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attaching to the Bloods to make their reserve a place of meeting.

"Jerry," said Cameron at length, "I believe they are up this Sun
Dance Canyon somewhere."

"No," said Jerry decisively.  "No sign--come down mesef."  His tone
was that of finality.

"I believe, Jerry, they doubled back and came in from the north end
after you had left.  I feel sure they are up there now and we will
go and find them."

Jerry sat silent, smoking thoughtfully.  Finally he took his pipe
from his mouth, pressed the tobacco hard down with his horny middle
finger and stuck it in his pocket.

"Mebbe so," he said slowly, a slight grin distorting his wizened
little face, "mebbe so, but t'ink not--me."

"Well, Jerry, where could they have gone?  They might ride straight
to Crowfoot's Reserve, but I think that is extremely unlikely.
They certainly would not go to the Bloods, therefore they must be
up this canyon.  We will go up, Jerry, for ten miles or so and see
what we can see."

"Good," said Jerry with a grunt, his tone conveying his conviction
that where the chief scout of the North West Mounted Police had
said it was useless to search, any other man searching would have
nothing but his folly for his pains.

"Have a sleep first, Jerry.  We need not start for a couple of

Jerry grunted his usual reply, rolled himself in his blanket and,
lying down at the back of a rock, was asleep in a minute's time.

In two hours to the minute he stood beside his pony waiting for
Cameron, who had been explaining his plan to the two constables and
giving them his final orders.

The orders were very brief and simple.  They were to wait where
they were till noon.  If any of the band of Piegans appeared one of
the men was to ride up the canyon with the information, the other
was to follow the band till they camped and then ride back till he
should meet his comrades.  They divided up the grub into two parts
and Cameron and the interpreter took their way up the canyon.

The canyon consisted of a deep cleft across a series of ranges of
hills or low mountains.  Through it ran a rough breakneck trail
once used by the Indians and trappers but now abandoned since the
building of the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Kicking Horse
Pass and the opening of the Government trail through the Crow's
Nest.  From this which had once been the main trail other trails
led westward into the Kootenays and eastward into the Foothill
country.  At times the canyon widened into a valley, rich in
grazing and in streams of water, again it narrowed into a gorge,
deep and black, with rugged sides above which only the blue sky was
visible, and from which led cavernous passages that wound into the
heart of the mountains, some of them large enough to hold a hundred
men or more without crowding.  These caverns had been and still
were found to be most convenient and useful for the purpose of
whisky-runners and of cattle-rustlers, affording safe hiding-places
for themselves and their spoil.  With this trail and all its
ramifications Jerry was thoroughly familiar.  The only other man in
the Force who knew it better than Jerry was Cameron himself.  For
many months he had patroled the main trail and all its cross
leaders, lived in its caves and explored its caverns in pursuit of
those interesting gentlemen whose activities more than anything
else had rendered necessary the existence of the North West Mounted
Police.  In ancient times the caves along the Sun Dance Trail had
been used by the Indian Medicine-Men for their pagan rites, and
hence in the eyes of the Indians to these caves attached a dreadful
reverence that made them places to be avoided in recent years by
the various tribes now gathered on the reserves.  But during these
last months of unrest it was suspected by the Police that the
ancient uses of these caves had been revived and that the rites
long since fallen into desuetude were once more being practised.

For the first few miles of the canyon the trail offered good
footing and easy going, but as the gorge deepened and narrowed the
difficulties increased until riding became impossible, and only by
the most strenuous efforts on the part of both men and beasts could
any advance be made.  And so through the day and into the late
evening they toiled on, ever alert for sight or sound of the Piegan
band.  At length Cameron broke the silence.

"We must camp, Jerry," he said.  "We are making no time and we may
spoil things.  I know a good camp-ground near by."

"Me too," grunted Jerry, who was as tired as his wiry frame ever
allowed him to become.

They took a trail leading eastward, which to all eyes but those
familiar with it would have been invisible, for a hundred yards or
so and came to the bed of a dry stream which issued from between
two great rocks.  Behind one of these rocks there opened out a
grassy plot a few yards square, and beyond the grass a little
lifted platform of rock against a sheer cliff.  Here they camped,
picketing their horses on the grass and cooking their supper upon
the platform of rock over a tiny fire of dry twigs, for the wind
was blowing down the canyon and they knew that they could cook
their meal and have their smoke without fear of detection.  For
some time after supper they sat smoking in that absolute silence
which is the characteristic of the true man of the woods.  The
gentle breeze blowing down the canyon brought to their ears the
rustling of the dry poplar-leaves and the faint murmur of the
stream which, tumbling down the canyon, accompanied the main trail
a hundred yards away.

Suddenly Cameron's hand fell upon the knee of the half-breed with a
swift grip.

"Listen!" he said, bending forward.

With mouths slightly open and with hands to their ears they both
sat motionless, breathless, every nerve on strain.  Gradually the
dead silence seemed to resolve itself into rhythmic waves of motion
rather than of sound--"TUM-ta-ta-TUM.  TUM-ta-ta-TUM.  TUM-ta-ta-
TUM."  It was the throb of the Indian medicine-drum, which once
heard can never be forgotten or mistaken.  Without a word to each
other they rose, doused their fire, cached their saddles, blankets
and grub, and, taking only their revolvers, set off up the canyon.
Before they had gone many yards Cameron halted.

"What do you think, Jerry?" he said.  "I take it they have come in
the back way over the old Porcupine Trail."

Jerry grunted approval of the suggestion.

"Then we can go in from the canyon.  It is hard going, but there is
less fear of detection.  They are sure to be in the Big Wigwam."

Jerry shook his head, with a puzzled look on his face.

"Dunno me."

"That is where they are," said Cameron.  "Come on!  Only two miles
from here."

Steadily the throb of the medicine-drum grew more distinct as they
moved slowly up the canyon, rising and falling upon the breeze that
came down through the darkness to meet them.  The trail, which was
bad enough in the light, became exceedingly dangerous and difficult
in the blackness of the night.  On they struggled painfully, now
clinging to the sides of the gorge, now mounting up over a hill and
again descending to the level of the foaming stream.

"Will they have sentries out, I wonder?" whispered Cameron in
Jerry's ear.

"No--beeg medicine going on--no sentry."

"All right, then, we will walk straight in on them."

"What you do?" inquired Jerry.

"We will see what they are doing and send them about their
business," said Cameron shortly.

"No," said Jerry firmly.  "S'pose Indian mak beeg medicine--bes'
leave him go till morning."

"Well, Jerry, we will take a look at them at any rate," said
Cameron.  "But if they are fooling around with any rebellion
nonsense I am going to step in and stop it."

"No," said Jerry again very gravely.  "Beeg medicine mak' Indian
man crazy--fool--dance--sing--mak' brave--then keel--queeck!"

"Come along, then, Jerry," said Cameron impatiently.  And on they
went.  The throb of the drum grew clearer until it seemed that the
next turn in the trail should reveal the camp, while with the drum
throb they began to catch, at first faintly and then more clearly,
the monotonous chant "Hai-yai-kai-yai, Hai-yai-kai-yai," that ever
accompanies the Indian dance.  Suddenly the drums ceased altogether
and with it the chanting, and then there arose upon the night
silence a low moaning cry that gradually rose into a long-drawn
penetrating wail, almost a scream, made by a single voice.

Jerry's hand caught Cameron's arm with a convulsive grip.

"What the deuce is that?" asked Cameron.

"Sioux Indian--he mak' dat when he go keel."

Once more the long weird wailing scream pierced the night and,
echoing down the canyon, was repeated a hundred times by the black
rocky sides.  Cameron could feel Jerry's hand still quivering on
his arm.

"What's up with you, Jerry?" said Cameron impatiently.

"Me hear dat when A'm small boy--me."

Then Cameron remembered that it was Sioux blood that colored the
life-stream in Jerry's veins.

"Oh, pshaw!" said Cameron with gruff impatience.  "Come on!"  But
he was more shaken than he cared to acknowledge by that weird
unearthly cry and by its all too obvious effect upon the iron
nerves of that little half-breed at his side.

"Dey mak' dat cry when dey go meet Custer long 'go," said Jerry,
making no motion to go forward.

"What are you waiting for?" said Cameron harshly.  "Come along,
unless you want to go back."

His words stung the half-breed into action.  Cameron could feel him
in the dark jerk his hand away and hear him grit his teeth.

"Bah!  You go hell!" he muttered between his clenched teeth.

"That is better," said Cameron cheerfully.  "Now we will look in
upon these fire-eaters."

Sharp to the right they turned behind a cliff, and then back almost
upon their trail, still to the right, through a screen of spruce
and poplar, and found themselves in a hole of a rock that
lengthened into a tunnel blacker than the night outside.  Pursuing
this tunnel some little distance they became aware of a light that
grew as they moved toward it into a fire set in the middle of a
wide cavern.  The cavern was of irregular shape, with high-vaulted
roof, open to the sky at the apex and hung with glistening
stalactites.  The floor of this cavern lay slightly below them, and
from their position they could command a full view of its interior.

The sides of the cavern round about were crowded with tawny faces
of Indians arranged rank upon rank, the first row seated upon the
ground, those behind crouching upon their haunches, those still
farther back standing.  In the center of the cavern and with his
face lit by the fire stood the Sioux Chief, Onawata.

"Copperhead!  By all that's holy!" cried Cameron.

"Onawata!" exclaimed the half-breed.  "What he mak' here?"

"What is he saying, Jerry?  Tell me everything--quick!" commanded
Cameron sharply.

Jerry was listening with eager face.

"He mak' beeg spik," he said.

"Go on!"

"He say Indian long tam' 'go have all country when his fadder small
boy.  Dem day good hunting--plenty beaver, mink, moose, buffalo
like leaf on tree, plenty hit (eat), warm wigwam, Indian no seeck,
notting wrong.  Dem day Indian lak' deer go every place.  Dem day
Indian man lak' bear 'fraid notting.  Good tam', happy, hunt deer,
keel buffalo, hit all day.  Ah-h-h! ah-h-h!"  The half-breed's
voice faded in two long gasps.

The Sioux's chanting voice rose and fell through the vaulted cavern
like a mighty instrument of music.  His audience of crowding
Indians gazed in solemn rapt awe upon him.  A spell held them
fixed.  The whole circle swayed in unison with his swaying form as
he chanted the departed glories of those happy days when the red
man roamed free those plains and woods, lord of his destiny and
subject only to his own will.  The mystic magic power of that rich
resonant voice, its rhythmic cadence emphasized by the soft
throbbing of the drum, the uplifted face glowing as with prophetic
fire, the tall swaying form instinct with exalted emotion, swept the
souls of his hearers with surging tides of passion.  Cameron, though
he caught but little of its meaning, felt himself irresistibly borne
along upon the torrent of the flowing words.  He glanced at Jerry
beside him and was startled by the intense emotion showing upon his
little wizened face.

Suddenly there was a swift change of motif, and with it a change of
tone and movement and color.  The marching, vibrant, triumphant
chant of freedom and of conquest subsided again into the long-drawn
wail of defeat, gloom and despair.  Cameron needed no interpreter.
He knew the singer was telling the pathetic story of the passing of
the day of the Indian's glory and the advent of the day of his
humiliation.  With sharp rising inflections, with staccato phrasing
and with fierce passionate intonation, the Sioux wrung the hearts
of his hearers.  Again Cameron glanced at the half-breed at his
side and again he was startled to note the transformation in his
face.  Where there had been glowing pride there was now bitter
savage hate.  For that hour at least the half-breed was all Sioux.
His father's blood was the water in his veins, the red was only his
Indian mother's.  With face drawn tense and lips bared into a
snarl, with eyes gleaming, he gazed fascinated upon the face of the
singer.  In imagination, in instinct, in the deepest emotions of
his soul Jerry was harking back again to the savage in him, and the
savage in him thirsting for revenge upon the white man who had
wrought this ruin upon him and his Indian race.  With a fine
dramatic instinct the Sioux reached his climax and abruptly ceased.
A low moaning murmur ran round the circle and swelled into a
sobbing cry, then ceased as suddenly as there stepped into the
circle a stranger, evidently a half-breed, who began to speak.  He
was a French Cree, he announced, and delivered his message in the
speech, half Cree, half French, affected by his race.

He had come fresh from the North country, from the disturbed
district, and bore, as it appeared, news of the very first
importance from those who were the leaders of his people in the
unrest.  At his very first word Jerry drew a long deep breath and
by his face appeared to drop from heaven to earth.  As the half-
breed proceeded with his tale his speech increased in rapidity.

"What is he saying, Jerry?" said Cameron after they had listened
for some minutes.

"Oh he beeg damfool!" said Jerry, whose vocabulary had been learned
mostly by association with freighters and the Police.  "He tell
'bout beeg meeting, beeg man Louis Riel mak' beeg noise.  Bah!
Beeg damfool!"  The whole scene had lost for Jerry its mystic
impressiveness and had become contemptibly commonplace.  But not so
to Cameron.  This was the part that held meaning for him.  So he
pulled up the half-breed with a quick, sharp command.

"Listen close," he said, "and let me know what he says."

And as Jerry interpreted in his broken English the half-breed's
speech it appeared that there was something worth learning.  At
this big meeting held in Batoche it seemed a petition of rights, to

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