was noon on Monday when we ran down through the rapids at the foot of
Grand Lake, and forty minutes later we were welcomed at the French Post
by Mr. Thevenet, whose hospitality we were to enjoy for a little while
awaiting the arrival of the Yale.
two o’clock one morning the Yale came, and we were roused from our
beds. The Judge was to leave me now and return home, Gilbert
to make ready for long winter months of trapping in the lonely
wilderness, and I to remain and continue my wanderings northward.
said the Judge, as he shook my hand at parting, “I feel that we did
something worthwhile up there in the hills when we marked the spot
where good old Hubbard ended his last fight. I’m leaving the
country though with a feeling of profound regret. I wish I
were just going in with you instead of going home. I never
had that feeling before on leaving the wilderness, but this country has
exerted a peculiar fascination upon me. I understand what it
was now that drew you and Hubbard on and would not let you turn
back. I have learned what you meant when you called it “the
lure of the Labrador wild.”
then the men shouted again, and the Judge left me. I could
hear the rattle of oarlocks across the waters, and
then—quiet. The Judge was gone back to the great world of
noise and strife, and I was sorry.
lingered a little while before returning to my bed to watch the weird
flashes of the aurora borealis and to smell the damp forest, and to
recall the noble acts of noble companions who had tramped the weary
trails and sat with me by glowing campfires up there in the silent
wilderness. I could have had no more sympathetic companion
than Judge Malone upon this mission to Hubbard’s last camp from which
we had just returned. There is nothing like the refining fire
of the long trail to try out man’s qualities.