kleines schmales bad einrichten

kleines schmales bad einrichten

chapter 6.the white mustang for thirty miles down nail canyon wemarked, in every dusty trail and sandy wash, the small, oval, sharply definedtracks of the white mustang and his band. the canyon had been well named. it was long, straight and square sided; itsbare walls glared steel-gray in the sun, smooth, glistening surfaces that had beenpolished by wind and water. no weathered heaps of shale, no crumbledpiles of stone obstructed its level floor. and, softly toning its drab austerity, heregrew the white sage, waving in the breeze, the indian paint brush, with vividvermilion flower, and patches of fresh,

green grass. "the white king, as we arizona wild-hosswranglers calls this mustang, is mighty pertickler about his feed, an' he rangedalong here last night, easy like, browsin' on this white sage," said stewart. inflected by our intense interest in thefamous mustang, and ruffled slightly by jones's manifest surprise and contempt thatno one had captured him, stewart had volunteered to guide us. "never knowed him to run in this way ferwater; fact is, never knowed nail canyon had a fork.it splits down here, but you'd think it was

only a crack in the wall. an' thet cunnin' mustang hes been foolin'us fer years about this water-hole." the fork of nail canyon, which stewart haddecided we were in, had been accidentally discovered by frank, who, in search of ourhorses one morning had crossed a ridge, to come suddenly upon the blind, box-like headof the canyon. stewart knew the lay of the ridges and runof the canyons as well as any man could know a country where, seemingly, every rodwas ridged and bisected, and he was of the opinion that we had stumbled upon one of the white mustang's secret passages, bywhich he had so often eluded his pursuers.

hard riding had been the order of the day,but still we covered ten more miles by sundown. the canyon apparently closed in on us, socamp was made for the night. the horses were staked out, and supper madeready while the shadows were dropping; and when darkness settled thick over us, we layunder our blankets. morning disclosed the white mustang'ssecret passage. it was a narrow cleft, splitting the canyonwall, rough, uneven, tortuous and choked with fallen rocks--no more than a wonderfulcrack in solid stone, opening into another canyon.

above us the sky seemed a winding, flowingstream of blue. the walls were so close in places that ahorse with pack would have been blocked, and a rider had to pull his legs up overthe saddle. on the far side, the passage fell verysuddenly for several hundred feet to the floor of the other canyon.no hunter could have seen it, or suspected it from that side. "this is grand canyon country, an' nobodyknows what he's goin' to find," was frank's comment."now we're in nail canyon proper," said stewart; "an' i know my bearin's.

i can climb out a mile below an' cut acrossto kanab canyon, an' slip up into nail canyon agin, ahead of the mustangs, an'drive 'em up. i can't miss 'em, fer kanab canyon isimpassable down a little ways. the mustangs will hev to run this way.so all you need do is go below the break, where i climb out, an' wait. you're sure goin' to get a look at thewhite mustang. but wait.don't expect him before noon, an' after thet, any time till he comes. mebbe it'll be a couple of days, so keep agood watch."

then taking our man lawson, with blanketsand a knapsack of food, stewart rode off down the canyon. we were early on the march.as we proceeded the canyon lost its regularity and smoothness; it becamecrooked as a rail fence, narrower, higher, rugged and broken. pinnacled cliffs, cracked and leaning,menaced us from above. mountains of ruined wall had tumbled intofragments. it seemed that jones, after much survey ofdifferent corners, angles and points in the canyon floor, chose his position with muchgreater care than appeared necessary for

the ultimate success of our venture--which was simply to see the white mustang, and ifgood fortune attended us, to snap some photographs of this wild king of horses. it flashed over me that, with his rulingpassion strong within him, our leader was laying some kind of trap for that mustang,was indeed bent on his capture. wallace, frank and jim were stationed at apoint below the break where stewart had evidently gone up and out.how a horse could have climbed that streaky white slide was a mystery. jones's instructions to the men were towait until the mustangs were close upon

them, and then yell and shout and showthemselves. he took me to a jutting corner of cliff,which hid us from the others, and here he exercised still more care in scrutinizingthe lay of the ground. a wash from ten to fifteen feet wide, andas deep, ran through the canyon in a somewhat meandering course. at the corner which consumed so much of hisattention, the dry ditch ran along the cliff wall about fifty feet out; between itand the wall was good level ground, on the other side huge rocks and shale made it hummocky, practically impassable for ahorse.

it was plain the mustangs, on their way up,would choose the inside of the wash; and here in the middle of the passage, justround the jutting corner, jones tied our horses to good, strong bushes. his next act was significant.he threw out his lasso and, dragging every crook out of it, carefully recoiled it, andhung it loose over the pommel of his saddle. "the white mustang may be yours beforedark," he said with the smile that came so seldom."now i placed our horses there for two reasons.

the mustangs won't see them till they'reright on them. then you'll see a sight and have a chancefor a great picture. they will halt; the stallion will prance,whistle and snort for a fight, and then they'll see the saddles and be off. we'll hide across the wash, down a littleway, and at the right time we'll shout and yell to drive them up."by piling sagebrush round a stone, we made a hiding-place. jones was extremely cautious to arrange thebunches in natural positions. "a rocky mountain big horn is the onlyfour-footed beast," he said, "that has a

better eye than a wild horse. a cougar has an eye, too; he's used tolying high up on the cliffs and looking down for his quarry so as to stalk it atnight; but even a cougar has to take second to a mustang when it comes to sight." the hours passed slowly.the sun baked us; the stones were too hot to touch; flies buzzed behind our ears;tarantulas peeped at us from holes. the afternoon slowly waned. at dark we returned to where we had leftwallace and the cowboys. frank had solved the problem of watersupply, for he had found a little spring

trickling from a cliff, which, by skillfulmanagement, produced enough drink for the horses. we had packed our water for camp use."you take the first watch to-night," said jones to me after supper. "the mustangs might try to slip by our firein the night and we must keep a watch or them.call wallace when your time's up. now, fellows, roll in." when the pink of dawn was shading white, wewere at our posts. a long, hot day--interminably long,deadening to the keenest interest--passed,

and still no mustangs came. we slept and watched again, in the gratefulcool of night, till the third day broke. the hours passed; the cool breeze changedto hot; the sun blazed over the canyon wall; the stones scorched; the fliesbuzzed. i fell asleep in the scant shade of thesage bushes and awoke, stifled and moist. the old plainsman, never weary, leaned withhis back against a stone and watched, with narrow gaze, the canyon below. the steely walls hurt my eyes; the sky waslike hot copper. though nearly wild with heat and achingbones and muscles and the long hours of

wait--wait--wait, i was ashamed tocomplain, for there sat the old man, still and silent. i routed out a hairy tarantula from under astone and teased him into a frenzy with my stick, and tried to get up a fight betweenhim and a scallop-backed horned-toad that blinked wonderingly at me. then i espied a green lizard on a stone.the beautiful reptile was about a foot in length, bright green, dotted with red, andhe had diamonds for eyes. nearby a purple flower blossomed, delicateand pale, with a bee sucking at its golden heart.

i observed then that the lizard had hisjewel eyes upon the bee; he slipped to the edge of the stone, flicked out a long, redtongue, and tore the insect from its honeyed perch. here were beauty, life and death; and i hadbeen weary for something to look at, to think about, to distract me from thewearisome wait! "listen!" broke in jones's sharp voice. his neck was stretched, his eyes wereclosed, his ear was turned to the wind. with thrilling, reawakened eagerness, istrained my hearing. i caught a faint sound, then lost it.

"put your ear to the ground," said jones.i followed his advice, and detected the rhythmic beat of galloping horses."the mustangs are coming, sure as you're born!" exclaimed jones. "there i see the cloud of dust!" cried he aminute later. in the first bend of the canyon below, asplintered ruin of rock now lay under a rolling cloud of dust. a white flash appeared, a line of bobbingblack objects, and more dust; then with a sharp pounding of hoofs, into clear visionshot a dense black band of mustangs, and well in front swung the white king.

"look!look! i never saw the beat of that--never in myborn days!" cried jones. "how they move! yet that white fellow isn'thalf-stretched out. get your picture before they pass.you'll never see the beat of that." with long manes and tails flying, themustangs came on apace and passed us in a trampling roar, the white stallion in thefront. suddenly a shrill, whistling blast, unlikeany sound i had ever heard, made the canyon fairly ring.the white stallion plunged back, and his band closed in behind him.

he had seen our saddle horses.then trembling, whinnying, and with arched neck and high-poised head, bespeaking hismettle, he advanced a few paces, and again whistled his shrill note of defiance. pure creamy white he was, and built like aracer. he pranced, struck his hoofs hard andcavorted; then, taking sudden fright, he wheeled. it was then, when the mustangs werepivoting, with the white in the lead, that jones jumped upon the stone, fired hispistol and roared with all his strength. taking his cue, i did likewise.

the band huddled back again, uncertain andfrightened, then broke up the canyon. jones jumped the ditch with surprisingagility, and i followed close at his heels. when we reached our plunging horses, heshouted: "mount, and hold this passage. keep close in by that big stone at the turnso they can't run you down, or stampede you. if they head your way, scare them back."satan quivered, and when i mounted, reared and plunged.i had to hold him in hard, for he was eager to run. at the cliff wall i was at some pains tocheck him.

he kept champing his bit and stamping hisfeet. from my post i could see the mustangsflying before a cloud of dust. jones was turning in his horse behind alarge rock in the middle of the canyon, where he evidently intended to hide. presently successive yells and shots fromour comrades blended in a roar which the narrow box-canyon augmented and echoed fromwall to wall. high the white mustang reared, and abovethe roar whistled his snort of furious terror.his band wheeled with him and charged back, their hoofs ringing like hammers on iron.

the crafty old buffalo-hunter had hemmedthe mustangs in a circle and had left himself free in the center.it was a wily trick, born of his quick mind and experienced eye. the stallion, closely crowded by hisfollowers, moved swiftly i saw that he must pass near the stone.thundering, crashing, the horses came on. away beyond them i saw frank and wallace. then jones yelled to me: "open up! openup!" i turned satan into the middle of thenarrow passage, screaming at the top of my voice and discharging my revolver rapidly.

but the wild horses thundered on.jones saw that they would not now be balked, and he spurred his bay directly intheir path. the big horse, courageous as his intrepidmaster, dove forward. then followed confusion for me. the pound of hoofs, the snorts, a screamingneigh that was frightful, the mad stampede of the mustangs with a whirling cloud ofdust, bewildered and frightened me so that i lost sight of jones. danger threatened and passed me almostbefore i was aware of it. out of the dust a mass of tossing manes,foam-flecked black horses, wild eyes and

lifting hoofs rushed at me. satan, with a presence of mind that shamedmine, leaped back and hugged the wall. my eyes were blinded by dust; the smell ofdust choked me. i felt a strong rush of wind and a mustanggrazed my stirrup. then they had passed, on the wings of thedust-laden breeze. but not all, for i saw that jones had, insome inexplicable manner, cut the white mustang and two of his blacks out of theband. he had turned them back again and waspursuing them. the bay he rode had never before appearedto much advantage, and now, with his long,

lean, powerful body in splendid action,imbued with the relentless will of his rider, what a picture he presented! how he did run!with all that, the white mustang made him look dingy and slow.nevertheless, it was a critical time in the wild career of that king of horses. he had been penned in a space two hundredby five hundred yards, half of which was separated from him by a wide ditch, ayawning chasm that he had refused, and behind him, always keeping on the inside, wheeled the yelling hunter, who savagelyspurred his bay and whirled a deadly lasso.

he had been cut off and surrounded; thevery nature of the rocks and trails of the canyon threatened to end his freedom or hislife. certain it was he preferred to end thelatter, for he risked death from the rocks as he went over them in long leaps.jones could have roped either of the two blacks, but he hardly noticed them. covered with dust and splotches of foam,they took their advantage, turned on the circle toward the passage way and gallopedby me out of sight. again wallace, frank and jim let outstrings of yells and volleys. the chase was narrowing down.trapped, the white mustang king had no

chance. what a grand spirit he showed!frenzied as i was with excitement, the thought occurred to me that this was anunfair battle, that i ought to stand aside and let him pass. but the blood and lust of primitiveinstinct held me fast. jones, keeping back, met his every turn. yet always with lithe and beautiful stridethe stallion kept out of reach of the whirling lariat. "close in!" yelled jones, and his voice,powerful with a note of triumph, bespoke

the knell of the king's freedom.the trap closed in. back and forth at the upper end the whitemustang worked; then rendered desperate by the closing in, he circled round nearer tome. fire shone in his wild eyes. the wily jones was not to be outwitted; hekept in the middle, always on the move, and he yelled to me to open up.i lost my voice again, and fired my last shot. then the white mustang burst into a dash ofdaring, despairing speed. it was his last magnificent effort.

straight for the wash at the upper end hepointed his racy, spirited head, and his white legs stretched far apart, twinkledand stretched again. jones galloped to cut him off, and theyells he emitted were demoniacal. it was a long, straight race for themustang, a short curve for the bay. that the white stallion gained was as sureas his resolve to elude capture, and he never swerved a foot from his course. jones might have headed him, but manifestlyhe wanted to ride with him, as well as to meet him, so in case the lasso went true,a terrible shock might be averted. up went jones's arm as the space shortened,and the lasso ringed his head.

out it shot, lengthened like a yellow,striking snake, and fell just short of the flying white tail. the white mustang, fulfilling his purposein a last heroic display of power, sailed into the air, up and up, and over the widewash like a white streak. free! the dust rolled in a cloud from underhis hoofs, and he vanished. jones's superb horse, crashing down on hishaunches, just escaped sliding into the hole. i awoke to the realization that satan hadcarried me, in pursuit of the thrilling chase, all the way across the circlewithout my knowing it.

jones calmly wiped the sweat from his face,calmly coiled his lasso, and calmly remarked:"in trying to capture wild animals a man must never be too sure. now what i thought my strong point was myweak point--the wash. i made sure no horse could ever jump thathole." > chapter 7.snake gulch not far from the scene of our adventurewith the white streak as we facetious and appreciatively named the mustang, deep,flat cave indented the canyon wall.

by reason of its sandy floor and closeproximity to frank's trickling spring, we decided to camp in it. about dawn lawson and stewart straggled inon spent horse and found awaiting them a bright fire, a hot supper and cheerycomrades. "did yu fellars git to see him?" was theranger's first question. "did we get to see him?" echoed five lustyvoice as one. "we did!" it was after frank, in his plain, bluntspeech had told of our experience, that the long arizonian gazed fixedly at jones."did yu acktully tech the hair of thet

mustang with a rope?" in all his days jones never had a greatercomplement. by way of reply, he moved his big hand tobutton of his coat, and, fumbling over it, unwound a string of long, white hairs, thensaid: "i pulled these out of his tail with my lasso; it missed his left hind hoofabout six inches." there were six of the hairs, pure,glistening white, and over three feet long. stewart examined then in expressivesilence, then passed them along; and when they reached me, they stayed.the cave, lighted up by a blazing fire, appeared to me a forbidding, uncanny place.

small, peculiar round holes, and darkcracks, suggestive of hidden vermin, gave me a creepy feeling; and although not over-sensitive on the subject of crawling, creeping things, i voiced my disgust. "say, i don't like the idea of sleeping inthis hole. i'll bet it's full of spiders, snakes andcentipedes and other poisonous things." whatever there was in my inoffensivedeclaration to rouse the usually slumbering humor of the arizonians, and the thinlyveiled ridicule of colonel jones, and a mixture of both in my once loyal californiafriend, i am not prepared to state. maybe it was the dry, sweet, cool air ofnail canyon; maybe my suggestion awoke

ticklish associations that workedthemselves off thus; maybe it was the first instance of my committing myself to abreach of camp etiquette. be that as it may, my innocently expressedsentiment gave rise to bewildering dissertations on entomology, and mostremarkable and startling tales from first- hand experience. "like as not," began frank in matter-of-fact tone. "them's tarantuler holes all right.an' scorpions, centipedes an' rattlers always rustle with tarantulers. but we never mind them--not us fellers!we're used to sleepin' with them.

why, i often wake up in the night to see abig tarantuler on my chest, an' see him wink. ain't thet so, jim?""shore as hell," drawled faithful, slow jim. "reminds me how fatal the bite of acentipede is," took up colonel jones, complacently. "once i was sitting in camp with a hunter,who suddenly hissed out: 'jones, for god's sake don't budge!there's a centipede on your arm!' he pulled his colt, and shot the blamedcentipede off as clean as a whistle.

but the bullet hit a steer in the leg; andwould you believe it, the bullet carried so much poison that in less than two hours thesteer died of blood poisoning. centipedes are so poisonous they leave ablue trail on flesh just by crawling over it.look there!" he bared his arm, and there on the brown-corded flesh was a blue trail of something, that was certain.it might have been made by a centipede. "this is a likely place for them," put inwallace, emitting a volume of smoke and gazing round the cave walls with the eye ofa connoisseur. "my archaeological pursuits have given megreat experience with centipedes, as you

may imagine, considering how many oldtombs, caves and cliff-dwellings i have explored. this algonkian rock is about the rightstratum for centipedes to dig in. they dig somewhat after the manner of thefluviatile long-tailed decapod crustaceans, of the genera thoracostraca, the commoncrawfish, you know. from that, of course, you can imagine, if acentipede can bite rock, what a biter he is."i began to grow weak, and did not wonder to see jim's long pipe fall from his lips. frank looked queer around the gills, so tospeak, but the gaunt stewart never batted

an eye. "i camped here two years ago," he said,"an' the cave was alive with rock-rats, mice, snakes, horned-toads, lizards an' abig gila monster, besides bugs, scorpions' rattlers, an' as fer tarantulers an'centipedes--say! i couldn't sleep fer the noise they madefightin'." "i seen the same," concluded lawson, asnonchalant as a wild-horse wrangler well could be. "an' as fer me, now i allus lays perficklystill when the centipedes an' tarantulers begin to drop from their holes in the roof,same as them holes up there.

an' when they light on me, i never move,nor even breathe fer about five minutes. then they take a notion i'm dead an' crawloff. but sure, if i'd breathed i'd been agoner!" all of this was playfully intended for theextinction of an unoffending and impressionable tenderfoot. with an admiring glance at my tormentors,i rolled out my sleeping-bag and crawled into it, vowing i would remain there even ifdevil-fish, armed with pikes, invaded our cave. late in the night i awoke.the bottom of the canyon and the outer

floor of our cave lay bathed in white,clear moonlight. a dense, gloomy black shadow veiled theopposite canyon wall. high up the pinnacles and turrets pointedtoward a resplendent moon. it was a weird, wonderful scene of beautyentrancing, of breathless, dreaming silence that seemed not of life. then a hoot-owl lamented dismally, his callfitting the scene and the dead stillness; the echoes resounded from cliff to cliff,strangely mocking and hollow, at last reverberating low and mournful in thedistance. how long i lay there enraptured with thebeauty of light and mystery of shade,

thrilling at the lonesome lament of theowl, i have no means to tell; but i was awakened from my trance by the touch ofsomething crawling over me. promptly i raised my head.the cave was as light as day. there, sitting sociably on my sleeping-bagwas a great black tarantula, as large as my hand. for one still moment, notwithstanding mycontempt for lawson's advice, i certainly acted upon it to the letter.if ever i was quiet, and if ever i was cold, the time was then. my companions snored in blissful ignoranceof my plight.

slight rustling sounds attracted my warygaze from the old black sentinel on my knee. i saw other black spiders running to andfro on the silver, sandy floor. a giant, as large as a soft-shell crab,seemed to be meditating an assault upon jones's ear. another, grizzled and shiny with age ormoonbeams i could not tell which--pushed long, tentative feelers into wallace's cap.i saw black spots darting over the roof. it was not a dream; the cave was alive withtarantulas! not improbably my strong impression thatthe spider on my knee deliberately winked

at me was the result of memory, enliveningimagination. but it sufficed to bring to mind, in onerapid, consoling flash, the irrevocable law of destiny--that the deeds of the wickedreturn unto them again. i slipped back into my sleeping-bag, with akeen consciousness of its nature, and carefully pulled the flap in place, whichalmost hermetically sealed me up. "hey! jones! wallace! frank! jim!" i yelled, from the depths of my saferefuge. wondering cries gave me glad assurance thatthey had awakened from their dreams. "the cave's alive with tarantulas!"

i cried, trying to hide my unholy glee."i'll be durned if it ain't!" ejaculated frank."shore it beats hell!" added jim, with a shake of his blanket. "look out, jones, there's one on yourpillow!" shouted wallace. whack!a sharp blow proclaimed the opening of hostilities. memory stamped indelibly every word of thatincident; but innate delicacy prevents the repetition of all save the old warrior'sconcluding remarks: "! !

! place i was ever in!tarantulas by the million--centipedes, scorpions, bats!rattlesnakes, too, i'll swear. look out, wallace! there, under yourblanket!" from the shuffling sounds which waftedsweetly into my bed, i gathered that my long friend from california must have gonethrough motions creditable to a contortionist. an ensuing explosion from jones proclaimedto the listening world that wallace had thrown a tarantula upon him. further fearful language suggested thethought that colonel jones had passed on

the inquisitive spider to frank. the reception accorded the unfortunatetarantula, no doubt scared out of its wits, began with a wild yell from frank and endedin pandemonium. while the confusion kept up, with whacksand blows and threshing about, with language such as never before had disgraceda group of old campers, i choked with rapture, and reveled in the sweetness ofrevenge. when quiet reigned once more in the blackand white canyon, only one sleeper lay on the moon-silvered sand of the cave. at dawn, when i opened sleepy eyes, frank,slim, stewart and lawson had departed, as

pre-arranged, with the outfit, leaving thehorses belonging to us and rations for the day. wallace and i wanted to climb the divide atthe break, and go home by way of snake gulch, and the colonel acquiesced with theremark that his sixty-three years had taught him there was much to see in theworld. coming to undertake it, we found the climb--except for a slide of weathered rock--no great task, and we accomplished it in halfan hour, with breath to spare and no mishap to horses. but descending into snake gulch, which wasonly a mile across the sparsely cedared

ridge, proved to be tedious labor. by virtue of satan's patience and skill, iforged ahead; which advantage, however, meant more risk for me because of thestones set in motion above. they rolled and bumped and cut into me, andi sustained many a bruise trying to protect the sinewy slender legs of my horse.the descent ended without serious mishap. snake gulch had a character and sublimitywhich cast nail canyon into the obscurity of forgetfulness.the great contrast lay in the diversity of structure. the rock was bright red, with parapet ofyellow, that leaned, heaved, bulged

outward. these emblazoned cliff walls, two thousandfeet high, were cracked from turret to base; they bowled out at such an angle thatwe were afraid to ride under them. mountains of yellow rock hung balanced,ready to tumble down at the first angry breath of the gods. we rode among carved stones, pillars,obelisks and sculptured ruined walls of a fallen babylon.slides reaching all the way across and far up the canyon wall obstructed our passage. on every stone silent green lizards sunnedthemselves, gliding swiftly as we came near

to their marble homes. we came into a region of wind-worn caves,of all sizes and shapes, high and low on the cliffs; but strange to say, only on thenorth side of the canyon they appeared with dark mouths open and uninviting. one, vast and deep, though far off, menacedus as might the cave of a tawny-maned king of beasts; yet it impelled, fascinated anddrew us on. "it's a long, hard climb," said wallace tothe colonel, as we dismounted. "boys, i'm with you," came the reply. and he was with us all the way, as weclambered over the immense blocks and

threaded a passage between them and pulledweary legs up, one after the other. so steep lay the jumble of cliff fragmentsthat we lost sight of the cave long before we got near it.suddenly we rounded a stone, to halt and gasp at the thing looming before us. the dark portal of death or hell might haveyawned there. a gloomy hole, large enough to admit achurch, had been hollowed in the cliff by ages of nature's chiseling. "vast sepulcher of time's past, give up thydead!" cried wallace, solemnly. "oh! dark stygian cave forlorn!" quoted i,as feelingly as my friend.

jones hauled us down from the clouds. "now, i wonder what kind of a prehistoricanimal holed in here?" said he. forever the one absorbing interest!if he realized the sublimity of this place, he did not show it. the floor of the cave ascended from thevery threshold. stony ridges circled from wall to wall. we climbed till we were two hundred feetfrom the opening, yet we were not half-way to the dome.our horses, browsing in the sage far below, looked like ants.

so steep did the ascent become that wedesisted; for if one of us had slipped on the smooth incline, the result would havebeen terrible. our voices rang clear and hollow from thewalls. we were so high that the sky was blottedout by the overhanging square, cornice-like top of the door; and the light was weird,dim, shadowy, opaque. it was a gray tomb. "waa-hoo!" yelled jones with all the powerof his wide, leather lungs. thousands of devilish voices rushed at us,seemingly on puffs of wind. mocking, deep echoes bellowed from the ebonshades at the back of the cave, and the

walls, taking them up, hurled them on againin fiendish concatenation. we did not again break the silence of thattomb, where the spirits of ages lay in dusty shrouds; and we crawled down as if wehad invaded a sanctuary and invoked the wrath of the gods. we all proposed names: montezuma'samphitheater being the only rival of jones's selection, echo cave, which wefinally chose. mounting our horses again, we made twentymiles of snake gulch by noon, when we rested for lunch. all the way up we had played the boy's gameof spying for sights, with the honors about

even.it was a question if snake gulch ever before had such a raking over. despite its name, however, we discovered nosnakes. from the sandy niche of a cliff where welunched wallace espied a tomb, and heralded his discovery with a victorious whoop. digging in old ruins roused in him much thesame spirit that digging in old books roused in me. before we reached him, he had a big bowie-knife buried deep in the red, sandy floor of the tomb.

this one-time sealed house of the dead hadbeen constructed of small stones, held together by a cement, the nature of which,wallace explained, had never become clear to civilization. it was red in color and hard as flint,harder than the rocks it glued together. the tomb was half-round in shape, and itsfloor was a projecting shelf of cliff rock. wallace unearthed bits of pottery, bone andfinely braided rope, all of which, to our great disappointment, crumbled to dust inour fingers. in the case of the rope, wallace assuredus, this was a sign of remarkable antiquity.

in the next mile we traversed, we founddozens of these old cells, all demolished except a few feet of the walls, alldespoiled of their one-time possessions. wallace thought these depredations were dueto indians of our own time. suddenly we came upon jones, standing undera cliff, with his neck craned to a desperate angle. "now, what's that?" demanded he, pointingupward. high on the cliff wall appeared a small,round protuberance. it was of the unmistakably red color of theother tombs; and wallace, more excited than he had been in the cougar chase, said itwas a sepulcher, and he believed it had

never been opened. from an elevated point of rock, as high upas i could well climb, i decided both questions with my glass.the tomb resembled nothing so much as a mud-wasp's nest, high on a barn wall. the fact that it had never been broken openquite carried wallace away with enthusiasm. "this is no mean discovery, let me tell youthat," he declared. "i am familiar with the aztec, toltec andpueblo ruins, and here i find no similarity.besides, we are out of their latitude. an ancient race of people--very ancientindeed lived in this canyon.

how long ago, it is impossible to tell.""they must have been birds," said the practical jones. "now, how'd that tomb ever get there?look at it, will you?" as near as we could ascertain, it was threehundred feet from the ground below, five hundred from the rim wall above, and couldnot possibly have been approached from the top. moreover, the cliff wall was as smooth as awall of human make. "there's another one," called out jones."yes, and i see another; no doubt there are many of them," replied wallace.

"in my mind, only one thing possibleaccounts for their position. you observe they appear to be about levelwith each other. well, once the canyon floor ran along thatline, and in the ages gone by it has lowered, washed away by the rains."this conception staggered us, but it was the only one conceivable. no doubt we all thought at the same time ofthe little rainfall in that arid section of arizona."how many years?" queried jones. "years! what are years?" said wallace."thousands of years, ages have passed since

the race who built these tombs lived." some persuasion was necessary to drag ourscientific friend from the spot, where obviously helpless to do anything else, hestood and gazed longingly at the isolated tombs. the canyon widened as we proceeded; andhundreds of points that invited inspection, such as overhanging shelves of rock, darkfissures, caverns and ruins had to be passed by, for lack of time. still, a more interesting and importantdiscovery was to come, and the pleasure and honor of it fell to me.

my eyes were sharp and peculiarlyfarsighted--the indian sight, jones assured me; and i kept them searching the walls insuch places as my companions overlooked. presently, under a large, bulging bluff, isaw a dark spot, which took the shape of a figure. this figure, i recollected, had beenpresented to my sight more than once, and now it stopped me. the hard climb up the slippery stones wasfatiguing, but i did not hesitate, for i was determined to know.once upon the ledge, i let out a yell that quickly set my companions in my direction.

the figure i had seen was a dark, reddevil, a painted image, rude, unspeakably wild, crudely executed, but painted by thehand of man. the whole surface of the cliff wall borefigures of all shapes--men, mammals, birds and strange devices, some in red paint,mostly in yellow. some showed the wear of time; others wereclear and sharp. wallace puffed up to me, but he had windenough left for another whoop. jones puffed up also, and seeing the firstthing a rude sketch of what might have been a deer or a buffalo, he commented thus:"darn me if i ever saw an animal like that? boys, this is a find, sure as you're born.

because not even the piutes ever spoke ofthese figures. i doubt if they know they're here. and the cowboys and wranglers, what fewever get by here in a hundred years, never saw these things.beats anything i ever saw on the mackenzie, or anywhere else." the meaning of some devices was as mysticalas that of others was clear. two blood-red figures of men, the largerdragging the smaller by the hair, while he waved aloft a blood-red hatchet or club,left little to conjecture. here was the old battle of men, as old aslife.

another group, two figures of whichresembled the foregoing in form and action, battling over a prostrate form rudelyfeminine in outline, attested to an age when men were as susceptible as they are in modern times, but more forceful andoriginal. an odd yellow indian waved aloft a redhand, which striking picture suggested the idea that he was an ancient macbeth,listening to the knocking at the gate. there was a character representing a greatchief, before whom many figures lay prostrate, evidently slain or subjugated. large red paintings, in the shape of bats,occupied prominent positions, and must have

represented gods or devils.armies of marching men told of that blight of nations old or young--war. these, and birds unnamable, and beastsunclassable, with dots and marks and hieroglyphics, recorded the history of abygone people. symbols they were of an era that had goneinto the dim past, leaving only these marks, {symbols recording the history of abygone people.} forever unintelligible; yet while they stood, century after century, ineffaceable, reminders of the glory, themystery, the sadness of life. "how could paint of any kind last so long?asked jones, shaking his head doubtfully.

"that is the unsolvable mystery," returnedwallace. "but the records are there.i am absolutely sure the paintings are at least a thousand years old. i have never seen any tombs or paintingssimilar to them. snake gulch is a find, and i shall some daystudy its wonders." sundown caught us within sight of oakspring, and we soon trotted into camp to the welcoming chorus of the hounds.frank and the others had reached the cabin some hours before. supper was steaming on the hot coals with adelicious fragrance.

then came the pleasantest time of the day,after a long chase or jaunt--the silent moments, watching the glowing embers of thefire; the speaking moments when a red- blooded story rang clear and true; the twilight moments, when the wood-smokesmelled sweet. jones seemed unusually thoughtful. i had learned that this preoccupation inhim meant the stirring of old associations, and i waited silently. by and by lawson snored mildly in a corner;jim and frank crawled into their blankets, and all was still.wallace smoked his indian pipe and hunted

in firelit dreams. "boys," said our leader finally, "somehowthe echoes dying away in that cave reminded me of the mourn of the big white wolves inthe barren lands." wallace puffed huge clouds of white smoke,and i waited, knowing that i was to hear at last the story of the colonel's greatadventure in the northland. chapter 8.naza! naza! naza! it was a waiting day at fort chippewayan.the lonesome, far-northern hudson's bay trading post seldom saw such life. tepees dotted the banks of the slave riverand lines of blanketed indians paraded its

shores. near the boat landing a group of chiefs,grotesque in semi-barbaric, semicivilized splendor, but black-browed, austere-eyed,stood in savage dignity with folded arms and high-held heads. lounging on the grassy bank were white men,traders, trappers and officials of the post. all eyes were on the distant curve of theriver where, as it lost itself in a fine- fringed bend of dark green, white-glintingwaves danced and fluttered. a june sky lay blue in the majestic stream;ragged, spear-topped, dense green trees

massed down to the water; beyond rose bold,bald-knobbed hills, in remote purple relief. a long indian arm stretched south.the waiting eyes discerned a black speck on the green, and watched it grow.a flatboat, with a man standing to the oars, bore down swiftly. not a red hand, nor a white one, offered tohelp the voyager in the difficult landing. the oblong, clumsy, heavily laden boatsurged with the current and passed the dock despite the boatman's efforts. he swung his craft in below upon a bar androped it fast to a tree.

the indians crowded above him on the bank. the boatman raised his powerful form erect,lifted a bronzed face which seemed set in craggy hardness, and cast from narrow eyesa keen, cool glance on those above. the silvery gleam in his fair hair told ofyears. silence, impressive as it was ominous,broke only to the rattle of camping paraphernalia, which the voyager threw to alevel, grassy bench on the bank. evidently this unwelcome visitor hadjourneyed from afar, and his boat, sunk deep into the water with its load ofbarrels, boxes and bags, indicated that the journey had only begun.

significant, too, were a couple of longwinchester rifles shining on a tarpaulin. the cold-faced crowd stirred and parted topermit the passage of a tall, thin, gray personage of official bearing, in a fadedmilitary coat. "are you the musk-ox hunter?" he asked, intones that contained no welcome. the boatman greeted this peremptoryinterlocutor with a cool laugh--a strange laugh, in which the muscles of his faceappeared not to play. "yes, i am the man," he said. "the chiefs of the chippewayan and greatslave tribes have been apprised of your coming.they have held council and are here to

speak with you." at a motion from the commandant, the lineof chieftains piled down to the level bench and formed a half-circle before thevoyager. to a man who had stood before grim sittingbull and noble black thunder of the sioux, and faced the falcon-eyed geronimo, andglanced over the sights of a rifle at gorgeous-feathered, wild, free comanches, this semi-circle of savages--lords of thenorth--was a sorry comparison. bedaubed and betrinketed, slouchy andslovenly, these low-statured chiefs belied in appearance their scorn-bright eyes andlofty mien.

they made a sad group. one who spoke in unintelligible language,rolled out a haughty, sonorous voice over the listening multitude. when he had finished, a half-breedinterpreter, in the dress of a white man, spoke at a signal from the commandant."he says listen to the great orator of the chippewayan. he has summoned all the chiefs of thetribes south of great slave lake. he has held council.the cunning of the pale-face, who comes to take the musk-oxen, is well known.

let the pale-face hunter return to his ownhunting-grounds; let him turn his face from the north.never will the chiefs permit the white man to take musk-oxen alive from their country. the ageter, the musk-ox, is their god.he gives them food and fur. he will never come back if he is takenaway, and the reindeer will follow him. the chiefs and their people would starve. they command the pale-face hunter to goback. they cry naza!naza! naza!"

"say, for a thousand miles i've heard thatword naza!" returned the hunter, with mingled curiosity and disgust. "at edmonton indian runners started aheadof me, and every village i struck the redskins would crowd round me and an oldchief would harangue at me, and motion me back, and point north with naza! naza!naza! what does it mean?""no white man knows; no indian will tell," answered the interpreter. "the traders think it means the greatslave, the north star, the north spirit,

the north wind, the north lights and themusk-ox god." "well, say to the chiefs to tell ageter ihave been four moons on the way after some of his little ageters, and i'm going tokeep on after them." "hunter, you are most unwise," broke in thecommandant, in his officious voice. "the indians will never permit you to takea musk-ox alive from the north. they worship him, pray to him. it is a wonder you have not been stopped.""who'll stop me?" "the indians.they will kill you if you do not turn back."

"faugh! to tell an american plainsmanthat!" the hunter paused a steady moment, with hiseyelids narrowing over slits of blue fire. "there is no law to keep me out, nothingbut indian superstition and naza! and the greed of the hudson's bay people.i am an old fox, not to be fooled by pretty baits. for years the officers of this fur-tradingcompany have tried to keep out explorers. even sir john franklin, an englishman,could not buy food of them. the policy of the company is to side withthe indians, to keep out traders and trappers.

why? so they can keep on cheating the poorsavages out of clothing and food by trading a few trinkets and blankets, a littletobacco and rum for millions of dollars worth of furs. have i failed to hire man after man, indianafter indian, not to know why i cannot get a helper? have i, a plainsman, come a thousand milesalone to be scared by you, or a lot of craven indians? have i been dreaming of musk-oxen for fortyyears, to slink south now, when i begin to feel the north?not i."

deliberately every chief, with the sound ofa hissing snake, spat in the hunter's face. he stood immovable while they perpetratedthe outrage, then calmly wiped his cheeks, and in his strange, cool voice, addressedthe interpreter. "tell them thus they show their truequalities, to insult in council. tell them they are not chiefs, but dogs.tell them they are not even squaws, only poor, miserable starved dogs. tell them i turn my back on them.tell them the paleface has fought real chiefs, fierce, bold, like eagles, and heturns his back on dogs. tell them he is the one who could teachthem to raise the musk-oxen and the

reindeer, and to keep out the cold and thewolf. but they are blinded. tell them the hunter goes north."through the council of chiefs ran a low mutter, as of gathering thunder.true to his word, the hunter turned his back on them. as he brushed by, his eye caught a gauntsavage slipping from the boat. at the hunter's stern call, the indianleaped ashore, and started to run. he had stolen a parcel, and would havesucceeded in eluding its owner but for an unforeseen obstacle, as striking as it wasunexpected.

a white man of colossal stature had steppedin the thief's passage, and laid two great hands on him. instantly the parcel flew from the indian,and he spun in the air to fall into the river with a sounding splash.yells signaled the surprise and alarm caused by this unexpected incident. the indian frantically swam to the shore. whereupon the champion of the stranger in astrange land lifted a bag, which gave forth a musical clink of steel, and throwing itwith the camp articles on the grassy bench, he extended a huge, friendly hand.

"my name is rea," he said, in deep,cavernous tones. "mine is jones," replied the hunter, andright quickly did he grip the proffered he saw in rea a giant, of whom he was but astunted shadow. six and one-half feet rea stood, with yard-wide shoulders, a hulk of bone and brawn. his ponderous, shaggy head rested on a bullneck. his broad face, with its low forehead, itsclose-shut mastiff under jaw, its big, opaque eyes, pale and cruel as those of ajaguar, marked him a man of terrible brute force. "free-trader!" called the commandant"better think twice before you join

fortunes with the musk-ox hunter.""to hell with you an' your rantin', dog- eared redskins!" cried rea. "i've run agin a man of my own kind, a manof my own country, an' i'm goin' with him." with this he thrust aside some encroaching,gaping indians so unconcernedly and ungently that they sprawled upon the grass. slowly the crowd mounted and once morelined the bank. jones realized that by some late-turningstroke of fortune, he had fallen in with one of the few free-traders of theprovince. these free-traders, from the very nature oftheir calling, which was to defy the fur

company, and to trap and trade on their ownaccount--were a hardy and intrepid class of men. rea's worth to jones exceeded that of adozen ordinary men. he knew the ways of the north, the languageof the tribes, the habits of animals, the handling of dogs, the uses of food andfuel. moreover, it soon appeared that he was acarpenter and blacksmith. "there's my kit," he said, dumping thecontents of his bag. it consisted of a bunch of steel traps,some tools, a broken ax, a box of miscellaneous things such as trappers used,and a few articles of flannel.

"thievin' redskins," he added, inexplanation of his poverty. "not much of an outfit.but i'm the man for you. besides, i had a pal onct who knew you onthe plains, called you 'buff' jones. old jim bent he was.""i recollect jim," said jones. "he went down in custer's last charge. so you were jim's pal.that'd be a recommendation if you needed one.but the way you chucked the indian overboard got me." rea soon manifested himself as a man of fewwords and much action.

with the planks jones had on board heheightened the stern and bow of the boat to keep out the beating waves in the rapids;he fashioned a steering-gear and a less awkward set of oars, and shifted the cargoso as to make more room in the craft. "buff, we're in for a storm.set up a tarpaulin an' make a fire. we'll pretend to camp to-night. these indians won't dream we'd try to runthe river after dark, and we'll slip by under cover." the sun glazed over; clouds moved up fromthe north; a cold wind swept the tips of the spruces, and rain commenced to drive ingusts.

by the time it was dark not an indianshowed himself. they were housed from the storm.lights twinkled in the teepees and the big log cabins of the trading company. jones scouted round till pitchy blacknight, when a freezing, pouring blast sent him back to the protection of thetarpaulin. when he got there he found that rea hadtaken it down and awaited him. "off!" said the free-trader; and with nomore noise than a drifting feather the boat swung into the current and glided down tillthe twinkling fires no longer accentuated the darkness.

by night the river, in common with allswift rivers, had a sullen voice, and murmured its hurry, its restraint, itsmenace, its meaning. the two boat-men, one at the steering gear,one at the oars, faced the pelting rain and watched the dim, dark line of trees.the craft slid noiselessly onward into the gloom. and into jones's ears, above the storm,poured another sound, a steady, muffled rumble, like the roll of giant chariotwheels. it had come to be a familiar roar to him,and the only thing which, in his long life of hazard, had ever sent the cold,prickling, tight shudder over his warm

skin. many times on the athabasca that rumble hadpresaged the dangerous and dreaded rapids. "hell bend rapids!" shouted rea."bad water, but no rocks." the rumble expanded to a roar, the roar toa boom that charged the air with heaviness, with a dreamy burr. the whole indistinct world appeared to bemoving to the lash of wind, to the sound of rain, to the roar of the river. the boat shot down and sailed aloft, metshock on shock, breasted leaping dim white waves, and in a hollow, unearthly blend ofwatery sounds, rode on and on, buffeted,

tossed, pitched into a black chaos that yetgleamed with obscure shrouds of light. then the convulsive stream shrieked out alast defiance, changed its course abruptly to slow down and drown the sound of rapidsin muffling distance. once more the craft swept on smoothly, tothe drive of the wind and the rush of the rain.by midnight the storm cleared. murky cloud split to show shining, blue-white stars and a fitful moon, that silvered the crests of the spruces andsometimes hid like a gleaming, black- threaded peak behind the dark branches. jones, a plainsman all his days,wonderingly watched the moon-blanched

water. he saw it shade and darken under shadowywalls of granite, where it swelled with hollow song and gurgle.he heard again the far-off rumble, faint on the night. high cliff banks appeared, walled out themellow, light, and the river suddenly narrowed. yawning holes, whirlpools of a second,opened with a gurgling suck and raced with the boat.on the craft flew. far ahead, a long, declining plane ofjumping frosted waves played dark and white

with the moonbeams. the slave plunged to his freedom, down hisriven, stone-spiked bed, knowing no patient eddy, and white-wreathed his dark shinyrocks in spume and spray. chapter 9.the land of the musk-ox a far cry it was from bright june at portchippewayan to dim october on great slave lake. two long, laborious months rea and jonesthreaded the crooked shores of the great inland sea, to halt at the extreme northernend, where a plunging rivulet formed the source of a river.

here they found a stone chimney andfireplace standing among the darkened, decayed ruins of a cabin."we mustn't lose no time," said rea. "i feel the winter in the wind. an' see how dark the days are gettin' onus." "i'm for hunting musk-oxen," replied jones."man, we're facin' the northern night; we're in the land of the midnight sun. soon we'll be shut in for seven months.a cabin we want, an' wood, an' meat." a forest of stunted spruce trees edged onthe lake, and soon its dreary solitudes rang to the strokes of axes.

the trees were small and uniform in size.black stumps protruded, here and there, from the ground, showing work of the steelin time gone by. jones observed that the living trees wereno larger in diameter than the stumps, and questioned rea in regard to the differencein age. "cut twenty-five, mebbe fifty years ago,"said the trapper. "but the living trees are no bigger.""trees an' things don't grow fast in the north land." they erected a fifteen-foot cabin round thestone chimney, roofed it with poles and branches of spruce and a layer of sand.

in digging near the fireplace jonesunearthed a rusty file and the head of a whisky keg, upon which was a sunken word inunintelligible letters. "we've found the place," said rea. "frank built a cabin here in 1819.an' in 1833 captain back wintered here when he was in search of captain ross of thevessel fury. it was those explorin' parties thet cut thetrees. i seen indian sign out there, made lastwinter, i reckon; but indians never cut down no trees." the hunters completed the cabin, piledcords of firewood outside, stowed away the

kegs of dried fish and fruits, the sacks offlour, boxes of crackers, canned meats and vegetables, sugar, salt, coffee, tobacco-- all of the cargo; then took the boat apartand carried it up the bank, which labor took them less than a week. jones found sleeping in the cabin, despitethe fire, uncomfortably cold, because of the wide chinks between the logs.it was hardly better than sleeping under the swaying spruces. when he essayed to stop up the crack, atask by no means easy, considering the lack of material--rea laughed his short "ho!ho!" and stopped him with the word, "wait."

every morning the green ice extendedfarther out into the lake; the sun paled dim and dimmer; the nights grew colder. on october 8th the thermometer registeredseveral degrees below zero; it fell a little more next night and continued tofall. "ho! ho!" cried rea. "she's struck the toboggan, an' presentlyshe'll commence to slide. come on, buff, we've work to do." he caught up a bucket, made for their holein the ice, rebroke a six-inch layer, the freeze of a few hours, and filling hisbucket, returned to the cabin.

jones had no inkling of the trapper'sintention, and wonderingly he soused his bucket full of water and followed. by the time he had reached the cabin, amatter of some thirty or forty good paces, the water no longer splashed from his pail,for a thin film of ice prevented. rea stood fifteen feet from the cabin, hisback to the wind, and threw the water. some of it froze in the air, most of itfroze on the logs. the simple plan of the trapper to incasethe cabin with ice was easily divined. all day the men worked, easing only whenthe cabin resembled a glistening mound. it had not a sharp corner nor a crevice.

inside it was warm and snug, and as lightas when the chinks were open. a slight moderation of the weather broughtthe snow. such snow! a blinding white flutter of grey flakes, aslarge as feathers! all day they rustle softly; all night theyswirled, sweeping, seeping brushing against the cabin. "ho! ho!" roared rea."'tis good; let her snow, an' the reindeer will migrate.we'll have fresh meat." the sun shone again, but not brightly.

a nipping wind came down out of the frigidnorth and crusted the snows. the third night following the storm, whenthe hunters lay snug under their blankets, a commotion outside aroused them. "indians," said rea, "come north forreindeer." half the night, shouting and yelling,barking dogs, hauling of sleds and cracking of dried-skin tepees murdered sleep forthose in the cabin. in the morning the level plain and edge ofthe forest held an indian village. caribou hides, strung on forked poles,constituted tent-like habitations with no distinguishable doors.

fires smoked in the holes in the snow. not till late in the day did any lifemanifest itself round the tepees, and then a group of children, poorly clad in raggedpieces of blankets and skins, gaped at jones. he saw their pinched, brown faces, staring,hungry eyes, naked legs and throats, and noted particularly their dwarfish size.when he spoke they fled precipitously a little way, then turned. he called again, and all ran except onesmall lad. jones went into the cabin and came out witha handful of sugar in square lumps.

"yellow knife indians," said rea. "a starved tribe!we're in for it." jones made motions to the lad, but heremained still, as if transfixed, and his black eyes stared wonderingly. "molar nasu (white man good)," said rea.the lad came out of his trance and looked back at his companions, who edged nearer.jones ate a lump of sugar, then handed one to the little indian. he took it gingerly, put it into his mouthand immediately jumped up and down. "hoppiesharnpoolie!hoppiesharnpoolie!" he shouted to his

brothers and sisters. they came on the run."think he means sweet salt," interpreted rea."of course these beggars never tasted sugar." the band of youngsters trooped round jones,and after tasting the white lumps, shrieked in such delight that the braves and squawsshuffled out of the tepees. in all his days jones had never seen suchmiserable indians. dirty blankets hid all their person, exceptstraggling black hair, hungry, wolfish eyes and moccasined feet.

they crowded into the path before the cabindoor and mumbled and stared and waited. no dignity, no brightness, no suggestion offriendliness marked this peculiar attitude. "starved!" exclaimed rea. "they've come to the lake to invoke thegreat spirit to send the reindeer. buff, whatever you do, don't feed them.if you do, we'll have them on our hands all winter. it's cruel, but, man, we're in the north!"notwithstanding the practical trapper's admonition jones could not resist thepleading of the children. he could not stand by and see them starve.

after ascertaining there was absolutelynothing to eat in the tepees, he invited the little ones into the cabin, and made agreat pot of soup, into which he dropped compressed biscuits. the savage children were like wildcats.jones had to call in rea to assist him in keeping the famished little aborigines fromtearing each other to pieces. when finally they were all fed, they had tobe driven out of the cabin. "that's new to me," said jones."poor little beggars!" rea doubtfully shook his shaggy head. next day jones traded with the yellowknives.

he had a goodly supply of baubles, besidesblankets, gloves and boxes of canned goods, which he had brought for such trading. he secured a dozen of the large-boned,white and black indian dogs, huskies, rea called them--two long sleds with harnessand several pairs of snowshoes. this trade made jones rub his hands insatisfaction, for during all the long journey north he had failed to barter forsuch cardinal necessities to the success of his venture. "better have doled out the grub to them inrations," grumbled rea. twenty-four hours sufficed to show jonesthe wisdom of the trapper's words, for in

just that time the crazed, ignorant savageshad glutted the generous store of food, which should have lasted them for weeks. the next day they were begging at the cabindoor. rea cursed and threatened them with hisfists, but they returned again and again. days passed. all the time, in light and dark, theindians filled the air with dismal chant and doleful incantations to the greatspirit, and the tum! tum! tum! tum! of tomtoms, a specific feature of their wildprayer for food. but the white monotony of the rolling landand level lake remained unbroken.

the reindeer did not come. the days became shorter, dimmer, darker.the mercury kept on the slide. forty degrees below zero did not troublethe indians. they stamped till they dropped, and sangtill their voices vanished, and beat the tomtoms everlastingly.jones fed the children once each day, against the trapper's advice. one day, while rea was absent, a dozenbraves succeeded in forcing an entrance, and clamored so fiercely, and threatened sodesperately, that jones was on the point of giving them food when the door opened toadmit rea.

with a glance he saw the situation.he dropped the bucket he carried, threw the door wide open and commenced action. because of his great bulk he seemed slow,but every blow of his sledge-hammer fist knocked a brave against the wall, orthrough the door into the snow. when he could reach two savages at once, byway of diversion, he swung their heads together with a crack.they dropped like dead things. then he handled them as if they were sacksof corn, pitching them out into the snow. in two minutes the cabin was clear.he banged the door and slipped the bar in place.

"buff, i'm goin' to get mad at thesethievin' red, skins some day," he said gruffly. the expanse of his chest heaved slightly,like the slow swell of a calm ocean, but there was no other indication of unusualexertion. jones laughed, and again gave thanks forthe comradeship of this strange man. shortly afterward, he went out for wood,and as usual scanned the expanse of the lake. the sun shone mistier and warmer, and frostfeathers floated in the air. sky and sun and plain and lake--all weregray.

jones fancied he saw a distant moving massof darker shade than the gray background. he called the trapper."caribou," said rea instantly. "the vanguard of the migration. hear the indians!hear their cry: "aton! aton!" they mean reindeer.the idiots have scared the herd with their infernal racket, an' no meat will they get. the caribou will keep to the ice, an' manor indian can't stalk them there." for a few moments his companion surveyedthe lake and shore with a plainsman's eye, then dashed within, to reappear with awinchester in each hand.

through the crowd of bewailing, bemoaningindians; he sped, to the low, dying bank. the hard crust of snow upheld him.the gray cloud was a thousand yards out upon the lake and moving southeast. if the caribou did not swerve from thiscourse they would pass close to a projecting point of land, a half-mile upthe lake. so, keeping a wary eye upon them, thehunter ran swiftly. he had not hunted antelope and buffalo onthe plains all his life without learning how to approach moving game. as long as the caribou were in action, theycould not tell whether he moved or was

motionless. in order to tell if an object was inanimateor not, they must stop to see, of which fact the keen hunter took advantage.suddenly he saw the gray mass slow down and bunch up. he stopped running, to stand like a stump.when the reindeer moved again, he moved, and when they slackened again, he stoppedand became motionless. as they kept to their course, he workedgradually closer and closer. soon he distinguished gray, bobbing heads. when the leader showed signs of halting inhis slow trot the hunter again became a

statue. he saw they were easy to deceive; and,daringly confident of success, he encroached on the ice and closed up the gaptill not more than two hundred yards separated him from the gray, bobbing,antlered mass. jones dropped on one knee. a moment only his eyes lingered admiringlyon the wild and beautiful spectacle; then he swept one of the rifles to a level.old habit made the little beaded sight cover first the stately leader. bang!the gray monarch leaped straight forward,

forehoofs up, antlered head back, to falldead with a crash. then for a few moments the winchester spata deadly stream of fire, and when emptied was thrown down for the other gun, which inthe steady, sure hands of the hunter belched death to the caribou. the herd rushed on, leaving the whitesurface of the lake gray with a struggling, kicking, bellowing heap.when jones reached the caribou he saw several trying to rise on crippled legs. with his knife he killed these, not withoutsome hazard to himself. most of the fallen ones were already dead,and the others soon lay still.

beautiful gray creatures they were, almostwhite, with wide-reaching, symmetrical horns. a medley of yells arose from the shore, andrea appeared running with two sleds, with the whole tribe of yellow knives pouringout of the forest behind him. "buff, you're jest what old jim said youwas," thundered rea, as he surveyed the gray pile. "here's winter meat, an' i'd not have givena biscuit for all the meat i thought you'd get." "thirty shots in less than thirty seconds,"said jones, "an' i'll bet every ball i sent

touched hair.how many reindeer?" "twenty! twenty! buff, or i've forgot how to count.i guess mebbe you can't handle them shootin' arms.ho! here comes the howlin' redskins." rea whipped out a bowie knife and begandisemboweling the reindeer. he had not proceeded far in his task whenthe crazed savages were around him. every one carried a basket or receptacle,which he swung aloft, and they sang, prayed, rejoiced on their knees. jones turned away from the sickening scenesthat convinced him these savages were

little better than cannibals.rea cursed them, and tumbled them over, and threatened them with the big bowie. an altercation ensued, heated on his side,frenzied on theirs. thinking some treachery might befall hiscomrade, jones ran into the thick of the group. "share with them, rea, share with them."whereupon the giant hauled out ten smoking carcasses. bursting into a babel of savage glee andtumbling over one another, the indians pulled the caribou to the shore."thievin' fools," growled rea, wiping the

sweat from his brow. "said they'd prevailed on the great spiritto send the reindeer. why, they'd never smelled warm meat but foryou. now, buff, they'll gorge every hair, hidean' hoof of their share in less than a week.thet's the last we do for the damned cannibals. didn't you see them eatin' of the rawinnards?--faugh! i'm calculatin' we'll see no more reindeer.it's late for the migration. the big herd has driven southward.

but we're lucky, thanks to your prairietrainin'. come on now with the sleds, or we'll have apack of wolves to fight." by loading three reindeer on each sled, thehunters were not long in transporting them to the cabin."buff, there ain't much doubt about them keepin' nice and cool," said rea. "they'll freeze, an' we can skin them whenwe want." that night the starved wolf dogs gorgedthemselves till they could not rise from the snow. likewise the yellow knives feasted.how long the ten reindeer might have served

the wasteful tribe, rea and jones neverfound out. the next day two indians arrived with dog-trains, and their advent was hailed with another feast, and a pow-wow that lastedinto the night. "guess we're goin' to get rid of ourblasted hungry neighbors," said rea, coming in next morning with the water pail, "an'i'll be durned, buff, if i don't believe them crazy heathen have been told aboutyou. them indians was messengers.grab your gun, an' let's walk over and see." the yellow knives were breaking camp, andthe hunters were at once conscious of the

difference in their bearing.rea addressed several braves, but got no reply. he laid his broad hand on the old wrinkledchief, who repulsed him, and turned his back. with a growl, the trapper spun the indianround, and spoke as many words of the language as he knew. he got a cold response, which ended in theragged old chief starting up, stretching a long, dark arm northward, and with eyesfixed in fanatical subjection, shouting: "naza!

naza!naza!" "heathen!"rea shook his gun in the faces of the messengers. "it'll go bad with you to come nazain' anylonger on our trail. come, buff, clear out before i get mad." when they were once more in the cabin, reatold jones that the messengers had been sent to warn the yellow knives not to aidthe white hunters in any way. that night the dogs were kept inside, andthe men took turns in watching. morning showed a broad trail southward.

and with the going of the yellow knives themercury dropped to fifty, and the long, twilight winter night fell. so with this agreeable riddance and plentyof meat and fuel to cheer them, the hunters sat down in their snug cabin to wait manymonths for daylight. those few intervals when the wind did notblow were the only times rea and jones got out of doors. to the plainsman, new to the north, the dimgray world about him was of exceeding interest.out of the twilight shone a wan, round, lusterless ring that rea said was the sun.

the silence and desolation were heart-numbing. "where are the wolves?" asked jones of rea."wolves can't live on snow. they're farther south after caribou, orfarther north after musk-ox." in those few still intervals jones remainedout as long as he dared, with the mercury sinking to -sixty degrees. he turned from the wonder of the unreal,remote sun, to the marvel in the north-- aurora borealis--ever-present, ever-changing, ever-beautiful! and he gazed in rapt attention. "polar lights," said rea, as if he werespeaking of biscuits.

"you'll freeze.it's gettin' cold." cold it became, to the matter of -seventydegrees. frost covered the walls of the cabin andthe roof, except just over the fire. the reindeer were harder than iron. a knife or an ax or a steel-trap burned asif it had been heated in fire, and stuck to the hand.the hunters experienced trouble in breathing; the air hurt their lungs. the months dragged.rea grew more silent day by day, and as he sat before the fire his wide shoulderssagged lower and lower.

jones, unaccustomed to the waiting, therestraint, the barrier of the north, worked on guns, sleds, harness, till he felt hewould go mad. then to save his mind he constructed awindmill of caribou hides and pondered over it trying to invent, to put into practicaluse an idea he had once conceived. hour after hour he lay under his blanketsunable to sleep, and listened to the north wind. sometimes rea mumbled in his slumbers; oncehis giant form started up, and he muttered a woman's name. shadows from the fire flickered on thewalls, visionary, spectral shadows, cold

and gray, fitting the north. at such times he longed with all the powerof his soul to be among those scenes far southward, which he called home.for days rea never spoke a word, only gazed into the fire, ate and slept. jones, drifting far from his real self,feared the strange mood of the trapper and sought to break it, but without avail. more and more he reproached himself, andsingularly on the one fact that, as he did not smoke himself, he had brought only asmall store of tobacco. rea, inordinate and inveterate smoker, hadpuffed away all the weed in clouds of

white, then had relapsed into gloom. chapter 10.success and failure at last the marvel in the north dimmed, theobscure gray shade lifted, the hope in the south brightened, and the mercury climbedreluctantly, with a tyrant's hate to relinquish power. spring weather at twenty-five below zero!on april 12th a small band of indians made their appearance. of the dog tribe were they, an offcast ofthe great slaves, according to rea, and as motley, starring and starved as the yellowknives.

but they were friendly, which presupposedignorance of the white hunters, and rea persuaded the strongest brave to accompanythem as guide northward after musk-oxen. on april 16th, having given the indiansseveral caribou carcasses, and assuring them that the cabin was protected by whitespirits, rea and jones, each with sled and train of dogs, started out after their guide, who was similarly equipped, over theglistening snow toward the north. they made sixty miles the first day, andpitched their indian tepee on the shores of artillery lake. traveling northeast, they covered its whitewaste of one hundred miles in two days.

then a day due north, over rolling,monotonously snowy plain; devoid of rock, tree or shrub, brought them into a countryof the strangest, queerest little spruce trees, very slender, and none of them overfifteen feet in height. a primeval forest of saplings."ditchen nechila," said the guide. "land of sticks little," translated rea. an occasional reindeer was seen andnumerous foxes and hares trotted off into the woods, evincing more curiosity thanfear. all were silver white, even the reindeer,at a distance, taking the hue of the north. once a beautiful creature, unblemished asthe snow it trod, ran up a ridge and stood

watching the hunters. it resembled a monster dog, only it wasinexpressibly more wild looking. "ho! ho! there you are!" cried rea,reaching for his winchester. "polar wolf! them's the white devils we'll have hellwith." as if the wolf understood, he lifted hiswhite, sharp head and uttered a bark or howl that was like nothing so much as ahaunting, unearthly mourn. the animal then merged into the white, asif he were really a spirit of the world whence his cry seemed to come.

in this ancient forest of youthfulappearing trees, the hunters cut firewood to the full carrying capacity of the sleds. for five days the indian guide drove hisdogs over the smooth crust, and on the sixth day, about noon, halting in a hollow,he pointed to tracks in the snow and called out: "ageter! ageter!ageter!" the hunters saw sharply defined hoof-marks,not unlike the tracks of reindeer, except that they were longer. the tepee was set up on the spot and thedogs unharnessed.

the indian led the way with the dogs, andrea and jones followed, slipping over the hard crust without sinking in and travelingswiftly. soon the guide, pointing, again let out thecry: "ageter!" at the same moment loosing the dogs. some few hundred yards down the hollow, anumber of large black animals, not unlike the shaggy, humpy buffalo, lumbered overthe snow. jones echoed rea's yell, and broke into arun, easily distancing the puffing giant. the musk-oxen squared round to the dogs,and were soon surrounded by the yelping pack.

jones came up to find six old bullsuttering grunts of rage and shaking ram- like horns at their tormentors. notwithstanding that for jones this was thecumulation of years of desire, the crowning moment, the climax and fruition of long-harbored dreams, he halted before the tame and helpless beasts, with joy not unmixedwith pain. "it will be murder!" he exclaimed."it's like shooting down sheep." rea came crashing up behind him and yelled,"get busy. we need fresh meat, an' i want the skins." the bulls succumbed to well-directed shots,and the indian and rea hurried back to camp

with the dogs to fetch the sleds, whilejones examined with warm interest the animals he had wanted to see all his life. he found the largest bull approached withina third of the size of a buffalo. he was of a brownish-black color and verylike a large, woolly ram. his head was broad, with sharp, small ears;the horns had wide and flattened bases and lay flat on the head, to run down back ofthe eyes, then curve forward to a sharp point. like the bison, the musk ox had short,heavy limbs, covered with very long hair, and small, hard hoofs with hairy tuftsinside the curve of bone, which probably

served as pads or checks to hold the hooffirm on ice. his legs seemed out of proportion to hisbody. two musk-oxen were loaded on a sled andhauled to camp in one trip. skinning them was but short work for suchexpert hands. all the choice cuts of meat were saved. no time was lost in broiling a steak, whichthey found sweet and juicy, with a flavor of musk that was disagreeable."now, rea, for the calves," exclaimed jones, "and then we're homeward bound." "i hate to tell this redskin," replied rea."he'll be like the others.

but it ain't likely he'd desert us here.he's far from his base, with nothin' but thet old musket." rea then commanded the attention of thebrave, and began to mangle the great slave and yellow knife languages.of this mixture jones knew but few words. "ageter nechila," which rea kept repeating,he knew, however, meant "musk-oxen little." the guide stared, suddenly appeared to getrea's meaning, then vigorously shook his head and gazed at jones in fear and horror. following this came an action as singularas inexplicable. slowly rising, he faced the north, liftedhis hand, and remained statuesque in his

immobility. then he began deliberately packing hisblankets and traps on his sled, which had not been unhitched from the train of dogs."jackoway ditchen hula," he said, and pointed south. "jackoway ditchen hula," echoed rea."the damned indian says 'wife sticks none.' he's goin' to quit us.what do you think of thet? his wife's out of wood. jackoway out of wood, an' here we are twodays from the arctic ocean. jones, the damned heathen don't go back!"the trapper coolly cocked his rifle.

the savage, who plainly saw and understoodthe action, never flinched. he turned his breast to rea, and there wasnothing in his demeanor to suggest his relation to a craven tribe. "good heavens, rea, don't kill him!"exclaimed jones, knocking up the leveled rifle. "why not, i'd like to know?" demanded rea,as if he were considering the fate of a threatening beast."i reckon it'd be a bad thing for us to let him go." "let him go," said jones."we are here on the ground.

we have dogs and meat. we'll get our calves and reach the lake assoon as he does, and we might get there before.""mebbe we will," growled rea. no vacillation attended the indian's mood. from friendly guide, he had suddenly beentransformed into a dark, sullen savage. he refused the musk-ox meat offered byjones, and he pointed south and looked at the white hunters as if he asked them to gowith him. both men shook their heads in answer. the savage struck his breast a soundingblow and with his index finger pointed at

the white of the north, he shouteddramatically: "naza! naza! naza!"he then leaped upon his sled, lashed his dogs into a run, and without looking backdisappeared over a ridge. the musk-ox hunters sat long silent. finally rea shook his shaggy locks androared. "ho! ho!jackoway out of wood! jackoway out of wood! jackoway out of wood!"

on the day following the desertion, jonesfound tracks to the north of the camp, making a broad trail in which were numerouslittle imprints that sent him flying back to get rea and the dogs. muskoxen in great numbers had passed in thenight, and jones and rea had not trailed the herd a mile before they had it insight. when the dogs burst into full cry, themusk-oxen climbed a high knoll and squared about to give battle."calves! calves! calves!" cried jones."hold back!

hold back!thet's a big herd, an' they'll show fight." as good fortune would have it, the herdsplit up into several sections, and one part, hard pressed by the dogs, ran downthe knoll, to be cornered under the lee of a bank. the hunters, seeing this small number,hurried upon them to find three cows and five badly frightened little calves backedagainst the bank of snow, with small red eyes fastened on the barking, snappingdogs. to a man of jones's experience and skill,the capturing of the calves was a ridiculously easy piece of work.

the cows tossed their heads, watched thedogs, and forgot their young. the first cast of the lasso settled overthe neck of a little fellow. jones hauled him out over the slippery snowand laughed as he bound the hairy legs. in less time than he had taken to captureone buffalo calf, with half the escort, he had all the little musk-oxen bound fast. then he signaled this feat by pealing outan indian yell of victory. "buff, we've got 'em," cried rea; "an' nowfor the hell of it gettin' 'em home. i'll fetch the sleds. you might as well down thet best cow forme.

i can use another skin." of all jones's prizes of captured wildbeasts--which numbered nearly every species common to western north america--he tookgreatest pride in the little musk-oxen. in truth, so great had been his passion tocapture some of these rare and inaccessible mammals, that he considered the day's worldthe fulfillment of his life's purpose. he was happy. never had he been so delighted as when, thevery evening of their captivity, the musk- oxen, evincing no particular fear of him,began to dig with sharp hoofs into the snow for moss.

and they found moss, and ate it, whichsolved jones's greatest problem. he had hardly dared to think how to feedthem, and here they were picking sustenance out of the frozen snow. "rea, will you look at that!rea, will you look at that!" he kept repeating."see, they're hunting, feed." and the giant, with his rare smile, watchedhim play with the calves. they were about two and a half feet high,and resembled long-haired sheep. the ears and horns were undiscernible, andtheir color considerably lighter than that of the matured beasts."no sense of fear of man," said the life-

student of animals. "but they shrink from the dogs."in packing for the journey south, the captives were strapped on the sleds. this circumstance necessitated a sacrificeof meat and wood, which brought grave, doubtful shakes of rea's great head. days of hastening over the icy snow, withshort hours for sleep and rest, passed before the hunters awoke to theconsciousness that they were lost. the meat they had packed had gone to feedthemselves and the dogs. only a few sticks of wood were left."better kill a calf, an' cook meat while

we've got little wood left," suggested rea. "kill one of my calves?i'd starve first!" cried jones. the hungry giant said no more.they headed southwest. all about them glared the grim monotony ofthe arctics. no rock or bush or tree made a welcome markupon the hoary plain wonderland of frost, white marble desert, infinitude of gleamingsilences! snow began to fall, making the dogsflounder, obliterating the sun by which they traveled.they camped to wait for clearing weather. biscuits soaked in tea made their meal.

at dawn jones crawled out of the tepee.the snow had ceased. but where were the dogs?he yelled in alarm. then little mounds of white, scattered hereand there became animated, heaved, rocked and rose to dogs.blankets of snow had been their covering. rea had ceased his "jackoway out of wood,"for a reiterated question: "where are the wolves?""lost," replied jones in hollow humor. near the close of that day, in which theyhad resumed travel, from the crest of a ridge they descried a long, low, undulatingdark line. it proved to be the forest of "littlesticks," where, with grateful assurance of

fire and of soon finding their old trail,they made camp. "we've four biscuits left, an' enough teafor one drink each," said rea. "i calculate we're two hundred miles fromgreat slave lake. where are the wolves?" at that moment the night wind waftedthrough the forest a long, haunting mourn. the calves shifted uneasily; the dogsraised sharp noses to sniff the air, and rea, settling back against a tree, criedout: "ho! ho!" again the savage sound, a keen wailing notewith the hunger of the northland in it, broke the cold silence."you'll see a pack of real wolves in a

minute," said rea. soon a swift pattering of feet down aforest slope brought him to his feet with a curse to reach a brawny hand for his rifle. white streaks crossed the black of the treetrunks; then indistinct forms, the color of snow, swept up, spread out and streaked toand fro. jones thought the great, gaunt, pure whitebeasts the spectral wolves of rea's fancy, for they were silent, and silent wolvesmust belong to dreams only. "ho! ho!" yelled rea. "there's green-fire eyes for you, buff.hell itself ain't nothin' to these white

devils. get the calves in the tepee, an' standready to loose the dogs, for we've got to fight."raising his rifle he opened fire upon the white foe. a struggling, rustling sound followed theshots. but whether it was the threshing about ofwolves dying in agony, or the fighting of the fortunate ones over those shot, couldnot be ascertained in the confusion. following his example jones also firedrapidly on the other side of the tepee. the same inarticulate, silently rustlingwrestle succeeded this volley.

"wait!" cried rea. "be sparin' of cartridges."the dogs strained at their chains and bravely bayed the wolves. the hunters heaped logs and brush on thefire, which, blazing up, sent a bright light far into the woods.on the outer edge of that circle moved the white, restless, gliding forms. "they're more afraid of fire than of us,"said jones. so it proved.when the fire burned and crackled they kept well in the background.

the hunters had a long respite from seriousanxiety, during which time they collected all the available wood at hand.but at midnight, when this had been mostly consumed, the wolves grew bold again. "have you any shots left for the 45-90,besides what's in the magazine?" asked rea. "yes, a good handful.""well, get busy." with careful aim jones emptied the magazineinto the gray, gliding, groping mass. the same rustling, shuffling, almost silentstrife ensued. "rea, there's something uncanny about thosebrutes. a silent pack of wolves!""ho! ho!" rolled the giant's answer through

the woods. for the present the attack appeared to havebeen effectually checked. the hunters, sparingly adding a little oftheir fast diminishing pile of fuel to the fire, decided to lie down for much neededrest, but not for sleep. how long they lay there, cramped by thecalves, listening for stealthy steps, neither could tell; it might have beenmoments and it might have been hours. all at once came a rapid rush of patteringfeet, succeeded by a chorus of angry barks, then a terrible commingling of savagesnarls, growls, snaps and yelps. "out!" yelled rea.

"they're on the dogs!"jones pushed his cocked rifle ahead of him and straightened up outside the tepee.a wolf, large as a panther and white as the gleaming snow, sprang at him. even as he discharged his rifle, rightagainst the breast of the beast, he saw its dripping jaws, its wicked green eyes, likespurts of fire and felt its hot breath. it fell at his feet and writhed in thedeath struggle. slender bodies of black and white, whirlingand tussling together, sent out fiendish uproar. rea threw a blazing stick of wood amongthem, which sizzled as it met the furry

coats, and brandishing another he ran intothe thick of the fight. unable to stand the proximity of fire, thewolves bolted and loped off into the woods. "what a huge brute!" exclaimed jones,dragging the one he had shot into the light. it was a superb animal, thin, supple,strong, with a coat of frosty fur, very long and fine. rea began at once to skin it, remarkingthat he hoped to find other pelts in the morning.though the wolves remained in the vicinity of camp, none ventured near.

the dogs moaned and whined; theirrestlessness increased as dawn approached, and when the gray light came, jones foundsthat some of them had been badly lacerated by the fangs of the wolves. rea hunted for dead wolves and found not somuch as a piece of white fur. soon the hunters were speeding southward. other than a disposition to fight amongthemselves, the dogs showed no evil effects of the attack. they were lashed to their best speed, forrea said the white rangers of the north would never quit their trail.all day the men listened for the wild,

lonesome, haunting mourn. but it came not. a wonderful halo of white and gold, thatrea called a sun-dog, hung in the sky all afternoon, and dazzlingly bright over thedazzling world of snow circled and glowed a mocking sun, brother of the desert mirage, beautiful illusion, smiling cold out of thepolar blue. the first pale evening star twinkled in theeast when the hunters made camp on the shore of artilery lake. at dusk the clear, silent air opened to thesound of a long, haunting mourn.

"ho! ho!" called rea.his hoarse, deep voice rang defiance to the foe. while he built a fire before the tepee,jones strode up and down, suddenly to whip out his knife and make for the tame littlemusk-oxen, now digging the snow. then he wheeled abruptly and held out theblade to rea. "what for?" demanded the giant."we've got to eat," said jones. "and i can't kill one of them. i can't, so you do it.""kill one of our calves?" roared rea. "not till hell freezes over!i ain't commenced to get hungry.

besides, the wolves are going to eat us,calves and all." nothing more was said.they ate their last biscuit. jones packed the calves away in the tepee,and turned to the dogs. all day they had worried him; something wasamiss with them, and even as he went among them a fierce fight broke out. jones saw it was unusual, for the attackeddogs showed craven fear, and the attacking ones a howling, savage intensity thatsurprised him. then one of the vicious brutes rolled hiseyes, frothed at the mouth, shuddered and leaped in his harness, vented a hoarse howland fell back shaking and retching.

"my god! rea!" cried jones in horror. "come here!look! that dog is dying of rabies!hydrophobia! the white wolves have hydrophobia!" "if you ain't right!" exclaimed rea."i seen a dog die of thet onct, an' he acted like this.an' thet one ain't all. look, buff! look at them green eyes! didn't i say the white wolves was hell?we'll have to kill every dog we've got." jones shot the dog, and soon afterwardthree more that manifested signs of the

disease. it was an awful situation.to kill all the dogs meant simply to sacrifice his life and rea's; it meantabandoning hope of ever reaching the cabin. then to risk being bitten by one of thepoisoned, maddened brutes, to risk the most horrible of agonizing deaths--that was evenworse. "rea, we've one chance," cried jones, withpale face. "can you hold the dogs, one by one, whilemuzzle them?" "ho! ho!" replied the giant. placing his bowie knife between his teeth,with gloved hands he seized and dragged one

of the dogs to the campfire.the animal whined and protested, but showed no ill spirit. jones muzzled his jaws tightly with strongcords. another and another were tied up, then onewhich tried to snap at jones was nearly crushed by the giant's grip. the last, a surly brute, broke out into madravings the moment he felt the touch of jones's hands, and writhing, frothing, hesnapped jones's sleeve. rea jerked him loose and held him in theair with one arm, while with the other he swung the bowie.

they hauled the dead dogs out on the snow,and returning to the fire sat down to await the cry they expected. presently, as darkness fastened down tight,it came--the same cry, wild, haunting, mourning.but for hours it was not repeated. "better rest some," said rea; "i'll callyou if they come." jones dropped to sleep as he touched hisblankets. morning dawned for him, to find the great,dark, shadowy figure of the giant nodding over the fire."how's this? why didn't you call me?" demanded jones.

"the wolves only fought a little over thedead dogs." on the instant jones saw a wolf skulking upthe bank. throwing up his rifle, which he had carriedout of the tepee, he took a snap-shot at the beast.it ran off on three legs, to go out of sight over the hank. jones scrambled up the steep, slipperyplace, and upon arriving at the ridge, which took several moments of hard work, helooked everywhere for the wolf. in a moment he saw the animal, standingstill some hundred or more paces down a hollow.with the quick report of jones's second

shot, the wolf fell and rolled over. the hunter ran to the spot to find the wolfwas dead. taking hold of a front paw, he dragged theanimal over the snow to camp. rea began to skin the animal, when suddenlyhe exclaimed: "this fellow's hind foot is gone!""that's strange. i saw it hanging by the skin as the wolfran up the bank. i'll look for it." by the bloody trail on the snow he returnedto the place where the wolf had fallen, and thence back to the spot where its leg hadbeen broken by the bullet.

he discovered no sign of the foot. "didn't find it, did you?" said rea."no, and it appears odd to me. the snow is so hard the foot could not havesunk." "well, the wolf ate his foot, thet's what,"returned rea. "look at them teeth marks!""is it possible?" jones stared at the leg rea held up. "yes, it is.these wolves are crazy at times. you've seen thet. an' the smell of blood, an' nothin' else,mind you, in my opinion, made him eat his

own' foot.we'll cut him open." impossible as the thing seemed to jones--and he could not but believe further evidence of his own' eyes--it was evenstranger to drive a train of mad dogs. yet that was what rea and he did, andlashed them, beat them to cover many miles in the long day's journey. rabies had broken out in several dogs soalarmingly that jones had to kill them at the end of the run. and hardly had the sound of the shots diedwhen faint and far away, but clear as a bell, bayed on the wind the same hauntingmourn of a trailing wolf.

"ho! ho! where are the wolves?" cried rea. a waiting, watching, sleepless nightfollowed. again the hunters faced the south.hour after hour, riding, running, walking, they urged the poor, jaded, poisoned dogs. at dark they reached the head of artillerylake. rea placed the tepee between two hugestones. then the hungry hunters, tired, grim,silent, desperate, awaited the familiar cry.it came on the cold wind, the same haunting mourn, dreadful in its significance.

absence of fire inspirited the wary wolves.out of the pale gloom gaunt white forms emerged, agile and stealthy, slipping onvelvet-padded feet, closer, closer, closer. the dogs wailed in terror. "into the tepee!" yelled rea.jones plunged in after his comrade. the despairing howls of the dogs, drownedin more savage, frightful sounds, knelled one tragedy and foreboded a more terribleone. jones looked out to see a white mass, likeleaping waves of a rapid. "pump lead into thet!" cried rea.rapidly jones emptied his rifle into the white fray.

the mass split; gaunt wolves leaped high tofall back dead; others wriggled and limped away; others dragged their hind quarters;others darted at the tepee. "no more cartridges!" yelled jones. the giant grabbed the ax, and barred thedoor of the tepee. crash! the heavy iron cleaved the skull ofthe first brute. crash! it lamed the second. then rea stood in the narrow passagebetween the rocks, waiting with uplifted ax.a shaggy, white demon, snapping his jaws, sprang like a dog.

a sodden, thudding blow met him and heslunk away without a cry. another rabid beast launched his white bodyat the giant. like a flash the ax descended. in agony the wolf fell, to spin round andround, running on his hind legs, while his head and shoulders and forelegs remained inthe snow. his back was broken. jones crouched in the opening of the tepee,knife in hand. he doubted his senses.this was a nightmare. he saw two wolves leap at once.

he heard the crash of the ax; he saw onewolf go down and the other slip under the swinging weapon to grasp the giant's hip. jones's heard the rend of cloth, and thenhe pounced like a cat, to drive his knife into the body of the beast.another nimble foe lunged at rea, to sprawl broken and limp from the iron. it was a silent fight.the giant shut the way to his comrade and the calves; he made no outcry; he neededbut one blow for every beast; magnificent, he wielded death and faced it--silent. he brought the white wild dogs of the northdown with lightning blows, and when no more

sprang to the attack, down on the frigidsilence he rolled his cry: "ho! ho!" "rea! rea! how is it with you?" calledjones, climbing out. "a torn coat--no more, my lad." three of the poor dogs were dead; thefourth and last gasped at the hunters and died. the wintry night became a thing of half-conscious past, a dream to the hunters, manifesting its reality only by the stark,stiff bodies of wolves, white in the gray morning. "if we can eat, we'll make the cabin," saidrea.

"but the dogs an' wolves are poison.""shall i kill a calf?" asked jones. "ho! ho! when hell freezes over--if wemust!" jones found one 45-90 cartridge in all theoutfit, and with that in the chamber of his rifle, once more struck south. spruce trees began to show on the barrensand caribou trails roused hope in the hearts of the hunters."look in the spruces," whispered jones, dropping the rope of his sled. among the black trees gray objects moved."caribou!" said rea. "hurry!shoot!

don't miss!" but jones waited.he knew the value of the last bullet. he had a hunter's patience.when the caribou came out in an open space, jones whistled. it was then the rifle grew set and fixed;it was then the red fire belched forth. at four hundred yards the bullet took somefraction of time to strike. what a long time that was! then both hunters heard the spiteful spatof the lead. the caribou fell, jumped up, ran down theslope, and fell again to rise no more.

an hour of rest, with fire and meat,changed the world to the hunters; still glistening, it yet had lost its bitter coldits deathlike clutch. "what's this?" cried jones. moccasin tracks of different sizes, alltoeing north, arrested the hunters. "pointed north!wonder what thet means?" rea plodded on, doubtfully shaking hishead. night again, clear, cold, silver, starlit,silent night! the hunters rested, listening ever for thehaunting mourn. day again, white, passionless, monotonous,silent day.

the hunters traveled on--on--on, everlistening for the haunting mourn. another dusk found them within thirty milesof their cabin. only one more day now. rea talked of his furs, of the splendidwhite furs he could not bring. jones talked of his little muskoxen calvesand joyfully watched them dig for moss in vigilance relaxed that night.outworn nature rebelled, and both hunters slept.rea awoke first, and kicking off the blankets, went out. his terrible roar of rage made jones fly tohis side.

under the very shadow of the tepee, wherethe little musk-oxen had been tethered, they lay stretched out pathetically oncrimson snow--stiff stone-cold, dead. moccasin tracks told the story of thetragedy. jones leaned against his comrade.the giant raised his huge fist. "jackoway out of wood! jackoway out of wood!"then he choked. the north wind, blowing through the thin,dark, weird spruce trees, moaned and seemed to sigh, "naza! chapter 11.on to the siwash

"who all was doin' the talkin' last night?"asked frank next morning, when we were having a late breakfast."cause i've a joke on somebody. jim he talks in his sleep often, an' lastnight after you did finally get settled down, jim he up in his sleep an' says:'shore he's windy as hell! shore he's windy as hell'!" at this cruel exposure of his subjectivewanderings, jim showed extreme humiliation; but frank's eyes fairly snapped with thefun he got out of telling it. the genial foreman loved a joke. the week's stay at oak, in which we allbecame thoroughly acquainted, had presented

jim as always the same quiet character,easy, slow, silent, lovable. in his brother cowboy, however, we haddiscovered in addition to his fine, frank, friendly spirit, an overwhelming fondnessfor playing tricks. this boyish mischievousness, distinctlyarizonian, reached its acme whenever it tended in the direction of our seriousleader. lawson had been dispatched on somemysterious errand about which my curiosity was all in vain. the order of the day was leisurely to getin readiness, and pack for our journey to the siwash on the morrow.

i watered my horse, played with the hounds,knocked about the cliffs, returned to the cabin, and lay down on my bed.jim's hands were white with flour. he was kneading dough, and had several low,flat pans on the table. wallace and jones strolled in, and laterfrank, and they all took various positions before the fire. i saw frank, with the quickness of asleight-of-hand performer, slip one of the pans of dough on the chair jones had placedby the table. jim did not see the action; jones's andwallace's backs were turned to frank, and he did not know i was in the cabin.

the conversation continued on the subjectof jones's big bay horse, which, hobbles and all, had gotten ten miles from camp thenight before. "better count his ribs than his tracks,"said frank, and went on talking as easily and naturally as if he had not beenexpecting a very entertaining situation. but no one could ever foretell coloneljones's actions. he showed every intention of seatinghimself in the chair, then walked over to his pack to begin searching for somethingor other. wallace, however, promptly took the seat;and what began to be funnier than strange, he did not get up.

not unlikely this circumstance was owing tothe fact that several of the rude chairs had soft layers of old blanket tacked onthem. whatever were frank's internal emotions, hepresented a remarkably placid and commonplace exterior; but when jim began tosearch for the missing pan of dough, the joker slowly sagged in his chair. "shore that beats hell!" said jim."i had three pans of dough. could the pup have taken one?" wallace rose to his feet, and the bread panclattered to the floor, with a clang and a clank, evidently protesting against theindignity it had suffered.

but the dough stayed with wallace, a greatwhite conspicuous splotch on his corduroys. jim, frank and jones all saw it at once. "why--mr. wal--lace--you set--in thedough!" exclaimed frank, in a queer, strangled voice.then he exploded, while jim fell over the table. it seemed that those two arizona rangers,matured men though they were, would die of convulsions. i laughed with them, and so did wallace,while he brought his one-handled bowie knife into novel use.

buffalo jones never cracked a smile, thoughhe did remark about the waste of good flour. frank's face was a study for a psychologistwhen jim actually apologized to wallace for being so careless with his pans.i did not betray frank, but i resolved to keep a still closer watch on him. it was partially because of this uneasysense of his trickiness in the fringe of my mind that i made a discovery. my sleeping-bag rested on a raised platformin one corner, and at a favorable moment i examined the bag.

it had not been tampered with, but inoticed a string turning out through a chink between the logs. i found it came from a thick layer of strawunder my bed, and had been tied to the end of a flatly coiled lasso. leaving the thing as it was, i went outsideand carelessly chased the hounds round the cabin. the string stretched along the logs toanother chink, where it returned into the cabin at a point near where frank slept. no great power of deduction was necessaryto acquaint me with full details of the

plot to spoil my slumbers.so i patiently awaited developments. lawson rode in near sundown with thecarcasses of two beasts of some species hanging over his saddle. it turned out that jones had planned asurprise for wallace and me, and it could hardly have been a more enjoyable one,considering the time and place. we knew he had a flock of persian sheep onthe south slope of buckskin, but had no idea it was within striking distance ofoak. lawson had that day hunted up the shepherdand his sheep, to return to us with two sixty-pound persian lambs.

we feasted at suppertime on meat which wassweet, juicy, very tender and of as rare a flavor as that of the rocky mountain sheep. my state after supper was one of hugeenjoyment and with intense interest i awaited frank's first spar for an opening.it came presently, in a lull of the conversation. "saw a big rattler run under the cabin to-day," he said, as if he were speaking of one of old baldy's shoes."i tried to get a whack at him, but he oozed away too quick." "shore i seen him often," put in jim.good, old, honest jim, led away by his

trickster comrade!it was very plain. so i was to be frightened by snakes. "these old canyon beds are ideal dens forrattle snakes," chimed in my scientific california friend. "i have found several dens, but did notmolest them as this is a particularly dangerous time of the year to meddle withthe reptiles. quite likely there's a den under thecabin." while he made this remarkable statement, hehad the grace to hide his face in a huge puff of smoke.

he, too, was in the plot. i waited for jones to come out with someridiculous theory or fact concerning the particular species of snake, but as he didnot speak, i concluded they had wisely left him out of the secret. after mentally debating a moment, idecided, as it was a very harmless joke, to help frank into the fulfillment of hisenjoyment. "rattlesnakes!" i exclaimed."heavens! i'd die if i heard one, let alone seeingit.

a big rattler jumped at me one day, andi've never recovered from the shock." plainly, frank was delighted to hear of myantipathy and my unfortunate experience, and he proceeded to expatiate on theviciousness of rattlesnakes, particularly those of arizona. if i had believed the succeeding stories,emanating from the fertile brains of those three fellows, i should have made certainthat arizona canyons were brazilian jungles. frank's parting shot, sent in a mellow,kind voice, was the best point in the whole trick.

"now, i'd be nervous if i had a sleepin'bag like yours, because it's just the place for a rattler to ooze into." in the confusion and dim light of bedtime icontrived to throw the end of my lasso over the horn of a saddle hanging on the wall,with the intention of augmenting the noise i soon expected to create; and i placed myautomatic rifle and .38 s. and w. special within easy reach of my hand.then i crawled into my bag and composed myself to listen. frank soon began to snore, so brazenly, sofictitiously, that i wondered at the man's absorbed intensity in his joke; and i wasat great pains to smother in my breast a

violent burst of riotous merriment. jones's snores, however, were real enough,and this made me enjoy the situation all the more; because if he did not show a mildsurprise when the catastrophe fell, i would greatly miss my guess. i knew the three wily conspirators werewide-awake. suddenly i felt a movement in the strawunder me and a faint rustling. it was so soft, so sinuous, that if i hadnot known it was the lasso, i would assuredly have been frightened.i gave a little jump, such as one will make quickly in bed.

then the coil ran out from under the straw.how subtly suggestive of a snake! i made a slight outcry, a big jump, pauseda moment for effectiveness in which time frank forgot to snore--then let out atremendous yell, grabbed my guns, sent twelve thundering shots through the roofand pulled my lasso. crash! the saddle came down, to be followedby sounds not on frank's programme and certainly not calculated upon by me. but they were all the more effective. i gathered that lawson, who was not in thesecret, and who was a nightmare sort of sleeper anyway, had knocked over jim'stable, with its array of pots and pans and

then, unfortunately for jones had kickedthat innocent person in the stomach. as i lay there in my bag, the very happiestfellow in the wide world, the sound of my mirth was as the buzz of the wings of a flyto the mighty storm. roar on roar filled the cabin. when the three hypocrites recoveredsufficiently from the startling climax to calm lawson, who swore the cabin had beenattacked by indians; when jones stopped roaring long enough to hear it was only a harmless snake that had caused the trouble,we hushed to repose once more--not, however, without hearing some trenchantremarks from the boiling colonel anent fun

and fools, and the indubitable fact that there was not a rattlesnake on buckskinmountain. long after this explosion had died away, iheard, or rather felt, a mysterious shudder or tremor of the cabin, and i knew thatfrank and jim were shaking with silent laughter. on my own score, i determined to find ifjones, in his strange make-up, had any sense of humor, or interest in life, orfeeling, or love that did not center and hinge on four-footed beasts. in view of the rude awakening from what, nodoubt, were pleasant dreams of wonderful

white and green animals, combining theintelligence of man and strength of brutes- -a new species creditable to his genius--i was perhaps unjust in my conviction as tohis lack of humor. and as to the other question, whether ornot he had any real human feeling for the creatures built in his own image, that wasdecided very soon and unexpectedly. the following morning, as soon as lawsongot in with the horses, we packed and started.rather sorry was i to bid good-by to oak spring. taking the back trail of the stewarts, wewalked the horses all day up a slowly

narrowing, ascending canyon.the hounds crossed coyote and deer trails continually, but made no break. sounder looked up as if to say heassociated painful reminiscences with certain kinds of tracks. at the head of the canyon we reached timberat about the time dusk gathered, and we located for the night. being once again nearly nine thousand feethigh, we found the air bitterly cold, making a blazing fire most acceptable. in the haste to get supper we all took ahand, and some one threw upon our tarpaulin

tablecloth a tin cup of butter mixed withcarbolic acid--a concoction jones had used to bathe the sore feet of the dogs. of course i got hold of this, spread agenerous portion on my hot biscuit, placed some red-hot beans on that, and began toeat like a hungry hunter. at first i thought i was only burned. then i recognized the taste and burn of theacid and knew something was wrong. picking up the tin, i examined it, smelledthe pungent odor and felt a queer numb sense of fear. this lasted only for a moment, as i wellknew the use and power of the acid, and had

not swallowed enough to hurt me. i was about to make known my mistake in amatter-of-fact way, when it flashed over me the accident could be made to serve a turn."jones!" i cried hoarsely. "what's in this butter?""lord! you haven't eaten any of that. why, i put carbolic acid in it.""oh--oh--oh--i'm poisoned! i ate nearly all of it! oh--i'm burning up!i'm dying!" with that i began to moan and rock to andfro and hold my stomach.

consternation preceded shock. but in the excitement of the moment,wallace--who, though badly scared, retained his wits made for me with a can ofcondensed milk. he threw me back with no gentle hand, andwas squeezing the life out of me to make me open my mouth, when i gave him a jab in hisside. i imagined his surprise, as this peculiarreception of his first-aid-to-the-injured made him hold off to take a look at me, andin this interval i contrived to whisper to him: "joke! joke! you idiot!i'm only shamming.

i want to see if i can scare jones and geteven with frank. help me out! cry!get tragic!" from that moment i shall always believethat the stage lost a great tragedian in wallace. with a magnificent gesture he threw the canof condensed milk at jones, who was so stunned he did not try to dodge."thoughtless man! murderer! it's too late!" cried wallace,laying me back across his knees. "it's too late.his teeth are locked.

he's far gone. poor boy! poor boy!who's to tell his mother?" i could see from under my hat-brim that thesolemn, hollow voice had penetrated the cold exterior of the plainsman. he could not speak; he clasped andunclasped his big hands in helpless fashion.frank was as white as a sheet. this was simply delightful to me. but the expression of miserable, impotentdistress on old jim's sun-browned face was more than i could stand, and i could nolonger keep up the deception.

just as wallace cried out to jones to pray--i wished then i had not weakened so soon-- i got up and walked to the fire."jim, i'll have another biscuit, please." his under jaw dropped, then he nervouslyshoveled biscuits at me. jones grabbed my hand and cried out with avoice that was new to me: "you can eat? you're better? you'll get over it?""sure. why, carbolic acid never phases me.i've often used it for rattlesnake bites. i did not tell you, but that rattler at thecabin last night actually bit me, and i used carbolic to cure the poison."frank mumbled something about horses, and

faded into the gloom. as for jones, he looked at me ratherincredulously, and the absolute, almost childish gladness he manifested because ihad been snatched from the grave, made me regret my deceit, and satisfied me foreveron one score. on awakening in the morning i found frosthalf an inch thick covered my sleeping-bag, whitened the ground, and made the beautifulsilver spruce trees silver in hue as well as in name. we were getting ready for an early start,when two riders, with pack-horses jogging after them, came down the trail from thedirection of oak spring.

they proved to be jeff clarke, the wild-horse wrangler mentioned by the stewarts, and his helper.they were on the way into the breaks for a string of pintos. clarke was a short, heavily bearded man, ofjovial aspect. he said he had met the stewarts going intofredonia, and being advised of our destination, had hurried to come up withus. as we did not know, except in a generalway, where we were making for, the meeting was a fortunate event. our camping site had been close to thedivide made by one of the long, wooded

ridges sent off by buckskin mountain, andsoon we were descending again. we rode half a mile down a timbered slope,and then out into a beautiful, flat forest of gigantic pines. clarke informed us it was a level benchsome ten miles long, running out from the slopes of buckskin to face the grand canyonon the south, and the 'breaks of the siwash on the west. for two hours we rode between the statelylines of trees, and the hoofs of the horses gave forth no sound. a long, silvery grass, sprinkled withsmiling bluebells, covered the ground,

except close under the pines, where softred mats invited lounging and rest. we saw numerous deer, great gray mule deer,almost as large as elk. jones said they had been crossed with elkonce, which accounted for their size. i did not see a stump, or a burned tree, ora windfall during the ride. clarke led us to the rim of the canyon. without any preparation--for the gianttrees hid the open sky--we rode right out to the edge of the tremendous chasm. at first i did not seem to think; myfaculties were benumbed; only the pure sensorial instinct of the savage who sees,but does not feel, made me take note of the

abyss. not one of our party had ever seen thecanyon from this side, and not one of us said a word.but clarke kept talking. "wild place this is hyar," he said. "seldom any one but horse wranglers gitsover this far. i've hed a bunch of wild pintos down in acanyon below fer two years. i reckon you can't find no better place fercamp than right hyar. listen.do you hear thet rumble? thet's thunder falls.

you can only see it from one place, an'thet far off, but thar's brooks you can git at to water the hosses.fer thet matter, you can ride up the slopes an' git snow. if you can git snow close, it'd be better,fer thet's an all-fired bad trail down fer water.""is this the cougar country the stewarts talked about?" asked jones. "reckon it is.cougars is as thick in hyar as rabbits in a spring-hole canyon.i'm on the way now to bring up my pintos. the cougars hev cost me hundreds i mightsay thousands of dollars.

i lose hosses all the time; an' damn me,gentlemen, i've never raised a colt. this is the greatest cougar country in thewest. look at those yellow crags!thar's where the cougars stay. no one ever hunted 'em. it seems to me they can't be hunted.deer and wild hosses by the thousand browse hyar on the mountain in summer, an' down inthe breaks in winter. the cougars live fat. you'll find deer and wild-hoss carcassesall over this country. you'll find lions' dens full of bones.you'll find warm deer left for the coyotes.

but whether you'll find the cougars, ican't say. i fetched dogs in hyar, an' tried to ketchold tom. i've put them on his trail an' never sawhide nor hair of them again. jones, it's no easy huntin' hyar.""well, i can see that," replied our leader. "i never hunted lions in such a country,and never knew any one who had. we'll have to learn how.we've the time and the dogs, all we need is the stuff in us." "i hope you fellars git some cougars, an' ibelieve you will. whatever you do, kill old tom.""we'll catch him alive.

we're not on a hunt to kill cougars," saidjones. "what!" exclaimed clarke, looking fromjones to us. his rugged face wore a half-smile. "jones ropes cougars, an' ties them up,"replied frank. "i'm -- -- if he'll ever rope old tom,"burst out clarke, ejecting a huge quid of tobacco. "why, man alive! it'd be the death of youto git near thet old villain. i never seen him, but i've seen his tracksfer five years. they're larger than any hoss tracks youever seen.

he'll weigh over three hundred, thet oldcougar. hyar, take a look at my man's hoss. look at his back.see them marks? wal, old tom made them, an' he made themright in camp last fall, when we were down in the canyon." the mustang to which clarke called ourattention was a sleek cream and white pinto.upon his side and back were long regular scars, some an inch wide, and bare of hair. "how on earth did he get rid of thecougar?" asked jones.

"i don't know.perhaps he got scared of the dogs. it took thet pinto a year to git well. old tom is a real lion.he'll kill a full-grown hoss when he wants, but a yearlin' colt is his especial likin'.you're sure to run acrost his trail, an' you'll never miss it. wal, if i find any cougar sign down in thecanyon, i'll build two fires so as to let you know.though no hunter, i'm tolerably acquainted with the varmints. the deer an' hosses are rangin' the forestslopes now, an' i think the cougars come up

over the rim rock at night an' go back inthe mornin'. anyway, if your dogs can follow the trails,you've got sport, an' more'n sport comin' to you.but take it from me--don't try to rope old tom." after all our disappointments in thebeginning of the expedition, our hardship on the desert, our trials with the dogs andhorses, it was real pleasure to make permanent camp with wood, water and feed at hand, a soul-stirring, ever-changingpicture before us, and the certainty that we were in the wild lairs of the lions--among the lords of the crags!

while we were unpacking, every now and theni would straighten up and gaze out beyond. i knew the outlook was magnificent andsublime beyond words, but as yet i had not begun to understand it. the great pine trees, growing to the veryedge of the rim, received their full quota of appreciation from me, as did the smooth,flower-decked aisles leading back into the forest. the location we selected for camp was alarge glade, fifty paces or more from the precipice far enough, the cowboys averred,to keep our traps from being sucked down by some of the whirlpool winds, native to thespot.

in the center of this glade stood a hugegnarled and blasted old pine, that certainly by virtue of hoary locks and bentshoulders had earned the right to stand aloof from his younger companions. under this tree we placed all ourbelongings, and then, as frank so felicitously expressed it, we were free to"ooze round an' see things." i believe i had a sort of subconscious,selfish idea that some one would steal the canyon away from me if i did not hurry tomake it mine forever; so i sneaked off, and sat under a pine growing on the very rim. at first glance, i saw below me, seeminglymiles away, a wild chaos of red and buff

mesas rising out of dark purple clefts. beyond these reared a long, irregulartableland, running south almost to the extent of my vision, which i rememberedclarke had called powell's plateau. i remembered, also, that he had said it wastwenty miles distant, was almost that many miles long, was connected to the mainlandof buckskin mountain by a very narrow wooded dip of land called the saddle, and that it practically shut us out of a viewof the grand canyon proper. if that was true, what, then, could be thename of the canyon at my feet? suddenly, as my gaze wandered from point topoint, it was attested by a dark, conical

mountain, white-tipped, which rose in thenotch of the saddle. what could it mean? were there such things as canyon mirages?then the dim purple of its color told of its great distance from me; and then itsfamiliar shape told i had come into my own again--i had found my old friend once more. for in all that plateau there was only onesnow-capped mountain--the san francisco peak; and there, a hundred and fifty,perhaps two hundred miles away, far beyond the grand canyon, it smiled brightly at me, as it had for days and days across thedesert.

hearing jones yelling for somebody oreverybody, i jumped up to find a procession heading for a point farther down the rimwall, where our leader stood waving his arms. the excitement proved to have been causedby cougar signs at the head of the trail where clarke had started down. "they're here, boys, they're here," joneskept repeating, as he showed us different tracks."this sign is not so old. boys, to-morrow we'll get up a lion, sureas you're born. and if we do, and sounder sees him, thenwe've got a lion-dog!

i'm afraid of don. he has a fine nose; he can run and fight,but he's been trained to deer, and maybe i can't break him.moze is still uncertain. if old jude only hadn't been lamed! she would be the best of the lot.but sounder is our hope. i'm almost ready to swear by him." all this was too much for me, so i slippedoff again to be alone, and this time headed for the forest. warm patches of sunlight, like gold,brightened the ground; dark patches of sky,

like ocean blue, gleamed between thetreetops. hardly a rustle of wind in the fine-toothedgreen branches disturbed the quiet. when i got fully out of sight of camp, istarted to run as if i were a wild indian. my running had no aim; just sheer mad joyof the grand old forest, the smell of pine, the wild silence and beauty loosed thespirit in me so it had to run, and i ran with it till the physical being failed. while resting on a fragrant bed of pineneedles, endeavoring to regain control over a truant mind, trying to subdue theencroaching of the natural man on the civilized man, i saw gray objects movingunder the trees.

i lost them, then saw them, and presentlyso plainly that, with delight on delight, i counted seventeen deer pass through an openarch of dark green. rising to my feet, i ran to get round a lowmound. they saw me and bounded away withprodigiously long leaps. bringing their forefeet together, stiff-legged under them, they bounced high, like rubber balls, yet they were graceful. the forest was so open that i could watchthem for a long way; and as i circled with my gaze, a glimpse of something whitearrested my attention. a light, grayish animal appeared to betearing at an old stump.

upon nearer view, i recognized a wolf, andhe scented or sighted me at the same moment, and loped off into the shadows ofthe trees. approaching the spot where i had marked himi found he had been feeding from the carcass of a horse. the remains had been only partly eaten, andwere of an animal of the mustang build that had evidently been recently killed.frightful lacerations under the throat showed where a lion had taken fatal hold. deep furrows in the ground proved how themustang had sunk his hoofs, reared and shaken himself.

i traced roughly defined tracks fifty pacesto the lee of a little bank, from which i concluded the lion had sprung. i gave free rein to my imagination and sawthe forest dark, silent, peopled by none but its savage denizens, the lion creptlike a shadow, crouched noiselessly down, then leaped on his sleeping or browsingprey. the lonely night stillness split to afrantic snort and scream of terror, and the stricken mustang with his mortal enemy uponhis back, dashed off with fierce, wild love of life. as he went he felt his foe crawl toward hisneck on claws of fire; he saw the tawny

body and the gleaming eyes; then the cruelteeth snapped with the sudden bite, and the woodland tragedy ended. on the spot i conceived an antipathy towardlions. it was born of the frightful spectacle ofwhat had once been a glossy, prancing mustang, of the mute, sickening proof ofthe survival of the fittest, of the law that levels life. upon telling my camp-fellows about mydiscovery, jones and wallace walked out to see it, while jim told me the wolf i hadseen was a "lofer," one of the giant buffalo wolves of buckskin; and if i would

watch the carcass in the mornings andevenings, i would "shore as hell get a plunk at him." white pine burned in a beautiful, clearblue flame, with no smoke; and in the center of the campfire left a golden heart. but jones would not have any sitting up,and hustled us off to bed, saying we would be "blamed" glad of it in about fifteenhours. i crawled into my sleeping-bag, made a hoodof my navajo blanket, and peeping from under it, watched the fire and theflickering shadows. the blaze burned down rapidly.

then the stars blinked.arizona stars would be moons in any other state!how serene, peaceful, august, infinite and wonderfully bright! no breeze stirred the pines.the clear tinkle of the cowbells on the hobbled horses rang from near and distantparts of the forest. the prosaic bell of the meadow and thepasture brook, here, in this environment, jingled out different notes, as clear,sweet, musical as silver bells.

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