Page:Yule Logs.djvu/287

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Author of "Roger the Ranger," &c.

THE first glow of morning was creeping over the land as an Indian emerged from the forest. He ran swiftly, with that easy swing of the body and lightness of foot for which his race is remarkable. Leaping a wooden fence, he paused and stood, for the space of a second, looking up at a large square house, plain and unornamented, such as the early settlers in New England were wont to build for themselves.

The inhabitants were still buried in sleep, and the Indian's approach had been so noiseless that it had failed even to rouse the watch-dog. Taking a handful of gravel he threw it with unerring aim at a window on the second floor. An instant afterwards the lattice was opened and a young man's head thrust out, a voice asking, "What's up, Will?"

The Indian made a peculiar sign, which might easily be interpreted into "Come down."

"All right," said Josiah Blackstone, and disappeared.

Then Josh, as he was familiarly called, came down the broad staircase, removed noiselessly the bars and bolts which secured the front door, and slipped out into the porch, against the great oak post of which the Indian was leaning. A huge mastiff came bounding round from the back of the house with an ominous growl, but he evidently recognised the Indian, for he ran up to him wagging his tail and fawning upon him with unmistakable signs of pleasure.