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useless to have attempted any obliteration of them so swiftly and so silently that they their trail, which would have at once been might have been shadows of the night. picked up by the unerring eye of any savage who might have crossed it.
MEANWHILE, all had gone as peacefully as Elisha, however, needed no, particular con- usual at the Bethlehem settlement, and little sideration from his father when it came to a Prue marked with impatience the slow paspoint of woodcraft, and although he had spo- sage of time until the Christmas eve should ken but little as they pressed forward, his arrive. No child in the whole community trained faculties had fully grasped all that could sing more heartily the beautiful chorals had impressed the older man. He was lead- of the Holy Eve vigils, and this year in addiing the way boldly, in the gathering darkness tion she joyfully anticipated the treat of of the afternoon, when he suddenly stopped being allowed to stay up until the hour when short and raised a warning hand. Far off, the newly formed trombone choir should down the gentle slope of the valley to the send forth for the first time its impressive and right, came the sharp howl of a wolf, and touching strains from the little belfry over immediately, from some distance to their the settlement. Young as she was, she treasrear, came a faint echoing howl. A slight nod ured the mind pictures of that joyous season: from Osias to the lad showed their mutual the whole community singing together, the understanding. Clever imitations though childish voices by no means least; the distrithey were, those howls came from the throats bution of the lighted beeswax candles during of no wolves-no four-legged ones, at least the singing of the last choral, the beautiful they well knew.
significance of which even her youthful mind Bending quickly to the left, the two travel- could appreciate; the careful guarding of the ers made what speed they could, in the now Light all the way home; the transferring of it uncertain light, directly toward the river, to the Christmas candle in the window; to their only hope of baffling any pursuers; for say nothing of the little spruce-tree on its it was plain that their trail had been noticed stand in the corner of the room, which would in some way, and the direction of their jour- show bravely a dozen lights on the holy morney could be only too readily surmised. row. These simple joys of the Christmas
Night had fallen when they arrived at the tide were held very dear in her stanch river-bank. The stream was found to be little heart, and so supreme was her confirunning full and too swift to risk crossing dence in the Light, that no slightest doubt in the dark. They moved along with great entered her mind but that her father and caution, but it was impossible to avoid some Elisha would surely find their way home slight noises, and the brushing of a bush or before it waned. the snapping of a branch made an appal- But no such assurance was in the heart of lingly loud sound in the dead silence around the mother. Only to-day,--the day before them.
Christmas,—the friendly Shawano Paxinosa, They had worked along down the river passing through the settlement, bound until they had reached the mouth of the toward the north, had given warning that narrow valley through which the stream ran several large parties of Delawares and Shafor a long distance, and judged that they wanos were known to be somewhere in the were still some ten miles from the settlement region above Mahoning Creek, though what on the Mahoning, when they stopped for a their purpose was he was not able to say. short breathing-spell. It had been slow and Rachel Ware did not dare to dwell upon the exhausting travel, but the lad would have possibilities which lay in this information. pressed on, in his excitement, had it not been Toward evening, when no sign of the travelfor the restraining hand of his father. As ers had yet appeared, she had even gone so they sat on a boulder by the side of the river, far as to hint of savage dangers and to sugnothing could be heard but the rush of the gest barring fast the windows, but she was water before them.
somewhat abashed at the instant expression They had rested but a few minutes and of absolute faith on the part of her little had risen to resume their journey, when, Prudence. with a suddenness that seemed impossible, “Wouldst thou bar in the Light, Motherthey were surrounded in a moment by dark the guiding Light of the Christmas Eve? forms, and a wild, triumphant, savage yell And the father looking to my promise?”' arose above the roar of the river. They were “Thou 'rt right, little one. Let it shine," in the hands of the red men, who had trailed said the mother, with a prayer in her heart
When daylight broke on that day before in many instances, been such as to instill Christmas, Osias Ware and Elisha soon saw revengeful feelings in their wild hearts. that escape from their captors was an impos- His own safety, and even that of Elisha, consibility. Reinforcements had gathered in cerned him not so much as the thought of the the early hours, and as nearly as they could fate that might possibly await Rachel and reckon, they were in the hands of a band of little Prue and the other gentle souls of that at least eighty savages. It had also begun to blameless community, should the present snow, in that steady fashion which betokens expedition be directed against Bethlehem. no light fall, and as the first soft flakes Late in the morning, the band took up its touched his face, Osias was obliged to admit march down the valley, with the captives to himself that there was almost no chance closely guarded on all sides, and when a wide of successfully breaking away. He was fairly detour was made around the settlement on acquainted with the native tongues, and it the Mahoning, it became evident that the was not long before he realized that an at- Bethlehem community was the objective tack was to be made shortly on one of the point. This was soon confirmed by the extra Lehigh settlements, though for what rea- caution used in travel, and the number of son was not apparent. These communities scouts sent forward. were well known for their efforts in convert- At nightfall the party was still about five ing the red man, and for their doctrine of miles above Bethlehem, and, after a short brotherhood and peace. Yet the smith halt, proceeded very carefully in the darkcould not help reflecting, with some bitter- ness and drifting snow, finally reaching a ness, on the rapacity of many of the whites, lurking-place on the foot of Calypso Island, whose dealings with these simple people had, from which the few scattered lights of the little village were plainly visible through the Scarcely had he finished speaking when trees. Deep silence reigned everywhere, and there floated down over the woodland and Osias Ware pictured to himself the innocent river the solemn and impressive tones of a homes in which, even now, the Christmas voice new to those savage men of the forestcandles had been placed in the window, a Christmas choral from the trombone choir breathing the spirit of peace and good will in the little belfry on the hill. As the soft and sending forth the Light in confidence and notes were borne to them in the darkness, without fear. He had calmly thought on the savages stood silent and in awe, listening the possibility of giving the alarm by one intently to the strange voice of the Great wild cry, though knowing it would be his Spirit; and when the tones finally died away, last, but he feared that he might only precipi- a brief conference was held. Then, followtate matters, and he was likewise well aware ing their leader, they made the sign of peace that no hand would be raised in hostility to to Osias and Elisha and withdrew into the the red men. And now there came suddenly night. to him an inspiration, born of his sad reflec- With deep thankfulness in their hearts, tions on the simple and beautiful customs of the father and son made their way to the the Holy Eve, and he resolved to make at ford, and then toward home with all possible least one attempt to save his family and his speed. As they took their way up the Mononeighbors, by strategy if not by force. cacy, they saw straight ahead through the
Solemnly addressing the silent band of still falling snowflakes a little twinkling light, savages about him in low, but expressive, as a guiding outpost in the darkness; and voice, he said:
joyful was the reunion a few minutes later "Brethren, why will ye bring down the when Rachel had clasped Elisha to her heart wrath of the Great Spirit upon yourselves by and little Prue was caught up in her father's doing mischief unto them who have ever been arms. at peace with their red brothers and mindful “Truly, thy Christmas candle has carried only of their good? Ye will not listen to me? the Light to this house, little one!" cried the Then the Great Spirit will Himself bid ye go father, devoutly, as he once again kissed her hence and do no harm."
on both rosy cheeks.
I t did n't take long for the lads to discover
That money is this thing and that and the other: Wampum, or feathers, or stones if you wish; Articles measured or weighed in a dish
From a quill full of salt to a quintal of fish;
Cowries the purpose avail;
The native Australian has taken a whim