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L'Hommldieu afloat, with mud on his
face and a bullet in his skull, Lois,
waiting for him when he poled into
the Little Misery, looked at his knife,
then at his rifle, and finally into his
"I heard only one shot, Was it a
He" nodded, muttering that he, had
missed; but that night she caressed
him, taking his curly head into her
arms, and, wept over him till day
break crimsoned the world.
After 'that they were almost gay.
He notched logs and built a hut and
rammed moss into the cracks. Lois
brought clay from the sweet water,
and cut balsam until her little hands
were stained to the palm.. Twice he
passed the three carrys to the C. P. R.
and hung to a freight as far as Sainte
Croix. He bought salt and porlfand
flour and cartridges with the pro
ceeds of Hale's ring.
S They knew that happiness that is
bred in haunting fear, that fierce,
that .intense love whose roots are
imbedded in terror.
Snow came and Skeene lugged
more deer hides into his hut.
The lake froze and'Bkeene dragged
his canoe into the hut and daubed it
with white lead, while Lois crept close
to his side and strung snowshoes. At
times she sang. He listened, lying
beside the canoe.
Snow, fell on the frozen lake; the
Little Misery was mantled, the carrys
choked. The deer yarded on the ridge,
the moose on the slope above; the
black bear buried his feeble nose in
his stomach and dreamed.
As for Lois, she learned that men
are brutes, and that Skeene was all
the world to her. She learned that
he went hungry that'sfie might eat,
that he, shivered while she slept un
der skin 'and blanket.
Sometimes they played .together,
Skeene and this slender girl, like
young foxes in the snow. She would
often hide, too, in th6 hollow of a vwhich the dead game hung, head
home he would call: "Jim I" Jimi
And so it came about that Skeene;
laughing up at LoiB in the hollow
swamp-oak, glanced over his shoul
der and saw six black dots clustered
upon the frozen lake to the south
ward. He said nothing, but looked"
into the north. There were more
dots there, more also on the ice in
the west For a moment he thought
the east was still open; after a while
he heard the scrape"'"of a snowslioe
very near. Lois also heard and her
face was like death as she reached
down and took the rifle from
When he had climbed up into the
hollow tree beside her and looked out
from the hole above the great branch,
he saw Hale peering at him from a
"Come down," said Hale.
Skeene clapped his rlls to his
cheek and fired. v
"Come down," repeated Hale from
behind his dead-fall. Lois, trembling
at Skeene's feet, shrank at the som
ber voice from the woods. Skeene
bent and kissed her and caressed her,
muttering things she could not un
derstand, but she caught his hand in
hers and tore off the fur mitten and
pressed it to her lips, moaning and
"Come down for the last-time, Jim
Skeene," said Hale slowly. Suddenly
a rifle shot rang through the frozen
forest. The hand that Lois held
tightened against her lips, quivered,
relaxed. Something outside fell clink
ing and clattering to the ground at
the foot of the tree. It was Skeene's
rifle; and Skeene sank forward,
hanging half out of ttc hole in the
tree, head downwaid, like a dead
And beside him the other wild thing
sobbed and whimpered arid moaned
among the branches while below the
swift axes bit into the tree from
great swamp-Oakland when he came