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A breakfast of rolled oats and warm milk satisfied the two potential riders.


Indentured Timothy had saddled the horses after inspecting all four legs of Grandfather’s horse. “Are we well prepared Timothy?” asked the Esquire.


Timothy responded positively with a firm nod of his head.


The Esquire performed a second check by grasping the saddles to see if they were secure, shaking the overnight packs to see if they had been properly tied. The Esquire’s final inspection was a repeat check on all four legs of each horse. Timothy watched all of this out of the corner of his eye.


A big grin crossed his face when the Esquire let out a loud “Hurrumph.” Esquire seemed to always hurrumph when he could find nothing wrong with Timothy’s work.


The Esquire was fit and trim, although a little on the slim side. The two men, both natural astride a horse, made several legs of the trip without incident. Grandfather was amazed at the natural beauty of the land, the gentle rolling hills and the abundance of large standing timber.


They arrived at the old French refugee camp in the woods. Four or five log cabins remained but nature was already at work. Saplings grew thick around the cabins. Smaller tree shoots made a crown on top of all the cabins; except one.


The esquire stated, as he pointed to the cabin without the tree shoots on the roof, “Indians sometimes stay there on hunting trips”.


He motioned Grandfather off his horse and they peered inside the cabin. There was a fire pit in the middle and heavy beds made of pine needles here and there. In one corner there were small piles of stone flakes and several chunks of dark shiny stone. “They make arrowheads and scraping tools while they rest here” said the Esquire.


“Yes,” replied Grandfather, “I have observed this over near the Hudson.” He continued, referring to the Indians, “Ever any trouble with them?”


“No, they pass through from time to time. Usually on hunting forages. One day they appear, spend a few days, and then disappear just as quickly. Not friendly like John Leaf, but not savage either” responded the Esquire.


© wtomosky