ETWEENT'.f WO FIRES
, $y George Hurson.
-r '(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
Nesta had one sorrow in .her life,
and that" was the thought of Jim
Barnes. She wasHhe daughter of a
settler-in the forest region of Oregon,
and Barnes and' John Anderson had
both wanted her. Anderson had won.
He was 'a successful "sheep farmer,
and he and Nesta loved each other
Rode Toward It at Full Gallop.
devotedly. They had been married
Jim Barnes was in the government
service. He was a forest yanger. He
was a lonely man, somewhat older
than Anderson. All his life had been
spent in the forests and on the "plains.
He loved his work; and, when Nesta
rejected his suit, he went quietly back
to it. No one but Nesta knew how
hard he took his failure to make her
Barnes was successful-because he
gavebis flock1' all -his attention. In
winter he kept' them' uf the pens,.T)ut
in summer he pastured them in the
sweet grasses of the uplands. These
longf, sloping ranges rise above the
surrounding forests, into which the
sheep will not stray. Thus a herd can
be secured, so long as the pasturage
holds out, within fifty acres, ringed
around with trees; and every alter
nate day they can be moved to anoth
er of the mountain slopes.
Nesta and John had a series of lit
tle cabins all along the edge of the
range. Each contained only a bed,
blankets, and cooking utensils. In
these they were spending the summer
months happily. While Nesta pre
pared the meal in the day tinie, John
would lie on the hill slopes, watching
his flock, and smoking, and dreaming
of his return to Nesta.
It was during one ,of these days
that Barnes came riding up to Nesta's
cabin, where she was alone.
"Can you spare me a drink of
water, ma'am?" he began. "I saw
your flre smoking and thought- it
might be v
Then .she turned round and they
recognized each other. It was the
first time they had met since Nesta
had refused him, nearly a year be
fore. Both were confused, Nesta the
"I beg your pardon, Mrs. Ander
son," said Barnes. "I didn't know it
was you. You see, I thought the
smoke from your chimney might be
the beginning of a forest fire. We
rangers are on the alert nowadays,
owing to the dry spell."
Nesta gave him the cup of water.
He drank it, raised his hat, and turn
ed to go. Suddenly he wheeled round.
His voice was hoarse with emotion.
"Nesta!" ie cried, and caught her
by the Hands. "Nesta!"
There was an intense passion in
his voice. He said no niore, and, sud
denly dropping her hands, he turned
away." Nesta watched him depart.
She knew that he had been beside
himself, that the old love, ,. always
smoldering within Ms heart, had sud-
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