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His men had made good the check-trail that held back the fire in the terrain between Bear and Cattle Cañons. The fire, worn out and beaten, fell back for lack of fuel upon which to feed. Reinforcements came from town. Dave left the trail in charge of a deputy and staggered down with his men to the camp that had been improvised below. He sat down with them and swallowed coffee and ate sandwiches.
The sons of Osvif's urged the matter on eagerly, seeing what great avail an alliance with Bolli would be to them; so the long and short of the matter was that the betrothal took place then and there, and the wedding was to be held at the time of the winter nights. He asked his uncle to it, but Olaf accepted it nowise quickly, though, at last, he yielded to the prayers of Bolli.
And she held the forlorn little piece of money out to her. The woman looked at it and at her at her intense little face and draggled, once-fine clothes. "Bless us no," she answered. "Did you find it?" "In the gutter," said Sara. "Keep it, then," said the woman. "It may have been there a week, and goodness knows who lost it. You could never find out."
The whisper, so low that the silence was unbroken by it, came to her, a clear sound carrying with it a thrill of understanding. She trembled and his arm against hers as his hand held her rein he felt the subdued vibration like the quivering of a frightened animal. The wagon lumbered away with the sifting dust gushing from the wheels.
And when after the lapse of many minutes it was again raised and turned toward the people, every one might see that tears burning hot had coursed her cheeks, and relieved a heart which else might well have burst with its restrained emotion. Soon as the chariot which held her had disappeared upon the other side of the capitol, I extricated myself from the crowd and returned home.
But there was no one there except a little old gentleman on one of the sofas back of a table, who held his paper upside down, his big spectacles on the end of his nose, almost tumbling off as he nodded drowsily with the motion of the steamer.
He, with many more of the prominent members of the "Liberal Club," was also among those who are called liberals in their religious views. This could not be tolerated for a moment by those among his customers who were decided in their religious convictions, for they were fully convinced that a person who held such opinions was a dangerous man in any community.
The back-water rippling among the old piling was shallow, but the boat had little aboard and floated free, so that we worked it forward with little difficulty until we succeeded in rounding the slight promontory and held its bulging sides close against the mud wall. Leaving Burns to keep it in place, I crept silently up the bank. "Come!"
"Where," asked Lady Linden, "the dickens have you been?" "In the country!" "Isn't your own country good enough for you?" She looked at him shrewdly. She saw the worry in his face; it was too open and too honest to make concealment of his feelings possible. Marjorie welcomed him with tearful gladness in her eyes. She said nothing, she held his hand tightly.
After closing their meetings in New York, the sisters held similar ones in Newark, Bloomfield, and other places in New Jersey, in all of which Sarah was as active and enthusiastic as Angelina, and from this time we hear no more of the gloom and despondency which had saddened so many of the best years of her life.