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The Young Mountaineers Short Stories   By: (1850-1922)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: HE WAS PALLID AND PANTING]

THE YOUNG MOUNTAINEERS

SHORT STORIES

BY

CHARLES EGBERT CRADDOCK

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY MALCOLM FRASER

[Illustration]

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY The Riverside Press, Cambridge 1897

Copyright, 1897, BY MARY N. MURFREE.

All rights reserved .

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A. Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton and Company.

CONTENTS PAGE

THE MYSTERY OF OLD DADDY'S WINDOW 1 'WAY DOWN IN POOR VALLEY 26 A MOUNTAIN STORM 63 BORROWING A HAMMER 83 THE CONSCRIPTS' HOLLOW 103 A WARNING 172 AMONG THE CLIFFS 186 IN THE "CHINKING" 208 ON A HIGHER LEVEL 230 CHRISTMAS DAY ON OLD WINDY MOUNTAIN 245

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS PAGE

HE WAS PALLID AND PANTING (see page 221) Frontispiece. TOGETHER THEY WENT OVER THE CLIFF 48 HOW LONG WAS IT TO LAST 190 IN THE MIDST OF THE TORRENT 242

THE MYSTERY OF OLD DADDY'S WINDOW

Picture to yourself a wild ravine, gashing a mountain spur, and with here and there in its course abrupt descents. One of these is so deep and sheer that it might be called a precipice.

High above it, from the steep slope on either hand, beetling crags jut out. Their summits almost meet at one point, and thus the space below bears a rude resemblance to a huge window. Through it you might see the blue heights in the distance; or watch the clouds and sunshine shift over the sombre mountain across the narrow valley; or mark, after the day has faded, how the great Scorpio draws its shining curves along the dark sky.

One night Jonas Creyshaw sat alone in the porch of his log cabin, hard by on the slope of the ravine, smoking his pipe and gazing meditatively at "Old Daddy's Window." The moon was full, and its rays fell aslant on one of the cliffs, while the rugged face of the opposite crag was in the shadow.

Suddenly he became aware that something was moving about the precipice, the brink of which seems the sill of the window. Although this precipice is sheer and insurmountable, a dark figure had risen from it, and stood plainly defined against the cliff, which presented a comparatively smooth surface to the brilliant moonlight.

Was it a shadow? he asked himself hastily.

His eyes swept the ravine, only thirty feet wide at that point, which lies between the two crags whose jutting summits almost meet above it to form Old Daddy's Window.

There was no one visible to cast a shadow.

It seemed as if the figure had unaccountably emerged from the sheer depths below.

Only for a moment it stood motionless against the cliff. Then it flung its arms wildly above its head, and with a nimble spring disappeared upward.

Jonas Creyshaw watched it, his eyes distended, his face pallid, his pipe trembling in his shaking hand.

"Mirandy!" he quavered faintly.

His wife, a thin, ailing woman with pinched features and an uncertain eye, came to the door.

"Thar," he faltered, pointing with his pipe stem "jes' a minit ago I seen it! a ghost riz up over the bluff inter Old Daddy's Window!"

The woman fell instantly into a panic.

"'Twarn't a beckonin', war it? 'Twarn't a beckonin'? 'Kase ef it war, ye'll hev ter die right straight! That air a sure sign."

A little of Jonas Creyshaw's pluck and common sense came back to him at this unpleasant announcement.

"Not on his say so," he stoutly averred. "I ain't a goin' ter do the beck nor the bid of enny onmannerly harnt ez hev tuk up the notion ter riz up over the bluff inter Old Daddy's Window, an' sot hisself ter motionin' ter me... Continue reading book >>




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