The Highgrader (Chapter 4, page 1 of 10)

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Chapter 4

At the Lodge too an early breakfast was held, though it was five hours later than the one at the camp. The whole party was down by nine-thirty and was on the road within the hour. The morning was such a one as only the Rockies can produce. The wine of it ran through the blood warm and stimulating. A blue sky flecked with light mackerel clouds stretched from the fine edge of the mountains to the ragged line of hills that cut off the view on the other side.

The horses were keen for the road and the pace was brisk. It was not until half the distance had been covered that Joyce, who was riding beside the captain, found opportunity for conversation.

"You sat up late, didn't you?"

"Early," the soldier laughed.

"How did the savage behave himself?"

"He went the distance well. We all contributed to the neat little roll he carried away." Kilmeny smiled as he spoke. He was thinking of Verinder, who had made a set against the miner and had tried to drive him out by the size of his raises. The result had been unfortunate for the millionaire.

"He has a good deal of assurance, hasn't he?" she asked lightly.

The captain hesitated. "Do you think that's quite the word? He fitted in easily--wasn't shy or awkward--that sort of thing, you know--but he wasn't obtrusive at all. Farquhar likes him."

"He's rather interesting," Joyce admitted.

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