“That is a good idea,” David assented. “Maybe he will do it to-morrow. But what’s the matter, girl?” he demanded, looking with surprise upon Betty, who had suddenly stopped and was staring down upon the brook through an opening among the trees.
“Look,” she whispered, pointing with her finger, “there is that artist sketching down below. He doesn’t know we are here, so let us be as quiet as possible.”
“Well, why should he startle you?” David enquired. “He is not troubling us. I’m not afraid of him. In fact, I feel inclined to go and have a talk with him.”
“Don’t, please don’t,” and the girl laid her right hand imploringly on his arm. “Let us go home at once, for I feel shaky all over.”
“Very well, then,” David assented. “But I wish you would get over your foolish notion about that man. He is merely a harmless artist who has come to this place to get some good pictures. Why can’t you be sensible?”
Jasper had charge of fixing the poles and stretching the wires for light and power between the city and the falls, as well as throughout the country wherever it was planned to extend them. Gangs of men were at work along the lines, and Jasper was kept busy moving from place to place giving instructions and supervising everything. The entire responsibility rested upon him, and he wished to prove worthy of the trust.
The afternoon when David and Betty were up the brook, Jasper remained closer than usual to Creekdale, where a number of men were working. Opposite them a small island nestled out in the river, called “Emerald” Island by reason of its rich covering of fir, pine and birch trees. As a rule, Jasper paid strict attention to his duties, but to-day his mind often wandered and he would stand gazing out over the water to the island beyond.
As the afternoon wore away he became quite restless and watched the river most anxiously. A wind had sprung up, which, gentle at first, increased steadily into a gale. The water soon became rough and great white-caps rolled up-stream, especially heavy where the tide was strongest.
At length, leaving his men he went to the shore and stood close to the watery edge. He looked more down the river than formerly, as if expecting some one from that direction. But occasionally he cast his eyes off toward the island and breathed more freely after each look. He often consulted his watch as he now paced up and down the beach.
“What can be keeping that fellow?” he muttered. “He should have been here an hour ago. Surely he’s not tied up on account of the wind. I gave him strict instructions to come back as soon as possible. If he does not——Hello, there he is now,” and his face brightened as he gave a sigh of relief.
Coming up the river was a big boat used for rafting purposes containing one man. Volumes of spray leaped high as she surged through the water driven by a seven horse-power engine. This craft was used for towing logs and poles, and for the carrying of supplies to the various camps.