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Roanoke Rapids herald. [volume] (Roanoke Rapids, N.C.) 1931-1948, December 12, 1935, Feature Section, Image 17

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CAUGHT IN THE WILD
By ROBERT AMES BENNET
WNP Service _Copyright by Robert Arne. Bonnet
SYNOPSIS
Ag Alan Garth, prospector, Is pre
paring to leave for his mining claim
In the Far North, a plane lands at
tha airways emergency station. In
It are Burton Ramill, millionaire
mining magnate; his daughter, Lil
ith; and Vivian Huxby, pilot and
mining engineer. Believing him to
be only an ignorant prospector, the
men offer to make an air trip to
Garth's claim, although they refer
to his samples of platinum-bearing
ore as nearly "worthless.” Lilith
Ramill, product of the jazz age,
plainly shows her contempt for
Garth. Through Garth’s guidance the
plane soon reaches the claim site.
Huxby and Ramill, after making
several tests, assure Garth his claim
is nearly valueless, but to "encour
age” young prospectors they are
willing to take a chance in investing
a small amount. Sensing treachery
ahead, Garth secretly removes a part
from the plane’s motor. Huxby and
Lilith taunt Garth with his “gulli
bility,” but their tone changes when
they try to start the crippled plane.
Returning to shore they try to force
Garth to give up the missing part.
Garth manages to set the monoplane
adrift and the current carries it over
the falls. He points out to the en
raged trio that he is their only hope
in guiding them out of the wilder
ness. Garth begins the work of pre
paring for the long journey. He In
sists that the others help. Ramill
and his daughter must be hardened
for the hardships ahead in their toil
some trek to the outpost on the
Mackenzie.
CHAPTER IV—Continued
"That depends, sir. Perhaps I
did not wish to part company with
you so soon. Over at the river, I
could of course have Invited my
self to fly out to Fort Smith with
you. But that would hardly have
given us time to get acquainted.
As it Is, in the weeks of close com
panionship to come we may even
learn to be friends.”
Mr. Bamill frowned. “Is that a
taunt, or maudlin sob stuff?”
“Neither.”
“Then what’s your game? If you
think, after marooning us here in
these d—d wilds you can win our
friendship or gratitude by guiding
us out, you’re a sadly mistaken
young man.”
Garth agreed. “It would be a
stupid mistake to expect anything
decent of you or your daughter or
Huxby. But think what fun I’ve al
ready had, facing that pistol and
telling Huxby he dared not use it.”
“Fun? You must be crazy I”
“Not at all. I had him sized up.
The game was to let him think he
had me trapped, then give him the
laugh.”
The big man chewed on this.
"That’s clear enough But why
wreck the plane? Will your next
joke be to walk off and leave us to
starve?”
“Does it look that way? Two
moose make a deal of eating.”
As Garth spoke, he pointed ahead
at the red chunks on the spruce
branches. Almost at the same in
stant his rifle jerked up. The sec
ond shot was followed by a snarling
squall. The squall shrilled into a
shriek that nipped off into silence.
When Mr. Ramill rather hesitat
ingly followed Garth to the hang
ing legs of moose, he saw a three
foot, stub-tailed wildcat with black
tufted ears lying under a torn shoul
der of moose meat. A second cat,
slightly larger, had leaped several
yards away before dropping.
Garth drew his knife. "Only a
pair of lynx. Not much for two
shots. We haven’t any cartridges
to throw away. But we can use the
skins, and the meat will make a
change from moose."
He flayed the bodies, bagged the
best cuts of meat in the skins, and
hung them high. The next move
was to see if Mr. Ramill could
pack the hide of the cow moose.
He made a game attempt to walk
oft under it, but at once began to
stagger. Garth relieved him of the
load, and in place of It gave him
«ma of the baeeed lynx akfte
himself bagged one of the bull
moose quarters In the cowhide and
heaved It upon his back.
They came back to the camp, with
Mr. Ramlll panting and sweating.
Garth swung lightly ahead of him.
He slipped off his heavy pack and
stood look'ng at the idle couple on
the rill bank. They had eaten their
fill of liver, and stretched out to
rest. No smoke was rising from
the embers of the smudge-fire. Files
were beginning to cluster on the
moose tongues and other meat.
The girl met his look with con
temptuous indifference. Huxby
stared with bloodshot hostility from
between his swollen eyelids.
Instead of speaking to the couple
Garth addressed the girl’s father
as he relieved him of the lynx pack:
‘‘As I remember, sir, I told Miss
Ramill she could cook on the
smudge-fire If she kept It going. I
will say now that I do not Intend
to shoot any more meat until use
Is made of what we have. There
are none too many rifle cartridges.
If the three of you prefer rotten,
maggoty meat, I’ll go you to the
last mouthful. I’ve lived for weeks
at a time on spoiled fish and rotten
walrus.”
xiuxDy a face and neck were as
swollen and sore as If covered with
bolls. His temper was no less sore.
“You’re the one who put us In
this fix, you wood louse!”
Garth gave him a pitying look.
“That’s the fly venom talking. No
cool, calculating schemer in his right
senses would ask for trouble when
his hands were tied. I might point
out, however, that the venom was
due to your haste in trying to
—uh — appropriate my discovery
claim.”
“That’s a lie. You cast the
plane adrift. I was stung while try
ing to save It. Curse the luck 1 I
came within an ace of reaching the
snagged line. Almost had it, when
the plane dragged It loose and went
down over those hellish falls!”
“I might remind you that you
ordered me to cast off the line—at
the point of your pistol.”
The thrust proved too much for
Huxby. He sat silent. Garth went
on with his quiet argument:
“All that is now past history.
We’re more concerned with the
present and future. Mr. Ramill has
shown common sense by facing the
facts of the situation. He has fallen
into line. The question Is, do you
and Miss Ramill throw in with us,
or do you go on your own? If with
us, I’m to be chief. How about it?”
Huxby had cooled down enough
to see the point. “You win. I join
up.”
Miss Ramill looked puzzled and a
bit alarmed. “What’s the great idea,
Vivian?”
“Very simple, my dear. He has
the whip hand. He is boss. We
must obey his orders, or we’ll never
get back to civilization.”
“Oh I The despicable coward—”
She met Garth’s cool gaze and fell
silent.
He nodded. "You’ll begin by re
building that fire. After that you’ll
cook the other liver for your fa
ther and yourself. You will then
start graining the hair off the
moosehide while Huxby and your
father go back for more meat.”
“I will do no such thing 1”
“Very well. That means you get
no moccasins to replace your boots
when those flimsy soles wear
through on the rocks.”
She flared: “Gallant Sir Gala
had 1”
“Leave her be, Garth,” her fa
ther interposed. “I’ll tend the fire
and scrape the skins.”
“No. Lie down. Whenever you
work, it’s to be on your feet. We
must build up both your wind and
your muscle. Huxby, I’ll ask you to.
fetch that pot and the gold pan.”
The mining engineer rose and
started up towards the trough with
out a word of Inquiry or protest.
Miss Raujill’s eyes widened. She
gazed wonderingly from him to her
father. Mr. Ramill had no less obe
diently laid down as ordered.
Garth ignored the girl. He chopped
deep notches In the trunks of the
food cache birch trees, about seven
feet high. He then cut saplings to
span across from tree to tree, with
ends wedged in the notches. The
next move was to fetch a number of
alder poles.
When he returned, smoke was
blowing up to drive the (lies from
the moose tongues and muffles. Miss
Ramill had rebuilt the smudge-fire
and taken down the liver, ready
for slicing.
Huxby came back from the dis
covery stake with the gold pan and
little aluminum pot. He stared in
surprise at sight of Miss Ramill
cooking the liver. She shrugged
her slim shoulders and drew back
from the fire to give one spit to
her father. After that she silently
offered the other to Garth.
inanK you, ne said. "i,et me
suggest that you now fill the gold
pan with water and slice into it
one of the muffles. They don’t look
promising. But If simmered for a
day or two, a single moose muzzle
will give us several delicious meals
of what might be called aspic jelly.”
This won no sign of Interest from
the girl. She was no longer hungry.
Garth ignored her silence.
“After starting that dish, you may
cook as much more of the liver as
your father can eat. He will keep
on resting while Huxby and 1 go
for another load of moose meat.”
He unbuckled his pack, slung the
pack-board on his back, and picked
up hi^ rifle and belt-ax. Huxby
trailed after him out of camp. They
walked in Indian file all the way
around to the muskeg swamp, Hux
by with his gaze fixed coldly upon
the back of his leader.
At the swamp Garth cut a tote
pole and passed It through the
tendons of two hindquarters of
moose. The remaining quarter he
strapped to his pack-board. He
folded the second lynx skin for
Huxby to use as a shoulder pad.
Upon It the mining engineer rested
his end of the tote-pole.
Though Garth had no pad, he
stood up with the moose quarter on
his back and lifted his end of the
pole to his shoulder. But he was
accustomed to packing. He bore
the meat on his pack-board and his
half of the two quarters on the pole
with as little difficulty as Huxby
toted the other end of the pole.
When the reached the camp Miss
Ramill and her father were out
gathering wood. At one end of the
fire, thick smoke was rising from
green sticks and leaves; at the
other end, the pan of sliced muffle
was boiling hard. After he and
Huxby had lifted the moose quar
ters upon the rack, Garth brought
water In the aluminum pot and
cooled down the stew to simmering
heat. Miss Ramill had much to
learn about the culinary art.
After the meal Garth glanced at
the red after-glow of sunset
“Mr. Ramill, the leanto and blan
ket are for you and your daughter.
Huxby can take the lee side of the
fire. I’ll keep It going. Turn in
whenever you please.”
A yawn surprised Lilith Ramill
Into a mocking laugh. She turned
to her swollen-faced fiance.
“What a howling farce, Vivian 1
Can you Imagine me going to roost
at sunset, Instead of sunrise?”
Huxby forced a smile and felt at
a particular sore cluster of bites on
the back of his neck. Mr. Ramill
cast a wistful glance towards the
leanto.
I presume, Liiirn, you win prerer
not to share the hut with me. Per
haps I can manage out here beside
the fire, like Vivian.”
“No,” Garth differed. “You’ll sleep
under that blanket until you have
hardened Into shape, and you’ll turn
In now. It’s been a big day for
you.”
The girl bridled. "How about my
wishes—and the proprieties?"
“We’ll leave that to you,” Garth
replied. “Jf you consider It im
proper to share the blanket with
your father, you’re welcome to sit
up and help me grain these moose
hides.”
Lilith Ramili was no less com
pletely outmaneuvered than the en
gineer. She spoke to her father:
“Well, I must say, Dad, if you’re
letting him order you around, I re
fuse to stay up and slave all night.
Come on.”
He crept a'fter her into the brush
leanto. Garth at once set to mak
ing more catgut. Huxby had gath
ered a thin padding of spruce tips
and moss at the far side of the fire
and lay down. Like the girl and
her father, he soon fell asleep.
After finishing his first task,
Garth tended the fire and added wa
ter to ttie simmering muffle stew.
He next began graining the hair
from the moose bull hide. He could
have stretched out and gone to sleep
no less readily than had the che
chahcos. On the other hand, he
was able to keep awake as long as
he wished. He scraped steadily at
the coarse moose hair, the while
his ears drank in the voices of the
Wild.
By the time the sun glared over
the jagged crests on the northeast
wall of the valley, Garth had the
hair grained from both the moose
hides. As he started to cut Into the
larger skin, Miss Ramill crawled
from the leanto.
She blinked and yawned, straight
ened her rumpled sports skirt, and
sat down to lace her boots. He gave
her a friendly good morning.
“Good? Pah!” she scoffed. "1
feel like the morning after. Here
I am flat. Not a drop of anything
for a bracer; no bath; no-clothes
or face cream or lotions; no make
up ! Not even a cigarette! Yet yon
have the face to gibe me about it!”
At that, he could not resist giv
ing her the old quip: “Cheer up;
the worst is yet to come.”
She ignored it to point at the
simmering muffle In' the gold
pan. “Look at that filthy mess;
half full of ashes. If you had a
spark of decency, you’d throw it
out and warm me a pan of water
for my face and hands.”
He finished the cutting of a moc
casin piece before he replied; “In
the first place, I’m too busy per
forming needle work to act as
lady’s maid. In the second place,
that muffle Is not filthy. You’ll say
it’s the most delicious aspic you
ever tasted. About the rest, douse
your head In the rill. That will
give you a combined wash and
bracer. If you wish a smoke, there’s
the fire. For cosmetics, I’ll soon be
making up a batch of grease
and pitch mosquito dope. My final
dose of frogite went on too thin to
last long.”
She looked her disgust. “Grease
and pitch I When I have a head
net?”
“Soon as we start traveling
through brush it’s a question which
will go first, your net or your stock
ings. Dope doesn’t snag on branches,
and you’ll find It a better cosmetic
than rouge and powder.”
“Ugh! If I use your nasty dope
at all, it will be on my legs.”
“No go. You’ll be scraping
against rocks and running upon
snags. Won’t have any knees left
If you try the Highland style. How
about those lynx skins for leg
gings, along with moose moccasins?”
For the first time since they had
met, the girl gave him a genuinely
friendly smile. “That’s decent of
you, Alan. How soon can you make
them?”
l-ue me a sieaa oil mat nearest
leg of moose. While you’re cooking
it, I’ll see what can be done.”
When she returned the knife and
started to broil the great slab of
meat she had sliced off, he laid out
a pair of lynx skins. A few knife
strokes cut off the great hair-padded
paws and slit the legs into thongs.
When th.e girl brought him his
broiled moose steak, he showed her
how to wrap a skin around each
leg like a high-topped legging, tying
it with the crossed thongs.
“There you are, Miss Ramlll. It’s
a pair of leggings such as our an
cestor vote whep they pirated the
high seas in viking ships and sailed
up the Thames with Henghist and
Horsa.”
Huxby sat up, blinking. The thin
shake-down of moss and spruce tips
had done little to soften the stony
ground. He rubbed his stiffened
back and hips. “Confound those
rocks!"
The engineer looked at the partly
eaten steak in Garth’s hand. “How
about breakfast?”
‘‘Help yourself tp all you want.
Along with your own, you might
broil steaks for Miss Ramill and
her father. Miss Ramill is about
to take a lesson in sewing. She
will soon need a pair of moccasins.”
The last remark checked the girl's
intended refusal. While Huxby sul
lenly cut the three steaks and start
ed to cook them, she carried out
Garth’s suggestion to grease her
lynx skins with a chunk of fat.
wnen uarcn nmsnea ms meaj, ne
threaded a needle with a smoked
catgut and showed the girl how to
sew the thick moosehide. Holes
punched with the awl made the
work fairly easy. Within a few min
utes she caught the knack of han
dling the awl and needle. Though
her stitches were Irregular, they
promised to hold. He cut out the
mate of the first moccasin, and an
other pair smaller in size. ,
Mr. Ramill crawled from the lean
to, stiff, hungry and irritable. But
sleep and the open air had whetted
all appetites. As with the broiled
liver, the three chechahcos—mil
lionaire, mining engineer and fastid
ious heiress—went at the hot meat
with fingers and teeth. They were
down to bedrock—to the funda
mentals of living. All the elegancies
of civilized eating were absent, even
the supposed necessities — forks,
plates, seasonings. Yet the essen
tials remained. They were hungry,
and here was food. It was neither
as tender nor as savory as had
been the liver. None the less, it was
food.
At the end of the meal, Garth
said that the first need was to
fetch in the foreleg of moose. Miss
Ramill rose with her father and
Huxby.
“Sorry,” Garth told her. “Your
father needs all the walking he can
get. Someone must stay to mind
the fire. I might mention there’s a
shallow rock pool a little way along
the bank beyond those alders.
You’ll find the water pleasantly warm
for a dip.”
Huxby took RamiU’s arm and
started off with him after Garth.
They kept In the rear all the way
to the muskeg swamp.
This time, Instead of lynx mates,
a family of wolves were feasting on
the moose meat. At sight of the
men, the whole family bristled and
growled, but started a slow re
treat.
"Shoot, Garth 1” urged Ramill.
“They’re making off.”
“Quite all right,” Garth replied.
“Good thing they’re gorged. I might
have had to waste cartridges
to get rid of them. What I’d like
to know is why they chose this solid
meat, instead of the offal.”
As If in answer to the question,
a snarling growl far deeper than
that of the wolves came from the
border of the muskeg where Garth
had killed the bull moose. Up out
of the thicket reared a huge gray
head. Massive forelegs stroked
apart the willow stems with chisel
like claws eight Inches or more long.
It was a grizzly—a full-grown
ursus horrlbllis. Garth believed the
beast to be as large as those mon
sters of the same breed that ruled
over the southern Rockies and the
Sierras In the early days when In
dians still were armed only with
bows, and the few white hunters
carried only muzzle-loading flint
locks.
xne ears or tne great sne-Dear
were flattened back. Her little pig
eyes glared red. The monstrous
jaws gaped to let out a roar of de
fiance that shook the solid ground.
“Good G—dl” Mr. Ramill gasped.
“A—bear 1”
Huxby gripped Garth’s shoulder.
“Shoot, d—n you I Shoot, or give
me that rifle!’’
(TO BE CONTINUED)

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