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Handsome Furs - Face Control (2009)

A minute or two afterwards he heard steps in the snow. The steps wereheavy, as if the men were tired. Somebody knocked and Jim opened thedoor. Two men came in and throwing down their packs shook the snowfrom their ragged furs. Their boots were broken, their leggins badlyworn, and their faces were pinched with cold.

Handsome Furs - Face Control (2009)

When Jim left the shack the cold pierced his furs like a knife. For afew moments he heard nothing but the roar of the gale and could hardlyget his breath. His eyes ran water and the snow beat his smartingface. Then he braced himself, for he had gone out to mend the line onother bitter nights and could not lose his way. Where the telegraphruns through the forests of the North a narrow track is cut forpackhorse transport to the linesmen's posts, and one could not pushbetween the trunks that lined the gap without finding thickets andtangles of fallen logs. The track, however, was not graded like aroad. Outcropping rocks broke its surface, short brush had grown up,and although the snow had covered some of the obstacles its top wassoft.

"You didn't see mother much. She was busy; she's always busy, and youdon't know her yet. She's quiet, you don't feel her using control, butone does what she wants, and I can't remember when that was wrong.Well, I suppose she felt, on the surface, I oughtn't to go. It was theproper, conventional view, but when it's needful mother can go deep. Ithink she was willing to give me a chance of finding out, and trying,my powers; she knew I wouldn't be so restless afterwards, if I washappier or not." Carrie paused and there was a touch of color in herface as she resumed: "Besides, she knew she could trust Jake and Ithink she trusts you."

They told Mrs. Winter at lunch, and Jim saw that she hesitated andlooked at Carrie. The girl's face was, however, inscrutable, and shegave no sign. Jim felt puzzled. He thought Mrs. Winter liked Langriggand she had developed since she came. She was not so thin, she hadlost her careworn look and gained a certain ease of manner. At thestore, she had been highly-strung and restless; now she was happilycalm. Moreover, she was making her influence felt and quietly takingcontrol. Jim had noted that things were done better and cost him less.He wanted her to stay, because he thought she needed a rest and hewould miss her if she went.

Mordaunt's face got hard as he thought about this, and he was rathersurprised by the anger that fired his blood. He had cultivated aphilosophic selfishness, but it no longer supported him. He hated Jim,and felt troubled about Evelyn. Luck was with the headstrong fool; hehad swept her off her feet, but she would recover her balance and thenshe would pay. Mordaunt clenched his fist and raged with helplesssavageness. It was long since he had indulged his passions, and nowhis control had gone the reaction was sharp.

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