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The Gun-Brand   By: (1880-1963)

Book cover

First Page:

[Frontispiece: "The next instant his arms were pinioned to his sides."]

The Gun Brand

By JAMES B. HENDRYX

AUTHOR OF

"The Promise" Etc.

With Frontispiece in Colors

By CLYDE FORSYTHE

A. L. BURT COMPANY

Publishers New York

published by arrangement with G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

COPYRIGHT, 1917

By

JAMES B. HENDRYX

Second Impression

The Knickerbocker Press, New York

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I THE CALL OF THE RAW II VERMILION SHOWS HIS HAND III PIERRE LAPIERRE IV CHLOE SECURES AN ALLY V PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS VI BRUTE MACNAIR VII THE MASTER MIND VIII A SHOT IN THE NIGHT IX ON SNARE LAKE X AN INTERVIEW XI BACK ON THE YELLOW KNIFE XII A FIGHT IN THE NIGHT XIII LAPIERRE RETURNS FROM THE SOUTH XIV THE WHISKEY RUNNERS XV "ARREST THAT MAN!" XVI MACNAIR GOES TO JAIL XVII A FRAME UP XVIII WHAT HAPPENED AT BROWN'S XIX THE LOUCHOUX GIRL XX ON THE TRAIL OF PIERRE LAPIERRE XXI LAPIERRE PAYS A VISIT XXII CHLOE WRITES A LETTER XXIII THE WOLF CRY! XXIV THE BATTLE XXV THE GUN BRAND

THE GUN BRAND

CHAPTER I

THE CALL OF THE RAW

Seated upon a thick, burlap covered bale of freight a "piece," in the parlance of the North Chloe Elliston idly watched the loading of the scows. The operation was not new to her; a dozen times within the month since the outfit had swung out from Athabasca Landing she had watched from the muddy bank while the half breeds and Indians unloaded the big scows, ran them light through whirling rock ribbed rapids, carried the innumerable pieces of freight upon their shoulders across portages made all but impassable by scrub timber, oozy muskeg, and low sand mountains, loaded the scows again at the foot of the rapid and steered them through devious and dangerous miles of swift moving white water, to the head of the next rapid.

They are patient men these water freighters of the far North. For more than two centuries and a quarter they have sweated the wilderness freight across these same portages. And they are sober men when civilization is behind them far behind.

Close beside Chloe Elliston, upon the same piece, Harriet Penny, of vague age, and vaguer purpose, also watched the loading of the scows. Harriet Penny was Chloe Elliston's one concession to convention excess baggage, beyond the outposts, being a creature of fear. Upon another piece, Big Lena, the gigantic Swedish Amazon who, in the capacity of general factotum, had accompanied Chloe Elliston over half the world, stared stolidly at the river.

Having arrived at Athabasca Landing four days after the departure of the Hudson Bay Company's annual brigade, Chloe had engaged transportation into the North in the scows of an independent. And, when he heard of this, the old factor at the post shook his head dubiously, but when the girl pressed him for the reason, he shrugged and remained silent. Only when the outfit was loaded did the old man whisper one sentence:

"Beware o' Pierre Lapierre."

Again Chloe questioned him, and again he remained silent. So, as the days passed upon the river trail, the name of Pierre Lapierre was all but forgotten in the menace of rapids and the monotony of portages. And now the last of the great rapids had been run the rapid of the Slave and the scows were almost loaded.

Vermilion, the boss scowman, stood upon the running board of the leading scow and directed the stowing of the freight. He was a picturesque figure Vermilion. A squat, thick half breed, with eyes set wide apart beneath a low forehead bound tightly around with a handkerchief of flaming silk.

A heavy eyed Indian, moving ponderously up the rough plank with a piece balanced upon his shoulders, missed his footing and fell with a loud splash into the water. The Indian scrambled clumsily ashore, and the piece was rescued, but not before a perfect torrent of French English Indian profanity had poured from the lips of the ever versatile Vermilion... Continue reading book >>




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