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Lost in the Wilds

Where Bowkett can never touch it


The

indignant young beauty shook the dust from her embroidery, and twirled her white ribbons into their places as she spoke.

"Spoiling all the fun," she added.

"Now don't perform upon us, Miss Bowkett," put in Gaspe. "We are not the representatives of last night's rowdyism. My poor friend here is chief sufferer from it. Only he had a four-footed friend, and a dark-skinned friend, and two others at the back of them of a very ordinary type, but still friends with hands and feet. So the tables were turned, and the two real representatives are gone up for their exam."

"I daren't be the first to tell a tale like this in the hunters' camp. Besides," she demanded, "who is to take me there? This is what the day after brings," she pouted, passing the boys as she went into the kitchen. The guns which the hunters had left behind them had been carefully unloaded by the policeman and Mr. De Brunier, and were piled together in one corner, waiting for their owners to reclaim them. Every one knew the hunters could not live without their trading guns; they must come back to fetch them. Anastasia, too, was aware she had only to wait for the first who should put in an appearance to escort her home. Little was said, for Aunt Miriam knew Anastasia's departure from Acland's Hut would be Hugh Bowkett's recall.

When Mr. De Brunier understood this, his anxiety on

Wilfred's account was redoubled.

But when Uncle Caleb revived enough for conversation, he spoke of the little business to be settled between them, and asked for Mr. De Brunier.

"I have thought it all through," he said. "In the face of the Cree's warning, and all that happened under this roof, I can never leave my nephew and Hugh Bowkett to live together beneath it. As soon as he hears from his sister how matters stand here, and finds sentence has been passed on Vanner and Mathurin, he may come back at any hour. I want to leave my nephew to your care; a better friend he could not have."

"As he has had it already, he shall always have it, as if he were next to Gaspe, I promise you," was the ready answer.

"I want a little more than that," Uncle Caleb continued. "I want you to take him away at once, and send him back to school. You spoke of buying land; buy half of mine. That will be Wilfred's portion. Invest the money in the Hudson Bay Company, where Bowkett can never touch it, and I shall feel my boy is safe. As for Miriam, she will still have a good home and a good farm; and the temptation out of his reach, Bowkett may settle down."

"I have no faith in bribery for making a man better. It wants the change here, and that is God's work, not man's," returned Mr. De Brunier, tapping his own breast.

Caleb Acland had but one more charge: "Let nobody tell poor Miriam the worst." But she knew enough without the telling.

When Wilfred found he was to return to Garry with his friends the next day his arms went round his dogs, and a look of mute appeal wandered from Mr. De Brunier to Aunt Miriam.

"Had not I better take back Kusky?" suggested Gaspe. "And could not we have Yula too?"

"Yula!" repeated Aunt Miriam. "It is I who must take care of Yula. He shall never want a bone whilst I have one. I shall feed him, Wilfred, with my own hands till you come back to claim him."

THE END.

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