ISBN: 0554268957 / ISBN-13: 9780554268958
The Trail Book
by Mary Austin
Excerpt: ...These hunting-traces go everywhere through the Tallegewi Country. You can tell them by the way they fork from the main trails and, after ... Show synopsis Excerpt: ...These hunting-traces go everywhere through the Tallegewi Country. You can tell them by the way they fork from the main trails and, after a day or two, thin into nothing. We traveled well into the night from the place that Ongyatasse remembered, so as to steer by the stars, and awoke to the pleasant pricking of adventure. But we had gone half the morning before we began to be sure that we were followed. "Jays that squawked and fell silent as we passed, called the alarm again a few minutes later. A porcupine which we saw, asleep upon a log, woke up and came running from behind us. We thought of the Lenni-Lenape. Where a bare surface of rock across our path made it possible to turn out without leaving a track, we stole back a few paces and waited. Presently we made out, through the thick leaves, a youth, about our age we supposed, for his head was not cropped and he was about the height of Ongyatasse. When we had satisfied ourselves that he was alone, we took pleasure in puzzling him. As soon as he missed our tracks in the trail, he knew that he was discovered and played quarry to our fox very craftily. For an hour or two we stalked one another between the buckeye boles, and then I stepped on a rotten log which crumbled and threw me noisily. The Lenape let fly an arrow in our direction. We were nearing a crest of a ridge where the underbrush thinned out, and as soon as we had a glimpse of his naked legs slipping from tree to tree, Ongyatasse made a dash for him. We raced like deer through the still woods, Ongyatasse gaining on the flying figure, and I about four laps behind him. A low branch swished blindingly across my eyes for a moment, and when I could look again, the woods were suddenly still and empty. "I dropped instantly, for I did not know what this might mean, and creeping cautiously to the spot where I had last seen them, I saw the earth opening in a sharp, deep ravine, at the bottom of which lay Ongyatasse with one leg crumpled under him. I...