Molly McDonald (Chapter 9, page 1 of 8)


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Chapter 9

He dropped his hand upon hers, clasping the clinging fingers tightly.

"Yes, we can make it," he answered confidently. "Wait until I make sure what is out there."

He had slight recollection of the stream at this point, although he had crossed it often enough at the known fords, both above and below. Yet these crossings had always been accomplished with a horse under him, and a knowledge of where the trail ran. But he knew the stream, its peculiarities and dangers. It was not the volume of water, nor its depth he feared, for wide as it appeared stretching from bank to bank, he realized its shallow sluggishness. The peril lay in quicksand, or the plunging into some unseen hole, where the sudden swirl of water might pull them under. Alone he would have risked it recklessly, but with her added weight in his arms, he realized how a single false step would be fatal. The farther shore was invisible; he could perceive nothing but the slight gleam of water lapping the sand at his feet, as it flowed slowly, noiselessly past, and beyond, the dim outline of a narrow sand ridge. Even this, however, was encouragement, proving the shallowness of the stream. He turned about, his face so close he could see her eyes.

"We shall have to try it, Miss McDonald; you must permit me to carry you."

"Yes."

"And whatever happens do not scream--just cling tight to me."

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