The Girl from Montana (Chapter 8, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 8

She took the news like a Spartan. Her gentle pity was simply expressed,
and then she held her peace. He must go. He must leave her. She knew that
the train would carry him to his mother's bedside quicker than a horse
could go. She felt by the look in his eyes and the set of his mouth that
he had already decided that. Of course he must go. And the lady was there
too! His mother and the lady! The lady would be sorry by this time, and
would love him. Well, it was all right. He had been good to her. He had
been a strong, bright angel God had sent to help her out of the
wilderness; and now that she was safe the angel must return to his heaven.
This was what she thought.

He had gone into the station to inquire about the train. It was an hour
late. He had one short hour in which to do a great deal. He had very
little money with him. Naturally men do not carry a fortune when they go
out into the wilderness for a day's shooting. Fortunately he had his
railroad return ticket to Philadelphia. That would carry him safely. But
the girl. She of course had no money. And where was she going? He realized
that he had failed to ask her many important questions. He hurried out,
and explained to her.

"The train is an hour late. We must sell our horses, and try to get money
enough to take us East. It is the only way. Where do you intend going?"

But the girl stiffened in her seat. She knew it was her opportunity to
show that she was worthy of his honor and respect.

"I cannot go with you," she said very quietly.

"But you must," said he impatiently. "Don't you see there is no other way?
I must take this train and get to my mother as soon as possible. She may
not be living when I reach her if I don't." Something caught in his throat
as he uttered the horrible thought that kept coming to his mind.

"I know," said the girl quietly. "You must go, but I must ride on."

"And why? I should like to know. Don't you see that I cannot leave you
here alone? Those villains may be upon us at any minute. In fact, it is a
good thing for us to board the train and get out of their miserable
country as fast as steam can carry us. I am sorry you must part with your
horse, for I know you are attached to it; but perhaps we can arrange to
sell it to some one who will let us redeem it when we send the money out.
You see I have not money enough with me to buy you a ticket. I couldn't
get home myself if I hadn't my return ticket with me in my pocket. But
surely the sale of both horses will bring enough to pay your way."

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