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Newspaper Page Text
THE LITTLE MISERY BY ROBT. W. CHAMBERS
Illustrated by Dom Lavin, the Famous American Artist.
""" -(Copyright, 1898, by
There was a river-driver beyond
the Northwest Cany who respected
neither moose nor man. Because
he was the best river-driver on the
West Branch, they let him alone un
til he struck an Indian with a pick
pole. The Indiana's head was damaged
and while he waited for it to heal he
selected his revenge. He hunted up
the moose-warden and told many
lies. Deftly concealed among these
lies, however, was a truth that in
furiated the warden.
The river-driver, whose name was
Skeene, sneered when the moose
warden glided into camp. But when
he dug out a head and antlers behind
a shanty, Skeene picked up his rifle,
looked obliquely at the moose-warden,
tied his blanket and fry-pan,
hoisted his canoe onto his head and
walked away to the southward, still
I don't know what they said about
it in Foxcroft, but Hale, who owned
the timber and who thought he own
ed Skeene, hunted him up and sent
him to work on the new cut-off,
hoping the affair might blow over in
time for Skeene' to drive logs again.
But Skeene turned lazy and lined the
dead water with traps and set-lines,
and when Hale.remonstrated Skeene
Then Hale" threatened him and
hinted about moose-wardens and
$5J)0 fines, "hut Skeene thrashed
Hale before the whole camp, packed
'his kit and canoe and paddled serene
ly a'way down the West Branch.
That really began the trouble, for
Hale never forgave him. When
Skeene started to guide for Hender
son on the upper Portage, Hale heard
of it and ran him out.
Possibly, if they had let him alone,
Robert W. Chambers.)
he might have turned out as tame as
as a moose-bird he was only twenty-three
but Hale remembered, and
the Indian remembered, and one day
a man came in to the Carry Camp
with a 44 bullet in his wrist and an
unserved warrant in his pocket. The
man was a moose-warden, and the
warrant was for Skeene.
When the news spread that Skeene
had shot a warden, the guides from
Portage and Lily-Bay condemned
him. Down at Greenville a sheriff
and posse boarded the "Katahdin"
and spent several weeks cruising
about at public expense. Possibly
they expected Skeene to come down
to the shore and sit on the rocks; per
haps they fancied he might paddle
across their bows in his sleep. Natur
ally he did neither.
Even after that, if they had given
him a chance, he might have surren
dered and taken his punishment.
A warden saw him building a lean
to on the island that divides the West
Branch. The warden waited until
dark, crawled in outside the fire and
caught Skeene asleep. What Skeene
did to the warden when he awoke
the official cannot remember dis
tinctly. Three weeks after that Skeene
walked into Kineo store, handling his
rifle in a most alarming fashion. He
suggested that they place certain
provisions and ammunition in his
canoe, which lay on the beach below.
The three clerks complied. Twenty
minutes later Skeene, in his canoe,
was seen making for Moose River.
They notified the sheriff again.
People fought shy of Moose River
and the lake beyond which is-called
Red Lake. In vain the guides declar
ed the region safe. Skeene let them
alone. The Indian log-driver, howi