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d,” said Thorne, “it’s a sacrifice. Are you going to stay and help me?”
California John for a long time studied a crack in the floor. When he looked up his face was illuminated with his customary quizzical grin.
“I’ve sure got it on Ross Fletcher,” he drawled. “I done _told_ him I wasn’t no supervisor, and he swore I was.”
Part 4 Chapter 1
When next Bob was able to visit the Upper Camp, he found Thorne fully established. He rode in from t nike free run 2 he direction of Rock Creek, and so through the pasture and by the back way. In the tiny potato and garden patch behind the house he came upon a woman wielding a hoe.
Her back was toward him, and a pink sunbonnet, freshly starched, concealed all her face. The long, straight lines of her gown fell about a vigorous and supple figure that swayed with every stroke of the hoe. Bob stopped and watched her. There was something refreshing in the eagerness with which she attacked the weeds, as though it were less a drudgery than a live interest which it was well to meet joyously. After a m nike free 3.0 sale oment she walked a few steps to another row of tiny beans. Her movements had the perfect grace of muscular control; one melted, flowed, into the other. Bob’s eye of the athlete noted and appreciated this fact. He wondered to which of the mountain nike free review clans this girl belonged. Vigorous and breezy as were the maidens of the hills, able to care for themselves, like the paladins of old, afoot or ahorse, they lacked this grace of movement. He stepped forward.
“I beg pardon,” said he.
The girl turned, resting the heel of her hoe on the earth, and both hands on the end of its handle. Bob saw a dark, oval countenance, with very red cheeks, very black eyes and hair, and an engaging flash of teeth. The eyes looked at him as frankly as a boy’s, and the flash of teeth made him unaffectedly welcome.
nike free run 3 Is Mr. Thorne here?” asked Bob.
“Why, no,” replied the girl; “but I’m Mr. Thorne’s sister. Won’t I do?”
She was leisurely laying aside her hoe, and drawing the fringed buckskin gauntlets from her hands. Bob stepped gallantly forward to relieve her of the implement.
“Do?” he echoed. nike free run 2 review “Why, of course you’ll do!”
She stopped and looked him full in the face, with an air of great amusement.
“Did you come to see Mr. Thorne on business?” she asked.
“No,” replied Bob; “just ran over to see him.”
She laughed quietly.
“Then I’m afraid I won’t do,” she said, “for I must cook dinner. You see,” she explained, “I’m Mr. Thorne’s clerk, and if it were business, I might attend to it.”
Bob flushed to the ears. He was ordinarily a young man of sufficient self-posse nike free 5.0 v4 ssion, but this young woman’s directness was disconcerting. She surveyed his embarrassment with approving eyes.
“You might finish those beans,” said she, offering the hoe. “Of course, you must stay to dinner, and I must go light the fire.”
Bob finished the beans, leaned the hoe up against the house, and went around to the front. There he stopped in astonishment.
“Well, you have changed things!” he cried.
The stuffy little shed kitchen was no longer occupied. A floor had been laid between the bases of four huge trees, and walls enclosing three sides to the height of about eight feet had been erected. The affair had no roof. Inside these three walls were the stove, the ki tchen table, the shelves and utensils of cooking. Miss Thorne, her sunbonnet laid aside from her glossy black braids, moved swiftly and easily here and there in this charming stage-set of a kitchen. About ten feet in front of it, on the pine needles, stood the dining table, set with white.
The girl nodded brightly to Bob.
“Finished?” she inquired. She pointed to the water pail: “There’s a useful task for willing hands.”
Bob filled the pail, and set it brimming on the section of cedar log which seemed to be its appo nike free inted resting place.
“Thank you,” said the girl. Bob leaned against the tree and watched her as she moved here and there about the varied business of cooking. Every few minutes she would stop and look upward through the cool shadows of the trees, like a bird drinking. At times she burst into snatches of song, so brief as to be unrecognizable.
“Do you like sticks in your food?” she asked Bob, as though suddenly remembering his presence, “and pine needles, and the husks of pine nuts, and other debris? because that’s what the breezes and trees and naughty little squirrels are always raining down on me.”
“Why don’t you have the men stretch you a canvas?” asked Bob.
“Well,” said the girl, stopping short, “I have considered it. I no more than you like unexpected twigs in my dough. But you see I do like shadows and sunlight and upper air and breezes in my food. And you can’t have one without the other. Did you get all the weeds out?”
“Yes,” said Bob. “Look here; you ought not to have to do such work as that.”
“Do you think it will wea nike free run plus r down my fragile strength?” she asked, looking at him good-humouredly. “Is it too much exercise for me?”
“No–” hesitated Bob, “but–”
“Why, bless you, I like to help the babies to grow big and green,” said she. “One can’t have the theatre or bridge up here; do leave us some of the simple pleasures.”
“Why did you want me to finish for you then?” demanded Bob shrewdly.
She laughed.
“Young man,” said she, “I could nike free 3.0 review give you at least ten reasons,” with which enigmatic remark she whipped her apron around her hand and whisked open the oven door, where were displayed rows of beautifully browned biscuits.
“Nevertheless—-” began Bob.
“Nevertheless,” she took him up, raising her face, slightly flushed by the heat, “all the men-folks are busy, and this one woman-folk is not harmed a bit by playing at being a farmer lassie.”
“One of the rangers could do it all in a couple of hours.”
“The rangers are in the employ of the United States Government, and this garden is mine,” she stated evenly. “How could I take a Government employee to work on my property?”
“But surely Mr. Thorne–”
“Ashley, bless his dear old heart, takes beans for granted, as something that happens on well-regulated tables.”
She walked to the edge of the kitchen floor and lo nike free trainers uk oked up through the trees. “He ought to be along soon now. I hope so; my biscuits are just on the brown.” She turned to Bob, her eyes dancing: “Now comes the exciting moment of the day, the great gamble! Will he come alone, or will he bring a half-dozen with him? I am always ready for the half-dozen, and as a consequence we live in a grand, ingenious debauch of warmed-ups and next-days. You don’t know what good practice it is; nor what fun! I’ve often thought I could teach those cooks of Marc Antony’s something–you remember, don’t you, they used to keep six dinners going all at different stages of preparation because they never knew at what hour His High-and-mightiness might choose to dine. Or perhaps you don’t know? Football men don’t have to study, do they?”
“What makes you think I’m a football man?” grinned Bob; “gener cheap nike free run 2 ally bovine expression?”
“Not know the great Bob Orde!” cried the girl. “Why, not one of us but had your picture, generally in a nice gilt shrine, but _always_ with violets before it.”
But on this ground Bob was sure.
“You have been reading a ten-cent magazine,” he admonished her gravely. “It is unwise to take your knowledge of the customs in girls’ colleges from such sources.”
From the depths of the forest eddied a cloud of dust. Miss Thorne appraised it carefully.
“Warmed-overs to-night,” she pronounced. “There’s no more than two of them.”
The accuracy of her guess was almost immediately verified by the appearance of two riders. A moment later Thorne and California John dismounted at the hitching rail, some distance removed among the azaleas, and came up afoot. The younger man had dropped all his dry, official precision, nike free run his incisive abruptness, his reticence. Clad in the high, laced cruisers, the khaki and gray flannel, the broad, felt hat and gay neckerchief of what might be called the professional class of out-of-door man, his face glowing with health and enthusiasm, he seemed a different individual.
“Hullo! Hullo!” he cried out a joyous greeting as he drew nearer; “I couldn’t bring you much company to-day, Amy. But I see you’ve found some. How are you, Orde? I’m glad to see you.”
He and California John disappeared behind the shed, where the wash basin was; while Amy, with deftness, rearranged the table to accord with the numbers who would sit down to it.
The meal in the open was most delightful; especially to Bob, after his long course of lumber-camp provender. The deep shadows shifted slowly across the forest floor. Sparkles of sunli nike free running shoes ght from unexpected quarters touched gently in turn each of the diners, or glittered back from glass or linen. Occasionally a wandering breeze lifted a corner of the tablecloth and let it fall, or scurried erratically across the table itself. Occasionally, too, a pine needle, a twig, a leaf would zigzag down through the air to fall in some one’s coffee or glass or plate. Birds flashed acr

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