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Newspaper Page Text
Ct Butte, where he had a string of
racers and two or three automobiles.
He had the patronage of the county,
too. Many women had given their
love to Collins. They had lived to
regret it but Dorothy only saw in
him a big, good-natured man, long
ing for sympathy and to be under
stood. Once Larry, returning from the
range sooner than had been expected,
found Collins in the hut, bending oyer
Dorothy as she made tea. He looked
up brazenly and laughed. Larry said
nothing then. Later he taxed his wife
with caring for Collins. That was a
mistake. A man should hold his peace
until the time comes to strike. But
all Larry's wounded soul, c'l the suf
fering he had endured during those
days of estrangement came to his lipe
in a flood of bitterness.
Next morning he went to work
without a word having been spoken.
When he was gone Dorothy slipped
out of the hut An hour later she
stepped into an automobile that was
waiting for her below the hill.
When Larry came home that night,
his heart overflowing with contrition,
he found the hut empty. A little note
was pinned above the dresser.
"I don't love Jim Collins," it read,
"but he can give me something bet
ter than sheep. We leave Butte for
California on the night train and you
will never see me again. But you
won't want to, as long as you have
Larry stood staring at the note for
a long time, and into his mind came
the picture of Dorothy as he had seen
her in Wales, the innocent girl in the
big sunbonnet whom he had loved.
What had he done? How had this
thing come between, them?
He saddled his horse and rode five
miles to his nearest neighbor.
"Keep charge of my sheep a day or
two," he said. 'Tm going to Butte."
"Something wrong with the wife?"
asked the neighbor sympathetically.
"Yes," answered Larry, riding
of going to Butte. He knew that tha
night train for Butte stopped to take
on water at a siding a few miles
down the valley. He could catch
her if he rode hard. And, once aboard
well, Larry had a revolver in his
Yet his object was less to be re
venged upon Collins than to preserve
Dorothy's good name, to save her
He rode hard. The moon came up
and lit the niountain way. Time and
again he thought he heard the Butte
train snorting up the incline in the
distance, but always the sound proved
imaginary. And now he was nearing
the railroad track, which ran, a nar
row, edged ribbon, beneath him. He
spurred his horse down the mountain
At laBt he dismounted and, turning
the beast adrift to graze, waited be
side the rails. Terrible thoughts as
sailed him as he waited there. What
if, instead of killing Collins, he were
to place one of the huge fallen firs
across the rails, dislodge the engine
from the metals as it came swinging
round the curve? He could destroy
Collins and a hundred others, sending
them to their death among the bowl
ders far below the grade, and escape
unknown in the confusion.
Was Dorothy worth the sacrifice of
his own life in retribution?
The temptation grew stronger, un
til the man shook with the agony
that assailed him. At last he went
toward the tallest of the firs, a giant
tree as hard as ebony, which lay
with its ttamk projecting only a few
inches from the rails. With the exer
cise of all his strength he could shift
it a few inches down the incline. He
knew that just where it lay the curve
was the most dangerous. He stop
ped. Then, in the distance, he heard the
puffing of the engine as she forced
her way up to the summit before de
scending on the grade that led to the
siding. There was just time.
But the sight of the fiery eyes of
awy. However, he had no intention I