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<SPAN name="link2HCH0019" id="link2HCH0019"> <!-- H2 anchor --> </SPAN> </p> <div style="height: 4em;"> <br /><br /><br /><br /> </div> <h2> Chapter XIX </h2> <p> The young fellow stayed three weeks, and was a constant joy to Thorpe. His enthusiasms were so whole-souled; his delight so perpetual; his interest so fresh! The most trivial expedients of woods lore seemed to him wonderful. A dozen times a day he exclaimed in admiration or surprise over some bit of woodcraft practiced by Thorpe or one of the Indians. </p> <p> "Do you mean to say you have lived here six weeks and only brought in what you could carry on your backs!" he cried. </p> <p> "Sure," Thorpe replied. </p> <p> "Harry, you're wonderful! I've got a whole canoe load, and imagined I was travelling light and roughing it. You beat Robinson Crusoe! He had a whole ship to draw from." </p> <p> "My man Friday helps me out," answered Thorpe, laughingly indicating Injin Charley. </p> <p> Nearly a week passed before Wallace managed to kill a deer. The animals were plenty enough; but the young man's volatile and eager attention stole his patience. And what few running shots offered, he missed, mainly because of buck fever. Finally, by a lucky chance, he broke a four-year-old's neck, dropping him in his tracks. The hunter was delighted. He insisted on doing everything for himself&mdash;cruel hard work it was too&mdash;including the toting and skinning. Even the tanning he had a share in. At first he wanted the hide cured, "with the hair on." Injin Charley explained that the fur would drop out. It was the wrong season of the year for pelts. </p> <p> "Then we'll have buckskin and I'll get a buckskin shirt out of it," suggested Wallace. </p> <p> Injin Charley agreed. One day Wallace returned from fishing in the pool to find that the Indian had cut out the garment, and was already sewing it together. </p> <p> "Oh!" he cried, a little disappointed, "I wanted to see it done!" </p> <p> Injin Charley merely grunted. To make a buckskin shirt requires the hides of three deer. Charley had supplied the other two, and wished to keep the young man from finding it out. </p> <p> Wallace assumed the woods life as a man would assume an unaccustomed garment. It sat him well, and he learned fast, but he was always conscious of it. He liked to wear moccasins, and a deer knife; he liked to cook his own supper, or pluck the fragrant hemlock browse for his pillow. Always he seemed to be trying to realize and to savor fully the charm, the picturesqueness, the romance of all that he was doing and seeing. To Thorpe these things were a part of everyday life; matters of expedient or necessity. He enjoyed them, but subconsciously, as one enjoys an environment. Wallace trailed the cloak of his glories in frank admiration of their splendor. </p> <p> This double point of view brought the men very close together. Thorpe liked the boy because he was open-hearted, free from affectation, assumptive of no superiority,&mdash;in short, because he was direct and sincere, although in a manner totally different from Thorpe's own directness and sincerity. Wallace, on his part, adored in Thorpe the free, open-air life, the adventurous quality, the quiet hidden power, the resourcefulness and self-sufficiency of the pioneer. He was too young as yet to go behind the picturesque or romantic; so he never thought to inquire of himself what Thorpe did there in the wilderness, or indeed if he did anything at all. He accepted Thorpe for what he thought him to be, rather than for what he might think him to be. Thus he reposed unbounded confidence in him. </p> <p> After a while, observing the absolute ingenuousness of the boy, Thorpe used to take him from time to time on some of his daily trips to the pines. Necessarily he explained partially his position and the need of secrecy. Wallace was immensely excited and important at learning a secret of such moment, and deeply flattered at being entrusted with it. </p> <p> Some may think that here, considering the magnitude of the interests involved, Thorpe committed an indiscretion. It may be; but if so, it was practically an inevitable indiscretion. Strong, reticent characters like Thorpe's prove the need from time to time of violating their own natures, of running counter to their ordinary habits of mind and deed. It is a necessary relaxation of the strenuous, a debauch of the soul. Its analogy in the lower plane is to be found in the dissipations of men of genius; or still lower in the orgies of fighters out of training. Sooner or later Thorpe was sure to emerge for a brief space from that iron-bound silence of the spirit, of which he himself was the least aware. It was not so much a hunger for affection, as the desire of a strong man temporarily to get away from his strength. Wallace Carpenter became in his case the exception to prove the rule. </p> <p> Little by little the eager questionings of the youth extracted a full statement of the situation. He learned of the timber-thieves up the river, of their present operations; and their probable plans; of the valuable pine lying still unclaimed; of Thorpe's stealthy raid into the enemy's country. It looked big to him, epic!&mdash;These were tremendous forces in motion, here was intrigue, here was direct practical application of the powers he had been playing with. </p> <p> "Why, it's great! It's better than any book I ever read!" </p> <p> He wanted to know what he could do to help. </p> <p> "Nothing except keep quiet," replied Thorpe, already uneasy, not lest the boy should prove unreliable, but lest his very eagerness to seem unconcerned should arouse suspicion. "You mustn't try to act any different. If the men from up-river come by, be just as cordial to them as you can, and don't act mysterious and important." </p> <p> "All right," agreed Wallace, bubbling with excitement. "And then what do you do&mdash;after you get the timber estimated?" </p> <p> "I'll go South and try, quietly, to raise some money. That will be difficult, because, you see, people don't know me; and I am not in a position to let them look over the timber. Of course it will be merely a question of my judgment. They can go themselves to the Land Office and pay their money. There won't be any chance of my making way with that. The investors will become possessed of certain 'descriptions' lying in this country, all right enough. The rub is, will they have enough confidence in me and my judgment to believe the timber to be what I represent it?" </p> <p> "I see," commented Wallace, suddenly grave. </p> <p> That evening Injin Charley went on with his canoe building. He melted together in a pot, resin and pitch. The proportion he determined by experiment, for the mixture had to be neither hard enough to crack nor soft enough to melt in the sun. Then he daubed the mess over all the seams. Wallace superintended the operation for a time in silence. </p> <p> "Harry," he said suddenly with a crisp decision new to his voice, "will you take a little walk with me down by the dam. I want to talk with you." </p> <p> They strolled to the edge of the bank and stood for a moment looking at the swirling waters. </p> <p> "I want you to tell me all about logging," began Wallace. "Start from the beginning. Suppose, for instance, you had bought this pine here we were talking about,&mdash;what would be your first move?" </p> <p> They sat side by side on a log, and Thorpe explained. He told of the building of the camps, the making of the roads; the cutting, swamping, travoying, skidding; the banking and driving. Unconsciously a little of the battle clang crept into his narrative. It became a struggle, a gasping tug and heave for supremacy between the man and the wilderness. The excitement of war was in it. When he had finished, Wallace drew a deep breath. </p> <p> "When I am home," said he simply, "I live in a big house on the Lake Shore Drive. It is heated by steam and lighted by electricity. I touch a button or turn a screw, and at once I am lighted and warmed. At certain hours meals are served me. I don't know how they are cooked, or where the materials come from. Since leaving college I have spent a little time down town every day; and then I've played golf or tennis or ridden a horse in the park. The only real thing left is the sailing. The wind blows just as hard and the waves mount just as high to-day as they did when Drake sailed. All the rest is tame. We do little imitations of the real thing with blue ribbons tied to them, and think we are camping or roughing it. This life of yours is glorious, is vital, it means something in the march of the world;&mdash;and I doubt whether ours does. You are subduing the wilderness, extending the frontier. After you will come the backwoods farmer to pull up the stumps, and after him the big farmer and the cities." </p> <p> The young follow spoke with unexpected swiftness and earnestness. Thorpe looked at him in surprise. </p> <p> "I know what you are thinking," said the boy, flushing. "You are surprised that I can be in earnest about anything. I'm out of school up here. Let me shout and play with the rest of the children." </p> <p> Thorpe watched him with sympathetic eyes, but with lips that obstinately refused to say one word. A woman would have felt rebuffed. The boy's admiration, however, rested on the foundation of the more manly qualities he had already seen in his friend. Perhaps this very aloofness, this very silent, steady-eyed power appealed to him. </p> <p> "I left college at nineteen because my father died," said he. "I am now just twenty-one. A large estate descended to me, and I have had to care for its investments all alone. I have one sister, that is all." </p> <p> "So have I," cried Thorpe, and stopped. </p> <p> "The estates have not suffered," went on the boy simply. "I have done well with them. But," he cried fiercely, "I HATE it! It is petty and mean and worrying and nagging! That's why I was so glad to get out in the woods." </p> <p> He paused. </p> <p> "Have some tobacco," said Thorpe. </p> <p> Wallace accepted with a nod. </p> <p> "Now, Harry, I have a proposal to make to you. It is this; you need thirty thousand dollars to buy your land. Let me supply it, and come in as half partner." </p> <p> An expression of doubt crossed the landlooker's face. </p> <p> "Oh PLEASE!" cried the boy, "I do want to get in something real! It will be the making of me!" </p> <p> "Now see here," interposed Thorpe suddenly, "you don't even know my name." </p> <p> "I know YOU," replied the boy. </p> <p> "My name is Harry Thorpe," pursued the other. "My father was Henry Thorpe, an embezzler." </p> <p> "Harry," replied Wallace soberly, "I am sorry I made you say that. I do not care for your name&mdash;except perhaps to put it in the articles of partnership,&mdash;and I have no concern with your ancestry. I tell you it is a favor to let me in on this deal. I don't know anything about lumbering, but I've got eyes. I can see that big timber standing up thick and tall, and I know people make profits in the business. It isn't a question of the raw material surely, and you have experience." </p> <p> "Not so much as you think," interposed Thorpe. </p> <p> "There remains," went on Wallace without attention to Thorpe's remark, "only the question of&mdash;" </p> <p> "My honesty," interjected Thorpe grimly. </p> <p> "No!" cried the boy hotly, "of your letting me in on a good thing!" </p> <p> Thorpe considered a few moments in silence. </p> <p> "Wallace," he said gravely at last, "I honestly do think that whoever goes into this deal with me will make money. Of course there's always chances against it. But I am going to do my best. I've seen other men fail at it, and the reason they've failed is because they did not demand success of others and of themselves. That's it; success! When a general commanding troops receives a report on something he's ordered done, he does not trouble himself with excuses;&mdash;he merely asks whether or not the thing was accomplished. Difficulties don't count. It is a soldier's duty to perform the impossible. Well, that's the way it ought to be with us. A man has no right to come to me and say, 'I failed because such and such things happened.' Either he should succeed in spite of it all; or he should step up and take his medicine without whining. Well, I'm going to succeed!" </p> <p> The man's accustomed aloofness had gone. His eye flashed, his brow frowned, the muscles of his cheeks contracted under his beard. In the bronze light of evening he looked like a fire-breathing statue to that great ruthless god he had himself invoked,&mdash;Success. </p> <p> Wallace gazed at him with fascinated admiration. </p> <p> "Then you will?" he asked tremulously. </p> <p> "Wallace," he replied again, "they'll say you have been the victim of an adventurer, but the result will prove them wrong. If I weren't perfectly sure of this, I wouldn't think of it, for I like you, and I know you want to go into this more out of friendship for me and because your imagination is touched, than from any business sense. But I'll accept, gladly. And I'll do my best!" </p> <p> "Hooray!" cried the boy, throwing his cap up in the air. "We'll do 'em up in the first round!" </p> <p> At last when Wallace Carpenter reluctantly quitted his friends on the Ossawinamakee, he insisted on leaving with them a variety of the things he had brought. </p> <p> "I'm through with them," said he. "Next time I come up here we'll have a camp of our own, won't we, Harry? And I do feel that I am awfully in you fellows' debt. You've given me the best time I have ever had in my life, and you've refused payment for the moccasins and things you've made for me. I'd feel much better if you'd accept them,&mdash;just as keepsakes." </p> <p> "All right, Wallace," replied Thorpe, "and much obliged." </p> <p> "Don't forget to come straight to me when you get through estimating, now, will you? Come to the house and stay. Our compact holds now, honest Injin; doesn't it?" asked the boy anxiously. </p> <p> "Honest Injin," laughed Thorpe. "Good-by." </p> <p> The little canoe shot away down the current. The last Injin Charley and Thorpe saw of the boy was as he turned the curve. His hat was off and waving in his hand, his curls were blowing in the breeze, his eyes sparkled with bright good-will, and his lips parted in a cheery halloo of farewell. </p> <p> "Him nice boy," repeated Injin Charley, turning to his canoe. </p> <p> <SPAN name="link2HCH0020" id="link2HCH0020"> <!-- H2 anchor --> </SPAN> </p> <div style="height: 4em;"> <br /><br /><br /><br /> </div> <h2> Chapter XX </h2> <p> Thus Thorpe and the Indian unexpectedly found themselves in the possession of luxury. The outfit had not meant much to Wallace Carpenter, for he had bought it in the city, where such things are abundant and excite no remark; but to the woodsman each article possessed a separate and particular value. The tent, an iron kettle, a side of bacon, oatmeal, tea, matches, sugar, some canned goods, a box of hard-tack,&mdash;these, in the woods, represented wealth. Wallace's rifle chambered the .38 Winchester cartridge, which was unfortunate, for Thorpe's .44 had barely a magazineful left. </p> <p> The two men settled again into their customary ways of life. Things went much as before, except that the flies and mosquitoes became thick. To men as hardened as Thorpe and the Indian, these pests were not as formidable as they would have been to anyone directly from the city, but they were sufficiently annoying. Thorpe's old tin pail was pressed into service as a smudge-kettle. Every evening about dusk, when the insects first began to emerge from the dark swamps, Charley would build a tiny smoky fire in the bottom of the pail, feeding it with peat, damp moss, punk maple, and other inflammable smoky fuel. This censer swung twice or thrice about the tent, effectually cleared it. Besides, both men early established on their cheeks an invulnerable glaze of a decoction of pine tar, oil, and a pungent herb. Towards the close of July, however, the insects began sensibly to diminish, both in numbers and persistency. </p> <p> Up to the present Thorpe had enjoyed a clear field. Now two men came down from above and established a temporary camp in the woods half a mile below the dam. Thorpe soon satisfied himself that they were picking out a route for the logging road. Plenty which could be cut and travoyed directly to the banking ground lay exactly along the bank of the stream; but every logger possessed of a tract of timber tries each year to get in some that is easy to handle and some that is difficult. Thus the average of expense is maintained. </p> <p> The two men, of course, did not bother themselves with the timber to be travoyed, but gave their entire attention to that lying further back. Thorpe was enabled thus to avoid them entirely. He simply transferred his estimating to the forest by the stream. Once he met one of the men; but was fortunately in a country that lent itself to his pose of hunter. The other he did not see at all. </p> <p> But one day he heard him. The two up-river men were following carefully but noisily the bed of a little creek. Thorpe happened to be on the side-hill, so he seated himself quietly until they should have moved on down. One of the men shouted to the other, who, crashing through a thicket, did not hear. "Ho-o-o! DYER!" the first repeated. "Here's that infernal comer; over here!" </p> <p> "Yop!" assented the other. "Coming!" </p> <p> Thorpe recognized the voice instantly as that of Radway's scaler. His hand crisped in a gesture of disgust. The man had always been obnoxious to him. </p> <p> Two days later he stumbled on their camp. He paused in wonder at what he saw. </p> <p> The packs lay open, their contents scattered in every direction. The fire had been hastily extinguished with a bucket of water, and a frying pan lay where it had been overturned. If the thing had been possible, Thorpe would have guessed at a hasty and unpremeditated flight. </p> <p> He was about to withdraw carefully lest he be discovered, when he was startled by a touch on his elbow. It was Injin Charley. </p> <p> "Dey go up river," he said. "I come see what de row." </p> <p> The Indian examined rapidly the condition of the little camp. </p> <p> "Dey look for somethin'," said he, making his hand revolve as though rummaging, and indicating the packs. </p> <p> "I t'ink dey see you in de woods," he concluded. "Dey go camp gettum boss. Boss he gone on river trail two t'ree hour." </p> <p> "You're right, Charley," replied Thorpe, who had been drawing his own conclusions. "One of them knows me. They've been looking in their packs for their note-books with the descriptions of these sections in them. Then they piled out for the boss. If I know anything at all, the boss'll make tracks for Detroit." </p> <p> "W'ot you do?" asked Injin Charley curiously. </p> <p> "I got to get to Detroit before they do; that's all." </p> <p> Instantly the Indian became all action. </p> <p> "You come," he ordered, and set out at a rapid pace for camp. </p> <p> There, with incredible deftness, he packed together about twelve pounds of the jerked venison and a pair of blankets, thrust Thorpe's waterproof match safe in his pocket, and turned eagerly to the young man. </p> <p> "You come," he repeated. </p> <p> Thorpe hastily unearthed his "descriptions" and wrapped them up. The Indian, in silence, rearranged the displaced articles in such a manner as to relieve the camp of its abandoned air. </p> <p> It was nearly sundown. Without a word the two men struck off into the forest, the Indian in the lead. Their course was southeast, but Thorpe asked no questions. He followed blindly. Soon he found that if he did even that adequately, he would have little attention left for anything else. The Indian walked with long, swift strides, his knees always slightly bent, even at the finish of the step, his back hollowed, his shoulders and head thrust forward. His gait had a queer sag in it, up and down in a long curve from one rise to the other. After a time Thorpe became fascinated in watching before him this easy, untiring lope, hour after hour, without the variation of a second's fraction in speed nor an inch in length. It was as though the Indian were made of steel springs. He never appeared to hurry; but neither did he ever rest. </p> <p> At first Thorpe followed him with comparative ease, but at the end of three hours he was compelled to put forth decided efforts to keep pace. His walking was no longer mechanical, but conscious. When it becomes so, a man soon tires. Thorpe resented the inequalities, the stones, the roots, the patches of soft ground which lay in his way. He felt dully that they were not fair. He could negotiate the distance; but anything else was a gratuitous insult. </p> <p> Then suddenly he gained his second wind. He felt better and stronger and moved freer. For second wind is only to a very small degree a question of the breathing power. It is rather the response of the vital forces to a will that refuses to heed their first grumbling protests. Like dogs by the fire they do their utmost to convince their master that the limit of freshness is reached; but at last, under the whip, spring to their work. </p> <p> At midnight Injin Charley called a halt. He spread his blanket; leaned on one elbow long enough to eat strip of dried meat, and fell asleep. Thorpe imitated his example. Three hours later the Indian roused his companion, and the two set out again. </p> <p> Thorpe had walked a leisurely ten days through the woods far to the north. In that journey he had encountered many difficulties. Sometimes he had been tangled for hours at a time in a dense and almost impenetrable thicket. Again he had spent a half day in crossing a treacherous swamp. Or there had interposed in his trail abattises of down timber a quarter of a mile wide over which it had been necessary to pick a precarious way eight or ten feet from the ground. </p> <p> This journey was in comparison easy. Most of the time the travellers walked along high beech ridges or through the hardwood forests. Occasionally they were forced to pass into the lowlands, but always little saving spits of highland reaching out towards each other abridged the necessary wallowing. Twice they swam rivers. </p> <p> At first Thorpe thought this was because the country was more open; but as he gave better attention to their route, he learned to ascribe it entirely to the skill of his companion. The Indian seemed by a species of instinct to select the most practicable routes. He seemed to know how the land ought to lie, so that he was never deceived by appearances into entering a cul de sac. His beech ridges always led to other beech ridges; his hardwood never petered out into the terrible black swamps. Sometimes Thorpe became sensible that they had commenced a long detour; but it was never an abrupt detour, unforeseen and blind. </p> <p> From three o'clock until eight they walked continually without a pause, without an instant's breathing spell. Then they rested a half hour, ate a little venison, and smoked a pipe. </p> <p> An hour after noon they repeated the rest. Thorpe rose with a certain physical reluctance. The Indian seemed as fresh&mdash;or as tired&mdash;as when he started. At sunset they took an hour. Then forward again by the dim intermittent light of the moon and stars through the ghostly haunted forest, until Thorpe thought he would drop with weariness, and was mentally incapable of contemplating more than a hundred steps in advance. </p> <p> "When I get to that square patch of light, I'll quit," he would say to himself, and struggle painfully the required twenty rods. </p> <p> "No, I won't quit here," he would continue, "I'll make it that birch. Then I'll lie down and die." </p> <p> And so on. To the actual physical exhaustion of Thorpe's muscles was added that immense mental weariness which uncertainty of the time and distance inflicts on a man. The journey might last a week, for all he knew. In the presence of an emergency these men of action had actually not exchanged a dozen words. The Indian led; Thorpe followed. </p> <p> When the halt was called, Thorpe fell into his blanket too weary even to eat. Next morning sharp, shooting pains, like the stabs of swords, ran through his groin. </p> <p> "You come," repeated the Indian, stolid as ever. </p> <p> When the sun was an hour high the travellers suddenly ran into a trail, which as suddenly dived into a spruce thicket. On the other side of it Thorpe unexpectedly found himself in an extensive clearing, dotted with the blackened stumps of pines. Athwart the distance he could perceive the wide blue horizon of Lake Michigan. He had crossed the Upper Peninsula on foot! </p> <p> "Boat come by to-day," said Injin Charley, indicating the tall stacks of a mill. "Him no stop. You mak' him stop take you with him. You get train Mackinaw City tonight. Dose men, dey on dat train." </p> <p> Thorpe calculated rapidly. The enemy would require, even with their teams, a day to cover the thirty miles to the fishing village of Munising, whence the stage ran each morning to Seney, the present terminal of the South Shore Railroad. He, Thorpe, on foot and three hours behind, could never have caught the stage. But from Seney only one train a day was despatched to connect at Mackinaw City with the Michigan Central, and on that one train, due to leave this very morning, the up-river man was just about pulling out. He would arrive at Mackinaw City at four o'clock of the afternoon, where he would be forced to wait until eight in the evening. By catching a boat at the mill to which Injin Charley had led him, Thorpe could still make the same train. Thus the start in the race for Detroit's Land Office would be fair. </p> <p> "All right," he cried, all his energy returning to him. "Here goes! We'll beat him out yet!" </p> <p> "You come back?" inquired the Indian, peering with a certain anxiety into his companion's eyes. </p> <p> "Come back!" cried Thorpe. "You bet your hat!" </p> <p> "I wait," replied the Indian, and was gone. </p> <p> "Oh, Charley!" shouted Thorpe in surprise. "Come on and get a square meal, anyway." </p> <p> But the Indian was already on his way back to the distant Ossawinamakee. </p> <p> Thorpe hesitated in two minds whether to follow and attempt further persuasion, for he felt keenly the interest the other had displayed. Then he saw, over the headland to the east, a dense trail of black smoke. He set off on a stumbling run towards the mill. </p> <p> <SPAN name="link2HCH0021" id="link2HCH0021"> <!-- H2 anchor --> </SPAN> </p> <div style="height: 4em;"> <br /><br /><br /><br /> </div> <h2> Chapter XXI </h2> <p> He arrived out of breath in a typical little mill town consisting of the usual unpainted houses, the saloons, mill, office, and general store. To the latter he addressed himself for information. </p> <p> The proprietor, still sleepy, was mopping out the place. </p> <p> "Does that boat stop here?" shouted Thorpe across the suds. </p> <p> "Sometimes," replied the man somnolently. </p> <p> "Not always?" </p> <p> "Only when there's freight for her." </p> <p> "Doesn't she stop for passengers?" </p> <p> "Nope." </p> <p> "How does she know when there's freight?" </p> <p> "Oh, they signal her from the mill&mdash;" but Thorpe was gone. </p> <p> At the mill Thorpe dove for the engine room. He knew that elsewhere the clang of machinery and the hurry of business would leave scant attention for him. And besides, from the engine room the signals would be given. He found, as is often the case in north-country sawmills, a Scotchman in charge. </p> <p> "Does the boat stop here this morning?" he inquired. </p> <p> "Weel," replied the engineer with fearful deliberation, "I canna say. But I hae received na orders to that effect." </p> <p> "Can't you whistle her in for me?" asked Thorpe. </p> <p> "I canna," answered the engineer, promptly enough this time. </p> <p> "Why not?" </p> <p> "Ye're na what a body might call freight." </p> <p> "No other way out of it?" </p> <p> "Na." </p> <p> Thorpe was seized with an idea. </p> <p> "Here!" he cried. "See that boulder over there? I want to ship that to Mackinaw City by freight on this boat." </p> <p> The Scotchman's eyes twinkled appreciatively. </p> <p> "I'm dootin' ye hae th' freight-bill from the office," he objected simply. </p> <p> "See here," replied Thorpe, "I've just got to get that boat. It's worth twenty dollars to me, and I'll square it with the captain. There's your twenty." </p> <p> The Scotchman deliberated, looking aslant at the ground and thoughtfully oiling a cylinder with a greasy rag. </p> <p> "It'll na be a matter of life and death?" he asked hopefully. "She aye stops for life and death." </p> <p> "No," replied Thorpe reluctantly. Then with an explosion, "Yes, by God, it is! If I don't make that boat, I'll kill YOU." </p> <p> The Scotchman chuckled and pocketed the money. "I'm dootin' that's in order," he replied. "I'll no be party to any such proceedin's. I'm goin' noo for a fresh pail of watter," he remarked, pausing at the door, "but as a wee item of information: yander's th' wheestle rope; and a mon wheestles one short and one long for th' boat." </p> <p> He disappeared. Thorpe seized the cord and gave the signal. Then he ran hastily to the end of the long lumber docks, and peered with great eagerness in the direction of the black smoke. </p> <p> The steamer was as yet concealed behind a low spit of land which ran out from the west to form one side of the harbor. In a moment, however, her bows appeared, headed directly down towards the Straits of Mackinaw. When opposite the little bay Thorpe confidently looked to see her turn in, but to his consternation she held her course. He began to doubt whether his signal had been heard. Fresh black smoke poured from the funnel; the craft seemed to gather speed as she approached the eastern point. Thorpe saw his hopes sailing away. He wanted to stand up absurdly and wave his arms to attract attention at that impossible distance. He wanted to sink to the planks in apathy. Finally he sat down, and with dull eyes watched the distance widen between himself and his aims. </p> <p> And then with a grand free sweep she turned and headed directly for him. </p> <p> Other men might have wept or shouted. Thorpe merely became himself, imperturbable, commanding, apparently cold. He negotiated briefly with the captain, paid twenty dollars more for speed and the privilege of landing at Mackinaw City. Then he slept for eight hours on end and was awakened in time to drop into a small boat which deposited him on the broad sand beach of the lower peninsula. </p> <p>
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