« 이전계속 »
The Man from Glengarry
By Ralph Connor
Author of " Black Rock," " The Sky Pilot," etc.
COPYRIGHT, 1901, FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY
Chapter XII.—Seed-Time • Purty fine beast,” he said, in a low
tone, running his hands down her legs. HE day after Big Mack's funeral, “Guess you wouldn't care to part with
Ranald was busy polishing Li- that mare?”
sette's glossy skin, before the “No," said Ranald, shortly, but as he stable door. This was his favorite remedy spoke his heart sank within him. for gloomy thoughts, and Ranald was full *Ought to fetch a fairly good figure," of gloomy thoughts to-day. His father, continued Yankee, meditatively. “Le's though going about the house, was still see.
She's from La Roque's Lisette, weak, and, worse than all, was fretting in ain't she? Ought to have some speed.' his weakness. He was oppressed with He untied Lisette's halter. “ Take her the terrible fear that he would never again down in the yard yonder," he said to be able to do a man's work, and Ranald Ranald. knew from the dark look in his father's Ranald threw the halter over Lisette's face that day and night the desire for neck, sprang on her back, and sent her vengeance was gnawing at his heart, and down the lane at a good smart pace. At Ranald knew something of the bitterness the bottom of the lane he wheeled her, of this desire from the fierce longing that and, riding low upon her neck, came back lay deep in his own. Some day, when to the barn like a whirlwind. his fingers would be feeling for Le Noir's · By jings !” exclaimed Yankee, surthroat, he would drink long and fully prised out of his lazy drawl, “ she's got that sweet draught of vengeance. He it, you bet your last brick. See here, knew, too, that it added to the bitterness boy, there's money into that animal. in his father's heart to know that, in the Thought I would like to have her for my spring's work that every warm day was buckboard, but I have got an onfortunite bringing nearer, he could take no part; conscience that won't let me do up any and that was partly the cause of Ranald's partner, so I guess I can't make any gloom. With the slow-moving oxen, he offer.” could hardly hope to get the seed in in Ranald stood beside Lisette, his arm time, and they needed the crop this year tirown over her beautiful neck and his if ever they did, for last year's interest on hand fondling her gently about the ears. the mortgage was still unpaid and the “ I will not seil her." His voice was low next installment was nearly due.
and fierce, and all the more so because As he was putting the finishing touches he knew that was just what he would do, upon Lisette's satin skin, Yankee drove and his lieart was sick with the pain of up to the yard with his Fox horse and the thought. buckboard. His box was strapped on " I say," said Yankee, suddenly, “cudn't behind, and his blankets, rolled up in a bunk me in your loft, cud you? Can't bundle, filled the seat beside him.
stand the town. Too close." “Mornin',” he called to Ranald. “Purty The confining limitations of the Twenfine shine, that, and purty fine mare, all tieth, that metropolitan center of some round,” he continued, walking about dozen buildings, including the sawmill Lisette and noting admiringly her beauti- and blacksmith shop, were too trying for ful proportions.
Yankee's nervous system.
• Yes, indeed,” said Ranald, heartily. with himself, and allowed him to have the * We will be very glad to have you, and it reins. will be the very best thing for father." They spent the morning driving up and
“S'pose old Fox cud nibble round the down the lane with Lisette and Fox brûlé," continued Yankee, nodding his hitched to the stone-boat. The colt had head toward his sorrel horse. “ Don't been kindly treated from her earliest days, think I will do much drivin' machine busi- and consequently knew nothing of fear. ness. Rather slow." Yankee spent the She stepped daintily beside old Fox, fretsummer months selling sewing-machines ting and chafing in the harness, but withand new patent churns.
out thought of any violent objection. In “ There's plenty of pasture,” said Ran- the afternoon the colt was put through ald, “ and Fox will soon make friends with her morning experience, with the variation Lisette. She is very kind, whatever.” that the stone-boat was piled up with a
* Ain't ever hitched her, have you?" said fairly heavy load of earth and stone. And, Yankee.
about noon the day following, Lisette was “ No."
turning her furrow with all the steadiness “ Well, might hitch her up some day. of a horse twice her age. Guess you wudn't hurt the buckboard." Before two weeks were over, Yankee
"Not likely,” said Ranald, looking at with the horses and Ranald with the oxen the old, ramshackle affair.
had finished the plowing, and in another “ Used to drive some, myself," said ten days the fields lay smooth and black Yankee. But to this idea Ranald did not with the seed harrowed safely in waiting take kindly.
for the rain. Yankee stood for a few moments looking Yankee's visit had been a godsend, down the lane and over the fields, and not only to Ranald with his work, but also then, turning to Ranald, said, “Guess it's to Macdonald Dhu. He would talk to the about ready to begin plowin' Got quite grim, silent man by the hour, after the a lot of it to do, too, ain't you?"
day's work was done, far into the night, “ Yes,” said Ranald, “ I was thinking I till at length he managed to draw from would be beginning to-morrow.”
him the secret of his misery. * Purty slow business with the oxen. “ I will never be a man again,” he said How would it do to hitch up Lisette and bitterly to Yankee. “And there is the old Fox yonder?"
farm all to pay for. I have put it off too Then Ranald understood the purpose long and now it is too late, and it is all of Yankee's visit.
because of that-that-brute beast of a “I would be very glad,” said Ranald, a Frenchman." great load lifting from his heart.
“ Mean cuss," ejaculated Yankee. afraid of the work with only the oxen." “ And I am saying," continued MacAnd then, after a pause, he added, “What donald Dhu, opening his heart still furdid you mean about buying Lisette ?” ther, “I am saying, it was no fair fight, He was anxious to have that point settled. whatever. I could whip him with one
* I said what I meant," answered hand. It was when I was pulling out Big Yankee. “I thought perhaps you would Mack, poor fellow, from under the heap, rather have the money than the colt, but that he took me unawares." I tell you what, I hain't got money enough “ That's so," assented Yankee. “Blamed to put into that bird, and don't you talk low-down trick.” selling to any one till we see her gait “ And, oh, I will be praying God to give hitched up. But I guess a little of the me strength just to meet him. I will ask no plow won't hurt for a few weeks or so." more. But,” he added in bitter despair,
Next day Lisette left behind her for- “there is no use for me to pray. Strength ever the free, happy days of colthood. will come to me no more." At first Ranald was unwilling to trust her “Well,” said Yankee, brightly, “needn't to any other hands than his own, but worry about that varmint. He ain't when he saw how skillfully and gently worth it, anyhow." Yankee handled her, soothing her while “ Aye, he is not worth it indeed, and he harnessed and hitched her up, he recog that is the an who has br me to nized that she was safer with Yankee than this.” That was the bitter part to Mac
16 I was
donald Dhu. A man he despised had and, standing up, looked over the brûlé. beaten him.
“It is a fine bit of ground, Hugh, and “Now look here," said Yankee, "course will raise a good crop of potatoes.' I ain't much good at this, but if you will “Aye," said Macdonald Dhu, sadly. “It just quit worryin', I'll undertake to settle has lain like this for three years, and this little account with Mr. Le Nware.” ought to have been cleared long ago, if
“ And what good would that be to me?" I had been doing my duty." said Macdonald Dhu. “ It is myself “ Indeed, it will burn all the better for that wants to meet him.” It was not so that," said his brother, cheerfully. "And, much the destruction of Le Noir that he as for the potatoes, there is a bit of my desired as that he should have the de- clearing that Ranald might as well use. stroying of him. While he cherished But Black Hugh shook his head. this feeling in his heart, it was not strange“ Ranald will use no man's clearing but that the minister in his visits found Black his own," he said. “I am afraid he has Hugh unapproachable, and concluded got too much of his father in him for his that he was in a state of settled “hard- own good.” ness of heart.” His wife knew better, Macdonald Bhain glanced at his but even she dared not approach Mac- brother's face with a look of mingled donald Dhu on that subject, which had pity and admiration. “ Ah," he said, not been mentioned between them since Hugh, it's a proud man you are. Macthe morning he had opened his heart to donalds have plenty of that, whatever, her. The dark, haggard, gloomy face and we come by it good enough. Do you haunted her. She longed to help him to remember at home, when our father"peace. It was this that sent her to his and he went off into a reminiscence of brother, Macdonald Bhain, to whom she their boyhood days, talking in gentle, told as much of the story as she thought kindly, loving tones, till the shadow began wise.
to lift from his brother's face, and he, too, “ I am afraid he will never come to began to talk. They spoke of their peace with God until he comes to peace father, who had always been to them a with this man,” she said, sadly, - and it kind of hero, and of their mother, who is a bitter load that he is carrying with had lived and toiled and suffered for her him."
family with uncomplaining patience. “I will talk with him," answered Mac- “She was a good woman,” said Macdonald Bhain, and at the end of the week donald Bhain, with a note of tenderness he took his way across to his brother's in his voice. “ And it was the hard load home.
she had to bear, and I would to God she He found him down in the brûlé, where were living now, that I might make up to he spent most of his days toiling hard her something of what she suffered for with his ax in spite of the earnest entreaties of Ranald. He was cutting a “ And I am thankful to God," said his big tree that the fire had laid prone, but brother, bitterly, “ that she is not here to the ax was falling with the stroke of a see me now. for it would but add to the weak man.
heavy burden I often laid upon her. As he finished his cut, his brother “ You will not be saying that,” said called to him, " That is no work for you, Macdonald Bhain. “ But I am saying Hugh; that is no work for a man who that the Lord will be honored in you yet.' has been for six weeks in his bed."
“ Indeed, there is not much for me," “ It is work that must be done, how said his brother, gloomily, “but the sickever," Black Hugh answered, bitterly. bed and six feet or more of the damp
“Give me the ax," said Macdonald earth.” Bhain. He mounted the tree as his "Hugh, man,” said his brother, hastily, brother stepped down, and swung his ax “you must not be talking like that. It is deep into the wood with a mighty blow. not the speech of a brave man. It is the Then he remembered, and stopped. He speech of a man that is beaten in his fight.” would not add to his brother's bitterness “ Beaten !" echoed his brother, with a by an exhibition of his mighty, unshaken kind of cry. “You have said the word. strength. He stuck the ax into the log, Beaten it is, and by a man that is no