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started for Red Lake with the log
driving half-breed and six men. Two
days later they returned. Hale had
a bullet in his leg above the knee and
the half-breed carried a similar gift
in his forearm.
This incident bothered the sheriff
cruelly. He went to Foxcroft, where
they said unpleasant things to .him ;
he went back to the Landing and they
made fun of him.
The sheriff summoned his posse,
boarded the steamer Red Deer and
left Greenville, bound for Moose
River. Half a dozen canoes were
aboard. The posse carried Winches
ters, although no game was in sea
son. Off the Grey Gull, an island, the lit
tle steamboat stopped, the canoes
were dropped, the posse embarked.
At the mouth of the Moose River
two more canoes were waiting; Hale
sat in one, paddle glistening in the
pale spring sunshine; in the other sat
the Indian log-driver, nursing the
hammer of a rifle.
It was paddling for a mile to the
first wing-dam, and there, the sheriff,
who led flung his stern-paddle into
the bottom of tlje canoe, nourished
the setting-pole and stood up. At the
same moment a jet of flame leaped
from the edge of the wingrdam and
a bullet passed through the sheriff's
The amazed official fell overboard,
rose, grasped the edge of the canoe
and swamped it, turning the bow
paddler into the river. The swift cur
rent landed them on a shoal and they
crawled up on a rock.
Nobody fired at the wing-dam ex
cept Hale. He banged" away as fast
as he could pump the breach-lever,
and Billy Sebato, the Indian, took to
the bushes and lay patiently waiting
for a mark, purring with eagerness.
"Jim Skeene1, you darned thief!"
houted Hale, "come out from them
"I ain't no more thief than you be,
Josh Hale!" bawled Skeene. "I paid
jEor them rations and ca-tridges and
you know d n well I did!"
The Indian Sebato fired twice.
"If that nigger Sebato don't quit
shootin' I'll let loose on all o' ye!"
called Skeene, shaking his rifle above
the wing-dam edge. "Git back to
your dreen, Josh Hale, I tell you."
Hale started to push his canoe
among the rocks where he could hold
it and fire under cover. Skeene slid
suddenly to the corner of the wing
dam and fired three shots through
the canoe, cutting a swale lengthwise
at the water's edge. It settled in two
feet of water.
"Now'U you let me be?" railed
Skeene. "I hain't done nothin' to
you. If that there moose-warden
wants me let him come and get me.
I tell ye I'll shoot to kill at the next
man that fires!"
"You dasn't," shouted the sheriff
from behind his rock; "you ain't half
a man, Jim Skeene!"
"I be," said Skeene calmly, "but I
don't want no fuss. You keep off' n
this river, and you keep off'n this
here wing-dam. And you stop sneak
in' along the woods there, Billy Se
bato! Git back there! Git back, or
I'll shoot to kill. Tell that nigger
Indian to get back! Tell him quick!
I see him I "
Sebato's rifle cracked, and the shot
was repeated by Hale, wading out on
the shoal. Then a forked flame flash
ed from the wing-dam, there came
a crash and a crackle of dry twigs,
and the Indian pitched heavily over
the bank into the swirling river.
Skeene's pale face appeared above
the dam, but nobody shot at him.
"You drove me to it," said Skeene.
He spoke huskily.
"Come down off'n that wing-dam,"
commanded Hale. v
"Not for you, Josh Hale," replied
Skeene, "nor for any man o' ye! An'
I won't be took, neither. I'm goin'
away to live quiet if they let me."
He crouched and watched them as
they pushed their canoes out into the
main channel. The sheriff and Hale
advanced to the pool where Sebatq