MoboReader> Literature > The Outdoor Girls in a Winter Camp / Or, Glorious Days on Skates and Ice Boats

   Chapter 23 REVELATIONS

The Outdoor Girls in a Winter Camp / Or, Glorious Days on Skates and Ice Boats By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 8989

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:02


"And to think that we found Paddy Malone!" exclaimed Mollie.

"Yes, but he first found us-only we didn't know it," answered Grace.

They were gliding along on their snowshoes from the lonely cabin where they discovered the injured lumberman. Betty and Amy had volunteered to stay while the other girls went for the nearest doctor. There was one living half-way between the winter camp and the town.

"Papa will be so glad!" Grace went on. "I must telegraph to him right away."

"One of the boys can take in the message," suggested Mollie. "Then we can go back and hear the rest of the story. It sounds, from what Paddy Malone said, as if that Mr. Jallow had been up to some unfair tricks."

"I shouldn't wonder," agreed Grace. "Oh, what a lot of things have happened up here!"

"And more are going to, if I'm any judge. Your father will get his timber land back."

"Oh, how glad I'll be!"

The girls hurried on, hoping they would find the boys in their cabin. There was some doubt of this, but they were reasonably certain of locating Mr. Franklin, who would go for a doctor for the injured man.

The boys had not yet returned, but Mrs. Franklin, who listened with wonder to the story Grace and Mollie pantingly told, informed them where they could locate her husband not far off in the woods.

He was using a light sled to haul firewood, and at once set off for the doctor, whom he brought back with him in due time.

Then, in a larger sled, in which it was planned to bring back Paddy Malone to the boy's cabin, where it would easier to nurse him, Mr. Franklin, Mollie, Grace and the physician set off for the lonely cabin.

They found Paddy much improved under the ministrations of Amy and Betty. The lumberman was quite cheerful. Telling of his determination to aid Mr. Ford seemed to have taken a load off his conscience.

With the aid of Mr. Franklin, the rather badly broken leg was set, the lumberman bearing the pain like a stoic. Then, resting on a soft bed of straw in the bottom of the sled, he was taken to the boys' cabin, the girls also riding in the big sled.

That the boys were much astonished, on their return from a little trip, to find a wounded lumberman in their cabin, is putting it mildly. And when they learned that it was the long missing Paddy Malone, who could give such valuable testimony for Mr. Ford, their astonishment knew no bounds.

"Say, you girls certainly do things!" exclaimed Will admiringly.

"They sure do!" agreed Allen, with a warm glance at Betty, who averted her eyes, and blushed, whereat Grace and Mollie nudged each other, to the further discomfiture of their friend.

"I'm just crazy to hear what he will say, and how he is going to establish daddy's boundary lines," said Grace, when the lumberman had been made comfortable.

"He must not be disturbed until to-morrow," ordered the doctor. "He has a little fever, and I want that to go down."

So the girls and boys had to curb their impatience as best they could. A telegram was sent to Mr. Ford, and he replied that he would be on hand the next day.

The morning visit of the doctor found Mr. Malone-or Paddy, as he insisted his young friends call him-so much better that the physician said:

"You may tell your story now, but don't talk too much."

"Sure, and I'll leave that for the ladies!" exclaimed Paddy with a twinkle in his eyes.

"Now everybody keep quiet and listen," said Grace, when she had related how she and her chums had come to the winter camp, and how Mr. Jallow and his company had encroached on land that Mr. Ford believed was his own.

"And it is his!" exclaimed Paddy. "The boundary lines have been changed. I can see that myself. It's that Jallow's work. Listen and I'll tell you how it happened.

"As your father says, Miss," he went on, turning to Grace, "I was with him when the survey was made, and stone piles put up and the trees blazed to mark the line. That valuable strip was on his side. Then some time passed, and that cunning fox, Jallow, came to me, and he represented that he had been wrongly dealt with. He said Mr. Ford had sold out his interests to strangers who were going to do harm to Jallow and his friends.

"Not knowing any different, I believed him. He said the courts would not give him justice and he was going to take it himself, and I had small blame for him for doing that. I'd do the same. But mind you," Paddy insisted, "I did not know I was doing my friend James Ford any harm.

"J

allow said he would pay me just to disappear for a time, and, foolishly, I consented. I went out of the country, and for a while Jallow sent me, and a friend of mine, money. My friend knew the proper boundaries, too.

"Then the money stopped, and I came on to find out why. Jallow only laughed at me, and said he had no further use for me, as he'd got all he wanted. I didn't know what to do. I stayed around here, keeping in hiding, for I feared maybe I could be arrested for what I did. That was why I didn't give you my name," and he smiled at the girls.

"So I came to this old cabin I used to own, to see what would turn up. Sure and it was myself turned up-slipped up-and broke my leg. That was what turned up.

"But before that I had seen all I wanted to-that was the changed boundary lines. Then I knew Jallow's game. He wanted to throw that valuable timber strip into his own land. I made some inquiries, and found that Mr. Ford still owned the lumber camp, and hadn't sold out, as Jallow told me. Then I knew I had been fooled, but still I didn't know what to do, for I was afraid of arrest, and I never could stand jail, when I knew I hadn't really meant any wrong.

"I saw Jallow again, but he only laughed at me, and give me a little money to get out of the country. But I didn't go then, and I'm not going now. I'm going to see justice done!"

"And I think I can assure you that you will not suffer for it," said Allen Washburn, with a glance at Will and Grace. "Mr. Ford will be here soon, and you can arrange everything with him."

"I hope he'll forgive me," remarked Paddy somewhat mournfully.

"I'm sure he will," declared Grace, warmly.

Paddy Malone went more into details of how he had been induced to disappear so that the proper boundaries might be shifted to make it appear that the valuable land was on Mr. Jallow's side, instead of belonging to Mr. Ford. Then Dr. Burke insisted that his patient have rest, so the boys and girls went outside to talk it over.

"Oh, I do wish papa would come!" sighed Grace.

In due time Mr. Ford arrived at the camp, a very much surprised but pleased lawyer indeed. He had a consultation with Paddy, who confirmed all he had said and furnished the address of a companion who was present when the proper survey was made.

Mr. Ford then made his plans, but, as he needed the help of Paddy in carrying them out, it was decided to postpone action until the lumberman could get around-on crutches, at least.

Mr. Ford stayed a day or so in camp with his daughter and her friends, going about to look at the various boundaries, and arranging certain details with Ted Franklin. He was entertained by the young people, and seemed to enjoy himself.

He did not go near the strip in dispute, however, preferring to wait until he was ready with his plans. Paddy was slowly getting better, and Mr. Ford went back to Deepdale, to look after matters there, arranging to come back as soon as Paddy could limp around.

Meanwhile the young people made the most of their life in the great wintry woods, for they were to return home for the Christmas holidays, as school would open the first of the new year.

There were sleigh-rides, coasting, skating occasionally, and some more ice boating, though, because of considerable snow, the latter sport was rather curtailed.

Occasionally Mr. Blackford came out for a day or so, but he had no good news regarding his missing sister. He had followed several clues unsuccessfully.

"But somehow, in spite of all my disappointments, I feel that I will be successful before long," he affirmed.

"We hope so," replied Amy, gently, and the others echoed her words.

Then came a day when Paddy could limp about. He was a happy man, and, in answer to a telegram sent him with this news, Mr. Ford returned word that he would come up and assist at the "last act in the lumber play," as Will called it.

Accompanied by a court officer, and with Allen Washburn as consulting attorney, Grace's father reached the camp one evening.

"Do you think you can stand it to face Jallow to-morrow, Paddy?" he asked.

"I'm sure I can. I'm thinkin' he won't face me, though."

"Maybe not. We'll see. Well, we'll go over and take possession of the disputed strip in the morning."

The court officer and Allen nodded.

"May we come along, Daddy, and see the fun?" asked Grace.

"Well," replied her father, "I don't know as there will be much fun, but-yes, you may be there."

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