His heart leaped and the blood rushed to his temples while his eyes wandered to the impassive face of Fisette. Who and what was the breed that he could be so calm? Out of a riot of sensations he gradually reëstablished his customary clearness of vision. Here was additional evidence of the inherent wealth of the country.

For three hours Stoughton, Riggs and he had fished to their hearts' content, while Birch climbed a ridge and speculated what such a forbidding country might reasonably be expected to bring forth. Close by the stream, Fisette bent beside a small fire from which came odors of fried bacon and fish that aroused in the Philadelphians a fierce and gnawing hunger.

As he glanced, this filament of soft iron began to tremble and swing. He stood fascinated. Slowly at first, but gradually with more active and jerky motions, the thing became possessed. It vibrated as though in doubt, then moved off in continued restlessness. Not by any means could Fisette end these vagaries.

His thirty constables set their batons going, and there came the heavy crack of loaded wood on thick skulls. Fisette, his eyes gleaming, was tapping like a deadly woodpecker with his pick, and the impetus of this onslaught drove a formidable wedge into the surging mass.

His purchases covered both farm and town lands, and amongst the latter was a mortgage on the vine clad cottage of Fisette. But not a man in his circle would have guessed that what prompted the acquisition of the Fisette mortgage was Manson's remembrance of a friendly joke about a Unitarian wolf; a joke which still lived and set up a minute but unceasing irritation.

Where have you been?" "Over at the rapids. And, Jim, see what Mr. Clark gave me." "Gold?" he said sharply. "Yes, isn't it wonderful?" "Who found it?" "One of Mr. Clark's prospectors, Fisette." "And who told you?" "Mr. Clark himself." The girl had a sudden sense of discomfort. Why was Belding so inquisitive? "I haven't heard anything about it," he said shortly.

Slowly Manson pushed down his hand, never relaxing his titanic embrace. But the instant his fingers closed on the knife the half breed's back curved like a mighty bow, the thick fingers creaked, cracked and yielded, the deadly grip was burst asunder, and Manson, sick and staggering, saw Fisette free and crouching in front of him, the knife in his hand and murder in his eyes.

"Come on, I haven't got a hundred dollars to throw away. I suppose you thought I was in earnest." Fisette shook his head. Just at that moment he was harboring no suppositions, but had determined to go home without stopping at the works. He swung the sack over his shoulder. "Go ahead." Manson drew a long breath and stepped into the narrow trail.

And at that Clark asked a few questions of the mining engineer who had come with him, nodded contentedly and started back, leaving Fisette with the pan still in his muscular hands. That night the breed squatted by his camp fire, too offended to smoke and wondering dumbly why his patron had left so soon and said so little, for this was a day to which he had looked forward for weeks.

It was also understood that Fisette was working for Clark. The half breed brought the side of his canoe delicately against the sand and, stepping lightly out, began to unload, greeting Manson with a low-voiced "Good morning."