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Lost in the Wilds

De Brunier followed his grandson quickly


"Now

listen to me, grandfather, and I can tell you a little bit more," answered Gaspe, giving his narrative with infinite delight at the success of his manoeuvring.

The moon shone clear and bright. The tree in the centre of the court, laden with hoar-frost, glittered in its crystal white like some bridal bouquet of gigantic size. The house was ablaze with light from every window. The hunters had turned their horses adrift. They were galloping at will among the orchard trees to keep themselves warm. Maxica was wandering in their midst, counting their numbers to ascertain the size of the party. Mr. De Brunier crossed over to him, to discuss Gaspe's intelligence, and sent his grandson back indoors, where the sledge-driver was ready to assist him in the demolition of the pies which had so signally failed to lure Wilfred from his retreat.

Mr. De Brunier followed his grandson quickly, and walking straight to Uncle Caleb's door, knocked for admittance.

The cowkeeper, the only individual at Acland's Hut who did not know Wilfred personally, was sent by Bowkett to keep up the kitchen fire.

The man stared. "The master has got his door fastened," he said; "I can't make it out."

"Is Mr. Acland ready to see me?" asked Mr. De Brunier, repeating his summons.

"Yes," answered Uncle Caleb;

"come in."

Wilfred opened the door.

Uncle Caleb raised himself on his elbow, and catching sight of the dishes on the kitchen-table, said, "It seems to me the old man's orders are to go for little. But whilst the life is in me I am master in this place. Be so good, sir, as to tell that fellow of mine to bring that pie in here, and give this child something to eat."

"With pleasure," returned his visitor.

Wilfred's supper provided for, the two looked well at each other.

"What sort are you?" was the question in both minds. They trusted, as we all do more or less, to the expression. A good honest character writes itself on the face. They shook hands.

"I have to thank you for bringing back my boy," said Uncle Caleb.

"Not me," returned Mr. De Brunier, briefly recapitulating the circumstances which led to Wilfred's sojourn at Hungry Hall, and why he sent him to the hunters' camp. "Since then," he added, "your nephew has been wandering among the Indians. It was a Cree who guided him home--the same Cree who warned him not to trust himself with Bowkett."

"Come here, Wilfred, and tell me exactly what this Indian said," interposed Caleb Acland, a grave look gathering on his wrinkled brow.

"Not one word, uncle. Maxica did not speak," answered Wilfred. "He brought me three queer bits of wood from the hearth and stuck them in the floor before me, so, and so," continued the boy, trying to explain the way in which the warning had been given to him.

Uncle Caleb was getting so much exhausted with the excitement of Wilfred's return, and the effort of talking to a stranger, he did not quite understand all Wilfred was saying.


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