The Gun-Brand eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 243 pages of information about The Gun-Brand.

CHAPTER

     I the call of the raw
    II Vermilion shows his hand
   III Pierre Lapierre
    IV Chloe secures an ally
     V plans and specifications
    VI brute MACNAIR
   VII the master mind
  VIII A shot in the night
    IX on Snare lake
     X an interview
    XI back on the yellow knife
   XII A fight in the night
  XIII Lapierre returns from the south
   XIV the whiskey runners
    XV “Arrest that man!”
   XVI MACNAIR goes to jail
  XVII A frame-up
 XVIII what happened at Brown’s
   XIX the Louchoux girl
    XX on the trail of Pierre Lapierre
   XXI Lapierre pays A visit
  XXII Chloe writes A letter
 XXIII the wolf-cry! 
  XXIV the battle
   XXV the gun-brand

THE GUN-BRAND

CHAPTER I

THE CALL OF THE RAW

Seated upon a thick, burlap-covered bale of freight—­a “piece,” in the parlance of the North—­Chloe Elliston idly watched the loading of the scows.  The operation was not new to her; a dozen times within the month since the outfit had swung out from Athabasca Landing she had watched from the muddy bank while the half-breeds and Indians unloaded the big scows, ran them light through whirling rock-ribbed rapids, carried the innumerable pieces of freight upon their shoulders across portages made all but impassable by scrub timber, oozy muskeg, and low sand-mountains, loaded the scows again at the foot of the rapid and steered them through devious and dangerous miles of swift-moving white-water, to the head of the next rapid.

They are patient men—­these water freighters of the far North.  For more than two centuries and a quarter they have sweated the wilderness freight across these same portages.  And they are sober men—­when civilization is behind them—­far behind.

Close beside Chloe Elliston, upon the same piece, Harriet Penny, of vague age, and vaguer purpose, also watched the loading of the scows.  Harriet Penny was Chloe Elliston’s one concession to convention—­excess baggage, beyond the outposts, being a creature of fear.  Upon another piece, Big Lena, the gigantic Swedish Amazon who, in the capacity of general factotum, had accompanied Chloe Elliston over half the world, stared stolidly at the river.

Having arrived at Athabasca Landing four days after the departure of the Hudson Bay Company’s annual brigade, Chloe had engaged transportation into the North in the scows of an independent.  And, when he heard of this, the old factor at the post shook his head dubiously, but when the girl pressed him for the reason, he shrugged and remained silent.  Only when the outfit was loaded did the old man whisper one sentence: 

“Beware o’ Pierre Lapierre.”

Again Chloe questioned him, and again he remained silent.  So, as the days passed upon the river trail, the name of Pierre Lapierre was all but forgotten in the menace of rapids and the monotony of portages.  And now the last of the great rapids had been run—­the rapid of the Slave—­and the scows were almost loaded.

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Project Gutenberg
The Gun-Brand from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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