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The Wheeling intelligencer. [volume] (Wheeling, W. Va.) 1903-1961, June 08, 1912, Image 18

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80RMLEY Aung four acts on tha
hoard and rakad In a pile of gold
pieces. The air* In Lumlsy's tan:
was aa thick aa a London fog. and
tfce two candles on sack end of the up
turned sled that was serving aa a table
looked like OreAlea.
A middle-aged man will* one eye stood
looking on. and after Oormlay had sifted
the gold Into hla pockets, stooped, and
picking up a flfth ace. laid It before
him. "Tou dropped this?" he asked. In n
matter of fact tone.
"Oho!" cried Lumley. whipping out hta
gun and covering Oormlay. "put It back.
you. put It back. go that's your
gem*"‘ The three man Jumped to thrlr
feet and scowled at tha winner. Oormley
stopped short, dosed. He stared at tha
card, then at the one-eyed man. and slowly
emptied hie pockets
"It'e forty miles to Valdes.” went on
Lumley Aercely, “but the trail's good end
most of It's down hill. This ain’t no plea*
for card cheats.'* Hla whole attitude waa
theatrical and overplayed. The other three
losing gamesters growled assent. Qorm
ley. very white, stared at all four.
"Look hare." he said, “there ain't no use
talking, but that aca of hearts never come
from me. Give me time to aell my cache
an’ I’ll light out, only 1 ain’t turnin’ back.
All I got's here. I'll go on to Circle."
“You prove that aca ain’t your’a." In
sisted Lumley, lowering his gun and scrap
ing In his share of the returned pot. ”an‘
It’e all off.” The other shook his head. "I
can't do It." he said In a hopeless voice.
"It was night to hla foot." broke In
Mellor. the on«-eyed man. "I ain't saylo’
nothin'; you all seen where I got It."
"Let the camp settle It," said Lumley.
"W# can have a call for to-morrow noon."
Oormley went out onto the dreary waste
•f Jackass Flats. It was lata April and
ths Tesllna was Just beginning to feel tha
Aood from the foot of the melting glacier.
He stood uncertain, looking Into tha dark
ness- He knew how a trial might result.
Justice was dealt out with swift fiends on
the trail. I: was tha boast of the ramp
that one might leave a full pocketbook
anywhere on the snow and And It again
untouched after days. Ha recalled the poor
devil who had mailt off with a side of
bacon—they burled him under two feet of
frozen ground on the other side of the
On the Hopeless
Backward Trail.
He went to his tent and lay down In hla
sleeping bag. Shortly after midnight ha
waa up. It didn't tfke him long to roll up
hla canvas and pack It on hta sled with a
baa of beans* another of bacon, some salt
and tea. hla mining tools and blankets.
He slipped tha rope over his neck and
under his arms, and with moccaslned f««?t
making no noise on the crust, started off
around the bend toward tha Tanana Hills
and the Copper River.
Ills fifteen hundred pounds of stuff
w-re lost to him; that was the price of tha
fifth are. Ha tried to figure out how tha
unlucky heart had fallen at his feet. Tha
one-eyed man he knew for a square fellow,
the mall carrier of tha country, who took
hla life in hla hands every day for a dollar
a letter, lie set hla teeth and cursed h.e
luck. Tm througu," ha said, and was
startled at the sound of hta own voice.
•'Hell, think of mortgaging tha old place
for thla.'* He laughed harshly. Inwardly
sick at tha thought. He k-*pt on mushing
untu long after daylight* stopped In a
hollow to light a fire and cook a little
breakfae*. and then rolled himself up In
hia blanket and slept until lata afternoon.
i»rnjrging ono nunarel and firty pound*
sounds sasy. but It la no slnscuro whon
th* path is unbroken and unknown. Hts
Plans to build a boat and float down ths
Teslina to Copper Centro were out of tho
question now. He must g> It afoot, and
try to meet up with prospectors who didn't
know him.
For ten day* ho pushed on over snows
that were fast melting, fording streams
that threatened to sweep him off his feel*
and putting mils after mils between him
and ths spec*re that hung over Jackass
Flats. Ths ics on Uk« Marguerite was
beginning to break as he worked his way
along tho shore, and light laden ha reached
tha front of the lake In half the time he
had set aside to get there.
Tales of Cold,
But Only Tales.
Th«r. wer# men ahead of him; men with
♦alea of cold, but no gold. Tha rainbow
now hung far away ovar tha Tanana If Ilia
bayond tha clay banka of tha Capper.
Cormlay pitched hta tent and reatad. Tha
surface anow »u gotta; there waa no m»ra
sledding. Back of tha new camp layacrea
of fallen tree*, round, ehlnlna. amooth with
•b* waar and tear of anow and rain anj
weather. Inelr baaea cut off aa clean aa
wheat after tha acythe.
Tha nlahta were aetttna shorter, and In
tha half dark, with man rowtna on tha
lake and Hah'* twlnkllna fr-«m many tents,
with aonae romlna from light-hearted ad
venturer* to tha accompaniment of a banjo,
one might have thought ha was on an
Island laka back ln*the State* Only tha
narrow rim of m on, tilted, uncanny, visi
ble for a few moments over tha tope of
whit* peak*. Jarred on the ey# and broke
the imagination a* on a wheal.
Oormlay saw pi fured on many of tha«a
flights In tha alienee that followed tha
tinging—an almost tangible atlllneaa— the
little farm In Indiana, his wife and tha
two children sitting hy their mother on
the farm wagon waving their hand* as tha
train pulled out hearing him Into tha un
known. Thera were hundred* who could
rooj ,ra op tlml.ar vision* II. want ovar
the arena in Lumley ■ tent, and wondered
If It might not have been for tha heat.
:..w an) again pr-xpector* pa**ed on
their way ba-k. all with tala* of tha r|chaa
of the Worth All wl'h etorle* of how
they, lea* for- -nata than their fallow*, had
J„.t m...ed tn. lurky -:.,m. Morml.y
looked about -he clr.l. ,h», listened open
n . ifhatl -o the., fahrlrafIona of waaith
»o*- t-y a hair s breadth, and ahr ,gg*d tils
night ther. waa a stirring tn the
rao.p Three m.n h.d rom. In with «„
a .ni of . tin hod In the hill* front
a i pert* Of ihe littia town of tanta forma
began to appear armed with pick and
ahoral, loaf in thalr eyea. Impatlanra to
thatr gait. The ravaleada atarted, no nna
rnuld have told under whoa* direction and
by day light was half way op in’ tha
mo-in tains, over swamps, across n«:d* of
arlsa-rre.sed fallen tr.,nka. among ho ,t
darn It Ikranded Its wa. aaflna cold hacsn
The Ace Hearts-* tei
and flapjack aa It want, and to^iiopaful ta
be weary.
The suo went down. There, that waa
the place, that gulch—the hundred began
to dig. spreading out Ilka a lot of Jackals,
panning out black dirt with eyes glued to
the bottom looking for the telltale glitter.
Swarms of mosquttoeo so thick as to
darken the air bussed and bit unheeded.
Instead of gold was water—water under
the mo»i. The placa waa a morass Then
fkge broke forth. Who said there wae
gold here? No on# could tell. Mrn looked
at each other and realised that they war*
exhausted; raised their eyes to the higher
hills and saw a herd of caribou marching
majestically up-—up.
They crept back, some silent, some curs
ing—to esch csmp only when light was
breaking and to forget their disappoint
ment In sleep and whiskey.
Uormley took hla leave and headed north
with his beans and bacpn reduced to a
fortnight'* ration. Three days later he
stopped near a deserted cache, on the side of
which was scrawlad on a flour bag. -Stran
ger. help yourself.** He took what he needed
and went on. This was th«*w«y to go. unbur
dened by a great load. He looked back
and tried to figure how far he would have
been If he had stopped to whip-saw lumber
and build a boat. He pictured the men he
had left, tolling three miles through the
swamp to find siseable trees; their days of
back-breaking toll, the carrying of tho
green boards to the camp, to patching and
launching and waiting. FTe saw them load
ing up and floating, as he thought, serenely
to tne Copper. He did not see the fre
quent stranding* on sand bars, the battles
waist deep in the icy waters to keep the
boats from swirling over, the (hanging
channels and the water-*oaked food.
Brown and green patches began to ap
pear—a grateful relief to the eye after the
Interminable vista of white. He
the scramble fer the yellow metal, and
time In the North Is moro than life.
For two months he tolled on. It was not
until hs had moro than he had over dared
to hope for that the thought struck him—
how to get his gold to tho coast. Ho could
not wait for Wlntor and truot to unbrokon
trails and sudden blizzards. Neither could
ho pack such a heavy weight over the now
dangerous glacier without exciting sus
picion. There was the river, but he had
no boat. Provisions hs could pick up
along tho tslltale banks* of tho Copper—
with picks and shovels and pans—but
boats were not to be had. The Incoming
hoats needed them to haul up their goods,
and the outgoing to get back to tho Cen
ter. He had no money and he dared not
offer nuggets.
Tho necessity of ths boat weighed on
his mind, and he wandered to the bank of
ths rIvor ono afternoon, looking In vain
for any sight of smoke or boat. A man
tapped him on ths shouldsr. Gormley
jumped round and faced him. Ths other
wastqd no words in greeting.
“Look here, pard,’’ he said, “any doctor
In these parts?"
Gormley shook his head. -Whyr
“Got a man with a broken leg down
there. Hit by a bear. We fixed him up
the best we could, but he’s got to get
“Where’s your boat?* *«kod Gormley.
“Lyin’ In that cove.” He seised the pros
pector by the sleeve, and started with him
down tho precipitous gravel bank. The
boat lay on a ledge of shale, add shout It
moved two other adventurers whom Gorm
ley had never seen before. They hailed
him as a savior. The man with a broken
leg lay on a sleeping bag with staring
eyes. He saw Gormley and smTTed a lone
“Hello, Lumley,” said Gormley. “I ain’t
It hadn't bean for thin Matted fool—flour
at a dollar a pound on tha Flats and lyin'
nroun' hers for nothin'. You cot to trass*
liCbt. I any. but It's lira and learn."
"You ain't smokln'T"
"No, loat my tobacco."
"Give 'lm your plpo and pluc. I.umley."
• aid the speaker "You'll not need ’em to
night." He due them out of the sick man ■
pocket and handed them ovar.
Oormley filled the corncob bowl and took
a lone whiff with the manner of a man
clutchlne at chloroform durioc an opera
The three men raised the flcure In the
boat, and Gormlay smoothed out the
blankets In the bow. L.umley groaned
Gortnley filled hla pall and pave him watar.
“He's In fever." he aald. "I'll start alonp
now. there'll be a little llpht left."
The other men fixed the sick min half
sMtlag on the flat bottom with hla lep
reetlnp easy. The oare were fattened to
the thole pins. Uormiey took hold. "Walt
a minute." Tho two men dropped what
food they could spare Into the elern.
"Shovfc her off," cried Gormley. "Easy,
easy." lie stepped In aa the craft awunp
free and glided out Into the murky stream
Then the current caupht them and they
sank away from tha watchlnp figures on
the shale—back on the road to God's
Ltimley'a eves were closed, but he was
evidently suffering agonies. Gormley is*
htin Indistinctly, save for the white ban
dages that atood out In the dark and for
got about the burled gold. Here was a
suffering man who needed help. They
moved swiftly on through the shadow of
tho long white evening of the North
pacing off tho road to Copper Centre at
six miles an hour.
Two hoars later Gormlay pulled ashore.
Millions of mosquitoes awarmed about ths
than he la to you. I ain't carta’In' to build I
a house—ain't got no tools an' no food." |
“You might's well lake a chance with the
river.' said the other. “It's gettln on new.
and It'll be freesln' some fine day. Lot him
lie there till mornln'. Ue'U (eel better
after he has some broth.”
Lumley gulped down the bear meat bro.b
and fell off Into a dose.
“I'll bunk In the boat.” said aormley.
“Ain't had no sleep." The nuggets were
never out of hts mind, yet ha had no Idea
of leaving Lumley. He had aecrlltced a lot
already, but he had the boat, and that was
a good deal. He was up at daylight, with
the rest of the camp. He did not aee a face
he anew. The human tlda was beating
North with a resistless flood and little ebb.
Lumlsy aeemed a little better; his gase
less wild. “You can't leava him here.”
was the unspoken comment he read la
ewery eye. The movement up the river be
gan before sunrise. The miners who had
given a helping hand to the sick man were
only too glad to carry him back to the
boat. They did it wtih alacrity, and prof
fered provisions In plenty. It was an easy
way of patting themselves on the back
and getting rid of responsibility and delay.
They were all human, and they gave
Gormloy full credit for what seemed to
them a daring sacrifice.
The sick man was made comfortable In
the bow. and two pins were fastened In
the stern to hold «„ oar for a rudder.
Wa*. pU,hed off on hl* J®“rnsy to
'£• dlt* of ,h® Copper, and the camp
shouted good luck from the shore.
bars* *'*"• *voMln* driftwood and
m give Luili! *Un W** h,<rh' ,h'n ‘"■‘ched
In ,0me bro,h' •«»Y heated
r“ht-” **id -*o»
Th*v ___a
••Centre.” and passed men tow
ing heavy loada against Its
•wtft current.
“Hello, goln' North?”
“Tee. to Circle.”
“Good luck to you.”
“Same to you,"
The Spring waa beginning ta
thaw out men's spirits as well
aa the ground. He lost trmek
of the daya, and the watch that
ticked off the hours he rarely
looked at. The nights were like
the daya. white and long. Ha
waa In another world, and only
the winds and the brooks talked
to him In a language that be
Twelve daya from striking the
big stream he rame up with a
party of Chinooks. “Siwashea”
they called themselves on the
trail. They regarded him stolid
ly. hut their followers, a doxen
yellow dogs with huge ears,
harked long and loud. Gorm
ley eyed them curiously aa he
went about getting his evening
meal. The salmon had begun to
run long ago—and such salmon,
shimmering with all ths colors
Of the Northern lights The
Indians were apathetic, one of
their number wea sick, an old
man. evidently a chief h* |ar
In his clothing of skint and
moaned while others of bib
tribe crowded about him.
Gormley got out hia flask, and
poured the remaining draught
Into a tin cup. lie made motions
Of drtnklng to the onlookers, and
held the whiskey to the old man ,
lips Then he emptied hla quin
Ine bottle of Ita last three pllla
and added this to the dose,
piling covering r.n the patient.
The next morning the Chinook
waa better, and the Indiana
went on with their Interrupted
work of drying salmon for the
"Inter King salmon had been
offended, now he was propitiated,
and all would be well.
Gormley waa starting „„ h!f
wray. when one of the wizened
women of the ramp pulled him
by the arm am! led hltp to the
recovering chief The latter
grunted, and aa apafhelically aa
though he had offering
Gormley a crust of bread held
out three nuggets of gold The
White man shook hla head
Then the other made signs with
hla hands aa If digging ,j„roi.
ley understood. the Indian
r ^ “
“ ‘Oho!’ cried Lumley, whipping out his gun
•nd covering Gormley.”
* WM® »«k«. Red vine, and
’u® *lty *n'l tha unutterable
• lenca of the Norlh r,ve
*, of "»*:iclam to the scene.
, might have been a magtc
river undisturbed by ,„y .oun.l
or man hungry for gold If
Oormley had been a dreamer he
would have heard the mu.lc of
an unrathomed world In the
breexe. . As It was ha saw tha
smoke of a white story and a
half farmhouse and two child
ren playing In a brook.
He was roughly roused hy the
sudden steepening of the banka
and a quickening of pace.
Suddenly a thought atrurk him.
He ran the boat's head to the
shore, and let the stern swing
while he fastened to the seat
tha canvas containing the
treasure. Lumley followed hla
action with a questionable
glance. "All my dunnage la
there." said Gdrmlay. “an* If
she tipped — not that thera'a any
fear.'" he added, looking the
other In the eye. Lumley
shifted hla gaze, and there
after cast suspicious glances at
tha brown canvas.
They were on again, getting
quickly Into swift water. There
was no longer any lima for
rumination. High banks of
rock penned In a gurgling awtrl
of Impatient torrent. Tha alek
man’s nostrils went wide, but
Uormley had no time lo see.
Kddies were ahead. The helms
man was not a sailor born, but
he knew that hla safety de
pended on a strong arm and a
clear eye. and he had both.
The boat struck something with
a chug, then rode over It—a •
man's body floating face down
ward. l.uniley’B arms were
like Iron rhds bolding him
to hla place. On. on. faster and
faster, grazing green boulders
that vanished as they were seen,
shooting through lanes of
murky yellow churned to spray,
and at last out Into a broad
stream, side by aide with a
second boat half filled and fast
They floated eatmly aftar
that. Oormley looked at the
w““* *»* Bought to a .
things. "r|ow •[ ah
For I hr** da,.* h.
broad day wl’h hla o« w *'"1 ,h'n ,n
walk'd by |h* „d* „r b»cl«.
jk "••• i • r haif*d ;::**? ,nw-,rA
from fh#» rlv^r .n,e o. , . m mil#*
k.iki. m . tc;\rn,fA*• •
foothill* Tho whc* two
h.m. ou, ,h. o*h*r ,ur*?, hj'i w„h
gallon.*"* Wh° h'4 n,'rtl* "H*d an obll
Oormlrjr |nm n*, flm. tl
::: ,h*‘
Tim ^ fI * **mlnln» Mrh it
hi. hi Id „ T*?**' »>'»'*ned;
iimaormllT^ . M" "’*« •» r«un« of
can Tn* > ' * I"*' ‘1l*’ *'*• ban. pan.
h* Vi ?" '* r,,m"
IT. h.J. » T”*’ ,f .ho.,Id
, , ' **? I"*1" ***n a’akrd out a
rlaim. and if h. did »h*r* w..u,d h* r.gla
t t It. It* mut h* raraful. raraful and
" ■" '*• *■- ’>■- « i i, utter i« in.,
r.r.nint „0;f If, ainppad ,nd gat . r.d
hi. prorlou. bit. of motal Info hla r,p
Th*n hr It waa nr.rly aunaat. ha had
baan working right hour, and It ...mod
«y>ly a momanr ||« unrollad hla blank*!
and >P"ad th" rubbor rovaring Avar th#
hoia Thr-I ha dug .tnothar hot*, and aft*r
lining th* l...i»,.m with atenaa, burlad hla
dft.an odl huger,a h,,
» aak and fall aalr.p j|. draam*d of hi*
farm lla would h ,:id a naw houa. with
running wa>*r and hup * apanklng pair and
a buggp with ruhbor Urea, ha would #*t
hooh. for ,ha hoy and gin and a diamond
flog for K «**, bo would hava raah In lha
bank Half a doran llmat ha awoko. aoma
on* might ho prowling Th* f*ar of die.
rorarp waa navay off hla mind. Mr would
flgh- for What ha had In ,nd. and dla for
It If n**d ha 11a fait of hla Colt# and
dorad off again
II* formulat'd a plan of Batina, ff .tip
ana ahould roma h* would pratand ta ha
III and aak for h*ip H- laugh.d at tha
tha-*gh, That would frlgh'on tham away
On* man* ||fa more er |aa* la noth,.*
bearin' no mallra" !!• turned to th« s'*«*
man's companions.
I m tfoln ba*~k You f**., .a« want to p"'*
It North. d*»n t you? (live ms tha host and
1*11 ttk« ram to the Centre. Tho Govern*
m^nt fto*-'* th*r.\ like a* not.**
Tho others had looked f.»r no such solu
tion of a dl« lgreoablc sttuatlpn aa this.
They showed the relief thsy felt Oorm
ley made no sign. "We'll give you oil * *
c«n spare,-* as-l the man who had flrs;
arrested him *'W*« ran i pu.l up stream
mu* h farther, anvh *w '*
* tilve me a ( i ipu nf hours.** said Oorm
1*Y "I go* a log and a blanket tip there,
an’ I'll bo hark ** lie climbed /.!g-sag up
tha bank, and strui k south on a round
*t»oul way to his tent.
ilera was his rh*nr*. He had dug out a*
f»*f? •• »• J f* ** * * • * T*. •«•"» »...*,0^ed
pounds of gold With hi* pick h- could
to*e about seventy-live pounds He wrapped
half the nog#**t* In the rwnvaa. and f • *nd
he could •' trcsly lift the load. With a
trembling hand he took soma out and
hurled them w1 * h the others, digging •
hole foe h's Shovel Ms pan and his pick,
ll« counted cn dr opping down stream a
stref. fi ar<d tying up long enough to g«i
the rest of his board lie ought to he nt
1 snncrles, §* the mouth of the Copper, In
ten days easy floating He fell a catch In
hi* breath- onoa thera h* could wait f »r a
steamer and go hack a rich man. Ills
t- d> wsa wet wl*h persplr « Ion when ha
S *t l*i k t.» fhe bsnk. It was s * 111 light
He let Mmself down gingerly and faced
the company on tha shale Then, wl’h a
Supreme effort he dropped hla pack Into
the boat as if It wera a feather. Tha
ether* were ea’lng and made room for him.
f.umiey was propped Up on the boat
"Af fhe I be men passed him a pa«| of
eo. oa sweetened With a saccharine tablet.
•Ill net its a long lima since you had a
smack of that."
‘ »I"W far north yn<> got**r asked rpirm
They a | laughed Hltfgfly. ”Ood knows.
Wa might a bean to iho Yukon by ts.a if
flrk man's face. If# built a Are and heaped
on grass to nuk.j a smudge. Then he
held more water to l.umlry s hot Ups.
As*d his net over Ms head ami rolled over
to sleep. ]|* was awakened t»y Lumley.
who had half raised himself on his arms
and was staring wild eyed at the bank.
"Lie down'" shouted Clormley. The other
( RiamK'j •»nd ptiaisl fraatlealijr to tn#
ri'er All right,* Oormi ey nodded and
liiv him water. "Wt'll ho under way In
a Jiffy now" 11 - s’opped f»»r a brief break
fast, and for ten long hours they drifted
on. pulling up at the Centre In the early
afternoon. Thera was small comfort there,
the (lovemment squad breaking trail to the
Yukon had passed days before.
Luckily one prospector bad a medicine
chest with a few commonplace remedies.
A down willing men carried I.umley out
of ihe boat lo the bank, and there an im
promptu doctor changed the handagas and
soaked tha n»*w ones with liniment. Tha
patient twitched and moaned. Oormiey
stood by and watched, but his eye nsver
left ths boat with Its golden burden,
flow d It |sppsnr some on* asked,
lie was out lockin' for bears, him and a
psrd.' said fiormley, "when up come a big
fe l .w smack Into him lla pulled hla gun. but
afore he could shoot the beast slapped him
In the leg with his paw. lie went down
Ilk* a shot an* the bear walked off Thera
warn t no doctor up there, an* his mates
wantin' to park It north. I agreed to teava
Mm here, beln on the way home myself*
•Who you goin* to leave him wlth^*
asked the impromptu doctor, startled A
bystander did not give him a ehanre to an
swer. "You ran t leave Mm hers." he atll
"Float him down to the f'annerlea.**
Its a big risk." said the questioner,
"full of rapids the Copper is below hers,
and got a doten mouths. My opinion la
you'd never get there.**
"I reckon the fMvernment would take
rare of him," said fiormley.
"•o they might, but they ain't no soldiers
.hero and you can t g#t him to Valdsa.
ths* s aura."
• »«nw long aforo he gets healed upT*
asked fiormley.
ain't payin',** repVed the man whe
had arranged the bandages. maybe ala
I can t stay here all Winter with Mm.**
aald Oormiey 'He gin » sr# lo m#
was luck.” ha said, “null luck, and nothin*
less.*' fla stretched hie arms, standing up
carefully. ,#llow you feelin’ ?** Lumley
nodded. -That s good, we ll win out >et-*
They pulled in a cove Just before dark,
end <*ormley swung the boat high. He
Used Inmley’s sleeping blankets and helped
him ashore. lie wss a good deal stronger.
-Not a dashed bit of broth left.** said
Oormley. “Too bad you can’t walk. I’il
have to look for a stray bear ** He took h.e
gun and disappeared up the bank.
The light began to fade off. I.umley
watched the figure of Oormley mingle with
t ho other shadows, raised himself cau
tiously. and, using hla arms, sidled along
to the spot where Uurmley’a bag was tied
to the seat.
He unfastened the cord, and plunged
Ms hand among the blanketa. felt some
thing herd and pulled It out. Pefore hla
eyes saw me gold he knew what It waa.
He took off his hat and dropped nugget
after nugget In It, hobbled hack to hla own
bag awd stuffed the treaaure to the bottom.
Then, quickly, when his nervous Angara
could And no more, seised at random what
atones he could, and dropped them la tbe
MvarlDg that had •haltered tha gold heat
er's burden.
Oormler returned with ble hat fait el
berries. to And th* etch man almost a* be
bed left him. Th* gatherlag dark hid
from view the perspiration en hla fee*, aed
th* glitter In hi* eye*.
"No bear.** celled Gormley. “hut. Lord,
whet e reft ef berries. Try some.” He
held out tho hat. Into It Lumley thrust a
shaking hand and at*.
There wee no telling bow far they had
yet to go. Gormley could only aee by tha
broadening of tho stream that they must
be somewhere near the mouth. Tho white
top of Mount Wrangel loomed doceltfully
near. They bad met no ono and tho alleno*
waa absolute. Gormley eat la th* stern
smoking Lumley'* pips and glancing now
and again at hla companion.
"Look here.* said the Injured man.
“Tou'v# been on tho square with me end
Til be on th* square with you. P*raps you
thought I was playin' crooked In that poker
gams on tho Flats. It wasn't me. but
Jennings don* th* business, droppln' that
ae* by your foot. Didn't you eee blm ask
Mellor to pick'It upT*
"I’d like to meet him.* said Gormley.
"He was on th* bsnk above Copper."
ssid Lumley. “I seen him. but I didn't
cel'lste to make no nors trouble.*
“Ii s *11 right." replied Oormlsy. "maybe
ni run up With him y*L If I do—but aay.
do you want your pipe; feelln* Attar ain’t
Th# other nodded. “Reckon I could take
a puff." ha said.
Gormley handed It over, and then leaning
over. Ailed hla hand with water, spat It
out and stared at Lumley. “By God." ho
cried. "It"s salt." The other stared, too.
They were nearing the end of their Jour
ney. Ths river grew broader, but Gorm
ley kept to the middle to get th* full force of
a slackening current. It wee late the neat
afternoon that he felt his moccasins wet.
The boat was Ailing—Lumlsy saw it. too.
The wonder waa that tha Ill-made craft
had stood the strain so long. Gormley
dropped the oars Into the pins and etarted
to pull ashore. He had not gone half way
when he saw that It waa useless with his
heavy load.
"c,n >'°<* ,*wlmr he shouted at Lumley.
The other, terrified, shook hla head. It
was a foolish question with the water Ice
cold Gormley heeltated but only a mo
ment. Hops died out of his heart. Then
he cut the rop„- that bound the canvas
bundle to the seat and threw It overbeard,
loo overwrought to notice Its lots of
weight. It vanished and the boat brought
Luck and Ju:
"Sit atm," ha yelled to Lumiey tn a
vlcloua voice at he felt the her with hie
feet. Steadying himself, he baled with tha
■ aurepan and found the leak.
Oormley forgot to eat. He began to
think of the gold he had left. He faced
Eumley "Can you get on alone?" he aaked.
l-umley leaned forward. “lfou wouldn't
quit me now?" he aeked.
■*of course not." answered Gormley. "I'll
eee jou through."
They started on the last leg of their
Journey. The aalt air came now In fre
quent whiffs, end In the distance a line of
rmoke. lazy . crooked, tilted against the
blue. Gormley saw It listlessly, tha other
A awarm of Chinese was hustling around
the salmon canneries when the flat bot
tomed boat beached. A white man came
down to fhe host.
"Hello." he said. "Where from?"
Oormley got out and turned to help
» I.utnley. The other hesitated and shook
hla head, pointing to hla pack.
"Ifll carry that,” said Gormley, and
moved to the bow Suddenly, Lumley, for
getting hla broken leg. started forward,
tripped on a seat and fall, striking bta
temple. Hoth men bent over him.
‘Got a doctor here?" asked Gormley.
"Hie leg la broke, an' "
The other called to some Chinese and
motioned to tha company's house. He fol
lowed them as they carried the uncos
s clous prospector, and called back to Gorm
ley: -Ketch hla stuff. It'll be stolen there."
Gormley ait down to think. He was In
terrupted by the return of the man who
had hailed them. "Keep that dunnaga," be
said, "hr i dead Tard of youra? Hera's a
park of cards spilled out of his coat on the
way up."
"No. he warn t no pard of mtna," said
•'Glad to hear that." said the other.
"Ever stack up against him In a card
game? No? Good thing, flvo aces In this
pack, two of 'em hearts." He ran the cards
over as he spoke.
"Hell." said Gormley. The other threw
down the pack and walked off. Oormley
pulled at the dead man s hag. It was hard
to move. He Jerked out a blanket, and e •
stream of nuggets came with It.
Ills hand trembled. Hla eyes stared. Ha
dumped tha bag out and then replaced tha
gold, stuffing the blanket on top.
"Hey.' he >elled to the retreating figure
of the canneries man. ‘When'e tbe neat
boat gor
The other turned hack. "What a that?"
"When'e tha neat boat go?"
"Three weeks, want to work?"
"Can I earn my way back?"
"*ure,* said tha cannarles man. "therKU
ba lots bee ' •’ •« do that before the montfc
Is past."

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