FICTION

The Woman Always Wins

W. REDVERS DENT October 15 1932
FICTION

The Woman Always Wins

W. REDVERS DENT October 15 1932

The Woman Always Wins

“Now there was a proper case of two men and one woman”

W. REDVERS DENT

and one woman are allus a sure bad n," said the old man as he took a huge n extra large plug of tobacco. He chewed r a moment as if collecting his memories, ast moving Muskoka River just below them. Indian proverb that if they is two men and e woman always wins.” n turned rather tired eyes toward him, and , a sigh of content on to the sun-warmed, .ercd rocks.

vK) on, Old Timer; tell me the tale and put me to sleep.” The old man's watery eyes switched to the tourist for a moment, his jaws chewing rhythmically.

“You, bein’ a city feller, won't understand what I mean when I say your kind is t;xi tired to gentle a woman proper. Now we people of the North alius liggers time ain't wasted if we take it off to halterbreak a woman or a boss. Kindness does it ; kindness and a good gad.”

"What have the Indians’ proverb and gentling a woman got to do with each other?” asked the old man’s companion.

"That Indian proverb,” the old man replied, "alius reminds me of Martha MacTavish and Jeff Martin and that young city feller. Now there was a proper case of two men and one woman. When it comes to women, I has my own ideas. One day I says to my Mary casual like. 'Look here, Mary, here’s a gcxxl chance to get somebody to support ye. I’m earnin’ forty a month and keep up at MacTavish’s camp. Why don’t you and me get hitched, and then you can go up with me and be camp ux;k, there bein’ only forty men to cook fer? That’ll double my wages an’ 1 can keep you easy.’ O’ course, she did it what woman wouldn’t? I trained her right, and, if 1 do say it, she’s a gcxxl woman and a gcxxl wife.”

BUT Martha MacTavish. who was MacTavish’s only colt (said the old man) was different. Yes, sir. cocky. She walked inserlently, with her chest out and her chin up. as if defyin’ all men. 11er eyes were queer, too. sort of smoky grey an’ always laughin’, but the trouble was you never could tell if they was laughin’ with you or agin’ you. But worse’n all that, she was the kind of a woman, when you talk to ’em, you find yourself with your hat in your hand and all the time you’re kickin’ yourself for takin’ it off.

O’ course, lots of men follered her around. Maybe that was because she was MacTavish’s daughter. She’d have none of ’em, though. At least, not till she came out to camp me day and met Jeff Martin, who was workin’ in the camp clearin’ lumber from the ground. Now Martin, who was a right smart powerful lad, was havin’ a fight with one of the hands, a swamper that had got inserlent. The swamper should have known by the set of Jeff’s chin that the lad was vàson in a fight, but he took him on and was pretty soon it cold. Martin was standin’ over him like a terrier waitin’ him to get up when the girl broke in. Jeff was stripped he waist and wearin’ mackinaw breeks that showed up ug legs. The muscles fair rippled under the white skin where they was red from the swamper’s punches. ‘ eyes, like cut steel, was smilin’ hard when she broke • woods onto him. She give a gasp and drew back,

and he just stocxl there, surprised, never havin’ seen her before.

O’ course they met, and o’ course she fought against lovin’ him. Yes, sir, she fought against it, because any one could see Jeff wouldn’t take anything from no woman no time even if he loved her. A man’s pride in hisself should be greater than any love he has. It was in Jeff, and she knew it. I'll bet she schemed night and day, try in’ to ligger out how she could bring him to heel. I guess that's what made her make him promise to stop ffghtin’.

The swamper that Martin licked got Big Bull Turner, one of the best scrappers in the North country, to come and lick Jeff. But Jeff wouldn’t fight Bull. That was when we found

out about him promisin’ the girl. He didn’t tell us, but we knew she had made him, for if there is anything a woman likes to do it’s to strip a man of his pride.

All that winter Martin kep’ his word, although Bull teased him all the time till he was near crazy. In that same camp was another feller, a city boy he was. with a blue shirt and a tie and all the trimmin’s. A nice lad he was, quiet and easy on everybody. But for near a month Bull nagged this lad until the poor kid couldn’t stand it no longer. One day the boy steps in at a certain remark of Bull’s which means fight and pastes him one. Well, sir, Bull was so surprised he near fell over, but he rushes and picks up the lad and throw's him five or six feet away onto the ground. The boy was game. Never did I see a gamer. He came back and tried to slap Bull. Again that big bear of a man picks him up and squeezes him till he groans out loud. Bull just grins and raises him high above his head.

Crash ! Bull bangs him on the ground, and this time the kid is a long time risin’. But he pulls himself up and staggers in again. His face is covered with blood, one arm is hangin’ limp, and he can hardly stand. Bull watches him come with blazin’ black eyes. This kid is showin’ him up. Few men had lasted as long as that. I see he intends to finish the matter.

“Just a minnit,” somebody says, and we all looks around. Jeff has stepi>ed into the circle and is standin’ there facin’ Bull. Just then the kid, blind and dazed, tries to stagger past, but Jeff stops him, his eyes starin’ at Bull Turner, ready to kill. I’d often wondered who’d win in a fight between Jeff and him, for the boy had great makin’s. I seen him once lift a six-hundred-pound portage pack as easy as a kitten. He didn't look much as he stood there, facin’ Bull, for he weren’t squat like Bull but long and lean. Well, as I was tellin’ you afore, Bull has been waitin’ a long time for this chance. He is out for blood and lots of it, and besides that the men had kidded him, sayin’ Jeff would give him a real tussle some day. And here Jeff is, standin’ in front of him now.

Once more the city boy, almost sobbin’ out loud at the idea of gettin’ licked, tries to push past but they wras nothin’ doin’. Jeff turned and took him back to the crowd and says, “Hold him while I ’tend to this thing.”

JEFF went back, pullin’ off his mackinaw as he goes. I often wondered what made him interfere that day. I can’t figger it out unless it was because he was young, too, while Bull was a man of forty and in his prime. Every day youngsters get a little stronger and cockier an’ say to themselves, “Well, I never will think myself a man unless I lick so and so in a regular stand-up fight.” Anyhow, there stood shaggy, hairy Big Bull, weavin’ from side to side and waitin’ with all the cunnin’ of experience for the young ’un to make a fool of hisself.

Jeff Martin knew he had the fight of his life ahead of him. He circled round Bull once, waitin’ for an openin’. O’ course Turner saw that, and as he circled he deliberately put his hand around his back and scratched, but Jeff only smiled and waited.

Whump! Jeff leaped in all of a

sudden and, smack! smack! he landed two heavy punches on Bull’s stummick. 1 remembered havin' seen Bull drunk one day and Jeff eyein’ him speculative like. so. thinks I, that was what he figgered, eh? That Bull’s weakness would be in the stummick.

Bough ! pough! He had jumped in again and thrown two more.

“Look out. kid!” I yells, but it was too late. Bull’s big hairy hands had caught hold of the lad and lifted him. I give a groan, for you could have heard the sound of Martin’s fall a long way off.

Hurrah, he was up again and back like a flash. I low he did it I don’t know, but just as Bull thought he could take it easy Jeff was on him like a wildcat. His right foot went behind Turner’s left. He smacked two punches to the stummick. For the first time since I’d known Bull, he was on the ground. He went down like a monument, and the rest of us just stared, then cheered.

“Look out, Jeff, look out !” somebody yelled.

Bull, who’d been layin’ cold on his back, showed why he was champeen. With one leap, he leapt to his feet and charged with his head down. It was the quickest thing I ever did see, and it was almost too quick for Jeff. But not quite. He managed to jump aside and Bull rushed past. He turned and the two men met head on. They locked in each other’s arms, Jeff punchin’ steady at Bull’s stummick with short jabby punches, while big Bull squeezed and squeezed.

Suddenly a queer silence settled on the crowd, and then I sees Jeff’s eyes open wide and look over Bull’s shoulder. He stopped punchin’, and Bull switched around to see what’s the matter. We stood stock still for it was Martha MacTavish. The girl’s eyes were blazin’. She starts to walk over. She stops when she gets to Jeff, standin’ there, naked to the waist.

She looks him over, slow and steady.

“Jeff,” she chokes, “you promised to act like a man and not like a beast. You promised me,” she repeats, "and now you dare to lower yourself to fight with that ...” and she points at Bull, scornful like. “It seems no woman can take a man’s word when it comes to fightin’.” She took a step for’ard, and looked at him again with such a look it made even me feel ashamed.

But at that minnit the city lad who'd been Ijeld l>ack while Jeff fought Bull stepped between ’em and looked square in Martha’s eyes and said, low but clear enough to be heard all over the camp:

“That’s a lie,” he said, and repeated it very slow. That’s a lie !”

Martha looks at him as if she can’t believe her ears. Then she turns and runs back. We all watched speechless.

VENGEANCE is mine, I will repay," saith the U»rd, but no woman ever believed that part of the Bible. They usually like to do the payin’ themselves, and I could see that Martha was no exception. Although she apj>eared to be. She never came back into the camp the rest of the w-inter, and I offen wondered what she thought about when l seed her on the street in Bracebridge. She looked just as independent as before and just as gay. There was alius men around her—town men from Orillia and Huntsville and Barry Sound.

Jeff and Owen—that was the city kid’s name became fast friends. In fac’ more than that, for Jeff spent the winter educatin’ Owen in the art of fightin’. He showed him how what was considered fair fightin’ in one part of the country was foul in another; that up here we only unnerstand one rule and that is w'hen the other feller grunts he gives in. You let him go then. But otherwise, fightin’ is fightin’ and not rammin’ around like two pups. That fight with Bull was never finished, but not because they didn’t want to. Bull insisted on it, for everybody said he was beat. But MacTavish started to haul out logs the day after and. o’ course, long as there’s work nobody wants to fight. Jeff taught Owen a lot of woodcraft, too, and as the winter was open he got MacTavish to let them practise on the logs.

Soon as I seed that, I knew Jeff was goin’ to take him for a partner on the jams in the spring. You got to be real friends to do that. Yuh see, in the winter all you do is haul out the logs and dump ’em onto the ice. When spring comes they start to float down the river when it’s in flood. Aye. in flood is right, for the Muskoka River then is a w'ild, roarin’ flood of ragin’ waters. Especially up at the rapids. Big logs come tearin’ and roarin’ down the chutes, tossed about like so many toothpicks. Here and there in the white w'ater is pieces of black rock stickin’ up. and sometimes they catch the logs and hold ’em. By and by another log piles on top o’ that, and then you have a jam. That’s the time the young bloods try their stuff. If they’s young and strong and light and sure on their feet, they work on the jam, alius two of them together. They work side by side almost. As they w'ork, one watches the other, for a slip means death unless your partner grabs you in time. You got to be good friends to work on the jam; aye. and more, you got to be w'hat the preacher calls “in communion with each other.” Be able to jump and catch the other even afore he falls. That’s why you got to be friends, with only two thoughts in your head —one for your chum and the other for your work.

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The W oman Always W ins

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So Jeff taught Owen all the tricks of the river, an’ they danced from log to log like bally dancers. Their friendship grew, and they got to be SÍ) quick and aware of each other you only had to let on you was goin’ to trip up one and the other'd come bouncin’. That’s how they were when spring come and the logs started down the river.

Bull, because he was big and strong, was alius put in charge of the gangs that peeveed the logs out of the backsnies and into the river again. O’ course, he also watched the river, ready to catch anybody or what was left of anylxxiy who slipped off the logs farther up. They’d rigged a life rope across the river for the puppose.

It was the second day of the run, when only half a hundred logs had gone down the fast water, that Jim McFee’s boy slipped off a log and, before his partner could get to him, dropper! into the icy cold water. I’ll never forget the wild shriek he give as the white water took hold and rushed him to the rocks Ixdow. We see his black head bobbin’ wildly in the foamin’ water. Nothin’ we could do but watch. By some miracle he missed the rocks which ’ud killed him instant, and floated into deep water at the bottom of the falls. Below that was more white water, and Bull’s gang with the rope still strung across the river. I almost cries aloud, because if he could miss a few more rocks he'd float against the rope and hang on till sometxxly came. Sure enough, Bull saw him cornin’, and his whole gang dropped their peevees and watched. That head missed the first two rocks in a rush and the white water took it again.

The black dot seemed to dash right against a rx'k, and we give a groan; we thought he was done. But, no. He come up again, and we cheered; he only had one more to pass, and then the ro|e. Well, he missed the rock, by glory, missed by inches, and we see his hand go up and grab the rope.

“Now, Bull!” we yells, but when we looks again we begins to get doubtful. That black head was right out in the middle of the stream, and how anybody could get to him was the question. It would have to be quick, mighty quick, fer that water’d numb his hands and they’d slip till he went down to be U)st. hopeless, in the whirlpool.

Bull was standin’ on the edge of the river, debatin’ what to do. He started to go out, holdin’ onto the line, till he got up to his arms, then the swirlin’ water got him and swept his legs away. But he got footin’ again. We could see him clear. I le had only to go a few feet and he’d lx* able to reach young McFee. Bull hesitated. He stopp'd before us all and turned back left that man there. The black head, that dingin’ arm, slipped and let go. We saw a hand wavin’ wildly and then it was gone. The fxxly was found next day at Four-Mile Rapids.

T3EIN’ a coward is a queer thing. Some •*-' men’re brave one way and some another. I knowed a feller who got a coupla medals in the war and was scared to death of mice. I was s’prised to see Bull go back. Mind ye. I ain’t sayin’ I wouldn’t do the same. lie knew we was watchin’ and he knew what we’d think, but he didn't care. Something hapjxmed there at the edge of that river that only God and Bull knows about. He climbed back out. and stood there like a collie that’s refused to go after a stick thrown in the water by his master.

But he didn't stay there long. A minnit later two ragin’, cursin’ devils was down on him, and they went after him like two terriers. You know it’s funny about kids. They have no mercy or pity. And maybe they’re right. Anyways, they beat him up. O’ course. Bull fought back. That was something he could unnerstand and was not afraid of. By and by he managed to push off the city boy. It was left to Jeff and him to finish. Even MacTavish didn’t interfere. Jeff was cold and hard; as cold and hard as the river. Bull stood there with

bared teeth ready to kill or be killed. Each man got his hold. Jeff's at the throat and Bull’s around the waist, squeezing like a bear. And there they stood, locked together. I didn’t know Jeff had so much strength in those fingers of his. Bull’s face began to go purple and black and all the while we could see his huge arms squeezin’, squeezin’ . . .

With a low gaspin’ sob that must’ve come from a broken heart. Bull let go and sank to the ground, with Jeff standin’ over him, breathin’ in gasps too. He was silent, though. This was a thing you don’t talk about, for Bull had been a great fighter in his day. And now his day was done.

As he stood there with Bull at his feet, a crowd of people came down a bush path and out onto the scene of the fight. And, o’ course, it would have to be Martha showin’ some city people the loggin’ work.

Their eyes met over Bull, and once more the city kid stepped forward to defend the man who now was his pal. But this time Martha was ready. She swished a short piece of willow she’d been playin’ with and whipped the kid clean across the face. She turned and walked away up the path, both boys watchin’ her go with a queer look in their eyes. And that look wasn’t hate. When I seen it I says to myself, “the woman always wins.”

There was a very queer feelin’ about that drive. First, there was big Bull, sore and seethin’ inside, drivin’ his gang to work as never before. A little farther down river them two lads, lovin’ each other like brothers, slavin’ away breakin’ down the jams, and savin’ each other’s lives hundreds o’ times a day just by that somethin’ that seemed to tell the other when trouble was about. And every little while Bull would cast brrxxlin’ eyes down the river at them and bieje his time.

Then Martha came. Leastways, I was in the office one day when she came in to see her old man. O' course, he had heerd of her bein’ there when Bull was licked. He had figgered it out that Jeff and Owen had fallen hard for her. He started to tease her about the men in camp gettin’ no sleep when she was around. O’ course, she was used to joshing like that from her dad and paid no attention. She just sUxxi lookin’ out the window. I didn’t have to guess very hard to make out she was tryin’ to figger out ways to get back at them two boys. She was mad with Jeff after fightin’ against her orders, and she was mad with Owen because he had butted in. I sees her eyes are black and stormy lookin’. A great lover she would make, I thinks, but a darned good hater, too. At that minnit MacTavish looks up from the desk, set's her at the window and says:

“Are you watchin’ for the city boy?”

She mutters somethin’ and MacTavish grins and says:

"Well, if anylxxly ever had a bad case on you it’s them two lads, so for heaven's sake don’t come between ’em. They’s the best men we’ve had on the river.”

She turns, and 1 see she's smilin’ queer like.

"You say both of them are in love with lowly me?”

"You bet they are, and bad. too. Why, Jeff had a pitcher of you over his bunk, and they both stop there and look at it as if it was a shrine.”

She laughs and I seen a gleam in her eyes. She starts to whistle under her breath. Suddenly she says. “Say. dad, I think I’ll go down to the river and watch them for awhile.” and as she runs out the door my heart sinks down to my boots.

TT WAS just as I feared, too. She goes

right down to the river where they're workin’ on the jam. and stands and watches ’em. At first. Jeff, who alius had loved her, can’t believe his eyes. But after awhile, when he comes ashore after a partickler hard bit o’ work, she smiles at him; and. o’ course, the xxx fool stumbles and stutters and is SÍ) scared to start an argument again that he

never tells her anything about why he was fightin’ or anything else.

After a while Owen comes ashore and danged if she don’t smile at him, too, and chatter along to them so they forgits everythin'. Owen, howsoever, bein’ used to city gals and their ways, don’t show as awkward as Jeff, and he even manages to talk a little. Naturally Jeff finds hisself just standin’ there, fumblin’, while Owen and her talks on, quite chummy. When I sees that I sighs and says, “That’s the end of the best friendship I ever did see between two hoomans.” A little later I seen Bull watchin’ ’em from above, and he was smilin’ sardonic.

She was there every day after that, and got more and more smilin’ with Owen. Jeff watched it at first, sort of hurt, and later I could see he was broodin’ like. Offen she would call Owen right off the jam where they was workin’. He would leave Jeff to work alone, which made it very dangerous for him and made Bull smile. One day when they was workin’ out on the jam she whistled for Owen. I le came runnin’. Jeff was doin’ a partickler nasty piece of work with the pike pole along a slippery log. This, o’ course, left him in the air. He was mad clean through, and he went back ashore and called Owen to come back on the logs. That was the first indeecation I got that they had been quarrelin’ for days past, because Owen turns and says:

“What’s the matter? Are you afraid of workin’ alone?”

Jeff looks hard at him for a minnit and

says:

“You don’t mean that, do you, Owen?”

For the first time in days they forgot that gal and stixxl lookin’ at each other. Then sudden and impulsive like, Owen says, “I’m a cad, Jeff, and I’m sorry.” And they both walks out on the logs again, leavin’ her cold. She watches them with a queer look in her eyes.

They gets back out on the logs again, and as I watched I saw by the way Owen is workin’ that he’s beginnin’ to feel he shouldn’t have left the girl so abrupt like. He keeps peepin’ back at her as she stands there. He looks at Jeff, workin’ out on the tip of the log, looks back at the girl who was smilin’ at him, and suddenly he starts to walk back toward shore. I groans out loud. She’d won after all.

The jam was nigh gone. Jeff had worked out nearly all the key logs and there was just one timber holdin’ the whole pile of sticks in place. He was shiftin’ that with a long pike pole, and to do that was standin’ out on the end of the jam that was juttin’ almost out in midstream up toward the rapids. If it slipped, that would mean he’d be sucked right under the jam itself.

I say now, as I said then, that Bull knew what he was doin’ when he went up to MacTavish and asked if he could open up the dam so he could get the bigger logs out from the backsnies. MacTavish couldn’t see the men from where he was. Bull says that before he let out the logs he looked down stream and saw Owen on shore, which, of course would mean his mate would be, too, which is the law of the river. So he pulled out the stop logs, and a foamin’ flood of water rushed down on the jam. Even with the dam closed, the Muskoka River in the spring is a wild, ragin’ torrent. Now, with the dam half open, it was a rushin’. tearin’ pile o’ white water that took everything before it. Huge timbers were tossed like matches. The tearing swirl of foaming water rushed down on Jeff as he stood there in mid-stream.

Owen was talkin’ with the girl on shore. If he’d been where he should be. he could have seen the fkxxi cornin’ in time to grab Jeff’s pike pole and pull him to safety. But lie wasn’t. I saw what was bound to happen.

Owen realized there was something wrong. He gave one look up-river and saw the rushin’ water. He leaped as 1 ’ve never seen a man leap before or since, and ran out on the jam. Jeff already had learned his danger and

held his pole out for Owen to take. In fact he’d turned, confident that Owen was there. Yes, sir. Jeff turned as confident as you wait for a street car. and reached out his pole for Owen to take. Suddenly he realized that his pole was just licking air. He looked up, startled, to w'here Owen was, and his eyes found his friend’s, the friend that had deserted him in the hour of need.

I saw the lad stop when it was too late to reach Jeff. He give one look up the river and then up at the sky as if he was prayin’ fer somethin’ to happen. He looked around and then the flood reached Jeff. I saw him drop his pike pole and wave at Owen. That wave said everything one man could say to another. Forgiveness and love and everything else. And then the white water took him, while Owen stood and watched it all.

NOBODY’LL ever know what passed through the boy’s mind as he watched, whether he prayed or what. He didn’t seem to think of himself. The water was swishin’ and swirlin’ vicious around him. As we watched, a great stick o’ timber broke loose, reared almost straight in the air and fell with a crash over the jam. Then there was another grindin’ crash from the big pile of logs, the water swirled around angrier than ever, and the jam bust into a thousand pieces of rearin’ timber.

I looked to where the girl had been standin’. I saw her tryin’ to climb out on them logs to what I figgered certain death. I wondered what was passin’ through her head. I thought of Jeff’s pike pole stretched out confident like. It seemed eternity since it happened, and yet ten seconds hadn’t passed. All of a sudden the log Owen was standin’ on started to move downstream. It was a big log and didn’t roll but kep’ a steady course, headin’ almost immediate out into mid-stream, followin’ the path o’ Jeff’s. When it came to the first rapids it disappeared in a nest of foam.

It occurred to me all of a sudden I was needed to save the girl. I ran down the rocks and out on the logs just in time to catch her and pull her back afore she followed the others. MacTavish and a gang came runnin’ up and wanted to know the trouble. I told him what’d happened, and he only asked one question: “Where was Owen?”

“Ashore,” I told him.

He give only one look at his daughter. She was staring, stoney-eyed, into the boilin’ water. He give a yell and started runnin’ down the bank, leavin’ me to stand and watch the girl, for I’d dandled her on my lap when she was a kid. At last she came to me, huddled up close and says:

“I won, Gamby. I was mad at him because he fought. I didn’t care about the fightin’, but I wanted him to obey me. It was such a grand feelin’ to give the man you love orders and have him obey them. But he didn’t—he fought so I decided to teach him a lesson. He did it again. Then I thought I’d make him jealous, and I did. Every day I could see it. His own best friend was in love with me, too, and I came every day and showed him the power I had over other men. That’s what I did, Gamby. Every day I showed him the power I had over other men. So I won-—”

Then she burst out weepin’ all of a sudden, while I thought it all over. She’d been in love with Jeff all the time!

“Hullo ! Ahoy !” somebody shouts.

I looks far down the bank, and there, right near a backsnie, I sees a bunch of men, includin’ MacTavish. Some of ’em were bendin’ down, and I knew the two boys were found. I told the gal about it gentle as I could, and she dried her eyes and. with her chin out as if she was goin’ to her own death, started to walk down the shore to where they was. At the same minnit somebody breaks loose from the bunch and starts to walk toward us. I blinks my eyes. It couldn’t be - but it was! I was certain of it

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The Woman Always Wins

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as I got closer, and so was she for she took tight hold o’ my arm. It was Owen ! How in the name of heaven he’d been saved I don’t know, but there he was. They told me. after, that the second jam of logs a little farther down the river had made a backwash and that was what saved him. He walked straight toward us, and there was a look in his eyes that made me jump in front of her. But she pushed me to one side and stood waitin’. His eyes were filled with such hate as I hope I never see in any man’s again. His words came like bullets from his tightclenched teeth.

“If I wanted to be a coward.” he says, “I could say it was you tempted me to forgit my duty. But it wasn’t you. It was my own foolishness. I was a fool—see? A fool ! But I won’t be again; never again. If he doesn’t live I’ll—” And the poor boy broke into a storm of tears.

She grabs his arm and pulls him round.

“Is he there?” she cries.

He nods. “Yes, he’s there,” he says, “on the ground.” And his voice is full of grief.

But she isn’t listen'n. She runs through that millin' bunch o’ men. She pushes to one side the man who’s givin’ him what they call this here artyficial resp’ration and kneels over him. lifting up the sagging head and warming it agin her buzzom and all the time whispering something in his ear. I offen wonder what that something was. for it seemed to work better’n that resp'ration stuff. After awhile he opens his eyes and smiles at her. O’ course, we had to leave ’em | then.”

V\ 7TIAT happened to Owen?” asked the * V man from the city when the old man had concluded his tale.

"Oh, him?” the latter said thoughtfully, j “Owen—he went back and married some | city gal. That’s what I like about young uns ! - they is dead with grief today and doin’! the same thing all over again tomorror. j They's all good friends again, o' course. ¡ And Martha don’t walk so inserlent as she! used to. She can’t, what with totin’ an' j coddlin’ her baby, an’ all.”