xt71g15t784s https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt71g15t784s/data/mets.xml Heady, Morrison, 1829-1915. 1901  books b92-257-31805524 English Courier-Journal Job Printing Co., : Louisville, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Red moccasins  : a story / by Morrison Heady. text Red moccasins  : a story / by Morrison Heady. 1901 2002 true xt71g15t784s section xt71g15t784s 

The Red Moccasins

          A STORY









                A STORY.

                CHAPTER I.

            Portrait of Our Hero.

  Once, in the spring-green years of the good old
times, when our great-grandfathers were great-
grandchildren themselves, there lived in the land of
green Kentucky a sprout of a man, some dozen
years old, who went by the name of Sprigg. And
"Sprigg," for aught I know to the contrary, was his
real name; though it has so little the sound of a
name, I sometimes wonder his father and mother
should ever have thought of giving it to him, when
any grandmother of common capacity for naming
babies could have suggested a better one. "Jeems,"
for example, or "Weeliam."  Be this as it may,
"Sprigg" was the name to which our hero always
answered, whenever addressed as cousin, or uncle,
or friend; and which, before going the way of all
good grandfathers, he left at the end of his will,
where it was thought real enough, not only to make



that instrument good in the eyes of the law, but his
heirs highly respectable in the eyes of the world.
WNe have no choice, then, but to call our hero
"Sprigg," just as everybody else did; though were
we allowed to christen him more to our liking, we
should certainly call him Jack. Jack, in our hum-
ble opinion, being the fittingest name in the world
for giving pointedge and moral force to a juvenile
novel. Especially would we be allowed this liberty
in the present instance, where the hero, whose for-
tune we propose to follow, is described as being of
a wild and run-away turn, and, hence, well fitted to
figure as a warning example to all dissatisfied
youngsters, who not content to stay at home and do
their sliding on dry ground, go seeking for ice on
a summer day at imminent risk of getting drowned.
   Now green Kentucky, in the days of Sprigg, was
green Kentucky, indeed! Mrs. Daniel Boone and
her daughters had not yet distinguished themselves
by being the first white women who ever set foot
upon the banks of the Kentucky River, when Sprigg
was already a three-years' child, the joy and pride of
a home in a hewn log house in western Virginia; as
merry and saucy, and every whit as well pleased with
himself as were he the rising hope and promise of
one of the "F. F. Vs." The eight or nine years of
pioneer activity which had followed the historical
event just noticed, had made many a wide gap in
the forest, yet had not changed the general aspect




of the country so much but that the fields, as viewed
by the eagle who sailed with the clouds, must have
appeared no more than as the prints of man's feet,
left impressed in the otherwise universal verdure.
As you may well imagine, so wild and savage a re-
gion must still have been the home of a thousand
wild and savage creatures, the like whereof we never
dream of now-a-days, even in our loneliest wood-
land rambles. There, too, was the terrible red man,
who, though he built not his wigwam in these wilds,
made it his frequent custom of resorting thither,
sometimes to follow the chase, but oftener to war
with the whites, who lived in great terror of him the
whole year round.
   The Christian name of our hero's father, whom
he called "Pap," was Jervis; the Christian name of
his mother, whom he called "Mam," was Elster, and
the surname was Whitney. They dwelt in a roomy
cabin, rudely built of logs and boards, with a clay-
topped chimney at each end, and a porch or shed on
each side. Under the front porch Jervis hung his
saddle, fishing tackle, beaver traps and the like.
Under the back porch Elster kept her spinning
wheel, crockeryware, garden seed, a big cedar water
bucket, with its crooked-handle gourd, and the like;
while in there, on the earthen floor of the kitchen,
stood her huge, unwieldly loom. The cabin was
situated in the midst of a small patch of cultivated
ground, hemmed in on every side by dense and lofty




woods, which spread their waving shadows for miles
and miles away to the north and south, to the east
and west, with only here and there, at wide intervals,
a similar clearing, or a natural glade to speck the
boundless green.
   Now Sprigg, you must know, happened to be an
only child-a most uncommon circumstance in back-
woods life-your backwoodsman, like your poor
woodcutter, who makes such a figure in old-time
story-books, rarely stopped short of a baker's dozen,
as a replenisher of the earth. Such being the case,
"Pap" and "Mam" must need, of course, do their
very utmost to make their one chub as troublesome
as six, in order to realize, so it would seem, how
much kind Providence had done for them; i. e., by
overdoing the thing to make him happy; underdoing
the thing to make him good enough to be what they
most desired. To exemplify: If there chanced to
be a little bread in the cupboard and a little milk in
the springhouse (these were luxuries then in the
Hunter's Paradise), all of it, though there might be
quite enough for two, was sure to find its way to
Sprigg's tin cup and pewter spoon; and Sprigg's
pewter plate always received the tit-bits of venison
and bear's meat. The best feather bed in the house
was Sprigg's; so was the warmest place by the fire,
which he would share with nobody, but Pow-wow,
the dog-the only creature, four-footed or two-
footed, with whom he could be in contact for a




whole day without coming to hard rubs. If a deer-
skin proved, upon dressing, an uncommonly nice
piece of buckskin, fine, fair and soft, straight, it was
cut up and made into moccasins, breeches and hunt-
ing shirt for Sprigg; and should a fat raccoon take
a fancy to quarter himself for the night in "Pap's"
trap, its fresh, sleek skin would be seen in less than
a fortnight thence on Sprigg's head, in the form of a
cap, with the ringed tail left on behind, as orna-
mental there as a cue, if not more so. In short,
there was nothing rare, or choice of its kind and
within the bestowal of the Hunter's Paradise, which
did not, sooner or later, find its way to the hands or
feet, to the head or back, or to the selfish little belly
of master Sprigg.  But these were trifling indul-
gences compared with others, and would, in all likeli-
hood, have left upon his disposition no other lasting
evil effect than to render him overwatchful of his
own ease and comfort. What was far worse, he was
allowed to say, with his saucy young tongue, what-
ever he should choose to say; and to do, with his
meddling young hands, whatever he should choose
to do; and to go, with his wayward young feet,
whithersoever his foolish young nose should choose
to lead him; so that, by the time he had walked into
his twelfth year, a worse spoilt boy, a vainer boy, a
more self-conceited boy, a more self-willed boy than
master Sprigg was not to be found in the land-ran-
sack the Paradise from Big Bone Lick to the Mam-
moth Cave.




   And yet, to put the question to such parents, as
Jervis and Elster-though with little expectation of
receiving an audible answer-what other result could
reasonably have been looked for in a boy, brought
up, like Sprigg, to know no will but his own This
was the very thing to render it next to impossible for
him to know what his own will really was and how
he should use it, not knowing that of his elders and
wisers. This, in turn, was the very thing to keep
him but ill at ease with himself, and iller at ease, if
not at downright loggerheads, with everybody else.
   Now, had Jervis and Elster been as wise as we
are-you and I-they would, at the very outset of
their son's existence, have laid their own will down,
as the rule, whereby he should order his steps until
the beard on his lip announced him qualified to fol-
low his own nose, without too great danger of for-
getting to allow that organ the help of his eyes and
ears. But as it was, they would have done a wiser
and more benevolent part by their boy had they
given him a scalping knife, without sheath, for a
plaything, or a young bear, without a muzzle and
chain, for a pet. The knife might have cut off a few
of his fingers, and the bear might have clawed off
some of his flesh, but the mischief done would have
been slight, compared to that of letting him have his
will to play with.
    So, it were hardly to be laid to poor Sprigg's
charge that he was mad enough to figure as a warn-




ing example to juvenile evildoers; and it were but
Christian in us to draw our sketch of him with a soft
nib to our pen, softening down the lines with words
from the law of love, which is, or ought to be, written
on all our hearts. Had he been as wisely trained as
he was affectionately cared for, there is no telling
but that Sprigg, instead of being one of the worst
boys in the world, he might have turned out to be
one of the best-nearly as good, it may be, as a
brave little George, the boy, you know, who cut his
father's cherry tree with his little hatchet, and when
the matter was inquired into, had the courage to
own that he was the offender, even while fully ex-
pecting that his tender young legs would be made to
smart for his adherence to principle. With so brave
a start in life, our hero, when he and the time were
ripe for it, might have figured as the hero of New
Orleans, instead of General Jackson, and, qualified
by that achievement, have made the American people
just as good a President-kicking the national bank
as unmercifully out of existence as ever Old Hick-
ory did.
   But leaving the might-have-been out of the ques-
tion and taking things as we find them, Sprigg, by
the time he had climbed to the top of his twelfth
year, had more serious faults and more foolish ways
than I feel willing to stop and take a list of, prefer-
ring to let them come out little by little of their own
accord, which will seem less like telling tales away




from home. One of his faults, however, the most
conspicuous, though, by no means, the most griev-
ous, I must mention here at the outset, it being that
trait of his character which imparts to our story its
particular color and drift. I allude to his vanity,
which displayed itself in a ridiculous fondness for
fine clothes, not to mention that he was, in every
way, a very handsome boy; and the fools, as usual
in such cases, had blabbed this into his ears, until
he had grown to be as strutty and vain as a peacock.
   Now, you smile to think that a boy, who lived in
a log cabin and ate his bread and milk with a pewter
spoon, and dressed in buckskin breeches and a coon-
skin cap, should fancy that he had anything to be
vain of. But take the second thought; or, if you do
not feel inclined to make the effort, I will, by a simple
illustration of the point, save you the trouble. Is
not turkey-cock just as proud of his homely feathers
as peacock of his magnificent plumes, And after
the battle fought, which leaves him but the tattered
rag of a tail to display to the sun, will not turkey-
cock spread that tattered rag of a tail as self-com-
placently, and strut as grandly and gobble as ob-
streperously as ever Aye, that will he! And why
Because his tail-tag-rag or not-is all his own and
nobody else's; though almost anybody else may have
one which the sun would rather shine on. As with
turkey-cock, so with an overwhelming majority of




                 CHAPTER II.

             Our Hero Falls in Lovc.

   It had only been three or four years since Jervis
Whitney and his wife, Elster, had left their old home
beyond the Alleghenies to find a new home here in
the perilous wilds of green Kentucky, where they
had built the cabin they lived in, and cleared the
ground they tilled. Among their household goods,
they had brought along with them quite a curious
medley of such little notions as fancy ribbons and
kerchiefs, books, big wood engravings, odd pieces of
ware-china, silver and glass-odd pieces of family
jewels, strings of bright-colored beads, and the like.
Among the rest, were several locks of hair, some of
which were gray, the others black or brown, golden-
yellow, or flaxen, or white, as the case might be;
locks of hair in those simple times being viewed
pretty much in the same light that photographs now-
a-days are, and, perhaps, even more highly prized
and tenderly preserved.
   As you have already anticipated, these little no-
tions were gifts for dear remembrance sake from the
loved ones they had left so far behind them and whom
they were to meet no more for long, long years-
perhaps, forever. Precious relics, which the lonely




young pair took out, from time to time, to look at
them; when, with a smile and a tear, they would tell
of the sweet recollections, which this lock of hair, or
that piece of chinaware, this book or that old picture
was conjuring up from out the lights and shadows
of such days as no land but brave old Virginia-
happy old Virginia-ever knew.
   Now, in this same pack, along with these odds
and ends of dear remembrance, there chanced to be
an old show bill, which Jervis and Elster had brought
along with the rest just to keep them in mind of the
happy, happy day, when they two had united their
hearts and fortunes for life. On that self-same day
they had gone to the show, which was blazed by this
self-same show bill; and the occasion made their
bridal tour as complete a thing of its kind as nothing
short of a centennial could make in these latter days
do for the like excursions. On the show bill, in a
variety of fancy colors, such as we sometimes see in
pictures of Daniel in the den of lions, and the like,
were the representations of the animals which were
to be seen at the show; and more, you may be sure,
than were seen there on that day, or ever had been
seen in the land, or ever shall be seen in the world,
unless, indeed, what African travelers tell us, backed
by Barnum and the man in the moon, should some
day turn out to be true. To lend their rustic home a
more genteel and civilized appearance, as well as to
keep them in mind of the ever-to-be-remembered




day just mentioned, Elster had tacked the show bill
to the rough log wall of their best room, and against
this, for a background, had hung their only looking-
glass, with a comb case on one side and Jervis' jolly-
faced silver watch on the other; while crowning the
glass was a bunch of magnificent eagle feathers-a
trophy of her husband's skill as a marksman.
   Now, these pictures, flashy, extravagant and out
of allinature, though they might seem to our age of
chromo, crayon, perfection, had for this many a day
been the delight of Sprigg's young eyes. But the
one that charmed his fancy more than all the others
was that of an Indian boy, apparently about his own
age, riding a Shetland pony at a dashing gallop, with
the right foot tip-toe on his charger's back, the left
amusing itself in the air, the left hand holding the
bridle-reins, the right hand flourishing aloft a savage
little tomahawk. In the browband of the pony's
bridle was stuck the staff of a small red flag, while
the gallant young horseman himself was rigged out
in leggins and hunting shirt of the fairest of buck-
skin, trimmed with the blackest of bearskin, a hat of
gay feathers upon his head, and upon his feet a mag-
nificent pair of red moccasins.
   There was scarcely a day in the week, not even
excepting Sunday, that Sprigg did not go and, plant-
ing himself before the old show bill, take a long look
at the Indian boy and his Shetland pony. And more
than a few times, after thus feasting his eyes, had




he gone to his mother, where she would be plying
her loom in the kitchen, when something like the
following confab would take place between them:
   "Mam, I do wish that I had a pair of red mocca-
sins, such as the Indian boy in yonder has on!"
   "And a red cap, too, such as Jack Monkey in
yonder has on !" would his mother rejoin, as she
paused in her work. Then resting her arm on the
breast beam of the loom and regarding her rising
hope with a half-fond, half-ridiculous smile, she
would add:
   "Still harping on the same old tune! Still hank-
ering after the red tomfooleries! Well, suppose if
a civilized white boy should happen to have a pair
of red moccasins, what could he do with them"
   "I could wear them to quiltings and to log-
rollings and to house-raisings and to shooting
matches and to weddings-yes, and to church, too."
   "Why, Sprigg, a church is the last place in the
world where so outlandish a thing as a pair of red
moccasins ought to be seen. How the old people
would frown and shake their heads at you! How
the young people would titter and point at you; and
some would say: 'Just look yonder at Sprigg, strut-
ting about in a pair of red moccasins, as if he were
thinking himself so much finer than our bare-footed
boys-the young monkey!' And, Sprigg, would you
like to be called a monkey I rather think not.
You'd rather take a whipping any day than to be
laughed at and ridiculed."




   "No, but they wouldn't laugh; nobody would
think of laughing. The boys would envy me and the
girls would admire me, and everybody would say:
'Just look yonder at Sprigg! But isn't he fine Oh,
how beautiful! So beautiful in his red moccasins.'
   And the vain bov would fall to dancing and skip-
ping about the earthen floor of the kitchen, as if the
very thought of the moccasins had made him tipsy.
   "Dandy Jim, of Caroline, might say all that of
dandy monkey at a show," would Elster answer,
"and dandy Jim might say as much of dandy Sprigg
at church, but nobody else would-count on that I
So, just leave the red tomfooleries to Indians and
monkeys, my boy; and just make up your mind to
be satisfied, and more than satisfied, too, with the
nice boots, which pap has promised to bring you
when he goes to our old home next spring."
   But, let his mother picture him in whatever color
she might, the vain boy would go on hankering after
the red moccasins all the same; till, by and by, they
took such hold on his fancy that his thoughts by
day and his dreams by night assumed the same com-
plexion, and became, so to speak, as red as the red-
dest of leather. Indeed, there were moments when
it did seem to Sprigg as if he would be willing to part
with one of his legs for a pair of red moccasins.
   Now, you are thinking such a whim, out of all
nature and reason, absurd, and I fully agree with
you; yet, nave I known a few grown-up children in




my day, of high reputation for judgment, who in
some of the fancies they have cherished, and in some
of the bargains they have made, have exhibited not
a whit more judgment than poor Sprigg. Distin-
guished personages, who, from the solid and digni-
fied outward appearance they showed to the eyes
of the world, would give you the impression that
they had never entertained a foolish fancy, or mis-
taken the shadow for the substance in all their lives.
I have known women who have given their hands-
sacrificed the best of their hearts-to put their heads
in other women's bonnets; and I have known men
who have sold their very souls to set their feet in
other men's shoes.
   So, time went lagging by; lagging, perhaps, be-
cause his feet were not shod with a pair of red moc-
casins; or, it may be, because he was not mounted
on a Shetland pony. At last, one night in April, as
they were all sitting around a roaring log fire,
Sprigg's dreams took a definite shape, as well as
color. Jervis had sat for some time smoking his
pipe in thoughtful silence, when he turned to his
wife and thus addressed her:
   "So, Elster, I am to set out on my long tramp for
the Old Dominion; and with what a light heart I
could do it, too, could I but take you and our boy
along with me. But, as it is, I am beginning to feel
already quite out of sorts at the very thought of
leaving you behind me for so long, and I would give




up the trip altogether were it not for the business,
which no one else can attend to but myself."
   Sprigg was sitting directly in front of the fire,
gazing with a fixed and dreamy look into the glow-
ing embers before him; and, observing this, his
father said to him:
   "Come, Sprigg, let us have some of the pictures
you are drawing there in the fire-coals! You can
beat any boy of your size at that sort of headwork
that ever I saw. What do you see in the coals"
   "I see," answered the boy, in a musing way, "I
see an Indian boy standing tip-toe on the back of a
Shetland pony, riding at full gallop, his head all
waving with feathers, his feet so fine with red moc-
casins, and he is showing off before a great crowd of
people, who seem to be waving their hats, as if they
were  shouting:  'Hurrah!  Hurrah!   Splendid!
Splendid!' Oh, how I wish that I were an Indian
boy, and had a Shetland pony; then might I travel
from town to town and show off before the people,
and be somebody, and so happy!"
   Then, with a start, as if a bright thought had
flashed out to him from the fire-coal, he exclaimed:
   "Oh, pap! won't you get me a pair of red mocca-
sins while you are gone, please And coming over
and laying his hand on his father's shoulder, he re-
peated his request-all in the softest, winningest way
you can well imagine. For, whenever he had an
object near at heart, and knew he could gain it by a




little palaver, Sprigg could appear as soft and win-
ning as any young tom-cat you ever saw.
   "But, Sprigg, why not the boots, which I have
been promising you for a year or more Black
boots, with fair tops and brass heel-taps, that will
make a gentleman of you as soon as you put them
   "But I would not care for the boots half so much;
and, if you will just only bring me the moccasins I
won't say one word about anything else you have
been promising me. I won't even ask you to get me
the fur hat, nor the red waistcoat, nor the little hunt-
ing knife, nor the little tomahawk-nothing but the
red moccasins."
   The artful young rogue made this spreading dis-
play of self-denial merely to jog his father's memory,
knowing perfectly well that he was running no risk
of being taken at his word, and that by his offer of
release he should be all the more certain of receiving
what had been promised him.
   "Then, red moccasins shall you have, my boy!"
cried the fond father, giving his son a chum-like
slap on the back. "Let me but find them in the Old
Dominion, and the red moccasins shall you have-
yes, and the boots to boot."
   Of course, it never once entered Jervis Whitney's
mind that so fantastic a thing as a pair of red moc-
casins was to be found in the Old Dominion, or any-
where else outside of a monkey show, though he




might search the world, with a will-o'-the-wisp,
from Big Bone Lick to the Land of Nod. So, in
saying, "let me but find them, and you shall 'have
them," he thought he was hazarding his word no
more than were he to say: "Let the man in the
moon but give me the moon, and the moon, my boy,
is vours."
   "Yes, pap, get him the red moccasins-do, by all
means !" here put in Elster, who had a vein of mock-
ing pleasantry, in which she was wont to indulge,
especially whenever, as now, her fingers were busy
with yarn and knitting needles. "With a little prac-
tice he could play Indian every whit as well as Jack
Monkey, if not better; and we ought to do all we
can to bring out his talent, so that he may make a
monkey of himself, and, as he says, 'be somebody,
and so happy.' So you furnish the moccasins and
the tomahawk and I will get up the rest of the rig-
ging. I will trim his new buckskin breeches and
hunting shirt with bearskin, and take those plumes
from over the looking-glass up there, and make him
as fine a feathered hat as ever grandmother Pocahon-
tas fixed up for brothers. Nor shall the war paint be
forgotten. I will streak and stripe and spot his face
till he looks as savage and fierce as Big Foot, the
Wyandot giant-scary enough to scare a scare-
crow. Then, having so bedaubed and bedizened-him
that his own looking-glass couldn't tell him whose
son he was, we will take him out, and, mounting him




upon old Blue Blaze, witness him make his maiden
effort. To be sure, old Blue Blaze is not exactly
what you might call a Shetland pony, but by that
time she will have a colt a month or two old, so that
while our monkey is up there, playing Big Injun on
the old mare's back, coltie can trot along behind
and play Little Shetland. Meanwhile, we must be
making all the noise we can, clapping our hands and
shouting: 'Hurrah! hurrah! splendid! splendid!'
Should our demonstrations fall short of the desired
effect, and we should happen to hear some of our red
neighbors shouting and yelling over there in the
woods, we will call them in to help us out. They
will make noise enough to slack his thirst for ap-
plause, I warrant you. They will be so delighted
with his performance that nothing will satisfy them
short of taking him home with them-Blue Blaze,
coltie and all-to old Chillicothe, where he shall be
kept all his days to play Big Paleface for the reds,
just as Jack Monkey is kept in the Old Dominion to
play Dandy Nigger for the whites.
   "Yes, pap, get him the red moccasins. Let him
make a monkey of himself, and 'be somebody and so
happy.' "
   Now, you must know that our hero, though
tough to reproof, was keenly sensitive to ridicule-
a jimson weed to that, a snap dragon to this. Hav-
ing discovered his weakness, his mother was much
in the habit of playing upon it, as the only means of




persuasion or dissuasion within her command which
was likely to make any impression upon his knotty
young rind. So, while she was spinning out her
rigmarole, Sprigg was making a great show of amus-
ing himself with Pow-wow, slapping him over the
muzzle with his coonskin cap, or setting that orna-
ment in divers ways on the old dog's head; now with
the tail over the right ear, then over the left, or over
the nose; the young sauce-box the while keeping up,
in a confidential undertone to his four-footed chum,
a running commentary on his mother's burlesque of
himself, for every word of which he should have re-
ceived a sounding spank.
   "Some folks think they are monstrous smart,
don't they, Pow-wow"
   "You could bark up a tree and do better than
that, couldn't you, Pow-wow"
   "Funny enough to make a dog laugh, isn't it,
Pow-wow "
   "Some folks ought to be told what fools they are,
oughtn't they, Pow-wow "
   "Ding-dong bell, when the fools are all dead,
   Then we will have plenty of butter and bread,
won't we, Pow-wow "




                CHAPTER III.

        Meets with the Object of His Love.

   So, next Monday, Jervis Whitney set out on his
long tramp, with Pow-wow for company, and with
Black Bess, his rifle, to keep them supplied with
game, their chief dependence or subsistence while
traveling the five hundred miles of wilderness, which
lay between them and their old home beyond the
Alleghenies. While they were gone, Sprigg kept
count of the months and weeks and days, and, as
they went silently gliding by, he went silently dream-
ing on about the red moccasins. Silently, for never
another word said he to his mother concerning the
matter he had so near at heart. He knew she would
laugh at him, and call him a monkey-our hero, bear
in mind, being as touchy to ridicule as a raw mouth
to ginger. You might scold him and rate him, sneap
him and snub him, to a degree you would suppose
sufficient to break the heart of any boy who knew
his catchism, yet not a fig nor a flint would he care
for it all. Perhaps, he would kick tip his heels in
the very face of your reproof; or, it may be, merely




wrinkle up his saucy young knob of a nose, thereby
saying as plainly as words could say it:

   "Thin! thin!
     When the wise waste words, then fools may grin,
        So, save your breath for a rainy day,
        Or the wind will blow it all away;
     Bottle it up and cork it fast,
     The longer you keep it, the longer 'twill last."

   The month of May was drawing near its close.
Night was spreading its dusky shadows over the
lonely forest home. The turkey-cock had gone to
its rest; so had the red-bird, so had the jay-bird; so
had Sprigg. Elster had heard her boy repeat his
prayers and was now singing him to sleep with a
hymn; a pious custom which, in all sincerity, she had
faithfully observed from his infancy up; doing her
best, from night to night, to make him a Christian,
while suffering him, from day to day, to become
more and more of a heathen. Such parental incon-
sistencies were rare in the days of Mary Washing-
ton, but are so common nowadays that no one ex-
cepting himself or herself can find an exception to
the rule except at home. The last line of the hymn
had just been sung, and Sprigg was making his last
big sleepy wink at the cradle before fairly off for
nodland, when they heard, first, a glad yelp out there
in the yard, which they thought they knew; then a
brisk, firm step on the loose board floor of the porch,
which they were certain they knew. Up from her
chair sprang Elster; up from his bed bounced




Sprigg, and by the time the door, with a ringing
click of its wooden latch, swung open, both were
there, and both hugged tight in the long, strong
arms of husband and father.
   "Heaven be thanked!" exclaimed Elster, kissing
her husband for the -, but I must not say what
number of times.
   "The moccasins! the moccasins!-where are my
red moccasins" cried Sprigg, who had not kissed
nor hugged his father once.
   "You young feather-pate! you jay-bird !" ex-
claimed Jervis. "Can't you give your poor pap
some little sign of welcome first"
   "Oh! then, you have got them! You have got
them!" And now, assured that such was the case,
Sprigg could find it in his heart to hug and kiss his
father, which he did as sleekly and lovingly as any
he-kitten. But Sprigg paid for this bit of selfish-
ness, and that dearly, too. Having laid Black Bess in
the rifle-hooks over the fireplace, and hung his bear-
skin cap on the hook to the left and his ammunition
pouch and powder horn on the hook to the right,
Jervis hugged and kissed his wife again. Then,
from the capacious game bag which, slung by a strap
from the shoulder, he wore at his side, he began
drawing out slowly and with great show of careful-
ness a small package, which Sprigg instinctively
knew to be the object of his heart's desire. The
next moment, held high aloft in pap's right hand,




there they were at last, in plain view before his eyes,
the long dreamed of red moccasins. How beautiful
looked they. Trimmed with the finest of fur and
glittering all over with the brightest of beads, to say
nothing of the color-red, as the reddest of leather
could be, not dyed in blood. You would have
laughed, or, perhays, felt more like crying, to have
seen the poor, vain boy, as he stood there, with his
heart in his eyes, gazing gloatinglv up at the moc-
casins as if the very shine of them had charmed him
out of his senses. Thus he stood for several mo-
ments till, giving a quick turn of the head, he
glanced sharply up at the Indian boy on the show
bill, as if half expecting to find the young horseman
stripped of his moccasins and now performing his
equestrian antics in bare feet.
   "Jervis," said Elster, grieved and provoked, "I
am so surprised that you should indulge our boy in
so ridiculous a fancy, as were he, after all, the
monkey he would make himself. I had no idea that
you would ever give the whim a second thought.
Why did you not get him the boots you have been
promising him Throw the moccasi