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Romany of the Snows, Continuation of "Pierre and His People", v2

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92 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook Romany Of The Snows, v2, by Gilbert Parker #9 in our series by Gilbert Parker Contents:Malachi The Lake Of The Great Slave The Red Patrol The Going Of The White Swan At Bamber's BoomCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: Romany of the Snows, Continuation of "Pierre and His People", v2Author: Gilbert ParkerRelease Date: July, 2004 [EBook #6181] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first postedon August 31, 2002]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ROMANY OF THE SNOWS, V2, BY PARKER ***This eBook was produced by David Widger
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The Project Gutenberg EBook Romany Of TheSnows, v2, by Gilbert Parker #9 in our series byGilbert Parker Contents: Malachi The Lake Of TheGreat Slave The Red Patrol The Going Of TheWhite Swan At Bamber's BoomCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****
Title: Romany of the Snows, Continuation of"Pierre and His People", v2Author: Gilbert ParkerRelease Date: July, 2004 [EBook #6181] [Yes, weare more than one year ahead of schedule] [Thisfile was first posted on August 31, 2002]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK ROMANY OF THE SNOWS, V2, BYPARKER ***This eBook was produced by David Widger<widger@cecomet.net>[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, orpointers, at the end of the file for those who maywish to sample the author's ideas before makingan entire meal of them. D.W.]
A ROMANY OF THESNOWSBEING A CONTINUATION OF THE PERSONALHISTORIES OF "PIERRE AND HIS PEOPLE"AND THE LAST EXISTING RECORDS OFPRETTY PIERREBy Gilbert ParkerVolume 2.MALACHI THE LAKE OF THE GREAT SLAVETHE RED PATROL THE GOING OF THE WHITESWAN AT BAMBER'S BOOM
MALACHI"He'll swing just the same to-morrow. Exit Malachi!"said FreddyTarlton gravely.The door suddenly opened on the group ofgossips, and a man stepped inside and took theonly vacant seat near the fire. He glanced at none,but stretched out his hands to the heat, looking atthe coals with drooping introspective eyes."Exit Malachi," he said presently in a soft ironicalvoice, but did not look up."By the holy poker, Pierre, where did you springfrom?" asked Tarlton genially."The wind bloweth where it listeth, and—" Pierreresponded, with a little turn of his fingers."And the wind doesn't tell where it's been, butthat's no reason Pierre shouldn't," urged the other.Pierre shrugged his shoulders, but made noanswer. "He was a tough," said a voice from thecrowd. "To-morrow he'll get the breakfast he's paidfor." Pierre turned and looked at the speaker with acold inquisitive stare. "Mon Dieu!" he saidpresently, "here's this Gohawk playing preacher.What do you know of Malachi, Gohawk? What doany of you know about Malachi? A little of this, alittle of that, a drink here, a game of euchre there,
a ride after cattle, a hunt behind Guidon Hill!—Butwhat is that? You have heard the cry of the eagle,you have seen him carry off a lamb, you have hada pot-shot at him, but what do you know of theeagle's nest? Mais non."The lamb is one thing, the nest is another. Youdon't know the eagle till you've been there. Andyou, Gohawk, would not understand, if you saw thenest. Such cancan!""Shut your mouth!" broke out Gohawk. "D'ye thinkI'm going to stand your—"Freddy Tarlton laid a hand on his arm. "Keep quiet,"Gohawk. What good will it do?" Then he said, Tellus about the nest, Pierre; they're hanging him forthe lamb in the morning.""Who spoke for him at the trial?" Pierre asked."I did," said Tarlton. "I spoke as well as I could, butthe game was dead against him from the start. Thesheriff was popular, and young; young—that wasthe thing; handsome too, and the women, ofcourse! It was sure from the start; besides,Malachi would say nothing—didn't seem to care.""No, not to care," mused Pierre. "What did you sayfor him to the jury—I mean the devil of a thing to make them sit upand think, 'Poor.Malachi!'like that""Best speech y'ever heard," Gohawk interjected;
"just emptied the words out, split 'em like peas, bygol! till he got to one place right before the end.Then he pulled up sudden, and it got so quiet youcould'a heard a pin drop. 'Gen'lemen of the jury,' says Freddy Tarlton here— gen'lemen, by gol! allthat lot—Lagan and the rest! 'Gen'lemen of thejury,' he says, 'be you danged well sure that you'reat one with God A'mighty in this; that you've got atthe core of justice here; that you've got evidence tosatisfy Him who you've all got to satisfy some day,or git out. Not evidence as to shootin', but evidenceas to what that shootin' meant, an' whether it wasmeant to kill, an' what for. The case is like this,gen'lemen of the jury,' says Freddy Tarlton here.'Two men are in a street alone. There's a shot, outcomes everybody, and sees Fargo the sheriff laidalong the ground, his mouth in the dust, and a full-up gun in his fingers. Not forty feet away standsMalachi with a gun smokin' in his fist. It seems tobe the opinion that it was cussedness—justcussedness—that made Malachi turn the sheriff'sboots to the sun. For Malachi was quarrelsome. I'llgive you a quarter on that. And the sheriff wasmettlesome, used to have high spirits, like as ifhe's lift himself over the fence with his bootstraps.So when Malachi come and saw the sheriff steppin'round in his paten' leathers, it give him the needle,and he got a bead on him—and away went SheriffFargo— right away! That seems to be the sense ofthe public.' And he stops again, soft and quick, andlooks the twelve in the eyes at once. 'But,' saysFreddy Tarlton here, 'are you goin' to hang a manon the little you know? Or are you goin' to credithim with somethin' of what you don't know? You
haint got the inside of this thing, and Malachidoesn't let you know it, and God keeps quiet. Butbe danged well sure that you've got the bulge oniniquity here; for gen'lemen with pistols out in thestreet is one thing, and sittin' weavin' a rope in acourt-room for a man's neck is another thing,' saysFreddy Tarlton here. 'My client has refused to sayone word this or that way, but don't be sure thatSome One that knows the inside of things won'tspeak for him in the end.' Then he turns and looksat Malachi, and Malachi was standin' still andsteady like a tree, but his face was white, andsweat poured on his forehead. 'If God has no voiceto be heard for my client in this court-room to-day,is there no one on earth—no man or woman—whocan speak for one who won't speak for himself?'says Freddy Tarlton here. Then, by gol! for the firsttime Malachi opened. 'There's no one,' he says.'The speakin' is all for the sheriff. But I spoke once,and the sheriff didn't answer.' Not a bit of beg-yer-pardon in it. It struck cold. 'I leave his case in thehands of twelve true men,' says Freddy Tarltonhere, and he sits down.""So they said he must walk the air?" suggestedPierre."Without leavin' their seats," someone addedinstantly."So. But that speech of 'Freddy Tarlton here'?" "Itwas worth twelve drinks to me, no more, andnothing at all to Malachi," said Tarlton. "When Isaid I'd come to him to-night to cheer him up, he
said he'd rather sleep. The missionary, too, he canmake nothing of him. 'I don't need anyone here,'he says. 'I eat this off my own plate.' And that's theend of Malachi.""Because there was no one to speak for him—eh?Well, well.""If he'd said anything that'd justify the thing—makeit a manslaughter business or a quarrel—then! Butno, not a word, up or down, high or low. ExitMalachi!" rejoined Freddy Tarlton sorrowfully. "Iwish he'd given me half a chance.""I wish I'd been there," said Pierre, taking a matchfrom Gohawk, and lighting his cigarette."To hear his speech?" asked Gohawk, noddingtowards Tarlton."To tell the truth about it all. T'sh, you bats, yousheep, what have you in your skulls? When a manwill not speak, will not lie to gain a case for hislawyer—or save himself, there is something! Now,listen to me, and I will tell you the story of Malachi.Then you shall judge."I never saw such a face as that girl had downthere at Lachine in Quebec. I knew her when shewas a child, and I knew Malachi when he was onthe river with the rafts, the foreman of a gang. Hehad a look all open then as the sun—yes. Happy?Yes, as happy as a man ought to be. Well, themother of the child died, and Malachi alone was leftto take care of the little Norice. He left the river and
went to work in the mills, so that he might be withthe child; and when he got to be foreman there heused to bring her to the mill. He had a basketswung for her just inside the mill not far from him,right where she was in the shade; but if shestretched out her hand it would be in the sun. I'veseen a hundred men turn to look at her where sheswung, singing to herself, and then chuckle tothemselves afterwards as they worked."When Trevoor, the owner, come one day, andsaw her, he swore, and was going to sack Malachi,but the child—that little Norice—leaned over thebasket, and offered him an apple. He looked for aminute, then he reached up, took the apple, turnedround, and went out of the mill without a word—so.Next month when he come he walked straight toher, and handed up to her a box of toys and asilver whistle. 'That's to call me when you wantme,' he said, as he put the whistle to her lips, andthen he put the gold string of it round her neck.She was a wise little thing, that Norice, and noticedthings. I don't believe that Trevoor or Malachi everknew how sweet was the smell of the freshsawdust till she held it to their noses; and it wasshe that had the saws—all sizes— start one afterthe other, making so strange a tune. She made upa little song about fairies and others to sing to thattune. And no one ever thought much about IndianIsland, off beyond the sweating, baking piles oflumber, and the blistering logs and timbers in thebay, till she told stories about it. Sure enough,when you saw the shut doors and open windows ofthose empty houses, all white without in the sun
and dark within, and not a human to be seen, youcould believe almost anything. You can think howproud Malachi was. She used to get plenty ofpresents from the men who had no wives orchildren to care for—little silver and gold things aswell as others. She was fond of them, but no, notvain. She loved the gold and silver for their ownsake."Pierre paused. "I knew a youngster once," saidGohawk,"that—" Pierre waved his hand. "I am not through, M'sieu'Gohawk the talker. Years went on. Now she tookcare of the house of Malachi. She wore the whistlethat Trevoor gave her. He kept saying to her still,'If ever you need me, little Norice, blow it, and I willcome.' He was droll, that M'sieu' Trevoor, at times.Well, she did not blow, but still he used to comeevery year, and always brought her something.One year he brought his nephew, a young fellow ofabout twenty-three. She did not whistle for himeither, but he kept on coming. That was thebeginning of 'Exit Malachi.' The man was cleverand bad, the girl believing and good. He wasyoung, but he knew how to win a woman's heart.When that is done, there is nothing more to do—she is yours for good or evil; and if a man, througha woman's love, makes her to sin, even his mothercannot be proud of him-no. But the man marriedNorice, and took her away to Madison, down inWisconsin. Malachi was left alone—Malachi andTrevoor, for Trevoor felt towards her as a father.
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