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Samuel G. (Samuel Griswold) Goodrich.

Faggots for the fireside; or, Tales of fact and fancy online

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* ^

* CHILDREN'S BOOK



LIBRARY OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES





THE WOLVES.



1.295.



FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE,



TALES OF FACT AND FANCY.



PETER PARLEY.



WITH TWELVE TINTED ILLUSTRATIONS.



LONDON :
GRANT AND GRIFFITH,

SUCCESSORS TO NSWBERY AND HARRIS,

CORNER OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.

M.DCCC.LV.



LONDON:
PRINTED BY WERTHEIMER AND CO.,

CIRCUS PLACE, FIN3BURY CIRCUS.



CONTENTS.



INTRODUCTION 7

THE BOY CAPTIVE 13

THE WHITE OWL 77

THOMAS TITMOUSE . <. 85

THE WOLF AND FOX 105

BOB LINK 107

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A SPARROW. . . HI

THE CHILDREN OF THE SUN 126

THE SOLDIER AND FIDDLER 238

THE RICH MAN AND HIS SON 263

FLINT AND STEEL. . 275

THE AVALANCHE 303

SONGS OF THE SEASONS. 307



LIST OF ENGRAVINGS.



THE WOLVES. FRONTISPIECE. . . (SEE P. 29o)

THE COTTAGE BURNT. TO FACE PAGE 13

SHOOTING FISH 37

THE LAKE 41

JUMPING RABBIT AND THE BEAR. . 43

THE BUFFALO HUNT . . . 53

THE WHITE OWL 77

CHICAMA AND RUNA . 139

CHICAMA, RUNA AND THE JAGUAR. 187

RUNA AND PIZARRO 239

THE CONCERT 261

THE AVALANCHE . . 303



FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE,



FACT AND FANCY.



INTRODUCTION.



Come, Girls and Boys Black Eyes and Blue
And hear a story told for you.
Lay down your books, John, Tom, and Rob
Be seated, if you please. No laughing, Bob !
Just stir the fire, Ben. Steady steady !
Hand me my specs, Jane. So all's ready !
There go the tongs again, slam bang,
And pussy's tail has got a whang !
Poor puss be wise of boys beware,
And keep your tail with better care.
Sit still now, all, and hear the story
Old Parley's rhyme would set before ye.

The bright New Year has come ; and though
The night is dark, and chill winds blow;



FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

Though icy fetters bind the river;
Though in the blast the stern oaks shiver ;
Though the lone wolf with cold is howling,
And the starved fox abroad is prowling ;
Still by the fireside warm we sit,
And crack our nuts, or crack our wit;
Tell of the past, the future scan,
And laugh or sing, as suits our plan.
Well let us not the hour abuse
We listen to the New Year's Muse !

His days are fled Old Fifty-Four !
And nought is left save memory's store :
A mingled heap of bread and honey,
Of sweet and bitter, sad and funny!

These things we pass, and ask you, Jane,
What you have done this year. Speak plain !
Nay, do not snicker, boys your turn
Will come in time nor spurn
The simple question; for 'tis wise
That each should backward cast his eyes,
Noting his track, its means and ends,
And where his beaten pathway tends.
No answer, Jane? Well, we must try
These boys. Come, Robert! No reply?
Why, all can smile while other backs
Feel the keen lash that satire cracks ;
But when to your own case we come,
Why, every little mouth is mum!



INTRODUCTION.

Well, well, fair friends, we will not ply it :
We leave the question but you'll try it.
In some still hour, look well within,
And if you find some cherished sin,
Drive out the monster, and let virtue in!

The Past year scanned, we turn to view
The promise given by the New.
Winter, spring, summer, autumn, rise,
In lengthened vision to our eyes,
And, hiding every thorn, disclose,
Each one, some favorite wreath or rose.



Winter, stern winter, hides the tear
That tells of tingling nose and ear ;
O'er starving groups it throws a veil,
Drowns the lost traveller's dying wail ;
And only brings to mind the sleigh,
Its merry bells and trappings gay ;
The sportive skater lightly gliding;
The hoiden schoolboy fondly sliding;
The coaster down the hill-side plying;
The snow-balls thick as hailstones flying.
And when the joyous day is o'er,
The crafty showman shuts the door,
And brings to view the fireside scene,
Where Old Bob Merry's Magazine
Tells tales of many lands, and wiles
From grave and gay their choicest smiles!



10 FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

Spring, fickle Spring, as keen as Blitz*,
Says nought of March its stormy iits,
How oft the morning comes like May,
Giving fair promise of the day,
While yet, ere night, the wild winds roar,
And down the myriad snow-flakes pour.
Nothing she says of mud like paste,
Nothing of freshet laying waste;
But much she talks of April showers,
That bring, or ought to bring, May flowers,-
Which boys and girls, on May-day morn,
Oft seek in vain 'mid bush and thorn !



Summer, as wily as the rest,
Hides half its tale, but tells the best.
It speaks of meadows blooming fair,
Of new mown hay that scents the air,
Of singing birds and murmuring bees,
But nothing says of bugs and fleas,
Of serpents gliding where you tread,
Of sly mosquitoes round your bed,
Of parching heat that melts by day,
And keeps at night sweet sleep away!

Autumn advances, decked in smiles,
Bringing us fruit in ample piles

' All our readers will understand that signer Blitz , the famous con-
juror, is here alluded to.



INTRODUCTION. 11

Grapes, apples, peaches, pears, all mellow
And luscious. What a charming fellow!
And now the forest, like a queen,
He robes in yellow, red, and green ;
But soon he changes, and his breath
Strews the torn leaves in beds of death;
The forests tremble in the fray,
And the earlh yields to Winter's sway.

Such are the seasons as they pass;
Yet, mirrored in youth's magic glass,
The good alone is brought to light,
And evil's hidden from the sight.
As distant mountains, robed in blue,
Rise soft and rounded to the view,
Their blasted peaks with azure crowned,
All turned to seeming fairy ground :
So life a land of promise lies
Outspread to youth's believing eyes.

happy morn of life ! sweet spring
Of coming years ! Say, who shall fling
A cloud across so fair a sky?
Nay not on New Year's day shall I
Chafe your blithe hearts your humor chide
So put the chairs and stools aside.
We'll have a game of blind-man's buff,
Then nuts and apples, till you say ** Enough ! "
Well, fun and feast are o'er; but ere
We part, Old Parley's counsel hear !



FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

I spoke of Youth, when all seems bright,

And seasons tly on wings of light;

When Hope and Love, with magic art,

Turn all to beauty in the heart.

So be your lives a path of flowers;

So be your souls bright as the hours :

The evil shun, the good pursue ;

Be happy but be pure and true !

Have you not seen the bee that plies

His wing ? From flower to flower he flies ;

The nightshade, and the foxglove gay

He visits, for they throng his way :

Yet such his art, he shuns the ill,

And only gathers honey, still.

Do you the same; from mingled shade and light

Draw good alone. And now, sweet friends, good night!




'I HE COTTAGE BURNT.



p 13.



THE BOY CAPTIVE



JUMPING RABBIT'S STORY.



CHAPTER I.

The beginning. My earliest recollections. My home.
My parents. A fearlul scene.



Kind Reader, as you and I are about to take a
ramble together, I beg leave to settle one or two
points at the outset.

In the first place, then, I shall tell you my story
in a very simple, plain way; for the circumstances
of my life have qualified me to speak in no other
fashion. In the next place,! shall endeavour to make
my story the means of giving you some useful infor-
mation. I have been a wanderer over the Far West;
have seen the rivers, the mountains, the valleys,
the wild animals, the tribes of Indians that are



14 FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE

there; I have crossed the Rocky Mountains, and stood
upon the shore of the broad Pacific; and I have
thus picked up a good deal of information.

While, therefore, I shall give you an account of
my adventures, I shall endeavour to make you ac-
quainted with some matters relating to the geogra-
phy, the natural history, and the manners and cus-
toms of the great West. Thus, while I try to amuse
you, I shall try also to give you some little know-
ledge. I hope this arrangement will suit you; for
if I give you cake, to which I compare tales of ad-
venture, you should be content to take, now and
then, a slice of solid bread and butter, to which I
compare such useful matters as geography and na-
tural history.

And now to begin. At the period of my earliest
recollection, I must have been about six years old.
My father was then living on the White river, nearly
one hundred miles west of the Mississippi river, and
in what is now the state of Arkansas. His house,
which was only a log cabin, was four or five miles
from any other white man's dwelling. There was
no town or village in that quarter; excepting a few
scattered settlers here and there, the country was



THE BOY CAPTIVE. 15

still uninhabited, save by native wild animals, or
roving tribes of Indians.

The latter were at peace with the whites for a
long period, and therefore we had no fear of them.
We frequently saw parties of Indian hunters, and
occasionally considerable numbers came into the
region where we dwelt. They often visited our
cabin, but never gave us any annoyance. But the
time arrived when a change took place. We heard
fearful stories of Indian massacres, and more than
one family, in the region where we lived, were en-
tirely cut off.

I remember that one night my father came home,
and told my mother that a party of Kickapoos had
been in the neighborhood, and killed every member
of the family which lived nearest to us. He, of
course, expected they would be upon us before morn-
ing ! What was now to be done? The number of
the savages was over a dozen, and it seemed quite
hopeless to attempt either resistance or escape. If
we were to fortify the house, we might make a brief
defence, and kill a few of the enemy, but we must
yield at last, and fall into the hands of our exaspera-
ted foe. If we were to fly, the savages, keen as



16 FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

bloodhounds in following their prey, would soon
track us out, and we should become their easy vic-
tims.

People who are brought up in quiet and secure
towns, free from the dangers of the wilderness, and
who only hear of adventures with the Indians , can
hardly appreciate the feelings of those who are inu-
red to every species of danger and trial. I remem-
ber the looks of my father and mother upon that fear-
ful night, when they expected the savages to be upon
their dwelling in a few hours, and to see themselves
and their children become the victims of their bloody
vengeance. They were brave people, and, though
their countenances looked troubled, there was more
of courage than fear in their faces.

There were four of us children : my brother Dick,
about fourteen years old; my sister Jane, two years
younger, and little Harry, a year younger than my-
self. The decision of our parents being to fortify
the house and make the best defence in their power,
we were all, except Harry, employed in the prepa-
rations. The latter was the only one who did not
comprehend what was going on. While the rest of
us were busy in bringing in the axes, hoes, spades,



THE BOY CAPTIVE. 17

and other implements capable of being used for a
deadly encounter, Harry was running about, seeming
to enjoy the flurry and rejoice in the spirit of activity
that animated the scene.

Everything that could be done for defence was at
last accomplished. The windows were strongly bar-
red; the door was barricadoed; the wide-mouthed
chimney, down which an Indian might easily have
slid, was defended by large sticks crossed and jam-
med into the crevices of the stone work of the fire-
place. Near the door sat our dog, Tiger; he was
stretched upon his belly at full length on the floor,
with his chin between his extended fore-legs. He
was not asleep, for it was evident that he understood
that something fearful was in the wind. An erect
fore-corner of his ear showed that he was listening
intently; and his eye, steadily bent toward the door,
betokened the expectation of danger in that direction.

My father loaded the old gun, now our chief hope,
with care ; he picked the flint, examined the priming,
looked at his stock of powder and ball; and now, as
if everything was prepared, he sat down. I re-
member how he looked , when he turned round and
glanced at my mother and us children. I remember

c



18 FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

how she looked too. My father's lips trembled , and
his eyes seemed to grow dim, for he lifted his hand
and brushed it across his brow; but in a moment
he looked again at his priming, glanced at old Tiger,
fixed his eye on the door and sat still. His face
now became as stern as marble. My mother sat
on a bench in one corner, and we children be-
hind her upon the floor. By her side was an axe.
She was very pale, and her eye turned often, first on
father and then up to Heaven. Once in a while , she
looked round on us, and especially upon little Harry,
with along gaze, as if it might be her last, and then
a kind of shudder came over her. I think my mother
was a very beautiful woman, for never in any dream
has anything so like an angel visited my fancy, as my
faint remembrances of my mother in that fearful hour.
Her eyes were blue, her hair light, and her whole
appearance soft and gentle. Never did she seem so
gentle as when she looked around on us ; yet , as she
gazed on the axe at her side, and stole a glance around
upon the defences of our little fort, her look changed ,
and she had the aspect of a hero.

We sat for more than an hour in breathless silence
Every ear was stretched to catch the slightest sound ,



THE BOY CAPTIVE. 19

until the effort became painful. At last, Tiger lifted
his head and uttered a low growl. In an instant af-
ter, he sprang to his feet, his eye glittering like fire,
every muscle of his body being stretched for action.
My father looked through a crevice he had left for ob-
servation. It was a clear moonlight night, and soon
he saw four dusky figures gliding through the edge of
the adjacent forest. He turned to mother, and said, in
a firm tone, "They are coming!" She reached for
the axe ; I saw her fingers tremble as she grasped it.
Dick, with a stout club, moved forward and stood by
my father. He was a noble fellow; black-eyed,
black-haired, and daring as a wild-cat. His look
gave tone and courage to us all. He was stout for his
years, and as he turned round to look at the group in
the corner, there was something in his manner which
seemed to say, "You shall have a brave defence !"
I sa^ the tears come in mother's eyes ; but it was not
from fear.

There was silence for some time , when suddenly
the most fearful yell burst upon our ears ! It seemed
to come from a hundred voices, and filled the forest
with its terrific echoes. The scream of the panther
is not so terrible as the war-cry of the savage, espe-



20 FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

cially when heard at night, and by those who are ex-
posed to his fury. Nearer and nearer came the yell,
and at last we heard the enemy around our dwelling.

My father, who kept his eye steady at the crevice,
now slowly thrust the muzzle of his gun through the
hole, and taking a deliberate aim, he fired. There
was one wild shriek, a heavy fall, a brisk scampering,
and then a death-like silence. This continued for
some time, when again the war-whoop burst from
the forest, and at least a dozen savages immediately
surrounded our dwelling. They encompassed it with
dry leaves and branches, and set them on fire. In a
few minutes the smoke began to fill the room, and
shortly the outside of our little cabin was wrapped in
a sheet of flame!

Up to this time, my remembrance of the scene is
very distinct; but what immediately followed, I can-
not clearly recall. I have a faint recollection, or
fancy, of my father, rushing out through the blaze,
and struggling with a tall Indian in the flames, till
they both fell exhausted and involved in the confla-
gration. I have a dim remembrance of my mother,
bursting out through the falling timbers, carrying little
Harry on her back, and leading Jane and myself



THE BOY CAPTIVE. 21

through the flames . But I was suffocated with smoke
and overwhelmed with the terrors of the scene.
From this point my memory of that dreadful night is
a blank save one incident alone. Old Tiger and
Dick went before my mother, as if they were her pe-
culiar guard. The poor dog was dreadfully singed,
for he had already had one or two deadly tussles with
the Indians in the flames. The long silken hair of
his ears and tail was burnt off, and the latter stuck
out straight and stiff, looking actually as if it had
been a cooked sausage. In that fearful hour, I re-
member to have thought that it had quite a ludicrous
appearance.

The poor dog, howerer, had his senses about
him, and kept with my mother and Dick, till we
had proceeded a considerable distance. We were
concealed from the view of the Indians by a dense
cloud of smoke, that rolled between us and them.
We had not gone far, however, before we were
discovered, and two savages immediately pursued
us. Coming up with us, they fell upon Dick, who
defended himself for a time, but receiving a blow
upon the head, he was laid prostrate on the earth.
Tiger, half dead as he was, sprang upon his body,



22 FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

and stood erect for his defence. One of the savages
struck him over the head, and, with a sad moan, the
poor creature lay dead by the side of his master.
A sickness now came over me. I tottered, and fell
unconscious to the ground.



CHAPTER II.

I am carried to an Indian village. The scene described.
Am insulted by the young Indians. They get well punished.
Painful thoughts.

I do not know how long it was after the scene I
have described, when I so far recovered my senses as
to notice the objects around me. When my con-
sciousness returned, I was lying on the ground, and
no one appeared to be near me. I attempted to rise ,
and nearly got upon my feet, when I became giddy,
and was obliged to sit down. I was distressed with
a pain in the head and a burning thirst.

I now saw at a little distance a group of Indians,
and about the same time one of them noticed me.
He spoke and pointed to me, upon which an Indian



THE BOY CAPTIVE. 23

woman and two children ran towards me. I held
out my hands and begged them to have pity on me.
The woman spoke to me, but I could not understand
her. The children, who were Indians, and fierce-
looking creatures, stood at a little distance for a time,
as if afraid of me. Pretty soon they came nearer,
and in order to discover what kind of an animal I
might be, one of them took a stick and gave me a
pretty sharp poke in my back.

I writhed and groaned, for it hurt me; but this
only made the young Indians laugh. The woman
scolded them, however, and as the youngsters gave
me another poke, she flew toward them, and
aimed a blow with her hand at the head of the ag-
gressor. It missed, however, and the two imps ran
langhing to a distance. There, in safety, they stood
gibbering and jeering, like two monkeys, till the wo-
man, in a rage, set out after them; but diving into
a thicket, the young rogues easily escaped and disap-
peared.

The woman now helped me upon my legs, and
took me to a tent, around which were several In-
dians, mostly women and children. I noticed also
several other tents, and knew that I was in an In-



24 FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

dian village, or encampment. How I had been
brought hither, I did not know, nor did I ever after-
wards ascertain. It is probable, however, that it
was by the care of the Indian woman, in whose charge
I now was. She took me into a tent, and procured
me some water. This refreshed me greatly, 'and I
was soon able to take notice of the things around
me.

The tent was made of dried deerskins , and was
supported by poles about twelve feet long. The
whole tent was about fourteen feet across. There
were in it, a few skins of bears and buffaloes , a bow
and some arrows, two or three gourd-shells, a small
brass kettle, a buffalo's pate with the horns attached,
a bunch of long, crooked bear's claws, and a bundle
of human scalps. These were all the articles I no-
ticed.

After a white I felt very sleepy, and lying down,
I had a long nap. When I awoke, I felt nearly well,
and went to look out of the tent. There were, at
least, fifty tents around, occupying a space of several
acres, upon the edge of a small prairie, bordered by
forests. The scene was quite lively ; for two or three
hundred Indians were before me, nearly all, however,



THE BOY CAPTIVE. 2D

being women, children, and old men. I was afraid
to go forth, and was about to creep back into the
tent, when the woman before mentioned came , and
taking me by the arm, led me out.

I was very soon surrounded by a host of people,
and such a chattering I never heard before. A ring
was formed around me, and every one seemed to have
something to say. If I had been a new monster un-
der the sun, there could not have been more wonder
expressed. I imagine that they treated me very
much as a parcel of Boston boys would treat a young
alligator, should they happen to catch one I looked
in the faces of many of these persons, but I saw not
one look of kindness. At last a boy about my own
age, who had a small bow in his hand, shot an arrow
at me, which, being pointed with a bit of sharp iron,
entered the flesh of my arm. A moment after, two
or three of the little savages set upon me, and began
to tear off my clothes. They pulled me hither
and thither, and in a short space I was entirely na-
ked.

For a time, I made no resistance, for I had an idea
that natural pity would teach even these creatures to
spare one so helpless as myself. But finding that



26 FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

they had no pity, my anger began to rise ; and when
the boy who had shot his arrow into my arm , came
up and began to pinch me, I struck him by the side
of his head, and he went reeling and tumbling, like
a smitten nine-pin, upon the ground. This caused
a loud laugh, and I saw that a feeling of interest and
respect was instantly created in my behalf by my re-
sistance. This taught me a lesson, and instead of
waiting for Indian pity and sympathy, I determined
to obtain the regard of my captors by my spirit.
When, therefore, the little imps set upon me again,
as they very soon did, they paid dearly for it. I was
very strong and active for my age, and when, at last,
an Indian lad, much larger than myself, came softly
behind me, and gave my hair a twitch, I turned to
punish him.

The fellow fled and I pursued. The ring opened
to give him space, and he struck into the little plain
encircled by the tents. I hung close at his heels.
It was a tight race, and such yells broke from the
congregation of Indians as I had never imagined.
The fellow went nearly across the plain, and, dod-
ging this way and that, sought to throw me off. At
length he passed round one of the tents, and retur-



THE BOY CAPTIVE. 27

ned toward the point from which we started. I follo-
wed, and finally, just as he reached the ring, I seized
his hair, and gave it a jerk which made him yell like
a catamount. This completely sealed my triumph.
The looks of contempt around, were exchanged for
those of admiration, and I was borne back to my tent
with shouts of praise and exultation.

It was but a few weeks before I was at home among
the Indians. I was adopted as the son of the wo-
man who had taken care of me, in the place of one
she had lost. By degrees I became accustomed to
Indian sports and pastimes, and gradually learned
their language. I was generally well treated after
the fashion of savage life. There is little family go-
vernment among these people ; everything between
the children is settled by strength ; those principles
of kindness, justice, pity and tenderness for the weak,
which are so strongly inculcated among civilized peo-
ple, being unknown to them. Matters are regulated
very much as between animals a herd of bisons
for instance, or a pack of wolves. I had, therefore,
to fight my way, and being very strong, I not only
fared pretty well, but I obtained no little applause.
At first, I was taunted and sneered at for being white,



28 FAGGOTS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

but I always punished such impudence, and at last
these gibes ceased.

I often thought of my father and mother, my sister
and brother, and longed to know their fate for I
was uncertain whether they had escaped or had per-
ished, on that fearful night in which our house had
been reduced to ashes. Of these things, however, I
could obtain no information. I knew too little of
the Indian language to ask questions, which often
arose in my own mind. Sometimes, and especially
at night, the thoughts of home and my kindred stole


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