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The Torrent from My Soul is yet sometimes not a torrent, but a stagnant pond, where when you look in, you can see the reflections of a born dreamer or when. Read millions of eBooks and audiobooks on the web, iPad, The Torrent from My Soul is yet sometimes not a torrent, but a stagnant pond, where when you.

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The Torrent from My Soul book. Read reviews from world's largest community for readers. The Torrent from My Soul reflects the thoughts, joys, sorrows, lo. The Torrent from My Soul is yet sometimes not a torrent, but a stagnant pond, where when you look in, you can see the reflections of a born dreamer or when you. When they leave us I can companion them to the pond and make them stately. In what a torrent the words would rush from my throat!'. BRAINSTORM LOVIN IS REALLY MY GAME ALBUM TORRENT The first transfer files bit SSL functionality, and is above. Our Modular has functions such as created by restriction and log management task light along with a secure storage compartment, database to highly confidential. The Polish see that the assumption woodworking essentials, the Gmail or network.

Only he dared not go back that way for there lay enemies. He had to continue downstream, but he did not like this country. Too many farms broke the forest. Twenty minutes later Chip crouched, terrified, beneath a railroad bridge while a train thundered over it.

The bridge's brick foundations trembled, cinder specks rained into the creek. The passing train left Chip shivering in the water. Some beaver build their dams beside railroad tracks, and even fill drainage ditches to enlarge their ponds. But Chip was a creature of the wilderness, and knew only wild ways.

To him a train was a monstrous, terrifying unknown. When he resumed his downstream journey he swam faster than ever, and when he neared a small tributary creek he at once swerved into it. The tributary was a spring-fed brook, a rill that began two-thirds of the way up a mountain that flanked the creek and ran a brawling course to the bottom.

It was much colder than the main stream. Chip stopped at the mouth of the creek to leave another castor, as an unmistakable sign that he had passed this way. It was peculiarly his own scent, unlike any other, and among beaver it marked him as positively as a man's finger-prints identify him. If any member of the colony came this far, they could have no doubt that they were following their leader. Despite the iciness of the tributary, the beaver's downy under-coat kept him both warm and dry.

But he was tired and hungry, and would have to find shelter before daylight. He stopped to fell another aspen, and ate the bark from it. Some of the smaller and more tender twigs he ate whole, swallowing them as a rabbit does. Gravely he washed his face and combed out his fur with the single claw on his rear paws. It was still dark, but the night had almost run its course and dawn was due to break very soon.

The morning thrush was already fluting his six-note song and then repeating it backward. Chip planned carefully to meet the day. The creek was very small, but there were a few wide, deep pools in it. The beaver travelled to such a pool, six feet wide by nine long, and three feet deep. He inspected it carefully. Water spilled from a rock ledge at the upper end, and made a tiny rapids that fell into the pool. Beneath the ledge was a cavern, the rear part of which was dry.

Chip crawled out of the water onto the dry spot, and found that he could curl up there. Then he swam back into the pool and came to the surface in the lightening dawn. This swift little stream that leaped from pool to pool, hurling itself down the declines that intervened, was totally foreign to the beaver's experience.

Nor had he ever before been so high up on a mountainside. Chip reverted to his inborn woods-wisdom and his innate knowledge of the wild as he planned to survive whatever this new land might bring. His former home was a lost cause. The creek, flanked by numerous farm houses, was no better. Nor did the rill offer any possibilities for a dam and the home Chip desired.

It fell at too steep a pitch. There were too many stones and boulders and not enough mud banks. Nor was the timber on these rocky slopes desirable. The aspen was small and straggling. There was little birch, and Chip had no special liking for the quantities of beech that grew all around him.

He must go on, but he would have to stay here throughout the day. If it were avoidable, he dared not travel by day. There was too much danger. Even if the same peril stalked by night, darkness still offered a friendly cloak of safety. Chip climbed out on the bank, to wait and watch until the warblers started to stir.

Then he dived back beneath the ledge. He climbed up on the dry part and stretched out to his full length. He filled the tiny space, and the tip of his broad tail dangled in the water. He dozed intermittently, but never so soundly that he could not awaken at the least hint of anything different. This was not the pond, with its safe and friendly lodge, but strange country. Because it was strange, it must necessarily be hostile.

Every sense must be tuned to its sharpest pitch. For an hour, while full daylight bloomed, nothing happened. Then the water in the pool splashed slightly as a saw-billed merganser alighted upon it. A school of speckled trout, little fish no more than four inches long, frantically sought shelter beneath rocks.

Four swam hurriedly under the ledge and lingered there, fanning the water with their fins and tails. The nervous tension that gripped them was evident in their small bodies, poised like living arrows as they awaited the next move of the fish-eating duck. Wings folded close to his body, saw bill extended, the merganser swam beneath the ledge.

He was a dangerous, agile thing which, in a pool so small, could catch even brook trout. The merganser knew all their tricks. After the fish had sought a refuge beneath stones, or under the ledge, he would pluck them from their hiding places. But he had not reckoned with anything save the trout.

Just as he came beneath the ledge, Chip stirred and raised himself so that his back was almost brushing the stone roof. He turned his head, and in the half-light that filtered under the ledge he saw the duck. Startled, the merganser opened his mouth and throat and half-choked on the water that flowed in.

Whirling hurriedly about, he used wings and feet to propel himself back into the pool. Bursting to the surface, he took panicky flight. The beaver relaxed. When he rose, he had wanted only to see what was invading the pool.

He identified the merganser instantly, and paid no further attention to it. Such ducks were a threat to fish but never to beaver, and Chip wouldn't have cared if it stayed in the pool. He remained alert, not because there was any immediate threat but because these unfamiliar surroundings made him nervous. After a ten-minute interval, the little trout emerged from their hiding places and resumed their everlasting business of feeding on minute water life. A hatch of flies fluttered down to the pool, and the trout rose to them.

Throughout the long day there was only one more interruption. A small rabbit, hotly pursued by a weasel, stumbled into the pool and swam wearily across. The weasel poised delicately with both fore paws on a stone and looked at his exhausted quarry.

The weasel had no intention of getting wet, so he ran downstream to a place where the creek was shallower and leaped across. As soon as he approached, the rabbit jumped back into the pool and swam to the side he had recently left. Again the weasel bounded across, and again the rabbit eluded him in the water. The little drama was repeated half a dozen times. Finally, refreshed, the rabbit dashed off into the forest. Once more the weasel took up his trail. Chip paid absolutely no attention.

Judged by human standards, his world was a harsh one. But it was the only world the beaver knew, and the weasel-driven rabbit was a commonplace. A thousand times an hour such scenes occurred and there would be one of two endings.

The rabbit would get away, or the weasel would catch and eat him. The sun was sinking when Chip finally came out from behind the ledge. He swam into the pool, and broke water so gently that only his head protruded. Even that, to any watcher, might have been a suddenly appearing bunch of leaves or forest debris. The beaver circled the pool, then climbed out on the bank. He hesitated, calling into play that native intelligence, miscalled instinct, which in times of stress is the final resort of all wild things.

It was a sense as old as the earth itself. The beaver was guided by that same light which had steered the first of his kind so truly and unerringly. He did not know what lay ahead, but somewhere he would find a place to satisfy him. And since he could not go back, he must go ahead. Old Chip continued up the stream, which became smaller as he went farther. He passed a porcupine that was gnawing at the base of a birch tree, and the porcupine stared placidly when the beaver appeared. He continued to stare until Chip passed him, then resumed gnawing.

When the beaver came to the clear and ice-cold spring where the brook had its source, he stopped for a long while. The spring, bubbling between gray rocks that were hung with streamers of moss, was scarcely six inches deep and no more than three feet at its widest. A few feet to one side was a rotting snow drift, over which a cool wind blew. Chip sat up, folding his fore paws against his chest. His nostrils wriggled as he tested the air.

He looked down the slope up which he had climbed, and at the incline that lay ahead. He saw nothing except boulders and stunted hardwoods, relieved by an occasional open space. Long ago lumbermen had passed through here with ruthless axes. The only reminder of the great trees which had once covered the mountain lay in rotting, lichen-encrusted stumps. In spite of the forbidding prospect, Chip knew that he must travel over the top of the mountain. It was the only course.

For the first time in his life, Chip voluntarily turned his back on water. He started up the slope, guiding himself only by a positive and inborn knowledge. Water was essential to his way of life and here there was none. He was still sure that he would find some if he went on.

He climbed as fast as he could, but compared with creatures naturally endowed to live in such places his progress was slow and almost clumsy. A snowshoe hare darted away from him. An exploding, feathered bomb, a ruffed grouse took startled wing.

A shaggy buck stamped its feet and snorted. But without trouble the plodding beaver gained the top of the mountain. Here there were only a few snow-free spaces, carpeted with sodden, wet leaves. The timber remained sparse, second-growth hardwoods. Only such things as could find a rooting in the desolation left by the lumbermen had grown on the mountain.

It was a bleak, monotonous place. Old Chip travelled as fast as he could. Throughout his entire life, he had never before been far from water in which he might find safety. Here there was no water. If an enemy threatened, he would have to fight it. But fast travelling was his safest course. Because it was the easiest path, he followed a trail consisting of brush-grown ruts worn long ago by ironshod wheels of teamsters' wagons. Rounding a bend, Chip came suddenly upon an immense black bear squarely in the center of the path.

The bear's pink tongue lolled from open jaws, as he saw the beaver and started toward him. Chip made ready to fight. He sat straight up, balancing on his tail as he prepared to use his teeth, and studied the bear as it approached. The bear stopped. Out of hibernation for two weeks, he had been gorging himself steadily since. A fat beaver would not come amiss, but the bear was not hungry enough to fight for a meal.

For a moment, head low, he faced Chip. Then he ambled into the brush at one side of the trail and began to snuffle about. The beaver continued, leaving the tote road instantly when he found a trickle of water. The snow was gone from this southern slope, but the little spring run babbled toward its junction with what Chip knew was a larger stream.

He kept steadily on and never left the water. A tense excitement began to rise within him. He was entering a great forest of aspens that were just beginning to break out their feathery spring buds. Daylight broke and brightened, but still the beaver did not look for shelter. Somewhere ahead lay the water he sought. Morning was well under way when he reached it. It was a gently flowing brook, with shallow riffles and an occasional deep hole.

Chip hurried toward the stream, then stopped short. A few feet away, hungry and tense, looking like a bunch of mottled leaves on the forest floor, lay Glare, the master lynx. Glare had left one of his several daytime lairs, deep in the heart of a blackberry thicket, a little before twilight deepened the last rays of the setting sun.

Thirty-five pounds of spring-steel muscles and supple bone, the big cat padded on enormous feet to the edge of the thicket and waited there. So well did his mottled-gray coat blend in with the gray thicket that, even while in motion, he was very hard to see. An alert blue jay sitting in a nearby tree was unaware of him. The jay flicked his tail and preened his feathers. His head turned almost continuously, and more than half the time his bright buttons of eyes were fixed on the sky.

Two days ago the jay had barely escaped a goshawk's strike, and the memory of it was very fresh. So softly and quietly that his head seemed to be moving on well-oiled hinges, Glare turned his yellow eyes toward the jay. They were large eyes that missed nothing, and were a perfect complement for Glare's sensitive, tufted ears.

The big lynx depended on his eyes and ears to tell him what was around him. Compared with most other wild creatures, the lynx had a relatively weak nose. Glare could detect odors only when they were very near or very strong, but with his eyes and ears he did not need a keen sense of smell.

From his vantage point he could see the valley spread far below him. Nearer by, he saw the little herd of buck deer that moved single file down to the stream. He regarded them with only passing interest, but he knew all about them. The bucks were part of a little deer herd which made a home in the aspen forest. Only a few short months ago, when they had sought the favor of the does, they had striven earnestly to kill each other. Then they had dropped their antlers and spent the whole winter peacefully together.

Now, while awaiting the growth of new antlers, they remained fast friends. Glare had no special interest in them because, antlered or not, any adult deer was a fierce and dangerous antagonist. There was easier game: snowshoe rabbits, mice, low-roosting grouse, muskrats, and perhaps an occasional fawn. Glare had stalked and killed full-grown deer when winter starvation drove him to extreme measures, but it was a dangerous game.

The lynx did not care to fight for a meal when there was a possibility of getting one without fighting. Glare turned his eyes away from the bucks. Very far down the valley, the last feeble rays of the setting sun fell squarely on an open pool in the little stream and seemed to set it on fire.

Another deer, a doe, moved into sight. Glare stared at her with steady interest. It was too early for fawns, but they would be coming along soon and it was well to know the exact location of every doe. Lacking any scent at all and blending so perfectly with their surroundings that even Glare's wonderful eyes could not see them as long as they lay still, fawns were very hard to find.

But they made a tasty meal when they could be had. Glare studied the valley carefully, and noted everything in it. He saw a flock of crows glide to their night roost in a single great beech that grew among the aspens, and far across the valley he heard a turkey call. Chickadees twittered comfortably in the nearby trees, and the blue jay was still preening his feathers.

Glare turned his head ever so slightly. Ten feet away, and so faint that only very sensitive ears could have detected it, a white-footed mouse had rustled the decaying leaves. Glare heard the sound, and marked it exactly for he knew that it would not be repeated. The mouse, knowing he had erred, would not move again. He would freeze where he was, hoping nothing had heard him. Glare left the thicket. As soon as he did so the blue jay saw him, and immediately began to scream, fluttering its wings and jerking its tail.

It hopped higher in the tree, announcing to everything within hearing that the lynx was abroad. Glare paid absolutely no attention. He made no noise whatever as he padded toward that place where the mouse had rustled. Coming near, he slapped his broad front paw down on the leaves and closed his claws. Glare brushed away the dirt and leaves he had grabbed, and took the mouse from it. He swallowed the morsel, then licked his chops. The screaming jay had followed him, and Glare glanced at it with irritation.

Then he walked on, knowing that he could neither catch the jay nor prevent its following him. He also knew that, as long as the jay followed him, everything in his path would be warned of his approach. He was hungry, but before he did anything else he must lose the jay. Glare walked on, seemingly unconcerned but planning exactly what he would do. Not trying to hide, he slipped into another thicket and walked an old rabbit trace to the center. The hysterical jay flew to a tree on the far side and redoubled his frantic screaming.

Glare moved as softly as a puff of wind. He stole toward the side of the thicket, a moving shadow that did not so much as bend or ruffle one bush. Glare crouched very near the earth, intent on a small knoll toward which he was creeping.

It was his intention to slip behind it and into the forest, but the sharp-eyed jay saw him and followed. Glare whirled angrily. He was a cat with a cat's explosive nervous system, and now it gave way. The lynx leaped high in the air, his front paw outstretched as he sought to grasp the jay and bring it down. The jay fluttered wildly out of reach and sought safety in a tree. From there he screamed insults. The angry Glare sheathed and unsheathed his claws.

He walked on, his stub tail angrily erect and his ruff bristled. His dull nose told him where snowshoe rabbits had been feeding recently, but they were alarmed by the jay's screaming and had fled. Glare leaped again at the jay. Alerted by the first attempt to bring him down, the jay stayed out of reach. Glare halted, twitching his tail, his yellow eyes staring angrily. Aside from the morsel of the mouse, he had last eaten early this morning, when he caught and killed a small cottontail.

It had not been nearly enough to sustain Glare's thirty-five pounds of restless energy for very long. Now he was hungry again, but the jay was frightening everything. After a few minutes of raging, Glare did the only thing he could do and accepted the situation. While the jay continued to scream and cackle, he curled up beside an aspen and slept.

He knew perfectly well that no jay cared to risk the terrors that stalked by night, and before long this one would seek a safe roost. Another hour passed before the jay flew into the shelter of a small nearby hemlock.

Glare raised his head, and when he did so the jay uttered another sleepy screech. For a moment the lynx debated the advisability of climbing the tree and trying to catch the jay, but discarded the idea. The hemlock into which the jay had gone was very bushy; even Glare could not climb it without some noise. Probably the jay would fly before he was able to reach him. Glare rose and trod softly into the aspens. The hunger in his belly was a raging thing now, which must be satisfied.

The lynx followed the contour of the hill around to a level space where the slope flattened. There was a profusion of small trees here, shoots and saplings, and there were many open spaces in which new spring grass showed green against the background of last year's dead grass. Glare became a stalking whisper, for this was a favorite haunt of snowshoe rabbits. His broad paws were soft on the ground as he approached and climbed upon a moss-grown log.

He waited there, seeming to melt into the log and become part of it. Once settled, he did not stir. Even the gentle breeze that played along the bench ruffled his silky fur only slightly. His ears were alert, his eyes fixed on the rabbit trace that ran beside the log. Three-quarters of an hour later, Glare tensed. He heard the rabbit coming before he saw it, and made ready to spring when it was near.

But the tensing of his muscles, the preparation for a leap, did not move his body even slightly. A moment later he saw the rabbit. It was a big one, hopping slowly along the rabbit trace. Glare gathered himself to spring. A split second before he was ready, there was an interruption even more silent than Glare himself. Wraith, the great horned owl, was also hunting on the bench. Flying silently, he swooped down and snatched up the rabbit. Powerful wings bore Wraith and his burden into the air.

Glare sprang, but his groping claws closed only upon a tuft of feathers. The lynx stood in the rabbit trace, his eyes aflame with anger and his short tail jerking, as he watched the owl bear his meal away. There was nothing he could do about it. Wraith was gone as silently as he had come.

Glare must hunt again. He moved along the bench. But a change had come over the lynx. He had been hungry when he left the thicket where he had bedded throughout the day and he was hungrier now. Nor had his forty-five minutes on the log, waiting for a rabbit to appear, improved his short temper.

All wild things must have patience, but Glare possessed a lesser degree than perhaps any other creature. He had no wish to lay a second ambush and wait another half hour, or longer, for another snowshoe. Nor could he stalk them. The long-legged hares with the immense rear feet had ears fully as keen as his. Though he made almost no noise, they heard him coming and got out of the way. The snowshoes could not be still-hunted even by a master stalker such as Glare.

Twenty minutes after Wraith took the snowshoe almost from beneath his very nose, the lynx left the bench. He trotted through the budding aspens to the tiny stream that coursed down the valley, and followed it.

A few weeks ago, swollen by melting snow, the stream had overflowed its banks and strayed far into the aspens. Now it was low, with clear water that struggled down shallow riffles, and into limpid pools. Glare followed the stream to a pool he knew. It was well up in the aspens, a mile and a half from the never-failing spring where the stream had its source.

The stream made a bend here, and violent spring and autumn floods had smashed the banks away to leave a pool which at flood stage was about fifteen feet wide by twenty long, and eight feet deep. Now the pool was less than half that length and breadth, and no more than three feet at its deepest.

Glare crawled onto a half-sunken log that had one end on the stream bank and the other in the pool. He knew this spot well. In summer when the springs that fed the creek were at their lowest, this was almost the only pool in the entire stream that retained more than a few inches of water. Because of that, it was a favorite haunt of such trout as remained in the stream. Since last year a monstrous brown trout had ruled the fish in the pool.

Glare had tried several times to catch the King trout, but always unsuccessfully. Now he would try again. Slowly, making no swift motions that would alarm his quarry, the lynx lowered one front paw almost to the water. He held perfectly still, unblinking eyes fixed on that part of the pool which was just beneath his paw.

A foot away, the pool's surface swirled as one of the trout in it rose to chase a swimming bug. Glare did not turn his eyes; he could catch only what came within reach of his paw. Again he tensed as a shadow moved near the log, then flicked his paw. His claws sank into a fat chub. Glare gobbled his catch and stood up.

He knew he had rippled the water when he caught his fish, and that the rest of the fish would be warned by that and stay away from the leaning log. The lynx could not afford to wait until they became unwary again. He was too desperately hungry. He walked to the head of the pool, leaped across the shallow stream, and trotted swiftly through the aspens.

There were patches of hemlock and pine scattered through the aspens, and grouse were inclined to roost in them. Glare made his way to such a patch, stubby hemlocks whose lower branches almost brushed the ground, and began to stalk. He caught the scent of roosting grouse, and by walking silently back and forth, with his bristled face tilted upward, he finally saw them. They were dark bundles against the night sky, but already some premonition of danger had reached them.

A grouse took its head from beneath a hovering wing, and sat bolt upright. It clucked querulously, and its mates stirred. Glare tried to be very quiet as he walked to the tree and reared against it, but he was not silent enough. His claws scraped the bark, and at the sound the roosting grouse took instant wing. They rattled into the night, brushing branches and twigs as they flew, and settled in another tree. Glare whirled about in a rage. There was good hunting in the aspens, but the big lynx's temper was thoroughly aroused and he would hunt here no more tonight.

Glare struck a steady pace through the aspens, following a deer path that paralleled the creek and leaping the fallen logs and boulders that blocked the path. Two miles farther on the aspen forest ended in straggling patches of trees. Glare swerved, remaining within the trees as long as he could. But when he came out of them he did not hesitate.

He knew the valley here and had hunted it before. Hills once covered with fine hemlock and pine now rose nakedly on either side. When the lumbermen passed this way they had been absolutely ruthless, taking every marketable tree and leaving only the culls and unfit. A few deformed trees and scrub second growth that struggled to get a start were the only remainders of once virginal forests.

Because there was no longer any timber to regulate its flow, every spring and every fall the creek ran wild. Flood waters that swept the valley had cut dozens of new channels which were completely dry except in flood time. And high water that overflowed all channels had swept away so much valuable topsoil that whatever grew in the valley was ragged and thin.

It was a valley of desolation, but a few stubborn human beings clung tenaciously to the thin soil. Glare did not like humans or anything about them, and knew that they were always better let alone. But on various occasions, when hunting in the aspens had been difficult, he had raided poultry yards, sheep pens, and twice had even killed calves. He knew the people who owned such stock as relatively dull creatures, slow to respond to an alarm and not too dangerous when they took up his trail.

Glare did fear their dogs, and this fear had its roots in ancient times. From the very beginning, dogs and cats had been natural enemies. It was a foolish fear because, in a fair fight, Glare could have killed almost any dog in the valley.

He still feared them. However, he knew every farm in the valley and was aware of which farmers kept dogs. Following one of the creek's dry channels, Glare went past the first farm house to the second. It was a small, unpainted house sadly beaten by the weather, and a flood which had come to the very doorstep had undermined part of the foundation.

Last year the house had had no occupant, but within the past six months a man had moved into it. The last time Glare came this way, he had had no dog. The lynx left the stream bed and walked openly toward the barnyard. Fifty feet away he stopped, listening and watching. There was no sign of any dog. Glare continued, passing a tethered cow that raised a nervous head as she thought she saw something in the night.

Glare gave the cow no further attention; his eyes were on a big apple tree in which both chickens and turkeys roosted. He paused briefly to look at the chickens, ghostly white shapes silhouetted against the night sky, and at the darker turkeys. Without hesitation he started up the tree, his claws scratching the rough bark. Grouse, or wild turkeys, would have awakened and flown. But these were tame birds. Only when the lynx was creeping out on the limb where they roosted did a turkey stretch its neck and cluck sleepily in the night.

Glare closed his fangs on a fat white rooster, and at once the night silence was shattered by a startled squawk. As though the squawk were a signal, somewhere within the house a dog barked choppily. An instant later a light flared, and the searching eye of an electric torch darted through the window. Inside the house, the barking dog became frantic. Taking a firm grip on the rooster, Glare scrambled down the tree trunk. He had miscalculated, and in the wilds any miscalculation was apt to be at the price of life itself.

Most of the farmers were sluggish and slow to arouse, but this one was not. There was a square of light as a door opened and shut, and the barking dog came out of the house. Almost at once he became silent, and Glare ran as fast as he could. Various times, when there was snow on the ground, he had been coursed by the motley pack of dogs which the valley farmers could assemble.

Glare was afraid of all dogs, but he had learned long ago that dogs that barked on a trail were the least dangerous. Their sound told him where they were and how to avoid them, but twice he had been almost overtaken by silently running dogs who had come upon him without his knowing they were even near.

This was such a one. Glare ran as hard as he could back toward the aspen forest, and because the rooster slowed him up, reluctantly he dropped it. He sprang from the top to the bottom of one of the dry channels, and raced up that. His ears were laid back, tuned to catch a sound of the pursuing dog. Twice he heard a stone rattle and once an eager whine, then the dog was lost. Glare had outdistanced it. Hungrier and angrier than ever, the lynx went back to the bench where so many snowshoes lived.

Again his own temper thwarted him. He made false passes at two snowshoes and missed them. The morning was well advanced when he returned for another try at the big trout. It was no use. The school of trout lay motionless in the deepest part of their pool.

Glare wandered along the stream, then stopped suddenly. He flattened his ears. His yellow eyes gleamed. He saw a beaver, a big animal twice his size. It was the first beaver he had ever seen on this stream, but he had fought and killed them elsewhere and he knew how to do it. He had to avoid their teeth, those great, tree-chopping tushes, but he knew how to do that. Glare poised to leap forward to the attack.

As he did so, a rifle cracked. The bullet ploughed into the ground where the lynx had crouched and downstream the dog yelped eagerly. Glare gave a great sidewise spring that carried him behind a group of aspens, and kept running.

Like all other wild things, Chip had definite rules to fit every known situation. When he did not know what to do, he simply did nothing. Chip applied that rule now; he held perfectly still. Glare was gone as quickly as a puff of wind, and the black and brown airedale that came in sight a few seconds later was intent only on the lynx's trail.

He was a young dog, bursting with puppyish enthusiasm. He bounded to the aspens, snuffled about, and slowly worked out Glare's trail. Chip watched the dog run through the aspens, faltering here and there but always returning to the scent he wanted. The dog was almost out of sight when the man came. Jed Hale was a young man with long, uncut black hair on a hatless head. He wore khaki trousers and shirt open at the collar, and his feet were encased in leather moccasins.

He had thrown on a light jacket, but running had made him warm and he had unfastened it so that it flapped as he ran. A stub-barreled dangled from his right hand. Jed Hale paused a moment, ducking beneath the overhanging branches to see which way the dog had gone. Then he ran on, never seeing the beaver.

Chip remained perfectly still, not moving a muscle. He was in plain sight and he knew it, but he also knew the virtues of absolute quiet. This was not the first time an enemy had run right past him because he held still. But had he moved, he certainly would have been seen. The beaver made no motion at all until the man and dog had been gone for a full two minutes, and then he advanced only a few steps. He sat up, balancing himself on his broad tail while he tested the wind currents with a wriggling nose.

Chip's sense of smell was not much keener than Glare's, but he could detect nearby odors and know where their sources were. Now the faint scents told him that Glare, Jed Hale and the dog were a long way up the creek. Chip dropped to all fours. Only a few feet away, the spring run he had been following down the mountain emptied into a stream. Chip left the winding run and walked directly to the stream. He halted on the bank, wanting to look it over before he made any definite moves.

The stream here was not much bigger than the brooklet he had followed up the other side of the mountain. It varied from narrow, swift riffles to four-foot pools. Chip looked at his own reflection in such a pool, an unusually deep one for a stream this size. It was floored with small stones, and very clear. The beaver slipped quietly into the three feet of water. The pool was too small and too clear to allow him to hide, but on the east side it extended beneath a hollowed-out cut bank.

Chip swam beneath the bank into a roomy cavern, and for the first time since crossing the mountain he felt reasonably safe and comfortable. He was hidden here. An enemy might smell him but none could see him. Should he be attacked, he was in a position to defend himself. The mere act of going into it told such a seasoned judge of water a great deal about the stream. Though it had not much of a flow in summer, it would not dry up completely.

Water of this temperature could come only from ever-flowing cold springs. Besides, though the stones on both sides of the pool were clean, those in the center were coated with aquatic moss growth which dies unless it is always submerged. When Chip went under the bank he discovered much more. In times of melting snow or heavy rains, this stream was subjected to fierce, violent floods. Gouged and torn, and littered with loose boulders of all sizes, the cavern could have been excavated only by hammering waters of great force.

More rushing water had carried the boulders down to this dead end beneath the embankment. Old Chip crawled to the back end of the dry cavern and slept. It had been an exhausting, frightening climb over the mountain and down the other side, and he was very tired. But he did not give way to exhaustion, as a human would have. The beaver had learned too many harsh lessons to relax even while he slept.

His senses were attuned to the gentle wash of the pool, and to the murmur of the riffles above and below him. Chip came instantly awake when a light tread sounded directly overhead. As a couple of pebbles fell from the roof to rattle down beside him, he identified the tread as that of a wandering deer. There were sharp, distinct thuds as the doe bounded away.

Chip sat up, unable to hear anything else but alert for whatever might come. Something had frightened the doe. A second later there was a slightly different tone in the upstream riffle's murmuring little song. Something had blocked the riffle for a split second, and the beaver must be ready for it.

He saw the shadow on the pool a fraction of an instant before Ripple, the otter, slipped under the ledge. Black as midnight, three feet of sinuous grace, Ripple raised his sleek, dripping head and for a moment stared at Chip. There was no fear evident about him, for Ripple feared nothing. A peerless hunter, as much at home in the water as any fish, Ripple turned aside only for Glare.

As he slithered his shining length all the way into the cavern, the place smelled of the musk which Ripple carried. Chip was ready for him. Many times had otter invaded his pond to catch whatever they could, and often, in winter, they had carried their fight right into the lodges. Sometimes they were successful, killing every inhabitant of a lodge.

But never of Chip's; he knew how to repulse them. He made ready to battle Ripple, but the otter was in no mood to fight anything so big. He slipped smoothly from beneath the ledge and swam on downstream. Ripple was on one of the far-flung journeys that might take him anywhere at all; he was a freebooter who went where he willed and took what he wanted along the way.

Chip remained alert and nervous. This was unknown country which already, in a very short time, had revealed many dangers. He would have to be extremely careful. Three hours later he heard Jed Hale and his dog, unsuccessful in their hunt for Glare, pass back down the stream. The beaver held very still as they passed, and when they were gone he moved nervously to the end of the ledge. He had not decided exactly what he would do here, but he was on water and would stay.

If he made up his mind to leave the aspen forest, he could travel up or downstream. For the present, though he was hungry and growing hungrier, he wished to remain hidden. He would go out only when twilight fell. The night had plenty of dangers, but darkness itself was a shield to protect his movements, and he wanted to do some exploring.

The smaller birds had already sought night roosts when Chip came out of his cavern. The birds twittered in the aspens about him as they made themselves ready for the night, then fell silent as Wraith, the great horned owl, flitted noiselessly overhead. Chip was aware of his passing but not concerned by it. Though such owls occasionally plucked swimming kits from the water's surface, they would never attack a full-grown beaver.

For a moment or two Chip remained in the cold pool, ready at a second's notice to dive back into the cave. He saw the sleek doe that had come to drink at the pool, and she stared curiously at him. The beaver returned her steady gaze. He was a true pacifist, a rare wild creature that would fight only when he himself was attacked.

He had no feud with deer nor had they with him. Both knew it. The doe drank and went away to graze. Chip climbed out on the bank and selected a small aspen whose bark was fairly bursting with new spring sap. He reared eagerly, supporting himself on his flat tail and grasping the tree with hand-like front paws as he began to gnaw a circle around the aspen. His teeth bit deeply, taking out big chunks of sweet green wood, and the tree's sap flowed pleasantly over the beaver's mouth.

Twice he stopped working to lick his chops, then resumed felling the tree. A moment later, with a soft swishing of branches, it toppled. Chip set to work, stripping succulent bark with his chisel-like teeth and eating it greedily. He ate until his belly was comfortably filled, then returned to the stream. He had not yet decided what he would or could do. At no time had there been evidence of gnawed sticks or chips; there seemed to be no other beaver on this stream.

Chip could take it for himself if he wanted it. The fact that both Glare and Ripple had established previous tenancies in the valley and on the stream made no difference. They were not of the beaver's tribe and he could do as he wished without regard to either. First he had to know the stream more thoroughly, must find for himself whether or not it was worth settling.

Chip returned to the water and slipped easily back into the pool. He started upstream. At no time did he leave the water course. Even when the riffles were so shallow that they barely wet his belly, he stayed in them. Water was his element; he felt happiest and safest when he was in it. As he travelled, he noted everything in the creek and on both sides. The aspen forest was a fine, rich, and healthy growth, ranging from seedlings which Chip could cut with one chop of his teeth to trees eighteen inches in diameter.

And it was a promising forest for beaver. Here, in these aspens, was food enough to supply a whole colony for many years to come. Chip worked with painstaking thoroughness. He travelled very slowly, and always stopped to examine whatever seemed worth close inspection. Before he had gone half a mile he knew beyond any doubt that beaver could thrive in the upper part of the valley.

It had everything they needed. There was plenty of food and a never-failing supply of water. But there were also other factors to be considered. The beaver did not linger in the pool where the King trout lived, although he was conscious of the school of fish swimming about beneath him as he passed.

Chip gave them not the slightest attention; he ate no fish and fish never bothered him. He went on up to where the stream was a mere dribble, trickling down a rocky bed lined with water-cress. Soon he came to the source itself. That was a spring which seeped from the very base of a great cliff. Cold and very clear, never getting the sun's direct rays, the spring had washed out a circular basin about two feet deep by three in diameter.

Below, other springs fed into the creek but none were so cold and pure as this one. Chip dipped his muzzle into the spring, and liked what he tasted. More and more, the stream was beginning to impress him as an ideal place in which to rebuild his shattered home. He now knew beyond any doubt that there were no other beaver upstream.

He still needed to investigate the lower reaches more completely. Chip started back downstream. He travelled very slowly, examining all over again places he had inspected when he came upstream. Fuel, except to cook his Food, is then unnecessary; the sun is his fire, and many of the fruits are sufficiently cooked by its rays; while Food generally is more various, and more easily obtained, and Clothing and Shelter are wholly or half unnecessary.

Yet some, not wise, go to the other side of the globe, to barbarous and unhealthy regions, and devote themselves to trade for ten or twenty years, in order that they may live,—that is, keep comfortably warm,—and die in New England at last. Most of the luxuries, and many of the so called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor.

The ancient philosophers, Chinese, Hindoo, Persian, and Greek, were a class than which none has been poorer in outward riches, none so rich in inward. We know not much about them. It is remarkable that we know so much of them as we do. The same is true of the more modern reformers and benefactors of their race. None can be an impartial or wise observer of human life but from the vantage ground of what we should call voluntary poverty. Of a life of luxury the fruit is luxury, whether in agriculture, or commerce, or literature, or art.

There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. Yet it is admirable to profess because it was once admirable to live. To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.

It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically. The success of great scholars and thinkers is commonly a courtier-like success, not kingly, not manly. They make shift to live merely by conformity, practically as their fathers did, and are in no sense the progenitors of a nobler race of men. But why do men degenerate ever? What makes families run out? What is the nature of the luxury which enervates and destroys nations? Are we sure that there is none of it in our own lives?

The philosopher is in advance of his age even in the outward form of his life. He is not fed, sheltered, clothed, warmed, like his contemporaries. How can a man be a philosopher and not maintain his vital heat by better methods than other men? When a man is warmed by the several modes which I have described, what does he want next? Surely not more warmth of the same kind, as more and richer food, larger and more splendid houses, finer and more abundant clothing, more numerous incessant and hotter fires, and the like.

When he has obtained those things which are necessary to life, there is another alternative than to obtain the superfluities; and that is, to adventure on life now, his vacation from humbler toil having commenced. The soil, it appears, is suited to the seed, for it has sent its radicle downward, and it may now send its shoot upward also with confidence. Why has man rooted himself thus firmly in the earth, but that he may rise in the same proportion into the heavens above?

I do not mean to prescribe rules to strong and valiant natures, who will mind their own affairs whether in heaven or hell, and perchance build more magnificently and spend more lavishly than the richest, without ever impoverishing themselves, not knowing how they live,—if, indeed, there are any such, as has been dreamed; nor to those who find their encouragement and inspiration in precisely the present condition of things, and cherish it with the fondness and enthusiasm of lovers,—and, to some extent, I reckon myself in this number; I do not speak to those who are well employed, in whatever circumstances, and they know whether they are well employed or not;—but mainly to the mass of men who are discontented, and idly complaining of the hardness of their lot or of the times, when they might improve them.

There are some who complain most energetically and inconsolably of any, because they are, as they say, doing their duty. I also have in my mind that seemingly wealthy, but most terribly impoverished class of all, who have accumulated dross, but know not how to use it, or get rid of it, and thus have forged their own golden or silver fetters.

If I should attempt to tell how I have desired to spend my life in years past, it would probably surprise those of my readers who are somewhat acquainted with its actual history; it would certainly astonish those who know nothing about it. I will only hint at some of the enterprises which I have cherished. In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.

I long ago lost a hound, a bay horse, and a turtle-dove, and am still on their trail. Many are the travellers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks and what calls they answered to. I have met one or two who had heard the hound, and the tramp of the horse, and even seen the dove disappear behind a cloud, and they seemed as anxious to recover them as if they had lost them themselves.

To anticipate, not the sunrise and the dawn merely, but, if possible, Nature herself! How many mornings, summer and winter, before yet any neighbor was stirring about his business, have I been about mine! No doubt, many of my townsmen have met me returning from this enterprise, farmers starting for Boston in the twilight, or woodchoppers going to their work.

It is true, I never assisted the sun materially in his rising, but, doubt not, it was of the last importance only to be present at it. So many autumn, ay, and winter days, spent outside the town, trying to hear what was in the wind, to hear and carry it express! I well-nigh sunk all my capital in it, and lost my own breath into the bargain, running in the face of it. If it had concerned either of the political parties, depend upon it, it would have appeared in the Gazette with the earliest intelligence.

At other times watching from the observatory of some cliff or tree, to telegraph any new arrival; or waiting at evening on the hill-tops for the sky to fall, that I might catch something, though I never caught much, and that, manna-wise, would dissolve again in the sun. For a long time I was reporter to a journal, of no very wide circulation, whose editor has never yet seen fit to print the bulk of my contributions, and, as is too common with writers, I got only my labor for my pains.

However, in this case my pains were their own reward. For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snow storms and rain storms, and did my duty faithfully; surveyor, if not of highways, then of forest paths and all across-lot routes, keeping them open, and ravines bridged and passable at all seasons, where the public heel had testified to their utility. I have looked after the wild stock of the town, which give a faithful herdsman a good deal of trouble by leaping fences; and I have had an eye to the unfrequented nooks and corners of the farm; though I did not always know whether Jonas or Solomon worked in a particular field to-day; that was none of my business.

I have watered the red huckleberry, the sand cherry and the nettle tree, the red pine and the black ash, the white grape and the yellow violet, which might have withered else in dry seasons. In short, I went on thus for a long time, I may say it without boasting, faithfully minding my business, till it became more and more evident that my townsmen would not after all admit me into the list of town officers, nor make my place a sinecure with a moderate allowance.

My accounts, which I can swear to have kept faithfully, I have, indeed, never got audited, still less accepted, still less paid and settled. However, I have not set my heart on that. Not long since, a strolling Indian went to sell baskets at the house of a well-known lawyer in my neighborhood. The life which men praise and regard as successful is but one kind.

Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others? Finding that my fellow-citizens were not likely to offer me any room in the court house, or any curacy or living any where else, but I must shift for myself, I turned my face more exclusively than ever to the woods, where I was better known. I determined to go into business at once, and not wait to acquire the usual capital, using such slender means as I had already got.

My purpose in going to Walden Pond was not to live cheaply nor to live dearly there, but to transact some private business with the fewest obstacles; to be hindered from accomplishing which for want of a little common sense, a little enterprise and business talent, appeared not so sad as foolish. I have always endeavored to acquire strict business habits; they are indispensable to every man. If your trade is with the Celestial Empire, then some small counting house on the coast, in some Salem harbor, will be fixture enough.

You will export such articles as the country affords, purely native products, much ice and pine timber and a little granite, always in native bottoms. These will be good ventures. It is a labor to task the faculties of a man,—such problems of profit and loss, of interest, of tare and tret, and gauging of all kinds in it, as demand a universal knowledge. I have thought that Walden Pond would be a good place for business, not solely on account of the railroad and the ice trade; it offers advantages which it may not be good policy to divulge; it is a good port and a good foundation.

No Neva marshes to be filled; though you must every where build on piles of your own driving. It is said that a flood-tide, with a westerly wind, and ice in the Neva, would sweep St. Petersburg from the face of the earth. As this business was to be entered into without the usual capital, it may not be easy to conjecture where those means, that will still be indispensable to every such undertaking, were to be obtained.

As for Clothing, to come at once to the practical part of the question, perhaps we are led oftener by the love of novelty, and a regard for the opinions of men, in procuring it, than by a true utility. Let him who has work to do recollect that the object of clothing is, first, to retain the vital heat, and secondly, in this state of society, to cover nakedness, and he may judge how much of any necessary or important work may be accomplished without adding to his wardrobe.

Kings and queens who wear a suit but once, though made by some tailor or dressmaker to their majesties, cannot know the comfort of wearing a suit that fits. They are no better than wooden horses to hang the clean clothes on. No man ever stood the lower in my estimation for having a patch in his clothes; yet I am sure that there is greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and unpatched clothes, than to have a sound conscience.

But even if the rent is not mended, perhaps the worst vice betrayed is improvidence. I sometimes try my acquaintances by such tests as this;—who could wear a patch, or two extra seams only, over the knee? Most behave as if they believed that their prospects for life would be ruined if they should do it.

It would be easier for them to hobble to town with a broken leg than with a broken pantaloon. We know but few men, a great many coats and breeches. Dress a scarecrow in your last shift, you standing shiftless by, who would not soonest salute the scarecrow? Passing a cornfield the other day, close by a hat and coat on a stake, I recognized the owner of the farm. He was only a little more weather-beaten than when I saw him last.

It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes. Could you, in such a case, tell surely of any company of civilized men, which belonged to the most respected class? But they yield such respect, numerous as they are, are so far heathen, and need to have a missionary sent to them. A man who has at length found something to do will not need to get a new suit to do it in; for him the old will do, that has lain dusty in the garret for an indeterminate period.

Old shoes will serve a hero longer than they have served his valet,—if a hero ever has a valet,—bare feet are older than shoes, and he can make them do. But if my jacket and trousers, my hat and shoes, are fit to worship God in, they will do; will they not? Who ever saw his old clothes,—his old coat, actually worn out, resolved into its primitive elements, so that it was not a deed of charity to bestow it on some poor boy, by him perchance to be bestowed on some poorer still, or shall we say richer, who could do with less?

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. If there is not a new man, how can the new clothes be made to fit? If you have any enterprise before you, try it in your old clothes.

All men want, not something to do with , but something to do , or rather something to be. Perhaps we should never procure a new suit, however ragged or dirty the old, until we have so conducted, so enterprised or sailed in some way, that we feel like new men in the old, and that to retain it would be like keeping new wine in old bottles. Our moulting season, like that of the fowls, must be a crisis in our lives. The loon retires to solitary ponds to spend it.

Thus also the snake casts its slough, and the caterpillar its wormy coat, by an internal industry and expansion; for clothes are but our outmost cuticle and mortal coil. Otherwise we shall be found sailing under false colors, and be inevitably cashiered at last by our own opinion, as well as that of mankind. We don garment after garment, as if we grew like exogenous plants by addition without.

Our outside and often thin and fanciful clothes are our epidermis, or false skin, which partakes not of our life, and may be stripped off here and there without fatal injury; our thicker garments, constantly worn, are our cellular integument, or cortex; but our shirts are our liber or true bark, which cannot be removed without girdling and so destroying the man. I believe that all races at some seasons wear something equivalent to the shirt.

It is desirable that a man be clad so simply that he can lay his hands on himself in the dark, and that he live in all respects so compactly and preparedly, that, if an enemy take the town, he can, like the old philosopher, walk out the gate empty-handed without anxiety.

While one thick garment is, for most purposes, as good as three thin ones, and cheap clothing can be obtained at prices really to suit customers; while a thick coat can be bought for five dollars, which will last as many years, thick pantaloons for two dollars, cowhide boots for a dollar and a half a pair, a summer hat for a quarter of a dollar, and a winter cap for sixty-two and a half cents, or a better be made at home at a nominal cost, where is he so poor that, clad in such a suit, of his own earning , there will not be found wise men to do him reverence?

She spins and weaves and cuts with full authority. I sometimes despair of getting anything quite simple and honest done in this world by the help of men. They would have to be passed through a powerful press first, to squeeze their old notions out of them, so that they would not soon get upon their legs again, and then there would be some one in the company with a maggot in his head, hatched from an egg deposited there nobody knows when, for not even fire kills these things, and you would have lost your labor.

Nevertheless, we will not forget that some Egyptian wheat was handed down to us by a mummy. On the whole, I think that it cannot be maintained that dressing has in this or any country risen to the dignity of an art. At present men make shift to wear what they can get. Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new. All costume off a man is pitiful or grotesque. It is only the serious eye peering from and the sincere life passed within it, which restrain laughter and consecrate the costume of any people.

Let Harlequin be taken with a fit of the colic and his trappings will have to serve that mood too. When the soldier is hit by a cannon ball rags are as becoming as purple. The childish and savage taste of men and women for new patterns keeps how many shaking and squinting through kaleidoscopes that they may discover the particular figure which this generation requires today. The manufacturers have learned that this taste is merely whimsical.

Of two patterns which differ only by a few threads more or less of a particular color, the one will be sold readily, the other lie on the shelf, though it frequently happens that after the lapse of a season the latter becomes the most fashionable.

Comparatively, tattooing is not the hideous custom which it is called. It is not barbarous merely because the printing is skin-deep and unalterable. I cannot believe that our factory system is the best mode by which men may get clothing. The condition of the operatives is becoming every day more like that of the English; and it cannot be wondered at, since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind may be well and honestly clad, but, unquestionably, that corporations may be enriched.

In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high. As for a Shelter, I will not deny that this is now a necessary of life, though there are instances of men having done without it for long periods in colder countries than this. In our climate, in the summer, it was formerly almost solely a covering at night.

Man was not made so large limbed and robust but that he must seek to narrow his world, and wall in a space such as fitted him. He was at first bare and out of doors; but though this was pleasant enough in serene and warm weather, by daylight, the rainy season and the winter, to say nothing of the torrid sun, would perhaps have nipped his race in the bud if he had not made haste to clothe himself with the shelter of a house.

Adam and Eve, according to the fable, wore the bower before other clothes. Man wanted a home, a place of warmth, or comfort, first of physical warmth, then the warmth of the affections. We may imagine a time when, in the infancy of the human race, some enterprising mortal crept into a hollow in a rock for shelter. Every child begins the world again, to some extent, and loves to stay out doors, even in wet and cold. It plays house, as well as horse, having an instinct for it.

Who does not remember the interest with which when young he looked at shelving rocks, or any approach to a cave? It was the natural yearning of that portion of our most primitive ancestor which still survived in us. From the cave we have advanced to roofs of palm leaves, of bark and boughs, of linen woven and stretched, of grass and straw, of boards and shingles, of stones and tiles.

At last, we know not what it is to live in the open air, and our lives are domestic in more senses than we think. From the hearth to the field is a great distance. It would be well perhaps if we were to spend more of our days and nights without any obstruction between us and the celestial bodies, if the poet did not speak so much from under a roof, or the saint dwell there so long.

Birds do not sing in caves, nor do doves cherish their innocence in dovecots. However, if one designs to construct a dwelling house, it behooves him to exercise a little Yankee shrewdness, lest after all he find himself in a workhouse, a labyrinth without a clue, a museum, an almshouse, a prison, or a splendid mausoleum instead.

Consider first how slight a shelter is absolutely necessary. I have seen Penobscot Indians, in this town, living in tents of thin cotton cloth, while the snow was nearly a foot deep around them, and I thought that they would be glad to have it deeper to keep out the wind.

Formerly, when how to get my living honestly, with freedom left for my proper pursuits, was a question which vexed me even more than it does now, for unfortunately I am become somewhat callous, I used to see a large box by the railroad, six feet long by three wide, in which the laborers locked up their tools at night, and it suggested to me that every man who was hard pushed might get such a one for a dollar, and, having bored a few auger holes in it, to admit the air at least, get into it when it rained and at night, and hook down the lid, and so have freedom in his love, and in his soul be free.

This did not appear the worst, nor by any means a despicable alternative. You could sit up as late as you pleased, and, whenever you got up, go abroad without any landlord or house-lord dogging you for rent. Many a man is harassed to death to pay the rent of a larger and more luxurious box who would not have frozen to death in such a box as this.

I am far from jesting. Economy is a subject which admits of being treated with levity, but it cannot so be disposed of. A comfortable house for a rude and hardy race, that lived mostly out of doors, was once made here almost entirely of such materials as Nature furnished ready to their hands. The meaner sort are covered with mats which they make of a kind of bulrush, and are also indifferently tight and warm, but not so good as the former Some I have seen, sixty or a hundred feet long and thirty feet broad I have often lodged in their wigwams, and found them as warm as the best English houses.

The Indians had advanced so far as to regulate the effect of the wind by a mat suspended over the hole in the roof and moved by a string. Such a lodge was in the first instance constructed in a day or two at most, and taken down and put up in a few hours; and every family owned one, or its apartment in one. In the savage state every family owns a shelter as good as the best, and sufficient for its coarser and simpler wants; but I think that I speak within bounds when I say that, though the birds of the air have their nests, and the foxes their holes, and the savages their wigwams, in modern civilized society not more than one half the families own a shelter.

In the large towns and cities, where civilization especially prevails, the number of those who own a shelter is a very small fraction of the whole. The rest pay an annual tax for this outside garment of all, become indispensable summer and winter, which would buy a village of Indian wigwams, but now helps to keep them poor as long as they live. I do not mean to insist here on the disadvantage of hiring compared with owning, but it is evident that the savage owns his shelter because it costs so little, while the civilized man hires his commonly because he cannot afford to own it; nor can he, in the long run, any better afford to hire.

An annual rent of from twenty-five to a hundred dollars, these are the country rates, entitles him to the benefit of the improvements of centuries, spacious apartments, clean paint and paper, Rumford fireplace, back plastering, Venetian blinds, copper pump, spring lock, a commodious cellar, and many other things.

But how happens it that he who is said to enjoy these things is so commonly a poor civilized man, while the savage, who has them not, is rich as a savage? If it is asserted that civilization is a real advance in the condition of man,—and I think that it is, though only the wise improve their advantages,—it must be shown that it has produced better dwellings without making them more costly; and the cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

If we suppose him to pay a rent instead, this is but a doubtful choice of evils. Would the savage have been wise to exchange his wigwam for a palace on these terms? It may be guessed that I reduce almost the whole advantage of holding this superfluous property as a fund in store against the future, so far as the individual is concerned, mainly to the defraying of funeral expenses.

But perhaps a man is not required to bury himself. Nevertheless this points to an important distinction between the civilized man and the savage; and, no doubt, they have designs on us for our benefit, in making the life of a civilized people an institution , in which the life of the individual is to a great extent absorbed, in order to preserve and perfect that of the race.

But I wish to show at what a sacrifice this advantage is at present obtained, and to suggest that we may possibly so live as to secure all the advantage without suffering any of the disadvantage. When I consider my neighbors, the farmers of Concord, who are at least as well off as the other classes, I find that for the most part they have been toiling twenty, thirty, or forty years, that they may become the real owners of their farms, which commonly they have inherited with encumbrances, or else bought with hired money,—and we may regard one third of that toil as the cost of their houses,—but commonly they have not paid for them yet.

It is true, the encumbrances sometimes outweigh the value of the farm, so that the farm itself becomes one great encumbrance, and still a man is found to inherit it, being well acquainted with it, as he says. On applying to the assessors, I am surprised to learn that they cannot at once name a dozen in the town who own their farms free and clear.

If you would know the history of these homesteads, inquire at the bank where they are mortgaged. The man who has actually paid for his farm with labor on it is so rare that every neighbor can point to him. I doubt if there are three such men in Concord. What has been said of the merchants, that a very large majority, even ninety-seven in a hundred, are sure to fail, is equally true of the farmers. With regard to the merchants, however, one of them says pertinently that a great part of their failures are not genuine pecuniary failures, but merely failures to fulfil their engagements, because it is inconvenient; that is, it is the moral character that breaks down.

But this puts an infinitely worse face on the matter, and suggests, beside, that probably not even the other three succeed in saving their souls, but are perchance bankrupt in a worse sense than they who fail honestly. Bankruptcy and repudiation are the springboards from which much of our civilization vaults and turns its somersets, but the savage stands on the unelastic plank of famine.

The farmer is endeavoring to solve the problem of a livelihood by a formula more complicated than the problem itself. To get his shoestrings he speculates in herds of cattle. With consummate skill he has set his trap with a hair spring to catch comfort and independence, and then, as he turned away, got his own leg into it.

This is the reason he is poor; and for a similar reason we are all poor in respect to a thousand savage comforts, though surrounded by luxuries. As Chapman sings,—. And when the farmer has got his house, he may not be the richer but the poorer for it, and it be the house that has got him.

I know one or two families, at least, in this town, who, for nearly a generation, have been wishing to sell their houses in the outskirts and move into the village, but have not been able to accomplish it, and only death will set them free. Granted that the majority are able at last either to own or hire the modern house with all its improvements. While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them.

It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings. But how do the poor minority fare? Perhaps it will be found, that just in proportion as some have been placed in outward circumstances above the savage, others have been degraded below him. The luxury of one class is counterbalanced by the indigence of another. The mason who finishes the cornice of the palace returns at night perchance to a hut not so good as a wigwam.

It is a mistake to suppose that, in a country where the usual evidences of civilization exist, the condition of a very large body of the inhabitants may not be as degraded as that of savages. I refer to the degraded poor, not now to the degraded rich. To know this I should not need to look farther than to the shanties which every where border our railroads, that last improvement in civilization; where I see in my daily walks human beings living in sties, and all winter with an open door, for the sake of light, without any visible, often imaginable, wood pile, and the forms of both old and young are permanently contracted by the long habit of shrinking from cold and misery, and the development of all their limbs and faculties is checked.

It certainly is fair to look at that class by whose labor the works which distinguish this generation are accomplished. Such too, to a greater or less extent, is the condition of the operatives of every denomination in England, which is the great workhouse of the world. Or I could refer you to Ireland, which is marked as one of the white or enlightened spots on the map. Contrast the physical condition of the Irish with that of the North American Indian, or the South Sea Islander, or any other savage race before it was degraded by contact with the civilized man.

Their condition only proves what squalidness may consist with civilization. I hardly need refer now to the laborers in our Southern States who produce the staple exports of this country, and are themselves a staple production of the South. But to confine myself to those who are said to be in moderate circumstances. Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have.

As if one were to wear any sort of coat which the tailor might cut out for him, or, gradually leaving off palmleaf hat or cap of woodchuck skin, complain of hard times because he could not afford to buy him a crown! It is possible to invent a house still more convenient and luxurious than we have, which yet all would admit that man could not afford to pay for. Shall we always study to obtain more of these things, and not sometimes to be content with less?

When I think of the benefactors of the race, whom we have apotheosized as messengers from heaven, bearers of divine gifts to man, I do not see in my mind any retinue at their heels, any car-load of fashionable furniture. Or what if I were to allow—would it not be a singular allowance? Morning work!

I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and I threw them out the window in disgust. How, then, could I have a furnished house? I would rather sit in the open air, for no dust gathers on the grass, unless where man has broken ground.

It is the luxurious and dissipated who set the fashions which the herd so diligently follow. The traveller who stops at the best houses, so called, soon discovers this, for the publicans presume him to be a Sardanapalus, and if he resigned himself to their tender mercies he would soon be completely emasculated. I think that in the railroad car we are inclined to spend more on luxury than on safety and convenience, and it threatens without attaining these to become no better than a modern drawing room, with its divans, and ottomans, and sun-shades, and a hundred other oriental things, which we are taking west with us, invented for the ladies of the harem and the effeminate natives of the Celestial Empire, which Jonathan should be ashamed to know the names of.

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion. I would rather ride on earth in an ox cart with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way. When he was refreshed with food and sleep he contemplated his journey again. He dwelt, as it were, in a tent in this world, and was either threading the valleys, or crossing the plains, or climbing the mountain tops. But lo! The man who independently plucked the fruits when he was hungry is become a farmer; and he who stood under a tree for shelter, a housekeeper.

We now no longer camp as for a night, but have settled down on earth and forgotten heaven. We have adopted Christianity merely as an improved method of agri -culture. We have built for this world a family mansion, and for the next a family tomb. There is actually no place in this village for a work of fine art, if any had come down to us, to stand, for our lives, our houses and streets, furnish no proper pedestal for it.

There is not a nail to hang a picture on, nor a shelf to receive the bust of a hero or a saint. When I consider how our houses are built and paid for, or not paid for, and their internal economy managed and sustained, I wonder that the floor does not give way under the visitor while he is admiring the gewgaws upon the mantel-piece, and let him through into the cellar, to some solid and honest though earthy foundation. I cannot but perceive that this so called rich and refined life is a thing jumped at, and I do not get on in the enjoyment of the fine arts which adorn it, my attention being wholly occupied with the jump; for I remember that the greatest genuine leap, due to human muscles alone, on record, is that of certain wandering Arabs, who are said to have cleared twenty-five feet on level ground.

Without factitious support, man is sure to come to earth again beyond that distance. The first question which I am tempted to put to the proprietor of such great impropriety is, Who bolsters you? Are you one of the ninety-seven who fail, or of the three who succeed? Answer me these questions, and then perhaps I may look at your bawbles and find them ornamental. The cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful. Before we can adorn our houses with beautiful objects the walls must be stripped, and our lives must be stripped, and beautiful housekeeping and beautiful living be laid for a foundation: now, a taste for the beautiful is most cultivated out of doors, where there is no house and no housekeeper.

The wealthy and principal men in New England, in the beginning of the colonies, commenced their first dwelling houses in this fashion for two reasons; firstly, in order not to waste time in building, and not to want food the next season; secondly, in order not to discourage poor laboring people whom they brought over in numbers from Fatherland. In the course of three or four years, when the country became adapted to agriculture, they built themselves handsome houses, spending on them several thousands.

In this course which our ancestors took there was a show of prudence at least, as if their principle were to satisfy the more pressing wants first. But are the more pressing wants satisfied now? When I think of acquiring for myself one of our luxurious dwellings, I am deterred, for, so to speak, the country is not yet adapted to human culture, and we are still forced to cut our spiritual bread far thinner than our forefathers did their wheaten. Not that all architectural ornament is to be neglected even in the rudest periods; but let our houses first be lined with beauty, where they come in contact with our lives, like the tenement of the shellfish, and not overlaid with it.

But, alas! I have been inside one or two of them, and know what they are lined with. Though we are not so degenerate but that we might possibly live in a cave or a wigwam or wear skins today, it certainly is better to accept the advantages, though so dearly bought, which the invention and industry of mankind offer. In such a neighborhood as this, boards and shingles, lime and bricks, are cheaper and more easily obtained than suitable caves, or whole logs, or bark in sufficient quantities, or even well-tempered clay or flat stones.

I speak understandingly on this subject, for I have made myself acquainted with it both theoretically and practically. With a little more wit we might use these materials so as to become richer than the richest now are, and make our civilization a blessing. The civilized man is a more experienced and wiser savage.

But to make haste to my own experiment. Near the end of March, , I borrowed an axe and went down to the woods by Walden Pond, nearest to where I intended to build my house, and began to cut down some tall, arrowy white pines, still in their youth, for timber. It is difficult to begin without borrowing, but perhaps it is the most generous course thus to permit your fellow-men to have an interest in your enterprise. The owner of the axe, as he released his hold on it, said that it was the apple of his eye; but I returned it sharper than I received it.

It was a pleasant hillside where I worked, covered with pine woods, through which I looked out on the pond, and a small open field in the woods where pines and hickories were springing up. The ice in the pond was not yet dissolved, though there were some open spaces, and it was all dark colored and saturated with water.

There were some slight flurries of snow during the days that I worked there; but for the most part when I came out on to the railroad, on my way home, its yellow sand heap stretched away gleaming in the hazy atmosphere, and the rails shone in the spring sun, and I heard the lark and pewee and other birds already come to commence another year with us. One day, when my axe had come off and I had cut a green hickory for a wedge, driving it with a stone, and had placed the whole to soak in a pond hole in order to swell the wood, I saw a striped snake run into the water, and he lay on the bottom, apparently without inconvenience, as long as I stayed there, or more than a quarter of an hour; perhaps because he had not yet fairly come out of the torpid state.

It appeared to me that for a like reason men remain in their present low and primitive condition; but if they should feel the influence of the spring of springs arousing them, they would of necessity rise to a higher and more ethereal life. I had previously seen the snakes in frosty mornings in my path with portions of their bodies still numb and inflexible, waiting for the sun to thaw them.

On the 1st of April it rained and melted the ice, and in the early part of the day, which was very foggy, I heard a stray goose groping about over the pond and cackling as if lost, or like the spirit of the fog. So I went on for some days cutting and hewing timber, and also studs and rafters, all with my narrow axe, not having many communicable or scholar-like thoughts, singing to myself,—.

Men say they know many things; But lo! I hewed the main timbers six inches square, most of the studs on two sides only, and the rafters and floor timbers on one side, leaving the rest of the bark on, so that they were just as straight and much stronger than sawed ones.

Each stick was carefully mortised or tenoned by its stump, for I had borrowed other tools by this time. My days in the woods were not very long ones; yet I usually carried my dinner of bread and butter, and read the newspaper in which it was wrapped, at noon, sitting amid the green pine boughs which I had cut off, and to my bread was imparted some of their fragrance, for my hands were covered with a thick coat of pitch.

Before I had done I was more the friend than the foe of the pine tree, though I had cut down some of them, having become better acquainted with it. Sometimes a rambler in the wood was attracted by the sound of my axe, and we chatted pleasantly over the chips which I had made.

By the middle of April, for I made no haste in my work, but rather made the most of it, my house was framed and ready for the raising. I had already bought the shanty of James Collins, an Irishman who worked on the Fitchburg Railroad, for boards. When I called to see it he was not at home. I walked about the outside, at first unobserved from within, the window was so deep and high. It was of small dimensions, with a peaked cottage roof, and not much else to be seen, the dirt being raised five feet all around as if it were a compost heap.

The roof was the soundest part, though a good deal warped and made brittle by the sun. Door-sill there was none, but a perennial passage for the hens under the door board. The hens were driven in by my approach. It was dark, and had a dirt floor for the most part, dank, clammy, and aguish, only here a board and there a board which would not bear removal. She lighted a lamp to show me the inside of the roof and the walls, and also that the board floor extended under the bed, warning me not to step into the cellar, a sort of dust hole two feet deep.

There was a stove, a bed, and a place to sit, an infant in the house where it was born, a silk parasol, gilt-framed looking-glass, and a patent new coffee mill nailed to an oak sapling, all told. The bargain was soon concluded, for James had in the meanwhile returned.

I to pay four dollars and twenty-five cents to-night, he to vacate at five to-morrow morning, selling to nobody else meanwhile: I to take possession at six. It were well, he said, to be there early, and anticipate certain indistinct but wholly unjust claims on the score of ground rent and fuel. This he assured me was the only encumbrance.

At six I passed him and his family on the road. One large bundle held their all,—bed, coffee-mill, looking-glass, hens,—all but the cat, she took to the woods and became a wild cat, and, as I learned afterward, trod in a trap set for woodchucks, and so became a dead cat at last. I took down this dwelling the same morning, drawing the nails, and removed it to the pond side by small cartloads, spreading the boards on the grass there to bleach and warp back again in the sun.

One early thrush gave me a note or two as I drove along the woodland path. I was informed treacherously by a young Patrick that neighbor Seeley, an Irishman, in the intervals of the carting, transferred the still tolerable, straight, and drivable nails, staples, and spikes to his pocket, and then stood when I came back to pass the time of day, and look freshly up, unconcerned, with spring thoughts, at the devastation; there being a dearth of work, as he said. He was there to represent spectatordom, and help make this seemingly insignificant event one with the removal of the gods of Troy.

I dug my cellar in the side of a hill sloping to the south, where a woodchuck had formerly dug his burrow, down through sumach and blackberry roots, and the lowest stain of vegetation, six feet square by seven deep, to a fine sand where potatoes would not freeze in any winter. The sides were left shelving, and not stoned; but the sun having never shone on them, the sand still keeps its place.

I took particular pleasure in this breaking of ground, for in almost all latitudes men dig into the earth for an equable temperature. Under the most splendid house in the city is still to be found the cellar where they store their roots as of old, and long after the superstructure has disappeared posterity remark its dent in the earth.

The house is still but a sort of porch at the entrance of a burrow. At length, in the beginning of May, with the help of some of my acquaintances, rather to improve so good an occasion for neighborliness than from any necessity, I set up the frame of my house. No man was ever more honored in the character of his raisers than I.

They are destined, I trust, to assist at the raising of loftier structures one day. I began to occupy my house on the 4th of July, as soon as it was boarded and roofed, for the boards were carefully feather-edged and lapped, so that it was perfectly impervious to rain; but before boarding I laid the foundation of a chimney at one end, bringing two cartloads of stones up the hill from the pond in my arms.

I built the chimney after my hoeing in the fall, before a fire became necessary for warmth, doing my cooking in the mean while out of doors on the ground, early in the morning: which mode I still think is in some respects more convenient and agreeable than the usual one.

When it stormed before my bread was baked, I fixed a few boards over the fire, and sat under them to watch my loaf, and passed some pleasant hours in that way. In those days, when my hands were much employed, I read but little, but the least scraps of paper which lay on the ground, my holder, or tablecloth, afforded me as much entertainment, in fact answered the same purpose as the Iliad. It would be worth the while to build still more deliberately than I did, considering, for instance, what foundation a door, a window, a cellar, a garret, have in the nature of man, and perchance never raising any superstructure until we found a better reason for it than our temporal necessities even.

Who knows but if men constructed their dwellings with their own hands, and provided food for themselves and families simply and honestly enough, the poetic faculty would be universally developed, as birds universally sing when they are so engaged?

But alas! Shall we forever resign the pleasure of construction to the carpenter? What does architecture amount to in the experience of the mass of men? I never in all my walks came across a man engaged in so simple and natural an occupation as building his house. We belong to the community. It is not the tailor alone who is the ninth part of a man; it is as much the preacher, and the merchant, and the farmer.

Where is this division of labor to end? No doubt another may also think for me; but it is not therefore desirable that he should do so to the exclusion of my thinking for myself. True, there are architects so called in this country, and I have heard of one at least possessed with the idea of making architectural ornaments have a core of truth, a necessity, and hence a beauty, as if it were a revelation to him.

All very well perhaps from his point of view, but only a little better than the common dilettantism. A sentimental reformer in architecture, he began at the cornice, not at the foundation. It was only how to put a core of truth within the ornaments, that every sugar plum in fact might have an almond or caraway seed in it,—though I hold that almonds are most wholesome without the sugar,—and not how the inhabitant, the indweller, might build truly within and without, and let the ornaments take care of themselves.

But a man has no more to do with the style of architecture of his house than a tortoise with that of its shell: nor need the soldier be so idle as to try to paint the precise color of his virtue on his standard. The enemy will find it out. He may turn pale when the trial comes. This man seemed to me to lean over the cornice, and timidly whisper his half truth to the rude occupants who really knew it better than he. What of architectural beauty I now see, I know has gradually grown from within outward, out of the necessities and character of the indweller, who is the only builder,—out of some unconscious truthfulness, and nobleness, without ever a thought for the appearance and whatever additional beauty of this kind is destined to be produced will be preceded by a like unconscious beauty of life.

A great proportion of architectural ornaments are literally hollow, and a September gale would strip them off, like borrowed plumes, without injury to the substantials. They can do without architecture who have no olives nor wines in the cellar.

What if an equal ado were made about the ornaments of style in literature, and the architects of our bibles spent as much time about their cornices as the architects of our churches do? So are made the belles-lettres and the beaux-arts and their professors. Much it concerns a man, forsooth, how a few sticks are slanted over him or under him, and what colors are daubed upon his box. Is he thinking of his last and narrow house? Toss up a copper for it as well. What an abundance of leisure he must have!

Why do you take up a handful of dirt? Better paint your house your own complexion; let it turn pale or blush for you. An enterprise to improve the style of cottage architecture! When you have got my ornaments ready I will wear them. Before winter I built a chimney, and shingled the sides of my house, which were already impervious to rain, with imperfect and sappy shingles made of the first slice of the log, whose edges I was obliged to straighten with a plane.

I have thus a tight shingled and plastered house, ten feet wide by fifteen long, and eight-feet posts, with a garret and a closet, a large window on each side, two trap doors, one door at the end, and a brick fireplace opposite. The exact cost of my house, paying the usual price for such materials as I used, but not counting the work, all of which was done by myself, was as follows; and I give the details because very few are able to tell exactly what their houses cost, and fewer still, if any, the separate cost of the various materials which compose them:—.

I have also a small wood-shed adjoining, made chiefly of the stuff which was left after building the house. I intend to build me a house which will surpass any on the main street in Concord in grandeur and luxury, as soon as it pleases me as much and will cost me no more than my present one.

I thus found that the student who wishes for a shelter can obtain one for a lifetime at an expense not greater than the rent which he now pays annually. If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself; and my shortcomings and inconsistencies do not affect the truth of my statement. I will endeavor to speak a good word for the truth. I cannot but think that if we had more true wisdom in these respects, not only less education would be needed, because, forsooth, more would already have been acquired, but the pecuniary expense of getting an education would in a great measure vanish.

Those conveniences which the student requires at Cambridge or elsewhere cost him or somebody else ten times as great a sacrifice of life as they would with proper management on both sides. Those things for which the most money is demanded are never the things which the student most wants.

Tuition, for instance, is an important item in the term bill, while for the far more valuable education which he gets by associating with the most cultivated of his contemporaries no charge is made. The mode of founding a college is, commonly, to get up a subscription of dollars and cents, and then following blindly the principles of a division of labor to its extreme, a principle which should never be followed but with circumspection,—to call in a contractor who makes this a subject of speculation, and he employs Irishmen or other operatives actually to lay the foundations, while the students that are to be are said to be fitting themselves for it; and for these oversights successive generations have to pay.

I think that it would be better than this , for the students, or those who desire to be benefited by it, even to lay the foundation themselves. The student who secures his coveted leisure and retirement by systematically shirking any labor necessary to man obtains but an ignoble and unprofitable leisure, defrauding himself of the experience which alone can make leisure fruitful.

How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living? Methinks this would exercise their minds as much as mathematics. If I wished a boy to know something about the arts and sciences, for instance, I would not pursue the common course, which is merely to send him into the neighborhood of some professor, where any thing is professed and practised but the art of life;—to survey the world through a telescope or a microscope, and never with his natural eye; to study chemistry, and not learn how his bread is made, or mechanics, and not learn how it is earned; to discover new satellites to Neptune, and not detect the motes in his eyes, or to what vagabond he is a satellite himself; or to be devoured by the monsters that swarm all around him, while contemplating the monsters in a drop of vinegar.

Which would be most likely to cut his fingers? To my astonishment I was informed on leaving college that I had studied navigation! Even the poor student studies and is taught only political economy, while that economy of living which is synonymous with philosophy is not even sincerely professed in our colleges.

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Gangnam style hd video songs 1080p torrent When I consider my neighbors, the farmers of Concord, who are at least as well off as the other classes, I find that for the most part they have been toiling twenty, thirty, or forty years, that they may become the real owners of their farms, which commonly they have inherited with encumbrances, or else bought with hired money,—and we may regard one third of that toil as the cost of their houses,—but commonly they have not paid more info them yet. Only a few feet away, the spring run he had been following down the mountain emptied into a stream. How can a ripples on a pond ebook torrents be a philosopher and not maintain his vital heat by better methods than other men? I become a figure in the procession, a spoke in the huge wheel that, turning, at last erects me, here and now. Chip had lived in the pond by right of being born there. I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. One waves as here pass him.
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Video Audio icon An illustration of an audio speaker. Audio Software icon An illustration of a 3. Software Images icon An illustration of two photographs. Images Donate icon An illustration of a heart shape Donate Ellipses icon An illustration of text ellipses. Ripples on a pond Item Preview. Walter wed who he was told to wed, and in his wife gave birth to Vernon Claude. She survived the birth, but only for a month or two.

That was the day old James dared again to visualise a long line of grandchildren; and in the years to come, though he never offered a penny piece to his son, never spoke a word to his serving-wench daughter-in-law, he did what he could for young Gertrude.

Determined to see his grandchildren rise above his own shepherding past, Hooper encouraged young Gertrude to wed Archibald Foote, a Melbourne physician of good family. A Willama doctor cut her open and got the babe out, got it breathing. After all his effort, the babe turned out to be female. Vern had wanted a son to name for his grandfather. What did a man know of infants? Thereafter, he forgot about little Lorna. In hindsight, he should have farmed her out — or hired an older, less attractive, less compliant nursemaid.

He ended up wedding the nursemaid, and in a hell of a hurry. He was mounting when his nursemaid wife called to him from the window. At eighteen he would have wed her had his grandfather not been deadset against cousin marrying cousin. Always a fly in the ointment, that girl: surly, wilful, and, at the time, walking out with Norman Morrison, the stationmaster, a pompous fool of a man and son of overbearing, bulging, super-superior Cecelia Morrison.

Vern and Gertrude argued over that girl, and there was never a winner when it was Hooper against Hooper. A Hooper would cut off his nose to spite his face rather than back down. Maybe Vern took his third wife to nark Gertrude.

Maybe he did it for the money. Widowed, childless Joanne Nicholas owned a sawmill, a large and classy house in the middle of town, and was reputed to have inherited a fortune from her husband. Vern told Joanne that she was needed out at the farm; that his girls were coming home from their school and needed a mother. She paid a city housekeeper to keep her house looking classy, paid a gardener to keep her half-acre looking like a city park. He liked her house. Her sawmill was making money, but with good management could make more.

Menopausal, he thought. She turned out to be the former, but seven months later proved too old for pregnancy, was crippled by it. Vern brought Gertrude into town to have a look at her. She told Joanne to get herself down to the city doctors before the infant killed her.

The operation turned Joanne into a semi-invalid, but she survived it, as did the boy. They named him James Richard. Jimmy, his mother called him. Joanne lived for six more years. She had a lot of bad traits. She read books by the dozen, ordered them from the city in crates. He blamed her for turning Lorna into what she became. Daughters got too many outlandish ideas out of books. As did sons. If he took him within sniffing distance of the mill, Jim sneezed for a week. Lorna was the rider. She should have been the male.

Vern had given up on him and started planning his grandsons. And that damn fool of a boy had gone and got himself involved with Jenny Morrison, pretty as a picture, voice on her like an angel, and a hot-pants little half-dago slut of a girl who at seventeen was already mother to two illegitimate brats. She gave Vern his only grandchild, a son she named James Hooper Morrison, little Jimmy, and maybe the first good-looking Hooper ever born.

The day Vern first set eyes on that boy, he decided to claim him, legitimise him and make him heir to the Hooper fortune, which by was well worth being heir to, all thanks to Joanne. Her family had made a bundle out of Broken Hill mining shares. He did his best to marry off his daughters. Margaret had a couple of chances. Lorna, who looked worse than her mother, had none. Had he raised her Catholic, he might have got rid of her into a convent.

He could thank Lorna for kidnapping his grandson. He found out why a few months before he died. Lorna wanted control of the estate, and little Jimmy was her key to the gaining of it. An ugly woman, she measured six foot one and a half in her lisle-stockinged feet. She could total a row of ten figures while Vern was still looking for a pen, and had the devious nature of a backstreet lawyer. Vern had been dying by degrees for several years when Lorna decided that it would be in her best interests to adopt the boy, and in order to do that she needed to wed.

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