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THK HUKLINQTON FREE PRESS AND TIMES; TITURSDAY, OirrutSAM Wi
Author of "The Danacr
ou tne Bobbs-Merrill Co
The Red Terror.
CUMMINS' word of tlio school
nt Churchill had put n new
and thrilling thottsht into
.Inn's head, and always with
that thought he coupled visions of the
growing Mellsse. This year the school
would be nt Churchill and the next at
York factory, and after that it might
lie gone forever, so that when Mellsse
grew up there would he none nearer
than what .Ian looUed upon as the oth
er end of the world. Why could not ho
go to school for MellKse and store up
treasures which in time he might turn
over to her?
The scheme was a colossal one, by all
odds the largest that had ever entered
Into hi dreams of what life held for
him. It was not until the first cold
chills of approaching winter crept down
from the north and east that he told
Cummins of his intention.
Once his mind was settled .lan lost
no time in putting his plans into ac
tion. Mukee knew the trail to Church
Ill and agreed to leave with him on the
third day, which gave Williams' wife
time to make hira a new coat of cari
On the second evening he played for
the last time In the little cabin, and
after Mellsse had fallen asleep ho took
her up gently in his arms and held her
there for a long time, while Cummins
looked on in Bllenee. When ho replaced
her in the little bed against the wall
Cummins pnt one of his long arms
about the bay's shoulders and led him
to the door, where they stood looking
out upon trie grim desolation of the
forest that rose black and silent against
the starlit background of the sky.
"Boy, won't you tell me who you are
and why you came that night?"
"I will tell you now that I come from
te Great Bear," whispered Jan. "I
im only Jan Thoreau, an' ze great God
made rue come that night because"
his heart throbbed with sudden in
iplrntlon as he looked up Into his com
panion's face "because ze leetle Me
llsse was here," he finished.
For a time Cummins made no move
r sound; then he drew the boy hack
nto the cabin, and from the little ging
ham covered box In the corner he took
a buckskin bag.
"You are going to Churchill for Me
Hsse and for her," he said In a voice
pitched low that it might not awaken
!he baby. "Take this."
Jan drew a step back.
"No, I Hn' work with ze compan-ee
at Churchill. That is ze gold for Me
lisse when she grow up. Jan Thorcau
Is no what you call heem?"
His teeth gleamed in a smile, but It
lasted only for an instant. Cummins'
face darkened, and he caught him
firmly, almost roughly, by the arm.
"Then Jan Thoreau will never come
back to Mellsse," he exclaimed with
finality. "You are going to Churchill
to be at school and not to work with
your hands. They are sending you.
Do you understand, boy? They!"
There was a tierce tremor In his voice.
'Which will It be? Will you take the
bog or will you never again coino back
to Lac Rain?"
Dumbly Jan reached out and took
ho buckskin pouch. A dull flush
mrned in his cheeks. Cummins look
d in wonder upon tiie strange look
lhat came Into his eyes.
"I pay back this gold to you aud Me
llsse a hundred times!'' lie cried tense
ly. "I swear It, an' I swear that Jan
Tboreau mak no lie!"
Unconsciously, with the buckskin bag
clutched In one hand, he had stretched
"I pay back thii gold to you and Me
line a hundrad time!"
out his other arm to the violin hang
ing against tho wall. Cummins turned
to look. When he fnced him again the
boy's arm had fallen to his side and
his cheeks wore white. The noxt day
It wus n long printer for Cummins
and Mellsse. It was a longer one for
Jan. Ho had taken with him a lettur
from tho factor nt Lac Ihiln to tho fac
tor at Churchill, and ho found quarters
with tho chief clerk's assistant at tho
post a young, red faced man named
MacDonald, who had como over on tho
ship from England, no was a cheer
ful, good natured young fellow, and
when lie learned that his new associate
had tramped nil tho way from the Bar
ren Lnnda to attend the new public
school, he nt once Invested himself
with tho responsibilities of n private
Tho school opened In November, and
Jnn found himself one of twenty or
so gathered there from 40,000 square
miles of wilderness. Two white
youths and a half breed had come
from the Ktnwney, the factor at Nel
son House sent up his sou, and from
the upper waters of the Little Church
Ill there came three others.
From the llrst Jan's music found
him a premier place In the Interest of
the tutor sent over by the company.
He studied by night ns well as by
day, and by the end of the second
month his only competitor was tho
youth from Nelson House. His great
est source of knowledge was not the
teacher, but MncDonnld. There was
In him no inherent desire for the learn
ing of the people to the south; that ho
was storing away, like a faithful ma
chine, for the use of Mellsse. But
MacDonald gave him that for which
his soul longed a picture of life as it
existed In tho wonderful world be
yond the wilderness, to which some
Btrange spirit within him. growing
stronger ns the weeks and months
passed, seemed projecting his hopes
nnd his ambitions.
Between his thoughts of Mellsse nnd
Lac Bain he dreamed of that other
world, and several times during the
winter he took the little roll from the
box of his violin and rend again and
agnin the written pages that It con
tained. "Some time I will go." he assured
himself always "some time when
Mellsse Is a little older and can go
To young MncDonald the boy from
Lac Bain was a "find." Tho Scottish
youth was lllleil Willi an immense
longing for home, and as his home
sickness grew he poured more and
more into Jan's nttentlve enrs his
knowledge of the world from which ho
In the spring Jan went buck to Lac
Bain with the company's supplies. The
next autumn he followed the school to
York factory, nnd the third year he i
Joined it at Nelson House. Then the '
company's teacher died, and no one !
camo to Mil his place.
In midwinter of this third year Jan
returned to Lac Bain, nnd, hugging
the delighted Mellsse close in his arms,
he told her that never again would he
go away without her. Mellsse, tight
ening her arms around his neck, made
his promise sacred by offering her lit
tle rosebud of a mouth for him to kiss.
Lnter the restless spirit slumbering
within his breast urged him to speak
"When Mellsse Is a little older should
we not go with her Into tho south?" he
said. "She must not live forever In a
plnce like this."
Cummins looked nt him for an in
stant as if he did not understand.
When Jan's menning struck home his
eyes hardened, and there was the vi
brant ring of steel In his quiet voice.
"Her mother will be out there under
the old spruce until the end of time,"
he said slowly, "and we will never
leave her unless, some day, Mellsse
From that hour Jan no longer looked
into the box of his violin. Ho strug
gled against the desire thnt had grown
with his years until be believed that he
had crushed It and stamped It out of
his existence. In his life there came to
bo but one rising and one setting of the
sun. Mellsse was his universe. She
crowded his heart until beyond her he
began to lose visions of any other
Kuch day added to Ills joy. He call
ed her "my little sister," nnd with
sweet gravity Mellsse called him
"brother Jnn" nnd returned in full
measure his boundless love. He mark
ed the slow turning of her flaxen hall
Into sunny gold and mouth by month
watched Joyfully the deepening of that
gold Into warm shades of brown. She
was to be like her mother! Jan's soul
rejoiced, nnd In his silent way Cum
mins offered up wordless prayers of
So matters stood at Post Lac Bain
in the beginning of Melissa's ninth
year, wheu up from the south there
came a rumor.
Rumor grow Into rumor. From the
east, the south and the west they mul
tiplied, until on all sides the I'uul Re
veres of the wilderness carried news
that the lied Terror was at their heels,
nnd the chill of a great fear swept like
a shivering wind from tho edge of civ
llizutlon to the bay.
Nineteen years before these samo ru
mors had come up from the south, and
the Red Terror hnd followed. The hor
ror of it still remained with the forest
people, for u thousand unmarked
graves, shunned like a pestilence and
scattered from tho lower waters of
James bay to the lake country of the
Athabasca, gave evidence of the toll It
From DuBrochet, on Reindeer lake,
authentic word first came to Lac
Balu early in the winter. Henderson
was factor there, and he passed up the
warning that hnd come to hlra from
Nelson House and the country to the
"There's smallpox on the Nelson," his
messenger informed Williams, "nnd It
has struck the Crees an Wollaston lake,
God only knows what it Is doing to the
bay Indians, but we hoar that it Is wlp
ing out the Chlppewayans between the
Albany and the Churchill." He left
the same day with his winded dogs.
"I'm off for the Frenchmen to the west
with tho compliments of our company,"
Three days Inter word came from
Churchill that nil of tho company's
servants and her majesty's subjects
west of the bay should prepare tbera
Belves for tho coming of tho Red Terror.
WlUiams' thick face went as wblto ns
tho paper ho held as he rend the words
of tho Churchill factor.
"It means dig graves," ho said,
"That's tho only preparation we can
He rend tho paper aloud to the men
nt Lac Bain, and every available man
was detailed to spread the warning
throughout the post's territory. There
was a quick harnessing of dogs, and on
each sledge that went out was a roll of
rail cot tor
Jan went over tho Churchill trail
and then swung southward along the
Hnsabala, where the country was
crisscrossed with trap lines of the
hnlfbrecds and the French. First ho
struck tho cabin of Crolsset and his 1
wife nnd left part of his cloth. Then ,
he turned westward, while Crolsset
harnessed his dogs nnd harried with a
qunrter of the roll to the south. Be
tween the llnsabnln and Klokol lake
Jan found three other cabins, and at
each he left n bit of the red cotton.
Forty miles to the south, somewhere
on the Porcupine, he found the cabin
of Henry Lnnglols, the post's greatest
Over It, hanging limply to n snpllng
pole, was the red slgnnl of horror.
With n terrified cry to the dogs, Jan
ran back, nnd the team turned about
nnd followed him In a tangled mass.
Then he stopped. There was no
smoke rising from tho clay chimney
nn the little cabin. Its one window
was whlto with frost. Agnln nnd
again he shouted, but no sign of llfo
responded to his cries. Ho tired his
rifle twice nnd wnlted with his mlt
tened hand over his mouth nnd nos
trils. There was no reply. Then,
abandoning hope, he turned back Into
tho north nnd gave his dogs no rest
until he hnd reached Lac Bain.
His team came In half dead. Both
Cummins and William rushed out to
meet nlm as he drove up before the
"The red ring i over Lnnglols'
cabin I" be cried
"I Bred my rltle and shouted Thero
ts no life! Lnnglols is dead!'
"Great Godl" gronned Williams.
His red face changed to a sickly
pallor, nnd he stood with his thick
hands clinched while Cummins took
charge of the dogs nnd Jnn went Into
the store for something to eat
Mukee and Per-ee returned to the
post the next day. Young Williams
followed close after them, (Hied with
terror. He had found the plague I
among the Crees of the Wnterfound. J
Each day nddod to the gloom at I.nc i
Kaln. Death leaped from cabin to 1
cabin In the wilderness to the west
By the middle of the month Lac
Bain wns hemmed In by the plague
on all sides but the north.
The post's trap lines had been short
ened; now they were abandoned en
tirely, and the great fight began. Wil
liams assembled bis men and told them
how that same battle had been fought
nearly two decades before. For sixty
miles about the post every cabin and
wigwam that floated a red flag must be
visited and burned if the occupants
were dead. In learning whether life
or death existed In these places lay the
peril for those who undertook the task.
It wns h dangerous mission. It meant
facing n death from which those who
listened to the old factor shrank with
dread, yet when the call came they re
sponded to a man.
Cummins and Jnn ate their last sup
per together, with Mellsse sitting be
tween them and wondering at their si
lence. When It was over the two went
"Mukee wasn't nt the store," said
Cummins in n thick, strained voice,
halting Jan In the gloom behind the
cabin. "Williams thought be wns off
to the south with his dogs. But he
isn't. 1 saw him drag himself into his
shnck like a sick dog an hour before
dusk. There'll be a red flag over Lac
Bain In the morning."
Jan stifled the sharp cry on his lips.
"Ab. there's a light!" cried Cum
mins. "It's a pitch torch burning in
front of his door!"
He gripped Jan's arm In a sudden
spasm of horror. "The flag Is up
now!" be whispered huskily. "Go
back to Mellsse. There ts food In the
bouse for a month and you can bring
tbe wood In tonight Bnr the door.
Open only the buck window for air.
Stay Inslde-wlth ber-unUI It ts all
To the red tings, that is where I
will go!" cried Jan fiercely, wrenching
his arm free. "It Is yonr plnce to
stay with Mellsse!"
"My place Is with tbe men."
"And mine?" Jnn drew himself up
"One of us must shut himself up
with her," pleaded Cummins. "It must
be you." Ills face gleamed white In
the darkness. "You came that nlgbt
because Mellsse was here. Some
thing sent you something don't you
understand V And since then she has
never been near to death until now.
You must stay with Mellsse with
your violin T'
"Melissa berself shall choose," re
plied Jan. "We will go into the cabin,
nnd the one to whom she comes first
goes among tbe red lings. The other
shuts himself in tbe cabin until tho
plague is gone."
o turned swiftly back to tbe door.
As be opened It he stepped aside to
let Cummins enter first, nnd behind
the other's broad back ho leaped quick
ly to one side, his eyes glowing, bis
white teeth gleaming in n smile. Un
seen by Cummins, he stretched out bis
arms to Mellsse, who was playing with
tbe strings of bis violin on tbe table.
He bad done this a thousand times,
and Mellsse knew what it meant a kiss
and a joyous toss halfway to the cell
ing. She Jumped from ber stool and
ran to him.
"1 am going down among the sick
Crees In Cummins' place," said Jan to
Williams half an hour later. "Now
that tbe plague has come to Lac Bain,
he must stay with Mellsse."
THK next morning Jan struck out
over his old trait to tbe Hasa
bnla. Tbe Crees were gone.
He spent a day swinging east
and west and fonnd old trails leading
Into tho north.
"They have gone up among the Bskl.
mos," ha said to himself. "Ah. Kazan,
what In the name of tbe saints ts
The leading dog dropped upon bis
haunches with a menacing growl aa a
lone figure staggered across tbt snow
toward them. It was Crolsset With
a groan, he dropped upon the sledge.
"I am sick and starving," be walled.
"The fiend himself has gal Into my
cabin, and for three days I've bad
notblng but snow and a raw whisky
"Hick I" cried Jan. drawing a etep
away from nlm.
"Yes, sick from as empty belly, and
ttls, and this!" He showed a fore
arm dona up In a bloody rag and point
ed to bis neck, from which tbe skin
was peeling. "1 was gone ten days
with thnt red cloth you gove me, and
when I came back, If there wasn't the
horror Itself grinning at me from the
lop of my own shautyl I tried to get
in. but my wife barred tbe door nnd
snld that she would shoot me if 1
didn't get back Into the woods. 1
tried to steal In at night through a
window, and she drenched me in hot
water. 1 built n wigwam at the edge
ot tbe forest, and stayed there for five
days. Rongrcel Blessed antnts. I had
no matches, no grub; and when I got
close enough to yell these things to
her she kept her word and plunked
m thronch a erack in tho door, so
that t lost a pint of blood from this
"I'll give yon something to eat,"
laughed Jan, undoing bis pack. "How
long has the red flag been up?"
"I've lost all count of time, but Ifa
twelve days, If an hour, and I swear
It's going to take all winter to get It
"It's not tho plague. Go back nnd
tell your wife so." But Crolsset said
he would go to Lac Bain.
Jnn left him beside a good Are and
turned Into the southwest to burn
Langlols and his cabin. Then be con
tinued westward. At the head of the
Porcupine he found tho remains ot
three burned wigwams, and from one
of them he dug out charred bones.
Crolsset reached the post forty-eight
hours after he had encountered Jnn.
"The red flag Is everywhere!" he
cried, cnti'blnu i"ht of the signal over
Jan Burned Langloia and Hla Cabin.
Mukce's cabin. "It Is to tbe east and
west of the llasabaln as thick as Jays
A Cree from the Gray Otter drove
In on his way north. "Six wigwams
with dead in them," he reported In his
own language to Williams. "A com
pnny man, with a one eyed leader and
four trailers, left the Gray Otter to
burn them." Wllllnms took down his
birch bark moose born and bellowed n
weird signal to Cnmmlns, who opened
n crack of bis door to listen, with Me
llsse close beside him.
"Tboreau Is In the thick of It to tho
south," he called. "There's too much
of It for blm, and I'm going down
with the dogs. Crolsset will stay In
tbe store for a few days."
The days brought quick changes
now. One morning tbe moose born
called Cummins to the door. It was
the fifth day after Williams bad gone
"There was no smoke this morning,
and I looked through the window,"
shouted Crolsset. "Mukee and the old
man are both dead. I'm going to burn
A stifled groan of anguish fell from
Cummins' lips as he went like a dazed
man to his cot nnd flung himself fnco
downward upon It. Mellsse could see
his strong framo slinking ns if be were
crying llko a child, and, twining her
arms tightly about his neck, she sob
bed out ber passionate grief against
bis rough cheek.
The next morning wben Cummins
went to awaken tor bis face went as
white as death. Mellsse was not
asleep. Her eyes were wide open and
staring at blm. and her soft cheeks
burned with the hot glow of Ore.
"You nre sick, Mellsse," he whisper
ed hoarsely, "You are slckl"
He fell upon his knees beside ber
and lifted ber face In his bands. The
tonch of It sent n chill to his heart
such as he bad not felt since years
ago. In that other room a few steps
"I want Jnn," she pleaded. "1 want
Jan to come back to me!"
"I will send for him, dear. He will
come back soon, I will go out sod
He bid his face from ber as be drag
ged himself away. Crolsset saw blm
coming and came out of the store to
meet him. A hundred yards away
"Crolsset, for the love of God, take
a team and go after Jan Thoreau," be
called. "Tell him that Mollsse Is dying
of tbe plague. Hurry, hurry I"
"Night and day!" shouted Crolsset
Twenty minutes later from the cab
In window Cnmmlns saw blm start.
"Jan will be here very soon. Me
llsse." be aald. running bis fingers
gently through her hair. Toward
evonlng there came a chnpge. The
fever left the child's cheeks. Her
eyes closed and she foil asleep.
Through tbe night Cummins sat near
the door, but In the gray dawn, over
come by bis long vigil, hla bead drop
ped upon his breast nud he slum
bered. Wben be awoke the cabin was tilled
with light He heard a sound and.
startled, sprang to his feet Mellsse
wus nt the stove building a fire!
"I'm better this morning, father.
Why didn't you sleep until breakfast
was ready r
Cnmmlns stared Then be gave a
Jihont, made a rush for her and. catch
ing ber up In bis arms, danced about
the cabin like a great bear, overturn
Inn th o Ira and aJlowlua the room
to All with smoke In his wild Joy.
"It's wbat you raw through tba win
dow that made yon sick, Mellssel" he
cried, putting her down at last "1
thought" He paused and added, his
voice trembling, "1 thought you were
going to be sick for more than one
day, my sweet little woman!"
He opened one of the windows to let
In the fresh air of the morning.
When Crolsset returned be did not
And a red flag over Cummins' cabin,
nor did be bring word of Jan. For
three days he hnd followed the trails
to the south without finding the boy.
But be brought back other news. Wil
liams was sick with tbe plague In a
Cree wigwam on tbe lower Porcupine.
It wns the Inst they ever beard of tbe
factor, except that he died some time
In March and was burned by the
Crolsset went back ever the Church
Ill trail and found bis wife ready to
'root blm with open arms. After thnt
ho Joined Per-ee, who came In from
the north, in another search for Jan.
They found neither trace nor word of
blm after passing the Gray Otter, and
Cummins gnve up hope.
It wns not for long thnt their fears
could be kept from Mellsse. This first
bitter grief that bod come Into her
life fell upon her with a force which
alarmed Cummins and cast him Into
deep gloom. With growing despair
Cummins saw his own efforts fall.
As tho dnys passed Mellsse mingled
more nnd more with the Indian and
half breed children nnd spent much of
her time nt the company's store, listen
ing to the talk of the men, sllont, at
tentive, unresponsive to any efforts
they might tnnke to engage her smiles.
From her own henrt she looked out
tipou a world that bad become a void
for her. Jan bad been mother, brother
nnd everything thnt was tender nnd
sweet to her. and be was gone. Mukee,
whom she had loved, wns gone. Wll
llnms wns gone. The world wns
changed, terribly and suddenly, nnd It
added years to her perspective of
F.ach day, ns the weeks went on and
the spring sun begun to soften the
snow, sho became a little more like
tbe wild children at Lac Bntn and in
the forest They were eating dinner
one day in tbe early spring, with the
sunshine flooding in upon them, when
a quick, low footfall caused Mellsse
to lift her eyes In the direction of the
open door. A strnnge figure stood
there, with bloodless face, staring eyes
and garments banging In tatters, but
its arms were stretched out, as those
snme arms bad been held out to her a
thousand times before, nnd, with the
old glad cry, Mellsse darted with tbe
swiftness of a sun shadow beyond
"Jnn, Jan; my Jan!"
Words choked In Cummins' throat
wben be saw the white fnced figure
clutching Mellsse to Its breast
At last he gasped "Jan!" and threw
out his arms, so that both were caught
In their embrace.
For nn Instant Jan turned bis face
up to the light The other stared and
"You have been sick." be snld. "but
it has left no marks."
"Thank God!" breathed Jan.
Peace followed In tbe blighted trails
of the Red Terror. Again tho forest
world brenthed without fear, but from
Hudson's bay to Athabasca and as far
south as the thousand waters of the
Reindeer country the winds whispered
of n terrible grief that would remain
until babes were men nnd men went to
The plague had taken a thousand
souls, and yet the laughing, dancing
"Jan, Jam my Janl"
millions In that other big world beyond
tbe edge of the wilderness caught only
a passing rumor of what bad hap
pened. Lac Bain suffered least of the far
northern posts, with tbe ezceptiou of
Churchill, where thelcy winds, down
pouring from the arctic, bod sent the
Red Terror shivering to the west
ward. In the late snows word came
thnt Cummins was to take Williams'
place as factor, and Per-ee at once et
ff for the Fond du Lac to bring back
Jean da Gravols as "chief man." Croh
set gave up his foi bunting to All Mu
The changes brought new happiness
to Mellsae. Crolsaet's wife was a good
woman who had spent ber girlhood In
Montreal, and lownka, now the mother
of a fire eating little Jenu and a hand
some daughter, was n soft voiced
young Venca, who hnd grown sweeter
and prettier with her venni. whlcb Is
not usually tbe case with half breed
"But It's good blood In ber. beautiful
blood." vaunted Jean proudly whev
ever the opportunity came. "Her moth
er was a princess and her father a
pure Frenchman wfeaee father's father
was a chef de batatllon. Wbat better
than that, eh? I say, wbat better could
there be than that?"
Bo, for tbe flrat time In ber life, Me
Ihwe discovered the joys of companion
ship with those of her own kind.
This new companionship, pleasant as
It was, did not come between her and
Jan. If anything they were mora to
each other than ever,
Bhe no longer looked upon Jan as a
mere playmate, n being whose diver
sion was to amnse and to love her.
Ho had become a man. In her eyes he 1
was a hero who had gono forth to fight
the death of which she still heard
woru anu wnisper all about hor. Crols
set's wife and lowakn told her that he
had done the bravest thing that a man
might do on earth.
Together thoy resumed their studies,
devoting hours to them ench day, and
through nil that summer he taught
her. to piny upon his violin. The warm
months were a time of Idleness at Lnc
Bain, and Jan made tho most of them
In his teaching of Mellsse. She learn
ed to read tho books which ho bad used
nt Fort Churchill, and by midsummer
she could read those which be bad
used nt York factory. At night they
wrote letters to each other and deliv
ered them across tho tnble In tho cab
In, while Cummins looked on and
smoked, laughing happily nt wbat tbey
read aloud to blm.
One night, late enough In the season
for a fire to be crackling merrily In the
stove, Jan was reading one of these
letters when Mellsse cried:
"Stop, Jan-stop there!"
Jan caught himself, nnd he blushed
mightily when ho rend tbe next lines:
" '1 think you have beautiful eyes.
I love them.' "
"What Is It?" cried Cummins Inter
estedly. "Rend on, Jan."
"Don't!" commanded Mellsse, spring
ing to her feet nnd running around
the tnble. "1 didn't mean you to read
She snatched the paper from Jan's
hand nnd threw It Into the lire.
Jan's blood filled with pleasure, nnd
at the bottom of bis next letter he
"1 think you have beautiful hair. I
That winter Jnn was appointed post
hunter, nnd this gnve him much time
at home, for meat was plentiful nlong
the edge of the Barrens. The two con
tinued at their hooks until they came
to the end of what Jan knew In them.
After that, like searchers In strnnge
places, they felt their way onward,
slowly nnd with caution. During the
next summer they labored through all
the books which were In the Uttlo box
in the corner of tho cabin.
It was Mellsse who now played most
on the violin. Ono day she looked
curiously Into the F-hole of the In
strument, and her pretty mouth puck
ered Itself Into a round, red "0" of
astonishment when Jan quickly snatch
ed the violin from ber bands.
"Excuse me. my pretty Mellsse." he
laughed at ber In French. "1 am go
ing to play you something new."
That same day he took the little
cloth covered roll from the violin and
gave it nnotber hiding place.
Every fiber of his being sang in Joy
ful response as he watched Mellsse
pass from childhood into young girl
hood. To him Mellsse wns growing
Into everything thnt wns beautiful.
She was his world, bis life, and at
Post Lac Bain there was nothing to
come between tbe two. Jan noticed
thnt In her thirteenth year she could
barely stand under his outstretched
urm. The next year she bad grown so
tall that she could not stand there nt
all. Very soon she would be a wo
man. CHAPTER VIII.
IT was on the girl's llfteenth birth
day. They had come up to the top
of the ridge on which be had
fought the missionary, to gather
red sprigs of tho bakneesh for tbe fes
tival that they were to have In the
cabin that nlgbt High up on tbe fnce
of n Jagged rock Jan saw a bit of the
crimson vino thrusting Itself out Into
the sun, and, with Mollsse laughing
and encouraging him from below, he
climbed up until he had secured it
He tossed It down to her.
"It's the last one." she cried, seeing
his disadvantage, "nnd I'm going home.
You can't catch me."
Jan slackened bts steps. It wns a
Joy to see Mellsse springing from rock
to rock and darting across the tbln
openings close ahead of blm. ber hair
loosening and sweeping out In tbe sun.
ber slender figure fleeing with the light
ness of the pale sun sbndows that ran
up and down the mountain.
He would not have overtaken ber of
his own chooslug. but at the foot of
the ridge Mellsse gave up. Never had
tie seen her so beautiful, still daring
him with her laugh, quivering and
panting, flinging back her hair. Half
reaching out his nrms, be cried:
"Mellsse. you nre beautiful you are
almost a woman! If you did your hair
up like the pictures we have in the
books you would be a woman," be an
swered softly. "You are more beauti
ful than the pictures!"
"You say that 1 nm pretty and thnt
I nm almost n woman." she pouted,
"and yet"- She shrugged her shoul
ders nt blm In mock disdain. "Jan
Thorenii. this Is the third time in the
lost veok thnt you have not played
the game right 1 won't play with
you any more!"
In s flash he wns at her side, ber
face between his two bands, nnd,
bending down, be kissed ber upou tbe
"There." she said ns he released her.
I "Isn't that the way we nave played it
ever since I can remember? Whenever
you catch me you tuny have that."
"I am afraid, Mellsse," he said se
riously. "Yon nre growing so tall aud
so pretty that 1 nm afraid."
"Afraid! My brother afraid to kiss
met And wbat will you do when I
get to be a woman, Jan, which will be
very soon, you say?"
"I don't know, Mellsse."
She turned her bnck to him and
flung out her hair, and Jan, who hnd
done this sumo thing for her a, hun
dred times before, divided tbe silken
mass Into three strnuds and plaited
them Into a brntd.
"I don't believe thnt you care for ma
aa much as you used to, Jan. I wish
I were a wotunn. so that I might
know If you aro going to forget me
Her shouhters trembled, and wben
he bad flnUbeej hla task be fonnd that
be was laughing and that her eyes
wero swimming with a new mischief
which skf was trying to hide from
mm. in mm. iuuku iucib was som
fninff wnpn wni nnr uirn ma
.1 viiuua 1.1:1.. it liuu u . .it i.uk. a 1 . 1 1 1 1
llko n new song within him.
... .1 . I 1 II..
ho met Jean do Gruvols.
UICSAUU Blllllin, UJflll, UUb .13 ilUC II
grow ns more beautiful every day
"Yes," said Jan. "She will soon be
"A woman!" shouted .Tenn, who. n
having his caribou whip, Jumped
and down to emphasize bis word
sny, Jan Tborenu? And If she Is not
Wnmilil n , ,UntH H.I.I. ...... jihtMMn
uuu niTiiii 1 1 nr. Ik n n 11 MWI PI IV
she be, I ask you?"
"I meant Mellsse." laughed Jan.
mi.-.Mv lununu. BU1M .eo
He hopped out like n cricket overbu
dened with life, calling loudly to h
" (iiii vniiii: lu luireL mm. jiiiu hi
1 e .. 1. a 1 .
Ing to Jan:
j u itiu . 11 1111. mil. h 1111 n
nas got for you."
The big room was empty when Jn
tie stopped to listen nnd caucrht
faint laugh from the other room an
then another, and to glvo warnlnc
his prcsenco ho coughed loudly an
mn rn rrw1 n .(,n t .... a. t. r .
wiup, ana Mellsse enmo out.
tin l t. iit.a. -a .l. . .
ll Pl1rK nklnl Mrmn,. I
... VWu J i. TV 1UUU
her hair piled In glistening colls upo
the crown of her head as they had see
them In the pictures, her cheeks flusl
ed. her eyes glowing questlonlnglv
seen you, Mellsse." be replied softly.
"If I am prettier and you like m
this way, why don't you"
I 1. 1 - T I . . ,
uv... muftiuu), .kjf null UtJT 1
hlu nemo nn1 Mtrnnil V. r. 1 1 I. u,
I. .1 ,a him nvnu Vi . . nM J .... L
he freed her, a hot blush burning
bis brown cheeks.
"My dear brother!" she laughed
blm, gathering up the bnkneesh on tb
.tin iwn "11 I V lu UIUKQ J UU I1U I
Father kisses me every morning whe
he goes to the store. I remember whe
roll nsed to kiss mn nan Hm rn
it at all. Do brothers love their sister
less as they grow older?"
"Sometimes they love the sister les
and tbe other girl more. Mellsse," cam
a uivn rune iiuuj luc uuur. nuu .itsa
Hsse until his head nearly touched th
line kmr in 11 wc 1 111 it 11 . 1 1 1 h risi inv inw
ka told me!"
1 UN I m iirriiii v 111 nvH. .itHn. rrir
I....LI .. A.J 1 I
the books which Jan and T read."
"And I always shall be, ray dear.'
.VI II II HIT HUH Wl IITfr Ilfl
bend, still laughing.
"I will go to see her. Jean."
1 K1VB UU U1V UVHL VT 13 UBB. JUU J. U
reau? Does it signify?"
niuuucu nuuut'uij mai tici iu
mrn n inrn t n nrnnrR inrn m nr n ru
uiiuiuc dim niuuu ma ti u jjuwcit w
movement bad cone from him.
nn unexpected blow.
J II II 1UUIITUU. M IliailLTPIl .1BI1I1 Ufa
ly. "have you forgotten that it was
I I - I 1 1 .1 . I J 1 M
Mini iiiruuKii an or ineae Tears ,iea
aooui we iikiu on me mountain rop
t n viii- iD uuj ua 1 UK w ca u iirj ix ui
itu Bin. UUV.LI uihiusilu iimi. nm iiii
IllLUt'U nilt?llLl V UULU I I1R III Illr lllLt
hi hnflri Tlinlr Arna mat- etnnrl tin
mm' 11 1 iic it riti in niiir ion if i tinrp wtfr
ill ikii 11 111111 inn nk 11 nr nil iiiiu 1 11
1111 ( rin mi nlm nn itMitM.'ii Tiit iiiiit
over to Jean de Gravols.
"Mv emir" uniri in.'in w pn qb na
U'nrrid iv 1 in rnnnn i ut iwu mtf
Ulllt .Mt'lisse IM1 uoiic ui Her imii.
. . 1 1 . .... 1
"1 tllllltTMIilllll. It lllltU u l a 11 III U III
Uou the Ice of I.ae Haln!"
"1111 II1M III HIT. I ITN Kll'n .11111. ' Ill
other, which sava thnt 1"
nroumi tne mine aim HP.zea
nnnriH m im irnn urm 111 uia iilii
iiruwii iiiiiLTi. .a 1111 l in niiutirinuiM u
i nn in inrLi'L. il iiiM.iiia iiwl iiiiik u u l
know but you nnd me?"
If rtllauik unit It at nth Of fihft.11 1 ft trtinu
but I waited too long. I waited until
wiih nil-nil iiiiiii nil, iKirnir 1,1 ihiiiii
I t V. ...I ...a I nwwt ... ...... I
today on the mountulu"
ajiu luun.) ill una I'liiuu yoii wii
deep that It will never come back.
you, and It Is the first time that Jeai
de Uravols has ever said this to
man. Ab, I bear them coming!"
Afian m bm u i iyii 1 nniv in ina nisMBjann