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The Foreigner by Ralph Connor

Part 6 out of 6

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wildly waving his hat. At length Kalman turned to Mrs. Brown.

"You seem to be sane, anyway," he said; "perhaps you will tell me
what they all mean?"

"It means, Kalman," said the little woman, offering him both hands,
"we are so glad that we don't know what to do. We have got back
our mine."

"The mine!" gasped Kalman faintly. "Impossible! Why, Brown there--"

"Yes! Brown here," yelled that individual; "I know Brown. He's a
corker! But he's sometimes wrong, and this is one of the times. A
mine, and a company! And there's the man that did it! Jack
French, to whom I take off my hat! He has just got home, and we
have just heard his tale, and--school's out and the band's going to
play and the game begin. And get down from your broncho, you
graven image!" Here Brown pulled Kalman headlong from his horse.
"And Jack will perform. I have not been mad like this for a
thousand years. I have been in Hades for the last month, and now
I'm out! I know I am quite mad, but it's fine while it lasts.
Now, Jack, the curtain's up. Let the play proceed."

The story was simple enough. Immediately after the discovery of
the mine French had arranged with Mr. Robert Menzies that he should
make application with the Department of the Interior at Ottawa for
the necessary mining rights. The application had been made, but
the Department had failed to notify the local agent.

"So," said Jack, "the mine is yours again, Kalman."

"No," said Kalman, "not mine, ours; yours as much as mine, Jack, or
not mine at all."

"And the Company!" yelled Brown. "Tell him about the Company. Let
the play proceed."

"Oh," said French, with an air of indifference, "Mr. Menzies has a
company all organized and in his pocket, waiting only approval of
the owner of the mine."

"And the party will arrive in about three weeks, I think you said,
French," remarked Brown, with a tone of elaborate carelessness.

Kalman's face flushed hot. The eyes of both men were upon him.

"Yes, in about three weeks," replied French.

"If it were not that I am constitutionally disinclined to an active
life, I should like to join myself," said Brown; "for it will be a
most remarkable mining company, if I know anything of the signs."

But Kalman could not speak. He put his arm around Jack's shoulder,
saying, "You are a great man, Jack. I might have known better."

"All right, boy," said Jack. "From this time we shall play the
man. Life is too good to lose for nothing. A mine is good, but
there are better things than mines."

"Meaning?" said Brown.

"Men!" said Jack with emphasis.

"AND," shouted Brown, slipping his arm round his wife, "women."

"Brown," said Jack solemnly, "as my friend Pierre Lamont would say,
'you have reason.'"



The hut of the Nihilist Portnoff stood in a thick bluff about
midway between Wakota and the mine, but lying off the direct line
about two miles nearer the ranch. It was a poor enough shack, made
of logs plastered over with mud, roofed with poplar poles, sod, and
earth. The floor was of earth, the walls were whitewashed, and
with certain adornments that spoke of some degree of culture. Near
one side of the shack stood the clay oven stove, which served the
double purpose of heating the room and of cooking Portnoff's food.
Like many of the Galician cabins, Portnoff's stood in the midst of
a garden, in which bloomed a great variety of brilliant and old-
fashioned flowers and shrubs, while upon the walls and climbing
over the roof, a honeysuckle softened the uncouthness of the clay

It was toward the end of the third week which followed French's
return that Portnoff and Malkarski were sitting late over their
pipes and beer. The shack was illumined with half a dozen candles
placed here and there on shelves attached to the walls. The two
men were deep in earnest conversation. At length Portnoff rose and
began to pace the little room.

"Malkarski," he cried, "you are asking too much. This delay is
becoming impossible to me."

"My brother," said Malkarski, "you have waited long. There must be
no mistake in this matter. The work must be thoroughly done, so
let us be patient. And meantime," he continued with a laugh, "he
is having suffering enough. The loss of this mine is like a knife
thrust in his heart. It is pleasant to see him squirm like a
reptile pierced by a stick. He is seeking large compensation for
the work he has done, three thousand dollars, I believe. It is
worth about one."

Portnoff continued pacing up and down the room.

"Curse him! Curse him! Curse him!" he cried, lifting his clenched
hands above his head.

"Be patient, brother."

"Patient!" cried Portnoff. "I see blood. I hear cries of women
and children. I fall asleep and feel my fingers in his throat. I
wake and find them empty!"

"Aha! I too," growled Malkarski. "But patience, patience, brother!"

"Malkarski," cried Portnoff, pausing in his walk, "I have suffered
through this man in my country, in my people, in my family, in my

"Aha!" ejaculated old Malkarski with fierce emphasis, "have you?
Do you know what suffering is? But--yes, Portnoff, we must be
patient yet." As he spoke he took on a dignity of manner and
assumed an attitude of authority that Portnoff was quick to

"You speak truly," replied the latter gravely. "I heard a good
thing to-day," he continued with a change of tone. "It seems that

"Sprink!" muttered Malkarski with infinite contempt, "a rat, a pig!
Why speak of him?"

"It is a good story," replied Portnoff with a laugh, "but not
pleasant for Sprink to tell. It appears he was negotiating with
Mr. French, suggesting a partnership in the mine, but Mr. French
kicked him out. It was amusing to hear Sprink tell the tale with
many oaths and curses. He loves not French any more."

"Bah!" said Malkarski, "the rest of the tale I heard. He had the
impudence to propose--the dog!--alliance with the young lady Irma.
Bah!" he spat upon the ground. "And French very properly kicked
him out of his house and gave him one minute to remove himself out
of gun range. There was quick running," added old Malkarski with a
grim smile. "But he is a cur. I wipe him out of my mind."

"We must keep close watch these days," said Portnoff. "They are
both like mad dogs, and they will bite."

"Ha!" cried Malkarski with sudden vehemence, "if we could strike at
once, now! To-night!" his voice rose in a cry, "Ah, if it were to-
night! But patience," he muttered. "Ah, God! how long?"

"Not long, my brother, surely," said Portnoff.

"No, not long," answered Malkarski. "Let them go away from the
mine, away from these people. On the railroad line many accidents
occur. Let us not spoil all by undue haste."

"It is your day to watch to-morrow, Malkarski," said Portnoff.

"I shall keep watch to-morrow," said Malkarski. "After all, it is
joy to look on his face and think how it will appear when we have
done our work." He rose and paced the floor, his deep-set eyes
gleaming like live coals in his haggard old face. "Ah," he
continued in his deep undertone, "that will be joy."

Ever since the arrival of Rosenblatt in the country he had been
under surveillance of one of these two old Nihilists, walking,
though he knew it not, side by side with death. To Malkarski fell
the task of keeping within sight and sound of Rosenblatt during the
following day.

The negotiations in connection with the transfer of the mine
property were practically completed. The money for the improvements
effected had been paid. There remained only a few minor matters to
be settled, and for that a meeting was arranged at the mine on the
evening of the following day. At this meeting Kalman had with great
reluctance agreed to be present. The place of meeting was the
original cave, which had been enlarged to form a somewhat spacious
room, from which there had been run back into the hill a tunnel. At
the entrance to this tunnel a short cross-tunnel had been cut, with
an exit on the side of the hill and at right angles to the mouth.
Across the ravine from the cave stood a small log building which
Messrs. Rosenblatt and Sprink had used as an office during the month
of their regime. Further down the ravine were scattered the
workmen's cabins, now deserted.

In the preparing of plans for this last meeting Rosenblatt and
Sprink spent long hours that day. Indeed, it was late in the
afternoon when their conference broke up.

An hour later found Malkarski, pale and breathless, at the door of
Portnoff's cabin, unable to recover his speech till Portnoff had
primed him with a mug of Sprink's best whiskey.

"What is it, my brother?" cried Portnoff, alarmed at his condition.
"What is it?"

"A plot!" gasped Malkarski, "a most damnable plot! Give me another

Under the stimulus of the potent liquid, Malkarski was able in a
few minutes between his gasps to tell his story. Concealed by a
lumber pile behind Rosenblatt's shack, with his ear close to a
crack between the logs, he had heard the details of the plot. In
the cross tunnel at the back of the cave bags of gunpowder and
dynamite were to be hidden. To this mass a train was to be laid
through the cross tunnel to a convenient distance. At a certain
point during the conference Rosenblatt would leave the cave on the
pretext of securing a paper left in his cabin. A pile of brushwood
at some distance from the cave would be burning. On his way to his
cabin Rosenblatt would fire the train and wait the explosion in his
own shack, the accidental nature of which could easily be explained
under the circumstances. In order to remove suspicion from him,
Rosenblatt was to appear during the early evening in a railway camp
some distance away. The plot was so conceived and the details so
arranged that no suspicion could attach to the guilty parties.

"And now," said Malkarski, "rush to Wakota, where I know Mr. French
and Kalman are to be today. I shall go back to the mine to warn
them if by any chance you should miss them."

Old Portnoff was long past his best. Not for many years had he
quickened his pace beyond a slow dog trot. The air was heavy with
an impending storm, the blazed trail through the woods was rough,
and at times difficult to find, so that it was late in the evening
when the old man stumbled into the missionary's house and poured
out his tale between his sobbing gasps to Brown and a Sergeant of
the Mounted Police, who was present on the Queen's business.
Before the tale was done the Sergeant was on his feet.

"Where are French and Kalman?" he said sharply.

"Gone hours ago," cried Brown. "They must be at the mine by now."

"Can this man be relied upon?" enquired the Sergeant.

"Absolutely," said Brown. "Fly! I'll follow."

Without further word the Sergeant was out of the house and on his

"What trail?" he shouted.

"It is best by the river," cried Brown. "The cross trail you might
lose. Go! Go, in God's name!" he added, rushing toward his
stable, followed by Portnoff and his wife. "Where is Paulina?" he

"Paulina," said his wife, "is gone. She is acting strangely these
days,--goes and comes, I don't know where."

"Get a boy, then," said her husband, "and send him to the ranch.
There is a bare chance we may stop them there. Portnoff, there is
another pony here; saddle and follow me. We'll take the cross
trail. And pray God," he added, "we may be in time!"

Great masses of liver-coloured clouds were piling up in the west,
blotting out the light from the setting sun. Over all a heavy
silence had settled down, so that in all the woods there was no
sound of living thing. Lashing his pony into a gallop, heedless of
the obstacles on the trail, or of the trees overhead, Brown crashed
through scrub and sleugh, with old Portnoff following as best he
could. Mile after mile they rode, now and then in the gathering
darkness losing the trail, and with frantic furious haste searching
it again, till at length, with their ponies foaming and trembling,
and their own faces torn and bleeding with the brush, they emerged
into the clearing above the ravine.

Meantime, the ghastly tragedy was being enacted. Impatiently at
the cave mouth French and Kalman waited the coming of those they
were to meet. At length, in the gathering gloom, Rosenblatt
appeared, coming up the ravine. He was pale and distraught.

"I have ridden hard," he said, "and I am shaken with my ride. My
papers are in my cabin. I shall get them."

In a few moments he returned, bringing with him a bottle and two

"Drink!" he said. "No? Then I will." He poured out a cup full of
raw whiskey and drank it off. "My partner is late," he said. "He
will be here in a few moments. Meantime, we can look over the

"It is too dark here," said French. "We can't see to read. You
have in your cabin a light, let us go there."

"Oh," cried Rosenblatt hastily, "it is more comfortable here. I
have a lantern."

He rummaged in the sides of the cave and produced a lantern.

"Here is a light," said French, striking a match.

Rosenblatt snatched the match from his hand, crushed it in his
fingers and hurried out of the cave.

"Ah," he exclaimed, "I am shaking with my hurried ride."

With great care he lighted his lantern outside of the cave and set
it upon a table that had been placed near the cave's mouth. French
drew out his pipe, slowly filled it and proceeded to light it, when
Rosenblatt in a horror-stricken voice arrested him.

"Don't smoke!" he cried. "I mean--it makes me very ill--when I am--
in this--condition--the smell of tobacco smoke."

French looked at him with cool contempt.

"I am sorry for you," he said, lighting his pipe and throwing the
match down.

Rosenblatt sprang to the cave mouth, came back again, furtively
treading upon the match. The perspiration was standing out upon
his forehead.

"It is a terrible night," he said. "Let us proceed. We can't wait
for my partner. Read, read."

With fingers that trembled so that he could hardly hold the papers,
he thrust the documents into Kalman's hand.

"Read," he cried, "I cannot see."

Opening the papers, Kalman proceeded to read them carefully, by the
light of the lantern, French smoking calmly the while.

"Have you no better light than this, Rosenblatt?" said French at
length. "Surely there are candles about here." He walked toward
the back of the cave.

"Ah, my God!" cried Rosenblatt, seizing him and drawing him toward
the table again. "Sit down, sit down. If you want candles, let me
get them. I know where they are. But we need no candles here.
Yes," he cried with a laugh, "young eyes are better than old eyes.
The young man reads well. Read, read."

"There is another paper," said French after Kalman had finished.
"There is a further agreement."

"Yes, truly," said Rosenblatt. "Is it not there? It must be
there. No, I must have left it at my cabin. I will bring it."

"Well, hurry then," said French. "Meantime, my pipe is out."

He drew a match, struck it on the sole of his boot, lighted his
pipe and threw the blazing remnant toward the back of the cave.

"Ah, my God!" cried Rosenblatt, his voice rising almost to a
shriek. Both men looked curiously at him. "Ah," he said, with his
hand over his heart, "I have pain here. But I will get the paper."

His face was livid, and the sweat was running down his beard. As
he spoke he ran out and disappeared, leaving the two men poring
over the papers together. Beside the burning heap of brushwood he
stood a moment, torn in an agony of uncertainty and fear.

"Oh!" he said, wringing his hands, "I dare not do it! I dare not
do it!"

He rushed past the blazing heap, paused. "Fool!" he said, "what is
there to fear?"

He crept back to the pile of burning brush, seized a blazing ember,
ran with it to the train he had prepared of rags soaked in
kerosene, leading toward the mouth of the cross tunnel, dropped the
blazing stick upon it, and fled. Looking back, he saw that in his
haste he had dashed out the flame and that besides the saturated
rags the stick lay smoking. With a curse he ran once more to the
blazing brush heap, selected a blazing ember, carried it carefully
to the train, and set the saturated rags on fire, waiting until
they were fully alight. Then like a man pursued by demons, he fled
down the ravine, splashed through the Creek and up the other side,
not pausing to look behind until he had shut the door of his cabin.

As he closed the door, a dark figure appeared, slipped up to the
door, there was a click, a second, and a third, and the door stood
securely fastened with three stout padlocks. In another moment
Rosenblatt's livid face appeared at the little square window which
overlooked the ravine.

At the same instant, upon the opposite side of the ravine, appeared
Brown, riding down the slope like a madman, and shouting at the top
of his voice, "French! French! Kalman! For God's sake, come

Out of the cave rushed the two men. As they appeared Brown stood
waving his hands wildly. "Come here! Come, for God's sake!
Come!" His eyes fell upon the blazing train. "Run! run!" he
shouted, "for your lives! Run!"

He dashed toward the blazing rags and trampled them under his feet.
But the fire had reached the powder. There was a quick hissing
sound of a burning fuse, and then a great puff. Brown threw
himself on his face and waited, but there was nothing more. His
two friends rushed to him and lifted him up.

"What, in Heaven's name, is it, Brown?" cried French.

"Come away!" gasped Brown, stumbling down the ravine and dragging
them with him.

Meantime, the whole hillside was in flames. In the clear light of
the blazing trees the Sergeant was seen riding his splendid horse
at a hard gallop. Soon after his appearing came Portnoff.

"What does all this mean?" said French, looking around from one to
the other with a dazed face.

Before they could answer, a voice clear and sonorous drew their
eyes across the ravine towards Rosenblatt's cabin. At a little
distance from the cabin they could distinguish the figure of a man
outlined in the lurid light of the leaping flames. He was speaking
to Rosenblatt, whose head could be seen thrust far out of the

"Who is that man?" cried the Sergeant.

"Mother of God!" said old Portnoff in a low voice. "It is
Malkarski. Listen."

"Rosenblatt," cried the old man in the Russian tongue, "I have
something to say to you. Those bags of gunpowder, that dynamite
with which you were to destroy two innocent men, are now piled
under your cabin, and this train at my feet will fire them."

With a shriek Rosenblatt disappeared, and they could hear him
battering at the door. Old Malkarski laughed a wild, unearthly

"Rosenblatt," he cried again, "the door is securely fastened!
Three stout locks will hold it closed."

The wretched man thrust his head far out of the window, shrieking,
"Help! Help! Murder! Help!"

"Listen, you dog!" cried Malkarski, his voice ringing down through
the ravine, "your doom has come at last. All your crimes, your
treacheries, your bloody cruelties are now to be visited upon you.
Ha! scream! pray! but no power in earth can save you. Aha! for
this joy I have waited long! See, I now light this train. In one
moment you will he in hell."

He deliberately struck a match. A slight puff of wind blew it out.
Once more he struck a match. A cry broke forth from Kalman.

"Stop! stop! Malkarski, do not commit this crime!"

"What is he doing?" said the Sergeant, pulling his pistol.

"He is going to blow the man up!" groaned Kalman.

The Sergeant levelled his pistol.

"Here, you man," he cried, "stir in your tracks and you are dead!"

Malkarski laughed scornfully at him and proceeded to strike his
third match. Before the Sergeant could fire, old Portnoff sprang
upon him with the cry, "Would you murder the man?"

Meantime, under the third match, the train was blazing, and slowly
creeping toward the cabin. Shriek after shriek from the wretched
victim seemed to pierce the ears of the listeners as with sharp
stabs of pain.

"Rosenblatt," cried old Malkarski, putting up his hand, "you know
me now?"

"No! no!" shrieked Rosenblatt. "Mercy! mercy! quick! quick! I
know you not."

The old man drew himself up to a figure straight and tall. The
years seemed to fall from him. He stepped nearer Rosenblatt and
stood in the full light and in the attitude of a soldier at

"Behold," he cried, "Michael Kalmar!"

"Ah-h-h-h!" Rosenblatt's voice was prolonged into a wail of
despair as from a damned soul.

"My father!" cried Kalman from across the ravine. "My father!
Don't commit this crime! For my sake, for Christ's dear sake!"

He rushed across the ravine and up the other slope. His father ran
to meet him and grappled with him. Upon the slope they struggled,
Kalman fighting fiercely to free himself from those encircling
arms, while like a fiery serpent the flame crept slowly toward the

With a heavy iron poker which he found in the cabin, Rosenblatt had
battered off the sash and the frame of the window, enlarging the
hole till he could get his head and one arm free; but there he
stuck fast, watching the creeping flames, shrieking prayers,
entreaties, curses, while down upon the slope swayed the two men
in deadly struggle.

"Let me go! Let me go, my father!" entreated Kalman, tearing at
his father's arms. "How can I strike you!"

"Never, boy. Rather would I die!" cried the old man, his arms
wreathed about his son's neck.

At length, with his hand raised high above his head, Kalman cried,
"Now God pardon me this!" and striking his father a heavy blow, he
flung him off and leaped free. Before he could take a single step,
another figure, that of a woman, glided from the trees, and with a
cry as of a wild cat, threw herself upon him. At the same instant
there was a dull, thick roar; they were hurled stunned to the
ground, and in the silence that followed, through the trees came
hurtling a rain of broken rock and splintered timbers.

Slowly recovering from the shock, the Sergeant staggered down the
ravine, crying, "Come on!" to the others who followed him one by
one as they recovered their senses. On the other side of the slope
lay Kalman and the woman. It was Paulina. At a little distance
was Malkarski, or Kalmar, as he must be called, and where the cabin
had been a great hole, and at some distance from it a charred and
blackened shape of a man writhing in agony, the clothes still
burning upon him.

Brown rushed down to the Creek, and with a hatful of water
extinguished the burning clothes.

"Water! water!" gasped the wretch faintly.

"Bring him some water, some one," said Brown who was now giving his
attention to Kalman. But no one heeded him.

Old Portnoff found a can, and filling it at the stream, brought it
to the group on the slope. In a short time they began to revive,
and before long were able to stand. Meantime, the wretched
Rosenblatt was piteously crying for water.

"Oh, give him some water," said Kalman to Brown, who was anxiously
taking his pulse.

Brown took the can over, gave the unhappy wretch a drink, pouring
the rest over his burned and mangled limbs. The explosion had
shattered the lower part and one side of Rosenblatt's body, leaving
untouched his face and his right arm.

The Sergeant took charge of the situation.

"You I arrest," he said, taking old Kalmar by the shoulder.

"Very well; it matters not," said the old man, holding up his hands
for the handcuffs.

"Can anything be done for this man?" asked the Sergeant, pointing
to Rosenblatt.

"Nothing. He can only live a few minutes."

Rosenblatt looked up and beckoned the Sergeant toward him.

"I would speak with you," he said faintly.

The Sergeant approached, bringing Kalmar along with him.

"You need not fear, I shall not try to escape," said Kalmar. "I
give you my honour."

"Very well," said the Sergeant, turning from him to Rosenblatt.
"What do you wish?"

"Come nearer," said the dying man.

The Sergeant kneeled down and leaned over him to listen. With a
quick movement Rosenblatt jerked the pistol from the Sergeant's
belt and fired straight at old Kalmar, turned the pistol toward
Kalman and fired again. But as he levelled his gun for the second
time, Paulina, with a cry, flung herself upon Kalman, received the
bullet, and fell to the ground. With a wild laugh, Rosenblatt
turned the pistol on himself, but before he could fire the Sergeant
had wrested it from his hand.

"Aha," he gasped, "I have my revenge!"

"Fool!" said old Kalmar, who was being supported by his son.
"Fool! You have only done for me what I would have done for

With a snarl as of a dog, Rosenblatt sank back upon the ground, and
with a shudder lay still.

"He is dead," said Brown. "God's mercy meet him!"

"Ah," said old Kalmar, "I breathe freer now that his breath no
longer taints the air. My work is done."

"Oh, my father," cried Kalman brokenly, "may God forgive you!"

"Boy," said the old man sternly, "mean you for the death of yon
dog? You hang the murderer. He is many times a murderer. This
very night he had willed to murder you and your friend. He was
condemned to death by a righteous tribunal. He has met his just
doom. God is just. I meet Him without fear for this. For my
sins, which are many, I trust His mercy."

"My father," said Kalman, "you are right. I believe you. And God
is merciful. Christ is merciful."

As he spoke, he leaned over, and wiping from his father's face the
tears that fell upon it, he kissed him on the forehead. The old
man's breath was growing short. He looked towards Brown. At once
Brown came near.

"You are a good man. Your religion is good. It makes men just and
kind. Ah, religion is a beautiful thing when it makes men just and

He turned his eyes upon Jack French, who stood looking down sadly
upon him.

"You have been friend to my son," he said. "You will guide him

French dropped quickly on his knee, took him by the hand and said,
"I will be to him a brother."

The old man turned his face and said, "Paulina."

"She is here," said old Portnoff, "but she can't move."

At the sound of his voice, the woman struggled up to her knees,
crawled over to his side, the blood flowing from her wound, and
taking his hand, held it to her lips.

"Paulina," he said, "you have done well--you are--my wife again--
come near me."

The woman made an inarticulate moan like some dumb beast, and
lifted her face toward him.

"Kiss me," he said.

"Ah, my lord," she cried, sobbing wildly, "my dear lord, I dare

"Kiss me," he said again.

"Now let me die," she cried, kissing him on the lips, and falling
down in a faint beside him.

Brown lifted her and laid her in Portnoff's arms. The dying man
lay silent, gathering his strength. He was breathing now with
great difficulty.

"My son! I cannot see you--"

Brown came and took Kalman's place.

"Here I am, father," said Kalman, kneeling beside him and holding
his two hands.

"Bid--my daughter Irma--farewell! She will be safe with you."
Then after a pause he whispered, "In my pocket."

Kalman understood, found a packet, and from it drew the miniature
of his mother.

"I give you this," said the father, lifting it with difficulty to
his lips. "No curse with it now--only blessing--farewell--you have
brought me joy--let me see her face--ah, dear heart--" he said,
fastening his glazing eyes upon the beautiful face, "I come to you--
ah! freedom!--sweet freedom at last!--and love--all love! My son--
farewell!--my love!"

"Dear God!" cried Kalman, "Jesu, have pity and save!"

A smile as of an infant falling asleep played over the rugged face,
while the poor lips whispered, "At last--freedom!--and--love!"

He breathed once, deep and long, and then no more. The long, long
fight was done, the fight for freedom and for love.



The Night Hawk Mining Company, after a period of doubt and
struggle, was solidly on its feet at last. True, its dividends
were not large, but at least it was paying its way, and it stood
well among the financial institutions of the country. Its
satisfactory condition was accounted for by its President, Sir
Robert Menzies, at the last Annual Meeting of the Company, in the
following words: "It is to the fidelity, diligence, good judgment,
and ability to handle men, shown by our young Manager, Mr. Kalmar,
during the past five years, that the Company owes its present
excellent standing."

The Foreign Colony and the mine reacted upon each other, to their
mutual advantage, the one furnishing labourers, the other work and
cash. The colony had greatly prospered on this account, but
perhaps more on account of the influence of Dr. Brown and his
mission. The establishment of a Government school had relieved the
missionary of an exacting and laborious department of his work, and
allowed him to devote himself to his Hospital and his Training
Home. The changes apparent in the colony, largely as the result
of Dr. Brown's labours, were truly remarkable. The creating of a
market for their produce by the advent of the railway, and for
their labour by the development of the mine, brought the Galician
people wealth, but the influence of Dr. Brown himself, and of his
Home, and of his Hospital, was apparent in the life and character
of the people, and especially of the younger generation. The old
mud-plastered cabins were giving place to neat frame houses, each
surrounded by its garden of vegetables and flowers. In dress, the
sheep skin and the shawl were being exchanged for the ready-made
suit and the hat of latest style. The Hospital, with its staff
of trained nurses under the direction of the young matron, the
charming Miss Irma, by its ministrations to the sick, and more by
the spirit that breathed through its whole service, wrought in the
Galician mind a new temper and a new ideal. In the Training Home
fifty Galician girls were being indoctrinated into that most noble
of all sciences, the science of home-making, and were gaining
practical experience in all the cognate sciences and arts.

At the Night Hawk ranch too were all the signs of the new order of
things. Fenced fields and imported stock, a new ranch house with
stables and granaries, were some of the indications that the coming
of the market for the produce of the ranch had synchronized with
the making of the man for its administration. The call of the New
Time, and the appeal of the New Ideal, that came through the
railroad, the mine, but, more than both, through the Mission and
its founder, found a response in the heart of Jack French. The
old laissez faire of the pioneer days gave place to a sense of
responsibility for opportunity, and to habits of decisive and
prompt attention to the business of the hour. Five years of
intelligent study of conditions, of steady application to duty,
had brought success not in wealth alone, but in character and in

But upon Kalman, more than upon any other, these five years had
left their mark. The hard grind of daily work, the daily burden
of administration, had toughened the fibre of his character and
hardened the temper of his spirit, and this hardening and
toughening could be seen in every line of his face and in every
motion of his body. Twice during the five years he had been sent
by Jack French to the city for a three months' term in a Business
College, where he learned to know, not only the books of his
College curriculum, but, through Jack's introductions, the men who
were doing big things for the country. He had returned to his
place and to his work in the mine with vision enlarged, ideal
exalted, and with the purpose strengthened to make the best out of
life. In every sense the years had made a man of him. He was as
tall as Jack, lithe and strong; in mind keen and quick, in action
resolute. To those he met in the world of labour and of business
he seemed hard. To his old friends on the ranch or at the Mission,
up through all the hardness there welled those springs that come
from a heart kind, loyal, and true. Among the Galicians of the
colony, he was their acknowledged leader, because he did justly by
them and because, although a Canadian among Canadians, he never
forgot to own and to honour the Slav blood that flowed in his
veins, and to labour for the advancement of his people.

But full of work and ambition as he was, yet there were times when
Jack French read in his eyes the hunger of his heart. For after
all, it is in the heart a man carries his life, it is through the
heart come his finest ideals, from the heart his truest words and

At one such time, and the week before she came again, Jack French,
looking through the window of his own heart and filled with a great
pity for the young man who had come to be more than brother to him,
had ventured to speak. But only once, for with such finality of
tone and manner as made answer impossible, Kalman had made reply.

"No, Jack, I had my dream. It was great while it lasted, but it is
past, and I shall dream no more."

"Kalman, my boy, don't make a mistake. Life is a long thing, and
can be very dreary." There was no mistaking the pain in Jack's

"Is it, Jack?" said Kalman. "I am afraid you are right. But I can
never forget--my father was a foreigner, and I am one, and the
tragedy of that awful night can never be wiped from her mind. The
curse of it I must bear!"

"But, Kalman, you are not ashamed of your blood--of your father?"

Then Kalman lifted up his head and his voice rang out. "Of my
blood? No. But it is not hers. Of my father? No. To me he was
the just avenger of a great cause. But to her," his voice sank to
a hoarse whisper, "he was a murderer! No, Jack, it may not be."

"But, Kalman, my boy," remonstrated Jack, "think of all--"

"Think? For these five years I have thought till my heart is sore
with thinking! No, Jack, don't fret. I don't. Thank God there
are other things. There is work, a people to help, a country to

"Other things!" said French bitterly. "True, there are, and great
things, but, Kalman, boy, I have tried them, and to-night after
thirty years, as I speak to you--my God!--my heart is sick of
hunger for something better than things! Love! my boy, love is the

"Poor Jack!" said Kalman softly, "dear old boy!" and went out. But
of that hunger of the heart they never spoke again.

And now at the end of five years' absence she was coming again.
How vivid to Kalman was his remembrance of the last sight he had
of her. It was at the Night Hawk ranch, and on the night succeeding
that of the tragedy at the mine. In the inner room, beside his
father's body, he was sitting, his mind busy with the tragic pathos
of that grief-tortured, storm-beaten life. Step by step, as far as
he knew it, he was tracing the tear-wet, blood-stained path that
life had taken; its dreadful scenes of blood and heart agony were
passing before his mind; when gradually he became aware that
in the next room the Sergeant, with bluff and almost brutal
straightforwardness, was telling her the story of Rosenblatt's
dreadful end. "And then, begad! after grilling the wretch for all
that time, didn't the infernal, bloodthirsty fiend in the most
cheerful manner touch off the powder and blow the man into
eternity." Then through the thin partition he heard her faint cry
of horror. He remembered how, at the Sergeant's description of his
father, something seemed to go wrong in his brain. He had a dim
remembrance of how, dazed with rage, he had felt his way out to the
next room, and cried, "You defamer of the dead! you will lie no
more!" He had a vivid picture of how in horror she had fled from
him while he dragged out the Sergeant by the throat into the night,
and how he had been torn from him by the united efforts of Brown
and French together. He remembered how, after the funeral service,
when he had grown master of himself again, he had offered the
Sergeant his humble apology before them all. But most vivid of all
was his memory of the look of fear and repulsion in her eyes when
he came near her. And that was the last look he had had of her.
Gladly would he have run away from meeting her again; but this he
could not do, for Jack's sake and for his own. Carefully he
rehearsed the scene, what he would say, and how he would carry
himself with what rigid self-control and with what easy indifference
he would greet her.

But the meeting was quite other than he had planned. It was at
the mine. One shiny September morning the heavy cars were just
starting down the incline to the mine below, when through the
carelessness of the operator the brake of the great drum slipped,
and on being applied again with reckless force, broke, and the car
was off, bringing destruction to half a dozen men at the bottom of
the shaft. Quick as a flash of light, Kalman sprang to the racing
cog wheels, threw in a heavy coat that happened to be lying near,
and then, as the machinery slowed, thrust in a handspike and
checked the descent of the runaway car. It took less than two
seconds to see, to plan, to execute.

"Great work!" exclaimed a voice behind him.

He turned and saw Sir Robert Menzies, and between him and French,
his daughter Marjorie.

"Glad to see you, Sir Robert," he exclaimed heartily.

"That was splendid!" said his daughter, pale and shaken by what she
had seen.

One keen searching look he thrust in through her eyes, scanning her
soul. Bravely, frankly, she gave him back his look. Kalman drew
a deep breath. It was as if he had been on a long voyage of
discovery, how long he could not tell. But what he had seen brought
comfort to his heart. She had not shrunk from him.

"That was fine!" cried Marjorie again, offering him her hand.

"I am afraid," he said, holding back his, "that my hand is not
clean enough to shake with you."

"Give it to me," she said almost imperiously. "It is the hand of a
brave man and good."

Her tone was one of warm and genuine admiration. All Kalman's
practised self-control deserted him. He felt the hot blood rising
in his face. With a great effort he regained command of himself
and began pointing out the features of interest in the mine.

"Great changes have taken place in the last five years," she said,
looking down the ravine, disfigured by all the sordid accompaniments
of a coal mine.

"Yes, great changes," said Kalman.

"At Wakota, too, there are great changes," she said, walking a
little apart from the others. "That Mr. Brown has done wonderful
things for those foreigners."

"Yes," said Kalman proudly, "he has done great things for my

"They are becoming good Canadians," replied Marjorie, her colour
showing that she had noted his tone and meaning.

"Yes, they will be good Canadians," said Kalman. "They are good
Canadians now. They are my best men. None can touch them in the
mine, and they are good farmers too."

"I am sure they are," cried Marjorie heartily. "How wonderful the
power of this country of yours to transform men! It is a wonderful
country Canada."

"That it is," cried Kalman with enthusiasm. "No man can tell, for
no man knows the magnificence of its possibilities. We have only
skirted round the edge and scratched its surface."

"It is a fine thing," said Marjorie, "to have a country to be made,
and it is fine to be a man and have a part in the making of it."

"Yes," agreed Kalman, "it is fine."

"I envy you," cried Marjorie with enthusiasm.

A shadow fell on Kalman's face. "I don't know that you need to,
after all."

Then she said good-by, leaving him with heart throbbing and nerves
tingling to his finger tips. Ah, how dear she was! What mad folly
to think he could forget her! Every glance of her eye, every tone
in her soft Scotch voice, every motion of hand and body, how
familiar they all were! Like the faint elusive perfume from the
clover fields of childhood, they smote upon his senses with
intoxicating power. Standing there tingling and trembling, he made
one firm resolve. Never would he see her again. Tomorrow he would
make a long-planned trip to the city. He dared not wait another
day. To-morrow? No, that was Sunday. He would spend one full
happy day in that ravine seeking to recatch the emotions that had
thrilled his boy's heart on that great night five years ago, and
having thus filled his heart, he would take his departure without
seeing her again.

It was the custom of the people of the ranch to spend Sunday
afternoon at the Mission. So without a word even to French,
calling his dogs, Captain and Queen, Kalman rode down the trail
that led past the lake and toward the Night Hawk ravine. By that
same trail he had gone on that memorable afternoon, and though five
years had passed, the thoughts, the imaginings of that day, were as
freshly present with him as if it had been but yesterday. And
though they were the thoughts and imaginings of a mere boy, yet
to-day they seemed to him good and worthy of his manhood.

Down the trail, well beaten now, through the golden poplars he
rode, his dogs behind him, till he reached the pitch of the ravine.
There, where he had scrambled down, a bridle path led now. It was
very different, and yet how much remained unchanged. There was the
same glorious sun raining down his golden beams upon the yellow
poplar leaves, the same air, sweet and genial, in him the same
heart, and before him the same face, but sweeter it seemed, and
eyes the same that danced with every sunbeam and lured him on. He
was living again the rapture of his boyhood's first great passion.

At the mine's mouth he paused. Not a feature remained of the cave
that he had discovered five years ago, but sitting there upon his
horse, how readily he reconstructed the scene! Ah, how easy it
was! Every line of that cave, the new fresh earth, the gleaming
black seam, the very stones in the walls, he could replace.
Carefully, deliberately, he recalled the incidents of the evening
spent in the cave: the very words she spoke; how her lips moved as
she spoke them; how her eyes glanced, now straight at him, now from
under the drooping lids; how she smiled, how she wept, how she
laughed aloud; how her face shone with the firelight playing on it,
and the soul light radiating through it. He revelled in the memory
of it all. There was the very spot where Mr. Penny had lain in
vocal slumber. Here he had stood with the snowstorm beating on his
face. He resolved to trace step by step the path he had taken that
night, and to taste again the bliss of which he had drunk so deep.
And all the while, as he rode down the gorge, underneath the
rapture of remembering, he was conscious of an exquisite pain. But
he would go through with it. He would not allow the pain to spoil
his day, his last day near her. Down by the running water, as on
that night, underneath and through the crowding trees, out to where
the gorge widened into the valley, he rode. When hark! He paused.
Was that Queen's bay? Surely it was. "A wolf?" he thought. "No,
there are none left in the glen." He shrank from meeting any one
that afternoon. He waited to hear again that deep, soft trumpet
note, and strained his ear for voices. But all was still except
for the falling of a ripe leaf now and then through the trees. He
hated to give up the afternoon he had planned.

He rode on. He reached the more open timber. He remembered that
it was here he had first caught the sound of voices behind that
blinding drift. Through the poplars he pressed his horse. It was
at this very spot that, through an opening in the storm, he had
first caught sight--what! His heart stood still, and then leaped
into his throat. There, on the very spot where he had seen her
that night, she stood again to-day! Was it a vision of his fond
imagination? He passed his hand over his eyes. No, she was there
still! standing among the golden poplars, the sunlight falling all
around her. With all his boyhood's frenzy in his heart, he gazed
at her till she turned and looked toward him. A moment more, with
his spurs into his horse's side, he crashed through the scrub and
was at her side.

"You! you!" he cried, in the old cry. "Marjorie! Marjorie!"

Once more he had her in his arms. Once more he was kissing her
face, her eyes, her lips. Once more she was crying, "Oh, Kalman!
Stop! You must stop! You must stop!" And then, as before, she
laid her head upon his breast, sobbing, "When I saw the dogs I
feared you would come, but I could not run away. Oh, you must
stop! Oh, I am so happy!" And then he put her from him and looked
at her.

"Marjorie," he said, "tell me it is no dream, that it is you, that
you are mine! Yes," he shouted aloud, "do you hear me? You are
mine! Before Heaven I say it! No man, nothing shall take you from

"Hush, Kalman!" she cried, coming to him and laying her hand upon
his lips; "they are just down by the river there."

"Who are they? I care not who they are, now that you are mine!"

"And oh, how near I was to losing you!" she cried. "You were going
away to-morrow, and I should have broken my heart."

"Ah, dear heart! How could I know?" he said. "How could I know
you could ever love a foreigner, the son of a--"

"The son of a hero, who paid out his life for a great cause," she
cried with a sob. "Oh, Kalman, I have been there. I have seen the
people, your father's people."

Kalman's face was pale, his voice shaking. "You have seen? You
understand? You do not shrink from me?" He felt his very soul
trembling in the balance.

"Shrink from you!" she cried in scorn. "Were I Russian, I should
be like your father!"

"Now God be thanked!" cried Kalman. "That fear is gone. I fear
nothing else. Ah, how brave you are, sweetheart!"

"Stop, Kalman! Man, man, you are terrible. Let me go! They are

"Hello there! Steady all." It was Brown's voice. "Now, then,
what's this?"

Awhile they stood side by side, then Marjorie came shyly to Sir

"I didn't mean to, father," she said penitently, "not a bit. But I
couldn't help myself. He just made me."

Sir Robert kissed her.

Kalman stepped forward. "And I couldn't help it, Sir," he said.
"I tried my best not to. Will you give her to me?"

"Listen to him, now, will you?" said Sir Robert, shaking him warmly
by the hand. "It wasn't the fault of either of them."

"Quite true, Sir," said French gravely. "I'm afraid it was partly mine.
I saw the dogs--I thought it would be good for us three to take the
other trail."

"Blame me, Sir," said Brown penitently. "It was I who helped to
conquer her aversion to the foreigner by showing her his many
excellences. Yes," continued Brown in a reminiscent manner, "I
seem to recall how a certain young lady into these ears made
solemn declaration that never, never could she love one of
those foreigners."

"Ah," said Marjorie with sweet and serious emphasis, "but not my
foreigner, my Canadian foreigner."

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