"Down near Jenkins Creek, where the McLeods are setting up their saw-mill."
"The McLeods!" exclaimed Redding, looking up suddenly, "have you seen the McLeods?"
"Ay, I've bin helpin' them a bit wi' the mill. Goin' down again to-morrow. If this weather holds, the ice must give way soon, and then we'll be able to push ahead faster."
The trapper said this quietly, and without looking up from the bear-steak with which he was busy, so that Redding's look of surprise appeared to be lost on him. The fur-trader and his man exchanged glances.
For a few minutes the process of mastication completely engrossed the trio, but the thoughts of the fur-trader were busy, for he was disappointed to find that one whom he respected so much as Jonas Bellew should thus coolly state that he was aiding the interlopers.
Presently he laid down his knife and fork, and said:--
"Are you aware, Bellew, that these McLeods have settled themselves on the Company's reserve lands?"