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She tried to tell him what it was then, when the great rocks were like so many monsters, grinding things to pieces, and when nothing that lived could exist for more than a minute or two in what Pierre Gourdon called the maelstroms. They found a clean white rock, worn smooth by the water, and sat down, and Peter wondered at the change which came into Mona’s face.

“Can you remember your mother, Peter?” she asked softly.

He was silent for a moment, and then said, “I’ve seen her a good many times when I was asleep.”

“Do you still see her?”

“I did two nights ago.”

“Is she pretty?”


“So is mine.” She folded her hands in her lap and added quietly: “Out there is where my mother and father were drowned. Uncle Pierre tied me to his back and brought me ashore.”

Then she told him the story of the wreck of the sailing ship, and how Aunt Josette and Marie Antoinette and Father Albanel and all the people of Five Fingers said it was a miracle that even one should come ashore alive. And she was that one.

“Father Albanel sometimes comes down here with me,” she said. “I love him. He always tells me about Nepise. 佛山桑拿按摩全套qq Isn’t that a pretty name, Peter? It means Willow Bud. But after she died and her spirit came back with the torch they called her Suskuwao,[151] which means the Torch-Bearer. I love her, too. Do you?”

Peter nodded. “I was thinking of you,” he said desperately, trying to get the choking thought out of him. “Father Albanel was looking at you when he told about the Indian girl. That’s what you’ve been to me since I come—a—a sort of torch-bearer, like he said she was. I dunno what I’d have done if it hadn’t been for you.”

It was out, and for a moment or two the suffocating realization of what he had said made it difficult for him to breathe easily. Mona did not look at him. Her shining eyes were fixed steadily upon the vastness of the lake.

“Was that why you touched my hair, Peter?”

“I guess so.”

“You like me—like that?”

He 佛山桑拿论坛浦友 nodded again, finding the moment too tremendous for words. And this time Mona was looking at him. There was an earnestness in her face which made her seem older to Peter. Her eyes were a woman’s eyes, calm and steady in their gaze, as they studied him for a moment.

“And I like you, Peter,” she said then, “I like you so much—that I never want you to go away from Five Fingers.”

“And I never want to go,” he said. “Not if my father comes back.”

“He will come!”


Her voice was quick and sure and filled with a vibrant ring that sent a little tremble through him. She was sitting very straight, and a gust of wind stirred her hair so that it rippled and floated about her, and Peter—looking at her with wide eyes and swiftly beating heart—thought of Father Albanel, and of Nepise the Torch-Bearer, and the beautiful faith the 佛山桑拿葵花蒲点 little missioner had visioned entered into him and he believed. And the strange and thrilling impulse came to him to put his hand to that soft cloud of Mona’s hair and tell her that he believed. But he did not move, nor did he speak. For a space Mona seemed to be far away from him, gazing at something which he could not see out beyond the turmoil of the Pit. Her fingers were interlocked in her lap, and not until the voice of Jame Clamart hallooed down from the top of the cliff was the spell of silence broken.

Mona started but did not look up. She knew Adette was there, smiling down at them and ready to wave her hand. Quite calmly she said to Peter:

“It’s that Adette Clamart. Will you promise never to let her kiss you again?”

“Sure—I promise,” said Peter.

“As long as you live?”

“As long as I live.”

“Cross your heart, Peter!”
Devoutly Peter took the solemn oath.

“I’m glad,” said Mona. “I don’t like kissing—but if it has to be done I’ll do it!” And a fiery little note in[153] her voice was so combatively possessive that Peter suddenly felt himself a helpless but willing slave in chains.

And in the days and weeks that followed his first Sunday in the settlement this bondage was stronger than the hungering loneliness for his father which pulled him at times toward the big forests of the north. Mona’s world became his world. He began to fit into its play, its duties, and the family communism of its environment. He went to school. At odd hours he worked about the mill and helped

in the spring planting, and later in the tilling of the soil.

In the passing of the summer Mona and Peter spent much of their time together in the cool depths of the forests.佛山桑拿按摩上门服务 On these adventurings they were inseparable, and their favorite haunt, specially on Sunday afternoons, was a beaver colony a mile and a half up the shore of the lake and a little back in the rough ridges and hills. The beaver settlement was Mona’s own property, and it was one of the laws of Five Fingers that no one should despoil it with trap or gun. It was five years ago, Mona told Peter, that four old beavers emigrated from some one of the colonies back in the hills and she and Pierre discovered them building a dam at this place. There were now over thirty of them. A long time ago they had ceased to be afraid of her, and some of them were so

friendly she could touch them with her hand. But they were alarmed when Peter came with her and for days scarcely a head would show when he was about. Very slowly and with[154] extreme 佛山桑拿飞机论坛网 caution they began to accept him as a part of Mona, and the first cool breath of autumn was in the nights before they would openly disclose themselves or play on their slides or proceed with the varied duties of their lives when he was watching the big dark pool in which they had built their homes.
In September a sinister and foreboding gloom seemed to creep out of the wilderness surrounding Five Fingers.

The golden autumn, with its soft Indian summer and its radiance of color, died almost before it was born. The birch leaves did not turn yellow and gold but stopped at a rusty brown; the poplar leaves curled up and began

to fall from their stems before the first frost; mountain ash berries were pink instead of red, and heavy fogs settled like wet blankets between the ridges, while in the swamps the rabbits were dying 佛山桑拿按摩图 in hundreds and thousands of the mysterious “seven years’ sickness.”

The men at Five Fingers, and especially Pierre Gourdon and Dominique Beauvais, who read the wilderness as if it were a book, regarded these matters with anxious eyes. It was Pierre who called attention to the going of the bluebirds a month before their time, and noted first that the red squirrels were gathering great stores of cones, and that the robins were restless and uneasy and were assembling in the flocks which presaged sudden flight.

Then, one sunset, a great flock of wild geese went[156] honking south. They were high and flying very fast.

Pierre Gourdon pointed up. “When the wild geese race like that in September—it means a bad winter. Only twice have I seen it. The last time was two years before we came to Five Fingers—a year of starvation and 佛山夜生活地址 plague; and the other time——” He shuddered, and shrugged his shoulders, for that other time was in boyhood, when his mother and father had died back in the forests, and he had dragged himself starving and nearly dead to Ste. Anne de Beaupré.

Colder nights came, filled with moaning winds, and the days were darkened by ash-gray skies through which the sun seldom shone warmly, and more and more frequently came the honk of geese racing south. Peter could hear them at night, in darkness and when the stars were shining, coming from the north, crying down their solemn notes of passage from the high trails of the air.

And these same nights he heard the wolves howl back in the hollows and ridges and deeper hunting grounds of the forests, and Pierre Gourdon listened uneasily to the cold, hard note in their voices, and said to Dominique:

“The wolves will run lean this winter, and when hunger trails the wolves, famine is not far behind.”