Newspaper Page Text
THE BURLINGTON FREE PRESS? THURSDAY. JANUARY 7, 1901.
9 if iit(itiii( Uhe Blazed HT- ft . By STEWART ; Jf fCLl EDWARD 9 WHITE Copyright. IS02, by -Ttttvart Edtvard XOhit X LA A AAA ifA AAA Jul J. A i S Z F T TTTVTT CHAPTER VI. Pfl IIIEY finished cutting on sectlor; 1" during Thorpes second III week. It became necessary tc ' J begin on section 14. which In two miles to the east. In Hint dlreetlor the clinrncter of the country changed' somewhat. The pine there crew thick on Isolated "Islands" of not more than nn acre ot so In extent little knolls rising from the level of n tnnrsli. In ordinary con ditlons nothing would have been easlet than to hare plowed roads across th frozen surface of this marsh. The pe cullar state of the weather interposed tremendous ditllcnlties. The early part of autumn had beet characterised by a heavy snowfall im mediately after n series of mild days A warm blanket of some thlcknes! thus overlaid the earth, effectually pre renting the freezing which subsoquenl cold weather would have caused. Al! the season Kadway had contended wltli this condition. F.ven in the. woods muddy swamp and spring holes caused endless difficulty and necessitated a great deal of "corduroying," or the lay ing of poles side by side to form na artificial bottom. Here in the open some six inches of water and unlimit ed mud awaited the first horse thai should break through the layer of snow and thin ice. Between each pair of Is lands a road had to be "tramped." Thorpe and the rest were put nt thl! disagreeable ul. All day long they had to wallf mechanically back and forth on diagonals between the marks set by Radway with his suowshocs. Karly in the morning their feet were wet by icy water, for even the light weight of a man sometimes broke the frozen skin of the marsh, lly night a roud of trampled snow of greater or less strength was marked out across the expanse. Thus the blanket was thrown back from the warm earth, and thus the cold was given a chance t the water beneath, in a day or so the road would bear a horse. A bridge of ice had been artificially constructed, on either side of which lay unsounded depths. This road was indicated by n row of Urn stuck In the snow on either side. It was very cold. All day long the restless wind swept across the shiver ing surface of the plains and tore .. t .1... - c ... . J....... 1 . ' t ' 1 . . uruuuu uiu curuurs ui uie isiuuus. xuv big woods are as good as au overcoat. The overcoat had been taken away. When the lunch sleigh arrived the men huddled shivering in the lee of one of the knolls and tried to eat with benumbed fingers before a fire that was but a mockery. Often it was neur ly dark before their work warmed them again. Ail of the skidways had to be placed on the edges of the is lands themselves, and the logs had to be travoyed over the steep little knolls. A single misstep out on to the plain meant a mired horse. Three times heavy snows obliterated the roads, so that they had to he plowed out before the men could go to work again. It was a struggle. nadway was evidently worried. Ho often paused before a gang to inquire how they were "making it." He seem ed afraid they might wish to quit, which was indeed the case, but lie should never have taken before them imy attitude but that of absolute con fidence In their intentions. His anx iety was natural, however. He re alized the absolute necc-slty of skid ding and hauling this Job before the heavy choking snows of the latter part of .lanuary should make it Impossible to keep the roads open. So insistent was tills necessity that he had seized the first respite in the phenomenal snowfall of the early autumn to begin work The cutting in the woods could wait. Left to themselves, probably the men would never have dreamed of objecting to whatever privations the task car ried with it. Kadway's anxiety for their comfort, however, caused them filially to imagine that perhaps they mlcht have some Just grounds for com plaint after all. That is n great trait of th" lumber jack. But Dyer, the scaler, llnnlly caused the outbreak. Dyer was an efflclenl enough man in ills way, but he loved his own ease. Ills habit was to stay in ins bunk of morning until well after daylight. To this there could be nn objection except on the part of the cook, who was supposed to attend to his business himself, for the scaler was netive In his work when once he began it and could keep up with the skidding. Hut now he displayed a strong antipa thy to the north wind on the plains. ''I don't pose for no tough son of a gun!" said he to Kadway. "And I've got some respect for my ears and feet. Bhe'll warm up a little by tomorrow, and perhaps the wind Ml die. I can catch up to you fellows by hustling a little, so I guess I'll stay In and work on the books today." "All right." Kadway assented, a lit tle doubtfully. This happened perhaps two days oul of the week. Finally Dyer hung out a thermometer, which he used to consult. The men saw it and consulted it too. At once they felt much colder. "She was Stan' 10 below," sputtered Rnptlste Telller, the Frenchman who played the tiddle. "Ho freeze t'rou to bee's eenside. Dat Is too cole for inak in' do work." "Thorn plains Is sure a holy fright," assented I'urdy. "Th' old man knows It himself," greed big Nolan. "Did you see him rammin' around yesterday nskln' us If we found her toe cold 7 He knows very well he ought not to keep a man out that sort o' weather." "You'd shiver like a dog In n brlei patli on n warm day In July," said Jackson Hlnes contemptuously. "Shut up!" said they. "You'ro ban bos.. You don't have to bo out In the cold." &A444444M4t-44M442-t4l-444l,4lt, . . .. .ii.cKtinn's Inter vention wt-nl for n Utile worse thar ticthlnc "It ain't Id' he has nuttln' besides,' went on Haptiste. "He can mak' d cut In do uicedle of de fores'." "That's rli.ht." agreed Hob Stratton "They's the west half of 'eight' nln'1 been cut yet." Po tliry sent n delegation to Rndwny His Nolan was the spokesman. "Iloss," said lie bluntly, "she's toe cold to work on them plains today. S'lie's the coldest day we had." Kadway was ton old n hand nt till business to make any promises on tin SMOt. "I'll see. boys," said he-. When (lie btw.kfnrtt was over tin crew were sent to making skidwayf and travoyltig roads on "eight." This was a precedent. In time the work or the plains was grumbllngly done In nnj weather. However, as to this Kadway proved firm enough. He was a good fighter when ho knew he was being irn posed upon. And as the days slipped by he tight ened the reins. Christmas was ap proachliiR. An ensy mathematical com putatlon reduced the question of com pleting his contract with Morrison & Paly to a certain weekly quota. Ir fact, he was surprised at the size of it ITo would have to work diligently ani steadily during the rest of the winter. Having thus n definite task to ac complish in a definite number of days Hndway grew to be more of a tnsl master. Thus lie regained to a smnl degree the respect of his men. Then he lost it again. One morning he came in from a talk with the supply teamster and woke Dyer, who was not up yet. "I'm going down home for two or three weeks," he announced to Dyer. "You know my address. You'll have to take charge, and I guess you'd better let the scaling go. We can get the tally at the hanking grounds when we begin to haul. Now. we ain't got all the time there is, so you want to keep the boys at it pretty well." Dyer twUted the little points of his mustache "All right, sir," said he, with his -mile so Inscrutably insolent that Kadway never saw the Insolence at all. He thought this a poor year for p. man in Kadway's position to spend Christmas wl'.h his family, but it was none of his business. "Do as much as you can in the marsh, Dyer," went on the Jobber. "I don't believe it's really necessary to lay off any more there on account of the weather." "All right," repeated Dyer. The scaler did what he considered his duty. All day long he tramped back and forth from one gang of men to the other, keeping a sharp eye on the details of the work. His practical experience was sufficient to solve readi ly such problems as broken tackle, ex tra expedients or facility which the days brought forth. The fact that in hlui was vested the power to discharge kept the men at work. Dyer was in the habit of starting for the marsh an hour or r after sunrise. The crew, of course, were at work by daylight. Dyer heard them often through his doze, just as he heard the chore buy come in to build the tire and fill the water pall afresh. After a time the lire, built of kerosene and pitchy black pine, would get so hot thnt in self defense he would arise and dress. Then he would breakfast lei surely. Thus he incurred the enmity of the cook and cookee. Those individuals have to prepare food three times a day for half a hundred eaters, besides which on sleigh haul they are sup posed to serve breakfast at !! o'clock for the loaders and a variety of lunches up to midnight for the sprinkler men As a consequence they resent infrac tions of the little system thej may have been able to introduce. Now, the business of a foreman is to be up as soon as anybody. He does none of the work himself, but lie mil. see that somebody else does It and does it well. He must know how a tiling ought to be done, and lie must be on hand unexpectedly to see how its ac complishment is progressing. Dyt r should have been out of bed at first horn blow. One morning he slept until nearly 10 o'clock. It was inexplicable: He hur ried from hi bunk, made a hasty toilet and started for the dining room to get some sort of a lunch to do him until dinner time. As lie stepped from the door of the office he caught sight of two men hurrying from the cook camp to the men's camp. He thought b heard the hum of conversation in tl latter building. The cookee set ht coffee before him. For the rest he took what he could find cold on the ta ble. Dyer sat down, feeling for the first time a little guiliy. Tills was not be cause of a sense of n dereliction In du ty, but because he feared the strong man's contempt for Inoftlelonoy, "I sort of pounded my ear a little long this morning," he remarked, will an unwonted nlrof bonhomie. The cool; creased his paper with one hand and went on reading. "I suppose the men got out to the marsh on time," suggested Dyer, still easily. The cook laid aside his paper and looked the scaler In the pye. "You're the foreman: I'm the cook.' said he. "You ought to know." Dyer was rto weakling. The prol loin presenting, he rose to the emergen cy. Without another word he pushed back ills coffee cup and crossed tin narrow, opi passage to the men's camp. When he opened the door n silence Ml. He could see dimly that the room as fun of lounging and smoking lum bermen. As n mutter of fact, not man had stirred out that morning. "How's this, men':" cried D;er shnrp ly. "Why aren't yoti out on th marsh?" No one answered for a moment. Then Rnptlsto: "Ho mnk' too tarn role for de ranrsh Meester Hndway ho splk dat we kip oil dnt marsh vr'e.n he mnk' cole." Dyer know that the precedent was in disputable. "Why didn't you cut on 'eight' then!" ho asked still In peremptory tones. "Didn't have no one to show ns where to begin," drawled a voice in the corner. Dyer turned on his heel and went out. The crew worked on the marsh that afternoon and the subsequent days ot the week. They labored conscientious ly, but not zealously. The work moved slowly. At Christmas a number of the men "went out." Most of them were back again after four or ftvo days, for while men were not plenty neither waa work. The equilibrium was nearly ex act. Hut the convivial had lost to Dyer the days of their debauch, Instead of keeping up to ."0,000 n day, ns Hndway had figured was necessary, the scale would not have exceeded 30,000. CIIAPTKH VII. DWAY returned to camp by the th of January. He went on snowshoes over the entire Job and then sat silently In the of fice smoking. The Jobber looked older. The lines of drjgood humor about his eyes had subtly changed to nn expres sion of pathetic anxiety. He attached no blame to anybody, but rose the next morning nt horn blow, nnd the men found that they had a new master over them. Now It became necessnry to put the roads In shape for hauling. All winter the blacksmith had occupied his time In fitting the iron work on eight log sleighs which the carpenter had hewed from solid sticks of timber. They were tremendous affairs, with runners six feet apart and bunks nine feet In width for the reception of logs. The carpenter had also bulit two Im mense tnnks on runners, holding each some seventy bnrrels of water nnd with holes so arranged that on the with drawal of plugs the water would tlood the entire width of the road. The sprinklers were filled by horse power. A chain running through blocks at tached to a solid upper framework, like the open belfry of an Italian mon astery, dragged a barrel up a wooden track from a water hole to an opening In the sprinkler. When in action this formidable machine weighed nenrly two tons and resembled a moving house. Other men had felled two big hemlocks, from which they had hewed beams for a V plow. The V plow wus now put in action. Six horses drew it down the road, each pair superintended by a driver. The machine was weighted down by a num ber of logs laid across the arms. Men guided It by levers and by throwing their weight against the fans of the plow. It waa a gay, animated scene, this, full of the spirit of winter the plodding, straining horses, the brilliant ly dressed, struggling men, the sullen yielding snow thrown to elih-.r aide, the shouts, warnings and commands. To right and left grew white banks of snow, liohind stretched a broad white path in which a scant inch hid the bare earth. For some distance the way led along comparatively high ground. Then, skirting the edge of a lake, it plunged into a deep creek bottom between hills. Here enrlier In the year eleven bridges hnd been constructed, and perhaps a many swampy places had been "coi duroyed" by carpeting them with long parallel poles. Now the first difficulty began. Some of the bridges had sunk below the level, ami the approaches had to be "corduroyed" to a practicable grade. Others again were humped up like tom cats and had to be pulled apart en tirely Still thnt sort of thing was to be ex pected. A gang of men who followed the plow carried axes and cant hooka for the purpose of repnlrlng extem poraneously just such defects which never would have been discovered oth erwise than by the practical experi ence. Kadway himself accompanied the plow. Thorpe, who went along as one of the "rond monkeys," saw now why such care had been required of him in smoothing the way of stubs, knots nnd hummocks. When the road hnd been partly cleaned Hndway started one of hH sprinklers. Water holes of suitable size had been blown in the creek bank by dynamite. There the machines were filled. Stratton attached his horse to the chain and drove him bnck nnd forth, hnullng the barrel up and down the slide way. At the bottom it wan capsized and filled by menus of n loni) pole shncklod to its bottom and manlp ulated by old man Heath. At the ton It lllrtiefl nvi.r hir He nn-n walnltt 'ft.,,. ' seventy odd times. Then Fred Green hitched his team on and the four horses drew the creak ing, cumbrous vehlclo spouting dowr! tho road. Water gushed in fans from ! the openings on olther side and beneatn ' and in streams from two holes behind Not for an Instant ns long ns the flow' continued dared the teamsters brcathf! their horses, for a pnuse would freeze the runners tight to the ground. Aj tongue nt either end obviated tho ne-' cesslty of turning around. Thnt night it turned warmer. Th change waa hernlded by a shift ol wind. "She's goin' to rain," said old Jack son. "The air Is kind o' holler." "Hollow?" said Thorpe, laughing "How Is thnt?" "I don' know," confessed nines, "bill she is. She Just feels thnt w,ay." In the morning the Icicles dripped from the roof, nnd the snow becain pockmarked on the surface. Hndway was down looking at tin road. "She's holdln' her own," said he. "but there ain't any use putting mor wnter on her. She nln't freezing i mite. We'll plow her out." Bo they finished the Job and plowed her out, leaving exposed tho wet marshy surface of the creek bottom, on which at night a thin crust formed. "She'll freeze a little tonight." said Hadway hopefully. "You sprinkler boys get at her and wet her down." Until 2 o'clock in the morning the four teams and the six men creaked bnck arid forth spilling bnrdly gath ered water. Then they crept in and ate sleepily the food that n sleepy cookee set out for them. By morning the mere surface of the sprinkled water hnd frozon. Rndwny, looked in despair at the sky. Dimly, through the gray he caught the tint of blue. The sun came out. Nuthatches and woodpeckers ran gayly tip the warm lug trunks of (he trees; blue Jnys fluff ed and perked and screamed in the hardwood tops; a covey of grouse ven tured from the swamp and strutted vainly, a pause of contemplation be tween each step. Kadway, walking out on tho tramped road of the marih, cracked the artificial skin and thrust hla foot through Into Icy water. That night the sprinklers stayed in. The devil seemed in it. Men were lying Idle; teams were doing the same. Nothing went on but the days of the year, and four of them had already ticked off the calendar. The deep snow of tho unusually cold autumn hnd now disappeared from the tops of the stumps. It even stopped freezing dur ing the night. At times Dyer'a little thermometer marked aa high as 40 de grees. "I often heard this wns a sort 'v summer resort," observed Tom Brond head, "but hnnged If I knew It wns n summer resort all the year round!" By and by It got to be a case of look ing on the bright side of the affair from pure reaction. "I don't kuow," said Radway; "It won't be so bad, after nil. A couple of days of zero weather, with nit this wa ter lying nround, would fix things up in pretty good shape. If she only freezes tight wo'll have a good solid bottom to build on." The inscrutable goddess of the wil derness smiled and calmly, relentlessly, moved her next pnwn. It was all so unutterably simple and yet so effective. It snowed. All night and nil day the great flakes zigzagged softly down through the air. Hndway plowed nway two feet of it. The surfnee was promptly covered by a second storm. Hadway doggedly plowed it out again. This time the goddess seemed to re lent. The ground froze solid. Tho sprinklers became assiduous in their labor. Two days later the road was ready for the first sleigh, Its surface of thick, glassy Ice beautiful to be hold, the ruts cut deep nnd true, the glades sanded or sprinkled with re tarding hay on the descents. At the river tho banking ground proved solid. Hadway breathed again, then sighed. Spring was eight days nearer. He was eight days more behind. As soon as loading began the cook served breakfast nt !1 o'clock. The men worked by trie light of torches, which were often merely catchup jugs with wtcking in the necks. Nothing could be more picturesque than a teamster conducting one of his great pyramid leal loads over the little Inequalities of the rond, in the ticklish places stand ing atop with the bent knee of the Ro man charioteer, spying and forestall ing the chances of the way with a fixed eye and an Intense concentration that relaxed not one inch hi the miles of the haul. Thorp had become a full Hedged cant hook man. He liked the work. There is about It a skill that fascinates. A. man grips suddenly with the hook of his strong instrument, stopping one end that the other may slide. He thrusts the short, strong stock between the log and the skid, nllowing It to be overrun. He stops the roll with a sudden sure grasp applied at just the right moment to be effective. Koutctimes he allows himself to be carried up bodily, clinging to the cant hook like nn acrobat to a bar, un til the log has rolled once, when, his weapon loosened, he drops lightly, eas ily to tho ground. And it is exciting to pile the logs on the sleigh, first a layer of five, any; then one of four smaller, of hut three, of two, until at the very npex the last Is dragged slowly up the skids, poised and just ns It Is about to plunge down the other side is gripped nnd held inexorably by the little men in blue tlnnuel shirts. Chains bind the loads. And It ever during the loading or afterward when tho sleigh is in motion the weight of the logs causes the pyramid to break down and squash out, then woe to the driver or whoever happens to be near. For this reason the loaders are picked nnd cnreftil men. At the banking grounds, which lie Ui nnd nbout thi? bed of the river, the logs nre piled Into a gigantic skldway to await the spring freshets, which will carry them down stream to th "boom." In thnt Inclosiiro they remain until sawed in the mill, Thorpe, in common with the other men, hnd thought Kadway's vacation at Christmas time a ralstnke. He could not but ndmlre the feverish animation thnt now characterized the jobber. Kv cry mischance wns ns quickly repaired ns nroused expedient could do tho work. Esprit de corps ft woke. The men sprang to their tnsks with alacrity. gnve more than nn hour's exertion to ench of the twenty-four, took a pride in repulsing assaults of the great en erny whom they personified under the generic "She." One morning In February Thorpe wns helping load n big butt log, He was one of the two men who stnnd r.' either end of the skids to help the ns conding log keep straight nnd true tc Its bed on the pile. Ills assistnnt's end caught on u sliver, ground for f second nnd slipped back. Then tin log ran slanting across the skids In stead of perpendicular to them. To rectify the fault Thorpe dug his cnnl hook Into the timber and threw his weight on tho stock. Ho hoped in this manner to check correspondingly the ascent of his end. In other words, bo took the place on his sido of tho pre venting sliver, so equalising tho pres sure and forciug tho timber to its prop er position. Instead of rolling t'jc leg slid. Tho stock of the cant hook was Jerked from bis hands. Ho fell back, and the cant book, after clinging for n moment to tbo rough bark, snapped down and bit him a crushing Mow on the top of the head. They took Thorpe up nnd carried him In, Just aa they bad carried Hank Paul before. Men who bad not spoken a dozen words to him In as many days gathered bis few belongings nnd stuff ed them awkwardly into his satchel. Jackson Hlues prepared tho bed of straw and warm blanket! in tbo bot tom of the sleigh that was to takJ blm out. "He would bar omds food bOM." aald the old fellow. "He's a hard man to nick." CHAPTER VIH. HEN Thorpe Anally camo to himself be was in a long, bright, clean room, and the unset was throwing splashes of light on the ceiling over hla bead. Ho watched them Idly for a time, then turned on his pillow. At once be perceived n long, double row of clean white patnted Iron beds, on which lay or sat figures of men. Other figures of women glided here and there noiseless ly. They wore long, spreading dove gray clothes, with a starched white kerchief drawn over their shoulders nnd across the breast. Their beads were quaintly whlta garbed In stiff winglike colfa, fitting dose nbout the oval of the face. Then Thorpe sighed comfortably and closed hla eyas and blessed the chance that he had bought a hospital ticket of the agent who had vlsltod camp the mouth before. For t?.ese were sisters, and the young man lay In the hospital of St. Mary. Like a great many other charities built on a common sense, self support ing, rational bnsls, the woods hospitals are under the Roman Catholic church. From one of the numerous agents who periodically visit the camps the lum ber Jack purchases for $8 a ticket which admits him at any time during the year to the hospital, where he is privileged to remain free of further charge until convalescent. So valuable are these institutions and so excellent ly arc they maintained by the sisters that a hospital agent is alwaya wel come even In those camps from which ordinary peddlers and Insurance men are rigidly excluded. In one of these hospitals Thorpe Iny for six weeks suffering from a severe concussion of the brain. At the end of the fourth his fever had broken, but he was pronounced as yet too weak to be moved. The roofs were covered with snow. One day Thorpe saw It sink into itself nnd gradually run away. The tinkle tinkle tank tank of drops sounded from his own eaves. Down the faroff river sluggish reaches of ?ee drifted. Then in a night the blue disappeared from the stream. It became a menacing gray, nnd even from bis distance Thorpe could cntch the swirl of its ris ing waters. A day or two Inter dark masses drifted or shot across the field of his vision, and twice he thought ho distinguished men standing upright nnd bold on single logs as they rushed down the current. "What is the date?" he asked of the sister. "The elevent' of March." "Isn't It early for the thaw?" "Listen to Mm!" exclaimed the sister delightedly. "Early, is it: Sure th freshet co't them all. Look, darltnt; ye can see the drive from here." "I see," said Thorpe wearily. :,When can I get out?" "Not for wan week," replied tue sis ter decidedly. At the end of the week Thorpe said goodby to his attendant. He took two days of tramping the little town to re gain the use of his legs nnd boarded the morning train for Ileeson Lake. Ho did not pause in the village, but bent his steps to the river trail. He followed the trail by the river. Hutterballs and scoters pnddled up at his approach. Rlts of rotten lec occa sionally swirled down the diminishing stream. Around every bend Thorpe looked for some of Kadway's crew "driving" the loss down tho current He knew from chance encounters with several of the men In Bay City that Hndway wns still in camp, which meant, of course, thnt the season's oper ations were not finished. Five rallca farther Thorpe began to wonder wheth er this last conclusion might not to er roneous. The Cass branch hnd shrunk en almost to its original limits. The drive must have been finished even this parly, for the stream in Its present con dition would hardly float saw logs. Thorpe, puzzled, walked on. At the banking ground he found empty skids. Evidently the drive was over. And yet even to Thorpe's ignorance it seemed incredible that the remaining million and a half of logs had been hauled, banked and driven during he short time he had lain in the Hay City bos pltal. More to solve tho problem than iu any hope of work he set out for tho logging road. Another three miles brought him to camp. It looked strangely wet and sodden and deserted. In fact, Thorpe found a bare half dozen people in it Hadway. the cook and four men who were helping to pack up tho movables. The Jobber showed strong traces of the strain Iip hnd undergone, but greet ed Thorpe almost jovially. "Hello, young man!" he shouted at Thorpe's mud splashed figure. "Come bnck to view the remains? All well again, heigh? That's good!" "I didn't know you were through," explained Thorpp, "and I enme to see If I could get a Job." "Well, now, I am sorry!" cried Rnd wny, "You can turn in and help, though, If you want to." Thorpp greeted the cook and old Jack son Hlncs, the only two whom he knew, and set to work to tlo up bun dles of blankets and to collect axes, peavics and toola of all descriptions. That evening the seven dined together at one end of the long table. The big room pxnnieu nirenny in aimospncro of desertion, "Not much like old times, is she?" laughed Hndway. "Can't you Just abut your eyes and hear Hnptlste sny, 'Mak' heem de soup one tarn more for me?' She's pretty empty now." .Inckson Hlnes looked whimsically down the bare board. "More room than Cod made for geese In Ireland," was his comment. After supper they sat outside for a little time to smoke their pipes, chair tilted ngninst the logs of tho cabins, hut soon the chill of melting snow drove them Indoors. The four team sters played seven up In the cook camp by the light of a barn lantern, while Thorpe uud the cook wrote letters. Thorpe's wns to his sister. "I have been in the hospital for about n month," he wrote. "Nothing aerlous a crack on tbo bead, which la all right now. Hut I cannot get home this summer, nor, I am afraid, enn we arrange nbout the school this year. I am about $70 uhead of where I waa last fall, so you see It is slow business. This summer 1 am going Into a mill, but the wages for green labor are not very high there either," and so on. vWheu Mils Helen Thorpe, aged sev 1 enteen, received thin document aha stamped her foot almost angrily. "You'd think he wns n dny Inborer!" she cried. "Why doesn't he try for a clerkship or something in the city where he'd hnve a chance to use his brnlns?" And thus she enme to feeling rebel llously thnt her brother had been a lit tle selfish In his choice of nn occupa tion; thnt he had sacrificed her Inclina tions to his own. After finishing the letter Thorpe lit his pipe nnd strolled out Into the dark ness. Opposite the little office ho stopped nmnzed. Through the narrow window he could see Hndway seated in front of the stove. He had sunk down Into hla chair unlit he rested on almost the small of his bnck, his legs were stuck straight out In front of him, his chin rented on his breast, and his two arms hung listless at his side, a pipe half falling from the fingers of one hand. All the facetious lines bad turned to pathos. "What's the matter with the boss, anyway?" asked Thorpe In a low voice of Jackson Hlnes when the seven up gnmo wns finished. "Hain't ye heard?" Inquired the old man In surprise. "Why.no. What?" "Rusted," said the old men aenten tlously. "How? What do yon mean?" "What I say. He's busted. Thnt freshet caught him too quick. They's more than a million nnd a half logs left In the woods thnt can't be got out this year, nnd ns his contract calls for n finished Job he don't get nothln' for what he's donp." "That's n queer rig," commented Thorpe. "He's done a lot of valuable work here. The timber's cut and skid ded anyway, nnd he's delivered a good deal of It to the mnin drive. The M. & D. outfit get all the ndvantnge of thnt." "They do, my son. When old Daly's hand gets nonr anything it cramps. I don't know how the old man come to mnkp such a contrac", but he did. Re sult Is he's out his expenses and time." The exceptionally early break up of the spring, combined with the fact that owing to the scries of incidents and accidents already sketched the ac tual cutting and skidding bad fallen so fnr behind, caught Hndwny unawares. He snw the rollwnys breaking out while his tenuis were Btill hauling in tile woods. In order to deliver to the mouth of the Oass branch the f: 000,000 alrendy nnnked he wns forced to drop everything else and attend strictly to the drive. This left still, as has been stated, a million nnd n half on skid ways, which Hndway knew he would be unable to get out that yenr. In spite of the jobber's ser'aluty that his claim was thus annulled and that he might aa well abandon the enter prise entirely for all he would ever get out of It, he finished the "drive" con scientiously and saved to the company the logs already bunked. Then be bad interviewed Daly. The latter refused to pay him one cent. The next day Hndway and Thorpe walked the ten 'nlles of the river trail together, while the teamsters and the cook drove down the five teams. L'n der tho influence of tho solitude and a firtaln sympathy which Thorpe mani fested Kudvv talked -a very little. "I got behind; that's all there Is to it," he said. "I bit off more than I could chew." Thorpe noticed a livak iu the man's voice and, glancing suddenly toward him, was astounded to catch his eyes brimming with tears. Kudway per ceived tho surprise. "You know when I left Christmas?" he asked. "Yes." "T.-.e boys thought it wns a mighty poor rig my leaving that way." He paused aguin in evident expecta tion ot a reply. Again Thorpe was si lent. "Didn't they?" Hadway insisted. "Yes, they did," answered Thorpe. The ohlor man sighed, "I thought so," ho wont on. "Well, I didn't go to spend Christmas. I went because Jim my brought me a telegram that I.Ida was sick wlih diphtheria. I sat up nights with her for eloveu days." "No bad after effects. I hope?" In quired Thorpe. "She died." said Radway simply. CHAPTER IX. ADWAY." said he suddenly, "I need money, and I need it bad. 1 think you ought to get something out of this job of the M. & D. not much, but some thing. Will you give me a shure of what I can collect from them?" "Sure!" agreed the Jobber readily, with a Inngh, "Sure! Hut you won't get anything. I'd give you 10 per cent quick!" "Good enough!" cried Thorpe. "Now, when we get to town I want your pow er of attorney nnd a fpw figures, after which I will not bother you ugain." The next dny the young man called for the second time nt the little red painted office under the shadow of the mill and for the second time stood be fore the bulky power of the Junior member of the firm. "Well, young man, what can I do for you?" asked the Intter, "I have been Informed," said Thorpe without preliminary, "that you intend to pny John Kadway nothing for the work done iu the Cass li ranch this winter. Is thnt true?" Daly studied his antagonist medita tively. "If it is true what Is it to you?" he asked at length. "I am acting In Mr. Kadwaj's inter est." "You are one of Radway's men?" "Yes." "In what capacity have you been working for blm?" "Cant hook man," replied Thorpe briefly, "I see," said Dnly slowly. Then sud denly, with nu intensity of energy thnt ntnrtled Thorpe, he cried: "Now, you get out of here! Right off ! Quick!" The young rnnn recognized the com pelling and autocratic boss addressing a member of the crew. "I shall do nothing of the kind!" he replied, with a finsh of fire. The mill owner leaped to his feet. Thorpe did not wish to bring nbout nn actual scene of violence. He hud at tniued his object, which waa to fluster tho other. "I have Railway's power of attor ney," l.y added. Ha!y snt down, controlled himself with au effort aud crowled out, "Why I didn't you say so?" "Now, I would like to know your po sition," went on Thorpe. "I nm not hern to mako trouble, but as an asso ciate of Mr. Radway I have n right to understand the case. Of course I have his side of the story," he suggested, as though convinced that a detailing of the other side might change his views. Daly considered carefully, fixing bla flint blue eyes unswervingly on Thorpe's face. Evidently his scrutiny advised blm that the young man was a force to be reckoned with. "It's like this," he said abruptly; "we contracted Inst fall with this man Radway to put In B.000,000 feet of our timber, delivered to the main drive at the mouth of the Cass branch. In this ke wns to net Independently, except as to the matter of provisions. Those he drew from our van and was debited rlth the amount of the same. Is that I'nr?" "Perfectly," replied Thorpe. "In return we were to pay him, mer chantable scale, $4 a thousand. If, however, he failed to put in the whole Job the contract was void." "That's how I understand It," com mented Thorpe. "Well?" "Well, he didn't get In the 5,000,000. There's a million and a half hung up ia the woods." "Rut you have In your hnnds thras million and a half, which under the present arrangement you get free of nuy charge whntever." "And we ought to get it," cried Daly. "Great guns! Here we intend to saw this summer and quit. We want to ;et iu every stick of timber we own 40 ns to be able to clear out of here for good nnd nil nt the close of the season, nnd now this condlgued Jobber ties us up for n million and a half." "It is exceedingly annoying," con ceded Thorpe, "and It Is a good deal nf Hndway's fault, I am willing to ad mit, but it's your fault too." "To be sure," replied Daly, with the iccent of sarcasm. "You had no business entering into any such contract. It gnve him no dhow." "I suppose that was mainly his look out, wasn't it? And. as I already told you, we had to protect ourselves." "You should have demanded security for the completion of the work. Under your present agreement, if Hadway got iu the timber, you were to pay htm a fair price. If ho didn't you appro priated everything he hnd already done. In other words, you made bbn a bet." "I don't are what you call it," an swered Daly, who had recovered his good humor in contemplation of the se curity of bis position. "The fact stauds all right." "It does," raid Thorpe unexpectedly, "and I'm glad of it. Now, let's examine a few figures. You owned 6,000,000 feet of timber, which at the price of stumpage" (standing trees) "was worth $10,000." "Well?" "You come out at the end of the sea son with three miMlou aud a half of saw logs, which with '.be H Mortb of logging added are worth IIiOO." "Hold on!" cried Daly. "We paid Kadway $4. We could have done it ourselves for less." "You could not have done it for one cent less than four-twenty in tbut coun try," replied Thorpe, "as an expert will testify." "Why did we give It to Radwr.." at four then?" "You aved the expense of a sslarled overseer and yourselves same bother," replied Thorpe. "Radway could do It for less because, for some strange rea son which you yourself do not under stand, a jobber can alwaya log for lass than a company." "We could have done it for four," In sisted Daly stubbornly. "But get on. What are you driving at? My time's valuable." "Well, put her at four, then," agreed Thorpe. "That makes your saw logs i worth over $0,000. Of this value Rad i way added $13,000. You hnve nppro- prlated that much of his without pay ing him one cent." Daly seemed amused. "How about the million and a half feet of ours he appropriated?" he asked quietly. "I'm coming to that. Now for your losses. At the stumpage rate your million and n half which Radway 'ap propriated' would be only '.hree thou sand. Hut for the sake of argument we'll take the actual sum you'd have received for saw logs. Even then the rulllio.t and a half would only have been worth between eight and nine thnusnnd. Deducting this purely theo retical loss Rndwny has occasioned you from the amount he has gained for you. you are still some four or five thousand ahead of the game. For that you pnld him nothing." "That's Hndway's lookout." "In Justice you should pay blm that amount. He Is a poor mnn. He has sunk nil he owned In this venture, some 512.000. nnd he has nothing to live on. Even if you pay htm five thou sand, he hns last considerable, while you have gained." "How have we gained by this bit of philanthropy?" "Because you originally paid in cash for nil thnt timber ou the stump Just $10,000, and you get from Radway saw logs to the value of $20,000," replied Thorpe sharply. "Besides, you still own the million and n half which, If you do not care to put them in your self, you can sell for something on tho skids." "Don't you know, young man, that white pine logs on skids will spoil ut terly In a summer? Worms get Into em." "I do," replied Thorpe, "unless yon bark them, which process will cost you about $1 a thousand. You can find any amount of small purchasers at re duced price. You can sell them easily it $3. Thnt nets you for your million and a halt a little over $4,000 more Under the circumstances I do not think Ihnt my request for live thousand is it all exorbitant." Daly Inughed. "You are a ahrewd Cgurer, nnd your remarks are interest ing." said he. "Will you give $5,000?" asked Thorpe. "I will not." replied Daly; then, with a sudden change of humor: "And now I'll do a little talking. I've listened to you Jnst about as long aa I'm going to. I have, Radway's contract In that safe, and I live up to It. I'll thank you to go plumb to blnxes!" "That's your last word, Is HT" asked Thorpe, rUlng. "It In." "Then," said he slowly and distinctly, "I'll tell you what I'll do. I intend to collect in full the $4 n thousand for the three millions and a half Mr- Radway has delivered to you, rn rt.turll jfr Rndwny will purchase of Jol nt stumpage rntos of a thoiuund tho million nnd a half he fmiwi t0 ,u In. That makes a bill against you, if my figuring is correct, ot Just $11 -000. You will pny that bill, aaa t tell you why. Your contract will ba classed In nny court ns n game-Mag con tract for lack of consideration. You have no legal standing n the world. I call your bluff, Mr. Daly, rind m fight you from the drop of the hot through every court In Christendom" "Fight ahead." advised Duly sweetly, who knew perfectly well tint Thorpe's law was faulty. As a matter of fact, the young man could hsv collected on other grounds, but neither was aware of that. "Furthermore," punned Thorpe in addition, "I'll repeat my offer boforn witnesses, and if I win the first suit I'll sue you for the ruonoy we could have made by purchasing the extra million nnd n half before it had a chnnce to spoil." This statement had its ffect, for It forced an Immediate settlement before the pine on the skids should deteriorate. Daly lounged bnck with a little more deadly carelessness. "And, Instly," concluded Thorpe, play Ing his trump card, "the suit from gtart to finish will be published In ev cry Important pnper In this country. If you do not believe I have the in fluence to do this you ate at liberty ta doubt the fact." Daly was cogitating mnny things. He knew that publicity was the list thing to be desired. Thorpe's state ment had been made In view of thu fact that much of the business of a lumber firm is done on credit. He thought that pet-hups u rumor of u big suit going against the firm might weaken confidence. As a matter of fact, this consideration had no weight whatever with the older man. although the threat of publicity actually galued for Thorpe what ha demanded. The lumberman f cured the noise of an in vestigation solely and simply becauia his firm, like so many others, waa en gaged at the time In stealing govern ment timber In the upper peninsula, He did not call It stealing, hut that was what It amounted to. Thorpe's shot In the air hit full. "I think we can arrange a basis of settlement," he said finally. "Re here tomorrow morning et 10 with Had wny." "Very well," said Thorpe. "By the way," remarked Daly, "I don't believe I know your name." "Thorpe," was the reply. "Well. Mr. Thorpe." said the lum hermnn, with cold anger. "If at any time :here is anything within my pow er or .:ifluence that you want I'll see tJiat you don't get It " '.ihe whole affair was finally compro mised for $9.i)i . Rfidxay, grateful beyond exprf shIuh, -nested on Thorpe'a acceptance of mi even ihoupsnd, and with thin money In baud the latter felt Justified in taking a vacation for the purpose of Tisltlng bis sltitt-r. For the purposes he uad in view $.H) would bf none too much. The re maining $uU0 lie had resolved to 'live?: In his sifter's comfort and happiiieps He had thought tho mutter ': and had gradually evolv-d what seemed to him an excellent plan Lie had nlrandy pcrf-ctcd it by correspondence with Mra. Renwick. It was. briefly, th'a: He, Thorpe, would nt once hire a wnant girl, who would make anything but su pervision uuneceinary In so small a household. The remainder i.t he mon ey he had already paid for a year's tuition in the seminary ot the town. Thus Helen gained her leisure and an opportunity for study and still rtaln-ed-her home in case of ipvers?. Thorpe found his lister already a young lady. After the nrst delight of meeting had pnsed they sat side by side ou the haircloth sofa and took stock of each other. Helen had developed from the school child to the woman. She was a hand some girl, possessed of a slender, well rounded form and deep haiel eyea, with the level gaze of her brother, although a figure rather aloof, a face rather im passive, but with the posslblrify of pas sion nnd emotion and a will to back them. "Oh, but you're tanned and and big!" she cried, kissing her broth. "You've bad audi a strange winter, lnven't you?" "Yes," he replied atwntlj. "Things came a little better than I thought they were going to toward the last, and I made a little money." "Oh. I'm so glad!" hf crtod. "Was It L-,.ich?" "No, not much," he answered. The actual figures would have been so much better. "I've made erraiiRnnenH with Mrs. Renwick to hire a servant girl, so you will have nil your time free, and I've paid a year's tuition for you in the seminary." "Oh," snld the girl, and fell silent. After a time, "Thank jou very cueh, Harry dear," then, after another inter val, "I think I'll go get ready for sap per." Instead cf gating ready for supper she paced excitedly up and down her room. "Oh. why didn't he ?ay what he waa nbout?" she cried to herself. "Why didn't he? Why didn't he?" The dnys, however, passed In the main pleasurably for them both. They were fond of one another. The bar rier slowly rising between them waa not yet cemoiiti il by lack of affection on either side, but mther by lack of belief in the other's affection. Helen imagined Thorpe's intarest in her be coming dally more perfticctcry. Thorpe fended his sister cold, unreasoning nnd ungrateful. And yet this was but the vague dust of n cloud. They could not forget thnt but for each other they were nlone in the world. Thorpe delayed his departure from day to day, making all the preparations he possi bly could at home. (to nt: CONVINCED.) TOT THEY WANT. When women iirnte of "woman's sphsre" They strive for nil they're worth To nlnlm their own ami make It r Thev feel thflr sphera's "the tarth. -Philadelphia Vresa. KVf'N THKN KHK'd" RATHER EAT YKS. II-A woman would rather talk thin listen. She-Well, that depend. He Depends on what? the Whether or not a n'sn ls aiak'nc hex u proposal, Chicago Newo.