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questions, and Dunsmuir could not bring himself to own that he had nothing to show for his share in his own scheme, after the years he had stood under it, but his salary and a trifle of stock not presently available. Debtors, who had respected his difficulties and accepted his promises, were "jumping" on him now that he was supposed to have made a prosperous alliance. Job and Margaret were treated with the distinction conferred upon relatives, and creditors in love: they were presumed to be willing to wait, and they waited; but the situation began to be felt, even on their side, now. If Dunsmuir could have talked with them openly, he might have drawn anew upon their lasting truth and warmth of feeling; but between his pride and soreness, and their pride and shyness, and their habit of waiting for the first word to come from him, the rift widened. Dunsmuir thought that, peasant-fashion, they distrusted him, and were feeling their pocket-injury; Job and Margaret thought him weakly uplifted, and oblivious of the past. They pitied him, as handworkers pity the man who works with his head whose results do not check with the plain demands of life.
Meanwhile Alan, beset by the new distractions about him, fell into the old restive languor over his books. The rumor and stir of the camps fired his blood; the town was nearer than ever, with horsemen posting back and forth, and livery-teams, and telegrams. He had promised himself that he would never "kick" again; but within six weeks after his pathetic home-coming he was imploring his father to give him a chance elsewhere. He brought forward an offer made him by Mr. Norrisson of a junior clerk's place in the company's office in town, on a salary which seemed riches to the boy's habitual impecuniosity. The offer had included a home for Alan in his patron's house. Norrisson had taken a fancy to the lad, had petted him enormously as his guest, prophesying him the future of a man of affairs. Dunsmuir could see how the magnificence of Norrisson's business ideas, his splendid, easy way of living, had affected Alan's imagination, as the luxury of his house affected his body just rescued from the pit. Few things could have been harder for Dunsmuir than to see his son drift from his own control under an influence which he profoundly distrusted: but the fact had to be faced; no more issues could be taken now. Alan must go the way of his temperament, even as Philip, from the alien house, had been drawn the way of his.
One afternoon, quite at the beginning of the cañon work, Philip had climbed the slope beneath the bluffs to paint a target for a reference point on a rock conspicuous from the opposite side. The buck-sage was out of bloom, and,
though seated close to the cave, he had not thought of its neighborhood until he heard footsteps, and saw Dolly loitering toward him. She had gone to seek a missing book in that unfrequented repository, and, seeing Philip at his tantalizing employment, curiosity dragged her to the spot. He took no notice till she was standing close behind him.
"That's a very queer target," said she. "What do you practise with?” "A Buff & Berger."
"What is a Buff & Berger?"
"It is a kind of transit they make in Boston." "Oh. And are you really painting that thing because you must ?”
Philip had drawn a circle on the rock, and quartered it, and was now painting the opposite quadrants white and red.
"I, or some other man," he said. "Did you think I was painting it for its beauty or its deep significance?"
"Why, it might signify things," said Dolly, seating herself for conversation.
"What things, for example?"
"Of course I can't think of anything when you ask me. It might be a chief's signal, a kind of cross-tarrie, if there were anybody to rise or anything to rise for."
"There speaks the daughter of the Duinhéwassel."
"No," said Dolly, rather regretfully; "we are not a clan family, on my father's side. His forebears were Saxon and Whiggish, and nonconforming, and non-everything. They were 'kickers,' as Alan says. Of course, you know, I am no Jacobite at this late day; yet I think there was just as good praying on their side."
"And some very pretty men,'" said Philip, smiling. "Still, you must allow for the glamour of a lost cause. The histories for children seek rather to be picturesque, I think, than sternly just."
"They had the best songs," said Dolly," and when we are 'children'". she returned his playful emphasis-"we fight as we sing."
"And when we are men, we fight as our girls sing. I hear you wasting a lot of pathos, even now, on that waefu' name of Charlie."
He looked at her, as he took a fresh brushful of paint, and forced her to return his smile, which she did with the pleasing addition of a fine large blush. He could at any time make her blush, but he did not value the symptom, knowing how little a change of color or the absence of it signifies with these innocent young faces.
The blush made her suddenly serious. "I am thankful there are no such wasteful quarrels now," she said. "But the uneasy spirit never dies: when the fighting stops the schemes begin."
"Are you not friendly to the scheme?"
"To my father's?"
"To ours. They are the same?" "Nothing else, then, is the same. And nothing is as we used to think it would be when we dreamed of the work starting up."
"How do you mean?"
"Well, the cañon. It's quite another place to what it was. Things I used to feel and think seem nonsense to me now. I am much older."
"Three weeks?" "Three years."
"How many places have you ever seen outside the cañon?"
"None that I remember, unless you call the town a place."
"Why do you speak so scornfully? It is a very nice little town."
"You ought to think so, truly. It's a sort of relative of yours; you have the same name, and the same parent, is n't that what they say?" "Never mind what they say. Tell me some other things you have n't seen."
"But I've never seen anything. If it's a list of my ignorances you want I might sit here all the afternoon."
their amenities'; how they would feel another's woe and hide the fault they see! My accent would be wrong, I should n't know their talk, and they would never care to know mine; and if I tried to be like them I should be affected."
Philip dissembled his intense amusement, and answered, "You are thinking of types."
"Well, I should be a type. When one is in the right place one is taken as a matter of course. It is n't thought necessary to whisper, 'She grew up in a cañon!' No; I'd rather dream of the Old Country and call it home, than go there to find myself without a country." "When you speak of the Old Country do you mean England or Scotland ?”
"Both; but I was born in India, in the Punjab, in the great days of my father's work. I wish he had stayed where they know what an engineer is. Here his record counts for nothing; he might as well be a tinker. Anybody who can run a hand-level is an engineer in America."
"Thanks," said Philip. "I am an American engineer."
Dolly nodded at him very sweetly. "I have "Begin, then, by all means. Have you ever no prejudices," she assured him; and when seen-the flag of your country, officially dis- Philip laughed aloud, she was quite mystified. played?"
“Well, I should not care to marry beneath a certain class, the class I 'm supposed to belong to," she argued seriously; " yet I have not been bred like the women of that class. I should never feel at home with them."
"But what can you know of them?" "Oh, I have studied them for years; in the novels, you know, and in French-the tall girls with their high shoulders and their short upper lips, and the young men with their insolent Greek profiles."
But you were speaking of the women." "The women, of course; the duchess, and the husband-hunting mamas, and the little nobodies who are trying to get on, and the rude somebodies who crush them whenever they get the chance, and the flirting old maids, and the masher, and the dean-"
"And have you taken them seriously?" "Why should n't I? They must be true, else how do you explain their tremendous vogue? Should you think a provincial stranger would be happy among them? Fancy their charity,
"I used to dream of nothing," she went on, "but how my father was ever to get this work done. I used to long for the power to help him. You know a girl's only way to get power is to marry it," she confided to him, as a great discovery. "I mean a girl like me, with no education, or genius of her own. Yes; it was actually one of my make-believes-I must have been in pinafores. There should come a rich traveler to visit the cañon who would be astonished at my father's daughter. I should have been, not as I am, you know, but a darkeyed, red and white wonderful beauty. But I would not listen to him till he had promised to back my father's scheme."
"He was to purchase your hand, then, by building the ditch?"
"Of course; what else?" "Was there a heart anywhere in the business?"
"There was his heart. Do you think I would marry a man that did not care for me?"
"And where was your heart, meanwhile?" "With my blessed, dear daddy," exclaimed Dolly, with perfect self-satisfaction.
"And these are the dreams of girlhood in a cañon! You must have read some very silly books."
"Isn't it a woman's duty to help her family?" "It is her first duty to be honest, if she can." "If we had always been free we might have been honest."
"Is that a tale ye borrow'?" Philip re
Dolly was caught by the quotation, which she was pleased to call felicitous, and omitted to observe that Philip's reply was merely an evasion.
He continued to question her, enjoying the frank side-lights of biography her answers shed upon the family past.
"And was Alan born under the Stars and Stripes that he should declare for America?" "No; not he. We are twins, did you not know? After India we lived in a stupid house in Bedford Park while papa was looking up his scheme in this country. Sometimes we went to the sea, and sometimes to Dalgarnie, my grandmother's house in the north. Margaret tells us about those places till I think I can remember; but of course I cannot. I was but three when we came to the cañon; and there is something deadening in the sight of these bluffs that never change, and these lights and winds and sounds that go on from year to year. I wonder we are not all a little touched. I think we are a wee bit off, each one of us, in a way of our own." She crowded herself closer into a hollow of the slope, clasping her knees, and talking in a sing-song, drowsy monologue to the tune of the river and the breeze stirring the dry hillgrasses above their heads. Philip stole a look at her from time to time, and wantonly nursed his job.
"Yes; I surely think we have been at times a little warped," she mused aloud, encouraged by his silence. "There used to be a soundI think you have never heard it—a sound in side of all other sounds, like a ringing in the ears; I cannot describe it. We used to hear it when the river talked at night. Well, you cannot think how I used to dread that sound; it was like a wicked laugh. Margaret said it was 'unchancy.' And now it seems such perfect nonsense. I wonder I'm not ashamed to tell you. But the spell is broken now."
"I would have had it last long enough to include me," said Philip. "And so the cañon is quite spoiled, you think?" he questioned, half jealously.
"I did not say spoiled; not the same." "Still, you would not have liked to stay here as it was?"
"I should have had to, I fancy, whether I liked it or not. I could have kept my makebelieves. Now I don't care for them any more." "Ah," murmured Philip. "And the rich traveler what would you say to him now?" "I don't need him now: the work 's going on without him."
"But if the work should stop; how then? Would you be ready to make that same bargain?"
"Never! Am I such a Philistine? Do you think I have no bees in my own bonnet?" "Have you ever heard the cañon-bird?” asked Dolly, shyly.
"Once-twice; never since the work be
"You have noticed that, too? I think it does not like the work; and I am so sorry."
"Is the bird supposed to be an omniscience that has to be propitiated? " "I knew you would laugh!" "But it is you who are laughing." "Do you know-there is no such bird." "You mean it is not set down in the birdbooks?"
"Not that we can find. And not one of us has ever traced the song. It is a shy singer; its voice, if you 've noticed, comes from far away, for all it 's so piercing. We hear it only in shady, quiet places like the poplars or the big cut, or up in the shadow of the bluffs; and no one has ever heard it beyond the cañon. It was after we had the sorrow here: my mother was taken, and then it began to be heard, and only in those places that she loved. This I have never said to any one. When I was a little girl I used to think it meant that I was doing right or was going to be happy, whenever I heard the bird. It was my four-leaved clover, my new moon over the right shoulder. Did I not tell you we are a little touched?"
After a silence, Philip said: “Do you remember the first time that you deigned to look at me? You stood below the bluffs, and we heard the bird."
"Oh, if you mean that time! I was n't looking at you at all. I was looking at Alan," said Dolly, disingenuously; and as she spoke came the rare, piercing, faltering note, dropping through the silence. She could not help but look at him now; and Philip blessed the bird.
"I HAVE Something for you," said Philip one day on his return from town, handing a neat parcel to Dolly.
"A jeweler's box for me? Who can it be from?"
"The rich traveler, I think, must be not far off. Seebright said it was for 'some of the cañon folks,' and as it seems to be a woman's toy I conclude it must be for you."
Dolly was in a twitter of curiosity as she opened the velvet box, and turned its contents out upon her palm. The bauble's weight was
more than she was prepared for; it fell, and rolled the length of the room.
"What an odd thing! Whatever can it be meant for?"
"To hang about your neck, apparently," said Philip, examining it as he picked it up. It was in size, shape, and weight the pattern of a rifle-ball, polished, and gilded, and pierced to receive the loop of a slender gold chain; and round the middle went a gold band engraved with a legend in Spanish, which Philip translated at Dolly's command.
"He's a Don, you see, not an English somebody; and he says that Love flourishes from a wound.'"
"What rubbish!" cried Dolly, blushing. "Have n't you heard something like that before?"
"Remarks of that kind are not expected to be original; and he may have been hampered in his observations by the very trifling circumference of a bullet. Do bullets stand for arrows in the language of the western amoroso ?" "How do you know he is western? He knows Spanish, it seems."
"He adapts it vilely from the Latin. 'Virescit vulnere virtus is the fountain of his wit. Dolly, it's come to a pretty pass; people turning virtue into love on your account!"
"You know that it can have nothing to do with me." Dolly began to look teased. "What does Seebright say?"
"He says that one of his assistants took the order, and the young man's amusements overcame him somewhat, and he mixed his labels up, and has since been fired. All the direction on the box was 'The cañon.'"
"It might be some joke of Alan's-the expensive chiel!" mused Dolly. " But I never knew Alan meddle with sentiment, and he could never have got his verb right."
"Alan's Spanish is improving," said Philip. "Did you know he was taking lessons?" "No, I did not. And who is his teacher?" "My father's cook."
"His Spanish, then, will match his English," sighed Dolly.
"Not at all. Enrique prides himself. He can turn a phrase as neatly as an omelet; he is a professional writer of love-letters, moreover, and by his own account he has plenty of practice."
"Dear me, are there so many of themthose Mexicans?"
"They may be stronger in feeling than in numbers."
"I hope Alan does not go among them," said Dolly, looking troubled. "I hear that the Vargas family have moved to town; and if Alan should be careless, and forget his promise-" "What promise?"
"Why, you know, about Antonia Vargas helping him out of the cave. Her family would take it very ill if Alan should make it common talk.".
"He might placard the town with it," laughed Philip; "not one in a hundred would ever believe the story. I should n't myself, only for the letter in evidence."
"What would you have believed, pray?" asked Dolly, offended by his joking.
"I should have thought the lad must have been a trifle rattled about the time he saw an angel in petticoats descending, hand over hand, thirty feet on a three-quarter-inch rope. Try it yourself, some time."
"I don't see what difference it makes what anybody believes. Antonia knows what she did, and whether she wants it talked of. Alan is so careless, and I feel that, somehow, Pacheco shadows him, still.”
"Pacheco has made it impossible for himself to come back. He has stolen a horse, which is worse for him, I understand, than to have killed his man."
"Pacheco is betrothed to Antonia Vargas. He will come back for her."
"Are you sure of that?"
"So they say; and she defended him with a pistol."
"A countryman is a countryman; and it may have been her Mexican idea of hospitality." "Alan ought to be very careful," Dolly repeated.
"By the way, was the bullet taken from Alan's arm, do you know; or did it pass clean through?"
"Alan has the bullet; he is prouder of it than-" Their eyes met. "You do not think?" Dolly questioned, flushing hotly.
"It was just a fancy," said Philip; “and I am not very proud of it. Still, as a joke, you know."
"Alan is not that sort of boy at all," pronounced Dolly. "You make me wretched." "Come, now, I did n't say that he was. But I did hear Alan say, once, that if ever he met Pacheco's girl he would give her back her bullet."
"Don't you think you had better make some inquiries? "Of Alan? Hardly." "Of Seebright, perhaps."
"I think," said Philip, "that I shall spend more of my evenings in town."
"Oh, thank you!" Dolly raised her eyes full of warmest gratitude to his.
"Do you think me an offensive prig? I feel quite an old fellow of my years with Alan." "Oh, Alan is a perfect child; and sometimes a perfect hoodlum. But don't you think he is a dear?"
"I think he is very nearly related to a dearer than dear."
"Please don't try to be funny; I want to think," said Dolly.
"Wait, and do your thinking to-night; or leave it to me. There is one little fault I have to find with the cañon family —
"I should think you might have found several." Dolly tried to look indifferent.
"Not a fault, perhaps, but a tendency. You take things-most things-too seriously." "Oh!"
"And some things not seriously enough."
As, for instance?"
"Because". Dolly hesitated, blushed, and broke into a smile" because you seem to think you want it. Now the thing we want is very seldom the thing we need."
"Who told you that, pray? You got it out of books, where you get all your strained, conventional notions of self-sacrifice. Not that I blame you; all self-centered people grow morbid in solitude, and your still waters have bred lilies, while some would have bred ugly weeds." Dolly put aside the words with a gesture of disgust. "I hate to be analyzed!" she exclaimed. "What can it matter? Weeds or lilies, we are always a collection of curiosities you have unearthed, and are studying at your leisure. I am very tired of it."
"And I am tired of being totally and always misunderstood, and treated as a stranger. Now, to-night, if I should be late to dinner, why should you not sit with me, as you would with Alan or your father? What is my position in the household?"
"Margaret says you are 'just an apprentice, nae mair,'" said Dolly, wickedly.
"Very well; then why not give me my meals with the men?"
"I will sit with you," Dolly relented, "if you are n't too late. I will bring a book-as I do with Alan."
"If you do, I shall take the book away." "Indeed, will you?"
"Just try me. If you come to keep me com
pany with a book, miss, that book is forfeit, and the penalty I shall name, and take."
"I wish you would take this." Dolly held out the box at arm's length; Philip took it and her hand with it.
"What manners!" she exclaimed. "I think Margaret was right-an apprentice, nae mair!"" and she fled before Philip could make reprisals.
During their first weeks together in the cañon the young people had behaved maturely, talking in well-constructed sentences about books and manners and the conduct of life; and Philip told Dolly about his school-days and vacations abroad, and compared the apparent fullness of his experience with the narrowness of hers, of which she was much ashamed; and contrasted the slightness and poverty of his intimacies with her constant, warm, concentrated life of home, which she took as a matter of course, and he considered a marvel of preciousness and unusualness. But youth and gaiety, and the high-tide of summer weather, and the propinquity of morning, noon, and night in the same small house, soon brought them to a pass which included romps and quarrels, and flights of ecstasy unaccounted for; and Philip, who always spoke of Miss Dunsmuir to the young lady's father, called her Dolly to herself, and felt toward her as to a darling, irresistible child, and sometimes as to a young goddess, far beyond his reach.
He had missed, through his mother's theories of education, all those girl-friendships which had been his birthright, which he had not lost his taste for, nor forfeited his right to enjoy. Beautiful girls and women he had met in all the ways conventionally prescribed, some of them sufficiently intimate; but never had he assisted a pretty girl in a white apron, with her hair pushed into a cap, perched on the librarysteps, to dust and arrange her father's bookshelves; or watched her whip meringues or ice a cake; or train her wind-blown roses; or ransack trunks in an attic under the brown eaves; or mount a restless pony-for Dolly's drilling in this feat had fallen to him instead of to Alan, as legitimately planned. He had seen her in all her very few and simple home frocks, but never in a dinner- or dancing-dress. He had done everything with her but the conventional thing-from fighting her futile theories of life, to laying a fire on the hearth, or sitting by and measuring the spaces while she changed the buttons on his riding-coats; which, with his life of constant exercise in the light air of the plains, were getting all too tight in the chest and too loose in the waist. He had taken into his own hands those little services which a brother can perform for a sister, or pungently neglect; and Philip neglected nothing. Such privileges had