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Nan Sherwood at Pine Camp The Old Lumberman's Secret by Annie Roe Carr

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on the branch made the head of the tree dip perilously. And if
it did fall the old man would be thrust into the quagmire by the
weight of the branches which overhung his body.

"Let go of it, Toby!" called Tom, accelerating his motions.
"Catch this!"

He flung the coil with skill and Toby seized it. The rocking
tree groaned and slipped forward a little. Toby gave a yell that
could have been heard much farther than his previous cries.

But Tom sank back on the taut rope and fairly jerked the old man
out of the miry hole. Scrambling on hands and knees, Toby
reached firmer ground, and then the road itself.

Nan uttered a startled exclamation and cowered behind the cart.
The huge tree, groaning and its roots splintering, sagged down
and, in an instant, the spot there the old lumberman had been,
was completely covered by the interlacing branches of the
uprooted tree.

"Close squeal, that," remarked Tom, helping the old man to his

Toby stared at them both, wiping the mire from his face as he did
so. He was certainly a scarecrow figure after his submersion in
the mud; gut Nan did not feel like laughing at him. The escape
had been too narrow.

"Guess the Almighty sent you just in time, Tom, my boy," said
Toby Vanderwiller. "He must have suthin' more for the old man to
do yet, before he cashes in. And little Sissy, too. Har! Henry
Sherwood's son and Henry Sherwood's niece. Reckon I owe him a
good turn," he muttered.

Nan heard this, though Tom did not, and her heart leaped. She
hoped that Toby would feel sufficient gratitude to help Uncle
Henry win his case against Gedney Raffer. But, of course, this
was not the time to speak of it.

When the old lumberman heard about the fire in the sawdust he was
quite as excited as the young folk had been. It was fast growing
dark now, but it was impossible from the narrow road to see even
the glow of the fire against the clouded sky.

"I believe it's goin' to open up and rain ag'in," Toby said.
"But if you want to go on and plow me a fire-strip, Tommy, I'll
be a thousand times obleeged to you."

"That's what I came this way for," said the young fellow briefly.
"Hop on and we'll go to the island as quickly as possible."

They found Mrs. Vanderwiller and the crippled boy anxiously
watching the flames in the tree top from the porch of the little
house on the island. Nan ran to them to relate their adventures,
while Toby got out the plow and Tom hitched his big horses to it.

The farm was not fenced, for the road and forest bounded it
completely. Tom put the plow in at the edge of the wood and
turned his furrows toward it, urging the horses into a trot. It
was not that the fire was near; but the hour was growing late and
Tom knew that his mother and father would be vastly anxious about

The young fellow made twelve laps, turning twelve broad furrows
that surely would guard the farm against any ordinary fire. But
by the time he was done it did not look as though the fire in the
sawdust would spread far. The clouds were closing up once more
and it was again raining, gently but with an insistence that
promised a night of downpour, at least.

Old Mrs. Vanderwiller had made supper, and insisted upon their
eating before starting for Pine Camp. And Tom, at least, did his
share with knife and fork, while his horses ate their measure of
corn in the paddock. It was dark as pitch when they started for
home, but Tom was cheerful and sure of his way, so Nan was
ashamed to admit that she was frightened.

"Tell yer dad I'll be over ter Pine Camp ter see him 'fore many
days," Old Toby jerked out, as they were starting. "I got
suthin' to say to him, I have!"

Tom did not pay much attention to this; but Nan did. Her heart
leaped for joy. She believed that Toby Vanderwiller's words
promised help for Uncle Henry.

But she said nothing to Tom about it. She only clung to his
shoulder as the heavy timber cart rattled away from the island.

A misty glow hung over the sawdust strip as they advanced; but
now that the wind had died down the fire could not spread.
Beside the road the glow worms did their feeble best to light the
way; and now and then an old stump in the swamp displayed a
ghostly gleam of phosphorus.

Nan had never been in the swamp before at night. The rain had
driven most of the frogs and other croaking creatures to cover.
But now and then a sudden rumble "Better-go-roun'!" or "Knee-
deep! Knee-deep!" proclaimed the presence of the green-
jacketed gentlemen with the yellow vests.

"Goodness me! I'd be scared to death to travel this road by
myself," Nan said, as they rode on. "The frogs make such awful

"But frogs won't hurt you," drawled Tom.

"I know all that," sighed Nan. "But they sound as if they would.
There! That one says, just as plain as plain can be, 'Throw 'im
in! Throw 'im in!"

"Good!" chuckled Tom. "And there's a drunken old rascal calling:
'Jug-er-rum! Jug-er-rum!'!"

A nighthawk, wheeling overhead through the rain, sent down her
discordant cry. Deep in a thicket a whip-poor-will complained.
It was indeed a ghostly chorus that attended their slow progress
through the swamp at Pine Camp.

When they crossed the sawdust tract there was little sign of the
fire. The dead tree had fallen and was just a glowing pile of
coals, fast being quenched by the gently falling rain. For the
time, at least, the danger of a great conflagration was past.

"Oh! I am so glad," announced Nan, impetuously. "I was afraid
it was going to be like that Pale Lick fire."

"What Pale Lick fire?" demanded Tom, quickly. "What do you know
about that?"

"Not much, I guess," admitted his cousin, slowly. "But you used
to live there, didn't you?"

"Rafe and I don't remember anything about it," said Tom, in his
quiet way. "Rafe was a baby and I wasn't much better. Marm
saved us both, so we've been told. She and dad never speak
about it."

"Oh! And Indian Pete?" whispered Nan.

"He saved the whole of us - dad and all. He knew a way out
through a slough and across a lake. He had a dug-out. He got
badly burned dragging dad to the boat when he was almost
suffocated with smoke," Tom said soberly.

"'Tisn't anything we talk about much, Nan. "Who told you?"

"Oh, it's been hinted to me by various people," said Nan, slowly.
"But I saw Injun Pete, Tom."

"When? He hasn't been to Pine Camp since you came."

Nan told her cousin of her adventure in the hollow near
Blackton's lumber camp. Tom was much excited by that.

"Gracious me, Nan! But you are a plucky girl. Wait till Rafe
hears about it. And marm and dad will praise you for being so
level-headed today. Aren't many girls like you, Nan, I bet!"

"Nor boys like you, Tom," returned the girl, shyly. "How brave
you were, staying to pull that old wagon-wheel out of the fire."

"Ugh1" growled Tom. "A fat time I'd have had there if it hadn't
been for you helping me out of the oven. Cracky! I thought I
was going to have my leg burned to a cinder.

"That would have been terrible!" shuddered Nan. "What would poor
Aunt Kate have said?"

"We can't tell her anything about it," Tom hastened to say. "You
see, my two older brothers, Jimmy and Alfred, were asleep in the
garret of our house at Pale Lick, and marm thought they'd got
out. It wasn't until afterward that she learned they'd been
burned up with the house. She's never got over it."

"I shouldn't think she would," sighed Nan.

"And you see she's awfully afraid of fire, even now," said Tom.

They rattled on over the logs of the road; here and there they
came to bad places, where the water had not gone down; and the
horses were very careful in putting their hoofs down upon the
shaking logs. However, it was not much over an hour after
leaving the island that they spied the lights of Pine Camp from
the top of the easy rise leading out of the tamarack swamp.

They met Rafe with a lantern half way down the hill. Uncle Henry
was away and Aunt Kate had sent Rafe out to look for Nan,
although she supposed that the girl had remained at the
Vanderwillers' until the rain was over, and that Toby would bring
her home.

There was but one other incident of note before the three of them
reached the rambling house Uncle Henry had built on the outskirts
of Pine Camp. As they turned off the swamp road through the lane
that ran past the Llewellen cottage, Rafe suddenly threw the ray
of his lantern into a hollow tree beside the roadway. A small
figure was there, and it darted back out of sight.

"There!" shouted Rafe. "I knew you were there, you little
nuisance. What did you run out of the house and follow me for,
Mar'gret Llewellen?"

He jumped in and seized the child, dragging her forth from the
hollow of the big tree. He held her, while she squirmed and

"You lemme alone, Rafe Sherwood! Lemme alone!" she commanded.
"I ain't doin' nothin' to you."

"Well, I bet you are up to some monkey-shines, out this time of
night," said Rafe, giving her a little shake. "You come on back
home, Mag."

"I won't!" declared the girl.

"Yes, do, Margaret," begged Nan. "It's going to rain harder.
Don't hurt her, Rafe."

"Yah! You couldn't hurt her," said Rafe. "She's as tough as a
little pine-knot, and don't you forget it! Aren't you, Mag?"

"Lemme go!" repeated Margaret, angrily.

"What did you chase down here after me for?" asked Rafe, the

"I, I thought mebbe you was comin' to hunt for something,"
stammered the girl.

"So I was. For Nancy here," laughed Rafe.

"Thought 'twas somethin' of mine," said the girl. "Lemme go

She jerked away her hand and scuttled into the house that they
were then just passing.

"Wonder what the little imp came out to watch me for?" queried

After they had arrived at home and the excitement o the return
was over; after she and Tom had told as much of their adventures
as they thought wise, and Nan had retired to the east chamber,
she thought again about Margaret and her queer actions by the

"Why, that tree is where Margaret hides her most precious
possessions," said Nan, suddenly, sitting up in bed. "Why, what
could it be she was afraid Rafe would find there? Why can that
child have hidden something there that she doesn't want any of us
to see?"

Late as it was, and dark as it was, and stormy as the night was,
she felt that she must know immediately what Margaret Llewellen
had hidden in the hollow tree.

Chapter XXIX

Nan put two and two together, and the answer came right.

She got out of bed, lit her lamp again and began to dress. She
turned her light down to a dim glimmer, however, for she did not
want her aunt to look out of the window of her bedroom on the
other side of the parlor and catch a glimpse of her light.

In the half darkness Nan made a quick toilet; and then, with her
raincoat on and hood over her head, she hesitated with her hand
upon the knob of the door.

"If I go through the parlor and out the side door, Aunt Kate will
hear me," thought Nan. "That won't do at all."

She looked at the further window. Outside the rain was pattering
and there was absolutely no light. In the pocket of her raincoat
Nan had slipped the electric torch she had brought from home,
something of which Aunt Kate cordially approved, and was always
begging Uncle Henry to buy one like it.

The pocket lamp showed her the fastenings of the screen. Tom had
made it to slide up out of the way when she wanted to open or
close the sash. And, as far as she could see, any one could open
it from the outside as easily as from the room itself.

"And that's just what she did," decided Nan. "How foolish of me
not to think of it before."

With this enigmatical observation Nan prepared to leave the room
by this very means. She was agile, and the sill of the window
was only three feet from the ground. It was through this opening
that she had helped Margaret Llewellen into her room on the first
occasion that odd child had visited her.

Nan jumped out, let the screen down softly, and hurried across
the unfenced yard to the road. She knew well enough when she
reached the public track, despite the darkness for the mirey clay
stuck to her shoes and made the walking difficult.

She flashed her lamp once, to get her bearings, and then set off
down the lane toward the swamp road. There was not a light in
any house she passed, not even in Mr. Fen Llewellen's cottage.
"I guess Margaret's fast asleep," murmured Nan, as she passed
swiftly on.

The rain beat down upon the girl steadily, and Nan found it
shivery out here in the dark and storm. However, her reason for
coming, Nan conceived, was a very serious one. This was no
foolish escapade.

By showing her light now and then she managed to follow the dark
lane without stepping off into any of the deep puddles which lay
beside the path. She came, finally, to the spot where Rafe had
met her and Tom with his lantern that evening. Here stood the
great tree with a big hollow in it, Margaret Llewellen's
favorite playhouse.

For a moment Nan hesitated. The place looked so dark and there
might be something alive in the hollow.

But she plucked up courage and flashed her lamp into it. The
white ray played about the floor of the hollow. The other
Llewellen children dared not come here, for Margaret punished
them if they disturbed anything belonging to her.

What Nan was looking for was not in sight. She stepped inside,
and raised the torch. The rotting wood had been neatly scooped
out, and where the aperture grew smaller at the top a wide shelf
had been made by the ingenious Margaret. Nan had never been in
this hide-out before.

"It must be here! It must be here!" she kept telling herself,
and stood on her tiptoes to feel along the shelf, which was above
her head.

Nan discovered nothing at first. She felt along the entire
length of the shelf again. Nothing!

"I know better!" she almost sobbed. "My dear, beautiful "

She jumped up, feeling back on the shelf with her right hand.
Her fingers touched something, and it was not the rotting wood
of the tree!

"It's there!" breathed the excited girl. She flashed her lamp
around, searching for something to stand upon. There in the
corner was a roughly made footstool.

In a moment Nan had the footstool set in position, and had
stepped upon it. Her hand darted to the back of the shelf.
There was a long box, a pasteboard box.

Nan dropped her lamp with a little scream of ecstasy, and of
course the light went out. But she had the long box clasped in
her arms. She could not wait to get home with it, but tumbled
off the stool and sat down upon it, picked up the torch, held it
so the round spot-light gave her illumination, and untied the

Off came the cover. She peeped within. The pink and white
loveliness of Beulah's wax features peered up at her.

In fifteen minutes Nan was back in her room, without being
discovered by anybody, and with the doll safely clasped in her
arms. Indeed, she went to bed a second time that night with her
beloved playmate lying on the pillow beside her, just as she had
done when a little girl.

"I suppose I'm foolish," she confessed to Aunt Kate the next
morning when she told her about it. "But I loved Beulah so much
when I was little that I can't forget her now. If I go to
Lakeview Hall I'm going to take her with me. I don't care what
the other girls say!"

"You are faithful in your likes, child," said Aunt Kate nodding.
"'Tis a good trait. But I'd like to lay that Marg'ret Llewellen
across my knee, for her capers."

"And I didn't think she cared for dolls," murmured Nan.

But it was young Bob who betrayed the mysterious reason for his
sister's act.

"Huh!" he said, with a boy's disgust for such things. "Mag's
crazy about pretty faces, if they're smooth, an' pink. She
peeked into that Sherwood gal's room and seed her playin' doll;
then she had ter have it for herself 'cause it was so pretty and
had a smooth face, not like the kids' dolls that Aunt Matildy

Poor little Margaret was greatly chagrined at the discovery of
her secret. She ran away into the woods whenever she saw Nan
coming, for a long time thereafter. It took weeks for the girl
from Tillbury to regain the half-wild girl's confidence again.

Nan was just as busy and happy as she could be, considering the
uncertain news from Scotland and Uncle Henry's unfortunate affair
with Gedney Raffer. She helped Aunt Kate with the housework
early every morning so that they might both hurry into the woods
to pick berries.

Pine Camp was in the midst of a vast huckleberry country, and at
the Forks a cannery had been established. Beside, the Forks was
a big shipping centre for the fresh berries.

Uncle Henry bought crates and berry "cups," and sometimes the
whole family picked all day long in the berry pasture, taking
with them a cold luncheon, and eating it picnic fashion.

It was great fun, Nan thought, despite the fact that she often
came home so wearied that her only desire was to drop into bed.
But the best part of it, the saving grace of all this toil, was
the fact that she was earning money for herself! Account was
faithfully kept of every cup of berries she picked, and, when
Uncle Henry received his check from the produce merchant to whom
he shipped the berries, Nan was paid her share.

These welcome earnings she saved for a particular purpose, and
for no selfish one, you may be sure. Little Margaret Llewellen
still ran from her and Nan wished to win the child back; so she
schemed to do this.

After all, there was something rather pitiful in the nature of
the child who so disliked any face that was "wizzled," but loved
those faces that were fair and smooth.

Margaret only possessed a feeling that is quite common to
humanity; she being such a little savage, she openly expressed an
emotion that many of us have, but try to hide.

The Llewellen children picked berries, of course, as did most of
the other neighbors. Pine Camp was almost a "deserted village"
during the season when the sweet, blue fruit hung heavy on the

Sometimes the Sherwood party, and the Llewellens, would cross
each others' paths in the woods, or pastures; but little Margaret
always shrank into the background. If Nan tried to surprise her,
the half wild little thing would slip away into the deeper woods
like one of its own denizens.

Near the river one day Margaret had an experience that should
have taught her a lesson, however, regarding wandering alone in
the forest. And the adventure should, too, have taught the child
not to shrink so from an ugly face.

Nan had something very important to tell Margaret. Her savings
had amounted to quite a goodly sum and in the catalog of a mail-
order house she had found something of which she wished to secure
Margaret's opinion. The child, as usual, ran away when they met,
and even Bob could not bring her back.

"She's as obstinate as dad's old mu-el," grunted the disgusted
boy. "Can't do a thing with her, Nan Sherwood."

"I'll just get her myself!" declared Nan, laughing, and she
started into the thicker woods to circumvent Margaret. She did
not follow the river as the smaller girl had, but struck into the
bush, intending to circle around and head Margaret off.

She had not pushed her way through the clinging vines and brush
for ten minutes before she heard somebody else in the jungle.
She thought it was the little girl, at first; then she caught
sight of a man's hat and knew that Margaret did not wear a hat at

"Goodness! Who can that be?" thought Nan. She was a little
nervous about approaching strange people in the wood; although at
this season there was nothing to apprehend from stragglers, there
were so many berry pickers within call.

Nan did not seek to overtake the man, however, and would have
kept on in her original direction, had she not heard a cry and a
splitting crash toward the river bank. Some accident had
happened, and when Nan heard the scream repeated, she was sure
that the voice was that of Margaret.

So she set off directly, on a run, tearing her dress and
scratching her hands and face, but paying no attention to either
misfortune. She only wanted to get to the scene of the accident
and lend her aid, if it was needed.

And it would have been needed if it had not been for the man
whose hat she had seen a few moments before. He made his passage
through the bush much quicker than could Nan, and when the latter
reached an opening where she could see the river, the stranger
was just leaping into the deep pool under the high bank.

It was plain to be seen what had happened. A sycamore overhung
the river and somebody had climbed out upon a small branch to
reach a few half-ripened grapes growing on a vine that ran up the

The branch had split, drooping downward, and the adventurous
grape-gatherer had been cast into the water.

"Oh, Margaret!" screamed Nan, confident that it was the reckless
child that was in peril.

She hurried to the brink of the low bluff, from which the rescuer
had plunged. He had already seized the child (there was an eddy
here under the bank) and was striking out for the shore. Nan saw
his wet face, with the bedraggled hair clinging about it.

It was the awfully scarred face of Injun Pete; but to the excited
Nan, at that moment, it seemed one of the most beautiful faces
she had ever seen!

The Indian reached the bank, clung to a tough root, and lifted up
the gasping Margaret for Nan to reach. The girl took the child
and scrambled up the bank again; by the time she was at the top,
Injun Pete was beside her.

"She not hurt, Little missy," said the man, in his soft voice,
and turning his face so that Nan should not see it. "She just

Margaret would not even cry. She was too plucky for that. When
she got her breath she croaked:

"Put me down, Nan Sherwood. I ain't no baby."

"But you're a very wet child," said Nan, laughing, yet on the
verge of tears herself. "You might have been drowned, you WOULD
have been had it not been for Mr. Indian Pete."

"Ugh!" whispered Margaret. "I seen him when I come up out o'
that nasty water. I wanted to go down again."

"Hush, Margaret!" cried Nan, sternly. "You must thank him."

The man was just then moving away. He shook himself like a dog
coming out of the stream, and paid no further attention to his
own wet condition.

"Wait, please!" Nan called after him.

"She all right now," said the Indian.

"But Margaret wants to thank you, don't you, Margaret?"

"Much obleeged," said the little girl, bashfully. "You air all
right, you air."

"That all right, that all right," said the man, hurriedly. "No
need to thank me."

"Yes, there is," said Nan, insistently. "Come here, please.
Margaret wants to kiss you for saving her life."

"Oh!" The word came out of Margaret's lips like an explosion.
Nan stared very sternly at her. "If you don't," she said in a
low tone, "I'll tell your father all about how you came to fall
into the river."

Under this threat Margaret became amenable. She puckered up her
lips and stretched her arms out toward Indian Pete. The man
stumbled back and fell on his knees beside the two girls. Nan
heard the hoarse sob in his throat as he took little Margaret in
his arms.

"Bless you! Bless you!" he murmured, receiving the kiss right
upon his scarred cheek. But Nan saw that Margaret's eyes were
tightly closed as she delivered the caress, per order!

The next moment the man with the scarred face had slipped away
and disappeared in the forest. They saw him no more.

However, just as soon as the catalog house could send it,
Margaret received a beautiful, pink-cheeked, and flaxen-haired
Doll, not as fine as Beulah, but beautiful enough to delight any
reasonable child.

Nan had won back Margaret's confidence and affection.

Meanwhile the hot summer was fast passing. Nan heard from her
chum, Bess Harley, with commendable regularity; and no time did
Bess write without many references to Lakeview Hall.

Nan, advised by her former teacher in Tillbury, had brought her
books to Pine Camp, and had studied faithfully along the lines of
the high school work. She was sure she could pass quite as good
an entrance examination for Lakeview Hall as Bess could.

And at last good news came from Scotland:

"I am not quite ready to bring Momsey home," Papa Sherwood wrote.
"But the matter of her fortune is at least partially settled.
The claims of the other relatives have been disallowed. Mr.
Andrew Blake is prepared to turn over to your Momsey a part of
her wonderful fortune. The rest will come later. She will tell
you all about it herself.

"What I wish to say to you particularly in this letter," pursued
Mr. Sherwood, "is, that arrangements have been made for you to
attend Lakeview Hall this coming semester. You will meet your
friend, Elizabeth Harley, in Chicago, and will go with her to the
school. I am writing by this mail to the principal of the Hall.
Mr. Harley has made all other necessary arrangements for you."

"Oh!" cried Nan, clasping her hands. "It"s too good to be true!
It can't be possible! I just know I'll wake up in a minute and
find all this an exciting dream, and that's all!"

But Nan was wrong on that point, as the reader will see if her
further adventures are followed in the next volume of the series,
entitled, "Nan Sherwood at Lakeview Hall, or, The Mystery of the
Haunted Boathouse."

While Nan was still intensely excited over this letter from
Scotland, Toby Vanderwiller drove up to the Sherwood house behind
his broken-kneed pony. This was the first time any of the
Sherwoods had seen him since the day of the big storm and the
fire in the sawdust.

Chapter XXX

Nan ran out immediately to speak to the old lumberman; but Toby
was calling for Uncle Henry:

"Hey, Hen! Hen Sherwood! Come out yere," he cried.

Uncle Henry halloaed from the stables, and came striding at the
call. Nan reached the old rattletrap wagon first.

"Oh, Mr. Vanderwiller!" she said. "I am glad to see you! And
how is your wife and Corson?"

He looked down at her reflectively, and for a moment did not say
a word. Then he swallowed something and said, jerkily:

"An' you're the one that done it all, Sissy! The ol' woman an'
the boy air as chipper as bluejays. An' they air a honin' for a
sight on you."

"Yes. I haven't been over lately. But that man from Chicago
came, didn't he?"

"I sh'd say 'yes'! He come," said Toby, in awe. "An' what d'ye
s'pose? He done buyed a heap of Corson's spec'mens an' paid him
more'n a hundred dollars for 'em. And that ain't countin' that
there dead-head butterfly ye made sech a time about.

"I reckoned," pursued Toby, "that you was right crazy about that
there bug. One bug's as bad as another to my way of thinkin'.
But it seems that Chicago feller thinked dif'rent."

"It really was one of the very rare death's-head moths?" cried
Nan, delighted.

"So he said. And he was willin' ter back up his belief with cold
cash," declared Toby, smiting his leg for emphasis. "He paid us
harnsome for it; and he said he'd take a lot more spec'mens if

"Har! Here ye be, Hen," he added, breaking off to greet Nan's
uncle. "I got suthin' to say to you. I kin say it now, for I
ain't beholden ter nobody. With what me and the ol' woman had
scrimped and saved, an' what this feller from Chicago give
Corson, I done paid off my debt to ol' Ged Raffer, an' the little
farm's free and clear."

"I'm glad to hear it, Tobe," Uncle Henry declared, shaking hands
with the old lumberman again. "I certain sure am glad to hear
it! I'm pleased that you shouldn't have that worry on your mind
any longer."

"And it has been a worry," said Old Toby, shaking his head.
"More'n you think for. Ye see, it snarled me all up so's I
warn't my own master."

"I see."

"Ye see, Ged was allus after me to go inter court an' back up his
claim ag'in you on that Perkins Tract."

"I see," said Henry Sherwood again, nodding.

"On the other hand, you wanted me, if I knowed which was right,
to witness, too. If I'd witnessed for Ged, ev'rybody wuld ha'
thought I done it because he had a mortgage on the farm."

"I s'pose so," admitted Uncle Henry.

"Or, if I helped you, they'd ha' thought you'd bribed me - mebbe
helped me git square with Ged."

"I couldn't. Too poor just now," said Uncle Henry, grimly. "But
I'd the mind for it, Toby."

"Well, there ye be. Whichever way the cat jumped, I'd lost the
respect of the community," said the old lumberman. "But now I am
independent, I don't give a dern!"

Mr. Sherwood looked at him expectantly. Toby's "wizzled" face

"I got a debt owin' to that leetle gal you got here, and
somethin' to pay off to Tommy, too. But money won't do it, ef I
had money. I am goin' to tell what I know about that boundary,
though, Hen, and it will do YOU good! I can find another old
feller, livin' down Pale Lick way, that can corroborate my

"You can git that injunction vacated at once, Hen, if you want,
and put your axe-men right back into the Perkins Tract to work.
That's what I come 'round to tell ye."

Aunt Kate was moved to tears, an unusual expression of emotion
on her part. Being of pioneer stock, and having suffered much in
the past, Nan's aunt was not easily moved. Uncle Henry was
delighted. It was a great day for the Sherwoods.

It was another great day when, a week later, the roan ponies were
brought to the door and Nan's trunk was strapped upon the back of
the buckboard. Uncle Henry was to drive her to the train; but
she would travel alone to Chicago to meet her chum, Bess Harley.

"And go to Lakeview Hall! I never did really expect I'd get
there," Nan sighed, as she clung to Aunt Kate's neck. "It almost
makes me forget that Momsey and Papa Sherwood are not at home

"But, my dear!" she added, "if such a thing could be, you and
Uncle Henry have taken the place of my own dear parents all these
months I have been at Pine Camp. I've had a dee-lightful time.
I'll never forget you all. I love you, love you, love you."

The roan ponies started on the jump. The boys cheered her from
the corner of the house, having bashfully remained in the
background. Even Margaret Llewellen and her impish brother, Bob,
appeared and shrilly bade her goodbye.

Nan was off for school, and wonderful adventures lay before her!

The End of

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