Abbildungen der Seite


fermented like the other; and becomes putrid rather sooner ; and “bran 'east” is on the same plan. The consequences of letting these mixtures stand too long will become known to those whom it may concern, when they shall travel through the remoter parts of Michigan ; so I shall not dwell upon them here—but I offer my counsel to such of

my friends as may moving westward, to bring with them some form of portable yeast (the old-fashioned dried cakes which mothers and aunts can furnish, are as good as any)and also full instructions for perpetuating the same; and to plant hops as soon as they get a corner to plant them in.

be re

"And may they better reck the rede,

Than ever did th' adviser.”

The last two days of our slow journey were agreeably diversified with sudden and heavy showers, and intervals of overpowering sunshine. The weather had all the changefulness of April, with the torrid heat of July. Scarcely would we find shelter from the rain which had drenched us completely-when the sunshine would tempt us forth ; and by the time all the outward gear was dried, and matters in readiness for a continuation of our progress, another threatening cloud would drive us back, though it never really rained till we started.

We had taken a newly opened and somewhat lonely route this time, in deference to the opinion of those who ought to have known better, that this road from having been less travelled would not be quite so deep as the other. As we went farther into the wilderness the difficulties increased. The road had been but little “ worked," (the expression in such cases) and in some parts was almost in a state of nature. Where it wound round the edge of a marsh, where in future times there will be a bridge or drain, the wheels on one side would be on the dry ground while the others were sinking in the long wet grass of the marsh--and in such places it was impossible to discern inequalities which yet might overturn us in an instant. In one case of this sort we were obliged to dismount the “ live lumber"as the man who helped us through phrased it, and let the loaded waggon pass on, while we followed in an empty one which was fortunately at hand—and it was, in my eyes, little short of a miracle that our skillful friend succeeded in piloting safely the top-heavy thing which seemed thrown completely off its centre half a dozen times.

At length we came to a dead stand. Our driver had received special cautions as to a certain mash that “ lay between us and our home”-to “ keep to the right”to “ follow the travel” to a particular point, and then “ turn up stream :" but whether the very minuteness and reiteration of the directions had puzzled him, as is often the case, or whether his good genius had for once forsaken him, I know not. We had passed the deep centre of the miry slough, when by some unlucky hair's. breadth swerving, in went our best horse—our sorrel — our “ Prince,"—the “ off haus," whose value had been speered three several times since we left Detroit, with magnificent offers of a “swop !" The noble fellow,

" unlike the tame beasties that are used to such occur. rences, shewed his good blood by kicking and plunging,


1 1

which only made his case more desperate. A few moments more would have left us with a 5 single team,” when his master succeeded in cutting the traces with his penknife. Once freed, Prince soon made his way out of the bog.hole and pranced off, far up the green swelling hill which lay before us- -out of sight in an instant-and there we sat in the marsh.

There is but one resource in such cases. You must mount your remaining horse if you have one, and ride on till you find a farmer and one, two, or three pairs of oxen-and all this accomplished, you may generally hope for a release in time.

The interval seemed a leetle tedious, I confess. To sit for three mortal hours in an open waggon, under a hot sun, in the midst of a swamp, is not pleasant. The

expanse of inky mud which spread around us, was hopeless, as to any attempt at getting ashore. I crept cautiously down the tongue, and tried one or two of the tempting green tufts, which looked as if they might afford foothold; but alas ! they sank under the slightest pressure. So I was fain to re-gain my low chair, with its abundant cushions, and lose myself in a book. The children thought it fine fun for a little while, but then they began to want a drink. I never knew chil. dren who did not, when there was no water to be had.

There ran through the very midst of all this black pud. ding, as clear a stream as ever rippled, and the waggon stood almost in it!—but how to get at it? The basket which had contained, when we left the city, a store of cakes and oranges, which the children thought inex. haustible, held now, nothing but the napkins, which

had enveloped those departed joys, and those napkins, suspended corner-wise, and soaked long and often in the crystal water, served for business and pleasure, till papa came back.

“ They're coming! They 're coming!” was the cry, and with the word, over went Miss Alice, who had been reaching as far as she could, trying how large a proportion of her napkin she could let float on the water.

Oh, the shrieks and the exclamations ! how hard papa rode, and how hard mamma scolded! but the little witch got no harm beyond a thorough wetting, and a few streaks of black mud, and felt herself a heroine for the rest of the day.


Rous'd at his name, up rose the boozy sire,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

In vain, in vain, -the all-composing hour
Resistless falls : the Muse obeys the power."


The night dews were falling chill and heavy when we crossed the last log-causeway, and saw a dim glimmering in the distance. The children were getting horribly cross and sleepy. The unfortunate anchoring in the black swamp had deranged our plans by about three hours, and when we reached our destined restingplace, which was the log-house where I had been so happy as to make the acquaintance of Miss Irene Ketchum, and her dignified mamma, the family had retired to rest, except Mr. Ketchum, who rested without retiring.

The candle, a long twelve I should judge, was standing on the table, and wasting rapidly under the influence of a very long snuff, which reclined upon its side. Upon the same table, and almost touching the tall iron candlestick, was a great moppy head; and this head rested in heavy slumber on the brawny arms of the master of the house.

« ZurückWeiter »