Read CHAPTER XXII - EAST OF THE ROCKIES of The Young Alaskans on the Trail , free online book, by Emerson Hough, on

The two boys ran rapidly to meet Moise, and overwhelmed him with questions asked all at once.

“How’s everything?” demanded Rob, “and where’s Jesse?”

“Oh, those boy, she’ll been all right,” said Moise.  “She’ll be on camp seex, h’eight mile below here, up above, maybe so.  My cousins Billy and At-tick, come through with us ­they’ll portage half-way to-day.

“But, mes amis,” broke out Moise; “there’s your boat!  How you’ll got her through?  S’pose you take wings an’ fly over those rock, hein? Mon Dieu!

“We couldn’t wait any longer, Moise,” said Rob, “and we thought we had better be busy than idle.  It was hard work, but Alex carried her over, and we didn’t have much left to pack except our rifles and ourselves.”

“Then you’ll not need any mans for help on the portage?  All right.  We’ll get some boat below.”

“How far is it back to your camp, Moise?” demanded John.

“Maybe five, seex mile, maybe more ­I’ll not keep track of heem.”

“Can we go back there to-night with you?  I’d like to see Jess.  May we go, Alex?”

“If you like,” answered the old hunter, quietly.  “I’ll stay here and sleep, and if you care to, you can sleep there.  I don’t doubt you will be glad to see your friend again, and he’ll be glad to see you.”

Tired as the boys had been, they were now so excited that they forgot their fatigue, and trotted along close to Moise as he now turned and struck a steady pace back on the portage trail.  It was quite dark when at last they came out on a high bank above a level, at which a camp-fire was glowing.  John and Rob put their hands to their mouths and gave a loud “Halloo!” They saw the smaller of the three figures at the fire jump to his feet.  Then came the answering “Halloo!” of Jesse, who came scrambling up to meet them as they hurried down.

“You’re safe, then,” said Jesse.  “Oh, but I’m glad you got here all right.”

“We’re glad to meet you safe and sound, too,” said Rob.  “Yes, we finished the trip ­we even carried our boat through by ourselves, and she’s there now on the bank of the stream, ready to go on down.”

“That’s fine,” said Jess.  “These two men, the cousins of Moise, have been as nice as you please.  They said they could fix up the Mary Ann, and they were very glad to have her ­there she is, all in a bundle.  They are taking her across in sections.  It was hard work getting up the river, for it was all dirty and high.  But we made it ­I think we worked eighteen hours a day all the way round.  Moise is a hustler, all right, besides being a cook.”

“So is Alex a hustler, you may depend,” rejoined Rob.  “We couldn’t have two better men.  Well, here we are, together once more, safe and sound.”

“What’s the programme now, Rob?” asked John.

“We’re to sleep here to-night ­although it doesn’t seem as though we’d have very many blankets,” answered Rob.  “And then in the morning I suppose Moise would better go and help Alex get the boat down to the river.  But where’s the other dugout we were to have, Moise?”

Moise talked awhile further with the two reticent breeds.

“My cousin Billy, he’ll say there’s old man about five, seex mile below there, an’ he’ll got dugout,” he said at last.  “He’ll say twenty dollar for dugout.”

“That’s cheaper than Peterboroughs,” said Rob, smiling.  “Anyhow, we’ve got to have it, because you can’t buy canoes in shops here on the Peace River.  You tell these two men, Moise, to go down there in the morning and have the old man, whoever he is, bring his canoe up as soon as he can to the port.  We’ll meet, I should say, about noon to-morrow, if all goes well.  And as we’re now through the worst of it and seem to have pretty fair weather yet, I shall be surprised if we don’t get quite a bit farther east inside of the next twenty-four hours.”

“Then hurrah for Uncle Dick!” said John.  “He’s somewhere down this river, and maybe it won’t be so very long before we run across him.”

“Hurrah! for all those boy also!” smiled Moise.  “Pretty lucky, hein?”