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The Cave by the Beech Fork A Story of Kentucky—1815   By:

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THE CAVE BY THE BEECH FORK

A Story of Kentucky 1815

BY HENRY S. SPALDING, S.J.

New York, Cincinnati, Chicago BENZIGER BROTHERS Printers to the Holy Apostolic See 1901

[Illustration: "HE DREW HIS REVOLVERS AND STEPPED QUICKLY TOWARD THE TWO MEN."]

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. A Day's Hunt Along the Beech Fork

CHAPTER II. Owen and Martin Visit the Cave

CHAPTER III. In Which Owen and Martin Learn More About the Wonderful Cave

CHAPTER IV. The Howards

CHAPTER V. Owen and Martin Meet Old Friends, and Owen Shows How He Can Use a Rifle

CHAPTER VI. A Visit from Father Byrne

CHAPTER VII. Mr. Howard Is Surprised by a Visitor Owen Hears of the Great Shooting Match

CHAPTER VIII. Happy Days

CHAPTER IX. The Practice

CHAPTER X. The Eventful Day

CHAPTER XI. David and Goliath

CHAPTER XII. Killing Goliath With His Own Sword

CHAPTER XIII. Bertha Hears the News of Victory

CHAPTER XIV. Brother and Sister

CHAPTER XV. Around the Fireplace

CHAPTER XVI. On the Trail of the Runaway Slave

CHAPTER XVII. Carrying the News

CHAPTER XVIII. Saving the Message

CHAPTER XIX. The Tinker Disturbs the Inmates of the Cave

CHAPTER XX. A Day's Sport Along the Beech Fork

CHAPTER XXI. Mr. Lane Has a Difficulty

CHAPTER XXII. Mr. Lane Finds a Solution to His Difficulty

CHAPTER XXIII. The Mark on Stayford's Pistol

CHAPTER XXIV. Tom the Tinker

CHAPTER XXV. Off to the Cave

CHAPTER XXVI. Sealed Forever

The Cave by the Beech Fork.

CHAPTER I.

A DAY'S HUNT ALONG THE BEECH FORK.

"No wonder this river is called the Beech Fork," said Owen, as he rested his trusty rifle by his side and pointed toward the thickly clustered beech trees, which skirted the banks of a small stream.

"See, too, how close they are to the water's edge; they have taken the place of the sycamore and willow," said his companion, Martin Cooper, at the same time seating himself upon the trunk of a fallen tree and looking in the direction indicated.

"But do you notice anything peculiar about those beech trees?" asked Owen.

"Yes; they have long, slender branches."

"And the leaves see how green they are, while the others are beginning to fade."

Beautiful, indeed, was the scene before them! The myriad leaves of the underbrush and the lofty canopies of the trees were dyed with all the varied colors of an autumn day. Even the thistle, when sheltered by some impending bough, retained its rose pink bloom. Patches of sumac nestling close to the ledge of rocks, where larger growth could not survive for want of moisture, raised their cones of crimson berries; the sour gum was laden with clusters of purple fruit as tempting to the eye as the most delicious grapes; the hickories were conspicuous by their russet foliage; the deep lobed leaves of the white oak were burning with fiery red; the ash trees, scattered here and there, were robed in garments of purest saffron: only the beech trees remained unchanged by the autumn frosts, for their small, serrate leaves were as green and glossy as during the summer months. Beech, beech, beech; who could number them? Here nature seemed to have prepared for them a paradise. Other trees grew there only to bring out by contrast the boundless, unbroken forest of beech trees.

"The old forest is a fine place during this month," said Martin. "Still, I prefer not to spend the night here. Let us start home, for it is getting late."

"I should like to have at least one shot at a turkey before we go," replied Owen. "Say, Frisk," he continued, addressing a bird dog which was enjoying a good rest at the side of his master, "old fellow, can't you find a turkey for us? Why don't you work as Bounce does? Hear how he is barking and chasing that rabbit."

He had scarcely uttered these words when both boys were startled by a sudden noise. The leaves rustled, the underbrush of the woods separated and a large deer bounded past them... Continue reading book >>




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