Title Thumbnail

The Luck of the Kid

100 pages
Library of Alexandria
The sub-Arctic summer was at its height. The swelter of heat was of almost tropical intensity. No wisp of cloud marred the perfect purity of the steely blue sky, and no breath of wind relieved the intemperate scorch of the blazing sun. The two men on the river bank gave no heed to the oppressive heat. For the moment they seemed concerned with nothing but their ease, and the swarming flies, and the voracious attacks of the mosquitoes from which the smoke of their camp fire did its best to protect them. Down below them, a few yards away, their walrus-hide kyak lay moored to the bank of the river, whose sluggish, oily-moving waters flowed gently northward towards the far-off fields of eternal ice. It was noon, and a rough midday meal had been prepared and disposed of. Now they were smoking away a leisurely hour before resuming their journey. The younger of the two flung away the end of a cigarette with a movement that was almost violent in its impatience. He turned a pair of narrow black eyes upon his companion, and their sparkle of resentment shone fiercely in sharp contrast against the dusky skin of their setting. “It’s no use blinding ourselves, sir,” he said, speaking rapidly in the tongue of the whiteman, with only the faintest suspicion of native halting. “It’s here. But we’ve missed it. And another’s found it.” He was a youthful creature something short of the completion of his second decade. But that which he lacked in years he made up for in the alertness of purpose that looked out of his keen eyes. He was dark-skinned, its hue something between yellow and olive. He had prominent, broad cheek bones like those of all the natives of Canada’s extreme north. Yet his face differed from the general low type of the Eskimo. There was refinement in every detail of it. There was something that suggested a race quite foreign, but curiously akin.