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Then, whether on the prairie or in the palace, he is free and independent. What makes the differences in the social privileges given to one class of workers above another? In reality, we are all workers. No one ought to live, if in health, who does not work. But for some forms of work, men and women receive an income, and nothing more.

La Touche should have had the news hours earlier, but the half-breed French-Canadian, Vigon, who had made the discovery, and had started for La Touche with the news, went suddenly off his head with excitement, and had ridden away into the prairie fiercely shouting his joy to an invisible world. The news had been brought in later by a farmhand.

As soon as the rails were flung down, the cattle rushed out tumultuously, as if rejoicing in their restored freedom. Then, while George and his companion mounted, they started off across the prairie at a steady trot. "A mettlesome lot; seem to be in good training," Edgar commented. "Have you any idea where they're going?"

He's miles away now, and by the time we could get across the river after him he'd be in the next Province. He knows the prairie better than we do grade. We'd have about as much chance of getting him as you had of hitting him. Besides, we're track builders, not track finders. Your measly hundred a month don't half pay for my real job. Get the Police if you want to keep the excitement up."

But Miss Trescott had apparently heard nothing of Jim's speech, and begged pardon; and wouldn't they go and show her the bronzes in the library? "This mansion, General," said the Captain, "takes one back, suh, to the halcyon days of American history. I refeh, suh, to those times when the plantahs of the black prairie belt of Alabama lived like princes, in the heart of an enchanted empire!"

The scene seems scarcely real, and once more the young prairie merchant begins to doubt the evidence of his senses. After all, is it only a vision of his brain, distempered by the long strain upon his intellect, and the agony he has been enduring? Or is it but the mirage of the desert, that has so oft already deceived him?

They proceeded in high spirits to the premises, expecting to find the house deserted and waiting for an occupant. Elwood was to take immediate possession, and, all the way across the prairie, was felicitating himself upon the ease and rapidity of his triumph.

The Indians, after some deliberation respecting the manner in which they would put him to death, stripped him entirely naked, and one of the chiefs led him out upon the prairie to the distance of three or four hundred yards from the rest of the band who were grouped together.

Here and there the white tents of waiting trail-outfits splotched the bright green of the prairie. Horsemen galloped to and from the town at top speed, and a long, grimy red stock train had just snorted out on a siding by the stockyards where the bellowing of thirsty cattle came faintly like the roar of pounding surf in the distance.

Here was a contingency which none had reckoned upon. One glance at those dark, cruel faces warned all three that these prairie outcasts had been silent witnesses of everything that had taken place. It was a supreme moment, and the deadly pallor which had assumed a leadenish hue on Lablache's face told of one who appreciated the horror of that silent coming.