- Author: Gene Stratton-Porter
Book online «Freckles Gene Stratton-Porter (fiction books to read .TXT) 📖». Author Gene Stratton-Porter
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Freckles, by Gene Stratton-Porter
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Author: Gene Stratton-Porter
Release Date: March 8, 2006 [EBook #111]
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK FRECKLES ***
Produced by An Anonymous Volunteer and David Widger
By Gene Stratton-Porter
To all good Irishmen in general
and one CHARLES DARWIN PORTER
FRECKLES, a plucky waif who guards the Limberlost timber leases and
dreams of Angels.
THE SWAMP ANGEL, in whom Freckles' sweetest dream materializes.
MCLEAN, a member of a Grand Rapids lumber company, who befriends
MRS. DUNCAN, who gives mother-love and a home to Freckles.
DUNCAN, head teamster of McLean's timber gang.
THE BIRD WOMAN, who is collecting camera studies of birds for a book.
LORD AND LADY O'MORE, who come from Ireland in quest of a lost relative.
THE MAN OF AFFAIRS, brusque of manner, but big of heart.
WESSNER, a Dutch timber-thief who wants rascality made easy.
BLACK JACK, a villain to whom thought of repentance comes too late.
SEARS, camp cook.
CHAPTER XXWherein Great Risks Are Taken and the Limberlost Guard Is Hired
Wherein Freckles Proves His Mettle and Finds Friends
Wherein a Feather Falls and a Soul Is Born
Wherein Freckles Faces Trouble Bravely and Opens the Way for New Experiences
Wherein an Angel Materializes and a Man Worships
Wherein a Fight Occurs and Women Shoot Straight
Wherein Freckles Wins Honor and Finds a Footprint on the Trail
Wherein Freckles Meets a Man of Affairs and Loses Nothing by the Encounter
Wherein the Limberlost Falls upon Mrs. Duncan and Freckles Comes to the Rescue
Wherein Freckles Strives Mightily and the Swamp Angel Rewards Him
Wherein the Butterflies Go on a Spree and Freckles Informs the Bird Woman
Wherein Black Jack Captures Freckles and the Angel Captures Jack
Wherein the Angel Releases Freckles, and the Curse of Black Jack Falls upon Her
Wherein Freckles Nurses a Heartache and Black Jack Drops Out
Wherein Freckles and the Angel Try Taking a Picture, and Little Chicken Furnishes the Subject
Wherein the Angel Locates a Rare Tree and Dines with the Gang
Wherein Freckles Offers His Life for His Love and Gets a Broken Body
Wherein Freckles Refuses Love Without Knowledge of Honorable Birth, and the Angel Goes in Quest of it
Wherein Freckles Finds His Birthright and the Angel Loses Her Heart
Wherein Freckles Returns to the Limberlost, and Lord O'More Sails for Ireland Without Him
Wherein Great Risks Are Taken and the Limberlost Guard Is Hired
Freckles came down the corduroy that crosses the lower end of the Limberlost. At a glance he might have been mistaken for a tramp, but he was truly seeking work. He was intensely eager to belong somewhere and to be attached to almost any enterprise that would furnish him food and clothing.
Long before he came in sight of the camp of the Grand Rapids Lumber Company, he could hear the cheery voices of the men, the neighing of the horses, and could scent the tempting odors of cooking food. A feeling of homeless friendlessness swept over him in a sickening wave. Without stopping to think, he turned into the newly made road and followed it to the camp, where the gang was making ready for supper and bed.
The scene was intensely attractive. The thickness of the swamp made a dark, massive background below, while above towered gigantic trees. The men were calling jovially back and forth as they unharnessed tired horses that fell into attitudes of rest and crunched, in deep content, the grain given them. Duncan, the brawny Scotch head-teamster, lovingly wiped the flanks of his big bays with handfuls of pawpaw leaves, as he softly whistled, "O wha will be my dearie, O!" and a cricket beneath the leaves at his feet accompanied him. The green wood fire hissed and crackled merrily. Wreathing tongues of flame wrapped around the big black kettles, and when the cook lifted the lids to plunge in his testing-fork, gusts of savory odors escaped.
Freckles approached him.
"I want to speak with the Boss," he said.
The cook glanced at him and answered carelessly: "He can't use you."
The color flooded Freckles' face, but he said simply: "If you will be having the goodness to point him out, we will give him a chance to do his own talking."
With a shrug of astonishment, the cook led the way to a rough board table where a broad, square-shouldered man was bending over some account-books.
"Mr. McLean, here's another man wanting to be taken on the gang, I suppose," he said.
"All right," came the cheery answer. "I never needed a good man more than I do just now."
The manager turned a page and carefully began a new line.
"No use of your bothering with this fellow," volunteered the cook. "He hasn't but one hand."
The flush on Freckles' face burned deeper. His lips thinned to a mere line. He lifted his shoulders, took a step forward, and thrust out his right arm, from which the sleeve dangled empty at the wrist.
"That will do, Sears," came the voice of the Boss sharply. "I will interview my man when I finish this report."
He turned to his work, while the cook hurried to the fires. Freckles stood one instant as he had braced himself to meet