Page:To Alaska for Gold.djvu/20

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eye-teeth cut one of these days. Hullo, here comes Caleb Norcross now!"

Earl was looking up the winding road through the woods, and, gazing in the direction. Randy saw a tall, lean individual, astride a bony horse, riding swiftly toward the cabin.

"Well, boys, what's the best word?" was the sharp greeting given by Caleb Norcross, as he came to a halt at the cabin door.

"I don't know as there is any best word, Mr. Norcross," replied Earl, quietly.

"I was over to Bill Stiger's place and thought if I could see you to-niglit about the rent money, it would save you a three miles' trip to-morrow."

"You know we can't pay you just at present, Mr. Norcross," went on Earl. "The suspension of the lumber company has left us in the lurch."

The face of the tall, lean man darkened. "How much did they stick you for?" he asked abruptly.

"Two hundred dollars."

"Two hundred dollars! You were fools to trust 'em that much. I wouldn't have trusted 'em a cent—not a penny."

"They were well recommended," put in Randy. "Even Squire Dobson trusted them."

"That don't make no difference. I don't trust folks unless I know what I'm doing. Although I did trust you boys," added Caleb Norcross, hastily. "Your father was always a straight man."