The Call of the Canyon (Chapter 7, page 3 of 12)

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Chapter 7

Carley drew a long deep breath before she called Glenn. This meeting
would be momentous and she felt no absolute surety of herself.

Manifestly he was surprised to hear her call, and, dropping his sack
and implement, he hurried across the tilled ground, sending up puffs of
dust. He vaulted the rude fence of poles, and upon sight of her
called out lustily. How big and virile he looked! Yet he was gaunt and
strained. It struck Carley that he had not looked so upon her arrival at
Oak Creek. Had she worried him? The query gave her a pang.

"Sir Tiller of the Fields," said Carley, gayly, "see, your dinner! I
brought it and I am going to share it."

"You old darling!" he replied, and gave her an embrace that left her
cheek moist with the sweat of his. He smelled of dust and earth and his
body was hot. "I wish to God it could be true for always!"

His loving, bearish onslaught and his words quite silenced Carley. How
at critical moments he always said the thing that hurt her or inhibited
her! She essayed a smile as she drew back from him.

"It's sure good of you," he said, taking the basket. "I was thinking I'd
be through work sooner today, and was sorry I had not made a date with
you. Come, we'll find a place to sit."

Whereupon he led her back under the trees to a half-sunny, half-shady
bench of rock overhanging the stream. Great pines overshadowed a still,
eddying pool. A number of brown butterflies hovered over the water, and
small trout floated like spotted feathers just under the surface. Drowsy
summer enfolded the sylvan scene.

Glenn knelt at the edge of the brook, and, plunging his hands in, he
splashed like a huge dog and bathed his hot face and head, and then
turned to Carley with gay words and laughter, while he wiped himself dry
with a large red scarf. Carley was not proof against the virility of him
then, and at the moment, no matter what it was that had made him the man
he looked, she loved it.

"I'll sit in the sun," he said, designating a place. "When you're hot
you mustn't rest in the shade, unless you've coat or sweater. But you
sit here in the shade."

"Glenn, that'll put us too far apart," complained Carley. "I'll sit in
the sun with you."

The delightful simplicity and happiness of the ensuing hour was
something Carley believed she would never forget.

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