Fort Davis! The thunderous boom of the guns heralded the approach of the first team. Nome, up the coast, was in a furor. Once more the people gathered quickly in the streets, and hurried toward the gaily illuminated stands to witness the finish of the great event.
Though it was ten o’clock at night, the full moon and the radiance of the snow made everything shimmer and glitter with wonderful brilliancy. High above the lights of the little town, which seemed but a continuation of the stars, flamed the Way-Farer’s Cross on the spire of St. Joseph’s; huge bonfires cast a flickering crimson glow upon the frosted pinnacles of ice, and rockets rose and fell like sparkling jewels in the clear sky.
Overhead fluttered a silken purse and the Trophy Cup, suspended by the Kennel Club colors from a wire that marked the end of the longest and most picturesque course in the racing world.
The wild wailing of many wolf dogs, shrill whistles, the merry peal of bells, added to the deafening clamor—as far away over the frozen sea a dim black shadow came—a swiftly moving shadow that soon was engulfed in the swaying mob that surged to meet it.
The Woman leaned from out the Judges’ Stand, waving streamers of White and Gold in joyous welcome.
Ben Edwards, thrilling with pride and happiness, slipped through the jostling crowd, and saw coming to him, down the Silver Trail, an ugly, rough-coated, faithful dog—bringing in his triumph, a justification of the boy’s unshaken faith, a reward for his unfaltering affection.
Again and again there were the stirring notes of the bugle, shouts of good will and praise, wild, incessant cheers, as the Allan and Darling Team, with every dog in harness, and “Scotty” Allan at the handle-bars, swept over the line—winners of the most hotly contested race the North has ever known, and led to victory by Baldy of Nome.
Immortals of the Trail
IMMORTALS OF THE TRAIL
The brief summer was over. The flowers that had blossomed so freely and so brightly under fair skies and in ceaseless sunshine were gone; and in the air was the chill of the early Arctic winter.
The Woman shivered slightly in spite of her furs. There was excitement in the air.
Beside her, erect and soldierly, walked Captain Rene’ Haas of the French Army, with a firm elastic tread that spoke of many marches.
He was talking earnestly with an enthusiasm that lighted up his keen dark eyes as with an inner fire.