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The Ledge on Bald Face   By: (1860-1943)

The Ledge on Bald Face by Charles George Douglas Roberts

First Page:

[Illustration: Cover art]

[Frontispiece: "The great dog shook his victim as a terrier shakes a rat." (Page 253.)]

THE LEDGE ON

BALD FACE

By

CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS

ILLUSTRATED

WARD, LOCK & CO., LIMITED

LONDON AND MELBOURNE

1918

Copyright in the United States of America

by Charles G. D. Roberts

Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Frome and London

POPULAR NATURE STORIES BY CHAS. G. D. ROBERTS

PUBLISHED BY WARD, LOCK & CO., LIMITED

THE HOUSE IN THE WATER KINGS IN EXILE THE SECRET TRAILS THE LEDGE ON BALD FACE

CONTENTS

I THE LEDGE ON BALD FACE II THE EAGLE III COCK CROW IV THE MORNING OF THE SILVER FROST V JIM, THE BACKWOODS POLICE DOG

PART I HOW WOOLLY BILLY CAME TO BRINE'S RIP " II THE BOOK AGENT AND THE BUCKSKIN BELT " III THE HOLE IN THE TREE " IV THE TRAIL OF THE BEAR " V THE FIRE AT BRINE'S RIP MILLS " VI THE MAN WITH THE DANCING BEAR

ILLUSTRATIONS

"The great dog shook his victim like a terrier shakes a rat" . . . Frontispiece

"He was thrown off his balance and shouldered clean over the brink"

"Then he spread his wings wide and let go"

"He flung his arms about Jim's shaggy neck and buried his face in the wet fur"

"'You keep right back, boys,' commanded the Deputy in a voice of steel"

"The door was flung open, and Black Dan with his hands held up, stalked forth into the moonlight"

"He drew a long knife ... and slipped behind the canoe"

"In the meantime, Jim, travelling at a speed that the fugitive could not hope to rival, had come to the right spot"

I

THE LEDGE ON BALD FACE

The Ledge on Bald Face

That one stark naked side of the mountain which gave it its name of Old Bald Face fronted full south. Scorched by sun and scourged by storm throughout the centuries, it was bleached to an ashen pallor that gleamed startlingly across the leagues of sombre, green purple wilderness outspread below. From the base of the tremendous bald steep stretched off the interminable leagues of cedar swamp, only to be traversed in dry weather or in frost. All the region behind the mountain face was an impenetrable jumble of gorges, pinnacles, and chasms, with black woods clinging in crevice and ravine and struggling up desperately towards the light.

In the time of spring and autumn floods, when the cedar swamps were impenetrable to all save mink, otter, and musk rat, the only way from the western plateau to the group of lakes that formed the source of the Ottanoonsis, on the east, was by a high, nerve testing trail across the wind swept brow of Old Bald Face. The trail followed a curious ledge, sometimes wide enough to have accommodated an ox wagon, at other times so narrow and so perilous that even the sure eyed caribou went warily in traversing it.

The only inhabitants of Bald Face were the eagles, three pairs of them, who had their nests, widely separated from each other in haughty isolation, on jutting shoulders and pinnacles accessible to no one without wings. Though the ledge path at its highest point was far above the nests, and commanded a clear view of one of them, the eagles had learned to know that those who traversed the pass were not troubling themselves about eagles' nests. They had also observed another thing of interest to them only because their keen eyes and suspicious brains were wont to note and consider everything that came within their purview and that was that the scanty traffic by the pass had its more or less regular times and seasons. In seasons of drought or hard frost it vanished altogether. In seasons of flood it increased the longer the floods lasted. And whenever there was any passing at all, the movement was from east to west in the morning, from west to east in the afternoon. This fact may have been due to some sort of dimly recognized convention among the wild kindreds, arrived at in some subtle way to avoid unnecessary and necessarily deadly misunderstanding and struggle... Continue reading book >>




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