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Lost in the Wilds

Yula seated himself in front of Mathurin


De Brunier held Wilfred by the arm. "You should not have done that," he was saying. "Your dog knew what he was about better than you did. At any other time to call him off would only have been humane and right, but in such circumstances--"

He never finished his sentence. There was Mathurin cowed and trembling at the sight of Yula, who was marching into the porch with his head up and his tail wagging in triumph.

Aunt Miriam, aghast and pale, stood in the doorway of the dining-room. Mr. De Brunier led her aside for a word of explanation. "The thieves among the guests of her wedding party, incredible!" She was stunned.

Yula seated himself in front of Mathurin, daring him to move hand or foot.

Wilfred was looking round him for the Cree, who was feeling for his bow and arrows, thrown somewhere on the ground during his prolonged struggle. When the stone was struck from Maxica's grasp, and he knew that Vanner was dragged off helpless, he felt himself in the presence of a power that was mightier than his own. As Wilfred caught up the bow and put it in his hand, he said solemnly, "You are safe under the shadow of that great white warrior chief, and Maxica is no longer needed; for as the horse is as seven to the dog, so is the great white medicine as seven to one, therefore the redman shuns his presence, and here we part."

justify;">"Not yet, not yet," urged Wilfred desperately; but whilst he was speaking the Cree was gone. He had vanished with the morning shadows behind the pine trees.

Wilfred stretched out his arms to recall him; but Gaspe, who had followed his friend like his shadow, pulled him back. "It would be but poor gratitude for Maxica's gallant rescue to run your head into the noose a second time," he said. "With these hunters lurking about the place, we ought to make our way indoors as fast as we can."

The chill of the morning wrapped them round. They were shivering in the icy mist, through which the rising sun was struggling. It was folly to linger. Gaspe knew the Indian was afraid to trust himself in the company of the policeman.

"Shall I never see him more?" burst out Wilfred mournfully.

"Don't say that," retorted Gaspe. "He is sure to come again to Hungry Hall with the furs from his winter's hunting. You can meet him then."

"I? I shall be at school at Garry. How can I go there?" asked Wilfred.

"At Garry," repeated his consoler, brightening. "Well, from Garry you can send him anything you like by the winter packet of letters. You know our postman, the old Indian, who carries them in his dog-sled to every one of the Hudson Bay stations. You can send what you like by him to Hungry Hall. Sooner or later it will be sure to reach your dusky friend."

"It will be something to let him know I don't forget," sighed Wilfred, whose foot was in his uncle's porch, where safety was before him.

There was a sudden stillness about the place. A kind of paralysis had seized upon the household, as it fell under the startling interdict of the policeman: "Not a thing on the premises to be touched; not an individual to leave them until he gave permission." This utter standstill was more appalling to the farm-servants than the riotous confusion which had preceded it. The dread of what would come next lay like a nightmare over master and men.

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