So Bob, scarcely sixteen years of age, was to do a man's work and shoulder a man's burden, and he was glad that God had given him stature beyond his years, that he might do it. He could not remember when he had not driven dogs and cut wood and used a gun. He had done these things always. But now he was to rise to the higher plane of a full-fledged trapper and the spruce forest and the distant hills beyond the post seemed a great empire over which he was to rule. Those trackless fastnesses, with their wealth of fur, were to pay tribute to him, and he was happy in the thought that he had found a way to save little Emily from the lifelong existence of a poor crippled invalid. His buoyant spirit had stepped out of the old world of darkness and despair into a new world filled with light and love and beauty, in which the present troubles were but a passing cloud.
"Ho, lad! so your father let ye come. I's glad t' see ye, lad. An' now we're t' make a great hunt," greeted Douglas when the punt