Buffy's Hegira

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Buffy's Hegira

BY MARIE MANNING

MOLLY BOOTHBY was worth waiting for: a nice, wholesome sort of girl, with a dimpled chin and appealing eyes that ought to have been listed under the head of "undue influence," since she had nothing to appeal from or for, having the most delightful home and as many blessings as were good for any one. The one thing about her that drove Tom Standish to frenzy was her equanimity; being a Boothby, she could hardly have escaped it, but Tom felt that to have it to the extent Molly did was little short of a crime.

The Boothby home itself, in its easygoing, delightful way, was ideal. No wonder the children never wanted to go away and "settle"; even the glimpse of it from the train window was heartening. It scrambled over the crest of a hill, commanding the best view of the valley; it had been added to and subtracted from; porches had multiplied, and the great rooms of the pre-Revolutionary period had been divided to meet the requirements of the Boothbys of three generations.

Clinton Boothby, the present head of the house, was a sculptor. The double-storied projecting "L" at the rear of the building was his special province, and here he fashioned those famous equestrian statues that have done so much to raise the standard of American art. At this particular time, the family circle had been increased by three models—an Indian, a buffalo, and a pure-bred Arabian horse rented by a Wild West Show to Boothby, who was going to use them in a heroic group illustrative of this Republic before the coming of the white man.

Tom Standish felt that he was a model, too—a model of patience—since this was his third journey from the Southwest to try and induce Molly to return with him. She was, as usual, fluent in excuses; two years ago it had been that her mother had not been well, and last year her younger brother was to graduate from Princeton in June and she must be there. This year's excuse seemed to Tom maddening in its utter banality: she had accepted the presidency of the Gentlewoman's Co-operative League and proposed to organize a series of pageants for the uplift and amusement of the villagers, who were sadly lacking in artistic influence. In addition to the fostering of esthetic tendencies, the League had a Woman's Exchange side to its character where currant jam, cross-stitch guest-towels, fluffy layer-cake, and Irish crochet might be exchanged for coin of the realm if any one stood in need of them. Tom Standish, the six-footer, who had grown up on a ranch in Texas, could have endured any kind of human rival, but when it came to arguments about forsaking gentlewomen's jam and hand-painted oatmeal sets in his favor, he was too puzzled for words.

Molly would, in all probability, have been too busy to listen. Her head was full of schemes for a new pageant that would include the Indian, the Arabian horse, and maybe the buffalo, if he could be managed. But from the beginning both the Indian and the buffalo had refused to yield to that something in the Boothby character which was wont to win the confidence of man and beast alike. They had remained sullenly indifferent to the blandishments that had been lavished on them in a vain effort to break down the wall of distrust with which they had apparently surrounded themselves.

Mrs. Boothby and her daughter did not wonder that any one as dirty as "Lo" should feel unhappy. The Indian question, they felt, could have been settled years ago by the introduction of soap and porcelain tubs on their reservations. "Treat them as you would any other fellow-creature," Molly insisted, with the finality of youth, when her father proposed installing Lo in a tent near the house, "If it were June, father, I wouldn't have a word to say, but it's nearly October—he might take cold."

Thus Lo was given a room in the attic that no one ever used or was likely to use. It was a sort of Bluebeard chamber, in which had been stored all the outgrown "house beautiful" objects of several generations. Here were the "hand-painted "milkmaid stools, the plaques, the embroidered table-covers that Mrs. Boothby had industriously wrought as a girl and abandoned later as "impossible." Globes of wax flowers and "spatter-work," handicraft of earlier ancestresses, were here kept concealed, like crimes, yet left undestroyed for sentimental reasons.

Had Boothby been familiar with the esthetic horrors of the Bluebeard chamber, perhaps he would have understood better the Indian's expression of settled melancholy and utter limpness; but he had not been in the attic for years. Day after day he worked at Lo, but he might as well have tried to model a meal-sack for any spirit the red man put into his posing. The buffalo, too, seemed equally inert, and, beyond eating with great regularity everything that was put in his pen, continued apparently to nourish a grouch. Molly had about given up the idea of putting him in a pageant.

The joint melancholy of the twain was a source of keen disappointment to Jack and Billy, Clinton Boothby's grandsons and neighbors. They had become so accustomed to the animals that their grandfather used as models that they had grown to regard themselves as youthful Hagenbecks, and had begun to lord it over other boys who could not boast similar extensions of the family circle. What was the use of having such splendid properties as a buffalo and an Indian if they just humped around looking dull?

So Jack, being a resourceful child, with great powers of applying acquired knowledge, wondered what he could do to rouse the buffalo from his brooding melancholy—how to put a little zest in his life, make him worth bragging about. Continuing this line of reasoning, he remembered having been told never to go near the field where the bull was kept with anything red on; now if a bull did not like red, why, indeed, should a buffalo?

When Jack made his preparations, he had perfect faith in the lock of the buffalo-pen. He was not seeking to revive the noble sport of the plains. He had, in fact, no organized hunt in mind when he presented himself at the back gate of his crony, Bobby Lincoln, and said, "Say, where's that old red sweater of yours?"

"In the dog-house."

"Say, you lend it to me."

"What fer?" demanded the friend, instantly on guard. There might be delightful usages to which a discarded sweater could be put; it didn't do to be recklessly generous.

"Ah, you can't do nuttin' wid it." In the absence of censorship Jack loved to talk like the boys who lived near the railroad tracks.

"The dickens I can't! What kin you do with it?"

"A lot you can't! Say, you tell me, has your grandfather got a buffalo—now you tell me that?"

"No, he ain't got no buffalo," drawled Robert, reluctantly mulcted of the humiliating truth.

"Well, I'm goin' to have a bull-fight with my grandfather's buffalo—there now!"

"Gee! Goody! Golly! Why didn't you say so at first? You needn't have that ole dog-sweater—the puppy's been sleeping on it; you can have m' Sunday sweater!"

"'S it red?"

"Red's blood. Oh, say, le's begin right now. Where's your mother? Mine's out. Oh, why didn't you say so 'fore?"

"Now you don't fight a bull same's you do a boy; you have to be a matador and things like that, an' go into the ring and bow and wave your scarlet cloak; and then the bull he dashes at you; and that 'll be all right with grandfather's buffalo, cause there's bars in front of his pen—great, big, strong bars what he can't break down."

"Oh, gee! I'm a-goin' for my best sweater, and, say, can't I be a matterdor, too? I'll wear the ole sweater, the one the puppy has."

"You can be my second assistant matador," said Jack, loftily, "and I'll wear your Sunday sweater."

The matadors did not waste much time on their toilets, the puppy was deprived of his bed, and an earnest but inglorious-looking matador stood waiting for his friend, who had new buttons to struggle with.

"You know I'm just a-lending you that sweater, not a-giving it to you," said the second assistant matador—not that he was in the least doubt as to his friend's understanding of the transaction, but that he wished to remind him of the transient state of his splendor.

The chief matador merely growled, "Ah, who don't know that," and with his trusty assistant made his way to the buffalo-pen. Not a soul was in sight. Not a single commanding, ordering, persuading grown-up, upsetting, according to his personality, the best-laid plans of boys and buffaloes.

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The bull-fighters were each a trifle hazy as to their respective formalities. They had heard of bowing and hand-kissing, but didn't think much of that; so arm-in-arm they strode to the pen and roared. The exile from the prairies at first paid no attention to the long-distance matadors, from whom he was separated by stout, iron-tipped locust bars, the whole fitted into a heavy door, fastened by a padlock.

"Shucks!" said the second assistant, "let's kick the door and roar at him!"

Buffy did not seem to think much of the self-introduction of the two matadors. He slightly turned his head in the direction of the sound, opened his mouth as if he were about to reply, and seemingly thought better of answering anything so jejune and feeble.

The matadors now scrambled up the barricade and accosted the buffalo in more challenging tones. Still nothing happened! It is sad to be a matador, full of fire and purpose, and not have your bull take you seriously. The knights of the ring were still regarding their prey, not knowing in the least what to do next, when the buffalo saw them. At first he regarded them as if they were a couple of flies that had lighted on the pen, but something about them impelled another glance; in a second he was up humping himself—the deadly insult of seeing red had been put upon him.

His blood-curdling roar was all that the most hardened matador could desire; it was more than the novices had anticipated. At the same moment, they saw with petrifying horror that the hasp by which the gate of the pen was fastened hung limply—some one had forgotten to lock it. They dropped rather than slid from the bars, and, pale and chattering, rushed for the nearest section of the corral fence and hurled themselves over it. Buffy could have overtaken them at a bound, but that he was carrying out the best traditions of his family by working himself up with certain hunchings and head wallowings from a lesser to a greater fury, before assuming the first position for running amuck. So that when he finally emerged from the unlocked pen the matadors were nowhere in sight. They were bounding into the house, shrieking:

"Buffy's gone! He's gone!"

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"Who's gone, dears?" inquired Mrs. Boothby, descending the stairs with the beautifully deliberate grace of Louise of Prussia. Never had the family equanimity appeared to be in better working order than when she repeated:

"Who's gone, and why are you so excited?"

"Buffy—grandpa's buffalo!"

"Gone like the dickens!" amended the assistant matador. "He's busted his pen!"

Molly, beautiful and star-eyed, also wrapped in the constitutional serenity of the family, leaned over the banisters to inquire what was the matter. Her mother replied with cheerfulness that the buffalo was loose. It might have been a daily occurrence, the descent of a raging bison upon a village in the neighborhood of New York.

"It does seem as if Buffy could not have taken a more inconvenient time to escape, with not a man on the place—"

"We can telephone people that he's coming." Mrs. Boothby had the air of one doing her duty by a neighbor about to be surprised by a dinner guest.

"Or I might saddle that Arabian father is modeling; he's wonderful on the gallop."

"But is he safe?"

"Well, it's hardly decent to sit here enjoying a Morris-chair while our buffalo is running wild."

"We ought to take some risk, certainly, but think of your poor little hands— My dear, there's Lo, he must be in his room. He ought to be able to manage him beautifully."

So up-stairs to the Bluebeard chamber both ladies went. They knew that Lo was not posing, because Mr. Boothby had been called to New York. They rapped two or three times, then opened the door, but a dusty and neglected chamber of horrors awaited them. The bed had apparently not been disturbed for weeks. There was not the faintest sign that the room had been occupied since the noble red man was first given the freedom of the spatter-work, the hand-painted plaques, and the tufted pin-cushions.

"Why, he's never been here!" announced Mrs. Boothby with just the faintest diminution of the family equanimity. "We'll ask Katie," as a plump housemaid came up-stairs with her arms full of clean linen.

"Katie, do you know where the Indian stays? He's not been occupying his room."

"I do, ma'am; he do be shlapin' each night wid the buffalo."

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"Sure, why should I be troublin' the likes av you wid where the likes av him shlapes! Sure the buffalo-pen's the place for him and the both of thim savuges together."

"Where is he now?"

"Sure the minnit Mr. Boothby sthops takin' his likeness, ma'am, he's off in the woods lightin' a bonfire."

"Mamma, I shall saddle that Arabian immediately, ride him down the village, and warn people about Buffy. I'll take the short-cut by the lane and head him off."

"Don't forget your gauntlets, Molly, or you'll ruin your hands."

"Do you mind getting me my gray pair, mamma, while I saddle him? I shall enjoy the ride famously; just the thing for me—my blue dress is getting a little tight. Don't bother to come down; throw the gloves out of the window—" Molly's speech trailed after her as she went down-stairs, in no indecent haste, but with the air of one whose errand was pleasantly pressing.

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In a few minutes Molly was on the back of Sultan, taking the short-cut down the lane to head off Buffy. That personage was not specializing in speed, rather was he making a trial of muscle and knee action before getting really into action. But when he heard the ring of the Arabian's hoofs down the lane, Buffy drew in his head, as if about to turn a somersault, then shot forth his legs and ran lumpishly and stupidly, exactly as his friends and relatives run around the ring in that act of the Wild West Show set down as: "Wild and Thrilling Race of Positively the Last Herd of Buffalo in Existence!"

Molly on the back of Sultan was deciding that an escaped buffalo was the mildest of contretemps. The gallop was a wonderful tonic. If people would only not get fussed up over trifles! She glanced back. Buffy, with his nose to the ground, was thundering and snorting terribly. The much-advertised motor road that was oiled daily, and that had put up the price of real estate in the neighborhood, seemed to shake beneath him; he was looking appallingly dangerous. She must get farther ahead and warn people.

At this point, about twenty yards in front of her, she recognized old Mr. Jenks, whose twin social specialties were deafness and a maddening and inexorable tendency to discuss the weather. Mr. Jenks did not hear the hoofs of Sultan till they were fairly upon him. Molly made a megaphone of her hands and shouted: "Our buffalo is loose. Run for your life!"

"Did you say looks like rain? I don't think so, Miss Molly."

"Our buffalo is loose—right back of you."

"'Looks like snow!'—You're joking—"

Leaning down from the saddle, she grasped the astonished old gentleman by the shoulders and swung him, right-about face, to the actual moving-picture of the great North American bison devouring space! It was the sole occasion in the history of that community when old Mr. Jenks had no prognostications to offer on the weather. With a speed scarcely inferior to that of the buffalo, he made a dash for an adjacent gate that happened to be open.

Molly and Buffy were soon neck to neck; she prodded Sultan with her heel, chirruping to him and begging him not to let himself be beaten by a door-mat, a sleighing-robe, one of a species all but extinct. Sultan responded gallantly, as one who had traditions to maintain. Then a motor-car went zigzagging by, carefully avoiding the informal Wild West Show, but weakly indulging itself in several purely ornamental honks, which proved the last straw for Buffy. Like most people reduced to sedentary lives, Buffy, when really put on his mettle, overdid. The honk of that automobile was as a deadly insult. He charged its crystal wind-shield, shivered it to atoms, and expressed himself forcibly. Then Buffy and the motor parted, with a feeling of mutual respect, but the car, sadder and wiser, honked no adieus, and the buffalo resumed the chase with something of the first flush of adventure gone.

Less than half a mile in front of Molly stretched Main Street. Buffy in Main Street was an impossibility—no one could hope to negotiate a bison down that fussy little thoroughfare. There would be motors, there would be carriages, there would be wagons drawn by nervous horses, and there were two china-shops, in each or both of which Buffy might wrest the laurels from the bull of platitude. There were other marts of trade which presented possibilities equally alarming; the greengrocer was a great hand for a lavish open-air display, so was the fruit man, while an invasion of the Gentlewoman's Co-operative League, with the blue-and-white tea-room in the front, was too awful to think about.

The immediate prospect before Molly as she rode with comet-like speed down the main thoroughfare was a series of groups that formed and dissolved with kaleidoscopic rapidity—groups that formed as human curiosity impelled people to rush out to see what was happening, and dissolved when the merest glance seemed to satisfy them. With ease she held her own about fifty yards ahead of Buffy. Her ear, now grown accustomed to the various sounds of which Buffy was capable, from the thunder of his hoofs to his snorts and bellowings, detected a new note in the orchestration—the hoofs of a horse keeping well alongside the fugitive. She turned her head and caught a glimpse of Tom Standish spurring along on a rangy Irish hunter.

For once in her life Molly, without a single reservation, was unaffectedly glad to see him. He could be depended on, in case Buffy got unmanageable, to turn the trick. On the other hand, the gallop had been so glorious, had put her in such riotous spirits, had given her her head to such an extent, that she was in no mood to be sent back; and this he would undoubtedly try to do. Her ear told her that the horse was gaining on the buffalo—a moment more and Tom was riding alongside of her.

"You're all right, thank Heaven! Now drop back and I'll round him up as soon as I can get a rope. There are some outside the hardware-store—"

"Why should I drop back? I just love it, and I've managed all right so far."

"Because," said Tom, severely, "you're not Mary, and he's not your little lamb following you to school."

"Thanks! Perhaps when you have time you'll also teach me how to tell the wild flowers from the birds."

"I wish I could teach you the difference between the splendid, courageous thing you have done and the utterly foolhardy risk you now persist in running."

"You're running one yourself. Besides, I want to warn the Gentlewoman's League personally. They are having their Colonial exhibit—we've loaned them our spinet and our Lowestoft."

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"Thanks for the tip," he said, with a quiet finality that made her take a second look at him. The next moment he was shouting to the Greek fruit-man to put up his shutters, and waving to two old ladies driving a pet horse of twenty-two down Main Street to cut and run down an alleyway. The elderly trio safe, Standish spurred across the street in the direction of the hardware-store. His eye swept the unfrivolous display of shovels, ashcans, preserving-kettles, and chains hanging like useful stalactites about its door. There was rope, too, but the sour grapes of fable hung no higher. No knight of old, jousting in a tournament, ever aimed with greater precision than Tom Standish riding at that coil of rope dangling from a second-story window of a hardware-store.

A group on a balcony opposite was more excited than he. Molly's heart was pounding in her throat when he rose and stood in his stirrups as the hunter carried him close to the goal. No—would he, after all? Swaying back slightly in his stirrups, he reached high, and with a deft turn of the wrist lifted the coil of rope off the hook! The balcony groups cheered, the window groups took it up, the street re-echoed with it—which was a mistake, for Buffy's nerves were raw, and he began a sort of tango, self-applauded with fierce bellowings.

The slight check caused by the hardware-store tournament had given Molly the lead by a few feet, but now she pulled up with Tom, neck to neck. He was doing things with the rope, never relaxing his vigilance on the road ahead, shouting warnings, untying the string that held the loops of hemp, making a slip-knot in one end with incredibly few fingers—dividing the ten between rope and reins—and presently a noose began to emerge. Working down the rope, he began wrapping the end opposite the noose over palm and elbow, and soon he was equipped with that "better half" of the plainsman—a lariat. Molly had watched him with the keen admiration a woman gives to genuine manual dexterity. Standish had not spoken to her since she had declined to "drop back." He had simply gone ahead, making preparations for she knew not what.

"Tom!"

"Yes," he answered.

"Tom, the reason I'm anxious about Buffy and the Exchange is that during their Colonial exhibit they've taken that vacant shop next door, and the whole front is open—he could rush right in."

"I call that sweet of them. Just the place to round him up. Of course he's likely to get mixed up with the tidies, but what is a tidy in a good cause?"

"Tom, you wouldn't?"

"Did you ever hear of a worm turning? Well, this represents a worm turning in collusion with a buffalo—quite a handsome acrobatic feat!" And to a boy on a bicycle he cried, "Other way!—a buffalo's loose."

"Think of poor Maria Endicott's canned peaches and Miss Salem's fairy-wedding cakes! They actually depend on them."

"I am thinking," he grinned with gusto. "And I'm also thinking of those frilly, ballety lamp-shades, also of the jars of gentlewomen's jam and the pans of chocolate fudge, each of which I could sue for alienation of affection—your affection. I've a deep personal grudge to settle with every one of them."

"Can't you see the frightful danger, the anxiety—?"

"No, I can't. Buffy's not modest; he announces himself a block off; the gentlewomen will merely bolt for the back door and find themselves enjoying the salubrious air of William Street."

"You are—" but she checked herself. "I've always thought bushels of you, Tom."

"Then you've taken a queer way of showing it. Now, don't palaver, Molly—it doesn't go with your type. The only way for you to save the lamp-shades and layer-cake is to turn back now—the Exchange is about a block and a half off."

"There will be quantities of people lunching there—defenseless women." Then, to an old lady shrieking from a second-story window to be told what was the matter, "Nothing is the matter, Miss Brooks, only our buffalo is loose. Defenseless women, Tom."

"I can just hear them ordering their chicken salad and vanilla ice-cream while Rome burns, or, rather, Buffy bounds."

"You mean to turn him in there unless I stop now?"

"Absolutely yes, if that's the only way I can insure your safety."

"Very well, then. Good-by." And she whirled her horse away with the family equanimity in full possession.

Tom swept her a salutation as deferential as if he had at his disposal all the time in the calendar, with no raging bison in the rear. Molly pulled her horse into a side street, and in a couple of minutes along came the roaring, bellowing, snorting disturber of refined village life, village life with the best traditions back of it.

Molly out of danger, Standish urged his horse onto the sidewalk and gave the buffalo the right of way. The street was as clear as if newly swept by a cyclone. The inhabitants had sought second-story windows. In the mean time Standish had been doing things with that noosed coil of rope—getting it into positions that meant nothing in particular to these people of the effete East, but that would have signified much to any one in the habit of handling cattle or horses on the plains.

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He let Buffy get ahead of him, perhaps twenty feet; then the coil of rope, wriggling and sinuous, stealthy as a snake, began its aerial pursuit. Once, twice, thrice it grazed the back of the fleeing buffalo, only to be pulled back for a better aim as the noose failed to fall true. Again Standish hauled in the rope, paying it out in ever-increasing circles with amazing deftness; it swung, it pursued, gaining with almost conscious intelligence on the couple of tons of rushing buffalo. In lithe undulations it flew—doubling, turning, twisting. Larger and larger grew the noose, one end of it sagged, it dropped over the uncouth head and shoulders, it tightened—and the fractious buffalo was a prisoner, a tugging, hauling thing at the end of a tight line—his progress arrested exactly in front of the flaunting open front of the Gentlewoman's Co-operative League. Molly, who had been watching the proceedings in breathless suspense, wondered if Tom had deliberately let his victim run till he reached this critical situation.

Every community is full of near-heroes. These now rushed to the aid of Standish and his haul—all of them wanted to pull on the rope, to jerk the buffalo this way and that; but, thanking them heartily, he proceeded to put into execution a few standby tricks that all cattlemen know, and by loosening and tightening of the noose to induce Buffy to retrace his wild steps down Main Street. Standish saluted Molly in passing.

"Nothing at all; the merest trifle!" the sweep of his sombrero indicated; "you ought to see me do something really worth while."

A pulse near her heart rose chokingly, her eyes were dim—for once the family equanimity drooped. "He made me turn back—made me!" She looked after the slender, muscular figure sitting his horse with the ease of a plainsman, and hugged the enforced submission to her heart; it was good to be taken in hand like that and to be made to mind.

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Then she turned her horse toward that apple of her eye, the Gentlewoman's Co-operative League, to inquire for the gentle nerves and how they stood the shock, but she was not allowed to proceed far. She was stopped at every door and made to tell the story of the escaped buffalo, and these details increased and multiplied, till by the time she reached the League the gentlewomen had it that Molly had begun her mad ride on the buffalo's back, and all of them had to be set straight on that point.

Molly had not answered more than a few hundred questions before she became aware that the atmosphere of the League was imbued with a spirit of unfriendly criticism. The gentlewomen, who were all considerably older than she, would withdraw into little conspirator-like groups and talk in undertones, and then emerge and recharge the air with fresh antagonism. And presently she learned the cause. It had been tossed about that she was trifling with that splendid young man who had not only saved their lives, but also their Colonial exhibit, their gentlewomen's jam, their cross-stitch, and all the works and pomps and frivolities that were theirs. Three times had he come all the way from Texas to plead his cause, and thrice had she refused—ambition was ruining her, ambition to continue as president of the Gentlewoman's Co-operative League. Of course, she had started it, organized the pageants, induced the gentlewomen to leave their wares for sale, and thus had made herself dictator; but it was an office fitter for a matron than a young girl, and when her ruthless ambition caused her to ruin another life besides her own it was time to protest.

They worked the climax up, like the conspirators in Julius Cæsar. Mrs. Lycurgus Y. Greggs, who was dying to replace Molly as president, made an able Brutus. Miss Boothby did not catch more than a flying word here and there, but the atmosphere of the League fairly sizzled with conspiracy. "And I move," said Mrs. Greggs, "that we get up a set of engrossed resolutions informing that splendid young man how deeply the League feels itself in his debt."

"He should be made to feel that the gentler sex has its softer side and that ambition does not rule us all," announced old Maria Penthorp, who, like Cassius, had a "lean and hungry look."

"Indeed, I hope you will." And Molly, who felt nearer to tears than the family equanimity had ever before permitted, excused herself and turned Sultan's head toward home.

Standish met her before she was half-way there, still riding the rangy Irish hunter. "Well, Buffy's all right, fastened tight in his pen this time. It seems that Indian picked out Buffy for a room-mate because he couldn't stand the knickknacks in the attic. Your father's laughed himself hoarse, says that's what's been the matter with the fellow all along—those things kept him from posing like a savage."

"That's just father's nonsense. If he didn't occupy the room, how could the things affect him—"

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"He used it as a dressing-room. Really, Molly, I was sorry to be a brute to you and threaten the tidies and jam if you didn't turn back—but it was too risky."

"Oh, I don't really care about the jam and the pageants; perhaps if you had turned in Buffy at the League it might have done them good, they are so set—"

Standish seized the occasion of her first toward the sacred League to begin to make love like a Viking, but apparently this strangely meek Molly, riding beside him, did not require such whirlwind love-making. Before they had reached the outer gate of the Boothby place she had promised to go back to Texas with him. In vain did he look for that sufficient-unto-itself quality, the equanimity that was accustomed to flutter like a banner in the blue. She seemed to have mislaid it, to have forgotten that it ever flaunted. Tom helped her off Sultan and she went into the house to tell her mother.

But Tom was not as much amazed at the turn of events as "Lo, the poor Indian " when he discovered that his carelessness in neglecting to fasten in his fractious room-mate had resulted in a hunt that would not have shamed his ancestors. He expected some awful uprising on the part of these pale-faces, but the chief and his squaw had merely told him not to leave the gate unfastened again, and now here was this young pale-face man, who after he helped the young squaw off her horse, slapped him on the back, wrung his hand, and gave him twenty dollars. And these people thought the red man strange!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1945, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.