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FOREST AND SHORE,
LEGENDS OF THE PINE-TREE STATE,
CHARLES P. ILJSLEY.
PUBLISHED BY JOHN P. JEWETT AND COMPANY.
CLEVELAND, OHIO :
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AMERICAN STEREOTYPE COMPANY,
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PRINTED BY D. S. FORD AND CO.
THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF MAINE,
TRADITIONARY TALES OF THE OLD PINE-TREE STATE,
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,
IT certainly was not the intention of the author,
when writing the stories contained in this volume, to
give them to the public in the present shape. Writ-
ten under the pressure of manifold duties, the most
that he anticipated for them was a brief newspaper
immortality a passing notice and oblivion. Much
to his surprise, however, many of them have con-
tinued to float on the current of popular favor ; and
by the advice, repeatedly received, not only from
friends but strangers, he has been induced to make
the present collection.
The tales, it will be perceived, are mostly of a tra-
ditionary character, although some of them must be
received with liberal grains of allowance. We make
this remark because a lady writer, now deceased, in
encouraging the author to continue his legendary
tales, wrote of them as follows : " They will be valu-
able to the future historian, perhaps, more than they
deserve ; for the sober, truth-telling air of your legends
will expose them to being ranked side by side with
veritable history. And," she added, with perhaps not
a little truth, "they will doubtless have as good a
claim to be so considered as much that has come down
to us as history from remote antiquity."
The stories founded on the history of the early set-
tlement of our State are entitled to more credence
than those the scenes of which are laid on our sea-
coast. An exception should be made here in favor of
" The Liberty Pole," a tale of Machias. All the inci-
dents of that sketch are purely historical.
It has not been so much the aim of the writer to
portray character as to describe scenes and detail
incidents, in doing which he flatters himself that he
has avoided exaggeration. He is not aware that his
pages inculcate any particular lesson, but he feels per-
fectly assured that they contain not a word offensive
to the purest morality. Such as they are, he submits
them to the public.
C. P. I.
PORTLAND, APRIL, 1856.
THEWRECKER'SDAUGHTER, . . . . 9
THE SETTLERS, 258
TlIE LIBERTY POLE, 347 '
THE STORM AT SEA 369
TUE CANADIAN CAPTIVE, 390
THE WRECKER'S DAUGHTER.
Along its solitary shore
Of craggy rock and sandy bay,
No sound but ocean's roar,
Save where the bold, wild sea-bird makes her home,
Her shrill cry coming through the sparkling foam.
THE scene to which we would introduce the reader
is one in which nature exhibits herself in her wildest
aspect. Far along as the eye can discern, on either
hand, stretches a bleak, rocky shore, whitened by the
foam of the rough Atlantic, which chafes perpetually
against its jagged boundaries. Here and there a few
stunted pines, springing up on some headland, and
scattered patches of grass, dry and brown from the
poverty of the soil, serve rather to heighten than
relieve the dreariness of the scene. In clear weather,
under the most favorable circumstances, the view is
not one on which the eye, fond of the beautiful, would
delight to dwell; much less attractive is it in the
gloom of the storm, when nothing is heard but the
hoarse voice of the waves as they beat against the
cavernous shore, the strong rush of the gale, and the
shrill cry of the sea-bird mingling with the elemental
10 FOREST AND SHORE.
uproar, and nothing seen but the black, sunken ledges
that line at intervals the entire coast, hidden at times
by the sparkling foam, the stern, craggy cliffs, and the
gray, barren heath. And yet there is something in the
gloomy grandeur of the scene which often wins my
steps to its neighborhood.
Amid such an uninviting display one would scarcely
look for signs of human life, more especially at the
period of which we write. And yet they were to be
found. At one spot the shore abruptly recedes, in-
denting the coast for some distance, forming a deep
and rather broad cove, its sides lined with ragged and
precipitous rocks, but the bight terminating in a steep
shingly beach, the apex of which, owing to the wash
of the sea, is considerably higher than the adjoining
main-land. Close in shore the rocks on one side of
the cove jut out some distance; then, falling back at a
sharp angle, a snug little bay is formed, where, in the
roughest weather, a small craft might ride with safety.
Leaving the shingles you pass over a broad belt com-
posed of fine white sand, intermixed with innumerable
tiny shells, a*id enter on a stony patch of some half
dozen acres, hemmed in with huge rocky fragments,
in the crevices and along .the sides of which dwarf
trees may be seen, standing in every possible attitude
save a perpendicular. Here and there dark scraggy
bushes may be found, almost devoid of verdure,
although the greenness of summer be abroad.
On this desolate spot were erected three or four
huts, ill-looking shanties, built of various materials,
the foundations composed of boulders clumsily piled,
and the sides and roofs of plank and board, the dark
stains and paint on whiqh showed them to be frag-
THE WRECKER'S DAUGHTER. 11
ments of wrecks. The aspect of these dwellings was
in perfect keeping with the place in which they were
located. From the fish which were spread out on
rude flakes near most of the huts, one would infer
that the occupants were fishermen. This was indeed
their calling in part, although a glance at the inside of
the habitations would lead one to the conclusion that'
fishing was not their only pursuit. From the rough,
unpromising exterior, one would look for a correspond-
ing interior. But, instead of scant and r adely made fur-
niture, a visitor would have been surprised to find the
apartments comfortably furnished, with quite a show
of gentility. More particularly would this have been
observed in one of the huts, which stood a little apart
from the rest, in a more choice situation, if there could
be a choice in such a place, and which appeared supe-
rior to the others in many respects.
The painted and panelled double door, evidently
taken from the state-room of some vessel, would first
attract the attention. Entering this, one would be
struck with the singular aspect of the rooms, all of
them being finished and furnished something after the
manner of a ship's cabin. In the centre of the largest
room, fastened to the floor, stood a heavy mahogany
table. Around the sides of the room ran a boxed
seat fixed similar to a transom. The walls consisted
of panelled boards, one perhaps painted green, its
mate white, and a third deeply stained to resemble
mahogany. Suspended around the walls were various
nautical instruments, sextants, spy-glasses, barometers,
and a number of rolls of charts, together with one or
two rusty muskets, grainse, <fec. The bedrooms, four
in number, were finished in ab.ont the same manner.
12 FOREST AND SHORE.
Instead of bedsteads, bunks or berths were fixed up
as on shipboard.
One of these apartments was quite tastefully ar-
ranged, the berth being neatly curtained, the sheets
and pillow-cases of spotless linen, the window hung
with a fringed drapery, and the walls ornamented with
a mirror set in a handsomely-gilded frame, while the
floor was covered with Venetian carpeting. There
was adjoining this a small room, fitted up with a few
shelves containing a small supply of books. The
furnishing of this room evidently showed that it was
intended for a sort of boudoir, if such a fashionable
term may be used in connection with so humble a
This remote and obscure hamlet was the abode of a
small gang of wreckers and fishermen combined, the
latter calling being followed when the former failed
them. The company consisted of six or seven men,
and it must be confessed, from their general appear-
ance and bearing, one would be apt at first to cherish
rather an unfavorable opinion of their characters. A
more intimate acquaintance with them, however, would
serve to do away with this impression.
The captain or chief of the band was a man whose
gray locks and weather-beaten face told of years of
toil and exposure, perhaps of suffering. He was a
strong, hale man, nevertheless, and there was a light
in his eye and a sprightliness in his movements that
spoke of vigor unwasted and nerves well strung. The
remainder of the crew were of various ages, ail but one
ranging past the meridian of life. This individual,
known by the name of Antonio, was a young man of
perhaps twenty-three, a hardy-looking fellow, nut
THE WRECKER'S DAUGHTER. 13
wanting, despite his swarthy face and unshaven locks,
in indications of manly beauty. There was in his
countenance, withal, an expression that would lead one
to prefer him rather as a friend than an enemy. He
was of Spanish descent, as his name indicated, although
from early life he had lived among Americans.
Save the females in the family of the leader, none
of the gentler sex were to be found in this hamlet ; and
of these two we shall speak hereafter.
Soft as the memory of a buried love,
Pure as the prayer that childhood wafts above,
Was she, the daughter of that rude old chief.
LATE one afternoon, in the fall of the year, at the
time our story opens, two persons were standing by
the open door of the dwelling whose interior we have
described, which was occupied by the leader of the
crew, gazing towards the sea, which was fast rough-
ening under a smart north-easter. They were both
females one of them considerably past the prime of
life. The somewhat masculine proportions of the
eldest of the two, together with her wrinkled and sun-
burnt visage, set off by thin gray locks and an elfish-
looking cap, gave her at first sight rather a repulsive
appearance; but the gentle and aifectionato glances
that she directed toward her companion, and the mild
tone with which she addressed her, were proofs that
a warm heart was concealed beneath that rugged
14 FOREST AND SHOEE.
Her companion was a maiden of about eighteen
summers ; her figure was very symmetrical, exhibiting
a healthy, though by no means a coarse, physical
development. Dark chestnut hair, arranged with a
native grace, surmounted a countenance of more than
common beauty, rendered more striking, perhaps, by
the contrast exhibited in her companion. Exposure
had thrown a slight shade of brown on her skin, but
where her dress interposed as a veil, it was of a clear
and almost snowy whiteness. Eyes large, full, and
intelligent, shaded by long lashes, a slightly oval face,
through the warm tinge of which the rich blood could
be seen mantling, an exquisitely-formed mouth and
clear red lips, around which, like sunshine on fruit, an
arch smile loved to linger, a neck beautifully propor-
tioned, and a full, swelling bust, a model for a
statue, formed the maiden's charming contour.
Could it be that so lovely a bud was an off-shoot
from so graceless a stalk? that so rare a flower had
sprung up amid this wilderness of rocks been nur-
tured among the rugged plants which surrounded it ?
Even so, in the by-places of this world, amid the sterile
roughness of humanity, we sometimes find grace,
beauty and intellect so predominant, as if nature
sought a favored object on which to lavish her gifts,
that she might not be without a witness of her lovely
and beautiful creations.
" I am afraid we are going to have a severe gale,"
said the eldest of the females, as she cast an anxious
glance seaward ; " the wind increases in violence and
the sea rises fast. I wish the schooner would return."
" Had I not better go on to the headland, mother ? "
THE WRECKER'S DAUGHTER. 15
replied the younger female ; " perhaps I may see her
in the offing."
" Yes, go, my dear child, and take the glass with
you. I feel anxious about her, for it is growing dark
fast, and it will be a bad night to be out in."
The young girl entered the door for the glass, and
then, throwing her apron over her head, she started
for the high bluff which springs up at the eastern
entrance of the cove, skipping from rock to rock with
the grace and lightness of the mountain chamois.
" If I see them, mother," she said, on leaving, " I
will wave my handkerchief as a signal."
In a short time, although the path was difficult, she
stood on the beetling cliff, gazing from its dizzy
height with unshaken nerve. From that elevated
point she had a full view of the ocean. The scene
was not new to the maiden, yet she could not gaze
upon the world of waters spread before her, rolling
in from the outer deep with an unbroken swell, and
dashing against the base of the headland with a noise
like continuous thunder, without a thrilling sense of
the grandeur and awful sublimity of the scene. She
was not one of those, common as was the sight, who
can gaze with an indifferent eye and unaffected heart
on such an exhibition as was there presented ; and, as
the huge billows rushed madly in and beat upon the
opposing barrier, and were thrown back in clouds
of foam, a sense of His omnipotence who has said,
". Thus far shalt thou go and no farther," touched the
deepest chords of her soul, awakening emotions which
she could not define or shape into expression.
For hours had she stood gazing, as at present, on a
scene like this, silent and spell-bound, the working of
16 FOREST AND SHORE.
her countenance betraying the agitation of her mind.
Alas ! the key to that inner sanctuary might never be
applied, and its hoarded treasure never brought to the
light. Her mind was like a hidden fountain, gushing
with pure waters, but wasting its crystal currents in
dark channels and murmuring unheard its subterranean
music. Shall not the clods be removed, and the bright
stream, sparkling in the sunbeams, flow gladly forth
with its rippling melody ?
Some time elapsed, so absorbed was the maiden in
the contemplation ef the scene, ere the nature of her
errand occurred to her, when, raising the glass to her
eye, and slowly sweeping the misty horizon, she hastily
turned toward the house and suffered her handkerchief
to flutter in the breeze. Afar off, heading for the cove,
she caught sight of the object of her search. The
vessel was a small fore-and-aft schooner, and was
under a heavy press of sail, notwithstanding the gusts
came stronger and stronger and the sea ran higher
and higher every moment. She was evidently a fine
sea boat, and bore herself bravely, riding lightly the
heavy billows and nearing rapidly the shore.
" I must kindle a fire on the Head," said the maiden,
as she gazed at the struggling vessel ; " they will want
a beacon-light to guide them before they reach the
The daylight was fast disappearing, and, feeling
assured that it would be entirely dark before the
vessel could make the harbor, the maiden, like one
accustomed to the business, commenced collecting
the brush which was scattered around the place and
heaping it in a mass on the edge of the cliff. Having
formed quite a pile, she started toward the house,
THE WRECKER'S DAUGHTER. 17
whence she shortly returned with a flaming pitch knot.
By this time, night had shut in, hiding the little craft
from sight, and leaving nothing to be seen but the
sparkling of the spray as it was thrown up along the
shore, and the occasional cap of a distant wave, the
crest of foam flashing for a moment above the black
billow like the lurid gleam we sometimes see playing
on the edge of the thunder-cloud.
Carefully guarding her light, the wrecker's daughter
bent down and kindled the pile of brush at its base.
Immediately a bright flame shot crackling above the
heap, followed by a dense volume of smoke, shrouding
the light in its thick folds and threatening to choke
the fire. The strong wind, however, soon fanned the
whole mass into a brilliant blaze. At times', the
tongues of flame would shoot high in the air, whirled
about by the breeze, illuminating the surrounding
scenery, and bringing out the neighboring cliffs in
bold relief, while the crested waves would catch the
lurid reflection afar off, seeming as if wreathed with
fire. At other times they would bend low, as if
licking the earth, darting serpenklike beneath and
amidst the heavy black smoke that curled above them,
while a tenfold gloom and darkness seemed to settle
upon the troubled deep. The effect of this beacon-
fire light and shade thus alternating was as
singular as it was imposing, heightened as it was by
the deafening roar of $he sea and the strong rush of
the gale. Conspicuous on the headland, as the light
flashed upon her form, stood the young girl, like some
beautiful enchantress, gazing delighted upon the scene
which her own magic had wrought.
18 FOREST AND SHORE.
Far o'er the watery waste a beacon-light
Beams its bright welcome to the seaman's sight ;
Exultant now he marks the whirling foam,
Nor heeds the growing storm that light
Guides to his home.
" A BLESSING on that girl ! " said the old skipper, as
he stood at the helm of his little craft, directing her
through the wallowing sea; " a blessing on that girl ! "
he repeated more fervently, as his eye caught the first
glare of the distant fire that served as a guide to his
"What light is that?" asked a young man in a
feeble voice. The speaker was closely wrapped in a
shaggy overcoat, lent him by the captain, and stood
by the side, or rather reclined on the companion-way,
near the binnacle.
" That light is kindled on Gull's Head, at the star-
board entrance of the cove," answered the old man,
" and by as fair a lass, young sir, though I say it, as
e'er graced a prince's hall. A blessing on her, say I."
" Your daughter, I presume ? " said his young com-
" She calls me father, ay," replied the old man, with
a little hesitation, " and never had parent more reason
to pride himself on "
"Are you sure the light is kindled on the Gull's
Head ? " said one of the crew, interrupting the enco-
miums of the old man. " If it is on the Hawk's Nest
we shall hardly weather Dead Man's ledge, if you
steer your present course."
THE WRECKER'S DAUGHTER. 19
" Sure I " said the aged helmsman, " ay, my life on
Nell's forethought. She has too much good sense to
kindle a fire to leeward on such a night as this, know-
ing where-away we are. But keep a sharp look-out
for'ard," he continued, as he bent a searching gaze on
the distant beacon. " A bad ledge, sir, a bad ledge is
that, with a bad name. It stretches here-away, about
half a league from the Hawk's Nest, the name given
to a broad shelf that laps out from the larboard cliff,
as we enter the cove."
The young man with whom this conversation was
held was not, as the reader will infer, one of the crew.
The wreckers had been on a cruise, during which they
had providentially fallen in with a stranded ship, some
leagues down the coast, from which, with much diffi-
culty and risk, this young man was rescued. He was
a passenger, and the only one saved, all the rest, pas-
sengers and crew, having been swept off ere the
wreck was discovered. The survivor was not rescued
a moment too soon, for he was nearly insensible and
entirely helpless when fallen in with, and, had it not
been for the old man, he would probably have been
left to his fate. At the imminent risk of his life, he
boarded the wreck and took the sufferer off. Owing
to the heavy sea that was running, and the threaten-
ing appearance of the weather, they abandoned the
vessel without attempting to save anything from her.
" Whence did the ledge you mentioned derive its
name ? " inquired the young man, after a brief pause.
"It has always borne that name since my knowl-
edge," replied the old man. "There is a tradition
among the few dwellers on this coast, that in the
olden time a gallant ship, driven in by stress of
20 FOREST AND SHORE.
weather, struck on this reef in the night and was
shattered, so that when morning came not a speck
was to be seen of her. One man alone, of all her
crew, was found when the tide receded, cold and stiff,
clinging with a death-grasp to the kelp and sea-weed
growing on the ledge, and swinging about with the
wash of the sea. Ever since, it is said, when the tem-
pest is abroad, through the livelong night his lone
wail can be heard mingling with the tumult of the
gale. We are nearing the spot now, young man,"
added the old skipper, in a low tone of voice. " Look
yonder you can see it break under our lee-bow.
Listen! there should be wailings from Dead Man's
ledge to-night, if evfcr. I have often heard them in
the pauses of the gale."
The old man bent his head, while his companion
gave an involuntary shudder as he cast a glance on
the long line of foam a short distance to the leeward,
along the very edge of which the little craft was dash-
ing with the speed of the wind ; but it was not from
a dread of hearing supernatural cries. He shuddered
when he thought of tl^ dangers he had passed
through, and of the certain fate which must have
awaited him had he been exposed to the fearful storm
now gathering. He thought, too, of the companions