Press enter after choosing selection

Dexter In Olden Times

Dexter In Olden Times image
Parent Issue
Day
8
Month
September
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

lJexter, Wasbtenaw Co., M. T., Dec. 15. '33 ' ü I have been waiting bere since I last wrote, in order to join an exploring party of tbree or foor individuáis, to go up into Shiawassee connty to examine lauds. A heavy snow storm has set in today, however, and as ït will pnt an end to the expedition, I 8hall probably start by mysalf for the Kalaiuazoo country tomorrow. The journey to Grand River, whioh I proposed to myself, I sball, froin the time it wonld consume, be compelled now to abandon entirely. I do not regret the time I bave spent here, 'for I am not far frorn the center of tbe territory, and wbile I bave my headquarters at a good country in a well settled place, I can in a ride of a few miles plunge at once into tbe wilderuess. It is a pretty dangerous matter, however, for a ranger to go without a guide, reconnoiteriog tbrough a country wbere every hill, lake and wood looks so nmcb like its brother, that tbe ordinary laad marks are oí no assistance to the eye. The scenery of Michigan veill be far more attractive wheu cnltivation sball give variety to a landscape which, however, beautifnl at present, is somewhat mouotonous. After visiting uearly a dozen of the transparent ponds of everv size wbich stud the snrface of the country, and finding but two or tbree whose firm banks, ot some Í5 or 20 teet elevation assumed a piuturesqne appearance, from tbe irregular manner in which they pushed their beautifully wooded promontories far into the lakes they bonnded, I started the other day to visit a sheet of water, somewbat elevated, about 12 miles off. My way, after going a niile or two Irom the village, led through oak openmgs of rolling land, called "The Short liills, " which I can best assiruilate to a collection of euormous graves the tuiuöti of households, if yen cboose - tbrown coufusedly together upon a perfectly level snrface, wbere a patch of wnd meadow land, a cran'ierry (narshj or a bog that looked like the desolated bed of a lake, aud freqneutly, ïudeea, the shallcw lake itself, fiiled up the intervals. The huge oaks that, crowned the summits of these formal rnonnds were the ouly objects that relieved the dreariuess of the lauci scape; even they, I tbuught, while riding alouebeueath their branches, that siehed to the December wiurl, were not thb most euliveniog objects iu the world. "I rode thns tor ïuiles without seeing a livmg tbiug except a raveu, which as that descriptiou of birds is ouly iound iu those parts of the uuiou where wolves still infest the country, I at ooce took i for grauted I was hoveriug uear one of the savage beasts to which he so faithfully plays the jackall. Wheeliug my horse suddenly froiu the trail towards a thicket of dwarf oaka, where I expeeted to fiud the carriou deer that attracts these wortbies. ne sheered from the bush ,aDd I was throwu upou the spot. Atter extricatiug the foot by which I was dragged a yard or two, frotn the stirrup, I sprang np but little hurt, aud moved as qnickly as possilbe to catch my horse, who, haviDg paused for au iastaut iu a clnmp of trees uear by, turued his head aronnd hke a poiuter taken aback with the scent af ter he has passed a bnsb, aud stood calmly gaziug ut me. At the first step towards the rascal however, he moved uearly a rod sideways, aud theu duckiug his head towards the gronnd, and throwing his heels high iu the air, my ungrateful courser, accompanyiug these motious with every additioual mark of disrespect he conld suminon to his aid, left his master aloue in the wilderness. He disappeared behind a hill in a moment I conld not help. ejaculating with the Kentnckian, whose house and farmly bad been bnrnt by the savages; while he was cleamng bis rifle at a brook hard by, 'This very ridiculons. ' No tima was to be lost. however. It was late in the day, and I was far from any house; while the occasional flakes of snow which began to fall from the black, lowering sky, threatened a storm which ruight cover in a moment the only path that could guide me homeward. I sat down at once among the long dry grasa and stripping off my leggins, and disembarrassiug my heels of the now useless spurs, stowed all away in my ooat pockets. The coat itself I rolled up in a bundie around my left arm, and taking my gun, to which I applied a fresh cap, in my right, I strodu off in as good a humor as one coold summon nnder such provokiug circumstances. 1 could not help thinking, indeed, how ranch worse matters might have been had 1 been thus deserted in one of the broad praries, 30 miles, perhaps, from auy honse. "As for the loss of my horse, I feit so iudignant against the inconsiderate brute that. I confess it did not troubls me. Thus did I trndge on, growing momentarily in butter humor with myself. The scène around was dreary at preseut; bnt having had all the wild flowers that grow in Michigan des i cribed to me, I exercised my imagi nation by conperning the more attrac tzve appearance it most wear in aura mer. I tbought how the browD wood mnst look when the lofty oaks arounc were clothed in their rieep green foli age. I thought of the various vine aud flöwers wnich then flll the broac openings between their sterns - of the ciomps of cluster roses that bere grow wild and cover wbole acres of the crim son daisy and fragrant balm pink, the deep hued lichnidia and gorgaon golden rod which with jonquils anc anaranth, the pnrple fox glove anc saffron colored silk weed, paint the snrface of the soil. I could fancy tb glossy leaves of the nigbtshade, with its white blossoms and poisonoos berries, the creeping ivy and colum bine clustering at tde foot of the hills; the snow white lily of the valley the lilac tinted adders tongue and straw colored arrow head, shooting through the long grass between; while the purple flenr-de-lis bloointid along th wet marshes, where the spleudid cardi nal flower tossed its scarlet blossom in the breeze. "I mnst have practiced horticnltnre in this way for some time, waen, on risiug a slight eminence in my path, saw my amiable roan standing qnietly looking in the direction whence I wa coming, apparently waiting for me. was completely Jmollified. I forgav him the little freak, and advancec with a light heart to lay my hagd upon the bridle. He moved a little, aud s did I. He moved a little more, and stood still. I spoke to him, but h continned moving. I joaxed him, in a tone that wonld have melted the hear of one of the marble horses of St Mark's; he was rooved by it - only farther from me. I whiEtled to bim - haa taught him a day or two before to come to my whistle when he obeyec me like a dog - he stopped, and '. advauced ouce more to lay my band on the saddle and tbe scoundrel broke into a trot just as I was about touching him. I brought my piece to my shoulder, and conld hardly forcear drawing the trigger upon him as i stood. The gronnd now rolled like the waves of a' f rozen sea; and my nefarions brute, who soon began to stalk leisarely along about a hundred yards ahead of me, wonld, to carry out the figure, be just topping the combiDg while I was in the trough, and vica versa - like two children balancing on a plank. It was perfectly insufferable, ruile after mile, to see that eternal saddle bobbiug up and down a huudred yards ahead of me. Sornetime, indeed, the venterous wearer would step aside among a cluster of oaks, to nip the teuder grass which still lingered around their roots ; and then, as he would arca bis neck, aud seeming admire the Iodian blanket and flame colored surcingle, which, after the gay taste of the west, I had buckled, combiniug nse with ornaineut, to the back of the nngratefnl brute, dash off with a snort into a patch of prarie land ; I could uot bnt admire the eye of fire and graeefully gathtr:ng limbs of the spirited creáture. I wished, however. , that he was anytiody's horse but mipe, disportiug hnnself at that ratR. At last, at a furrïing of the pnth he disappeared beuiud a hill, aud ceasiug louger to tantalize, let: me comparatively cotntortablt). I reacbed the h'rst 'clearing' about 20 minutes afterward, and lookiug aloug the highway, which here commenced, my horse was nowliere to be seen. "