Stewart Edward White
Part 4 out of 7
disappearing. In the anteroom he rung a bell, and to the boy who
leisurely answered its summons he said rapidly:
"Run over to the club and find Mr. Winslow, Mr. Clark, and whoever
else is in the smoking room, and tell them from me to cone over to
the gymnasium. Tell them there's some fun on."
Then he returned to the gymnasium floor, where Murphy was answering
Orde's questions as to the apparatus. While the two men were
pulling on the gloves, Gerald managed a word apart with the trainer.
"Can you do him, Murph?" he whispered.
"Sure!" said the handler. "Them kind's always as slow as dray-
horses. They gets muscle-bound."
"Give it to him," said Gerald, "but don't kill him. He's a friend
Then he stepped back, the same joy in his soul that inspires a
riverman when he encounters a high-banker; a hunter when he takes
out a greenhorn, or a cowboy as he watches the tenderfoot about to
climb the bronco.
"Time!" said he.
The first round was sharp. When Gerald called the end, Orde grinned
at him cheerfully.
"Don't look like I was much at this game, does it?" said he. "I
wouldn't pull down many persimmons out of that tree. Your
confounded man's too lively; I couldn't hit him with a shotgun."
Orde had stood like a rock, his feet planted to the floor, while
Murphy had circled around him hitting at will. Orde hit back, but
without landing. Nevertheless Murphy, when questioned apart, did
not seem satisfied.
"The man's pig-iron," said he. "I punched him plenty hard enough,
and it didn't seem to jar him."
The gallery at one end the running track had by flow half filled
with interested spectators.
"Time!" called Gerald for round two.
This time Murphy went in more viciously, aiming and measuring his
blows accurately. Orde stood as before, a humourous smile of self-
depreciation on his face, hitting back at the elusive Murphy, but
without much effect, his feet never stirring in their tracks. The
handler used his best tactics and landed almost at will, but without
apparent damage. He grew ugly--finally lost his head.
"Well, if ye will have it!" he muttered, and aimed what was intended
as a knockout blow.
Gerald uttered a half cry of warning as his practised eye caught
Murphy's intention. The blow landed. Orde's head snapped back, but
to the surprise of every one the punch had no other effect, and a
quick exchange of infighting sent Murphy staggering back from the
encounter. The smile had disappeared from Orde's face, and his eye
"Look here," he called to Gerald, "I don't understand this game very
well. At school we used 'taps.' Is a man supposed to hit hard?"
Gerald hesitated, then looked beyond Orde to the gallery. To a man
it made frantic and silent demonstration.
"Of course you hit," he replied. "You can't hurt any one with those
Orde turned back to his antagonist. The latter advanced once more,
his bullet head sunk between his shoulders, his little eyes
twinkling. Evidently Mr. Bishop's friend would now take the
aggressive, and forward movement would deliver an extra force to the
Orde did not wait for Murphy, however. Like a tiger he sprang
forward, hitting out fiercely, first with one hand then with the
other. Murphy gave ground, blocked, ducked, exerted all a ring
general's skill either to stop or avoid the rush. Orde followed him
insistent. Several times he landed, but always when Murphy was on
the retreat, so the blows had not much weight. Several times Murphy
ducked in and planted a number of short-arm jabs at close range.
The round ended almost immediately to a storm of applause from the
"What do you think of his being muscle-bound?" Gerald asked Murphy,
as the latter flung himself panting on the wrestling mat for his
"He's quick as chained lightning," acknowledged the other
grudgingly. "But I'll get him. He can't keep that up; he'll be
winded in half a minute."
Orde sat down on a roll of mat. His smile had quite vanished, and
he seemed to be awaiting eagerly the beginning of the next round.
"Time!" called Gerald for the third.
Orde immediately sprang at his adversary, repeating the headlong
rush with which the previous round had ended. Murphy blocked,
ducked, and kept away, occasionally delivering a jolt as opportunity
offered, awaiting the time when Orde's weariness would leave him at
the other's mercy. That moment did not come. The young man
hammered away tirelessly, insistently, delivering a hurricane of his
two-handed blows, pressing relentlessly in as Murphy shifted and
gave ground, his head up, his eyes steady, oblivious to the return
hammering the now desperate handler opposed to him. Two minutes
passed without perceptible slackening in this terrific pace. The
gallery was in an uproar, and some of the members were piling down
the stairs to the floor. Perspiration stood out all over Murphy's
body. His blows failed of their effect, and some of Orde's were
landing. At length, bewildered more by the continuance than the
violence of the attack, he dropped his ring tactics and closed in to
straight slugging, blow against blow, stand up, give and take.
As he saw his opponent stand, Orde uttered a sound of satisfaction.
He dropped slightly his right shoulder behind his next blow. The
glove crashed straight as a pile-driver through Murphy's upraised
hands to his face, which it met with a smack. The trainer, lifted
bodily from the ground, was hurled through the air, to land doubled
up against the supports of a parallel bars. There he lay quite
still, his palms up, his head sunk forward.
Orde stared at him a moment in astonishment, as though expecting him
to arise. When, however, he perceived that Murphy was in reality
unconscious, he tore off the gloves and ran forward to kneel by the
"I didn't suppose one punch like that would hurt him," he muttered
to the men crowding around. "Especially with the gloves. Do you
suppose he's killed?"
But already Murphy's arms were making aimless motions, and a deep
breath raised his chest.
"He's just knocked out," reassured one of the men, examining the
prostrate handler with a professional attention. "He'll be as good
as ever in five minutes. Here," he commanded one of the gymnasium
rubbers who had appeared, "lend a hand here with some water."
The clubmen crowded about, all talking at once.
"You're a wonder, my friend," said one.
"By Jove, he's hardly breathing fast after all that rushing," said a
"So you didn't think one punch like that would hurt him," quoted
another with good-natured sarcasm.
"No," said Orde, simply. "I've hit men that hard before with my
"Did they survive?"
"What kind of armour-plates were they, in heaven's name?"
Orde had recovered his balance and humour.
"Just plain ordinary rivermen," said he with a laugh.
"Gentlemen," struck in Gerald, "I want to introduce you to my
friend." He performed the introductions. It was necessary for him
to explain apart that Orde was in reality his friend, an amateur, a
chance visitor in the city. All in all, the affair made quite a
little stir, and went far to give Orde a standing with these sport-
Finally Gerald and Orde were permitted to finish their gymnasium
practice. Murphy had recovered, and came forward.
"You have a strong punch, sir, and you're a born natural fighter,
sir," said he. "If you had a few lessons in boxing, sir, I'd put
you against the best."
But later, when the young men were resting, each under his sheet
after a rub-down, the true significance of the affair for Orde came
out. Since the fight, Gerald's customary lassitude of manner seemed
quite to have left him. His eye was bright, a colour mounted
beneath the pale olive of his skin, the almost effeminate beauty of
his countenance had animated. He looked across at Orde several
times, hesitated, and at last decided to speak.
"Look here, Orde," said he, "I want to confess something to you.
When you first came here three days ago, I had lots of fun with
myself about you. You know your clothes aren't quite the thing, and
I thought your manner was queer, and all that. I was a cad. I want
to apologise. You're a man, and I like you better than any fellow
I've met for a long time. And if there's any trouble--in the
future--that is--oh, hang it, I'm on your side--you know what I
Orde smiled slowly.
"Bishop," was his unexpected reply, "you're not near so much of a
dandy as you think you are."
Affairs went thus for a week. Orde was much at the Bishop
residence, where he was cordially received by the general, where he
gained an occasional half-hour with Carroll, and where he was almost
ignored by Mrs. Bishop in her complete self-absorption. Indeed, it
is to be doubted whether he attained any real individuality to that
lady, who looked on all the world outside her family as useful or
useless to the church.
In the course of the happy moments he had alone with Carroll, he
arrived at a more intimate plane of conversation with her. He came
to an understanding of her unquestioning acceptance of Mrs. Bishop's
attitude. Carroll truly believed that none but herself could
perform for her mother the various petty offices that lady demanded
from her next of kin, and that her practical slavery was due by
every consideration of filial affection. To Orde's occasional
tentative suggestion that the service was of a sort better suited to
a paid companion or even a housemaid, she answered quite seriously
that it made mother nervous to have others about her, and that it
was better to do these things than to throw her into a "spell."
Orde chafed at first over seeing his precious opportunities thus
filched from him; later he fretted because he perceived that Carroll
was forced, however willingly, to labours beyond her strength, to
irksome confinement, and to that intimate and wearing close
association with the abnormal which in the long run is bound to
deaden the spirit. He lost sight of his own grievance in the
matter. With perhaps somewhat of exaggeration he came mightily to
desire for her more of the open air, both of body and spirit. Often
when tramping back to his hotel he communed savagely with himself,
turning the problem over and over in his mind until, like a
snowball, it had gathered to itself colossal proportions.
And in his hotel room he brooded over the state of affairs until his
thoughts took a very gloomy tinge indeed. To begin with, in spite
of his mother's assurance, he had no faith in his own cause. His
acquaintance with Carroll was but an affair of months, and their
actual meetings comprised incredibly few days. Orde was naturally
humble-minded. It did not seem conceivable to him that he could win
her without a long courtship. And superadded was the almost
intolerable weight of Carroll's ideas as to her domestic duties.
Although Orde held Mrs. Bishop's exactions in very slight esteem,
and was most sceptical in regard to the disasters that would follow
their thwarting, nevertheless he had to confess to himself that all
Carroll's training, life, the very purity and sweetness of her
disposition lent the situation an iron reality for her. He became
Nevertheless, at the very moment when he had made up his mind that
it would be utterly useless even to indulge in hope for some years
to come, he spoke. It came about suddenly, and entirely without
The two had escaped for a breath of air late in the evening.
Following the conventions, they merely strolled to the end of the
block and back, always within sight of the house. Fifth Avenue was
gay with illumination and the prancing of horses returning uptown or
down to the Washington Square district. In contrast the side
street, with its austere rows of brownstone houses, each with its
area and flight of steps, its spaced gas lamps, its deserted
roadway, seemed very still and quiet. Carroll was in a tired and
pensive mood. She held her head back, breathing deeply.
"It's only a little strip, but it's the stars," said she, looking up
to the sky between the houses. "They're so quiet and calm and big."
She seemed to Orde for the first time like a little girl. The
maturer complexities which we put on with years, with experience,
and with the knowledge of life had for the moment fallen from her,
leaving merely the simple soul of childhood gazing in its eternal
wonder at the stars. A wave of tenderness lifted Orde from his
feet. He leaned over, his breath coming quickly.
"Carroll!" he said.
She looked up at him, and shrank back.
"No, no! You mustn't," she cried. She did not pretend to
misunderstand. The preliminaries seemed in some mysterious fashion
to have been said long ago.
"It's life or death with me," he said.
"I must not," she cried, fluttering like a bird. "I promised myself
long ago that I must always, ALWAYS take care of mother."
"Please, please, dear," pleaded Orde. He had nothing more to say
than this, just the simple incoherent symbols of pleading; but in
such crises it is rather the soul than the tongue that speaks. His
hand met hers and closed about it. It did not respond to his grasp,
nor did it draw away, but lay limp and warm and helpless in his own.
She shook her head slowly.
"Don't you care for me, dear?" asked Orde very gently.
"I have no right to tell you that," answered she. "I have tried,
oh, so hard, to keep you from saying this, for I knew I had no right
to hear you."
Orde's heart leaped with a wild exultation.
"You do care for me!" he cried.
They had mounted the steps and stood just within the vestibule.
Orde drew her toward him, but she repulsed him gently.
"No," she shook her head. "Please be very good to me. I'm very
"Carroll!" cried Orde. "Tell me that you love me! Tell me that
you'll marry me!"
"It would kill mother if I should leave her," she said sadly.
"But you must marry me," pleaded Orde. "We are made for each other.
God meant us for each other."
"It would have to be after a great many years," she said doubtfully.
She pulled the bell, which jangled faintly in the depths of the
"Good-night," she said. "Come to me to-morrow. No, you must not
come in." She cut short Orde's insistence and the eloquence that
had just found its life by slipping inside the half-open door and
closing it after her.
Orde stood for a moment uncertain; then turned away and walked up
the street, his eyes so blinded by the greater glory that he all but
ran down an inoffensive passer-by.
At the hotel he wrote a long letter to his mother. The first part
was full of the exultation of his discovery. He told of his good
fortune quite as something just born, utterly forgetting his
mother's predictions before he came East. Then as the first
effervescence died, a more gloomy view of the situation came
uppermost. To his heated imagination the deadlock seemed complete.
Carroll's devotion to what she considered her duty appeared
unbreakable. In the reaction Orde doubted whether he would have it
otherwise. And then his fighting blood surged back to his heart.
All the eloquence, the arguments, the pleadings he should have
commanded earlier in the evening hurried belated to their posts.
After the manner of the young and imaginative when in the white fire
of emotion, he began dramatising scenes between Carroll and himself.
He saw them plainly. He heard the sound of his own voice as he
rehearsed the arguments which should break her resolution. A
woman's duty to her own soul; her obligation toward the man she
could make or mar by her love; her self-respect; the necessity of a
break some time; the advantage of having the crisis over with now
rather than later; a belief in the ultimate good even to Mrs. Bishop
of throwing that lady more on her own resources; and so forth and so
on down a list of arguments obvious enough or trivial enough, but
all inspired by the soul of fervour, all ennobled by the spirit of
truth that lies back of the major premise that a woman should cleave
to a man, forsaking all others. Orde sat back in his chair, his
eyes vacant, his pen all but falling from his hand. He did not
finish the letter to his mother. After a while he went upstairs to
his own room.
The fever of the argument coursed through his veins all that long
night. Over and over again he rehearsed it in wearisome repetition
until it had assumed a certain and almost invariable form. And when
he had reached the end of his pleading he began it over again, until
the daylight found him weary and fevered. He arose and dressed
himself. He could eat no breakfast. By a tremendous effort of the
will he restrained himself from going over to Ninth Street until the
middle of the morning.
He entered the drawing-room to find her seated at the piano. His
heart bounded, and for an instant he stood still, summoning his
forces to the struggle for which he had so painfully gathered his
ammunition. She did not look up as he approached until he stood
almost at her shoulder. Then she turned to him and held out both
"It is no use, Jack," she said. "I care for you too much. I will
marry you whenever you say."
Orde left that evening early. This was at Carroll's request. She
preferred herself to inform her family of the news.
"I don't know yet how mother is going to get along," said she.
"Come back to-morrow afternoon and see them all."
The next morning Orde, having at last finished and despatched the
letter to his mother, drifted up the avenue and into the club. As
he passed the smoking room he caught sight of Gerald seated in an
armchair by the window. He entered the room and took a seat
opposite the young fellow.
Gerald held out his hand silently, which the other took.
"I'm glad to hear it," said Gerald at last. "Very glad. I told you
I was on your side." He hesitated, then went on gravely: "Poor
Carroll is having a hard time, though. I think it's worse than she
expected. It's no worse than I expected. You are to be one of the
family, so I am going to give you a piece of advice. It's
something, naturally, I wouldn't speak of otherwise. But Carroll is
my only sister, and I want her to be happy. I think you are the man
to make her so, but I want you to avoid one mistake. Fight it out
right now, and never give back the ground you win."
"I feel that," replied Orde quietly.
"Mother made father resign from the army; and while he's a dear old
boy, he's never done anything since. She holds me--although I see
through her--possibly because I'm weak or indifferent, possibly
because I have a silly idea I can make a bad situation better by
hanging around. She is rapidly turning Kendrick into a sullen
little prig, because he believes implicitly all the grievances
against the world and the individual she pours out to him. You see,
I have no illusions concerning my family. Only Carroll has held to
her freedom of soul, because that's the joyous, free, sweet nature
of her, bless her! For the first time she's pitted her will against
mother's, and it's a bad clash."
"Your mother objected?" asked Orde.
Gerald laughed a little bitterly. "It was very bad," said he.
"You've grown horns, hoofs, and a tail overnight. There's nothing
too criminal to have escaped your notice. I have been forbidden to
consort with you. So has the general. The battle of last night had
to do with your coming to the house at all. As it is not Carroll's
house, naturally she has no right to insist."
"I shall not be permitted to see her?" cried Orde.
"I did not say that. Carroll announced then quite openly that she
would see you outside. I fancy that was the crux of the matter.
Don't you see? The whole affair shifted ground. Carroll has
offered direct disobedience. Oh, she's a bully little fighter!" he
finished in admiring accents. "You can't quite realise what she's
doing for your sake; she's not only fighting mother, but her own
Orde found a note at the hotel, asking him to be in Washington
Square at half-past two.
Carroll met him with a bright smile.
"Things aren't quite right at home," she said. "It is a great shock
to poor mother at first, and she feels very strongly. Oh, it isn't
you, dear; it's the notion that I can care for anybody but her. You
see, she's been used to the other idea so long that I suppose it
seemed a part of the universe to her. She'll get used to it after a
little, but it takes time."
Orde examined her face anxiously. Two bright red spots burned on
her cheeks; her eyes flashed with a nervous animation, and a faint
shade had sketched itself beneath them.
"You had a hard time," he murmured, "you poor dear!"
She smiled up at him.
"We have to pay for the good things in life, don't we, dear? And
they are worth it. Things will come right after a little. We must
not be too impatient. Now, let's enjoy the day. The park isn't so
bad, is it?"
At five o'clock Orde took her back to her doorstep, where he left
This went on for several days.
At the end of that time Orde could not conceal from himself that the
strain was beginning to tell. Carroll's worried expression grew
from day to day, while the animation that characterised her manner
when freed from the restraint became more and more forced. She was
as though dominated by some inner tensity, which she dared not relax
even for a moment. To Orde's questionings she replied as evasively
as she could, assuring him always that matters were going as well as
she had expected; that mother was very difficult; that Orde must
have patience, for things would surely come all right. She begged
him to remain quiescent until she gave him the word; and she
implored it so earnestly that Orde, though he chafed, was forced to
await the turn of events. Every afternoon she met him, from two to
five. The situation gave little opportunity for lovers'
demonstrations. She seemed entirely absorbed by the inner stress of
the struggle she was going through, so that hardly did she seem able
to follow coherently even plans for the future. She appeared,
however, to gain a mysterious refreshment from Orde's mere
proximity; so gradually he, with that streak of almost feminine
intuition which is the especial gift to lovers, came to the point of
sitting quite silent with her, clasping her hand out of sight of the
chance passer-by. When the time came to return, they arose and
walked back to Ninth Street, still in silence. At the door they
said good-bye. He kissed her quite soberly.
"I wish I could help, sweetheart," said he.
She shook her head at him.
"You do help," she replied.
From Gerald at the club, Orde sought more intimate news of what was
going on. For several days, however, the young man absented himself
from his usual haunts. It was only at the end of the week that Orde
succeeded in finding him.
"No," Gerald answered his greeting, "I haven't been around much.
I've been sticking pretty close home."
Little by little, Orde's eager questions drew out the truth of the
situation. Mrs. Bishop had shut herself up in a blind and
incredible obstinacy, whence she sallied with floods of complaints,
tears, accusations, despairs, reproaches, vows, hysterics--all the
battery of the woman misunderstood, but in which she refused to
listen to a consecutive conversation. If Carroll undertook to say
anything, the third word would start her mother off into one of her
long and hysterical tirades. It was very wearing, and there seemed
to be nothing gained from day to day. Her child had disobeyed her.
And as a climax, she had assumed the impregnable position of a
complete prostration, wherein she demanded the minute care of an
invalid in the crisis of a disorder. She could bear no faintest ray
of illumination, no lightest footfall. In a hushed twilight she
lay, her eyes swathed, moaning feebly that her early dissolution at
the hands of ingratitude was imminent. Thus she established a
deadlock which was likely to continue indefinitely. The mere
mention of the subject nearest Carroll's heart brought the feeble
"Do you want to kill me?"
The only scrap of victory to be snatched from this stricken field
was the fact that Carroll insisted on going to meet her lover every
afternoon. The invalid demanded every moment of her time, either
for personal attendance or in fulfilment of numerous and exacting
church duties. An attempt, however, to encroach thus on the
afternoon hours met a stone wall of resolution on Carroll's part.
This was the situation Orde gathered from his talk with Gerald.
Though he fretted under the tyranny exacted, he could see nothing
which could relieve the situation save his own withdrawal. He had
already long over-stayed his visit; important affairs connected with
his work demanded his attention, he had the comfort of Carroll's
love assured; and the lapse of time alone could be depended on to
change Mrs. Bishop's attitude, a consummation on which Carroll
seemed set. Although Orde felt all the lively dissatisfaction
natural to a newly accepted lover who had gained slight opportunity
for favours, for confidences, even for the making of plans,
nevertheless he could see for the present nothing else to do.
The morning after he had reached this conclusion he again met Gerald
at the gymnasium. That young man, while as imperturbable and
languid in movement as ever, concealed an excitement. He explained
nothing until the two, after a shower and rub-down, were clothing
themselves leisurely in the empty couch-room.
"Orde," said Gerald suddenly, "I'm worried about Carroll."
Orde straightened his back and looked steadily at Gerald, but said
"Mother has commenced bothering her again. It wasn't so bad as long
as she stuck to daytime, but now she's taken to prowling in a dozen
times a night. I hear their voices for an hour or so at a time.
I'm afraid it's beginning to wear on Carroll more than you realise."
"Thank you," said Orde briefly.
That afternoon with Carroll he took the affair firmly in hand.
"This thing has come to the point where it must stop," said he, "and
I'm going to stop it. I have some rights in the matter of the
health and comfort of the girl I love."
"What do you intend to do?" asked Carroll, frightened.
"I shall have it out with your mother," replied Orde.
"You mustn't do that," implored Carroll. "It would do absolutely no
good, and would just result in a quarrel that could never be patched
"I don't know as I care particularly," said Orde.
"But I do. Think--she is my mother."
Orde stirred uneasily with a mental reservation as to selfishness,
but said nothing.
"And think what it means to a girl to be married and go away from
home finally without her parent's consent. It's the most beautiful
and sacred thing in her life, and she wants it to be perfect. It's
worth waiting and fighting a little for. After all, we are both
young, and we have known each other such a very short time."
So she pleaded with him, bringing forward all the unanswerable
arguments built by the long average experience of the world--
arguments which Orde could not refute, but whose falsity to the
situation he felt most keenly. He could not specify without
betraying Gerald's confidence. Raging inwardly, he consented to a
At his hotel he found a telegram. He did not open it until he had
reached his own room. It was from home, urging his immediate return
for the acceptance of some contracted work.
"To hell with the contracted work!" he muttered savagely, and
calling a bell-boy, sent an answer very much to that effect. Then
he plunged his hands into his pockets, stretched out his legs, and
fell into a deep and gloomy meditation.
He was interrupted by a knock on the door.
"Come in!" he called, without turning his head.
He heard the door open and shut. After a moment he looked around.
Kendrick Bishop stood watching him.
Orde lit the gas.
"Hello, Kendrick!" said he. "Sit down." The boy made no reply.
Orde looked at him curiously, and saw that he was suffering from an
intense excitement. His frame trembled convulsively, his lips were
white, his face went red and pale by turns. Evidently he had
something to say, but could not yet trust his voice. Orde sat down
"You've got to let my mother alone," he managed to say finally.
"I have done nothing to your mother, Kendrick," said Orde kindly.
"You've brought her to the point of death," asserted Keudrick
violently. "You're hounding her to her grave. You're turning those
she loves best against her."
Orde thought to catch the echo of quotation in these words.
"Did your mother send you to me?" he asked.
"If we had any one else worth the name of man in the family, I
wouldn't have to come," said Kendrick, almost in the manner of one
repeating a lesson.
"What do you want me to do?" asked Orde after a moment of thought.
"Go away," cried Kendrick. "Stop this unmanly contest against a
"I cannot do that," replied Orde quietly.
Kendrick's face assumed a livid pallor, and his eyes seemed to turn
black with excitement. Trembling in every limb, but without
hesitation, he advanced on Orde, drew a short riding-whip from
beneath his coat, and slashed the young man across the face. Orde
made an involuntary movement to arise, but sank back, and looked
steadily at the boy. Once again Kendrick hit; raised his arm for
the third time; hesitated. His lips writhed, and then, with a sob,
he cast the little whip from him and burst from the room.
Orde sat without moving, while two red lines slowly defined
themselves across his face. The theatrical quality of the scene and
the turgid rhetorical bathos of the boy's speeches attested his
youth and the unformed violence of his emotions. Did they also
indicate a rehearsal, or had the boy merely been goaded to vague
action by implicit belief in a woman's vagaries? Orde did not know,
but the incident brought home to him, as nothing else could, the
turmoil of that household.
"Poor youngster!" he concluded his reverie, and went to wash his
face in hot water.
He had left Carroll that afternoon in a comparatively philosophical
and hopeful frame of mind. The next day she came to him with
hurried, nervous steps, her usually pale cheeks mounting danger
signals of flaming red, her eyes swimming. When she greeted him she
choked, and two of the tears overflowed. Quite unmindful of the
nursemaids across the square, Orde put his arm comfortingly about
her shoulder. She hid her face against his sleeve and began softly
Orde did not attempt as yet to draw from her the cause of this
unusual agitation. A park bench stood between two dense bushes,
screened from all directions save one. To this he led her. He
comforted her as one comforts a child, stroking clumsily her hair,
murmuring trivialities without meaning, letting her emotion relieve
itself. After awhile she recovered somewhat her control of herself
and sat up away from him, dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief
dampened into a tiny wad. But even after she had shaken her head
vigorously at last, and smiled up at him rather tremulously in token
that the storm was over, she would not tell him that anything
definite had happened to bring on the outburst.
"I just needed you," she said, "that's all. It's just nothing but
being a woman, I think. You'll get used to little things like
"This thing has got to quit!" said he grimly.
She said nothing, but reached up shyly and touched his face where
Kendrick's whip had stung, and her eyes became very tender. A
carriage rolled around Washington Arch, and, coming to a stand,
discharged its single passenger on the pavement.
"Why, it's Gerald!" cried Carroll, surprised.
The young man, catching sight of them, picked his way daintily and
leisurely toward them. He was, as usual, dressed with meticulous
nicety, the carnation in his button-hole, the gloss on his hat and
shoes, the freshness on his gloves, the correct angle on his stick.
His dark, long face with its romantic moustache, and its almost
effeminate soft eyes, was as unemotional and wearied as ever. As he
approached, he raised his stick slightly by way of salutation.
"I have brought," said he, "a carriage, and I wish you would both do
me the favour to accompany me on a short excursion."
Taking their consent for granted, he signalled the vehicle, which
The three--Carroll and Orde somewhat bewildered--took their seats.
During a brief drive, Gerald made conversation on different topics,
apparently quite indifferent as to whether or not his companions
replied. After an interval the carriage drew up opposite a brown-
stone dwelling on a side street. Gerald rang the bell, and a moment
later the three were ushered by a discreet and elderly maid into a
little square reception-room immediately off the hall. The maid
Gerald carefully deposited his top hat on the floor, placed in it
his gloves, and leaned his stick against its brim.
"I have brought you here, among other purposes, to hear from me a
little brief wisdom drawn from experience and the observation of
life," he began, addressing his expectant and curious guests. "That
wisdom is briefly this: there comes a time in the affairs of every
household when a man must assert himself as the ruler. In all the
details he may depend on the woman's judgment, experience, and
knowledge, but when it comes to the big crises, where life is
deflected into one channel or the other, then, unless the man does
the deciding, he is lost for ever, and his happiness, and the
happiness of those who depend on him. This is abstruse, but I come
to the particular application shortly.
"But moments of decision are always clouded by many considerations.
The decision is sure to cut across much that is expedient, much that
seems to be necessary, much that is dear. Carroll remembers the
case of our own father. The general would have made a name for
himself in the army; his wife demanded his retirement; he retired,
and his career ended. That was the moment of his decision. It is
very easy to say, in view of that simple statement, that the general
was weak in yielding to his wife, but a consideration of the
"Why do you say all this?" interrupted Orde.
Gerald raised his hand.
"Believe me, it is necessary, as you will agree when you have heard
me through. Mrs. Bishop was in poor health; the general in poor
financial circumstances. The doctors said the Riviera. Mrs.
Bishop's parents, who were wealthy, furnished the money for her
sojourn in that climate. She could not bear to be separated from
her husband. A refusal to resign then, a refusal to accept the
financial aid offered, would have been cast against him as a
reproach--he did not love his wife enough to sacrifice his pride,
his ambition, his what-you-will. Nevertheless, that was his moment
"I could multiply instances, yet it would only accumulate needless
proof. My point is that in these great moments a man can afford to
take into consideration only the affair itself. Never must he think
of anything but the simple elements of the problem--he must ignore
whose toes are trodden upon, whose feelings are hurt, whose
happiness is apparently marred. For note this: if a man does
fearlessly the right thing, I am convinced that in the readjustment
all these conflicting interests find themselves bettered instead of
injured. You want a concrete instance? I believe firmly that if
the general had kept to his army life, and made his wife conform to
it, after the storm had passed she would have settled down to a
happy existence. I cannot prove it--I believe it."
"This may be all very true, Gerald," said Orde, "but I fail to see
why you have brought us to this strange house to tell it."
"In a moment," replied Gerald. "Have patience. Believing that
thoroughly, I have come in the last twenty-four hours to a decision.
That this happens not to affect my own immediate fortunes does not
seem to me to invalidate my philosophy."
He carefully unbuttoned his frock coat, crossed his legs, produced a
paper and a package from his inside pocket, and eyed the two before
"I have here," he went on suddenly, "marriage papers duly made out;
in this package is a plain gold ring; in the next room is waiting,
by prearrangement, a very good friend of mine in the clergy.
Personally I am at your disposal."
He looked at them expectantly.
"The very thing!" "Oh, no!" cried Orde and Carroll in unison.
Nevertheless, in spite of this divergence of opinion, ten minutes
later the three passed through the door into the back apartment--
Carroll still hesitant, Orde in triumph, Gerald as correct and
unemotional as ever.
In this back room they found waiting a young clergyman conversing
easily with two young girls. At the sight of Carroll, these latter
rushed forward and overwhelmed her with endearments. Carroll broke
into a quickly suppressed sob and clasped them close to her.
"Oh, you dears!" she cried, "I'm so glad you're here!" She flashed
a grateful look in Gerald's direction, and a moment later took
occasion to press his arm and whisper:
"You've thought of everything! You're the dearest brother in the
Gerald received this calmly, and set about organising the ceremony.
In fifteen minutes the little party separated at the front door,
amid a chatter of congratulations and good wishes. Mr. and Mrs.
Orde entered the cab and drove away.
"Oh, it IS the best way, dear, after all!" cried Carroll, pressing
close to her husband. "A few minutes ago I was all doubts and
fears, but now I feel so safe and settled," she laughed happily.
"It is as though I had belonged to you always, you old Rock of
Gibraltar! and anything that happens now will come from the outside,
and not from the inside, won't it, dear?"
"Yes, sweetheart," said Orde.
"Poor mother! I wonder how she'll take it."
"We'll soon know, anyway," replied Orde, a little grimly.
In the hallway of the Bishop house Orde kissed her.
"Be brave, sweetheart," said he, "but remember that now you're my
She nodded at him gravely and disappeared.
Orde sat in the dim parlour for what seemed to be an interminable
period. Occasionally the sounds of distant voices rose to his ear
and died away again. The front door opened to admit some one, but
Orde could not see who it was. Twice a scurrying of feet overhead
seemed to indicate the bustle of excitement. The afternoon waned.
A faint whiff of cooking, escaping through some carelessly open
door, was borne to his nostrils. It grew dark, but the lamps
remained unlighted. Finally he heard the rustle of the portieres,
and turned to see the dim form of the general standing there.
"Bad business! bad business!" muttered the old man. "It's very hard
on me. Perhaps you did the right thing--you must be good to her--
but I cannot countenance this affair. It was most high-handed,
The portieres fell again, and he disappeared.
Finally, after another interval, Carroll returned. She went
immediately to the gas-fixture, which she lit. Orde then saw that
she was sobbing violently. She came to him, and for a moment hid
her face against his breast. He patted her hair, waiting for her to
speak. After a little she controlled herself.
"How was it?" asked Orde, then.
"I never knew people could be so cruel," she complained in almost a
bewildered manner. "Jack, we must go to-night. She--she has
ordered me out of the house, and says she never wants to see my face
again." She broke down for a second. "Oh, Jack! she can't mean
that. I've always been a good daughter to her. And she's very
bitter against Gerald. Oh! I told her it wasn't his fault, but she
won't listen. She sent for that odious Mr. Merritt--her rector, you
know--and he supported her. I believe he's angry because we did not
go to him. Could you believe such a thing! And she's shut herself
up in her air of high virtue, and underneath it she's, oh, so
"Well, it's natural she should be upset," comforted Orde. "Don't
think too much of what she does now. Later she'll get over it."
Carroll shivered again.
"You don't know, dear, and I'm not going to tell you. Why," she
cried, "she told me that you and I were in a conspiracy to drive her
to her grave so we could get her money!"
"She must be a little crazy," said Orde, still pacifically.
"Come, help me," said Carroll. "I must get my things."
"Can't you just pack a bag and leave the rest until tomorrow? It's
about hungry time"
"She says I must take every stitch belonging to me tonight."
They packed trunks until late that night, quite alone. Gerald had
departed promptly after breaking the news, probably without
realising to what a pass affairs would come. A frightened servant,
evidently in disobedience of orders and in fear of destruction,
brought them a tray of food, which she put down on a small table and
hastily fled. In a room down the hall they could hear the murmur of
voices where Mrs. Bishop received spiritual consolation from her
adviser. When the trunks were packed, Orde sent for a baggage
waggon. Carroll went silently from place to place, saying farewell
to such of her treasures as she had made up her mind to leave. Orde
scribbled a note to Gerald, requesting him to pack up the
miscellanies and send them to Michigan by freight. The baggage man
and Orde carried the trunks downstairs. No one appeared. Carroll
and Orde walked together to the hotel. Next morning an interview
with Gerald confirmed them in their resolution of immediate
"She is set in her opposition now, and at present she believes
firmly that her influence will separate you. Such a state of mind
cannot be changed in an hour."
"And you?" asked Carroll.
"Oh, I," he shrugged, "will go on as usual. I have my interests."
"I wish you would come out in our part of the country," ventured
Gerald smiled his fine smile.
"Good-bye," said he. "Going to a train is useless, and a bore to
Carroll threw herself on his neck in an access of passionate
"You WILL write and tell me of everything, won't you?" she begged.
"Of course. There now, good-bye."
Orde followed him into the hall.
"It would be quite useless to attempt another interview?" he
Gerald made a little mouth.
"I am in the same predicament as yourselves," said he, "and have
since nine this morning taken up my quarters at the club. Please do
not tell Carroll; it would only pain her."
At the station, just before they passed in to the train, the general
"There, there!" he fussed. "If your mother should hear of my being
here, it would be a very bad business, very bad. This is very sad;
but--well, good-bye, dear; and you, sir, be good to her. And write
your daddy, Carroll. He'll be lonesome for you." He blew his nose
very loudly and wiped his glasses. "Now, run along, run along," he
hurried them. "Let us not have any scenes. Here, my dear, open
this envelope when you are well started. It may help cheer the
journey. Not a word!"
He hurried them through the gate, paying no heed to what they were
trying to say. Then he steamed away and bustled into a cab without
once looking back.
When the train had passed the Harlem River and was swaying its
uneven way across the open country, Carroll opened the envelope. It
contained a check for a thousand dollars.
"Dear old daddy!" she murmured. "Our only wedding present!"
"You are the capitalist of the family," said Orde. "You don't know
how poor a man you've married. I haven't much more than the
proverbial silver watch and bad nickel."
She reached out to press his hand in reassurance. He compared it
humorously with his own.
"What a homely, knotted, tanned old thing it is by yours," said he.
"It's a strong hand," she replied soberly, "it's a dear hand."
Suddenly she snatched it up and pressed it for a fleeting instant
against her cheek, looking at him half ashamed.
The winter months were spent at Monrovia, where Orde and his wife
lived for a time at the hotel. This was somewhat expensive, but
Orde was not quite ready to decide on a home, and he developed
unexpected opposition to living at Redding in the Orde homestead.
"No, I've been thinking about it," he told Grandma Orde. "A young
couple should start out on their own responsibility. I know you'd
be glad to have us, but I think it's better the other way. Besides,
I must be at Monrovia a good deal of the time, and I want Carroll
with me. She can make you a good long visit in the spring, when I
have to go up river."
To this Grandma Orde, being a wise old lady, had to nod her assent,
although she would much have liked her son near her.
At Monrovia, then, they took up their quarters. Carroll soon became
acquainted with the life of the place. Monrovia, like most towns of
its sort and size, consisted of an upper stratum of mill owners and
lumber operators, possessed of considerable wealth, some
cultivation, and definite social ideas; a gawky, countrified, middle
estate of storekeepers, catering both to the farm and local trade
and the lumber mill operatives, generally of Holland extraction, who
dwelt in simple unpainted board shanties. The class first mentioned
comprised a small coterie, among whom Carroll soon found two or
three congenials--Edith Fuller, wife of the young cashier in the
bank; Valerie Cathcart, whose husband had been killed in the Civil
War; Clara Taylor, wife of the leading young lawyer of the village;
and, strangely enough, Mina Heinzman, the sixteen-year-old daughter
of old Heinzman, the lumberman. Nothing was more indicative of the
absolute divorce of business and social life than the unbroken
evenness of Carroll's friendship for the younger girl. Though later
the old German and Orde locked in serious struggle on the river,
they continued to meet socially quite as usual; and the daughter of
one and the wife of the other never suspected anything out of the
ordinary. This impersonality of struggle has always been
characteristic of the pioneer business man's good-nature.
Newmark received the news of his partner's sudden marriage without
evincing any surprise, but with a sardonic gleam in one corner of
his eye. He called promptly, conversed politely for a half hour,
and then took his leave.
"How do you like him?" asked Orde, when he had gone.
"He looks like a very shrewd man," replied Carroll, picking her
words for fear of saying the wrong thing.
"You don't like him," he stated.
"I don't dislike him," said Carroll. "I've not a thing against him.
But we could never be in the slightest degree sympathetic. He and I
"Don't jibe," Orde finished for her. "I didn't much think you
would. Joe never was much of a society bug." It was on the tip of
Carroll's tongue to reply that "society bugs" were not the only sort
she could appreciate, but she refrained. She had begun to realise
the extent of her influence over her husband's opinion.
Newmark did not live at the hotel. Early in the fall he had rented
a small one-story house situated just off Main Street, set well back
from the sidewalk among clumps of oleanders. Into this he retired
as a snail into its shell. At first he took his meals at the hotel,
but later he imported an impassive, secretive man-servant, who took
charge of him completely. Neither master nor man made any friends,
and in fact rebuffed all advances. One Sunday, Carroll and Orde,
out for a walk, passed this quaint little place, with its picket
"Let's go in and return Joe's call," suggested Orde.
Their knock at the door brought the calm valet.
"Mr. Newmark is h'out, sir," said he. "Yes, sir, I'll tell him that
They turned away. As they sauntered down the little brick-laid
walk, Carroll suddenly pressed close to her husband's arm.
"Jack," she begged, "I want a little house like that, for our very
"We can't afford it, sweetheart."
"Not to own," she explained, "just to rent. It will be next best to
having a home of our own."
"We'd have to have a girl, dear," said Orde, "and we can't even
afford that, yet."
"A girl!" cried Carroll indignantly. "For us two!"
"You couldn't do the housework and the cooking," said Orde. "You've
never done such a thing in your life, and I won't have my little
"It won't be slaving, it will be fun--just like play-housekeeping,"
protested Carroll. "And I've got to learn some time. I was brought
up most absurdly, and I realise it now."
"We'll see," said Orde vaguely.
The subject was dropped for the time being. Later Carroll brought
it up again. She was armed with several sheets of hotel stationery,
covered with figures showing how much cheaper it would be to keep
house than to board.
"You certainly make out a strong case--on paper," laughed Orde. "If
you buy a rooster and a hen, and she raises two broods, at the end
of a year you'll have twenty-six; and if they all breed--even
allowing half roosters--you'll have over three hundred; and if they
all breed, you'll have about thirty-five hundred; and if--"
"Stop! stop!" cried Carroll, covering her ears.
"All right," agreed Orde equably, "but that's the way it figures.
Funny the earth isn't overrun with chickens, isn't it?"
She thrust her tables of figures into her desk drawer. "You're just
making fun of me always," she said reproachfully.
Two days later Orde took her one block up the street to look at a
tiny little house tucked on a fifty-foot lot beneath the shadow of
"It's mighty little," said he. "I'll have to go out in the hall to
change my collar, and we couldn't have more than two people at a
time to call on us."
"It's a dear!" said she, "and I'm not so e-nor-mous myself, whatever
YOU may be."
They ended by renting the little house, and Carroll took charge of
it delightedly. What difficulties she overcame, and what laughable
and cryable mistakes she made only those who have encountered a like
situation could realise. She learned fast, however, and took a real
pride in her tiny box of a home. A piano was, of course, out of the
question, but the great golden harp occupied one corner, or rather
one side, of the parlour. Standing thus enshrouded in its covering,
it rather resembled an august and tremendous veiled deity. To
Carroll's great delight, Orde used solemnly to go down on all fours
and knock his forehead thrice on the floor before it when he entered
the house at evening. When the very cold weather came and they had
to light the base-burner stove, which Orde stoutly maintained
occupied all the other half of the parlour, the harp's delicate
constitution necessitated its standing in the hall. Nevertheless,
Carroll had great comfort from it. While Orde was away at the
office, she whispered through its mellow strings her great
happiness, the dreams for her young motherhood which would come in
the summer, the vague and lingering pain over the hapless but
beloved ones she had left behind her in her other life. Then she
arose refreshed, and went about the simple duties of her tiny
The winter was severe. All the world was white. The piles of snow
along the sidewalks grew until Carroll could hardly look over them.
Great fierce winds swept in from the lake. Sometimes Orde and his
wife drove two miles to the top of the sand hills, where first they
had met in this their present home, and looked out beyond the
tumbled shore ice to the steel-gray, angry waters. The wind pricked
their faces, and, going home, the sleigh-bells jingled, the
snowballs from the horses' hoofs hit against the dash, the cold air
seared the inside of their nostrils. When Orde helped Carroll from
beneath the warm buffalo robes, she held up to him a face glowing
with colour, framed in the soft fluffy fur of a hood.
"You darling!" he cried, and stooped to kiss her smooth, cold cheek.
When he had returned from the stable around the corner, he found the
lit lamp throwing its modified light and shade over the little round
table. He shook down the base-burner vigorously, thrust several
billets of wood in its door, and turned to meet her eyes across the
"Kind of fun being married, isn't it?" said he.
"Kind of," she admitted, nodding gravely.
The business of the firm was by now about in shape. All the boom
arrangements had been made; the two tugs were in the water and their
machinery installed; supplies and equipments were stored away; the
foremen of the crews engaged, and the crews themselves pretty well
picked out. Only there needed to build the wanigan, and to cart in
the supplies for the upper river works before the spring break-up
and the almost complete disappearance of the roads. Therefore, Orde
had the good fortune of unusual leisure to enjoy these first months
with his bride. They entered together the Unexplored Country, and
found it more wonderful than they had dreamed. Almost before they
knew it, January and February had flown.
"We must pack up, sweetheart," said Orde.
"It's only yesterday that we came," she cried regretfully.
They took the train for Redding, were installed in the gable room,
explored together for three days the delights of the old-fashioned
house, the spicy joys of Grandma Orde's and Amanda's cookery, the
almost adoring adulation of the old folks. Then Orde packed his
"turkey," assumed his woods clothes, and marched off down the street
carrying his bag on his back.
"He looks like an old tramp in that rig," said Grandma Orde, closing
the storm door.
"He looks like a conqueror of wildernesses!" cried Carroll,
straining her eyes after his vanishing figure. Suddenly she darted
after him, calling in her high, bird-like tones. He turned and came
back to her. She clasped him by the shoulders, reluctant to let him
"Good-bye," she said at last. "You'll take better care of my
sweetheart than you ever did of Jack Orde, won't you, dear?"
Orde had reconnoitred the river as a general reconnoitres his
antagonist, and had made his dispositions as the general disposes of
his army, his commissary, his reserves. At this point five men
could keep the river clear; at that rapid it would require twenty;
there a dozen would suffice for ordinary contingencies, and yet an
emergency might call for thirty--those thirty must not be beyond
reach. In his mind's eye he apportioned the sections of the upper
river. Among the remoter wildernesses every section must have its
driving camp. The crews of each, whether few or many, would be
expected to keep clear and running their own "beats" on the river.
As far as the rear crew should overtake these divisions, either it
would absorb them or the members of them would be thrown forward
beyond the lowermost beat, to take charge of a new division down
stream. When the settled farm country or the little towns were
reached, many of the driving camps would become unnecessary; the men
could be boarded out at farms lying in their beats. A continual
advance would progress toward the Lake, the drive crews passing and
repassing each other like pigeons in the sown fields. Each of these
sections would be in charge of a foreman, whose responsibility
ceased with the delivery of the logs to the men next below. A
walking boss would trudge continually the river trail, or ride the
logs down stream, holding the correlation of these many units. Orde
himself would drive up and down the river, overseeing the whole plan
of campaign, throwing the camps forward, concentrating his forces
here, spreading them elsewhere, keeping accurately in mind the
entire situation so that he could say with full confidence: "Open
Dam Number One for three hours at nine o'clock; Dam Number Two for
two hours and a half at ten thirty," and so on down the line; sure
that the flood waters thus released would arrive at the right
moment, would supplement each other, and would so space themselves
as to accomplish the most work with the least waste. In that one
point more than in any other showed the expert. The water was his
ammunition, a definite and limited quantity of it. To "get the logs
out with the water" was the last word of praise to be said for the
river driver. The more logs, the greater the glory.
Thus it can readily be seen, this matter was rather a campaign than
a mere labour, requiring the men, the munitions, the organisation,
the tactical ability, the strategy, the resourcefulness, the
boldness, and the executive genius of a military commander.
To all these things, and to the distribution of supplies and
implements among the various camps, Orde had attended. The wanigan
for the rear crew was built. The foremen and walking boss had been
picked out. Everything was in readiness. Orde was satisfied with
the situation except that he found himself rather short-handed. He
had counted on three hundred men for his crews, but scrape and
scratch as he would, he was unable to gather over two hundred and
fifty. This matter was not so serious, however, as later, when the
woods camps should break up, he would be able to pick up more
"They won't be rivermen like my old crew, though," said Orde
regretfully to Tom North, the walking boss. "I'd like to steal a
few from some of those Muskegon outfits."
Until the logs should be well adrift, Orde had resolved to boss the
rear crew himself.
As the rear was naturally the farthest up stream, Orde had taken
also the contract to break the rollways belonging to Carlin, which
in the season's work would be piled up on the bank. Thus he could
get to work immediately at the break-up, and without waiting for
some one else. The seven or eight million feet of lumber comprised
in Carlin's drive would keep the men below busy until the other
owners, farther down and up the tributaries, should also have put
their season's cut afloat.
The ice went out early, to Orde's satisfaction. As soon as the
river ran clear in its lower reaches he took his rear crew in to
This crew was forty in number, and had been picked from the best--a
hard-bitten, tough band of veterans, weather beaten, scarred in
numerous fights or by the backwoods scourge of small-pox, compact,
muscular, fearless, loyal, cynically aloof from those not of their
cult, out-spoken and free to criticise--in short, men to do great
things under the strong leader, and to mutiny at the end of three
days under the weak. They piled off the train at Sawyer's, stamped
their feet on the board platform of the station, shouldered their
"turkeys," and straggled off down the tote-road. It was an
eighteen-mile walk in. The ground had loosened its frost. The
footing was ankle-deep in mud and snow-water.
Next morning, bright and early, the breaking of the rollways began.
During the winter the logs had been hauled down ice roads to the
river, where they were "banked" in piles twenty, and even thirty,
feet in height. The bed of the stream itself was filled with them
for a mile, save in a narrow channel left down through the middle to
allow for some flow of water; the banks were piled with them, side
on, ready to roll down at the urging of the men.
First of all, the entire crew set itself, by means of its peavies,
to rolling the lower logs into the current, where they were rapidly
borne away. As the waters were now at flood, this was a quick and
easy labour. Occasionally some tiers would be stuck together by
ice, in which case considerable prying and heaving was necessary in
order to crack them apart. But forty men, all busily at work, soon
had the river full. Orde detailed some six or eight to drop below
in order that the river might run clear to the next section, where
the next crew would take up the task. These men, quite simply,
walked to the edges of the rollway, rolled a log apiece into the
water, stepped aboard, leaned against their peavies, and were swept
away by the swift current. The logs on which they stood whirled in
the eddies, caromed against other timbers, slackened speed, shot
away; never did the riders alter their poses of easy equilibrium.
From time to time one propelled his craft ashore by hooking to and
pushing against other logs. There he stood on some prominent point,
leaning his chin contemplatively against the thick shaft of his
peavy, watching the endless procession of the logs drifting by.
Apparently he was idle, but in reality his eyes missed no shift of
the ordered ranks. When a slight hitch or pause, a subtle change in
the pattern of the brown carpet caught his attention, he sprang into
life. Balancing his peavy across his body, he made his way by short
dashes to the point of threatened congestion. There, working
vigorously, swept down stream with the mass, he pulled, hauled, and
heaved, forcing the heavy, reluctant timbers from the cohesion that
threatened trouble later. Oblivious to his surroundings, he
wrenched and pried desperately. The banks of the river drifted by.
Point succeeded point, as though withdrawn up stream by some
invisible manipulator. The river appeared stationary, the banks in
motion. Finally he heard at his elbow the voice of the man
stationed below him, who had run out from his own point.
"Hullo, Bill," he replied to this man, "you old slough hog! Tie
into this this!"
"All the time!" agreed Bill cheerfully.
In a few moments the danger was averted, the logs ran free. The
rivermen thereupon made their uncertain way back to shore, where
they took the river trail up stream again to their respective posts.
At noon they ate lunches they had brought with them in little canvas
bags, snatched before they left the rollways from a supply handy by
the cook. In the meantime the main crew were squatting in the lea
of the brush, devouring a hot meal which had been carried to them in
wooden boxes strapped to the backs of the chore boys. Down the
river and up its tributaries other crews, both in the employ of
Newmark and Orde and of others, were also pausing from their cold
and dangerous toil. The river, refreshed after its long winter,
bent its mighty back to the great annual burden laid upon it.
By the end of the second day the logs actually in the bed of the
stream had been shaken loose, and a large proportion of them had
floated entirely from sight. It now became necessary to break down
the rollways piled along the tops of the banks.
The evening of this day, however, Orde received a visit from Jim
Denning, the foreman of the next section below, bringing with him
Charlie, the cook of Daly's last year's drive. Leaving him by the
larger fire, Jim Denning drew his principal one side.
"This fellow drifted in to-night two days late after a drunk, and he
tells an almighty queer story," said he. "He says a crew of bad men
from the Saginaw, sixty strong, have been sent in by Heinzman. He
says Heinzman hired them to come over not to work, but just to fight
and annoy us."
"That so?" said Orde. "Well, where are they?"
"Don't know. But he sticks by his story, and tells it pretty
"Bring him over, and let's hear it," said Orde.
"Hullo, Charlie!" he greeted the cook when the latter stood before
him. "What's this yarn Jim's telling me?"
"It's straight, Mr. Orde," said the cook. "There's a big crew
brought in from the Saginaw Waters to do you up. They're supposed
to be over here to run his drive, but really they're goin' to fight
and raise hell. For why would he want sixty men to break out them
little rollways of his'n up at the headwaters?"
"Is that where they've gone?" asked Orde like a flash.
"Yes, sir. And he only owns a 'forty' up there, and it ain't more'n
half cut, anyway."
"I didn't know he owned any."
"Yes, sir. He bought that little Johnson piece last winter. I been
workin' up there with a little two-horse crew since January. We
didn't put up more'n a couple hundred thousand."
"Is he breaking out his rollways below?" Orde asked Denning.
"No, sir," struck in Charlie, "he ain't."
"How do you happen to be so wise?" inquired Orde, "Seems to me you
know about as much as old man Solomon."
"Well," explained Charlie, "you see it's like this. When I got back
from the woods last week, I just sort of happened into McNeill's
place. I wasn't drinkin' a drop!" he cried virtuously, in answer to
"Of course not," said Orde. "I was just thinking of the last time
we were in there together."
"That's just it!" cried Charlie. "They was always sore at you about
that. Well, I was lyin' on one of those there benches back of the
'Merican flags in the dance hall 'cause I was very sleepy, when in
blew old man Heinzman and McNeill himself. I just lay low for black
ducks and heard their talk. They took a look around, but didn't see
no one, so they opened her up wide."
"What did you hear?" asked Orde.
"Well, McNeill he agreed to get a gang of bad ones from the Saginaw
to run in on the river, and I heard Heinzman tell him to send 'em in
to headwaters. And McNeill said, 'That's all right about the cash,
Mr. Heinzman, but I been figgerin' on gettin' even with Orde for
"Is that all?" inquired Orde.
"That's about all," confessed Charlie.
"How do you know he didn't hire them to carry down his drive for
him? He'd need sixty men for his lower rollways, and maybe they
weren't all to go to headwaters?" asked Orde by way of testing
"He's payin' them four dollars a day," replied Charlie simply.
"Now, who'd pay that fer just river work?"
Orde nodded at Jim Denning.
"Hold on, Charlie," said he. "Why are you giving all this away if
you were working for Heinzman?"
"I'm working for you now," replied Charlie with dignity. "And,
besides, you helped me out once yourself."
"I guess it's a straight tip all right," said Orde to Denning, when
the cook had resumed his place by the fire.
"That's what I thought. That's why I brought him up."
"If that crew's been sent in there, it means only one thing at that
end of the line," said Orde.
"Sure. They're sent up to waste out the water in the reservoir and
hang this end of the drive," replied Denning.
"Correct," said Orde. "The old skunk knows his own rollways are so
far down stream that he's safe, flood water or no flood water."
A pause ensued, during which the two smoked vigorously.
"What are you going to do about it?" asked Denning at last.
"What would you do?" countered Orde.
"Well," said Denning slowly, and with a certain grim joy, "I don't
bet those Saginaw river-pigs are any more two-fisted than the boys
on this river. I'd go up and clean 'em out."
"Won't do," negatived Orde briefly. "In the first place, as you
know very well, we're short-handed now, and we can't spare the men
from the work. In the second place, we'd hang up sure, then; to go
up in that wilderness, fifty miles from civilisation, would mean a
first-class row of too big a size to handle. Won't do!"
"Suppose you get a lawyer," suggested Denning sarcastically.
Orde laughed with great good-humour
"Where'd our water be by the time he got an injunction for us?"
He fell into a brown study, during which his pipe went out.
"Jim," he said finally, "it isn't a fair game. I don't know what to
do. Delay will hang us; taking men off the work will hang us. I've
just got to go tip there myself and see what can be done by talking
"Talking to them!" Denning snorted. "You might as well whistle down
the draught-pipe of hell! If they're just up there for a row,
there'll be whisky in camp; and you can bet McNeill's got some of
'em instructed on YOUR account. They'll kill you, sure!"
"I agree with you it's risky," replied Orde. "I'm scared; I'm
willing to admit it. But I don't see what else to do. Of course
he's got no rights, but what the hell good does that do us after our
water is gone? And Jim, my son, if we hang this drive, I'll be
buried so deep I never will dig out. No; I've got to go. You can
stay up here in charge of the rear until I get back. Send word by
Charlie who's to boss your division while you're gone."
Orde tramped back to Sawyer's early next morning, hitched into the
light buckboard the excellent team with which later, when the drive
should spread out, he would make his longest jumps, and drove to
head-waters. He arrived in sight of the dam about three o'clock.
At the edge of the clearing he pulled up to survey the scene.
A group of three small log-cabins marked the Johnson, and later the
Heinzman, camp. From the chimneys a smoke arose. Twenty or thirty
rivermen lounged about the sunny side of the largest structure.
They had evidently just arrived, for some of their "turkeys" were
still piled outside the door. Orde clucked to his horses, and the
spidery wheels of the buckboard swung lightly over the wet hummocks
of the clearing, to come to a stop opposite the men. Orde leaned
forward against his knees.
"Hullo, boys!" said he cheerfully.
No one replied, though two or three nodded surlily. Orde looked
them over with some interest.
They were a dirty, unkempt, unshaven, hard-looking lot, with
bloodshot eyes, a flicker of the dare-devil in expression, beyond
the first youth, hardened into an enduring toughness of fibre--bad
men from the Saginaw, in truth, and, unless Orde was mistaken, men
just off a drunk, and therefore especially dangerous; men eager to
fight at the drop of the hat, or sooner, to be accommodating, and
ready to employ in their assaults all the formidable and terrifying
weapons of the rough-and-tumble; reckless, hard, irreverrent,
blasphemous, to be gained over by no words, fair or foul; absolutely
scornful of any and all institutions imposed on them by any other
but the few men whom they acknowledged as their leaders. And to
master these men's respect there needed either superlative strength,
superlative recklessness, or superlative skill.
"Who's your boss?" asked Orde.
"The Rough Red," growled one of the men without moving.
Orde had heard of this man, of his personality and his deeds. Like
Silver Jack of the Muskegon, his exploits had been celebrated in
song. A big, broad-faced man, with a red beard, they had told him,
with little, flickering eyes, a huge voice that bellowed through the
woods in a torrent of commands and imprecations, strong as a bull,
and savage as a wild beast. A hint of his quality will suffice from
the many stories circulated about him. It was said that while
jobbing for Morrison and Daly, in some of that firm's Saginaw Valley
holdings, the Rough Red had discovered that a horse had gone lame.
He called the driver of that team before him, seized an iron
starting bar, and with it broke the man's leg. "Try th' lameness
yourself, Barney Mallan," said he. To appeal to the charity of such
a man would be utterly useless. Orde saw this point. He picked up
his reins and spoke to his team.
But before the horses had taken three steps, a huge riverman had
planted himself squarely in the way. The others rising, slowly
surrounded the rig.
"I don't know what you're up here for," growled the man at the
horses' heads, "but you wanted to see the boss, and I guess you'd
better see him."
"I intend to see him," said Orde sharply. "Get out of the way and
let me hitch my team."
He drove deliberately ahead, forcing the man to step aside, and
stopped his horses by a stub. He tied them there and descended, to
lean his back also against the log walls of the little house.
After a few moments a huge form appeared above the river bank at
some forty rods' distance.
"Yonder he comes now," vouchsafed the man nearest Orde.
Orde made out the great square figure of the boss, his soft hat, his
flaming red beard, his dingy mackinaw coat, his dingy black-and-
white checked flannel shirt, his dingy blue trousers tucked into
high socks, and, instead of driving boots, his ordinary lumberman's
rubbers. As a spot of colour, he wore a flaming red knit sash, with
tassels. Before he had approached near enough to be plainly
distinguishable, he began to bellow at the men, commanding them,
with a mighty array of oaths, to wake up and get the sluice-gate
open. In a moment or so he had disappeared behind some bushes that
intervened in his approach to the house. His course through them
could be traced by the top of his cap, which just showed above them.
In a moment he thrust through the brush and stood before Orde.
For a moment he stared at the young man, and then, with a wild Irish
yell, leaped upon him. Orde, caught unawares and in an awkward
position, was hardly able even to struggle against the gigantic
riverman. Indeed, before he had recovered his faculties to the
point of offering determined resistance, he was pinned back against
the wall by his shoulders, and the Rough Red's face was within two
feet of his own.
"And how are ye, ye ould darlint?" shouted the latter, with a roll
"Why, Jimmy Bourke!" cried Orde, and burst into a laugh.
The Rough Red jerked him to his feet, delivered a bear hug that
nearly crushed his ribs, and pounded him mightily on the back.
"You ould snoozer!" he bellowed. "Where the blankety blank in blank
did you come from? Byes," he shouted to the men, "it's me ould boss
on th' Au Sable six year back--that time, ye mind, whin we had th'
ice jam! Glory be! but I'm glad to see ye!"
Orde was still laughing.
"I didn't know you'd turned into the Rough Red, Jimmy," said he. "I
don't believe we were either of us old enough for whiskers then,
The Rough Red grinned.
"Thrue for ye!" said he. "And what have ye been doing all these
"That's just it, Jimmy," said Orde, drawing the giant one side, out
of ear-shot. "All my eggs are in one basket, and it's a mean trick
of you to hire out for filthy lucre to kick that basket."
"What do ye mane?" asked the Rough Red, fixing his twinkling little
eyes on Orde.
"You don't mean to tell me," countered Orde, glancing down at the
other's rubber-shod feet, "that this crew has been sent up here just
to break out those measly little rollways?"
"Thim?" said the Rough Red. "Thim? Hell, NO! Thim's my bodyguard.
They can lick their weight in wild cats, and I'd loike well to see
the gang of highbankers that infists this river thry to pry thim
out. We weren't sint here to wurrk; we were sint here to foight."
"Fight? Why?" asked Orde.
"Oh, I dunno," replied the Rough Red easily. "Me boss and the blank
of a blank blanked blank that's attimptin' to droive this river has
some sort of a row."
"Jimmy," said Orde, "didn't you know that I am the gentleman last
"I'm driving this river, and that's my dam-keeper you've got hid
away somewhere here, and that's my water you're planning to waste!"
"What?" repeated the Rough Red, but in a different tone of voice.
"That's right," said Orde.
In a tone of vast astonishment, the Rough Red mentioned his probable
deserts in the future life.
"Luk here, Jack," said he after a moment, "here's a crew of white-
water birlers that ye can't beat nowheres. What do you want us to
do? We're now gettin' four dollars a day AN' board from that
murderin' ould villain, Heinzman, SO WE CAN AFFORD TO WURRK FOR YOU
"Oh, please do now, darlint!" wheedled the Rough Red, his little
eyes agleam with mischief. "Sind us some oakum and pitch and we'll
caulk yure wanigan for ye. Or maybe some more peavies, and we'll
hilp ye on yure rollways. And till us, afore ye go, how ye want
this dam, and that's the way she'll be. Come, now, dear! and ain't
ye short-handed now?"
Orde slapped his knee and laughed.
"This is sure one hell of a joke!" he cried.
"And ain't it now?" said the Rough Red, smiling with as much
ingratiation as he was able.
"I'll take you boys on," said Orde at last, "at the usual wages--
dollar and a half for the jam, three for the rear. I doubt if
you'll see much of Heinzman's money when this leaks out."
Thus Orde, by the sheer good luck that sometimes favours men engaged
in large enterprises, not only frustrated a plan likely to bring
failure to his interests, but filled up his crews. It may be
remarked here, as well as later, that the "terrors of the Saginaw"
stayed with the drive to its finish, and proved reliable and
tractable in every particular. Orde scattered them judiciously, so
there was no friction with the local men. The Rough Red he retained
on the rear.
Here the breaking of the rollways had reached a stage more exciting
both to onlooker and participant than the mere opening of the river
channel. Huge stacks of logs piled sidewise to the bank lined the
stream for miles. When the lowermost log on the river side was
teased and pried out, the upper tiers were apt to cascade down with
a roar, a crash, and a splash. The man who had done the prying had
to be very quick-eyed, very cool, and very agile to avoid being
buried under the tons of timber that rushed down on him. Only the
most reliable men were permitted at this initial breaking down.
Afterwards the crew rolled in what logs remained.
The Rough Red's enormous strength, dare-devil spirit, and nimbleness
of body made him invaluable at this dangerous work. Orde, too,
often took a hand in some of the more ticklish situations. In old
days, before he had attained the position of responsibility that
raised the value of his time beyond manual work, he had been one of
the best men on the river at breaking bank rollways. A slim,
graceful, handsome boy of twenty, known as "Rollway Charlie," also
distinguished himself by the quickness and certainty of his work.
Often the men standing near lost sight of him entirely in the spray,
the confusion, the blur of the breaking rollways, until it seemed
certain he must have perished. Nevertheless, always he appeared at
right or left, sometimes even on a log astream, nonchalant, smiling,
escaped easily from the destructive power he had loosed. Once in
the stream the logs ran their appointed course, watched by the men
who herded them on their way. And below, from the tributaries, from
the other rollways a never-ending procession of recruits joined this
great brown army on its way to the lake, until for miles and miles
the river was almost a solid mass of logs.
The crews on the various beats now had their hands full to keep the
logs running. The slightest check at any one point meant a jam, for
there was no way of stopping the unending procession. The logs
behind floated gently against the obstruction and came to rest. The
brown mass thickened. As far as the eye could reach the surface of
the water was concealed. And then, as the slow pressure developed
from the three or four miles of logs forced against each other by
the pushing of the current, the breast of the jam began to rise.
Timbers up-ended, crossed, interlocked, slid one over the other,
mounted higher and higher in the formidable game of jack-straws the
loss of which spelled death to the players.
Immediately, and with feverish activity, the men nearest at hand
attacked the work. Logs on top they tumbled and rolled into the
current below. Men beneath the breast tugged and pried in search of
the key logs causing all the trouble. Others "flattened out the
wings," hoping to get a "draw" around the ends. As the stoppage of
the drive indicated to the men up and down stream that a jam had
formed, they gathered at the scene--those from above over the logs,
those from below up the river trail.
Rarely, unless in case of unusual complications, did it take more
than a few hours at most to break the jam. The breast of it went
out with a rush. More slowly the wings sucked in. Reluctantly the
mass floating on the surface for miles up stream stirred, silently
moved forward. For a few minutes it was necessary to watch
carefully until the flow onward steadied itself, until the
congestion had spaced and ordered as before. Then the men moved
back to their posts; the drive was resumed. At night the river was
necessarily left to its own devices. Rivermen, with the touch of
superstition inseparably connected with such affairs, believe
implicitly that "logs run free at night." Certainly, though it
might be expected that each morning would reveal a big jam to break,
such was rarely the case. The logs had usually stopped, to be sure,
but generally in so peaceful a situation as easily to be started on
by a few minutes' work. Probably this was because they tended to
come to rest in the slow, still reaches of the river, through which,
in daytime, they would be urged by the rivermen.
Jams on the river, contrary to general belief, are of very common
occurrence. Throughout the length of the drive there were probably
three or four hang-ups a day. Each of these had to be broken, and
in the breaking was danger. The smallest misstep, the least
slowness in reading the signs of the break, the slightest lack of
promptness in acting on the hint or of agility in leaping from one
to the other of the plunging timbers, the faintest flicker from
rigid attention to the antagonist crouching on the spring, would
mean instant death to the delinquent. Thus it was literally true
that each one of these men was called upon almost daily to wager his
personal skill against his destruction.
In the meantime the rear was "sacking" its way as fast as possible,
moving camp with the wanigan whenever necessary, working very hard
and very cold and very long. In its work, however, beyond the
breaking of the rollways, was little of the spectacular.
Orde, after the rear was well started, patrolled the length of the
drive in his light buckboard. He had a first-class team of young
horses--high-spirited, somewhat fractious, but capable on a pinch of
their hundred miles in a day. He handled them well over the rough
corduroys and swamp roads. From jam to rear and back again he
travelled, pausing on the river banks to converse earnestly with one
of the foremen, surveying the situation with the bird's-eye view of
the general. At times he remained at one camp for several days
watching the trend of the work. The improvements made during the
preceding summer gave him the greatest satisfaction, especially the
apron at the falls.
"We'd have had a dozen bad jams here before now with all these logs
in the river," said he to Tim Nolan, who was in charge of that beat.
"And as it is," said Tim, "we've had but the one little wing jam."
The piers to define the channel along certain shallows also saved
the rear crew much labour in the matter of stranded logs.
Everything was very satisfactory. Even old man Reed held to his
chastened attitude, and made no trouble. In fact, he seemed glad to
turn an honest penny by boarding the small crew in charge of
sluicing the logs.
No trouble was experienced until Heinzman's rollways were reached.
Here Orde had, as he had promised his partner, boomed a free channel
to prevent Heinzman from filling up the entire river-bed with his
rollways. When the jam of the drive had descended the river as far
as this, Orde found that Heinzman had not yet begun to break out.
Hardly had Orde's first crew passed, however, when Heinzman's men
began to break down the logs into the drive. Long before the rear
had caught up, all Heinzman's drive was in the water, inextricably
mingled with the sixty or eighty million feet Orde had in charge.
The situation was plain. All Heinzman now had to do was to retain a
small crew, which should follow after the rear in order to sack what
logs the latter should leave stranded. This amounted practically to
nothing. As it was impossible in so great a mass of timbers, and in
the haste of a pressing labour, to distinguish or discriminate
against any single brand, Heinzman was in a fair way to get his logs
sent down stream with practically no expense.
"Vell, my boy," remarked the German quite frankly to Orde as they
met on the road one day, "looks like I got you dis time, eh?"
Orde laughed, also with entire good-humour.
"If you mean your logs are going down with ours, why I guess you
have. But you paste this in your hat: you're going to keep awful
busy, and it's going to cost you something yet to get 'em down."
To Newmark, on one of his occasional visits to the camps, Orde
detailed the situation.
"It doesn't amount to much," said he, "except that it complicates
matters. We'll make him scratch gravel, if we have to sit up nights
and work overtime to do it. We can't injure him or leave his logs,
but we can annoy him a lot."
The state of affairs was perfectly well known to the men, and the
entire river entered into the spirit of the contest. The drivers
kept a sharp lookout for "H" logs, and whenever possible thrust them
aside into eddies and backwaters. This, of course, merely made work
for the sackers Heinzman had left above the rear. Soon they were in
charge of a very fair little drive of their own. Their lot was not
enviable. Indeed, only the pressure of work prevented some of the
more aggressive of Orde's rear--among whom could be numbered the
Rough Red--from going back and "cleaning out" this impertinent band
of hangers-on. One day two of the latter, conducting the jam of the
miniature drive astern, came within reach of the Rough Red. The
latter had lingered in hopes of rescuing his peavy, which had gone
overboard. To lose one's peavy is, among rivermen, the most
mortifying disgrace. Consequently, the Rough Red was in a fit mood
for trouble. He attacked the two single-handed. A desperate battle
ensued, which lasted upward of an hour. The two rivermen punched,
kicked, and battered the Rough Red in a manner to tear his clothes,
deprive him to some extent of red whiskers, bloody his face, cut his
shoulder, and knock loose two teeth. The Rough Red, more than the
equal of either man singly, had reciprocated in kind. Orde, driving
in toward the rear from a detour to avoid a swamp, heard, and
descended from his buckboard. Tying his horses to trees, he made
his way through the brush to the scene of conflict. So winded and
wearied were the belligerents by now that he had no difficulty in
separating them. He surveyed their wrecks with a sardonic half
"I call this a draw," said he finally. His attitude became
threatening as the two up-river men, recovering somewhat, showed
ugly symptoms. "Git!" he commanded. "Scat! I guess you don't know
me. I'm Jack Orde. Jimmy and I together could do a dozen of you."
He menaced them until, muttering, they had turned away.
"Well, Jimmy," said he humorously, "you look as if you'd been run
through a thrashing machine."
"Those fellers make me sick!" growled the Rough Red.
Orde looked him over again.
"You look sick," said he.
When the buckboard drew into camp, Orde sent Bourke away to repair
damages while he called the cookee to help unpack several heavy
boxes of hardware. They proved to contain about thirty small
hatchets, well sharpened, and each with a leather guard. When the
rear crew had come in that night, Orde distributed the hatchets.
"Boys," said he, "while you're on the work, I want you all to keep a
watch-out for these "H" logs, and whenever you strike one I want you
to blaze it plainly, so there won't be any mistake about it."
"What for?" asked one of the Saginaw men as he received his hatchet.
But the riverman who squatted next nudged him with his elbow.
"The less questions you ask Jack, the more answers you'll get. Just
do what you're told to on this river and you'll see fun sure."
Three days later the rear crew ran into the head of the pond above
Reed's dam. To every one's surprise, Orde called a halt on the work
and announced a holiday.
Now, holidays are unknown on drive. Barely is time allowed for
eating and sleeping. Nevertheless, all that day the men lay about
in complete idleness, smoking, talking, sleeping in the warm sun.
The river, silenced by the closed sluice-gates, slept also. The
pond filled with logs. From above, the current, aided by a fair
wind, was driving down still other logs--the forerunners of the
little drive astern. At sight of these, some of the men grumbled.
"We're losin' what we made," said they. "We left them logs, and
sorted 'em out once already."
Orde sent a couple of axe-men to blaze the newcomers. A little
before sundown he ordered the sluice-gates of the dam opened.
"Night work," said the men to one another. They knew, of course,
that in sluicing logs, the gate must be open a couple of hours
before the sluicing begins in order to fill the river-bed below.
Logs run ahead faster than the water spreads.
Sure enough, after supper Orde suddenly appeared among them, the
well-known devil of mischief dancing in his eyes and broadening his
"Get organised, boys," said he briskly. "We've got to get this pond
all sluiced before morning, and there's enough of us here to hustle
it right along."
The men took their places. Orde moved here and there, giving his
"Sluice through everything but the "H" logs," he commanded. "Work
them off to the left and leave them."
Twilight, then dark, fell. After a few moments the moon, then just
past its full, rose behind the new-budding trees. The sluicing,
under the impetus of a big crew, went rapidly.
"I bet there's mighty near a million an hour going through there,"
speculated Orde, watching the smooth, swift, but burdened waters of
And in this work the men distinguished easily the new white blaze-
marks on Heinzman's logs; so they were able without hesitation to
shunt them one side into the smoother water, as Orde had commanded.
About two o'clock the last log shot through.
"Now, boys," said Orde, "tear out the booms."
The chute to the dam was approached, as has been earlier explained,
by two rows of booms arranged in a V, or funnel, the apex of which
emptied into the sluice-way, and the wide, projecting arms of which
embraced the width of the stream. The logs, floating down the pond,
were thus concentrated toward the sluice. Also, the rivermen,
walking back and forth the length of the booms, were able easily to
keep the drive moving.
Now, however, Orde unchained these boom logs. The men pushed them
ashore. There as many as could find room on either side the boom-
poles clamped in their peavies, and, using these implements as
handles, carried the booms some distance back into the woods. Then
everybody tramped back and forth, round and about, to confuse the
trail. Orde was like a mischievous boy at a school prank. When the
last timber had been concealed, he lifted up his deep voice in a
roar of joy, in which the crew joined.
"Now let's turn in for a little sleep," said be.
This situation, perhaps a little cloudy in the reader's mind, would
have cleared could he have looked out over the dam pond the
following morning. The blazed logs belonging to Heinzman, drifting
slowly, had sucked down into the corner toward the power canal
where, caught against the grating, they had jammed. These logs
would have to be floated singly, and pushed one by one against the
current across the pond and into the influence of the sluice-gate.
Some of them would be hard to come at.
"I guess that will keep them busy for a day or two," commented Orde,
as he followed the rear down to where it was sacking below the dam.
This, as Orde had said, would be sufficiently annoying to Heinzman,
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