The French and Indian War—the collision between Britain, its provincial troops and Indian allies against France and its own allies during the eighteenth century in America is fascinating to many students of the period. It gave rise to famous characters such as Robert Rogers of the Rangers who have found their way into literature and the cinema. Of course, the famous Hawkeye and the novel ‘The Last of the Mohicans' which takes place within real historical events of the time has also become an American classic. Author Joseph Altsheler has taken this well loved subject for a series of novels of high adventure. In these six novels the chronology of the war, which of course includes many of its true life characters, is told through the adventures of its principal characters. Young Robert Lennox, the hunter Willet-also known as the Great Bear and his Indian companion Tayoga travel through intrigues, dangers, battles and many trials and setbacks as the story unfolds. Leonaur has brought the entire collection together in substantial three volumes. In this second volume are ‘The Rulers of the Lakes’ & ‘The Masters of the Peaks.’
Much of Garay's courage returned as they marched steadily on through the forest. When he summed it up he found that he had fared well. His captors had really been soft-hearted. It was not usual for one serving as an intermediary and spy like himself to escape, when taken, with his life and even with freedom. Life! How precious it was! Young Lennox had said that the forest was beautiful, and it was! It was splendid, grand, glorious to one who had just come out of the jaws of death, and the air of late autumn was instinct with vitality. He drew himself up jauntily, and his step became strong and springy.
They walked on many miles and Robert, whose speech had been so fluent before, was silent now. Nor did the Onondaga speak either. Garay himself hazarded a few words, but meeting with no response his spirits fell a little. The trail led over a low ridge, and at its crest his two guards stopped.<br>
"Here we bid you farewell, Monsieur Achille Garay," said Robert. "Doubtless you will wish to commune with your own thoughts and our presence will no longer disturb you. Our parting advice to you is to give up the trade in which you have been engaged. It is full perilous, and it may be cut short at any time by sudden death. Moreover, it is somewhat bare of honour, and even if it should be crowned by continued success 'tis success of a kind that's of little value. Farewell."<br>
"Farewell," said Garay, and almost before he could realize it, the two figures had melted into the forest behind him. A weight was lifted from him with their going, and once more his spirits bounded upward. He was Achille Garay, bold and venturesome, and although he was without weapons he did not fear two lads.<br>
Three miles farther on he turned. He did not care to face St. Luc, his letter lost, and the curious, dogged obstinacy that lay at the back of his character prevailed. He would go back. He would reach those for whom his letter had been intended, Martinus and the others, and he would win the rich rewards that had been promised to him. He had plenty of food, he would make a wide curve, advance at high speed and get to Albany ahead of the foolish three. <br>
He turned his face southward and walked swiftly through the thickets. A rifle cracked and a twig overhead severed by a bullet fell upon his face. Garay shivered and stood still for a long time. Courage trickled back, and he resumed his advance, though it was slow. A second rifle cracked, and a bullet passed so close to his cheek that he felt its wind. He could not restrain a cry of terror, and turning again he fled northward to St. Luc.