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VOL. XI. NEW BLOOMFIISLID, J?., TUESDAY, JULY 24, 1877. NO. 29.
An Independent Family Newspaper,
18 PUBLISHED EVERT TUESDAY BT
F. MORTIMER & CO.
Within the County Jl 2,1
" " " Six months, 75
Out of the County, Including postage, ISO
" " " six luoutUs " 85
Invariably In Advance I
Advertising rates furnished upon appli
cation. PERILS OF THE CAMP.
LOUISA'S father had gone up into
the woods, sixty miles away, to
make the camp before the winter's log
ging should begin. She felt very lonely
as soon as he was out of sight, for more
reasons than one. In the first place
there was nobody at home but little
Tim, who could dig the paths, to be sure,
and look after the cattle ; grandmother,
who was companionable enough with
her stories of old times, but a care more
than a protector; aud Suzette, who
helped about the house, but was only a
child. The second reason was that she
had quarreled with Ben ; and last, but
not least, he and her uncle Simon had
driven off on the ox team with her
father. If there had ever been a time
6ince their quarrel when she had felt
disposed to make it up, it was when the
ox team had disappeared from sight, and
it was impossible to follow.
The fact of the case was that Ben had
been looking upon Louisa as his own
property ever siuce he could remember.
He had beaued her to and from singing
echool ; he had helped her out with her
hard problems at district school,and had
carried her home on a sled ; at quilting,
sewing-circle, or pic-nic, he had chosen
her for his partner in the dance, had
paid his forfeits to her and had revolved
About her daily. And she had seemed
to relish the whole thing till she went
away to the city one winter to work in
a milliner's shop, and so came home
quite out of conceit with country living
and country men, and had rather given
Ben the cold shoulder, refusing his gifts
and attentions, and showing pretty
plainly that she looked higher. But
Ben, with the instincts of a free-born
American, felt himself as good as any
body, and charged her one day with
having come by hifalutin ideas of her
self and life in the city, which didn't
the least become her, and averred that
.she couldn't do better than to marry
"Well, Mr. Benjamin Thurman, I
hope you're conceited enough," she
answered him. " Marry you I I won't
say but you're well enough yourself;
but to live in this slow, backwoods
fashion forever would be the death of
me; and not so much as a lecture or
concert to while away the time; to be
wearing homespun all my days, and
worrying about the crops. Oh, dear,
no, thank you; I've had enough of hard
times. I believe I'll wait awhile before
I settle down-" " t
"Perhaps there'B somebody else?"
" No, I can't say that there is ; though
I don't mind telling you that I didn't
come home eingle for a want of chance.
He had a house, too, in the suburbs, and
a housekeeper, and he said I never
should bring the water to wash my
" And why didn't you marry him V"
asked Ben, frigidly.
" Oh, he didn't exactly suit me ; he'd
lost his front teeth and his bearing.
There's as good fish in the sea aa ever
yet were caught," she sang, gaily.
" Well," said Ben, rising and looking
blue lightning, "on the whole I am
glad that you won't marry me, for
you've got no more heart than an adder."
And then be could have bitten big
tongue out for saying what wasn't true,
when his heart wag almost breaking for
love of her; and if she had showed that
she wag wounded, by word or look, he
wag ready to. abase himself beneath her
feet, and take it all back.
"You'r amazing polite, Mr. Thurman,
I must say," she returned. " I'm sorry
you asked for what you didn't want, be
cause it would have been awkward If I
hadn't refused. I didn't know that this
was the way folks made love calling
names, when I've always treated you
" Treated rue well with a vengeance!"
cried Ben, his face white as a star, and
his eyes like thunder-bolts. " Do you
call it handsome treatment to let me go
on loving you year after year, while it
strengthened with my strength, without
a hint that you couldn't return measure
for measure? And then to go back
upon a fellow and throw him over be
cause he doesn't live likea nabob, though
he loved the ground you walk on, and
thought nothing too hard to do for you I
If that's what you call treating me well,
good bye I don't want ever to see you
Lonlsa had been looking at him with'
sparkling eyes, she rather liked to see
him angry ; it was vastly becoming.
And then he loved her so desperately.
She felt a strange, delightful thrill at
her heart, as if it responded secretly.
She had half a mind to go to him and
hold out her arms and be clasped to his
beating heart, and forget ambition and
luxury and choose rather a heaven on
earth ; and while she had hesitated he
had said, " Good bye I don't want
ever to see you again good bye."
" I return the sentiment," said she,in
stead. " I believe I can live without
you. Good bye." And when be was
safely out of sight she took revenge in a
But now that he was gone, she began
to find how much she had depended up
on him, how much more his mere pres
ence was to her than any dream of world
ly prosperity, however golden. Per
haps but for this breach she might nev
er have known how dear be was to her,
nor how little she valued the superflui
ties of life in comparison.
Well one of the three was to return
before the winter season of logging be
gan, in order to lay in provisions for the
camp as they had only taken up enough
for a week or ten days and perhaps
Ben would be the one to come ; in which
case he could hardly avoid bringing her
some word of her father and uncle. And
then who would predict but he might
think it worth his while to reiterate his
love in his eloquent style ? And then
Louisa laughed wickedly at the prospect,
and decided that if he was enough In
love to do thus, it would be safe for her,
beyond a peradventure, to take her own
time about making up, to .show a su
preme indifference to his regard. No
more heart than an adder,indeed 1 What
was it then, that ached so, day after day
as the dull, cold November wind sighed
about the house, and touched the neigh
boring pines into JEolian harps and
swept up the dead leaves only to scatter
them agaim? Why was she always
straining her eyes down the frost-whitened
country road? And what was it
that trembled in her bosom whenever a
speck appeared against the frosty sky ?
But Louisa had reckoned without her
host. Ben was not the man who was
fond of reiterating a love that had been
received so coldly. He didn't mean to
leave the woods till March, if he could
hold out so long. Moreover, it was Mr.
Bruce himself who proposed to go back
with the ox team and bring the supplies
and hire the men.
" I don't feel quite right about the
head," said he, "and I want Louisa to
cosset me. Then I'll go out to Shopton
and gee Scales and Weight about the
supplies, and be back before you and Si
have eat up all this 'ere victuals."
" All right, sir," said Ben, smothering
a twinge of disappointment which he
wouldn't own to himself. " We'll get
the hovel ready for the cattle while you
are off, and take a tramp through the
woods and spot the best timber for fell,
" There's enough to do," said Uucle
" You'll be back in five days, say ?"
" If I'm lucky. How's the stores,
" Good for a week, I should say, such
as they are. But the sooner you get
back the better. It'll be easier for you
if you can manage to get up before a
heavy snow comes. You gee, we have
not had anything but spite, yet, though
maybe we're going to have an open win
ter." " Ay, ay," answered Mr. Bruce, as he
drove off through the woods with the
ox team. " Provisions for a week, eh I
That'll tide ye over, I recken. There's
a sight of work to be got through with
in a week's time. There's the supplies
to be got, and the hands to be hired ;
lemmee see five cutters, two teamsters
and a cook ; that's about it, and to have
'em ready to start when I do, and I ain't
so young ns I was. Ilcydey, it's rub and
grind, a lumberman's life Is!"
Alas ! there was more to be gotten
through with in a week's time than Mr.
Bruce had an inkling of; so much that
it ran over into the next week, as work
has a trick of doing.
When Louisa saw that it was only her
old father trudging along with the re
turning ox team her mercury went
down to zero in half a second. She saw
before her a weary three months of lone
liness and longlng,and she saw, too, that
she deserved It. (
" It's a deuced cold day for an old
man," said Mr. Bruce, shivering before
the wood fire, as If there should have
been special sets of weather created to
suit customers. " What's that you've
got cooking on the craue, Lu ? Stew ?
I ain't got no more appetite than a bear
in August. Brindle and Trot were slow
as cold molasses ; they've seen their best
days, I reckon like their master. Wish
I'd swapped 'em to Dunn for the year
lings and boot ; it would have been a
good bargain. Si sent his love to you,
Lu. I've got a cold ; I reckon I'll turn
in and sleep it off."
" They oughtn't have let you come,"
said Lu, indignantly, as she carried him
a bottle of hot water for his feet. Uncle
SI or Ben ought to have come Instead."
"Itwa'nt their fault; I thought I
could drive a better bargain with the
hands. Ben said he'd come in my
place, but his heart wa'nt set on it,"
which assurance in no wise comforted
Mr. Bruce was restless all night, and
in the morning was out of his head, and
didn't know hisrighthand from his left,
called Louisa Ben, and asked grandma
to put the oxen into the cart, mistaking
her for Uncle Simon. And Louisa, half
frightened to death, jumped upon old
Roan's back and galloped all the way to
Shopton for the nearest doctor.
" Ahem 1 Nothing more or less than
a fever," said he, the instant he laid his
eyes on Mr. Bruce.
" Is he dangerous ?" asked Louisa.
" Dangerous ? Oh, I guess he'll pull
through. I'll leave this prescription,
and be round to-morrow. There's Mr.
Maverick, of the tavern Maverick's
tavern, at our place had the same
symptoms a week ago, and he's about
to-day. There's no telling about these
things ; different constitutions take dis
eases differently. At least, you needn't
be alarmed at present. Good morning,"
with an emphasis on the good. Louisa
thought it was anything but a good
morning, after the comfort of his pro
fessional presence was withdrawn. But
the next day her father was no better,
nor yet the next day, though the doc
tor assured her that he was doing as well
as could be expected, whatever that
Louisa was too busy and weary with
watching and nursing, cooking and
looking after the house and seeing to
grandma's cold, and keeping order and
quiet among the children, to take note
of the sick man's delirious words, though
he was constantly talking about the
camp, sixty miles away where her own
thoughts wandered whenever she had
time to think them bargaining with
Imaginary teainsters, haggling with
Scales & Weight over groceries, and re
peating, " Provislong for a week, for a
week," and counting the days on his
fingers and losing the count, and begin
ning over again and again, as if it were
a puzzle, upon the solution of which his
life depended. And so the fever ran to
the ninth day and turned, and the pa
tient fell into a quiet sleep, and awoke
too weak and languid to put words to
gether, or to remember anything but
that he had suffered a fearful nightmare
and it was over. It was perhaps the
third day after the fever turned that he
suddenly took up the thread of life where
be had drooped it, and asked, " How
long have I been a-laying here, Lu ?"
" Twelve days."
Where's Ben and Uncle Si ?" .
" Why, 1 you left them iu camp,
" Left them in camp I Twelve days
ago," he gasped, " with a week's pro
visions. I shouldn't wonder if they
were both in Heaven by this, time!
What hev you been thinking of all this
while, eh ?"
" I didn't know they hnd only a
week's provisions," said Louisa, show
ing a ghastly face ; " and I had to look
after you and the fever."
"Well, don't wait another minute
round me ; just harness up old Itonn and
Quickstep, and take some coffee, cloth
ing, provisions and things and don't
let 'em short. Come, start yourself, and
don't be standing still like a ghost and
folks a-dying for lack of you."
" I'll take care of myself, and so'll
grandma. Itonn and Quickstep can do
the distance by nightfall. Take my gun
to keep off the wolves, and little Tim,
and a lantern."
" But how shall I find the way ?"
Louisa was already inside her pelisse
" Bless you, a baby couldn't miss It;
the trees are blazed with a Btar every
half mile, on the left hand side. There,
take Tim and be off."
And as there was not an able-bodied
man short of Shopton at that season
who wasn't off logging, aud as grand
ma and Susette could take care of her
patient, and Ben was starving without
her, what could she do but go?'.'
And how were they faring In the camp,
sixty miles away in the heart of the
wood, which were almost like a prime
val forest?" After Mr. Bruce's de
parture they had gone about their work
with a will ; white Uncle Simon was
busy on the hovel for the cattle, Ben
had walked miles and miles through the
sweet-scented wood, spotting the tim
ber ; and suns had risen and set, when
one morning, before the week was out,
Uncle Simon was surprised to Bee the
bottom of the meal-chest.
" Tough luck I" said he, briefly ; "but
there's swamp pork to eke it out." And
he plunged his hand confidently into
the pickle and had something of a chase
after two or three insignflcant pieces.
The two men looked at each other in dis
may for an instant.
" But he'll be back day after to-morrow,"
"But what if he shouldn't?" asked
the older man, not so sanguine.
" What can keep him ? At any rate,
we've got legs of our own."
" Precious stiff ones mine are 1 It
would be a nice excursion, sixty miles
afoot. Why we should freeze to death."
"Well, let's wait; no use running
from your shadow."
And so they waited.
" He'll be sure to come to-morrow,"
was the assurance with which they com
forted each other ; and when to-morrow
passed without bringing him, "We'll
wait another day ; perhaps the. oxen
were disabled on the road." For a
storm had set in, cold blustering, not
much snow ; Just enough to make the
world lovely. The wind 4 sang among
the pines like the voice of an angry
water-course,and splintered great boughs
in the forest, and up-rooted blasted trees,
and seemed like ' an invisible presence
haunting the recesses of the wood some
impersonation of Thor, whose touch
was a blow ; and all the while the snow
built up its Aladdin palaces, crystal by
crystal; wreathed about the living
green, tapestried every boulder, hid the
dead leaves and hollows under the screen,
for it was by no means deep ; the weath
er was too bitter cold for more than a
light fall, just enough to drape nature
gracefully in its folds, and give a prom
ise of more to come. ,
Before the sky had ,, cleared the last
mouthful of food had vanished, and, ex
cept for a partridge that Ben had made
shift to kill with a club for there were
no fire-arms yet in camp and a rabbit,
taken in a rude trap of their own con
structing, they had not eaten anything
for two days. But they were robust
men, who would have a tough fight
with starvation before succumbing; and
then there was no lack of water.
In the meanwhile they were almost as
much concerned for Mr. Bruce as them
selves. He might have lost his way,
they feared, or been overtaken by the
storm or -the wolves; he might come
into camp at any moment too far re
duced to help himself, and need their
weak assistance. Since their stomachs
were idle, their brains became corres
pondingly active with fearful Imagina
tions. Every day they proposed setting
out to walk home but perhaps he would
come to-morrow ; and then they bated
to desert their post; besides, the weather
was stinging cold, and, reduced by hun
ger, they might faint by the way, frost
bitten, or, unarmed, encounter Indian
devils and wolves I Whatever he might
be able to endure himself, Ben felt there
Uncle Simon's strength was utterly in
adequate to the struggle. They were be
set with a thousand peradveutures ; they
was not only a lion in the way, but all
manner of perils, real and imaginary.
So they waited, perforce, watching the
days vanish in a tender color, and the
Btars make their silent journey across
deeps of heaven, and the morning dawn
as the rose blooms. They busied them
selves still about the camp and hovel,
giving a thousand last touches, such as
they would never have thought of giv
ing nt another time, gathering fire-wood
and setting the rabbit trap in vain. And
one day the axe fell from Ben's resolute
hand, nnd he just dragged himself in
side the camp and stretched himself be
fore the fire. Uncle Simon had already
" Walking home could hardly have
been worse," Ben said, simply. Per
haps he was thinking of somebody who
might have met him kindly at the jour
ney's end, in view of the danger he had
" Perhaps Bruce'll come yet," return,
ed Uncle Simon.
Through a chink in the camp door
Ben watched the sunset fade like a fire
among the woods, and one by one the
stars shine out, each in its appointed sol
Itude, and the northern lights palpitate
rosily among the sky. The howling of
wolves echoed dismally, while now and
then a branch cracked in the forest, and
the wind trembled among the pines. In
side the fire made a comfortable glow,
under the influence of which he was
soon nodding off to sleep, when through
the fog of his semi-consciousness he
seemed to hear a sort of ringing in his
ears, at first a mere thread of sound,
then louder and nearer, as if every tree
in the forest was a church steeple with
all its bells a swinging. Then he heard
no more till a smothered groan from
Uncle Simon caused him to raise him
self upon his elbow. The fire was still
snapping and blazing brightly, and the
form and profile of a woman was shad
owed forth upon the wall of the camp j
a very familiar face and figure it was, I
too, that appeared to be bending over,'
something that was cooking on the fire.;
Was it the excited action of his brain'
that photographed Louisa Bruce on the
wall ? If so, he prayed that it might
last forever. Then he turned his head
languidly towards the fire, and met . a
pair of eyes that had shone for him all
his life with the fascination of a will-o'-the
wisp. Were they still to haunt him
across the confines of this world?"
" If you are awake, Ben, you had bet
ter taste this gruel that I have made for
you," said Louisa, quietly. " You must
be nearly famished."
" How came you here ?" was all the
answer Ben vouchsafed.
" You are mighty polite If you are
most starved. Who else could come,
and father not able to lift his head ? I
brought Tim ; he is putting up the
horses. It's no such pleasant journey,
either,I can tell you,between the wolves
and the frost, not to mention a cold wel
come. Come, ain't you going to ' take
something? Here's broth and coffee
and gruel take your choice."
" No you shall choose for me," said
Ben. " Listen. Unless you take back
the words you spoke when we met last,
unless you give me back love for love, I
swear I will not taste a morsel of any
thing you have to offer. I'll stay here
and starve rather than take a crumb of 1
comfort from your hand."
"What did I say?" asked Louisa
" You said that you could live without
" Oh, yes, I suppose I could, but I
should not want to."
" But you refused to marry me."
" Certainly ; because you didn't want
to marry a girl with no more heart than
an adder, Ben."
" I want to marry you, heart or no
Veart." . , . ... .
" Very well ; have some broth first,
won't you?" .
And then Tim came in, and Uncle
Simon awoke, and there was au end of
starvation in camp, ,