or beside it, or at least within sight or sound of it.

The immensity of the sea had always silenced and overawed him, left him

cold in feeling. The river wooed him, caressed him, won his heart. It

was just big enough to love. It was full of charms and changes, of

varying moods and sudden surprises. Its voice stole in upon his ear with

a melody far sweeter and more subtle than the boom of the ocean. Yet it

was not without strength, and when it was swollen with the freshets of

the spring and brimming with the bounty of its sister streams, it could

dash and roar, boom and crash, with the best of them.

Stephen stood on the side porch, drinking in the glory of the sunrise,

with the Saco winding like a silver ribbon through the sweet loveliness

of the summer landscape.

And the river rolled on toward the sea, singing its morning song,

creating and nourishing beauty at every step of its onward path. Cradled

in the heart of a great mountain-range, it pursued its gleaming way,

here lying silent in glassy lakes, there rushing into tinkling little

falls, foaming great falls, and thundering cataracts. Scores of bridges

spanned its width, but no steamers flurried its crystal depths. Here and

there a rough little rowboat, tethered to a willow, rocked to and fro in

some quiet bend of the shore. Here the silver gleam of a rising perch,

chub, or trout caught the eye; there a pickerel lay rigid in the clear

water, a fish carved in stone: here eels coiled in the muddy bottom of

some pool; and there, under the deep shadows of the rocks, lay fat,

sleepy bass, old, and incredibly wise, quite untempted by, and wholly

superior to, the rural fisherman's worm.

The river lapped the shores of peaceful meadows; it flowed along banks

green with maple, beech, sycamore, and birch; it fell tempestuously over

dams and fought its way between rocky cliffs crowned with stately firs.

It rolled past forests of pine and hemlock and spruce, now gentle, now

terrible; for there is said to be an Indian curse upon the Saco,

whereby, with every great sun, the child of a paleface shall be drawn

into its cruel depths. Lashed into fury by the stony reefs that impeded

its progress, the river looked now sapphire, now gold, now white, now

leaden gray; but always it was hurrying, hurrying on its appointed way

to the sea.

After feasting his eyes and filling his heart with a morning draught of

beauty, Stephen went in from the porch and, pausing at the stairway,

called in stentorian tones: "Get up and eat your breakfast, Rufus! The

boys will be picking the side jams to-day, and I'm going down to work on

the logs. If you come along, bring your own pick-pole and peavey." Then,

going to the kitchen pantry, he collected, from the various shelves, a

pitcher of milk, a loaf of bread, half an apple-pie, and a bowl of

blueberries, and, with the easy methods of a household unswayed by

feminine rule, moved toward a seat under an apple-tree and took his

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