List Of Contents | Contents of The Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail
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fellow who was supposed to be busy putting up a molding round the
wainscoting, but who was in reality devoting himself to the young
lady at the present moment with open admiration.  "Here, Andy," he
cried through the window, "you're wanted.  Hurry up."

"Oh, don't, Mr. Dent.  What will he think?"

A hairy little man, with a face dour and unmistakably Scotch, came

"What's want-it, then?" he asked, with a deliberate sort of

"It's yourself, Andy, me boy," said young Dent, who, though
Canadian born, needed no announcement of his Irish ancestry.  "It
is yourself, Andy, and this young lady, Miss Moira Cameron--Mr.
Hepburn--"  Andy made reluctant acknowledgment of her smile and
bow--"wants to thank you for this fireplace."

"It is very beautiful indeed, Mr. Hepburn, and very thankful I am
to you for building it."

"Aw, it's no that bad," admitted Andy.  "But ye need not thank me."

"But you built it?"

"Aye did I.  But no o' ma ain wull.  A fireplace is a feckless
thing in this country an' I think little o't."

"Whose idea was it then?"

"It was yon Smith buddie.  He juist keepit dingin' awa' till A
promised if he got the lime--A kent o' nane in the country--A wud
build the thing."

"And he got the lime, eh, Andy?" said Dent.

"Aye, he got it," said Andy sourly.  "Diel kens whaur."

"But I am sure you did it beautifully, Mr. Hepburn," said Moira,
moving closer to him, "and it will be making me think of home."
Her soft Highland accent and the quaint Highland phrasing seemed to
reach a soft spot in the little Scot.

"Hame?  An' whaur's that?" he inquired, manifesting a grudging

"Where?  Where but in the best of all lands, in Scotland," said
Moira.  "Near Braemar."


"Aye, Braemar.  I have only come four days ago."

"Aye, an' did ye say, lassie!" said Andy, with a faint accession of
interest.  "It's a bonny country ye've left behind, and far enough
frae here."

"Far indeed," said Moira, letting her shining brown eyes rest upon
his face.  "And it is myself that knows it.  But when the fire
burns yonder," she added, pointing to the fireplace, "I will be
seeing the hills and the glens and the moors."

"'Deed, then, lassie," said Andy in a low hurried voice, moving
toward the door, "A'm gled that Smith buddie gar't me build it."

"Wait, Mr. Hepburn," said Moira, shyly holding out her hand, "don't
you think that Scotties in this far land should be friends?"

"An' prood I'd be, Miss Cameron," replied Andy, and, seizing her
hand, he gave it a violent shake, flung it from him and fled
through the door.

"He's a cure, now, isn't he!" said Dent.

"I think he is fine," said Moira with enthusiasm.  "It takes a Scot
to understand a Scot, you see, and I am glad I know him.  Do you
know, he is a little like the fireplace himself," she said,
"rugged, a wee bit rough, but fine."

"The real stuff, eh?" said Dent.  "The pure quill."

"Yes, that is it.  Solid and steadfast, with no pretense."

Meanwhile the work of inspecting the new house was going on.
Everywhere appeared fresh cause for delighted wonder, but still
the origin of the raising bee remained a mystery.

Balked by the men, Cameron turned in his search to the women and
proceeded to the tent where preparations were being made for the

"Tut tut, Mr. Cameron," said Mrs. Cochrane, her broad good-natured
face beaming with health and good humor, "what difference does it
make?  Your neighbors are only too glad of a chance to show their
goodwill for yourself, and more for your wife."

"I am sure you are right there," said Cameron.

"And it is the way of the country.  We must stick together, John
says.  It's your turn to-day, it may be ours to-morrow and that's
all there is to it.  So clear out of this tent and make yourself
busy.  By the way, where's the pipes?  The folk will soon be asking
for a tune."

"But I want to know, Mrs. Cochrane," persisted Cameron.

"Where's the pipes, I'm saying.  John," she cried, lifting her
voice, to her husband, who was standing at the other side of the
house.  "Where's the pipes?  They're not burned, I hope," she
continued, turning to Cameron.  "The whole settlement would feel
that a loss."

"Fortunately no.  Young Macgregor at the Fort has them."

"Then I wonder if they are here.  John, find out from the Inspector
yonder where the pipes are.  We will be wanting them this evening."

To her husband's inquiry the Inspector replied that if Macgregor
ever had the pipes it was a moral certainty that he had carried
them with him to the raising, "for it is my firm belief," he added,
"that he sleeps with them."

"Do go and see now, like a dear man," said Mrs. Cochrane to

From group to group of the workers Cameron went, exchanging
greetings, but persistently seeking to discover the originator of
the raising bee.  But all in vain, and in despair he came back to
his wife with the question "Who is this Smith, anyway?"

"Mr. Smith," she said with deliberate emphasis, "is my friend, my
particular friend.  I found him a friend when I needed one badly."

"Yes, but who is he?" inquired Moira, who, with Mr. Dent in
attendance, had sauntered up.  "Who is he, Mr. Dent?  Do you know?"

"No, not from Adam's mule.  He's old Thatcher's man.  That's all I
know about him."

"He is Mr. Thatcher's man?  Oh!" said Moira, "Mr. Thatcher's
servant."  A subtle note of disappointment sounded in her voice.

"Servant, Moira?" said Allan in a shocked tone.  "Wipe out the
thought.  There is no such thing as servant west of the Great Lakes
in this country.  A man may help me with my work for a consideration,
but he is no servant of mine as you understand the term, for he
considers himself just as good as I am and he may be considerably

"Oh, Allan," protested his sister with flushing face, "I know.  I
know all that, but you know what I mean."

"Yes, I know perfectly," said her brother, "for I had the same
notion.  For instance, for six months I was a 'servant' in Mandy's
home, eh, Mandy?"

"Nonsense!" cried Mandy indignantly.  "You were our hired man and
just like the rest of us."

"Do you get that distinction, Moira?  There is no such thing as
servant in this country," continued Cameron.  "We are all the same
socially and stand to help each other.  Rather a fine idea that."

"Yes, fine," cried Moira, "but--" and she paused, her face still

"Who's Smith? is the great question," interjected Dent.  "Well,
then, Miss Cameron, between you and me we don't ask that question
in this country.  Smith is Smith and Jones is Jones and that's the
first and last of it.  We all let it go at that."

But now the last row of shingles was in place, the last door hung,
the last door-knob set.  The whole house stood complete, inside and
out, top and bottom, when a tattoo beat upon a dish pan gave the
summons to the supper table.  The table was spread in all its
luxurious variety and abundance beneath the poplar trees.  There
the people gathered all upon the basis of pure democratic equality,
"Duke's son and cook's son," each estimated at such worth as could
be demonstrated was in him.  Fictitious standards of values were
ignored.  Every man was given his fair opportunity to show his
stuff and according to his showing was his place in the community.
A generous good fellowship and friendly good-will toward the new-
comer pervaded the company, but with all this a kind of reserve
marked the intercourse of these men with each other.  Men were
taken on trial at face value and no questions asked.

This evening, however, the dominant note was one of generous and
enthusiastic sympathy with the young rancher and his wife, who had
come so lately among them and who had been made the unfortunate
victim of a sinister and threatening foe, hitherto, it is true,
regarded with indifference or with friendly pity but lately
assuming an ominous importance.  There was underneath the gay
hilarity of the gathering an undertone of apprehension until the
Inspector made his speech.  It was short and went straight at the
mark.  There was danger, he acknowledged.  It would be idle to
ignore that there were ugly rumors flying.  There was need for
watchfulness, but there was no need for alarm.  The Police Force
was charged with the responsibility of protecting the lives
and property of the people.  They assumed to the full this
responsibility, though they were very short-handed at present, but
if they ever felt they needed assistance they knew they could rely
upon the steady courage of the men of the district such as he saw
before him.

There was need of no further words and the Inspector's speech
passed with no response.  It was not after the manner of these men
to make demonstration either of their loyalty or of their courage.

Cameron's speech at the last came haltingly.  On the one hand his
Highland pride made it difficult for him to accept gifts from any
source whatever.  On the other hand his Highland courtesy forbade
his giving offense to those who were at once his hosts and his
guests, but none suspected the reason for the halting in his
speech.  As Western men they rather approved than otherwise the
hesitation and reserve that marked his words.

Before they rose from the supper table, however, there were calls
for Mrs. Cameron, calls so insistent and clamorous that, overcoming
her embarrassment, she made reply.  "We have not yet found out who
was responsible for the originating of this great kindness.  But no
matter.  We forgive him, for otherwise my husband and I would never
have come to know how rich we are in true friends and kind
neighbors, and now that you have built this house let me say that
henceforth by day or by night you are welcome to it, for it is

After the storm of applause had died down, a voice was heard
gruffly and somewhat anxiously protesting, "But not all at one

"Who was that?" asked Mandy of young Dent as the supper party broke

"That's Smith," said Dent, "and he's a queer one."

"Smith?" said Cameron.  "The chap meets us everywhere.  I must look
him up."

But there was a universal and insistent demand for "the pipes."

"You look him up, Mandy," cried her husband as he departed in
response to the call.

"I shall find him, and all about him," said Mandy with determination.

The next two hours were spent in dancing to Cameron's reels, in
which all, with more or less grace, took part till the piper
declared he was clean done.

"Let Macgregor have the pipes, Cameron," cried the Inspector.  "He
is longing for a chance, I am sure, and you give us the Highland

"Come Moira," cried Cameron gaily, handing the pipes to Macgregor
and, taking his sister by the hand, he led her out into the
intricacies of the Highland Reel, while the sides of the living-
room, the doors and the windows, were thronged with admiring
onlookers.  Even Andy Hepburn's rugged face lost something of its
dourness; and as the brother and sister together did that most
famous of all the ancient dances of Scotland, the Highland Fling,
his face relaxed into a broad smile.

"There's Smith," said young Dent to Mandy in a low voice as the
reel was drawing to a close.

"Where?" she cried.  "I have been looking for him everywhere."

"There, at the window, outside."

Even in the dim light of the lanterns and candles hung here and
there upon the walls and stuck on the window sills, Smith's face,
pale, stern, sad, shone like a specter out of the darkness behind.

"What's the matter with the man?" cried Mandy.  "I must find out."

Suddenly the reel came to an end and Cameron, taking the pipes from
young Macgregor, cried, "Now, Moira, we will give them our way of
it," and, tuning the pipes anew, he played over once and again
their own Glen March, known only to the piper of the Cuagh Oir.
Then with cunning skill making atmosphere, he dropped into a wild
and weird lament, Moira standing the while like one seeing a
vision.  With a swift change the pipes shrilled into the true
Highland version of the ancient reel, enriched with grace notes and
variations all his own.  For a few moments the girl stood as if
unwilling to yield herself to the invitation of the pipes.
Suddenly, as if moved by another spirit than her own, she stepped
into the circle and whirled away into the mazes of the ancient
style of the Highland Fling, such as is mastered by comparatively
few even of the Highland folk.  With wonderful grace and supple
strength she passed from figure to figure and from step to step,
responding to the wild mad music as to a master spirit.

In the midst of the dance Mandy made her way out of the house and
round to the window where Smith stood gazing in upon the dancer.
She quietly approached him from behind and for a few moments stood
at his side.  He was breathing heavily like a man in pain.

"What is it, Mr. Smith?" she said, touching him gently on the

He sprang from her touch as from a stab and darted back from the
crowd about the window.

"What is it, Mr. Smith?" she said again, following him.  "You are
not well.  You are in pain."

He stood a moment or two gazing at her with staring eyes and parted
lips, pain, grief and even rage distorting his pale face.

"It is wicked," at length he panted.  "It is just terrible wicked--
a young girl like that."

"Wicked?  Who?  What?"

"That--that girl--dancing like that."

"Dancing?  That kind of dancing?" cried Mandy, astonished.  "I was
brought up a Methodist myself," she continued, "but that kind of
dancing--why, I love it."

"It is of the devil.  I am a Methodist--a preacher--but I could not
preach, so I quit.  But that is of the world, the flesh, and the
devil and--and I have not the courage to denounce it.  She is--God
help me--so--so wonderful--so wonderful."

"But, Mr. Smith," said Mandy, laying her hand upon his arm, and
seeking to sooth his passion, "surely this dancing is--"

Loud cheers and clapping of hands from the house interrupted her.
The man put his hands over his eyes as if to shut out a horrid
vision, shuddered violently, and with a weird sound broke from her
touch and fled into the bluff behind the house just as the party
came streaming from the house preparatory to departing.  It seemed
to Mandy as if she had caught a glimpse of the inner chambers of a
soul and had seen things too sacred to be uttered.

Among the last to leave were young Dent and the Inspector.

"We have found out the culprit," cried Dent, as he was saying good-

"The culprit?" said Mandy.  "What do you mean?"

"The fellow who has engineered this whole business."

"Who is it?" said Cameron.

"Why, listen," said Dent.  "Who got the logs from Bracken?  Smith.
Who got the Inspector to send men through the settlement?  Smith.
Who got the lumber out of the same Inspector?  Smith.  And the sash
and doors out of Cochrane?  Smith.  And wiggled the shingles out of
Newsome?  And euchred old Scotty Hepburn into building the
fireplace?  And planned and bossed the whole job?  Who?  Smith.
This whole business is Smith's work."

"And where is Smith?  Have you seen him, Mandy?  We have not

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