subtle than the boom of the ocean. Yet it was not without

strength, and when it was swollen with the freshets of the spring

and brimming with the bounty of its sister streams, it could dash

and roar, boom and crash, with the best of them.

Stephen stood on the side porch, drinking in the glory of the

sunrise, with the Saco winding like a silver ribbon through the

sweet loveliness of the summer landscape.

And the river rolled on toward the sea, singing its morning song,

creating and nourishing beauty at every step of its onward path.

Cradled in the heart of a great mountain-range, it pursued its

gleaming way, here lying silent in glassy lakes, there rushing

into tinkling little falls, foaming great falls, and thundering

cataracts. Scores of bridges spanned its width, but no steamers

flurried its crystal depths. Here and there a rough little

rowboat, tethered to a willow, rocked to and fro in some quiet

bend of the shore. Here the silver gleam of a rising perch,

chub, or trout caught the eye; there a pickerel lay rigid in the

clear water, a fish carved in stone: here eels coiled in the

muddy bottom of some pool; and there, under the deep shadows of

the rocks, lay fat, sleepy bass, old, and incredibly wise, quite

untempted by, and wholly superior to, the rural fisherman's worm.

The river lapped the shores of peaceful meadows; it flowed along

banks green with maple, beech, sycamore, and birch; it fell

tempestuously over darns and fought its way between rocky cliffs

crowned with stately firs. It rolled past forests of pine and

hemlock and spruce, now gentle, now terrible; for there is said

to be an Indian curse upon the Saco, whereby, with every great

sun, the child of a paleface shall be drawn into its cruel

depths. Lashed into fury by the stony reefs that impeded its

progress, the river looked now sapphire, now gold, now white, now

leaden gray; but always it was hurrying, hurrying on its

appointed way to the sea.

After feasting his eyes and filling his heart with a morning

draught of beauty, Stephen went in from the porch and, pausing at

the stairway, called in stentorian tones: "Get up and eat your

breakfast, Rufus! The boys will be picking the side jams today,

and I'm going down to work on the logs. If you come along, bring

your own pick-pole and peavey." Then, going to the kitchen

pantry, he collected, from the various shelves, a pitcher of

milk, a loaf of bread, half an apple-pie, and a bowl of

blueberries, and, with the easy methods of a household unswayed

by feminine rule, moved toward a seat under an apple-tree and

took his morning meal in great apparent content. Having

finished, and washed his dishes with much more thoroughness than

is common to unsuperintended man, and having given Rufus the

second call to breakfast with the vigor and acrimony that usually

marks that unpleasant performance, he strode to a high point on

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