The Forbidden Trail (Chapter 8, page 1 of 10)

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Chapter 8

As soon as Ernest and she were alone in the kitchen, Charley whispered: "How about Mrs. von Minden?"

"Oh, they had a fine row. She wants his strong box. She said at first that she didn't know what she wanted but later confessed that it was her marriage certificate plus something the Yogis were to put her wise to."

"Poor old soul!" exclaimed Charley softly. "What tragedy do you suppose is back of all this?"

"I don't know. But none of us urged the poor old girl to come up here with us. He says he's going to spend the night with you, but if Dick isn't here--"

"That's all right," said Charley. "He stays here often when Dick is gone. He and I are great friends. I shall say nothing at all about his wife, unless he does."

"That's the best cue, I think," agreed Ernest; "I'm so darned sorry about the alfalfa, Charley."

"Pioneer luck," replied the girl shaking her dark head. "I feel rather heartsick about it myself. If only Dick wouldn't go to pieces so! That's what worries me, because we may have many failures before the alfalfa catches and he is going to have such a hard time."

"I can't see why you chose such a difficult part of the world to farm in," mused Ernest.

"That's where the sport comes in," returned Charley with a smile.

Whatever discomfort Dick's surly and erratic moods may have cost her Charley gave no sign that evening of having any thought save the comfort and entertainment of her guests. Before Felicia had been sent to bed and after the men, all smoking, had listened to Von Minden's dissertation on sand storms, Charley suggested that Peter be invited in and put through his paces.

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