and uselessly abasing myself to her and making a fool of myself generally. But Smith! Great God! Smith! Well, it will help to cure me." Mrs. Cameron stood by in miserable silence. "Oh, Dr. Martin," at length she groaned tearfully, "I am so disappointed. I was so hoping, and I was sure it was all right-- and--and--oh, what does it mean? Dear Dr. Martin, I cannot tell you how I feel." "Oh, hang it, Mrs. Cameron, don't pity me. I'll get over it. A little surgical operation in the region of the pericardium is all, that is required." "What are you talking about?" exclaimed Mrs. Cameron, vaguely listening to him and busy with her own thoughts the while. "Talking about, madam? Talking about? I am talking about that organ, the central organ of the vascular system of animals, a hollow muscular structure that propels the blood by alternate contractions and dilatations, which in the mammalian embryo first appears as two tubes lying under the head and immediately behind the first visceral arches, but gradually moves back and becomes lodged in the thorax." "Oh, do stop! What nonsense are you talking now?" exclaimed Mrs. Cameron, waking up as from a dream. "No, don't go. You must not go." "I am going, and I am going to leave this country," said the doctor. "I am going East. No, this is no sudden resolve. I have thought of it for some time, and now I will go." "Well, you must wait at least till Allan returns. You must say good-by to him." She followed the doctor anxiously back to his seat beside the Inspector. "Here," she cried, "hold baby a minute. There are some things I must attend to. I would give him to the Inspector, but he would not know how to handle him." "God forbid!" ejaculated the Inspector firmly. "But I tell you I must get home," said the doctor in helpless wrath. "Nonsense!" exclaimed Mrs. Cameron. "Look out! You are not holding him properly. There now, you have made him cry." "Pinched him!" muttered the Inspector. "I call that most unfair. Mean advantage to take of the young person." The doctor glowered at the Inspector and set himself with ready skill to remedy the wrong he had wrought in the young person's disposition while the mother, busying herself ostentatiously with her domestic duties, finally disappeared around the house, making for the bluff. As soon as she was out of earshot she raised her voice in song. "I must give the fools warning, I suppose," she said to herself. In the pauses of her singing, "Oh, what does she mean? I could just shake her. I am so disappointed. Smith! Smith! Well, Smith is all right, but--oh, I must talk to her. And yet, I am so angry-- yes, I am disgusted. I was so sure that everything was all right. Ah, there she is at last, and--well--thank goodness he is gone. "Oh-h-h-h-O, Moira!" she cried. "Now, I must keep my temper," she added to herself. "But I am so cross about this. Oh-h-h-h-O, Moira!" "Oh-h-h-h-O!" called Moira in reply. "She looks positively happy. Ugh! Disgusting! And so lovely too." "Did you want me, Mandy? I am so sorry I forgot all about the tea." "So I should suppose," snapped Mandy crossly. "I saw you were too deeply engaged to think." "You saw?" exclaimed the girl, a startled dismay in her face. "Yes, and I would suggest that you select a less conspicuous stage for your next scene. Certainly I got quite a shock. If it had been Raven, Moira, I could have stood it." "Raven! Raven! Oh, stop! Not a word, Mandy." Her voice was hushed and there was a look of pain in her eyes. "But Smith!" went on Mandy relentlessly. "I was too disgusted." "Well, what is wrong with Mr. Smith?" inquired Moira, her chin rising. "Oh, there is nothing wrong with Smith," replied her sister-in-law crossly, "but--well--kissing him, you know." "Kissing him?" echoed Moira faintly. "Kissing him? I did not--" "It looked to me uncommonly like it at any rate," said Mandy. "You surely don't deny that you were kissing him?" "I was not. I mean, it was Smith--perhaps--yes, I think Smith did--" "Well, it was a silly thing to do." "Silly! If I want to kiss Mr. Smith, why is it anybody's business?" "That's just it," said Mandy indignantly. "Why should you want to?" "Well, that is my affair," said Moira in an angry tone, and with a high head and lofty air she appeared in the doctor's presence. But Dr. Martin was apparently oblivious of both her lofty air and the angle of her chin. He was struggling to suppress from observation a tumult of mingled passions of jealousy, rage and humiliation. That this girl whom for four years he had loved with the full strength of his intense nature should have given herself to another was grief enough; but the fact that this other should have been a man of Smith's caliber seemed to add insult to his grief. He felt that not only had she humiliated him but herself as well. "If she is the kind of girl that enjoys kissing Smith I don't want her," he said to himself savagely, and then cursed himself that he knew it was a lie. For no matter how she should affront him or humiliate herself he well knew he should take her gladly on his bended knees from Smith's hands. The cure somehow was not working, but he would allow no one to suspect it. His voice was even and his manner cheerful as ever. Only Mrs. Cameron, who held the key to his heart, suspected the agony through which he was passing during the tea-hour. And it was to secure respite for him that the tea was hurried and the doctor packed off to saddle Pepper and round up the cows for the milking. Pepper was by birth and breeding a cow-horse, and once set upon a trail after a bunch of cows he could be trusted to round them up with little or no aid from his rider. Hence once astride Pepper and Pepper with his nose pointed toward the ranging cows, the doctor could allow his heart to roam at will. And like a homing pigeon, his heart, after some faint struggles in the grip of its owner's will, made swift flight toward the far-away Highland glen across the sea, the Cuagh Oir. With deliberate purpose he set himself to live again the tender and ineffaceable memories of that eventful visit to the glen when first his eyes were filled with the vision of the girl with the sunny hair and the sunny eyes who that day seemed to fill the very glen and ever since that day his heart with glory. With deliberate purpose, too, he set himself to recall the glen itself, its lights and shadows, its purple hilltops, its emerald loch far down at the bottom, the little clachan on the hillside and up above it the old manor-house. But ever and again his heart would pause to catch anew some flitting glance of the brown eyes, some turn of the golden head, some cadence of the soft Highland voice, some fitful illusive sweetness of the smile upon the curving lips, pause and return upon its tracks to feel anew that subtle rapture of the first poignant thrill, lingering over each separate memory as a drunkard lingers regretful over his last sweet drops of wine. Meantime Pepper's intelligent diligence had sent every cow home to its milking, and so, making his way by a short cut that led along the Big Horn River and round the poplar bluff, the doctor, suddenly waking from his dream of the past, faced with a fresh and sharper stab the reality of the present. The suddenness and sharpness of the pain made him pull his horse up short. "I'll cut this country and go East," he said aloud, coming to a conclusive decision upon a plan long considered, "I'll go in for specializing. I have done with all this nonsense." He sat his horse looking eastward over the hills that rolled far away to the horizon. His eye wandered down the river gleaming now like gold in the sunset glow. He had learned to love this land of great sunlit spaces and fresh blowing winds, but this evening its very beauty appeared intolerable to him. Ever since the death of Raven upon that tragic night of the cattle-raid he had been fighting his bitter loss and disappointment; with indifferent success, it is true, but still not without the hope of attaining final peace of soul. This evening he knew that, while he lived in this land, peace would never come to him, for his heart-wound never would heal. "I will go," he said again. "I will say good-by to-night. By Jove! I feel better already. Come along, Pepper! Wake up!" Pepper woke up to some purpose and at a smart canter carried the doctor on his way round the bluff toward a gate that opened into a lane leading to the stables. At the gate a figure started up suddenly from the shadow of a poplar. With a snort and in the midst of his stride Pepper swung on his heels with such amazing abruptness that his rider was flung from his saddle, fortunately upon his feet. "Confound you for a dumb-headed fool! What are you up to anyway?" he cried in a sudden rage, recognizing Smith, who stood beside the trail in an abjectly apologetic attitude. "Yes," cried another voice from the shadow. "Is he not a fool? You would think he ought to know Mr. Smith by this time. But Pepper is really very stupid." The doctor stood speechless, surprise, disgust and rage struggling for supremacy among his emotions. He stood gazing stupidly from one to the other, utterly at a loss for words. "You see, Mr. Smith," began Moira somewhat lamely, "had something to say to me and so we--and so we came--along to the gate." "So I see," replied the doctor gruffly. "You see Mr. Smith has come to mean a great deal to me--to us--" "So I should imagine," replied the doctor. "His self-sacrifice and courage during those terrible days we can never forget." "Exactly so--quite right," replied the doctor, standing stiffly beside his horse's head. "You do not know people all at once," continued Moira. "Ah! Not all at once," the doctor replied. "But in times of danger and trouble one gets to know them quickly." "Sure thing," said the doctor. "And it takes times of danger to bring out the hero in a man." "I should imagine so," replied the doctor with his eyes on Smith's childlike and beaming face. "And you see Mr. Smith was really our whole stay, and--and--we came to rely upon him and we found him so steadfast." In the face of the doctor's stolid brevity Moira was finding conversation difficult. "Steadfast!" repeated the doctor. "Exactly so," his eyes upon Smith's wobbly legs. "Mr. Smith I consider a very fortunate man. I congratulate him on--" "Oh, have you heard? I did not know that--" "Yes. I mean--not exactly." "Who told you? Is it not splendid?" enthusiasm shining in her eyes. "Splendid! Yes--that is, for him," replied the doctor without emotion. "I congratulate--" "But how did you hear?" "I did not exactly hear, but I had no difficulty in--ah--making the discovery." "Discovery?" "Yes, discovery. It was fairly plain; I might say it was the feature of the view; in fact it stuck right out of the landscape-- hit you in the eye, so to speak." "The landscape? What can you mean?" "Mean? Simply that I am at a loss as to whether Mr. Smith is to be congratulated more upon his exquisite taste or upon his extraordinary good fortune." "Good fortune, yes, is it not splendid?" "Splendid is the exact word," said the doctor stiffly. "And I am so glad." "Yes, you certainly look happy," replied the doctor with a grim attempt at a smile, and feeling as if more enthusiasm were demanded from him. "Let me offer you my congratulations and say good-by. I am leaving." "You will be back soon, though?" "Hardly. I am leaving the West." "Leaving the West? Why? What? When?" "To-night. Now. I must say good-by." "To-night? Now?" Her voice sank almost to a whisper. Her lips were white and quivering. "But do they know at the house? Surely this is sudden." "Oh, no, not so sudden. I have thought of it for some time; indeed, I have made my plans." "Oh--for some time? You have made your plans? But you never hinted such a thing to--to any of us." "Oh, well, I don't tell my plans to all the world," said the doctor with a careless laugh. The girl shrank from him as if he had cut her with his riding whip. But, swiftly recovering herself, she cried with gay reproach: "Why, Mr. Smith, we are losing all our friends at once. It is cruel of you and Dr. Martin to desert us at the same time. Mr. Smith, you know," she continued, turning to the doctor with an air of exaggerated vivacity, "leaves for the East to-night too." "Smith--leaving?" The doctor gazed stupidly at that person. "Yes, you know he has come into a big fortune and is going to be--" "A fortune?" "Yes, and he is going East to be married." "Going EAST to be married?" "Yes, and I was--" "Going EAST?" exclaimed the doctor. "I don't understand. I thought you--" "Oh, yes, his young lady is awaiting him in the East. And he is going to spend his money in such a splendid way." "Going EAST?" echoed the doctor, as if he could not fix the idea with sufficient firmness in his brain to grasp it fully. "Yes, I have just told you so," replied the girl. "Married?" shouted the doctor, suddenly rushing at Smith and gripping him by both arms. "Smith, you shy dog--you lucky dog! Let me wish you joy, old man. By Jove! You deserve your luck, every bit of it. Say, that's fine. Ha! ha! Jeerupiter! Smith, you are a good one and a sly one. Shake again, old man. Say, by Jove! What a sell--I mean what a joke! Look here, Smith, old chap, would you mind taking Pepper home? I am rather tired--riding, I mean-- beastly wild cows--no end of a run after them. See you down at the house later. No, no, don't wait, don't mind me. I am all right, fit as a fiddle--no, not a bit tired--I mean I am tired riding. Yes, rather stiff--about the knees, you know. Oh, it's all right. Up you get, old man--there you are! So, Smith, you are going to be married, eh? Lucky dog! Tell 'em I am--tell 'em we are coming. My horse? Oh, well, never mind my horse till I come myself. So long, old chap! Ha! ha! old man, good-by. Great Caesar! What a sell! Say, let's sit down, Moira," he said, suddenly growing quiet and turning to the girl, "till I get my wind. Fine chap that Smith. Legs a bit wobbly, but don't care if he had a hundred of 'em and all wobbly. He's all right. Oh, my soul! What an ass! What an adjectival, hyphenated jackass! Don't look at me that way or I shall climb a tree and yell. I'm not mad, I assure you. I was on the verge of it a few moments ago, but it is gone. I am sane, sane as an old maid. Oh, my God!" He covered his face with his hands and sat utterly still for some moments. "Dr. Martin, what is the matter?" exclaimed the girl. "You terrify me." "No wonder. I terrify myself. How could I have stood it." "What is the matter? What is it?" "Why, Moira, I thought you were going to marry that idiot." "Idiot?" exclaimed the girl, drawing herself up. "Idiot? Mr. Smith? I am not going to marry him, Dr. Martin, but he is an honorable fellow and a friend of mine, a dear friend of mine." "So he is, so he is, a splendid fellow, the finest ever, but thank God you are not going to marry him!" "Why, what is wrong with--" "Why? Why? God help me! Why? Only because, Moira, I love you." He threw himself upon his knees beside her. "Don't, don't for God's sake get away! Give me a chance to speak!" He caught her hand in both of his. "I have just been through hell. Don't send me there again. Let me tell you. Ever since that minute when I saw you in the glen I have loved you. In my thoughts by day and in my dreams by night you have been, and this day when I thought I had lost you I knew that I loved you ten thousand times more than ever." He was kissing her hand passionately, while she sat with head turned away. "Tell me, Moira, if I may love you? And is it any use? And do you think you could love me even a little bit? I am not worthy to touch you. Tell me." Still she sat silent. He waited a few moments, his face growing gray. "Tell me," he said at length in a broken, husky voice. "I will try to bear it." She turned her face toward him. The sunny eyes were full of tears. "And you were going away from me?" she breathed, leaning toward him. "Sweetheart!" he cried, putting his arms around her and drawing her to him, "tell me to stay." "Stay," she whispered, "or take me too." The sun had long since disappeared behind the big purple mountains and even the warm afterglow in the eastern sky had faded into a pearly opalescent gray when the two reached the edge of the bluff nearest the house. "Oh! The milking!" cried Moira aghast, as she came in sight of the house. "Great Caesar! I was going to help," exclaimed the doctor. "Too bad," said the girl penitently. "But, of course, there's Smith." "Why, certainly there's Smith. What a God-send that chap is. He is always on the spot. But Cameron is home. I see his horse. Let us go in and face the music." They found an excited group standing in the kitchen, Mandy with a letter in her hand. "Oh, here you are at last!" she cried. "Where have you--" She glanced at Moira's face and then at the doctor's and stopped abruptly. "Hello, what's up?" cried the doctor. "We have got a letter--such a letter!" cried Mandy. "Read it. Read it aloud, Doctor." She thrust the letter into his hand. The doctor cleared his throat, struck an attitude, and read aloud: "My dear Cameron: "It gives me great pleasure to say for the officers of the Police Force in the South West district and for myself that we greatly appreciate the distinguished services you rendered during the past six months in your patrol of the Sun Dance Trail. It was a work of difficulty and danger and one of the highest importance to the country. I feel sure it will gratify you to know that the attention of the Government has been specially called to the creditable manner in which you have performed your duty, and I have no doubt that the Government will suitably express its appreciation of your services in due time. But, as you are aware, in the Force to which we have the honor to belong, we do not look for recognition, preferring to find a sufficient reward in duty done. "Permit me also to say that we recognize and appreciate the spirit of devotion showed by Mrs. Cameron during these trying months in so cheerfully and loyally giving you up to this service. "May I add that in this rebellion to my mind the most critical factor was the attitude of the great Blackfeet Confederacy. Every possible effort was made by the half-breeds and Northern Indians to seduce Crowfoot and his people from their loyalty, and their most able and unscrupulous agent in this attempt was the Sioux Indian known among us as The Copperhead. That he failed utterly in his schemes and that Crowfoot remained loyal I believe is due to the splendid work of the officers and members of our Force in the South West district, but especially to your splendid services as the Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail." "And signed by the big Chief himself, the Commissioner," cried Dr. Martin. "What do you think of that, Baby?" he continued, catching the baby from its mother's arms. "What do you think of your daddy?" The doctor pirouetted round the room with the baby in his arms, that young person regarding the whole performance apparently with grave and profound satisfaction. "Your horse is ready," said Smith, coming in at the door. "Your horse?" cried Cameron. "Oh--I forgot," said the doctor. "Ah--I don't think I want him to-night, Smith." "You are not going to-night, then?" inquired Mandy in delighted surprise. "No--I--in fact, I believe I have changed my mind about that. I have, been--ah--persuaded to remain." "Oh, I see," cried Mandy in supreme delight. Then turning swiftly upon her sister-in-law who stood beside the doctor, her face in a radiant glow, she added, "Then what did you mean by--by--what we saw this afternoon?" A deeper red dyed the girl's cheeks. "What are you talking about?" cried Dr. Martin. "Oh, that kissing Smith business." "I couldn't just help it!" burst out Moira. "He was so happy." "Going to be married, you know," interjected the doctor. "And so--so--" "Just so," cried the doctor. "Oh, pshaw! that's all right! I'd kiss Smith myself. I feel like doing it this blessed minute. Where is he? Smith! Where are you?" But Smith had escaped. "Smith's all right, I say, and so are we, eh, Moira?" He slipped his arm round the blushing girl. "Oh, I am so glad," cried Mandy, beaming upon them. "And you are not going East after all?" "East? Not I! The West for me. I am going to stay right in it-- with the Inspector here--and with you, Mrs. Cameron--and with my sweetheart--and yes, certainly with the Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail."
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