“Tell us a story,” Jamie suggested, as they settled themselves comfortably by the fire.
“There’s dogs comin’!” Andy broke in.
David ran to the door, and a moment later ushered Eli Horn into the cabin.
“What’s the matter, Eli? Has anything happened?” asked Doctor Joe, immediately concerned for Margaret’s safety.
“Margaret’s safe,” said Eli with suppressed excitement. “There’s murder at the Post!”
Questions brought forth the fact that Eli and Margaret had reached the Post at about half-past three and found the people in confusion. Three lumbermen from Grampus River had come there. There had been a dispute among them and one of them was stabbed. The other two had immediately departed, presumably to return to the lumber camps. Eli did not know how seriously the man was injured. He had not seen him. It had occurred shortly before his arrival, and at Margaret’s suggestion he had turned directly about and returned to The Jug to fetch Doctor Joe to attend the injured man.
“My dogs is fagged,” said Eli, “and ‘twere slow comin’ back.”
“David will take me over with his dogs. They’re fresh, and will travel faster,” said Doctor Joe.
In ten minutes David was ready with the dogs harnessed, and the two teams drove away into the darkness and storm.
Andy and Jamie were greatly excited. Tragedies enough happened up and down the coast when men were drowned or lost in the ice or met with fatal injuries. But never before in the Bay had one man been cut down by the hand of another. It was a ghastly thought, and the awfulness of it was perhaps accentuated by the snow dashing against the window panes and the wind shrieking around the gables of the cabin.
It was near ten o’clock, long past their usual bedtime, and they were still talking, for there was matter enough in their brains to banish sleep, when the door suddenly opened and accompanied by the howl of the wind a snow-covered figure lurched in upon them.
THE IMMUTABLE LAW OF GOD
“Peter! ’Tis Peter Sparks!” exclaimed Andy with vast relief to find it was not a murderous lumberman.
“I’m comin’ after Doctor Joe!” gasped Peter, as half frozen he drew off his snow-caked netsek.
“Me rub your nose, Peter. She’s froze, and your cheeks too,” broke in Andy, vigorously rubbing Peter’s whitened nose and cheeks.
Peter was silent perforce while Andy manipulated the frosted parts until circulation and colour were restored.
“Come to the fire now and warm up,” directed Andy. “What you wantin’ of Doctor Joe?”
“There’s been murder done, or clost to un!” Peter, at last free to articulate, continued. “Murder at the lumber camp!”
“Murder!” repeated Jamie, awesomely.
“Aye, nigh to murder whatever!” Peter reiterated.