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About The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 12, 1918)
THE SEMI WEEKLV TRIBUNE. NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA.
111 IFTPI'fl ' H "IP1 T An Alaskan Love -I
Jl lie iikEii JL rail 52
Copyright, Wlllinm Maclcod Ralne, By William MacleO(3 RaUie
ELLIOT IS INTRODUCED TO MISS O'NEILL AND WITHIN A
FEW HOURS THEY HAVE A TERRIFYING ADVENTURE
8ynopsls. As a representative of the government Gordon Elliot Is
est his way to Alaska to Investigate coal claims. On the bont ho meets
md becomes Interested In n fellow passenger whom he learns Is Shcbn
vNlll, also "going In." Colby Mncdonnld, active head of the lnnd
irabblag syndicate under Investigation, comes aboard. Mncdonnld is
tt4&cd by mlno laborers whom he had discharged, and tho active
leUrfventlon of Elliot probably saves his life. Elliot and Mncdonnld
Wvese In a monsuro friendly, though tho latter docs not know that
Mfcrfc tfl on a mission which threatens to spoil plnns of Macdonald to
aegatro millions of dollars through tho unlawful exploitation of lm
neasoly vnlunblo coal fields. Elliot also "gets a line" on tho position
coupled by Wolly Sclfrldge, Mncdonnld's right-hand man, who is re
t&rnlng from a visit to "tho States," where he had gone In nn effort to
eoaTlnce the authorities that thero was nothing wrong In Mncdonnld's
CHAPTER II Continued.
Tho purser gave Information to El
Met "They call her Aunt Shobn, but
ofce'a no relative of theirs. The kids
are on their way In to their father,
ts an engineer on ono of tho
creeks back of Kntmn. Their mother
dtfed two months ago. Miss O'Neill mot
tkesi first aboard tho Skagit on tho
way p and sho has mothered them
The eyes of KlUot rested on Miss
WNni. "She loves' children."
"Stee sura docs no bluff about that"
A& trap of mischief sparkled in the eye
Mf tho supercargo. "Not raarrlod your
self, aro you, Mr. Elliot?"
That was all he said, but Cordon felt
the blood croep Into his faco. This
wwoyefl him, so he added brusquely:
Aad not likely to bo."
Whes the call for breakfast carao
IftM O'Neill took her rotlnuo of young
Men with her to tho dining room,
looking across from his scat at an
9WJolnlng table, Elliot could see her
Waiting upon them with a flno ab
Wrptlon In their needs.
Before taey had been long In tho
gtatag room Maedonald came In carry
lag a sheaf of business papers, no
saoeed around, recognised Billot, and
Made Instantly for the float across the
tWe from him. On his face and head
were many marks of the recent bnttle.
Trade yon a cauliflower ear for a
pair of black eyes, Mr. Elliot," ho
laeg&ed as he shook hands with tho
man wbose name he had Just learnod
ttom the cursor.
tee grip of his brown, muscular
band was stroag. It was In character
"with the steady, cool eyes sot deep bo
aeath the Jattlng forehead, with the
mfldeot earrlage of tho deep, broad
Yo might throw In several other
ftttUe SOTTKilrs to boot and not miss
0tan," suggested Billot with a smile.
Macdonald sodded Indifferently. "I
(gave and I took, which was as It should
"But We Ain't Through With Oolby
bt. Bt ifa different with you, Mr.
Mlttet This wasn't your row."
"I hada't been In a good mix-up since
I left college. It did me a lot of good."
"Hack obliged, anyhow." He turned
Ms atteatlea to a lady entering the
sMnlng room. "'Mornln', Mrs. Self
ridge. How's Wally?"
She threw up her hands In despair.
"He's en his second bottle of liniment
already. I expect those ruffians havo
raised bis singing voice. When I think
f how close yon both came to death
"I doa't know about Wally, but 1
had no notion of dying, Mrs. Self
ridge. They mussed vn up a bit. Thnt
"But they meant to kill you, the
cowards.. And thoy almost did It too.
Jook at Wally confined to his hod
ftud speaking In a whisper. Look at
you a wreck, horribly beaten dp, aV
most drowned. Wo must drive tho vil
lains out of the country or send them
"Am I n wreck?" the big Scotsman
wanted to know. "I feel as husky as
a well-fed malnmutc."
"Oh, you talk. But wo all know
you how bruvo and strong you arc.
That's why this outrage ought to bo
punished. What would Alaska do If
anything happened to you?"
"I hadn't thought of that," admitted
Macdonald. "Tho North would Havo
to go out of business, I suppose. But
you're right nbout ono thing. Mrs. Sclf
rldge. I'm brave and strong enough nt
tho breakfast table. Steward, will you
bring mo n double order of these
shirred eggs and a Bmall stenk?"
"Well, I'm glad you can still Joke,
Mr. Macdonald, after such a terrlblo
oxporlcnco. All I can say Is thnt I
hope Wally Isn't permanently lrfjurcd."
Mrs. Sclfrldge sighed and passed to
Tho eyes of tho big man twinkled.
"Our little fracas has been a godsend
to Mrs. Selfrldge. Wally and I will
both emerge ns heroes of a desperate
struggle. You won't oven get a men
tion. But It's n pity about Wally'fl
Injuries and his singing voice."
Tho younger man agreed with a
zravlty back of which his amusement
was apparont Tho share of Selfrldge
In tho battle had been limited to log
work only, but this had not been good
enough to keep him from being over
hauled and having his throat squeezed.
Elliot finished breakfast and left
Macdonald looking over a long type
written document. Tho paper was a
report Selfrldge had brought In to him
from a clerk In tho general land of
fice. Tho big Canadian and the men
ho represented wcro dealing directly
with tho heads of the government de
partments, but they thought It tho part
of wisdom to keep In their employ sub
ordinates In tho capacity of secret
sorvlco agents to spy upon tho higher-
For an hour before tho Hannah
renched Katmn Miss O'Neill was busy
getting her little brood ready. Her
heart was as tender as a Madonna to
theso lambs so 111 fitted to faco n frigid
waste. Their mother had been n good
woman. Sho could tell that. But she
had no way of knowing what kind of
man their father might bo. When thoy
said their sniffling good-bys nt Katma
she was suspiciously bright and
merry. Soon the children were laugh
lug again with her.
Ono glanco at their father, who In
troduced himself to Miss O'Neill ns
John Husted, relieved her mind great
ly. His spontaneous delight at seeing
them again and his choking gratitude
to her for having looked aftor them
wero evidence enough that this kind
eyed man meant to bo both father and
mother to his recovered llttlo folks
ner temporary family stood on the
end of tho wharf and called good-bys
to tho girl. When they turned away
sho went directly to her room
Elliot was passing forward when
Miss O'Neill opened her stateroom
door to go In. The eyes of tho young
woman were blinded with tears and
sho was biting her Up to keep back
tho emotion that welled up. ne knew
sho was very fond of tho motherless
chlldron, but ho guessed at an addl
Uonal reason for her sobs. Sho, too,
was as untaught as a child In tho life
of this frontier land. Whatever sho
found here how much of hnrdshlp or
happiness or grief or wots sho know
that sho had left behind forever the
safe harborage of quiet waters In
which her Ufo craft had always floated.
It camo on to rain In tho afternoon,
Heavy clouds swept across from tho
mountains, and the sodden sky opened
ltko a slulco-box. The Kuslnk contln
gent, driven Indoors, resorted to
bridge. Miss O'Neill read. Gordon El
Uott wrote lottcrs, dawdled over mag'
a tines, and lounged alternately In Uie
ladles' parlor and tho smoking room,
whore Macdonald, Strong, a hardware
merchant from Fairbanks, and n pair
of sour-dough miners had settled them
selves to n poker gntno that was to
last nil night and well Into the next
Of tho two bridge tables all the
players were old-timers excent Mrs.
Mallorir Wio had como In over tho
Ico for the first time last winter. Tho
other women felt thnt sho wns a bird
of passage, that the frozen Arctic
could bo no more than a whim to her.
They deferred n llttlo to her because
sho knew the great world Now York,
Vienna, London, Paris. Great names
fell from her Hps casually and care
lessly. Sho wus full of spicy llttlo
anecdotes nbout German royalty and
the British aristocracy. It was no won
der, Gordon Elliot thought, thnt she
had rather stunned tho little social set
Through Northrup and Trolowney n
new slant on Mncdonnld was given to
Gordon, no had fallen Into casual
talk with them after dinner on tho
foro deck. To his surprise tho young
man discovered that they boro hlra no
grudge at all for his Interference the
"But wo nln't through with Colby
Mncdonnld yet," Trelawney explained.
'Mind, I don't sny we're going to get
him. Nothing llko that. Here's the
point. Wo stand for Lnbor. Ho stands
for Capital. See7 Things nln't whnt
they used to bo In Alaska, and It's be
cause of Colby Mncdonnld nnd his
friends. They're grabbers that's
what they arc. They want tho whole
works. Understand? It's up to us
to fight, nln't It?"
Later Elliot put this viewpoint be-
"There's something in It," tho mtner
agreed. "Wages havo gone down, nnd
it's partly because tho big fellows aro
consolidating Interests. Alaska ain't
a poor man's country tho way It was.
But Mac ain't to blnmo for that, no
has to play tho game tho way the
cards are dealt out."
Tho sky was clear again when the
Hannah drow in to tho wharf at Moose
ncad to unlond freight, but tho mud
In the unpnved streets lendlnc to the
business section of tho little frontier
town wns Instep deep. Many of the
passengers hurried ashoro to make tho
most of the five-hour stop. Elliot put
on a pair of heavy boots and started
At the end of tho wharf he passed
Miss O'Neill. She woro no rubbers and
sho had como to a halt at the begin
ning of the mud. After a momentary
indecision she. returned slowly to tho
Tho young man walked up Into tho
town, but ten minutes later he crossed
tho gangplank of tho Hannah again
with a package under his arm. Miss
O'Neill wns sitting on tho forward
deck, making a pretense to herself
Ho moved over to where she sat and
lifted his hat. "I hope you won't
think It n liberty, Miss O'Neill, but
I've brought you some rubbers from n
store uptown, I noticed you couldn't
get ashore without them."
The girl was visibly embarrassed.
Sho was not nt all certain of tho right
thing to do. Where she had been
brought up young men did not offer
courtesies of this sort so informally.
"I I think I won't need them, thank
you. I've decided not to leave tho
boat," she answered shyly.
Elliot had never been accused of be
ing a quitter. Having begun this, he
proposed to see It out He caught
sight of tho purser superintending tho
dlschargo of cargo and callod to him
by name. The officer Joined them, a
pad of paper and a pencil In his hand.
"I'm trying to persuade Miss O'Neill
that she ought to go ashore while
we're lying here. What was It you told
me about the waterfall back of tho
"Finest thing of Us kind In Alaska.
Evoryone takes It In. Wo won't get
away till night You've plenty of time
If you want to sco It"
"Now, will you plcaso Introduce me
to Miss O'Neill formally?
Tho purser went through tho usual
formula of presentation, nddlng thnt
Elliot wns a government official on
his wny to Kuslak. Having done his
duty by the young man, tho busy sn
"I'm suro It would do you good to
walk up to tho waterfall with me, Miss
O'Neill," urged Elliot,
Sho met a llttlo dubiously the smile
that would not stny quite extinguished
on his good-looking, boyish face. Why
shouldn't sho go with him, slnco It wns
tho American way for unchnperoncd
youth to enjoy Itself naturally?
"If they'll fit," tho girl answered,
eying tho rubbers.
Gordon dropped to his knees nnd
demonstrated thnt they would
As they walked along tho muddy
street she gave blm a friendly llttlo
nod of thanks. "Good of you to tako
tho trouble to look out for me."
Ho laughed. "It was myself I wns
looking out for. I am a stranger In
tho country and was awfully lone
"Is It that this Is your first tlmo
in, too?" sho asked shyly.
"You'ro going to Kuslnk, aren't
you? Do you know anybody there?'
"My cousin lives there, but I haven't
seen her since I was ten. She's un
American. Eleveu years ngo Bho vis
Itcd us In Ireland."
"I'm glad you know someone," ho
said. "You'll not be so lonesome with
some of your people living thero."
"Aro you going to live at Kuslak?"
"No ; I'll bo stationed In tho terrl
tory for several months. I'll be In and
out of tho town a good deal. I hopo
you'll let mo bco something of you."
Tho flno Irish coloring deepened in
her cheeks. He had a way of taking
in his stride tho barriers between
them, but It was impossible for her
to feel offended at this cheery, vigor
ous young fellow with the winning
smllo and the flrm-sct Jaw. She liked
tho warmth in his honest brown eyes.
Sho liked the piny of muscular grace
bencnth his well-fitting clothes. Sheba
did not know, ns her resilient muscles
cnrrlcd her forward Joyfully, that she
vn answering tho call of youth to
Gordon respected -her shyness and
moved warily to establish his con
tact. He let tho talk drift to Imper
sonal topics as they picked their way
out from the town along the mossy
They were ascending steadily now
along a pathway almost too Indistinct
to follow. Tho nlr was aromatic with
The Qlrl Swung Out Into Space.
pine from a grove that came straggling
down the side of a gulch to tho brook.
"Do you know, I have a queer feel
ing that I've seen all this before," tho
Irish girl said. "Of course I haven't
unleBS It was In my dreams. Natu
rally I'vo thought about Alaska a great
deal because my father lived here."
"I didn't know that."
"Yes. He came In with tho Klon-
like stampeders." She addod quietly:
Tie died on Bonanza creek two years
"Was he c alner?"
"Not -until he came north. He had
an Interest In a claim. It lata? turned
A bit of stiff climbing brought them
to a boulder field back of which rose
a mountain ridge.
Beyond the boulder field the rldgo
roso sharply. Gordon looked a little
dubiously at Sheba.
"Are you a good climber?"
"I'm suro I must be," she answered
with n smile adorable. "I bcllovo
could do tho Matterhorn today."
Well up on tho shoulder of the ridge
they stopped to breathe. Tho distant
nolso of falling water camo faintly to
"Wo'ro too far to tho left must
havo followed the wrong spur," Billot
explnlned. "Probably wo can cut
across tho faco of tho mountain."
Presently they came to an Impasse
The gulch between tho two spurs ter
minated In a rock wall that fell almost
sheer for two hundred feet.
The color In tho cheeks beneath tho
oager eyes of tho girl was warm.
"Let's try It," sho begged.
Tho young man had noticed that sho
was as sure-footed as a mountain coat
and that sho could stand on the edge
of n preclplco without dizziness. The
surface of the wall was broken. Whnt
It might bo beyond ho could not tell,
nut tho first fifty feet wns a bit of
ottractivo and not too difficult rock
anoy had been following a ledge
that narrowed till It ran out. Jutting
Knoos or feldspar nnd stunted shrubs
growing rrora crevices offered toe
grips Instead of tho even foothold of
the rock Itself. As Gordon lookod
down at tho dizzy fall beneath them
his Judgment told him thoy had better
go back. Ho said as much to his com
Tho smllo sho flashed at him was de
lightfully provocative. "So you think
I'm n 'frnld-cnt, Mr. Elliot?"
His Inclination marched with hers.
It was their first adventure together
and ho did not wnnt to spoil It by un
duo caution. There really was not
much danger yet so long as they wero
Gordon abandoned tho traverse and
followed an ascending crack In the
wall. The going was hard. Ho looked
down nt tho girl wedged between the
slopes of the granite trough.
Sho read his thought "Tho Old
Guard never surrenders, sir," was her
quick answer as sho brushed In salute
with the tips of her Angers a stray lock
Tho trough was wor&o than Eliot
had expected. It had In it a good deal
of loose rubble that started in small
slides at the least pressure.
"Be very careful of your footing," he
called back anxiously.
A small grassy platform lay above
the upper end of tho trough, but the
last dozen feet of the approach was a
very difficult bit. Gordon fought his
way up with his back against ono wall
nnd his knees pressed to the other.
Three feet short of the plntform the
rock walls became absolutely smooth.
The climber could reach within a foot
of tho top.
"Are you stopped?" asked Sheba.
"Looks that way."
A small plno projected from the
edge of the shelf out over the preci
pice. It might be strong enough to
bear his weight It might not Gor
don unbuckled his belt nnd threw one
end over the trunk of the dwarf tree.
Gingerly he tested It with his weight,
then went up hnnd over hand nnd
worked himself over thb edge of the
"All right?" the girl called up.
"All right. But you can't make It.
I'm coming down again."
'Td llko to try It I'll stop If It's
too hard," sho promised.
Tho strength of her slender wrists
surprlsedjilm. She struggled up the
vertical crevnsse Inch by Inch. His
heart was full of fear, for a misstep
now would be fatal. He lay down with
his face over tho ledgo and lowered
to her the buckled loop of his belt
Twice she stopped exhausted, her
back and her hands pressed against
the walls of tho trough angle for sup
port "Better give It up," ho advised.
"I'll not, then." Sho smiled stub
bornly ns she shook her head.
Presently her Angers touched the
Gordon edged forwnrd an Inch or
two fnrther. "Put your hand through
tho loop and catch hold of the leather
above," he told her.
She did so, and at the same Instant
her foot slipped. The girl swung out
Into space suspended by one wrist The
muscles of Elliot hardened into steel as
they responded to tho strain. His body
began to slide very slowly down the
In a moment the acute danger wns
past. Sheba had found a hold with
her feet and relieved Bomewhnt the
dead pull upon Elliot
Sho had not voiced a cry, but the
face that looked up Into his was very
"Take your time," he said In a quiet
With his help she came close enough
for hlra to reach her hand. After thnt
It was only a moment before she knelt
on tho plateau beside him.
"Touch and go, wnsn't it?" Sheba
tried to smile, but the colorless Hps
told tho young man she was still faint
from the shock.
He knew ho wpb going to 'reproach
himself bitterly for having led her Into
such n risk, but he could not Just now
afford to wasto his energies on regrets.
You might have sprained your wrist,
he said lightly as ho rose to examine
tho cliff still to be negotiated.
Her dark eyes looked at him with
quick surprise. "So I might," she
But bis Indifferent tone had the ef
fect upon her of a plungo Into cold
water. It braced and stiffened her
will. If he wanted to Ignore the ter
rible danger through which she had
passed, certainly she was not going to
remind him of It.
Gordon was mountnineer enough to
know thnt tho climb up Is safer than
tho one back. The only possible way
for them to go down tho trough was
for hlra to lower her by the belt until
she found footing enough to go alone,
lie did not quite admit It to himself,
but In his heart he doubted whether
she could make It safely.
Tho alternative was the cliff face.
Across the Traverse.
Elliot took off his shoes and turned
toward the traverse.
"Think I'll see If I can cross to that
stairway. You had better wait here,
Miss O'Neill, until wo And out If It
can bo done."
Shcbn looked across the cliff and
down to Uio boulder bed two hundred
feet below. "You can never do It In
the world. Isn't thero another way
"No. The wall above us slopes out.
I'vo got to cross to the stairway. If
I make It I'm going to get a rope."
"Do you menn you'ro going back to
town for ono?"
Tier eyes fastened to his In a long,
unspoken question. She rend tho nn
swer. no was afraid to have her try
the trough again. To get hnck to town
by wny of their roundabout ascent
would wasto time. If ho was going to
rescue her before Jight, he must . K
tho shortest cut, md tnat was ucros
tho face of tho sheer cliff. For tho
first tlmo she understood hov Bcrlous
was their plight.
Tho gleoco of tho girl swept again
the face of the wall ho must cross. It
could npt bo done without a rope. Her
fenr-fllle'l eyes came back to his. "It's
my fault I wado you come," sho said
In a low volco.
"Nonsense," he nnswered cheerfully.
"There's no harm done. If I can't
reach tho stairway I can como back
nnd go down by tho trough."
Shcbn assented doubtfully.
, It had come on to drizzle again.
Tho rain wns Ano nnd cold, almost a
mist, and nlready it was forming a Aim
of lco on tho rocks.
"I can't take tlmo to go back by the
trough. Tho point Is that I don't want
you camped up hero after night There
has been no sun on this sldo of the
spur and In tho chill of tho evening It
must get cold even In summer."
Ho wns making his preparations as
ho talked. His coat he took off and
threw down. His shoes ho tied by tho
laces to his belt
"I'll try not to be very long," he
"It'a God's will then, so it is," sho
sighed, relapsing Into the vernacular.
Her volco was low and not very
steady, for the heart of the girl was
heavy. She knew she must not pro
test his decision. That was not tho
way to play the game. But somehow
the salt had gono from their light
Elliot took her little hand In a warm,
strong grip. "You're not going to bo
afraid. We'll work out all right you
"It's not Just tho thing to leave a
lndy In tho rain when you take her
for a walk, but It can't be helped.
We'll laugh about It tomorrow."
Would they? she wondered, answer
ing his smile faintly. Her courage was
He turned to tho climb.
"Yon'vo forgotten your cont," she re
minded. "I'm traveling light. this trip. You'd
better slip It on before you get chilled."
Sheba knew ho had left it on pur
pose for her.
Her fascinated eyes followed him
while he moved out from the plateau
ncross the face of the precipice. He
had none of the tools for climbing
no rope, no hatchet, none of the sup
port of numbers. All the allies he
could summon were his bare hands
and feet, his resilient muscles, nnd his
stout heart. To make it worse, the
Ice film from the rain coated every
Jutting Inch of quartz with danger.
But he worked steadily forwnrd.
moving with the Infinite caution of one
who known thnt there will bo no
chance to remedy later any mistake.
A slight error In Judgment the failure
In response of any one of fifty muscles,
would send him plunging down.
Her eye left him for nn Instant to
sweep the gulf below. She gave a
little cry, ran to his coat, and began
to wave It. For the first time since
Elliot hnd begun to traverse she took
the Initiative in speech.
"I see some people away over to the
left, Mr. Elliot I'm going to cnll to
them." Her voice throbbed with hopo.
But It was not her shouts or his,
which would not havo carried one
tenth the distance, that reached tho
group in the vnlley. One of them
caught a glimpse of the wildly wav
ing coat There was a consultation
and two or three fluttered handker
chiefs in response. Presently they
Shobn could not believe her eyes.
"They're not leaving us surely?" she
"That's what they're doing," nn
swered Gordon grimly. "They think
we're calling to them out of vanity
to show them where we climbed."
"Oh I" She strangled a sob.
"I'm going to make It. I think I see
my way from here," her companion
called ncross to her. "A fault runs to
the foot of the stairway, If I can only
do the next yard or two."
He did them, by throwing caution to
the winds. An Icy, rounded boulder
projected nbove him out of reach. He
unfastened his belt again and put the
shoes, tied by tho laces, around his
neck. There was one way to get across
to the ledgo of tho fault. He took
hold of tho two ends of the belt
crouched and leaned forward on tip
toes toward the knob. Tho loop of the
belt slid over tho ice-coated boss.
Thero was no chance to draw back
now, to test the hold ho had gained.
If the leather slipped he was lost His
body swung ncross the abyss and his
feet landed on the little ledge beyond.
His shout of success came perhaps
ten minutes later. "I've reached the
stairway, Miss O'Neill. I'll try not to
bo long, but you'd better exercise to
keep up tho circulation. Don't worry,
please. I'll be back beforo night."
"I'm so glad." sho cried Joyfully. "I
was afraid for you." And I'll not worry
a bit Good-by."
Elliot made his way up to the sum
mit and ran along a footpnth which
brought him to a bridge across the
mountain stream Just above the falls.
Before ho had specialized on the short
distances Gordon had been a cross
country runner. Ho was In fair con
dition and he covered the ground fast
Elliot dlocovers that ho and
8heba have mutual friends. Ho
and Macdonald, naturally antag
onistlc, become energetic rivals
for the girl's faVor.
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
But Not Quite.
"Father, what Is a glutton?" A
glutton is a grown man who can out
almost as much as a Bmall boy." Life.
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