Day after day the travellers had been making their way along the Fertile Belt, the name given to a broad tract of country extending between the Red River and the base of the Rocky Mountains, bordered on the north by forests, lakes, and rivers, and on the south by that sandy and desert region which extends along the whole frontier of the United States.
On seeing this, Tim set up a wild shout, which sounded to my ears like "Wallop ahoo aboo Erin-go-bragh!" in which I very heartily joined him, feeling no small satisfaction at the peaceable termination of this our first interview with one of the very few wild beasts we had to dread in the forests of the Orinoco.
Lumbermen who own forests from which they desire to harvest a timber crop should first of all survey the woods, or have some experienced forester do this work, to decide on what trees should be cut and the best methods of logging to follow. The trees to be cut should be selected carefully and marked. The owner should determine how best to protect the young and standing timber during lumbering.
The narrow dell of the Rhyndacus wound through a labyrinth of mountains, sometimes turning at sharp angles between craggy buttresses, covered with forests, and sometimes broadening out into a sweep of valley, where the villagers were working in companies among the grain and poppy fields.
Its charming song, with which all who have visited Ootacamund are familiar, is almost indistinguishable from that of its European cousin. Its upper plumage is pale brown, spotted with black and buff; its throat and abdomen are white with black drops. This bird has a fine powerful song, but he who wishes to hear it has usually to resort to one of the forests on the plateau of the Nilgiris.
Fancy this scene lit up by the glories of a rising sun, and bursting upon my sight, as I looked forth from among the majestic forests of the Abruzzi. Fancy, too, the savage foreground, made still more savage by groups of the banditti, armed and dressed in their wild, picturesque manner, and you will not wonder that the enthusiasm of a painter for a moment overpowered all his other feelings.
So with all that American zest for camping, fishing, sailing, racing, which lies deep in the Anglo-Saxon, and which succeeds to the more primitive era of actual struggle against savage beasts or treacherous men or mysterious forests. It is at once an outlet and a nursery for romantic emotion.
"I cannot tell," answered the youth hastily. "It were better not to linger longer here. Their own band will come and look to them if they return not by sundown. Let us to horse and away before any of the gang come. Sultan will carry the pair of us well, and you will tell us which course to steer; for the night will be upon us ere long, and I am a stranger to these dark forests."
While this sight very much interested the boys, the older Indians were somewhat troubled, and at once proposed to Mr Ross the removal of their camp to a sheltered spot where some dense forests of balsam and spruce would be a barrier against the coming storm, which they said was not more than an hour off.
And so out of the cliffs and the forests he shaped the inside of his church. And how did he shape the outside? Look for yourselves, and judge. But look, not at Chester, but at Salisbury. Look at those churches which carry not mere towers, but spires, or at least pinnacled towers approaching the pyramidal form.