Page:Yule Logs.djvu/409

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
393
ON A MEXICAN RANCHE

comrades and covered them with earth. They now assisted Don Garcia and the coachman to lift the young man into the coach, where he was laid in a reclining position, with blankets and rugs under his head and shoulders. The Spaniard took his place beside him, and Isabella occupied the remaining seat. The servants then mounted.

"We shall not stop where we intended," Don Garcia said to the coachman, "we must get home to-morrow evening. We had best stop for the night at San Lorenzo, we can find accommodation at the priest's there. Be careful how you drive; you must go fast, but avoid all stones and rough places."

The young man who had so opportunely come to their rescue was apparently scarce twenty years old, and though bronzed to a deep brown by the sun, his hair showed that his complexion was naturally fair. He was attired in a coloured flannel shirt, Mexican trousers with fringed sides, and high riding-boots. On his head he wore one of the thick stiff hats with wide brim, encircled with a scarlet and gold cord, in use alike by the cowboys and Mexican vaqueros. Isabella filled a cup with water and acidulated juice of fruit from a bottle hanging from the roof of the carriage, and handed it to her father, who held it to the young man's lips. He drank it eagerly.

"I am ashamed to be of so much trouble," he said faintly.

"Why should you be ashamed?" Don Garcia asked heartily; "you have rendered us an invaluable service. Doubtless they would have put us to a very heavy ransom, if worse had not befallen us. You are an American, I presume?"

"No, I am English, señor; my name is Harry Denham; but I have been knocking about this country for the last five years, sometimes working on a ranche, sometimes hunting. I have been staying for the last few days with a vaquero and his family. I was just starting north to