A few neighbors went to the lonely cabin and looked through the windows, which, as well as the doors, were locked on the inside. The wild man lay still and white on the floor, with the furniture upset and pieces of gold clutched in his fingers and scattered about him. There were marks of claws about his neck.

A bartender, coatless, red-faced, grasping in one hand a heavy bung-starter as if it were a weapon of defense; a gambler, sleeves rolled up, five cards clutched in nervous fingers; half a dozen sailors, vaqueros, a ragged miner or two and several shortskirted young women of the class that had recently drifted into the hectic night-life of San Francisco. All were whispering excitedly.

Her large, eager midnight eyes noted the quick flush and glad light which overspread his features; the deep joy that kindled in his tortured soul; and unconsciously she clutched her fingers till the nails grew purple, as though striving to strangle some hideous object thrusting itself before her.

Along came a youngster of five, headed for the dispensary, stepping high with the consequence of a big errand, possibly one to which his advancing age had earned him promotion. In his hand he clutched something tightly, publicly, proudly, conspicuously. Morley stopped him with his winning smile and soft speech. "Me?" said the youngster. "I'm doin' to the drug 'tore for mamma.

But while he was bethinking himself what great words to use, when he should arrive thither, he felt himself slipping from the friar's broad back. He clutched frantically to save himself but had too round a surface to grasp, besides being hampered by his weapon. So down went he with a loud splash into the middle of the stream, where the crafty friar had conveyed him.

At last, the other man flung him the end of the gasket, and they worked back carefully, leaving the sail lashed down, and scrambled aft to help the others who were making the big main-boom fast. When this was done Wyllard fell against Dampier and clutched at him. "How's the wind?" he roared. "Northeast," answered the skipper.

"Naughty boy!" he said, reproachfully, and stooping, picked up a squalling brown object from the ground. "Didn't Daddy tell you not to go near those horrid snakes? Daddy spank you " Then he caught sight of the amazed Hamilton, clutched the baby in one hand, and saluted with the other. "Baby present and correct, sir," he said, formally.

It was evidently making for a larger tract of bush that grew near; but before it had got half-way across the open ground, the quagga came up behind, and uttering his shrill "couaag," reared forward, and dropped with his fore-hoofs upon the hyena's back. At the same instant the neck of the carnivorous animal was clutched by the teeth of the ruminant and held as fast, as if grasped by a vice.

He whistled while he packed and saddled. In the fresh cool morning air they rode across the valley and climbed to the mesa beyond. The sun mounted higher and the heat shimmered on the trail in front of them. The surface of the earth was cracked in dry, sun-baked tiles curving upward at the edges. Cat's-claw clutched at the legs of the travelers. Occasionally a swift darted from rock to rock.

"Don't crow until you're out of the woods. This snow is worse than I thought it was." For a time the ice boat went along well, halting occasionally as masses of snow clogged the runners. Then there came a jolt, and a puff of wind nearly upset it, as the craft did not properly answer the helm. "Oh, my!" screamed Grace, as she clutched Betty. "We are going to upset."