The Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail
Part 6 out of 7
"What? Where?" said the doctor, kneeling down beside him and
tearing open his coat and vest. "Oh, my God!" cried the doctor.
"He is--" The doctor paused abruptly.
"What do you say? Oh, Dr. Martin, he is not badly wounded?" Moira
threw herself on her knees beside the wounded man and caught his
hand. "Oh, it is cold, cold," she cried through rushing tears.
"Can you not help him? Oh, you must not let him die."
"Surely he is not dying?" said Cameron.
The doctor was silently and swiftly working with his syringe.
"How long, Doctor?" inquired Raven in a quiet voice.
"Half an hour, perhaps less," said the doctor brokenly. "Have you
"No, very little. It is quite easy. Cameron," he said, his voice
beginning to fail, "I want you to send a letter which you will find
in my pocket addressed to my brother. Tell no one the name. And
add this, that I forgive him. It was really not worth while," he
added wearily, "to hate him so. And say to the Superintendent I
was on the straight with him, with you all, with my country in this
rebellion business. I heard about this raid; and I fancy I have
rather spoiled their pemmican. I have run some cattle in my time,
but you know, Cameron, a fellow who has worn the uniform could not
mix in with these beastly breeds against the Queen, God bless her!"
"Oh, Dr. Martin," cried the girl piteously, shaking him by the arm,
"do not tell me you can do nothing. Try--try something." She
began again to chafe the cold hand, her tears falling upon it.
Raven looked up quickly at her.
"You are weeping for me, Miss Moira?" he said, surprise and wonder
in his face. "For me? A horse-thief, an outlaw, for me? I thank
you. And forgive me--may I kiss your hand?" He tried feebly to
lift her hand to his lips.
"No, no," cried the girl. "Not my hand!" and leaning over him she
kissed him on the brow. His eyes were still upon her.
"Thank you," he said feebly, a rare, beautiful smile lighting up
the white face. "You make me believe in God's mercy."
There was a quick movement in the group and Smith was kneeling
beside the dying man.
"God's mercy, Mr. Raven," he said in an eager voice, "is infinite.
Why should you not believe in it?"
Raven looked at him curiously.
"Oh, yes," he said with a quaintly humorous smile, "you are the
chap that chucked Jerry away from the door?"
Smith nodded, then said earnestly:
"Mr. Raven, you must believe in God's mercy."
"God's mercy," said the dying man slowly. "Yes, God's mercy. What
is it again? 'God--be--merciful--to me--a sinner.'" Once more he
opened his eyes and let them rest upon the face of the girl bending
over him. "Yes," he said, "you helped me to believe in God's
mercy." With a sigh as of content he settled himself quietly
against the shoulders of his dead horse.
"Good old comrade," he said, "good-by!" He closed his eyes and
drew a deep breath. They waited for another, but there was no
"He is gone," said the doctor.
"Gone?" cried Moira. "Gone? Ochone, but he was the gallant
gentleman!" she wailed, lapsing into her Highland speech. "Oh, but
he had the brave heart and the true heart. Ochone! Ochone!" She
swayed back and forth upon her knees with hands clasped and tears
running down her cheeks, bending over the white face that lay so
still in the moonlight and touched with the majesty of death.
"Come, Moira! Come, Moira!" said her brother surprised at her
unwonted display of emotion. "You must control yourself."
"Leave her alone. Let her cry. She is in a hard spot," said Dr.
Martin in a sharp voice in which grief and despair were mingled.
Cameron glanced at his friend's face. It was the face of a haggard
"You are used up, old boy," he said kindly, putting his hand on the
doctor's arm. "You need rest."
"Rest?" said the doctor. "Rest? Not I. But you do. And you too,
Miss Moira," he added gently. "Come," giving her his hand, "you
must get home." There was in his voice a tone of command that made
the girl look up quickly and obey.
"And you?" she said. "You must be done."
"Done? Yes, but what matter? Take her home, Cameron."
"And what about you?" inquired Cameron.
"Smith, the constable and I will look after--him--and the horse.
Send a wagon to-morrow morning."
Without further word the brother and sister mounted their horses.
"Good-by, old man. See you to-morrow," said Cameron.
"Good-night," said the doctor shortly.
The girl gave him her hand.
"Good-night," she said simply, her eyes full of a dumb pain.
"Good-by, Miss Moira," said the doctor, who held her hand for just
a moment as if to speak again, then abruptly he turned his back on
her without further word and so stood with never a glance more
after her. It was for him a final farewell to hopes that had lived
with him and had warmed his heart for the past three years. Now
they were dead, dead as the dead man upon whose white still face he
stood looking down.
"Thief, murderer, outlaw," he muttered to himself. "Sure enough--
sure enough. And yet you could not help it, nor could she." But
he was not thinking of the dead man's record in the books of the
THE GREAT CHIEF
On the rampart of hills overlooking the Piegan encampment the sun
was shining pleasantly. The winter, after its final savage kick,
had vanished and summer, crowding hard upon spring, was wooing the
bluffs and hillsides on their southern exposures to don their
summer robes of green. Not yet had the bluffs and hillsides quite
yielded to the wooing, not yet had they donned the bright green
apparel of summer, but there was the promise of summer's color
gleaming through the neutral browns and grays of the poplar bluffs
and the sunny hillsides. The crocuses with reckless abandon had
sprung forth at the first warm kiss of the summer sun and stood
bravely, gaily dancing in their purple and gray, till whole
hillsides blushed for them. And the poplars, hesitating with
dainty reserve, shivered in shy anticipation and waited for a surer
call, still wearing their neutral tints, except where they stood
sheltered by the thick spruces from the surly north wind. There
they had boldly cast aside all prudery and were flirting in all
their gallant trappings with the ardent summer.
Seeing none of all this, but dimly conscious of the good of it,
Cameron and his faithful attendant Jerry lay grimly watching
through the poplars. Three days had passed since the raid, and as
yet there was no sign at the Piegan camp of the returning raiders.
Not for one hour had the camp remained unwatched. Just long enough
to bury his new-made friend, the dead outlaw, did Cameron himself
quit the post, leaving Jerry on guard meantime, and now he was back
again, with his glasses searching every corner of the Piegan camp
and watching every movement. There was upon his face a look that
filled with joy his watchful companion, a look that proclaimed his
set resolve that when Eagle Feather and his young men should appear
in camp there would speedily be swift and decisive action. For
three days his keen eyes had looked forth through the delicate
green-brown screen of poplar upon the doings of the Piegans, the
Mounted Police meantime ostentatiously beating up the Blood Reserve
with unwonted threats of vengeance for the raiders, the bruit of
which had spread through all the reserves.
"Don't do anything rash," the Superintendent had admonished, as
Cameron appeared demanding three troopers and Jerry, with whom to
execute vengeance upon those who had brought death to a gallant
gentleman and his gallant steed, for both of whom there had sprung
up in Cameron's heart a great and admiring affection.
"No, sir," Cameron had replied, "nothing rash; we will do a little
justice, that is all," but with so stern a face that the
Superintendent had watched him away with some anxiety and had
privately ordered a strong patrol to keep the Piegan camp under
surveillance till Cameron had done his work. But there was no call
for aid from any patrol, as it turned out; and before this bright
summer morning had half passed away Cameron shut up his glasses,
ready for action.
"I think they are all in now, Jerry, he said. "We will go down.
Go and bring in the men. There is that devil Eagle Feather just
riding in." Cameron's teeth went hard together on the name of the
Chief, in whom the leniency of Police administration of justice had
bred only a deeper treachery.
Within half an hour Cameron with his three troopers and Jerry rode
jingling into the Piegan camp and disposed themselves at suitable
points of vantage. Straight to the Chief's tent Cameron rode, and
found Trotting Wolf standing at its door.
"I want that cattle-thief, Eagle Feather," he announced in a clear,
firm voice that rang through the encampment from end to end.
"Eagle Feather not here," was Trotting Wolf's sullen but disturbed
"Trotting Wolf, I will waste no time on you," said Cameron, drawing
his gun. "I take Eagle Feather or you. Make your choice and quick
about it!" There was in Cameron's voice a ring of such compelling
command that Trotting Wolf weakened visibly.
"I know not where Eagle Feather--"
"Halt there!" cried Cameron to an Indian who was seen to be
slinking away from the rear of the line of tents.
The Indian broke into a run. Like a whirlwind Cameron was on his
trail and before he had gained the cover of the woods had overtaken
"Halt!" cried Cameron again as he reached the Indian's side. The
Indian stopped and drew a knife. "You would, eh? Take that, will
you?" Leaning down over his horse's neck Cameron struck the Indian
with the butt of his gun. Before he could rise the three constables
in a converging rush were upon him and had him handcuffed.
"Now then, where is Eagle Feather?" cried Cameron in a furious
voice, riding his horse into the crowd that had gathered thick
about him. "Ah, I see you," he cried, touching his horse with his
heel as on the farther edge of the crowd he caught sight of his
man. With a single bound his horse was within touch of the
shrinking Indian. "Stand where you are!" cried Cameron, springing
from his horse and striding to the Chief. "Put up your hands!" he
said, covering him with his gun. "Quick, you dog!" he added, as
Eagle Feather stood irresolute before him. Upon the uplifted hands
Cameron slipped the handcuffs. "Come with me, you cattle-thief,"
he said, seizing him by the gaudy handkerchief that adorned his
neck, and giving him a quick jerk.
"Trotting Wolf," said Cameron in a terrible voice, wheeling
furiously upon the Chief, "this cattle-thieving of your band must
stop. I want the six men who were in that cattle-raid, or you come
with me. Speak quick!" he added.
"By Gar!" said Jerry, hugging himself in his delight, to the
trooper who was in charge of the first Indian. "Look lak' he tak'
de whole camp."
"By Jove, Jerry, it looks so to me, too! He has got the fear of
death on these chappies. Look at his face. He looks like the very
It was true. Cameron's face was gray, with purple blotches, and
distorted with passion, his eyes were blazing with fury, his manner
one of reckless savage abandon. There was but little delay. The
rumors of vengeance stored up for the raiders, the paralyzing
effect of the failure of the raid, the condemnation of a guilty
conscience, but above all else the overmastering rage of Cameron,
made anything like resistance simply impossible. In a very few
minutes Cameron had his prisoners in line and was riding to the
Fort, where he handed them over to the Superintendent for justice.
That business done, he found his patrol-work pressing upon him with
a greater insistence than ever, for the runners from the half-
breeds and the Northern Indians were daily arriving at the reserves
bearing reports of rebel victories of startling magnitude. But
even without any exaggeration tales grave enough were being carried
from lip to lip throughout the Indian tribes. Small wonder that
the irresponsible young Chiefs, chafing under the rule of the white
man and thirsting for the mad rapture of fight, were straining
almost to the breaking point the authority of the cooler older
heads, so that even that subtle redskin statesman, Crowfoot, began
to fear for his own position in the Blackfeet confederacy.
As the days went on the Superintendent at Macleod, whose duty it
was to hold in statu quo that difficult country running up into the
mountains and down to the American boundary-line, found his task
one that would have broken a less cool-headed and stout-hearted
The situation in which he found himself seemed almost to invite
destruction. On the eighteenth of March he had sent the best of
his men, some twenty-five of them, with his Inspector, to join the
Alberta Field Force at Calgary, whence they made that famous march
to Edmonton of over two hundred miles in four and a half marching
days. From Calgary, too, had gone a picked body of Police with
Superintendent Strong and his scouts as part of the Alberta Field
Force under General Strange. Thus it came that by the end of April
the Superintendent at Fort Macleod had under his command only a
handful of his trained Police, supported by two or three companies
of Militia--who, with all their ardor, were unskilled in plain-
craft, strange to the country, new to war, ignorant of the habits
and customs and temper of the Indians with whom they were supposed
to deal--to hold the vast extent of territory under his charge,
with its little scattered hamlets of settlers, safe in the presence
of the largest and most warlike of the Indian tribes in Western
Every day the strain became more intense. A crisis appeared to be
reached when the news came that on the twenty-fourth of April
General Middleton had met a check at Fish Creek, which, though not
specially serious in itself, revealed the possibilities of the
rebel strategy and gave heart to the enemy immediately engaged.
And, though Fish Creek was no great fight, the rumor of it ran
through the Western reserves like red fire through prairie-grass,
blowing almost into flame the war-spirit of the young braves of the
Bloods, Piegans and Sarcees and even of the more stable Blackfeet.
Three days after that check, the news of it was humming through
every tepee in the West, and for a week or more it took all the
cool courage and steady nerve characteristic of the Mounted Police
to enable them to ride without flurry or hurry their daily patrols
through the reserves.
At this crisis it was that the Superintendent at Macleod gathered
together such of his officers and non-commissioned officers as he
could in council at Fort Calgary, to discuss the situation and to
plan for all possible emergencies. The full details of the Fish
Creek affair had just come in. They were disquieting enough,
although the Superintendent made light of them. On the wall of the
barrack-room where the council was gathered there hung a large map
of the Territories. The Superintendent, a man of small oratorical
powers, undertook to set forth the disposition of the various
forces now operating in the West.
"Here you observe the main line running west from Regina to the
mountains, some five hundred and fifty miles," he said. "And here,
roughly, two hundred and fifty miles north, is the northern
boundary line of our settlements, Prince Albert at the east,
Battleford at the center, Edmonton at the west, each of these
points the center of a country ravaged by half-breeds and bands of
Indians. To each of these points relief-expeditions have been
"This line represents the march of Commissioner Irvine from Regina
to Prince Albert--a most remarkable march that was too, gentlemen,
nearly three hundred miles over snow-bound country in about seven
days. That march will be remembered, I venture to say. The
Commissioner still holds Prince Albert, and we may rely upon it
will continue to hold it safe against any odds. Meantime he is
scouting the country round about, preventing Indians from
reinforcing the enemy in any large numbers.
"Next, to the west is Battleford, which holds the central position
and is the storm-center of the rebellion at present. This line
shows the march of Colonel Otter with Superintendent Herchmer from
Swift Current to that point. We have just heard that Colonel Otter
has arrived at Battleford and has raised the siege. But large
bands of Indians are in the vicinity of Battleford and the
situation there is extremely critical. I understand that old Oo-
pee-too-korah-han-apee-wee-yin--" the Superintendent prided himself
upon his mastery of Indian names and ran off this polysyllabic
cognomen with the utmost facility--"the Pond-maker, or Pound-maker
as he has come to be called, is in the neighborhood. He is not a
bad fellow, but he is a man of unusual ability, far more able than
of the Willow Crees, Beardy, as he is called, though not so savage,
and he has a large and compact body of Indians under him.
"Then here straight north from us some two hundred miles is
Edmonton, the center of a very wide district sparsely settled, with
a strong half-breed element in the immediate neighborhood and Big
Bear and Little Pine commanding large bodies of Indians ravaging
the country round about. Inspector Griesbach is in command of this
district, located at Fort Saskatchewan, which is in close touch
with Edmonton. General Strange, commanding the Alberta Field Force
and several companies of Militia, together with our own men under
Superintendent Strong and Inspector Dickson, are on the way to
relieve this post. Inspector Dickson, I understand, has
successfully made the crossing of the Red Deer with his nine pr.
gun, a quite remarkable feat I assure you.
"But, gentlemen, you see the position in which we are placed in
this section of the country. From the Cypress Hills here away to
the southeast, westward to the mountains and down to the boundary-
line, you have a series of reserves almost completely denuded of
Police supervision. True, we are fortunate in having at the
Blackfoot Crossing, at Fort Calgary and at Fort Macleod, companies
of Militia; but the very presence of these troops incites the
Indians, and in some ways is a continual source of unrest among
"Every day runners from the North and East come to our reserves
with extraordinary tales of rebel victories. This Fish Creek
business has had a tremendous influence upon the younger element.
On every reserve there are scores of young braves eager to rise.
What a general uprising would mean you know, or think you know. An
Indian war of extermination is a horrible possibility. The
question before us all is--what is to be done?"
After a period of conversation the Superintendent summed up the
results of the discussion in a few short sentences:
"It seems, gentlemen, there is not much more to be done than what
we are already doing. But first of all I need not say that we must
keep our nerve. I do not believe any Indian will see any sign of
doubt or fear in the face of any member of this Force. Our patrols
must be regularly and carefully done. There are a lot of things
which we must not see, a certain amount of lawbreaking which we
must not notice. Avoid on every possible occasion pushing things
to extremes; but where it is necessary to act we must act with
promptitude and fearlessness, as Mr. Cameron here did at the Piegan
Reserve a week or so ago. I mention this because I consider that
action of Cameron's a typically fine piece of Police work. We must
keep on good terms with the Chiefs, tell them what good news there
is to tell. We must intercept every runner possible. Arrest them
and bring them to the barracks. The situation is grave, but not
hopeless. Great responsibilities rest upon us, gentlemen. I do
not believe that we shall fail."
The little company broke up with resolute and grim determination
stamped on every face. There would be no weakening at any spot
where a Mounted Policeman was on duty.
"Cameron, just a moment," said the Superintendent as he was passing
out. "Sit down. You were quite right in that Eagle Feather
matter. You did the right thing in pushing that hard."
"I somehow felt I could do it, sir," replied Cameron simply. "I
had the feeling in my bones that we could have taken the whole camp
The Superintendent nodded. "I understand. And that is the way we
should feel. But don't do anything rash this week. This is a week
of crisis. If any further reverse should happen to our troops it
will be extremely difficult, if indeed possible, to hold back the
younger braves. If there should be a rising--which may God forbid--
my plan then would be to back right on to the Blackfeet Reserve.
If old Crowfoot keeps steady--and with our presence to support him
I believe he would--we could hold things safe for a while. But,
Cameron, that Sioux devil Copperhead must be got rid of. It is he
that is responsible for this restless spirit among the younger
Chiefs. He has been in the East, you say, for the last three
weeks, but he will soon be back. His runners are everywhere. His
work lies here, and the only hope for the rebellion lies here, and
he knows it. My scouts inform me that there is something big
immediately on. A powwow is arranged somewhere before final
action. I have reason to suspect that if we sustain another
reverse and if the minor Chiefs from all the reserves come to an
agreement, Crowfoot will yield. That is the game that the Sioux is
working on now."
"I know that quite well, sir," replied Cameron. "Copperhead has
captured practically all the minor Chiefs."
"The checking of that big cattle-run, Cameron, was a mighty good
stroke for us. You did that magnificently."
"No, sir," replied Cameron firmly. "We owe that to Raven."
"Yes, yes, we do owe a good deal to--to--that--to Raven. Fine
fellow gone wrong. Yes, we owe a lot to him, but we owe a lot to
you as well, Cameron. I am not saying you will ever get any credit
for it, but--well--who cares so long as the thing is done? But
this Sioux must be got at all costs--at all costs, Cameron,
remember. I have never asked you to push this thing to the limit,
but now at all costs, dead or alive, that Sioux must be got rid
"I could have potted him several times," replied Cameron, "but did
not wish to push matters to extremes."
"Quite right. Quite right. That has been our policy hitherto, but
now things have reached such a crisis that we can take no further
chances. The Sioux must be eliminated."
"All right, sir," said Cameron, and a new purpose shaped itself in
his heart. At all costs he would get the Sioux, alive if possible,
dead if not.
Plainly the first thing was to uncover his tracks, and with this
intention Cameron proceeded to the Blackfeet Reserve, riding with
Jerry down the Bow River from Fort Calgary, until, as the sun was
setting on an early May evening, he came in sight of the Blackfoot
Not wishing to visit the Militia camp at that point, and desiring
to explore the approaches of the Blackfeet Reserve with as little
ostentation as possible, he sent Jerry on with the horses, with
instructions to meet him later on in the evening on the outside of
the Blackfeet camp, and took a side trail on foot leading to the
reserve through a coulee. Through the bottom of the coulee ran a
little stream whose banks were packed tight with alders, willows
and poplars. Following the trail to where it crossed the stream,
Cameron left it for the purpose of quenching his thirst, and
proceeded up-stream some little way from the usual crossing. Lying
there prone upon his face he caught the sound of hoofs, and,
peering through the alders, he saw a line of Indians riding down
the opposite bank. Burying his head among the tangled alders and
hardly breathing, he watched them one by one cross the stream not
more than thirty yards away and clamber up the bank.
"Something doing here, sure enough," he said to himself as he noted
their faces. Three of them he knew, Red Crow of the Bloods,
Trotting Wolf of the Piegans, Running Stream of the Blackfeet, then
came three others unknown to Cameron, and last in the line Cameron
was startled to observe Copperhead himself, while close at his side
could be seen the slim figure of his son. As the Sioux passed by
Cameron's hiding-place he paused and looked steadily down into the
alders for a moment or two, then rode on.
"Saved yourself that time, old man," said Cameron as the Sioux
disappeared, following the others up the trail. "We will see just
which trail you take," he continued, following them at a safe
distance and keeping himself hidden by the brush till they reached
the open and disappeared over the hill. Swiftly Cameron ran to the
top, and, lying prone among the prairie grass, watched them for
some time as they took the trail that ran straight westward.
"Sarcee Reserve more than likely," he muttered to himself. "If
Jerry were only here! But he is not, so I must let them go in the
meantime. Later, however, we shall come up with you, gentlemen.
And now for old Crowfoot and with no time to lose."
He had only a couple of miles to go and in a few minutes he had
reached the main trail from the Militia camp at the Crossing. In
the growing darkness he could not discern whether Jerry had passed
with the horses or not, so he pushed on rapidly to the appointed
place of meeting and there found Jerry waiting for him.
"Listen, Jerry!" said he. "Copperhead is back. I have just seen
him and his son with Red Crow, Trotting Wolf and Running Stream.
There were three others--Sioux I think they are; at any rate I did
not know them. They passed me in the coulee and took the Sarcee
trail. Now what do you think is up?"
Jerry pondered. "Come from Crowfoot, heh?"
"From the reserve here anyway," answered Cameron.
"Trotting Wolf beeg Chief--Red Crow beeg Chief--ver' bad! ver' bad!
Dunno me--look somet'ing--beeg powwow mebbe. Ver' bad! Ver' bad!
Go Sarcee Reserve, heh?" Again Jerry pondered. "Come from h'east--
by Blood--Piegan--den Blackfeet--go Sarcee. What dey do? Where
"That is the question, Jerry," said Cameron.
"Sout' to Weegwam? No, nord to Ghost Reever--Manitou Rock--dunno--
"By Jove, Jerry, I believe you may be right. I don't think they
would go to the Wigwam--we caught them there once--nor to the
canyon. What about this Ghost River? I don't know the trail.
Where is it?"
"Nord from Bow Reever by Kananaskis half day to Ghost Reever--bad
trail--small leetle reever--ver' stony--ver' cold--beeg tree wit'
"Yes--long, long gray moss lak' beard--ver' strange place dat--from
Ghost Reever west one half day to beeg Manitou Rock--no trail.
Beeg medicine-dance dere--see heem once long tam' 'go--leetle boy
me--beeg medicine--Indian debbil stay dere--Indian much scare'--
only go when mak' beeg tam'--beeg medicine."
"Let me see if I get you, Jerry. A bad trail leads half a day
north from the Bow at Kananaskis to Ghost River, eh?"
"Then up the Ghost River westward through the bearded trees half a
day to the Manitou Rock? Is that right?"
Again Jerry nodded.
"How shall I know the rock?"
"Beeg rock," said Jerry. "Beeg dat tree," pointing to a tall
poplar, "and cut straight down lak some knife--beeg rock--black
"All right," said Cameron. "What I want to know just now is does
Crowfoot know of this thing? I fancy he must. I am going in to
see him. Copperhead has just come from the reserve. He has
Running Stream with him. It is possible, just possible, that he
may not have seen Crowfoot. This I shall find out. Now, Jerry,
you must follow Copperhead, find out where he has gone and all you
can about this business, and meet me where the trail reaches the
Ghost River. Call in at Fort Calgary. Take a trooper with you to
look after the horses. I shall follow you to-morrow. If you are
not at the Ghost River I shall go right on--that is if I see any
"Bon! Good!" said Jerry. And without further word he slipped on
to his horse and disappeared into the darkness, taking the cross-
trail through the coulee by which Cameron had come.
Crowfoot's camp showed every sign of the organization and discipline
of a master spirit. The tents and houses in which his Indians lived
were extended along both sides of a long valley flanked at both ends
by poplar-bluffs. At the bottom of the valley there was a series of
"sleughs" or little lakes, affording good grazing and water for the
herds of cattle and ponies that could be seen everywhere upon the
hillsides. At a point farthest from the water and near to a
poplar-bluff stood Crowfoot's house. At the first touch of summer,
however, Crowfoot's household had moved out from their dwelling,
after the manner of the Indians, and had taken up their lodging in a
little group of tents set beside the house.
Toward this little group of tents Cameron rode at an easy lope. He
found Crowfoot alone beside his fire, except for the squaws that
were cleaning up after the evening meal and the papooses and older
children rolling about on the grass. As Cameron drew near, all
vanished, except Crowfoot and a youth about seventeen years of age,
whose strongly marked features and high, fearless bearing
proclaimed him Crowfoot's son. Dismounting, Cameron dropped the
reins over his horse's head and with a word of greeting to the
Chief sat down by the fire. Crowfoot acknowledged his salutation
with a suspicious look and grunt.
"Nice night, Crowfoot," said Cameron cheerfully. "Good weather for
the grass, eh?"
"Good," said Crowfoot gruffly.
Cameron pulled out his tobacco pouch and passed it to the Chief.
With an air of indescribable condescension Crowfoot took the pouch,
knocked the ashes from his pipe, filled it from the pouch and
handed it back to the owner.
"Boy smoke?" inquired Cameron, holding out the pouch toward the
"Huh!" grunted Crowfoot with a slight relaxing of his face. "Not
The lad stood like a statue, and, except for a slight stiffening of
his tall lithe figure, remained absolutely motionless, after the
Indian manner. For some time they smoked in silence.
"Getting cold," said Cameron at length, as he kicked the embers of
the fire together.
Crowfoot spoke to his son and the lad piled wood on the fire till
it blazed high, then, at a sign from his father, he disappeared
into the tent.
"Ha! That is better," said Cameron, stretching out his hands
toward the fire and disposing himself so that the old Chief's face
should be set clearly in its light.
"The Police ride hard these days?" said Crowfoot in his own
language, after a long silence.
"Oh, sometimes," replied Cameron carelessly, "when cattle-thieves
"Huh?" inquired Crowfoot innocently.
"Yes, some Indians forget all that the Police have done for them,
and like coyotes steal upon the cattle at night and drive them over
"Huh?" inquired Crowfoot again, apparently much interested.
"Yes," continued Cameron, fully aware that he was giving the old
Chief no news, "Eagle Feather will be much wiser when he rides over
the plains again."
"Huh!" ejaculated the Chief in agreement.
"But Eagle Feather," continued Cameron, "is not the worst Indian.
He is no good, only a little boy who does what he is told."
"Huh?" inquired Crowfoot with childlike simplicity.
"Yes, he is an old squaw serving his Chief."
"Huh?" again inquired Crowfoot, moving his pipe from his mouth in
his apparent anxiety to learn the name of this unknown master of
"Onawata, the Sioux, is a great Chief," said Cameron.
Crowfoot grunted his indifference.
"He makes all the little Chiefs, Blood, Piegan, Sarcee, Blackfeet
obey him," said Cameron in a scornful voice, shading his face from
the fire with his hand.
This time Crowfoot made no reply.
"But he has left this country for a while?" continued Cameron.
Crowfoot grunted acquiescence.
"My brother has not seen this Sioux for some weeks?" Again
Cameron's hand shaded his face from the fire while his eyes
searched the old Chief's impassive countenance.
"No," said Crowfoot. "Not for many days. Onawata bad man--make
"The big war is going on good," said Cameron, abruptly changing the
"Huh?" inquired Crowfoot, looking up quickly.
"Yes," said Cameron. "At Fish Creek the half-breeds and Indians
had a good chance to wipe out General Middleton's column." And he
proceeded to give a graphic account of the rebels' opportunity at
that unfortunate affair. "But," he concluded, "the half-breeds and
Indians have no Chief."
"No Chief," agreed Crowfoot with emphasis, his old eyes gleaming in
the firelight. "No Chief," he repeated. "Where Big Bear--Little
Pine--Kah-mee-yes-too-waegs and Oo-pee-too-korah-han-ap-ee-wee-yin?"
"Oh," said Cameron, "here, there, everywhere."
"Huh! No big Chief," grunted Crowfoot in disgust. "One big Chief
make all Indians one."
It seemed worth while to Cameron to take a full hour from his
precious time to describe fully the operations of the troops and to
make clear to the old warrior the steady advances which the various
columns were making, the points they had relieved and the ultimate
certainty of victory.
"Six thousand men now in the West," he concluded, "besides the
Police. And ten thousand more waiting to come."
Old Crowfoot was evidently much impressed and was eager to learn
"I must go now," said Cameron, rising. "Where is Running Stream?"
he asked, suddenly facing Crowfoot.
"Huh! Running Stream he go hunt--t'ree day--not come back,"
answered Crowfoot quickly.
Cameron sat down again by the fire, poked up the embers till the
blaze mounted high.
"Crowfoot," he said solemnly, "this day Onawata was in this camp
and spoke with you. Wait!" he said, putting up his hand as the old
Chief was about to speak. "This evening he rode away with Running
Stream, Red Crow, Trotting Wolf. The Sioux for many days has been
leading about your young men like dogs on a string. To-day he has
put the string round the necks of Red Crow, Running Stream,
Trotting Wolf. I did not think he could lead Crowfoot too like a
"Wait!" he said again as Crowfoot rose to his feet in indignation.
"Listen! The Police will get that Sioux. And the Police will take
the Chiefs that he led round like little dogs and send them away.
The Great Mother cannot have men as Chiefs whom she cannot trust.
For many years the Police have protected the Indians. It was
Crowfoot himself who once said when the treaty was being made--
Crowfoot will remember--'If the Police had not come to the country
where would we all be now? Bad men and whisky were killing us so
fast that very few indeed of us would have been left to-day. The
Police have protected us as the feathers of the bird protect it
from the frosts of winter.' This is what Crowfoot said to the
Great Mother's Councilor when he made a treaty with the Great
Here Cameron rose to his feet and stood facing the Chief.
"Is Crowfoot a traitor? Does he give his hand and draw it back
again? It is not good that, when trouble comes, the Indians should
join the enemies of the Police and of the Great Mother across the
sea. These enemies will be scattered like dust before the wind.
Does Crowfoot think when the leaves have fallen from the trees this
year there will be any enemies left? Bah! This Sioux dog does not
know the Great Mother, nor her soldiers, nor her Police. Crowfoot
knows. Why does he talk to the enemies of the Great Mother and of
his friends the Police? What does Crowfoot say? I go to-night to
take Onawata. Already my men are upon his trail. Where does
Crowfoot stand? With Onawata and the little Chiefs he leads around
or with the Great Mother and the Police? Speak! I am waiting."
The old Chief was deeply stirred. For some moments while Cameron
was speaking he had been eagerly seeking an opportunity to reply,
but Cameron's passionate torrent of words prevented him breaking in
without discourtesy. When Cameron ceased, however, the old Chief
stretched out his hand and in his own language began:
"Many years ago the Police came to this country. My people then
At this point the sound of a galloping horse was heard, mingled
with the loud cries of its rider. Crowfoot paused and stood
intently listening. Cameron could get no meaning from the
shouting. From every tent men came running forth and from the
houses along the trail on every hand, till before the horse had
gained Crowfoot's presence there had gathered about the Chief's
fire a considerable crowd of Indians, whose numbers were
momentarily augmented by men from the tents and houses up and down
In calm and dignified silence the old Chief waited the rider's
word. He was an Indian runner and he bore an important message.
Dismounting, the runner stood, struggling to recover his breath and
to regain sufficient calmness to deliver his message in proper form
to the great Chief of the Blackfeet confederacy. While he stood
thus struggling with himself Cameron took the opportunity to
closely scrutinize his face.
"A Sarcee," he muttered. "I remember him--an impudent cur." He
moved quietly toward his horse, drew the reins up over his head,
and, leading him back toward the fire, took his place beside
The Sarcee had begun his tale, speaking under intense excitement
which he vainly tried to control. He delivered his message. Such
was the rapidity and incoherence of his speech, however, that
Cameron could make nothing of it. The effect upon the crowd was
immediate and astounding. On every side rose wild cries of fierce
exultation, while at Cameron angry looks flashed from every eye.
Old Crowfoot alone remained quiet, calm, impassive, except for the
fierce gleaming of his steady eyes.
When the runner had delivered his message he held up his hand and
spoke but a single word. Immediately there was silence as of the
grave. Nothing was heard, not even the breathing of the Indians
close about him. In sharp, terse sentences the old Chief questioned
the runner, who replied at first eagerly, then, as the questions
proceeded, with some hesitation. Finally, with a wave of the hand
Crowfoot dismissed him and stood silently pondering for some
moments. Then he turned to his people and said with quiet and
"This is a matter for the Council. To-morrow we will discuss it."
Then turning to Cameron he said in a low voice and with grave
courtesy, "It is wise that my brother should go while the trails
"The trails are always open to the Great Mother's Mounted Police,"
said Cameron, looking the old Chief full in the eye.
Crowfoot stood silent, evidently thinking deeply.
"It is right that my brother should know," he said at length, "what
the runner tells," and in his deep guttural voice there was a ring
"Good news is always welcome," said Cameron, as he coolly pulled
out his pipe and offered his pouch once more to Crowfoot, who,
however, declined to see it.
"The white soldiers have attacked the Indians and have been driven
back," said Crowfoot with a keen glance at Cameron's face.
"Ah!" said Cameron, smiling. "What Indians? What white soldiers?"
"The soldiers that marched to Battleford. They went against Oo-
pee-too-korah-han-ap-ee-wee-yin and the Indians did not run away."
No words could describe the tone and attitude of exultant and
haughty pride with which the old Chief delivered this information.
"Crowfoot," said Cameron with deliberate emphasis, "it was Colonel
Otter and Superintendent Herchmer of the Mounted Police that went
north to Battleford. You do not know Colonel Otter, but you do
know Superintendent Herchmer. Tell me, would Superintendent
Herchmer and the Police run away?"
"The runner tells that the white soldiers ran away," said Crowfoot
"Then the runner lies!" Cameron's voice rang out loud and clear.
Swift as a lightning flash the Sarcee sprang at Cameron, knife in
hand, crying in the Blackfeet tongue that terrible cry so long
dreaded by settlers in the Western States of America, "Death to the
white man!" Without apparently moving a muscle, still holding by
the mane of his horse, Cameron met the attack with a swift and
well-placed kick which caught the Indian's right wrist and flung
his knife high in the air. Following up the kick, Cameron took a
single step forward and met the murderous Sarcee with a straight
left-hand blow on the jaw that landed the Indian across the fire
and deposited him kicking amid the crowd.
Immediately there was a quick rush toward the white man, but the
rush halted before two little black barrels with two hard, steady,
gray eyes gleaming behind them.
"Crowfoot!" said Cameron sharply. "I hold ten dead Indians in my
With a single stride Crowfoot was at Cameron's side. A single
sharp stern word of command he uttered and the menacing Indians
slunk back into the shadows, but growling like angry beasts.
"Is it wise to anger my young men?" said Crowfoot in a low voice.
"Is it wise," replied Cameron sternly, "to allow mad dogs to run
loose? We kill such mad dogs in my country."
"Huh," grunted Crowfoot with a shrug of his shoulders. "Let him
die!" Then in a lower voice he added earnestly, "It would be good
to take the trail before my young men can catch their horses."
"I was just going, Crowfoot," said Cameron, stooping to light his
pipe at the fire. "Good-night. Remember what I have said." And
Cameron cantered away with both hands low before him and guiding
his broncho with his knees, and so rode easily till safely beyond
the line of the reserve. Once out of the reserve he struck his
spurs hard into his horse and sent him onward at headlong pace
toward the Militia camp.
Ten minutes after his arrival at the camp every soldier was in his
place ready to strike, and so remained all night, with pickets
thrown far out listening with ears attent for the soft pad of
THE LAST PATROL
It was still early morning when Cameron rode into the barrack-yard
at Fort Calgary. To the Sergeant in charge, the Superintendent of
Police having departed to Macleod, he reported the events of the
"What about that rumor, Sergeant?" he inquired after he had told
"Well, I had the details yesterday," replied the Sergeant.
"Colonel Otter and a column of some three hundred men with three
guns went out after Pound-maker. The Indians were apparently
strongly posted and could not be dislodged, and I guess our men
were glad to get out of the scrape as easily as they did."
"Great Heavens!" cried Cameron, more to himself than to the
officer, "what will this mean to us here?"
The Sergeant shrugged his shoulders.
"The Lord only knows!" he said.
"Well, my business presses all the more," said Cameron. "I'm going
after this Sioux. Jerry is already on his trail. I suppose you
cannot let me have three or four men? There is liable to be
trouble and we cannot afford to make a mess of this thing."
"Jerry came in last night asking for a man," replied the Sergeant,
"but I could not spare one. However, we will do our best and send
you on the very first men that come in."
"Send on half a dozen to-morrow at the very latest," replied
Cameron. "I shall rely upon you. Let me give you my trail."
He left a plan of the Ghost River Trail with the Sergeant and rode
to look up Dr. Martin. He found the doctor still in bed and
wrathful at being disturbed.
"I say, Cameron," he growled, "what in thunder do you mean by
roaming round this way at night and waking up Christian people out
of their sleep?"
"Sorry, old boy," replied Cameron, "but my business is rather
And then while the doctor sat and shivered in his night clothes
upon the side of the bed Cameron gave him in detail the history of
the previous evening and outlined his plan for the capture of the
Dr. Martin listened intently, noting the various points and
sketching an outline of the trail as Cameron described it.
"I wanted you to know, Martin, in case anything happened. For,
well, you know how it is with my wife just now. A shock might kill
The doctor growled an indistinct reply.
"That is all, old chap. Good-by," said Cameron, pressing his hand.
"This I feel is my last go with old Copperhead."
"Your last go?"
"Oh, don't be alarmed," he replied lightly. "I am going to get him
this time. There will be no trifling henceforth. Well, good-by, I
am off. By the way, the Sergeant at the barracks has promised to
send on half a dozen men to-morrow to back me up. You might just
keep him in mind of that, for things are so pressing here that he
might quite well imagine that he could not spare the men."
"Well, that is rather better," said Martin. "The Sergeant will
send those men all right, or I will know the reason why. Hope you
get your game. Good-by, old man."
A day's ride brought Cameron to Kananaskis, where the Sun Dance
Trail ends on one side of the Bow River and the Ghost River Trail
begins on the other. There he found signs to indicate that Jerry
was before him on his way to the Manitou Rock. As Cameron was
preparing to camp for the night there came over him a strong but
unaccountable presentiment of approaching evil, an irresistible
feeling that he ought to press forward.
"Pshaw! I will be seeing spooks next!" he said impatiently to
himself. "I suppose it is the Highlander in me that is seeing
visions and dreaming dreams. I must eat, however, no matter what
is going to happen."
Leaving his horse saddled, but removing the bridle, he gave him his
feed of oats, then he boiled his tea and made his own supper. As
he was eating the feeling grew more strongly upon him that he
should not camp but go forward at once. At the same time he made
the discovery that the weariness that had almost overpowered him
during the last half-hour of his ride had completely vanished.
Hence, with the feeling of half contemptuous anger at himself for
yielding to his presentiment, he packed up his kit again, bridled
his horse, and rode on.
The trail was indeed, as Jerry said, "no trail." It was rugged
with broken rocks and cumbered with fallen trees, and as it
proceeded became more indistinct. His horse, too, from sheer
weariness, for he had already done his full day's journey, was
growing less sure footed and so went stumbling noisily along.
Cameron began to regret his folly in yielding to a mere unreasoning
imagination and he resolved to spend the night at the first
camping-ground that should offer. The light of the long spring day
was beginning to fade from the sky and in the forest the deep
shadows were beginning to gather. Still no suitable camping-ground
presented itself and Cameron stubbornly pressed forward through the
forest that grew denser and more difficult at every step. After
some hours of steady plodding the trees began to be sensibly
larger, the birch and poplar gave place to spruce and pine and the
underbrush almost entirely disappeared. The trail, too, became
better, winding between the large trees which, with clean trunks,
stood wide apart and arranged themselves in stately high-arched
aisles and long corridors. From the lofty branches overhead the
gray moss hung in long streamers, as Jerry had said, giving to the
trees an ancient and weird appearance. Along these silent, solemn,
gray-festooned aisles and corridors Cameron rode with an uncanny
sensation that unseen eyes were peering out upon him from those dim
and festooned corridors on either side. Impatiently he strove to
shake off the feeling, but in vain. At length, forced by the
growing darkness, he decided to camp, when through the shadowy and
silent forest there came to his ears the welcome sound of running
water. It was to Cameron like the sound of a human voice. He
almost called aloud to the running stream as to a friend. It was
the Ghost River.
In a few minutes he had reached the water and after picketing his
horse some little distance down the stream and away from the trail,
he rolled himself in his blanket to sleep. The moon rising above
the high tree-tops filled the forest aisles with a soft unearthly
light. As his eye followed down the long dim aisles there grew
once more upon him the feeling that he was being watched by unseen
eyes. Vainly he cursed himself for his folly. He could not sleep.
A twig broke near him. He lay still listening with every nerve
taut. He fancied he could hear soft feet about him and stealing
near. With his two guns in hand he sat bolt upright. Straight
before him and not more than ten feet away the form of an Indian
was plainly to be seen. A slight sound to his right drew his eyes
in that direction. There, too, stood the silent form of an Indian,
on his left also an Indian. Suddenly from behind him a deep,
guttural voice spoke, "Look this way!" He turned sharply and found
himself gazing into a rifle-barrel a few feet from his face. "Now
look back!" said the voice. He glanced to right and left, only to
find rifles leveled at him from every side.
"White man put down his guns on ground!" said the same guttural
"Indian speak no more," said the voice in a deep growl.
Cameron put his guns down.
"Stand up!" said the voice.
Cameron obeyed. Out from behind the Indian with the leveled rifle
glided another Indian form. It was Copperhead. Two more Indians
appeared with him. All thought of resistance passed from Cameron's
mind. It would mean instant death, and, what to Cameron was worse
than death, the certain failure of his plans. While he lived he
still had hope. Besides, there would be the Police next day.
With savage, cruel haste Copperhead bound his hands behind his back
and as a further precaution threw a cord about his neck.
"Come!" he said, giving the cord a quick jerk.
"Copperhead," said Cameron through his clenched teeth, "you will
one day wish you had never done this thing."
"No speak!" said Copperhead gruffly, jerking the cord so heavily as
almost to throw Cameron off his feet.
Through the night Cameron stumbled on with his captors, Copperhead
in front and the others following. Half dead with sleeplessness
and blind with rage he walked on as if in a hideous nightmare,
mechanically watching the feet of the Indian immediately in front
of him and thus saving himself many a cruel fall and a more cruel
jerking of the cord about his neck, for such was Copperhead's
method of lifting him to his feet when he fell. It seemed to him
as if the night would never pass or the journey end.
At length the throbbing of the Indian drum fell upon his ears. It
was to him a welcome sound. Nothing could be much more agonizing
than what he was at present enduring. As they approached the
Indian camp one of his captors raised a wild, wailing cry which
resounded through the forest with an unearthly sound. Never had
such a cry fallen upon Cameron's ears. It was the old-time cry of
the Indian warriors announcing that they were returning in triumph
bringing their captives with them. The drum-beat ceased. Again
the cry was raised, when from the Indian encampment came in reply a
chorus of similar cries followed by a rush of braves to meet the
approaching warriors and to welcome them and their captives.
With loud and discordant exultation straight into the circle of the
firelight cast from many fires Copperhead and his companions
marched their captive. On every side naked painted Indians to the
number of several score crowded in tumultuous uproar. Not for many
years had these Indians witnessed their ancient and joyous sport of
baiting a prisoner.
As Cameron came into the clear light of the fire instantly low
murmurs ran round the crowd, for to many of them he was well known.
Then silence fell upon them. His presence there was clearly a
shock to many of them. To take prisoner one of the Mounted Police
and to submit him to indignity stirred strange emotions in their
hearts. The keen eye of Copperhead noted the sudden change of the
mood of the Indians and immediately he gave orders to those who
held Cameron in charge, with the result that they hurried him off
and thrust him into a little low hut constructed of brush and open
in front where, after tying his feet securely, they left him with
an Indian on guard in front.
For some moments Cameron lay stupid with weariness and pain till
his weariness overpowered his pain and he sank into sleep. He was
recalled to consciousness by the sensation of something digging
into his ribs. As he sat up half asleep a low "hist!" startled him
wide awake. His heart leaped as he heard out of the darkness a
whispered word, "Jerry here." Cameron rolled over and came close
against the little half-breed, bound as he was himself. Again came
"Me all lak' youse'f," said Jerry. "No spik any. Look out front."
The Indian on guard was eagerly looking and listening to what was
going on before him beside the fire. At one side of the circle sat
the Indians in council. Copperhead was standing and speaking to
"What is he saying?" said Cameron, his mouth close to Jerry's ear.
"He say dey keel us queeck. Indian no lak' keel. Dey scare Police
get 'em. Copperhead he ver' mad. Say he keel us heemse'f--queeck."
Again and again and with ever increasing vehemence Copperhead urged
his views upon the hesitating Indians, well aware that by involving
them in such a deed of blood he would irrevocably commit them to
rebellion. But he was dealing with men well-nigh as subtle as
himself, and for the very same reason as he pressed them to the
deed they shrank back from it. They were not yet quite prepared to
burn their bridges behind them. Indeed some of them suggested the
wisdom of holding the prisoners as hostages in case of necessity
arising in the future.
"What Indians are here?" whispered Cameron.
"Piegan, Sarcee, Blood," breathed Jerry. "No Blackfeet come--not
yet--Copperhead he look, look, look all yesterday for Blackfeet
coming. Blackfeet come to-morrow mebbe--den Indian mak' beeg
medicine. Copperhead he go meet Blackfeet dis day--he catch you--
he go 'gain to-morrow mebbe--dunno."
Meantime the discussion in the council was drawing to a climax.
With the astuteness of a true leader Copperhead ceased to urge his
view, and, unable to secure the best, wisely determined to content
himself with the second-best. His vehement tone gave place to one
of persuasion. Finally an agreement appeared to be reached by all.
With one consent the council rose and with hands uplifted they all
appeared to take some solemn oath.
"What are they saying?" whispered Cameron.
"He say," replied Jerry, "he go meet Blackfeet and when he bring
'em back den dey keel us sure t'ing. But," added Jerry with a
cheerful giggle, "he not keel 'em yet, by Gar!"
For some minutes they waited in silence, then they saw Copperhead
with his bodyguard of Sioux disappear from the circle of the
firelight into the shadows of the forest.
"Now you go sleep," whispered Jerry. "Me keep watch."
Even before he had finished speaking Cameron had lain back upon the
ground and in spite of the pain in his tightly bound limbs such was
his utter exhaustion that he fell fast asleep.
It seemed to him but a moment when he was again awakened by the
touch of a hand stealing over his face. The hand reached his lips
and rested there, when he started up wide-awake. A soft hiss from
the back of the hut arrested him.
"No noise," said a soft guttural voice. Again the hand was thrust
through the brush wall, this time bearing a knife. "Cut string,"
whispered the voice, while the hand kept feeling for the thongs
that bound Cameron's hands. In a few moments Cameron was free from
"Give me the knife," he whispered. It was placed in his hands.
"Tell you squaw," said the voice, "sick boy not forget."
"I will tell her," replied Cameron. "She will never forget you."
The boy laid his hand on Cameron's lips and was gone.
Soon Jerry too was free. Slowly they wormed their way through the
flimsy brush wall at the back, and, crouching low, looked about
them. The camp was deep in sleep. The fires were smoldering in
their ashes. Not an Indian was moving. Lying across the front of
their little hut the sleeping form of their guard could be seen.
The forest was still black behind them, but already there was in
the paling stars the faint promise of the dawn. Hardly daring to
breathe, they rose and stood looking at each other.
"No stir," said Jerry with his lips at Cameron's ear. He dropped
on his hands and knees and began carefully to remove every twig
from his path so that his feet might rest only upon the deep leafy
mold of the forest. Carefully Cameron followed his example, and,
working slowly and painfully, they gained the cover of the dark
forest away from the circle of the firelight.
Scarcely had they reached that shelter when an Indian rose from
beside a fire, raked the embers together, and threw some sticks
upon it. As Cameron stood watching him, his heart-beat thumping in
his ears, a rotten twig snapped under his feet. The Indian turned
his face in their direction, and, bending forward, appeared to be
listening intently. Instantly Jerry, stooping down, made a
scrambling noise in the leaves, ending with a thump upon the
ground. Immediately the Indian relaxed his listening attitude,
satisfied that a rabbit was scurrying through the forest upon his
own errand bent. Rigidly silent they stood, watching him till long
after he had lain down again in his place, then once more they
began their painful advance, clearing treacherous twigs from every
place where their feet should rest. Fortunately for their going
the forest here was largely free from underbrush. Working
carefully and painfully for half an hour, and avoiding the trail by
the Ghost River, they made their way out of hearing of the camp and
then set off at such speed as their path allowed, Jerry in the lead
and Cameron following.
"Where are you going, Jerry?" inquired Cameron as the little half-
breed, without halt or hesitation, went slipping through the
"Kananaskis," said Jerry. "Strike trail near Bow Reever."
"Hold up for a moment, Jerry. I want to talk to you," said
"No! Mak' speed now. Stop in brush."
"All right," said Cameron, following close upon his heels.
The morning broadened into day, but they made no pause till they
had left behind them the open timber and gained the cover of the
forest where the underbrush grew thick. Then Jerry, finding a dry
and sheltered spot, threw himself down and stretched himself at
full length waiting for Cameron's word.
"Tired, Jerry?" said Cameron.
"Non," replied the little man scornfully. "When lie down tak' 'em
"Good! Now listen! Copperhead is on his way to meet the Blackfeet,
but I fancy he is going to be disappointed." Then Cameron narrated
to Jerry the story of his recent interview with Crowfoot. "So I
don't think," he concluded, "any Blackfeet will come. Copperhead
and Running Stream are going to be sold this time. Besides that the
Police are on their way to Kananaskis following our trail. They
will reach Kananaskis to-night and start for Ghost River to-morrow.
We ought to get Copperhead between us somewhere on the Ghost River
trail and we must get him to-day. Where will he be now?"
Jerry considered the matter, then, pointing straight eastward, he
"On trail Kananaskis not far from Ghost Reever."
"Will he be that far?" inquired Cameron. "He would have to sleep
and eat, Jerry."
"Non! No sleep--hit sam' tam' he run."
"Then it is quite possible," said Cameron, "that we may head him
"Mebbe--dunno how fas' he go," said Jerry.
"By the way, Jerry, when do we eat?" inquired Cameron.
"Pull belt tight," said Jerry with a grin. "Hit at cache on
"Do you mean to say you had the good sense to cache some grub,
Jerry, on your way down?"
"Jerry lak' squirrel," replied the half-breed. "Cache grub many
place--sometam come good."
"Great head, Jerry. Now, where is the cache?"
"Halfway Kananaskis to Ghost Reever."
"Then, Jerry, we must make that Ghost River trail and make it quick
if we are to intercept Copperhead."
"Bon! We mus' mak' beeg speed for sure." And "make big speed"
they did, with the result that by midday they struck the trail not
far from Jerry's cache. As they approached the trail they
proceeded with extreme caution, for they knew that at any moment
they might run upon Copperhead and his band or upon some of their
Indian pursuers who would assuredly be following them hard. A
careful scrutiny of the trail showed that neither Copperhead nor
their pursuers had yet passed by.
"Come now ver' soon," said Jerry, as he left the trail, and,
plunging into the brush, led the way with unerring precision to
where he had made his cache. Quickly they secured the food and
with it made their way back to a position from which they could
command a view of the trail.
"Go sleep now," said Jerry, after they had done. "Me watch one
Gladly Cameron availed himself of the opportunity to catch up his
sleep, in which he was many hours behind. He stretched himself on
the ground and in a moment's time lay as completely unconscious as
if dead. But before half of his allotted time was gone he was
awakened by Jerry's hand pressing steadily upon his arm.
"Indian come," whispered the half-breed. Instantly Cameron was
wide-awake and fully alert.
"How many, Jerry?" he asked, lying with his ear to the ground.
"Dunno. T'ree--four mebbe."
They had not long to wait. Almost as Jerry was speaking the figure
of an Indian came into view, running with that tireless trot that
can wear out any wild animal that roams the woods.
"Copperhead!" whispered Cameron, tightening his belt and making as
if to rise.
"Wait!" replied Jerry. "One more."
Following Copperhead, and running not close upon him but at some
distance behind, came another Indian, then another, till three had
passed their hiding-place.
"Four against two, Jerry," said Cameron. "That is all right. They
have their knives, I see, but only one gun. We have no guns and
only one knife. But Jerry, we can go in and kill them with our
Jerry nodded carelessly. He had fought too often against much
greater odds in Police battles to be unduly disturbed at the
Silently and at a safe distance behind they fell into the wake of
the running Indians, Jerry with his moccasined feet leading the
way. Mile after mile they followed the trail, ever on the alert
for the doubling back of those whom they were pursuing. Suddenly
Cameron heard a sharp hiss from Jerry in front. Swiftly he flung
himself into the brush and lay still. Within a minute he saw
coming back upon the trail an Indian, silent as a shadow and
listening at every step. The Indian passed his hiding-place and
for some minutes Cameron lay watching until he saw him return in
the same stealthy manner. After some minutes had elapsed a soft
hiss from Jerry brought Cameron cautiously out upon the trail once
"All right," whispered Jerry. "All Indians pass on before." And
once more they went forward.
A second time during the afternoon Jerry's warning hiss sent
Cameron into the brush to allow an Indian to scout his back trail.
It was clear that the presence of Cameron and the half-breed upon
the Ghost River trail had awakened the suspicion in Copperhead's
mind that the plan to hold a powwow at Manitou Rock was known to
the Police and that they were on his trail. It became therefore
increasingly evident to Cameron that any plan that involved the
possibility of taking Copperhead unawares would have to be
abandoned. He called Jerry back to him.
"Jerry," he said, "if that Indian doubles back on his track again I
mean to get him. If we get him the other chaps will follow. If I
only had a gun! But this knife is no use to me."
"Give heem to me," said Jerry eagerly. "I find heem good."
It was toward the close of the afternoon when again Jerry's hiss
warned Cameron that the Indian was returning upon his trail.
Cameron stepped into the brush at the side, and, crouching low,
prepared for the encounter, but as he was about to spring Jerry
flashed past him, and, hurling himself upon the Indian's back,
gripped him by the throat and bore him choking to earth, knocking
the wind out of him and rendering him powerless. Jerry's knife
descended once bright, once red, and the Indian with a horrible
gasping cry lay still.
"Quick!" cried Cameron, seizing the dead man by the shoulders.
"Lift him up!"
Jerry sprang to seize the legs, and, taking care not to break down
the brush on either side of the trail, they lifted the body into
the thick underwood and concealing themselves beside it awaited
events. Hardly were they out of sight when they heard the soft pad
of several feet running down the trail. Opposite them the feet
"Huh!" grunted the Indian runner, and darted back by the way he had
"Heem see blood," whispered Jerry. "Go back tell Copperhead."
With every nerve strung to its highest tension they waited,
crouching, Jerry tingling and quivering with the intensity of his
excitement, Cameron quiet, cool, as if assured of the issue.
"I am going to get that devil this time, Jerry," he breathed. "He
dragged me by the neck once. I will show him something."
Jerry laid his hand upon his arm. At a little distance from them
there was a sound of creeping steps. A few moments they waited and
at their side the brush began to quiver. A moment later beside
Cameron's face a hand carrying a rifle parted the screen of spruce
boughs. Quick as a flash Cameron seized the wrist, gripping it
with both hands, and, putting his weight into the swing, flung
himself backwards; at the same time catching the body with his
knee, he heaved it clear over their heads and landed it hard
against a tree. The rifle tumbled from the Indian's hand and he
lay squirming on the ground. Immediately as Jerry sprang for the
rifle a second Indian thrust his face through the screen, caught
sight of Jerry with the rifle, darted back and disappeared with
Jerry hard upon his trail. Scarcely had they vanished into the
brush when Cameron, hearing a slight sound at his back, turned
swiftly to see a tall Indian charging upon him with knife raised to
strike. He had barely time to thrust up his arm and divert the
blow from his neck to his shoulder when the Indian was upon him
like a wild cat.
"Ha! Copperhead!" cried Cameron with exultation, as he flung him
off. "At last I have you! Your time has come!"
The Sioux paused in his attack, looking scornfully at his
antagonist. He was dressed in a highly embroidered tight-fitting
deerskin coat and leggings.
"Huh!" he grunted in a voice of quiet, concentrated fury. "The
white dog will die."
"No, Copperhead," replied Cameron quietly. "You have a knife, I
have none, but I shall lead you like a dog into the Police guard-
The Sioux said nothing in reply, but kept circling lightly on his
toes waiting his chance to spring. As the two men stood facing
each other there was little to choose between them in physical
strength and agility as well as in intelligent fighting qualities.
There was this difference, however, that the Indian's fighting had
ever been to kill, the white man's simply to win. But this
difference to-day had ceased to exist. There was in Cameron's mind
the determination to kill if need be. One immense advantage the
Indian held in that he possessed a weapon in the use of which he
was a master and by means of which he had already inflicted a
serious wound upon his enemy, a wound which as yet was but slightly
felt. To deprive the Indian of that knife was Cameron's first aim.
That once achieved, the end could not long be delayed; for the
Indian, though a skillful wrestler, knows little of the art of
fighting with his hands.
As Cameron stood on guard watching his enemy's movements, his mind
recalled in swift review the various wrongs he had suffered at his
hands, the fright and insult to his wife, the devastation of his
home, the cattle-raid involving the death of Raven, and lastly he
remembered with a deep rage his recent humiliation at the Indian's
hands and how he had been hauled along by the neck and led like a
dog into the Indian camp. At these recollections he became
conscious of a burning desire to humiliate the redskin who had
dared to do these things to him.
With this in mind he waited the Indian's attack. The attack came
swift as a serpent's dart, a feint to strike, a swift recoil, then
like a flash of light a hard drive with the knife. But quick as
was the Indian's drive Cameron was quicker. Catching the knife-
hand at the wrist he drew it sharply down, meeting at the same time
the Indian's chin with a short, hard uppercut that jarred his head
so seriously that his grip on the knife relaxed and it fell from
his hand. Cameron kicked it behind him into the brush while the
Indian, with a mighty wrench, released himself from Cameron's grip
and sprang back free. For some time the Indian kept away out of
Cameron's reach as if uncertain of himself. Cameron taunted him.
"Onawata has had enough! He cannot fight unless he has a knife!
See! I will punish the great Sioux Chief like a little child."
So saying, Cameron stepped quickly toward him, made a few passes
and once, twice, with his open hand slapped the Indian's face hard.
In a mad fury of passion the Indian rushed upon him. Cameron met
him with blows, one, two, three, the last one heavy enough to lay
him on the ground insensible.
"Oh, get up!" said Cameron contemptuously, kicking him as he might
a dog. "Get up and be a man!"
Slowly the Indian rose, wiping his bleeding lips, hate burning in
his eyes, but in them also a new look, one of fear.
"Ha! Onawata is a great fighter!" smiled Cameron, enjoying to the
full the humiliation of his enemy.
Slowly the Indian gathered himself together. He was no coward and
he was by no means beaten as yet, but this kind of fighting was new
to him. He apparently determined to avoid those hammering fists of
the white man. With extraordinary agility he kept out of Cameron's
reach, circling about him and dodging in and out among the trees.
While thus pressing hard upon the Sioux Cameron suddenly became
conscious of a sensation of weakness. The bloodletting of the
knife wound was beginning to tell. Cameron began to dread that if
ever this Indian made up his mind to run away he might yet escape.
He began to regret his trifling with him and he resolved to end the
fight as soon as possible with a knock-out blow.
The quick eye of the Indian perceived that Cameron's breath was
coming quicker, and, still keeping carefully out of his enemy's
reach, he danced about more swiftly than ever. Cameron realized
that he must bring the matter quickly to an end. Feigning a
weakness greater than he felt, he induced the Indian to run in upon
him, but this time the Indian avoided the smashing blow with which
Cameron met him, and, locking his arms about his antagonist and
gripping him by the wounded shoulder, began steadily to wear him to
the ground. Sickened by the intensity of the pain in his wounded
shoulder, Cameron felt his strength rapidly leaving him. Gradually
the Indian shifted his hand up from the shoulder to the neck, the
fingers working their way toward Cameron's face. Well did Cameron
know the savage trick which the Indian had in mind. In a few
minutes more those fingers would be in Cameron's eyes pressing the
eyeballs from their sockets. It was now the Indian's turn to jibe.
"Huh!" he exclaimed. "White man no good. Soon he see no more."
The taunt served to stimulate every ounce of Cameron's remaining
strength. With a mighty effort he wrenched the Indian's hand from
his face, and, tearing himself free, swung his clenched fist with
all his weight upon the Indian's neck. The blow struck just
beneath the jugular vein. The Indian's grip relaxed, he staggered
back a pace, half stunned. Summoning all his force, Cameron
followed up with one straight blow upon the chin. He needed no
other. As if stricken by an axe the Indian fell to the earth and
lay as if dead. Sinking on the ground beside him Cameron exerted
all his will-power to keep himself from fainting. After a few
minutes' fierce struggle with himself he was sufficiently revived
to be able to bind the Indian's hands behind his back with his
belt. Searching among the brushwood, he found the Indian's knife,
and cut from his leather trousers sufficient thongs to bind his
legs, working with fierce and concentrated energy while his
strength lasted. At length as the hands were drawn tight darkness
fell upon his eyes and he sank down unconscious beside his foe.
"There, that's better! He has lost a lot of blood, but we have
checked that flow and he will soon be right. Hello, old man! Just
waking up, are you? Lie perfectly still. Come, you must lie
still. What? Oh, Copperhead? Well, he is safe enough. What?
No, never fear. We know the old snake and we have tied him fast.
Jerry has a fine assortment of knots adorning his person. Now, no
more talking for half a day. Your wound is clean enough. A mighty
close shave it was, but by to-morrow you will be fairly fit.
Copperhead? Oh, never mind Copperhead. I assure you he is safe
enough. Hardly fit to travel yet. What happened to him? Looks as
if a tree had fallen upon him." To which chatter of Dr. Martin's
Cameron could only make feeble answer, "For God's sake don't let
After the capture of Copperhead the camp at Manitou Lake faded
away, for when the Police Patrol under Jerry's guidance rode up the
Ghost River Trail they found only the cold ashes of camp-fires and
the debris that remains after a powwow.
Three days later Cameron rode back into Fort Calgary, sore but
content, for at his stirrup and bound to his saddle-horn rode the
Sioux Chief, proud, untamed, but a prisoner. As he rode into the
little town his quick eyes flashed scorn upon all the curious
gazers, but in their depths beneath the scorn there looked forth an
agony that only Cameron saw and understood. He had played for a
great stake and had lost.
As the patrol rode into Fort Calgary the little town was in an
uproar of jubilation.
"What's the row?" inquired the doctor, for Cameron felt too weary
"A great victory for the troops!" said a young chap dressed in cow-
boy garb. "Middleton has smashed the half-breeds at Batoche. Riel
is captured. The whole rebellion business is bust up."
Cameron threw a swift glance at the Sioux's face. A fierce anxiety
looked out of the gleaming eyes.
"Tell him, Jerry," said Cameron to the half-breed who rode at his
As Jerry told the Indian of the total collapse of the rebellion and
the capture of its leader the stern face grew eloquent with
"Bah!" he said, spitting on the ground. "Riel he much fool--no
good fight. Indian got no Chief--no Chief." The look on his face
all too clearly revealed that his soul was experiencing the
bitterness of death.
Cameron almost pitied him, but he spoke no word. There was nothing
that one could say and besides he was far too weary for anything
but rest. At the gate of the Barrack yard his old Superintendent
from Fort Macleod met the party.
"You are wounded, Cameron?" exclaimed the Superintendent, glancing
in alarm at Cameron's wan face.
"I have got him," replied Cameron, loosing the lariat from the horn
of his saddle and handing the end to an orderly. "But," he added,
"it seems hardly worth while now."
"Worth while! Worth while!" exclaimed the Superintendent with as
much excitement as he ever allowed to appear in his tone. "Let me
tell you, Cameron, that if any one thing has kept me from getting
into a blue funk during these months it was the feeling that you
were on patrol along the Sun Dance Trail."
"Funk?" exclaimed Cameron with a smile. "Funk?" But while he
smiled he looked into the cold, gray eyes of his Chief, and, noting
the unwonted glow in them, he felt that after all his work as the
Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail was perhaps worth while.
WHY THE DOCTOR STAYED
The Big Horn River, fed by July suns burning upon glaciers high up
between the mountain-peaks, was running full to its lips and
gleaming like a broad ribbon of silver, where, after rushing
hurriedly out of the rock-ribbed foothills, it settled down into a
deep steady flow through the wide valley of its own name. On the
tawny undulating hillsides, glorious in the splendid July sun,
herds of cattle and horses were feeding, making with the tawny
hillsides and the silver river a picture of luxurious ease and
quiet security that fitted well with the mood of the two men
sitting upon the shady side of the Big Horn Ranch House.
Inspector Dickson was enjoying to the full his after-dinner pipe,
and with him Dr. Martin, who was engaged in judiciously pumping the
Inspector in regard to the happenings of the recent campaign--
successfully, too, except where he touched those events in which
the Inspector himself had played a part.
The war was over. Batoche had practically settled the Rebellion.
Riel was in his cell at Regina awaiting trial and execution.
Pound-maker, Little Pine, Big Bear and some of their other Chiefs
were similarly disposed of. Copperhead at Macleod was fretting his
life out like an eagle in a cage. The various regiments of citizen
soldiers had gone back to their homes to be received with vociferous
welcome, except such of them as were received in reverent silence,
to be laid away among the immortals with quiet falling tears. The
Police were busily engaged in wiping up the debris of the Rebellion.
The Commissioner, intent upon his duty, was riding the marches,
bearing in grim silence the criticism of empty-headed and omniscient
scribblers, because, forsooth, he had obeyed his Chief's orders,
and, resisting the greatest provocation to do otherwise, had held
steadfastly to his post, guarding with resolute courage what was
committed to his trust. The Superintendents and Inspectors were
back at their various posts, settling upon the reserves wandering
bands of Indians, some of whom were just awakening to the fact that
they had missed a great opportunity and were grudgingly surrendering
to the inevitable, and, under the wise, firm, judicious handling of
the Police, were slowly returning to their pre-rebellion status.
The Western ranches were rejoicing in a sense of vast relief from
the terrible pall that like a death-cloud had been hanging over
them for six months and all Western Canada was thrilling with the
expectation of a new era of prosperity consequent upon its being
discovered by the big world outside.
Upon the two men thus discussing, Mrs. Cameron, carrying in her
arms her babe, bore down in magnificent and modest pride, wearing
with matronly grace her new glory of a great achievement, the
greatest open to womankind.
"He has just waked up from a very fine sleep," she exclaimed, "to
make your acquaintance, Inspector. I hope you duly appreciate the
honor done you."
The Inspector rose to his feet and saluted the new arrival with
"Now," said Mrs. Cameron, settling herself down with an air of
determined resolve, "I want to hear all about it."
"Meaning?" said the Inspector.
"Meaning, to begin with, that famous march of yours from Calgary to
the far North land where you did so many heroic things."
But the Inspector's talk had a trick of fading away at the end of
the third sentence and it was with difficulty that they could get
him started again.
"You are most provoking!" finally exclaimed Mrs. Cameron, giving up
the struggle. "Isn't he, baby?"
The latter turned upon the Inspector two steady blue eyes beaming
with the intelligence of a two months' experience of men and
things, and announced his grave disapproval of the Inspector's
conduct in a distinct "goo!"
"There!" exclaimed his mother triumphantly. "I told you so. What
have you now to say for yourself?"
The Inspector regarded the blue-eyed atom with reverent wonder.
"Most remarkable young person I ever saw in my life, Mrs. Cameron,"
he asserted positively.
The proud mother beamed upon him.
"Well, baby, he IS provoking, but we will forgive him since he is
so clever at discovering your remarkable qualities."
"Pshaw!" said Dr. Martin. "That's nothing. Any one could see
them. They stick right out of that baby."
"DEAR Dr. Martin," explained the mother with affectionate emphasis,
"what a way you have of putting things. But I wonder what keeps
Allan?" continued Mrs. Cameron. "He promised faithfully to be home
before dinner." She rose, and, going to the side of the house,
looked long and anxiously up toward the foothills. Dr. Martin
followed her and stood at her side gazing in the same direction.
"What a glorious view it is!" she said. "I never tire of looking
over the hills and up to the great mountains."
"What the deuce is the fellow doing?" exclaimed the doctor, disgust
and rage mingling in his tone. "Great Heavens! She is kissing
"Who? What?" exclaimed Mandy. "Oh!" she cried, her eyes following
the doctor's and lighting upon two figures that stood at the side
of the poplar bluff in an attitude sufficiently compromising to
justify the doctor's exclamation.
"What? It's Moira--and--and--it's Smith! What does it mean?" The
doctor's language appeared unequal to his emotions. "Mean?" he
cried, after an exhausting interlude of expletives. "Mean? Oh, I
don't know--and I don't care. It's pretty plain what it means. It
makes no difference to me. I gave her up to that other fellow who
saved her life and then picturesquely got himself killed. There
now, forgive me, Mrs. Cameron. I know I am a brute. I should not
have said that. Don't look at me so. Raven was a fine chap and I
don't mind her losing her heart to him--but really this is too
much. Smith! Of all men under heaven--Smith! Why, look at his
"His legs? Dr. Martin, I am ashamed of you. I don't care what
kind of legs he has. Smith is an honorable fellow and--and--so
good he was to us. Why, when Allan and the rest of you were all
away he was like a brother through all those terrible days. I can
never forget his splendid kindness--but--"
"I beg your pardon, Mrs. Cameron, I beg your pardon. Undoubtedly
he is a fine fellow. I am an ass, a jealous ass--might as well own
it. But, really, I cannot quite stand seeing her throw herself at
Smith--Smith! Oh, I know, I know, he is all right. But oh--well--
at any rate thank God I saw him at it. It will keep me from openly
and uselessly abasing myself to her and making a fool of myself
generally. But Smith! Great God! Smith! Well, it will help to
Mrs. Cameron stood by in miserable silence.
"Oh, Dr. Martin," at length she groaned tearfully, "I am so
disappointed. I was so hoping, and I was sure it was all right--
and--and--oh, what does it mean? Dear Dr. Martin, I cannot tell
you how I feel."
"Oh, hang it, Mrs. Cameron, don't pity me. I'll get over it. A
little surgical operation in the region of the pericardium is all,
that is required."
"What are you talking about?" exclaimed Mrs. Cameron, vaguely
listening to him and busy with her own thoughts the while.
"Talking about, madam? Talking about? I am talking about that
organ, the central organ of the vascular system of animals, a
hollow muscular structure that propels the blood by alternate
contractions and dilatations, which in the mammalian embryo first
appears as two tubes lying under the head and immediately behind
the first visceral arches, but gradually moves back and becomes
lodged in the thorax."
"Oh, do stop! What nonsense are you talking now?" exclaimed Mrs.
Cameron, waking up as from a dream. "No, don't go. You must not
"I am going, and I am going to leave this country," said the
doctor. "I am going East. No, this is no sudden resolve. I have
thought of it for some time, and now I will go."
"Well, you must wait at least till Allan returns. You must say
good-by to him." She followed the doctor anxiously back to his
seat beside the Inspector. "Here," she cried, "hold baby a minute.
There are some things I must attend to. I would give him to the
Inspector, but he would not know how to handle him."
"God forbid!" ejaculated the Inspector firmly.
"But I tell you I must get home," said the doctor in helpless
"Nonsense!" exclaimed Mrs. Cameron. "Look out! You are not
holding him properly. There now, you have made him cry."
"Pinched him!" muttered the Inspector. "I call that most unfair.
Mean advantage to take of the young person."
The doctor glowered at the Inspector and set himself with ready
skill to remedy the wrong he had wrought in the young person's
disposition while the mother, busying herself ostentatiously with
her domestic duties, finally disappeared around the house, making
for the bluff. As soon as she was out of earshot she raised her
voice in song.
"I must give the fools warning, I suppose," she said to herself.
In the pauses of her singing, "Oh, what does she mean? I could
just shake her. I am so disappointed. Smith! Smith! Well, Smith
is all right, but--oh, I must talk to her. And yet, I am so angry--
yes, I am disgusted. I was so sure that everything was all right.
Ah, there she is at last, and--well--thank goodness he is gone.
"Oh-h-h-h-O, Moira!" she cried. "Now, I must keep my temper," she
added to herself. "But I am so cross about this. Oh-h-h-h-O,
"Oh-h-h-h-O!" called Moira in reply.
"She looks positively happy. Ugh! Disgusting! And so lovely
"Did you want me, Mandy? I am so sorry I forgot all about the
"So I should suppose," snapped Mandy crossly. "I saw you were too
deeply engaged to think."
"You saw?" exclaimed the girl, a startled dismay in her face.
"Yes, and I would suggest that you select a less conspicuous stage
for your next scene. Certainly I got quite a shock. If it had
been Raven, Moira, I could have stood it."
"Raven! Raven! Oh, stop! Not a word, Mandy." Her voice was
hushed and there was a look of pain in her eyes.
"But Smith!" went on Mandy relentlessly. "I was too disgusted."
"Well, what is wrong with Mr. Smith?" inquired Moira, her chin
"Oh, there is nothing wrong with Smith," replied her sister-in-law
crossly, "but--well--kissing him, you know."
"Kissing him?" echoed Moira faintly. "Kissing him? I did not--"
"It looked to me uncommonly like it at any rate," said Mandy. "You
surely don't deny that you were kissing him?"
"I was not. I mean, it was Smith--perhaps--yes, I think Smith
"Well, it was a silly thing to do."
"Silly! If I want to kiss Mr. Smith, why is it anybody's business?"
"That's just it," said Mandy indignantly. "Why should you want
"Well, that is my affair," said Moira in an angry tone, and with a
high head and lofty air she appeared in the doctor's presence.
But Dr. Martin was apparently oblivious of both her lofty air and
the angle of her chin. He was struggling to suppress from
observation a tumult of mingled passions of jealousy, rage and
humiliation. That this girl whom for four years he had loved with
the full strength of his intense nature should have given herself
to another was grief enough; but the fact that this other should
have been a man of Smith's caliber seemed to add insult to his
grief. He felt that not only had she humiliated him but herself as
"If she is the kind of girl that enjoys kissing Smith I don't want
her," he said to himself savagely, and then cursed himself that he
knew it was a lie. For no matter how she should affront him or
humiliate herself he well knew he should take her gladly on his
bended knees from Smith's hands. The cure somehow was not working,
but he would allow no one to suspect it. His voice was even and
his manner cheerful as ever. Only Mrs. Cameron, who held the key
to his heart, suspected the agony through which he was passing
during the tea-hour. And it was to secure respite for him that the
tea was hurried and the doctor packed off to saddle Pepper and
round up the cows for the milking.
Pepper was by birth and breeding a cow-horse, and once set upon a
trail after a bunch of cows he could be trusted to round them up
with little or no aid from his rider. Hence once astride Pepper
and Pepper with his nose pointed toward the ranging cows, the
doctor could allow his heart to roam at will. And like a homing
pigeon, his heart, after some faint struggles in the grip of its
owner's will, made swift flight toward the far-away Highland glen
across the sea, the Cuagh Oir.
With deliberate purpose he set himself to live again the tender and
ineffaceable memories of that eventful visit to the glen when first
his eyes were filled with the vision of the girl with the sunny
hair and the sunny eyes who that day seemed to fill the very glen
and ever since that day his heart with glory.
With deliberate purpose, too, he set himself to recall the glen
itself, its lights and shadows, its purple hilltops, its emerald
loch far down at the bottom, the little clachan on the hillside and
up above it the old manor-house. But ever and again his heart
would pause to catch anew some flitting glance of the brown eyes,
some turn of the golden head, some cadence of the soft Highland
voice, some fitful illusive sweetness of the smile upon the curving
lips, pause and return upon its tracks to feel anew that subtle
rapture of the first poignant thrill, lingering over each separate
memory as a drunkard lingers regretful over his last sweet drops of
Meantime Pepper's intelligent diligence had sent every cow home to
its milking, and so, making his way by a short cut that led along
the Big Horn River and round the poplar bluff, the doctor, suddenly
waking from his dream of the past, faced with a fresh and sharper
stab the reality of the present. The suddenness and sharpness of
the pain made him pull his horse up short.
"I'll cut this country and go East," he said aloud, coming to a
conclusive decision upon a plan long considered, "I'll go in for
specializing. I have done with all this nonsense."
He sat his horse looking eastward over the hills that rolled far
away to the horizon. His eye wandered down the river gleaming now
like gold in the sunset glow. He had learned to love this land of
great sunlit spaces and fresh blowing winds, but this evening its
very beauty appeared intolerable to him. Ever since the death of
Raven upon that tragic night of the cattle-raid he had been
fighting his bitter loss and disappointment; with indifferent
success, it is true, but still not without the hope of attaining
final peace of soul. This evening he knew that, while he lived in
this land, peace would never come to him, for his heart-wound never
"I will go," he said again. "I will say good-by to-night. By
Jove! I feel better already. Come along, Pepper! Wake up!"
Pepper woke up to some purpose and at a smart canter carried the
doctor on his way round the bluff toward a gate that opened into a
lane leading to the stables. At the gate a figure started up
suddenly from the shadow of a poplar. With a snort and in the
midst of his stride Pepper swung on his heels with such amazing
abruptness that his rider was flung from his saddle, fortunately
upon his feet.
"Confound you for a dumb-headed fool! What are you up to anyway?"
he cried in a sudden rage, recognizing Smith, who stood beside the
trail in an abjectly apologetic attitude.
"Yes," cried another voice from the shadow. "Is he not a fool?
You would think he ought to know Mr. Smith by this time. But
Pepper is really very stupid."
The doctor stood speechless, surprise, disgust and rage struggling
for supremacy among his emotions. He stood gazing stupidly from
one to the other, utterly at a loss for words.
"You see, Mr. Smith," began Moira somewhat lamely, "had something
to say to me and so we--and so we came--along to the gate."
"So I see," replied the doctor gruffly.
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