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Water Valley progress. (Water Valley, Miss.) 1882-1918, October 14, 1916, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87065501/1916-10-14/ed-1/seq-3/

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Beyond the Frontier
I By RANDALL PAR IfSH
A Romance of
Early Days in
the Middle West
==±1
SYNOPSIS.
—5—
Adelo la Chcsnayne, a belle of New
France, Is among conspirators at her un
cle’s house. Casslon. tlio commissaire,
has enlisted her Uncle Chevet’s aid
against La Salle. D'Artlgny, La Salle s
friend, offers his services as guide to Cas
sion’s party on the journey to the wilder
ness. The uncle informs Adele that he
has betrothed her to Casslon and forbids
her to see D’Artigny again. In Quebec
Adele visits her friend, Sister Celeste,
who brings D'Artlgny to her. She tells
him her story and he vows to release her
from the bargain with Casslon. D’Artig
ny leaves promising to see her at the
dance. Casslon escorts Adele to the hall.
She meets the governor, I.a Barre. and
hears him warn the commissaire against
D'Artlgny. P’Artigny’s ticket to the ball
has been recalled, but he gains entrance
by the window. Adele informs him of the
governor’s words to Casslon. For her
eavesdropping at the ball Adele is ordered
by the governor to marry Casslon at once
and to accompany him to the Illinois
country. He summons Chevet and directs
that ho attend them on the journey. They
leave In the boats, Vdele’s future depend
ing on the decision of D’Artigny. whom
she now knows she loves. Casslon and
D’Artigny have words. Uncle Chevet for
the first time hears that his niece is an
heiress, and begins to suspect Cassion’s
motives.
i., Jgj .1. ...I. -I.. .irr.—•fill'd*'
j "--— I
i| A man marries a girl against |
j? her will. She determines to be |
| his wife only in name, and, «
I though associated with him |
5 constantly in a company of r:;
§j rough men In the wilderness, «
S plans to keep her maidenhood j|
until death parts them. Com- jj
imls3ionalre Cas3ion is equally 3
determined to enjoy matrimony "
to the fullest. Their first clash «
is described in this installment. |
Commissionaire Cassion accuses his
bride of intimacy with Rone d'Ar
tlgny. This she indignantly denies, but
expresses a fear for the young man's
safety.
CHAPTER VII—Continued.
“You appear greatly concerned over
his safety.”
“Not at all; so far as I have ever
heard the Sieur d’Artiguy has hereto
fore proven himself quite capable of
sustaining his own part. 'Tis more
like 1 am concerned for you.”
'For me? You fool! Why, 1 was
n swordsman when that lad was at
his mother's knee.” He laughed, but
with ugly gleam of teeth. “Sucre! I
hate such play acting. But enough of
quarrel now; there is sufficient time
ahead to bring you to your senses,
and n knowledge of who is your mas
ter. Hugo Che vet. come here.”
My uncle climbed the bank, bis rifle
in hand, with face still bloated and
red from the drink of the night be
fore. Behind him appeared the slen
der black-robed figure of the Jesuit,
his eyes eager with curiosity. It was
sight of the latter which caused Cas
sion io moderate his tone of com
ma]--1.
“STou will go with Clievet," he said,
pointing to the lire among the trees,
•'until I can talk to you alone."
"A. prisoner?”
‘‘No; a guest,” sarcastically, “but do
not overstep the courtesy.”
We left him in conversation with the
pere, and I did not even glance back.
Clievet breathed heavily, and 1 caught
the mutter of his voice. “What mean
eih all this chatter?" he asked gruffly.
“Must you two quarrel so soon?”
“Why not?” i retorted. “The man
hears me no love; 'tis but gold be
thinks about.”
“Gold!” ho stopped and slapped his
thighs. “ ‘Tis precious little of that
ho will ever see then.”
“And why not? Was not my father
n land owner?”
“Ay! till the king took it.”
“Then even you do not know the
truth. I am glad to learn that, for
1 have dreamed that you sold me to
this coxcomb for a share of the spoils."
“What? a share of the spoils! Bab!
I am uo angel, girl, nor pretend to a
virtue more than I possess. There is
truth in the thought that 1 might bene
fit by your marriage to Monsieur Ces
sion, and, by my faith. I see uo wrong
in that. Have you not cost uie heavily
iu these years? Why should 1 not
seek for you a husband of worth in
these colonies? Wherefore is that a
crime? Were you my own daughter
T could do no less, and tills man is not
ill to look upon, a fair-spoken gallant,
a friend of La Barre’s, chosen by him
for special service—”
“And with influence In the fur
trade.”
“Ail the better that,” lie continued
obstinately. “Why should a girl ob
ject if her husband be rich?”
“But he is not rich." I said plainly,
looking straight Into his eyes. “He Is
no more than n penniless adventurer;
an actor playing a part assigned him
By (he governor; while you and I do
tlie same. Listen, Monsieur Clievet,
the property at St. Thomas Is mine by
Jegil right, and it was to gain pos
session that this wretch sought my
hand.”
‘‘Your legal right?”
“Ay, restored by the king In special
order.”
“It Is not true: I had the records
searched by a lawyer, Monsieur Gau
tier of St. Anne.”
I gave a gesture of Indignation.
“A country advocate at whom those
in authority would laugh. I tell you
what I say is true; the land was re
stored. and the fact is known to I.a
Barre and to Cassion. It is tills fact
which has caused all our troubles. I
overheard talk last night between the
governor and Iiis aide-de-camp, Colonel
Delguard—you know him?”
Chevct nodded, his interest stirred.
“They thought themselves alone,
and were laughing at the success of
their trick. I was hidden behind the
heavy curtains at the window, and
every word they spoke reached my
ears. Then they sent for Cassion.”
“But where Is the paper?
“I did not learn: they Lave it hidden,
no doubt, awaiting the proper time
to produce It. But there is such a
document: La Barre explained that
clearly, and the reason why he wished
Cassion to marry me. They were all
three talking when an accident hap
pened, which led to my discovery.”
“Ah! and so that was what hurried
flic wedding, and sent mo on this wild
wilderness chase. They would bury
me in the woods—saere!—”
“Hush now—Cassion lias left the
canoe already, and we can talk of tills
later. Let us seem to suspect noth
ing.”
This was the first meal of many
eaten together along the river hank
in tile course of our long journey, yet
the recollection of that scene rises
before my memory now with peculiar
vividness. Cassion had divided ns into
groups, and, from where I had found
resting place, with a small flat rock
for tabic, I was enabled to see tlie
others scattered to the edge of the
bank, and thus learned for the first
time the character of those with whom
I was destined to companion on *he
Jong journerv \re .were butjrK 11
of ua in that first group,'which in
cluded Pere Altouez, a silent man,
fingering his cross, and barely touch
ing food. His face under the black
cowl was drawn, and creased by
strange lines, and his eyes burned
with vagueness. If I bad ever dreamed
of him ns one to whom I might turn
for counsel, the thought instantly van
ished as our glances met.
A soldier and two Indians served
us, wh'Je their companions, divided
into two groups, were gathered at the
other extremity of the ridge, the sol
diers under discipline of their own
ur.derofficers, and t lie Indians
watched over by Sieur D’Artigny, who
rested, however, slightly apart, his
gaze on the broad river. Never once
while I observed did he turn and
glance my way. I counted the men.
ns I endeavored to eat. scarcely heed
ing the few words exchanged by those
about me. The Indians numbered leu,
including their chief, whom Cassion
called Altuda. Clievet named them as
Algouquins from the Ottawa, treach
erous rascals enough, yet with ex
pert knowledge of watercraft.
Altudah was a tail savage, wrapped
in gaudy blanket, his face rendered
sinister and repulsive by a scar the
full length of his cheek, yet he spoke
French fairly well, and someone said
that lie had three times made journey
to Mackinac, and knew the water
ways. There were fi t soldiers, includ
illy a iimi (.uijiuhu, mv
regiment of Picardy; active fellows
enough, and accustomed to the fron
tier. although they gnve small evi
dence of discipline, and their uniforms
were In shocking condition. The ser
geant was a heavily built, stocky man,
but the others were rather undersized,
and of little spirit. The same thought
must have been In the minds of oth
ers, for the expression ou Monsieur
Cassion’s face was uot pleasant as he
stared about.
“Chevet," lie exclaimed disgustedly,
“did ever you see a worse selection for
wiiderness travel than La Barre has
given us? Cast your eyes down the
line yonder; by my faith! there Is not
a real man among them.”
Chevet, who had been growling to
himself, with scarce a thought other
than the food hefore him, lifted his
eyes and looked.
“No worse than all the scum. I)e
Baugis had no better with him, und La
Salle led a gang of outcasts. With
right leadership you can make them
do men’s work. ’Tis no kid-glove Job
you have. Monsieur Cassiou.”'
The insultiug indifference of the old
fur trader's tone surprised the eom
missalre, and he exhibited resentment.
"You are overly free 'with your com
ments, Hugo c'lievet. V he.i I wish
advice I will ask it.”
"And in the woods T ; not always
wait to bo asked,” retu icd :lie older
man, lighting his pipe od almly
puffing out the blue sra>\. Though
it Is likely enough you i be caking
for it before you 1 uej uauy
leagues further.”
"You are under my r
“So I.n liarre said, hi 1 <■ • <luty
he gave me was to wa ’ •' ele
here. He put no shackV ue.
You have chosen you,
"Yes, up the Ottawa.
“I suppose so, altl i ;-i y
yonder could lead you t -bo, t- i as
sage.”
"How learned you tin
“By talking with hi i in Quebec.
He even sketched me . u p •; t!
route be traveled with i.:> ; Yr,
knew it not?”
“ 'Twas of no moment, . my or
ders bid me go by St. I«;t e Y<-t it
might be well to quer> io in and
the chief also.” He lur. - i bj ihe
nearest soldier. "Tell the Algonquin,
Altudah, to come lierp, and Sleur
d'Artlgny.”
i uoy approached together, two speci
mens of the frontier ns different ns
could he pictured, and stood silent,
fronting Casslon, who looked at them
frowning, and In no pleasant humor.
The eyes of the younger man sought
my face for an instant, and die swift
glance gave harsher note to tlie com
missaire's voice.
“We will reload the canoes here for
the long voyage,” he said brusquely.
"The sergeant will have charge of
that, but both of you will be in the
leading boat, and will keep well in
advance of the others. Our course is
by way of tbe Ottawa. You know
that stream, Altudah?”
The Indian bowed his head gravely
and extended one hand beueath tlie
scarlet fold of bis blanket.
“Five time, monsieur.”
“IIow far to the west, chief?”
“To place call Green Bay.”
Casslon turned liis eyes on D’Arti
gny, a slight sneer curling his lips.
“And you?” he askej coldl;
• “But out* rW-ileO dong
tlie Ottawa and the lakes,” the
quiet answer, “and that thn years
ago, yet I scarce think I w dd go
astray. ’Tis not a course easily for
gotten.”
“And beyond Green Bay?”
“I have been to the mouth of the
great river.”
“You!” in surprise. “Were you of
that party?”
"Yes, monsieur.”
“And you actually reached the sea—
tlie salt water?”
"Yes, monsieur.”
“.Saint Anus! I never half believed
tlie tale true, nor do I think overmuch
of your word for it. But let that go.
C'lievet here tells me you know a
shorter journey to the Illinois?”
“Not by canoe, monsieur. I fol
lowed Sieur de b. Salic by fewest trail
to tlie straits, ,v 1 pi rued to return
that way, hut ’ti b t Journey.”
“What will b' your com se from
Green Bay?”
“Along the v ■ .re, monsieur;
it is dangerous n'y by reason of
storms.”
“And the dlst:< *
“From St. Igiri e?”
“Ay! from St icna '. hat dis
tance lies betwi ,1k and fills Fort
St. Louis on tin If ‘loi
“’Twill be but a vei Hire, monsieur,
but I think 'tis L • ,1 i hundred and
fifty leagues.”
“Of wilderness
“When I pass d mat way yes; they
tell me now th.- J - :bi have mission
station nt Green 1; .' and there may
be fur traders in Ind an lages be
yond.”
“No chance to p e supplies?”
“Only scant r , .us of , oru from
tlie Indians.” I
"Your report is b ceo lance with
my instruction an i waps, and no
doubt is correct. T! it will be all.
Take two more m> yom boat and
depart nt once We . all follow Im
mediately.”
CHARTf.R VIII
I Defy Car ion.
Our progress n.. low against tlie
swift current of tl St. Lawrence,
and we kept close he overhanging
bank, following ti - guidance of the
leading canoe ere he second
In line, and no b . ner, oven rowded. so
that I had am, > r<■ >[ to rest at ease
upon a pile of bis .kets. and gaze
about me with ini id • t on the chang
ing scene.
Ahead of us, now weeping around
the point like a wij 1 h 1. amid a
smother of spry, M j ared he advance
canoe. As It dis p; trod I could dis
i
tinguish D’Artlgny nt the stern, ills
coat off, liis hands grasping a paddle.
Above the point once more and in
smoother water, I was aware that he
turned and looked back, shading his
eyes from the sun. I could not but
wonder what lie thought, what possi
ble suspicion had come to him, re
garding my presence in the company.
In some manner I must keep him
away from Cassion—ay, and from
Clievet—until opportunity came from
me to first communicate with him.
Insensibly my head rested back
against the pile of blankets, the glint
of sunshine along the surface of the
water vanished ns my lashes fell, and,
before I knew it, I slept soundly. I
awoke with the sun in the western
sky, so low down ns to peep nt me
through the upper branches of trees
lining tne Dana, itemnu us sirercueu
a space of straight water, ami one
canoe was close, while the second was
barely visible along a curve of the
shore. Ahead, however, the river ap
peared vacant, (he leading boat hav
ing vanished around a wooded bend.
My eyes met those of Cassion, and the
sight of him instantly restored me to
a recollection of my plan — nothing
could be gained by open warfare. I
permitted my lips to smile, and noted
instantly the change of expression in
Ids face.
•‘I have slept well, monsieur,” I
said pleasantly, "for I was very tired.”
“ ’Tls the best way on a boat voy
age,” assuming his old manner, "but
now the day is nearly done.”
As wo skirted tlie extremity of shore
I saw tlie opening In the woods, and
the gleam of a cheerful fire amid green
grass. The advance canoe swung half
hidden amid the overhanging roots of
a huge piue tree, and the men were
busily at work ashore. As we nosed
into the bank, our sharp liow was
grasped by waiting Indians and drawn
safely ashore, i reached my feet,
stiffened, and scarcely able to move
my limbs, but determined to land
without aid of Cassion, whose passage
forward was blocked by Chevet's huge
bulk. As my weight rested on the i
edge of tiie canoe, U'Artiguy swung .
dowu from behind the chief, and ex- |
tenth.t-h's hand. - A
“A slight spring,” he said, “ard you
land with dry feet; good! now let me i
lift you—so.”
I iiad but the Instant; I knew that,
for I heard Cassion cry out something
just behind me, and, surprised as I
was by tlse sudden appearance of
D’Artlgtiy, I yet realized the neces
sity for swift speech.
“Monsieur,” I whispered. “Do not
talk, but listen. You would serve
me?”
“Ay!”
"Then ask nothin#, ana nnove an
do not quarrel with Cassion. I will
tell you everything the moment I can j
see you safely alone. Until then do
not seek me. I have your word?”
Ho did not answer, for the commis- [
saire grasped my arm. and thrust him
self in between us. Ills notion so swift
that the impact of his body thrust
D’Artigny hack a step. I saw the
hand of (lie younger man close on the
knife hilt at his belt, but was quick
enough to avert the hot words burning
Ills lips.
“A bit rough. Monsieur Cassion." I
cried, laughing merrily, even as I re
leased my arm. "Why so much haste?
I was near falling, and it was but
courtesy which led the Sieur d’Arti
gnv to extend me his hand. It does
not please me for you to be ever
seeking a quarrel.”
There must have been that in my
face which cooled him, for his hand
fell, and Ills thin lips curled Into sar
castic smile.
"If I seemed hasty," tie exclaimed,
“it was more because I was blocked
by that boor of a Ciievet yonder, and
it angered me to have this young
gamecock ever at hand to push in.
What think you you were employed
for. fellow—an esquire of dames? Was
there not work enough in the camp
yonder, that you must lie testing your
fancy graces every time a boat lands?”
There was no mild look In D'Arti
gny’s eyes as lie fronted him, yet he
held his temper, recalling my plea, no
doubt, and I hastened to step between
and furnish him excuse for silence.
“Surely you do wrong to blame the
young man, monsieur, as but for ids
aid I would have slipped yonder.
There is no cause for hard words, nor
do 1 thank you for making me a sub
ject of quarrel. Is it my tent they
erect yonder?”
“Ay.” there was little graciousness
to the tone, for the man had the na
ture of n bully. “ 'Twus my thought j
that it be brought for your use; and
if Monsieur d’Artigny will consent to
stand aside, it will give me pleasure
to escort you thither”
The younger man's eyes glanced
from the other's face iulo mine, as ,
though seeking reassurance. Ilia hat
was instantly In his hand, and he
stepped backward, bowing low.
“The wish of the lady la sufficient,”
ho said quietly, and then stood again
erect, facing Cassion. “Yet,” he ad
ded slowly, “I would remind monsieur
that while I serve him as a guide, It
is us a volunteer, and I am also an
officer of France."
“Of France? Pah! of the renegade
La Salle.”
“Franco has no more loyal servant.
Monsieur Cassion, in all this western
land—nor is he renegade, for he holds
the Illinois at the king's command.”
“Held It—yes; under Frouteuac, but
not now.”
“Y/e will not quarrel o' er words,
yet not even in Quebec war it claimed
that higher authority than La Bnrre's
had led to recall. Louis lmd never in
terfered, and it is Do Tonty, and not
Do Bnugis who is in command nt St.
Louis by royal order. My, right to
respect of rank is clearer than your
own, monsieur, so I beg you curb yovr
temper.”
iou inreateii me:
‘‘No; wo who live In the wilderness
do not talk, we act. I obey your or
ders, do your will, on this expedition,
lint as a man, not a slave. In all else
we stand equal, nnd I accept insult
from no living man. ‘Tis well that
you know this, monsieur.”
The hat was back upon his head,
and lie had turned away before Cas
sion found answering speech.
“Mon Dieu! I'll show the pup whs
is the master,” lie muttered. “Let
him disobey once, and I'll stretch bis
dainty form as I would an Indian
cur."
“Monsieur,” I said, drawing bis at
tention to my presence. “ 'Tis of no
Interest to me your silly quarrel with
Sieur d'Artlgny. I am weary with the
boat journey, and would rest until
food is served.”
I walked beside him among the
trees, and across the patch of grass
to where the tent stood agninst a
background of rock. D’Artlgny had
lisappcitred although I glanced about
l;i search for him. as Cession drew
aside the tent (lap, nnd peered within.
Ho appeared pleased at the way in
w deh Ins' orders bad been esvcuteil.
“'Tis very neat, indeed, r. ->i,- :
1 said pleasantly, glancing inside. i
owe you my thanks.”
“ ’Twas brought for my own use,”
lie confessed, encouraged by my gra
clousness, “for, as you know, I had
no previous warning that you were
to be of our party. Please step with
in.”
1 did so, yet turned Instantly to pre
vent his following me. Already I had
determined on my course of action,
and now the time had come for me to
speak him clearly; yet now that I had
definite purpose in view it was no
part of my game to anger the man.
“Monsieur,” I said soberly “I must
beg your mercy. I am but a girl, and
alone. It is true I am your wife by
law, but tlie Change lias come so sud
denly that I am yet dazed. I appeal
to you as a gentleman.”
lie stared into my face, scarcely
comprehending Jill my mouniiig.
“You woual bar me without? You
forbid me entrance?”
“Would you seek to enter against
my wish?”
“Hut you are my wife; that you will
not deny! What will he said, thought,
if 1 go elsewhere?”
‘•Monsieur, save ior lingo uuevci.
none in this company know the story
of that marriage, or why 1 am here.
What I ask brings no stain upon you.
'Tis not that I so dislike you, mou
sieur. but I am the daughter of Pierre,
la Chesnayne, and ‘tis not in my blotxS
to yield to force. It will he best to
yield me respect and consideration.”
“You are a sly wench,” he said,
laughing unpleasantly, “but it may be
best that I give you your own way for
this once. There Is time enough In
which to teach you my power. And
so you shut the tent to me. fair Indy.
In spite of your pledge to Holy church.
All. well! there are storms a plenty be
tween here and St. Ignace, and you
will become lonely enough in the wll*
derness to welcome me. One kiss, aut!
I leave you.”
“No. monsieur.”
His eyes were ugly.
••You refuse that! Mon Dleu! Do
you think I play? 1 will have the
kiss—or more.”
|§ Will the girl wife win thie S
!| opening battle with her wits— ||
il she has no other defense—or ||
Sj must she succumb to the B
H strength and brutality of Cas- |
S sion? 1
(TO BE CONTINUED.}

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