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The Warden of the Plains and Other Stories of Life in the Canadian North-west   By: (1851-1928)

The Warden of the Plains and Other Stories of Life in the Canadian North-west by John Maclean

First Page:

[Illustration: Cover art]

[Frontispiece: "Boys, I allus carries my Guide Book." ( Page 30. )]

THE WARDEN OF THE PLAINS

AND OTHER STORIES OF LIFE IN THE CANADIAN NORTH WEST

BY

JOHN MACLEAN, M.A., PH.D.,

Author of "Canadian Savage Folk," etc.

ILLUSTRATED BY J. E. LAUGHLIN

TORONTO

WILLIAM BRIGGS

WESLEY BUILDINGS

MONTREAL: C. W. COATES HALIFAX: S. F. HUESTIS

1896

Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety six, by WILLIAM BRIGGS, at the Department of Agriculture.

CONTENTS.

THE WARDEN OF THE PLAINS

ASOKOA, THE CHIEF'S DAUGHTER

THE SKY PILOT

THE LONE PINE

THE WRITING STONE

AKSPINE

OLD GLAD

THE SPIRIT GUIDE

ALAHCASLA

THE HIDDEN TREASURE

THE WHITE MAN'S BRIDE

THE COMING OF APAUAKAS

THE WARDEN OF THE PLAINS.

In the wide western plains at the base of the Rocky Mountains, where countless buffalo once found luxuriant feeding grounds, the white man's cattle were roaming in tens of thousands. It was the time of the "round up." The cowboys had been scouring the plain for hundreds of miles gathering in the cattle and horses, banding them and driving them into the corral, there to be counted and the young branded.

The "round up" party had camped for the night. Many of them were weary from the hard day's riding, and were sitting or lounging about in the tents or on the open prairie, waiting for the supper which others were preparing.

"Hello, Jake!" shouted one of these, as a man who seemed to have sprung from the prairie, so suddenly had he appeared, rode into the camp.

"All right, Bill," was the reply of the new comer, uttered in a short but friendly tone.

"The boys 'll be right glad t' see ye, Jake, fur we haven't had a sermon fur a long time. Ye're the only preacher we fellows have got, and ye're welcome."

"Wall, Bill, ef ye wud follow the trail and no be straying frae the herd, ye wouldna get lost sae often, nur make it sae hard fur yerselves, and fur the Gospel cowboys t' find ye."

Jake, or as he called himself, the "Gospel Cowboy," was a queer character but a true man, who felt himself called upon to go from ranch to ranch to tell in his own strange way the story of the Saviour's love.

Before his conversion he was known as "Broncho Jake," but since then the pioneers on the prairie had called him "The Warden of the Plains." He was a daring fellow, fearless of danger in crossing the rapid rivers, a good rider and a splendid roper. Few of the cowboys could handle a lariat like Broncho Jake. He was always foremost in trials of skill and horsemanship. A few years before he had entered upon his new life of itinerating among the ranches, there was a contest between the cowboys to decide who among them was the most skilful rider. Jake was one of the competitors.

A large circle was formed upon the prairie where the contest was to be held. The various riders were surrounded by friends who had come to witness the exhibition of skill. Many feats of daring were performed, until the contest lay finally between Bill Jones and Broncho Jake.

Bill sprang lightly upon his horse, and riding rapidly around the circle, flung his hat to the ground; then increasing the animal's speed until it became a mad rush through space, he leaned downward on the right side, and holding on only by his left foot, picked up the hat, and, putting it on his head, threw himself back into the saddle. The crowd cheered him lustily as he sat his horse with easy grace and rode once more around the circle. The horse seemed to understand and feel that his master's reputation was at stake, and his nostrils quivered as he stretched his neck forward in the race. Still riding at full speed, Bill loosed his necktie and threw it on the ground. Surely he does not mean to attempt to pick it up! If he tries he will certainly break his neck... Continue reading book >>




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