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Erskine Dale—Pioneer   By: (1863-1919)

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First Page:

ERSKINE DALE PIONEER

BY JOHN FOX, JR.

ERSKINE DALE PIONEER THE HEART OF THE HILLS THE TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE THE LITTLE SHEPHERD OF KINGDOM COME CRITTENDEN. A Kentucky Story of Love and War THE KENTUCKIANS AND A KNIGHT OF THE CUMBERLAND A MOUNTAIN EUROPA AND A CUMBERLAND VENDETTA CHRISTMAS EVE ON LONESOME, HELL FER SARTAIN AND IN HAPPY VALLEY BLUE GRASS AND RHODODENDRON, Outdoor Life in Kentucky

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

[Illustration: The third stayed behind a moment, bowed over her hand, and kissed it]

ERSKINE DALE PIONEER

BY

JOHN FOX, JR.

ILLUSTRATED BY F. C. YOHN

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS NEW YORK 1920

Copyright, 1919, 1920, by CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

Published September, 1920

ILLUSTRATIONS

The third stayed behind a moment, bowed over her hand, and kissed it Frontispiece

"The messenger is the son of a king" 36

"I don't want nobody to take up for me" 56

"Four more days," he cried, "and we'll be there!" 100

"That is Kahtoo's talk, but this is mine" 132

The sword blades clashed, Erskine whipping back and forth in a way to make a swordsman groan 168

"Make no noise, and don't move" 238

To his bewilderment he found Barbara at his mother's bedside 256

ERSKINE DALE PIONEER

I

Streaks of red ran upward, and in answer the great gray eye of the wilderness lifted its mist fringed lid. From the green depths came the fluting of a lone wood thrush. Through them an owl flew on velvety wings for his home in the heart of a primeval poplar. A cougar leaped from the low limb of an oak, missed, and a shuddering deer streaked through a forest aisle, bounded into a little clearing, stopped rigid, sniffed a deadlier enemy, and whirled into the wilderness again. Still deeper in the depths a boy with a bow and arrow and naked, except for scalp lock and breech clout, sprang from sleep and again took flight along a buffalo trail. Again, not far behind him, three grunting savages were taking up the print of his moccasined feet.

An hour before a red flare rose within the staked enclosure that was reared in the centre of the little clearing, and above it smoke was soon rising. Before the first glimmer of day the gates yawned a little and three dim shapes appeared and moved leisurely for the woods each man with a long flintlock rifle in the hollow of his arm, a hunting knife in his belt, and a coonskin cap on his head. At either end of the stockade a watchtower of oak became visible and in each a sleepy sentinel yawned and sniffed the welcome smell of frying venison below him. In the pound at one end of the fort, and close to the eastern side, a horse whinnied, and a few minutes later when a boy slipped through the gates with feed in his arms there was more whinnying and the stamping of impatient feet.

"Gol darn ye!" the boy yelled, "can't ye wait till a feller gits his breakfast?"

A voice deep, lazy, and resonant came from the watch tower above:

"Well, I'm purty hungry myself."

"See any Injuns, Dave?"

"Not more'n a thousand or two, I reckon." The boy laughed:

"Well, I reckon you won't see any while I'm around they're afeerd o' me ."

"I don't blame 'em, Bud. I reckon that blunderbuss o' yours would come might' nigh goin' through a pat o' butter at twenty yards." The sentinel rose towering to the full of his stature, stretched his mighty arms with a yawn, and lightly leaped, rifle in hand, into the enclosure... Continue reading book >>




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