BY CARROLL WATSON RANKIN
AN enthusiastic hunter, having lost his way, wandered Helplessly about in an apparently endless cedar swamp until dark, when a distant light attracted him to a log cabin near a new mining location. The cabin's sole occupant proved to be a stolid but hospitable Swede, who obligingly consented to share his supper and his bed with the tired and hungry stranger.
After a hearty meal the men sat quietly smoking their pipes beside the fire. Suddenly they were startled by the sound of stealthy footsteps, followed by sharp, scratching noises, which seemed to proceed from the lean-to shed at the rear of the cabin.
Cautiously opening the door, the Swede held his candle aloft; and the hunter, who had hastily seized his gun and loaded for bear, peered eagerly over his shoulder. The flickering beams disclosed a fat porcupine, sharply outlined against a background of square pine boxes, in the act of helping himself to the Swede's potatoes.
"Guess I'll shoot him," whispered the hunter, swinging his rifle to his shoulder. "But say, Ole, is there anything in that stack of boxes that a cartridge would be likely to damage?"
"No," replied Ole, imperturbably, as he steadied his candle to aid the hunter's aim. "There's yoost notting at all in dem boxes but dynamite."