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The Story of Old Fort Loudon   By: (1850-1922)

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Transcriber's note

Minor punctuation errors have been changed without notice. A printer error has been changed and is listed at the end. All other inconsistencies are as in the original.


[Illustration: "The officers expressed their earnest remonstrances." (See page 198.)]

The Story


Old Fort Loudon


Charles Egbert Craddock

Author of "In the Tennessee Mountains," "The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains," etc., etc.

With Illustrations by Ernest C. Peixotto

New York The Macmillan Company

London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd.


All rights reserved

Copyright, 1898, By The Macmillan Company.

Norwood Press

J. S. Cushing & Co. Berwick & Smith Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.


"The officers expressed their earnest remonstrances" (see page 198) Frontispiece

Facing page

"What more wonderful? What more fearful?" 16

"The canoe rocked in the swirls" 54

"And oh, the moment of housewifely pride!" 128

"Plunging through the gate and half across the parade ground" 240

Belinda and the Ensign on the moonlit rampart 252

"The men had been hastily formed into a square" 346

"He stared forward blankly at the inevitable prospect" 376

The Story of Old Fort Loudon


Along the buffalo paths, from one salt lick to another, a group of pioneers took a vagrant way through the dense cane brakes. Never a wheel had then entered the deep forests of this western wilderness; the frontiersman and the packhorse were comrades. Dark, gloomy, with long, level summit lines, a grim outlier of the mountain range, since known as the Cumberland, stretched from northeast to southwest, seeming as they approached to interpose an insurmountable barrier to further progress, until suddenly, as in the miracle of a dream, the craggy wooded heights showed a gap, cloven to the heart of the steeps, opening out their path as through some splendid gateway, and promising deliverance, a new life, and a new and beautiful land. For beyond the darkling cliffs on either hand an illuminated vista stretched in every lengthening perspective, with softly nestling sheltered valleys, and parallel lines of distant azure mountains, and many a mile of level woodland high on an elevated plateau, all bedight in the lingering flare of the yellow, and deep red, and sere brown of late autumn, and all suffused with an opaline haze and the rich, sweet languors of sunset tide on an Indian summer day.

As that enchanted perspective opened to the view, a sudden joyous exclamation rang out on the still air. The next moment a woman, walking beside one of the packhorses, clapped both hands over her lips, and turning looked with apprehensive eyes at the two men who followed her. The one in advance cast at her a glance of keen reproach, and then the whole party paused and with tense attention bent every faculty to listen.

Silence could hardly have been more profound. The regular respiration of the two horses suggested sound. But the wind did not stir; the growths of the limitless cane brakes in the valley showed no slight quiver in the delicately poised fibers of their brown feathery crests; the haze, all shot through with glimmers of gold in its gauzy gray folds, rested on the mute woods; the suave sky hung above the purple western heights without a breath. No suggestion of motion in all the landscape, save the sudden melting away of a flake of vermilion cloud in a faintly green expanse of the crystal heavens.

The elder man dropped his hand, that had been raised to impose silence, and lifted his eyes from the ground... Continue reading book >>

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