The Wilderness Castaways

Produced by Stephen Hutcheson, Rod Crawford, Dave Morgan,
Matthew Wheaton and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team at http://www.pgdp.net

The WILDERNESS CASTAWAYS
DILLON WALLACE


THE WILDERNESS CASTAWAYS


He waited, his axe grasped in both hands

[Page 272]


THE WILDERNESS CASTAWAYS

AUTHOR OF
“THE LURE OF THE LABRADOR WILD,”
“THE LONG LABRADOR TRAIL,”
“BEYOND THE MEXICAN SIERRAS,” ETC

ILLUSTRATED BY
HENRY S. WATSON

CHICAGO
A. C. McCLURG & CO.
1936

Copyright A. C. McClurg & Co.
1913

Copyrighted in Great Britain


CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE
IGetting Acquainted1
IIThe First Bear23
IIIA Husky Camp34
IVThe Wilderness Primeval49
VWrecked64
VIThe Castaways Abandoned86
VIIAdrift on an Ice Pan95
VIIIFacing Starvation111
IXThe Waters Clear124
XA Narrow Escape140
XIA Death Struggle151
XIIFactor MacTavish of Fort Reliance163
XIIIWinter Shelter and Hard Work184
XIVA Lonely Christmas194
XVThe Trapper from Indian Lake209
XVIReleased from Bondage219
XVIIThe Snowshoe Journey to Indian Lake231
XVIIIStalked by Wolves252
XIXOn the Fur Trails270
XXWinnipeg at Last285
XXIBad News and Good295
XXIIHow Paul and Dan Made Good306

ILLUSTRATIONS


THE WILDERNESS CASTAWAYS


CHAPTER I
GETTING ACQUAINTED

“Dan Rudd,” roared Captain Zachariah Bluntt, “if I has to tell you again to keep that mouth organ below decks, I’ll wring your neck! Yes, wring your neck! By the imps of the sea, I will!”

“Aye, aye, sir,” answered Dan Rudd, a robust, sunny-faced sailor lad of sixteen, quickly slipping the offending harmonica, upon which he had been playing a lively air, into his pocket.

Captain Bluntt, impatiently pacing the deck, was plainly in ill humor. His great red beard, standing out like a lion’s mane, bristled ominously, and his shaggy eyebrows were drawn down in an unpleasant scowl.

It was two o’clock on a mid-July afternoon, the last case of provisions had been lowered into the hold, the last lighter-load of coal stowed into the bunkers, steam was up, and the staunch little Newfoundland steamer North Star, riding at anchor in Sydney harbor, had been ready to sail for three hours, and for three hours Captain Bluntt had been impatiently awaiting orders to get under way.

Two clean-cut, smooth-shaven, alert young men of thirty or thereabouts were standing at the port rail aft. Their sun-tanned faces marked them as men accustomed to out-of-door life, and their sinewy, muscular frames and keen but good-humored eyes proclaimed health and genial dispositions. They were intently, and with visible impatience, watching a wharf from which a boat was putting off. As the little craft shot out into the open one of them raised a pair of binoculars to his eyes, studied it for a moment, and announced:

“There he is at last! Here, take a look through the glass, Ainsworth,” and he passed the binoculars to his friend.

“Yes, that’s he,” said Ainsworth, after a moment’s observation, “and, Remington, he’s sitting back smoking a cigarette as unconcernedly as if he hadn’t kept us waiting half a day for him.”

“I’ll tell the skipper, and ease his mind,” suggested Remington, and striding forward he called out cheerily:

“All right, Captain Bluntt, Master Densmore is coming. You may put out as soon as you please when he’s aboard.”

“Very vexing! Very vexing, Mr. Remington!” exclaimed Captain Bluntt. “Fair wind, fair tide, and losing advantage of it, sir! All right, sir, all right. We’ll weigh anchor at once, sir.”

In a moment sailors were working at the windlass, anchor chains were clanking, and the men singing in rhythmic unison as they swung up and down at the crank handles. Then the engines began to pulsate.

The North Star had been chartered by the two young men—George Remington and Henry Ainsworth—for a summer’s voyage to Hudson Bay. Both were enthusiastic sportsmen, and Remington, who had once before visited the region, had promised Ainsworth some exciting polar bear and walrus hunting, as well as excellent sport fishing the coastal streams for salmon and trout.

Paul Densmore, the only son of John Densmore, a multimillionaire ship owner and a friend of Remington’s, had been invited by Remington to accompany them as his guest. When Remington and Ainsworth went aboard the North Star upon the morning our story begins, Paul had remained ashore in Sydney to make some purchases in the town, promising to follow them within the hour. Captain Bluntt had been instructed to make ready for departure accordingly. But Paul had failed to keep his promise, and with hours of idle waiting for the appearance of the delinquent youth Captain Bluntt had worked himself into the high state of ill humor in which we find him.

“The Captain was just at the point of blowing up,” laughed Remington when he rejoined Ainsworth, “but he’ll be all right presently. He’s a very impatient old fellow.”

“He’s had good reason to be impatient,” said Ainsworth. “I can safely prophesy more breakers ahead. Judging from the little I’ve seen of that boy, Remington, you’ll be heartily sorry you brought him before we get back to New York.”

“I’m heartily sorry already,” admitted Remington, “but I couldn’t help it. Densmore is one of the best fellows in the world. He pulled me out of a tight place once when I was caught in the market, and when he asked me the other day if it would be an imposition upon friendship if he asked me to invite Paul, there was nothing to do but invite the youngster to come.”

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