06-04-2011 02:51 AM
I am not sure when this book was written precisely, but I'm sure I read it more than five years ago.
Anyway, the setting is Canada. There are two main characters, both young men. One is white and the other is Indian, and the plot centers around their struggles to make a path through the mountains to an area near a lake which they convert to a wilderness resort.
In the course of digging through the mountains, they encounter a wounded lynx that they can't bring themselves to kill, and take it as a sort of a pet. They're unable to complete their work before the winter, and are forced to spend the winter in a cabin they've built, all by themselves. They get snowed-in and experience cabin fever, and have a fight in which they nearly kill one another and set fire to their cabin.
After that, however, they apologize and are very careful to maintain a daily routine and discipline themselves. They use chainsaws and spades to dig through the lake in order to fish, and manage to sustain themselves. When winter ends, they shave and head back to civilization for supplies before continuing their work.
They eventually make a path through the mountains, and bring a number of tourists into the wilderness for the summer. One tourist, however, is an American who brings along a handgun, a shotgun, and a fifty caliber rifle. I vividly remember the main characters talking to him about how it's illegal to bring a handgun over the Canadian border--his response is something like "If you can get a mountie out here before I'm out of the country, I'll take my chances in court". They complain that he could easily hurt someone with his fifty caliber rifle, and he tells them that if they touch his guns, he'll fight them.
In the wilderness resort, things go reasonably well for a while, but the two main characters quickly find that people who can't cross the mountains without a clean-cut path made for them don't deserve to be out there. In the end of the story, the American with the guns sets a fire on an island and sits in a boat to shoot at fleeing animals. He ends up falling into the river, and although the Indian main character has no desire to save him at first, he ends up helping the other main character get him back to shore.
After that, it's time for the tourists and the main characters to leave, as summer is coming to a close. However, on the last day, the main characters hear one more rifle shot, and their lynx comes to them seriously injured from a gunshot wound. She dies in their hands, and they say to one another that the lynx's death was the American's last shot.
Finally, the two main characters use dynamite to close the mountains again, and the story ends.
That's the story, as best as I can remember. I will be extremely grateful to anyone who can help me remember what it was. Thanks in advance.