Page:Yule Logs.djvu/445

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429
ON A MEXICAN RANCHE

"If you were as faint-hearted in fighting as you are in love," the girl said with a bright smile, "you would never have won me. I do believe you would never have spoken had not I spoken first."

"I am sure I never should," he replied. "I have known for months that I loved you. It would not have been right that I, one of your father's overseers, should ever speak of my love to his daughter."

The cowboys came up presently and crowded round Harry Denham, shaking hands with him warmly.

"We wiped out five of the skunks," one of them said, "but the others were too well mounted for us. If we had had time to choose our horses, not one of them would have got away."

"It does not matter," Harry said; "the man who was the author of all this has fallen. The rest were only hired brigands, and they have paid heavily for it."

"Are you coming to the camp, Harry?"

"Not at present, I must conduct the señora home; but I may be out this evening."

The men exchanged a significant glance, and when the way separated at the charred remains of the hut, one said, "We shall not see much more of Denham at the camp. I don't know what the Don will say about it, but there is no mistake about the señora. Poor little thing, how white she was when she rode up! She looks all right again now, and has got plenty of colour in her cheeks; but she was as pale as death then. She didn't say much, but there was no question where her heart was."

When Harry Denham left Isabella, he promised her that he would return in two hours and wait at the gate until she came to him. She was there before him, and he saw at once that she had judged her father better than he had.

"Come in, Harry," she said, "my father is expecting you."