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Earth's Enigmas by Roberts

EARTH'S ENIGMAS

A VOLUME OF STORIES BY

CHARLES G D ROBERTS

LAMSON WOLFFE AND COMPANY BOSTON AND NEW YORK 1896 _Copyright, 1895_,

University Press: John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U.S.A.

Author's Note.

Most of the stories in this collection have already appeared in the pages of English, American, or Canadian periodicals. For kind courtesies in regard to the reprinting of these stories my thanks are due to the Editors of Harper's Magazine, Longman's Magazine, Scribner's Magazine, The Cosmopolitan, Lippincott's Magazine, The Independent, The Toronto Globe, Harper's Bazaar, and The Youth's Companion.

C. G. D. R.

Fredericton, N. B.

_January, 1896._

Contents.

Do Seek their Meat from God

The Perdu

"The Young Ravens that Call upon Him"

Within Sound of the Saws

The Butt of the Camp

In the Accident Ward

The Romance of an Ox-Team

A Tragedy of the Tides

At the Rough-and-Tumble Landing

An Experience of Jabez Batterpole

The Stone Dog

The Barn on the Marsh

Captain Joe and Jamie

Strayed

The Eye of Gluskap

Earth's Enigmas.

Do Seek their Meat from God.

One side of the ravine was in darkness. The darkness was soft and rich, suggesting thick foliage. Along the crest of the slope tree-tops came into view--great pines and hemlocks of the ancient unviolated forest--revealed against the orange disk of a full moon just rising. The low rays slanting through the moveless tops lit strangely the upper portion of the opposite steep,--the western wall of the ravine, barren, unlike its fellow, bossed with great rocky projections, and harsh with stunted junipers. Out of the sluggish dark that lay along the ravine as in a trough, rose the brawl of a swollen, obstructed stream.

Out of a shadowy hollow behind a long white rock, on the lower edge of that part of the steep which lay in the moonlight, came softly a great panther. In common daylight his coat would have shown a warm fulvous hue, but in the elvish decolorizing rays of that half hidden moon he seemed to wear a sort of spectral gray. He lifted his smooth round head to gaze on the increasing flame, which presently he greeted with a shrill cry. That terrible cry, at once plaintive and menacing, with an undertone like the fierce protestations of a saw beneath the file, was a summons to his mate, telling her that the hour had come when they should seek their prey. From the lair behind the rock, where the cubs were being suckled by their dam, came no immediate answer. Only a pair of crows, that had their nest in a giant fir-tree across the gulf, woke up and croaked harshly their indignation. These three summers past they had built in the same spot, and had been nightly awakened to vent the same rasping complaints.


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