Press enter after choosing selection

The Captive Lovers

The Captive Lovers image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

One diiy, ycara aga, lo"ng boforq the Pacific ltailroad had oarried civilizatio'u across tho continont, the sun shone upon a valley in the eastorn slope of the Rock y Mountains, chioh had boon almost ontirely undisturbed by tho white invudor. A you,ns hidy occupied just the piuco that her poetioal imaginations would desire her to. She was reolining upon a gnissy knull, and the waters of a orystal stream were running at her feet. She had gathered violets and evergreens, aud a wreath of tho lattor bouud lier brow wi;h a cayelqss graoo, whilo the lornier she was léisurely forming into a boquet. The face was uncommonly attraotive, and her iigure, as f ar as ono might judgeofit in the attitude assumed, was very syunnotrical in its outlincs Her landsand fout were faultless, M far as gizeand dalioacy ofoutlino were uonoorned. The t.ot't, peusive exprossion of her eyes, and the swoet light of intelligence that fiaahed from them, were enough to fis ttin boUoldor'a atieutionin a stoadfaat and admiring giize. ILr nauie was Hjlen Colwuit, md she was tho danghter of üiu rioh trader, whoM stookade and trading post was in (hoiiiunediato neighbo hiiod. Helen's heart was likti ripo fruit that neods pluoking. It was fnli of tenderncss aud love, and Longed to pour out its wealth of dovotion upou some dear object. Ihis Htiling had foand vont in her lovo for her fatlier ; but we must iiud tor her some other roason that hei bosoin swelled so inoxdintttely with sigiis, and why her eyes 60 ot'ten sought tlie ground in sileut c.intijmpliition. QelüQ Wa in ovo with Birich Harding, a student, whosu resoarehes had bl'ought him to this wild BHction. llis short stay at the tradingpoót hadloathim his heart, andtaèy were already eugaged in uiairiage. Errich's phyt.ical appeai-anco would have struok even the oaüualobserver; hisbroad shoulders and flnely developed chest, indicatir.g great Btreagth ; his ttrm, quiok step, dennting spirit andñrtnnees; wliile his easy and manly gruce showod that his life h:nl been pasied with the eduoatod and reflued. to return to Helen. Tho sound of human footstops caustd her to assumo a dill'nrent attitude, and to casthurried and alarmed glancee around her; for no doubt the oonaoiouanoee that she had been imprndont in venturing alono and without anus from the stoekade, was vividly impressed upon her mind. Tiio cause of ii r alarm soon disclosed hirnself ; and in tho thiek-set, man who valked quickly toward her she recognizi'd oue Vedro Gaien, a somewliat SU8picious oharaoter. Aithouph uobody kuow anything positivo against Qaren, his gtranKB nflaenoe üd ïntercourse with soveral of tho more reckless of the Indian tribes gáve him a bad uamo with tho huuters and trapjjürs. As ho carne near, Helen hastily drew her large soarf about hoc, and was on the point of leaving the spot with some procipitation, when Pedro addrosscd her, ia a slightly Freuch aooent : " Wttit a moment, pretty one. Why do you ïun ut ïny appioaoh!' Am I a gavage, or loss handiome than that student over of jours '{" J i ■II n was lot b to slimv the fear that sho really i'elt, and go the endoavored to appear quito at her ease, and she Goolly replied: " Excuso me, Mr. Craren, if my manner appeared huu-icd, for 1 was somewhat sKrprisüd to iind my retreat trespassed upon." " Xo, no. my lady," sneered Pedro, as sho was about to pass hun, "don t be in SUch a hurry. Itisn't ofton that I am favored with meeting Miss Colwait, and I don't want tho luXury cut short don't you see 'i " " You are avillain, andshallbe punishod for this impudence," said Helen, her eyes now flashing fire, and hor voioo now trcmbling, "Let uio go." Pedro seizod her by the wrist, and put his hand over hor uiouth before she could screaui. At the same instant, a quick step was heard, and Errich Harding rnshed upon the seeno. A llow from his ftst felled Pedro to tho earth, but the fallen desperado xt a whistle to his lips and blew a peculiar sigual, at the sound of wliioh a dozen Indians sprang from tiieir ambush. Uoth Errich aud Helen were quickly gagged and hurried away. It was olear that the abduetiou of the girl had been planned by Pedro, who appeared to cdmmttnd the party. The captivos were hurried vapidly ulong for a mile or more, when they found the Indians' horsea tiod. Upon an extra horfo, which had doubtless boen provided for Helen, both prisonors were placed, and th; party than moved on at a rapid pace. All that day thoy rode, making uuly brief stops to cook moals over hastilykincüi-d fires. For several miles they rodo in tho streain before mentioned, in order to leave no trail by which they eould be folio wed, 88 they well knew that parties would leave the post in search oi' Helen and Errich as soon as thoir abduction was discovered. At night the party encamped in a grove of seraggy oaks, and before dayUght the uiarch was resumed agaiu. For two days moro the mareh lay in a southerly (iirection. During this timo the prbouere, although closely guarded, were neither gagged nor bouud. They were intcimod by Pedro that thoy were to be taken to a place wheréthe most thorough pursuit would never Iind them, when Helen was to become tho wifo of a powerful chief, at whose bidding tho tion had been formcd and earaed out. As for Krrich, the plan had not includcd his sapture, and he was to be put to death ur mado a slavo. Afttir this the party bogan to ascend ono of tho smaller ranges of the mountains ; and as they prooeedcd they relaxed somewhat thu vigor with whieh they guardod thcir captivus. Ono night TIclon was awakened by a hand placed gen tly upon her arm. She wa8 about to cry out in alarm, whon a cautious "hist!" in the voice of Errioh restrained her. " Don't make a sound," ho whispered ; they'ro all aslecp - evrn tho guara who was placed over us. The horsos aro tied down yqnder by tho fpring, and if we are cautious we oau roacU Ihem without boiiipr disoovered." With this, Ilolon rose cautiously to lier feet, and, guided by hor lover, piokcd her way cautiously from ainong the sleepers. They reachod the horsos in safety, and solocted two of tho best. These thoy sad dled, and, taldng nach a knapsack f uil of food, etc, hastily inountod and rode away. Scaroely had they startod, howover, before thoir absence wus tlUoovered, and the consequence was a hot chase. But Errich had wisoly chosen tho two ileetest of the horses, and with these they balflod tli"ir pursuers. Morning found them safe from the síivügae; but hem a new peril presnnted itsolf. How weru they to iind thüir way back ü; the post f Winter, too, was coming on, and they would then bo snmvbound in the dreary and traekloss mountains. Even the Indian tribes loft the regiong during the winter season. After severul days of inoffeotual wandering, during whiob the supply of dried venison in their knapsacks u-as beiii!? fast exhauiited, t&ey can.e to a etreain of aiderable sise. Then a cold snap warned them that some chango of plan must be dooided upon, if they desired to esoapo freozing to doath at au oarly day. Thoir clothing was thin, and they wero not ev en supplied with blankets. A long and anxious oonsultation was held, aiid they at last concludcd to rist passing tho winter whcre thoy were, Both were young, vigorous, and hopeful, and they enterod at onco into active piuparation for tho cold weathcr, which was daily liablo to set in. A keen-edged tomahawk and a hunting-kiiife were the only tools they had; hut with Krrioh set at oucu to work uonstructing traps, for food to oat and fox to woar wero their most prossing wants. Next he oommonced stripping bark frotn tho trees to build a rudo struoturo. At tho ond oí a weok, a warm, although rather s:nall hnt wus oompleted. It waa so thickly covered with bark and bough.i is to olFictually excludo tho blasts whicli already began to blow. It boing imposBiblu to w ntor the horses tliey wars killed and their hidus rudoly tannëd in tho sun, and u.sed to linu tho interior or' the hut. Tho traps proved exceudingly productivo, and the struam yielded aa abundauud of fish an pure water. Thus thoiiactual wants seemod providod for, anJ. bungorand cold wore huid at buy as the heavy snow bagan to dwoend. The oxnuss of lish and iiesU was laft exposed in the cold, whcre it was Ërozen, and so prosorved for usu in caso of a soaroity lat'ír in tho season. The skins were tanned by oxposure to tho fire, and woro theu uii'd'-' into olothing or ugod to furthor Uno tho the hut. Thug tho pair spent tho wholo üf tho rigorous winter in comparative comfort. Whon tho snow nearly covered their hut, and egiOKi was barred to any oxtent, they cookud their resorved suj)ply of lish, veuison, etc, over their firu, and cheorud each othor with cheurful words and loviug fellow.ship. ïhns the time moved more roadily than inight havo boen oxpected. As the spring came they began to get imp;itient to leave. By following tho couiso of tho livor, as they intended to do when oold woather hummed them in, Errioh thought they could find thoir way into tho valloy, where thoy mirht tull iu with sotuü trajipers. They ther jfore propared for a long arduous niarch by smoking a upply of meat. Thisoccupiod severai d:iy3, but the morning iixod for tho departure at last arrived. They wero oating their breakfast of broiled giune when tho clattor of hoofs was heard. " The Indians ! " gasped Hleu ; but in an instant her father entcred followed by several scouts from the trading-post. Tho meeting was indeed a joyous one. Pedro had been detected in the murdor of a trapper, and hung ; but before his death he had confessed to tho abduction of I'Ieluq, and glveu information which lod to íúáult describod. Tlie safe return ot' the captivos was hailed with delight at the post, where their wedding was subsequently culebrated in a beeoining manuor.


Old News
Michigan Argus