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From Bentley's Miscellany. rental pride on the three fine lads, whose THE WELL IN THE WILDERNESS.
healthy and honest countenances might well
be contemplated with pleasure, and afford A TALE OF THE PRAIRIE. FOUNDED ON FACT. subjects for hopeful anticipations for the fuBY MRS. MOODIE.
“We are happy, father," said the eldest, AUTHOR OF “HOCGHING IT IN THB BUSH."
cheerfully. In vain you urge me to forget
“ The cakes and spiced ale would have That fearful night - it haunts me yet; And stampt into my heart and brain,
made us happier," said the second. “Mother The awful memory will remain ;
makes such nice cakes!” Yea, e'en in sleep that ghostly sight
"So she does,” cried the third. “ It seems Returns to shake my soul each night. - S. M.
so dull to have nothing nice on Annie's birthRICHARD STEEL was the son of one of those day. I should not care a fig if it were Dick's small landholders who are fast disappearing birthday, or Owen’s, or mine ; but not to from Merry Old England. His father left him drink, Annie's health seems unlucky." the sole possessor of twenty-five acres of arable “ You shall drink it yet," said Annie, laughland, and a snug little cottage, which had de- ing. scended from father to son, through many * In what?" asked both the boys in a generations.
breath. The ground-plot, which had been sufficient “ In fine spring water !” And she filled to maintain his honest progenitors for several their inugs. ages, in the palmy days of Britain's glory and “ Better God never gave to his creatures. independence,ere her vast resources passed into How bright it is! How it sparkles! I will the hands of the few, and left the many to starve, never from this day ask a finer drink. Here is was not enough to provide for the wants of health to you, my brothers, and may we never our stout yeoman and his family; which con- know what it is to lack a draught of pure sisted at that period of three sons and one water!" daughter, a lovely, blooming girl of ten years, Annie nodded to her brothers, and drank or thereabouts. Richard and his boys toiled off her mug of water; and the good-natured with unceasing diligence; the wife was up late fellows, who dearly loved her, followed her And early, and not one moment was left un- example. employed; and yet they made no headway, Oh, little did the gay-hearted girl think, in but every succeeding year found them in ar- that moment of playlul glee, of the price she rears.
was one day destined to pay for a drink of " Jane," said the yeoman one evening, water ! thoughtfully, to his wife, after having blessed The crops that year were a failure, and the his homely meal of skimmed milk and brown heart of the strong man began to droop. He bread, “couldst thee not have given us a little felt that labor in his native land would no treat to-night? Hast thee forgotten that it is longer give his children bread, and, unwilling our Annie's birthday?"
to sink into the lowest class, he wisely re“No, Richard, I have not forgotten: how solved, while he retained the means of doing could I forget the anniversary of the day that so, to emigrate to America. His wife mado made us all so happy? But times are bad; no opposition to his wishes ; his sons were I could not spare the money to buy sugar and delighted with the prospect of any change for plums for the cake; and I wanted to sell all the better, and if Annie felt a passing pang the butter, in order to scrape together enough at leaving the daisied fields, and her pretty to pay the shoemaker for making our darling's playmates, the lambs, she hid it from her pashoes. Annie knows that she is infinitely rents. The dear homestead, with its quiet dear to us all, though we cannot give her lus- rural orchard, and trim hedgerows, fell to the uries to prove it."
hammer ; nor was the sunburnt cheek of the “It wants no proof, dear mother," said honest yeoman unmoistened with a tear, the young girl, finging her round, but sun- when he saw it added to the enormous possesburnt arms about her worthy parent's neck. sions of the lord of the manor. “Your precious love is worth the wealth of After the sale was completed, and the the whole world to me. I know how fond money it brought duly paid, Steel lost no you and dear father are of me, and I am more time in preparing for his emigration. In less than satisfied.”
than a fortnight he had secured their passage " Annie is right,” said Steel, dropping his to New York, and they were already on their knife and holding out his arms for a caress. voyage across the Atlantic. Favored by wind “The world could not purchase such love as we and weather, after the first effects of the sea feel for her; and let us bless God that, poor had worn off, they were comfortable enough. though we be, we are all here to-night, well The steerage passengers were poor, but reand strong, ay, and rich, in spite of our homely spectable English emigrants, and they made fare, in each other's affections. What say several pleasant acquaintances among them. you, my boys ?" And he glanced with pa- | One family especially attracted their attention,
and so far engaged their affections during the such cases, he consulted his own interest in tedious voyage, that they entered into an the matter. agreement to settle in the same neighborhood. Steel thought that the merchant, who was Mr. Atkins was a widower, with two sons, a native of the country, must know best what the ages of Richard and Owen, and an elder would suit him; and he not only became a sister, a primitive, gentle old woman, who purchaser of land in Illinois, but induced his had been once both wife and mother, but had new friends to follow his example. outlived all her family. Abigail Winchester We will pass over their journey to the Far (for so she was called) took an especial fancy West. The novelty of the scenes through to our Annie, in whom she fancied that she which they passed contributed not a little to recognized a strong resemblance to a daugh- raise their drooping spirits. Richard bad reter whom she had lost. Her affection was covered his health, and amused the party not warmly returned by the kind girl, who, by a a little by his lively anticipations of the futhousand little attentions, strove to evince her ture. They were to have the most comfortgratitude to Abigail for her good opinion. able log-house, and the neatest farm in the
They had not completed half their voyage district. He would raise the finest cattle before the scarlet fever broke out among the the largest crops, and the best garden stuff in passengers, and made dreadful havoc ainong the neighborhood. Frugal and industrious the younger portion. Steel's whole family habits would soon render them wealthy and were down with it at the same time, and, in independent. spite of the constant nursing of himself and His mother listened to these sallies with a his devoted partner, and the unremitting at- delighted smile ; and even the grave yeoman's tentions of Abigail Winchester, who never brow relaxed from its habitual frown. Annie left the sick ward for many nights and days, entered warmly into all her brother's plans ; the two youngest boys died, and were com- and if he laid the foundation of his fine castle mitted to the waters of the great deep before in the air, she certainly provided the cement Annie and Richard recovered to a conscious- and all the lighter inaterials. ness of their dreadful loss. This threw a sad As their long route led them further from gloom over the whole party. Steel said the habitations of men, and deeper and deeper nothing, but he often retired to some corner into the wilderness, the stern realities of of the ship to bewail his loss in secret. His their solitary locality became hourly more wife was wasted and worn to a shadow, and apparent to the poor emigrants. They began poor Annie looked the ghost of her former to think that they had acted too precipitately self.
in going so far back into the woods, unaa "lIad we never left England," she thought, quainted as they were with the usages of the * my brothers had not died.”' But she was country. But repentance came too late ; and, wrong; God, who watches with parental love when at length they reached their destination, over all his creatures, knows the best season they found themselves upon the cdge of a in which to reclaim His own; but human vast forest, with a noble open prairie stretchlove in its vain yearnings is slow in receiving ing away as far as the eye could reach in front this great truth. It lives in the present, lin- of them, and no human habitation in sight, gers over the past, and cannot bear to give up or indeed existing for miles around them. that which now is for the promise of that In a moment the yeoman comprehended which shall be. The future separated from all the difficulties and dangers of his situation; the things of time has always an awful as-but bis was a stout heart, not easily daunted pect. A perfect and childlike reliance upon by circumstances. He possessed a vigorous God can alone divest it of those thrilling constitution and a strong arm ; and he was doubts and fears which at times shake the not alone. Richard was an active, energetio firmest mind, and urge the proud, unyielding lad, and his friend Atkins, and his two sons, spirit of man to cleave so strongly to kindred were a host in themselves. Having settled dust.
with his guides, and ascertained by the The sight of the American shores, that the maps, that he had received at Mr. -'s office, poor lads had desired so eagerly to see, seemed the extent and situation of his new estate, to renew their grief, and a sadder party never he set about unyoking the cattle which he set foot upon a foreign strand than our emi- had purchased, and securing them, while grant and his family!
Atkins and his sons pitched a tent for the Steel had brought letters of introduction to night, and collected wood for their fire. The a respectable merchant in the city; who ad- young people were in raptures with the ocean vised him to purchase a tract of land in the of verdure, redolent with blossoms, that lay then new State of Illinois. The beauty of the smiling in the last rays of the sun before country, the fine clinate, and fruitful soil, them ; never did garden appear to them 80 were urged upon him in the strongest man- lovely, as that vast wilderness of sweets, ner. The merchant had scrip to dispose of in planted by the munificent hand of Nature that remote settlement, and, as is usual in with such profusè magnificence. Annie could
scarcely tear herself away from the enchant- beyond simple remedies, which were perfectly ing scene, to assist her mother in preparing inefficacious in their situation, the poor chiltheir evening meal.
dren's only chance for life was their youth, Mother, where shall we get water ?” asked a good sound constitution, and the merciful Annie, glancing wistfully toward their empty interposition of a benevolent and overruling
“I have seen no indications of water Providence. for the last three iniles."
It was towards the close of a sultry day " Annie has raised a startling doubt,” said that Annie, burning with fever, implored the Steel ; " I can perceive no appearance of faithful Abigail to give her a drink of cold stream or creek in
water. Hastening to the water-cask, the old “ Hist! father, do you hear that?" cried woman was disappointed by finding it exRichard. “ The croaking of those frogs is hausted, Richard having drunk the last drop, music to me just now, for I am dying with who was still raving in the delirium of fever thirst ;'' and, seizing the can, he ran off in the for more drink. direction of the discordant sounds.
My dear child, there is no water." It was near dark when he returned with “Oh! I am burning – dying with thirst! his pailful of clear cold water ; with which Give me but one drop, dear Abigail — one the whole of the party slaked their thirst, drop of cold water !” before asking any questions.
Just then Mrs. Steel returned from milking " What delicious water : - as clear as crystal the cows, and Abigail proffered to the lips of - as cold as ice! How fortunate to obtain the child a bowl of new milk, but she shrank it so near at hand!” exclaimed several in a from it with disgust, and, sinking back on breath.
her pillow, murmured, “Water! water! for “Ay, but it is an ugly place,” said Richard the love of God! give me a drink of water !” thoughtfully. “ I should not like to go to that “Where is the pail ?” said Mrs. Steel." well at early day, or after night-fall. don't much like going alone to that well; “ Why not, my boy?”
but it is still broad day, and I know that in " It is in the heart of a dark swamp, just reality there is nothing to fear; I cannot about a hundred yards within the forest; and bear to hear the child moan for drink in that the water trickles froin beneath the roots of terrible way. an old tree into a natural stone tank ; but all “ Dear mother," said Richard, faintly, around is involved in frightful gloom ; I “ don't go ; father will be in soon; we can fancied I heard a low growl as I stooped to wait till then.” fill my pail, while a horrid speckled snake “Oh! the poor dear child is burning!" glided from between my feet, and darted hiss- cried Abigail ; "she cannot wait till then ; ing and rattling its tail into the brake. do, neighbor, go for the water; I will stay Father, you must never let any of the people with the children, and put out the milk while go alone to that well."
you are away." The yeoman laughed at his son's fears, and Mrs. Steel left the shanty, and a few shortly after the party retired into the tent, minutes after, the patients, exhausted by and, overcome with fatigue, were soon asleep. suffering, fell into a profound sleep. Abigail
The first thing that engaged the attention busied herself scalding the milk-pans, and, in of our emigrants was the erection of a log her joy at the young people's cessation from shanty for the reception of their respective pain, forgot the mother altogether. About families. This important task was soon ac- half an hour had elapsed, and the mellow complished. Atkins preferred the open prai- light of evening had faded into night, when rie for the site of his; but Steel, for the Steel returned with his oxen from the field. nearer proximity of wood and water, chose - The moment he entered the shanty he went the edge of the forest, but the habitations of up to the bed which contained his sick the pioneers were so near that they were children, and, satisfied that the fever was within call of each other.
abating, he looked round for his supper, surTo fence in a piece of land for their cattle, prised that it was not, as usual, ready for bim and prepare a plot for wheat and corn for the upon the table. ensuing year, was the next thing to be ac " No water!” he cried, “ in the cask, and complished ; and by the time these prepara- supper pot ready. After working all day in tions were completed the long bright summer the burning sun, a man wants to have things had passed away, and the fall was at hand. made comfortable for him at night. Mrs. Up to this period both families had enjoyed Winchester, are you here? Where is my excellent health, but in the month of Sep-wife ?! tember, Annie, and then Richard, fell sick “ Merciful goodness !” exclaimed the old with intermittent fever, and old Abigail woman, turning as pale as death, " is she not kindly came across to help Mrs. Steel to back from the well?" nurse her suffering children. Medical aid " The well!” cried Steel, grasping her was not to be had in that remote place, and I arm; " how long has she been gone ?"
“This half hour, or more."
panion of his boyhood - the love of his youth Steel made no answer — his cheek was as the friend and counsellor of his middle age pale as her own; and, taking his gun from the the beloved mother of his children. How beam to which it was slung, he carefully could he recognize in that crushed and defiled loaded it with ball; and, without uttering a heap his poor Jane? The pang was too great word, left the house.
for his agonized mind to bear. Sense and Day still lingered upon the open prairie, sight alike forsook him, and, staggering a few but the moment he entered the bush it was paces forward, he fell insensible across the deep night. He had crossed the plain with path. rapid strides, but as he approached the swamp, Alarmed by the report of the rifle, Atkins his step became slow and cautious. The well and his sons proceeded with torches to the was in the centre of a jungle, from the front spot, followed by Abigail, who, unconscious of which Richard had cleared away the brush of the extent of the calamity, was yet suffito facilitate their access to the water; as he ciently convinced that something dreadful had drew near the spot, his ears were chilled by a occurred. When the full horrors of the scene low deep growling, and the crunching of were presented to the sight of the terrorteeth, as if some wild animal was devouring stricken group, their grief burst forth in tears the bones of its prey. The dreadful truth, and lamentations. Atkins alone retained his with all its shocking, heart-revolting reality, presence of mind. Dragging the panther flashed upon the mind of the yeoman, and for from the remains of the unfortunate Mrs. a moment paralyzed him. The precincts of Steel, he beckoned to one of his sons, and the well were within range of his ride, and suggested to him the propriety of instantly dropping down upon his hands and knees, and burying the disfigured and mutilated body benerving his arm for a clear aim, he directed fore the feelings of her husband and children his gaze to the spot from whence the fatal were agonized by the sight. sounds proceeded. A little on one side of the First removing the insensible husband to well, a pair of luminous eyes glared like green his own dwelling, Atkins and his sons relamps at the edge of the dark wood; and the turned to the fatal spot, and conveying the horrid sounds which curdled the blood of the body to the edge of the prairie, they selected yeoman became more distinctly audible. a quiet, lovely spot beneath the wide-spreading
Slowly Steel raised the rifle to his shoulder, boughs of a magnificent chestnut-tree, and and setting his teeth, and holding his breath, wrapping all that remained of the wife of he steadily aimed at a space between those Richard Steel in a sheet, they committed it to glowing balls of fire. The sharp report of the the earth in solemn silence ; nor were prayers rifle awoke the far echoes of the forest. The or tears wanting in that lonely hour to condeer leaped up from his lair, the wolf howled secrate the nameless grave where the English and fled into the depths of the wood, and the mother slept. panther, for such it was, uttering a hoarse Annie and Richard recovered to mourn their growl, sprang several feet into the air, then irreparable loss — to foel that their mother's fell across the mangled remains of his vic- life had been sacrificed to her maternal love. tin.
Time, as it ever does, softened the deep Richard Steel rose from the ground; the anguish of the bereaved husband. During perspiration was streaming from his brow; the ensuing summer, their little colony was his limbs trembled and shook, his lips moved joined by a hardy band of British and Americonvulsively, and he pressed his hands upon can pioneers. The little settlement grew into his hearing breast to keep down the violent a prosperous village, and Richard Steel died a throbbings of his agitated heart. It was not wealthy man, and was buried by the side of fear that chained hiin to the spot, and hindered his wife, in the centre of the village churchhim from approaching his dead enemy. It yard, that spot having been chosen for the was horror." He dared not look upon the first temple in which the emigrants met to mangled remains of his wife -- the dear worship in his own house the God of their partner of his joys and sorrows — the com- fathers.
As when on sorrowing brows first gleams the Dawn cometh ; and the weary stars wax pale
birth With watching through the lonely hours of Of joy for years estranged ; then as a child, Night,
That, through the solemn woods at eve boAnd o'er the fathomless, deep, azure veil
guiled, A sweet, uncertain smile of infant light Steals with light foot-fall, ’mid the leaves Spreads softly, rippling up the starry height;
scarce heard, Chasing the mists that like dark spirits flee Upon a bough where rests some slumbering Before the breath of Morn ; and now more
So steals the silent Dawn upon the sleeping It mantles o'er the unreposing sea,
From Hlousehold Words.
through these until the bell from the adjacent A WALK THROUGH A MOUNTAIN.
pier warned me, at five o'clock in the evening,
to go on board the steamer that was quite I TOOK a walk last year through the sub- ready to puff and splash its way across the stance of a nountain, entering at the top, and beautiful green lake. We went under the coming out at the bottom, after a two or three shadow of the black and lofty Traunstein, and mile journey underground. Perhaps the story among pine-covered rocks, of which the reflecof this trip is worth narrating. The moun- tions were mingled in the water with a ruddy tain was part of an extensive property be- glow, that streamed across a low shore from longing to the Emperor of Austria, in his some fires towards which we were steering. character of salt merchant, and contained the The glow proceeded from the fires of the famous salt mine of Hallein.
Imperial Saltern, erected at Ebensee. I paid The whole salt district of Upper Austria, a short visit to the works, which have been called the Salzkammergut, forms part of a erected at great cost; and display all the mosi range of rocks that extends from Halle in the recent improvements in the art of getting the Tyrol, passes through Reichenthal in Bavaria, best marketable salt from saline water. I and continues by way of Hallein in Salzburg, found that the water, heavily impregnated, is to end at Ausse in Styria. The Austrian part conducted from the distant mines by wooden of the range is now included in what is called troughs into the drying-pan. The pan is a the district of Salzburg, and that district large shallow vessel of metal, supported by abounds, as might be expected, in salt springs, small piles of brick, and a low brick wall hot and cold, which form in fact the baths of about three feet high, extending round two Gastein, Ischl, and some other places. The thirds of its circumference, and leaving one names of Salzburg (Salthorough), the capital, third, as the mouth of the furnace, open to and of the Salzack (Saltbrook), on the left bank the air. Among the brick columns, and of which that pleasant city stands, indicate within the wall, the fire flashed and curled clearly enough the character of the surround- under the seething pan. Ascending rest ing country. Hallein is a small town eight into the house over the great pan, and lookiniles to the south-east of Salzburg, and it ing down upon the surface and its contents was to the mine of Hallein, as before said, through sliding doors upon the floor, I saw that I paid my visit.
the white salt crusting like a coat of snow On the way thither I passed through much over the boiling water, and being raked as it delightful rock and water scenery. From is formed by workmen stationed at each of Linz, the capital of Upper Austria, I got the trap-doors in the floor above me. As the through Wells and Laimbach to the river water evaporated, the salt was stirred and 'Traun, and trudged afoot beside its winding turned from rake to rake; and, finally, when waters till I reached the point of its junction quite dry, raked into the neighborhood of a with the Traunseo, or Lake of Traun. From long-handled spade, with which one workman the village on the opposite shore, I followed was shovelling among the dried salt, and the same stream again upon its wanderings blling a long row of wooden moulds, placed by mountain steep, and wooded bank, along ready to his hand. These moulds are sugar the valley called after the river's name, until loaf 'shaped, and perforated at the bottom I came to Gmunden, where the Traun Bows like a sugar mould, in order that any remainthrough another lake. At Gmunden I stopped ing moisture may drain out of them. The to look over the Imperial Salt Warehouses. moulds will be placed finally in a heated room The Emperor of Austria, as most people before the salt will be considered dry enough know, is the only dealer in salt and tobacco for storage as a manufactured article. with whom bis subjects are allowed to trade. The brine that pours with an equable flow His salt warehouses, therefore, must needs be into the seothing-pan at Ebensee, is brought extensive. They are situated at Gmunden to by wooden troughs from the salt mine at the left of the landing-place, from which a Hallein, a distance of thirty miles in a direct little steamer plies across the lake ; and they line. It comes by way of mountains and are so built as to afford every facility for the along a portion of the valley of the Traun, unloading of boats that bring salt barrels through which I continued 'my journey the from the mine by the highway of the Traun. same evening from Ebensee, until the darkThe warehouses consisted simply of a large ness compelled me to rest for the night at a number of sheds piled with the salt in barrels, small inn on a hill side. The next day I went a few offices, and a low but spacious hall, through Ischl and Wolfgang, and spent three Siled, in a confused way, with dusty models. hours of afternoon in climbing up the ScharfThere were models of river-boats and salt berg, which is more than a thousand feet moulds, mining tools, and tram-ways, hy- higher than Snowdon, to see the sunset and the draulic models of all kinds. miniature furnaces, sunrise. There was sleeping accommodation wooden troughs, and seething pans. I looked on the top : 80 there is on the top of Snowdon.