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It is farther than it looks," said Redo
Not too far for us toclimp," answered
the sunny-faced hoy who held Redo
lette's hand while he gazed resolutely up
at the mountain's green-wocd height.
We can be there by sundown, and
run4 back, befor,e itlis dark.
Well then I'l ask leave."
Ask leave? Are you not
"No1 must obey my
gravely the little maid replied.
Your husband!" cried Willie Locke.
Yes, he is here, in the house. I al
ways atk his leave when he is at home.
I do it in the beginning, because it will
be so all the rest of my life. I am learn
ing, he says, to be his wife."
What do you mean, Redolette?" ask.
ed the boy, dropping her hand and turn
ing to her with great earnestness, his
eyes ablaze, his cheeks flushed. You do
notyou surely do not mean Judge Hunt
when \ou say
(my husbann!' Oh, you
are not in earnest:, you are teasing, yeu
are joking jou aie not in earnest Redo
'in earnest, Willie," the girl replied.
Do cot look so fierce. Are you a wolf?
Are ycu going to eat me up?"
No, he is the wolf,'' said Willie, indig
I have always been his little wife,"
said Rcdolette. I was born so. 'Ever
since Rtdolette was a caby," he says, 'she
has be* mine.' He is my guardin. My
dying father left me in his hands, and he
takes care of me, and takes care of the
meney I am to have when I am of age
butbcfoie that, at least so Aunt Rhoda
declares, although I cten't say so quite
before that we shall probably be married.
There? Now, Wille, I'll go and ask
Without another woid she lan up the
path at whose outer tei minus, the garden
gate, they had been standing while they
talked, and disappeared in the house.
She leturned all smiles. Judge Hunt
has gone down to the village for the
evening letters,and aunt says we may go^to
Block Height,' if we will hurry home."
She offeied to take his hand again as they
went through the gate, but Wille drew
proudly back. She slarted inquiringly,
but still smiling. ''Now, Willie," she
said, don't spoil our dear little time.
Please don't be cross."
I am not cross,'" said Willie I was
never less so in my life. But I certainly
shall not take the hand of another man's
wife. You do not understand me, Redo
lette," said this man of eighteen to the
baby woman at his side, in a voice thrill
ing with emotion and stinging with re
"Oh, I do," said Redolette, deeply
shocked at his vehemence. "Indeed I
do, Willie. I understand you with all
my heart." They had gone some paces
down the maple-arched road before she
spoke again, and during that time Wille
had taken the hand he had rejected, not
only that, but he had transferred it from
his light hand to his left, so that he might
encircle with his liim aim her little waist.
She turned to him fully her innocent,
sweet facewas there ever a face more
sweet and more innocent?and snid,
'You are the only thing, Willie, in all the
world that I do understand."
"Oh, Rcdolette!" sighed Willie, and he
kissed her cheek.
She broke away from him then, and
they had a race. They raced down the
road to the lane raced up the lane to the
pasture fence,and this without any ap
peal for assistance from Redolette, ior
she was a mountain maid, and free and
agile as a bird raced across the upland
meadow, and then Willie caught up. The
ascent began it became steeper and more
steep they went slowly and more slow.
Rugged the way was that looked so
smooth, viewed from below. They
climbed wearily the steep stones,stopping
occasionally to take breath, and to look
back with delicious little lingerings at
the pictured field and wood stretched at
their feet, and the zigzag village clinging
to the river's brink as for dear life.
Before sundown they reached the
height. They found a "seat just wide
enough for two in the crevice of the
great square rock that gave to this ac
cessible hill-summit, perched amid proud
er mountain heights." its lamiliar name
"Block Heights." Flushed and excited
ancl again cooled and calmed,they rested,
while behind them the sun went down its
orb quite hidden by interlocking hills,
and known only in its final departure by
the uplifting from the valley of the skirt
of sumptuous light.
"Now, Redolette, we must have a sol
"Generally," sa^'d Redollette, with a
demure yet coquettish accent, "I do not
like solemn talks."
"Never mind," Willie insisted, authori
tatively, "whether you like them or not.
Redolette"He paused he was going to
say, "Redolette darling," but he restrain
ed, for the sake of solemnity, his boyish
warmth. "Redolette, how old are you?"
She lolded her hands in her lap, and
looked down like a ohild at school called
to the recitation bench. "I shall be sixteen
the fifth of next month."
"Sixteen! And what do you know?"
Redolette laughed. "I know that."
Willie knew that too. "Sweet sixteen
sweetest sixteen!" he said in his heart.
He asked her, gravely, "Where have
you been at school?"
"I went for some time to Dr. 's
class at but I have not been the
last three terms. Judge Hunt does not
believe in schooling tor girls. Just now
I am taking lessons in house-keeping of
my aunt. I stitch shirt bosoms every day
four threads of the linen forward and
two threads back, the regular old-fash
ioned way. I sew and cook and bake."
"Bake ["repeated Willie indignantly.
"Or sometimes I fry. It depends upon
whether 'tis doughnuts or bread. I would
rather fry than bake it is more exciting."
"I should think so, indeed. Why,
Redolette, these are the tortures of the
Inquisition for you. Fry and bake! They
might as well roast you at the stake. Of
course these things have to be done. We
must have shivit bosoms and bread, and
it is right that you should learn how to
do them, or how to have them done but
spend your life at such tasks? The idea
We might as-well harness doves to
drays, or burn rose-buds in our grtes.
Every work lias its own workers. My
dear child, there are two rules for prac
tical lifefirst the greater must not be
sacrificed to the less, and second"
Here "Wille was going to quote Carlyle at
length, but the recollected that he was
talking to a girl, and modified the grand
sentences of the philosopher ending in,
Know what thou canst work at," into,
And you should do, Redolette, what
you can do best. Now if you can really
do nothing better than stitch and cook,
then that is your work. But in this age
oi the world you are not forced you can
have your choice and you must'remember
that we are living in the time of sewing
machines and scientific cooks. There is
no need of immolation in these depart
ments of labor. We are living in a time
Willie hesitated in the midst of his
eloquence, flurried by a little thing, a very
little thing: just the touch of his hand by
Redolette"san action softly, shyly done,
but causing him to descend from his
speech to look into her face. He paused
for a moment, enchanted by the serious,
sweet gaze of her dark eyes fixed upon
bis. But he recovered himself and went
"Do you know what age of the world
you belong to, Redolette? Do you know
that you are a citizen of Christendom?
You have no right to go back to an age
that you were not boinin you have no
right to marry a man who belongs ex
clusively to that age, and avail yourself
of nothing that has occurred since in the
great maich of Progress. You can go
back if you desire it. You are free you
live in a free land. But if you do not
desire it, if you feel that there is some
thing higher in you than a life of
drudgeiy, unlighted by liberty that
'makes drugery divine," unlighted by love
and, oh! Redolette,you do not know
what you are relinquishing when you re
linquish the possibility of loveif 3 on
feel a stir in your pulse that beats with
what is highest and nearest true in the
time we live m.darling Redolette" (this
time the emphasis was laid with sufficient
stress to compensate for the former re
straint, "then I would die a thousand
deaths rather than see you met in these
woods by a selfish soul, like Red Riding
hood by the wolf, and lured into a thatch
ed hut, and 'eaten up,'with no ear to hear
your poor innocent cry of, 'Oh, what big
eyes you've got!' and.'Oh, what sharp
teeth you've got!'"'
Willie was excited now. He frighten
ed Redolette. She sprang up befoie him
with a low crya genuine ciy of pain,
like a hurt child. A sudden pallor swrept
her face the paleness as of a woman's
pang swept her cjhildish face.
Then Willie took her in his aims, and
called her his precious love, and soothed
her with his tenderness, as he had aroused
her with his wrath. And then and there
in the mountain solitude, witnessed only
by lonely height, and lonely wood and
lonely earth and sky, he made her make
one solemn promise.
Not the promise that his heart burned
to have her make. For what he wished
eo ardently, that nothing "before or after"
could compare in ardor with that hour's
wish, wa to make her promise to be his
wife. He reminded himselt that he had
no right to do this. He was a young fel
low not yet graduated from college and
after his Senior year, just commenced,
there lay before him a course of profes
sional study, and then thejjestablishing of
his profession's practice, for his patri
mony was by no means commensurate
with his wants. He bad no right to ask
He only made her make a promise
formed disinterestedly and exclusively
for her good.
By this time the sun had set. Shadows
mingled with shadows. The air gathered
that strange pure cool which seems to
Mend ancl at the same instant define the
precious woedland scents. The soft rustle
of leaves, the twitter of sleepy birds, the
faint crashing sough of "the long rank
bent" as they entered the fields, the infin
itesimal fine yet clear sounds of the sum
mer night rasped not unmusically by the
tiny sharp cries and beating hum of the
insect worldthese were the vocal accom
paniments of the homeward way, for
Redolette and Willie hardly spoke. Clasp
ing earh other's hands they went down
the rocky steeps, and across the meadows
And at the garden gate he kissed her
"good-night" and kissed her "good-by,"
for on the morrow he was to leave the
mountain faim, and she would not see
Redolette lingered in the porch some
time before she entered the house. She
watehed Willie's figure pass down the
road, and disappear at the river turn then
she thought and thought. And when she
went into the lighted room where Judge
Hunt sat in his aim-shai reading the
evening news,Aunt Rhoda,lookingup from
her needle-work to greet the child with
somereproef for staying so late, let re
proachdie on her lips. Such a strange new
look was on Rodelette's face!
She never was the same girl," her
aunt said, long afterward, when this even
ing was remembered as part of the story
of a life" never the same girl after the
walk to Clock Height. But I never see
her" (Aunt Rhoda's grammer had grown
rusty with her drudging life)" I never
see her look so beautiful and so proud
like as she did when the judge got up
from the chair and was agoin' to give her
a kiss. She drew back her head like a
queen, and just put out her hand for his
lips and he stared at her, astonished,
a moment, and then kissed her finger
tips. Redolette,' said he, you've been
imprudent you've been imprudent |you've
got chilled through your hand is as cold
as ice.' That was just all he thought
about it, but women is more keen and I
says to myself, that very minit, Yes,
she's caught a chill, and she's caught a
fever: the fever may last or it may not
but the chill she's caught'il last her the
rest of her life.'"
There comes into almost every experi
ence a night that, for its very distinction
of darkness and gloom and blinding
fright, counted ever afterwaids as the
such a night came to Redolette. It
was the hour that willie had anticipated
when he made her make a solemn prom
ise for her good."
A night of storm, of wild wind and
drenching rain. But wind and rain seem
ed feeble elements in comparison with
the cruel anger, the passionate upbraid
ing, and pitiless threats that formed the
actual dark pre-eminence of the eventful
One bright scene stood out in relief
against the stormy backgroundthe
opening oi a door in answer to a faint,
despairing knock a beaming home room
1 warm with firelight and gay with cheer-
ful lamps kind faces, kind voices^sjm
pathy, encouragement, help. So every
dark nighteven the darkesthas its
Before menring dawned Redolette.
urged with all the gentle aDd Arm aid of
which she had need, was speeded forth
on a journey that was to cast into a higher
plane her whole future life. Bv the time
night had glimmered into day "Redolette
had made her escape.
Examination week at the famous girls'
school of N had reached its closing
act. Compositons were to be read in
the afternoon prizes were to be awarded
and at evening a collation would be
spread at half past ten in the not spacious
but particularly attractive grounds of the
2 Seminaly, to end in garden-party
style, with i ancl cf music and a merry
dance, the arduous exercise of the week.
Intense interest gathered about this
closing afternoon. Indeed, when one con
siders how small a part of the great world
the female seminary of N with all
its fame, actually was, it was wonderful
how intense this interest became. One
would s8y, who happened to peep into
the greenroom of the compestion-readers,
waiting with cold fr ght or with hectic
agitation, each for her turn to be called
upon the stage, that the result of this
evening would be something momentous
enough to cavse an aberration in the
course of our planer, or at the very least,
a trembling in its onward step.
This impression would not have been
lessened by reading the titles of the com
positions: "Woman of our Century "The
Dead Past burying its Dead "The Fu
ture of tbTe American Republic" a very
fine thing, and winner of the first prize
Spiritual Tendencies of Astronomical
Re seal ch Drawin's Development The
ory confronted with Argyle's Rreign of
Law:" Is Genius Hereditary, and if so,
from the Paternal or the Maternal Side?
with Statistics from Galton, carefully
compiled," and so on, and so forth.
Very simply, after this array, came the
announcement given by the principal of
the seminary, "A Mountain Brook," by
Miss R. Kane.
Closing exercises had been lengthened
beyond their fixed time, and daylight
was departing as Miss Kane made her
appearance fiom the greenroom, composi
tion in hand. A side window had to be
opened to give sufficient light, and through
this opening came a losy glow that al
most atoned for the lack of floral tributes
such as had oveiwhelmed the entrance
of every other reader. Not & single flower
was thrown to welcome the coming of
Miss R. Kane. "A friendless girl," many
of the audience thought. But no one in
the world is a friendless girl, so the sud
denly opened window said for the sunset
glow poured in and enshrined her feet,
and illumined her garments, and crowned
her young head with flowers of light.
And in a timid but clear voice the com
position was read. '-A Mountain Brook,"
not scientific or erudite, but a theme of
action, and taking as a simile of useful life
the tiite figure of a river bearing from its
rocky solitude, through wood and through
field of grain, and over mill-wheel and by
the town, its ever-augmenting stream of
refreshing and compelling force.
The trite comparison was treated with
a novel grace. And one thing was quite
remaikable about the compositiona
desciiption of the scenery in which the
Mountain Brook was supposed to receive
frcm high authoiity its mission throuh
the thirsting eaith. This description was
so vividly accurate that any cne familiar
with a certain mountain locality would
have recognized at once that the "Brook"
sprang to light under the femfanned cav
ern of Block Height,
No one among the audience, however,
was familiar with that particular nook
of upland scenery. No one excepting a
handsome young man who had drawn to
himself during the afternoon the shyly
admiring glances of very many of the
girls. He had been restless, like the
watcher who impatiently awaits the strik
ing of the hour. When Miss Kane enter
ed he became still and satisfied, like the
watcher when the hour has struck.
"Redolette! She has fulfilled her
These two unspoken sentences ex
pressed the mental impression, complete.
For to this young man, through the five
years, including his Senior Year at college
his law study, his energetic establishment
of law practice, "Rodelette" had been the
embodiment of ail that is sweetest in a
girl. And "she has fulfilled her promise,"
referred not so much to the fact that this
sweetest girl had kept her word to him
as that she had kept her word to Time
kept the promise of the lovely child to be
the lovliest woman.
"Redolette!" said Willie.
They had entered one of the arbors that
had been improvised of cedars to adorn
the garden fete. They had been walking
arm in arm through the grounds for a
long time for one of the earliest guests
had been Willie Locke, and he had rushed
immediately to Redolette's side, and had
kept her to himself all the evening. They
chose to walk in the garden rather than
join in the dance, for they had so much
to say. And they bad talked over their
five years ol separation and its leading
events before they went into the arbor to
The last thing Redolette had said in
the walk was, "So now, Willie, thanks to
the inspiring leader of my choice, I am
ready to take some part in the movement
of my time. My schooling here is ended.
My little inheritance is made secure. I
am my own mistress now. I should like
if possible,to do a little good in the world
and the only question with me now is,
'How shall I do it best?'
And here it was that Willie with a
sudden movement drew her into the ar
bor, and said, with such an electric vi
bration in his voice as made her heart
for an instant to stop to beat, "Redolette!"
Something so far beyond the simple
name was implied by his vital utterance
of it that she made no response.
"Since I was happy," he said, "to
guide you|arightonce,let mejbe your guide
again. Let me tell you, Redolette, my
queen, how you can do the most good in
the worldhow I am sure you can do the
He paused, and Redolette, whose eyes
had been tremulously cast down, lifted
her glance to his.
And beiore she had time to really look,
to see all he meantbefore she had time
to let the question, "How?" pass her
beautiful rsd lips, he had seized hsr in
his strong arms, he had answered her
once and forever: "As my wife.vHarp
"HOW WOMEN I.OTE PRESS.
He sat by & window at twilight,
And placidly puffed his cigar,
He gazed on a neighboring sky-light,
And thought of his bank stock at par.
Two voices came upward, as high as
The place where be sat from the ttreet
Two 'adies en "gored" and on "bias,"
Were holding communion sweet.
Then he mused upon feminine folly
And fashion's absurd excess:
And he said with a tone melancholy:
"How women do ra-ve oyer dress!
"Just get any two of them started
And they'll talk for a month about clothes"
He fpoke like a hero, strong-hearted,
"Who all such fiivolfty loathes.
"And the way they oppress the poor creatures
Who build all those dresses and things'.
They like to make marks en their features
For a little mistake in the strings."
Here a knock at the door. Then a waiter
And a new suit of garments appear.
"Oh, they've come,haAe they? Strange they're
Quick, light up the -whole chandelier!"
One plancefrom a proper positicn
Suffices their fate to decide
The linings are only Silesian
The trousers a trifle too wide.
Well, if I don't pitch into that Sehindler
I never did see such a bilk!
Why I told the outrageous old swindler
1 wanted the lining*, hah silk!
"Oh, hang all the trountlrellv tailors!
The collar's a half-inch tob high,
The trowsersIhej might be a sailor's!
Now wouldn't 1 look like a guj V"
Each glance makes him mere aisdmore irate,
"Why, they look L\en worse fiom behind!
I'll blow up the sneaking old pirate
I'll ghe him a piece of my mind.
"I'm done-with the scoundrel, that's certain.
Now, if e^er I saw tilth a sight"
(But here we will let down the curtain
1 he rest wouldn't suit tars polite.)
A CLOSE SHA\ K.
"Another step and 3 ou are a dead
"By what authority do you bar my
"Authority? Ha, ha! If this ain't
enough," holding cut a revolver in each
hand, with a hideous leer in his evil face,
"I reckon I have to explain further. By
the authoiity of the Road Agency of this
gieat overland route.'"
It was in the days when Ben Halliday
and the pony express seivcd in lieu of lo
comotives and telegiaph lines. When
might was right throughout a region ex
tending over nineteen hundred miles,
fiom St. Joseph to Sacramento when the
stage run the gauntlet of road agents and
Indians, and bones, many of them human
remains, giinned up at the traveler unex
pectedly as he crossed the plains when
to be "quick on the trigger" was worth
more to a man than all the courage in
Dick Hartford looked into the man's
face calmly, looked into the muzzles of,
the pistols, smiled and uttered a single
ft old: "Well?"
"Don't you aggravate me, or I will fire,
and serve you right."
"I never flinched in my life. I won't
flinch now. What do you want?"
"Throw down your revolver. Now
turn lound, and if you budge a hair's
breadth I'll blow your brains out."
Haitford obeyed. He permitted his
hands to be tied behind his back. He
saw his pockets tumed inside out, his
money appropriated, his watch pocketed,
and only remonstrated when his captor
felt for a money belt. "Don't cut me,
theie's no belt on me."
O! ycu did feel it then. Thought I
had a bank to piy open. Now then,
march. There's good ground here, and
plenty of it. It will do you good to
stretch your iegs. Keep light on to the
clump to the left, and mind you, don't
stumble, for like as not you'll never get
up. There was one fellow stumbled here
about six weeks ago, ancl he never o-ot
higher than his knees. I'll show bis
Was it a lie", a threat? Hartford cursed
himself for refusing to listen to the ad
vice of the conductor of the stage who
warned him to beware of the road agents.
He had answered that he would take the
risk, He desired to see for himself if trie
stoiies lold of the robbeiiesanct murders
on the route were true. And he was
A little faster, stranger. My horse
is rcether restive, and, beside. Jim Porter
would like to see you."
The road was unbioken, but the dust
was stiflirg, and it blew from the horses'
feet to the captive. The captive kept his
head up, and strode on.
"Rough, isn't? Now I suspect you came
out to capture some one. Like as not
No response from the captive.
"They do say there is a party looking
for us. Porter is anxious to see them.
This yer's a god-send. Never thought to
meet ye this way. Got tired ridin', I
suppose. Thought you'd lay over, do up
a little business, and take next stage.
Now, I knew a man to lay over that didn't
rue it. There was a man from Iliinoy
laid over about three months ago. Had
some instruction. He was mighty sly
that Illir.ovian. I rcok- he'd furnish a
regiment of Vigilantes with cunning.
Kind o' sauntered out of same town you
left an hour ago, but he had some com
pany. He wasn't such a fool as you.
And his company went back on him.
Shot him through the spine, then tickled
his ribs with a knife. He was a power
full active Vigilante, was the company.
He was too much for the Illinoyian."
"Just as you were too much for me."
"I like your pluek now. You do keep
a stiff upper lip. But it'll be all day
with you the moment Porter claps eyes
on you. He makes short work of spies.
I reckon that's your line."
The captive "did not reply. At that
moment his thoughts were on home. A
mighty throb rose in his throata suffo
cating throbwrenched from him by that
one thought of home. His wife and child,
his boy that he would never see again. It
was hard. He had played a bold game
and he had lost. The Vigilantes were in
league with the road agents. He had
been outwitted. The stage company
would be short another man, and the road
would be under tribute as before. His
plans, so carefully concealed in his own
breast, were known to the murderous
gang. Perhaps in less than an hour he
would be dangling at the end of a rope.
He half turned as he thought of the end.
"None o' that, unless you want your
early pill, in which case I'm bound to
accommodate ye. Porter didn't sav we
were to run risks. He does like a irieHdly
chat, and he pumps some people as dry as
a limekiln." "I'll make you an offer."
"Crack your whip."
"I'll fight ycu fair, like a man. Tie
one arm down, give me a pistol, and let
us take shot about, you the first."
"Or I'll allow you two to one."
"Yes, I see you can allow most anythin',
but unless you move right on, and keep
movin", I'll make short work of ye."
A coyote rose slowly from a sage brush,
looked at them sneakingly over his shoul
der, then trotted slowly away. A noisome
bud of prey rose slowly from the carcass
of a mule, flapped its wings lazily, sailed
slowly through the air, then settled down
upon a rib that protruded from the sand.
.The sun's rays poured down upon the plain
until the dust an sand seemed to melt
in tne fervid heat. And, to crown all, the
captive suddenly experieneed the agony
of excessive thirst.
A faint sound in the distance arrested
his attention. Was that not the sound of
horses' feet? What if it should prove to
be his friendsthe Vigilantes? Impos
sible. His morning stroll was unknown
to thtm. The sound came nearer and
nearer to him. Then he observed for the
first time a rocky defile further to the
left, as though a chasm 'ay there, or a
stream chiseled out its course across the
plains. Now there could be no mistak
ing the sound. The steady tiot of horses'
feet and the clankiDg of spurs could be
heard. Suddenly half a dozen horsemen
swept around a low lock, at sight of
whem the captor grunted.
Heie's Captain Jim. Mind your
manners now, ior he's the perlitest man
you ever met."
The captive shivered. When a boy he
was detected in an act that brought upon
the wrath of the teacher of the school in
the New England village he would never
see more. The eagle eye of the theacher
singled him out from a score of mischief
makers, and he shivered as he felt that
the punishment awarded incorrigible^
was unavoidable. But he braced him
self, walked out promptly to the middle
of the floor the moment his name was
called, and, to his lasting surprise, was
let go with a mild rebuke. In much the
same manner Dick Hartford braced him*
self for the interview with the leader of
the most desperate gang 'of miscreants
that ever levied a tax upon the travelers
who crossed the plains. This was the
man he had dreamed of circumventing
The case was leversed.
The road agents rode forward without
older, andsuirounded both horseman and
"What have you got, Baiham?"
"Make your bow. It's captain Jim,"
said Barham. Then to Captain Jim's
query: "That's for you to find out. I
What a magnificent front the captive
presented. His gaze was as clear and
steady and level as though he were look
ing thiough Captain Jim, away beyond
the range, and off to the mountains in the
"What have you to got to say for your
self, anyhow?" Captain Jim's sinister
face clouded still more as he met the un
waveiinggaze of the captive.
"Nothing," replied the captive, as
he walked in fiont of the leader.
"You are locked up, and the keys
lost," said Captain Jim. snetringly. I
think I know your business, I've a mind
to send Ben Halliday your cars. No, I'll
send him your heart. This trip-is a failure,
and Bent ought to know it. It you won't
I'll die first!" The woids were flung
at him so passionately that even Captain
Jim was moved to admiration.
Die it is, then!" exclaimed one of
You are seven to one," said Hartford.
We are in the majority mostly,'' said
Jim. But I'll give you a chance. You
are plucky. Now what does a milksop
life do for you? Come along with us,
share and share alike, we'll give you ex
citement, and opportunity to show the
the stuff you are made of."
To make one of a gang of murderers
who are afraid to cope man to man," said
One of the gang at that moment level
ed his pistol at Hartford's head. But the
leader ordered him to keep his fire until
there was need for it. "Let us do this
thing in order," said Captain Jim, as the
scar on his cheek became livid, then a
dull red. "We'll ride down to the old
place and pull him up like a dog. You
got what was on himr" to Barham. Bar
ham nodded. There was not a word said
further. The party rode on perhaps
twenty minutes,when the defile deepened,
narrowed, and the rocks shut over the
horsemen's heads. Then at a given word
from Jim the men dismounted. Advanc
ing to Hartford, he said, with a cruel
"Say your praycis, you have got five
minutes to live. Mount that stone."
There was a ledge above the captive's
head, with a jutting point, over which a
rope was thrown, and a noose made at
the end of it.
"Will you allow me to speak?"
"Blow away," auswered Captain Jim.
"I may as well tell you we know all about
you. You've travelled fifteen hundred
miles to trap us. Ben Halliday tried that
game often. You gavo yourself away.
You expected to master the road, and the
biggest booby among us mastered you.
Now Are away."
"Well, then let me predict what your
end will be," said the captive. With the
noose around his neck, and gloating eyes
and fierce faces for his audience, he spoke
out clearly, defiantly. "When you've
murdered me, you may prepare fjor the
hereafter. There will be no rest for you.
A man will come after me who will hunt
you down like the cowardly dogs you are.
He will never rest until you are driven
out of the country, and his reach will
sweep to California, Once he marks a
man, that man's fate is sealed. He is not
my friend. He knows my mission, and.
if it fails, he will shoot every man down
with his own hand whom he suspects of
knowing anything about me, or my death.
That's all. I'm ready now."
"What's that!" exclaimed one of the
Up with him," The rope tightened
around Hartford's throat, he felt himself
strangling, the color faded out, he was in
a void, then scooting pains pierced his
temple, myriad sparks played before his
eyes, blended into brilliant colors, and
still he could hear the voice of Captain
Jim, now it was a stream of oath, an ex-
clamations, "The Vigilantes are upon
use!"' a blurring of sonuds as he swam,
or rather floated out upon the great void,
and then all was over.
It was true. A cloud of dust rolled up
from Overland City, swept down towards
the narrow defile from the rear, and sent
a shiver of fear through the road agents,
who scrambled hastily to their saddles
galloped off in the opposite direction.
All but one, Captain Jim, who delibera
tely apprcched Hartford as he lay en the
ground where he fell when the crowd
dropped the rope, and placing a revolver
against his temple, pulled the trigger.
The pistol snapped fire, and Captam\lim,
rede off, turning in his saddle and aiming
a second time at the apparently lifeless
body of the prisoner, shot him in the arm
But it would have been better for Cap
tain Jim had he never met the prisoner.
For another party, also Vigilantes, aimed
to the teeth and superbh mounted, en
countered the road agents as they emerg
ed from the defile, and although the lat
ter put their steeds to the gallop, urging
them on with oaths and spnrs, the Vigi
lantes surrounded them with lightning
like swiftness, and standing up in their
saddles opened fire upon the pang, who
returned it and died like desperadoes as
they were, either in their saddles or drop
ping from their horses' necks. Captain
Jim proved the most cowardly of the lot.
He begged for quarter, but for answer
was riddled by a dozen bullets.
When the fiay was over and Dick
Hartrord sat upright, listening to the ac
count of the fight, and of the seveic-st and
sharpest the Vigilantes experienced, he
was complimented upon his courageT
and, in turn, thanked his rescuers. In
reality, he had performed his mission,
but not in the manner he had planned.
That he did not succeed in carrying out
his plans was owing to the mei est accident
The Vigilantes had been sunir/.oned at
his instance, and were in lime to save his
life. "A close shave," as Bns Mtriin the
captain, remarked. '-However, a missis
as good as a mile."
"Just Uropjicd in."
Neighbors are an excellent institution,
it they onh keep their places. But neigh
bors out of their plact-i aie quite an
The Bible enjoin-* it upon u-. to love
our neighbor as our&elf. and then perti
nently inquires, who is our neighbor?
If anybody can lov a meddlesome,
envious, prying back-door neighbor, he
must have moie giace and patience than
the most of us.
In large cities the inhabitants, know
very little about neighbois but hi coun
try villages and in the rural regions it is
Every neighborhood has one or more
of those troublesome people who aie con
tinually dropping in. I'hey are of both
genders, and equally disagreeable. Your
female neighbor comes over while AOU
are at breakfast and begs you wou't mind
her, and the sits down in the dining-room,
and stares at you while you eat, and fixes
her ejes on the patch on the table-cloth,
and shows by her expulsion that she
knows youi friks are plated. If 3cm
have bacon for breakfast, she tells you
she dislikes pork and insinuates
that it is unfit for Christians to eat, but
she will add, as a sort of qualifier, that,
if you like it, it is all right.
Then she will want the pattern of little
Joe's apron, and she will go into your
parlor to get the last fashion magazine, to
save you the trouble of going, when you
know she only does it for an excuse to
pass by jour bedroom door, to see if the
bed is made.
You never can have anything or do
anything without your back-door neigh
bor's cognizance. She is as keen on the
scent as a blood-hound. Your new
spring suit, that jou have vowed 'he
should not see until you appeared in it at
church, she spies out by a piece of trim
ming carelessly left in your work-basket,
and she guesses at its cost, and a-k
where you got it, and how many yards
you had, and who cut it, and if you
made it yourself, and says she likes blue
but then gieen is all the style. But she
supposes you got blue because green is
so trying to a sallow complexion.
When she finds out that you purchased
the material at Smith's she "says that
always shops at Jones'. Jones is to be
relied npon, but then Smith tells a good
story, and knows just how to handle'cus
tomers who do not understand grods.
And then she aks again what you paid
for your dres. and you dare not tell her
a cent more on a yard than it really wa.,
for you know she will go directly and
ask Smith all about it.
And this brings us to wonder why it
is that women in general, and nearly
everybody else, aie prone to repiestnt the
price of articles they puicha=e a little
higher than the actual facts willwarrent?
Why is it that we all want to have it
thought that our twenty-dollar suits cost
thirty? and our hundred-dollar parlorsets
cost a hundred and fifty
Our back-door neighboi sees through
all our little shifts to appear better than
we are, and she lets us know that she does.
She knows that the handsome rug was
put before the sofa in our sitting room to
hide that thin place in the carpet she
knows that we use brown sugar to sweeten
pies and doughnuts, she knows that our
Tom will swear when he is out of humor,
and that Mr. Brown slams the doors when
things do not suit him.
She just drops in two or three times it
week, sometimes oftener, and is only go
ing to stop a minute. She never takes
her hat and shawl off because she can't
stop. And there she will sit and talk,
and hinder you with your work, anel
spoil the whole forenoon for you, and, ten
to one, she stays to dinner, and protests
that she wouldn't have stopped for any
thing in the world but because she was
afraid of hurting your feelings.
She only just droped in a moment, and
Dever thoght of stopping.
Nothing of your family affairs is safe
from her observation. She knows just
how often your oldest girl has gentlemen
to call on her and who they arc, and how
late they stay nights, asd who their
grandfathers ere, and all the other par
She is a perpetual thorn in the flesh,
ancl it is better t live by a school-house,
a kerosene refinery, a cotton mill, a piano
3alesroom, or a bone-boiling establish
ment than to live next door to a woman
who is always droping in.Kate Tliorn,
in N. Y. Weekly.
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