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A Virginia Scout by Hugh Pendexter

[Illustration: "You were never meant for the frontier."]

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A VIRGINIA SCOUT

By HUGH PENDEXTER

Author of Kings of the Missouri, Etc.

Frontispiece by D. C. Hutchison

INDIANAPOLIS THE BOBBS-MERRILL COMPANY PUBLISHERS

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Copyright 1920 The Ridgway Company

Copyright 1922 The Bobbs-Merrill Company

Printed in the United States of America

PRESS OF BRAUNWORTH & CO. BOOK MANUFACTURERS BROOKLYN, N. Y.

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To Faunce Pendexter

My Son and Best of Seven-Year-Old Scouts This Story Is Lovingly Dedicated

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CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I. Three Travelers 1 II Indian-Haters 23 III Over the Mountains 55 IV I Report to My Superiors 81 V Love Comes a Cropper 106 VI The Pack-Horse-Man's Medicine 133 VII Lost Sister 167 VIII In Abb's Valley 193 IX Dale Escapes 229 X Our Medicine Grows Stronger 265 XI Back to the Blue Wall 289 XII The Shadows Vanish 311 XIII Peace Comes to the Clearing 352

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A Virginia Scout

CHAPTER I

THREE TRAVELERS

It was good to rest in the seclusion of my hollow sycamore. It was pleasant to know that in the early morning my horse would soon cover the four miles separating me from the soil of Virginia. As a surveyor, and now as a messenger between Fort Pitt and His Lordship, the Earl of Dunmore, our royal governor, I had utilized this unique shelter more than once when breaking my journey at the junction of the Monongahela and the Cheat.

I had come to look upon it with something of affection. It was one of my wilderness homes. It was roughly circular and a good eight feet in diameter, and never yet had I been disturbed while occupying it.

During the night I heard the diabolic screech of a loon somewhere down the river, while closer by rose the pathetic song of the whippoorwill. Strange contrasts and each very welcome in my ears. I was awake with the first rays of the sun mottling the bark and mold before the low entrance to my retreat. The rippling melody of a mocking-bird deluged the thicket. Honey-bees hovered and buzzed about my tree, perhaps investigating it with the idea of moving in and using it for a storehouse. The Indians called them the "white man's flies," and believed they heralded the coming of permanent settlements. I hoped the augury was a true one, but there were times when I doubted.


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