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Lost in the Wilds

A low whistle and a tempting bone lured Kusky away


mind what it is if it will slide through the window," interposed a third impatiently, and they were gone.

But the watchers without had heard enough to shape their plan. Maxica was ear, Mr. De Brunier was eye, and so they waited for the first faint echo of the horse-hoofs in the distance or the tinkle of the sledge-bell.

Within the house the merriment ran high. Bridal healths were drank with three times three. The stamp of the untiring dancers drowned the galloping of the ponies.

Aunt Miriam paused a moment, leaning on her bridegroom's arm. "I am dizzy with tiredness," she said. "I think I have danced with every one. I can surely slip away and speak to Caleb now. What made him fasten his door?"

"To keep those travellers out; and now he won't undo it: an old man's crotchet, my dear. I have spoken to him. He is all right, and his cry is, 'Don't disturb me, I must sleep,'" answered Bowkett. "You'll give Batiste his turn? just one more round."

Wilfred was wakened by his Yula's bark beneath the window. Kusky, who was sleeping by the stove, sprang up and answered it, and then crept stealthily to Wilfred's feet.

"That dog will wake the master," said some one in the kitchen.

The bedroom door was softly opened, a low whistle and a tempting

bone lured Kusky away. Wilfred was afraid to attempt to detain him, not venturing to show himself to he knew not whom. There was a noise at the window. He remembered it was a double one. It seemed to him somebody was trying to force open the outer pane.

A cry of "Thieves! thieves!" was raised in the kitchen. Wilfred sprang upright. Uncle Caleb wakened with a groan.

"Look to the door. Guard every window," shouted Bowkett, rushing into the room, followed by half-a-dozen of his friends, who had seized their guns as they ran.

The outer window was broken. Through the inner, which was not so thickly frozen, Wilfred could see the shadow of a man. He knew that Bowkett was by the side of the bed, but his eyes were fixed on the pane.

At the first smash of the butt end of Vanner's gun, through shutter and frame, Mr. De Brunier laid a finger on Maxica's arm. The Cree, who was holding down Yula, suddenly let him go with a growl and a spring. Vanner half turned his head, but Yula's teeth were in his collar. The thickness of the hunter's clothing kept the grip from his throat, but he was dragged backwards. Maxica knelt upon him in a moment, with a huge stone upraised, ready to dash his brains out if he ventured to utter a cry. Mr. De Brunier stepped out from the shadow and stood before the window, waiting in Vanner's stead. For what? He hardly dared to think. The window was raised a finger's breadth, and the muzzle of a hunter's gun was pointed at his ear. He drew a little aside and flattened himself against the building. The gun was fired into the air.

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