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Newspaper Page Text
HOLE IN THE FENCE
By Walter Joseph Delaney.
"The hole in the fence!" murmured
Wade Rayner, in his sleep.
"Poor fellow!" spoke David Rose,
leaning solicitously over his fever
' stricken comrade. "He is thinking
of home dreaming of the dear old
spot we may neither of us ever see
It was a chill, dreary scene, one
calculated to banish the remotest
"Another's!" He Breathed.
suggestion of home and its comforts,
its serenity, its fond strong shelter.
An Alaskan winter held a grim,
frozen landscape locked in the em
brace of pitiless ice and snow. Where
a shelf of rock protruded the two
prospectors had sought refuge the
evening previous ill, half famished,
It had been at the suggestion of
Rose, the older of the two, that his
chosen friend had invested his all
in an outfit and joined him in braving
the rigors of the great Nome trail in
quest of the wonderful gold fields
that were making princes of paupers
Thus far it had been all experiment,
disappointment, vain, fruitless effort.
Three days previous, however, they
had met a sick, crippled miner going
home to die. He told of a partly
developed claim upon the Yukon,
workable the year round. The part
ners ventured their last capital, a
bare five hundred dollars, and had
started out to locate their treasure.
And now for twenty-four hours
poor Wade had been stricken with
fever, delirious a part of the time,
no medicine available, not even a de
But he was dreaming, and the
glories of his fancy kept at bay all
the" grim realities surrounding him.
The hole in the fence ! How it came
back to him the break in the palis
ade at the edge of the home village
that seemed to shut in that little
world to itself. Beyond it was the
great unknown of boyhood's days.
Even when he and Rose had left on
their great adventure, to the broken
barrier May and Ida Woolson had
come. May to kiss kim a sorrowful
goodby, for they were engaged, Ida
to shyly bid Rose good luck as she
promised to write to him.
In the vagaries of delirium that
rude board fence was a frame of
rarest gold for the picture of the
last time Wade had seen the girl he
Rose covered up his restless charge
as best he might. He too was think
ing of his past dreams of the wealth
he would some day lay at the feet
of Ida with his heart's best love..
Moodily as he reflected he watched
the snow begin a new downward
swirl. His soul sickened as he reflect
ed what another foot of snow would
mean in that sterile wilderness.
And then chaos!