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No. 12



By Gertrude Weeks Marshall.

Through the brilliant autumn wilderness, magnificently gay in coloring,
Grand with mighty trees, but within its depths deadly lurking dangers,
Once travelled a band of Indians, small remnant of a tribe once numerous.
Their bronze and sinewy bodies swayed with the forest shadows,
Their paint and feathery ornaments blended with the forest hues;
To the cold north had they been driven by the encroaching Whites,
But were seeking new homes by the sweet waters of the Umbagog.
Long and arduous, over hills and across lakes, had been their journey,
To avoid, in the valleys, settlements of watchful, fearless pioneers
And still reach the Notch, where the mountains were cleft in twain,
Giving easy passage to the region beyond, rich in game and fish.
Metalak, once chief and bravest warrior, now with age feeble,
But in counsel wise and able, walked in the rear with aged braves,
Squaws and various Indian luggage queer, borne by the stoutest.
As they neared the basin before the Notch, surrounded by mountains high,
Where towers old Table-rock, like an altar reared by giant hands
Nigh to Heaven, Metalak, fatgiued by the day's long, tiresome journey,
Stumbled and fell over a broken branch, that across the trail had fallen
In such a way that the sharp end pierced his eye, its vision destroying.
Silently he endured the agony while the squaws ran to aid him
And with primitive but skilful surgery the torturing branch removed,
Silent, while to a cooling spring they swiftly and smoothly carried him.
And cleansed the wound and bound it with healing herbs known to them.
Then the tribe made night encampment and a circle of blazing fires built
Which protected from prowling beasts, and also cooked their game;
Afterward in council gathered, to decide if best by morning's light
To bear Metalak with them onward, only on the way to die,
Or tarry awhile for his death, then with loud and savage ceremony
Bury him in the shadow of Table-rock. Then said Metalak faintly:
"My people, delay not your journey for me; near are winter's frosts.
You must hasten wigwams, food and clothing to prepare by the Umbagog.
Like the tree by lightning blasted, soon will I be, stark and lifeless.
Like a wild beast, with a deadly wound, I would die alone."
So, at sunrise, with the stoicism of their race, alone in the wilderness,
They left him. All day suffering he lay by the grateful spring water.
Night came, cold and pale. Over Table-rock the silver moon rose.
Her clear light brought into relief the black vastness of the unbroken


Pityingly her beams seemed to shine upon the brave old warrior Prostrate on the frosty ground. At last, his mind by pain disordered, He rose, and wandered down the old trail, often in other days pursued,

Down the Mohawk Valley to the base of Mount Monadnock (Spirit

Thence up the Connecticut. He passed, unheeded, the homes of settlers,
Until at last, starved and exhausted, against a cabin door he fell.
The settler's wife, just lighting candles in the early autumn twilight,
Heard the noise at the door; there she found the poor old Indian.
In her strong young arms she carried him to the settle by the fire,
And of broth and liquor made him drink, which, with the warmth, revived


There among those strange white people, once enemies, now his friends,
Metalak was nursed back to life, sightless, but new and pleasant.
Many Indian ways he taught them, life in the wilds to ease,
Indian methods of clearing land, clever snares for birds and beasts,
Sugar to obtain from maple sap, to make the useful snowshoe,
And the soft fringed moccasin, also the graceful swift canoe.
Many years he lived among them, striving their kindness to repay,
Peaceful and contented, until, gently, Manitou called him to the "Happy

Hunting Ground.”

Copyright, 1922, by Gertrude Weeks Marshall.

[Note: Mrs. Marshall furnishes a memorandum regarding the story of Metalak which may interest the reader unfamiliar with the local setting. The Mohawk Valley of New Hampshire extends from East Colebrook to Colebrook Village. Monadnock Mountain is across the Connecticut in Vermont. Metalak, after the accident related in the story, found his way unaided to Stewartstown, where he was found at the door of Mrs. Samuel Weeks. Later the town of Stewartstown cared for him.]


By Lilian Sue Keech

I know a lane where the sweetbrier blows,
Clinging to the old stone wall.
Where, in the spring, the violet grows,
And black birds to their sweethearts call.

The trumpet vine clings to the tree,
The dogwood wears its mantle, white.
The butterfly flits fancy free,
And weds the flowers in its flight.

I know a lane-'tis far away-
Where grows the wild sweetbrier.
And what to me are orchids gay,
Or Jacqueminot's dull fire?

I'd rather be a milkmaid, free,
My bare feet in the dew.
Than wear the gold that's driven me
Far from that lane and--you.

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Mrs. Pilsbury sat knitting in her high-backed rocker. She was in her ninety-third year, but apparently as strong as ever. She had renewed her youth, or so she said, in knitting for the soldiers, a pair for every year of her age, and now that the war was over she still knit for the poor people of the desolated French countries. "Only to think on't," she said to the Irving girls, "and I didn't use to know there was sech a place as Belgium. It's live and learn, sure enough."

Judge Irving's daughters were spending a few of the summer weeks in the country to rest from arduous days in Washington. They had been in France many months, working in canteens, and one had driven her own car for the Red Cross, while the other had helped in the hospital. Both had become engaged, one to a French officer, Count Declarine, and the other to a government official high in the confidence of the President. Having done so well for themselves and their country, they felt that a rest in the place where their father first saw light would do them good. So here they were, sitting on the back porch munching winter apples and talking to Mrs. Pilsbury. Back in the kitchen they could hear Mandy stepping briskly from pantry to kitchen, occasionally calling loudly to Ephraim who was having a brief rest from the spring planting.

"I do'no' 'bout putting the west field into oats," he said. "I'm sort

studying on't, Mandy," they heard him say.

"You know better'n I do 'bout that," replied Mandy. "What say?"

"You know a sight better'n I do what to plant and what not to plant," was Mandy's reply in a highpitched tone.

"Pity he's so deef," said Mrs. Pilsbury, "I can hear a sight better'n I uster, seems ef."

"Father says you break every record in keeping young", said Ethel. "It's the nicest thing in the world to live so long and to pile up experiences of four or five generations and to know all about our great grandparents."

"I've lived through five wars. Less see: there was the Mexican War, the Injun Stream War, the Civil War, the Spanish War, and this War, the last that ever was."

"What about the Indian Stream War? I never heard anything about that."

"Didn't your pa ever tell you about that? Wall, it was a real, actual war and folks was killed and all that, but I guess folks don't know much about it in a gen'ral way."

"Tell us about it, dear Mrs. Pilsbury, won't you?"

"If you never heard on't it stands me in hand to tell you. But I can't understand how it is your pa never knew about it. His fathers' uncle went to it; and so did Peter Muzzy and Eli Cole, both on em neighbors of his grandsir."

"Perhaps he knows, but I never heard him speak of it.”

"Wall, it happened in the Injun Stream Country, jest on the aidge of Canady, 'bout thirty miles from here. I was up there at the time sewing for old Mis Peters in the line house. 'Twas right on the line betwixt Canady and the Territory,

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