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The Cabin on the Prairie   By: (1824-1906)

Book cover

First Page:

THE CABIN ON THE PRAIRIE

by

DR. C. H. PEARSON

Author of "Scenes in the West," Etc.

ILLUSTRATED

[Illustration: CAPTURE OF THE FAWN. Page 20]

Boston: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by Lee And Shepard, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

TO

MY SISTER,

WHOSE SPIRIT HAS JUST GONE FROM PRAIRIE LIFE

TO THE HILLS OF PARADISE,

I INSCRIBE THIS BOOK.

C. H. PEARSON.

A FRONTIER PROPHET.

INTRODUCTORY.

"If you stay here long, you will become so Westernized that you will lose all love for New England. That's my experience." So said a brawny pioneer, a man of large mind, and generous heart, and a sledge hammer fist that never struck a coward's blow; but when swung in defence of the right was like "the jaw bone" of Samson to the Philistines. He had emigrated from Maine twenty years before, and was one of the first settlers I met on the prairie near the scene of my story. Was his prediction fulfilled? Ah, how like sweetest music sounded the bells of Salem (city of peace) the first Sunday of my return to the Old Bay State! Besides, the frontiersman misrepresented himself. For, seated by his ample clay stick and stone fireplace, how his eye kindled, and tones mellowed, as he treated us to reminiscences of his early days! And what a grip he gave the hand of a freshly arrived Yankee!

Then there were those east who said, "You will soon tire of the West." They, also, were mistaken. An invalid, with shadowy form and trembling limbs, when I left New England, I awakened to a new life in Minnesota. "Take a gun on your shoulders, kill and eat the wild game of the prairies," said my medical friends. I anticipated vicissitude and deprivation in following such counsel; but these toughened my weak frame, and added zest to frontier labors and pleasures; for I was soon able to do a man's share of the former, and in threading forest and prairie I was brought into delightful nearness to nature in its beauty, freshness, and magnitude, and in visiting the lodge of the Indian and the cabins of the settlers I met with plenty of adventure.

In writing this work, I have, with peculiar interest, lived over the scenes and incidents of my varied frontier experience; have travelled once more amid the waving grasses and beckoning flowers; heard again the bark of the wolf, and the voices of birds; felt on my brow the kiss of the health giving breeze; worshipped anew in the log cabin sanctuary. Yes, East and West are both dear to me. One fittingly supplements the other. Each holds the ashes of kindred. By a singular providence, since this tale was completed, a much loved relative, one of the gentlest and most self sacrificing whose presence ever glorified the earth, has found a resting place in the bosom of the very prairie I had in mind while penning these pages. Sent west by physicians to save her life, she reached that spot in time to die, thus attaching my heart to that soil by another and sorrowful tie.

That East and West may be bound together by love, as well as by national and commercial relations, and that this story may tend in its humble way to so happy a result, is the earnest wish of

THE AUTHOR.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I. The Pioneer Family. A Spirited Chase. 9 II. Shooting Double. A Frontier Doctor. 23 III. Where Can He Be? A Heart Revelation. 35 IV. A Brush With Indians. A Black Heart. 47 V. Brother Smith and Quarter Stakes. 65 VI. Mrs. Jones's Story. The Gray Wolf. 79 VII. A Sabbath on the Prairie. 93 VIII... Continue reading book >>




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