Another of the author's unique tales of strenuous life in the great Canadian Northwest, where Man and Nature are face to face, and the struggle for life is reduced to its crudest and most vital form.
the same. The stranger took his pipe from his fur coat pocket and cut some tobacco from a plug. This he offered to his companions, but it was rejected in favour of their own.
"The only thing I've had--that and my fur coat--to keep me from freezing to death for more than four days. Haven't so much as seen a sign of life since I lost the dog track."
"This country's a terror," observed the half-breed emphatically.
All four men lit their pipes. The sick man only drew once or twice at his, then he laid it aside. The process of smoking caused the blisters on his face to smart terribly.
"Gives your face gyp," said the half-breed, sympathetically. "Best not bother to smoke to-night."
He pulled vigorously at his own pipe, and the two Indians followed suit. And gradually a pleasant odour, not of tobacco but some strange perfume, disguised the reek of the atmosphere. It was pungent but delightful, and the stranger remarked upon it.
"What's that you are smoking?" he asked.