« PrejšnjaNaprej »
for a song
"Whoa!” piped a thin voice.
West. He spent a lot of money on him, Irene looked up. The Colonel dropped and he did go like the wind. I used to his paper and gazed at her unguardedly. watch him when Jim would let him out
"Whoa!” in a rising note of command. for a little spurt along the street here.
Between the two lines of acacias ap- He didn't take anybody's dust, not that peared the head, then in slow succession season. Then all at once the creature went the rest of a long-legged, long-bodied lame; wasn't worth six bits. Jim sold him horse and a high-hung, far-reaching vehi
to Mary-go-round's grandcle, on the seat of which was perched a slip mother, and the old German woman has of a girl.
doctored him up someway till he can jog “Whoa!” an explosive, final effort of au- around with her milk cart, but the moment thority.
he'd strike out into a trot he'd be hobbling As if worked by an automatic spring, on three legs again." when the animal reached the gate, he Just at that moment the sleepy animal stopped short. The girl leaned forward, they were considering showed signs of and with punctilious care arranged the awakening. He lifted his head, shot forreins around the dashboard; then select- ward his ears and turned towards the ing a milk-can from a number at her feet, house two great, expectant eyes. As Mary climbed down over the wheel and came up stepped from beneath the wide-spreading the graveled driveway, one hand extended palm, he greeted her with welcome to balance the heavy weight in the other. whinny. Her faded gown, evidently designed for "Mary!" called Irene, and held out a some one much larger, came almost to the hand of invitation. ground, and gave to her plump little body Mary stopped; her brisk business air thr appearance of being years older than fell away. “Fraulein,” she whispered, and
, the face beneath the flapping brim of the came a step nearer, her worshiping eyes weather-stained man's hat.
fixed on Irene's face. “Hello, Mary! Go round!” saluted the “Aren't you a very little girl to
go Colonel, as she neared the porch.
round ?" Irene asked. Instantly eyes, lips, the dimples of her “Ah! the grossmutter. Her back; it so round face flashed him a greeting. A sud- bad; she go no more." den shyness swept this brightness away “But aren't you afraid sometimes?” when she saw he was not alone. She “Fraid!” Mary shook her head in viodropped her head and slipped under the lent protest. “Fraid! Why, there's Chararching leaves of a large palm in the direc- lie; Charlie un me's. Why, we's jus'
. tion of the kitchen.
pards." “Mary-go-round?” Irene turned in in- “Pards?" terrogation towards the Colonel.
“Yes. Pards is jus’ like one person. “Yes, Mary by her sponsors in baptism; They—they—they loves each other.” the rest of her cognomen acquired by her "Vot so bad, Mary," commented the own efforts, she being the most methodical Colonel, smoothing his paper
out over and altogether dependable milk distribu- his knee. “Not altogether a legal definitor on the Coast.
tion, but a good, working one." “But, Cousin Tom, the horse: he does “Cousin Tom,” called the voice of the not look very dependable,” she laughed, Lady Mother. pointing to the animal whose every joint The Colonel with a reluctant look beseemed about to unhinge and let his body hind him went into the house. to the ground.
“I think,” said Irene slowly, taking a “old Charlie! Humph! Why, that plump brown hand between her two pink horse has a pedigree as long as your own, palms, "I think it must be lovely having though you do go back to a Revolutionary Charlie for a pard.” Into the depths of great-grandfather and exceedingly her smiling eyes came a purposeful sergreat Mayflower grandmother. Jim Mich- iousness. “Come,” she exclaimed, springols brought him here from the East; ing to her feet and hurrying Mary down thought he'd got something that would the steps. Come, let's make believe I'm step along faster than anything in the a pard, too."
The ('olonel returned from his conier- must pardon us--me. It was impossible ence in time to see her climbing to the *** We prosaic, mundane creatures high seat of the milk cart. Surely this * You * * * Ah! * * * You look was the most incomprehensible as well as like a picture of spring,” he exclaimed, adorable of young women.
taking the armful of flame-colored popMary flapped the reins; Charlie swung pies from her. his tail to scare off possible disturbers of “Oh, Cousin Tom, I ought to look like his peace; Mary flapped again. Charlie a picture of Contrition.” rolled one of his big brown eyes around 7-z-zip! Whiz-z-z! Bur-r-r--and for a cursory glance behind him; commu- whirring of wheels. nicated to each of his four legs his inten- “Auf wiedersehn, little pard.” A white tion to start. With mechanical delibera- hand fluttered a farewell. tion, first one and then another responded; Mary stood alone, looking at the line of the wheels began to revolve and the wagon
dust at the head of which was the rapidly moved down the street, but so slowly that disappearing monster. not an empty can jangled uncomfortably Girlhood has its home in the land of with its neighbor.
the mirage. What may be, what has been ; Along the dusty road he plodded, past never the present. The golden light of the houses half-hid by semi-tropical foli- yesterday still enveloped Mary when the age, out where the olive trees made soft next morning she drove out of the gatepatches of light among more vivid greens. way of the ranch. Here where the orchards
down Very still lay the Santa Clara Valley, around the city and took it lovingly in so still it might have been part of her their embrace, he halted. Life was very
dreams. The encircling black line of pleasant here these spring days. Why mountains shut in the wide, level plain. hurry it? He bent his head and began Above the dull, gray sky hung in monotocomfortably cropping the grass by the nous arch. In the distance the shadowy roadside.
outlines of tall buildings marked the place Irene, gazing off through the hazy air of the sleeping city. at the purple line which shut in the valley, Suddenly, to Mary's half-conscious eyes felt the awakening touch of a soft caress. the towers and spires seemed to tip. Far
“Ah, little pard," she cried, "see, the away great trees swayed. Now they moved fairies are nodding to us over there. We more wildly, sweeping the ground with will go and play with them.”
their branches. It was as if a tempest There is no time limit when with the tossed them, a tempest in dreamland, for fairies. Years slipped back. She stood not a breath reached her. The leaves on with Mary on the further brink of maiden- the nearby trees hung motionless. Not hood. Joy in the wide expanse of field and a blade of grass stirred. She felt in an sky thrilled her. Sunbeams filtered unearthly calm. The long road stretched through the misty clouds laid on her soft, out before her with the hush of night upelectric fingers. No insistent personality on its scattered houses. hedged her about, threatened to make her A rising sense of danger struck her captive, impelled her to flight. She was with chilling force. The half-uttered cry free. free as the breath of morning air died on her lips. Wide-eyed, motionless, that kissed her cheek.
she watched the earth undergoing weird Into the rippling laughter, ecstatic rills changes, moving towards her in long, flowof sound, song notes, the murmur of girl. ing waves.
ing waves. As they advanced, they caught ish voices, broke the chug-chug of an au- at the trees in their course, bowed them tomobile.
back and forth, rocked the ranch houses “Irene, Irene,” admonished the Lady like ships tossed on an angry sea. The Mother's voice, “have you forgotten our monstrous things came nearer, nearer, trip to Los Gatos? You have kept us seized upon her. The whole world tipped waiting half the morning.”
and whirled. The Colonel came wading towards Charlie snorted, reeled and plunged them, the grass tops brushing his knees. wildly. She slipped from the seat and
"Ah, you children of the light! You clung desperately to the dashboard. The
earthquake with its unthinkable might "Oh, oh!” cried Irene, “there's Mary-
Mary dead or dying by the roadside. Charlie, dark with sweat and shaking With nervous haste the big machine was with terror, was staggering helplessly made ready. Like an arrow from the about the road. Milk cans and broken bow it shot down the long road, but it did eggs covered the ground around her. The not overtake Mary till she was swingnext instant Charlie gave a bound; she ing into the ranch gateway, escaping by snatched at the reins.
some marvelous chance the posts. “There, Charlie; good Charlie," she “Ach, Himmel, Himmel!" The grandsoothed and coaxed.
mother hobbled towards them. “What Her familiar voice penetrated his be- can a poor woman do! Look here; look wildered senses.
Love triumphed over here!” She turned from the bricks of fear. Noblesse oblige: was he not of the fallen chimney to the porch torn away royal blood. His furious plunging came from the house. "See there!” She held down to a steady gait, but the training out her shaking cane towards the line of of other years and the habit of his daily cowsheds, a mass of useless, broken timlife, were confused in his frenzied brain. bers. “I long time make them. It costs His jaw tightened on the bit; the reins too much; it costs too much. Ach, such stretched back straight and taut.
troubles! It takes a long time, long time Houses, trees, the landscape, rushed past to get moneys." Mary. The city opened before her. Into The Colonel, with Irene at his side, folit she dashed at a breakneck speed. Back lowed her about in speechless sympathy. and forth through the cross streets over Suddenly he wheeled and crossed the yard the old course she flew; around sharp cor- to where Charlie stood patiently waiting to ners she spun on two wheels, a solitary be ur harnessed. He ran his hand down milkcan thumping against the sides of the his wet flank, opened his mouth, lifted wagon box, and every bolt and spoke rat- his feet. Over one of these he paused, extling its protest.
amining it critically. Now a wheel grazed along a curb, now “All right?” he asked of the granda hub barked a tree trunk, and now she mother. was back on the broad street that led into “Yes, yes; it makes no more troubles." the straight country road. With wilder “I'll tell you what I'll do, Mrs. Schmidt impetus the excited horse dashed forward. -I'll buy Charlie. I'll give you money His long body sank, his head stretched enough to put your chimney back and level, his legs swept out in far-reaching your porch in place and set that windmill strides, and his hoofs hit the ground in up again all right, and make you better steady, rhythmic beats.
stables than you ever had before. Yes, On the lawn in front of the large white and leave you money in the bank.” house stood a hushed, agitated group
“You do all that? Charlie brings watching the smoke roll up from the money to do that?" Her dim eyes shone. flames that were eating into the heart of “Ach, you goot man! I no more tired. the stricken city. The awed silence was I young like a girl.” She seized his hand broken by the rush of Charlie's pounding and pressed it to her lips. “My words feet.
they no come.”
With a passionate gesture, Mary threw There was a deliberating pause. “Be her arm over Charlie's neck and buried you an' the Fraulein goin' to be pards ?” her face in his mane. A sob, a quivering came in tentative, half-smothered voice note of woe, wavered out on the still air. from out Charlie's mane.
"Das Kind, she weep for the horse.” An inspiration sent a sudden courage The grandmother's voice trembled. “Ach, coursing through the Colonel's blood. His it hurts, it hurts here.” She laid her hand moment had arrived. With possessory on her breast. Her head shook. “Ich grasp his hand closed over Irene's fingers. kann nicht; Ich kann nicht,” she broke His eyes met her frank, cousinly gaze with forth vehemently, turning to the Colonel. masterful force, beat it down, drove it to "Das Kind, es liebt. I'm strong; I work cover. like a man; I put them all back," point- “Cousin Tom” ing to the ruined sheds. “I no eat; I no “I'll have no more Cousin Toms," he drink, but the horse, him I keep.”
broke in savagely. “It annoys me when you “Cousin Tom !”
call me Cousin Tom. Tom—just Tom or The Colonel's face flushed. He moved nothing." to one side in obedience to the slight touch "T-T-Tom !” on his arm.
A wild impulse to shout, fling wide his “Can't something be done?” Irene's arms, to seize Irene and whirl her away, swimming eyes were raised to his. “Can't raced tumultuously through his brain. you arrange it? Why, you and Mary Mary's tear-wet eyes peering at him over could both own the horse, couldn't you- her elbow sobered him. He nodded a sort of partnership?"
gravely. “How's that, Mary? Supposing we're "Yes, Mary," he assured her. "It's all pards, and own Charlie together; how right. The Fraulein and I are pards, would that suit you?”
pards for life.”
“AND A WOFUL WINTER WAITS IN THE
PLACE OF SPRING” ”
BY SHAEMAS O'SHEEL
Spring overleans the earth with her wings of light,
And the earth gives flower-lips to the kiss of Spring,
The hearts of maidens and men, that they leap and sing
To me, alas ! light songs are a bitter thing,
And a woful winter waits in the place of Spring!
Flowers are fair, and what is so fair as a face
Fresh with the fragrant fulness of laughing life?
Holding with all things happy a hateful strife;
Mine ears are stung by the rumors of gladness rife,
And one dead love I cannot recall to life.
ATURDAY NIGHT, and yet he the snow falls less deeply and the winters
could possibly delay him such a common sense when a snow storm aplong time?
proaches, and usually climb the mountains These were the questions asked among to the summits and stay there, eating what the boys at camp when Otto did not put brush and shrubbery they find. When the in his appearance that night. Otto had snow is too deep for them to find feed, been sent Wednesday morning to Durango they bunch up and chew off each other's -twenty-five miles from the camp-to tails and manes, and finally die of starprocure provisions for the camp, and also vation. bring the mail, which was then received This was the situation with which my only every two weeks. The team with brother and I had to cope. That night, as which he had started was a spirited span we sat by the fire drying our clothes and of sorrels, well known in camp on account thawing out, we discussed the question of of their endurance. The wagon was an Otto's absence pro and con until we finally ordinary, but substantial one, such as are agreed upon the following plan: We usually used to accompany a cowboy camp- would gather all the cattle and horses ing outfit. So it seemed rather improb- from the range the following day, and one able that he had met with the misfortune of us would start that night and ride to of a breakdown, even though it was a Durango and find what occurred to Otto rough mountain road that he had to tra- to cause all this delay and anxiety, while
Even though he had had a break- the other would remain and look after down, one of the sorrels was broken to the cattle, which was an enormous underride, and he could have ridden the one taking for one person. while he led the other. He should have We groomed and fed our horses excepbeen home Friday, and his non-appearance tionaily well that night, in order that they seemed a mystery, as well as a cause for would be able to endure the terrible strain worrying.
the following day of driving obstinate What could be done? How were we to cattle through the deep snow. We then ascertain the cause of his tardiness for laid down for a short night's rest, because such a great length of time?
we had a lot of work to do before starting. To add to the difficulty of the situation, And that demanded our arising very early. it began to snow. A snow-storm in the Daylight found us next morning ready latter part of November in the mountains to start on our hard day's ride. Both of of Southwestern Colorado usually meant us had the best saddle horses in camp, that winter had set in. Oftentimes it which were to be replaced at noon by fresh snowed three feet before stopping. This ones, when we each came in with our renecessitated our tending to the cattle, spective gatherings of cattle and horses gathering them in from the mountains, which were to be placed in the corrals. separating them into different lots, and We rode continually all day, and in the feeding them.
evening had gathered in the neighborhood Cattle are oftentimes driven south by of two hundred. It was strenuous work, snow-storms. Nature has endowed them riding in a rough, mountainous country with the instinct of knowing when a storm in a blinding snow storm all day without is approaching, and they drift south where even taking time to eat a lunch. Quite a