The Deerslayer

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Charles Scribner, 1862 - Bumppo, Natty (Fictitious character)
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In this, the first of the Leatherstocking Tales, we meet Natty Bumppo as a young man living in upstate New York in the early 1740s. Bumppo, called Deerslayer, and his friend Hurry Harry approach Lake Glimmerglass, or Otsego, where the trapper Thomas Hutter lives with his daughters, the beautiful Judith and the feeble-minded Hetty.

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This novel is a product of its times. Most likely Cooper wrote this while residing in Paris with his family. Many of the descriptions of the landscape are drawn from his own recollections and stories he heard in his youth, from elders alive during the Seven-Years War. Modern audiobook versions are available to read by competent voice actors, which smooths the vernacular of the day into something more palatable to the 21st-century ear. Good luck —Its worth it! 

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Sheer torture
I am not a total illiterate and I've managed to read and enjoy Kipling and Tolstoy, but this was virtually unreadable. I got to the end of it by the expedient of flicking past a dozen
pages every time I became bogged down in the interminable prosing. Trust me, you wont miss anything - this author clearly believed that a sentence wouldn't suffice to describe the briefest of events when a chapter or two could be used instead. 

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Page 69 - Clear, placid Leman ! thy contrasted lake, With the wild world I dwelt in, is a thing Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring. This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing To waft me from distraction ; once I loved Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft murmuring Sounds sweet as if a Sister's voice reproved, That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.
Page 1 - There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more...
Page 75 - ... for its appalling influence, leaped through the bushes, and came bounding across the open ground, flourishing a tomahawk. Still Deerslayer moved not, but stood with his unloaded rifle fallen against his shoulders, while, with a hunter's habits, his hands were mechanically feeling for the powder-horn and charger.
Page 76 - I'll just carry you down to it, that you may take your fill. This is the way, they tell me, with all wounded people — water is their greatest comfort and delight." So saying, Deerslayer raised the Indian in his arms, and carried him to the lake. Here he first helped him to take an attitude in which he could appease his burning thirst ; after which he seated himself on a stone, and took the head of his wounded adversary in his own lap, and endeavoured to soothe his anguish in the best manner he...
Page 77 - Deerslayer is the name I bear now, though the Delawares have said that when I get back from this warpath, I shall have a more manly title, provided I can 'arn one.
Page 78 - If I was Injin born, now, I might tell of this, or carry in the scalp and boast of the expl'ite afore the whole tribe; or if my inimy had only been a bear"— [and so on].
Page 209 - Thus lived — thus died she; never more on her Shall sorrow light, or shame. She was not made Through years or moons the inner weight to bear, Which colder hearts endure till they are laid By age in earth : her days and pleasures were Brief, but delightful— such as had not staid Long with her destiny ; but she sleeps well By the sea-shore, whereon she loved to dwell.
Page 70 - ... seen, and the utmost caution in approaching the shore became indispensable ; if no one was in ambush, hurry was unnecessary. The point being nearly diagonally opposite to the Indian encampment, he hoped the last, though the former was not only possible, but probable ; for the savages were prompt in adopting all the expedients of their particular modes of warfare, and quite likely had many scouts searching the shores for craft to carry them off to the castle.
Page 78 - Deerslayer arose as soon as he had spoken. Then he placed the body of the dead man in a sitting posture, with its back against the little rock, taking the necessary care to prevent it from falling or...
Page 46 - Why, let the stricken deer go weep, The hart ungalled play; For some must watch, while some must sleep; So runs the world away.

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