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- denly overmastered him at the sight
of her. She-felt only pity for him.
She c'ouldnot know the hell in
Barnes' heart. For months he had
been fighting this overwhelming pas
sion in the depths of the forests; he
thought that he had conquered it, un
til the sight of Nesta had proved too
strong for his resolution. To wound
her would have been the last of his
desires; he felt that he must, in some
way, atone for his offense.
Days passed. Nesta had said noth
ing to John. Barnes did not go near
the cabin. As a matter of fact, Nesta
and John now occupied a little hut
ten miles away, at the very edge of
the clearing, and only a mile from his
camp, but of that Barnes 'was igno--
It was toward evening about three
.weeks later that Barnes, ascending
an observation hill,' perceived a line
df smoke curling up from the forest
edge beneath him, It indicated a sud
den and extensive"conflagration, fan
ned hy a high wind, and threatening
He rode toward it at full gallop, but
before he reached ithe perceived that
it waa beyond one man's control.
There was nothing to do but ride to
the camp, five miles away, and sum
mon aid. He returned about nine
o'clock, with a company of ten fire
fighters; but by this time the heaven
was alight with the lurid flames.
"There's a camp down there," said
Smith, one of his men. "I think It's a
sheepman's. I saw a man and woman
as I rode by yesterday.". He pointed
toward a .spot nearer the lower slope
of the hilL "You got them out, of
course?" he continued.
Barnes'stared at him one" moment
"Take charge, Smith," he said.
I'm going to see about them." He
spurred Ms horse and rode off at full
He dared not'think It might be Nes
ta. If ihey had' not been 'warned, the
situation was .extremely perilous for,
the flames Had ringed the hill, and the' ,
only chance of. safety vras in .hewing
a path through' that part where the
forests dwindled into patches of Un
derbrush, and so reaching the river.
As he galloped the stench of burning
wood was in his nostrils, and now
and again the grass started into rip
ples of fire under his horse's hoofs..
In their cabin Nesta and Jonn were
sleeping. They had known nothing of
that remorseless enemy creeping
nearer and nearer, and already send
ing out long streamers of smoke
through tie open door.
John stirred in his sleep and -muttered.
He caught at Ms 'throat, turn
ed over, and slept again. Nesta heard
him, but did not know-ihat death
wast upon them, nor that this uncon
sciousness which crcpt.upon'hef was
anything but sleep..,. ".
A hand pulled at heir shoulder." She
muttered drowsily." She opened her
eyes. Barnes was standing over her,
but "in her benumbed 'state it occa
sioned no surprise. . r'l ''
She felt herself 'lifted 'inhis-arms.
A moment ,later, and Barnes was
dasMngraway to safety, and,, -when
Nesta came ..back to consciousness,
they were safe over the river bank,
and on the opposite side edge was
an inferno of flame'. ,
"John I John!" she cried, atplast
understanding! . .
But Barnes was.aIready..gone. She
waited in "an" agony' of suspense,
watching the flames leap Mgher, and
the crackle of "burning wood sounded
in her ears like musketry. Then, out
of the forest a horse came plunging,
and on its back were two figures.
One was Barnes, and before him,
upon the saddle, swathed in a smol
dering blanket, and supported, "by
Barnes' arm, was Jin. The terrified
horse.plunged into the cooling stream
and stumbled. Barnes flung himself
from the saddle and, tearing the
blanket from Anderson, carried him
to the bank. Neither man was badly
hurt. The blanket had protected
John, though he was still stupefied
by the smoke but 'Barnes' hair and