Sherwood was quick to act in such an emergency as this; but he was too far from the spot to give practical aid in saving Turner from the result of his own heedlessness. He made a horn of his two hands and shouted to the foreguard at the foot of the bluff: "He's going into the water! Launch Fred Durgin's boat below the bend! Get her! Quick, there!"
On reaching the main canon, the party destined for the opposite bluff separated from the other; and proceeded circuitously by a branch ravine that opened to the upper plain. The fourth and last division rode direct down the bank of the river upon the path by which I had been pursued.
There was no mere bluff and bluster in that steady gaze. They were ready to shoot and shoot to kill. Their lives were already forfeit to the law, anyway, and in that rough country they would get "a short shrift and a long rope" if their plans went astray.
"Yes, beastly cold, sunless hole; it kills every bit of a plant you put in, and the kitchen chokes them to death." They bought a few things, and set off towards the station. Looking up the canal, through the dark pass of the buildings, they saw the Castle on its bluff of brown, green-bushed rock, in a positive miracle of delicate sunshine.
"Let's keep up the bluff of being busy. We can put out the fire." Ten minutes later, sweating and considerably smokegrimed, Aldous again looked toward the tent. "We might cut down a few trees," suggested MacDonald. "Or play leap-frog," added Aldous. "The trees'd sound more natcherel," said MacDonald. "We could tell her " A stick snapped behind them. Both turned at the same instant.
"My, but I've been a bluff," she said, tears on the white, shiny cheeks. "Gee, but that doctor takes his time, too. I had to beg something great before husband would go for you. He's awful mean, but I always told you he was, and he would have a fine time if I should die, wouldn't he?" More terrible little laughs as Trudy still nestled in the warm curve of Mary's arm.
'Be seated, the old man addressed us in a body, to cut short particular salutations. My father overshadowed him with drooping shoulders. Janet wished to know whether she was to remain. 'I like you by me always, he answered, bluff and sharp. 'We have some shopping to do, my aunt Dorothy murmured, showing she was there against her will.
She could not let him die, that she knew; but how might she save him? The strains of music and the laughter from the bunkhouse had ceased. The ranch slept. Over the brow of the low bluff upon the opposite side of the river a little party of silent horsemen filed downward to the ford. At the bluff's foot a barbed-wire fence marked the eastern boundary of the ranch's enclosed fields.
Here was a man I did not understand, whose real motives I could not fathom. His protest had not yet penetrated my soul, and I felt toward him, an odd mixture of respect and anger. He released my hand, and turned away, and I stood motionless as he crossed the open space between the trees. At the edge of the bluff he paused and glanced about, lifting his hat in gesture of farewell.
Next they detaches the steps from the kitchen door, ropes ’em to the barrel and introduces the peer to his bath. He’s good people all right, and when he sees they calls his bluff he steps in all right and lets ’em soak him a couple of buckets.