The Forbidden Trail (Chapter 7, page 1 of 25)


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Chapter 7

The three men toiled arduously for two days on the brick making. At the end of that time the desert all about the camp was paved with adobe brick, baking in the sun until Dick should come to start them on their house building. On the evening of the second day, Roger tramped up to the ranch house and proposed to Dick that they exchange work for half a day; Roger to finish Dick's grading, while Dick instructed Gustav and Ernest in the gentle art of adobe laying.

But Dick would not strike the bargain. "I've only an hour's work before I'm ready to start the seeding," he said, "and I won't trust any one to attend to that but myself. I'll just ride over to the Sun Plant in the morning and it won't take half an hour to teach you fellows all I know about putting up the house."

"I'm going too," said Felicia. She was sitting, cuddling her doll before the fire, for the nights were still cool.

"Almost your bedtime, Felicia," warned Charley.

The child gave Roger an agonized look.

"I brought you a present, Felicia," he said, and pulled the tiny olla out of his pocket.

"Oh, a water jar! Just like yours, Charley!" shrieked Felicia, taking the little bowl carefully in her slender childish fingers. "Where did you get it, Roger?"

Roger described his meeting with the squaws, and Dick added, "The whole outfit is camping on a canyon the other side of the range. Old Rabbit Tail told me this morning when he brought down the wood. It's there they find the rock they make these ollas of. It's a kind of decomposed granite. They pulverize it with their metates, add boiling water and get a very fair clay. Qui-tha is up there with them and his strong medicine has made a hit."

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