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About The Plattsmouth journal. (Plattsmouth, Nebraska) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 12, 1912)
Up in the "Big Snows," near
the dome of the earth, lies the
scene of this story of real men
and real women, who have all of
the virtues of their hardening en
vironment and few of the failings
of their more civilized relatives.
This is a tale for reading when
one is tired of the artificialities
of civilization or at any other
time when a good story is appre
ciated. You will find in it ro
mance and adventure and mystery
mixed in such skillful manner and
im sach proportion that no ingre
dient interferes with another. Yet
all go to make fine reading for
women who like to hear of brave
deeds and sacrifice for love's
sake and for men with even a
drop of the spirit of adventure
in their veins. And one thing
more the author has lived among
the people whose lives he de
scribes, and he knows how to tell
WAIST deep In the light snow,
Jan began the ascent, drag
gins himself up by the tops
of the slender saplings, stop
ping every few yards to half stretch
MmHPlf out in the soft mass through
wHrh he was struggling, panting with
exhaustion. He shouted when lie gain
ed the top of the ridge. Up through
th h i
flic white Mur of snow on
kHo there came to lilm faintly a shout;
yet, in spite of its faintness. Jan knew
that tt was very near.
'Something has happened to Ledoq,"
he told himself, "but he surely has
food, and we ran live it out until the
storm is over."
It was easier going down the ridge,
aad he went Uirkly in the direction
from which the voice had come, until a
niotis of huge bowlders loomed up be
fore him. There was a faint odor of
swokc in the air, and he followed it in
among the rocks, where U grew
TIo, Ledoq I" he shouted.
A voice replied a dozen yards away.
Slowly, as he advanced, he made out
the dim shadow of life in the white
gloom a bit of smoke climbing weak
ly In the storm, the Waek opening of
a brush shelter and then, between the
opening and the spiral of smoke, a liv
ing thing that came creeping toward
him on all fours, like an animal
He plunged toward It and the shad
ow staggered upward and would have
fallen had it not been for the support
of the deep snow. Another step, and
a sharp cry fell from Jan's lips. It was
not Lcdoq, but Dixon, who stood there
with white, starved face and staring
eyes in the snow gloom!
"My God, I am starving and dying
for a drink of water!" gasped the Eng
lisfcman chokingly, thrusting out his
arms. "Thorcnu, God be praised"
He staggered and fell in the snow.
Jan dragged him back to the shelter.
"I will have water for you and
something to eat very soon," he said.
His voice sounded unreal. There was
a mistiness before his eyes which was
net caused by the storm. He suspend
ed his two small palls over the em
bers, which he coaxed into a blaze.
Another Step end a Sharp Cry Fell
From Jan'e Llpe. It Wee Not Ledoq,
Both he filled with snow. Into oue
he emptied the handful of Dour thnt he
had carried In his pocket, into the other
he put tea. Fifteen minutes later he
carried them to the Englishman.
ixon Bat up, a glazed passion fill
ng tils eye. He drank the hot tea
pwJUyand as greedily. jto. the boiled
V1Ti c 5.
Copurtoht 1911. bu the Bobbs
flour pudding. Jan watched him "nun
grily until the last crumb of it was
goue. He refilled the pails with suow,
added more tea and then rejoined the
Englishman. New life was already
shining In Dixon's eyes.
"Not a moment too soon, Thoreau."
he said thankfully, reaching over to
grip the other's hand. "Another night
and" Suddenly he stopped. "Great
Heaven! What is tho matter?"
He noticed for the first time the
Plnched torture In his companion's
- 1n'a li.l b ilmnnl wonl-lv
upon his breast. Ills hands were icy
"Nothing." he murmured drowsily,
"only I'm starving, too, Dixon!" lie
rolled over upon the balsam Itoughs
with a restful sigh. "Let nie' sleep."
Dixon went to the pack. One by
one in his search for fond he took out
the few nrticles that It contained.
After that he drank more tea. crawled
back Into the balsam shelter and lay
down beside Jan. It was broad day
when he awoke, and he called hoarse
ly to his companion when he saw that
the snow; had ceased falling.
Jan did not stir. For a moment
Dixon leaned over to listen to his
breathing and then dragged himself
slowly and painfully out Into the day.
The fire was out. A leaden blackness
still tilled the sky: deep, silent gloom
hung In the wake of the storm.
Suddenly there came to Dixon's ears
a sound. Just beyond the hanging
palls a moosehlrd hopped out upon
the suow. Slowly Dixon forced his
right foot through the snow to the
rear of his left nnd as cautiously
brought his left behind his right.
working himself backward step by
step until he reached the shelter. Just
Inside was his rltle. He drew It out
and sank upon his knees In the snow
to aim. At the report of the rifle Jan
stirred, but did not open his eyes. He
made uo movement when Dixon called
out In shrill Joy that he had killed
meat. lie heard, he strove to arouse
himself, but something more powerful
than his own will seemed pulling him
down Into oblivion. It seemed an
eternitv Itofore he was conscious of a
voice again. He felt himself lifted
mil cponed his eyes with his head
restii g against the Kngllshinan's shoul
der "Drink this. Thoreau." he heard.
He drank and knew thnt It was not
tea that ran down his throat.
"VYhNky Jack soup." he heard again.
"How Is It?" (
He became wide awake. Dixon was
offering him a dozen small bits of
meat on n tin plate, nnd he ate with
out questioning. Suddenly, when there
were only two or three of the smallest
scrap lft. lie stopped.
it was whisky jack!" he cried. "1
have eaten It all"
The young Englishman's white face
grinned at tilni.
"I've got the Hour Inside of me.
Thoreau. You've got the moose bird.
Isn't that fair?"
The plate dropped between them
Over It their hands met In a great,
clutching grip, and up from Jan's
heart there welled words which almost
burst from his lips In voice, words
which rang In his brain and which
were an unspoken prayer "Melisse, 1
thank the great God that it Is this man
whom you love!" Cut It was in silence
that ho staggered to his feet and went
out Into the gloom.
"This may be only a lull in the
storm." he said. "Wo must lose no
time. How long did you travel before
you made this camp?"
"About ten hours," said Dixon. "1
made due west by compass until 1
knew that I had passed Lac Bain and
then struck north."
"Ah. you have the compass!" cried
Jan. his eyes lighting up. "M'seur
Dixon, we are very near to the post If
you camped so soon! Tell me which Is
"That is north."
"Then we go south south and east
If you traveled ten hours, first west
and then north, wo are northwest of
Jan spoko no more, hut got his rifle
AMfar IF "UTta
from the snviter ami "put" only "life tea
and two pails In his pack, leaving the
remaining blanket upon the snow. The
Englishman followed close behind him,
bending weakly under the weight of
Tediously they struggled to the top
of the ridge, aud as Jan stopped to
look through the gray day about him
Dixon sank down into the snow. When
the other turned toward him he grinned
up feebly into his face.
"Bushed." he gasped. "Don't be
lieve I can make it through this snow,
There was no fear In his eyes, there
was even a cheerful ring In his voice.
A sudden glow leaped Into Jan's face.
"I know this ridge," he exclaimed.
"It runs within a mile of Lac Bain.
You'd better leave your rifle behind."
Dixon made an effort to rise, and
Jan helped him. They went on slow
ly, resting every few hundred yards,
and each time that he rose from these
periods of rest Dixon's face was twist
ed with pnln.
"It's the flour and water anchored
amidships," he smiled grimly. "Cramps
ugh! I wish you'd go on alone." he
urged. ""ou could send help" .
"I promised Melisse thnt I would
bring you back if I found you," re
plied Jan, his face turned away. "If
the storm broke again you would bo
"Tell me tell me" he heard Dixon
nnnt encerlv. "did she send you to
hunt for me, Thoreau?"
Something in the Englishman's voice
drew his eyes to him. There was an
excited flush In his starved cheeks:
his eyes shone.
"Did she send you?"
Jan struggled hard to speak calmly
"Not In words, M'seur Dixon. But
I know that If 1 get you safely back
to Lac Bain she will be very happy."
Something came in Dixon's sobbln
breath which Jan did not hear. .
little later he stopped and built a (Ire
over which he melted more snow and
boiled tea. The drink stimulated them
and they went on. A little later still
and Jan hung his rifle in the crotch
of a sapling.
"We will return for the guns In n
day or so." he said.
Dixon leaned upon him more heavily
now. and the distances they traveled
between resting periods became short
er ami shorter. Three times they
stopped to build fires and cook tea. It
was night when they descended from
the ridge to the snow covered Ice of
Lac Bain. It was past midnight when
Jan dragged Dixon from the spruce
forest Into the opening at the post
There were no lights burning, nnd he
went with his half conscious burden
to the company's store. He awakened
Crnissot. who let them In.
"Take c;iv of Dixon," said .Ian. "and
don't arouse any of the people tonight.
It will lie time enough to tell what
has happened in the morning."
Over the stove in his own room he
cooked meat and coffee, and for a long
time sat silent before the fire. He had
brought back Dixon In the morning
Melisse would know. First she would
go to the Englishman, tlien-then-she
would come to him.
He rose and went to the rude hoard
table In the corner of his room.
"No, Melisse must not come to me In
tho morning," he whispered to himself.
"She must never again look upon Jan
He took pencil and pnper oad wrote.
Tage after page he crumpled In his
hand nnd flung Into the fire. At last,
swiftly and despairingly, he ended with
half n dozen lines. What he said came
from his heart In French:
1 hnve brought htm back to you, my
Melisse, ond prny that tho good God may
Rive you happiness. I leave you the old
violin, and always when you play It will
tell you of the love of Jan Thoreau.
He folded the page and sealed It In
one of the company's envelopes. Very
quietly he went from his room down
into the deserted store. Without strik
ing a light, he found a new pack, a few
articles of food and ammunition. The
envelope addressed to Melisse he left
where Crolsset or the factor would
find It In the morning. Ills dogs were
housed In a shack behind the store, and
he called out their names softly and
warnlngly as he went among them.' As
stealthily as their master they trailed
behind him to the edge of the forest,
and close under the old spruce that
guarded the grave Jan stopped and
silently he stretched out his arms to
the little cabin
The dogs watched him. Kazan, the
one eyed leader, glared from him into
the dimness of the night, whining soft
ly. A low, mourning wind swept
through the spruce tops, and from Jnn's
throat there burst sobbingly words
which he had heard beside this same
grave more than seventeen years bo
fore when Williams' choking voice had
risen In a last prayer for the woman.
"May the great God care for Me
lisse!" He turned into the trail upon which
Jean do Gravols had fought the Eng
lishman, led his dogs nnd sledge in a
twisting path through the caribou
swamp and stood at last beside the
lob stick tree that leaned out over the
edgo of the while Barrens. With his
knife lie dug out the papers which he
had concealed in that whisky Jack hole.
It was near dawn when he recovered
the rifle which he had abandoned on
the niountaln .bjl. . A JJttJeJntrJtJie-
gan lo snow. TTtTSvas g1a"TC7oFft""w&uTd
conceal his trail.
For thirteen days he forced his dogs
through the deep snows Into the south.
On the fourteenth they came to Le
Tas, which is the edge of civilization, j
It was night when he came out of the
forest, so that he could see tho faint
glow of lights beyond the Saskatche
wan. For a few moments, before crossing,
he stopped his tired dogs and turned
his face back Into the grim desolation
of the north, where the aurora was
playing feebly In the skies and beckon
ing to him and telling him that the old
life of centuries and centuries ago
would wait for him always at the dome
of the earth.
"The good God bless you and keep
you nnd care for you ever more, my
Melisse," he whispered. And he walk
ed slowly ahead of his dogs across the
river and Into the other world.
There was music that night in Le
Fas. A door opened and a man and a
woman enme out Tho man was curs
ing, and the woman was laughing at
him laughing as Jan had never heard
a woman laugh before, and he held his
breath as he listened to the tauuting
mockery In It Kazan, tho one eyed
leader, snarled. The trace dogs slunk
close to the leader's heels. With a
low word Jan led them on.
Close down to the river, where tho
Saskatchewan swung in a half moon
to tho south aud west, he found a low,
squat building with a light hung over
tho door Illuminating a bit of humor
in the form of a printed legend which
said that It was "King Edward's ho
tel." The scrub bush of tho forest
grew within a hundred ynrds of It,
and in this bush Jan tied his dogs nnd
left his sledge. It did not occur to
him that now, when he had entered
civilization, le had come also into tho
land of lock and bolt, of robbers and
thieves. It was loneliness nnd not sus
picion that sent lilm back to unleash
Kazan and tike him with him.
They entered the hotel, Kazan with
suspicious caution. The door opened
into a big room lighted by an oil lamp
turned low. Tho room was empty ex
cept for a solitary figure sitting in a
chair facing a wide window which
looked Into the north. Making no
sound that he might not disturb this
other occupant, Jan also seated him
self before the window. Kazan laid
his wolfish head across his master's
knees, his one eye upon him steadily
and questlonlngly. Never In all his
years of life had Jan felt the depth of
loneliness that swept upon him now
as he looked into the north. He did
not know that he was surrendering to
hunger and exhaustion, the cumulative
effects of his thirteen days' fight in the
forests. It was the low. heartbroken
sob oi grief thnt fell from his own lips
that awakened him again to n con
sciousness of the present
He Jerked himself erect nnd found
Kazan with his fangs gleaming. The
stranger had risen. He was standing
Th Stranger Had Risen.
close to lilm, leaning down, staring at
him in the dim lamplight, and as Jan
lifted his own eyes he knew that In
the pale, eager face of the man above
him thete was written a grief which
might have lieen a reflection of his
own. Something reached out to Jan
and set his tired blood tingling. He
knew that this uiau was not a forest
man. He was not of his people. His
face bore the stamp of the people to the
south, of civilization. And yet some
thing passed between them, leaped all
barriers aud made them friends beforo
they had spoken. Tho stranger reach
ed down his hand, and Jan reached np
his. All of the loneliness, the clinging
to hope, the starving deslro of two men
for companionship, passed In the long
grip of their hands.
"You have Just come down," said
the man half questlonlngly. "That
was your sledgo out thero?"
"Yes," said Jan.
Tho stranger sat down In the chair
next to Jan.
"From the camps?" ho questioned
"What camps, m'sleur?"
"The railroad camps, whore iVy are
putting the new line through, neyond
"I know of no camps," said Jan sim
ply. "I know of no railroad except
this that comes to Lo Tas. 1 come
from Lac Bain, on tho edge of the Bar
"You have never been down before?"
asked the atranger softly. Jan won-
dered at the Ibjhilri his" eyes.
"A long time ago," he said, "for a
day. I have passed ail of my life up
there." Jau pointed to the north, and
the other's eyes turned to where the
polar star was fading low In the sky.
"Aud 1 have passed all of my life
down there." he replied, nodding his
head to the south. "A year ago I came
up here for- for health ami happiness."
Ho laughed nervously. "I found them
both, but I'm leaving them. I'm going
back tomorrow. My name is Thorn
ton," he added, holding out his band
again. "1 come from Chicago."
"My name is Thoreau Jan Thoreau,"
said Jan. "1 have read of Chicago In a
book and have seen pictures of it. Is it
larger than the city that Is called Win
nipeg?" Ho looked at Thornton, and Thorn
ton turned his head a little so that
the light did not shine in his face. The
grip of his fingers tightened about Jan's
"Yes, It Is larger."
"Tho oflleers of the great company
are at Winnipeg and tho commissioner,
are they not, m'sleur?"
"Of tho Hudson's Bay company
yes." "And If there was business to do
important business, m'sleur, would it
not bo best to go to tho commissioner?"
Thornton looked hard at the tense
eagerness In Jan's face.
"There are nearer headquarters at
Trlnco Albert," he said.
"That is not far," exclaimed Jan, ris
ing. "And they would do business
there Important business?" Ho drop
ped his hand to Kazan's head and half
turned toward tho door.
"I'erhaps better than tho commis
sioner," replied Thornton. "It might
depend on what your business is."
To them, as each stood for a mo
ment in silence, there came tho low
wailing of a dog out In tho night
"They are culling for Kazan," snld
Jan quietly, as though he had not read
the question In Thornton's last words.
"Good night, m'sleur!"
LADIES AUXILIARY MEETS
From Wi'dnoilav'M Daily.
Tho Ladies' Auxiliary of Hie
Pi esliylerian church were delight
fully entei'lained at I he hoiiie of
Mr W. I'., llnsoiicnin.s yesterday
afternoon. A large number of the
ladies were in attendance and
wliiled aa some very pleasant
moments in stilehiug on dainty
fancy work, social conversation
and oilier amusements. The reg
ular business session was held at
which lime I he ladies decided that.
Ihey would give one of those pop
ular chicken pie suppers during
I lie last week of December. Anoth
er feature of I he business session
was the arrangements made for
the treat, for Ihe children of Ihj
Sunday school al (Christmas lime.
They also voted 75.11(1 lo the
trustees of Ihe church which will
be applied mi some of the church's
indebtedness. During the course
of Ihe afternoon's cnlcrlainmcul
an excellent luncheon was served
lv Ihe hostess.
JOSEPH THOMPSON MEETS
WITH A SERIOUS ACCIDENT
From VVeilniisday's Dally.
This morning while Joseph
Thompson was engaged in deliv
ering his express to the merchants
on Maih street be started lo gel
oiil of his wagon, which be had
slopped in front of Ihe store of
I'eler Clans, and in some manner
slipped mid fell striking Ihe wheel
and falling lo the pavement. It
was thought, for a few minutes
that he had sustained some broken
bones, but il was found that he
had only received some very
severe bruises. Mr. Thompson
was carried into the store of Mr.
Clans and medical attention sum
moned and the injured man con
veyed to his home, where at last
reports ho is resting easy,
though he will probably be
up for several days with Ihe
Brothers Bought Lot.
The Journal has been requested
lo make a correction of the state
ment in Ihe council proceedings
in regard lo the sale of a ceme
tery lot to Mrs. Hhoda Cottier
This statement was a part of the
report of the city clerk and rela
lives of Mrs. (Irani Coiner claim
it is wrong a Ihey stale the lot
was purchased by the brothers of
I he. deceased.
Change In Hours at Shops.
The Hurlington shops yesterday
began work at 7:30 instead of at
7 o'clock, nnd quit work at 5:30
ji. m. The coach shop department
are to work eight hours, quitting
The most useful gifts in tho
world at Kastwood's.
FIRE BOYS WILL HOLD
From Wednesday's Dally.
The lMattsinouth lire depart
ment held their regular session
last evening at the council cham
ber in this city, which was quite
hugely attended by the members
of the department. The depart
ment lias made arrangements to
hold a banquet at their room in
the city hall on the lirst meeting
in January, and a very sumptuous
"feed" will lie served to tho boys
and the occasion will tie one long:
to he remembered in the history
of the department. Anything that
is possible for the citizens to do
lo aid the department should be
done, as they are always on hand
to protect the property of the
citizens whenever the occasion
LECTURE TO THE YOUNG
MEN'S BIBLE CUSS
From Wednesday's Dally.
The next number in the free
lecture course offered to the
young men of the city by the
Young Men's Bible class of the
Methodist, church will be a stere
optican lecture by Dr. V. 0. Henry
of Omaha, who will speak in the
parlors of the church at 8 o'clock
on Monday evening, December 1(5.
I'liis is a rare opporl unity and
every young man in ttie city wno
can do so should avail himself of
it. No charge of any kind is made
for these led ores, ami this one
is of such importance Mint seats
for IdO will be placed in the
larger room instead of the usual
Makes Way With Velocipede.
Monday night some party or
parties desiring a ride, stole a
railroad velocipede, which was be
ing used by K. V. Savegren of the
liui'liuglon al Smilh Head, and
proceeded to gel away with it,
leaving no trace of the direction
in which Ihey went. It is very
probable that Ihey transferred the
velocipede to the Hock Island
tracks ami rode into Omaha, as no
sign of tin1 car has been found in
Ibis part of the county.
Will Sure Be Here.
Principal I. arson of the High
school has received word from
Superintendent Martin of Ihe Ne
braska City High school that their
basket ball team would sure be
here the "(II h lo play the local
team. The Nebraska City bunch
are a fast aggregation and a lively
coolest may be looked for, as the
leant here is determined to hang
another scalp on their belt.
Epidemlo of Ditherla.
There is quite an epidauiic of
diplhcria about seven miles west
of Murray. The families of llird
Dawsoji and John Philpol, are now
under quarantine and four of the
schools in I section have been
closed down. F.very thing possi
ble is being done to stamp out the
The splendid volumes and
there are hundreds of them
donated to our public library
through the courtesy ami kind
ness of Mr. Myron Clark, must
have some room to be placed in
and new shelving will need to be
constructed at once. Soon there
will be heard Ihe rasp of saws
nod Ihe hammering of nails.
Departs for Kansas.
Jesse H. McVey departed this
morning on the Missouri Pacific
for Sterling, Kansas, where he ex
pects to visit relatives for a short,
lime. After visiting at Sterling.
Mr. McVey will go to Mississippi,
where he expects lo spend the
winter, returning lo Nebraska
about Ihe last of March.
An Enthusiastic Committee.
The Misses Verna . Leonard,
llarbara (lering and Olive Jones
were appointed at Ihe last library
board meeting as a special com
mittee to assist in gathering
funds for the cataloging of tho
library. You may feel sure that
they will do llieir duty. In fact,
Ihev are hard at. work.
Doath of Infant Child.
Sunday night Mr. and Mrs.
arj Halstroiu were called upon to
mourn the loss of their new born
baby girl. The parents will have
the sympathy of the entire com
munity in llieir bereavement.
A number of thoroughbred
white Wyndotte cockrels. Inquire
of Julius Pitz. 12-9-81-wkly
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