Page:To Alaska for Gold.djvu/97

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enough, everything was there in a heap, alongside of the packs owned by the doctor. They thanked the medical man for his kindness, and a short talk followed. The doctor's name was Kenneth Barwaithe, and he was an Englishman who had practised for a year in Victoria. He, too, was bound for the new gold fields, either for mining purposes, or to set himself up in business.

"The hundreds of miners going up there will need doctoring," he explained. "And I am all prepared to dose them with medicine, set a broken leg, amputate an arm, or pull an aching tooth."

"Thar'll be work for you," said Captain Zoss, with a laugh. "But the wust disease up thar will be one ye can't touch nohow."

"Indeed! And what is that?" questioned Kenneth Barwaithe, with interest.

"Starvation," was the solemn reply.

In order to relieve their uncle of further anxiety, Randy and Earl returned to where they had left Mr. Portney. They found him in earnest conversation with Fred Dobson. The face of the squire's son was very red and his eyes were downcast.

"I'll write home at once," they heard Fred say, in a low voice. "I'm glad Earl wrote from San Francisco. My folks will at least know I am alive and well—that is, as well as a fellow can be who was half starved to death," he added ruefully.