warned to begin his return at so early an hour that he might reach home before the short day's end, especially because of the danger from wild animals. The severity of the winter had made the wolves more venturesome and dangerous than they had been for many years. Mr. Devins had lost several sheep and hogs, and deemed it unsafe for any of his family to be caught far from the house at night.
Allan armed himself with his light rifle, put some biscuits and cold meat in a pouch strapped to his waist, mounted one of the strong farm-horses, and set out on his journey. The road through the forest was better than he expected to find it, as the snow had been drifted off, but at the turns, and in the thickest part of the wood, his horse floundered through drifts more than breast high; and more than once Allan had to dismount and beat a path ahead. Therefore, he did not reach Inman's till two o'clock, and, by the time he had helped Esther about her work, assisted her young brother to get in a good supply of wood, an
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