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ety of subjects.
After supper he retired to his room, the door of which, however, he left open. Any one passing down the narrow hallway could have seen him bent over a nike air max 1 ebay mass of papers on the table, his portable typewriter close at hand.
The following morning, armed with a little hand satchel, he tramped down to Henry Plant’s house. The Supervisor met him on the verandah.
“Right on deck!” he roared jovially. “Come in! All ready for the doctor!”
Thorne did not respond to this jocosity.
“Good morning,” he said formally, and that was all.
Plant led the way into his office, thrust forward a chair, waved a comprehensive hand toward the filing cases, over the bill files, at the tabulated reports laid out on the desk.
“Go to it,” said he cheerfully. “Have a cigar! Everything’s all ready.”
Thorne laid aside his broad hat, and at once with keen concentration attacked the tabulations. Plant sat back watching him. Occasionally the fat man yawned. When Thorne had digested the epitome of the financia cheap nike air max 1 l end, he reached for the bundles of documents.
“That’s just receipts and requisitions,” said Plant, “and such truck. It’ll take you an hour to wade through that stuff.”
“Any objections to my doing so?” asked Thorne.
“None,” replied Plant drily.
“Now rangers’ reports,” requested Thorne at the end of another busy period.
“What, that flapdoodle?” cried Plant. “Nobody bothers much with that stuff! A man has to write the history of his life every time he gets a pail of water.”
“Do I understand your ranger reports are remiss?” insisted Thorne.
“Lord, there they are. Wish you joy of them. Most of the boys have mighty vague ideas of spelling.”
At noon Thorne knocked off, announcing his return at one o’clock. Most inspectors would have finished an hour ago. At the gate he paused.
“This place belong to you or the Government?” he nike air max 1 leopard asked.
“To me,” replied Plant. “Mighty good little joint for the mountains, ain’t it?”
“Why have you a United States Forest Ranger working on the fences then?” inquired Thorne crisply.
Plant stared after his compact, alert figure. The fat man’s lower jaw had dropped in astonishment. Nobody had ever dared question his right to use his own rangers as he damn well pleased! A slow resentment surged up within him. He would have been downright angry could he nike air max 1 have been certain of this inspector’s attitude. Thorne was cold and businesslike, but he had humorous wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. Perhaps all this monkey business was one elaborate josh. If so it wouldn’t do to fall into the trap by getting mad. That must be it. Plant chuckled a cavernous chuckle. Nevertheless he ordered his ranger to knock off fence mending for cheap air max 1 the present.
By two o’clock Thorne pushed back his chair and stretched his arms over his head. Plant laughed.
“That pretty near finishes w nike air max 1 sale hat we have here,” said he. “There really isn’t much to it, after all. We’ve got things pretty well going. To-morrow I’ll get one of the boys to ride out with you near here. If you want to take any trips back country, I’ll scare up a pack.”
This was the usual and never-accepted offer.
“I haven’t time for that,” said Thorne, “but I’ll look at that bridge site to-morrow.”
“When must you go?”
“In a couple of days.”
Plant’s large countenance showed more than a trace of satisfaction.
On leaving the Supervisor’s headquarters, Thorne set off vigorously up the road. He felt cramped for exercise, and he was out for a tramp. Higher and higher he mounted on the road to the mill, until at last he air max 1 stood on a point far above the valley. The creak and rattle of a wagon aroused him from his contemplation of the scene spread wide before him. He looked up to see a twelve-horse freight team ploughing toward him through a cloud of dust that arose dense and choking. To escape this dust Thorne deserted the road and struck directly up t nike air max 1 black he side of the mountain. A series of petty allurements led him on. Yonder he caught a glimpse of tree fungus that interested him. He pushed and plunged through the manzanita until he had gained its level. Once there he concluded to examine a dying yellow pine farther up the hill. Then he thought to find a drink of water in the next hollow. Finally the way ahead seemed easier than the br ush behind. He pushed on, and after a moment of breathless climbing reached the top of the ridge.
Here Th orne had reached a lower spur of that range on which were located both the sawmill and Plant’s summer quarters. He drew a deep breath and looked about him over the topography spread below. Then he examined with an expert’s eye the wooded growths. His glance fell naturally to the ground.
“Well, I’ll be—-” began Thorne, and stopped.
Through the pine needles at his feet ran a shallow, narrow and meandering trough. A rod or so away was a similar trough. Thorne set about following their direction.
They led him down a gentle slope, through a young growth of pines and cedars to a small meadow. The grass had been eaten short to the soil and trampled by many little hoofs. Th nike air max 1 red orne walked to the upper end of the meadow. Here he found old ashes. Satisfied with his discoveries, he glanced at the westering sun, and plunged directly down the side of the mountain.
Near the edge of the village he came upon California John. The old man had turned Star into the corral, and was at this moment seated on a boulder, smoking his pipe, and polishing carefully the silver inlay of his Spanish spade-bit. Thorne stopped and examined him closely, coming finally to the worn brass ranger’s badge pinned to the old man’s suspenders. California John did not cease his occupation.
“You’re a ranger, I take it,” said Thorne curtly.
California John looked up deliberately.
“You’re an inspector, I take it,” said he, after nike air max 1 sale a moment.
Thorne grinned appreciation under his close-clipped moustache. This was the first time he had relaxed his look of official concentration, and the effect was most boyish and pleasing. The illumination was but momentary, however.
“There have been sheep camped at a little meadow on that ridge,” he stated.
“I know it,” replied California John tranquilly.
“You seem to know several things,” retorted Thorne crisply, “but your information seems to stop short of the fact that you’re supposed to keep sheep out of the Reserve.”
“Not when they have permission,” said California John.
“Permission!” echoed Thorne. “Sheep nike air max 1 premium are absolutely prohibited by regulation. What do you mean?”
“What I say. They had a permit.”
“Who gave it?”
“Supervisor Plant, of course.”
“What for?”
California John polished his bit carefully for some moments in silence. Then he laid it one side and deliberately faced about.
“For ten dollars,” said he coolly, looking Thorne in the eye.
Thorne looked back at him steadily.
“You’ll swear to that?” he asked.
“I s nike air max 1 grey ure will,” said California John.
“How long has this sort of thing gone on?”
“Always,” replied the ranger.
“How long have you known about it?”
“Always,” said California John.
“Why have you never said anything before?”
“What for?” countered the old man. “I’d just get fired. There ain’t no good in saying anything. He’s my superior officer. They used to teach me in the army that I ain’t got no call to criticize what my officer does. It’s my job to obey orders the best I can.”
“Why do you tell me, then?”
“You’re my superior officer, too–and his.”
“So were all the other inspectors who have been here.”
“Them–hell!” said California John.
Thorne returned to his h

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