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Lost in the Wilds

Produced by Al Haines.

[Illustration: Cover]

[Illustration: It was an awful moment.]

LOST IN THE WILDS

A CANADIAN STORY

BY ELEANOR STREDDER

LONDON, EDINBURGH, DUBLIN, & NEW YORK THOMAS NELSON AND SONS 1893

*CONTENTS.*

I. _In Acland's Hut_ II. _Hunting the Buffalo_ III. _The First Snowstorm_ IV. _Maxica, the Cree Indian_ V. _In the Birch-bark Hut_ VI. _Searching for a Supper_ VII. _Following the Blackfeet_ VIII. _The Shop in the Wilderness_ IX. _New Friends_ X. _The Dog-sled_ XI. _The Hunters' Camp_ XII. _Maxica's Warning_ XIII. _Just in Time_ XIV. _Wedding Guests_ XV. _To the Rescue_ XVI. _In Confusion_

*LOST IN THE WILDS.*

*CHAPTER I.*

_*IN ACLAND'S HUT.*_

The October sun was setting over a wild, wide waste of waving grass, growing dry and yellow in the autumn winds. The scarlet hips gleamed between the whitening blades wherever the pale pink roses of summer had shed their fragrant leaves.

But now the brief Indian summer was drawing to its close, and winter was coming down upon that vast Canadian plain with rapid strides. The wailing cry of the wild geese rang through the gathering stillness.

The driver of a rough Red River cart slapped the boy by his side upon the shoulder, and bade him look aloft at the swiftly-moving cloud of chattering beaks and waving wings.

For a moment or two the twilight sky was darkened, and the air was filled with the restless beat of countless pinions. The flight of the wild geese to the warmer south told the same story, of approaching snow, to the bluff carter. He muttered something about finding the cows which his young companion did not understand. The boy's eyes had travelled from the winged files of retreating geese to the vast expanse of sky and plain. The west was all aglow with myriad tints of gold and saffron and green, reflected back from many a gleaming lakelet and curving river, which shone like jewels on the broad breast of the grassy ocean. Where the dim sky-line faded into darkness the Touchwood Hills cast a blackness of shadow on the numerous thickets which fringed their sheltering slopes. Onward stole the darkness, while the prairie fires shot up in wavy lines, like giant fireworks.

Between the fire-flash and the dying sun the boy's quick eye was aware of the long winding course of the great trail to the north. It was a comfort to perceive it in the midst of such utter loneliness; for if men had come and gone, they had left no other record behind them. He seemed to feel the stillness of an unbroken solitude, and to hear the silence that was brooding over lake and thicket, hill and waste alike.

He turned to his companion. "Forgill," he asked, in a low venturing tone, "can you find your way in the dark?"


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