"Is all prepared — all ready — for they come,
I hear them in that strange cry through the wood."
THE inmates of the Block House, as we remember, had been warned by Hector of the probable approach of danger, and preparation was the word in consequence. But what was the preparation meant? Under no distinct command, every one had his own favourite idea of defence, and all was confusion in their councils. The absence of Harrison, to whose direction all parties would most willingly have turned their ears, was now of the most injurious tendency, as it left them unprovided with any head, and just at the moment when a high degree of excitement prevailed against the choice of any substitute. Great bustle and little execution took the place of good order, calm opinion, deliberate and decided action. The men were ready enough to fight, and this readiness was an evil of itself, circumstanced as they were. To fight would have been madness then — to protract the issue and gain time was the object; and few, among the defenders of the fortress, at that moment, were sufficiently collected to see this truth. In reason, there was really but a single spirit in the Block House, sufficiently deliberate for the occasion. That spirit was a woman's — the wife of Granger. She had been the child of poverty and privation — the severe school of that best tutor, necessity, had made her equable in mind and intrepid in spirit. She had looked suffering so long in the face, that she now regarded it without a tear. Her parents had never been known to her, and the most trying difficulties clung to her from infancy up to womanhood. So exercised, her mind grew strong in proportion to its trials, and she had learned, in the end, to regard them with a degree of fearlessness far beyond the capacities of any well-bred heir of prosperity and favouring fortune. The same trials attended her after marriage — since the pursuits of her husband carried her into dangers, to which even he could oppose far less ability than his wife. Her genius soared infinitely beyond his own, and to her teachings was he indebted for many of those successes which brought him wealth in after years. She counselled his enterprises, prompted or persuaded his proceed