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Newspaper Page Text
"I will confess that she has reluc- T
tantly agreed to it," replied Voorst
"She is proud, angered at the treat
ment she haa received in the war
zone and half distracted with the fear
that her parents have perished. I
need not ask you to be courteous.
Be more indulgent She seems
never to have before experienced the
rigors of deprivation, nor the horrors
of the scenes through which she has
been forced to go."
The restriction that I should de
liver the pack horse and the heavy
burden the animal carried had some
thing mysterious about it. Now that
the nature of that burden was made
clear to me in one ominous, almost
terrifying word I shrank and thrilled.
For a moment it dazed me, then I
"Very well. I will carry out your
instructions to the letter."
It was duBk when we started. As
Voorst bade the lady good-by she
took his hand and expressed her grat
itude tearfully but with warmth. As
he waved his hand toward me with
the words: "This is your guide and-i
my friend. He is brave and a gentle
man," she drew up haughtily and
gave me simply a cold, formal baw. It
rather nettled me, but I said simply:
"I will lead the pack horse. You
had better follow at say 20 feet"
She viewed me with a challenging
stare, as though wondering at the ar
rangement. "Yes, it is best," spoke the burgo
master, and the approving look in
his eye told that he appreciated my
desire to run all the risk for risk it
There was a clear half-moon, and
the road was broad and even the first
part of the journey. I noticed my
companion shiver as we diverged into
more obscure bridle paths.
Twice she urged up her horse and
kept close to mine. I saw that the
weird loneliness of our environment
"You must fall back," I spoke defi
" lately, but pleasantly.
"But but I fear I am afraid!
"It must be as I say," I insisted.
"It is necessary to your safety. You
will appreciate what I say when the
journey is completed."
She did not understand, and bri
dled. She fell back, but with an of
fended look upon her face.
Twice up to midnight we came
upon friendly encampments. My cre
dentials passed us on. At the last
place the commandant read the safe
conduct: "One Walworth Doty and
wife. Madam, I salute you."
She directed a flushing glance at
me, as if arraigning me for an af
front. I met her glance steadily.
That beautiful face enchanted me,
but I tried to act the guide under
It must have been three o'clock in
the morning when we reached the
most difficult part of the route. Here
the road ran along the edge of a cliff.
I had been advised by Voorst that the
enemy were likely to be prowling
about I thought of that and of the
ldad the pack horse carried. I in
creased the space between myself
and my convoy. Her angry, yet anx
ious face resented this. I had to
speak sharply to have her maintain
the distance. She received it with a
pout and a toss of her head. Sud
denly, turning a curve in the rock
lined road, there came a quick word:
I made out an armed officer. He
was of the enemy. Beyond him, 50
feet in a ravine, was a temporary
camp. He kept a revolver and lev
eled at me as he grabbed out to seize
the bridle of the pack horse.
The animal swerved, threw up its
head, curvetted past him and broke
into quite a trot The officer turned
and leveled his weapon, intent on
halting the flight with a shot
"Stop! Stop!" I shouted.
Too late! The well-aimed bullet
struck one of the packages on the
back of the horse, bored into it and
there was a frightful detonation.
.. duu M