The Man of the Forest (Chapter 8, page 1 of 26)


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Chapter 8

Once astride the horse again, Helen had to congratulate herself upon not being so crippled as she had imagined. Indeed, Bo made all the audible complaints.

Both girls had long water-proof coats, brand-new, and of which they were considerably proud. New clothes had not been a common event in their lives.

"Reckon I'll have to slit these," Dale had said, whipping out a huge knife.

"What for?" had been Bo's feeble protest.

"They wasn't made for ridin'. An' you'll get wet enough even if I do cut them. An' if I don't, you'll get soaked."

"Go ahead," had been Helen's reluctant permission.

So their long new coats were slit half-way up the back. The exigency of the case was manifest to Helen, when she saw how they came down over the cantles of the saddles and to their boot-tops.

The morning was gray and cold. A fine, misty rain fell and the trees dripped steadily. Helen was surprised to see the open country again and that apparently they were to leave the forest behind for a while. The country was wide and flat on the right, and to the left it rolled and heaved along a black, scalloped timber-line. Above this bordering of the forest low, drifting clouds obscured the mountains. The wind was at Helen's back and seemed to be growing stronger. Dale and Roy were ahead, traveling at a good trot, with the pack-animals bunched before them. Helen and Bo had enough to do to keep up.

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