The Stanford World (Stanford, Mont.) 1909-1920, April 22, 1920, Image 2
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TAR STANFORD WORLD s i) illustrations by Irwin Myers ct oo (Copyright, 1910, by George H. Doran CO.) Oh/ L10.1iftbail OWL\ 0,9 0.0 ( 4 .9 (4`4q.F.)()(st')®(:: : Vii:X:0 1 .,X;.i.Y.:#)&4)(40 . t9(0:X4`)S4AX - 1 1 .*X.IF.4 -,5 :0®®® , (4K i !`)®(#.>MFAX#A )( 4` . . ) ®®%Xi i iY** 13 :-001 ) ®,*( 4 .;:;(..iXiXiX: 4 .4)(ii.Xi)( 4 .4 .- X 4. 5)0AVies)(ii)(k)(ii.)0.04) twvo s x.009000*X4.00 , Xi.ix#.4 . 4 x.*) ox. qi . „) (44 By VICTOR ROUSSEAU 6,9 c?,p cto 0,) WOODEN SPOIL. (,) \YOU HAVE SAVED MY LIFE!\ Synopsis.—Hilary Askew, a young American, inherits from an uncle a hundred square miles of forest in Quebec. Upon taking possession, he dis- severs all sorts of queer things. Larnartine, his uncle's lawyer, tells him the 'property is comparatively worthless and tries to induce him to sell. Late Connell, the mill foreman, tells him his uncle has been systematically robbed. Morris, the manager, Is associated with the Ste. Marie company, a rival con- cern owned by Brousseau, the \boss\ of the region. Madeleine, the beau- ttful daughter of Seigneur Ronny, original owner of Askew's land, is pur- sued by Brousseau, who has her father in his power. The hero decides to stay and manage his property. He discharges Morris and makes Connell manager. He whips \Black\ Pierre, foreman of a gang of Brousseau's men cutting on his land. He defies Brousseau. Leblanc, his boss jobber, deserts to the enemy. From Father Lucien Askew learns the story of Mario Dupont, daughter of the captain of a lumber schooner. The girl's mother, now dead, had been betrayed, and she herself is looked on askance and has few friends. Marie knows the name of her mother's betrayer, but has never revealed it to her father. Askew finds Madeleine !teeny hostile to him. Askew and Con- nell visit a Ste. Marie dance hall. CHAPTER VI—Continued. —5— Baptiste sprang at her, seized her by the sleeve of her dress, and tried to pull her from her seat. Illiary saw Nanette protesting angrily; he could not hear Baptiste's excited exclama- tions, but he heard faintly the scream that came front Marie's lips. At once there was a general movement toward the group. Some of the lumbermen Interfered. Baptiste turned upon them with menacing fists. The little man was beside himself with fury. Then Simeon came waddling down the room with his ducklike shuttle, and took Baptiste by both arms. With slow but inexorable force he led him toward the door. It seemed almost as if Bap- tiste, struggling in vain and mouthing incoherently, was in the grip of some 111/1C111 11e, for the momentum of Sime- on's movements was composed much more of bulk than of velocity. Amid the jeers of the crowd Baptiste was thrust from the door, mid Simeon turiA and waddled back into the room, where the dancing was in full swing once more. • Hilary saw Marie flying round in the arms of a gigantic woodsman. Bap- tiste, seated upon the step before the dance hall, was weeping pitifully. The little drama came home to Late with equal poignancy. Hilary saw that his eyes were blazing. \We'll get that girl away from here,\ he said. Lnfe nodded., and the two went in. At first they were not recognized through the clouds of rolling smoke. It was Nanette who saw Hilary first. She uttered a sharp exclamation and pointed toward him. At 011ee the two found themselves under the lire of ull eyes. The news reached Simeon Duval as Le was reaching up for a bottle in his Closet, and he came puffing out and Waddled toward Ililary, his pale -blue eyes fixed on him in malevolent scrntiny. \Eh Meestalr Askew, you have a drink on me?\ asked Simeon, holding out the bottle under Illiary's nose. The action was at once a challenge and an overture, to be interpreted in tither fnshion, according to the hear- br's inclination. Hilary shook his head. \I don't drink, Simeon,\ he answered curtly. \You want to dance, then, eh? You want a lady to dance?\ \I do not.\ . \Nor to piny card. eh?' \Not tonight, Simeon.\ \Then what the it— you come to Dly place for?\ Simeon's blue eyes glared into Hil- ary's. In his younger (lays the man Dad been the bully of the lumber camps; still of great strength, he could Baptiste Sprang at Her, Seized Her by the Sleeve of . Her Dress and Tried to Pull Her From Her Seat. have matched himself against any man: with the doubtful exception of Black Pierre; but Hilary's exploit upon the latter had a restraining effect upon him. \I've come to have a look at you Simeon,\ said Hilary genially. \Well you see me now, eh, Meestair Askew? What you think of me, eh?' retorted the , dance -hail proprietor \Maybe you like to look some more eh?\ \I think you're Just about whet I ex eeeted.\ Hilary stomata& \A hear your brother is thinking of opening a hell like this one at St. Boldface.\ The lumbermen had begun to edge in about them. Sentiment. while run- ning strongly against the intruder, was not angrily hostile. The men were eager to see how lillary would bear himself against Simeon, and they hoped for some fun. Hilary saw among them the face of Simeon's brother Louis, who looked like a small model upon a lighter scale. \My brother here. He speak for himself, Meestair Askew. Ile not gfrahl. YtIll think. ['Yaps, because you thrash Black Pierre, you boss in Ste. Mode?\ \Ni' I don't. I wish I were,\ said Hilary. \If I were, Simeon. I should run you down to Quebec jail right off the reel. But I'm boss in St. Boniface, and if Louis opens It liquor den there, I'll break his head open and run him In afterward.\ Few of those present understood his exact meaning, but an ominous growl showed that this declaration was ap- preciated at more or less its correct value. The mob began moving for- ward. For a few moments the situa- tion looked menacing. Hilary took the aggressive, as usual. \Alt Leblanc!\ he called out. \How do you like your new job? I'm start- ing in to cut out that limit you handed back to Inc. There's some good timber there, Leblanc.\ Leblanc snarled and started for- ward, shaking his fist and muttering. However, he could not get through the nress and it is not probable that he tried very hard to do so. \Well that's about nil, Simeon,\ Hilary called. \I just came in to look at your place and give your brother a friendly warning. because I never Warn when I'm ready to strike.\ \My brother take care of himself. He ain't afraid of you,\ said Simeon, who kept as cool as Hilary. Hilary -intuitively summed him up as the nmst dangerous of his opponents\. \But I guess you ain't going like that, Mees- lair Askew,\ continued the liquor. seller, \I ask you to have a drink on lite an' you say no. Now you going to buy drinks all round. eh?\ Illiary laughed out loud. \Not for your crowd, Simeon,\ he answered. Simeon planter; his fat body heavily before him. \What you say? You buy drinks, eh?\ he demanded truculently. Hilary put 111,* hands on Simeon's !Shoulders and pushed Mtn bodily back - %yard. ' Simeon, who was planted rather than stood, at firAt eesisted fIS a tree might resist a gentle shove with the hand; but he could not resist the strength ' behind 1111nry's shoulders, and he I gan to sway and went top- pling b ckward, landing, still rigid, upon- tile floor. i Some of the girls shrieked, and the lumbermen came surging forward toward Hilary and Late and began to hustle them. Yet, knowing Ililary's reputation, they hesitated a moment before initiating hostilities; and that moment brought an unexpected inter- ruption. For a boy ran screaming in at the door, nnd what he cried startled the entire assembln4e. Simeon, who had been struggling to his feet, was upon them in an instant. But before the crowd had recovered from its confu- sion two offieers in the uniform of the revenue department came running in. They carried revolvers in their hands, and . they pounced upon Simeon and had him at their mercy in an instant. At once the whole scene was dis- solved. Men and girls ran this way and that, a wildly flying, panicky mass. It was one thing to drink and brawl in Ste. Marie. hut quite another to defy the tireless officials of the revenue de- partment, who patroled the river at uncertain intervals, whose arms were very long. Whether any one except Simeon was wanted in that particular place was never known, for it was all the officers could do to hold on to him, while the crowd stampeded past them toward the door, a cursing, struggling mass, carrying Late and Hilary along with it. In the street they pulled themselves out Of the crush and took refuge in an alley. All Ste. Marie was in a turmoil. News of the raid had spread every- where with lightning swiftness. Lights were being extinguished, liquor hidden away, lumbermen and girls were run- ning in wild panic through the streets. Suddenly they perceived Millie Du- pont among the crowd. Iter eyes were wide with fright, and she was strug- gling helplessly In the crowd, borne this way and that by the conflicting currents. Hilary forced his way toward her and dragged her into the alley. There alie broke down; she fell upon her knees in the mud, rocking to and fro and moaning. Ililary bent over her. Late saw that his fuse was stern. \I am going to take you tiOnie,\ he said. She looked up at him piteously. She appeared , to recognize him, but was too terrified to understand. He drew her to her feet and. with Late on the other side, they began to make their way quickly toward the bench by a narrow passage among the cottages. But as they stnrted Late looked back and saw, wedged in the crowd behind them, Jean Baptiste. He had been try- ing to reach the girl, but it was impos- slide to move a foot in that struggling human torrent. He saw them, and his eyes were dilated witli hupotent fury. There was murder in them as they fell upon Hilary. Late shuddered. His impulse was to wait for the man, but lu• recognized that Baptiste was beyond all reason and self-control. He hnd misinterpreted Illiar),\s action; the only thing now was to elude him and get the girl away before Baptiste could follow. Ile wtts glad Hilary had not seen Baptiste. Ile meant to say nothing of it. The three set out on their way, Marie at first sobbing and holding back, then gradually growing calm un- der Illiatry's assurances, and at last going willingly. i l ler dress was drag- gled with mud, her finery awry0.she looked pitiful and frightened. •Thlary felt a great wrath growing in him as he looked at her. At last they gained the shore road and presently reached Marie's cottage. She felt in her dress for the key with shaking fingers. Hilary took It from her and opened the door. \Never go to that place again.\ he said stern- ly. \Let this be a lesson to you!\ She went inside. Lafe and Hilary waited till the lamp was lit and, through the torn shade, they saw Marie Dupont crouched before the stov her face on her arms. — \I guess we'd better -be going, Lax,\ he said. . , \She's had her lesson.\ \I hope so. I've seen enough this evening. Late. It makes me sick to think that there are wretches vile enough to encourage this, for money or for influence.\ He turned on hint. \If I can trace Broussean's hand in thlft work,\ he said, \heaven help him!\ • CHAPTER VII. \Look to Your Boom!\ Baptiste worked all the next Monday on the boom, fiercely and unsparing of hiinself or Ills men. Hilary, a little puzzled by the little man's sullen man- ner toward himself, at it to his personal distress at what had hap- pened in Ste. Marie. Ile did not know that Baptiste was aware of his pres- ence there, and felt happy in the con- sciousness that he had (lone him some service. Not would have pleased him better than to have seen his suit with Marie Dupont successful. The strengthening of the boom was finished. The wooden structure had been immensely fortified with great trunks, hashed and nailed together, resting in concrete which had been inoldfsi into the Crevices of the rocks on either side of the cataract. Hilary examined and approved of the work. It seemed to remove all possibility of danger. Everything depended on the first minute after the Jam. was broken. If the torrent could be carried off through the sluice gates, in the main, the logs would find an easy passage over the dam into the lake. But actually the re - enforced boom seemed to resist the torrent without any likelihood' of breakage. +he charge was to be exploded at throe in the afternoon. That day Hil- ary was kept busy in his office, going over the pay roll in preparation for the October changes. Gangs of men had been returning from the south shore, and he had signed on a number. Ile was aware that some of Brous- seau's agents had been at work at- tempting to dissuade them; however, the men wanted work, and even 'trousseau could not hire them and keep them idle upon his skeleton com- pany at Ste. Murie. Hilary discov- ered that the Ste. Marie enterprise ex- isted only upon that of St. Boniface, and, like the parasitic plant, withered when its prop and sustenance was withdrawn. It was two o'clock by his * watch when he pushed his papers aside and strolled up the path that led through the woods toward the gorge. Hilary had left St. Bonitace behind him and was approaching the gorge, from which he could hear the shouts of the gang making preparations for the discharge, when he saw Madeleine Ilosny riding along the rend toward him, She had evidently been to the Ste. Marie territory, and, he suspected, on a visit to BroUSSeall. The path waif narrow, with the descending bank of the wooded gorge or; one hand and steep, shelving ascent, overgrown . with young spruce and pine, upon the other. Hilary drew to one side, to give the girl passage. He was watching the trotting horse, now' swiftly nearing him, and wondering whether he ought to make any sign of recognition, when he was almost thrown front his feet by a vibration of the ground, followed by a dull roar that grew into an in- fernal crescendo and rolled away un- derground in a prolonged reverbera- tion. The charge had been exploded. Hilary saw the horse rear, curvet, and then, maddened with fear, leap widly forward. An instant later it be- came clear that It was no longer un- der control. Tim terrified animal bolt- ed at full speed along the road to- ward hint, while the girl pluckily kept her seat and pulled with all her might, but unavailingly, on curb and snaffle. She was a practiced horsewoman, for none other could have kept her seat when the horse went rearing backward; but no amount of skill could avail unless the beast were got under control before the downhill into tile village was reached. There was a gate fleYOSS the track, which Hilary had closed. Flung over this, It would be mu miracle if the girl escaped witli her life. Hilary made his decision in an in- stant, made it with the roar of the released torrent in his ears, and the thunder of the breaking jam, the crash They Saw Marie Dupont 'Crouched Be- fore the Stove, Her Face on Her Arms. of logs hurled free and rebounding from and buffeting one another. He planted himself directly In the course of the maddened animal, whose hoofs churned up a shower of stones. \Keep your seat!\ he shouted to the girl. For one instant he saw her, pale, with frightened eyes, but firm in the saddle, still pulling against the curb, while the open mouth, distorted by the bit and chain that pressed the un- derlip, foamed, and the white of the eyes gleamed wickedly beneath the cars, flat with the head. Then Hilary saw the horse rear and the shod hoofs uprise. Then, somehow, he caught the reins and leaped for the sfieltill — ig bank, and missed. He lost his foothold, but he clung to the reins, while the horse'plunged and reared, each jerk almost tearing his arms from their sockets. Now he was swept against the branches of the trees that overhung the road, and blinded by the swishing twigs and boughs, now the precipice was under him, and the gorge below, where the logs crackled and thundered as they battered their way down the river. He saw the girl clinging to the saddle, then to the beast's mane; he tried to reach her with his arms, hut he could net stop the bolting animal; and then he was flung free, and the riderless horse went galloping down the road toward St. Boniface. He must have been stunned for n few moments, for when he opened his ,eyes he found himself lying upon a ledge a little distance from the top of the steep bank. On the 8(1111C ledge was Madeleine Rosny clinging to a swaying sapling that overhung the river, and trying to rise. Hilnry scrambled to his feet, to find that, in spite of painful bruises, he •was uninjured. He gave Madeleine his hands and pulled her out of the branches; and they stood looking at each other. \Your horse bolted,\ explained Hilary. \I am sorry you did not know about the dynamiting,\ At his words a look of fear came upon her face; and then it hardened and her grey eyes flashed angrily. \You have saved my life I\ she cried. \You have saved me, and I wish you were a thousand miles away. I wish I had never seen you l\ . \There Is no need to let that trouble you, Mademoiselle Itosny,\ answered Hilary, stung into scorn by her in- gratitude. \There is enough room In this country for both of its, If you will let me help you up the !milk, no doubt you can find your way home. I assure you that I have no intention of Intruding on YOU further.\ His scorn seemed to beat down her anger. She looked at him for the first time without hatred. \Why have you come Into my life? Why do you begin to flay a part In it?\ she whispered, as if in terror. \Suppose you let me assist you up the bank, Mademoiselle, before I an- swer your question. We can hardly discuss that matter here,\ said Hilary. She seemed to recover her self-pos- session. \There is no need to answer me,\ she replied scornfully. Never- theless she permitted him to brush the dust from her skirt and to give her his hand. They scrambled up the side of the gorge and stood breathless upon the road again. Far away Hilary heard the crash of the logs, flung over the dam and shooting towatrd the boom. Madeleine Rosny turned and faced Hilary. \Well monsieur?\ she de- manded. \It is because I want us to be friends,\ he said. And he took the girl's hand frankly in his. . She let it lie there for a moment, gazing at him in astonishment and puzzlement. Then, to Illiary's sur- prise, he saw the look of fear coine into her eyes again. \It is too late,\ she whispered. \Surely not, mademoiselle. We have misunderstood each other, perhaps, but—\ \I tell you it is too late. Oh, why (lid you not come to me and say this before?\ she cried, and suddenly broke into unrestrainable sobbing. \I thought you were graisping and wicked, and I hated you. I wished you evil. Look to your boom! No, let me go, mon- sieur! Look to your boom!\ And, snatching her hand away, she ran, still sobbing wildly, down the road, leaving Hilary staring after her in uncomfortable dismay. He could not understand her mean- ing, though her last words still rang In his ears. Ile•watched her as she fled through the trees like a hunted deer. Site was put of his sight around the bend of the road almost in an in- stant, her shoulders heaving and her hands outstretched in blind panic be- fore her. Hilary heard the shouts of the work- tnen still more plainly, rising above the awful smashing of the logs. Then, while he still looked after Madeleine, there came a sound louder than any he mid heard, rivaling that of the ex- piosion itself, as if Thor's hammer had clanged upon a leaden anvil, as if the earth were rent in twain like a stitched garment. There was no need to wonder what had occurred. Hilary began running down the road. Ills eyes were fixed ahead where the log boom lay rent like a straw pipe, and the great burden of logs which the Rocky river had borne so long was plunging down the cata- ract. He ran on, breathless, and the stu- pendous spectacle went on before his eyes. A mighty barrier, piled up for a few moments against the rocks that spanned the cataract, gave promise of arresting the debacle. Behind it the logs spun and twisted. All the freight of the river, far back from the hills, was sweeping onward, an irresistible army, forging past stone and boulder, tossing, upheaving, mounting the dam, whoSe - Cement - wan - wns now sub- merged, swept by the milk -white tor- rent to where had been the boom. The clashing of the logs against that wood- en wall was like battering rams against a city wall. Then swiftly, as Hilary still ran, he saw the picture dissolve. The wall of logs went down into the Cataract, and a column of spray rose higher than the flume, flared funnel. wise and caught the sunlight into pris- matically banded hues like a rainbow, and' went down. Over the cataract swept the logs,Nim- impeded now. The river had burst ts chains and spewed Its burdens into Oat Gulf. Fanlike, the lumber began to spread and stain the gray St. Lawrence surface with mottled brown. Hilary reached the waste place be- side the mill. The workmen (hood there, impotently watching the ruin of their toll. It was the wreck of every- thing. There could be no hope of build- ing up the boom in the face of that torrent of water until the river was low enough for the closing of the dam gates to keep It pent back. And long before that time the entire lumber load of Rocky river would be in the Gulf. Hilary looked on in embittered silence. He might as well give up now and go home. Brousseau and Nature had united to thwart him. The workmen had been joined by the mill hands, who had left their work and hurried down to the boom when the catastrophe occurred. They seemed all to have lost their heads. They were chattering excitedly; Hil- ary could not understand a word, but Connell started and looked about him. . \What is it?\ Hilary asked, \Where's Jean Baptiste?\ said Late. \I don't know. Ile set oft the dyna- mite, and that ended his Job. Why?' \Nothing said Late, still glancing about him. Hilary rooked at him curiously, but said no more. He began to hush his way through the crowd in the dire tion of the office. He had not Invited Late to accompany him, but , Late was at his elbow when he went in, followed him inside the room, and took a chair beside him. Illiary looked at him with a whim - steal smile. \We're finished, Late. This affair, coming on top of the can- celing of those Jobbers' leases, has ended me.\ Late scratched his chin, but said nothing to this. \You see,\ said Hilary, \according to my reckoning we shall have about for- ty thousand dollars on hand about September first. That will last us till Christmas. On the first of the year we shall be up against it. We need another sixty thousand to carry us through the winter, till navigation opens and we call sell our cutting. No bank's going to lend us anything with our record.\ \We can ship six thousand cords by December first,\ said Late. \Thirty-five thousand dollars—per- haps less.\ \We could get more out of those river bottoms.\ suggested Late. \And shut down in the middle of March.\ \As far as I can see,\ Late blurted out, \you'll be about ten thousand shy, Mr. Askew, assuming things go fairly well. That's why I came here. You see, it's like this. I've got nearly eight thousand In the First National%mnk at Shoeberyport, Mass. Clarice—Mrs. Connell, hint is—wouldn't let me buy her a house on the Installment plan as I wanted to. She said as I'd vever know when we'd need the money, and if I couldn't pay up on time they'd get it away from us somehow, no matter what the contract said. It seemed mighty unreasonable to me, Mr. As- kew, but I'm glad now—I sure am gind.\ \Late said IllInry, \are you crazy enough to suppose I'm going to take the money that you and Mrs.. Connell have been saving up for a home, and put it into this bankrupt concerti?\ \Oh shucks!\ said Lafe. \Why that ain't nothing. .I guess I know a good thing when I see one. I'm loan- ing it to you, Mr. Askew, at—any rate you want to pay me.\ \Late you're a fool,\ said Illinry, trying to keep his voice steady: \I'M tempted. But I'm not going to take it.\ \Then I guess I'll take the next boat home!\ shouted Late. \I ain't going to work for a busted concern what's going to leave me stranded up here in midwinter, not drawing n cent. and Clarice—my wife—and the kids in Shoeburyport. No sir! You take that or I'll leave. It ain't so crazy as you think. It'll give me an interest in getting the last 'ounce out of the inen—and I guess Clarice will ap- prove. And when the concern's on its own legs, you—why, you can raise my wages.\ \Connell you're a trump,\ said Hil- ary. \I'll take it. Yes, I'll take it, be- cause I know now that I am going to succeed. We can't fall, Late, when we're as much in earnest as we are. Good Lord, what a despondent fool I've been!\ \Sante here,\ said Late. \I was just hopeless, till you made me see straight.\ \Why it was you made me see straight,\ said Hilary. \Now Con- • nett, we'll push things hard from this very minute. We'll start in cutting along the river, and we'll float the logs right down stream to the mill, and we'll keep Dupont and his schooner coming and going till navigation closes, even if we make Riviere Rocheuse look as bare as our bank account was looking just now. Baptiste Will he worth a score when he understands.\ Ile broke off guddenly, and the two men, struck by the same thought, looked at each other. \I wonder .why Baptiste went off as soon as he'd dynamited the jatn,\ said lary, le felt ashamed of his suspicions. Yet, remembering that day when Baptiste was conferring with Pierre, he could not wholly rid himself of them. \Late he said, \what was it you heard those men saying after the ac- cident? You started.\ \Why I guess that wasn't nothing, Mr. Askew. You know how excited these people get over trifles. They're just like a flock of geese gabbling around.\ \What was It, Late?\ \Just nonsense, sir. Not worth re- peating, but—well, you see, It's this way. Some darned fool said that some- body had sawed part way through the logs of the boom.\ Then for the first time the words of Bladeleine Rosny came back to Hilary: \Look to your boom I Look to your boom I\ He hung his head and flushed with shame. It seemed impossible to asso- ciate that act of treachery with her. Yet, struggle as he did, her last words haunted him. „or) Trouble, trouble — and more to eome.. (TO BE CONTINUED.) Thrift 1s better than an annuity.' \ s ti ••• q