List Of Contents | Contents of The Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail
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"Then," cried the girl, "we can get him."

The doctor gazed at her in admiration.

"You are a brick," he said.  "How can we get him?  He'd double me
up like a jack-knife.  Remember I only played quarter," he added.

"No, no," she cried quickly, "you stay here to watch him.  Let me
go back for the Police."

"I say," cried the doctor, "you are a wonder.  There's something in
that."  He thought rapidly, then said, "No, it won't do.  I can't
allow you to risk it."

"Risk?  Risk what?"

A year ago the doctor would not have hesitated a moment to allow
her to go, but now he thought of the roving bands of Indians and
the possibility of the girl falling into their hands.

"No, Miss Cameron, it will not do."

"But think," she cried, "we might get him and save Allan all the
trouble and perhaps his life.  You must not stop me.  You cannot
stop me.  I am going.  You wait and watch.  Don't move.  I can find
my way."

He seized her by the arm.

"Wait," he said, "let me think."

"What danger can there be?" she pleaded.  "It is broad daylight.
The road is good.  I cannot possibly lose my way.  I am used to
riding alone among the hills at home."

"Ah, yes, at home," said the doctor gloomily.

"But there is no danger," she persisted.  "I am not afraid.
Besides, you cannot keep me."  She stood up among the bushes
looking down at him with a face so fiercely resolved that he was
constrained to say, "By Jove!  I don't believe I could.  But I can
go with you."

"You would not do that," she cried, stamping her foot, "if I
forbade you.  It is your duty to stay here and watch that Indian.
It is mine to go and get the Police.  Good-by."

He rose to follow her.

"No," she said, "I forbid you to come.  You are not doing right.
You are to stay.  We will save my brother."

She glided through the bushes from his sight and was gone.

"Am I a fool or what?" said the doctor to himself.  "She is taking
a chance, but after all it is worth while."

It was now the middle of the afternoon and it would take Moira an
hour and a half over that rocky winding trail to make the ten miles
that lay before her.  Ten minutes more would see the Police started
on their return.  The doctor settled himself down to his three
hours' wait, keeping his eye fixed upon the Indian.  The latter was
now busy with his meal, which he ate ravenously.

"The beggar has me tied up tight," muttered the doctor ruefully.
"My grub is on my saddle, and I guess I dare not smoke till he
lights up himself."

A hand touched his arm.  Instantly he was on his feet.  It was

"Great Caesar, you scared me!  Thought it was the whole Blackfoot

"You will be the better for something to eat," she said simply,
handing him the lunch basket.  "Good-by."

"Hold up!" he cried.  But she was gone.

"Say, she's a regular--"  He paused and thought for a moment.
"She's an angel, that's what--and a mighty sight better than most
of them.  She's a--"  He turned back to his watch, leaving his
thought unspoken.  In the presence of the greater passions words
are woefully inadequate.

The Indian was still eating as ravenously as ever.

"He's filling up, I guess.  He ought to be full soon at that rate.
Wish he'd get his pipe agoing."

In due time the Indian finished eating, rolled up the fragments
carefully in a rag, and then proceeded to construct with the poles
and brush which he had cut, a penthouse against the rock.  At one
end his little shelter thus constructed ran into a spruce tree
whose thick branches reached right to the ground.  When he had
completed this shelter to his satisfaction he sat down again on the
rock beside his smoldering fire and pulled out his pipe.

"Thanks be!" said the doctor to himself fervently.  "Go on, old
boy, hit her up."

A pipe and then another the Indian smoked, then, taking his gun,
blanket and pack, he crawled into his brush wigwam out of sight.

"There, you old beggar!" said the doctor with a sigh of relief.
"You are safe for an hour or two, thank goodness.  You had no sleep
last night and you've got to make up for it now.  Sleep tight, old
boy.  We'll give you a call."  The doctor hugged himself with
supreme satisfaction and continued to smoke with his eye fixed upon
the hole into which the Indian had disappeared.

Through the long hours he sat and smoked while he formulated the
plan of attack which he proposed to develop when his reinforcements
should arrive.

"We will work up behind him from away down the valley, a couple of
us will cover him from the front and the others go right in."

He continued with great care to make and revise his plans, and
while in the midst of his final revision a movement in the bushes
behind him startled him to his feet.  The bushes parted and the
face of Moira appeared with that of her brother over her shoulder.

"Is he still there?" she whispered eagerly.

"Asleep, snug as a bug.  Never moved," said the doctor exultantly,
and proceeded to explain his plan of attack.  "How many have you?"
he asked Cameron.

"Crisp and a constable."

"Just two?" said the doctor.

"Two," replied Cameron briefly.  "That's plenty.  Here they are."
He stepped back through the bushes and brought forward Crisp and
the constable.  "Now, then, here's our plan," he said.  "You,
Crisp, will go down the canyon, cross the stream and work up on the
other side right to that rock.  When you arrive at the rock the
constable and I will go in.  The doctor will cover him from this

"Fine!" said the doctor.  "Fine, except that I propose to go in
myself with you.  He's a devil to fight.  I could see that last

Cameron hesitated.

"There's really no use, you know, Doctor.  The constable and I can
handle him."

Moira stood looking eagerly from one to the other.

"All right," said the doctor, "'nuff said.  Only I'm going in.  If
you want to come along, suit yourself."

"Oh, do be careful," said Moira, clasping her hands.  "Oh, I'm

"Afraid?" said the doctor, looking at her quickly.  "You?  Not much
fear in you, I guess."

"Come on, then," said Cameron.  "Moira, you stay here and keep your
eye on him.  You are safe enough here."

She pressed her lips tight together till they made a thin red line
in her white face.

"Can you let me have a gun?" she asked.

"A gun?" exclaimed the doctor.

"Oh, she can shoot--rabbits, at least," said her brother with a
smile.  "I shall bring you one, Moira, but remember, handle it

With a gun across her knees Moira sat and watched the development
of the attack.  For many minutes there was no sign or sound, till
she began to wonder if a change had been made in the plan.  At
length some distance down the canyon and on the other side Sergeant
Crisp was seen working his way with painful care step by step
toward the rock of rendezvous.  There was no sign of her brother or
Dr. Martin.  It was for them she watched with an intensity of
anxiety which she could not explain to herself.  At length Sergeant
Crisp reached the crag against whose base the penthouse leaned in
which the sleeping Indian lay.  Immediately she saw her brother,
quickly followed by Dr. Martin, leap the little stream, run lightly
up the sloping rock and join Crisp at the crag.  Still there was no
sign from the Indian.  She saw her brother motion the Sergeant
round to the farther corner of the penthouse where it ran into the
spruce tree, while he himself, with a revolver in each hand,
dropped on one knee and peered under the leaning poles.  With a
loud exclamation he sprang to his feet.

"He's gone!" he shouted.  "Stand where you are!"  Like a hound on a
scent he ran to the back of the spruce tree and on his knees
examined the earth there.  In a few moments his search was
rewarded.  He struck the trail and followed it round the rock and
through the woods till he came to the hard beaten track.  Then he
came back, pale with rage and disappointment.  "He's gone!" he

"I swear he never came out of that hole!" said Dr. Martin.  "I kept
my eye on it every minute of the last three hours."

"There's another hole," said Crisp, "under the tree here."

Cameron said not a word.  His disappointment was too keen.
Together they retraced their steps across the little stream.  On
the farther bank they found Moira, who had raced down to meet them.

"He's gone?" she cried.

"Gone!" echoed her brother.  "Gone for this time--but--some day--
some day," he added below his breath.

But many things were to happen before that day came.



Overhead the stars were still twinkling far in the western sky.
The crescent moon still shone serene, marshaling her attendant
constellations.  Eastward the prairie still lay in deep shadow, its
long rolls outlined by the deeper shadows lying in the hollows
between.  Over the Bow and the Elbow mists hung like white veils
swathing the faces of the rampart hills north and south.  In the
little town a stillness reigned as of death, for at length Calgary
was asleep, and sound asleep would remain for hours to come.

Not so the world about.  Through the dead stillness of the waning
night the liquid note of the adventurous meadow lark fell like the
dropping of a silver stream into the pool below.  Brave little
heart, roused from slumber perchance by domestic care, perchance by
the first burdening presage of the long fall flight waiting her
sturdy careless brood, perchance stirred by the first thrill of the
Event approaching from the east.  For already in the east the long
round tops of the prairie undulations are shining gray above the
dark hollows and faint bars of light are shooting to the zenith,
fearless forerunners of the dawn, menacing the retreating stars
still bravely shining their pale defiance to the oncoming of their
ancient foe.  Far toward the west dark masses still lie invincible
upon the horizon, but high above in the clear heavens white shapes,
indefinite and unattached, show where stand the snow-capped
mountain peaks.  Thus the swift and silent moments mark the
fortunes of this age-long conflict.  But sudden all heaven and all
earth thrill tremulous in eager expectancy of the daily miracle
when, all unaware, the gray light in the eastern horizon over the
roll of the prairie has grown to silver, and through the silver a
streamer of palest rose has flashed up into the sky, the gay and
gallant 'avant courier' of an advancing host, then another and
another, then by tens and hundreds, till, radiating from a center
yet unseen, ten thousand times ten thousand flaming flaunting
banners flash into orderly array and possess the utmost limits of
the heavens, sweeping before them the ever paling stars, that
indomitable rearguard of the flying night, proclaiming to all
heaven and all earth the King is come, the Monarch of the Day.
Flushed in the new radiance of the morning, the long flowing waves
of the prairie, the tumbling hills, the mighty rocky peaks stand
surprised, as if caught all unprepared by the swift advance,
trembling and blushing in the presence of the triumphant King,
waiting the royal proclamation that it is time to wake and work,
for the day is come.

All oblivious of this wondrous miracle stands Billy, his powers of
mind and body concentrated upon a single task, that namely of
holding down to earth the game little bronchos, Mustard and Pepper,
till the party should appear.  Nearby another broncho, saddled and
with the knotted reins hanging down from his bridle, stood viewing
with all too obvious contempt the youthful frolics of the colts.
Well he knew that life would cure them of all this foolish waste of
spirit and of energy.  Meantime on his part he was content to wait
till his master--Dr. Martin, to wit--should give the order to move.
His master meantime was busily engaged with clever sinewy fingers
packing in the last parcels that represented the shopping activities
of Cameron and his wife during the past two days.  There was a whole
living and sleeping outfit for the family to gather together.
Already a heavily laden wagon had gone on before them.  The building
material for the new house was to follow, for it was near the end of
September and a tent dwelling, while quite endurable, does not lend
itself to comfort through a late fall in the foothill country.
Besides, there was upon Cameron, and still more upon his wife, the
ever deepening sense of a duty to be done that could not wait, and
for the doing of that duty due preparation must be made.  Hence the
new house must be built and its simple appointments and furnishings
set in order without delay, and hence the laden wagon gone before
and the numerous packages in the democrat, covered with a new tent
and roped securely into place.

This packing and roping the doctor made his peculiar care, for he
was a true Canadian, born and bred in the atmosphere of pioneer
days in old Ontario, and the packing and roping could be trusted to
no amateur hands, for there were hills to go up and hills to go
down, sleughs to cross and rivers to ford with all their perilous
contingencies before they should arrive at the place where they
would be.

"All secure, Martin?" said Cameron, coming out from the hotel with
hand bags and valises.

"They'll stay, I think," replied the doctor, "unless those bronchos
of yours get away from you."

"Aren't they dears, Billy?" cried Moira, coming out at the moment
and dancing over to the bronchos' heads.

"Well, miss," said Billy with judicial care, "I don't know about
that.  They're ornery little cusses and mean-actin.'  They'll go
straight enough if everything is all right, but let anythin' go
wrong, a trace or a line, and they'll put it to you good and hard."

"I do not think I would be afraid of them," replied the girl,
reaching out her hand to stroke Pepper's nose, a movement which
surprised that broncho so completely that he flew back violently
upon the whiffle-tree, carrying Billy with him.

"Come up here, you beast!" said Billy, giving him a fierce yank.

"Oh, Billy!" expostulated Moira.

"Oh, he ain't no lady's maid, miss.  You would, eh, you young
devil,"--this to Pepper, whose intention to walk over Billy was
only too obvious--"Get back there, will you!  Now then, take that,
and stand still!"  Billy evidently did not rely solely upon the law
of love in handling his broncho.

Moira abandoned him and climbed to her place in the democrat
between Cameron and his wife.

By a most singular and fortunate coincidence Dr. Martin had learned
that a patient of his at Big River was in urgent need of a call,
so, to the open delight of the others and to the subdued delight of
the doctor, he was to ride with them thus far on their journey.

"All set, Billy?" cried Cameron.  "Let them go."

"Good-by, Billy," cried both ladies, to which Billy replied with a
wave of his Stetson.

Away plunged the bronchos on a dead gallop, as if determined to end
the journey during the next half hour at most, and away with them
went the doctor upon his steady broncho, the latter much annoyed at
being thus ignominiously outdistanced by these silly colts and so

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