Grit A-Plenty: A Tale of the Labrador Wild

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

GRIT-A-PLENTY
DILLON WALLACE


GRIT A-PLENTY


GRIT A-PLENTY
A Tale of the Labrador Wild

Illustrated

GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers
NEW YORK
by arrangement with Fleming H. Revell Co.

Copyright, 1918, by
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY

New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
Chicago: 17 North Wabash Ave.
London: 21 Paternoster Square
Edinburgh: 75 Princes Street

TO
THE BRAVE
JAMIES AND DAVIDS AND ANDYS
EVERYWHERE
WHO KEEP THEIR GRIT
AND DO THEIR BEST
WHEN THE MISTS
HANG LOW


“If you and I—just you and I—
Should laugh instead of worry;
If we should grow—just you and I—
Kinder and sweeter hearted,
Perhaps in some near by and by
A good time might get started;
Then what a happy world ’twould be
For you and me—for you and me!”

FOREWORD

Tempting boys to be what they should be—giving them in wholesome form what they want—that is the purpose and power of Scouting. To help parents and leaders of youth secure books boys like best that are also best for boys, the Boy Scouts of America organized EVERY BOY’S LIBRARY. The books included, formerly sold at prices ranging from $1.50 to $2.00 but, by special arrangement with the several publishers interested, are now sold in the EVERY BOY’S LIBRARY Edition at $1.00 per volume.

The books of EVERY BOY’S LIBRARY were selected by the Library Commission of the Boy Scouts of America, consisting of George F. Bowerman, Librarian, Public Library of the District of Columbia; Harrison W. Craver, Director, Engineering Societies Library, New York City; Claude G. Leland, Superintendent, Bureau of Libraries, Board of Education, New York City; Edward F. Stevens, Librarian, Pratt Institute Free Library, Brooklyn, N. Y., and Franklin K, Mathiews, Chief Scout Librarian. Only such books were chosen by the Commission as proved to be, by a nation wide canvas, most in demand by the boys themselves. Their popularity is further attested by the fact that in the EVERY BOY’S LIBRARY Edition, more than a million and a quarter copies of these books have already been sold.

We know so well, are reminded so often of the worth of the good book and great, that too often we fail to observe or understand the influence for good of a boy’s recreational reading. Such books may influence him for good or ill as profoundly as his play activities, of which they are a vital part. The needful thing is to find stories in which the heroes have the characteristics boys so much admire—unquenchable courage, immense resourcefulness, absolute fidelity, conspicuous greatness. We believe the books of EVERY BOY’S LIBRARY measurably well meet this challenge.

BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA,

James E. West [Handwritten Signature]

Chief Scout Executive.


CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE
I.The Cabin at the Jug9
II.The Thickening Mist21
III.Doctor Joe34
IV.Indian Jake, the Half Breed42
V.Uncle Ben Gives Warning55
VI.The Trapping Partner67
VII.In the Heart of the Wilderness73
VIII.Andy’s Bear Hunt82
IX.The Stealthy Menace of the Trail91
X.The Fight with a Wolf Pack101
XI.A Strange Disappearance107
XII.Alone in the Storm-swept Forest118
XIII.A Night in the Open125
XIV.A Man’s Game132
XV.A Day on the Ice138
XVI.Christmas Eve on the Fur Trails148
XVII.Indian Jake’s Surprise156
XVIII.Snowblind166
XIX.The Half Breed Deserts174
XX.A Letter from the Great Doctor183
XXI.The Trail of the Deserter195
XXII.The Burning Tilt202
XXIII.Hungry Days220
XXIV.Uncle Ben Appears232
XXV.“Troubles that Never Came True”240


I
THE CABIN AT THE JUG

The Jug, as Thomas Angus often remarked, was as snug and handy a place to live as ever a man could wish. Ten miles up the Bay was the trading post of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and at Wolf Bight, twelve miles directly across the Bay from the Jug, the trading post of Trowbridge & Gray, and then only five miles to the eastward, at Break Cove, lived Doctor Joe.

“Neighbors right handy all around,” declared Thomas, “and no chance of ever gettin’ lonesome.”

The Jug was a well sheltered bight on the north side of Eskimo Bay, and here, in the edge of the forest, stood Thomas’ cabin.

Near by the cabin Roaring Brook rushed down through a gorge in a vast hurry to empty its sparkling waters into the bight; and behind the cabin, shrouded in silence and mystery, stretching away into unmeasured distances, lay the great unpeopled wilderness.

“Room enough,” said Thomas, “for a man to stretch himself.”

The Angus home was much like every other trapper’s home in the Eskimo Bay country, though somewhat larger and more commodious, perhaps, than was usual. Thomas believed in “comfort, and plenty o’ room to stretch, indoors as well as out,” and this sentiment led him to make no stint of timber or labor when he builded.

“The timber is here for the takin’, and right handy,” said he, “and a bit more work don’t matter.”

The cabin was built of logs, and faced the south, with its entrance through an enclosed porch on the western gable. This porch served both as a protection from winter storms and as a store room. Here were kept dog harness, fish nets, and innumerable odds and ends incident to the life and occupation of a trapper and fisherman. And in one end of the porch, neatly piled in tiers, was an ever-ready supply of firewood.

A door from the porch led into a living room crudely and primitively furnished, but possessed of an indescribable atmosphere of cozy comfort. The uncarpeted floor, the home-made table, the chests which served both as storage places for clothing and as seats, the three crude but substantial home-made chairs, and the shelves for dishes, were scoured clean and white with sand and soap, for Margaret, through her Scotch ancestry, had inherited a penchant for cleanliness and neatness.

“I likes to keep the house tidy,” she said to Doctor Joe once, when he complimented her. “’Tis a wonderful comfort to have un tidy and clean.”

There were three windows, draped with snow-white muslin—an unusual luxury. Two of these windows looked to the southward to catch the sun with its cheer, and before them lay the wide vista of Eskimo Bay, and beyond the Bay the grim, snow-capped peaks of the Mealy Mountains. The other window was in the rear, but here the view was restricted by the forest, which sheltered the cabin from the frigid northern blasts of the sub-arctic winters.

A big box stove, which would accommodate great billets of wood, and crackled cheerily, and a bunk built against the wall like a ship’s bunk, and which served Thomas as a bed, completed the furnishings.

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