The Girl from Montana (Chapter 2, page 1 of 16)


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Chapter 2

A great fear settled down upon the girl as she realized that she was alone
and, for a few hours at least, free. It was a marvellous escape. Even now
she could hear the echo of the man's last words, and see his hateful smile
as he waved his good-by and promised to come back for her to-morrow.

She felt sure he would not wait until the night. It might be he would
return even yet. She cast another reassuring look down the darkening road,
and strained her ear; but she could no longer hear hoof-beats.
Nevertheless, it behooved her to hasten. He had blanched at her suggestion
of walking spirits; but, after all, his courage might arise. She shuddered
to think of his returning later, in the night. She must fly somewhere at
once.

Instantly her dormant senses seemed to be on the alert. Fully fledged
plans flashed through her brain. She went into the cabin, and barred the
door. She made every movement swiftly, as if she had not an instant to
spare. Who could tell? He might return even before dark. He had been hard
to baffle, and she did not feel at all secure. It was her one chance of
safety to get away speedily, whither it mattered little, only so she was
away and hidden.

Her first act inside the cottage was to get the belt from the cupboard and
buckle it around her waist. She examined and loaded the pistols. Her
throat seemed seized with sudden constriction when she discovered that
the barrels had been empty and the weapons would have done her no good
even if she could have reached them.

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