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a tree, supposing the urchin would run away; but real Young America does not run from danger.

The boy

treed too. The scout, peeping out to see, as he supposed, the receding back and flying heels of the youngster, received a bullet in his brains, and fell a sacrifice - not to the cowardice of Young America.

Boys of thirteen did good service in the country's cause. Boys of fifteen were mustered into the ranks as soldiers. Boys of seventeen ambled as peaceably in the harness of Hymen as our bachelors of forty now do.

But the fighting times cannot always last. The Indian must submit to his destiny, and vanish from the presence of the whites. His doom is to follow his buffalo to the West. When the buffalo is broken to become the yokefellow of the ox, the Indian may rest where he stands, or return toward the rising sun. The aboriginal bison and red man alike refuse the burden of labour; together they must perish.

Although war no longer invokes the rifle, it is retained in constant use. To this day there is a law upon the statute book of Kentucky-unless repealed within a year or two-requiring that every male citizen between the ages of sixteen and forty-five shall, within every twelvemonth, kill a certain number of crows and squirrels. So it has passed into a proverb, that a Kentuckian is a dead shot on a squirrel's eye with a rifle at a hundred yards,




BUT now there comes to be associated with the gun another implement, homely enough, but which has played a conspicuous part in the drama of American civilisation. It is the Yankee axe.

Perhaps I may give a sufficiently graphic picture of society, during the axe period of the country's history, by a series of sketches relating to an event of perennial interest to humanity. Will you have a description of a western wedding in the quaint old days of pioneer life?

Early on a fine morning, there rides up to the door of a log-cabin one of our Young American friends, about eighteen years of age, on his father's best horse and best saddle—if that worthy gentleman own a saddle: the likelihood is that it is nothing but a blanket. In the door stands a blithe and buxom lassie of fifteen summers, but fully grown and finely moulded. Saluting her frankly, he presents his horse fair to her. Without recourse to block or stile, she lays one hand confidingly on his knee, the other on the horse's rump, and throws herself gracefully into the pillion behind him. Thus riding double, they start for the parson's, three or four of his male friends bearing them company. except bridle-paths, and they therefore ride in Indian file.

There are no roads

The old fighting times have taught them one good

lesson, to hold their tongues unless they have something to say; hence the party is a silent one. Half a dozen or a dozen miles are passed, when a clearing in the woods is gained, in the centre of which stands a lowly cabin. In its door you shall see one, two, three, four-as it were, a series of short steps-of tow-headed urchins, who announce to the inmates the approach of the company. The foremost rider gives the customary hail, "Hillo, the house there." In obedience to this summons there appears upon the threshold a large, raw-boned gentleman, not in cassock, bands, and surplice, not even in clerical black, but in a linsey-woolsey or buckskin hunting-shirt. Seeing the strangers, he courteously invites them to alight and come in. Before this invitation is complied with, however, the candidate for matrimonial honours inquires, is the parson at home? His interlocutor responds that he is that person. Whereupon the young man announces, see, this young woman and me have come here to git married; kin you do it?"

"Well, I reckon."


"Well, we're in a great hurry, kin you do it quick?" "Certainly."

The ceremony is proceeded with as regularly as if it were in a cathedral. The young people's hands are joined, and the good man's benediction is given as he pronounces

them man and wife. The new husband asks,

"Is that all, parson ? "

"That's all I can do for you."

Straightening to his full height with great dignity, the

young man inquires,

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Well, parson, what's the damage?"

Parsons are modest men.

With a blush and a stammer,

our clerical friend intimates that the less said upon that subject the better.

"Oh, no, parson," responds the young backwoodsman.



"I wish you to understand that I don't choose to begin life on tick."

Simple folk that they were, they held that a wife who was not worth paying the parson for, was not worth having. Thus urged, the clergyman signifies,


Anything that is pleasant to you is agreeable to me." Whereupon the young husband requests one of his friends "to fetch it in off the horse's neck."

Doubtless, the wisest of you, if you have never lived upon the frontier, would be puzzled to tell what that is on the horse's neck. It turns out to be a corn-shuck horse-collar. This is the parson's fee, and right glad he is to get it.

The bridal train return as they have come, until within a half mile of the bride's father's cabin, when all the young men of the party, save the one with the lady behind, start at a helter-skelter gallop through the woods, dodging the limbs, jumping the fallen trees, yelling and screaming as if they were crazy. This is what they call the bottle race. In the door of the cabin stands a gentleman, his arm uplifted, grasping in his fist a great black bottle, which he is shaking desperately, as if to incite the racers to greater speed. Up rushes the foremost of the horsemen, clutches "black Betty," gives her one triumphant wave around his head, in token of his victory, applies her mouth to his mouth, imbibing the consequences, and then returns to our young couple, that they may drink their own health and happiness, in the best bald-faced whisky the settlement furnishes.

And now here are assembled all the neighbours from miles around-men, women, children, and dogs. The men have been amusing themselves with the usual athletic sports of the border, flinging the rail, hurling the tomahawk, pitching quoits, wrestling, running foot and horse

races, and shooting at a mark. The women are mostly busied about the barbecue. A trench has been dug, in one end of which you will see the flames blazing, in another the coals smouldering. Here the meats are being prepared for mastication.

But it is now high noon, dinner-time the world over, so think our simple-minded farmers. The grand repast is served beneath a rustic arbour, formed by leafy branches. Here, upon the puncheon slabs, are served bear meat, buffalo meat, venison, wild turkey, and, as the daintiest of all the delicacies, baked 'possum. For side dishes, you have "big hominy," pyramids of corn dodgers, with plenty of milk and butter, if the country be far enough advanced for COWS. If not, bear's oil must take the place. It is used as a sop for bread, as gravy for meat, and is pronounced wonderful by those who like it. The men draw their hunting-knives from their belts, commence the business of carving, using their fingers for forks. Every mother's skirt is clutched by her brood of little ones, begging for dodger and gravy, while around every hunter, fawn and leap his hounds, begging for their share of the repast.

Shall I attempt a description of their personal appearance? They are all large, very large, men, women, and babies. The men averaging over six feet in height, and broad in proportion, are clad in deer-skin hunting-shirts, leggings, and moccasins of the same material. When a gentleman wishes a pair of stockings, he fills his moc. casins with dried leaves. Around the waist is a belt with a sheath for the hunting-knife, and another for the tomahawk. Descending from the shoulders are straps supporting the bullet-pouch and powder-horn. The head is surmounted by a coon-skin cap, the tail of the animal gracefully pendent between the shoulders- the only ornament upon the person masculine.

But what am I to do with the gear of the ladies?

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