Call of the North
The girl stood on a bank above a river flowing north. At her back crouched a dozen clean whitewashed buildings. Before her ininterminable journey, day after day, league on league into remoteness, stretched the stern Northern wilderness, untrodden save by the trappers, the Indians, and the beasts. Close about the little settlement crept the balsams and spruce, the birch and poplar, behind which lurked vast dreary muskegs, a chaos of bowlder-splits, the forest. The girl had known nothing different for many years.
Once a summer the sailing ship from England felt its frozen way through the Hudson Straits, down the Hudson Bay, to drop anchor in the mighty River of the Moose. Once a summer a six-fathom canoe manned by a dozen paddles struggled down the waters of the broken Abitibi. Once a year a little band of red-sashed _voyageurs_ forced their exhausted sledge-dogs across the ice from some unseen wilderness trail. That was all.
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