Adventures of a Young Naturalist

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER I. WHO WE ARE—GRINGALET—SUNRISE—THE SUGAR-CANE—A HALT. was the 20th April 1864. The clock of the church of the convent of Saint Joseph de Grace chimed four A.M. just as we turned into the main street that leads out of the town. Sumichrast took the lead. Tall in stature, noble in mien, and broad-shouldered, he was, in spite of his blue eyes and fair hair, the perfect representative of moral and bodily strength. I was always in the habit of permitting him to lead the way, when, in any of our excursions, it was necessary to favourably impress the imagination of the Indians. He was distinguished as an ornithologist, and was never so much at home as in the midst of the forests; in fact, he often regretted that he had not been born an Indian. His gravity entirely devoid of sadness, his skill inshooting, and his silent laugh, often led me to compare him to Cooper's " Leather-Stocking ;" but it was " Leather-Stocking " become a man of the world and of science. Next let me describe my son. Like all children, he was imitative, so had commenced very early to make a collection of insects, and this was sufficient to give him a precocious taste for natural history; but in his character he was earnest, reflective, and very eager for knowledge. Sumichrast took pleasure in the boy's intelligence, and often amused himself by arguing with him ; from the flashes of childish humour which he would display on such occasions, my friend sometimes gave him the nickname of " Sunbeam." Next to the child came l'Encuerado, an Indian of the Mistec race,—a strange mixture of delicacy, simplicity, kindness, candour, and obstinacy. In the interval that had elapsed since I first met him, twelve years before, in the Terre-Chaude, he had become my friend as much as my servant. He was ne...
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