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packages of groceries, "do you remember how that Englishman at your sorority dance talked about an affair like this as 'settling in'? Settling would n't be so hard, but settling in- Will all this stuff ever get put away in this little house?!

"I don't know," replied Beatrice. "It will have to go in somehow. Surely we need everything that is here.”

She spoke absently, for the mention of the dance had brought a sudden flood of memories and of odd fancies. It had been the last one she had attended before the doctor's ' verdict concerning Aunt Anna's health had upset all their plans and had driven them West. It must have been in another world, she thought, that evening at the country club, with the moonlight coming in on the polished floor, with the whirling maze of colored dresses, the swinging music, and the soft sound of many sliding feet. She had been manager of the affair, and she recollected now, with curious clearness, how full the evening had been of congratulations on the success of her arrangements, but how, in the midst of it all, she had felt a vague discontent, a sudden wonder whether this were all the pleasure that life had to offer. Now, with a strange exhilaration born, perhaps, of the clearness of the thin air and the brilliance of the morning sunshine, she realized that life was offering her a new adventure, that she was embarking on a period of more intense living than she had ever known before.

Nancy, quite untroubled by any doubts or fancies, was plodding steadily ahead at the task in hand. It had been no hardship for her to rise early, explore the possibilities of the kitchen, concoct a breakfast out of such supplies as they had brought with them, and with a beaming and triumphant smile, carry it in on a tray.

Aunt Anna seemed to have suffered little harm from the midnight Aitting and was sleeping late after the excitements of the night before. She had been made comfortable at once in the one room that was in tolerable order, for the girls had only to make up the couch with the bedding they had brought and build a fire out of the pine-cones that lay so thickly under the trees, when the apartment was ready for the invalid. Christina had taken charge of the place for the former occupants and had left it very clean and in order. In the dry Montana air, no house, even when closed for months, grows damp, nor, in the clean pine woods, even very

dusty. Aunt Anna had remained long awake, however, for two hours later, when it was almost dawn, Beatrice had stolen in and found her staring wide-eyed at the fire.

“Can I do anything for you? Are n't you very tired?” the girl had asked, but her aunt only smiled and shook her head.

“I am very comfortable,” she said. "I think we are going to be happy in this strange little house. I am glad you had the courage to bring me here, my child.”

Beatrice stood beside the bed and straightened the coverlid.

“Won't you tell me why you wanted so much to stay?" she begged. "I wish I might know."

Her aunt did not answer for a moment.

"I used to think,” she said at last, “that you might never know; but since last night, I have changed my mind. Yes, whatever happens, I believe I will tell you, but not just now, for I am too weary to go through with such a thing. Move my pillow a little, my dear; I am going to sleep. The music of that waterfall would make anybody drowsy."

Before they had finished breakfast, Christina had appeared, with a heavy-laden Sam following her, bringing more of their things from the village.

"I just packed up everything that I thought you would need and had Sam fetch it up here,” said Christina. “No, you can 't go down to the town until things have quieted a little. There was fighting last night and Dan O'Leary has been shot."

“Just through the leg," Sam reassured them, seeing Nancy's horrified face. Then he carried in the boxes and went down the path for more.

“There 's room in the shed for your horse, Miss Beatrice,” he announced, when he had made his last trip. “I can bring him up, if you like, only you would have to take care of him yourself. We can haul up enough feed to keep him, and there 's some grazing-land higher up the hill.”

So it was settled that Buck, also, was to be a part of their establishment, although Beatrice felt a little appalled at the prospect of taking care of a horse single-handed.

“Bless you, he's that wise he can almost take care of himself," Sam reassured her. "He's a little light on his feet when you go to saddle him, but beyond that he has n't a fault. It will be a good thing to have a horse on the place.”

Toward noon the two girls, with Christina's assistance, began to bring some order out of

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“'THINGS HAVE BROKEN LOOSE QUICKER THAN WE THOUGHT'

the confusion. The cabin possessed four sagging board-walks, and streets full of ruts rooms downstairs, the large living-room in- and boulders, this place was a delightful to which the front door opened, the bedroom surprise, with its air of spruce neatness and off it, the lean-to kitchen and, wonder of won- picturesque charm. She liked the outside of ders, a tiny bathroom with a shining white the building, the pointed gables and wide porcelain tub.

eaves; but as Hester conducted her within, "Those engineers that used the place she gave a little gasp of wonder, for the injust settled down to make themselves com- terior of the house was really beautiful. fortable,” Christina explained. “They put Beauty in a house, to her, had always meant in the water-pipes themselves, and I 'll shining white woodwork, softly colored rugs, never forget the day they brought up that and polished mahogany, but there was nothtub, packed on a mule. He bucked it off ing of all that here. The low room, with its once, and it slid down the hill until it caught windows opening toward the distant mounbetween two pine-trees.”

tains, was full of rich colors, the dull red of The enterprising former tenants had also the unceiled pine walls and bookcases, the introduced electricity from the power-plant odd browns and yellows in the bear-skin of the nearest mine, so that the two most rugs, the clear flame-color of the bowl of difficult housekeeping problems of water and wild lilies that stood on the broad windowlight were thus already solved.

sill. Hester seated her guest in the corner "Now," said Nancy, at last, "we have of a huge comfortable couch and sat down everything we need except milk and eggs." beside her with a smile of broad satisfaction.

"I believe," said Christina, who was It was difficult to bring up such a prosaic scrubbing the big table, "that over at John

subject as milk and eggs in such pleasant Herrick’s--he's your nearest neighbor- surroundings, but that having been disposed they could spare you what milk and eggs of, the two were soon chattering away as you want.

I know they have a cow, and though they had known each other for years. that his girl, Hester, makes a great deal of “Yes,"commented Hester, nodding sagely, her chickens."

as she heard the tale of their departure for Neighbors! Beatrice had forgotten that the cabin on the hill, “there is going to be house, nearly hidden by the shoulder of the real trouble in Ely, so Roddy says, and he mountain, but visible from the trail below. won't let me go down there just now. How There was a girl there, too, perhaps of nearly glad I am that you did n't go away!" their own age.

She was eager to go and in- Beatrice's eyes had been roving about the vestigate at once and scarcely waited to room, observing the white-birch log on the hear how to find the way.

hearth, the tawny-orange shade of the homeIt was a long walk down to the road be- spun curtains, and the pictures on the wall. yond the bars and then up the hill to the “Why,” she exclaimed, her glance arrested next house. Beatrice realized, as shetramped by a photograph hanging near the window, along, that distances are deceitful in high "we have that same picture at home in my altitudes, and that the presence of Buck father's study! It is of the school where he would be a great convenience. The house, used to go.” when she reached it, was even larger than Hester looked up at the vine-covered she had thought-a long, low dwelling, with archway, showing a tree-lined walk beyond. a row of sheds and stables and an enclosed "I don't know where Roddy got it," she corral. She had just reached the front said. “It has always been there, over his steps when she saw the door fly open and a desk, for as long as can remember.” brown-haired girl, with very bright, dancing “Who is Roddy—your brother?”' Beatrice eyes, come running out in a futter of dark asked. curls and flying blue-and-white skirts.

“No, he is my—my sort of father, but not “Oh, oh!” cried Hester Herrick, grasping really. He is too young to be my father, I Beatrice's hand in her cordial brown one, “I suppose. He adopted me when I was little. thought there was smoke in your chimney, His name is John Rodman Herrick, so, as he's and I could n't wait to know who was liv- only fifteen years older, I call him Roddy. ing in the cabin. To have neighbors-you I can hardly remember when I did n't live in can't think what it means on this mountain! this house with him, and with old Julia and Come in, come in."

her husband Tim to do the work for us. To Beatrice, who had observed with some There is Roddy now.distaste the flimsy houses of the village, the The stride of heavy boots sounded along

the veranda, and a man came in, a handsome, She was just explaining to the Finnish woman vigorous person who, as Hester had said, was what she had written when a heavy, slouchevidently far too young to be her father. ing figure came up the road through the Nor were they in the least alikein appearance, shadows, and Thorvik, in his broken Engsince he was very fair, with thick light hair lish, spoke roughly to his sister. and blue eyes that contrasted oddly with his "You spend the whole day here spend the very sunburned skin. He wore ordinary night too? I have not yet my supper.”' riding-clothes, but seemed to carry an air It was evident that he wished Beatrice, of distinction in his clear-cut profile and also, to know of his displeasure, or he would straight shoulders.

have spoken in his own tongue. He grasped He listened to Hester's rather confused Christina angrily by the arm and shot the account of the visitor's arrival, and gravely girl a scowl of such fierce enmity that involshook hands wtih Beatrice.

untarily she shrank back behind the gate. “Are you going to be comfortable in the It was difficult, under that frowning scrutiny, cabin?” he asked. "Who is helping you to to hand the two letters to Sam, the more so get settled?"

since Christina eyed one of the envelops Beatrice began to tell him in what good with such nervous apprehension. Even a hands they were, and the three stood talking duller eye than Thorvik's might have noted until, glancing at the clock, she was horrified that the letter was of special importance to to see how long she had stayed, and quickly her. turned to go.

Both her new friends came to The sullen animosity deepen on Thorvik's the door with her.

face. "By the way,” said John Herrick, as Bea- "You make nothing more with my sister trice stood on the step below, “my Hester see?” he said fiercely to Beatrice as he led is too informal a person for introductions, and

Christina away. she has not even told me your name. In- Sam nodded a subdued good-night, clucked deed, I doubt if she has asked it herself. low-spiritedly to his horses, and drove slowly Won't you tell us who you are and who is at after them. the cabin with you?

Beatrice stood looking down between the What a cordial, friendly smile he had, giant red trunks of the pines-down upon the Beatrice thought, as she looked up at him, gray thread of road winding to the valley, and how it lighted his brown face!

upon the huddle of boxlike houses below, “My Aunt Anna and my sister Nancy are with the slow smoke still rising from the at the cottage with me,” she said. “The ruins in the midst. What strange place was place is mine—my father gave it to me. My this to which they had come, the place where name is Beatrice Deems."

she had decided that they must stay? For Never had she seen a face change so the responsibility of the choice had, in the abruptly as did John Herrick's, and he turned end, rested upon her. It would be her part suddenly and went into the house, leaving to make life possible in the mountain cabin, Hester to say her good-bys alone.

to hold her own in this new world of rugged, It was at the end of a very laborious, but lonely peaks, pine-forested mountain-sides, satisfactory, day that Nancy came up to her and narrow valleys filled with hostile, rioting sister's room to find Beatrice writing at the men. The depths below her grew darker, the rough pine table.

lights of Herrick's house shone out-friendly, “We have everything in order, and Chris- but distant-at the summit of the road. tina and Sam are just gone," said Nancy. There, holding to the rough bars of the “There was n't anything more you wanted gate and staring across at the great yellow them to do, was there?

moon rising through the twilight above the "Oh, I wanted them to mail my letters!" mountains opposite, Beatrice vowed to herexclaimed Beatrice, sealing her envelop and self that she would see this adventurethrough, jumping up. “It took me so long to write no matter what happened. But what would everything to Dad that I only just finished happen? It was the unknown future that this one that I promised Christina for her filled her with apprehension. Through all boy Olaf. Perhaps I can catch Sam at the her life she had known, at least vaguely, gate."

what she would probably be doing the next She sped down the path through the pines week, the next month, the next year. And and was able to overtake Sam and Christina now she had not the ghost of an idea of what where they had lingered to put up the bars. even the next day might bring forth.

(To be continued)

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