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Two on the Trail
A Story of the Far Northwest

written by "Potts, William Sherman, 1876-1930"
...s on the river bank, quite imposing with its three stories and its gingerbread gallery, is the nucleus of it all. Trudeau's is a reminder of the jolly bustling inns of a century ago. The traders, the policemen, the mail-carriers, the rivermen and the[Pg 58] freighters come and go; each sits for a day or two in the row of chairs tipped back against the wall—for no one is ever in a hurry in the North—gives his news, if he be on the way "out"; takes it if he be coming "in"; and appoints to meet his friends there next year. The commonest type of all is the genial dilettante, the man who traps a little, prospects a little, grows a few potatoes, and loafs a great deal. Trudeau's is also the eddy which sooner or later sucks in the derelicts of the country, sons or brothers of somebody, incredibly unshaven and down at heel; capitalists of bluster and labourers with the tongue. Such was the crowd that witnessed Natalie's arrival open-mouthed; and such the individuals that fastened themselves in turn on Garth, with the determination of extracting a full explanation of the phenomenon. Garth succeeded in avoiding at the same time giving offense and giving information. But he could not prevent a fine podful of rumours from bursting at the Landing, and scattering seeds broadcast over the North. He found a letter awaiting him from the Bishop. "I find," he wrote, "that Captain Jack Dexter's steamboat will be going up the river to the Warehouse in the middle of the week; and as my preparations are completed a day or two earlier than I expected, I am starting on ahead with my outfit. You will probably overtake us in the big river, as we have to track all the way; but should you be delayed, I will go on up the rapids; and will see that a wagon is waiting for you at the Warehouse, to bring you to me at Pierre Toma's house on Musquasepi. This will be more comfortable for you, as all this first part of the journey is tedious up-stream work."...

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