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A tall ship lifted her wings to the wind and flew with them fast and far,
There was the little shining town,
And there was the market-place,
In the windows, never a face;
Where no more the masters come;
But every belfry dumb.
Gay little land, so still! so still!—They stood in the hollow street
Then: "Ring!” cried the Knight, “Ring! Ring the bells,
That the lost folk hear and find
And their eyes with weeping blind."
And smote every bell to song.
And carried the sounds along.
Far in the dread Lost Lands they toiled
At the Wizard's dark behest,
And they knew no night of rest,
Ploughing the alien loam;
Came calling the bells of home.
The Wizard twisted and blocked their ways,
And covered the roads from sight:
And followed the bells aright.
But their hearts heard, clear and low,
Where nothing again shall grow.
Oh, wild rang the bells in the Land of Bells when the streets were thronged once more!
The mother turned to her pleasant task,
The little son at her gown;
Peacefully sat him down.
The bells went ringing wild.
"SWIFT UP TO THE BELFRY TOWERS THEY SPED AND SMOTE EVERY BELL TO SONG. THE FAERY WINDS BLEW OUT OF THE WEST AND CARRIED THE SOUNDS ALONG"
(Prunier Tells Another Story)
We were indisputably off on our long-con your bush and you 've got to tell us a story sidered journey, Essex Lad, Prunier, and I. about it.” The bush, I ought to say, is the Indeed, this was the third night since we had Canadian habitant's word for forest. No shut the shutters of Wilderness House a bit matter if you 're lost in a wilderness of woods sadly, and without any gaiety whatever as large as Texas, it is only the bush. turned our backs on the blue and tranquil "A story of when you were young," added June of Wildyrie's ranges. It 's a long, long E. L. way to Peribonka from Placid; and no won “There was no such time," said Prunier, a der, when you consider that from the back bit sadly. And to look at his dry-tanned door step of the last house in Peribonka, face, the wrinkles about his eyes, you might there is no habitation between you and the have believed it for the instant. But the arctic circle except a Hudson Bay post, a moment the eyes twinkled, the moment he scattering of wigwams and tents, and per spoke with a voice that fifty winters had not haps an igloo or two. Peribonka was the made harsh, you knew better. tiny village where Prunier had been born, "All right,” said Prunier, "about a hunand the three of us had set out to visit his dred years ago when I was young." And he old home.
resolved into silence and a cloud of smoke. We were in the smoke-and-wash room of "Is it going to be true?" asked E. L. the sleeping-car, we and Prunier's old pipe, “Certainement." which made a lusty fourth, and it was nearly "And exciting?" bedtime. Rrrumpety-bumpty-bumpty-bump "The truth is always exciting to those who went the irregular song and chorus of the can listen," he said. "I will tell you about equally irregular wheels on the medieval the time when I learned nearly how to swim.” train. Clickety-click-click-click chirruped the Another silence; another cloud of smoke. glass in the nickel holder by the spigot as it, “Don't you really know yet, Prunier?” and we, spun around the curves. Rrrumpety He shook his head, adding: “But I almost bumpty-clickety-click-clangle-clank. The train learned once.
It was up the Tail-o'-Rat was very loose-jointed. I remember that Rivière." Prunier had rolled up his sleeves to wash his Here E. L. snickered out, “What a name! hands as clean of railroad as was possible, Rat-tail River!" and I remember noticing the long scar down “A good name," continued Prunier, "for his arm about which he had always hinted a the river was not too wide, and it marched story, but had never told it, when Bangety- along-how do you say it?-winding. And gathump-boom-boom! and the so-called ex it ended in a rat!” press crawled, stalled, and, with a last shiver, At this I laughed; the name did seem reahalted.
sonable, now. As was our custom, E. L. and I leaned "C'est vrai. The rivière ends in Lac aux from the sooty platform and gazed out over Rats, which is a large lake up the Mistassini, the usual wilderness which crowds close to where there were many castor-beavair you Canadian railroads and consists of blackened call them. And mon frère and I had gone stumps and stunted second growths. A there with a canoe-load of traps while yet half-moon threw pale chills of homesickness there was no ice, because it was an easy trip over the waste. If it was this lonely to look by canoe. Later we would go with all our at, how lonely must it be to live in! And our stores on our shoulders, which we could do thoughts flew, simultaneously, back to easily without the traps. Prunier's youth.
“The afternoon on the which I was so “Let 's make him tell us a story,” said nearly learned to swim was hot for SeptemE. L.
ber, and mon frère stayed down by the Lac “About that scar on his arm," I added. aux Rats to put a finish to some things, while “We may be here for hours."
I took the canoe up the little Tail-o'-Rat, We went back to him. “You can't get looking for beavair sign. I had had one out of it, now, Prunier. We're caught in grand portage about a long rapid which I call
Jumping Rat. Above it was an island about am disappointed and turn back late. But I the length of five canoes, with little rapids on had told mon frère not to expect me till after each side, which I call Les Bébés; and above he see me and there was no hurry. It is nice that, many miles of still water, with the not to be in a hurry." shores close together and trees leaning out "Especially on this railroad," said E. L., and much place for the little fur-bearers. I “Continuez, Monsieur." see that mon frère and I have good trapping "Well, I had to turn my voyage sometime, all the winter.
so I turned and began to put some strength "I go up far, because I see no beavair, and into going down. There was a current, too,
and I flew along without effort. All of an gone on laughing, the way a hen laughs when instant, I see myself approaching a great she gulps down a fly. dead birch hanging over the river, and on "Friend Bear hears the rapids, too, and the birch, a bear. He was a little bear, but whines. We are a minute nearer. I push big for a cub. He must have been born early with my feet frantically, for I hope that the in the spring and grown fast, with much care. canoe will seek the border of the river. But He was of a size remarkable and of an energy some current swings us out. So I make for also, for he was tearing off the bark of the the island that is between Les Bébés and ply birch and licking up the ants, I suppose, with my legs to propel the canoe there. It is a all vivacity. And it was so funny that I do pleasure to see us approach; it is not a pleasnot shoot from far. But all at once I remem ure to hear Les Bébés roaring in our ears, and ber my good gun. I have to lean up far in Friend Bear claws more than frantically on the canoe to get it, and must do so quietly so the rending canoe. We near, and I prepare that I do not scare my prey. I get very close to leave Friend Bear. before I fire.
"It is a shame to think he is going to be "I fire. Perhaps I do not hit, perhaps so drowned, but I have just a moment, as my -anyway, not badly. But the bear is so end of the canoe swings toward the island, to frightened that he upsets a moment, catches, leap for a big rock. I leap, I clutch it, I hold, slips, clutches at the shiny bark. It tears I scramble ashore, I look. I had forgotten. with him, he loses his balance, and, as evil Of course, when I let go, the end of the canoe chance has it, falls at the moment that I pass shoots up and Friend Bear goes to the bottom underneath. He falls on my canoe!
énergiquement. The next I see is a dripping "I was young, you know. I had only bear crawling up on my island with me, and a eighteen years.
I would never have done so tattered canoe flying down Les Bébés toward foolish a thing now. But then I was excited, the Jumping Rat. for a bear was good to begin the season of “Au revoir, mon canot,' I think; ‘au revoir, hunting, and I had not thought to have a mon frère.' There is but one future for mebear sitting for a moment of surprise in the life on this island shared mutuellement with a bow of my canoe. But I should have bear, until one eats the other of us up. I rethought of that. For the next moment it gretted that I had not told mon frère to exenters his head that it is not a very good pect me until afterward, for when would he place for him.
now make a search? And when would the "It enters his head, I say, and there is bear's appetite begin? These were not useroom only for one thing in a bear's head. He less questions. determines to quit the boat. And with one “Nature, or le bon Dieu, had indeed placed roll, we are all in the water. I could not help upon our island a few bushes for blueberries, it, though it is shame to a voyageur to be up and these I allowed the bear to have. He set from his canoe.
was, I hated to learn, a very hungry bear; “There we were; a grown cub of a bear and not minding his wet fur so much as did I hanging to the bow of a canoe, and a grown my wet clothes, he began to dine at once, fool of a man hanging to the stern, and both gathering in not only the berries, but the afraid to let go. Bears can swim—the lump bushes as well in gulpfuls prodigieuses. As ier and more wallopy they are, the better. he advanced along the slender island I reBut this one did not like the idée. Perhaps, treated to the end, in order to think, and to like me and mon frère and all the men I know, count my weapons. I found that one pockethe had n't made good use for his opportuni knife and two fish-hooks in my hatband were ties. Anyway, the current was going fast, the only implements of sharpness on my perand I heard his claws going swish-tear sonage. And of what use were they? I did through the bark of the canoe—we had birch not need to fish for the bear; I had already bark canoes in those days, just like the caught him too securely; and I could not Indians--and immédiatement there strikes carve him until he was dead, and there was upon my ear a new sound, the sound of rap no way of deadening him with just a knife. ids. I remember Les Bébés, and I raise my My thoughts were not very expeditious. self upon the stern and look over; and believe “However, despair never hatched eggs, as me, as E. L. says, they do not look like bébés we habitants say, and while the bear was denow.
Au contraire, in three minutes, at the vouring all his fare at one meal, with incesrate we were going, these bébés would have sant gruntings, I cut one of the tiny birch sapswallowed us down their white throats and lings and began to whittle with my knife.