His harness was neatly made of moose-skin, and consisted of a collar with a back strap and traces the traces meeting behind, where they were attached to the head of the sledge. No head-gear was necessary, as Marengo needed not to be either led or driven. The sledge consisted of two or three light planks of smooth wood, laid alongside each other, and held together by transverse bands.
The face of the country was broken by hills of moderate elevation but the ground was plentifully strewed with small stones which, to men bearing heavy burdens and whose feet were protected only by soft moose-skin shoes, occasioned great pain. At the end of eleven miles we encamped and sent for a musk-ox and a deer which St. Germain and Augustus had killed.
It was while negotiating such a place as this that Rock paid the price of his earlier carelessness. Doret's dry moose-skin soles had a sure grip, hence he never hesitated, but the lieutenant's moccasins were like a pair of tin shoes now and, without warning, he lost his footing. He was running swiftly at the moment; he strove to save himself, to twist in midair, but he failed.
Pointer, setter, lurcher, foxhound, greyhound, Indian mongrel, miserable cur or beautiful Esquimaux, all alike are destined to pull a sled of some kind or other during, the months of snow and ice: all are destined to howl under the driver's lash; to tug wildly at the moose-skin collar; to drag until they can drag no more, and then to die.
Some wore hairy caribou capotes, others hairless moose-skin jackets trimmed with otter or beaver fur, others again were-garbed in duffel capotes of various colours with hoods and turned-back cuffs of another hue; but the majority wore capotes made of Hudson's Bay blanket and trimmed with slashed fringes at the shoulders and skirt; while their legs were encased in trousers gartered below the knee, and their feet rested comfortably in moccasins.
"It's your natural position, anyway." An exclamation of surprise from Perdue caused him to glance quickly around, and the sight which met his gaze was one never to be forgotten. Over the chest stood the saloonkeeper, holding in his hand a well-filled moose-skin poke, which he had just lifted from the bottom of the box. "Is that yours, Tim?" he asked. "Yes," came the reply.
The residue, left in the heel of the blower after each blowing process, was commercial "dust," ready for the bank or the assay office. Doctor Slayforth, with his glasses on the end of his nose, presided at the gold scales, while Denny Slevin looked on. As the dust was weighed, a few ounces at a time, it was dumped into a moose-skin sack and entered upon the books.
A dozen feet behind him followed Mukoki, dragging the sled; and behind the sled, securely tied with a thong of babeesh, or moose-skin rope, slunk the wolf. Rod, less experienced in making a trail and burdened with a lighter pack, formed the rear of the little cavalcade. Darkness was now falling rapidly.
He hunt, he bring plenty meat to the camp, wherefore White River Sticks like him. Gow have one squaw, Pisk-ku. Bime-by John Borg make preparation to go 'way. He go to Gow, and he say, 'Give me your squaw. We trade. For her I give you many things. But Gow say no. Pisk-ku good squaw. No woman sew moccasin like she. She tan moose-skin the best, and make the softest leather. He like Pisk-ku.
A close-fitting blouse of moose-skin, fantastically beaded, outlined faithfully the well-rounded lines of her body, while a silken kerchief, gay of color and picturesquely draped, partly covered great masses of blue-black hair. But it was the face, cast belike in copper bronze, which caught and held Mrs. Sayther's fleeting glance.