The Bungalow Boys North of Fifty-Three The Bungalow Boys North of Fifty-Three

The Bungalow Boys North of Fifty-Three

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Publisher Description

The air in the valley was still as death. Not a wandering puff of wind swept the white, snow-covered slopes that shot up steeply from either side of its wide, flat floor; nor had any stirred for several days. The land was chained and fettered in icy bonds, and would be for many long weeks.

The river—the Porcupine—that, when the Bungalow Boys had first come to this valley in the Frying Pan Range, had dashed and sometimes raged along its shoaly course, was ice-fast. Occasionally from an overburdened birch or hemlock branch the accumulated snow would fall with a dull crash.

These miniature avalanches alone broke the white silence. In the dead stillness they sounded quite loud and startling when they occurred. There was no twittering of birds nor were there traces of any larger animals than field mice and small rodents. In the snow, as if it had been a white drawing-board, these tiny animals had etched their tracks everywhere as they drove their tunnels or skittered over the surface.

But from round a bend in the river’s course a column of blue smoke could be seen sagging and wavering almost straight up in the windless air toward the leaden sky.

The smoke came from an odd-looking craft tied up to the bank of the river. The boat in question was a small steamer with a single black smokestack. At her stern was a big cylindrical paddle-wheel to drive her over the shallows and shoals. For the rest she was homely in the extreme. In fact, she might not inaptly have been compared to a big floating dry goods box pierced with windows, and with a pilot house, like a smaller box, say a pill box, perched on top.

The Yukon Rover, which was the name she bore painted on her sides in big black letters, was of a type common enough along the navigable waters of Alaska, although she was smaller than most such steamers. Red curtains hung in the windows of this queer-looking specimen of the shipbuilder’s art, and the smoke, already mentioned, curled from a fat stovepipe, suggesting warmth and comfort within.

At the bow, lashed fast to a small flagstaff, was a strange-looking figure. This was Sandy MacTavish’s Mascot of the White North, the famous totem pole that the Scotch youth had purchased as a good-luck bringer when the lads, as described in the “Bungalow Boys Along the Yukon,” were on their way northward from Seattle.

A door in the forward part of the box-like superstructure suddenly opened, and out into the frozen, keen air there burst three laughing, jolly lads. All were bundled up and carried skates. However depressing the Alaskan winter might have been to many of our readers, it was plain that these healthy, happy lads were enjoying themselves to the full. They slipped and slid across the frozen decks, and then made their way down a steeply inclined sort of gangway leading to the frozen surface of the river.

Their passage down this runway was not without incident. Sandy MacTavish was behind his two chums, Tom and Jack Dacre. All were laughing and talking at a great rate, their spirits bubbling over under the stimulus of the keen air and the thought of the fun they were going to have, when a sudden yell from Sandy came as the forerunner to calamity.

“Whoop! Ow-wow! Hoot, mon!” shrilly cried the Scotch youth, as he felt his feet slide from under him on the slippery, inclined plane leading to the ice.

“What in the world——!” began Jack Dacre, the younger of the Dacre brothers, when he felt himself cannonaded from behind by the yelling Sandy.

His exclamation was echoed an instant later by Tom Dacre, who was in advance. He had half turned at the almost simultaneous outcries of his brother and Sandy.

“Gracious!” he had just time to exclaim, when it was his turn to give a shout.

As Jack had been bumped into by Sandy, so he in turn shot helplessly against his brother.

In a flash all three Bungalow Boys were shooting down the slippery gangway. They fetched up in a snow pile at the bottom, a fact which saved them a hard bump on the frozen surface of the river.

“Whoopee! Talk about shooting the chutes!” puffed Tom, scrambling to his feet and shaking the powdery snow from his garments.

“Beats the time Sandy went sky-hooting down that old glacier on the Yukon!” chimed in Jack, half angrily. “What’s the matter with you, anyhow, you red-headed son of Scotland?”

“I’m thinking I’m loocky to be alive,” muttered Sandy, feeling himself all over as if to ascertain if he had sustained any mortal injuries.

“I guess we’re the lucky ones,” laughed Tom.

“Yes, we formed a human cushion for your freckled countenance to land on,” pursued Jack, as Sandy rubbed his nose affectionately. The organ in question was of the snub variety and decorated with freckles like spots on the sun.

GENRE
Fiction & Literature
RELEASED
2022
March 28
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
178
Pages
PUBLISHER
Library of Alexandria
SELLER
The Library of Alexandria
SIZE
784.1
KB

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