The Sky Pilot

[from an incomplete print]

1
Canada! A land where
  Nature must glory
  in her handiwork.

2
Far to the North and West --
 half hidden among hills
that sleep in the shadow
of silent eternal peaks --
lies the tiny settlement of
       Swan Creek.

3
The social center of Swan Creek --
 well named "The Stopping Place."
Here gathered those who rode
the wild trail to the cut-bank
       of destruction.

4
Into this little frontier settle-
  ment, primitive, godless --
came a stranger - - - - from
beyond the waving skyline
    of the foothills.

5
The end of the trail.

6
Arthur Wellington Moore,
  of Montreal, had set
forth with high ideals, a
college degree and a
firm determination to carry
the Word of God to men
in the far places.
       -- John Bowers.

7
"Pardon me, gentlemen,
  could a thirsty man
 get a drink here?"

8
"Nobody ever passed 
  through Swan Creek
 with a coat of dust on 
     his tonsils."

9
"I'd much prefer water
 -- if you don't mind."

10
Bill Hendricks -- foreman
    of the Ashley Ranch.

         -- David Butler.

11
"No use tailin' in with
  a bunch of mavericks,
 pardner. Come on over an'
 meet some real white men."

12
"Stranger, my name's Bill
  Hendricks. An' these
 is some of Swan Creek's
 choicest blossoms -- they
 ride herd for Colonel Ashley."

13
"Sufferin' centipedes!
    A Sky Pilot!"

14
"I wonder if you could
  arrange for me to hold
 services here tomorrow?"

15
"Church! We ain't runnin'
  no church -- -- this
     is a saloon!"

16
Sunday morning found
 "The Stopping Place"
filled with a curious
-- and expectant --
   congregation.

17
"Now, you poor, ignorant
  heathens, don't forget
 to remember that this here
 saloon is a church - - an'
 get a pious look on you!"

18
"We will sing Hymn 262."

19
"Get into the game --
  here's your deck!"

20
"Our lesson for today is the
   parable of the loaves
 and fishes -- the story of
 how our Savior blessed
  and fed a multitude."

21
"I expect -- accordin' to you
 -- that Gentleman could
 get everybody here lit up
 on a pint of soothin' syrup."

22
"Yes. He once transformed
  great jars of water into
 wine for a wedding feast."

23
"Will you please sit down
   so we may resume our
        services?"

24
"Would one of you gentle-
  men be kind enough 
 to put this man out?"

25
"Let's run the meddler
  out of town, boys!"

26
"Hard ridin' an' soft religion
  don't mix, Mr. Parson.
 Here's where you start
 walkin' an' keep -- right
     -- on -- goin'!"

27
Alone, crushed, defeated
 -- his hopes and dreams
had ended in one short,
     crowded hour.

28
"Say, Parson, I'd be mighty
  proud if you'd just for-
 get about that foolishness
 of mine an' shake hands."

29
"You sure got a tough
  job, pardner, tryin'
 to inject religion into
 the hides of that gang
 -- without a forty-five!"

30
"There must be some way
  to help them, Bill."

31
"They won't listen to no
  preacher! You got to
 show 'em you're a man
 an' then make 'em listen
         to you!"

32
"I'll show you a way - -
 if you'll come with me!"

33
[missing]

34
Colonel Fred Ashley,
 its proud owner
- -  and his wife,
Lady Charlotte.

     James Corrigan
     Kathleen Kirkham

35
"You said we'd be needin'
  a first-class cowhand
 -- this is him, Boss!"

36
"Can you ride?"

37
"Why, Boss, this bird
  cut his eye-teeth
  on a horseshoe!"

38
"Glad to hear it!
  Come on over
  to the corral."

39
"Does he get the job, Boss?"

40
"Did I get the --
  the position?"

41
"You sure did! Your
 ridin' showed great
 -- while it lasted."

42
Bitterly resentful, cursing
    the God who had
taken his wife years ago,
the "Old Timer" lived apart.

           -- Harry Todd.

43
His daughter, Gwen --
 the one thing he loved.

         Colleen Moore.

44
Playing the game both ways
  from the middle -- a
self-styled "English gentleman"
known as "The Duke."

      -- Donald Macdonald.

45
Hours spent together
 strengthen a growing
     friendship.

46
The aftermath of a wild night
   at the Stopping Place.

47
"Keep away! It's
  full of devils --
 millions of 'em!"

48
"Be quiet -- I'm going
  to smoke them out."

49
A fence-fixing expedition
  initiates the "Pilot" into
the details of his new
      profession.

50
"There's somethin' queer
   about this, Pilot.
 Ride up the canyon an'
     take a look."

51
A natural passage, through
  which the Duke plans
to drive the Ashley cattle
   to his own ranch.

52
"That young Tenderfoot's
  getting pretty warm --
 better throw a little
    scare into him."

53
"So this is the girl
  I've been hearing 
 so much about?"

54
"What's the Sky Pilot
   doing -- here?"

55
"Wait a minute, "Old Timer."
  Just 'cause he's got re-
 ligion -- that ain't no crime."

56
"If you're going to side in
  with that Sky Pilot -- you
 can go too. I never want
 to see you again -- never!"

57
The annual Fall Round-up
  at the Ashley Ranch.

58
"I've spotted a bunch
  of Ashley's cattle
 near the mouth of
 the canyon. I figure
 we'd better pull it off
     right away."

59
"Duke gang make big talk
   in there -- dam'!"

60
"We'll tear down a strip of
   fence and shoot 'em
 through the tunnel while
 they're thinking about it."

61
"Pray for her, my boy,
    pray for her!"

62
In his hour of need.

63
"Oh God -- I've forgotten
   how to pray. But
 please, God, don't let
 her die - - this way.
 She's all I've got . . ."

64
"When a man's religion
  will let him do what
 you done -- an' live --
 there must be somethin'
   to it, that's all."

65
The examination over.

66
"Don't worry, Gwen --
   everything will
 come out all right."

67
"Old Timer, I hate to say it,
   but -- I don't believe
 Gwen will ever walk again."

68
"Never walk again --
  my baby! It's a lie,
 I tell you -- a lie!"

69
"Just a thing -- lying here
  with its body dead --
     waiting to die!"

70
"There must be some way to
  make this easier for her."

71
"You hate God because you
  think He is making you
   suffer -- is that it?"

72
"The Doctor hurts you
  terribly, yet your
 father, who loves you,
 allows him to do it."

73
"My father let him hurt me
   because he thought
 it would make me well."

74
"Don't you see that God
  might love you dearly
 and still you might fall?
 It may have been a means
 of bringing you back to Him."

75
Hours of patient effort
  bring their reward --
healing and comfort to the
heart of the suffering girl.

76
"Tell me more -- it's all
  so beautiful. If my heart
 could just understand!"

77
Christmas Morn!

78
"I promised Gwen we'd
  run up early to see
 what Santa Claus brought."

79
"Your dad's goin' down to
  take a look at that new
 Gospel plant. Goodbye."

80
On the way to share the
  good news with Gwen.

81
"The Duke's gang is aimin'
  to start trouble around
        the church."

82
The hour of services
 -- and no word from
     the "Pilot."

83
"We'll start this meetin'
  by singin' Hymn 262."

84
"Bill says to go an' look
     for th' Pilot."

85
"God Almighty - - I ain't
  much good at this here
 prayin' stuff -- but if it ain't
 too late to help the Pilot
 we sure would appreciate it."

86
"It may be best for him
 to go, but it will sure
 be hard on the rest of us
   that's left behind."

87
"Our lesson will be about
  the bread and the fishes."

88
"Aw, get out! Whadda you know
   about bread an' fishes?"

89
"I'm goin' to preach this
  here sermon, if it's the
 last thing I ever do!"

90
An opportunity
  to get even.

91
"Don't -- don't! Leave me
  be -- I'll tell! It was
 the Duke and his gang --
 they made me do it!"

92
Suddenly realizing
  he was about to
lose the cowboys' gift
-- his treasured Bible.

93
"Why baby -- my baby!
   You're WALKING!
 At last my prayers
 have been answered!"

94
The days that followed
 lengthened into weeks --
and months. Happier days
for the Pilot, filled with
a cheerful effort that
brought understanding.....
and a love that marked
the last milestone of his
        journey.


The 
   End


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