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time for it, would give them another touch- It would not win the game that was down and six or seven points more.
hopeless now. But it would keep the score But as Foster knew, the time was very down. And it would, at least, be one act short now. He was not surprised when the that might in some measure atone for his Ellington team fell into kicking formation. disloyalty. Black, their clever drop-kicker, was going to Tensely he waited. The Ellington quartry for a goal.
ter-back called the signal sharply. The ball moved, and Foster leaped forward with up- He walked unsteadily out on the field and stretched hands—to block that kick or die! watched Cowles kick the goal. And as the
The opposing tackle tried to stop him- ball sailed straight and true between the goaland failed. A mountain could not have posts, the shrill whistle sounded across the stopped him.
field. Then, with that blinding vividness with The game was over! Lockwood had won which a man sees in the instant of a great at last! crisis, Foster saw Hills, the Lockwood right From the blue stands, a wild mob began to end, just ahead of him; and near Hills, ready pour out onto the field. It surrounded the to force him out of the play, the crouching members of the team, lifted them from the Ellington quarter-back.
ground, and marched away with them. There were two things that Foster could And there, at the head of the procession, do: he could try to smother the kick himself, raised a little higher than the others upon or he could charge into the Ellington quarter- the shoulders of his schoolmates, rose Loneback and let Hills try to block the kick. And steer Foster! Hills was nearer Black than Foster was.
Half an hour later, in the gym, that looked Foster did not hesitate. It was his mo- as if it had been struck by a cyclone, Nick ment of supreme sacrifice. He plunged came up to Foster. against the crouching quarter-back-and "I 'm master of ceremonies to-night,” he gave Hills the chance to block the kick. said. “You are to make a speech."
Foster lived through the next five minutes “I–I can't,” said Foster. as a man lives in a dream. He heard the “You not only can-you must," Nick resharp thud of the kick—then a muffled thud plied. “This is official—and final." near him. Vaguely he sensed that Hills had After a while Foster got away from the blocked the kick.
fellows and slipped away to the familiar Then something struck the ground in lunch-room. He wanted to think quietly front of him something dark and oval. In- for a few minutes. stinctively he reached for it-clasped it in And there Bitmore found him. his arms-started forward toward the Ell- "I'd get down on my knees," the efficiency ington goal-line!
man said, “only the floor does n't look very To himself, he did not seem to be moving,- clean. Will you come back, sweetheart, oh, but the white lines flashed by his blurred will you come back to me?” vision. There were men just behind him. Foster stared a bit. “I thought you had a He could hear their fierce panting and the good man," he said. pounding of their feet on the ground.
“I thought I had,” Bitmore said. “This felThey were gaining on him. He had never low Bolles is a funny proposition. He evibeen much of a runner, anyway. He dently gets away with it most of the timeglanced up. There was not a man between but not with your old Uncle Billy Bitmore. him and the distant goal-line!
You've got stuff in you—Bolles has n't. At that moment something broke loose in That 's the whole story.” Foster's soul. He began to run like a wild “You 'd like to have me come back?" man-faster and still faster!
Foster asked. He felt a sharp tug at his legs—then again “Don't use such language!" the man exhe was running free!
claimed. “I would n't like to have you back Straight between the goal-posts he ran- -but I would love to have you, I'd groveland touched the ball to the ground. A great I'd—” roar was sounding in his ears— -the roar, it "I'll come,” said Foster, with a smile. seemed, of that distant ocean which he had “Can you come to-night?” Bitmore asked never seen:
abruptly. "Rah-rah, rah-rah, rah-rah
The roar of the distant ocean was in FosFoster! Foster! FOSTER!"
ter's ears—but there was a louder sound even
than that—the roar of that crashing cheer Then, suddenly, it came to him what it that had carried his name. was—the crashing Lockwood cheer, ripped His smile deepened. He was thinking that out as never a Lockwood cheer had been he would be a "lone steer” no longer. heard in all the days that Lockwood teams "No," he told Bitmore, "I can't come tohad fought and won!
night-I 've got to make a speech to-night!"
THE HILL OF ADVENTURE
By ADAIR ALDON
getting your house ready," he volunteered.
“He could n't have found another one in the GRAY CLOUD MOUNTAIN
valley could go like Buck." It was with feelings of doubt that were not “Did he did he try him?" Beatrice wished very far from dismay that Beatrice Deems to know. watched her new acquaintance, Dan O'Leary, Her feelings in the matter were oddly saddle her recently acquired horse. She had mixed, for she dreaded the moment when she ridden before, of course, in the tan-bark ring must mount to the big unfamiliar saddle, and of the riding-school or on shady bridle-paths yet she was all on fire to test the horse's in the park, always on well-broken steeds speed. whose beauty and grooming were equaled "No, he did n't try him," was Dan's answer; only by their good manners. But now, as "he just said he wanted a safe horse for his she stood in her short khaki riding-skirt and daughter, liked the looks of this one,-and her high boots, waiting outside the great well he might,—and said he knew an honest dilapidated shed that in this little Montana man when he saw one and would take my town did duty as a livery-stable, she was word for it that the horse would suit. There, beginning to wonder whether she really knew now the saddle 's firm. You must n't think anything at all about horses. Certainly, she anything of the way he acts when you pull up had never thought of riding anything like this the cinch--they all do that!" plunging creature, who stood straight up on For all her misgivings, Beatrice was no his hind legs one moment, then dropped to coward. She stepped forward, discovered his fore feet and stood on them in turn, with in one violent second that a Western pony the ease of a circus performer.
sets off the moment he feels the rider's weight She had spent only two days in Ely, the on the stirrup, then flung herself, somehow, inlittle town planted beside Broken Bow Creek, to the saddle and was away. in the foot-hills of the Rocky Mountains. "I did not do that very well,” she was At first she had thought that the village, with thinking, "another time- Oh, oh!" its scattered boxlike houses and dusty, shade- For her very thought was interrupted by less street, was most unlike the West of the the sudden rush of wordless delight as the picture books and the movies. The antics horse beneath her stretched himself to that of her new horse, however, were disturbingly long easy lope that is like nothing else in the like what she had witnessed in Wild West world. The fresh mountain wind, sweeping shows.
down from the clean, high peaks above, sang "Name's Buck," volunteered the man who in her ears, the stony road swung past below. was struggling with the saddle, and added, The motion was as easy as a rocking-chair, though in a tone that seemed to indicate the but seemed as swift as thought itself. Motorexplanation as quite unnecessary, "It 's on ing she had always loved, but she confessed account of his color, you know.”
with sudden disloyalty that it was a bumpy “Oh!" returned Beatrice, a little blankly. business compared to the measured swaying For the life of her she could think of nothing of this living creature between her knees. else to say. She had yet to learn that all Buck's personal prejudices seemed indeed to Western ponies of that golden buckskin shade be directed solely against the cinching of the of coat bear the same name. At the moment saddle; that process once over, he was as eager she was tempted to believe that the title had and happy as she to clatter across the bridge, something to do with the way in which the pass the last of the ugly little houses and the creature was humping his back like a gigantic high-fronted store buildings, and turn his cat and jumping up and down on his nimble white blazed face toward the mounting trail white fore feet. Dan's shabbily overalled that led out of the valley. assistant, Sam, came and stood at the wide Beatrice drew rein when they had breasted door of the stable, grinning respectfully, and the first rise and paused a moment to look watching the performance with interest. back. The houses strewed haphazard across
“Your father went out on the range and the slope below her made more of a town chose the horse himself, when he was here than she had thought. There was the pack
ing-box railroad station where she and her reads, but you must not think they are any
town again when the doctors had prescribed “We must n't care for architecture,” "a change of climate, some dry, bracing place Nancy had said when they first surveyed in the West,” for their Aunt Anna, who was their dwelling rather ruefully, “when the Mr. Deems's younger sister and had cared Rocky Mountains begin in our back yard.” for his household ever since the death of the
There was also the winding stream, with two girls' mother, years ago. Anna Deems its abrupt bend that warranted the title of was a slim, frail person of indomitable spirit, Broken Bow Creek, a mere trickle of water and after a severe illness during the winter just now in that wide, dry valley down which had begun to look as though she were far the thin line of the railroad stretched away, more spirit than body. Beatrice had always with the straight parallel of the rails seeming thought that going to Ely was her own sugto bend and quiver in the hot clearness of the gestion, though she could not deny that it sunshine. To the north was a portion of Ely was Aunt Anna who had carried the plan that she had not seen before, a group of ware- through in the face of some rather unaccounthouses, some office buildings, a concrete mix- able opposition from her father. Mr. Deems ing-plant, and a huddle of workmen's bunk- had finally given in, and had then made a flyhouses. She could see the cobweb lines of ing trip to Ely to be sure that the air and temporary railroad, steam-shovels moving climate were what they wanted, to choose a on flat-cars, and innumerable men toiling like house, engage a Chinese cook, and make all black ants along the sides of the raw cut that preparations for a summer's stay for his had been made in the red soil of the valley. sister and the two girls.
“That must be the dam and the irrigation “I did not have time to visit your estate on ditch that Dan O'Leary was telling us about, the hill, Beatrice," he said on his return. she reflected. “How hot it looks down there! “You will have to explore it yourself. Dan I did not dream they had so many men. O'Leary has charge of it and said he has been And how clear the air is. Oh surely, surely, renting it to some engineers who were surAunt Anna will get well here as fast as we veying the mountain. But it is unoccupied hope!”
now. The place may prove to be a good The wind lifted Buck's yellow mane and picnic-ground, but I fear it has no other her own brown hair, while the horse pawed possibilities." the stony ground impatiently. She let him He might say what he chose, Beatrice was go on, for she was, in truth, as eager as he. thinking, but he could not destroy her eagerThis was the first day that she had found ness to see the place. The trail ran crookedly time to go far from their own house, and she upward before her, disappeared in some dense had now a most fascinating goal before her. pine woods, then slanted across the spur of What girl of sixteen would not feel excited the mountain and vanished again. Higher over the prospect of exploring a tract of above rose the bare rocky slopes of the lofty mountain-side woods of which she was sole peak that dominated the whole valley, Gray owner?
Cloud Mountain, on one of whose lower, Beatrice had never quite understood how rugged shoulders lay her land and her cabin. her father had come to purchase that stretch After climbing for a quarter of a mile, she was of land above Ely-she had not, indeed, obliged to hesitate at a fork in the way, unthought to ask. She had come into his certain which of the steep paths she was to study one Sunday morning when he was go- take. ing over his papers and had surprised him A little cottage clung to the bare hillside with the announcement that she was sixteen beside the road, a shabby place, with no paint that day. Having no other present ready, and a patched roof. The door was swinging he had brought out some dusty title-deeds open as she passed and a man was just going and had made them over to her.
in, a short, thick-set, foreign-looking person “It will never be of the least use to you, my who scowled at her over his shoulder when dear,” he said, "so do not consider it much of
she asked the way. a present-twenty-three acres, with timber, "That one," he said briefly, pointing to the cabin, and a waterfall, so the description right-hand fork and speaking with a heavy