"Lester adored his mother, and
couldn't bear to see any one in her
place. He's never even seen his
stepmother, and it's six years
since his father married."
"Isn't there a story about some
girl going back on Lester too?"
"Oh I heard something about
it some girl he met in Europe
the year .after he broke with his
Here, Sam Morris came saun
tering toward the group. "Say,"
he said, "a child is lost belongs
to some of the folks at the hotel
that's waiting on account of the
high water. They'd just found it
out as I was leaving, and such a
fuss as there was." v
"Well, there's no bears around
to eat it. Come on, what do you
say to quoits?"
Meanwhile Lester was riding
slowly on. For some, distance the
road was a narrow one between
two lines of riiountains. Present
ly, the way gradually widened,
and he came out on a broad val
ley with the overflowing river in
the distance. The view was mag
nificent, but Lester paid small
heed to it. A spell of deepest
gloom had fallen on his spirits.
How flat and worthless life seem
ed What was the use of it all?
How would he get through this
enforced idleness while the river
was preventing them "from push
ing theu work? Work, work
was the only thing for him.
As he neared the point where
three roads met and branched off,
there was a rattle of wheels and
a carriage which he recognized as
from the, village livery appeared
around the bend. It turned into
the road farthest from Lester. It
was occupied by a man and two
women. He was not enough in
terested to look at them as they
turned into the other road, but
the fleeting glance he had of them
told him they were people from
a world unknown to him the last
few years. He did not see that
the man in the carriage had turn
ed and was looking earnestly;
back at him.
A woman's light laugh floated
back 'r there was the scent of vio
let in the air. Lester's thoughts
went back to the days which it
was his constant endeavor to for
get. She had had such a laugh,
and she had always about her a
faint odor of violets. He gave his
shoulders an impatient shake, and
quickened his horse's movement.
He would not let the memory of
those past days take possession of
-When within a half mile of the
village he reached a road leading
directly to the river. The thought
came to him that there would be
some interest in -seeing the river
at nearer range. He turned his
horse in that direction. He rode
slowly, taking in the breadth of
landscape before him. Suddenly
a child's cry awoke the stillness.
Lester looked around. At the
side of the road sat a child, a girl
of four or five years. She was
holding one foot in both her small
"Hello ! exclaimed Lester,
jumping from his horse. "What
is the matter, little one?
The little child looked up at
gSg - --trZSiTftT' J- - -
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