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THE RECORD, KENNA, NEW MEXICO.
PART ONE CHAPTER I. On the Labrador. tHctated bp Mr. Jesse Smith. Don't you write anything down yet, 'cause I ain't ready. If I wrote this yarn myrtf, I'd make It good and red from tip to tip, claws out, teeth bare, fur crawling with emo- tions. It wouldn't be dull, no, or evi dence. But then it's to please you, and that's what I'm for. So I proceeds to stroke the fur smooth, lay the paws down soft, fold up the smile, and purr. A sort of truthfulness steals over me. Gotn' to be dull, too. No, I dunno how to begin. If this jam was a rope, I'd coll It down be fore I began to pay out. You lays the end, so, and flemish down, ring by ring uni.ll the bight's colled, smooth, ready to flake off as It runs. I delayed a lynching once to do just that, and re lieve the patient's mind. It all went off so well! When we kids were good, mother she used to own we came of pedigree rtock; but when we're bad, seems we look after father. You see mother's folk was the elect, sort of born saved. They allowed there'd be room In Heaven for one hundred and forty-four thousand Just persons, mostly from Nova Scotia, but when they took to sorting the neighbors', they'd get ex clustve. Anyway, mother's folk as a tribe, Is millionaires In grace and pretty well fixed In Nova Scotia. Then she's found out, secretly married among the gr.ats. Her name's scratched out of the fam ily Bible, with a strong hint to the Lord to scratch her entry from the Book of Life. She's married a sailor man, before the mast, a Liveyere from the Labrador, a man without a dollar, suspected of being Episcopalian. In them days the Labrador ain't laid out exactly to suit mother. She's used to luxury coal In the lean-to, tatles In the cellar, cows In the barn, barter store round the corner, mails, church, school, and a jail right handy, so she can enjoy the ungodly getting of their just deserts. But in our time the Labrador was just God's country, all rocks. Ice, and sea, to put the fear Into proud hearts no need of 'esch ars. It kills off the weaklings no need of doctors. A school to raise men no need of preachers. The law wm "work or starve" no place for lawyers. It's police, and court, and hangman all complete, fire and hall. snow and vapors, wind and storm ful filling His word. Father's home was an overturned schooner, turfed in, and he was surely proud of having a bigger place than any other Liveyere on the coast There was the hold overhead for stowing winter fish, and room down-stairs for the family, the team of seven husky dogs, and even a cord or two of fire wood. We kids used to play at New- f'nlanders up In the hold, when the winter storms were tearing the tops . off the hills, and the Eskimo devil howled blue shrieks outside. The hus kies makes wolf songs all about the fewness of fish, and we'd hear mother give father a piece of her mind. That's about the first I remember, but all what mother thought about poor fa ther took years and years to say. I used to be kind of sorry for father, You see he worked the bones thrcugh his hide, furring all winter and fish' lng summers, and what he earned he'd get In truck from the company. All Us Llveyeres owed to the Hudson Bay, but father worked hardest and he owed most, hundreds and hundreds of skins. The company trueted him. There wasn't a man on the coast more trusted than he was, with moth er to feed, and six kids, besides seven Huskies, and father's aunt, Thessa- lonlka, a widow with four children and a tumor, living down to Last Hope beyond the Rocks. There was secret about father, and if mother ever found out! You see, he looked like a white man, curly yaller hair same as me, and be was fearful strong. But in his lnsid don't ever tell! he was partly small boy same's me, and the other half of hlmdon't ever let on! was moun talneer Injun. I seen bis three broth' ers, the finest fellers you ever yes, Scotch half-breeds and mother never knew Thar's me on father's knee, with my nose in his buckskin shirt, and even to this day the wood smoke In A Man inWlie camp brings back the wuff, whereas summers his boots smelt fishy. What happened first or afterwards 13 all mixed up, but there's the smoke smell and sister Maggie lyJng In the bunk, all white and froze. There's fish smell, and Polly who used to wallop me with a slipper, lying white and froze. And yot I knew she couldn't get froze in sum mer. Then there's smoke smell, and big Tommy, bigger nor father, throwing up blood. I said he'd catch It from mother for messing the floor, but father Just hugged me, telling me to shut up. I axed him if Tommy was going to get froze, too. Then father told me that Tommy was going away to where the milk came out of a cow. You Juet shove the can opener into the cow so and the milk pours out. whole candy pails of milk. And there's vegl tables, which is green things to eat. First time you swell up and pretty nigh bust; but you soon get used to greens. Tommy Is going to Civili Zation. It's months and months off, and when you get there, the people Is so awful mean they'd let a stranger etarve to death without so much as "Come In." The men wear pants right down to their heels, and as to the women Mother comes In and looks at father, so he forgets to say about the women at Civili Zation, but other times he'd tell, oh, lots of stories. He suid It was worse for the likes of us than New Jerusalem. I reckon Tommy died, and Joan, too, and mother would get gaunt and dry, rocking herself. " 'The Lord gave,' " she'd say, " 'and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name 'of the Lord. " There was only Pete and me left, and father wagging his pipe acrost the stove at mother. "They'll die, ma'am," I heard him say, and she just sniffed. "If I hadn't taken 'em out doors they'd be dead now, ma'am." She called him an injun. She called him I dunno what she didi.'t call him. I'd been asleep, and when I woke up she was cooking breakfast while she called him a lot more things ehe must have forgot to say. But he carried me In his arms out through the little low door, and it was stabbing cold with a blaze of northern lights. He tucked me up warm on the ko matlk, he hitched up the huBkles, and mushed, way up the tickle, and through the soft bush snow, and at sunup we made his winter tilt on Torn gak Creek. We put in the winter tbere, furring, and every time he came home from the round of traps, he'd sell me all the pelts. I was sure ly proud when he took me hunting fur and partridges. I was with him to the -fishing, In the fall we'd bunt, all winter we'd- trap till it was tlmo for the sealing, and only two or three times in a year we'd be back to mother. Then I'd see Pete, too, who'd got pink, with a spitting cough. He want ed to play with me, but I wouldn't. I Just couldn't I hated to be anywheres near him. "Didn't I tell yez?" father would point at Pete coughing. "Didn't I warn yez?" But mother set her mouth In a thin line. "Pete," said she, "is saved." Next time we come mother was all alone. " 'The Lord gave,' " she says " 'and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord,' but lt'e get ting kind of monotonous." She hadn't much to say then, she didn't seem to care, but was just numb. He wrapped her up warm on the komatlk, with Just a sack of clothes, her Bible, and the album of photos from Nova Scotia, yes, and the china dogs she carried in her arms. Father broke the trail ahead, I took the gee pole, and when day cams, we made the winter tilt. There mother kep' bouse just as she would at heme, so clean we was almost scared to step Indoors. It was along In March or maybe April that father was away in coarse weather, making the round of bis traps. He didn't come back. There'd been a blizzard, a wolf-bowling hurri cane, blowing out a lane of bare ground round the back of the cabin, while the big drift piled higher and packed harder, until the comb of It grew , out above our roof like a sea breaker, froze so you could walk on the overhang. And Just between dark and duckish father's husky team-came back without him. Op en J iir PiWi gwtw1 P2b 1 don't reckon I was more'n ten or eleven years old, but you see, this Labrador is kind of serious with us, and makes even kids act respon sible. .Go asy, -and there's famine, freezing, blackleg, all sorts of rea so; against laziness. It sort of edu cates. Mother was worse than silent. There was something about her that scared me more than anything outdoors. In the morning her eye kep' following me as If to say, "Go find your father." Surely it was up to me, and if I wasn't big enough to drive the huskies or pack father's gun, I thought I oould manage afoot to tote his four-pound ax. She beckoned me to her and kissed me JuBt once in ten years, and I was quick through the door, out of reach, lest she should see me mighty near cryln'. It was all very well showing off brave before mother, but when I got outside, any excuse would have been enough for going back. I wished I'd left the matches behind, but I hadn't. I wishe'd the snow would be too soft, but it was hard as sand. I wished I wasn't a coward, and the bush didn't look so wolfy, and what If I met up with the Eskimo devil! Oh, 1 was surely the scaredest 111' boy, and dead certain I'd get lost. Then I went on because I was going, and there was fa ther's trail blazed on past Bake-apple Marsh. The way was as plain as streets, and the sun shining warm as he looked over into the valley. Then I saw a man's mitt, an old buckskin mitt sticking up out of the snow. Father had dropped his mitt, and without that his hand would be froze. When I found him, how glad he'd -be to get it ! But when I tried to pick it up, it was heavy. Then it came away, and there was father's hand sticking up. It was dead. Of course I know I'd ought to have dug down through the snow, but I didn't. I ran for all I was worth. Then I got out of breath and come back shamed. It wasn't for love of father. No. I hated to touch that hand, and when I did I was sick. Still that was better than being soared to touch. It's not so bad when you dare. I dug, with a snow-ehoe for a shovel. There was the buckskin shirt smelling good, and the long fringes I'd used to tickle his nose with then I found his face. I Just couldn't bear that, but turned my back and dug until I cme to the great, big, number-four trap he used for wolf and beaver. He must There Was Father's Up. Hand Sticking have stepped without seeing it under the snow, and it broke his leg. Then he'd tried to drag himself back home. It was when I stood up to get breath and cool off that I first seen the wolf, setting peaceful, waggin' his tail. First I thought he was one of our own huskies, but when he didn't know his name I saw for sure he must be the wolf who lived up Two Mile Crick. He'd got poor inspecting father's bus! ness instead of minding bis own. That's why he was called the Inspec tor. It was March, too, the moon of famine. Of course I threw my ax and missed. His hungry smile's still thar behind a bush, and me wonders lng whether his business is with me or father. That's why I stepped on the snow-shoes, and went right past where he was, not daring to get my ax. Yee, it was me he wanted to see first, but of Course I wasn't going to encourage any animal Into thinking he'd scared a man. Why, he'd scarce have let father even see his tracks for fear they'd be trapped or shot 80 I walked slow and proud, leadin' him off from father at least I played that. wishing all the time that mother's 111' boy was to home. After a while I grabbed down a lopped stick where father'd blazed, not as fierce as an ax, but enough to make me more or less respected. The Inspector was bigger than me. stronger 'n any man, swifter 'n any horse. I tell yor the maned white wolf 1b wlser'n most people, and but for eating his cubs, he's nature's gentle man. The trouble was not him hunting, but me scared. Why, If he'd wanted mc, one flash, one bite, and I'm break fast. It was just curiosity made him so close behind like a stealthy ghost. When I'd turn to show fight, he'd seem to apologize, and then I'd go on whis tling a hymn. Thar he was cached right ahead in the deadfall, for a front view, if I'd known. But I thrashed with my stick in a panic, hitting his snout, so he yelped. Then he lost his temper. He'd a sorry, but-business-iB-businesa ex pression on him. I ran at him, tripped on a stump, let out a yell, and he lep' straight at my throat. And in the middle of that came a gunshot, a bullet grazed my arm, and went on whining. Another shot, and the Inspector ran. Then I was rub bing whar the bullet hurt, sort of sulky, too, with a grievance, when I was suddenly grabbed and nigh smoth ered in mother's arms. She'd come with the team of huskies followin' me ehe'd been gunning, too, and I sure had a mighty close call. She'd no tears left for father, so when I got through Bobbin' we went to the body, and loaded it In the kO' matik for home. Thar's things I don't like to tell you. It wasn't a nice trip exactly, with the Inspector superintending around. When we got back to the tilt, we daresn't take out the huskies, or un load, or even stop for grub. We had to drive straight on, mother and me, down the tickle, past our old empty home, then up the Bacalleu all night The sun was just clear of tho ice when we made the Poet, and we saw a little ball jerk up the flag halyards then break to a great red flag with the letters H. B. C. It means Here Before Christ. The air was full of a big noise, like the skirl of sea-gulls screaming In a gale, and there was Mr. McTavlsh on the sidewalk, marching with his bag pipes to wake the folk out of their Sunday beds. Then he saw father's body, with legs and arms stiffened all ways, and the number-four trap still gripped on broken bones. Off came his fur cap. Mother stood, iron-hard, beside the komatik. "Factor," says she, "I've come to pay his debt." "Nay, it's the Sabbath, ma'am. Yell pay no debts till Monday. Come in and have some tea ye pulr thing."' "You starved his soul to death, and now I've brought his body to square hie debts. Will you leave that here till Monday?" Mr. McTavlsh looked at her, then whispered to me. "B'y," said he, "we must make her cry or she'll be raving mad. Greet, woman, greet. By God, I'll make ye greet!" He marched up and down the side walk, and through the skirl of miIIb in a storm, swept a tune that made the meat shake on my bones. Once mother shrieked out, trying to make him stop, but he went on pac ing in front of her, to and fro, with his eyes on her all the time, peering straight through her, and all the grief of all the world in the skirl and wall, and that hopeless awful tune. She covered her face with her hands, try ing to hold while the great sobs shook her, and she reeled like a tree In a gale, until she fell on her knees, un til she threw herself on the corpse, and cried, and cried. CHAPTER II. The Happy Ship. Cap'n Mose of the Zedekiah Baggs 'e was a Sunday Christian. w. All up along 'e'd wear a silk hat, the only one on the Labrador. Yes. Sundays 'e'd be ashore talkin' predestination an' grace-out of a book 'e kep' in 'is berth, but never a word about fish or the state of the Ice. Mother'd been raised to a belief In Christians, so when Mose dropped In at her shack, admlrln' how she cooked, she'd be pleased all up the back, and have him right In to dinner. He'd enn m, talkin' soft about little children. Yes. That's how 'e got me away to sea aa boy on a sealln' voyage, without pay ing me any wages. Mother never knew what Cap'n Mose was like on week-days, and Sun day didn't happen aboard of the Ze.de- klah. I remember bidln' away at the back of Ole Oleson's bunk, axing God please to turn me Into an animal. Any sort would do, because I seen men kind to animals. You know an animal mostly consists of a pure heart, and four legs, which is a great advantage. Queer world though. If all our preyers was granted. Belay thar. A man sets out to tell adventures, and If his victims don't And some excuse for getting absent, he owes them all the happiness he's got. It's mean to hand out sorrow to persons bearing their full ehare al ready. So we proceeds to the night when I ran from the Zedekiab. and joined the Happy Ship. We lay in the big Ice pack off Cape Breton. The Zedekfah was old. just paint an' punk, and she did purely groan to the thrust of the pack. 1 was too scared to sleep, so I went up on deck. I'd alius watched for a cbanre to run away, and thar was Jim, the anchor-watch, squatting on the tltts dead asleep. He used to be that way when nobody chased him. I seen the lights of the three-masted schooner a couple of miles to wind ward. I grabbed a sealing gaff an t slid down on the Ice. First, as the pans rocked under me, I was scary, next I warmed, gettln' venturesome, until I came near slid ing into the wet, and after that I'd look before I lep'. You know how the grinding piles an edge around each pan, of broken splinters? That edge shone white agin the black of the water, all the guide I had. But times the squalls of wind was likes scythes edged with sleet, so I was blinded, waiting, freez ing until a lull came, and I'd get on. It was broad day, and I reckon each step weighed a ton before I made that schooner. A gray man, fat, with a chin whis ker, lifted me in overside. "Come far?" says he, and I turned round to show him the Zedekiah. She wasn't there. She was gone foundered. So that's how I came aboard of the Happy Ship, juBt like a 111' lost dog, with no room in my skin for more'n bones and famine. Captain Smith ueed to say he'd signed me on as fam ily ghost; but he paid me honest wages, fed me honest grub, while as to clothes and bed, I was snug as a little rabbit. He taught me reading ' and writing, and punctuation with his belt, sums, hand, reef, and steer, cate chism, knots and splices, sewing, vque gee, rule of the road, eoojie moojie, psalms of David, constitution of the United States, and playing the trom bone, with three pills and a good lick ing regular Saturday nights. Mother's little boy began to set up and take no tice. The five years in the Pawtucket all along, from Montreal to Colon, trom banjoB plunking In them portales of Vera Crui. to bugles crying reva'.ly In Quebec, and the oyster boats asleep by Old Point Comfort, and the Glouces ter fleet a-storming home past Saole, and dagos basking on Havana quays. Suck oranges in the dinghy under the moonlight, waiting to help the old man aboard when he's drunk. If ever he went ashore' without me, I'd be like a lost dog, and he drunk before the sun was over the yard-arm. But away together it wasn't master and boy. but Just father and eon. He'd even mimed me after himself, and that's why my name's Smith. (TO BE CONTINUED.) Jekyll and Hyde Both Out. One day Mr. Jenkins, senior part her In the firm, came out of his pri vate office and banded Jimmy, the of fice boy, a slip of paper and said: "Here, Jimmy, go over to the pub lic library and get me 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.' I bave written it on a piece of paper for you so that you will not forget." Jimmy lost the slip of paper on the way. When he diacovered his loss he returned to the office without go ing to the library and was seated at his little desk Innocently shooting flies with a rubber band when Mr. Jenkins said to him: "Well, Jimmy, wbere's 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?'" "Please, Mr. Jenkins," responded Jimmy with well feigned candor, "the lady at the library said they both Just went to the ball game and to call for them in the morning." Interesting Memory Test. Ask anyone to draw a representation of a watch face with Roman numbers and you will have plenty of evidence of the unreliability of Incidental memory. Of two hundred persons examined by Myers only eight omitted the VI from their drawing of the watch face, and only twenty-one put 1 1 IT Instead of the more familiar notation, IV. From this it would appear that Impeachment of a witness because of his Inability to re port some Incidental feature of an event er .scene Is not psychologically justified. Case and Comment