The Forbidden Trail (Chapter 6, page 1 of 21)


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Chapter 6

In spite of his weariness, Roger could not sleep. He scarcely had closed his eyes when the memory of Dick's curious ugliness made him open them and stare into the darkness. What in the world could induce a seemingly pleasant fellow like Dick to go off apparently without cause into a deep seated grouch?

Roger shook himself. What a fool he was to lie awake over a thing as trivial as this. All men were moody. Roger told himself that, excepting Ernest, every man he knew had unaccountable grouches. Then he closed his eyes and opened them again. Would Dick row Charley? It was unthinkable that a man should row a woman of her type. Roger had discovered that he admired his old time playmate very much. She was so calm, so clear headed and keen thinking. With all the dignity of her splendid boyish physique added to her splendid intelligence, it was very unpleasant to think of her having to submit to bullying.

Roger turned over with a sigh. After a time of tossing, moved by an unaccountable impulse, he crept out of bed and peered from the tent flap toward the ranch house. A faint speck of light flecked the darkness. He scratched a match and looked at his watch. It was half past two. He went back to bed, where he lay for a half hour, wondering what was going on at the ranch house.

This was an unusual proceeding for Roger. Like most only children Roger had grown up self-centered and more or less selfish. His work had tended to increase these characteristics. Not since his mother's death, with the single exception of his thoughtful affection for Mamma Wolf, had Roger spent so much of himself on another's problem as he now was spending on Charley's.

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