Steadily Dane and Pete urged the springing craft onward. Seldom did they speak, and hardly a sound did they make as their paddles dipped rhythmically into the cold water. The sky was overcast, and not a star was to be seen. No lights gleamed along the shore. They were completely enwrapped by night and silence, securely enfolded in Nature’s great secret embrace.
Reaching at length the upper end of an island which divides the river, they ran the canoe ashore, rested, and ate some of the food Jean and Old Mammy had so thoughtfully prepared. They talked in low voices, and Pete explained the cause of his long absence, where he had been, and how for some time he had been trailing the rebels until he had at last discovered the place and night of meeting to arrange plans for united action.
“How did you know where I was?” Dane asked. “I didn’t tell any one where I was going.”
“Me know, a’right. Me know white woman. Me know Dane.”
“You were sure that I couldn’t keep away from her?”
“But I never did such a thing before, Pete. When did you ever know me to run after a woman?”
“Dane find good white woman. Dane mak’ no mistake.”
“I have made no mistake,” was the emphatic reply. “I am glad you like her, Pete.”
“White woman good; tak’ care babby, all sam’ mamma. Bimeby Pete——”
He suddenly paused, and laid his right hand upon his companion’s arm. But Dane’s ears were as keen as his own, and he, too, had heard the sound of an approaching canoe. It was coming down river, and in a few minutes it was abreast of them. Nothing could the two concealed men see, but as the strange craft was sweeping by, a voice broke the silence.
“Is everything ready?” was the question Dane heard asked.
“Yes, Seth’s looking after the plans,” came a reply.
Nothing more could Dane distinguish, although he strained his ears to hear something further. To him that canoe speeding through the night, and the words he had overheard, had a sinister meaning. That it was Seth Lupin to whom reference had been made, there could be no doubt. So the villain was still lurking around. What were the plans he was looking after? Had they anything to do with Jean? He believed they had, and the thought caused him to give the canoe a savage thrust from the shore, which sent it reeling back into midstream, He must get through with this task, and then hurry as quickly as possible to the girl he loved. But who were the ones in the canoe? From their words he felt sure that they were white men. In what way were they connected with Seth Lupin, and whither were they bound?
He thought of all this as the canoe moved swiftly up the river, and he racked his brains in an effort to solve the problem of the plans Seth was looking after. He questioned Pete closely, but the Indian had not seen the villain nor heard anything about him.