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The Masters of the Peaks / A Story of the Great North Woods von Altsheler, Joseph A. (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 11.08.2015
  • Verlag: OTB eBook publishing
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The Masters of the Peaks / A Story of the Great North Woods

Joseph Alexander Altsheler (April 29, 1862 - June 5, 1919) was an American newspaper reporter, editor and author of popular juvenile historical fiction. His seven series comprise a total of thirty-two novels, each containing an independent story. The entire French and Indian War Series is very well written and accurate in its details. The characters were well developed and it is an excellent series combining historical fact and adventure with good fiction as are all of Altsheler's War Series.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 197
    Erscheinungsdatum: 11.08.2015
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783956766312
    Verlag: OTB eBook publishing
    Größe: 335 kBytes
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The Masters of the Peaks / A Story of the Great North Woods

CHAPTER II

ON THE RIDGES

Late in the afternoon Willet went to sleep and Robert and Tayoga watched, although, as the hunter had done, they depended more upon ear than eye. They too heard now and then the faint report of distant shots from the hunt, and Robert's heart beat very fast, but, if the young Onondaga felt emotion, he did not show it. At twilight, they ate a frugal supper, and when the night had fully come they rose and walked about a little to make their stiffened muscles elastic again.

"The hunters have all gone back to the camp now," said Tayoga, "since it is not easy to pursue the game by dusk, and we need not keep so close, like a bear in its den."

"And the danger of our being seen is reduced to almost nothing," said Robert.

"It is so, Dagaeoga, but we will have another fight to make. We must strive to keep ourselves from freezing. It turns very cold on the mountains! The wind is now blowing from the north, and do you not feel a keener edge to it?"

"I do," replied Robert, sensitive of body as well as mind, and he shivered as he spoke. "It's a most unfortunate change for us. But now that I think of it we've got to expect it up among the high mountains toward Canada. Shall we light another fire?"

"We'll talk of that later with the Great Bear when he comes out of his sleep. But it fast grows colder and colder, Dagaeoga!"

Weather was an enormous factor in the lives of the borderers. Wilderness storms and bitter cold often defeated their best plans, and shelterless men, they were in a continual struggle against them. And here in the far north, among the high peaks and ridges, there was much to be feared, even with official winter yet several weeks away.

Robert began to rub his cold hands, and, unfolding his blanket, he wrapped it about his body, drawing it well up over his neck and ears. Tayoga imitated him and Willet, who was soon awakened by the cold blast, protected himself in a similar manner.

"What does the Great Bear think?" asked the Onondaga.

The hunter, with his face to the wind, meditated a few moments before replying.

"I was testing that current of air on my face and eyes," he said, "and, speaking the truth, Tayoga, I don't like it. The wind seemed to grow colder as I waited to answer you. Listen to the leaves falling before it! Their rustle tells of a bitter night."

"And while we freeze in it," said Robert, whose imagination was already in full play, "the French and Indians build as many and big fires as they please, and cook before them the juicy game they killed today."

The hunter was again very thoughtful.

"It looks as if we would have to kindle a fire," he said, "and tomorrow we shall have to hunt bear or deer for ourselves, because we have food enough left for only one more meal."

"The face of Areskoui is turned from us," said Tayoga. "We have done something to anger him, or we have failed to do what he wished, and now he sends upon us a hard trial to test us and purify us! A great storm with fierce cold comes!"

The wind rose suddenly, and it began to make a sinister hissing among all the passes and gorges. Robert felt something damp upon his face, and he brushed away a melting flake of snow. But another and another took its place and the air was soon filled with white. And the flakes were most aggressive. Driven by the storm they whipped the cheeks and eyes of the three, and sought to insert themselves, often with success, under their collars, even under the edges of the protecting blankets, and down their backs. Robert, despite himself, shivered violently and even the hunter was forced to walk vigorously back and forth in the effort to keep warm. It was evident that the Onondaga had told the truth, and that the face of Areskoui was in very fact turned from them.

Robert awaited the word, looking now and then at Willet, but the hunter hung on for

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