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"He is a good friend to everybody
bu,t himself," pursued Ward. "Aren't
you, Rufe?" he challenged lightly,
"Going to mend in that, though,
daughter, and here is a little docu
ment he wants you to witness with
"Yes," burst forth Rufe irrepressi-
Diy, as the fair girl signed her name,
"and if only out of respect to you, I
swear never to break this pledge.'
"You are a goodxman," she said
simply and sweetly. C
Rufe was charmed with- the com
fort and welcoming atmosphere of
the litle, home. It was not until noon
that he left its peaceful, solacing in
fluence. When he left the house he
traced mingled anxiety and-tender-.
ness in the tones of Rose, as' she
"You have quite capitivated the
two children. They will be expecting
youyhome early to tell them some
more of those captivating stories of
yours, Mr. Glidden."
"I certainly shall not disappoint
them," assented Rufe, and his heart
beat fast at the underlying token of
genuine interest on the part of a.
' Sure enough, long before dark he
came down the road from the town.
His eye was bright,. his step elastic.
He seemed like one buoyed up by
some sew energy and. interest in life.
"My old friends had programmed
a sort of a reception for me in the
town," reported Rufe, after a pleas
ant evening with the little ones,, "but
I shut them off on the happy w"ater
you are that I've got some business
to talk oyer with you. I was a good
deal surprised when I got inquiring
around to find that the Golden Hope
mine had petered out"
"Yes, two years ago," nodded
Ward. "The vein ran short not
untli they had taken out a little for
"So I hear," said Rufe, "and I found
,thp runway going to . ruin 'and the 1 wildfire that Rufe Glidden had fotad
stamp mill rusted and .broken. Do
you know that the old owner of the
mine offered it to me for a thousand
"I know it's gone begging, and no
one would touch it at any figure," re
"Well, I'm going to 'buy it," an
nounced Rufe. "Don't think I've gone
out of my senses," he added. "Will
you stake me?"
"You mean, will Lloanyou a thou
sand dollars?" -
"Rose, bring my bank book," di
rected Ward, without a moment's
"Not so fast, dear old partner!" in
terrupted Rufe. "The money will do
tomorrow. I want you to help me
will you do it?"
"You mean work with you?"
"Rufe," old friend," spoke Ward, "I
wouldn't give five cents for the Gold
en Hope. You're buying it for a
thousand dollars. I never knew you
to make a miss in the' mining gaipe.
f don't know your plan, but I do
know that you know your business,
tfse me. With you for the leader, I
"Thank you, Ward," replied Rufe
with palpable emotion "you shan't
miss it .
The Golden Hope mine was lo
cated out of the traversed trails. For
a solid month every day, quietly and
keeping their own counsel, Rufe and
Ward visited the abandoned digging.
Every day Rose brought them their
dinner. What a iiew glorious life
end of it Now then, friends forN what a mighty throbbing secret those
three talked over, worked over,
dreamed over! And every new day
two ardent hearts understood one
another better and better. At the
end of the week Rufe Glidden drove
out of town with a hired wagon and
two horses. He returned, with a
cover over the heaped-up wagon box,
in front of the assay office. A croWd
gathered. The rumor spread Mke