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Newspaper Page Text
with the same wild fever of strife
that went singing through the
veins of the Darrels for well nigh
"Why?" cried young Darrell,
and indeed his glowing eye told
of interpid daring and courage.
"For the sake of Eugenia, whom
I love, and next, to share the
perils of the man who was my
father's best friend yourself.
They have threatened you? Then
I face the danger, too. It is the
man quickest with his weapon!
Then I stay at your side."
"You must not stay!" remon
strated the old man in a troubled
tone, "Eugenia, too, must go."
"But she says she will nt
leave you, and I would not leave
her. The old family estate is
here. Do you deem me a craven,
to abandon it at the will of a man
like Hank Logan !"
"Promise to think it over,"
pleaded the old man. "Go back
to the town. Eugenia, tell him
so, too,'; added Blair, as a girl
with a wild rose face and a form
like a rare mountain sylph came
around the corner of the house,
and blushed and then smiled as
she went up to her loyal lover.
"I shall seek Hank Logan in
the morning," pronounced Dar
rell firmly. "If I can buy my hap
piness and your safety from him
with money, he is welcome to the
paltry dollars. If not then it
must be the best and swiftest
man," and the hand of the speak
er stole mechanically to the belt
containing the familiar weapon
of the district.
The girl listened with down
cast eyes, but silent. She knew
only a harsh, rugged duty in her .
filial devotion to her sole relative
in the world. She would have
been false to every family tradi
tion, if she interfered in a de-;
cision tinged with the usage and
ethics of that rash, reckless"
mountaineer community. She .
simply lifted her lips to meet:
those of her lover as he turned.'
away, and stood waving her
handkerchief at him until dis
tance and tears blurred the land
scape and a sight of the man she
might never see in life again.
On the twig of a straggling
veteran oak tree a bird had built
it nest. As the morn broke, its
twitterings gave place to soft,
plaintive cooings, and then, as the
sun arose it burst into all the full"
melody of rich, harmonious i
sound. A solitary figure toiled
up the steep side of a wild moun
tain, passed the tree, and crossed
the dividing line of the bad lands.
It was Floyd Darrell.
What was behind him caused a
wistful, longing sadness he tried
to shake off. What faced him he
did not know, but. the first warn-,
ing menace greeted him as he
leaped a narrow ravine, and a
shot told that the jealous do
minions of Hank Logan were un
der vigilant patrol. A stranger
had no business there. Any dis
trict man might avoid being mis
taken for a revenue officer in dis
guise if he showed his colors
a flag of truce. A somber fore
boding prevented this with Dar
rell. He felt that money would
not avail. Then it was face to