Desert Gold (Chapter 2, page 2 of 14)


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Chapter 2

"Mercedes has been meeting me here," said Thorne. "At this hour she
comes every moment or so to the head of the stairs there, and if I am
here she comes down. Mostly there are people in this room a little
later. We go out into the plaza. It faces the dark side of the house,
and that's the place I must slip out with her if there's any chance at
all to get away."

They peered out of the open window. The plaza was gloomy, and at first
glance apparently deserted. In a moment, however, Gale made out a
slow-pacing dark form on the path. Farther down there was another. No
particular keenness was required to see in these forms a sentinel-like
stealthiness.

Gripping Gale's arm, Thorne pulled back from the window.

"You saw them," he whispered. "It's just as I feared. Rojas has the
place surrounded. I should have taken Mercedes away. But I had no
time--no chance! I'm bound!... There's Mercedes now! My God!... Dick,
think--think if there's a way to get her out of this trap!"

Gale turned as his friend went down the room. In the dim light at the
head of the stairs stood the slim, muffled figure of a woman. When she
saw Thorne she flew noiselessly down the stairway to him. He caught her
in his arms. Then she spoke softly, brokenly, in a low, swift voice.
It was a mingling of incoherent Spanish and English; but to Gale it was
mellow, deep, unutterably tender, a voice full of joy, fear, passion,
hope, and love. Upon Gale it had an unaccountable effect. He found
himself thrilling, wondering.

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