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Lost in the Wilds

Bowkett says the boy is not her nephew


It

was hard for Gaspe to go away and leave his friend without another word. He had half a mind to take Kusky with him. He lingered irresolute a moment or two behind his grandfather. Bowkett had opened the door of Caleb Acland's room, and he saw Kusky creeping in between Bowkett's legs.

"How is this?" the latter was saying in a noisy voice. "Wilfred got home, and won't show his face!--won't come out amongst us to have his dinner and speak to his aunt! What is the meaning of it? What makes him afraid of being seen?"

There was not a word from Wilfred. It was the feeble voice of his Uncle Caleb that was speaking:--

"Yes, it is Wilfred come back. I've got him here beside me all safe. He has been wandering about among the redskins, half dead and nearly starved. Don't disturb us. I am getting him to sleep. Tell Miriam she must come here and look at him. You can all come and look at him; Forgill and your Diome too. They all know my boy. How has Miriam managed to keep away?"

"As if we could spare the bride from the marriage feast," laughed Bowkett, raising his voice that every one might hear what they were saying.

"Neither can I spare my boy out of my sight a single moment," said the old man quietly.

"That's capital," laughed Gaspe to himself, as he ran after his grandfather.

style="text-align: justify;">They did not encounter Maxica, but they passed Diome trying to catch the horse, and gave him a little help by the way.

"You are not going?" he asked anxiously. "I thought you would be sure to stay the night. You are a friend of Wilfred Acland's, are you not, Mr. De Brunier? He was so disappointed when he found Hungry Hall was shut up. I thought you would know him; so do I. Mrs. Bowkett says the boy is not her nephew."

"I rather think that has been said for her," remarked Mr. De Brunier quietly.

"I see through it," exclaimed Gaspe; "I see what they are driving at. Her husband told her I was the boy. She came and looked at me. Bowkett knows well enough the real Wilfred is in his uncle's room, If they could get him out into the kitchen, they would make a great clamour and declare he is an impostor trying to take the old man in."

"You've hit it," muttered Diome. "But they shan't give him lynch law. I'll not stand by and see that."

"Come back, grandfather," cried Gaspe. "Give me one of your English sovereigns with a little silver threepenny on either side to kiss it. I'll string them on my watch-chain for a lady's locket, walk in with it for a wedding present, and undeceive the bride before them all."

"Not so fast, Gaspard. We should only bring the crisis before we have raised our safeguards," rejoined Mr. De Brunier thoughtfully. "I saw many a gun set down against the wall, as the hunters came in."

"That is nothing," put in Diome; "we are never without them."

"That is everything," persisted Mr. De Brunier. "Men with arms habitually in their hands use them with small provocation, and things are done which would never be done by deliberate purpose."


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