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Newspaper Page Text
he -would get even with Mitchell
hardly, assiimed any tangible form.
In due course they reached the
store at Big Lake. Their visit was
a complete surprise. Black Doe had
been seen in the neighborhood and
evidently was off his guard. Mitchell
ascertained that he had made no
A purchases, without which it would
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his way northward into the barrens.
"We'll spe,nd the night at Johnny
Dufour's" he said to Crum, as the
three rode off toward the shack.
Dunn's heart sank when he off
saddled. Marie was already in the
doorway to greet the visitors, and
her eyes wandered with wonder
from Dunn's face to Mitchell's.
"Take my horse to th.e stables!"
commanded Mitchell surtly. "And,
say! vTake Crum's too. And see that
they're well groomed- before you
come in to supper."
Dunn went away obediently", riding
his horse and leading the two others.
Now he began to understand, he
thought, the reason why Mitchell
had selected him. He wanted to hu
miliate him in., the eyes'of the girl.
At supper Mitchell kept up a cross
fire of chaff, banter and spitefulness,
directed at Dunn. Dunn's acqines
ence seemed to enrage him. He
would have welcomed "a chance
either for a brawl or for punishment
for indiscipline, but Dunn only sat
silently, watching Marie furtively,
while the sergeant's eyes were alight
with triumph. He felt that he had
won, had shown Marie his superidr
Ity over Dunn.
They retired to their bunks. They
were to start up the trail at daybreak
rt Via nnact fnT THanTr Tina TI,i-m
slept fitfully; he was thinking of Ma
rie, and his heart was full of resent
ment. He was the first up and went to
groom the horses. As he came back
to the shack he heard Mitchell's
voice and the girl's behind the open
door. jMitchell had his arm around
her waist and was drawing her to-1
ward him. Crum was nowhere in
Then Dunn knew what he meant
to do. He crept back very softly to
the stable and loaded his rifle. He
took it in his arms, carrying it as a
mother might her first born, and ap
proached the door again.
Mitchell held the girl in his arms
now and she was struggling as he
tried to kissher. Dun, aiming de
liberately, was conscious of the open
door at the back of the shack' and va
clump' of dwarf fir about a hundred
yards distant. Then he concen
trated his attention upon Mitchell,
Carefully .he drew a bead on him so
as to avoid hitting the girl.
Mitchell leaped into the air, flung
out his arms' and pitched head fore
most. Dunn stepped into the shack.
There was no need to look more than
once at the dead f,ace or the blood
oozing from the heart
Marie ran to Dunn, sobbing wildly.
"You did right, the beast!" she cried.
"Come with me," said Dunn.
Tbef raced to the stables, and in a
moment he had freed the horses,
saddled them and placed her on the
sergeant's. In another moment they
were galloping across the barrens. At
the time Dunn was conscious of won
dering where old Dufour and Crum
were. But a moment later they heard
shouts behind them. They galloped
frantically forward, anywhere, so
long as they could win free.
Crum was a man of resolution and
Dunn knew that he would take up
the chase and never leave it He
reckoned on the fact that Crum's'
horse was the slowest of the three".
The freshly falling snow would hide
their tracks if they could win the
country across the river bed, where a
series of hummocks swelled into the
Big Lake mountains.
Far behind him Dunn heard a
shout He turned and looked back
as he rode. Crum was standing at
the door of the stable, waving his
arms to him. t