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The boys returned

The boys returned

"Two hours. We draw lots for choice of watches. There are so many of us that the turn doesn't come round to the same man oftener than once a week, but it is pretty hard then to be pulled out of the blankets in the middle of the night after a long day's labor.[99] Well, I must leave you. Good-bye!" and he was off to see about the guard duty.

to their camp, passing on the way the large tent of the Indians, who were singing a weird, monotonous native chant, varied by the occasional insertion of religious hymns which they had picked up at Haines' Mission. Uncle Will was telling his brother the information he had gathered in the neighboring camp.

"They arrived here yesterday," he was saying, "so their leader told me, and to-day they carried part of their goods forward five miles, where they cached them. The men returned from that trip just before we came. To-morrow they plan to take another and longer journey, moving their remaining supplies ten miles and then returning here. That will be a good twenty-mile march, and it will use them up so that I think they'll have to rest one day at least. Their leader, who was willing enough to talk about his present plans, said that as soon as possible after they had made the second cache, they would take an early start from here, and try to reach the timber on the other side the same day. You see they'll have virtually nothing to carry except tents and blankets until they reach their first cache, which they will pick up, leaving the second untouched. In other words, they will travel five miles with very light loads, and then fifteen with half-loads,—twenty miles[100] in all. They will return from that advanced camp the next day to their second cache and take that forward."

"I suppose," said Mr. Bradford, "we shall have to employ the same tactics to some extent. We can't carry forward our whole outfit in one march But the man in front of us was sullen and did not reply.."

"That's true," answered his brother. "I think it would be wise to first carry half-loads ten miles. If the boys give out before we get back, we'll draw them. I'm convinced that if we're to beat the big party, we must do it here, and work as we never worked before. One thing I'm thankful for,—our loads are lighter than theirs, for you see we've already taken provisions for myself and Long Peter as far as Klukshu Lake, and we two are now moving a share of yours. Besides, these fellows have an unusual amount of clothing and other truck in their clothing bags, and a great deal of heavy hardware. What did you learn from their Indians, Peter?"

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