A Tale of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police
SERGEANT RALPH S. KENDALL
Ex-Member of the R.N.W.M.P.
Grosset & Dunlap
Publishers New York
This truest of stories confirms beyond
That truest of adages—“Murder will out!”
In vain may the blood-spiller “double” and fly,
In vain even witchcraft and sorcery try:
Although for a time he may ’scape, by-and-by
He’ll be sure to be caught by a Hue and a Cry!
—The INGOLDSBY legend
MY OLD COMRADES
PRESENT, AND EX-MEMBERS OF THE
THIS WORK IS DEDICATED WITH EVERY KIND THOUGHT
O sing us a song of days that are gone—
Of men and happenings—of war and peace;
We love to yarn of “th’ times that was”
As our hair grows gray, and our years increase.
So—revert we again to our ancient lays—
Fill we our pipes, and our glasses raise—
“Salue! to those stirring, bygone days!”
Cry the old non-coms of the Mounted Police.
All day long the blizzard had raged, in one continuous squalling moaning roar—the fine-spun snow swirling and drifting about the barrack-buildings and grounds of the old Mounted Police Post of L. Division. Whirraru!-ee!—thrumm-mm! hummed the biting nor’easter through the cross-tree rigging of the towering flag-pole in the centre of the wind-swept square, while the slapping flag-halyards kept up an infernal “devil’s tattoo.” With snow-bound roof from which hung huge icicles, like walrus-tusks, the big main building loomed up, ghostly and indistinct, amidst the whirling, white-wreathed world, save where, from the lighted windows broad streamers of radiance stabbed the surrounding gloom; reflecting the driving snow-spume like dust-motes dancing in a sunbeam.
Enveloped in snow-drifts and barely visible in the uncertain light there clustered about the central structure the long, low-lying guard-room, stables, quartermaster’s store, and several smaller adjacent buildings comprising “The Barracks.” It was a bitter February night in South Alberta.
From the vicinity of the guard-room the muffled-up figure of a man, with head down against the driving blizzard, padded noiselessly with moccasined feet up the pathway leading to the main building. Soon reaching his destination, he dived hastily through the double storm-doors of the middle entrance into the passage, and banged them to.