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The Backwoodsmen   By: (1860-1943)

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THE BACKWOODSMEN

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK · BOSTON · CHICAGO ATLANTA · SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., Limited

LONDON · BOMBAY · CALCUTTA MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd.

TORONTO

[Illustration: "Red McWha's big form shot past." (See page 136) ]

THE BACKWOODSMEN

BY CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS

AUTHOR OF "THE KINDRED OF THE WILD," "THE HOUSE IN THE WATER," "THE HEART OF THE ANCIENT WOOD," ETC.

ILLUSTRATED

New York THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1909

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1909,

By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published October, 1909.

Copyright, 1906, 1907, 1908, by THE CENTURY COMPANY, EVERYBODY'S MAGAZINE, APPLETON'S MAGAZINE, THE YOUTH'S COMPANION, THE LADIES' WORLD, THE DELINEATOR, HAMPTON'S BROADWAY MAGAZINE, T. Y. CROWELL & COMPANY.

Norwood Press

J. S. Gushing Co. Berwick & Smith Co.

Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE The Vagrants of the Barren 1 MacPhairrson's Happy Family 22 On Big Lonely 53 From Buck to Bear and Back 70 In the Deep of the Snow 81 The Gentling of Red McWha 112 Melindy and the Lynxes 144 Mrs. Gammit's Pig 156 The Blackwater Pot 177 The Iron Edge of Winter 201 The Grip in Deep Hole 208 The Nest of the Mallard 221 Mrs. Gammit and the Porcupines 230 The Battle in the Mist 262 Melindy and the Spring Bear 271

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"Red McWha's big form shot past." Frontispiece

"One of these monstrous shapes neglected to vanish." 18

"'It's Mandy Ann!'" 66

"Where anything from a baby's rattle to a bag of fertilizer could be purchased." 99

"He was roused by a sudden shot." 185

"He realized that he was caught by the foot." 201

The Vagrants of the Barren

With thick smoke in his throat and the roar of flame in his ears, Pete Noël awoke, shaking as if in the grip of a nightmare. He sat straight up in his bunk. Instantly he felt his face scorching. The whole cabin was ablaze. Leaping from his bunk, and dragging the blankets with him, he sprang to the door, tore it open, and rushed out into the snow.

But being a woodsman, and alert in every sense like the creatures of the wild themselves, his wits were awake almost before his body was, and his instincts were even quicker than his wits. The desolation and the savage cold of the wilderness had admonished him even in that terrifying moment. As he leaped out in desperate flight, he had snatched with him not only the blankets, but his rifle and cartridge belt from where they stood by the head of the bunk, and also his larrigans and great blanket coat from where they lay by its foot. He had been sleeping, according to custom, almost fully clothed.

Outside in the snow he stood, blinking through scorched and smarting lids at the destruction of his shack. For a second or two he stared down at the things he clutched in his arms, and wondered how he had come to think of them in time. Then, realizing with a pang that he needed something more than clothes and a rifle, he flung them down on the snow and made a dash for the cabin, in the hope of rescuing a hunk of bacon or a loaf of his substantial woodsman's bread... Continue reading book >>




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