The Heritage of the Desert (Chapter 2, page 1 of 17)


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Chapter 2

The night was as a blank to Hare; the morning like a drifting of hazy clouds before his eyes. He felt himself moving; and when he awakened clearly to consciousness he lay upon a couch on the vine-covered porch of a cottage. He saw August Naab open a garden gate to admit Martin Cole. They met as friends; no trace of scorn marred August's greeting, and Martin was not the same man who had shown fear on the desert. His welcome was one of respectful regard for his superior.

"Elder, I heard you were safe in," he said, fervently. "We feared--I know not what. I was distressed till I got the news of your arrival. How's the young man?"

"He's very ill. But while there's life there's hope."

"Will the Bishop administer to him?"

"Gladly, if the young man's willing. Come, let's go in."

"Wait, August," said Cole. "Did you know your son Snap was in the village?"

"My son here!" August Naab betrayed anxiety. "I left him home with work. He shouldn't have come. Is--is he--"

"He's drinking and in an ugly mood. It seems he traded horses with Jeff Larsen, and got the worst of the deal. There's pretty sure to be a fight."

"He always hated Larsen."

"Small wonder. Larsen is mean; he's as bad as we've got and that's saying a good deal. Snap has done worse things than fight with Larsen. He's doing a worse thing now, August--he's too friendly with Dene."

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