The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Wolf Trail, by Roger S. Pocock (2023)

The Project Gutenberg eBook of The wolf trail, by Roger S. Pocock

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Title: The wolf trail

Author: Roger S. Pocock

Release Date: February 4, 2023 [eBook #69946]

Language: English

Produced by: Al Haines









The author is deeply indebted to Mr. J. S. M. Wardfor permission to reproduce in thisnovel a passage from his work, A Subalternin Spirit Land, published byMessrs. William Rider & Son, Ltd.



I. On London River

II. The Voyage of the "Beaver"

III. In British Oregon

IV. Kootenay

V. The Whole Armor

VI. The Ghost Trail

VII. The Holy Lodge

VIII. Rising Wolf

IX. The Striking of the Camp

X. The Translation





"To make a dogsnose," the publican explained,"you spices the ale, so. You laces it witha dash of rum, thus, then you proceeds topour it into this yere metal cone, this way"—he crossedto the fireplace—"and shoves it in among the coals tomull."

"A great comfort is dogsnose," added Mr. Fright,"especially of a Sunday after church. You clears thevimmen off to church, and then you has the dogsnose."

Presently he took the cone from behind the barsof the grate, and filled the glasses with mulled beer,distributing the same to his guests.

With rolled-up shirt sleeves exposing brawny arms,a portly waistcoat, leather breeches, and top boots, thispublican might well have posed for a portrait of JohnBull, and yet his tavern, "The Fox under the Hill,"had other associations, accounting for the landlord'sartful sideways grin and a certain glint of humorousfoxiness. Moreover, a lifelong devotion to rum hadmade him more ruddy than sunburned, his noseinclined to blossom, his eyes to water, and his handsto tremble. "A short life, and a merry one!" soMr. Fright pledged the company. His guests appearedto be pleased with the sentiment, excepting onlyhis brother, Mr. James Fright, the bargee, whocrouched drunk in his window corner. Brief lifewas his portion also, but a diet of gin, instead ofmaking ruddy the face of man, turns his complexion blue.The stuff is called blue ruin.

The bargee's only son, Bill, aged at that time eighteen,sat in the ingle. He had something of his father'sshort pugnacious nose, and chin thrust forward, buthis hair was like wavy sunshine, and his eyes brightblue. He had a humorous twisty mouth, a freckled,weather-beaten ruddy skin, a sturdy strength, cleanmanliness, and amazing directness both of eyes andspeech. His dress was a raggy blue jersey, torn slacks,and old sea boots; and he was busy mending one ofthem, making a workmanlike job with awl, waxed end,and bristles.

Warming his tails at the fire stood a guest of thehouse, a tall man in pumps, seedy black tights, a frayedblue coat brass-buttoned, a black satin choker, and hishead so large and of such effulgent baldness that hewould have shone out remarkable in any company. Hewas a Mr. Wilkins wanted by the magistrates for stealingpocket handkerchiefs, and now awaiting a wherrywhich would convey him presently to a coal boat,bound for Newcastle.

Of the company in the sanded bar parlor, perhapsonly one other person need be mentioned, Mr. Brown,valet to Isaac Disraeli, Esquire, upon Adelphi Terrace.

The emigrant spoke feelingly of dogsnose as aboutto become, if he might venture to say so, one of thetenderest and most endearing of those beverages whichthe forlorn and desolate exile would have to—ahem—gowithout, a reminder to the banished heart of thatsacred homeland whose blessed liberties and hard-won—ahem.The remainder of the sentiment was confidedwith tears to a large red bandanna handkerchief.

"Which liberties," said the publican sternly, crossinghis bare forearms on the bar, "ain't what they'recracked up to be. Liberties! Liberties of the Fleet,the Marshalsea, and Newgate!

"It's terventy-one year since me and my brotherJames there, what's sitting drunk in the winder,fought at Waterloo. It's nineteen year come LammasI been 'ere. Nineteen year—so to speak—I been theFox under the Hill which sees plentiful, 'ears much,smells a good deal, but doesn't have nothing votever totalk abart. Vile I keeps my mask shut, gennelmen, Isaves my brush."

He paused for a reply, but there was none.

"You mark my vords. 'Ere of a Sunday, so tospeak, vith my doors closed during church, and noneof you gennelmen being peelers, spies, nor warmints,speaking to friends I says we's had a durned sight toomany Georges, and too many Villiams reigning overwe—the same being a pack of Germans."

The company seemed to be startled by such frankness.

"A durned sight too many lawyers, too many parsons,too many lords and landlords, too many mastersaltogether, vich is a pack o' willians, 'umbugs, andsponges eating of our wittles wot we earns. ThePrayer Book says as they'd ought to get their own livingin that state of life, whereas they gets most of myliving in tithes, rent, rates, taxes, and plundering ofme on every cask of beer."

"Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!" cried a voicefrom the corner by the clock. "Hoff vith their bleedin''eads!"

"The Froggies did that," said the landlord, "and tothe best of their knowledge and belief they 'ave theirreapings and their 'arvest 'ome, which is the Reignof Terror.

"Then under old Boneyparte, hup comes a new cropof rogues, and we reaps them. The more rogues youcrops the more comes up. These Froggies is excitable,and comes up. But for us English, vich ain't extravagent,one 'ead at a time says I, vether it be KingCharles or King Villiam."

Mr. Fright's nephew looked around grinning,to interrupt: "Or Alexandrina Wictoria by theGrace——"

"Well," said the landlord, "if I was Princess HalexandrinaWictoria, I'd rather 'ave my 'ead took off thansign all that lot of stuff when I writes my name. Shedone no 'arm to me. Ven it comes to cropping 'eads,I wotes for Villiam the Fourth."

The nephew must needs interrupt. "Uncle," saidBill Fright, "does your 'ead fit? It may come loosefrom talking of 'igh treason."

"At that rate," said Mr. Fright, "Jack Ketch vill'ave 'is 'ands full hanging the British public. Thegeneral public as a 'ole talks treason.

"Now I don't say nothing. Silence is my 'obby.But if I ever took to talking—you mark my vords,young feller. I was in India vith the Dook—SirHarthur Vellesley he vas in them days—ven he swiped theGreat Mogul, and sot down plump in Delhi. Dahnsouth in them days vas the Dook's hown brother, theMarkvis Vellesley, whopping them Mahrattas, andsetting plump on the Peishwa's nob at Poona. TheDook and the Markvis conquers India—and vot doesthey do abart it?

"Now, young Bill," he turned upon his nephew,"what does them Roman Generals in your schoolbooksdo when they conquers anything?"

"Makes themselves Hemperors," answered Bill asusual, for this question belonged to the formalproceedings of a Sunday.

"Didn't I say so?" The publican triumphed. "Anddoes the Dook and the Markvis make theirselvesHemperors of Northern and Southern Hindia?"

Young Bill had finished the cobbling. He hauled onhis thigh boot, returned his palm thimble, glovers'needle, awl, waxed end, and beeswax to his trouserspocket, then shifted his position a little to watch hisfather, the drunken bargee in the window place. Healways felt uneasy when Uncle Thomas, whom hedearly loved, was spouting treason in presence of hisfather. Bill did not trust his father, who seemed tobe watching, listening, spying, while he pretended tobe drunk as usual. The boy glanced up at his uncleanxious to warn him, but Mr. Thomas Fright could nothave been more aggrieved if he had actually spoken.

"You shut your bleeding trap," growled UncleThomas. "I hain't said nothing yet. Well, gemmen,as I vos saying vhen the lad interrupts, I was vith theDook in the Peninsula. His Lordship chases old Soultand all his Froggies clear acrost Spain from TorresVedras into France, 'e did. Vot does 'e do next?Does the Dook declare for a monarchy vith hisself asKing o' Spain? Not on yer life 'e don't. He got nouse for Kings excep' them rotten Georges."

Dangerous talk this. The bargee in drunkenconfidences had told his son Bill plainly that he wouldpeach to the new police and get Uncle Thomas putaway for treason. And yet Bill could not stop hisuncle's mouth.

Mr. Fright once more took up his parable.

"I vos the Dook's own sergeant trumpeter at theBattle o' Vaterloo, so I'd ought to know, gents.Boneyparte believes in being a Hemperor. The Dookhain't 'aving any. Vot does 'e do? Does 'e leadNapoleon in chains through Lunnon? Does 'e declarehisself our Hemperor—this 'ero who conquers India,Spain, and Boney? No, 'e don't. Hand why? Hehain't no Roman General hain't the Dook. He don'tbelieve in Kings no more nor I do, hand ven it comesto hanging of 'em, gents, I wotes for Villiam!"

So Mr. Thomas Fright continued talking treason.He spoke of the universal flogging, good for boys, butnot for soldiers, seamen, convicts, and the like; ofmerchant sailors kidnaped by the press gangs to manthe navy, of little children down in the coalpitsharnessed as beasts of burden to haul trucks.

Then Bill remembered what mother said about pitowners offending one of these little ones. It would bebetter for such owners to have millstones tied to theirnecks, and be flung into the sea.

Uncle Thomas talked of naked women at the anvilforging chains for convicts; of citizens transported toBotany Bay for poaching a rabbit, condemned to lifeimprisonment for a few pounds of debt, or hangedoutright for a five-pound theft. Such were the libertiesfor which Englishmen were asked to give their lives inbattle, such was the Government demanding loyalty.

Bill had heard all that before. Treason was thereligion of low-caste Englishmen, sedition, privyconspiracy, and rebellion articles of faith for all menoppressed who loved their country. Strong yeast thatwhich leavens a healthy state until men and womenare fit for freedom, until the slave becomes a disciplinedcitizen trained to the sovereign power, able to healthe maladies of the commonwealth. Masters and menalike will tell you any day this thousand years backthat the country is going to the Devil. All is well.But, when they are content, look out for the firstsymptoms of decay.

So England, mother of nations, was in labor then,in that year of grace 1835. If she is still in sorrow,every drop of blood and every tear is a seed sown formankind. The harvesting shall be in new achievementsof freedom, new sciences, greater arts, enlargingrevelation.

Yet as respectable folk in church let their attentionwander from the sermon, so, while Uncle Thomaspreached, Bill thought of other things. Especially hismind concentrated upon his father. Time out of mindthe bargeman, like everybody else, enjoyed a drinkwhen he got a chance. Who didn't! Even mothersaid it was all right.

Mother always said that she managed father quiteeasily until Uncle Joey got hold of him. And UncleJoey never knew when to stop. The pair of them tookto drinking together, more, so said Uncle Thomas, thanwas good for anybody.

They were mixed up in business, too, not father'strade of honest smuggling with the barge betweenMargate and London, but something downrightcrooked. Father's cargo was bought, but Joey's goodswere stolen.

Anybody could see that father didn't like it. Whenthey were drunk, father and Joey were always quarreling.

Then Joey was captured with stolen goods and everybodysaid that father gave him away. Father certainlyturned King's evidence against his brother, sothat, excepting Uncle Thomas, nobody would speakto him. He drank alone. He drank harder thanever.

When poor Uncle Joey was hanged, the family intheir Sunday clothes attended the show at Tyburn ina hired wagon. The rain completely spoiled theirday.

From that time onward—a month it must be now,or even more—while father was busy drinking himselfto death, Bill always saw the Shadow. It was not anordinary shadow. It was not a shadow cast by anylight.

It was something awful, a blur in the air, shapedlike a man, like Uncle Joey. It went about withfather, glided behind him, stooped over him. Fatherdrank because he was frightened of It; and when hedrank It sprang upon him from behind, wrapped Itslegs and arms about him, sucked at him. Then fathercraved and screamed for drink, and drank, always withthe awful Thing wrapped round him, sucking him.Only when he was dead drunk the Shadow stoodbehind him watching, waiting.

The ghost of Uncle Joey was murdering father.Every day the awful Thing gained power, and sometimesthere were horrible fits which could not beprevented, could not be eased, or stopped. One couldonly watch.

The Shadow was there now. While Uncle Thomaspreached his usual Sunday sermon of high treason,and father crouched there drunk, the Thing wasstanding behind him in the window frame. It wasstooping over him. There was going to be anotherseizure!

"Uncle Thomas!" Bill cried to Mr. Fright,"Uncle Thomas! Father's going to be took bad!"

Mr. Fright scowled at his nephew. Bill had takenof late to seeing ghosts, or shadows—somethingunwholesome, anyway. The less one noticed orencouraged him the sooner would he return to hisnatural ways, and leave the whimsies to his betters,which can afford the same.

Bill watched the Shadow stooping over father,nearer, nearer—Uncle Joey's ghost wrapping longarms round father—riding him, and then passing intohim. There! The Shadow was gone in.

Bill cried aloud. "Oh, Uncle, can't you see?You—you are all blind? Look! Look!"

Just as though the spirit of Uncle Joey had capturedfather's body, so it seemed to be Joey who waswaking up, yawning, stretching himself, and rappingknuckles truculent on the table, while in a hoarsewhisper he ordered gin. Father's way would havebeen quite different—a blinking of the eyes, anapologetic grin, a cordial good morning to the gentlemenpresent, and a polite inquiry, "Did any one say gin?"

Surely, any one with eyes in his head could see thatthis was Uncle Joey taking a rousing pinch of snufffrom the public mull on the table. Father nevertouched snuff, but always chewed twist tobacco.

Father would have been amiable, but Joey wasfierce, with a sharp rasping voice demanding liquoreven while he sneezed out the strong snuff.

Yet nobody seemed to see the change, the menace.Mr. Fright was expounding an argument to the baldcustomer, taking no notice whatever of thedeep-throated growl of the drunkard in the window place,who now stood up shouting and threatening.

Bill turned to Mr. Fright. "Uncle Thomas!" hecalled. "Look out!—look out!"

"Vot's up?" asked Uncle Thomas, and went oncounting on his fingers the heads of the argument."And thirdly——"

"Look!" Bill screamed his final warning.

Father—or was it Uncle Joey?—had left his seat,was reeling drunkenly across the room, then banginghis fists on the bar, demanding a bottle of gin, "andlook sharp abart it, Marster!" Uncle Joey used tocall him "Marster," in sarcasm of his successfulbrother the publican.

Uncle Thomas waved him away. "Not a drop," hesaid over his shoulder; "you'd better have anothersleep, James. As I was a saying——"

The drunkard snatched a bottle of rum, splashedout a tumblerful, and poured it down his throat, thendashed the heavy glass in his brother's face.

Bill ran to interfere, to restrain his father, butsomehow he was terrified and dared not touch him. Therewas something uncanny, horrible, from which heshrank.

The landlord's forehead showed a long bright gash,then spurting blood which blinded him, even as hevaulted across the bar. But the other, the maniac, hadseized an oaken trivet stool, and laid about him,screaming, froth at his lips, demoniac rage convulsinghis face—was it not Uncle Joey's voice, his face?—whilehe brought the weapon down on his brother'shead.

The door behind the bar had opened, and Bill'smother stood there, a gaunt, gray, weather-beaten,haggard woman dressed in rusty black silk, a poke bonnet,lace mittens, Sunday best; and in her hand was aBible stamped on the cover with a large gold cross.As she came round the end of the counter, she held outthat cross, as though it could protect her from themaniac, who turned brandishing the stool to beat herbrains out. Without showing the least fear she heldthe cross before his eyes, and at the sight of it heseemed to shrink away. He even tried to protecthimself with the stool. He, not the woman, was afraid,and she pressed him backwards until he came againstthe deal table which stood in the middle of the room.

"Get out, you beast—get out, I say—get out, Joey,thou body-snatching devil!"

It seemed to the people as though James, her husband,died. The stool crashed to the floor, the lightwent out of the man's writhen face. The bargeman'sbody collapsed in a heap.

The woman sank down on the floor, shaking allover in abject terror, sobbing hysterically. "Bill,"she wailed, "go thou—warm water—bandages—forThomas——"

"All right, mother." Bill bent down, petting her."Keep yer hair on, mother."

She went off in screaming hysterics.


In due time Mr. Fright was bandaged and put in thefeather bed upstairs, Mr. James Fright, stillunconscious, hoisted on board his barge and dropped downthe cabin hatch, then Bill and his mother joined thefamily and their guests in the kitchen, where there wasSunday dinner. It was a very proper dinner, of beefroast on the spit, pudding served in the gravy, potatoesand cabbage in heaps, and beer by gallons. Afterwards,while the slavey washed up, and the dinersslept it off, Bill took his mother in the wherry andpulled across the Thames to the Southwark shore. Itwas but a mile walk to Bedlam, and maybe another milebeyond to open country, but Bill, who had eaten heartilyand wore thigh boots, found it heavy going, whilethe woman seemed only refreshed by the slight exercise.The golden autumn sunshine, blue pools of shadowunder elm trees, the cattle standing drowsy in theshade, the buzz and murmur of the flies—here wasthere peace. The mother took her seat against an oaktree, the son lay at her feet, and while the lad wassleeping the woman watched.


By most urgent critics I am warned not to be abigger fool than nature made me, not to be abruptwhere the story changes rhythm, and by no means totake it for granted that the average reader is apsychologist.

I promise faithfully, then, that I will not preach, uselong words, or be dull as one who takes himself tooseriously. I only want to make quite sure that everyreader shares with me the tremendous excitement,wonder, and glory of a theme splendid beyond example.

So please be kind, and glance at a few main facts.

A properly grown man has three bodies: the naturalbody, the soul (or body of desires), and the spirit(or body of pure thought). These have been likenedto the vessel, the oil, and the flame of a lamp.

What, then, is life? That is the ray of Consciousness.

In sleep the ray lights up the natural brain but doesnot control it, so that we have those funny,inconsequent dreams which we remember.

In deep sleep the ray leaves the natural body andlights the spiritual body (soul and spirit), which isthen free. The spiritual body may go away andenjoy the most surprising, delightful adventures—thedreams which fade out as we awaken. You see, thenatural body was left behind at rest, missed all thefun, and so has nothing to remember.

In waking meditation and clear vision the ray lightsup the spirit. "I was in the spirit," says St. John,and so begins his Book of the Revelation.

In the last deep sleep the spiritual body departs fromthe natural body, and cannot get back into it. Thatshattered or worn-out machine is scrapped, and theevent is the birth of the earth-free Man. We call itdeath.

Now as to the places we go to in deep sleep and atdeath. An ordinary piano has seven octaves or forty-ninenotes. Each of these is a set of waves in the air,large and slow for the low note, small and swift forthe high note. We call these waves vibrations. Youcan see the wires vibrate. The visible earth has threegreat chords of vibration, known to us as land, sea,and air. But the visible earth is rather like the stoneor core of a fruit and the invisible pulp of that fruitis arranged in layers like the flakes of an onion, layeron layer, just as in the piano there are forty-ninelayers of vibration.

In deep sleep or at death we enter a group of layers,a world outside our world, with land, sea, and skywhich are clearly visible to the eyes of the soul. Thesoul is keyed to its vibrations. That world has manynames, the Hades of the Greeks, the Purgatory ofthe Catholic Churches, the Astral Plane of the Mystics.

Somewhere in its sixth layer is the country which wecall Dreamland, and close by in its seventh layer isFairyland. They are just as real as London or NewYork, and we are about to visit them in this happystory.

Beyond the Astral World are the Heavens Spiritualand the Heavens Celestial, where dwell spirits only, ofjust men made perfect, and of the holy angels. Thesealso are quite real, but we shall not see them until wecan believe.

How do I know all this? By reading books whichare open to every student. But with the deepesthumility and the utmost reverence I give my word ofhonor that I have seen enough for myself to know thatthe books are honest.

Now at last may I speak quite clearly about twopeople of this story, Mrs. James Fright the Quakeress,and Bill Fright her son? Both of them were seers.They had the rare gift of "dreaming true," ofremembering the dreams of the deep sleep. The woman alsohad won by clean living, prayer, and meditation thegreatest of all human faculties, the vision of the spirit,the keys of Heaven.

Take then a single example of meditation.

"Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavyladen, and I will refresh you."

The Quakeress took these words into meditation,repeating each phrase over and over again, until itsmeaning deepened, broadened out, and filled her, untilshe saw the golden aural light of other worlds, untilshe entered that Peace which passeth all understandingand looked out with the eyes of the Spirit upon thePlains of Heaven.

But the story must leave this holy woman, and followthe adventures of her son.

The boy's body lay at her feet, but Bill himself hadstolen away to the frontier which is between Dreamlandon the one side and Fairyland on the other.There were certainly fairies about, for as he came intothe glade between the birch woods he hears them ringingthe bellflowers, weaving thin fine threads of blendedmelodies into one rhapsody. The birch fairies, withintheir native trees, were swaying to the air of thecarillon. The flower fairies peeped from within theirblossoms, and several squirrels ran chattering down thepath ahead of him to say that he was coming, to tellhis Dreamland comrade, Rain, that he was on his wayto keep his tryst with her.

He found Rain kneeling on a tuft of moss, an arrowset in her bow for aiming practice, and at hiscoming she sighted directly at his heart.

"Stand!" she said.

He stood quite still.

"Stupid!" she said.


"To obey a maid, and make her think she's master."

"But with an arrow through me?"

"What's the odds? You left your animal bodydown there, didn't you? This astral body cannot die." Shedrew the bow until the stone head of the arrowtouched the grip. "Say after me, I do believe in theGreat Spirit!"

"I does believe in Gawd!"

"And so you cannot die." She launched the arrowthrough his heart.

"You still believe?" she said.

"I does believe," he answered, laughing uneasily.

He turned about, and drew the arrow, which hadlodged in a tree behind him. He gave it back to her.

"Love has no fear," she whispered, and he kissed her.

"My Dream!" he said.

"My Dream!" she answered, and they sat down.She nestled in his arms, and there was silenceenfolding both of them.

Rain was Red Indian, of the Blackfoot nation,whose home is on the plains beside the World-Spine.Maid she was, and yet her dress that of a warrior, adeerskin hunting shirt, leggings and moccasins alltawny golden, the leather cut in thongs, long fringes ofthem about the shoulders, and along the seams. Quillsdyed vermilion, violet, and lemon were set in patternsof delicate embroidery upon the breast, the shoulderstraps, and the tongues of the soft skin shoes. Afringed and broidered quiver of stonehead arrows wasslung on her back, a bag to hold a sacred talismanhung from her belt.

The dress was beautiful to illustrate youth, lithe,wholesome strength and grace, the clear-cut lovelinessof a face colored like glowing bronze, the fearlessgallantry of bearing, the spiritual purity and power.

The maid lived in the uttermost solitudes of themountain wilderness, the lad was a bargee plying onLondon River. On earth they were worlds apart, andhad never met, but here in Dreamland were joinedtogether from earliest childhood in the strong bondsof a love untarnished by the world.

Bill's Dreamland name was Storms-all-of-a-sudden.

"Storm," she said wistfully, "I was calling andcalling you ever so long."

"I had to wait," he answered. "After dinner onSundays mother wants me. We go into the fields, andshe prays, while I sleeps. Then I come quick."

"Storm," she said, "this is the last time that yourmother will pray in the fields down there on earth.The spirits are calling her home."

"She is to die, then?"

"Her animal body is to die, dear."

"Will she come here?"

"Not here, Storm. I may see her as she comesthrough Dreamland, but she will be asleep, carried bythe Radiant Spirits. She will wake up in air whichwe could not breathe, light far too strong for us tobear, love which outshines the sun. When you goback, will you tell her?"

"I shan't remember. It all fades away when I wakedown there—gone. I remembers nothing."

"When you wake, seize both your mother's hands,and by her power you will remember. Afterwardsyou will not be so lonely, because you will remember.You will remember me." Her face became of a sudden,wild, savage, ferocious. "When you meet otherwomen there down on the earth, you must remember me."

"Dost remember me, Rain, when you awake, downthere on the Earth?"

"When men make love to me then I remember you." Herface had softened now. "For you are mine, allmine, dear, and I am yours, forever and forever,Storm, forever. But if any man or any woman comebetween us two, then I shall kill."

"My mother says," he answered, "'thee shalt not kill.'"

"My mother says," she looked out steadfastly intoSpace, "that if a woman will not defend her honor,with her weapons defend her honor, with all that sheis, all that she has defend her honor, then let her notthink that she shall dare the Wolf Trail. She shallnot climb the Wolf Trail which leads to the land ofthe Blessed Spirits, but drift with the poor ghosts whohave lost their way in the Sandhills."

"We doesn't call it the Wolf Trail," answeredStorm. "Our people always calls it the Milky Way."

There is no such thing as Time yonder in Dreamland.But down on earth the bright day waned inEngland.

"I thinks old mother's calling me," said Storm.

"Go to her," answered Rain, "call to her, call as yougo to her, and, as you wake, clutch both her hands,let all her power pour through you. So you shallremember."

He stood up. "Good-by," he said, then shouted ashe turned, "Mother!—mother!"

* * * * * * *


"What's wrong with thee, son?"

Bill had awakened shouting, "Mother!—mother!"He reached up and clutched her hands in both his own."Rain says I got to tell!"

"'Rain says.' Who is this Rain?"

"I dreamed as she and me 'ave been together. Weis Rain and Storm—her and me in love since we waskids."

"Thee dreamest."

"Yes, in Dreamland, all our lives since we was kids.There's Fairies, too. And she sends a message,mammie—a message to you."

"The Rain in Dreamland sends messages by theStorm, to me, dear? What is this message?"

"Radiant Spirits, carrying of you, mammie, overthe Wolf Trail."

"What is the Wolf Trail, son?"

He put his hands to his forehead thinking deeply."I forget," he said.

"Thee hast been dreaming, son."

"Aye, dreaming, that's all, mammie."

But he had not forgotten. His mother was to die.


The barge lay at the land stage beside the tavern.Along the causeway below Adelphi Terrace one enteredthe underground streets. These winding tunnels beneaththe Adelphi district have several exits convenientfor the thieves and occasional murderers who harboredthere, and the destitute who sheltered in that refuge.The streets and cellarages were then a large stablefor draught horses and the milch cows of severaldairies, in all a crowded, busy place with about fivehundred inhabitants by day whose custom went to "TheFox under the Hill." From his earliest childhoodBill had frequented the underground town; but whenhe had the time, as on that Monday morning, waitinguntil the tide served, he loved the crowded Strand upin the daylight. It was good to loaf there when heought to have been at work with sailor jobs on board.

The Strand was a game path once just at the edgeof the crumbling river bank, where the flints wentrolling down unto the Thames. Roan hairy elephantsgrazed there, loitering on their way to water in FleetDitch. Later, along that pathway of the Mammoth,tame kine went lowing homeward of an evening to theBrython's stockaded village on Tower Hill. Afterwardsrespectable suburban Romans built their villasthere outside the walls of Augusta. A thousand yearslater still the Strand was a stable lane behind theThames-side palaces of the Plantagenets. Then themews became a cobbled Georgian street linking theolden cities of London and Westminster, and to-dayit is the main artery of a world capital.

As a thoroughfare it may not claim comparison withthe Grand Canal in Venice or the exquisite Sierpes ofold Seville. It is not, like Princes Street in Edinburgh,part of a splendid landscape. It lacks the spaciousnessand verdure of Unter den Linden, the endlessperspective of the Nevski, the glittering wealth of theRue de la Paix, the astounding uproar of abysmalBroadway. Many a provincial thoroughfare, as theApollo Bunder in Bombay, or Collins Street inMelbourne, would put the Strand to shame; yet, second tothe Via Dolorosa, it is a street of memories.

For if the Strand might speak it would tell us aboutQueen Boadicea in her scythed chariot, perhaps ofSt. Paul as a ship's passenger from Cadiz, of theEnglish Emperor Hadrian on his way to Rome, of RichardLionheart home from captivity, the Black Princeleading John of France his prisoner of war, of Henry Vreturning thanks for Agincourt, of Cabot andColumbus, Erasmus, Holbein, of Peter the Great andHandel and Voltaire, of Cochrane and Mazzini theLiberators, of Drake and Shakespeare, Milton, Newton,Darwin, Purcell, of Nelson and Wellington, of Gordonand Allenby, of ever so many saints, heroes,conquerors and statesmen, discoverers, explorers,adventurers, pioneers, in every field of service. How theold pavements echo to the tramp of horsemen!Processions march here of men from the ends of theEarth, bringing the glory with them of young freeDominions, hundreds of feudatory kingdoms, barbaricstates in tutelage, and savage legions armed in thecause of Peace. So in this olden highway it is verypleasant on a sunny day to watch the passing trafficwhen one ought to be at work. And well may weenvy fellows like Bill Fright, who saw the Strand inOctober, 1835, when still the shop windows were bowedwith little panes of glass, and had a couple of tallowdips of an evening to light up the modest stock; whenstill men wore the dress becoming to their trade; bigcargo wagons, drawn by teams of ten, came rumblingover the cobbles; and the gay mail coaches with a blareof horns set forth for Portsmouth or for Liverpool.

There goes Tittlebat Titmouse, Esquire, with littlemousy features inflamed with drink, and bright greendriving-gloves, perched in his high gig. Here'sMr. Jorrocks, grocer and sportsman, attended by JamesPigg, jostling his way to buy a "hoss" at Aldridge's.Mr. Pickwick, author of Observations on Tadpoles inthe Hampstead Ponds, comes beaming past us, escortedby his colleagues the poet Snodgrass, the sportsmanWinkle, and the loving Tupman. Time has enlargedtheir waistcoats since the day, now seventeen yearsago, when they set forth upon their memorable journeyto observe mankind. This is the anniversary, andthey are on their way to the Adelphi Hotel, to dinemost bountifully. Mr. Paul Pry, who lives close byat 11 Adam Street, may possibly look in, and say,with one eye round the corner of the door, "I hope Idon't intrude!"

Here comes the Iron Duke, on an Arab whose damhad carried him at Waterloo. He has a seat in thesaddle, this erstwhile flogging martinet, and mellowtyrant. He is attended by a mounted servant.

There is Mr. Pendennis, bound from the Temple tothe Courts at Westminster; and behind him isMr. Peter Simple, midshipman, guided by BoatswainChucks, on his way to report at the Admiralty.

Here are two or three more notables, the Countd'Orsay, and young Mr. Disraeli the eminent novelist.What a pair of fops! Mr. Carlyle is slouching past,the unkempt, observant historian of the FrenchRevolution, watching for another such upheaval here inEngland. Watch here a day or two and one might seeTurner the painter, whose father's barber shop is justround the corner, Mr. Dickens, Mr. Gladstone,Mr. Tennyson, and other blithe young fellows whosetroubles are still to come.

The vision fades, and one can only see a solitaryfigure leaning against a post, a bareheaded youngsterin a ragged jersey and sea boots, Bill Fright, whosebarge is laden down beside the Fox, ready to clearwith the ebb. So we must follow him as he slouchesdown Ivy Lane to the barge.


The barge Polly Phemus belonged to Mr. ThomasFright the publican, who found her a convenience forsmuggling schnapps and cognac from certain cavernsat Epple Bay upriver to his cellars. Mr. James Frighthis brother was registered as master, but if entrustedwith the cash for port dues would invest the same ingin for his own personal comfort. Now Mrs. Frightkept the cash account with Quakerish precision, andan excessive frankness, making such entries as "Bribeto peeler Addock, 2d.; squaring Mr. Wimpole, theCustoms Officer, 2/—; to Mr. Dyker for brandysmuggled, 206/-2d."

"If her account book were ever captured—my hat!"said Mr. Thomas.

In consideration for not broaching cargo, Mr. Jameshad three bottles of gin per voyage, duly shown inpetit cash %. For abstinence from pawning the anchor,sails, or ship stores he had two bottles of ginper voyage. Yet shipments being in advance of hisperformance, when he needed a little refreshment inport he pawned Bill's blanket, or, on the presentoccasion, it being Monday, mother's Sunday bonnet. Itmight have been observed that mother had some cottonwound round her third left finger by way of a keeperto guard her wedding ring. If that were pawnedwhile she slept, she would not be a respectable womanany more at all.

Concerning her husband, not a bad sort of fellowwhen he was sober, the wife made no complaint. Sheremembered him as a gallant corporal of horse, withthe loveliest little fluffy whiskers and a fine red coat.And her parents had objected to his persiflage. Hesaid "Damme!" To put them quite in the wrong, shemarried him. So had she made her bed, and now mustlie in it for better or for worse. Still the slightestexpression of sympathy would set her raving; but then,the dressing of our wounds rather depends upon thesort of nurse, and if Satan has a hospital in Hades,the publican's daughters, Miss Fright and MissEuphemia Fright, may be employed there as chief andassistant torturers.

When Bill told Uncle Thomas about the stolenbonnet, the publican—abed with a bandaged head—wasnot in the best of tempers. He said it served thewoman damn well right for her holy airs and graces."All the same," said he, "your father has most annoying'abits, vich I resents his deportment of a Sunday,making a shindy in my bar-parlor. The next time thepress gang comes, Bill, I'll send you away out of sight,and offer hup your father to the Navy. He'll makea good thank offering, and you shall 'ave the barge."

"Mother won't like that," said Bill, somewhataggrieved, "and I'd be lonesome vithout no punchingblock to keep me hexercised. As to thishyer PollyPhemus, you know my mother is master. Leave dadto me—I'll pet him comfortable."'

Mrs. James Fright, as everybody knew on LondonRiver, was the real master of the Polly Phemus. AsBill had grown up from childhood, each year she foundmore and more relief from a job beyond her strength,until now he left to her only a little steering at timeswhen he entered or left port, or made or shortened sail.The sailorizing jobs of sennit and spunyarn, chafinggear, patching the canvas, renewing rigging, or tarringdown he did when he felt disposed, which was veryseldom, but therein father set an example by doingnothing at all.

On the whole the lad was unselfish, keen, and able,and kept the Ten Commandments, except the fifth.For when it came to honoring his father, he would doso with a clip under the ear or a punch in the jaw.Whenever the parent needed a slight hint on points ofconduct, Bill would oblige at once. So, drunk orpartially sober, Mr. James Fright found it was notexpedient to speak unless he was spoken to, for if hesaid too much Bill knocked him overboard. Being aQuaker, Mrs. Fright would register a diplomaticprotest against any sort of strife; but, as Bill explained,it takes two persons to make an argument, and theparent never got a word in edge-ways. One could notcall that even a disagreement, much less a violation ofQuaker principles. Mrs. Fright being very human,protested outwardly, but loved Bill all the more becausehe rebuked an erring husband beyond her own control.

She took the tiller for the run to Margate, not inher Sunday best, but in an old sou'wester, a jersey, ahomespun skirt, and sea boots. To do her justice,never a bargee on London River, or even a deep-seabo's'n, could pass remarks or exchange amenitieswithout being presently floored by Mrs. Fright. Liketheirs, her words were scriptural, but the men weremerely profane, whereas the lady's fulminations wereworthy even of the major prophets. Even so, theycould bear up manfully under her heaviest fire untilshe crossed her words, and when she spoke of heathenraging furiously, she had them furing ragiously in theabomination of detonation, bowling their trails in thepist of the but.

The fact is she shocked the very worst of them,and it may be added that Bill took kindly to herscriptural lessons. He plied a sixteen-foot sweep to swingthe Polly Phemus into the tide while mother steereduntil they shot the three bridges, Waterloo, Southwark,and London. New built was London Bridge of granitebrought by sea from Aberdeen, and never a stoneless than a ton and a half in weight. To hit suchmasonry was bad for barges. Clear of the arch Billstepped the mast in haste, and loosed the brails so thatthe big tanned mainsail filled, to give the Polly Phemusher steerage way. Then he set the topsail. Neededwas that as she threaded the narrow channel in thePool, whence six abreast for miles on either side thesailing ships lay berthed, and masts in uncountedthousands formed a forest. Bill set the headsail and cameaft to take the helm, while mother cooked the belateddinner. Presently Bill snuffed the savor of kippersand fried bread which came up out of the cabin, fillinghis emptiness with a sort of anguish so greatly hedesired to be fed. The parent was dining on a bottle ofgin, squat in a corner, droning "Jump, Jim Crow," tothe wheeze of his concertina. Then he began aconvict song, a twopenny broadsheet sold at the streetcorners:

Come Bet my pet, and Sal my pal—a buss and then farewell,
And Ned, the primest ruffling cove—that ever nail'd a swell
To share the swag, or chaff the gab—we'll never meet again,
The hulk is now my bowsing crib—the hold my dossing ken.
Don't nab the bib my Bet, this chance—must happen soon or later,
For certain sure it is that trans—portation comes by natur'.
His Lordship's self upon the bench—so downie his white wig in,
Might sail with me if friends had he—to bring him up to priggin'.
And it is not unkimmon fly—in them as rules the nation,
To make us end with Botany—our public edication?
But Sal, so kind, be sure you mind—the beaks don't catch you
You'll find it hard to be for shop—ping sent on board the shipping.
So tip your mauns[1] before we part—don't blear your eyes and nose,
Another grip my jolly hearts—here's luck! and off we goes!

[1] Shake hands.

Down Greenwich way, where fishing smacks weremoored by dozens above the Hospital, mother set outthe dinner, handing the food and the beer to Bill ashe squatted on the tiller head. The southwesterlywind made lively water, and the barge had a bone inher teeth as she swept down the reaches. Chill wasthe air under the purple shadows of the clouds, warmwhen the sun shone on the pale green river, the darkgreen meadows, and trees in autumn russet or seregold. Tall ships were running free and shaking outmore canvas. Little paddle steamers crept alonginshore sneaking through back-waters, or crawling inchby inch where the ebb set against them at theheadlands. There were six hundred steamers in Lloyd'sList, but mother doubted if these would have God'sblessing. They were not mentioned in the HolyScripture. As to railways, and there was one which ranfrom Bristol to Paddington within a mile of London,there could be no good in headlong gallivanting attwenty miles an hour, disturbing the good kine,affrighting the birds whose songs in God's great honorwere changed to shrieks, and doing away with thehorses which England needs in her defense from theFrench and other savages.

Bill quite agreed, but all the same, when next theyhad a freight to Whitsable, the driver of the Canterburytrain had promised him a journey, firing the engine.

Mother sighed. "The things of this yere worldwhich shall perish, draws thee away, my son, fromthem which endureth forever."

"But I can't see," he answered, "these yere thingswhich ain't wisible."

"Dost thee think," she answered, looking across thewaters, far into the distance—"dost think I like livin'aboard of this dirty boat, with me 'ands filthy always,in the sty down there with that pig? Thinkest thee asI enjoys doing work far past a woman's strength, andcursing like a bargee when them sea-lubbers fouls me?"

"Don't you?" asked Bill. "Own up, mum!"

"Humph!" She glanced at him with one eye, tryingnot to smile with that side of her mouth. "Perhaps,"she said, "I be woman enough to like the lastword—and they don't get much change out of me—Christforgive a sinner! But smuggling hain't honest,either, Bill, nor paying bribes. I'd like to be honestand live in a house. But them as goeth down to thesea in ships and hoccupies their business in greatwaters, them see the works of the Lord, and Hiswonders in the deep. Thinkest thee as I sees none of allthem wonders, Bill? Enter in by the gate of meditation,son, and thee shalt see as I does things as nowords can tell of. Canst thee not believe thy mother?"

"I never done till yesterday," said Bill, "but all wotI seen in that dream, when I vos Storm, and Rain sheshowed me—mammie, I does believe."

"Wilt be baptized?"

"Yes. S'elp me bob. But I'll make a rotten Christian'cept you helps me."

Standing with the tiller against his leg he bore upa little to clear some Barking fishing smacks ahead,then looked down at his mother where she sat besidethe dinner plates and the scraps of food. The ladwas sensitive, psychic, clairvoyant, and he wasconscious of a strange light which surrounded his mother.He had grown and prospered in that mysterious glory.Her faith, her love, and the example of her holy lifehad given him some makings of real manhood. Andhe loved her. He worshiped her. Aye, but it wouldbe hard to hand his worship over to a Deity he couldnot sense, or see, or love.

"She'll think," he said in his heart, "as I'm a bloodyfailure as a Christian."

Then he realized he had got to keep a better lookoutor he would foul that smack on the larboard bow. Thegolden haze was gone, and down in the cabin the parentwas howling to him to come and drink with him, todrink up manly. For the next half-hour, with athickened utterance and slurred words, he reviled his sonfor a mollycoddle, a milk-sop, a mammie's darling, an'oly prig, a sneak, a cur, a dirty coward. It wasunreasonable of mother to refuse point-blank when Billasked her to take the tiller while he gave the old mana licking. The devoted parent downstairs knew he wasperfectly safe from being reproached. A string ofblasphemies—all he could remember—addressed tomother, brought his remarks to an end quite inarticulatefollowed by loud snores.

Then mother read the Bible aloud. There weretimes when, having fastened her teeth into Jeremiah orLeviticus, she would not let go even to cook the mealsuntil she had made an end. Then she was obstinateand Bill was bored, but this day she read chapters fromthe Gospel according to St. John. Rough was thevoice, and many words were not pronounced correctly.She blundered through as best she could, and even sobrought tears to the lad's eyes.

Few are the readers who can render the rhythm, thethrobbing melody of this great English text, and fewerstill the seers who alone have power to bring to lightits modes of tender fun, of sparkling humor, of love,of awfulness, abysmal deeps, and heights illimitable.Wisdom and Understanding, Counsel, Power, Knowledge,Righteousness, and the Divine Awe, the sevenrays of one clear spectrum, blend in the white light ofthis great revelation; and Time stands still, for all theyears of Earth are numbered, spreading like rippleson a pool from this one message of the Word madeFlesh.

The flaming sunset faded behind the smoke of London,the rose and violet of the afterglow waned as theindigo of night veiled all things earthly, and theheavens opened revealing high eternities of light, whilestill the mother spoke to her son, and he sat at thehelm rapt, resolved to consecrate his life to herMaster's service.

The wind slept in the high shoulder of the trysaillong after the deep calm fell upon the waters, and stillthe tide served under the frosty starlight. Motherand son had their evening meal together on the cabinhatch. Would he have tea? Why, it was twentyshillings a pound! It could not be afforded to feed thelikes of him. Still, she insisted. And although teawas an effeminate stuff which working men wereashamed to drink, Bill had some just for once.Nobody would know. Besides, it was rather nice, butstill he hated being a mammie's pet.

Four miles short of Margate, with the lights of thetown in the east, the tide failed, so to the last of thewesterly air Bill luffed, then let the anchor go, brailedhis trysail, took in the topsail and staysail, and madeall snug for the night. Mother had gone to bed sometime ago, and the parent was dead drunk before thesun set. Bill stood for some time smoking his father'sclay pipe, unbeknown to mother, peering the whileacross the shallows to the loom of low chalk cliffs inEpple Bay. Here were the caves from which on thehomeward passage the Polly Phemus was to shipcertain casks. Smuggling, of course, and she thought itwasn't honest. It was a famous place also for prizefights, and mother hated that also. Inland, to theright, were one or two lighted windows in the villageof Birchington, and the church clock was strikingeleven. By the way, he must remember at Margate towarn mother about the port dues on the ReverendBinks his harpsichord. Half the strings were missing,and ninepence ought to be ample.

His boots crunched frost crystals all along the gangwayas he went forward, on the port side lest he shouldwake his mother. Then he dropped down the forehatch into his little private glory hole, and pulled thecover close because, as mother said, the night air is sodangerous. As to the savor from coils of tarry rope,tallow, damp clothes, spare sail, and iron-rusted chain,rats' nests, and bilge water—that was just homely.He pulled off his boots, said "Our Father which," byway of a reminder of what was due to mother, turnedin under the spare jib and went to sleep.

A northerly air which cut like knives began toquicken, and little bitter waves to smack the flanks ofthe barge.


Storm came to the tuft of moss where he had trystwith Rain, but she was not there, and though hewhistled the love call, she did not come. Indeed, thesun had risen then beyond the Rocky Mountains andRain was awake eating smoked venison for breakfastbefore she went to her hunting. At such an hour shecould not come to Dreamland. And since she did notcome, Storm felt aggrieved. He would worry theFairy Parson for lack of better sport.

He went up the bed of the sparkling brook whichsplashes but never wets one, through the still poolwhose ripples flash like rainbows, and on past thefountain spring which croons a lullaby. It alwayscroons one song, but when the fairies tickle it hasto chuckle. It always chuckles too when thePadre preaches, as he does when he loses his temper.

The adobe house, although absurdly small, is reallymost important, the only parsonage in Fairyland.

The Padre used to be a monk, not by vocation, butby a mistake of his mother who hoped he wasreligious, because he was really fit for nothing else.Truly he was a born Unnaturalist, devoted from childhoodto Unnatural History, heraldic animals, story-bookmonsters, sea serpents, nightmares, and of courseall sorts of elementals, especially the bad ones. Hefelt it must be enormous sport to be a Fiery Dragonand hunt saints. Indeed he said so. Moreover, heannounced one evening in the refectory that the Abbotwas going to Heaven on Saturday. "Now Godforbid!" said the Abbot, but on Saturday he went toHeaven. "Perhaps!" quoth this unholy monk, "Icalled it Heaven, because, you see, one must be polite toan Abbot."

Afterwards the monks as a body resolved that thiswas a very uncomfortable Brother, so he was orderedto go and convert the heathen.

"Not that they ever did me any harm," said he,"but perhaps the heathen may tell me stories, niceones—about boiled monks—yes, boiled with parsleysauce."

And thus among the Red Indians he became an eminentFairyologist. Nobody else but an eminent Fairyologistwould have been so utterly unpractical as to gohunting Fairies in the driest corners of the GreatAmerican Desert. Everybody knows that Fairies likea moist climate, superstitious inhabitants, and Mozartor Greig to play their own tunes.

In Death Valley he found no moisture at all, nopeople whatsoever, or any music except when the snakesplayed their rattles. There he became very thirsty,lonely, and frightened, so altogether miserable that oneof the rattlesnakes gave him a bite just to cheer himup.

... And he came here to be the Chaplain in Fairyland.Here, you see, no matter how badly he preached—andhe preached badly even for a clergyman—hecould not possibly do any harm because nobody wouldever take the slightest notice of what he said exceptwhen he was cross. Then the fountain chuckled.

He built his little adobe house beside the crooningspring, and that was all right until a female Griffin,eighteen feet long, became his lady companion forlessons in deportment. Whenever she was pleased shewagged her tail, and when she wagged her tail thehouse came down. That is why the new walls areunusually thick, and the inside so small that the Griffinhas to wag her tail outside. She has got so far withher lessons that now she puts her paw before hercrocodile mouth before she sneezes—and then the clergymanis not blown through the window.

She was out mousing when Storm paid his call.That is, the boy crept in on all fours while the Padrewas busy writing his book, which nobody will everread, on Fairyology. Storm got under the stool andtickled the Padre's bare ankles with a feather.

"Bless the mosquitos!" said the holy man, "and sendthem a nourishing maiden."

Storm tickled again, and the Padre stooped down toslap the mosquitos, saying "Pax vobiscum."

Storm laughed, the fountain chuckled, and the Padrelooked under the stool.

"Hello!" said he. "That you?"

"No," answered Storm, "I'm not."

So of course as it wasn't he, the holy man went onwith his writing.

Since Rain had warned him of his mother's death,Storm was uneasy, and in his dream-life frightened ofbeing alone. So as the Padre could not be botheredwith him he crept into a corner of the cabin, whereit was nearly dark, to brood upon this matter of hismother's passing.

"When my meat-body," so ran his thought, "istired out after a long day's work, and can't be rodeany longer, I turns it in for a watch below. SometimesI stays all night in my meat-body, and has funnymixed-up dreams, the ones which I remembersafterwards. Sometimes I gets out of the meat-body andcomes straight into this here world which Rain callsDreamland. I've got my dream-body for life in thedream-world—so that's all clear.

"But suppose my animal-body gets wore out, ordies, or happens to get killed, so as I'm drove out, andcan't get in again—that's what they calls Death. It'sbound to happen sooner or later, and it doesn't matteranyway. The animal body won't be needed anylonger, and so it can be took away, and buried, orburned, or drowned, and there's an end of that.

"I've got this dream-body, which is just as solid,and comfy. It looks just the same, and is a deal moreuseful. If I've been good on earth I'll have a finetime in this dream-world. If I've been bad I'll have arotten time, and it will serve me right. But as I'vepromised mother to be good, and means to be goodalways, there's nothing to be afraid of. So that's allclear.

"The next part ain't so clear. Rain knows all abouteverything, and she says this: On Earth and inDreamland we have a job, one job, to grow a soul.That soul is another body made of thoughts and feelings.It's called the spiritual body. It may be madeof good thoughts and good feelings like mother's, orof bad thoughts and bad feelings like father's. Whenit is grown up, and all ready to sail, it clears for theport where it belongs. It leaves this dream-body,crumbled away into dust or gas, and it goes to the placewhere it will be at home. It is spiritual. It goes tothe home of bad people in Hell, until it learns to pray,or of good people in Heaven. Mother is going there,and I'm to be awful lonesome, because I can't go withher, and I can't follow her there until I've growed aspiritual body fit to be seen in Heaven by the angels.

"All that is what the Bible means, if we could onlyunderstand things better. It's what Religion means.Mother's a Christian, and Rain's a heathen, but whateversort of lamp we has to light the way, it's the samevoyage. If we're good it's fine weather, if we're badit's storms, so if a fellow has any sense at all, he'll jollywell do his best.

"That seems to be all clear."

"Have you quite finished?" asked the Padre. Tolook more impressive, he put horn spectacles upon histhin, high nose, but in order to see he had to glanceover the top of them as he turned to bend his visionupon Storm, like a reproachful rabbit surveying arotten turnip. "Because," he said peevishly, "if youhad any sense at all, you'd know that your loudthoughts disturb me at my work."

Storm had forgotten that here in Dreamland nothoughts can be hidden, but all are heard byeverybody who listens.

"I wants to go with mother," he answered sadly."I comes to you for help 'cause you're a parson."

"Can't be done," said the Padre. "You haven't gota spirit-body yet. You're busy growing one and soam I. That's what we're here for."

"I see."

"I wish I could," sighed the Padre, taking off hisspectacles. "Ah! That's better. Well, young man,and how is your temporal body? Well, I hope?"

"It's having its watch below."

"I mislaid mine"—the Padre seemed to be veryunhappy about it—"down in the southern desert. Theeagles had it. Poor things! It was mere skin andbone, not enough food for a mouse. And yet I sat ona rock and watched them squabbling over it. Poordears! I can't think how they manage to get ameal."

"Ahem!" There came an affected cough, "Ahem!"outside the doorway. "Ahem!" A colossal head appeared,like that of a crocodile, looked in, and filled thedoor place. A red rag of a tongue lolled out on thestarboard side, while the port eye was cocked up,meekly appealing to the Padre.

"May I come in?"

"No!" said the Padre. "Go, Julia, and practicedeportment, or catch mice."

"He called me Julia!" This with both eyes toheaven. Then the creature wriggled in a few feetfarther, and holding one paw bashfully to her mouth,"Ahem! ahem! Deportment is so fatiguing, and as tomice, you know they are so small. Oh!" Her snuffblew Storm against the wall, and then she sniffed."Ah! Do you know, I think I could sit up and takea little boy." She smacked her lips. "Come here,little boy! Come to its Julia, then."

"If she swallers this good little bo-hoy," said Storm,deriding her, "I'll wager my sheath knife makes tripeof her blanked guts."

"G-o-o-od 'ittle b-o-oy, then ... Goo-oo——"

"Julia, shut up," said the Padre. "Boys are out ofseason. Surely you must know there's an V in themonth. For shame! Go away and powder your face."

The Griffin retreated sobbing. "Nobody lovesme!" Sniff! "No-body loves me!"

"But all the same, young man," said the Padre, "ifI were you, Storm, I'd disappear. You'd really bettergo and look after your mother. I think she may beneeding you, at once."

Storm willed himself back to Earth, and he wasthere. He willed back to the after cabin of the barge,and he was there.


Still in his dream, Storm stood in the after cabin.He saw his father held by evil men, struggling toescape, screaming for mercy. The curved wall of thecabin, the bulkhead forward shutting off the cargohold, were like dark mist, form without substance, andthrough them and within obscene and awful beastscrowded the air, their red eyes gloating upon JamesFright, who writhed and shrieked, trying to get backto his body. That body of his lay sprawled upon thetable, face downwards, arms outstretched. UncleJoey was riding father's body, his legs locked roundthe loins, his arms with a strangle hold about thethroat, while he looked up at Storm as thoughdisturbed by his coming.

"Hello! mammie's darling!" he jeered. "Come tosee the fun? And then you'll go sneaking to mammie?Now you watch—all done by kindness. One—two—three!There!"

Uncle Joey entered the vacant body, and father, heldby his captors, was shrieking blasphemies, callingStorm a coward because he did not come instantly tothe rescue.

Storm was not concerned for his father's worries.He knew that Uncle Joey was returned from the deadto earth for no good purpose, that he was dangerous,and that his own mother lay there asleep, helpless atthis demon's mercy. He sprang to the bunk to guardher, to save her, but when he looked at the sleepingbody he breathed most fervent thanks to Heaven.Mother was away in Dreamland. Only her body laythere tenantless. Should he call her? Nay, not intomortal peril. He put forth the whole power of hiswill to keep his mother away, then turned to fight thedemon.

Uncle Joey, clad in the stolen body, rose from thetable stiffly, groping at the air, unable now to see theastral world, to descry Storm on guard beside thebunk, or James Fright struggling in the clutches of themen who held him, or the awful monsters of the Pitwhich crowded in upon the nightmare scene. Only hewhipped the sheath knife from his belt and reeledacross to the bunk where he saw Mrs. Fright asleep.Storm tried to seize Uncle Joey, but his arms clutchedthin air. The re-embodied demon sprang straightthrough him as though through mist, and yellingexultation, shouting with laughter, he plunged the bladeagain and again into the woman's body. Storm coulddo nothing. Sick with horror, he leaned against thepanels, but his arm went through them as though theywere but mist.

Uncle Joey drew back, still laughing. "Can youhear?" he shouted. "Did ye see that, Brother James,as I done your vife in? You as brought me to thegallows! You as peached, and got me hanged. And doyou think as 'ow you're going to get back into thisyere body what I've stole? No! Damn you! No!"

He drove the knife straight at his own breast, thebreast of the stolen body, struck bone, and lungedagain between the ribs.

The rigor of death clutching the hand to the hilt, thebody reeling towards the blow, the stained yellow eyeballsrolling up—that which had been the living earthlyhabitation of James Fright went crashing down.

And there was Uncle Joey, again discarnate, leeringin Storm's face beside the bunk.

"'Ow's that, umpire? 'Ow's that, Mollycoddle?Hain't that a proper vengeance worth giving of one'slife for? Hain't I got my own back for being hanged,and damned before my time?"

But while he spoke, the fear grew in his eyes, thedawning sense of a most awful doom, for the denseastral matter which encrusted his spiritual body wascrumbling to dust.

Storm watched, appalled, for now the man stoodnaked, black as coal, but with a dull red glow of rage,of hate, demoniac, horrible, doomed to perdition inthe act of murder. But rage changed to terror, for hewas falling, falling down through space, lost in thebottomless abyss upon whose overhanging, rocky vergeStorm knelt, forgetting his own peril in an agony ofprayer for a fellow creature drawn shrieking down toHell.

"Mother!" he screamed—"help!"

Across the illimitable deeps of space Storm saw awhite light like a little star, grow nearer, brighter,human in form, gigantic in stature, shining like the sun,filling the whole night with radiance, blinding. Hecovered his face in awe in terrified reverence.

Beaten to earth by the tremendous rays, his eyesburned by the splendor, he dared to look at the Angel,and saw his mother at rest in the strong arms, shelteredagainst the breast.

Then he felt a hand extended over him; and a senseof blessedness, of divine love, soothed all his fears,gave him to rest, to sleep.


In the fore cabin Bill sat up dazed, haunted, terrifiedby the sense of something awful. He shovedthe hatch aside, letting the starlight into the darkforecastle of the barge, then pulled on his boots, andscrambled up upon the white, dimly glittering frostof the deck. Stiff with cold, he flogged his arms abouthis body until his fingers tingled with pain, and stampeduntil he felt the blood returning into his numb feet.Then he went aft, and opened the cabin hatch. Hetook the flint and steel from his pocket, struck a briskshower of sparks into the tinder, kindled a sulphurmatch, and held the blue light down. His mother layin the bunk, stone dead. His father's body laystretched on the deck, a bloody sheath knife clutchedin the stiff right hand.

Now, of a sudden, the whole memory of the dreamglowed in his brain, and ghastly pale, sweating at thepalms of the hands, and at his neck, he realized thetruth. He dared not go down into that place. Evenas Rain had warned him, he knew that his motherwas dead. Shuddering even at the touch of the woodworkwhich enclosed the tomb, he closed the hatchway,then found the dinghy's painter, hauled in, anddropped into the boat.

The flood tide swept him up the estuary, and thefaint shadow of the barge melted away in the mistunder the frosty starlight.


Mr. James Watt, a canny Scots body, ye ken, wasthe man who changed the steam engine from a capriciousplaything into a working servant of mankind.He did not believe in railway locomotives, but hismarine engines were the pride and glory of Messrs. Boulton& Watt, of Birmingham. Mr. Fulton, of NewYork, bought one of them, you may remember, andused it to run a barge on Hudson River, the first toply with passengers, they say. Mr. Watt did notlive to see the little brigantine Beaver engined atBlackwall yard in 1835, but that was as good a job as anydone by the famous firm. The boiler had a steampressure of seven pounds, and when in later years itrusted through, the engineer would plug the holes witha pointed stick and a rag. And yet that engine lastedand worked well for fifty-two years, until the warshipbecame a neglected tug and in 1889 was cast away inthe cliffs of Stanley Park within the city limits ofVancouver in British Columbia.

The Beaver's registered tonnage was 110, so hersize was that of a second-rate wooden steam trawler inour modern fishing. She carried four brass six-pounderguns, each small enough for a man to lift bythe trunnions. When she had business with savagetribes, to trade with them or bombard their villages,she set out boarding nettings, so she could not berushed. The crew numbered thirty, sufficient for themethods of lick, spit, and polish to which herlickspittle bully of a Captain, Mr. David Home, devotedhis whole soul.

A real live duchess christened the Beaver, and if Iremember rightly Mr. Brunel, the engineer, left hiswork, hard by in the Thames Tunnel, to witness thecracking of the bottle. The owners attended in force,the Governor and Company of Merchant Adventurerstrading into Hudson's Bay, all in top hats, whitechokers, and swallow-tails. Most likely they crackedquite a lot of bottles.

The engine was in position, but the sponsons, paddleboxes, and paddles were stored in the forehold forthe voyage under sail round Cape Horn.

At Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River, the capitalof Oregon, the vessel was to be completed by hercarpenters, and to be the first steamer on the PacificOcean.

Long afterwards it was, in 1842, that the Beavercarried the great Sir George Simpson to the foundingof Fort Camosun on Vancouver Island. When, manyyears later, the Beaver was sold to become a tug, herlog books were pitched into the loft of an old log barn,the last remnant of Fort Camosun, hid in a backyardof the city of Victoria, capital of British Columbia.I found the rat-eaten log books there in 1889, andbegged the Hudson's Bay Company to preserve theseprecious annals. The memory of them helps mystory-telling.


The flood tide swept Bill's dinghy up past theRoman fortress of Reculver, on by Whitstable whereoyster smacks lay moored, and thence towards the Isleof Sheppey and the Thames. It was only to keepwarm that sometimes he would scull, oar over stern,athwart the stream, northward to channels with astronger tide. Numb with cold, his heart like lead,not caring where he went, hour by hour he sculled untilhe was tired, or rested until he froze, not caring at allwhat happened. The new police would catch him ifhe went ashore, to charge him with murdering hisparents, and send him to the gallows; or Uncle Thomas,his owner, would curse him for leaving the bargederelict, the property in law of the first man whowent on board. Bill did not care now for UncleThomas, or anybody alive, but only in a hard, dry,gnawing grief mourned and was silent. He did notbelieve any more in God, who had allowed his motherto be murdered; and as to spirits, they were onlyphantasms of nightmare. A sullen hatred of theworld, of men, of everything, of life itself, filled thenorth wind, the dark spaces of seething water, andthe indifferent stars. And on towards dawn he sankdown on his knees, his face in his hands, hoping fordeath, an end of everything. Yet, as he afterwardsconfessed, when the Beaver's dolphin striker knockedhis cap off, and her clipper bows hove the boat'sgunwale under, so that she filled and sank beneath hisfeet, he fought for life as keenly as anybody whoenjoyed the same. Groping, so he said, in the dark forhand and foot holds in the hanging wall, he found theanchor astrip, and jumped upon the fluke, swarmed upthe shank and chain, then, getting a purchase with onetoe in the hawse hole, vaulted across the bulwark.

The lad on lookout squeaked, and ran for all he wasworth, reporting a ghost up on the starboard bow.




In sailing-ship days we who were seamen andself-respecting did not join for a voyage while wewere sober enough to come on board all of ourown accord. It would have been bad form.

So, having shipped her joyful mariners, the Beaver'sofficers and the afterguard, not more than half-seasover, got the vessel off from Gravesend as best theycould, dropping downtide so far as the ebb served, thenbrought her up in the fairway. They dropped anchoron the Nore, hoisted a riding light, and posted twocomparatively sober apprentices to keep each otherawake and call the mate at dawn.

Bill Fright, being fast asleep in his dinghy, wasswept up by the strong flood, and awakened in haste onfinding the boat foul of a ship's bows and more or lesscapsized. He climbed on board, a matter arrangedbeforehand by the fairies or other spirits invisible wholook after seafaring boys—they need a deal of lookingafter, too—and there is little doubt that his comingscared the anchor watch. Finding him, however, to beno mermaid, but somebody wet and profane, theysought for a hair of the dog which had bitten thecrew, stole a flask from one of the men up forward,gave Bill a drink, and did not waste such liquor asremained.

At dawn Bill watched the mate, Mr. Dodd, comeup to snuff the air, wrap three turns of brown mufflerabout his thin neck, button a monkey jacket across hisportly front, and stump about the half-poop to getwarm. A ship is always at her dirtiest on leavingport; and of a certainty the deck was filthy apart fromthe unholy ravel of new stiff halliards coiled like aknot of snakes. Bill felt these a disgrace, and set towork on them of his own accord to straighten out theloops and flemish down. Mr. Dodd, supposing himto be a member of the crew, saw that Bill knew hisbusiness.

Meanwhile one 'prentice had gone to the hoodwayup forward, the other to the steerage hatch, and bothof them howled like demons down the ladders. "Ahoythere! All hands on deck!" "Hear the good news!Oh, rise and shine, my hearties!" "Show a leg there,cripples, or the mate will bring you tea in bed. Ahoy!Ahoy! Tumble up for the rum! Ahoy!"

The people tumbled up, looking somewhat bilious inthe gray light, and set to scrubbing the frosted deck.Bill hung the coiled halliards on their pins and watchedthe mate the while, a proper officer who knew his job,one who did not nag or fuss, but let each man workhis best. "I dunno as I'd mind," Bill thought,"making a woyage with him." And he had always longedto go foreign. But for mother he would have gonebig boating these three years past or more. And nowshe was dead. Why not!

The captain had appeared, a meager, pompous manwith a mean face, stamping in sea boots along thewindward side of the half-poop. Mr. Dodd gave hima curt salute and took the leeward side.

"Mr. Dodd," said the captain, pointing to Bill, "callthat man aft."

The mate signaled Bill to come to the foot of thethree steps which led from the quarter-deck up to theholy place behind the rails.

"Ask this Willie Muggins what the blank he meansby getting himself arrested at Gravesend."

Bill felt surprised, somewhat abashed, not calledupon to speak. Why did this captain call him WillieMuggins?

"I think, sir," answered the mate respectfully, "thatthe arrest was at the instance of Mrs. Willie Muggins.This lad seems much too young to be a husband."

"Mr. Dodd," said the captain, "you will be pleasedto mind your own concerns. You, Muggins, what timedid you come aboard?"

These officers on the half-poop were rather terrifying.Unwashed since yesterday, with grimy hands,an aching heart, and a frantic desire for breakfast, Billfelt at a disadvantage. This captain also, bully andcur complete, had unlimited power to do him wrong.The lad's bulldog face turned rigid, his eyes weremenacing, his fists clenched, his body strung for defenseas he answered the captain.

"You sunk my boat," he said, "so you can put meashore. As to this yere Villie Muggins, I'll find himout, and give him your love if you like."

"Mr. Dodd," asked the captain, "is this man a seaman?"

"To judge by his conduct, yes, sir."

"My man," said Captain Home, "you're signed onas Willie Muggins, your chest is in the forecastlebeside your bunk. If you don't answer to your name,you'll be flogged until you do. Mr. Dodd, put him towork."


"Turn to, lad," said Mr. Dodd.

Bill stood for a moment, feeling the man's kindness,the good will, the well-meant advice. He would doanything on earth to please that mate.

"Aye! aye!" said he quite cheerfully, and turned to.


In sailing days the Americans were a maritimepeople, first among nations as naval architects. Theirships were magnificently found, handled with headlongdaring, and broke sea records; indeed, the youngskippers of that time have never been rivaled inseamanship. The bucko mates aspiring to succeed themwere man stealers and slave drivers well armed, ableto cow the boldest seamen in the world. They didnot stick at murder. So the American ship might bepuritanically Sabbatarian of a Sunday, and even moderatelywell fed in rare examples, but, on the whole, shehad the reputation of a hell afloat. There were casesof the ship's company being driven to desert, andreplaced by shanghaied men at every port, so that for athree-years' voyage the captain paid no wages.

By comparison the Canadian, and especially theBluenose or Nova Scotian shipping, was even morehard-bitten, with man-killing mates as a speciality. TheBritish merchant service, like the North American,was undermanned, and had a reputation also for beinghungry, but it was rather more humane, and the deathrate of ships and men least among maritime nations.The Norwegian death rate was highest, the ships beingsecond-hand coffins, ill-found, but handled withgallant seamanship. French ships were well designed,beautifully built, admirably found, but double-mannedto make amends for poor seamanship, and their peopleliable to sudden panic. Prussian or "Square-head"seamanship was fairly good, Russian a joke, the Mediterraneanshipping classified as "dago," and the rest as"nigger."

The pen runs away with the writer. Blame the pen.As one descended from a race of mariners, broughtup among retired shellbacks, serving before the mastjust at the end of that great Golden Age of Seamanship,I cannot but look back. The life was bitter hard,the men grim humorists, the ships most gloriouslybeautiful. They thronged the straits of Dover,outward, taut on a fine bowline, or homeward runningfree, while purple shadows of the racing clouds sweptgreen sea pastures, and England faded into silverhaze. The Channel widened under golden sunshinethe gateway of Adventure, and beyond lay enchantedseas where there were pirates still, dangerous tribes ofsavages, lone desert isles, Empires in the makingthrough remote, obscure campaigns, stampedes tonew-found gold fields, and hardy pioneering of wild lands.Aye, but there is heartache when memory lights thecorridors of Time, when pictures come to life of sceneand incident in the days when one was young andcared, took the long odds and lost, fought on, andtried, and won.

According to the Norsemen, who are sea-wise beyondthe common run of mariners, the fore-and-aftsails of schooner, smack, or cutter were masculine ofgender, while the ship's rig with square yards wasrated feminine. So, the world over, a vesselsquare-rigged on the foremast, but schooner rigged on themainmast, partook in its nature of both sexes, and wascalled hermaphrodite. Such was the brigantineBeaver, but having a cross jack and a topgallant sailon the main, her conduct as a whole was that of aperfect lady.

When the seamen were thrown into their two divisions,the mate and the second chose alternately, eachtrying to pick the best team. So the mate chose thelarboard watch, and picked out Bill Fright in preferenceto the apprentices.

At actual work in making or shortening sail, eachman had his proper station, the stronger seamen onthe large sails of the foremast, the weaker on thesmaller canvas aft. So Bill found his way aft, andbarge-trained as he was, proved from the start the bestman on the trysail and the staysails. Yet though hewould break his heart with overanxiety to please themate and prove his manhood, it took him many weeksto learn the crossjack and topgallant sails, and longerstill to win the leadership, to be first aloft, first at theweather earning or the bunt, taking the posts of honoron the high swaying yards.

The builders had left a deal of rubbish in the 'tweendecks, which the crew saved for fuel in the forecastlebogey. On that first evening at sea, while the Beaverwas threading her way through the Downs and theStraits of Dover, the larboard watch rested from sixP.M. to eight. They had firelight and leisure in theirdogwatch below to get the place in order, the beddingin their bunks, and kit sorted out for use. Then theysat on the sea chests, and Auld Jock, the forecastleoracle, delivered a homily to instruct theyoung.

"Ye'll ken," he said, as he kindled his clay pipe witha coal from the fire, "that wi' the Scots Ahm Scotch,but when Ahm shipmates wi' the vulgar, as in thepresent circumstances, Ah speaks the vulgar tongue, whichis the English, and that withoot a tr-r-ace o' Scottishaccent."

"You bet your sweet socks," observed a Yankee,Silas by name, from Salem.

"And in pairfect English," continued Jock. "Ahlays it doon as a first princeeple, that the vulgar isliable to interrupt: Yankees especially beingconstructed like a dog, with an inch of brain to a fathomof mouth."

"!," said the Yankee, or something to that effect.

"But them as hae the gift of reason," Jock turnedhis eyes away from the American, "may have obsairvedthe hoose flag at oor fore truck, a white pennant wi'red letters 'H.B.C.,' the which means Here BeforeChrist forbye the Hudson's Company goes forth tothe uttermost heathen which can be skinned for furs,and the missionaries do not follow after.

"And for why? Them as has brains, instead of"—heglanced at the Yankee—"of a bucket o' slush,considers the ways of the heathen. The missionary givesthe puir savage a guid conceit of his soul, so up goesthe price of furs. Whereupon the missionary is notinvited, ye ken, to follow after.

"Whilk this Hudson's Bay Company is Here BeforeChrist in a second sense o' standing in front ofHim, not being especially relegate to damnation, butfor the maist pairt Presbyterian. So ye'll tak' notice,shipmates, that if the Company buys a leaky bucket,the same is put in soak until the wood swells—and is,in a manner, a reformed, guid, soond bucket, wi'warranty to haud water.

"So if the Company engages of a liar—like somehe-ere present—as I sees grinning—he'll be richt weeladvised to wrop up his girt talent in a napkin, or putit under a bushel, the while he larns to tell thetruth—in moderation, ye ken.

"And if the Company engages a thief, the same willgo to waste for want o' practice, or he'll be cast ootinto a wilderness o' mosquitos withoot sae much as ahook to fush wi'.

"Ye manna leak, nor lie, nor steal, or ye'll na stayi' the Hudson's Bay Sairvice ane week. And as togettin' fu'—— Well, boys, if I didna get droonk, forma stomach's sake, ye ken, I'd be a captain afloat or achief trader ashore instead o' wasting guid advice on alot o' gumps in a ship's forec'stle.

"The which brings me roond to this lad heare, asis shippit i' the name o' Willie Muggins, whereas he'sno but a lubberly bargee, taking the wage of an honestable-bodied sailorman. Coom oot o' that bunk, Willie,and let me get me een on ye. So. Rub oot the grinfrae yer ugly mug, me son, and, juist as if ye werestandin' He-ere Befo' Christ, tak a' that I say tohearrt.

"This Captain Home, a' for his own honor andglory, and to keep his log book free frae blots anderasures, taks a bargee oot o' London River, worth tenshillin' a month as a boy, and ca's ye an a-ableseaman at twa pun' ten a month, with anither man's kitto haud for yer ain, and a bunk among men in theforecastle.

"Weel. Weel, ye're in luck, ma son, and we'll nogrudge ye the luck. But ye owes it to the captain, andto us, as ye mak' guid a' that luck. Ye've got to pu'yer weight as a man which doesn't leak, or lee, or steal,but does guid honest man's wark as a shipmate, comecauld, or storm, or wrack, frae heere to Cape Stiff, androond, and hame agin, not leaving any ither mon totak' yer trick at the wheel, or yer lookout aheid, or yerain bunt, or earring, or jobs at sailorizing."

There was something about Bill's eyes told theScotsman that this lad would not fail. Indeed, theyoungster was looking not at Jock at all, but at hismother, who stood behind the seaman just as in life,nor was she changed by death save for a strange rareglory, love in her eyes, amusement in her smile, thenon her lips a word. That word was "Peace!"


Auld Jock had likened the Yankee to a dog with aninch of brain and a fathom of jaw; and of a suretythere was some faint suggestion, but not of a dogexactly. The retreating forehead, cold eyes, redeyelids, lean, ravenous jaws, and yellow fangs, the meanand stealthy smile with upcurved lip, were not quitethose of a dog, but rather of a wolf. The one barks,and the other snarls, but this man kept silencewatching, waiting. The Englishmen, the Norwegian, andthe Iroquois Indian would make the best of things orshare the worst in common, but the American wouldmaster the lot or go under. The hours they wasted hehad filled with study. He would be second officer,then mate, and a bucko mate at that, then command aship, and own one while they were still in theforecastle. They could play the game, but he wouldwin.

As yet it had not entered into his mind that he, anAmerican, had aught to learn from Britishers. Hatredfor the British Government was part of his heritage,contempt for the British a portion of his faith. Hewould read them a lesson.

As his nation had nothing to learn from Great Britain,so Silas would have accounted anybody lunaticwho claimed that he could be the better man for alesson at the hands of these Britishers. He sat on theedge of his bunk contemptuous alike of the Scotsman'stolerance and the boy's simplicity. Auld Jockhad affronted him, and Silas would get even. As forWillie Muggins or whatever his tally might be, herewas a sodger, a mere bargee taking a man's pay fora boy's work. The shrewd American was too good aseaman to tolerate false ratings in his watch. Hewould take the shine out of Willie Muggins. "He'llwish himself dead," said Silas to himself, "before I'mthrough with him."


The Beaver and her consort the Nereid lay atFalmouth completing for their voyage to Oregon.Captain Home had taken the coach to London, where hewould get his final orders from the Hudson Bay Houseand say good-by to his family. His crew were atwork from dawn until after dark, watering, taking infuel, loading the ship's stores, and making allshipshape aloft. Except for an anchor watch, the peoplehad the nights in the crowded forecastle, when foulair made the flame of the slush lamp blue, while inthe bunks men lay half suffocated. Willie Mugginshad been on anchor watch, trying hard to realize thathe was really and truly Bill Fright of the PollyPhemus, and of London River, one who had vowedhimself to a religious life, been in great dreams, beheldtremendous visions. He was all adrift, and now inlight and troubled sleep haunted by nightmare. Atlast his body, tired out, lapsed into deep sleep, and hissoul dreamed true.

A creature of fairy grace poised on the edge of thebunk, then settled down to pull his ears, to kiss hisupturned nose.

"Oh, Slug! Wake up!" she said. "Storm!Storms-all-of-a-sudden! Wake up!"

"H'm!" said he in the deep sleep. "That you, Rain?"

"Why didn't you come, eh, Stupid?"

"I daresn't leave my body. Mother might come.She'd miss me."

"Kyai-yo!" she cried. "Her love would find you,Storm, if you were hid in the Shadows of the Sandhills."

She looked about her. "See that man?" she asked,pointing to Silas, the American. "He makes badmedicine against you, Storm. Keep your temper withhim."

"I hate him."

"Love him," she answered, "and he is harmless.Hate him, and his hate is stronger than yours. He'llruin you."

"How can I love him?"

"First pity him. He's lonely. He has no friends.His medicine is bad. The love of a friend could savehim from sinking, drowning in seas of Hate. Nowcome to Dreamland."

"Dreamland!" he answered; and the two of themwere walking through the Fairy Glen, with thesquirrels running in front to say that they werecoming.

When they came to the Tuft of Moss they foundRain's seat close guarded by Julia, the lady Griffin,who lay stretched out to a length of eighteen feet,asleep, with one eye open. At sight of Rain sheblinked, and wagged eight feet of fine bronze tail withspikes, and a barbed tip complete.

"How d'ye do?" she minced affectedly. "I hope Isee you well, ma'am." Her wicked eye was cocked atStorm, and her jaw slavered.

"If you sniff at him," said Rain, "I'll tell him howold you are."

Being a mature virgin, some fourteen centuries ofage, she promised faithfully to be very good."Especially," she added, if I may be chaperon. I'dlove to feel like a real chaperon. I'd be vastlyobleeged if I might take you to the MythologicalGardens.

"You know I'm really and truly a Dragon, and it'sonly to be genteel that I try to behave like a Griffin.But, would you believe it"—with much complaisanceJulia surveyed her lion body, alligator tail, and foldedbat wings—"that among my relatives at the MythologicalGardens I am considered almost plain, not quiteof course, but almost?"

She invited the lovers to take their seats between herfolded wings, which they did. They knew it wouldplease poor Julia.

"If it were not unbecoming," she simpered, "to aperfect lady—ahem—I would say 'Hang on with teethand toenails, or you will alight—ahem—at the wronggardens.' I will now ask you, Lady and Gentleman,to put twopence in the slot. It's for the Home, youknow, for Decayed Griffins. Thank you. I will nextproceed—as expected—to breathe out a few smallflames."

She did, although the flames were neither few norsmall, and with a mighty leap extended her wings, allgloriously iridescent, flapped powerfully and soaredinto the skies. Then her wings seemed asleep uponthe air, with delicate featherings as she steered throughspace.

As to the landscape down there which floated pastat a hundred miles an hour, I might plead scant time tosee, but that other fellows who have traveled inaeroplanes would sneer at my false pretenses. Or I mightclaim that, were the story told, nobody on earth wouldbelieve one word of it, and that again would be a meanexcuse. It is best to own up at once to a verywell-grown, mature, and lively ignorance. And yet, therebeing many sorts of gems, as diamonds or rubies; sothere be divers kinds of ignorance. Nobody wouldcompare my ignorance with that of a truly scientificperson, shut up in a little truth-tight compartment, andtaking less air and exercise than any convict. Mydarkness is complete and natural. Concerning theprovinces of Dreamland, Fairyland, and WonderlandI have read Alice (a sound authority), the ArabianNights, which are most explicit, Malory's MorteD'Arthur, Mandeville's Travels, Hans Anderson, theBrothers Grimm, bits of the Odyssey, and in fact allthe best authors, who visited lands of glamour in theirdreams, and brought us back their happy memories oftruly facts. But how did they get back? How tearthemselves away? On questions like these thewitnesses are dumb, the scientists are stumped, and howon earth should I know! Yet one may consoleoneself with the comfortable thought that the moreignorant an author is, the longer the words he is obligedto use, and the deeper his obscurity of style. By thatmeasure the ignorance of Darwin about Biology, ofSpencer in Philosophy, of Lodge on Ether of Space issomething really too awful to think about.

In her way, and as Griffins go, Julia was rather agood sort. She meant well, but when she set up as aguide to places where she had never been before, shebecame like a professional medium, all whoppers andbusters. Her passengers were not at all particular, butwhen she pointed out Sinbad's palace she said it wasAsgaard the gods-home of the Norseman. Then sheshowed off a Chinese pagoda as the Court of KingArthur of England, so Storm called her a liar. "Sofar," she said judicially, "as it is quite becoming to aperfect lady—I am. You see, my dears, I know exactlywhere we are, but the Mythological Gardens havebeen removed, and I regret to say mislaid in theconfusion of removal. House-moving is always a worry,but think of having to move the whole MythologicalGardens! It's perfectly dreadful!"

It is much to be regretted that Julia could not findher way to the Mythological Gardens, which must bea wonderful show place.

Still, it was a nice excursion until, being veryabsent-minded, the poor Griffin turned her head towardshome while her body continued in the old direction.That is how she managed to breathe a gust of herlargest flames in the faces of her passengers. Stormwas extremely annoyed....

* * * * * * *


An ant heap is a busy community, and has no timeto be concerned at all with the domestic worries of theother ant heaps. Our world is absorbed in its worldlyaffairs, and looks upon other-worldly people as moreor less lunatic for being attracted by the concerns ofworlds remote or planets far removed. By theseanalogies we may perceive that Captain David Home wasall the world to Captain David Home. The sunwhich lighted that world was the Hudson's Bay House,from whence came all good things, to which his prayerswere addressed in duplicate. The moon which governedthe night was Mrs. Home, whose face was fullor peaked or turned away according to his conduct.There were certain little satellites whose music wasnot the music of the spheres as known to the angels inHeaven. And the rest of creation was the Beaver,peopled by mates and microbes of low degree, togetherpossibly with rats, cockroaches, weevils, and othervermin to be kept down. The adoration of the sun,and moon and the suppression of low forms of lifemade up the sum of Captain's Home's religion. Soshall it be understood that, what with the sun, themoon, and the microbes, he had no time to be botheredabout the news-sheets, but merely caused a stack ofthe same to be hoarded for future use at sea, wherethey would come in handy when there was nothingbetter as food for the mind, for shaving paper, stuffingfor his mattress, and an incentive to the mates. Theymight—if they behaved themselves—be allowed tosee what was left next time he had his berth cleaned.So after a month or two the mates would read thenews-sheets, use them for shaving paper, stuffmattresses, have their bunks cleaned, and allow what wasleft to be seen by the Boatswain, Chips, Sails, andothers in the steerage. These, having read, shaved,stuffed, and cleaned out, would pass the raggedremnants forward to such as could read in the forecastle.There the very advertisements and obituaries would bedevoured over and over again by men with starvingminds.

Thus it came about that the Beaver was in thetropics, and running down the "trades" while still thetragedy of the barge Polly Phemus, noted in all thenews-sheets, escaped any special attention. It was anepisode remote from the real world of things whichmatter. Indeed, from the point of view of deep-seamariners a barge is a mere obstruction to traffic onthe fairways, while bargees are lubbers of no accountwhatever.

The Beaver was a fine sight of a Sunday morning,when after the decks were holystoned snow-white andbreakfast served, she set her colors out above a cloudof sail, and rigged church with the Union Jack uponthe table. She had the boatswain whistle the men aftbarefoot all in their best white slacks, their red orchequered shirts, black silken scarfs, and shinytarpaulin hats. In no detail of pomp and circumstancewould the Hudson's Bay Company come short of theNavy, being authorized by Royal Charter to arm theirforts, their troops, their ships, to wield the Greater andthe Lesser Justice, make treaty with savage peoplesor levy war, or, in an Empire three times as large asthe then United States, wield the main powers of aSovereign state. Indeed the old man, standing at thebreak of the half-poop, addressed his prayers to theAlmighty with a jolly good word of command.

In those days dinner and supper consisted of boiledsalt horse served in a kid or wooden tub upon theforecastle floor. The fat joints went aft. There wasalways hard-tack; and tea, not too powerful, was servedmorning and evening. At noon there was lime juice,used by British merchant ships on long voyages tostave off scurvy. Sunday dinner was illustrated withboiled duff of flour and water. The Navy, EastIndiamen, Hudson's Bay ships, and clippers of the firstflight had plum duff.

Food thus being lavished upon common sailors,mainly because they could not be put out to graze, theyhad the Sunday afternoon off duty excepting one handto relieve the wheel.

Men on good terms with the cook would sometimeswin a mug of hot fresh water to wash themselveswithal, instead of waiting months perhaps for a delugeof tropic rain. Clothes were cleaned with sea waterby trailing them overboard. There was a deal of makingand mending to get the whole kit ready against thecold and storms off the Cape and the Horn. Mightyfine was their craftsmanship with waxed thread, palmthimble, bladed needles, and awls for heavy sewing;but for delicate artistry of intricately beautifulknotting the sheath knife lanyard has never been excelled.The knots took years to learn. Men sat in the coil ofa halliard or perched upon a boat, smoking black muckin cutty pipes while they sewed, gossiped, or spunyarns, though some would read or sleep. Above thema flaw of the wind would set the reef points tappingupon sails which slept, high up against white cloud raceor deep azure. Out beyond the bulwarks, the indigoof the deeps was maned with diamond-glittering sprayon the swift surges. On deck was a splendor of swayinglight, and shadow soft as sapphire dissolved. Billsat and darned socks, while Auld Jock read the Biblealoud, or at times expounded the sacred text, "withoot,ye ken, the verra slichtest trace o' Scottish accent."

Further aft, in the waist, his back against theweather bulwark, Silas the Yankee overhauled frayedscraps from the London Advertiser. "A coroner'sinquest held on 28 October at Margate disclosedparticulars, which we summarize, of a peculiarly shockingaffair occurring on board the barge Polly Phemus[sic!]. The vessel was the property of T. Fright,licensed victualer at the "Fox under the Hill" tavernby the Adelphi, who appeared in court to make claim,contra the claimants who testified that they found herderelict.

"Residents of Margate to whom her cargo had beenconsigned, were astonished to hear on the 22nd inst. thatthe barge, six days overdue at that port, wasreported to be lying at anchor some four miles to thewestward off Epple Bay, in the parish of Birchington.Proceeding thither by road they learned, from laborersemployed upon the farm adjacent to Epple Bay, thatthe barge's dinghy was gone from her stern, althoughnobody had been observed to come ashore. For somedays no smoke had been seen to rise from the cabinfunnel, nor had the vessel shown any sign of life.

"Such unusual circumstances being communicatedto the Vicar as nearest Justice of the Peace, he causeda visit to be paid to the Polly Phemus. On the cabinfloor lay the body, stabbed to the heart, of the masterof the barge, identified by the owner as his brotherJames Fright. In the bunk, attired in a nightdress,lay the mortal remains of the man's wife, also stabbedto death, but under circumstances of awful ferocity.Indeed, the crime appears to be the deed of a maniac,indifferent to the woman's purse containing twosovereigns and some silver, her silver watch, and her goldwedding ring. The medical evidence pointed to aninterval of about six days between the date of the crimeand that of the discovery. There were no signs ofa struggle, but the fact that the couple had been drinkingheavily was attested by the discovery of no less thansix empty gin bottles under the cabin table. A sheathknife was found crusted, blade and hilt, with driedblood. But the most sinister aspect of this affairremains to be told.

"The cabin was found locked from the outside, andthis fact becomes of dreadful significance because thefore hatch was discovered to have been left wide open.The fore compartment was used as a store-room, butalso occupied by the only son of the deceased couple,by name Bill Fright. That he had left in haste wasevidenced by the finding in his spare clothes of sixshillings in silver and elevenpence three-farthings inbronze, apparently forgotten when, after murderingboth his parents, he locked their bodies in the cabin,and fled from the place in the dinghy. No trace ofhim or of the boat is as yet reported; but the coroner'sjury gave their verdict against him of willful murder,a warrant has been issued for his apprehension, andthe police are understood to have a strong clue to hispresent whereabouts.

"He is described as follows: age 18 to 19, height5 ft. 7 in., build slight but strong, fair hair, blue eyes,ruddy complexion, features those of a pug. Usualdress a ragged blue jersey and slacks, black silkneckcloth, sea boots. The Joseph Fright recently executedat Tyburn was an uncle of this atrocious young scoundrel.Verb. sap."

Silas looked up from his reading and stared at Billwith a malicious grin. "I guess," so ran his thought,"as he's the poor orphan right enough. Got his UncleJoseph hanged, and knifed his beloved parents! Hedon't brag none of his past life, or talk about his lastship either, and now it comes to mind as I caught himblubbering—seems he feels kinder lonesome!

"Off Margate, eh? So his boat drifts up the floodtwenty or thirty mile until he's off the Nore and foulsour bows, and comes aboard white as a ghost, hishands all shaking. Say! That's why he coiled themhalliards down to hide the trembling. Waal!

"Calls himself Willie Muggins!

"All the same, I hain't due to be seen giving himaway, and him a shipmate—sort of. The fellerswouldn't stand for that. Shucks! And yet I dunno.The news might be dragged out of me. And there'sthe mate leaning on the poop rail, curious as monkeys—seesme look sideways trying to hide the paper, sorto' furtive, acting mysterious. What if I ups and axeshim!"

Silas went aft, ostentatiously hiding something inhis trousers pocket, looking worried, anxious, as heapproached the mate and asked his permission tospeak.

"What's wrong, my man?"

"If you please, mister. I kinder doubt——No"—heturned away—"I ain't having any!"

"What on earth's the matter?"

"Oh, nothing 'cept you kin gimme the date as wedropped down on the tide from Gravesend, sir, to theNore!"

"October 17th—why?"

Silas appeared to be appalled, stared forward at Bill,pulled out a corner of the paper, glanced at the date,then looked back over his shoulder, thanking the mate,and saying it didn't matter anyways.

"What doesn't matter? Silas, give me that paper!"

"Oh no, sir, not that! No! No!"

"I order you to give me that paper!"

Silas used his neckcloth to wipe the sweat from hisface. Of course he knew that the man at the wheelheard everything.

"Waal, since you got ter have it, I guess I obeysorders, if I breaks owners. Here, sir."

Mr. Dodd read the cutting, which to the Yankee'smind appeared to concern young Willie who sat theredarning socks, beyond the galley door. The ship hadcleared from Falmouth on 1st November, this paperwas dated 29 October, 1835. A week or so before thata young bargee had murdered his parents on board thebarge Polly Phemus, lying not far from Margate.That must be on or about the 16th October, perhapsa day or two earlier. The murderer had got awayin the dinghy. On the morning of the 17th youngWillie, sweeping upriver in a dinghy, had fouled theship's bows and come aboard at dawn. He had notgiven any name, had merely been dubbed WillieMuggins because the skipper said so.

Mr. Dodd told Silas to send Willie aft, andpresently the Yankee brought the lad. "Stand out ofearshot," said the mate; "go forward." Silas wentforward, dragging his feet, reluctant to miss the fun.

There was something ominous in the mate's bearing,and Bill became uneasy, wondering vaguely which ofhis many crimes had been found out.

"Sonny," said Mr. Dodd, "what is your real name?"

"Bill Fright, sir." The lad was smiling now, yet withan inward dread, for the officer had a queer catch inhis voice. What was this paper he held and glanced at?

"You worked on a barge," he said. "What wasshe called?"

"Polly Phemus," came the reluctant answer. Wasthis paper something to do with mother's death?

"Why did you leave her, son?"

Bill's face had clouded; the mate could see a glitterof tears, a twist of the lips.

"You leave that alone," said the lad in a brokenvoice. "It hain't your business."

"Mine, or the captain's business, Willie. Wouldn'tyou rather deal with me, lad, eh?"

"Well, if you got to know—my father done mymammie in with his belt knife, and then 'e killedhisself. I found 'em dead, I did." The lad's face wasdrawn and ghastly now. "I locked the cabin up——"


"D'ye think I hain't got no pride? D'ye think Ivants strangers peeping and prying down that 'atch,and smellin' around my fambily affairs? Well, Idon't." Then defiantly, "And I doesn't thank you forinterfering neither!"

Mr. Dodd was a man first, an officer when he calledto mind his duty. He saw no insubordination here,but only honesty and manly self-respect. He did notknow that the old man was listening within the cabinhatchway.

"Who told you, sir?" Bill challenged, flushing withsudden temper, his fists clenched, his jaw thrust out,his anger mounting steadily. "Is that the paper yougot from Silas? Eh? So that's the game! I'll seeto him."

Shaking with passion the lad flashed round, lookedout for Silas, saw him, and leaped like a wild beast."You ... take that!" he yelled, launching his fistin the Yankee's face, dislodging teeth, then drawingback for a space to get his full strength into the secondblow. But the American, snarling with rage and pain,whipped out his belt knife, and crouching low, rippedupwards with the blade.

"Ma mannie," Jock was saying, "calm yourself,"as he tripped the Yankee headlong into the scappers."Belay all that!" he added. The Yorkshireman seizedthe knife, and the Iroquois, with a long leap, jumpedSilas to hold him down. The negro cook held Bill,who raged to get at his enemy again, screaming,"Leave go! Leave go!"

"What's all this? Now, what's all this about?"Captain Home, attended by the mate and the boatswain,came surging along the gangway. "I'll showwho's master here!" He pointed to Auld Jock, andordered the bos'n to "clap that man in irons!" Thebos'n laughed. "What, sir!" asked the mate. "Forsaving a man's life?"

That brought the captain short with a round turn,baffled. He was determined to show his authority,somehow, anyhow. He rounded on the mate, wouldhave sent him to his berth under arrest, but for theeyes of the seamen clustered forward. Here wasmenace, a low muttering not to be disregarded. Thiswas their affair, a fight between two shipmates, and allhands were determined to see fair play.

Knowing his business thoroughly, he dared not beless than master. He was bound to dominate thesemen, or all of them would treat him with contempt,as unfit to command a ship. He must make some example,and as it happened Silas claimed attention. Hewas yelling, "I charge that man. I charge that manwith murder!"

The captain and all hands had seen him attemptingto knife the youngster. The Yorkshireman, grinningbroadly, held out the weapon. The bos'n with a broadpaw attempted in vain to mask a snort of joy. AuldJock, suspecting the savor of a joke cried, "Haec mon!Wha's murdering ye? Wullie? Aye, mannie!" Eventhe captain, angry as he was, joined his bleaksmile to the general roar of laughter. But the Yankeeheld his ground, defying all of them, pointing hisaccusation. "I guess," he said in his high nasal drawl,slowly, venomously, "the joke is on this man's fatherand mother, murdered! And there," he pointed to thepaper which the mate still held, "is proof it ain't myjoke."

The mate gave the paper to Captain Home. "You'dbetter read this, if you will, sir."

The captain read, but did not grasp the issue untilthe mate explained coincidence of dates, the descriptionwhich identified the murderer as Bill Fright, theverdict of a jury, the warrant out. Cold, stiff, official,Home saw no demerit in this newspaper which daredto presume the guilt of an untried man. He lookedat the accused, and in disgust sneered at him,contemptuous, disdainful. "Murdered your parents, eh?"

Bill turned on Silas, and in the same level voice,quiet, incisive, he said that all might hear, "Sneakedon your shipmate, eh? Sneaked on a shipmate!" Hespat in the man's face. "Cur!"

Americans have a code of honor not less manful ormore loosely held than the British, but it is different.The American code is one of an extraordinary chivalrytowards women, children, all who are unarmed,defenseless, weak, but has no trace of mercy on anyincompetence or false pretenses. Silas attacked a bargeepretending to be a seaman, and under a purser's name.But his method of attack struck at the roots of theBritish code the honor of the sportsman who plays thegame to the death, but neither explains, nor complains,nor carries tales. Anybody is liable to lose his temper,and in the heat of anger, without the least intent ofhomicide, to kill. Silas himself had but this momentattempted a comrade's life. So much was readilyforgiven, but he had sneaked to the mate, and for thatthere could be no pardon. So Bill was put in irons,and consigned to a cupboard known as the "bos'n'slocker." He was now the pet of the ship's company.He might be innocent of parricide, or guilty, as timeand a fair trial would bring to proof, but he wasvictim of a sneak. No officer or man on board the Beaverspoke to Silas after that, off duty, nor was thereconversation in his presence.

As to the captain, he had his consolations. Whenever,as in this example, he made an all-round ass ofhimself, he "logged" the mate with entry in the ship'slog book that Mr. Dodd had used insubordinatelanguage (signed) D. Home. There are many suchentries in the oldtime manuscript volume, and, if Iremember rightly, Mr. Dodd did not always limithimself to the use of appropriate language. Readingbetween the lines, I suspect that at times he kicked hiscommanding officer down the companion ladder. Twoyears later, when Captain Home was drowned in theColumbia River, Dodd took the command, and his logbooks are quite free from any trace of peevishness.

Did Captain Home propose to relinquish the servicesof an able-bodied man? Did he expect Bill to be aprisoner in that cupboard rounding Cape Horn and tosurvive the voyage? Was the captain likely to get theprisoner transferred to a man-o'-war or to a magistratein British territory this side of Oregon?

"Then," asked the mate, "why keep my watch short-handed,sir? I'll answer for him that he don't jumpoverboard."

"Mind your own business, Mr. Dodd."

"Right, sir; you are responsible for this man's life,not I. But it's my business, Captain Home, to reportto you that the bos'n's locker is too small to kennel adog. There's no air to breathe, and barely standingroom. It is slow murder, and has put the men in anugly mood, a very ugly mood, endangering your life,Captain Home."

"How dare you! Silence! Go below, sir. This isrank mutiny!"'

Next morning, very early, the captain took all thatout of the bos'n, asking what the devil he meant bylocking up one of the seamen in that doghole.


The bos'n's locker must have been, apart from itsperfume, cramped as an upright coffin, for Billdreamed that he was grandfather's clock stuck in acorner of the old bar parlor at the "Fox," condemnedfrom everlasting to everlasting to point out the minuteswith one hand, the hours with the other. And reallythere was no room even to point.

Then into his dream swept Rain's beloved presence.

"Hai ya!" cried Rain. "I wouldn't point if I wereyou. I'd stop."

The scene of his dream had changed. He was inDreamland.

"I haven't been wound up," he answered sorrowfully,"since we cleared Ushant. I'm feeling awful—rundown, you know; but if the old man catches me——"

"Say a prayer to Old Man." The Indian maid putup her hands most reverently, for "old man" is a sortof god among her people. "Whenever you feelhungry, you should say, 'For what I am aboutto receive, please, Old Man, make me truly thankful.'"

"What, for hard-tack and water!"

"Yes, you've been bad; but when you're good andsay grace prettily, Old Man will send you somethingnice to eat, a tongue, or berry pemmican from thecaptain's food box."

"Old Man!" said Storm, with scorn. "I don't holdwith them heathen gods. Nice sort of a Christian youare!"

"And yet," she purred, "I hear that Christians swearby the Christian gods Be Jabers, and S'elp-me-Bob,and Strike-me-pink—or are these holy saints?"

So she began to tease him.

By this time they had traversed the glade whichleads into Fairyland, and as Rain sat for the Tuft ofMoss in the Fairy Parliament, of course she plumpeddown flop on her constituency. Moreover, this dreamwas taking on a certain strangeness, for the RedIndian maid was no longer clad in her warrior dress.All of a sudden she had changed into a stiff costume ofruff and farthingale in the fashions of the reign ofJames I of England, while her copper color took on ahectic flush, her face became shrunken, and she had adry cough. The fairies, who have nice manners,pretended to take no notice.

"What do you know," said Storm disdainfully, "ofhow we swear in England?"

"Gadzooks!" was her joyful answer. "Sirrah, Ido assure you"—this very primly—"that when I wasin England I could swear like a little gentlewoman.Hoity-toity!"

The fairies had begun to scent a tale, and they arealways ravenous for stories.

"You wasn't never there!" cried Storm.

She rose from her tuft, to dip him a low curtsy.Then she began to speak in the manner of the Devonpeasantry.

"What! Haven't ye heeard as King Powhatan'sdarter, the Blessed Pocahontas, be coom a-land i'Devon? And they du tell as thicky ma-aid be marrietwith Master John Rolfe, the young Planter, aie, an'has a son by him aie. Tammas his na-a-me is, and shebe coom a' the way-ay frae Virginia, thicky LadyRebecca Rolfe so they du sa-ay, which be her christenedna-ame."

Eavesdropping fairies, pretending not to hear, weregathered by hundreds now to nurse a drooping rosebud.

"H'm!" Storm grunted. "You've always got somenew mare's nest to sit on."

Yet he was puzzled to find himself arrayed, asMaster John Rolfe might have been, coming ashorefrom Virginia, his sea boots changed to tan riding-boots,his trousers to trunk hose, his jersey to a browndoublet, a stiff, wide linen collar spreading above hisshoulders, and on his head a green top hat with afeather.

"Mare's nest?" said Pocahontas. "Pillion, youmean, on the crupper, i' faith, be-hind my little masterJohn Rolfe in his brown doublet, and his green top-hat,his scabbard bruising my knees, yes, all the way toTown."

Of course it was only a dream, but still it was queerthat he seemed to be astride a sweaty gray horse, witha perfect little witch of a woman perched up behindhim, poking shy fun as they rode.

"Now they do call me the Lady Rebecca Rolfe—asone might say our Lady the Queen. Yiss. All thesimple people at their doors prick-eared andopen-mouthed as we ride by, to see the Redskin lady cooma' the way from Jamestown at the new Plantations.And the gentries come of an evening to our tavern,where we shall lie the night, with civil welcome, soplease you, to the Lady Rebecca Rolfe who is aPrincess Royal."

Thousands of fairies formed the audience now, andas their numbers gave them confidence, sat unabashedto listen.

"The woman's got bats in her belfry!" said Storm,disgusted. He sat in the moss, and gloomed.

"Marry! Was it not proper to ride pillion, evenwith him my husband? Or to have my arm aroundhim, with fingers creeping up under his jerkin, for itwas cruel cold, to pull the fur on his chin?"

Storm gave examples of the latest bargese, but Rainput her fingers to her ears and went on, most demure.

"Of course my man had his servant to ride behindhim, and a Devon lass, good Betsy, riding cockhorsewith our baby son in her arms."

"Take leave of her senses!" was Storm's despairingcomment.

"Strewth," she observed, "or so they said in Jamestown,for though I wore rich stuff under Dacca muslin,with jewels in my hair and birdplumes, they allheld I had married beneath me. Aye, sirrah,Powhatan's eldest daughter of the Blood Royal mated toplain Mister, commoner, so please you. Albeit, mylittle widower looked quite smart, I grant you, in hiscourt suit, a tobacco planter, a gentleman entitled tosword and spur—by no means the common bargeeusing foul speech to a lady. At least he was neveranything low. Dear no!

"And after all, a Princess is only woman when itcomes to mating, and John was rather nice. I lovedhim, so that's all there is to it, loved him, and love himstill, and ever shall do—madly!"

"O-o!" said the lady fairies—"o-h! o-h!"

"Oh, this is too much!" Storm shrieked. "Shut up!For Gawd's sake shut yer mouth!"

"Methinks my little man mislays his manners."

All the gentlemen fairies clapped their tiny hands.

"Who is he?" Storm ramped up and down in frontof her, and the more he raged, the softer was herstroking. "Just let me at your little man this once.I'll corpse the swine. I'll tear his hide off over hisears. Now out with it! Who is he? Where is he?"

"Whom I did swear to love, honor, and obey—moreor less, in his little tantrums, these two hundred years."

"Ah!" gasped the lady fairies. "Two hundred minutes!"

"Two hundred years? What d'ye mean?"

"Since you and I were wed, John Rolfe, in our lastlife, my little man, two hundred years ago. Don'tyou remember, John, how we came freezing in thebitter east wind into the courtyard at the 'MermaidInn,' so numb with cold that we couldn't get downoff the horse. Don't you remember, dear? There wasa bald vagabond came out of the bar parlor bearinga posset to warm us—God's charity to poor travelers.He told us he acted at the theater. Why, John, itseems but yesterday."

"You mean that I——"

"Dear stupid, I mean that you're my little manMaster John Rolfe the planter of Virginia, and I'm yourtrue wife, once called the Blessed Pocahontas, KingPowhatan's daughter, christened i' the name ofRebecca, known to the Englishry as the Lady RebeccaRolfe. I'd know you again by your naughty temper,John, pug nose, and fighting jaw, Storms-all-the-time.Oh! fie upon you! Can't you remember how youvexed the Bishop, the Heap Big Medicine Man ofLondon, when we did lie in his lodge at Brentford?"

"I don't believe one word of it," said Storm. "It'sonly one of your games. Now, isn't it?"

"Oh, John dear, Matoaka speaks, your Matoaka.Can't you remember even that, my birth name? Why,you would whisper it in the night, weaving it intosonnets when you thought I was fast asleep! Oh, well!"she sighed, "you were not at all clever, John, dear, onlya good, religious gentleman."

She sighed, she turned away, then there came awicked little twinkle of her eye, a naughty curl of thelip, showing the sharp teeth—she would have anothernibble!

"If it were only a game, why it does not matter then,I didn't truly love you in that last life of ours.Suppose, dear, that it was all make-believe! What if Iloved another man at the time I wedded you?"

"Ah!" sighed the gentlemen fairies. "Oh!" gaspedthe ladies.

"Loved another devil!"

"He was more like a god."

"Hell!" Storm's jealousy had flamed to greaterheights than ever.

"But, dearest, if you were not John Rolfe and I wasnot your wife, why fuss?"

"I don't fuss. I never fuss. It's you thatfusses." Storm ground his teeth. "Who was he?"

"My friend, the dearest friend maid ever had, dreadleader and dear father of all Virginia. Surely youmust remember the mighty Johnsmith?"

"Never heard tell of him. Who was this Johnsmith?"

"Why think of the magic Johnsmith book you readto me at Brentford, all about the paladin—so youcalled him, this English lad commanding the Christianguns, crusading against the Paynim Turks. Bigwarriors were these Indians you called Turks, cleanfighters, but Johnsmith made bad medicine againstthem, new conceits you said of blazing serpents andfiery flying dragons which burned up the Turkishtowns. His medicine was very powerful.

"You read me how he fought three Turkish warchiefs, Knights was the word you said, below thestockade called Reigall. He fought with the lance andfinished with the sword, taking their three heads, andfrom the last of them a suit of golden armor.

"You told me how once at the Pass of the RoseTower this dread chief armed all his pony soldiers withbranches of trees soaked in pitch, then lighted themlike torches and charged a Turkish Army whichfled into the night, thinking the Devil was afterthem.

"Next of a tribe called Tartars, very bad Indians,more in number than the leaves of the forest, whokilled Johnsmith and all his warriors in battle. ButJohnsmith came alive again to be a war slave sold toTurkish squaws.

"From which captivity he did escape by using hischain to club down a Turkish war lord whose head hechopped off, then took his armor, sword, and horse forthat great ride he made, the ride of a hundred daysback to the Christian tribes. They hailed him as firstof all their warriors.

"Then of his passage in the little trade ship whichfought two Spanish battleships. Oh, you mustremember how they boarded, and when they got thefore part of the ship he touched off his powder barrelsthere and blew up the forecastle.

"Last of his coming to London, only twenty-fiveyears old, but passing rich in plunder, first of allwarriors on earth in glory, and so beautiful a man thatevery woman worshiped him—even as I did."

"Oh well, it's only fairy tales," said Storm resignedly.

"Boo!" said all the fairies. "Boo-oo-oo!"

"Truly it was like a fairy tale," said Pocahontas, andthe fairies were ever so pleased, "when Johnsmithcame into Virginia.

"My father King Powhatan watched that Englishcamp in Virginia, of wasters led by idiots, who starvedand squabbled until the sickness took their silly voicesone by one out into the silence. 'There's only oneman among them,' said my father Powhatan, 'so theylanded him in irons—this fellow they call Johnsmith.' Butwe called him the Great Werowance. 'I'll killhim,' said Powhatan, 'and the rest of them will blowaway like the dead leaves in winter.'

"But Johnsmith had the heart of a saint and themind of a boy, magic beyond our biggest medicine men,and such a queer little laugh. Our warriors laid hishead on a block to club his brains out, but I took hishead in my arms and held on tight, so they must killme first. After that he always used to call me hislittle daughter.

"My father was the biggest of all kings, but CaptainJohnsmith was his master. Time and again Powhatantried to get him killed but Werowance wouldcome and talk it over, smoking with him, laughing athim. Once I ran through the woods all night to tellhim that Powhatan's army was coming against hislittle helpless camp, but instead of running away heunpacked his goods to give me presents—oh, suchlovely gifts if only I'd dared to take them, to be caughtwearing them.

"Then came the night when the soldiers blew up hisboat with gunpowder, and what was left of him wassent to die in England. You swore to me that he diedthere, or I'd never have married you. And yet in myheart I knew all the time, that he lived. But how wasI to get to England and to him unless I married you?Well," she sighed, "it can't be helped. We're married.

"Verily when we got to England, Johnsmith wasalive, but then you see I was married, to a little manwith a temper—and so jealous. Well, better jealousthan runagate!"

"Go on. Twist the knife deeper."

She put her little head sideways and chirped like asquirrel, then made a great pretense that she did nosuch thing.

All the fairies were poking one another in the ribs,ever so slyly.

"Johnsmith heard of my coming. The camp criercalled it among the tipis in London town, but whobelieves what he says! And then one day the herowalked in Philpot Lane among the smelly lodges, whenwho should he see but Uttamatomahkin, one of Powhatan'scounselors, who went with a stick and a knife,making a notch for every man he met. Powhatanhad ordered him to find out the number of Englishwarriors there were for killing. Johnsmith hailed him,making the sign for peace.

"'Oh, Great Werowance, Master of all the Seas,'"cried Uttamatomahkin. "'I come with the LadyPocahontas, and her husband, and her baby son to seekyou.'"

"So they walked together, the chief notching hisstick for every man they met. 'Now show me God,'said he, supposing that the God of the English oughtto live in their chief village.

"'Nay,' answered Johnsmith, 'but is it really truemy little one is here?'

"They came to the Sachem, Sir Thomas of the Englishtribe in Virginia, and asked him about the PrincessPocahontas.

"'I hear,' said the Sachem, 'she is a very civil formalgentlewoman—though she be squaw in the wigwamof Bear-who-sulks.'"

"You made that up!" Storm snarled.

"I did," said Pocahontas. "Then Johnsmith put onhis chief's dress, his war bonnet, and best velvet robe.He brushed his curly beard up, so, and his mustachesstraight out like a wildcat seeking his love. He rodehis painted war horse to the Bishop's tipi, where youand I were lying, with our small baby boy.

"Now may it please your worship Master Rolfe.There was little me tied up with strings like a sacredmedicine bundle, in wooden hoops, and a stomacherstiff as a baby's cradle board, a piccadill collar stuckout all round with skewers, a tall hat, and high-heeledmoccasins—yes, with red heels tap-tap-tap on a floorlike black ice. Tap-tap-tap—flop, then scramble up tomy feet, and tap, tap, tap—lawks!"

She slithered round the Tuft of Moss, like a cat onglare ice, pretending to overbalance and recover,wide-eyed, hands outstretched.

Some of the fairies skirled and ran away.

"I couldn't run to him on heels like that. I couldn'tlove him properly in stomacher and farthingale. Iknew he'd hate me in blue, because I'm yellow, andwhat could I do but beat the air with a fan of threeplumes or a stick? He never liked face paint either—menwho kiss nicely object to the taste. H'm? No?But then you don't kiss nicely like dear Johnsmith.

"On the whole I couldn't bear it. At the sight ofhim I tried to run and couldn't. So I just turnedaway, flopped on the floor, and howled. Yes, there'syour civil formal Lady Rebecca, Royal Squaw, gentlewoman,and tied up with a husband, sniff, boo-hoo-hoo-oo!Although he was only a little one."

Storm crouched in the moss a picture of glumdespair, and all the fairies poking fun at him.

"Out with it," he growled. "You ran away withJohnsmith!"

"Ran away with grand-dad! He kissed you as ifyou were his long lost little one, and took you to walkin the fields, his arm about your neck, until I'd time tomend the ravages in my face-paint."

Storm looked up, wistfully, humbly. "I seem toremember," he whispered. "Father of Virginia andNew England."

"Founder of the United States," said Rain, "for somy spirit-guide would call him."

"Captain John Smith? Why didn't you call him byhis proper name?"

"Beshrew me I did," she answered indignantly."All the time."

"Oh, you little liar!"

* * * * * * *

"I may be a little liar," said the bos'n, "but this isthe first I've heered about it. Now wake up properly."

The bos'n had brought Bill hard-tack and water forbreakfast, together with a hunk of cold meat piepinched from the cabin pantry. He unlocked thehandcuffs, and put the food on the small paint-shelf."When youse put that inside your belt," said he, "OldHome-sweet-home says you kin make yourself scarce,and join your watch, my son, the watch below."


The old man nagged like an old woman and Mr. Doddlooked haggard, haunted, grew irritable, andhounded the men at their work. As to the second mate,he seemed demoralized altogether. Nor was therecomfort in the forecastle, where the straining bowspritworked a passage for the water until all bunks weresodden and men wrung out wet clothes to put on dampones after their watch on deck. The presence of asneak made talk unsafe, and there was sullen silence inthat wet, black, freezing hole, while the Cape Hornswell struck like a battering-ram and freezing sprayslashed high. Then somehow Captain Home tookexception to a glance or a word from Auld Jock, flew ina passion, had the man spread-eagled, and gave himthree dozen to show him who was master.

"Rope's end" could not be mentioned after that, or"rope," a word but seldom used afloat. It was barredlest that or ever so slight a reference remind AuldJock of the outrage. Delicately tactful, afraid to takeover his duties lest they affront his pride, the fellowswould leave to him the bit of meat which had a traceof fat, offer all sorts of little courtesies, seek Jock'sadvice in their affairs, ask his opinion when a point wasargued. Silas was once more a member of the mess,apparently quite friends again with Bill, for in thisgeneral mourning all men were brothers. But on dutythere were no chanteys sung. The job which hadtaken five minutes was now dragged out for an hour;a surly obedience, a scowling glance, replaced the oldalacrity of service, and Captain Home had remarkablynarrow escapes from blocks or marlinespikes which fellfrom aloft by accident.

Then at long last, driven far down towards theAntarctic after six weeks of awful cold, of furious gales,of peril without and smoldering mutiny within, theship won round the Horn. Sheeted with ice fromtruck to keelson, she drove before a polar gale straightto the norrard. A storm jib, and a close-reefed to'gallantsail kept her just clear of being jumped by black-browed,white-manned, hell-bred, mast-high combers,outroaring the Antarctic wind, while sheeted sprayslashed overhead, and on the rolling decks green seascame aft, waist deep.

Jock and the Iroquois, the two strongest men in thewatch, were at the wheel, the mate standing by lest akick of the rudder whirl them into the scuppers.Forward the rest of the men hung on, half drowned, Silasand Bill together in the starboard shrouds. "Say," theAmerican had to shout to make himself heard in thatuproar, "jest you keep an eye on the old man, aft therein the rigging. He knows he daren't heave to, andif we broach we'll founder; but if he's man enough he'llset three reefs in the tawps'l and let her rip for HailColumbia."

By the fading daylight Bill saw the gleam in thisYankee's eyes, the smile upon his lips, the triumph ofhim, caught the exultant laugh, and for the first timeknew that here was indeed a man. But as it needs alight to cast a shadow, this new admiration for theYankee sharpened Bill's memory of the betrayal, somean an act of spite. If the ship won through to theColumbia, Silas had prospects ahead a life to live. Ifshe broached to, if one of these vindictive monsterseas should batter in her ribs, and send her reelingdown through the black deeps beneath, he need not goto Newgate, or be hanged at Tyburn on a false chargeof murdering his mother. As he looked at Silas thelad's lips appeared to be drawn, gray, smoldering, whilein his eyes the American saw grief so awful that heturned away. He was afraid.

To fear is only human, but the display of it is cowardice,that meanest selfishness which infects and sapsand drains away the courage of others just when theyneed their strength. So Silas, knowing at the inner-mostof his being that he was afraid of Bill, in spiritterrified, must needs, for his manhood's sake, attemptto bluff.

"Shucks! You got a grouch ag'in me still?" he challenged.

"Yes," answered Bill, through his clenched teeth, "I has."

"You'd as lief fight it out?"

"In the second dog watch if we've time," said Bill,"or the middle watch if we hasn't."

"Right-o. Where?"

"On the bowsprit end. We'll 'ave it out with knives."

Silas wished then with all his heart he had not triedto bluff.

"You mean that?" he asked huskily.

"I mean," said Bill, "as I'm afraid to live, and Silas,"he stared into the man's eyes, "you're scared to die!"

"Waal, that's a fact. I am—leastways to die atsuch a job as that."

"When you sneaked," said Bill, "your words wasmurder."

A heavy sea crashed inboard, filled the fore deck,and when the spray cleared they saw the galley alladrift against the half-poop.

"Bill," said Silas, "I ax your pardon for what Idone."

"And I forgives yer, Silas."

"Bill—I see the old man screeching for us."

But Bill saw his mother standing amid the wash andwreckage aft. She nodded and smiled to him. Thenshe was gone, and the lad went to his duty about theshattered galley.


The gale was at its height during the middle watch,but on towards dawn began to flaw with lulls betweenthe furious squalls, so when the starboard watch wascalled the captain had the idlers on deck, served rum,and set the topsail. It was a sign that, for Cape Hornwas conquered, and in their victorious mood, with thesudden glow of liquor warming them, the men forgotthe gloom of the long nights, the piercing cold,drenched clothing, boils, wet berths, the chronic hunger,and mental weariness from lack of sleep, their burninghatred of the captain, even the lack of that humankindness which alone makes life worth living. Thesetting of the topsail was a sign of better days, offavoring winds, of sunshine, warmth, the Happy Latitudesahead, water to wash with, a landfall, a seaport, freshfood, and an all-night's rest.

Until this time Bill's mind had dwelt mainly uponthe past, with a sick yearning for his mother, and forthe barge, the only home he had known, the merrytraffic down the Lower Reaches, the stir and throb ofLondon. If he thought of the future, it was only withdread of being taken back, and hanged as a matter ofcourse—yes, just as Uncle Joey had been turned offat Tyburn. Now a new impulse filled him. Was hesuch a fool as to be taken back there alive? "Yes, ifthey're smart enough to catch me once I gets ashore!"

He was tailing on the halliard. For the outrageupon Auld Jock, the ship's best chantey man, no manwould start a stave. Yet in his mind was the memoryof the Trawling chantey picked up long ago from theBarking fisherman. He began to hum the tune, aloudbefore he knew, and presently a Shetlander of thestarboard watch took up the chorus, one after anothercaught the melody, and Bill roared out the bass, yelpedthe high grace notes:

"Now up jumps the Herring—the King of the sea,
He jump to the tiller—shouts 'Hellum a lee.'

"Chorus, you fellers—

For it's windy old weather,
Stormy bad weather,
And when the wind blow
We must all pull together!"


At Robinson Crusoe's Island, which is now calledJuan Fernandez, the Beaver put in for water, and thereher consort the Nereid joined company, having beenout of sight for a month.

Of course Bill wanted to go ashore with the wateringparty, so the old man clapped him in irons lest heattempt an escape. "Losing your day's work," saidSilas, who came to him at dinner time in the'tween-decks, and brought food for them both.

Bill yawned. "Sleep is good," said he. "I didn'tintend to run—at least, not here."

They sat on the deck with the food between them,to share the salt meat and biscuit.

"You hadn't oughter run," answered Silas. "ThemChilian loafers ashore what thinks they're soldiers ain'tworth encouraging. Set 'em to hunting you—why,they'd get swelled head mistaking themselves for whitemen. You want to wait until we makes little oldNorth America, where there's more room."

"You been on this west coast?" said Bill.

"You betcher—droguing hides along them Mexicanports, from San Diego all the way up north to SanFrancisco. Yes, and when I was whaling, I been toRoosian America. We watered at New Archangel!"

"Away north?"

"Sure, and in between California and the Roosianfur-trade forts is the British claims. That's fromSan Francisco up to 54° 40" north—all Hudson's Bayposts, wot we're heading for now. The British hain'tgot no rights to be there anyways, seeing it's U.S.A."

"What rights 'as you got to our forts?"

"Oh, as to that, the English can take their rottenforts away and bury 'em. It's the country belongsto us. We bought it from France. It's part ofLouisiana."

"'Ow abart the moon?"

Silas grinned joyfully. "Waal," he drawled in hisvery slow speech, "it's this a-way. The President hecome along to tell my mother as he'd like to owe herten dollars, if she could fix it. I axed him about themoon, but I sort o' disremember exactly what he said.Lemme see. Why, yes.

"Mr. President, he says, says he, 'Waal, Silas, itain't lo-cated, the moon ain't, yet,' says he, 'but whenit is lo-cated, you kin bet yer life no foreigners will beup early enough in the mawning, but they'll find ourstakes in fust.'"

Bill was profoundly impressed, and tried in vain torecollect any such conversation of his own with KingWilliam IV.

"Another time," said Silas thoughtfully, "when thePresident went buggy riding with my father, he telledhim that when we're good and ready, we're going torun you British out of Oregon."

* * * * * * *

"—and Padre, Silas says——"

"Is that the dog-faced man?" asked Rain.

"More like a wolf," said Storm. "Him as is goingto give me his gun, to make up for the way hesneaked."

"Give you his gun?" asked Rain, delighted.

"Yes; it's a good gun too, if I can get a flint for thelock. If it had a flint, of course he wouldn't give itme. Besides, there's no powder or ball."

"When will he give it?" asked Rain.

"When we gets to the mouth of your river."

"I'll pray to the Sun for a flint," said Rain.

"Padre"—the lad looked up at the fairy clergyman,who was frightfully busy working at his book—"Silassays that the Americans is going to run us English outof Oregon."

The padre abandoned his work in despair, swunground on his high stool, put up his spectacles, andlooked over the top of the rims at these disturbingchildren who squatted very comfy on the corner, holdingeach other's hands. "Ah! that reminds me," he said."Julia is engaged!"

"Oh!" Rain cried. "But, Padre, you know there isno marrying here."

"Did I say marrying?" asked the clergyman. "No,Julia took a fancy to Lion King-at-Arms, and isengaged, digesting him." He sighed. "She has such atemperature! Ah! yes, and by the way, young Storm,I have a letter which will interest you."

"Eh?" Storm jumped to his feet. "But of coursethere hain't no letters in Dreamland." He sat downagain disappointed.

"Pause, my son. Think it out. The fairies knowall about everything. Well, how would they knowanything if they never got any news? When a letteris destroyed down there on Earth, of course it comeshere by fairy post at once. This letter"—he grubbedabout for some time in his desk—"Ah! here. It cameI see in 1806, so it's been quite a long time waiting foryou."

"Twenty-eight years! Nine years before I was born!"

"So matters are arranged. The little beforehandand the little behindhand are attributes of thefore-handed fairies. Now, this particular letter is inRussian; but there again, pause, and reflect. It is athought, my son, and thoughts are things which flashfrom mind to mind. I am speaking Spanish, but youhear in English, and Rain understands in Blackfoot.You shall read this Russian letter in your own language."

Bill wanted the letter, but the padre would lecture,so it couldn't be helped.

"I see," he continued, "that it went down on boardthe Russian scow Peter Paul, when she foundered ina gale off Iterup in 1807. It is written by a man youare to meet in Oregon, a Lieutenant Tschirikov. Hisgrandfather, you know, was the great LieutenantTschirikov, the Russian explorer who sailed with VitusBering in 1741. He made the first landfall when theRussians discovered North America from the west."

Storm groaned, for at this rate he would never getthe letter.

"I'm frightened," said Rain. "Letters aresupernatural, and fearfully powerful medicine. Hadn'tStorm better pray to the Sun before he reads?"

"N-no." The padre thought this over very carefully."Lieutenant Tschirikov is bald, quite bald, andvery very fat, so he should be quite harmless. Thetruly dangerous magicians are never bald or fat likeTschirikov."

"Still, I think," said Rain most fearfully, "dearStorm, you'd better make a sacrifice to the Sun. Justhang up something."

Ever obedient to her, Storm jumped up, grabbedthe padre's spectacles, ran out, and hung them on atree as a sacrifice to the Sun. Then he came in again,snatched the letter, and read. It seemed to have nobearing upon his affairs, but still one never knows:

To His Excellency
Colonel The Barin Alexei Alexandrovitch,,
Governor-General of Eastern Siberia,
St. Petr, Kadiak Island, Russian America,

July 10th, 1806.

Venerable Brother,

In the name of all the saints—vodka! Send barrels!I languish on salmon, and Eskimo, inhaling the latter,for so far I have been mercifully delivered from thenecessity of eating any. They are suffocating.

I pray you salute the Immaculate Ruin, our Aunt, andkiss her on my behalf. Thus I shall have done my duty,but not suffered.

Oh for the delights of your Excellency's palace, and aclean shirt!

How I envy you the very least of those perquisites andassumptions of plunder which ever flow into your treasury,pickings worthy a minister of state. But at theleast I am solvent, for so long as I can blow my owntrumpet I shall never be destitute, having HerExcellency—Salute!—yourself—General Salute!—and theImmaculate Ruin—nine guns!—to borrow from. In default ofroubles I repay, as you perceive, in compliments.

Baranov, you know, spent last summer in extendingthe Company's operations to a point a few thousandsversts or so from here, and far to the eastward ofMt. St. Elias. Here's to St. Elias! I was with him—not Elijah,you stupid—in the St. Paul, my present command, andhe had all the natives that could be mustered, in somethree hundred skin canoes. Most of them, by the way,were drowned in Icy Bay, but when Baranov makes anomelet he likes to hear the eggs splash. We founded apost in the country of the Sitka tribes, and called it NewArkangel. On our return westward in the autumn, weleft behind some twenty-three men as garrison, but theyhave foolishly allowed themselves to be done to death.So we sail in a few days to massacre the Sitkas, theonly amusement there is to look forward to at present.

Meanwhile I have put in for repairs here at St. Petr;and beyond some little diversion of which it is the purposeof this present writing to advise you, I have little to doexcept play cards with the priest, and listen to the oddestlot of legends that ever came out of a monastery. Yum!Yum!

I do not suppose that you care to hear about theconditions of the country and the fur trade, or I wouldregale you with an account of all the hunters drowned,stabbed, or starved since I last wrote. Nay, I will notweary you with commonplaces. It is enough that mensuch as ourselves of the first fashion are condemned to bebored all day with the affairs of the canaille, withoutletting them intrude upon our private correspondence.Verily our revered grandparent deserved to be exterminatedand heavily fined for his idiocy in discovering sucha country.

As a matter of fact, however, I am not writing toamuse either myself or you, but to tell you how Imanaged to fall out with Baranov. As the insolent old foolhas written to Golovnin and others to get me sent homein disgrace. I want your Excellency to have his pawsburned. How such a base-born, red-haired, shopkeeping,bald-headed, shriveled-up he-bear came to be Governorof Russian America I cannot imagine.

Well, early in June I arrived at Ounalashka, in theAleutian Islands, with supplies from Petropavlovsk;found the Governor there, and began to unload. Fromthe first I heard of little else but the charms of Olga—theLittle Fur Seal—they called her—daughter of a bigAleut chief from Oumnack. I entertained the old gentlemanon board the St. Paul, until he grew mellow with myparticular vodka, now, alas! no more. Olga sat in acorner with her big dark eyes fixed on me, her red lips justa little parted, and her black hair streaming down oneither side of her face: only a savage, of course, butone cannot expect court ladies from the entourage of HerImperial Majesty. When I thought the chief was in asufficiently amiable humor—you could have buttoned hisgrin behind his neck—I asked how many skins herequired for his very plain daughter. Not that I wantedher. But still I felt some curiosity. It would not begood for his morals to encourage his avarice.

To which he replied that all my skins wouldn't buyher, because the great lord Baranov demanded her forwife. Now the Governor has more skins than I havehairs; but I have wisdom, and wisdom is better thanmany skins; so I told the chief that if he would give meOlga I would tell him all about everything. You knowI picked up ventriloquism at the Naval College, so thatwhen the chief derided me, voices were heard laughing athim from under his chair, out of the vodka bottles, inthe beams overhead and all over the cabin. He said Iwas a great doctor, and knew everything; but how couldhe give me Olga when he had also promised her to Ivan,a young chief in the village? Moreover, she was in lovewith a fourth party. I told him that I was very wise,and that I loved Olga.

Now, to make a long story short, I disposed of thepretenders as follows: The fourth party I won over bygiving him an old cocked hat and a broken sword,together with the degree of Sublime Exaltation in theAncient and Hereditary Order of Mystical Gluttons.The initiation was a most imposing ceremony. I read theritual from the ship's big medicine book, and in tokenof the ancient and hide-bound traditions of the Order,encased his head in plaster of Paris and painted hisnose red. After marching thrice round the cabin on allfours we concluded the ceremony with an oath, wherebyhe is bound to present himself in person at Irkutsk, andthere to deliver letters credential to His Excellency theVenerable and Supreme Grand Master of the Order,take him into his arms, rub noses in token of amityand a joyful heart, and to receive the appointment ofMinister of Stolen Goods in the government of theprovince. He sails in the ship of my little friend HansSchlitz, and I hereby commend him to your brotherlylove.

Now for the third party, Ivan, the young Chief: Isent him to Baranov in the dead of the night to ask whyhe has red hair; but instead of having his mind enrichedwith the important revelations which were to have beenuttered by the Governor on hearing this mystic password,my poor friend Ivan had his body decorated with quiteother forms of enrichment, and was found next morningon top of the church belfry with one eye and three fingersmissing and his nose pointing round the corner. Baranovis inclined, at times, to be a little playful.

The fourth party being under your Excellency's care,and the third suitor ignominiously rejected by the LittleOne as damaged goods, I had now to compensate herfather for not getting Baranov's skins. Wherefore Iproceeded to instill the most subtle wisdom into the headof my future father-in-law. I taught him a little sleightof hand, and some card tricks; showed him how to run asword through his body by means of a tin tube in theshape of a half belt, invented for him a beautiful systemof fortune telling, and gave him the ship's speakingtrumpet with which to bellow at the people through hisbig medicine mask. I showed him the effects of phosphorusupon the face at night, and how even white peopleturn black when painted with nitrate of silver. But themost polite of his new accomplishments is theventriloquism—a trick which he has raised to the dignity of afine art. Suffice it to say that I qualified that savage tobecome such an intolerable nuisance that he is to-daythe recognized terror of all Aliaska, and possesses moreskins than even Baranov could have offered for hisdaughter.

But alas for all my virtue and my discretion! Justas I had won the Little Fur Seal, for whose sake Baranovpiled up his skins in vain, the young Aleut Chief wasundergoing repairs, and the fourth party proceeding torub noses with your Excellency at Irkutsk, the old chiefcame to me, crouched down on the cabin floor, and beganto wail.

I took him by the scruff, rattled his teeth, and orderedhim to speak.

"She's gone," he moaned—"gone away in the night,and left her poor old father all alone!"

I hauled him on deck by the ear, kicked him overboard,and went to Baranov. Our sorrows had made us brethren,and we wept. We were sampling a small keg ofbrandy, to assuage our anguish, when in came Ivan,with his nose bandaged up and his tongue hanging out,to mourn with us.

In proof of our sympathy we gave him some of thebrandy, and as we three sat together mingling our tearswith our spirits, a rude little boy came in and laughed atus. Olga, he said, was his sister, and had whispered tohim last night, before she went away that any one whowanted Fur Seal would have to hunt! She said also thatshe was going to St. Petr on Kadiak Island, and badehim tell nobody of the fact, particularly Captain Tschirikov.

Baranov rose from his chair with a most absurdassumption of dignity, and said: "Captain Tschirikov, youwill at once beach the St. Paul for repairs in the EastCove, and superintend the work in person. Ivan, youwill report to me at nine o'clock this evening, andreceive dispatches for Attoo Island. Boy, consideryourself entered on the books of the Company as my bodyservant, and be ready by to-morrow morning to go withme to Kadiak Island."

Dismissing Ivan and the boy, I told Baranov that Iintended to beach my ship for repairs, not in the EastCove but at St. Petr, where there are better facilities.He at once ordered me under arrest. I replied that Iwas not accustomed to receive indignities at the handsof tradesmen, that as a naval officer I was responsibleto no civilian, and only refrained from calling him outbecause he was not a gentleman. Leaving him speechlesswith rage, I boarded my vessel, slipped and buoyedmy cable, and squared away for Kadiak.

A Russian does not sleep when he is out wife-hunting,and you have only to hold in remembrance the blackeyes of my Little Fur Seal to realize that I was notmany days in reaching her hiding place. I landed atSt. Petr with my whole starboard watch, and proceededto search the village. Just as one of my men entereda house, he called to me, but I reached the front dooronly in time to see something flutter out at the back.Giving chase, I had the Little Fur Seal safe in my armswithin a hundred yards of the house. We have huntedbears together, O my brother, and faced them when theywere defending their cubs; but a she-bear in the springis a lamb compared to Olga. She scratched, kicked, bit,screamed; she tried to plunge a long knife into me, andwhen I took that from her, clutched my hair. WhereforeI do beseech thee, Alexei Pavlovitch, as thou dosthonor the memory of our sire, to send for a wig toPetersburg—just a little wig, with a becoming queue, inthe latest mode of the vielle noblesse, in size about thesame as you wear on full-dress occasions. Have thisconsigned to the care of Hans Schlitz at Petropavlovsk.

When I got her down to the boat the Little One beganto sulk; and except for some little scratching aswe got her up over the ship's side, she sulked onconsistently until supper time. I felt like a brute as, aftera solitary meal in the cabin, I smoked my pipe beforeturning in. I was conscious all the time of the glarefrom her black eyes. Whenever I tried to make friendsthey flashed upon me like twin stars; while once in mybunk I had an uncomfortable presentiment that,presently finding me asleep, she would cut me off in theflower of my youth with a big butcher knife. Butreflecting that it is much wiser to sleep than to lie awakeimagining vain things, and greatly solaced by thememory of having seen Baranov's vessel beating herway up the harbor, I partly closed my eyes, and dozed alittle.

As luck would have it, I was just sufficiently awaketo note that the Little One, believing me to be asleep,was stirring. To give her confidence, I snoredcomfortably and, unsuspected by her, watched everymovement. How pretty she looked as she stood in the faintglow of the candlelight, and then moved slowly towardsme, almost imperceptibly and softly as a panther!Picture to yourself, Alexei, the gentle swaying of herlimbs, the tangled mass of shadowy hair, the brillianteyes, the full red lips! Outside I could hear Baranov'screw letting their anchor go, and taking in their canvas.I thought also, with a sense of pleasure, of Ivanstealing slowly along the coast in his canoe towards us.Then, brother, conceive my delight as I saw her creeppast the locker upon which lay the knife without evenstretching out her hand towards it. A moment laterI felt that she was bending over me; her breath playedupon my face, her lips drew closer and closer, until atlast they rested upon my cheek, leaving there theimprint of the sweetest small round kiss that ever sent athrill of joy through the heart of man.

The Little Fur Seal was mine!

Your affectionate brother,

In the padre's little adobe house Storm finished reading,and at once the fairies, peeping round the edge ofthe door and the window, made grand pretense thatthey had not heard.

"Padre," asked Rain, "what's bald?"

The holy man lowered his head to show the shaventonsure. "That," said he.

"Oh!" said Rain. "I never saw a bald before. Wedon't have any in the Blackfoot nation." Tearscame to her eyes and made them glisten. "And fat,"she said. "Poor Nicolai! Poor Little Fur Seal!Storm, when you meet him in the Oregon be kind tohim and comfort him for the fat and bald. And giveher my love too."

"If I remember," answered Storm.

* * * * * * *

And Bill awakened because the bos'n knelt besidehim with a lantern, taking off the handcuffs. TheBeaver was at sea.




What is a Christian? Is he one whoprofesses the Faith? I have my doubts. TheHoly Inquisition professed belief, andgenerously burned the bodies of the orthodox in order tosave their souls.

Perhaps He accepts as Christian all who do thewill of His Father by loving God and their neighbors.I dare hold that these are the Christians whom Christbelieves in. Throughout a varied and misguided lifeI have found the sort of Christians who love God andtheir neighbors, both in the cities and the countryside;but they seemed most numerous in the fighting forcesat war, the fishing vessels, the deep-sea shipping, thecow camps, the remote gold fields, and the forlornoutposts of trappers, rangers, scouts, explorers, pioneers.Such Christians did not always clean their teeth, orwash behind their ears, their conversation would haveshocked their mothers and all angels; but then onedoubts if the fisherman of Galilee had any tablemanners, and if Peter, James, and John called on a modernbishop, they would certainly be sent to the back door.

Is this too long a sermon? Skip, then!

Nowhere are men so jammed as in a deep-sea forecastle,or piled on top of one another for so long atime, so plagued by rats, bugs, damp, cold, and gloom,with such a suffering from lack of sleep, fresh water,decent food, pure air, and privacy. And nowhere domen learn a more whole-hearted charity towards others,and liberality, such a complete unselfishness, so granda Christianity of mind. In foul weather everybodysaves a shipmate's life, say, once a day, and nobodyexpects a word of thanks.

The fellow who does not matter one way or theother is called Hi! The chap who provides any sport,puts up a good fight, or makes friends worth havinggenerally earns a nickname and as a rule will answerto it, cheerily or with his fists, according to his nature.Murderer Bill, as his shipmates called youngFright, took his nickname without resentment. Soone may address the most frightful insults to adog in such a tone of voice that he wags his taildelighted.

If anybody wanted to have trouble, Murderer Billmade haste to provide. He fought several battles, andhad a reputation for pugnacity. Yet to anybody whotreated him half decently he proved a loyal friend inthought, word, and deed, the least selfish man onboard, recklessly generous. No doubt was ever thrownupon his courage, he had a natural bent for seamanship,and fully held his ground as able seaman. Inthe larboard watch his special chum, towards the end,was Silas, Auld Jock his instructor, and the rest werefriends. There was no man on board more generallyliked.

And when the Beaver came safe inside the breakerson the Columbia bar, the captain had Murderer Billhaled down from aloft by the bos'n, clapped in irons,and once again consigned to the 'tween-decks as aprisoner. The ship's company as a whole determinedto get even with the captain.

Thus Rain's prayer to the Sun came to be answered.The mate lent a flint which fitted the lock of Silas'sgun. A bullet mold was found in the bos'n's lockerand plenty of lead in the ballast for a supply of bullets.When the ship's magazine was opened for the saluteto Fort Vancouver, a bag of powder strayed. TheIroquois made the belt and pouches, Auld Jock gave ahunting knife, somebody stole a lens from the captain'stelescope to serve as a burning glass for making fire.The Yorkshireman gave a wallet with flint, steel, andtinder. There was a purse filled by subscription. Itwas certain that, when Murderer Bill escaped to thewoods, he would not go empty handed, but doubtfulrather whether he might need a wagon to carry hisequipment.


To have a luminous mind concerning Fort Vancouverit is better not to get the place mixed with VancouverIsland, or with the modern seaport of Vancouver uponthe adjacent mainland. The old capital of BritishOregon—a city stands there now—was on the northernbank of the Columbia where a natural park ofpasturage and timber sloped upwards from the river.Upstream the valley was barred by lofty forests, andfrom north to south no less than seven white immensevolcanoes appeared to float above a sea of mist.

The village on the river bank had three dozen logcabins, very neatly kept by Indian housewives, theirmen being Shetlanders and Orkneymen, French-Canadiansand Métis, Kanakas and Iroquois. The offspringattended school, where Solomon Smith taughtAmerican, singing, deportment, and morality. Behindthe village rose the stockade 20 feet high, quadrangular,and in extent 750 feet by 450. It was not reallya fort, having neither bastions, galleries, guns, noreven loopholes, for indeed a wooden popgun wouldsuffice to terrorize the Chinooks. Facing the maingate was the chief factor's house, a French-Canadianmanor, its white veranda trellised for vines whichyielded purple grapes. Between two flights of stepsforming a horseshoe stood a 24-pounder gun, with amortar on either side, and pyramids of shot, to frightenchildren away from the geranium beds. On eitherside of the great house extended the officers' mess,anteroom, library, a range of officers' quarters, andhouses for the guests. Fronting these were the bigwarehouses, store, ration house, hospital, and shops forthe artificers, the tailor, the turner, the cobbler, thesmith who made fifty hatchets a day in his spare time,the bakers who supplied hard biscuits to the Company'sships, and the Indians who beat the furs each week torid them of moth and dust. On the lawn which coveredthe main square stood the bell-house and the flag-staff.Outside the stockade was the stead, with athreshing floor worked by oxen, the orchard where allthe trees had props to help them carry their load, andthe farm of seven hundred acres. Beyond was pasturagewhere the sheep yielded twelve-pound fleeces, andthe growing herd of cattle was kept sacred for thefuture prosperity of Oregon. Downstream a coupleof miles an Hawaiian herder tended the pigs in theoak woods. Upstream was the sawmill which furnishedcargoes of lumber to the Sandwich Islands. Inall that husbandry the figs and lemons were the onlyfailures; but Mr. Bruce, the gardener, had an exchangeof seeds with the Duke of Devonshire's place over atChiswick-on-Thames, and yielded to no man in strawberriesor Juan Fernandez peaches. Outlying this capitalof the fur trade was old Astoria, an Americanfort bought by the Company during the American-BritishWar of 1812, but now in ruins. A white manlived there to tend the four-acre garden and report thearrival of ships. On Puget Sound was Fort Nisqually,and farther up the coast Forts Langley, McLoughlin,Simpson, and Stickeen, which last had been leased fromthe Russians. Up the Columbia Valley was FortWalla Walla, from whence a trail went eastward acouple of thousand miles to the United States, thenspreading steadily up the Missouri Valley. Northwardof Walla Walla was Fort Okanagan, which had stockadedoutposts on the Spokane River, Lake Pend d'Oreilleand Flathead River, with others farther on in whatis now Canadian territory. Fort Colville, near thepresent boundary, and on the main stream of the Columbia,was second only to the capital, and thence the annualbrigade of cargo boats went by river to Hudson'sBay. Southward of Vancouver about two hundredmiles there was an outpost, and beyond that, sixhundred miles or so, was the little Mexican presidio ofSan Francisco.

In theory the country was held jointly by GreatBritain and the United States, but in fact it wasBritish Oregon. The Hudson's Bay voyageurs retired,who farmed in the Willamette, were hardly as yet acolony, nor did the Company project large settlementsto disturb the Indians or the fur trade. The time wasa golden age of progress, prosperity, sane government,and unbroken peace, the sole creation of oneman, Chief Factor David McLoughlin, Father ofOregon.

This gentleman was Irish on the father's andFrench-Canadian on the mother's side, Canadian born, andheld a degree in medicine from the Faculty of Paris.He stood six feet six inches, powerfully built,strikingly handsome, with long hair iron-gray. Onewould compare him, in stern probity, with Washington,in charm with Lincoln, but not by any means withlesser men than these. His enemies testify to hishospitality, his delight fulness as a host, his generosity.People who came out of the wilderness or from thesea were charmed with the officers' mess, with itswillow-pattern crockery salved in 1825 from a wreckedChinese junk, the English cut glass, the bright silver,the flowers, the gracious ease, the sparkling conversation.And after dinner, Dr. McLoughlin, who had oneglass of wine when a ship came in, would ring the bellfor Bruce the gardener, who presented him with thesnuff box. The pinch of snuff was a solemnity, a signalwhich sent the officers to their work, and the guestsfor a ride, or in wet weather to the library.

The pioneer serpents in this Paradise were theReverend Herbert Beaver, Church of England chaplain,and Mrs. Beaver, the first white woman in Oregon.Beaver had been an army chaplain in the West Indies,a fox-hunting vicar at home, always more horse-proudthan church-proud. He was a little man of lightcomplexion, a feminine voice, an oratorical manner,flippant and arrogant, who hunted every morning andbaptized the heathen in drill time all the afternoon. Hewas appalled by the discovery that each of the twentyofficers, the doctor included, had an Indian woman inquarters, a half-breed family, not married. It did notoccur to him that the Indian marriage was sacred to theIndians, and that himself was the first priest withpower to celebrate the Christian rite for the men.With one exception, they refused his services as aninsult. Beaver would not associate with immoralwomen, or Mrs. Beaver with lewd, adulterous men.They said so. Indeed, the pair made themselves variouslyand acutely unpleasant, and that in the name ofChrist.

The American missionaries who followed themdeveloped deadly treachery against the doctor; the Americanpioneers, all pleasantly uncouth, wrested the countryfrom its British owners, but the English Beaverswere first to undermine the happiness of Oregon,and it was their advent which closed the goldenage.


H.B.C. brigantine Beaver, all shiny with fresh paintand burnished brass, dipped her ensign to the fort,fired her salute of guns, dropped anchor abreast of thevillage, reported to the chief factor, and sent ashore allsorts of reading matter and other precious treasure.Then she proceeded to turn herself into a little paddleboat, the pioneer steamer of the Pacific Ocean. It wason the 14th of June, 1836, that she took the gentlemenof the fort on an excursion all round Wapato Island.After that came her maiden voyage under steam of800 miles to Milbank Sound, and the first filling of herlittle bunkers at the Nanaimo coal seam. So she passesout of our story.

Meanwhile, at his first obeisance to the chief factor,Captain Home made report with much pomp andcircumstance that he had a prisoner in irons awaitingcommitment on the horrible charge of murdering hisparents. The doctor advised him to see Mr. Douglas,Justice of the Peace.

Black Douglas, scarce less tall and imposing ofpresence than the doctor himself, received the little fussbox with an amiable grin, read over the newspapercutting with some slight impatience, and remarked thatBill Fright seemed to have a jolly good case forcriminal libel against the London Advertiser. The captainwas disgusted, and presently consoled himself by tellingMr. Beaver all about it.

Meanwhile, the ship's company related to all comersthat the prisoner was a pretty good fellow, with themakings of a sailorman, although the skipper "had adown on him."

The officers' mess agreed that Captain Home wasa pompous ass, sitting on a mare's nest, and making aridiculous fuss about some youngster falsely accused offelony.

At the mess the Reverend Herbert Beaver observedover his wine that he had already reported to theAborigines Protection Society of London on the hideousand callous immorality of the present company, and ifthis parricide were not at once committed for trial hein fact would proceed—to take steps.

Doctor McLoughlin rang for Bruce, took a pinchof snuff, released the servants, then requested theReverend Chaplain to resign from the mess, because it wasintended only for the use of gentlemen.

The Reverend Beaver having flounced out of theroom in a huff, and banged the door, the chief factorbowed to the delighted officers, who came about him ashe stood to receive their congratulations. "Do youknow, gentlemen," he said, "I agree with the chaplain.Yes. I regret to say that for once I find myself inagreement with Mr. Beaver.

"Now, James," he turned to Douglas, "please don'tgive Mr. Beaver ground for complaints against you tothe Government of Lower Canada from which youhold Commission of the Peace."

"You mean sir, that I should try this rotten case?"

"I do, Jim, really. I have my reasons too. AndJim," he winked at the magistrate, "may I beprisoner's friend?"'

There was a roar of laughter.

"And mind you, Jim, no hole-and-corner business.All white men should be present, as witnesses to thefact that Mr. Beaver has no grounds for complainteither against you or against me."

"May we use this room, sir?"

And so was the trial arranged.


"Prisoner. The London news-sheets of 29th October,1835, our latest advices, report that a coroner'sinquest was convened at a place called, yes—Margate,the day previous, upon the bodies of James Fright, abarge master, and Catherine his wife. The jury gavea verdict of deliberate and willful murder against theson of the deceased, by name Bill Fright. As aJustice of the Peace I'm obliged to rule that thisnewspaper report is bona fide evidence.

"What is your name?"

"Bill Fright."

"Call Mr. David Home."

David Home, having taken oath, protested that hewas entitled to be called Captain.

"By courtesy," said the magistrate blandly, "whichI shall render, when I have inspected your log book.You will please show the prisoner's name in yourlog."

"Prisoner is shown here," said Home, "under apurser's name, as Willie Muggins." The captain wasmopping his forehead with a handkerchief. Certainlythe mess room was hot and crowded.

"You assert that the prisoner signed on under a falsename?"

The captain shuffled. "Oh, well, fact is——"

"Be careful, Mister David Home, be careful!"

Still the captain shuffled, and his ship's company,present at his request, excepting the Iroquois and theNegro, began to rejoice aloud.

"Am I to understand," thundered Black Douglas,"that you attempt to prejudice the prisoner's case bysuggesting that he signed under a false name?"

"No, sir!"

"Then what the devil do you mean by appearing in aBritish Court of Justice with a false log book? Irefuse to receive your evidence. You will leave mycourt. Get out!"

Nothing could restrain the Beaver's crew fromrousing cheers as their captain was shown out, but BlackDouglas ordered silence or he would clear the court.

The boatswain's evidence was accepted as to thefact of arrest.

"And now," the magistrate turned to the prisoner,"you are charged," he spoke with a grave gentleness,"with the murder of your parents. Do you pleadguilty or not guilty?"

Bill knew that this man was a friend worth winning."Not guilty!" he answered joyfully.

Black Douglas looked at the crowd. "I want youall to know," he said, "that I don't pretend to anytraining at all in law or in court procedure. I'm atrader. But I am a white man claiming British blood.Deep down in all our hearts there is one root principleof our common sense, fair play between man and man.We are here to play the game. A prisoner is a manrestrained by the law because his conduct has beencalled in question, held until Justice can give himabsolute fair play, and he stands free in presence of hisfellows. He is an innocent man in trouble, in jeopardy."

Here the Reverend Beaver, seated in the front rowof the spectators, was unrestrained in his impatience.

"Pish! Pshaw! Mawkish sentiment! Playing tothe gallery! Disgraceful!"

The magistrate seemed to be pleased, and addressedthe remainder of his remarks directly to the chaplain.As he drove home the attack, great was the joy of hisbrother officers.

"To slander a prisoner behind his back, to question,bully, or punish him, or in any way to treat him as afelon before he is proven guilty, is a beastly andcontemptible act of cowardice. The prisoner before mehas been slandered by the news-sheets behind his backprior to his trial. I cannot shoot the reptiles of thepress, but I can and will defend the prisoner in theestablishment of his own innocence. As magistrate Iam allowed to ask him which way he pleads, in guiltappealing to the Crown for mercy, or in innocencedemanding release as an act of justice. Pleading 'Notguilty,' he has demanded trial.

"Prisoner, Dr. David McLoughlin, Chief Factor,asks leave to appear on your behalf as prisoner's friendto see that you get fair play and benefit of doubt. Doyou accept his help?"

There were tears in Bill's eyes and his voice wasvery gruff as he answered "Yes."

Press cuttings were then read by the clerk of thecourt and noted as documentary evidence, completingthe case for the prosecution.

Mr. Dodd, mate of the Beaver, was sworn for thedefense, and presently examined by the doctor.

"In whose watch, Mr. Dodd, did the prisoner serve?"

"In mine, sir; I chose him."

"Any regrets?"

"None, sir."

"What sort of character?"

"First-rate, sir; best helmsman we has, makings ofan excellent seaman. Couldn't have done it, sir."

"Done what?"

"Done murder, sir."

"I think," observed the magistrate, "that this isopinion rather than evidence as to fact."

"Does the prisoner get on well with Captain Home?"

"No, sir."


"Rather not say. It's not my place to discuss mycommanding officer."

"Excellent. By the way, Mr. Dodd, was the prisonerwearing a belt knife when he joined the ship?"

"He was, sir."

"May I request the court to have one or two of thenewspaper reports read again with reference to theweapon?"

The clerk read two or three versions which describedthe murderer's blood-stained belt knife as found in thebarge's cabin. The last version showed the weapon asclutched in the dead man's hand.

"That's right, sir," cried the prisoner, and when thedoctor tried to silence him, so much the more heprotested. "Why, I seen it!"

"Prisoner," said the magistrate, "you will be wise toleave your defense to your counsel."

"Bias! Bias!" The Reverend Herbert Beaverjumped up and shrieked in his shrill voice. "Bias!The court is shielding a felon!"

"Silence in court," said the magistrate. "Usher, ifthat man interrupts with one more word, remove him,using all necessary violence."

The prisoner had whirled round to stare at the chaplain.His face became deadly pale, his eyes were startingfrom his head, his teeth were clenched, lips parted."You go to 'Ell," he snarled. "And that ain't far—for you!"

"I call you all to witness——" shrieked the reverendgentleman; but he got no further, for all necessaryviolence attended his departure.

The Reverend Jason and Daniel Lee, of the Methodistfaith, American missionaries, some visiting officersof the company's outposts, one or two overlandtrappers, a couple of stray seamen, the gentlemen andservants of Fort Vancouver, and the ships' companiesof the Beaver, Nereid, and Una, made in all perhapsthe largest assemblage of white men which had so farmet on the Pacific coast. The affair of Bill Frightwas not of the smallest consequence that day comparedwith the great issue, the chaplain's grievance againstthe magistrate which would be laid before the Governmentof Lower Canada, and his complaints to the Governorand Company in London which might easily ruinthe Father of Oregon. Now he would claim conspiracybetween the doctor, the magistrate, and the prisoner!How much worse his grievance, if the prisonerwere found not guilty, and released as an innocentman! The doctor and Black Douglas were exchangingglances, and both understood that the boy must becommitted for trial.

The case went on, for Mr. Dodd was witness as toSilas discovering the charge against the prisoner, andhow as chief officer he himself examined the supposedWillie Muggins, who proved perfectly frank, andmanfully indignant at an outrageous slander. Again theseamen of the Beaver broke out cheering, and had tobe restrained. There was no doubt as to their sympathy.

Now Bill demanded that the Court should hear hisstory; and, rueful as they were lest he should ruin hiscase, neither the magistrate nor the doctor felt that itwas wise to appear in the suppression of evidence.Great was their relief as the lad spoke, simply and tothe point, clearing away all mystery, all doubt, until thecrime was seen in its true proportions, a murder andsuicide committed by his father, which left himmotherless, friendless, and in jeopardy of the gallows.

The doctor scribbled a note, and handed it to Douglas.

"Dr. McLoughlin," the magistrate looked up fromreading the note, "I quite understand. The clerk ofthe court will make record that the prisoner, havingtaken over his own case, the prisoner's friendwithdraws from his defense."

Bill was horrified at that disaster just when hethought that he had won the game.

"Prisoner, it is your right as a British subject, toproceed to England, and there as an innocent mandemand a reversal of the coroner's sentence, so that yourinnocence may be established before the world. Youare therefore committed for trial."

"May I speak?" asked Bill.

"You may."

"Then"—he shook with anger—"I says as you sendsthe mouse to eat the cheese in the mousetrap—and callsthat justice!"

The magistrate's grave face preserved an unsmilingseverity, but his right eye closed, then opened."Exactly so," said Douglas.


"And then," said Storm, "he wunk!"

"But how?" asked Rain.

"Like this," Storm closed one eye and opened it withmuch solemnity, first to the padre on his stool, andthen to Rain in the corner.

"Of which," explained the padre, winking a fewtimes to try what it felt like, "I will proceed to givethe interpretation. For if," he assumed the pulpitmanner, and winked devotionally, "there is aninterpretation of dreams down there on Earth, there islikewise an interpretation of wakes up here in Dreamland."

"Quite so," said Rain. "I always felt that thereshould be, seeing that our actions down on the huntingground are never taken seriously by any fairies here."

"The meaning of the magistrate's gesture," continuedthe padre, "is as follows. My good youth, ifI declare you innocent and free, you are a seaman onboard the Beaver and go to the northwest coast, toshovel coals and have yourself bullied by that CompleteSwine Captain David Home.

"Or if I get the doctor here to take you on thepermanent staff of the Fort, you come under the spiritualministrations of the Holy Beaver, which stirs up mudwith its tail instead of using it as a trowel and buildingdams to keep out Satan withal.

"And if I commit you to take your trial as a mousein the Public Mousetrap, which is very bad formice——"

"That's what he done!" cried Storm indignantly.

"But for the wunk," explained the padre, "yes; albeit,dear Brethren-in-the-singular, you will take to thewoods, and presently get yourself devoured by a veryfierce bear——"

"A real bear," said Rain very gravely.

"Because you don't know how to shoot."

"I do!" cried Storm.

"Not to hit, my son."

"I see." Storm showed dismay, and relapsed intogloomy attention.

"Wherefore we will fool the captain of the ship,the Holy Beaver, the Public Mousetrap, and the RealBear by sending you away to be taught hunting,trapping, and woodcraft with my old friend LieutenantTschirikov——"

"The Fatbald!" said Rain. "I'm sure he must bevery nice to make up for being so plain."

"So that's why!" cried Storm, delighted.

"—who lives, my son, at the river of the Kutenais,on the green meads at the head of Flatbow Lake."

"Why, that's my lake!" cried Rain.

"Of course," observed the padre: "for this causewas Storm brought from the Land of Barbarian-heretickswho drop their aitches, and carried to the mouthof your river, in order that he may come to your ownlake, and meet you on the high snow field overlookingthe Apse of Ice."

"The Sun Lodge where I am priestess!" cried Rain,exultant. "Now do I thank thee, Holy Spirit in theSun, for all Thy mercies!"

When they had all three said their thanks, the padreobserved that Julia was outside waiting to conductthem. They really must call on the invalid dragon.

"Who is that?" asked Storm.

"He is a poor dragon who devoured so many virginsthat he has grown too stout, his cave is pinching him,and he can't get out."

"If I killed him," said Rain reflectively, "it wouldcount for a good coup, like a scalp."

"Nay," the padre rebuked her ignorance, "a properscalping lasts, but the more you chop a dragon the morehe grows, and when you kill him he comes alive again."

"Anyway," said Rain, who had turned obstinate,"when Julia guides us, she is so busy showing herselfoff, that she always loses her way."

"Let's give her the slip," said Storm; so they gotthe padre out, by stretching him a little, through theback window, and went to see the dragon.

It took Rain and Storm some time before they mislaidthe clergyman, and forgot all about the dragon,as they set forward upon that great adventure. Atfirst they crossed part of a city, set in the midst of apark with very stately, formal gardens. They wantedto have a nearer view of the palace which rose beyond.It was made of silvery morning mist carved into colonnades,big shiny towers, and, far up in the sky, a domeall iridescent like the soap bubbles which have glidingcolors. Rather frightened, daring one another tocome on, expecting to be turned back at any moment,they crept into the vestibule. It had a sheen of pearl,and went away on either side into cool green distances.It was like the soul of the sea. Beyond it they founda courtyard with a pool reflecting its high walls, whichwere of opal, changing as one watched with colorwhich rolled like sea waves towards the open doorsupon the farther side. Within those doors was a bigante-chamber, where the light was all golden. Thenthere was a forest of columns, dusky and enormous,where footsteps echoed so that one went on tiptoe, untilone looked through into the vast throne room. Thatseemed to be hewn out of the heart of a diamond, andin the midst of its flashing splendors there satenthroned and all alone the King of the High Fairies.So dazzling was the light which came from him thatthe intruders went down on their knees and coveredtheir faces.

"My thought has called you here," said the King,softly as though he whispered. "Do not fear, mychildren. Come to the step here at my feet, and restwhile I speak to you."

Now, the story which was told by the King of theHigh Fairies is no invention, but real; not mine at all,but copied word for word out of a splendid book.[1]

[1] A Subaltern in Spirit Land, by J. S. M. Ward, B.A.,F.R.Econ.S., F.R.S.S. (London: Rider & Son.)

Long ago I was one of the fairy folk, such as thoseyou have just left, and so were we all. I dwelt in acastle, and did deeds of glamour, and hoped that a mortalwould one day proclaim them to the world. But one dayI fell into a strange trance, and dreamed of Earth, andof the sufferings of mortals, and their follies, and Isaw how foolish were their griefs, and how easy it wouldbe to relieve them.

And when I awoke, I pondered over these things, andit grew upon me that the life I lived was aimless andempty, since it was but glamour, and there was neitherreal sorrow nor sin, but only make-believe. For evil wasonly potential, but there it was real. Here the triumphof the good knight was always assured, but there it wasuncertain.

Be it understood that the High Fairies are like ourselves,real people, but belong to a separate Order ofSpirits, who have never been in mortal bodies to learnthe discipline of pain, of sin and sorrow. Many oftheir adventures which happened in Fairyland arewell known to all of us, in the Annals of the RoundTable, The Arabian Nights, and some of the so-calledfairy tales. The writers of such books went in theirdreams to Fairyland, invented earth-names for theHigh Fairies they encountered there, and brought backgreat annals of adventure. Others of the HighFairies hope that some day a writer will come andgive them earth-names, so that they and theiradventures may be known by mortals. Now to resume thestory told by the Fairy King.

Then I set out towards the confines of Fairyland, andturned my back on the pleasant vales. I journeyedthrough the dark wood, and came at last to the cavewhere the gnomes dwell. These would have bidden mestay, but I heeded them not, and at length I came outinto the astral plane, of which you know. But lowerand lower I went, seeking sin and suffering, just as youmenfolk flee from them, and on the astral plane I workedfor a while, but as I knew not earth-life, I found myefforts of little avail.

So at length I reached the earth plane, and wanderedunseen among the sons of men till the sorrow of theworld ate into my soul and grief for its woeoverwhelmed me.

Yet, try as I would, I found I could do little to helpmankind, for I was not of their nature. Till one dreadday I stood on a hill near a city men call Jerusalem, andI gazed in the faces of three who were crucified. ThenHe in the center saw me, though the rest saw me not,and He spoke these words:

"O spirit of air, who knowest not the love of men,draw near."

And I drew near, and said, "I have sought sufferingand grief that I might be able to aid menfolk. Thou,who seemest to be the King of Pain, bring pain to me."

And He smiled. "Thou askest a hard thing. Yetshall it be given unto thee. Wrench forth the nails whichfasten My hands and feet and set Me free."

Then I arose and strove to grasp the nails, butcouldn't, for they were material and I immaterial. Andas I strove, my helplessness filled me with a new sensation,and it was grief. For, strive as I might, I coulddo nothing to help that gentle sufferer.

And the grief grew to an intensity of pain which isindescribable.

Then again He spoke. "It avails not—thou canstnot help Me; and yet in the striving thy request hasbeen granted. Go, and My love for men go withthee!"

Then the vague desire to help men grew into a burningpassion, and I went from the spot and strove tohelp them. And now it seemed that I was changed inspirit, for I comprehended their griefs and how to helpthem.

So I comforted the heavy-hearted in the dark watchesof the night. And I guided the erring ones into thesafe road. I strove with the wayward and warned thefoolish, until my work was accomplished. I have learnedto suffer, yet have I never learned to die, and I think thatnone can become perfect till that experience has beenendured.

All the time that he was telling the story the King'sright hand had rested upon Storm's head, or gentlystroked the wavy, sun-gold hair. "Why do youtremble so?" he asked—"you that are learning to die,that shalt become what I may never be, perfected inendurance by the rite of death. Why are you frightened?"

"I'm not frightened, sir. We gets a training onour earth so as not to show funk when we'rescared."

We all know how dream-scenes change, how dream-peopleare transformed. By the King's magic thethrone room had vanished. They seemed to be in apaved courtyard, and in front of him there rose aRoman colonnade. It was the Prætorium in oldJerusalem. "Why, that's the orderly room," said Storm;"it's lucky I'm off duty."

His clothes had changed themselves into Romaninfantry uniform, parade kit, a burnished and plumedsteel helmet, a shining steel cuirass, a kilt, strappedsandals.

That was the King's magic, which awakened slumberingmemories, making far-past events to live asthough they happened within the hour.

"You are not frightened," said the King; "whatthen, lad, makes you as the leaves when they are dry,when their voice is harsh, ere the death wind carriesthem away?"

Storm glanced sideways angrily at Rain. "It wasall along of her," he answered. "When she blamedit on to me that she was to have a baby. Wanted meto make an honest woman of her, as if I'd stoop tothe likes—a native—a Jew drab.

"She slobbered," cried Storm, "all over my breast-plateand shoulder straps, which I'd been burnishingfor inspection. I never noticed that anything waswrong until the morning parade. And there wasmy steel all rusted. The old centurion told ourten-man, Vivianus his name was, that if he couldn't keephis men clean he'd better chuck his stripes. Theten-man was proper sick at that and when we got back tothe barrack room he took it out of me, yes, good andplenty. He had to furnish the day's executiondetail, and I was senior soldier of the section. Said hecouldn't trust a dirty man in charge. He'd have totake the detail himself. Besides he insulted me, andwe Northmen take no lip from them little blackItalians. Tell you, what with that, and the woman, andthe disgrace—by Mithras! I was just about crazy bythe time he marched us round here to this PrætoriumCourtyard."

Storm was a Roman soldier once again, back in thegarrison of old Jerusalem.

"Got to chuck a brace, breast to breastplate, shoulderblades touching or you galls your windpipe on thecuirass. Got to watch your step and mind your dressingso as not to make a holy show of our legion infront of them natives. Got to keep your mouth fromyelling, yes, and leave your dirk sheathed when yecan't see nothin' but blood—blood, blood, and the ten-mana-prompting in yer ear—'left, left, left, right, left,right incline, come up on the left there! Mark time,by the left—forward, march straight through theswineherd! Shoulder through them! Damn them!Frontform. Halt. Stand at ease—stand easy.' Blood!Blood! By the crucified Mithras, I'll havehis blood for insulting me.

"The natives was having their usual riot. It wassomething about one of them street-preachers theywanted hanged; and, after a shindy, the Governorlet 'em have Him, provided of course He was turnedoff decently by the troops, not torn to pieces by themob.

"Of course the Governor's guard escorted the prisonerto the Prætorium Courtyard for the usual flogging,and then, as He seemed to be something special—claimedto be King of the Jews—the boys on guardcalled the battalion out of barracks for a bit of funwith Him. They sent out for a dead branch from oneof them acacias, with ivory-white thorns a couple ofinches long. They plaited that into a crown. Theygot an old short crimson cloak—general officers'batmen gets such things given them. And a long canedid for scepter, though it broke. They stripped thepreacher, and rigged Him out, had a great game withthe King of the Jews, bashing the crown of thorns onHis head with that scepter. His face was runningwith blood.

"Of course our execution squad, of an N.C.O. andthree privates, just stood easy until the day's prisonerswas handed over to us for our job of hanging. Ifthe boys behaved like kids, they was off duty, and itweren't no business of mine. Besides, the prisonerwas only a Jew, and Jews is offal.

"Yet He was sort of getting hold of me, like drinktakes hold of a man before he knows. That's why Iacted rough when we took over, cause us Romansoldiers can't afford to be sloppy, especially withnatives. His eyes—crucified Mithras, His eyes! Icouldn't look Him in the face while I was going tomurder Vivianus. That's the first man I ever forgave.

"The quartermaster used to issue crosses which wehad to turn into store after the day's executions.They was heavy, and this preacher, after the way theboys had handled Him—well, He was none too strong.The other two was just the usual thieves and theycome fresh from the cells, but He broke down underthe load. We caught a friend of His'n, an old fellowfrom Cyrene, in North Africa, who had a couple ofsons, Alexander and Rufus, in the horse trade. ThemCyreneans is horse copers to a man. Well, this oldSimon what we caught, we made to carry thepreacher's cross all the way to the West Gate, withthe natives mobbing Him, cursing and throwing muck.When they're roused, them Jews is beastly. So wecome to the Skull Hill just due west of the city, infull view from every roof. There's holes hewn inthe rock there, a row of 'em for crosses. Them twothieves was lashed to their crosses, which is the usualway, but He was a sort of special case, so I had thejob of driving the spikes with a sledge through Hishands and feet. He lay there on the cross, watchingme, and when I went sick all of a sudden He tells meto do my duty. He was smiling at me. My God!We lifted them three crosses, dropped the butts intothe mortise holes, and hammered in the wedges—sameas quoins, to keep 'em steady.

"We'd took off all their clothes, which was ourperquisite, and our ten-man makes fair division. ExceptHis tunic, no use if it was cut, being woven, same asa jersey in one piece. We used knucklebones, whichis much the same as throwing dice. I won, and inthe evening I give it——"

He glanced at Rain.

"To her."

The King bent low. "Go on," he said.

"The day was heavy, and along in the afternooncome a big storm, dark, with sheets of rain, andblinding flashes.

* * * * * * *

"Hello!" said Storm, "that's Snow Fell! This isBroad Firth. We're in Iceland. This is anotherlife. Oh, what's the name of the farm?"

"Under-the-lava," said Rain, "the stead of SlayingStir. And I'm the veiled woman from Swede-realm.Don't you remember Slaying Stir has murdered mydear brothers Halli and Leikner? Their ghosts havebrought me hither to murder Slaying Stir. In mydream they said I must come to Iceland and avengetheir deaths. So I did. I came with the two poorghosts to Iceland to the house of Slaying Stir. Andwhen I tried to stab him, my heart was turned to water.My man here, Storm, was guesting at Stir's house.Storm loved me."

The King laid his hand on the lad's arm.

"That I did," said Storm.

"What were you, then?" asked the King.

"A slave. I, Harald Christian, Earl of Man, capturedin battle, sold to be a thrall. My master, I lovedmy master, young Leif Ericson. And we came guestingto the house of Slaying Stir, where we met mywoman. That was in Iceland, but our home wasGreenland, the new Colony."

"So," Rain continued, "my man and I loved andwere wedded secretly. But Leif captured me. Thenhe took his thrall, my poor man, Storm, and lashedhim to a post which stood in the tideway. 'One prayerto Thor,' said Leif, 'and you go free. One prayer toThor,' said Leif, 'and you get your woman.'"

"'One prayer to Christ,' said Storm, 'and yousave your soul!' Then the tide closed over Storm'smouth."

"So," asked the King of the Fairies, "you gave yourlife for the Christ you had slain?"

"No such luck," answered Storm gloomily. "Leifgot me back to life, made me a freeman, gave me mywoman. Christ had him. Afterwards I was withhim, steersman of the Flying Dragon, when we founda new world."

There came a sudden vision of smoking seas, of lashingspray, a reeling, staggering ship, with one greatlugsail lifting her as she drove, thirty-two oarsmenstraining at their labor, Storm in a leather jerkin at thethwart-ship tiller, and beside him a youth gigantic inchain mail who pointed with drawn sword, conningthe passage between drowned sand banks and terrificcombers into the entry of a land-locked bay.

"A new-found world," said the King. "New-found America."

But Storm answered concerning the Viking hero,Leif the Fortunate.

"He called it Christ-realm. Yes. That wasafterwards, when we'd crossed the Western Ocean, madeNorway, and put in at Nidaros, the new capital.There was Leif baptized, with the Norse King standinggodfather. He offered Christ-Realm to OlafTryggveson, the Christian King of Norway."

The King of the Fairies said then:

"There seems to be a purpose running from life tolife. So in the voyage of a ship the days pass, and thenights pass, but from day to day the purpose of hermaster continues always towards one end, one seaport.Mortals, your lives are days. Tell me of the nextincarnation."

"That time," said Storm, "I never found my woman,so it don't count."

"Tell me, though. Perhaps the purpose runs."

"I was Gaston le Brut, de Joinville's body servant,and him crusading with Louis, King of France. Themwars is a muddle of battles, mud, and hunger, the pest,and slavery among the Paynim at Babylon the Less.The King and de Joinville got ransomed before theycould raise the money to buy out us troops from theSoldan. It's all a muddle of bad management, butyes—I see—the ridge! the dragging my little master bythe hand and he squealing 'Non! non! non!' but I madehim see that which St. Louis didn't, the view of theHoly City through the heat mist faint in the distance,and the Hill of Skulls where I'd helped crucify myGod! Oh, Christ Almighty!"

"The purpose runs, Rain," said the King of theFairies. "Follow the quest. What was your next life?"

"When next we met," Rain answered, "I was whatStorm calls Red Indian. I was Powhatan's daughterthen. It was in those days that the English came firstinto our country—the land they call Virginia—yes, andthe English called me Pocahontas. It wasn't my realname though. I wedded my man, and he was MasterJohn Rolfe—a little widower. Twice he was Romansoldier, once he was thrall in Iceland, and then it seemscrusader, and again John Rolfe the planter, and nowwhat he calls bargee; but he is always Storm and I amalways Rain, and we shall always love."

"And have you loved none other?" asked the King.

"Nay, but there was one I worshiped as though hewere a god. Captain Johnsmith."

"Which," cried Storm—"I'd know that face amongmillions—was Leif Ericson, the man who found a newworld."

"And in his next life," said the King of the Fairies,"founded the United States, eh?"

"Then that," cried Rain, "which we drop in the lastlife, we take up again in the next."

"The ship," answered the Fairy King, "carries onher journey during the night, and at the next daybreakis that much nearer to her haven. Now tell me of thispresent day's journey, which you mortals call alifetime, down on earth."

Storm answered. "Me and her is man and wife."

"Whom God hath joined," said the King, "no mancan possibly sunder."

"Till death us part?" Rain whispered.

The Fairy King leaned forward on his throne, hishands clasped. "Death," he reflected, "Time, andSpace are only three impostors. They are shadows,glamour, not realities like Faith or Hope or Love. ASpirit told me once that a man and a woman who love,whom death cannot set asunder, may in the end beparts of one, one Angel.

"How I do envy you two children! And have youbeen parted in this life you are living now down on theEarth?"

"We've never met," said Rain. "Storm is an Englishsailor; I live with my mother Thunder Feather, thesacred woman of the Blackfoot nation. We have ourtipi in a lonely valley of the mountains, and pilgrimscome to Thunder Feather to be healed when they aresick in soul or body. But she is dying, so I take up herwork. And always I call my man, so that he has comeon a voyage of six moons, to the mouth of my river.Still I call him to come up my river, then over themountains to the sacred lodge. He brings the ChristFaith with him for our Indian peoples."

"I'm a prisoner," said Storm, "at Fort Vancouver,and they want to send me to England because they sayI murdered mother. I didn't, so I don't want to behanged for that. I did murder Christ. I want to diefor that."

"A Roman legionary," said the King, "a brave manamong the Vikings, a Crusader, a pioneer of the UnitedStates, a seaman of England—how I envy you theleast of these achievements! And you, my daughter,loving and heroic, how poor my fate compared withyours! But I see ahead of you the greatest of alladventures, the most splendid, the most tremendous, themost triumphant. May God bless you both!"

"Good-by, sir." Storm kissed his hand. "Mybody is calling me, dragging me back to earth—toprison at Vancouver."

"And," said Rain, "my mother calls me home.Farewell, Great Chief."


Bill Fright awakened in his cell at Fort Vancouver.

The dawn was breaking, and pale blue smoke wentup from the chimneys as Fort Vancouver awakened,yawning, for the new day's work. Quite naked,wrapping a blanket about him, stately as a RomanEmperor, Black Douglas came to his door to snuff thebreath of the spring. Then stepping gingerly,barefooted across the crisp and dewy lawn and the gravelroad beyond, he made his way out of the fort andacross the village, until he stood upon the riverbank,where he dropped his blanket and bath towel. Itlooked very cold.

Mist lay on the shining water and the dim gray ships,whose masts went up so sharply etched against thedeeps of sky. Beyond them lofty firs and spreadingcedars faint as dreams arose from isles invisible, rapt,waiting. Far up the valley, soaring above the forestand the cloud belts, snow fields of icy blue were edgedwith flame against the throbbing splendors of thesunrise. Close at hand some little fussy birds weresinging orisons, but the great prayer of the forest and thevolcanoes was a Silence, faithful, calm, triumphant,rendered to Love and Power which reigns for ever, theSpirit in the Sun, their Lord, their God.

In that homage Douglas joined for a moment shiveringwith cold, then dived for his morning bath in theColumbia.

Near by, at the jetty, a crew of five voyageurs, thehoods of their blanket capotes like the cowls of monks,were urging a prisoner into their birch canoe. As heflatly refused to enter they gabbled like squattering seafowl in shrill French, until the patron Louis leGrandeur bade them desist. "Laissez, mes enfants!Restez! Cet animal!" He shook his fist in Bill'sface. "And how you t'ink we mak' ze bre'kfas' if weno depart—hein? Sacré, mojee, batteme, goddam pig!"

He turned about and saw Black Douglas climb drippingup the bank, all glowing from the sting of thecrisp tide.

"V'la!" He ran to the big chief. "Bo'jour, M'sieuDougla!" He saluted. "Sare—zees animal prisonnierBeel——"

"Good morning, le Grandeur. Ready to start, eh?"

"—'e say he no coom!"

Bill shouldered him aside, presenting shackled hands.

"Don't like the handcuffs, eh?" said Mr. Douglascheerily, grooming his back with the bath towel.

"Called me an animal!" cried Bill, exasperated, ragingat fresh indignities. Yet somehow this man, twicehis size and many times as strong, this Justice of thePeace, this leader born to command, who looked downat him smiling, indulgent, did make him feel like oneof the lower animals content to obey, to trust, to dohis bidding.

"You and I," said Douglas, "are being watched.There's your late commanding officer watching fromthe poop, and no doubt His Holiness the Chaplain ispeeping somewhere from behind a house. The handcuffslook impressive."

"I see," said Bill, quite humbled.

"Look up the valley," said Douglas. "See a pointof standing forest yonder?"

The headland was black against the sunblaze.

"Behind that point," said Douglas, "le Grandeur willrelease you."

"Yes, sure!" broke in le Grandeur, "and ze fusil!"

"The gun," Douglas translated, "and everythingyour shipmates gave you is in that canoe. You arefree. You can run away, and my voyageurs will notshoot. They have my orders."

"You mean that, sir?"

"Yes. But will you take advice from an oldfrontiersman? I know you're too sensible a lad to runaway and starve in the bush with a gun you can't use,in swamps you cannot cross. These good voyageurswill teach you how to hunt, and if you can feedthe crew it stands to reason you wouldn't starvealone."

"Then I run away, sir?"

"I wouldn't. Inland the tribes are dangerous, unlessyou know their ways. Run by all means, but, ifyou want to live, go with these men to the point wherethe River of the Kutenais falls into Flatbow Lake.There you will find my old friend the Russian, NicolaiTschirikoff."

"I've heard that name, sir, somewhere, FatbaldTschirikov."

"That's curious, for the doctor and myself are theonly men here in Oregon who know him by that name,or call him Fatbald."

"I must ha' dreamed it."

"Maybe. Anyway"—Douglas picked up his blanketand wrapped it about him like a Roman toga—"he'llmake a man of you, hunter, trapper, able to hold yourown among the tribes."

"Gawd bless you, sir."

"But, lad, remember that you've run away, and as aJustice of the Peace I'm after you, to catch you if Ican, and ship you to England, to be hanged becauseyour worthy father killed your mother. Don't let mecatch you, Bill.

"Now, march off looking just as if I had sent youto the gallows."

"Mayn't I shake 'ands, sir?"

The magistrate shook his head, and as Bill turned togo assisted him on his way with a bare foot. At thatBill was indignant.

Still Black Douglas stood on the river bank, untilthe prisoner had boarded the canoe, and the voyageursshoved off. They came upstream saluting as theypassed, then the swing and flash and glitter of theirpaddles took time from the voyageur chantey:

Allouette! Chantez Allouette!
All-ou-ette! Je le plumerai!

Douglas followed with his eyes as the canoe wenton into the blaze of sunshine on the ripples. Therewas something very tender, very wistful, in his smileas he stood listening.

Je le plumerai le bee;
Et les yeux,
Et la tête,
Et les ailles,
Ah-a-allouette! Chantez allouette!

* * * * *

Et les ailles!




When Fatbald Tschirikov would take his seatbefore the fireplace his glance went firstbackward and downward, fear seemed toflatten his large ears against his head, and he loweredhis hands to the chair-arms, testing in doubt thestrength of the birchen frame. Next would his eyeballsroll, and his mouth gape in readiness for a screechwhile he lowered himself, fearful even unto anguish,into the vast rawhide seat; a very hammock, but liableto split. A smirk succeeded, the signal for applausefrom his four Indian wives, then a wriggle or twoadjusted him for the day. No. 1 wife cast the bison robeto cover him. No. 2 served the soup wherewith hegreased himself most amply, slopping his way throughthe mess. No. 3 loaded his meerschaum pipe. No. 4stood by to run for the help of the tribe if aught wentwrong. Afterwards he would remark that the four ofthem were canaille, and might attend their own severalfunerals for all he cared. At this token of his gratitudethey crept away on tiptoe into the lean-to kitchen.

The clay fireplace in front of him was full of logsset upright and aflame as though an ox were to roast.The cabin walls were of cottonwood trunks notchedat the ends and dovetailed where they crossed, thechinks between them being filled with blocks of wood,moss, and a daub of mud. No air got in or out savewhen some malefactor, a wife perchance, opened thefront door. Then Fatbald screamed reproaches inRussian, Samoyed, French, Blackfoot, Kutenais, andgeneral profanity mixed, hot, crescendo, and culminatingin a volley of good round English damns, fortissimo.

Outside it might be twenty to forty degrees belowzero Fahrenheit in a world of dazzling sunshine andglittering snowdrift. Northward from the front doorextended the frozen levels of Kootenay Lake someninety miles, walled by austere forest, and still, whitedreaming Alps. And yonder, fifty miles or so fromthe trading post, was a little headland jutting from theright. As far back as 1825—some fifteen yearsago—the Hudson's Bay voyageurs, making a night camp,where now is the Bluebell mine, had been astonished bya flow of molten metal from under their cooking fire.The stuff was lead, the first discovery of mineral in allthe regions west of the Mississippi, and the Hudson'sBay Company was quick to seize advantage from thefind. They built a small stone smelter with a pyramidof roof, still standing when I saw the place in 1889, butgone when I returned in 1913. There they were wontto make bullets for use in the Indian trade. They weregood bullets, hard, part silver as it happened, butnobody knew that. The Hydahs of Queen CharlotteIslands once made and used gold bullets, rather toosoft, they said, but better than none at all.

In his mind old Tschirikov was rather concernedabout the lead mine yonder, a long day's march to thenorth. Storm—these three years past his dear adoptedson—was there, with a bullet mold found in the bos'n'slocker aboard the Beaver, making some bullets for theKutenais. A weary while away, weary weeks. Theold man had made up his mind to live until Storm camehome, rather than trust his funeral to a pack of uselesswives.

He spoke many languages, and the blend was thickenedinto a husky wheeze. Nobody on earth exceptingStorm knew what he talked about. The Americantrapper who squatted in a corner of the room, lacingthe web of a snowshoe, heard Fatbald muttering feeblythrough the soup, something which ended

"—dobra fils delate Klahowya mik, eh, hombre?"

In Russian, French, Chinook and Eskimo, Englishand Spanish, this, being interpreted, meant: "I fearthat my good son has gone to heaven, eh, man?"

"Fine day, sure," responded the trapper indulgently,"and a right smart snap of cold."

The husky dog asleep at Fatbald's feet lifted hisgray muzzle, snuffing something new, pricked his earsforward, muttered a rumbling growl, then of a suddenleaped at the door, yelping, "He's coming!Coming!" He did not speak in English, but in Dog, alanguage of even wider distribution.

Somebody was coming. The trapper went to peerthrough a little frosted windowpane. Somebody wascoming with a sturdy shout to greet the house. Therewere yelps of a dog team to all the pups at home, theswish of carriole and snowshoes, brisk orders given inthe Kutenais, and stampings to shake the snow offmoccasins. The husky was yelling out joyful adjectivesas he jumped up and down at the door, then as itopened he leaped high for a kiss while the man stoopedlow to get in under the lintel.

This fellow was by no means the subdued but truculentBill Fright of three years back. Standing six footand just beginning to widen at the shoulders, he waslean, hard, hale, and deep-tanned as an Indian. Nosavage ever whelped had steel-blue eyes like his thatflashed and glittered with power, or such a mane ofsun-gold hair, or flush of eager blood to light the skinas though with an inner lamp.

He slipped his hands out of the fur mitts, shook offthe frost rime from his buckskin shirt so that the heavyshoulder fringes pattered like rain on leaves, then witha grin which showed a white flash of teeth he chuckedhis beaver cap at Tschirikov. "Hello! hello!" Hespoke in Kutenais. "How's fleas, and the little nits,eh, Daddy Fat-face?"

"La porte! la porte!"

"Oh, the frowst!" Storm slammed the door to.

"Storms-all-the-time," the old man wheezed inKutenais, "you deafen me."

"All right, old chief, we'll have the whelps loose."

He flung open the trade-room door, and out of thefreezing store tumbled a heap of children head-over-heelsand shrilling Indian war whoops, leaping at him,clamoring the news, the wagers on his first kiss, thegames which he must play, and how they wanted dinner.Had he any gifts?

They got him down on the floor, climbed all overhim, went through the pockets of his hunting shirt.Yes, there were gifts! For each a little leadenredskin warrior cast in a special mold of his owncarving. The four wives had been in violent collisionsgetting him four meals ready all at once; but now let thefood burn while they shared the scrimmage for thetoys.

Presently there was silence, because the old man, thewives, and all the offspring watched with enormoussolemnity while Storm sat on the floor cross-legged toa bowl of berry pemmican, a dish of three large trouts,and a stew of camas.

In his own corner the American was being fed, apart,not quite as a guest, nor yet as a prisoner. Thesepeople would not let him starve or suffer, but they madehim doubt the nature of his welcome.

This new arrival, the trapper reckoned, was certainlyby his coloring a white man, but in his speech andmanners Indian, perhaps the old man's son, undoubtedlythe master of the house, honored, obeyed, and loved.Was he husband to these four women, father of allthese children? Surely too young.

He seemed to have traveled far, and at his topmostspeed, to be ravenous, weary, and now, after the mealand a pipe of wild tobacco, right well disposed towardssleep. He dismissed the women and children to theirsupper in the kitchen, kissed the old man who was fastasleep in the chair, then crossed to his bed and lay downlooking at the fire while he smoked his pipe. Itdropped upon the robes.

"Oh, Secret Helper, I come!" he muttered softly.

Through the closed eyelids he felt the flicker of thefirelight. He smelled in fresh warm air a fragrancefrom some burning herb, then heard a low voice atprayer.

"Oh, Holy Spirit in the Sun!

"Hear, Old Man!

"Listen, oh dear Above-people!

"Hear me, Under-water-people!

"I purify my body that my prayers may reach yourhearing."

The scene before Storm's eyes had changed. In amoment he had passed to Rain's lodge, more than ahundred miles to the northward.

The firelight flickered now upon the sloping wall ofa tipi, and through the skins of the lodge coveringpoured sunshine, mellowed as though it flowed fromgold-stained ancient glass.

Rain knelt on the far side of her hearth fire, andnaked down to the loins she let her body sway to therhythm of the prayer, while she bathed her hands,arms, shoulders, and breast in the smoke of burningherbs.

"I purify myself. O Holy Animals, intercede forme. If you have spirit-power, pray for me that myspirit, O Buffalo, may be strong to overrun all enemies;O Eagle, that it may soar far up above the earth-mists;O Wolf, that it may be subtle to see and understand;O Owl, that it may see far through the darkness; ODeer, that I may run fast and far upon my errands.

"Hear me, O Spirit in the Sun! I ask the HolyAnimals, so much stronger, wiser, swifter, morepowerful than poor Rain, to plead for me to you, that Imay have spirit-strength to help my people when theyare in need.

"My Secret Helper! Hiawatha! Men come whoare very unhappy. Tell me of their needs, and showme how to help them.

"Send blessings to Storm, dear Spirit. Pity him,and help him. Send him to me, for he needs all mylove."

She looked up, across the smoke of the hearth, andthere was Storm, who lay on the couch, his shouldersagainst the back rest, in the chief's place facing thedoor of the tent. She was ever so glad to see him."You got home quick," she said. She sat back on herheels, and drew up a sheet of milk-white antelope skinabout her shoulders, and the fringe of little dew clawstinkled softly.

"The sun," he answered, "was still two hours highwhen I got home."

"Your animal must have been very hungry?"

"When it was fed it felt quite sleepy, so I left it andcame to you, dear Secret Helper."

"Do you remember," she spoke wistfully, "in thelong-ago time when we were little? How seldom wecould both leave our poor animals at the same hours!How rare our Dreamland meetings! Oh, the longwaitings for you at the Tuft of Moss!"

"Yes, Dream. I'd leave my animal on board of theold barge in London River, but before I made the Tuftof Moss the sun was up over these western mountains,and your mother shaking your animal to turn out forthe day's work.

"Then, you remember, I was on board the Beaver offthe Horn, when your nights and mine began to close intogether, so that I saw you every night watch below.Ever since I came ashore we've had whole nightstogether—three years now."

"Don't be so stupid, Storm. The times of the SunSpirit are not changed. The Ruler cannot change.Only our Sun-power grows."

Now, Storm would hold as dogma that the sun keepsdifferent hours in Oregon and in England, andtherefore the Spirit in the Sun must pass from LondonRiver to the Kootenay, a matter of six hours. Thisto Rain's mind was false doctrine, a flagrant heresy.The Holy Spirit in the Sun must shine alike, with equalhours at the same time, upon the unjust in Englandand on the just west of the Rocky Mountains. Herewas a point in theology on which they alwaysquarreled, without being a bit the wiser or one whit thebetter. Neither had grasped the thought that the GreatSpirit is everywhere, and shines even within ourselves,while the good sun keeps appointed seasons, days andhours.

If none of us were theologians, all of us might beChristians.

After the squabble, Rain and Storm agreed thatanyway their "medicine" grew stronger. That word mayneed explaining in its Indian sense. A physician in theFrench is "médecin," his treatment in the English"medicine." But when a French voyageur would usethe word among the Western Indians, they understoodquite in a different way, for to them a doctor's drugwas magic, so the word "medicine" applied in time toall things magical, mysterious, in contact with worldsunseen.

To Storm and Rain their medicine, which grewstronger day by day, was the power which we call psychic,meaning awareness and activity outside the bodilysenses. The gift is common, its cultivation rare, forto these lovers it was given in great strength and quickdevelopment. Not knowing how to explain the wholeof this deep mystery, I venture only to suggest thatRain's mother, a sacred woman of the Blackfeet, andStorm's mother, a Quaker mystic among the English,had met together in the planes of spirit-being,and by their love were helping these children onward.

"At first," said Rain, "when mother went over theWolf Trail, I was, oh, so lonely here! You used tocome, to comfort me. I only heard your voice, andwhen I saw you at last you were like a ghost. I sawthe lodge poles through you, and was so frightened!Now you grow clear, just like a person, making mycouch all rumpled."

"Come, sit beside me, Dream!"

"Not now," she answered gently. "I made the holyrites because two men are coming here."

"Who are they?"

"Two men came up the pass, Blackfeet, and chiefs.They have killed an elk, to bring the meat and skin, apack-horse load, to hang up at the door of my lodge.They all do that who come, else must I hunt, and theywould wait half a day before they saw me. These menhave come from the Great Plains, a seven sun's journey,to ask my help in trouble. They pray so earnestlyto the Sun! One of them has a daughter, the other aboy, in love, but these poor lovers are parted becausethe young man is a prisoner with the Sparrowhawks.The fathers come to ask me if he lives. And I mustshow them how to get the young warrior back. Elsewill the girl think that her heart is broken, and that isjust as bad as a broken heart."

"How far away are these fathers?"

"They will come just before the sun sets. Theyhave so little hope. They do not truly believe that Ican help them, but the girl pleaded, and her mothernagged, so of course they had to come. I will sendthem away in the morning with big hearts. The Sunhas pity on them."

"Rain, dear," he asked, "when I got home I founda white man there. I didn't speak and greet him,because I didn't know if he is good. Is he good?"

"I see a white trapper," she said, "and a girl grievingfor him because she jilted him, and cannot get himback. She never will—the cat! Her name is Nan.Far in the East she lives, by the salt water—her fingersso tired, hemming shirts all day! How I do pity thesepoor washed-out squaws of your Race! Slaves theyare! Slaves!"

"But the trapper?"

"Oh, him? Made too free with the Kutenaiswomen, so some of my good mountaineers made boldto burn his cabin. He came to your lodge for refuge,the Kutenais at his heels. They wait for you, soangry too!"

"Why do they wait for me?"

"They want to ask you first before they kill him,because, if you say yes, his ghost will haunt you, notthem. They are artful, these Kutenais."

"Shall I let them have him?"

"Your guest?"

"Of course not. I can't."

"He has hunted and brought good meat when theywere all afraid of famine. He nurses the old Fatbald.The children's spirits plead for him. He will be yourfriend, that is, at first, dear. I shall be jealous. Yes,I'll be nasty."

"All right. Why did you send me home in sucha hurry? The old man seems all right."

"The flame will flicker to-night, and then go out.He willed to live until he could see you, Storm. Don'tlaugh at him to-night."

"I promise. And when he is dead, Rain, may Icome to you on Earth?"

"No, you must settle affairs. The household wouldstarve if you left them now, and the tribe need youbadly. Three months must pass before you are freeto come."

"Haven't I waited these three years, and all the yearsbefore that?"

"Cry-baby! Have I not waited? Besides, I don'tthink I want to see you in your meat body. No.How often do you bathe?"

"Wheugh! Not in this weather, not in winter. Insummer, when it's hot—yes."

"A Blackfoot warrior bathes daily."

"In winter?" He shuddered at the idea.

"Yes, in winter a sweat bath and a roll in the snow.How else could he keep fit for the war trail?"

"Glad I'm not a Blackfoot!"

"Glad we're not married! So there! Storm, you'llbathe every day from now on, or you come not to mylodge, son of a dirty tribe!"

"The English, dirty!"

"Savage, rude, wild, uncouth—with naughty tempers.Now go back to your stupid body, for the Blackfootchiefs draw near. I hear them. I must pray tothe Sun to smooth my temper too."

The fire blazed up strongly with a crackle ofcurling birch bark, and Storm looked out from his bedto see old Fatbald's chief woman putting on freshlogs.

"Two Bits," he called to her in Kutenais.

She looked round. "Awake?" she asked.

"Dear Two Bits, my Secret Helper is cruel and ordersme to have a bath every day. Isn't it awful?"

"Huh! Your Dream must be a Blackfoot. Markyou, it takes more than a daily bath to wash off theirdirty deeds."

"You'll get the sweat lodge ready?"

"You'll catch your death," she answered gloomily,"and then of course we'll all starve."

She went out grumbling to get the sweat houseready. But Two Bits always grumbled, and never inher life had risked a bath, having no dirty deeds towash away.

The old man slept, and Storm lay watching him.Fatbald would awaken presently and demand to havehis back scratched.

"Say," the American trapper, determined to betreated no longer as a log on the woodpile, came overto the hearth and stood confronting Storm, "do youtalk white?"

Storm sat up yawning, stretched himself, looked atthe trapper, laughed, offered his hand. "Sorry," hesaid, and the English felt heavy, like bullets in hismouth. "English—I half forget—English, I speak noword three years. Talk white, eh? So you'reAmerican!" The mother tongue came easier. "I knew anAmerican once, name of Silas."

"Silas, what?"

"Just Silas. Do your tribe have two names? Ihad two, once."

"Hiram J. Kant's my name."

"I asked no question, did I? You are my guest. Ido not ax you why you tried to make free with womenof my tribe, or why the men burned you out, or whyyou took cover here, or why my people wait my leaveto kill you."

"How did you know all that? It's more 'en theseInjuns know, and I seen they telled you nothin'. Theynary looked my way."

"Who told me about Nan?"

The American went white, and shrank against thewall.

"What d'ye mean?" he asked under his breath. "Iain't been asleep—to talk in my sleep since you come."

Storm's eyes made everything else blind dark to theAmerican.

"Far east," he said, "by the Atlantic coast, Nan sitsat her window, sewing all day long, shirts, alwaysshirts. Her fingers are stiff with cramp, and she criesand cries."

"What business is that of yours? You leave myprivate affairs to me. What do you know, anyways?"

"Nothing much, shipmate. It's your affair thatyou'll take oath to leave our women here alone, or theirmen kill you when you cross that doorstep. Takeoath, swear to God that you leave the women of theKutenais alone, or you cross the doorstep now."

He went to the doorway, and stood with his hand onthe latch.

"You take your choice," he said.

"I ain't panting any," said the American disdainfully,"after your damned homely old squaws."

"On your oath?"'

"Honest to God!"

"See that you keep your word."

The old man stirred, and burbled.

"He's waking up," said Storm. "You take my bed.Well, daddy?" He spoke in Kutenais. "Want yourback scratched?"

"Come here, my son."

"Here, daddy. What's up?"

"Secrets, my son, secrets. Bend your head down,listen. Don't tell these women."

"Not a word."

"Speak French. I'm going to leave them. I shallbe wafted, wafted, like a thistledown, to my brother'spalace at Irkutsk. Then we go, he and I, to Peterborg,to the winter palace, to the court ball—the Bal Masque,my brother as Puncinello—so fat—ho! ho! He is toofat to be good form. But I—don't breathe a word—Igo as the Sansculotte, the Revolutionary of the RedTerror, with wild hair, and the tricolor sash. Yes,even the pantaloons—to terrify the Court. HerImperial Majesty the Tsarevna will faint at the sight of aSansculotte. Ah! there's the practical joke, to makeour Court of Russia expect Madame Guillotine, themadam who thinks us all too tall to be quite in themode, too tall by a head.

"A Sansculotte, yes, but not without a shirt—no—no.That would be too immoral. Get out a dressshirt with my Mechlin ruffles. And really the stripedwaistcoat does make most subtle suggestion of agraceful figure. Tatata—quel horreur! Not the rudebreeches with iron buckles. Wheu! And these soscratchy, disgustingly coarse gray stockings. Takethem away! Burn them! Yes, dove-colored stockinette,and for a graceful contrast the egg-blue swallow-tailswith salmon-colored revers. And comme la modemy diamond fob, of course—tut tut tut—to illustratethe complexion of a patch here—as though by accident,carelessly, sans gêne. Ah! this black cocked hat withits tricolor plume, and gold tassels above theshoulders—oh, very saucy! Ivan! My quizzing glass! ofcourse. Beast! Why, they'll be the rage next season!Not Sansculotte? Pig! Am I not Orthodox? Noblesse oblige!

"Hark, Storm! Violin, 'cello, harpischord, andflute. Why, 'tis the Herr Professor Beethoven's newminuet! Mad'moiselle in homage, adorable! Thybridal crown, Pavlova! My wife! My darling—thylove pours through me as Neva bathes her isles. Nostar dare shine where thy light gleams. Rose of thenightless summer. Oh, petal fingers thrill my hand!Am I not shadow to enhance thy sunshine? And inmy reverent homage bow before thee.

"The music changes. 'Tis the Emperor's hymn.A most fatiguing homemade tune. And here cometheir Imperial Majesties the Tsar and Tsarevna,advancing through the lane of courtiers. She wears theOrlov diamond en corsage, but don't you think this oldRussian court dress rather dowdy? Nicholas has thenew side-whiskers. I must remember. I really mustask my barber if—— What fun, what a joke! Olga,my Little Fur Seal, I shall present you as mywife—my bride in hairy sealskin breeches—Eskimo! TheTsarevna and the Grand Duchesses will faint in heaps,and order my head chopped off. All Peterborgconvulsed at my last joke. Now, don't you scratch myface, dear. No. Not here! Why, these insipid dollsin diamonds and starch are not real flesh and blood,passion and tenderness, as you are, my little savage.But really you shouldn't scratch my face at a court ball.Démodé, my dear, outré. You hold my glovesinstead, for the zakouska. We will have cognac and onered mushroom, eh?

"Oh, dear me! Paradise of course, my dear Storm,and all the fountains playing, but who invites these oldHaidah wives of mine and the Kutenais harem as well?They must not meet, or there'll be such a row. Andfor heaven's sake don't let them see my Little FurSeal, or any of them meet Pavlova. Good gracious,here's my old Samoyed wife as well! What areunion! How badly arranged! They'll never get ontogether. Don't let my past wives catch me in Heaven—it'sreally too disgusting. I am busy. Tell them Ihaven't the honor of their acquaintance. Olga! Bereasonable. None of them have any manners. Yes,I admit they fail to do me justice, biting, clawing,screeching. Canaille! Hags! Oh, not at all a goodselection to meet me in Paradise. The arrangementshere are really deplorable! Help! Help! Woman,that's my face——

"Ah! Brother! Is that you?"

The dying man shoved Storm aside, reached out hisarms, his face most strangely boyish. "Alexei!" hesaid. "Let's play at wives and husbands!"

Storm saw the spirit departing from the worn-out,ruined body of his friend.


Daily the widows mourned. Ah hai-i-i ahee-ee! forthe White Chief, Many Wives hai-ai-ya-hai! Whosemedicine was so strong that the hair grew out at thewrong end of his head? Ya-a-a-hai! Whose bodyneeded the tribe, the dogs, and carrioles lashed abreast,to carry awai-i-i-ya-hai-i-i. Yow-ow-ow-o! And hewanted to be buried up a tree-ee-ee-hee! Aye,yow-ow-ow! Ahooo-oo-boohoo-oo-oo-oo-ahai-i!

At meals, or otherwise when ordered by the whitemen to shut up, and hold their row-ow-ow-aeou! theybecame placid, even moderately cheerful, and squabbleda little in the kitchen about the division of Fatbald'sproperty.

It was at such an interval that Storm took Hiraminto the trade room where one's breath made clouds.They sat on bales of furs considering a pack of sulphurfrom the Cascade volcanoes, a sack of willow charcoal,and ten alforgas of wood ash washed, strained, anddried into gray niter with a nice gun-powder perfume.These the American approved, but he demanded blacklead to waterproof the gunpowder, when made,"Unless," he said, "you want it for liquid facepaint."

As for Storm's cake of explosive, made already andwith great pride set out for inspection: "Shucks,"said the trapper, "ef that ain't the complete benighted,effete, old-country Britisher! Want it as mush forbreakfast, or to drown kittens in?

"And yet, I dunno. It's shorely a safety gunpowderthis, all right. No danger of going off bang—justmammie's pap warranted safe for children."

"Make the stuff yourself then," said Storm indignantly.

"That's the proposition," answered the American;"and what do I get?"

"I'll replace the outfit them Injuns burned. You'elps yourself."


The American had out a clasp knife, and whittledthe edge of a packing case.

"And, say! When you auctions off them widders——"

"They're not my widders."

"Eh? Not your widders yet? Waal, now I kindof thought you was fell heir to them widders.Marrying all four?"


"'Cause ef they come reasonable I'm open to dickerfor Two Bits."

"Hiram, hadn't you better wake up?"

"Eh? Now I kinder reckoned I shorely was awake."

"This widder Two Bits owns this place."

"Well, did you hear me crying? I don't weepnone."

"The Head Chief of the Lower Kutenais, youngSitting Wolf, happens to be a widower. He's goingto marry Two Bits."

"When she's through mourning for Many Wives,eh? Got it all fixed. Now I sort of reckon the ladyain't having any. She's set her hat at me."

"And Sitting Wolf? He had your winter quartersburned because you looked at the women. He's jealous.His friend must have no other friend 'ceptinghimself. His first wife looked sideways at a man—hekilled both. The man who looks at Two Bits is takingrisks. Don't get athwart his hawse. Don't foul hisbows if you want to keep afloat."

"All right—all right. How much will Sitting Wolftake to be sort of Running Wolf over the sky line?"

"I think," Storm answered him, "it's much morelike a case of Running Hiram."

"You mean he'll chase me out of the doggone country?"

"He mentioned the idea, and the tribe woted in theaffirmitude."

Here they were interrupted by a young warrior, amessenger from Sitting Wolf and the tribal council,requesting Storm to attend them.

"We'll be right along," said Hiram.

But Storm looked at the American's hair, which wascropped at the neck. "I wouldn't," he said earnestly.

"What's bitten you?" asked Hiram.

"A man with short hair ain't axed to sit with Injunsin council. Wait till your hair grows, and you'reasked to come."

"Is that so? Waal, of all the——"

Storm followed the messenger to a lodge coveredwith mats of rushes. There in the chief's placeopposite the door was Sitting Wolf, dressed in his finestrobe, and on his left in order of their rank the leadersof the septs, very grave and formal. The white manwas asked to take his seat on the women's side of thelodge.

In front of the chief lay a bundle which he nowopened, making a prayer for each of the many coveringsdisclosed, until amid a breathless hush—as whenat the Roman Mass the Host is revealed to the people—hetook up the sacred pipe. Its bowl of red sandstonecame from the pipe-stone quarry in far-awayMichigan, and the stem, ancient, charged with mysteriouspower, was hung with eagle feathers. The messenger,kneeling in homage, received the medicine pipe,charged the bowl with tobacco, and after praying,lighted it with a coal from the hearth.

Sitting Wolf stood to perform the culminating rite.He was a young man in those days, by all accounts agallant gentleman, lightly built, graceful of bearing,his clear-cut face austere, now made beautiful byreverence, by faith as he prayed. Filling his mouth withsmoke and blowing it in homage, he greeted first theSpirit in the Sun, then by turn the Spirits of the FourWinds, and lastly Mother Earth. Afterwards each ofthe leaders smoked in turn, once, and Storm last of all,before the pipe was returned and covered up.

Before the end of this long ritual the sun had gonedown behind the westward heights, the hearth fireburned low, and the Indians were huddled in theirrobes of elk or bison while Storm, with only his deer-skinhunting dress, felt chilled to the bones. With thecovering of the pipe, Sitting Wolf ceased to be priestcelebrant and was the chief, jealous, envious, withsomething in his leathery dark face sinister, boding.Storm knew that his own heirship to old Tschirikovstripped Two Bits of great wealth, and the chief, whointended to marry the widow, had been brooding overher losses.

"We have purified our bodies," began the chiefindifferently, as one who patters a set form of words,"with prayer have cleansed our hearts, and with smokeof the sacred pipe-have cleared our heads for counsel.Now for the leaders here, and for the tribe, I speak toyou Storm, adopted son and sole heir of him whohas passed. He was our friend, but never a priest, achief, or leader in our tribe. Having a sit-beside-himwife, he lived with other women out of wedlock,according to the custom of his people, which by our lawis very wrong.

"He came of a tribe beyond the western sea, youcome of a tribe beyond the eastern sea, and you havedifferent customs. The question of the council is, willyou obey our laws?"


Sitting Wolf lifted his eyebrows as though surprised,turned down the corners of his lips as if hewere disappointed. If this white man obeyed thetribal law, he could not well be fined or his property madeforfeit.

"Storm," he said, "we have watched you these threesnows. We see, all of us here, that in your tribebeyond the eastern sea, you came of a bad father."

The challenge would have been insulting to anIndian, but Storm assented easily.

"Aye," he said—"aye."

"Poor chap!" was the inner thought, "Thinks I'mrobbing him of a trade house full of furs, threehundred ponies in pasture, five canoes, no end of saddlesand harness, the dog teams, and carrioles."

"Aye," he said, "a bad father."

"I speak as chief," continued the envious SittingWolf, and his upward glance was full of menace now."I speak for your good.

"We know that your father was bad because yourriding is a sin, and the Sun clouds his face at the sight.Your seat in a canoe wakes the winds to howl. Yourfeet on the trail break sticks and stumble over roots tofrighten away the game and affront the Holy Animals.You have an ill-trained nose which cannot smell a realbear at ten paces. Your sight may be long and keen,but you have never learned to note the thing whichmoves at a distance. Your arrows are a danger to us,and with the medicine iron your bullets hit the sky,offending the Above Spirits. Your fishing amuses thefish, but affronts the Under-water Spirits. You neverpray for the help of the Holy Animals. You say youdo your best. You try, but one who does not succeedbecomes a danger to his comrades whether in runningbuffalo or on the war trail. Until you can feed anddefend a woman and help in the tribe's defense, youare not fit to marry among my people. We livetoo near the Lodge of the Hunger Spirit to takesuch risks as that. Later I shall speak more ofmy mind, but first the medicine man has words tosay."

Storm was not at all pleased. Truth is void ofmanners, and yet has a front and a back, an outsideand an inside. Here was only the outside of Truthspoken in anger, with ill-veiled intention of enmity,by one who had always seemed to be a friend.

Now spoke the withered medicine man, kindly,fatuous Beaver Tail, who saw another aspect of theTruth, and loved a platitude.

"White Man, our chief has spoken, and of coursehis words are my words. Yet these three winters,friends, and not your enemies, have watched you, anda friend speaks now. Bad was your father, yet youare the son of a good woman."

Storm looked up, and the sullen resentment seemedto vanish from his face.

"Sitting Wolf, as chief," said the old man, "speaksto your father's son. I as priest speak to yourmother's son. She gave you strength and stayingpower. The work you do should kill the strongest ofour young men. She gave you also a quick mind, astraight tongue, a good heart. For these, not for yourskill as a hunter or warrior, we make you a member ofour tribe, and subject to our laws."

"Artful old devil!" was the white man's innerthought. "He wants me subject to the tribal law, sothat the chief can claim old Fatbald's property."

"Go on," he said, eager to fathom the plot whichunderlay these compliments.

"Your Dream," continued Beaver Tail, under hisbreath, his hands making signs of prayer, "your SecretHelper is a strong and very holy animal. Yourmedicine is becoming powerful." He smiled engagingly,frankly. "Your white man's cunning is of use to us.We have decided to make you a member of this council."

Storm bent his head in acknowledgment. "Doesthe old humbug," he wondered, "think he is foolingme? If I'm a member of tribe and council they'llclaim that I'm subject to the chief—unfit to holdproperty unless he adopts me as brother, to look after me,to look after the old man's wealth."

Sitting Wolf had heard the medicine man's talk withill-concealed impatience. "As member of tribeand council," he said, "open your heart to us,young man, as to the affairs of our friend who hasdeparted."

Swift as a flash of lightning Storm's mind wentback to Margate beach of a Sunday afternoon. Oncemore he was Bill Fright in ragged slacks and jersey,where Dolly, the cuddlesome little 'tweenie, sat betweenhis knees upon the sands. She had cotton gloves tohide her grubby hands, and these must not be touchedlest he should soil their new-washed whiteness, thoughhe might kiss the place where the hair tickled just closebehind her ear. "No, silly! The left ear!" Thenshe recited word for word the very latest squabblebetween her mistress, Lady Travis, and Sir Julian—acat-and-dog fight, no less.

A tear ran down Storm's cheek. If only to take apenn'orth of shrimps for mother's tea on board thePolly Phemus at the quay side, he would forfeit hisshare to these painted savages. Stanch friends andearnest instructors had they been: Sitting Wolf inwoodcraft, horsemanship, and canoe work, Beaver Tailin the language, the sign talk, herb lore, hypnoticmedicine, and the deep things of Kutenais religion. Whatif the medicine man trapped him in tribal andcouncil membership that the chief might overrule hisclaim on Fatbald's wealth! These Indians were theonly friends he had, or ever could have now, onearth.

He did not think of Rain as of the earth. His bodyhad never dared to worship her, his love was as yetuntarnished by any breath of passion. She was ofthe spirit, and in the spirit beloved, beyond, above allearthly creatures, a priestess serving at the Apse ofIce, a High Place sacred to the All-Father.

He looked at the grave faces of his friends, knowingthem all so deeply, loving them so dearly. There wereno braver men on earth, none more chaste, religious,hospitable, sweet-tempered, honorable than theselarge-handed, large-footed, great-hearted mountaineers.He was proud to have their friendship, and yet in therecesses of his soul he was a man, and these were onlychildren, who painted their faces.

One must have lived alone with savages before onerealizes that in the most ignorant white man of theNorthlands there resides age-long experience, a willwhich never rests, a high authority and sovereigntycommanding their obedience.

Rough on the surface only, Storm in the soul of himwas a man of unusual force, with powers far beyondthe average of his race. Humbly and simply as hespoke to these Indians his words bit deep, his powergripped their hearts, while still they were unconscious,as he was himself, of anything unusual.

"My words are air, just frosty clouds of air. See." Thelodge was so cold that his breath showed white ashe spoke. "Only my hands can thank you for all yourfriendship, all your love. I am a seaman of the bigcanoes on the salt water. There my hands are trained.But here, on these plains and forests and high snows,it needs the training of a lifetime up from childhood tobe a hunter and warrior as you are hunters, as you arewarriors. Three snows are not enough to train a man."

"How!" they muttered their approval—"how!"

"Hear, then, Chief Sitting Wolf. Hear, BeaverTail, my teacher. Hear, my friends. I speak from afull heart, and the fool tears tell you I'm not a man yetfit to sit among men, or to ride for buffalo out therebeyond the World Spine, or to walk on the war trail, orto keep a wife.

"You go soon, most of you, to join with the Flatheads,Nez Percés, Pend d'Oreilles, Cœur d'Alènes,perhaps even a few Yakimas. Your fit men will ridetogether in force across the World Spine to the GreatPlains, to run the buffalo bulls of the spring hunting,perhaps to fight the Blackfeet. Your women will rideto dry the meat and dress the robes.

"The rest of the tribe will go in your canoes alongthe Lake and the West Arm, and the river of theKutenais to the Mother of Rivers, and downstream to theGreat Falls. There they will join the fishing tribes,under the Salmon Chief. They will catch the salmon,trade at Fort Colville, feast, dance, gamble. Theytake the women to smoke the fish. They take thechildren; for the babies, even the dogs, are fit. I shallbe left behind, less than the least, worse than a dog."

The chief looked sulky and aggrieved, the medicineman was clearing his throat to make a soothing speech.One of the leaders asked Storm to be his brother at thehunting. Another was muttering, "Shame! shame!" Allwere uncomfortable. "Come to the point!"growled Sitting Wolf.

And Storm was laughing at their disquietude. "Noneed," he said more cheerfully, "for the dog to freeze."

He threw some wood on the fire, then wrapped arobe about his shoulders.

"I am here," continued Storm, "to speak for himthat was my father. What has the little law of yourpetty tribe to do with a chief among the Russians?By the law of the Russian tribe his sit-on-the-rightwoman, Two Bits, gets the trading house and the lodgefurnishings. By the law of the Russians the fourwidows have taken equal shares of the pony herd andharness, the canoes and paddles, the dog teams andcarrioles. He who marries one of these widows will berich.

"Again I speak for my dead father. He was aRussian, I am an Englishman. Russia and England arethe left arm and the right arm of mankind, enfoldingthe whole earth. And where the fingers meet, theKutenais tribe is a flea caught under a finger nail ofthe English. By the law of both Russians andEnglish I am heir to the great chief who made me hisson.

"The trade room is full of furs, and these are mine."

Sitting Wolf leaned forward staring, snarling inhis throat, but Storm went on, looking him straight inthe eyes and laughing at him. "Enough," he saidincisively, "to load the canoes of the tribe!—Silence! Ispeak!—and at Fort Colville, to buy guns for all yourhunters. Do you object to having your huntersarmed?"

If a shell had exploded among them these Indianswould have sat quite still while Death selected his prey;and now, at the burst of Storm's words, they kept theirquietude, their dignity. Only they turned their eyesreproachfully upon their chief. Their breathingseemed to stop, but no face changed. In sheer reliefthe chief relaxed against the backrest, and a queersmile, shy, friendly, as of a dog to his master, soughtStorm's approval.

Before they sent for Storm the members of thecouncil had been agreed that this white man was unfitto marry, hunt, or fight, and least of all to holdgreat property. They had placed him beneath thelevel of their dogs, and in return he gave them agun to every hunter. Their chief would not have doneso.

Never again would famine camp among their lodges,and war could not invade their mountain stronghold.The tribes allied with them for hunting buffalo—EastKutenais, Flatheads, Nez Perces, Pend d'Oreilles,Cœur d'Alènes, Spokanes, Yakimas combined, couldnever attack with arrows a people armed with guns.Best armed of all the tribes, they should ride safely intothe barred hunting grounds of the powerful BlackfootConfederation. Truly this dog had fangs!

"I thought you would be pleased," said the whiteman easily, as he stirred the smoldering fire until itblazed. "But there are points you do not think ofuntil I speak about them. This trading of furs for gunsneeds a white man's brain to match against theHudson's Bay Company, whose trader would get the bestof any Indian. I shall send my white man, HiramKant, whom you call Hunt-the-girls."

The grave Indians were smiling as they heard thatnew name for the trapper.

"You would have shot and wasted him, but I needhim, and kept him for this trading. I want one of youchiefs to go with Hunt-the-girls and see that you getthe guns here to this camp—or kill him. Only a chiefshall do this, because Hunt-the-girls is a chief, as allof you know in your hearts, all of you sitting here.You shall choose who is to go, to help him, or shoothim as the case may be.

"But of these medicine irons. They are only sticks,dead rubbish unless you have the medicine powder, andthe medicine balls. Long ago I knew that my fatherwas dying, and that I should prepare this gift. Forthat reason I made, as you know, a carriole load and acanoe load of bullets. I tried, you may remember,long ago, to make the powder, but my medicine was nogood. For this kind of work Hunt-the-girls hasbetter medicine than mine, so I let him make the powder.He gets a trapper's outfit for his pay.

"You shall not have the powder and ball to blowaway and waste. They shall belong to Two Bits, andshe will sell them to you in trade for furs. The higherthe price she charges for ball and powder, the less willbe thrown away in idle shooting. These are my orders.If you don't like them, I'm ready to fight anybodywho wants shooting, or I'll take on the crowd—asyou please.

"Now, I have one thing more to say. I will haveTwo Bits rich and powerful in the tribe because shehas more sense than any of you, and she will keepSitting Wolf out of mischief. You cannot! When thechief is jealous he goes mad, and flies at the throat ofhis nearest friend. Two Bits will tame him—alreadyhe eats out of her hand.

"That's all, I think."

For some minutes the Indians were lost in thought,or deep in prayer.

"My brother," asked the chief at last, "where is yourshare?"

"What share," answered Storm, "can I carry on myback? How many horses, how many canoes, can Icarry on my back through the woods? That much ismy share."

"You take nothing?"

"Before I left salt water, my friends of the big canoegave me a gun, a belt, a wallet, a pouch, a knife—yes,and one other thing I have never shown you, a secretthing which is my medicine. I will ask you, my brothers,to give me a supply of ball and powder, a robe, andyour good will."

"Where do you go?"

"When all is done and the ice breaks, I go into theWilderness. You have often told me about Rain, theSacred Woman of the Blackfeet. Men of all nationsgo to her lodge for counsel in their sorrow, sickness,or peril. I go to make my offering at the holy lodge,and seek the guidance of the Sacred Woman."




When the sun wears the snow thin, thebutter-cups underneath feel the light and thewarmth, so they have faith, melting theirway up through the edges of the drifts until they reachthe glory of the day. Then the ice breaks, roaringdown the river, shatters and founders on the lake,while the birds proclaim the summer to the valleys,avalanches thunder in the hills, because it is Easter, thetime of the Resurrection.

The American trapper was much surprised at havingbehaved himself so nicely as to win Storm's friendshipand the hearty good will of the tribe. He wasquite touched by the treatment he met with. Thetrapping outfit, lost when they burned him out ofwinter quarters, had been most lavishly replaced inpayment for his gunpowder. He said he felt good. Hehelped to ballast the canoes with bullets, even to stowthe cargo of powder and furs for Fort Colville. Andyet he had misgivings.

The Kutenais bark canoe is curiously fashioned witha long horn or ram at either end below the water line.Because its natural position is bottom upwards, it isnot popular. Nobody really enjoys it except theFlatbow Indians of Flatbow Lake. And yet it has onemerit: one can spell Kutenai in seventy-six recognizedorthodox ways and always pronounce the word Flatbow.Still Hunt-the-girls saw the loaded canoes andheard of the cataracts, and to him the spelling andpronunciation were mere details. He was quite frankabout it. He flatly refused the journey. He wouldbe doggoned and several other disagreeable thingswould happen to him before he would go trading to aBritish Fort. He had no sort of use for Britishersanyways, having whipped 'em at Bunker Hill—whereverthat was—and kep' 'em on the dead run eversince. He didn't give a continental—whatever thatmight be—about Injuns, which wasn't good unless theywas dead, and hadn't ought to be allowed out withguns for shooting the whites. Moreover, he'd heardtell of a crick up North a-ways, which was plumbspoiled with beaver dams, as needed clearing out withhis little set of traps. Two Bits would loan him herdugout. There was no two ways about it. "AndI'm due," he told Storm, "to roll my tail in the mawning."

Now the four widows, resolved that the trader whorepresented the tribe at Fort Colville should be dressedto do them credit, had made a deerskin hunting shirt,leggings and moccasins soft as silk, golden-tawny,perfumed with wood smoke. The deep fringes about theshoulders and along the seams, whose pattering throwsoff snow to keep the leather dry, the decoration ofporcupine quills, dyed lemon, plum bloom, indigo, andvermilion, in sacred patterns which charm awaydisease, wounds, or death, made this gift beautiful, themost precious that love could offer. When Hunt-the-girlsrefused to trade for the tribe the widows broughttheir offering to Storm, and, cut to the quick, thetrapper declared it was rotten anyway.

Storm sat in Fatbald's chair before the fire andlet the women lay the hunting dress upon his knees."Get out!" he said to Hunt-the-girls. "Get out ofmy camp—you!"

And Hunt-the-girls left in a rage. Storm heardhim swearing at the men while he got his dugout canoeafloat and loaded for the North. Then the womensaw that their friend wanted to be alone, so they lefthim.

"Rain!" he whispered. "My Dream! Rain!"

"Storm," she answered out of the air, "I heard,dear."

"How long?" he asked—"how long?" And tearswere running down his face.

"We have waited," she answered, "all our lives.Dearest, you are not obliged to go to the Fort of theStone-hearts."

"That's all you know," he said indignantly.

"But they'll arrest you for murder!"

"What of that! If I let these silly savages tradefor guns, they'll waste the furs on imitation jewelry,sham silk handkerchiefs, liquor, all sorts of foolishness.They'll come back with two or three old fukes, and saythat arrows are better. Of course I'll have to go."

He heard a chirp like that of a squirrel, cheeky,truculent.

"You're laughing at me," he said peevishly.

"T-t. T-t. T-t. Krr-aw-aw! Storm, dear, yourmother is with me."

"Humph! What does she want?"

"She says that long ago, in the big-canoe-on-the-salt-water,you had an enemy."

"Silas? Oh, we were pretty good friends after."

"Yes. When you loved your enemy. Then, whenyou came within three suns' journey of my lodge, youstayed three years to nurse a fat old man."

"How could I help that? It wasn't my fault."

"That you didn't pass him by on the other side?He died though, and left you the richest man in allthe mountain tribes."

"What was the good? I couldn't carry all that,and come to you."

"Your mother asks what you will do with thisdress."

Storm had given away a fortune without one pangof regret, but he was filled now with a sick longingfor this gift from the four widows. To give it up?Oh, well, it would please his mother, make Rain happy."It's all one to me," he said quite cheerfully. "Andafter all, I ain't no hunter that I should swagger aboutin such a kit. Old clothes are good enough for thelikes o' me. But then, Rain, there's them widders.They'd cry their eyes out!"

He heard Rain singing her happy song, the squirrelsong. Then she spoke as though she were crying.



"We'll make a low-down savage of you, a Redskinbrave like my brother Heap-of-dogs."

"All right. I wasn't much use as a white man, andmy tribe here say I'll never make an Indian."

"You gave everything away. That's Indian."

"Nothing to brag about."

"Take all your old clothes and everything you've gotexcept your hunting weapons, and hang them up as asacrifice to the Sun Spirit. That's Indian."


"Had your bath to-day?"

"Of course."

"That's a good Indian! Now swim across theriver in the running ice. A Blackfoot thinks nothingof that."

"I wasn't raised for a pet."

"Go naked into the woods, eat no food, pray tillyour Secret Helper comes to you. Every Indian doesthat before he's a warrior."

"I won't be beat."

"To-morrow at this hour swim back across theriver, call the tribe together, and ask them topray for you to the Sun, the Moon, and MorningStar.

"Go to the Council Lodge, and you shall use thebig-turnip smoke to purify your body. The chief is toopen the bundle of the medicine pipe, and after theceremony the medicine man will dress you in thesenew clothes which the widows made of love, prayers,and the honor of the tribe to the glory of the Sun.It is full of spiritual power to guard you from evil,but your mother says that the dress is not completeduntil you reach Fort Colville."


Naked and hungry, torn by the thorns, and bruised,his feet bleeding on the rough ground, Storm climbedto keep himself warm until he stood among the lasttrees. They were like torches, gaunt, funereal, theirfeet in the old gray snow, their heads among the starswaiting until the moon should rise and kindle them.Far down beneath, the howls of the timber wolvescleft the still deeps of night. Storm leaned againsta tree facing the south, awed by the silence to theverge of terror. And then through the silence therecame a voice more beautiful than he had ever heard onearth:

Spirit in the Sun,
I thank Thee for my training
In sorrow and adversity, in want and peril,
Which have brought me nearer to Thee;
For the happy adventures of my life,
The beauty of the earth,
The revelations of Thy mighty power,
And all the love which has enfolded me.

"Who prays?" cried Storm. "Who says the prayer?"

He looked about him, and found he was not alone,for Rain was on her knees close by, her mother,Thunder Feather, his mother, Catherine, the three ofthem busy kindling a little fire. The man whose voicehe had heard stood just beyond them, a figure ofradiant light and more than human stature, wearing aceremonial robe of milk-white deerskin and a single eagleplume in his hair, the token of chiefship. Stormlooked up very humbly at the Spirit whose face hadso grave, so sweet a majesty.

A glance of the great chief's eyes commanded himto look at the scene surrounding them.

The trees had faded into mist. Now they weregone, and the snow lay unbroken, level, a headlandfrom whose edges, near on either side, the walls wentdown into deep immensities of space. On the farside of this abyss, all round the east, the south, andthe west, mountains were taking substance in slowrevelation of walls inimitably deep, broken by five smallglaciers. Precipice immeasurably high, scored hereand there by cornices of clear green ice, shoulderedthe starlit snow fields, from whence there soared sevenpeaks of hewn and graven starlight.

As he watched, these mountains began to glow withan inner light, each of one clear color, the whole aspectrum enclosing the level hilltop. From where the threewomen knelt, a thin blue smoke ascended, as from analtar.

Storm turned again to the chief whose mysteriouspower had made this vision.

"Who are you, sir?" he asked.

"In my last earth-life," answered the chief, "myname was Hiawatha. It used to be a custom amongmy people that a young man seeking to have the rankof a warrior gave away all his property, except hisweapons. Then having bathed, and left everyimpurity behind him, he went naked into the wilderness,and there fasted until his Secret Helper came toinstruct him. My son, you have followed the customof my people. Will you accept me as your SecretHelper?"

"Thank you, sir."

"The dress of a brave is something more thanclothing. It is the outward sign of his training forwar, his obedience to his leader, his cheery enduranceof hardships, his gift to his tribe of all that he is, allthat he has, and all he can do, his dedication not onlyof his life, but also of his death."

Storm bent his head in token that, understanding, hestood in readiness.

"Under what leader shall you serve?"

"I don't brag," said Storm, "or even talk about that.I suppose you've got to know. I was one of foursoldiers, we were Romans, on execution fatigue, andwe hanged a man. Well, He's my leader."

Hiawatha made the sign of the cross.

"And mine," he said, "Warrior!"

Then Storm knew that he was no longer naked,but clad in the splendid dress whose earthlycounterpart he should put on for the first timeto-morrow.

"This Easter morning," said Hiawatha, "before theday breaks, your wife and your mother here haveasked me, Storm, to tell you a few things about myIndian people."

They sat down in comfort round the fire, the threewomen on the chief's right, Storm on his left, after theIndian manner. Rain lighted Hiawatha's pipe, thenthat of her man.

"I am the cracked earth," said Storm cheerily,"which prays for rain."

"It seems to me," the chief's retort was prompt,"that a cracked mouth makes fun of our holy animals."

"They seem so silly."

"What, even in your Bible?"

Storm thought for a moment, concerning the fourbeasts full of eyes, within and without. There werethe jolliest horses. There was the symbolism of thesheep, of the lamb.

"Truths," Hiawatha spoke with reverence, "veiledin allegory, illustrated by symbols."

"But are there animals, real ones?"

"Many. There is, for instance, one Spirit who hascharge of the buffalo. The group-consciousness of allthe buffalo, their herd-awareness, which you knowas instinct, is a part of his mind that warnsthe buffalo herds of coming storms, of changingseasons, and leads them to winter pastures where thebunch grass stands out clear from the thin snow. Tothis buffalo spirit my people address their prayers,asking him to guide them also in search for food, andin his pity to plead for them in their need to the Spiritin the Sun.

"Such prayers give them spiritual strength. Now,sonny, which will give you spiritual power—to makefun which hurts your wife, or to learn the lessonswhich she had from me?"

"Oh, damn the 'oly animals!" said Storm in hisheart. "Old Daddy swore I'd never be a bargeman.Silas claimed he couldn't make a sailor of me. Eventhese Injuns despise me. I know I'm no good; I'mnothing."

He had forgotten that in the spirit-realms nosecret thought is hidden. Now Rain winked at hermother, Thunder Feather, and Hiawatha, seeing that,nearly betrayed his laughter, which would give suchpain if it were seen; but Catherine crept behind themand sat beside her son. "They're only a pack ofsavages," she whispered. "I 'aven't seen no 'oly animalsneither."

Hiawatha made signs to the Indian women, composedhis face to severity, and in the manner of aschoolmaster addressed himself to Storm.

"Storms-all-of-a-sudden, what is a savage?" he askedwith Indian gravity.

"Oh, I dunno!" The white man was sulky,ashamed, and moaning to himself because his pridewas wounded.

"A dog," said Hiawatha, "has only four fingers,so that he cannot hold or aim a gun to shoot at otherpeople. A savage has four fingers and a thumb, soyou see he must be rather better than a dog, becausehe can handle a gun, to shoot his neighbors when heis not pleased. A white man is still better because hecan make the gun. In his rich country he finds themedicine stones, copper, tin, and iron for making tools.With the tools to strengthen his hands he can coinmoney, forge weapons, and build ships. As he laborshis mind grows, his will increases, his intellect isstrengthened, until he becomes as greedy as a pike,swift as a horse, and like the buffalo he tramples downthe flowers, for none can resist his rush. He rules theseas, he occupies the lands, he wields dominion overmankind, and having the whole earth for his possession,dies, leaving it behind, divested of all that he had. Allthat he is goes to the spirit-lands, where the dogs pityhim. The dog's unselfish love is worth more in thespirit-realms than the money, the weapons, the shipsof his rich master. Dogs and savages have not muchto be selfish about on earth, but only the hearts of littlechildren."

Storm and his mother were not so proud of theirblood as they had been; but Rain and Thunder Featherlooked complacent as Hiawatha again took up hislegend.

"When I lived on earth, my son, our Iroquois townswere not so very savage. London has lately copiedour municipal police. While your doctors were bleedingtheir patients to death, ours were far advanced inhypnotic medicine, and among the Indian drugs werethe salicylates, quinine, coca, and jalap. Our Indianfarming gave to man tobacco, corn and potatoes. Ofour monuments I dare not boast, for the tremendouspyramids of Mexico were an heresy, seeing that thebody of man is the real temple of the Holy Spirit;and the palaces, however vast and lovely, were seatsof tyranny.

"At the time of my last earth-life your littleEngland was ruled by a sickly but very good and ablesovereign, Queen Elizabeth. Philip the Second ruledEurope for the Pope, Suleiman the Great had commandof the Mediterranean and held a splendid Empire forMahomet. A still wealthier and better-orderedempire was held for the Prophet by Akbar the Magnificent,who reigned over Hindustan. Greatest and moststable of all was the throne of China. In every casethe princes were tyrants, the people what we shouldcall war slaves.

"I believe that Iceland was first of Republics—buthalf the people there were only slaves.

"In my little nation, the Iroquois, only the womencould own lands or houses, only the mothers could electthe President. Women and men sat together in congress.

"As President, it was my dream to put an end towar. For that ideal of an everlasting peace I calledfour other nations into counsel. They made me Presidentof the Five Nations, the Federated Republic ofthe Iroquois.

"Here in the west there were many visitors fromother lands, Polynesians, Chinese, and Japanese.They say that our first news of Europe came with theSaint Quetzal-Coatl to the Toltec nation, and to hismemory they built a temple at Cholula four times aslarge as the Great Pyramid in Egypt. To my ownpeople came the hero Leif Ericson, and he wasfollowed by many Norsemen who traded with us orhewed out cargoes of hardwood timber.

"Five centuries later, Columbus came, but he nevervisited North America. His people brought us horses,but also they carried with them germs of disease, ofpestilences which are sweeping away almost the wholeRed Indian race."

"Sweeping us away?" asked Rain.


Thunder Feather lifted the death wail, mourning forher people.

Hiawatha sheltered Rain in his arms:

"Be brave," he said. "The bodies of our people arewasted and destroyed with strange diseases not to behealed by our medicine. Our tribes are driven fromtheir farms, their fisheries, and their hunting grounds,crowded into the west, forced to make war against eachother in order to get meat, resorting in despair tosavage crimes and eating human flesh, our wild herdsslaughtered, grass eaten, lands stolen, faith betrayed,until only a last remnant shall be left on the earth."

"On earth," Rain answered bravely. "But we area spirit-race which cannot die."

Again the sacred woman Thunder Feather sent upher desolate cry for the lost nations.

But Hiawatha clasped Rain to his heart. "I loveyour courage," he said under his breath, "but still Iwarn you never to let there be anger in your heartagainst the white man or towards your husband.Promise me."

"I promise."

"Catherine," said Hiawatha, "Storm, Rain, ThunderFeather, I tell you on this Easter morning: Theseed is not quickened except it die, and the racecrucified shall rise again."

Once more the wailing of the old priestess shooktheir hearts, and she began to sing the death-song ofher race.

Beware, ye base, relentless Ghost Invaders!
I see your bones lie naked on the prairie,
And such a frightful Death as yet you know not
Shall flap his wings in triumph o'er your women—
So shall your black deeds make your souls accursed
And God shall blast your spirits to destruction!

"Oh! Thunder Feather," said Hiawatha gently,"bad words come back like fleas to bite you in bed.You make your nights all scratches. Cover your headwith your robe, and pray the Spirit Porcupine tosmooth your quills, my dear.

"It is lucky for you, Storms-all-of-a-sudden, thatin the Blackfoot custom a son-in-law and mother-in-laware never allowed to meet, so if your wife's pricklymother tries to haunt you, tell Thunder Feather tomind her manners."

The old woman had been glaring vindictively at thewhite man, but now, discovered, she had a rathersheepish grin to hide under her robe.

"Chief," said Rain, turning away from her maliciouslittle old mother, "my man and I have often been overthe Wolf Trail in our dreams. Oh, but my dear manis so stupid. I cannot make him understand howspirit-animals and spirit-men speak all one languageas we do—thought-flashings. He is so blind and deafto natural things that animals are shy, and cannot flashtheir thoughts to him, no, not even his horse along thelead rope when we ride together. Yet we haveridden up there the dearest spirit-horses who died gallantdeaths on earth. We have raced with the herds ofspirit-buffalo on prairies gay with fairy flowers. Wesat in my father's lodge, and Thunder Feather withus, while we smoked the everyday pipe, or used themedicine pipe for the great prayers. We worshipedtogether in the Medicine Lodge. We played with thespirit-children. Oh, but my man is so dull that hestill fears Death!"

"My daughter," said Hiawatha, "only the most awfulsorrow can awake your man until he is fully alive.Then will the animals converse with him as they dowith us, the little children will teach him as they teachus, and he will see how our nature worship is part ofa great faith. Words cannot teach, only experience.

"Now we must tell him about the race-death."

"I would," said Rain, "that all my people were pastthe race-death, safe in our Happy Hunting groundsfrom Windmaker's tempests, Coldmaker's blizzards,from the magicians of the Hunger Lodge, the peril ofwild rivers, the hatreds, wounds, and pain, thepestilence, the wailing of the mourners."

"The lily," said Hiawatha, "has her roots in thedirt, but her white vesture is not soiled whose warpand weft are sunshine and clear rain, her home thewinds invisible.

"So stands the Indian Spirit seeded on earth, butflowering in the heavens."

And after that there was silence.

Storm looked about him, and found that he wasalone. Around him were trees like torches, gaunt,funereal, their feet in old gray snow. At the foot ofone of these he crouched naked, famished, shivering,his feet bruised, his limbs benumbed and scarred withwounds which seemed to have been bleeding. Fardown across the forest he saw the icy river, andbeyond, thin threads of smoke went up from the lodgesof the Kutenais camp. Cramped and in pain he stood,remembering that he must observe the rite of purification,and how he should put on the sacred dress of awarrior. Mother said that this must be completed atFort Colville. What, then, was lacking?

So he set forward upon this adventure.


Some time in the third decade of the nineteenthcentury certain voyageurs of the Hudson's Bay brigadesmade their homes in the Rocky Mountains. Theywere Iroquois warriors, devoutly Christian, were fitmessengers. The fiery Cross is not carried very farby smug pastors who let the flame die out, but,brandished by knights-errant such as these Iroquois, itkindled the mountaineer Nez Percés, Flatheads, Cœurd'Alènes, and Pend d'Oreilles, and like a forest firethe Faith swept through the hills. Not satisfied, butcraving for more light, the Nez Percés dispatched acouple of young warriors as their envoys on footthrough countries held by hostile nations to visit thewhite men's lands, and beg the Big Father at Washingtonto send them Black-robes.

The White-tie missions responded, forwarding abrace of Methodist ministers who settled on the LowerColumbia where the tribes were tame, the lands fertile,and prospects favorable in godliness and possibly realestate. Later a couple of Presbyterian White-tiescame to the mountains, with their courageous wives,and were welcomed by an assemblage of the tribes,thousands of mounted warriors at full gallop, adisplay of frantic joy and terrifying grandeur. Theladies fainted, and their husbands were properlyshocked by naked, painted, plumed, and yellingsavages. For some few years this intensely respectablemission showed off their sober paces, their smallproprieties to ferocious idealists, wild saints of the SilentPlaces. In the end, utterly disillusioned, the NezPercés took the scalps of the missionaries as the onlyuseful asset of the mission.

If one cannot lighten one's darkness with sun rays,a rushlight is better than nothing, so the pony tribeswere still quite patient with their White-tie medicinemen when in May, 1839 Storm came with a followingof his Kutenais to trade for guns at Fort Colville.Upon the morning after his arrival he brought hispeople to a church parade in progress outside the stockade.The gate, of course, was closed, and in the coveredgallery above a sentry lounged to watch proceedingsthrough the loopholes, while on a bastion to the left agun was manned commanding the curtain wall, just tomake sure. The fish-eating tribes assembled for thesalmon run were not more dangerous than an averagemothers' meeting, but some of the mounted Indianshad come to trade, and Storm's Kutenais might proveexcitable. So in this congregation the salmon fisherswere squatted in the sunshine, the Kutenais standingaloof, as aristocrats who observe the savor of thecommonalty, and the haughty mountaineers remained onhorseback. Under the bastion stood a group of Americantrappers, long-haired, dressed like the fightingIndians in buckskin, chewing cable-twist tobacco andspitting with an air of absolute detachment, spectatorsnot devotees.

The White-tie medicine man, in blacks, attired likethe Reverend Mr. Stiggins or dear Brother Chadband,despite the repulsive dress, parsonic voice, and piousmannerisms, had a suggestion of rough-neck abouthim, something manful, real, earnest, a glitter of theeyes, a smile. He served out Presbyterian views onPredestination as though he thought the stuff important.Certainly he pleased the Hudson's Bay officers,who sat with their native wives on adze-hewn benches,all in their Sunday swallow-tails, nursing top hats,Scots to a man, alert to the shrewd and pawky argument.As to the native interpreters, sound on fish, buthazy as theologians, each of them preached a sermonof his own, which, had he known, would have horrifiedthe missionary. Here and there in the congregationwere grubby naked boys conducting dog fights, groupsof mothers exchanging the latest gossip, and stolidbabies lashed to their board cradles making the most ofthe sunshine. The fleas were not wasting time.

Long afterwards when Storm told his mother aboutthat service: "Tea ain't much good," was hissumming-up, "unless you've boiled the water."

After dinner Mr. James Douglas went for a walk,a Sabbath stroll taken in civilized dress, tall beaverhat, gloves, his mother's New Testament in his lefthand, a cane in his right—the sort of things to remindan exile of Home. His close-cropped mutton-chopwhiskers and clean-shaven chin, clear-cut features,gray eyes, stern jaw, belonged, one would suppose, tocity life, to business management; but the soul ofhim, despite all such appearances, in defiance of theuttermost self-discipline, was kin to the wild solitudeof the frontier. Yet of all frontiersmen Storm wasthe one man with vision keen enough to discern BlackDouglas as he was, and, when they happened to meetbeside the farm, he offered his hand to the factor as toan equal.

"Beastly familiar. Confound these Yankee trappers!" SoDouglas felt as he pulled up short and tooka pace backward. "And yet no trapper would sporta single straight-up eagle pinion worn at the back ofthe head. This fellow claims my hand as an Indian,as a chief!"

Against the verdure of the meadows, in clear sunshine,this creature was certainly most beautiful. Deeptan, sun-lighted mane, and buckskin dress appearedall dusty gold save for the flashing blue of his cleareyes. The stature, strength, grace, dignity, commandingpower of the fellow made the factor catch hisbreath as he asked:

"Who are you? Surely, I've seen you somewhere.Not—not Bill Fright?"

"They call me Storm, now. The Kutenais call meStorms-all-of-a-sudden."

"H'm. As Justice of the Peace, I'm supposed towant young Fright for parricide."

White teeth flashed as the man laughed. "And youmight get me," he answered, "with, say, five hundredmen—or even hold me, until my Kutenais had time toraise the tribes."

Then as the shadow of a passing cloud will soften thehard brightness of the snows, the youngster's laughing,triumphant manhood became all tenderness. "Yousaid as you'd make a man of me," he added under hisbreath and very humbly. "I owe all this to you. I'mnot running away or asking for a fight, Mr. Douglas,or even bragging; but if you should ever 'appen towant a friend—my heart is good towards you."

"Thank you, thank you. I might be glad of that.One never knows. Will you shake hands, Mr. Storm?"


Storm felt without resentment that the great mancondescended, as to a servant, yet tried to put aninferior at ease. Accepting that as natural, he wiped hispaw on his deerskin leggings before he would ventureto shake hands.

"I never thought to meet you, sir, upcountry, but Iwants 'elp for my tribe, and your trader here atColville is—well—cultus!" He snarled the word, forwhich the factor snubbed him.

They turned along the pathway by the river, andfor the next few minutes cut and thrust were sharp asthey came to business.

"Well, what can I do for you?" asked Douglas.

"You wants pelts. You may need help of a fightingtribe."


"One armed mountain tribe is worth more to youin trade and war than all the fishing Injuns in theworld."

"Perhaps," was the dry response, "or they mighttake their trade to the American Fur Company, anduse our guns to blackmail our brigades."

"Depends on who runs the tribe."

"It does. How's Tschirikov?"


"Left everything to you?"

"Alow and aloft."

"You run the Lower Kutenais now?"

"Yes. Do you trust me?"

"Personally, yes. But the Company is here on business.When we're attacked, it's time enough to serveout guns to our men."

"Who don't know butt from barrel, and can't hita house from inside."

"There's something in that. At the same time,Mr. Storm, we have not found your Lower Kutenaisespecially reliable for trade."

"They're true as steel!"

"No doubt. Perhaps twenty years back, or evenmore, Lieut. Tschirikov, late of the Russian Navy,came down the coast from Russian America with aschooner-load of sea otter. Had he gone west to Chinawith that cargo he might have done much better, butstill, that was not our business. The pelts were, sofar as we know, honestly come by. We bought them.He took trade goods, and set off upcountry, to starta trading post among the Kutenais. Quite naturallywe expected to buy his furs. We got none."

Storm grinned amiably, and Douglas probed a littledeeper now.

"Once or twice when I was passing with our brigades,I camped with the good old fellow and offeredto talk pelts. He would change the subject at once. Inever found out what sort of business he was—well,concealing in our Territory. I thought, to tell you theplain truth, Storm, that it might be worth while tosend you, to find out Tschirikov's game."

Storm laughed until the tears came.

"It ain't no sort of secret," he said at last."According to old Fatbald that load of sea otter and furseal was worth at Pekin about a million pounds."

"Say half."

"Well, you got 'em cheap at twenty thousand pounds'worth of trade goods."

"Reasonably cheap, yes."

"For trade goods as any Injun tribe is better without."

"Of all the confounded impudence!"

"Better without, and you know it as well as I does.Is trade rum and sham silk handkerchiefs the cargo asmakes any nation strong to defend their 'untinggrounds, or rich to tide through famines?"

"Well, perhaps not, perhaps not. More usefulmerchandise would rot on our hands for want of buyers.We are traders, not philanthropists—or dreamers."

"So Fatbald warned the Injuns. Called 'em foolsfor trading. They traded with him, though, until thebales of furs crowded him into a tipi. He sold thempelts to the Upper Kutenais in trade for 'orses. Hispony herds filled all the pastures up above our lake.They bred. He sold them ponies to our Lower Kutenais,for furs of course. In twenty years he's madethat low-down fishing tribe into hunters, fightingmountaineers, able to 'old their own, and defend their 'omes.The little kiddies, what used to starve to death if thesalmon run came late, is fat as butter now. Our peoplerides level with the Upper Kutenais and the Flatheads,runs buffalo out on the Blackfoot plains.They're rich. They're respected. They has peacebecause they don't buy no more rubbish from either younor them Americans."

"Fatbald the First," said the factor sarcastically,"being gathered to his portly forefathers, King Stormascends the throne, whose little finger is heavier thanthe old monarch's thigh. At least, my late friend,however reticent, was not insulting." Then, with amalicious smile, "Your Majesty has, I hear, a fewloads of pelts here, eh?"

"You're making fun of me," said Storm, uneasy,ruffled, a little truculent. "Go on! Your medicine isbad, but it ain't strong. Go on."

"I might venture to point out," said Douglas, "thatyour manners at the shop-counter are not ingratiating."

"I seen some Yakimas play 'umble Injun in front ofyour Colville trader. Their trade prayer and theirrum-dance don't make him what you calls infatuating.I played big chief, but all the brains he has for politicswon't fill a hollow tooth. Carries a mighty head ofsail, and forgets he's anchored! No-head is a bignoise and a big smell, but you're a chief, and so Icomes to you."

The factor chuckled. This was worth keeping forMrs. Douglas.

"When I was your prisoner," said Storm, "at FortVancouver, I seen the furs beat once a week for dustand moth. I done that these three snows, and myskins are prime."


"But No-head forks his tongue, so he lost my trade.Besides, he asks too much and gives too little. TheAmerican Fur Company, so them trappers tell me, ain'tso far south as all that."

"I see. Of course you want ball and powder?"

"None. I make both."



"Oh yes, I remember now. Of course, our leadmine is on Lake Kootenay. But then the trader herehas orders not to lend our bullet molds to anybody."

"I found a bullet mold," said Storm, "in the bos'n'slocker aboard of the Beaver. I don't lend mine,neither."

Again the factor showed some little irritation.

"You seem," he said testily, "to have more brainsthan Dr. McLoughlin and I had reckoned on. Butit's all damned nonsense. Make powder! We can't!The thing's impossible."

"Well," said Storm, enjoying this, "the couple ofhundredweights I bring with me ain't much to offer forsale to people as was here before Christ."

"Does it go off?"

"You might care to try, Mr. Douglas. And the bullets.I'm using 'em as ballast under the cargoes ofpelts. I'm here trading for guns. The only question,sir, is this—do I trade at Fort Colville or down south?"

Guns! This was a leader of men, chief of a tribequite strong enough, under his discipline, to take andloot Fort Colville for the guns.

"And why do you want trade guns?"

"I have a range of mountains," answered Storm."See—here—I'll show you."

Old Beaver-tail had mapped the country for him,and like an Indian, Storm squatted on his heels makinglines on the dust of the trail with a dry twig. "Theriver of the Kutenais," he said, "starts here."

In the heart of the Rockies, within a mile or so ofthe Canadian Pacific Railway, snows on ten-thousand-footAlps drain to the southward, down tangled steepsof forest, calling from stream to stream along thehillsides, a shrill assembly of many waters, source ofa white-maned torrent roaring through deep gorges.Purling over gravels, hurling round short curves, andundercutting cliffs, the river widens out amongpine-crested isles, and spreads in beaver-flooded jungle.Then it snakes through meads of wild flowers, andcoils like a serpent by miles of widening prairie,glittering in the sunshine.

"'Ere," said Storm, "across these pastures it swings,being here ten bowshots distant from the head sourceof the Columbia. The Kootenay River wagers poniesto little dogs on the path towards the sun, but theColumbia says its prayers and hits the trail nor'west.Both is beaten, for here's my range of mountainswalling off the west, miles high snows, hundreds of milesin length."

Look at the maps and see how very few large riversmanage to flow to the westward against the terrificeastward trend of the earth's surface.

"At last," said Storm, "the Columbia finds a wayround the norrard end of my Alps, and the Kootenaysneaks around the southern foothills. Each makes ahairpin bend. They've both got lost in the woods, sothe Columbia flows due south, and the Kootenay duenorth. Here on the Kootenay is our herd camp, that'sthe bulrush swamps, and there's my trading post onthe only bit of gravel which doesn't flood in summer.And here's our hundred-mile lake.

"By this time the Kootenay cools off and gets lonesome,so it finds a hollowed lip 'ere at the West Arm,and goes ramping down big falls to the Columbia.This way!' says he, 'due west!' but the old Columbiaknows what's best, and keeps straight on down throughthem lava deserts, and the big volcanoes."

"Your mountains form the island, then?" said thefactor.

Storm looked up at Douglas, and his face had ayearning, hungry ferocity reminding the factor of amother wolf guarding her cubs.

"When I gets my guns," he said, "I can 'old thatrange of Alps agin the world. But you wants trade.Well, here's the World Spine, and them Blackfootprairies. Here's the Flatheads down south pastTobacco Plains. Here's the Shushwap tribes nor'west ofus. There's trade enough."

He stood up facing Douglas. "Who gets thetrade?" he asked—"you or them Americans?"

"You'll be trader?"

"No. Fatbald's widow Two Bits owns the post, notme. She got more brains than me when it comes totrading, and she's wife of the Head Chief SittingWolf, my friend."

"I see," said Douglas thoughtfully. "And you?Where do you come into this? When you've giveneverything away, what then, King Storm?"

"What then?"

Storm's mood changed always with bewilderingsuddenness. Within this brief conversation he had beencordial, truculent, grateful, shrewd, poetic, whimsical,wistful, ferocious, and now astounded Douglas byshowing the reserve of an English gentleman intrudedupon by strangers. This forlorn bargee and ordinaryseaman, fugitive from justice, had an extraordinaryair of breeding. "I don't understand you," hesaid, and turned away, as though to end the interview.

"My dear chap," said the administrator, treatingStorm, for the first time, as an equal, "I really mustbeg your pardon. Your private affairs——"

Storm swung around sharply.

"'Ow about them guns?"

"Oh, I must see our resident officer. You'll counton my good offices?"

"Thank you."

"But when I spoke so bluntly just now, I was onlywondering, Storm, if I can do you a good turn,somehow. We white men stick together out here, eh?And your life must be rather lonely."

Storm had a quizzing, twisty sort of smile. He didnot know what impulse moved him, or realize that hismother, invisible, but most urgent and determined forhis good, guided his mind, directed his hand as hepointed to the New Testament in the factor's hand,and said outright:

"I wants that!"


"That book, sir. The New Testament."

"I brought it out with me," said the factor, "to readhere under the trees. You want to see it? Here. Itwas my mother's copy," he added.

Storm took it in his hands, but looked away acrossthe sun-bright river. "My mother's! I left mymother's behind," he said. "You see, it was under herpillow when daddy knifed her. I couldn't go downinto the cabin to fetch it then. I just couldn't. Nowshe says—says she—I got to ax you for this."

"Man! She's dead. She can't be speaking."

"Why not? She hain't so dead as all that. Shesays there is no death. She told me I'd got to comehere to Fort Colville because—to complete my outfit.It hain't complete, she says, without—without thatbook."

"The Word of God," said Douglas. "No outfit iscomplete without that weapon. Take it, my boy.You're welcome. It is the sword of the Spirit."


Alone upon the river bank, under a tree, Stormopened the book. So long a time had passed since hehad last seen the written word, the white man's greatestmagic, that all he could do was to spell out lettersand make syllables aloud, forgetting the beginnings ofa line before he reached its end. So reading he fellinto a doze, and presently into deep sleep, dreamingtrue. In his dream he stood once more among funerealand torchlike pines upon a level tract of old gray snow.There were the tracks quite fresh of a white man'sboots, which following, he came to the edge of thesnow-clad plateau. Thence he looked down a thousandfeet or so of corkscrew trail among dark junipers,and at the foot of the hill he saw Rain's sacred tipi.The tracks led down the trail, and halfway to the tipilurched a man who carried pack and gun. Stormrecognized the beaver cap, the deerskin hunting shirt,the breeches with long fringes down the seams, thelong boots gone over at the heels. So there went theonly white man save himself in all the Kutenais, forthis was American trapper Hunt-the-girls. Eveningwas closing in, and down there the hearth fire madeRain's tipi glow, while a thin thread of smoke wentup as from an altar. So Hunt-the-girls would seekfor hospitality at the Sacred Lodge.

In his dream Storm went directly to the lodge, wherehe saw Rain at her evensong. Storm would notventure to make his presence known at such a time, butstood behind her joining his prayer to hers. A fewdays more, after a lifetime of waiting and years ofself-denial, he would come there in the body, to bejoined with Rain in wedlock. Both of them prayedthat the time might be shortened until they were manand wife.

When Hunt-the-girls came to the tipi he drew asidethe door flap and entered. He seemed a little dauntedat finding a woman at prayer, but presently Rainstood up, gave him a kindly greeting, helped to takeoff his pack, then let him have tobacco to smoke whileshe made supper. They talked a little in the Kutenais,of the weather, the trails, the hunting, and the beaver,but all the while the white man, fascinated, enthralled,gazed at the woman, desire in his eyes, while she,kneeling at the work, her back turned, grew more and moreuneasy. Storm saw her loose the dagger in her beltsheath, and tried to let Rain know that he was present,but could not reach her mind. He wanted with allhis might to restrain the white man, to frighten him,to drive him away, or even in the last resort to kill,but Storm's spiritual presence might have no influenceupon the material body of this felon, nor handsinvisible defend the woman he loved, in the extremity ofher peril. She was praying in desperation. At hersummons her mother, Thunder Feather, and Storm'smother, Catherine, were present instantly, andpresently the great spirit Hiawatha. These joined Storm,and by agreement all of them bent their wills to dauntthe trapper, while they inspired Rain to coolness, skill,and daring in her defense.

The mad beast passion had called up demons alsountil a crowd of evil spirits urged the trapper on sothat Rain's friends could not avail to hold him fromhis purpose. The trapper leaped at Rain, flung herheadlong beside the little fire on the hearth, thendragged her across the floor, laying her on the bisonrobes against the back rest. There they fought long,desperately, until at last Rain's strength failed. Sheseemed to have fainted, yet her eyelids parted almostinvisibly as she got ready. Only she opened her eyeswide when she struck, driving the dagger home intothe white man's lungs. It seemed but a minute laterthat she dragged the wounded man abreast of thehearth fire, rolled him face downwards across the beltof red-hot coals, and stood holding him there with herfoot, until the awful vengeance was accomplished.

Then Storm remembered her words of long ago:"If a woman will not defend her honor, with herweapons defend her honor, with all that she is, all thatshe has, defend her honor, then let her not think thatshe shall dare the Wolf Trail. She shall not climbthe Wolf Trail to the land of the Blessed Spirits."

So be it. Her honor was defended, and avenged.Henceforth he who had offended her, if he should live,so long as he should live should have but one name,No-man.

And the dream faded.

* * * * * * *

The dusk had fallen, the lamp was alight in the chieffactor's room at the Fort.

"My dear," said Douglas to his Indian wife, "I'vegiven my New Testament to Storm of the East Kutenais."

The woman wondered at him.

"After all," Douglas explained, "what could I do?We've got the big Bible with us and I'm sure mymother would have given him that little Testament,as of course I did. You'll laugh at what I say, butif you'd seen him there, a sort of spirit, all dustysunshine, his eyes dreaming, seeing things unearthly, ashe looked across the blaze of light on the water! Mydear! why, his face was inspired."

"Hush! Some one at the door," said Mrs. Douglas,who was undressing to go to bed. "Who can it be, solate?"

The factor opened the door, and Mrs. Douglas hidherself behind it. Storm stood there, deathly-pale,shaking all over, holding on to the lintel overhead.

"I want you," he said huskily. "My wife's indanger. I got to go at once."

"You've had a message?"

"Yes. From her mother, Thunder Feather. I'mstarting now with the three best canoe men. But Ican't leave my Injuns in the lurch about them guns.You got to do the trading for me, with this FortColville man?"

"I?" asked the factor.

"You. I trust you. You're straight."

"The Hudson's Bay Company is not exactly crooked."

"It's you I trust. You'll do it?"

"Gladly," said Douglas.

"Fatbald's widow, Two Bits, Sitting Wolf's woman,will come to you in the morning. Or you can sendfor her."

He was gone, and Douglas stood in the doorwaylistening as Storm ran towards the river and his canoe.



The Indian would rather not be fed from theGreat Horn Spoon of the Pale-face. Northof the Medicine Line we have kept faith withhim, in cold frugality and aggravating meanness.Southward in the Land of Promises we showed himthe whole art and practice of Humbug, sometimesmassacred a tribe or so, were always liable to break out,and yet had generous moods or even dealt a littlesunshine now and then to warm starved hearts. TheIndian likes Canada least.

We wear hats, not for an occasional ceremony, butall the time, as though we never desisted from makingmagic. That is uncanny, not quite human.

The Indian likes a fight as much as anybody, andafterwards a scalp is the very best trophy. But healways took that trophy in war, not, like the whitefrontiersman, in peace, or for fun, or as a collector ofcuriosities. In other ways, too, the white man isferocious. When, on a hard trip, the Indians are done forand lie down to die, the white man gets up and kicksthem. I have done that myself. The white man'spurpose goes on until he is dead, and afterwards. Heis much fiercer even than the poor embittered Apaches.He is fierce in cold blood. He laughs.

All this is to illustrate the emotions of Falls-in-two,Wags-his-tail, and Last-one-to-swim-home-with-fodder,the three best canoe men of the Kutenais.

They did not like the white man Storms-all-of-a-sudden,who kept two of them at the paddles, one resting,and worked without sleep himself for seventyhours on end. When he caught them trying to cooka meal, he kicked the fire out. Of course, they couldkill him easily, but when they rejoined the tribe TwoBits would have a few words to say about that.Brave they were to a fault, but when old Two Bits"turned her wolf loose," naught could avail butabsence.

A white man wears a hat and can work without restor food, such being his sun-power; but an over-strainedIndian's nerve breaks, and, though he may seem toget well, he will not live long afterwards. So, at thecataract from which he had his name, Falls-in-twoexplained this mystery to Storms-all-of-a-sudden. Itmade Storm worse than ever.

At the upper portage the three Indians prayed thatthe sun would burn him and powder him up for blackface-paint. Most certainly the prayer had some effect,for the heat became extreme, and in the late afternoonwhen they reached the place where the city of Nelsonstands, the white man, so said Wags-his-tail, just felldown dead. They were too tired to help. They lethim stay dead until midnight.

* * * * * * *

Storm had lost himself among heaps of clinkers andbeds of cinders. There were drifts of ashes flung byan icy wind in the gray gloom, a gale of ashes blowingthrough his body, cold which wrenched his heart,clutched his throat, strangled him. He could not findRain's enemy, the man who had ruined his wife, androbbed her of her honor. The plain reached awayforever without shelter or refuge or any hope. Therewas no hope. There was no life in him or warmthexcept from the burning of murderous hatred for Rain'senemy.

"I have a soul," he shouted, "to offer in exchange ifI may have my enemy. Give me my enemy!"

There was no answer to his cry, no echo from thedesert, only more furious wind, and deepening of graydarkness, drift in which he floundered, sinking, coldbeyond endurance.

Again he shouted, offering his soul for help in thefinding of Rain's enemy.

That time he heard the echo, derisive, hollow, flungby unseen cliffs, crashing from wall to wall, fromheight to height, far up to summits remote, and emptysilence. Presently his knee struck a chain suspendedin the ash drift. Its cold tore the skin from his hands,but he could not lower it to climb over or lift it toget under. He hauled himself along by the chain asthough it were a life line, knowing that the name ofit was Despair. And by the chain of Despair he cameat last to the foot of the cliffs, just where a pathwaywent up, broad, of easy gradient, quartering theprecipice. He knew that the name of that path was Hope,but he could not tell whither it led. Only it saved himfrom the gale of drifting ashes, and it seemed to leadhim away from Hate, wherein there is no shelter, orsuccor, or deliverance. He went on a long way, butalways the path narrowed, shrinking against the cliffs;and whereas it had been easy, it was now steep, aye,and perilous, for it shelved to the edge, of slipperyloose flakes which slithered over and fell. He stoodbreathless, listening for the stones to reach the bottomto reassure him, but they fell, and fell without end.Now he dared go no farther upon that narrow shelvingway lest he should miss a foothold in the dark, toslither as the stones did, and go suddenly mad, to leap,turning over and over in Space, falling into the Silence.He would have gone down the path, but that he darednot turn round. He went on, clinging to the wall,peering into the gloom, looking for footholds.

So Thunder Feather found him, and barred his path.She said that Rain lay up yonder at the point of death.She must come down this trail to find Storm becausehe had failed her, in her extremity had failed her.

The words were echoed by clanging walls, with capand crash of thundering calls and answers, far up theheights until the sound was lost in Silence.

And in the disorder of her grief the mother railed atStorm. "You think yourself a man," she cried, "awarrior!" The echoes crashed and thundered to everyword. "Your woman bids you keep away from yourlodge these three snows past, and you obey, you cur!What woman ever made could love or reverence athing that obeys her like a dog at the lodge door!

"Three winters married and never seen your woman!O craven dog-face! The squaw is master in yourlodge, and you whimpering outside, unfit, unworthyto enter, not man enough to go in, Betrayer ofManhood. He arms a tribe with guns to protect hiswoman's mountains, while he dare not guard herhonor."

She leaned forward, and spat in his face.

"It's just as well," she said, "you were not thereto meet that warrior, to spoil your woman's aim whenshe launched the arrow, or afterwards where shefinished him.

"He lies outside the lodge writhing, moaning, therein his blood, craving for water. I sat unseen,invisible, beside him, making sure of his agony, drinkinghis anguish. Rain's vengeance has not failed, as yoursfails, coward. Her vengeance is the one thing saved,the only thing which has not failed in our downfall, allthat we have left. He will never have power to harmanother woman.

"And so you think you'll climb this trail up to theHunting Grounds among the blessed dead! You will,but it will be a land of strangers for such as you, whoshirked."

Father and Uncle Joey stood behind her, and theyalso jeered.

In all Storm's life that was the moment of deepesthumiliation, for while he knelt upon the ledge, brokenwith misery, Thunder Feather, his chief assailant,turned on these evil spirits like a tigress. She terrifiedthem, driving them away.

Afterwards when she came back, she crouched downon a jutting crag, covered her head with her robe, andmourned for the overthrow of all she had loved onearth.

"What brought you here?" Storm asked, for hisheart went out to her.

"I'm finding the trail," she said, "to make it easierfor Rain when she dies, and comes here—she whoavenged her honor. I will set up her lodge, and bidewith her."

Not sin, but love, had brought this unhappy spiritdown to Hell, love upside down, grotesquely changedto hate, to venomous curses and exulting vengeance,but love nevertheless, love eternal, love triumphant.Ignoring his own misery, thrusting self away, Stormhad the heart to pity Thunder Feather, sought clumsilyenough and hopelessly to give her the comfort whichhe lacked himself.

How strange it was that, all unnoticed, humblemosses grew in the cracks of the rock, putting forthtiny forlorn green flowers. There was even a trickleof water flowing across the shelf.

Why, there was light enough now to see far up thegray, stupendous walls on either side, although theabyss beneath was hardly visible. The water caughtthe light, and Storm saw it, letting the trickle flow intohis hands, although his thirst had become so terriblethat he could not keep still, but let it run away betweenhis fingers. He tried again, but this time to get waterfor the woman. She cursed him, cross-grained asever, but she drank, and went on cursing his attemptsto give her comfort where there could be none. Shetried to drive him away, but he was busy drinking andtook no notice. She was glad in her heart that hestayed, that he still tried to give her something to hopefor. If she had come down the trail, it must bepossible for him to help her up again.

It was then that Catherine came, calling for ThunderFeather, feeling her way down into the gloom ofthe abyss. She found the woman at her son's feet,mourning.

Storm looked up wondering at his mother's radiance,which lighted the gray walls on either side. Then shebent down and kissed him on the forehead.

"Silly old Thunder Feather!" she said with all theclear-cut, brisk decisiveness of the trained nurse,"talketh nonsense and knoweth it is rubbish, and grinnethwhen found out, as she doth now. Ugh! Look at her!"

Thunder Feather tried to conceal the grin under herrobe.

"Pay thee no heed," said Catherine. "For, if shemeant a tenth part of that which she saith, her portionwould be perdition, albeit her spirit dwelleth in Rain'stent."

Storm dared not ask about Rain.

"I've just left Rain," said mother, "asleep andasking for thee. Thou must not come, son."


"Because if thee comes in the spirit she will leaveher body to meet thee, and then she won't get backagain. Dost thee want her to croak? Then don't besilly. Come in thy body like a man, so that thy wifeseeth thee in the flesh and cleaveth to the earth-life forthy sake. The poor thing prays for death. Make herpray for life. Now promise. S'elp you Bob!"

"S'elp me Bob."

"That's right." The sensible old woman turnedbriskly to Thunder Feather. "Dost gloat on Hell, eh?Come back to thy child or—or I'll smack thee blackand blue."

The Indian spirit got up, favored Storm with ademure wink, and meekly followed Catherine back toduty.

* * * * * * *

Despite his mother's comforting words, the tauntsof Thunder Feather had bitten so very deeply thatStorm awakened, yelling. He raved to the three Indiansthat he had failed his wife in her need, and they,supposing him to be unmarried, thought he had gonecrazy.

Ill as he was from yesterday's touch of the sun, heroused them again at daybreak, and drove them heartlesslyon that last day's journey of seventy miles bywater. Yet as a gale breaks into squalls, and flawsinto calm, so he became inconstant, with moods offurious haste followed by hours when he dared not goon. He might not find Rain alive. So at the outletof the main lake he let his men cook breakfast; at theWarm Springs they all had a bath; at Kaslo Pointlanded for supper; and it was not until night was faradvanced that they came dead weary to the head ofnavigation on Hamill Creek.

After a dreamless night Storm found himself fit fortravel. At dawn he bathed, said his prayers, cookedbreakfast, and finished eating by the time the threeIndians awakened. They sat up, each in his robe, andoffered thanks to Morning Star that they were to gono farther with this madman. They watched himstow his New Testament and some jerked buffalo beefinto the robe which he packed and slung by shouldercords upon his back.

"Chiefs," observed Falls-in-two, "great medicinemen, and even warriors may fulfill a vow, or in graveneed venture to take this Ghost Trail. I'll bet you mycanoe you don't get back."

"Yes," said Last-one-to-swim-home-with-the-fodder,"my beaver-mother warned me in my dream. 'Mybeaver-child,' she said, 'you were born lazy, which isincurable, but if you ever do recover, don't attempt theGhost Trail. But if you do go, prepare yourself withfasting, purification, the beaver bundle ceremonial, andthe sacrifice of all your property to the Sun-spirit.' Iwould not like that part."

"My father," remarked young Wags-his-tail, "didwalk this Ghost Trail, to fulfill a vow. The ghosts atehim, and we never found anything except his skull.Yes, and his tail-bone," he added cheerfully.

Storm was laughing as he belted on the hatchet,took up his gun, and offered his hand to his friends.

"We will pray for you," said Falls-in-two grudgingly,"but it's not much use in this case."

"Your scouting is bad," saidLast-one-to-swim-home-with-the-fodder. "My dreamsays you'll getbushed. The best way is not to go."

"Your hunting," said Wags-his-tail, "will make youso thin that the ghosts won't think you're meat. Youmay get through to the sacred woman's lodge."

Thus thoroughly cheered, Storm took the GhostTrail, which was very faintly blazed through the densetimber.

For a white man, he was not so bad a tracker. Heknew a blaze on a tree, however much the bark hadovergrown the slash. He knew that mosses and lichensdenote the north side of either tree or rock, that aslope leads down to water, that deer tracks are guidesin crossing a valley, but that elk slot shows the bestroute following a stream. The man who knows thesethings, even when tired or flustered, is not very easilybushed. Besides, when his mind was quiet, kindlyspirits were able to guide his course, as they alwayswill if one lets them.

For the first few hours he went in great contentment.Farther on, within the foldings of the foothills,he looked down a thousand feet or more upon thewhite earth-shaking torrent, whose northern bank wasprecipice unscalable. The southern incurved slope ofthe cañon, to which he clung like a fly on a wall,became more perilous as he advanced, for the moss wasstrewn with slippery pine needles, while here and thereit was clad with snow, thawed, and then glazed byfrost, so that he had to hew out a tread for every step.No sunlight ever falls upon that hillside, where theDouglas firs are a couple of hundred feet high, andfallen trunks perhaps thirty feet in girth lie rotting,sliding, not to be climbed, most dangerous to pass lestthey break loose. Uphill the whole slope was ice-clad,downhill the stretches of open ground were more andmore abrupt, and as the day waned, frozen, slippery asglass. Storm worked on, desperate because the sunwas setting and soon it would be dark. It was then inthe dusk that he met the grizzly, an old man bear, agiant, lean from the winter's fast, morosely huntingtree grubs for a scanty meal. He reared up from hiswork on the butt of a fallen tree, angry at beingdisturbed, barring Storm's way, determined to have meat.

Storm's stomach flopped over, so he said, for he wasterrified.

"Brother," he pleaded nervously, "my woman iswounded, and I'm going to her. Have pity, and letme off! Brother, do you believe in the Sun Spirit?See this gun! If I trust in that I'm a rotten shot, butif I trust in the Sun Spirit——"

The man whirled the gun round his head andlaunched it flying down into the cañon.

"Now, God," he cried, "it's Your turn!"

The bear dropped on all fours, and with a snarl ofdefiance over his left shoulder dared Storm to followhim.

"Spirit in the Sun! Thanks!" cried Storm. "Thatgun is Yours."

So he followed the bear, who knew the way down tothe river, where there was ground level enough forcamping. He went upstream a little, out of sightfrom the gun, lest he be tempted to steal it back again.

So in the dusk he made a little fire, ate dried meat,hung up the remainder beyond the reach of rovingporcupines, and slept. For fear lest the bear come backto eat his body, he dared not leave it, but mother camein his dream to say he had done well. And Rain wasbetter.

The river was at its very lowest, but even then itmakes one's flesh creep to think of crossing HamillCreek. Of course the change of weather that night tosteady slopping rain made bathing no wetter thanwalking, and, since the fellow swam like a duck, hemight as well land on the north bank. Anybody elsewould have drowned, but somehow he got across tothe sunlit side of the gorge.

The trouble about the north side is that it is streakedwith the tracks of snowslides, where avalanche hasswept away the giant timber, and in its place growsgrass. When a horse falls into that grass one can seeby movements of the foliage where his four legs arewaving for assistance, but one cannot chop one's wayto him, or by any means get down to the rescue. Asto the flowers, there is one, the giant hemlock, whoseblossom can just be reached up to by a mounted man.Yet, when one comes to think, this jungle of latesummer might be quite easily passable in May.

A bull elk was ramping down the gorge rutting, whobelled for his mate, very crazy. When he came uponStorm he lowered his antlers, and charged, but the manwho had put the fear into a real bear was not to bealarmed by any stag.

"Can't you see I'm not a cow? Get out of myway!" said Storm.

The elk propped with his four legs to a halt, stoodfor a moment at gaze, and turned off, shatteringthrough the underbrush.

And presently a gray wolf, who was tracking theelk, showed himself to Storm, rather shyly. Indiansare comrades, but this one was off color.

"Brother," said the man, "your people and mine areat peace. Good hunting!"

"Not armed!" said the wolf to himself. Then hewhimpered softly, for he was hungry, and the manmight help him to meat.

"Show me the way," said Storm, "and I'll give youmy dry meat. Take me to my wife."

The Indians know that wolves have sometimes notonly hunted with people, but also shown them the way,and Storm's power was very strong since his encounterwith the grizzly. He followed the wolf up the gigantichills until at dusk he came to a little level field ofold gray snow where gaunt funereal pines like torchesstood in the dripping rain, the mournful rain. Thesnow had been disturbed and there were tracks ofunshod horses, who would not come up here unless theywere ridden. Here, where the snow had meltedthrough, the sodden ground showed ashes of a campfire, pitted by big raindrops from the trees. This treewhose branches dripped into the ashes was hung withclothes, torn by the wind to rags, bundles, weapons,ornaments, offerings to the Sun. It was a place ofsacrifice, dedicated. And the wolf had fled without hisreward of meat:

"Surely," thought Storm, "I've been here before.Aye, in this life I've sat beside that fire."

He peered through a veil of rain into the violetgloom. "If it were only clear enough!" he thought."There is the Apse of Ice!"

He walked to the eastward edge of the platform andlooked down the hillside, precipitous, flecked with darkjuniper bushes. A thousand feet below he could seea level mead where there were horses grazing, andthere in the pasture close against the hill was a tipi.That was her lodge!

Risking his neck on slippery ground and snowdrift,he rushed that hillside, leaping, sliding, rolling, falling,catching at bushes, then scrambling to his feet andquartering zigzag downwards until, breathless andfrantic, he pulled himself up short behind the tipi. Itshowed no smoke, no firelight.

He groped his way in the dark, round to the eastwardside where the closed square flap of the doorwayfaced the valley. There he tripped over something,and reaching out his hands to save himself, he foundthe body of a man, of Rain's enemy whom he hadcome to kill. To all Indians the place was holy, thepriestess a sacred woman. The tribes would burn theman who dared molest her. This was no Indian.These sodden clothes, a serge shirt, duck overalls, longboots, were those of a white man. There was but onewhite man in these mountains, Hiram Kant, the Americantrapper, known to the Indians as Hunt-the-girls,who had "heard of a crick up north a-ways, plumbspoiled with beaver dams."

Storm's groping fingers found the wound. Thetouch of it made him retch, for this man waswounded—horribly. Rain's vengeance had struck. AndThunder Feather had given to this trapperHunt-the-girls a new name—"No-man."

If he had only been dead! But this thing was alive,delirious, muttering, moaning for water. "And itwouldn't be decent to kill—until I gets him wellenough to fight me. I suppose I got to——"

Sick, faint, reeling, Storm groped in the dark untilhe found by the tent door an elk paunch used as abucket, and half full of water. He poured some intoNo-man's mouth.

And all the while there were words, dimly rememberedwords, which would run in Storm's head:

"If thine enemy hunger!"

"Well? Let him hunger!" said Storm out loud."I got to find Rain first."

Still feeling sick, he groped at the door flap,unfastened it, wrenched it aside, and reeled into the lodge.He could not hear properly, for the drumming of raindropson the skin wall drowned any sound, althoughhe had a sense which made his flesh creep of somethingstirring, of deadly menace waiting in the darkness.

Then with a sense of horror he remembered thatRain knew no word of English nor he of Blackfoot.In Dreamland, where all languages are as one, theyused to talk of that, and how when they met onearth—yes, he was to sing the melody she loved best.

His mouth was dry. He could not sing. He wastoo frightened. He must! Yes; while he knelt downgroping for the fire sticks which always, in an Indiantipi, lay just within the doorway on the left——

Now 'ere's to hold Tom Bow-oh-oh-le-hing,
The darling of our crew-hoo.

Would she remember? His shaking hands hadfound the fire sticks. With fumblings at his beltpouch, he got out flint, steel, and tinder, struck downbrisk showers of sparks——

Faithful be-low, he did his doo-hoo-hooty
But death has broached him too-oo-oo-hoo-hoo—

He blew at the tinder until it kindled——

De-heth has broached hi-im too.

"That's right!" The fire stick caught, and showedhim a torch, which he lighted. "How's that? Eh?" Helooked up triumphant, and then, with narrowingeyes, peered out across the lodge.

What should he know about Red Indian grief, ofBlackfoot rites which mourned for murdered honor?The priestess had bled nearly to death, had starved herbody these four days, and only remained alive becausethe guardian spirits gave her power.

They said that Storm was coming. Who couldmistake that blundering white man's rush down thehillside, that muttering of oaths when he fell overNo-man's body, that funny dear old melody?

Had she not loved so fiercely she could not havehated his coming with such frantic intensity. That heshould break into the place where she hid her misery!

Purity fierce as fire, anger which struck like lightning,pride ferocious, a wild heart savage as this terrificwilderness, all that had made her overwrought,hysterical, half mad, found their expression now as shecrouched kneeling, her bow drawn, her arrow ready,her staring eyes waiting until the light showed thetarget, and then she steadied her aim directly at hisheart.

Storm saw the woman he had worshiped from childhood,married in Dreamland, his wife whom now thetorch revealed to him for the first time on earth—aterrible, avenging fury.

As a horseman speaks of his horse, so had thiswoman spoken of her animal, her earthly body, which,be it beautiful or be it disfigured, was a thing apartfrom herself, which he had never seen, or loved, orthought about.

It is not the lamp which gives light, or the oil, or thewick, but the flame. So the earthly body inspirespassion, while Love is of the soul, burning, spiritual, notof the Earth or of Time, but of the Heavens eternal.And Death can only make the dull flame clear, shiningabove the level of the earth mists, in regions whereLove is regnant, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal. Thehuman love which lights our way on earth is to thatmighty power, like the small twinkle in a sunlit dew-drop.

So Storm saw dimly by the flickering torchlight thedisfigured body, but clearly radiantly the untarnishedsoul. His love was not of the Earth, or of Time, orSpace or any limitation, but the divine spark whichkindled his manhood, not to be quenched by anyillusion of the senses. And as to the threatened death,what was that to him except a quick awakening fromthis earth-dream!

Long ago in Dreamland Rain had launched an arrowthrough Storm's heart, but by his faith he had beensaved from any pain or injury from the wound.Laughing at that old memory, he said, "I still believe";and, just as he had then, so now he stretched out hisarms.

His hair was draggled with the wet, his deerskindress was soaked, dank, clinging to his body; butneither the drenching, the cold, nor his weariness couldlower the flash of his eyes or hide the love whichlighted his face as he knelt there, not come to affronther privacy, but to show Rain that he, her lover, herhusband, had come at last to protect and succor her.She understood.

The bow relaxed, the arrow dropped, she reachedout her arms to him, her lips rendered thanksgiving;but now that the strain was ended, the wounded,starving woman swayed helplessly, the flush gone from herface, the light from her eyes. And she fell forward.

Storm dropped the torch. The tipi was all in darkness,and there was no sound save the steady patteringof rain on the taut skins overhead.




Europe has two groups of languages, theAryan and the Basque, but the North Americanshad ten, with hundreds of tribal dialects.Only the nations on the northwest coast had a tradejargon to unite their isolated villages.

The Indian of the hunting tribes made his wholelife the exercise of a religion expressed in endlessceremonial, even the songs and dances being forms ofprayer. The song was derived from the notes of birdsand beasts, the ritual and the dance were a carefulmimicry of the wild creatures, and the whole art ofpantomine gave to the Indian extraordinaryexpressiveness, variety, and grace in gesture. So NorthAmerica had what Europe lacked, the basis for alanguage of signs, in universal use, breaking down tribalbarriers, welding all nations into one brotherhood.The population was so small, its tribes were so farapart, that war was informal, a hunting for trophies toplease the girls, not a campaigning for conquest; butthe sign talk made an immense telegraphy whichcarried news from hill to hill across the wilderness,scout's warning to the home camp, signal of tribe totribe guiding the hunt, as well as an instrument indiplomacy, a vehicle for treaties.

So far back as they remembered their life, Rain hadinstructed Storm in the ways of her people, and theycould spend hours together conversing in the hand talkwithout one spoken word. Their first earthly meetingoccurred on a dark night when the fire was out; butwhen they had light to see by, they talked as deaf anddumb folk do among ourselves. Even when Stormlearned Blackfoot, they would revert to the graceful,happy game, as one might turn for fun from prose topoetry.

Think, then, of Storm on his knees enjoying abright fire, and the haggard priestess sitting upaffronted because he had bedded No-man down on theother side of the tipi. "That thing, No-man," she sig-naled, "profanes my lodge. Chuck him out!" No-man!Such was the name which Thunder Featherhad called the white man Hunt-the-girls, her daughter'senemy.

"Don't fuss," he answered, "here's your soup allsteaming, and I'm Old Squaw who smacks the childrento make them good inside. You shan't have any soupuntil you agree to be good."

Rain wanted that soup.

No-man did not want soup. He was Hiram J. Kant,a free-born American citizen, what had a rightto die if he pleased.

"Not at all," said Storm. "You got no right tosneak out of a fight."

"What fight?"

"I'm Rain's husband."

"Some liar," said No-man with admiration.

"You're going to fight me, Hiram," Storm added,"knives, guns, or teeth, but you'll fight."

"Eh?" The American became quite cheerful withsomething to look forward to.

"Gimme that soup!"

Both patients were acutely disagreeable. Raindetermined to finish murdering No-man the moment shefelt well enough, while the trapper had but one motivefor living, a duel with his nurse. Moreover, all threeof them had to be fed. So the nurse went huntingwith No-man's gun or Rain's arrows daily to get meat,just at the height of the season when the animals wereeither in love or looking after their children. No-manwanted rainbow trout, Rain said fish were unclean.Storm could not catch them anyway, and only the littlefishes enjoyed the joke. The camas lilies made thepastures blue as a sunlit lake, and Rain turned rabidvegetarian, but Storm had never learned to use therooting stick, shaped like a packing needle. The bulbscame up in broken bits. As to the cooking of them ina grass-lined pit, with a fire on top, that really needs abit of practice, and Rain's explanations in the hand talkwere merely an aggravation of his worries. Hisnursing was rough, his surgery a peril, his hunting afailure, his cookery a besetting sin, his housekeeping anoutrage on decency, and in short his conduct of affairsmost stimulating. Both patients in self-defense madehasty convalescence.

The worker, arraigned by his conscience andcondemned by his fellows as a failure, sees but one sideof life, while on the other spirits invisible may bepraising his service as one of immortal beauty. Thewise women, Catherine and Thunder Feather, saw theexcellence of Storm's deeds, but also the error in histhoughts which brought his work to naught. Hesupposed his honor to demand a duel with No-man, whileRain's desire was wholly set on murder, and the trapperlived but for the single motive of a fair fight to thedeath with his only friend. Such thoughts were notcurative to the sick or helpful to the nurse, but liableto end in some unpleasantness. Catherine and ThunderFeather prayed for help to Hiawatha.

He came, not to Rain's tipi, but to her place ofsacrifice, that hill which like an altar stood in the middleof the Apse of Ice. He called the children to him,and when they arrived borne, in their dream, throughthe hush of the night, they found him. Remote andspectral under the moonlight, the walls went up tospires of frosty silver, and at their feet five glacierscrouched, half seen through a veil of mist.

"May the Light defend us," said Hiawatha, "fromspiritual perils and in earthly danger."

Rain sat on his right hand, Storm on his left, theirhearts at rest.

"I come to tell you about certain angels."

The story-teller's duty is to amuse and interest thefolk, setting forth real and golden truth, not of eventsas though he were historian, not of philosophy asthough he were a scholar, not of religion as though hewere a priest, but of human character, adventure,humor, tragedy, and fun. He is the jester in a fool'scap, motley, and bells, but it would be a poor joke totrap the unwary reader with a sermon. That would bedishonest and the book a swindle.

Yet I did love Hiawatha's sermons, sitting withRain and Storm to listen, moved as they were moved,crying a little at times or laughing with them, resolvedas they were resolved to be more kindly, not quitesuch a prig, forgiving as they forgave a fallenenemy, and living as they lived on this earth the lifeimmortal.

We are so busy gabbling and fussing that our guardianangels cannot get a word in edgeways unless weare asleep. And then we don't remember. The soulremembers. I deem the world would all go mad butfor the good things which happen in the night, whilethe bodies of the dream-folk rest.

So Hiawatha's sermons shall make a separate volume,a better one than this, and for the time it isenough to specify that through this teaching Rain andStorm forgave No-man his trespass, hoping to befor-given some of their own pet sins.

Long after his children had gone back to their lodge,the Guardian Spirit of the New Race sat by the altarfire peering into the future, the great and terrible daysto come. He saw his people play the Game of Lifenot for the zest of it, but for greed of the counters.In that game, as seen from the spirit planes, the winneris he who gives away the counters, the piteous loser hewho stakes his soul to get them, but presently leavingthe table, finds his gains no longer a currency in regionswhere a million of them will not buy so much as a dropof water.


When Rain was well enough she made clothes forNo-man, but would not as yet speak to him or go nearhim. Storm was the nurse. He did the hunting also,but his wife sun-dried the meat and dressed the skins.He fished, but she did the cooking; he dug wildvegetables which his wife prepared and stored. When theberry season came he thrashed the sarvis, cherry, andcranberry bushes, while Rain sifted, cured, and storedthe fruit for winter. She had many a hard day'swork besides to entertain the clients, who camehundreds of miles for healing or for counsel. They hadto be fed, bedded down, and listened to for patienthours far into the night.

When there was time, the day's work finished andthe gear repaired, if light enough remained of asummer evening, Storm read the Bible spelling it outlaboriously and aloud in English, then translating phraseby phrase into his broken Blackfoot and the sign talk.

As rendered, it was something of this kind:

"Jesus went up to the medicine lodge."

Rain could see the camp of the Jews: herders watchingtheir pony herd up on the prairie, and down in themeadow, miles wide and miles long, was the ring ofthe tribal tipis, in one immense ellipse. There thesquaws were busy flenching skins, or sitting in a merrygroup to piece together the covering of a lodge. Thelittle naked Jew boys chased and roped dogs or wenton a make-believe buffalo hunt shooting with bluntedarrows. The little girls were moving a doll's camp, orcooking a let's-pretend feast. Out in the open arenastood a row of society lodges for the Pharisee,Sadducee, and Scribe societies where they paintedthemselves and dressed for ceremonials. The Crazy Dogs,or camp police, were called the "Roman soldiers,"much too stuck-up to mix with the other societies.

In the very middle was the medicine lodge, anenclosure of sheltering branches which sloped all inwardtowards the sacred lodge pole. Close by was thebooth where the sacred woman fasted, and there wasa shelter with a sweat lodge for the three highpriests.

"Jesus went up to the medicine lodge, and found alot of dog-faced persons who sold birds and tradegoods for sacrifice to the Sun-Spirit."

"Shame! Shame!" cried Rain.

"So He threw them out, and pitched the trade goodsafter them."

"Of course," said Rain, approving heartily.

"He said the holy tipi is a place for prayer, but youhave made it an All-Thieves-Society Lodge.

"Then a lot of blind and lame Indians came to themedicine lodge for help. So He mended them.

"But when the big chiefs and medicine men sawthat——"

"I see," said Rain. "If He mended the poor peoplefor nothing, they wouldn't have to pay all their poniesand robes to be cured by the medicine men. He wasspoiling the medicine business. Of course they didn'tunderstand that He was really Morning Star, the onlySon of the Big Spirit. Nobody except Scarface couldever scout the way for the people over the terribleWolf Trail. O Scarf ace, Star of the Daybreak,Christ our Chief, lead us through the darkness uponthat Path of Stars."

On the other side of the hearth fire, No-man lay intorment, half mad with pain, disturbed all day and farinto each night by the tireless labor and worship.After a couple of months his nerves were torn to rags.He became hysterical. One morning, while Rain wasdown at the bathing place, and Storm spelling out anepistle to the people of Salonica, the patient called ahalt.

"Say," he drawled, "see here. Whar I was brungup, 'way East, my folks they got religion. They tookit bad, at one of them camp meetings, whar more soulsis made than saved. See?

"They was mean as snakes to start with, an' if theylost five cents they raised the death wail. But whenthey got Religion the way they'd slander the unconvertedneighbors and whine about their own souls! Icleared. You couldn't see my tail for dust.

"I'm shorely disabled, and heap sick, but I'm what'sleft of a man, and you're a white-livered skunk withcold feet, which daresn't meet me, either with knives,guns, or teeth."

There was just enough truth in No-man's words tostab, to torture, sufficient injustice to enrage Stormalmost to the point of murder. And he had fallen sofar short of his own ideals. A fugitive from justicebecause he was afraid to face the gallows; an outcastof the master race contented in his shame to be a shamIndian among savages; a frontiersman, but so poor aspecimen compared with this wounded trapper; aChristian yet angry, jealous, full of spiritual pridemixed up with devilish hatred. He doubted if he wasreally fit to live.

His heart cried, "Is this man right? Am I unfit tolive?"

No-man got to his knees unsteadily and swayed withweakness as he took up the weapon and loaded. Hishead swam. He fumbled with tremulous fingers,muttering that there wasn't room for two men in Rain'stipi. Then he turned himself round, confrontingStorm, who sat with the Book clasped in hishands.

"Whar's yo' gun?"

"My gun?"

Storm's mind flashed back to his interview with areal bear, a much more formidable enemy than this,and how his faith proved then of better avail than anymedicine iron.

"Perhaps," he thought more cheerfully, "if I hadn'tbeen no good at all, that grizzly would have got me."

"Oh," he said, "that's all right, Hiram. One gun isenough. We'll draw lots, if you like, or you can havefirst shot. It's all the same to me."

"Huh!" the Trapper snorted. "Play-acting, eh?"

"Oh, yes," Storm sighed. "I'm just trying to playat being a man. That's all. Shall we draw lots?"

But if the trapper waited for that, the pain wouldmaster him. He hesitated.

"All right," said Storm. "Fire!"

"Of all the cold-blooded frawgs!"

"You'll need a touch of bear oil on that lock, Yank.It's 'ard on the draw."

Storm wanted that minute. He hoped it wasn'tcowardly. Just one minute before—to serve in thislife, or in another world?

"Oh, well," he said out loud, "it doesn't reallymatter. Aim low."

"I'm going to call your bluff!" cried No-man, andtook aim. "Damn you! I'll call your bluff!"

"Too low," said Storm, "Hiram, that gun kicks!"

It did!

The recoil knocked the invalid head over heelsagainst the wall of the tipi. Then he looked at theslow-drifting smoke as it swept upwards, and frombehind came Storm's rather hysterical chuckle. "You'llcatch it, Yank! A bullet hole through the skin of thelodge, a leak just over where she sleeps!"

No-man scrambled back to some sort of posture fordefense, but when the smoke cleared he saw Storm stillsitting, the Book clasped in his hands, a broad grin onhis face.

"Still acting!" the trapper sneered, "showing off toyourself, eh? Of all the humbugs! Of all infernalhypocrites! I'll make you own to the sham!I'll——"

"Call my bluff!" cried Storm, exulting. "Tryagain. Aim lower. Ask Him to help. I alwayshave to, 'cause I'm such a rotten bad shot."

"Ask the Devil!" cried No-man, wild with rage.

"Friend of yourn?" asked Storm, then with bitingsarcasm: "Ask him then! You couldn't hit me withthe muzzle against my ribs!"

"What'll you bet?"

"My burning-glass. You has always envied that."

"Agin what?"

"Your soul, Yank. My burning-glass to your soul,you daren't fire!"


Beside himself, cursing, raving, the trapper loaded,reviling the powder, wad, ramrod, gun, himself, andthe Devil, then with a burst of frantic blasphemy, headvanced the weapon against Storm's ribs, and let fly.The lock snapped in the pan.

"You'd really ought," said Storm, "to have primedthat pan. Why, Hiram, you didn't stand no chance."

The trapper flung the weapon out through the doorof the tipi. "I ain't no crawler. And if you thinksyou've won my soul, you're away off. It's done lost."

Storm laughed gayly. "That's all right, partner,"said he; "we'll catch it!"

"Well"—No-man smiled at last—"it's up to you.You won. And I shorely loves the way you acts."

"Found! The very first thing is loving your enemy,specially when you hates him like poison as you doesme. Shake 'ands on it."

Shamefacedly No-man shook hands with Storm.

"Mush. I'm getting mushy," said the trapper tohimself. "Softer than a woman, plumb unmanly believingof things which ain't so. Sick, of course. Butthis man isn't no hypocrite. He don't scare none. Hedon't preach. His medicine is powerful strong too,by the way he's healing this yer wound. Now, if Idon't roll my tail down to the nearest white men andhave a fortnight's drunk—why, dammit, they'll haveme saved. I'm off!"

He went, his hosts proclaiming so frequently andwith such insistence how greatly they were relieved athis departure, that one might even think they neededsome persuasion of proof they did not miss the fellowat all. Of course he had to earn his living as a trapper,and naturally must sell the season's takings, butwhy not trade with Two Bits? News came by variousclients at the lodge that No-man was here or there, inall sorts of scrapes, trying to get himself killed in themost lunatic adventures among hostile tribes, yet witha charmed life. He hunted Death, so of course Deathhad to run away; always does if you chase him. Hewas trying to find a white man's camp and get a properdrunk, or so he told the Indians. Why was it, theywanted to know, that when by accident he came on awhite man's trading camp, he ran away? Was heafraid of his own tribe, or was he ashamed to meetthem? And why was it that, when the women madeeyes at Hunt-the-girls, he always fled from the camps?

Then, dreading the very sight of the priestess,horribly afraid lest Storm should unman him altogetherby making a Christian of him, the trapper came backto the tipi because he was lonely, homesick, hungryof heart, and desolate.

Always after that, when he went away for a season'strapping, No-man was full of pomp and ostentationto himself, as well as towards his hosts, about the bigdrunk he would have in the spring at the nearest tradehouse, how he was hitting civilization, what presentshe was taking to the folks down East. Young Americaalways proposes to do things, whereas the otherwhite men are grown-ups content to let the accomplisheddeed speak for them. Still, it pleased the exileto dream ahead, and he found in that a satisfactionwhich would never come from a drunk realized, avisit to the civilization which he dared not face, areturn to the home love he never would know again, orany other fair-appearing dead-sea fruit, which in hismouth would change to ashes. Rain said she hatedthe very sight of No-man, Storm proclaimed him anuisance; yet they saw through him, their hearts achedbecause of the tragic emptiness of the life he faced withsuch gay valor, and when they expected his return tothis, his only home, they certainly looked forward tohis gossip.

While that sort of thing continued through six years,they might have realized, had they thought of it, howNo-man would hardly be silent among the Indians.He had to make some sort of face, put up something,anything for appearances. Craving for sympathy,affection, respect, or even enmity, he could claimattention only in one way. He had no strength to boastof, no wealth to display, or power, or virtue, fame ofdeeds, or other merit save this: that his home was thesacred tipi, that his friends were the holy woman ofthe Blackfeet, and her husband the medicine man,Storm. He boasted of Rain's oracles and her miraclesof healing as though they were given under hismanagement. More and more the mountaineers and thewarrior hordes of the plains regarded the sacred lodgeas a place of pilgrimage. Yearly the Apse of Icebecame more central to that Indian world which wasswept by mysterious pestilence, ravaged by hopelesswars, appealing for guidance, and getting fire water.


As the work increased a guest lodge was set up forthe use of the Indian pilgrims, who hunted and cookedfor themselves. Only No-man was admitted to thesacred tipi, where his visits formed a pretext for abit of meat now and again which Rain and Stormwould share without too much offense to Hiawatha.Of course they knew that they were doing wrong—somuch the better fun. Early in their life together theSpirit Guide showed them the life of an Indian tribeas seen from the astral plane. The slaughtering ofthe buffalo, the dressing of meat, and the feasting wasall done in a cloud, a fetid mist caused by the fumesof blood. "Poor things," said Hiawatha, as hewatched, "if they do not hunt they will lose theirtraining for war, and the other tribes will rub themout. They eat flesh, they are strong, they have theintellect which leads them to slaughter and despoiltheir enemies, to lie, to steal, to cheat. Only theblood fumes cloud their intuition, fog their conscience,and take away from them that foreboding which warnsthe animals when there is danger. That Veil of Bloodis the heaviest of all the seven which shut men outfrom Vision."

Of course that was all very true; but, on the otherhand, the camas bulb is sweet enough to cloy, andthough there is a great variety of wild vegetables andfruits, they are not an exciting diet. As to rainbowtrout, they are very shy of holy anchorites.

But that was not the worst. Bears are unscrupulous:at certain seasons also vegetarians because meatis rather scarce. When Rain caught a grizzly raidingthe holy tipi, her thrashings tickled him so nicely thathe would fetch his wife to share the fun. The woodrats, a special nuisance in that district, the porcupines,squirrels, chipmunks, polecats, all shared Rain's viewson diet, treating her supplies as a public larder. Sogreat was their enthusiasm that she and Storm werelike to starve to death, rather than relinquish theirprinciples, but for the pilgrims who brought offeringsof dried fruits or vegetables.

Had there been seeds to start a garden withoutany birds or bears to inspect the produce, had therebeen eggs, milk, cheese, honey, groceries, or cereals,there were no merit in a meatless regimen; buthousekeeping at the holy tipi was not without its worries.

Still, it is a verity that with rare exceptions prophets,seers, hermits, saints, monks, some sorts of clergy, allkinds of people as a whole who visit the spirit-realmsmust abstain from eating any creature which is ableto look them in the eyes. The most carnal among usobserve that rule with regard to dogs, cats, and horses.

Howbeit when No-man came on a visit, his fleshlylusts were a very good excuse for a lapse from gracewhich the anchorites were depraved enough to enjoy.It was he who contrived the animal-proof cavern witha rock door which finally solved the problem of thevegetarian larder.



Southward, astride of the Rocky Mountains,ranged the Absarokas, the Sparrowhawks, whowere known to the whites as the Crows. For adecade or so one, if not both, of the Absaroka tribeshad been ruled by a mulatto adventurer Jim Beckwourth.Under his leadership the hunters were skilledin getting, the women industrious in dressing bisonrobes. In trade they abstained from liquor and boughtguns and ammunition. They made themselves dreadedin war, stole plenty of ponies, danced for scalpsbeyond all numbering, and were very careful not tokill a white man. When at last Beckwourth abandonedhis wives and tribe, departing for California, a rivalbut minor trader began to prosper among theAbsaroka. He claimed to be an Absaroka, called himselfthe Crow, but, like Jim Beckwourth, was part negro.I think he was half negro and half Mexican. Beginningin a small way, he traded for bison robes withliquor only. As his business grew he got all theAbsaroka robes, but in return the people had nothing butalcohol. So the two tribes, the richest in the west,were reduced to poverty, their pony herds became aneasy prey, their warriors a mere supply of scalps forthe Blackfoot raiders. The Crow brought the nationto ruin.

At this stage in the Crow's progress, the chiefmedicine man of the Absaroka nation came to the holylodge and sought Rain's counsel. She advised him toget consent of his National Council, then have theCrow's wagon burned, and the man himself expelledwith a price on his head lest he should venture backagain. The medicine man departed, and No-man,traveling in his company, learned from him the wholeadvice which Rain had given in secret.

For some months No-man kept the secret, but in theensuing winter he came into partnership with anothertrapper, and to him he told this story, together withmany others, to illustrate the power and influence ofhis friends at the holy lodge.

Now does our story follow the other trapper. Hewas Hugh Monroe, the son of a Scots colonel and ofa French-Canadian mother, born at Montreal in 1799.At the age of fourteen he joined the Blackfoot nation,and earned a title of honor—Rising Wolf.

Friends of mine who knew Rising Wolf in his age,spoke of him as not very much to look at, a littlewizened old man deeply sunburned. In 1842, at theage of 43 and the height of his powers, one must thinkof him as the head of an Indian household, and as aleader of the glorious Blackfoot chivalry, unrivaledamong horsemen, hunters, and warriors.

In August with the tribe on the march, Rising Wolfrode one day with Many Horses, Head Chief of theBlackfoot nation. To him he repeated No-man's taleconcerning the downfall of the Absarokas, the Crow asorganizing their destruction, their chief medicine manas pilgrim to the holy lodge and Rain's advice forthe deliverance of the people. Many Horses was notpleased. The rescue of his foes the Absarokas wasnot his policy or that of the Blackfoot Council. Rain,a Blackfoot woman, had done a grievous injury to hertribe.

To Rising Wolf, Rain seemed of less importance,not to be taken quite so seriously. She and herhusband Storm were doubtless rogues, but not likely toinfluence events or to become a factor in Indian politics.

"I don't know," said Many Horses. "The faith ofthe people makes this woman and her husbandpowerful. Get me proof that they are frauds, and Ican put a stop to any further mischief."

"Shall I go and see for myself?" asked Rising Wolf.

"Yes. But do not let the people think that I amsending you, or have a hand in this. An embassy tothe holy lodge would give it too much importance."

"Rain's brother, Heap-of-dogs, wants me to dinewith him."

The big chief chuckled. "A young man," said he,"newly admitted to serve in the Camp Police. Theimpudence! Why, all the chiefs' wives, includingmine, would take the warpath. If you refused theirfeasts and dined with this young upstart, they'd danceyour scalp, my friend. Take him as guide to the holylodge, but as you love me, do not dine with him."

"I only said I'd think it over," answered RisingWolf. "Indeed, he bores me. Haven't you noticed,Many Horses, that a young man or a young womanwho goes in for being excessively beautiful, as thisyoung spark does, is always the very dullest company?It's the plain fellows like you and me who have to beattractive with humor, wit or skill, learning or valor."

"How you do paint yourself!" The great chiefloved a chance of poking fun at his counselor. "Now,don't blush. Your gifts are most becoming."

"Let me off, or I'll turn flatterer and sicken you.This Heap-of-dogs, Rain's brother, is really beautiful."

"A fop, as you say—a fop."

Rain says that white people will not understand herbrother's name—Heap-of-dogs—unless it is explained.

So you must know that in Red Indian custom whena mother carries her new born baby into the sunshine,she looks about her, and the first thing she seesamusing or unusual suggests a name for her child.

Thus when Rain's mother, Thunder Feather, hadbeen delivered of her firstborn child, her son, she wentwith him to the lodge door, and looked out at thesun-lit camp. And as it happened, the Stony Indians, comeupon a visit, were pitching their tipis close by the tribalcamp. But though the tribes were at peace, the dogswere at war, engaged in battle, all of a writhingheap.

So did Thunder Feather name her son Heap-of-dogs.

Rain's brother was strikingly handsome, a showyhorseman, a dandy, a leader of fashion. Moreover,he shone with several different kinds of reflected glory,as son-in-law to a rich chief, as brother to the famousprophetess, and presently as guide to Rising Wolf.For this occasion he sported the top hat of a palefacechief, from which he had cut out the crown to usethe thing as a sort of flowerpot from whence rose abush of scalps. From his rump waved the tail of ahorse. Large shaving glasses formed his necklace,which blazed in the sunshine, visible for miles tofriends and enemies. As to the design of his face-paint,even Blackfoot society was surprised, ladies ofour own tribes would have fainted with envy, andclocks would have stopped at the sight.

"Take off those mirrors," said Rising Wolf. "Idon't want to be ambushed and scalped."

When this was done, they started, each with a wifeto drive the baggage ponies and make camp, while thetwo men scouted ahead and killed meat for each day'sprovisions. They rode across the Rockies by way ofCrow's Nest Pass, they forded the Upper Columbiabelow Lake Windermere, and they threaded the littletrail up Toby Creek, this in the first week of a brightSeptember. So, nearing the sources of Toby Creek inthe heart of the Selkirk Range, they cantered throughglades of bunch grass, by orchards of wild fruit andstately pine woods, with vistas now and then ofglaciers at the head of the valley and snow-crowned wallsagainst clear azure. The heights were bathed in asplendor of sunshine, but the vale in a mist of perfumewhere the organ of falling waters played for a choirof birds. The beauty of the place was overwhelming.

"You never told me," Rising Wolf complained,"that it would be like this."

"There are not words," answered Rain's brother,"or signs to tell with."

They passed through the herd, two hundred head ofspotted and dappled ponies.

"We call Rain the Kutenai woman," said Heap-of-dogs,"because she likes the spotted ponies. How theherd grows!"

"Considering," answered Rising Wolf, "that everyman in every tribe is a natural-born horse thief, havethese ponies no fear of being run?"

"They know," said Rain's brother, "that they arethe sacred herd. They expect us to get out of theirway because they are important."

Now there opened out a glade commanding the headof the valley, and the eastward glaciers of the Apse.The westward glaciers were hidden by the altar hill onthe right, a dark wall clothed with juniper andsnow-crowned. At its base nestled the holy tipi and theguest lodge. As the custom was, the visitorsdismounted, approaching the tents on foot. Both provedto be empty, but when a voice hailed them cheerilyfrom overhead, they saw the priestess and her husbandriding down the breakneck zigzag trail.

When Storm rode up and greeted him, Heap-of-dogswhispered behind his hand. "Brother Storm,there's going to be some fun."

"Rising Wolf," was Rain's greeting, "may the Sunbless you."

The white man saw in Rain's face the high cheekbonesand pinched forehead of her people, free fromface-paint though, aglow with health, and in a sternway almost beautiful. She moved with swift, savagegrace, a creature of the wilds. Her smile was charmingas she gave him welcome to her lodge, and askedStorm to make her brother comfortable. She lightedpipes for her white guest, Rising Wolf, and herbrother Heap-of-dogs, and her husband Storm. Thenshe settled modestly in her place, on the woman's sideof the hearth, confronting them.

"Certainly," the white man felt, "she has the mannersof a lady, not of the conjurer, the professionalcharlatan."

According to Indian custom there was silence for afew minutes before they came to business. "Youknow my name, then?" said Rising Wolf.

Rain answered: "No-man, and my dear Storm,and Rising Wolf are the only Stonehearts in ourcountry."

And the visitor had supposed he could pass for aBlackfoot! He had actually painted his face "for themosquitos."

"It's much more comfortable," said Rain out loud,"in the fly season."

So she read his thoughts!

"Perhaps," he said with sharp suspicion, "you knowwhat brings me?"

"Oh, of course." Rain counted on her fingers."Seven suns ago, you rode with the big chief ManyHorses, and you told him that my man and I arefrauds."

"Rain counts coup!" cried her brother Heap-of-dogs,exultant. "Didn't I warn you?"

"So," Rising Wolf probed shrewdly, "Many Horseshas sent a rider ahead to prepare you for this visit."

"Hyai yo! You think the head chief too good asportsman!"

"I did," the white man retorted; "you read mymind."

"That is true, Rising Wolf," answered the priestess,amused by his chagrin. "You rode leading yourpainted war horse, who tried to plead, poor thing, thatthe trotting was bad for his wound."

"What do you mean?"

"That your war horse has an arrow point behind hisoff shoulder blade, but you mistake the lameness forcracked heel."

"The head chief said it was cracked heel, but, byJove, you may be right! How on earth——"

"Not on earth," answered the priestess gently, "foryou didn't see me riding your led horse, you didn'thear him pleading to me in his pain, you didn'tremember the red stone arrow points when the Snakebraves attacked you down at the Pisk'un. You willnot believe until the red arrowhead works out to theskin, at Leaf Fall."

"So I'm put off," said Rising Wolf sarcastically,"until Leaf Fall for your proof!"

"My dear guest," Rain laughed at his ill-humor,"did I ask you to come? Did I seek your opinion?Will you judge me as you judged your horse?"

Rising Wolf thought deeply, and his was a quickintellect. If the Chief Many Horses had sent amessenger, the priestess might know that his charger wasa piebald, lame in the off fore, but not of a red stonearrowhead behind the shoulderblade. Had the Snakewarriors, who raided his camp beside the old buffalotrap, been here and told the story? Of course thismust be some sort of cheap conjuring. Was Heap-of-dogsguiding Rain his sister in the sign talk, orhow was the trick worked?

"Even cheap conjuring," Rain answered his unspokenthoughts once more, "is puzzling until oneknows the trick."

Gentle her smile, and womanly her conduct, yetwithout the least offense she made him catch his breath,amazed, startled, almost frightened. Under thestraight, strong brows her eyes were shadowed, butthe glance was penetrating, looking right through him.By her smile she seemed to be sorry for him. Andshe was beautiful, pure, austere, making his lurkingsuspicion feel caddish.

"Many Horses is not pleased," she said, "that hisenemies the Absaroka are being rescued, that the Crowis to be driven from their camps, that the fire watershall not destroy them any more. Are the Blackfeetafraid lest their enemies be fit for war? Is ManyHorses frightened? Are you turned coward?"

Then Rising Wolf knew that Many Horses had sentno messenger. This witch had powers beyond allthings possible.

"Poor Doggie!" she whispered. His father hadcalled him that far back in childhood, a nicknameforgotten these forty years.

"Your father," said Rain, "sends you that token."

Nobody in the West knew who his father was,but in quaint, broken English, unable to pronouncethe letters l and r, "Co'on'ee Mon'oe," she said.

"Colonel Monroe," said Rising Wolf. "Where is he?"

"At the small Stoneheart town under the hill by theriver where foam of the long falls rides on the saltywater."

"Name the town."

"Names do not make thoughts easily," said Rain.

"What is my father's message?"

"In three suns, his spirit will pass over the WolfTrail."

Rising Wolf jumped to his feet. "I must go quick,"he cried.

"Sit down ... think. How far can you ride youranimal in three suns?"

That was true.

"You would like to be with your father this evening?"


"Poor Stoneheart!" said Rain pitifully. "You refuseto see, you refuse to hear, you refuse to know.You make yourself just like a stone which cannot see,or hear, or feel, or know anything at all. So if I tookyou to Mont-re-al—I read the word in your mind—youwould come back from the dream saying it wasa dream, not real. The woman is a fraud and playstricks. You only want to prove that you are right—andshow me up. Your heart is bad to my man andto me. You fool my brother to bring you here, andthink that is so clever. I am sorry for you, my poorlittle enemy!"

"You don't mince your words."

"I am frank to your face as you were behind myback when you told Many Horses that my man and Ido our conjuring for the presents we get, the ponies."

"I saw a couple of hundred."

"We have three hundred. Take them, all of them.Four ponies will break back here when my love callsthem. They are mine. The rest you shall take to thehead chief as a gift to the poor of your village."

"Why didn't you do this before?"

"Why should we? Nobody before has doubted us.As you told my brother here, all other men exceptyourself are horse thieves. Any Indian, as he told you,caught with the sacred herd, would be burned by mypeople. But, as you are not a horse thief, you aresafe. What! surely you are not frightened? You? whoare so brave!"

"Because I'm your enemy," said Rising Wolf,"you've set a trap to get me burned!"

"My brother Heap-of-dogs shall ride ahead withmy message for the Chief Many Horses. The headchief himself shall send herders to help you. Thenyou will be praised for the gift you bring to the poor.And you like praise."

"Damned clever," said Rising Wolf, "perfectlyconvincing, and devilish subtle. And why do you wantto win me over?"

"Is this the moment for telling?" asked Rain."Should we not win you first?"

"A common woman," the man was thinking, "wouldhave bargained with her horses. She is at least alady. And she claims that father is dying. Supposeit were true! After all, I don't think she means anyharm, or that I'm frightened."

"Please," he said, "will you take me to my father?"

"Not while your heart is bad."

"Why not?"

"Because your coming would spoil your father'speace while he is dying. So I will take you in yourdream to see other people until your heart is good.Who would you like to see?"

"Adventurers, fellows like me. I understand them best."

The French-Canadian mother side of Rising Wolfwas very superstitious, had to be bitted severely, andreined hard lest it run away with the pawky Monroestrain in his character. Now, both his womanlyintuition and his Scots intellect were leagued togetheragainst the noble pig-headed tenacity of his Indiantraining.

"I won't be fooled," he said all through thatafternoon, while he held himself proudly aloof from Rainand haunted Storm like a peevish ghost to show hisindependence. Storm would tell him nothing, but wentfishing with Rain's brother Heap-of-dogs. Like allgood Blackfeet, Heap-of-dogs despised fish as unclean,but being a sportsman found that rainbow trouts wererather good fun. Neither Heap-of-dogs nor Stormtook heed of Rising Wolf and his worries; indeedthe Indian's mind was set upon his fond ambition toget Storm's golden scalp as a trophy of war. ButRain objected.

At sundown, fagged in mind and body, Rising Wolflay down in the guest lodge bidding the squaws keepquiet while he had a nap. Afterwards he swore thathe went down to the bathing pool, where Rain camebehind him, placing her forefinger just between hiseyes, and bidding him look at the light on the stillwater. "We never moved an inch." So he told thewoman. "And all the time I could hear the roar of thefalls. Only the sound through the pines was morelike the sough of wind. It was lifting the snow as itdrove across the rocks, a sort of whirling blizzard, soit was only between the gusts that I saw the old fellowup on top of the crag. The young chap was closeby, small, frail, with the fringes of his buckskin shirtsnapping like whip crackers. He was blown off hisfeet once or twice, but he scrambled up at last with alittle bundle which he reached out to the man on top.It blew out on the wind, a flag, the Yankee flag, andthe man waved it, shouting. Both of 'em werecheering like mad."

"Who are they?" asked Rising Wolf.

"The boy," said Rain, "is called Kit, Kit Carson,I think. The man's name is Fremont. They're sentby the Big Father to find a trail to the Oregon; butthey've climbed up a peak of the World Spine toplant—they call it Old Glory! Say a prayer with me,Rising Wolf, for these men and for their flag."

"Why should I?"

"It helps them."

"To steal Oregon, eh? I'll see 'em damned first."

"Oregon," said Rain, "is here."

The snow had vanished, and they looked down at theColumbia, all flame red, snaking through lava fields.Up beyond the broken brown hills loomed blue forest,and high above that was a volcano blazing, whose immenseeruption filled the sky with light, as of a burningworld.

"Storm likes that," said the priestess. "So Ithought it might please you. He calls the mountainSaint Helens. I don't like it at all. I think it'sdreadful. The tribes on the coast are packing up smokedsalmon, for a move to the next world, poor things.My man says that even the Stonehearts at FortVancouver are getting frightened. They call it'Day-of-judgment.'"

"Ah! That's it," the white man was thinking;"she's got a professional manner, just like a medicineman or a war chief teaching. I wonder if the angelshave a professional manner."

"If you only saw one!" said Rain's mind. "Thedogs and the ponies can see. Why is this poor thingblinded by his conceit!"

"Humph!" said Rising Wolf. "Am I so bad as all that?"

"Your spirit-power," Rain answered, "is like a spenttorch, which flickers, then smokes and then flares,nearly dead. Sun Spirit, help him!"

They were flashing southward, the sunset glowabreast upon their right, where violet cumuli, likemountain ranges, broke to reveal cirrii of molten rubyagainst clear orange sky. As they came down into thelower earth mist, that radiance glowed warmly uponthe face of an adobe wall upon their left, with pricklypear bush on the parapet dark green against the upwardsweep of the advancing night.

"We are in Mexico," said Rain.

In front of this wall facing the afterglow stood along line of men on parade, at open intervals three feetapart. Ragged, unshaven, famished, they were gaywith a forced cheerfulness, passing jokes one to anotherin derision of a group of officers, Mexicans.

"That general," said Rain, "is the wicked PresidentSanta Ana. Years ago, in a dream like this, Stormsaw him at the siege of Alamo, when Bowie, Travis,and so many heroes fell, and dear Davy Crockett."

The Mexican General Staff was attended by a squadof half-clad soldiers, who shuffled their dusty sandals,halting to order in front of each in turn of theAmerican prisoners. To each of these captured filibusters,when his turn came, there was tendered a sack fromwhich he was required to take one bean, and hold itup for inspection. If it proved to be a white bean, helived. If it was a black bean, the firing party,moving in drill time, got ready, presented, loaded, fired,then left the quivering body in its blood, to shoulderarms, and march one full pace right in readiness forthe next murder. The Americans were jeering attheir uncouth movements.

"My man is here," said Rain. "Of course, theycannot see him. Look."

Amid the disheveled company Storm stood outclean. His golden mane and tawny dress lookedcrisp, fresh, strangely luminous, his face, from whichthe beard hairs had been plucked in the Indian manner,was that of a mighty chief, commanding, sternlybeautiful as he stood wrapped in prayer. In his armshe held the prisoner next for death, supporting him.The fusillade rang out, and as the smoke clearedRising Wolf saw the crumpled body sag down with thatqueer empty look he had noticed so often in men newlydead.

But the prisoner released, the man, the spirit himself,stood as before, supported in Storm's arms, ratherbewildered than hurt. "It wasn't so very bad?" Stormwhispered to him.

"Why," answered the American, "you don't say I'm dead?"

"There is no death," said Storm, "except for yourpoor body. Come away; here is your mother waitingto take you home."

Rain pointed out the prisoner next for trial, youngCrittenden. "He isn't old enough to go on the wartrail," she said. "A boy, and such a dear lad! ORising Wolf, this will awaken your soul—or your soulis dead. My man and I pray for him. Oh, can't yousay one little prayer?"

Crittenden drew a white bean, so Rain's prayer wasanswered.

"I am glad of that," said Rising Wolf. "He seemsa decent lad."

Crittenden gave his white bean to the middle-agedman who stood next upon his left. "You have a wifeand children," he was saying, his tongue so dried byfear that he could scarcely speak. "I haven't. I canafford to risk another chance."

"O Mighty Power," Rain cried, "O Morning Star,Son of the All-Father, help him! Help him!"

Storm came behind Crittenden, trying to guide hishand. "Rain," he shouted, "help me to guide hishand! Quick!"

Crittenden put his hand into the bag.

"Help him!" cried Rising Wolf. "Oh, I do wish Icould help!"

"Your first prayer, answered!" said Rain, asCrittenden held up a white bean.

For some time after that Rising Wolf joined hiswishes to the prayers of Rain and Storm for those whowere murdered or for those who lived. Then Stormwas left to the duty, while the priestess led the whiteadventurer upon another quest.

"How do you find your way?" asked Rising Wolf,as they went southward into deepening twilight, guidednow for vast distances by the heights upon their left,of the white Andes.

"My secret helper," answered the priestess, "tellsme the names and the places. Then I just wish, andI am there. Pray now for those in peril." Thesouthern ocean lay beneath, lashed by an icy hurricane.Through the gray dusk loomed icebergs spectral andenormous above the black white-capped ranges of seasmountainous. There, like poor ghosts half seen amidthe level driving snow, two ice-clad ships fled underbare poles eastward.

"What ships?" asked Rising Wolf.

"The Erebus and the Terror," answered Rain, "andthey are so frightened!"

The ships passed into the night, and Rain's prayerwent with them.

"I always help them a little at evening prayer," shesaid.

But Rising Wolf was troubled. "You do a hardday's work; then travel ten thousand miles to pray forpeople in danger, and that when you're dead tired."

"Dead tired? Oh dear, no. Are you?"

"Well, fact is, I'm not."

"How you get things mixed up! Of course ouranimals are tired, which we washed, fed, watered, rodeto a finish, then washed, fed, and watered all overagain before we put them to rest. But we left ouranimals asleep. We are not the horses, but the riders,the mounted Spirits of the Heavens. We are free,we use the free will which white men talk so muchabout, and know so little."

"Free will? What do you mean?"

"I'm free, dear man. I will to be in a country calledTahiti, at the hut of the Queen Pomare. Look!"

The dusk was taking form within a large grass hut,where there seemed to be many persons, women, asleepon the floor. The sudden flinging open of a door filledthe place with the hot splendor of a tropic day.Outside, the cocoa palms were streaming in the breezeabove the coral reefs and the leaping diamond-glitteringsurf.

A man stood in the doorway, seen darkly againstthe blaze, his white uniform heavily laced, braided andhung with cords of gold across the shoulders. Hisgestures and his speech were French and full of studieddeliberate insult, addressed to a woman who sat up onthe mats, while she suckled a new-born baby at herbreast. She was lithe, tawny, fierce, tigerishly regal,and in a royal rage as she stood up to confront thisbully.

"Admiral," she answered him, holding out her babythat he might see, "this is the prince you have robbedof his kingdom, this is my son, the king who shallavenge me against your people. Now"—with a sweepinggesture of her arm, Pomare pointed away throughthe door to the sun and the leap of the crested seas—"getout!" she hissed, "or I'll have you thrown to thesharks. They love a cur. I don't."

"Poor thing!" Rain muttered. "So she has lost herkingdom after all, to the cruel Stonehearts. What doyou think of that man who could bully a woman inlabor?"

From Tahiti westward Rain showed her pupil thewide immensity of the Coral Sea which, like the skyat night, glitters with far-flung constellations, thoughthese are of ring-shaped palm groves and white beach,set in a riot of surf. Beyond that gleamed the Indies;and, crossing a forest continent, they came to a bay inSarawak where a white schooner yacht rolled in theanchorage. The white man was puzzled by Rain'sBlackfoot accent, which gave a funny twist to "RajahBrooke."

"He is the new king of all this land," said Rain."He is ever so busy shooting robbers, saving Englishsailors who are war slaves of the chiefs, opening oldmines of stuff called diamonds and gold, which is notto eat, or to wear, or to keep the tipi warm."

Under the poop awnings Brooke of Sarawak satat a table writing.

"He makes the power-message every day for hisold mother. Peep over his shoulder and tell me. No?Of course—you say you are a chief. But what is theuse of being a chief, a gent-le-man, when nobody cansee you. Oh, do look!"

Gentleman though he was, being greatly tempted,Rising Wolf took one step, and read the words to Rain."'I breathe peace,' he writes, 'and comfort to all whoobey; and wrath and fury to the evil-doer.'"

"His medicine," said Rain, "is very strong this day;but sometimes my man or I must nurse him throughthe fever. Now he thinks about his friend whosename is so hard to say—Captainharry Keppel. Wewill go, see."

In Malacca Strait they found Harry Keppel's ship,H.M.S. Dido, having a fight with a number of piratejunks, one being afire and sinking. "I like fights best,"said Rain, "don't you?"

"But I thought you set up as a holy woman!"

"That's to help my man, and other people, but I'mreally and truly bad most of the time. Storm likesyou, for instance, but I've always thought you hateful."

"We never met until yesterday!"

Rain chuckled. "Why, we've looked after you foryears. My Secret Helper told me I must train myselfby praying for some one I hated, so I took you. Thenof course I had to help that other Stoneheart, No-man,who is poison. I loathe you both—like fruits andvegetables."

They had crossed a broad haze of the midday heat,but now above the mist descried a broken sea ofmountains, a storm of rock, which was called Afghanistan.Far to the left, fain in the distance rose a rockplatform, old Herat. Beyond lay Persia whose king, theShah-in-Shah, had lately laid siege with seventythousand men, to the rock fortress. "The Afghans there,"said Rain, "were yelping coyotes until the young spycame. He made them mountain lions."

"Who is the young spy?"

Eldred Pottinger was his name, but in Rain's tellingthe words were not much like that. WhilePottinger was busy saving Herat from the Persians, aBritish field force had conquered Afghanistan. Butthere arose an Afghan chief named Akbar, whobrought about a revolt against the British. It burstlike a volcano, and the British leaders lost their heads.Their army was caught in the Khyber, and only oneman escaped, a Doctor Brydon. Rain had held himsteady on his dying horse until he crossed the Indianboundary to Fort Jellalabad. She told the story nextof General Sale, and his young warriors cut off inAfghanistan, corralled by Akbar's army. Duringthree whole moons under fire they built the walls oftheir stronghold; then on the ninetieth day anearthquake knocked their fortress flat, and left them atAkbar's mercy. "That," said Rain, "is when I learnedwhat prayers can do. Oh, if you had seen the chiefHavelock with his young men charge, stampedingAkbar's tribes—like dust before a cyclone!

"See, Stoneheart, yonder, far in the north, isKohistan. There was the young spy with his regiment ofthe Ghoorka tribe, fighting his way southward. Hewas wounded and nearly dead. He had five warriorsleft when he came to the gates of Cabul."

"Five men!"

"Then," answered Rain, "but now! See, all alongthis roadside, the regiments of his Afghan armycamped, asleep through the heat of the day, until histrumpets call at sundown. See here, outside this littlewayside fort, are forty great chiefs and medicinemen of his Council.

"Where is the young spy?"

"That shabby Afghan sitting half asleep in theshadow of the gate."

"You say he raised and leads an army?"

"Yes, these Afghan tribesmen think that he is a sortof god. He leads them against Akbar, their ownking."

"This is a man indeed!"

Rain showed him the courtyard of the fort, full ofpoor ragged women and children, Lady Sale, theBritish General's wife, Lady McNaughten, the wives ofmany soldiers. The women of the fallen governmentand the dead army were all rescued, they and theirchildren, by the spy who sat asleep there in the gateway.

"Listen!" said Rain, as they stood on the wall ofthe fort. Somewhere, far away in the heat haze, therewas a tiny broken thread of music. First one and thenanother, the women and the children stirred in theirsleep, awakened in sudden terror, then sat up,wondering, to listen, straining to catch the distantsound again, for an old, old Scottish melody rangsoftly in the cañons, "Oh, but ye've been langa-comin'!"

Now they were all afoot, swarming across thecourtyard to the gate. Lady McNaughten, rousing thespy, cried, "Major Pottinger, don't you hear? Oh,can't you hear? A band is playing somewhere!"

Pottinger rose to his feet, swaying with wearinessas he stared down the pass, intent to catch the sound;and then he also heard.

"Oh, but ye've been lang a-comin'!"

Pottinger called his General Staff about him, givingbrisk orders. His bugler was sounding the "Alert,"then the "Assembly," and trumpet after trumpet tookthe echo far off into the haze.

Then the head of the British relief column cameswinging round a shoulder of the cliffs, and Lady Saleran, shouting, to join her husband.

Rain cried a little, then brushed her eyes with hersleeve. "Finished," she said. "I have worked forour dear spy three snows now, and he needs no morehelp." She turned upon her pupil.

"And you?" Rising Wolf felt as though Rain'seyes were burning him. "Your soul," she said, "hascome alive so quickly."

They were crossing the evening westward into thenight and Rain drove her lesson home to the whiteman's heart:

"Faith in all that is good is the soul's life, likesunshine to a plant, but doubt is the bleak wind whichstops its growth, denial the frost which nips andwithers it."

"I believe in you."

"The messenger is bad," she answered, "but the messageis true, and He who sends it expects you to obey.Now, if I take you to your father, what sort of comfortdo you bring to his bedside? Ah, you still dreaddeath!"

"I do."

"A sore thing, parting with one's horse, eh?"

"It is all that."

"—with the animal one has ridden so hard, and lovedso dearly."

"Aye, Rain. You love a horse as much as I do."

"Did it break your heart to leave your tired animalthere in the guest lodge when you came with me?"

"You mean my body? No."

"See. There below us is the Atlantic, lit by themoonrise."

"So it is. Then we've been nearly round the earth.What an immense adventure!"

"And yet you grudge your father this adventure?"

"Oh, but he's dying."

"Dying into a bigger adventure than ours, in biggerand more splendid worlds. Do you grudge him that?Shame on you!"

He saw America lift above the sky line, and presentlythe Gulf of St. Lawrence narrowed to the river.There was the citadel of Quebec, yonder his nativeMontreal, the familiar maple trees, the garden, theold house with its green shutters, the openwindows. "See," said Rain, "I leave you now. Mydear man, Storm, is waiting, to take you to yourfather."

The night was hot and the windows thrown wideopen, the moonlight falling through the maples castthe shadows of their delicately pointed leaves, likedark stars, on the floor and on the white bed whereold Monroe lay dying.

"'For this my son,'" he said in his dream, "wasdead, and is alive again, was lost, and is found. It'sbeen such a long time, Doggie. I'm frightened, too,although you needn't tell my brother officers."

"What is it makes you frightened, sir?" askedRising Wolf.

"To lie in the earth while the worms crawl and biteme. I can't say I like the idea, Doggie. And whenthey've finished, I won't be exactly nice for the LastParade."

"I've a friend outside, sir, waiting, sort of angel,knows all about it. Will you see him?"

"Three days, Doggie, since I shaved my chin, orbrushed my whiskers. I've had men flogged for less,much less."

"Draw the sheet up to your mouth, sir. There, youlook fine. Storm!"

Storm knelt beside him.

"Oh, it's you!" said the old man. "But, Doggie,this is the fellow I sent to fetch you. He doesn't knowa platoon from a quarter guard."

"I don't," said Storm cheerily, "but I use worm forbait."

"Hoo! What a despicable way of fishing."

"No flies," the Colonel's son explained.

"If a worm wanted," said Storm, "to eat me, andif he was old Boneyparte himself, he'd need to runlike a jack rabbit, or fly like a bird before he got abite."

The colonel nodded.

"I'm not frightened of worms, and you're no morescared of 'em than you was of Boney. They're welcometo my animal body, after I've finished with it."

"Finished with it?"

"Well, there's a natural body, and there's a spiritualbody, isn't there?"

"That's quoting Authority. That's as good asQueen's Regulations."

"Better," said Storm. "Won't be monkeyed withby the War Office. I've heard soldiers growsing beforenow."

"Bravo! Excellent!"

"Well, the worms get the natural body, and theangels get the spiritual body."

"We shall rise in our bodies at the Last Day.That's Authority too."

"Yes, if it says 'in our animal bodies.' I've seensome I'd hate to repair if I was the carpenter."

The colonel chuckled. "Well," he said, "there'ssense in that. Go on."

"Soldiers tell me," said Storm, "that each regimenthas a battalion at home feeding one oversea."

"With drafts, yes."

"Yours, Colonel, if I've got it correct, sent out a lotof drafts, one time and another."

"That's true."

"Drafts from Torres Vedras, Fuentes d'Onoro,Talavera, Toulouse, Quatre Bras, Waterloo——"

"Hold on. We lost men, a lot of men in thoseengagements, but——"

"Drafts," said Storm. "I've met the Other Battalion,and they say they'll be jolly glad to welcomegood old—well, they called you 'Old Cat's Whiskers.'"

"They did, eh? Beastly cheek!"

"They say you'll have seniority, whatever thatmeans."

"It means taking command, I say, young Angel, orwhatever you call yourself—are they on active service?"


"Who's the enemy?"


"Is it like that, Angel?" answered the colonel,radiant. "Doggie," he turned to his son, "seem's you'vefound a new master. Follow him, my son, when Iam gone."

"I will," said Rising Wolf.

For hours he kept vigil at his father's bedside, eachin his dream comforted by the other's presence,although the old man did not speak again.

Hugh Monroe thought of this night's greatjourney round the planet, made at a speed he reckoned ofabout four thousand miles an hour, by sheer will powerof the woman he had slandered. He had dared to callRain a charlatan!

He who called himself adventurer had met KitCarson, Fremont, and Crittenden, Brooke the King ofSarawak, Harry Keppel, and greatest of them all youngEldred Pottinger the spy. Their very names werenew to him. "And what am I?" he moaned, "comparedwith the least of these!"

His world had seemed enormous, limitless, hisinfluence powerful, yet his own father had told him,Rising Wolf, white leader of the Blackfeet, to beStorm's dog!

Then Rising Wolf awakened from his dream, tofind himself in the guest lodge, and through the opendoorway saw the rose flush of the sunrise lightingthe pinnacles of the Apse of Ice. Rain sat beside him,her hand upon his forehead. "Remember!" she waswhispering—"remember!"

"He called me Doggie," answered Rising Wolf."Storm's dog. I shall remember. While I live, I shallremember."



So far back as the year 1813, Hugh Monroe hadbeen apprenticed to the Hudson's Bay Company,and posted to a fort at the headwaters of theSaskatchewan. The three tribes of the Blackfootnation, the Blackfeet, Bloods, and Piegans, brought theirtrade to that post, where the trader in charge hadmisgivings, lest presently they be misled into dealing withthe Americans, whose hearts were bad and their goodsinferior. So, one of the three tribes being at the fort,the trader detailed young Monroe to join them, traveland live with the people, win their confidence, andsteer them judiciously lest evil communications of theAmerican Fur Company corrupt the good manners ofthe Blackfoot nation.

A few days out on the trail southward the chiefs,with whom young Monroe was riding, came in anafternoon to the brow of the prairie, overlooking ameadow where the tribal camp would be pitched for thenight halt. They dismounted to sit on the hill,watching the procession file past, and one of the chiefshad trouble with flint, steel, and tinder, kindling a pipewhich would not light.

The lad took the pipe, and held a burning-glass infocus until the tobacco kindled. Not perceiving thelens, but supposing that the Stoneheart had the directaid of their Sun God, the chiefs hailed the event as amiracle, and Hugh Monroe as a great medicine man.He was given a name of honor—Rising Wolf. Longafterwards, though hand mirrors came into generaluse for signaling, and the burning-glass for kindlinga camp fire, this Rising Wolf's reputed sun power,which was really common sense, continued to give hisvoice weight in the Blackfoot Council. As time wentby he married into the tribe, became the father of afamily, and continued among the people, for a matterof sixty years. He was eighty-five years old whenhis life ended, and in his memory one of the highpeaks of the Rocky Mountains is named Mount Rising Wolf.

It would be difficult to find a criticism of the holylodge more sane, temperate, and impartial than thatof the gentle adventurer. Without the slightest doubtas to their power, he spoke of the seers as cranks."Seems to me," he said in after-years, "the offense ofa crank is not that he is right, but that his rectitude putsother folk in the wrong. And as cranks, the seerswere so damned aggravating."

Thus one may be a vegetarian without malice, inso far as one is opposed on principle to uric acid inthe blood. Or one may prefer, quite reasonably, thegift of vision to the juiciest buffalo steak. There isno harm in claiming merit for a meatless diet approvedby sound physicians on the one part, by mystics on theother. Offense only begins when one calls one'sfriends foul feeders even as pigs and dogs, or tauntsthe neighbors with the suggestion that eaters ofrabbits are quite capable of devouring the baby. Anenthusiast without the restraint of common sense or theslightest fear of consequences, Rain commended thevegetarian tenets to Red Indians who must trainthemselves in hunting, live by the chase, and migrate withthe game on pain of being starved in peace, or rudelyscalped in war. So much said Rising Wolf outright,but the priestess, very calm and aloof, observed thathe was quite ignorant without being at all clever. Yetthe adventurer knew, as Rain did not, how lewd,frivolous young savages in the camps make no end of funout of the vegetarian doctrine, while Many Horses andother chiefs used to say that the sacred woman wasbecoming a holy nuisance.

If Rain led, Storm was a close follower. Havingsacrificed his gun, and afterwards his wife's bow andarrows to the Sun Spirit, he began to observe that thevicinity of the holy lodge was looked upon by the birdsand the beasts as a sanctuary. He loved them. Theytrusted him. They let him witness all sorts of theiraffairs, and their ceremonies, such as the small bird'sjig in lugging the rest of a worm out of the ground, orthe bear's height mark scored on a tree trunk fromtime to time as he grows, the field mouse dance, orructions at porcupine lodge. Many animals with a senseof humor would come to hear him sing "Tom Bowling,"or, with much gravity and deportment, play atcongregation while he preached.

Unhappily there settled in the neighborhood a familyof cougars who proceeded, without regard to doctrineor respect for the holy man, to eat their way throughhis parishioners.

Much prayer guided a very strenuous hunting, untilat last, far up in the fells, Storm came oneafternoon to the residence of the cougar family; and,firmly resolved to slay the parents, he fell in love withtheir delightful kittens. The result was a misunderstanding,because the father and mother on their returnfrom hunting supposed Storm to be molesting thebabies. Their combined rush felled him. Either ofthese nine-foot cats could have finished the business,but that the cave was rather small, they got in eachother's way, and he found time to draw his huntingknife. The scrimmage was frantic, a whirling fury,so that when at last the man dispatched them both, hefainted from loss of blood.

Rain saw the affair in a vision, and by hard ridingreached the scene in time to save her husband frombleeding to death. She loaded him on her pony, gothim to camp, and kept him alive by her strong spiritualpower; but the wounds, being poisonous, festered.Storm was long in delirium, weak when he rallied,slow in recovery. Afterwards he walked rather lame,and had also a deep scratch which won for him amongthe Blackfeet the sacred name of Scarface.

So far as critic Rising Wolf, who found Storm aninvalid on his second visit, could see, no harm whatever;but presently, when Storm felt well enough, thatseer put up crosses, a big one in front of the holy lodgeand little ones five miles east and five miles west atthe trail side, to mark the limits of sanctuary for allwild creatures. A pilgrim must lay down his armsat the foot of the boundary cross, or was sent back anhour's journey to do so before either Rain or Stormwould give an audience.

Ingenious visitors would evade the extra ride bylying; but Storm, who would read their thoughts, wouldthen deny to liars that sanctuary which was freely givento mountain sheep and goats, elk, caribou, deer, thebeaver, and the bears.

Now it so happened that Two-shakes, and Worm-in-the-bud,warriors of the Snake tribes, riding on aknight-errantry to this far country, learned by the signtalk from some friendly Crows about this Truce-of-Godin the northern mountains. They came afootover the hills until they looked down into the valley,where they descried two tipis beside the sanctuarycross upon the eastward trail. Quite naturally theymistook this cross for the one which stood before theholy tipi and the guest lodge. They supposed thatthey would get for a trophy of war Storm's famousgolden hair, by long odds the finest scalp in the knownworld.

Their surprise attack just before dawn of a wintermorning was quite a success, for the knights-errantcounted coups on the scalps of Four Bears, chief ofthe East Kutenais, Sings-all-night, the eminentmedicine man, his famous medicine pipe, Mrs. Four Bears,whose name was Weeping Tit, Mrs. Sings-all-night,whose name was Back-hair-parted, and her littleboy, whose name was Dark-in-places. When day brokeit was a bitter disappointment for the Snake braves thatStorm's hair was not included in the treasure; but theyconsoled themselves with two guns, many robes, anda nice bunch of spotted ponies. While they drovelong and hard it was their misfortune to leave tracksin the telltale snow, whereby they were traced,overtaken, and captured alive by the East Kutenais, whoburned them with much pomp and circumstance at themouth of Wild Horse Creek.

Afterwards the story ran like fire through the tribesthat Four Bears and Sings-all-night had lied to Stormconcerning the deposit of their weapons at the eastcross, that he refused to receive them as pilgrims andhad barred sanctuary. Their fate most terriblyenhanced Storm's reputation and made the pilgrims meek.

In modern national parks, where there is truce forthe animals, they become self-conscious, show themselvesoff with ostentation, are disposed as residentsto look down upon mere tourists. So, under Storm'sprotection, did that born poseur the big-horn, that lowcomedian the bear, and even the porcupine who in thewilds flies for his life from man at a mile an hour.The skunk, of course, has right of way on all trails,so that men, grizzlies, cougars, even the lordly elkmust step aside to let his lordship pass disdainfully by;but that all the animals should expect the polecat'shonors was gall and wormwood to free-born warriors.When, as critic Rising Wolf mentioned the subject,Storm seemed a little truculent, and said it servedthem right. "I've been thirty years among 'em,"answered Rising Wolf, "but you may know more thanI do. I only warn you—don't make enemies for fun."

When Rising Wolf, on first meeting the seers,accused them of avarice, they gave away their ponies,robes, everything they possessed that was worthhaving. It was typically Indian. A squaw in mourningfor an uncle, a cousin, or a brother, without consultingher husband, may present the whole of his propertyto the poor. Surely nobody could be more generousthan that. An Indian gives in a very large-heartedway, and nothing grieves, hurts, or insults him as muchas a refusal to accept his present; but the seers, havingstripped themselves to bare necessities, would nowaccept from the pilgrims nothing whatever except a littledried fruit, a few wild vegetables, or a catch of trout.The sick restored to health, the mourners comforted,the men in grave dilemmas shown the way, found alltheir gifts declined. They were dishonored. Theirgratitude turned sour.

All this they would reveal to their tribal medicinemen, who earned a living, supporting wives and familieson the fees received in their practice. To suchprofessionals, any magician who wrought cures forlove was worse than amateurish. He was a menace.Not that the medicine man said anything outright, orexposed himself to a suspicion of jealousy by usingsuch words as unprofessional, cheat, charlatan,black-leg, unorthodox. Only he would hint.

"String halt? Dear, dear! To get as lame as allthat the horse must have been on high, rough, brokenground. Been in the mountains lately?"

"So you don't like the weather? Well, well, theThunder Bird, and the Spirits of the Storm, and theRain, have a deal to answer for."

"A war party ambushed? Tut, tut, very curious,very odd indeed. Now, if they'd mentioned their plansto a neutral, one who meets the enemy, and tells himabout our raids, why, of course, of course! But no!That's quite out of the question. Quite. Odd,though, how many warriors we lose just after they'vegone on pilgrimage."

Were the traders overcharging for their goods?"Why, what can you expect? We depart from thefaith of our fathers to pick up every wind of heresywhich blows about in the mountains, and yet youcomplain because your medicine goes bad!"

Were there scandals among the women. "Ah!How different in the days of our mothers, when therewere no magicians calling up evil spirits!"

"It seems ungracious," said Rising Wolf in afteryears, recalling old events. "I don't want to setmyself up as a critic of saints, for Rain and Storm weresaints, and I'm no more than a sinner. Many a timewhen they would get a meal for the pilgrims, they wenthungry themselves because there was nothing left toeat. They'd be up all night with people sick or introuble. They never showed a sign of peevishness, orsaid an ill word of anybody. Both of them workedwhat one has to call miracles. They had far-reachinginfluence among the tribes, always used for the good ofothers. There was no trace of sham or trickery, buteverything straightforward, unpretentious, real. Rainwas really a very beautiful woman, and she wouldcharm a bird off a tree. Storm was good-looking, too,in his way, a matter of coloring with his fierce blueeyes and that gorgeous mane of hair. Of course hehad a slight truculence, a bit of defiance about himwhich choked one off until one knew him better. Youknow he began as a sailor before the mast, and hispeople, I take it, were in very humble life; but 'pon mysoul he was a damned sight more like some duke. Inever met one, but I mean what I think a duke oughtto be like, with the grand air, the simple directmanners, the courtesies, the thoughtfulness for everybodywhich goes only with real thoroughbreds. The pilgrimsjust worshiped them—at the time; and yet whenthey went away, out of the glamour so to speak, they'dfeel they'd been talked down to, their self-respectbruised, their plumes a little rumpled. There was thebend in the arrow.

"You mark my words. This human species runsin herds. If we forsake the herd life to run apart, weget out of focus like a burning-glass at the wrongdistance, we see ourselves in the wrong proportion—notenough world, too much me. When the trouble came,the average human person helped by these big saintswanted to see them taken down a peg or two. Ofcourse the tribes were shocked and all that, but humanpeople rather enjoy a sensation. And if Rain andStorm were so mighty powerful, why didn't they helpthemselves? After all, it was their business to workwonders."

Rising Wolf paid four visits to the holy lodge, thefirst to expose fraud, the other times to seek advice inhis own troubles. Of wider experience than anyIndian, a deeper man than most and very shrewd, hehad for thirty years kept almost the whole of theBlackfoot trade in the hands of the Hudson's BayCompany; and thanks to him, this nation, for all itsalleged ferocity, shed no white man's blood.

"They're gentlefolk," said he, "that's all. One onlyneeds a little tact, and it would take a downright cad toquarrel with such fellows as Many Horses." Indiannames wear out, and are discarded about as frequentlyas we change hats, but among the young bucks of thatperiod were chiefs, now remembered by whites andIndians alike with kindly reverence as Crowfoot, MadWolf, and Brings-down-the-sun. In any land or agesuch men would have been distinguished as very perfectand most gentle knights, but there were hundredsof men worthy to ride with these.

Sooner or later, inevitably as the tide marches fromneap to flood, the waves of American settlement mustlap the upper plains, and pioneers find their way intothe hunting grounds of the Blackfeet. "Kill one,"said Rising Wolf to the Council, "and a thousand willcome to the funeral."

The first American to secure a foothold among theBlackfeet was the Crow, a mulatto, and according toone version of the story an escaped slave. Otheraccounts allow for his being part negro, but for the resta Mexican Indian. Certainly he had a touch of theSpaniard in his manner. He would make a statement,and finish it with a query—"Yes?" "No?" Hewould commence a sentence in words and end it witha gesture. The fellow passed himself off as an Indian,an authentic Absaroka warrior with three Crow wivesand a litter of children; and he was known to the tribesas the Crow. Rising Wolf described him as a big,lusty, hearty, jovial ruffian, lavish with gifts, fond ofdisplay, hail-fellow-well-met with the chiefs, a braggart,a monstrous liar, without fear; and, under thatsurface of him, subtle, sinuous, fork-tongued, secret,deadly.

When Rain advised the chief medicine man of theAbsaroka, had she been a little thoughtful of her ownbenefit, she might have foreseen the calling together ofthe Absaroka Council, the delivery of her message tothe chiefs, and the conveyance of every word withembellishments to the Crow for his information andaction. The Blackfoot priestess was not worldly-wise.The Crow was all that. He went to the chiefs incouncil and called them a pack of fools. "You wantedfire water," said he, "and I delivered the goods. Youdid not engage me to ruin your enemies the Blackfeet.It would have paid me just as well to ruin them."

They asked him what he meant.

"I am the Devil's merchant," he explained. "TheDevil pays me pretty good money for bringingdestruction to silly Indian tribes. How much will youpay me to go and ruin the Blackfeet, as I ruined you?"

"If the white man's Devil pays you," asked the chief,"why should we hire you?"

"All right," said the Crow. "I guess I can put upthe same goods for your allies, the Snakes. I don'trun half the risk there that I would with the Blackfeet."

The head chief lost his temper. "We'll burn thistrader's wagons, share his ponies, and put a price onhis scalp. Then he can go to the Devil."

"Of course," observed the Crow, "all traders willknow how you kept faith with me, and what to expectif they come with trade goods to your camps. Maythe Blackfeet," he added piously, "drive off the rest ofyour ponies, scalp the rest of your braves, enslave yourwomen, butcher your children, and blot out your campfires. They will too. My medicine says they'recoming, and your rotten tribes are in poor shape to meetthem."

In the end the Absaroka Council hired the Crow toruin the Blackfeet. Afterwards, he said, he wouldmarry that Blackfoot priestess. Rain should be hissquaw.

The Crow bragged of such intentions at Fort Benton,well within earshot of the Blackfoot tribes. Histalk was cynical, pungent enough to be repeated, topass into the general gossip of the Blackfoot country,with comments on Rain's character to spice the scandal,and derision of the old-fashioned Hudson's BayCompany which could hardly fail to reach the ears ofRising Wolf. The Blackfeet were interested, amused,and curious to see this trader who advertised so boldly,who was going to undersell the Company, blacken theface of Rising Wolf, and take Rain the sacred womandown a peg or two. As to their pending ruin, all thesurrounding nations would threaten as much or morewhen the mood took them. Threatened tribes live long.

The Blackfoot nation was blind to any danger. RisingWolf alone saw the extent and nature of the peril.For once he lost his head. Where tact and humorwould have won for him the exclusion of the Crowfrom the Blackfoot villages, he went raving before theCouncil, pleading with the Blackfoot chiefs for themulatto's death. That was a blunder. By seekingthe murder of a rival trader he put himself in thewrong, meeting his first rebuff from Many Horses,who told him curtly to do his own killings. To giveRising Wolf justice, he challenged the Crow, a manfour times his size, to fight with any weapons—this inpresence of the Blackfoot Council. "That's all right,"was the Crow's cheery rejoinder. "I reckon I namethe weapon—cannon, loaded with buffalo horns!"

The white adventurer failed to meet with jest thegale of laughter which presently drove him out ofcamp, leaving the Crow in possession. And the Crowwas clever, distributing to the Blackfoot chiefs andmedicine men gifts of axes and guns, of scarlet clothand beads, every treasure the heart of man could covet,silks for the women, toys for the children, liquor bythe keg. The Crow offered subsidy to every importantleader, so long as he traded in safety with the Blackfootnation. That night he had a wagon load of robesand a tribe drunk.

Instead of reporting his failure to the Hudson'sBay Company, which does not suffer fools gladly, theiragent, Rising Wolf, went on his third visit to the holylodge, and laid the whole of the troubles before theSacred Woman.

Now did Rain see that her people were doomed todestruction. "My eyes are opened," she said, "andI see all the warrior spirit of our people change tocowardice. O fallen chiefs! O childless mothers,starving lodges, broken tribes driven to beggary. Aye,and the Stonehearts come with their cold charity—allthrough my fault, my fault!"

"How can that be your fault?" asked Rising Wolf.

The spirit of prophecy forsook her; she was allwoman as she answered him.

"I try," she confessed, "to be a Christian, but I'ma little heathen inside. A Christian wouldn't have toldthe Absaroka Council, as I did, to burn the Crow'swagons, to steal his horses, and take his scalp if hecame back again. 'Twas I who had the Crow turnedloose to ruin my own dear Blackfeet people. If Iwasn't really and truly a Christian I'd paint my faceblack, cut off one or two fingers, and howl all night.Then Storm would beat me, and it would do me good."

And then she fell to crying.

Rain and Storm had spent the whole of their workingyears, as well as their arduous dream-life, in practicalapplication of every principle contained in the Sermonon the Mount. So intensely literal were they,that Rain would sometimes devote an hour to slappingher man's face, while he turned one cheek or the other,until his complexion became that of a roast of beef ona spit. Had an eye offended either of them, it wouldhave been plucked out, and that with no hesitation;indeed, they lived ever in fearful hope that they wouldnot be obliged to take offense at the conduct of a legor an arm. On this occasion the pair of them spent anight fasting in the cold fog on the altar hill, whilethey tried to forgive the Crow for ruining the Blackfeet;but in the morning they hated him worse thanever. It seemed for the time as though the Sermon onthe Mount had failed them.

Urgent, then, was their appeal to Hiawatha as guide,who delivered to them a lecture full of originalthought, and high inspiration, beautifully phrased,elusive as a fine, rare melody, difficult to remember, andto all appearance wide of the point.

In meditation they saw great angels and all theHeavens opened, but when they came to earth againthey had no practical or direct advice for Rising Wolf.Only they felt with final conviction the irrevocable lawwhich binds us each to live his own life guided by suchlight as he can find. Storm summed it all up when herode with Rising Wolf to speed him on his way backto the tribe. "The Blackfeet are a flock of sheep. Awolf has got into the fold. You are the shepherd."

Of Rising Wolf's duel that summer with the Crowthere are few particulars remembered now. The fightingseems to have been prolonged, in several successivephases, beginning on horseback with guns at extremerange, and closing on foot with axes. Hand to handthe little adventurer had no chance against a man oflonger reach and enormous muscular strength. Forweeks afterwards he lay between life and death, duringthe rest of a year a convalescent nursed by his wife.In the moon of berries 1846, she brought him, aninvalid, a shadow of his former self, on his fourth visitto the holy lodge.

"I don't want," he said, "to make things out worsethan they are. It's better to keep a cool head, andcalculate without losing one's temper. In the first place,the Crow is a pretty good fellow in his way, with avery big heart. He's never been in camp withoutcoming to see me or sending his wives with presents—invalidfood that wasn't come by without sending especiallyto St. Louis. That corn meal helped, and thedressings for my wound. The Crow wants me tochuck the Hudson's Bay Company and come intopartnership—can't for the life of him see any differencebetween our old merchant adventurers trading honestgoods and his own horrible poison.

"By the way, it isn't so very poisonous. I tried adrink once, nasty but harmless. It's just neat alcohol,mixed, one part to four in water. He sells a pint mugfor one buffalo robe, and doesn't put a thumb inside toshorten the measure. A pint makes an Indian thinkhe's on the Happy Hunting grounds, a second knockshim out, and then—well, a lot of the warriors drop onthe way back to their tipis, and in winter they freezeto death. In liquor most of the bucks think they'refierce and dangerous, so that the squaws and thechildren take to the woods. A few people are killed in thesquabbles.

"Then there's a limit. The hunters get so manybuffalo, the women dress that many robes, and eachpelt fetches one pint. You see, a very few gallons ofalcohol buys enough robes to load a prairie schooner;so on the whole the drinking doesn't last long enoughto do the men very much harm. They can't getto delirium tremens, as white men do in the settlements.

"The men hunt all the time, instead of taking thewar trail. The women have to dress robes instead ofcuring meat, camas, and berries for the winter. Itmeans that the men get soft. The enemy grows boldand runs our horses with impunity. We're liable to ageneral massacre, and there's horrible danger offamine. It would make you cry, Rain, to see how poorour people are since the Crow came, to cart away thewhole wealth of the Blackfoot nation. He keeps thechiefs rich, while the rest are beggared. That's whysome of the women have taken to drink, which isn'tgood for the children. And some of the men havesold their wives to the Crow. He takes the threetribes by turns. He's with the Piegans now. AndRain, your brother, my dear friend, Heap-of-dogs, isfalling under the influence of this devil."

Rain and her man had abandoned all other service intheir dream-life, and for a year past had visited thesleep and the meditation of the Blackfeet, promptingthem to good thoughts, new resolutions, kindlyimpulses, helpful deeds, to the overthrow of the trader,even to the rigors of the war trail, the sport of stealingponies. They had helped Rising Wolf to keep thesoul in his body, inspired his flagging courage, prayedearnestly for his welfare and he alone rose clear abovetemptation. The rest kept their resolves until theytasted liquor. And Rain knew that her own brotherhad become a drunkard.

"I understand," said Storm, when Rising Wolf hadspoken. "The enemy killed my father, hanged myUncle Joey, damned my Uncle Thomas, and got mymother murdered. Even as you spoke, Rising Wolf,I felt the old craving to get drunk. It's in my blood.It's harder to fight than cougars, but it's got to befaced at last.

"We must go to the Blackfoot nation. We mustset up the holy cross in front of this trader's wagon.Nothing except the cross has power to save the people.Besides, there's Heap-of-dogs, your own brother, Rain,my brother, and your chum, eh, Rising Wolf? Wemust save him."

"You're taking a terrible risk," said Rising Wolf.

"What risk?" asked Rain, bridling at the word.

"Death!" was the answer.

"The Crow," said Storm, "risks more than we do."

"What do you mean?" asked Rising Wolf.

"Hell!" answered Storm—"Hell! If he's braveenough to risk Hell, we're not cowards enough to shirkso little a thing as death."

"We must go," said the priestess. "Yes, we mustgo. Else must my people perish.

"The lodge poles of our tipi"—Rain looked up atthem—"have rooted and sprouted, so that I have totrim the buds off every spring. I thought our rootshad struck here, that we should never leave our home.I must cut new poles for our journey."

"Why drag them across the World Spine?" askedStorm. "I'll cut a new set before we come out on theplains, and a cross to set up in front of our lodgedoor"—he leaned over and clutched his wife'swork-worn hands—"to remind us of home," he added, "aswell as to save the people."

"I must make a decent frock before we start," saidthe woman.

Storm laughed, for she had a dozen splendid andunworn dresses in her trunks of arrowproof hide.

"Rags!" she cried. "Rags! I've nothing fit to beseen, and you'll want a pack of moccasins for this trail.Besides, poor Rising Wolf needs a rest before he's fitto travel. And oh! how shall we ever manage withonly two pack ponies and the colt? We'll have to loadour saddle beasts and walk."

It was ten years now since Storm had entered thewilderness, and seven of these had been spent withhis wife in the sweet vale below the Apse of Ice.Their home was very dear to both of them, filled asit was with happy memories. They pretended thatthey would like to see the world, take part in thestirring affairs of the Blackfoot nation, attend theceremonies, the buffalo hunting, the gambling at the wheelgame, the dancing, and the feasts. That was allmake-believe. They perhaps of all mankind were the mostwidely traveled, for with the clarity of the dream-statethey had seen the innermost life of imperial palacesand cities, traveled in regions unexplored, ascendedmountains never scaled by climbers, walked the seafloor in groves of living coral, attended armies inbattle, passed unharmed through burning forests,earthquake-shattered towns, devastating floods. To themthe astral plane was familiar ground with its amazingvistas of past ages from the dawn of Time, its landsof glamour and fairy, its cities and settlements of the"dead" who live. They had been beyond the astral toregions infernal, purgatorial, and spiritual, attendingworship at temples eternal in the Heavens where thepriests are angels ministrant and the music celestial inchords of living light. "Seeing the world!" Withsuch phrases they consoled one another concerning thisjourney to a Blackfoot camp with all its peopledrunk.

"The berries are nearly ripe," said Rain as theystruck camp. "I wish we could stay to get our supplyfor the winter."

The men were loading a pony.

"My wife," Storm said to Rising Wolf, as they balancedthe packs on the sling rope, "my woman is stilla child—all make-believe, all let's-pretend." He laidthe cooking gear between the panniers. "She is notgrown up, and never will be."

"I don't follow," objected Rising Wolf. "Ofcourse you'll want a winter store of berries."

They drew the manta, a bed robe, over the horse-load.

"Why, 'of course'?" asked Storm, as he passed thebight of the lash rope, and Rising Wolf hooked on.

"I wouldn't hint such things to my woman," saidRising Wolf reproachfully. "The hook's clear," headded.

Storm made the pony grunt as he set his knee to thepack, and hauled sharp home. Then he crossed thelines.

"If Rain knew the meaning of fear," he said, "I'dkeep my mouth shut." He made his basket line, andRising Wolf, with a foot on the end of the pack, tookin all that. He also made his basket line, completingthe diamond hitch. He made all fast.

"Rain and I," Storm smiled as he patted the pony onthe neck, "are making the big trail, the long trail, theWolf Trail, climbing the Milky Way, the great whiteRoad of Stars. You"—he looked Rising Wolf in theeyes—"will live to see the plains covered with thewhite man's buffalo, the free water fenced, the freemen like dogs begging for their rations, the womenselling themselves to the Stonehearts because theirchildren are hungry. I see vulgar white people teardown the burial scaffolds to rob the bodies of ourIndian chiefs. I see them peeping in at the window ofyour cabin to see the squaw man at dinner, and say'Now, ain't that jest too quaint!' My friend, you willlive until your grandsons ride to the iron road, to seethe train, and sell war bonnets whose every featherrecords a deed of war. Wouldn't you rather ride theWolf Trail with Rain and Storm?

"The dead, the comforted, are sorry for themourners who cry in the night outside the desolatelodges."

"Come," said Rain, "you who are speaking in theowl talk, and keep the ponies waiting with their groansall ready for the lash rope."

Rising Wolf's woman laughed heartily as she foldedthe lodge skin. "Thus," she said, "days fly whenStonehearts talk."

The guest lodge was left standing to shelter travelers;the poles of the holy lodge to grow into a littlegrove of trees; and Rain laid the ashes from her hearthat the foot of the cross. Her man led her away.

Rising Wolf and his woman had spare ponies forthem to ride, driving the small remuda down throughthe valley. The falling waters called to them throughthe berry groves, but they dared not look back to wherethe desolate cross, gray in the dawn light, stood outagainst the junipers, where the winding trail went upthe altar hill, and far above that, the mighty spires oficy rock full in the rose flush of the sunrise pointed tothe skies.

"The valley seems full of shadows," said RisingWolf's woman fearfully. "I'm so frightened."

"It is the valley of the shadow," answered Storm.



From the spring and early-summer buffalo hunt,the robes were not all dressed before the Moonof Berries, when the tribes moved into the leeof the World Spine, to set their villages in rivermeadows between the lakes and the timber. The harvestof the wild fruit, the cutting of new lodge poles toreplace those worn short upon the trails, and the ritualsof the Medicine Lodge, filled the shortening days untilthe aspen leaves were all a quivering gold, and thefrosty evenings were given to feasts or dancing. Atthat season the Crow cleaned out the Blackfeet and theBloods, taking their robes to Fort Benton, then withfive wagons came to the Piegans.

He reached the Piegan village at sunset after a longday's march, beset on his arrival by the men of thetribe who brought robes demanding drinks. One kegof liquor he gave to the Council Lodge, disposing forthat night of the tribal government; but the Crowknew nothing of the Blackfoot language, was deaf toall entreaties of the warriors for trade or drinks. Hesat on a rocking-chair within the leading wagon,behind the tailboard which was iron-sheathed servinghim as a breastwork. "Greeting, my brothers," hesaid in the hand talk. "Far have I traveled, who amold and fat. To-night my women pitch my tipi, mymen make a fort of our wagons, I smoke my pipe, takingmy rest. When the sun rises, trade begins. Sendme my friend Heap-of-dogs."

Knowing well that the Crow would not be movedfrom his word, the people went to their tipis.

Presently Heap-of-dogs rode up to the wagontail, avery gallant figure painted and dressed for war with acoronal of eagle pinions which streamed from brow toheels. He was leader of the Crazy Dog Society, or aswe should say Chief of Police, and the Crow's devotedslave while there was hope of a drink. Some of hiswarriors attended him on foot.

"How!" said the Crow, lifting his right-hand palmforward, fingers closed, the peace sign. Then as hisrocking-chair swayed gently back and forth: "Sendyour Crazy Dog warriors," he continued in the handtalk. "Tell them to bid their squaws move camp andcome here to protect my trade. You'll mount a guardas usual."

Rain's brother gave his orders, and while his peopledeparted he played his horse as a virtuoso plays aviolin through graceful movements, those of a slow dance."Now," he said in the hand talk, "we are alone. Adrink!"

Just so much. The trader measured liquor enoughto loosen the young chief's tongue, not one drop more."Here's happiness," he said, passing the mug; thentook a dram of rum himself with kick enough in it toset his own wits to an edge.

"Now me good Indian," said Heap-of-dogs happily,for when his tongue was loosened, shyness fled, and heknew a few English phrases learned from Storm."Now I have news."

Black skin and Indian dress belied the Crow, whohad the face, the expression, even the characteristicgestures of the modern business American, statesman,financier, or manufacturer, large-minded, lightning-swiftof thought, niggard of slow words which bit likeacid, straight to the point, and shrewdly humorous ofjudgment. "News of Rising Wolf?" he prompted.

"He came alive again," said the Indian merrily, "forthe warpath against you, Big Chief, to take away yourtrade."

"He rode to the Hudson's Bay House?"

"No. To my sister Rain at the sacred lodge."

"Who set the Absaroka at me. Well?"

"I told you before," said Heap-of-dogs, "of mysister's man, the white man, the prophet, Storm. Mysister is holy, but he has the white man's cunning.And Rising Wolf is wise. They come. They saytheir God shall drive you from our villages!"

The Crow knew better. "See, my son," he said."Their God lives a long way off. I carry mine in thiswagon. Which is the strongest—an enemy nation beyondthe World Spine yonder, or the enemy warrior inyour camp, knife in his teeth, creeping under the lodgeskin, feeling the heave of your bed robe, finding theway for the heart? Such is my god; but theirs——" Hechuckled softly, and Heap-of-dogs passaged hishorse to and fro, played by the liquor.

"Where are they?" asked the trader.

"One hour up the pass, camped to cut out new lodgepoles, and to hew a cross like they have at the holyplace. They're going to set up that cross in front ofyour wagon. They make strong medicine to drive youaway. I supped with them so I'm hungry, and thirsty.Big Chief, I love your god."

"You shall pray to him when you've told thenews—you're keeping from me."

"Rising Wolf is burning the trail to fetch hisfriends from the Blood and the Blackfoot camps. Hesays my sister will need guards—as if," he addedhaughtily, "my men were not enough."

"Faithful brother! You shall pray now," said theCrow, "just a short prayer." He handed a seconddrink across the tailboard, then as he watched themounted man lift the mug to his lips, "when do yoursister and her husband come to this camp?"

"Before the sun."

"You must keep sober to protect your sister. Thereare bad Indians about."

"But I want to get drunk!"

"Yes, afterwards. Not now."

"Oh, but my Crazy Dogs will keep Rain safe.They'll scalp the man who lays a hand on my sister."

"See that they're sober, then."

"You don't want to hurt my sister?"

"Far from it. I want to save her."

"Save her from what?"

The Crow's eyes gleamed in the dusk under thewagon cover.

"From a fool husband," he answered.

"Oh, that's all right," cried Heap-of-dogs. "But Iget his scalp. I want his scalp on my belt. Best scalpin the world. Say it's for me."

"When I have finished with him, not before."

"And you'll save my sister?"

"I'll make her wife of a big chief."

"What chief?"

"Am I not a big chief?"

"But if you get my sister for your wife, what sortof present do you make to me?"

"It's worth a hundred ponies to you."

"Huh! I can steal your ponies any day. Andbesides, what do you do when you break my heart withthe killing of my poor brother, Storm?"

"See here, young fellow. You keep sober, and I'llsee your braves get none. And you obey my ordersuntil, say, sundown to-morrow. When I've finishedwith Storm, you get his beautiful yellow scalp youtalked about so much. You get me for your brother.Do you see what that means? First, I give you, mybrother, a keg for you and your braves to dance thescalp with. You shall be so drunk to-morrow nightthat you'll fall up off the ground. You shall be deaddrunk every night for one moon, and after that I'llteach my brother the way I pray to my god all the timejust a little. Why, it's ten years since I've beenproperly sober, and all the time my god makes me richerand richer with wagons, horses, scarlet cloth, axes,beautiful guns. My god shall make my brother asrich as that! And you'll never be sober again. Thinkof it!"

The trader sighed. "If it were only true!" hethought. "It gives one quite a glow. The Devil, ifthere is any such person, must enjoy a bit ofphilanthropy. It makes one feel so good."

The Indian felt the blood race in his arteries, thewhirling joy. Clearer vision, a new worldly wisdom,made him see the folly of Rain's mission to the tribes."She doesn't know what's good for her," he thought."She needs me to handle her affairs, and make her theBig Chief's wife. Then she can run him, as he runsthe Nations." Then came insurgent memories ofRain's camp, and the meager supper, of Storm hewingnotches in the two logs, so that they would fit, oneathwart the other, to make a cross. "Like the logsnotched at the corners of a cabin." Storm dreadedthe preaching. "I'd much rather," he had confessed,"trust all to the mysterious power of the cross, whichburns away all evils, triumphs over enemies, conquersDeath himself. Death is not."

"That must be nonsense, but still——"

The young chief was riding his horse in circlesthrough the dusk, teaching a new dance movement ofexceeding grace. The Crow thought he had never inall his life seen anything quite so beautiful.

"I want," said Heap-of-dogs, "another prayer toclear my head."

"When it's earned," answered the trader.

"Suppose I fetch Storm's hair, will you give me adrink?"

"If you lay your hands on Storm's hair before Igive you orders, my Devil shall tear your entrails out,very slowly, and wind them round a tree."

"But I want a drink! Give me a drink!"

The Indian had drawn an ax from the saddle andpassaged his horse against the tailboard to get nearenough for the blow.

"Seems you want a pill," answered the trader, pressingthe muzzle of his rifle against the Indian'sribs.

Then Heap-of-dogs felt for the first time thathypnosis whereby the Crow's eyes compelled him to obey,to the strict letter of his orders. "All right," hemuttered sulkily, drawing off.

At that moment another horseman came surgingdown upon them, shaking the turf with his rush,yelling exultant war whoops, as he charged between theIndian and the wagon. He pulled the horse on hishaunches, with forefeet sliding forward.

"That you, Hiram Kant?" asked the trader, peeringout of the darkness into the dusk, where he saw theAmerican trapper, once known to the Indians asHunt-the-girls, but now called No-man, friend of Rain andStorm.

"That's your little prairie chicken! Look a-here,Crow, I got a whole pack of beaver pelts in camp here.See? I've come for a fortnight's drunk. Me and myhoss has our tongues out. Quick, gimme a drink!"

For years had No-man boasted to his friends.

"Turn your pony loose, and come up into thewagon," answered the trader. "Meanwhile, here's atot. Heap-of-dogs," he called out in English, "seethis? Want to watch the white man getting drunkwith me?"

Rain's brother rode off into the gloaming to carryout his orders, and to make his fortune.

* * * * * * *

Pale golden light revealed the sky line of the GreatPlains to eastward, dreaming mountains awakened asthe first grayness of the daybreak outlined their sheerscarps, their level snow fields. The hoarfrost of themeadow began to be veiled by the dawn mist andHeap-of-dogs sober, gloomy, resolute, rode out to meet hissister. She walked by her saddle pony, who trailedthe new set of lodge poles, eight on either flank.Storm led his horse, which carried the two logs of thecross. The other ponies followed, stopping to get abite of the sere brown bunch grass, then trotting a fewpaces to catch up with the leaders.

"Everything ready?" asked Storm, as his brother-in-lawgave the peace sign by way of greeting.

"All," answered Heap-of-dogs, bending down fromthe saddle to caress the white man's hair. His handsand his feet were small and delicate, his touchlike that of a woman. "My warriors," he added,"were too proud to dig the hole for the cross, but thewomen did that, and made the wedges."

"Just as I told you?" asked Rain—"opposite theCrow's trading wagon?"

"Three horse-lengths distant. I left space for yourlodge between the Crazy Dogs' tipis, where we canguard you best. No-man came last night to visit theCrow. He's lying dead drunk under the tradewagon."

"Oh, I'm so sorry for him, so sorry," said Rain."I couldn't find him in my dream. Brother, Icouldn't find anybody. Ever since we left our homeboth Storm and I have been so lonely on ourdream-trails. We can't find Catherine, or my mother. Wepray for Hiawatha, but he does not come. All thedear Spirits have left us."

"Then the Crow's medicine," said her brother, "mustbe very powerful. You'd better turn back."

Not even Storm knew this woman so well as he did.She pressed on, resolute across the pasture and throughthe pony herd, which had started grazing. Before hershe saw the village of her people, that far-flung ellipseof tipis, like the rim of a wheel dark yonder againstthe orange glow on the sky line. Plumes of bluesmoke began to rise from the lodges, as the small groupdrew abreast, closing the southern edge of the camp.Not since her childhood had Rain in her waking lifeseen the beloved and familiar things of a Blackfootvillage; rows of painted "dusty stars" which adorn thebase of the lodge skin, representing puffballs; tripodsbeside the tipis which carry the bundle containingsacred things, or a brave's war dress; travois, the cartwith trailing poles instead of wheels on which the veryold folk, the babies, and little puppies ride with themarching tribe; rag dolls or blunt arrows lost by thechildren at play. The childless wife went on with anaching heart, while her brother rode ahead, curbing hisrestive charger to a foot pace, his magnificent war dressin black silhouette against the orange daybreak, thelittle ruby cloud-flecks. Storm followed her, his ponystaggering under the heavy beams of the cross. Thewoman's heart was crying for the everyday things, thehome life, the babies, the gossip, the dancing, thewholesome world which she could never know. Herman went towards the light through a peace which isnot of this world. And so they came before the villagewas as yet astir, to the trader's fort of wagons,the tipis of the tribal police on guard, the hole in theground with the wedges for stepping the holy cross.The warriors of the Crazy Dog band stood at theirlodge doors grinning. Not one of them greeted theholy woman, though two or three in years gone by hadcome to her as pilgrims, and been helped.

It is a very shameful thing for a warrior to aid inwoman's work, such as the unlading of the pack beasts,or the setting-up of a tipi; but Storm carried noweapons, nor did he claim to be anything except hisMaster's servant. Still, he felt degraded under the eyesof the Crazy Dogs as he helped Rain. He made therawhide lashing which bound the four key poles of thelodge, whose butts made the corners of a square uponthe ground, while their four shafts described theoutline of a pyramid, and their heads keyed one withanother so that no gale would dislodge them. The othertwelve poles, resting against these crotches, turned thepyramid into a cone, and their butts completed thesquare on the ground into a circle. Next, the heavyskin of the lodge was hoisted by aid of the vane pole,wrapped about the cone and fastened above the doorhole with wooden pins. In all this, and the remainderof the work, Storm, having but little practice, was veryclumsy, and put to shame because Rain chided, and theCrazy Dogs were shouting rude remarks.

Rain's brother had awakened the Crow, who got outof his blankets to give the man a pint of trade liquor,then a tot of rum to quicken its action. A few at atime the Crazy Dogs were brought to the wagon-tailfor the same treatment, making them all mad drunkwithin the first few minutes. The trader mixed a stillmore powerful drink for himself, which seemed tohave no effect.

The priestess and her man saw nothing of all this,for they were busy unloading the other ponies, whosecargo they carried into the lodge. They scarcelynoticed that they were now encircled by a ring ofhilarious Indians who watched their work and jeered. Thepony who had the two great timbers was led near themortise hole directly in front of the trading wagon,distant some few paces. There Storm cast off thelashings, letting the timbers crash to the ground. Heand his wife lifted the ends of the shorter beam untilits notch was lowered athwart the notch in the longerpiece of timber. Storm, with wet rawhide, made theseamanlike lashing which bound the two together intoa cross.

He did this kneeling, while Rain stood for a momentto see how the lashing was made, which when drywould hold if even the solid log was broken.

"It is good," said Rain, just to please him, as menare always hungry for a word of praise.

"I'm still," he answered complacently, "more sailorthan medicine man."

At that moment both were seized from behind, andpinioned by the elbows. Taken completely aback, thepriestess found Heap-of-dogs giving directions for herremoval; but somehow in these last few minutes herbrother had changed, seemed like a different man, nolonger morose or silent, but showing white flash ofteeth, glitter of bright eyes, glow of ruddy health, astrange aloofness and remoteness as though he did notknow her, as though they had never met.

The Crow was standing beside Heap-of-dogs nudginghim with an elbow, leering at her as No-man hadleered once. "Not so bad, eh? Needs feeding up abit. Well, take her to my tipi."

The words were English, the gestures those of thesign talk, but the look and the smile told everything,laid bare the fathomless treachery of her betrayal.Her brother had sold her to this beast.

The guiding spirits had deserted her. God hadabandoned her. There was no hope in earth, or anyheaven or hell, but only this horror. She opened hermouth to scream. Then pride rescued her. She wasnot here to amuse her enemies, or to shame her man,or to abandon him as God had abandoned her; but tobe loyal as Love, to be strong as Death, giving Stormheart and courage who needed her so sorely when hewas in trouble, when he was in danger. "Courage!"she called to him. "Courage, Warrior!"

Indeed she had to shout, so great already was theclamor growing up about them. A crowd was gatheringrapidly, and the camp police were just drunkenough to ply their clubs at random, while they lackedthe numbers needed to keep the ground clear. Thebartenders at the wagon were taking on special police,each of them pledged with a pint to keep the crowd off.

Yet while the riot grew, the vortex round which itswirled seemed to become so quiet, that presently Rainheard quite clearly the low voice of the Crow as hespoke to Storm. By main force, she wrung her captorhalf round until she could face the scene.

The Crow was speaking quite amiably, and by hisgestures in the sign talk Rain understood him wherehis English failed her.

"Well, Storm," he said, "I hear you've come topreach against my god."

"I have."

"Going to put up your shingle in front of my wagons?"

"I am."

"Waal, I've got along of a quarter million dollarsto back John Barleycorn, my god with, agin your God."

Storm looked him in the eyes, and laughed. "Well?"

"White man, I ain't exactly partial to your tribe,your bleached, washed-out white men. I," he saidthis proudly, "am of the black. I been insulted toomuch and too often to be fond of you-all—much.Still, I'm not a bad sort of fellow, I'm a bit of a sport,kinder warm-hearted enough, anyways, to give yourGod a sporting chance agin John Barleycorn."


"What is it that saves our souls, young feller, thecross, or the man on the cross?"

"The God on the cross."

"Well, I ain't got your God handy, so a man on thecross is as far as I'm prepared to go. I'm putting upa handicap in favor of your side. That's what I callsa sporting proposition. Now, isn't it?"

"I am no judge," Storm answered, and the traderchuckled. His manner was friendly, almost confiding.

He carried in his hands and clanked together fourspikes such as are used to pin the rails down to theties or sleepers on an American railroad. They hadserved in his camp for tent pegs—a sign of riches that,and many had been the attempts to steal such treasures.

"These here spikes," he said, "is to nail you goodand hard to this cross. Then I'll turn my god loose,and you can do the same. You and your woman herecan preach all you've a mind to. Only, I stake my lifeand a quarter of a million dollars that your God'sdead."

It was then that Rain grasped his meaning, andscreamed again and again for mercy, offering her bodyas her husband's ransom.

But the sacred woman's appeal had stirred the dyingembers of her brother's manhood. Heap-of-dogs tookstation in front of Rain, blustering, pot-valiantlydefiant, offering battle to the Crow or anybody whoshould dare to touch her.

At a sign from the trader, one of his bartenderspoured two or three drops of a drug into a pint of firewater, then brought it running to Heap-of-dogs, whoswallowed the whole at a draught. Afterwards hestood rocking backwards and forwards, wonderingwho it was he wanted to kill, babbling invitations toanybody who would like to have a battle.

The Crow knew well that at any moment somefriend of the sacred woman might cry a rescue, andshort shrift would he get if the chiefs of the tribeawakened from their debauch before he could showthem the accomplished fact. If he would live he mustcarry his audience with him, so now in the sign talk heexplained to the crowd how much he admired theirsacred woman, what a killing he and her brother wouldmake if anybody dared molest her, how he proposedmost honorably to make Rain his wife, so soon as hehad freed her from a swindling charlatan and hisbogus God. Meanwhile, in the greatness of his heart,the Crow, for this day's trading only, gave away a littleglass, a chaser of rum, with every pint of fire water.He was perfectly sure that prime robes would beforthcoming to meet so great a business opportunity.

One may realize that when the blood ebbed out ofStorm's face, lean from ten years of self-denial andfrequent fasting, his ivory pallor and the bluish shadowswould emphasize the deep-cut lines of age, of rigidcharacter, the high austere and saintly beauty of him,the blaze of power in his fierce blue eyes.

"Be quick," he shouted in Blackfoot to the Crow."You talk too much, and do too little—frightened ofmy God! You"—he turned to the man who held himpinioned—"how can I lie down on this bed of timberunless you loose my arms? Loose me, you fool, thatI may kiss my woman, and take my place there, ready."

In sheer surprise the Indian loosed him, and standingfree, Storm ordered the Crow, as a master to hisservant, "Go and get a sledge hammer. The spikes,"he said, "are useless unless you can drive them." Hetook Rain in his arms. "We are not cowards," hewhispered. "Death is nothing to us, who have diedso many times—and live forever. You taught me tobe brave."

"Kill me," she whispered, when he kissed her."You have your knife still. Save me from the Beast!I'm frightened! Save me!"

"Where is your faith!" he answered. "Our Godshall deliver both of us. Trust Him!"

With that he whipped the knife out of his belt andbrandished it, shouting to all the Indians. "Witness!The Crow stood at my mercy, but I have not stabbedhim. God shall judge, not I!"

He flung his knife away.

Storm lay down upon the cross, his arms extended,his eyes looking up at her face, a smile upon his lips.The death song died in Rain's throat.

"We shall meet," he said, "in the Great Dreampresently. Be brave."

"I do begin to see," she said, "there is a God!Look, Storm"—she pointed to the trader—"below hisbelt, see inside of him, that dim, gray, great Thingclutching—clutching. See"—she clutched in the airwith her hands—"like that. What is it?"

Storm lifted his head from the cross and turned tolook. "Crow," he said, "my wife and I can both seethe most awful slow death inside you. Within threeweeks you shall answer for all you have done, forevery crime, for every evil thought. We pity you.From the very bottom of our hearts we both forgiveyou."

The Crow had turned livid, attempting to laughwhile his mouth went dry. His black hand clutchedhis throat as he spoke in a hoarse whisper, strugglingto get his voice back. "What if I let you off?Here—take one drink to show these men you'rebeaten—you and your woman—free!"

The place was reeking with heavy fumes of liquor.The astral air, the living atmosphere of all emotion,was filled with fierce desire. Storm was heir to a lineof dipsomaniacs, by his very blood born drunkard, andin his quick health swayed by every lust. No manheld life more dearly. Only the strong love of hismother and of his wife had tamed the beast passionsraging in him, transmuted the wild soul into still spirit.Now he met the fiercest temptation of his whole lifewith triumphant laughter.

"Give me that sledge!" yelled the Crow; then to theIndian who had arrested Storm, "Hold the spike—damnyou!"

"Let me hold the spike," said Storm, taking it fromthe Indian. "I'll hold it with my fingers, this way,the point against my palm, so. Now, drive!"

The Crow let drive.

* * * * * * *

When the cross had been lifted, and its foot wedgedin the mortise-hole, they lashed Rain there, her headagainst Storm's knees.

"Lean back hard," he said between his teeth; "ittakes away half the pain."

She obeyed, no longer bowed down, but facing thepeople bravely with eyes half closed and head thrownback. The sweat from his face dropped on her hair.

"Now preach!" The Crow was shouting at her."Preach!" he repeated, slashing a mug of liquor intoher face. "Preach——"

At Rain's feet her brother lay upon his faceunconscious, and close beyond him a ring of menconfronted her as they swirled slowly sideways round thecross in the first movement of the scalp dance, drunkall of them, and reeling. Behind them were womencarrying buffalo robes which their men traded over thecounter to the Crow's bartender, getting for each apint, with a dram of rum. Most of these men weredrunk, also the women, laughing, shouting, dancing,quarreling, or yelling insults or throwing stones atStorm. An immense crowd of people jostled andswayed, trying to enter the trade ground and buyliquor or to get a nearer view.

The trader had taunted Rain, calling her vile names,because she would not preach to amuse his customers.It was no time for preaching.

The sun had risen, and swung slowly upward intothe southern sky, while still God showed no sign,wrought no vengeance, gave no deliverance. Only theCrow's god visibly triumphed, for the addition of rumto the trade liquor sent a man mad drunk for everypint, and the trader with all three of the bartenderscould scarcely cope with the rush of business. Towardsnoon that saturnalia had every man in the tribe,nearly all the women, many of the children, ravingmad.

The man on the cross confronted the sun, whoseever-increasing splendor of light and heat gave himthe merciful delirium of pain, mounting towards itsclimax. And Rain, bound to the cross with wet rawhide,felt as the lashings dried shrinking, the slowlygrowing agony of swollen wrists and arms, withoutthe man's triumphant faith, or any hope either fromearth or heaven, for still there was no thunder ofRising Wolf's rescuing horsemen, still no portent, stillno miracle to attest that God reigned, or wouldavenge.

Yet in the steady growth of her own pain thewoman realized at last the valor of her man. In thestoic fortitude with which he faced the agonies of slowdeath, she found a healing pride which comforted hersoul. While he set so great an example, she would beworthy of him, worthy to be his woman. More thanthat, she saw in his mysterious power proof absoluteof something superhuman, something inspired, miraculous,divine.

They twain had been as one flesh, a lamp of theAll-Father burning in the darkness of the earthly mists;but now, as the oil feeds the flame, her soul sustainedhis spirit; and that majestic light blazed visible to theHells and to the Heavens. To light the way for thelost, to comfort the spirits in prison, to inspire thosewho climb the steeps of purgatory, even to fill thelower heavens with a new song of praise—that is theglory which is called Martyrdom.

The mists which veil the spirit-realms were thinnedand rent asunder; the heavens, as we see them, wererolled together like a scroll. At last the priestessrealized that she had not been in danger of outrage orpollution, but given the inestimable glory of the cross.She knew that her body was dying. She was beyondpain, giving her strength to Storm, whose body stillendured in agony, unable to let him go.

At last, towards midday, No-man, who had beenlying under the trader's wagon, awake some hours agowith a sick headache, crawled on his hands and kneesinto the open, got to his feet by the aid of one of thewheels, and stood there, clinging to the spokes. Stilldrunk, he staggered towards the bar in search of liquorto set him to rights. In a dim way he realized thepandemonium of raving savages as he shouldered hisway among them. They greeted him, hilarious,eagerly pointing out the cross, and his friend, to whomhe came bewildered, and stood in front of himswaying upon his feet, rubbing his eyes to clearthem, trying in vain to realize. Then his brain clearedsuddenly, and he stood sober, shouting until Stormheard him, saw him, spoke to him.

Yet this was not Storm, the seer, who spoke now,not Bill Fright, bargee and seaman, not even JohnRolfe of his last life, or Gaston le Brut, the crusader,or Harald Christian, slave in Iceland. The spirit hadflashed back to an earlier memory. Once again Stormwas a Northman in the Roman army. He spoke inLatin with a broad Northland accent, spoke to thesquad commander, the Decemvir, the Ten-man.

"Ten-man," said the Martyr, in a low, wailing voice."Decemvir. This woman's tears rusted my armor forme. Oh, plead for me! The Centurion favors thee.Plead for me that I be not scourged, and dishonoredbecause I do love this woman."

No-man heard only strange words which werespoken in delirium, a voice which pleaded with him.Rain's eyes, wide, staring, terrible, seemed to piercehim through—but when he spoke to her she made noanswer. Then came the burning memory of his sinagainst Rain, her terrific and deserved vengeance,Storm's forgiveness, the wonderful friendship of themboth which for these latter years had been the onebright light for him in a maimed life.

Sobered, horrified, and in tears, he groped his wayback to the wagon, where he found and loaded his rifle.It seems to have been a double-barreled muzzle-loadingweapon fired by percussion caps, casting half-inchslugs, quicker in action than the old-time flintlocks.

"Thou shalt do no murder!" so the words ran.

"What, then, if I do murder?" thus he reasoned."I shall be damned to Hell forever. Well, I'mdamned anyway for what I done, so it don't matterto me. But it matters a lot to them to put an end toall their pain, and let them loose into Heaven.

"What if I'm killed for doing this?

"Well, it's up to me to die, if I like, for them Iloves—the woman I love, the man I love, the only twopeople on earth who done much good to me.

"I'll have to play drunk to these Injuns to get me inpoint-blank range, and my hands is none too steadyeven then. Wish't I could have just one last drink tosteady me. No, better not. I may just as well diesober—to please them. Here goes."

Some there are among us who have lived shelteredfrom all temptation to do wrong and therefore veryquick to judge their fellows. To such the event whichfollowed will appear disgusting drunkenness andatrocious murder.

Others there are of us who have ourselves beenhurled by elemental passions against raw issues oflife or death; and whether we be believers in Death orwhether we be Christians, we shall claim that therecan be no greater deed of love, no higher act ofvalor.

Reeling, staggering, brandishing his rifle, shoutingto the Indians to come and see the fun, laughinghysterically at the man crucified, at the woman dying,No-man came in front of the cross, and at point-blankrange with exact and perfect aim shot Storm throughthe heart, Rain through the forehead, releasing both ofthem.

Then he reloaded his weapon to kill the Crow.Already the trader, roused to action by the hundred-tonguedclamor of the event, was threatening with hispistol from behind the bar, waving to the Indians tostand clear.

Without the slightest warning he let drive throughthe white man's back, breaking the spinal cord.

* * * * * * *

At dusk came Rising Wolf with some few friendsfrom the Piegan tribe, who followed him in uncertainty,pacing their horses among the people who laydrunk on the prairie.

The wagon fort, and the village beyond, seemedstrangely empty. No evening smoke went up fromthe tipis. The usual clamor of those who called thenames of guests bidden to feasting, of the camp crier,of the dancing, the pony racing, the games, washushed as though night had fallen. The boys failedto bring the night horses, which should be at the lodgedoors. Neither were there maids to scurry along thewatering trails, nor lovers to watch them pass. Onlydogs prowled along the skirts of the tipis. Over themeadow hung a sense of terror, of desolation, andsometimes far away, or sometimes near at hand, thestartling death wail of the mourners cleft a bodingsilence.

Within the wagon fort the Crow lay, stricken withrending pain; but it was not for him that his womenwere wailing. His children also had contractedsmallpox, which now spread from lodge to lodge throughthe whole camp, where cry after cry of sharp-edgeddespair attended each new discovery of the pestilence.

Rising Wolf buried the bodies of his friends at thefoot of the cross, where, on the blood-stained timber,he carved an inscription to their memory.


A few days later he showed this to Father de Smet,who came with an escort of thirty mountaineerwarriors to visit the dreaded Blackfeet. The priestrendered the last office.

Being of one faith, de Smet and Rising Wolfworked together throughout the plague of 1846, fromwhich the Blackfoot nation has never rallied. Onlya pitiful remnant represents to-day that breed ofsavage gentlefolk, the finest horsemen in the modernworld. The Christianity which they see in practicehas not converted them, nor can they still believe in theSun-god who left them at the mercy of the Stonehearts.

Hope is dead, and with that is gone the sunny,breezy, happy warrior spirit; but not the stoicmanhood underneath, or the strange distinctive charmwhich appeals with greater power than ever to whitemen who have hearts.

* * * * * * *

Of the three who went over the Wolf Trail, No-manhad died without being tortured, so he was the first toawaken, not on the earth or in his earthly body. Theflowers attracted his first thoughts, a bush near by hishead of wild briar covered with roses in blossom, somered, some white. Tall fronds of goldenrod bent overhim, and the whole pasture glowed with big, brown-hearted,orange-petaled marigolds, up to the edge ofthe sarvis bushes snowed down with their sweetblossoms. "Surely," he wondered, "it is the berry moon.Why are there flowers?"

His deerskin hunting dress had been old, soiled,ragged, most of the fringes used up for strings orlashings. Now it was brand-new, perfumed with woodsmoke.

He had been sick, but was well, maimed but wasmade whole, with such a glow of health, riot of blood,and joy of life, quick heart, live brain, as he had notknown for years.

He had not eaten food since goodness knows when,and yet he felt no hunger, while all the craving foralcohol was gone. He would never know hungeragain, or any thirst.

Where were the Blackfoot camp, the wagon fort, thecross, Storm crucified, Rain dying?

There came a little bunch of antelope, grazing, whopresently stood at gaze with all their natural curiosity,none of their quick fear. He reached for his gun. Itwas gone. The antelope went on grazing, not frightenedeven when he jumped to his feet shouting fromsheer astonishment.

And a voice answered:


There was Nan, his girl, she who had jilted him, shewhom Storm had seen, her fingers stiff with cramp asshe sewed shirts, beside a window, looking out uponthe Atlantic sea, crying, and crying for him. Shecame across the pasture through the tall flowers,walked with a healthy stride, swinging a sunbonnet, anut-brown lass freckled, dimpled, laughing, shoutingto him that greeting out of the lost years, "Why, manalive!"

He seized her to his breast, and if he did rumpleher shirt-waist, he didn't give a damn, while heverified each dimple with a kiss, and took the freckleswholesale.

By her prim and downcast virginity, in her freshcrisp beauty, for every grace, for every charm, foreverlasting love, he found a litany of thanksgivings,and most of all for her forgiveness, for her toleranceof his misdeeds.

"Your folks," she said at last, "is waiting. Theysaid I'd best come to fetch you."

"But"—he was puzzled—"what are you doing herein the Injun country? What's this about the folks?"

"But, Man-alive, this isn't the Injun Country.Why, you're dreaming!"

"Then let me go on dreaming!" answered Man-alive."And take me to the folks. Where are we, anyways?"

"In Summerland," she said. "Our town is yonderbehind these bushes, but we must give the peopletime to get things fixed."

"What things?"

"Why, Man-alive, the flags, the arches, the triumph,a proper American triumph to welcome a properAmerican hero! Davy Crockett himself is going to givethe oration, being an ex-Congress man. He says youdied a greater death than his."

"Death?" He laughed. "Dead? Bet you a castorI'm not! I never been so much alive before."

"What's a castor?"

"A pelt, a beaver pelt, of course!"

"I never heard tell of pelt. Yes, you may haveyour arm there until we pass the bushes. Then youmust try to act respectable. This isn't wild westhere."

"You say I'm dead."

"Me, too," she answered cheerily. "Thanks be,that's over"—her face turned grave—"that bad dreamwe called life. See, here's our town—the dearest,sweetest place. Listen. It's the Grand Armyband."

"What's that?"

"Grand Army of the Republic, of course. Yourdad is trying to start branches down on earth, onlythe people are too stupid. He thinks this Mexicanwar may wake 'em up a bit. Now take your armfrom my waist, or they'll see."

They saw. A band of the Grand Army of theRepublic struck up "Conquering Hero."

* * * * * * *

Now, of the briar rosebush seen by Man-alive,there is a story, which was related long ago in thefifteenth-century travels attributed to Sir JohnMandeville. The story runs that after the Crucifixionthere did appear upon the hill of Calvary a briar bushwherein each several drop of sweat and every tearbecame a white rose, and all the drops of blood begatred roses.

Where Ananias was an amateur but the author ofthese old Travels a Great Master, one must be modest,but this present writer is aware that he and hisfellow craftsmen break through at times into the Truth.That rose bush may not very likely have blossomeddown on earth, and yet it might well appear upon theholy site a veritable thing upon the astral plane, muchvisited by people in their dreams, watered by fairies,guarded by the angels. One dreams of such a rosebush growing thus out of the sweat, the tears, theblood of martyrs crucified, and sheltering Rain as shelay in Storm's arms asleep until the third day, thetime of resurrection.

Man-alive would see the roses there, but not theastral cross of lambent flame like carven moonlight, orthe luminous figures of the priestess at rest in the armsof a martyr crucified, or the spirits Catherine andThunder Feather, who knelt keeping vigil beside theirchildren, or their guardian Hiawatha, descended fromthe middle Heavens, his glory softened lest its exceedingsplendor be unbearable to people of the mists. Hewitnessed the meeting of those long-parted lovers, ina region where hearts are opened and misunderstandingsquite impossible. But he also saw four angelsattendant upon the cross. It was long since humanhands had fashioned a cross like that, claiming a guardof Angels.

Rain awakened, and when she saw her mother,Catherine, Hiawatha, and the four Angels on guard,her cry of joy roused Storm. He was a little bewilderedat first, supposing himself to be still that Romansoldier who so long ago had helped to crucify the Kingof Angels. Then slowly he realized that he was Stormwho had made atonement, who now bore, on his ownhands, feet, and breast the very stigmata, the woundswhose blood-drops burn and glow as rubies. That isthe reason why on our earth the ruby is more preciousthan the diamond or any other stone, being, as it were,the shadow cast by the very holiest, loveliest, andrarest thing in Heaven.

When they tried to stand up both Storm and Rainwere seen to be suffering from shock, for even the bodyspiritual is jarred by such a death as theirs. Theycould not stand, but at a sign from Hiawatha kneltbefore a table which now stood at the foot of the cross.Upon the table were a Cup and a Dish which cannotbe seen except by those of pure and perfect knighthood,such as Sir Galahad, and Joan of Arc, for theChalice is that used at the Last Supper, and the Dishis the Holy Grail.

Two of the Angels, having performed the rite donein Remembrance, brought the Grail which containedthe broken bread, and the cup of wine. "Take, eat,"said the one. "Drink ye all of this," said theother.

These two, who had hungered and thirsted, werenow fed, so that never afterwards could they knowhunger or thirst, weakness or any pain, but wereimmediately filled with more than human strength.Moreover, so great was the enlargement of their facultiesthat they could hear music, of which only a littlehad been revealed to Handel and Mozart, Bach andBeethoven; they could see such color as was disclosedto Turner; forms which Pheideas and Praxiteles triedto model, da Vinci, Raffaele, and Michelangelo topaint, or Shelley to describe. Yet, even in the handsof genius, our arts are bankrupt, unable to render apenny in the pound of the Realities which haveinspired them.

Yet, because in the act of writing these passages, Ihear with the inner senses most tremendous music, andsee, when I close my eyes, color ineffably lovely, I feelthe assurance that the words may be true beyond myknowledge. It seems to me that I see the crossuprooted, and laid down. Then the four Angels hold alaughing argument as to whether Storm and Rain shallstand as in a chariot or sit as in a throne, it beingdecided that they shall do exactly as they please; whileStorm has but one wish, that his arm may enfold hiswife, and she denies him such conduct as that inpublic. I see them seated upon the arms of thecross facing its foot, while the Angels, one at eachlimb of the glowing timbers, lift it upon theirshoulders.

Those who have been used to seeing pictures ofAngels may be reminded that the wings are symboliconly, of beings whose flight is swifter than our thought.They need no wings, who flash with the speed of lightupon their journeys.

Those of us who have not read the modern lucidbooks describing the planes of being may care for amoment to consider the lilies, which offer the bestanalogy we have for understanding the Heavens. Thebulb of the Liliacese, that is, of such plants as the lily,camas, onion, and hyacinth, consists of many layers orspheres concentrated round one nucleus. In our planetEarth, the nucleus is the world visible, which has threelayers of subplanes, the land, the sea, and the air, ofdifferent densities, for the water is thicker than theair, and the rocks more compact than the ocean whichrests upon them. Outside these three layers of thebulb there are others, concentric spheres of ether, lessin their densities, quicker in their vibrations, tootenuous for perception by our gross animal senses. Ourastral bodies are attuned to the vibrations of the astralsubplanes, which we visit in dreams and dwell in afterdeath. Our spiritual body, when it grows, is able toinhabit the land, sea, and air of the lower spirit-planeor heaven spiritual. Beyond are the heavens celestial,and their outermost layers are those of the Christ-sphere,an orb enormously transcending the materialsun in size and radiance. In all there are forty-nine,or seven octaves of subplanes, alluded to in Genesisas that Ladder of Being, on which the patriarchJacob saw traffic of ascending and descendingAngels.

Imagination, the formation of images in the mind,may have two separate modes, that of an artistcreating forms to which he shall give expression, and thatof the seer who is able to perceive things which areshown to him. One cannot ever know to what extentone creates, or in what degree one perceives.

My vision is set down as it occurred with some ofthe mental comments.

Each of the four Angels bears upon his shoulder alimb of the lambent cross. On this Storm sits nakedas he was crucified, but Rain wears a robe which hasthe texture one sees in the petals of an Easter lily.It is edged with a decoration of pistils and stamens,sprinkled, made out of dust of light seeming to signifyfertility. Both figures are strongly radiant.

Behind them is Hiawatha, a great figure, august,serene, luminous. Catherine and Thunder Featherhave fallen away, unable to endure the increasingsplendor of the light.

The foreground is of tawny plains, reaching awaydownward to a sea deeply blue. Hull down, beyondare far-away white Alps.

This landscape, a province in extent, is, as it were,the arena of an amphitheater, but the floor of thelowest tier or circle is far above the summits of the alps.The edge of the tier is not defined like the frontageor balustrade of a balcony, but vague, as when onelooks up at the floor of a cloud field. It is the marginof a world which has its plains, seas, hills, etherealAndes, all glittering etched in light, with a detail oftrees luminous, temples opalescent, and iridescentpalaces. There are innumerable multitudes of peoplewatching.

It is as though this upper world were (invisibly)continuous overhead, but only becomes visible towardsthe horizon.

Above this first tier of the amphitheater there is asecond, even a third, perhaps more. But against eventhe second tier our sun would look like a round patchof darkness. And this second tier is like a shadowcast by the third. The light is utterly beyond humanendurance, yet it proceeds from the spectators, circleon circle, world above world, populous with aninnumerable throng, millions of millions, either of theredeemed or of the angelic hosts.

A procession should march, but the ever-growingpageant of the cross advances, not in position, withregard to space but in the splendor of its tremendouslight. Its progress is not even an ascension, but rathera translation.

And yet there must have been an ascension, a lifting-upinto space, for when at last it moves forward,it is not across the tawny plain of the arena, butthrough a garden whose paths, lawns, flowers, trees,are made of light, not blinding but refreshing to theeyes.

Beyond, in the far distance crowning a plateau oflight, there is a temple—I remember reading about itin many telepathic descriptions of the heavens—eachof whose four porches carries a cupola. The fourporches describe the figure of a cross, and in the midstabove, the drum of the main building is sculptured indeep-cut bas-reliefs. This drum carries a circularcolonnade, from whence the main dome soars until itsever-changing and prismatic radiance is lost in mistof light, a cloud of glory.

They who joined the procession of the cross havebecome a multitude and they seem to move in silence,with a sense of hushed reverence. For there is Onecoming through the garden to meet them. Words arelike the dice which a gambler throws at random, andit is better not to attempt thoughts which no languagecan render.

At His coming the four Angels bow down, thenlower the cross from their shoulders, but Storm andRain are bidden to kneel at His feet that they mayreceive His blessing.

If their hearts quake, if their limbs turn to water,all spirits bow down before Him not in fear, nor indread, only in homage.

"Be still, and know that I have loved you, and havelonged to give you Life."



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