boy, 'n' givin' ye a chance o' comm' out ag'in, as yer dad and yer

grandad usen to do afore ye. The citizens air gittin' tired o' these

wars. They keeps out the furriners who makes roads 'n' buys lands;

they air ag'in' the law, ag'in' religion, ag'in' yo' pocket, 'n' ag'in'

mine. Lots o' folks hev been ag'in' all this fightin' fer a long time,

but they was too skeery to say so. They air talkin' mighty big now,

seem' they kin git soldiers hyeh to pertect 'em. So ye mought as

well give up the idea o' staying hyeh, 'less'n ye want to give

yourself up to the law."

The two stepped from the cave, and passed through the

rhododendrons till they stood on the cliff overlooking the valley.

The rich light lay like a golden mist between the mountains, and

through it, far down, the river moaned like the wind of a coming


Did ye tell the gal whut I tol' ye?"

"Yes, Rome; hit wasn't no use. She says Steve's word's as good as

yourn; 'n' she knowed about the crosses. Folks say she swore awful

ag'in' ye at young Jas's burial, 'lowin' that she'd hunt ye down

herse'f, ef the soldiers didn't ketch ye. I hain't seed her sence she

got sick; 'pears like ever'body's sick. Mebbe she's a leetle settled

down now-no tellin'. No use foolin' with her, Rome. You git away

from hyeh. Don't you worry 'bout Isom-I'll take keer o' him, 'n'

when he gits well, he'll want to come atter ye, 'n' I'll let him go. He

couldn't live hyeh without you. But y'u must git away, Rome, 'n'

git away mighty quick."

With hands clasped behind him, Rome stood and watched the bent

figure slowly pick its way around the stony cliff.

"I reckon I've got to go. She's ag'in' me; they're all ag'in' me. I

reckon I've jes got to go. Somehow, I've been kinder hopin'-" He

closed his lips to check the groan that rose to them, and turned

again into the gloom behind him.


JUNE came. The wild rose swayed above its image along every

little shadowed stream, and the scent of wild grapes was sweet in

the air and as vagrant as a bluebird's note in autumn. The

rhododendrons burst into beauty, making gray ridge and gray cliff

blossom with purple, hedging streams with snowy clusters and

shining leaves, and lighting up dark coverts in the woods as with

white stars. The leaves were full, woodthrushes sang, and bees

droned like unseen running water in the woods.

With June came circuit court once more-and the soldiers. Faint

music pierced the dreamy chant of the river one morning as Rome

lay on a bowlder in the summer sun; and he watched the guns

flashing like another stream along the water, and then looked again

to the Lewallen cabin. Never, morning, noon, or night, when he

came from the rhododendrons, or when they closed about him, did

he fail to turn his eyes that way. Often he would see a bright speck

moving about the dim lines of the cabin, and he would scarcely

breathe while he watched it, so easily would it disappear. Always

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