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a chance soon occurred for him to retrieve a portion of his lost character. We were soon to encounter a scene of quite a different nature. As we were travelling down beside the Holston, we came upon a party engaged in shooting. They had with them the common attendant of the times, a lusty jug of whiskey; we stopped the wagon, and started one of Jones's negroes to the spring after a pail of water, which he took up, and as he returned one of the men asked him for a gourd-full, but the boy having been ordered to hurry, was disposed to be true to his master, and manifested a little unwillingness to stop. At this the applicant rushed upon him, took the pail, and dashed the water against the ground. This brought Poe to the spot with a volley of oaths, such as Ad Lazenberry never was known to produce in his highest rage, and just as he was about to leap upon the offender with the spring of a tiger, another one ran up behind him, and throwing his hands around his head, attempted to gouge him, but Poe reached back, grabbed him, and in the twinkling of an eye
hurled him over his head, and being more than his equal, gave him a desperate fisticuffing.
In the mean time, a third seized Captain Douglass's gun; I sprang to his assistance, and we soon had his rude hands thrown off. Here the contest abated, but we did not leave until they were satisfied that we would defend ourselves to the last. At this point we crossed the river. The wagons passed on.
I remained at the bank with Poe, who desired to wash after the fight. While we were here, several of these halfcur, half-bulldog rowdies came at full speed on their horses, with their rifles, and shouting in a manner which proved to us that their object was to oppress us with awe. They dashed into the water on their side of the river, and while their horses were drinking we went on after our guns, having sent them forward in the train. When we came up with the wagons we stopped them, and cut a number of clubs for the negroes, and ordered them when to strike, and our guns being taken out, we were ready for the second battle. Just at this time a wayfarer rode up from the direction we were travelling, and perceiving our attitude, inquired what brought us into it; we informed him that we were awaiting the arrival of a threatening mob, and desired that he should
tell them when he met them to come on, that we were ready to accommodate them. “No," rejoined he, “I will stop their unholy career,” and galloped away towards the river, and this was the last we ever heard of him or them.
The remainder of our journey lay through an almost untravelled wilderness, the breadth of which was about two hundred miles. We then looked upon such a distance as almost an eternity, while in these days of locomotives we regard the same as but a span. We, however, toiled on, cutting our way into the forest, and one night where we had camped the Indians stole one bed and two of our horses, but we escaped the tomahawk and the scalping-knife, which generally satisfied the traveller in those regions. We had not calculated our provisions accurately. They gave out, and we were overtaken by want and hunger, but before we had suffered seriously, a small bag of parched corn meal was discovered in one of the wagons, and for several days was meagrely given out to each by a spoonful for a meal.
This we bore very well, in the hope that brighter days would dawn for us all, and after the last small allowance had
been distributed, and hunger beginning to pinch us sore, sure enough dame fortune smiled, bringing us upon a hunting camp, which was occupied by Mr. Edmond Jennings, who provided us with as much meat and meal as we desired, and which lasted us until the twenty-fourth day of August, which ended our journey in Cage's Bend, settled by Colonel Cage, Lewis Crane, and one or two others.
HERE I looked out upon the noble forest trees and valleys waving with luxuriant cane, and as I contemplated the wild scenery around me, I wondered if the seeds of civilization which were here being scattered would ever spring up, prosper, and arrive at that maturity which I saw upon the face of this delectable verdure; and a moment's reflection told me that God had never reared these majestic oaks, these tall hickories, and towering poplars, had never heaved these beautiful hills, and levelled these green vales, and supplied them with these purling little streams, and this majestic river, to be for ever the habitation of yelling Indians, and howling wolves, and hooting owls. And how delightful it is to me now to look through the long vista of years, extending back to the scenes of 1791, and contrast them with the joyous prospects of 1858.