Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Part first: A rough ride in a new...
 Part second: Life in Ohitona
 Part third: A visit to Florida
 Back Cover

Title: Rambles and adventures in the wilds of the west
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026955/00001
 Material Information
Title: Rambles and adventures in the wilds of the west
Physical Description: 126, 2 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hopley, Catherine Cooper
R. K. Burt & Co ( Printer )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Kronheim & Co ( Printer of plates )
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: R.K. Burt and Co.
Publication Date: [1873?]
Subject: Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Outdoor life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Juvenile fiction -- Ohio   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Juvenile fiction -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1873   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1873
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by Catherine C. Hopley.
General Note: Date of publication from inscription.
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors by Kronheim & Co.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026955
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002231725
notis - ALH2109
oclc - 59820768

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
    Table of Contents
        Page 4
    Part first: A rough ride in a new country
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
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        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Part second: Life in Ohitona
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
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        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Part third: A visit to Florida
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

The Baldwin Library
Univen ity

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ANY a country ramble did my
young friends Katie and Harry
and I take together while I was
visiting my relations in America
a few years ago, and many an ad-
venture did we meet with. Not
such startling adventures as being captured by
Indians or pursued by a grizzly bear, but still


something different from those which occur in
our English lanes and fields, and which, there-
fore, may afford entertainment to read about,
while at the same time they may teach some-
thing of America and its productions.
"But in what part of America was it ?" you
naturally ask, as your thoughts fly all over that
vast continent, and you try to picture to your-
selves the forests, mountains, and valleys of
Canada, Mexico, Brazil, or California, and won-
der whereabouts in that vast "America our
rambles took place. It was in the United States.
The people of the States are chiefly descended
from English parents, and are closely related to
us. There our own mother tongue is spoken,
Christ's religion prevails, Christian people do
their best to bring all men to a knowledge of
the Saviour, and to spread one language, making
all men brothers indeed.
But I must explain how a country walk in
America is such a different affair from a country
walk in England. Here, should you be travel-
ling over even the wildest part and an accident
happen to the train, you are pretty sure of
finding a path or a tolerable road, which you
have only to follow to arrive at a farmhouse or
a village not many miles off. But in America,
should you be stopped in a train or alight in a


Balloon, the chances are that you might find
yourself in the midst of a forest which seemed
boundless; or on the top of a mountain, from
which you could see nothing but the tops of


other mountains on all sides of you; or on a
broad open plain as flat as the sea, with not a
habitation within sight. There are, indeed,
plenty of large towns and good roads in the
United States, perhaps quite as many as there


are in all England and Scotland, only instead
of being crowded within a few miles of each
other, as they are in our "tight little island,"
they are spread over an immense country as big
as nearly the whole of Europe.
Only four hundred years ago no one in
England was aware that such a country as
America existed, and only about two hundred
and fifty years ago English people first went to
live there; therefore we cannot wonder that
many wild portions still remain uninhabited,
but may rather wonder at the astonishing in-
dustry, courage, and cleverness of those who
have in so short a time converted the savage
wilderness into a civilised country. When
white men first went over to America, they
found the country inhabited by wild animals
and copper-coloured Indians, with whom they
had to do battle for the possession of the land;
and in reading the history of the United States,
you will find what terrible wars raged between
the savages and the white people, and how the
latter had to fight their way amidst frightful
dangers and sufferings. They tried to persuade
the Indians that they would derive great ad-
vantages by allowing Europeans to come and
settle in their country, but it generally ended
in driving them to a distant part, or killing


them in self-defence; till by degrees many of
the tribes have ceased to exist.
It is worth your while to look at your map
of America, and the immense tract of country
that was once covered with Indians, and think
how many millions of them there must have


been. Now nearly the whole country is occu-
pied by white people. The remaining Indians,
in the uncultivated parts far away to the west,
are as hard as ever to pacify, or to be taught
useful arts and live like civilised beings. They
still look upon the white people as their bitter
enemies, who have stolen their hunting-


grounds, and they revenge themselves in a
most savage manner.
It would be more consistent with the teach-
ings of our Blessed Saviour, if we could win
them over and make friends with them, rather
than kill them. If.we could convert them to
Christianity, and teach them to be good and
happy Christians, we should have good reason
to rejoice. Many benevolent missionaries have
attempted this in different parts of America,
and are still working hard to instruct the
savages in the knowledge of the true God.
A few of the tribes have been won over, and
have allowed their children to be educated;
and these in their turn have done much good
among their own people, but the greater part
have clung to their savage life, fighting and
quarrelling among themselves and with the
white settlers. Thus many of the tribes have
become entirely extinct.
Though I have in these few pages rambled
off to the North American Indians, this little
book is not going to be altogether about them;
only as they are frequently met with in the
United States, you will find it useful to know
somewhat about them.
America, you know, is called a "new
country," like Australia, and for the same


reasons. It is also called a "rough country,"
because the people have not yet had time to
make it smooth: and talking of roughness, some
of the roads we used to travel over come in-
stantly into my mind. You shall judge of
them for yourselves.


When people first set out to explore the
country, and see where they could best build a
town, they had to cut down the trees as they
went along, in order to lead their waggons and
horses through the thick forests which for the
most part covered the land. You may imagine


what sort of a "road" such would be over
bushes and stumps and mosses and long coarse
grass. As they proceeded they made a mark
on all the trees which they passed by paring
off a piece of the bark, and leaving a white line
which would show bright even at night. This
was to enable them to find their way back
again, and was called "blazing" the trees.
The people who next came that way followed
the same signs, until that track became the
usual road, though it was nothing but a clear-
ing" after all. The heavy rains made mud-
holes, which were terrible traps for the waggon
wheels, and the heavy storms blew down other
trees across the track; and there were deep gul-
lies to pass, and hills to climb, and rivers to ford
-if they could be forded-or else the travellers'
had to make a raft of the trees which they felled
and then float down the rivers, or push them-
selves across, and so continue their journey.
The first improvement made in those difficult
roads was to saw the trees into lengths and lay
them side by side over the swampy places for
waggons and horses to pass over. This was
called a "corduroy road," and was considered
an immense improvement upon the ups and
downs and mud-holes; so you can imagine
what those must have been, if to ride over tree
stems was reckoned an improvement.



Many a ride in a stage-coach had we over
,those corduroy roads, and a fine jolting we got.
The coach was slung upon very strong leather
straps instead of springs, and it swung to and
fro, and pitched us backwards and forwards,
and up and down, and bumped our heads
against the roof, till we were bruised and sore
all over. It was impossible to sit still in that
coach, hold on as we might; yet tired and bat-
tered as we were, we could not resist laughing
at the ridiculous plight we were in. Miles and
miles of such "roads may still be found in
those parts where towns are few and people
have not had time to make better; and, indeed,
even where better ones do exist, it is often
found advisable to repair them by throwing
trees across the deep gullies which the heavy
rains are constantly making. Along many such
roads, and through many such woods, our
country rambles led us. '
Once Katie and Harry and I were travelling
in one of those stage-coaches over a hilly part
of Ohio, when an accident occurred which de-
tained us several hours.
Ohio is not now one of the Western and
newest States, though seventy years ago it was
considered quite "west," and required a very
long journey of several weeks to reach it from


Pennsylvania, or from Virginia, with such tra-
velling as I have described. Now there are
railroads running through Ohio from north to
south, and from east to west, and some fine
large cities, all built within seventy years; and
yet between some of the smaller towns there are
no better roads than those where "clearings "
have been cut through the forest, and no better
mode of travelling than by one of those large,
lumbering stage-coaches.
On this occasion we were going on a visit to
a small country town among the hills at the
southern part of the State, and the coach was
heavily laden. Inside were nine people, three
on each seat, and three on a sort of bench let
down across the middle when the doors were
closed-a seat from which you were likely to be
thrown forwards or backwards repeatedly, there
being nothing to hold on by.
Katie was my niece, and Harry was an
English boy of about the same age, and was
going with us to the town where his parents
and our friends resided. Outside the coach
were six or eight other passengers, together
with the luggage, the mail-bags, and a great
deal besides-no light weight for the horses.
When we came to a hill everybody alighted,
and as there were plenty of hills we seemed to


be always turning out of the coach and packing
into it again. Some of the passengers grum-
bled at having to walk so much, but for my
two young companions and me it was a famous
opportunity to look about us. The day was
lovely; a heavy thunderstorm the previous
night had cooled the air and laid the dust, the
woods were full of flowers, and as Harry and I
had not been long in America, and Katie had
never taken a stage-coach journey before, all
..we saw was new and strange, delighting us
exceedingly. Towards the end of our journey
we came to a hill, which both for steepness and
stoniness resembled a broken staircase in an
ancient ruin rather than a coach-road. Great
masses of rock jutted out everywhere, and be-
tween these the late heavy rains had washed
deep gullies and holes. How the horses were
ever going to drag the great lumbering stage
up that hill I could not imagine. We stood
and watched them for a while, and the yoke of
oxen which had been brought from a neigh-
bouring farmhouse on purpose to help them.
So impassable were some places that the driver
led his team to the edge of the wood, where
to struggle over the stumps and under-
brush seemed less hazardous, and where the
shrubs and beautiful wild flowers were crushed


and trampled beneath feet and wheels. The
coach looked in danger of coming to pieces
every moment. Often had the poor horses
to stop and recover themselves, and then toil
onwards again.
The passengers fell into groups and saun-
tered up the hill, resolved to make the best
of it, we three following, their example and
making the most of our opportunity.
You have been in the woods at home-
nutting, perhaps, or picnicking, and fancy you
can picture to yourselves the green canopy of
leaves above, the cool shade among the many
stems between which you push your way, the
thrushes and blackbirds which twitter among
the boughs, the pale little flowers which
here and there struggle to the light, and a
little winding path to guide you through your
English wood. A very tranquil picture that.
But you must tax your imagination to picture
something very different here. Rough, grand,
lavish, brilliant, wild; big stems towering
aloft, or leaning against other stems loosened
from their roots or fallen, crushing others as
they fell; bushes covered with elegant sprays
of flowers or wax-like berries, patches of mossy
carpeting, tufts of long coarse grass, brilliant
flowers, the bluest of skies, and sunshine so


dazzling that you eagerly seek the shadiest
And then the sounds! Ah, these you never
can imagine Of all the strange effects which
strike you on first finding yourself in the wilds
of America, strangest are the sounds which
assail you. Birds there are, and bright ones,
too, and sometimes very noisy ones,-their
many voices tell of joy and gladness among
God's creatures; but their song is nothing to
that of insects. "Song of an insect! you
exclaim. Yes; I can find no other word for
the prolonged and ringing hums and chirps of
the myriads of insects, and one in particular,
which caused Harry to look wonderingly about
him, as if he thought a number of scizzor-
grinders must be at work up in the trees.
Among the passengers who had dismounted
from the top of the coach, was a boy a few
years older than Harry, and who soon attracted
his attention, the two eyeing each other as
boys do, and gradually drawing nearer as if
willing to scrape an acquaintance. He was a
pleasant, intelligent-looking lad, and, as he
seemed perfectly at home in the woods-leap-
ing over the stems and stumps with his hands
in his pockets, or throwing a stone into a tree,
as if aiming at some familiar object, I asked


him if he lived in the neighbourhood. He
replied, No, his home was in Kentucky, but
he had lived on a plantation all his life, and
was accustomed to the woods. Upon this Harry
brightened up, and asked him what caused that
queer whizzing, crackling sort of squeak which
we heard everywhere.
"Oh, that's nothing but the tree-hoppers !"
replied the lad.
Harry did not seem much the wiser, not
knowing whether "tree-hoppers" were birds
or frogs, for the noise they made was as much
like one as the other.
"Why, those are the locusts," said Katie;
"they always make that noise."
Katie was born in Ohio, though her papa
was an Englishman; she had heard these
sounds all her life, and did not think much of
them. Neither did the Kentucky boy; but no
sooner did Harry learn that they were insects
which made so loud a sound than he resolved
to capture some of them. Off he ran, expect-
ing to see them hopping from branch to branch
like enormous grasshoppers, or young frogs
perhaps; thinking, from the shrill, ringing
cadence, that the insects were much larger
than they are. Instead of which, they are only
about an inch long, and so much the colour of


the branches upon which they sit with their
wings closely folded, that it is most difficult to
discover them.
"You had better look under the trees,
Harry," said Katie; "you are sure to find
plenty of dead ones."
Harry's new friend-whose name we dis-
covered to be Franklin Monroe-did not seem
to think there was much sport in insect hunt-
ing, and wanted to know what Harry wanted
with harvest-flies and tree-hoppers. He wished
he had his gun, that he might bring down a
few squirrels instead." This boy seemed up
to all kinds of country sport, and, glad of any
excuse to get into a tree, he ran off with Harry
and disappeared in the thick foliage of an oak.
I had never heard the woods so. alive with
insects as now, on this bright sunny day-in the
height of summer. Enormous bees, whose hum
sounded like the hum of machinery, flies in
countless multitudes buzzing and dashing
around you, grasshoppers chirping, and above
all, the "locusts," for it was these whose noise
made Harry think of the scizzor-grinders.
It America so numerous are the varieties of
this insect, all more or less resembling the
gf~aahopp.-r, the cricket, or the cockroach, that
they are often confused one with the other, and


commonly called "locusts." Among them are
the cicada or harvest-fly," the tree-hopper,"
the "katy-did," and the grasshopper. The
largest are about an inch and a half long, and
measure three and a half to four inches from
the tips of the wings. The noise they make is
really astonishing for the size of the insect.
That of the locust is something between the
screeching of a violin and the crackling of
burning stubble. The sound is not produced
by the throat, but, like the chirp of the cricket
and the grasshopper, by a curious arrange-
ment at the base of the wings; the different
species being all more or less furnished with an
apparatus called a drum, an elastic membrane,
upon which a set of muscles beat or play with
exceeding rapidity, producing a sharp, shrill,
snapping, whizzing noise. That of the harvest-
fly is loudest and longest, and in some large
species may be heard nearly a mile off, in calm
weather. The song or chirp begins softly, and
swells out sharper, louder, faster, more shrill,
and then dies away till it ceases altogether, but
only to break out again in some other tree.
Here, there, before you, behind you, elsewhere,
everywhere, three, four, or a dozen together,
chirping, or answering each other, till the
woods ring with cicadas. This insect, how-


ever, does not hop, and the active little tree-
hopper does not chirp, having no kettledrum
apparatus; while the locusts both hop in a
marvellous manner-assisted, no -doubt, by
their wings-and are so noisy that when they
come in multitudes their sound has been com-
pared to the roaring of the sea, the snapping or
crackling of a wood on fire, and the rushing of
a whirlwind.
On certain warm days in spring, when the
grub is newly hatched, you may sometimes see
the trees positively weighed down by these
insects, six or seven crowding upon every leaf.
Each female lays from three hundred to five
hundred eggs, and should each egg produce a
fly, imagine the swarms the succeeding year!
A tremendous scourge such as this has some-
times swept over certain localities in America;
and, but for timely precaution, might more
frequently happen. From such swarms people
learn a little what the plague of locusts among
the Egyptians must have been when "they
covered the face of the whole earth, so that the
land was darkened; and they did eat every
herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees,
and there remained not any green thing."*
How few of us realise that when the prophet
Exodus x. 15.


Joel was foretelling the terribleness of God's
judgment, and "the day of darkness and of
gloominess, a day of clouds and thick dark-
ness," that was to come upon the people, it
was of the vast "army" of locusts that he
spoke. The "palmer-worm of Scripture was
the grub of the locust, which, if permitted to
live, would indeed eat up every green thing."
Fortunately, a comparatively small number only
of the eggs which are laid and the grubs which
are hatched ever come to perfection. Birds,
beetles, reptiles, hogs, and dogs devour the grubs
greedily; and when an unusual abundance of
the insects have been seen in any particular
locality, the inhabitants take the precaution of
collecting and destroy-
Ss ing the eggs, which
are easily found by
turning up the ground
where they have fallen
from the trees.
The mannerin which
the eggs are deposited
is remarkable. The
female insects are fur-
AUGER OF THE CICADA, nished with a wonder-
greatly gmagnified. ful little instrument,
like a double saw, with which they pierce the


trees, cutting or sawing grooves in the branches
as neatly as if the bark were slit with a penknife.
The twig thus pierced soon withers and falls
to the ground, where the grub, when hatched,
burrows a hole, and lives upon the juices of the
root of the tree. It is said that they some-
times burrow many feet deep, following the
course of the roots, and remaining several
years underground before they reappear on
the surface, and are hatched into the per-
fect fly. One of them is called "the seven-
teen-years locust," because it is supposed to
remain all that time below ground.
It seems strange that such insects should
find favour as an article of food; but it is no
less true. These were the locusts upon which
John the Baptist fed.*
Among the savages of hot countries they are
devoured with relish, and even Dr. Living-
stone partook of them in Africa, and pro-
nounced them "better than shrimps." The
American Indians roast them, or dry them in
the sunshine and then grind them into a kind
of flour, of which they make cakes. Drying
and grinding them seems to be the common
mode. In South America they are also much
used as food. It is when they abound in such
Matt. iii. 4.


overwhelming numbers that they grow into a
pestilence, not only by consuming vegetation,
but by infecting the air when they die cover-
ing the ground with their decaying masses.
Such were the insects that Harry was so
anxious to see, and perchance to discover how
the sound was produced. That season the
locusts and harvest-flies were not so numerous
as to annoy us by their incessant whizzing. On
the contrary, to our English ears the crackling
cadence had something of a joyous sound, as if
the little creatures were waking up suddenly to
exult in their sunny existence, and then sink off
into drowsy repose again. Probably the bril-
liancy of the sky and sunshine, the wealth of
vegetation, and the refreshing shade of the
woods, added not a little to this effect.
Katie and I kept within sight of the other
passengers; not that there was any fear of the
coach going on without us-more fear of its not
going on at all-but we had no wish to lose our-
selves in that wild spot; and abundance of the
flowers we were seeking grew along the borders.
Katie called to the boys not to go out of sight,
and Franklin shouted in reply, "Look out for
rattlesnakes!" a warning which was not un-
heeded as we walked cautiously along.
Do you wish to know what kinds of flowers


we found on that strange journey? I will men-
tion some among them, so numerous and beau-
tiful that it was impossible to resist gathering
them, even though we did not know what to do
with them afterwards. First there was the silk-
weed, asclepias, which may be seen in English
greenhouses, but which grew there in great tall
clusters as high as ourselves. Several kinds
we saw, some purple, some white with a purple
centre, and some pure white. One species pro-
duces a pod, the seeds of which are clothed with
long silky hair; hence its name, silk-weed."
If you have seen a cotton plant, you know how
the seed is covered thickly
with soft, white down,
like cotton wool, and can
imagine that of the silk-
weed, excepting that a
long, white, silken tassel,
instead of down, protects
the seed,which,when ripe,
is borne away like this-
tle-down, filling the air COTTON Pons.
with a snow-like shower.
During the American war, when the people
were killing each other instead of planting fields
of cotton, and all kinds of cotton clothing be-
came very dear, an attempt was made to spin a


fabric from the silk of the asolepias, and I have
no doubt that some day manufacturers will
succeed in turning this beautiful material to
good account.
We saw numbers of the large yellow evening
primrose (enothera), which gives out its fra-
grance towards the close of day; sunflowers,
too, of many heights and sizes, and plenty of
other star-like flowers, purple and golden, of
the aster and the marigold tribes. One of the
handsomest, though commonest, of the American
weeds which choke up paths and waste places,
is the iron-weed; it is something like a tall,
strong cineraria, and of a rich purple tint.
Then there was a phlox, or wild sweetwilliam;
and, trailing among the mosses, we found the
elegant little partridge-berry, a creeping plant
with dark, shining, evergreen leaves, variegated
with white, pretty pink wax-like flowers, not
yet quite out of bloom, and bright red berries,
like coral beads scattered over the mosses. And
then. Katie pounced upon some winter-green,
and began to munch its leaves with great relish.
These leaves have a fragrant, spicy flavour, and
are in great favour among school children, who
buy bunches of them in the market and eat them.
With all respect to the pretty winter-green,
I preferred the leaves of some wood-sorrel, of


which we found clumps, both yellow and white,
growing under the trees and among the mosses;
and very grateful indeed is the pleasant acid of
that delicate plant when you are parched and
thirsty during your summer rambles.
"Hark! Some one is calling the passengers
together," I said to Katie, while we were re-
freshing ourselves, she with her winter-green
and I with the sorrel leaves. "Bob White,
Bob White," as the name was again and again
repeated; "who is that ? "
That's only a bird, aunty," cried Katie,
laughing; "but I'll run and see if the coach
isn't nearly at the top of the hill."
Katie went one way, and I turned the other
in search of the two boys, whose voices an-
nounced them to be at the top of a high tree.
But immediately Katie's call in the opposite
direction summoned us all to the road; and,
proceeding thither, I beheld a scene which
to the rest of the passengers seemed by no
means unusual, but which to Harry (who had
quickly descended from his perch in the tree)
and myself excited no little wonderment. The
horses, unhitched from the coach, were quietly
grazing in a grassy hollow a little farther down
the road; the oxen looked fast asleep in their
yoke; the coach was left to take care of itself,


and the thirteen passengers were busy in the
middle of the road, where an enormous tree had
fallen, blocking up the way as effectually as if
a thick hedge had been planted across it. The
gentlemen had every one his coat off, and with
hatchets and ropes had set to work to remove

this obstacle out of the way, each "taking hold"
in good earnest, and working as hard as a day
labourer, chopping off and dragging away the
branches; while the three lady passengers had
seated themselves on a ledge of sandstone,
encouraging their companions with smiles and
pleasant words. Frank, who followed Harry


with a dead squirrel in each hand, threw down
his spoil, and was for helping "haul the tree,
but Harry, not yet up to American ways, stood
looking on, and wondering what his friends in
England would say and do if they had to make
nearly half of a stage-coach journey on foot,
and work like a woodman into the bargain.
However, it is of no use to quarrel with the ele-
ments, and in America a storm seldom leaves a
landscape without traces of its power. The
company bore the delay in perfect good-humour,
and when the two boys learned that at least
half an hour must elapse before the stage would
be ready to proceed, Franklin and Harry ran
off on another squirrel-hunt, and Katie and I
resumed our rambles. The coachman informed
me that the hill was even more precipitous on
the other side than on this, and proposed that
we should walk on and be taken up at the foot,
" after which," he said, the rest of the journey
would be safe and rapid." We all cheerfully
assented, and proceeded at our leisure.
"Bob White! Bob White who is that
who keeps on calling Bob White?" asked
Harry, coming to show us some cicadas which
he had succeeded in catching.
"That is a bird, and it always calls like
that," said Katie. "We call it the 'Bob-


White.'" Off ran Harry again to ask the
young sportsman about the "Bob White,"
promising to come and tell me what kind of
bird it was, I being as curious about it as
But while describing the wonders of the
woods, I have not forgotten the "accident"
which I was going to relate, such trifles as
trees blocking up the road being too common
to recount as such.
We had sauntered on, and had nearly
reached the foot of the other hill, where we sat
down to arrange our treasures and wait for the
coach, which we could see slowly and cautiously
descending the broken and dangerous road.
The children had collected a quantity of deli-
cious huckleberries, as big as sloes, from the
many varieties which abounded thereabouts.
Katie had found a lingering blossom also, which
gave one an idea of the beauty of the shrubs in
spring, when covered with such sprays of white
or tinted fairy-like bells. There were huckle-
berries, blueberries, bilberries, whortleberries,
and others, all beautiful in blossom and luscious
in fruit, and we were feasting upon these and
recounting our discoveries when the southern
boy, looking on the ground, exclaimed, "Here's
a snake track I "


"What! we all cried, starting up in alarm,
and scattering our fruit on the ground.
Oh, you need not be scared, ma'am; it's
only a snake's been along here; a rattlesnake,
I think, by the look of it. He won't bite you
as long as you keep out of his way."
"But where is it?" I demanded, by no
means satisfied at the vicinity of so dangerous
a reptile.
Ah, that's just what I want to find out,"
said Franklin, bending down and attentively
examining the marks. "He went along here."
"How do you know?" cried Harry, in a
great state of excitement, "I see nothing;"
while Katie and I sprang upon the log, where
we stood tip-toe in terror scrutinising every
object below us.
Don't you see this track ?" said the Ken-
tucky boy, pointing to a sign which to him
alone was apparent, and tracing with his finger
along the ground. "Here's where he went,
round this tree, then along here, then over this
sandy place-don't you see the marks of his
scales ?-and then over this bit of rock."
"Oh, yes cried Harry, eagerly examining
the slab of sand-stone. Now I see a mark,
as if some kind of strap or rope had been lying
here; but I should never have noticed it."


"You're not so used to rattlesnakes as I
am," returned the young sportsman. "If you
don't mind standing still up there, ma'am,"
addressing me, you can't be safer anywhere.
Look sharp where you tread, Harry; we'll
soon fetch him out."
In vain I entreated the boys to come away
and run no risks, but Franky only smiled and
said, "No; he didn't intend to run any risks
by leaving a live rattlesnake crawling where
he was ;" and Harry, in mute admiration of
his plucky companion, earnestly watched him,
though at a respectful distance.
I turned my eyes towards the coach, with the
intent of getting into it with Katie, and telling
Harry to follow me, when lo! there lay the
unfortunate coach on its side halfway down
the hill, the luggage scattered about, and the
horses struggling in the tangled harness. An
exclamation from me made Katie and Harry
look in the same direction, and we ran back up
the hill in terror of rattlesnakes every step we
took, yet feeling that we should be safer among
the rest of the company.
We found that one of the fore-wheels had
sunk deep into a gully washed by the last
night's rains under some half-decayed logs
which had hidden it, upsetting the high-piled


vehicle, besides breaking the wheel and other-
wise damaging it. Fortunately, only one-an
inside passenger-had been riding, and she,
except a little extra bumping by the fall, sus-
tained no very serious injuries. There seemed
now but little hope of our reaching the end of
our journey that day, for it was already late in
the afternoon, and the repairs would occupy
some hours. A new wheel must be fetched
from a village several miles off, and the pas-
sengers had to choose between proceeding
thither on foot, with the prospect of obtaining
a supper and a night's lodging, or waiting
where they were and contenting themselves
with such food as was forthcoming among us.
The majority decided to walk on to the village
and be taken up as the stage passed on ; for the
driver seemed confident of getting it in trim
again before darkness should quite close out the
landscape. It was towards the end of August,
the moon was near the full, and the sun, throw-
ing its slanting rays across the forest, illumi-
nated the tops of the trees, and suffused a flood
of gold around, producing a scene of inde-
scribable beauty.
Stay here, aunty; do stay for the coach, it
will be such fun," cried Katie. "Yes, do
tay I echoed Harry, emboldened by the


beauty of the evening. "Hullo! here's
"Here's his rattle for you, Miss Katie," cried
Franklin Monroe, running up to us, shaking
with his right hand something which sounded
like old bean-pods with the dried beans inside,
and in his left hand holding his three dead
squirrels and a couple of birds. "Here's his
rattle and yonder lies he; a regular big un.
Come along and look at him, Harry. Oh, and
here's some supper for you all, if you can find
any one to cook it," handing me the game, the
squirrels and two bob-whites. "We can't go
any farther yet awhile, so we shall want a
A pleasant, motherly-looking woman, kindly
attending to the old lady who had been upset
in the coach, now approached, and said to my
three companions, "If you young folks will
fetch along some sticks to build a fire, I'll un-
dertake to cook a supper. I guess I've fetched
along all we need besides."
The children were as delighted as if we had
all come out expressly for a picnic, when, after
a little deliberation, I concluded that we could
not do better than remain where we were until
the stage was ready; and we agreed to return
to our log and our scattered booty at the foot


of the hill, where we should be out of the way
of the horses and confusion, and whither we
led our battered fellow-traveller, the rest fol-
The motherly-looking woman had spoken
correctly when she had promised to supply the
necessary articles for cooking. She must have
come prepared for accidents, or perhaps was
changing her place of abode, for, from some
mysterious corners of the coach, she produced,
first a kettle; then a frying-pan, next a huge
basket, out of which came a packet of coffee, a
coffee-pot, sundry cups and saucers and plates
and glasses-all so well guarded against jolting
that not a crack appeared among them-knives,
forks, a goodly loaf; and then, from a smaller
basket on her arm, some eggs and butter, and-
good American housewives only can guess what
besides! A rich supply indeed, which, together
with odd provisions collected among the rest of
us, Franklin's supply of game, and abundance
of wild fruit which needed only to be gathered,
promised a supper which was not to be despised.
Franklin's method of knocking down"
squirrels for lack of his gun consisted in a
peculiarly expert aim with a stone, which
brought the poor little animal to the ground,
where he was quickly dispatched. The bob-


whites" he had caught somewhat in the same
manner, only, as these birds keep a good deal in
the open ground, he had to lie in wait and
watch his opportunity with them. Harry took
a large squirrel to examine it, and, setting it
up in position, expressed his regret that he
could not take it home and have it stuffed;
upon which his new friend said he had "better
eat it here and stuff it afterwards," a joke
which was soon explained by Franklin proving
himself as skilful in skinning game as in killing
it; and after carrying it to a distant log, while
Katie and I helped to arrange a supper-table
on a fine smooth slab of rock, the two boys pre-
sently reappeared, Franklin to hand his spoil
to our good friend to cook them, and Harry to
display his trophies, the bird and squirrel skins,
which he said he should have stuffed and set up
in remembrance of this delightful" journey.
One of his specimens was a cat squirrel, so
called from the form of the head and face,
which are broad, short nosed, and cat-like. It
was a fine, handsome fellow, of a sandy grey
colour, with a splendid tail fourteen inches long.
Its entire length was about twenty-six inches.
The fox squirrel, so called from its colour, was
also a fine species; the other, a grey squirrel,
was less in size though larger than the Eng-


lish one of the same kind. We saw also a black
squirrel, and others with very long fur. Frank

-.,- li ,
-~9 (Mlk

,b, Pq

Monroe offered to "knock down" as many as
we wished for, but we were already rather in-


conveniently laden, and Harry postponed the
squirrel hunt until after his arrival at home.
Mrs. Logan, our self-imposed cook, was a
little reluctant to prepare the squirrels for our
repast, these animals not being held in high
esteem by her as an article of food. The squir-
rel, however, is by some persons reckoned good
eating, and Mrs. Logan said f' for lack of better
meat she might as wPll make a dish of that
one." These pretty playful little animals are
so numerous in the United States, particularly
the grey squirrel, that they ar looked upon
with no friendly eye
by the farmer, among
whose crops they cause
terrible havoc. So de-
structive to the grow-
ing maize were they
formerly, that a reward
of threepence a head
was offered by Covern-
ment in order to re-
duce their numbers,
S and in one year, 1749,
MAIZE. 8000 dollars were paid
out of the public trea-
sury for that purpose, showing that about
640,000 squirrels had been destroyed that year.


As the country gradually becomes covered with
towns and villages and cultivated lands, these,
as well as many other wild animals, grow more
rare, till in time they will be entirely extinct.
Already certain skins which used to be common
for muffs and capes are no longer to be seen,
and we have been obliged to have recourse to
the skins of other animals, as well as those of
birds, to replace them.
The bob-white," whose pretty speckled fea-
thers we had an opportunity of examining, is a
kind of quail. In some of the southern States it
is called a partridge, in other parts a pheasant.
In some respects it is not unlike those birds.
In Virginia it is always spoken of as a par-
tridge. It rises with the same whirring sound
of the wing which betrays the flight of the
English partridge. Its eggs are highly prized
for the table, and the bird itself is shot for
game, and is considered a delicacy, particularly
in the autumn, when it is exceedingly plump.
These quails (for they more nearly resemble the
quail than either the partridge or the pheasant)
have a curious custom of resting and sleeping
in a circle with their heads outward, so that if
alarmed they all fly off in opposite directions.
We took courage, also, to go and look at the
dead rattlesnake which Franklin told us he


had traced back to the very log on which we
had been resting. It was a prostrate tree, and
at the very time we were amusing ourselves all
unconscious of danger, there, not three yards
from us, lay coiled beneath a creature whose
bite must have been, in that remote spot, hope-
lessly fatal. So venomous are these reptiles,
and so rapid their poison, that only powerful
and instantaneous remedies can avail, and such
remedies not even the provident Mrs. Logan
happened to possess on that occasion. Truly
had we cause to return heartfelt thanks to our
Heavenly Father for this marvellous escape
from death, one which, on now learning it,
impressed us solemnly, and, I trust, moved us
with a resolve to devote with all the greater
watchfulness those lives to God's glory which
had been thus mercifully spared to us.
Franklin said that rattlesnakes were natu-
rally so lazy that they seldom bit a person
unless first injured or alarmed, and had we
accidentally trodden on it or molested it, there
would have been no hope for us. By the ap-
pearance of its enlarged throat he thought it
had recently partaken of a meal, after which a
snake retires to a secluded spot, and remains half
torpid while the process of digestion goes on.
We asked him how he had managed to kill it.


"Easy enough," he replied, "with a forked
stick as the Indians do. Just pin down his
head so that he can't bite you, and with a stout
stick, break his back. He can't move then. I
left him here for you to see him, and now I'll
throw him in that pond over there, where his
poison wont hurt anybody."
So saying our young hero took tip the crea-


ture by the tail, and held it so that we
might examine it a little. It was four feet
long, and the forked tongue was just visible
through the half-open mouth. Emblem of sin!
we shrank away shuddering at it, and at
thoughts of the death so near to us. Such
escapes are lessons to us all, and warnings also,


for who can tell what dangers lurk around us,
nor how soon we may be called upon to face
God's judgment seat!
The rattle was a curious and not unsightly
appendage, of hard, horny links, loosely jointed,
so as to shake very easily and produce a sound
like the rattling of dried pods. It is connected
with the body by a skin, or membrane, which
can be cut without causing pain to the reptile.
By the time we had concluded our investi-
gations and gathered more of the juicy berries,
we were summoned to our repast, and very
soon were seated in a sociable circle around
our kind entertainer. Fried squirrel and
partridges, poached eggs, bread, cakes, fruit,
butter, coffee, tea, the purest of water from a
rippling streamlet close at hand-what more
could be desired ? The squirrel had a flavour
something between hare, rabbit, and fawn, and
was much relished by several of us; the par-
tridge also was excellent. And then the even-
ing-as the setting sun flooded the landscape
with a rosy light, and the deep blue creeping
through the depths of shade brought out the
nearer stems in bold relief, lighted up by the
warmer tint which left us in the open space
still illuminated. For Harry and I, at least,
the whole scene possessed a charm which made


us quite forget that an accident detained us
there, and when in the stillness of the evening
the katy-did began its pertinacious little song,
the boy was frantic to capture one; and so far
from wishing to get home, he only "hoped the
stage would not be ready this long time," that
he might go about the woods with Frank.
The katy-did, or grasshopper bird," as
the Indians call it, is one of the cicadas-silent
during the day, but towards evening the
loudest and most'persistent of the insects inha-
biting the trees. Its chirp sounds exactly like
the words from which it has its name, varying
only when occasionally it seems to repeat,
"She did; Katy did, she did!" As forests
give place to civilisation, these insects, like the
squirrels, grow less common, and being heard
only on fine evenings at the pleasantest time
of year, their song is associated with beauty
and enjoyment, which renders them always a
favourite. Like the locusts and the cicadas,
the Indians roast and eat them, and poets
have celebrated them:-
I love to hear thine earnest voice
Wherever thou art hid,
Thou testy little dogmatist,
Thou pretty katy-did.
Oh, tell me where did Katy live ?
And what did Katy do .


Ah no, the living oak shall crash,
That stood for ages still,
The rock shall rend its mossy base,
And thunder down the hill,
Before the little katy-did
Shall add one word to tell
The mystic story of the maid
Whose name she knows so well."

And now up rose the moon over the tree-
tops, tipping them with silver where just now
was gold. And now rang out the loud, clear
whistle of the whip-poor-will, a bird of the
goatsucker tribe, and, like most of his species,
coming out only at night, with his reiterated
"Whip-poor-will, Whip-poor-will," no less
persistently than the katy-did. Rattlesnakes,
even if there were any more in our neighbour-
hood, had retired to their nests for the night,
therefore it was in calm and peaceful enjoyment
of that sweet August evening that Katie and I,
with good Mrs. Logan and the old lady pas-
senger, sat now on our log, pleasantly chatting
until the stage was ready. The two boys were
enjoying themselves in their own way, and
Mrs. Logan was describing a "camp-meeting"
-a religious revival held out of doors during
the summer, and at which hundreds, or even
thousands, assemble from a long way round,
bringing clothing, wraps, and provisions for a


good week's camping out. Mrs. Logan was on
her way to one of these assemblages, and thus
was her most opportune collection of provisions
and cooking implements accounted for.
There is not much more to tell about that
journey. By-and-by the stage was ready, and
we all packed into it again. As the driver had
assured us, we had overcome the worst part of
the road; the rest was comparatively smooth.
We picked up our fellow-travellers at the
village whither they had preceded us, though
I much doubt whether they had enjoyed their
supper served on a deal table and under a roof
half as much as we had ours under the canopy
of a glorious sky and upon a table of sand-
stone on a carpet of moss. We arrived at our
destination soon after midnight, the young
people parting in anticipation of future ac-
quaintance; and, though suffering a little from
jolts and bumps and our lengthy rambles, not
on the whole dissatisfied with the adventures
consequent upon those bad roads.
The effects of bumps and bruises and alarms
were short-lived and soon forgotten, the recol-
lection of those wild forests never. Thus,
under the beneficent provision of our Heavenly
Father, it ever is. He has given to us capa-
cities for enjoyment in almost every circum-


stance of life, and memories of pleasures long
outliving those of pain and annoyances. Suf-
ferings and inconveniences are softened to us
by the consciousness that when over we shall
think of them no more. Pleasures are en-
during, and we enjoy them over and over again
in recalling them, especially those innocent
delights in the beauties of God's creation which
lead our hearts from earth to heaven, and seem
to impart a foretaste of the joys which shall be
for evermore in the presence of the Creator
May all my young readers so love and serve
the Saviour Jesus Christ, that they may possess
those enduring riches and enjoy those lasting
pleasures which shall never fail.



SPENT several months in the pretty
little town of Ohitona, in a wild part of
southern Ohio, but I do not recall any
startling adventures during my stay.
Yet life and customs are so different
Sin western villages to what we see
at home, that some events may be
worth recounting for the amusement of Eng-
lish readers. Katie's parents resided there;
so did Harry's for a time, they having only
lately come to America, and not yet fixed upon
a permanent residence. Frank Monroe also
was spending his vacation at Ohitona. Thus


the three young people often met, and occa-
sionally accompanied me in my rambles.
Ohitona was a pretty little town, consisting
chiefly of wooden houses, painted white or a
pale yellowish colour, and with porches or
"stoops," and balconies of trellis work, and
bright green Venetian blinds to the windows,
and roses and other climbing plants half cover-
ing them. There were plenty of trees for
shade, altogether making a very pretty picture,
the white houses and bright red chimneys peep-
ing out everywhere among the trees.
Only a few buildings were of brick in that
country place, and of these the inhabitants
were very proud. There was the court-house
for public business, and one brick church,
which also had green Venetian blinds to its
square windows, and a wooden bell-tower,
painted white and green; rather a strange-look-
ing edifice for a church, but the worshippers
could pray as devoutly in it-and no doubt
did-as in a more showy building. The other
churches were of wood, painted white, and also
had green Venetian blinds, the heat of the
sun rendering these latter a necessity in that
bright climate.
The streets were wide and spacious, though
you might not have thought much of the shops,


or stores," as they are called, from the
variety of goods collected in them for sale.
The pavements were formed of long wooden
planks laid side by side: yet on looking up and
down the streets and seeing only rows of trees
along each side, with bits of bright awning and
an occasional house front or church spire here
and there, it produced a very pretty vista.
The country around was hilly and exceedingly
rough, the roads in many parts being not much
better than that where our stage was upset.
But bad as they were, they were very wide, for
land was cheap, and along the roads you might
see the cows belonging to the inhabitants wan-
dering about and munching the grass and
whatever else they liked, each with its bell
tinkling, tinkling, far and near. For cows are
allowed their liberty in those parts, and are
let out each morning to stray where they
please and get their own living; and then, in
the afternoon, you might see them all trudging
back to town, and finding their way home as
regularly as children turned out of school,
standing at the gate of their master's yard until
some one came to open it for them to be
milked and housed for the night.
There was a canal with a path along its
edge, where we were fond of walking in the


evening, and listening to the katy-did. The
canal led to a small river, or "branch," as it
was called, where the water dashed over rocks,
and made pleasant music beneath the shade,
and where the scenery was very wild and inte-
resting. At one part the banks were high and
dark, at another broad and flat and sunny.
Large trees bent over the blue water, some-
times with their roots so exposed and loose
that you were sure the next rains and high
water would cause their fall. Plenty of such
magnificent trees we constantly saw prostrate,
decaying away and covering the banks with a
wealth of timber, or floating down the stream,
not considered worth saving where timber was so
abundant that it was often burned in order to rid
the land of it. A delicious wild fruit, called
papaw, grew on that canal bank. It was as big
as a large hen's egg, and of a taste something
between gooseberries, apricots, and guava jelly
-a most luscious fruit. Its common name is
"custard apple," for it is very much the colour
of a custard, and something of the taste, too;
so luscious that you cannot eat many of them,
and yet pleasant to gather off a wild bush on a
sultry afternoon.
As for flowers, you might always be sure of
plenty, though those in the autumn are of


A# SETT L E' LOG-~--l- HUT

~~ -



larger and coarser kinds than the spring
varietiess. Golden-rod, asters, sunflowers, the
iron-weed, and marigolds abounded; and now
and then we found some of the more delicate
species, but not so frequently as in spring.
Sometimes in our rambles we came to a fence
that we had to pull down if we wished to get to
the other side, and then build up again. We
should think it very strange in England to pull
down a neighbour's fence if we wished to cross
his corn-field, but in America it is often done.
Here is the sort of fence I mean: one that must
occupy a good deal of ground, you will think,
and require a great deal of timber to make it.
And so it does; abundance of timber and abun-
dance of space being seen in America, but not
so many labourers to do the work ; so they have
contrived the quickest and easiest method of
keeping cows and sheep out of their corn-fields,
and merely chop off the boughs of trees and
split them into lengths, and pile them one over
another in the zig-zag fashion you see, the long
pieces at the angles being like forks to support
the lengths, which you have only to lift off at
one end, and pile up again very easily when
you wish to get past. And if a man wishes to
enlarge his field or to cut off a portion, his
fence is down and up again in half-an-hour.


"Virginia fences" these are called; not
because they are seen only in Virginia, for they
are in use everywhere, but because Virginia,
being the first part inhabited by English people,
gave its name and its customs to many other
' if. to which its people afterwards emigrated.
" Snake fences they are also called, for crooked
as a snake they certainly are.

What delightful corners for wild flowers are
those in the zig-zag fence! The brightest and
prettiest flowers seemed to accumulate in those
angles till the fence looked like a framework
to a row of flower-beds; perhaps because they
did not get trodden down or blown about so
much, under the protection of those cross bits
of timber, but certainly they were charming
nooks for a botanist.
Who, when contemplating the glory of God's
works-the flowers strewed on every bank, in
every nook, the joyous carolling of the birds,


and the loveliness of his handiwork-can doubt
his immeasurable love towards his creatures!
" O Lord, how manifold are thy works in
wisdom hast thou made them all." "Thou
sendest forth thy spirit, they are created; and
thou renewest the face of the earth." "I will
sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will
sing praise to God while I have my being." *
One of the first things which struck Harry
and me so comically on going to America, was
to meet houses out on excursions. In England
we build our houses firmly planted on the soil,
where we expect our descendants will see them
generation after generation, till they fall into
ruins, as we see ruins of edifices hundreds of
years old; but in America people seem to think
that a house may enjoy change of air as well as
those who live in it, and it is not uncommon for
people to carry their houses with them, like snails
do their shells, when they move to another street.
And not small houses merely. We used to see
a good, comfortable-looking dwelling, of one or
two storeys high, travelling down a street on
such an expedition. Nothing seemed easier
than the way it was done. In the first place,
houses are built upon a strong framework of
timber, the beams being so securely attached to
Psalm civ. 24-31.


each other that you could lift the whole were
you strong enough, and carry it on a dray as
you see men conveying a piece of furniture. If
you wish to move your house, you must first
dig away the earth all round, so as to lay bare
the foundation; then, by means of immense
screws, insert wedges beneath, and by degrees
other strong timbers on which you raise it, and
then by means of rollers get it on to a very
wide low sort of dray, supported upon small,
strong wooden rollers. All you have now to do
is to fasten a very strong chain to the dray, and
to the chain a stout rope of from ten to twenty
yards long, as may be required. This rope is
secured to a winch driven firmly into the
ground, the house being thus drawn by the
rollers gradually up to the winch, when the
rope is unwound, the winch planted farther off,
the rope again wound round it, drawing the
house nearer, and so on, till the building
reaches its appointed site. Once we saw "THIs
HOUSE FOR SALE written on a board nailed
to the door of one, as if somebody were invited
to take up his abode in it there and then, or to
travel in it wherever it was bound. Sometimes
we saw a house standing in the market-place
with FOR SALE on it; and very convenient
too would it have been for a man who had just


bought some land, and wanted a house in a
These houses "out for walks," as Harry
called it, amused him so much, that when it
was known that one was to be moved, our
friends would send word, that Harry might
have a ride in it to see how it felt." He got
several rides of this kind, running up and down
the stairs all the time, and looking first out of
one window and then another on the way.
I also had an opportunity of enjoying the
novelty, and in a most luxurious fashion. A
gentleman who lived in a very large and elegant
mansion a little way out of town, was mov-
ing it to another part of his property, in order
to divide his estate equally between his two
children, and that space might be made for two
houses instead of one. This gentleman and his
wife, being friends of Katie's parents, invited
us all to luncheon one day during the process of
transportation, which occupied nearly a week,
for the house was a very large one, with wings
and a magnificent entrance hall, and spacious
drawing and dining rooms on each side. Very
powerful screws were attached, and "slow and
sure" were the workmen employed. The move-
ment was scarcely perceptible. We enjoyed
our luncheon and sat gossiping, feeling now


and then a slight rumbling, creaking, jarring
sensation, something like the creaking of a
steamer at sea; but so slight was the motion
that I doubt if I should have been conscious of
being moved had I not been convinced of the
fact. It has now become so common to move
even the largest buildings, that in one city,
Chicago (burned down as you may have heard
not long ago), upwards of two hundred large
buildings were raised, and others moved to
another part, within two years. Hundreds of
the Chicago houses were raised high enough to
build cellars underneath them, and with people
in them all the while Fancy any of us falling
asleep in a room on the ground-floor, and awak-
ing to find ourselves up-stairs," though in the
same room and the same bed: if your sleep were
to last two or three days, such certainly might
be the case. The city of (.'l .y' was first built
on a low swampy part of a prairie, close to the
Lake Michigan, and it was found very damp and
agucish, so the inhabitants brought loads and
loads and hundreds of tons of dry, gravelly soil
from a long distance, and after lifting up their
houses, filled in the spaces with the dry soil,
and so by degrees have elevated the whole
place, raising the roads and streets and gardens,
and altogether improving both the appearance


and the health of the city. This all sounds
very much like a fairy tale, but I assure you it
is not one. I am telling you the.simple truth,
my object being to give you useful information,
while, as I hope, amusing you. I have been in
Chicago, and saw the houses being moved, and
one very large hotel full of people being raised
a whole storey !
There was some extremely hot weather soon
after we arrived at Ohitona, compelling us to
content ourselves with a mere stroll in the even-
ing, when the sun got low, for it was not safe
to expose ourselves to the mid-day heat. But
how bountifully does the Almighty provide his
creatures with compensations for the extremes
of climate; and how many luxuries suited to
the requirements of man may be found, whether
food and furs and a constitution to withstand
the frosts of the north, or fruits and shade-
trees and a thousand enjoyments to enable them
to endure the intense heat of the more southern
As for fruits, we almost lived upon them.
Peach-trees grow in orchards, and in a good
season are as plentiful as apples in Kent and
Devonshire; only, of course, the season" does
not last so long. But while the peaches are
ripe you may eat them all day long. And then


the melons! Imagine melons brought to
market by the waggon-load I well remember
the first time I saw them, and could not imagine
what they were, for they looked bigger than
any pumpkins I ever saw. They were water-
melons. It would be as much as you could do
to carry the largest of them, and they were sold
at a few cents each. When one is cut up and
a huge slice is offered to you, you scarcely
know what to do with it, for you must be quick
in disposing of it, the juice is so abundant.
Our friends would never think of offering less
than a quarter of one, often a half one, as that
was most convenient to manage; and it was
highly amusing to Harry's parents and me to
seat ourselves in the porch with one of these
huge morsels on our laps, and provided with a
spoon with which to scoop out the pink juicy
pulp. It is extremely light and spongy, hold-
ing the juice as a sponge holds water; the rind
serves as a plate; and altogether, a feast of
water-melons is something quite different from
anything you can imagine in England. You
must, however, feel American heat and American
thirst in order to thoroughly enjoy them.
One of our adventures was being caught in a
storm; and American storms are characteristic
of the country, where nature startles you with


her abruptness, power, and sudden transitions.
It was the middle of September, and I had
begun to watch for those changes of tint which
in autumn clothe the landscape in new and
more conspicuous beauties as the wild flowers
fade and die away. My friends told me I should
wake up some morning and find the trees turned
suddenly red and yellow, as if touched by the
wand of a magician. The first frost would turn
them; but as yet the frost seemed afar off,
for the intenseness of summer heat was still
upon us.
One lovely morning, before the heat of the
day came on, Katie and I set out for a ramble,
taking with us Katie's little brother, a child
between four and five years old, intending only
to stroll along a road where plenty of shade
was to be found. We sauntered on, listening
to the shrill, ringing crink of the locusts, and
plucking the asters, golden-rod, and red leaves
of the sumach, now and then resting under the
trees. The morning had been calm and cloud-
less, but now a momentary shadow across the
sun caused Katie to look up, and then to draw
my attention to a few clouds which here and
there floated over the deep blue of the sky. To
me they seemed of no consequence, but the
little American girl saw in them signs which


bid us turn our faces homeward. Not two
minutes elapsed before the whole face of the
heavens was changed; the air was darkened
and the sky assumed a leaden hue; the faint
breeze died away, not a leaf stirred on the
boughs; the darkness rapidly increased, and a
deathlike suffocating stillness reigned. All at
once we heard a low, murmuring sound, grow-
ing louder and louder, as if the sea were rolling
towards us with a frightful roar. Nearer and
nearer it came; it was the approaching storm.
We were on a wide, open country road,
where were tall locust-trees on either side. A
house was not far off, which it seemed pos-
sible to reach before the storm came on. So
we threw down our flowers, and ran as fast
as Charlie's little legs would permit us to do;
but I knew nothing of the speed of an American
tempest. Like the roar of artillery the gale
came tearing on, sweeping everything before it
in its headlong progress. The locust-trees were
bowed to earth, other stems snapped before our
eyes, branches were flying, whirlpools of dust
and rubbish blinded us, and we were driven
onward, Katie and I, barely able to keep our
feet, and dragging the child between us, till we
came violently against a tree in the corner of
a fence, where we clung with all our strength,


crouching in a heap to let the gale sweep over
us. Quicker than I can tell it, down then came
the rain, and in such drenching, pelting tor-
rents that to keep our feet against it would
have been impossible. We crouched closer
behind the tree, dumb with terror. A crash,
a flash, and a roar all at the same moment, and
I started up, feeling the danger of'our position
beneath the tree, and dragged the children into
an open space, but we could not maintain our
ground against the blast of the deluge of rain,
and clung fast to the fence. Katie only was
self-possessed. '' It won't last long," she said;
" we had better stand still under the trees."
But I knew that we were safer where we were,
though our slight summer dresses were saturated
and clung about us, adding still more to our
difficulty. The lightning increased in intensity
and rapidity till it grew into one continuous
flame, and the thunder into one continuous
roar. Suddenly came a flash more vivid than
any yet, one brilliant livid streak of light, not
followed by, but simultaneously with, a burst-
ing crash, which caused us to leap on our
feet. We turned our eyes towards the town,
which I expected to see a heap of ruins. It was
as if every building had fallen at the same
moment, every brick and timber crashed by


one stupendous blow. Another, and then an-
other flash, three, all alike bewildering; light-
ning and thunder together, as if successive
charges of artillery were going on all around us,
with escape impossible. Tears streamed down
my cheeks for very horror; but in those three
bursts the fury of the storm was exhausted,
though the rain still poured down in dashes
and torrents-streams, not drops-beating
against us and deluging the road, in which it
soon formed channels and gullies. Recovering
my scattered senses, I lifted little Charlie in
my arms and tried to carry him, but this ren-
dered our progress very slow, and compelled
me to set him down again and lead him be-
tween us, as we fought our way in woful plight,
our shoes full of water, our dresses clinging
and flapping at every step, and making us cut
very ridiculous figures in trying to leap over
the gushing torrents which everywhere poured
down the banks and slopes, turning the road
into rivers.
We reached the house not very far off, and
there, undressing Charlie, and wrapping him
in a blanket which the good neighbour kindly
proffered, we left him, and hastened home to
apprise his mother of our safety. The lady had
not alarmed herself on our account. Americans


are wonderfully cool on such occasions; indeed
rarely express surprise at anything. Perhaps
because they are so accustomed to sudden
changes and violent transitions and astounding
occurrences. But to me that storm was a new
experience, an event the impression of which
can never be forgotten, a danger passed, a
mercy felt-one which, in the flash of a moment
and a voice of thunder, told alike of the power
and the mercy of the Almighty.
Our friends had not been joking regarding
the sudden change of foliage. That evening
the air turned suddenly cold. In the night
there was a frost, but next morning the sun
rose in unclouded brilliancy, and wherever the
trees had been swept by the frosty wind they
had turned, as if by magic. Each clump looked
like some gigantic bouquet of crimson, gold,
purple, and orange. Green and untouched
many remained, but these only enhanced the
brilliancy of the rest. Here was an oak in full
foliage of rich olive, flushed with dark red all
down one side; here a maple dashed with
crimson, others ablaze with orange or shaded
with every tint of green; a gum-tree with one
solitary branch of the brightest scarlet and
another of the most delicate yellow. The woods
were dyed anew in fresh and gaudy colouring,


a feast for the eyes; and now, instead of
gathering wild flowers, we found new delights
in collecting and preserving bouquets of
autumnal leaves.
One day Harry came running up in a great
state of excitement with a deep basket in his
arms, which he carried much as if he were
hugging a baby. It contained a present that
he had just received: nothing less than a
"prairie dog," which a gentleman, knowing
he was so fond of "queer things," had kindly
brought him all the way from the "far west,"
where he had been to buy some land. We ex-
pected to see an animal like a dog, but could
detect not the slightest resemblance. This
little creature was something between a squirrel,
a guinea-pig, a rabbit, and a marmot; a poor
little frightened thing, fidgeting perpetually in
the bottom of its deep prison, crouching and
trying to hide itself one moment, then popping
up its head as if to survey the world around,
and popping it down again in sudden alarm.
Harry said we must come and see it in its own
house-for he had had a large box made ready
for it-and assured us it was a very amusing,
playful little fellow indeed, "far better than a
caged squirrel."
We certainly did not admire it so much as a



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squirrel, for it could only boast of a tail about
four inches in length, and with very few hairs
upon it. But it had fine large eyes, short ears,
and rather pretty fur of a cinnamon-brown
colour. When we went to pay our respects to
it in its new home it had become reconciled to
its prison, and really was an amusing little
animal, bustling about with fussy alertness, and
stretching itself up to look out of its box at
every sound, as if its business were to keep
guard. Then, at our slightest motion, down it
would pop, shrinking back timidly and trying
to hide itself, but only to pop up again the
next moment. These quick antics are the cha-
racteristics of "prairie dogs," so called from
the cry or bark which they utter, a little short
sharp yell.
They live like rabbits, hundreds and hun-
dreds of them together on the prairies, where,
in burrowing, they throw up little heaps of
earth which soon become covered with grass,
and extend several miles in all directions.
These are called dog towns," so numerous
and prolific are the inhabitants. They come
out from their holes in scores, and sit at the top
of their mounds surveying their neighbours and
things in general; but at the slightest noise-
even such as the flight of a bird over their heads


-down they scramble, tumbling headlong into
their retreats in a most comical manner, then
peeping out to ascertain the cause of the alarm,
and scrambling back again, apparently never a
minute at rest. They are found only in the
American prairies.
Harry's new pet which he had named
"Bobby," from its perpetually bobbing up and
down-soon gained courage enough to take a
nut from the hand, though his principal feed-
ing time was at night. They eat roots, nuts,
succulent vegetables, and sometimes insects.
Bobby would now and then permit himself to
be caressed, but maintained his active yet timid
vigilance until the cold weather set in, when
he grew sleepy and half insensible ; for in cold
localities, in their natural state, they remain
torpid, like the squirrels, during the winter
There were sudden transitions from heat to
cold, and from cold to heat that autumn, which
tried us English people very much. In the
middle of the day the sun shone with a power
exceeding that of our hottest summers, and at
night heavy frosts chilled us to the bone, and
made us wish to roll ourselves up, like Bobby,
and sleep away the time until the next summer,
only that that would arrive on the following


noon. Then came a week of the lovely weather
which is called the "Indian summer." The
cold wind subsided, the air was balmy, the sun
was subdued by a soft haze which clothed the
landscape in a sort of dreamy beauty, and made
us want to sit out of doors all day, to listen to
the peaceful sounds of nature, and feast our
sight with the beauty of its colouring.
Those exquisite days did not last long. One
afternoon towards the end of October we were
walking quite briskly in order to protect our-
selves from a cold, raw wind, which penetrated
our garments and rendered it difficult to keep
warm. The sky was heavy and leaden, leading
us to expect rain, when, to our surprise, down
floated a large flake-of snow. One, two, more,
many-yes-positively, it was snow.
"What big flakes!" cried Harry, as they
lighted on his dark sleeve; and, oh! what
beautiful shapes! I never saw such pretty snow
as this in England." Nor had I. They were
the largest and most distinct crystals of snow I
had ever observed, and, like Harry, I could
but stop, cold as it was, to examine and admire
their exquisite conformation. Large as were
the flakes, we seemed able to distinguish in each
the thousands of star-like shapes of which they
were composed. It was owing to the peculiar


condition of the atmosphere that they were so
hard and distinct, for in England the air is
rarely cold and dry enough to permit us to
observe the forms of snow crystals before they
melt or mass together wherever they fall. Yet
sometimes you may discern them if you take
the trouble; and if ever you should have the
opportunity of examining them, I would advise
you to run and fetch a magnifying-glass, and
then see what snow is like.- Here are some of
the forms which help to compose a snow flake.



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Who that has not been told of this would ever
imagine a mass of snow, that looks so shapeless,


to be composed of myriads of ever-varying
stars ? You have seen the elegant sprays and
feathers of ice upon your windows on a bright
frosty morning. Imagine portions of these
arranged in regular star-like crystals, and yet no
two alike. Many are hexagonal, or six-sided,
you observe ; all regular and all beautiful; some
with a sort of centre star, and six other stars
around; some more solid, others more feathery,
but all of the most perfect symmetry. Yet tiny
and delicate as each lovely snow-star appears,
each tiniest part is made up of other hexagonal
parts, to be seen only under the most powerful
magnifying- glass.
There is one great difference between nature
and art, or between what God makes and what
man makes. We see some delicate fabric of
silk or lace, some piece of carving, or exquisite
workmanship in gold, silver, and jewellery, and
exclaim, How beautiful i But let us examine
the same with a magnify ing-glass, and see how
the delicately woven tissue of silk will imme-
diately grow into the coarseness of a carpet,
the painting will appear in huge daubs, and the
exquisite lace look like a fish-net. Look now
through that same glass at the handiwork of
the Almighty-at the single petal of a flower,
the wing of a fly, the net-work of a spider's


web; and the larger it appears beneath your
magnifier, the greater the beauties you dis-
cover. There is no end to them; parts, and
forms, and colours of which you never thought,
now come to sight; new beauties arise where
you least expected them,. and (as in a single
flake of snow) you behold ten thousand lovely
patterns and forms of which you had no pre-
vious conception.
Now, Harry, you'll get some sleigh-rides !"
cried Katie, gleefully, as at last we persuaded
him to quicken his steps, for Katie had seen
snow crystals all her life, and did not think
them worth standing in the cold to examine;
but sleigh-riding she, like all other American
girls, delighted in; and though it was rather
early in the season to expect it, on Harry's and
my account she hoped the snow would "lie."
And so it did. Next morning the whole visible
world was white, the air sparklingly clear and
keen.. Snow, snow in mounds, and drifts, and
piles. Everywhere snow.
Katie had her wish about the sleigh-ride.
No people are so prompt in availing themselves
of opportunities as the Americans, and the
Ohitonians resolved to make sure of a sleigh-
ride while they could, for snow seldom lasts
long in that part of Ohio. By noon that day


all Ohitona was on runners. It happened to be
market-day, which added to the traffic and to
the fun-for the snow had fallen in equal den-
sity all round the neighboring country, and
the farmers and fruit-vendors had brought
their produce in every kind of conveyance that
could be put upon runners; and those who did
not possess a conveyance, fastened a huge barrel
or a large chest upon runners of hickory wood,
and formed a temporary sledge of that. It
amused us vastly to see a man standing up-
right in the midst of a caskload of cabbages,
driving his ox into town, proud and contented.
Quite as much fun in his home-made "jumper"
had he, as those young people had in their
elegant two-horse sleigh lined with furs and
buffalo robes.
But perhaps you do not know what a junlmer
is, nor the difference between that and the
regular sleigh; for there are many varieties of
snow-carriages in countries where snow lies for
weeks unthawed; and there is as much differ-
ence between the sleigh, the cutter, the sled,
the sledge, the jumper, etc., as there is between
carriages, carts, waggons, gigs, and drays, in
England. In the first place they all go upon
" runners instead of wheels ; and anything
that can by any means be secured upon runners,


so as to hold a person or a package, from a
chair to a sugar-cask, may be converted into a
temporary snow-carriage in which a person
may enjoy a "sleigh-ride." First ranks the
" fancy sleigh," an elegant vehicle, varying in
form and costliness, as do the carriages in Hyde

ThYr, ', P,,NiR'S SiLMGIT.

Park in the height of summer. Next comes
the "cutter," equally fanciful, but constructed
for one person only. Then come sleds and
sledges, of all sizes and descriptions; carts,
waggons, drays, any vehicle of strong con-
struction for business and farm work; and




last of all, strongest and roughest of all, the
jumpers, so called because they will bear being
dragged over the roughest places by oxen-
frozen ditches and ploughed fields and banks
of snow, jolting and jumping their hardy
drivers, much as we were jolted and bumped
in that swinging stage-coach. Among the
number of sleigh-riders we saw that day were
an old farmer and his wife, cosily seated in a
couple of chairs which they had secured upon
a low sledge. Mats and buffalo robes helped
to form as luxurious a carriage as they desired,
and greatly did they seem to enjoy themselves.
So deep and so smooth was the snow upon the
roads, that the sleighs and sledges glided noise-
lessly on ; nothing but the voices of the drivers,
the merry laugh of the young people, and the
jingling of the sleigh-bells could be heard.
The streets were filled with sleighs of all de-
scriptions, from the gay equipage brilliant with
scarlet and fur and the fashion of Ohitona,
down to anything to which could be attached a
beast of burden. It seemed as if all the town
had gone mad over a few inches of snow; and
on the slopes of the banks were scores of boys
on their sleds, one after the other, in dashing
speed, down one slope and up the other, keeping
their seats with admirable skill, but- now and


then tripping each other up and causing a
somersault, which greatly added to the fun.
This kind of snow-riding was what Harry
joined in with great zest, soon learning to keep
his line among the rest, and deaf to our invi-
tations to join us in the regular sleigh-ride.
It is the fashion to form parties to ride at
night. A number of people agree to repair to
a place some miles off, where they have a supper
followed by merry games, and on a bright
moonlight night there is something very ex-
citing in it. Such merry parties induced one
of the American poets to write these charming
lines about sleigh-riding, and which you will
now readily understand:-

" Hear the sledges with their bells silver bells !
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night !
While the stars, that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight,
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, belellsbeells, ,bellss,bells,, bells,
From the jingling and the :-' 1i... of the bells."


ARR'S parents decided to spend the
l winter in one of the Southern States,
and persuaded me to accompany
We were advised to try Florida, a
-\/ famous winter resort, on account of
the mildness and salubrity of its climate. We
therefore bade adieu to Ohio, in the hope of
revisiting it on some future occasion.
The stage-coach conveyed us to the railway,
and our journey was then made by train. It
furnished us with no particular adventures.


We crossed some wide rivers and passed among
some very magnificent scenery, especially in
going over the Alleghany Mountains, where in
spring you would see large shrubs of rhodo-
dendrons and azaleas in full blossom, and many
other flowering trees which you may find in
Kew Gardens, perhaps, or some other such
place in England, but certainly not along the
railroad. We stopped a few days at several
towns to visit the public buildings, but you will
not care so much to read a description of these
as of some excursions which we made in Florida.
Crossing the mountains, however, was interest-
ing. There we had all the four seasons in
twenty-four hours. We left sunshine and lin-
gering summer in the valley as we began to
ascend; but, as the engine dragged us up and
up and up, among pines and cedars and ever-
greens, and through deep gorges and shadowy
defiles, higher still and higher, the air grew
keener and keener. It was summer no longer.
Mountain rills and torrents tumbled headlong
down the precipices and then flowed on, meet-
ing each other as they threaded the narrow
valleys, and by-and-by expanding into a broad
stream, flowing down and down, gathering as
it went. This is the way rivers are formed,
and those very rills which we saw tumbling


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down the sides of the Alleghanies were by-and-
by lost in larger rivers, which began in pre-
cisely the same manner in other mountains, at
length reaching the biggest river of them all,
the Mississippi, which flows on for a thousand
miles farther before it loses itself in the sea.
After a few more miles of ascent we found snow
lying unthawed in the shady places, and icicles
hanging from the points of the rocks, monster
icicles of many feet in length, like inverted
pinnacles. Now we see only the tops of other
mountains all around us, and the valleys are so
deep that we can scarcely discern the objects at
the bottom, so far below us are they in the dark
and sunless shade. Sometimes the railroad was
cut through walls of rock, and tunnels where it
was dark as night, and then we dashed out into
open day and sunshine again. Though our
road lay chiefly in shadow, we could see the
mountain-tops above gilded with sunshine, and
at last, at the very highest point, we ourselves
were again in the full blaze of day, though the
air was as keen as in the coldest English
Going down the mountains on the other side
was quite another thing. Now with alarming
quickness the train ran on. For seventeen
miles we whirled round points of rocks at a


fearful speed. We had scarcely time to fix our
eyes upon an object from the right-hand window
when down and round and away we went, and
the next minute the same object was far above
us on the left-hand side.
We passed through Virginia, the oldest,
and one of the grandest of all the States. The
celebrated George Washington was a native of
Virginia; and so were many other of the
noted individuals who helped to win inde-
pendence for America, and to whose memory
Virginians have never failed to do honour.
Formerly it was only a colony belonging to
Great Britain; but then it and all the other
States became independent.
Once through Virginia, we came into the
pine forests of North Carolina, and fond our-
selves rushing along between tall, straight
stems, seventy or eighty feet high, hour after
hour and mile after mile. These were the
trees from which turpentine, tar, pitch, and
rosin are made; and, ugly as the forests are-
bare of branches two-thirds of their height, and
so close together that even at the top there is
but little foliage-they are very valuable, and
produce great wealth to those who trade in their
juices. Beneath them, the ground is covered with
the thick brown matting formed by their dead

- ~.
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---- -~~--,-'-~~E-

leaves. It is like a clean, dry carpet, through
which no other plant can penetrate. The in-
terlocking branches above form so deep a
shade, that no plant or shrub ever does grow
beneath, and scarcely a tuft of grass or moss
varies the monotony of the mast-like stems, or
the matted leaves beneath them. Pines, pines;
it seemed as if we should never come to an end
of the pines; and a little village where the
train stopped, and where the land was clear of
them for a few hundred square yards, was a
wonderful relief.
Harry wondered why the trees in many
places had great notches cut in their stems, and
the bark chipped off above the notches. Katie,
who had been in maple groves in Ohio when
maple sugar was being made, and had seen the
trees there notched, or tapped," as it is called,
for the sap to run out and be boiled into sugar,
guessed at once that the pine-trees were notched
to catch the sap also. And Katie was right.
Presently we saw some negroes chopping these
deep notches in the trees-the winter being the
time for this work. In the spring, when the
sap rises, the resinous gum oozes out from
where the bark has been chipped off above the
notch, and flows down into it, to be then
dipped out with a wooden spoon into barrels,



and carried to market. The gum which dries
on the trees is also collected for use; and when
the stem has been notched in many places-a
fresh place every year-and the poor tree can
yield no longer and dies under these frequent
operations, even then it is valuable. It is
felled and split, and burned for tar in a kiln
constructed for the purpose, and with a centre
cavity into which the tar flows from the
charred wood.
Hearing about the manner of collecting and
making rosin and turpentine from a fellow-
traveller, who seemed to know all about these
things, we no longer found the dark pine
forests dull travelling; and I think I may
safely say to my young readers, that, by making
a good use of your eyes along even the dullest
roads, you generally will find some similar
source of entertainment or improvement.
At last we got into the open country again,
though all through South Carolina there were
occasionally many miles of forest: pines still,
but varied now by the rich and luxuriant vege-
tation of the warmer climate which we had
reached. South Carolina and Georgia are
cotton st i t ,; and the cotton-picking was not
yet quite over. A pretty sight for many
months is a cotton field. As soon as the


A PIrT I 0 1 1 LONDl)\.

plants are a foot or so above ground, they be-
gin to show for blossom, growing larger and
blossoming for many successive weeks. The
flowers are as big as those of the hollyhock,
white at first, then turning pink. One kind of
cotton plant has large yellow flowers, and be-
fore the plant has done blooming the early
pods begin to ripen, bursting open at last and
exposing the soft, white down with which the
seed is so thickly clothed that you can scarcely
feel it. Thus a cotton field is always gay; but
in the height of the season it is dazzling.
Even now it looked as if hundreds of little
snowballs had been thrown in among the
plants, and had lodged unthawed in the
branches, though comparatively few pods or
"bolls" remained unpicked, and the leaves
were shabby and withering. We were glad,
however, that even these remained, for by
them we were able to form an idea of what a
cotton field is like.
We were no sooner in Florida than we be-
gan to rejoice in the beauty of the climate.
We rode with open windows through woods of
pine and evergreens, where birds sang in con-
cert, as in the height of summer. Our warm
wraps became unbearable; and when, on the
train stopping for half-an-hour's refreshment,


we alighted, and saw orange-trees laden with
fruit, and sniffed their fragrance, together with
that of the perfumed jasmine and other aro-
matic shrubs, it seemed hard to believe that
this was in November and not July. Katie
and Harry were invited to gather as many
oranges as they liked from off the trees, and
when a young negress began to shake the
boughs violently, first one and then another,
and brought the beautiful fruit to the ground,
we could not help protesting against this lavish
waste of what, to our northern ideas, was a
The place where our journey terminated was
called a "town," because towns are few and
small in Florida. To us it appeared only a
small but pretty village, with very wide roads
bordered with trees, and with another row of
frees along the centre in some parts, and many
odd ones besides; but as there was ample
space for vehicles.to go on either side, trees
scattered about a village street," and stumps
where trees had been, were not looked upon as
inconvenient. There were trees everywhere:
evergreen oaks, cedars, pines, and holly.
Warm weather and open windows and sitting
out on the piazzas without a thought of shawl
or bonnet-all this suited our taste far better


than being in a large town, and made us quite
forget that it was winter time.
Indeed, the winter, for those who love
country rambles, is the pleasantest time of the
year in Florida, as in summer it is impossible
to walk. out except very soon after the sun
rises, and when it is setting. We were not
long in settling ourselves in a pretty little resi-
dence, with a deep verandah all round it, and
with plenty of evergreen oaks and cedars, and
a wood close by, where the very first time we
entered it we were delighted to see long fes-
toons of the fragrant yellow jasmine hanging
about the branches, and also lovely roses. It
reminded us of the inside of a conservatory
rather than a wild wood. These richly abound-
ing natural beauties, and the softness and
balminess of the air, produce a peculiar effect on
those whose hearts are open to kindly influ-
ences. We can witness the lavish and exqui-
site adornments of the woods and wilds only to
be solemnly impressed with the wondrous love
and skill of the Creator, who "hath given us
all things richly to enjoy." "Vanity and vex-
ation of spirit" belong to worldly and sinful
pleasures only. In the study of God's works
we find our spirits calmed, our hearts filled
with love to him, and kindliness to our fellow-


mortals. These are wholesome and pure de-
lights which bring their own reward.
Although we were in a quiet little country
place in the midst of woods, we found that there
were one or two considerable lions in the neigh-
bourhood. Not live lions, you understand, as
few wild animals are now found in Florida.
Snakes in plenty there are, and next to them,
perhaps, the most dangerous creatures to be
met with is the wild cat, that really being of a
very savage nature. The "lions to which I
allude were the sights of the country, and
first among them was a wonderful cave. Florida
in many parts has a light sandy soil, underneath
which are rocks, not hard granite or limestone
rock, but a softer kind, ragged and jagged, and
among which subterranean springs wear for
themselves a passage, washing away the loose
sand and soil, and forming vast caves.
You can imagine how, with such heavy
torrents of rain as often fall there, the loose
soil must be constantly shifting; indeed, so
suddenly do changes sometimes occur in the
surface of the ground, that within a few
years a flat field has sunk into rocky dells
and hollows; or, on the contrary, people
can recall the days when as children they
scrambled up and down steep banks where

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