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csept wlthjn his-tiny cabin that night
"When the man, unvested, woke and
forced a s passage beneath his sail
through the snow to the boat's deck,
he saw that hisworid of another day
wis turned front one of black ice to
one of endless white.
," Taking what tea and food was left
and his blankets and kettle, he left
the sloop and trudged westward
through the loose snow in the face
of the tireless wind. That dayt he
won a score of miles, and .slept at
night, dog-like, in a snow hole behind
a-sheltered corner of the shore. Re
suming his way in the gray morning,
lie clambered across a projecting
.finger of land to make his way down
again toward the frozen lake edge
wliere the footing was less rough It
was here thajt he slipped among the
shore rocks and "pitched sidelong
down the sharp declivity. Clawing
is. the snow, he rose again on his
right foot, stepped forward, Snd fell
is a helpless huddle as though he had
trusted his weight to an alder staff.
The man turned, and, hobbling
.with great cautiop, came at last to
the ending of his half -obliterated trail
of the day before. By nightfall he
had retraced it ten miles.
All day long an uneasy sense of
some other presence had been "with
Tiim Itlrcft an nTicAcoiriTi All Hav Inrw
he had failed to justify the dreadT
Gunningly he would hobble on, and
then, without a warning, pause, whirl
in his tracks to stare to rearward.
Bver there was nothing.
That night he slept uneasily and
in pain. One time ho came alertly
coritecibus and' listened with intent
ness. There was no sound.
Through all the painful toiling of
the ensuing day the man was ddgged
still by the sense of an unseen, silent
presence that watched his way from
afar and followed it with stealthy
menacing. That fright he won again
and through the deepened snow to
the shelter of the ice-bound sloop.
'That night, too, he heard again In
the full-tonad voicing o irremediable
fault. Highup in the scale (t cem
menced, like a demoniac shriek, slur
ring then slowly down to the quiver-
ing moan of last,.- despair, and ca
dencing hi its mournful course
through all the mingling moods of
fury, terror, anguish and dismay
Rising, falling, rising, falling, flopd
ing the frigid midnight air with pal
pitant waves, it was the primal and
the, ultimate voicing of the world-old
melancholy of all life.
Peering outward; the man saw that
the snow had ceased and the stars
were'far, glittering points abovethe '
world. And he saw at kst the hither- .
to -half-sensed presence.
Gaunt they werq, and their eyes
were bright with the emboldeneef
eagerness of long hunger: Occasion
ally one would stand and, -touchingf''"-the
snow with his quivering brush,"
point Ms lean jaws to the distant
stars and 'break dut in the long wolf
" The man with the injured knee
crept back into the cabin, with some
. "Hell!" he remarksk. n . '
During the night tie heard the pad- -ding
of many feet on the deck aboye
him. ' - '
At morning he opened his door
quickly and limped out, ax in hand.
A -gray form leaped, but the ax blow
was quicker aad a great wolf plunged -
forward and lay quivering r in death
on the foot-tracked snow beside the
Exultantly the man faced to the
"" The jest was turned! It had been
willed that the 'wolves besiege Mm,
and here "of their ,. number was one
dead' by his hand; and of its skin he
would make a, covering, and tot ,its
flesh his food. 'But wen as-he start-'
ed forward the pack 'were upon the -.fallen
leader and fn a spice he wpa
The man, with recklewfi ury, flung
himself "upon them As they fought
f or their food, and Mb ax swung twlca .