A Daughter of the Snows eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 256 pages of information about A Daughter of the Snows.
at once, doing all things.  In the opening up of a new river he was in the van; and at the tail-end also, hurrying forward the grub.  On the Outside he fought trade-combinations; made alliances with the corporations of the earth, and forced discriminating tariffs from the great carriers.  On the Inside he sold flour, and blankets, and tobacco; built saw-mills, staked townsites, and sought properties in copper, iron, and coal; and that the miners should be well-equipped, ransacked the lands of the Arctic even as far as Siberia for native-made snow-shoes, muclucs, and parkas.

He bore the country on his shoulders; saw to its needs; did its work.  Every ounce of its dust passed through his hands; every post-card and letter of credit.  He did its banking and exchange; carried and distributed its mails.  He frowned upon competition; frightened out predatory capital; bluffed militant syndicates, and when they would not, backed his bluff and broke them.  And for all, yet found time and place to remember his motherless girl, and to love her, and to fit her for the position he had made.

CHAPTER VI

“So I think, captain, you will agree that we must exaggerate the seriousness of the situation.”  Jacob Welse helped his visitor into his fur great-coat and went on.  “Not that it is not serious, but that it may not become more serious.  Both you and I have handled famines before.  We must frighten them, and frighten them now, before it is too late.  Take five thousand men out of Dawson and there will be grub to last.  Let those five thousand carry their tale of famine to Dyea and Skaguay, and they will prevent five thousand more coming in over the ice.”

“Quite right!  And you may count on the hearty co-operation of the police, Mr. Welse.”  The speaker, a strong-faced, grizzled man, heavy-set and of military bearing, pulled up his collar and rested his hand on the door-knob.  “I see already, thanks to you, the newcomers are beginning to sell their outfits and buy dogs.  Lord! won’t there be a stampede out over the ice as soon as the river closes down!  And each that sells a thousand pounds of grub and goes lessens the proposition by one empty stomach and fills another that remains.  When does the Laura start?”

“This morning, with three hundred grubless men aboard.  Would that they were three thousand!”

Amen to that!  And by the way, when does your daughter arrive?”

“’Most any day, now.”  Jacob Welse’s eyes warmed.  “And I want you to dinner when she does, and bring along a bunch of your young bucks from the Barracks.  I don’t know all their names, but just the same extend the invitation as though from me personally.  I haven’t cultivated the social side much,—­no time, but see to it that the girl enjoys herself.  Fresh from the States and London, and she’s liable to feel lonesome.  You understand.”

Jacob Welse closed the door, tilted his chair back, and cocked his feet on the guard-rail of the stove.  For one half-minute a girlish vision wavered in the shimmering air above the stove, then merged into a woman of fair Saxon type.

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