By Elsa Marie Blodgett
She was something more than a
bright, pretty girl, the pettedand be
loved postmistress of Alma Station
she was a whistler, proficient, per
fect, never to be forgotten once
To everybody she was Winnie
the community had adopted her as
daughter, sister, always friend, and
Abel Druse, who delivered the out
lying mail, hoped for her as a sweet
heart He had never told her so, but
alone on his arduous route he had
but one vision for the future, a little
home and the dearest girl in the
world as his wife.
Winnie had been always a whistler.
Even in her old eastern home before
bad luck had driven her and her old
father to seek a new start in life, she
had scandalized the town with her
"hoydenish ways" and merry piping
calls to the birds, the stars and all
"I just love it out here in the great,
splendid Arizona mountains, father,"
she had said. "I can whistle here and
no one to criticize and the echoes
down the old canyon just seem to
sing back to me."
Winnie was whistling this bright
and beautiful summer morning as
she stood behind the letter case sort
ing the maiL She had happened
across some new wild songsters in
the woods and was practicing her
warbling imitation when a splendid
horse, all covered with lather from
hard urging, halted outside.
With a hasty, critical glance all
about him the rider, a great giant of
a fellow, wearing his sombrero well
down over his eyes, leaped to the
walk, crossed it swiftly and ap
proached the little window behind
which Winnie stood. Winnie looked
up swiftly. In an instant she detect
ed that the flowing beard the man
wore was falset for it had shifted half
out of plac -. -'-j r-r -
"Letter for John Byrd?" spoke the
man, and WifcW's nimble fingers se
lected from the B's a letter that had
arrived nearly a month previous.
"Thanks," added the gruff, harsh
tones, and Winnie started, for a care
less shift of the hat of the stranger
in some way released the false beard.
It fell to the floor.
"Why!" cried Winnie irrepressibly,
"you are Warren Ives! Give me back
that letter it cannot be yours."
The man uttered a savage growl.
His eyes glowed dangerously. He no-
"Letter for John Byrd
ticed the eyes of outspoken Winnie
for a moment rest upon a placard on
the walL It announced a reward of
$5,000 for the delivery to justice of a
Warren Ives, outlaw and escaped
convice, dead or alive.
"You bad man! You wicked man!"
cried Winnie. "Return that letter!"
"It's mine, girL under a false
"Give it back," persisted Winnie,
"or I'll do it anyway, for you're
xml | txt