Newspaper Page Text
A Tale of
By Frank Hepburn Crawford
'(Copyright, 1914, by the Newspaper
Day after day -a4 lonely, naked,
brown-faced man desperately played
.a strange game in the face of the
desolate Huron shore. And the wind,
and the ancient forest gave no sign
of the lapse of time, but watched the
game with curious, grini intentness.
Ear on info October the man pitted
his puny strength against the inex
orable approach of winter.
For him to dive from the deck of
his sloop toward the skeleton wreck
ofthe wooden -steamer, ten feet be
neath his keel, meant to. cast himself
headlong into a cold that squeezed
the blood surging back into "his heart,
that gripped his tense muscles and
wrungthe life from out them, that
made of his brain just a bruised, cen
ter for recurrent sensing" of great
physical shock.. Each time 1b won
again to the surface, with straight,
black hair glistening wet above his
eyes, he clambered aboard the sljoop
with the stiff, ih$grte movements of a
wasted, wkjokl mari- "Yet Tie would
hammer Ms purpled body and hang
above the glowing" .stove, -stretching;
out his afrmS'aD'Qve-.it, then, glancing
record of Tiis work, stflj incpmplete,
would stepto deck and'dive again.
Came at"iaet.hp,weyer; the night
when the tale of "the ten thousand,
copper ingots ifie man Jiad sought
. was complete. And -of this ten 'alii
uul a. suurc werp uauneu, lipoma ine
shore, while the rest lay. stacked in
the water on the sandy reef by w.bjch
the wreck hadgro.unded, and -the
clean-picked .bones of the- skeleton
Loup Garoure, left to'ro't alone. ,
Working with a 'desperate haste,
each measure of which marked a pal
pable drain on his failing vitality
'""Tie Lafargue loaded the last of his
r scraping the bars up from
. J through a thickening scam
JOY OF ACHIEVEMENT
Gene Lafargue and the Ten Thousand Ingots.
wall at. the chalk.
o'f ice that formed
their removal and
sheathed dqwn within the cockpit.
Now they were all his own.! He
stopped within his cabin to peer ex
ultantly by the light of an oil la.mp
at the groups of four vertical chalk
lines crossed diagonally by a fifth,
that had marked the progress of "his
lonely task. J2ach stroke had meant
ten ingots'xaised from the Lop Garou.
Each group of five with a Ting around
it .stood for fifty loaded on the sloop.
There, were two hundred circled
groups, and at twenty-four- pounds
each, and lake copper scarce at twen-t
sand ingots ravaged irom the wreck
were a treasure worth .sixty thousand
deljars. - - '
The man, was cold and hungry and
utterly weary, The skin, tight
stretched across his cheek-bones, was
blackened there by Jong -exposure to
water; and' wind and frost His, eyes v
were sunken and his long jaw lean
and hairless? But in his soul as he
scanned the circled lines of chalk was
V the warming joy of
ne leanea iorwara 10 m&rK neneatn
tha't record: "Last load, Novem
Now he. would -smash his way back
toshore' through fire ice, cache his
last .load, gefcout again and try to
reach Port, Huron, lax toward the
stfuth. He would whiter there, and
tlien in-the spring the ice would
break he would xeturn in the spring
and he would dig up these ingots
and market them- with caution
with very great caution.
He awpkein t&egray light of early
morning, " '
Tothe-rgputh, from enfl to enu" of
the half-inppli bax ht which he was,
,ttie ice had bridged the like.
Tentatively the man pounded .qa
the ice with his ax-head. U did cjt ,
breaks Cautiously he clambered out
on it '
in the pool left by
casting them ice-