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mountains, and loaded the tree-tops in the valleys. Every bush and sapling bent under its weight, and the weather wore a wintry aspect. The agent and young Philipse wended their way through the forests, looking up the next squatter. Sometimes the underbrush would reach the stirrups of their saddles, again their horses would have to pass through deep ravines, where there would be small streams to ford, where the ice had formed through the night with thickness sufficient to hold the weight of their horses ; anon they would emerge into an opening where a squatter had erected his log house, when they would dismount and tarry a while and make known their business ; then they would proceed to the next squatter, and so continue until they arrived at the end of the patent. Having finished their business they proceeded direct to Carmel.
Then the agent reported to the patentee the situation of his patent, the number of inhabitants that had squatted upon it without paying rent, and the improvements they had made and the compensation they would receive if they chose to vacate their premises ; they all complied with the exception of one, Nazareth Austin, who was squatted in Canopus valley, whom he permitted to remain there for the present, rent free. "And why exempt him," inquired the patentee. “Through the persuasion of your son,” answered the agent. “Then you have disobeyed my orders.” “Yes, but it can be easily rectified, if you say so.” “But I will consult my son, and then inform you what to do." Here the conversation ended, and the patentee wondered what object his son could have in granting the privilege to one squatter to remain on the patent rent free. Philip
then informed his father where Nazareth Austin was located in the valley of Canopus, on the roughest section of the patent, how they remained there over night, and the history he gave of himself and family in locating there, the hardships they had undergone in settling the wilderness, the privations and sufferings they sustained for years, the rocks and stones they had removed, and that he had no son, and his wife and only daughter each in turn shouldered the axe to help clear the forests and rear the stone walls to protect their sheep and cattle from straying in the forests and keep them safe from beasts of prey; and his daughter too had helped hew the logs with a narrow axe to build his cabin, and that now Austin was far advanced in life, and soon would be incapacitated for labor, and he hoped he would be willing for Austin and his family to remain there free of rent for life. Mrs. Austin, young Philipse continued, had seen better days, and had emigrated to this country with a colony of French Huguenots, and had advantages of birth and education which she had obtained in Europe, and had been accustomed to polished society, and now he felt interested in the welfare of the family, and he thought they had a duty to perform, and that it would be gratifying for him to know, in the decline of life, that he had bestowed charity where it was in reality needed. The father made no reply, but told the agent to make out a deed, which was immediately signed by the patentee, for a certain number of acres where Austin lived, and young Philipse was permitted to present it as a gift to Nazareth Austin.
The new year had commenced, and the month of
January had passed, and Austin sat with his family in his cabin. The snow had covered the valley of Canopus for more than two months, and the wintery blasts yet prevailed, with no indication of the breaking up of winter. Austin was thinking whether it would be better to remain there if the patentee should demand rent, or leave. All the squatters that he had heard from had concluded to pay rent, or leave in the spring. Austin was revolving in his mind what to do if he should receive notice to pay rent the ensuing year or vacate the premises, when the barking of Pompey warned him of the approach of something, and taking a lighted candle and opening the door, young Philipse on horseback was before him. Austin recognized him at once, and asked him to dismount, to which he readily assented. Austin soon had his horse in comfortable quarters, and young Philipse was soon sitting in the cabin warming himself before the large fire. Philip had rode from Carmel that day, and he felt the severity of the cold. Austin's wife and daughter rendered every assistance in their power to make him comfortable. Having finished his meal he took a seat with Austin in front of the large fire. The conversation soon turned to the occupation of the premises another year, whether he would be willing to pay rent or leave. Austin replied that he would be compelled to leave unless the rent was very small. Young Philipse pulled the deed from his pocket and gave it to Austin, who handed it to his daughter to read. Jane immediately read the contents. During the reading Philip's eyes were fixed on Austin, who was listening with intense interest to his daughter, and when he
learned that a deed was presented to him by Philip's father, his joy was unbounded.
He could not express to Philip the happiness it afforded him, and how grateful he felt towards the giver; and he wished that he might live to see the day that he would be able to repay him. Philip said nothing further on the subject, and before an hour had passed away he was busily engaged in conversation with the squatter's daughter. Presently they were alone in the lower part of the cabin, for Austin and his wife had retired for the night. Before retiring Austin had taken the precaution to have a large supply of wood to replenish the fire when necessary, and Philip and the squatter's daughter sat there alone. Austin's silver watch, which hung up over the fire-place, told the hour of twelve, yet young Philipse was not disposed to sleep, nor was he tired with the fatigue of the day's journey, for he was so deeply interested in conversation that time passed away unheeded. The night wore along and the hour of two had passed, yet Philip had something to say which he could not delay any longer, and then he offered his heart and band to the squatter's daughter, which was readily accepted. Philip sat there till the light streaks of day were breaking up the dark clouds in the east, and Austin was up seeing to his horse and foddering the sheep and cattle. . After breakfast Philip reminded Austin of the remark that he made last evening, how grateful he felt toward his father for presenting to him a deed for this farm, and he hoped he would live to see the day that he could bestow so great a favor; and now he had it in his power to return it to his son. "How ?" inquired Austin. “Give me your daughter in marriage,” said
Philip. “Yes,” said Austin, "and this affords to me more happiness, if possible, than the deed you presented to me last evening."
When Mrs. Austin learned that the young patentee had offered himself to her daughter in marriage, she could hardly realize it, and she learned from her husband too that Philip intended to take her immediately to Carmel, and Austin and Philip soon were constructing a sledge for that purpose sufficient to hold two persons. Having finished it, Philip attached his horse to the sledge, and Jane, bidding her parents farewell, they set out direct for Carmel. On arriving home, Philip introduced Jane Austin to his parents as his betrothed wife. His father was thunderstruck, and was greatly incensed against his son for some time, but having learned the history of Mrs. Austin, that she fled from her own country from persecution with a colony of French Huguenots, and that she belonged to some of the first families of France, and had come to this country to enjoy her religious freedom, and that, too, she had had the advantages of birth and education, which few in this country enjoyed, he at last made no objection to the marriage. A few months elapsed before the squatter's daughter became the wife of the young patentee. Shortly after their marriage, Austin's death took place, and Mrs. Austin left her log cabin and went to live with her daughter, who then was beautifully located on the patent, living in affluence and enjoying all the luxuries a new country afforded.