Home » The Pioneers, Or, The Sources of the Susquehanna: A Descriptive Tale by James Fenimore Cooper
The Pioneers, Or, The Sources of the Susquehanna: A Descriptive Tale James Fenimore Cooper

The Pioneers, Or, The Sources of the Susquehanna: A Descriptive Tale

James Fenimore Cooper

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free.This is an OCR edition with typos.Excerpt from book:CHAPTER II. Speed I Malise, speed ! such cause of hasto Thine activeMorePurchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free.This is an OCR edition with typos.Excerpt from book:CHAPTER II. Speed I Malise, speed ! such cause of hasto Thine active sinews never bracd. The roads of Otsego, if we except the principal highways, were, at the early day of our tale, but little better than wood-paths of unusual width. The high trees that were growing on the very verge of the wheel-tracks excluded the suns rays, unless at meridian, and the slowness of the evaporation, united with the rich mould of vegetable decomposition, that covered the whole country, to the depth of several inches, occasioned but an indifferent foundation for the footing of travellers. Added to these, there were the inequalities of a natural surface, and the constant recurrence of enormous and slippery roots, that were laid bare by the removal of the light soil, together with stumps of trees, to make a passage not only difficult but dangerous. Yet the riders, among these numerous obstructions, which were such as would terrify an unpractised eye, gave no demonstrations of uneasiness, as their horses toiled through the sloughs, or trotted with uncertain paces along their dark route. In many places, the marks on the trees were the only indications of a road, with, perhaps, an occasional remnant of pine, that, hy being cutclose to the earth, so as leave nothing visible but its base of roots, spreading for twenty feet in every direction, was apparently placed there as a beacon, to warn the traveller that it was the centre of the highway. Into one of these roads the active Sheriff led the way, first strikingout of the footpath, by which they had descended from the sugar-bush, across a little bridge, formed of round logs laid loosely on sleepers of pine, in which large openings were frequent, and in one instance, of a formidable width. The nag of Richard, when it reached this barrier, ...