Desert Gold (Chapter 9, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 9

No man ever had a more eloquent and beautiful pleader for his cause
than had Dick Gale in Mercedes Castaneda. He peeped through the green,
shining twigs of the palo verde that shaded his door. The hour was
high noon, and the patio was sultry. The only sounds were the hum of
bees in the flowers and the low murmur of the Spanish girl's melodious
voice. Nell lay in the hammock, her hands behind her head, with rosy
cheeks and arch eyes. Indeed, she looked rebellious. Certain it was,
Dick reflected, that the young lady had fully recovered the wilful
personality which had lain dormant for a while. Equally certain it
seemed that Mercedes's earnestness was not apparently having the effect
it should have had.

Dick was inclined to be rebellious himself. Belding had kept the
rangers in off the line, and therefore Dick had been idle most of the
time, and, though he tried hard, he had been unable to stay far from
Nell's vicinity. He believed she cared for him; but he could not catch
her alone long enough to verify his tormenting hope. When alone she
was as illusive as a shadow, as quick as a flash, as mysterious as a
Yaqui. When he tried to catch her in the garden or fields, or corner
her in the patio, she eluded him, and left behind a memory of
dark-blue, haunting eyes. It was that look in her eyes which lent him
hope. At other times, when it might have been possible for Dick to
speak, Nell clung closely to Mercedes. He had long before enlisted the
loyal Mercedes in his cause; but in spite of this Nell had been more
than a match for them both.

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