« PreviousContinue »
standing over him in the darkness. "I never be found until it was too late. He hate to leave you this way, but we must get wished then that he had jumped to the away and don't want you telling what you rocks as he had planned. know too soon. If things go right, I may be “We 'll be moving,'' the bandit said to the able to send you help in two or three days. others. “You know where to go from here."
Silently they picked up their precious packs and stepped out into the darkness. Then came the sound of many feet, blows, a couple of shots, and presently a big voice boomed:
“Got 'em tied up, SWARO
boys? Anybody hurt? Good! Now where 's Rand?"
"Here!" Ray shouted, "inside!”
Two electric torches flashed through the doorway. A man wearing a sheriff's badge entered and cut Ray's bonds.
“There's your friends," he said, pointing outside, where the robbers were nicely handcuffed and guarded by a dozen men. "We got the other one down in the village. note, you see. And say! that was a mighty bright idea fixing the alarm-clock as you did. I happened to be in the store when the fellow brought in that hulled corn. The clerk set it back on the shelf, and a few minutes laterrippity bang! We could n't think what was up till we dug into the corn and found the little
clock going like a cy“ 'RIPPITY BANG!
clone. And there was WE COULD N'T THINK WHAT WAS UP'
the note under it! I will leave a dish of water and some food on Best thing I ever heard of. Say, I guess the floor and perhaps you can get enough of you 'll come in for a fat slice of the reward.” it to keep you going."
Ray did come in for his share of it, and Two or three days or week to remain later, after the chief had heard the story, bound, with only a little food and water he received a scholarship to a forestry school picked off the floor, dog fashion! He might that is second to none. He is there now.
By JOSEPH T. KESCEL
HY for I do it?
patient, but—well, sometime I get heap mad Huh? Ki yi! Why when alla time tumble, tumble."
can stand Within a few minutes the boys were ready up?" Young Lee to resume their journey but, before starting Fat sputtered that off, looked about them to enjoy the beauty much before brush of the mountain scenery, showing to wondering the snow from ful advantage beneath a bright winter sun. his loose blouse and In every direction were lofty mountains, black hair, then, sometimes covered with stately pines; while
with his slanting, again there would be long, gleaming stretches Oriental, dark eyes, studiously regarded the of white which showed the effects of countpair of long skis which had been the cause of less avalanches that had rolled, tossed, and a hard tumble.
tumbled down steep slopes before the heaving “Alla time I go flip-flop! Some day blake masses piled up in the cañon bottom with a my neck!” and Lee turned to his compan
thunderous roar. This was Northern Idaho, ion, Jerry Kimball, a sturdy mountain lad and among those rugged, snow-clad mounstanding on his own skis barely a rod distant tains a railroad, snake-like, wound its way. and whose brown face was wreathed in Along hillsides, across bridges, and through smiles.
dark tunnels the shining steel rails linked the Those smiles were the cause of the young East with the West, and at the same time Chinese breaking out afresh, and every word provided an outlet for the vast mineral showed that he was peeved. "Hey! Why resources of the district. for you laugh? Him no funny business! Jerry was the first to start off, and then Maybe I 'most kill! You no know!"
the two began zigzagging up the hillside, Jerry Kimball had n't laughed, but now each boy holding a long, light pole,-the he let out a whole-souled guffaw and threw kind usually carried in mountain skiing, open his red mackinaw as if needing more ready for any emergency. They were air. This started Lee off again. "Haw! youngsters, this pair, neither lad seventeen, Haw! Haw!” he mimicked. “Velly clomi and their first meeting dated back only to cal! Velly clomical! But him dlifferent to the evening in the preceding autumn when me, 'cause I takee fall. Wasa good of skis, Lee Fat, sick, almost exhausted, and pennianyhow? I no see! You say, 'Learn 'em, less, had accidentally run onto Jerry Kimfor maybe sometime come in handy.' Go ball's log-cabin, perched on a timbered slope downhill, and no flip-flop. Fine splort! Zig beside a prospect tunnel. zag uphill, hard work! At top turn sound, Jerry had taken the unfortunate wayfarer takee long bleth, makee start-zip!” In in, and before morning learned his story. pantomime, Lee tried to show a boy tearing "I guess I must be China boy hobo,” Lee over the snow at great speed, then went on, began, smiling. "Have bad luck, heap long “Walk mile for minute's fun!”
time. No can tell why. Work hard, but Jerry wanted to laugh again, but instead tings him go bad. Maybe China devil-devils gave a chuckle and said, smiling, “You 're
No can tell. Long time ago me doin' fine, Lee! A little more practice, and leave Seattle and lookee for job. No catchum, you 'll make the champion of the range take and pletty soon look like hobo and evelya back seat.”
blody say, 'Move along, Chink! We no want "I no want anybody to sit down," Lee tlamp!' Four, fi' day ago I think maybe snapped, getting ready to mount his skis. catchum work up here in mountains, so start "I sit down plenty for all Idaho!"
lite quick on foot. Pletty soon devil-devils “You don't get me, Lee! What I mean take me all over, head, legs, and here.” Lee is this: you 'll be the best skier in this sec- placed a hand on his stomach, then his eyes tion if you keep on improving as you have suddenly brightened as he added, “Maybe since snow fell."
you give me job, huh?" Jerry grinned, "Oh! I savvy, now," and the yellow face passed a calloused hand over his mop of screwed into a broad grin. "China boy velly brown hair, then drawled, “Gosh! I don't
know how I'd ever pay you! I have n't got The old-timers were right, for this was ina bit of ore in the tunnel and—well, mighty deed a hard winter. Never had any of them little money and the grub-box is low. But seen such severe storms and heavy snowfalls. I'd be mighty glad to have you hole up here The gleaming carpet of white was many feet with me till I go busted.”
deep everywhere, and often the depth could “And you let me work?” This from Lee, be measured by yards. as he sat up.
Sometime during each day, both young"Sure, if you want to! But we 'll talk sters skied over the section allotted to them, that over when you get stronger.”
always paying special attention to the high So within a week, two boys, instead of one, steel bridge spanning Thundering Fork gorge, pounded a drill in the tunnel, though Jerry a deep ravine at the bottom of which roared thoughtfully shook his head over the almost a turbulent stream. Again and again Lee exhausted supply of provisions and his empty had taken what he called "flip-flops," but he pocketbook. Then, while the first snow was had stuck to it-and now, as the pair made spreading a soft blanket of white over the their way to their cabin home, he was more country, their deliverer appeared in the per than fairly proficient. son of John Dean, section-boss on a long Before they went inside, Jerry shook his strip of the railroad that ran through this head as he looked the country over. “Reckpart of the mountains.
on we 're in for a regular old norther," he Dean had something to say and came out said, his eyes fixing on a huge bank of with a proposition in a few words. “Jerry," clouds coming nearer and nearer. Lee he said, taking in the boy's sweating face and heard every word, and at once started in to fine shoulders, “I guess we 're goin' to have relieve himself. “Hey! Wasa matter this a hard winter. All the old-timers say the countly, anyway? Snow! Snow! Snow! signs point that way. This is a bad piece of Alla time! Pletty soon him be so deep we road, up here, worst on the line, and there have to dig down to top of pine-tlee! Alcan't be too many eyes on it in snow-time. leady now we go through snow-tunnel to get You 're right at the very worst spot, and I in mouth of rocky one.” And this was true, can make it worth your while to be on the for a small snow-tunnel connected the cabin look-out. That lad goin' to be with you all with the black hole in which the boys some winter?” Dean glanced at Lee, leaning day expected to strike pay ore. against the tunnel-heading, a drill in one Suddenly, Lee changed the subject as he hand and a miner's hammer in the other. caught sight of several fair-sized, grayish
Jerry's answer was a prompt, “Yeah, most animals which emerged from a pine thicket likely!” and at once the section-boss went some distance off. “What dogs do over on. “Hum! Well, I have a pretty good there?” he asked, raising his hands to peer idea how you 're fixed, so how would grub from beneath them. and a little money look to you for keepin' Jerry smiled before he answered. “They your eyes open and watching the Thunder ’re not dogs, Lee. Coyotes, or wolves!" ing Fork bridge in the gorge, yonder? If it Down came the hands with a jerk, and as looks the least bit shaky, why, set a danger- the young Chinese turned to his compansignal and get word to headquarters right ion, his black eyes showed a decidedly worquick.”
ried expression. “Coyotes! Wolves! Ki yi! The next day a generous supply of pro Why for he come here?” visions and two pairs of skis had been turned Jerry's smile was a broad grin. over to the boys by the crew of a freight- "Scratchin' around for something to eat, train, and before another twenty-four hours most likely. There ain't many of 'em in rolled around, Lee Fat knew the delights of this section. It 's only once in a while you skiing and the thrills of tumbles. "Ki yi! see one, for they usually stick to the lower Wow! Stop um!” he yelled a score of times country.” as the long, thin, narrow boards, with curved “Yi! Me no wanta see um no time!" Lee ends, apparently tried to see how far they broke out. “Wolf, coyote, bad! Um eat could go in opposite directions. "Pletty soon people!" my legs be mile long! Stop um! Stop um!" “Ha! Ha! Ha! Lee, you're funny,” And scores of times, while clawing his way and Jerry's grin changed to a good-natured from some huge snow-drift, he sputtered, laugh. “A coyote will never bother you, “Ki yi! Devil-devils try take me way down and-and-well, maybe they 're not wolves. under!"
It 's quite a ways over there and I can't tell
what they are. But don't you be scared, lasses-covered flapjack found its way into a though, for a wolf won't bother a human un cavern-like mouth. less it 's cornered—or just awful hungry.” Shortly after eight o'clock Murphy made
Lee showed very plainly that he was not ready to start for his own cabin, and while convinced and asked many questions before outside, adjusting his skis, remarked between
grunts:“Reckon we're in for another old buster! Never seen such a winter as this since I struck the Northwest. So long! Take good care of yourselves." And a moment later his tall frame was swallowed up by darkness and the fast falling snow. In the morning the boys found that the storm had turned into a howling blizzard. While Lee was getting breakfast, Jerry made a trip to the bridge, and, after making sure it was intact, struggled back to the cabin.
"Guh-h-h!" claimed, shaking the snow from his mackinaw. “If this is n't a terror! No work in the tunnel to-day! We 're goin' to be mighty busy keepin' tab on our section.”
“Yi! Him snow little more, pletty soon ski lite onto moon, was Lee's grinning comment; then he started pouring the coffee.
Before noon a powerful rotary snow-plow, with a whirring, paddle-like wheel which hurled the snow far
down the mountain, "CLOSER AND CLOSER CAME THE SLOW-MOVING FIGURE"
was forced along the
track by five huge the pair went into the cabin. A short time mountain-locomotives,
mountain-locomotives, their short stacks later they had a visitor. Pat Murphy, an belching clouds of black smoke. old prospector who had a claim farther back Evening came, and the storm was at its in the mountains, and his dog dropped in and height, a sure-enough northwest blizzard, remained for supper. Lee and the dog—a with the snow becoming deeper each minute full-grown St. Bernard, named Skookum and the wind blowing a gale. Back and soon became good friends, and many a mo forth ran the rotary and its puffing pushers,