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at the WOLVERINE by B.M.BOWER co*mic/rr or ” i nru a#at*/r. ato cormurr CHAPTER I. Let Us Start at the Beginning. FOI U trail worn oxen, their necks bowed to the yoke of patient servitude, should really begin this story. Hut to follow the trail they made would take several chapters which you certainly would skip—unless you like to hear the tale of how the wilderness was tamed and can thrill at the stern history of those who did the taming while they fought to keep their stomachs fairly well tilled with food and their hard muscled bodies tit for tin* frny. There was a woman, low browed, uncombed. harsh of voice and s|>cech and nature, who drove the four oxen forward over lava rock and rough prairie and the scanty sage. 1 might tell you a great deal about Marthy. who plodded stolidly across tin* desert and the low lying hills along the ltlack foot, and of her weak souled, shiftless husband whom she called Jase when she did not call him worse. They were the pioneers whose lurch ing wagon first forded the singing Wolverine stream Just where it greens the tiny valley and then slips between huge lava rock ledges to join the lurger stream. Ja-«e would have stopped there and called home the sheltered little green spot in the gray barrenness. Hut Marthy went on up the farther hill and across the upland, another full day's Journey with the sweating oxen. They camited that night on another little, singing stream In another little valley which was not so level or so green or so wholly pleasing to the eye. And thut night two of the oxen, ira !*elled by n surer instinct than their human owners, strayed away down a narrow, winding gorge and so discov ered the Cove and feasted upon Its rich grasses. It wua Marthy who went after them and who recognized the lit tle. hidden Eden as the place of her dreams supposing she ever had dreams. So Marthy and Jase and the four oxen took possession, and with much lul>or and many hard years for the woman and with the same number of years and as little lalsir ns he could manage on the man's part they tamed the Cove and made it a lieauty spot in that wild land. A beauty spot, though their lives held nothing hut treadmill toll and harsh words and h mental horizon narrowed almost to the limits of the grim, gray rock wull that sur rounded them. Another sturdy souled couple came afterward and saw the Wolverine and made for themselves a home upon Its banks. And In the rough little log cabin was bom the girl child 1 want you to meet—a girl child when she should have been a l*oy to meet her father's need and great desire; a girl child whose very name was a compro mise between the parents. For they called her Hilly for sake of the boy her father wanted and Louise for the girl her mother had longed for to light en that terrible loneliness which the far frontier brings to the women who brave its stem emptiness. When Billy Louise was twelve she wunted to do something big. though she was hazy as to the particular na ture of that big something. She tried to talk it over with Marthy. but Marthy could not seem to think lieyond the Cove. When she was thirteen Hilly Louise rode over with a loaf of bread she had baked all by herself, and she put this problem to Marthy: “I’ve been thinking I'd go ahead and write poetry, Marthy-—a whole l*ook of it with pictures. Hut I do love to make bread and people have to eat bread. Which would you la*. Marthy— a l»oet or a cook?” Marthy looked at her a minute, lent her attention briefly to the question and gave what she considered good nd vice “You learn how to cook. Billy Lou ise. Yuli don't want to go and get no tions. Your maw ain't healthy, and your paw likes g<»od gmb. Po'try is all foolishness. There ain't any money In It." “Walter Scott paid his debts writing poetry." said Hilly Louise argumenta tively. She had Just read all about Walter Scott in a magazine which a passing cowboy had given her. Per haps that had something to do with her new ambition. "Mebby he did and mebby he didn't. I’d like to see our debts paid off with po’try. It’d liuve to be worth a hull lot more'n what I'd give for it.” “Qbl Have you got debts, too, Mar- thy ?*’ Hilly Louise at thirteen was j still ready with sympathy. “Daddy's j got lots and piles of 'em. He bought some cattle and now he talks to mom mte ull the time about debts. Mommle j wants me to go to Boise to school next winter, to Aunt Sarah’s. And daddy says there's debts to pay. 1 didn't know’ you hail any. Marthy." "Weil. I have got We bought some cattle, too, and they ain't done's well's they might. If I had a man that was any good oil earth 1 could put up more hay. But I can't git nothing outa Jase but whines. Your paw oughta s**nd you to school. Hilly Louise, even If he lius got debts." “He says he wishes he could, but he don't know where the money's coming from.” "How much’s It goln’ to take?" asked Marthy heavily. “Oh. piles." Billy Isiuise spoke airily to hide her pride in the linpcrtaiice of tlie subject. “Fifty dollars. I guess. I've got to have some new clothes, niommie says. I’d like a bine dress.” "And your paw can't raise llfty dol lars?" Murthy's tone was plaluly bel ligerent. "Hot to pay Interest," said Billy Icon ise importantly. Marthy said not another word about debts or the duties of iwrents. What she did was more to the point, how ever. for she bitched the mules to a rattly old huckboard next day and drove over to the MacDonald ranch on the Wolverine. She carried SSO In her pocket, and that was practically all the money Marthy itossessed and bad been saved for the debts that harassed her. She gave the money to Billy Lou ise's mother and suid that It was a present for Hilly Louise and meant for “school money.” She said that she hadn't any girl of her own to spend the money on and that Hilly Louise was a good girl and a smart girl, and she wanted to do a little something to ward her schooling. A woman will sacrifice more pride than you would believe if she sees a way toward helping her children to an education. Mrs. MacDonald took the money, und she promised secrecy—with n feeling of relief that Marthy wished it. She was astonished to And that Marthy had any feelings not directly connected with work or the shortcom ings of Jase. but she never suspected that Marthy had made any sacrifice for Billy Louise. So Hilly I*ouise went away to sch«K»l and never knew whose money had made It possible to go, and Marthy worked harder and drove Jase more relentlessly to make tip that SSO. She never mentioned the matter to any one. The next year It wus the same. When In August she questioned Hilly Louise clumsily upon the subject of finances and learned tlint daddy still tulked about debts and interest and didn't know where the money was coming from she drove over again with money for the schooling. And again she ex trafted a promise of silence. She did this for four years, and not a soul knew that it cost her anything In the way of extra work and extra harassment of mind. She bought more cattle and cut more hay and went deep er Into debt, for as Hilly Ixiuise grew older and prettier und more accustom ed to the ways of town she needed more money, and the August gift grew proportionately larger. The mother wus thankful beyond the point of ques tioning. An August without Marthy and Murthy’s gift of money would have been a tragedy, and so selfish Is mother love sometimes that she would have accepted the gift even if she had known what it cost the giver. At eighteen, then. Hilly Louise knew some things not taught by the wide plains and the wild hills around her. Site was not spoiled by her little learn ing. which was a good tldng. And when her father died trngically be neath an overturned load of poles from the mountain at the head of the can yon Hilly Louise came home. The Billy of her tried to take his place and the Louise of her attempted to take care of her mother, who was unfitted both by nature and habit to take care of her self. Which was. after all. a rather big thing for any one to attempt. Jase began to complain of having “all gone" feelings during the winter after Hilly Louise came home and took up the whole burden of the Wolverine ranch. He complained to Billy Louise when she rode over one clear, sunny day In January. He said that he was getting old. which was perfectly true, and that he waj not as ablebodied as he might !>e and didn't expect fo Inst mucli longer. Billy Louise spoke of it to Marthy. and Marthy snorted. “He’s ablebodied enough nt meal times, I notice." she retorted. “I’ve heard that tune ever since I knowed him. He can't fool me!" Jase maundered in at that momeut. and Marthy turned and glared at Jase with what Hilly Louise considered a perfectly uncalled for animosity. In reality, Marthy was covertly looking for visible symptoms of tlie all gone ness. She shut her harsh lips together tightly at what she saw. Jase certain ly was puffy under his watery, pink rimmed eyes, and the withered cheeks above Ids thin graying beard really did have a pasty gray look. "D'.vou turn them calves out into the corral?" she demanded, her voice hard er because of her secret uneasiness. "I was goln’ to, but the wind's changed into the north, n' I thought mebby you wouldn’t want ’em out." Jase turned hack aimlessly to tin* door. His voice was getting cracked and husky, and the deprecating note dom inated pathetically all that lie said. "You’ll have to face the wind goln' home.” he said to Hilly Louise. "More’n likely you'll be facin' snow too Looks bad off that way.” "You go on and turn them calves out!" Marthy commanded i ini harshly. "Hilly Louise uln’t goin' home If it storms. 1 slid think you'd know enough to know that." "Oh. hut I’ll have to go anyway." the girl interrupted. “Moinmle can’t be there alone; she'd-worry herself to I death if I didn't show up by durk. “D'you Turn Them Calves Out Into the Corral?" She worries alsiut every little thing since daddy diet!. 1 ought to have gom* before—or I ougbtu't to have come. 1 Hut she wus worrying about you. Mar- 1 thy. She hadn't seen or heard of you for a month, and she was afraid you might be sick or something. Why dori't you get some one to stay with you? I think you ought to." Site hulk ed toward the door, which Jase bad , dosed upon his departure. "If Jase should-get sick or anything"— "Jase ain't goin' to git sick,” Mar thy retorted glumly. "Yuh don't want to let him worry yuh. Hilly Louise. If I’d worried every time he yowled around about being sick I'd tie dead or crazy by now. I dun no but maybe I*ll have somebody to help with the work, though.” she added after a pause, during which she had swiped the dish rug around the sides of the pan once or twice and hud opened the door und thrown the water out beyond the door step like the sloven site was. "1 got a nephew that wants to come out. He's been in a hank, but he's quit and wants to git on to a ranch I dunno hut I'il have him come in the spring." "Do,” urged Billy Louise, perfectly unconscious of the isitentialities of the future. “I hate to think of you two down here alone. I don't suppose any one ever comes down here except me— and that isn’t often." “Nobody’s got any call to come down,” said Marthy stolidly. “They *ure ain't going to come for our coin p’ny, and there ain't nothing else to bring ’em." “Well, there aren't many to come, .you know,'* laughed Billy Louise, shak ing out the dish towel and spreading it over two nails, as she did at borne. "I'm your nearest neighbor, and I’ve got six miles to ride against the wind at that I think I'd lietter start. We've got a half breed d<>lng chores for us. but he has to lie looked after or he neglects things. I'll not get another chance to come very soon. I'm afraid. Mommle hates to hare me ride around much in the winter. You send for that nephew right away, why don't you. Marthy?" It was like Billy Louise to mix command and entreaty together. "Iteaily, I don't think Jase looss a bit well." "A good strong steepin’ of sage 'll fix him ail right, only lie ain't sick, as I see. You take this shawl.” Billy Louise refused the shawl and ran down the twisted path fringed with long, reaching fingers of the hare berry bushes. At the stable she stop ped (or an aimless dialogue.with Jase A. N. PARRISH, Pres. B. B. BROWN. Vico Pro®. J. F. MAURER, Cashier FIRST NATIONAL BANK LAMAR, COLORADO CopiLal Stock - $50,000. Surplus - $40,000. DIRECTORS: JOHN F. MAURER JOHN H. THATCHER J. F. FAtlllk A. N. PARRISH B. B. BROWN C. M. LEE B. T. McCLAVE R. K- ADAM* President Vice Pres. CoahW. CAPITAL $50,000 Lamar National Bank MEMBER FEDERAL RESERVE BANK LAMAR, COLORADO DIRECTORS: B. T. McClavc Ray Adams M. J. McMillin C. M. Lee A. Deeta. We want your business, large and small, and offer every facility consistent with safe and conservative banking Accounts Received Subject to Check Money Orders Sol 4 J. M. WILLIAMS, Prea. L. J. BORING, Caahler CHAS. MAXWELL, Vice u -ea. J. D. SPOONER, Asst. Cashier Citizens State Bank LAMAR, COLORADO Capital Stock - - $35,000. Surplus - - $ 17,500. We invite you to transact your bubineaa with this bank, and endeavor to give prompt service by personal and courteous treatment to our customers. DIRECTORS—J. M. Williams, Charles Maxwell. Geo A Everett. L. J. Boring, I. L. Maxwell. SAFETY DEPOSIT BOXES and then rode away, past the orchard w hose leafless branch's gave glimpses of the low, sod roofed cabin, with Marthy standing rather disconsolately on the rough doorstep watching her go. Bine was climbing steadily out of the gorge, twitching an ear backward with flattering attention whenever his 1 lady spoke The horse went on. calm ly stepping over this rock and around that as if it were the simplest thing in the world to find sure footing and car ry his lady smoothly up thut trail. He threw up his head so suddenly that Billy I-oui«* was startled out of her aimless diearnings and pointed uose und ears toward the little creek bot tom alwne. where Marthy had lighted her campfire long and long ago. A few stejm farther und Blue stop ped short in the trail to look aud lis ten. ltiily I»ulse could see the nerv ous/ twitching* of his muscles under the skin of neck and shoulders, and she smiled to herself. Nothing could ever come upon her unaware when she rode alone so long as she rode Blue. A hunting dog w as not more keenly alive to hi* surroundings. "Go on. Blue." she commanded after a minute. "If it's a bear or anything like that you cun make a run for It; if It's a wolf I'll shoot it. You needn’t stand here all night, anyway.” Blue went on. out from t>ebind the willow growth that hid the open, lb re turned to Ids calm, picking a smooth trail through the scattered rock.i und tiny washouts. It was the girl's turn to stare and speculate. t*be did not know this horseman who sat negligent ly in tlie saddle and looked up at the 'cedar grown bluff beyond while his horse stood knee deep in the little stream. She did not know him, and there were not so many travelers In the land that strangers were a matter of Indifference. Blue welcomed the horse with a dem ocratic nicker ami went forward brisk ly. And the rider turned his head, eyed the girl sharply us she mine up and a.Hided a cursory greeting. Ilia horse lifted its head to look, decided that it wanted another swallow or two and lowered its muzzle again to tlie water. Hilly Louise could not form any opin ion of the man's age or personality, for he was encased in a wolfskin coat which covered him completely from hat brim to ankles. She got an Impres sion of a thin, durk face mid a sharp glance from eyes that seemed dark also. There was a thin, high nose, and beyond that Billy Louise did not look. If she had the mouth must certainly have reassured her somewhat. Blue stepped nonchalantly down Into tlie stream beside the strange horse and went across without stopping to d/ink. The strange horse moved on also, as if that were the natural thing to do—which it was, since chance sent them traveling the sam.e troll. Billy l ix>uiHp set tier teeth together wire fho queer little vicious click that had el wayi been her habit when she felt | thwarted and constrained to yield to circumstances and straightened herself In the saddle. “Looks like a storm,” the fur coated one observed, with a perfectly trans parent attempt to lighten the awk wardness Billy I<otilse tilted her chin upward and gazed at the gray sweep of clouds moving sullenly toward the mountains at her back. She glanced at the mun and caught him looking intently at her face. He did not look away Immediately, as he should have done, and Billy Lou ise felt a little beat wave of embar rassment, emphasized by resentment. “Are you going far?” he queried in the same tone he had employed before. "Six miles,” she answered shortly, though she tried to lie decently civil. “I've about eighteen," he said. “Looks like we'll both get caught out in a Idizzard." Cert a inly he had a pleasant enough voice, and, after all. It was not his fault that he happened to be at the crossing when she rode out of the gorge. Hilly Louise, in common jus tice. laid aside her resentment and looked at biin with a hint of a smile at the corners of her lips. “That's what we have to expect when we travel in this country in the win ter.” she replied. "Eighteen miles will tnke you long after dark.” “Well, I was sort of tlguring on put ting up at some ranch If It got too bad. There's a ranch somewhere ahead on the Wolverine. Isn’t there?” “Yes." Billy Louise bit her lip, but hospitality is au unwritten law of the West, a law not to be lightly broken, •'i't. ii where I live We'll be glud to have you stop there of course." The stranger must have felt and ad mired the unconscious dignity of her tone and words, for lie thanked her simply and refrained from looking too intently at her face. Fine siftings of snow, like meal flung down from a gigantic sieve, swept Into their faces as they rode on. The man turned his face toward her after a long silence. She was riding with bowed head and fuce half turned from him and the wind aJike. (Continued on Page 6) ESTATE OF F. N. OETERS, DECEAS ED No. 1356 Notice I* hereby given that on the 19th day of November, 1917, i will pr* - -••nt to the County Court of Prowers County. Colorado, my accounts for fin al settlement of administration of said • state, when und where nil persons In Interest may appear and object to them, if they so desire. HENRY PETERS. Executor of the Last Will and Testa ment of P. N. Peters. Deceased. H’lrst pub. Oct. 17. 1917. Last pub. Nov. 14, 1917.