Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

part, I feel that it is altogether best for me to be, for a short season, where I am.

“In the first place it has improved me physically. I do not mean by this, that I have gained in point of flesh, for I have experienced the reverse of this, exactly - I have become so thin that I can cross my feet very easily now, which you know, on account of my corpulency, I have not been able to do for some time. This consideration is not to be forgotten; but there are others to be regarded also. One is, that I enjoy time for important reflection, which I hope to improve ; and, last of all, the new doors and windows we shall be obliged to have are worth thinking of, especially as I need not expect to pay for them myself. Now, my dear, you must look upon the brightest side of the picture, and expect to see me at home soon." ;

I suppose aunt was cheered by the reception of this letter from her husband, was she not ? ' said Salina.

Somewhat; but still she was inclined to be melancholy. Several years previous to this event, these friends were called to part with three dear children, in the short space of one week. They were all carried off by a malignant fever, and were all she ever had. After this event, aunt was never again like herself, but was cast down whenever afflicted.

• Uncle cared more on her account than for himself, in view of the inconvenience he had lately experienced, and rallied all his spirits to help sustain her. He wrote often, and each letter breathed an air of pleasantry and good humor.

* In a short time he returned home, had his house repaired, and all things comfortably arranged again. The

[ocr errors]

6

6

insurgents were all scattered abroad, and the circumstance of the nocturnal invasion they had experienced, was well nigh forgotten.

Did you go away into the “far West," as it was then called, during that winter?' asked one of the youthful listeners.

"I did, at the very time uncle was confined in prison, answered Mrs. Coleman.

- What a pity,' said Salina, that you could not always have remained with uncle and aunt, as they were childless.

• In your opinion, my dear, I suppose it is; but I feel as if my lot had been disposed of very well. I could not have ordered things for myself as well as they have been ordered for me,' replied her aunt with a smile. "It was well I did go ; and with gratitude do I recall to mind the providential dealings of my Heavenly Father with those members of our family who went to the western wilderness in company with my mother.'

CHAPTER XI.

Thrilling Occurrence

Mrs. Coleman

- Mrs. Horoe

Orphans.

Mrs. Coleman, at the earnest solicitation of her young relatives, narrated several events which had occurred in the early settlement of Western New York, while she was there, which were calculated to impress the mind with a sense of that watchful care which we constantly experience.

On one occasion,' said she, my sister, Mrs. Howe, went out with a lady who was carrying some dinner to her husband, who was engaged in the woods at some distance from their house. They had not proceeded far, when my sister remembered something she had left at home which she intended to have taken with her, and ran in haste to get it. In a moment after she turned back from her companion, she heard a shriek, and looking around, saw her friend held in the strong grasp of a large panther! Holding her fast, he sprang into a tree near the footpath that lay through the woods.

With remarkable presence of mind the lady gave the panther the food she had prepared for her husband, for, as she afterwards told her friends, she felt she should probably prolong her life by so doing. Said she, in relating this occurrence,“ My feelings cannot be described or imagined,

[ocr errors]

at the moment I sat on a limb of the tree into which I had been borne by the strong and ferocious beast by which I was then firmly held. Death seemed to me inevitable, and my blood was almost chilled with horror. I feared to die ; and I dreaded to have my husband bereaved of my society in so awful a manner.

"As these thoughts were passing through my mind, tumultuously, I saw my husband approaching. I called to him, and bade him discharge the rifle he had in his hand at the panther. Terrified at my situation, and shocked at the idea of being the means of my death, he replied, "I know not what to do — I am afraid I shall destroy your life instead of that of the animal! O, what can I do, my dear wife! must I see you die now!'

66 This was said in a moment, and I answered by saying, • Risk it - it would be far better to die thus by your hand, than be torn in pieces by this terrible beast ! fire ! oh, fire!'

"" In an instant he raised his musket, and taking careful aim, lodged its contents in the breast of the panther. The creature's hold of me relaxed, and I found it impossible to retain mine upon the limb on which I had rested. I fell to the ground with the animal (which was killed), and escaped with only a broken arm.” »

My sister,' continued Mrs. Coleman, remained, almost petrified with consternation, sufficiently near the spot to see her friend fall, and then ran immediately to her, and it will be believed that the tears which flowed profusely down the cheeks of these three friends, as they looked upon each other, under those thrilling circumstan

[ocr errors]

6

ces, were tears of thankfulness. They were too much af. fected to speak, until after the lapse of several minutes.

This providential escape of the lady from the very jaws of a dreadful death, made, as may be imagined, an abiding impression upon the minds of this party, now rendered doubly dear to each other.

· As soon as practicable, the lady was carried home by her friends, and a surgeon sent for. She suffered much pain ere her broken limb could be taken care of, as her husband was obliged to go seventeen miles before he could find a doctor. Still, the afflicted individual almost forgot her distress while her mind continually reverted to the sig. nal interposition of Heaven in her behalf; and it was a theme upon which, in after life, she and my sister ever loved to dwell, with feelings of gratitude.

· Mrs. Howe said she could not but feel that if she had been grasped by the panther, instead of her friend, she would not have been spared ; for she was aware that her mind was not as well balanced as was that of the lady, and she should have been too much frightened to keep her hold of the food by which the animal was for a time pacified, and it was owing to the self-possession of the other that she was not immediately destroyed.'

Mrs. Howe was the fourth daughter of Mr. Weldron. She was mild and engaging in her deportment from childhood, and evinced a desire to be useful to her mother, at the time when that lady most needed to be cheered by the affectionate conduct of her children. When she arrived at womanhood, she cherished the same temper of mind, and was greatly beloved by all who knew her.

Mrs. Howe, as has been before remarked, was much

« ÎnapoiContinuați »