There was still light
enough to see. The last hymn was announced.
Cameron was conscious of a deep, poignant emotion. He glanced
swiftly about him. The eyes of all were upon the preacher's face
while he read in slow sonorous tones the words of the old Methodist
"Come, Thou Fount of every blessing!
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;"
all except the group of young men of whom Perkins was the centre,
who, by means of the saccharine medium known as conversation
lozenges, were seeking to divert the attention of the band of young
girls sitting before them. Among these sat Mandy. As his eye
rested upon the billowy outlines of her figure, struggling with the
limitations of her white blouse, tricked out with pink ribbons, he
was conscious of a wave of mingled pity and disgust. Dull, stupid,
and vulgar she looked. It was at her that Perkins was flipping his
conversation lozenges. One fell upon her hymn book. With a
she glanced about. Not an eye except Cameron's was turned her way.
With a smile and a blush that burned deep under the dull tan of her
neck and cheek she took the lozenge, read its inscription, burning
a deeper red. The words which she had read she took as Cameron's.
She turned her eyes full upon his face. The light of tremulous joy
in their lovely depths startled and thrilled him. A snicker from
the group of young men behind roused in him a deep indignation.
They were taking their coarse fun out of this simple-minded girl.
Cameron's furious glance at them appeared only to increase their
amusement. It did not lessen Cameron's embarrassment and rage that
now and then during the reading of the hymn Mandy's eyes were
turned upon him as if with new understanding. Enraged with
himself, and more with the group of hoodlums behind him, Cameron
stood for the closing hymn with his arms folded across his breast.
At the second verse a hand touched his arm. It was Mandy offering
him her book. Once more a snicker from the group of delighted
observers behind him stirred his indignation on behalf of this
awkward and untutored girl. He forced himself to listen to the
words of the third verse, which rose clear and sonorous in the
"Here I raise my Ebenezer,
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home."
The serene assurance of the old Methodist hymn rose triumphant in
the singing, an assurance born of an experience of past conflict
ending in triumph. That note of high and serene confidence
conjured up with a flash of memory his mother's face. That was her
characteristic, a serene, undismayed courage. In the darkest hours
that steady flame of courage never died down.
But once more he was recalled to the service of the hour by a
voice, rich, full, low, yet of wonderful power, singing the old
words. It took him a moment or two to discover that it was Mandy
singing beside him. Her face was turned from him and upwards
towards the trees above her, through the network of whose leaves
the stars were beginning to shine. Amazed, enthralled, he listened
to the flowing melody of her voice. It was like the song of a
brook running deep in the forest shade, full-toned yet soft, quiet
yet thrilling. She seemed to have forgotten her surroundings.
soul was holding converse with the Eternal. He lost sight of the
coarse and fleshly habiliments in the glimpse he caught of the soul
that lived within, pure, it seemed to him, tender, and good. His
heart went out to the girl in a new pity. Before the hymn was done
she turned her face towards him, and, whether it was the magic of
her voice, or the glorious splendour of her eyes, or the mystic
touch of the fast darkening night, her face seemed to have lost
much of its coarseness and all of its stupidity.
As the congregation dispersed, Cameron, in silence, and with the
spell of her voice still upon him, walked quietly beside Mandy
towards the gap in the fence leading to the high road. Behind him
came Perkins with his group of friends, chaffing with each other
and with the girls walking in front of them. As Cameron was
stepping over the rails where the fence had been let down, one of
the young men following stumbled heavily against him, nearly
throwing him down, and before he could recover himself Perkins had
taken his place by Mandy's side and seized her arm. There was a
general laugh at what was considered a perfectly fair and not
unusual piece of jockeying in the squiring of young damsels. The
proper procedure in such a case was that the discomfited cavalier
should bide his time and serve a like turn upon his rival, the
young lady meanwhile maintaining an attitude purely passive. But
Mandy was not so minded. Releasing herself from Perkins' grasp,
she turned upon the group of young men following, exclaiming
angrily, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Sam Sailor!" Then,
moving to Cameron's side, she said in a clear, distinct voice:
"Mr. Cameron, would you please take my book for me?"
"Come on, boys!" said Perkins, with his never failing laugh. "I
guess we're not in this."
"Take your medicine, Perkins," laughed one of his friends.
"Yes, I'll take it all right," replied Perkins. But the laugh
could not conceal the shake of passion in his voice. "It will
work, too, you bet!"
So saying, he strode off into the gathering gloom followed by his
"Come along, Mr. Cameron," said Mandy with a silly giggle. "I
guess we don't need them fellows. They can't fool us, can they?"
Her manner, her speech, her laugh rudely dissipated all Cameron's
new feeling towards her. The whole episode filled him only with
disgust and annoyance.
"Come, then," he said, almost roughly. "We shall need to hurry,
for there is a storm coming up."
Mandy glanced at the gathering clouds.
"My goodness!" she cried; "it's comin' up fast. My! I hate to
my clothes wet." And off she set at a rapid pace, keeping abreast
of her companion and making gay but elephantine attempts at
sprightly conversation. Before Cameron's unsympathetic silence,
however, all her sprightly attempts came to abject failure.
"What's the matter with you?" at length she asked. "Don't you want
to see me home?"
"What?" said Cameron, abruptly, for his thoughts were far away.
"Oh, nonsense! Of course! Why not? But we shall
caught in the storm. Let us hurry. Here, let me take your
His manner was brusque, almost rude.
"Oh, I guess I can get along," replied Mandy, catching off her hat
and gathering up her skirt over her shoulders, "but we'll have to
hustle, for I'd hate to have you get, wet." Her imperturbable good
humour and her solicitude for him rebuked Cameron for his abruptness.
"I hope you will not get wet," he said.
"Oh, don't you worry about me. I ain't salt nor sugar, but I
forgot all about your bein' sick." And with laboured breath poor
Mandy hurried through the growing darkness with Cameron keeping
close by her side. "We won't be long now," she panted, as they
turned from the side line towards their own gate.
As if in reply to her words there sounded from behind the fence and
close to their side a long loud howl. Cameron gave a start.
"Great Caesar! What dog is that?" he exclaimed.
"Oh," said Mandy coolly, "guess it's MacKenzie's Carlo."
Immediately there rose from the fence on the other side an
answering howl, followed by a full chorus of howls and yelps
mingled with a bawling of calves and the ringing of cow bells, as
if a dozen curs or more were in full cry after a herd of cattle.
Cameron stood still in bewildered amazement.
"What the deuce are they at?" he cried, peering through the
"Huh!" grunted Mandy. "Them's curs all right, but they ain't much
dog. You wait till I see them fellows. They'll pay for this,
"Do you mean to say these are not dogs?" cried Cameron, speaking in
her ear, so great was the din.
"Dogs?" answered Mandy with indignant scorn. "Naw! Just
curs! Come along," she cried, catching his arm, "let's hurry."
"Here!" he cried, suddenly wrenching himself free, "I am going to
see into this."
"No, no!" cried Mandy, gripping his arm once more with her strong
hands. "They will hurt you. Come on! We're just home.
see them again. No, I won't let you go."
In vain he struggled. Her strong hands held him fast. Suddenly
there was a succession of short, sharp barks. Immediately dead
silence fell. Not a sound could be heard, not a shape seen.
"Come out into the open, you cowardly curs!" shouted Cameron.
"Come on! One, two, three at a time, if you dare!"
But silence answered him.
"Come," said Mandy in a low voice, "let's hurry. It's goin' to
rain. Come on! Come along!"
Cameron stood irresolute. Then arose out of the black darkness a
long quavering cat call. With a sudden dash Cameron sprang towards
the fence. Instantly there was a sound of running feet through the
plowed field on the other side, then silence.
"Come back, you cowards!" raged Cameron. "Isn't there a man among
For answer a clod came hurtling through the dark and struck with a
thud upon the fence. Immediately, as if at a signal, there fell
about Cameron a perfect hail of clods and even stones.
"Oh! Oh!" shrieked Mandy, rushing towards him and throwing herself
between him and the falling missiles. "Come away! Come away!
They'll just kill you."
For answer Cameron put his arms about her and drew her behind him,
shielding her as best he could with his body.
"Do you want to kill a woman?" he called aloud.
At once the hail of clods ceased and, raging as he was, Mandy
dragged him homeward. At the door of the house he made to turn
"Not much, you don't," said Mandy, stoutly, "or I go with you."
"Oh, all right," said Cameron, "let them go. They are only a lot
of curs, anyway."
For a few minutes they stood and talked in the kitchen, Cameron
making light of the incident and making strenuous efforts to
dissemble the rage that filled his soul. After a few minutes
conversation Cameron announced his intention of going to bed, while
Mandy passed upstairs. He left the house and stole down the lane
toward the road. The throbbing pain in his head was forgotten in
the blind rage that possessed him. He had only one longing, to
stand within striking distance of the cowardly curs, only one fear,
that they should escape him. Swiftly, silently, he stole down the
lane, every nerve, every muscle tense as a steel spring. His
throat was hot, his eyes so dazzled that he could scarcely see; his
breath came in quick gasps; his hands were trembling as with a
nervous chill. The storm had partially blown away. It had
so light that he could dimly discern a number of figures at the
entrance to the lane. Having his quarry in sight, Cameron crouched
in the fence corner, holding hard by the rail till he should become
master of himself. He could hear their explosions of suppressed
laughter. It was some minutes before he had himself in hand, then
with a swift silent run he stood among them. So busy were they in
recounting the various incidents in the recent "chivaree," that
before they were aware Cameron was upon them. At his approach the
circle broke and scattered, some flying to the fence. But Perkins
with some others stood their ground.
"Hello, Cameron!" drawled Perkins. "Did you see our cows? I
thought I heard some of them down the line."
For answer Cameron launched himself at him like a bolt from a bow.
There was a single sharp crack and Perkins was literally lifted
clear off his feet and hurled back upon the road, where he lay
still. Fiercely Cameron faced round to the next man, but he gave
back quickly. A third sprang to throw himself upon Cameron, but
once more Cameron's hand shot forward and his assailant was hurled
back heavily into the arms of his friends. Before Cameron could
strike again a young giant, known as Sam Sailor, flung his arms
about him, crying--
"Tut-tut, young fellow, this won't do, you know. Can't you take a
bit of fun?"
For answer Cameron clinched him savagely, gripping him by the
throat and planting two heavy blows upon his ribs.
"Here--boys," gasped the young fellow, "he's--chokin'--the--life--out--of me."
From all sides they threw themselves upon him and, striking,
kicking, fighting furiously, Cameron went down under the struggling
mass, his hand still gripping the throat it had seized.
"Say! He's a regular bull-dog," cried one. "Git hold of his
and yank him off," which, with shouts and laughter, they proceeded
to do and piled themselves upon him, chanting the refrain--"More
beef! More beef!"
A few minutes more of frantic struggling and a wild agonised scream
rose from beneath the mass of men.
"Git off, boys! Git off!" roared the young giant. "I'm afraid
Flinging them off on either side, he stood up and waited for their
victim to rise. But Cameron lay on his face, moaning and writhing,
on the ground.
"Say, boys," said Sam, kneeling down beside him, "I'm afraid he's
In his writhing Cameron lifted one leg. It toppled over to one
"Jumpin' Jeremiah!" said Sam in an awed voice. "His leg's broke!
What in Sam Hill can we do?"
As he spoke there was a sound of running feet, coming down the
lane. The moon, shining through the breaking clouds, revealed a
figure with floating garments rapidly approaching.
"My cats!" cried Sam in a terrified voice. "It's Mandy."
Like leaves before a sudden gust of wind the group scattered and
only Sam was left.
"What--what are you doin'?" panted Mandy. "Where is he? Oh, is
that him?" She flung herself down in the dust beside Cameron and
turned him over. His face was white, his eyes glazed. He
like death. "Oh! Oh!" she moaned. "Have they killed you?
they killed you?" She gathered his head upon her knees, moaning
like a wounded animal.
"Good Lord, Mandy, don't go on like that!" cried Sam in a horrified
voice. "It's only his leg broke."
Mandy laid his head gently down, then sprang to her feet.
"Only his leg broke? Who done it? Who done it, tell me?
it?" she panted, her voice rising with her gasping breath. "What
coward done it? Was it you, Sam Sailor?"
"Guess we're all in it," said Sam stupidly. "It was jist a bit of
For answer she swung her heavy hand hard upon Sam's face.
"Say, Mandy! Hold hard!" cried Sam, surprise and the weight of the
blow almost knocking him off his feet.
"You cowardly brute!" she gasped. "Get out of my sight. Oh,
shall we do?" She dropped on her knees and took Cameron's head
once more in her arms. "What shall we do?"
"Guess we'll have to git him in somewheres," said Sam. "How can we
carry him though? If we had some kind of a stretcher?"
"Wait! I know," cried Mandy, flying off up the lane.
Before many minutes had passed she had returned, breathing hard.
"It's--the---milkhouse--door," she said. "I--guess that'll--do."
"That'll do all right, Mandy. Now I wish some of them fellers
Sam pulled off his coat and made of it a pillow, then stood up
looking for help. His eye fell upon the prostrate and senseless
form of Perkins.
"Say, what'll we do with him?" he said, pointing to the silent
"Who is it?" enquired Mandy. "What's the matter?"
"It's Perkins," replied Sam. "He hit him a terrible crack."
"Perkins!" said Mandy with scorn. "Let him lie, the dog. Come
take his head."
"You can't do it, Mandy, no use trying. You can't do it."
"Come on, I tell you," she said fiercely. "Quit your jawin'.
may be dyin' for all I know. I'd carry him alone if it wasn't for
his broken leg." Slowly, painfully they carried him to the house
and to the front door.
"Wait a minute!" said Mandy. "I'll have to git things fixed a bit.
We mustn't wake mother. It would scare her to death."
She passed quickly into the house and soon Sam saw a light pass
from room to room. In a few moments Mandy reappeared at the front
"Quick!" whispered Sam. "He's comin' to."
"Oh, thank goodness!" cried Mandy. "Let's git him in before he
Once more they lifted their burden and with infinite difficulty and
much painful manoeuvering they got the injured man through the
doors and upon the spare room bed.
"And now, Sam Sailor," cried Mandy, coming close to him, "you jist
hitch up Deck and hustle for the doctor if ever you did in your
life. Don't wait for nothin', but go! Go!" She fairly
out of the door, running with him towards the stable. "Oh, Sam,
hurry!" she pleaded, "for if this man should die I will never be
the like again." Her face was white, her eyes glowing like great
stars; her voice was soft and tremulous with tears.
Sam stood for a moment gazing as if upon a vision.
"What are you lookin' at?" she cried, stamping her foot and pushing
"Jumpin' Jeremiah!" muttered Sam, as he ran towards the stable.
"Is that Mandy Haley? Guess we don't know much about her."
His nimble fingers soon had Dexter hitched to the buggy and
speeding down the lane at a pace sufficiently rapid to suit the
high spirit of even that fiery young colt.
At the high road he came upon his friends, some of whom were
working with Perkins, others conversing in awed and hurried
"Hello, Sam!" they called. "Hold up!"
"I'm in a hurry, boys, don't stop me. I'm scared to death. And
you better git home. She'll be down on you again."
"How is he?" cried a voice.
"Don't know. I'm goin' for the doctor, and the sooner we git that
doctor the better for everybody around." And Sam disappeared in a
whirl of dust.
"Say! Who would a thought it?" he mused. "That Mandy Haley?
She's a terror. And them eyes! Oh, git on, Deck, what you
monkeyin' about? Wonder if she's gone on that young feller? I
guess she is all right! Say, wasn't that a clout he handed
Perkins. And didn't she give me one. But them eyes!
By the jumpin' Jeremiah! And the way she looks at a feller!
Deck, what you foolin' about? Gwan now, or you'll git into
Deck, who had been indulging himself in a series of leaps and
plunges, shying at even the most familiar objects by the road side,
settled down at length to a businesslike trot which brought him to
the doctor's door in about fifteen minutes from the Haleys' gate.
But to Sam's dismay the doctor had gone to Cramm's Mill, six or
seven miles away, and would not be back till the morning. Sam was
in a quandary. There was another doctor at Brookfield, five miles
further on, but there was a possibility that he also might be out.
"Say, there ain't no use goin' back without a doctor. She'd--
she'd--Jumpin' Jeremiah! What would she do? Say, Deck, you've
to git down to business. We're goin' to the city. There are
doctors there thick as hair on a dog. We'll try Dr. Turnbull.
Say, it'll be great if we could git him! Deck, we'll do it!
you got to git up and dust."
And this Deck proceeded to do to such good purpose that in about
an hour's time he stood before Dr. Turnbull's door in the city,
somewhat wet, it is true, but with his fiery spirit still untamed.
Here again adverse fate met the unfortunate Sam.
"Doctor Turnbull's no at home," said the maid, smart with cap and
apron, who opened the door.
"How long will he be gone?" enquired Sam, wondering what she had on
her head, and why.
"There's no tellin'. An hour, or two hours, or three."
"Three hours?" echoed Sam. "Say, a feller might kick the bucket in
The maid smiled an undisturbed smile.
"Bucket? What bucket, eh? What bucket are ye talkin' aboot?"
"Say, you're smart, ain't yeh! But I got a young feller that's
broke his leg and--"
"His leg?" said the maid indifferently. "Well, he's got another?"
"Yes, you bet he has, but one leg ain't much good without the
other. How would you like to hop around on one leg? And he's
inside, too, his lights, I guess, and other things." Sam's
anatomical knowledge was somewhat vague. "And besides, his girl's
takin' on awful."
"Oh, is she indeed?" replied the maid, this item apparently being
to her of the very slightest importance.
"Say, if you only saw her," said Sam.
"Pretty, I suppose," said the maid with a touch of scorn.
"Pretty? No, ugly as a hedge fence. But say, I wish she was
right now. She'd bring you to your--to time, you bet."
"Would she, now? I'd sort her." And the little maid's black
"Say, what'll I do? Jist got to have a doctor."
"Ye'll no git him till to-morrow."
"How far oot are ye?"
"Twelve miles? Ye'll no get him a minute afore to-morrow noon."
"Say, that young feller'll croak, sure. Away from home too. No
friends. All his folks in Scotland."
"Scotland, did ye say?" Something appeared to wake up in the
little maid. "Look here, why don't ye get a doctor instead o'
daunderin' your time here?"
"Git a doctor?" echoed Sam in vast surprise. "And ain't I tryin'
to git a doctor? Where'll I git a doctor?"
"Go to the hospital, ye gawk, and ask for Dr. Turnbull, and tell
him the young lad is a stranger and that his folk are in Scotland.
Hoots, ye gomeril, be off noo, an' the puir lad wantin' ye. Come,
I'll pit ye on yer way." The maid by her speech was obviously
Sam glanced at the clock as he passed out. He had been away an
hour and a half.
"Jumpin' Jeremiah! I've got to hurry. She'll take my head
"Of course ye have," said the maid sharply. "Go down two streets
there, then take the first turn to your left and go straight on for
half a dozen blocks or so. Mind ye tell the doctor the lad's frae
Scotland!" she cried to Sam as he drove off.
At the hospital Sam was fortunate enough to catch Dr. Turnbull in
the hall with one or two others, just as they were about to pass
into the consulting room. Such was Sam's desperate state of mind
that he went straight up to the group.
"I want Dr. Turnbull," he said.
"There he is before you," replied a sharp-faced young doctor,
pointing to a benevolent looking old gentleman.
"Dr. Turnbull, there's a young feller hurt dreadful out our way.
His leg's broke. Guess he's hurt inside too. And he's a
His folks are all in Scotland. Guess he's dyin', and I've got--
I've got a horse and buggy at the door. I can git you out and back
in a jiffy. Say, doctor, I'm all ready to start."
A smile passed over the faces of the group. But Dr. Turnbull had
too long experience with desperate cases and with desperate men.
"My dear Sir," he replied, "I cannot go for some hours."
"Doctor, I want you now. I got to have somebody right now."
"A broken leg?" mused the doctor.
"Yes, and hurt inside."
"How did it happen?" said the doctor.
"Eh? I don't know exactly," replied Sam, taken somewhat aback.
"Somethin' fell on him. But he needs you bad."
"I can't go, my man, but we'll find some one. What's his name did
"His name is Cameron, and he's from Scotland."
"Cameron?" said the sharp-faced young doctor. "What does he look
"Look like?" said Sam in a perplexed voice. "Well, the girls all
think he looks pretty good. He's dark complected and he's a mighty
smart young feller. Great on jumpin' and runnin'. Say, he's a
crackajack. Why, at the Dominion Day picnic! But you must a'
heard about him. He's the chap, you know, that won the hundred
yards. Plays the pipes and--"
"Plays the pipes?" cried Dr. Turnbull and the young doctor
"And his name's Cameron?" continued the young doctor. "I wonder
"I say, Martin," said Dr. Turnbull, "I think you had better go.
The case may be urgent."
"Cameron!" cried Martin again. "I bet my bat it's-- Here, wait
till I get my coat. I'll be with you in a jerk. Have you got a
"He's all right," said Sam. "He'll git you there in an hour."
"An hour? How far is it?"
"Great heavens! Come, then, get a move on!" And so it came
within an hour Cameron, opening his eyes, looked up into the face
of his friend.
"Martin! By Jove!" he said, and closed his eyes again.
he said again, looking upon the familiar face. "Say, old boy, is
this a dream? I seem to be having lots of them."
"It's no dream, old chap, but what in the mischief is the matter?
What does all this fever mean? Let's look at you."
A brief examination was enough to show the doctor that a broken leg
was the least of Cameron's trouble. A hasty investigation of the
resources of the farm house determined the doctor's course.
"This man has typhoid fever, a bad case too," he said to Mandy.
"We will take him in to the hospital."
"The hospital?" cried Mandy fiercely. "Will you, then?"
"He will be a lot of trouble to you," said the doctor.
"Trouble? Trouble? What are you talkin' about?"
"We're awful busy, Mandy," interposed the mother, who had been
roused from her bed.
"Oh, shucks, mother! Oh, don't send him away," she pleaded. "I
can nurse him, just as easy." She paused, with quivering lips.
"It will be much better for the patient to be in the hospital. He
will get constant and systematic care. He will be under my own
observation every hour. I assure you it will be better for him,"
said the doctor.
"Better for him?" echoed Mandy in a faint voice. "Well, let him
In less than an hour's time, such was Dr. Martin's energetic
promptness, he had his patient comfortably placed in the democrat
on an improvised stretcher and on his way to the city hospital.
And thus it came about that the problem of his leave-taking, which
had vexed Cameron for so many days, was solved.