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Lost in the Wilds

De Brunier seized his empty tea canister


shop was already cleared. Mr. De Brunier would have gone into his storeroom with them if he could, but a dozen guns were pointed in his face. It was mere menace, no one attempted to fire. But the chief thought it was going too far. He backed to the waiting-room. Mr. De Brunier seized his empty tea-canister, and offered it to him as a parting gift, saying in most emphatic tones, "This is not our way of doing business. Some of these men have got too much, and some too little. It is not my fault. I must deal now with the tribe. Let them all lay down on the floor the rest of the skins and bags they have brought, and take away all I have to give in exchange, and you must divide when you get back to your camp, to every man his right share."

Oma-ka-pee-mulkee-yeu rushed off with his canister under his arm; not into the storeroom, where the dismayed trader hoped his presence might have proved a restraint, but straight through the waiting-room with a mad dash into the court, and through the gate, where he halted to give a thunderous shout of "Crees! Crees!" The magic words brought out his followers pell-mell. A second shout, a wilder alarm, made the tribe rally round their chief, in the full belief the Crees had surprised their camp in their hateful dog-like fashion, taking their bite at the women and children when the warriors' heads were turned.

But the unmannerly foe was nowhere in sight.

justify;">"Over the hill!" shouted their Great Wild Swan, the man of twenty fights.

Meanwhile the gate of the little fort was securely barred against all intruders. The waiting squaws meekly turned their horses' heads, and followed their deluded lords, picking up the beads and nails which had been dropped in their headlong haste.

"Woe to Maxica," thought Wilfred, "if he should happen to be returning for his moose!"

The wild war-whoop died away in the distance, only the roar of the cataract broke the stillness of the snow-laden air.

De Brunier walked back into his house, to count up the gain and loss, and see how much reckless mischief that morning's work had brought him.



"We shall always be friends," said Gaspe, looking into Wilfred's face, as they stood side by side against the chimney in the loft, emptying the biscuit-canister between them.

Wilfred answered with a sunny smile. The sounds below suddenly changed their character. The general stampede to the gate was beginning.

The boys flew to the window. It was a double one, very small and thickly frozen. They could not see the least thing through its glittering panes.

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