The Crossing

The Crossing

Published

Excerpt: ek, beside the mare, carrying my pelts with me; stumbling on the

stones, and scratched by the dry briers. For it was autumn, the woods

all red and yellow against the green of the pines. I sat down beside the

old beaver dam to gather courage to tell my father. But he only smiled

bitterly when he heard it. Nor would he tell me what the word ARISTOCRAT

meant.

That winter we spent without bacon, and our salt gave out at Christmas.

It was at this season, if I remember rightly, that we had another

visitor. He arrived about nightfall one gray day, his horse jaded and

cut, and he was dressed all in wool, with a great coat wrapped about him,

and high boots. This made me stare at him. When my father drew back the

bolt of the door he, too, stared and fell back a step.

"Come in," said he.

"D'ye ken me, Alec?" said the man.

He was a tall, spare man like my father, a Scotchman, but his hair was in

a cue.

"Come in, Duncan," said my father, quietly. "Davy, run out for wood."

Loath as I was to go, I