“An’ I’ll not try t’ be gettin’ here on Friday,” said Bill. “I’ll be waitin’ till Tuesday.”
“I’ll be doin’ th’ same, but I’ll be here sure on a Tuesday, an’ maybe Monday,” answered Bob.
So it was arranged that they should have a holiday, and all be together again. It gave Bob a thrill of pleasure when he thought of meeting Dick and Ed and proudly exhibiting his fur to have them examine and criticise the skins and compliment him. It would make a break in the monotonous life.
The day after Bob left the river tilt on his return round, the great dream with which he had started out from Wolf Bight became a reality. He caught a silver fox. It was almost evening when he turned into a marsh where the trap was set. He had caught nothing in it before, and he was thinking seriously of taking it up and placing it farther along the trail. But now in the half dusk, as he approached, something moved. “Sure ’tis a cross,” said he. When he came closer and saw that it was really a silver he could not for a moment believe his good fortune. It was too good to be true. When he had killed it and taken it out of the trap he hurried to the tilt hugging it closely to his breast as though afraid it would get away.
In the tilt he lighted a candle and examined it. It was a beauty! It was worth a lot of money! He patted it and turned it over. Then—there was no one to see him and question his manhood or jibe at his weakness—he cried—cried for pure joy. “Tis th’ savin’ o’ Emily an’ makin’ she well—an’ makin’ she well!” He had prayed that he would get a silver, but his faith had been weak and he had never really believed he should. Now he had it and his cup of joy was full. “Sure th’ Lard be good,” he repeated to himself.
It was starlight two evenings later when he neared his last tilt. Clear and beautiful and intensely cold was the silent white wilderness and Bob’s heart was as clear and light as the frosty air. When the black spot that marked the roof of the almost hidden shack met his view he stopped. A thin curl of smoke was rising from the stovepipe. Some one was in the tilt! He hesitated for only a moment, then hurried forward and pushed the door open. There, smoking his pipe sat Micmac John.
MICMAC JOHN’S REVENGE
“Evenin’, Bob,” said Micmac.
“Evenin’, John. An’ where’d you be comin’ from now?”
“Been huntin’ t’ th’ suth’ard. Thought I’d drop in an’ see ye.”
“Glad t’ see ye, John.”
After an awkward pause Bob asked:
“What un do wi’ th’ stove, John?”
“From th’ river tilt. Ye took un, didn’t ye?”
“No, I didn’t take no stove. I weren’t in th’ river tilt, an’ don’t know what yer talkin’ about,” lied the half-breed.
“Some one took un an’ we was layin’ it t’ you. Now I wonders who ’twere.”