Imatges de pÓgina

masculine in her soliloquy showed that Miss Dinah was none too wise to think of someone so frequently that the personality of the individual had supplanted his own name.

"You must be very far away from all neighbors here," she remarked, glancing up along the slope of green, where the unbroken wood circled the mountain for miles. "It is a lonely place for anyone to live who is timid; but I suppose you are not."

"Well, I don't know," nodded Becky Ann, in a sideling fashion difficult to translate. "I ain't so brash in the timber as I'd like to be, sometimes, specially if Will happens to be away late, an' I have to stay alone here with the children; but, my-oh-my! if you think this here's lonesome, what 'ud you think o' Granny Le Fevre's place up at the Ledge? That's just the wildest, snakiest-my-oh-my! there she is this minute."

Thinking to see the storied witch, Dinah leaned forward to the window; but only a flitting shadow touched the sward an instant and vanished from her range of vision, and then there were quick steps on the little porch, some shouts of familiar welcome from the children, and then the most impossible witch stood in the door-way, and halted speechless at sight of a stranger.

"Come right in, Corinny," commanded Becky Ann, hospitably. "This here's Miss Floyd, from up at the Notch house. Miss Floyd, this is Mis' Le Fevre. An' you look ready to drop," she decided, with a quick change from mistress of ceremonies to the personal appearance of the new"Set down in that chair an' tell me what's wrong. Is Edie worse?"


"Yes, she is," she answered, and slipped down into the chair, holding her side and breathing very fast; "and I run all the way. You said-your Will would go for a doctor." "My-oh-my! To be sure. But our mare hurt herself on

the foot this morning; he's just been dosin' it, an' I know she ain't fit to go; but he'll walk it. Where's Dick?"

"Dick, he's down at the settlement somewheres. I surely counted on seeing him home this morning, but he ain't;" and the plaintive voice had an added tone of hopelessness in it as she made the statement. "Bud's started after him, but I jest couldn't wait a minute longer."

"Well, you jest take your breath, an' I'll call Will. Will! 'hoy, Will!"

"Must you send far for a doctor here?" asked Dinah, who was taking mental notes of the delicious coloring in the wild-flower face, and the fine modeling of the throat, around which the strings of a huge bonnet were tied. Altogether, she found her charming and unusual-this pathetic-eyed creature, who lived with a witch, if she was not the witch herself.

"Most ten mile-it is from our house," she said; and the voice, with its slight sing-song cadence, seemed just the one to accord with her general personality. What a soft-voiced witch! "Ten mile to a regular doctor. There's some herbdoctors about. Bud's one, but he don't dose babies much. Granny has an herb-cure; but I'm jest anxious for a regular."

"Ten miles! that is a long walk. Oh! I tell you what we can do. Mr. Edson is here on horseback; he would go as we go home. I'm sure he would, when it is a case of sickness."

"May be he would!" and a bit of hope crept into the wide, childlike eyes. "I know he's powerful kind to folks mostly, powerful kind."

"Is he?" queried Dinah, smiling. "Well, I don't know. He has an average amount of the milk of human kindness -enough, at least, to bring a doctor for a sick child; but I did not know he was getting a reputation on the mountain for his virtues."

The bonnet was pushed back a little farther, with a wandering, uncertain movement of the slight brown hand. The humorous tone of Miss Dinah's remarks evidently disturbed her; she did not look like a person who understood humor, anyway.

"He's kind, though," she reiterated, with soft insistence, "and good. He's a comfort to folks, specially when he sings."

Dinah's alert brown eyes glanced at her curiously, as if to judge the mental status of the pretty study that looked so like a human anemone. She was earnest, at least, to judge by the sincere belief expressed in her whole face.

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"Oh, you know him well, then, and have heard him sing?"

"Yes, I heard him sing once, an' I talked to him once, more than a week gone now; just the night my Edie took ailin' first, an' that was a Friday-a whole week I've been settin' up with her now."

And she looked it, drooping there in such a weary fashion, an uncertainty in her expression and gesture that was either embarrassment before this well-dressed lady of the cities, or else anxiety to be gone again.

But the attention of the well-dressed lady was turned for an instant from the sweet form that was not well dressed to that last statement of the one time on which she had spoken with Mr. Edson. Friday night! Surely that was the night he would not tell her nearly enough of; and now she could find out, at least, the direction of Daphne's den, and to confront him with the withheld knowledge was a temptation strong enough to make her inquisitive.

"Friday night? Are you sure that was the time?" she asked. "I think that was the evening he lost his way on the mountain."

"So it was.

That's how we met. I was driving our

cows home, an' it was powerful late to get lost in the wood -most moonrise."

"And-and there was no one with you?"

"No, ma'am; there ain't anyone at our house only Granny an' Dick, an' they-they couldn't go that day." "Then it was you who showed him the way from that terrible ledge-you who-whom he called Daphne?"

The funniness of the situation struck Dinah as she saw through the window Don approaching the house with Will and Becky Ann. She dropped her riding-whip, and stooped for it, with the least dangerous of coughs—the sort that smothers laughter; but the woman of the mountain did not see the subterfuge.

"He did say that name," she acknowledged, with simple unconcern; "but he made some mistake, for it ain't mine. I'm just Krin-Krin Le Fevre."

And as Mr. Edson crossed the threshold, Miss Floyd glided past him with so curious an expression on her face. that he turned to glance after her. She had halted by a flock of little chickens that the children were feeding, and with slight regard for her riding-habit, had seated herself on the barrel that served as a coop, and was laughing silently.

He halted long enough for but one questioning glance at her one her eyes met and refused to answer—and then, just a little ahead of the Rikers, he went in to see the woman waiting there.

She arose, in an embarrassed way; the bonnet had drooped over her face again, but the delicately modeled chin Dinah had admired arrested his eyes with a strange gleam of remembrance and the slight, shrinking form. draped in the slimpsy, faded calico.

"I am sorry, madam," he began; and then the chin was raised a little, and the heavy bonnet slid back, and recog

nition checked the commenced speech. "It is you— Daphne?" he said, putting out his hand, and her own touched it for a moment.

"Yes, sir," she answered, in the shy but corrective tone he remembered; "but I ain't Daphne-I just was telling your lady so. I'm Krin-Krin Le Fevre."

"Oh!"—and then he paused, awkwardly, as Mrs. Riker entered "Le Fevre! Then it is your brother's child you want a doctor for?"

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"My-oh-my!-no," broke in his hostess. "This is Mis' Le Fevre herself, Mr. Edson. I allowed you knowed her, or I'd a made you acquainted first off. This is Mis' Dick Le Fevre."

"Oh!" he reiterated, apologetically, conscious that he was staring at her, and with a growing consciousness of Dinah's reason for laughter-" and then the child—”

"It's my baby, sir," said Krin, with a sad sort of pride. "Yeh know I spoke about her that time I was after our cattle. Well, she's been ailin' ever since that day; and now I'm set on a doctor lookin' at her. She was powerful bad last night."

And all his erratic, impulsive heart went out to the trembling red mouth and the unconscious wistfulness of the eyes. The discord of Dinah's laughter vanished in the fine air of this childlike mother's earnestness.

"You shall have a doctor as soon as I can get one here," he said, promptly; "so don't worry." Then he walked straight out to Dinah's throne on the chicken-coop.

"Come! I shall have to hurry you back home," he said, taking her arm. "I am going for the doctor, instead of Riker." Then, as he saw the quizzical light in her eyes: "Yes, I am going for the doctor for Daphne's baby, and if you think that funny, just have your laugh out and be done with it; but please don't let that poor creature see that she is an

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