"What's this, Sergeant
Crisp?" The Commissioner, a tall, slight,
and soldier-like man, keen-eyed and brisk of speech, rapped out his
words like a man intent on business.
"One of a whiskey gang, Sir. Dick Raven's, I suspect."
"And the charge?"
"Whiskey trading, theft, and murder."
The Commissioner's face grew grave.
"Murder? Where did you find him?"
"Kootenay trail, Sir. Got wind of him at Calgary, followed up the
clue past Morleyville, then along the Kootenay trail. A blizzard
came on and we feared we had lost them. We fell in with a band of
Stony Indians, found that the band had been robbed and two of their
"Two murdered?" The Commissioner's voice was stern.
"Yes, Sir. Shot down in cold blood. We have the testimony of
eye witness. We followed the trail and came upon two of them.
horse was shot. One of them escaped; this man we captured."
The Commissioner sat pondering. Then with disconcerting swiftness
he turned upon the prisoner.
"I was working in McIvor's survey camp near Morleyville. I went
out shooting, lost my way in a blizzard, was captured by a man who
called himself Raven--"
"Wait!" said the Commissioner sharply. "Bring me that file!"
The orderly brought a file from which the Commissioner selected a
letter. His keen eyes rapidly scanned the contents and then ran
over the prisoner from head to foot. Thereupon, without a moment's
hesitation, he said curtly:
"Release the prisoner!"
"But, Sir--" began Sergeant Crisp, with an expression of utter
bewilderment and disgust upon his face.
"Release the prisoner!" repeated the Commissioner sharply. "Mr.
Cameron, I deeply regret this mistake. Under the circumstances it
could hardly have been avoided. You were in bad company, you see.
I am greatly pleased that my men have been of service to you. We
shall continue to do all we can for you. In the meantime I am very
pleased to have the pleasure of meeting you." He passed the letter
to Sergeant Crisp. "I have information about you from Morleyville,
you see. Now tell us all about it."
It took Cameron some moments to recover his wits, so dumbfounded
was he at the sudden change in his condition.
"Well, Sir," he began, "I hardly know what to say."
"Sit down, sit down, Mr. Cameron. Take your time," said the
Commissioner. "We are somewhat hurried these days, but you must
have had some trying experiences."
Then Cameron proceeded with his tale. The Commissioner listened
with keen attention, now and then arresting him with a question or
a comment. When Cameron came to tell of the murder of the Stonies
his voice shook with passion.
"We will get that Indian some day," said the Commissioner, "never
fear. What is his name?"
"Little Thunder, Raven called him. And I would like to take a hand
in that too, Sir," said Cameron eagerly.
"You would, eh?" said the Commissioner with a sharp look at him.
"Well, we'll see. Little Thunder," he repeated to himself.
that Record Book!"
The orderly laid a large canvas-covered book before him.
"Little Thunder, eh?" he repeated, turning the leaves of the book.
"Oh, yes, I thought so! Blood Indian--formerly Chief--supplanted
by Red Crow--got into trouble with whiskey traders. Yes, I
remember. He is at his old tricks. This time, however, he has
gone too far. We will get him. Go on, Mr. Cameron!"
When Cameron had concluded his story the Commissioner said to the
"Send me Inspector Dickson!"
In a few moments Inspector Dickson appeared, a tall, slight man,
with a gentle face and kindly blue eyes.
"Inspector Dickson, how are we for men? Can you spare two or three
to round up a gang of whiskey traders and to run down a murderer?
We are on the track of Raven's bunch, I believe."
"We are very short-handed at present, Sir. This half-breed trouble
in the north is keeping our Indians all very restless. We must
keep in touch with them."
"Yes, yes, I know. By the way, how are the Bloods just now?"
"They are better, Sir, but the Blackfeet are restless and uneasy.
There are a lot of runners from the east among them."
"How is old Crowfoot behaving?"
"Crowfoot himself is apparently all right so far, but of course no
man can tell what Crowfoot is thinking."
"That's right enough," replied the Commissioner.
"By the way, Sir, it was Crowfoot's son that got into that trouble
last night with that Macleod man. The old Chief is in town, too,
in fact is outside just now and quite worked up over the arrest."
"Well, we will settle this Crowfoot business in a few minutes.
Now, about this Raven gang. You cannot go yourself with a couple
of men? He is an exceedingly clever rascal."
The Inspector enumerated the cases immediately pressing.
"Well then, at the earliest possible moment we must get after this
gang. Keep this in mind, Inspector Dickson. That Indian I
consider an extremely dangerous man. He is sure to be mixed up
with this half-breed trouble. He has very considerable influence
with a large section of the Bloods. I shouldn't be surprised if we
should find him on their reserve before very long. Now then, bring
in young Crowfoot!"
The Inspector saluted and retired, followed by Sergeant Crisp,
whose face had not yet regained its normal expression.
"Mr. Cameron," said the Commissioner, "if you care to remain with
me for the morning I shall be glad to have you. The administration
of justice by the police may prove interesting to you. Later on we
shall discuss your return to your camp."
Cameron expressed his delight at being permitted to remain in the
court room, not only that he might observe the police methods of
administering justice, but especially that he might see something
of the great Blackfeet Chief, Crowfoot, of whom he had heard much
since his arrival in the West.
In a few minutes Inspector Dickson returned, followed by a
constable leading a young Indian, handcuffed. With these entered
Jerry, the famous half-breed interpreter, and last of all the
father of the prisoner, old Crowfoot, tall, straight, stately. One
swift searching glance the old Chief flung round the room, and
then, acknowledging the Commissioner's salute with a slight wave
of the hand and a grunt, and declining the seat offered him, he
stood back against the wall and there viewed the proceedings with
an air of haughty defiance.
The Commissioner lost no time in preliminaries. The charge was
read and explained to the prisoner. The constable made his
statement. The young Indian had got into an altercation with a
citizen of Macleod, and on being hard pressed had pulled the pistol
which was laid upon the desk. There was no defense. The
interpreter, however, explained, after conversation with the
prisoner, that drink was the cause. At this point the old Chief's
face swiftly changed. Defiance gave place to disgust, grief, and
The Commissioner, after carefully eliciting all the facts, gave the
prisoner an opportunity to make a statement. This being declined,
the Commissioner proceeded gravely to point out the serious nature
of the offense, to emphasize the sacredness of human life and
declare the determination of the government to protect all Her
Majesty's subjects, no matter what their race or the colour of
their skin. He then went on to point out the serious danger which
the young man had so narrowly escaped.
"Why, man," exclaimed the Commissioner, "you might have committed
Here the young fellow said something to the interpreter. There was
a flicker of a smile on the half-breed's face.
"He say dat pistol he no good. He can't shoot. He not loaded."
The Commissioner's face never changed a line. He gravely turned
the pistol over in his hand, and truly enough the rusty weapon
appeared to be quite innocuous except to the shooter.
"This is an extremely dangerous weapon. Why, it might have killed
yourself--if it had been loaded. We cannot allow this sort of
thing. However, since it was not loaded we shall make the sentence
light. I sentence you to one month's confinement."
The interpreter explained the sentence to the young Indian, who
received the explanation without the movement of a muscle or the
flicker of an eyelid. The constable touched him on the shoulder
and said, "Come!"
Before he could move old Crowfoot with two strides stood before the
constable, and waving him aside with a gesture of indescribable
dignity, took his son in his arms and kissed him on either cheek.
Then, stepping back, he addressed him in a voice grave, solemn, and
vibrant with emotion. Jerry interpreted to the Court.
"I have observed the big Chief. This is good medicine. It is
that wrong should suffer. All good men are against wickedness.
son, you have done foolishly. You have darkened my eyes. You
covered my face before my people. They will ask--where is your
son? My voice will be silent. My face will be covered with
I shall be like a dog kicked from the lodge. My son, I told you to
go only to the store. I warned you against bad men and bad places.
Your ears were closed, you were wiser than your father. Now we
both must suffer, you here shut up from the light of the sky, I in
my darkened lodge. But," he continued, turning swiftly upon the
Commissioner, "I ask my father why these bad men who sell whiskey
to the poor Indian are not shut up with my son. My son is young.
He is like the hare in the woods. He falls easily into the trap.
Why are not these bad men removed?" The old Chief's face trembled
with indignant appeal.
"They shall be!" said the Commissioner, smiting the desk with his
fist. "This very day!"
"It is good!" continued the old Chief with great dignity. Then,
turning again to his son, he said, and his voice was full of grave
"Now, go to your punishment. The hours will be none too long if
they bring you wisdom." Again he kissed his son on both cheeks
and, without a look at any other, stalked haughtily from the room.
"Inspector Dickson," sharply commanded the Commissioner, "find out
the man that sold that whiskey and arrest him at once!"
Cameron was profoundly impressed with the whole scene. He began
to realise as never before the tremendous responsibilities that
lay upon those charged with the administration of justice in this
country. He began to understand, too, the secret of the
extraordinary hold that the Police had upon the Indian tribes and
how it came that so small a force could maintain the "Pax
Britannica" over three hundred thousand square miles of unsettled
country, the home of hundreds of wild adventurers and of thousands
of savage Indians, utterly strange to any rule or law except that
of their own sweet will.
"This police business is a big affair," he ventured to say to the
Commissioner when the court room was cleared. "You practically run
"Well," said the Commissioner modestly, "we do something to keep
the country from going to the devil. We see that every man gets a
"It is great work!" exclaimed Cameron.
"Yes, I suppose it is," replied the Commissioner. "We don't talk
about it, of course. Indeed, we don't think of it. But," he
continued, "that blue book there could tell a story that would make
the old Empire not too ashamed of the men who 'ride the line' and
patrol the ranges in this far outpost." He opened the big canvas-
bound book as he spoke and turned the pages over. "Look at that
for a page," he said, and Cameron glanced over the entries. What a
tale they told!
"Yes," said the Commissioner, "that saved a settler's wife and
child--a prairie fire. The house was lost, but the constable
pulled them out and got rather badly burned in the business."
Cameron's finger ran down the page.
"Sick man transported to Post."
"That," commented the Superintendent, "was a journey of over two
hundred miles by dog sleighs in winter. Saved the man's life."
And so the record ran. "Cattle thieves arrested." "Whiskey
smugglers captured." "Stolen horses recovered." "Insane man
brought to Post."
"That was rather a tough case," said the Commissioner. "Meant a
journey of some eight hundred miles with a man, a powerful man too,
"How many of your men on that journey?" enquired Cameron.
"Oh, just one. The fellow got away twice, but was recaptured and
finally landed. Got better too. But the constable was all
up for weeks afterwards."
"Man, that was great!" exclaimed Cameron. "What a pity it should
not be known."
"Oh," said the Commissioner lightly, "it's all in the day's duty."
The words thrilled Cameron to the heart. "All in the day's duty!"
The sheer heroism of it, the dauntless facing of Nature's grimmest
terrors, the steady patience, the uncalculated sacrifice, the
thought of all that lay behind these simple words held him silent
for many minutes as he kept turning over the leaves.
As he sat thus turning the leaves and allowing his eye to fall upon
those simple but eloquent entries, a loud and strident voice was
"Waal, I tell yuh, I want to see him right naow. I ain't come two
hundred miles for nawthin'. I mean business, I do."
The orderly's voice was heard in reply.
"I ain't got no time to wait. I want to see yer Chief of Police
Again the orderly's voice could be distinguished.
"In court, is he? Waal, you hurry up and tell him J. B. Cadwaller
of Lone Pine, Montana, an American citizen, wants to see him right
The orderly came in and saluted.
"A man to see you, Sir," he said. "An American."
"Horse-stealing case, Sir."
"Show him in!"
In a moment the orderly returned, followed by, not one, but three
"Good-day, Jedge! My name's J. B. Cadwaller, Lone Pine, Montana.
"Take your hat off in the court!" said the orderly sharply.
Mr. Cadwaller slowly surveyed the orderly with an expression of
interested curiosity in his eyes, removing his hat as he did so.
"Say, you're pretty swift, ain't yuh? You might give a feller a
show to git in his interductions," said Mr. Cadwaller. "I was jes
goin' to interdooce to you, Jedge, these gentlemen from my own
State, District Attorney Hiram S. Sligh and Mr. Rufus Raimes,
The Commissioner duly acknowledged the introduction, standing to
receive the strangers with due courtesy.
"Now, Jedge, I want to see yer Chief of Police. I've got a case
"I have the honor to be the Commissioner. What can I do for you?"
"Waal, Jedge, we don't want to waste no time, neither yours nor
ours. The fact is some of yer blank blank Indians have been
rustlin' hosses from us fer some time back. We don't mind a cayuse
now and then, but when it comes to a hull bunch of vallable hosses
there's where we kick and we ain't goin' to stand fer it. And we
want them hosses re-stored. And what's more, we want them blank
blank copper snakes strung up."
"How many horses have you lost?"
"How many? Jeerupiter! Thirty or forty fer all I know, they've
been rustlin' 'em for a year back."
"Why didn't you report before?"
"Why we thought we'd git 'em ourselves, and if we had we wouldn't
'a troubled yuh--and I guess they wouldn't 'a troubled us much
longer. But they are so slick--so blank slick!"
"Mr. Cadwaller, we don't allow any profanity in this court room,"
said the Commissioner in a quiet voice.
"Eh? Who's givin' yuh profanity? I don't mean no profanity.
talkin' about them blank blank--"
"Stop, Mr. Cadwaller!" said the Commissioner. "We must end this
interview if you cannot make your statements without profanity.
This is Her Majesty's court of Justice and we cannot tolerate any
"Waal, I'll be--!"
"Pardon me, Mr. Commissioner," said Mr. Hiram S. Sligh, interrupting
his friend and client. "Perhaps I may make a statement. We've
lost some twenty or thirty horses."
"Thirty-one" interjected Mr. Raimes quietly.
"Thirty-one!" burst in Mr. Cadwaller indignantly. "That's only one
"And," continued Mr. Sligh, "we have traced them right up to the
Blood reserve. More than that, Mr. Raimes has seen the horses in
the possession of the Indians and we want your assistance in
recovering our property."
"Yes, by gum!" exclaimed Mr. Cadwaller. "And we want them--eh--eh--consarned redskin thieves strung up."
"You say you have seen the stolen horses on the Blood reserve, Mr.
Raimes?" enquired the Commissioner.
Mr. Raimes, who was industriously chewing a quid of tobacco,
ejected, with a fine sense of propriety and with great skill and
accuracy, a stream of tobacco juice out of the door before he
"I seen 'em."
"When did you lose your horses?"
Mr. Raimes considered the matter for some moments, chewing
energetically the while, then, having delivered himself with the
same delicacy and skill as before of his surplus tobacco juice,
made laconic reply:
"Seventeen, no, eighteen days ago."
"Did you follow the trail immediately yourselves?"
"No, Jim Eberts."
"Foreman," said Mr. Raimes, who seemed to regard conversation in
the light of an interference with the more important business in
which he was industriously engaged.
"But you saw the horses yourself on the Blood reserve?"
"Followed up and seen 'em."
"How long since you saw them there, Mr. Raimes?"
"You are quite sure about the horses?"
"Call Inspector Dickson!" ordered the Commissioner.
Inspector Dickson appeared and saluted.
"We have information that a party of Blood Indians have stolen a
band of horses from these gentlemen from Montana and that these
horses are now on the Blood reserve. Take a couple of men and
investigate, and if you find the horses bring them back."
"Couple of men!" ejaculated Mr. Cadwaller breathlessly. "A couple
of hundred, you mean, General!"
"Why, to sur--raound them--there--Indians." The regulations of the
court room considerably hampered Mr. Cadwaller's fluency of speech.
"It is not necessary at all, Mr. Cadwaller. Besides, we have only
some eighty men all told at this post. Our whole force in the
territories is less than five hundred men."
"Five hundred men! You mean for this State, General--Alberta?"
"No, Sir. For all Western Canada. All west of Manitoba."
"How much territory do you cover?" enquired the astonished Mr.
"We regularly patrol some three hundred thousand square miles,
besides taking an occasional expedition into the far north."
"And how many Indians?"
"About the same number as you have, I imagine, in Montana and
Dakota. In Alberta, about nine thousand."
"And less than five hundred police! Say, General, I take off my
hat. Ten thousand Indians! By the holy poker! And five
police! How in Cain do you keep down the devils?"
"We don't try to keep them down. We try to take care of them."
"Guess you've hit it," said Mr. Raimes, dexterously squirting out
of the door.
"Jeerupiter! Say, General, some day they'll massacree yuh sure!"
said Mr. Cadwaller, a note of anxiety in his voice.
"Oh, no, they are a very good lot on the whole."
"Good! We've got a lot of good Indians too, but they're all under
graound. Five hundred men! Jeerupiter! Say, Sligh, how
soldiers does Uncle Sam have on this job?"
"Well, I can't say altogether, but in Montana and Dakota I happen
to know we have about four thousand regulars."
"Say, figger that out, will yuh?" continued Mr. Cadwaller.
"Allowed four times the territory, about the same number of Indians
and about one-eighth the number of police. Say, General, I take
off my hat again. Put it there! You Canucks have got the trick
"Easier to care for 'em than kill 'em, I guess," said Mr. Raimes
"But, say, General," continued Mr. Cadwaller, "you ain't goin' to
send for them hosses with no three men?"
"I'm afraid we cannot spare any more."
"Jeerupiter, General!" exclaimed Mr. Cadwaller. "I'll wait outside
the reserve till this picnic's over. Say, General, let's have
twenty-five men at least."
"What do you say, Inspector Dickson? Will two men be sufficient?"
"We'll try, Sir," replied the Inspector.
"How soon can you be ready?"
"In a quarter of an hour."
"Jeerupiter!" muttered Mr. Cadwaller to himself, as he followed the
Inspector out of the room.
"I say, Commissioner, will you let me in on this thing?" said
"Do you mean that you want to join the force?" enquired the
Commissioner, letting his eye run approvingly up and down Cameron's
"There is McIvor, Sir--" began Cameron.
"Oh, I could fix that all right," replied the Commissioner. "We
want men, and we want men like you. We have no vacancy among the
officers, but you could enlist as a constable and there is always
opportunity to advance."
"It is a great service!" exclaimed Cameron. "I'd like awfully to
"Very well," said the Commissioner promptly, "we will take you.
You are physically sound, wind, limb, eye-sight, and so forth?"
"As far as I know, perfectly fit," replied Cameron.
Once more Inspector Dickson was summoned.
"Inspector Dickson, Mr. Cameron wishes to join the force. We will
have his application taken and filled in later, and we will waive
examination for the present. Will you administer the oath?"
"Cameron, stand up!" commanded the Inspector sharply.
With a little thrill at his heart Cameron stood up, took the Bible
in his hand and repeated after the Inspector the words of the oath,
"I, Allan Cameron, solemnly swear that I will faithfully, diligently,
and impartially execute and perform the duties required of me as a
member of the North West Mounted Police Force, and will well and
truly obey and perform all lawful orders and instructions which I
shall receive as such, without fear, favour, or affection of or
toward any person. So help me, God."
"Now then, Cameron, I congratulate you upon your new profession.
The Inspector will see about your outfit and later you will receive
instructions as to your duties. Meantime, take him along with you,
Inspector, and get those horses."
It was a somewhat irregular mode of procedure, but men were sorely
needed at the Macleod post and the Commissioner had an eye that
took in not only the lines of a man's figure but the qualities of
"That chap will make good, or I am greatly mistaken," he said to
the Inspector as Cameron went off with the orderly to select his
"Well set up chap," said the Inspector. "We'll try him out to-night."
"Come now, don't kill him. Remember, other men have something else
in them besides whalebone and steel, if you have not."
In half an hour the Inspector, Sergeant Crisp and Cameron, with the
three American citizens, were on their way to the Blood reserve.
Cameron had been given a horse from the stable.
All afternoon and late into the evening they rode, then camped and
were early upon the trail the following morning. Cameron was half
dead with the fatigue from his experiences of the past week, but he
would have died rather than have hinted at weariness. He was not a
little comforted to notice that Sergeant Crisp, too, was showing
signs of distress, while District Attorney Sligh was evidently in
the last stages of exhaustion. Even the steel and whalebone
combination that constituted the frame of the Inspector appeared to
show some slight signs of wear; but all feeling of weariness
vanished when the Inspector, who was in the lead, halted at the
edge of a wide sweeping valley and, pointing far ahead, said, "The
Blood reserve. Their camp lies just beyond that bluff."
"Say, Inspector, hold up!" cried Mr. Cadwaller as the Inspector set
off again. "Ain't yuh goin' to sneak up on 'em like?"
"Sneak up on them? No, of course not," said the Inspector curtly.
"We shall ride right in."
"Say, Raimes," said Mr. Cadwaller, "a hole would be a blame nice
thing to find just now."
"Do you think there will be any trouble?" enquired Mr. Hiram Sligh
of Sergeant Crisp.
"Trouble? Perhaps so," replied Crisp, as if to him it were a
matter of perfect indifference.
"We'll never git them hosses," said Raimes. "But we've got to stay
with the chief, I guess."
And so they followed Inspector Dickson down into the valley, where
in the distance could be seen a number of horses and cattle
grazing. They had not ridden far along the valley bottom when Mr.
Cadwaller spurred up upon the Inspector and called out excitedly,
"I say, Inspector, them's our hosses right there. Say, let's run
"Can you pick them out?" enquired the Inspector, turning in his
"Every last one!" said Raimes.
"Very well, cut them out and get them into a bunch," said the
Inspector. "I see there are some Indians herding them apparently.
Pay no attention to them, but go right along with your work."
"There's one of 'em off to give tongue!" cried Mr. Cadwaller
excitedly. "Bring him down, Inspector! Bring him down!
Here, let me have your rifle!" Hurriedly he snatched at the
"Stop!" cried the Inspector in sharp command. "Now, attention!
are on a somewhat delicate business. A mistake might bring
disaster. I am in command of this party and I must have absolute
and prompt obedience. Mr. Cadwaller, it will be at your peril that
you make any such move again. Let no man draw a gun until ordered
by me! Now, then, cut out those horses and bunch them together!"
"Jeerupiter! He's a hull brigade himself," said Mr. Cadwaller in
an undertone, dropping back beside Mr. Sligh. "Waal, here goes for
But though both Mr. Cadwaller and Mr. Raimes, as well as Sergeant
Crisp and the Inspector, were expert cattle men, it took some
little time and very considerable manoeuvering to get the stolen
horses bunched together and separated from the rest of the animals
grazing in the valley, and by the time this was accomplished Indian
riders had appeared on every side, gradually closing in upon the
party. It was clearly impossible to drive off the bunch through
that gradually narrowing cordon of mounted Indians without trouble.
"Now, what's to be done?" said Mr. Cadwaller, nervously addressing
"Forward!" cried the Inspector in a loud voice. "Towards the
corral ahead there!"
This movement nonplussed the Indians and in silence they fell in
behind the party who, going before, finally succeeded in driving
the bunch of horses into the corral.
"Sergeant Crisp, you and Constable Cameron remain here on guard. I
shall go and find the Chief. Here," he continued, addressing a
young Indian brave who had ridden up quite close to the gate of the
corral, "lead me to your Chief, Red Crow!"
The absence alike of all hesitation or fear, and of all bluster in
his tone and bearing, apparently impressed the young brave, for he
wheeled his pony and set off immediately at a gallop, followed by
the Inspector at a more moderate pace.
Quickly the Indians gathered about the corral and the group at its
gate. With every passing minute their numbers increased, and as
their numbers increased so did the violence of their demonstration
The three Americans were placed next the corral, Sergeant Crisp and
Cameron being between them and the excited Indians. Cameron had
seen Indians before about the trading posts. A shy, suspicious,
and subdued lot of creatures they had seemed to him. But these
were men of another breed, with their lean, lithe, muscular
figures, their clean, copper skins, their wild fierce eyes, their
haughty bearing. Those others were poor beggars seeking permission
to exist; these were men, proud, fearless, and free.
"Jove, what a team one could pick out of the bunch!" said Cameron
to himself, as his eye fell upon the clean bare limbs and observed
their graceful motions. But to the Americans they were a hateful
and fearsome sight. Indians with them were never anything but a
menace to be held in check, or a nuisance to be got rid of.
Louder and louder grew the yells and wilder the gesticulations as
the savages worked themselves up into a fury. Suddenly, through
the yelling, careering, gesticulating crowd of Indians a young
brave came tearing at full gallop and, thrusting his pony close up
to the Sergeant's, stuck his face into the officer's and uttered a
terrific war whoop. Not a line of the Sergeant's face nor a muscle
of his body moved except that the near spur slightly touched his
horse's flank and the fingers tightened almost imperceptibly upon
the bridle rein. Like a flash of light the Sergeant's horse
wheeled and with a fierce squeal let fly two wicked heels hard upon
the pony's ribs. In sheer terror and surprise the little beast
bolted, throwing his rider over his neck and finally to the ground.
Immediately a shout of jeering laughter rose from the crowd, who
greatly enjoyed their comrade's discomfiture. Except that the
Sergeant's face wore a look of pleased surprise, he simply
maintained his attitude of calm indifference. No other Indian,
however, appeared ready to repeat the performance of the young
At length the Inspector appeared, followed by the Chief, Red Crow.
"Tell your people to go away!" said the Inspector as they reached
the corral. "They are making too much noise."
Red Crow addressed his braves at some length.
"Open the corral," ordered the Inspector, "and get those horses out
on the trail."
For a few moments there was silence. Then, as the Indians perceived
the purpose of the police, on every side there rose wild yells of
protest and from every side a rush was made toward the corral. But
Sergeant Crisp kept his horse on the move in a series of kicks and
plunges that had the effect of keeping clear a wide circle about the
"Touch your horse with the spur and hold him up tight," he said
quietly to Cameron.
Cameron did so and at once his horse became seemingly as unmanageable
as the Sergeant's, plunging, biting, kicking. The Indian ponies
could not be induced to approach. The uproar, however, only
increased. Guns began to go off, bullets could be heard whistling
overhead. Red Crow's voice apparently could make no impression upon
the maddened crowd of Indians. A minor Chief, White Horse by name,
having whirled in behind the Sergeant, seized hold of Mr.
Cadwaller's bridle and began to threaten him with excited
gesticulations. Mr. Cadwaller drew his gun.
"Let go that line, you blank blank redskin!" he roared, flourishing
In a moment, with a single plunge, the Inspector was at his side
and, flinging off the Indian, shouted:
"Put up that gun, Mr. Cadwaller! Quick!" Mr. Cadwaller
"Sergeant Crisp, arrest that man!" The Inspector's voice rang out
like a trumpet. His gun covered Mr. Cadwaller.
"Give me that gun!" said the Sergeant.
Mr. Cadwaller handed over his gun.
"Let him go," said the Inspector to Sergeant Crisp. "He will
The Indians had gathered close about the group. White Horse, in
the centre, was talking fast and furious and pointing to Mr.
"Get the bunch off, Sergeant!" said the Inspector quietly. "I will
hold them here for a few minutes."
Quietly the Sergeant backed out of the circle, leaving the
Inspector and Mr. Cadwaller with White Horse and Red Crow in the
midst of the crowding, yelling Indians.
"White Horse say this man steal Bull Back's horses last fall!"
shouted Red Crow in the Inspector's ear.
"Too much noise here," said the Inspector, moving toward the Indian
camp and away from the corral and drawing the crowd with him.
"Tell your people to be quiet, Red Crow. I thought you were the
Stung by the taunt, Red Crow raised his rifle and fired into the
air. Then, standing high in his stirrups, he held up his hand and
called out a number of names. Instantly ten men rode to his side.
Again Red Crow spoke. The ten men rode out again among the crowd.
Immediately the shouting ceased.
"Good!" said the Inspector. "I see my brother is strong. Now,
where is Bull Back?"
The Chief called out a name. There was no response.
"Bull Back not here," he said.
"Then listen, my brother," said the Inspector earnestly. "This
man," pointing to Mr. Cadwaller, "waits with me at the Fort two
days to meet White Horse, Bull Back, and any Indians who know about
this man; and what is right will be done. I have spoken.
Farewell!" He gave his hand to Chief Red Crow. "My brother
knows," he added, "the Police do not lie."
So saying, he wheeled his horse and, with Mr. Cadwaller before him,
rode off after the others of the party, who had by this time gone
some distance up the trail.
For a few moments hesitation held the crowd, then with a loud cry
White Horse galloped up and again seized Mr. Cadwaller's bridle.
Instantly the Inspector covered him with his gun.
"Hold up your hands quick!" he said.
The Indian dropped the bridle rein. The Inspector handed his gun
to Mr. Cadwaller.
"Don't shoot till I speak or I shoot you!" he said sternly. Mr.
Cadwaller took the gun and covered the Indian. In a twinkling
White Horse found himself with handcuffs on his wrists and his
bridle line attached to the horn of the Inspector's saddle.
"Now give me that gun, Mr. Cadwaller, and here take your own--but
wait for the word. Forward!"
He had not gone a pace till he was surrounded by a score of angry
and determined Indians with levelled rifles. For the first time
the Inspector hesitated. Through the line of levelled rifles Chief
Red Crow rode up and in a grave but determined voice said:
"My brother is wrong. White Horse, chief. My young men not let
"Good!" said the Inspector, promptly making up his mind. "I let
him go now. In two days I come again and get him. The Police
So saying, he released White Horse and without further word, and
disregarding the angry looks and levelled rifles, rode slowly off
after his party. On the edge of the crowd he met Sergeant Crisp.
"Thought I'd better come back, Sir. It looked rather ugly for a
minute," said the Sergeant.
"Ride on," said the Inspector. "We will get our man to-morrow.
Steady, Mr. Cadwaller, not too fast." The Inspector slowed his
horse down to a walk, which he gradually increased to an easy lope
and so brought up with Cameron and the others.
Through the long evening they pressed forward till they came to the
Kootenay River, having crossed which they ventured to camp for the
After supper the Inspector announced his intention of riding on
to the Fort for reinforcements, and gave his instructions to the
"Sergeant Crisp," he said, "you will make an early start and bring
in the bunch to-morrow morning. Mr. Cadwaller, you remember you
are to remain at the Fort two days so that the charges brought by
White Horse may be investigated."
"What?" exclaimed Mr. Cadwaller. "Wait for them blank blank
devils? Say, Inspector, you don't mean that?"
"You heard me promise the Indians," said the Inspector.
"Why, yes. Mighty smart, too! But say, you were jest joshing,
"No, Sir," replied the Inspector. "The Police never break a
promise to white man or Indian."
Then Mr. Cadwaller cut loose for a few moments. He did not object
to waiting any length of time to oblige a friend, but that he
should delay his journey to answer the charges of an Indian,
variously and picturesquely described, was to him an unthinkable
"Sergeant Crisp, you will see to this," said the Inspector quietly
as he rode away.
Then Mr. Cadwaller began to laugh and continued laughing for
"By the holy poker, Sligh!" at last he exclaimed. "It's a joke.
It's a regular John Bull joke."
"Yes," said Mr. Sligh, while he cut a comfortable chew from his
black plug. "Good joke, too, but not on John. I guess that's
five hundred police hold down--no, take care of--twenty thousand
And the latest recruit to Her Majesty's North West Mounted Police
straightened up till he could feel the collar of his tunic catch
him on the back of the neck and was conscious of a little thrill
running up his spine as he remembered that he was a member of that