A Daughter of the Snows eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 335 pages of information about A Daughter of the Snows.

“Guid Gawd!  Guid Gawd!  Like rats i’ the trap!” Tommy jabbed his paddle futilely in the water.

“Get the stroke!” Corliss hissed in his ear, and La Bijou sprang away.

Frona steered straight across the current, at almost right angles, for Split-up; but when the sandspit, over which they had portaged, crashed at the impact of a million tons, Corliss glanced at her anxiously.  She smiled and shook her head, at the same time slacking off the course.

“We can’t make it,” she whispered, looking back at the ice a couple of hundred feet away.  “Our only chance is to run before it and work in slowly.”

She cherished every inward inch jealously, holding the canoe up as sharply as she dared and at the same time maintaining a constant distance ahead of the ice-rim.

“I canna stand the pace,” Tommy whimpered once; but the silence of Corliss and Frona seemed ominous, and he kept his paddle going.

At the very fore of the ice was a floe five or six feet thick and a couple of acres in extent.  Reaching out in advance of the pack, it clove through the water till on either side there formed a bore like that of a quick flood-tide in an inland passage.  Tommy caught sight of it, and would have collapsed had not Corliss prodded him, between strokes, with the point of his paddle.

“We can keep ahead,” Frona panted; “but we must get time to make the landing?”

“When the chance comes, drive her in, bow on,” Corliss counselled; “and when she strikes, jump and run for it.”

“Climb, rather.  I’m glad my skirt is short.”

Repulsed by the bluffs of the left bank, the ice was forced towards the right.  The big floe, in advance, drove in upon the precise point of Split-up Island.

“If you look back, I’ll brain you with the paddle,” Corliss threatened.

“Ay,” Tommy groaned.

But Corliss looked back, and so did Frona.  The great berg struck the land with an earthquake shock.  For fifty feet the soft island was demolished.  A score of pines swayed frantically and went down, and where they went down rose up a mountain of ice, which rose, and fell, and rose again.  Below, and but a few feet away, Del Bishop ran out to the bank, and above the roar they could hear faintly his “Hit ’er up!  Hit ’er up!” Then the ice-rim wrinkled up and he sprang back to escape it.

“The first opening,” Corliss gasped.

Frona’s lips spread apart; she tried to speak but failed, then nodded her head that she had heard.  They swung along in rapid rhythm under the rainbow-wall, looking for a place where it might be quickly cleared.  And down all the length of Split-up Island they raced vainly, the shore crashing behind them as they fled.

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A Daughter of the Snows from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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