Esther came galloping up. She
leaped to the ground. She took in the
situation apd her eyes blazed with
"Uncle Josh, you ought to be
ashamed of yourself for giving Mr.
Loft Devil to ride," she said. "And
as for you, Mr. Burroughs," she add
ed, turning to the young man,
"please understand that I do not per
mit my guests to be insulted.
She gave her arm to the discom
fited Mr. Loft ad escorted him in
side the house, leaving Young Mr.
Burroughs standing like a fooj.
"Never' mind, sah!" You'll win
that gel yet," said Uncle Josh feebly.
Young Mr. Burroughs went home.
He had loved MIbs Esther for years;
in fact, when they" were children
they had considered themselves be
trothed. And now this interloper,
this man with the yellow streak, this
James Loft, had paraded his airs be
fore the impressionable girl and won
her. ' i.
For they were as good as en
gaged. The countryside said so.
Younger. Burroughs made inquiries
about Loft, but he could leant noth
ing against him. And Esther loved
him. Nobody who saw them to
gether could doubt that. She loved
him so well that his errors in horse
manship did not seem ridiculous to
her. Sometimes Young Mr. Bur
roughs met them riding together and
raised his hat, to receive the stiffest
bows from Miss Esther and a cold
cut from Loft
One evening Uncle Josh came to
Young Mr. Burroughs. v
"I done fix that Loft feller," he
"What do you mean?" demanded
Young Mr. Burroughs.
"You come to the stable at seven
tomorrow morning, sah," responded
Uncle Josh cryptically.
Young Mr. Burroughs went to the
stable, which was situated at the end
of the paddock, a good half mile
from Miss Esther's house. It was
early morning, and the remem-i
brance of the days when he had
come just that way to ride with his
sweetheart was strong upon ft'm.
As he approached the stable sud-
denly he heard a horse scream with
terror. . He went up to the door. )
There stood Devil, tied fast in his
stall, and James Loft thrashing the (
life out of him with a riding whip.
The big horse reared and plunged d
helplessly, and the whip, wielded I
with all Loft's . strength, struck, it t
cruelly across the legs and shoul-l
Infuriated at the sight, young Mr.
Burroughs snatched the whip from3
Loft's hand. Loft turned upon htm '
"You drop that whip!" he shouted. f
Young Mr. Burroughs slashed Mr.
Loft across the legs. Loft closed '
with 'him. They wrestled to and fro. J
Loft was more than the young man's
physical match, but young Mr.NBur- '
roughs was -goaded to .madness by
the cruel onslaught upon Devil, who
now stood shivering in' his stalL '
Suddenly they were aware that
Esther and Uncjle Josh stood in the
doorway. Esther made a startled
movement forward, her'eyes lit upon
Devil, and she turned furiously upon r
the two. r
"Who has done this?" she de
manded. ' j
"I found this fellow beating a tied
horse, and I took the whip away
from him," young Mr. Burroughs T
"Is that true?" cried Esther furi--
"I tried to- tame him," muttered a
Loft "I'm not going to have a wild
horse round .my property."
"What?" cried the girl in amazed
scorn. "Your property? Go! GoH
And don't let, me ever see your faces
James Loft stared at her in dis--,
may. "Esther!" he began. x
"Go, I tell you!" shouted the girl. 1
And Mr. Loft went. And then t
will, young Mr. Burroughs took the
sobbing girl in his arms and 0, yes; 1
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