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such a case; and especially so, since it now seems that ten Yorkers can be put to flight by one old woman.” “Ay, ay!” gaily responded the Captain; “and that fact, sir,” he added, turning with an arch look to Selden, shows the wisdom of the doubts and apprehensions you seemed to entertain last night, in approaching, without leave, the house of one who might become so formidable a foe.” “I should be sorry to spoil the Captain's joke,” replied Selden, in the same spirit; “but in taking possession thus unceremoniously, I think we both depended somewhat on the effect of the peace offering we brought,” he continued, pointing to the game suspended on the wall, “in appeasing the household gods for the outrage.” “An ample atonement l” said the dame; “so much so, indeed, that I suspect my nine little hungry household gods will think the obligation wholly on their side. Yes, yes, that mark of your kindness, gentlemen, I noticed when I took my stolen peep in here, and my heart has been thanking you ever since; for my larder, as you may well imagine, is none of the fullest, considering the number depending upon it. It makes my heart ache to put the little kites on so short an allowance, as I am often compelled to do here, in a place so difficult to obtain provisions.” “But where are your children P’’ asked Warrington. “My children P all in T'other World, sir!” replied the woman,

with a sort of comic gravity. .* “In the other world ! what can the woman mean P’’ asked Warrington, turning a puzzled look upon his hostess. “But for

the mention you have just made of your children, and your roguish looks, which belie your assertions, one might be startled at the import of your words !” “Not so much of a belieing, neither,” said the woman, “but come, we will open Sesame now,” she continued, proceeding to unbar the door, “and after seeing if my brood cannot be conjured back into the world again, for the purpose of assisting me, and Quieting your apprehensions for their safety, Captain, we will see what can be done in the way of breakfast.” “Let me attend you, to witness the process of conjuration,” said Warrington, who had more reasons for making the request than were known to either of his companions. “No, sir, no keep house till I return, or, my word for it, you get no breakfast this time,” replied the other, in a sportive, yet determined manner, as she quitted the house on her proposed errand, leaving her guests to indulge in such conjectures as they chose respecting the place to which she had gone to summon her concealed family. They were not allowed much time, however, for discussing this curious question: for in a short time their ears were saluted by the mingled sounds of jabbering voices approaching from the woods in the rear of the house, and in a moment more the dame came up to the door, with her nearly half-score of hardy little urchins, trooping along in noisy glee at her side. “I will shake hands with the young Captain first!” exclaimed one of the boys, endeavoring to outstrip the rest, as they all made a rush at the door. “You shan’t l” vociferated another, springing forward, and eagerly elbowing his way through the throng that was now choking up the entrance. “I say you shan’t now, Dick! He likes me best; Ned, you hold him back l’” . “I do n’t care, I will have the first kith !” cried a lisping little image of her mother; “I will, may n’t I, mal” she added, throwing back her long unfettered hair from before her laughing black eyes with a pretty toss of the head, and entering with high glee into the keen strife going forward for obtaining the first notice of one, who, in former calls at the house, seemed to have made warm friends of the whole band of these tiny rivals for his favors. The next moment the person of Warrington, like that of Gulliver among the Lilliputians, was almost literally covered by the little beings, two sitting on each knee, shaking his imprisoned hands with all their might; the little Julia standing between, turning up her pretty cheek invitingly for the expected kiss, which, for all her declaration, instinctive modesty forbade her to ask for; one or two hold of each arm, and one more daring and active than the rest, having clambered aloft, was sitting astride the neck, and crowing loud over the rest from his elevated situation ; while all were clinging, laughing, and chattering like a bevy of monkies exhibiting on an elephant, at the show of some travelling menagerie. Those fashionable misanthropes of the Rochefacauldt or Lacon school, who are forever moralizing and mourning over the selfishness of man; who can see no unadulterated benevolence, no disinterested friendship in the moral deserts of the human heart, might find one oasis, at least, to relieve their jaundiced vision, and go to refute the sweeping dictums of their cold and cheerless philosophy, would they but turn their eyes to the artless actions, and examine the untutored and guileless hearts of children. How spontaneous their affections ! With what intuitive and unerring certainty and quickness they single out those who love them, whether kindred or stranger; and with what confiding readiness and generous ardor is the friendship thus bestowed upon them forever reciprocated; and that, too, with no detracting alloy of selfish feeling, no worldly calculating of results, and no influencing considerations of interest ! Verily l while they go to school to us for the improvement of the head, methinks it would be well for us if the tables were so far turned, that they could become our only instructors in the lessons of the heart. The dame, now calling off such of her children as she needed to assist her, and despatching one for water, another for wood, and a third to go on some whispered destination, proceeded rapidly in her preparations for the promised repast. And in a short space of time, a tempting meal from the offering of her guests was smoking on the table. The meal, which was enlivened by a recital of the adventures of the band the preceding evening, was no sooner ended, than Selden, rising first from the table, departed, at the suggestion of his superior, to see that the party at the other house were in readiness to commence their march. “Now, Captain, where are you going with your men 2° earnestly asked the widow, as soon as Selden was fairly gone; “I have reasons for wishing to know.” Warrington, after a slight hesitation, imparted the desired information. “Will you make me one promise?” resumed the woman, “and at the same time receive from me in kindness one caution ?” “On conditions, I will venture to say yes.” “What may they be 2 If anything that I can properly comply with, – ’’ “I would impose no other terms, certainly — so now for the promise you would exact P’’ “Simply this — that the family, with whom the young Indian I sent you last evening resides—no question now about their names or residence 1 — that this family, I say, shall not be molested, should you or your men ever come across them. They hold under a York title, besure, but turned no one off to get possession. Will you promise ?” “For your sake, and the Indian’s sake, if the facts are as you state, I will promise my influence in their behalf.” “Now hear my caution—beware of that fellow you chastised last night — beware of that Sherwood—he will be a serpent in your path.”

“Do you know him?” “I think I do, but must say no more. And now, let's hear your conditions.” “Only that you shall expound my dream, or vision, of last night.” “A dream | vision l’” “Yes! a something, at all events, which conveyed to my ear, as I thought, the sounds of a voice discoursing most heavenly music.” “A sleeping, or a waking dream P’’ “The latter, I afterwards made up my mind to believe, as the readiest way of solving the mystery; but this morning I have begun to suspect — “At what time last night, and on what particular spot, did this strange trance fall on you, sir?” interrupted the widow in a bantering tone, which was accompanied, however, with a look betraying considerable curiosity and uneasiness. “O, about the usual time of such visitations—the witching hour of midnight. And the scene should be laid, I think, more particularly than at any other spot, near the foot of a certain charmed tree, or rather the hollow trunk of one, standing not far from the bank of the Creek down here, to which, leaving my companion asleep, I had wandered alone to shake off a fit of watchfulness, that the spirits of the air, or something else, had unaccountably sent me.” “And did you relate your adventures to your companion, on your return or since f * No 1 ° “That settles the question with me, then, as to what I should now do,” seriously observed the woman; “Captain Warrington, I clearly see that you have accidentally, and very singularly, hit upon a clue to matters which I thought most prudent to conceal, even from you, friend to the settlers and my family, as you are. Follow me, and you shall know more.” So saying, with rapid step she led the way in silence toward the Creek, closely followed by her guest, eager to witness the promised development. Passing directly by the hollow tree, to which she pointed with a significant smile as they went along, she conducted him to the brink of the high, steep bank, which was here covered with a thick growth of young evergreens, whose tangled boughs overhung the waters below. Now grasping firmly hold of a projecting root, she swung herself down on to a narrow shelf or offset in the bank, a few feet above the surface of the water. As soon as this position was gained by them both, she proceeded along the shelf a few yards, and, removing a small firtree top, which had been, to all appearance, blown down the bank, disclosed the mouth of a narrow passage running back horizontally into the earth. Into this she immediately entered, still followed by her companion. After groping their way about a rod through the dark zigzag windings of this passage, they emerged into a spacious room, formed entirely by an artificial excavation of the earth, which, from a beginning at the outside, had been removed in small parcels and thrown into the stream, till the whole was completed. The walls or sides, which had been cut down perpendicularly from the solid mould and plastered over with thin mud, now presented a hard compact surface. The ceiling, which was in the form of an arch, coming, probably, at the top or centre, within a foot of the surface above, was supported by the thickly spreading roots of the trees, standing, many of them, directly over the excavation, and forming a kind of network, curiously, and so strongly interwoven as effectually to prevent the earth from caving in from above. The whole interior was divided into two parts of unequal dimensions, by a slight willow-work partition, the lesser of which, being designed for the sleeping apartment, was neatly carpeted with a thick dry moss, collected from the spruce knolls in the vicinity; while on one side was extended, at suitable intervals, a row of little oblong platforms, raised about a foot above the general level by repeated doublings of the same light, springy substance. These, on which were laid such beds as the occupant could furnish, afforded, with, or without, any further additions, soft and pleasant couches, safely protected against the damps of a ground floor. Beside one of the walls of the larger room was a rude fire-place, constructed of flat stones, and built up several feet high to receive fuel and give direction to the smoke, which, ascending through a sort of retreating flue cut into the bank, escaped through the cavity of the identical hollow stub that Warrington had discovered to be in some way connected with the mysterious melody heard by him the evening before. “This, Captain Warrington,” said the dame, after 'showing her admiring guest every part of her subterraneous establishment, which she had lit up, on entering, by throwing a few light combustibles on the fire still remaining on the hearth; “this is my city of refuge — my strong hold, or my ‘Toother World,” as I have accustomed myself and children to call it, fancying, in my wish to keep the Secret of its existence to ourselves, that some such

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