Изображения страниц


and still I behold peaks soaring far above crowned with the snow that never melts. I stand upon beetling cliffs, and look into chasms that yawn beneath, sleeping in the silence of desolation. Great fragments have fallen into them, and lie piled one upon another. Others hang threatening over, as if waiting for some concussion of the atmosphere to hurl them from their balance. Dark precipices frown me into fear, and my head reels with a dizzy faintness. I hold by the pinetree shaft, or the angle of the firmer rock.

Above, and below, and around me are mountains piled on mountains in chaotic confusion. Some are bald and bleak; others exhibit traces of vegetation in the dark needles of the pine and cedar, whose stunted forms half-grow, half-hang from the cliffs. Here a cone-shaped peak soars up till it is lost in snow and clouds. There a ridge elevates its sharp outline against the sky; while along its sides lie huge boulders of granite, as though they had been hurled from the hands of Titan giants!

A fearful monster, the grizzly bear, drags his body along the high ridges; the carcajou squats upon the projecting rock, waiting the elk that must pass to the water below; and the bighorn bounds from crag to crag in search of his shy mate. Along the pine branch the bald buzzard whets his filthy beak; and the war-eagle, soaring over all, cuts sharply against the blue field of the heavens.

These are the Rocky Mountains, the American Andes, the colossal vertebræ of the continent!


Our eyes rolled over the prairie together, eastward, as the speaker pointed. An object was just visible low down on the horizon, like a moving blazing star. It was not that. At a glance we all knew what it was. It was a helmet, flashing under the sunbeam, as it rose and fell to the measured gallop of a horse.

"To the willows, men! to the willows!" shouted Seguin. "Drop the bow! Leave it where it was. To your horses! Lead them!

Crouch! crouch!"

We all ran to our horses, and seizing the bridles, half-led, half-dragged them within the willow thicket. We leaped into our saddles, so as to be ready for any emergency, and sat peering through the leaves that screened us.

"Shall we fire as he comes up, captain?' asked one of the men.

"We kin take him nicely, just as he stoops for the bow."

"No; not for your lives!"

"What then, captain?"

"Let him take it and go," was Seguin's reply. "Why, captain? what's that for?"

"Fools! do you not see that the whole tribe would be back upon our trail before midnight? Are you mad? Let him go. He may not notice our tracks, as our horses are not shod. If so, let him go as he came, I tell you."

"But how, captain, if he squints yonderaway?"

Garey, as he said this, pointed to the rocks at the foot of the mountain.

"Sac-r-r-ré Dieu! the Digger!" exclaimed Seguin, his countenance changing expression.

The body lay on a conspicuous point, on its face, the crimson skull turned upward and outward, so that it could hardly fail to attract the eye of any one coming in from the plain. Several coyotes had already climbed up on the slab where it lay, and were smelling around it, seemingly not caring to touch the hideous morsel.

"He's bound to see it, captain," added the hunter.

"If so, we must take him with the lance, the lasso, or alive. No gun must be fired. They might still hear it, and would be on us before we could get round the mountain. No! sling your guns! Let those who have lances and lassoes get them in readiness."

"When would you have us make the dash, captain?"

"Leave that to me. Perhaps he may dismount for the bow; or, if not, he may ride into the spring to water his horse, then we can surround him. If he see the Digger's body he may pass up to examine it more closely. In that case we can intercept him without difficulty. Be patient! I shall give you the signal."

During all this time the Navajo was coming up at a regular gallop. As the dialogue ended he had got within about three hundred yards of the spring, and still pressed forward without slackening his pace. We kept our gaze fixed upon him in breathless silence, eyeing both man and horse.

It was a splendid sight. The horse was a large coal-black mustang, with fiery eyes and red open nostrils. He was foaming at the mouth, and the white flakes had clouted his throat, counter, and shoulders. He was wet all over, and glittered as he moved with the

side, his gaze searching the ground. When nearly opposite to our ambush, he descried the object of his search, and sliding his feet out of the stirrup, guided his horse so as to shave closely past it. Then, without reining in, or even slacking his pace, he bent over until his plume swept the earth, and picking up the bow, swung himself back into the saddle.

play of his proud flanks. The rider was naked | wolves as he went. He sat leaning to one from the waist up, excepting his helmet and plumes, and some ornaments that glistened on his neck, bosom, and wrists. A tunic-like skirt, bright and embroidered, covered his hips and thighs. Below the knee his legs were naked, ending in a buskined mocassin that fitted tightly around the ankle. Unlike the Apachés there was no paint upon his body, and his bronze complexion shone with the hue of health. His features were noble and warlike, his eye bold and piercing, and his long black hair swept away behind him, mingling with the tail of his horse. He rode upon a Spanish saddle with his lance poised on the stirrup, and resting lightly against his right arm. His left was thrust through the strap of a white shield, and a quiver with its feathered shafts peeped over his shoulder.

"Beautiful!" exclaimed the bull-fighter. "By gosh! it's a pity to kill him," muttered a hunter; and a low murmur of admiration was heard among the men.

After a few more springs the Indian suddenly wheeled, and was about to gallop back, when his eye was caught by the ensanguined object upon the rock. He reined in with a jerk, until the hips of his horse almost rested upon the prairie, and sat gazing upon the body with a look of surprise.

His bow was before him.


Beautiful!" again exclaimed Sanchez; "carrambo, beautiful!"

It was, in effect, as fine a picture as ever the eye looked upon. The horse with his tail scattered upon the ground, with crest erect and breathing nostril, quivering under the impulse of his masterly rider; the rider himself, with his glancing helmet and waving plumes, his bronze complexion, his firm and graceful seat, and his eye fixed in the gaze of wonder.

It was, as Sanchez had said, a beautiful picture-a living statue; and all of us were filled with admiration as we looked upon it. Not one of the party, with perhaps an exception, should have liked to fire the shot that would have tumbled it from its pedestal.

Horse and man remained in this attitude for some moments. Then the expression of the rider's countenance suddenly changed. His eye wandered with an inquiring and somewhat terrified look. It rested upon the water, still muddy with the trampling of our horses.

It was a splendid sight, both horse and rider, as they rose together over the green swells of the prairie; a picture more like that of some Homeric hero than of a savage of the "wild west."

"Wagh!" exclaimed one of the hunters in an undertone; "how they glitter! Look at that 'ar head-piece! it's fairly a-blazin'!"

"Ay," rejoined Garey, "we may thank the piece o' brass. We'd have been in as ugly a fix as he's in now if we hadn't sighted it in time. What!" continued the trapper, his voice rising into earnestness; "Dacoma, by the Etarnal! The second chief of the Navajoes!"

I turned toward Seguin to witness the effect of this announcement. The Maricopa was leaning over to him, muttering some words in an unknown tongue, and gesticulating with energy. I recognized the name "Dacoma," and there was an expression of fierce hatred in the chief's countenance as he pointed to the advancing horseman.

"Well, then," answered Seguin, apparently assenting to the wishes of the other, "he shall not escape, whether he sees it or no. But do not use your gun: they are not ten miles off: yonder behind the swell. We can easily surround him. If not, I can overtake him on this horse, and here's another."

As Seguin uttered the last speech he pointed to Moro. "Silence!" he continued, lowering his voice; "Hish-sh!" The silence became death-like. Each man sat pressing his horse with his knees, as if thus to hold him at rest. The Navajo had now reached the border of the deserted camp; and inclining to the left, he galloped down the line, scattering the

One glance was sufficient; and, with a quick strong jerk upon the bridle, the savage horseman wheeled and struck out for the prairie.

Our charging signal had been given at the same instant; and, springing forward, we shot out of the copsewood in a body.

We had to cross the rivulet. Seguin was some paces in advance as we rode forward to it. I saw his horse suddenly baulk, stumble over the bank, and roll headlong into the water!

The rest of us went plashing through. I did not stop to look back. I knew that now the taking of the Indian was life or death to all of us; and I struck my spur deeply and strained forward in the pursuit.


For some time we all rode together in a | piece was whipped out of my hands. dense "clump." When fair y out on the plain we saw the Indian ahead of us about a dozen lengths of his horse; and one and all felt with dismay that he was keeping his distance, if not actually increasing it.

wound, the shock, and the loss of my weapon had discomposed me in the manége of my horse, and it was some time before I could gain the bridle to turn him. My antagonist had wheeled sooner, as I knew by the "hist" of an arrow that scattered the curls over my right ear. As I faced him again another was on the string, and the next moment it was sticking through my left arm.

We had forgotten the condition of our animals. They were faint with hunger, and stiff from standing so long in the ravine. Moreover, they had just drunk to a surfeit.

I soon found that I was forging ahead of my companions. The superior swiftness of Moro gave me the advantage. El Sol was still before me. I saw him circling his lasso; I saw him launch it and suddenly jerk up; I saw the loop sliding over the hips of the flying mustang. He had missed his aim. He was recoiling the rope as I shot past him, and I noticed his look of chagrin and disappointment.

My Arab had now warmed to the chase, and I was soon far ahead of my comrades. I perceived, too, that I was closing upon the Navajo. Every spring brought me nearer, until there were not a dozen lengths between us.

I knew not how to act. I held my rifle in my hands, and could have shot the Indian in the back; but I remembered the injunction of Seguin, and we were now closer to the enemy than ever. I did not know but that we might be in sight of them. I dared not fire.

I was still undecided whether to use my knife or endeavour to unhorse the Indian with my clubbed rifle, when he glanced over his shoulder and saw that I was alone.

Suddenly he wheeled, and throwing his lance to a charge, came galloping back. His horse seemed to work without the rein, obedient to his voice and the touch of his knees.

I had just time to throw up my rifle and parry the charge, which was a right point. I did not parry it successfully. The blade grazed my arm, tearing my flesh. The barrel of my rifle caught in the sling of the lance, and the

[Some references we have already made to the poetry of the Nation will have told the reader that many of the most powerful poems came from the pens of women. We have already mentioned the most distinguished of those female contributors-Lady Wilde (Speranza). Two others were Eva Mary Kelly,


I was now angry; and drawing a pistol from the holster I cocked it and galloped forward. I knew it was the only chance for my life.

The Indian, at the same time, dropped his bow, and, bringing his lance to the charge, spurred on to meet me. I was determined not to fire until near and sure of hitting.


We closed at full gallop. Our horses almost touched. I levelled and pulled trigger. The cap snapped upon my pistol!

The lance-blade glittered in my eyes; its point was at my breast. Something struck me sharply in the face. It was the ring-loop of a lasso. I saw it settle over the shoulders of the Indian, falling to his elbows. It tightened as it fell. There was a wild yell, a quick jerk of my antagonist's body, the lance flew from his hands, and the next moment he was plucked out of his saddle and lying helpless upon the prairie.

His horse met mine with a concussion that sent both of them to the earth. We rolled and scrambled about and rose again.

When I came to my feet El Sol was standing over the Navajo with his knife drawn, and his lasso looped around the arms of his captive.

"The horse! the horse! secure the horse!" shouted Seguin, as he galloped up; and the crowd dashed past me in pursuit of the mustang, which, with trailing bridle, was scouring over the prairie. In a few minutes the animal was lassoed, and led back to the spot so near being made sacred with my grave.


now Mrs. Kevin Izod O'Doherty (whose nom de plume usually was "Eva"), and Miss Ellen Downing (known as Mary"). Mr. A. M. Sullivan has, in his New Ireland, told in a very interesting manner the very different stories of those two lives. "Eva Mary Kelly," he writes, "was the daughter of a county Gal


way gentleman, and could have been little more than a girl when the contributions bearing her pseudonym began to attract attention. Kevin O'Doherty was at this time a young medical student in Dublin. From admiring Eva's' poetry he took to admiring, that is, loving herself. The outbreak of 1848, however, brought a rude interruption to Kevin's suit. He was writing unmistakably seditious prose, while 'Eva' was assailing the constituted authorities in rebel verse. Kevin was arrested and brought to trial. Twice the jury disagreed. The day before his third arraignment he was offered a virtual pardon—a merely nominal sentence-if he would plead guilty. He sent for Eva and told her of the proposition. It may seem as if I did not feel the The certainty of losing you, perhaps for ever,' said he, 'but I don't like this idea of pleading guilty. Say, what shall I do?' 'Do?' answered the poetess; 'why, be a man and face the worst. I'll wait for you however long the sentence may be.' Next day fortune deserted Kevin. The jury found him guilty. The judge assigned him ten years' transportation. Come forth, come forth, Anointed One! nor blazon 'Eva' was allowed to see him once more in nor honours bearingthe cell to say adieu. She whispered in his No "ancient line" be thy seal or sign, the crown ear, 'Be you faithful. I'll wait.' And she of Humanity wearingdid. Years flew by, and the young exile was at length allowed once more to tread Irish soil. Two days after he landed at Kingstown 'Eva' was his bride.




"Less happy," goes on Mr. Sullivan, was the romance of 'Mary's' fate. She was a Munster lady, Miss Ellen Downing by name, and, like 'Eva,' formed an attachment to one of the Young Ireland' writers. In Fortyeight' he became a fugitive. Alas! in foreign climes he learned to forget home vows. 'Mary' sank under the blow. She put by the lyre, and in utter seclusion from the world lingered for a while; but ere long the spring flowers blossomed on her grave."]



Come forth, come forth, O Man of men! to the cry of the gathering nations,

We watch on the tow'r, we watch on the hill, pouring our invocations

[ocr errors]

Come forth, come forth, O Man of men! to the frenzy of our imploring,

The winged despair that no man can bear, up to the Heavens soaring

Come! faith and hope, and love and trust, upon their centre rock,

The wailing Millions summon thee amid the earthquake shock!

We've kept the weary watch of years, with a wild and heart-wrung yearning,

But the star of the Advent we sought in vain, calmly and purely burning;

False meteors flash'd across the sky, and falsely led us on;

The parting of the strife is come-the spell is o'er and gone!

storms of enfranchised passions rise as the voice of the eagle's screaming,

And we scatter now to the earth's four winds the memory of our dreaming!

The clouds but veil the lightning's bolt-Sibylline murmurs ring,

In hollow tones from out the depths-the People seek their King!

Spring out, as lucent fountains spring exulting

from the ground

Arise, as Adam rose from God, with strength and knowledge crown'd!

The leader of the world's wide host guiding our aspirations,

Wear thou the seamless garb of Truth sitting among the nations!

Thy foot is on the empty forms around in shivers


We crush ye with the scorn of scorn, exuviæ of the past!

The Future's close gates are now on their ponderous hinges jarring,

And there comes a sound as of winds and waves each with the other warring:

And forward bends the list'ning world, as to their eager ken

From out that dark and mystic land appears the
Man of men!



Our souls are sick of sounds and shades, that mock our shame and grief,

Were you ever in sweet Tipperary, where the fields are so sunny and green,

We hurl the Dagons from their seats, and call the And the heath-brown Slieve-bloom and the Galtees lawful Chief! look down with so proud a mien?

[blocks in formation]

No! we do not forget the greatness did once to sweet Eriè belong;

No treason or craven spirit was ever our race

Oh! come for a while among us, and give us the

friendly hand;

And oh! with no love that is light or cheerful,
But deep'ning on in its shadow fearful;
Without a joy that is aught but tearful,
'Tis thus I love you, I love you.


Whispering still, with those whispers broken,
Speaking on, what can ne'er be spoken,
Were all the voices of earth awoken-

Oh! how I love you, I love you!


With all my heart's most passionate throbbing,
With wild emotion, and weary sobbing,
Love and light from all others robbing-
So well I love you, I love you!

With the low faint murmurs of deep adoring,
And voiceless blessings for ever pouring,
And sighs that fall with a sad imploring,

'Tis thus I love you, I love you.

With the burning beating, the inward hushing,
Ever and ever in music gushing,
Like mystic tones from the sea-shell rushing,
Oh, thus I love you, I love you.

They pass me dancing, they pass me singing,
While night and day o'er the earth are winging;
But I sit here, to my trance still clinging-
For oh! I love you, I love you!


True love, remembered yet through all that mist of years,


And no frown or no word of hatred we give-but Clung to with such vain, vain love—wept with to pay them back; such vain tears

In evil we only follow our enemies' darksome On the turf I sat last night, where we two sat of track.



And you'll see that old Tipperary is a loving and The twilight of the young year was fading soft and dim;


thought of thee till memory could bear to think no more.

gladsome land;

From Upper to Lower Ormond, bright welcomes The branches of the budding trees fell o'er the and smiles will spring,water's brim;

On the plains of Tipperary the stranger is like a


And the stars came forth in lonely light through all the silent skies;

For oh! thou wert my starlight, my refuge, and my home;

My spirit found its rest in thee, and never sought to roam;

All thoughts and all sensations that burn and
thrill me through,

The stars are watching, the winds are playing;
They see me kneeling, they see me praying;
They hear me still, through the long night saying In those first days of happy love were calmed and
Asthore machree, I love you, I love you!
soothed by you.

I scarce could see them long ago, with looking in thine eyes.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »