The Forbidden Trail (Chapter 1, page 1 of 33)


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Chapter 1

Roger was only seven. He was tall for his age and very thin. He had a thick crop of black hair and his eyes were large and precisely the color of the summer sky that lifted above the Moores' back yard. These were the little boy's only claims to beauty, for even at this time Roger's face was too much of the intellectual type to be handsome. Beauty is seldom intelligent. Roger's long, thin jaw, his thin, thoughtful mouth, his high forehead, were distinctly of the thinking, dreaming type.

It was midsummer and Roger's tanned legs and feet were bare and scratched and mosquito bitten. He wore a little blue gingham sailor suit, which was much rumpled and soiled.

Charlotte was five. She was tall for her age too. In fact at five she was nearly as tall as Roger. But she was not as thin as he. She had large brown eyes of astounding depth and softness and bronze brown hair that was short and curly. There were lovely curves in her scarlet, drooping lips and a fine arch to her head above the ears. There was a dimple in her round chin. She sat in front of Roger who was astride one end of a great plank that was up-ended on a barrel.

"You go over and get Ernie and Elschen, Charley," commanded Roger in a deep, boyish voice.

"I won't!" returned Charley, succinctly, crowding closer to Roger, as she spoke.

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