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a river," said Saterlee, "was when
my first wife died. . That was the
American river in flood. I had to
cross it to get a doctor. We'd gone
prospectin' just the old woman and
me more for arlark than profit."
i He broke off short. "And there's
Gila river," he said.
"I hoped you were going to tell
jne what your poor wife said in her
letter," said Mrs. Kimhal.
"Oh, ma'am," he said, hesitated,
roleared his throat and became con
fused. ' "If you'd rather not " said Mrs.
"It isn't that," he said. "It would
eem like bragging."
- "Surely not," she said.
Saterlee, with his eyes on the
broad, brown flood which they were
approaching, repeated like a lesson:
j "Mark I'm dying. I want to do
good, not harm. Jenny always
(thought the world of you. You'll be
.lonely when I'm gone. I don't want
.you to be lonely. You gave me peace
ron earth. And you can't be happy
unless you've got a woman to pet
and pamper. That's your nature ' "
, He paused.
"That was all," he said, and wiped
his forehead with the palm of his
jhand. "It just stopped there."
"I'm glad you told me," said Mrs.
When they came to where the road
disappeared under the swift, unbrok
en brown of Gila river, the old horse
' "It all depends," said Saterlee,
"how deep the water runs over the
-.road, and whether we can keep to
pthe road. Can you swim, ma'am?"
Mrs. Kimbal admitted that, in
3 clothes made to the purpose, and in
,very shallow water, she was not with
"Would you rather we turned
'back?" he asked.
. "I feel sure you'll get me over?"
For some moments Saterlee con
sidered the river, knitting his brows
to" see better, for the light was failing
by leaps and bounds. Then, in an
"I've got to do it," he said. "It's
"What?" said Mrs. Kimbal.
"I feel sure," he said, "that under
the circumstances you'll make every
Withdut further hesitation in
fact, with almost desperate haste, as
if wishing to dispose of a disagree
able duty he ripped open the but
tons of his waistcoat and removed it
at the same time with his coat, as if
the two,had been but one garment.
"Please," she said, "don't mind
anything on my account."
He reached desperately for his
boots, unlaced them, and took, them
"Why," exclaimed Mrs. Kimbal,
"both your heels need darning!"
Saterlee had tied his boots together
and was fastening them around his
neck by the remainder of the laces.
"I haven't anybody to do my darn
ing now," he said. "My girls are all
at school, except two that's married.
So " He finished his knot, ook the
reins in his left hand and the whip
in his right.
At first the old mare would not
budge. Saterlee brought down the
whip upon her with a sound like that
of a small cannon. She sighed and
walked gingerly into the river.
The water rose slowly, and they
were half-way across before it had
reached the hubs of the wheels. But
the mare appeared to be in deeper.
She refused to advance, and once
more turned' and stared with a kind
of wistful rudeness. Then she saw
the whip, before it fell,( made a des
perate j)lungs, and floundered for
ward into deep water but without
One rotten shaft had broken clean
off, both Totten traces, and the reins,
upon which hitherto there had been
no warning pull, were jerked from
Saterlee's loose fingers. The old
.l - - -, -Ay j