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Baldy of Nome   By:

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First Page:

BALDY of NOME

by

ESTHER BIRDSALL DARLING

Decorations by Hattie Longstreet

[Illustration: Baldy of Nome]

To My Mother

whose unfailing kindness to all animals is one of my earliest and happiest memories

Contents

I. THE PARTING OF THE WAYS

II. WHERE EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY

III. THE FIRST STEP

IV. THE PLODDER

V. THE WOMAN, THE RACERS, AND OTHERS

VI. TO VISIT THOSE IN AFFLICTION

VII. THE DAWN OF A TO MORROW

VIII. A TRAGEDY WITHOUT A MORAL AND A COMEDY WITH ONE

IX. WITH THE FLIGHT OF TIME

X. THE SOLOMON DERBY

XI. ONE SUMMER

XII. THE GREAT RACE

XIII. FOR THE SUPREMACY OF THE TRAIL

XIV. IMMORTALS OF THE TRAIL

Illustrations

THE RACING TEAM

"SCOTTY" ALLAN AND BALDY

THE ALASKA OF MEN AND DOGS June 1st The steamer "Corwin" at the edge of the ice, five miles from shore

THE WOMAN

NOME, ALASKA FROM BERING SEA

THE START OF AN ALASKA DOG TEAM RACE

A TEAM OF SIBERIANS

"SHE HAD BEEN A MEMBER OF ONE OF THE MAIL TEAMS" Eric Johnson, U.S. mail carrier on the Nome Unalakleet Route

THE AIR WAS CRISP AND KEEN

THE TRAIL HAD GROWN EXCEEDINGLY ROUGH

KRUZAMAPA HOT SPRINGS

THE RAMSAY SIBERIANS

AN OVATION FOR THE PLUCKY LITTLE SCOTCHMAN

THE CAR COASTED DOWN ALL THE HILLS

"SCOTTY" ALLAN ON THE TRAIL

AN ALASKAN SWEEPSTAKES TEAM Fay Dalzene, driver

CAPTAIN HAAS OF THE FRENCH ARMY AND HIS ALASKAN SLEDGES

BALDY OF NOME

I

The Parting of the Ways

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

Baldy of Nome

CHAPTER I

THE PARTING OF THE WAYS

Baldy knew that something was wrong. His most diverting efforts had failed to gain the usual reward of a caress, or at least a word of understanding; and so, dog like to express his sympathy, he came close beside his friend and licked his hand. Always, before, this had called attention to the fact that Baldy was ready to share any trouble with the boy but to day the rough and grimy little hand, stiff and blue from the cold, did not respond, and instead only brushed away the tears that rolled slowly down the pinched cheeks. Sometimes the slight body shook with sobs that the boy tried manfully to suppress; but when one is chilled, and tired and hungry, and in the shadow of a Great Tragedy, the emotions are not easy to control.

With unseeing eyes and dragging steps, the boy trudged along the snowy trail, dreading the arrival at Golconda Camp. For there was the House of Judgment, where all of the unfortunate events of that most unhappy day would be reviewed sternly, though with a certain harsh justice, that could result in nothing less than a sentence of final separation from Baldy. And so when the dog in his most subtle and delicate manner showed his deep love for the boy, it only made the thought of the inevitable parting harder to bear.

So completely was Ben lost in his own gloomy reflections that he did not hear the sound of bells behind him; and it was not until a cheery voice called out demanding the right of way that he stepped aside to let a rapidly approaching dog team pass. As it came closer he saw that it was the Allan and Darling team of Racers, and for the moment his eyes brightened with interest and admiration as he noticed with a true dog lover's appreciation the perfect condition of the fleet footed dogs, and the fine detail of sled and equipment.

Then his glance fell upon Baldy thin, rough coated, and showing evidences of neglect; upon Baldy to whom he could not now even offer food and shelter, and a wave of bitterness swept over him.

"Come along, sonny, if you're going our way," and in the kindly little man at the handle bars the boy recognized "Scotty" Allan, the most famous dog driver in Alaska. To the boy "Scotty" represented all that was most admirable in the whole North, and he stood speechless at the invitation to ride with him behind a team that had always seemed as wonderful as Cinderella's Fairy Coach. He hesitated, and then the Woman in the sled beckoned encouragingly. "Get in with me; and your dog may come too," she said as she rearranged the heavy fur robes to make room... Continue reading book >>




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