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1. It was here in the wilds of the Wis sa hi'kon, on the day of battle, as the noonday sun came shining through the thickly clustered leaves, that two men met in mortal combat. They grappled in deadly conflict near a rock that rose, like the huge wreck of some primeval world, at least one hundred feet above the dark waters of the Wis sa hi'kon.

2. That man with the dark brow and the darker gray eye, with the muscular form, clad in the blue hunting frock of the Revolution,-is a Continental, named Warner. His brother was murdered at the massacre of Pa o'li. That other man, with long black hair drooping along his cadaverous face, is clad in the half-military costume of a Tory refugee. That is the murderer of Pa o'li, named Dabney.

3. They had met there in the woods by accident; and now they fought, not with sword or rifle, but with long and deadly hunting-knives, that flash in the light as they go turning, and twining, and twisting over the green-sward. At last, the Tory is down!-down on the green-sward, with the knee of the Continental upon his breast,-that up-raised

knife quivering in the light,—that dark-gray eye flashing death into his face!

4. "Quarter! I yield!" was pressed upon his breast.

gasped the Tory, as the knee


Spare me !-I yield!"

5. "My brother," said the patriot soldier, in a low tone of deadly hate,-"My brother cried for quarter on the night of Pa o'li, and, even as he clung to your knees, you struck that knife into his heart. Oh, I will give you the quarter of Pa o'li!" And his hand was raised for the blow, and his teeth were clinched in deadly hate. He paused for a moment, and then pinioned the Tory's arms, and, with one rapid stride, dragged him to the verge of the rock, and held him quivering over the abyss.

6. "Mercy!" gasped the Tory, turning black and ashy by turns, as that awful gulf yawned below. "Mercy! I have a wife! a child! spare me !"

7. Then the Continental, with his muscular strength gathered for the effort, shook the murderer once more over the abyss, and then hissed this bitter sneer between his teeth,-"My brother had a wife and two children. The morning after the night of Pa o'li, that wife was a widow,those children were orphans! Would not you like to go and beg your life of that widow and her children?"

8. The proposal, made by the Continental in the mere mockery of hate, was taken in serious earnest by the horrorstricken Tory. He begged to be taken to the widow and her children, to have the pitiful privilege of begging his life. After a moment's serious thought, the patriot soldier consented. He bound the Tory's arms yet tighter, placed him on the rock again, and then led him up the woods. A quiet cottage, imbosomed among the trees, broke on their eyes.

9. They entered that cottage. There, beside the desolate

hearth-stone, sat the widow and her children. She was a matronly woman of about thirty years, with a face faded by care, a deep, dark eye, and long, disheveled hair about her shoulder. On one side was a dark-haired boy, of some six years; on the other, a little girl, one year younger, with light hair and blue eyes. The Bible, an old, venerable volume, lay open on that mother's lap.

10. And then that pale-faced Tory flung himself on his knees, confessed that he had butchered her husband on the night of Pa o'li, but begged his life at her hands! "Spare me, for the sake of my wife—my child!" He had expected that his pitiful moan would touch the widow's heart; but not one relenting gleam softened her pale face.

11. "The Lord shall judge between us!" she said in a cold, icy tone, that froze the murderer's heart. "Look! The Bible lies open before me. I will close that volume, and then this boy shall open it, and place his finger at random upon a line, and by that line you shall live or die!" This was a strange proposal, made in full faith of a wild and dark superstition of the olden time. For a moment, the Tory, kneeling there, livid as ashes, was wrapt in thought. Then, in a faltering voice, he signified his consent.

12. Raising her dark eyes to heaven, the mother prayed the Great Father to direct the finger of her son. She closed the book, and handed it to that boy, whose young cheek reddened with loathing as he gazed upon his father's murderer. He took the Bible, opened its holy pages at random, and placed his fingers upon a verse.

13. Then there was a silence. That Continental soldier, who had sworn to avenge his brother's death, stood there with dilating eyes and parted lips. Then the culprit, kneeling on the floor, with a face like discolored clay, felt his heart leap to his throat. Then, in a clear, bold voice, the

widow read this line from the Old Testament. It was short, yet terrible: " "That man shall die!"

14. Look! The brother springs forward to plunge a knife into the murderer's heart; but the Tory, pinioned as he is, begs that one more trial may be made by the little girl,—that child of five years, with golden hair and laughing eyes. The widow consents. There is an awful pause. With a smile in her eye, without knowing what she does, the little girl opens the Bible, she turns her laughing face away,—she places her fingers upon the page.

15. That awful silence grows deeper. The deep-drawn breath of the brother, and the broken gasps of the murderer, alone disturb the stillness. The widow and dark-eyed boy are breathless. That little girl, unconscious as she was, caught a feeling of awe from the countenances around her, and stood breathless, her face turned aside, and her tiny fingers resting on that line of life or death. At last, gathering courage, the widow bent her eyes on the page, and read. It was a line from the New Testament: "LOVE YOUR ENEMIES." Ah! that moment was sublime!

16. Oh, awful Book of God! in whose dread pages we see Job talking face to face with Jehovah, or Jesus waiting by Samaria's well, or wandering by the waves of dark Galilee! Oh, awful Book! shining to-night, as I speak, the light of that widow's home,—the glory of the mechanic's shop, shining where the world comes not, to look on the last night of the convict in his cell, lightening the way to God, even over that dread gibbet!

17. Oh, Book of terrible majesty and childlike love,—for sublimity that crushes the soul into awe,-of beauty that melts the heart with rapture! you never shone more strangely beautiful than there in the lonely cot of the Wissa hi'kon, where you saved the murderer's life. For,-need

I tell you?-that murderer's life was saved. That widow recognized the finger of God, and even the stern brother was awed into silence. The murderer went his way.

18. Now look ye, how wonderful are the ways of Heaven! That very night, as the widow sat by her lonely hearth, her orphans by her side,-sat there with a crushed heart and hot eye-balls, thinking of her husband, who, she supposed, now lay moldering on the blood-drenched soil of Pa o'li,there was a tap at the door. She opened it, and that husband, living, though covered with wounds, was in her arms! He had fallen at Pao'li, but not in death. He was alive,his wife lay panting on his breast. That night there was a prayer in that wood-embowered cot of the Wis sa hi'kon.

QUESTIONS.—1. What two men are said to have engaged in deadly combat? 2. Which gained the mastery? 3. What did the patriot soldier say to the Tory, when he cried, Quarter? 4. What, when the Tory told him he had a wife and child? 5. What proposal was made to him? 6. How was his fate to be decided? 7. Was his life spared? 8. What proved the justice of the decision?


VES' TI BULE, porch, entrance.
VIBRATE, move to and fro.
IM MORTALS, undying creatures.
MON' U MENTS, memorials.
A CHIEVE', accomplish.

MU'TA BLE, changeable.

IL LU MIN ATE, enlighten.
UN DER STAND' ING, intellect.
RE ALI TIES, truths; facts.

AS SAULTS', violent attacks.
DE $ER' TION, abandonment.

IN EX.HAUST I BLE, never-failing.

IM MOR TAL I TY, deathless existence. CHAR' TER, title; deed.



1. YOUNG FRIENDS', in whatever pursuits you may engage, you must not forget that the lawful objects of human efforts, are but means to higher results and nobler ends.

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