The Stanford World (Stanford, Mont.) 1909-1920, March 25, 1920, Image 2

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THE STANFORD WORLD 14M1M0444.44...... ( . 1) (*) ct ) (.10 4WWWWWWWWWIIIITIIIT (4X 4 X 4 ) Wee ( WA) ® ( Ff) ViC ) C t fA * ) (V I M ® ( Y .. ) S S CY *AM KIS(4) M'At® ® ® S WM(*) C i t. ) (K) WWWWWW irginnrWiniVrnifirVirliV. VernrininiTh A • A . W (44 1 :5 By VICTOR ROUSSEAU % (4 , ) (.'4) Illustrations by Irwin Myers 4) 4) 4) if.a4usise.zwask.s&A&A.SialkezshisiagsassAisituaisaisoasse .. WOODEN S (Copyright, 1010, by George H. Doran Co.) POIL BUSINESS AND. ROMANCE \Wooden Spoil\ is the story of an American's lively adventures in the Canadian woods. He falls heir to a hundred square miles of forest and a lumbering business. Upon taking possession he finds that he has also inherited trouble. Being young and two-fisted, he welcomes the trouble, objects to being run out of the country and goes to work. Doubtless the Seigneur's altogether adorable daughter has something to do with his decision. Love, jealousy, loyalty, treachery—all the passions of a primitive, red-blooded people—figure in this stirring tale. Strikes, adventure, fighting, hardships—action crowds every chapter. A manly hero, a lovable heroine, a real love and a happy ending— it's a good story from start to finish. CHAPTER I. The Rosny Rosny White Elephant. The office in Quebec which Georges Lamartine, the notary, occupied was located inconspicuously in a small building in an old part of the Lower Town. Small, wiry, black•halred, with an air of unconvincing plausibil- ity about him, Monsieur Lantartlne was seated at his desk, drumming his fingers, staring out of the window, and turning again to look at a letter signed Hilary Askew, when his boy brought him a card with the same name upon it. Monsieur Lemmatise frowned. \Tell Monsieur Askew that I am busy with an important court case,\ he said. \Ask him to call at thin -time tomorrow.\ \Mr. Askew says he's busy, too, and he'll wait,\ announced the boy, return- ing. The notary considered. \Well tell him I'll see him in a few minutes,\ he answered. When the boy was gone he took down the telephone receiver and gave a number. \Is that you, Broussenu?\ he asked. \Monsieur Hilary Askew has turned up . \ There was n sputtering at the other end of the line which made the notary smile. \I can't say. I haven't seen him yet,\ said Monsieur Lainartine, in an- swer. if I can't seed him home with a smile on his lips and a aheck in his pocket I shall try to keep him in Quebec until I have seen you. And you'd better try to get Morris by long distance and warn him. Good -by.\ He hung up the receiver, rang for the boy and told him to admit Mr. Askew. Then he rose to receive his visitor. Ho looked at Hilary_ keenly as he shook hands with him. The young man was different from what he had ex- pected. He was about as big, and he had the same air of American energy; but he appeared more determined, he looked like one of those uncomfortable men who have the knack of disentan- gling themselves from sophistries. However, Hilary looked good-natured. And he was certainly inexperienced: Monsieur Lamartine gave him a chair and looked very plausible indeed. • \Your visit has followed very close upon your letter, Mr. Askew,\ he said. *Perhaps you did not get mine, advis- ing you to wait before coming to Que- bec?\ +- \No said Hilary, \but I -would have come anyway. I want to get this mat- ter settled.\ . I \The American haste,\ said the no- tary, looking almost ingenuous. \But the law is not to be taken by storm, least of all in Quebec. It Is only a month since your uncle died. Perhaps it will be months before we can turn over the property to you. I under- stand that you were not in close touch with your uncle during his latter years?\ \I hadn't seen him since I was a boy. That was what anade the legacy a sur- prising one. Be had not shown any interest in me. I had a bard fight to get through my forestry course. So when I heard that I had become the owner of a tract of a hundred square miles It seemed like an intervention of Providence. That is tamest a king- dom, sir.\ •\Ten miles by ten?\ inquired the notary, smiling. \Well I suppose it does seem a /arse territory to you, al- though the Rosny seigniory was one of the smallest of the old feudal grants. It is almost the last on the north shore of the St. Lawrence that remains in the hands of the original family.\ \Four hundred thousand dollars seems a big sum for my uncle to have paid for it,\ said Hilary. \Your uncle,\ said Monsieur Lamar - tine, beginning to drum softly, \made this investment against the advice of a good many people. The Rosny tim- ber rights are practically valueless, be- cause the wood is principally balsam Or instead of pine and spruce.\ He noted that Hilary only watched him instead of answering, and he be- gan to feel that he would not be dis- posed of as easily as he had antic!. pat efl. \The property has never begun to pay Its way,\ continued Monsieur La- martine. \Your uncle paid three hun- dred and fifty thousand for the cutting rights alone. He found himself up against the law which places a limit on the size of trees. Seven inches for black, or swamp spructib, I Walleye; twelve for white spruce; twelve or thirteen for pine. And nearly all the trees on the Rosny limits that aren't al- are under the legal size. Your un- cle sank half his fortune in it. Ile was—excuse me—eccentric. This is the case: rhe timber cannot be cut except at a loSS, on account of Its sparseness and the high costs°, trans- portation. The balsam fir is too gum- my to make any but inferior paper, be- low the standard even of the newspa- pers. It occupies the greater portion of the tract, together -with second growth birch, which is, of course, of use only for firewood. The expenses are very considerable. In short, Mr. Askew, I cannot advise you to consid- er your uncles legacy seriously.\ \I'm sorry to henr•that,\ answered Hilary. \But I suppose something can be done with the wood. There are uses besides pulp -wood to which the timber can be put?\ Monsieur Lamartine drummed his fingers for quite a while before an- swering. \A company a with a large capital might find it catinercially profitable to develop your tract,\ he said pres- ently. \But no man without an ample fortune and a thorough knowledge of !ember conditions in this province could dream of pulling out even.\ Illinry leaned forward in his chair. \Monsieur Laniartine,\ he said, \I'll tell you how I view this matter. I didn't build any extravagant hopes upon my uncle's legacy. I'm not con- structed that way. What I want prin- cipally is to settle somewhere among trees and do something with them. I'm tired of what I've been doing those past five years. \I'm tired of bunting r/job here and a job there to tend somebody else's trees. I'm tired of other people's trees. I want my own trees. I want to see them grow up, and thin them out, and have a real forest in bearing. \So I've decided to take hold of that St. Boniface tract and see what I can make of it. I'm going to show my un- cle, Monsieur Lamartine, that he sized me up wrong.\ Monsieur Lamartine smiled at his caller's frankness. • \I understand how you feel, Mr. As- kew,\ he said. \What you want is a nice little tract of a few hundred acres, not far from Quebec. A place with a little trout lake on it, to build your camp beside, ten acres freehold and the rest leased. You'll enjoy that, and\—he paused and scrutinized him with his fox look—\I think I may be able to dispose of the Rosny white ele- phant for you.\ Hilary returned no answer, and Monsieur Lamartine could not decide whether it was a sign of strength or Monsieur Lamartine Could Not De. eide Whether it Was a Sign of Strength or Weakness. of weakness. Still he was sure that a man who loved trees apart from their commercial value was a dreamer and impractical. \They would pay forty-five thousand dollars, cash,\ said the notary. \And that would enable you to realize your own aspirations. You are fond of fish- ing, Mr. Askew? Think it over. Spend a week here—two weeks, Look about you. Inspect our fine old city. Do you know we arc the only walled city on this continent?\ Ile stopped; perhaps he saw Hilary redden, perhaps his instinct warned him to do so. (?.(XiKtX\•9( 1 / 2 79( 1 0 1 AXVitASS \What I want,\ said Hilary, \Is the noway tract.\ \The offer is too small? I doubt—\ \I will discuss that after I have seen the concession.\ The notary sighed. \Well at least think the matter over for a while,\ he said. \Mr. Morris, the manager, Is away on business. He should be in Quebec tomorrow, and perhaps he'can arrange to take you up there.\ \I am thinking of going at a very early date,\ said Hilary, \In fact, by the boat tomorrow.\ \Mr. Askew, I assure you, you had better wait for Mr. Morris. He Is a man of expert judgment. You cannot have a better adviser, and he has abso- lutely no personal interest one way or another. There are so many things to consider; and then—you don't speak French, do you?\ \A little.\ \It would not help you, anyway. The dialect up at St. Boniface is seven- teenth century. They are a wild lot up there, a very bad lot of people; smugglers and poachers, Mr. Askew.\ Hilary, who had already sensed La- martine's objection to his going to St. Boniface, awakened to suspicion at last. \I shall leave on tomorrow morn- ing's boat,\ he said. \When I have made my decision I shall let you know. I think I shall refuse your company's offer. Will you let me have the pa- pers, Monsieur Lantartine, including the last half -yearly statement and the map of the limits?\ \But It is entirely irregular, Mr. As- kew. Really—\ \Let me have the papers, please,\ said Hilary, smiling. \And you need have no fear that you will be held re- smut:311)1e for my anticipating my in- heritance. I imagine I have as much right there as Mr. Morris.\ \Of course, if that Is your decision, there is nothing more to say,\ an- swered the other brusquely. He pulled out a drawer and removed an envelope containing some documents. \You will find the statement here,\ he said. \Mr. Morris has the books and the map of St. Boniface. I wish you a pleasent journey, sir. You wish me to continue to represent you?\ \For the present, yes. Good -day.\ When he was gone Monsieur Lamar - tine sat back in his chair mid drummed his fingers for nearly a minute. Then he called up Broussenu. \He's just gone,\ he said. \And lw starts for St. Boniface tomorrow morn- ing, in spite of all my representa- tions.\ He smiled at the sputtering that came over the wire. • • • • • • • It was well into the afternoon when Hilary reached St. Boniface on the small tri-weekly mall boat. For fifty or sixty miles below Quebec the coun- try, sparsely inhabited though it Is, and primitive, contains settlements with shingled houses, hotels, tourists in season; and it was not until the St. Lawrence widened into the Gulf that Hilary realized, almost with surprise, that the ship was sailing into a terri- tory as primitive as it had been a score of years after Jacques Cartier landed. Something of the primeval nature of the land entered Hilary's heart and gripped it. He had never known what it was he wanted. But he knew now: it was to take hold of a virgin land and tame it, to grapple with life, not among the men of cities, but some- where with the smell of the pines and of the brown earth in his nostrils. Pac- ing the deck of the little ship, he felt that his desires had come to light at the moment when their fulfillment had become possible. He looked about him with approval when he stood upon the porch of the tiny hotel at St. Boniface. Nobody else had got off the boat, and evident- ly the landlord of the little hotel ex- pected nobody. After an ineffectual attempt /o enter Into conversation with him, in which hardly a word was mu- tually intelligible, Hilary gave up the effort and started up the hill road which led, he surmised, toward the lumber mill. The whole settlement was gathered about the shores of the little bay. Be' yowl It were the mountains, on either side the forest -clad hills, broken, on the east, by an inlet, and on the west by the deep cleft of the Rocky river, whose month, closed by a boom, was a congested mass of logs. Jittery crossed the bridge and ap- proached the mill. Two or three men, lounging outelde the store, looked at him without any sign of interest. Everything was very still and peace- ful; there was hardly a sound to be heard except the distant hum of the mill machinery. Between the dam and the store, upon a terrain heaped with tin cans and miscellaneous debris, were piles of wood in four -foot lengths, each corn. prising abotit two hundred cords. Kneeling at the narrow end of one of these piles was n little men, whose clean -haven - upper lip, the whiteness of which contrasted with a sun -black- ened face, indicated that a mustache had grown there recently. /To was scaling, or measuring, the pile, and muttering as he added up hia figures. Hilary surveyed tho lumber, It was unrossed, and most of it was black 5. 000.)(Ft*X0(XDI WiLA:A.A.A®®®®®600.00.i*AgAiXiX 4 .00MA6FX 4 5)®®® spruce; there was also some white spruce and a little 'pine. The mass In the river, if It consisted of wood of the same quality, hardly substantiated Lamartine's statements. \You seem to have some good spruce on the seigniory,\ said Hilary. The little man leaped to his feet, waving his arms. \What you want here?\ he demanded. \Strangers are not permitted on the company's prop- erty. If you want to buy at the store, you go by the road.\ Hilary looked down coolly at the excited little man. \I'm Mr. Askew. and I've come to take charge of my property,\ he answered. The little man was bereft of vocal powers for quite some time. \But Mr. Morris, he ain't here,\ he gasped at length. \Well he ought to be here. That's what I'm pafing him tor,\ said Hilary. \Wilat's your name?\ \Jean-Marie Baptiste.\ \Perhaps you didn't expect ale, Mon- sieur Baptiste?\ \Holy Name, no! It was said that you had sold out to the company.\ \What company?\ demanded Hilary. \The company at Ste. Marie. Mon- sieur Brousseau'e company.\ \See here, Baptiste,\ said Hilary, taking the other by the arm. 'Let us begin by understanding each other. I \That Said Late, \la Mamzelle Madeleine Rosily.\ know nothing about any company ex- cept myself. I own this district, the land, the timber, the mill. Have you got that?\ Jean-Marie gaped again, and then diplomatically disengaged himself. \I guess you want to see Mr. Con- nell, the foreman,\ he said. \It ain't my job. You'll find Mr. Connell in the store.\ \Bring him here,\ said Hilary, \Tell him I'm waiting for him.\ The little man departed at a trot, quite evidently startled and scared, and casting back comical looks from time tb time over his shoulder as he went. His statement in the store must have created a good deal of sensation, for presently two clerks, as well as the two loungers, who had gone inside, came to the door and stared. Disen- gaging himself from among these came the foreman, a tall, lean, lanky New Englander, whose deliberate slouch and typical bearing warmed Hilary's heart instantly. He knew the type, knew It as only one with the New Eng- land blood knows his own, 'Tm Late Connell, at your service, Mr. Askew,\ said the foreman, coming up to Hilary and standing respectfully before him. \I suppose I should have let you peo- ple know that I was coming,\ said He wondered why Late Connell whistled; he knew nothing about Brousseau's telephoned warning. N \I guess you'll find things upset a little,\ said Connell. \Mr. Morris has been away for a couple of weeks, see- ing to his other interests, and I can't exactly do much for you till he comes back. It's our slack month, you know, Mr. Askew. The men don't go into the woods until September, and we don't keep a large force employed on the mill work.\ \'Tomorrow's soon enough to start In,\ said Hilary. \I'm pleased to have met you, Mr. Connell.\ \Walt A minute,\ said the foreman. \If you don't mind having me, PH g0 up to the hotel with you. Maybe there'll be some things that you'll want to ask me.\ \All right,\ said Hilary. They went together silently across the shaking bridge and ascended the hill, each quietly taking stock of the other. At the top, where a branch road ran off at right angles to that which crested the cliff, a figure on horseback appeared in the distance. It was a girl, riding sidesaddle. As the horse drew near she pulled in to take the branch road without scatter- ing the dust, /twitting within a few feet of Hilary. lie saVe, that she wee about twantv rears of Os or a little more. slight, very straight upon the saddle, with gray -blue eyes and brown hair blown by the wind about her flushed cheeks. There was a combination of dignity and simplicity* about her, both In her demeanor and in the way she rode, and in her acknowledgment of Connell's greeting. Hilary watched her canter up the road till she had .ffie a ppeared amobg the trees. Then he realised that he had not taken his eyes off her since he had first seen her. \That said Late, \is ?damson. Madeleine Remy. Her father's what they call the Seigneur.\ \The owner of the Chateau?\ asked Hilary, although he knew this per- , f\ \ t i t ' Y e . s, Mr. Askew. r guess she wouldn't have, smiled so pleasant if she had known who you !as.\ \Why Mk. Connell?\ Late jerited his thumb vaguely about the horizon.- \Proud old boy,\ he ex. plained. \Family's been here nigh on a thousand years, I guess—leastwaes, since them Frenchmen first came to this continent. Hated like thunder to sell out to your uncle, But I guess he was land poor, like the rest of them, and Mamzelle Madeleine most have cost him a taint of money finishing up In the convent at Paris, France.\ Hilary turned this over in his mind as they continued their wail( along -the cliff and then down the road to the hotel. The idea of any personal ill - feeling on the Seigneur's part or on that of his family had not occurred to him. Though he did not expect to meet Monsieur Rosny, except possibly in the course of his business, he was conscious of a feeling of regret, and also of a half -formed resolution, the nature of which he would not admit, to put relations upon a pleasant foot- ing. In the hotel the landlord's wife was already preparing supper. They ate an omelet, washed down with strong tea and followed by raspberries and cream. Then they went out on the porch and lit their pipes. \You are the foreman, I under- stand?\ asked Hilary. \Yea Mr. Askew. I took the job soon after your uncle bought the tim- ber rights. I'd been up here for the Shoeburyport Gazette, which was look- ing for a pulp supply. Mr. Morris of- fered me the job, and I took it. And I've been sorry ever since.\ \It's a h— of a country,\ answered Late frankly. \I never guessed such folks existed in a civilised land be fore. Now you take a Dutchman or a Dago—their ways ain't our ways, but they're more or less human. These people ain't. They paint their houses yellow and green, when they paint 'cm at all. I neier saw a yellow house with a green porch in my life till I come up here.\ \Just a difference of taste, Mr. Con. \ aybe,\ said Late, 'spitting. \May- be it's all right not to have sense to plaster their houses, so as to freeze to death. In winter time. Maybe it's all right to run to Father Lucy when there's a forest fire, Instead of getting to work and putting Maybe ht can pray it out for them. I got nothing against the place, except that my wife Chance and the kids are in Shoebury- port, and I'd rather rot here alone than bring 'ern up. But 'what's the met I'm here and / got to stay hete;\ he ended, shrugging' Ws shoulders. Late was a bad cress-queetioner, and the task put Upon him by Brousseati was not only uncongenial but impos- sible for a man of his temperament. However, he made a vallaiit attbriipt to draw Hilary out. \Yon r ie — Thinking of spending some time here, Mr. ,As kew?\ he asked. \I've come to take charge. I'm going to stay,\ Aid Hilary. Late looked at him curiously. What sort' of a man could this be who chose f o a f ee h t is volition to reside in St. Boni- . \I guegi you'll change your mind when you've seen it a little longer,\ he said incredulously. \On the contrary, Mr... Connell, I mean to take hold, and I mean to make It pay. It hasn't paid very well, I un- derstand?\ Late floundered. - \I've heard it don't pay as much as it ought.\ , \I understand that most of the tim- ber is below the size at which cutting is allowed?\ Lafe stared at him. \Why them rides are for government land,\ be answered. \You can cut any Mae on freehold. The timber ain't so bad— leastways, some of it ain't.\ Hilary began to think hard. On thin point Lamartine had clearly and defi- nitely lied to him. \Too much fir on tho property?\ h0 asked. \Why there is some fir,\ conceded Late. \But there's some good spruce along the Rocky river,\ he added, again oblivious of his instructions, \I saw a good pile In the riffet. fi• \Why that ain't our cutting—not much of it,\ said Late. \Most of that comes from the Ste. Marie limits.\ \Where is Ste. Marie?\ \Ste. Marie's two miles along the coast. beyond our setnetnent,\ said Late. \Most of our hands come flout there. It's a tough place, Mr. Askew. I seen some tough towns in the West, but this has got 'eni all beat, with the smuggling of brandy, and the drinking, and the fights every Saturday night— there was a man knifed there last week; and not a policeman within fif- ty miles, and nobody except Father Lney, and be can't hold 'em.\ \What I want to know,\ said Hilary, \IA what this company is that you speak ebcrnt, and how they corns to use the Rocky river for their logs.\ Late hesitated, but only for a mo- ment. Then he mentally cast Brous - *eau to the wInda ; for, after all, if Hilary meant to know, nobody could prevent it, 13roussean's instructious notwithstanding. \It's this way, Mr. Askew,\ he said. \Mr. Morris and Mr. Broutaseau have a company of their own. Their limits tondo ôiir o tha iest, across the dyer, and run ten miles or so back Into the bush, rigid alongside ours. They got the right to float their logs dawn the river,\ \And use the mill? \Mr. Morris leases the use of our mill by the year to the company.\ Hilary was staggered for the mo- ment. Morris, as his uncle's manager, leasing the mill to Morris, a partner in I3roussean's company, learned a queer role. \How do they tell our lumber from theirs?\ naked Hilary presently. \Oh that ain't hard,\ said Late. \You see, the jobbers, who sublease the tracts, know how much their men have cut. And it's scaled in the woods before they shoot it down stream. I guess there ain't no diffi- culty there, Mr. Askew. And you see, Mr. Morris representing both concerns, he naturally does his best by both of , ent e Illiary's suspicions, dormant even after the Interview with Lamartine, were now thoroughly aroused. \And Mr. Broussean has no concern with us, except for the lease of the mill and the right-of-way down the river,\ mused Hilary. \Who is this Mr. Brouseenur \WhY - I . guess he's the big man of the district,\ said Late. \He's the nearest thing to a boas they're got up here; tells 'em how to 'vote and gets 'ens out of trouble. He ain't good to his father, though. That was old Jacques Broneseau In the store, the • trapper.\ \I didn't see him.\ \He was Mr. Roeny's slave, or what- ever they called them, in the old times, before these people became free.\ He tapped the ashes out of his pipe and pocketed R. \He's got old Rosny In his pocket,* he said, leaning toward Hilary. \He's got him bound and mortgaged after lending him to throtv your uncle's money away in crazy investments. Ile did it deliberately, Mr. Askew. When he was a kid, growing up among the house servants up at the Chateau, he wanted to be a big man, for which I don't blame him. He got Ids way, but that wasn't enough. Re wanted the Seigneur's place, because he found that the folks up here thought more of old Mr. Rimy, with his broken. down house and debts, than they did of him with all his money. So he set to work and got him cinched. \The old man bates and despises him, and he's been fighting against It Or along time, but he seen what's coining to him and I guess he'a made up his mind he'll have to stomach it. Brousseau's staked old Mr. Rosny'a pride against his love, and I guess he's won his stake and won Mamzelie Madeleine into the bargain.\ He rose. \That'll be all for tonight, Mr. Askew?\ he asked. Hilary rose too. \Thanks Mr. Con- nell,\ he said. \In the morning I shall ask you to show me around the place.\ He didn't follow Late Connell in- side the hotel, but sat upon the porch, musing. Late had enlightened him on several points. He doubted whether Lamartine had spoken anything ap- proaching truth concerning the prop. erty, and he was sure that Morris and Bronssean were the company in whose behalf he had offered forty-five thou- sand dollars. There would be need of a good many explanations from Mor- ris. Yet Hilary felt instinctively that it was Brousseau, not Morris, with Whom he would have to contend. On the face of the soft night rose the face of Madeleine Row painted with Surprising clearness: Ile - saw the blue of her eyes, the curve of her flushed cheek, the dignity and gentle- ness and pride that blended in her looks. If ever he had any quarrel with Ilrousseau, ho would show him -- Then he cursed himself for a fool, and, entering the hotel, took his lamp and went up to his room. -I A A A lirrs hostility adds zest to the - game. (TO DE CONTINUED.) \Know thyself,\ and also ascertain bert Auu are rated by others, • 4

The Stanford World (Stanford, Mont.), 25 March 1920, located at <>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.