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HOME > Short Stories > With Rogers on the Frontier > CHAPTER XIX AN ADVENTURE IN NEW YORK
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The fall of Fort William Henry, and the horrors that followed it, especially as his friend Reuben Thayer was among the victims, threw Seth into a state of deep depression. His life seemed to have lost its spring, and the impulse was strong upon him to obtain his release from the Rangers, and make his way down to Boston in the hope of securing a berth on an ocean-going ship, where he might forget his grief in the novel experience of a sailor's life.

He did yield to it so far as to go to Albany, where Major Rogers was at the time, and to open his heart to him in the matter, although he much feared that he would get only a good rating from him.

But the veteran warrior showed a side of his nature he had never before revealed. Instead of meeting Seth with harshness or ridicule he showed him surprising sympathy.

"I know just how you feel, my boy," he said kindly. "It is hard to be patient and to keep up one's heart when everything seems going wrong, although some of us may be trying to do our best. If the English generals would only take the advice that is given them, these disasters need never have happened, and not only would Fort William Henry still be ours, but we would have had Ticonderoga and maybe Crown Point too. But it's no use crying over spilt milk, Seth. We must only cheer up and try again. The generals will be wiser next time, and we'll drive the French back to Canada before you're much older."

Touched and brightened by the Major's words which went right to his heart, Seth actually smiled as he responded:

"Of course, that's the right way to look at it, sir. It's no good getting into the dumps and staying there. We'll beat the French yet, and teach those devilish Indians a lesson that they will not soon forget."

"Spoken like a man, Seth!" exclaimed the Major, giving him a hearty clap on the back. "You're got the right stuff in you, and you'll live to see the English masters of the whole continent, take my word for it. And now I've got a bit of good news for you. How would you like to take a trip to New York by way of a little change?"

What was left of the gloom that darkened Seth's countenance vanished in an instant and he answered eagerly:

"How would I like it? Why, I'd be delighted to go. Are you going, sir?"

"No, I'm not going, Seth, but I have an important despatch to send, and I dare say I could arrange for you to carry it if you will promise me to come back, and not go off on one of the ships, of which there are a good many more there than at Boston."

"Oh, I'll promise to come back if you'll only let me go," said Seth earnestly. "But I hope I can stay a little while so as to see the great city."

"That will be all right, my boy," and the Major smiled indulgently. "I will tell you more about it in the morning, and now you may as well have a look around Albany and perhaps you will come across some of your friends."

So in a very lightened frame of mind Seth left his chief, and spent the rest of the day seeing the sights of the growing town, whose most important citizens at that time were the Dutch traders who knew so well how to get the better of the Iroquois and other friendly Indians that brought them furs in barter for goods.

The peaceful bustle of business was a wonderfully pleasant change after the bloody strife through which he had so lately passed, and it served to restore the tone of his spirits so that he lay down that night quite a different man from what he had begun the day.

He saw Major Rogers the next morning, and learned that he was to start for New York that afternoon. He found so much to interest him in Albany that he would have been glad to prolong his stay a little, but of course kept this to himself, and was at the place appointed ahead of time, all in readiness for the journey.

To his great satisfaction he found that his trip down the river was to be made in a large canoe with four Indian paddlers, and as his travelling companion an English officer, Captain Lindsay, who also carried despatches.

Captain Lindsay was a fine, frank, hearty fellow, only a few years older than Seth, whose genial manner won Seth's heart at once, and he on his part was attracted by the handsome, stalwart youth who had already distinguished himself in active service.

The prospects for a pleasant journey were therefore altogether bright, and Seth bade good-bye to Major Rogers in the best of spirits.

The passage down the noble Hudson in the beautiful autumn weather in such congenial company was a delightful experience to Seth. Captain Lindsay was a capital talker, and held Seth's attention for hours while he told of what he had seen and learned in other parts of the world, for he had been an extensive traveller; and then he drew Seth out as to what he had been through, and evinced keen interest in his descriptions of forest life and adventure.

"I should like to join your Rangers for a while," he said. "I wonder would Major Rogers have me?"

"Oh, I'm sure he would," responded Seth emphatically. "But," he added in a quieter tone, "it's a very hard life as well as a dangerous one. When we're out on a scouting party we sometimes come very near starving, and we always have to sleep on the ground, for we never take tents with us."

"Oh, I imagine I could stand that as well as the others," returned the Captain, smiling. "If I get the opportunity I must have a talk with your commander about it."

"If you do I will say all I can in your favor," said Seth, rather bashfully, whereat Captain Lindsay thanked him, and they both felt that they were better friends than ever.

Their Indians paddled steadily and well and the lovely landscape slipped smoothly by as they glided seaward until at l............
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