In the backwoods of North America lived a settler and his family, far away from towns and villages. The children of such families at an early age learn to take care of themselves, and fearlessly wander to a distance from home to gather wild fruits, to fish in the streams, or to search for maple-trees from which to extract sugar in the autumn.

One evening the rest of the boys and girls had come in from their various occupations, except the youngest, a little fellow of four or five years old. One of his brothers thought he had gone with Silas, and Silas fancied that he was with James and Mary, but neither of them till then had missed him. The whole family, thrown into a state of consternation, hurried out with torches, for it was now getting dark, and shouted for him, and searched round and round the clearing far and wide, but he was nowhere to be found. I need not describe their feelings. The next morning they set forth again, searching still further. All day they were so employed, but in vain. They began to fear that poor little Marcus had been killed by a rattlesnake, or that a bear had come and carried him off.

The next night was a sorrowful one for all the family. Once more they were preparing to set out, when a tall, copper-coloured Indian, habited in a dress of skins, was seen coming through the forest, followed by a magnificent blood-hound. He approached the settlers and inquired what was the matter. They told him, when he desired to see the socks and shoes last worn by the child. They were eagerly produced by the mother. The Indian showed them to his dog, at the same time patting him on the head. The animal evidently comprehended what his master required, and scenting about for a short time, began to bay loudly, then set off, without turning to the right or to the left, through the forest, followed by the Indian and the child’s father and elder brothers. He was soon out of sight, but the Indian knew by the marks on the ground the way he had taken.

A long, long chase the hound led them, till he was seen bounding back with animation in his eye and a look which told that he had been successful in his search. The father and his sons hurried after the Indian, who closely followed his dog, and to their joy discovered little Marcus, pale and exhausted, but unhurt, with the dog standing over him.

He soon recovered, and told them how he had lost his way, and lived upon berries and other wild fruits till he had sunk down unable to go further. His life had undoubtedly been preserved by means of the sagacious blood-hound.