Betty Zane HTML version
who would not free him; Myeerah with pity and love for hind and a fear that her long
cherished dream could never be realized.
One dark, stormy night, when the rain beat down in torrents and the swollen river raged
almost to its banks, Isaac slipped out of his lodge unobserved and under cover of the
pitchy darkness he got safely between the lines of tepees to the river. He had just the
opportunity for which he had been praying. He plunged into the water and floating down
with the swift current he soon got out of sight of the flickering camp fires. Half a mile
below he left the water and ran along the bank until he came to a large tree, a landmark
he remembered, when he turned abruptly to the east and struck out through the dense
woods. He travelled due east all that night and the next day without resting, and with
nothing to eat except a small piece of jerked buffalo meat which he had taken the
precaution to hide in his hunting shirt. He rested part of the second night and next
morning pushed on toward the east. He had expected to reach the Ohio that day, but he
did not and he noticed that the ground seemed to be gradually rising. He did not come
across any swampy lands or saw grass or vegetation characteristic of the lowlands. He
stopped and tried to get his bearings. The country was unknown to him, but he believed
he knew the general lay of the ridges and the water-courses.
The fourth day found Isaac hopelessly lost in the woods. He was famished, having
eaten but a few herbs and berries in the last two days; his buckskin garments were torn
in tatters; his moccasins were worn out and his feet lacerated by the sharp thorns.
Darkness was fast approaching when he first realized that he was lost. He waited
hopefully for the appearance of the north star--that most faithful of hunter's guides--but
the sky clouded over and no stars appeared. Tired out and hopeless he dragged his
weary body into a dense laurel thicket end lay down to wait for dawn. The dismal hoot of
an owl nearby, the stealthy steps of some soft-footed animal prowling round the thicket,
and the mournful sough of the wind in the treetops kept him awake for hours, but at last
he fell asleep.