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Lost in the Wilds

De Brunier began to speak of rest


recover his balance--for Wilfred unceremoniously declared he was off his head--Gaspe fell into a musing fit. He wakened up, exclaiming,--

"I'm flying high!"

"Then mind you don't fall," retorted Mr. De Brunier, who himself was cogitating somewhat darkly over Louison's intelligence. "There will be no peace for me," he said, "no security, whilst these Blackfeet are in the neighbourhood. 'Wait for another sun-rising'--that means another forty-eight hours of incessant vigilance for me. It was want of confidence did it all. I should teach them to trust me in time, but it cannot be done in a day."

As he moved on, lamenting over the scene of destruction, Gaspe laid a hand on Wilfred's arm. "How are you going to keep pace with the hunters with that lame foot?" he demanded.

"As the tortoise did with the hare," laughed Wilfred. "Get myself left behind often enough, I don't doubt that."

"But I doubt if you will ever get to your home _a la tortoise_," rejoined Gaspe. "No, walking will never do for you. I am thinking of making you a sled."

"A sledge!" repeated Wilfred in surprise.

"Oh, we drop the 'ge' you add to it in your English dictionaries," retorted Gaspe. "We only say sled out here. There will be plenty of board when grandfather has

done his mending. We may have what we want, I'm sure. Your dog is a trained hauler, and why shouldn't we teach my biggest pup to draw with him? They would drag you after the hunters in fine style. We can do it all, even to their jingling bells."

Wilfred, who had been accustomed to the light and graceful carioles and sledges used in the Canadian towns, thought it was flying a bit too high. But Gaspe, up in all the rough-and-ready contrivances of the backwoods, knew what he was about. Louison and Chirag had to be consulted.

When all the defences were put in order--bolts, bars, and padlocks doubled and trebled, and a rough but very ponderous double door added to the storeroom--Mr. De Brunier began to speak of rest.

"The night cometh in which no man can work," he quoted, as if in justification of the necessary stoppage.

The hammer was laid down, and he sank back in his hard chair, as if he were almost ashamed to indulge in his one solace, the well-filled pipe Gaspe was placing so coaxingly in his fingers. A few sedative whiffs were enjoyed in silence; but before the boys were sent off to bed, Gaspe had secured the reversion of all the wooden remains of the carpentering bout, and as many nails as might be reasonably required.

"Now," said Gaspe, as he tucked himself up by Wilfred's side, and pulled the coverings well over head and ears, "I'll show you what I can do."

Three days passed quickly by. On the morning of the fourth Louison walked in with a long face. The new horse, the gift of the Blackfoot chief, had vanished in the night. The camp had moved on, nothing but the long poles of the wigwams were left standing.

The loss of a horse is such an everyday occurrence in Canada, where horses are so often left to take care of themselves, it was by no means clear that Oma-ka-pee-mulkee-yeu had resumed his gift, but it was highly probable.

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