Page:To Alaska for Gold.djvu/175

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The journey to the end of Lake Labarge was quickly made, and they entered the thirty-mile watercourse, at that time unnamed, which connects the lake with the Big Salmon and the Lewes rivers. Randy and Earl were in charge, the men taking it easy over their pipes, for the captain was an inveterate smoker, and Mr. Portney and the doctor indulged occasionally in the weed.

A good many miles had been covered, when Earl, happening to glance at his pocket compass, announced that they were sailing almost due southward. "And that can't be right," he said to Randy. "We ought to be headed for the northwest."

"Well, we're on the river all right," answered Randy. Nevertheless, he spoke to his uncle about it, who at once consulted his pocket map.

"I'll tell you what you've done," he announced presently. "Instead of sticking to the river that flows northward, you have turned into the Teslin, which flows to the south. Swing the Wild Goose around at once."

Much crestfallen over their mistake, the boys did as requested. They had to go back nearly four miles, as they calculated, before they saw the opening which had previously escaped their notice. But once right, they found the wind directly in their favor, and with the sail set to its fullest, they bowled along until the Big Salmon was reached, and they swept into the broad waters of the Lewes River.