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The Peace of Roaring River
by George van Schaick
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Maigan restlessly kept on coming to her and placing his head in her lap, as if seeking comfort. Once she bent over and put her cheek against his jaw and furry ear. He was a companion in misery.

When she lifted up her head again to stare once more at the sufferer, with eyes heavily ringed with black, he slowly opened his own and looked at her vaguely, for at first there was not the slightest sign of recognition in them. Presently, however, the girl saw something that looked like a faint smile.

"How—how long have I been asleep?" he asked, weakly. "And have—have you been here all the time?"

She nodded, conscious that her heart was now beating with excitement, and his eyes closed again. But his hand had sought the one she had laid on the blanket and rested on it, for a few moments. It was the ever-recurring call of the man for the comfort of a woman's touch, for the protection his strength gathers from her weakness.

"You—you're ever so good and kind," he said again, in a low hoarse voice, after which he kept still again, for the longest time.

In spite of the gray pall of clouds over the sky and the complaining of the gale-swept tops of the great trees, in spite of the vast dull roar of the great falls, that had seemed a dirge, a ray of cheer had entered the little shack. It had seemed to her like such a paltry and mean excuse for a dwelling, when she had first seen it, and had been so thoroughly in keeping with the sordid nature she had at once attributed to this man whom she believed to have brought her there with amazing lies. But now, in some way, it had become a link, and the only one, that still attached her a little to the world. It appeared to her like the one place where she had been able to obtain a little rest from her miserable thoughts. Indeed, it had now become infinitely desirable. If the man could have stood up again and greeted her it would have become a haven of unspeakable comfort, since she would realize that for once her efforts had not been in vain, and that she had helped bring him back to life. But of course she knew that she must leave it soon, that whether he died or recovered, the only trail she could follow would be one that would lead to the banks of the Roaring River, where the big air holes were. And yet, so strongly is hope implanted in the human heart, this termination of her adventure seemed to have receded into a dimmer future, like the knowledge which we have that some day all must die but which we consider pertains only to some vague and distant period that we shall not reach for a long time.

Hugo was sleeping quietly now and the girl's hand upon his pulse detected a feeble and swift flowing of the blood-current which, in spite of its weakness, was an improvement. But the great thing was that another day had come and he was still living, and his breathing came quietly. If—if she had loved the man, she never would have been able to go through all this without a breaking down of her little strength. As Stefan had said, and as Mrs. Papineau had also intimated, it was fortunate for her that she did not love him. Indeed, it was ever so much better. She was glad indeed that he had recognized and praised her, and then his voice had never expressed the slightest sign of reproach. She was happy that he had found comfort in her presence beside his couch and—and had been able to smile at her.

Madge opened the door to let Maigan out. The air was full of feathery masses of snow blown from treetops. Sheltered as she was from the wind, the cold was no longer so penetrating. In the east the gray was tinted through the agency of long rifts in which dull shades of red broke through and were reflected even upon the white at her feet. It was not a cheery world just then, since the sun did not shine and the great fronds of evergreens loomed very dark, but the vastness of the wooded valley sloping down beneath her and stretching beyond the limits of her vision impressed her with a sense of greatness and of power. It was a tremendously big, strong and inexorable world, in which was being fought the unending and apparently unjust battle of the mighty against the weak, of the wolves and lynxes against the deer and hares, of a myriad furred and sharp-fanged things against the feebler and defenseless things of the forest. But also it was a world capable of bringing forth majestic things; able and willing to reward toil; in which, despite all of nature's unceasing cruelty, there could reign happiness and the accomplishment of a heart's desire.

All this was not clearly shaped in Madge's mind. She was merely undergoing a vague and potent influence that penetrated her very soul. She closed the door again very softly, and when she sat again it was with a strange feeling of contentment, or at any rate a surcease of bitter thoughts, which affected her gently, like the heat of the little stove.

Maigan soon scratched at the door again, and through the frosted glass Madge saw Mrs. Papineau approaching. She was looking rather tired and dismal. It was evident, from her panting, that she had hurried, but now she was coming very slowly, as if afraid to hear bad news. But when she finally came in and looked at Hugo, her fat face took on some of its wonted cheerfulness.

"Heem no look so bad now," she asserted. "Who know? Mebbe get all right again, eh? What Docteur Starr heem say before he go?"

Madge was compelled to give her a long account of how the night had passed and to describe every move and relate every word of the doctor.

"Dat's good," approved Mrs. Papineau. "Now you go to our 'ouse an' get to bed an' 'ave sleep. If de children make noise tell 'em I slap 'em plenty ven I get back, sure. You need bad for to sleep—h'eyes look tired an' red."

She explained that Papineau had been obliged to go off after some traps that were not very far away, and would return by midday. She insisted upon the need of Madge to impress the children with the virtues of silence. They had already been informed that if they did not keep still when the lady returned they would be given to the loup-garou and other mythical and traditional terrors of habitant childhood.

"Me stay 'ere all day. Den you come back an' stay de night, if you lak'. You tell me vat I do."

The good lady found her endeavors useless, however. Hadn't the doctor said that incessant care might perhaps, with luck, bring about a recovery? And Hugo had been better—he had spoken—he might speak again and want something she might get him. Moreover, the dressing was to be changed very soon and the drainage tubes were to be flushed out once in so often with the solution the doctor had left. To have gone away then would have been desertion; she never entertained the thought for an instant.

Hence she attended to these things, in the presence of Mrs. Papineau, who looked quite awed at the proceedings. Generally the man seemed quite unconscious of what she did, and there was little complaint from him; just a few moans and perhaps a slight drawing away when she hurt him slightly in spite of her gentle handling. Finally Madge consented to rest a little, providing she was not forced to leave the shack. In the absence of other accommodation Mrs. Papineau had spread a heavy blanket on the floor, with odds and ends of spare clothing. It was only after the good woman had solemnly promised to awaken her in case there was the slightest need that the girl at last lay down, feeling dead tired but without the slightest desire to sleep, as she thought. But it did not take a very long time before her eyes closed and she was deep in slumber that was heavy and dreamless. Maigan came and curled up beside her. He thoroughly approved of her.

It was only after midday that she awoke, startled, as if conscious of having been remiss in her duty, and raised herself quickly to a sitting posture.

"Is—is everything all right?" she asked, anxiously.

Upon being reassured she tried to lie down again, at Mrs. Papineau's urging, but sleep refused to come. Indeed, she felt greatly rested. And then she began to feel very hungry and had a meal of bread and tea, with a few dried prunes. It was not a very fine repast, but Madge was amazed to see what a lot she could eat. When she rose from the table she felt conscious that in some way she had gained strength, in spite of her weariness. After this she renewed the dressings again, taking the greatest pains with them. It was getting dark when Mrs. Papineau left her, utterly indifferent to the howling of wolves on the distant ridges. She had offered to remain but Madge knew that her presence was needed at home, owing to the little ones. Moreover, the girl was getting accustomed to her weird surroundings.

In the faithful Maigan there was a protector. Besides, she still counted among the living; she was engaged in work that called for and brought out all her womanhood. In spite of her fears for the man the longing for his recovery was becoming mingled with a vague confidence, with the idea of a possibility that something might happen that would gradually develop in some sort of promise for a future that would not be all sorrow and toil. It was perhaps simply a temporary forgetfulness of self when confronted with what was a greater and stronger interest. The girl Madge had become less important when compared to the dying man. She was merely an instrument wherewith destiny helped to shape certain indefinite ends. Her own turn had not yet come, and her personality was submerged in a simple acquiescence in plans and decrees she could not understand.

It appeared that the dreariness of the long hours had lessened. The imminent threat of the day before was no longer so vivid and racking, for the man kept on breathing with fair ease, and his pulse was perhaps a little stronger. She was wondering why Stefan had not returned as he had promised, when the now familiar sound of dogs and sled fell again on her ears. To her joy and surprise she found that it was the doctor, returning with the Swede.

"Managed to get away after all," explained the former. "It's the devil's own thing to think there's a chap somewhere that a fellow might perhaps help, and then be obliged to let him go because others are calling for you. Women are desperately fond of asking their husbands if they would save them or their mothers first, in case of need. It's the deuce and all of a question to answer. But we fellows who practice on the edge of the wilderness are all the time confronted by beastly questions of that sort. How is he?"

"I really think he's better," she hastened to inform him, and described how the sick man had spoken and been quite lucid for some moments. Dr. Starr went in and stopped at the side of the bunk, looking down with his chin resting on his hand.

To Madge he had seemed to be a man of few words, rather stern in his manner and apt, as she thought, to view humanity from a very materialistic point of view. His recent speech was the longest she had heard from him. In a somewhat cynical vein he had referred to some hard problems the lone practitioner has to solve at times.

"At any rate, he seems to be holding his own," he finally admitted. "I can't see that he is a bit worse. It seems to me that you're a pretty capable nurse. Some brains and lots of good strong will."

He looked away from her as he talked and began to rub his hands together.

"Tell you what," he said, turning again to her. "This night might be the decisive one, and I think I'll stick it out here again. I'll catch the freight back in the morning, as I did to-day. We'll have a look at the wound now, and see how those drains are working. Did you follow my orders? But I think I needn't ask. Put more water on the stove, Stefan."

Madge had been holding the lamp for him, and when the doctor passed his hand over Hugo's forehead the eyes opened and the man blinked. Also there seemed to be a relaxing of the tense, hollow-cheeked face.

"She—she's saving my life," he whispered, hoarsely. "She's tireless and—and kindness itself. Don't—don't let her get played out."

He put out a brown hand that had rapidly become very thin and touched the girl's arm, after which he lay back, exhausted by his slight effort. The doctor went to work again, baring the wound, injecting fluids, adjusting the drains, and as he busied himself he always found the girl at his side, with all that he needed ready at his hand.

"That'll do for a while," he finally said. "The drainage is good. He isn't absorbing much poison now, that's sure. If we can keep up his strength he's going to pull through, I hope. Get us a bite of supper, Stefan, I'm as hungry as a bear."



During the night the doctor dozed off again, at times, like a man well versed in conserving his energy. But whenever he awoke he found Madge wide awake, intently observing the patient or busy with something for his comfort. The sky had cleared again and the great trunks were again cracking in the frost of the bright and starlit night. Dr. Starr had been staring for some moments at the girl. He shivered a little and drew his stool nearer the stove. Stefan was again snoring on the floor.

"Come over here," he told Madge in a low voice, "bring your seat with you. I want to get something off my mind."

"You needn't answer if you don't wish to," he told her, "but—but there's something rather tragic about that little face of yours. I don't think it's idle curiosity, but I'd like to know. I might as well confess that I've been questioning that fellow Stefan about you, but the sum of his knowledge is best represented by zero. I can assure you that I don't want to intrude and that I won't be a bit offended if you tell me it's none of my business."

"What do you want to know?" asked Madge, rather frightened, although she did not know why.

"You are aware, of course, that we doctors are used to seeing pain and usually try to get at the cause, so that we may better know how to relieve it. I should judge that you have known a lot of suffering; that sort of thing leaves marks. Fortunately, they can often be effaced in the young. I have been thinking that you were in need of a friend. No! Don't draw back! I'll say right now that my wife 's the best woman on earth and I've got four kids. You ought to see the little rascals. Now I might as well tell you that I'm grateful to you for taking such good care of my patient. I'd also be glad of a chance to help you a little, or give advice if you happen to need any."

Madge stared at him for a moment during which her eyes became somewhat blurred. The doctor's offer seemed like the first really disinterested and friendly one that had been proffered to her for some years. In that vast New York she had become unused to that sort of thing. The other people in this place had been ever so kind, of course, but it was on account of their friend Hugo. At first she hesitated.

"You look like a man that can be trusted," she said, very low.

"I feel that I am," he answered, simply.

Then, gradually, moved by that desire to confess and trust in a friend that is one of the best qualities of human nature, she told of her coming, in halting, interrupted words. The doctor kept silent, nodding now and then so that she became impressed with a certainty that he understood. At times that deep red color suffused her cheeks, but they would soon become pale again, all the more so for her dark-ringed eyes. Little by little her story became easier to tell. She had sketched it out in a few broad lines, but the man to whom she spoke happened to know the world. Her speaking relieved her burdened heart and gave her greater strength.

"And—and I think that's all," she faltered at last. "Do—do you really understand? Do you think I've been a shameless creature to venture into this? Can you realize what it is to be at the very end of one's tether?"

The doctor looked at her, the tiny wrinkles in the corners of his eyes becoming more pronounced. He put out his long-fingered, capable hand to her, and she stretched out her own, timidly, in response.

"You and I, from this time on, are a pair of friends," he told her. "Indeed, I'm acquainted with that huge beehive you came from, with its drones and its workers, its squanderers and its makers. I studied there for a couple of years, and I know why some of the women have a choice between the river and even fouler waters. But let me tell you what I think of this matter. The desperate effort you made to save yourself may not have been very good judgment. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred such an endeavor would be worse than jumping from the frying-pan into the fire. But at least it argues something strong and genuine in you. You came because you felt that you could not give up the fight without one last supreme trial. Such a thing would take a lot of pluck."

He stopped for a moment, looking into the whites of her eyes.

"And now you've made up your mind that all your struggle has been in vain and that the end is in sight. Now I can't tell where that end lies, Miss Nelson, but it looks to me as if it had retired into the far distance. You are going to keep on taking care of this man, of course. He needs you badly, in the first place, and the toil and stress of it will be good for your soul. And then saving a life is tremendously interesting. There's nothing like it. But your new life is only to begin when this job is finished."

"I—I don't understand," said the girl, watching him eagerly.

"When you're through with this case, Stefan will bring you back to Carcajou. There he'll put you on the train and send you to me. I can assure you that my wife will welcome you. She's that sort, strong and friendly and helpful. My poor little chaps don't see very much of their daddy, but they've got a mother who's a wonder, to make up for it. Now our village can't yet afford a trained nurse, though some day I'm going to have a little hospital and two or three of them. The railroad will help. But in the meanwhile you're going to work for me, at little more than a servant's wages. You're quick and intelligent and have a pair of gentle and capable hands. There are scores and scores of little houses and shacks where your presence would be simply invaluable. My wife tries it, but she can't do it all, with the kids and the husband to look after. I shall work you like a horse, when you get strong enough, but every bit of the work will help some poor devil. My wife can give you a bed, a seat at our table and plenty of good wise friendship. In all this you're going to give away a lot more than you will receive. How does it strike you?"

But Madge was weeping silently, with her face held in her hands. The doctor had certainly not tried to make his proposition very attractive, and yet she felt as if she were emerging from deep waters in which she had been suffocating. Now there was pure air to breathe and there would always be God's sunlight to cheer one and bring blessed warmth. From the slough of despond she was being drawn into the glory of hope.

"I shall try," she promised. "Oh, how hard I'm going to try! It—it seems just like some wonderful dream. But—but can I really earn all this—are you sure that it isn't—"

"Charity on my part?" interrupted the doctor. "Not a bit, Miss Nelson. We're scantily provided with women in these new countries. And there are enough poor fellows who get hurt in the mines, or on the railroad, to give you plenty of employment without counting the regular settlers. A good woman's face at their side may make the end easier for some of them and help others get well quicker."

"If—if you are very sure—"

"I know what I'm talking about. You see, Miss Nelson, there is really no need of any one despairing in one of those big cities, so long as there is enough strength and courage left to get out of them. In this great expanse of wilderness toilers are needed, but we can't use mollycoddles. The men have to hew and dig and plow, and need women to work at their sides, to look after the injured, to teach the little ones, to keep the rough crowd civilized and human. More than all they are needed to become the mothers of a strong breed engaged in the conquest of a new world, one that is being made first with the axe and the hoe and in which the victory represents germinating seed and happy usefulness. Countries such as this are not suited to the dross of humanity. We cannot find employment for the weak, the lazy, or the shiftless. The first of these are to be pitied, of course, but we cannot help them. To the red-blooded and the clean of heart it offers all that sturdy manhood and womanhood can desire. Surely you can see how wide our horizons are, how full of promise is this new world that stretches out its welcoming arms to you!"

"I see—I see it all," answered the girl. "Oh, what a glorious vision it is! How can I ever thank you?"

"You don't have to," replied the man, sharply. "If you decide to accept my offer I will be the one to feel grateful."

He looked at her keenly, and was doubtless satisfied with what he saw. Then he tilted back the legs of his stool, rested his head on the log wall behind him, and took another good sound nap.

He went away again just before sunrise, and Madge was left once more alone with the sick man. Soon she noticed that his eyes opened frequently, and followed her when she happened to move about the room. She could see that her presence strengthened him. In Hugo's mind, however, there was the dim impression that he was returning from a long blindfolded journey that had left no impressions of anything but vague pain and deep weariness. And it was utterly wonderful to be greeted by a gentle voice and given care such as had not been his since childhood.



CHAPTER XIV

The Hoisting

On the few rests the dogs were compelled to take on their way back to Carcajou, Dr. Starr again questioned Stefan, carefully. The story Madge had told him was interesting, it sounded a little like some of those tales of detectives and plots marvelously unraveled, but the trouble was that no sleuth was at work and the mystery was as deep as ever. He inquired carefully in regard to the enemies Hugo might have made, but struck an absolute blank. Yes, there was one fellow Hugo had licked, but a couple of weeks later the young man had obliged him with a small loan, which had been cheerfully repaid, and the individual in question had moved a couple of hundred miles east. Oh, that was way back last summer!

Having thus easily eliminated the masculine element of Carcajou, it took no great effort on the doctor's part to turn to the women. Were there any who had reason to dislike him; had he made love to any of them?

"Hugo make lofe to any gals in Carcajou!" exclaimed Stefan, holding a burning match in his fingers and letting it go out. "Hugo don't nefer make lofe to nobotty. Dere's McGurn's gal over to the store as looked like she vanted bad to make lofe to him; alvays runnin' after Hugo, she vos. Vhen he go in de post-office she alvays smile awful sveet at Hugo, and dere's dem as say she vere pretty mad because he don't never pay no attention. Vhat he care for de red-headed t'ing?"

"She looks after all the mail, doesn't she?" asked the doctor.

"Yes, McGurn he too busy vid oder t'ings. De gal tends to all de letters an' papers."

This seemed an indication worth following. When they reached the depot at Carcajou, Joe Follansbee informed them that the freight would be about an hour late. Madge had, during the course of her story, told the doctor all about the visit of the Carcajou Vigilantes, and from Stefan he had obtained the names of the people who had made up the party. Most of them were known to him, since he was frequently called to Carcajou, especially when the mill was running. From the girl he had obtained the letters she received from Hugo, as she had formerly believed. The matter could not be allowed to rest. He must investigate things further. Meeting old man Prouty, whom he had once cured of rheumatism, he drew him aside. The old man quite willingly told of his share in the event.

"We only wanted to see that everything was straight and aboveboard," he told the doctor. "And there wouldn't have been no fuss there at all if Sophy McGurn hadn't come out kinder crazy; the way them excitable women-folks does, sometimes."

"What did she do?" asked Dr. Starr.

"Oh, she went an' accused that young 'ooman over there of havin' tried to murder Hugo. Said somethin' about the gal wantin' to get square on him for—for somethin' or other as ain't very clear. But soon as Pat Kilrea he begins to pin her down to facts she takes it all back an' says she don't really know nothin'."

"Thanks, Mr. Prouty, I'm very much obliged to you. I'll stroll over there."

He walked over to the general store and post-office where he was greeted by old McGurn, who at his request produced a box of cigars.

"Yes, Doc, I can recommend them," he said. "There was a drummer stopped here last week who said they smelled just like real Havanas. I bought two barrels of crockery off him."

The doctor nodded, admiring the drummer's diplomacy, and walked over to the other counter behind which Miss Sophy was standing.

"How do you do, Miss McGurn?" he said, amiably.

"How d'ye do? How's Hugo—Hugo Ennis?" she asked, eagerly.

"He may perhaps pull through, though he's still hanging on to a pretty thin chance. I suppose you know that you're soon going to be called as a witness?"

"Me?" she exclaimed. "What for?"

"Well, that story about an accident looks rather fishy to me, you know. I have an idea that it wouldn't be a bad thing to have the sheriff come over here and investigate things a little. We're beginning to get too civilized on this line to stand for gun-play. I've talked over the matter with some of the people who went with you to Roaring River, and I gather that you are the only one who can enlighten us a little."

"I—I don't know anything!" she stammered.

"You're probably too modest, Miss McGurn, or you may perhaps be trying to shield some one. That shows your kind heart, of course, but it won't quite do for the law. At any rate you will tell us what aroused your suspicions. It's very important, you know, for the slightest clue may be of service. And then, of course, there is the matter of the letters."

"What letters?" cried the girl, biting her lips.

"Oh, just some letters that passed through this office. Let me see, where did I put them? Always indispensable to secure all documents. Miss Nelson gave them to me."

Very slowly he pulled the letters out of his pocket, while his keen eyes searched Sophy's face, gravely. She was distinctly ill at ease, he observed.

"There has been a queer mix-up. These documents can hardly be called forgery, since there is no attempt to imitate the real handwriting of the person who is supposed to have written them. It's simply a clumsy attempt to deceive, as far as I can see. But the strange thing is that several letters came from New York, apparently, and have never been received. It seems that they must have come through this office and the post-office authorities will be asked to trace them. They are always glad to hear of any irregularities, of course, and will send an expert here, naturally, if mere inquiry does not suffice. Those chaps are wonderfully clever, you know. They seem to be able to find out anything they want to know. The letters I am showing you came through Carcajou, there's your stamp on the envelopes. The detective will compare this handwriting with that of every man, woman and child in Carcajou and the neighborhood, and while it is certainly disguised, there's so much of it that they will certainly find out who sent them. It—it's going to prove devilish tough for somebody, you may be sure. Of course I'm no lawyer and can't tell what the charge will be, perhaps conspiracy of some sort, or making use of the mails for some fraudulent or—or some prohibited purpose. But that's evidently no concern of ours and I know you'll help the authorities to the best of your ability. You will naturally do all you can because no postmaster likes to have any irregularity in his office. That sort of thing generally means taking it away from the holder and putting it in other hands. Your father would be pretty angry if anything like that happened, because while you attend to the mails, he's really the responsible party."

Miss Sophy may not have realized how keenly the doctor was looking at her. He was now feeling quite certain that his suspicions had fallen on the guilty party. Here was a jealous woman who evidently knew a good deal. Putting two and two together is the very essence of scientific thought and Dr. Starr was no beginner. Sophy's foot was beating a rapid tattoo on the floor. On her face the color kept going and coming.

"Somebody has done a very foolish thing," continued the doctor. "Perhaps it was not realized that it was also a very wicked one. At any rate there is a lot of trouble coming. I will bid you good-day."

He turned on his heels, lighting the cigar he had bought and looking quite unconcerned. Sophy hastened around the counter and intercepted him at the door, following him out. She touched his arm.

"Do—do they suspect any one?" she asked.

"I think I may have spoken too much, Miss McGurn," answered the doctor, with a face that had suddenly become exceedingly stern. "It is not for me to answer your question. Of course, it's in my power to tell the sheriff that there is no longer any suspicion that the shooting was otherwise than accidental, and I could perhaps also persuade Miss Nelson not to follow this matter of the letters any further. I think that she would follow my advice in the matter. But I have no intention of interfering until—until I know everything—down—to—the—last—word!"

He accentuated this by striking with his fist into an open hand, slowly, as if driving in a rebellious spike. They were alone on the little veranda of the store. Within her breast the girl's heart was throbbing with fear—with the terror of exposure and unknown punishments. She felt that this man knew the exact truth and she had the sensation of some animal cornered and seeing but a single avenue of escape.

"But I have found out everything I wanted to know, Miss McGurn," Dr. Starr told her, suddenly. "Unless I have a written confession in my hands I shall let matters take their course. It—is—for—you—to—choose."

He looked at his watch.

"My train should be here in fifteen minutes," he told her. "After that it will be too late!"

Then the girl broke down. Wild thoughts had come and gone. If a weapon had been at hand she might, in obedience to the behest of a wild and fiery nature, have stabbed the man who so calmly faced her. But she felt utterly helpless and her fear and despair became supreme.

"I—I'll write whatever you want me to, if—if you promise not to tell!" she cried.

"I'm not quite prepared to accept conditions," he answered. "I intend to show the paper to Ennis and to Miss Nelson. They have a right to know the truth. But I can promise that they will carry the matter no farther, and that I shall see that neither the sheriff nor the post-office authorities will interfere. There are but a few minutes left now."

She rushed into the store again and went to the desk. Her father was no longer in the room. With feverish speed she wrote while the doctor bent over her, suggesting a word now and then. Finally she signed the paper and handed it to him.

"I think you had better give me those answers now," he suggested. "Those directed to A. B. C."

From Box 17 she took the letters and handed them over without a word, and the doctor carefully placed them in his pocket with the others.

"I think you've been very wise in taking my advice, Miss McGurn," he told her. "It was the only way out of trouble. Isn't that the freight's whistle? I'll hurry off. Good-day to you."

He stepped quickly across the space that separated him from the station. On the platform Joe Follansbee greeted him pleasantly.

"A fine clear day, doctor," said the station agent.

"Yes, everything is beautifully clear now," answered Dr. Starr amiably. "Shouldn't wonder if this were about the last of the cold weather."

Then he got on the caboose, where the crew welcomed him. As one of the company doctors he had the right to ride on anything that came along, and the men were always glad to see him. They made him comfortable in a corner and offered him hot tea and large soggy buns. But he thanked them, smilingly, and sat down in a corner. From his bag he took out a medical journal and was soon immersed in an exceedingly interesting article on hysteria.

Strangely enough, at that very moment Miss Sophy had run up to her room and thrown herself on the bed, face downwards and buried in a pillow. She was weeping and uttering incoherent cries. When her mother came in, alarmed, the old lady was indignantly ordered out again while the girl's feet beat against the mattress hurriedly, and she bit the knuckles of her hands.



CHAPTER XV

The Peace of Roaring River

It is particularly in the great north countries that the season changes from the lion into the lamb, with a swiftness that is perfectly bewildering. The sick man was getting well. Over a week since, Dr. Starr had declared that all danger had passed. And as the days went by the cold that had shackled the land disappeared so that the frosted limbs by the great falls wept off their coating of gems, and the earth, in great patches, began to show new verdure. Then had come twenty-four hours of a pelting, crashing rain, that had melted away more snow and ice. After the rain was over and the sky had cleared again, Madge had gone out and stood by the brink of the great falls, where she watched the thundering turbid flood as it madly rushed into the great pit below. Incessantly great cakes of ice poised on the brown-white edge above for an instant, and hurled themselves furiously into the chasm as if bent on everlasting devastation. The river itself was rising swiftly and from time to time the great logs that had remained stranded in the upper reaches of the river also plunged into the vortex, where they twisted and sank and rose, endlessly.

There was something fascinating in this vast turmoil of mighty forces, in this leaping forth of a great river now liberated and escaping towards the great lakes and thence to the ocean. Hitherto Madge had gazed upon them timidly, with sudden shivers, as if all this had represented part of the great peril of life and actually threatened her. But now it seemed to have become a part of the immensity of this world, a fragment of the wondrous heritage of nations still to be born. And just as the flood still had a long journey to travel ere it found rest in the Atlantic's bosom, so now Madge felt that her own course represented but the beginning of a new and greater life.

In spite of many nights spent at that bedside, she looked far better and more robust than when she had first reached Roaring River. Courage had returned to her and with it the will to endure, to live, to seize upon her share of the wondrous glory of this new world that was so fresh and beautiful. And yet her thoughts were very sober; she did not feel that she had reached utter happiness. Her life would now be one of usefulness, according to the doctor's promise. She felt that faces might become cheerier at her coming and that little children—the children of other people—would welcome her and crow out their little joy.

Several long nights of quiet rest had built her up into a woman that was no longer the factory drudge or the recent inmate of hospitals. One of the Papineau children had come over to remain with Hugo, lest he should need anything. Madge attended him during the day, concocting things on the stove, dressing the fast closing wound and administering the drugs left by the doctor, with the greatest punctuality, and the man's eyes followed her every motion, generally in silence. She also spoke little. It was as if, upon both of them, a timidity had come that made it hard for them to exchange thoughts. The first time he had wanted to speak of the problem of her coming she failed to encourage him.

"I know all that happened now," she told him, "and I have long known that you were not at fault, in any way. Indeed, I feel grateful for your forbearance when I first came. But, if you don't mind, we won't speak of it again. It—it distresses me."

He saw plainly that she had blushed, in spite of the fact that she turned her head swiftly away, and remained silent until she came again with a teaspoonful of something he must swallow.

So she sat down again and her mind reverted to the future, which was certainly immeasurably splendid and promising, as compared to the outlook of a fortnight before. In her pockets were the letters she had written to this man. Dr. Starr had brought them to her one day, when Hugo was already able to listen and understand.

"I think they were intended for me," said the latter, gently.

"No!" exclaimed Madge, reddening and leaping from her stool. "Please give them to me, Dr. Starr. They were sent to an utterly unknown man. They were replies to letters you never sent and therefore they're not yours. Please—I—I'd rather you didn't see them!"

The young man had nodded, quietly.

"Of course they're yours," he acknowledged. "We—we won't mention them again, if it's your wish."

"Indeed—indeed it is. They were just a cry for help—for a chance to live—perhaps for a little happiness. Dr. Starr has now offered me all these things and I have accepted—ever so gratefully. I—I had taken a step that was utter folly, yes, absolute madness. But now the most wonderful good fortune has brought me the fulfilment of these desires and I want to forget all the rest—the burning shame I have felt as well as the terror with which I approached whatever was in store for me. That part of it will pass away like some bad dream, I hope. It's—it's kind of you not to insist on seeing these letters."

"That's all right, Miss Nelson," said the doctor, soothingly. "Hugo, my lad, you owe a good deal to your nurse and I'm glad that you're properly grateful and not unduly curious."

But Hugo called Maigan to him, without answering, and patted the animal's head, after which he remarked that the days were getting much longer.

Came another day when the patient was able to get up, with the aid of Stefan and his nurse, and manifested the usual surprise of the strong man after illness. It was astonishing that his legs were so weak, and he couldn't understand the dizzy sensations in his head.

After a time he became able to use his arm a little, very cautiously, and his joy was great when it served him to handle a fork, for the first time since he had been ill.

And so now she was standing beside these great falls, thinking very deeply. She was disappointed at herself because she did not feel properly happy and grateful; indeed, she was dropping in her own estimation. If any one, a month before, had placed before her the prospect of honest toil among friendly faces, of usefulness that would benefit her while gaining gratitude from others, she would have deemed herself the happiest woman in the world. Yes, the world should have been a very beautiful and kindly place, now that hunger and pain were eliminated, now that the coming of spring would cause sap to surge up the trees so that the branches would soon clothe themselves in the tender glory of new leafage. Her own existence was on the verge of a fresh new growth that might lead to greater things, and yet she reproached herself because she could not become conscious of a real happiness, of a glorious achievement that had been like an unexpected manna coming to starvelings in a desert. She felt nothing but a quiet acquiescence in the new conditions and accepted her new destiny with a sigh.

She did not realize yet that in her soul a new longing had come, that would not be denied.

She returned slowly to the shack where Hugo sat in an armchair brought all the way from Carcajou on Stefan's sled. His arm was still in a sling. It was fortunate that it was the left one, for he was very busily engaged in writing.

The girl waited for some time, leaning against the doorpost and watching some chipping sparrows that had recently arrived and were thinking hard about nest-building in the neighboring bushes.

The weeds and grasses and wild flowers were beginning to peep out of the ground, with the haste that is peculiar to northern lands where life is strenuous during the few months of warm fair weather. The tender hues of the burgeoning birches and poplars, streaked with the gleaming silver of their trunks, were casting soft notes upon the strong greens of the conifers and the indigo of their shadows. In the spray of the falls, to her left, a tiny rainbow seemed to dance, and the loud song of the rushing waters was like the call of some great loving voice. She reflected that she would have to go again to a place in which many people lived. It would not be like a city. The same trees and the same waters and the same flowers would be there, very close at hand. Not a single house abutted against another. In the gardens there would be old-fashioned flowers such as she had been familiar with at home, before she had sought the town. Dr. Starr had described it all. Ten minutes' walk would take one beyond the habitations of men, into woodlands and fields and by a lake that extended into a far wilderness, upon which one could drive a canoe and feel as if one owned a great and beautiful world, for men were seldom on it and above the surface it was peopled chiefly by great diving birds and broods of ducklings. It all sounded, and doubtless was, perfectly ideal.

But presently Hugo had finished his writing and was leaning back in his chair.

"Do you think you would like some of those nice fresh eggs Mrs. Papineau's little girl brought this morning?" she asked him. "And would you like me to close the door now?"

"Thanks, Miss Nelson," he said, "I'm sure I should enjoy them ever so much. They're a rather scarce commodity with us. Too many weasels and skunks and other chicken-eaters to make it a healthy country for hens. As to the door I'll be glad to have you close it if you feel cold. But it's delightful for me to be sitting here all wrapped up in blankets and taking in big lungfuls of our forest air. It—it makes a fellow feel like a two-year-old."

She was about to break the eggs into a pan when she noticed the letter lying on the table.

"Would you like me to get you an envelope, for it?" she asked.

"If you'll be so kind," he assented, gravely.

She would have offered to put the paper in the envelope for him also, but he managed it easily enough and closed the flap.

"That's done," he said. "I wonder what will come of it?"

To this she could not reply, so she prepared the eggs and brought them to him, with his tea and toast.

"They're going to be ever so good," he said, taking up a fork, after which he stared out of the still-opened door.

"If you don't eat them now, they'll be cold in a minute," she warned him.

"Oh, I'd forgotten! I must beg your pardon since you took so much trouble about them."

He ate them slowly, as if performing some hard and solemn task. When he had finished his meal, Madge cleared the table.

"Is there anything else you would like?" she asked. "One of your books?"

"No, I—I don't think I want to read, just now. I—I am feeling rather—rather disturbed for the moment."

"What's the matter?" she inquired, solicitously.

"It's this—this habit I've gotten into," he said, "of having a—a nurse at my side. It seems very strange that she will soon be gone. I've learnt to depend so much on.... And Stefan is coming to take you away to Carcajou—and then over there to Dr. Starr's. Then I believe I'm to go and stay with the Papineaus, till I can handle a frying-pan and an axe. The—the prospect is a dismal one."

She took a little step towards him but he had bent over the letter and was directing it. When this was done he stared at it for a moment and, unsteadily, handed it to the girl, with the writing down.

"I—I would like you to deliver this for me," he told her. "It is ever so important and—and our post-office isn't very reliable, I'm afraid. But I know I can trust you."

She looked at him in surprise and then she looked at the envelope. To her intense amazement she read:

Miss Madge Nelson,

Roaring River.

"What does this mean?" she asked, bewildered.

"I—I'm afraid you will have to read it to find out," he answered.

She opened the door and rushed out. One fear was in her heart. She dreaded to find money in it. How dared he offer to pay for what she had done? She would lay the envelope on the table, with its contents, and quietly say—well, what could she say?

With the thing in her hand she walked down the path to the edge of the falls, where she sat down on an old big trunk of birch fallen many years ago and partly covered with moss. For one or two long minutes she held it in her lap, gazing at the rushing waters without seeing them. A strange fluttering was at her heart, a curious trepidation that was akin to intense fear caused her neck to throb, but her face was very pale. Finally, with a swift gesture, she tore the envelope open and read:

MY GOOD LITTLE NURSE:

Those other letters were not from me but this one is: you saw me write it. It carries a thousand thanks for your kindness and devotion to your helpless patient. During those dreadfully long hours your presence was a blessing; it could soothe away the pain and bring hope and comfort. In a couple of weeks more I shall be as strong as ever, but I know that without you Roaring River will never be the same. You came here bravely, ready to marry a decent man who would help you bear the burdens of this world, which had proved too heavy for you. Of course the man must be honest and worthy of your trust. After all that you underwent from the first moment of your being left alone on the tote-road I cannot wonder at your desire to go away. But I feel that without you I could never have pulled through and that by this time the prospect of a life spent without you is unbearable.

I am not begging you humbly for your love. I don't want to owe it to your pity for the man who was so ill, to the deep charity and the kindness of a sweet and unselfish nature. That is why I couldn't speak out my longing for you and the love that fills my heart, lest I might surprise you into a hasty consent. I could not have restrained my emotion and I know I would have begged and implored—and that might have made it very hard and painful for you to refuse.

Please return to me after you have read and thought this over. If we are to remain but friends you will extend one hand to me and I shall know what it means. I daresay I shall survive that hurt as I survived the other. Have no fear for me.

But if you feel in your heart that you can give me all I long for, that you are willing to become my wife, then stretch both of those little hands to me, since it will take the two to carry such a precious gift.

Your hopeful and grateful patient, HUGO.

After she had finished she tried to read the paper again, but it was too hard to see. For a moment she stared at the Roaring Falls through the misty veil of their spray. Thrusting the letter into her bosom she found her feet, suddenly, and ran to the little shack. Hugo had risen and was standing in the doorway, his heart beating fast and his face very pale. As Madge came near she uplifted both hands, but she could hardly see him. Once more her eyes were suffused with tears, but it was as if the glory of a wondrous sunlit world had been too strong for them. She was smiling happily, however, when he took both little hands into his right.

"I—I hurried back," she panted. "Neither—neither did I feel that—that I could live without you—without this wonderful peace of beautiful Roaring River, and—and the love that it has brought to me!"

A few moments later they heard Big Stefan's familiar shout from the tote-road. The toboggan could no longer be used and he had driven over a shaggy old horse that had pulled a reliable buckboard.

"Dot's yoost great!" he roared, as he saw Hugo standing outside the shack. "I tank I'm more pleased as if I find a dozen goldmines, you bet! De leetle leddy she safe you all right—all right. But now I take her avay to Meester Doctor Starr, like he telt me to. De doctor he gif me a bit letter for you, ma'am. I find it soon."

Two letters on a single day was heavy mail for Roaring River. Madge tore the last one open and read:

My Dear Miss Nelson:

Stefan has promised to bring you to us to-morrow. I want you to come, for my wife and the kiddies are awaiting you. From my latest study of conditions at Roaring River I have gathered that you may not stay with us as long as I had first hoped, but at any rate it will be long enough to do a little fixing and arranging of feminine garments. My instinct tells me that your visit to us will be short since our patient, if you tarry too long, may come and steal you away. He will have to come anyway for, just as I'm the nearest doctor to you, so my friend Jamieson is the nearest parson.

With every best wish, Very sincerely yours, DAVID STARR.

Madge handed the letter over to Hugo who quickly looked it over.

"Wonderful fellow is Starr," he declared.

Stefan took his friend Hugo up in his arms, in spite of protests on the latter's part that he wanted to try to walk. The young man was a light load, indeed, at this time. He was placed on the seat of the buckboard and, with Stefan carefully leading the horse and Madge walking alongside, was taken up to Papineau's.

The woodlands were very different now, thought the girl. When she had arrived the great land was plunged in slumber under its mantle of snow. The few birds there were at the time were voiceless, like the partridges that only find a peep when fluffy broods follow them, or some of the larger fowl which only hoot or shriek. The sound-calls of the wilderness had been those of struggling waters, of cracking trees, of snow-masses violently displaced. But now birds were in full song everywhere, carrying trifles of stick and floss and grass wherewith to build their nests. Formerly there had been the uneasy groans and sighs of a gigantic restless sleeper. Now there was the chant of a heart-free nature engaged again in vigorous toil, in wresting the recurrent glory of surging life and hope from the powers of darkness and bitter, benumbing cold. It was a resurrection!

The mile separating the shack from the Papineau homestead had been a long and fatiguing one on the first occasion of Madge's going to see the wounded man. Now the distance was trivial; a few sturdy steps, a few fillings of one's lungs with the scent of conifers; and there was the little chimney smoking and the cow with her little calf, and the dogs, and the few hens that had survived the attacks of weasels. Best of all there were her friends, children and babies and the quiet Frenchman and the kind-hearted, red-cheeked, cheery mother whose influence had been paramount in creating a little paradise in the wilds.

She helped Hugo off the buckboard, jealously, deeming herself the only one who could properly handle an invalid, and enthroned him in the best chair, near the open fire.

"You—you are h'all so velcome as I can't say," she declared.

"Miss Nelson is going away with Stefan in a few minutes," said Hugo, cheerfully.

At this Mrs. Papineau's face fell. She looked positively unhappy.

"Some'ow," she said, sniffing, "I always 'ope she stay 'ere h'all de time now. I—I never tink she go avay for good. De—de dogs and de calf and—an—de baby and chil'ren dey all love 'er. I h'awful sorry."

"But—but I'm coming back, Mrs. Papineau," cried Madge. "I—I can't live away from—from Roaring River now!"

"Dey two iss ter be marrit!" roared Stefan. "Hey! What you tank? I tank so all de time, you bet!"

At this they all crowded around Madge, and such hand-shakings, and such kisses from the good woman and the children, and such joy depicted on all the faces! She thought that never a bride had received such heartfelt congratulations and good wishes.

But in a couple of hours the old horse was quite rested and had finished the small bag of oats Stefan had brought and eaten plenty of the sweet-scented hay furnished by Papineau, and it was time to go. Strangely enough, at the last moment, the usually crowded house was deserted excepting by two, who found themselves in one another's arms.

"God bless you, Madge," said the man. "I will come soon."

"I shall be waiting," answered the girl, simply.

And so she rode away again, in the old buckboard that rolled and pitched and heaved and bucked so that very often she got off and walked at the side of Stefan.

Late that night she found herself in the doctor's home, after a wonderful welcome from his wife and himself. The kiddies had been put to bed.

"I—I feel that—that I am deserting you, that you trusted me to help you with a splendid work," she said, with head bent down.

"That is not so," the man answered gravely. "Remember what I told you when I was trying to enlist you. I say that more than for any other purposes, we wanted women, good women, to come and become the mothers of the strong, fine breed that can alone master our wilderness. Hugo is one of those fellows of brawn and brain who are working towards the common happiness in establishing his own. He needs a helper he can love and trust and cherish, one who will in herself be the biggest reward he can ever gain, and make him feel that the bigger part of the purpose of his life has been secured with your promise to marry him. To me the sick and the halt are paramount—but they will have to wait a little. In some way or other they will be looked after, I promise you, for no man in a responsible position can be anything but a problem-solver, in these places, and I'll find someone, never fear."

"Yours will be the more important occupation now, my dear," said the doctor's wife; "you'll be in the front ranks of the fighters."

So the doctor went away and the two women made the sewing-machine hum, and cut and basted and threaded needles. Together they managed to put together all that was indispensable and to discard the frivolous, as became the wives of pioneers.

Two or three weeks went by very fast and one day Sophy McGurn, from behind the shop-window, saw Hugo Ennis standing on the platform of the little station at Carcajou. With him was big Stefan, clad in his best, and the entire Papineau family. Most of the children were about to take the very first railway journey of their lives and the excitement was intense and prolonged. Finally the train came puffing along and went away again, panting on the upgrade, while Miss Sophy bit her nails hard.

There is no doubt that Stefan had kept still, since he had been requested to. No one else in Carcajou knew anything as to the inwardness of the girl's coming, of Sophy's share in it, or of the discovery by the doctor of the latter's duplicity. And yet there was an element in Carcajou that frowned upon the young lady. Her accusation had been reported far and wide. To the settlers of the place her suspicions had seemed uncalled-for and bespeaking a mean and vicious disposition. Hugo, after all, had been everybody's friend. He was now about to marry this young woman from far-away New York. This utterly disproved Sophy's statements, wherefore she became more unpopular than ever. A couple of hundred men had come over to work at the sawmill, that was purring and grinding and shrieking again, all day and night. In the course of events they were learning all about the matter, and some of the more ribald asked her jocular questions. It was annoying, to say the least, to have a big logger come in and ask what were the news of the day, and if there was any more murdering going on. She projected to leave Carcajou as soon as she could, and made her parents wish she would, as soon as possible.

The party reached their station and walked over to the church, that stood in what looked like a pasture, with great stumps of trees still dotting the ground. About it was the very small beginning of a graveyard. With the years it would grow but always it would be swept by the winds blowing aromatic scents from the forests beyond the lake. And about the church itself grew simple flowers, some of which were beginning to twine themselves upon the walls. Madge came up the aisle, attended by Stefan and the doctor. Hugo met them, the emotion of the moment having caused some of the pallor to return to his cheeks.

It was soon all over. At the doctor's house there was a little repast, followed by some simple words that sounded hopeful and strong. An hour later the couple left, but not for a honeymoon in the towns. It was in a place reached after many hours of paddling, where the red trout abounded and the swallows darted over the waters. Here in their tent they could do their own cooking, beginning the life that was to be one of mutual help, of cheerful toil, of achievement and of happiness.

When they came back to Carcajou again, Stefan was waiting for them with a strong team of horses able easily to negotiate the tote-road. This highway, in many places, had been repaired. Fallen trees were cut across and pulled to one side, swampy bits were corduroyed, big holes had been filled in. Indeed, the traffic had become important, all of a sudden, towards the Roaring Falls. Lumber had been hauled there, and many tools, and kegs of nails, and a gang of men had walked over.

Finally they came in sight of the river again, in which were no more black-looking, threatening air-holes. Mostly it was placid now, with rapids that could easily be passed over by ably-managed canoes or bateaux, succeeding the deep still waters now and then and frothing and fuming only as if in play. Here a big blue heron rose from it, and there a couple of kingfishers jabbered and scolded and shrieked. Partridges crossed the road in front of the horses, and the inevitable rabbit scampered away in leisurely fashion.

But they reached the little path that led to the shack without seeing anything of the tiny home or of the falls beyond, for the bushes and shrubs were in full foliage and seemed to be concealing their Eden from passers-by. Madge leaped from the wagon. Her kingdom was over there, just a few rods away, and she was eager to see it again.

Yes! The shack was still there, looking tinier than ever. But very close to it a foundation had been dug from which rose rough walls of broken stone. Upon these strong scantlings had been fastened and men were clapboarding them over into a bigger and finer home.

Above the trees some smoke was showing. It marked a place where a half-score shacks and little barracks were going up, to shelter the men who were to follow deeper those promising veins in the great rocks. There would soon be blasting and more drilling and the breaking up of ore, which would be carried down the river to the railroad. But from the edge of the great falls nothing of all this could be seen. Except for the new house everything seemed to be unchanged. It was with a sentiment of a little awe, of gratefulness, of a surprise which the passing of the weeks had not yet been able to dispel, that Madge realized that this was now her own, the place of her future toil, the spot where she was to found a home and fill it with happiness.

It was marvelous! It was a thousand times more splendid than anything she could have conceived when first she was journeying to this country. And the greatness of it lay in the fact that she understood, that she realized, that she knew that the whole world lay before her and her husband, to make or mar, to convert into a part of the great effort that is always a joy, the upbuilding of a home, or to allow to revert into the wilderness again if strength were lacking.

At first she could not step farther than the little spot from which her dwelling-place first stood revealed.

"What do you think of it, Madge?" asked her husband.

"I think that if I had prayed all my life for a wonderful home, before coming here, I would never have been able to pray for anything so splendid. Think of it—you and I—for years and years that will pass ever so swiftly, together in this glorious place and enjoying perfect peace—the great peace of Roaring River!"

And the man stood by, his heart very full, his thoughts following her own, and a wave of happiness surged into his being, for all that was best in his former dreams was at his hand, since nothing but the woman at his side really counted.



ZANE GREY'S NOVELS

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list

THE LIGHT OF WESTERN STARS

A New York society girl buys a ranch which becomes the center of frontier warfare. Her loyal superintendent rescues her when she is captured by bandits. A surprising climax brings the story to a delightful close.

THE RAINBOW TRAIL

The story of a young clergyman who becomes a wanderer in the great western uplands—until at last love and faith awake.

DESERT GOLD

The story describes the recent uprising along the border, and ends with the finding of the gold which two prospectors had willed to the girl who is the story's heroine.

RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE

A picturesque romance of Utah of some forty years ago when Mormon authority ruled. The prosecution of Jane Withersteen is the theme of the story.

THE LAST OF THE PLAINSMEN

This is the record of a trip which the author took with Buffalo Jones, known as the preserver of the American bison, across the Arizona desert and of a hunt in "that wonderful country of deep canons and giant pines."

THE HERITAGE OF THE DESERT

A lovely girl, who has been reared among Mormons, learns to love a young New Englander. The Mormon religion, however, demands that the girl shall become the second wife of one of the Mormons—Well, that's the problem of this great story.

THE SHORT STOP

The young hero, tiring of his factory grind, starts out to win fame and fortune as a professional ball player. His hard knocks at the start are followed by such success as clean sportsmanship, courage and honesty ought to win.

BETTY ZANE

This story tells of the bravery and heroism of Betty, the beautiful young sister of old Colonel Zane, one of the bravest pioneers.

THE LONE STAR RANGER

After killing a man in self defense, Buck Duane becomes an outlaw along the Texas border. In a camp on the Mexican side of the river, he finds a young girl held prisoner, and in attempting to rescue her, brings down upon himself the wrath of her captors and henceforth is hunted on one side by honest men, on the other by outlaws.

THE BORDER LEGION

Joan Randle, in a spirit of anger, sent Jim Cleve out to a lawless Western mining camp, to prove his mettle. Then realizing that she loved him—she followed him out. On her way, she is captured by a bandit band, and trouble begins when she shoots Kells, the leader—and nurses him to health again. Here enters another romance—when Joan, disguised as an outlaw, observes Jim, in the throes of dissipation. A gold strike, a thrilling robbery—gambling and gun play carry you along breathlessly.

THE LAST OF THE GREAT SCOUTS,

By Helen Cody Wetmore and Zane Grey

The life story of Colonel William F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill," as told by his sister and Zane Grey. It begins with his boyhood in Iowa and his first encounter with an Indian. We see "Bill" as a pony express rider, then near Fort Sumter as Chief of the Scouts, and later engaged in the most dangerous Indian campaigns. There is also a very interesting account of the travels of "The Wild West Show." No character in public life makes a stronger appeal to the imagination of America than "Buffalo Bill," whose daring and bravery made him famous.

GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



STORIES OF RARE CHARM BY GENE STRATTON-PORTER

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list.

MICHAEL O'HALLORAN. Illustrated by Frances Rogers.

Michael is a quick-witted little Irish newsboy, living in Northern Indiana. He adopts a deserted little girl, a cripple. He also assumes the responsibility of leading the entire rural community upward and onward.

LADDIE. Illustrated by Herman Pfeifer.

This is a bright, cheery tale with the scenes laid in Indiana. The story is told by Little Sister, the youngest member of a large family, but it is concerned not so much with childish doings as with the love affairs of older members of the family. Chief among them is that of Laddie and the Princess, an English girl who has come to live in the neighborhood and about whose family there hangs a mystery.

THE HARVESTER. Illustrated by W. L. Jacobs.

"The Harvester," is a man of the woods and fields, and if the book had nothing in it but the splendid figure of this man it would be notable. But when the Girl comes to his "Medicine Woods," there begins a romance of the rarest idyllic quality.

FRECKLES. Illustrated.

Freckles is a nameless waif when the tale opens, but the way in which he takes hold of life; the nature friendships he forms in the great Limberlost Swamp; the manner in which everyone who meets him succumbs to the charm of his engaging personality; and his love story with "The Angel" are full of real sentiment.

A GIRL OF THE LIMBERLOST. Illustrated.

The story of a girl of the Michigan woods; a buoyant, loveable type of the self-reliant American. Her philosophy is one of love and kindness towards all things; her hope is never dimmed. And by the sheer beauty of her soul, and the purity of her vision, she wins from barren and unpromising surroundings those rewards of high courage.

AT THE FOOT OF THE RAINBOW. Illustrations in colors.

The scene of this charming love story is laid in Central Indiana. The story is one of devoted friendship, and tender self-sacrificing love. The novel is brimful of the most beautiful word painting of nature, and its pathos and tender sentiment will endear it to all.

THE SONG OF THE CARDINAL. Profusely illustrated.

A love ideal of the Cardinal bird and his mate, told with delicacy and humor.

GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



KATHLEEN NORRIS' STORIES

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list.

MOTHER. Illustrated by F. C. Yohn.

This book has a fairy-story touch, counterbalanced by the sturdy reality of struggle, sacrifice, and resulting peace and power of a mother's experiences.

SATURDAY'S CHILD.

Frontispiece by F. Graham Cootes.

Out on the Pacific coast a normal girl, obscure and lovely, makes a quest for happiness. She passes through three stages—poverty, wealth and service—and works out a creditable salvation.

THE RICH MRS. BURGOYNE.

Illustrated by Lucius H. Hitchcock.

The story of a sensible woman who keeps within her means, refuses to be swamped by social engagements, lives a normal human life of varied interests, and has her own romance.

THE STORY OF JULIA PAGE.

Frontispiece by Allan Gilbert.

How Julia Page, reared in rather unpromising surroundings, lifted herself through sheer determination to a higher plane of life.

THE HEART OF RACHAEL.

Frontispiece by Charles E. Chambers.

Rachael is called upon to solve many problems, and in working out these, there is shown the beauty and strength of soul of one of fiction's most appealing characters.

Ask for Complete free list of G. & D. Popular Copyrighted Fiction

GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



MYRTLE REED'S NOVELS

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset and Dunlap's list.

LAVENDER AND OLD LACE.

A charming story of a quaint corner of New England, where bygone romance finds a modern parallel. The story centers round the coming of love to the young people on the staff of a newspaper—and it is one of the prettiest, sweetest and quaintest of old-fashioned love stories.

MASTER OF THE VINEYARD.

A pathetic love story of a young girl, Rosemary. The teacher of the country school, who is also master of the vineyard, comes to know her through her desire for books. She is happy in his love till another woman comes into his life. But happiness and emancipation from her many trials come to Rosemary at last. The book has a touch of humor and pathos that will appeal to every reader.

OLD ROSE AND SILVER.

A love story,—sentimental and humorous,—with the plot subordinate to the character delineation of its quaint people and to the exquisite descriptions of picturesque spots and of lovely, old, rare treasures.

A WEAVER OF DREAMS.

This story tells of the love-affairs of three young people, with an old-fashioned romance in the background. A tiny dog plays an important role in serving as a foil for the heroine's talking ingeniousness. There is poetry, as well as tenderness and charm, in this tale of a weaver of dreams.

A SPINNER IN THE SUN.

An old-fashioned love story, of a veiled lady who lives in solitude and whose features her neighbors have never seen. There is a mystery at the heart of the book that throws over it the glamour of romance.

THE MASTER'S VIOLIN.

A love story in a musical atmosphere. A picturesque, old German virtuoso consents to take for his pupil a handsome youth who proves to have an aptitude for technique, but not the soul of an artist. The youth cannot express the love, the passion and the tragedies of life as can the master. But a girl comes into his life, and through his passionate love for her, he learns the lessons that life has to give—and his soul awakes.

GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



THE NOVELS OF CLARA LOUISE BURNHAM

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list.

JEWEL: A Chapter in Her Life.

Illustrated by Maude and Genevieve Cowles.

A story breathing the doctrine of love and patience as exemplified in the life of a child. Jewel will never grow old because of the immortality of her love.

JEWEL'S STORY BOOK. Illustrated by Albert Schmitt.

A sequel to "Jewel," in which the same characteristics of love and cheerfulness touch and uplift the reader.

THE INNER FLAME. Frontispiece in color.

A young mining engineer, whose chief ambition is to become an artist, but who has no friends with whom to realize his hopes, has a way opened to him to try his powers, and, of course, he is successful.

THE RIGHT PRINCESS.

At a fashionable Long Island resort, a stately English woman employs a forcible New England housekeeper to serve in her interesting home. Many humorous situations result. A delightful love affair runs through it all.

THE OPENED SHUTTERS.

Illustrated with Scenes from the Photo Play.

A beautiful woman, at discord with life, is brought to realize, by her new friends, that she may open the shutters of her soul to the blessed sunlight of joy by casting aside self love.

THE RIGHT TRACK.

Frontispiece in color by Greene Blumenschien.

A story of a young girl who marries for money so that she can enjoy things intellectual. Neglect of her husband and of her two step children makes an unhappy home till a friend brings a new philosophy of happiness into the household.

CLEVER BETSY. Illustrated by Rose O'Neill.

The "Clever Betsy" was a boat—named for the unyielding spinster whom the captain hoped to marry. Through the two Betsy's a delightful group of people are introduced.

Ask for Complete free list of G. & D. Popular Copyrighted Fiction

GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



BOOTH TARKINGTON'S NOVELS

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list.

SEVENTEEN. Illustrated by Arthur William Brown.

No one but the creator of Penrod could have portrayed the immortal young people of this story. Its humor is irresistible and reminiscent of the time when the reader was Seventeen.

PENROD. Illustrated by Gordon Grant.

This is a picture of a boy's heart, full of the lovable, humorous, tragic things which are locked secrets to most older folks. It is a finished, exquisite work.

PENROD AND SAM. Illustrated by Worth Brehm.

Like "Penrod" and "Seventeen," this book contains some remarkable phases of real boyhood and some of the best stories of juvenile prankishness that have ever been written.

THE TURMOIL. Illustrated by C. E. Chambers.

Bibbs Sheridan is a dreamy, imaginative youth, who revolts against his father's plans for him to be a servitor of big business. The love of a fine girl turns Bibb's life from failure to success.

THE GENTLEMAN FROM INDIANA. Frontispiece.

A story of love and politics,—more especially a picture of a country editor's life in Indiana, but the charm of the book lies in the love interest.

THE FLIRT. Illustrated by Clarence F. Underwood.

The "Flirt," the younger of two sisters, breaks one girl's engagement, drives one man to suicide, causes the murder of another, leads another to lose his fortune, and in the end marries a stupid and unpromising suitor, leaving the really worthy one to marry her sister.

Ask for Complete free list of G. & D. Popular Copyrighted Fiction

GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



JACK LONDON'S NOVELS

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list.

JOHN BARLEYCORN. Illustrated by H. T. Dunn.

This remarkable book is a record of the author's own amazing experiences. This big, brawny world rover, who has been acquainted with alcohol from boyhood, comes out boldly against John Barleycorn. It is a string of exciting adventures, yet it forcefully conveys an unforgettable idea and makes a typical Jack London book.

THE VALLEY OF THE MOON. Frontispiece by George Harper.

The story opens in the city slums where Billy Roberts, teamster and ex-prize fighter, and Saxon Brown, laundry worker, meet and love and marry. They tramp from one end of California to the other, and in the Valley of the Moon find the farm paradise that is to be their salvation.

BURNING DAYLIGHT. Four illustrations.

The story of an adventurer who went to Alaska and laid the foundations of his fortune before the gold hunters arrived. Bringing his fortunes to the States he is cheated out of it by a crowd of money kings, and recovers it only at the muzzle of his gun. He then starts out as a merciless exploiter on his own account. Finally he takes to drinking and becomes a picture of degeneration. About this time he falls in love with his stenographer and wins her heart but not her hand and then—but read the story!

A SON OF THE SUN. Illustrated by A. O. Fischer and C. W. Ashley.

David Grief was once a light-haired, blue-eyed youth who came from England to the South Seas in search of adventure. Tanned like a native and as lithe as a tiger, he became a real son of the sun. The life appealed to him and he remained and became very wealthy.

THE CALL OF THE WILD. Illustrations by Philip R. Goodwin and Charles Livingston Bull. Decorations by Charles E. Hooper.

A book of dog adventures as exciting as any man's exploits could be. Here is excitement to stir the blood and here is picturesque color to transport the reader to primitive scenes.

THE SEA WOLF. Illustrated by W. J. Aylward.

Told by a man whom Fate suddenly swings from his fastidious life into the power of the brutal captain of a sealing schooner. A novel of adventure warmed by a beautiful love episode that every reader will hail with delight.

WHITE FANG. Illustrated by Charles Livingston Bull.

"White Fang" is part dog, part wolf and all brute, living in the frozen north; he gradually comes under the spell of man's companionship, and surrenders all at the last in a fight with a bull dog. Thereafter he is man's loving slave.

GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



B. M. BOWER'S NOVELS

May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset and Dunlap's list.

CHIP OF THE FLYING U. Wherein the love affairs of Chip and Della Whitman are charmingly and humorously told.

THE HAPPY FAMILY. A lively and amusing story, dealing with the adventures of eighteen jovial, big-hearted Montana cowboys.

HER PRAIRIE KNIGHT. Describing a gay party of Easterners who exchange a cottage at Newport for a Montana ranch-house.

THE RANGE DWELLERS. Spirited action, a range feud between two families, and a Romeo and Juliet courtship make this a bright, jolly story.

THE LURE OF THE DIM TRAILS. A vivid portrayal of the experience of an Eastern author among the cowboys.

THE LONESOME TRAIL. A little branch of sage brush and the recollection of a pair of large brown eyes upset "Weary" Davidson's plans.

THE LONG SHADOW. A vigorous Western story, sparkling with the free outdoor life of a mountain ranch. It is a fine love story.

GOOD INDIAN. A stirring romance of life on an Idaho ranch.

FLYING U RANCH. Another delightful story about Chip and his pals.

THE FLYING U'S LAST STAND. An amusing account of Chip and the other boys opposing a party of school teachers.

THE UPHILL CLIMB. A story of a mountain ranch and of a man's hard fight on the uphill road to manliness.

THE PHANTOM HERD. The title of a moving-picture staged in New Mexico by the "Flying U" boys.

THE HERITAGE OF THE SIOUX. The "Flying U" boys stage a fake bank robbery for film purposes which precedes a real one for lust of gold.

THE GRINGOS. A story of love and adventure on a ranch in California.

STARR OF THE DESERT. A New Mexico ranch story of mystery and adventure.

THE LOOKOUT MAN. A Northern California story full of action, excitement and love.

GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK

THE END

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