« ZurückWeiter »
fear of their lives, from his insane fury. I can never forget the countenance of that desolate woman, sitting trembling and with white, compressed lips in the midst of her children. The father raving all night, and coming through our sleeping apartment with the earliest ray of morning, in search of more of the poison al. ready boiling in his veins. The poor wife could not forbear telling me her story—her change of lot-from a well-stored and comfortable home in Connecticut to this wretched den in the wilderness-herself and chil, dren worn almost to shadows with the ague, and her husband such as I have described him. I may mention here that not very long after 1 heard of this man in prison in Detroit, for stabbing a neighbour in a drunken brawl, and ere the year was out he died of delirium tremens, leaving his family destitute. So much for turning our fields of golden grain into “ fire water”. a branch of business in which Michigan is fast improving.
Our ride being a deliberate one, I felt, after the third day, a little wearied, and began to complain of the sameness of the oak-openings and to wish we were fairly at our journey's end. We were crossing a broad expanse of what seemed at a little distance a smooth shaven lawn of the most brilliant green, but which proved on trial little better than a quaking bog---embracing within its ridgy circumference all possible varieties of
“ Muirs, and mosses, slaps and styles ".
I had just indulged in something like a yawn, and wished that I could see our hotel. At the word, my com.
panion's face assumed rather a comical expression, and I was preparing to inquire somewhat testily what there was so laughable-I was getting tired and cross, reader-when down came our good horse to the very chin in a bog-hole, green as Erin on the top, but giving way on a touch, and seeming deep enough to have engulphed us entirely if its width had been proportionate. Down came the horse and this was not all-down came the driver; and I could not do less than follow, though at a little distance—our good steed kicking and flounder. ing-covering us with hieroglyphics, which would be readily decyphered by any Wolverine we should meet, though perchance strange to the eyes of our friends at home. This mishap was soon amended. Tufts of long marsh grass served to assoilize our habiliments a little, and a clear stream which rippled through the marsh aided in removing the eclipse from our faces. We journeyed on cheerily, watching the splendid changes in the west, but keeping a bright look-out for bog-holes.
Think us no churls, nor measure our good minds
The sun had just set when we stopped at the tavern, and I then read the cause of my companion's quizzical look. My Hotel was a log-house of diminutive size, with corresponding appurtenances; and from the moment we entered its door I was in a fidget to know where we could possibly sleep. I was then new in Michigan. Our good hostess rose at once with a nod of welcome.
6 Well! is this Miss Clavers ?” (my husband had been there before,) “well! I want to know! why do tell if you've been upsot in the mash? why, I want to know !—and didn't ye hurt ye none ? Come, gals! fly round, and let's git some supper."
“But you 'll not be able to lodge us, Mrs. Danforth," said I, glancing at three young men and some boys, who appeared to have come in from their work, and who were lounging on one side of the immense open chimney. Why, bless your
I shall; don't you fret yourself: I'll give you as good a bed as any body need want."
I cast an exploring look, and now discovered a door opposite the fire.
“ Jist step in here," said Mrs. Danforth, opening this door, “jist come in, and take off your things, and lop down, if you're a mind to, while we're a getting supper.'
I followed her into the room, if room it might be called, a strip partitioned off, just six feet wide, so that a bed was accurately fitted in at each end, and a square space remained vacant between the two.
“We've been getting this room made lately, and I tell you it's real nice, so private, like !” said our hostess, with a complacent air. “Here," she continued, “ in this bed the gals sleeps, and that 's my bed and the old man's; and then here's a trundle-bed for Sally and Jane," and suiting the action to the word, she drew out the trundle-bed as far as our standingplace would allow, to show me how convenient it was.
Here was my grand problem still unsolved! and the old man," and the girls, and Sally and Jane, slept in this strip, there certainly could be no room for more, and I thought with dismay of the low-browed roof, which had seemed to me to rest on the tops of the window.frames. And, to make a long story short, though manifold were the runnings up and down, and close the whisperings before all was ready, I was at length ushered up a steep and narrow stick-ladder, into the sleeping apartment. Here, surrounded by beds of all sizes spread on the floor, was a bedstead, placed under the peak of the roof, in order to gain space for its height, and round this state-bed, for such it evidently was, although not supplied with pillows at each end, all the
If “ me
men and boys I had seen below stairs, were to repose. Sundry old quilts were fastened by forks to the rafters in such a way as to serve as a partial screen, and with this I was obliged to be content. Excessive fatigue is not fastidious. I called to mind some canal-boat expe. riences, and resigned myself to the “honey-heavy dew of slumber.”
I awoke with a sense of suffocation-started up--all was dark as the Hall of Eblis. I called — no answer came; I shrieked! and up ran one of the “gals.”
6What on airth 's the matter?"
“Where am I? What ails me?” said I, beginning to feel a little awkward when I heard the damsel's voice.
“Why, I guess you was scairt, wa' n't ye?” “Why am I in the dark? Is it morning?"
“ Morning ? why, the boys has been gone away this hour, and, you see, there ain't no winder up here, but I'll take down this here quilt, and then I guess you 'll be able to see some.
She did so, and I began to discern
“A faint shadow of uncertain light,”
had become somewhat accustomed to it, served very well to dress by.
Upon descending the ladder, I found our breakfast prepared on a very neat-looking table, and Mrs. Dan. forth with her clean apron on, ready to do the honours.
Seeing me looking round with inquiring eye, she said, “ Oh! you 'm lookin' for a wash-dish, a’n’t ye!” and forthwith put some water into a little iron skillet,