that the result achieved during the next
fortnight is best typified by an utter hiatus, perfectly
void of any thing definite or tangible.
Nothing disrespectful to the learned author or editor is
for a moment to be inferred. Of so respectable a work as
Hamilton's Metaphysics I always feel to speak guard.
edly, if at all. I have no sort of doubt thaz Sir William
Hamilton was a great man, a transcendent philosopher.
It was Wash who first headed an insurrection against
him, in which Wade perversely joined. They both burned
their books, and started for Cambridge to hunt up the
Alford professor. I believe they wanted to ask him a
few civil questions.
That night there came a letter from Kit. His first
weekly letter had not come as promised. He wrote, -
"DEAR FELLOWS, -How goes it ? and how get you
on with Hamilton ? What lively stuff this metaphysics
is! I dare say you're progressing famously. But,
fellows, to tell the truth, I can't say as much for my-
self. I, in short, have given it up, the whole thing,
and burnt the book; for I don't mean to have it lying
round to remind me of defeat. I suppose Raed will
think this is an evidence of mental weakness; and I
expect it is: but I can't help it. Money wouldn't tempt
me to begin on that volume again. Somehow it doesn't
agree with my infirmities at all; aggravates 'em. But
really, Raed, I begun on the thing with all honesty and
good will. I went over almost a hundred pages. I
meant and expected to get some.idea as to what the
mind is, and how it thinks; and, all through the first
seventy-five pages, I kept thinking I should shortly come
out to something definite, till I got utterly confounded.
"It's my private opinion that the old fellow didn'tknow
what he was talking about. Yes, sir; I got so tremen-
dously muddled, that I didn't actually know enough to
undress myself nights. Fact. I actually got into bed
with my hat on two nights in succession. When it
came to that, I thought I had better take off Hamilton.
You see, perception, apperception, sub-apperception,
super-apperception, super-sub-apperception, got so twist-
ed up in my head, that I couldn't think straight.
Grandmother did really suspect that I had 'taken to
drink' at first. Then she got alarmed, and gave Wealthy
private instructions to watch me on the sly, and find out
where I got it; for I used to take the book in my
pocket, and walk off along the road to read and reflect.
Evenings, the old lady eyed me anxiously over her knit-
ting. I don't know what she thought ailed me; I wasn't
in a state to consider: but I know she has seemed
greatly relieved since I burned the book. Probably the
symptoms are less alarming.
"Really, Raed, I've not half so good an idea of what
the mind is as I had before I began Hamilton. The
learned philosopher has led me a most confusing chase.
Reminds me forcibly of the way I got served half a
dozen years ago, when I was at school at W. I was
nothing but a boy then, you know. One day we had
visitors, a whole bevy of pretty girls (strictly speaking,
I suppose I ought to say a gal-axy). 'Twas a full term.
Myself, and the fellow that sat with me, had to give up
our seat to the company, and take a front-seat on the
other side of the room.
"I well remember one of the girls. She was a black-
eyed little Jezebel. She glued my eyes, first thing. I
was just such a little Nimshi then as to sit and ogle.
She caught me at it, and kept catching me all the
afternoon. By and by I saw her writing in my Reader,
and turning over the leaves.
Better believe I felt curious
As soon as they had gone, I pounced on
and opened it near the first part, where she
down a leaf.
There I saw, -
SIf my name you wish to see,
Turn to page 403.'
"I instantly turned, and found on the margin, -
Saucy boy with the little pig-eye,
What makes you look so awful shy ?
Turn to page 308:
Something there doth thee await.'
'Pretty boy with loppy ears,
Calm your silly, childish fears :
Hie to page 402;
Something there I've writ for you.'
"Beginning to get indignant, but with
osity, I looked over to the page indicated,
and espied, -
'Boy, it will be many a year
Before your mustache will appear.
Wait with patience: I may sign
My full name on 29.'
"Mad as a ken, I whirled back, and found, -
'Changed my mind. But don't you fret.
You're nothing but a shaver yet.
Don't you think I'm rather pretty I
Look on page 130.'
"This was awful; but I turned with vindictive haste,
to find, -
SBubby-boy, this never'll do:
You must learn a thing or two.
Take my advice, you little cub:
Never stare at ladies, bub.'
"Metaphysically speaking, Hamilton has given me just
about such a chase. Only Black-Eyes did me neatly
and completely, besides giving me one of the most use-
ful lessons I ever learned; whereas Hamilton has bored
me half to death, and, withal, got me into a hopeless
muddle. If I could only wipe all this metaphysical con-
fusion out of my mind as easily as I rubbed Black-Eyes'
pencillings out of my Reader, I should be well satisfied.
"Candidly, Raed, I don't believe it pays to torture
one's reasoning powers with the tortuous platitudes of
these old philosophers. It's plain enough that they know
next to nothing about the mind. Mental action and
consciousness doubtless proceed from certain simple con-
ditions of matter and motion thus far inscrutable.
These old fellows make the mind out to be a fear-
fully complex thing in their utter ignorance of vital
physics. I repeat, I don't believe it pays to confound
one's self with their long-spun lucubrations. If one
was shut up in a monastery, it might pay to study
Hamilton by way of killing time; though I submit that
time would die hard. So I shall go back to Tyndall
and Huxley and Youman and Darwin. Those scien-
tific fellows, at least, do know something of what they
are talking about: the metaphysician don't, the way
I look at it. They are a mere set of guessers, and dull
ones at that. Any Yankee could outguess them on their
own grounds; and would, if it were a paying business.
I don't know, fellows, that your experience has been any
thing like mine. But, by way of getting back to my
former life, I'm going into fox-hunting; and I wish you
would come down. I'll show you some sport. I've got
hounds and a famous fox-bait; also snow-shoes, and
every thing necessary for a jolly burst at it. Now, don't
disappoint me. Let's have a dash at Nature to brush
away these metaphysical cobwebs."
"Hurrah!" Wash shouted as I read off this invite
vion. "Bless the fellow! Of course we will go!"
The Trip to Maine. The Double Wagon. A Grand Old Fire-
place. Some Scorched Overshoes. The Freshman." The
Latin Lesson. Scribo, scribere, scratcheye, scrinktum." A Talk
about Latin.---Some Sweet Cider, and how it was made. A
Good Templar. The Thirteen-inch Sponge-Russets. Some
-WE went down to Portland Monday afternoon.
Tuesday was a bitter day, a stinging day, cold
and leaden as the realm of Dis. Late in the afternoon,
we arrived, chilled to the marrow, at the memorable
"forks" of the road, and stumbled out of the stage in
a state of torpor. Kit was there with a double wagon,
waiting, muffled up in buffaloes. His purple-red, cheery
face was welcome enough in itself. We were all too
benumbed to say much after a wintry "How are ye ?"
and "Pile in!"
Kit threw in our guns, trunks, &c.; then tucked the
buffaloes round us, and drove off at a great rate, both
horses on a gallop, along the hubbly road. Before our
teeth had had time to fairly chatter out another tattoo,
the wagon rumbled into the yard, and pulled up with
a jerk that came near robbing me of the tip of my
"Grandmother's" fair, broad, pleasant countenance
was in the door. To do her justice, she pretty nearly
filled it, as I dimly perceived through frosty eye-lashes.
"Grandfather," with white hair, but blue eyes, came
sturdily out to take the team. Kit led the way; and we
all made a rush through to the sitting-room, where, in a
fireplace that might have sufficed for Valhalla, there
flamed and roared a bonfire fit to celebrate the presidential
election. We charged up to it; but the hot blast against
our faces arrested us.
"You'll burn yourselves !" Kit exclaimed, and uncere-
moniously pulled us back by the coat-tails. But, with
a half-frozen person's infatuation, we kept crowding up
for some seconds, and, in truth, kept Kit dragging us
"Man alive! he shouted, catching Wade around the
waist from behind. "You'll burn your boots to a cin-
der, and your pants too! Get back to these chairs I've
set. You'll be hot enough there, I promise you, in three
minutes. Whew! for Wash's overshoes had begun to
smoke with a terrific stench of caoutchouc.
Finally, but not till were all more or less yellowed, we
were bullied, and pulled back about ten feet to the ring
of chairs. And, indeed, that was as near as prudence
would allow of, as we soon perceived. I never saw such
a fire in-doors. It was absolutely dangerous. Such a
roar of devouring flames! In front, on a pair of gigan-
tic "dogs," lay a rock-maple fore-stick as big round as a
barrel; while behind was piled in four-foot wood, not
quite half a cord, perhaps, but certainly as much as we
could all four have carried at once.
When we rushed in, all this mass of heat-emitting
.naple was well under way.
"But where are the girls, Miss Nell and Miss Weal-
thy ? Wade asked.
Surely I had missed Sunshine.
"At school," said Kit. "Be at home soon, though.
Winter school is in session now."
Grandmother came in with a pitcher of ginger-tea,
her standard antidote for chills of all sorts. We all
drank of it on general principles. Kit grinned encour-
agingly. While this was going on, talking and laugh-
ing were heard from without. The door opened; and a
tall young man with a very handsome countenance passed
through the sitting-room into the front hall. I noticed
that he wore a black overcoat of not very modern cut,
and had on dark pants. I have rarely seen a better
face, or a prettier dark hazel eye. He had not removed
his hat. Evidently our presence there was a surprise to
him; for he glanced rather astonishedly at us, but at
once assumed a dignified mien, which assured me that
he had seen comparatively little of the world.
"Who was that ?" asked Wash.
"Oh! that's the schoolmaster, Mr. Graves," said Kit.
"He boards here. I'll introduce you this evening.
He's a freshman from Bowdoin; teaching to help out
his education, I believe. Quite a retiring, modest sort
of a fellow. Still he doesn't think small-beer of him-
self: I promise you that much. Counts a good deal on
being a college-student; more on that than on his own
abilities, I sometimes fancy. Look at the two big
lexicons on the table there! Studies evenings; and he
gives the girls Latin lessons too. Oh, he's great on
Latin and geometry! Can give every theorem in the
first four books of Davies's Legendre' verbatim, he told
me. But it surprised him considerably to see me use
the theodolite, as we did last September. He won-
dered where I had learned so much. 'Why,' said he,
Swe don't have that till the sophomore-year down at
Bowdoin!' I told him we had it the freshman-year on
our yacht. Since that, he's been a little shy,; doesn't
expatiate on the wonders of geometry so much as he did;
and he eyes that theodolite up in my room as if it were
Jack in a box.
"But he is a good fellow," Kit concluded a little
Nevertheless, I detected just the least bit of despite
in this description, at which I wondered a little; for Kit
is rarely or never malicious in this way. It puzzled me,
and kept recurring a score of times within the next
fortnight. Afterwards I got a glimpse of the reason.
At supper we had the pleasure of making Mr. Graves's
acquaintance. He was rather reserved; and his style
of conversation was decidedly bookish. Latin-derived
adjectives of three and even four syllables encumbered
his talk. Worse still, he evidently plumed himself on
their use, and introduced a more than usual number for
our benefit. This would have made him a bore of the
"first water," had he not displayed quite uncon-
sciously -glimpses of original thought, and, unless I
mistook, a sterling character at bottom. I drew him
into some talk about the studies pursued at Bowdoin,
He made mention of them with a mixture of pride and
waggishness; which is, I believe, peculiar to college-stu-
dents of the first and second years. I referred to the
custom of "hazing" freshmen. This at length set his
tongue running. He let go his Latin adjectives, and
related "hazing tricks "with a gusto which set us all
a-laughing, more at his relish of them than of the pranks
themselves; for these latter struck me as being rather
stale: and I could but wonder at the enthusiasm with
which this Latinized young fellow recounted the emp-
tying of slop-buckets on the heads of his fellow-students.
But college-fellows have,. I remembered, a weakness
for such salutes. Perhaps Nature thus revenges her-
self for too much "dead languages by giving them up
to coarse practical jokes which outsiders can but regard
Wash and Wade were meanwhile chatting and laugh-
ing with the girls. I sincerely hoped Wash would have
the grace to behave himself; for a long acquaintance
with him had taught me, that, once well off on a frolic,
he never knows when to stop. From knocking about
on a yacht, one is apt to get out of the grooves of social
propriety, and gain a proficiency in phrases rather spicy
for family use. Indeed, this is one of the evils we have
to keep watch and ward over.
It was a source of relief to me to observe, from time
to time, that the old lady was smiling kindly, and
giving us all the full tide of her grandmotherly sym-
As for Kit, he magnanimously devoted himself to the
care and replenishing of our plates; in short, made a
"table-girl" of himself, and a very attentive one.
It was easy to see that the Freshman regarded us all
with a magisterial eye, and that both the girls paid him
a vast stipend of awe and admiration, enforced mainly,
no doubt, by those four-syllabled adjectives. I took
note that the word inscrutable," repeated twice in the
course of the meal, made them fairly catch their breaths,
and, if I did not fancy it, caused even the old lady to
show the white of her eye for a moment.
Ah! this national schoolmaster of ours is a power in
We were, of course, anxious to see the hounds and the
mysterious fox-bait Kit had hinted at; but it was dark
ere we had finished supper.
"Better wait till to-morrow morning, I guess," Kit
remarked aside. "We shall need daylight for it."
So all hands adjourned to the sitting-room again; and
an era of general sociability began. It soon appeared,
however, that these evenings were, in part at least, de-
voted to study, and that a certain Latin lesson was due
from the girls. Indeed, I had all along noticed that
they were rather nervously turning over a couple of me-
dium-sized volumes in that dark-green cloth sacred to
the text of Prof. Harkness; and at length Mr. Graves
inquired preliminarily whether that "lesson" were
Miss Nell replied, a little anxiously, to the effect that
they would wish to put it over till to-morrow. The rea-
son was apparent enough. It was not surprising that
they did not care to recite Latin before a roomful of
young gentlemen. But the master was quite unwilling
to excuse them. I think he felt a little proud of his
class; possibly proud of his Latin. We hastened to
assure them that we should be utterly unable to criti-
cise; and, after considerable hesitation, the recitation
commenced. It was the conjugation of audio in the ac-
tive voice, together with questions relative to the parts
of Latin verbs of the third and fourth conjugations.
As to the merits of the recitation, it would be rash for
the writer to hazard an opinion; but it seemed to be
given with very considerable fluency. There were a
few hesitations; but these, I am convinced, were oc-
casioned rather by our embarrassing presence than from
negligence in study.
Mr. Graves was very accurate with the parts of the
Latin verbs. They seemed to flash out from his memory
with the nicety of steel plate. He had a mind that
would take a sharp discipline, and retain it: so I judged.
But this finished exactitude held the young ladies ih a
good deal of awe.
The parts of scribo, if you please, Miss Wealthy ?"
"Scribo, scribere," began Wealthy bravely enough;
but happening at that instant to catch Wade's black,
attentive eye, she stumbled, made a mess of it, and
stopped short in blushing confusion. It hurt my feel-
"Why, Wealth!" cried Kit. "Forgotten scribe
Just as easy as to snap your fingers, scribo, scribere,
scratcheye, scrinktum /"
He said it mischievously; and the outrageousness
of the parody amused us all prodigiously, except the
teacher. I saw in a moment that he was hurt or
offended; both, perhaps. He said nothing, save to
gravely set Miss Wealthy right; at which Kit seemed
all the more amused.
I wondered again at this almost imperceptible flavor
of spite. I thought, for a moment, that Wash seemed to
notice it a little curiously; but subsequent events have
rendered him rather reticent on that and kindred topics.
It passed; and a desultory conversation on the merits
of Latin, as a study, sprang up.
Mr. Graves urged that the study of Latin was neces-
sary, because hundreds and thousands of our words in
every-day use were made of Latin word-roots, with
Latin prefixes and suffixes. Unless a person understood
the meanings and uses of these, he could never be
classed as a Well-educated person.
SBut," argued Kit, "do not, to a far greater extent
too, the old Anglo-Saxon word-roots enter into and
make up the very warp and woof of the English lan-
guage ? and yet you say nothing about studying these,
the language of our ancestors. Why do you urge so
long and exhaustive a study of Latin and Greek, and
entirely slight the old Saxon tongue ?"
No better reply occurred to Mr. Graves than to say
that both should be studied; the one, perhaps, as much
as the other.
"But how can the old Norse languages be studied,
when all a man's youth is used up on Caesar, Sallust,
Cicero, Virgil, Horace, Tacitus, Xenophon, Homer, De.
mosthenes, and Sophocles ? demanded Kit.
And so they had it. Both were in earnest, taking
fair and serious grounds for argument. Mr. Graves
especially contended, that in law, in theology, and in
medicine, as also in the nomenclature of natural history,
botany, and physiology, a knowledge of Latin was ab-
solutely necessary in order that a student may under-
standingly pursue his professions and studies.
It seemed so. I thought he made out a very strong
case on this latter point.
But we all agreed with Kit, that the time spent on
Greek and Latin was disproportionate; that these lan-
guages were allowed to take up far too much time.
Wash gave it as his opinion, that one year of Latin
and Greek would be as much time as could be justly set
apart for them.
Kit thought a second year should be spent on Old
English and the Norse tongues.
Mr. Graves did not agree with us; but he admitted
that Latin occupied more time than could, with justice,
be given it. He argued, however, that the course of
studies pursued at college (Bowdoin) was about as good
a one as could be laid down.
Kit laughed at this opinion : he believed, with the rest
of us, that scientific studies should occupy a full two-
thirds of the time.
I felt sure, however, that the "flavor of spite" which
I had fancied to exist between them did not originate in
their diverse opinions on educational matters. They
were both perfectly fair and candid in argument, and
showed no signs of lqsing temper. I began to think I
had been mistaken altogether as to it.
It occurred to me that we might get some benefit from
Mr. Graves's Latin; and, since he had argued so stoutly
for it, I asked him, as a favor, to make out for us a list
of one hundred Latin words that entered most fre-
quently in the compounds" of our language, together
xith their "roots," and a few common derivatives as
examples of the way these derivatives are formed. He
seemed pleased with the idea; and I was glad to see. that
he looked upon the request as a compliment to his argu-
ments. He promised to do so in the course of a week.
Kit and Miss Nell had gone out meanwhile. From
certain sounds of talk which seemed to come up through
the floor, I concluded they were down cellar. Presently
they re-appeared from the dining-room, Kit with a
willow-basket of apples (sponge-russets, of fabulous size),
and Miss Nell with a large pitcher and glasses. The
pitcher was soon declared to contain cider; at which
Wash held up his hands in comical despair. He is a
But is a Good Templar really holden to resist cider
when poured out by a pretty girl who playfully raises
her own glass "to touch"? Well, all is, I know one
Good Templar who didn't; though I am bound in honor
not to disclose his name.
There is always a dodge with cider, however. Cider is
of two kinds, -sweet cider and sour cider. Just where
the line of demarcation between the two obtains place
is not very clear. Perhaps it is not fixed. I never
knew a Good Templar who ever drank sour cider; and,
now I think of it, I am inclined to believe that sour
cider is wholly a myth.
Sweet cider is, as everybody knows, a very innoxious
SIs it sweet ?" I asked.
"Certainly, sir," replied Kit blandly. Just tapped.
I tried. Such cider! Never tasted any thing like
it It did have a little of "the fuddle to it; but, of
course, that had nothing at all to do with its sweetness.
It was as rich in color as port wine.
We learned that this barrel was a sort of "fatted calf"
which Kit had been keeping, and had only tapped in
honor of our arrival; and, as this barrel of cider is a
good deal mixed up with my narrative, I may be par-
doned some gossip concerning it and its general get-up.
In the first place, it was made of grafted fruit exclu-
sively, Baldwins, Greenings, and Scotch-sweets. So
far as practicable, all wormy apples had been thrown out.
This circumstance was a comforting one; for, generally
speaking, each barrel of merchantable cider made since
the year of grubs (1861) contains the juices of about -
at a moderate estimate forty thousand fat white
worms! To resume, the apples had been carefully
sorted; and, after expressing, Kit had put into this
barrel a half-pound of white mustard (whole), five blood-
beets (nicely sliced up), and three pounds of raw beef-
steak. The mustard was to keep it sweet, the beets to
give it color, the beef to give it body. Happy con-
"Gentle cask of mellow cider !
Ah if I were only a poet, I would celebrate that bar-
rel of apple-juice a la Horace, or I'd cave the head of
it in. Full many a long, fox-less tramp has it cheered up ;
full many a happy evening has it made happier, always
FOX-HUNTIT G. 29
i moderation. Associated, too, with its rich color, rises
in memory a vision ahem! Ah! it's no sort of use to
try the poetical: I can't fetch it. In plain prose, it was
plaguy good stuff: came as near old Jove's nectar as
any thing that has been gotten up since his time.
Then those russets If there is one apple in the
world which stands superior in its season to all other
apples, it is the sponge-russet. (I should remark, per-
haps, that Wash prefers the gillyflower; but his opinion
is manifestly absurd.) Some of these mammoth russets
were thirteen inches in girth, with the flavor and quality
in proportion. Picture us sitting at a safe distance be-
fore that cyclopean hearth, eating thirteen-inch russets,
and quaffing beakers of sweet cider, and you have a
scene to match Valhalla, from which not even the Val-
kyrs were absent, toned and beautified by Yankee girl-
We sang too. There was a parlor-organ. I presume
our music would scarcely deserve a review:" yet with
Wade's tenor, the Freshman's bass, and Miss Nells clear
soprano, we managed to please ourselves; and, as there
was nobody else to hear, it can be nobody's else business.
These good folks keep early hours. By half-past ten
I noticed a movement which indicated "bed-time; and
we all acquiesced, the more readily that our long ride in
the cold wind had rendered us unusually stupid and
sleepy. Lighting a little kerosene-lamp, Kit conducted
us up the broad but uncarpeted flight of stairs in the
"front hall." Our chambers were two square rooms on
the second floor, connecting the one with the other. A
bright fire in a fireplace of smaller dimensions warmed
and lighted the first and southernmost of the two; and,
by leaving the door open, the second was rendered com-
"We four fellows shall have to bunk here," explained
our young host. "You can choose of the two rooms to
Having in mind certain hygienic precepts to the effect
that it is healthier to sleep in cool rooms, Wash and
myself chose the fireless one. Wade, who shivers a good
deal in our climate, was glad of the bed nearer the fire.
He and Kit occupied the fireplace-room together; it
being a part of Kit's duty to tend the fire.
But where does the Freshman bestow himself?
Oh! he has the spare room down stairs," said Kit.
"The spare room is always sacred to the schoolmaster,
who generally boards here. .But what do you think
of him this Graves ? he asked after we had sat warm-
ing our feet a while.
The question was put a little insidiously. We had
liked him pretty well. "A trifle mawkish," Wash ob-
served. "But he seems a good fellow at bottom."
Kit made no reply to this.
"How do you like him ? I ventured after a moment's
Oh! I like him well enough," said Kit, and changed
The Hounds, "Jim," "Nance," and Ginx," with Some Account
of Each. The Fox-Bait." Whoa, ye kicking old Rep!I "
A Four-dollar Horse.
-WE slept soundly, rather too soundly; and were
only up in time for breakfast, and the "family
prayers" which followed the meal. (" Grandfather's"
prayer was fully as prolix as on a former and less deco-
Mr. Graves joined in these devotional exercises; but
he grew sadly uneasy ere the prayer concluded. I de-
tected him in a surreptitious consultation of his watch.
It lacked but fourteen minutes of nine! and he immedi-
ately hurried off to school with the girls.
We went out to the stable to see the hounds and the
Here they are!" exclaimed Kit, rolling back the
He had them chained in empty horse-stalls warmly
"This is Jim," continued Kit, making us acquainted
with a big, bony, savage-looking beast, white, calicoed
with light tan. "He's the leader, a half-breed. It's as
much as a man's life's worth to get before him after he
has run five or six hours. A while ago I had them on a
fox-track. They ran till night around a mountain up
here. Then the fox, an old cross gray,' made a bee-
line for another mountain about four miles farther on.
I found they weren't gaining, for it was bad running;
and so cut across to take them off the trail. Jim had
got pretty mad. His eyes were like coals. I knew I
should have my hands full: so I hacked down a lot of
little hemlocks, and threw them in on to the track at a
place where it ran between a couple of big rocks. Then
I got a large, brushy hemlock-limb, and stood ready on
the other side. Up came Jim. I yelled at him. Paid
no attention to me. I thought he would have to go
round the hemlock; but he took it at a leap, when he
found the scent was under it. As he came over, J laid
on to him with the limb. I had to fairly knock him
down, and kick him after he was down, to stop him. He
would have throttled me in a jiffy if I hadn't got him
down and got the better of him. He was so excited, he
didn't know me. Afterwards he acted as ashamed as
you please. The other two were a little behind, and
stopped when they found Jim had stopped. But I made
up my mind that it was a rather risky business. I think
Jim has something of the bloodhound in him. I bought
him in one of the adjoining towns to the east of us.
And this," continued Kit, going to the next stall,
"is old Nance. She runs next to Jim. Is a faster run-
ner than Jim; but he won't have any thing ahead of
him of the feminine gender. When I want some sharp,
quick running, I put her on alone. She knows what I
want just as well as I could say it in words. She will
skim like a swallow; and she will put a common yellow
fox into the ground in from one to three hours, or else
overhaul him handsomely. Generally holes them.
They'll take the ground when they hear her closing up
behind. You shall see. I don't care what folks say
about fox-hunting: it's fun alive, I think."
I cannot describe old Nance more graphically than by
saying that she resembled a large-sized English coach-
dog: only the black spots were rather larger, and less
regularly disposed. She had, of course, a hound's ear,
with a lean, bony head, and a prodigious muzzle.
"And this," resumed Kit, going round into the third
stall, this is Ginx." (I think Kit must have been
reading Ginx's Baby.") One year old. Runs behind
the other two. Going to be quite a hound one of these
days. Nothing but a puppy yet. Got a good eye and
a good head: intelligent brute."
Ginx-- we could but grin at the name -was a
sleek, short-haired creature; black back, with tan legs,
red ears, and light tan nose.
"But what of this one?" demanded Wash, looking
into a fourth stall, where a faintly-brindled and rather
ill-conditioned hound stood shivering.
"Oh! he's of no account," said Kit. "Not one of
my pack: wouldn't keep such a cur. You see, he be-
longed to an old chap a few miles from here: so I
bought him up about a fortnight ago. Gave a fiver for
him too; and he isn't worth a paper dime. But I was
afraid the fellow would be out hunting with him, chas-
ing and frightening off the foxes: so I gave him his
price. There isn't now another fox-hound kept within
a dozen miles of here; and there hasn't been a hound
out this season yet. The foxes are as bold as crows.
Go out almost any evening after dark, and you can hear
them mousing round the stone-piles out in the fields;
and, just as day is breaking, they sometimes get to bark-
ing and yelping in a perfect chorus. There are scores
of them about here. But what to do with this hound I
have bought, I really don't know; unless I take him for
Why, is this the bait you've been chaffing us
about ? demanded Wash.
No oh, no !" disclaimed Kit. "Come on: I'll show
you the bait."
He went out through a passage leading from the
stable into the barn proper, and, partly opening the door
of a dark pen adjoining the haymow, peeped cautiously
in. Our curiosity was now highly excited.
"In there, is it ? said I.
"In there," said Kit. "Take a peep ?"
Impressed by his own seeming caution, I carefully
craned my neck, and was just getting my face in at the
dark crack of the door, when, quick as a wink, there was
a snort, a swish of something or other, instantly followed
by a ponderous crash against the door, which, slamming
to, knocked me most unceremoniously into the middle of
"What the dickens!" exclaimed Wash; while Wade
made a bolt of several yards.
Kit sprang to secure the door, shouting, "Whoal
you confounded, kicking old rep! Whoa! or I'll have
ye shot and skinned! "
At the same moment, a horse's head was thrust men-
acingly out at a place where a board had fallen off the
partition of the pen, -an ugly, lean white head, with
retroverted ears, and horrid yellow teeth all exposed.
The old brute's eye showed wickedly white and
Kit seized a rake, and bestowed it upon the unsightly
apparition with a hearty malediction.
"Is that your fox-bait ? cried Wade, coming back a
We began to laugh.
That's the bait," said Kit with a grin.
"Well, by Jude !" says Wash, "if you don't mind
him, he will be making fox-bait of you instead."
You would have thought so, I guess, if you had seen
the tussle we had to get him into the pen when I first
bought him, a week ago," laughed Kit.
"Oh! then he isn't one of your raising ?" Wade
Not at all !" cried Kit. "I got him of a notorious
old character who lives about a mile from here. The
animal is worthless: has the heaves, and about as many
spavins as legs. And he seems to have brought along
his old master's disposition with him. Kicks outra-
geously, and bites like a dragon. Years of abuse have
sunk him to a veritable devil. But he will make a pile
We could but laugh.
"Seems to me you are rather
Sto kill horses for fox-bait."
Not a bit of it!" replied Kit.
"How much did he cost ? Wash asked.
" Four dollars I"
Chilly Weather. The Frozen Lake. Skating. --" The Fire-
Eater on Skates." A Trip to the Store." Rondwood Ber-
ries. Robins. We visit Mr. Graves's School. Some Pretty
School-Girls.- The Pearl of the Schoolroom. The Class in
English Analysis. Introductions. Miss Kate Edwards. -
The Pretty Misses Wilbur. Wash as a Ladies' Man.
T HE forenoon was a pleasant one; though the wind
blew chill enough from the north-west. The
ground was frozen hard. Off to the east of the farm
lay the pond, under a glass-bright expanse of new ice.
Our hearts bounded free at sight of it.
What's to hinder skating ? Wash exclaimed.
Nothing," said Kit quietly; and this evening, if
it's not too windy, we will have the girls out. There's
a moon this week."
Both Wash and myself had brought our skates,
thinking they might very likely come into requisition.
But Wade had never skated a yard in his life; had
never learned how. South-Carolinians rarely get a
chance to practise this grand old Northern sport. Wade
looked doubtful when the skating-project was proposed.
"Oh! we can teach you in an hour or two," said Kit
Can you, though ? asked Wade.
Time has been when our Southern friend would have
scorned to learn a so purely Northern accomplishment;
but, the more he sees of the North and the world in
general, the less prominent grow his local prejudices.
He is gradually--thanks to our yachting scheme-
becoming that most desirable of comrades, a true man
of the world. Travel, and travel only, can do it. Trav-
el gives one breadth of thought, and charity for his
fellow-man. Your true man of the world is always
charitable; capable of seeing the good, and choosing it
anywhere and everywhere.
Our yacht-cruises confirm me in this belief. No
method of education can possibly be so beneficial as
that which takes a young man (or a young lady) under-
standingly over the world.
Thousands of our American youth are wealthy
enough to do as we are doing; yet they settle down to
three years of high-school and four years of college life in
some dull little town, and at last graduate as green as
grass of real life, of men, and of the great world around
them, their heads stuffed with a mass of dry Latin and
unintelligible theorems of geometry. Ah, what a mis-
take! Even at the risk of being called opinionated, I
will write, DON'T DO IT. You can take the same money,
and do far better. Two thousand dollars, economically
expended, will now take you over nearly the whole world.
And, even if a fellow hasn't a dime to bless himself with,
he has no need to plant himself like a hill of potatoes.
Get right up and get. Strike off somewhere. Corre-
spond for some newspaper; take an agency for some
new publication; or, if nothing better offers, sell corn-
salve at twenty-five cents per roll (but first be sure it
is a good article, and will cure 'em). By the time you
have done this six months, you will see your way out to
something better, if you are a genuine live Yankee
youth, and go abroad with your eyes open.
Opportunities for making a fortune are lying about
under our very noses, if we can only get our eyes open
enough to see them. The sort of capital most needed
is spunk, force, grit, seasoned by perseverance.
We went down to the pond-shore with our skates.
Kit had brought out a pair of lady's skates the
property of Miss Nell for Wade to make his maiden
efforts on. They were rather small for him; but we
finally got his feet into them, and stood him up. It took
some minutes to get explained to him that he must turn
his foot out after each slide ahead, in order to get a
second foothold, and not slide backwards. At length he
said he had the idea. We stood aside; and he struck off
gallantly under a prodigious head of muscle. He went
eight or ten rods like a dart; then fell all at once with
a stomach-shaking wallop. We hurried up. He had
fairly knocked his wind out, and was gasping to catch
it. Got him on his feet presently; and he "came to
time" again. We all gave him lots of advice. The
only difficulty was to follow it.
"Don't drive ahead so, like a mad bull in a china-
shop !" admonished Wash. "Slower; more deliberate
like; so" (illustrating it).
40 FOX-HUNTIr a.
Wade listened attentively. I knew he wanted to
make a good appearance the coming evening, and was
giving his wits to it sharp. He made a second essay, -
a slow one, and tumbled immediately; then he sat
still a long while (taking counsel of himself, I presume)
while we three took a turn across the pond.
By and by, looking round, I saw him afoot again, and
going like a streak up the pond near the shore.
He'll break his neck exclaimed Wash. "Never
saw a fellow plunge ahead so! "
But he didn't lose his legs, and went on for a quarter
of a mile in a marvellously short time: then, attempt-
ing to turn on a much too sharp curve, he went down
again, slap I feared that he had killed himself out-
right. Kit shouted lustily. At that he sat up, and
waved his hand, but continued sitting there for as much
as fifteen minutes. A while after, we espied him on
his feet again, tearing down toward us like a July tor-
nado. We instinctively got out of the way; and he went
past at a regular 2.40 pace, his arms stuck out, and
brandished. Kit lay down on the ice, and roared with
laughter. I never saw a person skate with such down-
right, unreasonable violence before. On he went, look-
ing neither to right nor left, for nearly a thousand meters,
and, mindful of his previous mistake, took nearly the
whole width of the pond to turn on, and came back
By this time he was reeking with perspiration, and
ready to dror with fatigue. He got to the shore, and
dropped panting. But he triumphantly exclaimed that
he had got it now! And, so far as I have remarked, be
has never had any difficulty in skating since. I never
saw a Northern boy learn the art in just that way, nor
yet in so brief a time. We have had many a laugh-
inter nos over the fire-eater on skates."
After dinner, we harnessed one of the horses, not the
fox-bait, and went off to the store," distant a mile
and a half, to purchase Wade a pair of skates. The
ruts and holes in the road, frozen hard, made the double
wagon dance in a most side-shaking way as we bowled
along at a smart pace down the descending ground. The
afternoon was pleasant; but a dim, misty bank lay along
the south-western sky, -a snow-bank," in rural phrase;
and, as snow was quite essential to our plans for fox-
hunting, we observed it with interest.
A part of the way was through a woody tract, where
there were hundreds of mountain-ash, or "round-woods,"
fairly laden with their bright scarlet berries in countless
clusters; and the whole place teemed with thousands of
robins feasting on the fruit. Kit informs me that these
birds gather here late in the fall every year, and never
leave the locality so long as a single cluster of berries
remains. Wash suggested robin-pies. But Kit said,
that to come shooting here would call down on us the
wrath of the whole community. The robin is a sacred
The skates for sale at the "store" were of a rather
rough pattern, but strong. Wade purchased two pairs.
Kit also negotiated for two or three brown-paper pack-
ages, the exact purport of which I did not at the time
As we came back, we passed the schoolhouse, a modc
est story-and-a-half structure.
in the discharge
is out, and
bring the girls home."
"Well- yes; so we can," assented Kit.
But he had hesitated
not have urged it, seeing this;
for an inst
plea for it: and, without further ado, we rattled round to
the door, and, hitching up the horse, smoothed down our
faces, and knocked. Forthwith appeared Mr. Graves,
book in hand.
We were passing, and thought we would just
in a minute," explained Kit.
Mr. Graves was, of course, delighted to have our com-
School-teachers are doubtless
We were without delay ushered in, and seated
- save K
who, as an
old scholar here, beat
the back seat, where were ranged
stalwart row of boys, who eyed us with no great favor,
I thought; and, contrasting the rather dashing get-up
of my two comrades with their rustic mien and dress, I
did not much wonder at it. It isn't in human (male)
nature to greatly admire a superior, superior in dress
and "style," I mean. The young metropolitan always has
this advantage over the country youth.
But our com-
with Kit has taught us not to rely far on
such advantages; since there rise yearly a class of young
men in the country wht come to the city, and beat us on
our own ground.
Kit had taken a seat beside a young fellow of about
his own age seemingly, an old schoolmate, doubtless;
for Kit was playfully turning over his algebra, and
holding it up to see how far he had got in it by the
soiling of the pages, a very accurate test. I could
but compare them, and wonder what magical power
drives one boy on in life ahead of his fellows.
Modesty, of course, had withheld my eyes from wan-
dering immediately over to the other side of the room
(it was a large room, and contained some fifty-five or
sixty scholars). But modesty, I regret to say, had no
such sway over Wash; for, on turning to whisper to
him some trifle, I found his attention obstinately fixed
on some object on the feminine side. Mustering my
courage, I ventured to steal a furtive glance. There
was a goodly array of girlhood and young womanhood,
the most of which was slyly regarding us out of the cor-
ners of its eyes. But I did not, at first, see any thing
that would seem likely to have enchained the optics of
so practised a connoisseur as our respected fellow-yachter,
Mr. Burleigh. I had to come back, and take the direc-
tion from his eyes again. Mr. Graves was hearing a
grammar-lesson. Wash's eyes seemed to pass close to
the master's head, and continue on toward the farther
corner of the room. Ah, yes! I saw now: a young lady,
half hidden by heads, with her face partially shaded by
her hand and wrist (for one arm rested easily, as if
from habit, on the desk before her), a white, dusk face;
dark-brown hair prettily arranged. By Jove! there
wa a pearl, composedly studying her lessons, not once
remarking Wash's admiring glance. Wade had espied
her too. A moment later she changed her book, and in-
cidentally looked up, a dark-hazel glance from a large,
calm eye. Our six guilty eyes scattered instanter in
all directions. Momentarily I caught a keen, incisive
look from Kit, which was gone as quickly; and I remem-
bered afterwards that I did not quite understand nor
If affairs are as I afterwards had reason to suspect, I
think Kit did very wrong in not giving us some hint
thereto: it would have saved one or two heart-aches, I
am pretty sure. Of course, it is always very easy tell-
ing what a fellow ought to do: still I shall let the
above remark stand, though it forestalls the story
proper. All I will now say is, that a source of discord
a very old one, I believe, worse than all our politi-
cal disagreements disclosed itself that winter, which
came near setting us at swords'-points metaphorically,
and which might well have dissolved our companion-
ship in good earnest. A word in the first place, even
a hint ever so obscure, would have prevented it all.
Hence I hold Kit blamable, and am willing to let the
Ere we had well regained our ocular equanimity, Mr.
Graves called "the class in English analysis." The
young fellow with whom Kit was sitting came down to
the recitation-seats, Kit accompanying him ; also two of
the larger girls from the back seat, with some flutter;
and then, very quietly but leisurely, the dark-eyed miss
out of the corner seat. It seemed as if the whole school
were a foil to set off -not her dress; for, if I noticed, she
was not richly clad that certain nameless grace which
dowers the lady born. She did not igL ore our presence
as company: she did not give it prominence.
Mr. Graves was about to give us his own text-book to
look over from; when she, like a dutiful pupil, handed
him her own for that purpose, which he passed to us.
This surrender was like to have embarrassed the fair
benefactor. She had presumably thought to look over
with one of the other young ladies; but, on turning to
them, it appeared that they had but one book between
them that day. There was a momentary hesitation.
Wade rose to restore the book with an elaborate bow;
but our lady disclaimed it with a little wave of her
hand and a reserved smile, and, passing along, seated
herself demurely beside the young fellow, who gra-
ciously, and very much as a matter of course, I thought,
g',ve her half his book. (He was her brother, though.)
Imagine a young girl, very beautiful certainly, rather
tall, and finely formed, doing all this with an air of per-
fect ease, and, withal, modesty.
Well, we could but repress our admiration. Some-
thing quite new and unexpected seemed to be resulting
from our fox-hunting tour. I knew Wash and Wade
well enough to predict a thing or two. Indeed, I was
satisfied, from the general appearance of Wash, that he
was after his fashion more than half in love already.
Then I wondered what Mr. Graves thought of his
pupil, and laid him under surveillance; but he was on
his dignity, and conducted the recitation with all the
methods of a full-blown professor. Then I thought of
Kit, and was sincerely puzzled. I looked at him atten-
tively. There he sat, to all appearance, interested in
nothing but the lesson; and a very dry one it was. I
compared them, as they sat there with only the other
young fellow between them, -she with her wealth of
dark beauty; he with his strong face, and smart,.asser-
tive look. I am not ashamed to say that I watched them
narrowly; and I know Wash and Wade did: but we
neither of us discerned the slightest indication or sign
of any thing in common between them. Furthermore, I
bethought myself, that, for the past three years, I had
never known of Kit's having a lady-love. He had never,
while absent from Maine, written to nor received letters
from a lady. In short, I had never heard of his doing
any thing in the "sparking line;" and he had always
argued that no young man should dream of marriage till
well established in business. I concluded that he and
she were schoolmates, perhaps; nothing more. I think
Wade and Wash had the same idea. I do not know how
this conclusion affected them; but, for my own part, I
felt much relieved by it, on their account, of course.
There would be no teterrima causa belli (as the Fresh-
man would say) between them. I was more occupied
with these reflections than with the English-analysis
The exercise finished, Mr. Graves had given some
masterly opinions relative to the formation of our mother-
tongue, and generally exerted himself to give the class
reason to be proud of their teacher. But I still dis-
trusted him; and, when he handed our young lady
her book, I detected his glance, -not exactly a tender
glance, but one of interrogation. It convinced me that
he had put forth his powers before us to win her admira-
tion; and now he very naturally glanced to inquire
whether or not he had succeeded. He had fine talents,
and a handsome countenance; in a word, all the ele-
ments of an able man in embryo. I saw no reason why
she would not like him; though Charles Reade argues
that dark eyes are not likely to love the dark-eyed. But
that is rank nonsense, so far as my observation goes.
Question. Could Wash oust the Freshman ? Could
Wade? I rather hoped he would, if he could by fair
play; for schoolmasters have no sort of business to fall
in love with their lady-pupils. It always demoralizes
the school, and makes a "mess of things generally.
It was not very wonderful, however, that he had done
so, or was in a fair way to. If I were a schoolmaster, I
should not want this beautiful girl for a pupil. I think
I would forthwith resign, and enter some other calling
less amenable to public censure.
But suppose one or the other of my comrades should
succeed in dislodging the Freshman. Suppose Wade
should. How about Wash ? Would he submit with a
good grace ? Would he quietly stand aside ? Our
friendship was a firm one. I did not believe any mem-
ber of our party would be so foolish as to let any thing
of this sort divide us. But beauty has often set bosom-
friends and comrades at daggers'-points. Having the
good of our party and our future plans at heart, I felt
a little uneasy, and secretly resolved to watch sharp, and
be ready to pour on the oil of disinterested mediation.
It would be a shame to have labored and planned such
great things only to have our party broken up by--even
a beautiful girl. Nothing else would part us, I felt
A class or two in spelling; then school was dismissed
Kit came down to the desk, and with him the young
fellow with whom he had been sitting, and whom he at
once introduced, Mr. Tom Edwards," a well-made,
frank-faced youth, rather above middle size, and, as we
afterwards found, intelligent. I remarked his strong
chin and rather heavy black eyebrows.
Two very pretty girls who had just donned their
cloaks were standing for a moment by the stove, Miss
Georgie and Miss Elsie Wilbur. Mr. Graves introduced
us. We chatted a moment. But I suppose Kit must
have seen Wash's eyes wandering toward that corner
seat where the pearl was leisurely muffling herself to
face the chill wind out of doors. He slipped out of our
circle of conversation, and made his way up the aisle.
The pearl was just tying a white-and-buff beaded hood
under her chin. There was a moment's ordinary con-
versation between them: then she followed him down
the aisle; and I was introduced, --" Miss Kate Edwards."
I had felt sure she was a lady at first sight: now I
knew it. The worst of it was, I had to immediately give
place to Wade, who was waiting his turn to exhibit his
black eyes and debonair. Wash, with his usual accursed
craft, had got behind us, in order to come last, and so
have the field clear, with nobody behind to push him
aside. And, once introduced, he struck in an his usual
happy-go-lucky style, and managed to get off a droll bon-
mot, which set everybody laughing at the outset. Miss
Edwards smiled bewitchingly either with him or at him.
That spurred the young reprobate. His tongue began
to wag out a stream of comical nonsense, which set even
Mr. Graves smiling. The rest of us couldn't get in a
word edgewise: Wade, indeed, was the only one who
tried to. Kit looked quietly on with a queer, amused
I turned to the Misses Wilbur. They were pretty,
blue-eyed girls. Surely it was not their fault that Miss
Edwards had cast them in eclipse. And, come to look
at them, Miss Elsie was really beautiful, though rather
delicate, looking as if (like so many of our girls) the
New-England winter might be too severe for so frail a
flower. She was modestly embarrassed in conversation
with a stranger at first. It took but a few judicious words
to give her a start, however, especially after Miss Nell
and Miss Wealthy joined us. We had a pleasant, cosey
chat, somewhat buffeted by the bursts of laughter from
the larger group, of which Wash was "jaw-master" (to
use a yachting term). I was not surprised to see that
he had, to a great extent, monopolized Miss Edwards's
attention. I had expected as much. Question. -Would
he be able to do so after the first week ? Mr. Graves
appeared guardedly uneasy; and, either at that or some-
thing else, Kit seemed altogether amused.
As Miss Nell and Miss Wealthy were to ride, Wash
and Wade magnanimously offered to walk up. Just how
magnanimous an offer this was appears in the fact that
Miss Edwards's way home lay over a part of the same
Looking back as we drove away, we could see them
coming, -Wash in close company with the lady, Wade
at his side, and Mr. Graves a little behind with Tom and
Miss Kate's younger sister Rhoda. Miss Nell looked
back at them; then glanced to Kit, and then to me cu-
riously. Kit laughed heartily, and said Wash was evi-
dently suffering from one of his constitutional relapses;
then went on to say that he had invited all hands to a
skating-party that evening. That changed the subject.
It was dusk when Wash and Wade came in; for in-
deed it had been past sunset before we left the school-
house. Wash was in high spirits. Wade was humming
u Dixie abstractedly.
The Ball on the Ice. The Beacon-Fires. The Supper-Table. -
Some Stunning Toilets. Wash Refulgent. Wade "Reful-
genter." Miss "Jule." -Some Rapid Skating. A Grand.
Rink. -A Promenade with Miss Kate. The Poetry of Mo-
tion." The Hemlock-Top. A Partridge. A Fox. -What
a Pretty Girl thought of Wash! A Race. Wash grows Au-
dacious. A Chat with Miss Nell. Going Home with Jule. -
The Ten-year-old."- Rather a Joke.
S UPPER was waiting. We hurried it somewhat, to
prepare for the ice-party.
As soon as it was finished, Wash and Wade betook
themselves up stairs to fix" for the evening.
Look out for some stunning toilets !" Kit whispered
to me. But, Raed, I must rely on you to help me a
little on the arrangements. Two such old bachelors as
you and I are not to be making fools of ourselves, you
The responsibilities of oversight clearly devolved on
us. Assisted by the hired man, we carried down to
the shore of the lake a couple of pine-boards about a
foot in width, and twelve feet long; also a couple of
benches. These were to serve as a table for the col-
The place chosen for our festive headquarters was a
point directly under a high knoll crowned with dark firs,
about a hundred rods up the shore of the pond from the
boat-landing. There was a moon; but the snow-bank
had risen steadily, and well-nigh darkened it. The sky
had a dull-gray tint. It was not dark exactly, but
wonderfully dim and indistinct, -one of those evenings
when it is impossible to trust the eye in proportion to
the seeming light.
The table was set on the ice, a few yards from the
shore. On the knoll, ten or fifteen feet above the table,
were two or three great pitch-pine stumps. One of
these Kit had the man set on fire. It burned with a
steady, ruddy glare, lighting up the whole place like
some huge lamp.
Half a mile farther up the lake, and off a hundred rods
from the shore, was a little islet, or rather a large rock,
with a few bushes on it, rising abruptly from the water.
On this Kit had a second fire kindled; and a third
against a stump on the opposite shore, which blazed up
The general position was thus outlined by the fires.
Moreover, an abundance of touch-wood" splinters, four
and five feet long, were provided to be used as torches by
those who wished them. The refreshments consisted of
a two-gallon stone jug of the redoubtable sweet cider,
with a half-score of glasses, which were arranged along
one end of the table. Then there were two willow-baskets
containing "box-raisins," together with crackers and
"C seed-cakes" by the platterful, quite a spread.
These preliminaries were scarcely completed ere the
sounds of gayety came borne from the highway at a
distance; and soon a merry party issued from the dark-
ness, and approached.the fire-lit table.
My eye !" whispered Kit behind his hand. "Only
look at the two swells Poor Graves is nowhere !"
Wash was refulgent in his heavy beaver overcoat
trimmed with black Astrachan, heavy fur gauntlets,
black pants, a tall, peaked Astrachan cap, and a gor-
geous crimson neck-scarf, amid the shining folds of
which sparkled a (not very large) diamond.
But Wade was refulgenter; in fact, absolutely stun-
ning, -a pure white lambskin cap fully as tall as
Wash's; a very light-colored wolfskin-overcoat, the breast
of which disclosed a pink muffler crossed within, and
only showing a glimpse of his collar and the single gold
button which fastened it; light pants to correspond with
coat; and heavy buff gloves. This costume set off his
black eyes, and clear, dark complexion, to the utmost. I
thought of the black and white knights.
Wade was fortunate in the selection of his colors too;
for Miss Kate wore a sack of white fur (or was it a
cloak ? I am ashore on the great female wardrobe), with
a white tippet, and a white plume in her skating-hat.
But the other girls all wore black Astrachan sacks. It
was the great Astrachan season of 1870.
Ah! 'twas a jolly, goodly sight to see, -the sparkling
eyes, the red cheeks, crowding in full of life, health, and
jollity. Miss Georgie and Miss Elsie Wilbur had come;
also a Miss Julia Sylvester, whom I had seen at the
schoolhouse, but had not yet received an introduction to,
- a fair-faced girl, but rather athletic: and easy-going.
Kit lost no time in making me known to "Jule," who,
he assured me (before her), was the best skater on the
But they were all skaters, thanks to the yearly prac-
tice the lake had given them.
Tom Edwards was there, also a ten-year-old brother
of Miss Sylvester. There were several independent
skaters, too, not exactly included with our own party.
Wash, with a burst of volubility, carried all before
him, and paired off with Miss Edwards. I fancied
Wade's slight acquaintance with the art of skating made
him a trifle diffident at first. Skates were bound on;
silence during the process of buckling settling for a few
moments, only to be succeeded by a fresh burst of mirth
when the straps were achieved. Wash had gallantly set
us the example of adjusting his partner's skates.
Then up and off, all hands two and two; the ten-year-
old flitting ahead with a blazing splint like a furious
In this novel promenade the couples held hands,
leaning lightly apart. Kit had the pretty Elsie. Mr.
Graves attached himself to her sister Georgie. Young
Edwards held the hand of Miss Wealthy. Wade con-
fided his gorgeous inexperience to the hand of Miss Nell.
For my own part, I found Jule all Kit had recom-
mended, on ice; and had no small ado to keep her in
hand at all, as we dashed on at a ringing swing, soon
distancing the others. The girl skated astonishingly
ast. Indeed, I have never seen better skaters than
these school-girls; and that night there was no fatiguing
wind to tug and drag at their skirts.
Our first burst was up around tc e fire on the islet
rock, and back (one mile).
Think of this, ye cramped-up doublers on the rinks I
Fancy a dark-gleaming, forest-bordered rink of ten
square miles, -room to put out all one's strength, and
never a turn! Consider our ice-party a ball, and this
our well-waxed floor, along which the red gleam of the
fires shines in a long, ever-shifting streak. Beneath us
are forty feet of still, cold, black water. The impression
is one of vast space and ample bounds. A spell enchants
it all, and illusion flits about it. The wild light of the
fire on that hoary, wave-washed rock transforms us each
from each as we cut swiftly around it, and, circling off,
dart away with the other fires gleaming far down the
ink-black pavement. Merry laughter sounds faint and
low from far off in the dark. The sharp, continuous cut
of the steel runners dies out as swiftly-receding feet
fly past and on. Ah! this is a ball worth attending:
no heats, no sweat and reek. The pure,' keen air bap-
tizes the dancer. The lake sleeps underneath. Far
around, the. forest glooms and lowers in darkness; and we
vainly speculate as to the savage eyes that watch us from
out its depths.
Owing to difference of relative speed, our party was
soon dispersed over the dim expanse in couples, of
which Jule and myself were the first to arrive at
the table. But a merry peal of laughter close behind
forbade us to greatly boast. Wash and Miss Kate were
but a few seconds in our wake. They came flying out
of the dimness, and gliding into the circle of light. Was
it a nymph from the lake's depths ? Surely I might be
pardoned the thought; for I saw the most beautiful
object in creation, a peerless American girl, glorified
by a grand effort of physical exercise in a keen, bracing
air. Why shouldn't Wash look perfectly happy ? He
did. He would not have been human, nor yet the man
I take him for, if he hadn't.
A'nd even Miss Julia, with her masses of yellow hair
and rather athletic figure, might easily have been mis-
taken for a goddess, so exhilarating had been the effort.
A sip of cider, that sweet cider, if you please. Cer-
tainly. But to decant cider from a two-gallon jug on
skates is something of a feat: done, however, by a sharp
brace at the muscles.
And by this time the others come in; Kit the very
last of all. It gave me a still higher opinion of him to
perceive that he had not allowed the delicate Elsie to
over-exert herself. Would any but a lover have been so
thoughtful? Why not anybody of sense ? Still it was
suggestive; and, in the uncertainty in which Kit had
contrived to leave us all, I caught at it for a while.
Miss Nel seemed vastly amused about something or
other; and Wade looked a little discomposed. Possibly
he had tumbled down. It would not have been surpris-
ing, his first day on the ice.
We sipped cider, got breath, and ate a handful of rai-
Kit advised following up the shore in the shadow
of the forest this next "heat;" each couple as far as
they chose. Time not to exceed twenty minutes from the
And now all ready!" he cried. Change partners!"
Wash looked distressed, and would fain have resisted;
but all moved to change. There was no help for it. Miss
Kate had been standing next me; and I instantly offered
to be Wash's successor. Wade cast a single hopeless
glance, but was fortunate enough to secure Miss Elsie.
Kit paired off for a race with Jule.
Away again! I didn't look to see; but I thought
Wash had Miss Nell.
Jule's skating had surprised me: equally did Miss
Kate's charm me. I had somewhere read into a vein
of nonsense about the poetry of motion." It recurred
as I held her hand. I felt it pervade and confirm my
own exertions. We came to move in perfect time, as
sound waves chord, and the fierce solar thrills blend their
spectrum in the white light of day. One, two, three
hundred yards. A glow of healthful ecstasy began to
thrill and intensify. It was mutual too; for, quite in-
voluntarily, we both exclaimed at once, How delight-
ful !" then laughed (still in chord) at our unity of
We were skating swiftly, and had distanced them all
save Kit and Jule, who were on a regular "breakneck
The dark old forest threw its shadows far out over us;
for we were keeping within a few rods of the shore. I
remember avouching in glowing phrase that I had never
before known what happiness might come from physical
exercise; and Miss Kate declared to a fully concur-
ring listener, that, of all physical exercise, skating,
within proper bounds, was the most congenial to young
Ah, this old lake of ours !" she exclaimed: "I love
it dearly. So many pleasant hours here In summer, as
well as in winter, it is always a well-spring of excursion.
Such grand sails as we have here in the summer among
these islands, and along the wooded shores in the shade
of the great trees! Ah, Mr. Raedway! this beautiful
lake will be the dearest memory of my life, if ever I
should leave this pleasant home neighborhood."
I wondered whether she loved it so passionately for
its own sake, or from happy incidents connected with it;
and hastened to say how much it had fascinated me two
years ago and over, when we had passed up to the head
of it in a row-boat on our Katahdin trip, which Kit
has so graphically recorded in Camping Out."
"Yes: Kit and Nell have told me of your being here
then. I was at Westbrook that summer. How fortu-
nate you were in finding that graphite mine! "
"But we had a rough experience," I could not help
"It reads pleasantly," said Miss Kate, laughing.
"Kit put the smooth side out in the story: that's
his way," X added. "He never dwells on disagreea-
"Do yom think so ?" she asked reflectively. "But
how singular that you four should join together, and
adopt such a curious mode of educating yourselves! I
never blard any thing like it. It is intensely original."
"But what do you really think of it, anyway, Miss
Edwrds ? I questioned.
"It would take a deal of worldly wisdom to give such
an opinion as you seek," she replied lightly: "I would
But I like the thought of it.
It is romantic.
Did it never occur to you that
your scheme was very
" Quixotic, perhaps
little, if I must own it, at the thought.
"No; not Quixotic,"
"I never thought
it, I can imagine
that, at least.
But, now I
that it might become so, were you to
allow it to degenerate on your hands."
just what we shall never allow it
to do!" I
exclaimed rather too warmly.
study and world-wide travel combined."
"In that light
admire your scheme,"
want to ask you
i Well, then--
it do you think
Excuse me, Mr. Raedway;
for a party
girls to adopt your plan ?"
I declare I was a trifle staggered for a moment.
afraid you deem the question unladylike," said
quickly, and with a movement which
the rhythm of our forward motion.
Not a bit! I cried, with a lunge
to regain it.
only of the
way of it, in your opinion ?"
to confess, that to go about on a
yacht as we had
it might not be exactly
impossible, would, I feared,
Ah, you judge girls by the little they actually ac-
complish nowadays!" exclaimed Miss Kate. "That's
hardly fair. We could do better, with opportunity,--a
fair chance with you young gentlemen. Once free from
old-time restraints, we would show you that even a
yacht would not be out of our range. But I think it
likely," she added, that it would be hardly feasible to
adopt your plan entire. Yet, with some limitations, I do
not see why a party of girls might not enjoy the advan-
tages of travel equally with a party of young gentle-
men. You complain of the dull vegetable life at a col-
lege; but let me tell you that the sort of life at a
female seminary or boarding-school is ten times worse, -
I had little doubt of it. At the same time, I was not
a little surprised to hear such hard sense from a beauti-
ful girl of seventeen, possibly not more than sixteen.
How had she come by it ? A thought popped into my
You must be quite well acquainted with Kit, I sup-
pose," I said.
Miss Kate was silent a moment. Perhaps she did
not find me coherent.
Oh, yes!" she said. "He is a near neighbor of
ours, you know. I have always known him; and we
have often spoken on these subjects," she continued.
"But do you not think he indulges.in some very radi-
cal opinions, on educational matters, for instance ? "
"Not a whit too radical," I said.
I knew you four believed very much alike," replied
Miss Kate. ":Now, Mr. Graves thinks far differently,"
I had no doubt he did.
he is a very sensible
my fair companion.
"As a teacher,
He is a fine scholar.
I like him very
In algebra and analysis,
I make better progress under him than I did under our
professor at the seminary.
And in Latin too, so
I can know, he is very correct."
I was foolish enough to
must be very pleasing to Mr.
say that her good
" Dear me! exclaimed Miss Kate.
yachters' are all alike.
SI'm afraid you
you know your
and to flatter ? "
so from such fair
Just ahead of us, a large hemlock had fallen out upon
the ice recently.
are we ? said
" We have come a long way. See the fire on the upper
rock is far below us! We must have come fully a mile
Have you heard Kit and Julia pass us ?"
I had not.
gone farther up the
We listened, but could hear nothing of them.
wait here for
the tree-top," I
Well, let's," said Miss Kate.
Still holding hands, we glided up to the dark top, and
t a jolly start: for a partridge had been quietly sit-
ig in it, and, as we touched the boughs, flew off with
sudden whirr and flutter; at which a fox barked with
a prolonged yelp at a little distance in the woods.
Steadying ourselves by the projecting limbs, we got
seats on the trunk among the boughs. Save the wild
sounds just alluded to, the old woods were profoundly
quiet, quiet as the great dormant lake beneath us.
"Prone to flatter, is he ? I queried, referring to
what she had said of Wash. "But how do you like
him ? "
Oh! he's a merry fellow. He makes one laugh
"That's his religion," said I. "He is devoted to
With ladies, you should have added," laughed Miss
Kate. "But I shall like him, I know," she resumed.
"It's easy as need be conversing with him. He does
his best to please and amuse one; and he doesn't care
for what you say, so long as he keeps you laughing."
I could not deny that this was Wash all over.
"But I don't much like the way he treats young
ladies," continued Miss Kate after a moment's silence.
SWhy ? I demanded, secretly wondering what
breach of propriety my urbane young comrade had been
guilty of. "I hope he has not offended you."
Oh, no, indeed! But he treats a young lady as if
she were a thing to be amused and put in a good
humor merely. He defers every thing to her opirion.
If she were little goose enough to take the moon for the
'green cheese,' he never would set her right: he would
admit it was cheese, and playfully remark his own
stupidity in not finding it out before."
She said this with such inimitable pleasantry, that I
was admirably amused.
"Of course, this is all very polite and deferential,"
Miss Kate resumed, after laughing a little herself.
" It's a sort of flattery; and yet, come to sum it up, it is
quite the reverse of flattery."
"Why so?" said I, beginning to get curious, and
wishing to have her opinion on a very popular line of
social polity among young gentlemen of my acquaint-
Does Mr. Burleigh defer always to your opinion, or
Kit's, or Mr. Addition's ? inquired my fair partner.
I was feign to reply that he was not remarkably
"Values his own opinion with you as much as any-
body, doesn't he ?"
I could recall no instance of self-abnegation on
Wash's part with which to combat this shrewd sug-
"That's because he looks upon you as his equal,"
said Miss Kate; "and it's because he looks upon our
opinions as of little or no value that he is so very ready
to defer to them. It's just as I said a minute ago.
With all his gay politeness, he really treats a young
lady as his inferior. Now, I don't like that. It's a
very poor quality of flattery, after all: is it not so ?"
"But perhaps," said I, "he defers because he con-
siders you more than his equal, his superior, say."
"I don't believe that!" cried Miss Kate flatly. "It's
not much like you young gentlemen. Come, now, you
don't believe it yourself! Confess !
To tell the truth, I had not sufficient hardihood to
re-affirm the proposition. But I struck out a new
defence for Wash.
"All young ladies are not like you, Miss Edwards,"
I said. Those of our acquaintance in the city, with
few exceptions, would not much thank us for opposing
their ideas. We are expected to defer, and so get a
habit of doing so. That's Wash's case. Besides, Miss
Edwards, it is not so easy opposing a beautiful young
lady. It takes more moral courage than the most of
us possess. We are too anxious to please."
"Oh, what a ridiculous way of putting things
What moral cowards you are, to be sure! So the fault
is all ours, after all! But hark! There they come!
Let's give them a start!"
A hundred yards above, the steely ring of skates
echoed sharply from the frozen forest-boughs. The
next instant, Kit and Jule swept past like shadows.
I whistled shrilly; and we caught a momentary glimpse
of their faces turned to the sound.
"Now for a race cried Miss Kate.
A second more, and we were in hot pursuit. The dark
trees on the shore flew past. The cold air poured into
our faces, and streamed past our tingling ears. Getting
step exactly, Miss Kate took my arm. Then we went
even faster, and, having the advantages of our rest at the
hemlock-top, came to the table but a few yards behind
Kit. It had been a jolly chase. We all panted.
The others had arrived before us. They had not gone
up so far. Miss Wealthy had slightly sprained her
ankle. Mr. Graves had burst the strap off one of his
skates, and was glad of the loan of Wade's second pair.
Kit and Jule had gone up and around the second
island," distant from the table nearly a mile and three-
quarters. No wonder they panted.
More refreshments, and a ten-minutes' chat to get
rested; then a second change of partners, which robbed
me of the belle, but blessed Wade. They did look
nicely together, -both in light colors. Wash's envious
glances were my only consolation. Misery loves com-
pany. I thought it a good thing for his envy to be
matched with the rapid Jule. After the race she had
given me, I felt a sense of satisfaction in Wash's pros-
pects for the next twenty minutes. That girl must
have muscles somewhere !
Fortune gave me Miss Nell this time; and, for variety,
we skated down the lake.
"How did you succeed with Wade ? I ventured to
Oh, splendidly!" But she laughed a good deal.
I could, however, get nothing more definite. No
doubt he had sworn her to secrecy as to his tumblings.
"How do you like Kate ?" she inquired.
Having understood, that, in theory, one girl does not
care to hear too much of the praises of another girl, I
began guardedly to say that I had been quite well
pleased with her. But I was interrupted.
"Of course you were!" exclaimed Miss Nell warmly.
"Isn't she nice .. Oh, you need not hesitate to say
so! We are all used to seeing Kate the belle. But
she is. not a bit proud: she is just the dearest girl!
And, Mr. Raed, I do believe (very confidentially) that
your friend Wash is-very much struck with her I"
Unquestionably it did look like that.
You and Miss Kate are great friends, I suppose,"
said I. "Has she always lived in this neighborhood ?"
"Her folks have; but Kate has been away to school
considerably. She has had very good advantages for
a country-girl. Kate is a fine scholar."
"I presume Kit and Miss Kate are very good
friends; aren't they ? I queried.
"What makes you presume so ?" asked Nell a little
"Oh, nothing! I merely guessed. But aren't
"Well, that's more than I know," replied Nell.
" We did use to think, four or five years ago, that they
were rather good friends; and I never knew of their
quarrelling. But, since that time, there has never been
any thing to indicate that Kit thinks more of Kate
than of Elsio or Jule Sylvester. Did he never ^ay
any thing to you ?"
N Never a word, Gentlemen, you know, are not &p
to tell each other tf their sweethearts."
"Aren't they, though?" said Nell. "Why not, T
"Well, I'm afraid it is because they are always t1m
distrustful of each other. They are not confidentiW
"Oh! you think lady-friends are always confidantes,
I certainly had some such idea.
"Well, then, they aren't once in a dozen, times.
Kate is one of my very best friends; but I never should
find out a word from her. I did ask her once, though,'
continued Nell, laughing. She said, 'Why, Nell, what
a question! Kit and I hardly speak with each other.''
"If they were lovers, I guess you would see signs of
it," I observed.
Nell thought so too; while I went on to state with
philosophical facetiousness that love was the most difficult
of all secrets to keep. "There's Mr. Graves," said I:
"it's as plain as day that he is greatly interested in
Well, that's just what I've told Elsie Wilbur," said
Nell; "and I've said so to Kate too."
"What did she say to that ?" I questioned.
She only laughed, and then looked serious a moment."
"Would she care for Graves, do you suppose ? "
"Well, no: I don't hardly believe she would. But
she likes him very much as a teacher; and he is a good
teacher. Yet one wouldn't always want to go to school.
you know," with a queer laugh.
"No more they would! "
Wade and Miss Kate glided past us. A fragment of
talk came to my ear. He was telling her of the South
and boyhood-days at home. I felt sure he would enter-
Isn't he tall and nice-looking?" exclaimed NelL
SBoth in white too !"
Wash and Jule tore by like a brace of arrows.
"She is swift enough for him!" I observed.
"That she is !" laughed Nell. Such a romp of a girl!
We had a race a few days before you came down. Jule
out-skated all the girls; and all the fellows too, except
Kit. I was so pleased to see her skate by Mr. Graves!
He was real provoked about it too. Hurt his mighti-
ness's feelings to have a girl -one of his scholars -
out-skate him. I told Jule she would get a black
mark for that. And, really, he doesn't seem to like her
a bit; though I do not suppose that is the cause. I
think he considers her too forward and unladylike.?'
After another rest at the table, a fourth promenade
was taken across to the opposite shore.
Wash had made an audacious attempt to secure Miss
Kate for his partner; but Mr. Graves, who was at
hand when Wade came in with her, bore her away in
triumph: and, as it seemed to be an understood thing
that Miss Kate was to skate with each of the young
gentlemen, I wasn't sorry to see it go so. Monopolies
are always hateful. Miss Kate seemed to have elected
this way in her own mind; and, by way of carrying it
out, skated a short turn with Kit on coming back with
By this time it was half-past nine; and we were all
more or less fatigued with the exercise. Wash was at
Miss Kate's side to propose another turn; but the com-
pany voted we had had enough for one night. A part-
ing glass of cider was taken; skates were unbound; and
we wended our way up through the pasture to the road.
Here Wash further distinguished himself by offering to
escort Miss Edwards to her home; though she had a
brother present abundantly able to have performed that
office. His company was laughingly accepted.
Mr. Tom then took the sisters Wilbur in charge. That
left Jule unprovided for.
Wade and Mr. Graves had already turned away, pout-
ing, with Miss Nell and Miss Wealthy (I speak it to
their shame). Ki' stood regarding me a little doubt-
FOX -HUNTING. 9
fully -to see what my intentions were regarding Jule,
probably. That illustrious young lady evidently ex-
pected something of us. The ten-year-old brother had
mysteriously disappeared. I at once offered myself, but
fancied I detected a certain mirthful expression on Kit's
visage, the incentive to which was presently apparent to
me. The young lady's residence was rather over a mile
away! The highway thitherward had not been sub-
jected to modern improvements; and the recent hard
frosts had somewhat aggravated its topographical fea-
tures. Yet I am bound to say that the going-out was
amusing, and at times gay. Among its pleasing items
was the unexpected turning-up of the missing ten-year-
old from a ditch beside the road, after we had gone about
a hundred yards, and his gravely assuring me, that, had
I not felt it incumbent upon me to do the honorable
thing by Jule, he should have stood, by" her all the
same. That was gratifying, at least.
But the coming-back was an iron reality which no pen
can soften. It was half-past ten ere I had accomplished
the round trip.
On entering the sitting-room, I noted that everybody
seemed to have fallen into pleasant veins of thought;
and Kit at length felt that he owed me a public testimo-
nial of his thankfulness for having relieved him of a
somewhat onerous discharge of duty. There were also
certain local inquiries as to the condition of the ways
Ah, well! there are some things to be grinned at and
Snow. Wash Ungrateful; Wade Regretful. Ho for Fox-Hun4
ing! A Dull Day.- A New Project on Foot. A New Sort
of Latin Lesson.
Snow came at last, a wintry blast,
And piled the drifts up high:
In a single night a robe of white
Dropped down from out the sky.
T HE next morning it was snowing thickly: the very
thing we had been so eagerly anticipating for our
fox-hunting. Forest, field, and lake lay strangely white;
and every bush and every stump was crowned with blind-
ing wreaths. It seemed hardly like the same landscape.
When I woke, Wash was up, gazing ruefully out of
"It has buried the ice," said he in funereal accents.
"It will spoil the skating !"
"But the fox-hunting," I suggested cheerily.
"Fox-hunting be hanged!" quoth he. Raed, it
will be a long day before we shall have another so gay a
time as we had last night. Wasn't it magnificent?
' Shall we ever be as gay if we skate again ?' to quote
Miss Larcom with a slight alteraeon."
'Ware the little bare god with the picked arrow,
Wash," said I warningly.
Nonsense said he. "But, seriously, I wish this
confounded snow had delayed a week longer."
I begged to observe that I should think Providence
would get sick at heart answering some folks' prayers,
since the snow was the very thing we had all been long-
"Ah! but that was before I saw the ice," replied
this grateful boy.
Wade came into our room.
"Whew!" he exclaimed, glancing out the window
with a shudder: "this drops the curtain of our ice-
parties. Too bad!"
"Isn't it real too bad the snow to spoil our skat-
ing ? echoed Miss Nell at the breakfast-table.
But I think Mr. Graves was secretly glad of it : it
deprived his enterprising young rivals of a dangerous
advantage. Truly it's an ill wind that blows no one
"It will clear up by noon," prophesied Kit. "We'll
have the hounds out, and a jolly run !"
But it didn't clear up. All day long, the storm con-
tinued. It was dreary. Meanwhile we inhabited the
sitting-room, read some, and looked out the window a
good deal more.
Even the famous sweet cider and sponge-russets failed
signally to relieve the disquieting influences of the pre-
vious evening. Wash- was "feverish: he even seri-
ously proposed to me to visit school again that afternoon,
"just by way of passing the time, you know." But I
prudently dissuaded him.
"Not too fast, my boy," said I paternally. You'll
run the whole thing into the ground."
Could better advice have been given him, under the
circumstances ? Yet, from that moment, Wash regard-
ed me with suspicion. The unreasonable pig! But that
was only a prelude to my trials with him. If he has
any sort of a conscience about him, I should think he
would sometimes reflect on some of his surprisingly bad
treatment of his best friend that winter, and blush.
Graves came home from school that night in very good
spirits; seeing which, Wash eyed him evilly.
I suppose Kit observed every thing, though he did not
seem to: indeed, I don't pretend to understand his whole
game that winter. But he was certainly Wash's friend
after a manner, and in this instance, as also in several
others, contrived to checkmate the Freshman. To do
it, he projected a very amusing contrivance, the full
scope of which will gradually dawn on the reader, and
account for the fact, that, during the greater part of the
day, he had been out in the stable, pounding and ham-
mering at something or other. Once, too, he had ridden
on horseback down to the Edwardses; and from the win-
dows we had seen him talking with Tom in their yard.
But I had not connected it with any thing special; and
as for Wash and Wade, I fancy they merely watched
long enough to satisfy themselves that it was not an
The truly wise man, young or old, will always be
ready to seize upon favorable opportunities. Seeing Mr.
Graves in so good a humor, it occurred to me, after the
Latin lesson that evening, to bring up the subject of
"Latin derivatives" again. According to Miss Eate,
Graves was a fine Latin scholar. Why not improve
these stormy evenings to get a running knowledge of
Latin in its connection with English, and have the bene-
fits of Mr. Graves's scholarship ? A moment's thought
told me it would be wrong to neglect so good an oppor-
tunity to acquire serviceable knowledge. So I presently
asked the Freshman how many of that list of one hun.
dred words he had got looked up for us. He confessed
frankly that he had not yet begun on it; but added, that
he would commence now, if we said so. As now is
generally conceded to be the best time in the world, I
concluded to take him at his word.
"What we want," said I (deeming it prudent to set
forth distinctly our sharply practical views), is one hun-
dred Latin words which have entered most commonly
into English compound words, together with their mean-
ings, and examples of the manner in which English words
are derived from them.".
"I never undertook quite so direct a task as this be-
fore," said Graves. "It isn't taught in the schools; but
I'll try. You may as well assist me, all of you."
He reflected a moment. "One of you had better act
as secretary to put down the fruit of our united labors,"
I nominated Wash. I don't know with how great an
interest that young gentleman entered into the arrange-
ment. He consented to serve, however.
"And now, Raedway," said the Freshman, settling
back in his chair, "take the Latin lexicon, if you
please, a i find- well, find the verb rego."
I found it
"Read the parts of it."
"'Rego, regere, rexi, rectum."
"What does it mean in English ?"
"It means to rule, like a king; to guide, to direct."
I would advise," said Mr. Graves, "that you all take
a look at the word in the book, and that you try by a
mental effort to fix it in your minds, with its meaning.7"
The lexicon was passed from hand to hand.
"You will see," continued our instructor, "that the
root, or body, of that verb, has three forms; viz., reg,
rex, and rect. Now, can you think of any English words
into which these word-roots enter ?
"Regent," suggested Wade; "meaning one who rules."
"Register," said Kit; "from the second meaning of
Regular," from Miss Nell.
"Rector," observed Wash; "from the third root"
"And rectory," added Wade.
Rectitude," chimed in Miss Wealthy.
"And direction," enumerated Kit.
There were several others given, which have now
Well, now find audio," advised Mr. Graves. The
parts are -
"c Audio, audire, audivi, auditum,' I read. We all
examined it carefully with the eye, and saw that in Eng.
lish it means to hear; also that its roots were aud, audiv
"Now, what derivatives can you trace to audio ? in-
quired Mr. Graves.
"Audible," said Miss Nell, "that which can be
heard; from the first root."
"Inaudible," exclaimed Miss Wealthy.
"Audience," said Wade.
"Audient," suggested Kit.
"Audit," added Wash, and auditory; from the third
"Also auditor," Wade continued, and auditive."
Then we had the verb moneo found, and dissected it
(if I may use such an expression) in the same way;
getting monitor, monitory, and many others. After that,
fero, fere, tuli, latum, an irregular verb, meaning to
bear, or to carry, together with its kindred verb, refero;
from which we derived refer, reference, referable, ref-
Then the Latin noun musa; whence come muse, mu-
The noun servus, a slave, to which were traced our
verb serve, the adjective servile, and the noun servant.
The pronoun Ego, I, gave us egotist and egotistical.
Then the prepositions con, inter, in, and pro, which
appear everywhere through our language as prefixes.
These twelve words made up our first lesson. Much of
it was not new to the most of us; yet I may safely assert
that the review did us no harm. Even the Freshman
admitted that it was the best use he had had his Latin
put to yet.
E NGLISH ladies, young and old, used frequently
to ride, and do even at the present day, after the
hounds on a fox-hunt. It has been held to be a rather
aristocratic pastime. My friend Wade informs me, that,
in the Southern States, the ladies have occasionally
joined in a fox-chase; and I have further learned, that,
in Pennsylvania and Maryland, the goodly damsels were,
at one time, a little addicted to this exciting sport.
Pity they gave it over! I cannot help thinking so.
Our girls have grown far too delicate from their almost
utter renunciation of out-door sports.
But in New England, so far as the writer has ascer-
tained, the spectacle of a young lady fox-hunting is an
innovation, and a very flagrant one to boot. Indeed, it
is not without some apprehension that I may be expos-
ing the young ladies of our party to social ostracism
that I venture to continue my record. But, dear reader,
don't taboo us all unheard. We are of your own kith
and kin, and, when we have erred, are ready to suffer.
Saturday morning after the stormy Friday showed
broken weather, with about five inches of snow on a
level, a grand morning for a fox-hunt, as every sports-
man must agree.
There was no school to-day. Even Mr. Graves could
join us, if he chose. But of that we were a little doubt-
ful; for he had indirectly hinted that he regarded it as
I went down stairs a little before sunrise. Kit had
gone down before me, however; and, as I entered the
sitting-room, he called, Come out here a moment!"
I followed to the stable. On the floor, within the
slide-doors, were set two traverse sleds (one behind the
other); and on them was placed a large body," twelve
feet long (for a guess), with a bottom of plank, and
board sides three feet and a half high. The forward
end rose in a very lofty fender-board to keep out the
snowballs. This novel sort of car was about four feet
in width, and had across it four thwarts, or seats, with
very comfortable backs of bass-boards. The forward
sled had a tongue, with whiffletrees for attaching two
See this thing ? interrogated Kit as I came along
where he was standing.
It was sufficiently prominent to be visible, certainly.
Going to market ? "I asked, somewhat disappointedly.
SI thought you were going fox-hunting with us."
"To be sure I am going fox-hunting! That thing is
for fox-hunting, you must know."
"That thing!" I exclaimed. "Why, I took that to
be for trucking-purposes, or a pic-nic !
"No bad mistake, either. But, Raed, what &%y to
inviting the girls
you out here for.
I will venture
That's what I called
What say to the general idea ?"
to assert that the proposition
me quite as singularly as it will any of
first. "And ride in that thing ? I said.
" Yes ;
Maine, no la
in this barge,''
like this with fox-hunting
dy, nor gentleman either,
well mounted (on horseback), could
through our swamps, or over our rocky, ledgy pasture-
ridges. It would be quite impracticable. Besides, our
girls don't ride much.
ing horseback: still o
They all dote on the idea of rid-
nly one or two in this neighborhood
are even tolerably good riders.
I know the man-
ner our foxes generally
run, pretty well.
from hill to hill over the rising lands off to
west of us.
There are roads, -rather bad ones, to be
sure, at intervals of a mile or so, leading all around
from neighborhood to neighborhood, with cross-roads and
winter-roads connecting them.
"Now, my plan is to lay the hounds on a track,-hav-
got our party together, and snugly aboard our
'barge' here, then follow them by road as nearly as we
We shall be
able to keep
in hearing of them, I
know; and we may often be able to sight the chase, and
be not far off at the death.'
At any rate, we shall be
sure of a good heigh-ho time, and have the company of
the girls. What say ?
The scheme was a startlingly original one, and vastly
how do you
" They might not take to it kindly."
SOh I'll answer for that,"
I hinted it to them the other night at the ice-party.
never occurred to me till then. I found what a good
time we were having with them, skating; and I thought,
Why can't they fox-hunt with us ? So I rigged up this
thing. We can but try the ex1
I've talked it over with young Edwards. He can fur-
nish a horse to put ahead of my span: that will make
And they're right on their mettle.
We shall go
Wash and Wade came out to see what was going on.
It is needless to say that they hailed the project
"Oh, hang Graves!"
" He's a muff."
"But we must ask him, of course," remarked Kit.
I went after him.
He was in the sitting-room, trans-
lating Horace," with lexicon and grammar open before
SMr. Graves," said
for you out at the st
ment ? "
have a conundrum
Can you spare them a mo-
" barge," ai
with us. I
nd gave him
Perhaps, as t'
Kit briefly explained
an invitation to take passage
)acher, he caught sight of his
for he demurred, and
very like a frown came out on his brow.
It would be
to go on such
more, I" -
for the young ladies
a harum-scarum jaunt; and, further-
"But the girls have promised to go," Kit judiciously
Have they ?" exclaimed the Freshman in some
surprise. "Well, then, I have nothing more to say.
Yes" (after a little hesitation), I will go. Thank you!"
Kit could not resist a wink with Wash.
We went into breakfast. I noticed that Miss Nell
eyed us, particularly Mr. Graves, rather perplexedly.
Of course she wanted to go. What young lady would
not enjoy so merry a ride over the first snow ? But
she had a wholesome fear of doing a forward thing
none the less. I broached the topic as judiciously as
possible; and it was discussed in florid language by
Wade and Wash. Grandmother was not one of those
inflexibly rigid old ladies who sometimes make us regret
the past generation less than we should. She did not
oppose the girls going on general principles," but stip-
ulated that Kit should be sure not to overset them."
The dear old lady feared a physical calamity more than
a moral one. Kit readily guaranteed absolute safety.
Some time before the long prayer was over, we heard
a jingle in the yard. Tom Edwards had come up with
his horse, a very dark-gray animal, full of fire and mettle.
His name made us laugh. They called him Gill-go-
over-the-ground, pronounced shortly Gill-g'wover-th'-
ground,--from a well-known medicinal herb common
in this locality; also in allusion to his speed, which was,
as I understood, something approximating the electric
element. Never has young man owned horse yet that
wasn't troubled with that dreadful disease, speed.
Billy-Boy and Slippery-Dick, Kit's span of bays,
were put on the tongue. Gill-g'wover-th'-ground was
put on the lead.
Wash's rifle and Kit's double-barrelled shot-gun were
set in a rack behind the fender-board. I felt a little
uneasy at having such mortal weapons in so close prox-
imity to ladies; but their use was to be attended with
special caution. Buffalo-skins were spread over the
aeats; the redoubtable cider-jug was put aboard; and
two small vivid flags were set up at each corner of the
fender. It's no use for American youth to attempt any
thing big without having up the national bunting, or
something resembling it: they wouldn't feel right. The
flavor of the thing would be wanting.
The hounds were taken from their stalls; and Emery,
the hired man, set in the hinder end of the barge to
lead them till wanted.
Young Edwards undertook the driving from the
higher front-seat. He had a teamster's whip with a
twelve-foot lash, ending in a green silk snapper that
cracked like a pistol.
The barge was taken round to the door. A rude step
had been improvised on the left side, where an open
space, about two feet in width, had been left in the bul-
warks. There was also another step in the hinder end.
Nell and Wealthy were helped in, blushing a little,
and protesting that it was a dreadful-looking thing."
It cost Graves quite a sacrifice of dignity to get in,
and get in so quick as he had to; for the horses were
restive. But for Miss Kate, I'm morally convinced he
would have cut the whole thing, and gone back to
A crack of th whip, a creak, and a sharp jingle-jangle!
We dashed away; but, glancing back as we turned into
the road, I saw grandmother's lips moving in that
final exhortation, -"Now do be careful, Christopher!"
and Kit kept nodding re-assuringly, laughing good-
The sun had come out brightly. The whole country
was dazzlingly white. Ah it was inspiring.
Miss Kate stood on the steps, waiting our approach
with an amused smile. We "cut a figure," no doubt.
I thought her even more beautiful than on the evening of
the ice-party. Hers was a beauty that grew on one. At
sight of her, Wash glowed with admiration. (Let's see.
she had on that morning what did she have on?
Well, there was white to it, a good deal of white. I
think white must have been Miss Kate's favorite color;
one of them, at least.) A veritable queen of the snow!
All of us boys turned out en masse to assist her into the
barge; for which, attention she divided a very bewitching
smile equally among us. And I'm sure I took my own
little fifth, and felt very happy over it.
Wash had the pleasure of handing her up the step;
Wade held her shawl; Mr. Graves took her lunch-basket;
Kit and I gazed admiringly on from behind; her brother
Tom smiled a mild sarcasm from his high seat. To him
-fortunate youth !--she was only sister Kate, any-
Morning greetings all round. Laughing comments
on our project and novel equipage. Ecstasies over the
beautiful, glittering snow.
"But I doubt you ar? very wrong to tempt us girls
to such ro agh sport," said our charter, with half-serious,
Ah, Miss Ka
te !' cries Wash,
not to be compared with ours! "
it is a most
unheard-of thing in New Eng-
land," she protested.
It will shortly be celebrated!" Wade exclaims.
We dashed past the schoolhouse.
joyously from behind.
A moment later, we drew up at
But Miss Elsie alone could accompany
Georgie must needs remain at home "to help mother."
Alas for those girls who have to spend their one weekly
alas for those
mothers whose work is never done!
On again to take up Jule.
The Sylvester mansion
was situated amid quite peculiar geological scenery.
deed, it had struck me as rather remarkable on the even-
my first visit;
though I retained but a confused
recollection of it.
About a quarter of a
mile from the
house, the road led down a very steep hill into a ravine,
and, at the foot of the hill, turned sharply to the left to
evade a high crag; and thenceforward continued wind-
ing among crags and ledges up to the very piazza-steps.
There, on turning the last rock, we espied Jule in full
Something in her manner, or else it was
d of her
cheeks, led me to conclude
stood out there some time, awaiting us.
But the ten-
year-old was invisible.
Just as we started
I had a glimpse of him at the door of an out-house; but
he dodged instantaneously. Had his orders to keep out
of sight, I fancied. Jule brought with her a strong
atmosphere of robust health and musk-cologne; and,
for my own part, I like the latter not quite so well as
the former, but should have enjoyed both better had I
not unfortunately intercepted just the slightest possible
glance between Miss Nell and Miss Kate as the arrogant
odor saluted us. Much to my pleasure, and a little to
my confusion, Jule attached herself unhesitatingly to
me, and entered upon my entertainment with a very
agreeable conversation, for which I could but feel the
more grateful that Wash and Wade had left me little to
do elsewhere; while the pretty Elsie was Kit's care.
Possibly Miss Sylvester deemed this much due to a
youth who had braved the crags and the ruts at a late
hour of the night for her sake. Her whole mien seemed
to acknowledge my claim; and it did look as if, my
behavior continuing good, I might make an impres-
SJule's conversational powers were, by nature, unex-
ceptionally good. She thought strongly. Her mind
was as healthy and athletic as her body. Her thoughts
impressed sharply on one's attention,- sometimes by
reason of the not very select phrase with which they
were uttered, but oftener from their downright practical-
ness and vis viva. It would have been quite foreign to
Jule to be morbid or lackadaisical or very romantic.
She was as strong a girl as I ever met, a perfect maga-
zine of unexpended energy, which might go right or
wrong, according to circumstances: I thought it about
a toss-up which.
But, sitting there in the glow of her rich vitality, I
covertly admired her. What a pity such girls can't be
lawyers or clergymen! They would be morally certain
to carry a jury or a congregation. Why waste all this
vital force in a wash-tub ? We do seriously need a
committee pro bono public to look up these promising
young humans, and draw them forth from their dark
corners to fill the many intellectual vacuums in higher
life. Why, one girl like Jule is worth a score of the
breathing, salaried existences we are daily stumbling
over all along life's route.
Half a mile beyond the Sylvesters' was a "corners,"
whence another road ran northward. Up this young
Edwards drove the barge at a dashing canter; but the
snow-balls whistled harmlessly overhead, entirely demon-
strating the practical wisdom of Kit's lofty fender.
Back in the barge, ensconced amid buffaloes, and those
multitudinous shawls and scarfs which always mark the
fair feminine presence, we were as cosey as cats in a
basket, with just enough of the bracing morning air
gushing in to give tone and vigor.
I was pleased to see the rose gradually deepen on
pretty Miss Elsie's pale cheek, and thought it one of the
first best fruits of our scheme.
The road led along the foot of a high, rugged ridge on
one side, and a cedar-swamp on the other. There were
no houses here. After about a mile from the turn, Mr.
Tom drew up.
"What say for trying it here ? said he, turning.
"All right !" cried Kit. "Here, Emery, hold the
team, and give us the hounds!"
Al: of us boys, save Mr. Graves, turned out to help
look up a fox-track. Kit and Tom Edwards both
declared we were pretty sure of one somewhere in the
swamp to the right of the road. Wash, Wade, and my-
self, each leading a hound, followed after them.
Hare-tracks intersected the swamp in every direction,
and partridges whirred away before us. Not more than
a hundred yards from the road, we crossed a fox-trail
partly covered by snow, and made late the previous day,
But Edwards wouldn't hear to putting the hounds on
"He's too far ahead, Kit," he argued. Take us all
day to come up near him."
Went on again for a hundred rods, or more, to where
the pastures on the other side of the swamp bordered it.
Kit was ahead, and had followed up to the northward
to where a brook made down the bed of a deep gully
from the eastward. Coming down this gully from the
direction of the farm-houses above was a fresh track,
made not many minutes ago. Kit's clear So-ho!"
announced his success. The hounds heard, and bayed
out exultingly. We hurried up.
"Here, Jim !" exclaimed Kit, unlocking his collar.
"See here, old fellow! So-ho, so-ho "
A moment of fierce snuffling, a loud challenge, and
the leader sprang away. Old Nance was next unloosed;
then Ginx. The woodland rang again to their clearer
bay. ;Then all three blended their cries, O gh, ough-
ough-ough, ough-ough, ough/" to which was added a
distant "So-ho from Mr. Graves.
We hurried back with the collars and chains to an-
nounce the opening of the chase to the ladies. They
FOx-HU NTIN J
had heard the hounds;
and I could but smile at thb fever
of joyous excitement into
chase had thrown them.
the first notes
What so beguiling as the cry of hounds afield ?
a penchant we
from our fox-hunting ancestors
across the sea ? -the hearty squires of Merry England."
"Blood will tell," they say.
may, I will wager that
But, be that as it
faces ever graced the
chase in Anglo-Albion than beamed from
in Anglo-American Maine that bright morning.
will they catch him ? do you think they will
:ch the sly rogue ?" cried Miss Kate. "Poor
e f course hei toblame
fellow Of course, he isn't to blame ;
just gay? "
"And do drive ahead!" put
to see so!"
but, oh !
in Miss Nell.
Their enthusiasm must have richly repaid Kit all
anxieties of his invention; and it did. I saw it in
her hands, some g
Elsie pulled off her gloves to clap
ood sharp spats that could but aid
"Why, how she
does enjoy it!" observed
deprecatingly to me.
"And why shouldn't
she ? said Miss Kate over her
think, a little nettled
by the tor
the remark, and was, I
ie. She put the ques-
tion plump, and so laughingly quizzical, that Graves
pushed under it: seeing which, she added gravely, You
may be right all the same; but I cannot help hoping you
Are you sure that your objections are not
rather prejudices ?"
for she had overheard
I had inferred that Graves had, while we were beating
the swamp, taken the opportunity to express his opinions
on Kit's project. But I did not hear his reply: for
Jule now took my attention, exclaiming that this
seemed like sport, and she didn't care what "old fo-
gies" said about it; which showed, I presume, that she
did care a little.
I concluded that Mr. Graves's opinions had excited
opposition. Generally speaking, I believe it is not a
very sure road to a young lady's favor to call the deli-
cacy of any point of behavior in question after she has,
of her own accord, entered upon it. If the Freshman had
not been a cad, he would have known better. But, being
the schoolmaster, they doubtless forgave him--out of
deference due the teacher--what they wouldn't have
forgiven any one of us "yachter chaps; and not. to
blame either. To be frank, I never much liked his seiz-
ing that chance to lecture the girls while we were beating
up the fox for his amusement as well as our own. I
hope that he did really feel it his duty to do so: that's
For fifteen or twenty minutes the hounds threaded the
swamp, doubling in and out among the cedar, and work-
ing up north. Whether the fox had actually been in
the swamp when we first laid on the hounds, we could
not ascertain. The evergreen was too thick to see into.
The hounds did not sight him, at any rate. Possibly
he was miles ahead.
As they moved up the swamp, we drove slowly along
the road, keeping about twenty rods below, or there
about. On a sudden they cease' doubling about, and
ran sw etly on, in an apparently straight course, for half
a mile or more. We followed at a gallop. But they
tacked sharply to the left, and crossed the road about a
quarter of a mile ahead of us, going right for the top
of the ridge five hundred feet above.
There is a great difference in the sort of sport offered
by the gray fox of Maryland and the South and the red
fox of New England. The latter is essentially shyer,
besides being a swifter and "longer-winded" runner.
The Southern gray fox does not usually keep farther
than one hundred yards in advance of the hounds, often
preserving this distance quite uniformly for three or
four hours. The red fox, on the contrary, when first he
hears the cry of his pursuers, starts off at his best paces,
and puts a mile or two between them and himself at the
outset, and, during a long run, rarely lets them come up
within half a mile till near the end. When you see a
red fox not more than a hundred yards ahead of the
hounds, you may safely calculate on his being overhauled
not more than half a mile farther on: he is about done
As we drove rapidly along the road below, we got
a glimpse of the hounds going up the steep ledgy side
of the ridge three hundred feet above us.
"Dear me! we can't follow them now!" cried lMiss
Nell in genuine vexation.
What's the next move ?" demanded Wash of Kit.
Kit then explained, that, a irile above this point, there
was a cross-road leading over into the next neighbor-
hood, at a place where the acclivity was not so great.
We could go up there, and probably see or hear what
direction the chase was taking.
On we go at full speed, reaching the turn in a few
minutes. A long hill here confronted us; and, out of hu-*
manity to the horses, we got out and walked with them
to the top of the ridge, distance a hundred rods, for a
guess. Here we pulled up for breath, and to listen.
Down to the south the ridge was much higher than at
the place where we had climbed it. Near the roid, it
was cleared and into pasturage; but, half a mile below
us, it rose in a succession of snowy ledges, along which
grew stretches of shrub-spruce, contrasting blackly with
the white snows.
Far behind this rough hill the hounds could be heard
baying faintly. But, as we listened, the sounds seemed
to come nearer, till on a sudden they burst out in full
cry on the side next us.
Ough, ough-ough, ough, ough, ough-ough! /
There's music for a sportsman!
First Miss Wealthy's keen eyes, then the rest of us,
espied them coursing along the crest of one of the
ledges. Miss Kate drew out a small opera-glass.
"Oh! can you see the fox ? was the eager inquiry
from all the girls.
But Reynard was nowhere visible.
Kit explained that the game was no doubt a mile
ahead of the dogs at this time of day; and then went
on to tell us of half a dozen instances where he had
known of a fox "circling" about this very hill.
In a few minutes they had passed round to the east-
ward, out of sight, and well-nigh out of hearing. We
waited anxiously to see whether they would come round
again. At first we inferred that they would; for the
baying seemed to be
there was a silence of a few minutes,
for the 'pond
Quit the hill! echoed Kit simultaneously.
On again at a full run, emerging presently into a
quiet little farming neighborhood of half a dozen houses.
Good staid-looking folks came rushing out
unwonted excitement as we tore along amid
of doors in
snowballs to the merry, brassy notes of an old cornet
which Kit had brought to take the place of a hunt-
Just what sort of an opinion the honest people formed
of us it would be unwise to conjecture.
the hounds were coursing a rough, bushy
pasture down to the left of the road, flitting in al
among alder-clumps; and, as we came dashing
the hill, they ran across the road in
full cry not more
than two hundred
to the right.
in advance, and entered the
was the "pond-woods"
which young Edwards had spoken, occup
interval bottom at the foot of a long pond,
had got snowy glimpses from the top
ying a great
of the ridge
" What did I tell
Oh, there !" cried Jule despairingly.
find him in that great, thick woods!"
n to Kit, with
" I'm so afraid we've lost hiM !" lamented Miss Nell.
Miss Kate glanced regretfully to Kit. Oh they'!
have him out of there," said that experienced young gen-
tleman. "He will show them some fancy doubling; but
they'll put him out. Never you fret."
But it will be a two-hours' job," laughed Mr. Tom;
"and there's no telling which way he may take at
The road ran along the border of the woods for
nearly a mile. We let the horses walk slowly, stopping
occasionally. The hounds were now deep in the woods,
off to the right.
On the left, to the south-west, there rose another high
hill, its cleared sides white with the new snow. Its top
was crested with spruce.
"When the fox finds he can't shake the dogs off in
the woods here, he will either take for Old Hazeldock '
(the hill to the south-west), or cut back to 'Hedge-hog
Hill' (the ledgy ridge-top around which the hounds had
previously been running). He will be pretty sure to
do one or the other; but which of the two he will do, a
fellow can only guess at. I don't suppose the old chap
knows himself, yet, which he is going to do." Thus Kit
explained the situation.
Off in the pasture, to the left of the road, there was
a high, bare knoll, fifty feet above the road, perhaps, and
distant from where we were sitting twenty-five or thirty
"If we were only on that knoll," I suggested, "we
could hear and see vastly better." Young Edwards
glanced at the intervening bushes and hollows. Can
we do it ? said he to Kit.
I think so," was the reply. Down with the fence,
The "hired man" threw aside the poles and stakes.
The horses' heads were turned; and we cleared the ditch
with a bump, and went smashing through the brush, and
up the side of the knoll, at a run.
I had not dreamed of their undertaking so doughty a
feat. Miss Nell and Miss Else had protested nervously
at first, but laughed as gayly as the rest when we found
ourselves on the knoll a minute later.
There are some things which can be done as well as
others,' quoted Kit, laughing.
"I hope you have not taken Sam Patch for your ex-
ample, sir," observed Kate dryly.
"Possible you don't appreciate the immortal Sam ?"
bantered Kit. I thought you admired courage, Kate.
Come, now, don't frown on the physically bravest youth
of his time in America."
Miss Kate found something so outrageous in this ex-
hortation, that she turned to look the offender full in the
face. Their eyes met--for a second; then Kit, still
laughing, jumped out of the "barge" under pretence of
unchecking the horses. There was something in this
oculai manoeuvre which I did not quite understand. I do
not know whether or not Wash observed it. Wade was
talking with Elsie.
From the knoll-top we could look off over the woods.
The view from this point, also, commanded the pastures
along the flanks of the woods on both sides.
Young Edwards declared we could not do better than
stay here till the fox had been driven out of the forest-
The hounds were now far down toward the pond.
How do you know that he hasn't a burrow down that
way somewhere ? Wash questioned.
Mr. Tom thought it likely enough there might be
burrows down there, but was very sure the fox wouldn't
take the ground so early in the chase.
Our red foxes -those about here at least never take
to a hole until the dogs fairly drive them to it," he con-
tinued. I have known a red fox to run all day back
and forth from hill to hill, and finally enter a burrow not
half a mile from the spot where he had first been started
in the morning. The sly fellows know we have a trick
of digging them out, or smoking them out; and you
never get one of them to enter a den so long as he stands
a ghost of a chance of getting clear by running."
Kit remarked that there was one den, in a ledge just
Lo the west of the lake where we had skated, which was
an exception to this rule."
Yes; but we stopped that up long ago," said Tom.
"The foxes would whip into that whenever they could;
for, once in there, nobody could either dig them out, or
smoke them out; and the rogues knew it."
Recourse was now had to the cider-jug (I must beg
the reader to bear in mind that it was sweet cider); and
a basket of those sponge-russets was produced from
under one of the seats. Jule, somewhat injudiciously,
proposed a rural pastime known as naming apples;"
or naming my apple:" but Miss Kate quietly tabled
the proposition, as likely, I suppose, to involve some un-
desirable personal complications; at which Kit seemed
a good deal amused on the sly. We all sat chatting,
listening, looking off; when, on a sudden, Miss Kate
cried, "Ah, ah-r-r / See there/ What is it? Oh!
it's the fox "
We all stared after her outstretched finger.
Off fifty rods, just where the cleared slope of the
Hazeldock Hill came down to the woods, lo! there
was Reynard, our Reynard, trotting along.
He had just emerged from the bushes.
Wash made a grab for the rifle.
"Too far," said Wade quietly.
"Still! let's watch him," said Kit.
He hasn't seen us."
Miss Kate put up her glass.
"Oh, poor fellow!" she murmured, watching him.
"His tongue is out how tired he is!" but added,
rather inconsequentially, that the hounds were far down
toward the pond yet; and she was afraid they had lost
The glass passed rapidly from hand to hand. The
girls were vastly eager for a critical glimpse. We sat
quiet. The wind was west. The fox had not seen us,
and could not take the scent. He trotted nimbly up
from the bushes into the open pasture; stopped for a
moment; cocked his ear to listen for the hounds; then
licked the snow, listened again, and scuttled away toward
"Ah, isn't he cunning /" exclaimed Elsie.
In a few minutes he was out of sight in one of the
many hollows which furrow the side of the great hill.
Then the cries of the hounds came nearer and nearer,
till, eight or ten minutes later, they burst out into the
pasture, and followed rapidly on the track, first old
Jim; then Nance close behind; and, lastly, poor Ginx,
four or five rods in the rear.
"Now then !" cried Mr. Tom; steady !" And we
plunged down into the road again, and whipped up
The road led along the northern base of the hill, but
took us at no point much nearer the summit than the
knoll we had just left; viz., about a mile and a half.
As we were halting at the place where the road
forked at a farmhouse just north-west of the hill, Wade
espied the fox again, coming round on our side of the
peak, and keeping just below the cap of spruce on the
crest of it.
I judged him to be two thousand meters from where
we sat. As Tom Edwards had predicted, he was cir-
cling the hill. The hounds were far behind, on the
By this time it was considerably past noon. Kit
knew the people at the farmhouse, and struck a bargain
with a very pleasant old lady for a pot of coffee, which
we took in the barge with our lunch.
Meanwhile the fox had come round the hill a second
time, followed, about five minutes later, by the dogs.
They were gaining a little.
After some discussion, it was decided to try a coup
d'etat on him; and, on his making his appearance a
third time, Emery was started off with the shot-gun to
intercept him on his fourth circuit, and shoot him if
possible, or at least head him westward, where Wash
or Kit might pop him with the rifle.
Accordingly, after Emery had started, they two went
off across the pasture to a point about a third of a mile
below, and nearer the peak. Here they concealed them-
selves in a clump of low hemlock. They thought the
fox, when headed, would take down into the valley, and
sc across to the next hill, in about that line of direction.
It was a good conjecture. We saw the fox turn the
base of the peak; and, a moment after, a wreath of white
smoke flushed up from behind the rock where Emery
had concealed himself. The fox instantly darted off on
a tangent, and ran almost direct for the hemlocks.
"They're sure of him !" exclaimed Wade.
The girls fairly held their breaths: we all did, as ne
:an unsuspectingly forward. But, when within forty
rods, the fox stopped short (they ought to have risked
a shot at that very instant); sniffed once; then tacked
to the right with the speed of an arrow, and came
straight for the farmhouse. In a minute more he was
running through the garden-patch, not six rods from
the house-door; and crossed the road not fifty yards in
advance of the horses' heads. He saw us too, or at
least the horses, but merely gave us all the white of
his wicked little eye. If we had had one of the guns,
or even a revolver, we might have shot him like a fly.
He was lolling smartly as he passed; and his bush was
getting wet. We sat like statues, and watched him
breathlessly. Crossing the road, Pug slipped through
the rail-fance, and legged it for the alders which filled
the valley along thle brook beyond us. Wash and Kit
came puffing up, adjurating the luck. Tom Edwards
sat and laughed: so did the girls. By the time the
boys had reached us, the hounds came down at speed,
and, dashing through the garden, scrabbled through
the fence, yelping like curs on the hot scent. A few
minutes after, Emery came panting down across the
"In with you!" shouted Mr. Tom. "I have it!
He will play dodge with them a while among those
alders; then take to that high ridge beyond the stream,
unless we head him. And, once he gets on that ridge
and the hills beyond, we've seen the last of him, as well
as the hounds, for to-day. There's no road leading
in there. We must head him. We must set a man
on that ridge, and run him down the stream."
Which, the fox, or the man ? queried Miss Kate.
To this her brother replied only by a glance of utter
contempt, and started off at a gallop along the west
fork of the road.
It was not far from a mile across to the cleared ridge
beyond the alder-flat. We were certainly not more
than three minutes crossing the interval.
Emery was here set down again with the gun, and
instructions to follow down the cleared land above the
alder-flats as fast as he could; firing at every thousand
yards, or less, to keep the fox off the ridge.
We could hear the hounds scouring the alder-bottom.
There were thousands of acres of it. The fox was at
hide-and-seek with them, with plenty of room for all
his arts. The horses were turned: and we went back
as quickly as we had come; then turned down the other
fork of the road which skirted the alder-swamp on the
left. The report of Emery's gun came faintly across
the wide bottom.