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Duck Lake
Chapter VI. No Tell

'MR. GREEN, you no tell on Chubb?’ ‘Why, Jonas, where is Chubb?’ When he had not found Chubb in his miserable home—a place that roused his deepest sympathy with the rising inmates—the teacher took a new path through the woods, so as to reach his boarding-house ere dark. After he had tramped for a couple of hours, he had to pass near the spruce bush ; and here, before a rude poplar and birch-pole hut, six or seven miles from the Mores’ home, he was stopped by Jonas.

‘You no tell on Chubb?’ repeated Jonas. ‘He in there. Want you.’

The teacher hurried into the hut, and there, on a bed of balsam boughs, he saw Chubb.

‘The poor boy,’ said the teacher, laying his hand on the boy’s brow, ‘he is in a raging fever. What is the matter?’

Jonas told him that he had been hurt by a bear. The teacher then carefully examined the wounds, and while he noted that they were healing badly, he saw no reason why they should prove fatal. He made Jonas bring him some water from the lake, and he bathed the wounds. Then, tearing his own white shirt into strips, for he was miles from any home and linen, he bound up the wounded boy.

With a sigh of relief and thankfulness, Chubb opened his eyes and looked up. But when he recognized the teacher, that sigh was quickly chased away by thoughts of fear and anxiety.

‘Teacher,’ he stammered, ‘I’ve not been a good boy.’

‘Never mind, Chubb,’ said the teacher, soothingly. ‘Just you keep quiet and get well, and then we’ll talk about it.’

‘I took your book without asking. I was going to take it back when I got the bear stuffed. It is over there.’ He tried to point, but in raising his arm the pain was so great that it made him groan.

'There, there now, my boy. You must lie still.’

Looking quickly around the place, the teacher saw the bearskin shaped up and partly stuffed. Beside it, lying open on a block of wood, he saw his precious book on taxidermy.

‘I see you have been working and studying hard.’

‘Teacher,' said Chubb, anxiously—he was pleased with the teacher’s kind words, but his mind was troubled about something else that would not let him rest—‘teacher,’ he repeated, ‘don’t tell the boys that a bear licked me—nor the folks—will you.' He turned his head and looked imploringly at the teacher.

‘But you killed the bear. You have him partly stuffed.’

‘That isn’t the bear that did it.' he said, and looked to Jonas to explain.

‘Found big dead she-bear by our trap. Cub lying over it—crying,’ said Jonas. ‘Jonas caught cub. Fixed big bear. Big hole in bear’s side. No gun, no knife made it. Jonas dunno more.’

Chubb turned excitedly.

‘Our red cow knocked the bear off me. She hooked it.’

‘Yes, for sure,' said Jonas, ‘make big hole in ribs.'

Then Chubb’s fever came back with a rage, and in his ravings he muttered—

‘The cow and the bear shall feed, and their young ones shall lie down together.’

‘Whatever is up?’ said the teacher to Jonas. ‘The lad is quoting Scripture.’

‘Dunno, for sure,’ said Jonas. ‘Better see Mr. Hewitt about it.’

‘Good man to see, any way, and he is not more than four miles away.’

‘For sure. Jonas go find him.’

And the Indian started off on the trot towards the Parsonage.

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