« PreviousContinue »
who was in the advance, made a charge on the little band, when, as if by some magic, there was a sound of whizzing arrows which pierced the monster's heart. With a thud he fell at their feet, fallen monarch of all the range, but it had been too late to save the life of the Queen of all the valley.
Darkness was almost on them; they partook of some jerked venison meat which they carried, as it had been many hours since they had eaten, and for the night each took turn to guard the cavern, while the others lay down to rest on an adjoining cliff which was sheltered with huge trees.
In the early morning they looked for
zig-zagging across the face of each precipitous wall, and following a narrow trail until at last the valley was reached.
Far beyond in a thicket of willows was the camp from whence the smoke arose, and to this spot they bent their steps. They solemnly wormed their way across the valley through wild mustard o'er their head, and as they neared the camp, the Indian dogs set up an alarm.
Suddenly there came from the willows a wail of sorrow for the dead, and, as they advanced, the natives came out to meet them, and when all were sure that these strange people were friends, and showed by signs they were doing a kindness, the multitude, both old and young,
signs of life, to discover from whence had come the women. Looking to the east, where the sun was sending forth a million golden rays from o'er the mountain top, a curl of smoke as from many fires ascended slowly and gathered in mid air into a thin, almost transparent cloud, indicating a pueblo or Indian village.
They gathered up the inanimate forms of both women, and placed each on a bier of redwood bows tightly bound together with wild grape-vine. Slowly the four men made their way down the mountain slopes,
fell on the ground and offered up to the Great Spirit heart-rending lamentations for their dead.
The relatives of the Queen, missing her for the night, made inquiry, and found the faithful dog had returned to camp badly lacerated. Their fears, they found, that some serious accident had befallen the women were well founded, when the men came in sight. On the following day the tribe held the usual ceremonial for the dead, and buried both with solemn rites. They brought shell fish of all kinds,
looked so fair. Beauty fades, but good deeds live forever, and to thee, oh, spirit of light, I offer now this day and hour, my life, that all creatures of the earth may drink of the fountain of life and live."
He stretched his magnificent form to its fullest height and looked long and earnestly into what seemed the future, for this man was inspired with thoughts of more than earthly things.
There was a mighty rumbling, and the earth trembled, the trees swayed their tops from side to side, the rocks and boulders loosened from their base and were flung headlong into the canyons below; weirdly wild was the scene, and it seemed the mountains would move into
the valley. Terror entered his heart, for he was of the flesh, weak; then, as if by sudden impulse, he raised his arms above his head; his figure seemed transfixed to stone. With a plunge into the fearful abyss below, Fleet Horse, like an arrow, shot downward, even as the eagle darts from the dizzy heights to grasp its prey. The figure cleft the earth below and disappeared from view.
From out the cleft within the earth there came a rush of waters, pure and cold, sparkling and effervescent, and forever after were known as life-giving waters, and thousands of people to this day go and drink of this fountain of life, which is free for the taking.
BY J. C. B. HEBBARD
The time for prophecy
"Mid charm and spell
The open door
Doth bid them entrance
To share our cheer
and guide us.
The Future smiles;
We quaff a glass together,
And all our souls
A SUMMER COURSE IN
BY ELEANOR R. INGRAHAM
COULD HAVE sworn it was one of those sorority girls, when Harry looked SO pleased and said he would rather spend the summer here than not. But mother says she made him tell her the truth, and it's really his new chum that's coming. So I shan't have to give up my room after all, and to be perfectly honest, I'm feeling a good deal more resigned to the sordid idea of entertaining a paying guest than I was last week, even though it does mean a dreadful lot of cooking and sewing to make a respectable appearance."
It was thus frankly that Martha Richmond outlined the situation to Dr. Katrina Marwedel, who had pushed aside the trailing honeysuckle from the rustic seat, to make room for her own portly person, and now sat down to discuss with her busy neighbors the possibilities other than financial connected with the advent of a summer boarder in this pristine territory.
"But you forget, my dear," she announced benignly, "that your cousin Harry says this chum of his is a genius quite your ideal, I should imagine. Why all this agitation over the table linen and the menu? Has not genius a mind above such trifles?"
In response to this gentle thrust Martha looked up quickly with a deprecatory smile.
"Yes. But I-I hardly knew how else to prepare. It seems surprising that a college friend of Harry's should be willing to come away up the McCloud River to such a humble corner of California as this, when so many fashionable retreats lie only a few miles beyond the Siskiyou line, unless he has been promised some tempting modifications of the simple life. What faith can I place in Harry's selection of an ideal? Does he mean just a jolly
'good fellow,' with winning ways, like himself, or a man who carries off the class honors, attains distinction in his summer work, and is certain of achieving
"My dear child," interrupted Mrs. Richmond, from the shade of the arbor, where she was engaged in stemming berries, "an ideal man would be one who ate neither so much as to make him lazy nor so little as to make him cross, who always remembered his manners, paid his bills promptly and knew when he was not wanted loitering about the house. Do not hope for more."
"Oh, mother!" expostulated the aspiring Martha. "When father was a brilliant Harvard man and you were from one of the first families of Philadelphia !"
"I wish to fortify you, my daughter," was the philosophical rejoinder, "against a very different world from the one I knew."
There followed a lively discussion, in which the manifold failings of the sterner sex were freely enumerated, and a formidable composite evolved for the contemplation of sorrowing young womankind. When it was time to prepare their modest supper, Martha was still standing out for the alluring exception in the category of masculine possibilities, and appeared to have the doctor's backing. Mrs. Richmond went indoors with an air of calm conviction and the dish of berries. The girl folded her needle-work with a sigh, and then, stepping across to the rustic seat, gave Dr. Katrina an enthusiastic hug as they parted.
The sunset light was receding from the valleys around the little mountain ranch, but the hill-tops still showed in warm greens and yellows above the purple shadows, and away to the north the lofty peak of Shasta glowed in shifting opalescent tints. The river, which ran through the ravine below the eastern slope of the apple orchard, was hidden by overhanging wil
lows, and mingled with its murmur there came to her the sleepy notes of birds. On the west side of the well-kept garden of flowers and vegetables wound the dusty road, past small, irregular patches of level meadow alternating with steep bluffs and rugged clumps of pine woods, to the neighboring village, which boasted of stage connections with the railroad, ten miles farther south.
In the stillness of the clear mountain air, Martha fancied she could hear the stage now, coming across the bridge into town. With a thrill of expectancy, she thought of its journey on the morrow, when it would not stop there, but would bring a stranger to her mother's gate.
Turning back to the house, she stooped to pick up a crumpled wad of paper at the foot of the neatly-brushed steps. It was an Emeryville racing chart, with some of Harry's scrawling computations in the margin, and she glanced quickly up at the dormer window above, but it was demurely screened and curtained. From the porch she watched the doctor's plump figure retreating slowly down the long gravel path toward the hedge, when suddenly Harry himself came upon the scene from the direction of the hammock, and instead of approaching the house, joined their visitor and disappeared through the gate.
"Disloyal wretch! He must have decided to invite himself over to her sister's to dinner. He likes fat people that never scold him and have rich relatives. wonder," she added to herself, with a little flush, "if he could have heard anything else that was said. I can't help wishing that his chum will be a very different sort of man from himself."
The recalcitrant Harry had come hither for his summer outing, as he did every year, this arrangement being one of the paternal stipulations until he should have completed his academic course and earned the privilege of a year abroad. Martha's mother was the old gentleman's favorite sister, and since his wife's death ten years before and his own drifting into a migratory commercial life, he had counted very much upon her influence to guide the boy. The object of this solicitude, though not unappreciative of the homely comforts always awaiting him in his aunt's immaculately kept cottage and of Martha's sister
ly affection, nevertheless congratulated himself upon the master-stroke by which, for this summer, he was to gain the solace of masculine companionship and compel the addition of a few luxuries to the table, while outwardly manifesting the most disinterested concern regarding the family income and his cousin's social isolation.
The next evening, to his infinite delight, a sumptuous meal was set forth in the living room, for it was understood that a wealthy cosmopolite would not have dined at mid-day, after the manner of country-folk, nor, in all probability, would he find it possible to swallow even the most tempting of viands should they be proffered within the precincts of the plebeian kitchen. The stage had rattled leaving two stalwart figures to struggle with a trunk at the gate. Martha cautiously tipped the slats of the green window shutter to get a peep at them, while her mother went to the front door to greet the new comer.
"He must be either a dude or a bookworm to travel with a trunk like that," she said to herself. she said to herself. "It's bigger than
mine. I hope he is really fond of study. How well worth while it would seem to meet a man above the vulgarisms of eating, horse racing and nonsensical flirting."
The commotion in the room overhead warned her that Harry, at least, was in haste to gratify the inner man, and was probably not allowing their guest overmuch time for his toilet. She brought the Mayonnaise dressing from the cool cellar cupboard, and, placing it beside the dish of fresh tomatoes and lettuce, culled from their own garden, took a satisfied survey of the table. Her mother's longcherished silver tea service shone behind the quaint china cups that Harry's father had brought them from Dresden; her own daintiest needle-work was in evidence in the doylies and tray-cloth, and a jar filled with glowing roses and trailing ferns added to the picturesque effect. She had just time to bring in the savory roast and steaming vegetables, when Harry opened the hall door.
The stranger whom he ushered in was very tall and somewhat ungainly in carriage, but of distinguished appearance. The deep frown on his brow gave him an