List Of Contents | Contents of The Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail
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toward the Police, such an amount of additional patrol-work was
necessary that the Police had almost reached the limit of their

"In fact, we have really a difficult proposition before us, short-
handed as we are," said the Superintendent as they closed their
interview.  "Indeed, if things become much worse we may find it
necessary to organize the settlers as Home Guards.  An outbreak on
the Saskatchewan might produce at any moment the most serious
results here and in British Columbia.  Meantime, while we stand
ready to help all we can, it looks to me, Cameron, that you are
right and that in this business you must go it alone pretty much."

"I realize that, sir," replied Cameron.  "But first I must get my
house built and things in shape, then I hope to take this up."

"Most certainly," replied the Superintendent.  "Take a month.  He
can't do much more harm in a month, and meantime we shall do our
utmost to obtain information and we shall keep you informed of
anything we discover."

The Superintendent and Sergeant accompanied Cameron and his friend
to the door.

"It is a black night," said Sergeant Crisp.  "I hope they're not
running any 'wet freight' in to-night."

"It's a good night for it, Sergeant," said Dr. Martin.  "Do you
expect anything to come in?"

"I have heard rumors," replied the Sergeant, "and there is a
freight train standing right there now which I have already gone
through but upon which it is worth while still to keep an eye."

"Well, good-night," said the Superintendent, shaking Cameron by the
hand.  "Keep me posted and when within reach be sure and see me.
Good-night, Dr. Martin.  We may want you too before long."

"All right, sir, you have only to say the word."

The night was so black that the trail which in the daylight was
worn smooth and plainly visible was quite blotted out.  The light
from the Indian camp fire, which was blazing brightly a hundred
yards away, helped them to keep their general direction.

"For a proper black night commend me to the prairie," said the
doctor.  "It is the dead level does it, I believe.  There is
nothing to cast a reflection or a shadow."

"It will be better in a few minutes," said Cameron, "when we get
our night sight."

"You are off the trail a bit, I think," said the doctor.

"Yes, I know.  I am hitting toward the fire.  The light makes it
better going that way."

"I say, that chap appears to be going some.  Quite a song and dance
he's giving them," said the doctor, pointing to an Indian who in
the full light of the camp fire was standing erect and, with hand
outstretched, was declaiming to the others, who, kneeling or
squatting about the fire, were giving him rapt attention.  The
erect figure and outstretched arm arrested Cameron.  A haunting
sense of familiarity floated across his memory.

"Let's go nearer," he said, "and quietly."

With extreme caution they made about two-thirds of the distance
when a howl from an Indian dog revealed their presence.  At once
the speaker who had been standing in the firelight sank crouching
to the ground.  Instantly Cameron ran forward a few swift steps
and, like a hound upon a deer, leapt across the fire and fair upon
the crouching Indian, crying "Call the Police, Martin!"

With a loud cry of "Police!  Police!  Help here!" Martin sprang
into the middle of an excited group of Indians.  Two of them threw
themselves upon him, but with a hard right and left he laid them
low and, seizing a stick of wood, sprang toward two others who were
seeking to batter the life out of Cameron as he lay gripping his
enemy by the throat with one hand and with the other by the wrist
to check a knife thrust.  Swinging his stick around his head and
repeating his cry for help, Martin made Cameron's assailants give
back a space and before they could renew the attack Sergeant Crisp
burst open the door of the Barracks, and, followed by a Slim young
constable and the Superintendent, came rushing with shouts upon the
scene.  Immediately upon the approach of the Police the Indians
ceased the fight and all that could faded out of the light into the
black night around them, while the Indian who continued to struggle
with incredible fury to free himself from Cameron's grip suddenly
became limp and motionless.

"Now, what's all this?" demanded the Sergeant.  "Why, it's you,
doctor, and where--?  You don't mean that's Cameron there?  Hello,
Cameron!" he said, leaning over him.  "Let go!  He's safe enough.
We've got him all right.  Let go!  By Jove!  Are they both dead?"

Here the Superintendent came up.  The incidents leading up to the
present situation were briefly described by the doctor.

"I can't get this fellow free," said the Sergeant, who was working
hard to release the Indian's throat from the gripping fingers.  He
turned Cameron over on his back.  He was quite insensible.  Blood
was pouring from his mouth and nose, but his fingers like steel
clamps were gripping the wrist and throat of his foe.  The Indian
lay like dead.

"Good Lord, doctor!  What shall we do?" cried the Superintendent.
"Is he dead?"

"No," said Martin, with his hand upon Cameron's heart.  "Bring
water.  You can't loosen his fingers till he revives.  The blow
that knocked him senseless set those fingers as they are and they
will stay set thus till released by returning consciousness."

"Here then, get water quick!" shouted the Superintendent to the
slim young constable.

Gradually as the water was splashed upon his face Cameron came back
to life and, relaxing his fingers, stretched himself with a sigh as
of vast relief and lay still.

"Here, take that, you beast!" cried the Sergeant, dashing the rest
of the water into the face of the Indian lying rigid and motionless
on the ground.  A long shudder ran through the Indian's limbs.
Clutching at his throat with both hands, he raised himself to a
sitting posture, his breath coming in raucous gasps, glared wildly
upon the group, then sank back upon the ground, rolled over upon
his side and lay twitching and breathing heavily, unheeded by the
doctor and Police who were working hard over Cameron.

"No bones broken, I think," said the doctor, feeling the battered
head.  "Here's where the blow fell that knocked him out," pointing
to a ridge that ran along the side of Cameron's head.  "A little
lower, a little more to the front and he would never have moved.
Let's get him in."

Cameron opened his eyes, struggled to speak and sank back again.

"Don't stir, old chap.  You're all right.  Don't move for a bit.
Could you get a little brandy, Sergeant?"

Again the slim young constable rushed toward the Barracks and in a
few moments returned with the spirits.  After taking a sip of the
brandy Cameron again opened his eyes and managed to say "Don't--"

"All right, old chap," said the doctor.  "We won't move you yet.
Just lie still a bit."  But as once more Cameron opened his eyes
the agony of the appeal in them aroused the doctor's attention.
"Something wrong, eh?" he said.  "Are you in pain, old boy?"

The appealing eyes closed, then, opening again, turned toward the

"Copperhead," he whispered.

"What do you say?" said the Superintendent kneeling down.

Once more with painful effort Cameron managed to utter the word

"Copperhead!" ejaculated the Superintendent in a low tense voice,
springing to his feet and turning toward the unconscious Indian.
"He's gone!" he cried with a great oath.  "He's gone!  Sergeant
Crisp!" he shouted, "Call out the whole Force!  Surround this camp
and hold every Indian.  Search every teepee for this fellow who was
lying here.  Quick!  Quick!"  Leaving Cameron to the doctor, who in
a few minutes became satisfied that no serious injury had been
sustained, he joined in the search with fierce energy.  The teepees
were searched, the squaws and papooses were ruthlessly bundled out
from their slumbers and with the Indians were huddled into the
Barracks.  But of the Sioux Chief there was no sign.  He had
utterly vanished.  The black prairie had engulfed him.

But the Police had their own methods.  Within a quarter of an hour
half a dozen mounted constables were riding off in different
directions to cover the main trails leading to the Indian reserves
and to sweep a wide circle about the town.

"They will surely get him," said Dr. Martin confidently.

"Not much chance of it," growled Cameron, to whom with returning
consciousness had come the bitter knowledge of the escape of the
man he had come to regard as his mortal enemy.  "I had him fast
enough," he groaned, "in spite of the best he could do, and I would
have choked his life out had it not been for these other devils."

"They certainly jumped in savagely," said Martin.  "In fact I
cannot understand how they got at the thing so quickly."

"Didn't you hear him call?" said Cameron.  "It was his call that
did it.  Something he said turned them into devils.  They were
bound to do for me.  I never saw Indians act like that."

"Yes, I heard that call, and it mighty near did the trick for you.
Thank Heaven your thick Hielan' skull saved you."

"How did they let him go?" again groaned Cameron.

"How?  Because he was too swift for us," said the Superintendent,
who had come in, "and we too slow.  I thought it was an ordinary
Indian row, you see, but I might have known that you would not have
gone in in that style without good reason.  Who would think that
this old devil should have the impudence to camp right here under
our nose?  Where did he come from anyway, do you suppose?"

"Been to the Blackfoot Reserve like enough and was on his way to
the Sarcees when he fell in with this little camp of theirs."

"That's about it," replied the Superintendent gloomily.  "And to
think you had him fast and we let him go!"

The thought brought small comfort to any of them, least of all to
Cameron.  In that vast foothill country with all the hidings of the
hills and hollows there was little chance that the Police would
round up the fugitive, and upon Cameron still lay the task of
capturing this cunning and resourceful foe.

"Never mind," said Martin cheerily.  "Three out, all out.  You'll
get him next time."

"I don't know about that.  But I'll get him some time or he'll get
me," replied Cameron as his face settled into grim lines.  "Let's
get back."

"Are you quite fit?" inquired the Superintendent.

"Fit enough.  Sore a bit in the head, but can navigate."

"I can't tell you how disappointed and chagrined I feel.  It isn't
often that my wits are so slow but--"  The Superintendent's jaws
here cut off his speech with a snap.  The one crime reckoned
unpardonable in the men under his own command was that of failure
and his failure to capture old Copperhead thus delivered into his
hands galled him terribly.

"Well, good-night, Cameron," said the Superintendent, looking out
into the black night.  "We shall let you know to-morrow the result
of our scouting, though I don't expect much from it.  He is much
too clever to be caught in the open in this country."

"Perhaps he'll skidoo," said Dr. Martin hopefully.

"No, he's not that kind," replied the Superintendent.  "You can't
scare him out.  You have got to catch him or kill him."

"I think you are right, sir," said Cameron.  "He will stay till his
work is done or till he is made to quit."

"That is true, Cameron--till he is made to quit--and that's your
job," said the Superintendent solemnly.

"Yes, that is my job, sir," replied Cameron simply and with equal
solemnity.  "I shall do my best."

"We have every confidence in you, Cameron," replied the
Superintendent.  "Good-night," he said again, shutting the door.

"Say, old man, this is too gruesome," said Martin with fierce
impatience.  "I can't see why it's up to you more than any other."

"The Sun Dance Trail is the trail he must take to do his work.
That was my patrol last year--I know it best.  God knows I don't
want this--" his breath came quick--"I am not afraid--but--but
there's--  We have been together for such a little while, you
know."  He could get no farther for a moment or two, then added
quietly, "But somehow I know--yes and she knows--bless her brave
heart--it is my job.  I must stay with it."



By the time they had reached the hotel Cameron was glad enough to
go to his bed.

"You need not tell your wife, I suppose," said the doctor.

"Tell her?  Certainly!" said Cameron.  "She is with me in this.  I
play fair with her.  Don't you fear, she is up to it."

And so she was, and, though her face grew white as she listened to
the tale, never for a moment did her courage falter.

"Doctor, is Allan all right?  Tell me," she said, her big blue eyes
holding his in a steady gaze.

"Right enough, but he must have a long sleep.  You must not let him
stir at five."

"Then," said Mandy, "I shall go to meet the train, Allan."

"But you don't know Moira."

"No, but I shall find her out."

"Of course," said Dr. Martin in a deprecating tone, "I know Miss
Cameron, but--"

"Of course you do," cried Mandy.  "Why, that is splendid!  You will
go and Allan need not be disturbed.  She will understand.  Not a
word, now, Allan.  We will look after this, the doctor and I, eh,

"Why--eh--yes--yes certainly, of course.  Why not?"

"Why not, indeed?" echoed Mandy briskly.  "She will understand."

And thus it was arranged.  Under the influence of a powder left by
Dr. Martin, Cameron, after an hour's tossing, fell into a heavy

"I am so glad you are here," said Mandy to the doctor, as he looked
in upon her.  "You are sure there is no injury?"

"No, nothing serious.  Shock, that's all.  A day's quiet will fix
him up."

"I am so thankful," said Mandy, heaving a deep sigh of relief, "and
I am so glad that you are here.  And it is so nice that you know

"You are not going to the train?" said the doctor.

"No, no, there is no need, and I don't like to leave him.  Besides
you don't need me."

"N-o-o, no, not at all--certainly not," said the doctor with
growing confidence.  "Good-night.  I shall show her to her room."

"Oh," cried Mandy, "I shall meet you when you come.  Thank you so
much.  So glad you are here," she added with a tremulous smile.

The doctor passed down the stairs.

"By Jove, she's a brick!" he said to himself.  "She has about all
she can stand just now.  Glad I am here, eh?  Well, I guess I am
too.  But what about this thing?  It's up to me now to do the Wild
West welcome act, and I'm scared--plain scared to death.  She won't
know me from a goat.  Let's see.  I've got two hours yet to work up
my ginger.  I'll have a pipe to start with."

He passed into the bar, where, finding himself alone, he curled up
in a big leather chair and gave himself up to his pipe and his
dreams.  The dingy bar-room gave place to a little sunny glen in
the Highlands of Scotland, in which nestled a little cluster of
stone-built cottages, moss-grown and rose-covered.  Far down in the
bottom of the Glen a tiny loch gleamed like a jewel.  Up on the

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