Micmac John deposited the bag of stolen pelts in a safe place in the tilt, intending to return for them after his bloody mission was accomplished, and several hours before daylight on Monday morning started out in the ghostly moonlight to trail Bob to his death.
LOST IN THE SNOW
The trail that Bob had made lay open and well-defined in the snow, and hour after hour the half-breed followed it, like a hound follows its prey.
Early in the morning the sky clouded heavily and towards noon snow began to fall. It was a bitterly cold day. Micmac John increased his pace for the trail would soon be hidden and he was not quite sure when he should find the camp. From the lakes the trail turned directly north and for several miles ran through a flat, wooded country. After a while there were wide open marshes, with narrow timbered strips between. An hour after noon he crossed a two mile stretch of this marsh and in a little clump of trees on the farther side of it came so suddenly upon the tent that he almost ran against it.
The snow was by this time falling thickly and a rising westerly wind was sweeping the marsh making travelling exceedingly difficult, and completely hiding the trail beyond the trees.
The tent flaps were fastened on the outside, and Bob was away, as Micmac John expected he would be, searching for caribou.
“There’s no use tryin’ t’ foller him in this snow,” said he to himself, “I’d be sure t’ miss him. But I’ll take the tent an’ outfit away on his flat sled an’ if he don’t have cover th’ cold’ll fix him before mornin’. There’ll be no livin’ in it over night with th’ wind blowin’ a gale as it’s goin’ to do with dark. My footin’ ’ll soon be hid an’ he can’t foller me. I can shoot him easy enough if he does.”
It was the work of only a few minutes to strike the tent and pack it and the other things, which included the stove, an axe, blanket and food, on the toboggan.
The half-breed was highly elated when he started off with his booty. The storm had come at just the right time. The elements would work a slower but just as sure a revenge as his gun and at the same time cover every trace of his villainy. He laughed as he pictured to himself Bob’s look of mystification and alarm when he returned and failed to find the tent, and how the lad would think he had made a mistake in the location and the desperate search for the camp that would follow, only to end finally in the snow and cold conquering him, as they were sure to do, and the wolves perhaps scattering his bones.
“That’s a fine end t’ him an’ he’ll never be takin’ trails away from me again,” he chuckled.
The whole picture as he imagined it was food for his black heart and he forgot his own uncomfortable position in the delight that he felt at the horrible death that he had so cleverly and cruelly arranged for Bob.