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I have a father and
grandfather in shirt sleeves to start from and to refer back to, but
Saulisbury hasn't. He means well, but he can't always hold himself in.
He means to be democratic, but his blood betrays him."

Arthur soon lost the keen edge of his grievance under the kindly chat of
the Major.

The farm lay on either side of a small stream which ran among the buttes
and green mesas of the foothills. Out to the left, the kingly peak
looked benignantly across the lesser heights that thrust their ambitious
heads in the light. Cattle were feeding among the smooth, straw-colored
or sage-green hills. A cluster of farm buildings stood against an
abrupt, cedar-splotched bluff, out of which a stream flowed and shortly
fell into a large basin.

The irrigation ditch pleased and interested Arthur, for it was the
finest piece of work he had yet seen. It ran around the edge of the
valley, discharging at its gates streams of water like veins, which
meshed the land, whereon men were working among young plants.

"I'll put you in charge of a team, I think," the Major said, after
talking with the foreman, a big, red-haired man, who looked at Arthur
with his head thrown back and one eye shut.

"Well, now you're safe," said the Major, as he got into his buggy, "so
I'll leave you. Richards will see you have a bed."

Arthur knew and liked the foreman's family at once. They were familiar
types. At supper he told them of his plans, and how he came to be out
there; and they came to feel a certain proprietorship in him at once.

"Well, I'm glad you've come," said Mrs. Richards, after their
acquaintanceship had mellowed a day or two. "You're like our own folks
back in Illinois, and I can't make these foreigners seem neighbors
nohow. Not but what they're good enough, but, land sakes! they don't
jibe in someway."

Arthur winced a little at being classed in with her folks, and changed
the subject.

One Sunday, a couple of weeks later, just as he was putting on his old
clothes to go out to do his evening's chores, the Major and a merry
party of visitors came driving into the yard. Arthur came out to the
carriage, a little annoyed that these city people should not have come
when he had on his Sunday clothes. The Major greeted him pleasantly.

"Good evening, Ramsey. Just hitch the horses, will you? I want to show
the ladies about a little."

Arthur tied the horses to a post and came back toward the Major,
expecting him to introduce the ladies; but the Major did not, and Mrs.
Thayer did not wait for an introduction, but said, with a peculiar,
well-worn inflection:

"Ramsey, I wish you'd stand between me and the horses. I'm as afraid as
death of horses and cows."

The rest laughed in musical uproar, but Arthur flushed hotly. It was the
manner in which English people, in plays and stories, addressed their
butler or coachman.

He helped her down, however, in sullen silence, for his rebellious
heart seemed to fill his throat.

The party moved ahead in a cloud of laughter. The ladies were dainty as
spring flowers in their light, outdoor dresses, and they seemed to light
up the whole barnyard.

One of them made the most powerful impression upon Arthur. She was so
dainty and so birdlike. Her dress was quaint, with puffed sleeves, and
bands and edges of light green, like an April flower. Her narrow face
was as swift as light in its volatile changes, and her little chin
dipped occasionally into the fluff of her ruffled bodice like a swallow
into the water. Every movement she made was strange and sweet to see.

She cried out in admiration of everything, and clapped her slender hands
like a wondering child. Her elders laughed every time they looked at
her, she was so entirely carried away by the wonders of the farm.

She admired the cows and the colts very much, but shivered prettily when
the bull thrust his yellow and black muzzle through the little window of
his cell.

"The horrid thing! Isn't he savage?"

"Not at all. He wants some meal, that's all," said the Major, as they
moved on.

The young girl skipped and danced and shook her perfumed dress as a
swallow her wings, without appearing vain--it was natural in her to do
graceful things.

Arthur looked at her with deep admiration and delight, even while Mrs.
Saulisbury was talking to him.

He liked Mrs. Saulisbury at once, though naturally prejudiced against
her. She had evidently been a very handsome woman, but some concealed
pain had made her face thin and drawn, and one corner of her mouth was
set in a slight fold as if by a touch of paralysis. Her profile was
still very beautiful, and her voice was that of a highly cultivated
American.

She seemed to be interested in Arthur, and asked him a great many
questions, and all her questions were intelligent.

Saulisbury amused himself by joking the dainty girl, whom he called
Edith.

"This is the cow that gives the cream, ye know; and this one is the
buttermilk cow," he said, as they stood looking in at the barn door.

Edith tipped her eager little face up at him:

"Really?"

The rest laughed again.

"Which is the ice-cream cow?" the young girl asked, to let them know
that she was not to be fooled with.

Saulisbury appealed to the Major.

"Majah, what have you done with our ice-cream cow?"

"She went dry during the winter," said the Major; "no demand on her.
'Supply regulated by the demand,' you know."

They drifted on into the horse barn.

"We're in Ramsey's domain now," said the Major, looking at Arthur, who
stood with his hand on the hip of one of the big gray horses.

Edith turned and perceived Arthur for the first time. A slight shock
went through her sensitive nature, as if some faint prophecy of great
storms came to her in the widening gaze of his dark eyes.

"Oh, do you drive the horses?" she asked quickly.

"Yes, for the present; I am the plowman," he said, in the wish to let
her know he was not a common hand. "I hope to be promoted."

Her eyes rested a moment longer on his sturdy figure and his beautifully
bronzed skin, then she turned to her companions.

After they had driven away, Arthur finished his work in silence; he
could hardly bring himself to speak to the people at the supper table,
his mind was in such tumult.

He went up into his little room, drew a chair to the window facing the
glorious mountains, and sat there until the ingulfing gloom of rising
night climbed to the glittering crown of white soaring a mile above the
lights of the city; but he did not really see the mountains; his eyes
only turned toward them as a cat faces the light of a hearth. It helped
him to think, somehow.

He was naturally keen, sensitive, and impressionable; his mind worked
quickly, for he had read a great deal and held his reading at command.

His thought concerned itself first of all with the attitude these people
assumed toward him. It was perfectly evident that they regarded him as a
creature of inferior sort. He was their servant.

It made him turn hot to think how terribly this contrasted with the
flamboyant phraseology of his graduating oration. If the boys knew that
he was a common hand on a ranch, and treated like a butler!

He came back for relief to the face of the girl, the girl who looked at
him differently somehow.

The impression she made on him was one of daintiness and light; her
eager face and her sweet voice, almost childish in its thin quality,
appealed to him with singular force.

She was strange to him, in accent and life; she was good and sweet, he
felt sure of that, but she seemed so far away in her manner of thought.
He wished he had been dressed a little better; his old hat troubled him
especially.

The girls he had known, even the daintiest of them, could drive horses
and were not afraid of cows. Their way of talking was generally direct
and candid, or had those familiar inflections which were comprehensible
to him. She was alien.

Was she a girl? Sometimes she seemed a woman--when her face sobered a
moment--then again she seemed a child. It was this change of expression
that bewildered and fascinated him.

Then her lips were so scarlet and her level brown eyebrows wavered about
so beautifully! Sometimes one had arched while the other remained quiet;
this gave a winsome look of brightness and roguishness to her face.

He came at last to the strangest thing of all: she had looked at him,
every time he spoke, as if she were surprised at finding herself able to
understand his way of speech.

He worked it all out at last. They all looked upon him as belonging to
the American peasantry; he belonged to a lower world--a world of
service. He was brick, they were china.

Saulisbury and Mrs. Thayer were perfectly frank about it; they spoke
from the English standpoint. The Major and Mrs. Saulisbury had been
touched by the Western spirit and were trying to be just to him, with
more or less unconscious patronization.

As his thoughts ran on, his fury came back, and he hammered and groaned
and cursed as he tossed to and fro on his bed, determined to go back
where the American ideas still held--back to the democracy of Lodi and
Cresco.


III.

These spring days were days of growth to the young man. He grew older
and more thoughtful, and seldom joked with the other men.

There came to the surface moods which he had not known before. There
came times when his teeth set together like the clutch of a wolf, as
some elemental passion rose from the depths of his inherited self.

His father had been a rather morose man, jealous of his rights, quick to
anger, but just in his impulses. Arthur had inherited these stronger
traits, but they had been covered and concealed thus far by the smiling
exterior of youth.

Edith came up nearly every day with the Major in order to enjoy the air
and beauty of the sunshine, and when she did not come near enough to nod
to Arthur, life was a weary treadmill for the rest of the day, and the
mountains became mere gloomy stacks of _débris_.

Sometimes she sat on the porch with the children, while Mrs. Richards,
the foreman's wife, a hearty, talkative woman, plied her with milk and
cookies.

"It must be heaven to live here and feed the chickens and cows," the
young girl said one day when Arthur was passing by--quite accidentally.

Mrs.



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