The eyes of the girl were shining with a happiness such as she had never known before, and Buck sat with head erect, and the light of a great purpose in his eyes. For a while they rode thus. Then the man's eyes twinkled with a sudden thought. For a moment he glanced at the golden head so close beside him. Then he smiled. "Say, little Joan," he cried, "guess you're that gal-hero after all."
Joan responded to his look. "How?" she inquired, with a heightened color. "Why, jest git a look at me. Me! You're goin' to marry me! I'd sure say you've a heap more grit than any gal-hero I've heard tell of." Joan surveyed his unkempt figure, the torn clothing, his unshaven face; the bandages made of her own undergarments, which he still wore, and the happy smile on her young face broadened.
"It's the same book, dear, only it's a different chapter. You see the story always goes on. It must go on to the end. Characters drop out. They die, or are killed. Incidents happen, some pleasant, some full of sadness. But that's all part of the story, and must be. The story always goes on to the end. You see," she added with a tender smile, "the hero's still in the picture." "An' the gal-hero."