The Free lance. (State College, Pa.) 1887-1904, January 01, 1900, Image 11

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    level surface the wind whirled the snow in sheets. The
path was in places entirely obliterated, and the horse
floundered through the shallow drifts to reach again, On the
other side, the tracks that were not yet covered. At last he
reached tho edge of the ice and soon entered the thick
Woods. Sheltered somewhat from the wind by the great
snow-laden pines and hemlocks, Caleb did not realize ho*
fiercely, the gale was raging, and the exertions of loading
prevented hint from being cold. By the time he started.
from the woods daylight was fading into darkness—not the
heavy darkness of the forest when all is black; but the gray,
empty darkness of a white snow-covered wilderness. The
path had now entirely vanished and the driving snow hid
from sight objects but a few yards away; still the man fear
ed no danger for the way was familiar.
Caleb drove on to the lake and started on the three mile
drive in the gathering darkness. As he left the shore
everything except the team and the surrounding snow dis
appeared from sight. The wind seemed to come from all
directions at once and drove the sharp cutting particles of
ice first this way and then that, in hissing, blinding clouds,
The cold was intense and penetrated to every bone. For
a short time he made good progress, but as he advanced the
drifts became larger and often times slight detours were
made in order to avoid them. At last the sleds stuck fast
in the snow and the tired horses were not able to pull them
through. There was no way but to leave the load where it
was for the night, so he climbed down from the sleds and at
tempted to unhitch the horses. But the buckles were frozen
to the straps and his numbed hands were not able to loosen
them, so he cut the traces and started on with the horses.
He soon lost all knowledge of direction and only followed
the horses, trusting to their instinct to lead them to shelter,
The weary animals plunged slowly though the snow and
Caleb followed in their tracks until it seemed as though they
Lost on. the Lake.