Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
X. At the Sign of the Balsam Bough Henry van Dyke

Under The White Birches.

Page 4 of 6

Table Of Contents: Little Rivers

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

This was the second method: the grasshopper was attached to the hook, and casting the line well out across the pool, Ferdinand put the rod into Greygown's hands. She stood poised upon a pinnacle of rock, like patience on a monument, waiting for a bite. It came. There was a slow, gentle pull at the line, answered by a quick jerk of the rod, and a noble fish flashed into the air. Four pounds and a half at least! He leaped again and again, shaking the drops from his silvery sides. He rushed up the rapids as if he had determined to return to the lake, and down again as if he had changed his plans and determined to go to the Saguenay. He sulked in the deep water and rubbed his nose against the rocks. He did his best to treat that treacherous grasshopper as the whale served Jonah. But Greygown, through all her little screams and shouts of excitement, was steady and sage. She never gave the fish an inch of slack line; and at last he lay glittering on the rocks, with the black St. Andrew's crosses clearly marked on his plump sides, and the iridescent spots gleaming on his small, shapely head. "Une belle!" cried Ferdinand, as he held up the fish in triumph, "and it is madame who has the good fortune. She understands well to take the large fish--is it not?" Greygown stepped demurely down from her pinnacle, and as we drifted down the pool in the canoe, under the mellow evening sky, her conversation betrayed not a trace of the pride that a victorious fisherman would have shown. On the contrary, she insisted that angling was an affair of chance--which was consoling, though I knew it was not altogether true--and that the smaller fish were just as pleasant to catch and better to eat, after all. For a generous rival, commend me to a woman. And if I must compete, let it be with one who has the grace to dissolve the bitter of defeat in the honey of a mutual self-congratulation.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

We had a garden, and our favourite path through it was the portage leading around the falls. We travelled it very frequently, making an excuse of idle errands to the steamboat-landing on the lake, and sauntering along the trail as if school were out and would never keep again. It was the season of fruits rather than of flowers. Nature was reducing the decorations of her table to make room for the banquet. She offered us berries instead of blossoms.

There were the light coral clusters of the dwarf cornel set in whorls of pointed leaves; and the deep blue bells of the Clintonia borealis (which the White Mountain people call the bear-berry, and I hope the name will stick, for it smacks of the woods, and it is a shame to leave so free and wild a plant under the burden of a Latin name); and the gray, crimson-veined berries for which the Canada Mayflower had exchanged its feathery white bloom; and the ruby drops of the twisted stalk hanging like jewels along its bending stem. On the three-leaved table which once carried the gay flower of the wake-robin, there was a scarlet lump like a red pepper escaped to the forest and run wild. The partridge-vine was full of rosy provision for the birds. The dark tiny leaves of the creeping snow-berry were all sprinkled over with delicate drops of spicy foam. There were few belated raspberries, and, if we chose to go out into the burnt ground, we could find blueberries in plenty.

Page 4 of 6 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Little Rivers
Henry van Dyke

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004