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The Scouts of the Valley - Joseph A. Altsheler

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The Scouts of the Valley
by Joseph A. Altsheler


CHAPTER I

THE LONE CANOE


A light canoe of bark, containing a single human figure, moved
swiftly up one of the twin streams that form the Ohio.  The
water, clear and deep, coming through rocky soil, babbled gently
at the edges, where it lapped the land, but in the center the
full current flowed steadily and without noise.

The thin shadows of early dusk were falling, casting a pallid
tint over the world, a tint touched here and there with living
fire from the sun, which was gone, though leaving burning embers
behind.  One glowing shaft, piercing straight through the heavy
forest that clothed either bank, fell directly upon the figure in
the boat, as a hidden light illuminates a great picture, while
the rest is left in shadow.  It was no common forest runner who
sat in the middle of the red beam.  Yet a boy, in nothing but
years, he swung the great paddle with an ease and vigor that the
strongest man in the West might have envied.  His rifle, with the
stock carved beautifully, and the long, slender blue barrel of
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