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ness to accede to any reasonable proposition, while inwardly resolved to reject all. He magnified the perfections of Brown Bess.

“ She can do any thing but talk,” said he. “If she had legs, she could hunt by herself. It is a pleasure to tote her—and I na-ter-ally believe, there is not a rifle south of Green river, that can throw a ball so far, or so true.”

These discussions consumed much time, and much whiskey-for the rule on such occasions is, that he who rejects an offer to trade, must treat the company, and thus every point in the negociation costs a pint of spirits.

At length, bidding adieu to his companions, Pete struck into the forest. Lightly crushing the snow beneath his active feet, he beat up the coverts, and traversed all the accustomed haunts of the deer. He mounted every hill and descended into every valley--not a thicket escaping the penetrating glance of his practised eye. Fruitless labour !-Not a deer was to be seen. Pete marvelled at this unusual circumstance, and was the more surprised when he began to find, that the woods were less familiar to him than formerly. He thought he knew every tree within ten miles of his cabin ; but now, although he certainly had not wandered so far, some of the objects around him seemed strange, while others again were easily recognized ;

and there was, altogether, a singular confusion of character in the scenery, which was partly familiar, and partly new; or rather, in which the component parts were separately well known, but were so mixed up and changed in relation to each other, as to baffle even the knowledge of an expert woodsman. The more he looked, the more he was bewildered.

He came to a stream which had heretofore rolled to the west, but now its course pointed to the east; and the shadows of the tall trees, which according to Pete's philosophy, ought, at noon, to fall to the north, all pointed to the south. He cast his eye upon his own shadow, which had never deceived him--when lo! a still more extaordinary phenomenon presented itself. It was travelling round him like the shade on a dial,--only a thousand times faster, as it veered round the whole compass in the course of a single minute.

It was very evident, too, from the dryness of the snow, and the brittleness of the twigs, which snapped off as he brushed his way through the thickets, that the weather was intensely cold; and yet the perspiration was rolling in large drops from his brow. He stopped at a clear spring, and thrusting his hands into the cold water, attempted to carry a portion of it to his lips; but the element recoiled and hissed, as if his hands and lips had

been composed of red hot iron. Pete felt quite puzzled when he reflected on all these contradictions in the aspect of nature; and he began to consider what act of wickedness he had been guilty of, which could have rendered him so hateful, that the deer fled, the streams turned back, and the shadows danced round their centre at his approach.

He began to grow alarmed, and would have turned back, but was ashamed to betray such weakness, even to himself; and being naturalls bold, he resolutely kept his way. At last, to his great joy, he espied the tracks of deer imprinted in the snow---and, dashing into the trail, with the alacrity of a well-trained hound, he pursued, in hopes of overtaking the game. Presently, he discovered the tracks of a man, who had struck the same trail in advance of him, and supposing it to be one of his neighbours, he quickened his pace, , as well to gain a companion in sport, as to share the spoil of his fellow hunter. Indeed, in his present situation and feelings, Pete thought he would be willing to give half of what he was worth, for the bare sight of a human face.

“I don 't like the signs, no how," said he, casting a rapid glance around him; and then throwing his

eyes downwards at his own shadow, which had ceased its rotatory motion, and was now swinging from right to left like a pendulum_“I don't like


the signs,—I feel sort o' jubus.---But, I'll soon see whether other people's shadows act the fool like mine."

Upon further observation, there appeared to be something peculiar in the human tracks before him, which were evidently made by a pair of feet, of which one was larger than the other. As there was no person in the settlement who was thus deformed, Pete began to doubt whether it might not be the Devil, who, in borrowing shoes to conceal his cloven hoofs, might have got those that were not fellows. He stopped and scratched his head, as many a learned philosopher has done, when placed between the horns of a dilemma, less perplexing than that which now vexed the spirit of our hurter. It was said long ago--that there is a tide in the affairs of men, and although our friend Pete had never seen this sentiment in black and white, yet it is one of those truths which are written in the heart of every reasonable being, and was only copied by the poet from the great book of human nature. It readily occurred to Pete on this occasion. And as he had enjoyed through life a tide of success, he reflected whether the stream of fortune might not have changed its course, like the brooks he had crossed, whose waters, for some sinister reason, seemed to be crawling up-hill. But, again, it occurred to him, that to turn back



argue a want of that courage, which he had been taught to consider as the chief of the cardinal virtues.

“I can't back out,” said he.---“I never raised to it, no how ;-and if so-be, the Devil's a mind to hunt in this range, he shan't have all the game."

He soon overtook the person in advance of him, who, as he had suspected, was a perfect stranger. He had halted, and was quietly seated on a log, gazing at the sun, when Pete approached, and saluted him with the usual-“ How are you, stranger ?" The latter made no reply, but continued to gaze at the sun, as if totally unconscious that any other person was present. He was a small, thin, old man, with a grey beard of about a month's growth, and a long, sallow, melancholy visage, while a tarnished suit of snuff-coloured clothes, cut after the quaint fashion of some religious sect, hung loosely about his shrivelled

person. Our hunter, somewhat awed, now coughedthrew the butt end of the gun heavily upon the ground--and still failing to elicit any attention, quietly seated himself on the other end of the same log, which the stranger occupied. Both remained silent for some minutes Pete with open mouth, and glaring eye-balls, observing his companion in

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