Romany of the Snows, Continuation of "Pierre and His People", v3
97 Pages
English
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Romany of the Snows, Continuation of "Pierre and His People", v3

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97 Pages
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The Project Gutenberg EBook Romany Of The Snows, v3, by Gilbert Parker #10 in our series by Gilbert ParkerContents: The Bridge House The Epaulettes The House With The Broken Shutter The Finding Of Fingall ThreeCommandments In The Vulgar TongueCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: Romany of the Snows, Continuation of "Pierre and His People", v3Author: Gilbert ParkerRelease Date: July, 2004 [EBook #6182] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first postedon August 31, 2002]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ROMANY OF THE SNOWS, V3, BY PARKER ***This eBook was produced by ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook Romany Of TheSnows, v3, by Gilbert Parker #10 in our series byGilbert Parker Contents: The Bridge House TheEpaulettes The House With The Broken ShutterThe Finding Of Fingall Three Commandments InThe Vulgar TongueCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****
Title: Romany of the Snows, Continuation of"Pierre and His People", v3Author: Gilbert ParkerRelease Date: July, 2004 [EBook #6182] [Yes, weare more than one year ahead of schedule] [Thisfile was first posted on August 31, 2002]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK ROMANY OF THE SNOWS, V3, BYPARKER ***This eBook was produced by David Widger<widger@cecomet.net>[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, orpointers, at the end of the file for those who maywish to sample the author's ideas before makingan entire meal of them. D.W.]
A ROMANY OF THESNOWSBEING A CONTINUATION OF THE PERSONALHISTORIES OF "PIERRE AND HIS PEOPLE"AND THE LAST EXISTING RECORDS OFPRETTY PIERREBy Gilbert ParkerVolume 3.THE BRIDGE HOUSE THE EPAULETTES THEHOUSE WITH THE BROKEN SHUTTER THEFINDING OF FINGALL THREECOMMANDMENTS IN THE VULGAR TONGUE
THE BRIDGE HOUSEIt stood on a wide wall between two small bridges.These were approaches to the big covered bridgespanning the main channel of the MadawaskaRiver, and when swelled by the spring thaws andrains, the two flanking channels divided at thefoundations of the house, and rustled awaythrough the narrow paths of the small bridges tothe rapids. You could stand at any window in theHouse and watch the ugly, rushing current, gorgedwith logs, come battering at the wall, jostlebetween the piers, and race on to the rocks andthe dam and the slide beyond. You stepped fromthe front door upon the wall, which was a roadbetween the bridges, and from the back door intothe river itself.The House had once been a tavern. It looked awayfarer, like its patrons the river-drivers, withwhom it was most popular. You felt that it had nopart in the career of the village on either side, butwas like a rock in a channel, at which a swimmercaught or a vagrant fish loitered.Pierre knew the place, when, of a night in thespringtime or early summer, throngs of river-drivers and their bosses sauntered at its doors, orhung over the railing of the wall, as they talked andsmoked.The glory of the Bridge House suddenly declined.
That was because Finley, the owner, a rich man,came to hate the place—his brother's bloodstained the barroom floor. He would havedestroyed the house but that John Rupert, thebeggared gentleman came to him, and wished torent it for a dwelling.Mr. Rupert was old, and had been miserably poorfor many years, but he had a breeding and amanner superior to anyone at Bamber's Boom. Hewas too old for a labourer, he had no art orcraftsmanship; his little money was gone in foolishspeculations, and he was dependent on hisgranddaughter's slight earnings from musicteaching and needlework. But he rented an acre ofground from Finley, and grew vegetables; hegathered driftwood from the river for his winter fire,and made up the accounts of the storekeeperoccasionally. Yet it was merely keeping offstarvation. He was not popular. He had no tonguefor the meaningless village talk. People held him ina kind of awe, and yet they felt a mean satisfactionwhen they saw him shouldering driftwood, andpiling it on the shore to be dragged away—the lastresort of the poor, for which they blush.When Mr. Rupert asked for the House, Finley knewthe chances were he would not get the rental; yet,because he was sorry for the old man, he gave itto him at a low rate. He closed up the bar-room,however, and it was never opened afterwards.So it was that Mr. Rupert and Judith, hisgranddaughter, came to live there. Judith was a
blithe, lissome creature, who had never knowncomfort or riches: they were taken from hergrandfather before she was born, and her fatherand mother both died when she was a little child.But she had been taught by her grandmother,when she lived, and by her grandfather, and shehad felt the graces of refined life. Withal, she had asingular sympathy for the rude, strong life of theriver. She was glad when they came to live at theBridge House, and shamed too: glad because theycould live apart from the other villagers; shamedbecause it exposed her to the curiosity of thosewho visited the House, thinking it was still a tavern.But that was only for a time.One night Jules Brydon, the young river-boss,camped with his men at Bamber's Boom. He wasof parents Scotch and French, and theamalgamation of races in him made a strikingproduct. He was cool and indomitable, yet heartyand joyous. It was exciting to watch him at thehead of his men, breaking up a jam of logs, and itwas a delight to hear him of an evening as hesang:              "Have you heard the cry of the LongLachine,               When happy is the sun in the morning?               The rapids long and the banks of green,               As we ride away in the morning,                  On the froth of the Long Lachine?"One day, soon after they came, the dams andbooms were opened above, and forests of logs
came riding down to Bamber's Boom. The currentwas strong, and the logs came on swiftly. AsBrydon's gang worked, they saw a man out upon asmall raft of driftwood, which had been suddenlycaught in the drive of logs, and was carried outtowards the middle channel. The river-driverslaughed, for they failed to see that the man wasold, and that he could not run across the rollinglogs to the shore. The old man, evidently hopeless,laid down his pike-pole, folded his hands, anddrifted with the logs. The river-drivers stoppedlaughing. They began to understand.Brydon saw a woman standing at a window of theHouse waving her arms, and there floated up theriver the words, "Father! father!" He caught up apikepole, and ran over that spinning floor of logs tothe raft. The old man's face was white, but therewas no fear in his eyes."I cannot run the logs," he said at once; "I neverdid; I am too old, and I slip. It's no use. It is mygranddaughter at that window. Tell her that I'll thinkof her to the last. . . . Good-bye!"Brydon was eyeing the logs. The old man's voicewas husky; he could not cry out, but he waved hishand to the girl."Oh, save him!" came from her faintly.Brydon's eyes were now on the covered bridge.Their raft was in the channel, coming straightbetween two piers. He measured his chances. Heknew if he slipped, doing what he intended, that
knew if he slipped, doing what he intended, thatboth might be drowned, and certainly Mr. Rupert;for the logs were close, and to drop among themwas a bad business. If they once closed over therewas an end of everything."Keep quite still," he said, "and when I throw youcatch."He took the slight figure in his arms, sprang outupon the slippery logs, and ran. A cheer went upfrom the men on the shore, and the people whowere gathering on the bridges, too late to be ofservice. Besides, the bridge was closed, and therewas only a small opening at the piers. For one ofthese piers Brydon was making. He ran hard. Oncehe slipped and nearly fell, but recovered. Then afloating tree suddenly lunged up and struck him, sothat he dropped upon a knee; but again he was up,and strained for the pier. He was within a few feetof it as they came to the bridge. The people gave acry of fear, for they saw that there was no chanceof both making it; because, too, at the criticalmoment a space of clear water showed near thepier. But Brydon raised John Rupert up, balancedhimself, and tossed him at the pier, where tworiver-drivers stood stretching out their arms. Aninstant afterwards the old man was with hisgranddaughter. But Brydon slipped and fell; theroots of a tree bore him down, and he was gonebeneath the logs!There was a cry of horror from the watchers, thenall was still. But below the bridge they saw an armthrust up between the logs, and then another arm
crowding them apart. Now a head and shouldersappeared. Luckily the piece of timber which Brydongrasped was square, and did not roll. In a momenthe was standing on it. There was a wild shout ofencouragement. He turned his battered, blood-stained face to the bridge for an instant, and, witha wave of the hand and a sharp look towards therapids below, once more sprang out. It was abrave sight, for the logs were in a narrowerchannel and more riotous. He rubbed the blood outof his eyes that he might see his way. The rollingforest gave him no quarter, but he came on,rocking with weakness, to within a few rods of theshore. Then a half-dozen of his men ran out on thelogs,—they were packed closely here,—caught himup, and brought him to dry ground.They took him to the Bridge House. He was hurtmore than he or they thought. The old man and thegirl met them at the door. Judith gave a little crywhen she saw the blood and Brydon's bruisedface. He lifted his head as though her eyes haddrawn his, and, their looks meeting, he took his hatoff. Her face flushed; she dropped her eyes. Hergrandfather seized Brydon's big hand, and saidsome trembling words of thanks. The girl steppedinside, made a bed for him upon the sofa, and gothim something to drink. She was very cool; sheimmediately asked Pierre to go for the youngdoctor who had lately come to the place, and madeready warm water with which she wiped Brydon'sblood-stained face and hands, and then gave himsome brandy. His comrades standing roundwatched her admiringly, she was so deft and
delicate. Brydon, as if to be nursed and cared forwas not manly, felt ashamed, and came up quicklyto a sitting posture, saying, "Pshaw! I'm all right!"But he turned sick immediately, and Judith's armscaught his head and shoulders as he fell back. Hisface turned, and was pillowed on her bosom. Atthis she blushed, but a look of singular dignitycame into her face. Those standing by were struckwith a kind of awe; they were used mostly to thedaughters of habitants and fifty-acre farmers. Hersensitive face spoke a wonderful language: a divinegratitude and thankfulness; and her eyes had aclear moisture which did not dim them. Thesituation was trying to the river-drivers—it was toorefined; and they breathed more freely when theygot outside and left the girl, her grandfather,Pierre, and the young doctor alone with the injuredman.That was how the thing began. Pierre saw theconclusion of events from the start. The youngdoctor did not. From the hour when he bound upBrydon's head, Judith's fingers aiding him, he felt aspring in his blood new to him. When he came toknow exactly what it meant, and acted, it was toolate. He was much surprised that his advanceswere gently repulsed. He pressed them hard: thatwas a mistake. He had an idea, not uncommon insuch cases, that he was conferring an honour. Buthe was very young. A gold medal in anatomy islikely to turn a lad's head at the start. He falls intothe error that the ability to demonstrate themedulla oblongata should likewise suffice toconvince the heart of a maid. Pierre enjoyed the