The Valley of Silent Men eBook

James Oliver Curwood
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about The Valley of Silent Men.

And then she said, “Jeems, if we should be caught by the Police—­ it would probably be quite soon, wouldn’t it?”

“They won’t catch us.”

“But our greatest danger of being caught is right now, isn’t it?” she insisted.

Kent took out his watch and leaned over to look at it in the fireglow.  “It is three o’clock,” he said.  “Give me another day and night, Gray Goose, and the Police will never find us.”

For a moment or two more she was silent.  Then her hand reached out, and her fingers twined softly round his thumb again.  “Jeems—­ when we are safe—­when we are sure the Police won’t find us—­I will tell you all that I know—­about what happened in Kedsty’s room.  And I will tell you—­about—­the hair.  I will tell you—­ everything.”  Her fingers tightened almost fiercely.  “Everything,” she repeated.  “I will tell you about that in Kedsty’s room—­and I will tell you about myself—­and after that—­I am afraid—­you won’t like me.”

“I love you,” he said, making no movement to touch her.  “No matter what you tell me, Gray Goose, I shall love you.”

She gave a little cry, scarcely more than a broken note in her throat, and Kent—­had her face been turned toward him then—­would have seen the glory that came into it, and into her eyes, like a swift flash of light—­and passed as swiftly away.

What he did see, when she turned her head, were eyes caught suddenly by something at the cabin door.  He looked.  Water was trickling in slowly over the sill.

“I expected that,” he said cheerfully.  “Our scow is turning into a rain-barrel, Marette.  Unless I bail out, we’ll soon be flooded.”

He reached for his slicker and put it on.  “It won’t take me long to throw the water overboard,” he added.  “And while I’m doing that I want you to take off your wet things and tuck yourself into bed.  Will you, Gray Goose?”

“I’m not tired, but if you think it is best—­” Her hand touched his arm.

“It is best,” he said, and for a moment he bent over her until his lips touched her hair.

Then he seized a pail, and went out into the rain.


It was that hour when, with clear skies, the gray northern dawn would have been breaking faintly over the eastern forests.  Kent found the darkness more fog-like; about him was a grayer, ghostlier sort of gloom.  But he could not see the water under his feet.  Nor could he see the rail of the scow, or the river.  From the stern, ten feet from the cabin door, the cabin itself was swallowed up and invisible.

With the steady, swinging motion of the riverman he began bailing.  So regular became his movements that they ran in a sort of rhythmic accompaniment to his thoughts.  The monotonous splash, splash, splash of the outflung pails of water assumed, after a few minutes, the character of a mechanical thing.  He could smell the nearness of the shore.  Even in the rain the tang of cedar and balsam came to him faintly.

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The Valley of Silent Men from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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