The Man of the Desert (Chapter 2, page 1 of 14)

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Chapter 2

About noon of the same day the missionary halted his horse on the edge of a great flat-topped mesa and looked away to the clear blue mountains in the distance.

John Brownleigh had been in Arizona for nearly three years, yet the wonder of the desert had not ceased to charm him, and now as he stopped his horse to rest, his eyes sought the vast distances stretched in every direction, and revelled in the splendour of the scene.

Those mountains at which he was gazing were more than a hundred miles from him, and yet they stood out clear and distinct in the wonderful air, and seemed but a short journey away.

Below him were ledges of rock in marvellous colours, yellow and gray, crimson and green piled one upon another, with the strange light of the noonday sun playing over them and turning their colours into a blaze of glory. Beyond was a stretch of sand, broken here and there by sage-brush, greasewood, or cactus rearing its prickly spines grotesquely.

Off to the left were pink tinted cliffs and a little farther dark cone-like buttes. On the other hand low brown and white hills stretched away to the wonderful petrified forest, where great tracts of fallen tree trunks and chips lay locked in glistening stone.

To the south he could see the familiar water-hole, and farther the entrance to the canyon, fringed with cedars and pines. The grandeur of the scene impressed him anew.

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