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whispered word, "Jerry here."  Cameron rolled over and came close
against the little half-breed, bound as he was himself.  Again came
the "hist!"

"Me all lak' youse'f," said Jerry.  "No spik any.  Look out front."

The Indian on guard was eagerly looking and listening to what was
going on before him beside the fire.  At one side of the circle sat
the Indians in council.  Copperhead was standing and speaking to

"What is he saying?" said Cameron, his mouth close to Jerry's ear.

"He say dey keel us queeck.  Indian no lak' keel.  Dey scare Police
get 'em.  Copperhead he ver' mad.  Say he keel us heemse'f--queeck."

Again and again and with ever increasing vehemence Copperhead urged
his views upon the hesitating Indians, well aware that by involving
them in such a deed of blood he would irrevocably commit them to
rebellion.  But he was dealing with men well-nigh as subtle as
himself, and for the very same reason as he pressed them to the
deed they shrank back from it.  They were not yet quite prepared to
burn their bridges behind them.  Indeed some of them suggested the
wisdom of holding the prisoners as hostages in case of necessity
arising in the future.

"What Indians are here?" whispered Cameron.

"Piegan, Sarcee, Blood," breathed Jerry.  "No Blackfeet come--not
yet--Copperhead he look, look, look all yesterday for Blackfeet
coming.  Blackfeet come to-morrow mebbe--den Indian mak' beeg
medicine.  Copperhead he go meet Blackfeet dis day--he catch you--
he go 'gain to-morrow mebbe--dunno."

Meantime the discussion in the council was drawing to a climax.
With the astuteness of a true leader Copperhead ceased to urge his
view, and, unable to secure the best, wisely determined to content
himself with the second-best.  His vehement tone gave place to one
of persuasion.  Finally an agreement appeared to be reached by all.
With one consent the council rose and with hands uplifted they all
appeared to take some solemn oath.

"What are they saying?" whispered Cameron.

"He say," replied Jerry, "he go meet Blackfeet and when he bring
'em back den dey keel us sure t'ing.  But," added Jerry with a
cheerful giggle, "he not keel 'em yet, by Gar!"

For some minutes they waited in silence, then they saw Copperhead
with his bodyguard of Sioux disappear from the circle of the
firelight into the shadows of the forest.

"Now you go sleep," whispered Jerry.  "Me keep watch."

Even before he had finished speaking Cameron had lain back upon the
ground and in spite of the pain in his tightly bound limbs such was
his utter exhaustion that he fell fast asleep.

It seemed to him but a moment when he was again awakened by the
touch of a hand stealing over his face.  The hand reached his lips
and rested there, when he started up wide-awake.  A soft hiss from
the back of the hut arrested him.

"No noise," said a soft guttural voice.  Again the hand was thrust
through the brush wall, this time bearing a knife.  "Cut string,"
whispered the voice, while the hand kept feeling for the thongs
that bound Cameron's hands.  In a few moments Cameron was free from
his bonds.

"Give me the knife," he whispered.  It was placed in his hands.

"Tell you squaw," said the voice, "sick boy not forget."

"I will tell her," replied Cameron.  "She will never forget you."
The boy laid his hand on Cameron's lips and was gone.

Soon Jerry too was free.  Slowly they wormed their way through the
flimsy brush wall at the back, and, crouching low, looked about
them.  The camp was deep in sleep.  The fires were smoldering in
their ashes.  Not an Indian was moving.  Lying across the front of
their little hut the sleeping form of their guard could be seen.
The forest was still black behind them, but already there was in
the paling stars the faint promise of the dawn.  Hardly daring to
breathe, they rose and stood looking at each other.

"No stir," said Jerry with his lips at Cameron's ear.  He dropped
on his hands and knees and began carefully to remove every twig
from his path so that his feet might rest only upon the deep leafy
mold of the forest.  Carefully Cameron followed his example, and,
working slowly and painfully, they gained the cover of the dark
forest away from the circle of the firelight.

Scarcely had they reached that shelter when an Indian rose from
beside a fire, raked the embers together, and threw some sticks
upon it.  As Cameron stood watching him, his heart-beat thumping in
his ears, a rotten twig snapped under his feet.  The Indian turned
his face in their direction, and, bending forward, appeared to be
listening intently.  Instantly Jerry, stooping down, made a
scrambling noise in the leaves, ending with a thump upon the
ground.  Immediately the Indian relaxed his listening attitude,
satisfied that a rabbit was scurrying through the forest upon his
own errand bent.  Rigidly silent they stood, watching him till long
after he had lain down again in his place, then once more they
began their painful advance, clearing treacherous twigs from every
place where their feet should rest.  Fortunately for their going
the forest here was largely free from underbrush.  Working
carefully and painfully for half an hour, and avoiding the trail by
the Ghost River, they made their way out of hearing of the camp and
then set off at such speed as their path allowed, Jerry in the lead
and Cameron following.

"Where are you going, Jerry?" inquired Cameron as the little half-
breed, without halt or hesitation, went slipping through the

"Kananaskis," said Jerry.  "Strike trail near Bow Reever."

"Hold up for a moment, Jerry.  I want to talk to you," said

"No!  Mak' speed now.  Stop in brush."

"All right," said Cameron, following close upon his heels.

The morning broadened into day, but they made no pause till they
had left behind them the open timber and gained the cover of the
forest where the underbrush grew thick.  Then Jerry, finding a dry
and sheltered spot, threw himself down and stretched himself at
full length waiting for Cameron's word.

"Tired, Jerry?" said Cameron.

"Non," replied the little man scornfully.  "When lie down tak' 'em

"Good!  Now listen!  Copperhead is on his way to meet the Blackfeet,
but I fancy he is going to be disappointed."  Then Cameron narrated
to Jerry the story of his recent interview with Crowfoot.  "So I
don't think," he concluded, "any Blackfeet will come.  Copperhead
and Running Stream are going to be sold this time.  Besides that the
Police are on their way to Kananaskis following our trail.  They
will reach Kananaskis to-night and start for Ghost River to-morrow.
We ought to get Copperhead between us somewhere on the Ghost River
trail and we must get him to-day.  Where will he be now?"

Jerry considered the matter, then, pointing straight eastward, he

"On trail Kananaskis not far from Ghost Reever."

"Will he be that far?" inquired Cameron.  "He would have to sleep
and eat, Jerry."

"Non!  No sleep--hit sam' tam' he run."

"Then it is quite possible," said Cameron, "that we may head him

"Mebbe--dunno how fas' he go," said Jerry.

"By the way, Jerry, when do we eat?" inquired Cameron.

"Pull belt tight," said Jerry with a grin.  "Hit at cache on

"Do you mean to say you had the good sense to cache some grub,
Jerry, on your way down?"

"Jerry lak' squirrel," replied the half-breed.  "Cache grub many
place--sometam come good."

"Great head, Jerry.  Now, where is the cache?"

"Halfway Kananaskis to Ghost Reever."

"Then, Jerry, we must make that Ghost River trail and make it quick
if we are to intercept Copperhead."

"Bon!  We mus' mak' beeg speed for sure."  And "make big speed"
they did, with the result that by midday they struck the trail not
far from Jerry's cache.  As they approached the trail they
proceeded with extreme caution, for they knew that at any moment
they might run upon Copperhead and his band or upon some of their
Indian pursuers who would assuredly be following them hard.  A
careful scrutiny of the trail showed that neither Copperhead nor
their pursuers had yet passed by.

"Come now ver' soon," said Jerry, as he left the trail, and,
plunging into the brush, led the way with unerring precision to
where he had made his cache.  Quickly they secured the food and
with it made their way back to a position from which they could
command a view of the trail.

"Go sleep now," said Jerry, after they had done.  "Me watch one

Gladly Cameron availed himself of the opportunity to catch up his
sleep, in which he was many hours behind.  He stretched himself on
the ground and in a moment's time lay as completely unconscious as
if dead.  But before half of his allotted time was gone he was
awakened by Jerry's hand pressing steadily upon his arm.

"Indian come," whispered the half-breed.  Instantly Cameron was
wide-awake and fully alert.

"How many, Jerry?" he asked, lying with his ear to the ground.

"Dunno.  T'ree--four mebbe."

They had not long to wait.  Almost as Jerry was speaking the figure
of an Indian came into view, running with that tireless trot that
can wear out any wild animal that roams the woods.

"Copperhead!" whispered Cameron, tightening his belt and making as
if to rise.

"Wait!" replied Jerry.  "One more."

Following Copperhead, and running not close upon him but at some
distance behind, came another Indian, then another, till three had
passed their hiding-place.

"Four against two, Jerry," said Cameron.  "That is all right.  They
have their knives, I see, but only one gun.  We have no guns and
only one knife.  But Jerry, we can go in and kill them with our
bare hands."

Jerry nodded carelessly.  He had fought too often against much
greater odds in Police battles to be unduly disturbed at the
present odds.

Silently and at a safe distance behind they fell into the wake of
the running Indians, Jerry with his moccasined feet leading the
way.  Mile after mile they followed the trail, ever on the alert
for the doubling back of those whom they were pursuing.  Suddenly
Cameron heard a sharp hiss from Jerry in front.  Swiftly he flung
himself into the brush and lay still.  Within a minute he saw
coming back upon the trail an Indian, silent as a shadow and
listening at every step.  The Indian passed his hiding-place and
for some minutes Cameron lay watching until he saw him return in
the same stealthy manner.  After some minutes had elapsed a soft
hiss from Jerry brought Cameron cautiously out upon the trail once

"All right," whispered Jerry.  "All Indians pass on before."  And
once more they went forward.

A second time during the afternoon Jerry's warning hiss sent
Cameron into the brush to allow an Indian to scout his back trail.
It was clear that the presence of Cameron and the half-breed upon
the Ghost River trail had awakened the suspicion in Copperhead's
mind that the plan to hold a powwow at Manitou Rock was known to
the Police and that they were on his trail.  It became therefore
increasingly evident to Cameron that any plan that involved the
possibility of taking Copperhead unawares would have to be
abandoned.  He called Jerry back to him.

"Jerry," he said, "if that Indian doubles back on his track again I
mean to get him.  If we get him the other chaps will follow.  If I
only had a gun!  But this knife is no use to me."

"Give heem to me," said Jerry eagerly.  "I find heem good."

It was toward the close of the afternoon when again Jerry's hiss
warned Cameron that the Indian was returning upon his trail.
Cameron stepped into the brush at the side, and, crouching low,
prepared for the encounter, but as he was about to spring Jerry
flashed past him, and, hurling himself upon the Indian's back,
gripped him by the throat and bore him choking to earth, knocking
the wind out of him and rendering him powerless.  Jerry's knife
descended once bright, once red, and the Indian with a horrible
gasping cry lay still.

"Quick!" cried Cameron, seizing the dead man by the shoulders.
"Lift him up!"

Jerry sprang to seize the legs, and, taking care not to break down
the brush on either side of the trail, they lifted the body into
the thick underwood and concealing themselves beside it awaited
events.  Hardly were they out of sight when they heard the soft pad
of several feet running down the trail.  Opposite them the feet
stopped abruptly.

"Huh!" grunted the Indian runner, and darted back by the way he had

"Heem see blood," whispered Jerry.  "Go back tell Copperhead."

With every nerve strung to its highest tension they waited,
crouching, Jerry tingling and quivering with the intensity of his
excitement, Cameron quiet, cool, as if assured of the issue.

"I am going to get that devil this time, Jerry," he breathed.  "He
dragged me by the neck once.  I will show him something."

Jerry laid his hand upon his arm.  At a little distance from them
there was a sound of creeping steps.  A few moments they waited and
at their side the brush began to quiver.  A moment later beside
Cameron's face a hand carrying a rifle parted the screen of spruce
boughs.  Quick as a flash Cameron seized the wrist, gripping it
with both hands, and, putting his weight into the swing, flung
himself backwards; at the same time catching the body with his
knee, he heaved it clear over their heads and landed it hard
against a tree.  The rifle tumbled from the Indian's hand and he
lay squirming on the ground.  Immediately as Jerry sprang for the
rifle a second Indian thrust his face through the screen, caught
sight of Jerry with the rifle, darted back and disappeared with
Jerry hard upon his trail.  Scarcely had they vanished into the
brush when Cameron, hearing a slight sound at his back, turned
swiftly to see a tall Indian charging upon him with knife raised to
strike.  He had barely time to thrust up his arm and divert the
blow from his neck to his shoulder when the Indian was upon him
like a wild cat.

"Ha!  Copperhead!" cried Cameron with exultation, as he flung him
off.  "At last I have you!  Your time has come!"

The Sioux paused in his attack, looking scornfully at his
antagonist.  He was dressed in a highly embroidered tight-fitting
deerskin coat and leggings.

"Huh!" he grunted in a voice of quiet, concentrated fury.  "The
white dog will die."

"No, Copperhead," replied Cameron quietly.  "You have a knife, I
have none, but I shall lead you like a dog into the Police guard-

The Sioux said nothing in reply, but kept circling lightly on his
toes waiting his chance to spring.  As the two men stood facing
each other there was little to choose between them in physical
strength and agility as well as in intelligent fighting qualities.
There was this difference, however, that the Indian's fighting had
ever been to kill, the white man's simply to win.  But this
difference to-day had ceased to exist.  There was in Cameron's mind
the determination to kill if need be.  One immense advantage the
Indian held in that he possessed a weapon in the use of which he
was a master and by means of which he had already inflicted a

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