The Valley of Silent Men eBook

James Oliver Curwood
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about The Valley of Silent Men.

He laughed inanely, foolishly, like a boy.  He began to hear a dull, droning murmur, a sound that with each stroke of the sweep grew into a more distinct, cataract-like roar.  It was the river.  Swollen by flood, it was a terrifying sound.  But Kent did not dread it.  It was his river; it was his friend.  It was the pulse and throb of life to him now.  The growing tumult of it was not menace, but the joyous thunder of many voices calling to him, rejoicing at his coming.  It grew in his ears.  Over his head the black sky opened again, and a deluge of rain fell straight down.  But above the sound of it the rush of the river drew nearer, and still nearer.  He felt the first eddying swirl of it against the scow head, and powerful hands seemed to reach in out of the darkness.  He knew that the nose of the current had caught him and was carrying him out on the breast of the stream.  He shipped the sweep and straightened himself, facing the utter chaos of blackness ahead.  He felt under him the slow and mighty pulse of the great flood as it swept toward the Slave, the Mackenzie, and the Arctic.  And he cried out at last in the downpour of storm, a cry of joy, of exultation, of hope that reached beyond the laws of men—­and then he turned toward the little cabin, where through the thickness of sodden night the tiny window was glowing yellow with candle-light.

CHAPTER XIX

To the cabin Kent groped his way, and knocked, and it was Marette who opened the door for him and stepped back for him to enter.  Like a great wet dog he came in, doubling until his hands almost touched the floor.  He sensed the incongruity of it, the misplacement of his overgrown body in this playhouse thing, and he grinned through the trickles of wet that ran down his face, and tried to see.  Marette had taken off her turban and rain-coat, and she, too, stooped low in the four-feet space of the cabin—­but not so ridiculously low as Kent.  He dropped on his knees again.  And then he saw that in the tiny stove a fire was burning.  The crackle of it rose above the beat of the rain on the roof, and the air was already mellowing with the warmth of it.  He looked at Marette.  Her wet hair was still clinging to her face, her feet and arms and part of her body were wet; but her eyes were shining, and she was smiling at him.  She seemed to him, in this moment, like a child that was glad it had found refuge.  He had thought that the terror of the night would show in her face, but it was gone.  She was not thinking of the thunder and the lightning, the black trail, or of Kedsty lying dead in his bungalow.  She was thinking of him.

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