A hundred times during the long winter he fought against his desire to send a word to Mona. Months had not dulled his caution and as soon as the spring break-up 杭州桑拿按摩女图片 made it possible to travel he led his 杭州油压店哪家好 father into the Artillery Lake country. Through the spring and early summer they were constantly on the move, always making a little southward. By the time August came they had completed two-thirds of an immense circle[285] and south of the Athabasca country found themselves in the unmapped region between the Cree River and the McFarland. Here, in a country of ridges and swamps and deep forests, Peter made up his mind that at last they were safely hidden from Carter and all the rest of the world.

He breathed easier and began the building of a cabin. This was on a dark-watered, silent little stream, with a vast swamp at their back door, ridge country to right and left of them and an illimitable forest reaching out in front. The nearest point of habitation that Peter knew of was a Hudson’s Bay Company post sixty miles away.

And 杭州桑拿按摩电话 this cabin with each log that went into it became a closer and more inseparable part of Donald McRae. Out of that forgetfulness which could scarcely be called madness began to creep memories so warm and vivid that they seemed to breathe with life itself. For Donald was building the old home again, the home of Peter’s mother, where the moon had looked in through the window on the night he was born—a home, sweet and whispering with the presence of a woman one had worshiped in the flesh and the other had visioned as an angel in his dreams. After a little it was Donald and not Peter who was building the cabin, and by the time it was finished it seemed to Peter that a strange and unseen spirit of life, gentle as prayer itself, had come to dwell in it with them.

Autumn came again with its paradise of color. The[286] cedars, spruces and 杭州龙凤论坛富阳 balsams took on a deeper, richer green; each sunrise bathed the ridges of poplar and birch in new splendor of red and yellow and gold; the nights grew colder, the days were filled more and more with the autumn tang that made blood run red and warm. God was with them here. Donald said that, as in the days of old. And Peter began to believe—and as faith rose in him hope and dreams returned. Mona’s prayer was answered—the prayer they had said together for years asking that his father might be returned to him, and that they might all find refuge together somewhere in the wilderness world which they loved. And this was the refuge, given to them through the sweet and charitable guidance of God. All that was needed to complete it was Mona.

He began to thrill with a greater excitement as the first snows came. Would it be safe to return 杭州夜生活西湖阁 for Mona now? There were times when his whole soul cried out in the affirmative and he was almost ready to begin the long journey. But his caution never quite died and he always pulled himself back in time. Sixteen months had seemed an eternity to him but prudence warned him not to hurry. He would wait until spring. By that time, if Carter were on their trail, the climax would surely come. If the winter passed safely, he would go to Five Fingers and bring Mona back with him. Not for a moment did he doubt she would come, and he continued to add to the glorious castles he built in his mind, shadowed only now and then by oppressing[287] thoughts of the many things which might have happened at Five Fingers in almost two years of absence.

Late in February he left for the trading-post with two Indian dogs and a light toboggan to sell his furs. It was not unusual now for Donald to remain alone for several days at a time, for Peter knew the home they had built had become a part of his heart and soul and that nothing short of actual force or his own wishes and plans could drag his father from it. On this trip to the post he expected to be gone five days.

It was very cold. Trees cracked and snapped with the piercing bite of the frost and the snow crackled underfoot. For a long time after Peter had disappeared Donald stood in the little clearing staring over the trail where his boy had gone.

Something unknown to Peter was finding its way into Donald’s brain. Through the night it had worked, gnawing its way slowly and stealthily, and now that Peter was gone it grew bolder. Even as he turned the cabin took on a new aspect for Donald. Though the sun was shining and the sky was clear, a shadow seemed to have fallen over it and the welcoming spirit which had always clasped him closely to its heart was missing when he entered through the door. As the day passed a change came in Donald’s face. He was restless and uneasy. Sounds startled him again. In the dusk of evening he did not light a candle but sat quietly in a corner, staring into darkness with his half-blind eyes, and all that night he did not go to bed.


The next day there was no sun; the sky was heavy with gloom, the air thick and difficult for Donald to breathe. Mysterious shadows crept about him and at times he tried futilely to seize these with his hands. As the hours passed his mind became more and more like a broken limb from which the last prop had been taken. A hundred times he whispered Peter’s name. Then came the beginning of the storm. It broke in mid-afternoon and by night was a howling blizzard. In darkness the cabin shook and the wind screamed overhead and the snow beat like shot against the window. It would be a long time before the forest people would forget this storm because of its ferocity and the tragedy which it left in its wake, but to Donald it was more than a storm—it was a personal thing. In it was the cumulative chaos of all the evils from which he had been a fugitive through the years, and now, cornering him at last, they were fighting to break through the log walls of the cabin.

He built up the fire until it roared in the chimney and lighted candles until the cabin was aflame with light. And then, suddenly as a bolt of lightning, some thing came to him. It was voice—voice screaming at the window, voice howling over the roof logs, voice moaning and wailing and dying away in the sweeping of the wind. “Peter! Peter! Peter!” It was crying—nothing but Peter’s name, repeating it a thousand times in its laughing, taunting, moaning efforts to make him




A half-savage cry rose out of his breast. He was not afraid, not when his boy needed him—and hatless and coatless he flung up the birchwood bar to the door and faced the storm.

“Peter!” he called. “Peter! Peter!”

It all had but one meaning for Donald now. The storm had Peter. It was playing with him, killing him, and these devils in the wind had come to tell him about it in their glee. He could feel them clawing and striking at his breast and face; the snow struck his eyes like tiny spear points and he found it difficult to get his breath in the face of the blast which tried to overwhelm him. He called again as he fought his way out into the blackness and snow. His words drifted away in shreds, whipped to pieces by the wind. Creatures seemed picking up handfuls of snow and hurling it in his face—he could hear their swift movement, the hissing of their breath, their evasion as he struck out at them, and he called Peter’s name louder than before to give his boy courage and let him know he was coming.

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