Newspaper Page Text
still delinquent. But old Billy Stitts
brought her a letter from Glen. Dear Sis.?I can write only a line or two. Had a thump on the head; but it didn't knock off my block. Don't worry. All ri,t;ht in a few days, sure. Guess you couldn't come, or vou'd be here, in response to my last. But Searle mijjht show up. anyhow. You can write me i now. Hope you're well and happy. Is the brigand still on the job? Can't really write. With love, Glen. Her heart stood still as she read her brother's lines, in a scrawled hand indica tive of weakness, or pain, or both. She re solved in that instant to go. "Mr. Stitts," she said in remarkable calm, for all that she felt, "my brother needs some clothing,?everything com plete, boots, shirts, and all. He's just about my size. I wish you'd go and buv them." " Lord! I know the best and the cheap est in camp!" said Billy eagerly. "I'll have 'em here before you can write him your letter; but the stage don't go back till Friday." She had given no thought to the tri weekly stage. She dismissed it now with a wave of gratitude toward Van for the horse?gratitude or something surging warmly in her veins. She started to wish he could ride at her side; but checked that lawlessness sternly. She would ride to Glen alone! CHAPTER XXIV. A Blizzard of Dust AT daylight Beth was dressed as a man XjL and surveying herself in the mirror. She had passed a sleepless night. She was fevered, excited, and nervous. Her work had been admirably done. She looke 1 no more rawly new or youthful than scores of young tenderfeet daily in the streets of the camp. The stain on her face had furnished an astonishing disguise, supported as it was by male attire. Her hair was all up in the crown of her hat, which was set on the back of her head. It was fastened, moreover, with pins con cealed beneath the leather band. Alto gether the guise was most successful. Beth had disappeared; a handsome young man had been conjured in her place. Her mare, which Billy had ordered, came promptly to the door. She heard her arrive?and her heart stroked more madly than before. Trembling in every limb, and treading as softly as a thief, she made her way down the stairs. On the dining room table was the pack age of lunch that Mrs. Dick had agreed to prepare. Beth had told her she meant to take an early morning ride and might not be back for breakfast. With this bundle in hand she went out at the door, her courage all but failing at thought of the man with the horse at the threshold. She shrank from being seen in such an outfit. It was too late now to retreat, she told herself bravely, and out she went. "Say, get a move, young feller!" said the hostler with her pony. "I ain't got time to play horsepost here all day." "Thank you for being so prompt," said Beth in a voice that was faint, despite her efforts to be masculine, and she gave him a coin. "I'll tie that there bundle on behind," he volunteered less gruffly, and Beth was glad of his assistance. A moment later she took a gasp of breath and mounted to the seat. Collapse of all the project had seemed imminent; but an actual feeling of relief and security ensued when she was settled in the saddle. "So long," said the hostler, and Beth responded manfully, "So long." CHE rode out slowly toward the one main road. A feeling of the morning's chill assailed her, making her shiver. The noise of her pony's hoofbeats seemed alarmingly loud. But nothing happened. The streets were deserted, save for a few half-drunken wanderers, headed for the nearest saloon. On the far-off peaks of the mountains the rosy light of sunrise faintly appeared. In the calm of the great barren spaces even Goldite was beautiful at last. A sense of exhilaration pervaded Beth's youthful being. She was glad of what she had done. It was jovous, it was splendid, this aloneness, this absolute freedom in ali this stern old world! 'I he road wound crookedly up a hill, as it left the streets of the town behind. The scattered tents extended for a mile in this direction, the squares of silent canvas like so many dice, cast on the slopes by a care less Fate that had cast men with them in the struggle. Beth and her pony finally topped the hill, to be met by a sea of other hills heaved up beyond. Up and down these mighty billows of the earth the highway meandered, leading onward and south ward through the deseit. The mare was urged to a gallop, down an easy slope; then once more she walked as before. All the mountains in the west were rosy now, till presently the sun was up, a golden coin, struck hot from the very mints of God, giving one more day with its glory. Its very first rays seemed comforting, suggesting a welcome warmth. Beth could have calle 1 out songs of gladness well nigh uncontainable. She had all the big world to herself. Even the strangely twisted clouds in the sky seemed made for her delight. They were rare in this won derful dome of blue, and therefore things of beauty. For an hour or more her way was plain, and to ride was a Godlike privilege. Her ease of mind was thoroughly established. What had been the necessity for all those qualms of fear? The matter was simple, after all. It was ten o'clock before she ate her breakfast. She had come to the so called river, the only one in perhaps a hundred miles. It was quite a respectable stream at this particular season, but spread very thinly and widely at the ford. By noon she was halfway of her dis tance. The sun was hot; summer baking of the desert had begun. Her mare was sweating profusely. Beth had urged her to the top of her strength. Nevertheless, she was still in excellent condition. To the westward the sky was overcast in a manner such as Beth had never seen, with a dark, copperous stormhead that massed itself prodigiously above the range. A LREADY she had come to the three branchings of the road and chosen her way in confidence, according to Billy Stitt's directions. When she came to a fourth, whe?e none had been indicated, either in Billy's instructions, or on his drawing, she confessed herself somewhat uncertain. She halted and felt for the map. It was not to be found! She had left it behind at Mrs. Dick's. Dimly she fancied she remembered that Billy had said on the fourth branch to keep to the right. There could be no doubt that this branch was the fourth, howsoever out of place it appeared. She rode to the right, and, having passed a little valley, found her self enfolded in a ro'ling barrier of hills where it seemed as if the sun and rocks were of almost equal heat. At midafternoon Beth abruptly halted her pony and stared at the world of desert mountains in confusion not unmixed with alarm. She was out at the center of a vast level place, almost entirely devoid of vegetation?and the road had nearly dis appeared. It branched once more, and neither fork was at all well defined, despite the fact that travel to Starlight was sup pose 1 to be reasonably heavy. She had made some mistake. She suddenly re membered something that Billy had said concerning a table mountain she should have passed no later than half-past one. It had not been passed. She was tired. Weariness and the heat had broken down much of the bright, joyous spirit of the morning. A heart sinking came heavily upon her. She must turn back and ride to?she knew not which of the branches of the road, anyone of which might have been wrongly se lected. Her mare could not be hurried more; she must last to get her to Starlight. To add to other trifles of the moment, the bank of cloud, so long hung motionless above the western summits, moved out across the path of the sun and blotted out its glory with a density that would have seemed impossible. CCARCELY had Beth fairly turned her ^ back to the west than a windstorm swooped upon the desert. It came as a good stiff breeze at first, flecking up but little of the dust. Then a sudden ominous change occurred. All the blue of the sky was overwhelmed, as if at a bound of the copperous clouds. An eclipsedike dark ness enveloped the world, till the farthest mountains disappeared and the nearby ranges seemed to magnify themselves as they blended with the sky. With a sound as of an onrushing cata clysm, the actual storm, cyclonic in all but the rotary motion, came beating down on the startled earth like a falling wall of air. In less than two minutes the world, the atmosphere, everything, had ceased to be. It was a universe of dust and sand, hurt ling?God knew whither. In the suddenness of the storm's descent on her, Beth became speechless with dis The vest of a Nation *s Wheat? The Vest of a Nation 9s Wakeries? The Best of a Nation's "Bakers? The result? Uneeda Biscuit The BUST Soda Cracker From start to finish ? from the granary to the moisture proof package ? the one thought in the production of Uneeda Biscuit is "BEST/ That's why you enjoy them so. NATIONAL BISCUIT COMPANY That yon can save money buying rugs, carpets, blauketa and eur taiua from the mill is a certainty. You can bur the well known RKGAJL R L (iH, reversible, all-wool finish, many patterns, for the reinarkahiv low price of Our BRI SSELLO ART RI G at *2.00 is the greatest run value known. Just think ! Finest quality of Lace Curtaius, per pnir, 4 hj and np. Send for our illu-tiaUd catalogue showing latest styles and designs in actual co'.ort. You'll be sur prised at the amount of money jou can save. I'MTED MILLS MFG. CO. 2452-24C2 Ja*|?er Street. Phila. Good Money for Live Agents 40v profit selling these wonderful keen-cutting Adjustable Tension Steel Shesir*. See the spring? 1 hat does it. Patented and guaranteed. Agents making $ 125 to $2'i0 a mont'i. Sen> 1 to-day for free outfit and exclusive territory. H E. Renseningof Pa. writes : ** I have made more money selling your goods than for same length of time at any other work." S. A. HOME MFG. CO.. Philadelphia PATENTS ? v! ^trli fnr fr^#? c SECURED OR FEE RETURNED '??end s! etch for free search of Patent < >rtu e records. Our four guidebooks sent free. How to 01<ain a Patent. l-'ortunesin Patents. Patents That Pay and What to Invent (containing list of inventions wanted* and prizes for Inventions. Patents advertised free. VICTOR J. EVANS & CO.. Washington. D. C. PATENTS NEW HOOK FREE. Tells all about Patents and how to obtain them. Explains the ?<>st of a Patent ami our s|*eiially ad van tageous methods of business. O'MKAIU If ItROCK. Pat. Attys.. 981 F St., WaidtlniHon. D. C. ftlTPNTC THAT PAY 2 Books FroeFortunes in |#fl I LN I u I fill I I H I Patents?What and How to In 1 vent." and 84-j>age Guide. l ree rej*?rt as to Patentabilit E. K. VROOXAK, Patent Lawyer. 1175 F St.. Washington. D. (. Interesting book for Inventors mailed fret Trail -marls registered. ItFFLFR k ItORH. 33-311 MeCILL BLIH3.. lVASllIMiTOX. I). C. PATENTS ?PATENTS that PROTECT ? |Our 3 f>ooks for inv?-n*ors mailed on receipt of 6 cts. stamps.I I^i*A^i^CEYiWajhln2t?jB4^^^egt;4l^j^tW Zl MiJ PATENTS Wattoa E. Coleman,Waab lngton.D.C. Books free. High est references. Beat results. PATENTS EUTSS I uumu m.imhiiii, ii?a attorney's fee aatll patent Isal Write for Inventor's Guide. Dessert Book Free I I want every housekeefier in the land to send for my new dessert l*?ok. It has Ijeen wreath enlarged and improved, contains many new recij>esand ishind so'nelv illustrated in colors. The lw?ok is full of the daintiest and most delicious desserts imaginable, suit able for any an I all occasions at every se isonof the year For the name and address of your ?!ocer I will send you the book free. If he doesn t sell Knox Gelatine, for 2c. in stamps and his name I will send a full jrint sample or for 15c. a two quart package. CHARLES B. KNOX, 24 Knoi Are., Johnstown, N. Y Ladies Money Taking orders for a fine line of toilet articles. Address F. H. Young Co., Toledo, Ohio VENTRILOQUISM Learned 1 y any Man or Roy at Home. Small Cost. Send today 2-< ent stump for particulars and proof. 41. A. SMITH. R0031 1178?-040 K.NOXV11.LK AVfSlE, PEORIA. I LI. A|||ABU A Seod and roots for plant IllllPr Mil ing now ready. My28-pat? Hm ? flH ?? flH !? book, "Culture and ProSti Mm ? IV ? ? M IV K9 of Gi useng, "with prices of ? IV wHIV ?eed and root*. free. Send for it D. BRANDT, Box 333 BKEMEN.OHIO. LASSIFIED ADVERTISING* Your advertisement inserted in the \ M classified column of the ASSOCIATED SUNDAY MAGAZINES will be placed upon the library table of more than eleven hundred thousand homes each week. RATF, $3.00 per line. CASH discount. 5%. Smallest space sold, A lines largest, 12 lines. No fakes or extravagant copy accepted. 1 Madison Avenne, N. Y. Record-HeralJ Bid;., Chicfo (OK I'O RATIONS INCORPORATE VOI R BUSINESS IN ARIZONA. I east l ost. Transact business, keep books anywhere. 1'res idrn Stodd ird, former Secre;.:ry of Arizona. Krc-e l.aws, Hy-I.aws and Forms. Reference: Any Hank in Arnona. Stoddard Incorporating Company, Roxh'ro. Phoenix, Ari/ona. AGENTS WANTED AGENTS 200^ PROFIT selling our h mdy ati'omatic H.iine Fastener. Horse owners and teamsters wild about them. Money back it not satisf ctory. Write far terms to agents. Thomas Mfg. Co.,8u8 Third St., Da\ton, ().