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“ Bless me!" exclaimed Mr. Greene, greatly disconcerted, but quickly regaining his seat in the saddle, “ Bless me-what a horse !"
- Best'orse in the crowd, sir,” insisted Mike, coming to the rescue, and seizing the animal by the head, with an emphatic “ whoa!”
There—Michael, don't chafe her," exclaimed Mr. Greene, soothingly“ don't! There that's better. Hold on to her now, a moment,' continued Greene, putting another coin into the guide's hand. " Don't let her run back again, Mike." “No, sir—"
“No-don't;" repeated Mr. Greene.
Then turning to the crowd who remained behind at the hotel, and who had enjoyed his trifling discomfiture vastly, he resumed his castor with the remark that he “ deemed it but civil to uncover in the presence of so many fairladies, at starting ;'' and, followed by three hearty cheers, he forced his unwilling Rosinante into a sharp gallop down the valley, to the mountain road, overtaking the party
as it disappeared from view of the company at the “Glen."
Your party winds along, in Indian file-one horse behind the other — through the varying scenes of wild and natura 1 beauty which crowd upon the view at every turn, and you cannot cease to admire, to exclaim, to wonder, or to praise, as you pass sluggishly on to
wards the peak. Surrounded on both sides, at first, by the forest, you shortly find your way flanked by trees of a lesser magnitude, but thickly set; and soon after, the
stunted growth of savins and scrub-oak but faithful ponies, you straggle upappear; then you encounter patches of up-up-towards the summit. aged and grim dwarfs, now blasted and You leave behind you the birches torn by the lightnings, now uprooted by and the maples, the beech-trees and the mountain storms, and laid prostrate the firs, the few hemlocks and the fewer in your path, or by the sides of the road; white-pines, the aspen-poplars and the now appear clumps of cedar and other mountain-ash, the spruce bushes and hardy evergreens, all withered and ap- the savins, the scrubs and the dwarfsparently sapless, as you get higher up and now, only a few sparsely scattered the mountain side, where the size of the plants, and lichens, and mosses, greet trees is now reduced to the merest the eye for a mile or more, as you still shrub; and soon all sign of vegetation ascend.
The atmosphere is perceptibly colder, Now you encounter a sharp hill for and the cumbersome coats and shawls, several rods-now a ragged knoll
, and which the guide insisted you should now a gulch, through which the spring take with you at starting, you find of rains and melting snows have been tear- great service. As you proceed, the fir ing for weeks, perhaps, and at sight bushes and stinted shrubs grow fewer of which even your well-bred donkey and further between, and are now seen starts, or bolts, or halts outright; now, only in the sheltered crevices and hola lively spring or miniature torrent lows of the rocks. A little grass is then gushes madly out from some rocky fis- met with, along the margin of the sure at the way-side, and your jaded springy spots, and finally the brown beast thrusts his head into its cool moss, even, refuses to show itself on waters “ with a will." Now you meet the sides of your pathway. a chasm in your way, over which your Some five miles distant from the bed dull nag leaps with the agility of a lame of the valley stands Bald Ledge—the cow, causing your hair to stand on end wildest and most outre of all the wild at your awkward escape from a mome scenes to be witnessed upon the mounarily anticipated breaking of the neck ! tains. At an elevation of near five And now, rollicking and shouting with thousand feet above the ocean's level, the ladies-heaven bless them, how ad- it is a rocky, barren spot, over which mirably well they endure the fatigues you pass in reaching the Summit House, of this journey !-and still moving for- and from which, in a clear hour, you ward slowly, measuredly, but surely, have a surprisingly interesting view of upon
the backs of those sullen, dogged, the hills and valleys below you. From the front of the Glen House, when the thickly together, from which the leaves atmosphere is unobstructed, you catch and bark has been stript, evidently, for a glimpse of the trail of travelers as it years, and which, by the action of the passes around a bluff just beyond its extreme cold weather and storms there, plaza, and from this height, en passant, have becoine bleached to a chalky whiteyou may turn in the saddle and obtain ness, from the roots to the highest à charming view of the mountains al- branches. The trees are shapeless ; ready passed, and of the scenery far or, rather, of every conceivable shape down in the valley below. The line of into which the pitiless winters of that travelers can thus be seen from below region, aided by the thousand storms only for a moment; but against a clear that have spent their fury around, could sky they are very distinctly defined; possibly contort them; and there they and signals are here exchanged between stand, along the sharp brink of the those who are bound up, and who may ledge, upright or embracing, a neighhave left friends at the public-house in bor, twisted and shattered, isolated or in the glen-the latter, from the hotel clumps—but entirely white-root, boll
, piazza, being on the lookout for their and branch, throughout the whole forcompanions, with the telescope.
est; like so many blanched and blasted “Bald Ledge” itself is an uncharit- ghosts, halting there with outstretched able, cheerless, barren mass of broken arms and scrawny fingers, to fright one rocks-well named. It is flanked upon
from his propriety as he is compelled the right by a miserable death-stricken to pass by this desolate region. forest of tall, gnarled stumps, standing Various theories are current, account ing for the curious appearance of this spot, but for an instant—and hastens on desolated forest. Our guide informed with quickening pace, again. The scene us that the trees had been burned-the so strongly resembles a congregation woods there having been fired by light- of "ghosts,” that it has been aptly ning, many years since—and that the called the “Den of Ghouls." bark being thus crisped, the subsequent But this scene is quickly left in the cold winters and storms had beaten off rear, and the traveler gladly “hurries the outer coating of the bolls and up,” here, as the busy guide hastens branches, and they had subsequently along cheerily with his encouragingbleached out to this deathly whiteness, “Now, gentlemen—come along, come by slow degrees. The more reasonable along; almost there, ladies. Beautiful and philosophical cause is found, how- day, dinner on the table at the • Sumever, in the statement that, during the years 1816 and '17, the thermometer scarcely rose, in that immediate region, above the freezing point; and these trees having put forth no foliage during that entire season, it is believed that they remained congealed in the sap during a period of sixteen months; and were thus destroyed, and afterwards blanched by time and storm.
The traveler stands with a shudder upon the verge of the deep precipice which flanks this frightful and dreary
init,' and Tip - top.' Better going, by-an’by--hurry up, hurry up !" and you turn the bluff once more, still ascending, more rapidly than before.
From this point, tho bridle-path is narrowed to a mere line, formed over the continuously rocky way by the hoofs of the horses, and is but a single stretch
VOL. X.- -2
(without variation in character) of Houses. Within forty rods of the doors loose stones, and small boulders ir- of these hospitable buildings, erected at regularly thrown together, upon which the very peak of Mount Washington, the donkey treads with increased cau- there stands a rude pile of rocks, somo tion, picking his way up and onward, eight or nine feet high, which arrests with the most commendable moderation
your attention, and which
thrown up and care-planting first one foot and by the hand of friendship to mark the then another, as he goes, and skillfully scene of a painful occurrence which calculating the chances of the trip or took place in the fall of 1855, upon that misstep that might tumble himself and
spot. his usually nervous rider headlong over Miss Lizzie Bourne, of Kennebunk, some ugly precipice on his right or left, Me., in company with a sinall party of as he advances thus sluggishly along, her immediato friends, started from the panting, and puffing, and toiling upward Glen House, at a late hour one day to the summit halting-place, which he during the month of September, in the remembers so well.
expectation of reaching the “Summit” For the hundredth time you ask the before dark, where they intended to guide if that mound or that cliff beyond tarry till the following day: you is the last ? You have been in the
They passed the "shanties," and Mr. saddle four or five hours, laboring con- Myer's cottage (below the ledge), in tinually up hill; and, though you can ad- excellent spirits, but Mr. M., who had mire the magnificent scenery that you long been a resident of the mountains, are permitted to behold, yet your appe- deemed it too late for them to reach tite has been strangely sharpened (at the summit. They hastened on, howleast, such Mr. Greene declared to be his ever, and a sudden storm came up, Winnermost sensations”), and you are which increased as they continued to right well inclined to test the quality ascend; and they finally found themof the viands prepared for and awaiting, selves bewildered with the sleet and your arrival at the Summit and Tip-top snow, entirely at a loss to determine
which way they should turn. Night succeeded, the dreary darkness enveloped everything around themand still, under the guardian. ship of the gentleman of the party, they struggled on, and upward. Wearied out, at length, and absolutely lost in the blackness of the night and the storm, they were compelled to halt, and shelter themselves as best they might-under the terrible circumstances-beneath the comparatively friendly lee of a large boulder they discovered.
The physical strength of Miss Bourne, evidently, was not equal to the task of ascending Mount Washington on foot, at all, her health being fragile previous to this effort. They crouched beyond the rock, however, as far out of the reach of the wind as it was possible to retreat; and there they remained, amid the howling and raging of that fearful storm, during the entire