xt7fn29p3396 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7fn29p3396/data/mets.xml Towne, Charles Hanson, 1877-1949. 1921  books b92-259-31824852 English G.P. Putnam's Sons, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Browne, Porter Emerson, 1879-1934. Bad man  : a novel / by Charles Hanson Towne ; based on the play by Porter Emerson Browne. text Bad man  : a novel / by Charles Hanson Towne ; based on the play by Porter Emerson Browne. 1921 2002 true xt7fn29p3396 section xt7fn29p3396 



T h e B a d M a in

             A Novel

     Charles Hanson Towne

  Based on the Play by
Porter Emerson Browne

G. P. Putnam's Sons
New York and London
Cbe   tiicIherbocher Prcsi


        COPYRIGHT, 1921


Printed in the United States of America



 This page in the original text is blank.


CHAPTER                                      PAGE
   I.-Wherein it is shown that a young Amer-
         ican had the courage to come into
         a new country; how fate played
         against him, and a neighbor looked
         longingly at his ranch .    .     .   3
  II.-Wherein, far away, another man hears
         whispers of the wealth along the bor-
         der, and comes down to see about it  I I
 III.-Wherein Uncle Henry speaks his mind
         -as usual         .    .    .    .   32
  IV.-Wherein "Red" reveals his heart, and
         Mrs. Quinn gives him good coffee and
         good advice    .    .     .      .   52
   V.-Wherein Gilbert Jones is worried, and
         Lucia Pell is asked to do an impos-
         sible thing       .    .    .    .
  VI.-Wherein an old love awakens, Pell re-
         veals his true colors, a mortgage is
         about to be foreclosed, the contents
         of a satchel are made known, Uncle
         Henry springs a sensation, and Pell
         takes an option   .    .    .    .   78


vi               CONTENTS

CHAPTER                                     PAGE
VII.-Wherein Lucia sees treachery brewing,
         Pell proves himself a brute, and an
         unexpected guest appears        . 129
VIII.-Wherein the bandit expounds a new
         philosophy, and makes marionettes
         of the Americans                   141
  IX.-Wherein Uncle Henry chatters some
         more, there is an auction, and things
         look black indeed                  i6o,
  X.-Wherein an old friendship comes to life,
         Lopez learns a thing or two, and
         finally makes a match           . 176
  XI.-Wherein a man proves himself a craven,
         a shot rings out, and the bad man
         explains one little hour .      . 206
XII.-Wherein the bad man cannot understand
         the good man, and disappears; and a
         dead man stirs                     2i6
XIII.-Wherein an old situation seems about
         to be repeated, another shot is fired,
         and the bad man comes back .    . 242
XIV.-Wherein an old friend returns, and there
         is a joyful reunion                267




 This page in the original text is blank.



               CHAPTER I


   LOOKING back now, after so many months of
struggle and foreboding, he wondered how he had
ever had the high courage to come to this strange
country. Had he been a few years older he would
not have started forth-he was sure of that now.
But the flame of youth was in him, the sure sense
that he could conquer where others had miserably
failed; and, like all virile young Americans, he had
love of adventure, and zest for the unknown was in
his blood. The glamour of Arizona lured him; the
color of these great hills and mountains he had


come to love captivated him from the first. It
was as if a siren beckoned, and he had to follow.
  For days he had been worried almost to the
breaking point. Things had not shaped them-
selves as he had planned. Event piled upon event,
and now disaster-definite disaster-threatened to
descend upon him.
  All morning, despite the intense heat, he had
been about the ranch, appraising this and that,
mentally; pottering in the shed; looking at his
horses-the few that were left !-smiling at the
thought of his wheezing Ford, wondering just when
he would clear out altogether.
  Not that young Gilbert Jones was a pessimist.
And yet he wasn't one of those damnable Polly-
anna optimists he so abominated-the kind who
went about saying continually that God was in
His heaven and all was right with the world. No,
indeed! He was just a normal, regular fellow,
ready to face a difficult situation when it came
about as the natural result of a series of events.
He saw the impending catastrophe as the logical
finale of many happenings-for some of which he
was not in any way responsible.
  Who could have foreseen the Great War, for
instance Surely that was not his fault! A pitiful



          A YOUNG AMERICAN                5

archduke was murdered in a European city. He
remembered reading about it, and then instantly
dismissing it from his mind as of no consequence.
He never connected himself with so remote an
event. Yet a few years later he, with many others,
was fighting in France-a lieutenant in the United
States Army-just because a shot had been fired
at a man he had never heard of!
  A strange world, he pondered, as he looked out
over the blue hills, heavy with heat, and meander-
ing away to God knows where.
  Then, surely it was no fault of his if the Govern-
ment under which he lived made no strenuous
effort to stop the Mexican massacres of American
citizens all along the border. One firm word, one
splendid gesture, and daring raids would have
ceased; and there would have been no menace of
bandits hereabouts. It would have been a country
fit to live in. There would have developed a feeling
of permanence and peace, and a young chap could
have made his plans for the future with some sense
of security and high optimism. Surely they were
entitled to protection-these brave boys and stal-
wart sons of America who fearlessly took up claims,
staked all, and strove to make homes in this thrill-
ing section along the borderland. They were not


mere adventurers; they were pioneers. They were
of the best stuff that America contained-clean-
cut, clear-eyed, with level heads and high hearts.
Yet their own Government did not think enough
of them to offer them the sure protection they were
entitled to.
  Gilbert looked back on that distant day when he
had gone up to Bisbee and purchased four head of
cattle, and brought them himself to this ranch he
had purchased, happy as only a fool is happy.
Within a week they had mysteriously disappeared.
  Rumors of Mexican thieves and assassins had
come to him, as they had come to all the young
land-owners along the line. He recalled how, after
one raid, in which a good citizen had been foully
murdered in his bed, he had called a meeting of the
ranchers in their section, and with one voice they
agreed to send a protest to Washington.
  They did so. Nothing happened. An aching
silence followed. They wrote again; and then one
day a pale acknowledgment of their communica-
tion came in one of those long and important-
looking unstamped envelopes. It seemed very
official, very impressive. But mere looks never
helped any cause. They were not naive enough to
expect the Secretary of State to come down in




person and see to the mending of things. But a
platoon of soldiers-a handful of troops-would
have worked wonders. Jones always contended
that not a shot would have to be fired; no more
deaths on either side would be necessary. The
mere presence of a few men in uniform would have
the desired effect. The bandits, now prowling
about, would slink over the invisible border to their
own territory, and never be heard of again. Of
that he felt confident.
  But no! Watchful waiting was the watchword--
or the catchword. And the eternal and infernal
raids went on.
  It was while they were having their community
meeting that he had come to know Jasper Hardy
and his young daughter Angela, who occupied the
next ranch, about a mile and a half south of his.
Before that he had been too busy to bother about
neighbors. "Red" Giddings, his foreman, had
spoken once or twice about "some nice folks down
the line," but he hadn't heard much of what he
said. There were always a hundred and one odd
jobs to be done around the place-something was
forever needing attention; and when Uncle Henry
wasn't grumbling about something, he was forcing
his nephew to play checkers or cribbage or cards



with him. And, working so hard all day, he was
glad to turn in early at night. Social life, therefore
-unless you could call high words with a crabbed
invalid a form of social life-didn't come within
Gilbert's ken. It was work, work, work, and the
desire to make good every moment for him.
  But Hardy proved to be an aggressive fighter
when the meeting took place, and spoke in sharp
tones of the Government's dilatoriness. He had
come to Arizona right after his wife's death in the
East, and brought his only daughter and a few
servants with him. He seemed to have plenty of
money, and he was anxious lest the invading Mex-
icans should get any of it away from him. His
holdings, in the eight years since he had come to
the border, amounted to several thousand well-
cultivated acres; and he looked like a man who, when
he set out to get anything, would get it. He had an
inordinate desire to grab up some more territory.
Tall and thin, and sharp-featured, as well as sharp-
tongued, he resembled a hawk. It was difficult to
realize the fact that the pert and lovely little
Angela-who lived up to her name only once in a
while!-was his own flesh and blood. It was as
incongruous as though a rose had grown on a bean-




  On their very first meeting, Gilbert had not been
pleasantly impressed with Hardy. But he soon
saw that the man had a certain rugged strength,
and there was no doubt he had suffered from the
depredations of Mexico's casual visitors, and was
ready to protect not only his own interests but
those of any newcomers. He seemed to have the
spirit of fair-mindedness; and he believed firmly
in the possibilities of this magic land, particularly
for young men. "'It's God's country," he told
Gilbert on more than one occasion. "Get into the
soil all you can. Dig-and dig deep."
  He said this over and over. It ran like a refrain
through every conversation he had with anyone.
He preached the gospel of labor. And he did work
himself; there was no shadow of doubt as to that.
He had struck oil himself, and had made a goodly
extra pile. Now, unknown to young Jones, he
was casting envious eyes on his ranch; and when
the war came and Gilbert went overseas in a burst
of fine patriotism, and later came other disasters,
he was quick to snatch his opportunity.
  Why go to Bisbee, he told Jones, to see who
would take up his mortgage What were neigh-
bors for, if not to come in handy in such unpleasant
emergencies And he laughed.


o0          THE BAD MAN

  The long and short of it was that Hardy took an
option on Gilbert's property, and held it at this
very moment. It was better so, thought Gilbert.
Better to be foreclosed by a friendly neighbor, who
might hesitate to drive one out at the last moment,
than under the thumb of some unknown individual
way down the valley.
  Four years of it-and he had come to this! Well,
he'd take his medicine like a man. He had done
his best, and no one could do more.




  UP North there was a man with a jaw like a rock,
and hard, steel-gray eyes. He had his fingers on
the pulse of business, and employed agents every-
where to serve his interests. His office in New
York, in the heart of the great financial district,
was like a telephone exchange-he the central who
controlled the wires, put in and drew out the plugs,
and played the fascinating game of connecting
himself with any "party" he thought worth while.
A shrewd, inveterate gambler, he was without
scruples. He lived for one purpose: to make money.
For one person: Morgan Pell.
  There had been whispers concerning his methods.
They were often questionable, to say the least;
but, like all men who work quietly beneath the sur-


face of the world of business, Pell covered up his
tracks with as much genius as he displayed in con-
summating a big deal. There should be no loose
ends if he was ever charged with corruption.
Down in his soul he knew he was a coward.  He
could not face disgrace, any more than he could
face the guns of battle. If his pillow was not al-
ways a restful one at night; if he tossed more than
he should at his age-he was but thirty-eight-no
one knew it. His conscience smote him now and
then. In his earlier days he had tricked a widow
and caused her to be separated from her last penny.
Afterwards, he learned she had committed suicide.
He shuddered. In fact, he suffered a little for two
long years. Then he forgot about her. Life was
life, and though it played unfairly with some, to
others it gave beds of roses; and after all we were
but puppets of fate, and each must take hischances,
and not complain if he did not hold the winning
hand. There were only so many to go around.
A lottery-that's what it was. And just as people
left a card table, a few widows and orphans had to
clear out of the big gambling-hall of life. It was as
plain as day.
  To a man like Pell, a wife was a necessity-but
only a secondary consideration. Of course he must




marry, keep up an expensive m6nage, and prove
to the world that he was successful even where
women were concerned. He must give his wife
the proper background, do all the necessary things;
furnish the right setting for his jewel. Children
Bah! They were not essential. He had no pa-
ternal instinct whatever. Enough that he should
support in luxury and affluence the woman he
deigned to make his wife, and entertain in his
home the people who could and would be of use to
  Every least act of his life was arranged, specifica-
tions written, plans drawn, and blueprints made.
One day he decided that he wished a beautiful
Italian villa on the north shore of Long Island.
He pressed a button, ordered his secretary to get
in touch immediately with his architect; and a
half-hour later the latter was at his desk ready to
talk of the nebulous house. Within twenty-four
hours he had arranged everything-not a detail
was forgotten.
  That is how he did things. He set out to find a
wife in the same matter-of-fact manner. He met
many women; but Lucia Fennell was the only one
who set his pulse beating a little faster. He felt it
a shame that he should be so weak. They were at



a dinner-party at the country home of a mutual
  It was her eyes that held him first. He had never
seen quite such eyes-blue, with a curious depth
that spoke of many things-the eyes of a girl who,
had he been wiser, he would have known had been
in love before. This was the type of woman who
never loved but once, and then with all her strength
beyond her own high dreams of what love should
be. But though Pell could appraise men, judge
them swiftly and surely, he was a fool where a girl
was concerned. He had never spent much time on
them. Frankly, they bored him. He liked far
better the subtle game of finance. He had no
finesse in a world of women, and he would have
been the easiest possible prey of an adventuress.
  But Lucia was far from that. Of the best family,
with old traditions, she moved among the set she
wished; but society, so called, did not appeal to
her. She preferred people with brains rather than
the idle rich; and she had traveled a great deal,
and known the world in strange places. She was
very young when she met the one man of all men
for her. Like all women of great beauty she had
known many men who were infatuated with her.
Those gifts and attentions which are the rightful




dower of every charming girl were hers in abun-
dance; and she received them as a queen might have
done from subjects hardly worthy to sit beside
her. Then she met-one man.
  It was during a trip she had made with her aunt
through New England. He was poor. To her,
that made no difference. She would have gone with
him to the ends of the earth. The flame had
touched her heart; she was a victim, like many
another; and when her lover, too proud to ask her
to share his poverty with her, stayed behind when
she went back to New York, and failed to write to
her, she almost died of grief. But life had to be
faced. One word from her-she, too, was proud,--
and there might have been a different story to
tell. But with the foolish self-consciousness of
lovers, each failed the other in the great moment
that would have sealed their destinies.
  Lucia determined that this broken affair should
not wreck her existence. But she brooded long,
in secret, and would go nowhere. Her aunt, with
whom she lived, could not rouse her for many
months to a sense of the vivid world around her.
She would see no one.
  Two years later Morgan Pell came into her life,
at almost the first dinner she had attended during



a long period of time. His impulsiveness, his as-
surance, his faith in himself and his power to win
her, swept her temporarily off her feet. At their
second meeting he asked her to become his wife.
Why not She would never love anyone; but she
could not go to the altar with him unless she told
him the truth. She did not love him. Was he
willing to take her, knowing this
  He was. Love meant little to him-though he
did not say so. He was just wise enough to keep
that secret within himself.
  "I'll make you love me," he told her, with all the
ardor he could put into his voice. Few women can
withstand that age-old phrase.
  There followed a time of utter disillusion for her.
The great house on the Avenue proved to be but
four bleak walls; and when the villa on Long Is-
land was built, she tried to be as enthusiastic as
Morgan wanted her to be. He lavished gifts upon
her. He brought out gay house-parties for week-
ends. Lucia did her best to keep her part of a
bad bargain, She made herself lovely, and Pell
was proud of her physical charms. The jewel was
worth the finest settings, and these he supplied,
with no thought of the cost. He had someone at
the head of his table of whom he was very proud.



The world need never know the solemnity of their
lives when the curtain was lowered and they were
alone together. After all, many marriages were
like this. Theirs was by no means an exceptional
case; and he experienced a curious secret joy in the
fact that he knew other men envied him his wife,
and wondered at his power to hold her.
  And so the months rolled by, with a trip abroad
now and then to relieve the tedium of existence.
For a woman to know that she comes to be toler-
ated only because she is decorative, is a consum-
mating blow. Pell soon reached the point where
he told Lucia he had bought her, body and soul.
He had determined to win her love. When he saw
that he could, not, he swiftly forgot the integrity
of her part of the bargain, the honesty of her words
to him before they were married; and he practised
subtle cruelties to tame her and bring her at last
to him.
  He began to drink too much. Only a certain
pride in his business affairs, the desire to keep a
level head, a clear brain, kept him from sinking
definitely to the gutter. He became irritable with
her. Nothing she did pleased him. He found he
could not wound her sufficiently when he was
sober; so he fortified himself with alcohol, gained


courage to speak flat truths, and left her alone for
days at a time, thinking such absences were a
  Had he but known it, they were the only bright
oases in her monotonous life. She blessed those
hours when he mercifully remained away on the
pretext of business. What he did gave her little
  Once she ventured to talk frankly with him
about the wisdom of a legal separation. It was
foolish to go on in this way. It was dishonest; it
was the only immorality.
  He laughed her to scorn. "You're too useful
to me, my dear," he sneered. He always added
that "my dear" to any statement when he wished
to be thoroughly sarcastic.
  He was conscious that certain captains of busi-
ness would not have come so frequently to his
home if Lucia had not been there to dispense a
supposedly gracious hospitality. Let her go Lose
all this Not at all! He brutally told her so again
and again. And finally she made up her mind, for
the sake of peace, that she would merely remain the
flower under glass, if that was his desire. Argu-
ments were of no avail. In a sense, she was beaten.
  The opera, books, travel, a few good friends-


those that Morgan allowed her to keep-these
filled her days.
  One evening she was particularly surprised when
he said to her, casually:
  "How would you like a little trip out West
You look peaked. Maybe it would set you up."
  "Why-it sounds nice, Morgan," she answered.
"Is it business, or-" Her sense of humor made
it impossible for her to bring out the word "pleas-
ure. "
  " Of course it's business, " he replied. " Precious
little else I get." They were dining alone, at home,
and he motioned the butler to refill his glass with
  She wondered at his suggestion. There must be
something behind it. But as a matter of fact she
was tired of Long Island, and if she could kill a
few weeks-maybe a few months-in the West,
she would willingly go.
  "Sturgis telegraphed me that there was a big
possibility of a new vein of oil down on the border,"
Pell was telling her. "Some important men want
to talk things over with me at Bisbee. I want to
get started in a day or two. Don't take your maid.
It's a rough country, but you'll be all right. Just
old clothes. You can ride a lot, so bring your


habit. I'll be busy most of the time; but I think
you'll like the trip. Never been down that way,
have you"
  "No," she said. "And I've always wanted to
  " Not afraid of bandits " he laughed, sipping his
champagne. "It's right next door to Mexico, you
know. Have some swell times down there, they
say. "
  She laughed too. "How excitirng," she said.
She grew almost jubilant at the prospect of the
journey. She knew she would probably be " shown
off" to the important men; and that touched her
vanity-what little she had left by now.
  "They tell me it's God's country, with big
chances for everyone. I want to add to our little
pile, Lucia," Pell went on. He hoped she would
get the significance of the "our."
  "You're too good to me, Morgan," she said, and
meant it. " But why do we need any more money
We've got everything now."
  "Everything " he said, significantly; and his
eyes became two narrow slits as he looked at her.
  She toyed with her salad. She hoped he was not
going to get into one of his fiendishly unpleasant



   'Well," she ventured, "as much as anyone
could reasonably want. This house, the garden,
friends "
  "Yes," he sneered, "but not much love." The
butler had tactfully withdrawn. "Why don't you
love me, Lucia"
  " I do-in a way. Oh, let's don't go into all that
again, Morgan. We've had it out so many times.
What's the use"
  "Is there anyone else" he asked. "If I thought
there was . . ." He lifted his glass again.
  "You know there isn't," she protested.
  He appraised her across the table, beautiful in a
blue gown which just matched her eyes, her throat
adorned with a string of pearls he had given her
on the anniversary of their marriage.
  "I don't see how a woman as lovely as you can
be so cold, " he said. " You could do anything wish
men. "
  She tried to smile. "But I don't want to.
Women-good women-don't like to play with
fire. It's only adventuresses who dare to face
danger. . . . But let's talk about Arizona.
How good it will be to get out of this hothouse of
the East, and see real people-real flesh-and-
blood men and women."

2 I


  "Yes. The folks down there know more about
life in a day than we do in all our pitiful lives.
You've got to live close to nature to understand
human nature. Simple, isn't it"
  "Very. We're all so false up here. I get so tired
of it, Morgan. Maybe down there we'll come to a
better understanding of each other. Maybe . . . "
  "That's what I was hoping. So you'd like to
go-really "
  "Yes, indeed. It'll be hot, that's all. But I
won't mind that. Anything to get away for
awhile. "
  Two days later they had started. The land was
green with early summer, in that rich fullness
which makes the heart almost sick with ecstasy.
The farther west they went, the wilder the country
grew; and when they finally dipped down into
Arizona, Lucia looked from the train window, her
face alight with joy. Such scenic variety she had
never dreamed of. One moment they were looking
at the wonderful mesas and superb canyons; the
next they seemed to pass through dry gtllies and
great shallow basins. Then there would come
long, weary levels of sand that gleamed in the sun;
and far away she would behold tremendous buttes.
The valleys they passed through were verdant and



lovely. Cattle grazed here in a calm peace.  It
was as if the rest of the world were shut out, and
in this quiet land a special blessing had come down.
The peace of it, the stillness of it crowded in upon
her. She had been to California, but always she
had traveled by a northern route, and had missed
the wonder of this part of the world. Before their
journey was over, she had begged Morgan to take
her to the Grand Canyon; and for two days they
remained there, drinking in the glory of perhaps the
most beautiful spot on the western continent. She
could not get enough of it-those colors that sank
into her heart and consciousness and made her
think she was in paradise. To see the sun rise
here she almost wept that morning when the
lord of heaven came over the mountains that tow-
ered like huge sentinels, impervious to wind and
gale and rain.
  "I can't stand such beauty, Morgan," she said
at last. "It takes something out of me. We'll
have to go on."
  She saw the giant cactus in full bloom, a miracle
of orange, pink, and crimson; and as they sped
south the mountainsides were aflame with juniper
and manzanita.
  At last they reached the little town of Bisbee,


where Morgan was to have a conference with
several engineers.  Sturgis met them-a fair-
haired fellow with a captivating smile. He liked
this country, and told Pell he wished he could
always be kept here. There was no doubt about
the new vein of oil, and new ranches were being
opened up rapidly. Only a few miles away was one
that promised well; and the young chap on it was
in money difficulties. A good chance to step in.
There had been rumors that a neighbor had taken
up his mortgage; but maybe this was not so.
Perhaps they weren't too late. He had telephoned
over, and the youngster had agreed that Pell and
his wife could come and stay with him and his
invalid uncle for awhile. Of course he knew noth-
ing of their intentions.  That would never do.
They would just lie low. In fact, he, Sturgis, need
not accompany them, except to the hotel. The
ranch-owner's foreman would fetch them out in a
Ford. Not a bad trip at all-only a few miles.
It would be better to stop down there. They could
comb the country, get acquainted, see how things
were, and keep a vigilant eye on everything.
  Sturgis had arranged things nicely. " Red"
Giddings came over, as planned, and Lucia liked
his pleasant face at once. He was full of enthu-




siasm for the country, loved the outdoor life. " Mr.
Jones has had hard luck, though," he said, as they
whirled along the road on an afternoon of unbe-
lievable heat.
  "Jones!" Lucia said.
  "Yes-Gilbert Jones," Giddings replied. "Ever
hear of him"
  For an instant Lucia could hardly see the valley
that spread around them. But it couldn't be
possible! It was a common name; there could
easily be two Gilberts-fifty, for that matter.
Was this the reason Morgan had asked her to
come Had he discovered the man with whom she
had once been in love, and was this to be one of his
subtle punishments He had told her not to bring
her maid, and he had been mysterious, she remem-
bered now, as to their exact destination. But
Sturgis had made it clear, on the contrary, that he
had accidentally learned of Jones's ranch. Maybe
that was part of the trick. But what good would
come of such a scheme She and Jones had loved
-and parted. Moreover, perhaps she was giving
herself needless cause for worry. This might not
be the Gilbert Jones of her dreams. And what
if Morgan did know There was nothing to



  "How-long has he been here" Lucia wanted
to know.
  "Oh, before the war we agreed to try our for-
tune together down here," "Red" told her; and
the little machine went whirring along. "That's
the Hardy ranch," he said, pointing to the left.
"Nice folks." His eyes seemed to cling to the low
house, and Lucia did not realize it at the time, but
he slowed up the car. Presently a young girl came
out on the stone terrace and waved to him. She
was like a prairie flower. " Red " Giddings became
another man in the twinkling of an eye. A flush
mounted to his cheeks, and a smile as broad as a
fat man's belt all but encircled his countenance.
He took one hand from the wheel and waved until
they were out of sight down a curve in the road.
  "Friend of yours!" said Morgan Pell, smiling.
  "You bet! No finer little girl in this territory!"
Giddings replied promptly.
  They were now in sight of the Jones ranch.
"There she is!" "Red" cried. "Pretty, eh"
  The low adobe house, with its gleaming roof,
looked like a jewel set in the valley. Far away,
seemingly to the very rim of the world, the flat
lands stretched; and then beyond, in a golden
haze, the stern mountains loomed, almost kissing




the sky. The range dwindled away in an endless
line, and one could never say where the boundary
of Arizona stopped and the unseen border of Mex-
ico began. The two countries simply merged in
the mist. It was as if a battalion of petrified
soldiers kept eternal guard in the sun, half the.
line loping over into another camp, but never
caring at all. In the still heat of the afternoon,
sagebrush lifted its bright face to the heavens;
and now and then a lonely bird swooped above
the rich ranches and desolate valleys, making a
black dot against tle sky. A soft wind was blow-
ing now, bringing mercy from the west, and silence
brooded like an angel, stretching out its wings as
though to shelter a troubled world.
  A young man with black hair and tanned skin
came out in the yard, hatless. A gray flannel shirt
and a flowing tie, high leggings that laced through
many brass clips, completed his picturesque
  One look-and she knew it was Gilbert-her
Gilbert. He recognized her at the same instant,
and a curious light came into his dark eyes. She
had been thinking, all the way down the road, how
she should greet him if indeed he turned out to be
that one man in the world. Calmly, yes. She was



sure now that Morgan knew and suspected nothing.
It was simply a coincidence that they should be
coming to the adobe of this old love of hers. The
long arm of fate had reached out and snatched her
into this ring. She knew that Gilbert could meet
the situation as seemingly unconcerned as she.
There was nothing at all to fear.
  He was their host, and he greeted them as only
a good host knows how. Fortunately, Morgan
wanted to go directly to his room. He was cross
and tired, he said, an