"Get him? S'pose I could. But as to bringin' him here, I'd prefer wild cats myself. The last I seen of him he was hikin' for the Rockies with a blue haze round his hair." "But what in the world is wrong with him, Billy?" said Mandy anxiously. "I've never seen him this way." "No, nor me," said Billy. "The Doc's a pretty level headed cuss. There's somethin' workin' on him, if you ask me." "Billy, you get him and tell him we want to see him at breakfast, will you?" Billy shook his head. "Tell him, Billy, I want him to see my husband then." "Sure thing! That'll catch him, I guess. He's dead stuck on his work." And it did catch him, for, after breakfast was over, clean-shaven, calm and controlled, and in his very best professional style, Dr. Martin made his morning call on his patient. Rigidly he eliminated from his manner anything beyond a severe professional interest. Mandy, who for two years had served with him as nurse, and who thought she knew his every mood, was much perplexed. Do what she could, she was unable to break through the barrier of his professional reserve. He was kindly courteous and perfectly correct. "I would suggest a quiet day for him, Mrs. Cameron," was his verdict after examining the patient. "He will be quite able to get up in the afternoon and go about, but not to set off on a hundred and fifty mile drive. A quiet day, sleep, cheerful company, such as you can furnish here, will fix him up." "Doctor, we will secure the quiet day if you will furnish the cheerful company," said Mandy, beaming on him. "I have a very busy day before me, and as for cheerful company, with you two ladies he will have all the company that is good for him." "CHEERFUL company, you said, Doctor. If you desert us how can we be cheerful?" "Exactly for that reason," replied the doctor. "Say, Martin," interposed Cameron, "take them out for a drive this afternoon and leave me in peace." "A drive!" cried Mandy, "with one hundred and fifty miles behind me and another hundred and fifty miles before me!" "A ride then," said Cameron. "Moira, you used to be fond of riding." "And am still," cried the girl, with sparkling eyes. "A ride!" cried Mandy. "Great! This is the country for riding. But have you a habit?" "My habit is in one of my boxes," replied Moira. "I can get a habit," said the doctor, "and two of them." "That's settled, then," cried Mandy. "I am not very keen. We shall do some shopping, Allan, you and I this afternoon and you two can go off to the hills. The hills! th--ink of that, Moira, for a highlander!" She glanced at Moira's face and read refusal there. "But I insist you must go. A whole week in an awful stuffy train. This is the very thing for you." "Yes, the very thing, Moira," cried her brother. "We will have a long talk this morning then in the afternoon we will do some business here, Mandy and I, and you can go up the Bow." "The Bow?" "The Bow River. A glorious ride. Nothing like it even in Scotland, and that's saying a good deal," said her brother with emphasis. This arrangement appeared to give complete satisfaction to all parties except those most immediately interested, but there seemed to be no very sufficient reason with either to decline, hence they agreed. CHAPTER IX THE RIDE UP THE BOW Having once agreed to the proposal of a ride up the Bow, the doctor lost no time in making the necessary preparations. Half an hour later he found himself in the stable consulting with Billy. His mood was gloomy and his language reflected his mood. Gladly would he have escaped what to him, he felt, would be a trying and prolonged ordeal. But he could not do this without exciting the surprise of his friends and possibly wounding the sensitive girl whom he would gladly give his life to serve. He resolved that at all costs he would go through with the thing. "I'll give her a good time, by Jingo! if I bust something," he muttered as he walked up and down the stable picking out his mounts. "But for a compound, double-opposed, self-adjusting jackass, I'm your choice. Lost my first chance. Threw it clean away and queered myself with her first shot. I say, Billy," he called, "come here." "What's up, Doc?" said Billy. "Kick me, Billy," said the doctor solemnly. "Well now, Doc, I--" "Kick me, Billy, good and swift." "Don't believe I could give no satisfaction, Doc. But there's that Hiram mule, he's a high class artist. You might back up to him." "No use being kicked, Billy, by something that wouldn't appreciate it," said Martin. "Don't guess that way, Doc. He's an ornery cuss, he'd appreciate it all right, that old mule. But Doc, what's eatin' you?" "Oh, nothing, Billy, except that I'm an ass, an infernal ass." "An ass, eh? Then I guess I couldn't give you no satisfaction. You better try that mule." "Well, Billy, the horses at two," said the doctor briskly, "the broncho and that dandy little pinto." "All serene, Doc. Hope you'll have a good time. Brace up, Doc, it's comin' to you." Billy's wink conveyed infinitely more than his words. "Look here, Billy, you cut that all out," said the doctor. "All right, Doc, if that's the way you feel. You'll see no monkey- work on me. I'll make a preacher look like a sideshow." And truly Billy's manner was irreproachable as he stood with the ponies at the hotel door and helped their riders to mount. There was an almost sad gravity in his demeanor that suggested a mind preoccupied with solemn and unworldly thoughts with which the doctor and his affairs had not even the remotest association. As Cameron who, with his wife, watched their departure from the balcony above, waved them farewell, he cried, "Keep your eyes skinned for an Indian, Martin. Bring him in if you find him." "I've got no gun on me," replied the doctor, "and if I get sight of him, you hear me, I'll make for the timber quick. No heroic captures for me this trip." "What is all this about the Indian, Dr. Martin?" inquired the girl at his side as they cantered down the street. "Didn't your brother tell you?" "No." "Well, I've done enough to you with that Indian already to-day." "To me?" "Didn't I like a fool frighten you nearly to death with him?" "Well, I was startled. I was silly to show it. But an Indian to an Old Country person familiar with Fenimore Cooper, well--" "Oh, I was a proper idiot all round this morning," grumbled the doctor. "I didn't know what I was doing." The brown eyes were open wide upon him. "You see," continued the doctor desperately, "I'd looked forward to meeting you for so long." The brown eyes grew wider. "And then to think that I actually didn't know you." "You didn't look at me," cried Moira. "No, I was looking for the girl I saw that day, almost three years ago, in the Glen. I have never forgotten that day." "No, nor I," replied the girl softly. "That is how I knew you. It was a terrible day to us all in the Glen, my brother going to leave us and under that dreadful cloud, and you came with the letter that cleared it all away. Oh, it was like the coming of an angel from heaven, and I have often thought, Mr. Martin--Dr. Martin you are now, of course--that I never thanked you as I ought that day. I was thinking of Allan. I have often wished to do it. I should like to do it now." "Get at it," cried the doctor with great emphasis, "I need it. It might help me a bit. I behaved so stupidly this morning. The truth is, I was completely knocked out, flabbergasted." "Was that it?" cried Moira with a bright smile. "I thought--" A faint color tinged her pale cheek and she paused a moment. "But tell me about the Indian. My brother just made little of it. It is his way with me. He thinks me just a little girl not to be trusted with things." "He doesn't know you, then," said the doctor. She laughed gayly. "And do you?" "I know you better than that, at least." "What can you know about me?" "I know you are to be trusted with that or with anything else that calls for nerve. Besides, sooner or later you must know about this Indian. Wait till we cross the bridge and reach the top of the hill yonder, it will be better going." The hillside gave them a stiff scramble, for the trail went straight up. But the sure-footed ponies, scrambling over stones and gravel, reached the top safely, with no worse result than an obvious disarrangement of the girl's hair, so that around the Scotch bonnet which she had pinned on her head the little brown curls were peeping in a way that quite shook the heart of Dr. Martin. "Now you look a little more like yourself," he cried, his eyes fastened upon the curls with unmistakable admiration, "more like the girl I remember." "Oh," she said, "it is my bonnet. I put on this old thing for the ride." "No," said the doctor, "you wore no bonnet that day. It is your face, your hair, you are not quite--so--so proper." "My hair!" Her hands went up to her head. "Oh, my silly curls, I suppose. They are my bane." ("My joy," the doctor nearly had said.) "But now for the Indian story." Then the doctor grew grave. "It is not a pleasant thing to greet a guest with," he said, "but you must know it and I may as well give it to you. And, mind you, this is altogether a new thing with us." For the next half hour as they rode westward toward the big hills, steadily climbing as they went, the story of the disturbance in the north country, of the unrest among the Indians, of the part played in it by the Indian Copperhead, and of the appeal by the Superintendent to Cameron for assistance, furnished the topic for conversation. The girl listened with serious face, but there was no fear in the brown eyes, nor tremor in the quiet voice, as they talked it over. "Now let us forget it for a while," cried the doctor. "The Police have rarely, if ever, failed to get their man. That is their boast. And they will get this chap, too. And as for the row on the Saskatchewan, I don't take much stock in that. Now we're coming to a view in a few minutes, one of the finest I have seen anywhere." For half a mile farther they loped along the trail that led them to the top of a hill that stood a little higher than the others round about. Upon the hilltop they drew rein. "What do you think of that for a view?" said the doctor. Before them stretched the wide valley of the Bow for many miles, sweeping up toward the mountains, with rounded hills on either side, and far beyond the hills the majestic masses of the Rockies some fifty miles away, snow-capped, some of them, and here and there upon their faces the great glaciers that looked like patches of snow. Through this wide valley wound the swift flowing Bow, and up from it on either side the hills, rough with rocks and ragged masses of pine, climbed till they seemed to reach the very bases of the mountains beyond. Over all the blue arch of sky spanned the wide valley and seemed to rest upon the great ranges on either side, like the dome of a vast cathedral. Silent, with lips parted and eyes alight with wonder, Moira sat and gazed upon the glory of that splendid scene. "What do you think--" began the doctor. She put out her hand and touched his arm. "Please don't speak," she breathed, "this is not for words, but for worship." Long she continued to gaze in rapt silence upon the picture spread out before her. It was, indeed, a place for worship. She pointed to a hill some distance in front of them. "You have been beyond that?" she asked in a hushed voice. "Yes, I have been all through this country. I know it well. From the top of that hill we get a magnificent sweep toward the south." "Let us go!" she cried. Down the hillside they scrambled, across a little valley and up the farther side, following the trail that wound along the hill but declined to make the top. As they rounded the shoulder of the little mountain Moira cried: "It would be a great view from the top there beyond the trees. Can we reach it?" "Are you good for a climb?" replied the doctor. "We could tie the horses." For answer she flung herself from her pinto and, gathering up her habit, began eagerly to climb. By the time the doctor had tethered the ponies she was half way to the top. Putting forth all his energy he raced after her, and together they parted a screen of brushwood and stepped out on a clear rock that overhung the deep canyon that broadened into a great valley sweeping toward the south. "Beats Scotland, eh?" cried the doctor, as they stepped out together. She laid her hand upon his arm and drew him back into the bushes. "Hush," she whispered. Surprised into silence, he stood gazing at her. Her face was white and her eyes gleaming. "An Indian down there," she whispered. "An Indian? Where? Show me." "He was looking up at us. Come this way. I think he heard us." She led him by a little detour and on their hands and knees they crept through the brushwood. They reached the open rock and peered down through a screen of bushes into the canyon below. "There he is," cried Moira. Across the little stream that flowed at the bottom of the canyon, and not more than a hundred yards away, stood an Indian, tall, straight and rigidly attent, obviously listening and gazing steadily at the point where they had first stood. For many minutes he stood thus rigid while they watched him. Then his attitude relaxed. He sat down upon the rocky ledge that sloped up from the stream toward a great overhanging crag behind him, laid his rifle beside him and, calmly filling his pipe, began to smoke. Intently they followed his every movement. "I do believe it is our Indian," whispered the doctor. "Oh, if we could only get him!" replied the girl. The doctor glanced swiftly at her. Her face was pale but firm set with resolve. Quickly he revolved in his mind the possibilities. "If I only had a gun," he said to himself, "I'd risk it." "What is he going to do?" The Indian was breaking off some dead twigs from the standing pines about him. "He's going to light a fire," replied the doctor, "perhaps camp for the night." "Then," cried the girl in an excited whisper, "we could get him." The doctor smiled at her. The Indian soon had his fire going and, unrolling his blanket pack, he took thence what looked like a lump of meat, cut some strips from it and hung them from pointed sticks over the fire. He proceeded to gather some poles from the dead wood lying about. "What now is he going to do?" inquired Moira. "Wait," replied the doctor. The Indian proceeded to place the poles in order against the rock, keeping his eye on the toasting meat the while and now and again turning it before the fire. Then he began to cut branches of spruce and balsam. "By the living Jingo!" cried the doctor, greatly excited, "I declare he's going to camp." "To sleep?" said Moira. "Yes," replied the doctor. "He had no sleep last night."
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