The Bull Moose - Ridgwell Cullum - ebook

The Bull Moose ebook

Ridgwell Cullum

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The story of the difficulties faced by residents in northern Canada. Everybody had a mad desire to get more gold, so the gold rush came. Mysterious guy robbed gold miners. All people are in a panic, all their gold disappears sharply.

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Liczba stron: 479

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Contents

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

Chapter XV

Chapter XVI

Chapter XVII

Chapter XVIII

Chapter XIX

Chapter XX

Chapter XXI

Chapter XXII

Chapter XXIII

Chapter XXIV

Chapter XXV

Chapter XXVI

Chapter XXVII

Chapter XXVIII

Chapter XXIX

Chapter XXX

Chapter XXXI

Chapter XXXII

Chapter XXXIII

Chapter XXXIV

Chapter I

The Border Patrol

“A sergeant and four men, eh?”

“Yes, sir. I think that’s the minimum–for the present.”

Superintendent Richard Ferrers was standing at the window. It was double-glassed and streaming with melting frost-rime. His lean, straight back was turned upon the barely furnished room, and upon the youthful officer seated at the big, whitewood table which was the official desk.

It was police headquarters at Fort Glenach, which was a high-sounding title for a very small cluster of frame buildings and log dugouts dotted about promiscuously on the precipitous cliff banks of the Alikine River. It was at that point on the international boundary where the swiftest river in the whole of the Canadian north rushed headlong on its way to the sea through the southernmost coastal region of Alaska.

Inspector Jack Danvers waited; and the while his chief’s back, in its smartly tailored patrol jacket, became a complete preoccupation for his steady but anxious eyes. He waited silently for that decision, which one way or the other, would mean so much in the many-sided work of his detachment.

But the man at the window seemed in no hurry to respond to his subordinate’s request. He just remained staring out through the moisture on the window.

It was a grim scene in spite of the glory of blazing spring sunshine. Far as the eye could see it was a world of forest and deep-shadowed valleys; it was tumbled and tattered; it was mistily steaming; and it went on miles and miles into the far distance, to the glacial rampart of mountains set up by nature against the wild fury of northern seas.

The rush of spring was in full season. Life had returned to a moribund world; it was there in a glorious sun that was high in the heavens; it was in the streaming hillsides pouring a liquid flood into the valleys below; it was in the already lightening hues of the dark pine forests. But more than all it was in the legions of waterfowl winging at speed for their remote northern feeding and breeding grounds.

At last there came a negative movement of the dark head. “You know, Danvers, I’d be glad to say ‘yes,’” Superintendent Ferrers said quietly. “Very glad. If you’d asked me the loan of a month’s pay it wouldn’t have given me more worry than to tell you not to get feeble. But a sergeant! And four men! Why, Athaba couldn’t produce an available boy scout.”

The superintendent turned back from the window. He crossed to the unpretentious table, and smilingly flung himself into a chair opposite his subordinate.

“You don’t realize the character of the control of our department down at Ottawa,” he proceeded. “It’s not police; it’s politician. Police and politicians don’t add up together in the same column of figures in a country’s ledger. Police are assets. The only thing that really stirs a politician’s gray matter to more than talk is the weighty club the press is just now wielding on the subject of official squandermania. Its bludgeoning is served up at every political breakfast table till its wretched victim doesn’t know if he’s eating ham and eggs, or the ashes of his own particular political career. Now Fort Reliance has jumped into life. It’s full of placer gold, and–other things. It’s three hundred miles north of you, here. It’s not in your area, nor in your work. Yet you want Ottawa to spend money on reinforcements. Tell me about it.”

Danvers held out his open cigarette case.

“That’s all right, sir,” he said cheerfully. “I know you’re tied hand and foot by Ottawa. But I’ve got to get those reinforcements. So long as I’m just a border patrol my detachment’s sufficient. I can hold the game down. But with a dead world resurrected away behind me into ugly life, it’s–different.”

Ferrers took a cigarette from the case and lit it. And as Danvers did the same he flashed a swift glance out of narrowed eyes at his subordinate.

“And why should a specially detailed border patrol find it–different?” he questioned.

“A police officer can possess a conscience.”

The superintendent inhaled luxuriously. Then he nodded.

“I s’pose he can,” he agreed.

“That’s the hell of it, chief!” Danvers exploded, with a laugh that did not contain much mirth. “The territory back of me has come alive. There’s Reliance, with a hundred souls and a bunch of four thousand of the world’s meannest neches. It’s full up with a welter of human muck that’s always boiling over. And there’s not a soul to clean up the mess, unless it’s me.”

Ferrers liked the forthrightness of this man who was his junior officer.

He stood up from his chair and passed across to the woodstove radiating pleasant heat that was wholly welcome in spite of the spring thaw.

“Reliance is going to be a big placer field?” he observed casually.

Danvers’ eyes became thoughtful.

“It’s that already, sir. It’s–it’s saturated with pay stuff all the way along the river right from Reliance up to the Valley of the Moose, another hundred miles farther north. You can sluice or pan it anywhere where there’s foreshore on the river. It’s–it’s just alive with gold. It’s over five years now, sir, since color was first struck. And in a way it’s queer the rush hasn’t come before. It would have, only there hasn’t been a front door to Reliance all that time. Only the back door over-land from Leaping Horse.”

“Why?”

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