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A Hero of Ticonderoga by Rowland E. Robinson

And its fainter answering echoes


"An

ol' Injin told me that there's always ben one o' these cretur's seen in this lake a spell afore every war that's ever ben. But I hope the sign'll fail this time. I've seen enough o' war an' I don't see no chance of another, all Canady bein' took an' the Injins in these parts bein' quilled."

The johnny-cake, having been baking for some time in its last turn on the board, was now pronounced done. The mixed contents of the frying-pan were turned out on a wooden trencher, and conversation was suspended for the more important matter of supper. Not long after this was disposed of, the host and his guests betook themselves to sleep in quilts and blankets on the puncheon floor, with their feet to the blazing backlog and glowing bed of coals.

CHAPTER II--THE NEW HOME

The light of a cloudless March morning pervaded the circumscribed landscape when the inmates of the cabin were astir again. Not many moments later, a sudden booming report broke the stillness and rolled in sullen echoes back and forth from mountains and forested shores.

"The sunrise gun to Fort Ti," Job said, in reply to the questioning look of his guests. "They hain't no other use for their powder now."

A fainter report, and its fainter answering echoes, boomed through the breathless air.

justify;">"An' that's Crown P'int Fort, ten mile furder down the lake. They help to keep us from getting lonesome up here in the woods." And, indeed, there was a comfortable assurance of human neighborhood and helpful strength in these mighty voices that shook the primeval forest with their dull thunder.

"I don't sca'cely ever go nigh the forts," Job continued. "I don't like them reg'lars an' their toppin' ways."

After fortifying themselves with a breakfast, in no wise differing from their last meal, the travellers set forth on the last stage of their journey, Job volunteering to accompany them upon it, and see them established in their new home. They had not gone far on their way down the narrow channel of the creek when it brought them to the broad, snow-clad expanse of the lake, lying white and motionless between its rugged shores, bristling with the forest, save where, on their left, was a stretch of cleared ground, in the midst of which stood, like a grim sentinel, grown venerable with long years of steadfast watch, the gray battlements of Fort Ticonderoga.

Here and there could be seen red-coated soldiers, bright dots of color in the colorless winter landscape, and, above them, lazily flaunting in the light breeze, shone the red cross of England. The old ranger gave the flag the tribute of a military salute, while his heart swelled with pride at sight of the banner for which he had fought, and which he had followed almost to where it now waved, in the humiliation of Abercrombie's defeat, and here had seen it planted in Amherst's triumphant advance.


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