“Tuktu! Tuktu! Tuktu!” (Caribou, or reindeer.)
Bobby’s excited cry brought Jimmy up on a run, and when he looked and saw, he, too, shouted, and was no less excited than Bobby.
“Caribou! The caribou are coming!”
That was enough to send them back on a run for Abel and Skipper Ed and their rifles and all the ammunition they could muster, and then all four turned back to meet the caribou.
On and on came the great herd, in a far-reaching, endless mass, thousands upon thousands of them, and they were heading directly for the hill where the four eager hunters waited.
At length the mass reached them, and what followed was not a hunt but a slaughter, and when they were through more than a hundred caribou lay stretched upon the snow, and still the caribou came.
The period of starvation was at an end. Comfort and plenty had appeared at their very door.
The dogs were harnessed, and as many of the carcasses as they could use for man and dog food were hauled down, some to Abel Zachariah’s cabin and some to Skipper Ed’s. And bright and early the following morning Abel set out to the mission station and Skipper Ed to Abraham Moses’ cabin, to bid the starving people come and help themselves and feast, and in the end not a caribou of all those that were killed was wasted.
And so it was that the Almighty looked after these children of His, and so He cares for His children even in the wild wastes of Labrador.
“Good luck! Good luck at last!” said Skipper Ed.
OFF TO THE “SENA”
And so it was that the famine ended. There was small variety for the table, to be sure, but there was always plenty of good venison, varied with ptarmigans, and now and again a porcupine. And after all they were able to go to the ice edge on the winter seal hunt, and a profitable hunt it proved.
Thus the years passed, and thus they were filled with ups and downs and many adventures and hard work, and withal plenty of good fun, too, to flavor them, as years are bound to be in that land of stern and active existence.
But there was always time for study, and when Bobby was in his sixteenth year he and Jimmy could boast of having read Caesar and Cicero and Xenophon, and they were delving into Virgil and the Iliad. Under Skipper Ed’s tutorship Bobby had advanced as far in his studies as most boys of his age in civilization, who have all the advantages of the best schools. And Skipper Ed was proud of his progress, and proud of Jimmy’s progress too, as indeed he had reason to be, for neither of them was a waster of time. There was no inducement to be laggards.
Their hearts were clean and their vision was clear. Their view was not cut off or circumscribed by the frivolous and ofttimes vicious amusements that stand as a wall around life’s outlook in the town. Their view and their hope were as wide as the wilderness and the sea, rugged and stern but mighty and majestic and limitless—God’s unspoiled works—and God was a living God to them.