It was a white caravan that looked down from the crest of the mountains upon the green wilderness, called by the Indians, Kain-tuck-ee. The wagons, a score or so in number, were covered with arched canvas, bleached by the rains, and, as they stood there, side by side, they looked like a snowdrift against the emerald expanse of forest and foliage. The travelers saw the land of hope, outspread before them, a wide sweep of rolling country, covered with trees and canebrake, cut by streams of clear water, flowing here and there, and shining in the distance, amid the green, like threads of silver wire. All gazed, keen with interest and curiosity, because this unknown land was to be their home, but none was more eager than Henry Ware, a strong boy of fifteen who stood in front of the wagons beside the guide, Tom Ross, a tall, lean man the color of well-tanned leather, who would never let his rifle go out of his hand, and who had Henry's heartfelt admiration, because he knew so much about the woods and wild animals, and told such strange and absorbing tales of the great wilderness that now lay before them. But any close observer who noted Henry Ware would always have looked at him a second time. He was tall and muscled beyond his years, and when he walked his figure showed a certain litheness and power like that of the forest bred. His gaze was rapid, penetrating and inclusive, but never furtive. He seemed to fit into the picture of the wilderness, as if he had taken a space reserved there for him, and had put himself in complete harmony with all its details.
Not so long ago, men were men. They spent their Sunday afternoons building things with their bare hands, they didn't pay someone else to change their oil, and they certainly didn't sip anything that was pink in colour, expensive and came in a cocktail glass. Then the modern world happened and, somehow, man was redefined...smoothed over...watered down. He became 1/10th man and 9/10th Calvin Klein Obsession cologne. Prowess was no longer about making the perfect jump shot, it was about Prada and prosecco. You can't blame men entirely; after all, "guy knowledge" isn't imprinted on the Y chromosome. Of course, neither is self-respect when you have to pay someone else to change your flat tire while you and your date stand on the side of the road. "How to Back Up a Trailer" is "real-guy-reference-guide" to over 100 skills every man should know or possess. AUTHOR: Kurt Anderson is a man's man who knows how to get it done. A monthly columnist for Family Handyman and regular contributor to Outdoor Life, Mr. Anderson knows how to handle himself in and outside the home. When he's not building a house from scratch, you can find him riding (and repairing) his motorcycle, fishing, hunting, canoeing, and fixing things he's managed to foul up.
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