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Newspaper Page Text
THE GIRL OF THE MOUNTAINS
By Ronald Ross
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
Marvin rode- deep in thought,
through the interminable woods, his
head sunk on his breast, his fingers
holding the reins lightly. The horse,
sensing the abstraction of the rider,
picked his way slowly along the trail,
often stopping to snatch a mouthful
from the succulent leaves and grass.
Marvin was in his later thirties.
College bred, he had gone west after
making a failure of his life. He had
no ties. Nobody in the world cared
for him. He wanted only to bury
himself in the forest and forget.
But even here human nature, with
all its ugliness, with its passing beau
tv cnn fronted him. The ranchers
wondered about the solitary man who
dwelt in the depths of the forest.
They had nothing in common with
him; absorbed in the quest of wring
ing a gain from the stubborn earth,
they thought he must be a fugitive
One day, as Marvin rode through
the woods, he came upon a slip of a
mountain girl bending over a brook.
Her bare feet were as brown as ber
ries, her arms nut brown, her face
flushed with confusion as she raised
it to his.
They fell into an easy conversation.
Her father was a small sheep rancher
living in the valley. She had no other
relative or friend except Jim.
Jim was her lover, Marvin gath
ered. He rode on, vaguely disconcert
ed. The thought of the girl recurred
to him again and again.
He met her once more, twice then
the day came when he rode down to
the valley to buy his supplies. And
he saw the girl at the door of the
"Joe Cooper's gal," the storekeeper
told him. "She's sort of queer. Old
Jim Bates is crazy to marry her, but
, he's in his fifties and the gal don't
f care for the old man Guess her
father will make her, though. He's
eager to get rid of her shiftless lot,
Marvin, returning, saw a group of
three at the door of the house. The
two men were arguing angrily with
thp frirl. Marvin thought he saw
tears on her cheeks. He pulled in his
horse; then slowly rode away. It
was no business of his to interfere.
But the days hung drearily on his
hands and he felt a vague longing to
He Mounted His Horse Again and
see the forest girl again. About a
week later his wish was gratified.
She was coming along the trail,
sobbing, and when she saw him she
stopped and hid her face in her hands.
Marvin was at her side in a minute.
"You are in trouble," he said.
"What can I di to help you?" Then
i 'idn realization, "You were
coming to me?"
She nodded dumbly. "I can't stand
for it in the valley," she said. "I