Page:To Alaska for Gold.djvu/21

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5
A LETTER FROM THE WEST.

"And we are straight, too," burst out Randy, stung by the insinuation. "You shall have your money, if only you will give us a little time."

"How are you going to get it?"

"We'll earn it," said Earl. "I am sure we can get out enough timber by fall to square accounts."

"That won't do for me—not at all. If you can't pay up to-morrow, you can consider your claim on the land at an end."

"You won't give us any time?"

"No. I can sell this whole section to Dan Roland, and I'm going to do it."

"You are very hard-hearted, Mr. Norcross," began Randy, when a look from his elder brother silenced him.

"I ain't hard-hearted—I'm only looking after my own," growled Caleb Norcross. "If I let things run, I'd do as the lumber company did—bust up. So you can't pay, nohow?"

"No, we can't pay," answered Earl. "Then I'll expect you to quit by to-morrow noon."

Without waiting for another word, Caleb Norcross turned around his bony steed and urged him forward. In less than a minute he had disappeared in the direction whence he had come. With sinking hearts the boys watched him out of sight.

The blow they had dreaded had fallen, and for several seconds neither spoke. Then Randy, who