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was becoming very intense and accounted for two with his caused us great inconvenience. deadly blunderbuss, and he was Our tent was frozen, so that very jubilant over it.
“ Talk we had to build a camp-fire to about shootin',” he snorted, thaw it before it could be “that's naething: weel a mind erected; but we had been pre- o' a time oot on the Pampas o' pared for these trifling caprices Sooth America- But I of the weather.
fled, and when Mac and StewThat night, as I lay half art came into the tent, still asleep thinking over the inci- talking volubly, I was almost dents of the past few days and asleep. wondering what the near future I need hardly detail our next would have in store for us, I few days' experiences. On the heard Dave, who was lying at day following our adventure my feet, give a long low growl. with the coyotes we entered I gently extricated myself from Lake Nares, a broad shallow the blankets, and seizing my water that unites Lakes Bennett long rifle, stepped cautiously to and Tagish. Lake Nares is in the door of the tent and looked reality a broad river with a out. The moon was shining sluggish current, flowing from brightly, and I could see three to four miles an hour. It mass of doglike forms skulking required the most careful naviamong the trees.
I recognised gation, as in most places the that we were surrounded by a water was barely 18 inches pack of coyotes. I whispered deep. to Mac and Stewart, and they Before leaving Bennett we came forward-Mac clutching prospected a small river that a double - barrelled gun, and flowed into the lake on the Stewart with a hunting Win- left shore, about half a mile chester. Dave had
grown from the
entrance to Lake strangely excited, and it was Nares. I was very much surwith difficulty that I kept him prised to get, even at this from barking outright. I mo- place, several colours of gold, tioned to Mac to aim at the as it plainly showed that we middle of the pack, as a charge were getting within the gold of buckshot would do more belt of the Yukon. Mac and damage than the rifles. Stew- Stewart were very anxious to art covered one gaunt brute on remain and work here for the left, while I aimed at the time; but as the weather, like biggest I could pick off on the time and tide, waits for no right. Bang! the three guns man, I objected, not caring to went off simultaneously, and take the risk of being frozen in then the long weird howls of at this point. Two days later those cowardly coyotes echoed we were making good time over through the woods, gradually Lake Tagish. This beautiful becoming fainter in the dis- lake is surrounded by mountance. They had left four of tains whose jagged peaks are their number, however: Stew- but dimly seen through a pall art and I had each brought of mist, while their lower slopes down our game, but Mac had are thickly covered with mag
nificent trees. Tagish Lake the air clumsily in his enis twenty - eight miles long deavour to climb over a fallen and averages a mile in width. tree, his white breast In the forests surrounding its fully exposed in the moonlight. shores many wild animals find “Let him have the buckshot, cover, the most dangerous of Stewart," I whispered, and which is the lynx, as it drops the report of his gun reverupon one from the trees un- berated through the wooded expectedly. The deep growl- slopes. This was followed by ing of the great bears, and a savage roar from the bear, the mournful howling of the and, stepping clear of the Alaskan wolves, could always smoke, I could see Bruin, the be heard, awakening the echoes blood streaming from his head of the night, and these sounds and his great tongue lolling generally lulled us into slum- out, staggering wildly forber. One night we pitched ward. “ His head has been too our camp within a few miles tough, Stewart; I'll need to of the end of Tagish Lake, spoil him after all,” I said, and after finishing supper Stew- regretfully, and I pulled the art and I went out to hunt trigger of my rifle and sent a in the moonlight for any soft point bullet right into the animal that chance might put great yawning mouth, scarce a in way.
Stewart had dozen yards away. The sharp borrowed Mac's blunderbuss, crack of my rifle was followed and I had my magazine rifle, by no smoke, and I threw the and thus armed we started to lever open and was ready for climb cautiously upwards into another shot; but it was unthe forest. A deathlike silence necessary,—the great bear lay
, prevailed, and the slightest dead on the snow, fast stainmotion of even a bird was ing its white surface with his sufficient to rouse us into alert blood. We went forward to activity. We had tramped examine him, and found that around for almost hour two of Stewart's pellets had without firing a shot, and penetrated his eyes, while the
deciding to return to rest had had little effect on camp, when a hoarse bellow his sloping forehead. My bulclose at hand startled our let had entered his mouth, and every nerve. We heard the a large hole in the back of brushwood crackling before the the skull showed where that passage of some heavy animal, deadly “dum-dum” had made and without a word we levelled its exit. our weapons and waited. We When we had narrated our saw advancing towards us an adventure to Mac on returning
bear, whose great to camp, that individual was eyes gleamed savagely in the vastly amused. “A bear!” he pale light as he came near. echoed in astonished tones : Now he was within twenty na, na, that'll no' dae; was yards of where we stood, and it no' a rabbit ye murdered ? as his huge forelegs pawed “Well, well, Mac, I'm not going
to argue about it, but Stewart head. “There's naebody kens and
you had better go up and hoo to use ma gun but masel',” skin him before these howling he continued, discontentedly. coyotes make a meal of him. “An' you," he said, turning to Mac's surprise on discovering Stewart, “hae only insulted its
, that it was really a bear was poo'ers wi' pepperin' the puir evidently genuine. “ Ye didna beast's eyes in sic a menner.” need to spile the skin wi' that Stewart's sorrow was too deep Gatlin'
he for words: he made no reply, grumbled, laying down the skin and soon after we were clustered on the floor of the tent for ex- round the stove, detailing to amination, and pointing to a each other the most wonderful huge rent in the back of the romances,
VARIOUS UNEXPECTED EXPERIENCES.
A broad and fairly deep river and hastily launch a canvas unites Tagish with Marsh Lake. canoe, if to follow It is between three and four “ Back water, for heaven's miles long, and abounds in sake, Stewart; and you, Mac, under-currents, which prevent pull like the devil and get her it from freezing readily. I have head round: I don't want to seen it overnight with a coating get potted with their Maxim of ice several inches thick, and guns," I shouted.
We just got on the following day it would her round, and were keeping all be broken up, the ice float- her stationary in the streaming downwards towards Marsh and it took us all our time to Lake, where it piled itself in do that—when a boat-load of great pyramids. We sailed policemen arrived beside us. past the Canadian custom- *Well, sir," said a jovial-faced
“,house at Tagish river in the man in the stern,“ did you think early morning. The current of you could evade the officers of the river itself flowed six miles her Majesty's Customs ?” an hour, and this, with our own "I presume you are Captain exertions, took us along in good Strickland," I replied, “and if style.
so, you will understand that I When we were about half- had no such intention. way through this connecting Alexander Macdonald, a British river I saw the union - jack
the union -jack subject, as are also my comflying from the top of a tall panions." tree on the right bank; then I “Say no more, my friend; noticed a long low house, built come and have breakfast with of logs and moss, half hidden us, was the response of the among the trees.
genial captain; “I have not Before we could get our boat a real live Scotsman in stopped we were some distance these parts for an age.” past the flag, and I saw several Such invitations
very men rush from the log house rare in Alaskan
territory VOL CLXV.—NO. MỊII,
Needless to say we accepted my pocket and taking my posithe captain's proffered hospi- tion in the boat.
“Sheer off, tality. One of the policemen boys," and with a will Mac and threw a rope, which Stewart Stewart pulled out into the adroitly caught and fastened stream. Say au revoir, but to the bow of our boat, and we not good-bye,” chanted a chorus were slowly towed backwards of policemen who had assembled to the unpretentious offices of to see us off; and with this her Majesty's Customs. classic melody ringing in our
Mac and Stewart looked ears we swept swiftly round a quite elated at the prospect of bluff and out of sight. a good square meal, and they In a few minutes we were chuckled audibly, while even passing an Indian village that Dave looked expectant. We bordered on the entrance to were so hospitably entertained Marsh Lake, and soon after our by these Government officers boat was making good progress that it was with genuine sorrow over the calm surface of that we parted from them.
water. This lake is also about afraid you will not get much a mile wide, but it has no great farther by water, boys," Cap- arms stretching into the mountain Strickland said, as we were
tains like Bennett and Tagish. leaving; "the thermometer will It is about twenty miles long, be well below zero in a day or and in summer its shores are a
But good-bye and good favourite hunting - ground for luck to you!”. We were pre- all the kinds of game peculiar paring to push out into the to that country, wild ducks stream, when the captain, who being specially abundant. The was standing silently on the Indians knew this when they shore, made a sign that he built their little village in such wished to say something. I close proximity. By nightfall went forward. “Macdonald, we had arrived at a small island you know this country as well in the middle of the lake, and, as I do, and I need not advise as I calculated, about half-ayou about it,” he said ; then he dozen miles from its terminacontinued, “ Major Walsh left tion. We pitched our camp on this place just a week ago with the mainland near by, leaving three boats and several men. our boat with its load half They were not at all sure of being pulled up on the beach. That able to 'get in’ before spring. night none of us could sleep, You will likely pass him on the the cold was
so very intense. way. Will you be kind enough Try as we might, we could to give him this letter ?” put- not keep warm.
Mac got up ting an official-looking envelope several times to put some wood into my hand. “Tell him we in the stove, and after trying
“ are all right at Tagish, except in vain to sleep, we all got up that there is little enough grub, and sat round it. About three and that I hope he will get o'clock in the morning a terrific through without accident." storm broke, the wind blew in
“All right, captain," I re- great gusts, and the frozen plied, putting the envelope in snow struck against our tent
with a noise like thunder. I at this time, so waited until was alarmed for the safety of Stewart had got the stove in our tent. We had no pegs
working order and some coffee fastening it down, as the ground ready; then with fresh energy had been too hard to penetrate we made our way to the water's even with our metal spikes. edge. It was now about eight The main ropes, fortunately, o'clock, and the dim morning were made fast to surrounding light was beginning to appear. trees; but the walls of our tent The sight that met our gaze were only weighted down with was indeed a marvellous one. logs, such as we cut for that Our boat could not be seen, purpose at each camping- but a huge icy mass having ground : immediately on erect- its form appeared before us. ing the tent the weather side That was not all. I looked 'of
the canvas bulged and with dismay on a frozen lake strained, and finally lifted the in the place of the smooth log completely, which was then waters of twelve hours before. blown inward, almost smashing It was a grand spectacle, if one our stove. The strain on the had been able to admire the guy and side ropes had caused mighty power of old King Frost them to slacken considerably, at such a moment. But its and our canvas shelter seemed beauty was entirely lost on likely to be torn to ribbons by me at that time. Near the the fury of the gale. Stewart beach, where the breakers had and I went outside to tighten dashed themselves during the up and make all the ropes night in mad fury, a rippling secure, while Mac sat on the succession of waves appeared great log that secured the foot waves, indeed, yet moulded as of the tent to keep it from in glass ; for, however imposmoving For over three hours sible it may seem, they were we battled with the storm, and frozen in their natural shape, then it died away as suddenly and looked to the eye like the as it had risen, leaving us all in furrows of a field. a frozen and breathless condi- We contemplated the scene tion. Inside our tent the snow- in silence for fully a minute, drift blown from the outside and then a muttered word from was several feet deep; the body Stewart of a forcible nature of the stove was covered, and aroused me. “ Get the
axes, only the funnel was visible. Mac,” I said, slowly. I was As for ourselves, we looked wondering what the end of more like huge icicles than any- this last misfortune was to be. thing else.
Luckily our axes were in the All this time we had given tent and not in the boat, as we no thought to the safety of our used them every evening for boat. We could not, in any cutting timber. Mao departed case, have left the tent; but without a word, evidently thinknow that the storm was over, ing deeply, and Stewart and I we began to wonder how it and looked around for timber to the provisions had fared. We start a huge fire. had not the courage to go out the best part of the day get