Crosset became footsore and ex
hausted before they had gone more
than a third of the day's tramp. They
were forced to stop and care for him.
e Besides Fendrick arid Crosset, the
party consisted of Perkins and Blake,
miners, and Wessner, the cook. The
men began to grumble at the delay,
and finally they were for turning
back and leaving the "excess bag
gage," as they called Crosgett, at the
nearest town and making a fresh
start Fendrick was in a dilemma,
but the young man begged so to go
on that he persuaded the men to give
Kim another chance. He really did do
much better and they finally reached
the place where Fendrick decided to
So into camp as a gtJod point from
which to take short exploring trips.
Crpsset came back from the first
trip so fagged that he decided to re
main the next day in camp with the
cook. The other men hailed the
news with satisfaction and started
off on their hike. Shortly after they
left Crosset put a knife in his belt,
shouldered a rifle and looked in at
the door of the rude cooking shed,
where Wessner was washing the pots
and pans. .
"Well, you don't say you're going
somewhere," cried ' Wessner deris
ively. "Just going to look around a bit,"
casually observed Crosset
"You look as though you was goad
ed fer bar. Guess you'll get all tired
out for nothin'," he sniffed. .
"Well, that's my funeral and you
don't have to come to it!" snapped
the young man, and turning away,
he was soon lost to sight.
Wessner had beeR foremost among
tern in voicing his contempt for the
tenderfoot, and he smiled audibly as
Crosset plunged through the bushes.
The young man had fpund his gibes
rather the hardest to stand; but he
knew what a drawback he had been
to the party and he had the good
sense to take his medicine as quietly
. It was. getting ner the time, for
the men's return and Wessner was
busy getting the dinner. He heard a
slight crackling of twigs.
"Guess the 'baggage' smells dinner
and is going to Jfoe first on ,the grub
list," he said to himself.
But when Crosset did not appear
at the end of about ten minutes
Wessner came arid looked about.
"Bet that was a fox," he thought
"Gee! Wouldn't I like to get him."
Remembering, the dinner arid his
responsibility as cook he gave up. the
idea of a hunt and turned back to
his duties. .There was going to be
a treat in the shape of a dessert of
wild honey he had found in a bee
tree. He chuckled as he thought of
-the delighted surprise of the men.
As he neared the shed he thought
he saw something moving inside.
With deep disgust he wondered "if
that baggage has got at that honey."
The next instant he saw -the shag
gy coat of a large grizzly bear intent
on maMng short work of the dessert.
Wessner turned and shinned up the
nearest tree. The branch he was
hanging onto was not a very strong
one" and he was in constant terror
lest it should break. From his van
tage point he could see the grizzly
clearing off the dishes with neatness
and dispatch. It seemed hours that
he hung to that limb and waited for
some' one to appear. He heard a
crackling of twigs, and, fearful lest
it should be another bear, was quiet
But no, it was "the baggage."
"Hold on!" he yelled . "There's a
grizzly in the kitchen! Up a tree!
Instead of taking his advice Cros
set came toward him.
"Keep still," he hissed, and crept
along toward the shed.
The next instant a shot rang out
The bear turned and sighted Crosset
and bounded toward him. A second
shot caused a red stream to spout
from his throat, but scarcely halted
him. Wessner held his reath.
It was all up with "the baggage."
But the bear almost UDon the man.
xml | txt