OCR Interpretation

The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 27, 1895, Image 13

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1895-10-27/ed-1/seq-13/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for 13

The Perfumes
of California
It is said tnat an Arab can dine content
edly on a dried rig and a perfumed piece
of silk, with a bit of sandalwood by way
of dessert, and that he can even get along
without the fig. I have read that the
author of the Koran subsisted mainly on
perfumes while compiling his great book
of camels' bones in his cave. We barbarians
of Europe have developed no such taste
for our own Derf umes as yet, if am* at all.
But centuries hence, or even a few years,
may bring us out here around to where the
tire-fed Bedouin was in the days of the
prophet at Medina and Mecca. Why? Be
cause this burning sun of uninterrupted
ardor for a full half-year makes California
odorous, as the Turkish Orient is odorous.
In truth you must travel all the way
from Arabia to California to find a land of
perfect perfumes. The bogs and the fogs
of all Europe, and all the United States
ea-t of the Rocky Mountains, are fatal to
any sort of delicate perfumes. Even the
roses refuse to give generously of their
most sacred sweets in these humid lands.
As witness the fact that only the roses of
the Orient and those of California yield
the precious oils that are in such favor in
London, Paris and New York under the
name of the "attar of roses." Santa Bar
barba scuds her perfumes to the ladies of
Paris erecting in bales of rose leaves.
Think of it ! This is the beginning— only a
prophecy of perfumes to be.
But my work to-day is with the inspir
ing odors of the Sierras. The season
rounds and the season ripens as a great red
apple ripens with all its perfect perfume
ar.a hue to drop into the lap of mother
earth. This is the season to go forth into
the Sierras. At other seasons 3 r ou may see
the Sierras, but at this season you may
also literal!}' breathe them; feed upon
them, as the Persian oil his perfumed silks. ,
Go and kindie n campfire! Call it "going I
a-htmling," "going a-fishing," if you like, 1
but co. And go without a gun, please; go j
fishing, as Peter went a-fishing. but go j
without a hook, or line, or net. My word
for it, you will come back with a great deal
more than if you should take gun and rod
with you, and you won't tell half as many |
lies when you get back.
Now here is a beautiful delusion. Do
you know a good many people go into the |
California Sierras at this season of the
% far for the sole purpose of breathing,
feeding upon the health-civing and nour
ishing perfumes of California without
knowing it? It is a fact, bignly compli
mentary to both the excursionist and the
country. The man may have a gun and a
rod along; in fact, he would not have gone
without them, ami he really believes he is
out for fish and game. But in truth he is
out for the high and holy perfumes of
California that burn on God's altar there
perpetually as the warm rich year rounds
end ripens to its close.
The predominating, aye, the perfect per-
J'.inif: of California there at this season of
Thanksgiving ia that of browned, burned,
baked and roasted pine; pine quills, knee
deep in places, and as rich in coior as the
old russet gold that once lay in the aban
doned gulches, where they now gather
and gather, year after year, as if laid by
some unseen hand on the altar of God's
house; and then the browned and crisp
fallen pine wood, fir wood, cedar wood— all
sorts of the pine family — piling their
boughs or their bodies on the peaks and
umtops to make perfect the perfumes on
the mighty altar to the dying season. Let !
us pause here— take off our shoes here, for j
it is holy ground. Ah, would you carry a j
gun here— here in the porch of God's I
But, as indicated at the opening, we of i
Europe and the States are still savages, I
not knowing or caring a tithe as much I
about perfumes as an Arab of the desert,
and we must still pack a gun. At least j
this was the case with ray companion, j
with whom I pushed far into the Sierras |
last week to swear allegiance on nature's |
altar for the forty-first season there and i
1111 my body and my soul with the per- j
fumes of California. He had a gun. Like j
all men who think they know anything
about a gun he also had a tongue. Mv
one demand and desire of the landlord
was that we should have a great blazing
tire of old pine logs heaped on the hearth, j
But let us see what my companion did |
with his gun and his tongue! We sat by the '
great tire of blazing perfumes and he snake : !
"No, madam. I don't say that I am always I
a dead center shot, but if 1 ever get bead |
on a bear he is my meat as a rule, as a j
rule, madam."
S he was a pretty widow from the States
and reputed to be very rich.
It was late nt night. The stage had ar- ;
rived late that night at the tavern, on the
headwaters of the Sacramento River, in the
heart of the Sierras; and as the nights are j
always cool there, this great pine-log lire, I
i as per contract, blazed and crackled in the i
bis? fireplace and cast a ruddy, tender light j
all about the high-built walls, where hung j
guns, horns, fishing-tackle, dog-collars,
bear skins, bootjacks and all the dozen
different things that take the place of pic
tures in the parlors of city hotels.
Colonel B. — we old veterans of the days
of gold are all colonels now — is a famous
' story-teller. He is a bachelor and claims
! to be a close relative of a great English
; Duke; although it was noticed that when
' his Grace, the said Duke, was with us out
j here, the two were not seen to mingle to
j getheras close relatives naturally would.
''Old family differences," said the
i colonel with a wave of his hand and a
deeD sigh ; for he is a sensitive man and,
j too, a man of character and courage. For
i example, when he and Colonel Phineas
| had quarreled over a mining claim in the
j old days, and a duel was arranged, with
i ounce-bail rifles at ten paces, the colonel
j insisted that the bullets should be larger
; and the distance only five paces. And so
, the duel did not come off.
This Colonel Phineas E. was now the
I keeper of the tavern, and had two big,
j jolly boys who kept heaping on logs ami
I laughing in their sleeves quietly as they
j listened to the tales of their father and his
i former deadly enemy in the contemplated
duel. "How we do love a man after we
have fought with him!" says the old
French general in the 'Lady of Lyons."
And how the roads of the two old colonels
of California had divided, to be sure! True,
they had not quite fought in the
old days: but they loved one another now
quite as well as if they had, and the com
ing of the great lawyer with all his guns
and pistols and paraphernalia of the chase
j was an event to be enjoyed. Each old
"col" dug up stories by the score. All
the bear stories that the big lawyer had
heard in the barrooms of San Francisco
were made his own, and the honest old
tavern-keeper appropriated to his onri use
and benent aimost everything of the sort
in the Sierras not claimed by his friend.
Now don't set us Californians all down
as liars. Our stories are all true, as a rule,
only they don't all belong to the man who
happens to claim to be the hero of them.
Still, there are Californians ana Califor
. nians, and it is to be conceded that some
!ofus do lie— a little. For instance, I trav
j eled with a Californian on mv second trip
: up the Nile who repeatedly told a story to
i some English officers, when the nitrhts
I were too hot to sleep, that I did not quite
! believe. Briefly, it was to this effect:
He was crossing the summit of th»
Rocky Mountains on a mule, with a load
of gold dust, when he suddenly found that
he was being pursued up the narrow and
densely wooded defile by a band of rob
ber?. He drew his Winchester and pre
pared to shoot them down one at a time as
they came, for tne pass was so narrow and
so rocky that they could approach only in
single hie. But glancing ahead as he'did
so, to see that the dense woods and the
I tall, broad cedars concealed no one in an
j bush, he saw a ferocious wildcat crouching
on an ovcrhanginc cedar bough above his
path and only a few yards in advance of
The cat was Eiirely about to spring at
his throat, for its tail began to swell and
awing and expand in the air like the tail
of a tomcat on the housetop when engaged
I in a battle with bootjacks. Ho natea cats,
all kinds of cats, wild or tame. Tame cats
would eat corpses — what would not a wild
cat do? Rather death by robbers, rattle
snakes, anything on earth, than by the
teeth and claws of a wildcat!
He watched that terrible tail rise in the
air and switch and snap and swell and ex
pand till it was even larger than the mon
ster's own body. And then he fired, took
it between the eyes and galloped on; while
its falling body" struck the leader of the
pursuing robbers and so terrified the band
by its cries and claws and teeth and cx
i panding tail that they gave up the pursuit
I and he came right on to Egypt to rest and
! restore his shattered nerves.
Now this story is all right enough, ex
cept that there is no more timber on the
top of the Rocky Mountains than there is
on the banks of the Nile. There are no
rocks there, as a rule, no narrow passes,
but all as broad as a pasture. Another
slight objection to the story is, a wildcat
has no tail, no more tail than an elk or a
bear, or a rubber boot.
Alas! such men have given California a
j sad reputation for carelessness as to the
cold, frozen truth when telling their tales
of hair-length escapes; but, as before ob
! served, there are Californians and Califor
: nians. And now to get along with Colonel
B. and his Dear. But, mind you, there is
i nothing very much to say about him, no
! great adventure to tell. He was certainly
i no such story-teller as that Californian up
\ the Nile, for, as said before, his tales were
I all true and simple— certainly not blood
-1 curdlinjc and contrary to nature at all, as
was that Nile story. But you try sitting
by a roaring bright fire in the high Sierras
on a cold night after a hard day on the stage
coach, an old friend, two giggling big boys
; to heap on the logs, a pretty rosy young
; widow to listen and to laugh— well, if you
; don't take up some dead man's story and
; make yourself the hero of it I shall won
"Remember when we used to go out
; Sundays to the foot of the highest peak in
| the Sierras and shoot bear, just to see 'em
; roll down hill to us?" says Colonel E.
"Yes, yes— had to have telescope euns;
' great fun to catch a black bear between
j you and the white snow as he takes a walk
; around the tip of a peak."
"That's so, colonel ; but you and I aren't
! as young as we used to was, so I've kept a
1 place for you; boys know where it is —
i right down the riyer there in my own close ;
I great big mossy log where bear came to
I catch fish. You liret go out on the farthest
end of that log, light a cigar, lie down,
with your head on a little eros» loj there is
i there— done it a dozen times myself— and
j if we don't hare bear steak for supper to
morrow night I miss my guess, powerful."
"Sure, pap," gig.- led the boys, after dig
j ging their elbows into each other's back by
; the wood heap, near the door, and they
shyly came forward and volunteered to
| show the way, do anything, eveu to clean
ing and loading and letting the sights of
i the great bear gun for close ranee.
Boys know al! about bears in the Sier
ras. Not a boy there but knows about
forty times as much about them as we do,
butthey won't tell it; they only giggle
and nudge one another with their elbows
when you want to talk bear with them.
I met two boys up there last summer load
ing an old she bear and her two cubs to a
place where other bear would come to catch
lish. These tame bears are used as decoys,
as tame elephants are used in Africa, fiut
these boys only giggled when I talked
about danger, and dug their bare big toes in
the dust of the trail, while the old she
bear nosed niy pockets for nuts, and the
baby bears iay down and locked arms and
rolled in the leaves -by the trail like two
kittens on a carpet.
The colonel was on the back porch bath
ing his head next morning as the two boys,
bright and early, came out in a very eager
way to Dring him in to breakfast, and in
form him that all was ready,-and that he
must be out in ambush at once or miss
tb e chance of his life to get a fat bear.
The colonel had some soapsuds in his
eyes, but he surely saw a bear and cubs in
a cane behind some brush back of the yard
as the boys hurried him inside, and he
began to say as much to the widow when
ne sat down to breakfast. But as the boys
giggled so incessantly ! and as Colonel
Fhmeas E. sat bo stiff and ; looked so
serious he concluded'that men are apt to
see a little too much after such a jolly day
and nighfas we nad just had, and so sud
denly turned from bear to tariff.
it was a pleasant placewhere the. boys
located the expectant hunter. His heart
was full of hope— hope and that pretty
widow. A great, broad, mossy redwood of
other centuries, with nearly all the waters
of the swift, sweet Sacramento tumbling,
roaring, rusiuiM: / over : the hiuce. mo Ba y
bowlders beneath. An elephant might
walk that log and not break it nor shake
it nor make the least bit of noise, so broad
and stro ng was the log and so deep and
soft and s ilken the green-brown mosses.
Maple boughs, broad and strong and
long, reached as in benediction from
above; pine trees, redwood, fir, tamarack
and cedar shot their shapely cones in glori
ous rivalry toward the purple heavens,
and Mount Shasta, white as faith, looked
lovingly down in the colonel's rosy face
as he leaned his bead in a reposeful, half
sitting posture against the soft moss of
the little cross log. His great bear gun
was laid all cocked and ready at his right
side by the obliging boys, a cigar was in
his teeth.
"But will not the approaching bears
smell the smoke and be apprehensive of
mv presence?"
The colonel felt that he should be a little
stiff with thfjse queer, giggling, sniggering
boys, they were just a little bit too un
saited, and so ho assumed the tone and
language of his law oflice.
"Bears be dogoned! bears like tobacco.
You know a lot about bears, you do !"
"Why, some bears chew," added the
other boy, as he nudged his brother at his
elbow, walking back down the great log to
the leafy bank.
"Yes, some bears chew and smoke, too !"
cried the other over his shoulder as the
two disappeared 111 the brush up toward
the house.
"Glad I never married— don't like boys,
nohow — girls better. And if I ever should
marry — if the widow— if it could be so ar
ranged in case I should marry her — and
she— cirls— yes— girls— all girls."
The" half-finished cigar settled down
from the naif-opened lips, slid down,
down, rolled to the log, down— siz ! siz !
and the colonel dreamed of the widow and
of girls, all girls; not a single boy in all
his happy family.
The day was "hot. The day before had
been a hot one, and a hard one; the night
all too brief and bright for an old bachelor
to recoup liis wasted energy, and the great
hunter from San Francisco slept on ; slept
and dreamed, dreamed and slept.
Suddenly he saw— no, he felt— felt a bear
even as he'slept, and sprang bolt upright,
gun in hand. And not a second too soon.
A huge black bear was on the log not ten
steps away, and coming right along. Her
nose was down to tne log. She was smell
ing along with all the composure and ugly
assume of an engine, md he lying, or sit
ting, there right in the monster's track.
He jerked the gun tp his shoulder and,
bang! No, not bang, only snap! and then
snap! And then the bear, smelling in the
other end of the gun as the colonel rolled
off, taking, be it told to his credit, the gun
with him, and wading hastily to the near
est bank.
He got around to the back porch, and as
he sat there wringing out his socks he saw
the two boys, bent nearly double with
laughter, leading their old pet bear back to
her cubs in the cage. And that was all.
My companion got no bear and he got no
pretty widow, although what he might
have done without a gun as I had auvised
was plain to see before he went out "loaded
for bear." Pardon all this interlude. But
I repeat, the place of these perfumed
altars is "holy ground," and we must take
off our shoes and be silent there. It is an
impertinence next to profanity to attempt
to break this golden silence with word's,
words, words. Think what may be housed
in the coming centuries for" California
when we shall learn to care for our thou
sand precious perfumes as the Persians
and Arabs care for theirs!
Joaqcin Miller.
Big Eastern Restaurants to
Make a Specialty of Cali-
fornia Brands.
Herman Bendel's Great Plans
for Marketing Two Califor
nia Products.
Herman Bendel, president of the Wine
makers' Corporation and the San Jose
Fruit-Packing Company, has returned
from a five weeks' tour of the East, with
information and ideas of very great im
portance to the wine and dried-fruit inter
ests of the State.
"One-third of our wine product is con
sumed by 2,000,000 here, but it has been
up-hill work to make the other 70,000,000
consume the two-thirds," said Mr. Bendel
yesterday. "You see something is wrong.
Here small dealers come in contact with
the people. In the East the wine is bought
in bulk by large wholesale liquor dealers,
anxious to sell as quickly as possible at
the most profit. There is no chance for
one to sample varieties and the best qual
ities. I found that people there know very
little about California wines.
"I told' them that we wanted to intro
duce our better wines, and that we could
supply as good w ines as the imported at
less money, l have here a wine list from
the Auditorium Hotel, Chicago. It shows
twenty- six kinds of imported champagne,
and of other imported wines five kinds of
sherry, thirty-four kinds of claret, four
teen Kinds of sauterne, nine of red bur
gundy, nineteen of Rhine wine, and so on.
The only native wine listed as such is one
kind of zinfandel bottled in Chicago, and
it is 50 cents a pint. On this list are 135
kinds of imported wine and one of native
wine. That zinfandel could be laid down
in Chicago at about 25 centa a gallon, and
a gallon makes ten small bottles.
"I found that people liked the idea I am
trying to carry out. They think it will
draw trade to a certain extent — that of
people curious about California wines and
of Califorriana— and then it will be a nov-
"I want a dozen or twenty of our best
brands sent to them and the Wine Asso
ciation. Captain Niebaum and two or
three others that I have had time to see
since getting back have approved the plan
and acreed to ship cases of goods on my
recommendation. This plan is better thau
opemne cafe?, because the men have es
tablished trade, and there is no risk and no
storage. Everybody who makes a good
creditable wine will have a chance, but the
wines sent in must be good. What I have
done is only a start. 1 expect that ship
ments to these establishments will be
made in two or three weeks. In the East
an ordinarily good table wine costs 75
cents a pint on the table. California wine
of the same quality could be sold there at
25 cents a pint, at a profit of 100 per cent
or more. The thing needed is to make the
East acquainted with our wines."
Of no less interest in the State is the
plan in Mr. Bendel's mind for raising the
dried-fruit business out of the mire it is
now in. A new method of marketing the
dried fruit product of the State and put
ting this interest on a business basis was
the leading purpose of his Eastern trip.
"There nas never been any method or
organization among the dried-fruit men
and the business could not be in worse
condition," said Mr. Bendel yesterday.
"The producers all consign their fruit at
once to commission merchants in Chicago
and New York or sell it in advance to
agents from there, consequently the entire
product is yearly dumped into just two
markets where there is a glut.
"The plan I wish to get the dried-fruit
producers to carry out is this: Let safe
storage warehouses be provided in every
fruit district, and let the fruit be properly
graded in them and held. Producers can
then get needed advances on their ware
house receipts without selling at the wrong
time at ruinous prices.
"Now the dried fruit men are not getting
the cost of their product. Peaches that
last year were run down to 6 and 8 cents
are now away down to 3 and 5% cents.
Prunes are ruinously low where they ought
to be higher than last year. There must
be organization among the dried-fruit
men, and financial assistance from mer
chants and bankers so that they will not
be compelled to sell at ruinous prices."
The golden and russet leaves of maple
and beech tree lay thick on the bosom of
Lake La Hache, as Donald Benton looked
up the Cariboo road in the gathering twi
light for the stage, which should pass
about that hour on its way to Barkers
ville. A few hundred yards from the road
spread the grand lake, the most magnifi
cent sheet of water in British Columbia.
Close to its shore stood the Hudson Bay
Company's fort, where thirty of Benton's
years had Deen passed, purchasing furs
from the trappers for that historic corpora
tion, which exercised an almost mon
archial power over the Northwest.
Like many of his class who had been
appointed to those posts in early times,
Benton had married a half-breed Indian
woman, who, however, had received some
education in Victoria and who was a
gentle and loving wife to him. She !
possessed all the physical beauty of the
women of the British Columbia tribes,
and when she died, leaving him but one !
child, a daughter, Jessie, Benton's grief '
was bo sincere that he never took another
woman to fill her place. The daughter
was still more beautiful than the mother,
and now in her nineteenth year, would
have made a sensation as a brunette
beauty in any drawing-room in the world.
Brought up on the shores of the great lake,
she could paddle a canoe with as much
skill as any of the Indians who lived
there, she was an unerring shot, and her
spear cast by torchlight at the lurking
trout never missed its mark. She was the
chatelaine of the big log fort, wrote her
fatner s reports to the office in Victoria,
sent orders for what goods they required,
and made out the invoices of the furs they
shipped. She was in every respect the
sole daughter of Benton's home and heart.
"I wonder what can be keeping that
stage," muttered Benton to himself. "It's
about time I heard from Jack Ferguson to
say when he's coming up for his regular
week's outing. This is getting to be a
mighty lonely life, lonely for myself and
lonely for the girl. I've had most enough
of jt. 1 think I'll clean up and get back to
civilization for her sake as well as my own.
I wonder, though, if she could live in those
bic stifling cities after the free air of the
mountains. But this is no life."
His musings were interrupted by the
vision of a cloud of dust from which the
big lumbering mud-wngon, by courtesy
called a stage, and drawn by six half
broken horses, came dashine along.
"Helloa, captain!" shouted Tom, the
Btase-driver.as he skillfully halted histeam
by Benton's side. "I've got some stuff for
you and likewise a passenger."
"Good." said Benton, with a glad smile
of hospitable anticipation. "I'm glad Fer
guson has come."
" 'Tis not Ferguson," replied the driver;
" 'tis a different sort of man altogether."
And then leaning from his seat he cried to
the inside:
"Here we are, sir. This is the fort and
here is Captain Benton himself."
The figure that stepped from the stage
was that of a tall, slim, delicate-looking
young man, quite unlike the burly freckled
Ferguson whom Benton had expected to
see. And to increase the trader's astonish
ment he was followed by a servant, who
assisted the driver in getting some heavy
taggage from the stage, while the stranger
advanced to erect Benton.
"My name is Morton," he said, politely,
"•Frank Morton; and I haye brought you
some letters of introduction from your
people in Victoria. I have been in rather
delicate health for the last year, and my
friends suggested ' that I should pass a
month here if you would kindly receive
me as your guest."
"Only too glad to see you, Mr. Morton,"
exclaimed the trader cordially, extending
his hand. "But you'll have to rough it,
you know. Ha! I see you are a sports
man," he added, as the man set down jby
the baggage a gun and rifle case and a
package of fishing rods. "You've come to
the right country for sport, Mr. Morton;
you can have everything in these woods
from a chipmunk to an elk, and we can
give you such . stream and lake fishing as
I'll warrant you few quarters of the globe
can furnish."
";'.-■, "l'm afraid, in my present condition of
health," said Morton, smiling, "the elk
may roam unmolested. I'm in much bet
ter form now for small trout, and chip
munk than larger game."
"We'll tone you up." rejoined the trader,
cheerily, with a friendly pat on the back,
for he had already taken a : fancy at first
sight to his"unexpected guest.
"Great heavens! what a beautiful girl;
a perfect forest lily !" was Morton's inward
ejaculation when his host presented him
to Jessie.
Accustomed from her childhood to the
society of men of all classes, Jessie felt no
embarrassment in meeting this handsome,
interesting looking young stranger. "The
men that had nocked to the mines at
Cariboo and worked along the bed
of the .; Frazer River . were, for the
most part, men of 5 education and refine
i ex-army officers, barristers, cioctora*
representatives, indeed, of all occupations.
To the rude life they had chosen in the
eager quest of gold, they carried the civ
ilized habits of the refined past, and as an
observing traveler in that region once said
in proof of that assertion, and putting
forth his statement as an irrefutable argu
ment, "You couldn't find a man of the
Northwest without a toothbrush."
From the letters handed him by his
gue9t Bentqn learned that Morton was a
young Englishman of means, though not
exactly wealthy, traveling for his health
throueh the Northwest, and that he was
an intimate friend of some of the heads of
the big company at home. The trader
liked the unaffected ways of Morton, and
it was late before they "retired that night,
so eager was the long-exiled Scotchman to
hear about old names and old places.
The next morning Jessie presided over
the breakfast table, and Morton was con
firmed in the conclusion arrived at the
night before — that she was a very pretty,
nay. more than pretty, a very beautiful girl.
' You must try the lake to-day," said
Benton. "It is a cloudy morning, there is
plenty of breeze on the water, and your
first experiment is sure to be a good one."
"1 shall with pleasure," rejoined Mor-
I ton. "I suppose I can get an Indian to
row me. My man is a poor sailor.'
"Not a bit of it," cried the trader.
"Jessie her am self shall row you. Why,
man, there's not an Indian in the country
that my gal cannot give points to on
The strange unconventionality of being
rowed for miles along with a beautiful girl
rather startled Morton.
"But I suppose it is the custom of the
place," he thought. "Surely ncr father
knows best."
The trader was not impelled by parental
partiality when he credited his daughter
with surpassing skill with paddle and rod.
"Diana in all her glory was not a patch
upon her," said Morton mentally, as he
watched the lithe graceful form of the girl
standing in artistic pose, and at each stroke
of the paddle sending the light craft flly
inp over the water. She put the rod to
gether for him, and arranged the tackle, all
the while prattling about the sport of the
region and showing a profound knowledge
of the habits of the wild animals ana how
to hunt them.
He told her of the great world she had
never seen, what the men and women did
ther« to amuse themselves, and her fawn
like eyes failed - with tears when he de
scribed the struggles and miseries of the '
"Why don't they come out here?" she
said wonderingly. "Anyone who can I
shoot and fish need not suffer for food in
the Northwest."
Morton had a keen relish for trout and
venison steaks that night when they re
turned to the hospitable fort. He con
fessed that it had been one of the most en
joyable days of his life. He had caught
lots of fish, and had been inexpressibly en
tertained by his naive companion.
Tessie showed the most unfeigned inter
est in this cultured and gentle stranger.
She had not a particle of maidenly timid
ity. She talked as unaffectedly to him
as to her father, and reposed the most un
bounded confidence in him. The nature |
of the girl was so frank and refreshing
that Morton began to feel a sincere affec
tion for her. Not in a lover sense, but the
sort of regard he would entertain for a
pretty and amusing child.
In this plensant life of lake and wood
land a couple of weeks slipped away, and
Morton began to think of returning to
Fort Yale. One evening when he and
Jessie shot alongside the little wharf Ben
ton, with a stout, florid man beside him,
was awaiting them.
"This," said the trader, presenting Mor
ton, "is my friend, Mr. Ferguson. ' y The
gentlemen shook hands, but Morton was
rather surprised to see, and somewhat
chagrined, too, the big man throw his
arms around Jessie and imprint a sounding
kiss upon her red lips. Jessie received
the caress with seeming indifference, and
with the unsentimental remark:
''I'm glad he got four brace of grouse
to-day since you have come. Mr. Fergu
From the moment of that embrace
Morton conceived a hearty dislike to the
new arrival. He felt as if he, Frank Mor
ton, belonged to the place and this fellow
was an intruder, and the sooner he took
himself away the better it would be for
Jessie and himself. He also perceived
with alarm that the idea of his own de
parture and bidding farewell to the
trader's daughter gave him infinite pain.
He inwardly scoffed at the assumption of
his being in love. Yet the reflection that
their association must soon terminate
actually made him heartsick.
Benton hailed Ferguson's arrival with
delight. Jessie had monopolized all Mor
ton's time, and the trader, except at night,
was as destitute of general companionship
as before. But the canoe would only hold
two, and Morton, as the invalid, hadf the
choice. So Benton sipped rum and smoked
cigars all day and reveled in an Eden of
reminiscences with his old friend Fergu
son. The latter did not seem to enjoy
those tete-a-tetes very keenly, and Morton
noticed with jealous eyes that his glance
was often admiringly Lied on Jessie, even
in the very middle of the trader's most
interesting yarns.
It was now two days before Morton's de
parture. He told his host that the last
mail he had received from Victoria made
hi 3 presence there imperative before the
end of the month. Benton was honestly
sorry to lose the young man, hut he was
consoled by the reflection that he would
have Ferguson for the next six weeks at
the least, and as long afterward as ho
could prevail on him to stay.
"What will Jessie do without her com
panion?'- he said. "I tell you, the girl
will be awfully lonesome when you go
away, Frank."
"Oh, Mr. Ferguson will easily fill my
place," remarked Morton, with an awk
ward laugh.
"True," replied the trader, "but then
Jessie will see enousrh of Ferguson during
the rest of her life."
This shaft rankled in Morton's breast.
She was engaged, then, this woodland
fairy, thfs child of nature, to that coarse,
unsympathetic fellow, who had not an
idea beyond a fox or beaver skin, and how
to maKe a sharp trade with a trapper. It
was intolerable, exasperating, maddening.
But what could he do, Ho could not
marry her himself. That was out of the
question. He was like the dog in the
manger— the morsel he refused to take
he begrudged to another. "Why should
she not became the wife of this pros
perous lout, give up canoeing, fishing and
deer-stalking, and settle down to a quiet,
humdrum life in Victoria. Only for one
reason, and that he confessed to himself,
with a feeling akin almost to terror, was —
that he loved her. There was no denying
the fact. He, Frank Morton, an English
gentleman of high rank in his native shire,
was hopelessly in love with the daughter
of a half-Indian mother.
The merry shout of Jessie calling him to
the wharf aroused him from his bitter re
flections. He resolved to put away those
thoughts and enjoy the few hours that
were left. But she remarked that he was
depressed and rallied him on his gloomy
"That is because I have to go away,
Jessie," he said.
"Going away!" she paused with tho
paddle uplifted, and Morton saw, with a
wild thrill of joy, the sorrow and agitation
on her beautiful face. She stood like a
Niobe, grief .stricken. A woman of the
world would have at least made some
effort to conceal her agitation, but all Jes
sie's soul was rellected in her eyes.
"Yes, Jessie, I have to return soon to
: my own country, far across the sei," Mor
! ton continued softly. "In the words ol
I the song you have so often sung to me,
"Tls hame I'll be,
For I am goin' home to my am countrie,
And I may never again catch the trout
with you or stalk the'deer in those forests.
And will you be sorry, Jessie dear? 1 '
The girl looked at him for a moment, her
eyes filled with unshed tears, and then
turning to the prow of the canoe paddled
along in silence. When he again saw her
I face it was without a trace of emotion.
"I can hardly realize yet that you are
going, Frank, 1 ' she said gently; "but I
j suppose it must be. Put on that big red
i spoon. It will be good to-day."
Morton fished mechanically and Jessie
paddled along, straight down the lake
I until they gained the" point at which they
• were accustomed to turn and work back,
| reaching the wharf half an hour or so be
fore dinner time. But now she kept
on, and Morton, filled with melancholy
and doubt, agitated with conflicting
emotions and resolutions, made no sug
gestions to her. They had not spoken a
dozen words during the latter part of the'
I excursion. He made no further reference
j to his departure, and she avoided the sub
! ject. Both felt too awkwardly constrained
j to talk with the freedom of "other fishing
days. &
But they were quickly aroused from this
apathy, for the sky suddenly grew darka
with ominous clouds and the wind in
creased at a most alarming rate.
"Jessie, it looks as if we were going ta
have a big blow," said Morton hurriedly^
breaking; the long silence.
The girl looked up from the water and"!
Morton remarked at once the alarm upon*]
her face.
"We are," she said in a subdued voice.
"Quick, Frank, take the other paddle. If
we do not make the shore in the next tea
minutes we are lost." and with a deft
I stroke she turned the prow of the canoe
toward the nearest shore.
In a moment the storm was upon them.,
The lake rose in billows like an angry seal
and lashed them with spray. The waterj
dashed over the gunwales of the canoe ancfi
threatened to fill her. Fortunately they
had a minnow cdn on board.
"Take in your paddle and bail, Frank,"
shouted the intrepid girl. -'I can keep her
before the wind. Keep steady and bail."
Morton obejed her, exulting in the holds)
spirit that knew none of the timidity of|
her sex in. their hour of peril. On and on-i
ward the canoe swept, the supple figure oCJ
Jessie, like a goddess "born to rule the'
storm" ; her dress, soaked with rain, cling-i
ing to her exquieite form and showing alii
| its graceful curves, crouched in the stern
and meeting every lateral swing of the
craft with her paddle.
They were not fifty yards from the shore
when, with a thrill of horror, Morton
heard a crunching sound. The canoe had
struck an old log and was ripped wido
open, and in a moment he was righting the
waves, which scourged him like whips.
He struck out to look for his companion
when a crushing blow on the head de
prived him of consciousness and he knew
no more.
A sense of comfort and warmth, a feel
ing as if awakening from a long sleep, and
Frank Morton opened his eyes and looked
up. His head lay pillowed in Jessie's lap
and her eyes were looking down into his.
"Thank God, you are safi, dear," she
said quietly. "Hush, don't talk now, and
I'll tell you all about it. After you were,
flung out the wave pitched you against that
unlucky stump, and I was just in time to
catch you as you were sinking. I held on
to the canoe with one hand, and kept
your head above water with the other —
yon know I am strong and a good swim
mer — and we were blown ashore, fortu
nately, too, just at the point where there
were ember.-* cf a hunter's tire, so I waa
able to make a blaze to keep us warm.
The rain has ceased, but we must be con*
tent, to remain all night in the forest.
"Jessie," said Morton, fervently, taking

xml | txt