you. I was hopin' ye mought come over ag'in-hit was sorter cur'us

that y'u was the same gal-the same gal-"

His self-control left him; he was halting in speech, and blundering

he did not know where. Fumbling an empty bag at the hopper, he

had not dared to look at the girl till he heard her move. She had

risen, and was picking up her bag. The hard antagonism of her

face calmed him instantly.

Hain't ye goin' to have yer grist ground?

Not hyeh," she answered, quickly.

"Why, gal " He got no further. Martha was gone, and he followed

her to the bank, bewildered.

The girl's suspicion, lulled by his plausible explanation, had grown

sharp again. The mountaineer knew that she had been coming

there. He was at the mill for another reason than to take the boy's

place; and with swift in-tuition she saw the truth.

He got angry as she rode away-angry with himself that he had let

her go; and the same half-tender, half-brutal impulse seized him as

when he saw her first. This time he yielded. His horse was at

hand, and the river not far below was narrow. The bridle-path that

led to the Lewallen cabin swerved at one place to a cliff

overlooking the river, and by hard riding and a climb of a few

hundred feet on foot he could overtake her half-way up the

mountain steep.

The plan was no more than shaped before he was in the saddle and

galloping down the river. The set of his face changed hardly a line

while he swam the stream, and, drenched to the waist, scaled the

cliff. When he reached the spot, he found the prints of a woman's

shoe in the dust of the path, going down. There were none

returning, and he had not long to wait. A scarlet bit of color soon

flashed through the gray bushes below him. The girl was without

her bag of corn. She was climbing slowly, and was looking at the

ground as though in deep thought. Reckless as she was, she had

come to realize at last just what she had done. She had been

pleased at first, as would have been any woman, when she saw the

big mountaineer watching her, for her life was lonely. She had

waved her bonnet at him from mere mischief. She hardly knew it

herself, but she had gone across the river to find out who he was.

She had shrunk from him as from a snake thereafter, and had gone

no more until old Jasper had sent her because the Lewallen mill

was broken, and because she was a woman, and would be safe

from harm. She had met him then when she could not help

herself. But now she had gone of her own accord. She had given

this Stetson, a bitter enemy, a chance to see her, to talk with her.

She had listened to him; she had been on the point of letting him

grind her corn. And he knew how often she had gone to the mill,

and he could not know that she had ever been sent. Perhaps he

thought that she had come to make overtures of peace, friendship,

even more. The suspicion reddened her face with shame, and her

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