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A Virginia Scout   By: (1875-1940)

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First Page:

[Illustration: "You were never meant for the frontier."]



Author of Kings of the Missouri, Etc.

Frontispiece by D. C. Hutchison


Copyright 1920 The Ridgway Company

Copyright 1922 The Bobbs Merrill Company

Printed in the United States of America


To Faunce Pendexter

My Son and Best of Seven Year Old Scouts This Story Is Lovingly Dedicated


CHAPTER PAGE I. Three Travelers 1 II Indian Haters 23 III Over the Mountains 55 IV I Report to My Superiors 81 V Love Comes a Cropper 106 VI The Pack Horse Man's Medicine 133 VII Lost Sister 167 VIII In Abb's Valley 193 IX Dale Escapes 229 X Our Medicine Grows Stronger 265 XI Back to the Blue Wall 289 XII The Shadows Vanish 311 XIII Peace Comes to the Clearing 352

A Virginia Scout



It was good to rest in the seclusion of my hollow sycamore. It was pleasant to know that in the early morning my horse would soon cover the four miles separating me from the soil of Virginia. As a surveyor, and now as a messenger between Fort Pitt and His Lordship, the Earl of Dunmore, our royal governor, I had utilized this unique shelter more than once when breaking my journey at the junction of the Monongahela and the Cheat.

I had come to look upon it with something of affection. It was one of my wilderness homes. It was roughly circular and a good eight feet in diameter, and never yet had I been disturbed while occupying it.

During the night I heard the diabolic screech of a loon somewhere down the river, while closer by rose the pathetic song of the whippoorwill. Strange contrasts and each very welcome in my ears. I was awake with the first rays of the sun mottling the bark and mold before the low entrance to my retreat. The rippling melody of a mocking bird deluged the thicket. Honey bees hovered and buzzed about my tree, perhaps investigating it with the idea of moving in and using it for a storehouse. The Indians called them the "white man's flies," and believed they heralded the coming of permanent settlements. I hoped the augury was a true one, but there were times when I doubted.

Making sure that the priming of my long Deckhard rifle was dry, I crawled out into the thicket and stood erect. As far as the eye could roam stretched the rich bottom lands and the low ridges, covered with the primeval growths of giant walnuts, maples, oaks and hickory. Small wonder that the heart of the homeseeker should covet such a country.

Groves of beeches, less desired by settlers, were noisy with satisfied squirrels. From river to ridge the air was alive with orioles and cardinals and red starts. And could I have stood at the western rim of my vision I would have beheld the panorama repeated, only even richer and more delectable; for there was nothing but the ancient forest between me and the lonely Mississippi.

Birds and song and the soft June air and the mystery of the Kentucky country tugging at my heartstrings. I felt the call very strong as I stood there in the thicket, and gladly would I have traveled West to the richest game region ever visited by white men. From some who had made the trip I had heard wonderful stories of Nature's prodigality... Continue reading book >>

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