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Adrift in the wilds, or, The adventures of two shipwrecked boys / by Edward S. Ellis. Ellis, Edward Sylvester, 1840-1916. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-211-30910069 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Adrift in the wilds, or, The adventures of two shipwrecked boys / by Edward S. Ellis. Ellis, Edward Sylvester, 1840-1916. A.L. Burt, New York :  279 p.,  leaf of plates : ill. ; 19 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04601.01 KUK) Printing Master B92-211. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. X MAY THE GOOD L)RD PRESARVE rs! THEM ARE TNjuxs, RATD TTw.'1 Adrift in the Wilds; OR, The AdMveltures of Twvo Sldiiwp cl-d Boys, BY EDWARD S. ELLIS. ILLUSTRATED. NEW YORK: A. L. BURT, PUBLISHER. OOPYRXGFITED 1887, isy A. L. nutT. ADRIFT IN THE WILDS; OR, The Adventures of Two Shipwrecked Boys. CHAPTER I. HO, FOR CALIFORNIA. NE BEAUTIFUL midsummer night in 18- a large, heavily laden steamer was making her way swiftly up the Pacific coast, in the direction of San Francisco. She was opposite the Cali- fornia shore, only a day's sail distant from the City of the Golden Gate, and many of the passengers had already begun making preparations for landing, even though a whole night and the better part of a day was to intervene ere they could expect to set their feet upon solid land. She was one of those magnificent steamers that ply regularly between Panama and California. She had rather more than her full cargo of freight and passen- gers; but, among the hundreds of the latter, we' have to do with but three. On this moonlight night, there were gathered by ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. themselves these three personages, consisting of Tim O'Rooney, Elwood Brandon and Howard Lawrence. The first was a burly, good-natured Irishman, and the two latter were cousins, their ages differing by less than i month, and both being in their sixteenth year. The financial storm that swept over the country in 18-, toppling down merchants and banking-houses like so many ten-pins, carried with it in the general wreck and ruin, that of Brandon, Herman Co., and the senior partner, Sylvanus Brandon, returned to his home in Brooklyn, New York, one evening worse than pen- niless. While he was meditating, dejected and gloomy, as to the means by which he was to keep the wolf from the door, his clerk brought him a letter which had been overlooked in the afternoon's mail, postmarked, " San Francisco, Cal." At once he recognized the bold, handsome superscription as that of his kind-hearted brother-in-law, Thomas Lawrence. His heart beat with a strong hope as he broke the envelope, and his eyes glistened ere he had read one-half. In short, it stated that M1r. Lawrence had established himself successfully in business, and was doing so well that he felt the imperative need of a partner, and ended by urging Mr. Brandon to accept the position. The bankrupt merchant laid the epistle in his lap, removed his spectacles and looked smilingly toward his wife. They held a long discussion, and both decided to accept the offer at once, as there was no other recourse left to them. It was evident from the letter that Mr. Lawrence had 6 HO, FOR CALIFORNIA. some apprehensions regarding Mr. Brandon's ability to weather the storm, but he could not be aware of his financial crash, as it had only become known on the street within the last twenty-four hours. Mr. Brandon deemed it proper, therefore, before closing with the offer, to acquaint his brother-in-law with his circum- stances, that he might fully understand the disadvantage under which he would be placed by the new partner- ship. The letter was written and duly posted, and our friends rather anxiously awaited the answer. It came in the gratifying form of a draft for 1,000 to defray "his necessary expenses," and an urgent entreaty to start without delay. The advice was acted upon, and within two weeks of the reception of the second letter, Mr. Brandon and his wife were on board the steamer at New York, with their state-rooms engaged for California. They had but one child, Elwood, whom they had placed at a private school where he was to prepare himself for college, in company with his cousin, Howard Lawrence, who had been sent from California by his father and had entered the school at the same time. Mr. Brandon learned that Mr. Lawrence was a brother indeed. The position in which the two men were placed proved so favorable to the former that in a few years he found himself almost as wealthy as in his palmiest days, when his name was such a power in Wall Street. He had come to like the young and growing State of Cali- fornia, and ere he had been there two years both him- 7 ADRIFT IX THE WILDS. self and wife had lost all longings for the metropolis of the New World. In the meanwhile, Elwood and Howard were doing well at their studies in Brooklyn. They had been in- separable friends from infancy, and as their years in- creased the bonds of affection seemed to strengthen between them. They were the only children of twin sisters, and bore a remarkable resemblance in person, character and disposition. Both had dark, curling, chestnut hair, hazel eyes, and an active muscular organization that made them leaders in boyish pastimes and sports. If there was any perceptible difference between the two, it was that Elwood Brandon was a little more daring and impetuous than his companion; he was apt to follow out his first impulses and venture upon schemes without deliberating fully enough. Both were generous, unselfish, and either would have willingly risked his life for the other. Thus matters stood until the summer when our young heroes had completed their preparatory course, and were ready to enter college. It was decided by their parents that this should be done in the autumn, and that the summer of this year should be spent by the boys with their parents in California. They had been separated from them for five years, during which they had met but once, when the parents made a journey to New York for that purpose, spending several months with them. That visit, it may be said, was now to be returned, and the boys meant that it should be returned with interest. 8 HO, FOR C.4ALFORA-A. 9 And so Tim O'Rooney, a good-natured, trustworthy Irishman, who had been in the employ of Mr. Lawrence for eight years, almost ever since his arrival in America, was sent to New York to accompany the boys on their visit home. Howard and Elwood were standing one afternoon on the corner of Montague Street, in Brooklyn, chatting with each other about their expected trip to California. They had closed their school studies a week before, and boy-like were now anxious to be off upon their journey. Suddenly an Irishman came in sight, smoking furiously at a short black pipe. The first glance showed them that it was no other than Tim O'Rooney, the expected messenger. "Isn't that good" exclaimed Elwood, "the steamer sails oil Saturday, and we'll go in it. Here he comes, as though he was in a great hurry!" " Don't say anything, and see whether he will know us!" "Why shouldn't he" " You know we've grown a good deal since he was here, and the beard is getting so stiff on my chin that it scratches my hand every time I touch it." "Yes; that mustache, too, is making you look as fierce as a Bluebeard; but here he is!" At this instant Tim O'Rooney came opposite them. He merely glanced up, puffed harder than ever aad was passing on, when both burst out in a loud laugh. "Be the powers! what's the mather with ye spal- peens" he angrily demanded. "Can't a dacent man be 9 10 ADkIF LVdo TILE WVILDS. passing the sthrats widout being insulted- Howly mother! is it yerselves or is it your grandfathers" He had recognized them, and a hearty hand-shaking followed. Tim grinned a great deal over his mistake, and answered their questions in his dry, witty way, and assured therm that his instructions were to bring them home as soon as possible. Accordingly, they embarked on the steamer on the following Saturday; and, passing over the unimportant incidents of their voyage, we come back to our starting point, where all three were within a day's journey of their deatination. CHAPTER II. FIRE. 0-MORROW wve shall he home," said Elwood X 3raiidon, addressing his companion, although at the tinme he was looking out on the moon- lit sea, in the direction of California. Yes; if nothing unexpected happens," replied his cousin, who was pushing and drawing a large Newfound- land dogf that lav at his feet. And what can happen " asked his cousin, turning abruptly toward him. "A hundred things. Suppose the boiler should blow up, we run oIn a rock, take fire, or get struck by a squall : " Or be carried away in a balloon," was the impatient exclamation. " One is just as likely to happen as the other." " Hardly-heigh-ho!" Howard at that moment had twined his feet around the neck of Terror, the Newfoundland, and the mis- chievolls dog, spriaging suddenly to his feet, brought his master from his seat to the deck, which, as a matter of course, made both of the cousins latugh. "He did that oIn purpose," said Howard, recovering his position. ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. " Of course he did. You have been pestering him for the last half-hour, and he is getting tired of it; but I may say, Howard, I shall hardly be able to sleep to- night, I am so anxious to see father and mother." " So am I; a few years makes such a difference in us, while I can't detect the least change in them." "Except a few more gray hairs, or perhaps an addi- tional wrinkle or two. What's the matter with Tim" "Tim! 0 nothing, he seems to be meditating and smoking. Fact is that is about all he has done since lie has been with us." "It's been a grand time for Tim, and I have no doubt he has enjoyed the trip to and from California as much as either of us." The subject of these remarks was seated a few feet away, his arms folded, while he was looking with a vague, dreamy expression otit upon the great Pacific, stretching so many thousand miles beyond them, rolling far off in each direction, until sky and ocean blended in great gloom. "Maybe he is looking for Asia," laughed Elwood in an undertone. "More likely he is hoping to get a glimpse of Ireland, for he would be as likely to look in that direction as any other. I say, Tim!" The Irishman did not heed the call until he was addressed the second time in a louder tone than before, when he suddenly raised his head. "Whisht! what is it " "What are you thinking about F' 12 FIRE. "Nothin', I was dreaming." "Dreaming! what about" "Begorrah but that was a qua'r dream, was that same one." "TLet's hear it." "But it's onplaiBant." "Never mind, out with it." "Well, thin, if I must tell yees, I was thinking that this owld staamer was all on fire, and all of us passengers was jumping around in the wather, pulling each other down, away miles into the sea, till we was gone so long there wasn't a chance iver to git up agin." A strange fear thrilled both of the boys at the men- tion of this, and they looked at each other a moment in silence. " What put that into your head, Tim" "And it's just the question I was axing meself, for I never draamed of such a thing in my life before, and it's mighty qua'r that I should take a notion to do it now. " " It ain't worth talking about," said Elwood, showing an anxiety to change the subject. " Be yees going to bed to-night" " I don't feel a bit sleepy," replied Elwood. "I'd just as soon sit up half the ilight as not." "And so would I; it must be after eleven o'clock, isn't it" "It's near 'levin," replied Tim. 'I'm not able to examine me watch; and if I was, I couldn't tell very well, as it hasn't run for a few months." is ADRIFT IV THE WILDS. Howard took out his watch, but the moonlight was too faint for him to distinguish the hands, and the three were content to let the precise time remain a matter of conjecture. "Tim, how close are we to land" asked Elwood. "I should say about the same distance that the land is from us, and begorrah that's the best information I can give vees." "I could see the mountains very plainly when the sun was setting," said Howard, "and it cannot be many miles away." " What sort of a country is it off here" pursued El- wood, pointing in the direction of the land. " It is wild and rocky, and there are plenty of Indians and wild animals there." " How do you know" asked Elwood, in some amaze- ment. "I have taken the trouble to learn all about Cali- fornia that I couldl before corning.' "I believe they have gold there" said Elwood, in rather a bantering vein. "Tim can tell vou more about that than I can, as he came to California to hunt gold." "How is that, Tim" "Begorrah, but he shpakes the truth. I wint up among the mountains to hunt gowld." "And what luck had you" "Luck, is it" repeated the Irishman, with an ex- pression of ludicrous disgust. " Luck, does ye call it, to have your head cracked and your shins smashed by 14 FIRE. the copper-skins, chawed up by the b'ars, froze to death in the mountains, drowned in the rivers-that run into the top of yer shanty when yer sound asleep-your feet gnawed off by wolverines, as they call-and-but whisht! don't talk to me of luck, and all the time ye never gets a sight of a particle of gowl(l." The boys laughed. Howard said: "But your luck is not every one's, Tim; there have been plenty who have made fortunes at the business." "Yis, but they wasn't Tim O'Rooneys. He's not the man that was born to be rich!" " You're better satisfied where you are." " Yis, thank God, that I've such a good home, and an ongrateful dog would I baa if I should ask more." "But, Elwood, it's getting late, and this night air begins to feel chilly. It can't be far from midnight." " I am willing; where's Terror Ah! here he is; old fellow, come along and keel faithful watch over your f riends. " "Boys," said Tim O'Rooney,. with a stranger husky intonation, "'you remember my draAm about this staamer burning" "Yes; what of it" " It is coming thrue!" He spoke thze frulk! 15 OHAPTER III. AFLOAT. S TIM O'ROONEY spoke, he pointed to the bow of the steamer, where, in the bright moonlight, some smoke could be seen rising -where, too, the next instant, they caught sight of a gleam of fire. "Oh, heaven! what shall we do" exclaimed Elwood, struck with a panic. " Wait and trust to Providence." "Let us jump overboard; I'd rather be drowned than burned to death. Come, Howard, let's jump over this minute!" He made a move toward the stern of the steamer, near which they had been seated, as if he intended to spring overboard, when his arm was sternly caught by the Irishman, who said in an indignant tone: "K aap cool! kaap cool! don't make a fool of yoursilf. Can ye swim" " Yes," answered Howard, "we can both swim very well. Can you" " Indaad, I can Swim like a stone." "But good heavens!" exclaimed Elwood, who had not entirely recovered from his excitement, "the land is miles off, and we can't swim there, not taking into account the heavy sea. AFLOA T.fi "I What does that mean" As Howard spoke, the bow of the steamer made a sweeping bend to the right. "They've headed toward shore," said Elwood. This snatch of conversation had occupied the shortest possible space of time. The fire had been discovered by the officials on board fully as soon as by our friend. and the men could be seen running hurriedly to aiid fro, all quiet and still, for they knew too well what the result would be if the alarm was communicated to the sleeping passengers. The pilot had headed the vast craft toward land, and by the furious throbbing of the engines it could be seen that the doomed vessel was straining to the utmost, like some affrighted, faithful horse striving to carry his master as nearly as possible to the port of safety ere he dropped down and died. It was fully midnight, and, as a matter of course, very nearly all the passengers were in their berths. There were a few, however, who were lingering on the .promenade deck, some smoking-here and there a couple of lovers all unconscious of everything else-one or two avaricious speculators; and but a few minutes could elapse before the startling danger should become known. The last words, which we have given as spoken by our friends, had scarcely been said, when a man, who apparently had been stretched out sound asleep, sud- denly sprung up, wild with terror. "The boat is on fire! fire! fire!" lie darted hither and thither like some wild animal 17 ADRZFT IN THE WILDS. compassed on every hand by death, and then suddenly made a leap overboard, and was swallowed up in the sea. The alarm spread with fearful rapidity, and was soon ringing through every part of the steamer, and now began that fearful confusion and panic which no pen can clearly picture, and which, once seen, can never be forgotten to the dying day. Our three friends were gathered at the stern of the steamer, earnestly and anxiously discussing the best course to pursue. "Let's stay here," said Howard, "for every second is taking us nearer land." " That is what nearly all will do," said Elwood, "but we can never reach the shore, and when the time comes we shall all be in the sea together, struggling and sinking, and we shall then be sure to go down." "Yez are right," said Tim, addressing the last speaker. "Our only chance is to jump overboard this very minute, before the sea is full of the poor fellows. They'll begin to go over the ship's side and will kaap it up until the ching is burned up." " It's time then that we hunted our life-preservers," said Howard. " Git out wid yer life-presarvers!" impatiently ex- claimed Tim. " Didn't me uncle wear one of 'em for six months, and then die with the faver! I'll heave over one of these settaas, and that'll kaap up afloat." "Be quick about it, Tim," urged Elwood, who was beginning to get nervous. " See, the fire is spreading, is AFLOA T. and everybody seems to have found out what the mat- ter is." There was indeed no time to be lost. The steamer was doomed beyond all possibility of salvation, and must soon become unmanageable, when everything would be turned into a pandemonium. One of the large settees was wrenched loose and lifted over the stern of the steamer. "Now," said Tim, "the minute it goes over yez must follow. The owld staamer is going like a straak of lightning, and if aither of yez wait, he'll be lift behind. " " All right, no danger, go ahead!" They now clambered up, and sat poised on the stern. In this fearful position Tim O'Rooney held the settee balanced for a few minutes. Be yez riddy" "Yes.." "IDo yez jump a little to the right, Elwood, and yez a little to the left, Howard, so as not to hit the owld thing. All riddy; here we go!" The next moment the three were spinning down through the air, and struck the water. They went be- low the surface, the boys sinking quite a distance; but almost instantly they arose and struck bravely out. " Tim, where are you" called out Elwood, not seeing his friend. " Here, to the left," responded the Irishman, as lie rose on a huge swell. "' Can ye swim to me" " T hope so, but my clothes bother me like creation," 19 ADRIFT LIV THE WILDS. Strange! that not one of the three had once thought of removing their superfluous clothing before jumping into the ocean. But Elwood was a fine swimmer, and he struggled bravely, although at a great disadvantage, until his outstretched band was seized by the Irishman, and he then caught hold of the settee and rested him- self. " Where is Howard" he asked, panting from his exertions. - here he is," responded Howard himself. " I struck the water so close that when I came up my hand hit the settee." " I tell you what it is," said Elwood. "W e ought to have brought something else with us beside this. We have got to keep all of our bodies underwater for this to bear us." "An-d what oi it" "Suppose some poor fellow claims a part. Gracious! here comes a man this minute!" " We can't turn him off," said Tim. " but this owid horse has all the grist he can carry." A dark body could be seen struggling and rapidly approaching them. "Whoever lie is, he is a good swimmer," remarked Howard, watching the stranger. "Of course lie is, for it comes natural; don't you see it isn't a man, but old Terror." "Thank heaven for that! we never thought about him. I am glad lie is with us." The next moment the Newfoundland placed his paw 20 AFLOA T. 21 on the settee and gave a low bark to announce his joy at being among his friends. The sagacious brute seemed to understand how frail the tenure was that held them all suspended over eternity; for he did nothing more thun rest the top of his paw on the precious raft. CHAPTER IV. A PASSENGER. Y THIS time our friends were a quarter of a mile in the rear of the burning steamer. The furious pulsations of the engines had stopped, and from stem to stern the great ship was one mass of seething flame. The light threw a glare upon the clouds above, and made it so bright where our friends were floating in the water that they could have read the pages of a printed book. The illumination must have been seen for many and many a mile in every direction upon the Pacific. " Yes, the steamer has stopped," said Howard; "the fire has reached the engines, and now they must do as we have done." "But they have boats and may escape." "Not half enough of them; and then what they have got will be seized by the crew, as they always do a+ such times." "Look! you can see them jumping over. The poor wretches hang fast till they are so scorched that they have to let go." -It's mighty lucky yees are'here," said Tim, "for every mother's son that can swim will be hugged by a half-dozen that can't, which would be bad for me." "Why so; can't you swim" A PA SSENGER. " Not a bit of it." "And nothing but this bench to keep us from sinking." " And be the same towken isn't that good enough, if it only kaaps us afloat Can't ye be satisfied" " Look! how grand!" It was indeed a fearful sight, the steamer being one pyramid of roaring, blazing fire, sweeping upward in great fan-like rifts, then blowing outward, horizontally across the deep, as if greedy for the poor beings who had sprung in agony from its embrace. Millions of sparks were floating and drifting overhead and falling all around. The shrieks of the despairing passengers, as with their clothes all aflame they sprung blindly into the ocean, could be heard by our friends, and must indeed have extended a far greater distance. For an hour the conflagration raged with apparently unabated violence, the wreck drifting quite rapidly; but the fire soon tired of its work, large pieces of burn- ing timber could be seen floating in the water, and finally the charred hull made a plunge downward into the sea, and our friendi were left alone upon. their frail support. " Now, it's time to decide what we are going to do," said Howard. " You are right, and what shall it be Shall we drift about here until morning, when some vessel will pick us up I have no doubt this fire has drawn a half-dozen toward it." "No; let's make for shore." 23 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. "That is the best plan," said Tinm. "But it is a good way off," remarked Howard; "and I have little hope of reaching it." "Never mind; it will keep us busy, and that will make the time pass faster than if we do nothing but float." "We mav need our strength; but it is the best plan." "But do we know the direction" "I can tell you that," said Elwood; "for the moon was directly over the shore; so all we've got to do is to aim for the moon." "Begorrah! we can walk and talk, as the owld lady said when her husband stopped on the way to the gal- lows to bid her good-by. So paddle away!" It being a warin summer night, the water was quite pleasant, although our friends were sure to get enough of it long before they could hope to place their feet upon the earth. Having now aln object, they began working with a will, the boys swimming as lustily as possible straight for the shore, while Tim assisted mate- rially in pushing forward the craft. The intelligent Newfoundland appeared to compre- hend what was wanted, and contributed not a little to the momentum. -Do you think we are making any progress "0, save me! save me! I'm drowning!" The voice sounded close by them, and caused an in- voluntary start from all three. "Where is he" asked Howard, in a terrified whis- per. 24 A PA SSENGER. ' There! " At that moment they caught sight of a man fiercely buffeting the waves, as he rose on an immense swell, and then sunk down again in the trough of the sea. "Can we do anything for him" asked Elwood. "It's too bad to see the poor fellow sink when we may save him." " I'm afeared the owld bench won't bear another hand oin it." But Terror had heard that cry and anticipated the wishes of his friends. Leaving them with their raft, he struck powerfully out toward the drowning man, and they both went down in the vast sea chasm together. When they came in view again upon the crest of the swell, the Newfoundland had the hair of the man's head in his teeth and had begun his return. A moment later the gasping maln threw out his hands and caught the settee with such eagerness that it instantly sunk. "Be careful!" admonished Howard, " or you'll drown us all. One of us can't swim!" " Won't your raft bear us" "Yes, if you keep only your head above water and bear very lightly upon it. Don't attempt to rise up." ''All right!" The buoyant raft came to the surface, and was in- stantly grasped firmly but carefully by all. Poor Tim O'Rooney had come very near drowning. A man when suddenly cast into the water for the first time has been known'to swim long and well; and the Irishman, by the most furious effort, had saved himself from strangling 25 2 DRIFT IN THE WILDS. and sinking, although he had swallowed a good deal of the nauseating sea-water, and was now ejecting it. " Worrah! I took an overdose that time, and it wouldn't sthay on my stomach!" he said. " I'm think- ing there'll be no necessity of me swallowing any salts for some time to coom, be the towken that I've enough to last me me life-time." "We are all right now!" said the stranger. " I can swim, but I was just about used up when your dog took me in tow. May I inquire who my friends are" Howard gave their names and destination, and he in- stantly said: "My name is Manuel Yard, and my place of business is next door to that of your fathers." " You know them then." "I have known them both very well for years, and now that you have given me your names I remember you both." After a few more words, our friends recognized him as a tall, pale-looking man, with whom they had ex- changed greetings more than once on their passage from Panama. "I've been down to the Isthmus," he added, "and was on my way home when the steamer took fire." " Where were you when you heard the alarm" "Sound asleep in my berth; I had no time even to put on my clothes; but, thank God, if I can escape in any way." " Stick to us, and help shove this craft, and I'm in hopes we'll fetch up somewhere by morning." 26 CHAPTER V. L tArs . INDEER the united propulsion of three men X and a large Newfoundland dog, the small raft moved shoreward with no insignificant speed. It was found amply sufficient to preserve themn all from drowning had none known how to swini, provided they managed the matter prudently. There is so little dif- ference in the quantity of water and the human body, that a slight effort, if properly made, will keep it afloat. The trouble with new beginners is that when they first go beyond their depth their blind struggles tend to carrv them downward more tlian upward. "This is rather pleasant,;' remarked Mr. Yard. "There is little doubt, I think, of reaching land. There is only one thing that makes the shivers run over me. " "W hat is that" " The thought of sharks!" "Ugh! Why did you spake of them'" asked Tim, withi a strong exl)ression of dlisgust. " I've been think- ing of 'em ever since I've been in the water, but I didn't want to skeer the boys."' "Thev never once entered nmv head," said Howard. "Nor mine either," added Elwood. "Are they in this part of the ocean" 28ADRI1F' IX TIfE WILDS. " You will find them in almost every part of the sea, I was going to say. They abound off the coast of Cali- fornia. " "But it is night, and they will not be apt to see!" "This fire and the numbers of drowning people will draw hundreds of the finny inhabitants toward us. You know a fire at night is sure to attract fish." "You seem determined to frighten us," said Howard, "but I shall continue to think that God who has so mercifully saved us intends to save us to the end." "Perhaps so, too, but it does no harm to understand all the dangers to which we are subject." "I believe with Howard," said Elwood. "I aini afraid of sharks, but for all that, they are ugly creatures. They swim under you and the first thing you know clip goes one of your legs off, just the same as a pair of snuffers would clip off a piece of wick." " They are the hyenas of the sea," said Howard, "alt though I believe some kinds are stupid and harmless. I think I have heard them called that by somebody, I don't remember who. They will snap up anything that is thrown to them." " Wouldn't it make their eyes water to come this way then Jis' to think of their saaing four pair of legs dancing over their hids, not to spake of the dog that could come in by way of dessart." " 0 Tim! keep still, it is too dreadful!" "Worrah! it wasn't meself that introduced the sub- ject, but as yez have got started, I've no objection to continue the same." 28 LAND. "Let us try and talk about something more pleas- ant-" "A shark! a shark!" suddenly screamed Elwood, springing half his length out of the water in his excite- ment. " W\here" demanded Air. Yard, while the others were speechless with terror. " He has hold of my leg! 0, save me, for he is pull- ing me under!" There was danger for a moment that all would go to the bottom, but Air. Yard displayed a remarkable cool- ness that saved them all. " It is not a shark," said lhe, "or he would have had your leg off before this." "What is it then What call it be" "It is a drowning man that has caught your foot as he was going down. You inust kick him off or he will drown you. Has he one foot or both" "My left ankle is grasped by something." That is good; if he had hold of both feet it would be bad for you. Use your free foot and force his grasp loose." Elwood did so with such vigor that he soon had the inexpressible relief of announcing that the drag WNeight was loosed and his limbs were free again. "That is terrible," said he, as they rcsumed their progress. " Just to think of being seized in that way by some poor fellow who, I don't suppose, really knew what he was doing." "' How came he there" asked Howard. 29 ADRIFT ZN TILE WILDS. " You see, we ain't far from where the steamer sunk, and there may be more near us. This man has gone down just as we were passing by him, and in his blind struggles has cauglht your ankle." If a drowning man will catch at a straw, wouldn't he be after catching at a leg" inquired Tim. "It seems natural that he should do so; but we are in the most dangerous place we could be. Let's keep a sharp lookout." Our friends peered in every direction, as they rose and sunk on the long, heaving swell of the sea. They saw pieces of charred wood and fragments of the wreck, but caught sight of no human being until Mr. Yard pointed to a dark mass some distance away. "That is a raft covered with people," said he. "They seem to be standing still." "Yes, they merely want to keep afloat until morning, when no doubt they will be picked up and cared for. Keep quiet, for if we talk too loud some one may start for us." "And work hard," whispered Tim, struggling harder than ever. "Aich of yees shove like a locomotive." " Good advice," added Mr. Yard, in the same cautious undertone. "Let's get away as fast as possible." Hour after hour the men toiled, following the moon, that appeared to recede from them as they advanced. They had passed safely the debris of the wrecked steamer, and were again talking loudly and rather cheer- fully, when Tim O'Roonev interrupted them: "Yonder is something flowting in the darkness," LAND. "It is a boat full of people," said Mr. Yard. "I have noticed it for the last few minutes." All turned their eyes toward the spot indicated, and agreed that M1r. Yard was correct in his supposition. I will hail it," he quietly added, and then called out: "' Boat ahoy!" "What do you want" came back in a gruff voice. "Can you take four drowning passengers on board" "Not much," was the unfeeling answer, " Paddle away and you'll reach California one of these days." " How far are we from it" " Double the distance, divide by two, and you'll have it." Nothing further was extracted from the men, but they could be heard laughing and talking boisterously with each other, and the odor of their pipes was plainly detected, so close were the parties. "Thank heaven, we are not dependent upon them" said -Mr. Yard. " If we were, we should fare cruelly indeed. " " Who are they" "'A part of the crew of the steamer, who seized the boat at the first appearance of danger, and left the helpless to perish." An hour later, long after the boat had disappeared, and when our friends were toiling bravely forward, a low, dark object directly in front attracted their notice. " What is it" whispered Elwood. "I i's land!" was the joyful reply. " I am walking upon the sand this minute, and voil can (To the same ' 31 CHAPlTER VI. THE CALIFORNI1A COAST. H EY WERE safe at last' The four dropped their feet and found them resting uipon smooth packed sand, and wadiig a few rods they all stood ulpoll dry earth. Terror, as he shook his shaggy coat and rubbed his nose agaiist his vowig masters seemed not the leastl joyfutl of the party. Isn't this grand!" exclaimed Etwood. W When did the ground feel better to your feet Saved from fire and water!" Our first duty is to thank God"' said Mr. Yard reverently. " Ile has chosen us out of the hundreds that have perished as special objects of his nercy. Let us kneel upon the shore aind testify our gratitnude to Him." All sunk devoutly upon their knees and joined the merchant, as in a low, impressive tone lhe returned thanks to his Creator for the signal mercy lie had dis- played in bringing them safely through such imminent perils. " Now, what is to be done next" inquired Mr. Yard, as they arose to their feet and looked around thermi. " The first thing I should like to do is to procure a suit of clothes, and I hope I shall be able to do it without THE CAALIFORiA.4 COAST. 33 stripping any of the dead bodies that will soon wuh ashore. " ' What is the naaid" asked Tim O'ltooney. " Baing that it's a warrum summer night, and there saams to be few in the neeighborhood that is likely to take exsaptions to your costume." " But day is breaking!" replied the merchant, point- ing across the low, rocky country to a range of moutnt- ains in the distance, whose high, jagged tops were blackly defined against the sky that was growing light and rosv behind them." "Yes, it will soon be light," said Howard. ' See! there are persons along the shore that have come down to the wreck" " They are some of the passengers that have managed to reach land. I will go among them and see whether any of them have any clothing to sell," laughed Mr. Yard as he moved away. As the sun came up over the mountains it lit up a dreary and desolate scene. Away in the distance, until sky and earth mingled into one, stretched the blue Pacific, not ridged into foam and spray like the boister- ous Atlantic, but swelling and heaving as if the great deep was a breathing monster. A few fragments of blackened splinters floating here and there were all that remained to show where a few hours before the magnifi- cent steamer, surcharged with its living freight, so proudly cut the waters on her swift course toward the Golden Gate. Several ghastly, blue-lipped survivors in their clinging 33 ADRIFT IN' TIE WILDS. garments were wandering aimlessly along the shore, the veriest pictures of utter misery, as they mumbled a few words to each other, or stared absently around. They seemed to be partially bereft of their senses, and were probably somewhat dazed from the fearful scenes through which they had so recently passed. Several sails were visible, but they were so far away that it was vain to hope to attract their attention. Three large boats could be seen away to the northwest, skirting along shore and making their way toward San Francisco as rapidly as muscle and oars could carry them. What reeked they whether the passengers were buried with the steamer, sunk in the ocean, or left to perish on the desolate coast The Coast Range, which descends into California from Oregon, in some places comes within twenty-five or thirty miles of the sea, while at other times it recedes to over a hundred. The particular point where our friends were suffered to land was rough, barren and rocky, and behind them, with many peaks reaching the line of perpetual snow, rose the noble Coast Range, between which and them stretched a smaller range of mountains. Around them the country appeared desolate and un- inhabited. Howard and Elwood were well acquainted with geography, and had a general idea of California, although they could not be expected to know much of the minor facts of the State. They were aware that at no great distance-but whether north or south it was impossible to say-lay the missionary town of San Luis Obispo, and between them and the Coast Range ran the 34 TH1E CALIFORNIA COA ST. Salinas River, formerly known as the San Buenaventura, and a smaller chain of mountains or highlands. They knew, too, that after crossing the Coast Range, you descended into the broad and beautiful Sacramento Valley, where abounded wild animals, Indians, gold, silver, and the most exuberant vegetation. This was about all they knew; and this, after all, was consider- able. When persons expect to malie a journey to some distant country they are very apt to leard all that they possibly can about it; and this was the way they came to understand so much regarding the young State of California. They had stood some little time conversing together when they saw Mr. Yard approaching, clad in quite a respectable suit of black, albeit, as a matter of course, it was thoroughly soaked with salt water. " You are fortunate," remarked Howard. " Yes," he laughed; ' what strange beings we are! Do you see that elderly gentleman yonder, with his hands in his pockets walking back and forth as though he expected some arrival from the sea" The personage alluded to could be easily distinguished from the others. " Well, his berth was next to mine. AWhen the alarm of fire was first heard he sprung from his bed, dressed himself and caught up his valise, which contained an extra suit of clothing, and rushed on deck with the other passengers." " How was he saved" "It is hard to tell. He and several others hung fast 30 A0 DRIFT ,V THIE W'iLDS. to some such sort of a raft as we had, and managed to get ashore. And all the time he grasped that valise, even when besought by his companions to let it go, and when it endangered his chances of life fully ten-fold." "lie must lee very poor." "Poor! He is worth half a million in gold this min- ute. That valise contained all his property that he had entrusted to the steamer, and it was his fear that he might lose the few dollars that it is worth that made hint cling so tenaciously to it." How was it that he gave them to you" "No fear that he gave them. I stated in the pres- ence of two witnesses that I would give him a hun- dred dollars for the suit as soon as we reached San Francisco. He racked his brains to see whether there was not some means of my giving him my note for the amount; but as that couldn't be done under the cir- cumstances, he did the next best thing and established my obligation in the mouth of several witnesses." " Strange man' But, Mr. Yard, what is to be done" "I intend to wait here during the day, as I know of nothing better that we can do. I think some friends will find us before nightfall." " We have decided to go inland a short distance, dry our clothes and give our bodies a good rubbing, to pre- vent our taking cold." " A wise precaution, but useless in my case as I have already caught a very severe one. " "Should we become separated, you will tell our pa rents that we reached the land in safety and are in good spirits. " 3 G THE CALZFORNIA COAST. 37 "Of course; but don't wander too far away, as you may lose your chance of being taken off. You know this isn't the most hospitable country in the world. There are treacherous and thieving Indians in these parts, and they would have swooped down on us long ago if they had only known we were here. As it is, I fear their approach before a friendly sail comes to us." "Never fear; we will take good care not to wander too far away." And the parties separated for a much longer time than any of them imagined. CHAPTER VII. THE RESCUE. UR THREE friends although it seems equally proper to speak of four, as Terror was a most j important member of the party-walked away from the sea-shore and began making their way back into the country. As we have hinted in another place, they found this section wild and desolate. Little else than huge rocks, bowlders and stunted trees met the eye, while there was no appearance of vegetation, nor was the slightest vestige of a human habitation visible, let them look in whatever direction they chose. The air was clear, the sky decked by a few fleecy clouds over the Pacific, and there was little doubt that the day would be a fine, warm one. The climate of California is mild, except when the winds from the Pa- cific bring chilling fogs along the coast. The view in the east was particularly grand, the peaks of the gigantic Coast mountains and of the smaller range rising and swelling in vast peaks, appearing as if the Pacific when tossed and driven by some hurricane had suddenly con- gealed with the foam upon the tops of its mountainous billows. Looking northward, the last object that met the eye was these mountains gradually blending with the brilliant sky, while to the southward the prospect was repeated. THE RESCUE. They wandered along, springing up the sides of rocks, jumping quite a distance to the ground, again passing around those that were too high to climb, Ter- ror all the time frolicking at their sides, certainly as happy as any of them, while they chatted and laughed, their hearts buoyant in the beautiful summer and the pleasing retrospect of a thrilling adventure already safely passed through and the prospect of a few others close at hand. In this wandering manner they at last found them- selves fully a mile from shore, and in a wild, rocky place where they felt secure from observation. Here all removed their clothes, subjected their bodies to a vigor- ous rubbing that made the surface glow with warmth and reaction, and then spread their garments out to dry. Their extended walk before reaching this place had partially done the latter for them, so that in the course of an hour or so they found them free from all moisture, and as they donned them they once more felt like themselves. "Now," said Elwood, "I am very tired and sleepy; is not this a good place to lie down and rest" " I was going to suggest the same thing," added Howard. "I do not see in what better manner we can spend a few hours." " And it's the same idaa that has been strhiking me iver since we sot foot in this qua'r looking place. It's meself that is so sleapy that at ivery wink I makes I has to lift the eyelids up with my fingers, and me eyes feels as though the wind has been blowing sand in 'em all day." 34 ADRIFT my, THIl WILDS. jthe proposal thus being satisfactory to all, they pro- ceeded to carry it out at once. The day was so mild that the only precaution necessary was to secure them- selves against the rays of the sun. This was'easily done, and stretching out beneath the shelter of a projecting ledge of rocks they had scarcely laid down when all were sound asleep. And leaving them here for the time being, we give our attention for a few moments to the survivors of the steamer. Some thirty odd of the passengers succeeded in reach- ing the shore, while about a dozen were saved with the crew, who, as is generally the case at such times, acted upon the idea that it was their duty to take (harge of the boats and prevent the passengers from risking them- selves in such frail structures. After all, no doubt their lives were as valuable as were those of the hundreds they carried, and their conduct, when viewed in an un- prejudiced manner, perhaps was not so criminal. The destruction of so large a steamer along the Cali- fornia coast, in the regular track (if the vessels going to and coming from Panama, could not occur without the knowledge of many u1o1 the ocean. Indeed, the glare upon the heavens was seen far up the coast, and in San Luis Obispo, to the soutth, was pronounced by all to be caused by the burning of some large vessel at sea. It so came about that there were but two vessels near enough to go to the relief of the unfortunate steamer; but these were controlled by rival captains, each of whom hoped to enter the Golden Gate an hour or so in 40 THE RESCUE. advance of the other; and therefore they had not time to slacken sail and lay to, but pressed forward with an expression of regret that the necessities of the case com- pelled them thus to refuse all succor to the needy ones. But there were others at a greater distance who bore down upon the fiery scene at once; but they were miles away when the last vestige of the steamer disappeared, and it was only a matter of conjecture as to where a few of the survivors might be struggling with the waves. Not until the sun had been up over an hour did the man at the mast-head of the nearest vessel call out that he saw several boats pulling up the coast, while a few persons could be seen on the shore making signals to at- tract their attention. Some time after, the Relief-happily named-cast an- chor a half-mile from land and two boats put off from her side. The survivors were quickly within them, and they were about putting off again when the mate of the Relief said: "Are you all here" "Yes, yes," was the impatient reply of Mr. Tiflings, the man who had sold the suit of clothes to Mr. Yard, ' don't wait any longer. I shall lose 500 by not being in San Francisco to-day." " But they are not all here," interrupted Mr. Yard, in some excitement. "There are two boys in charge of an Irishman that are missing." " Where are they" asked the mate. "They went back from the shore some time ago. I do not think they can be at any great distance." 41 42 ADRIFT iV TILE IVILDS. "' Perhaps if you called to them they might hear you." Mr. Yard sprung out upon the beach, ran to and mounted a goodly-sized rock, and shouted at the top of his voice. He called again and again, and listened in- tently, but there was no response. All this time Mr. Tiflitngs sat leaning his head for- ward and nervously beating a tattoo upon the side of the boat with his long, thin fingers. Occasionally he glanced at the " foolish " Mr. Yard, and muttered: " What nonsense! What valuable time we are losing by his childishness! Time is too precious to fritter away in this manner!" While the kind-hearted merchant was shouting him- self hoarse, our friends were heavily and sweetly slum- bering, totally oblivious to external things, as indeed they would have been were lie within a few rods of them, instead of over a mile away. Finally he -was compelled to give utp the task and reluctantly return to the boat. "This is too bad," said he, "to leave them in this manner.. What will become of them" "They will be picked up by some of the passing vessels." " Certainly, certainly," assented Mr. Tiffings, " don't wait any longer; it will be a week before we get into San Francisco." " We will row away," said the mate, " and if we see anything of them before we reach the vessel we will put back and take them aboard." This was reasonable, and Mr. Yard could not object 4a THB RESCUE. 4a to it. The sailors plied their oars, and the passengers were borne swiftly toward the friendly Relief. Mr. Yard kept his eyes fixed upon the bleak coast which they were so rapjidly leaving behind them. He saw nothing of his friends; but, after reaching the ship's deck, he took the spy-glass from the captain and discovered a party of a dozen Indians wandering uip and down the beach as if in quest of plunder. Finally, sail was hoisted, and the Relief bore away to the northward, and the scene of the rescue dwindled away and vanished in the distance. CHAPTER VIII. INDIANS. HE SLEEP of perfect health is dreamless, and is not easily aroused by external disturb- _ f R ance. Tim 0'Rooney, Elwood Brandon and Howard Lawrence, sweetly forgetful of the need of their being within sight and hearing of the shore, slept through the entire day without once awaking. The gun was just dipping beneath the Pacific when How- ard opened his eyes with that confused, indistinct recol- lection which often takes possession of our faculties when first aroused from a deep slumber. He stared around and the sight of the unconscious forms of his two companions, and the mute Newfoundland dog with his nose between his paws, but blinking as if to show he "slept with one eye open," quickly recalled his situa- tion. In considerable alarm, he sprung up, and began rousing the others. As they rubbed their eyes and rose to the sitting position, he said in excitement: "Do you know we have slept ever since morning" "It can't be possible!" exclaimed Elwood. "I should say we had slept a waak be the token of the hunger I feels," said Tim, with a most woeful countenance. " I don't see any likelihood of our getting any-thing to digest in these parts," replied Howard. INDIA A'S. "And where else shall we look for the same" Nowhere that I know of." Suppose some ship has stopped here while we have been asleep!" suddenly interrupted Elwood. Wouldn't they have looked for us But then they XC(llldn't have known where we were," said Howard, asking and answering his own question in the same breath. " We are in a pretty fix then," was the comment of Elwood, laughing at the doleful countenances he saw. Bovs," sai(d rim, intenlimg lip his pantaloons and scratching his head, "shall I tell yees something to your advantage, as the papers say" "Of course," answered Howard, "nothing could suit us better." " Well, then, while we've been slaaping, our friends along shore have been carried away, and we're lift to make ourselves comfortable, as the peddler said when he hung himself up by his foot." "Let us see!" exclaimed Elwood, "perhaps we are not too late yet." The three rushe(l over the rocks pell-mell, the dog being at their side, and giving vent now and then to short, sharp barks, as if lie enjoyed the ramble. Elwood was at the head, and had run but a short dis- tance when he sprung upon a bowlder higher than the others, and shading his eves for a moment as he looked off toward the sea, lie called back: " Yes, yonder they are! We are not left alone." " But it's good to have company!" laughed Tim, " it 45 ADRIFT IX THE WILDS. won't be long before some vessel will step in and lift us aboard. " "How odd they look!" remarked Elwood, as his friends clambered up beside him. " They don't seem dressed in their usual fashion." The Irishman, upon rising to his feet on top of the rock, uttered an expression of surprise, looked intently toward the sea, and then quickly sprung back again. " Off of there quick!" he commanded in a hoarse whisper, at the same time catching the shoulder of the up-climbing Howard and forcing him back again. "Why, what's the matter" asked Elwood, a vague alarm taking possession of him, as he rather hurriedly obeyed him. "May the good Lord presarve us! them are Injins!" "I thought they looked odd," said Elwood, "but I did not think of that. Are they friendly" " Friendly!" repeated Tim, with an expression of in- tense disgust. " Do you know what they are walking up and down the sand fur in that sassy shtyle" "Plunder, I suppose." "Yis; they are in hopes the saa may wash up some poor fellow that they may have the pleasure of hacking him to pieces." "Are they such terrible creatures. Perhaps they have slain those who escaped from the steamer." " Niver a fear; there was too many of 'em, as me brother used to say when his wife tuk her broomstiqk at him. " " But they had no weapons to use." 46 I MAY THS GOOD LORD PRESARV US I THEM ARM InJUM I Bil IM." ADRIFT LV TIHE IWILDS. Tim shook his head. He evidently had a small opin- ion of the courage of the California aborigines. "Had they massacred the survivors, we could see their bodies along shore," remarked Howard. " The sun throws such a glare upon the sand that we can detect a very small object." This settled the matter in the mind of Elwood, who had been heartsick at the great fear of such a fate hav- ing befallen his friends. "1 Then the burning of the steamer has attracted the notice of a great many vessels, and I think Mr. Yard was right when he was sure of being taken off by some one. " " What a mistake we made in wandering away and going to sleep where no one could find us!" " We did, indeed, Elwood; we voluntarily banished ourselves." "But Mr. Yard certainly knows we are here, and will he not get a company of men to come after us " " Perhaps so; but, if he doesn't, your father and mine will certainly do so, so soon as they find where we are. " " Yes, but what is to become of us between to-night and that time I am half-starved to death, and must get something to eat pretty soon." " Providence, that has preserved us so kindly thus far, will still watch over us." " There's one bad thing," remarked Tim, "them In- jins will hang around the shore, and it won't do for us to show ourselves niver a bit." 48 INDIANS. The faces of the two boys now blanched with fear, for they understood the danger that threatened them. It was truly a fear-inspiring sight, as they gazed out from their hiding-place in the direction of the sea. The sUn was partially down the horizon, and appeared unnaturally large, while the gaunt Indians, in their fan- tastic costume, assumed the form of giants striding along apparently on the gleaming surface of the ocean itself. They were outlined with that sharp, black dis- tinctness which is seen when at night a fireman runs along the outer walls of a burning building. " Just to think!" said Elwood " we haven't a gun or a pi3tol with us." "And I'm a little hungry, as the man said after fast- ing three waaks." "Suppose they saw you e" said Howard. "I ain't sure but what they did. They are looking in this direction, and appear to be disputing about some matter. " There were grounds for this alarming view of the case. The Indians numbered about a dozen, and half of these could be seen in a knot, gesticulating in their extravagant manner, while the others were running up and down the shore as if they had detected something interesting in the surf. "Are they looking at us' "There is such a glare from the sun that I cannot tell whether their faces or backs are toward us. Tim, what do you say" The Irishman gazed long and carefully over the face of the rock, and finally said: 49 50 ADRIFT IV THE WILDS. " They've seen Something this way that has tuk their - eye." " They are moving, too." " Maybe they've seen the dog, and are coming to look for us." "Heaven save us!" exclaimed Tim, in some excite- ment, " there's no maybe about it; they're coming, sure!" CHAPTER IX. THLE PURSUIT. r WAS not the first time that Tim O'Rooney made a mistake. The Indians were excited over something, but as yet they held no sus- picion that three white persons stood behind them and could be so easily reached. They were talking in a wild manner, and ran several rods from the beach, when they suddenly paused and picked up an object over which they quarreled and were almost ready to proceed to violence. From where our friends stood it looked as if it were nothing more than a coat or some cast-off garment that had been thrown aside by some of the survivors when they were taken away by the Relief. "No, they have not seen us yet," said Howard, who was watching them intently, while his two companions where looking upon the readiest means of escape. "'Then why did they start after us, be the same token" demanded Tim, with a great sigh of relief. "They are quarreling over something that lies upon the beach." " If they'd only have the onspakable kindness to go to fighting each other like a lot of Kilkenny cats, and not sthop till there's not one of 'em left-I say if they'd have the kindness to do that, it would be fortinit for ha1. ADRIFT LV TILE ITVI.DS. " Hardly probable, Tim; the fact is they appear to have settled the matter already, and have gone down to the edge of the sea again." " I donDt see the use of our remaining here," said Poward. ' W8e daren't go any nearer them than we now are, while if we put back into the country we stand a chance of getting somethiig to eat. As near as I can calcu- late, the Salinas River isn't very far away, and California is said to be very fertile along its streams, if it is barren in such places as this." '"And we may come upon a party of miners further inland." "I don't know about that, " rejoined Howard. "The diggings are on the other side of the Coast Range, be- tween that and the Sierra Nevada, in the Sacramento Valley, and I think they are further north, too." "Let's lave," said Tim; ' if we only start tramping perhaps I may git my mind off the subjact and forgit that I'm hungry enough to eat a toad, which I'd starve to death afore I'd do the same." While they were thus debating with themselves, Ter- ror, unobserved by any of them, whisked to the top of a high rock and announced his discovery of the Indians by several loud, gruff barks. At so great a distance it was impossible that the dog should be heard, but the danger was that the lynx-eyed savages would see him, and thus discover the presence of his friends. The peril was imminent, and a hasty word from Howard brought the Newfoundland to their feet. But it was too late. Ile had scarcely ascended him 52 THE PURSUIT. 5 perch when an Indian caught sight of him, and giving out a strange half-whoop and scream, he started ol a full run toward him, closely followed by half of the entire party. "There's no mistake this time!" exclaimed Howard, wheeling round and springing away. " Don't wait." There was no waiting by either Tim or Elwood. The two boys were slim and fleet-footed, and could easily distance their more awkward companion; but they could not leave him alone, although he besought them to secure their own safety, while he would attend to his. There were several things in favor of the fugitives and several against them. It was growing dark quite rapidly, and they had a good start; but the pursuers ran over the rocks and bowlders with the facility of mountain goats and gained very rapidly; they were also familiar with the face of the country, while our friends were literally " going blind." " But don't we make 'em run!" called out Tim, glancing over his shoulder. " Them fellers was made to travel, and if they'd only throw down their guns and take up a sprig of the shillaleh, like an ilegant gintle- man should do, I wouldn't ax better fun than to jine in wid 'em and tach 'em a few scientific tricks, such as can be got in Tipperary and nowhere ilse-Worrah!-" Tim's exclamation was caused by catching his foot against a large stone and falling flat upon his face with considerable violence. He quickly scrambled up again, while Elwood anxiously inquired whether he was hurt by the fall. 53 ADRIFT IN THlE WILDS. " Not by the fall, plase your honor, but by the stone that whacked me betwaan the eyes." "They are gaining!" whispered Howard, pausing a moment for his companions to come up. v Yes, but it will be so dark in a few minutes that they can't see us, and then we will hide ourselves until the danger is past. Let its get along as fast as possible while the danger lasts." They did strain themselves to the utmost, and speedily reached a more open countrv where they could travel with greater safety. This, which at first appeared sadly against their prospects, was really the means of securing their escape. The moment they reached it they darted away at almost double their rate of speed, and shortly reached another hilly portion, into which they plunged, and running a short distance, at a signal from Howard, they dropped flat upon their faces, and crawled beneath the sheltering projections of the rocks, Terror at the same time nestling down by the prostrate form of El- wood. In a few minutes they heard the tramp of their swift- footed pursuers, who were running withouit exchanging words with each other, or uttering those exultant whoops which the Indian of other portions of our country are so accustomed to give when exulting in the certainty of capturing their enemies. Our friends did not venture to exchange a word with each other until a long, time after the Indians had passed, and nothing could he heard to indicate that they were anywhere in the neighborhood. Then they crawled near together and spoke in low whispers. 54 THE P UeSUL '. 5 "They are gone !" said Elwood. "I think so," replied Howard, "but they may be watchinog somewhere. We must be very careful. How is it, Terror, are there any strangers near us" The dog snuffed the air, but made no sound, which was a negative reply. I guess he is right," added Howard. " We will get as far away from here as we can, for I am sure those Inc]ians will look around here until morning in the hope of getting us then." All three crawled a considerable ways on their hands and knees, when they stealthily arose to their feet, and seeing nothing suspicious, followed a northeasterly direc- tion-one that would both lead them away from their pursuers and at the same time take them toward the Salinas or San Buenaventura River, which point they hoped to reach some time the next day. After going some distance they walked more rapidly, and ventured to exchange words with each other. Ter- ror kept the advance, fully aware of the responsibility that rested upon him. There was little fear but that he would give timely notice of the approach of danger, and a sense of comparative security took possession of our friends as they proceeded. To their great surprise, after journeying a half-mile or so, the character of the country underwent a great change. The ground became more level, and they found themselves traveling among stunted trees and sparse vegetation. The moon did not rise until quite late, so that until then they could barely see each other's 55 56 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. bodies as they moved along. This made them uncertain as to whether they were following the right course; but they were greatly pleased to find that they had deviated but slightly from the line they intended to pursue. All at once a low whine from Terror arrested them. At the same instant all three detected the glimmer of a light among the trees. Cautiously approaching, Tim O'Rooney in the advance, he said in his husky whisper: "There's an owld Injin nodd in' by the fire, and if he has a gun, or anything to eat, we'll try and get him to lend 'em to usl" (CHAPTER X. A (FOO[) SAMARITAN. lHE THREE carefully approached the camp- fire, and soon IaSSured tlemselves that there was but a single person near it, an old Indian who sat wvith closed eves and nodding head, totally un- mindful of their Iaresenlce. " Yes, he is all alone,," remarked Howard, in response to the statement that Tim had made on first seeing the fire. But lie has no gun. so far as I can see." "'Has he anything to eart"' inquired Elwood. ' For that is getting to be the most important matter." There doesn't appear to be any." "Jist howld still where you baas, till I takes a look around," said Tim, with an admonitory wave of the hand. rlrey obeyed while he went still nearer on tiptoe. Whenl he was scarcely twenty feet away lie paused, and stooping down and bending his head first to one side and then to the other, and raising and arching his neck until his longitudinal dimensions became fearful, he at last satisfied himself that the Indian was alone. Without moving his feet, Tim now turned his head and motioned for his companions to join him. They did so very carefully and silently, and the three men then stood where the light of the fire shone full in their ADRIFT INr TIE WILDS. faces, and where they could not help being the first objects the Indian would see when lie was pleased to look up. "We'll have to wake him," whispered Tim, " and shall I yill, or hit him with a stone on top of the head" " Neither; I have heard that the slumber of Indians is very light, and if you just speak or make a slight noise I have no doubt it will rouse hil." The fire, which had at its first kindling been large, was now smouldering as though it had not been touched for several hours. The Indian was seated on a large stone, his arms hanging listlessly over his knees, and his head sunk so low that his features could not be seen. Instead of the defiant scalp-lock drooping from his crown, his hair was long and luxuriant, and plelltifullly mixed with gray. It hung loosely over his shoulders, and in front of his face, and helped to give him a strange, repulsive appearance. " I say, owld gintleman, are you draaining, or-" As quick as lightning the head of the Indiaii flashed up, and his black eves were centered with a look of alarni upon the individuals before him. Tim had had some experience with these people when a nuner, and hle now began making signs to the savage, who seemed on the point of springing up and darting away. Naturally enough the Irishman continued talking, although it was certain that the one could not understand a word the other uttered. " We maan no harrunm," said the Irishman, raising A GOOD SAMARITAr. his hands and letting them fall at his side, to show that he oarrie(1 no weapons, and held good will toward the stranger. The boys judged it best to imitate their comrade; and after standing a few moments, the three walked quietly tip to the fire. The startled Indian instantly rose to his feet and placed his hand upon the haft of a large knife at his waist. "None of that, ye spalpeen, or I'll smash you to smithereens!" said Tim, who, although his words were of such dire portent, spoke as gently as if lie were seek- ing to quiet an infant. They now noticed that the Indian was very old. His face was scarred and wrinkled, his bo(ly bent, and his limbs tottered as if scarcely able to bear his weight; but his eye was as keen and defiant as the eagle's, and he stood ready to defend himself if harm were offered him. Tim did tie most prudent thing possible. He advanced straight to the savage and offered his hand. This means of salutation was understood by the latter, who, after sonie tottering hesitation, raised his right hand from the knife and returned the pressure. Dropping it, he looked toward Elwood and Howard, who saluted him in the same manlier, and the parties were now satisfied regarding the feelings of each other. " Ask him for something to eat !" said Elwood; " I am beginning to feel faint for the want of food." "What good will the same do He hasn't anything to give." "He must live some way himself, and what will sup- port such an old man as he is, is surely good for ua." ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. The signs that Tim now made were unmistakable in their import. Ile opened his huge mouth until the cavern was fearful to contemplate; then he snapped his teeth together like a dog that has failed to catch a piece of meat thrown to him; after which he carried his hand back and forth to his mouth, and opened and shut it again. The Indian watched these manuevers a moment, and then gave an exclamation intended solely for his own benefit-and which, therefore, it is not necessary to give, if we could, and we can't-and turning his back, com- menced moving away with the feeble, uncertain gait of old age. " What does that mean" inquired Howard. The savage, seeing they did not follow, paused and looked back. " That is an invitation," said Tim; " do yees foller." " But where will he lead us" "How can I tell" "But it may be into danger," admonished the most cautious Howard. " It's the only chance we've got to save ourselves from starving, and for me getting a shmoke out of a pipe, which I am as hungry for as I am for a few pounds of mate. " The three, the Irishman taking the lead, did not hesitate longer, but stepped forward, and the Indian immediately resumed his guidance. The boys could not avoid some alarm and misgiving in thus following blindly an Indian whom they had not seen until a few minutes 60 A GOOD SAMARITAN. before, and who, they had every reason to believe, was hostile; but there seemed no other course, and they obeyed the suggestion of Tim O'Rooney. The Indian led the way for several hundred yards, when he halted before one of the rudest and oddest habitations imaginable. It was made of stones, stumps, limbs, dirt and skins, its dimensions being about twenty feet in every direction. The savage paused but a moment when he shoved a large skin aside, entered and held it open for his friends to do the same. Tim O'Rooney peered cautiously into the lodge before trusting himself within it, but seeing nothing alarming, he stepped briskly forward, and was followed by the two boys and Terror. A dim fire was burning in one corner, against the face of a rock, and opposite it lay a bundle of clothes, which, upon being rather roughly touched by the foot of the Indian, resolved itself into a being of the feminine gender, unquestionably the partner of the master of the lodge. A few words were exchanged between the two, when the squaw busied herself in preparing a meal, while her husband stirred the fire into a cheerful blaze that brightly illuminated every portion of the singular dwelling. He seemed entirely forgetful of the presence of the strangers, who seated themselves upon a broad flat stone and calmly awaited the result of his doings. The old lady speedily appeared with a huge piece of meat, which was soon roasting on the fire, its savory odor filling the apartment, and rendering our friends half frantic in their starving condition. It was quickly 61 62 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. cooked; the Indian severed it into four equal portions with his hunting-knife, and tossed one to each of his visit- ors, including the dog, which was really suffering for the want of nourishment. As Elwood and Howard ravenously ate the well- cooked, juicy meat, free from pepper and salt, they were sure they had never tasted such a delicious morsel in all their life. The pieces were of a generous size, and after all three had gormnandized themselves until, absolutely, they could contain no more, each had some left. This, as a matter of course, was thrown to Terror, and by the time he had swallowed them all, he licked his jaws to show that his pangs of hunger were also fully satisfied. CHAPTER XI. FURTHER EAST. ITH YOUR lave" said Tim O'Rooney, step- ping forward and drawing the pipe of their Indian host from his mouth. The latter gazed at him in amazement but said nothing, and offered no objection to the impudent proceeding. I fales better," complacently added the Irishman as he emitted volume after volume of tobacco smoke. " We ve had a good schlape, a good male, and I'm quiet- ing my narves with the ould gintleman's pipe." " It strikes me, Tim, you were rather discourteous," said Elwood. " Be careful that we do not trespass too much on his good nature." " This is the calomel o' pace, as they calls it, and when you shmoke it it manes there's no enmity atween us. You see, the ould gintleman and meself have shmoked it together, and that makes us frinds. That is a wise shtroke of policy on the part of Tim O'Rooney, beside the comfort it gives him. Will aither of yez in- dulge in a few whiffs" Both replied that they did not use the weed in any form. " That's right. It makes me indignant when I sees a youngster puffing away at a pipe or a segar; but never mind that, boys; do yez jist look over the top of our ADRIFT JI; THE WILDS. ould frind's head asd tell me whether yez sees any- thing. " "I have noticed that finelooking rifle before," re- plied Howard; " I only wish each of us had such a one. " "We will have that before we lave this mansion. Do ye mind that, boys " " I will starve to death before I will consent to take it away from the old Indian after the kind treatment he has given us," said Howard. "So would I," promptly added Elwood. " No mat- ter how badly we may want it I shall never consent to steal it." "Shtale it! Who talks of shtaling it!" indignantly demanded Tim. "You're a couple of fine spalpeens, ain't you, to think that of me. I miane to buy it, and give the ould man his owii price." "What have you to buy it with" asked Elwood in surprise. "I have a little money, but I don't believe it is enough to buy such a good-looking gun as that." " No; if your pockets were lined with gold pieces lie would care nothing for them," said Howard; "but what will you offer him, Tim " "Each of you has a knife, and likewise have I; you carry two pretty fine gold watches, while I've a bull's-eye as big as a half-dozen like them. An Injun will sell his squaw and lodge for such trifles." " Well, try it, then." The Irishman arose to his feet when, as a matter of course, the black eye of the old man was fixed upon 64 F UR TIER ALAST 65 him. He pointed to the gun overhead, whereupon the Indian, with surprising (jlqickness, caught it down and held it with a nervous grasp, his squaw taking his seat beside hini. Tim offered the thiree knives which the party owned for it, opening and clicking them to excite his cupi(Iity. The eager look that caine into his face showed that he understood what was meant; but he only hugged his property more tightly and shook his head from side to side. I knew lie wouldn't part with it," said Elwood. "Howld on a minute," replied Tim; " I'm only throw- ing out me skirmishers; I'll fetch him yet. He's larned how to make a bargain." The Irishman now produced his watch-an immense affair that would have made a load for a small child. He pried open its gigantic case and showed the dazzling array of brass wheels and the glittering coil of stee. It could not but be attractive to a savage mind, and the Indian's eyes sparkled as he looked upon it. "Keep yours and let me offer mine," said Howard. "Howld on, I tell yees, howld on; maybe you'll both have to offer 'em afore he'll bite. My repater is like myself-it took too much salt water for its good and hasn't been well for a few months. If the ould thing would only tick a little he couldn't resist it; it has a beautiful voice when it starts-like a thrashing ma- chine." Equally to the surprise of Tim and the boys, the sav- age arose and handed the gun to the Irishman, who was only too glad to put his watch and three knives into his possession. ADRIFT I' Tilr WII LDS. " I only wish he had a couple more," said Howard, "so that we could each get one. We ought to be able to take care of ourselves then." Tim in the meantime was turning the rifle over in his hand and examining it with an appearance of great pleasure. "That come from San Francisco," said he. "How did it reach these parts" "Aisv enough, as me incle said when he fell off the house. Some tradeer has let him have it for about five hundred dollars' worth of furs and Peltries." " Don't forget the ammunition," admonished Elwood, "or the gun will do us little good." "Worrah! it's meself that came nigh doin' the same. That's a fine powdther-horn that he has. I say, Mis- ther-" Tim now began motioning very earnestly for this ar- ticle, bullet-pouch and box of percussion caps that the savage had at his side; but the shrewd old fellow was sharper than they expected. Ile indulged in a peculiar grin, and held them very rigidly. Howard laughed. "You don't get anything more without paying for it' "W What shall I pay I've alriddy overdrawn me bank account, as they say." "Let himl take my watch," said Elwood. " Fact is, I think it has been ruined by the salt water." "No, that's too much; haven't ye got some trinket about yees that isn't good for nothing and that you doesn't want" 66 FUR THIE!R FAST. The boys searched themselves. Elwood finally pro- duced a small silver pencil. -Just the thing," said Tim. But the old Indian evidently failed to consider it just the thing, for he continued obdurate and shook his head. A new idea struck Howard. lIe wrenchied off several brass buttons from his coat, and handed them to Tim. The eves of their host fairly sparkled, as does a child's at sight of a coveted toy, and rising to his feet he tot- tered hastily toward them, and tossed the coveted arti- cles into the Irishman's lap. - Now, if the owid gentleman would only dispose of his pipe and a ton or two of tobacey to me, or make me a prisent of 'em, I'd lave and feel aisy." A few more brass buttons procured this also, and our friends had good cause to feel delighted over the result of the bargain. "There doesn't seem to be anything more that we can do, and it strikes me that it would be prudent for us to leave," said Howard. "I think so," added Elwood. "I believe there are other Indians at hand, or within call, else he wouldn't be so willing to part with his gun." The savage now rose and acted in rather a singular manner. Walking to the opening which answered for a door, he passed out and motioned for his visitors to follow. They did so, and when upon the outside he pointed off to the east, nodded his head, and swept his left arm. 67 (i8 ADRIFTA IA 7111J IIVI/DS. 'What does lhe mean" asked HIoward, totally at at hiss to understand himi. "IIe means that this is the direction for us to fol- low." Ile mraans, too, that there's danger in waiting here, and that wve'd bettlher be thraniping." Elwood took a step or two in the direction indicated to test the meaning of their friend, lie nodded verv earnestly, anid satisfied them all that the safest plail was for them to leave as soon as possible- iid take the course pointed out by him. Accordingly, thanikinig him as wvell as they could bv signs, the three moved away toward the east. CHAPTER XIT. THE SALINAS VALLEY. UR FRIENDS journeyed forward until broad daylight, when they found themselves fairly among the high range of hills which in this portion of California comes down almost to the edge of the sea. The scenery was bleak and rugged, and the country was barren and showed very few signs of vege- tation, so that for all practical l)uToses they were little better than if in the sandy desert of the south-eastern portion of the State. They observed, too, a disagreeable change in the climate. The moist winds of the Pacific being cooled by these mountains caused the air to become chilly and foggy and all felt the need of additional clothing. Trhev had now concluded to pass through these hills to the Salinas Valley and then follow this northward until they reached the more settled portion of Cali- fornia, or come lupon a party of miners or bunters, in whose company they could feel safe against the treach- erous Indians, and who might perhaps afford them their much-needed weapons and more abundant food. The latter question assumed the first importance with them. They saw no fruits, and very few animals. The discharge of their rifle was dangerous, as it could be heard at a great distance, and if there is any creature 0ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. that is extraordinarily inquisitive it is the American aborigine. Several times thev heard the faint report of guns in the distance, but for some days saw no human beings except themselves. At night, when they lay down to rest, Terror kept a more faithful watch over them than either of their number could do. They generally found some secure place among the rocks where they could slumber in safety. On the third day after the shipwreck they crossed the dividing ridge and had a view of Salinas or San Buena- ientatra Valley. It was comparatively narrow, looking straighter than it really was, from the towering Coast Range that rose in vast massive ridges, several of the peaks piercing the clouds and reaching far up into the snow line. This was indeed an impassable barrier to their further progress beyond the valley, had they wished to make the attempt; for among those wild regions, where at midsummer the snow is whirled in blinding eddies, and the storm howls through gorges and canyons, and the lost traveler gropes blindly for a secure foothold along the mountain paths it would have been fatal for them to venture without a sure guide. The Salinas Valley looked like a garden to them, and was indeed a promised land. There was fruit in abun- dance, and every prospect of meeting some of their own people. The Buenaventura, years ago, was a fabled river, and the geographies made it a huge stream, taking every course except the true one. They 70 THE SAL INA S VA LLE Y. found it a river inferior in breadth and length to the Hudson, but vastly more interesting from its primeval character and the wild scenery along its banks. On the eastern slope of the mountains they discerned a great variety of trees, among them the Palo Colorado or Lambertine fir, some of them a dozen feet in di- ameter, although they did not attain any remarkable height. These were not the colossal pines so famous the world over. There were quite a number of beech, sycamore, oak, spruce, and maple, and other trees whose particular names they were unable to tell. There was a noticeable change in the climate also. The air had parted with a great deal of its moisture, and although very warm, it had a dryness about it that made it more grateful and pleasant than the coolness along the coast. When fairly in the Salinas Valley, and along the river, they found the vegetation remarkably luxuriant. Oats grew wild in many places, and the plants partook greatly of a tropical character. Grapes were very abun- dant, although it was too early in the season to find them ripe; yet they gathered a few berries that were very pleasant to the taste. The first day among the hills was spent like the first one on shore-without food, although they had so gor- mandized themselves on the preceding evening that they were able to stand this privation much 1)etter. On the second morning among the hills, jtist as they had risen and resumed their journey, Terror gave notice of something unusual in his characteristic manner-by 71 ADRIFT IV THE WILDS. halting and uttering a low whine. At that moment they were making their way around a huge mass of rocks, in a path that seemed to have been worn by the feet of wild animals. Tim paused, cocked his rifle and held it ready for instant use, while the boys looked around for some covert into which to retreat, if danger threatened. While they stood in anxious suspense, an animal about the size of Terror walked leisurely into view, and catching sight of the strangers raised its head with a look of alarm, then uttered a shrill baa-aa after the manner of affrighted sheep, and turned to flee. But he was too valuable a prize to be let run away in this man- ner, and ere he could turn round, or the Newfoundland could reach him, Tim had sent a bullet through his head that tumbled him over and over as if he had been hit by a cannon-ball. Hurrying up to him, they found they had been for- tunate enough to secure a good large mountain sheep, a species of animal that run wild in California, and at certain seasons of the year are in prime condition. This was found only tolerable, but be was fully appre- ciated bv our friends. Tim O'Rooney had managed to conceal a second knife about his person when bargaining with the Indian-one made on the liberal ideas that was displayed in the construction of his watch, and far more useful than the ornameiital trifles that the boys carried. With the help of this and the anatomical knowledge he possessed, he was not long in dressing the sheep, and everything was made ready for cooking him. The sticks 72 THE SALINArS VALLEY. were placed together, the choice steaks were suspended on cross pieces, and the leaves heaped up, only awaiting ignition. " I declare!" exclaimed Howard, "how are we going to kindle it" Every face looked blank, for the thought had never entered their minds until that moment. " Haven't yees a match about you " he asked, turning to the boys. Naturally enough the two searched every pocket, and having finished searched them over again, even turning them wrong side out, and then turning them in and turning them wrong side out again; but all in vain, there was not a lucifer in the party. " Too bad!" exclaimed Elwood, " we are all as hungry as we can be, and we shall have to remain so for the want of fire." " If we wait a while we'll not need the match." "Why not" It isn't very hard to git hungry enough to ate the same without waiting for the benefit of cooking."' "I can't do that," said Elwood, with an expression of disgust. Nor cani Is" added Howard. "I've done it. and found it tasted good," said Tim, "and so would yez-but howld on! One of yez whack me over the head!" " For what" they demanded in amazement. " For being an owid fool, and be the same towken it's yourselves that is the same." ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. "We do not understand you," they said, in some perplexity. " Yez are talking about fire when we has it here at hand." They looked inquiringly around, but did not under- stand the aelusion until he began loading the gun, when a new light broke upon them, and they smiled know- ingly at each other. Tim put in a good wadding composed of dry leaves, and placing the muzzle of his gun among the leaves that they had gathered for ignition, he discharged it. The intense flame of fire that streamed forth for an instant communicated itself to the kindlings, and this being quickly and vigorously blown by all three, almost immediately spread into a blaze, the wood gathered heat speedily, and in a few minutes the juicy steaks of the mountain sheep were steaming and ready for the voracious mouths of the four gathered around. 74 CHAPTER XITI. AN0OTI[ER BIARGAIN. UR FRIENDS were p)rudent enough to cook X every available portion of the mountain sheep, and to preserve what remained for future contingencies. The climate was so warim that they could not hope to keep it more thlan a day or two; and, as it was, they took the wise course of placing as much of it within their stomachs as they could conveniently carry. The good-tempered Newfoundland seemed to be growing corpulent on this species of living, protracted hunger alternating with (an over supply of food. They saw no more wild animals during the day, but jUst as they were entering the Salinas Valley Elwood liscovered something lying in the path before them which at first he believed to be an Indian, either asleep or dead; but Terror instantly ran up, and seizing it in his teeth laid it at his feet, and discovered a beautiful Indian blanket. 'Strange!" exclaimed the boy, holding it up before ulih. " This shows that we are not the first persons who have traversed this section." - I wonder that we do not see more savages." - Isn't it beautiful" said Elwood, turning the blanket over and examining its texture and designs. It was indeed handsome and very valuable, resembling much ADRIFTI N THIE WILDS. the famous blankets made by the Apache Indians. It was fully a half-inch in thickness, so compactly knit together as to be water-proof. Its border and the design of the figures were a miracle of skill in color and com- bination. Every hue of the rainbow seemed reproduced in the most pleasing combinations. The center-piece was a figure of the sun which, with the rays radiating from it, was of a most intense vellow, while around the border were pictured all the fruits that any one has ever heard as being indigenous to California. "That must be very valuable," said Howard. "It is so heavv it tires my arms to hold it." "That same thing would bring yez five hundred dol- lars, any day, in San Francisco,"' added Tim O'Rooney. "It'll pay yez to carry it there." It is just the thing to wrap around us when we lie down to sleep." "Yis, if ye wraps up in that vez'll wake up and find yersilves roasted to ditlh. Yez mighlt as well crawl into an oven and bake yersilves and be done with it." " We can then spread it on the ground, and protect ourselves from the moisture!" said Howard, who was beginning to appreciate the value of the article. " I've saan them things before," added Tim O'Rooney. "The Apaches and Mlohaws in New Mexico make 'em. It has tuk a couple of squaws the bist part of a year so do the same." " But where is the owner An Indian could not lose such a thing without knowing it. Why, it is a load to carry, and I should expect to lose my coat as soon as to part with this." q6 ANO THEA' BARGAIN A. Of course there could bc no explanation of the cause of the blanket being found where it was. It was plain that no Indian could have parted with it unknowingly, and its high value made it still more puzzling that it should have been left in such a place. It might be that the owner-some fragile Indian girl-had wearied with carrying it, and had thrown it dowln for a warrior friend of hers to pick tup and take to its destination for her. This conjecture, made by Tim O Rooney himself, raised a serious question as to whether they had a right to carry the blanket away when there was good reason to doubt its being lost or abandoned. If a year's work has been lavished upon it," said Eliwood, it cannot be possible that it has no owner." "1 I think Tim is right; he or she expects to return or send and get it." " But it is singular that if such is the case it should be left here, when it could have been easily hid in these bushes. " " That only proves that there are no people about- no white ones at least. If the owner had any fear of this place being visited by (Airislians, he would have taken pains to hide his property; but as he was sure there were none but savages and heathen, he was certain his blanket was safe." Howard Lawrence, jesting though lie was, spoke the truth, and deeply ashamed are we to confess it. The question received an unexpected and unmistakable solution. While they were still conversing, they de- scried a gaudily dressed, rather handsome-looking squaw 1,77 ADRIFT IN TIHE WILDS. tripping lightly behind them. Her head was bent, and she did not discover them until the growl of the dog caused her to raise her head. She was then within a dozen yards of Howard, he being in the rear and hold- ing the blanket inl his hand. She looked at them with an alarmed expression in her strange dark eyes, and seemed to be too much frightened to think of fleeing. Howard signified his friendship by walking quietly toward her and lholding- out the blanket as if inviting her to take it. She readily comprehended the meaning of his advance, and when the article was within reach she took it. "Now make a bargain if you can," called out El- wood. Howard produced the gold watch-a small hunting- case-and offered it to the young woman. She examined it with childish curiosity, but in a manner that showed that it was not the first time she had looked upon such an article. She held it a few moments, and then with a pleased smile passed the blanket to him, bowed gracefully, wheeled quickly, and slipped away charmingly. "Hurra!" fairly shouted Elwood, "you are as good as Tim at making a bargain," " She must live somewhere about here, and no doubt will tell how she got the watch, and that may set some of her friends on our track." "Let 'em come," said Tim. "I've a gun that I larned bow to shoot, and that blanket we can wrap around us, and I don't believe you could shoot a bullet through it by raison of its thickness" 78 ANO TILER BRGAIN. 7 The party resumed their Journey, quite jubilant over the rifle and blanket. They still needed but one thing, or rather two things, guns for the boys. Terror was such a sharp and faithful sentinel they would have felt almost safe with these additional fire-arms. Howard and Elwood were quite confident that they could shoot with remarkable precision, although neither had ever aiiiied or discharged a gun; but in this respect they were not so very different from other boys. At n10011 they made a hearty meal upon a portion of what still remained of the mountain sheep, and then stretched themselves out for an hour's rest. Tim O Rooney was plentifully supplied with tobacco, and perhaps could not have felt more comfortable or satisfied with his situation. He lolled on the grass, and wondered whether Mr. Lawrence was anxious for him to get home or not, finally reaching the conclusion that he was rather indifferent upon the subject himself. The greatest dis- tress of Howard and Elwood was the pain that their parents would feel regarding them; but they hoped to reach holme without great delay, when they would quickly turn their weeping into joy. The two could not grow weary of admiring their beautiful blanket. It was a wonderful affair indeed, and doubtless contained within it enough material to supply a shoddy " contractor with the basis for a thousand army- blankets. The boys would have will- ingly given both their watches for it and considered themselves greatly the gainers. They looked upon it as their joint property. 79 80 ADRIFT /A'i THE WILDS. " I do believe it is rifle-proof," said Howard. " The fine threads of which it is composcd are woven so com- pactly that you can hardly distinguish them." "I shoul(l be rather fearful of risking a rifle-shot from any one if that were all that protected me." "We can easily test it. Let's hang it up and shoot a bullet at it." "No, that would be too bad. The ball might go through, and then it would be spoiled in its looks. Now it seems really perfect-" "I say, me boys-" Tim's utterance was checked bv the discharge of a rifle and the near whistle of the bullet. He started up and glanced around him. " Injuns, or me name isn't Tim O'Rooney, from Tip- perary, Ireland, the gem of the aayI" CLATER XIV. A STRANGE OCCURRENCE. N A SLIGHT eminence, about an eighth (4 a mile south of them, stood the solitary Iin- dian who had fired the alarming shot. He w as in open view, as though he had no fears of the re- suilts of his challenge, and appeared to be surveying the white people with an air of curiosity that they should prestumie to encroach upon his hunting-grounds. If vez manes that, there's two of us, as me brother Pat tovld the judge when he called him a good-for- nothin, dog." With which exclamation Tim O'Rooney sighted his rifle at the aborigine, and taking a tedious, unconifort- able aim, pulled the trigger, and then lowered his piece and stared at his target to watch the result. The In- dian stood as motionless as a statue, and finally the Irishman drew a deep sigh. "I wonder whether the bullet has reached him yet 'J Reached him!" laughed Howard. "I saw it clip off a piece of rock fully forty feet from him." " Worrah, worrah! but I've ate so much dinner I can't howld the gun stiddy.-" " I saw it vibrate-" " Look out! he's going to shoot again!" called Elwood, as he and Howard dropped on their face "Get down, ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. Tim, or he'll hit you. He's a better marksman than you are." "Who cares- Heaven! save me!" The second discharge sent the bullet within a few inches of the Irishman's face, and somewhat alarmed him. " Load quick!" admonished Howard, " and shelter yourself, or you are a dead man." The Irishman obeyed this, and had his gun reloaded in a few moments. " Now let me try my hand," said Elwood; " you can never hit him." "Be all manes, if yez wish it." "' The piece is too heavy for me to shoot off-hand and I'll rest it on my knee." The boy took the gun, and placing the barrel on his knee, drew back the hammer, when presto! the savage whisked out of sight like magic. The noble aborigine had come to the conclusion that discretion was the bet- ter part of valor. "Where is he" asked the bewildered boy, rising to his feet and looking around him. "He is gone," replied Howard. " I admire his sense; he doesn't care about being shot just yet." Howard laughed. "You have a good opinion of your marksmanship, Elwood, and he seems to fear you more than Tim." "But he didn't give me time to practice on 'im," said the latter. " If he had stood there an hour or two I'd hit him sure," 82 A STRRANGVGE OCCURRENCE. " Yes, and he would have picked you off at the next fire. He's a good marksman at any rate." They kept their position for some time, but saw nothing more of the Indian. He has left,-" said Elwood, " and will give us a wide berth after this."' " It was rather curious that lhe should expose himself in that manner." "Perfectly natural," replied Elwood. "lIe knew there was no danger until I took the gun; then he thought it best for him to clear out." "He may turn up again when we least expect it." "lDe yees understand the maning of that" " Clot precisely; do you " "He's a lover of the fair female that ye gave the watch to for the blanket, and he had been watchin' us till he sane me, and then lie got so jailous of me that he has tried to put me out of the way." The boys laughed at this explanation, which Thi gave with every appearance of earnestness, and were rather doubtful about believing it. There was some fear expressed that this Indian might send them a bullet from some covert, when lie could make his aimn sure and shelter himself from all danger of a return fire; although as regards that the specimen lie had been given of the skill of the whites should have convinced him that there was no need of his being par- ticularly alarmed on this point. Our friends were sufficiently rested, and the associa- tions of the place were such that they resumed their 83 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. journey at once toward the Salinas River. They had gone but a short distance when Howard exclaimed: " Halloo! yonder goes that Indian! " He pointed in the direction of the river fully a mile away, and looking there they saw very near the center of the stream a small Indian canoe, propelled by a single occupant. The distance was so great that they could decide nothing regarding his dress and appearance, and for a time it was doubtful whether there were one or two in the boat. They were sure, however, that it was the same personage that had so startled them, and that he was returning to his home. "That looks as though he did not belong to these parts," said Elwood, "and seems to throw doubt on his being the young squaw's lover." "And it's a qua'r lover the same would be if lie wouldn't go five hundred miles for the smile of his be- loved. Begorrah! but it was meself that used to walk five miles and back agin ivery Sunday night in Tippe- rary to see Bridget Ann Mulloney, and then lost her after all when I'd spent almost half a pound on her." " There's another thing I'd like to buy, beside our rifles," said Elwood. " What is that" "A canoe. See how smoothly the savage floats dowi the river. The current is quite rapid, and it would take very little labor for us to make much better head- way than we now do." "But we do not know how to paddle one of those frail concerns." 84 A STRANXGE OCCURRENCE. "We could learn soon enough." "We may find one of them along the shore, as there seem to be plenty of Indians hereabouts, and I suppose every one of them is the proprietor of one of these es- tablishments. " "It isn't likely if yees finds one ye'll find the owner," said Tim, "and I s'pose your conscience wouldn't let you take it unless you made a fair bargain with the owner." "I don't know," laughed Howard, "but what un- der the circumstances we could persuade ourselves to take it." In the course of a few hours they found themselves in the vicinity of the Salinas River, and turned to the left so as to follow its windings as nearly as possible to the mouth, where they hoped to secure safer and speedier transportation to their homes. At night when they encamped the soft murmur of the river was in their ears, and the cool, dry wind fanned them quietly as they sat down near a cluster of thick cottonwood to smoke their pipe, chat and prepare for the night's rest. They made a good meal from their mountain sheep, and gorging Terror, threw the rest away as they deemed it hardly fit for further use. It was quite late when they camped. Tim would have nothing to do with the blanket, so the boys spread it upon the earth, lay down upon it, and then drew the borders over them. Wearied out they soon fell asleep, depending, under the kindness of heaven, upon the watchfulness of the 8o 86 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. faithful Newfoundland that had never yet proved un- faithful to his trust. In the middle of the night Elwood awoke from a feel- ing of uncomfortable warmth, and threw the blanket off and slept thus until morning. He was the first to awake, just as light was dawning, and was on the point of rising when he started and became suddenly transfixed with horror at a sight directly before his eyekl CHAPTER XV. THE CROTALUS. HERE ARE several species of rattlesnakes found in California, among which are the black, spotted anid striped. Some of them grow to an enormous size and are anything but pleasant strangers to encounter, especially when vou come upon theni suddenly and find them coiled. It is a peculiarity of these specimens of the Crotalits of America that they strike onlv from the coil, are easily killed, and generally, although sot always, do they rattle before they dart for- ward their poisonous fangs. We can conceive of nothing upon the face of this beautiful earth more shudderinglv repulsive than a rattlesnake. The arrowy head, and shiny, flabby body, with its glistening scales and variegated color, its taper- ing tail, with that dreadful arrangement by which it imitates so closely the wlhirr of the locust, the bead-like eves, with no lids and a fleshy film dropping over them -all these make up the most terrible reptile found on the American continent. And then imagine one of these creatures coiled! The thick, heavy body with the tail projecting upward from the center, the head drawn back, and the red, cavernous mouth open, with the curved, hollow teeth and the sacs at their roots filled nigh to bursting with this concen- 8ADRIFT IX THE WILDS. trated essence of the vilest of all poison-imagine this, we say-but don't do it either! If you have never seen a rattlesnake, donut go near one, unless you have a chance to kill it, even if his fangs have been extracted. The heel shall bruise the serpent, and that is the best use to which they can be put. But as Howard Lawrence opened his eyes, in the dull light of this summer morning, he saw coiled within five feet of him a striped rattlesnake, its intensely black eyes fairly scintillating light, and its rattle gently waving but making no noise. In a single second his true peril flashed upon him. If he moved the reptile would strike. He might throw himself suddenly backward, but in that case if he escaped, the malig-nant fangs would be buried in the sleeping Elwood ere he could open his eyes and under- stand the danger that threatened him. And he was afraid, too, to speak to him and Tim in the hope of awaking them. There would be blundering upon their part, and blundering meant but one thing-death. Howard looked straight at the serpent's eyes and became conscious of a strange sensation passing through him. The small, black orbs seemed to advance, shrink and float away through the air, enchaining his own vision until the will, which had so vehemenltly repelled the danger grew indifferent, and the thought of peril merged into a vague, dreamy semi-consciousness, which, while it took knowledge of the terrible reptile, coiled and ready to strike, yet failed to impress the mind with the energy to withdraw from its terrible power. HIB 88 THE CRO TA L US. blood slowly chilled, as if vein by vein it froze through- out his person, until from head to foot the vital current was congealed. At times he strove to move, or more properly sought, in the mysterious make-up of our com- position, to rouse the will from its torpor, but with the same result as follows the effort of the sufferer to use his paralyzed limb. The will seemed to make a feeble twitch or two and then subside, unable to break the fatal spell spreading over his mind anA faculties. The eyes of the reptile glared upon his own, their bead-like blackness taking the form of a point of fire waving, floating, gyrating and circling in the air, doubling in and out in rings of the rainbow's hues, melting away into the distance, then drifting forward until mingled with his own, up and down in the same bewildering maze of color and design that visits the patient when lost in the delirium of fever. And all the time it was as if the rattlesnake was conscious of the dreadful power he held over his victim. Its arrowy head and long neck were started silently toward him, as if threatening instant destruction; and then, like the cat toying with her victim, it was withdrawn again, and the spell deep- ened and increased. A strange whirl passed through the mind of the boy. By a violent attempt to call in his wandering thoughts he gathered an idea of the mortal danger impending over him, but he could not centralize his mental powers. The bewildering sensations were somewhat similar to that of a man whose brain has received a violent concuh- sion-the mysterious chambers and channels through 89 ADRIFT IN TILE WILDS. which thought forced its way were choked up and the subtle impetus recoiled, powerless to perform its func- tion. He felt the necessity of clear, vigorous thought, but his dull brain would not work-the cold incubus upon it chilled it through and through; and all the time the malignantly beautiful reptile was partly coiling and uncoiling, the articulated ring giving a faint rattle, as if caused by the slight vibration of its body. After a while the serpent lay still, but never once was its eve removed from its victim. It was growing tired of dally- ing with its prey and was making ready to strike. The coil became close and compact, the rattle rising from the center, and the eye assumed a clear, metallic sharpness that appeared to throw forward its fateful rays into his own. He saw that the sport was done and the snake was ready to strike; he strove to move, but could not; he essayed to speak, but the words choked him unuttered. He saw the reptile calling in its strength and- "Quick, Ho ward, drawv the blanket over you! Re can't strike through that!" The practical, energetic words of Elwood Brandon, whom he had imagined asleep at his side, broke the dreadful spell that had enchained Howard. He felt the mist pass from his eyes, his mind threw off the incubus which had borne it down, and he was himself again, with clear mental powers. His right hand lay upon the thick blanket, and sen- sible of his extreme peril, he quickly closed it, grasping the edge firmly, and then threw himself over upon his face and against his cousin, but covering both their 9( T1IE CROTALUS. bodies at the same instant with the heavy, closely-knit cloth. At the very moment of doing so the angry locust-like ring of the reptile antl at sharp thrust against tile blanket as if struck by a sinall stick announced that it had given its blow. Howard and Elwood both shouted to Tim to come to their assistance; but ere lie could respond a rush was heard, followed by a fierce growl, and they understood at once that Terror had appeared upon the scene. They let him rage for a few moments and then, Tim having informed them that the snake was " kilt entirely," they cautiously crept forth. As they looked furtively around they saw at once that the Newfoundland had done his work well. The reptile was torn into shreds and strewn over all area of several vards. Its fangs had entered the blanket where, while they did not pierce through they stuck irrevocably, holding the reptile a prisoner to the fury of the dog. Thankful indeed were the boys for their providential escape from this dreaded creature. Elwood lhad been awakened by its slight rattling, when, suspecting the danger that was closing around his cousin, lie uttered the warning words which we have given and ws hich proved the means of robbing the blow of tile reptile of its danger. The fangs were carefully extracted from the blanket, and Howard declared his intention of preserving them as a curiosity; but within a half-hour after leaving the camp they wvere lost, and lie did not judge it worth while to search for them. I1 CHAPTER XVI. THE C(AM P-FIRE. S OUR three friends on that bright summer morning stood on the slope of the mount- ains and gazed dowe into the beautiful Sa- linas Valley before them, Elwood Brandon suddenly pointed a little to the north and said: " See! there are others beside us!" About a mile distant, and not far from the river, they saw a thin, black column of smoke rising among the trees, of so dark and plalpable a character that it could be distinguished at once. "Another party of Indians," replied Howard. " We seem to be getting into their neighborhood. " I only wish they were a party of white hunters or miners, for I long to see a friendly face." "What good could it do us They wouldn't accom- pany us home, or take any trouble to see that we were protected. "Perhaps not, but I tell you, Howard, this begins to look dangerous when we see nothing but enemies. There are but three of us, and one gun only between us. I believe a single Indian could destroy us all if he chose to do so." " Except in one contingency." "lWhat is that" TIENS CAMP-FIRE. "1 That you should aim the gun. He would then flee at once." Elwood laughed and added: But wie have no breakfast, and we may as well be flioving. Yollre a sensible boy, added Tim O'Rooney, "be the towvken that vheien ye spakes ve quiverally anticipates me own thoutghlts." They soon reached the level of the valley, and then took a direction strai-lht toward the spot where they had seen the camlp-fire burning. Tie intervening space was quite thickly grownii with trees and vegetation, so that they- could obtain no sight of the fire itself until they were very close to it. We mitust be careful," admonished Howard. " If it is a party of Indians they may discover us before we do then." " I (don t SU1)p)ose it wvill do for us all to walk straight up to thenm, for thevill be sure to see us then." --No, one miust creep tip and find whether the coast is clear. Tim has seen more of California than we have, and lie can do that if he wishes." "Sinsible a-in, for I was about to spake the same. Do yees tarry here while I takes a look around. Whist! now, and kaap so still that yell hear me brathe all the way there and back agin."' The bovs took their position each behind a large tree, and looking cautiously forth they awaited the return of their friend. When these precautions were taken they were not a 93 ADARIFT IL THE WILDS. hundred yards distant from the strangers. The Irish- man stepped very carefully, moving on tiptoe, and not making any noise that was perceptible. This was no great attainment in woodcraft, as any person could have done the same with ordinary care, when the woods were of the character of this onle. Had there been briers or brambles, or swampy ground, or that which was unusatilly dry, and covered with twigs, it would have been a feat far more difficult of attainment. Just before Tim disappeared from view they saw him sink down upon his hands and knees and creep for- ward; but the bushes soon shut him out from view and they could only wait with all the patience possible. At the end of about ten minutes the genial face of the Irishman appeared, and the expression upon it gave rise to pleasant anticipations. "Who are they asked the two boys together, as soon as they deemed it prudent. "Whist! now don't spake so loud. Ye'll wake 'em out." Tim looked behind, and became satisfied that there was no fear of discovery, when he arose to his feet, and took his careless, sauntering mainner. "Well, Tim " said Howard inquiringly. "What is it yez wishes" "We wish to know whether these strangers are white men or Indians." "Well, ye saas, I had to crawl up to 'em mighty care- ful, for if you step upon a stick no bigger than a tooth- pick, yees are sortin to wake up a slaapin' copper- skin-" 94 THE CAMP-FIRE. 'So they were Indians, then," interrupted Elwood sotnewliat impatiently. Do yes be aisy now, and not be interruptin' of me, and ver observations and questions which ain't naaded in this case. Me owid grandfather used to till a great many stories to us spalpaans about the part he took with young Emmett-when owld Ireland stood up against England. Ile used to tell us his stories-did the same -and just so sure as one of us axed him a question, he'd go back to the beginning and till the whole story over again. Ile'd begin airly in the evening, and kaap it goinlg till tin or eleven o'clock. I belave the old gin- tleman rather liked to have us be interruptin' him, for he laity bates for us wee ones, and Ye see by that manes one story sometimes kept him goinlg for a waak. Heaven bliss the owld gintleman-hie lhal a habit of stopping in the middle of an exciting part and lighting his dudheen, and then when lied begin atgai, he'd skip over a part on purpose to make us ax him a question-" ' Well, Tim, we will talk about your grandfather some other day," said Howard, who, as naturally may be supposed, was impatient for him to come to the point. - Yis, I was just through with him, but yees should never be overmuch in haste. Me blessed mother always told me that it was the same as being too slow, and if anyibody could spake of the same, could me mother do it. I was about to obsarve when yees interrupted me, that a man must be mighty careful in going tup to a Camp-fire, for these Indians slaap so quietly that tile 95 ADRIFT IA' THIE WILDS. overturning of a leaf is sure to wake 'em, and you saa by this, if we'd all three gone up, as we war thinkin' about, they'd heard us long before we could have got sight of 'em, and our tramping in Californy would be done with-" "So they were Indians were they" asked Elwood again, partly amused and partly vexed at Tim's persist- ent dallying with their curiosity. "Who said the same" "You implied it. W\rere they red or white men Answer us-yes or no!" ''And that is just the pint I's raching for, as me friiud, Michael O'Shanlghangly, said when he took a half-quart of whisky. Yez understands that I wanted to make sure just who the same might )e, and what wvas their number. 'Spose, now, I should have come back and said there war but three of the same, and there should be a half-dozen, or I should say they was white gintle- men like ourselves, and they should turn out to be of a darker hue. Ye saas that it wouldn't do." The boys had become so uneasy by this time that they were walking back and forth, and talking to each other in low tones. "I will go forward and see for myself," said Elwood. "I don't care about waiting an hour or two for him to answer my question." " He will soon answer us; he is only indulging in a little pleasantry." "Rather a bad time for jesting." "I think we can be sure of one tAling," added Howard a moment later. 916 THE CAMP-iJfA 'E. 97 "What is that" "That we are not in much danger. If we were he wouldn't wait so long to tell us." "I don't know about that; it would be in keeping with his foolishness. I tell you, Howard, I will ask him once more, and if he doesn't answer me at once, I shall go forward and learn for myself." Well, do so." "Tim, are those Indians or white men" "That's it, is it Why didn't yez ax me beforer They're a party of white men, be the same!" CHAPTER XVITI. THE MINERS. WISHED to give ycz a pleasant surprise, as the doctor said when he told the man that his wife was dead," remarked Tiled in expla- nation of his conduct. -Had there raelly been any of the red gintlemen around I'd have told you soon enough." Our young friends were too well pleased at the inielli- gence to feel other than good natured, and they gladly forgave Tim for his trespass upon their patience. With- out waiting further they walked hastily forward, and a moment later stood by the camp-fire. Three men, apparently, had just aroused themselves from slumber, and were now stirring around makin, preparations for their breakfast. They were shaggy, unshorn, grimy-looking fellows, who had " run wild" tor several years, but who had not necessarily lost their humanity, even though they had in a great degree lost its outward semblance. In the center, a large bundle of sticks were burning quite briskly, and one of the men was turning and watching some meat that was cooking ovei it. The others had evidently just returned from the river, for their red temples and foreheads still glis- tened with moisture which sparkled like dew on their patriarchal beards. TIHEL J-EA'. 9 They were rough, hardy-looking fellows, but Elwood felt little apprehension as he stepped forward and said: "Good morning, gentlemen!" He who was cook turned his head, but a hot drop of moisture from the steaming meat at that moment flew in his eye, and clapping his finger to it, he muttered something, aflln forthwith and instantly gave his exclu- sive attention to his culinary duties. The second man was rubbing his face with a piece of coarse cloth, and he suddenly paused with his black eyes glaring over the top, his face resembling the head of some huge animal clambering over the edge of a rock, and who, having just gained a foothold, is looking hurriedly around for his prey. The third was combing his hair, and just at this mo- ment it was moistened and sticking straight over his forehead like the horn of an animal. He would run the comb through with his right hand and then smooth the hair with his left. He stopped with both arms crooked over his head, and wheeled around like an automaton, and stared at the boy a moment, and then said: " Well, there! Why didn't you ring the door-bell I say, youngster, come forward and give us a grip of your hand. Halloo! you've got your brother with you!" "Not my brother, but my cousin, Howard Law- rence." The two boys shook hands with the three, and the grip that they received from the horny palms made them wince with pain. 99 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. " But where'd you come from We don't see a couple of youngsters dressed up in your style prome- nading 'round in these parts every day. Where'd you come from" " The steamer on which we took passage the other day from Panama, was burned off the coast, and we got ashore on a raft." "Be you the only ones." "No; there were quite a number that escaped." "Where be theye" "Thev were carried away by a vessel while we had wandered inland." " And you two-halloo! here's your grandfather!" "No; that is Tim O'Rooney, a good friend of ours." "Your humble sarvint!" saluted the Irishman, re- moving his hat, making a profound bow and scraping a large foot upon the ground. "Well, there! We're glad to see you. What's all your names" They were given several times, and then carefully spelled at the request of the large-whiskered man, who desired that no mistake might be made. " You may call me Ned Trimble, and that ugly-look- ing fellow 'tending to the fire is George Wakeman, and that horrid-looking chap scrubbing of his dirty face, is Alfred Wilkins. Neither of them know much, and I brought them along to black my boots and dress my hair." It looked as though Ned was a sort of a wag, for his companions smiled as if they were used to that thing. He continued: 100 PHE MIXERS. We're a party of hunters that have been in Cali- forny for the last five years, and I rather guess I've prospected through every part of it." " You must be rich by this time." "Rich! laughed Ned Triinble. "Well there, we're everything but rich. Somehow or other we hain't had the luck. We sold a claim up in the diggings for five hundred dollars, and the next week the party sold it for fifteen thousand. That's the way it has always gone with us; but we are going to be rich yet-ain't we, boys. " " Yes, if we only live long enough," replied Wake- man. " I told you that chap hadn't much sense," remarked Ned, addressing his three visitors. " Ile doesn't know enough to answer a question as he oughter I've been trying to teach him something, but I shall have to give it up as a bad job. Been to breakfast" "No-not yet." "Thought you hadn't. Cook, put up another slice, douse it in butter, salt and pepper, and serve it up as you used to do when I employed you at the Astor. Gentlemen, how do you like it, rare or well done" All made answer that they were not particular, and Ned replied thereunto as follows: " Sensible fellows! If you don't care what you get, you won't have to care much for what you don't get. What will you select as a dessert Plum, rice, bread, or cherry pudding Apple, mince, cranberry, plum, peach, or lemon pie Cup-custard, tapioca, water- 101 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. melon, citron, or sherry, maderia, or port. Order which ever you choose, gentlemen, it don't make any difference to us. We can give you one just as well as the other." " I suppose you can," laughed Howard; " so we'll not take the trouble to order any." "All right; as you please, gentlemen. We haven't any turkey or oysters left so you will have to put up with a little antelope that we shot yesterday afternoon. Fine condition for this time of year, and the best kind of flesh to starve to death on." " We haven't had a taste of it yet; but we devoured a goodly piece of a mountain sheep." "Just so. I was going to speak of a mountain sheep, if my servants hadn't interrupted me so often with in- quiries as to how they should make the wine sauce. Ah! I see our meal is ready; we will therefore repair to the banquet hall." The six took their seats upon the leaves, and ate the meal in the usual primitive manner, verifying the adage, "hunger is the best sauce." Ned Trimble enlivened the meal in his usual loqua- cious manner; and after a great many words and circum- locution, the fact was discovered that he and his friends had spent the last five years in California, not having visited a civilized post within two years. Disgusted with their ill success in the Sacramento Valley, they had pulled up stakes and started off to hunt new fields for themselves. They were very cheer- ful and hopeful, and according to their accounts had 102 PHE MINERS. 103 encountered every imaginable danger of the California wilds. Elwood inquired whether they had met any grizzly bears. "Grizzly bears!" repeated Ned, stopping just as he was about to insert a huge piece of meat in his mouth. "Grizzly bears Well, there! We've lived among 'em!" " Is it possible" "Yes; I tracked a big grizzly in the Sierra Nevada for two days and then I stopped." "W What made you stop" "I concluded the bear tracks were getting a little too fresh! " CHAPTER XVIIL A WANT SUPPLIED. NE THING attracted the notice and pleased our friends, and gave them a hope of being able to supply a want they had felt every mo- ment since landing upon the California coast. Each of the miners had two rifles, and were abundantly supplied with ammunition and mining tools. The wonder was how they could carry so heavy a load for such a dis- tance. It could not be understood until Ned Trimble stated that they had two good, tough mules pasturing in a secluded place about a half-mile distant. "That 'ere Injin blanket you're carryin' is rather pretty!" remarked Ned as he rubbed his greasy fingers through his hair. "Yes, we got it of an' Indian girl, and take great pride in it." "You did, eh What did you give her for it" "A gold watch." "Ah! Well, if the watch was a first-rate one maybe she got her pay; but what did she want with a watch That's just the way with all women. They'll give ten times the value for some little gewgaw to wear about 'em. I was engaged to a fine-looking girl in North Car- olina, but I seen she was getting so extravagant that I couldn't understand it, so I left before it was too late." A IVANP SUPPLIED. "A very wise plan." "Yes, she was very extravagant." "In what respect" asked Elwood, who was quite amused at their newly-found friend. "Well, you see, she would persist in wearing shoes on Sundav instead of going barefoot like the rest of the young ladies. I warned her two or three times, but I catched her at church one day with them on, and so I went over to the house that night and told her I couldn't trust her any longer, and we exchanged pres- ents and parted." "Exchanged presents" laughed Wakeman. " What sort of presents were they" "I wish no trifling insinuations, sir," replied Ned, with a grandiloquent air. " She returned to me a tooth brush that I had presented her some months be- fore, and I gave back to her a tin button that she had bought of a traveling peddler, and that I had been wearing on Sundays for my breastpin. 'Tis not the in- trinsic w orth you know, but the associations connected with such things that makes ein dear. But it is a painful subject, gentlemen, and let us, therefore, dis- miss it." Howard and Lawrence thought it best to introduce the matter upon which they had been so long meditat- ing. "I notice that each of you have two guns apiece. Did you leave San Francisco with that supply" " No; we've got 'em of the redskins we've run agin on the way." 105 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. " Would you be willing to sell us a couple You ob- serve we have but one between us, and it makes it rather dangerous, as none cf us are very skillful in the use of the rifle." "You needn't take the trouble to tell us that," re- plied Ned, with a quizzical look. "I'd like to accom- modate you, but we had begun to think that we needed three or four guns apiece; for, you see, we intend to stay in these parts some time, and we are sure to have trouble with the redskins." "If you really wish them," remarked Elwood, "of course we cannot ask you to part with them." " What'll you give" abruptly asked Ned. "What will you take" "I couldn't sell you both of mine, as I wouldn't have one; but, Wakeman, if I part with one of mine will you do the same" " Yes; for I know they'll need the arms before they get back to San Francisco." " Then the question is, what will you ask us for the two guns" "Can you give us a hundred dollars" "Apiece" "No, no, no; for both of 'em." " Yes; we will gladly do that." Now came the crisis. The party had not a dozen dollars among them. Howard and Elwood had left their money in the berth of the steamer, and of course it was irrevocably gone. But Elwood's watch remained, and that at the least calculation was worth one hundred 106 A WANT SUPPLIED. and fifty; but whether the miners would accept it at a fair valuation for their pieces, was in their minds very doubtf ul. "We have no money," said Howard, "but my cousin has a watch that is worth more than that sum, which he will give you for the two guns." " Let's see it." It was prohluced and passed around the company. Ned opened and shut it, and shook it and placed it to his Car. "It ain't running," he suddenly said. "No; the salt water has stopped it, but I do not think it is reallv injtired. A little cleaning will speedily set it going. Ned passed the time-piece back again. Dont want it; it won't (0o us no good." "But you are hunting for gold, and there is enough in it to make it worth your while to take it." "W We expect to find all the gold we can carry back with Ius without loading our mules down with gold watches." Elwood replaced the watch ill his pocket, disheartened at the failure of his offer. " We have no money; if you will call at my father's the next time you go to San Francisco, he will gladly give you your price." "Don't know as we shall go to San Francisco for the next five years; shan't go aiiy way until we are loaded down with gold, an(l then we won't care about calling on your father-more likely he'll want to call on us." 107 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. An idea struck Howard. "You are pleased with our blanket. Will you ex- change your guns for that" Ned shook his head. "Got all the blankets we want; don't want it; keep it yourself." " Will you not give us one gun for both the blanket and watch" The miner now laughed, and shook his head again. "Don't want either; can't do it." The boys now despaired. "Well, we may as well give Up. We can't get any guns of you." " What is the reason you can't" "You seem unwilling to trade, and we can not buy them." " Of course you can't; but And thereupon the miner rose to his feet and handed one gun to Elwood and the other to Howard. "What does this mean" asked the latter, not com- prehending him. "You don't suppose we would be mean enough to sell you anything you needed so bad, do you No; take them both, and here's a lot of lead, gun-caps and am- munition." " But " " No buls about it. Take 'em, you're welcome, for you need 'em. I was only joking with you." 108 CHAPTER XIX. THE CANOE. ED TRIMBLE would not hear the repeated thanks of our friends, bit waaved them an : impressive and magnificent farewell uas they took their departure. They were not yotu beyond sight of each other when they heard him calling to them in excited tones, and the next moment he caine running after them. "I think you said yon was going to undertake to fol- ler the river down the valley, didn t you" They made answer that such was their intention, whereupon lie hastened to add: "About a mnile down, under some bushes that stick out by a big rock, on the samne side that you're travel- ing, is a little Injin canoe that is just the thing you want. You're welcome to it." - But how shall we thank you " - I don't know; again, imy noble friends, I bid thee farewell, aid if forever, still forever, fare thee well." The eccentric miner lifted his hat, bowed very low, and ,sauntered back to his friends with the air of a monarch who had just indulged in some gracious act of con(lesccnsion, while our frien(ds, delighted beyond measure, huirried forwa(ard on their journey. They were now amply provided-each having a gun ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. and plenty of ammunition, and their faithful dog. They began to look Upon themselves as on a holiday ex- cursion. The only thing was, that there was rather too strong a tinge of danger about it. If they were but a hundred or two miles nearer home, and their parents had no anxiety regarding them, it would be more pleas- ant. But then, the) could easily understand how mtuch worse it easily could be, and they were heartfelt at the good fortune which lhad followed themn thus far on their strange entry into California. Tfle most that they could ask was that it mii(ht contilule. Elwood and Howard were anxious to test their marks- manship, but I)rtldectie forbade it, as the chances were that they would need all their amnintinition, and the re- port of their guns miight draw inconvenient attention to themselves. They were walking cheerily along when a singular ob- ject caught their eyes. At first sight it resembled an Iln(lian hut; but it was much too smnall to be inhabited by a human being, and therefore must have been the handiwork of some animal. 'Shall we batter it down" asked Elwood. No; we do nvt know what is in it, and there is no use of wantonly destroying the home of any dumb creature." A It reminds me of me birthplace in ould Ireland," said Tim, with a sigh. But ferror was not so considerate as his masters; for bursting forvardl he placed his stnout at the lower orifice, snuffed furiously, and then clawved so savagely that the 110 TILE CANOE. greater part of the singular fabric came tumbling to the ground. It was made of brush and twigs, and like everything constructed by instinct, was put together with great skill. Terror could not be restrained until he had inflicted great injury. " Look! what are they " exclaimed Howard in aston- ishment. " What strange-looking creatures!" - Snapping tortles!" replied Tim, staring with an ex- pression of the greatest astonishment at the objects. Three animals, about the size of a musk-rat, with webbed feet, and the color of mice, came scrambling forth and scampered away for the shelter of the rocks. Terror by this time had been brought under restraint, and was prevented from crushing them to death as they ran. Great speculation was caused by their appearance, as none of our friends had seen anything like them, nor had they ever heard or read of such. They were, in fact, a species of mountain rat living in the vicinity of mountains and constructing their singular-looking huts with remarkable skill, often building them to a height of six feet. Their fur is very fine, and the hunters and trappers frequently take the animals for their coats, al- though their diminutive size, when compared irith the beaver, otter, and other fur-bearing animals, prevents their being much in demand. The hunters, as perhaps it is proper to term them, were to9 anxious to discover the canoe to pause long at any curiosity unless it was something extraordinary. They carefully noted the distance they journeyed, and 111 ADRIFT IN TilE WILDS. when they judged they had gone abotut i imiile, stepped into the edge of the river and lookcd albout them. But they sawv nothing anisweiring to Ne(l Tlribl)le's descrip- tion of the hiding-place of the boat. "Perhaps he was jesting," remnarked Elwood. No; I think he is too kind-hearted for that. He may have been mistaken as to whNether it is precisely a mile or not." s Whist' but it shtrikes me that the blusles are rather thick just ayonst you. " Timn pointed to a spot a hundred rodls awsay which had failed to arrest their attention. rrhere was nothing unusual, except mayhap that the overhanllgiTng shrubbery was rather denser than usual; but it held out hope, and the party hurried pell-mell to the spot. There, sure enough, they descried the rock, and lift- ing the bushes, caught sight of the small, delicate canoe concealed beneath. Elwood was in the advance, and quickly pulled it forth with the wildest expressions of delight. " Isn't it splendid!" he fairly shouted. " AMid here is a long paddle. Our work is now done." "Do yees jist stand up in the same," said Tim, "and see what a beautiful rest it gives to the faat." The impulsive boy caught up the paddle, and rose to his feet; but it was like unto him who first puts on skates. It flaslhed from beneath him, andl he was pre- cipitated headlong into the water. The others, as a matter of course, laughed. "That was done on purpose," said Elwood as he clambered to his feet again. 112 THE CA NOE. 11 I wished to give vees a little insthruction, and that Vwas me first lesson.1" "\ cli, I learned considerable at any rate." Tue canoe was caught, anid the three carefully (tii- tered anld seated themselves. It was made of bark, bound togetlher with cord and gum, and would havk held double their weight, being very light and buoyant. A vast amount of sport was afforded the party iII learning to navigate the frail vessel. Tim had Iw i some experience in the matter, and cotild propel it quite dexterously; but the boys were, much at fault: they expended far more strength than there was any need for, and soon exhausted themnselves so thoroughly that they were obliged to relinquish the sole, malla-'e- ment of the boat into the hands of Tint O'Roonev. "There's a bootiful current here," said he, "'anid we can have the illegant pleasure of moving along withoutt working ourselves, as me frind, Michael McGuubbeus, said when they carried him off to Botany Bay." Tfhe Irishman first dipped his paddle upon the one side and then upon the other, and imparted quite a velocity to the canoe. The boys were so pleased with the easy, gliding motion that they failed to notice the shores they were pa-ssing between. When finally Tim lay down his paddle and rested they were charmed. All were tired enough to make them enjoy this relax- ation and the sensation of floating so idly forward. The sky was clear and almost free of clouds, the dry air was not uncomfortably warm, and an occa-sional breeze that came floating apparently from the snowy peaks of 113 114 ADRIFT IA TILE WILDS. the Coast Range imparted delicious coolness. On the left stretched the high hills intervening between them and the Pacific, and on the right rose the vast Coast Mountains, forming in its extensive line some of the finest scenery on the North American Continent. By-and-by, as they rounded a bend in the river, a small island appeared near the center of the channel. "There we will rest," said Howard. A half-hour later the canoe lightly touched the shore, and springing out they pulled it up on the land after them. They had scarcely done so when a groan very near them startled them all. " Whisht!" whispered Tim; "there's somebody else beside us on this island." CHAPTER XX. SHASTA, THE PAH UTAH. LL THREE paused and listened. For a mo- ment all was still; and then the suppressed groan of distress was heard, as though the sufferer were seeking to keep back the outcry that was forced from him. "There it is !" whispered Howard, pointing to a clump of bushes near the edge of the river." " It strikes me we had better leave! " replied Elwood, looking forward to the canoe as if fearful that that would be taken from them and all escape be thus cut off. " Do you sind the dog forward and let him smell out the difficulty," suggested Tim O'Rooney. Terror stood there between the boys, his head raised and his whole appearance indicating that he had scented something unusual, but was awaiting orders before ad- vancing upon it. The Newfoundland looked up as if asking for directions. Elwood simply pointed toward the brush and the dog galloped to it. Instead of enter- ing, he stopped by it and gave a low growl of discovery. " What is it, Terror" asked Howard. The brute whined and ran to his masters and then back to the bushes. "It may be a trap to catch us," said Elwood. "I ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. prefer very much taking to the canoe and getting away from the island." "But it may be some one suffering and needing help. He may perish if we leave him here." "Yez spakes the truth," said Tim. "The blessed Father would never forgive us if we should desart one of his creatures when he needed hilp." Tim now advanced straight to the hushes, paused, and then parted them and looked in. He was heard to mutter something to himself; then he came back. "It's an Injin, a-layin' on the ground, a-groanin' and a-rollin' over. I guess the poor fellow has got his last sickness, and we can't help him any." All feelings were at once merged into that of pity. The three advanced and parted the bushes. There, sure enough, lay an Indian apparently nigh unto death. He turned his black eyes up to the white people in a man- ner that would have melted the heart of a Nero. He lay doubled up on his blanket, with his gun a short dis- tance from him. He belonged to the Pah Utah tribe, although their hunting-grounds are further to the south- west. This fact, as a matter of course, Ivas unknown to our friends. The first impression was that he had been badly wounded, but a second glance showed that he was deadly sick. Elwood Brandon had placed his hand upon the dusky forehead, and the heat and throbbing temples told him at once that he was possessed with a burning fever. The poor Indian muttered something unintelligible, 116 SHA S TA, THE PA H U TA H. but which bore some resemblance to the word " Shasta," and he made a motion toward his mouth and then threw his head back and imitated the act of drinking. "He must be suffering with thirst," said Howard. "How shall we manage to give him water" "God save the poor fellow! I will soon fix that!" ex- claimed the kind-hearted Tim, rising to his feet and hurrying to the river's edge. Here he speedily couI- structed quite a capacious cup of leaves, and carefully filling it with cool water he as carefully carried it back to where he lay. " Now, me good felly, just tip up his noddle and we'll make him faal aisy." Elwood carefully raised his head, and the trembling sufferer eagerly reached forward for the cooling fluid. It was placed to his parched lips and swallowed hastily, when he immediately motioned for more. " Will it do to give it" asked Howard. " Will it not injure him" "Niver a bit," replied Tim, hurrying away for an- other supply. In a moment it was brought and swallowed with the same avidity. He then lay his head back upon the blanket of the boys, which had been folded into a pil- low by Howard. His great black eyes looked the thanks which his tongue was unable to express. "Now he will slaap," said Tim. " Lave him alone." He was relinquished to slumber while our friends re- tired a short distance to consult. "How providential that we landed here, " said How- 117 ADRIFT LV THE WELDS. ard. " He was too feeble to help) himself, anid might have (lied in great distress." "Yes, I ami gltd that we found lim, for if hie does die we may be the imeans of robbing his last nionients of great stuffering." "Boys." said Tinl, hitchling lup his pantaloons and scrratchintg his head, ' me mind is made up to one thing. The boys looked in(luiringly at himt. "I stays here till that poor copper-skin gets well or dies." This decision pleased his companions, who declared their resolve of doing all they could for the sufferer. How much more pleasant than shooting at him," said Elwood. " I never felt better in Illy life thIaIn when I found I was able to do somethiingr for this Indian." What a happiness it is indeed to minister to the wvants of the suffering and distressed!' What purer joy than to wipe away the damp from the brow of the dying and to speak words of consolation in their ears That last agony must come to us all sooner or later, and oh how deeply we shall then appreciate the kindness of the friend who stands beside us, ministering to our wants and doing all possible to cheer and soothe our suffering! True, we must go alone through the Iark Valley, but others may lead us down to the border, and their cheer- ing words may yet linger with us as the day closes and we step into that awful gloom through whiCh we must pass before we can enter into the eternal day beyond. Though we know that lie stands waiting to take our 113 SHA S TA, THE PAH U TAXH. hand in His and lead us through the solemn darkness, yet the soul, hovering in its flight, longs for the com- panionship of the dear ones, until the final adieu must come Oh, loving Father, whose sympathizing arms reach out to enfold us all, grant that such may be mine and the lot of all my friends. Upon looking at the Indian an hour later, he was seen to be sleeping as calmly as an infant, while his face was covered with a mild, healthful moisture. " He will git well!" said Tim. " Did I not stand by the bedside of my poor mother and give her the cowid water that brought her back to life agin" " The crisis of the fever has passed, or is passing," said Howard. "He must have an iron constitution, like all his people, and he will rally, I have no doubt." "Yes," added Elwood, with much feeling, "there is one thing certain; all are not our enemies; we have made one friend at least." " True, an Indian never forgets an injury nor a kind- ness, and his friendship may be of benefit to us before we reach home." " I b'aves you, boys; that Injin will remember us as long as he lives, and will sarve us a good turn if the chances for the same be iver given him." "But see, he has awaked!" 119 CHAPTER XXI. A HUNT FOR FOOD). HE INDIAN was awake and making signs to his friends. For some time they were at a loss to understand their meaning, but Howard noticed that he had a leaf in his hand which he offered to them. When the boy took it his face showed that he was pleased, but continued his signs as before. Suddenly Elwood's eyes sparkled. " Ile wants us to bring lhim some of those leaves. Let me have it; they must be on the island." He hastened away and was not long in finding a bush that bore precisely the same species, and gathering quite a lot he returned to the Indian and offered them to him. But he did not seem satisfied. Ile looked at the leaves, nodded his head, and then taking them by the slight twigs to which they were fastened, he made as if to pull them up again. " Ah! I know what he means!" said Howard. " It is not the leaf but the root that he wishes." " I can soon get that." Elwood verified his words, and scarce ten minutes elapsed ere he returned with several goodly-sized roots, which were washed and cleaned. The look of the Indian showed that he had now got what lie wanted, and he began gnawing the bark and chewing it. THE HUNT FOR FOOD. " He's a docthering himself now!" said Tim, " as the patient said when he gave the doctlier his own medicine and pisened him to death by raisin of the same. He will get along." They watched the sufferer for a few moments. Gather- ing his mouth nearly full of the bark, he continued chewing and swallowing for some time longer, when lhe finally shut his eyes and again slept. Picking up a piece of the root which he had gathered Elwood tasted of it. Ile found it so bitter that he instantly spat it out. " It must have some medicinal quality," remarked Howard,- " or he would not use it. I believe the Indians doctor entirely with herbs, and I have no doubt that he will soon be well." " Do yez mind that if it isn't noon it is cloqse to the same And be the tame towken we are all slightly hungry." Now arose a query. The island was so small that it contained no game of any kind, and so was unavailable to supply their wants. The river abounded in fish, but there was no means of catching them; and finally, after some discussion, it was agreed that Tim should cross over to the mainland and shoot something. " Do yez kaap your eyes about yez till I'z back again, for some of the coppery gintlemen may take a notion to pay yez a visit." The bovs felt a little uneasiness as they saw their com- panion enter the canoe and paddle toward the eastern shore-the shore which as yet had been unvisited by 121 ADRFT ,LV TILE ILIIDS. themi. They watched until he landed, pnulled the boat up behind him into shelter, and then disappeared ill the wood. - We shall be in rather a bad situation if he never comes back," remarked Elwood. " I don't know about that; in what better occupatiolI can we be found than in ministering to tile wants of a suffering Indian Would not that itself protect us from injury Perhaps it might; but what would become of us any way They wouldn't be kind enough to guide us up to San Francisco." "They might take us so far that we could 'find our way. " "Hardly; I don't like to see Tim go to that shore; it looks too dangerous. I wonder why he did it" "He must have believed there is nmore gamie there." " But there is enough on the other side, andl he would avoid this greater danger by going there." " I imagine that a river running through a hostile country is as dangerous upon one side as upon the other, and there is little choice, Howard, in the matter." "rBut I know yoe feel unpleasant in being thus left alone." " I know I shall be glad to see Tim come back again, for there is always great danger in such a small party separating." Halloo! there goes his guin or somebody else's."' The sharp crack of the rifle came fromn the shorc, and Elwood was sure hie saw the failt smoke of the discharge 122 A HIIUVT i()A' FOOD. asceend from some thick hushes near the edge of the wood(). d But lie was no doubt mistaken, for as they scrutinized the spot they detected nothing of him who had filed the gUn. I suppose it was Tim firing at sonie game. You know he is not a very good shot, and so lie has badly wounded without killino it." Then we ought to hear his gtun again." ' We shall no doubt-" "Hark !" Crack, went a grull, almost instantly followed by three similar reports. Tue boys turned pale and looked at each other. What does that mean" whvispered Elwood. That is bad; Tini is in trouble." lie ought to have had better sense than to paddle out there in open lday, plunge rurhit ilto the woodls and go to shootinlg without stopping to see what the daliger is. But what will become of him '' ''And of us'" This Indian here must have had sonie way of getting upon the island. I believe lie has a canoe hid some- whlere." B But what of it We cannot think of leaviig until we know somethiing defilite aboutit Tini. " Uinless sorme of the IndiallS start to conie over to the ihland, anid then we'll leave. ' I Do you think that wvould he the w-isest plan, Elwood They can handle the paddle so much better than we that it would take but little time for themn to overhaul us. 12'3 ADRIFT ITV THE WILDS. Then, too, if they should find us by this suffering brother of theirs would it not make friends of them" " Suppose this Indian here is one of their enemies" This was a supposition that had never occurred to Howard before, but which he saw was very reasonable. All Indians not belonging to the sarne tribe might be supposed to be enemies of each other, and thus the mercy and kindness of our young heroes might be imadle the means of their destruction. I didn't think of that, " said Howard, " it may be so. But let us hope for the best. Tim may soon return to us again." "Not if he has a grain of sense left." " And why not" " He has been seen by Indians, and if they haven't got him now they will so01o have him if lie undertakes to paddle his canoe over to the islan(l." " You are right, Elwood; he will 11o doubt wait until it is dark, and then come out to us as stealthily as lie can." " That is if he gets the chance. I tell yoti, Howard,'' said his cousin, starting pt), '' this begins to look bad." I know it does." We know how those red men thandle their -uns. and it don't look likely to me that all those shots have missed Tim." " They may be quite a disuance apart-far enough to make their aim uncertain. " " But then they cotuld cut off his return to the shore. Howard suddenly laid his hand upon the arm of his cousin and pointed to the other shore. 124 CHAPTER XXII. IDA NGER. lHREE INDIANS walked leisurely down to the shore of the river, as though in quest of nothing particular, and stood gesticulating as they generally do with their whole arms. They were about two hundred yards above the point where Tim O'Rooonev landed, but their pozition was such that the canoe might have rested on the surface of the water without being seen. Sensible of their danger, the boys at first sight of them withdrew into cover, from which they cautiously peered out and watched their move- ments. " Those must be the three who fired the guns," whis- pered Elwood. " Very probably they are; that looks more encourag- ing, for I do not see Tim among them." "laybe they have slain him and are talking as to where lie came from." 'Heaven! I hope not." " So do I; but it looks reasonable that they have made away with him and are now looking for us." " How (lid they know he had any friends with him Then, too, if they had slain him, would they not have followed his trail straight down to the water" "I didn't think of that. Thiat question makes nme A-DRIFT boV TIHf WILDS. more hopeful than anything else. It does now look somewhat cheering. But what are they after" The Indians were still talking in an excited manner, and more than once pointed across the river to the island as if there were something there which claimed their attention. It might be the boys themselves, or they may have known that one of their race lay there in dire extremity; but whatever the cause was it boded no good to the two boys, who were crouching in the bushes and grass and furtively watching their motions. The latter were still gazing at them when their hearts were thrilled by the sight of Tim O'Rooney. The eyes of Elwood chanced to be fixed upon a small open space, a rod or two front where the canoe lay, when he saw the Irishman come cautiously into view, and then pause and look around him. He had an animal slung over his shoulders, whose weight was sufficient to make him stop and travel with some difficulty. They saw him turn his head and carefully scrutinize every suspicious point that was visible, and then he walked slowly toward the spot where the canoe was concealed. Whether his low stoop was caused by the weight of his game, or whether it was a precautionary measure on his part, was difficult to decide. The boys at once became painfully excited and alarmed. "They will see him! they will see him!" said Elwood, "and it will be all over with us. What a pity! when he has got along so well!" " Can we not warn him in some manner The Indians do not know how near he is, nor does he know how close they are." 126 DANGER. " How can we do it" asked Elwood, who was anxious to give Tim some warning of his danger. "If we make any sign the Indians will see us." 'Perhaps not; for they are not looking in this direc- tion all the time, while Tim knows that we are watching him." "Yes; but he has his hands full to see that the savages do not find lim." The case looked critical indeed. Tim was nearing the point where it seenmed inevitable that a discovery should take place. Ile paused at nearly every step or two, looked behind him and up and down the river in a man- ner that showed plainly enough his fear of his enemies. Elwood Brandon in his eagerness had risen to his feet, and was looking intently at him, waiting until he should cast his eye toward the island that he might give him wvarning. But the Irishman was so occupied with his enemies that he appeared to forget the existence of his friends. Elwood did not remove his gaze, and all at once he saw him raise his head. Quick as a flash the boy sprung up a foot or two from the ground and waved his hat toward him. " Did he see me" he asked, as he sunk down to the earth again. " He has paused and is looking toward us." Tim had caught sight of the signal of the boy, but was uncertain as to its meaning. The waving of the hat might be supposed as an act of encouragement than otherwise; but there was something in the silent, hurried 127 ADRIFT ISV THE WILDS. manner of his young friend, united with the fact that he had been, and was still, ill great personal peril, that arrested his attention and set him to thinking. "Did the Indians see me asked Elwood. "I can't say positively, as I was looking at Tim at the moment yonl made your signal, but they do not seem to act as if they had discovered us." " Tim saw me, didn't he He doesn't know what to make of it." The Irishman had laid the animal he was carrying upon the ground, and stood looking toward the island a. if waiting for some further manifestation before advancing or retreating. Believing the safety of the entire party demanded it, Elwood begun cautiously rising to his feet to repeat his warning, when he was quickly caught by his cousin. "Down! those Indians are suspicious; they are look- ing right at us-don't stir." The admonition was not a moment too soon; but while it prevented discovery on the part of the boys, it rendered the signal already given the Irishman void and of no effect. Tim, seeing nothing more of his young friend, concluded that all was right, and lifting his game to his shoulder continued his descent until he reached his canoe. This was drawn from its hiding place and launched in the water, and the animal placed in the rear. Seating himself carefully in the front, Tim lifted his paddle and began making his way toward the island. "Too bad' too bad!" muttered Elwood, unable to repress his feelings. " He is conliug right out where they will have a fair chance with their rifles." 128 DANGER12. - If lie would only turn up stream, they would see nothing of him." " Can't I warn him" "No, Elwood, it will make matters worse. Their eyes are fixed upon us." Grasping the long oar Tim headed his boat somewhat up stream, so as not to let it drift tv the island, and commenced paddling across. He had gone twenty rods or thereabouts when he was discoverod by the Indians, and one of them raised his rifle and took aiili at himii. " Quick, Tim, drop down, or you'll be shot!" c- illed out Howard, forgetful of his own danger in the single hope of saving his friend from a violent death. At the same instant that this cry was uttered the terrified boy saw a puff of smoke issue from the Indian rifle, and simultaneous with' the sharp crack Tim O'Rooney was seen to fall flat in the canoe. " He is shot!" called out Elwood. " It is time then for us to do some of the same kind of business," replied Howard, sighting his own gun at the savage upon the shore. The distance was too great and his skill too slight to guide the ball with anything like certainty, but it skipped over the water at their very feet, and so alarmed them that they immediately dodged back under the shelter of the rocks and trees. " What is the use" asked Elwood gloomily. " Poor Tim is killed and there is no chance for us." "Look! he is not dead!" whispered Howard. The head of the Irishman was seen to rise stealthily from the bottom of the canoe, and to peer around, and 129 130 ADRIFT IN TILE WILDS. then to dash down again as though fearful of another shot. "I don't believe lie has leen struck!" added Howard. iHe dropped dowii so as to save himself." Oh! I hope so, for we need him bad enough. See! he is fixing the body of the animal so that it shall bo between him and the Indianis' tuns." ,Such was the ease. Tim was arranging and placing the carcass so that it might shiel(l his own body while he managed the paddle. Thtis com1)leted he turned his face toward his young friends and called across the water: "Be aisy, me darlings! The owld bullet come close, but not a hair of Tim O'Rooney's head was touched, and thanks be to heaven for it!" CHAPTER XXIII. DRIFTING AWAY. HE BULLET of the treacherous Indian had indleed whizzed liarmlessl;' by the head of Tim O'Roonev and when he fell to the bottom of the canoe it was for the purpose of preventing any more of their missiles passing too near him. The savages, hastily driven to shelter by the unexpected shot from the island, did not by any means relinquish their designs upon the unfortunate white man in the canoe. Ile wh0io had taken the quick aim and fired saw that his bullet missed, but he understood the disadvan- tage of his enemv, and was confident that he would still fall into their hands. As we have shown, when the Irishman was thus sud- denly interrupted, he was but a short distance from the shore. So abruptly compelled to relinquish his paddle and simply shelter his person, the current carried him quite rapidly down the stream. Tim did not become sensible of his disadvantage until he had drifted below the island, and then upon partly rising to use his paddle the crack of a gun from the shore told him that he was watched by vigilant eyes, and that trial occupation was vetoed imost unmistakably. Forced thus to act entirely on the defensive, he care- fully drew out his rifle and resting it on the body of his ;ADRIFT IN THIE WILDS. game waited his chance to avenge himself upon the un- relenting savages. He could tell from the faint blue smoke that curled upward where they were concealed, but could not catch sight of them. Had thev shown themselves, the Irishman knew it was about impossible for him to harm them at such a distance, while their dexterity ill the use of the gun made it too dangerous for him to expose himself to their fire. He watched them until he had floated quite a way below, when he began to hope that they had given up their designs upon him, and he might make his way back to his friends upon the island in safety. But when on the point of rising to a sitting position he saw them whisk through the bushes he knew they were following him along the shore-following him, too, with that skill and stealth which prevented his getting a shot at them, and placing it totally out of his power to pre- vent himself from being "commanded by their fire." As may well be imagined, Howard and Elwood were deeply interested spectators of these events. Now that they had revealed their presence Lupon the island, and there was no further use in attempting to conceal the fact, they were eager to render their companion all the assistance possible. But the nature of the occurrences made them help- less. Tim had drifted such a distance down stream, and had consequently drawn his enemies so far after him, that they had not the slightest chance of reaching them with their rifles, if they chose to expose them- selves. They could only watch, therefore, and pray for their safety. V:2 DRIFTZNG A IWA Y. Floating slowly onward, onward, they observed that Tim's canoe gradually swerved to the left until it disap- peared around a curve in the river. It crossed the center and was nearer the western than the eastern shore. This seemed to show that, despite his unfavorable sit- uation, he was able to impart a motion to the boat, which, slight as it was, would eventually bring him to the opposite side of the stream. Nothing more was seen of the Indians, although the report of several guns, Leard within a half-hour of the disappearance of the canoe, prevented their feeling too sanguine over the position of Tim O'Roonev. " We can now see the blunder he committed," said Howard. " He did wrong in going to the eastern bank when he could have secured his game as well upon the other side." "I think he will be able to get away, unless they have a canoe with which to follow him." " Even then he can take to the woods and hide him- self until dark, and then make his way back to us." "I hope so, but fear he will be prevented or overtaken before he can reach shelter." "But think, Howard, he has a gun and plenty of ammunition, and there are but three of them. I should say they would hesitate some time before advancing upon him." "But he is a poor shot, like ourselves." "He could not miss them if they came very close to him. " Yes; there seems to be a good chance, if they don't find more Indians to unite with them in the hunt." 133 ADRIFT IAN 7TE WILDS. This was a contingency that had not occurred to El- wood, and he was almost overwhelmed at its import until he came to reason upon it, when the likelihood of such being the case dwindled away until it almost van- ished. "W We have seen no large bodies of savages, and I don't believe they care enough about catching or slaying a single man to go to all that trouble." -Not so much trouble, perhaps, as you are apt to think. War is the business of the American Indians, you know, as it is of all barbarous people." "But look at Ned Trimble and his friends. There are but three of them, and I have no doubt that their security is in their strength-otherwise they would not be so indifferent as to what is going on around them. You remember they did not see us until we first spoke to them." "So it appeared; but I have an idea that they knew of our presence before Tim discovered them." " They did not show it, at any rate." ' They looked surprised w-hen we eame up, but if we had been enemies instead of friends I believe we would have been the surprised parties. They have lived too long in the wilds of California to permit a party of strangers to steal upon them unawares." " But what is to become of us if Tim doesn't come back " "We shall have to put ourselves under the care of Shasta-that is, if he gets well.' " Why do you call himn Slt.asfa 9Where did you hear that name" 134 DRIFTLVG A IWA Y. "' The only word I have heard him speak sounded like that, and I do not know of any better name. Can you think of one" "N No; that is good enough; let him be called Shasta, then. There may be a greater Providence in our com- ing upon this island than we imagine." "There is a Providence in everything that occurs, though it may be that we are not always able to see it. Do you remember the copy we had so often at school, Misfortunes are often blessings in disguise"' "Yes; but like the truths that were driven into our heads so often at school, we fail to appreciate them until some occasion like this impresses them upon our minds. But I declare, Howard, we are turning philosophers." "What better can we do, when there is nothing else to employ ourselves about We need all our philosophy at such a time." "But we must not forget our patient, Shasta." "-True. lie had gone almost out of my mind until you referred to him a moment ago. Let us look at him. " The two had been stationed near the lower end of the island, arid they now walked back to where they had left the suffering stranger. What was their surprise to see him standing on his feet, his blanket wrapped around him, andi his attitude and position such as to raise a strong suspicion that he understood all that had taken place within the last hour or two. 135 CHAPTER XXIV. A HUNT. HEN TIML O'RIOONEY left the island and crossed to the eastern shore of the Salinas he hadl almost forgotten the existence of any such thing as hostile Indians. lie was after something to eat, and some how or other it seemed to him that the climate of California had given him a most ravenous appetite, which demanded satisfaction regardless of con- sequences. Touching land, he pulled his canoe up the bank to prevent its being carried away byt- the current, and then plunged boldly into the forest. The land from the river rose quite rapidly until it reached an elevation of several hundred feet, when it was broken by gorges, ravines and chasmns, which made it rather diffictult to travel, and gave it an extremely wild and picturesque appearance. Fairly among these broken hills, Tim began to look for his game, but for a time saw nothing to draw his fire. Finally he reached a wild-looking gorge which de- scended over a hunidred feet below him, while upon the opposite side it rose to a greater height than the place upon which he stood. The Irishman was so struck with the wild scenerv that he stood a few moments contemplating it in silent A HUST. admiration, when all at once he became conscious that something else beside himself was engaged in looking. D)irectly across the gorge, so as to be almost opposite to him, he saw the head of an animal which he recognized as once as belonging to a black-tailed deer. "Be the powers! but you're jist the gintleman that I'd like to make an acquaintance with, as me mither said when me father axed her hand in marriage." Tim drew his rifle carefully and rested it upon a rock beside him. The deer gazed at him with that expression of stupid wonder which wild animals assume when con- fronted with something, and they seem to be debating with themselves whether to leap away at high speed or to stare a moment longer. The distance was so slight that Tim was sure of his aim. Nevertheless, he took great care in sighting his piece, and as his finger gently pressed the trigger, he held his breath. The bullet sped true, entering just below and between the eyes, and with such deadly effect that the mortallv wounded deer sprung several feet in the air and fell (lead within a rod of the spot where it had stood when struck. " That is plaisant," muttered the Irishman, as he saw the animal fall, - and yez hay the distinguished honor of baing the first deer that Tim O'Rooney brought down; but yez ain't the first he fired at-but whist, Tim, don't be telling your secrets, for somebody else might larn them." He now began making his way carefully (lown the gorge in order to ascend upon the opposite side and 137 ADRIFT INAr THE WILDS. secure his prize. He had no thought that the report of his gun could reach the ears of hostile persons, and he did not heed anything except the place and manner in which he put his feet in going down and up the ravine. After no little toiling he reached the dead body, and found that he had shot a rather small black-tailed deer. It was in middling condition, and was the very prize he was anxious to secure for his hungry self and equally hungry friends. As he stood admiring it, for the first time the thought of personal danger crossed his niina, and lie glanlCe( hurriedly around him, but saw nothing to occasion alarm. Then he leaned forward and gazed down the gorge, and as he did so he descried three Indians looking up the side of the chasm. Slight as was the distance his head projected. it was seen by them, and he only drew it back to escape the effect of three discharges of their guns. "And that is your shtyle of saluting a gintlenian is it" said Tim in some trepidation. "R But yez has a forcible way of saying 'how de yez do,' in this couI- thry, that a stranger would do well to imitate." The Irishman hastily debated with himself upon the best plan to pursue to escape the serious peril that threatened him; for he was sure the savages would fol- low up their shot. " The best thing I can do is to lave," he concluded. There is strong raison for belaving that I've given n.rne one slight offilse by walking into their house .without ringing the bell." 138 A H UN V. He stooped over and lifted his game. He found its weight somewhat less than lhe had suspected.. I have no objiction to votur going wid me. If I has to have the same dispute about ivery deer I tips over, I mav as well lang on to the fust one." Slinging it over his shoulder, he began his return with the carcass. It proved beneficial to hiini in a way that he had little suspected. -Not wishing to go any further down the gorge, whtere there was reason to fear a colis- ion with the savages, he clambered still higher, taking great care to shield himself from observation from below. This made his labor excessive, and he was often obliged to pause and rest himself. But at length lie reached what inight be termed the browl of the hill, and began making his way along the edge of a smaller ravine, that led toward the river. While thus en- gaged, the body of the (leer struck a projecting rock, and before Tim could save himnself he rolled over and over for a distance of twenty odd feet, coining down pllLIip upon the deer Without injuring himself In the least. I'm obliged to yez," he said, as he rose and stared around with a bewildered air. " That was kind in vez, and Ill not forget the favor." Again raising his carcass to his shoulder, he resumed his journey toward the river. But as lie progressed the weight upon his shoulder seemed to growY heavier, and he was obliged to pause and rest himiself quite often. On these occasions lie looked around himn half-expect- ing to see the three savages spring out of the bushes. l30j ADRIFT ,V THE WILDS. If such a thing should occur, Tim had already do- cided upon his mode of procedure. He intended to sink to the ground at once, with the body of the deer as a sheltering breastwork, and make as gallant fight as possible. His success in bringing down his game, when it was fully fifty yards distant, gave him quite a flatter- ing estimate of his prowess. The Indians, as the Irishman had anticipated, has- tened up the gorge to secure the daring hunter, who had so audaciously exposed himself to their anger. It required some time for them to find the exact spot where the deer had fallen, and when they did so, they followed him readily by the blood which had trickled from its drooping head, which as Tim bore his prize away he little dreamed would betray the course he took. When the point of Tim's fall was reached, all signs of his trail ceased, and they supposed he had checked the flow of blood, and thus concealed his tracks. The sur- face over which he traversed being rock and flinty ground, left no evidence of his passage; and resigning, therefore, the pursuit in this manner, they made their way leisurely down to the river and waited until the hunter appeared. Tim's heart beat high with hope when he found him- self close by the stream and saw nothing of his pur- suers. The hasty signal given by Elwood Brandon, as we have shown, caused him some uneasiness, but not being repeated, and being very anxious to get back to the island, lie placed the deer in the canoe and paddled away. 140 CHAPTER XXV. A SINGULAR ESCAPE. IGE SHOT from the treacherous Indian upon the shore wtas the first intelligent warning Tim had that he was discovered by them. The kind Providence who had so often turned aside the dancerolls missile still protected him, and when he so suddenly dropp)e(l to the bottom of his canoe, it was with a buillet-hole through his coat but not through his bodv. 'Anothier illigant compliment to mesilf that it would afford mie great p1leasure to return, and if you'll only be kind enough to wvait a feiv moments, I'll do the same." But ere he could bring his guin to bear, the wild shot from the island drove the savages to cover, and raised the Irishman's finger that was pressing the trigger. We have alreadyv tol ldow, when he undertook to use the paddle. he found it too dangerous. and coming again behind the deer, lie floated down the current. This, after the severe labor he had undergone, was an agree- able change, but he was not long in discovering it was dangerous. lie w as drifting away from his friends,and the further he went the greater did the danger become to both parties. He speedily discovered that the Indians were following hini, and the interposing body of the black-tailed deer was a most effectual protection. Afore ADRIFT lV THE WILDS. than his own bullets were buried in it ere lie had gone a half-mile down stream. " If I entertained a small doubt that yez was killed, I couldn't howld it with them bullets rattlin' in your hide, me owld friend." The efforts of a child, if steadily persevered in, would move the Great Eastern in calm water, and Tim was not long in making the discovery that, if he could not use the paddle, he still was able to exert a motive power upon the canoe by a very slight means. Reaching his hand over the side, lie began paddling the water, and soon had the gratifying consciousness that he was moving across the river. True, it was slow, but it was nevertheless certain and positive, and was carrying him further away from his troublesome pur- suers, and must eventually bring him against the western shore. But when the island disappeared from view, and he had barely crossed the center of the stream, he begun to think that this species of locomotion was rather tardy, and he partially came to the sitting position and ven- tured to take his paddle in hand. A discharge from the shore warned him of the danger he ran, and he was reluctantly forced to drop his head again and resort to his tedious method of moving. By this time the afternoon was well advanced, and it looked as though it would be fully dark before Tim could regain the ground he had lost. Now and then he peered over the top of the deer to see whether he could possibly catch sight of his acquaintances, but they 142 A VSLG ,.,R ESCA PE. whisked from cover to cover so dexterously that he had not the encouragement even to hope for success, and so he (lid not fire. But a new fear took possession of the fugitive. If they wvere Indians, it was to be expected that they had canoes somewhcre, and if they were speedily found, he would as speedily be overhauledl. III whlich case Tim O'Rooney will lose his daar, ani(l le the same towken lose himself, and the boys won't get their (linmer." lie squinted at the sun, now low in the sky, and quickly asked himself: "If a man doesn't git his dinner, and ates half-way atween noon and midnight, is it his dinner or supper But that is a mighty question, is the same." He evidently concluded it was too vast for him to decide, for he speedily dismissed it and turned his at- tention to that which more nearly concerned him. Still toiling with his hand, much in the same manner that a child would dabble in the water, he kept up the tardy movement of the canoe until he began to grow fearless again, and he took his paddle once more. Now, when it was almost too late, he found that he could 1use it without danger to himself. By bending his lbody forward, the deer protected him and he could labor with impunity. " Tim O'Rooney, I fears yez are lacking in the ili- ments which go to make up a mon of sense. Why didn't yez think of this when it would have done yez mnore good" 143 ADRIFT J.; THE W.ILDS. When he was yet within a fews- yards of shore, he looked back and was not a little friglhtened to see that the savages had launched a canoe and were coming across the river with the speed of the swallow. " Whislit now! but that is onexpected," said he, as he redoubled his own exertions. Observing that his pursuers were rapidly gaining, lie suiddenly recalled an artifice that he had seen practiced (Ihirinig his experience in the mines years before. C(atching up his rifle, lie aimed it at the advancing Indians. Quick as a flash they ducked their heads and held up the two paddles they were using as a protection against the expected bullet. But it was not Tim's purpose to fire. He knew better than to do that, for ere he could have reloaded they would have been upon him. The minute they stooped he lowered his gun and caught up his paddle and used it furiously. In this he was imitated by the Indians, wbose superior skill sent their frail vessel forward with such velocity that it looked as if they would reach the shore but a short dis- tance behind him. Again he raised his gun, and as before they attempted to screen themselves from danger, while the next im- pulse of his paddle sent his canloe high up the bank, and he sprung out and plunged into the w oods. Tim O'Rooney had no thought of the particular manner in which lie was to effect his escape. His one desire was to get away from theni. The probabilities are that, beyond all doubt, he would have been speedily overtaken and slain but for one of those singular ]44 A SINGULAR ESCAPE. occurrences which do not happen to a man more than once in a life-time, and which seem to show uinmistak- ably that Providence often interferes directly in favor of the innocent and distressed. He had run perhaps a couple of hundred yards, or thereabouts, when a peculiar whoop from his pur6uer:4 announced that they had laaded and were now coilil- speedily behind him. He knew that he had no chac.o in running, and was looking about him for some phla e in which to take shelter, when a furious growl startled him and he found himself within a dozen feet of an enormous grizzly bear. This quadruped seemed anxious for a fight, for he came straight at the fugitive, who might certainly be excused for being dazed at the combi- nation of dangers by which he was surrounded. That of the grizzly bear was the greatest; for with mouth open and his red tongue lolling out he came fiercely at him. His gait was awkward and shambling, but he managed to get over the ground very rapidly. Indeed, the danger was so imminent that Tim, seeing there was no choice, raised his gun and fired at the monster. The bullet struck him near the head, but it did not kill him, nor did it cause him to fall, but it bewildered him, and he rose on his hind feet and clawed the air as if the bullet was a splinter and he was seeking to pluck it from his flesh. This bewilderment was the means of Tim being saved. Before the animal had entirely recovered, lie had darted out of sight, and when the Indians came up the bear 145 146 ADRIFT IX 7IZE WILDS. was just in "fighting trim," and immediately made at them. Consequently they were compelled to give over all thoughts of the flying hunter and attend to their own personal safety. What the final result was Tim never learned, and we cannot speak with certainty. CHAPTER XXVI. SHASTA'S IlUNT. F THE Pah Utah in the extremity of his suf- fering had been betrayed into the extraor- dinary weakness of manifesting it, lie now seemed anxious to make amends for the humiliating fact. It may have been that among his own people he would have restrained those utterances which declared his agony, and borne the utmost with the stoicism of his race; but knowing that civilization does not teach such outward indifference to pain, lie had adopted the surest means to reach the sympathy of the white strangers; or, if we may conjecture still further, the consciousness of the instinctive feud between the American and Cauca- sian race told him that the plan he took was the only one that offered safety to himself. What reason had he to believe that the hunters were kind of heart If he hid his distress, would he not be treated as a well In- dian And was there any but the one common ground upon which the two races met But the fever had passed and he was himself again. True, he was still feeble, and his limbs trembled at times like those of an old man; but the disease had gone, and the stern, unbending will had resumed its sway. He was not a child, but he was Shasta, the Pall Utah In- di=. ADRIFT iX THE WILDS. The inexperience of Elwood Brandon and Howard Lawrence with these strange people made this savage an enigma to them. As he stood with his arms folded, his blanket wrapped around him, his long black hair stream- ing over his shoulders, and the mingling of the paint on his crown and over his face, and his midnight eyes fixed upon them, it was hard indeed to conjecture the thoughts filtrating through his brain. But there is a language in which the human heart can speak-that of emotion. The boys felt no fear- ingratitude is not an element of the savage character, though sad to say it is sometimes manifested among us of greater moral pretensions. He looked at them as they came up and paused a few feet from him. "You seem to be better" asked Elwood, feeling it incumbent that he should make some remark, even though it was incomprehensible to their dusky friend. lie muttered something and then stretched out his arms as if to show that lie had recovered from his ill- ness. At this point Terror went up to the savage and snuffed around him, as if to satisfy himself of his identity. The latter laid his hand upon his knife and watched the dog narrowly, but he appeared to judge the animal by the company, and quietly removed his hand and folded his arms again. He stood thus a moment, when he pointed to the eastern shore and then down the river, nodding his head and gesticulating somewhat excitedly. The boys 148 SHA STA'S H UN T. in return nodded, which satisfied the aborigine. All at once he moved off and strode rapidly to the other side of the island, where he drew forth a tiny canoe and shoved it into the water. When it was launched he turned again toward his friends, and looking steadily at them a moment, once more lnointed down stream, sprung into the boat and dipped his paddle first upon one side and then upon the other. It was a sight to see him manage the canoe! It seemed made to contain a single person, and the way it skimmed over the water was a perfect marvel to the spectators. It appeared fairly to fly, scarcely touching the water, while human art could not have exceeded the skill with which he managed the paddle. He sat as motionless as a statue, like the artistic violinist. It could not be seen that he raised his arms above the elbow. The sun was just going over the western hills, and the reflection of the water as it flashed and rippled from his paddle gave a fairy-like appearance to the Indian as lie sped down stream that was pleasing to the last degree. " What does that mean" asked Elwood. "It means that he is is going to the rescue of Tim." "If he goes after him he will bring him back. Just see the way in which he manages that canoe! It is worth going a hundred miles to see" " No doubt hie has practiced it long enough." " But what of our remnaining here" 149 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. I don't see how it can be helped.'' Suppose those Indians that have followed Tim take it into their heads to pay its a visit" Ilie will take all their attention, if Shasta concludes to have a part in tbe mIatter, and they won't have time to think of us. - But suppose they do cone hack here" ''Me must he prepared at any rate; but don't let the thought make us uneasy. We have two good guns, and Terror would be worth half a dozen men if we get into close quarters." "He may be all that; but a rifle-shot could quickly stretch him out lifeless. It won't do for its to go to sleep until Tinm or Shiasta come back. "Of course not. I do not feel like it, even if we were satisfied that it was safe for us to do so." L Look at Shasta!" The Indian was far down the stream, still speeding with his extraordinary velocity, using his arms as though they would never tire. " So sick a few hours ago!" " Well enough now." "Didn't you notice how he trembled " Yes; he is still weak, but an Indian soon recovers himself." "All he needed was the root which he chewed and wMhich cured him almost immediately. These savages are what you call Thonmsonians I suppose." "They are the original ones no doubt. I have heard that some of their medicine men are the most skillful of physicians. " 150 7 a C C I- r. 1ADRIF IAT 71119 WILDS. Yes; we hear all kinds of thinlgs about them. What stories we have read, and yet they diont look andl act as I imagined they would. I thought they woul(d suffer and die without showing the least pain, and yet Shasta wasn't anyways backward about it." " No doubt the poor fellow felt bad enough, and he hasn't got over it yet. You can tell that from his appearance. " " It will take all his skill to help Tim. Just as like as not he will take Shasta for an enemy and shoot him." " If they only see each other before dark, so that Tim can understand that he has a friend at work." "But you see it is nearly dark now, and it is likely he is in the woods by this time." " What danger can he be in then" " The Indians may cross over to follow him." They were silent a while when Elwood suddenly ex- claimed. "Suppose Shasta is an enemy and has gone to help his people" Howard shook his head. "No fear of that. That is the last thing that can occur. " The nigut gradually deepened and proved to be quite dark, a faint moon shedding, a luster that made the dim light more impressive. 'The boys walked back a-nd forth, watching and listening for some evidence of the approach of their friends, and gradually becoming apprehensive despite the attempt each made to cheer the spirits of the other. 152 SHA S TA ' S II UAN T. 153 It was not until quite late that Terror gave utterance to a low, warning growl, and as they looked across the river they (lescried a dark object cautiously approaching. " What is it" whispered Elwood. " It is too dark to tell; buit it can't be Tim or Shasta for it's comiig from the wrong direction." Aisy now, MNr. Sliasta, aisy I say, for the boys may be asleep and ve won't conic upon them too sudden't like, as me utncle said wihenl he stat on a barrel of gun- powder and it blowedt up with him. Aisy, Mr. Shasta, aisy !" CHAPTER XXVII. THE NIIGHT VOYAGE. LE INDISTINCT object gradually took shape, and the boys then saw Shasta sit- ting in his small canoe, while directly be- hind him was Tim O'Rooney, his left hand extended backward and grasping the prow of his own boat, which was being towed by the Indian. The next moment the foremost lightly touched the shore and the savage sprung out, quickly followed bythe Irishman. " I beg yez pardon, boys, for the time I tuk to git your dinner; but to shpake the thruth, I was unavoid- ably detained, as me brother writ me when he was locked up in Tipperary jail on his way to visit me." "We are glad enough to see you again, but where is your game " " Worrah, worrah, but I had bad luck wid it. When I tuk it ashore, I sat it down for a minit, and I hadn t the time to pick it up again." " But tell us all about it." This was quickly done, up to the point where Tim was saved by the timely appearance of the grizzly bear, when, as may well be supposed, the expressions of wonder were loud and continued. "You saw nothing more of your pursuers" asked Howard. THE NIGHT VO YA GE. " Not a bit-nor be the same towken do I think they saw ine." " How did you and Shasta meet" " That was shtranige, was the same. After I found I was el'ar of the varmints, from the rainiii that their exclusive attention was occupied by the b'ar, I stopped and went to thinking-did I. I coul(d saa the great necessity of our having me own canoe and I went back to where I left the same. It took me some time to find it, an(1 when I did find it, it wasn't it, but the one that belonged to the red gintlemen. "There was little difference atwixt the two and I thought the best thing was to make a thrade, and just as I thought that I spied another canoe coming along the shore as though it was looking for something. I stepped back and raised the hammer of my gun, when I obsarved there was but one Injin in the same-was there. So, 'Tim,' says I, I'twould be a shame,' and I lowered me gun agin. "Just then, and fur the life of me I don't know what put it into me head, I thought it was Shasta, though I knowted I had lift him with a big pain all through him. So I give a low whistle like, and called out 'Shasta,' and with one whip of his paddle he sent his canoe right at my faat, though I was sure he didn't saa me, and thln waited fur me to step in. " But he's a quaar fellow, is Shasta," added Tim. " I rached out me hand to shake his own, but he never noticed it, but motioned fur me to stow mesilf into the bottom of the canoe; and thin, after some muttering and a55 10ADRIFT IA TIl- 1tIaD. throwing of his arms, I could saai he wanted me to howid on to the other canoe. And I did the same, and the way he towed us over the water would have frightenied a staaimoat." He is a smart fellow, indeed." The Indiani upon landing Ilad just pulled his canoe slightly lp the bank aiid then had gone at once to the opposite side of the islands where he had lain when sick. They could see him walking slowly back and forth as if searching for something whichl he had some difficulty in finding. "-Well, boys, I shposc you are hutingry," said Tim. "If yez isn't I begins to howld a very strong suspicion that it's meself that is." "Yes," replied Elwood, "we are both very hungry, but we had little appetite so long as we knew you were in danger." "' It was very kind of yez to restrain your appetites out of respict to me, and I'll not forgit to do the same when yez git into throuble." "We can afford to go supperless to-night," remarked Howard, " and feast on the contemplation of our good fortune. There was a time when our prospects looked pretty dark." "Yis, sir; you may well say that. When I had the big bear walking at me fromt one direction and the three red gintlemen from the other, I thought to mesilf what a shplendid opportunity there was for the illigant exercise of one's idaBs. Butt it was all the doings of the good Lord above," added Tint v ery reverently. lb(; THlE NIGHT VOYAG.E. "Yes; there c an be no doubt of that," replied Howard. "le has cared for us all the time." Tim now gave an account of his adventures in his hunt after the deer, previous to when lhe was first seen from the island. When he had finished Elwood asked: " Are we to stav here o-er ilit-" ' I think not, but I defers to the judgment of Mr. Shasta. It's just as hie savs about it." "le appears to be taken up with something over yonder. " "He is sarchicg for some object that he left when he nade up his mind to get well," said Howard. ' He must know all that has occurred, for when we came back from watching you, there he stood with his arms foloed, and a look in his eye that said he under- stood more about matters and things than we imagined he did." "He must know that we are in danger so long as we are upon this island, and I should think he would leave it while it is dark."' Do yez rest on that pint" said Tim. "The red gintleman will attind to the same-will he." At this juncture time Pah IUtah was observed walking ,!wlywv toward them, his long blanket grasped at the YSi east by his lef t hand, while his right was free. As soon hs he came up he pointed at the canoes and muttered soiqretbing. " What does lhe mean" asked Elwood. " Terror understands him better than we do," replied Ulovad, as the Newfoundland sprung into the larger toat and uestled down near the stern. 157 8ADRIFT IV TI!E WILDS. Our friends were not long in imitating the action of the dog. Tim made as if to step into the Indian's boat, but lie motioned hinm back, anti took his seat in the front of the larger canoe. The savage now produced a cord, probably the tendon of some wild ainial, with which lie speedily fastened the prow of the larger canoe to the stern of his ownll. This done he turned the head down stream and began usi nl his ptttltlle w ith the same wonderful dexterity lie had displayed during the afternoon. The boys watched and admired his skill for a long time. The faint moon barely rev-ealed the shores on either hand, stretching away in niisty gloni, while all before and behind them was darkness. The muscular arms of Shlasta appeared to be as tire- less as the piston-rods of an engine, and at last our friends grew weary of watching him. The boys became drowsy, and they finally lay down in the bottom of the boat, with their blanket over theni, and went to sleep. In the course of an hour Trim did the same, and the Pah Utah was thus left alone to ply the canoe, the New- foundland nowv and then raising his head and looking over the edge as if to satisfy himself that all was right. Once near the middle of the night Elwood awoke, and pushing his blanket froni his face, raised himself on his elbow and looked around. The same picture met his eye-the dark-hued Shasta, his long hair streaming over his shoulders, the blanket dowen to his waist, and his bronzed arms working with the silence, skill and regu- larity of a perfect machine. 158 CHAPTER XXVIII. A PAH UTAH'S METHOD OF FISHING. LIE GRAY light of dawn was spreading over the wood and river when Elwood Brandon again opened his eves. He was somewhat startled to see nothing of the Pah Utah, although his canoe was still in the advance; but a second look showed that thev were resting against the bank, and the Indian lay asleep in the front of his boat, his body and face covered entirely by his somber-hbued blanket. No doubt lie needs rest, and so I will not wake him!" was Elwood s thought, as he carefully raised himself to the sitting position. But lie had scarcely moved when the end of Shasta's blanket was raised, and the boy saw his dark eyes fixed inquiringly upon him. Satisfied that there was nothing wrong the blanket dropped again and all was still. Elwood now looked around. Howard was sleeping soundly, his feet resting against the shaggy sides of Terror, who was equally oblivious to the external world. There could be no doubt of Tizn's somnolence for he gave unmistakable evidence of it. The light was just sufficient to afford a distinct view of the other shore. and in the clear summer air of the morning it had a cool appearance, very pleasing and refreshing to the eye. Elwood, of course, had no knowledge of the distance 1ADE/1FT I-1X THE IJV/IDS. they had come during the night; but he believed Shasta had not slept more than an hour or two, and that as a consequence they were many miles from their starting point-far enough at any rate to make them perfectly easy regarding the troublesome visitors of yesterday. He noticed the peculiar character of the place in which Shasta had run the canoe. It was a small indentation covered with overhanging limbs and shrubbery in such manner that while the whites could peer out upon the river there was no danger of their being seen by any passers-by, unless particular suspicion was directed to- ward the spot. Elwood's limbs were so cramped from the forced posi- tion in which he had lain during the night, that he con- cluded there could be no harm in stepping ashore to yawn and stretch himself. Of course he would take good care not to wander away from the boat, as he had seen the danger of secession in a small party like theirs. As he was stepping over the canoe he saw Shasta look- ing at him so intently that he paused. The PIah Utah nodded, but made a rather odd gesture, which Elwood took as a caution not to wander away. lie nodded assent and stepped out upon the land. At this juncture Howard awoke and followed him. "Shall we trv and hunt something for breakfast" asked Elwood. "Tim's troubles have proved that it is hardly safe; I think we had better leave all such matters to Shasta. This was good advice certainly, and the boys .ctued upon it. They walked up and doWn the banks of the IlOo A PAIL UTTA I'S ALE7 110D 01) ' F/ISI/A-G. 161 river admiring the beautiftul sceneri, but seeing nothing of wild animals. They heard the whirr of a flock of birds overhead, alarmed by the apparition of two human beings, but the luxuriant vegetation allowed but a glimpse of them as they shot away. While a few rods distant, they heard the discharge of a rifle, and in no little trepidation they hastened back to their friends. They were relieved by fin ding that it had been done by Tim O'Rooney for the purpose of affording a means of ignition to some sticks and leaves. Ile and the Pah Utah were on shore, making as much preparation for their breakfast as though they had a dozen men to provide for. " What does yez think of it" asked Tim. "All very well, but where is your breakfast" The Irishman jerked his thumb in a very significant manner toward Shasta. "You don't mean to eat him," laughed Elwood. "Git out wid yer nonsense! " retorted Tim. "He andl meself have been talking together, and we've fixed the whole thing." "What language did you use" "This kind of talk." And tho Irishman explained himself by several ex- travagant but meaningless gestures. The fire being nicely burning, Shasta took some white crumbs from a sort of receptacle in his hunting-shirt, stepped carefully into the canoe, and then gently dropped them upon the surface of the water. Our friends watched his movements with interest. ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. Leaning carefully over the boat, he curved his arm and held his closed fingers so that they were just within the water, looking (dowl into the stream all the time with the fixedness of gaze that characterizes the hawk when about to dart downward after his prey. Suddenly a slight ripple was heard, and before either of the three on shore comprehended what he was doing, something flashed before their gaze, and a plump, glis- tening fish, fully two pounds in weight, lay floundering at their feet. " Capital!" shouted Elwood in his excitement, and he was proceeding to pay the Pah Utah several highly flavored compliments, when he raised his hand as a warning for them to remain quiet. Bending still further over the canoe, he soon thrust his hand beneath, and with the same lightning-like quickness flung a still larger fish up the bank. This was continued for some time, until he had five fine plump-looking fellows all shining and fresh, waiting for the hungry stomachs. They had an abundance of food, and its preparation now only remained. Here Shasta displayed his remark- able culinary skill. With his keen-edged hunting- knife he slitted the fish, excepting Terror's portion, which of course was devoured raw, the entire length of the bodies, and throwing aside the superfluous portion, then skewered them upon some green prongs in such a manner that they were completely flat, and the entire internal and external surface exposed. The fire, which had been burning some time, was now raked down until several square feet of live red 162 A FANH U TAH'S ME THOD OF FISHING. cofals lay bare, when one of the fish was held down within a few inches. As soon as one side was thor- oughly cooked the other was turned under, and after this samle fashion the four were most speedily and thor- oughly prepared for the palate. "i Luxurious"' exclaimed Howard, as lie took his prize and buried his teeth in its flesh. ' It is cooked to per- fection-a trifle of pepper and salt would make this the best dish I ever tasted." is I never enjoyed a meal more," replied Elwood. But when I come to think, the first one I tasted in California was nearly as good as this." Tim was too much engaged to take time for conversa- tion. He waited until he had filled himself to reple- tion, when he gave a great sigh of relief, and remarked: " I ain't hungry-not a bit; I've lost me appetite very quickly. Mr. Shasta, you're an excellent cook- worthy of the honor of attending to the wants of Tim- othy O'Roonev, Esquire." The Pali Utah paid no heed to this praise, but con- tented himself. with devouring his fish, which he did until he had all that he wished, when from some hidden recess he produced a beautifully carved Indian pipe. " There I'm wid yees agin," remarked Tim, as he re- plenished his own. ' The pipe is very soothin' to one's faalings after sevare labot, as me brother's wife used to say after whacking a few hours wid her broomstick- what is your opinion upon the same, Mr. Shasta" The Indian nodded his head and murmured some un- intelligible reply. 16i3 164 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. " Precisely," assented Tim, as he puffed forth a thick volume of smoke; - that's me own idaas exactly, and the boys here will bear me witness that I've always con- tended for the same." " What's that" asked Elwood. " Ax him," replied Tim, nodding his head toward his dusky friend. - Ile'8 able to explain better nor is me- self." CHAPTER XXIX. A NIGHT DISTURBANCE. EITHER the Pali Utah nor the Irishman were disposed to make a move until they had finished their "smoke." and both of them whiffed as leisurely as though they had contracted to spend several hours thus. Howard and Elwood passed the time in walking around the woods and along the stream, taking particular care not to go beyond sight of Shasta, whose black orbs they could see attentively fol- lowing their movements. 'All aboord!" shouted Tim, at the expiration of an hour or so, and the boys hurried down to the ' wharf" with as much alacrity as if they had heard the last bell of the steamer. The Indian stood upon the shore with a look of in- quiry. He pointed up stream and then down. " He is inquiring which way we wish to go," said Howard. " That is strange, after bringing us so many miles from the island." Elwood pointed down stream, but Shasta was not sat- isfied; he wished to know something more. He de- scribed several circles, terminating each time by point- ing to the north. All three looked inquiringly at each other's faces. They could not comprehend his meaning. ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. "What does he wish to say" "I am sure I cannot tell." "He wants us to travel the rest of the way by turn- ing summersits." Seeing that he was not understood, the Pah Utah took the paddle from the canoe and made in the air as if he were impelling the boat, then pausing, he again pointed to the north, and took several long strides in that direction, as though he were going to walk a long distance. Elwood's eyes sparkled. "I know what he means! I know what he means!" What is it" "He wishes to ask whether we want to go a, yood ways!" "You are right," replied Howard. " He doesn't know whether we are hunting in these parts, and wish to stay in the neighborhood, or whether we are hurrying home as fast as we can." Shasta's motions and signs were imitated as nearly as possible, and he nodded his head and muttered some- thing doubtless to signify that he was satisfied. Terror whisked into the canoe and took his position in the prow, while his three masters, if a dog can own that many, arranged themselves behind him. The tendon still united the two boats, and one sweep of Pah Utah's paddle sent the two far out into the river, where he began his work. For a time our friends gave themselves up to the en- joyment of this pleasant motion. At each dip of the 166 A NIGHT DISTURBANCEE. paddle, or contraction of the iron muscles of Shasta, they could feel the canoe jump forward as does a steam- boat under the throbs of the mighty engine. At the same time the motion was light and airy, as if the boat were skimming over the very surface. Indeed, by shut- ing the eyes and feeling the light wind fanning the temples, it was easy to imagine that they were borne through the air by some great bird whose wings could be felt to pulsate beneath them. "Look at that machinery!" exclaimed Howard. "Did you ever see anything like it Not an ounce of super- fluous flesh upon him. See how the muscles swell and ridge, and yet he doesn't swerve his body a hair's breadth to the right or left." "He can 'paddle his own canoe,'" laughed Elwood. " Look at those shoulders; they are perfect mountains of muscle, and those sinewy arms! His legs are fully as perfect, and I'll warrant he can run a dozen miles an hour for a whole day without getting tired. lie would be a dangerous man to meet as an enemy." "And a good one as a friend." "X es; I can hardly see what chances we would have had of reaching the mouth of the river without his help. " "We had no chance unless we could join a party of hunters and induce them to go with us." "I Boys," said Tim, looking hard at them, "it isn't right-isn't the same." "What do you mean'" "That Mr. Shasta should tow us along in this shtyle, 167 ADRIr IN TRlE WILDS. and we sit in the owId boat and permit him. No, it's wrong. " The boys admitted that it looked hardly proper, whereupon Tim took the paddle and began plying it with all the skill of which he was master. The Pali Utah looked over his shoulder now and then with a strange expression, as if he were amused at the white man's furious efforts, but he did not abate his own labor in the least. Tim ORtoonme made a great deal of splashing, occa- sionally flirting a shower of spray over his friends as the paddle took an unexpected twist in his hand; but, as we have sai(d before, he had had considerable ex- perience in propelling a canoe, and he gave a little assistance to their dusky friend. When the situ was overhead, Shasta directed the prow of the boat toward the western bank, and they landed in a place somewhat resembling that of the morning. The boats were drawn upon land in the usual manner, by which they were concealed from the observation of any passing up or down stream. The Indiaii resorted to the same means by which lie had caught the fish in the morning and with equal successS. They were rather smaller, but none the less savory, either to man or brute. An hour sufficed to rest them all, and to give Shasta all the pleasure of his pipe that he wished, while Tim continued his after en- tering the canoe. Howard and Elwood made an essay with the paddle, but the result with the latter was that the instant he so cautiously thrust it beneath the sur- 168 A /GXIlT DISTURBANCE. face, it was suddenly wrung from his hand, and ill an instant left a rod or two astern. This necessitated a delay in order to pick it up, and the boys concluded to await another time to perfect themselves in the art of managing an Indian canoe. It was not until it was quite dark that they once more set foot upon land anti kindled their fire. There was quite a strong wind blowing, and the chill of the air appeared to indicate that it came from the snowy peaks of the Coast Range. Fully an1 hour waEs taken in gath- ering wood, sticks, broken limbs and branchles, for they had concluded to keel) it burning until morning. The fire was kindled against the trunk of a giant sycamore, and as the flames waved up the shaggy bark the reflection upon the outstretched limbs and neighbor- ing trees gave them a weird appearance that made the boys gather close to the somber-hued Pali Utah as though conscious of his ability to stand between then and evil. Tim and Shasta were leisurely smoking their pipes, and Hloward and Elwood were conversing together in low tones of their homies and friends, when a quick bark from Terror, as lie rose to his feet and looked in the larkuess, drew all eves in one direction. A score of flashing eyes, gleaming teeth, lank, restless bodies and greedy jaws announced that a new danger threatened them. 169 CHAPTER XXX. THE WOLVERINES. HE PAH UTAH was the only member of the party that did not manifest any alarm or excitement. Carelessly removing his pipe from his mouth, he turned his head, looked at the ani- mals a moment, and then resumed smoking, without giving utterance to a single sound or changing his pos- ture in the least. Tim O'Rooney, with an ejaculated prayer, caught up his rifle, and turning his back toward the fire, stood like a person driven at bay and waiting to decide in his mind the best way to strike his last blow. In his haste and alarm his pipe fell from his mouth and lay unheeded at his feet. Shasta quietly picked it up, handed it to him, and motioned for him to seat himself upon the ground again. Tim stared alternately at the animals, the In- dian and his pipe, and finally gathered the idea that no imminent danger threatened them. Howard and Elwood also held their rifles ready for a charge from the growling wolverines, for such they were, while the Newfoundland growled in turn, and glared defiantly at them. The intelligent brute ap- peared to comprehend that it would not do for him to sally out and charge upon the enemy's works, but he stood ready to fight and die in the defense of his fMieud THE WOL VERINES. " Why don't they attack us" asked Elwood, seeing that they didn't advance nearer than a dozen feet." " Don't you know that wild animals are afraid of fire That is what restrains them." " Of course! I didn't think of that. How fortunate that we gathered enough wood to last!" "Just look at Shasta! He doesn't even stop smok- ing! " "He must know there is no danger." " Let us try our guns upon them!" The proposal pleased both, especially as there was no fear but what they could make every discharge tell. Each of them singled out two of the largest wolverines, and fired their guns at the same instant. An ear-split- ting clamor succeeded, and as the brutes scampered away in the darkness two of their number were seen stretched out, quivering and dying. The wolverine is an animal found in California which unites the characteristics of the bair, weasel, fox and wolf. It is sullen and ferocious, and one of the most troublesome of the wood-denizens. When first seen it is apt to be mistaken for a small bear, or rather heavy- looking wolf. The sensuous neck and hea1 bespeak the wolf and weasel nature, the sly persistency the fox, and the savage stubbornness that of the bear; while a re- semblance to all four can be seen in the general con- tour, appearance and habits uf the animal. Attracted, no doubt, by the smell of the cooking fish, a number of these brutes had slyly gathered and crept to the camp, where, finding their prey protected by the 171 ADRIF PAc TIHE WILDS. fire, they proclaimed their furious disappointment by loud howls-half bark and half yell-springing hither and thither among each other, sometimes vaulting over each other's backs, and darting as close to the bristling dog as their mortal dread of the fire would permit. Terror stood on the outskirts of the camp, occasion- ally moving forward toward the animals, as if to match his long white teeth and massive strength against their glittering fangs and treacherous ferocity. When the two guns were discharged the rest disap- peared as if a bombshell had exploded in their midst; but scarcely a dozed seconds elapsed ere they closed to- gether again, fiercer and more clamorous, if possible, than before. In a few moments the boys had their guns reloaded, and they immediately repeated their former proceeding with precisely the same result. At this point a surpris- ing occurrence came to pass. The dead wolverines were pounced upon by their survivors and torn instantly to shreds, and even devoured with as much avidity as if they were Terror and his human companions. "Did you ever bear of such a thing" asked Elwood, watching them in great amazement. Yes; I have read of wolves doing the same, even when one of their number was not killed but only wounded slightly." -Any animals that act, in that manner deserve death; so let's send a few more rifle-balls among them." " If we keep this up for a few hours I don't see that there will be any left, and we may rest in peace." THLE JWOLL VERINES. , They wvill keep on gathering until there are twice that number. If it wasn't for otir fire we should have to take to the trees; and what, then, would become of poor Terror" He will get into trouble as it is," said Howard, "if we don't keel) an eye on him." The dog hal continued advancing(, closer to the wol- verines, until there was an imminent probability of a collision occurring between him anid twvo of the largest, that sprung forward until they were within a few inchles of him, when they darted back again to repeat the feint, seemingly with the purpose of drawing the Newfound- land further toward their clutches. Howard spoke sharply to Terror, but he paid no heed to the call. Th4 boy repeated it with the same useless- ness, and lie was beginning to become seriously alarmed for his fate when Shasta laid down his pipe and rose to his feet. The eyes of the three were now centered upon him. The Pal Utah left his gun and blanket upon the ground, so that his arms and breast, excepting a few ornaments, were bare. I-ie then drew his keen hunting- knife and held it rigidly grasped in his right hand. Stooping down, he caught a blazing brand with his left, swung it rapidly over his head a few times to give it additional blaze, and then darted away like a meteor directly among the wvolverines. The latter scattered in greater terror than ever, but the Indian, instead of re- turning, actually followed them. The brand could only be seen flitting among the 173 ADRIFT IN THIE WILDS. trees, its flaming glare giving a wild, unearthly appear- ance to the face and breast of the savage as he sped swiftly in and out among the trunks and vegetation, like an avenger bent on destroying the entire band. One of the largest wolverines, in his wild fear, sprung so close to Elwood that his tail whisked against him. Ere he could clear himself the Indian burst upon him, his iron arm flashed out with lightning-like swiftness, the wire-like fingers caught the brute by the neck, and the knife was buried so deep in his throat that when lie was thrown back ie fcell limp and dead to the ground. After which Shasta sat down upon the ground again, folded his blanket over his shoulders and appeared much occupied in contemplating the burning sticks before him. "Mr. Shasta, that was well done!" exclaimed Tim in admiration. " I very much doubt whether it could be excelled by your humble servant, the undersigned." " I very much doubt it also," said Elwood. "I shouldn't fancy chasing those animals with a fire- brand. " " No; if you should drop it or fall down unpleasant consequences might follow." The boys kept up their loading and firing among the wolverines until they had slain over a dozen. But instead of diminishing, the number continued to in- crease till there must have been nearly two-score growl- ing, snapping and snarling around the camp-fire. 174 CHAPTER XXXI. SHASTA S HUMOR. HE ("AMP-FIRE was kept burning unremit- tingly until morning, and the wolverines as unceasingly continued their clamor, so that none of the parties secured a moment's sleep. The boys were signale(l several times by Shasta to lie down, but they were too unaccustomedl to such sights and sounds to permit them to do so with anything like peace; so they used their rifles upon the savage animals until pru- dence advised them to husband their ammunition until they had better use for it. Tim O'Rooney was fully as restless as they. He was in continual dread that some of the treacherous animals would steal up behind him and fasten their teeth so securely in hini that they could not be shaken off. This uneasiness caused him ever to be shifting his position, now on one side the fire, now on the other-springing suddenly upward as though he already felt the nip of their fangs. The Pah Utah, at this time, displayed a grim humor, so exceptional with his people, as to be almost incredible, except to the boys who were witnesses to it. Believing such traits should be encouraged among all aborigines as an antidote for their melancholy dispositions, it gives us great pleasure to record it, and it will afford us far ADRIFT 1V TI//' JUl/ S. greater enjoymcnt to testify regardillng any Other sUC] performaices that may cone under our notice. Tim was stamlino' with his hack towmard the fire, and his hands carelessly crossed behind him. Ile was ill- tently watching the quarrelsome anilmals, and all thoughts of attack ill the rear had for the time de- parted. Shasta leaned silently forward and(1 lifted a small brand to relight, his pipe, wk'hich had gone out some time before. As lie was passin'g it hack to the embers the red coal just grazed] one of Tim's finigers, while at the same instant the Indiaiia imitated the snarl of the wolverine so exactly that the fellow was sure he was seized, andi he made the most agile leap of his life. Murther! 'murther! pull himn off, Mr. Shasta, catch hold of him!" exclaimed the affrighted Irishman, spring- ing wildly on every side of the fire, and striking with blind fierceness at the imaginary brute in his rear. Howard and Elwood laughed till the tears rolled down their cheeks. They had seen Shasta's trick and they could therefore appreciate it. Never a smile lit up the grim face of the Pab Utah. Ile continued leisurely smoking, his keen black eyes lookin',a dreamily into the fire, as if lost in some pleasant reverie. But what of that Who can doubt that lie laughed internally full as heartily as the younmsters AWho can tell what surges, antid waves, anti ripples of laughter went through and through him, until his whole being was absorbed in merriment Finally Tim's terror passed away and he became com- paratively quidt. 1.16 SHA S TA'S HUMOR. " Worrah! worrah!" he exclaimed, panting from his severe exertions. " What a iiarra 'scape I had.-" "Did he really bite you " " Bite me! Didn't ye see him fasten his teeth in me and hang on till I shuk him off" "No; I didn't observe him." "Git out wid yer nonsense. But I felt him s811-". and it was meself that thought once he'd pull mei into the darkness and make me a prey to the beast; there-that I did think, did I." "No danger," remarked Howard,as he and his cousin were unable to restrain their laughter. " What be ye spalpeens laughing at:" iiidignantly uo- manded the Irishman. "But, Tim, are o ousure you were not mistaken i' Wie saw nothing of the kind," pursued Howard. The fellow looked too full of indignation to speak. " What is getting into your heads Ye saam to be losing your sinses intirely." "And I can say I saw none of them touch you." "Then you was blind," 'was the indignant retort. 'Ye barrd him sing out at me heels, didn't you" " Of course, we heard them all the time, as we do now; but the one you imagined so close may have been a dozen feet distant." "But he bit me!" was the triumphant reply to this. "Where" "On the hand." "Let uls see the mark!" The boys arose and walked up to their friend, who ADRIFT IiA THE W'I/DS. bent over the fire, held his hand close to his face, turn- ing it over and over and scrutinizing it with the closest attention. Concluding0 he was mistaken, he exchanged it for its fellow, which was subjected to an equally severe cross-examination. Still niothingconfirmatory of his words could be found. The amazed Irishman now held tup both his hands, turning them over and over and pressing them close to his face. Do yees saa anything" lie abruptly asked, thrust- ing them toward the boys. They went through the form of a search for a scratch or a bite, but declared themselves unable to discover any. "Don't you feel any pain " asked Howard. "I though I I did," replied Tim, with a serious, puz- zled look upon his countenance. "In what part of your body" "Whisht!" He motioned to them to maintain silence, while he closed his eves an(d waited for some evidence of the pain lie had so sharply felt a few minutes before. As he stood thus, he stealthily brought each hand around in front of his face and subjected them to the same ex- amination. Suddenlv his eye sparkled, and he held out his left: "That's the hand!" he'exclaimed exultingly. "Let's see" asked the boys, stepping up to him. "Yees'll find it somewhere there, if yees'll take the throuble to examine it closely." I178 SHXA S TA'S HUMOR. They did so, but declared themselves unable to find the wound. Tim finally showed a small red spot upon one of the fingers, which he affirmed was where the cruel tooth did bite him. "That cannot be, for the skin is not broken." But it faals as if the same had been bit off." It looks more like a burn," added Elwood. Tim now turned around and looked at the Piah Utah. The latter was smoking his pipe, as if unconscious of the presence of any being or animal near him. Per- haps tbhey were mistaken, buit Howard and Elwood al- ways affirmed that they detected a twitching at the corners of his mouth, as if he were ready to explode with laughter. But if it was that, it was nothing more, and it mani- fested itself in no other manner. Tim gazed fixedly at him a moment, and then turning to the boys, asked in a whisper: "But didn't ye hear it snarri at meseiff 179 CHAPTER XXXII. AGAIN ON THE RIVER. HE NEWFOUNDLAND, Terror, occasioned more apprehension to his friends than did anything else. They came to see that no personal dang-er threatened so long as the fire kept burn- ing, and as there was In abundance of fuel, this settled that point; but the dog grew enraged at the furious up- roar, which drove away all sleep, and appeared to give him fear that the entire party were in danger. Several times, when some of the wolverines came too close, he made a spring at them, and they snapped back. But the good sense of the dog kept him from venturing among the ravenous brutes, and they in turn were in too much dread of the fire to do more than spring at him and then as quickly dart back again. It was an impressive sight and one which could never be forgotten. The large, noble Newfoundland, stand- ing out in relief against the glare of the camp-fire, his eyes aflame with anger, every muscle braced, the jaws parted and his eyes fixed upon the dark bodies plunging over each other, darting forward and back again, snap- ping, snarling and furious; the Pah Utah stretched upon the ground, deliberately smoking, all unheedful of the deafening clangor and the savage brutes that some- times approached almost within striking distance; the A GA IV ON THE RI VER. two boys, so close to the fire that they were of ten scorched by it, gazing at the animals with an expression of half fear and half wonder, starting when one of them came unusually Itear, and now and then sendinog the fatal bullet among them; the nervous Irishman, darting hither and thither, taking great care that the fire was kept fully burning; all these, we say, made a scene impressive in the highest degree. Terror, when sharply spoken to, would withdraw from his dangerous proximity to the wolverines, but almost immediately he stepped forward to t1h same spot lie first occupied, and his obedience to the commands of the boys was so sullen and ill-natured that they forebore speaking to him except when his safety seemed abso- lutely to demand it. At times there was an interruption in the clamor, but the wolverines did not appear to relax their vigilance in the least. It was as if they had determined to make their evening meal upon the party though they were forced to wait until morning for it. During these in- tervals of comparative silence our friends gained op- portunity for the exchange of a few words, but they were often compelled to shout at the top of their voices to make themselves heard. During one of these lulls Elwood spoke to Howard. " What will take place in the morning, when these creatures are not afraid of our fire" " I think they will go away." " Perhaps so; but we are not so sure of that." " Shasta will no doubt turn the whole thing over in 1 xl ADRIF, T IN7 TILE WILDS. his mind, and be prompt enough to act when the dan- ger comes. I suppose we can take to our canoes and give them the slip in that manner." " Yes; the Indian appears to have rather a con- temptible opinion of them. He scarcely heeds their wrangling. " "He is not so timid as we and Tim are; but he doesn't forget to look at them once in a while, so as not to for- get what they are doing." " They are a savage set of animals. How angry Ter- ror is! Don't you notice that they are trying to entice him to venture out a little nearer them They hate him more than all of us." " Do you think so" 'You can see it in their manner. If they can once get hold of him they will tear him to shreds." "And they will catch him, too, if he isn't careful. He is so surly and cross himself that it is dangerous to touch or speak to him." " We can't afford to lose him. We must watch, and if he gets too close to any of them, why, all we shall have to do is to crack them over, and give the others warning to keep their distance." While they were speaking a huge wolverine darted close enough to strike Terror. Instantly the two closed and rolled upon the ground in the fierce death struggle. Over and over, snapping, snarling, growling, biting, scratching with lightning-like fierceness, now one below and then the other, and finally the dog on top. The conflict was as short as it was furious. The meo- 182 AGAINr ONX THEI RIVER.:1 give jaws of the Newfoundland closed on the throat of his antagonist and his teeth met through his windpipe. There they stuck for a minute, and when he relaxed his hold it was all over with the reckless animal. Still it would have fared ill with the dog but for Shasta, for the other wolverines would have sprung upon him and destroyed him before he could have escaped. At the moment the two closed the Indian darted forward, seized a brand and flourished it over the combatants. This so terrified the others that they kept their distance until the conqueror resumed his place in triumph by the fire. This encounter proved a lesson to both the dog and the wolverines. The latter appeared to comprehend the disadvantage under which they were placed, while Ter- ror, having had a taste of their mettle, was satisfied for the time, and kept a safe position further away from the brutes that were so eager to fasten their teeth in him. It was now verging toward morning, and tile Pah Utah looked about him as if lie were going to make his preparations for moving. I-e looked toward the raging creatures, still fierce and furious, and then glanced at the canoes drawn up within a few feet of the camp-fire, and pointed toward them and the river. Fortunately but a few feet intervened between their present position and the stream, so that the latter was easy of access in case it should become necessary to retreat before the wolverines. Still the fire did not pro- tect this enough to make it a safe undertaking in their present situation. 183 84ADRIFT INAo THE WILDS. Shasta picked up several blazing sticks, and carrying them to the water's edge, placed them together and covered them with some dry brush-wood. They speed- ily fanned themselves into a flame, and the gathering brutes withdrew and offered a fine approach to the river. The Indian's next proceeding was to launch the two boats. This was done easily and without difficulty. The blankets and guns were placed within, and hie then mo- tioned for the dog to follow; but Terror did no' seem disposed to leave his present quarters. Perhaps the idea worked its way into his shaggy head that it savored too much of deserting his friends, or it may be that he still coveted a taste for another collision with the autlacious animals that hat. pressed him so sorely. Our brave soldier boys, who abhor bloodshed from a principle, still have a love for the wild abandon of camp life, and many a one looks back with a sigh to the rough experiences which we all pray may never come again. So it may be the Newfoundland, naturally peaceful, hav- ing had his blood fairly rousedl by his tussle and tri- umph, yet longed for more of victory. Finally Howard and Elwood took their seats, and Tim O'Rooney followed; then Terror, casting one re- luctant look behind hin, jumped into the boat and lay down in his usual positionl; and so, at length, they all were embarked in safety. 184 CHAPTER XXXIII. A HALT. T WAS just growing light as the two canoes shoved out in the river and resumed their journev. The rapacious wolverines, enraged at the loss of their expected prey, followed them to the very edge of the stream, where their ear-splitting clamor grew more furious than ever. At one time, indeed, it looked as though they were about to jump into the water and swim out to them; and both the boys looked inquiringly at the face of the Pah Utah. The stolid, indifferent expression that they there saw relieved them, and they withdrew all further thought regarding the troublesome animals. Shasta had loosened the connection between the two boats-not, perhaps, that he was unwilling to carry theni also along, but because lie judged it was time that the party learned to navigate for themselves. Tim O'Rooney grasped the pa(l(lle, and his handling of it showed no ordinary skill. lie had greatly im- proved upon his performance of yesterday, and kept his position slightly in the rear of the other canoe, whose owner, as a matter of course, timed his speed to that of his pupil. When the Irishman was tired lie passed the paddle to Howard, who had been carefully studying the "style" of ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. Shasta, and whose efforts were modeled after his. Practice alone can make perfect, no matter if the theory is absolutely so. The mind may hold the exact idea, and may send the precise message through the nerves to the muscles, but the latter must make a good many trials before they can carry out orders with exactness. And so the boy, although, as he believed, he imitated exactly the manner of their dusky friend, was not long in finding that the paddle was by no means as obedient. The reason was that the delicate play of the iron muscles of the Pah Utah could not be seen. They had done this thing so often that it became a matter of course with them. But having started upon right principles, by the time the boy was so exhausted that he could not move his arms, he could see that he had improved, or as the sovereign people say, " he was getting the knack of it." It was now Elwood's turn, and he caught the paddle with all the enthusiasm which might be expected in a youngster who had been impatiently waiting to take part in some game. By the time Elwood needed rest, Tim O Rooney was ready, and so the paddle did unceasing work, each mem- ber having all the time necessary for rest, until after they had been to work some hours, the boys found their arms remained tired, and a longer cessation needed. Shasta seemed to look upon these essays of his friends with no little pleasure. He watched their movements all the time, and a horrible suspicion once entered the head of Tim O'Rooney that he saw him come very near 186 A HAL T. smiling. Whether there were any grounds for this suspicion probably will never be known, unless the Pah Utah takes it into his head to write and tell us. Shasta remained a few feet in advance, his back being placed toward the prow of his own boat. This relative position-and our "pale faced" friends, it may be said, labored savagely-was kept by him without any effort. Now and then he touched the point of his paddle, but there was scarcely a ripple. It was as a fish is sometimes seen to move through the water with the slightest quiver of its fins. When all three of our friends were used up, red in the face, panting and sighing for a chance to take a good long rest, a tiny island came in view round a bend in the river, and to their joy they saw Shasta fix his eye upon it and then head his canoe toward the point. Cheered by the prospect, they renewed their work with greater ardor, and in a few moments the boats buried their points in the luxuriant undergrowth along the shore. The island was quite small, and offered no induce- ments in the way of game, unless some animal in cross- ing the river had paused to rest itself and make an exploration of the place. This was scarcely to be ex- pected, and none of the party based any hopes upon it. After the inmates of the large canoe had stepped upon shore, Shasta sent his backward into the river again by a sweep of his paddle, and headed for the eastern bank, shooting over the surface with amazing speed. His movements were watched with interest and some surprise. 187 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. ' What can it mean " asked Elwood. " Perhaps be is going to leave us." "I don't think he would do it in that manner. He will make an elaborate good-by for us, for we are getting to understand each other quite well by means of signs." "Arrah now!" exclaimed Tim O'Rooney, ''didn't ye saa that he was disgusted wid our paddling and kaaping him back, and has gone out jist that he may enj'y the pleasure of shtretching his arms in the owld-fashioned manner, as Father O'Shaughlnessy said when lhe tipped over his brother" This may have satisfied the Irishman, but hardly the boys. It did not look reasonable to them that the Indian, having just finished three times the amount of work performed by each, was in so great need of addi- tional exercise that he must abandon his friends and paddle off over the river. "I think he is going to hunt for fish," said Elwood. " But he could have caught them without going to land. " " Perhaps not. I noticed yesterday that he went where there was a sort of eddy, and you see he can't find that very well unless it is close by land." Howard pointed to the lower end of the island: " What better place could he find than that It is just the spot to catch fish." By this time Shasta's canoe had reached the bank, but instead of landing he turned the prow down stream, and slowly glided along as if in quest of something. This to Tim O'Rooney was proof of the truth of his declaration. 189 A HALT. " What did I tell yees The thrip to shoie was not enough- and he's taking a wee turn further." " lie is looking for a good fishing ground," affirmed Howard. "If it were anything else he would not go so slowly. " " But, see' he has stopped" As Elwood spoke the Pah Utah rose in his canoe and stepped ashore. He stooped and employed himself a moment with the canoe and then disappeared. "It cannot be that he has left us," said Elwood, in considerable alarm. "No; I think he is hunting for game." This seemed very reasonable, and the party waited patiently for his return. No personal danger to him- self could be expected, as he could not be approached undiscovered by any hostile white man, and being an Indian he could have no cause to fear anything from his own race. Still there was a vague misgiving that everything was not right-that something unusual would be the result of this separation-and each member of the little party awaited, with more anxiety than he would have con- fessed, some evidence of the intention of the Pah Utah. 189 CHTAPTEIR XXXIV. EXIT SHASTA. WE THREE whites were still gazing toward the eastern shore, intent looking for some Sign, or listening to some sound which might tell something regardin'-g Shasta, WheCnI they were star- tled by a loud whirring or buzzing overhead, and look- ing up saw a large bird paing within a few feet of them-so close that its claws could be seen curled up against its body, as it made a sudden sweep to the right, frightened at its near approach to its human enemies. " Shoot it!" called out Elwood to Howard. " My gun isn't loaded, and it will make ns a good break- fast." But the bird, whatever it was, did not choose to wait until the heavy rifle could be brought to bear upon it; and by the time Howard had fairly got the idea through his head, it was skimming away over the country toward the Coast itange. But a sharper eye and an unerring aim was leveled against it, and as they were watching its flight it sud- denly turned over and over, its great wings going like the arms of a windmill as it dropped swiftly to the earth; and, as it disappeared in the trees and undergrowth, the crack of a rifle came across the intervening space. " That was Shasta!" exclaimed Elwood in delight. EXIT S.LA S TA. " Certainly, we might have known what he was after. Ile thinks we do not admire fish as a steady diet and has gone after fowl for us." " I don't know about that," said Elwood, who some- times seemed to alternate with Howard in his knowl- edge of the ways of the wood. " I can't see that there was ally more chance of seeing birds there than upon the island. That same fowl passed closer to us than it (lid to him." "I suppose," laughed Howard, "that he was hunting after game of some kind, and had no idea of shooting the bird until it passed so near him that he saw it was quite the thing we needed, and so he toppled it over." 'MIe views intirely," assented Tim. ' I agraas wid both of yees." A few moments later the Pah Utah appeared with the bird in his hand, and flinging it into the canoe quickly paddled back to the island. His bird proved to be a species of wild goose, that seemed to have strayed from its flock and gone wandering through the Salinas Val- ley at this season of the year ultimately to fall before the rifle of Shasta. Our friends were in ecstasies over their prospective meal. The Indian displayed the same skill in dressing the bird that he did in preparing the fish. The feathers were quickly twitched off, and the dry driftwood piled upon the upper end of the island was the best fuel they could have had for the purpose. When done, it was "done brown," and to a turn; and to the famishing travelers nothing could have been more aavory and luscious, 191 12 ADRIT IV THE WILDS. The truth of it was, the boys found that this kind of life was agreeing with them amazingly. Their appe- tites were fierce, their sleep sound, and a feeling of per- fect health diffused itself through their glowing frames, such as thev had never known before. Their exposure to the night air troubled them at first, but they soon recovered from it and enjoyed " camping out" as thoroughly as did old campaigners. It was a very good thing, it is true, for a while; but don't let any boys get the idea of following their exam- ple, unless they are compelled in precisely the same manner to do so. If any youngster imagines lie has formed true ideas of distant countries from the n:a:na- tives of adventures which he may have read, lie will find himself most woefully mistaken. Never think of traveling until you are a married man, and by that time you will have made up your mind to be sensible and stay at home. When the meal was finished, and their appetites satis- fied, the Pah Utah, instead of immediately embarking, walked to the lower end of the island, and stood for some time apparently examining some sign further down the river. Following the direction of his eyes, our friends could see nothing unusual until Elwood de- tected something in the air on the western bank which at first resembled a light cloud, but which they im- agined might be caused by a camp-fire. Whatever it was that attracted the attention of Shasta he took but a few moments to decide regarding it. Go- ing again to his canoe, he entered it without a word or 192 EXI T SHA S TA. 1 sign, and paddled away at his swiftest rate straight to- ward it, while his companions watched the proceeding with as much interest as in the precedling case. The camp appeared fully a half-mile distant, and it took but a short time for the Indian to reach a point opposite, when he sprung lightly ashore and disappeared with his usual celerity. " He is cautious," remarked Elwood. " He doesn't wish us to undertake to pass it unless he is sure there will be no trouble." "A sinsible young man!" asserted Tim. "His pa- rints have the best raison for faaling proud of so prom- ising a young gintleman." "And so have we." A few moments elapsed, when the Pah Utah reap- peared and came back as rapidly as hie went. The first thing he did upon reaching the island was again to fasten the boats together, and then motion to the three to enter. This, of course, they did without delay, and took their usual positions. But Shasta was not satisfied. He told them, in his manner, to lie down; and not until the three had so arranged themselves as to be invisible from both shores, did he dip his paddle and resume his journey. " This means danger," said Elwood. " He doesn't wish anv one to know we are in the boats." "And we must be sure and obey him." " It's aisy doing, as my brother used to say whin his wife tould him, in her gintle manner, by the help of her broomstick, to go to bed." 193 19RIFDJF'LV TILE JJ7LDS. "And, Elwood, you ale close to Terror, see that he doesn't let his curiosity get the better of his judgment." The Pah Utah was satisfied, and now began plying his paddle. It was dliflictilt for the three so to govern their curiosity as not to peel) over the side of the canoe; but there were good reasons for their not doing so, and they scarcely moved a limb for the next hour. They had gone but a little way when Terror raised his headi and ut tered a sliglht bark; but a word from Elwood quieted him. Finallv, Slhasta paused and ut- tered a guttural sound in his on tongue, which was taken as permission for them to rise. As they did so, they looked blehind. The dJim smoke ascending in thle sUmmer sky was seen far behind, and[ between it and them the Salinas imsade another bend, so that they had no cause to fear observation from that party at least. Shasta again disconnected the two canoes-an act which did not surprise thlem; blt his next proceeding astonished them a good deal. Reaching across the boats, lie shook hands with thlem all, at the samne time muttering a word or two to each. He is going to leave us," said Elwood, with an air of disappointment. lie has good reason for doing so, but I am afraid it will be bad for us." "Adieu,, Mr. Shasta, adieu!" said Tim O'Rooney, with considerable feeling. .Y You've done us a good turn and we'll not forget You. If yez ever drifts into San Francisco, give us a call." 194: EXIT SA STA. 195 The Indian motiQned to them to proceed, and using his paddle with his extraordinary skill, he sped up the river toward the camp-fire, and in a very short time vanished. CHAPTER XXXV. TILE WESTERN SHORE. HE I)EPARTURE of Shasta gave rise to all manner of doubt and speculation. None of them believed he meditated bidding the party good-by until he went through the ceremony of shaking hands. This settled the matter, and they could have no cause for hope of seeing him again. " That must have been a party of his people,," said Howard, " or he would not have taken the pains to help us out of sight." "At any rate, he has done us good service," replied Elwood. "I don't know what would have become of us but for him." They had not yet begun using their paddle, but were drifting with the current, debating upon their course of action. " I think I understand why he left us," added Howard, after a moment's pause. Tim and Elwood looked up in his face. "I think we have passed through most of the danger, and he thought we were just as safe without I im as with him. Don't you see, Elwood, that we have come a good ways down the river, and we must be near some settle- ment. I think there is a place called Soledad some- where along this river, but whether on the eastern or western bank I cannot telL" THE WES 7T'EN' SHORE. " It is a good ways off, I should say fifty miles, and is on the western bank." "h How comes it that yout are so well informed" asked Howard, repeating the question that had been asked him by his cousin lwhen on the steamer. It is only accidentally thiat I know that. A few weeks ago I Was Comparing an old and new geography and noticed what different views they gave of the western part of our country. The old maps had the Buenaventura so wrong in every particular that I learned considerable about the true one, which you know is called Salinas by most people." If we are very careful, I think we caln get home without trouble; but although there must be white people-settlers and miners-in these parts, still they are so scattered that we are less likely to see them than we are the Indians." " Boys," said Tim O'Rooney, who had not let his pipe go out since morning. "Shall I give yez some good advice" Both expressed their eagerness to receive it. - There bees plenty of the rid gintlemen yet in this counthry, and we haven't got beyant them. If we goes paddling in this canoe when the sun is shining over- head, some of 'em will see us, and if we don't put into shore they'll put out after us-that they will." "What is it that you propose, then" "That we turns the night into day. and sliaps and smokes and mneditates bysunlight, and does our traveling by moonlight, or what is bether, without any light at all." 197 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. This proposal suited the boys exactly. It was so plainly dictated by common sense that the wonder was they had not tholghlit of it long before. Elwood took the paddle in his hand and held it poised." " Which way-east or west" Howard pointed to the left batik. " That is the side where tMewy are," replied Elwood, referring to the Indian party they had passed. "And where lie is." meaning their good friend, the Pah Utah. To the left-to the left," said rTIini. Didn't I git into the worst throuble of me life-always barring the repulse me Bridget give me-1bv hunting in then parts" Elwood delayed no longer, but plied the oars with a dexterity that showed his experience had not been lost upon him. " You understand it quite well," said Howard ap- provingly. " Yes; but my arms ache terribly." " Ahl! here we are." The prow of the canoe moved as silently and easily into the undergrowth as if it were water, and our friends at a step passed from every portion of it to dry land. As they intended remaining in their present quarters until darkness, they took soine pains to select a suitable place. They finally hit upon a spot, on an incline of the river bank, and about a dozen yards distant. He're the grass was green and velvety, and the wood o thick 198 THE WESTERN SHORE. -hat they had little fear of discovery, unless by some tho had seen them land and took the trouble to hunt fhem out. It was about noon when they landed, and as they had Ill spent a wakeful night, their first proceeding was so to arrange themselves as to enjoy a quiet sleep. Terror was placed on duty as sentinel, and all lay down with a sense of security to which they had been strangers in a long time. As usual, the boys were the first to awake, doing so almost at the same moment. They saw by the sun that the afternoon was about half gone, but they were not troubled from hunger, as their morning meal may be said to have been their mid-day one, and had been one of those royal ones whose memory is apt to linger a long time with us, especially if we are boys. "This is tiresome," said Elwood, yawning and stretching his limbs, " let us take a tramp of dis- covery." The proposal suited Howard, although prudence told him to remain where he was and keep his friend with him. But the restraint was so irksome that he was all too willing a listener to the persuasions of his companion. " I noticed there was quite a high range of hills just back of us," added Elwood. " Let's take a look at them. " "Is it prudent" and Howard only repeated audibly the question that his conscience had just asked him. "Prudent Of course it is, if we only take good care of ourselves." 109 200 ADRIFT IX THE WILDS. " Shall we awake Tim before we go -'No; be will sleep until to-morrow morning." " We must leave Terror to watch him then, for it wouldn't do for him to lie alone and asleep." "Of course not." The Newfoundland, which had risen to his feet, was told to remain on guard, and the boys started off on a ramble that was to be a most eventful one to them. CHAPTER XXXVI. THE RAMBLE. FTER the restraint the boys had undergone, cramped in the canoe, and not daring to wander out of sight of their camp-fire when pon shore, there was a delicious relief in rambling through the woods. The clear, pure air that was dry and cool in the shadow of the forest, the undulating, charming scenery, the novel look that rested upon all they saw-these possessed a charm to our young friends which they hardly could have resisted, even it they had the will to do so; but when we say that after starting forth scarcely a thought of their imprudence entered their heads, it was but natural that they should find themselves led much further away than was either wise or consistent with the resolves with which they left their friends, Tim and Terror. They took no notice of the direction theywere follow- ing, nor of the distance they had gone, until near the middle of the afternoon Howard abruptly paused and asked, with a look of alarm: "Elwood, what have we done" " Why What is the matter "We must be a mile off from Tim, and it will be dark before we can get back." " 0! I think not. You know we have walked very ADRIFT I-V THE WILDS. slowly, and we can hurry whell we take it into our heads to return." "But do you know the way" " Certainly. Don't you " What course must we follow" Elwood pointed to the northwest, which, while it was not far from their general course, was by no means the proper one by which to rejoin their companion. "How strange!" said IHoward. -It seems to me that yonder is the point, from which we started." And he pointed nearly due west, just as wrong as he could possibly be. You are wrong," said Elwood positivelv. " I a1 sure of the right way." " We won't dispute over it,"' replied his companion, with some sadness, " for it is very doubtful if either of us is right." "All we have to do then, is to hunt for the river and follow that up until we find Tim sound asleep." "Yes; but how is the river to be found To you it lies in one place, and to me in another." " But I can prove that you are wrong, anld," laughed Elwood, " that I am, too, although I was never right." " How so " " The sun sets in the west, and notice where it is." Howard now opened his eves in amazemnent. Ile would have been sure that it was going down in the other part of the sky; but the proof before his eyes was irrefragable. " It must be," he replied. " We have been ' turned .2AW THE RAMBLE. round.' Just as when we left the wharf at New York. I was below when the steamer came out, and so long as New York was in sight I was sure it lay in the wrong place." "But, how bad even that makes it! We cannot reach the river before dark, and we shall not know whether we are a mile above or below where Tim is sleeping." "If we go straight for the river, I think it likely that we shall come much nearer him than that." " It may be, but how are we to tell" " Why, if we don't find him by night, we can fire off our guns and call to him." "And bring a party of the savages down upon us." That may be, if there are any in the neighborhood, but we shall have to run the risk." By this time the boys were fully impressed with their wvant of discretion and with the urgent necessity of making all haste back to the river. " Let us keep our thoughts about us," said Howard, for we have been without them long enough. Now, the Salinas River runs very nearly north and south, loesn't it" "This portion of it does." " Then we must go as nearly east as we can, and let's be off." Turning their backs upon the sun, they began retrac- ing their steps; but they had journeyed scarce half an hour when they found themselves near a range of hills, which they were sure they had not passed through, and did not remember to have seen. 203 204ADRIF T V T11E WILD S. " What does this mean' asked Howard, still more alarmed. " We never have been near these. " "Are they not the hills we noticed just as we were about starting" "They cannot be-these are larger, have not half as much wood upon them. I tell you, Elwood, there is one thing sure." "I know what you mean." "What is it" - We are lost!" "You are right. We may find Tim again, but we are going to have trouble to do it.-' Listen' He nmav call to us." They stopped walking and held their breath, but not a sound broke the solemn stillness, save a faint, hollow roar-whether the deep murmur that is always heard in a great forest, or the sound of the distant Pacific Ocean they could not tell. " No; ie is asleep yet, ' said Elwood. "' If he would only wake up he would shotut to us." "Thu. you see, if we shoot our guins, the chances are that he will not hear it, while it may be the means of bringing to us the very ones we are so anxious to keel) away." So they concluded not to fire their rifles for the present. "But these hills," continued Howard. "they don't extend in any great direction either north or south. The question now is, shall we pass around the northern or southern end" 204 WEOHTe." ADRIFT INX TIE WILDS. " What difference will it make" " All the difference in the world. If Tim is to the soith of us, and wA-e pass around that way, I think we shall find him without much hunting, while if we take the wrong course it will be night before we can get any- where near him." " I see, replied ElEwood. "W e shall have to guess at it. But. holi"' lie exclaimed, with sparkling eyes. You go one way an(l I will another:" Howard shook his hlead. "There is too much risk." 'Not at all. Tlh dlistance is short, and we can whistle to each other every fewv minutes. Then, you know, as we shall lbe lookin-r for each other, we cannot lose our- selves in these still woods. The minute I get sight of the river I can tell whether we are above or below Tim. " Howard would not consent at first, but his cousin set forth the advantages of the plan so eloquently that he finally agreed. ArranginMg their signals and manner of proceeding, the boys, therefore, separated. 206 CHAPTER XXXVIL BACK TO CAMP. ]HE HILL which the boys proposed to pass around was about a quarter of a mile in length and but slightly less in breadth-much greater than either of them suspected when they set out. It rose like a peak to the height of several hundred feet, as if it were an offshoot from the main ridge of hills, left to flourish by itself. Howard walked slowly along, after glancing back at his cousin until the intervening wood concealed him from view, when he gave a short, sharp whistle, which was immediately answered. Then, appreciating the necessity of haste, he quickened his footsteps. As he advanced the hills assumed proportions of which he had not dreamed, and that raised in his mind strong doubts as to the wisdom of separating from his com- panion. He would not have done it had not the latter urged him so. Misgivings now arose in the mind of the boy. He looked upon his duty as that of restraining and tempering Elwood's impulsiveness. He had done so several times to his manifest advantage; but on this day, as Howard looked back, it really appeared as if he had bidden good-by to his senses. Their separation from Tim was almost criminal in its foolishness, and yet he had scarcely raised an objection; and now, was not ADRIFT 11V THIE WILDS. the last proceeding still more imprudent As it stood, the three members of the little party who should never have been out of each other's sight, were now a good distance from each other, and that, too, when in a hostile country. From these rather sad reflections Howard was roused by the faint, echoing whistle of Elwood. " He is all right," thought he, feeling much relieved, as he placed his fingers to his mouth and returned the whistle. " We are both now passing around the hill, so that we cannot get further apart, and can keep within call all the time." Admonished by the lateness of the hour, Howard almost ran. He grew somewhat impatient at the un- expected extent of the bill; but finally he passed beyond the southern point, and as he stood and listened, he heard the murmur of the river-proof that it was close at hand. " Now," thought he, "if Elwood will only hurry, we have a good chance of finding Tim before he gives us up for lost." The boy could not see that anything at all was gained by their course in passing around the ridge. Neither of them were in sight of the river, and would have to advance still further before they could form any idea of their whereabouts. He was resolved to do this in com- pany with his cousin, so that precisely the same thing would have been accomplished had they remained together. Howard having hurried a great deal, thought it likely .908 BA CK TO CA MP. that he was some distance in advance of his cousin. He stood some minutes listening fci his signals, and then began walking toward the northern end of the hill that he might meet hin as he came arouLi(l. He observed as he advanced that they increased in rocky ruggedness, and could see that it was quite a feat to pass through them. Going some distance lie paused again, and listened intently, but nothing beside the deep nmurmur of the woods reached his ear. "What can it mean" he finally asked himself, as a vague alarm crept over him. "W e must be much closer together than we were before, and I haven't heard him whistle for the last half-hour." He began to doubt whether it was best to proceed further or not. It might serve only to mislead in case Elwood was searching for him. Still hearing nothimg to indicate the location of his friend, he made the siirrial himself-a long, screeching whistle, that rang out in the solemn stillness with a penetrating clearness that sent the chills over him from head to foot. " Ile must hear that if he is within a mile," was his reflection, as lie leaned his head forward and listened for the first approach of the answering sound. Ten, fifteen, twenty minutes passed away, but nothing was heard, and the poor boy looked around in sore alarm. " Can it be that Elwood is jesting" lie asked him- self. "lHe would not do so if he knew what I am suffering." 209 21 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. Howard was now in great distress. He could not decide what to do. If he advanced he could feel no assurance of meeting his friend, while a retreat was equally hopeless. Where was Elwood Had he wandered off among the hills, tempted by the wild scenery, and had he lost his way Was he searching for his cousin Or had he been found bv Indians The last inquiry had been rising in Howard's mind for a half-hour, but lie had resolutely forced it down again, until he could. keep it away no longer. He could find no other reason to account for the silence, and failure to answer his call. The whistle which he had given must have spread miles in every direction-so far that Elwood could not have got beyond its range had the course of both been precisely opposite. No; it must- But, hark! A faint, tremulous whistle comes to his ear. It is far away and sounds among the hills behind, as though it had labored up from some cave or chasm miles distant. Howard held his breath, and as lie anticipated, it came again so faintly and distantly that had he been walking he could not have heard it. On both occasions it sounded behind him among the hills, though its tremulous faintness made it appear as though it came from far up in the air, or down deep in some of the gorges of the hills-so uncertain was the exact point of its starting. Poor Howard was now in a dilemma. Whether to attempt to follow up the signal or to go on to the river 210) BA CK TO CAMP. and search out Tim O'Rooney and the Newfoundland was a question which was difficult to decide. But his eagerness to find his cousin led him on into the hills, until he had penetrated quite a distance. He then paused and listened for the signal, but none was ever to come to his ears again. Howard repeated the whistle over and over, and finally fired his gun; but both were equally fruitless. He waited where he was until dark, when with a sad heart he with- drew and resumed his tramp toward the river. Gloomy indeed where his meditations, as he reflected on the occurrences of the day, and there was scarcely anything he would not do, if by any means he could recall his part since he landed upon the main shore. In the course of half an hour he reached the river, and looked intently out into the semi-darkness to see whether he could recognize anything familiar; but so far as he was able to see, all was strange, from which he concluded that he had struck at a point lower down than where Tim had been left. He therefore began making his way south, that is, to- ward the source of the river, after halting and listening for some sound that might tell something either of Tim or Elwood. Suddenly a threatening growl startled him, and then came the welcome bark of Terror, and the next moment the dog was frolicking around him and showing his delight in the most extravagant manner. 211 CHAPTER XXXVIII. WAITING AND WATCHING. ORRIAI' worrall' but this is a fine scare X voulVe been givin' Tim O'Rooney, so me uncle said whin they towld him his wife was coming over to Ameriky to see him. Here I've been awake fur the last two hours, jist, looking and expact- ing you to come back, and thinking the red colored gintleman had carried you away entirely Howard impatiently interrupted him. " Have you seeni or heard anything of Elwood." "' No-o-o!" replied Tim, his answer rising and falling in a circumflex through a half-dozen notes of the scale. Thenl he ix lost!" W What" fairly shrieked the Irishman. Hle is lost in the woods." Howard had little heart to go over the experiences of the afternoon. Ile simply told his friend that he and Elwood had separated on their return, and he had been unable to find him again. What did you separate for" asked the listener. "Because I was a fool; but 0, Tim, there is no use of regrettin r what has been done. If Elwood is lost, I shall never leave this place." After a while Howard became more composed, and WA I7 TG A AD WA TCHZNG.C21. they conversed rationally uipon the best plan for thitici to follow. Tiim O'Iioolley was strenuous in his belief that Elwood halld wandered off aniong the hills, and finding it growing dark, had sought some secure shelter for the ilight. lie was sure that lie would give vigorous signs of his whereabouts as soon as day dawned. There was something in the daring nature of the boy that made it probable that Tim was right. Tempted out of his path by some singular or unexpected sight, lie had wandered away until he found it too dark to return, and so had made the best of the matter and cainped in some tree, or beneath the ledge of some pro- jecting rock. Such was the theory of Tim O'Rooney, and so in- geniously did lie enforce it that Howard could not avoid its plausibility. None knew better thanl he the imnputl- sive nature of the boy, and such an act upon his Jpart would be inl perfect keeping wvith similar exploits. There was but one thing that raised a doubt in the niin(d of Howard-and slight as was this, it was enough to give him sore uneasiness, and at times almost to de- stroy lope. At the time the boys separated, Elwood had shown a great anxiety to reach Tim, and proposed his plan in the belief that it would bring them together the more quickly. This made it seem improbable to Howard that lie would have allowed anything to divert him from his course unless his personal safety caused him to do so; but Tim said that if such were the case ther would have heard his guln. 213 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. "Do you s'pose lie's the boy to lit a wild animal or any of them red gintlemen step up to him without his tachin' thim manners- But lie's the youngster that wouldn't do the samue. You'd hear that gun of his cracking away as long as there was any lift for him to crack." "It may be as you think, Tim, but I believe it is worse. Suppose he is in the hands of some of these wandering bands of Indians." "S'pose he isn't." " We have done that; but let uis face the worst. If he has been taken away by them, what shall we do" "Hunt him ups." "That is true, but how that is to be done is the diffi- culty. If we only had Shasta with us." "Arrah, now, if ye'd had him ve'd've niver gone thramping off in the woods and having me alone here with the dog. The red gintleman knowed what was best for us, and do ye mind, he kept his eye UpOTI yez all the time." Howard had thought the same thing a score of times since noon, and there was no need of his being told how the Pah Utah would have acted had he remained with them. "I thinks Mr. Shasta isn't a great many miles off. P'rhaps," added Tim, significantly, "lie's kapin' watch upon us and will come to our help in our throuble." But the contingency, to Howard at least, was too re- mote for him to build any hopes upon it. It seemed 214 WAIT/ArW AN] WA TCGHING. more probable that the Indian's friendship had led him much further out of the way than they had suspected, and that he was now many a long mile off, speeding to- ward home. "He may find out that the youngster is wid 'en," added Tim, ' whinl he will hasten to his relaaf." " That seems the most likely." " There's but one thing agin it." "And what is that" But the Irishman was silent. The boy repeated his question. " It's bad-let it be.` But Howard insisted. "Wal, you know, they may-wal-put himl oumt the way." "0 Tim!" groaned Howard, "that cannot be, that cannot be!" " I hopes not, but there's no telling what these sar- pints may take into their heads to do. They're a bad set of craytures, always barring Mr. Shasta, and I'd've thought a good daal more of the same if he'd only staid a few days longer wid us." " He thought we had enough sense to take care of ourselves, after he had seen us through the most danger- ous part of our journey, otherwise he would have re- mained with us to the end. But, as I said a minute ago, it does no good for us to lament what cannot be helped. As soon as it is light we must go up among the hills with Terror and make a hunt for Elwood." " Yees spake the truth. The dog may be smarter 215 216 ADRIFT IX 7IlE WILDS. than we is, and I'm thinkin' it wouldn't have to be very smart to be in that same fix, and we'll sarch till we finds out something about him." " It is fortunate for poor Elwood that the night is so mild and pleasant." " Fort'nit for ourselves, be the same towken; for with- out our fire we'd be rather cool when we slept, and the cold would keep us awake all night."' " But we have the blanket with us, and that would protect us at any time, no matter how cold it might be." " Yis," assented Tim, with a great sigh. " If I only had me pipe under way I'd faal somewhat more com- fortable, barring the worriment I faals at the absence of the youngster. May God watch over him through the darkniss!" "Amen!" was the reverent response of Utwexrd. CHAPTER XXXIX. THE SEARCH. LL TIHROUGII the night Tim O'Rooney and Hlowvard Lawrence sat ill close consultation. Hunger and sleep were alike unthought of. Elwood Brandon was lost, and that was all of which they could think or speak. How they longed for the morning, and how impatient they were to be on the hunt! It seemed to Howard as if he could go leaping and flying down the chasms and gorges among the hills, and never tire until he had hunted out and brought back his cousin. Where could he be If nestling in the branches of a tree, or hid away among the rocks, was he asleep Or if awake, of what was be thinking Did he believe that howard was searching for him Or did he imagine him also lost It would not be reasonable to suppose that he had any suspicion of his finding Tim O'Rooney. If in the hands of California Indians- But it would be vain to trace out all the thoughts and specula- tions that ran through the head of the boy. Some of them were of the wildest and most grotesque character, and would assumn a ludicrous phase to one whose mind was not in such a whirl of excitement and distress. In the gloom of the wood the darkness was so intense that neither Tim nor Howard could distinguish each ADRIFT IAg' THE WILDS. other, though oiiy a few feet apart. The Newfound- land lay close to his master, seemingly sound asleep, but more heedful than the two of the approach of danger. Occasionally through the night the call of some wild animal was heard-sometimes distant and sometimes so near that they started to their feet and were about to enter their canoe and shove out into the stream; but when it came no more they were reassured. Then something like the report of a gun canie faintly up the river to their ears. These sounds only served to render the night more gloomy and lonely, and to make the daylight the more welcome. " Now let's be off," said Howard, as soon as it was light enough to distinguish each other's faces. "W e must find some means of remembering this place, or we'll never see the canoe agin, and will be obliged to sail into San Francisco on fut." The boat was drawn entirely out of the water and covered as much as possible with leaves and under- growth; for it was a loss that under any circumstances they could not sustain. The feat of marking the place so that they could readily return to it from any direc- tion was more difficult; but Howard finally hit upon quite an ingenious scheme. They waited until the sun had approached near enough to the horizon that they could tell precisely the point where it would appear, and then turning their hack.s against it they walked forward until they reached the hills where Elwood had disap- 918 THS SIARCH. peare(d. Here they noticed the character and forma- tion of the rocks so particularly that they could recog- nize them the moment they saw them. Thus the hills were such a conspicuous landmark as to be seen from a great distance; and(, as they did not intend to go out of their sight, all they had to do was to hunt till they found this spot, and then walk due east. All this was agreed upon, and they were among the hills just as the sun was coming up the horizon. Here, after whistling and shouting for sometime without re- ceiving any response, they concluded to search for the point where the boys separated. This was quite distant, and over an hour was required to find the place, and when it was discovered Howard could not be positive that he was right. But as time was of the greatest importance, they pressed on, the dog snuffing the ground as though he had scented the footprints, but he failed to follow them with certainty. Several hundred yards brought them to an opening in the hills just broad enough to admit the body of a man. It was not a tunnel-like opening, but a rent, as if the hills had been pulled a few feet asunder by the power of an earthquake. The two paused in doubt before this. "He went in there," said Tim. "He couldn't help it, no matter how great his hurry." " I am half disposed to believe you; at any rate let us follow it some ways." Terror was running over the ground, as though he had made a discovery, and he finally whisked forward out of sight. 219 ADRIFT LV T7H11E WJIDS. "That looks as if lie were -upon his trail." "Yis, or somebody ilse's; maybe some of the rid gen- tlemen has took his marnin' walk in this direction."' They followed the path with caution, and were sur- prised the further they advanced. It wound around and anmong the rocks, which came so close together as to forbid the passage of a man, and the sides never withdrawing more than a dozen feet. "It looks as though it had been made on purpose said Tim, gazing around hime in admiration. Finally, it was broken up among the hills, after wind- ing through every point of the compass for fully an eighth of a mile. It gradually rose from its commence- ment-occasionally interrupted by sharp ascents-until its termination, when they found they had reached no mean elevation. Still the rocks rose on every hand, and shut out their view of the surrounding country, but showed them a specimen of the wild scenery produced in California. The interior of the hills was cut up by chasms, gorges and ravines, and they heard, but did not see, the rush of a smafl stream of water. They stood in silence a few moments and then Howard said: "If he is lost in here there is no need of us looking for him." "'And why not" "We might search till we died of old age, and never find the least trace of him." "And might discover the poor youngster's body the first half-hour we spint in looking." 220 THE SEARCCH.2 This last remark caused Howard to start off at once, fully resolved not to oause again in the search until com- Pelled to do so. Terror was constantly comman(ied to hunt for the trail of the boy, and the dog app)eared to understand what was expected of him, for lhe was running constantly hither an(l thither, but never gave sign that he had found anything positive. This fact led Howard to doubt whether Elwood had precedled them in this place. If lhe had really been here, lhe must have passed directly over the spot. upon which they were standing, and it seemed hardly possible that the dog could miss the scent. So strong was lhe im- pressed with this that lhe proposed to Tim O'Rooney to turn back and resume their search outside the hills; but lhe was so sure that Elwood Brandon could never have passe(l unentered such an inviting opening that he -would not consent to withdraw until they examined further. Looking around they saw several patlhs by which they could enter the wild, desolate-looking scene before them. Of course, it was all a matter of chance whether they took thle one which hand been followed by their lost friend. Tim affirmied that the one that looked the most dangerous and uninviting was surely the right one; but Howard was hardly prepared to admit this. Select- ing the most accessible, they carefully followed it for over an hour. In and out among the rocks, sometimes over their tops, then between or around them, down through ravines, and then along their edges, "p the 221 ADRIFT IX FSE WILDS. stony, earthy sides of the gorges, until at length they halted as they believed in the very heart of this wild looking place. " Here we are!" said Howard. " I don't see how we can advance much further without going out to the other side." " It's the qua'rest sight I iver looked upon," said Tim, turning round and round, meaning the wild scenery. "But there is nothing learned of Elwood." "Niver a sign do I saa of the youngster," rejoined Tim. " I graive to think we cannot be near him." "We have gone on the wrong track." "I'm a feared so." "Too bad, too bad," wailed Howard, "what is to come of the poor fellow" " But we can't till," hastily added Tim, " do yees put your fingers in your mouth and give that jolly little whistle. " Howard Lawrence was in the very act of doing so when his arm was suddenly arrested by his companion, who, with an exclamation of surprise pointed to a ledge of rocks above them. 222 CHAPTER XL THE END OF THE SEARCH. BOUT a hundred and fifty feet above them, almost perpendicularly upward, stood an an- telope, its small neck outstretched, and its dark, beautiful eyes fixed upon them with a wondering expression. It was on the very edge of a projecting rock where one step more would bring it over. " It is jist the jintleman we wants," whispered Tim, fearful that he would alarm the timid animal. '- We've ate but once in twenty-four hours, and I've jist learned from me stomach that it would have no objection to breaking the same fast; so do yez jist kape still till I Pops him over." "Can you hit him" asked Howard, scarcely less excited than his companion. " Be aisy now till ye see the scientific manner 1 takes to doot." "Well, be -quick, for he is likely to vanish any moment. " Tim O'Rooney carefully sighted his rifle, took a quick, steady aim, and pulled the trigger. Howard, who was keenly watching the antelope, saw it spring up, and as it came down it missed the cliff and fell almost at their verv feet with a violence and crash which must have broken half the bones in its body. ADRIFT IV THE WILDS. " Arrah now, an' wasn't that done nicely" exclaimed Tim, in great exultation, as he ran up to the animal with his knife. "Are you going to dress it' "Yis; an' do yez gather what sticks all' stuff ye can, an' we'll have him cooked in a jiffy." Howard set about it, for he understood the wisdom of providing themselves with food in the l)rosecution of this hunt, which in all probability would employ them for some tin-te to come. "Now, I will give the signal," said he, when his work was completed. " If he is within hearing he will answer it." "Yis; do your bist, while I pays my respects to this gintleman, an' do ye do the listenin' while ye are about it, for I'm so taken up with this job that I haven't the time to attend to that aither." Howard strained his cheeks nearly to bursting, and completely exhausted himself in giving forth those ringing screeches which seem to come natural to all school-boys, and are made by uniting the ends of two fingers, inserting them between the lips, anid blowing with all the might. He listened-listened-listened-and theni repeated the signal with a desperate fierceness that left him no strength at all; but all in vain-the echoes died away among the rocks and hills, but no answer came back. " It's no use," remarked Tim O'Rooney, who despite what he had said was listening as earnestly as his young friend. 224 THE END OF TILE SEARC2. " The youngster don't hear us. We've got to make a hunt through this old place, and afore wve begins it we'll take something for the stomach's sake." The fire was kindled in the uSUal inarner, and the dinner was not unskillfully prepared by the Irishman. Tlhey ate all they could hold. The dog (lid the same. Tim lit his pipe, and then declared that he was ready for any duty that might be required of him. As they rose to their feet they were soieivwliat alarmed at the appearance of the sky. It was overspread with dark, threatening clouds, from which issued rtumbling peals of thunder and arrowy lines of liglitniing. They became darker and more tumultuous each moment, until semi-darkness shrouded them. "We are going to have a storm," remarked Howard. Yis; and a good-sized one, too." We shall have to find shelter for ourselves. If liuch rain falls, this gorge looks to me as if it will be filled with water." " Worrah, now, but yez are a smart child!" exclaimed Tim O'Rooney, looking admiringly at the boy. "Scarcely mesilf would have thought of the same, and what a credit, therefore, that it should have come into your own.' " I see nothing so wonderful about that. Almost any one would see the danger we are in if we remain here when there is much rain falling. It is just the place for a stream of water." "So it is-so it is; and yez can saa that there has wather been running over the stones upon which we are standing. " 225 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. The storm which was so near at hand admonished them to lose no time in seeking shelter. This was a matter of small difficulty, as in such a wild, rugged place there were any number of retreats. They clam- bered up the path and over the rocks until they reached a point higher yet than where the antelope had stood when pierced by the bullet that had tumbled him over the cliff. They had brought a goodly portion of his meat with themn, for there was no telling when they would dare fire a guni again. A gaping, overhanging ledge, which fortunately was turned from the direction of the storm,'was selected as their house, and here they an(d the dog nestled and waited for the storm to burst. A few large drops that cracked smartly upon the rocks and stones, was the herald of the coming deluge; and then, at the same mo- ment, with a terrific flash and report, came the rain in torrents. They stood and watched the storm as it raged, and when there was a momentary cessation Howard threw his blanket over his head and said: "I will run out to the edge of that rock and see whether there is any water in the place where wo took our dinner." " Be careful yez don't tumble over," admonished Tim, feeling it his duty to say something. " Never fear." Howard stepped hastily to fhe spot and looked care- fully over. A tiny stream was just beginning to run through the path they had occupied, which was increas- 220' TIHE END OP 7THE SEARCHI. ing each moment, and would speedily reach the propor- tions of a torrent. But, although he saw this. there was something which interested him still more, and that was a party of five In(lians attentively examining the remnaiTIs of the antelope, and the signs around it, as if they were seeking their explanation. They looked down to the ground, and two of them pointed precisely in the direction which Tim and Howvard had taken in leaving the place. The iain h)egan falling again miore copiously than ever, but llowar-d would not have heeded it had lie inct been shrouded in the wvater-proof blanket. Those In- Iians had found their camp-fire and were at that mo- iieit discussing the best method of eapturiug him and Tini; but the rain came down so furiously that they finally darted away to seek shelter, an(l Howard there- upon hurried back to his friend and told him all that he had seen. "That settles the matter." he added. " Elwood is in their hands, and if we aint careful we shall be with him, for they are searching for us." "But they can't find us-that they can't." "Why not" "This rain will wipe out our tracks as aisy as if yees had taken a cloth and done it yourself." "That is true." Howard was greatly relieved when he reflected that this was true, and that lie and Tim were in no danger of capture from being pursued. The storm lasted several hours, and when it was 27 228 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. finished they came cautiously forth and made their way stealthily back to where they had left the canoe. They had deliberated long and earnestly regarding Elwood Brandon, and neither of them had any doubt but what he was in the hands of Indians. They had little fear of his being put to death, but believed he would be held a prisoner until either rescued by Shasta, or a party could be sent from the nearest post to ransom him. They had concluded to make all haste homeward and adopt this method of rescue. And now, as they had given him up for a while, it is high time we took him in hand. CHAPTER XLT. A BOY LOST. HEN Elwood Brandon separated from How- ard L awrence on the afternoon of their ralm- ble in the woods, it was with the firm inten- tion of makingt all haste around the range of hills, anti there to unite with him in their hunt for TiM. But, like too many bovs, he suffered himself to be led from the sure path by the allurements of the false one. his example furnished a striking moral lesson, which he will doubtless remember to the day of his death. When we are following the course which conscience tells us is the true one, although it may be rough anti stony, and at times most difficult to keep, yet the knowl- edge of what awaits us at the end should be proof against temptations to turn aside. Woe to him who chi1es the voice of conscience and listens to that of the charmer! Elwood had gone some distance, and was walking very rapidly, when he came abruptly upon the opening in the rocks which has been mentioned ill another 1lace. " Ah' here is a shorter cut acrox," was his reflection ais he saw it, and not stopping to think further, he turned and walked rapidly through it. ' I will heat Howard," and he smiled at the thought. " What will ADRIFT ZN T1IL' WILDS. he think hvlien he gets around to see me waiting for him I knowl he will run so as to be there first." Thus hopeful, Elwood hurried forward, thinking only of the surprise he would give his cousin when they met again. As he found the path taking a most sinuous course, a dim idea came through his head that perhaps after all lie had not gained so much by " cutting across." Ile would have turned back as it was but for the rapidly increasing darkness and the belief that lie must speedily emerge from the eastern side of the hills. While walking through a narrow part of the path, lie was alarmed by the rattling of some dirt, stones and debris over his head, and before lie could retreat or ad- vance lie was stricken on the head by several pieces with such violence that he staggered and fell to the ground. Ile was not senseless, but somewhat stunned, and placed his hand oii his head to see whether it was cut. Finding no blood, lie arose to his feet and replied to the whistle of Howard, which had been ringing in his ears for the last ten minutes. Immediately after, lie was taken with a sickness at the stomach, the result, doubtless, of the mental shock re- ceived. Such was his faintness and nausea that he lay down upon the ground for relief. When a boy feels so sick-as shown also by older persons in seasickness-he generally becomes perfectly indifferent to everything else in the world. Elwood concluded that Howard might whistle as long as he chose, and he would reply when lie felt able. As for the gathering darkness, wild 231 /, A BOY LOST. animals and savages, what did he care for them Thev eould exist and get along without his taking any trouble to think about them. And so' he lay still until is sickness diminished and was gradually succeeded by drowsiness, which was not long in merging into slumber. Whoever yet remembered the moment he went to sleep Whoever lay still to gain a few moments of slumber without obtaining far more than lie expected, and regretting it when his intellect became sharp and clear It was near midni-ht whe! Elwood awoke, and all was blank darkness. lie called to Howard and Tim, and not until he had felt around with his hands, did he remember his situation. Tlien it all came to him. This is a pretty piece of business," lie thought, as he arose to his feet. " Poor Howard is half-frightened to death, and I suppose is still hunting for me. But I lon't hear himi. lie listened, but all was still. "It may be that lie has grown tired, but will hear tue if I call to iun." Whereuponl he whistled again and again, and shouted and listened and then repeated his signals, but there was no response. But for the intervening hills his cry would have reached the two watchers by the river shore, but with twice the penetrating power he still would have failed to reach them. W\ell, the best thing 1 can do is to wait here until raorning, and then I can niake my wav back again." 231 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. His sickness was gone, but he felt somewhat chilled from lying upon the ground with no extra covering, although the niight was quite moderate, if not really warm. The contact with the ground had made a por- tion of his body cold, and the sluggish circulation prompted him to exercise. -I hardly know whether to stay here or to go back to the woods and take refuge in a tree. Some animals may find me here, while I shall be safe if I am only twenty feet above ground." The vivid recollection of the wolverines gave him this fear and finally induced him to leave the place and seek shelter. But at the moment of starting he was confronted by an ;darming diffictlty. lie found it impossible to decide upon the proper course to follow, and could not tell with certainty which way led iii or out. This resulted from his having turned around several times in his effort to restore warmth and circulation on awaking from his sleep. Had lie not done this the position ill which lie lay during slumber would have told him the truth. "How strange i he reflected, vainly seeking to recover from his bewildermejit. " If I only had a little light I think I could tell, huit this is rather delicate business when I don't know whether I may go over the rocks or not. " lHe leaned against the wall of the path and thought. At last he believed lie knew which way to turn, and facing backward he began to l)ick his way out. This, we may say, was the right course, and had lie only per- Z2 A SOY LOS. severed in it would have brought him out of the hills into the woods, restored him to Tim and Howard a few hours later and saved him one of the most momentous experiences of his life. Ile had retreated but a few rods when he became sure he had ma(le a mistake and was going wrong. It seemed front his contact with the rocks and the curious wind- ings it made, that he had never passed over the ground, but was advancing further into the hills. " This will not do," he said aloud, as he paused. "I am astray and must change about." Ile did so at once, and believing, of a surety, that he was now upon the right path he walked much faster than was prudent. The truth was, the associations of the place were such as to make him in a hurry to get away from it. He knew he would feel relieved when he could get once more into the open air of the woods. A strange fear that the overhanging rock would fall or imprison him caused him to hasten still more. After walking some time further hie slackened his steps. " I must be pretty near the opening, judging by the distance I have come; and if such be the case-" Further words were checked, for at that instant Elwood stepped off the path and went down-dowul 28 CHIAPTER XLII. A DREARY -I GILT. LWOOD fell about twenty feet, striking the solid earth, withiout losing bis own p)erpendic- but la psii'i Ile was considerably pained., ut not seriously hurt. Ilis rifle had fallen from llis hand, and was not found again until daybreak, as not knowing where lhe stood, whethler UpOII the edge of some precipice or ravine, lie scarcely dared move a lilmb. All! if the night was so weary to the watchers by the river shore, it was much more so to him for whom thcv thus lay awake. Utter midnighlt blackness all around, the profound and impressive stillness made more pro- found and impressive by the trickling of some current near, the occasional glimpse of some tiny star twinkling among the dark, straggling clouds overhead; such was Elwood Brandon's situation and surroundings. His only resource was thought, an(l the direction which this took for a time was anytlbin g but a relief. He saw that he himself was to blame for the dcisaster of the day. It was he who proposed this ramble, and lie who insisted so strenuously upon separating from How- ard in the journey around the hills. And then his present situation resulted wholly from his own foolishi- ness to call it no milder ternm-in entering an unknown A DRA'AR YN IGH7. path with the simple hope of reaching a designated point a few minutes in advance of his friendl, whom he knew well enoucgh had carried out to the letter their agreement, and was waiting his coming. IIa(l Howard found Tim O'PRooney That was the next question. Or was lhe still lingerinig on the other side of the hills, waiting for the morning to renew his hunlt for himself before lie so;ought out his companion The latter seemed the most probable supposition to Elwood, and the odd whini took hini that his cousin was close at hand alld listeninmo for the familiar signal. So lie placed his fingers to his mouth and repeated the whistle which they had used so many times between them. Ile did this again and again, but there was no re- sPonse, amid lie finally concluded that it wvas rather a monotonous manner of passing the time and ceased, and again gave himself up to thought. If hie ever lived to see his fmieiids at home what an experience would be his to tell' The burning steamier, the hours spent i]n drifting ashore, tlme wanderings through the wilds of California, this adventure aniong the hills-suirely they were enough to last a life-time. Now and then a cold( draft of w ind swept by him, as though the temperature of time air w as changing. It was iii fact the premonition of the gathering storm to which we have referred in another place. Elwood had been in his constrained position a couple of hours when lie w as subjected to a terrible fright. Suiddenlv some dirt and stones commenced inoviing near 2,35 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. him and he felt it strike his feet. He was fearful that a landslide was about to take place, but did not dare attempt to get out of the way. Ile could only shrink closer against the rocks, pray to Heaven for protection, and await the issue. The pebbles rattled around him for a long time, and when they had nearly ceased he learned that the whole tumult was caused by some wild animal. This dissi- pated all fear of being engulfed by a landslide, but scarcely relieved him. It was simply a change of spe- cies in the danger. He could hear the footsteps of the animal as it walked back and forth. They sounded above his head, but h6 could not judge with certainty. Several times it gave a low growl, from which he was sure that it was danger- ous, and if it knew of his presence and could reach him would speedily end his reckless conduct forever. The animal was still for a while and the boy was in- dulging in the belief that it had gone, when he heard its footsteps so near that his hfair fairly rose with terror. He stooped down and felt around in the darkness for his gun, but it was not within reach. He caught a huge stone and held it in reserve for defense. Straining his eyes through the darkness, he fancied he could see a dark object above him; but it was only fancy, for to his excited imagination the most extraor- dinary phantoms were flitting before him-floating in the air, around and above him, like the wonderful vis- ions that visit us in delirium-until he closed his eyes to shut out the tormenting Iigures. 284 A DREA R Y NIGH T. 237 Perhaps, after all, the presence of the wild animal was the means of saving him, for it kept his mind down to the hard, pracetical fact that imnnlinent danger was close at hand, and all his thoughts were needed to meet it. Hle stood a long time grasping the stone and ex- pecting the assault; but the tumult finally ceased and all became still. When Elwood looked up again he saw that it wu growing light, and day was indeed breaking. CHAPTER XLIII. WANI)ERIN(GS. HE LI(G1T increased each moment, and El- wood Brandon soon saw the position ill which he was placed. Ile had walked along the path and fallen abruptly off, alighting on a projection that ran along the edge of the ravine. an(l was of sufficient width to only comifortably hold him. HIad he gone a yard forward lie woild have fallen over to another ledge, although this was not more than a dozen feet below. Indeed, his rifle had done this, and now lay on this broad band of earth and gravel, which here sloped so gradually down to the bottom of the ravine that it could be descended without difficulty. his first proceeding, after thanking Heaven for the protection of the night, was to let himself down to where his rifle lay. An examination proved it unin- jured, and with its possession came a feeling of confi- dence and safety such as he had not felt for a moment during the nours of darkness. " Now, if that wild creature, whatever it was, would like to introduce itself, I am prepared." And he looked around as if he expected its appear- ance; but it had left some time before. At Iirst he was at a loss to understand what it had chosen as its parade ground, but concluded it must have been the very path WANDERINGS. from which he had fallen, and where, had he remained, he could not have avoided falling into its power. Elwood could not see the possibility of extricating himself by the same way in whichl he had enterbd. In some places it was necessary to climb a score or two feet up the perpendicular side of the ravine; and as there was no means at hand for doing this, lie thought it best to press on down among the hills in the hope of discov- ering a new way of egress, or an easier access to the paths behind him. He wandered rather aimlessly forward, his path being over loose, rattling stones, constantly descending, until he reached the hard-packed earth, and judged himself to be in about the lowermost part of the valley. On every hand rose the ridges, rocks and peaks of the hills, until, as he looked up at the cloudy sky so far above him, he seemed but the merest pigmy. As he turned his head he caught sight of something a few rods ahead that puzzled him. For some time he could not make out its meaning, but finally he saw that it was a smouldering camp-fire, while around it were stretched five Indians-although at the moment he could not be positive as to their number-their blankets over them and they seemingly sound asleep. He concluded that the best thing he could do was to leave that immediate neighborhood as speedily as pos- sible. He looked hurriedly around for the best line of retreat. It was difficult to decide, and he was still de- bating with himself when, as he glanced at the terrify- ing forms, he fancied, or really saw, one of them mVve. 239 ADRIFT IA' TIE WILDS. Without further reflection he darted a rod or two back- ward and shrunk in behind a breach in the rocks. This was no hiding-place in case the Indians came along this path. lie could not conceal his body, as it was merely a niche such as wouldl have been made hoad this portion of the rocky wall been set back about a foot from tho rest. If the savages left the ravine by an- other direction there was no cause for fear, but if they came this way he had good reason to tremble. He had scarcely ensconced himself in this place of refuge when from the woods and rocks above hint came the clear, echoing whistle of Howard Lawrence. it startled him as if it were the whoop of the Indians so close at hand. Of course he dare not reply to it, for it could only precipitate his capture. But he trembled more for the safety of his friends than himself. They were advancing hurriedly in their search, without one suspicion of the enemies so near them. Had he dared to make a noise it would have have been one of warning for Tim and Howard to has- ten away ere it was too late; but even that small comfort was denied him. He peered cautiously out and saw that the Indians were awake, but curiously enough appeared to pay no heed to the whistling, which to the boy were uttered twenty times as often and as loud as there was any need. One of the savages was stirring the fire with a stick, while the others were looking stupidly on. Drawing back his head, Elwood looked up among the rocks in the direction of the signals for some sign of his 240 WANDERINGS. friends. He was startled into a suppressed exclamation by the sight of Tim OQ'ooney's hat and face passing along the path above him; but before he could catch his eye it was gone aind he saw it no more. The whistling sound now gradually retreated until it sounded quite far away, and Elwood began to feel more at ease, although not entirely so. lie wondered great.'Y that the suspicions of the Indians were not excited, adl(l that they did not hasten away at once to destroy his friends. The report of Tim O'Rooney's gun that slew the ante- lope sounded fearfully near, and sent a shiver of terror through the youngster crouching in his hiding-place. At the same time, as he looked stealthily out, lie saw that it had attracted the attention of the Indians. All five were standing on their feet, with their loose blankets hung over their shoulders, and gesticulating with their arms. The sound of their voices was plainly heard where he stood, and a thrill of hope ran through him as lie inm- agined that lie recognized in one of them a resemblance to that of Shasta, the Pahl Utah. At this point the boy observed the storm gathering overhead-the sullen booming of thunder, the black clouds sweeping tumultuously across the sky, the viv-id spears of lightning darting in and out among them. A cool wind whistled through the gorge overhead, and dust and leaves came whirling in the air and settled all around him. The boy looked above, and saw that when the storm did burst it was sure to spend its full fury UpOnI his 241 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. head. Not the least particle of shelter covered him, and he had to expect a full drenching; but this he was will- ing to bear, if it would only tend to keep the attention of the Indians diverted. It seemed to him very prob- able, as he stood between them and his own friends, that in following up the suspicious report of the rifle they would pass directly by him, in which case he had about one chance out of a thousand of remaining unseen by them. Elwood did not dare to look out, so fearful was he of being seen. Ile believed that the heads of the savages were turned toward him, in which case the risk was too great. HIe therefore, unheedful of the large drops that were beginning to patter around him, stood and listened. Hark! He hears their tread! His heart throbs faster than ever, as he knows they are coming toward him. Closer and closer he shrinks to the rock, as if to bury himself in its flinty surface. All at once, an Indian, too tall and muscular to be Shasta, steps to view and passes beyond him without turning his head; the second is about the right height, but the one furtive glance stole at him shows that he is a stranger; so as regards the third; the fourth is too short, he passes on in the procession. The fifth and last Elwood at first believed to be Shasta, but a second look showed him his mistake. Had he held any doubts they were removed by the Indian abruptly pausing, turning his face full toward him, and uttering the "hoogh!" of surprise, as he saw the boy cowering against the rocks. 242 CHAPTER XLIV. A 01) ACQUAINTANCE. HE INSTANT the hindmost Indian uttered his exclamation of surprise, the others paused, and thus, before Elwood Brandon fully real- ized his danger, he found himself confronted by the whole force. Resistance or flight was not to be thought of, so he merely stood still and tremblingly awaited their will regarding him. They were plainly surprised at finding a boy pressing against the rocks with an appearance of the greatest ter- ror, and they gazed at him a moment as if uncertain what to do about it. However, they didn't seem to be particularly savage or bloodthirsty, nor frightened, as they kept their guns in their hands and their knives in their belts. He who stood nearest to Elwood reached out his brawny arm, grasped him firmly and drew him out from his hiding-place. All then scrutinized him as if to make sure whether he was some wild animal or human being. Satisfied on this point, the boy was then shoved forward so as to be between the savages, and as they stepped off he was motioned to do the same. Elwood understood that he was a prisoner, and he philosophic- ally submitted to his fate. As yet they had not disturbed his weapons; but he ADRIFT IN THIF WILDS. had gone a short distance only when the Indian directly behind him placed his hand upon the muzzle of the gun which was protruding over the youngster's shoulder and began drawing it. The latter disliked very much to part with the rifle, and held it as tightly as possible; but as the savage only drew it the more powerfully, he finally let go and it instantly went froi Ilsl possession. Elwood could not forbear looking around at the one who had thus deprived lim of his property. As ho gazed into his face he was at a loss to understand the expression. The Indian fixed hlls black eyes upon him, but his lips were closed and not a feature moved or twitched. 'lhe boy could not withstand the fierceness of those orbs anld was glad to turn his head agaill. They walked quite rapidly up the path, making a turn that gave them a very steelp ascent. The thunder was lboominlg louder than ever, and the rain by this time was falling furiously. The party hurried forward until they reached the camp which Tim O'Rooney and Howard had so recentily deserted. here Elwood took the liberty of protecting himself by backing against the overhanginlg rock. Flihis wvas precisely the position whichl he occupied wlhen Howard Lawrence gazed over and missed seeing him by such a narrow chance. When the descent of the rain became so copious as to scatter the savages, two of them ran up beside Elwood and imitated Ills action in protecting himself from the descending deluge. This was only a partial success, yet much preferable to standing in the open air and reeiv ing the full pelting of the storm, 244 AN ILD ACQUAINTANCE. It will be remembered that Howard Lawrence waitedl until he saw the Indians hurry away for shelter, when he returned to Tim O'Rooney and the two effected a safe retreat from the dangerous locality. They saw nothing more of the savages, and their conjecture that Elwood was a lprisonler among them was merely a con- jecture, although absolutely correct. The tinv stream running so quietly at the feet of the two aboriginal Americans and Elwood B3randon increased so rapidly that it was evident it would speedily become a torrent that would sweep them off their feet, and that the only safety was to effect as speedy an escape as pos- sible. Taking him between them, they started directly up the path in the direction of their companions. The falling rain and splashing water almost blinded Elwoo4, but he pressed bravely forward until conscious that they were beneath some kind of covering, and looking around, saw that they stood in a sort of cave, and where they had rejoined the three Indians who had fled some time before. The shelter proved a secure one, although it was reached rather late to be of miuch. benefit to Elwood, who was thoroughly wetted to the skin. He was, how- ever, rather pleased at the lenient disposition shown by his captors. They had not offered him the least vio- lence, rudeness or insult, and appeared to maintain a very indifferent watch over him. Ile did not believe they intended him any bodily harm, although he trem- bled at the consequences when they joined another party or should reach their OwD homes. They probably 245 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. intended to hold him a prisoner so long as he was no par- ticular trouble to them; but their leniency was more the result of indifference than of genuine kindness-and indifference that would as soon witness death as life, and that would not stretch out the hand to avert the im- pending doom. The storm raged with unabated fury for several hours, and the tiny stream, whose murmur could scarcely be heard as it coursed its way through the hills, was now swelled to the dimensions of a torrent, and roared through its course with a clamor almost deafening. A vast amount of water had fallen within the few hours, and it would have been very perilous had any of the party remained where the fire that cooked the antelope was kindled. A yellow stream some six feet in depth rushed furiously through the narrow passage, like some river when com- pressed into its narrow canyon. The Indians stood as motionless as the rocks them- selves until the storm was over. Each had his blanket slung over his shoulder, extending down to his knees, and effectually protecting their bodies from the rain which had so thoroughly soaked poor Elwood. None of them sported the defiant scalp-locks so common among the more northern Indians; but their long, black, stiff hair, resembling precisely that of a horse's mane, dan- gled around their shoulders, neck and ears and over their breasts. Mixed in among the hair on the crown were a number of painted feathers, which, having had a touch of rain, drooped down like those of an humbled chanticleer that has been rescued from the river by some .246 AN OLD ACQUAINT7ANCE. kind hand. Their faces being daubed over with green, yellow and red, mixed and mingled with a sublime dis- regard of proportion, gave their features a peculiarly unnatural appearance, such as we see when we survey our particular friends through differently and highly colored pieces of glass. They were fine specimens of the "noble red man" that are occasionally met with now-a-days; but they are of that species of sights of which it may be said "distance lends enchantment to the view." However, they were happy, for as yet they had not come in contact with civilization, and had had no taste for the white man's "fire-water," that scourge of the aboriginal race, and which seems destined finally to sweep them from the continent. Elwood occupied himself in looking from one of these Indians to the other, and speculating regarding their thoughts and opinions about himself, of whose presence they seemed so unconscious. Indeed, they scarcely looked at him except whenl he sneezed, and then their heads shot round as suddenly as if they were moved by machinery and tile spasm had let onl the steam. Finally, when the falling of the rain ceased, two of the Indians went out to look for the remainder of their prisoner's party, which they knew, if not already there, lhad been so recently amiong the hills. The vast rush of water, of course, had obliterated all signs where they had made any, and they could only hope to find them by discoveriing the trail made since the storm, or by the sight of themselves. Not a word did the savages exchange with each other. 24. 2ADRIFT TV THE WILDS. They appeared to understand what each thought, and what duty was required of them, which duty for the present resembled that of watching and waiting. As the day wore away the boy began to feel chilly and hulngry. His wet clothes were anything but comforta- ble, and his hollow stomach was a poor protection against the sinking feeling. As his captors showed no disposi- tion to leave the place, or even to change their statue- like positions, he began to grow anxious. Ile feared an attack of sickness if his wants were not supplied; and after debating with himself a few moments, he walked up to the tallest Indian and motioned that he needed something to eat. The reply was startling and decisive. The dusky rascal surveyed hinm sharply a moment, and then drew his knife and raised it in a menacing manner over his head. And thereupon Elwood retreated to his position, and concluded lie wasn't quite as hungry as he first im- agined. It is hard to tell what this singular captivity of Elwood lBrandon's would have eventuated in had not an unex- 'pected diversion occurred in his favor. Just as it was getting dark, the two Indians who hall gone out at the close of the storm returned. They had a companion with them, and we leave our readers to imagine what the booss feelings were when he recognized in the third his old friend Shasta, the Pahi Utah. 248 CHAPTER XLV. A FR IEN 1) IN NEEE). tIEN THE Pali Utah entered the cave he did not appear to notice Elwood Brandon. The latter attributed this to the semi-darkness in which he stood, and was about to go forward and claim his friendship when something restrained him, and he concluded to wait until the Indian first recognized him. Shasta exchanged a few words with his friends, and immediately several of them went out in the darkness. When they returned, which was very speedily, theyeach bore a goodly bundle of sticks and kindlings. In what part of the wide creation they obtained them, directly after such a deluge of rain, it is impossible to tell, but American Indians have a peculiar faculty of doing such odd things. A few minutes later a blaze sprung out from the center of the bundle placed in the middle of the cave, and when Etwood looked downward toward it, lie saw that Shasta was kneeling before the pile engaged in igniting it. As the flame flared out and illuminated the cave, the Pah Utah looked up and met the eyes of Elwood. For an instant his black eyes were fixed upon him, and then he placed his finger to his lips and looked down again. The boy understood it all. lie didn't know anything of the Pah UDah. ADRIF7T IN TilE WILDS. The fire burned vigorously and soon diffused a genial warmth throughout the cave. It was most grateful in- deed to Elwood, who approached and subjected himself to a toasting process. The savages offered no objections and he soon managed to secure a pleasant warmth, and partially to dry his damp clothes. le could not prevent himself from continually glanc- inu at Shasta, but he never once caught his eye, and understanding the Indian's wishes, lie compensated for this ixnpertin'ence by staring twice as long at the other hideous visa-es. After all the great want of Elwood was food. Hle had fasted for thirty hours, and was faint and feeble. A month before such severe abstinence would have left him unable to stand; but the severe deprivation afid hardship of the last week, united with its firm, buoyant constittu- tion, and his freedom from the degrading use of tobacco, had developed a strength and endurance remarkable in one so oumng. Ile felt that lie could wait until the next day without a mouthful, and still be able to travel; but the fainting, craving, hollow feeling rendered him un- comfortable and caused more than one longing look around the cavern and in the faces of his dusky-hued friends; but if the In(lians understood his suffering they certainly did not eare enough about them to give theni heed. His hope was in the Pali Utah, but his situation was such as to deprive him of the expression of this hope. Shasta had given him to understand in an unmistakable manner that for the present they were to remain 250 A FRIEND IN NEED. strangers; and no matter what his distress might be, he dare not disregard this command. Yet Elwood Brandon believed, if the Indian under- stood his case, he would find some means to relieve him, slight though it was. Finally he decided upon his course of action. Walking up to the tall Indian, who had received his previous request in such a threatening manner, and halting when at a safe distance, he motioned to him for something to place in his mouth. The unfeeling fellow scrutinized the boy a moment, and then coolly turned his back upon him, and acted as though the supplication had not been made. He was equally unsuccessful with the others, and the refusal of Shasta was made in a most emphatic manner. Glaring at the boy like an enraged tiger, he brandished his knife and sprung toward him with such a curdling yell that the youngster sprung trembling back to the furtherest verge of the cavern, and the eyes of the other Indians were all turned toward the expected tragedy. But Elwood wasn't frightened-not a bit; he understood what it all meant. The performance was followed by a conversation be- tween Shasta and the tall Indian, who doubtless be- longed to the Pahi Utah nation or some tribe friendly with them. It's precise import Elwood found impos- sible to determine, but he could not avoid a feeling of uneasiness when he saw by unmistakable signs that it referred to himself. It looked very much as though Shasta was urging '.,1 ADRIFT IX THE WILDS. immediate disposal of the prisoner, and his friend was strenuously maintaining a different action. The Pali Utah showed great excitement, very often turning and gesticulating toward Elwood, and once or twice he took a step or two in that direction, as if he had resolved on a certain and speedy death for him. Finally, he appeared to yield the point, and turned his back upon his disputant and walked to the fire. As he did so his face was revealed alone to Elwood Brandon, and looking toward him, the bov again saw Lirn place his finger to his lips and give that warning expression, which said as plainly as words, " Don't be frightened; all things are working right"' This was certainly gratifying, but our voting friend was already satisfied upon this point, and would have much preferred a more substantial mark of friendship in the shape of something to supply the craving within. But on the very eve of despair he was delighted to see a couple of Indians whose absence he hadl noted for the last half-hour-return heavily laden with fish. These were immediately taken in charge by Shasta, and the savor of them as they were cooking drove the famishing boy almost frantic. While he sat with longing eyes, watching the motions of the cook, one of the fat, roasted fellows suddenly shot from his hand and fell into the lap of the boy. The Pah Utah did not raise his head, and the act looked as if it were a voluntary one upon the part of the fish to escape the hands of its tormentors-so dexterously was the whole thing done. 252 A FRIEND [N NEED. Elwood did not stop to thank his considerate friend, but devoured the food precisely in the fashion that a boy attacks a pile of gingerbread which he has been expecting and longing for during a half-day. When he had finished the fish, another in just as prime condition dropped into his lap, apparently from the top of the cave above. This satisfied his hunger, and he arose to his feet, casting his eyes toward Shasta, and testifying by his looks the gratitude which he dare not express audibly. He remained in the rear of the cavern, patiently wait- ing the pleasure of the Pah Utah regarding himself. The Indians completed their meal, and then ex- changed a few words, when they prepared to leave. El- wood watched them with interest, and when the tall fellow motioned for him to come forward, he did so with alacrity, and took his place in the rear of the line which was formed. Glancing back as they were about to start, he saw by the light of the fire that the one immediately behind him was Shasta. The night wvas utterly dark-above, below and all around. The hand of the Pah Utah was placed upon his shoulder, as if to guide him aright, and the march began. Of course it was impossible for Elwood to tell where he was going, but he followed blindly the direction of him behind for a hundred yards, when he knew by the brushing of his hands against the sides that they were passing through a narrow passage. All at once he felt himself seized by an iron grip from behind, lifted from 253 254 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. his feet and tossed into the air. He did not fall back ill the path they were traversing, but lit lightly upon a ledge, where he concluded to remain until he heard further from the gentleman who had elevated him to that position. CHAPTER XLVI. WHAT SHASTA DID. HE NIGHT was still, and the regular tramp of the Jtidians sounded like the march of a file of soldiers, as they passe(l over the grass- covered earth. Elwood listened, hardly daring to breathe, as the tread grew fainter, fainter, fainter still, then died out; then was revived by a sigh of the night air, and all was still. The boy raised his eyes and looked upward. Through the dark clouds drifting tumultuously across the sky he detected the glimmer of a star or two, and in that mo- ment of deep solemnity a passage of the Holy Bible came to him. " They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. " Hungry and thirsty, their souls fainted in them. " When thev cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distress." It came from his heart, and he repeated it over again. How beautiful! How appropriate to the situation! The tears welled to his eyes, and his heart overflowed at the repeated remembrance of the all-merciful Father, whose eye alone saw him and whose ear alone heard the thankfulness that would find expression. ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. He fell into a sweet reverie, from which he was awak- ened by a slight noise below. He leaned his head over the ledge and listened. All at once he heard a soft rush, and the next moment an Indian was holding on to the edge of the tabular-like projection with one band, while his other was outstretched and placed upon its body. "Is that you, Shasta" "Oogh! Sh-e-asta!" "All right! I am waiting for you." The hand closed upon his right arm; he was lifted bodily as if he were an infant, and held in mid-air; and the next instant the Pah Utah dropped lightly to the earth, and the two stood upon their feet. The Indian11 uttereq an exclamation which seemed to be one of iii- quiry, and the boy made answer in this manner: -I am ready for anything, Shasta; lead the waN. Instead of allowing him to walk, as Elwood confi- dently expected, the Palh Utah flung himn over his shoulder and then started on a long, loping trot up the path. His extraordinary agility and mutscular power made the weight he carried of the sanme effect as if it were his rifle he was thus transporting. This rapid progress continued but a few minutes, when he sunk into a walk-one of long strides, such as would have compelled the boy to a moderate run to equal. He could tell that he was going up quite an ascent, but toward what point it was impossible to tell. Occasionally his hand or his foot struck the projecting rncks, and the rugh of the wind now and then against 256 WHA T SHfA STA DID. his face told when they were passing through the more open space. Wonderful indeed was the skill of the Pah Utah, that in the dense darkness showed hirn just where and just the outlay of strength that would land his young white friend upon the shelf of safety. Equally extraordinary- was the woodcraft that brought him back to the precise spot, and enabled him to thread his way through thae impenetrable gloom with the surety of the mountain chamois, which bounds over the fastnesses of the Alps at inidday. Elwood was quiescent, for he knew whose hand held hini upon those brawny shoulders, and he felt that the moccasined foot which touched the earth so lightly was too sure to miss its hold, and the heart throbbing within that dusky bosom pulsated too powerfully with the com- mon humanity of our nature ever to falter or hesitate in its work of love. This singular means of progress was continued for the better part of an hour, when the Indian paused and placed him gently on his feet. The sky, which had partially cleared, enabled him to see that they had emerged fr oIm the ridge of hills whose entrance had been so eventful to himi, and they now stood in the open woods. Elwood Brandon admitted to himself that the work of Shasta was now finished, and he fully expected to be left alone in the forest to seek his way back to his friends; but if he thought so the Pah Utah certainty did not. 27 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. Even in that moment the boy could not fail to notice that the Indian's breathing could not be heard. Not the slightest panting nor exhaustion from the tremen- dous exertion undergone! Shasta waited but a moment, and then griping El- wood by the wrist he began threading his way through the forest. As he did so, instead of allowing the youngster to walk by his side, he held his arm back- ward, so that to all intents and purposes the boy was following behind him, and yet at such an angle that their feet did not interfere with each other. Not once did either the Pah Utah or his dependent strike a tree. Often did they graze the back, and brush through the limbs and undergrowth, but the uplifted arm of the Indian parted asunder the obstructions, and opened the way, as does the snow plow of the locomo- tive to the engine that drives it forward and the train coming behind. Whether the marvelous vision of the Pah Utah pene- trated the Egyptian darkness or not, cannot be said. The veteran backwoodsman, as he strides through the midnight forest, seems to feel the presence of each tree- trunk as he approaches it, just as the fingers of pianists strike the piano keys with such bewildering certainty, without their once looking at them. Onward they Lressed, Elwood only now and then able to catch a glimpse of his faithful guide, who never vouchsafed a word or exclamation for his benefit. There was no need of it. Both fully understood each other, and the boy did not attempt to divert the attention 258 WHA T SHA S TA DID. which was so needed, at the present time, for the work before him. Finally Shasta seemed to hesitate-not the hesitation of doubt and uncertainty, but as if he had neared if not reached his destination, and had slackened his pace that he might not pass the exact point. Ile was not long in finding the proper spot, and El- wood could see that he was stooping down and busy at something. While lie was closely scrutinizing him, lhe suddenly became aware that they stood beside the river, and the Palh Utah was engaged with his canoe. It oc- cupied him but a moment, when he turned around, lifted the boy over and laid him do(wn upon the blanket which was spread over the bottom of the boat, the remainder was folded carefully around his body, and then the Indian stood back, as if to command his yotung friend to go to sleep without any delay or questioning. The boy had lain but a short time when he found the blanket so intolerably warm that he threw a por- tion from him. It was instantly and rather roughly replaced-evidence that Shasta meant that his wishes should be obeyed. At any rate the boy thought so, and dared not repeat the act. The great warmth of the blanket caused Elwood to break out into a copious perspiration from head to foot, and caused him almost to gasp for breath; but when he seemed only to meditate on relieving himself of the superabundant clothing, the dusky watcher leaned for- ward to see whether lie dared violate his implied com- mands. It looked very much as though the Pah Utah was acting as a physician to his youthful friend. 259 CHAPTER XLVII. STILL WAITING. IM O'ROONEY and Howard Lawrence, after making their way ont of the range of hills to the river-side, where their canoe lay, waited until dark, in accordance with their agreement, before venturing out upon the river. They were quite uneasy, and to prevent their trail revealing them they dropped a few hundred yards down the shore, where they awaited the coming of darkness. " Worrah! worrah!" said Tim with an immnenlse sigh, this is a bad day when we came to leave the youngster with the rid gintleman. A fine youngster was the same -bowld and presumin'. It's a qua'ar failin', Masther Howard, that comes to me." Yes, I am sad enough, too." 'Ah! but it is not exactly that be the towken of an- other faaling intirely." " What is it then"' "Whin it's yourself that is lost and awandtherin' off by yourself all alone, and nobody with yees, then I thinks it's vees that I loves more nor him that stays with me. But now, whin it's Elwood-God bless him'- that's gone, he's dearer to me than all the rest of the world, not exceptin' yourself. But," and Tim scratched STILL WAITING. his head in great perplexity, " it's the same that puzzles me sorely. Could yees be afther accounting for it" "Elwood and I both know that you think a great deal of us, and no doubt it is because your affection i; so equally divided." "Thats it. Yees have made it all plain. I likes each of yees more than the other. and both of yees a great (eal the most, whither be the towken of takin' yees apart or together, or takin' both of yees separate, an(d also wid each other." Tim nodded his head again and again, as if to signify that it was clear to his mind. Perhaps it was; but if so, one may doubt whether it was as clearly expressed. "There's another thing that troubles me," added the Irishman, with one of those great inhalations of breath which seem to fill the entire being. What is that" Me pipe has gone otut, and I hasn't the maans coit- vanient to relight it." "That is a small infliction which you can well afford to bear. I am only anxious for the night, that we mav speed on our way home to get assistance for poor El- wood. " " Yis, if it's bist." And just in that exclamation Tim O'Rooney echoed the sentiments of his companion. Ever since leaving the range of hills, with the resolve to hurry away in search of help, the question had been constantly risingcy in his mind: "Is it best to do so- He tried to put it out of hearing, Nith the deterniiiia- 2 6 I ADRIFT LX Tilt WILDS. tion that he had already decided; but, as if it were the Ileadings of conscience, it would not be stifled, and it Lame again and again, until when Tim spoke it seemed ilniost as loud as his. " I can't make up my mind about that," said he. When we left the hills I had not a moment's doubt but that he was in the hands of the Indians, where there was great danger of our getting ourselves; but then we are not sure of it, and suppose we go away and leave hint wandering through the w oods until he is captured or is obliged to give himself up to keep from starving. I imagine him following along the shore of the river look- ing for us "o There! there! do yez shtop! No more for me; I've plenty," and the Irishman drew his sleeve across his eyes, as if lie were wiping an undue accumulation of moisture, while Howard Brandon was scarcely less affected at the touching picture which he had drawn, and which he felt might be realized from his own remissness. " I am sure I cannot tell which is for the best," he added in great perplexity. "If a prisoner, he may be able to get away." "Yis, yees are right; some dark night lie can give the owld haythen the slip, and make thracks for the river." " And who knows but he has been able to elude them, and is only waiting until dark to hunt us up" " Yez are right agin; I was about to obsarve the same myself. " 262 STILL WAITING. There was one view of the case, which if it did occa- sionally force itself upon the attention of Howard, he resolutely refused to utter a reference to it. It was that Elwood had been killed accidentally, or by the savages. That was too terrible a contingen(:y to take definite shape until there was no escaping it, and as all of us know better we won't refer to it again. " Then he may be in the power of these wandering Indians that took such an interest in the antelope we left lying down among the rocks." " Yis; yez are correct sure. i' " How is it, Tim, that y ou agree with every supposi- tion I make, no matter how different they are from each other" " Wal, you saa me mind is a little foggy, be the towken that I hasn't had the pipe atween ne lips since yesterday. When I'm deprived of that pleasure I finds meself unable to reason clearly." " That is the first time I have heard that smoke makes a thing clearer." " Ah! that's the trouble," added Tim, with a despond- in-g shake of his head. ' If this bad state of things con- tinvees fur a few days longer, yees'll have to laad me around wvid a string, or else taacb Terror to do the samie, as v ez have suan a poor blind man and his dog do." You draw rather a woeful picture of yourself. But I suppose you can hold out for a few hours longer, and when it becomes dark, we can make a fire, light your pii)e and get far away from it before any of the Indians could reach the spot." '2i3 ADRIFT IN THA7 WILDS. " I think yez are right, but me intellect is working so faably this afternoon, that I faars to tax it too hard lest it topples over and gits upsit intirely. Yis, yez are right.." " Somehow or other I think Shasta is in this neigh- borhood -" " So does meself," interrupted Tim, in his anxiety to give assent. "If he is, he will not forget the kindness of Elwood "Never!" "And whether we wait here or not he will attend to his safety all the same." "That he will-you mav depend on it." "Then shall we wait here or hurry down the river for help" " Both, or aither as yez plaise." "But, Tim, we must do one or the other." " Let us slaap and draam over it." This struck Howard as a good suggestion, as they both needed slumber sorely, and adjusting themselves in the canoe, with the Newfoundland as ever maintaining guard, they were quickly wrapped ill deep slumber. When they awoke it was broad day, and the whinling of the dog told thenm at once that he had detected some- thing suspiciou 264 CHAPTER XLVIII. THE MEETING. IM O'ROONEY and Howard Lawrence, awake ing at the same moment, observed the alarm- in, action of the dog. Raising their heads they looked carefully around but could detect nothing unusual. They were so securely drawn under the over- hanging shrubbery and undergrowth that they were pretty certain no one else was aware of their presence; but the gaze of the dog being turned toward the river they judged that something must be nearing them from that direction. Nor were they mistaken. A slight ripple was heard, and the next moment a canoe glided to view. In the center, controlling its movements, sat Shasta, the Pah Utah, and directly behind was Elwood Brandoii. Howard could scarcely believe his eyes. He stared again and again, while Tim rubbed his organs of vision, winked and blinked, as though vainly seeking to recover from the bewilderment of a sudden awaking from sleep. Finally he muttered to himself: " Heaven save me! me intellect has toppled over intirely by raison of the want of me pipe." "Elwood! Elwood!" called Howard, leaning forward and pulling the bushes apart. But secure as they deemed their concealment, the 2ADRIFT IN TIRE WILDS. eagle eyes of the Pah Utah had penetrated it, whiio they were yet several rods apart, and abruptly turning the prow of his canoe to one side, he brought it to rest directly opposite and within two feet of the other boat. Elwood heard his name and saw his friends the next instant. Reaching forward, he grasped the hands of his cousin and the tears trickled down their smiling faces, while Tim continued rubbing his eyes. " Am I draaming as me uncle said when they towid him his grandfather had died and willed him two pounds and a half, or does I raaly see before me the youngster that the rid gintlemin had burned up Let me faal the baal of yer hand." The two closed hands, and the joy of both was un- bounded. Shasta, at this point, showed a delicacy of feeling that did his heart credit. Joining the canoes together in the old-fashioned manner, he motioned El- wood to enter that of his friends, while he gave his ex- clusive attention to that of propelling the two. Of course, now that the three were reunited, they overran each other with questions, exclamations and the interchange of experiences since they had separated. It did not require much time for the voluble tongue of Elwood to rattle off his brief stay with the Indfans and the remarkable manner in which Shasta had secured his escape. Howard had but little to tell, and that was soon given, and they were laft to speculate and con- jecture on the future. Tim's joy drowned his craveing for his tobacco, and as lie joined in the glowing conversation of the boys he made no reference to it. 286 THA MEE TING. " I think for the prisent," he remarked, " we won't take any hunts upon shore, especially if aich of us has to go alone. The red gintlemen, for some raisin at all, or more likely without any raisin, have taken a great anxiety to make our acquaintance. As fur meself, I prefers to live upon fish to having these same fellows faading upon me." "Yes,"' replied Elwood, I have learned something during the last few days. It is all well enough to be reckless and careless about danger when we are at home and there is no danger, but it is another thing when we are in these parts." "'As the Frenchman remarked, 'tiger hunting is very fine so long as we hunt the tiger, but when he takes it into his head to hunt us the mischief is to pay." "If Shasta will have the onspakable kindness to tow us along in this shtyle for a few waaks, I think we will cast anchor at the wharf in San Francisco without any loss to passingers and freight." " He has seen what ninnies we were," said Elwood, and no doubt will accompany us some distance further wh-lien he certainly ought to let us try it alone again." Ah! but he's a smart young gintleman, as the atc(juaintances of Tim O'Rooney used to say when they inade the slightest reference to him. Couldn't we per- s.uade him to go on to San Francisco wid us I think vour father would be plaised to take him in as a partner in their business wid them." "But he would hardly fancy the change," laughed Howard. 267 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. " He might now. When we should state the sarvices se has rindered to us, it's nieself that doesnt think they'd require him to put inl a N ery large pile of Xapital." I amI sure if lhe should prove as keen and Sharp) in lousiness matters as he does in the way of the woodls, lie wvould make one of the most successful meicliaits iHi the counGry." "It's a pity that he doesn't understand the illegant use of the tongue, that we might confaar wvid him. W\e could lay the proposition forninst him, and he could gives us the tarms to carrv wid us." However philanthropic this might be as regarded the Pah Utah, our friends deemed it hardly feasible to make the attempt to reach his views through the medium of signs. As for Shasta, he did not once look backward to ob- serve what his passengers were doing. He was propel- ling his boat through the water with his usual celerity, his head occasionally turning slightly as he glanced first at one shore and then the other, as though looli-Mg, for some sign or landmark. The day that succeeded the storm wts beautiful anid clear, everything in nature wearing a fresh and roSy look, as if refreshed by the needed shower. The cur- rent of the Salinas was as clear and crystal-like as though it had not received the muddy contents of a thousand brooks, rivulets and torrents gorged with the debris and leaves of its own valley. " I am troubled by one sore anxiety." "What can that be " 268 THE MEE TING. " It is for Mr. Shasta. He seems quite forgetful this morning." " In what respect" asked Elwood, who did not see the drift of the Irishman's remarks. "He hasn't had his breakfast, and he must be faaling a wee bit hungry, and be the same token, he must be the victim of great distress, that he hasn't indulged in the use of his pipe."' As Tim O Roonev had made similar remarks on more than one previous occasion, it may be that the Pali Utah gathered an inkling of his meaning, for the words were scarce uttered when the canoes were headed to- ward shore, and a landing speedily made. A piscatorial meal was provided after the nmanner already ftlly giveo, and when finished the soothing pipe of Tihn OSooner was produced and enjoyed to its full extent. Bult Shasta showed no disposition to wait, or to indulge in the solace of the weed. Motioning to his friends to enter the boat, he towed them to the center of the river, where he loosed the fastenings, and without a word or sign he headed his canoe up stream and sped away. " He is going home," said Howard. " He must imagine that we are owld enough to walk alone," remarked Tim as he took the paddle. "But whv not bid us good-by" asked Elwood. "As he has already done so," replied Howard, " he doubtless does not believe in adding a postscript." 269 CHAPTER XLIX. HOMEWVARTD BOUND. OWV THAT our friends were left entirely alone, it became a question whether they should continue journevitig by day or night. It seems to me that we are approaching a more civilized part of the country," sai(l Howard. I think there will be little risk in continuing our journey." Tim industriously used his paddle, and shortly after- ward, Elwood pointed to an open space some distance inland. 'Yonder are people, and they look as if they were gathered around a camp-fire at their dinner." Tim jerked his head around, gave a puff of his pipe and said: "Rid gintlemen ag'in, and I'll shy the canoe under the bank, and craap along till we gets beyonst thim." No, they are not Indians-they are white men," quickly added Elwood. A careful scrutinv bv all ended in a confirmation of Elwood's suspicion. " That is good," saidl Howard, with a pleased expres- sion, "it shows that we are getting beyond the wild country into a neiglhborhood where white men abound, and where we can feel some degree of safety." " I suppose they are miners or hunters who are taking HOME WA RD BO UATD. their midday meal in the open air," added Elwood, who was still gazing at them. " Shall we heave too, pitch over the anchor, and s'lute them" asked Tim. " No; go ahead, we have no time to spare." The cheering signs continued. An hour later they descried several white men seated in canoes and fishing near shore. They exchanged the courtesies of the day with them and passed on. growing more eager as they neared the goal. It would have been no difficult feat of the imagination for one standing on shore to fancy that the cause was a pocket edition of a Hudson River steamboat, so power- fully did Tim O'Rooney puff at his pipe, the whiffs speeding away over his shoulder in exact time with the dipping of the paddle, as though the two united cause and effect. The fellow was in the best of spirits. Sud- denly he paused and commenced sucking desperately at his pipe-stem, b)ut all in vain; no smoke was emitted. " What is the matter" asked Elwood. " Steam is out, and the paddle won't go." "Let me relieve you." The boy used it with good effect, while Tim shoved his blunt finger into the pipe-bowl, shut one eve and squinted into it, rattled it on his hand, puffed at it again, turned his pockets wrong side out, then put them to rights, and repeated the operation, just as we open the door a half-dozen times to make sure our friend isn't behind it, then gave one of his great sighs and looked toward Howard. 271 ADRIFT IN THE WILL DS. " I put the last switch of tobaccy I had in the world into that pipe, just arter throwing myself outside of that quince of fish." "Quience" laughed the boy, "'you mean quiif/al." "Yis, and what's to come of Tim O'Rooney, if 1e doesn't git some more right spaddily. His intellect toppled all the mornin', and can't stand another such strain, or it'll be nipped in the bud afore it has reached the topmost round at the bar of fame." " Why, Tim, you are growing poetical," called Elwood over his shoulder, not a little amused at his bewildering metaphors. "We shall doubtless come across some friends before long who will be glad to supply you. "Elwood!" called Tim. What is it!" he asked, pausing in his paddling. "If you saas a rid gintleman do yez jist rist till I takes aim and shoots him." "Why so blood-thirsty" "Not blood-thirsty, buttobaceythirsty. The haythen deal in the article, and if we saas one lie must yield." Elwood promised obedience, but they saw nothing of the coveted people whom they had been so anxious to avoid hitherto, but a half-hour later Howard sai(l: "Heigh-ho! Yonder is just the man you want to see!" A single person dressed in the garb of a miner was standing on the shore leisurely surveying them as they came along. There could be no doubt that he was sup- p)lied with the noxious weed, for lie was smoking a pipe 272 HOALE WA RD B O UND. with all the cool, deliberate enjoyment of a veteran at the business. "Shall I head toward shore!" asked Elwood. "Sartin, sartin. Oh that we had Mr. Shasta here that he might hurry to land wid the ould canoe!" A few minutes sufficed to place the prow of the boat against the shore, and Tim O'Rooney sprung out. The miner, if such he was, stood with his hands in his pockets, looking sleepily at the stranger. "How do yez do, William" reaching out and shaking the hand which was rather reluctantly given him. "W ho you calling William" demanded the miner gruffly. "I beg yez pardon, but it was a slip of the tongue, Thomas. " " Who you calling Thomas" " Is your family well, my dear sir" "Whose family you talking about" "Did yez lave the wife and childer well" "Whose wife and childer you talking about" "Yez got over the cowld yez had the other day" "'Pears to me you know a blamed sight more about me than I do, stranger." " My dear sir, I have the greatest affection for yez. The moment I seen yez a qua'ar faaling come over me, and I filt I must come ashore and shake you by the hand. I faals much better." " You don't say" " That I does. Would yez have the kindness to give me a wee bit of tobacey" 273 274 ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. The sleepy-looking stranger gazed drowsily at him a moment and then made answer: "I'm just smoking the last bit I've got. I was going to ax you for some, being you had such a great affection for me." CHAPTER L. RFS( I F D. LIEE MINER having made his reply, turned on his heel, still smoking his pipe, and coolly wvalked away, while Tim O'Rooney gazed after him in amazenment. The boys were amused spectators of the scene, and Elwood now called out. " Come, Tim, don't wait! We shall meet somebody else before long; and as you have just had a good smok- ing spell, you can certainly wait a while." " Yes, " added Howard., 'no good can come of waiting; so jump in and let's be off." The Irishman obeyed like a child which hardly understood what was required of it, and taking his seat said never a word. L Let me alternate with you for a while, ' said Howard to his cousin, " you have worked quite a while with the paddle. " " I am not tired, but if you are eager to try your skill I won't object." The boys changed places, and while Howard gave his exclusive attention to the management of the canoe, Elwood devoted himself to consoling Tim O'Rooney in the most serio-comic manner. "Bear up a little longer, my good fellow. There's ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. plenty of tobacco in the country, and there must be some that is waiting expressly for you." "Where bees the same" " Of course we are to find that out; and I haven't the least doubt but the way will appear.," "Elwood," sighed Tim, "'spose by towken of the severe suffering that meself is undergoing I should lose me intellect-" "I don't think there's any danger." "And why not" demanded the Irishman, in assumed fierceness. " For the good reason that you haven't any to lose." Tim bowed his head in graceful acknowledgment. "But suppose I does run mad for all that" "I can easily dispose of you" "Afther what shtyle" "A madman is always a dangerous person in the com- munity, and the moment I see any signs of your malady all I have to do is to shoot you through the head." " Do yez obsarve any signs at presint" "You needn't ask the question, for the moment it breaks out the report of the gun and the crash of the bullet will give you a hint of the trouble." Tim laughed. " Yez are a bright child, as me mother used to obsarve whin I'd wash me face in her buttermilk and smiled through the windy at her. If ye continues to grow in your intellect yez may come to be a man that I won't be ashamed to addriss and take by the hand when I maats yez in the straats," 276 AVEsC 'PD. ' ' " I hope I shall," laughed Elwood, " the prize that vou hold out is enough to make any boy work as lie never (lid before. I hope you will not wish to withdraw your offer." Niver a faar-niver a faar, as Bridget Muglialligani said, when I asked her if she'd be kind enough to renirnber me for a few days." - Tim,"' added Elwood, after a momient's silence, we are out of the woods." What do yez maan by that" "We can see signs of the presence of white men all around us, and we have nothing further to fear from Indians." At this point Howard called the attention of his companion to a large canoe which was coming around a curve in fihe river. It contained nearly a dozen men. and was tEe largest boat of the kind which they had ever seen, and savored also of a civilized rather than a savage architect. "They are white men," said Howard. "Do yez obsarve any pipes sticking out of their mouths" " One or two are smoking." " Then boord them if they won't surrender." "They have headed toward us," remarked Elwood. "and must wish to say something." A few moments later the two boats came side by side, and before any one else could speak Tim made his re- quest known for tobacco. This was furnished him, and as he relit his pipe he announced that lie had no objec- tion to their proceeding with their businews ADRIFT IN THE WILDS. There were nine men in the larger boat, and all were armed with pistols, rifles and knives. In truth they resembled a war party more than anything else bound upon some desperate expedition. The boys noticed as they came along, and while Tim O'Rooney was speaking, that several of the men looked very keenly at them, as though they entertained some strong suspicion. Finally one of the men asked: " Are you youngsters named Lawrence and Bran- don" " Yes, sir." Here the questioner produced a paper from his pocket, and seemed to read his questions from that. "And is that man Timothy O'Rooney" "Timothy O'Rooney, Esquire, from Tipperary, at your sarvice," called out the Irishman from the stern of the canoe, where he was elegantly reclining, and with- out removing the pipe from his mouth. "W Were you on the steamer that was burned off the coast of California" pursued the interlocutor. "Yes, sir." "Then you are just the party we are looking for." "Where do you come from" " We are from San Francisco, sent out by Messrs. iLawrence and Brandon in search of their children, whom they learned a few days ago from Mr. Yard, dine of the survivors, were left on the coast, having wan- dered inland at the time the others were taken off by the Relief." This was to the point. RESCUED. "It is fortunate for all parties that we met you," added the man with a smile, "for we receive a very liberal reward to bring you back, no matter whether we niet you within a dozen miles of San Francisco, or were obliged to spend the summer hunting for you among the inountaiiis, only to succeed after giving the largest kind of a ransom." " Prosaad," said Tim O'Rooney, with a magnificent wave of his hand, without rising from his reclining position. " We're glad to maat yez, as me uncle ob- sarved, whin SMicky O'Shaunhanaley's pig walked into his shanty and stood still till he was salted down and stowed away in the barrel, by raisin of which Micky niver found his pig agin." The next day the party reached the outlet of the Salinas River, Monterey Bay, where they succeeded in securing transit to San Francisco, and the two boys were once more clasped in the loving arias of their anxious parents. Howard and Elwood remained in San Francisco until autumn, when they came East again and entered col- lege, and having passed through with honor they re- turned to the Golden City, and are now partners in a flourishing business. Tim O'Rooney is in their service, and they both hold him in great regard. He is as good- natured as when " Adrift in the Wilds " with the boys, and his greatest grief is that he has never been able to meet Air. Shasta, the most " illigent savage gintleman that iver paddled his own canoe." THE END. 27 9 This page in the original text is blank. THE BOYS' HOME SERIES. I Tniforrn wvzith this Volume. his series affords wholesome reading for boys and girls, and all the volumes are extremely interesting.-CL-ni-nsCatz (mmeretat Gazette. JOE'S LUCK; or, A Boy's Adventures in California. By Ho"a- T- ALGER, JIl. JULIAN MORTIMER or, A Brave Boy's Struggles for Home and Fortune. Bay HI-ARRY CASTLE1ON. ADRIFT IN THE WILDS; or, The Adventures of Two Ships wrecked Boys. 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