Among the Pines

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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: Turning to the darky, who was then driving, I said quickly: " Scip, stop the horse. Where are we ?" " Don't know, massa; reckon we'se in de riber." " A comfortable situation this. We can't turn round. The horse can't swim such a stream in harness. What shall we do ?" " Can you swim, massa ?" he quietly asked. "Yes, like an eel." " Wal, den, we'd better gwo on. De hoss 'll swim. But, massa, you might take off your boots and overcoat, and be ready for a spring ef he gwo down." I did as he directed, while he let down the apron and top of the wagon, and fastened the reins loosely to the dash-board, saying as he did so, " You must allers gib a hoss his head when he swim, massa; if you rein him, he gwo down, shore." Then, undoing a portion of the harness, to give the horse the free use of his legs, he shouted, " Gee up, ole Gray," and we started. The noble animal stepped off slowly and cautiously, as if fully aware of the danger of the passage, but had proceeded only about fifty yards when he lost his footing, and plunged us into an entirely new and decidedly cold hip-bath. " Now's de time, ole Gray," " show your broughten up, ole boy," " let de gemman see you swim, ole feller," and similar remarks proceeded rapidly from the darky, who all the time avoided touching the reins. It may have been one minute, it may have been five minutes—I took " no note of time"—before the horse again struck bottom, and halted from sheer exhaustion, the water still almost level with his back, and the opposite bank too far-off to be seen through the darkness. After a short rest, he again " breasted the waters," and in a few moments landed us on the shore; not, unfortunately, in the road, but in the midst of the pine-trees, there so entangled with under-growth, that not even a m... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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