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K E

W AKU NA H

THE ROAD THAT LEADS HOMEWARD: THE SPIRIT-WAY.

I HAVE been gazing on one of the summer's most gorgeous sun-sets. It has brought to mind a little incident I wish to relate to you: a pleasant memory of my forest wanderings, which neither change of place, or time, can ever make me forget.

Some three years since, I was away with a party of friends upon the banks of one of the far northern tributaries of the Mississippi, miles and miles above the Falls of St. Anthony! All around was Nature's wild dominion it was one of the homes of her forest children, whom we had travelled so far to meet in council.

On a little hill-side, sloping westward, with a thin grove of pine behind, and a wide stretch of hazel-copse and open prairie before, we sat as the summer day drew near its close. The council-circle was not yet broken. Foremost there in the ring, were hoary chiefs, surrounded by their grim, scarred warriors, listening with solemn attention to the words of their New Father,' and, in turn, rising in grave majesty to reply.

Among the chiefs was one old man, whose venerable appearance from the first had excited our attention. His long hair was silvery white, contrasting strangely with the clear, dark eyes and dusky brow, above which was a rudely-braided wreath of evergreen a simple chaplet beside the gaudy fillets of his brethren. The hands of the old man were palsied with age; and his feet, from weakness, had long since ceased to lead the warriors on their trail, or to follow in their paths. All the afternoon he sat leaning a little forward upon the felled council-pine, listening with absorbed interest to every word that fell from the lips of the speakers; but as the sun sank lower and lower toward the far distant line of the horizon, his attention seemed diverted by the gorgeous splendor of that evening sky. The deep fire of excitement slowly faded from his eyes, and in its place grew a softer, mistier light, as when one gazes through a dream medium on some picture of tranquil beauty. We watched him closely, wondering much what might be the dream of that century-old man whom the world called 'savage.'

Slowly sank the sun; and as one half the circle of its rays disappeared beyond the boundary-line of vision, the old chief rose, and pointing with a trembling finger toward the track of the departing orb, exclaimed: Ke-wa-ku-nah!'

There was sudden silence in the ring; and while we who knew not the meaning or force of the sentence, gazed with reverential awe upon the singular old man, the interpreter repeated after him, in a tone scarcely less impressive than his own, Ke-wa-ku-nah!' The road that

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leads homeward! Oh! how our hearts thrilled there in the forest, as that simple but beautiful figure of speech was interpreted to our understandings, and we saw before us in the magnificent track of the summer sun, the red man's spirit-road — the road that leads homeward!

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The red man looks westward for the Land of Spirits; but wherefore, is not certain. Some suppose it to be only the dim tradition of a lost home, from which they may have been expelled in by gone years; but whether such supposition be true or not, thither in his bewildered imagination he expects to return in the Road of Souls.' It is with his face toward the evening sun, with his blanket wrapped around him, with his gun resting on his shoulder, and his fire-steel and flint in the pouch by his side, that the Chippewa is placed in his grave, to follow on the sun's invisible way. Question them; they will tell you their spirit-path is well-worn; that it is straight and open, but very long; that the traveller must camp out three nights on his journey: he will then reach a deep, dark river, over which is a rolling log, difficult to pass, and which once gone over, takes the form of a huge black serpent, forever guarding the path of return. This is the road which their ancestors have trodden from generation to generation. By the way-side grows the great red strawberry, which the soul may eat to satisfy its hunger and to quench its thirst. On a blasted pine sits a great eagle, to counsel the spirit as it passes, and warn it of danger, like a grandfather! But when the river is reached, the soul has no longer need of aid or counsel. There the spirits of his relatives who have passed before him, come to meet him with lighted torches, to help him over the dark stream, and to lead him by the hand to their beautiful fields, where are clear lakes, running brooks, and forests of game! A land where there are no droughts, nor wintry snows, but where souls may hold festival through all the year.

Such is the red man's paradise. a paradise not unlike the Elysium of the more refined and cultivated Greek. Neither is it very far removed from the more spiritual and holy heaven of the Christian believer, as pictured in the Apocalypse of the New Testament. I venerate the red man's belief; and whether the eye of Christian or heathen sees in the sun's evening way the Ke-wa-kū-nah' of souls, the figure is full of beautiful meaning!

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Such was the vision in the eye of that old Indian chiefreality was but just before him. Already the friends of his youth, who had reached the Spirit Land, were lighting their torches to meet him beyond the sun-set river, Soon the hands of the living would turn his face toward the west, and wrap his blanket around him for his last journey; and the next traveller may look in vain for the figure of the venerable old man. But if our feet ever wander away again to the forests of Crow-Wing,' we will ask for his resting-place, and reverently lay a stone on the little mound which those who love him will rear above his dust. JANE GAY FULLER.

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SCENE, a law-office; time, ten o'clock in the forenoon. Door opens quietly. In comes a man of small stature, wiry and nervous build, keen restless gray eyes, neatly dressed, with a searching glance about the rooms, and a cat-like tread. He looks cautiously at the young man who assists me in copying and preparing papers; commences conversation with me on indifferent topics; looks again at the clerk, and pauses. The young man, never dull of comprehension, perceives that he is in the way, gets up and leaves the office. The client follows him to the door, shuts it after him, places his ear to the key-hole to follow the retreating footsteps of the clerk, comes back to his chair, and commences conversation in almost a whisper, looking from time to time over his shoulder, lest some one should approach unheard. He is now invited into a more retired room, another door shut between him and the world, and proceeds to business.

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Shocking want of confidence among capitalists. Five millions first Mortgage Bonds on Grand Trunk Inter-Oceanic Rail Road; large amounts pledged to secure certain paper in banks. My name on the paper! Money short! Bonds will not sell! Several hundred thousand first-class stocks and bonds of my own; can't sell any of them! Consider myself worth, at a moderate estimate, half a million; but selling securities at present rates could not pay my debts! Notes and bills running like locomotives. Must go to protest! collaterals must go at forced sale! so much thrown on the market will go for a song, and debts remain unpaid! Feel justified, indeed consider it a duty to protect myself from untimely ruin: sorry to involve indorsers, but in times

like these, one must not be tenacious of doing as he would choose! Wish papers drawn in haste to put certain property, not to be under cover, but where I can control it.'

Sorry to advise, Mr. Blodget, in a case of so much urgency without fuller opportunity to make arrangements, but very apprehensive the kind of arrangement sought is inadmissible. The law is stiff and hard, and refuses to be bent for exigencies, and rather sharp, too, to unmask. Would be glad to serve you, but see no proper way to accomplish the object. Better let the bonds sell.'

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But,' says Mr. Blodget, they will not sell. They have no basis! 'How is that?'

'The notes were given to raise money to begin the work; and as fast as the work is done, there is so much basis for the bonds. If we could have sold them all, at fair rates, there would have been just so much basis, by laying out the money on the road. All a very fair transaction, and would have been a nice thing, but for an unexpected lack of confidence. Have made some beautiful operations that way, very safe to all parties, but never saw such a panic! Capitalists will not look at a rail-road bond or stock certificate. Have done my duty, and must

wash my hands of it.'

Mr. Blodget left me. A few days after this, a crowd was gathered in front of one of the principal banking-houses. The doors were shut, and a notice was posted to the effect that the bank was in a sound condition, was believed to be able to pay its debts, but owing to want of confidence, was obliged temporarily to suspend. The fact was whispered about that large rail-road acceptances had gone to protest, collaterals of stocks and bonds had depreciated, and currency had run short. Soon another and another banking-house were besieged with throngs of anxious depositors wishing to draw their money. Another and another door was shut, and notices posted not unlike the first. Mechanics who that morning ate their breakfast with a comforting sense of money in bank, impatiently elbowed their way through crowds to find themselves too late. Widows who had placed their mite beyond the reach of robbers and of fire, in vaults of wonderful strength, and whose weekly dole was magnified by a consciousness that their check would be honored in bank, now collected like stricken creatures, nervous and pale. Merchants who never went to protest, saw their means of payment locked up, but their paper still at large, and running with dire speed toward maturity. Those nicely-dressed gentlemen, behind mahogany counters, whose little heads were accustomed to nod wisely on subjects of exchange and finance, who seemed born to gloves and fast horses and country-seats, and who rode high fortunes by reason of their skill in banking, shrunk to smaller dimensions. Confidence had diminished! They could no longer pay with a gracious smile, without money to pay with. They could not get paper done because nobody would do it. There was abroad an awful sense of insecurity. If these very wise and sharp men have not been wise and sharp, where is wisdom to be found? Was it foolish to trust them? Where is this misfortune to be fathered? The throng sets toward still another banking-house, and in the fierce desire to check their money before the bank fails, individuals press forward with vehement

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