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Lost in the Wilds

Seeing Yula had already arrested Mathurin


_*IN CONFUSION.*_

There was a thundering rap at the dining-room window, and a voice Bowkett instantly recognized as Diome's rang out the warning word,--

"The police! The police are here!"

"Thank God!" exclaimed Miriam; but her bridegroom's cheek grew deadly pale, and he rushed into the kitchen, key in hand. The clamouring group around the door divided before him, as Diome hissed his warning through the keyhole.

The door flew open. Bowkett was almost knocked down by his hurrying guests. Each man for his horse. Some snatched up their guns, some left them behind. Broncos were caught by the mane, by the ear, by the tail. Their masters sprang upon their backs. Each man leaped upon the first horse he could lay hold of, saddle or no saddle, bridle or no bridle. What did it matter so that they got away? or else, horrors of horrors! such an escapade as they had been caught in might get one or other among them shut up for a month or two in Garry Jail. They scattered in every direction, as chickens scatter at the flutter of the white owl's wing.

Diome put the bridle of Vanner's horse into Bowkett's hand. "To the frontier," he whispered. "You know the shortest road. We are parting company; for I go northwards."

Bowkett looked over his shoulder to

where Pete stood staring in the doorway. "Tell your mistress we are starting in pursuit," he shouted, loud enough for all to hear, as he sprang on Vanner's horse and galloped off, following the course of the wild geese to Yankee land.

Within ten minutes after the first jingling sound from the light shake of the trooper's bridle the place was cleared.

"Oh, I did it!" said Gaspe, with his arm round Wilfred's neck. "I was back to a minute, wasn't I, grandfather?"

Mr. De Brunier scarcely waited to watch the break-neck flight. He was off with the sledge-driver to the policeman's assistance. He beckoned to the boys to follow him at a cautious distance, judging it safer than leaving them unguarded in Forgill's hut.

The policeman, seeing Yula had already arrested Mathurin, turned to the two on the ground. He knocked the stone out of Maxica's hand, and handcuffed Vanner.

Mr. De Brunier was giving his evidence on the spot. "I was warned there would be mischief here before morning. I sent my messenger for you, and watched the house all night. The Indian and the dog were with me. I saw this fellow attempt to break in at that window. The dog flew on him, dragged him to the ground, and the Indian held him there. That other man I denounce as an accomplice indoors, evidently acting in concert with him."

Wilfred shook off Gaspe's arm and flew to Yula. "Leave go," he said, "leave go." His hands went round the dog's throat to enforce obedience as he whispered, "I am not quite a babby to choke him off like that, am I? Draw your leg up, Mathurin, and run. You meant to save me--I saw it in your face--and I'll save you. The porch-door stands open, run!"

Mathurin drew up his leg with a groan, but Yula's teeth had gone so deeply into the flesh he could scarcely move for pain. If Mathurin could not run, the sledge-driver could. He was round the house and through the porch before Mathurin could reach it. He collared him by the kitchen-table, to Pete's amazement. Forgill burst out of the dining-room, ready to identify him as one of their guests, and was pushed aside. The policeman was dragging in his prisoner.


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