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Title: The Enchanted Canyon
Author: Morrow, Honoré, 1880-1940
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Enchanted Canyon" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



THE ENCHANTED CANYON

by

HONORÉ WILLSIE

Author of

"The Forbidden Trail," "Still Jim," "The Heart of the Desert," "Lydia
of the Pines," etc.



A. L. Burt Company
Publishers -------- New York
Published by arrangement with William Morrow and Company, Inc.
Copyright, 1921, by
Honoré Willsie Morrow
All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign
languages
Printed in the United States of America



CONTENTS


BOOK I

BRIGHT ANGEL

Chapter

    I  MINETTA LANE
   II  BRIGHT ANGEL


BOOK II

THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

  III  TWENTY-TWO YEARS LATER
   IV  DIANA ALLEN
    V  A PHOTOGRAPHER OF INDIANS
   VI  A NEWSPAPER REPORTER


BOOK III

THE ENCHANTED CANYON

  VII  THE DESERT
 VIII  THE COLORADO
   IX  THE CLIFF DWELLING
    X  THE EXPEDITION BEGINS
   XI  THE PERFECT ADVENTURE
  XII  THE END OF THE CRUISE
 XIII  GRANT'S CROSSING
  XIV  LOVE IN THE DESERT


BOOK IV

THE PHANTASM DESTROYED

   XV  THE FIRING LINE AGAIN
  XVI  CURLY'S REPORT
 XVII  REVENGE IS SWEET



BOOK I

BRIGHT ANGEL



CHAPTER I

MINETTA LANE


"A boy at fourteen needs a mother or the memory of a mother as he does
at no other period of his life."--_Enoch's Diary_.


Except for its few blocks that border Washington Square, MacDougal
Street is about as squalid as any on New York's west side.

Once it was aristocratic enough for any one, but that was nearly a
century ago.  Alexander Hamilton's mansion and Minetta Brook are less
than memories now.  The blocks of fine brick houses that covered
Richmond Hill are given over to Italian tenements.  Minetta Brook, if
it sings at all, sings among the sewers far below the dirty pavements.

But Minetta Lane still lives, a short alley that debouches on MacDougal
Street.  Edgar Allan Poe once strolled on summer evenings through
Minetta Lane with his beautiful Annabel Lee.  But God pity the
sweethearts to-day who must have love in its reeking precincts!  It is
a lane of ugliness, now; a lane of squalor; a lane of poverty and
hopelessness spelled in terms of filth and decay.

About midway in the Lane stands a two-story, red-brick house with an
exquisite Georgian doorway.  The wrought-iron handrail that borders the
crumbling stone steps is still intact.  The steps usually are crowded
with dirty, quarreling children and a sore-eyed cat or two.  Nobody
knows and nobody cares who built the house.  Enough that it is now the
home of poverty and of ways that fear the open light of day.  Just when
the decay of the old dwelling began there is none to say.  But New
Yorkers of middle age recall that in their childhood the Lane already
had been claimed by the slums, with the Italian influx just beginning.

One winter afternoon a number of years ago a boy stood leaning against
the iron newel post of the old house, smoking a cigarette.  He was
perhaps fourteen or fifteen years of age, but he might have been either
older or younger.  The city gives even to children a sophisticated look
that baffles the casual psychologist.

The children playing on the steps behind the boy were stocky, swarthy
Italians.  But he was tall and loosely built, with dark red hair and
hard blue eyes.  He was thin and raw boned.  Even his smartly cut
clothes could not hide his extreme awkwardness of body, his big loose
joints, his flat chest and protruding shoulder blades.  His face, too,
could not have been an Italian product.  The cheek bones were high, the
cheeks slightly hollowed, the nose and lips were rough hewn.  The suave
lines of the three little Latins behind him were entirely alien to this
boy's face.

It was warm and thawing so that the dead horse across the street, with
the hugely swollen body, threw off an offensive odor.

"Smells like the good ol' summer time," said the boy, nodding his head
toward the horse and addressing the rag picker who was pulling a burlap
sack into the basement.

"Like ta getta da skin.  No good now though," replied Luigi.  "You
gotta da rent money, Nucky?"

"Got nuttin'," Nucky's voice was bitter.  "That brown Liz you let in
last night beats the devil shakin' dice."

"We owe three mont' now, Nucky," said the Italian.

"Yes, and how much trade have I pulled into your blank blank second
floor for you durin' the time, you blank blank!  If I hear any more
about the rent, I'll split on you, you--"

But before Nucky could continue his cursing, the Italian broke in with
a volubility of oaths that reduced the boy to sullen silence.  Having
eased his mind, Luigi proceeded to drag the sack into the basement and
slammed the door.

"Nucky!  Nucky!  He's onlucky!" sang one of the small girls on the
crumbling steps.

"You dry up, you little alley cat!" roared the boy.

"You're just a bastard!" screamed the child, while her playmates took
up the cry.

Nucky lighted a fresh cigarette and moved hurriedly up toward MacDougal
Street.  Once having turned the corner, he slackened his gait and
climbed into an empty chair in the bootblack stand that stood in front
of the Café Roma.  The bootblack had not finished the first shoe when a
policeman hoisted himself into the other chair.

"How are you, Nucky?" he grunted.

"All right, thanks," replied the boy, an uneasy look softening his cold
eyes for the moment.

"Didn't keep the job I got you, long," the officer said.  "What was the
rip this time?"

"Aw, I ain't goin' to hold down ho five-dollar-a-week job.  What do you
think I am?"

"I think you are a fool headed straight for the devil," answered the
officer succinctly.  "Now listen to me, Nucky.  I've knowed you ever
since you started into the school over there.  I mind how the teacher
told me she was glad to see one brat that looked like an old-fashioned
American.  And everything the teachers and us guys at the police
station could do to keep you headed right, we've done.  But you just
won't have it.  You've growed up with just the same ideas the young
toughs have 'round here.  All you know about earnin' money is by
gambling."  Nucky stirred, but the officer put out his hand.

"Hold on now, fer I'm servin' notice on you.  You've turned down every
job we got you.  You want to keep on doing Luigi's dirty work for him.
Very well!  Go to it!  And the next time we get the goods on you,
you'll get the limit.  So watch yourself!"

"Everybody's against a guy!" muttered the boy,

"Everybody's against a fool that had rather be crooked than straight,"
returned the officer.

Nucky, his face sullen, descended from the chair, paid the boy and
headed up MacDougal Street toward the Square.

A tall, dark woman, dressed in black entered the Square as Nucky
crossed from Fourth Street.  Nucky overtook her.

"Are you comin' round to-night, Liz?" he asked.

She looked at him with liquid brown eyes over her shoulder.

"Anything better there than there was last night?" she asked.

Nucky nodded eagerly.  "You'll be surprised when you see the bird I got
lined up."

Liz looked cautiously round the park, at the children shouting on the
wet pavements, at the sparrows quarreling in the dirty snow drifts.
Then she started, nervously, along the path.

"There comes Foley!" she exclaimed.  "What's he doin' off his beat?"

"He's seen us now," said Nucky.  "We might as well stand right here."

"Oh, I ain't afraid of that guy!" Liz tossed her head.  "I got things
on him, all right."

"Why don't you use 'em?" Nucky's voice was skeptical.  "He's going down
Waverly Place, the blank, blank!"

Liz grunted.  "He's got too much on me!  I ain't hopin' to start
trouble.  You go chase yourself, Nucky.  I'll be round about midnight."

Nucky's chasing himself consisted of the purchase of a newspaper which
he read for a few minutes in the sunshine of the park.  Even as he sat
on the park bench, apparently absorbed in the paper, there was an air
of sullen unhappiness about the boy.  Finally, he tossed the paper
aside, and sat with folded arms, his chin on his breast.

Officer Foley, standing on the corner of Washington Place and MacDougal
Street waved a pleasant salute to a tall, gray-haired man whose
automobile drew up before the corner apartment house.

"How are you, Mr. Seaton?" he asked.

"Rather used up, Foley!" replied the gentleman, "Rather used up!
Aren't you off your beat?"

The officer nodded.  "Had business up here and started back.  Then I
stopped to watch that red-headed kid over there."  He indicated the
bench on which Nucky sat, all unconscious of the sharp eyes fastened on
his back.

"I see the red hair, anyway,"--Mr. Seaton lighted a cigar and puffed it
slowly.  He and Foley had been friends during Seaton's twenty years'
residence on the Square.

"I know you ain't been keen on boys since you lost Jack," the officer
said, slowly, "but--well, I can't get this young Nucky off my mind,
blast the little crook!"

"So he's a crook, is he?  How old is the boy?"

"Oh, 'round fourteen!  He's as smart as lightning and as crooked as he
is smart.  He turned up here when he was a little kid, with a woman who
may or may not have been his mother.  She lived with a Dago down in
Minetta Lane.  Guess the boy mighta been six years old when she died
and Luigi took him on.  We were all kind of proud of him at first.
Teachers in school all said he was a wonder.  But for two or three
years he's been going wrong, stealing and gambling, and now this fellow
Luigi's started a den on his second floor that we gotta clean out soon.
His rag-picking's a stall.  And he's using Nucky like a kid oughtn't to
be used."

"Why don't you people have him taken away from the Italian and a proper
guardian appointed?"

"Well, he's smart and we kinda hoped he'd pull up himself.  We got a
settlement worker interested in him and we got jobs for him, but
nothing works.  Judge Harmon swears he's out of patience with him
and'll send him to reform school at his next offense.  That'll end
Nucky.  He'll be a gunman by the time he's twenty."

"You seem fond of the boy in spite of his criminal tendencies," said
Seaton.

"Aw, we all have criminal tendencies, far as that goes," growled Foley;
"you and I and all of us.  Don't know as I'm what you'd call fond of
the kid.  Maybe it's his name.  Yes, I guess it's his name.  Now what
is your wildest guess for that little devil's name, Mr. Seaton?"

The gray-hatred man shook his head.  "Pat Donahue, by his hair."

"But not by his face, if you could see it.  His name is Enoch
Huntingdon.  Yes, sir, Enoch Huntingdon!  What do you think of that?"

The astonishment expressed in Seaton's eyes was all that the officer
could desire.

"Enoch Huntingdon!  Why, man, that gutter rat has real blood in him, if
he didn't steal the name."

"No kid ever stole such a name as that," said Foley.  "And for all he's
homely enough to stop traffic, his face sorta lives up to his name.
Want a look at him?"

Mr. Seaton hesitated.  The tragic death of his own boy a few years
before had left him shy of all boys.  But his curiosity was roused and
with a sigh he nodded.

Foley crossed the street, Seaton following.  As they turned into the
Square, Nucky saw them out of the tail of his eye.  He rose, casually,
but Foley forestalled his next move by calling in a voice that carried
above the street noises, "Nucky!  Wait a moment!"

The boy stopped and stood waiting until the two men came up.  Seaton
eyed the strongly hewn face while the officer said, "That person you
were with a bit ago, Nucky--I don't think much of her.  Better cut her
out."

"I can't help folks talking to me, can I?" demanded the boy,
belligerently.

"Especially the ladies!" snorted Foley.  "Regular village cut-up, you
are!  Well, just mind what I say," find he strolled on, followed by
Seaton.

"He'll never be hung for his beauty," said Seaton.  "But, Foley, I'll
wager you'll find that lad breeds back to Plymouth Rock!"

Foley nodded.  "Thought you'd be interested.  Every man who's seen him
is.  But there's nothing doing.  Nucky is a hard pill."

"Maybe he needs a woman's hand," suggested Seaton, "Sometimes these
hard characters are clay with the right kind of a woman."

"Or the wrong kind," grunted the officer.

"No, the right kind," insisted Mr. Seaton.  "I'm telling you, Foley, a
good woman is the profoundest influence a man can have.  There's a deep
within him he never gives over to a bad woman."

Foley's keen gray eyes suddenly softened.  He looked for a moment above
the tree tops to the clouds sailing across the blue.  "I guess you're
right, Mr. Seaton," he said, "I guess you're right!  Well, poor Nucky!
And I must be getting back.  Good day, Mr. Seaton."

"Good day, Foley!"

And Nucky, staring curiously from the Square, saw the apartment house
door close on the tall, well-dressed stranger, and saw a taxi-cab
driver offer a lift to his ancient enemy, Officer Foley.

"Thinks he's smart, don't he!" he muttered aloud, starting slowly back
toward the Café Roma.  "I wonder what uplifter he's got after me now?"

In the Café Roma, Nucky sat down at a little table and ordered a bowl
of ministrone with red wine.  He did not devour his food as the normal
boy of his age would have done.  He ate slowly and without appetite.
When he was about half through the meal, a young Irishman in his early
twenties sat down opposite him.

"Hello, Nucky!  What's doin'?"

"Nothin' worth talking about.  What's doin' with you?"

"O, I been helping Marty, the Dude, out.  He's going to be alderman
from this ward, some day."

"That's the idea!" cried Nucky.  "That's what I'd like to be, a
politician.  I'd rather be Mayor of N' York than king of the world."

"I thought you wanted to be king o' the dice throwers," laughed the
young Irishman.

"If I was, I'd buy myself the job of Mayor," returned Nucky.  "Coming
over to-night?"

"I might, 'long about midnight.  Anything good in sight?"

"I hope so," Nucky's hard face looked for a moment boyishly worried.

"Business ain't been good, eh?"

"Not for me," replied Nucky.  "Luigi seems to be goin' to the bank
regular.  You bet that guy don't risk keepin' nothin' in the house."

"I shouldn't think he would with a wonder like you around," said the
young Irishman with a certain quality of admiration in his voice.

Nucky's thin chest swelled and he paid the waiter with an air that
exactly duplicated the café manner of Marty, the Dude.  Then, with a
casual nod at Frank, he started back toward Luigi's, for his evening's
work.

It began to snow about ten o'clock that night.  The piles of dirty ice
and rubbish on MacDougal Street turned to fairy mountains.  The dead
horse in Minetta Lane might have been an Indian mound in miniature.  An
occasional drunken man or woman, exuding loathsome, broken sentences,
reeled past Officer Foley who stood in the shadows opposite Luigi's
house.  He was joined silently and one at a time by half a dozen other
men.  Just before midnight, a woman slipped in at the front door.  And
on the stroke of twelve, Foley gave a whispered order.  The group of
officers crossed the street and one of them put a shoulder against the
door which yielded with a groan.

When the door of the large room on the second floor burst open, Nucky
threw down his playing cards and sprang for the window.  But Foley
forestalled him and slipped handcuffs on him, while Nucky cursed and
fought with all the venom that did the eight or ten other occupants of
the room.  Tables were kicked over.  A small roulette board smashed
into the sealed fire-place.  Brown Liz broke a bottle of whiskey on an
officer's helmet and the reek of alcohol merged with that of cigarette
smoke and snow-wet clothes.  Luigi freed himself for a moment and
turned off the gas light roaring as he did so.

"Get out da back room!  Da backa room!"

But it was a well-planned raid.  No one escaped, and shortly, Nucky was
climbing into the patrol wagon that had appeared silently before the
door.  That night he was locked in a cell with a drunken Greek.  It was
his first experience in a cell.  Hitherto, Officer Foley had protected
him from this ignominy.  But Officer Foley, as he told Nucky, was
through with him.

The Greek, except for an occasional oath, slept soddenly.  The boy
crouched in a corner of the cell, breathing rapidly and staring into
black space.  At dawn he had not changed his position or closed his
eyes.

It was two days later that Officer Foley found a telephone message
awaiting him in the police station.  "Mr. John Seaton wants you to call
him up, Foley."

Foley picked up the telephone.  Mr. Seaton answered at once.  "It was
nothing in particular, Foley, except that I wanted to tell you that the
red-headed boy and his name, particularly that name, in Minetta Lane,
have haunted me.  If he gets in trouble again, you'd better let me
know."

"You're too late, Mr. Seaton!  He's in up to his neck, now."  The
officer described the raid.  "The judge has given him eighteen months
at the Point and we're taking him there this afternoon."

"You don't mean it!  The young whelp!  Foley, what he needs is a
licking and a mother to love him, not reform school."

"Sure, but no matter how able a New York policeman is, Mr. Seaton, he
can't be a mother!  And it's too late!  The judge is out o' patience."

"Look here, Foley, hasn't he any friends at all?"

"There's several that want to be friends, but he won't have 'em.  He's
sittin' in his cell for all the world like a bull pup the first time
he's tied."

Mr. Seaton cleared his throat.  "Foley, let me come round and see him
before you send him over the road, will you?"

"Sure, that can be fixed up.  Only don't get sore when the kid snubs
you."

"Nothing a boy could do could hurt me, Foley.  You remember that Jack
was not exactly an angel."

"No, that's right, but Jack was always a good sport, Mr. Seaton.
That's why it's so hard to get hold of these young toughs down here!
They ain't sports!"  And Foley hung up the receiver with a sigh.

Mr. Seaton preferred to introduce himself to Nucky.  The boy was
sitting on the edge of his bunk, his red hair a beautiful bronze in the
dim daylight that filtered through the high window.

"How are you, Enoch?" said Mr. Seaton.  "My name is John Seaton.
Officer Foley pointed you out to me the other day as a lad who was
making bad use of a good name.  That's a wonderful name of yours, do
you realize it?"

"Every uplifter I ever met's told me so," replied Nucky, ungraciously,
without looking up.

Mr. Seaton smiled.  "I'm no uplifter!  I'm a New York lawyer!
Supposing you take a look at me so's to recognize me when we meet
again."

Nucky still kept his gaze on the floor.  "I know what you look like.
You got gray hair and brown eyes, you're thin and tall and about fifty
years old."

"Good work!" exclaimed Enoch's caller.  "Now, look here, Enoch, can't I
help you out of this scrape?"

"Don't want to be helped out.  I was doin' a man's job and I'll take my
punishment like a man."

Seaton spoke quickly.  "It wasn't a man's job.  It was a thief's job.
You're taking your sentence like a common thief, not like a man."

"Aw, dry up and get out o' here!" snarled Nucky, jumping to his feet
and looking his caller full in the face.

Seaton did not stir.  In spite of its immaturity, its plainness and its
sullenness, there was a curious dignity in Nucky's face, that made a
strong appeal to his dignified caller.

"You guys always preachin' to me!" Nucky went on, his boyish voice
breaking with weariness and excitement.  "Why don't you look out for
your own kids and let me alone?"

"My only boy is beyond my care.  He was killed three years ago,"
returned Seaton.  "I've had nothing to do with boys since.  And I don't
give a hang about you.  It's your name I'm interested in.  I hate to
see a fine name in the hands of a prospective gunman."

"And you can't get me with the sob stuff, either," Nucky shrugged his
shoulders.

Seaton scowled, then he laughed.  "You're a regular tough, eh, Enoch?
But you know even toughs occasionally use their brains.  Do you want to
go to reform school?"

"Yes, I do!  Go on, get out o' here!"

"You infernal little fool!" blazed Seaton, losing his temper.  "Do you
think you can handle me the way you have the others?  Well, it can't be
done!  Huntingdon is a real name in this country and if you think any
pig-headed, rotten-minded boy can carry that name to the pen, without
me putting up a fight, you're mistaken!  You've met something more than
your match this time, you are pretty sure to find out sooner or later,
my sweet young friend.  My hair was red, too, before--up to three years
ago."

Seaton turned and slammed out of the cell.  When Foley came to the door
a half hour later, Nucky was again sitting on the edge of the bunk,
staring sullenly at the floor.

"Come out o' this, Nucky," said the officer.

Nucky rose, obediently, and followed Foley into the next room.  Mr.
Seaton was leaning against the desk, talking with Captain Blackly.

"Look here, Nucky," said Blackly, "this gentleman has been telephoning
the judge and the judge has paroled you once more in this gentleman's
hands.  I think you're a fool, Mr. Seaton, but I believe in giving a
kid as young as Huntingdon the benefit of the doubt.  We've all failed
to find a spark of decent ambition in him.  Maybe you can.  Just one
word for you, young fellow.  If you try to get away from Mr. Seaton,
we'll get you in a way you'll never forget."

Nucky said nothing.  His unboyish eyes traveled from one face to
another, then he shrugged his shoulders and dropped his weight to the
other hip.  John Seaton, whose eyes were still smoldering, tapped Nucky
on the arm.

"All right, Enoch!  I'm going to take you up to my house to meet Mrs.
Seaton.  See that you behave like a gentleman," and he led the way into
the street.  Nucky followed without any outward show of emotion.  His
new guardian did not speak until they reached the door of the apartment
house, then he turned and looked the boy in the eye.

"I'm obstinate, Enoch, and quick tempered.  No one but Mrs. Seaton
thinks of me as a particularly likable chap.  You can do as you please
about liking me, but I want you to like my wife.  And if I have any
reason to think you've been anything but courteous to her, I'll break
every bone in your body.  You say you don't want sob stuff.  You'll get
none of it from me."

Not a muscle of Nucky's face quivered.  Mr. Seaton did not wait for a
reply, but led the way into the elevator.  It shot up to the top floor
and Nucky followed into the long, dark hall of the apartment.

"Put your hat and coat here," said his guardian, indicating the hat
rack on which he was hanging his own overcoat.  "Now follow me."  He
led the boy into the living room.

A small woman sat by the window that overlooked the Square.  Her brown
hair was just touched with gray.  Her small round face was a little
faded, with faint lines around eyes and lips.  It was not an
intellectual face, but it was sweet and patient, from the delicate
curve of the lips to the slight downward droop of the eyebrows above
the clear blue eyes.  All the sweetness and patience was there with
which the wives of high tempered, obstinate men are not infrequently
blessed.

"Mary, this is young Enoch Huntingdon," said Seaton.

Mrs. Seaton offered her hand, which Nucky took awkwardly and
unsmilingly.  "How do you do, Enoch!  Mr. Seaton told me about your red
hair and your fine old name.  Are you going to stay with us a little
while?"

"I don't know, ma'am," replied Enoch.

"Sit down, Enoch!  Sit down!"  Seaton waved Enoch impatiently toward a
seat while he took the arm chair beside his wife.  "Mary, I've got to
take that trip to San Francisco, after all.  Houghton and Company
insist on my looking into that Jameson law-suit for them."

Mary Seaton looked up, a little aghast.  "But mercy, John!  I can't get
away now, with Sister Alice coming!"

"I know that.  So I'm going to take Enoch with me."

"Oh!"  Mary looked from her husband to Enoch, sitting awkwardly on the
edge of the Chippendale chair.  His usually pale face was a little
flushed and his thin lips were set firmly together.  From her scrutiny
of Enoch's face, she turned to his hands.  They were large and bony and
the thumb and first two fingers of his right hand were yellow.

"You don't look as if you'd been eating the right kind of things,
Enoch," she said, kindly.  "And it's cigarettes that give your lips
that bad color.  You must let me help you about that.  When do you
start, John dear?"

"To-morrow night, and I'm afraid I'll be gone the best part of three
weeks.  By that time, I ought to know something about Enoch, eh?"

For the first time Enoch grinned, a little sheepishly, to be sure, and
a little cynically.  Nevertheless it was the first sign of tolerance he
had shown and Mr. Seaton was cheered by it.

"That will give time to get Enoch outfitted," said Mary.  "We'll go up
to Best's to-morrow morning."

"This suit is new," said Nucky.

"It looks new," agreed Mrs. Seaton, "but a pronounced check like that
isn't nice for traveling.  And you'll need other things."

"I got plenty of clothes at home, and I paid for 'em myself," Nucky's
voice was resentful.

"Well, drop a line to that Italian you've been living with, and tell
him--" began Mr. Seaton.

"Aw, he'll be doin' time in Sing Sing by the time I get back,"
interrupted Nucky, "and he can't read anyhow.  I always 'tended to
everything but going to the bank for him."

"Did you really?"  There was a pleasant note of admiration in Mrs.
Seaton's voice.  "You must try to look out for Mr. Seaton then on this
trip.  He is so absent-minded!  Come and I'll show you your room,
Enoch.  You must get ready for dinner."

She rose, and led the boy down the hall to a small room.  It was
furnished in oak and chintz.  Enoch thought it must have been the dead
boy's room for there was a gun over the bureau and photographs of a
football team and a college crew on the walls.

"Supper will be ready in ten or fifteen minutes," said Mrs. Seaton, as
she left him.  A moment later, he heard her speaking earnestly in the
living-room.  He brushed his hair, then amused himself by examining the
contents of the room.  The supper bell rang just as he opened the
closet door.  He closed it, hastily and silently, and a moment later,
Mr. Seaton spoke from the hall:

"Come, Enoch!" and the boy followed into the dining-room.

His table manners were bad, of course, but Mrs. Seaton found these less
difficult to endure than the boy's unresponsive, watchful ways.  At
last, as the pudding was being served, she exclaimed:

"What in the world are you watching for, Enoch?  Do you expect us to
rob you, or what?"

"I dunno, ma'am," answered Nucky,

"Do you enjoy your supper?" asked Mrs. Seaton.

"It's all right, I guess.  I'm used to wine with my supper."

"Wine, you young jack-donkey!" cried John Seaton.  "And don't you
appreciate the difference between a home meal like this and one you
pick up in Minetta Lane?"

"I dunno!"  Nucky's face darkened sullenly and he pushed his pudding
away.

There was silence around the table for a few moments.  Mrs. Seaton,
quietly watching the boy, thought of what her husband had told her of
Officer Foley's account.  The boy did act not unlike a bull pup put for
the first time on the lead chain.  She was relieved and so was Mr.
Seaton when Nucky, immediately after the meal was finished, said that
he was sleepy, and went to bed.

"I don't envy you your trip, John," said Mary Seaton, as she settled to
her embroidery again.  "What on earth possesses you to do it?  The boy
isn't even interesting in his badness."

"He's got the face either of a great leader or a great criminal," said
Seaton, shaking out his paper.  "He makes me so mad I could tan his
hide every ten minutes, but I'm going to see the thing through.  It's
the first time in three years I've felt interested in anything."

Quick tears sprang to his wife's eyes.  "I'm so glad to have you feel
that way, John, that I'll swallow even this impossible boy.  What makes
him so ugly?  Did he want to go to reform school?"

"God knows what any boy of his age wants!" replied John briefly.  "But
I'm going to try in the next three weeks to find out what's frozen him
up so."

"Well, I'll dress him so that he won't disgrace you."

Mrs. Seaton smiled and sighed and went on with her careful stitching.

Nobody tried to talk to Nucky at the breakfast table.  After the meal
was over and Mr. Seaton had left for the office, the boy sat looking
out of the window until Mrs. Seaton announced herself ready for the
shopping expedition.  Then he followed her silently to the waiting
automobile.

The little woman took great care in buying the boy's outfit.  The task
must Have been painful to her.  Only three years before she had been
buying clothes for Jack from this same clerk.  But Mary Seaton was a
good soldier and she did a good job.  When they reached home in
mid-afternoon Nucky was well equipped for his journey.

To Mary's surprise and pleasure he took care of her, helping her in and
out of the automobile, and waiting on her vigilantly.  He was awkward,
to be sure, and silent, but Mary was secretly sure that he was less
resentful toward her than he had been the day before.  And she began to
understand her husband's interest in the strong, immature, sullen face.

The train left at six o'clock.  Mrs. Seaton went with them to the very
train gates.

"You'll really try to look out for Mr. Seaton, won't you, Enoch?" she
said, taking the boy's limp hand, after she had kissed her husband
good-by.

"Yes, ma'am," replied Nucky.

"Good-by, Enoch!  I truly hope you'll enjoy the trip.  Run now, or
you'll miss the train.  See, Mr. Seaton's far down the platform!"

Nucky turned and ran.  Mr. Seaton waited for him at the door of the
Pullman.  His jaw was set and he looked at Nucky with curiosity not
untinged with resentment.  Nucky had not melted after a whole day with
Mary!  Perhaps there were no deeps within the boy.  But as the train
moved through the tunnel something lonely back of the boy's hard stare
touched him and he smiled.

"Well, Enoch, old man, are you glad to go?"

"I dunno," replied Nucky.



CHAPTER II

BRIGHT ANGEL


"I was sure, when I was eighteen, that if I could but give to the world
a picture of Boyhood, flagellated by the world's stupidity and
brutality, the world would heed.  At thirty, I gave up the
hope."--_Enoch's Diary_.


No one could have been a less troublesome traveling companion than
Nucky.  He ate what was set before him, without comment.  He sat for
endless hours on the observation platform, smoking cigarettes, his keen
eyes on the flying landscape.  His blue Norfolk suit and his carefully
chosen cap and linen restored a little of the adolescent look of which
the flashy clothing of his own choosing had robbed him.  No one glanced
askance at Mr. Seaton's protegé or asked the lawyer idle questions
regarding him.

And yet Nucky was very seldom out of John Seaton's thoughts: Over and
over he tried to get the boy into conversation only to be checked by a
reply that was half sullen, half impertinent.  Finally, the lawyer fell
back on surmises.  Was Nucky laying some deep scheme for mischief when
they reached San Francisco?  John had believed fully that he and Nucky
would be friends before Chicago was passed.  But he had been mistaken.
What in the world was he to do with the young gambler in San Francisco,
that paradise of gamblers?  He could employ a detective to dog Nucky,
but that was to acknowledge defeat.  If there were only some place
along the line where he could leave the boy, giving him a taste of out
of door life, such as only the west knows!

For a long time Seaton turned this idea over in his mind.  The train
was pulling out of Albuquerque when he had a sudden inspiration.  He
knew Nucky too well by now to ask him for information or for an
expression of opinion.  But that night, at dinner, he said, casually,

"We're going to leave the main line, at Williams, Enoch, and go up to
the Grand Canyon.  There's a guide at Bright Angel that I camped with
two years ago.  It's such bad weather that I don't suppose there'll be
many people up there and I telegraphed him this afternoon to give me a
week or so.  I'm going to turn you over to him and I'll go on to the
Coast.  I'll pick you up on my way back."

"All right," said Nucky, casually.

Mr. Seaton ground his teeth with impatience and thought of what Jack's
enthusiasm would have been over such a program.  But he said nothing
and strolled out to the observation car.

It was raining and sleeting at Williams.  They had to wait for hours in
the little station for the connecting train to the Canyon.  It came in,
finally, and Seaton and Nucky climbed aboard, the only visitors for the
usually popular side trip.  It was a wild and lonely run to the
Canyon's rim.  Nucky, sitting with his face pressed against the window,
saw only vague forms of cactus and evergreens through the sleet which,
as the grade rose steadily, changed to snow.  It was mid-afternoon when
they reached the rim.  A porter led them at once into the hotel and
after they were established, Seaton went into Nucky's room.  The boy
was standing by the window, staring at the storm.

"We can't see the Canyon from our windows," said John.  "I took care of
that!  It isn't a thing you want staring at you day and night!  Nucky,
I want you to get your first look at the Canyon, alone.  One always
should.  You'd better put on your coat and go out now before the storm
gets any worse.  Don't wander away.  Stick to the view in front of the
hotel.  I'll be out in a half hour."

Nucky pulled on his overcoat, picked up his cap and went out.  A porter
was sweeping the walk before the main entrance.

"Say, mister, I want to see the Canyon," said Nucky.

"Nothin' to hinder.  Yonder she lies, waiting for you, son!" jerking
his thumb over his shoulder.

Nucky looked in the direction indicated.  Then he took a deep, shocked
breath.  The snow flakes were falling into nothingness!  A bitter wind
was blowing but Nucky felt the sweat start to his forehead.  Through
the sifting snow flakes, disappearing before his gaze, he saw a void,
silver gray, dim in outline, but none the less a void.  The earth gaped
to its center, naked, awful, before his horrified eyes.  Yet, the same
urgent need to know the uttermost that forces one to the edge of the
skyscraper forced Nucky to the rail.  He clutched it.  A great gust of
wind came up from the Canyon, clearing the view of snow for the moment,
and Nucky saw down, down for a mile to the black ribbon of the Colorado
below.

"I can't stand it!" he muttered.  "I can't stand it!" and turning, he
bolted for the hotel.  He stopped before the log fire in the lobby.  A
little group of men and women were sitting before the blaze, reading or
chatting.  One of the women looked up at the boy and smiled.  It seemed
impossible to Nucky that human beings could be sitting so calmly, doing
quite ordinary things, with that horror lying just a few feet away.
For perhaps five minutes he struggled with his sense of panic, then he
went slowly out and forced himself to the railing again.

While he had been indoors, it had ceased to storm and the view lay
clear and clean before him.  Although there was a foot of level snow on
the rim, so vast were the ledges and benches below that the drifts
served only as high lights for their crimson and black and orange.
Just beneath Nucky were tree tops, heavy laden with white.  Far, far
below were tiny shrubs that the porter said were trees and below
these,--orderly strips of brilliant colors and still below, and
below--!  Nucky moistened his dry lips and once more bolted to the
hotel.

Just within the door, John Seaton met him.

"Well, Enoch?"

There was no coldness in Nucky's eyes now.  They were the frightened
eyes of a child.

"I can't stand that thing!" he panted.  "I gotta get back to N' York,
now!"

Seaton looked at Nucky curiously.  "For heaven's sake, Enoch!  Where's
your nerve?"

"What good would nerve do a guy lookin' at hell!" gasped Nucky.

"Hell?  Why the Canyon is one of the beautiful sights of the world!
You're crazy, Enoch!  Come out with me and look again."

"Not on your life!" cried Nucky.  "I'm going back to little old N'
York."

"It can't be done, my boy.  There'll be no trains out of here for at
least twelve hours, because of the storm.  And listen, Enoch!  No
nonsense!  Remember that if you wander away from the hotel, you're
lost.  There are no trolleys in this neck of the woods, and no
telephones and no police.  Wait a moment, Enoch, there's Frank Allen,
the guide."

Seaton hailed a tall, rather heavily built man in corduroys and high
laced boots, who had lounged up to the cigar stand.  As he approached,
Nucky saw that he was middle aged, with a heavily tanned face out of
which the blue of his eyes shone conspicuously.

"Here he is, Frank!" exclaimed Seaton.  "Nucky, this is the man who is
going to look out for you while I'm gone."

"Well, young New York!  What're you going to do with the Canyon?"
Frank slapped the boy on the shoulder.

Nucky grinned uncertainly.  "I dunno!" he said.

"Had a look at it?" demanded the guide.

"Yes!"  Nucky spoke with sudden firmness.  "And I don't like it.  I
want to go back to New York."

"Come on out with Frank and me and get used to it," suggested John
Seaton.

"I'm not going near it again," returned Nucky.

Allen looked at the boy with deliberate interest.  He noted the pasty
skin, the hollow chest, the strong, unformed features, the thin lips
that were trembling, despite the cigarette stained fingers that pressed
against them.

"Did you ever talk to Indians?" asked Allen, suddenly.

"No," said Nucky.

"Well, let's forget the Canyon and go over to the hogan, yonder.  Is
that the best you two can do on shoes?  I'm always sorry for you
lady-like New Yorkers.  Come over here a minute.  I guess we can rent
some boots to fit you."

"I'm going to write letters, Frank," said Seaton.  "You and Enoch'll
find me over at one of the desks.  Fit the boy out as you think best."

Not long after, Nucky trailed the guide through the lobby.  He was
wearing high laced boots, with a very self-conscious air.  Once
outside, in the glory of the westering sun, Frank took a deep breath.

"Great air, boy!  Get all you can of it into those flabby bellows of
yours.  Before we go to the hogan, come over to the corral.  My Tom
horse has got a saddle sore.  A fool tourist rode him all day with a
fold in the blanket as big as your fist."

"Is he a bronco?" asked Nucky, with sudden animation.

"He was a bronco.  You easterners have the wrong idea.  A bronco is a
plains pony before he's broken.  After he's busted he's a horse.  See?"

"Aw, you're dead wrong, Frank!" drawled a voice.

Nucky looked up in astonishment to see a tall man, whose skin was a
rich bronze, offering a cigarette to the guide.

"Dry up, Mike!" returned Frank with a grin.  "What does a Navaho know
about horses!  Enoch, this is a sure enough Indian.  Mike, let me
introduce Mr. Enoch Huntingdon of New York City."

The Navaho nodded and smiled.  "You look as if a little Canyon climbing
would do you good," said he.  "I was looking at Tom horse, Frank.  He's
in bad shape.  How much did that tender-foot weigh that rode him?"

"I don't know.  I wasn't here the day they hired him out.  I know the
cuss would have weighed a good deal less if I'd been here when that
saddle was taken off!  Going down to-morrow with Miss Planer?"

"Not unless some one breaks trail for us.  Are you going to try it?"

"Not unless my young friend here gets his nerve up.  Want to try it,
Enoch?"

"Try what?" asked Nucky.

"The trip down Bright Angel."

"Not on your life!" cried Nucky.

Both men laughed, the Indian moving off through the snow in the
direction of a dim building among the cedars, while Frank led on to the
corral fence.  Fifteen or twenty horses and mules were moving about the
enclosure.  Allen crossed swiftly among them, with Nucky following,
apprehensively, close behind him.  Frank's horse was in the stable, but
while he seemed to examine the sore spot on the animal's back, Frank's
real attention was riveted on Nucky.  The boy was obviously ill at ease
and only half interested in the horse.

"These are the lads that take us down the trail," said Allen finally,
slapping a velvety black mule on the flank.

"We can't trust the horses.  A mule knows more in a minute than a horse
knows all his life."

"Will you go with me to take another look at it?" asked Nucky.

An expression of understanding crossed Frank's weather-beaten face.
"Sure I will, boy!  Let's walk up the rim a little and see if you can
steady your nerves."

"I'd rather stay by the rail," replied Nucky, doggedly.

"All right, old man!  Don't take this thing too hard, you know!  After
all, it's only a crack in the earth."

Nucky grinned feebly, and trudged steadily up to the rail.  The sun was
setting and the Canyon was like the infinite glory of God.  Untiring as
was his love for the view Allen preferred, this time, to watch the
strange young face beside him.  Nucky's pallor was still intense in
spite of the stinging wind.  His deep set eyes were strained like a
child's, listening to a not-to-be-understood explanation of something
that frightens him.  For a full five minutes he gazed without speaking.
Then the sun sank and the Canyon immediately was filled with gloom.
Nucky's lips quivered.  "I can't stand it!" he muttered again, "I can't
stand it!" and once more he bolted.

This time he went directly to his room.  Neither Allen nor Seaton
attempted to follow him.

"He is some queer kid!" said Frank, taking the cigar Seaton offered
him.  "He may be a born crook or he may not, but believe me, there's
something in him worth finding out about."

"Just what I say!" agreed Seaton.  "But don't be sure you're the one
that can unlock him.  Mrs. Seaton couldn't and if she failed, any woman
on earth would.  And I still believe that a chap that's got any good in
him will open up to a good woman."

"_His_ woman, man!  _His_!  Not to somebody else's woman."  Allen's
tone was impatient.

"_His_ woman!  Don't talk like a chump, Frank!  Enoch's only fourteen."

"Makes no difference.  Your wife is an angel as I learned two years
ago, but she may not have Enoch's number, just the same.  If I were
you, I'd mooch up to the kid's room if he doesn't come down promptly to
supper.  His nerves are in rotten shape and he oughtn't to be alone too
long."

Seaton nodded, and shortly after seven he knocked softly on Nucky's
door.  There was an inarticulate, "Come in!"  Nucky was standing by the
window in the dark room.

"Supper's ready, old man.  You'd better have it now and get to bed
early.  Jumping from sea level to a mile in the air makes a chap
sleepy.  Are you washed up?"

"I'm all ready," mumbled Nucky.

He went to bed shortly after eight.  Something forlorn and childish
about the boy's look as he said good night moved John Seaton to say,

"Tell a bell boy to open the door between our rooms, will you, Enoch?"
and he imagined that a relieved look flickered in Nucky's eyes.

Seaton himself went to bed and to sleep early.  He was wakened about
midnight by a soft sound from Nucky's room and he lay for a few moments
listening.  Then he rose and turned on the light in his room, and in
Nucky's.  The boy hastily jerked the covers over his head.  Seaton
pulled the extra blanket at the bed foot over his own shoulders, then
he sat down on the edge of the bed and put his hand on Nucky's heaving
back.

"Don't you think, if it's bad enough to make you cry, that it's time
you told a friend about it, Enoch?" he said, his voice a little husky.

For a moment sobs strangled the boy's utterance entirely.  Finally, he
pulled the covers down but still keeping his head turned away, he said,

"I want to go home!"

"Home, Enoch?  Where's your home?"

"N' York's my home.  This joint scares me."

"Whom do you want to see in New York, Enoch?"

"Anybody!  Nobody!  Even the police station'd look better'n that thing.
I can feel it out there now, waitin' and listenin'!"

Seaton stared blankly at the back of Nucky's head.  His experiment was
not turning out at all as he had planned.  Jack often had puzzled him
but there had always been something to grasp with Jack.  His own boy
had been such a good sport!  A good sport!  Suddenly Seaton cleared his
throat.

"Enoch, among the men you know, what is the opinion of a squealer?"

"We hate him," replied the boy, shortly.

"And the other night when you were arrested, you were rather proud of
standing up and taking your punishment without breaking down.  If one
of the men arrested at that time had broken down, you'd all have
despised him, I suppose?"

"Sure thing," agreed Nucky, turning his head ever so little toward the
man.

"Enoch, why are you breaking down now?"

"Aw, what difference does it make?" demanded the boy.  "You despise me
anyhow!"

"Oh!" ejaculated Seaton as a sudden light came to his groping mind.
"Oh, I see!  What a chump you are, old man!  Of course, I despise the
kind of life you've led, but I blame Minetta Lane for that, not you.
And I believe there is so much solid fine stuff in you that I'm giving
you this trip to show you that there are people and things outside of
Minetta Lane that are more worth a promising boy's time than gambling.
But, you won't play the game.  You are so vain and ignorant, you refuse
to see over your nose."

"I told you, you despised me," said Nucky, sullenly.

The man smiled to himself.  Suddenly he took the boy's hand in both his
own.

"I suppose if Jack had been reared in Minetta Lane, he'd have been just
as wrong in his ideas as you are.  Look here, Enoch, I'll make a
bargain with you.  I want you to try the Canyon for a week or so, until
I get back from the Coast.  If, at the end of that time, you still want
Minetta Lane, I'll land you back there with fifty dollars in your
pocket, and you can go your own gait."

Nucky for the first time turned and looked Seaton in the face.
"Honest?" he gasped.

Seaton nodded.

"Do I have to go down the Canyon?" asked Nucky.

"You don't have to do anything except play straight, till I get back."

"I--I guess I could stand it,"--the boy's eyes were a little pitiful in
their fear.

"That isn't enough.  I want your promise, Enoch!"

Nucky stared into Seaton's steady eyes.  "All right, I'll promise.
And--and, Mr. Seaton, would you sit with me till I get to sleep?"

Seaton nodded.  Nucky had made no attempt to free his hand from the
kindly grasp that imprisoned it.  He lay staring at the ceiling for a
long moment, then his eyelids fluttered, dropped, and he slept.  He did
not stir when Seaton rose and went back to his own bed.

It did not snow during the night and the train that had brought Nucky
and Mr. Seaton up announced itself as ready for the return trip to
Williams, immediately after breakfast.  Nucky slept late and only
opened his eyes when Frank Allen clumped into the room about nine
o'clock.

"Hello, New York!  Haven't died, have you?  Come on, we're going to
break trail down the Canyon, you and I."

"Not on your life!"  Nucky roused at once and sat up in bed, his face
very pale under its thatch of dark red hair.

"John Seaton turned you over to me.  Said to tell you he thought you
needed the sleep more than you did to say good-by to him."

"He told me last night," exclaimed Nucky; "that I didn't have to go
down the Canyon."

"And you don't, you poor sissy!  You aren't afraid to get up and dress,
are you?"  Allen's grin took away part of the sting of his speech.
"Meet me in the lobby in twenty minutes, Enoch," and he turned on his
heel.

Nucky was down in less than the time allotted.  As he leaned against
the office desk, waiting for the guide, the room clerk said, "So you're
the kid that's afraid to go down the trail.  Usually it's the old
ladies that kick up about that.  Most boys your age are crazy for the
trip."

Nucky muttered something and moved away.  In front of the fire the
woman who had smiled at him the day before, smiled again.

"Afraid too, aren't you!  They can't get me onto that trail, either."

Nucky smiled feebly then looked about a little wildly for Frank Allen.
When he espied the guide at the cigar-stand, he crossed to him
hurriedly.

"Say now, Mr. Allen, listen!"

"I'm all ears, son!"

"Now don't tell everybody I'm afraid of the trail!"

"Oh, you're the kid!" exclaimed a bell boy.  "Say, there was an old
lady here once that used to go out every morning and pray to the Lord
to close the earth's gap, it made her so nervous!  Why don't you try
that, kid?  Maybe the Lord would take a suggestion from a New Yorker."

Nucky rushed to the dining room.  He was too angry and resentful to eat
much.  He drank two cups of coffee, however, and swallowed some toast.

"Ain't you going to eat your eggs?" demanded the waitress.  "What's the
matter with you?  Folks always stuff themselves, here.  Say, don't let
the trail scare you.  I was that way at first, but finally I got my
nerve up and there's nothing to it.  Say, let me give you some advice.
There's only a few folks here now, so the guides and the hotel people
have got plenty of time on their hands.  They're awful jokers and
they'll tease the life out of you, till you take the trip.  You just
get on a mule, this morning, and start.  Every day you wait, you'll
hate it more."

Nucky's vanity had been deeply wounded.  Greater than his fear, which
was very great indeed, was Nucky's vanity.  He gulped the second cup of
coffee, then with the air of bravado which belonged to Marty the Dude,
he sauntered up to the cigar stand where the guide still lounged.

"All right, Frank," said Nucky.  "I'm ready for Bright Angel when you
are."

The guide looked at the boy carefully.  Two bright red spots were
burning in Nucky's cheeks.  He was biting his lips, nervously.  But his
blue eyes were hard and steady.

"I'll be ready in half an hour, Enoch.  Meet me at the corral.  We'll
camp down below for a night or two if you hold out and I'll have to
have the grub put up.  You go over to the store room yonder and get a
flannel shirt and a pair of denim pants to pull on over those you're
wearing.  Mr. Seaton left his camera for you.  I put it on your bureau.
Bring that along.  Skip now!"

Nucky's cheeks were still burning when he met Allen at the corral.
Three mules, one a well loaded pack mule, the others saddled, were
waiting.  Frank leaned against the bars.

"Enoch," said the man, "there's no danger at all, if you let your mule
alone.  Don't try to guide him.  He knows the trail perfectly.  All you
have to do is to sit in the saddle and look up, not down!  Remember,
up, not down!  I shall lead.  You follow, on Spoons.  Old Foolish Face
brings up the rear with the pack.  Did you ever ride, before?"

"I never touched a horse in my life," replied Nucky, trying to curb the
chattering of his teeth.

"You had better mount and ride round the road here, for a bit.  Take
the reins, so.  Stand facing the saddle, so.  Now put this foot in the
stirrup, seize the pommel, and swing the other leg over as you spring.
That's the idea!"

Nucky was awkward, but he landed in the saddle and found the other
stirrup, the mule standing fast as a mountain while he did so.  Spoons
moved off at Allen's bidding, and Nucky grasped at the pommel.  But
only for a moment.

"Don't he shake any worse than this?" he cried.

"No, but it's not so easy to stay in the saddle when the grade's steep.
Pull on your right rein, Enoch, and bring old Spoons in behind me.
Well done!  We're off!  See the bunch on the hotel steps!  Guess you
fooled 'em this time, New York!"

Half a dozen people, including the clerk were standing on the steps,
watching the little cavalcade.  As the mules filed by, somebody began
to clap.

"What's the excitement, Frank?" demanded Nucky.

Frank turned in his saddle to smile at the boy.  "Out in this country
we admire physical nerve because we need a lot of it.  And you're
showing a good quality, old chap.  Just sit easy now and when you want
me to stop, yell."

Nucky was sitting very straight with his thin chest up, and he managed
to maintain this posture as the trail turned down over the rim.  Then
he grasped the pommel in both hands.

It was a wonderful trail, carved with infinite patience and ingenuity
out of the canyon wall.  To Allen it was as safe and easy as a flight
of stairs.  Nucky, trembling in the saddle would have felt quite as
comfortable standing on the topmost window ledge of the Flat Iron
building, in New York.  And, to Nucky, there was no trail!  Only a
narrow, corkscrew shelf, deep banked with snow into which the mules set
their small feet gingerly.  For many minutes, the boy saw only this
trackless ledge, and the sickening blue depths below.

"I can never stand it!" he muttered.  "I can never stand it!  If this
mule makes just one mis-step, I'm dead."  He felt a little nauseated.
"I can never stand it!  'Twould have been better if I'd just let 'em
tease me.  Hey, Frank!"

The guide looked back.  The red spots were gone from Nucky's cheeks now.

"We got to go back!  I can't get away with it!" cried the boy.

"It's impossible to turn here, Enoch!  Look up, man!  Look up!  And
just trust old Spoons!  Are you cold?  It was only eight above zero,
when we left the top.  But the snow'll disappear as we go down and when
we reach the river it'll be summer.  See that lone pine up on the rim
to your right?  They say an Indian girl jumped from the top of that
because she bore a cross-eyed baby.  Look up, Enoch, as we round this
curve and see that streak of red in the wall.  An Indian giant bled to
death on the rim and his blood seeped through the solid rock to this
point.  Watch how the sky gets a deeper blue, the farther down we go.
And now, Enoch look out, not down.  You may come down Bright Angel a
thousand times and never see the colors you see to-day.  The snowfall
has turned the world into a rainbow, by heck!"

Slowly, very slowly, Nucky turned his head and clinging to the pommel,
he stared across the canyon.  White of snow; sapphire of sky; black of
sharp cut shadow.  Mountains rising from the canyon floor thrust
scarlet and yellow heads across his line of vision.  Close to his left,
as the trail curved, a wall of purest rose color lifted from a bank of
snow that was as blue as Allen's eyes.  Beyond and beyond and ever
beyond, the vast orderliness of the multi-colored canyon strata melted
into delicate white clouds that now revealed, now concealed the
mountain tops.

Nucky gazed and gazed, shuddering, yet enthralled.  Another sharp twist
in the trail and his knee scraped against the wall.  He cried out
sharply.  Frank turned to look but he did not stop the mules.

"Spoons thinks it's better to amputate your leg, once in a while than
to risk getting too close to the outer edge of the trail in all this
snow.  He's an old warrior, is Spoons!  He could carry a grand piano
down this trail and never scrape the varnish.  Look up, Enoch!  We'll
soon reach a broad bench where I'll let you rest."

"Don't you think I'll ever get off this brute till we reach bottom!"
shuddered Nucky.

The guide laughed and silence fell again.  The mules moved as silently
through the snow as the mists across the mountain tops.  In careful
gradation the trail zigzagged downward.  The snow lessened in depth
with each foot of drop.  The bitter cold began to give way to the
increasing warmth of the sun.  Sensation crept back into Nucky's feet
and hands.  By a supreme effort for many moments he managed to fix his
eyes firmly on Frank's broad back, and though he could not give up his
hold on the pommel, he sat a little straighter.  Then, of a sudden,
Spoons stopped in his tracks, and as suddenly a little avalanche of
snow shot down the canyon wall, catching the mule's forelegs.  Spoons
promptly threw himself inward, against the wall.  Nucky gave a startled
look at the sickening depths below and when Frank turned in his saddle,
Nucky had fainted, half clinging to Spoons' neck, half supported
against the wet, rocky wall.

With infinite care, and astonishing speed, Frank slid from his mule and
made his way back to the motionless Spoons.

"Always said you were more than human, old chap," said Allen, kicking
the snow away from the mule's fore legs.  "Easy now!  Don't lose your
passenger!"  The mule regained his balance and stepped carefully
forward out of the drift, while the guide, balanced perilously on the
outer edge of the trail, kept a supporting hand on Nucky's shoulders.

But there was no need of the flask Frank pulled from his pocket.  Nucky
opened his eyes almost immediately.  Whatever emotion Frank may have
felt, he kept to himself.  "I told you Spoons was better than a life
insurance policy, Enoch."

Enoch slowly pushed himself erect.  He looked from Frank's quizzical
eyes to Spoons' twitching ears, then at his own shaking hands.

"I fainted, didn't I?" he asked.

Allen nodded, and something in the twist of the man's lips maddened
Nucky.  He burst forth wildly:

"You think I'm a blank blank sissy!  Well, maybe I am.  But if New York
couldn't scare me, this blank blank hole out here in this blank blank
jumping off place can't.  I'm going on down this trail and if I fall
and get killed, it's up to you and Mr. Seaton."

"Good work, New York!" responded Allen briefly.  He edged his way
carefully back to his mule and the cavalcade moved onward.  Perhaps
five minutes afterward, as they left the snow line, the guide looked
back.  Nucky was huddled in the saddle, his eyes closed tight, but his
thin lips were drawn in a line that caused Allen to change his purpose.
He did not speak as he had planned, but led the way on for a long half
hour, in silence, his eyes thoughtful.

But Nucky did not keep his eyes closed long.  The pull of horror, of
mystery, of grandeur was too great.  And after the avalanche, his
confidence in Spoons was established.  He was little more than a child
and under his bravado and his watchfulness there was a child's
recklessness.  If he were to fall, at least he must see whither he was
to fall.  He forced himself to look from time to time into the depths
below.  The trail dropped steadily, while higher and higher soared
canyon wall and mountain peak.  It was still early when the trail met
the plateau on which lie the Indian gardens.

Frank's mule suddenly quickened his stride as did Spoons.  But Nucky,
although he was weary and saddle sore had no intention of crying a
halt, now that the trail was level.  His pulse began to subside and
once more he sat erect in the saddle.  When the mules rushed forward to
bury their noses in a cress-grown spring, he grinned at Frank.

"Well, here I am, after all!"

Frank grinned in return.  "If I could put through a few more stunts
like this, you'd look almost like a boy, instead of a potato sprout.
Get down and limber up."

Nucky half scrambled, half fell off his mule.  "Must be spring down
here," he cried, staring about at grass and cottonwood.

"Just about.  And it'll be summer when we reach the river."

"That was some trail, wasn't it, Frank!  Do many kids take it?"

"Lots of 'em, but only with guides, and you were the worst case of
scared boy I've ever seen."

Nucky flushed.  "Well, you might give me credit for hanging to it, even
if I was scared."

"I'll give you a lot of credit for that, old man.  But if the average
New York boy has nerves like yours, I'm glad many of them don't come to
the Canyon, that's all.  Your nerves would disgrace a girl."

"The guys I gamble with never complained of my lack of nerves," cried
Nucky, angrily.

"Gambling!  Thunder!  What nerve does it take to stack the cards
against a dub?  But this country out here, let me tell you, it takes a
man to stand up to it."

"And I've been through police raids too, and never squealed and I know
two gunmen and they say I'm as hard as steel."

"They should have seen you with your arms around Spoons' neck, back up
the trail there," said Allen dryly.  "Come!  Mount again, Enoch!  I
want to have lunch at the river."

Enoch was sullen as they started on but his sullenness did not last
long.  As his fear receded, his curiosity increased.  He gazed about
him with absorbed interest, and he began to bombard the guide with
questions in genuine boy fashion.

"How far is it to the river?  Do we have any steeper trails than the
ones we've been on, already?  Did any one ever swim across the river?
Was any one ever killed when he minded what the guide told him?  What
guys camp in the Indian gardens?  How much does it cost?  Did any one
ever climb up the side of the Canyon, say like one yonder where it
looked like different colored stair steps going up?  Did any one ever
find gold in the canyon?  How did they know it when they found it?  Did
Frank ever do any mining?  What was placer mining?"  And on and on,
only the intermittently returning fear of the trail silencing him until
Frank ordered him to dismount in a narrow chasm within sight of the
roaring, muddy Colorado.

"One of the ways Seaton employed to persuade me to take care of you for
a week was by telling me you were a very silent kid," added the guide.

Nucky grinned sheepishly, and turned to stare wonderingly at the black
walls that here closed in upon them breathlessly.  Their lunch had been
prepared at the hotel.  Frank fed the mules, then handed Nucky his box
lunch and proceeded to open his own.

"Does it make you sore to have me ask you questions?" asked the boy.

"No!  I guess it's more natural for a kid than the sulks you've been
keeping up with Seaton."

"I'm not such a kid.  I'm going on fifteen and I've earned my own way
since I was twelve.  And I earn it with men, too."  Nucky jerked his
head belligerently.

Frank ate a hard boiled egg before speaking.  Then, with one eyebrow
raised, he grunted, "What'd you work at?"

"Cards and dice!" this very proudly.

"You poor nut!"  Frank's voice was a mixture of contempt and
compassion.  Nucky immediately turned sulky and the meal was finished
in silence.  When the last doughnut had been devoured, Frank stretched
himself in the warm sand left among the rocks by the river at flood.

"Must be eighty degrees down here," he yawned.  "We'll rest for a half
hour, then we'll make the night camp.  It's after two now and it will
be dark in this narrow rift by four."

Nucky looked about him apprehensively.  The Canyon here was little more
than a gorge whose walls rose sheer and menacing toward the narrow
patch of blue sky above.  He could not make up his mind to lie down and
relax as Frank had done.  All was too new and strange.

"Are there snakes round here?" he demanded.

Frank's grunt might have been either yes or no.  Nucky glanced
impatiently at the guide's closed eyes, then he began to clamber
aimlessly and languidly over the rocks to the river edge.  At a
distance of perhaps a hundred feet from Frank he stopped, looked at the
bleak, blank wall of the river opposite, bit his nails and shuddering
turned back.  He crouched on a rock, near the guide, smoking one
cigarette after another until Frank jumped to his feet.

"Three o'clock, New York!  Time to get ready for the night."

"I don't want to stay in this hole all night!" protested Nucky, "I
couldn't sleep."

"You'll like it.  You've no idea how comfortable I'm going to make you.
Now, your job is to gather drift wood and pile it on that flat topped
rock yonder.  Keep piling till I tell you to quit.  The nights are cold
and I'll keep a little blaze going late, for you."

"What's the idea?" demanded Nucky.  "Why stay down here, like lost
dogs, when there's a first class hotel back up there?"

Frank sighed.  "Well, the idea is this!  A real he man likes camping in
the wilds better'n he likes anything on earth.  Seaton thought maybe
somewhere in that pindling carcass of yours there was the making of a
he man and that you'd like the experience.  I promised him I'd try you
out and I'm trying you, hang you for an ungrateful, cowardly cub."

Nucky turned on his heel and began to pick up drift wood.  He was in
poor physical trim but the pile, though it grew slowly, grew steadily.
By the time Frank announced the camp ready, Nucky's fuel pile was of
really imposing dimensions.  And dusk was thickening in the gorge.

Before a great flat faced rock that looked toward the river, was a
stretch of clean dry sand.  Against this rock, the guide had placed a
rubber air-mattress and a plentiful supply of blankets.  A small
folding table stood before a rough stone fire place.  A canvas shelter
stretched vertically on two strips of driftwood, shut off the night
wind that was beginning to sweep through the Canyon.  The mules were
tethered close to the camp.

"Where'd that mattress come from?" exclaimed Nucky.

"Partly off old Funny Face's back and part out of a bicycle pump.
Didn't want to risk your sickly bones on the ground until you harden up
a bit.  Pretty good pile of timber for an amateur, New York."  Frank
looked up from the fire he was kindling into Nucky's thin, tired face.
"Now, son, you sit down on the end of your bed and take it easy.  I'm
an old hand at this game and before we've had our week together I'm
banking on you being glad to help me.  But to-day you've had enough."

"Thanks," mumbled Nucky, as he eagerly followed the guide's suggestions.

The early supper tasted delicious to the boy although every muscle in
his body ached.  Bacon and flap jacks, coffee and canned peaches he
devoured with more appetite than he ever had brought to ministrone and
red wine.  A queer and inexplicable sense of comfort and a desire to
talk came over him after the meal was finished, the camp in order, and
the fire replenished.

"This ain't so bad," he said.  "I wish some of the guys that used to
come to Luigi's could see me now."

"And who was Luigi?" asked Frank, lighting his pipe and stretching
himself on a blanket before the fire.

"He was the guy I lived with after my mother died.  He ran a gambling
joint, and we was fixing the place up for women, too, when we all got
pinched."  This very boastfully.

"Who were your folks, Enoch?"

"Never heard of none of 'em.  Luigi's a Dago.  He wouldn't have been so
bad if he didn't pinch the pennies so.  Were you ever in New York,
Frank?"  This in a patronizing voice.

"Born there," replied the guide.

Nucky gasped with surprise.  "How'd you ever happen to come out here?"

"I can't live anywhere else because of chronic asthma.  I don't know
now that I'd want to live anywhere else.  I used to kick against the
pricks, but you get more sense as you grow older--after it's too late."

"I should think you'd rather be dead," said Nucky sincerely.  "If I
thought I couldn't get back to MacDougal Street I'd want to die."

"MacDougal Street and the dice, I suppose, eh?  Enoch, you're on the
wrong track and I know, because that's the track I tried myself.  And I
got stung."

"But--" began Nucky.

"No but about it.  It's the wrong track and you can't get to decency or
happiness or contentment on it.  There's two things a man can never
make anything real out of; cards or women."

"I didn't want to make anything out of women.  I want to get even with
'em, blank blank 'em all," cried Nucky with sudden fury.  And he burst
into an obscene tirade against the sex that utterly astonished the
guide.  He lay with his chin supported on his elbow, staring at the
boy, at his thin, strongly marked features, and at the convulsive
working of his throat as he talked.

"Here!  Dry up!" Frank cried at last.  "I'll bet these canyon walls
never looked down on such a rotten little cur as you are in all their
history.  You gambling, indecent little gutter snipe, isn't there a
clean spot in you?"

"You were a gambler yourself!" shrieked Nucky.

"Yes, sir, I know cards and I know women, and that's why I know just
what a mess of carrion your lovely young soul is.  Any kid that can see
the glory o' God that you've seen to-day and then sit down and talk
like an overflowing sewer isn't fit to live.  I didn't know that before
I came out to this country, but I know it now.  You get to bed.  I
don't want to hear another word out of you to-night.  Pull your boots
off.  That's all."

Half resentful, half frightened, Nucky obeyed.  For a while, with
nerves and over-tired muscles twitching, he lay watching the fire.
Then he fell asleep.

It was about midnight when he awoke.  He had kicked the blankets off
and was cold.  The fire was out but the full moon sailed high over the
gorge.  Frank, rolled in his blankets, his feet to the dead fire, slept
noisily.  Nucky sat up and pulled his blankets over him, but he did not
lie down again.  He sat staring at the wonder of the Canyon.  For a
long half hour he was motionless save for the occasional moistening of
his lips and turning of his head as he followed the unbelievable
contour of the distant silvered peaks.  Then of a sudden he jumped from
his bed and, stooping over Frank, shook him violently.

"Wake up!" he cried.  "Wake up!  I gotta tell somebody or the Canyon'll
drive me crazy.  I'll tell you why I'm bad.  It's because my mother was
bad before me.  She was Luigi's mistress.  She was a bad lot.  It was
born in me."

Frank sat up, instantly on the alert.  "How old were you when she
died?" he demanded.

"Six," replied Nucky.

"Shucks! you don't know anything about it, then!  Who told you she was
bad?"

"Luigi!  I guess he'd know, wouldn't he?"

"Maybe he did and maybe he didn't.  At any rate, I wouldn't take the
oath on his deathbed of a fellow who ran a joint like Luigi's and
taught a kid what he's taught you.  He told you that, of course, to
keep a hold on you."

"But she lived with him.  I remember that myself."

"I can't help that.  I'll bet you my next year's pay, she wasn't your
mother!"

"Not my mother?"  Nucky drew himself up with a long breath.  "Certainly
she was my mother."

Frank uncovered some embers from the ashes and threw on wood.  "I'll
bet she wasn't your mother," he repeated firmly.  "Seaton told me that
that policeman friend of yours said she might and might not be your
mother.  Seaton and the policeman both think she wasn't, and I'm with
'em."

"But why?  Why?" cried Nucky in an agony of impatience.

"For the simple reason that a fellow with a face like your's doesn't
have a bad mother."

In the light of the leaping flames Nucky's face fell.  "Aw, what you
giving us!  Sob stuff?"

"I'm telling you something that's as true as God.  You can't see Him or
talk to Him, but you know He made this Canyon, don't you?"

Nucky nodded quickly.

"All right, then I'm telling you, every line of your face and head says
you didn't come of a breed like the woman that lived with Luigi.  I'll
bet if you show you have any decent promise, Seaton will clear that
point up.  A good detective could do it."

"I never thought of such a thing," muttered Nucky.  He continued to
stare at Frank, his pale boy's face tense with conflicting hope and
fear.  The guide picked up his blanket, but Nucky cried out:

"Don't go to sleep for a minute, please!  I can't stand it alone in
this moonlight.  I never thought such thoughts in my life as I have
down here, about God and who I am and what a human being is.  I tell
you, I'm going crazy."

Frank nodded, and began to fill his pipe.  "Sit down close to the fire,
son.  That's what the Canyon does to anybody that's thin skinned.  I
went through it too.  I tell you, Nucky, this life here in the Canyon
and the thoughts you think here, are the only real things.  New York
and all that, is just the outer shell of living.  Understand me?"

The boy nodded, his eyes fixed on Frank's with pitiful eagerness.

"It's clean out here.  This country isn't all messed up with men and
women's badness.  Everybody starts even and with a clean slate.  Lord
knows, I was a worthless bunch when I struck here, fifteen years ago.
I'd been expelled from Yale in my senior year for gambling.  I'd run
through the money my father'd left me.  I'd gotten into a woman scrape
and I'd alienated every member of my family.  Just why I thought a deck
of cards was worth all that, I can't tell you.  But I did.  Then I came
down here to see what the Canyon could do for my asthma and it cured
that, and by the Eternal, it cured my soul, too.  Now listen to me,
son!  You go back and lie down and put yourself to sleep thinking about
your real mother.  Boys are apt to take their general build from their
mothers, so she was probably a big woman, not pretty, but with an
intellectual face full of character.  Go on, now, Enoch!  You need the
rest and we've got a full day to-morrow."

Nucky passed his hand unsteadily over his eyes, but rose without a
word, and Frank tucked him into his blankets, then sat quietly waiting
by the fire.  It was not long before deep breaths that were
pathetically near to sobs told the guide that Nucky was asleep.  Then
he rolled himself in his own blankets.  The moon passed the Canyon wall
and utter darkness enwrapped the Canyon and the river which murmured
harshly as it ran.

Nucky wakened the next morning to the smell of coffee.  He sat up and
eyed Frank soberly.

"Hello, New York!  This is the Grand Canyon!"  Frank grinned as he
lifted the coffee pot from the fire.

Nucky grinned in response.  Shortly after, when he sat down to his
breakfast the grin had disappeared, but with it had gone the look of
sullenness that had seemed habitual.

"Frank," said Nucky, when breakfast was over, "do you care if I talk to
you some more about--you know--you know what you said last night?  I
never talked about it to any one but Luigi, and it makes me feel
better."

"Sure, go ahead!" said Frank.

"My mother--" began Nucky.

"You mean Luigi's wife," corrected the guide.

"Luigi's wife was crazy about me.  She loved me just as much as any
mother could.  Luigi's always been jealous about it.  That's why he
treated me so rotten."

"Bad women can be just as fond of kids as good women," was Frank's
comment.  "What did she look like?  Can you remember?"

"I don't know whether I remember it or if it's just what folks told me.
She had dark blue eyes and dark auburn hair.  Luigi said she was
Italian."

"If she was, she was North Italian," mused the guide.  "Did any one
ever give you any hints about your father?"

A slow, painful red crept over Nucky's pale face.  "I never asked but
once.  Maybe you can guess what Luigi said."

"If Luigi were in this part of the country," growled Allen, "I'd lead a
lynching party to call on him."  He paused, eying Nucky's boyish face
closely, then he asked, "Did you love your mother?"

"I suppose I did.  But Luigi kept at me so that now I hate her and all
other women.  Mrs. Seaton seemed kind of nice, but I suppose she is
like the rest of 'em."

"Don't you think it!  And did you know that Seaton thinks you were
kidnapped?"

Nucky drew a quick breath and the guide went on, "I think so too.  You
never belonged to an Italian.  I can't tell you just why I feel so
certain.  But I'd take my oath you are of New England stock.  John
Seaton is a first-class lawyer.  As I said to you last night, if you
show some decent spirit, he'd try to clear the matter up for you."

Nucky's blue eyes were as eager and as wistful as a little child's.
His thin, mobile lips quivered.  "I never thought of such a thing,
Frank!"

"Well, you'd better think of it!  Now then, you clean up these dishes
for me while I attend to the stock.  I want to be off in a half hour."

During the remainder of that very strenuous day, Nucky did not refer
again to the matter so near his heart.  He was quiet, but no longer
sullen, and he was boyishly interested in the wonders of the Canyon.
The sun was setting when they at last reached the rim.  For an hour
Nucky had not spoken.  When Allen had turned in the saddle to look at
the boy, Nucky had nodded and smiled, then returned to his absorbed
watching of the lights and shadows in the Canyon.

They dismounted at the corral.  "Now, old man," said Frank, "I want you
to go in and tuck away a big supper, take a hot bath and go to bed.
To-morrow we'll ride along the rim just long enough to fight off the
worst of the saddle stiffness."

"All right!" Nucky nodded.  "I'm half dead, that's a fact.  But I've
got to tell the clerk and the bell boy a thing or two before I do
anything."

"Go to it!" Frank laughed, as he followed the mules through the gate.

Nucky did not open his eyes until nine o'clock the next morning.  When
he had finished breakfast, he found the guide waiting for him in the
lobby.

"Hello, Frank!" he shouted.  "Come on!  Let's start!"

All that day, prowling through the snow after Allen, Nucky might have
been any happy boy of fourteen.  It was only when Frank again left him
at dusk that his face lengthened.

"Can't I be with you this evening, Frank?" he asked.

Frank shook his head.  "I've got to be with my wife and little girl."

"But why can't I--"  Nucky hesitated as he caught the look in Frank's
face.  "You'll never forget what I said about women, I suppose!"

"Why should I forget it?" demanded Allen.

The sullen note returned to Nucky's voice.  "I wouldn't harm 'em!"

"No, I'll bet you wouldn't!" returned Allen succinctly.

Nucky turned to stare into the Canyon.  It seemed to the guide that it
was a full five minutes that the boy gazed into the drifting depths
before he turned with a smile that was as ingenuous as it was wistful.

"Frank, I guess I made an awful dirty fool of myself!  I--I can't like
'em, but I'll take your word that lots of 'em are good.  And nobody
will ever hear me sling mud at 'em again, so help me God--and the
Canyon!"

Frank silently held out his hand and Nucky grasped it.  Then the guide
said, "You'd better go to bed again as soon as you've eaten your
supper.  By to-morrow you'll be feeling like a short trip down Bright
Angel.  Good-night, old top!"

When Nucky came out of the hotel door the next morning, Frank, with a
cavalcade of mules, was waiting for him.  But he was not alone.  Seated
on a small mule was a little girl of five or six.

"Enoch," said Frank, "this is my daughter, Diana.  She is going down
the trail with us."

Nucky gravely doffed his hat, and the little girl laughed, showing two
front teeth missing and a charming dimple.

"You've got red hair!" she cried.

Nucky grunted, and mounted his mule.

"Diana will ride directly behind me," said Frank.  "You follow her,
Enoch."

"Can that kid go all the way to the river?" demanded Nucky.

"She's been there a good many times," replied Frank, looking proudly at
his little daughter.

She was not an especially pretty child, but had Nucky been a judge of
feminine charms he would have realized that Diana gave promise of a
beautiful womanhood.  Her chestnut hair hung in thick curls on her
shoulders.  Her eyes were large and a clear hazel.  Her skin, though
tanned, was peculiarly fine in texture.  But the greatest promise of
her future beauty lay in a sweetness of expression in eye and lip that
was extraordinary in so young a child.  For the rest, she was thin and
straight and wore a boy's corduroy suit.

Diana feared the trail no more than Nucky feared MacDougal Street.  She
was deeply interested in Nucky, turning and twisting constantly in her
saddle to look at him.

"Do you like your mule, Enoch?  He's a very nice mule."

"Yes, but don't turn round or you'll fall."

"How can I talk if I don't turn round?  Do you like little girls?"

"I don't know any little girls.  Turn round, Diana!"

"But you know me!"

"I won't know you long if you don't sit still in that saddle, Miss."

"Do you like me, Enoch?"

Nucky groaned.  "Frank, if Diana don't quit twisting, I'll fall myself,
even if she don't!"

"Don't bother Enoch, daughter!"

"I'm not bothering Enoch, Daddy.  I'm making conversation.  I like him,
even if he has red hair."

Nucky sighed, and tried to turn the trend of the small girl's ideas.

"I'll bet you don't know what kind of stone that is yonder where the
giant dripped blood."

"There isn't any giant's blood!" exclaimed Diana scornfully.  "That is
just red quartz!"

"Oh, and what's the layer next to it?" demanded Nucky skeptically.

"That's black basalt," answered the little girl.  Then, leaning far out
of the saddle to point to the depths below, "and that--"

"Frank!" shouted Nucky.  "Diana is bound to fall!  I just can't stand
looking at her."

This time Frank spoke sternly.  "Diana, don't turn to look at Enoch
again!" and the little girl obeyed.

Had Nucky been other than he was, he might have been amused and not a
little charmed by Diana's housewifely ways when they made camp that
afternoon.  She helped to kindle the fire and to unpack the provisions.
She lent a hand at arranging the beds and set the table, all with eager
docility and intelligence.  But Nucky, after doing the chores Frank set
him, wandered off to a seat that commanded a wide view of the trail,
where he remained in silent contemplation of the wonders before him
until called to supper.

He was silent during the meal, giving no heed to Diana's small attempts
at conversation, and wandered early to his blankets.  In the morning,
however, he was all boy again, even attempting once or twice to tease
Diana, in a boy's offhand manner.  That small person, however, had
become conscious of the fact that Enoch was not interested in her, and
she had withdrawn into herself with a pride and self-control that was
highly amusing to her father.  Nor did she unbend during the day.

The return trip was made with but one untoward incident.  This occurred
after they had reached the snow line.  Much of the snow had thawed and
by late afternoon there was ice on the trail.  Frank led the way very
gingerly and the mules often stopped of their own accord, while the
guide roughened the path for them with the axe.  In spite of this care,
as they rounded one last upper curve, Diana's mule slipped, and it was
only Diana's lightning quickness in dismounting and the mule's skill in
throwing himself inward that saved them both.

Diana did not utter a sound, but Nucky gave a hoarse oath and, before
Frank could accomplish it, Nucky had dismounted, had rushed up the
trail and stood holding Diana in his lank, boyish arms, while the mule
regained his foothold.

"Now look here, Frank, Diana rides either in your lap or mine!" said
Nucky shortly, his face twitching.

Frank raised his eyebrows at the boy's tone.  "Set her down, Enoch!
We'll all walk to the top.  It's only a short distance, and the ice is
getting pretty bad."

Nucky obediently set the little girl on her feet, and Diana tossed her
curls and followed her father without a word.  And Frank, as he led the
procession, wore a puzzled grin on his genial face.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Exactly ten days after Nucky's first trip down Bright Angel trail, John
Seaton descended somewhat wearily from the Pullman that had landed him
once more at the Canyon's rim.  He had telegraphed the time of his
arrival and Nucky ran up to meet him.

"Hello, Mr. Seaton!" he said.

Seaton's jaw dropped.  "What on earth--?"  Then he grinned.

Nucky was wearing high laced boots, a blue flannel shirt, gauntlet
gloves and a huge sombrero.

"Some outfit, Enoch!  Been down Bright Angel yet?"

"Three times," replied the boy, with elaborate carelessness.  "Say, Mr.
Seaton, can't we stay one more day and you take the trip with us?"

"I think I can arrange it."  Seaton was trying not to look at the boy
too sharply.  "I'll be as sore as a dog, for I haven't been in a saddle
since I was out here before.  But Bright Angel's worth it."

"Sore!"  Nucky laughed.  "Say, Mr. Seaton, I just don't try to sit down
any more!"

They had reached the hotel desk now and as Seaton signed the register
the clerk said, with a wink:

"If you'll leave young Huntingdon behind, we'll take him on as a guide,
Mr. Seaton."

Nucky tossed his head.  "Huh! and you might get a worse guide than me,
too.  Frank says I got the real makings in me and I'll bet Frank knows
more about guiding than any white in these parts.  Navaho Mike told me
so.  And Navaho Mike says he knows I could make money out here even at
fourteen."

"How, Enoch?" asked Seaton, as they followed the bell boy upstairs.  He
was not looking at Nucky, for fear he would show surprise.  "How? at
cards?"

"Aw, no!  Placer mining!  It don't cost much to outfit and there's
millions going to waste in the Colorado!  Millions!  Frank and Mike say
so.  You skip, Billy,"--this to the bell boy,--"I'm Mr. Seaton's bell
hop."

The boy pocketed the tip Nucky handed him, and closed the door after
himself.  Nucky opened Seaton's suitcase.

"Shall I unpack for you?" he asked.

"No, thanks, I shan't need anything but my toilet case, for I'm going
to get into an outfit like yours, barring the hat and gloves."

"Ain't it a pippin!" giving the hat an admiring glance.  "Frank gave it
to me.  He has two, and I rented the things for you, Mr. Seaton.  Here
they are," opening the closet door.  "Shall I help you with 'em?  Will
you take a ride along the rim now?  Shall I get the horses?  Now?  I'll
be waiting for you at the main entrance with the best pony in the
bunch."

He slammed out of the room.  John Seaton scratched his head after he
had shaken it several times, and made himself ready for his ride.
Frank rapped on the door before he had finished and came in, smiling.

"Well, I understand you're to be taken riding!" he said.

"For the love of heaven, Frank, what have you done to the boy?"

"Me?  Nothing!  It was the Canyon.  Let me tell you about that first
trip."  And he told rapidly but in detail, the story of Nucky's first
two days in the Canyon.

Seaton listened with an absorbed interest.  "Has he spoken of his
mother to you since?" he asked, when Frank had finished.

"No, and he probably never will again.  Do you think you can clear the
matter up for him?"

"I'll certainly try!  Do you like the boy, Frank?"

"Yes, I do.  I think he's got the real makings in him.  Better leave
him out here with me, Seaton."

Seaton's face fell.  "I--I hoped he'd want to stick by me.  But the
decision is up to the boy.  If he wants to stay out here, I'll raise no
objections."

"I'm sure it would be better for him," said Frank.  "Gambling is a
persistent disease.  He's got years of struggle ahead of him, no matter
where he goes."

"I know that, of course.  Well, we'll take the trip down the trail
to-morrow before we try to make any decisions.  I must go along now.
He's waiting for me."

"Better put cotton in one ear," suggested Allen, with a smile.

The ride was a long and pleasant one.  John Seaton gave secondary heed
to the shifting grandeur of the views, for he was engrossed by his
endeavor to replace the sullen, unboyish Nucky he had known with this
voluble, high strung and entirely adolescent person who bumped along
the trail regardless of weariness or the hour.

The trip down Bright Angel the next day was an unqualified success.
They took old Funny Face and camped for the night.  After supper, Frank
muttered an excuse and wandered off toward the mules, leaving Nucky and
Seaton by the fire.

"Frank thinks you ought to stay out here with him, Enoch," said Seaton.

"What did you say to him when he told you that?" asked Nucky eagerly.

"I said I hoped you'd go back to New York with me, but that the
decision was up to you."

Nucky said nothing for the moment.  Seaton watched the fire glow on the
boy's strong face.  When Nucky looked up at his friend, his eyes were
embarrassed and a little miserable.

"Did Frank tell you about our talk down here?"

Seaton nodded.

"Do you know?" the boy's voice trembled with eagerness.  "Was she my
mother?"

"Foley thinks not.  He says she spoke with an accent he thought was
Italian.  When I get back to New York I'll do what I can to clear the
matter up for you.  Queer, isn't it, that human beings crave to know
even the worst about their breed."

"I got to know!  I got to know!  Mr. Seaton, I ran away from Luigi one
time.  I guess I was about eight.  I wanted to live in the country.
And I got as far as Central Park before they found me.  He got the
police on my trail right off.  And when he had me back in Minetta Lane,
first he licked me and then he told me how bad my mother was, and he
said if folks knew it, they'd spit on me and throw me out of school,
and that I was lower than any low dog.  And he told me if I did exactly
what he said he'd never let any one know, but if I didn't he'd go over
and tell Miss Brannigan.  She was a teacher I was awful fond of, and
he'd tell the police, and he'd tell all the kids.  And after that he
was always telling me awful low things about my mother--"

Seaton interrupted firmly.  "Not your mother.  Call her Luigi's wife."

Nucky moistened his lips.  "Luigi's wife.  And it used to drive me
crazy.  And he told me all women was like that only some less and some
worse.  Mr. Seaton, is that true?"

"Enoch, it's a contemptible, unspeakable lie!  The majority of women
are pure and sweet as no man can hope to be.  I'd like to kill Luigi,
blast his soul!"

"Maybe you don't know!" persisted Nucky.

"I know!  And what's more, when we get back to New York, I'll prove it
to you.  The world is full of clean, honest, kindly people, Enoch.
I'll prove it to you, old man, if you'll give me the chance."

"But if she was my mother, how can I help being rotten?"

"Look here, Enoch, a fellow might have the rottenest mother and
rottenest father on earth, but the Lord will start the fellow out with
a clean slate, just the same.  Folks aren't born bad.  You can't
inherit your parents' badness.  You could inherit their weak wills, for
instance, and if you live in Minetta Lane where there's only badness
about you, your weak will wouldn't let you stand out against the
badness.  But you can't inherit evil.  If that were possible, humanity
would have degenerated to utter brutality long ago.  And, Enoch, you
haven't inherited even a weak will.  You're as obstinate as old Funny
Face!"

"Then you think--" faltered the boy.

"I don't think!  I know that you come of fine, upstanding stock!  And
it's about time you moved out of Minetta Lane and gave your good blood
a chance!"

Enoch's lips quivered, and he turned his head toward the fire.  Seaton
waited, patiently.  After a while he said, "Enoch, the most important
thing in a man's life is his philosophy.  What do you think life is
for?  By what principles do you think a man ought to be guided?  Do you
think that the underlying purpose of life is dog eat dog, every man for
himself, by whatever method?  That's your gambler's philosophy.  Or do
you think we're put here to make life better than we found it?  That
was Abraham Lincoln's philosophy.  Before you decide for the Grand
Canyon or for New York, you ought to discover your philosophy.  Do you
see what I'm driving at?"

"Yes," said Nucky, "and I don't have to wait to discover it, for I've
done that this week.  I want to go into politics so I can clean out
Minetta Lane."

Seaton looked at the lad keenly.  "Good work, Nucky, old man!"

The boy spoke quickly.  "Don't call me Nucky!  I'm Enoch, from now on!"

"From now on, where?" asked Frank, strolling into the firelight.

"New York!" replied Enoch.  "I'd rather stay here, but I got to go
back."

"Mr. Seaton, have you been using bribery?"  Frank was half laughing,
half serious.

"Well, nothing as attractive as guiding on Bright Angel trail!"
exclaimed John.

"And that's the only job I was ever offered I really wanted!" cried
Enoch ruefully.

The men both laughed, and suddenly the boy joined them, laughing long
and a little hysterically.  "O gee!" he said at last, "I feel as free
and light as air!  I got to take a run up and down the sand," and a
moment later they heard his whistle above the endless rushing of the
Colorado.

"Ideas are important things," said Seaton, thoughtfully.  "Such a one
as that beast Luigi has planted in Enoch's mind can warp his entire
life.  He evidently is of a morbidly sensitive temperament, proud to a
fault, high strung and introspective.  Until some one can prove to him
that his mother was not a harlot, he'll never be entirely normal.  And
it's been my observation that one of the most fundamentally weakening
things for a boy's character is his not being able to respect his
father or mother.  Luigi caught Enoch when his mind was like modeling
clay."

"Do you think you can clear the matter up?" asked Frank.

"I'll try my utmost.  It's going to be hard, for Foley's no fool, and
he's done a lot of work on it with no results.  If I don't settle the
matter, Enoch is going to be hag-ridden by Minetta Lane all his life.
I know of a chap who was lame for twenty years because when he was
about ten, he had a series of extraordinarily vivid dreams portraying a
curious accident that he was not able to distinguish from actual
happenings.  It was not until he was a man and had accidentally come in
contact with a psychologist who analyzed the thing down to facts for
him that he was cured.  I could cite you a hundred cases like this
where the crippling was mental as well as physical.  And nothing but an
absolute and tangible proof of the falsity of the idea will make a
cure.  Some day there are going to be doctors who will handle nothing
but ideas."

"The boy's worth saving!"  Frank lighted his pipe thoughtfully.
"There's a power of will there for good or evil that can't be ignored.
And I have faith in any one the Canyon gets a real grip on.  It sure
has got this boy.  I never saw a more marked case."

The lawyer nodded and both men sat smoking, their eyes on the distant
rim.



BOOK II

THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR



CHAPTER III

TWENTY-TWO YEARS LATER


"It sometimes seemed to me that the Colorado said as it rushed through
the Canyon, 'Nothing matters!  Nothing!  Nothing!'"--_Enoch's Diary_.


One burning morning in July, Jonas, in a cool gray seersucker suit, his
black face dripping with perspiration, was struggling with the electric
fan in the private office of the Secretary of the Interior.  The
windows were wide open and the hideous uproar of street traffic filled
the room.  It was a huge, high-ceilinged apartment, with portraits of
former Secretaries on the walls.  The Secretary's desk, a large,
polished conference table, and various leather chairs, with a handsome
Oriental rug, completed the furnishings.

As Jonas struggled vainly with the fan, a door from the outer office
opened and a young man appeared with the day's mail.  Charley Abbott
was nearing thirty but he looked like a college boy.  He was big and
broad and blonde, with freckles disporting themselves frankly on a nose
that was still upturned.  His eyes were set well apart and his lips
were frank.  He placed a great pile of opened letters on Enoch's desk.

"Better peg along, Jonas," he said.  "The Secretary's due in a minute!"

Jonas gathered the fan to his breast and scuttled out the side door as
Enoch Huntingdon came in at the Secretary's private entrance.

The years had done much for Enoch.  He stood six feet one in his socks.
He was not heavy but still had something of the rangy look of his
boyhood.  He was big boned and broad chested.  College athletics had
developed his lungs and flattened his shoulder blades.  His hair was
copper-colored, vaguely touched with gray at the temples and very thick
and unruly.  His features were still rough hewn but time had hardened
their immaturity to a rugged incisiveness.  His cheek bones were high
and his cheeks were slightly hollowed.  His eyes were a burning,
brilliant blue, deep set under overhanging brows.  His mouth was large,
thin lipped and exceedingly sensitive; the mouth of the speaker.  He
wore a white linen suit.

"Good morning, Mr. Abbott," he said, dropping his panama hat on a
corner of the conference table.

"Good morning, Mr. Secretary!  I hope you are rested after yesterday.
Seems to me that was as hard a day as we ever had."

Enoch dropped into his chair.  "Was it really harder, Abbott, or was it
this frightful weather?"

"Well, we didn't have more appointments than usual, but some of them
were unusually trying.  That woman who wanted to be reappointed to the
Pension Office, for example."

Enoch nodded.  "I'd rather see Satan come into this office than a
woman.  Try to head them off, Abbott, whenever you can."

"I always do, sir!  Will you run through this correspondence, Mr.
Huntingdon, before I call in the Idaho contingent?"

Enoch began rapidly to read letters and to dictate terse replies.  They
were not more than a third of the way down the pile when a buzzer
sounded.  Enoch looked up inquiringly.

"I told Jonas to buzz for me at 9:20," explained young Abbott.  "I
don't dare keep the people in the waiting-room watching the clock
longer than that.  We'll fit this in at odd times, as usual.  Remember,
Mr. Secretary, you can't give these people more than fifteen minutes.
Shall I come in and speak to you, at that time?"

"Perhaps you'd better," replied Enoch.

Abbott opened the door into the outer room.  "Gentlemen, the Secretary
will receive you," he said.  "Mr. Secretary, allow me to present Mr.
Reeves, Mr. Carleton, Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Dunkel, Mr. Street, Mr.
Swiftwater and Mr. Manges."

The men filing into the room bowed and mumbled.  Enoch looked after
Abbott's retreating back admiringly.  "I've been hearing Abbott do that
sort of thing for two years, but it never fails to rouse my
admiration," he said.

"A wonderful memory!" commented one of the visitors.

"Abbott is going into politics later," Enoch went on.  "A memory such
as his will carry him far."

"Not as far as a silver tongue," suggested another man, with a twinkle
in his eye.

"That remains to be seen," smiled Enoch.  He had a very pleasant smile,
showing even, white teeth.  "Well, gentlemen, what can I do for you?"

"Mr. Secretary," said the spokesman of the delegation, "as you know, we
represent the business men of the State of Idaho.  There is a very
bitter controversy going on in our State over your recent ruling on the
matter of Water Power Control.  We believe your ruling works an
injustice on the business men of our state and as nothing came of
correspondence, we thought we'd come along East and have a talk with
you."

"I'm glad you did," said Enoch.  "You see, my work is of such a nature
that unless you people on the firing line keep in touch with me, I may
go astray on the practical, human side.  You are all States' Rights
men, of course."

The delegation nodded.

"My ideas on Water Power are simple enough," said Enoch.  "The time is
approaching when oil, gas, and coal will not supply the power needed in
America.  We shall have to turn more and more to electricity produced
by water power.  There is enough water in the streams of this country
to turn every wheel in every district.  But it must be harnessed, and
after it is harnessed it must be sold to the people at a just price.
What I want to do is to produce all the available water power latent in
our waterways.  Then I want the poorest people in America to have
access to it.  There is enough power at a price possible even to the
poorest."

"We all agree with you so far, Mr. Secretary," said the chair-man of
the delegation.

"I thought you would!"  Enoch's beautiful voice had a curious dignity
for all its geniality.  "Now my policy aims to embody the idea that the
men who develop the water power of America shall not develop for
themselves and their associates a water power monopoly."

"We fear that as much as you do, Mr. Secretary," said one of the
delegates.  "But let the state control that.  We fear too much
bureaucracy and centralization of authority here in Washington.  And
don't forget, if it came to a scratch, we could say to Uncle Sam, you
own the stream, but you shan't use a street or a town facility reaching
it."

Enoch raised his eyebrows.  "Uncle Sam doesn't want more power.  If the
states had not been so careless and so corrupt in regard to their
public lands and their waters, there would be no need now for the
Department of the Interior to assert its authority.  Show me, Mr.
Delegate, that there are neither politics nor monopolistic dreams in
Idaho's attitude toward her Water Power problem and I'd begin to
de-centralize our policy toward your state."

Abbott opened the door and tip-toed to Enoch's desk.  "I'm sorry, Mr.
Secretary," he said softly, "but Senator Far has been waiting five
minutes."

"I'm sorry too," replied Enoch.  "Gentlemen, we have used up the time
allotted.  Will you make arrangements with Mr. Abbott for a longer
conference, to-morrow?  Come back with the proofs!"  He smiled, and the
gentlemen from Idaho smiled in return, but a little ruefully.  The last
one had not turned his back when Enoch began an attack on the pile of
letters.

A ruddy-faced, much wrinkled man appeared in the door.

"Senator Far, Mr. Secretary," announced Abbott.  Enoch rose and held
out his hand.  "Senator, you look warm.  Oh, Abbott, tell Jonas to turn
on the fan.  What can I do for Arkansas, Senator?"

Jonas came in hurriedly.  "Mr. Secretary, that fan's laid down on me.
How come it to do it, I haven't found out yet.  I tried to borrow one
from a friend of mine, but--"

"Never mind, Jonas," said Enoch.  "I don't expect you to be an
electrician.  Perhaps the power's still off in the building.  I noticed
there were no lights when I came in."

Jonas' eyes grew as big as saucers.  "It sure takes brains to be a
Secretary," he muttered, as he turned to hurry from the room.

The two men grinned at each other.  "What I wanted was an appointment
for a friend of mine," said Senator Far.  "He's done a lot for the
party and I want to get him into the Reclamation Service."

"He's an engineer?" asked Enoch, lighting the cigar the Senator gave
him.

"I don't think so.  He's been playing politics ever since I knew him.
He has a good following in the state."

"Why the Reclamation Service then!  By the eternal, Senator, can't you
fellows leave one department clear of the spoils system?  I'm here to
tell you, I'm proud of the Service.  It's made up of men with brains.
They get their jobs on pure ability.  And you fellows--"

"Oh, all right, Mr. Huntingdon!" interrupted Senator Far, rising, "I'm
always glad to know where you stand!  Good morning!"

He hurried from the room and Enoch sighed, looked out the window, then
read a half dozen letters before Abbott announced the next caller, a
man who wanted his pension increased and who had managed to reach the
Secretary through a letter from the president of a great college.  Then
followed at five and ten minute intervals a man from Kansas who had
ideas on the allotment of Indian lands; a Senator who wanted light on a
bill the Secretary wished introduced; a man from Alaska who objected to
the government's attitude on Alaskan coal mines; the chairman of a
State Central Committee who wanted three appointments, and a well known
engineer who had a grievance against the Patent Office.  Followed
these, an hour's conference with the Attorney General regarding the New
Pension Bill, and at noon a conference with the head of the Reclamation
Service on the matter of a new dam.

When this conference was over, Enoch once more attacked the
correspondence pile which, during the morning, having been constantly
fed by the indefatigable Abbott, was now of overwhelming proportions.
It was nearly two o'clock when Jonas, having popped his head in and out
of the door a half dozen times, evidently waiting for the Boss to look
up, entered the room with a tray.

"Luncheon is served, sir," he said.

"Put it right here, Jonas."  Enoch did not raise his head.

Jonas set the tray firmly on the conference table.  "No, sir, Mr.
Secretary, I ain't goin' to sit it there.  You're going to git up and
come over here and keep your mind on your food.  How come you think you
got iron insides?"

Enoch sighed.  "All right, Jonas, I'm coming."  He rose, stretched and
moved over to the table.  The man ceremoniously pulled out a chair for
him, then lifted the towel from the tray and hung it over his arm.  On
the tray were a bottle of milk, a banana and some shredded wheat
biscuit, with two cigars.

"Any time you want me to change your lunch, Mr. Secretary, you say so,"
said Jonas.

Enoch laughed.  "Jonas, old man, how long have I been eating this
fodder for lunch?"

"Ever since you was Secretary to the Mayor, boss!"

"And how many times do you suppose you've told me you were willing to
change it, Jonas?"

"Every time, boss.  How come you think I like to see a smart man like
you living on baby food?"

Enoch grunted.  "And how many times have I told you the only way for me
to live through the banquets I have to attend is to keep to this sort
of thing when I am alone?"

Jonas did not reply.  Enoch's simple lunches never ceased to trouble
him.

"Where do I go to-night, Jonas?"

"The British Ambassador's, Mr. Secretary."

Enoch finished his lunch rapidly and had just lighted the first of the
cigars when Abbott appeared.

"There's a woman out here from the Sunday Times, Mr. Secretary.  She
wants to interview you on your ideas on marriage.  She has a letter
from Senator Brownlee or I wouldn't have disturbed you.  She looks as
if she could make trouble, if she wanted to."

"Tell her I'm sorry, but that I have no ideas about marriage and that
Jonas is as near a wife as I care to get.  He henpecks me enough, don't
you, Jonas, old man!  Abbott, just remember, once for all, I won't see
the women."

"Very well," replied Abbott.  "Will you dictate a few moments on your
report to the President on the Pension controversy?"

"Yes!"  Enoch pulled a handful of notes out of his pocket and began to
dictate clearly and rapidly.  For ten minutes his voice rose steadily
above the raucous uproar that floated in at the window.  Then the
telephone rang.  Abbott answered it.

"The White House, Mr. Secretary," he said.  Enoch picked up the
receiver.  After a few moments' conversation he rose, his face eager.

"Abbott, the Mexican trouble appears to be coming to a crisis and the
President has called a cabinet meeting.  I doubt if I can get back here
until after five.  Will you express my regrets to the Argentine
delegation and make a new appointment?  Is there any one in the
waiting-room?"

"Six people.  I can get rid of them all except Alton of the Bureau of
Mines.  I think you must see him."

"Send him in," said Enoch.  "I'll ask him to ride as far as the White
House with me.  And I'll be back to finish the letters, Abbott.  I dare
not let them accumulate a single day."

Abbott nodded and hurried out.  A tall, bronzed man, wiping the sweat
from his bald head, came in just as Jonas announced, "The carriage, Mr.
Secretary."

"Come along, Alton," said Enoch.  "We'll talk your model coal mine as
we go."

It was six o'clock when Enoch appeared again in his office.  His linen
suit was wrinkled and sweat stained between the shoulders.  He tossed
his hat on a chair.

"Abbott, will you telephone Señor Juan Cadiz and ask him to meet me at
my house at ten thirty to-night?  He is at the Willard.  Tell Jonas to
interrupt us promptly at seven, I mustn't be late to dinner.  Now, for
this mess."

Once more he began the attack on the day's mail, which Abbott had
already reduced to its lowest dimensions.  Enoch worked with a power of
concentration and a quick decisiveness that were ably seconded by
Charley Abbott.  It was a quarter before seven when Enoch picked up the
last letter.  He read it through rapidly, then laid it down slowly, and
stared out of the window for a long moment.  Abbott gave his chief's
face a quick glance, then softly shoved under his hand the pile of
letters that were waiting signature.  The letter that Enoch had just
read was dated at the Grand Canyon.


"Dear Mr. Secretary," it ran, "it is twenty-two years since I took a
red-headed New York boy down Bright Angel trail.  You and I have never
heard from each other since, but, naturally I have followed your career
with interest.  And now I'm going to ask a favor of you.  My daughter
Diana wants a job in the Indian Bureau and she's coming to Washington
to see you.  Don't give her a job!  She doesn't have to work.  I can
take care of her.  I'm an old man and selfish and I don't like to be
deprived of my daughter for my few remaining years.

"With heart-felt congratulations on your great career,

"I am yours most respectfully,

"FRANK ALLEN."


Enoch drew a deep breath and took up his fountain pen.  He signed with
a rapid, illegible scrawl that toward the end of the pile became a mere
hieroglyphic.  Jonas put his black face in at the door just as he
finished the last.

"Coming, Jonas!" said the Secretary.  "By the way, Abbott, I'll answer
that letter from Frank Allen the first thing in the morning.  Good
night, old man!  Rather a lighter day than yesterday, eh?"

"Yes, indeed, Mr. Secretary!" agreed Abbott, as Enoch picked up his hat
and went hastily out the door Jonas held open for him.

It was seven twenty when Enoch reached home.  His house was small, with
a lawn about the size of a saucer in front, and a back yard entirely
monopolized by a tiny magnolia tree.  Enoch rented the house furnished
and it was full of the home atmosphere created by the former diplomat's
wife from whom he leased it.  Jonas was his steward and his valet.
While other servants came and went, Jonas was there forever.  He
followed Enoch upstairs and turned on the bath water, then hurried to
lay out evening clothes.  During the entire process of dressing the two
men did not exchange a word but Jonas heaved a sigh of satisfaction
when at ten minutes before eight he opened the hall door.  Enoch
smiled, patted him on the shoulders and ran down the stairs.

A dinner at the British Ambassador's was always exceedingly formal as
to food and service, exceedingly informal as to conversation.  Enoch
took in a woman novelist, a woman a little past middle age who was very
small and very famous.

"Well," she said, as she pulled off her gloves, "I've been wanting to
meet you for a long time."

"I'm not difficult to meet," returned Enoch, with a smile.

"As to that I've had no personal experience but three; several friends
of mine have been trampled upon by your secretary.  They all were
women, of course."

"Why, of course?" demanded Enoch.

"One of the qualities that is said to make you so attractive to my sex
is that you are a woman hater.  Now just why do you hate us?"

"I don't hate women." Enoch spoke with simple sincerity.  "I'm afraid
of them."

"Why?"

"I don't think I really know.  Do you like men?"

"Yes, I do," replied Mrs. Rotherick promptly.

"Why?" asked Enoch.

"They aren't such cats as women," she chuckled.  "Perhaps cat fear is
your trouble!  What are you going to do about Mexico, Mr. Huntingdon?"

Enoch smiled.  "I told the President at great length, this afternoon,
what I thought we ought to do.  He gave no evidence, however, that he
was going to take my advice, or any one else's for that matter."

"Of course, I'm not trying to pick your confidence.  Mr. Secretary!"
Mrs. Rotherick spoke quickly.  "You know, I've lived for years in
Germany.  I say to you, beware of Germany in Mexico, Mr. Huntingdon."

"What kind of people did you know in Germany?" asked Enoch.

"Many kinds!  But my most intimate friend was an American woman who was
married to a German General, high in the confidence of the Kaiser.  I
know the Kaiserin well.  I know that certain German diplomats are
deeply versed in Mexican lore--its geography, its geology, its people.
I know that Germany must have more land or burst.  Mr. Secretary,
remember what I say, Germany is deeply interested in Mexico and she is
the cleverest nation in the world to-day."

"What nation is that, Mrs. Rotherick?" asked the Ambassador.

"Germany!" replied the little woman.

"Possibly you look at Germany through the eyes of a fiction writer,"
suggested the Englishman.

"It's impossible to fictionize Germany," laughed Mrs. Rotherick.  "One
could much more easily write a rhapsody on--"

"On the Secretary of the Interior," interrupted the Ambassador.

"Or on the Bank of England," laughed Mrs. Rotherick.  "Very well,
gentlemen!  I hope you never will have cause to remember my warning!"

It was just as the ladies were leaving the table that Enoch said to
Mrs. Rotherick: "Will you be so kind as to write me a letter telling me
of your suspicions of Germany in Mexico?  I shall treat it as
confidential."

Mrs. Rotherick nodded, and he did not see her again that evening.  Just
before Enoch departed for his engagement with Señor Cadiz, the
Ambassador buttonholed him.

"Look here, Huntingdon," he said, "that little Mrs. Rotherick knows a
thing or two.  She's better informed on international relations than
many chaps in the diplomatic service.  If I were you I'd pump her."

"Thanks, Mr. Johns-Eaton," replied Enoch.  "Look here, just how much of
a row are you fellows going to make about those mines in the Alaskan
border country?  Why shouldn't Canada take that trouble on?"

"Just how much trouble are you going to make about the seal
misunderstanding?" demanded Johns-Eaton.

"Well," replied Enoch, with a wide smile, "I have a new gelding I'd
like to try out, to-morrow morning.  If you'll join me at seven-thirty
on that rack of bones you call a bay mare, I'll tell you all I know."

"You will, like thunder!" laughed Johns-Eaton.  "But I'll be there and
jolly well give you the opportunity!"

Señor Juan Cadiz was prompt and so was Enoch.  For a long hour the two
sat in the breathless heat of the July night while the Mexican answered
Enoch's terse questions with a flow of dramatic speech, accentuated by
wild gestures.  Shortly after eleven-thirty Jonas appeared in the
doorway with two tinkling glasses.

"You are sure as to your facts about this bandit leader?" asked Enoch
in a low voice.

"Of an absolute sureness.  If I--"

The Secretary interrupted.  "Could you go to Mexico for me, in entire
secrecy?"

"Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  If you could but see him and he you!  If he could
but know an American of your type, your fairness, your kindness, your
justice!  We have been taught to despise and hate Americans, you must
know."

"Who has taught you?"

"Sometimes, I think partly by the Germans who have come among the
people.  But why should Germany do so?"

"Why indeed?" returned Enoch, and the two men stared at each other,
deep intelligence in the gaze of each.  Jonas tinkled the glasses again
and Señor Cadiz jumped to his feet.

"I know, Señor Jonas!" he laughed.  "That is the good night cap, eh!"

Jonas grinned acquiescence, and five minutes later he turned off the
lights in the library.  Enoch climbed the stairs, somewhat wearily.
His room was stifling despite the wide-flung windows and the electric
fan.  He slowly and thoughtfully got himself into his pajamas, lighted
a cigarette, and walked over to the table that stood in the bay window.
He unlocked the table drawer and took out a large blank book of loose
leafed variety, opened it, and seating himself he picked up his pen and
began to write.


"July 17.--Rather an easier day than usual, Lucy, which was fortunate,
for the heat has been almost unbearable and at the end of the office
day came that which stirred old memories almost intolerably.  A letter
from Frank Allen!  You remember him, Lucy?  I told you about him, when
I first began my diary.  Well, he has written that his daughter, Diana,
is coming to Washington to ask me for a job which he does not wish me
to give her.  I cannot see her!  Only you know the pain that such a
meeting could give me!  It would be like going to Bright Angel again.
And while the thought of going back to the Grand Canyon has intrigued
me for twenty-two years, I must go in my own way and in my own time.
And I am not ready yet.  I had forgotten, by the way, that Frank had a
daughter.  There was, now that I think of it, a little thing of five or
six who went down Bright Angel with us.  I have only the vaguest
recollection of what she looked like.

"Minetta Lane and the Grand Canyon!  What a hideous, what a grotesque
coupling of names!  I have never seen the one of them since I was
fourteen and the other but once, yet these two have absolutely made my
life.  Don't scold me, Lucy!  I know you have begged me never to
mention Minetta Lane again.  But to you, I must.  Do you know what I
thought to-night after I left the British Ambassador?  I thought that
I'd like to be in Luigi's second floor again, with a deck of cards and
the old gang.  The old gang!  They've all except Luigi been in
Sing-Sing or dead, these many years.  Yet the desire was so strong that
only the thought of you and your dear, faithful eyes kept me from
charging like a wild elephant into a Pullman office and getting a berth
to New York."


Enoch dropped his pen and stared long at the only picture in his room,
a beautiful Moran painting of Bright Angel trail.  Finally, he rose and
turned off the light.  When Jonas listened at the door at half after
midnight, the sound of Enoch's steady, regular breathing sent that
faithful soul complacently to bed.



CHAPTER IV

DIANA ALLEN


"If only someone had taught me ethics as Christ taught them, while I
was still a little boy, I would be a finer citizen, now."--_Enoch's
Diary_.


It rained the next day and the Secretary of the Interior and the
British Ambassador did not attempt the proposed ride.  Enoch did his
usual half hour's work with the punching bag and reached his office
punctual to the minute, with his wonted air of lack of haste and
general physical fitness.  Before he even glanced at his morning's
mail, he dictated a letter to Frank Allen.


"Dear Frank: Your letter roused a host of memories.  Some day I shall
come to Bright Angel again and you and I will camp once more in the
bottom of the Canyon.  Whatever success I have had in after life is due
to you and John Seaton.  I wonder if you know that he has been dead for
twenty years and that his devoted wife survived him only by a year?

"I will do my best to carry out your request in regard to your daughter.

"Cordially and gratefully yours,

"ENOCH HUNTINGDON."


After he had finished dictating this, the Secretary stared out of the
window thoughtfully.  Then he said, "Let me have that at once, Mr.
Abbott.  Who is waiting this morning?"

"Mr. Reeves of Idaho.  I made an appointment yesterday for the
delegation to meet you at nine-fifteen.  Reeves has turned up alone.
He says the committee decided it would get further if you saw him
alone."

"Reeves was the short, stout man with small eyes set close together!"

"Yes, Mr. Secretary."

Enoch grunted.  "Any one else there you want to tell me about before
the procession begins?"

"Do you recall the man Armstrong who was here six months ago with ideas
on the functions of the Bureau of Education?  I didn't let him see you,
but I sent you a memorandum of the matter.  He is back to-day and I've
promised him ten minutes.  I think he's the kind of a man you want in
the Bureau.  He doesn't want a job, by the way."

"I'll see him," said Enoch.  "It you can, let us have fifteen minutes."

Abbott sighed.  "It's impossible, Mr. Secretary.  I'll bring Reeves in
now."

The delegate from Idaho shook hands effusively.

"The rain is a great relief, Mr. Secretary."

"Yes, it is.  Washington is difficult to endure, in the summer, isn't
it?  Well, did you bring in the proofs, Mr. Reeves?"   Enoch seated
himself and his caller sank into the neighboring chair.

"Mr. Secretary," he began, with a smile, "has it ever occurred to you
that we have been stupid in the number and kind of Bureaus we have
accumulated in Department of the Interior?"

"Yes," replied Enoch.  "I suppose you are thinking of Patents,
Pensions, Parks, Geological Survey, Land, Indians and Education.  Do
you know that beside these we have, American Antiquities, the
Superintendent of Capitol Buildings, the Government Hospital for the
Insane, Freedman's Hospital, Howard University, and the Columbia
Institution for the Deaf and Dumb?"

Reeves laughed.

"No, I didn't.  But it only goes to prove what I say.  It's impossible
for the Secretary of the Interior to find time to understand local
conditions.  Why not let the states manage the water and land problems?"

"It would be illegal," replied Enoch briefly.

"Oh, illegal!  You're too good a lawyer, Mr. Secretary, to let that
thought hamper your acts!"

"On the contrary," returned Enoch, succinctly, "I was a poor lawyer.
In some ways of course it is impossible for me to understand local
conditions in Idaho.  I am told, though, that your present state
administration is corrupt as Tammany understands corruption."

Reeves cleared his throat and would have spoken, but Enoch pushed on.

"I have found, as the head of this complex Department that I must limit
myself as much as possible to formulating simple, basic policies and
putting these policies into the hands of men who will carry them out.
In general, my most important work is to administer the public domain.
That is, I must discover how best the natural resources that the
Federal Government still controls can be put into public service and
public service that is the highest and best.  I believe that the water,
the land, the mines, ought to be given to the use of the average
citizen.  I do not think that a corrupt politician nor a favor-seeking
business man has the best good of the plain citizen at heart."

"That is very interesting from the dreamer's point of view," said
Reeves.  "But a government to be successful must be practical.  Who's
going to develop the water power in our Idaho streams?"

"The people of Idaho, if they show a desire to make a fair interest on
their investment.  The government of the United States, if the people
of Idaho fail to show the proper spirit."

"And who is to be the judge in the matter?" demanded Reeves.

"The Secretary of the Interior will be the judge.  And he is not one
whit interested in you and your friends growing wealthy.  He is
interested in Bill Jones getting electricity up on that lonely ranch of
his.  Never forget, Mr. Reeves, that the ultimate foundations of this
nation rest on the wise distribution of its natural resources.  The
average citizen, Mr. Reeves, must have reason to view the future with
hope.  If he does not, the nation cannot endure."

"And why do you consider yourself competent to deal with these
problems?" asked the caller, with a half-concealed sneer.

"Any man with education and horse sense can handle them, provided that
his philosophy is sound.  You have come to Washington with the idea,
Mr. Reeves, of getting at me, of tempting me with some sort of share in
the wealth you see in your streams.  Other men have come to the Capitol
with the same purpose.  I have my temptations, Mr. Reeves, but they do
not lie in the desire to graft.  I think there are jobs more
interesting in life than the job of getting rich.  All the grafting in
the world couldn't touch in interest the job of directing America's
inland destiny.  And I have a foolish notion that a man owes his
country public service, that he owes it for no reward beyond a living
and for no other reason than that he is a man with a brain."

Reeves, whose face had grown redder and redder, half rose from his
chair.

"One moment," said Enoch.  "Have you a sound, fair, policy for Idaho
water power, that will help Bill Jones in the same proportion that it
helps you?"

"I had no policy.  I came down here to get yours.  I've got it all
right, and I'm going back and tell my folks they'd better give up any
idea of water power during the present administration."

"I wouldn't tell them that," said Enoch, "because it wouldn't be true.
I am considering a most interesting proposition from Idaho farmers.  I
thought perhaps you had something better."

Reeves jumped to his feet.  "I'll not be made a monkey of any longer!"
he shouted.  "But I'll get you for this yet," and he rushed from the
office.

Enoch shrugged his shoulders as he turned to the inevitable pile of
letters.  Abbott came in with a broad smile.

"Mr. Secretary, Miss Diana Allen is in the outer office."

Enoch scowled.  "Have I got to see her?"

"Well, she's mighty easy to look at, Mr. Secretary!  And more than
that, she announces that if you're engaged, she'll wait, a day, a week,
or a month."

Enoch groaned.  "Show her in, Abbott, and be ready to show her out in
five minutes."

Abbott showed her in.  She entered the room slowly, a tall woman in a
brown silk suit.  Everything about her it seemed to Enoch at first was
brown, except her eyes.  Even her skin was a rich, even cream tint.
But her eyes were hazel, the largest, frankest, most intelligent eyes
Enoch ever had seen in a woman's head.  And with the eyes went an
expression of extraordinary sweetness, a sweetness to which every
feature contributed, the rather short, straight nose, the full,
sensitive lips, with deep, upturned corners, the round chin.

True beauty in a woman is something far deeper, far less tangible than
mere perfection of feature.  One grows unutterably weary of the Venus
de Milo type of face, with its expressionless perfection.  And yet, so
careless is nature that not twice in a lifetime does one see a woman's
face in which are combined fineness of intelligence and of character,
and beauty of feature.  But Diana was the thrice fortunate possessor of
this combination.  She was so lovely that one's heart ached while it
exulted in looking at her.  For it seemed a tragic thing that beauty so
deep and so rare should embody itself in a form so ephemeral as the
human body.

She was very slender.  She was very erect.  Her small head with the
masses of light brown hair shining beneath the simple hat, was held
proudly.  Yet there was a matchless simplicity and lack of
self-consciousness about Diana that impressed even the careless
observer: if there was a careless observer of Diana!

Enoch stood beside his desk in his usual dignified calm.  His keen eyes
swept Diana from head to foot.

"You are kind to see me so quickly, Mr. Secretary," said Diana, holding
out her hand.

Enoch smiled, but only slightly.  It seemed to Diana that she never had
seen so young a man with so stern a face.

"You must have arrived on the same train with your father's note, Miss
Allen.  Is this your first trip east?"

"Yes, Mr. Huntingdon," replied Diana, sinking into the chair opposite
Enoch's.  "If he had had his way, bless his heart, I wouldn't have had
even a first trip.  Isn't it strange that he should have such an
antipathy to New York and Washington!"

The Secretary looked at the girl thoughtfully.  "As I recall your
father, he usually had a good reason for whatever he felt or did.
You're planning to stay in Washington, are you, Miss Allen?"

"If I can get work in the Indian Bureau!" replied Diana.

"Why the Indian Bureau?" asked Enoch.

"I'm a photographer of Indians," answered Diana simply.  "I've been
engaged for years in trying to make a lasting pictorial record of the
Indians and their ways.  I've reached the limit of what I can do
without access to records and books and I can't afford a year of study
in Washington unless I work.  That's why I want work in the Indian
Bureau.  Killing two birds with one stone, Mr. Secretary."

Enoch did not shift his thoughtful gaze from the sweet face opposite
his for a long moment after she had ceased to speak.  Then he pressed
the desk button and Abbott appeared.  He glanced at his chief, then his
eyes fastened themselves on Diana's profile.

"Mr. Abbott, will you ask the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to come
in?  I believe he is with the Assistant Secretary this morning."

Charley nodded and disappeared.

"I brought a little portfolio of some of my prints," Diana spoke
hesitatingly.  "I left them in the other room.  Mr. Abbott thought you
might like to see them, but perhaps--you seem so very busy and I think
there must be at least a thousand people waiting to see you!"

"There always are," said Enoch, without a smile as he pressed another
button.  Jonas' black head appeared.  "Bring in the portfolio Miss
Allen left in the other room, please, Jonas!"

"Yes, Mr. Secretary," replied Jonas, withdrawing his eyes slowly from
Diana's eager face.

The portfolio and the Indian Commissioner arrived together.  After the
introduction had been made, Enoch said:

"Watkins, do you know anything about Indians?"

"Very little, Mr. Secretary," with a smile.

"Would you be interested in looking at some photographs of Indian life?"

"Made by this young lady?" asked Watkins, looking with unconcealed
interest at Diana.

"Yes," said Enoch.

"And shown and explained by her?" asked the Indian Commissioner, a
twinkle in his brown eyes.

Diana laughed, and so did Abbott.  Enoch's even white teeth flashed for
a moment.

"I wish I had time to join you," he said.  "What I want to suggest, Mr.
Watkins, is that you see if Miss Allen will qualify to take care of
some of the research work you received an appropriation for the other
day.  You were speaking to Abbott, I think, of the difficulty of
finding people with authentic knowledge of the Indians."

The Indian Commissioner nodded and tucked Diana's portfolio under his
arm.  "Come along, Miss Allen!"

Diana rose.  "If we don't leave now, I have an idea we will be asked to
do so," she said, the corners of her mouth deepening suddenly.  "What
happens if one doesn't leave when requested?"

"One is cast in a dungeon, deep under the Capitol building," replied
Enoch, holding out his hand.

Diana laughed.  "Thank you for seeing me and helping me, Mr.
Huntingdon," she said, and a moment later Jonas closed the door behind
her and the Commissioner.

"How come that young lady to stay so long, Mr. Abbott?" Jonas asked
Charley in a low voice, as he helped the young man bring in a huge pile
of Reclamation reports.

"Did you get a good look at her, Jonas?" demanded Abbott in the same
tone.

"Yes," replied Jonas.

"Then why ask foolish questions?"

"The boss don't like 'em, no matter what they look like."

"Every man has his breaking point, Jonas," smiled Charley.

Enoch turned from the window where he had been standing for a moment in
unprecedented idleness.

"I think you'd better let me have ten or fifteen minutes on that report
to the President, Abbott."

"I will, Mr. Secretary.  By the way, here is the data you asked me to
get for your speech at the Willard to-night."

Enoch nodded, pocketed the notes and began to dictate.  The day went on
as usual, but it seemed to Jonas, when he helped the Secretary to dress
for dinner that night that he was unusually weary.

"How come you to be so tired to-night, boss?" he asked finally.

"I don't know, old man!  Jonas, how long since I've had a vacation?"

"Seven years, boss."

"Sometimes I think I need one, Jonas."

"Need one!  Boss, they work you to death!  They all say so.  Your own
work's enough to kill three men.  And now they do say the President is
calling on you for all the hard jobs he don't dare trust nobody else to
do.  How come he don't do 'em hisself?"

"Oh, I'm not doing more than my share, Jonas!  But you and I'll have to
have a vacation one of these days, sure.  Maybe we'll go to Japan.
I'll be home early, if I can make it, Jonas."

Jonas nodded, and looked out the window.  "Carriage's here, sir," and
Enoch ran quickly down the stairs.  It was only eleven o'clock when he
reached home.  The rain had ceased at sundown and the night was humid
and depressing.  When Enoch was once more in his pajamas, he unlocked
the desk drawer and, taking out the journal, he turned to the first
page and began to read with absorbed interest.


"May 12.--This is my eighteenth birthday.  I've had a long ride on the
top of the bus, thinking about Mr. Seaton.  He was a fine chap.  He
gave me a long lecture once on women.  He said a guy must have a few
clean, straight women friends to keep normal.  Of course he was right,
but I couldn't tell him or anybody else how it is with me.  He said
that if you can share your worries with your friends they're finished.
And he was right again.  But they're some things a guy can't share.  I
did it once, back there in the Canyon, and I'll always be glad I did.
But I was just a kid then.  The hunch that pulled me up straight then
wouldn't work now.  They never did prove she was not my mother.  They
never found out a thing about me, except what Luigi and the neighbors
had to tell.  She was my mother, all right.  And I don't feel as if I
ever can believe in any of them.  I don't want to.  All I want of women
is for them to let me alone and I'll let them alone.  But a few weeks
ago I had a fine idea--to invent a girl of my own!  I got the idea in
English Literature class, from a poem of Wordsworth's.

  "Three years she grew in sun and shower;
  Then nature said, A lovelier flower
  On earth was never sown;
  This child I to myself will take,
  She shall be mine and I will make
  A lady of my own."

"I've invented her and I'm going to keep a journal to her and I'll tell
her all the things I'd tell my mother, if she'd been decent, and to my
sweetheart, if I could believe in them.  I don't know just how old she
is.  Somewhere in her twenties, I guess.  She's tall and slim and she
has a creamy kind of skin.  Her hair is light brown, almost gold.  It's
very thick.  She has it in braids wound all round her head.  Her eyes
are hazel and she has a sweet mouth and she is very beautiful.  And she
is good, and tender, and she understands everything about me.  She
knows just how bad I've been and the fight I'm putting up to keep
straight.  And every night before I go to bed, I'll tell her what my
day has been.  I'll begin to-night by telling her about myself.

"I don't know where I was born, Lucy, or who my father was.  My mother
was the mistress of an Italian called Luigi Giuseppi.  She died a
rotten death, leaving me at six to Luigi.  He treated me badly but he
needed me in his gambling business, and he kept me by telling me how
bad my mother was and threatening to tell other people.  From the time
I was eight till I was fourteen, I don't suppose a day passed without
his telling me of the rot I had inherited from my mother.  I began
gambling for him when I was about ten.

"When I was fourteen I was arrested in a gambling raid and paroled in
the care of John Seaton, a lawyer.  He took me to the Grand Canyon.  He
and Frank Allen, a guide, suggested to me the idea that Luigi's
mistress was not my mother.  Such an idea never had occurred to me
before.  They first gave it to me in the bottom of the Canyon.

"I can't put into writing what that suggestion, coupled with my first
view of the Canyon meant to me.  But it was as if I had met God face to
face and He had taken pity on a dirty little street mucker and He had
lifted me in His great hands and had told me to try to be good and He
would help me.  I never had believed in God before.  And I came back
from that trip resolved to put up a fight.

"Mr. Seaton began the search for my folks right off, but he didn't find
anything before he died, which was only a year later.  But I made him a
solemn promise I'd go through college and study law and I'm going to do
it.  He was not a rich man but he left me enough money to see me
through college.  In one more year I'll finish the High School.  I
still play cards once in a while in a joint on Sixth Avenue.  I know
it's wrong and I'm trying hard to quit.  But sometimes I just can't
help it, especially when I'm worried.

"Luigi will be in the pen another seven years.  When he comes out I am
going to beat him up till he tells me about my mother and father.
Though perhaps he's been telling the truth!"


"May 13.--Lucy, I made a speech in third year rhetoric to-day and the
teacher kept me after class.  He said he'd been watching me for some
time and he wanted to tell me he thought I'd make a great orator, some
day.  He's going to give me special training out of school hours, for
nothing.  I'm darned lucky.  If a guy's going into politics, oratory's
the biggest help.  But to be famous as a speaker isn't why I'm going
into politics.  I'm going to clean Minetta Lane up.  I'm going to try
to fix it in New York so's a fellow couldn't have a mother and a
stepfather like mine.  You know what I mean, don't you?  Darn it, a kid
suffers so!  You know that joint on Sixth Avenue where I go and play
cards once in a while?  Well, it was raided to-day.  I wonder what Mr.
Seaton would have said if he'd been alive and I'd been there and got
pinched again!

"I'm going to throw no bluffs with you, Lucy.  Gambling's in my blood.
Luigi used to say I came by my skill straight.  And I get the same kind
of craving for it that a dope fiend does for dope.  I don't care to
tell anybody about it, or they'd send me to an insane asylum.  When I
first came from the Canyon and moved out of Minetta Lane, I swore I'd
never put foot in it again until I went in to clean it up.  And I
haven't and I won't.  But for the first year my nails were bitten to
the quick.  If my mother--but what's the use of that!  Mr. Seaton said
every man has to have a woman to whom he opens up the deep within him.
I have you and you know you've promised to help me."


"June 1.--Lucy, I've got a job tutoring for the summer.  The rhetoric
teacher got it for me.  It's the son of an Episcopal vicar.  He is a
boy of twelve and they want him taught English and declamation.  Lord!
If they knew all about me!  But the kid is safe in my hands.  I know
how kids of twelve feel.  At least, the Minetta Lane variety.  So I'll
be at the sea shore all summer.  Going some, for Minetta Lane, eh?

"Lucy, I made fifty dollars last night at poker from a Senior in the
Student's Club.  This morning I made him take it back."


Enoch closed the book and leaned back in his chair as Jonas appeared at
the door with a pitcher of ice water.

"How come you don't try to get a little rest, boss?" asked Jonas,
glancing disapprovingly at the black book.

"I am resting, old man!  Don't bother your good old head about me, but
tumble off to sleep yourself!"

"I don't never sleep before you do.  I ain't for thirteen years, and I
don't calculate to begin now."  Jonas turned the bed covers back and
marched out of the room.

Enoch smiled and, opening the book again, he turned the pages slowly
till another entry struck his eye.


"February 6.--If I could only see you, touch you, cling to your tender
hand to-night, Lucy!  You know that I was chosen to represent Columbia
in the dedication of the Lincoln statue.  It was to have taken place
next Wednesday.  But the British Ambassador, who was to be the chief
Mogul there, was called home to England for some reason or other and
they shoved the dedication forward to to-day, so as to catch him before
he sailed.  And some of the speakers weren't prepared, so it came about
that I, an unknown Columbia senior, had to give the chief speech of the
day.  Not that anybody, let alone myself, realized that it was going to
be the chief speech.  It just turned out that way.  Lucy dear, they
went crazy over it!  And all the papers to-night gave it in full.  It
was only a thousand words.  Why in the name of all the fiends in Hades
do you suppose nothing relieves me in moments of great mental stress
but gambling?  You notice, don't you, that I talk to you of Minetta
Lane only when something tremendous, either good or bad, has happened
to me?  Other men with the same weakness, you say, turn to drink.  I
suppose so, poor devils.  Oh, Lucy, I wish I were in the Grand Canyon
to-night!  I wish you and I were together in Frank's camp at the foot
of Bright Angel.  It is sunset and the Canyon is full of unspeakable
wonder.  Even the thought of it rests me and makes me strong. . . .
Those stars mean that I've torn into a million pieces a hundred-dollar
bill I won in Sixth Avenue to-night."


Enoch turned many pages and then paused.


"March 28.--There is a chance, Lucy, that I may be appointed secretary
to the reform Mayor of New York.  I would be very glad to give up the
practice of law.  Beyond my gift for pleading and a retentive memory, I
have no real talents for a successful legal career.  You look at me
with those thoughtful, tender gray eyes of yours.  Ah, Lucy, you are so
much wiser than I, wise with the brooding, mystical wisdom of the
Canyon in the starlight.  You have intimated to me several times that
law was not my end.  You are right, as usual.  Law has its face forever
turned backward.  It is searching always for precedent rather than
justice.  A man who is going into politics should be ever facing the
future.  He should use the past only in helping him to avoid mistakes
in going forward.  And, perhaps I am wrong.  I am willing to admit that
my unfortunate boyhood may have made me over inclined to brood, but it
seems to me very difficult to stick to the law, make money, and be
morally honest, in the best sense.  If I clear Bill Jones, who is, as I
know, ethically as guilty as Satan, though legally within his rights,
can I face you as a man who is steel true and blade straight?  I hope I
get that appointment!  I was tired to-night, Lucy, but this little talk
with you has rested me, as usual."


"March 29.--I have the appointment, Lucy.  This is the beginning of my
political career--the beginning of the end of Minetta Lane.  You have a
heavy task before you, dear, to keep me, eyes to the goal, running the
race like a thoroughbred.  Some day, Lucy, we'll go back to the Canyon,
chins up, work done, gentlemen unafraid!"


Enoch turned more pages, covering a year or so of the diary.


"March 30.--I've been in the City Hall two years today.  Lucy, the only
chance on earth I'll ever have to clean out the rookeries of New York
would be to be a Tammany Police Commissioner.  And Tammany would
certainly send its best gunman after a Police Commissioner who didn't
dote on rookeries.  Lucy, can't city governments be clean?  Is human
nature normally and habitually corrupt when it comes to governing a
city?  The Mayor and all his appointees are simply wading through the
vast quagmire of the common citizen's indifference, fought every step
by the vile creatures who batten on the administration of the city's
affairs.  Do you suppose that if the schools laid tremendous stress on
clean citizenship and began in the kindergarten to teach children how
to govern in the most practical way, it would help?  I believe it
would.  I'm going to tuck that thought in the back of my head and some
day I may have opportunity to use it.  I wish I could do something for
the poor boys of New York.  I wish the Grand Canyon were over in
Jersey!"


"Sept. 4.--I am unfit to speak to you, but oh, I need you as I never
did before.  Don't turn those kind, clear-seeing eyes away from me,
Lucy!  Lucy!  It happened this way.  I wanted, if possible to make our
Police Commissioner see Minetta Lane through my eyes.  And I took him
down there, three days ago.  It's unchanged, in all these years, except
for the worse.  And Luigi was dragging a sack of rags into his
basement.  He was gray and bent but it was Luigi.  And he recognized me
and yelled 'Bastard!' after me.  Lucy, I went back and beat him, till
the Commissioner hauled me off.  And the dirty, spluttering little
devil roared my story to all that greedy, listening crowd!  I slipped
away, Lucy, and I hid myself in a place I know in Chinatown.  No!  No!
I don't drink and I don't hit the pipe.  I _gamble_.  My luck is
unbelievable.  And when the fit is on me, I'd gamble my very soul away.
Jonas found me.  Jonas is a colored porter in the City Hall who has
rather adopted me.  And Jonas said, 'Boss, how come you to do a stunt
like this?  The Police Commissioner say to the Mayor and I hear 'em, an
Italian black hander take you for somebody else and he have him run in.
I tell 'em you gone down to Atlantic City.  You come home with me,
Boss.'  He put his kind black hand on my shoulder, and Lucy, his eyes
were full of tears.  I left my winnings with the Chinaman, and came
back here with Jonas.  Lucy!  Oh, if I could really hear your voice!"


"Sept. 5.--I had a long talk with the Police Commissioner to-day.  I
can trust him the way I used to trust Mr. Seaton, Lucy.  I told him the
truth about Luigi and me and he promised to do what he could to ferret
out the truth about my people.  If I could only know that my father was
half-way decent, no matter what my mother was, it would make an
enormous difference to me."


Enoch turned another year of pages.


"Oct. 12.--Lucy, the Police Commissioner says he has to believe that
Luigi's mistress was my mother.  He advises me to close that part of my
life for good and all and give myself to politics.  Easy advice!  But I
am going to play the game straight in spite of Minetta Lane."


Enoch paused long over this entry, then turned on again.


"Nov. 6.--Well, my dear, shake hands with Congressman Huntingdon.  Yes,
ma'am!  It's true!  Aren't you proud of me?  And, Lucy, listen!  Don't
have any illusions on how I got there.  It wasn't brains.  It wasn't
that the people wanted me to put over any particular idea or ideal for
them.  I simply so intrigued them with flights of oratory that they
decided I was a natural born congressman!  Well, bless 'em for doing
it, anyhow, and I'll play the game for them.  If I ever had had a
father I'd like to talk politics with him.  He must have had some
decency in him, or I'd have been all bad, like my mother.  Or maybe I'm
a throw-back from two degenerate parents.  Well, we'll end the breed
with me.

"Lucy, it would have been romantic if I could have cleaned out Minetta
Lane and other New York rookeries.  But it would have been about like
satisfying one's self with washing a boy's face when his body was a
mass of running sores.  We've got to cure the sores and in order to do
that we've got to find the cause.  No one thing is going to prove a
panacea.  I wonder if it's possible to teach children so thoroughly
that each one owes a certain amount of altruistic, clean service to his
local and his federal government that an honest, responsible citizenry
would result?"


Enoch drank of the ice water and continued to turn the close-written
pages.


"April 12.--I don't boast much about my career as a Congressman.  I've
been straight and I've gabbed a good deal.  That about sums up my
history.  If I go back as Police Commissioner, I shall feel much more
useful.

"Lucy, love is a very important thing in a man's life.  Sometimes, I
think that the less he has of it, the more important it becomes.  I had
thought that as I grew older my career would more and more fill my
life, that youth and passion were synonymous and that with maturity
would come calm and surcease.  This is not the truth.  The older I grow
the more difficult it becomes for me to feel that work can fully
satisfy a man.  Nor will merely caring for a woman be sufficient.  A
man must care for a woman whom he knows to be fine, who can meet his
mental needs, or love becomes merely physical and never satisfies him.
Well, I must not whimper.  I have talent and tremendous opportunities,
many friends and splendid health.  And I have you.  And each year you
become a more intrinsic part of my life.  How patient you have been
with me all these years!  I've been wondering, lately, if you haven't
rather a marked sense of humor.  It seems to me that nothing else could
make you so patient, so tender and so keen!  I'm sure I'm an object of
mirth to Jonas at times, so I must be to you.  All right!  Laugh away!
I laugh at myself!

"Lucy, it has been over eighteen months since I touched a card."


Jonas put his head in at the door, but Enoch turned on to the middle of
the book.


"Dec. 1.--They won't let me keep it up long, Lucy, but Lord, Lord,
hasn't the going been good, my dear, while it lasted!  I've twisted
Tammany's tail till its head's dropped off!  I've 'got long poles and
poked out the nests and blocked up the holes.  I shall consult with the
carpenters and builders and leave in our town not even a trace of the
rats.'  I've routed out hereditary grafters and looters.  I've run down
wealthy gunmen and I've turned men's fame to a notoriety that carried a
stench.  But they'll get me, Lucy!  They'll either kill me or send me
back to Congress."


Enoch turned more pages.


"Nov. 1.--Congress again, eh, Lucy?  And you care for Washington as
little as I!  Dear, this has been a hard day.  I've been saying good-by
to the force!  By the eternal, but they are men!  And now all that
wonderful machine, built up, really, by the men themselves, must fall
apart!  What a waste of human energy!  Yet, I've come to the conclusion
that the man who devotes himself to public service loses much of his
usefulness if he allows himself to grow pessimistic about human nature.
If there were not more good than bad in the world, we'd still be
monkeys!  I have ceased to search for some great single ideal for which
I can fight.  Whatever abilities I have in me I shall devote to helping
to administer government cleanly.  After all, we gave New York a great
object lesson in the possibilities of cleaning out Tammany's pest
house.  Perhaps somebody's great-grandchild, inspired by the history of
my attempt will try again and be successful for a longer period.  And
oh, woman!  It was a gorgeous fight!

"Jonas is delighted that we are returning to Washington.  He says we
are to keep house.  I am a great responsibility to Jonas.  He is very
firm with me, but I think he's as fond of me as I am of him.

"Lucy, how am I to go on, year after year like this, with only my dream
of you?  How am I to do my work like a man, with only half a man's life
to live?  What can all the admiring plaudits mean to me when I know
that you are only a dream, only a dream?"


Enoch sat forward in his chair, laid the book on the desk, opened to
the last entry and seized his pen.


"So your name is not Lucy, but Diana!  Oh, my dearest, and you did not
recognize me at all, while my very heart was paralyzed with emotion!
You must have been a very lovely little girl that the memory of you
should have been so impressed on my subconsciousness.  Oh, how
beautiful you are!  How beautiful!  And to think that I must never let
you know what you are to me.  Never!  Never!  The strain stops with me."

He dropped his pen abruptly and, turning off the light, flung himself
down on his bed.  Jonas, listening long at the door, waited for the
full, even breathing that would mark the end of his day's work.  But it
did not come, and dawn struggling through the hall window found Jonas
sitting on the floor beside the half-opened door, his black head
drooping on his breast, but his eyes open.

Enoch reached his office on the stroke of nine, as usual.  His face was
a little haggard and set but he came in briskly and spoke cheerfully to
Charley Abbott.

"A little hotter than ever, eh, Abbott?  I think you're looking
dragged, my boy.  When are you going to take your vacation?"

"In the fall, after you have had yours, Mr. Secretary."  The two men
grinned at each other.

"Did the Indian Commissioner find work for Miss Allen?" asked Enoch
abruptly.

"Oh, yes!  And she was as surprised and pleased as a child."

"How do you know that?" demanded the Secretary.

Charley looked a little confused.  "I took her out to lunch, Mr.
Huntingdon.  Jove, she's the most beautiful woman I ever saw!"

"Well, let's finish off that report to the President, Mr. Abbott.  That
must go to him to-morrow, regardless of whom or what I have to neglect
to-day."

Abbott opened his note book.  But the dictation hardly had begun when
the telephone rang and Enoch was summoned to the White House.  It was
noon when he left the President.  Washington lay as if scorching under
a burning glass.  The dusty leaves drooped on the trees.  Even the
carefully cherished White House lawn seemed to have forgotten the
recent rains.  Enoch dismissed his carriage and crossed slowly to
Pennsylvania Avenue.  It had occurred to him suddenly that it had been
many weeks since he had taken the noon hour outside of his office.  He
had found that luncheon engagements broke seriously into his day's
work.  He strolled slowly along the avenue, watching the sweltering
noon crowds unseeingly, entirely unconscious of the fact that many
people turned to look at him.  He paused before a Johnstown Lunch sign,
wondering whimsically what Jonas would say if it were reported that the
boss had eaten here.  And as he paused, the incessantly swinging door
emitted Miss Diana Allen.

Enoch's pause became a full stop.  "How do you do, Miss Allen?" he said.

Diana flushed a little.  "How do you do, Mr. Secretary!  Were you
looking for a cheap lunch?"

"Jonas provides the cheapest lunch known to Washington," said Enoch.
"I was looking for some one to walk up Pennsylvania Avenue with me."

"You seem to be well provided with company."  Diana glanced at the knot
of people who were eagerly watching the encounter.

Enoch did not follow her glance.  His eyes were fastened on Diana's
lovely curving lips.  "And I want to hear about the work in the Indian
Bureau."

Diana fell into step with him.  "I think the work is going to be
interesting.  Mr. Watkins is more than kind about my pictures.  I'm to
send home for the best of my collection and he is going to give an
exhibition of them."

"Is he giving you a decent salary?" asked Enoch.

"Ample for all my needs," replied Diana.

"Do your needs stop with the Johnstown Lunch?" demanded Enoch.

"Well," replied Diana, "if you'd lived on the trail as much as I have,
you'd not complain of the Johnstown Lunch.  I've made worse coffee
myself, and I've seen more flies, too."

Enoch chuckled.  "What does Watkins call your job?"

"I'm a special investigator for the Indian Bureau."

Enoch chuckled again.  "Right!  And that title Watkins counts as worth
at least five dollars a week.  The remainder is the equivalent of a
stenographer's salary.  I know him!"

"He is quite all right," said Diana quickly.  "It must be extremely
difficult to manage a budget.  No matter how large they are, they're
always too small.  To administer the affairs of a dying race with
inadequate funds--"

Diana hesitated.

"And in entire ignorance of the race itself," added Enoch quietly.  "I
know!  But I had to choose between a rattling good administrator and a
rattling good ethnologist."

Diana nodded slowly.  "Your choice was inevitable, I suppose.  And Mr.
Watkins seems very efficient."

"Well, and where does your princely salary permit you to live?" Enoch
concluded.

"On New Jersey Avenue, in a brown stone front with pansies in front and
cats in the rear, an old Confederate soldier in the basement and rats
in the attic.  As for odors and furniture, any kind whatever, provided
one is not too particular."

"My word! how you are going to miss the Canyon!" exclaimed Enoch.

Diana nodded.  "Yes, but after all one's avocation is the most
important thing in life."'

"Is it?" asked Enoch.  "I've tried to make myself believe that, but so
far I've failed."

"You mean," Diana spoke quickly, "that I ought to have stayed with my
father?"

"No, I don't!" returned Enoch, quite as quickly.  "At least, I mean
that I know nothing whatever about that.  I would say as a general
principle, though, that parents who have adequate means, are selfish to
hang on the necks of their grown children."

"Father misses mother so," murmured Diana, with apparent irrelevance.

Enoch said nothing.  They were opposite the Post Office now and Diana
paused.  "I must go to the Post Office!  Good-by, Mr. Secretary."

"Good-by, Miss Allen," said Enoch, taking off his hat and holding out
his hand.  "Let me know if there is anything further I can do for you!"

"Oh, I'm quite all right and shall not bother you again, thank you,"
replied Diana cheerfully.

Enoch was very warm when he reached his office.  Jonas and the bottle
of milk were awaiting him.  "How come you to be so hot, boss?" demanded
Jonas.

"I walked back.  It was very foolish," replied Enoch meekly.

"I don't dare to let you out o' my sight," said Jonas severely.

"I think I do need watching," sighed Enoch, beginning his belated
luncheon.

That night the Secretary wrote to Diana's father.


"My dear Frank: Diana came and I found a job for her in the Indian
office.  I feel like a dog to have broken my word with you, but her
work is very interesting and very important, and I feel that she ought
to have her few months of study in Washington.  She is very beautiful,
Frank, and very fine.  You must try to forgive me.  Faithfully yours,

"ENOCH HUNTINGDON."



CHAPTER V

A PHOTOGRAPHER OF INDIANS

"When I tutored boys I wondered most at their selfishness and their
generosity.  They had so much of both!  And I believe that as men they
lose none of either."--_Enoch's Diary_.


Enoch knew what it was to fight himself.  Perhaps he knew more about
such lonely, unlovely battles than any man of his acquaintance.  The
average man is usually too vain and too spiritually lazy to fight his
inner devils to the death.  But Enoch had fought so terribly that it
seemed to him that he could surely win this new struggle.  Nothing
should induce him to break his vow of celibacy.  He cursed himself for
a weak fool in not obeying Frank Allen's request.  Then he gathered
together all his resources, to protect Diana from himself.

A week or so went by, during which Enoch made no attempt to see Diana
or to hear from her.  The office routine ground on and on.  The Mexican
cloud thickened.  Alaska developed a threatening attitude over her coal
fields.  The farmers of Idaho suddenly withdrew their proposals
regarding water power.  Calmly and with clear vision, Enoch met each
day's problems.  But the lines about his mouth deepened.

One day, early in August, Charley Abbott came to the Secretary's desk.
"Miss Diana Allen would like to see you for a few moments, Mr.
Secretary."

Enoch did not look up.  "Ask her to excuse me, Mr. Abbott, I am very
busy."

Charley hesitated for an instant, then went quickly out.

"Luncheon is served, boss," said Jonas, shortly after.

"Is Abbott gone?" asked Enoch.

"Yes, sir!  He's took that Miss Allen to lunch, I guess.  He's sure
gone on that young lady.  How come everybody thinks she's so beautiful,
boss?"

"Because she is beautiful, Jonas, very, very beautiful."

The faithful steward looked keenly at the Secretary.  He had not missed
the appearance of a line in the face that was the whole world to him.

"Boss," he said, "don't you ever think you ought to marry?"

Enoch looked up into Jonas' face.  "A man with my particular history
had best leave women alone, Jonas."

Jonas' mouth twitched.  "They ain't the woman ever born fit to darn
your socks, boss."

Enoch smiled and finished his lunch in silence.  He would have given a
month of his life to know what errand had brought Diana to his office.
But Charley Abbott, returning at two o'clock with the complacent look
of a man who has lunched with a beautiful girl, showed no intention of
mentioning the girl's name.  And Enoch went on with his conferences.
But it was many days before he opened the black book again.

Diana's exhibition must have been of unusual quality, for jaded and
cynical Washington learned of its existence, spoke of it and went to
see it.  It seemed to Enoch that every one he met took special delight
in mentioning it to him.

Even Jonas, one night, as he brought in the bed-time pitcher of ice
water, said, "Boss, I saw Miss Allen's pictures this evening.  They
sure are queersome.  That must be hotter'n Washington out there.  How
come you ain't been, Boss?"

"How do you know I haven't seen them, Jonas?" asked Enoch quickly.

"Don't I know every place you go, boss?  Didn't you tell me that was my
job, years ago?  How come you think I'd forget?"  Jonas was eyeing the
Secretary warily.  "Mr. Abbott, he's got a bad case on that Miss Allen.
He's give me at least a dollar's worth of ten cent cigars lately so's
I'll stand and smoke and let him talk to me about her."

Enoch grunted.

"He says she--" Jonas rambled on.

Enoch looked up quickly.  "I don't want to hear it, Jonas."  Jonas drew
himself up stiffly.  The Secretary laid his own broad palm over the
black hand that still held the handle of the water pitcher.  "Spare me
that, old friend," he said.

Jonas put his free hand on Enoch's shoulder.  "Are you sure you're
right, boss?" he asked huskily.

"I know I'm right, Jonas."

"Well, I don't see it your way, boss, but what's right for you is right
for me.  Good night, sir," and shaking his head, Jonas slowly left the
room.

But Enoch was destined to see the pictures after all.  One day, after
Cabinet meeting, the President, in his friendly way, clapped Enoch on
the shoulder.

"First time in a great many years, Huntingdon, that the Indian Bureau
has distinguished itself for anything but trouble!  I saw Miss Allen's
pictures last night.  My word!  What a sense of heat and peace and,
yes, by jove, passion! those photographs tell.  The Bureau ought to own
those pictures, old man.  Especially the huge enlargement of Bright
Angel trail and the Navaho hunters.  Eh?"

"Well, to tell the truth, Mr. President," said Enoch slowly, "I haven't
seen the pictures."

"Not seen them!  Why some one said you discovered Miss Allen!"

"In a way I did, but I don't deserve any credit for that."

"Not if he saw her first!" exclaimed the Secretary of State, who had
loitered behind the others.

The President nodded.  "She is very lovely.  I saw her at a distance,
and I want to meet her.  Now, Mr. Huntingdon, it's very painful for me
to have to chide you for dereliction in office.  But a man who will
neglect those pictures for the--well, the coal fields of Alaska, should
be dealt with severely."

"Hear!  Hear!" cried the Secretary of State.

The President laughed.  "And so I must ask you, Mr. Huntingdon, to
bring Miss Allen to see me, after you have gone carefully over the
pictures.  Jokes aside, you know my keen interest in Indian ethnology?"
Enoch nodded, and the President went on.  "If this girl has the brains
and breadth of vision I'm sure she must have to produce a series of
photographs like those, I want to know her and do what I can to push
her work.  So neglect Mexico and Alaska for a little while, tomorrow,
will you, Huntingdon?"

Enoch's laughter was a little grim, but with a quick leap of his heart,
he answered.  "A man can but obey the Commander in Chief, I suppose!"

As the door swung to behind him, the President said to the Secretary of
State, "Huntingdon is working too hard, I'm afraid.  Does he ever play?"

"Horseback riding and golf.  But he's a woman hater.  At least, if not
a hater, an avoider!"

"I like him," said the President.  "I want him to play."

That evening Enoch went to see the pictures.  There were perhaps a
hundred of them, telling the story of the religion of the Navahos.
Only one whom the Indians loved and trusted could have procured such
intimate, such dramatic photographs.  They were as unlike the usual
posed portraits of Indian life as is a stage shower unlike an actual
thunder storm.  There was indeed a subtle passion and poignancy about
the pictures that it seemed to Enoch as well as to the President, only
a fine mind could have found and captured.  He had made the rounds of
the little room twice, threading his way abstractedly through the
crowd, before he came upon Diana.  She was in white, standing before
one of the pictures, answering questions that were being put to her by
a couple of reporters.  She bowed to Enoch and he bowed in return, then
stood so obviously waiting for the reporters to finish that they
actually withdrew.

Enoch came up and held out his hand.  "These are very fine, Miss Allen."

"I thought you were not coming to see them," said Diana.  "It makes me
very happy to have you here!"

"Does it?" asked Enoch quickly.  "Why?"

"Because--" here Diana hesitated and looked from Enoch's stern lips to
his blue eyes.

"Yes, go on, do!" urged Enoch.  "For heaven's, sake, treat me as if I
were a human being and not--"

It was his turn to hesitate.

"Not the Washington Monument?" suggested Diana.

Enoch laughed.  "Am I as bad as that?" he asked.

Diana nodded.  "Very nearly!  Nevertheless, for some reason I don't
understand, I've had the feeling that you would like the pictures and
get what I was driving at, better than any one."

"Thank you," said Enoch slowly.  "I do like them.  So much so that I
wish that I might own them, instead of the Indian Bureau.  The
President, to-day, told me the Indian Bureau ought to buy them.  And
also, he asked me to bring you to see him to-morrow."

A sudden flush made roses in Diana's beautifully modeled cheeks.

"Did he!  Mr. Huntingdon, how am I ever going to thank you?"

"I deserve no thanks at all.  It was entirely the President's own idea.
In fact, I had not intended to come to your exhibition."

"No?  Why not?  Do you dislike me so much as that?  And, after all, Mr.
Secretary, if the pictures are interesting, the fact that a woman took
them should not prejudice you against them."

"Abbott's been giving me a bad reputation, I see," said Enoch.  "I'll
have to get Jonas to tell you what a really gentle and affectionate and
er--mild, person I am.  I've a notion to reduce Abbott's salary."

"Charley Abbott is a dear, and he's a devoted admirer of yours," Diana
exclaimed.

"And of yours," rejoined Enoch.

"He's very discerning," said Diana, her eyes twinkling and the corners
of her mouth deepening.  "But you shall not evade me this way, Mr.
Huntingdon.  Why didn't you want to see my pictures?"

"I didn't say that I didn't want to see them.  Women are always
inaccurate, or at least, so I have heard."

"I would say that Mr. Abbott had a great deal more data on the general
subject of women than you, Mr. Secretary.  You really ought to get him
to check you up!  Please, why didn't you intend to come to my
exhibition?"

"I have been swamped with extra work of late," answered Enoch.

"Yes?"  Diana's eyebrows rose and her intelligent great eyes were
fastened on Enoch's with an expression so discerning and so
sympathetic, that he bit his lip and turned from her to the Navaho, who
prayed in the burning desert before him.  The reporters, who had been
hovering in the offing, closed in on Diana immediately.  When she was
free once more, Enoch turned back and held out his hand.

"Good night, Miss Allen.  If you don't mind coming over to my office at
twelve to-morrow, I can take you to the White House then."

"I shall not mind!--too much!  Good night, Mr. Secretary," replied
Diana, with the deepening of the corners of her mouth that Enoch now
recalled had belonged to the little girl Diana.

Enoch made an entry in the black book that night.

"I wonder, Diana, how much Frank has told you of me and my unhappy
history.  I wonder how you would feel if a man whose mother was a
harlot who died of an unspeakable disease were to ask you to marry him.
Oh, my dear, don't be troubled!  I shall never, never, ask you.  Your
pictures moved me more than I dared try to express to you.  It was as
if you had carried me in a breath to the Canyon and once more I beheld
the wonder, the kindliness, the calm, the inevitableness of God's ways.
I'm going to try, Diana, to make a friend of you.  I believe that I
have the strength.  What I am very sure of is that I have not the
strength to know that you are in Washington and never see you."

The clock struck twelve the next day, when Abbott came to the
Secretary's desk.  Enoch was deep in a conference with the Attorney
General.

"Miss Allen is here," he said softly.

"Give me five minutes!" exclaimed the Attorney General.

"I'm sorry."  Enoch rose from his desk.  "I'm very sorry, old fellow,
but this is an appointment with the President.  Can you come about
three, if that suits Abbott's schedule?"

"Not till to-morrow, I'm afraid," said the Attorney General.

Enoch nodded.  "It's just as well.  I think I'll have some private
advices from Mexico by then that may somewhat change our angle of
attack.  All right, Jonas!  I'm coming.  Ask Miss Allen to meet me at
the carriage."

But he overtook Diana in the elevator.  She wore the brown silk suit,
and Enoch thought she looked a little flushed and a little more lovely
than usual.

"I'm a marked person, Mr. Secretary," she said, with a twinkle in her
eyes.  "You'd scarcely believe how many total strangers have asked me
to introduce them to you, since you walked up Pennsylvania Avenue with
me."

"I'm glad you have an appreciative mind," returned Enoch.  "I hope that
you are circumspect also, and won't impose on me because of my
condescension."

"I'll try not to," Diana answered meekly, as Enoch followed her into
the carriage.

They smiled at each other, and Enoch went on, "Of course, I've been
feeling rather proud of the opportunity to display myself before
Washington with you.  I've been called indifferent to women.  I'm
hoping now that the gossips will say, 'Aha!  Huntingdon's a deep one!
No wonder he's been indifferent to the average woman!'"

Diana eyed him calmly.  "That doesn't sound at all like Washington
Monument," she murmured.

"More like Charley Abbott, I suppose!" retorted Enoch.

"No," answered Diana thoughtfully, "hardly like Mr. Abbott's method.  I
would say that he belonged to a different school from you."

"Yes?  What school does Abbott represent?"

"Well, he has a dash, an ease, that shows long and varied experience.
Charley Abbott is a finished ladies' man.  It almost discourages me
when I contemplate the serried ranks of women that must have
contributed to his perfect finesse."

"Discourages you?" queried Enoch.

Diana did not answer.  "But," she went on, "while Charley is a graduate
of the school of experience and you--"

She paused.

"Yes, and I--," pressed Enoch.

"I won't impose on your condescension by telling you," said Diana.

"Pshaw!" muttered the Secretary of the Interior.

Suddenly Diana laughed.  Enoch, after a moment, laughed with her, and
they entered the White House grounds still chuckling.

The President did not keep them waiting.  "I may not be able to order
my wife and daughter about," he said, as he shook hands with Enoch,
"but I certainly have my official family well under control.  Did you
see the pictures, Huntingdon?"

"I saw and was conquered, Mr. President," replied Enoch.

"What would you say, Miss Allen, if I tell you that I had to force this
fellow into going to see your wonderful pictures?" the President asked.

"It wouldn't surprise me," replied Diana, in an enigmatical voice that
made both men smile.

"I see you understand our Secretary of the Interior," the President
said complacently.  "Sit down, children, and Miss Allen, talk to me.
How long did it take you to make that collection of photographs?"

"I began that particular collection ten years ago.  Those pictures have
been sifted out of nearly two thousand prints."

"Did you take any other pictures during that period?" asked the
President.

"Oh, yes!  I was, I think, fourteen or fifteen when I first determined
to give my life to Indian photography.  I didn't at that time think of
making a living out of it.  I had a dream of making a photographic
history of the spiritual life of some of the South-western tribes.  It
didn't occur to me that anything but a museum or possibly a library
would care for such a collection.  But to my surprise there was a ready
market for really good prints of Indians and Indian subjects.  So while
I have kept always at work on my ultimate idea, I've made and sold
many, many pictures of Indians on all sorts of themes."

Enoch looked from Diana's half eager, half abashed eyes, to the
President's keen, hawk-like face, then back to Diana.

"What gave you the idea to begin with?" asked the President.

Diana looked thoughtfully out of the window.  Both men watched her with
interest.  Enoch's rough hewn face, with its unalterably somber
expression, was set in an almost painful concentration.  The
President's eyes were cool, yet eager.

"It is hard for me to put into words just what first led me into the
work," said Diana slowly.  "I was born in a log house on the rim of the
Grand Canyon.  My father was a canyon guide."

"Yes, Frank Allen, an old Yale man.  I know him."

"Do you remember him?" cried Diana.  "He'll be so delighted!  He took
you down Bright Angel years ago."

"Of course I remember him.  Give him my regards when you write to him.
And go on with your story."

"My mother was a California woman, a very good geologist.  My nurse was
a Navajo woman.  Somehow, by the time I was into my teens, I was
conscious of the great loss to the world in the disappearance of the
spiritual side of Indian life.  I knew the Canyon well by then and I
knew the Indians well and the beauty of their ceremonies was even then
more or less merged in my mind with the beauty of the Canyon.  Their
mysticism was the Canyon's mysticism.  I tried to write it and I
couldn't, and I tried to paint it, and I couldn't.  And then one day my
mother said to me, 'Diana, nobody can interpret Indian or Canyon
philosophy.  Take your camera and let the naked truth tell the story!'"

Diana paused.  "I'm not clever at talking.  I'm afraid I've given you
no real idea of my purpose."

"One gets your purpose very clearly, when one recalls your Death and
the Navajo, for instance, eh, Huntingdon?"

"Yes, Mr. President!"

"I suppose the two leading Indian ethnologists are Arkwind and Sherman,
of the Smithsonian, are they not, Miss Allen?" asked the President.

"Oh, without doubt!  And they have been very kind to me."

The President nodded.  "They both tell me that your work is of
extraordinary value.  They tell me that you have actually photographed
ceremonies so secret, so mystical, that they themselves had only heard
vaguely of their existence.  And not only, they say, have you
photographed them, but you have produced works of art, pictures
'pregnant with celestial fire.'"

Diana's cheeks were a deep crimson.  "Oh, I deserve so little credit,
after all!" she exclaimed.  "I was born in the midst of these things.
And the Indians love me for my old nurse's sake!  But human nature is
weak and what you tell me makes me very happy, sir."

The men glanced at each other and smiled.

"Suppose, Miss Allen," said the President, "that you had the means to
outfit an expedition.  How long would it take you to complete the
entire collection you have in mind?"

Diana's eyes widened.  "Why, I could do nothing at all with an
expedition!  I simply wander about canyon and desert, sometimes with
old nurse Na-che, sometimes alone.  The Indians have always known me.
I'm as much a part of their lives as their own daughters.  I--I believe
much of their inner hidden religion and so--oh, Mr. President, an
expedition would be absurd, for me!"

"Well, then, without an expedition?" insisted the President.

Diana sighed.  "You see, I'm not able to give all my time to the work.
Mother died five years ago, and father is lonely and, while he thinks
his little income is enough for both of us, it's enough only if I stay
at home and play about the desert with my camera, cheaply as I do, and
keep the house.  It does not permit me to leave home.  It seems to me,
that working as I have in the past, it would take me at least ten years
more to complete my work."

"The patience of the artist!  It always astounds me!" exclaimed the
President.  "Miss Allen, I am not a rich man, but I have some wealthy
friends.  I have one friend in particular, a self-made man, of enormous
wealth.  The interest he and I have in common is American history in
all its aspects.  It seems to me that you are doing a truly important
work.  I want you to let this friend of mine fund you so that you may
give all your time to your photography."

"Oh, Mr. President, I don't need funds!" protested Diana.  "There is no
hurry.  This is my life work.  Let me take a life-time for it, if
necessary."

"That is all very well, Miss Allen, but what if you die, before you
have finished?  No one could complete your work because no one has your
peculiar combination of information and artistic ability.  People like
you, my dear, belong not to themselves, but to the country."

Enoch spoke suddenly.  "Why not arrange the matter with the Indian
Bureau, Mr. President?"

"Why not arrange it with the Circumlocution Office!" exclaimed the
President.  "I'm surprised at you, Huntingdon!  You know what the
budget and red tape of Washington does to a temperament like Miss
Allen's.  On the other hand, here is my friend, who would give her
absolutely free rein and take an intense pride in providing the money."

Diana laughed.  "You speak, sir, as if I needed some vast fund.  It
costs a dollar a day in the desert to keep a horse and another dollar
to keep a man.  Camera plates and clothing--why a hundred dollars a
month would be luxury!  And I don't need help, truly I don't!  The mere
fact of your interest is help enough for me."

"A hundred dollars a month for your expenses," said the President,
making a memorandum in his notebook, "and what is your time worth?"

"My time?  You mean what would I charge somebody for doing this work?
Why, Mr. President, this is not a job!  It's an avocation!  I wouldn't
take money for it.  It's a labor of love."

The chief executive suddenly rose and Diana, rising too, was surprised
at the look that suddenly burned in the hawk-like eyes.

"You are an unusual woman, Miss Allen!  Your angle on life is one
seldom found in Washington."  He took a restless turn up and down the
room, glanced at Enoch, who stood beside the desk, utterly absorbed in
contemplation of Diana's protesting eyes, then said, "This friend of
mine is a disappointed man.  He had believed that in amassing a great
fortune he would find satisfaction.  He has found that money of itself
is dust and ashes and it is too late for him to take up a new work.
Miss Allen, I too am a disappointed man.  I had believed that the
President of a great nation was a full man, a contented man.  I find
myself an automaton, whirled about by the selfish desires of a
politically stupid and indifferent constituency.  One of the few
consolations I find in my high office is that once in a while I come
upon some one who is contributing something permanent to this nation's
real advancement, and I am able to help that person.  Miss Allen, will
you not share your great good fortune with my friend and me?"

"Gladly!" exclaimed Diana quickly.  Then she added, with a little
laugh, "I think I understand now, why you are President of the United
States!"

Enoch and the President joined in the laugh, and Diana was still
smiling when they descended the steps to the waiting carriage.  But the
smile faded with a sudden thought.

"The President mustn't think I will take more than expense money!" she
exclaimed.

Enoch laughed again as he replied, "I don't think that need bother you,
Miss Allen.  I imagine a yearly sum will be placed at your disposal.
You will use what you wish."

Diana shook her head uneasily.  "I don't more than half like the idea.
But the President made it very difficult to refuse."

Enoch nodded.  The carriage stopped before the Willard Hotel.  "Miss
Allen, will you lunch with me?" he asked.

Diana hesitated.  "I'll be late getting back to the office," she said.

"I'll ask Watkins not to dock you," said Enoch soberly.

"Docking my salary," touching Enoch's proffered hand lightly as she
sprang to the curb, "would be almost like taking something from
nothing.  I've never lunched in the Willard, Mr. Secretary."

"The Johnstown lunch still holds sway, I suppose!" said Enoch,
following Diana down the stairs to Peacock Row.

They were a rather remarkable pair together.  At least the occupants of
the Row evidently felt so, for there was a breathless craning of necks
and a hush in conversations as they passed, Diana, with her
heart-searching beauty, Enoch with his great height and his splendid,
rugged head.  The head waiter did not actually embrace Enoch in
welcoming him, but he managed to convey to the dining-room that here
was a personal and private god of his own on whom the public had the
privilege of gazing only through his generosity.  Finally he had them
seated to his satisfaction in the quietest and most conspicuous corner
of the room.

"Now, my dear Mr. Secretary, what may we give you?" he asked, rubbing
his hands together.

Enoch glanced askance at Diana, who shook her head.  "This is entirely
out of my experience, Mr. Secretary," she said.

"Gustav," said Enoch, "it's not yet one o'clock.  We must leave here at
five minutes before two.  Something very simple, Gustav."  He checked
several items on the card and gave it to the head waiter with a smile.

Gustav smiled too.  "Yes, Mr. Secretary!" he exclaimed, and disappeared.

"And that's settled," said Enoch, "and we can forget it.  Miss Allen,
when shall you go back to the Canyon?"

"Why," answered Diana, looking a little startled, "not till I've
finished the work for Mr. Watkins, and that will take six months, at
least."

"I think the President's idea will be that you must get to your own
work, at once.  Some one else can carry on Watkins' researches."

"I ought to do some studying in the Congressional library," protested
Diana.  "Don't you think Washington can endure me a few months longer,
Mr. Secretary?"

"Endure you!"  Enoch's voice broke a little, and he gave Diana a glance
in which he could not quite conceal the anguish.

A sudden silence fell between the two that was broken by the waiter's
appearance with the first course.  Then Diana said, casually:

"My father is going to be very happy when I write him about this.  Do
you remember him at all clearly, Mr. Secretary?"

"Yes," replied Enoch.  Then with a quick, direct look, he asked, "Did
your father, ever give you the details of his experience with me in the
Canyon?"

Diana's voice was low but very steady as she replied, "Yes, Mr.
Secretary.  He told me long ago, when you made your famous Boyhood on
the Rack speech in Congress.  It was the first word he had heard of you
in all the years and he was deeply moved."

"I'm glad he told you," said Enoch.  "I'm glad, because I'd like to ask
you to be my friend, and I would want the sort of friend you would make
to know the worst as well as the best about me."

"If that is the worst of you--" Diana began quickly, then paused.  "As
father told me, it was a story of a boy's suffering and the final
triumph of his mind and his body."

Enoch stared at Diana with astonishment in every line of his face.
Then he sighed.  "He couldn't have told you all," he muttered.

"Yes, he did, all!  And nothing, not even what the President said
to-day, can mean as much to me as your asking me to be your friend."

Enoch continued to stare at the lovely, tender face opposite him.

Diana smiled.  "Don't look so incredulous, Mr. Secretary!  It's not
polite.  You are a very famous person.  I am nobody.  We are lunching
together in a wonderful hotel.  I don't even vaguely surmise the names
of the things we are eating.  Don't look at me doubtingly.  Look
complacent because you can give a lady so much joy."

Enoch laughed with a quick relief that made his cheeks burn.  "And so
you are nobody!  Curious, then, that you should have impressed yourself
on me so deeply even when you were a child!"

It was Diana's turn to laugh.  "Oh, come, Mr. Secretary!  Of course I
don't recall it myself, but Dad has always said that you were bored to
death at having a small girl taking the trail with you."

"Do you remember that your mule slipped on the home trail and that I
saved your life?" demanded Enoch.

Diana shook her head.  "I was too small and there were too many canyon
trips and too many tourists.  I wish--"

She did not finish her sentence, but Enoch said, with a thread of
earnestness in his deep voice that made Diana look at him keenly, "I
wish you did remember!"

There was a moment's silence, then Enoch went on, "Shall you carry on
your work with the Indians alone as you always have done?  I believe I
can quite understand your father's uneasiness."

"Oh, yes!" exclaimed Diana, glad of an opportunity to redirect the
conversation.  "Just as I always have done.  I shall have no trouble
unless I get soft, living at the Johnstown Lunch!  Then I may have to
waste time till I get fit again.  Have you ever lived on the trail,
excepting on your trip to the Grand Canyon, Mr. Secretary?"

"Yes, in Canada and Maine, while I was in college.  I used to tutor
rich boys, and they had glorious summers, lucky kids!  But since
getting into national politics, I've had no time for real play."

"Some day," said Diana, "you ought to get up an outfit and go down the
Colorado from the Green River to the Needles.  That's a real adventure!
Only a few men have done it since the Powell expeditions."

Enoch's eyes brightened.  "I know!  Some day, perhaps I shall, if Jonas
will let me!  How long do you suppose such a trip would take?"

Diana plunged into a description of a recent expedition down the
canyons of the Colorado, and she managed to keep the remainder of the
luncheon conversation on this topic.  But as far as Enoch was
concerned, Diana's effort was merely a conversational detour.  The
luncheon finished and the Gulf of California safely reached, he said as
he handed Diana into the carriage:

"I've never had a friendship with a woman before," he said.  "What do I
do next?"

 Diana sighed, while her lips curled at the corners.
"Well, Mr. Secretary, I think the next move is to think the matter over
for a few days, quietly and alone."

"Do you?" Enoch smiled enigmatically.  "I don't know that it's safe for
me to rely on your experience after all!"  But he said no more.

Enoch spent the evening in his living-room with Señor Juan Cadiz and a
small, lean, brown man in an ill-fitting black suit.  The latter did
not speak English, and Señor Cadiz acted as interpreter.  The stranger
was uneasy and suspicious, until the very last of the evening.  Then,
after a long half hour spent in silent scowling while he stared at
Enoch and listened to the Secretary's replies to Cadiz's eager
questions, he suddenly burst into a passionate torrent of Spanish.  A
look of great relief came to Cadiz's face, as he said to Enoch:

"Now he says he trusts you and will tell you the names of the Americans
who are paying him."

Enoch began to jot down notes.  When Cadiz's translation was finished
Enoch said:

"This in brief, then, is the situation.  A group of Americans own vast
oil fields in Mexico.  They have enormous difficulty policing and
controlling the fields.  The Mexican method of concession making is
exceedingly expensive and uncertain.  They wish the United States to
take Mexico over, either through actual conquest or by mandate.  They
have hired a group of bandits to keep trouble brewing until the United
States is forced by England, Germany, or France, to interfere.  This
group of men is partly German though all dwell in the United States.
Your friend here, and several of his associates, if I personally swear
to take care of them, will give me information under oath whenever I
wish."

"Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  That is the story!" cried Señor Cadiz.  "Oh, Mr.
Secretary, if you could only undo the harm that your cursed American
method of making the public opinion has done, both here and in Mexico.
Why should neighbors hate each other?  Mr. Secretary, tell these
Americans to get out of Mexico and stay out!  We are foolish in many
ways, but we want to learn to govern ourselves.  There will be much
trouble while we learn but for God's sake, Mr. Secretary, force
American money to leave us alone while we struggle in our birth throes!"

Enoch stood up to his great height, tossing the heavy copper-colored
hair off his forehead.  He looked at the two Mexicans earnestly, then
he said, holding out his hand, "Señor Cadiz, I'll help you to the best
of my ability.  I believe in you and in the ultimate ability of your
country to govern itself.  Now will you let me make an appointment for
you with the Secretary of State?  Properly, you know, you should have
gone to him with this."

The Mexican shook his head.  "No!  No!  Please, Mr. Secretary!  We do
not know him well.  He has shown no willingness to understand us.  You!
you are the one we believe in!  We have watched you for years.  We know
that you are honest and disinterested."

"But I shall have to give both the President and the Secretary of State
this information," insisted Enoch.

"That is in your hands," said Señor Cadiz.

"Then," Enoch nodded as Jonas appeared with the inevitable tinkling
glasses, "remain quietly in Washington until you hear from me again."

Jonas held the door open on the departing callers with disapproval in
every line of his face.

"How come that colored trash to be setting in the parlors of the
government, boss?" asked he.

"They are Mexicans, Jonas," replied Enoch.

"Just a new name for niggers, boss," snapped Jonas, following Enoch up
the stairs.  "Don't you trust any colored man that ain't willing to
call hisself black."

Enoch laughed and settled himself to an entry in the journal.

"This was the happiest day of my life, Diana.  We are going to be great
friends, are we not!  And the philosophers tell us that friendship is
the most soul-satisfying of all human relationships.  I have been very
vacillating in my attitude to you, since you came to Washington.  But I
cannot lose the feeling that those wise, wistful eyes of yours have
seen my trouble and understood.  I wonder how soon I can see you again.
I'm rather proud of my behavior to-day, Diana, dearest."



CHAPTER VI

A NEWSPAPER REPORTER


"I wonder if Christ ever cared for a woman.  He may have, for God
wished Him to know and suffer all that men know and suffer, and all
love must have been noble in His eyes."--_Enoch's Diary_.


"Abbott," said Enoch the next day, "do you recall that I have commented
to you several times on the fact that some of the southwestern states
did not back the Geological Survey in its search for oil fields as we
had expected they would?"

"Yes, Mr. Secretary," answered Charley, looking up from his notebook
with keen interest in eye and voice.  "I have wondered just why the
matter bothered you so."

"It has bothered me for several different reasons.  It has, to begin
with, conflicted with my idea of the fundamental purpose of this
office.  What could be a stronger reason for being for the Geological
Survey than to find and show the public the resources of the public
lands?  When the Bureau of Mines reports to me that certain oil fields
are diminishing at an alarming rate, and when any fool knows that a
vital part of our future history is to be written in terms of oil, it
behooves the Secretary of the Interior to look for remedial steps.
Certain sections of our Southwest are saturated with oil and yet,
Abbott, the states resent our locating oil fields.  As far as I know
now, no open hostility has been shown, unless"--Enoch interrupted
himself suddenly,--"do you recall last year that some Indians drove a
Survey group out of Apache Canyon and that young Rice was killed and
all his data lost?"

"Certainly, I recall it.  I knew Rice."

Enoch nodded.  "Do you recall that a number of newspapers took occasion
then to sneer at government attempts to usurp State and commercial
functions?"

"Now you speak of it, I do remember.  The Brown papers were especially
nasty."

"Yes," agreed Enoch.  "Now listen closely, Abbott.  When my suspicions
had been sufficiently roused, I went to the Secretary of State, and he
laughed at me.  Then, the Mexico trouble began to come to a head and I
told the President what I feared.  This was after I'd had that letter
from Juan Cadiz.  Last night, as you know, I had a session with Cadiz
and one of his bandit friends.  Here is what I drew from them."

Enoch reviewed rapidly his conversation of the night before.  Abbott
listened with snapping eyes.

"It looks as if Secretary Fowler would have to stop laughing," he said,
when Enoch had finished.

"Abbott," Enoch's voice was very low, "John Fowler, the Secretary of
State, always will laugh at it."

"Why?" asked Charley.

"I don't know," replied Enoch.

The two men stared at each other for a long moment.  Then Abbott said,
"I've known for a long time that he was jealous of you, politically.
Also he may own Mexican oil stock or he may merely wish to have the
political backing of the Brown newspapers."

"Can you think of any method of persuading him that I am not a
political rival, that I merely want to go to the Senate, when I have
finished here?" asked Enoch earnestly.

Abbott shook his head, "He might be convinced that you want to be a
Senator.  But he's a clever man.  And even a fool knows that you are
America's man on horseback."  Charley's voice rose a little.  "Why,
even in this rotten, cynical city of Washington, they believe in you,
they feel that you are the man of destiny.  Mr. Fowler is just clever
enough to be jealous of you."

A look of sadness came into Enoch's keen gaze.  "I wonder if the game
is worth it, after all," murmured he.  "Abbott, I'd swap it all for--"
he stopped abruptly, looked broodingly out of the window, then said,
"Charley, my boy, why are you going into political life?"

The younger man's eyes deepened and he cleared his throat.  "A few
years ago, if I'd answered that question truthfully, I'd have said for
personal aggrandizement!  But my intimate association with you, Mr.
Huntingdon, has given me a different ideal.  I'm going into politics to
serve this country in the best way I can."

"Thanks, Abbott," said Enoch.  "I've been wanting to say to you for
some time that I thought you had served your apprenticeship as a
secretary.  How would you like an appointment as a special
investigator?"

Charley shook his head.  "As long as you are Secretary of the Interior,
I prefer this job; not only because of my personal feeling for you but
because I can learn more here about the way a clean political game can
be played than I can anywhere else."

"All right, Abbott!  I'm more than grateful and more than satisfied at
having you with me.  See if I can have a conference with first the
Secretary of State and then the President.  Now let me finish this
report before the Attorney General arrives."

Enoch's conference with Secretary Fowler was inconclusive.  The
Secretary of State chose to take a humorous attitude toward what he
termed the Secretary of the Interior's midnight conference with
bandits.  Enoch laughed with him and then departed for his audience
with the chief executive.

The President listened soberly.  When the report was finished, he
scowled.

"What attitude does Mr. Fowler take in this?"

"He thinks I'm making mountains out of mole hills.  It seems to me, Mr.
President, that I must be extremely careful not to encroach on the
domain of the Secretary of State.  My idea is very deliberately to push
the work of the Geological Survey and to follow very carefully any
activities against its work."

"All very well, of course," agreed the President, "but what of the big
game back of it all--what's the means of fighting that?"

"Publicity," replied Enoch briefly.

"Exactly!" exclaimed the President, "There are other newspapers.  Brown
does not own them all.  As fast as evidence is produced, let the story
be told.  By Jove, if this war talk grows much more menacing,
Huntingdon, I think I'll ask you to go across the country and make a
few speeches,--on the Geological Survey!"

"I'm willing!" replied Enoch, with a little sigh.

The President looked at him keenly.  "Huntingdon, we're working you too
hard!  You look tired.  I try not to overload you, but--"

"But you are so overloaded yourself that you have to shift some of the
load," said Enoch, with a smile.  "I'm not seriously tired, Mr.
President."

"I hope not, old man.  By the way, what did you think of Miss Allen
yesterday?"

"I thought her a very interesting young woman," replied Enoch.

"My heavens, man!" exclaimed the chief executive.  "What do you want!
Why, Diana Allen is as rare as--as a great poem.  Look here,
Huntingdon, you make a mistake to cut all women out of your life.  It's
not normal."

"Perhaps not," agreed Enoch briefly.  "I would be very glad," he added,
as if fearing that he had been too abrupt, "I would be very glad to see
more of Miss Allen."

"You ought to make a great effort to do," said the President.  "Keep me
informed on this Mexican matter, please, and take care of yourself, my
boy.  Good-by, Mr. Secretary.  Think seriously of a speaking tour,
won't you?"

"I will," replied Enoch obediently, as he left the room.

The remainder of the day was crowded to the utmost.  It was not until
midnight that Enoch achieved a free moment.  This was when in the
privacy of his own room Jonas had bidden him a final good night.  Enoch
did not open his journal.  Instead he scrawled a letter.


"Dear Miss Allen: After deliberating on the matter a somewhat shorter
time, I'll admit, than you suggested, but still having deliberated on
it, I have decided that friendship is an art that needs attention and
study.  Will you not dine with me to-morrow, or rather, this evening,
at the Ashton, at eight o'clock?  Jonas, who will bring you this, can
bring your answer.  Sincerely yours, Enoch Huntingdon."


He gave the note to Jonas the next morning.  Jonas' black eyes, when he
saw the superscription, nearly started from their sockets: for during
all the years of his service with Enoch, he never had carried a note to
a woman.  It was mid-morning when he tip-toed to the Secretary's desk
and laid a letter on it.  Enoch was in conference at the time with Bill
Timmins, perhaps the foremost newspaper correspondent in America.  He
excused himself for a moment and opened the envelope.


"Dear Mr. Secretary: Thank you, yes.  Sincerely, Diana Allen."


He slipped the letter into his breast pocket and went on with the
interview, his face as somber as ever.  But all that day it seemed to
the watchful Jonas that the Secretary seemed less tired than he had
been for weeks.

There was a little balcony at the Ashton, just big enough for a table
for two, and shielded from the view of the main dining-room by palms.
It was set well out from the second floor, overlooking a quiet park.
Enoch was in the habit of dining here with various men with whom he
wished semi-privacy yet whom he did not care to entertain at his own
home.

Diana was more than charmed by the arrangement.  The corners of her
mouth deepened as if she were also amused, but Enoch, engrossed in
seating her where the light exactly suited him, did not note the
curving lips.  He did not know much about women's dress, but he liked
Diana's soft white gown, and the curious turquoise necklace she wore
interested him.  He asked her about it.

"Na-che gave it to me," she said.  "It was her mother's.  It has no
special significance beyond the fact that the workmanship is very fine
and that the tracery on the silver means joy."

"Joy?  What sort of joy?" asked Enoch.

"Is there more than one sort?" countered Diana, in the bantering voice
that Enoch always fancied was half tender.

"Oh, yes!" replied the Secretary.  "There's joy in work, play, friends.
There are as many kinds of joy as there are kinds of sorrow.  Only
sorrow is so much more persistent than joy!  A sorrow can stay by one
forever.  But joys pass.  They are always short lived."

"Joy in work does not pass, Mr. Secretary," said Diana.

Enoch laid down his spoon.  "Please, Miss Allen, don't Mr. Secretary me
any more."

Diana merely smiled.  "Granted that one has a real friend, I believe
joy in friendship is permanent," she went on.

"I hope you're right," said Enoch quietly.  "We'll see, you and I."

Diana did not reply.  She was, perhaps, a little troubled by Enoch's
calm and persistent declaration of principles.  It is not easy for a
woman even of Diana's poise and simple sincerity to keep in order a
gentleman as distinguished and as courteous and as obviously in earnest
as Enoch.

Finally, "Do you mind talking your own shop, Mr. Huntingdon?" she asked.

"Not at all," replied Enoch eagerly.  "Is there some aspect of my work
that interests you?"

"I imagine that all of it would," said Diana.  "But I was not thinking
of your work as a Cabinet Official.  I was thinking of you as Police
Commissioner of New York."

Enoch looked surprised.

"Father wrote to me the other day," Diana went on, "and asked me to
send him the collection of your speeches.  I bought it at Brentano's
and I don't mind telling you that it pinched the Johnstown lunches a
good bit to do so, but it was worth it, for I read the book before
mailing it."

"You're not hinting that I ought to reimburse you, are you?" demanded
Enoch, with a delighted chuckle.

"Well, no--we'll consider that the luncheon and this dinner square the
Johnstown pinching, perhaps a trifle more.  What I wanted to say was
that it struck me as worth comment that after you ceased being Police
Commissioner, you never again talked of the impoverished boyhood of
America.  And yet you were a very successful Commissioner, were you
not?"

Enoch looked from Diana out over the balcony rail to the fountain that
twinkled in the little park.

"One of the most difficult things in public life," he said slowly, "is
to hew straight to the line one laid out at the beginning."

"I should think," Diana suggested, "that the difficulty would depend on
what the line was.  A man who goes into politics to make himself rich,
for example, might easily stick to his original purpose."

"Exactly!  But money of itself never interested me!"  Here Enoch
stopped with a quick breath.  There flashed across his inward vision
the picture of a boy in Luigi's second story, throwing dice with
passionate intensity.  Enoch took a long sip of water, then went on.
"I wanted to be Police Commissioner of New York because I wanted to
make it impossible for other boys to have a boyhood like mine.  I don't
mean that, quite literally, I thought one man or one generation could
accomplish the feat.  But I did truly think I could make a beginning.
Miss Allen, in spite of the beautiful fights I had, in spite of the
spectacular clean-ups we made, I did nothing for the boys that my
successor did not wipe out with a single stroke of his pen, his first
week in office."

Diana drew a long breath.  "I wonder why," she said.

"I think that lack of imagination, poor memory, personal selfishness,
is the answer.  There is nothing people forget quite so quickly as the
griefs of their own childhood.  There is nothing more difficult for
people to imagine than how things affect a child's mind.  And yet,
nothing is so important in America to-day as the right kind of
education for boys.  It has not been found as yet."

"Have you a theory about it?" asked Diana.

"Yes, I have.  Have you?"

Diana nodded.  "I don't think boys and girls should be educated from
the same angle."

"No?  Why not?"  Enoch's blue eyes were eager.

"Wandering about the desert among the Indians, one has leisure to think
and to observe the workings of life under frank and simple conditions.
It has seemed to me that the boy approaches life from an entirely
different direction from a girl and that our system of education should
recognize that.  Both are primarily guided by sex, their femaleness or
their maleness is always their impelling force.  I'm talking now on the
matter of the spiritual and moral training, not book education."

"Why not include the mental training?  I think you'd be quite right in
doing so."

"Perhaps so," replied Diana.

They were silent for a moment, then Enoch said, with a quiet vehemence,
"Some day they'll dare to defy the creeds and put God into the public
schools.  I don't know about girls, but, Miss Allen, the growing boys
need Him, more than they need a father.  Something to cling to,
something high and noble and permanent while sex with all its thousand
varied impulses flagellates them!  Something to go to with those
exquisite, generous fancies that even the worst boy has and that even
the best boy will not share even with the best mother.  The homes today
don't have God in them.  The churches with their hide-bound creeds
frighten away most men.  Think, Miss Allen, think of the travesty of
our great educational system which ignores the two great facts of the
universe, God and sex."

"You've never put any of this into your public utterances."

"No," replied Enoch, "I've been saving it for you," and he looked at
her with a quiet smile.

Diana could but smile in return.

"And so," said Enoch, "returning to the answer to your original
question, I have found it hard to keep to any sort of fine idealism,
partly because of my own inward struggles and partly because politics
is a vile game anyhow."

"We Americans," Diana lifted her chin and looked into Enoch's eyes very
directly, "feel that at least one politician has played a clean game.
It is a very great privilege for me to know you, Mr. Huntingdon."

"Miss Allen," half whispered Enoch, "if you really knew me, with all my
inward devils and my half-achieved dreams, you would realize that it's
no privilege at all.  Nevertheless, I wish that you did know all about
me.  It would make me feel that the friendship which we are forming
could stand even 'the wreckful siege of battering days'!"

"There was a man who understood friendships!" said Diana quickly.  "He
said in his sonnets all that could be said about it."

"Now don't disappoint me by agreeing with the idiots who try to prove
that Shakespeare wrote the sonnets to a man!" cried Enoch.  "Only a
woman could have brought forth that beauty of song."

Diana rose nobly to do battle.  "What nonsense, Mr. Huntingdon!  As if
a man like Shakespeare--"  She paused as if struck by a sudden thought.
"That's a curious attitude for a notorious woman hater to take, Mr.
Secretary."

Enoch laid down his fork.  "Do you think I'm a woman hater, Miss
Allen?" looking steadily into Diana's eyes.

"I didn't mean to be so personal.  Just like a woman!" sighed Diana.

"But do you think I'm a woman hater?" insisted Enoch.

Diana looked up earnestly.  "Please, Mr. Huntingdon, if our friendship
is to ripen, you must not force it."

Enoch's face grew suddenly white.  There swept over him with bitter
realism a conception of the falseness of the position into which he was
permitting himself to drift.  He answered his own question with an
attempted lightness of tone.

"I can never marry, but I don't hate women."

Diana's chin lifted and Enoch leaned forward quickly.  All the aplomb
won through years of suffering and experience deserted him.  For the
moment he was again the boy in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

"Oh, I am stupid, but let me explain.  I want you to--"

"Please don't!" said Diana coldly.  "I need no warning, Mr. Huntingdon."

"Oh, my dear Miss Allen, you must not be offended!  What can I say?"

"You might ask me if it's not time to go home," suggested Diana,
coolly.  "You mustn't forget that I'm a wage earner."

Enoch bit his lip and turned to sign the check.  Then he followed Diana
to the door.  Here they came upon the Indian Commissioner and his wife,
and all opportunity for explanations was gone for the two invited
themselves to walk along to Diana's rooming place.  Enoch went up the
steps with Diana, however, and asked her tensely:

"Will you lunch with me to-morrow, Miss Allen, that I may explain
myself?"

"Thank you, no.  I shall be very busy to-morrow, Mr. Huntingdon."

"Let me call here in the evening, then."

"I'd rather you wouldn't," answered the girl, coldly.  "Good night, Mr.
Secretary," and she was gone.

Enoch stood as if struck dumb, then he made an excuse to Mr. and Mrs.
Watkins, and started homeward.  The night was stifling.  When Jonas let
him into the house, his collar was limp and his hair lay wet on his
forehead.

"I'm going to New York to-night, Jonas," he said huskily.

"What's happened, boss?" asked Jonas breathlessly, as he followed Enoch
up the stairs.

"Nothing!  I'm going to give myself a day's rest.  Give me something to
travel in," pulling off his coat.

"I'm going with you, boss," not stirring, his black eyes rolling.

"No, I'm going alone, Jonas.  Here, I'll pack my own grip.  You go on
out."  This in a voice that sent Jonas, however reluctantly, into the
hall, where he walked aimlessly up and down, wringing his hands.

"He ain't been as bad as this in years," he muttered.  "I wonder what
she did to him!"

Enoch came out of his room shortly.  "Tell every one I'm in New York,
Jonas," he said, and was gone.

But Enoch did not go to New York.  There was, he found on reaching the
station, no train for an hour.  He checked his suitcase, and the
watching Jonas followed him out into the dark streets.  He knew exactly
whither the boss was heading, and when Enoch had been admitted into a
brick house on a quiet street not a stone's throw from the station,
Jonas entered nimbly through the basement.

He had a short conference with a colored man in the kitchen, then he
went up to the second floor and sat down in a dark corner of the hall
where he could keep an eye on all who entered the rear room.  Well
dressed men came and went from the room all night.  It was nearing six
o'clock in the morning when Jonas stopped a waiter who was carrying in
a tray of coffee.

"How many's there now?" he demanded.

"Only four," replied the waiter.  "That red-headed guy's winning the
shirts off their backs.  I've seen this kind of a game before.  It's
good for another day."

"Are any of 'em drinking?" asked Jonas.

"Nothing but coffee.  Lord, I'm near dead!"

"Let me take that tray in for you.  I want to get word to my boss."

The waiter nodded and, sinking into Jonas' chair, closed his eyes.

Jonas carried the tray into a handsome, smoke filled room, where four
men with intent faces were gathered around a card table.  Enoch, in his
shirt sleeves, was dealing as Jonas set a steaming cup at his elbow.
Perhaps the intensity of the colored man's gaze distracted Enoch's
attention for a moment from the cards.  He looked up and when he met
Jonas' eyes he deliberately laid down the deck, rose, took Jonas by the
arm and led him to the door.

"Don't try this again, Jonas," he said, and he closed the door after
his steward.

Once more Jonas took up his vigil.  He left his chair at nine o'clock
to telephone Charley Abbott that the Secretary had gone to New York,
then he returned to his place.  Noon came, afternoon waned.  As dusk
drew on again, Jonas went once more to the telephone.

"That you, Miss Allen? . . .  This is Jonas. . . .  Yes, ma'am, I'm
well, but the boss is in a dangerous condition. . . .  Yes, ma'am, I
thought you'd feel bad because you see, it's your fault. . . .  No,
ma'am, I can't explain over the telephone, but if you'll come to the
station and meet me at the news-stand on the corner, I'll tell
you. . . .  Miss Allen, for God's sake, just trust me and come along.
Come now, in a cab, and I'll pay for it. . . .  Thank you!  Thank you,
ma'am!  Thank you!"

He banged up the receiver and flew out the basement door.  When he
reached the news-stand, he stood with his hands twitching, talking to
himself for a half hour before Diana appeared.  She walked up to him as
directly as a man would have done.

"What's happened, Jonas?"

"You and the boss must have quarreled last night.  When anything
strikes the boss deep, he wants to gamble.  Of late years he's mostly
fought it off, but once in a while it gets him.  He's been at it since
last night over yonder, and for the first time in years I can't do
anything with him.  And if it gets out, you know, Miss Allen, he's
ruined.  I don't dast to leave him long, that's why I got you to come
here."

Diana's chin lifted.  "Do you mean to tell me that a man of Mr.
Huntingdon's reputation and ability, still stoops to that sort of
thing?"

"Stoop!  What do you mean, stoop?  O Lord, I thought, seeing he sets
the world by you, that you was different from the run of women and
would understand."  Jonas twisted his brown hands together.

"Understand what?" asked Diana, her great eyes fastened on Jonas with
pity and scorn struggling in them.

"Understand what it means to him.  How it's like a conjur that Luigi
wished on him when he was a little boy.  How he's pulled himself away
from it and he didn't have anybody on earth to help him till I come
along.  What do you women folks know about how a strong man like him
fights Satan?  I've seen him walk the floor all night and win, and I've
seen him after he's given in, suffer sorrow and hate of himself like a
man the Almighty's forgot.  That's why he's so good, because he sins
and then suffers for it."

As Jonas' husky voice subsided, a sudden gleam of tears shone in
Diana's eyes.

"I'll send him a note, Jonas, and wait here for the answer.  If that
doesn't bring him, I'll go after him myself."

"The note'll bring him," said Jonas, "and he'll give me thunder for
telling."

"Let me have a pencil and get me some paper from the news-stand."  She
wrote rapidly.


"Dear Mr. Huntingdon:

"I must see you at once on urgent business.  I am in the railway
station.  Could you come to me here?

"DIANA ALLEN."


Jonas all but snatched the note and dashed away.  Enoch was scowling at
the cards before him when Jonas thrust the note into his hand.  Enoch
stared at the address, laid the cards down slowly, and read the note.

"All right, gentlemen," he said quietly.  "I've had my fun!  Good
night!"  He took his hat from Jonas and strode out of the room.  He did
not speak as the two walked rapidly to the station.  Diana was standing
by a cab near the main entrance.

"This is good of you, Mr. Huntingdon," she said gravely, shaking hands.
"Thank you, Jonas!"  She entered the cab and Enoch followed her.

"Let me have your suitcase check, boss."  Jonas held out a black hand
that still shook a little.

"I'll get Miss Allen to drop me at the house, Jonas," said Enoch.

Jonas nodded and heaved a great sigh as the cab started off.

"How did you come to do it?" asked Enoch, looking strangely at Diana.

"I heard you were in New York, Mr. Secretary.  Jonas called me up!"

"Jonas had no business to do so.  I am humiliated beyond words!"

Enoch spoke with a dreary sort of hopelessness.

"I thought we were friends," said Diana calmly.  "It isn't as if we
hadn't known each other and all about each other since childhood.  You
must not say a word against Jonas."

"How could I?  He is my guardian angel," said Enoch.

Diana went on still in the commonplace tone of the tea table.  "I want
to apologize for my fit of temper, Mr. Secretary.  I was very stupid
and I'm thoroughly ashamed of myself.  You may tell me anything you
please!"

"I don't deserve it!" Enoch spoke abruptly.

Diana's voice suddenly deepened and softened.  "Ah, but you do deserve
it, dear Mr. Secretary.  You deserve all that grateful citizens can do
for you, and even then we cannot expect to discharge our full debt to
you.  Here's my house.  Perhaps when you're not too busy, you'll ask me
to dine again with you."

Enoch did not reply.  He stood with bared head while she ran up the
steps.  Then he reentered the cab and was driven home.  But it was not
till two weeks later that Enoch sent a note to Diana, asking her to
take dinner with him.  Even his diary during that period showed no
record of his inward flagellations.  He did not receive an answer until
late in the afternoon.

It had been an exceptionally hectic day.  Enoch had been summoned
before the Senate Committee on appropriations, and with the director of
the Reclamation Service had endured a grilling that had had some
aspects of the third degree.

After some two hours of it the Director had lost his temper.

"Gentlemen!" he had cried, "treat me as if I were a common thief,
attempting to loot the public funds, if you find satisfaction in it,
but at least do not humiliate the Secretary of the Interior in the same
manner!"

"These people can't humiliate me, Whipple."  Enoch had spoken quietly.

The blow had struck home and the Senator who was acting as chairman had
apologized.

Enoch had nodded.  "I know!  You are in the position of having to
appropriate funds for the carrying on of a highly specialized business
about which you are utterly ignorant.  You are uneasy and you mistake
impertinent questioning for keen investigation."

"I move we adjourn until to-morrow," a member had said hastily.  The
motion had carried and Enoch, as though it was already past six
o'clock, had started for his office, Whipple accompanying him.

"After all this howl over the proposed Paloma Dam," said Whipple, "we
may not be able to build it.  There's a bunch of Mexicans both this and
the other side of the border that have made serious trouble with the
preliminary survey, and I have the feeling that there is some power
behind that wants to start something."

"Is that so?" asked Enoch with interest.  "Come in and talk to me a few
moments about it."

Whipple followed to the Secretary's office.  A sealed letter was lying
on the desk.  Enoch opened it, and read it without ceremony.


"Dear Mr. Huntingdon: I find that some old friends are starting for the
Grand Canyon this afternoon and they have given me an opportunity to
make one of their party.  I have been able to arrange my work to Mr.
Watkins' satisfaction and so, I'm off.  I want to thank you very deeply
for the wonderful openings you have made for me and for the very great
personal kindness you have shown me.  When I return in the winter, I
hope I may see you again.

"Very sincerely yours,

"DIANA ALLEN."


Enoch folded the note and slipped it into his pocket, then he looked at
the waiting Director.  "I hope you'll excuse me, Whipple, but this is
something to which I must give my personal attention," and without a
word further, he put on his hat and walked out of the office.  He did
not go to his waiting carriage but, leaving the building by another
door, he walked quickly to the drug store on the corner and, entering a
telephone booth, called the railroad station.  The train connecting for
the Southwest had left an hour before.  Enoch hung up the receiver and
walked out to the curb, scowling and striking his walking stick against
his trouser leg.  Finally he got aboard a trolley.

It was a little after three o'clock in the morning when Jonas located
him.  Enoch was leaning against the wall watching the roulette table.

"Good evening, boss," said Jonas.

Enoch looked round at him.  "That you, Jonas?  I haven't touched a card
or a dollar this evening, Jonas."

Jonas, who had already ascertained this from the owner of the gambling
house, nodded.

"Have you had your supper yet, boss?"

Enoch hesitated, thinking heavily.  "Why, no, Jonas, I guess not."
Then he added irritably, "A man must rest, Jonas.  I can't slave all
the time."

"Sure!" returned the colored man, holding his trembling hands behind
him.  "But how come you to think this was rest, boss?  You better come
back now and let me fix you a bite to eat."

"Jonas, what's the use?  Who on earth but you cares what I do?  What's
the use?"

"Miss Diana Allen," said Jonas softly, "she told Mr. Abbott this noon,
at lunch, that you was one of the great men of this country and that he
was a lucky dog to spend all his time with you."

Enoch stood, his arms folded on his chest, his massive head bowed.
Finally he said, "All right, old man, I'll try again.  But I'm lonely,
Jonas, lonely beyond words, and all the greatness in the world, Jonas,
can't fill an empty heart."

"I know it, boss!  I know it!" said Jonas huskily, as he led the way to
the street.  There, Enoch insisted on walking the three or four miles
home.

"All right," agreed Jonas, cheerfully.  "I guess ghosteses don't mind
travel, and that's all I am, just a ghost."

Enoch stopped abruptly, put a hand on Jonas' shoulder and hailed a
passing night prowler.  Once in the cab, Jonas said:

"The White House done called you twice to-night.  Mr. Secretary.  I
told 'em you'd call first thing in the morning."

"Thanks!" replied Enoch briefly.

The house was silent when they reached it.  Jonas never employed
servants who could not sleep in their own homes.  By the time the
Secretary was ready for bed, Jonas appeared with a tray, Enoch silently
and obediently ate and then turned in.

The White House called before the Secretary had finished breakfast.

"You saw last night's papers?" asked the President.

"No!  I'm sorry.  I--I took a rest last evening."

"I'm glad you did.  Well, I think you'd better plan--come up here, will
you, at once?  I won't try to talk to you over the telephone."

Enoch, in the carriage, glanced over the paper.  The Brown paper of the
evening before contained a nasty little story of innuendo about the
work of the Survey near Paloma.  The morning paper declared in glaring
headlines that the President by his pacifist policy toward Mexico was
tainting the nation's honor and that it would shortly bring England,
France and Germany about our ears.

The President was still at breakfast when Enoch was shown in to him.
The chief executive insisted that Enoch have a cup of coffee.

"You don't look to me, my boy, like a man who had enjoyed his rest.
And I'm going to ask you to add to your burdens.  Could you leave next
week for a speaking trip?"

The tired lines around Enoch's mouth deepened.  "Yes, Mr. President.
Have you a general route planned?"

"Yes, New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and in between as can be
arranged.  Take two months to it."

"I shall be glad to be free of office routine for a while," said Enoch.
He sipped his coffee slowly, then rose as he added:

"I shall stick strictly to the work of my department, Mr. President, in
the speech making."

"Oh!  Absolutely!  And let me be of any help to you I may."

"Thank you," Enoch smiled a little grimly.  "You might come along and
supply records for the phonograph."

"By Jove, I would if it were necessary!" said the President.

Jonas and Abbott each was perfect in his own line.  In five days' time
Enoch was aboard the private car, with such paraphernalia as was needed
for carrying on office work en route.  The itinerary had been arranged
to the last detail.  A few carefully chosen newspaper correspondents
were aboard and one hot September evening, a train with the Secretary's
car hitched to it, pulled out of Washington.

Of Enoch's speeches on that trip little need be said here.  Never
before had he spoken with such fire and with such simple eloquence.
The group of speeches he made are familiar now to every schoolboy.  One
cannot read them to-day without realizing that the Secretary was trying
as never before to interpret for the public his own ideals of service
to the common need.  He seemed to Abbott and to the newspaper men who
for six weeks were so intimately associated with him to draw
inspiration and information from the free air.  And there was to all of
his speeches an almost wistful persuasiveness, as if, Abbott said, he
picked one listener in each audience, each night, and sought anew to
make him feel the insidious peril to the nation's soul that lay in
personal complacency and indifference to the nation's spiritual
welfare.  Only Jonas, struggling to induce the Secretary to take a
decent amount of sleep, nodded wisely to himself.  He knew that Enoch
made each speech to a lovely, tender face, that no man who saw ever
forgot.

Little by little, the newspapers of the country began to take Enoch's
point of view.  They not only gave his speeches in full, but they
commented on them editorially, at great length, and with the exception
of the Brown papers, favorably.  By the time Enoch was on his way home,
with but two weeks more of speech making before him, it looked as
though the thought of war with Mexico had been definitely quashed.  And
Enoch was tired to the very marrow of his bones.

But the Brown papers were not finished.  One evening, in Arizona,
shortly after the train had pulled out of a station, Enoch asked for
the newspapers that had been brought aboard from the desert city.
Charley Abbott, who had been with the newspaper men on the observation
platform for an hour or so, answered the Secretary's request with a
curiously distraught manner.

"I--that is--Mr. Huntingdon, Jonas says you slept worse than ever last
night.  Why not save the papers till morning and try to sleep now?"

Enoch looked at his secretary keenly.  "Picked up some Brown papers
here, eh!  Nothing that bunch can say can hurt me, old man."

"Don't you ever think it!" exclaimed Charley vehemently.  "You might as
well say you were immune to rattler bites, Mr. Huntingdon--" here his
voice broke.

"Look here, Abbott," said Enoch, "if it's bad, I've got to fight it,
haven't I?"

"But this sort of thing, a man--"  Charley suddenly steadied himself.
"Mr. Secretary, they've put some nasty personal lies about you in the
paper.  The country at large and all of us who know you, scorn the lies
as much as they do Brown.  In a day or so, it we ignore them, the stuff
will have been forgotten.  I beg of you, don't read any newspapers
until I tell you all's clear."

Enoch smiled.  "Why, my dear old chap, I've weathered all sorts of mud
slinging!"

"But never this particular brand," insisted Charley.

"Let's have the papers, Abbott.  I'm not afraid of anything Brown can
say."

Charley grimly handed the papers to the Secretary and returned to the
observation platform.

A reporter had seen Enoch in the gambling house on the evening of
Diana's departure for the Canyon.  He had learned something from the
gambling house keeper of the Secretary's several trips there.  The
reporter had then, with devilish ingenuity, followed Enoch back to
Minetta Lane, where he had found Luigi.  Then followed eight or ten
paragraphs in Luigi's own words, giving an account of Enoch and Enoch's
mother.  The whole story was given with a deadly simplicity, that it
seemed to the Secretary must carry conviction with it.

As Enoch had told Abbott, he had weathered much political mud slinging,
but even his worst political enemies had spared him this.  His
adherents had made much of the fact that Enoch was slum bred and self
made.  That was the sort of story which the inherent democracy of
America loved.  But the Brown account made of Enoch a creature of the
underworld, who still loved his early haunts and returned to them in
all their vileness.  And in all the years of his political life, no
newspaper but this had ever mentioned Enoch's mother.  The tale closed
with a comment on the fact that Enoch, who shunned all women, had been
seen several times in Washington giving marked attention to Miss Diana
Allen.  Diana and her work were fully identified.

Enoch read the account to the last word, a flush of agonizing
humiliation deepening on his face as he did so.  When he had finished,
he doubled the paper carefully, and laid it on the chair next to his.
Then he lighted a cigarette and sat with folded arms, unseeing eyes on
the newspaper.  When Jonas came in an hour later, the cigarette,
unsmoked, was cold between the Secretary's lips.  With trembling hands,
the colored man picked up the paper and with unbelievable venom
gleaming in his black eyes, he carried it to the rear door, spat upon
it and flung it out into the desert night.  Then he returned to Enoch.

"Mr. Secretary," he said huskily, "let me take your keys."

Mechanically Enoch obeyed.  Jonas selected a small key from the bunch
and, opening a large leather portfolio, he took out the black diary.
This he placed carefully on the folding table which stood at Enoch's
elbow.  Then he started toward the door.

The Secretary did not look up.  Nor did he heed the colloquy which took
place at the door between Jonas and Abbott.

"How is he, Jonas?"

"I ain't asked him.  He's a sick man."

"God!  Let me come in, Jonas."

"No, sir, you ain't!  How come you think you kin talk to him when even
I don't dast to?"

"But he mustn't be alone, Jonas."

"He ain't alone.  I left him with his Bible.  Ain't nobody going to
trouble him this night."

"I didn't know he read the Bible that way."  Abbott's voice was
doubtful.

"I don't mean the regular Lord's Bible.  It's a book he's been writing
for years and he always turns to it when he's in trouble.  I don't know
nothing about it.  What he don't want me to know, I don't know," and
Jonas slammed the door behind him.

It was late when Enoch suddenly straightened himself up and, with an
air of resolution, opened the black book.  He uncapped his fountain pen
and wrote:


"Diana, how could I know, how could I dream that such a thing could
happen to you, through me!  You must never come back to Washington.
Perhaps they will forget.  As for myself, I can't seem to think clearly
just what I must do.  I am so very tired.  One thing is certain, you
never must see me again.  For one wild moment the desire to return to
the Canyon, now I am in its neighborhood overwhelmed me.  I decided to
go up there and see if I could find the peace that I found in my
boyhood.  Then I realized that you were at home, that all the world
would see me go down Bright Angel, and I gave up the idea.  But
somehow, I must find rest, before I return to Washington.  Oh, Diana,
Diana!"


It was midnight when Enoch finally lay down in his berth.  To Jonas'
delight, he fell asleep almost immediately, and the faithful steward,
after reporting to the anxious group on the platform, was soon asleep
himself.

But it was not one o'clock when the Secretary awoke.  The train was
rumbling slowly, and he looked from the window.  Only the moonlit flats
of the desert were to be seen.  Enoch rose with sudden energy and
dressed himself.  He chucked his toilet case, with his diary and a
change of underwear, into a satchel, and scrawled a note to Abbott:


"Dear Charley: I'm slipping off into the desert for a little rest.
You'll hear from me when I feel better.  Give out that I'm sick--I
am--and cancel the few speaking engagements left.  Tell Jonas he is not
to worry.  Yours, E. H."


He sealed this note, then he pulled on a soft hat and, as the train
stopped at a water tank, he slipped off the platform and stood in the
shadow of an old shed.  It seemed to him a long time before the engine,
with violent puffing and jolting, started the long train on again.  But
finally the tail lights disappeared in the distance and Enoch was alone
in the desert.  For a few moments he stood beside the track, drawing in
deep breaths of the warm night air.  Then he started slowly westward
along the railway tracks.  He had noted a cluster of adobe houses a
mile or so back, and toward these he was headed.  In spite of the agony
of the blow he had sustained Enoch, gazing from the silver flood of the
desert, to the silver arch of the heavens, was conscious of a thrill of
excitement and not unpleasant anticipation.  Somewhere, somehow, in the
desert, he would find peace and sufficient spiritual strength to
sustain him when once more he faced Washington and the world.



BOOK III

THE ENCHANTED CANYON



CHAPTER VII

THE DESERT


"If I had a son, I would teach him obedience as heaven's first law, for
so only can a man be trained to obey his own better self."--_Enoch's
Diary_.


The Secretary had no intention of waking the strange little village at
night.  He thought that, once he had relocated it, he would wait until
dawn before rousing any one.  But he had not counted on the village
dogs.  These set up such an outcry that, while Enoch leaned quietly
against a rude corral fence waiting for the hullaballoo to cease, the
door of the house nearest opened, and a man came out.  He stood for a
moment very deliberately staring at the Secretary, whose polite "Good
morning" could not be heard above the dogs' uproar.

Enoch, with a half grin, dropped his satchel and held up both hands.
The man, half smiling in response, kicked and cursed the dogs into
silence.  Then he approached Enoch.  He was a small, swarthy chap, clad
in overalls and an undershirt.

"You're a Pueblo Indian?" asked the Secretary.

The Indian nodded.  "What you want?"

"I want to buy a horse."

"Where you come from?"

"Off that train that went through a while ago."

"This not Ash Fork," said the Indian.  "You make mistake.  Ash Fork
that way," jerking his thumb westward.  "You pass through Ash Fork."

Enoch nodded.  "You sell me a horse?"

"I rent you horse.  You leave him at Hillers' in Ash Fork.  I get him."

"No, I want to buy a horse.  Now I'm in the desert I guess I'll see a
little of it.  Maybe I'll ride up that way," waving a careless arm
toward the north.  "Maybe you'll sell me some camping things, blankets
and a coffee pot."

"All right," said the Indian.  "When you want 'em?"

"Now, if I can get them."

"All right!  I fix 'em."

He spoke to one of the other Indians who were sticking curious heads
out of black doorways.  In an incredibly short time Enoch was the
possessor of a thin, muscular pony, well saddled, two blankets, one an
Army, the other a Navajo, a frying pan, a coffee pot, a canteen and
enough flour, bacon and coffee to see him through the day.  He also
achieved possession of a blue flannel shirt and a pair of overalls.  He
paid without question the price asked by the Indians.  Dawn was just
breaking when he mounted his horse.

"Where does that trail lead?" he asked, pointing to one that started
north from the corral.

"To Eagle Springs, five miles," answered the Indian.

"And after that?"

"East to Allman's ranch, north to Navajo camp."

"Thanks," said Enoch.  "Good-by!" and he turned his pony to the trail.

The country became rough and broken almost at once.  The trail led up
and down through draws and arroyos.  There was little verdure save
cactus and, when the sun was fully up, Enoch began to realize that a
strenuous day was before him.  The spring boasted a pepper tree, a
lovely thing of delicate foliage, gazing at itself in the mirrored blue
of the spring.  Enoch allowed the horse to drink its fill, then he
unrolled the blankets and clothing and dropped them into the water
below the little falls that gushed over the rocks, anchoring them with
stones.  After this, awkwardly, but recalling more and more clearly his
camping lore, he prepared a crude breakfast.

He sat long at this meal.  His head felt a little light from the lack
of sleep and he was physically weary.  But he could not rest.  For days
a jingling couplet had been running through his mind:

  "Rest is not quitting this busy career.
  Rest is the fitting of self to one's sphere."

Enoch muttered this aloud, then smiled grimly to himself.

"That's the idea!" he added.  "There's a bad spot somewhere in my
philosophy that'll break me yet.  Well, we'll see if I can locate it."

The sun was climbing high and the shade of the pepper tree was
grateful.  The spring murmured for a few feet beyond the last quivering
shadow of the feathery leaves, then was swallowed abruptly by the
burning sand.  Enoch lifted his tired eyes.  Far on every side lay the
uneven, rock strewn desert floor, dotted with cactus and greasewood.
To the east, vivid against the blue sky, rose a solitary mountain peak,
a true purple in color, capped with snow.  To the north, a green black
shadow was etched against the horizon.  Except for the slight rustle of
the pepper tree, the vague murmur of the water, the silence was
complete.

"It's not a calming atmosphere," thought Enoch, "as I remember the
Canyon to have been.  It's feverish and restless.  But I'll give it a
try.  For to-day, I'll not think.  I'll concern myself entirely with
getting to this Navajo camp.  First of all, I'll dry the blankets and
clothing."

He had pulled off his tweed coat some time before.  Now he hung his
vest on the pepper tree and went about his laundry work.  He draped
blankets and garments over the greasewood, then moved by a sudden
impulse, undressed himself and lay down under the tiny falls.  The
water, warmed by its languid trip through the pool above, was
refreshing only in its cleansing quality.  But Enoch, lying at length
in the sand, the water trickling ceaselessly over him, felt his taut
muscles relax and a great desire to sleep came upon him.  But he was
still too close to the railroad and possible discovery to allow himself
this luxury.  By the time he had finished his bath the overalls were
dry and the blue flannel shirt enough so for him to risk donning it.
He rolled up his tweed suit and tied it to the saddle, fastened the
blankets on in an awkward bunch, the cooking utensils dangling
anywhere, the canteen suspended from the pommel.  Then he smiled at his
reflection in the morning pool.

The overalls, a faded brown, were patched and, of course, wrinkled and
drawn.  The blue shirt was too small across the chest and Enoch found
it impossible to button the collar.  The soft hat was in keeping with
costume, but the Oxford ties caused him to shake his head.

"A dead give-away!  I'll have to negotiate for something else when I
find the Navajos.  All right, Pablo," to the horse, "we're off," and
the pony started northward at a gentle canter.

The desert was new to Enoch.  Neither his Grand Canyon experience nor
his hunting trips in Canada and Maine had prepared him for the
hardships and privations of desert travel.  Sitting at ease on the
Indian pony, his hat well over his eyes, his pots and pans clanging
gently behind him, he was entirely oblivious to the menace that lay
behind the intriguing beauty of the burning horizon.  He was giving
small heed, too, to the details of the landscape about him.  He was
conscious of the heat and of color, color that glowed and quivered and
was ever changing, and he told himself that when he was rested he would
find the beauty in the desert that Diana's pictures had said was there.
But for now, he was conscious only of pain and shame, the old, old
shame that the Canyon had tried to teach him to forget.  He was
determined that he would stay in the desert until this shame was gone
forever.

It was a fall and not a summer sun, so the pony was able to keep a
steady pace until noon.  Gradually the blur of green that Enoch had
observed to the north had outlined itself more and more vividly, and at
noon he rode into the shade of a little grove of stunted piñon and
juniper.  He could find no water but there was a coarse dried grass
growing among the trees that the horse cropped eagerly.  Enoch removed
the saddle and pack from Pablo, and spread his half dried blankets on
the ground.  Then he threw himself down to rest before preparing his
midday meal.  In a moment slumber overwhelmed him.

He was wakened at dusk by the soft nuzzling of the pony against his
shoulder.

"By Jove!" he exclaimed softly.  "What a sleep!"  He jumped to his feet
and began to gather wood for his fire.  He was stiff and his
unaccustomed fingers made awkward work of cooking, but he managed,
after an hour's endeavor, to produce an unsavory meal, which he
devoured hungrily.  He wiped out the frying pan with dried grass,
repacked his outfit, and hung it on the horse.

"It's up to you, Pablo, old boy, to get us to water, if you want any
to-night," he said, as he mounted, and headed Pablo north on the trail.

The pony was quite of Enoch's opinion, and he started forward at an
eager trot.  The trail was discernible enough in the starlight, but
Enoch made no attempt to guide Pablo, who obviously knew the country
better than his new owner.

Enoch had dreamed of Diana, and now, the reins drooping limply from his
hands, he gave his mind over to thought of her.  There was no one on
earth whom he desired to see so much or so little as Diana!  No one
else to whom in his trouble his whole heart and mind turned with such
unutterable longing or such iron determination never to see again.  He
had no intention of searching for her in the desert.  He knew that her
work would keep her in the Grand Canyon country.  He knew that it would
be easy to avoid her.  And, in spite of the fact that every fiber of
his being yearned for her, he had not the slightest desire to see her!
She would, he knew, see the Brown story.  No matter what her father may
have told her, the newspaper story, with its vile innuendoes concerning
his adult life, must sicken her.  There was one peak of shame which
Enoch refused to achieve.  He would not submit himself either to
Diana's pity or to her scorn.  But there was, he was finding, a
peculiar solace in merely traveling in Diana's desert.  He had complete
faith that here he would find something of the sweet philosophy that
had written itself in Diana's face.

For Enoch had not come to middle life without learning that on a man's
philosophy rests his ultimate chance for happiness, or if not for
happiness, content.  He knew that until he had sorted and separated
from each other the things that mattered and the things that did not
matter, he must be the restless plaything of circumstance.  In his
younger days he had been able to persuade himself that if his point of
view on his life work were right and sane, nothing else could hurt him
too much.  But now, easing himself to the pony's gentle trot and
staring into the exquisite blue silence of the desert night, he told
himself that he had been a coward, and that his cowardice had made him
shun the only real experience of life.

Public service?  Yes, it had been right for him to make that his life
work.  And such service from such men as himself he knew to be the only
vital necessity in a nation's life.  But the one vital necessity in a
man's spiritual life he had missed.  If he had had this, he told
himself, life's bludgeons, however searching, however devastating, he
could have laughed at.  A man must have the thought of some good
woman's love to sustain him.  But for Enoch, the thought of any woman's
love, Luigi had tainted at its source.  He had neither mother nor mate,
and until he had evolved some philosophy which would reconcile him to
doing without both, his days must be feverish and at the mercy of the
mob.

Pablo broke into a canter and Enoch roused himself to observe a glow of
fire far ahead on the trail.  His first impulse was to pull the horse
in.  He did not want either to be identified or to mingle with human
beings.  Then he smiled ruefully as he recalled the poverty of his
outfit and he gave Pablo his way again.  In a short time Pablo had
reached a spring at a little distance from the fire.  As the horse
buried his nose in the water, a man came up.  Enoch judged by the long
hair that he was an Indian.

"Good evening," said Enoch.  "Can you tell me where I can buy some
food?"

"What kind of grub?" asked the Indian.

"Anything I can cook and eat," replied Enoch, dismounting stiffly.
"What kind of camp is this?"

"Navajo.  What your name?"

"Smith.  What's yours?"

"John Red Sun.  How much you pay for grub?"

"Depends on what kind and how much.  Which way are you folks going?"

"We take horses to the railroad," replied John Red Sun.  "Me and my
brother, that's all, so we haven't got much grub.  You come over by the
fire."  Enoch dropped the reins over Pablo's head and followed to the
fire.  An Indian, who was boiling coffee at the little blaze, looked up
with interest in his black eyes.

"Good evening," said Enoch.  "My name is Smith."

The Indian nodded.  "You like a cup of coffee?  Just done."

"Thanks, yes."  Enoch sat down gratefully by the fire.  The desert
night was sharp.

"Where you going, Mr. Smith?" asked John Red Sun.

"I'm an Easterner, a tenderfoot," replied Enoch.  "I am very tired and
I thought I'd like to rest in the desert.  I was on the train when the
idea struck me, and I got off just as I was.  I bought the horse and
these clothes from an Indian."

"Where you going?" repeated John's brother.  "To see Injun villages?"

"No, I don't think so.  I just want to be by myself."

"It's foolish for tenderfoot to go alone in desert," said John.  "You
don't know where to get water, get grub."

"Oh, I'll pick it up as I go."

The Indians stared at Enoch in the firelight.  His ruddy hair was
tumbled by the night wind.  His face was deep lined with fatigue that
was mental as well as physical.

"You mustn't go alone in desert."  John Red Sun's voice was earnest.
"You sleep here to-night.  We'll talk it over."

"You're very kind," said Enoch.  "I'll unsaddle my pony.  Ought I to
hobble him or stake him out?"

"I fix 'im.  You drink your coffee."  The brother handed Enoch a tin
cup as he spoke.  "Then you go to sleep.  You mucho tired."

Their hospitality touched Enoch.  "You're very kind," he repeated
gratefully, and he drank the vile coffee without blinking.  Then,
conscious that he was trembling with weariness, he rolled himself in
his blankets.  But he slept only fitfully.  The sand was hard, and his
long afternoon's nap had taken the edge from his appetite for sleep.
He spent much of the night wondering what Washington, what the
President was saying about him.  And his sunburned face was new dyed
with his burning sense of shame.

At the first peep of dawn, John Red Sun rose from the other side of the
fire, raked the ashes and started a blaze going.  Enoch discovered that
the camp lay at the foot of a mesa, close in whose shadow a small herd
of scraggly, unkempt ponies was staked.  The two Indians moved about
deftly.  They watered the horses, made coffee and cakes and fried
bacon.  By the time Enoch had shaved, a pie tin was waiting for him in
the ashes.

"We sell you two days' grub," said John.  "One day north on this trail
go two men up to the Canyon, to placer mine.  They're good men.  I know
'em many years.  They got good outfit, but burros go slow, so you can
easy overtake 'em to-day.  You tell 'im you want a job.  Tell 'im John
Red Sun send you.  Then you get rested in the desert.  Not good for any
white man to go alone and do nothing in the desert.  He'll go loco.
See?"

Enoch suddenly smiled.  "I do see, yes.  And I must say you're mighty
kind and sensible.  I'll do as you suggest.  By the way, will you sell
me those boots of yours?  I'll swap you mine and anything you say,
beside.  I believe our feet are the same size."

Red Sun's brother was wearing Navajo moccasins reaching to the knee,
but Red Sun was resplendent in a pair of high laced boots, into which
were tucked his corduroy pants.  The Indians both looked at Enoch's
smart Oxford ties with eagerness.  Then without a word, Red Sun began
rapidly to unlace his boots.  It would be difficult to say which made
the exchange with the greater satisfaction, Enoch or the Indian.  When
it was done Enoch, as far as his costume was concerned, might have been
a desert miner indeed, looking for a job.

The sun was not over an hour high when Pablo and Enoch started north
once more, the little horse loaded with supplies and Enoch loaded with
such trail lore as the two Indians could impress upon him in the short
time at their command.  Enoch was not deeply impressed by their advice
except as to one point, which they repeated so often that it really
penetrated his distraught and weary mind.  He was to keep to the trail.
No matter what or whom he thought he saw in the distance, he was to
keep to the trail.  If a sand storm struck him, he was to camp
immediately and on the trail.  If he needed water, he was to keep to
the trail in order to find it.  At night, he must camp on the trail.
The trail!  It was, they made him understand, a tenderfoot's only
chance of life in this section.  And, thus equipped, Enoch rode away
into the lonely, shimmering, intriguing morning light of the desert.

He rode all the morning without dismounting.  The trail was very
crooked.  It seemed to him at such moments as he took note of this
fact, he would save much time by riding due north, but he could not
forget the Indian brothers' reiterated warnings.  And, although he
could not throw off a sense of being driven, the desire to arrive
somewhere quickly, still he was strangely content to let Pablo set the
pace.

At noon he dismounted, fed Pablo half the small bag of oats John had
given him, and ate the cold bacon and biscuits John's brother had urged
on him.  There was no water for the horse, but Enoch drank deeply from
the canteen and allowed Pablo an hour's rest.  Then he mounted and
pushed on, mindful of the necessity of overtaking the miners.

His mind was less calm than it had been the day before, and his
thinking less orderly.  He had begun to be nagged by recollections of
office details that he should have settled, of important questions that
awaited his decision.  And something deep within him began to tell him
that he was not playing a full man's part in running away.  But to this
he replied grimly that he was only seeking for strength to go back.
And finally he muttered that give him two weeks' respite and he would
go back, strength or no strength.  And over and about all his broken
thinking played an unceasing sense of loss.  The public had invaded his
last privacy.  The stronghold wherein a man fights his secret weakness
should be sacred.  Not even a clergyman nor a wife should invade its
precincts uninvited.  Enoch's inner sanctuary had been laid open to the
idle view of all the world.  The newspaper reporter had pried where no
real man would pry.  The Brown papers had published that from which a
decent editor would turn away for very compassion.  Only a very dirty
man will with no excuse whatever wantonly and deliberately break
another man.

When toward sundown Enoch saw a thread of smoke rising far ahead of
him, again his first thought was to stop and make camp.  He wished that
it were possible for him to spend the next few weeks without seeing a
white man.  But he did not yield to the impulse and Pablo pushed on
steadily.

The camp was set in the shelter of a huge rock pile, purple, black,
yellow and crimson in color, with a single giant ocotilla growing from
the top.  A man in overalls was bending over the fire, while another
was bringing a dripping coffee pot from a little spring that bubbled
from under the rocks.  A number of burros were grazing among the cactus
roots.

Enoch rode up slowly and dismounted stiffly.  "Good evening," he said.

The two men stared at him frankly.  "Good evening, stranger!"

"John Red Sun told me to ask you people for work in return for
permission to trail with your outfit."

"Oh, he did, did he!" grunted the older man, eying Enoch intently.  "My
name is Mackay, and my pardner's is Field."

"Mine is Smith," said Enoch.

"Just Smith?" grinned the man Field.

"Just Smith," repeated Enoch firmly.

"Well, Mr. Just Smith," Mackay nodded affably, as though pleased by his
appraisal of the newcomer, "wipe your feet on the door mat and come in
and have supper with us.  We'll talk while we eat."

"You're very kind," murmured Enoch.  "I--er--I'm a tenderfoot, so
perhaps you'd tell me, shall I hobble this horse or--"

"I'll take care of him for you," said Field.  "You look dead tuckered.
Sit down till supper's ready."

Enoch sat down on a rock and eyed his prospective bosses.  Mackay was a
tall, thin man of perhaps fifty.  He was smooth shaven except for an
iron gray mustache.  His face was thin, tanned and heavily lined, and
his keen gray eyes were deep set under huge, shaggy eyebrows.  He wore
a gray flannel shirt and a pair of well worn brown corduroys, tucked
into the tops of a pair of ordinary shoes.  Field was younger, probably
about Enoch's own age.  He was as tall as Mackey but much heavier.  He
was smooth shaven and ruddy of skin, with a heavy thatch of curly black
hair and fine brown eyes.  His clothing was a replica of his partner's.

Mackay gave his whole attention to the preparation of the supper, while
Field unpacked Pablo and hobbled him.

"You're just in time for a darn good meal, Mr. Smith," said Field.
"Mack is a great cook.  If he was as good a miner as he is cook--"

"Dry up, Curly, and get Mr. Smith's cup and plate for him.  We're shy
on china.  Grub's ready, folks.  Draw up."

They ate sitting in the sand, with their backs against the rocks, their
feet toward the fire, for the evening was cold.  Curly had not
exaggerated Mack's ability.  The hot biscuits, baked in a dutch oven,
the fried potatoes, stewed tomatoes, the bacon, the coffee were each
deliciously prepared.  Enoch ate as though half starved, then helped to
wash the dishes.  After this was finished, the three established
themselves with their pipes before the fire.

"Now," said Mack, "we're in a condition to consider your proposition,
Mr. Smith.  Just where was you aiming for?"

"I have a two or three weeks' vacation on my hands," replied Enoch,
"and I'm pretty well knocked up with office work.  I wanted to rest in
the desert.  I thought I could manage it alone, but it looks as if I
were too green.  I don't know why John Red Sun thought I could intrude
on you folks, unless--" he hesitated.

"John an old friend of yours?" asked Curly.

"No, I met him on the trail.  He was exceedingly kind and hospitable."

Curly whistled softly.  "You must have been in bad shape.  John's not
noted for kindness, or hospitality either."

"I wasn't in bad shape at all!" protested Enoch.  The two men, eying
Enoch steadily, each suppressed a smile.

"Field and I are on a kind of vacation too," said Mack.  "I'm a
superintendent of a zinc mine, and he's running the mill for me.  We
had to shut down for three months--bottom's dropped clean out of the
price of zinc.  We've been talking about prospecting for placer gold up
on the Colorado, for ten years.  Now we're giving her a try."

He paused, and both men looked at Enoch expectantly.  "In other words,"
said Enoch, refilling his pipe, "you two fellows are off for the kind
of a trip you don't want an utter stranger in on.  Well, I don't blame
you."

"Depends altogether on what kind of a chap the stranger is," suggested
Curly.

"I have no letters of recommendation."  Enoch's smile was grim.  "I'd
do my share of the work, and pay for my board.  I might not be the best
of company, for I'm tired.  Very tired."

His massive head drooped as he spoke and his thin fine lips betrayed a
pain and weariness that even the fitful light of the fire could not
conceal.  There was a silence for a moment, then a burro screamed, and
Mackay got to his feet.

"There's Mamie burro making trouble again.  Come and help me catch her,
Curly."

Enoch sat quietly waiting while a low voiced colloquy that did not seem
related to the obstreperous Mamie went on in the shadow beyond the
rocks.  Then the two men came back.

"All right, Smith," said Mack.  "We're willing to give it a try.  A
camping trip's like marriage, you know, terrible trying on the nerves.
So if we don't get on together, it's understood you'll turn back, eh?"

"Yes," Enoch nodded.

"All right!  We'll charge you a dollar and a half a day for yourself
and your horse.  We're to share and share alike in the work."

"I'm exceedingly grateful!" exclaimed Enoch.

"All right!  We hope you'll get rested," said Curly.  "And I advise you
to begin now.  Have you been sleeping well?  How long have you been
out?"

"Three nights.  I've slept rottenly."

"I thought so.  Let me show you how to scoop out sand so's to make a
hollow for your hips and your shoulders, and I'll bet you'll sleep."

And Enoch did sleep that night better than for several weeks.  He was
stiff and muscle sore when he awoke at dawn, but he felt clearer headed
and less mentally feverish than he had the previous day.  Curly and
Mack were still asleep when he stole over to the spring to wash and
shave.  It was biting cold, but he felt like a new man when he had
finished his toilet and stood drawing deep breaths while he watched the
dawn approach through the magnificent desert distances.  He gathered
some greasewood and came back to build the fire, but his camp mates had
forestalled him.  While he was at the spring the men had both wakened
and the fire was blazing merrily.

Breakfast was quickly prepared and eaten.  Enoch established himself as
the camp dish washer, much to the pleasure of Curly, who hitherto had
borne this burden.  After he had cleaned and packed the dishes, Enoch
went out for Pablo, who had strayed a quarter of a mile in his search
for pasturage.  After a half hour of futile endeavor Mack came to his
rescue, and in a short time the cavalcade was ready to start.

They were not an unimposing outfit.  Mack led.  The half dozen burros,
with their packs followed, next came Curly, and Enoch brought up the
rear.  There was little talking on the trail.  The single file, the
heavy dust, and the heat made conversation too great an effort.  And
Enoch was grateful that this was so.

To-day he made a tremendous endeavor to keep his mind off Luigi and the
Brown papers.  He found he could do this by thinking of Diana.  And so
he spent the day with her, and resolved that if opportunity arose that
night, to write to her, in the black diary.

The trail, which gradually ascended as they drew north, grew rougher
and rougher.  During the latter part of the day sand gave way to rock,
and the desert appeared full of pot holes which Mack claimed led to
subterranean rivers.

They left these behind near sunset, and came upon a huge, rude,
cave-like opening in a mesa side.  A tiny pool at the back and the
evidence of many camp fires in the front announced that this was one of
the trail's established oases.  There was no possible grazing for the
animals, so they were watered, staked, and fed oats from the packs.

"Well, Mr. Just Smith," said Curly, after the supper had been
dispatched and cleared up and the trio were established around the
fire, pipes glowing, "well, Mr. Just Smith, are you getting rested?"
He grinned as he spoke, but Mack watched their guest soberly.  Enoch's
great head seemed to fascinate him.

"I'm feeling better, thanks.  And I'm trying hard to behave."

"You're doing very well," returned Curly.  "I can't recommend you yet
as a horse wrangler, but if I permit you to bring Mamie in every
morning, perhaps you'll sabez better."

"This is sure one devil of a country," said Mack.  "The Spanish called
it the death trail.  Wow!  What it must have been before they opened up
these springs!  Even the Indians couldn't live here."

"I'd like to show it to old Parsons," said Curly.  "He claims there
ain't a spot in Arizona that couldn't grow crops if you could get water
to it.  He's a fine old liar!  Why, this country don't even grow
cactus!  I'd like to hobble him out here for a week."

"Those Survey fellows were up here a few years back trying to fix it to
get water out of those pot holes," said Mack.

"Nuts!  Sounds like a government bunch!" grunted Curly.

"What came of it?" asked Enoch.

"It ended in a funny kind of a row," replied Mack.  "Some folks think
there's oil up here, and there was a bunch here drilling for wells,
when the government men came along.  They got interested in the oil
idea, and they began to study the country and drill for oil too.  And
that made these other chaps mad.  This was government land, of course,
but they didn't want the government to get interested in developing oil
wells.  Government oil would be too cheap.  So they got some Mexicans
to start a fight with these Survey lads.  But the Survey boys turned
out to be well armed and good fighters and, by Jove, they drove the
whole bunch of oil prospectors out of here.  Everybody got excited, and
then it turned out there was no oil here anyhow.  That was Fowler's
bunch, by the way, that got run out.  Nobody ever thought he'd be
Secretary of State!"

"But Fowler is not an Arizona man!" exclaimed Enoch.

"No," said Curly, "but he came out here for his health for a few years
when he was just out of college.  He and my oldest brother were law
pardners in Phoenix.  I always thought he was crooked.  All lawyers
are."

Enoch smiled to himself.

"Fowler sent his prospectors into Mexico after that," Mack went on
reminiscently.  "Curly and I were in charge of the silver mine near Rio
Chacita where they struck some gushers.  They were one tough crowd.  We
all slept in tents those days, and I remember none of us dared to light
a lamp or candle because if one of those fellows saw it, they'd take a
pot shot at it.  One of my foremen dug a six-foot pit and set his tent
over it.  Then he let 'em shoot at will.  Those were the days!"

"Government ought to keep out of business," said Curly.  "Let the
States manage their own affairs."

"What's Field sore about?" asked Enoch of Mack.

"He's just ignorant," answered Mack calmly.  "Hand me some tobacco,
Curly, and quit your beefing.  When you make your fortune washing gold
up in the Colorado, you can get yourself elected to Congress and do
Fowler up.  In the meantime--"

"Aw, shut up, Mack," drawled Curly good-naturedly.  "What are you
trying to do, ruin my reputation with Just Smith here?  By the way,
Just, you haven't told us what your work is."

"I'm a lawyer," said Enoch solemnly.

The three men stared at each other in the fire glow.  Suddenly Enoch
burst into a hearty laugh, in which the others joined.

"What was the queerest thing you've ever seen in the desert, Mack?"
asked Enoch, when they had sobered down.

Mack sat in silence for a time.  "That's hard to judge," he said
finally.  "Once, in the Death Valley country, I saw a blind priest
riding a burro fifty miles from anywhere.  He had no pack, just a
canteen.  He said he was doing a penance and if I tried to help him,
he'd curse me.  So I went off and left him.  And once I saw a fat woman
in a kimono and white satin high heeled slippers chasing her horse over
the trackless desert.  Lord!"

"Was that any queerer sight than Just Smith chasing Pablo this
morning?" demanded Curly.

"Or than Field tying a stone to Mamie's tail to keep her from braying
to-night?" asked Enoch.

"You're improving!" exclaimed Curly, "Dignity's an awful thing to take
into the desert for a vacation."

"Let's go to bed," suggested Mack, and in the fewest possible minutes
the camp was at rest.

The trail for the next two days grew rougher and rougher, while the
brilliancy of color in rock and sand increased in the same ratio as the
aridity.  Enoch, pounding along at the rear of the parade, hour after
hour, was still in too anguished and abstracted a frame of mind to heed
details.  He knew only that the vast loveliness and the naked austerity
of the desert were fit backgrounds, the first for this thought of
Diana, the second for his bitter retrospects.

Mid-morning on the third day, after several hours of silent trekking,
Curly turned in his saddle:

"Just, have you noticed the mirage?" pointing to the right.

Far to the east where the desert was most nearly level appeared the
sea, waters of brilliant cobalt blue lapping shores clad in richest
verdure, waves that broke in foam and ran softly up on quiet shores.
Upon the sea, silhouetted against the turquoise sky were ships with
sails of white, of crimson, of gold.  Then, as the men stared with
parted lips, the picture dimmed and the pitiless, burning desert
shimmered through.

The unexpected vision lifted Enoch out of himself for a little while
and he listened, interested and amused, while Curly, half turned in his
saddle, discanted on mirages and their interpretations.  Nor did Enoch
for several hours after meditate on his troubles.  Not an hour after
the mirage had disappeared the sky darkened almost to black, then
turned a sullen red.  Lightning forked across the zenith and the
thunder reverberated among the thousand mesas, the entangled gorges,
until it seemed almost impossible to endure the uproar.  Rain did not
begin to fall until noon.  There was not a place in sight that would
provide shelter, so the men wrapped their Navajos about them and forced
the reluctant animals to continue the journey.  The storm held with
fury until late in the afternoon.  The wind, the lightning and the rain
vied with one another in punishing the travelers.  Again and again, the
burros broke from trail.

"Get busy, Just!" Curly would roar.  "Come out of your trance!" and
Enoch would ride Pablo after the impish Mamie with a skill that
developed remarkably as the afternoon wore on.  Enoch could not recall
ever having been so wretchedly uncomfortable in his life.  He was
sodden to the skin, aching with weariness, shivering with cold.  But he
made no murmur of protest.  It was Curly who, about five o'clock,
called:

"Hey, Mack!  I've gone my limit!"

Mack pulled up and seemed to hesitate.  As he did so, the storm, with a
suddenness that was unbelievable, stopped.  A last flare of lightning
seemed to blast the clouds from the sky.  The rain ceased and the sun
enveloped mesas, gorges, trail in a hundred rainbows.

"How about a fire?" asked Mack, grinning, with chattering teeth.

"It must be done somehow," replied Curly.  "Come on, Just, shake it up!"

"Look here, Curly," exclaimed Mack, pausing in the act of throwing his
leg over the saddle, "I think you ought to treat Mr. Smith with more
respect.  He ain't your hired help."

"The dickens he isn't!" grinned Curly.

"It's all right, Mack!  I enjoy it," said Enoch, dismounting stiffly.

"If you do," Mack gave him a keen look, "you aren't enjoying it the way
Curly thinks you do."

Enoch returned Mack's gaze, smiled, but said nothing further.  Mack,
however, continued to grumble.

"I'm as good as the next fellow, but I don't believe in giving
everybody a slap on the back or a kick in the pants to prove it.  You
may be a lawyer, all right, Mr. Smith, but I'll bet you're on the
bench.  You've got that way with you.  Not that it's any of my
business!"

He was leading the way, as he spoke, toward the face of a mesa that
abutted almost on the trail.  Curly apparently had not paid the
slightest attention to the reproof.  He was already hobbling his horse.

They made no attempt to look for a spring.  The hollows of the rocks
were filled with rain water.  But the search for wood was long and
arduous.  In fact, it was nearly dusk before they had gathered enough
to last out the evening.  But here and there a tiny cedar or mesquite
yielded itself up and at last a good blaze flared up before the mesa.
The men shifted to dry underwear, wrung out their outer clothing and
put it on again, and drank copiously of the hot coffee.  In spite of
damp clothing and blankets Enoch slept deeply and dreamlessly, and rose
the next day none the worse for the wetting.  Even in this short time
his physical tone was improving and he felt sure that his mind must
follow.



CHAPTER VIII

THE COLORADO


"We had a particularly vile place to raid to-day, and as I listened
with sick heart to the report of it, suddenly I saw the Canyon and F.'s
broad back on his mule and the glorious line of the rim lifting from
opalescent mists."--_Enoch's Diary_.


They had been a week on the trail when they made camp one night at a
spring surrounded by dwarf junipers.  Mack, who had taken the trip
before, greeted the spring with a shout of satisfaction.

"Ten miles from the river, boys!  To-morrow afternoon should see us
panning gold."

And to-morrow did, indeed, bring the river.  There was a wide view of
the Colorado as they approached it.  The level which had gradually
lifted during the entire week, making each day cooler, rarer, as it
came, now sloped downward, while mesa and headland grew higher, the way
underfoot more broken, the trail fainter and fainter, and the
thermometer rose steadily.

By now deep fissures appeared in the desert floor, and to the north
lifted great mountains that were banded in multi-colored strata, across
which drifted veils of mist, lavender, blue and gauzy white.  Enoch's
heart began to beat heavily.  It was the Canyon country, indeed!  The
country of enchantment to which his spirit had returned for so many
years.

They ate lunch in a little canyon opening north and south.

"At the north end of this," said Mack, "we make our first sharp drop a
thousand feet straight down.  She's a devil of a trail, made by Indians
nobody knows when.  Then we cross a plateau, about a mile wide, as I
remember, then it's an easy grade to the river.  We've got to go over
the girths careful.  If anything slips now it's farewell!"

The trail was a nasty one, zig-zagging down the over-hanging face of
the wall.  Enoch, to his deep-seated satisfaction, felt no sense of
panic, although in common with Mack and Curly, he was apprehensive and
at times a little giddy.  It required an hour to compass the drop.  At
the bottom was a tiny spring where men and beasts drank deeply, then
started on.

The plateau was rough, deep covered with broken rock, but the trail,
though faint, held to the edge.  At this edge the men paused.  The
Colorado lay before them.

Fifty feet below them was a wide stretch of sand.  Next, the river,
smooth brown, slipping rapidly westward.  Beyond the water, on the
opposite side, a chaos of rocks greater than any Enoch had yet seen, a
pile huge as if a mountain had fallen to pieces at the river's edge.
Behind the broken rock rose the canyon wall, sheer black, forbidding,
two thousand feet into the air.  Its top cut straight and sharp across
the sky line, the sky line unbroken save where rising behind the wall a
mountain peak, snow capped, flecked with scarlet and gold, towered in
the sunlight.

"There you are, Curly!" exclaimed Mack.  "There's a spring in the cave
beneath us.  There's drift wood, enough to run a factory with.  Have I
delivered the goods, or not?"

"Everything is as per advertisement except the gold," replied Curly.

"Oh, well, I don't vouch for the gold!" said Mack.  "I just said the
Indians claim they get it here.  There's some grazing for the critters
up here on the plateau, you see, and not a bit below.  So we'll drive
'em back up here and leave 'em.  With a little feed of oats once in a
while, they'll do.  Come ahead!  It'll be dark in the Canyon inside of
two hours."

The cave proved to be a hollow overhang of the plateau ten or fifteen
feet deep, and twice as wide.  The floor was covered with sand.

"All ready to go to housekeeping!" exclaimed Curly.  "Judge, you
wrangle firewood while Mack and I just give this placer idea a ten
minutes' trial, will you?"

"Go ahead!" said Enoch, "all the gold in the Colorado couldn't tempt me
like something to eat.  If you aren't ready by the time the fire's
going, Mack, I shall start supper."

"Go to it!  I can stand it if you can!" returned Mack, who had already
unpacked his pan.

From that moment Enoch became the commissary and steward for the
expedition.  Curly and Mack, whom he had known as mild and jovial
companions of many interests and leisurely manners, changed in a
twinkling to monomaniacs who during every daylight hour except for the
short interim which they snatched for eating, sought for gold.  At
first Enoch laughed at them and tried to get them to take an occasional
half day off in which to explore with him.  But they curtly refused to
do this, so he fell back on his own resources.  And he discovered that
the days were all too short.  Curly had a gun.  There was plenty of
ammunition.  Quail and cottontails were to be found on the plateau
where the stock was grazing.  Sometimes on Pablo, sometimes afoot,
Enoch with the gun, and sometimes with the black diary rolled in his
coat, scoured the surrounding country.

One golden afternoon he edged his way around the shoulder of a gnarled
and broken peak, in search of rabbits for supper.  Just at the
outermost point of the shoulder he came upon a cedar twisting itself
about a broad, flat bowlder.  Enoch instantly stopped the search for
game and dropped upon the rock, his back against the cedar.  Lighting
his pipe, he gave himself up to contemplation of the view.  Below him
yawned blue space, flecked with rose colored mists.  Beyond this mighty
blue chasm lay a mountain of purest gold, banded with white and
silhouetted against a sky of palest azure.  An eagle dipped lazily
across the heavens.

When he had gazed his fill, Enoch put his pipe in his pocket, unrolled
the diary and, balancing it oh his knee, began to write:

"Oh, Diana, no wonder you are lovely!  No wonder you are serene and
pure and reverent!

  'And her's shall be the breathing balm
  And her's the silence and the calm'--

"You remember how it goes, Diana.

"I heard Curly curse yesterday.  A thousand echoes sent his words back
to him and he looked at the glory of the canyon walls and was ashamed.
I saw shame in his eyes.

"It was not cowardice that drove me away for this interval, Diana.
Never believe that of me!  I was afraid, yes, but of myself, not of the
newspapers.  If I had stayed on the train, I would have returned at
once to Washington and have shot the reporter who wrote the stuff.
Perhaps I shall do it yet.  But if I do, it will be after the Canyon
and I have come to agreement on the subject.  I am very sure I shall
shoot Brown.  Some one should have done it, long ago.

"I wonder what you are doing this afternoon.  Somewhere between a
hundred and a hundred and fifty miles we are from Bright Angel, Mack
says, via the river.  And only a handful of explorers, you told me,
ever have completed the trip down the Colorado.  I would like to try it.

"Diana, you look at me with your gentle, faithful eyes, the corners of
your lips a little uncertain as if you want to tell me that I am
disappointing you and yet, because you are so gentle, you did not want
to hurt me.  Diana, don't be troubled about me.  I shall go back, long
enough at least to discharge my pressing duties.  After that, who knows
or cares!  Oh, Diana!  Diana!  What is the use?  There is nothing left
in my life.  I am empty--empty!

"Even all this is make believe, for, as soon as you saw that I was
beginning to care for you,--beginning is a good word here!--you went
away.

"Good-by, Diana."

Enoch's gun made no contribution to the larder that night.  Curly
uttered loud and bitter comment on the fact.

"You're getting spoiled by high living," said Enoch severely.  "What
would you have done if I hadn't come along and taken pity on you?  Why,
you and Mack would have starved to death here in the Canyon, for it's
morally certain neither of you would have stopped panning gold long
enough to prepare your food."

"Right you are, Judge," replied Curly meekly.  "I'm going to try to get
Mack to rebate two bits a day on your board, as a token of our
appreciation."

"Not when his biscuits have to be broken open with a stone," objected
Mack, as he sopped in his coffee one of the gray objects Enoch had
served as rolls.

"They say when a woman that's done her own cooking first gets a hired
girl, she becomes right picky about her food," rejoined Curly.

"I'd give notice if I had any place to go," said Enoch.  "What was the
luck to-day, boys?"

"Well, I've about come to the conclusion," replied Mack, "that by
working eight hours a day you can just about wash wages out of this
sand, and that's all."

"You aren't going to give it up now, are you, Mack?" asked Curly, in
alarm.

"No, I'll stay this week out, if you want to, and then move on up to
Devil's Canyon."

They were silently smoking around the fire, a little later, when Curly
said:

"I have a hunch that you and I're not going to get independent wealth
out of this expedition, Mack."

"What would you do with it, if you had it, Curly?" asked Enoch.

"A lot of things!"  Curly ruminated darkly for a few moments, then he
looked at Enoch long and keenly.  "Smith, you're a lawyer, but I
believe you're straight.  There's something about you a man can't help
trusting, and I think you've been successful.  You have that way with
you.  Do you know what I'd do if I was taken suddenly rich?  Well, I'd
hire you, at your own price, to give all your time to breaking two men,
Fowler and Brown."

"Easy now, Curly!" Mack spoke soothingly.  "Don't get het up.  What's
the use?"

"I'm not het up.  I want to get the Judge's opinion of the matter."

"Go ahead.  I'm much interested," said Enoch.

"By Brown, I mean the fellow that owns the newspapers.  When my brother
and Fowler were in law together--"

"You should make an explanation right there," interrupted Mack.  "You
said all lawyers was crooks."

"My brother Harry was straight and I've just given my opinion of Smith
here.  I never liked Fowler, but he had great personal charm and Harry
never would take any of my warnings about him.  Brown was a
short-legged Eastern college boy who worked on the local paper for his
health.  How he and Fowler ever met up, I don't know, but they did, and
the law office was Brown's chief hang-out.  Now all three of 'em were
as poor as this desert.  Nobody was paying much for law in Arizona in
those days.  Our guns was our lawyers.  But by some fluke, Harry was
made trustee of a big estate--a smelting plant that had been left to a
kid.  After a few years, the courts called for an accounting, and it
turned out that my brother was short about a hundred thousand dollars.
He seemed totally bewildered when this was discovered, swore he knew
nothing about it and was terribly upset.  And this devil of a Fowler
turns round and says Harry made way with it and produces Brown as a
witness.  And, by the lord, the court believed them!  My brother killed
himself."  Curly cleared his throat.  "It wasn't six months after that
that Fowler and Brown, who left the state right after the tragedy,
bought a couple of newspapers.  They claimed they got the money from
some oil wells they'd struck in Mexico."

"How is it the country at large doesn't know of Fowler's association
with Brown?" asked Enoch.

"Oh, they didn't stay pardners as far as the public knows, but a few
years.  They were too clever!  They gave out that they'd had a split
and they say nobody ever sees them together.  All the same, even when
they were seeming to ignore him, the Brown papers have been making
Fowler."

"And you want to clear your brother's name," said Enoch thoughtfully.
"That ought not to be difficult.  You could probably do it yourself, if
you could give the time, and were clever at sleuthing.  The papers in
the case should be accessible to you."

"Shucks!" exclaimed Curly.  "I wouldn't go at it that way at all.  I
got something real on Fowler and Brown and I want to use it to make
them confess."

"Sounds like blackmail," said Enoch.

"Sure!  That's where I need a lawyer!  Now, I happen to know a personal
weakness of Fowler's--"

"Don't go after him on that!"  Enoch's voice was peremptory.  "If he's
done evil to some one else, throw the light of day on his crime, but if
by his weakness you mean only some sin he commits against himself, keep
off.  A man, even a crook, has a right to that much privacy."

"Did Brown ever have decency toward a man's seclusion?" demanded Curly.

"No!" half shouted Enoch.  "But to punish him don't turn yourself into
the same kind of a skunk he is.  Kill him if you have to.  Don't be a
filthy scandal monger like Brown!"

"You speak as if you knew the gentleman," grunted Mack.

"I don't know him," retorted Enoch, "except as the world knows him."

"Then you don't know him, or Fowler either," said Curly.  "But I happen
to have discovered something that both those gentlemen have been mixed
up in, in Mexico, something--oh, by Jove, but it's racy!"

"You've managed to keep it to yourself, so far," said Mack.

"Meaning I'd better continue to do so!  Only so long as it serves my
purpose, Mack.  When I get ready to raise hell about Fowler's and
Brown's ears, no consideration for decency will stop me.  I'll be just
as merciful to them as they were to Harry.  No more!  I'll string their
dirty linen from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  His and Brown's!  But I
want money enough to do it right.  No little piker splurge they can buy
up!  I'll have those two birds weeping blood!"

Enoch moistened his lips.  "What's the story, Curly?" he asked evenly.

Curly filled and lighted his pipe.  But before he could answer Enoch,
Mack said;

"Sleep on it, Curly.  Mud slinging's bad business.  Sleep on it!"

"I've a great contempt for Brown," said Enoch.  "I'm a good deal
tempted to help you out, that is, if it is to the interest of the
public that the story be told."

"It will interest the public.  You can bet on that!" Curly laughed
sardonically.  Then he rose, with a yawn.  "But it's late and we'll
finish the story to-morrow night.  Judge, I have a hunch you're my man!
I sabez there's heap devil in you, if we could once get you mad."

Enoch shrugged his shoulders.  "Perhaps!" he said, and he unrolled his
blankets for bed.

But it was long before he slept.  The hand of fate was on him, he told
himself.  How else could he have been led in all the wide desert to
find this man who held Brown's future in his hands?  Suddenly Enoch saw
himself returning to Washington with power to punish as he had been
punished.  His feeble protests to Curly were swept away.  He felt the
blood rush to his temples.  And anger that had so far been submerged by
pain and shame suddenly claimed its hour.  His rage was not only at
Brown.  Luigi, his mother, most of all this woman who had been his
mother, claimed his fury.  The bitterness and humiliation of a lifetime
burst through the gates of his self-control.  He stole from the cave to
the sandy shore and there he strode up and down like a madman.  He was
physically exhausted long before the tempest subsided.  But gradually
he regained his self-control and slipped back into his blankets.
There, with the thought of vengeance sweet on his lips, he fell asleep.

Curly was, of course, entirely engrossed the next day by his mining
operations.  Enoch had not expected or wished him to be otherwise.  He
felt that he needed the day alone to get a grip on himself.

That afternoon he climbed up the plateau to the entering trail, up the
trail to the desert.  He was full of energy.  He was conscious of a
purposefulness and a keen interest in life to which he had long been a
stranger.  As he filled the gunny sack which he carried for a game bag
with quail and rabbits, he occasionally laughed aloud.  He was thinking
of the expression that would appear on Curly's face if he learned into
whose hands he was putting his dynamite?

The sun was setting when he reached the head of the trail on his way
campward.  All the world to the west, sky, peaks, mesas, sand and rock
had turned to a burning rose color.  The plateau edge, near his feet,
was green.  These were the only two colors in all the world.  Enoch
stood absorbed by beauty when a sound of voices came faintly from
behind him.

His first thought was that Mack and Curly had stolen a march on him.
His next was that strangers, who might recognize him, were near at
hand.  He started down the trail as rapidly as he dared.  It was dusk
when he reached the foot.  For the last half of the trip voices had
been floating down to him, as the newcomers threaded their way slowly
but steadily.  Enoch stood panting at the foot of the trail, listening
acutely.  A voice called.  Another voice answered.  Enoch suddenly lost
all power to move.  The full moon sailed silently over the plateau
wall.  Enoch, grasping his gun and his game bag, stood waiting.

A mule came swiftly down the last turn of the trail and headed for the
spring.  The man who was riding him pulled him back on his haunches
with a "Whoa, you mule!" that echoed like a cannon shot.  Then he flung
himself off with another cry.

"Oh, boss!  Oh, boss!  Here he is, Miss Diana!  O dear Lord, here he
is!  Boss!  Boss!  How come you to treat me so!"

And Jonas threw his arms around Enoch with a sob that could not be
repressed.

Enoch put a shaking hand on Jonas' shoulder.  "So you found your bad
charge, old man, didn't you?"

"Me find you?  No, boss, Miss Diana, she found you.  Here she is!"

Diana dropped from her horse, slender and tall in her riding clothes.

"So Jonas' pain is relieved, eh, Mr. Huntingdon!  Are you having a good
holiday?"

"Great!" replied Enoch huskily.

"I told Jonas it was the most sensible thing a man could do, who was as
tired as you are, but he would have it you'd die without him.  If you
don't want him, I'll take him away."

"You'd have to take me feet first, Miss Diana," said Jonas, with a
grin.  "Where's that Na-che?"

"Here she comes!" laughed Diana.  "Poor Na-che!  She hates to hurry!
She's got a real grievance against you, Jonas."

Two pack mules lunged down the trail, followed by a squat figure on an
Indian pony.

"This is Na-che, Mr. Huntingdon," said Diana.

Enoch shook hands with the Indian woman, whose face was as dark as
Jonas' in the moonlight.  "Where's your camp, Mr. Huntingdon?" Diana
went on.

"Just a moment!"  Enoch had recovered his composure.  "I am with two
miners, Mackay and Field.  To them, I am a lawyer named Smith.  I would
like very much to remain unknown to them during the remaining two weeks
of my vacation."

Jonas heaved a great sigh that sounded curiously like an expression of
vast and many sided relief.  Then he chuckled.  "Easy enough for me.
You can't never be nothing but Boss to me."

But Diana was troubled.  "I thought we'd camp with your outfit
to-night.  But we'd better not.  I'd be sure to make a break.  Are you
positive that these men don't know you?"

"Positive!" exclaimed Enoch.  "Why, just look at me, Miss Allen!"

Diana glanced at boots, overalls and flannel shirt, coming to pause at
the fine lion-like head.  "Of course, your disguise is very
impressive," she laughed.  "But I would say that it was impressive in
that it accents your own peculiarities."

"That outfit is something fierce, boss.  I brung you some riding
breeches," exclaimed Jonas.

"I don't want 'em," said Enoch.  "Miss Allen, Field calls me Judge.
How would that do?"

"Well, I'll try it," agreed Diana reluctantly.  "I know both the men,
by the way.  Mack, especially, is well known among the Indians.  What
explanation shall we make them?"

"Why not the truth?" asked Enoch.  "I mean, tell them that I slipped
away from my friends and that Jonas tagged."

"Very well!" Diana and Jonas both nodded.

"And now," Enoch lifted his game bag, "let's get on.  My partners are
going to be worried.  And I'm the cook for the outfit, too."

"Boss," Jonas took the game bag, "you take my mule and go on with Miss
Diana and Na-che and I'll come along with the rest of the cattle."

Enoch obediently mounted, Diana fell in beside him, and looked
anxiously into his face.  "Please, Judge, are you very cross with me
for breaking in on you?  But poor Jonas was consumed with fear for you."

Enoch put his hand on Diana's as it rested on her knee.  "You must
know!" he said, and was silent.

"Then it's all right," sighed Diana, after a moment.

"Yes, it's quite all right!  How did Jonas find you?"

"It seems that he and Charley concluded that you must have headed
toward Bright Angel.  Charley went on to Washington to keep things in
order there.  Jonas went up to El Tovar.  I had just outfitted for a
trip into the Hopi country when Jonas came to me.  He had talked to no
one.  He is wonderfully circumspect, but he was frantic beneath his
calm.  He begged me to find you for him and--well, I was a little
anxious myself--so I didn't need much urging.  We had only been out a
week when we met John Red Sun.  The rest was easy.  If a person sticks
to the trails in Arizona it's difficult not to trace them.  Look,
Judge, your friends have lighted a signal fire."

"Poor chaps!  They're starved and worried!"  Enoch quickened his mule's
pace and Diana fell in behind him.

Mack and Curly were standing beside the blaze at the edge of the
plateau.  Enoch jumped from the saddle.

"I'm awfully sorry, fellows!  But you see, I was detained by a lady!"

"For heaven's sake, Diana!" cried Mack.  "Where did you come from?"

"Hello, Mack!  Hello, Curly!" Diana dismounted and shook hands.  "Well,
the Judge gave his friends the slip.  Everybody was satisfied but his
colored man, Jonas.  He was absolutely certain the Judge wouldn't keep
his face clean or his feet dry and he so worked on my feelings that I
trailed you people.  I was going into the Hopi country anyhow."

Curly gave Enoch a knowing glance.  "We thought he was putting
something over on us.  What is he, Diana, a member of the Supreme
Bench?"

"Huh!  Hardly!"

Everybody laughed at Diana's derisive tone and Curly added, "Anyhow,
he's a rotten cook.  I was thinking of putting Mack back on his old
job."

"Don't intrude, Curly," said Enoch.  "I've been out and brought in an
assistant who's an expert."

"That's you, I suppose, Diana!" Mack chuckled.

"No, it's Jonas, the colored man.  He'll be along with Na-che in a
moment.  This isn't your camp?"

"Come along, Miss Allen!" exclaimed Enoch.  "I'll show you a camp
that's run by an expert."

Mack and Curly groaned and followed Enoch and Diana down to the cave,
Jonas and Na-che appearing shortly.  Jonas, hobbling to the cave
opening stood for a moment, gazing at the group around the fire in
silent despair.  Finally he said:

"When I get back to Washington, if I live to get there, they'll put me
out of the Baptist Church as a liar, if I try to tell 'em what I been
through.  Boss, what you trying to do?"

"Dress these quail," grunted Enoch.

Jonas gave Curly and Mack a withering glance, started to speak,
swallowed something and said, "How come you to think you was a butcher,
boss?  Leave me get my hands on those birds.  I should think you done
enough, killing 'em."

"No," said Enoch, "I'm the cook for to-night.  But, Jonas, old man, if
you aren't too knocked up, you might make some biscuit."

"Jonas looks to me," suggested Mack, "like a cup of coffee and a seat
by the fire was about his limit to-night.  I'll get the rest of the
grub, if you'll tend to the quail, Judge.  Curly, you go out and unpack
for Diana.  We'll turn the cave over to you and Na-che to-night, Diana."

Diana, who was sitting on a rock by the fire, long, slender legs
crossed, hands clasping one knee, an amused spectator of the scene,
looked up at Mack with a smile.

"Indeed you won't, Mack.  Na-che and I have our tent.  We'll put it up
in the sand, as usual.  And tomorrow, having delivered our prize
package, we'll be on our way."

Enoch looked up quickly.  "Don't be selfish, Miss Allen!" he exclaimed.

"That's the idea!" Mack joined in vehemently.  Then he added, with a
grin, "The Judge has plumb ruined our quiet little expedition anyhow.
And after two weeks of him and Curly, I'm darn glad to see you, Diana.
How's your Dad?"

"Very well, indeed!  If he had had any idea that I was going on this
sort of trip, though, I think he'd have insisted on coming with me.
Judge, let me finish those birds.  You're ruining them."

"Whose quail are these, I'd like to know?" demanded Enoch.

"Yours," replied Diana meekly, "but I had thought that some edible
portion besides the pope's nose and the neck ought to be left on them."

Jonas, who had been crouching uneasily on a rock, a disapproving
spectator of the scene, groaned audibly.  Na-che now came into the glow
of the fire.  She was a comely-faced woman, of perhaps forty-five,
neatly dressed in a denim suit.  Her black eyes twinkled as she took in
the situation.

"Na-che, you come over here and sit down by me," said Jonas.  "If I
can't help, neither can you."

Na-che smiled, showing strong white teeth.  "You feel sick from the
saddle, eh, Jonas?"

"Don't you worry about that, woman!  I'll show you I'm as good as any
Indian buck that ever lived!"

Na-che grunted incredulously, but sat down beside Jonas nevertheless.

In spite of the gibes, supper was ready eventually and was devoured
with approval.  When the meal was finished, Na-che and Jonas cleared
up, then Jonas took his blanket and retired to a corner of the cave,
whence emerged almost immediately the sound of regular snoring.  The
others sat around the fire only a short time.

"You'll stick around for a little while, won't you, Diana?" said Curly,
as he filled his first pipe.

"I really ought to pull out in the morning," replied Diana.  "There are
some very special pictures I want to get at Oraibai about now."

"There is a cliff dwelling down the river about three miles," said
Enoch.  "I haven't found the trail into it yet, but I saw the dwelling
distinctly from a curve on the top of the Canyon wall.  It's a huge
construction."

"Is that so?" exclaimed Diana eagerly.  "Why, those must be the Gray
ruins.  I didn't realize we were so close to them.  Well, you've
tempted me and I've fallen.  I really must give a day to those remains.
Only one or two whites have ever gone through them."

Enoch smiled complacently.

"How long have you and the Judge known each other, Diana?" asked Curly
suddenly.

Diana hesitated but Enoch spoke quickly.  "The first time I saw Miss
Allen she was a baby of five or six on Bright Angel trail."

Curly whistled.  "Then you've got it on the rest of us.  I first saw
her when she was a sassy miss in school at Tucson."

"Nothing on me!" said Mack.  "I held her in my arms when she was ten
days old, and my wife was with her mother and Na-che when she was born.
You were a red-faced, squalling brat, Diana."

"She was a beautiful baby!  She never cried," contradicted Na-che
flatly.

Diana laughed and rose.  "This is getting too personal.  I'm going to
bed," she said.  The men looked at her, admiration in every face.

"Anything any of us can do for your comfort, Diana?" asked Curly.
"Na-che seemed satisfied with the place I put your tent in."

"Everything is fine, thank you," Diana held out her hand, "Good night,
Curly.  I really think you're handsomer than ever."

"Lots of good that'll do me," retorted Curly.

Diana made a little grimace at him and turned to Mack.  "Good night,
Mack.  I'll bet you're homesick for Mrs. Mack this minute."

"She's a pretty darned fine old woman!" Mack nodded soberly.

"Old!" said Diana scornfully.  "You ought to have your ears boxed!
Good night, Judge!"

"Good night, Miss Allen!"

The three men watched the tall figure swing out into the moonlight.

"There goes the most beautiful human being I ever hope to see," said
Curly, turning to unroll his blankets.

"If I was a painter and wanted to tell what this here country was
really like, at its best, I'd paint Diana."  Mack's voice was very
earnest.

"Shucks!" sniffed Curly, "that isn't saying anything, is it, Judge?"

"It's hard to put her into words," replied Enoch carefully.  "Curly,
are you too tired to continue our last night's talk?"

"Oh, let's put it over till to-morrow!  We've lots of time!"  Curly
gave a great yawn.

Enoch said nothing more but rolled himself in his blankets, with the
full intention of formulating his line of conduct toward Diana before
going to sleep.  He stretched himself luxuriously in the sand and the
next thing he heard was Diana's laugh outside.  He opened his eyes in
bewilderment.  It was dawn without the cave.  Jonas was hobbling down
toward the river.

"Oh, Jonas, you poor thing!  Do let Na-che give you a good rubdown
before you try to do anything!"

"No, Miss Diana.  If the boss can stand these goings on, I can.  How
come he ever thought this was sport, I don't know.  I'll never live to
get him back home!"

"Where are you going, Jonas?" called Curly.

Jonas paused.  "I ain't going to turn myself round, unless I have to.
What's wanted?"

"I just wanted to warn you that the Colorado's no place for a morning
swim," Curly said.

"I'm just going to get the boss's shaving water."

"There's a hint for you, Judge," Curly turned to Enoch.  "I hope you
plan to give more attention to your toilet after this."

"You go to blazes, Curly," said Enoch amiably.  "I haven't got the
reputation for pulchritude to live up to that you have."

"Diana's imagination was in working order last night," volunteered
Mack.  "To my positive knowledge Curly ain't washed or shaved for three
days."

"You've drunk of the Hassayampa too, Mack!"  Curly ran the comb through
his black locks vindictively.

"What's the effect of that draught?" asked Enoch.

"You never tell the truth again," said Curly.

Na-che's voice floated in.  "Jonas, you tell the men I got breakfast
already for 'em.  Tell 'em to bring their own cups and plates."

"Sounds rotten, huh?" Curly sauntered out of the cave.

It was a very pleasant meal.  To Enoch it was all a dream.  It seemed
impossible for him to absorb the fact that he and Diana were together
in the Colorado Canyon.  When the last of the coffee was gone, Curly
looked at his watch, then turned severely to Enoch.

"We're an hour earlier than we've ever been, and all because of women!
Aren't you ashamed?"

"Run along and wash dirt," returned Enoch.  "For two cents I'd tell how
long it took me to get you up yesterday morning."

"What's your program, Diana?" asked Mack.

"Na-che and I are going over to the cliff dwelling.  We'll be gone all
day."

"I'll act as guide," said Enoch with alacrity.

"It's not necessary!" exclaimed Diana.  "I don't want to interrupt your
camp routine at all.  You just give us directions, Judge.  Na-che and I
are old hands at this, you know."

"Oh, take him along, Diana!  He'll be crying in a minute," sniffed
Curly.  "Jonas, you'll stay and give us a feed, won't you?"

"I got to look out for the boss," Jonas spoke anxiously.

A shout went up.  "Jonas, old boy," said Enoch, "you stay in camp
to-day and er--look over my clothes."

"I will, boss," with intense relief, "and I'll make you a stew out of
those rabbits nobody'll forget in a hurry."

Mack and Curly hurried off to the river's edge.  Na-che and Jonas went
into the cave.  Enoch looked at Diana.  She was standing by the
breakfast fire slender and straight in her brown corduroy riding suit,
her wide, intelligent eyes studying Enoch's face.  There was a glow of
crimson in the cream of her cheeks, for the morning air held frost in
its touch.

"May I go with you?" repeated Enoch.  "I'll be very good!"

Diana did not reply at first.  Moonlight and firelight had not
permitted her before to read clearly the story of suffering that was in
Enoch's face.  During breakfast he had been laughing and chatting
constantly.  But now, as he stood before her, she was appalled by what
she saw in the rugged face.  There were two straight, deep lines
between his brows.  The lines from nostril to lip corner were doubly
pronounced.  The thin, sensitive lips were compressed.  The clear,
kindly blue eyes were contracted as if Enoch were enduring actual
physical pain.  Tall and powerful, his dark red hair tossed back from
his forehead, his look of trouble did not detract from the peculiar
forcefulness of his personality.

"If you hesitate so long," he said, "I shall--"

Diana laughed.  "Begin to cry, as Curly said?  Oh, don't do that!  I
shall be very happy to have you with me, but before we start, I think I
shall develop some of the films I exposed on the way over.  A ten
o'clock start will be early enough, won't it?  I have a developing
machine with me.  It may not take me even until ten."

Enoch nodded.  "How does the work go?" he asked eagerly.  "Did you
attend the ceremony Na-che sent word to you about?"

"Yes!  Out of a hundred exposures I made there, I think I got one
fairly satisfactory picture." Diana sighed.  "After all, the camera
tells the story no better than words, and words are futile.  Look!
What medium could one use to tell the world of that?"

She swept her arm to embrace the view before them.  The tiny sandy
beach was on a curve of the river so sharp that above and below them
the rushing waters seemed to drive into blind canyon walls.  To the
right, the Canyon on both sides was so sheer, the river bed so narrow
that nothing but sky was to be seen above and beyond.  But to the left,
the south canyon wall terraced back at perhaps a thousand feet in a
series of magnificent strata, yellow, purple and crimson.  Still south
of this, lifted great weathered buttes and mesas, fortifications of the
gods against time itself.  The morning sun had not yet reached the
camp, but it shone warm and vivid on the peaks to the south, burning
through the drifting mists from the river, in colors that thrilled the
heart like music.

Enoch's eyes followed Diana's gesture.  "I know," he said, softly.
"It's impossible to express it.  I've thought of you and your work so
often, down here.  Somehow, though, you do suggest the unattainable in
your pictures.  It's what makes them great."

Diana shook her head and turned toward her tent, while Enoch lighted
his pipe and began his never-ending task of bringing in drift wood.  He
paused, a log on his shoulder, before Curly, who was squatting beside
his muddy pan.

"Curly," he said, "is that stuff you have on Fowler and Brown,
political, financial, or a matter of personal morals?"

"Personal morals and worse!" grunted Curly.  "It's some story!"

Enoch turned away without comment.  But the lines between his eyes
deepened.



CHAPTER IX

THE CLIFF DWELLING


"Love! that which turns the meanest man to a god in some one's eyes!
Yet I must not know it!  Suppose I cast my responsibility to the winds
and . . . and yet that sense of responsibility is all that
differentiates me from Minetta Lane."--_Enoch's Diary_.


Diana began work on her films on a little folding table beside the
spring.  Enoch, throwing down his log close to the cave opening, paused
to watch her.  Jonas and Na-che, putting the cave in order, talked
quietly to each other.  Suddenly from the river, to the right, there
rose a man's half choking, agonized shout and around the curve shot a
skiff, bottom up, a man clinging to the gunwale.  The water was too
wild and swift for swimming.

"The rope, Judge, the rope!" cried Mack.

Enoch picked up a coil of rope, used for staking the horses, and ran to
Mack who snatched it, twirled it round his head and as the boat rushed
by him, the noosed end shot across the gunwale.  The man caught it over
his wrist and it was the work of but a few moments to pull him ashore.

He was a young man, with a two days' beard on his face, clad in the
universal overalls and blue flannel shirt.  He lay on the sand, too
exhausted to move for perhaps five minutes, while Jonas pulled off his
sodden shoes, and Na-che ran to kindle a fire and heat water.  After a
moment, however the stranger began to talk.

"Almost got me that time!  Forgot to put my life preserver on.  Don't
bother about me.  I'm drowned every day.  Another boat with the rest of
us should be along shortly.  Hope they salvaged some of the stuff."

"What in time are you trying to do on the river, anyhow?" demanded
Curly.  "There's simpler ways of committing suicide."

The young man laughed.  "Oh, we're some more fools trying to get from
Green River to Needles!"

"On a bet?" asked Mack.

"Hardly!  On a job!  Geological Survey!  Four of us!  There they come!
Whoo--ee!"

He staggered to his feet, as another boat shot around the curve.  But
this one came through in proper style, right side up, two men manning
the oars and a third with a steering paddle.  With an answering shout,
they ran quickly up on the shore.  They were a rough-bearded, overalled
lot, young men, all of them.

"Gee whiz, Harden!  We thought you were finished!" exclaimed the
tallest of the trio.

"I would have been, but for these folks," replied Harden.  "Here, let's
make some introductions!"

They were stalwart fellows.  Milton, the leader, was sandy-haired and
freckled, a University of California man.  Agnew was stocky and
swarthy, an old Princeton graduate and Forrester, a thin, blonde chap
had worked in New York City before he joined the Geological Survey.
They were astonished by this meeting in the Canyon, but delighted
beyond measure.  They had been on the river for seven months and up to
this time had met no one except when they went out for supplies.

"We camped up above those rapids, last night," said Milton.  "Of course
we didn't know of this spot.  We really had nothing but a ledge, up
there.  This morning Harden undertook to patch his boat, with this
result."  He nodded toward the shivering cast-a-way, who had crowded
himself to Na-che's fire.  "Have you folks any objection to our
stopping here to make repairs?"

"Lord, no!  Glad to have you!" said Mack.

Enoch laughed.  "Mack, it's no use!  You and Curly are doomed to take
on guests as surely as a dog takes on fleas.  They started out alone,
Milton, for a little vacation prospecting trip.  I caught them a few
days out and made them take me on.  Then Miss Allen came along last
night, and now your outfit!  I'm sorry for you, Mack."

"I'll try to live through it," grinned Mack.

"Did you fellows find any pay gravel, coming down?" asked Curly.

"We didn't look for any," answered Agnew, "But a few years ago, I
picked this out of the river bed."

He showed Curly a nugget as large as a pea.  "Where the devil did you
find that?" exclaimed Curly, eagerly.

"I can show you on our map," replied Agnew.

"I'll go fifty-fifty with you," proffered Curly.  "Me to do all the
work."

"No, you won't," laughed Agnew.  "Say, old man, I put in four years,
trying to make money out of the Colorado and I swear, the only real
cash I've ever made on it has been the magnificent wages the Secretary
of the Interior allows me.  I'll keep the nugget.  You can have
whatever else you find there.  Believe me, you'll earn it, before you
get it!"

"You're foolish but I'm on!  Mack, when shall we move?"

"I want to know a lot more before I break up my happy home."  Mack's
voice was dry.  "In the meantime you fellows make yourselves
comfortable.  Come on, Curly.  Let's get back to work!"

"Mr. Curly," said Jonas, "will you let me see that nugget?"

"Sure, Jonas, here it is!"

Jonas turned it over on his brown palm.  "You mean to say you pick up
gold like that, down here?"

"That's what I did," replied Agnew.

"Kin any one do it?"

"Yes, sir!"

"How come it everybody ain't down here doing it right now?"

"The going is pretty stiff," said Harden, with a grin, glancing at his
steaming legs.

"Boss," Jonas turned the nugget over and over, "let's have a try at
these ructions, before we go back!"

"Are you game to take to the boats, Jonas?" asked Enoch.

"No, boss, we'll just go over the hills, like Miss Diana does.  For the
Lord's sake, who'd want to go back to--"

"Jonas," interrupted Diana.  "If you and Na-che will put together a
lunch for us, the Judge and I will get started."

"I didn't quite get your name, sir," said Milton to Enoch.

"Just Smith," called Curly, from over his pan of gravel.  "Mr. Just
Smith!  Judge, for short."

"Oh!"  Milton continued to stare at Enoch in a puzzled way.  "I beg
your pardon!  Come on, Harden, you're pretty well steamed out.  Let's
go back and see what we can salvage, while Ag and Forr begin to
overhaul the stuff we've already pulled out."

Not a half hour later, Enoch, Diana and Na-che were making their way
slowly up the plateau trail, not however, to climb up the old trail to
the main land.  They turned midway toward their right.  There was no
trail, but Enoch knew the way by the distant peaks.  They traveled
afoot, single file, each with a canteen, a little packet of food and
Na-che with the camera tripod, while Enoch insisted on toting the
camera and the coil of rope.  The sun was hot on the plateau and the
way very rough.  They climbed constantly over ragged boulders, and
chaotic rock heaps, or rounded deep fissures that cut the plateau like
spider webs.  Muscular and in good form as was the trio, frequent rests
were necessary.  They had one mishap.  Na-che, lagging behind, slipped
into a fissure.  Enoch and Diana blanched at her sudden scream and ran
back as she disappeared.  Mercifully a great rock had tumbled into the
crevice some time before and Na-che landed squarely on this, six feet
below the surface.  When Diana and Enoch peered over, she was sitting
calmly on the rock, still clinging to the tripod.

"I lost my lunch!" she grumbled as she looked up at them.

Diana laughed.  "You may have mine!  Better no lunch than no Na-che.
Give us hold of the end of the tripod, honey, and we'll help you out."

A few moments of strenuous scrambling and pulling and Na-che was on the
plateau brushing the sand from her clothes.

"Sit down and get your breath, Na-che," said Enoch.

"I'm fine!  I don't need to sit," answered Na-che.  "Let's get along."
She started on briskly.

"I suppose things like that are of daily occurrence!" exclaimed Enoch.
"Miss Allen, don't you think you could be more careful!"

Again Diana laughed.  "It wasn't I who slipped into the crevice!"

"No, but I'll wager you've had many an accident."

"That's where part of the fun comes in.  Why, only yesterday we had the
most thrilling escape.  We--"

"Please!  I don't want to hear it!" protested Enoch,

"Pshaw!  There's no more daily risk here, than there is in the streets
of a large city."

Enoch grunted and followed as Diana hurried after Na-che.  The course
now led along the edge of the plateau which here hung directly above
the river.  The water twisted far below like a sinuous brown ribbon.
The nooning sky was bronze blue and burning hot.  The world seemed very
huge, to Enoch; the three of them, toiling so carefully over the yellow
plateau, very small and insignificant.  He did not talk much during the
rest intervals.  He would light his pipe and smoke as if in physical
contentment, but his deep blue eyes were burning and somber as they
rested on the vast emptiness about them.  Na-che always dozed during
the stops.  Diana, after she had observed the look in Enoch's eyes,
occupied herself in writing up her note book.

It was just noon when they came to an old trail which Enoch believed
dropped to the cliff dwelling.  Before descending it, they ate their
lunch, Enoch and Diana sharing with Na-che.  This done, they began to
work carefully down the faint old trail.  For ten or fifteen minutes,
they wormed zig-zag downward, the angle of descent so great that
frequently they were obliged to sit down and slide, controlling their
speed by clinging to the rocks on either side.  They could not see the
cliff dwelling; only the river winding so remotely below.  But at the
end of the fifteen minutes the trail stopped abruptly.  So
unexpectedly, in fact, that Enoch clung to a rock while his legs
dangled over the abyss.  He shouted to the others to wait while he
peered dizzily below.  A great section of the wall had broken away and
the trail could not be taken up again until a sheer gap of twenty feet
had been bridged.

Diana crept close behind Enoch and peered over his shoulders.

"If we tie the rope to this pointed rock, I think we can lower
ourselves, don't you?" he asked.

"Easily!" agreed Diana.  "I'll go first."

"Well, hardly!  I'll go first and Na-che can bring up the rear, as
usual."

They knotted the rope around the rock and Enoch and Diana quickly and
easily made the descent.  Na-che lowered the camera and tripod to them,
then examined, with a sudden exclamation, the rock to which the rope
was tied.  "That rock will give way any minute," she cried.  "Your
weight has cracked it."

Even as she spoke, the rock suddenly tilted and slid, then bounded out
to the depths below, carrying the rope with it.  For a moment no one
spoke, then Na-che, her round brown face wrinkled with amusement, said,

"Almost no Na-che, no Diana, no Judge, eh?"

"Jove, what an escape!" breathed Enoch.

"Na-che," said Diana, "you'll just have to return to the camp for
another rope.  You'd better ride back here.  In the meantime, the Judge
and I'll explore the dwelling."

Na-che nodded and without another word, disappeared.  Diana turned to
Enoch.  "Lead ahead, Judge!"

The trail now led around a curve in the wall.  Enoch edged gingerly
beyond this and paused.  The trail again was broken, but they were in
full view of the cliff dwelling, which was snuggled in an inward curve
of the Canyon, filling entirely a gigantic gap in the gray wall.

Diana exclaimed over its mute beauty.  "I must see it!" she said.  "But
we can't bridge this gap without more ropes and more people to help."

"It looks to me," Enoch spoke with a sudden smile, "as though the Lord
intended me to have a few moments alone with you!"

Diana smiled in return.  "It does, indeed," she agreed.

"Let's try to settle ourselves comfortably here in view of the
dwelling.  I like to look at it.  We can hear Na-che when she calls."

The trail was several feet wide at this point.  Diana sat down on a
rock, her back to the wall, clasping one knee with her brown fingers.
For a little while Enoch stood looking from the dwelling to Diana, then
far out to the glowing peaks across the Canyon to the north.  Finally,
he turned to silent contemplation of the lovely, slender figure against
the wall.  Diana's dignity, her utter sweetness, the something quieting
and steadying in her personality never had seemed more pronounced to
Enoch than in this country of magnificent heights and depths.

"Well," said Diana, finally, "after you've finished your inspection,
perhaps you'll sit down and talk."

Enoch smiled and established himself beside her.  He refilled his pipe,
lighted it and laid it down.  "Miss Allen," he said abruptly, "you saw
the article in the Brown papers?"

"Yes," replied Diana.

"What did you think of it?"

"I thought what others think, that Brown is an unspeakable cur."

"I can't tell you how keenly I feel for you in the matter, Miss Allen.
I would have given anything to have saved you from it."

"Would you?  I'm not so sure that I would!  You see, I'm just enough of
a hero worshiper to be proud to have my name coupled in friendship with
that of a great man."

"A great man!" repeated Enoch quietly, yet with a bitterness in his
voice that wrung Diana's heart.

"Yes, Mr. Huntingdon," Diana's voice broke a little and she turned her
head away.

The utter silence of the Canyon enveloped them.

At last Enoch said, "You have a big soul, Miss Allen, but you shall not
sacrifice one smallest fragment of--of your perfection for me.  If it
is necessary for me to kill Brown, I shall do so."

Diana gasped, "Enoch!"

Enoch, at the sound of his name on her lips, touched her hand quickly
and softly with his own, and as quickly drew it away, jumped to his
feet and began to pace the trail.

"Yes, kill him, the cur!  Diana, he did not even leave me a mother in
the public mind!  He maligned you.  The burdens that I have carried for
all the years, the horrors that I've wrestled with, the secret shames
that I've hidden, he's exposed them all in the open marketplace.  And
he dragged you into my mire!  Diana, each man must be broken in a
different way.  Some are broken by money, some by physical fear, some
by spiritual fear, some--"

Diana interrupted.  "Enoch, are you a friend of mine?"

Enoch turned his tortured eyes to hers.  "I shall never tell you how
much a friend I am to you, Diana.  But my friendship is a fact you may
draw on all the days of your life, as heavily as you will."

"And I am your friend.  Though I know you so little, no friend is as
dear to me as you are."  She rose and coming to his side, she took his
hand in both of hers.

"Dear Enoch, what a man like Brown can say of you in an article or two,
has no permanent weight with the public.  Scurrilous stories of that
type kill themselves by their very scurrility.  No matter how eagerly
the public may lap up the stuff, it cannot really heed it for, Enoch,
America knows you and your service.  America loves you.  Brown cannot
dislodge you by slandering your mother.  The real importance and danger
of that story lies in its reaction on you.  I--I could not help
recalling the story of that tormented, red-haired boy who went down
Bright Angel trail with my father and I had to come to help him, if I
could.  O Enoch, if the Canyon could only, once more, wipe Luigi
Guiseppi out of your life!"

Enoch watched Diana's wide gray eyes with a look of painful eagerness.

"Nothing matters, nothing can matter, Enoch, except that you find the
strength in the Canyon to go back to your work and that you leave Brown
alone.  That is what I want to demand of your friendship, that you
promise me to do those two things."

"I shall go back, of course," replied Enoch, gravely.  "I had no
thought of doing otherwise.  But about Brown, I cannot promise."

"Then will you agree not to go back until you have talked to me again?"

"Again?  But I expect to talk to you many times, Diana!  You are not
going away, are you?"

Diana nodded.  "I'm using another person's money and I must get on,
to-morrow, with the work I agreed to do.  Promise me, Enoch."

"But, Diana--O Diana!  Diana!  Let me go with you!"

Diana turned to face the dwelling.  "The Canyon can do more for you
than I can, Enoch.  But we'll meet, say at El Tovar before you go back
to Washington.  Promise me, Enoch."

"Of course, I promise.  But, Diana, how can I let you go!"

Enoch put his arm across Diana's shoulders and stood beside her,
staring at the silent, deserted dwelling.  It seemed to Enoch, standing
so, that this was the sweetest and saddest moment of his life; saddest
because he felt that in nothing more than friendship must he ever touch
her hand with his: sweetest because for the first time in his history
he was beginning to understand the depth and beauty that can exist in a
friendship between a man and a woman.

"Diana," he said at last, "you may take yourself away from me, but
nevertheless, I shall carry with me the thought of your loveliness,
like a rod and a staff to sustain me."

When Diana turned to look at him there were tears in her eyes.

"I've always been glad that I was not ugly," she said, "but
now,"--smiling through wet lashes--"you make me proud of it, though I
can't see how the thought of it can--"

She paused and Enoch went on eagerly: "It's a seamy, rough world,
Diana, all higgledy-piggledy.  The beautiful souls are misplaced in
ugly carcasses and the ugly souls in beautiful.  Those who might be
friends and lovers too often meet only to grieve that it is too late
for their joy.  In such a world, when one beholds a body that nature
has chiseled and molded and polished to loveliness like yours and
discovers that that loveliness is a true index of the intelligence and
fineness of the character dwelling in the body--well, Diana, it gives
one a new thought about God.  It does, indeed!"

"Enoch, I don't deserve it!  I truly don't!" looking at him with that
curious mingling of tenderness and courtesy and understanding in her
wide eyes that made Diana unique.

Enoch only smiled and again silence fell between them.  Finally, Enoch
said,

"I would like to go down the river with Milton and his crowd."

Diana's voice was startled.  "O no, Enoch!  It's a frightfully
dangerous trip!  You risk your life every moment."

"I want to risk my life," returned Enoch.  "I want a real man's
adventure.  I've got a battle inside of me to fight that will rend me
unless I have one of equal proportions to fight, externally."

A loud halloo sounded from above.  "There's Na-che!" exclaimed Diana.
"We'll talk this over later, Enoch."

But Enoch shook his head.  "No, Diana, please!  I've dreamed all my
life of this canyon trip.  You mustn't dissuade me.  Milton will be
starting to-morrow and I'm going to crowd in, somehow."

Na-che called again.  Diana turned silently and in silence they
returned to the end of the broken trail.  Here they explained to Na-che
the conditions of the trail beyond and that they had determined to give
up the expedition for that day.

"I doubt if I try to investigate it at all, on this trip," said Diana,
when they had made the difficult ascent to the plateau.  "I really
ought to get into the Hopi country.  My conscience is troubling me."

Na-che looked disappointed.  "That is a good camp, by the river," she
said.  "But maybe," eagerly, "the Judge and Jonas will come with us."

"You like Jonas, don't you, Na-che?" asked Enoch.

The Indian woman laughed and tossed her head, but did not answer.

It was only four o'clock when they reached camp, but already dusk was
settling in the Canyon.  A good fire was going in front of the cave and
Jonas was guarding his stew which simmered over a smaller blaze near
Diana's tent.  Na-che lifted the lid of the kettle, sniffed and turned
away with a shrug of her shoulders.

"What's troubling you, woman?" demanded Jonas.

"I thought you was making stew," replied Na-che.

"Oh, you did!  Well, what do you think now?"

"Oh, I guess you're just boiling the mud out of the river water.  You
give me the kettle and I'll show you how to make rabbit stew."

"I'll give you a piece of my mind, Miss Na-che, that's what I'll give
you.  How come you to think you can sass a Washington man, huh, a
government man, huh?  How come you suppose I don't know women, huh?
Why child, I was taking girls to fancy dress balls when you Indians was
still wearing nothing but strings.  I was--"

"O Jonas!" called Enoch, who had been standing by the cave fire, an
amused auditor of Jonas' tirade; "treat Na-che gently.  She's leaving
to-morrow."

"Leaving?  Don't we go, too, boss?" asked Jonas.

"No, I'm going to see if I can go down river with the boats."

Curly, who was cleaning up in the cave, came out, comb in hand.

"You haven't gone crazy, have you, Judge?"

"No more than usual, Curly.  How about it, Milton?" as that sturdy
personage came up from the river and dropped wearily down by the fire.
"Don't you need another man?"

"Yes, Judge, we're two short.  One of our fellows broke an arm a week
ago and we had to send him out, with another chap to help him."

"Will you let me work my passage as far as Bright Angel?" asked Enoch.

Milton scowled thoughtfully.  "It's a god-awful job.  You realize that,
do you?"

Enoch nodded.  Milton turned to Harden and the other two men.  "What do
you fellows think?"

"We're awful short-handed," replied Harden, cautiously.  "Can you swim,
Judge?"

"I'm a strong swimmer."

"But gee willikums, Judge, what're we going to do without you?"
demanded Mack.  "Ain't that just the usual luck?  You get a cook
trained and off he goes!"

"And how about that deal of ours, Smith?" asked Curly, in a low voice.

"I haven't forgotten it for a moment, Curly," Enoch replied.  "I'll
talk to you about it, to-night.  How about it, Milton?"

"Can you stand rotten hard luck without belly-aching?" asked Agnew.

"Yes, he can!" exclaimed Mack, "but he's a darn fool to think of going.
It's as risky as the devil and nobody that's got a family dependent on
'em ought to consider it for a moment."

"I have no one," said Enoch quietly.  "And I'm strong and hard as
nails."

"What fool ever sent you folks out?" asked Curly.

"It's not a fool trip, really," expostulated Milton.  "It's very
necessary for a good many reasons that the government have more
accurate geographical and geological knowledge of this section."

"What part of the government do you work for?" asked Mack.

"The Geological Survey.  It's a bureau in the Department of the
Interior."

"Oh, then Huntingdon's your Big Boss!" exclaimed Mack.  "Do you know
him?"

"Never met him," replied Milton.  "He doesn't know the small fry in his
department."

"He sits in Washington and gets the glory while you guys do the work,
eh!" said Curly.

"I don't think you should put it that way, Curly," protested Mack.
"Enoch Huntingdon's a big man and he's done more real solid work for
his country than any man in Washington to-day and I'll bet you on it."

"Right you are!" exclaimed Forrester.  "My oldest brother was in
college with Huntingdon.  Says he was a good fellow, a brilliant
student and even then he could make a speech that would break your
heart.  His one vice was gambling.  He--"

"My father knew Huntingdon!" Diana spoke quickly.  "He knew him when he
was a long-legged, red-headed boy of fourteen.  My father was his guide
down Bright Angel trail.  Dad always said that he never met as
interesting a human being as that boy."

"Queer thing about personal charm," contributed Agnew.  "I heard
Huntingdon make one of his great speeches when he was Police
Commissioner.  I was just a little kid and he was a big, homely,
red-headed chap, but I remember how my kid heart warmed to him and how
I wished I could get up on the stage and get to know him."

"So he was a gambler, was he?"  Curly spoke in a musing voice.  "Well,
if he was once, he is now.  It's a worse vice than drink."

"How come you say that, Mr. Curly?" demanded Jonas.

"In the meantime," interrupted Enoch, gruffly, "how about my trip down
the Canyon?"

"Well," replied Milton, "if you go at it with your eyes open, I don't
see why you can't try it as far as Grant's Crossing.  That's
seventy-five miles west of here.  Barring accidents, we should reach
there in a week, cleaning up the survey as we go along.  If you live to
reach there, you can either go out or come along, as you wish.  But
understand that from the time we leave here till we reach Grant's
Crossing, there's no way out of the Canyon, at least as far as the maps
indicate."

"Say, the placer where I found my nugget is just above Grant's!"
exclaimed Harden.  "Why don't you placer fans start on west and we'll
all try to meet there in a week's time.  I couldn't tell Field where it
was in a hundred years."

"Suits me!" exclaimed Curly.

"Me too!" echoed Mack.

"Then," said Enoch, "will you take Jonas along as cook, Mack?"

"You bet!" cried Mack.

"Does that suit you, Jonas?" asked Enoch.

"No, boss, it don't suit me.  I've gotta go with you.  I ain't never
going to live through it, but I'll die praying."

A shout went up of laughter and expostulation, but Jonas, though grim
with terror, was entirely unmoved.  Nothing, not even mortal horror of
the Colorado could break his determination never to be separated from
Enoch again.  His agitation was so deep and so obvious that Enoch and
Milton finally gave in to him.

"All right!" said Milton.  "A daylight start will about suit us all, I
guess.  I don't think I can give you much previous instruction, Judge,
that will help you.  We'll put Jonas in Harden's boat and you in mine.
You must wear your life preserver all the time that we are on the
water.  When we are in the boat, do as I tell you, instantly, and
you'll soon pick up what small technique we have.  It's mostly horse
sense and brute strength that we use.  No two rapids are alike and the
portages are nearly all difficult beyond words."

"My Gawd!" muttered Jonas.

"You go over to the Hopi country with us," said Na-che, softly.

"I dassen't do it!" groaned Jonas.  "You'll have to serve that stew,
Na-che.  My nerves is just too upset.  I gotta go off and sit down
somewhere."

"Don't you worry," whispered Na-che, "I'll give you a Navajo charm.
You can't drown if you wear it."

Jonas' black face grew less tense.  "Honest, Na-che?"

Na-che nodded emphatically.

"Well," said Jonas, "I had a warming of my heart to you the minute I
laid eyes on you, up there at the Grand Canyon.  Any woman as handsome
as you is, Na-che, is bound to be a comfort to a man in his hours of
trouble."

Again Na-che nodded and began to dish the stew, which came quite up to
Jonas' estimate of it.  After supper, the big fire was replenished and
Mack produced a deck of cards.

"Who said draw-poker?" he inquired.

"Most any of our crowd will shout," said Agnew.

"Judge?"  Mack looked at Enoch, who was sitting before the fire, arms
clasped about his knees.

Enoch pulled his pipe out of his mouth to answer.  "No!" with a look of
repugnance that caused Milton to exclaim, "Got conscientious scruples
against cards, Judge?"

"Yes, but don't stop your game for me," replied Enoch, harshly.  Then
his voice softened.  "Miss Allen, the moon is shining, up on the
plateau.  While these chaps play, will you take a walk with me?"

"I'd like to very much!" Diana spoke quickly.

"Well, don't be gone over an hour, children," said Curly.  "Cards don't
draw me like a good gab round the fire.  And Diana's our best gabber."

"An hour's the bargain then," said Enoch.  "Come along, Miss Allen!"

It was, indeed, glorious moonlight on the plateau.  The two did not
speak until they reached the upper level, then Enoch laughed.

"Jove!  This is the greatest luck a game of cards ever brought me!
Think, Diana, three days ago I was fighting my despair at the thought
that I must never see you again and that you despised me.  And here I
am, with moonlight and you and a whole hour.  Are you a little bit
glad, Diana?"

"A little bit!  I'd be gladder if I weren't so disturbed at the thought
of the trip you are to begin to-morrow!"

"Nonsense, Diana!  I'm learning more about my own Department every day.
Aren't they a fine lot of fellows?  Milton scares me to death.  I don't
doubt for a moment that if he tells me to dash to destruction in a
whirlpool, I shall do so.  There's a chap that could exact obedience
from a mule.  I'll look up his record when I get back to Washington."

"Shall you reveal your identity before you leave them?" asked Diana.

"No, certainly not!  Not for worlds would I have them know who I am.
And now tell me, Diana, just what are your plans?"

"Oh, nothing at all exciting!  I am going to make some studies of
Indian children's games.  They are picturesque and ethnologically, very
interesting.  I shall come home across the Painted Desert and take some
pictures in color.  My adventures will be very mild compared with
yours."

"And you and Na-che will be quite alone, out in this trackless country!
I shall worry about you, Diana."

Diana laughed.  "Enoch, you have no idea of what you are undertaking!
You'll have no time to give me a thought.  For a week you're going to
struggle as you never did before to keep breath in your body."

"Oh, it'll not be that bad!" exclaimed Enoch.  "Are you cold, Diana?  I
thought you shivered.  What a strange, ghostlike country it is!  It
would be horrible up here alone, wouldn't it!"

They paused to gaze out over the fantastic landscape.

In the gray light the strangely weathered mesas were ruined castles,
stupendous in bulk; the mighty buttes and crumbled peaks were colossal
cities overthrown by the cataclysm of time.  It seemed to Enoch, that
nowhere else in the world could one behold such epic loneliness.  The
excitement that had buoyed him up since Diana's arrival suddenly
departed, and his life with all its ugly facts was vividly in his
consciousness again.

"Diana," he said, abruptly, "when you were talking to me this
afternoon, you spoke of the Brown matter in the plural.  Was there more
than one article about me?"

Diana turned her tender eyes to Enoch's.  "Let's not spoil this
beautiful evening," she pleaded.

"I don't want to bother you, Diana.  Just tell me the facts and we'll
drop it."

"I'd rather not talk about it," replied Diana.

"Please, Diana!  Whatever fight I have down here, whatever conclusion I
reach, I want to work with my eyes open, so that my decisions shall be
final.  I don't want to have to revamp and revise when I get out."

"As far as I know," said Diana, in a low voice, "there was but one
other reference to the matter.  The day after the first article
appeared, Brown published a photograph of you and me in front of a
Johnstown lunch place.  There was a long caption, which said that you
had always been proud that you were slum-reared and a woman hater.
That you had persisted in keeping some of your early habits, perhaps
out of bravado.  That Miss Allen was an intimate friend, the only woman
friend you had made and kept.  That was all."

"All!" echoed Enoch.  The pale, silver landscape danced in a crimson
mist before him.  He stood, clenching and unclenching his fists,
breathing rapidly.

"Oh, Enoch!  Enoch!  Since you had to know, it was better for you to
know from me than any one else.  And as far as I am concerned, as I
told you before, I'm only amused.  It's only for the reaction on you
that I'm troubled."

"You mustn't be troubled, Diana." said Enoch, huskily.  "But I'd be
less than a man, if I didn't pay that yellow cur up.  You see that,
don't you?"

"A Dutch family I have heard of has this family motto: 'Eagles do not
see flies.'"

Enoch gave a dry, mirthless laugh.  For a long time they tramped in
silence.  Then Diana said, "We've been out half an hour, Enoch."

Enoch turned at once, taking Diana's hand as he did so.  He did not
release it until they had reached the edge of the trail and the sound
of men's voices floated up to them.  Then taking off his hat, he lifted
the slender fingers to his lips.  "This is our real good-by, Diana, for
we'll not be alone, again.  If anything should happen to me, I want you
to have my diary, if they save it.  I'll have it with me, on the trip."

Diana's lips quivered.  "God keep you, Enoch, and help you."  Then she
turned and led the way to the cave.



CHAPTER X

THE EXPEDITION BEGINS


"After all, there is a place still untouched by humanity, where skies
are unmarred and the way leads through uncharted beauty.  When I have
earned the right, I shall go there again."--_Enoch's Diary_.


Before dawn the camp fires were lighted and the various breakfasts were
in preparation.  When these had been eaten there was light from the
pale sky above by which to complete the packing of the boats.

These were strongly built, wooden skiffs with three water tight
compartments in each; one amidships, one fore and one aft, with decks
flush with the gunwales.  There was room between the middle and end
compartments for the oarsmen to sit.  The man who worked the
steersman's oar sat on the rear compartment.  In these compartments
were packed all the dunnage, clothing, food, tools, surveying and
geological instruments and cameras.  Each man was allowed about fifty
pounds of personal luggage.  Everything that water could hurt was
packed in rubber bags.

Milton was troubled when he found that Enoch had no change of shoes.

"You'll reach camp each night," said he, "soaked to the skin.  You must
have warm, dry clothing to change to.  Shoes are especially important.
Jonas must have them, too."

"How about Indian moccasins, Mr. Milton?" asked Jonas.  "I bought three
pairs while I was with Miss Diana."

"Well, they're better than nothing," grumbled Milton.  "Are you ready,
Harden?"

"Aye!  Aye! sir!" said Harden, pulling his belt in tightly.  "Are you
all set, Ag and Jonas?"

"All set, Harden," Agnew picked up his oar.  "Are you ready, Matey?" to
Jonas, who was saying good-by in a whisper to Na-che.

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be, Mr. Agnew," groaned Jonas.  "Good-by,
everybody!" stepping gingerly into the boat.

"All aboard then, Judge and Forr," cried Milton.  "I'll shove off."

"Good-by, Diana!  Good-by, Curly and Mack!"  Enoch waved his hand and
took his place, and the racing water seized the boats.  Hardly had
Enoch turned to look once more at the four watching on the beach, when
the boats shot round the curving western wall.  For the first half
hour, the water was smooth and swift, sweeping between walls that were
abrupt and verdureless and offered not so much as a finger hold for a
landing place.

Enoch, following instruction did not try to row at first.  He sat
quietly watching the swift changing scenery, feeling awkward and a
little helpless in his life preserver.

"We're due, sometime this morning, to strike some pretty stiff
cataracts," said Milton, "but the records show that we can shoot most
of them.  Keep in to the left wall, Forr, I want to squint at that bend
in the strata."

They swung across the stream, and as they did so they caught a glimpse
of Jonas.  He was crouched in the bottom of the boat, his eyes rolling
above his life preserver.

"Didn't Na-che give you that Navaho charm, Jonas?" called Forrester.

"It'll take more than a charm to help poor old Jonas," said Enoch.  "I
really think he'll like it in a day or so.  He's got good pluck."

"He's only showing what all of us felt on our maiden trip," chuckled
Milton.  Then he added, quickly, "Listen, Forr!"

Above the splash of the oars and the swift rush of the river rose a
sound like the far roar of street traffic.

"Our little vacation is over," commented Forrester.

"Easy now, Forr!  We'll land for observation before we tackle a racket
like that.  Let the current carry us.  Be ready to back water when I
shout."  He raised his voice.  "Harden, don't follow too closely!  You
know your failing!"

They rounded a curving wall, the current carrying them, Milton said, at
least ten miles an hour.  A short distance now, and they saw spray
breaking high in the middle of the stream.

"We'll land here," said Milton, steering to a great pile of bowlders
against the right wall.

Enoch watched with keen interest the preparation for the descent.
First sticks were thrown into the water, to catch the trend of the main
current.  Milton pointed out to Enoch that if the stick were deflected
against one wall or another, great care had to be exercised to prevent
the boats being dashed against the walls in like manner.  But, he said,
if the current seemed to run a fairly unobstructed course, it was
hopeful that the boats would go through.  There were a number of rocks
protruding from the water, but the current appeared to round these
cleanly and Milton gave the order to proceed.  They worked back
upstream a short distance so as to catch the current straight prow on,
and in a moment they were dashing through a sea of roaring waves that
drenched them to the skin.

Forrester and Milton steered a zigzag course about the menacing rocks,
grazing and bumping them now and again, but emerging finally, without
accident, in quieter waters.  Here they hugged the shore and waited for
Harden's boat, the Mary, to come down.  And come it did, balancing
uncannily on the top of the waves, with Jonas' yells sounding even
above the uproar of the waters.

"More of it below, Harden," said Milton as the Mary shot alongside.

More indeed!  It seemed to Enoch that the first rapid was child's play
to the one that followed.  The jutting rocks were more frequent.  The
fall greater.  The waves more menacing.  But they shot it safely until
they reached its foot and there an eddy caught them and carried them
back upstream in spite of all that could be done.  Enoch seized the
oars that were in readiness beside him and pulled with all his might
but to no avail.  And suddenly the Mary rushed out of the mist striking
them fairly amidship.  The Ida half turned over, but righted herself
and the Mary darted off.  Milton shouted hoarsely, Forrester and Enoch
obeyed blindly and after what seemed to Enoch an endless struggle,
spray and waves suddenly ceased and they found themselves in quieter
waters where the Mary awaited them.

Harden and Agnew were laughing.  "Thought you knew an eddy when you saw
one, Milt!" cried Agnew.

"I don't know anything!" grinned Milton, "except that Jonas is going to
be too scared to cook."

"If ever I get to land," retorted Jonas, "I'll cook something for a
thanksgiving to the Lord that you all will never forget."

They examined the next fall and passed through it successfully.  The
Canyon was widening now and an occasional cedar tree could be seen.
Enoch was vaguely conscious, too, that the colors of the walls were
more brilliant.  But the ardors of the rapids gave small opportunity
for aesthetic observations.

Curiously enough, after the passage of this last fall the waters did
not subside in speed, though the waves disappeared.  The spray of
another fall was to be seen beyond.

"We mustn't risk shooting her without observation," cried Milton.
"Make for that spit of sand with the cedars on it, fellows."

Enoch and Forrester put their backs into their strokes in their
endeavor to guide the Ida to the place indicated, which appeared to be
the one available landing spot.  But the current carried them at such
velocity that when within half a dozen feet of the shore it seemed
impossible to stop and make the landing.

"Overboard!" shouted Milton.

All three plunged into the water, clinging to the gunwale.  The water
was waist deep.  For a few feet boat and men were dragged onward.  Then
they found secure foothold on the rocky river bottom and, with huge
effort, beached the Ida.  Scarcely was this done, when the Mary hove in
view and with Milton shouting directions, they rushed once more into
the current to help with the landing.

"The cook and the bacon both are in your boat, Harden!" chuckled
Milton, "or you'd be getting no such delicate attentions from the Ida."

Jonas crawled stiffly out of his compartment.  Enoch began preparation
for a fire, white the others busied themselves with notes and
observations.  It was 90 degrees on the little sandy beach and the wet
clothing was not chilling.  They ate enormously of Jonas's dinner, then
the Survey men scattered to their work for an hour or so, while Enoch
explored the region.  There was no getting to the top of the walls, so
he contented himself with crawling gingerly over the rocks to a point
where a little spring bubbled out of a narrow cave opening.  Peering
through this, Enoch saw that it was dimly lighted, and he crawled
through the water.

To his astonishment, he was in a great circular amphitheater, a hundred
feet in diameter, domed to an enormous height, with the blue sky
showing through a rift at the top.  The little spring trickled down the
wall, now dropping sheer in spray, now trickling in a delicate,
glistening sheet.  But the greatest wonder of the cave was in the
texture of its walls, which appeared to Enoch to be of purest marble of
a deep shell pink and translucent creamy white.  Moisture had collected
on the walls and each tiny globule of water seemed to hold a miniature
rainbow in its heart.  There was a holy sort of loveliness about the
spot, and before he returned to the rugged adventure outside, Enoch
pulled off his hat and christened the place Diana's Chapel.  Nor did
he, on his arrival at the camp, tell of his find.

Shortly after two o'clock Milton ordered all hands aboard.  But before
this he had shown them all the map, adding a rough sketch of his own.
The next rapid appeared to be no more dangerous than the previous one.
But below it the river widened out into a circular bay, a great tureen
within which the waters moved with an oil-like smoothness.  But when
Milton threw a stick into this strange basin, it was whirled the entire
circumference of the bay with a velocity that all the men agreed boded
ill for any boat that did not cling to the wall.  The west end of the
bay, where it was all but blocked by the closing in of the Canyon
sides, could not be seen from the rocks where the men stood.  But the
old maps reported a steep fall which must be portaged.

"Cling to the right-hand wall," ordered Milton.  "If you steer out,
Harden, for the sake of the short cut, you may be lost.  The reports
show that two other boats were lost here.  Cling to the wall!  When we
reach the mouth we must go ashore again and examine the falls.  Be sure
your life preservers are strapped securely."

"Mr. Milton," said Jonas, "you better let me get my hands on a oar.  If
I got to die, I'm going to die fighting."

"Good stuff, Jonas!" exclaimed Harden.  "Can you row?"

"Brought up on the Potomac," replied Jonas.

"All right, folks," cried Milton.  "We're off."

The Ida would have shot the rapid successfully, but for one important
point.  It was necessary, in order to land on the right side of the
whirlpool, to steer to the right of a tall, finger-like rock, that
protruded from the water at the bottom of the rapids.  About a boat's
length from this rock, however, a sudden wave shot six feet into the
air, throwing the Ida off its course, and drenching the crew, so that
they entered the churning tureen at a speed of twenty miles an hour and
almost at the middle of the stream.

"Pull to the right wall!  To the right!" roared Milton.  But he might
as well have roared to the wind.  Enoch and Forrester rose from their
seats and threw the whole weight of their bodies on their oars.  But
the noiseless power of the whirlpool thrust the Ida mercilessly toward
the center.

"Harder!" panted Milton, straining with all his might at the steering
oar.  "Put your back into her, Judge!  Bend to it, Forr!"

Enoch's breath came in gasps.  His palms, the cords of his wrists felt
powerless.  His toe muscles cramped in agony.  As in a mist he saw the
right wall recede, felt the boat twist under his knees like a
disobedient horse.  Suddenly there was a crack as of a pistol shot
behind him.  One of Forrester's oars had snapped.  Forrester drew in
the other and crawled back to add his weight to the steering oar.

"It's up to you, Judge!" cried Milton.

They were in the center of the bay now and the boat began to spin.  For
one terrible moment it seemed as if an overturn were imminent.  Out of
the tail of his eyes, Enoch saw the Mary hugging the right wall.

"Judge!" shouted Milton.  "If you can back water into that rough spot
six feet to your right, I think we can stop the spin."

Enoch was too spent to reply but he gathered every resource in his body
to make one more effort.  The boat slowly edged into the rough spot and
for a moment the spin ceased.

"Now shoot her downstream!  We'll have to trust to the Mary to keep us
from entering the falls," Milton shouted.

With Enoch giving all that was left in him to the oars, and Forrester
and Milton steering with their united strength and skill, the Ida
slowly worked toward the narrow opening which marked the head of the
falls.  The crew of the Mary had landed and Harden stood on the
outermost rock at the opening, swinging a coil of rope, while Agnew
crawled up behind him with another.  Jonas hung onto the Mary's rope.

Perhaps a half dozen boat lengths from the falls the whirling motion of
the water ceased, and it leaped ferociously toward the narrow opening.
When the Ida felt this straight pull, Milton roared:

"Back her, Judge, back her!  Now the rope, Harden!  You too, Ag!"

Her prow was beyond the opening before the speed of the Ida was stopped
by the ropes.  A moment later her crew had dropped flat on the rocks,
panting and exhausted.

"Well, Milt, of all the darn fools!" exclaimed Harden.  "After telling
us to keep to the right, what did you try to do yourself?  If you'd
gone inside that big finger rock at the end of the rapid you'd have had
no trouble."

"I never had a chance to go inside that rock," panted Milton.  "A
pot-hole spouted a boat's length ahead and threw me clear to the left."

"Say," said Agnew, "we got some crew in our boat now.  Jonas, you are
some little oarsman!"

"Scared as ever, Jonas?" asked Enoch.

"I wasn't never so much scared, you know, boss, as I was nervous.  But
this charm is sure a good one.  If we can live through this here day,
we can live through anything.  I want you to wear it, to-morrow, boss.
Seems like the head boat needs it more'n us folks."

Jonas' liquid black eyes twinkled.  Enoch laughed.  "If I hadn't known
you were a good sport, Jonas, I'd never have let you come with us.
Keep your charm, old man.  I don't expect ever to gather together
enough strength to get into the boat again!"

"Nobody's going to try to get in to-night," said Milton, without
lifting his head from the rocks on which he lay.  "We camp right here.
It's four o'clock anyhow."

"Then I've something still left to be thankful for!" Enoch closed his
eyes with a deep sigh of relief.

When he next opened them it was dusk.  Above him, on the narrow canyon
top, gleamed the wonder of the desert stars.  There was a glow of
firelight on the rocks about him.  Enoch sat up.  It was an
inhospitable spot for a camp.  The roar of the falls was harsh and
menacing.  The canyon walls shot two thousand feet into the air on
either side of the sliding waters.  Enoch was suddenly oppressed by a
vague sense of suffocation.  He realized, fully, for the first time
that the menace of the Canyon was very real; that should a sudden rise
of the waters come at this point, there was no climbing out, no going
back; that should the boats be lost----  He shook himself, rose stiffly
and joined the group around the fire.

"Ship ahoy, Judge!" cried Harden.  "Are you still traveling in circles?"

"Humph!" grunted Milton.  "The Judge may be a tenderfoot in the Canyon,
but he's no tenderfoot in a boat.  Ever on a college crew, Judge?"

"Yes, Columbia," replied Enoch.

"I thought you'd raced!  Jove, how you did heave the old tub round!
Jonas, how about grub for the Judge?"

"How come you to think you have to tell me to look out for my boss, Mr.
Milton?" grumbled Jonas, coming up with a pie tin loaded with beans and
bacon.

"Hello, Jonas, old man!  What do you think of this parlor, bedroom and
bath?" asked Enoch.

"I feel like Joseph in the pit, boss!  Folks back home wouldn't never
believe me if Mr. Agnew hadn't promised to take some pictures of me and
my boat.  That's an awful good boat, the Mary, boss.  She is some boat!
Did you see me jerk her round?"

"No, I missed that, Jonas.  I was a little preoccupied at the time.  Is
to-day a fair sample of every day, you fellows?"

"Lately, yes," replied Forrester.  "To-morrow'll be a bell ringer too,
from the looks of that portage.  Need any help on those dishes, Jonas,
before I go to bed?"

"All done, thanks," answered Jonas.  "Say, Mr. Milton, you know what I
was thinking?  Mary's no name for a sassy, gritty boat like ours.  Let
me give her a good name."

"What name, for instance?" demanded Harden.

Jonas cleared his throat.  "I was thinking of the Na-che."

"My word!" exclaimed Harden.  "Say, Ag, would you want our boat renamed
the Na-che?"

"Who'd repaint the name?" asked Agnew carefully.  "That's the point
with me."

"The trouble with you, Ag," said Harden, "is that you haven't any soul."

"I'd do the painting," Jonas went on eagerly.  "I was thinking of
getting her all fixed up with that can of paint I see to-day.  Red
paint, it was."

"Do you think that Na-che would mind our making free with her name?"
Milton's tone was serious.

"Mind!" cried Jonas.  "Well, if you knew women like I do you'd never
ask a question like that!  A woman would rather have a boat or a race
horse named after her any time than have a baby named for her.  I know
women!"

"In that case, let's rename the Mary," said Milton.  "Everybody ready
to turn in?"

"I am, sir," replied Harden.  "Jonas, you turn off the lights and put
the cat down cellar.  Good night, everybody!"

Jonas chuckled and hobbled off to his blankets.  It was not seven
o'clock when the rude camp was silent and every soul in it in profound
slumber.

Enoch was stiff and muscle-sore in the morning but he ate breakfast
with a ravenous appetite and with a keen interest in the day's program.
In response to his questions Milton said:

"We unload the boats and make the dunnage up into fifty pound loads.
Then we look over the trail.  Sometimes we have merely to get up on our
two legs and walk it.  Other times we have to make trail even for
ourselves, let alone for the boats.  Sometimes we can portage the
freight and lower the boats through the water by tow ropes.  But for
this falls, there's nothing to do but to make trail and drag the boats
over it."

"It's no trip for babes!" exclaimed Enoch.  "That's certain!  Do you
like the work, Milton?"

"It's a work no one would do voluntarily without liking it," replied
the young man.  "I like it.  I wouldn't want to give my life to it,
but--" he paused to look over toward the others busily unloading the
Na-che,--"but nothing will ever do again for me what this experience
has."

"And may I ask what that is?" Enoch's voice was eager.

Milton searched Enoch's face carefully, then answered slowly.
"Sometime when we are having a rest, I'll tell you, if you really want
to know."

"Thanks!  And now set me to work, Captain," said Enoch.

The way beside the falls was nothing more than a narrow ledge
completely covered with giant bowlders.  Beyond the falls, the river
hurled itself for a quarter of a mile against broken rocks that made
the passage of a boat impossible.  It was a long portage.  After the
bowlder-strewn ledge was passed, however, it was not necessary to make
trail, for although the shore was strewn with broken rock and
driftwood, the way was fairly open.

After the contents of the boats had been made up into rough packs, both
crews attacked the trail-making.  It was mid-morning before pick-ax,
shovel and crowbar had opened up a way which Jonas claimed was fit only
for kangaroos or elephants.  Rough as it was, when Milton declared it
fit for their purposes, the rest without protest heaved the packs to
their shoulders.

It was hot at midday in the Canyon.  The thermometer registered 98
degrees in the shade.  Enoch, following Milton, dropped his third pack
at the end of the quarter mile portage and sat down beside it.

"Old man!" he groaned, "you've got to give me a ten minutes' rest."

Milton grinned and nodded sympathetically.  "Take all the time you
want, Judge!"

"I'm ashamed," said Enoch, "but don't forget you fellows have had ten
months of this, as against my two days."

"I don't forget for a minute, Judge.  And just let me tell you that if
ever I were on trial for a serious offense of any kind I'd be perfectly
satisfied to be tried before a real he-man, like you."  And Milton
disappeared over the trail, leaving Enoch with a warm glow in his
heart, such as he had scarcely felt since his first public speech won
the praise of the newspapers.

For a quarter of an hour he sat with his back against a half buried
mesquite log smoking, and now eying the magnificent sheer crimson wall
which lay across the river, now wondering where Diana was and now
contemplating curiously the sense of his own unimportance which the
Canyon was thrusting into his consciousness more persistently every
hour.  Jonas joined him for the last part of his rest, but when Milton
announced that they had finished the packing and must now portage the
boats, Jonas was on the alert.

"That name isn't dry yet!" he exclaimed.  "I got to watch the prow of
my boat myself," and he started hurriedly back over the trail, Enoch
following him more slowly.

Sometimes lifting, sometimes skidding on drift logs, sometimes dragging
by main strength, the six men finally landed the Ida and the Na-che in
quiet waters.  Jonas and Agnew prepared a simple dinner and immediately
after they embarked.  For two hours the river flowed swiftly and
quietly between sheer walls of stratified granite, white and pale
yellow, shot with rose.  Now and again a cedar, dwarfed and distorted,
found toe hold between the strata and etched its deep green against the
white and yellow.

About four o'clock the river widened and the walls were broken by
lateral canyons that led back darkly and mysteriously into the bowels
of the desert.  For half an hour more Milton guided the Ida onward.
Then Enoch cried, "Milton, see that brook!" and he pointed to a
tumbling little stream that issued from one of the side canyons.

Milton at once called for a landing on the grassy shore beside the
brook.  Never was there a sweeter spot than this.  Willows bent over
the brook and long grass mirrored itself within its pebbly depths for a
moment before the crystal water joined the muddy Colorado.  The Canyon
no longer overhung the river suffocatingly, but opened widely, showing
behind the fissured white granite peaks, crimson and snow capped and
appalling in their bigness.

"Here's where we put in a day, boys!" exclaimed Milton.  "I'm sure we
can scramble to the top here, somehow, and get a general idea of the
country."

His crew cheered this statement enthusiastically.  The landing was
easily made and the boats were beached and unloaded.

"Never thought I could unload a boat again without bursting into
tears," said Enoch, grunting under three bed rolls he was carrying up
to the willows, "but here I am, full of enthusiasm!"

"You need a lot of it down here, I can tell you," growled Forrester,
who had skinned his chin badly in a fall that morning.

"You look like a goat, Forr," said Harden, sympathetically, as he set a
folding table close to the spot where Jonas was kindling a fire.

"I'd rather look like a goat than a jack-ass," returned Forrester with
an edge to his voice.

"Forr," said Milton, "don't you want to try your luck at some fish for
supper?  The salmon ought to be interested in a spot like this."

Forrester's voice cleared at once.  "Sure!  I'd be glad to," he said,
and went off to unload his fishing tackle.  When he was out of hearing,
Milton said sharply to Harden:

"Why can't you let him alone, Hard!  You know how touchy he is when
anything's the matter with him."

"I'm sorry," replied Harden shortly.

Enoch glanced with interest from one man to the other, but said
nothing, not even when, Milton's back being turned, Harden winked at
him.  And when Forrester returned with a four-pound river salmon, there
was no sign of irritation in his face or manner.

This night, for the first time, they sat around the fire, luxuriating
in the thought that for the next twenty-four hours they were free of
the terrible demands of the river.  Forrester possessed a good tenor
voice and sang, Jonas joining with his mellow baritone.  Harden, lying
close to the flames, read a chapter from "David Harum," the one book of
the expedition.  Agnew, on request, told a long and involved story of a
Chinese laundryman and a San Francisco broker which evoked much
laughter.  Then Milton, as master of ceremonies, turned to Enoch:

"Now then, Judge, do your duty!"

"I haven't a parlor trick to my name," protested Enoch.

"I like what you call our efforts!" cried Harden.  "Hit him for me, Ag!
He's closest to you."

"Not after the way he wallops the Ida," grunted Agnew.  "Let Milt do
it."

"Boss," said Jonas suddenly, "tell 'em that poem about mercy I heard
you give at--at that banquet at our house."

Enoch smiled, took his pipe from his lips, and began:

  "'The quality of mercy is not strained,
  It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
  Upon the place beneath--'"

Enoch paused a moment.  The words held a new and soul-shattering
significance for him.  Then as the others waited breathlessly, he went
on.  His beautiful, mellow voice, his remarkable enunciation, the
magnetism of his personality stirred his little audience, just as
thousands of greater audiences had been stirred by these same qualities.

When he had finished, there was a profound silence until Milton said:

"That's the only thing I have heard said in the Canyon that didn't
sound paltry."

"If any of the rest of us had repeated it, though, it might have
sounded so."  Harden's tone was dry.

"Shakespeare couldn't sound paltry anywhere!" exclaimed Enoch.

"Hum!" sniffed Agnew.  "Depends on what and when you're quoting.  Give
us another, Judge."

Enoch gazed thoughtfully at the fire for a moment, then slowly and
quietly he gave them the prayer of Habakkuk.  The liquid phrases rolled
from his lips, echoed in the Canyon, then dropped into silence.  Enoch
sat with his great head bowed, his sensitive mouth compressed as if
with pain.  His friends stared from him to one another, then one by one
slipped away to their blankets.  When Enoch looked up, only Milton was
left.

"And so," said Enoch, "the Canyon has been a great experience for you,
Milton!"

"Yes, Judge.  I became engaged to a girl who is a Catholic.  I am a
Protestant, one of the easy going kind that never goes to church.  Yet,
do you know, when she insisted that I turn Catholic, I wouldn't do it?
We had a fearful time!  I didn't have any idea there was so much creed
in me as I discovered I had.  In the midst of it the opportunity came
for this Canyon work, and this trip has changed the whole outlook of
life for me.  Judge, creeds don't matter any more than bridges do to a
stream.  They are just a way of getting across, that's all.  Creeds may
come and creeds may go, but God goes on forever.  Nothing changes true
religion.  Christ promulgated the greatest system of ethics the world
has known.  The ethics of God.  He put them into practical working form
for human beings.  Whatever creed helps you to live the teachings of
Christ most truly, that's the true creed for you.  That's what the
Canyon's done for me.  And when I get out, I'm going back to Alice and
let her make of me whatever will help her most.  I'm safe.  I've got
the creed of the Colorado Canyon!"

Enoch looked at the freckled, ruddy face and smiled.  "Thank you,
Milton.  You've given me something to think about."

"I doubt if you lack subjects," replied Milton drily.  "But--well, I
have an idea you came out here looking for something.  There are lines
around your eyes that say that.  So I just thought I'd hand on to you
what I got."

Enoch nodded and the two smoked for a while in silence.  Then Enoch
said in a low voice:

"Do you have trouble with Forrester and Harden?"

"Yes, constant friction.  They're both fine fellows, but naturally
antagonistic to each other."

"A fellow may be ever so fine," said Enoch, "yet lack the sense of team
play that is absolutely essential in a job like this."

"Exactly," replied Milton.  "The great difficulty is that you can't
judge men until they're undergoing the trial.  Then it's too late.  In
Powell's first expedition, soon after the Civil War, there was constant
friction between Powell and three of his men.  At last, although they
had signed a contract to stick by him, they deserted him."

"How was that?" asked Enoch with interest.

"They simply insisted on being put ashore and they climbed out of the
Canyon with the idea of getting to some of the Mormon settlements.  But
the Indians killed them almost at once, poor devils!  Powell got the
story of it on his second expedition.  The history of those two
expeditions, I think, are as glorious as any chapter in our American
annals."

"Was it so much harder than the work you are doing?"

"There is no comparison!  We're simply following the trail that Powell
blazed.  Think of his superb courage!  These terrible waters were
enshrouded in mystery and fear.  He did not know even what kind of
boats could live in them.  Hostile Indians marauded on either hand.
And as near as I recall the only settlements he could call on, if he
succeeded in clambering out of the Canyon, were Ft. Defiance in New
Mexico, and Mormon settlements, miles across the desert in Utah."

"Hum!" said Enoch slowly, "it doesn't seem to me that things are so
much better now, that we need to boast about them.  There are no
Indians, to be sure, but the river is about all human endurance and
ingenuity can cope with, just as it was in Powell's day."

"She's a bird, all right!" sighed Milton.  "Well, Judge, I'm going to
turn in.  To-morrow's another day!  Good night."

"Good night, Captain!" replied Enoch.  He threw another stick of
driftwood on the fire and after a moment's thought fetched the black
diary from his rubber dunnage bag.  When the fire was clear and bright,
he began to write.

"Diana, you were wrong.  No matter how strenuous the work is, you are
never out of the background of my thoughts.  But at least I am having
surcease from grieving for you.  I have had no time to dwell on the
fact that you cannot belong to me.  I am afraid to come out of the
Canyon.  Afraid that when these wonderful days of adventure are over,
the knowledge that I must not ask you to marry me will descend on me
like a stifling fog.  As for Brown!  Diana, why not let me kill him!
I'd be willing to stand before any jury in the world with his blood on
my hands.  What he has done to me is typical of Brown and all his
works.  He is unclean and clever, a frightful combination.  Consider
the class of readers he has!  The majority of the people who read
Brown, read only Brown.  His readers are the great commonalty of
America, the source, once, of all that was best in our life.  Brown
tells them nasty stories, not about people alone, but about systems;
systems of money, systems of work, systems of government.  And because
nasty stories are always luscious reading, and because it is easier to
believe evil than good about anything, twice every day, as he produces
his morning and evening editions, Brown is polluting the head waters of
our national existence.  I say, why not let me kill him?  What more
useful and direct thing could I do than rid the nation of him?  And O
Diana, when I think of the smut to which he coupled your loveliness, I
feel that I am less than a man to have hesitated this long."

Enoch closed the book, replaced it in the bag, and sat for a long hour
staring into the fire.  Then he went to bed.



CHAPTER XI

THE PERFECT ADVENTURE


"Who cares whether or not my hands are clean?  Does God?  Wouldn't God
expect me to punish evil?  God is mercilessly just, is He not?  Else
why disease and grief in the world?  If you could only tell
me!"--_Enoch's Diary_.


It was nipping cold in the morning.  Ice encrusted the edges of the
little brook.  But by the time breakfast was finished, the sun had
appeared over the distant mountain peaks and the long warm rays soon
brought the thermometer up to summer heat.  Milton expounded his
program at breakfast.  Jonas was to keep the camp.  Enoch and Milton
were to climb to the rim for topographical information.  Harden was to
look for fossils.  Agnew and Forrester were to make a geological report
on the strata of the section.

Jonas was extraordinarily well pleased with his assignment.

"I'm going to finish painting the Na-che," he said.  "Mr. Milton, have
you got anything I can mend the tarpaulins with that go over the decks?"

"Needles and twine in the bag labeled Repairs," replied Milton.  "How
about giving the Ida the once over, too, Jonas."

"All right!  If I get around to it!"  Jonas' manner was vague.

"Can't love but one boat at a time, eh, Jonas?" asked Enoch.

"I always wanted to have a boat to fix up," said Jonas.  "When I was a
kid my folks had an old flat-bottom tub, but I never earned enough for
a can of paint.  Will you folks be home by twelve for dinner?"

There was a chorus of assent as the crew scattered to its several
tasks.  Milton and Enoch started at once up the edge of the brook,
hoping that the ascent might be made more easily thus.  But the
crevice, out of which the little stream found its way to the Colorado,
narrowed rapidly to the point where it became impossible for the two
men to work their way into it.  They were obliged, after a half hour's
struggle, to return to the camp and start again.

A very steep slope of bright orange sand led from the shore to a
scarcely less oblique terrace of sharp broken rock.  There were several
hundred feet of the sand and, as it was dry and loose, it caused a
constant slipping and falling that consumed both time and strength.
The rocky terrace was far easier to manage, and they covered that
rapidly, although Enoch had a nasty fall, cutting his knee.  They were
brought to pause, however, when the broken rock gave way to a sheer
hard wall, which offered neither crack nor projection for hand or foot
hold.

Milton led the way carefully along its foot for a quarter of a mile
until they reached a fissure wide enough for them to enter.  The walls
of this were crossed by transverse cracks.  By utilizing these, now
pulling, now boosting each other, they finally emerged on a flat,
smooth tableland, of which fissures had made a complete island.  At the
southern end of the island rose an abrupt black peak.

"If we can get to the top of that," said Milton, "it ought to bring us
to the general desert level.  Is your knee bothering you, Judge?"

"Not enough to stop the parade," replied Enoch.  "How high do you think
that peak is, Milton?"

"Not less than a thousand feet, I would guess.  I bet it's as easy to
climb as a greased pole, too."

The pinnacle, when they reached it, appeared very little less difficult
than Milton had guessed it would be.  The north side offered no hope
whatever.  It rose smooth and perpendicular toward the heavens.  But
the south side was rough and though a yawning fissure at its base added
five hundred feet to its southern height they determined to try their
fortunes here.  Ledges and jutting rocks, cracks and depressions
finally made the ascent possible.  The top, when they achieved it, was
not twenty feet in diameter.  They dropped on it, panting.

The view which met their eyes was superb.  To the south lay the desert,
rainbow colored.  Rising abruptly from its level were isolated peaks of
bright purple, all of them snow capped, many of them with crevices
marked by the brilliant white of snow.  Miles to the south of the
isolated peaks lay a long range of mountains, dull black against the
blue sky, but with the white of snow caps showing even at this
distance.  To the north, the river gorge wound like a snake; the gorge
and one huge mountain dominating the entire northern landscape.
Satiated by wonders as Milton was, he exclaimed over the beauty of this
giant, sleeping in the desert sun.

A sprawling cone in outline, there was nothing extraordinary about it
in contour, but its size and color surpassed anything that Enoch had as
yet seen.  From base to apex it was a perfect rose tint, deepening
where its great shoulders bent, to crimson.  As if still not satisfied
with her work, nature had sent a recent snow storm to embellish the
verdureless rock, and the mountain was lightly powdered with white
which here was of a gauze-like texture permitting pale rose to glimmer
through, there lay in drifts, white defined against crimson.

Enoch sat gazing about him while Milton worked rapidly with his note
book and instruments.  Finally he slipped his pencil into his pocket
with a sigh.

"And that's done!  What do you say to a return for lunch, Judge?"

"I'm very much with you," replied Enoch.  "Here!  Hold up, old man!
What's the matter?"  For Milton was swaying and would have fallen if
Enoch had not caught him.

Milton clung to Enoch's broad shoulder for a moment, then straightened
himself with a jerk.

"Sorry, Judge.  It's that infernal vertigo again!"

"What's the cause of it?" asked Enoch.  "Might be rather serious, might
it not, on a trip such as yours?"

"I think the water we have to drink must be affecting my kidneys,"
replied Milton.  "I never had anything of the sort before this trip,
but I've been troubled this way a dozen times lately.  It only lasts
for a minute."

"But in that minute," Enoch's voice was grave, "you might fall down a
mountain or out of the boat."

"Oh, I don't get it that bad!  And anyhow, I haven't gone off alone
since these things began.  When we get to El Tovar I'll try to locate a
doctor."

Enoch looked admiringly at the grim young freckled face beneath the
faded hat.  "I see I shall have to appoint myself bodyguard," he said.
"I'd suggest Jonas, only he's deserted me for the Na-che, and I doubt
if you could win him from her."

Milton laughed.  "Nothing on earth can equal the joy of puddling about
in boats, to the right kind of a chap, as the _Wind in the Willows_ has
it.  And Jonas certainly is the right kind of a chap!"

"Jonas is a man, every inch of him," agreed Enoch.  "Shall we try the
descent now, Milton?"

"I'm ready," replied the young man, and the slow and arduous task was
begun.

Jonas was just lifting the frying pan from the fire when they slid down
the orange sand bank.  The rest of the crew was ready and waiting
around the flat rock that served as dining table.

"What's the matter with your knee, boss?" cried Jonas, standing with
the coffee pot in his hand.

Enoch laughed as he glanced down at his torn and blood-stained
overalls.  "Of course, if you were giving me half the care you give
your boat, Jonas, these things wouldn't happen to me!"

"You better let me fix you up, before you eat, boss," said Jonas.

"Not on your life, old man!  Food will do this knee more good than a
bandage."

"It's a wonder you wouldn't offer to help the rest of us out once in a
while, Jonas!"  Harden looked up from his plate of fish.  "Look at this
scratch on my cheek!  I might get blood poisoning, but lots you care if
my fatal beauty was destroyed!  As it is, I look as much like an inmate
of a menagerie as old goat Forrester here."

"Too bad the scratch didn't injure your tongue, Harden," returned
Forrester, sarcastically.

"Nothing seems able to stop your chin, though, Forr!  Why do you have
to get sore every time I speak to you?"

"Because you're always going out of your way to say something insulting
to me."

"Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill, Forr," said Milton.  "If you
fellows aren't careful you'll have a real quarrel, and that's the last
thing I'm going to stand for, I warn you."

"Very well, Milt," replied Forrester, "if you don't want trouble make
Harden keep his tongue off me."

"The fault is primarily yours, Hard," Milton went on.  "You know
Forrester is foolishly sensitive and you can't control your love of
teasing.  Now, once for all, I ask you not to speak to Forrester except
on the business of the survey."

Harden shrugged his shoulders and Forrester scowled a little
sheepishly.  Agnew, a serene, kindly fellow, began one of his endless
Irish stories, and the incident appeared to be closed.  The work
assigned for the day was accomplished in shorter order than Milton had
anticipated.  By two o'clock all hands were back in camp and Milton
decided to embark and move on as far as possible before nightfall.  But
scarcely had they finished loading the boats and tied on the tarpaulins
when a heavy rain began to fall, accompanied by lightning and
tremendous peals of thunder that echoed through the Canyon deafeningly.

Milton, in his anxiety to get on with his task, would have continued in
spite of the rain, but the others protested so vigorously that he gave
in and the whole party crawled under a sheltering ledge beside the
brook.  For an hour the storm raged.  A few flakes of snow mingled with
the descending rain drops.  Then with a superb flash of lightning and
crash of thunder the storm passed as suddenly as it had come, though
for hours after they heard it reverberate among the distant peaks.

At last they embarked and proceeded along a smooth, swift-flowing river
for a short time.  Then, however, the familiar roar of falls was heard,
the current increased rapidly in velocity and Milton made a landing for
observation.

They were at the head of the wildest falls that Enoch had yet seen.
The Canyon walls were smooth and perpendicular.  There was no
possibility of a portage.  The river was full of rocks against which
dashed waves ten to twelve feet high.

"We'll have to run it!" shouted Milton above the din of the waters.
"Powell did it and so can we.  Give the Ida five minutes' start, Hard.
Then profit by the mistakes you see us make.  All ready, Judge and
Forr!"

Under Milton's directions, they rowed back upstream far enough to gain
complete control of the boat before entering the falls.  Then they shot
forward.  Instantly the oars became useless.  They were carried upward
on the crest of a wave that seemed about to drop them down an
unbelievable depth to a jagged rock.  But at this point, another wave
seized them and hurled them sidewise, half rolled them over, then
uptilted them until the Ida's nose was deep in the water.

They bailed like mad but to little avail for the waves broke over the
sides constantly.  They could see little for the air was full of
blinding spray.  Suddenly, after what had seemed an eternity but was
really five minutes of time, there was a rending crash and the Ida slid
into quieter water, turning completely over as she did so.

Enoch, as the sucking current seized him, was convinced that his hour
had come, and a quick relief was his first sensation.  Then Diana's
wistful eyes flashed before him and he began to fight the Colorado.  As
his head emerged from the water, he saw the Na-che land on all fours
from the top of a wave upon the overturned Ida, then whirl away.  He
began to swim with all his strength.  The mud forever suspended in the
Colorado weighed down his clothing.  But little by little he drew near
the Ida, to which he could see two dark bodies clinging.  The Na-che,
struggling to cross a whirlpool toward him, made slow progress.  He
had, indeed, dizzily grasped the Ida, before the other boat came up.

"We can hang on, Hard!" gasped Milton.  "Give us a tow to that sand
spit yonder."

They reached the sand spit and staggered to land, while Harden and his
crew turned the Ida over and beached her.  She had a six-inch gap in
her side.

"Well," panted Enoch, "I'm glad we managed to keep dry during the
rainstorm!"

"My Lord, Judge!" exclaimed Milton, "your own mother wouldn't own you
now!  I don't see how one human being could carry so much mud on his
face!"

"I'll bet it's not as bad as yours at that," returned Enoch.  "Jonas,
as long as it's not the Na-che that's hurt--"

"Coming, boss, coming!" cried Jonas.  "Here's your moccasins and here's
your suit.  Sure you aren't hurt any?"

"Jonas," replied Enoch in a low voice that the others might not hear,
"Jonas, I'm having the greatest time of my life!"

"So am I, Mr. Secretary!  Honest, I'm so paralyzed afraid that I enjoy
it!"  And Jonas hurried away to inspect the Ida.

It was so biting cold, now that the afternoon was late, that all the
wrecked crew changed clothing before attempting to make camp or unload
the Ida.

"How many miles have we made by this venture, Milton?" called Enoch, as
he pulled on his moccasins.

"One and a half!"

Enoch grinned, then he began to laugh.  The others looked at him, then
joined him, and Homeric laughter echoed for a long minute above the
snarl of the water.  Fortunately the hole in the Ida did not open into
one of the compartments, so there was no damage done to the baggage.
It was too dark by the time this had been ascertained to attempt
repairs that night, so Milton agreed to call it a day, and after supper
was over every one but Enoch and Milton went to bed.  These two sat
long in silence before the fire, smoking and enjoying the sense of
companionship that was developing between them.  Finally Enoch spoke in
a low voice:

"You're going to have trouble between Forrester and Harden."

"It certainly looks like it, I've tried every sort of appeal to each of
them, but trouble keeps on smoldering."  Milton shook his head.
"That's one of the trivial things that can wreck an expedition like
this; just incompatibility among the men.  What would you do about it,
Judge?"

"I'd put it to them that they could either keep the peace or draw lots
to see which of them should leave the expedition at the Ferry.  In
fact, I don't believe I'd temporize even that much.  I'd certainly set
one of them ashore.  My experience with men leads me to believe that
with a certain type of men, there is no appeal.  As you say, they're
both nice chaps but they have a childish streak in them.  The majority
of men have.  A leader must not be too patient."

"You're right," agreed Milton.  "Judge, couldn't you complete the trip
with us?"

"How long will you be out?" asked Enoch.

"Another six months!"

Enoch laughed, then said slowly: "There's nothing I'd like to do
better, but I must go home, from the Ferry."

Milton gazed at Enoch for a time without speaking.  Then he said, a
little wistfully, "I suppose that while this is the most important
experience so far in my life, to you it is the merest episode, that
you'll forget the moment you get into the Pullman for the East."

"Why should you think that?" asked Enoch.

"I can't quite tell you why.  But there's something about you that
makes me believe that in your own section of the country, you're a
power.  Perhaps it's merely your facial expression.  I don't know--you
look like some one whom I can't recall.  Perhaps that some one has the
power and I confuse the two of you, but--I beg your pardon, Judge!" as
Enoch's eyebrows went up.

"You have nothing to beg it for, Milton.  But you're wrong when you
think this trip is merely an episode to me.  All my life I have longed
for just such an experience in the Canyon.  It's like enchantment to
really find myself here."

Milton smiled.  "Well, we all have our Carcasonnes."

"What's yours?" demanded Enoch.

The younger man hesitated.  "It's so absurd--but--well, I've always
wanted to be Chief of the Geological Survey."

"Why?"

"Why did you dream of a wild trip down the Colorado as the realization
of your greatest desire?" asked Milton.

"I couldn't put it into words," answered Enoch.  "But I suppose it's
the pioneer in me or something elemental that never quite dies in any
of us, of Anglo-Saxon blood."

Milton nodded.  "The Chief of the Geological Survey's job is to
administer nature in the raw.  I'd like to have a chance at it."

"I believe you'd get away with it, too, Milton," Enoch replied
thoughtfully.

Milton laughed.  "Too bad you aren't Secretary of the Interior!  Well,
I'm all in!  Let's go to bed."

"You go ahead.  I'll sit here with my pipe a bit longer."

But, after all, Enoch did not write in his diary that night.  Before
Milton had established himself in his blankets, Harden rose and went to
a canteen for a drink of water.  On his return he stumbled over
Forrester's feet.  Instantly Forrester sat erect.

"What're you doing, you clumsy dub foot?" he shouted.

"Oh, dry up, Forr; I didn't mean to hurt you, you great boob!"

"We'll settle this right now!"  Forrester was on his feet and his fist
had landed on Harden's cheek before Enoch could cross the camp.  And
before he or Milton could separate the combatants, Harden had returned
the blow with interest, and with a muttered:

"Take that, you sore-headed dog, you!"

Forrester tried to twist away from Enoch, but could not do so.  Harden
freed himself from Milton's grasp, but did not attempt to go on with
the fight.

"One or the other of you," said Milton briefly, "leaves the expedition
at the Ferry.  I'll tell you later which it will be.  I'm ashamed of
both of you."

"I'd like to know what's made a tin god of you, Jim Milton!" shouted
Forrester.  "You don't own us, body and soul.  I've been in the Survey
longer than you!  I joined this expedition before you did.  And I'll
leave it when I get ready!"

"You'll leave it at the Ferry, Forrester!"  Milton's voice was quiet,
but his nostrils dilated.

"And I'm telling you, I'll leave it when I please, which will be at
Needles!  If any one goes, it'll be that skunk of a Harden."

Harden laughed, turned on his heel and deliberately rolled himself in
his blankets.  Forrester stood for a moment, muttering to himself, then
he took his blankets off to an obscure corner of the sand.  And Enoch
forgot his diary and went to bed, to ponder until shortly sleep
overtook him, on the perversity of the male animal.

In the morning Jonas constituted himself ship's carpenter and mended
the Ida very creditably.  Forrester was surly and avoided every one.
Harden was cheerful, as usual, but did not speak to his adversary.  The
sun was just entering the Canyon when the two boats were launched and
once more faced the hazards of the river.

During the morning the going was easy.  The river was swift and led
through a long series of broken buttes, between which one caught wild
views of a tortured country; twisted strata, strange distorted cedar
and cactus, uncanny shapes of rock pinnacles, in colors somber and
strange.  They stopped at noon in the shadow of a weathered overhanging
rock, with the profile of a witch.  The atmosphere of dissension had by
this time permeated the crew and this meal, usually so jovial, was
eaten with no general conversation and all were glad to take to the
boats as soon as the dishes were washed.

The character of the river now changed again.  It grew broader and once
more smooth canyon walls closed it in.  As the river broadened,
however, it became more shallow and rocks began to appear above the
surface at more and more frequent intervals.  At last the Na-che went
aground amid-stream on a sharp rock.  The Ida turned back to her
assistance but Enoch and Milton had to go overboard, along with the
crew of the Na-che, in order to drag and lift her into clear water.
Then for nearly two hours, all thought of rowing must be given up.
Both crews remained in the water, pushing the boats over the rough
bottom.

It was heartbreaking work.  For a few moments the boats would float,
plunging the men beyond their depths.  They would swim and flounder
perhaps a boat's length, clinging to the gunwale, before the boat would
once more run aground.  Again they would drag their clumsy burden a
hundred yards over sand that sucked hungrily at their sodden boots.
This passed, came many yards of smooth rock a few inches below the
surface of the water, which was so muddy that it was impossible to see
the pot holes into which some one of the crew plunged constantly.

Jonas suffered agonies during this period; not for himself, though he
took his full share of falls.  His agony was for the Na-che, whose
freshly painted bottom was abraded, scraped, gorged and otherwise
defaced almost beyond Jonas's power of endurance.

"Look out!  Don't drag her!  Lift her!  Lift her!" he would shout.
"Oh, my Lord, see that sharp rock you drag her onto, Mr. Hard!  Ain't
you got any heart?"

Once, when all three of the Na-che's crew had taken a bad plunge, and
Jonas had come up with an audible crack of his black head against the
gunwale, he began to scold while the others were still fighting for
breath.

"You shouldn't ship her full of water like that!  All that good paint I
put on her insides is gone!  Hey, Mr. Agnew, don't drip that blood off
your hand on her!"

"Shut up, Jonas," coughed Agnew good-naturedly.

"Let him alone, Ag!" exclaimed Harden, between a strangling cough and a
sneeze.  "What do you want to divulge your cold-heartedness for?  Go to
it, Jonas!  You're some lover, all right!"

The shallows ended in a rapid which they shot without more than the
usual difficulties.  They then had an hour of quiet rowing through
gorges that grew more narrow and more dusky as they proceeded.  About
four o'clock snow began to fall.  It was a light enough powder, at
first, but shortly it thickened until it was impossible to guide the
boats.  They edged in shore where a ledge overhanging a heap of broken
rock offered a meager shelter.  Here they planned to spend the night.
The shore was too precipitous to beach the boats.  Much to Jonas'
sorrow, they could only anchor them before the ledge.  There was plenty
of driftwood, and a brisk fire dispelled some of the discomfort of the
snow, while a change to dry clothing did the rest.

To Enoch it was a strange evening.  The foolish quarrel between Harden
and Forrester was sufficient to upset the equanimity of the whole group
which before had seemed so harmonious.  The situation was keenly
irritating to Enoch.  He wanted nothing to intrude on the wild beauty
of the trip, save his own inward struggle.  The snow continued to fall
long after the others had gone to sleep.  Enoch, with his diary on his
knees, wrote slowly, pausing long between sentences to watch the snow
and to listen to the solemn rush of waters so close to his feet.


"I've been sitting before the fire, Diana, thinking of our various
conversations.  How few they have been, after all!  And I've concluded
that in your heart you must look on me as presumptuous and stupid.  You
never have given me the slightest indication that you cared for me.
You have been, even in the short time we have known each other, a
gallant and tender friend.  A wonderful friend!  And you are as
unconscious of my passion for you, of the rending agony of my giving
you up as the Canyon is of the travail of Milton and his little group.
And I'm glad that this is so.  If I can go on through life feeling that
you are serene and happy it will help me to keep my secret.  Strange
that with every natural inclination within me to be otherwise, I should
be the custodian of ugly secrets; secrets that are only the uglier
because they are my own.  It seems a sacrilegious thing to add my
beautiful love for you to the sinister collection.  But it must be so.

"I am so glad that I am going to see you so soon after I emerge from
the Canyon.  There will be much to tell you.  I thought I knew men.
But I am learning them anew.  And I thought I had a fair conception of
the wonders of the Colorado.  Diana, it is beyond human imagination to
conceive or human tongue to describe."


Enoch had looked forward with eager pleasure to seeing the Canyon
snowbound.  But he was doomed to disappointment.  During the night the
snow turned to rain.  The rain, in turn, ceased before dawn and the
camp woke to winding mists that whirled with the wind up and out of the
Canyon top.  The going, during the morning, offered no great
difficulties.  But toward noon, as the boats rounded a curve, a reef
presented itself with the water of the river boiling threateningly on
either side.  As the Canyon walls offered no landing it was necessary
to make one here and Forrester volunteered to jump with a rope to a
flat rock which projected from the near end of the reef.

"Leap just before we are opposite the rock, Forr," directed Milton.
"When that rough water catches us, we're going to rip through at top
speed."

Forrester nodded and, after shipping his oars, he clambered up onto the
forward compartment.

"Now," shouted Milton.

Forrester leaped, jumped a little short, and splashed into the boiling
river.  The Ida, in spite of Enoch madly backing water, shot forward,
dragging Forrester, who had not let go the rope, with her.  Milton
relinquished the steering oar, dropped on his stomach on the
compartment deck, his arms over the stern, and began to haul with might
and main on the rope.  Now and again Forrester, red and fighting for
breath, showed a distorted face above the waves.  The Na-che shot by at
uncontrollable speed, her crew shouting directions as she passed.
Milton at last, just as the Ida entered a roaring fall, brought
Forrester to the gunwale, but having achieved this, the end of the rope
dropped from his fingers and he lay inert, his eyes closed.  Forrester
clung to the edge of the boat and roared to Enoch:

"Milt's fainted!"

But Enoch, fighting to guide the Ida, dared not stop rowing.  The falls
were short, with a vicious whirlpool at the foot.  One glance showed
the Na-che broken and inverted, dancing in this.  Enoch bent to his
right oar and by a miracle of luck this, with a wave from a pot hole,
threw them clear of the sucking whirlpool, but dashed them so violently
against the rocky shore that the Ida's stern was stove in and Milton
rolled off into the water.  Enoch dropped his oars, seized the stern
rope, jumped for the rocks and sprawled upon one.  He made a quick turn
of the rope, then leaped back for Milton, whose head showed a boat's
length downstream.

Forrester staggered ashore, then with a life preserver on the end of a
rope, he started along the river's edge.  Half a dozen strokes brought
Enoch to Milton.  He lifted the unconscious man's mouth out of water
and caught the life preserver that Forrester threw him.  It seemed for
a moment as if poor Forrester had reached the limit of his strength,
but Enoch, after a violent effort, brought Milton into a quiet eddy and
here Forrester was able to give help and Milton was dragged up on the
rocks.

At this moment, Jonas, his eyes rolling, clothes torn and dripping,
clambered round a rocky projection, just beyond where they were placing
Milton.

"Got 'em ashore!" he panted, "but they can't walk yet."

"Anybody hurt?" asked Enoch.

"Nobody but the Na-che.  I gotta take the Ida out after her."

"She's beyond help, Jonas," said Enoch.  "Go up to the Ida and bring me
the medicine chest."

He was unbuttoning Milton's shirt as he spoke, and feeling for his
heart.

"He's alive!" exclaimed Forrester, who was holding Milton's wrist.

"Yes, thank God!  But I don't like that!" pointing to Milton's left leg.

"It's broken!" cried Forrester.  "Poor old Milt!"

Poor old Milt, indeed!  When he finally opened his eyes, he was lying
on his blankets on a flat rock, and Jonas and Harden, still dripping,
were finishing the fastenings of a rude splint around his left leg.
Enoch was kindling a fire.  Forrester and Agnew were unloading the Ida.
He tried to sit up.

"What the deuce happened?" he demanded.

"That's what we want to know!" exclaimed Harden cheerfully.

"You had a dizzy attack after you pulled Forr in," said Enoch, "and
rolled off the boat.  Just how you broke your leg, we don't know."

"Broke my leg!"  Dismay and disbelief struggled in Milton's face.
"Broke my leg!  Why, but I can't break my leg!"

"That's good news," said Agnew unsmilingly, "and it would be important
if it were only true."

"But I can't!" insisted Milton.  "What becomes of the work?"

"The work stops till you get well."  Harden stood up to survey his and
Jonas's surgical job with considerable satisfaction.  "We'll hurry on
down to the Ferry and get you to a doctor."

Milton sank back with a groan, then hoisted himself to his elbow to say:

"You fellows change your clothes quick, now."

The men looked at each other, half guilty.

"What is it!" cried Milton.  "What are you keeping from me."

"The Na-che's gone!" Jonas spoke huskily.

"How'd she go?" demanded Milton.

"A sucking whirlpool up there took her, after we struck a rock at the
bottom of the falls," answered Harden.  "We struck at such speed that
it stove in her bottom and threw us clear of the whirlpool.  But she's
gone and everything in her."

"How about the Ida?"  Milton's face was white and his lips were
compressed.

"She'll do, with some patching," replied Enoch.

"Some leader, I am, eh?"  Milton lay back on his blanket.

"I think I've heard of a number of other leaders losing boats on this
trip," said Enoch.  "Now, you fellows can dry off piecemeal.  This fire
would dry anything.  We've got to shift Milton's clothes somehow.
Lucky for you your clothes were in the Ida, Milt.  Mine were in the
Na-che."

"And two thirds of the grub in the Na-che, too!" exclaimed Agnew.

Jonas had rooted out Milton's change of clothing and very tenderly, if
awkwardly, Agnew and Harden helping, he was made dry and propped up
where he could direct proceedings.

"Forrester, I wish you'd bring the whole grub supply here," Milton
said, when his nurses had finished.

It was a pitifully small collection that was placed on the edge of the
blanket.

"I wonder how many times," said Milton, "I've told you chaps to load
the grub half and half between the boats?  Somebody blundered.  I'm not
going to ask who because I'm the chief blunderer myself, for neglecting
to check you over, at every loading.  With care, we've about two days'
very scanty rations here, and only beans and coffee, at that.  With the
best of luck and no stops for Survey work we're five days from the
Ferry."

"Guess I'd better get busy with my fishing tackle!" exclaimed Forrester.

"Ain't any fishing tackle," said Jonas succinctly.  "She must 'a'
washed out of the hole in the Ida.  I was just looking for it myself."

"Suppose you put us on half rations," suggested Enoch, "and one of us
will try to get to the top, with the gun."

Milton nodded.  "Judge, are you any good with a gun?"

"Yes, I've hunted a good deal," replied Enoch.

"Very well, we'll make you the camp hunter.  The rest understand the
river work better than you.  Forrester, you and Agnew and Jonas, patch
up the Ida; and Harden, you stay with me and let's see what the maps
say about the chances of our getting out before we reach the Ferry.
When the rest have finished the patch, you and Agnew row downstream and
see if you can pick up any wreckage from the Na-che."

Jonas made some coffee and Enoch, after resting for a half hour, took
the gun and started slowly along the river's edge.

His course was necessarily downstream for, above the heap of stones
where he had tied the Ida, the river washed against a wall on which a
fly could scarcely have found foothold.  There was a depression in the
wall, where the camp was set.  Enoch worked out of this depression and
found a foothold on the bottom-most of the deep weathered, narrow
strata that here formed a fifty-foot terrace.  These terraced strata
gave back for half a mile in uneven and brittle striations that were
not unlike rude steps.  Above them rose a sheer orange wall, straight
to the sky.  Far below a great shale bank sloped from the river's edge
up to a gigantic black butte, whose terraced front seemed to Enoch to
offer some hope of his reaching the top.

He slung the gun across his back and began gingerly to clamber along
the stratified terrace.  He found the rock extremely brittle and he was
a long hour reaching the green shale.  He was panting and weary and his
hands were bleeding when he finally flung himself down to rest at the
foot of the black butte.

A near view of this massive structure was not encouraging; terraces,
turrets, fortifications, castles and above Enoch's head a deep cavern,
out of which the wind rushed with a mighty blast of sound that drowned
the sullen roar of the falls.  Beyond a glance in at the black void,
Enoch did not attempt to investigate the cave.  He crept past the
opening on a narrow shelf of rock, into a crevice up which he climbed
to the top of the terrace above the cavern.  Here a stratum of dull
purple projected horizontally from the black face of the butte.  With
his face inward, his breast hard pressed against the rock, hands and
feet feeling carefully for each shift forward, Enoch passed on this
slowly around the sharp western edge of the butte.

Here he nearly lost his balance, for there was a rush of wings close to
the back of his head.  He started, then looked up carefully.  Far above
him an eagle's nest clung to the lonely rock.  The purple stratum
continued its way to a depression wide enough to give Enoch sitting
room.  Here he rested for a short moment.  The back of the depression
offered an easy assent for two or three hundred feet, to the top of
another terrace along whose broad top Enoch walked comfortably for a
quarter of a mile to the point where the butte projected from the main
canyon wall.  The slope here was not too steep to climb and Enoch made
fair speed to the top.

The view here was superb but Enoch gave small heed to this.  To his
deep disappointment, there was no sign of life, either animal or
vegetable, as far as his eye could reach.  He stood, gun in hand, the
wind tossing his ruddy hair, his great shoulders drooping with
weariness, his keen eyes sweeping the landscape until he became
conscious that the sun was low in the west.  With a start, he realized
that dusk must already be peering into the bottom of the Canyon.

Then he bethought himself of the eagle's nest.  It was a terrible
climb, before he lay on a ledge peering ever into the guano-stained
structure of sticks from which the eagle soared again at his approach.
As he looked, he laughed.  The forequarters of a mountain goat lay in
the nest.  Hanging perilously by one hand, Enoch grasped the long,
bloody hair and then, rolling back on to the ledge, he stuffed his loot
into his game bag and started campward.

The way back was swifter but more nerve wracking than the upward climb
had been.  By the time he reached the green shale, Enoch was trembling
from muscle and nerve strain.  It was purple dusk now, by the river,
with the castellated tops of butte and mountain molten gold in the
evening sun.  When he reached the brittle strata, the water reflected
firelight from the still unseen camp blaze.  Enoch, clinging perilously
to the breaking rock, half faint with hunger, his fingers numb with the
cold, laughed again, to himself, and said aloud:

  "'. . . . . . . . . . . . . And yet
  Dauntless the slug horn to my lips I set
  And blew, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.'"



CHAPTER XII

THE END OF THE CRUISE


"Christ could forgive the unforgivable, but the Colorado in the Canyon
is like the voice of God, inevitable, inexorable."--_Enoch's Diary_.


Jonas stood on a projecting rock peering anxiously down the river.
Enoch, staggering wearily into the firelight, called to him cheerfully:

"Ship ahoy, Jonas!"

"My Gawd, boss!" exclaimed Jonas, running up to take the gunny sack and
the gun.  "Don't you never go off like that alone again.  How come you
stayed so late?"

"Now the Na-che's gone I suppose I'll have a few attentions again!"
said Enoch.  "How are you, Milton?"

He turned toward the stalwart figure that lay on the shadowy rock
beyond the fire.

"Better than I deserve, Judge," replied Milton.

"What luck, Judge?" cried Harden, who had been watching a game of poker
between Agnew and Forrester.

"My Lawdy Lawd!" shouted Jonas, emptying the gunny sack on the rock
which served as table.

There was a chorus of surprise.

"What happened, Judge!  Did you eat the rest raw?"

"A goat, by Jove!  Where on earth did it come from?"

"What difference does that make?  Get it into the pot, Jonas, for the
love of heaven!"

"As a family provider, Judge, you are to be highly recommended."

Enoch squatted against Milton's rock and complacently lighted his pipe,
then told his story.

"There are goats still here, then!  I wish we'd see some," said Milton,
when Enoch had finished.

"But what would they live on?" asked Enoch.

"That's easy," replied Milton.  "There are hidden canyons and gulches
in this Colorado country that are veritable little paradises, with all
the verdure any one could ask for."

"Wish we could locate one," sighed Forrester.

"That wouldn't help me much," grunted Milton.

"What luck with the Ida?"  Enoch turned to Agnew who, next to Jonas,
took the greatest interest in ship repair and building.

"The forward compartment was pretty well smashed, but another hour's
work in the morning will make the old girl as good as ever."

"She'll never be the boat the Na-che was," groaned Jonas mournfully
from his fire.  "What are we all going to do now, with just one boat?"

For a moment no one spoke, then Enoch said drily, "Well, Jonas, seeing
that you and I don't really belong to the expedition anyhow and that we
invited ourselves, I think it's up to us to walk."

There was a chorus of protests at this.  But Enoch silenced the others
by saying with great earnestness:

"Milton, you know I'm right, don't you?"

Milton, who had been saying nothing, now raised himself on his elbow.

"Two of you fellows will have to walk it; which two we'd better decide
by lot.  We're up against a rotten situation.  It would be bad, even if
I weren't hurt.  But with a cripple on your hands, well--it's awful for
you chaps!  Simply awful!"

"With good luck, and no Survey work, how many days are we from the
Ferry?" asked Enoch.

"Between four and five, is what Milton and I calculated this
afternoon," replied Harden.

"What's the nearest help by way of land?"

"There's a ranch, about eighty miles south of here.  I guess the
traveling would be about as bad as anybody would hope for.  The fellows
that go out have got to be used to desert work, like me."  Harden
scratched a match and by its unsteady light scrutinized the detail map
spread open on his knee.

"Isn't Miss Allen working nearer than eighty miles from here?" asked
Agnew.

"She's in the Hopi country, whatever distance that may be," replied
Enoch.  "I should suppose it would be rather risky trying to catch some
one who is moving about, as she is."

"I guess maybe she's on her way to the Ferry now."  Jonas straightened
up from his stew pot.  "Leastways, Na-che kind of promised to kind of
see if maybe they couldn't reach there about the time we did."

The other men laughed.  "I guess we won't gamble too heavily on the
women folks," exclaimed Forrester.

"I guess Miss Allen's the kind you don't connect gambling with,"
retorted Agnew.

Enoch cut in hastily.  "Then two of us are to go out.  What about those
who stay?"

"Well, you have to get my helpless carcass aboard the Ida and we'll
make our way to the Ferry, as rapidly as we can.  The food problem is
serious, but we won't starve in four days.  We won't attempt any more
hunting expeditions but we may pot something as we go along.  It's the
fellows who go out who'll have the worst of it."

Enoch had been eying Milton closely.  "Look here, Milton, I believe
you're running a good deal of temperature.  Why don't you lie down and
rest both mind and body until supper's ready?  After you've eaten,
we'll make the final decisions."

"I don't want any food," replied Milton, dropping back on his blankets,
nevertheless.

"The beans is done but you only get a handful of them in the stew,
to-night," said Jonas, firmly.  "I'm cooking all the meat, 'cause it
won't keep, but you only get half of that now."

Agnew groaned.  "Well, there doesn't seem much to look forward to.
Let's finish that game of poker, Forr.  Take a hand, Judge and Hard?"

"No, thanks," replied Enoch.  "I'll just rest my old bones right here."

"I'll help you out, if Forr won't pick on me."  Harden glanced at
Milton, but the freckled face gave no sign that Harden's remark had
been heeded.

Enoch quietly took the injured man's pulse.  It was rapid and weak.
Enoch shook his head, laid the sturdy hand down and gave his attention
to his pipe and the card game.  It was not long before an altercation
between Forrester and Harden began.  Several times Agnew interfered but
finally Forrester sprang to his feet with an oath.

"No man on earth can call me that!" shouted Harden, "Take it back and
apologize, you rotter!"

"A rotter, am I?" sneered Forrester.  "And what are you?  You come of a
family of rotters.  I know your sister's history!  I know--"

Enoch laid a hand on Agnew's arm.  "Don't interfere!  Nothing but blood
will wipe that out."

But Milton roared suddenly, "Stop that fight!  Stop it!  Judge!  Agnew!
I'm still head of this expedition!"

Reluctantly the two moved toward the swaying figures.  It was not an
easy matter to stop the battle.  Forrester and Harden were clinched but
Enoch and Agnew were larger than either of the combatants and at a word
from Enoch, Jonas seized Forrester, with Agnew.  After a scuffle,
Harden stood silent and scowling beside Enoch, while Forrester panted
between Agnew and Jonas.

"I'm ashamed of you fellows," shouted Milton.  "Ashamed!  You know the
chief's due in the morning."  He stopped abruptly.  "I'm ashamed of
you.  You know what I mean.  The chief--God, fellows, I'm a sick man!"
He fell back heavily on his blankets.

Enoch and Harden hurried to his side.  "Quit your fighting, Judge!
Quit your fighting!" muttered Milton.  "Here!  I'll make you stop!"  He
tried to rise and Jonas rushed to hold the injured leg while Harden and
Enoch pressed the broad shoulders back against the flinty bed.  It was
several moments before he ceased to struggle and dropped into a dull
state of coma.

"It doesn't seem as if a broken leg ought to do all that to a man as
husky as Milt!" said Agnew, who had joined them with a proffer of water.

"I'm afraid he was sickening with something before the accident," Enoch
shook his head.  "Those dizzy spells were all wrong, you know."

"We'd better get this boy to a doctor as soon as we can," said Agnew.
"Poor old Milton!  I swear it's a shame!  His whole heart was set on
putting this trip through."

"He'll do it yet," Enoch patted the sick man's arm.

"Yes, but he'll be laid up for months and his whole idea was to put it
through without a break.  The Department never condones accidents, you
know."

"I guess I can give you all some supper now," said Jonas.  "Better get
it while he's laying quiet."

"Where's Forrester?" asked Enoch as they gathered round the stew pot.

"He mumbled something about going outside to cool down," replied Agnew.
"Better let him alone for a while."

"Too bad you couldn't have kept the peace, under the circumstances,
Harden," said Enoch.

"You heard what he said to me?" demanded Harden fiercely.

"Yes, I did and I heard you deliberately tease him into a fury.  Of
course, after what he finally said there was nothing left to do but to
smash him," said Enoch.

"I don't see why," Agnew spoke in his calm way.  "I never could
understand why a bloody nose wiped out an insult.  A thing that's said
is said.  Shooting a man even doesn't unsay a dirty speech.  It's not
common sense.  Why ruin your own life in the effort to punish a man for
something that's better forgotten?"

"So you would swallow an insult and smile?" sneered Harden.

"Not at all!  I wouldn't hear the alleged insult, in most cases.  But
if the thing was so raw that the man had to be punished, I'd really
hurt him."

"How?" asked Enoch.

"I'd do him a favor."

"Slush!" grunted Harden.

Agnew shrugged his shoulders and the scanty meal was finished in
silence.  When Jonas had collected the pie tins and cups, Enoch said,

"While you're outside with those, Jonas, you'd better persuade
Forrester to come in to supper.  Tell him no one will bother him.
Boys, I think we ought to sit up with Milton for a while.  I'll take
the first watch, if you'll take the second, Harden."

Harden nodded.  "I'll get to bed at once.  Call me when you want me."

He rolled himself in his blanket, Agnew following his example.  A
moment or so later Jonas could be heard calling,

"Mr. Forrester!  Ohee!  Mr. Forrester!"  The Canyon echoed the call,
but there was no answer, Enoch strolled down to the river's edge where
Jonas was standing with his arms full of dishes.  "What's up, Jonas?"
he asked.

"Boss, I think he's lit out!"

"Lit out?  Where, Jonas?"

"Well, there's only one way, like you went this afternoon.  But his
canteen's gone.  And he had his shoes drying by the fire.  He must have
sneaked 'em while we was working over Mr. Milton, because they're gone,
and so's his coat that was lying by the Ida, with the rest of the
clothes."

Enoch lifted his great voice.  "Forrester!  Forrester!"

A thousand echoes replied while Agnew joined them and in a moment,
Harden.  Jonas repeated his story.

"No use yelling!" exclaimed Enoch.  "Let's build a fire out here."

"Do you suppose he's had an accident?"  Enoch's voice was apprehensive.

"No, I don't," replied Agnew, stoutly.  "He's told me two or three
times that if he had any real trouble with Hard, he'd get out.  What a
fool to start off, this way!"

"You fellows go to bed," Harden spoke abruptly.

"I'll keep a fire going and if Milt needs more than me, I'll call.  The
Judge had a heavy afternoon and I was resting.  And this row is mine
anyhow."

Enoch, who was dropping with fatigue needed no urging.  He rolled
himself in his blanket and instantly was deep in the marvelous slumber
that had blessed him since the voyage began.

It was dawn when he woke.  He started to his feet, contritely,
wondering who of the others had sacrificed sleep for him.  But Enoch
was the only one awake.  Milton was tossing and muttering but his eyes
were closed.  Jonas lay with his feet in last night's ashes.  Agnew was
curled up at Milton's feet.  Harden was not to be seen.  Enoch hurried
to the river's edge.  A sheet of paper fluttered from the split end of
a stake that had been stuck in a conspicuous spot.  It was unaddressed
and Enoch opened it.


"I have gone to find Forrester, and help him out.  I took one-third of
the grub and one of the guns and a third of the shells.  If we have
good luck, you'll hear of us at the Ferry.  I have the detail map of
this section.

"C. L. HARDEN."


Enoch looked from the note up to the golden pink of the sky.  Far above
the butte an eagle soared.  The dawn wind ruffled his hair.  He drew a
deep breath and turned to wake Jonas and Agnew, and show them the note.

"Did you folks go to sleep when I did?" asked Enoch when they had read
the note in silence.

Jonas and Agnew nodded.

"Then he must have left at once.  No fire has been built out in front."

"Well, it's solved the problem of who walks," remarked Agnew, drily.

"How come Mr. Harden to think he could find him?" demanded Jonas,
excitedly.

"Well, they both will have had to start where I did, yesterday.  And
neither could have gone very far in the dark."  Enoch spoke
thoughtfully.  "If they don't kill each other!"

"They won't," interrupted Agnew comfortingly.  "Neither of them is the
killing kind."

"Then I suggest," said Enoch, "that with all the dispatch possible we
get on our way.  You two tackle the Ida and I'll take care of Milton
and the breakfast."

"Aye!  Aye, sir!"  Agnew turned quickly toward the boat, followed
eagerly by Jonas.

Milton opened his eyes when Enoch bent over him.  "Let me give you a
sip of this hot broth, old man," said Enoch.  "Come! just to please
me!" as Milton shook his head.  "You've got to keep your strength and a
clear head in order to direct the voyage."

Milton sipped at the warm decoction, and in a moment his eyes
brightened.

"Tastes pretty good.  Too bad we haven't several gallons of it.  Tell
the bunch to draw lots for who goes out."

Enoch shook his head.  "That's all settled!" and he gave Milton the
details of the trouble of the night before.

"Well, can you beat that?" demanded Milton.  "The two fools!  Why,
there were a hundred things I had to tell the pair who went out.
Judge, they'll never make it!"

"They've got as good a fighting chance as we have," insisted Enoch,
stoutly.  "Quit worrying about them, Milton.  You've got your hands
full keeping the rest of us from being too foolish."

But try as he would, Milton could do little in the way of directing his
depleted crew.  His leg and his back pained him excruciatingly, and the
vertigo was with him constantly.  Enoch after trying several times to
get coherent commands from the sufferer finally gave up.  As soon as
the scanty breakfast of coffee and a tiny portion of boiled beans was
over, Enoch divided the rations into four portions and stowed away all
but that day's share, in the Ida.  Then he discussed with Agnew and
Jonas the best method of placing Milton on the boat.

They finally built a rough but strong framework on the forward
compartment against which Milton could recline while seated on the
deck, the broken leg supported within the rower's space.  They padded
this crude couch with blankets.  This finished, they made a stretcher
of the blanket on which Milton lay, by nailing the sides to two small
cedar trunks which they routed out of the drift wood.  When they had
lifted him carefully and had placed him in the Ida, stretcher and all,
he was far more comfortable, he said, than he had been on his rigid bed
of stone.

By eight o'clock, all was ready and they pushed slowly out into the
stream.  Agnew took the steering oar, Enoch, his usual place, with
Jonas behind him.

The river was wild and swift here, but, after they had worked carefully
and painfully out of the aftermath of the falls, the current was
unobstructed for several hours.  All the morning, Jonas watched eagerly
for traces of the Na-che but up to noon, none appeared.  The sky was
cloudy, threatening rain.  The walls, now smooth, now broken by
pinnacles and shoulders, were sad and gray in color.  Milton sometimes
slept uneasily, but for the most part he lay with lips compressed, eyes
on the gliding cliffs.

About an hour before noon, the familiar warning roar of rapids reached
their ears.  Rounding a curve, carefully, they snubbed the Ida to a
rock while Agnew clambered ashore for an observation.  Just below them
a black wall appeared to cut at right angles across the river bed.  The
river sweeping round the curve which the Ida had just compassed, rushed
like the waters of a mill race against the unexpected obstacle and
waves ten to twenty feet high told of the force of the meeting.  Agnew
with great difficulty crawled along the shore until he could look down
on this turmoil of waters.  Then, with infinite pains, he returned.

"It's impossible to portage," he reported, "but the waves simply fill
the gorge for two hundred feet."

"Tie me in the boat," said Milton.  "The rest of you get out on the
rocks and let the boat down with ropes."

Agnew looked questioningly at Enoch, who shook his head.

"Agnew," he said, "can you and Jonas manage to let the Ida down, with
both Milton and me aboard?"

"No, sir, we can't!" exclaimed Jonas.  "That ain't to be thought of!"

"Right you are, Jonas!" agreed Agnew, while Milton nodded in agreement.

"Then," said Enoch, "let's land Milton and the loose dunnage on this
rock, let the boat down, come back and carry Milton round."

"It's the only way," agreed Agnew, "but I think we can take a hundred
feet off the portage, if you fellows are willing to risk rowing down to
a bench of rock below here.  You take the steering oar, Judge.  I'll
stay ashore and catch a rope from you at the bench."

Cautiously, Jonas backing water and Enoch keeping the Ida almost
scraping the shore, they made their way to the spot where Agnew caught
the rope, throwing the whole weight of his body back against the pull
of the boat, even then being almost dragged from the ledge.  Milton was
lifted out as carefully as possible, the loose dunnage was piled beside
him, then the three men, each with a rope attached to the Ida, began
their difficult climb.

There was nothing that could be called a trail.  They made their way by
clinging to projecting rocks, or stepping perilously from crack to
crevice, from shelf to hollow.  The pull of the helpless Ida was
tremendous, and they snubbed her wherever projecting rocks made this
possible.  She danced dizzily from crest to crest of waves.  She slid
helplessly into whirlpools, she twisted over and under and fought like
a wild thing against the straining ropes.  But at the end of a half
hour, she was moored in safe water, on a spit of sand on which a cotton
wood grew.

"Agnew," said Enoch, "I think we were fools not to have broken a rough
trail before we attempted this.  It's obviously impossible to carry
Milton over that wall as it is."

"I thought the three of us might make it, taking turns carrying Milt on
our backs.  It wastes a lot of time making trail and time is a worse
enemy to us now than the Colorado."

"That's true," agreed Enoch, "but I'm not willing to risk Milton's
vertigo on our backs."

He took a pick-ax out of the rear compartment of the boat, as he spoke
and began to break trail.  The others followed suit.  The rock proved
unexpectedly easy to work and in another hour, Enoch announced himself
willing to risk Milton and the stretcher on the rude path they had
hacked out.

Milton did not speak during his passage.  His fortitude and endurance
were very touching to Enoch whose admiration for the young leader
increased from hour to hour.  Jonas boiled the coffee and heated the
noon portions of beans and goat.  It was entirely inadequate for the
appetites of the hard working crew.  Enoch wondered if the others felt
as hollow and uncertain-kneed, as he did, but he said nothing nor did
they.

There was considerable drift wood lodged against the spit of sand and
from it, Jonas, with a shout that was half a sob, dragged a broken
board on which appeared in red letters, "-a-che."

"All that's left of the prettiest, spunkiest little boat that ever
fought a dirty river!" he mourned.  "I'm going to put this in my
dunnage bag and if we ever do get home, I'll have it framed."

The others smiled in sympathy.  "I wonder if Hard has found Forr, yet?"
said Milton, uneasily.  "I can't keep them off my mind."

"I wouldn't be surprised if they both had run on Curly and Mack's
outfit by this time," Agnew answered cheerfully.  "It's funny we didn't
think of them instead of Diana Allen, last night."

"Not so very funny, either," returned Milton with an attempt at a
smile.  "I'll bet most of us have thought of Miss Allen forty times to
once of the men, ever since we met her."

"She's the most beautiful woman I ever saw," said Agnew, dreamily.

"Lawdy!" groaned Jonas, suddenly, "if I only had something to fish
with!  When we make camp to-night, I'm a-going to try to rig up some
kind of a line."

"I'm glad the tobacco supply was in the Ida."  Enoch rose with a yawn
and knocked the ashes from his pipe.  "Well, boys, shall we move?"

Again they embarked.  The river behaved in a most friendly manner until
afternoon, when she offered by way of variety a series of sand bars,
across which they were obliged to drag the Ida by main strength.  These
continued at intervals for several miles.  In the midst of them, the
rain that had been threatening all day began to fall while the wind
that never left the Canyon, rose to drive the icy waters more
vehemently through their sodden clothing.  Milton, snugly covered with
blankets, begged them feverishly to go into camp.  "I'll have you all
sick, to-night!" he insisted.  "You can't take the risk of pneumonia on
starvation rations that you did on plenty of grub."

"I'm willing," said Agnew, finally, as he staggered to his feet after a
ducking under the Ida's side.

"Oh, let's keep going, as long as there's any light to see by," begged
Enoch.

As if to reward his persistence, just as dusk settled fully upon them,
a little canyon opened from the main wall at the right, a small stream,
tumbling eagerly from it into the Colorado.  They turned the Ida
quickly into this and managed to push upward on it for several minutes.
Then they put ashore under some dim cottonwoods, where grass was ankle
deep.  The mere feeling of vegetation about them was cheering, and the
trees, with a blanket stretched between made a partial shelter from the
rain.

"I'll sure cook grass for you all for breakfast!" said Jonas.  "How
come folks not to bile grass for greens, I don't see.  Maybe birds
here, too.  Whoever's the fancy shot, put the gun close to his hand."

"I've done some fair shooting in my day," said Agnew, "but I never
potted a goat in an eagle's nest.  You'd better give the gun to the
Judge."  He polished off his pie tin, scraped the last grain of sugar
from his tin cup and lighted a cigarette.

"I'm trying to bear my blushing honors modestly," grinned Enoch,
crowding closer to the great fire.  "Milton, I've a bone to pick with
you."

"Where'd you get it?" demanded Agnew.

Enoch smiled but went on.  "I accuse you of deliberately starving
yourself for the rest of us.  It won't do, sir.  I'm going to set your
share aside and by Jove, if you refuse it, I'll throw it in the river!"

Milton rose indignantly on one elbow.  "Judge, I forbid you to do
anything of the kind!  You fellows have got to have food to work on.
All I need is plenty of water."

"Especially as you think the water is making you sick," returned Enoch
drily.  "You can't get away with it, Milton.  Am I not right, Agnew and
Jonas?"

"Absolutely!" Agnew exclaimed, while Jonas nodded, vigorously.

"So, beginning to-morrow morning, you're to do your share of eating,"
Enoch concluded, cheerfully.

But in spite of all efforts to keep a stiff upper lip, the night was
wretched.  The rain fell in torrents.  The only way to keep the fire
alight was by keeping it under the blanket shelter, and Milton was half
smothered with smoke.  He insisted on the others going to sleep, but in
spite of their utter weariness, the men would not do this.  Hunger made
them restless and the rain crept through their blankets.  Enoch finally
gave up the attempt to sleep.  He crouched by Milton, feeding the fire
and trying as best he could to ease the patient's misery of mind and
body.

It was long after midnight when Milton said, "Judge, I've been thinking
it over and I've come to a conclusion.  I want you folks to go on for
help and leave me here."

"I don't like to hear you talk suicide, Milton." Enoch shook his head.
"As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't consider such a suggestion for a
minute."

"But don't you see," insisted Milton, "I'm imperilling all your lives.
Without me, you could have made twice the distance you did to-day."

"That's probably true," agreed Enoch.  "What of it?  Would you leave me
in your fix, thinking you might bring help back?"

"That's different!  You're a tenderfoot and I'm not.  Moreover, greater
care on my part would probably have prevented this whole series of
accidents."

"Now you are talking nonsense!"  Enoch threw another log on the fire.
"Your illness is undermining your common sense, Milton.  We've got a
tough few days ahead of us but we'll tackle it together.  If we fail we
fail together.  But I can see no reason why if we run as few risks as
we did to-day, we should get into serious trouble.  We're going to lose
strength for lack of food, so we've got to move more and more slowly
and carefully, and we'll be feeling weak and done up when we reach the
Ferry.  But I anticipate nothing worse than that."

Milton sighed and was silent, for a time.  Then he said, "I could have
managed Forr and Harden better, if I'd been willing to believe they
were the pair of kids they proved to be.  As it is--"

"As it is," interrupted Enoch, firmly, "both chaps are learning a
lesson that will probably cure them for all time of their foolishness."

Milton looked long at Enoch's tired face; then he lifted himself on one
elbow.

"All right, Judge, I'm through belly-aching!  We'll put it through
somehow and if I have decent luck, early Spring will see me right here,
beginning where I left off.  After all, Powell had to take two trials
at it."

"That's more like you, Milton!  Is that dawn breaking yonder?"

"Yes," replied Milton.  "Keep your ear and eye out for any sort of
critters in this little spot, Judge."

But, though Enoch, and the others, when he had roused them, beat the
tiny blind alley thoroughly, not so much as a cottontail reward their
efforts.

"Curious!" grumbled Enoch, "up at Mack's camp where we really needed
nothing, I found all the game in the world.  The perversity of nature
is incomprehensible.  Even the fish have left this part of the river,"
as Jonas with a sigh of discouragement tossed his improvised fishing
tackle into the fire.

Agnew pulled his belt a notch tighter.  His brown face was beginning to
look sagged and lined.  "Well," cheerfully, "there are some advantages
in being fat.  I've still several days to go before I reach your's and
Jonas' state of slats, Judge."

"Don't get sot up about it, Ag," returned Enoch.  "You look a good deal
like a collapsed balloon, you know!  Shall we launch the good ship Ida,
fellows?"

"She ain't anything to what the Na-che was," sighed Jonas, "but she's
pretty good at that.  If I ain't too tired, to-night, I may clean her
up a little."

Even Milton joined in the laughter at this and the day's journey was
begun with great good humor.

It was the easiest day's course that had been experienced since Enoch
had joined the expedition.  There were three rapids during the day but
they rode these with no difficulties.  Enoch and Jonas rowed fairly
steadily in the morning, but in the afternoon, they spelled each other.
The light rations were making themselves felt.  The going was so smooth
that dusk was upon them before they made camp.  Milton had been
wretchedly sick, all day, but he made no complaint and forced down the
handful of boiled beans and the tin cup of pale coffee that was his
share of each meal.

They made camp languidly.  Enoch found the task of piling fire wood
arduous and as the camp was in dry sand and the blankets had dried out
during the day, they did not attempt the usual great blaze.  Jonas
insisted on acting as night nurse for Milton, and Enoch was asleep
before he had more then swallowed his supper.  He had bad dreams and
woke with a dull headache, and wondered if Jonas and Agnew felt as weak
and light-headed as he did.  But although both the men moved about
slowly and Jonas made no attempt to clean up the Ida, they uttered no
complaints.  Milton was feeling a little better.  Before the day's
journey was begun, he and Agnew plotted their position on the map.

"Well, does to-morrow see us at the Ferry?" asked Enoch, cheerfully,
when Agnew put up his pencil with an abstracted air.

"No, Judge," sighed Milton, "that rotten first day after the wreck,
cost us a good many miles.  I thought we'd make up for it, yesterday.
But we're a full day behind."

"That is," exclaimed Enoch, "we must take that grub pile and redivide
it, stretching it over three days instead of two!"

"Yes," replied Milton, grimly.

"Jove, Agnew, you're going to be positively fairy like, before we're
through with this," said Enoch.  "Jonas, get out the grub supply, will
you?"

Jonas, standing on a rock that projected over the water, did not
respond.  He was watching eagerly as his new fishline of ravelled rope
pulled taut in the stream.  Suddenly he gave a roar and jerked the line
so violently that the fish landed on Milton's blanket.

"Must weigh two pounds!" cried Agnew.

"You start her broiling, Mr. Agnew!" shouted Jonas, "while I keep on
a-fishing."

"What changed your luck, Jonas?" asked Enoch.  "You're using beans and
bent wire, just as you did yesterday."

"Aha! not just as I did yesterday, boss!  This time I tied Na-che's
charm just above the hook.  No fish could stand that, once they got an
eye on it."

But evidently no second fish cast an eye on the irresistible charm, and
Enoch was unwilling to wait for further luck longer than was necessary
to cook the fish and eat it.  But during the day Jonas trolled whenever
the water made trolling possible, hopefully spitting on the hook each
time he cast it over, casting always from the right hand and muttering
Fish! Fish! Fish! three times for each venture.  Yet no other fish
responded to Na-che's charm that day.

But the river treated them kindly.  If their strength had been equal to
hard and steady rowing they might have made up for the lost miles.  As
it was they knocked off at night with just the number of miles for the
day that Milton had planned on in the beginning, and were still a day
behind their schedule.  Milton grew no worse, though he was weaker and
obviously a very sick man.  A light snow fell during the night but the
next morning was clear and invigorating.

They encountered two difficult rapids on the fourth day.  The first one
they portaged.  The trail was not difficult but in their weakened
condition the boat and poor Milton were heavy burdens and it took them
three times as long to accomplish the portage as it would have taken
had they been in normal condition.  The second rapids, they shot easily
in the afternoon.  The waves were high and every one was saturated with
the icy water.  Enoch dared not risk Milton's remaining wet and as soon
as they found a likely place for the camp they went ashore.  The huge
pile of drift wood had helped them to decide on this rather
unhospitable ledge for what they hoped would be their last night out.

They kindled a big fire and sat about it, steaming and silent, but with
the feeling that the worst was behind them.

They rose in a cold driving rain the next morning, ate the last of the
beans, drank the last of the coffee, covered Milton as well as could be
with blankets and launched the boat.  It was a day of unspeakable
misery.  They made one portage, and one let down, and dragged the boat
with almost impossible labor over a long series of shallows.  By
mid-afternoon they had made up their minds to another night of
wretchedness and Agnew was beginning to watch for a camping place, when
suddenly he exclaimed,

"Fellows, there's the Ferry!"

"How do you know?" demanded Enoch.

"I've been here before, Judge.  Yes, by Jove, there's old Grant's
cabin.  I wonder if any one's reached here yet!"

"Well, Milton, old man, here's thanks and congratulations," cried Enoch.

"You'd better thank the Almighty," returned Milton.  "I certainly had
very little to do with our getting here."

The rain had prevented Agnew's recognizing their haven until they were
fairly upon it.  Even now all that Enoch could see was a wide lateral
canyon with a rough unpainted shack above the waterline.  A group of
cottonwoods loomed dimly through the mist beside a fence that
surrounded the house.

Jonas, who had seemed overcome with joy at Agnew's announcement,
recovered his power of speech by the time the boat was headed shoreward
and he raised a shout that echoed from wall to wall.

"Na-che!  Ohee, Na-che!  Here we are, Na-che!"

Agnew opened his lips to comment, but before he uttered the first
syllable there rose a shrill, clear call from the mists.

"Jonas!  Ohee, Jonas!"

Enoch's pulse leaped.  With sudden strength, he bent to his oars, and
the Ida slid softly upon the sandy shore.  As she did so, two figures
came running through the rain.

"Diana!" cried Enoch, making no attempt for a moment to step from the
boat.

"Oh, what has happened!" exclaimed Diana, putting a hand under Milton's
head as he struggled to raise it.

"Just a broken leg, Miss Allen," he said, his parched lips parting in a
smile.  "Have Forr and Hard turned up?"

"No!  And Curly and Mack aren't here, either!  O you poor things!
Here, let me help!  Na-che, take hold of this stretcher, there, on the
other side with the Judge and Jonas.  Finished short of grub, didn't
you!  Let's bring Mr. Milton right up to the cabin."

The cabin consisted of but one room with an adobe fireplace at one end
and bunks on two sides.  There was a warm glow of fire and the smell of
meat cooking.  They laid Milton tenderly on a bunk and as they did so
Jonas gave a great sob:

"Welcome home, I say, boss, welcome home!"



CHAPTER XIII

GRANT'S CROSSING


"Perfect memories!  They are more precious than hope, more priceless
than dreams of the future."--_Enoch's Diary_.


"Now, every one of you get into dry clothes as quickly as you can,"
said Diana.  "No!  Don't one of you try to stir from the cabin!  Come,
Na-che, we'll bring the men's bags up and go out to our tent while they
shift."

The two women were gone before the men could protest.  They were back
with the bags in a few moments and in almost less time than it takes to
tell, the crew of the Ida was reclothed, Enoch in the riding suit that
Jonas had left with some of his own clothes in Na-che's care.  When
this was done, Na-che put on the coffee pot, while Diana served each of
them with a plate of hot rabbit stew.

"Don't try to talk," she said, "until you get this down.  You'd better
help Mr. Milton, Na-che.  Here, it will take two of us.  Oh, you poor
dear!  You're burning with fever."

"Don't you worry about me," protested Milton, weakly, as, with his head
resting on Diana's arm, he sipped the teaspoonsful of stew Na-che fed
him.  "This is as near heaven as I want to get."

"I should hope so!" grunted Agnew.  "Jonas, don't ever try to put up a
stew in competition with Na-che again."

"Not me, sir!" chuckled Jonas.  "That gal can sure cook!"

"And make charms," added Enoch.  "Don't fail to realize that you're
still alive, Jonas."

"I'm going to bathe Mr. Milton's face for him," said Na-che, with a
fine air of indifference.  "I can set a broken leg, too."

"It's set," said Agnew and Enoch together, "but," added Enoch, "that
isn't saying that Milton mustn't be gotten to a doctor with all speed."

Diana nodded.  "Where are Mr. Forrester and Mr. Harden?" she asked.

"We lost the Na-che--" said Agnew.

"The what?" demanded Diana.

"Jonas rechristened the Mary, the Na-che," Agnew replied.  "We lost her
in a whirlpool six days back.  Most of the food was in her.  Two of us
had to go out and Harden and Forrester volunteered.  We are very much
worried about them."

"And when did Mr. Milton break his leg?"

"On that same black day!  The water's been disagreeing with him, making
him dizzy, and he took a header from the Ida, after rescuing Forrester
from some rapids," said Enoch.

"Doesn't sound much, when you tell it, does it!" Agnew smiled as he
sighed.  "But it really has been quite a busy five days."

"One can look at your faces and read much between the lines," said
Diana, quietly.  "Now, while Na-che works with Mr. Milton, I'm going to
give you each some coffee."

"Diana, how far are we from the nearest doctor?" asked Enoch.

"There's one over on the Navajo reservation," replied Diana.

"Wouldn't it be better to keep Milton right here and one of us go for
the doctor?"

"Much better," agreed Diana and Agnew.

"Lord," sighed Milton, "what bliss!"

"Then," said Enoch, "I'm going to start for the doctor, now."

"Nonsense!" exclaimed Diana, "that's my job.  We've been here two days
and we and our outfit are as fresh as daisies."

"I'm going, myself," Agnew rose as firmly as his weak and weary legs
would permit.

It was Na-che who settled the matter.  "That's an Indian's job," she
said.  "You take care of Mr. Milton, Diana, while I go."

"That's sensible," agreed Diana.  "Start now, Na-che.  You should reach
Wilson's by to-morrow night and telephone to the Agent's house.
That'll save you forty miles."

Jonas' face which had fallen greatly suddenly brightened.  "Somebody's
coming!" he cried.  "I hope it's our folks!"

The door opened abruptly and in walked Curly and Mack.

"Here's the whole family!" exclaimed Curly.  "Well, if you folks don't
look like Siberian convicts, whiskers and all!  Some trip, eh?"

Mack, shaking hands all round, stopped beside Milton's bunk.  "What
went wrong, bud? and where's the rest of the bunch?"

Enoch told the story, this time.  Mack shook his head as the final
plans were outlined.

"Na-che had better stay and nurse Milton.  I'm feeling fine.  We just
loafed along down here.  I'll start out right away.  I should reach
Wilson's to-morrow night, as you say, and telephone the doctor.  Then
I'll load up with grub at Wilson's and turn back.  Do you find much
game round here?"

Diana nodded.  "Plenty of rabbit and quail, and we have some bacon and
coffee."

"I guess I'd better go out and look for the two foot-passengers,"
suggested Curly.  "I'll stay out to-night and report to-morrow evening."

"We'll be in shape by morning to start on the search," said Enoch.

Curly turned to his former cook with a grin.  "Well, Judge, is your
little vacation giving you the rest you wanted?"

Enoch, gaunt, unshaven, exhausted, his blue eyes blood-shot, nodded
contentedly.  "I'm having the time of my life, Curly."

"I had a bull dog once," said Curly.  "If I'd take a barrel stave and
pound him with it, saying all the time, 'Nice doggie, isn't this fun!
Isn't this a nice little stick!  Don't you like these little love
pats?' he'd wag his tail and slobber and tell me how much he enjoyed it
and beg for more.  But, if I took a straw and tapped him with it,
telling him he was a poor dog, that nobody loved him, that I was
breaking his ribs which he richly deserved, why that bull pup nearly
died of suffering of body and anguish of mind."

Enoch shook his head sadly.  "A great evangelist was lost when you took
to placer mining, Curly."

Mack had been talking quietly to Milton.  "I don't believe it was the
river water, that upset you.  I think you have drunk from some poison
spring.  I did that once, up in this country, and it took me six months
to get over it, because I couldn't get to a doctor.  But I believe a
doctor could fix you right up.  Do you recall drinking water the other
men didn't?"

"Any number of times, on exploring trips to the river!"  Milton looked
immensely cheered.  "I think you may be right, Mack."

"I'll bet you two bits that's all that ails you, son!" Mack rose from
the edge of the bunk.  "Well, folks, I'm off!  Look for me when you see
me!"

"I'll mooch along too," Curly rose and stretched himself.

"I'm not going to try to thank all you folks!"  Milton's weak voice was
husky.

"That's what us Arizonians always wait for before we do the decent
thing," said Mack, with a smile.  "Come along, Curly, you lazy
chuckawalla you!"  And the door slammed behind them.

"They're stem winders, both of them!" exclaimed Agnew.

"Diana," said Enoch, "I wish you'd sit down.  You've done enough for
us."

Diana smiled and shook her head.  "I struck the camp first, so I'm
boss.  Na-che and I are going out to see that everything's all right
for the night and that Mack and Curly get a good start.  While we're
out, you're all going to bed.  Then Na-che is coming in to make Mr.
Milton as comfortable as she can.  Our tent is under the cottonwoods
and if you want anything during the night, Mr. Milton, all you have to
do is to call through the window.  Neither of us will undress so we can
be on duty, instantly.  There is plenty of stew still simmering in the
pot, and cold biscuit on the table.  Good night, all of you."

"Na-che, she don't need to bother.  I'll look out for Mr. Milton," said
Jonas, suddenly rousing from his chair where he had been dozing.

"You go to bed and to sleep, Jonas," ordered Diana.  "Good night,
Judge."

"Good night, Diana!"

The door closed softly and Diana was seen no more that night.  The rain
ceased at midnight and the stars shone forth clear and cold, but Milton
was the only person in the camp to be conscious of the fact.  Just as
the dawn wind was rising, though, and the cottonwoods were outlining
themselves against the eastern sky, stumbling footsteps near the tent
wakened both Diana and Na-che, and they opened the tent flap, hastily.

Forrester was clinging to a cottonwood tree.  At least it was a worn,
bleached, ragged counterfeit of Forrester.

"Hard's back on the trail apiece.  I came on for help," he said huskily.

"Is he sick or hurt?" cried Diana.

"No, just all in."

"I'll take a horse for him, right off," said Na-che.  "You help Mr.
Forrester into the house, Diana."

"Call Jonas!" said Diana, supporting Forrester against the tree.  "One
of the men had better go for Mr. Harden."

"Then they got here!" exclaimed Forrester.  "Thank God!  How's Milton?
Any other accident?"

"Everything's all right!  Here they all come!"  For Jonas, then Agnew
and Enoch were rushing from the door and amid the hubbub of
exclamations, Forrester was landed in a bunk while Agnew started up the
trail indicated by Forrester.  But he hardly had set out before he met
Curly, leading his horse with Harden clinging to the saddle.  Both the
wanderers were fed and put to bed and told to sleep, before they tried
to tell their story.  The day was warm and clear and Na-che and Jonas
prepared breakfast outside, serving it on the rough table, under the
cottonwoods.  Enoch and Agnew, washed and shaved, were new men, though
still weak, Enoch, particularly, being muscle sore and weary.  Harden
and Forrester woke for more food, at noon, then slept again.  Milton
dozed and woke, drank feverishly of the water brought from the spring
near the cabin, and gazed with a look of complete satisfaction on the
unshaved dirty faces in the bunks across the room.

Agnew and Curly played poker all day long.  Jonas and Na-che found
endless small tasks around the camp that required long consultations
between them and much laughter.  When Enoch returned after breakfast
from a languid inspection of the Ida, Diana was not to be seen.  She
had gone out to get some quail, Na-che said.  She returned in an hour
or so, with a good bag of rabbit and birds.

"To-morrow, that will be my job," said Enoch.

"If she wouldn't let me go, she mustn't let you!" called Curly, from
his poker game, under the trees.

"Yes, I'll let any of you take it over, to-morrow," replied Diana,
giving Na-che gun and bag.  "To-morrow, Na-che and I turn the rescue
mission over to you men and start for Bright Angel."

"Oh, where's your heart, Miss Allen!" cried Agnew.  "Aren't you going
to wait to learn what the doctor says about Milton?"

"And Diana," urged Enoch, "Jonas and I want to go up to Bright Angel
with you and Na-che.  Won't you wait a day longer, just till we're a
little more fit?"

Diana, in her worn corduroy habit, her soft hat pulled well over her
great eyes, looked from Agnew to Enoch, smiled and did not reply.
Enoch waited impatiently without the door while she made a call on
Milton.

"Diana!" he exclaimed, when she came out, "aren't you going to talk to
me even?  Do come down by the Ida and see if we can't be rid of this
horde of people for a while."

"I've been wanting to see just how badly you'd treated the poor old
boat," said Diana, following Enoch toward the shore.

But Enoch had not the slightest intention of holding an inquest on the
Ida.  In the shade of a gnarled cedar to which the boat was tied as a
precaution against high water, he had placed a box.  Thither he led
Diana.

"Do sit down, Diana, and let me sit here at your feet.  I'll admit it
should be unexpected joy enough just to find you here.  But I'm greedy.
I want you to myself, and I want to tell you a thousand things."

"All right, Judge, begin," returned Diana amiably, as she clasped her
knee with both hands and smiled at him.  But Enoch could not begin,
immediately.  Sitting in the sand with his back against the cedar he
looked out at the Colorado flowing so placidly, at the pale gray green
of the far canyon walls and a sense of all that the river signified to
him, all that it had brought to him, all that it would mean to him to
leave it and with it Diana,--Diana who had been his other self since he
was a lad of eighteen,--made him speechless for a time.

Diana waited, patiently.  At last, Enoch turned to her, "All the things
I want to say most, can't be said, Diana!"

"Are you glad you took the trip down the river, Judge?"

"Glad!  Was Roland glad he made his adventure in search of the Dark
Tower?"

"Yes, he was, only, Judge--"

Enoch interrupted.  "Has our friendship grown less since we camped at
the placer mine?"

Diana flushed slightly and went on, "Only, Enoch, surely the end of
your adventure is not a Dark Tower ending!"

"Yes, it is, Diana!  It can never be any other."  Enoch's fingers
trembled a little as he toyed with his pipe bowl.  Diana slowly looked
away from him, her eyes fastening themselves on a buzzard that circled
over the peaks across the river.  After a moment, she said, "Then you
are going to shoot Brown?"

Enoch started a little.  "I'm not thinking of Brown just now.  I'm
thinking of you and me."

He paused again and again Diana waited until she felt the silence
becoming too painful.  Then she said,

"Aren't you going to tell me some of the details of your trip?"

"I want to, Diana, but hang it, words fail me!  It was as you warned
me, an hourly struggle with death.  And we fought, I think, not because
life was so unutterably sweet to any of us, but because there was such
wonderful zest to the fighting.  The beauty of the Canyon, the
awfulness of it, the unbelievable rapidity with which event piled on
event.  Why, Diana, I feel as if I'd lived a lifetime since I first put
foot on the Ida!  And the glory of the battle!  Diana, we were so puny,
so insignificant, so stupid, and the Canyon was so colossal and so
diabolically quick and clever!  What a fight!"

Enoch laughed joyfully.

"You're a new man!" said Diana, softly.

Enoch nodded.  "And now I'm to have the ride back to El Tovar with you
and the trip down Bright Angel with you and your father!  For once
Diana, Fate is minding her own business and letting me mind mine."

Jonas approached hesitatingly.  "Na-che said I had to tell you, boss,
though I didn't want to disturb you, she said I had to though she
wouldn't do it herself.  Dinner is on the table.  And you know, boss,
you ain't like you was when a bowl of cereal would do you."

"I shouldn't have tempted fate, Diana!"  Enoch sighed, as he rose and
followed her to the cottonwood.

Try as he would, during the afternoon, he could not bring about another
tête-a-tête with Diana.  Finally as dusk drew near, he threw himself
down, under the cedar tree, his eyes sadly watching the evening mists
rise over the river.  His dark figure merged with the shadow of the
cedar and Na-che and Jonas, establishing themselves on the gunwale of
the Ida for one of their confidential chats did not perceive him.  He
himself gave them no heed until he heard Jonas say vehemently:

"You're crazy, Na-che!  I'm telling you the boss won't never marry."

"How do you know what's in your boss's mind?" demanded Na-che.

"I know all right.  And I know he thinks a lot of Miss Diana, too, but
I know he won't marry her.  He won't marry anybody."

"But why?" urged the Indian woman, sadly, "Why should things be so
wrong?  When he loves her and she loves him and they were made for each
other!"

"How come you to think she loves him?" demanded Jonas.

"Don't I know the mind of my Diana?  Isn't she my little child, even if
her mother did bear her.  Don't I see her kiss that little picture she
has of him in her locket every night when she says her prayers?"

"Well--" began Jonas, but he was interrupted by a call from Curly.

"Whoever's minding the stew might be interested in knowing that it's
boiling over!"

"Coming!  Coming!" cried Jonas and Na-che.

Darkness had now settled on the river.  Enoch lay motionless until they
called him in to supper.  When he entered the cabin where the table was
set, Curly cried, "Hello, Judge!  Where've you been?  I swear you look
as if you'd been walking with a ghost."

"Perhaps I have," Enoch replied, grimly, as he took his seat.

Harden and Forrester, none too energetic, but shaven and in order, were
at the table, where their story was eagerly picked from them.

Forrester had slept the first night in the cavern Enoch had noted.
Harden never even saw the cavern but had spent the night crawling
steadily toward the rim.  At dawn, Forrester had made his way to the
top of the butte by the same route Enoch had followed, and had seen
Harden, a black speck moving laboriously on the southern horizon.  He
had not recognized him, and set out to overtake him.  It was not until
noon that he had done so.  Even after he realized whom he was pursuing,
he had not given up, for by that time he was rueing bitterly his hasty
and ill-equipped departure.

None of the auditors of the two men needed detailed description either
of the ardors of that trip nor of the embarrassment of the meeting.
Nor did Forrester or Harden attempt any.  After they had met they tried
to keep a course that moved southwest.  There were no trails.  For
endless miles, fissures and buttes, precipices to be scaled, mountains
to be climbed, canyons to be crossed.  For one day they were without
water, but the morning following they found a pot hole, full of water.
Weakness from lack of food added much to the peril of the trip, one
cottontail being the sole contribution of the gun to their larder.
They did not strike the trail until the day previous to their arrival
in the camp.

"Have you had enough desert to last you the rest of your life?" asked
Curly as Harden ended the tale.

"Not I!" said Forrester, "nor Canyon either!  I'm going to find some
method of getting Milt to let me finish the trip with him."

"Me too," added Harden.

"How much quarreling did you do?" asked Milton, abruptly, from the bunk.

Neither man answered for a moment, then Forrester, flushing deeply,
said, "All we ask of you, Milt, is to give us a trial.  Set us ashore
if you aren't satisfied with us."

Milton grunted and Diana said, quickly, "What are you people going to
do until Mr. Milton gets well?"

All of the crew looked toward the leader's bunk.  "Wait till we get the
doctor's report," said Milton.  "Hard, you were going to show Curly a
placer claim around here, weren't you?"

"Yes, if I can be spared for a couple of days.  We can undertake that,
day after to-morrow."

"You're on!" exclaimed Curly.  "Judge, don't forget you and I are due
to have a little conversation before we separate."

"I haven't forgotten it," replied Enoch.

"Sometime to-morrow then.  To-night I've got to get my revenge on
Agnew.  He's a wild cat, that's what he is.  Must have been born in a
gambling den.  Sit in with us, Judge or anybody!"

"Not I," said Enoch, shortly.

"Still disapprove, don't you, Judge!" gibed Curly.  "How about the rest
of you?  Diana, can you play poker?"

"Thanks, Curly!  My early education in that line was neglected."  Diana
smiled and turned to Enoch.  "Judge, do you think you'll feel up to
starting to-morrow afternoon?  There's a spring five miles west that we
could make if we leave here at two o'clock and I'd like to feel that
I'd at least made a start, to-morrow.  My father is going to be very
much worried about me.  I'm nearly a week overdue, now."

"I'll be ready whenever you are, Diana.  How about you, Jonas?"

"I'm always on hand, boss.  Mr. Milton, can I have the broken oar blade
we kept to patch the Ida with?"

"What do you want it for, Jonas?" asked Milton.

"I'm going to have it framed.  And Mr. Harden and Mr. Agnew, don't
forget those fillums!"

"Lucky for you the films were stored in the Ida, Jonas!" exclaimed
Agnew.  "I'll develop some of those in the morning, and see what sort
of a show you put up."

Diana rose.  "Well, good night to you all!  Mr. Milton, is there
anything Na-che or I can do for you?"

"No, thank you, Miss Allen, I think I'm in good hands."

Enoch rose to open the door for Diana.  "Thank you, Judge," she said,
"Good night!"

"Diana," said Enoch, under cover of the conversation at the table,
"before we start to-morrow, will you give me half an hour alone with
you?"

There was pain and determination both in Enoch's voice.  Diana glanced
at him a little anxiously as she answered, "Yes, I will, Enoch."

"Good night, Diana," and Enoch retired to his bunk, where he lay wide
awake long after the card game was ended and the room in darkness save
for the dull glow of the fire.

He made no attempt the next day to obtain the half hour Diana had
promised him.  He helped Jonas with their meager preparations for the
trip, then took a gun and started along the trail which led up the
Ferry canyon to the desert.  But he had not gone a hundred yards, when
Diana called.

"Wait a moment, Judge!  I'll go with you."

She joined him shortly with her gun and game bag.  "We'll have Na-che
cook us a day's supply of meat before we start," she said.  "The
hunting is apt to be poor on the trail we're to take home."

Enoch nodded but said nothing.  Something of the old grim look was in
his eyes again.  He paused at the point where the canyon gave place to
the desert.  Here a gnarled mesquite tree and an old half-buried log
beneath it, offered mute evidence of a gigantic flooding of the river.

"Let's sit here for a little while, Diana," he said.

They put their guns against the mesquite tree and sat down facing the
distant river.

"Diana," Enoch began abruptly, "in spite of what your father and John
Seaton believed and wanted me to believe, the things that the Brown
papers said about my mother are true.  Only, Brown did not tell all.
He did not give the details of her death.  I suppose even Luigi
hesitated to tell that because I almost beat him to death the last time
he tried it.

"Seaton and I never talked much about the matter.  He tried to ferret
out facts, but had no luck.  By the time I was seventeen or eighteen I
realized that no man with a mother like mine had a right to marry.  But
I missed the friendship of women, I suppose, for when I was perhaps
eighteen or nineteen I made a discovery.  I found that somewhere in my
heart I was carrying the image of a girl, a slender girl, with braids
of light brown hair wrapped round her head, a girl with the largest,
most intelligent, most tender gray eyes in the world, and a lovely
curving mouth, with deep corners.  I named her Lucy, because I'd been
reading Wordsworth and I began to keep a diary to her.  I've kept it
ever since.

"You can have no idea, how real, how vivid, how vital a part of my life
Lucy became to me.  She was in the very deepest truth my better self,
for years.  And then this summer, a miracle occurred!  Lucy walked into
my office!  Beauty, serenity, intelligence, sweetness, gaiety, and
gallantry--these were Lucy's in the flesh as I could not even dream for
Lucy of the spirit.  Only in one particular though had I made an actual
error.  Her name was not Lucy, it was Diana!  Diana! the little girl of
Bright Angel who had entered my turbulent boyish heart, all unknown to
me, never to leave it! . . . Diana! Lucy!  I love you and God help me,
I must not marry!"

Enoch, his nails cutting deep into his palms turned from the river, at
which he had been staring steadily while speaking, to Diana.  Her eyes
which had been fastened on Enoch's profile, now gazed deep into his,
pain speaking to pain, agony to agony.

"If," Enoch went on, huskily, "there is no probability of your growing
to care for me, then I think our friendship can endure.  I can crowd
back the lover and be merely your friend.  But if you might grow to
care, even ever so little, then, I think at the thought of your pain,
my heart would break.  So, I thought before it is too late--"

Suddenly Diana's lips which had grown white, trembled a little.  "It is
too late!" she whispered.  "It is too late!" and she put her slender,
sunburned hands over her face.

"Don't!  Oh, don't!" groaned Enoch.  He took her hands down, gently.
Diana's eyes were dry.  Her cheeks were burning.  Enoch looked at her
steadily, his breath coming a little quickly, then he rose and with
both her hands in his lifted her to her feet.

"Do you love me, Diana?" he whispered.

She looked up into his eyes.  "Yes, Enoch!  Oh, yes!" she answered,
brokenly.

"How much do you love me, dear?" he persisted.

She smiled with a tragic beauty in droop of lips and anguish of eyes.
"With all there is in me to give to love, Enoch."

"Then," said Enoch, "this at least may be mine," and he laid his lips
to hers.

When he lifted his head, he smoothed her hair back from her face.
"Remember, I am not deceiving myself, Diana," he said huskily.  "I have
acted like a selfish, unprincipled brute.  If I had not, in Washington,
let you see that I cared, you would have escaped all this."

"I did not want to escape it, Enoch," she said, smiling again while her
lips quivered.  "Yet I thought I would have strength enough to go away,
without permitting you to tell me about it.  But I was not strong
enough.  However," stepping away from Enoch, "now we both understand,
and I'll go home.  And we must never see each other again, Enoch."

"Never see each other again!" he repeated.  Then his voice deepened.
"Go about our day's work year after year, without even a memory to ease
the gnawing pain.  God, Diana, do you think we are machines to be
driven at will?"

Diana drew a long breath and her voice was very steady as she answered.
"Don't let's lose our grip on ourselves, Enoch.  It only makes a hard
situation harder.  Now that we understand each other, let us kiss the
cross, and go on."

Enoch, arms folded on his chest, great head bowed, walked up and down
under the trees slowly for a moment.  When he paused before her, it was
to speak with his customary calm and decision, though his eyes
smoldered.

"Diana, I want to take the trip with you, just as we planned, and go
down Bright Angel with your father and you.  I want those few days in
the desert with you to carry me through the rest of my life.  You need
not fear, dear, that for one moment I will lose grip on myself."

Diana looked at him as if she never had seen him before.  She looked at
the gaunt, strong features, the massive chin, the sensitive, firm
mouth, the lines of self-control and purposefulness around eyes and
lips, and over all the deep-seated sadness that made Enoch's face
unforgettable.  Slowly she turned from him to the desert, and after a
moment, as if she had gathered strength from the far horizon, she
answered him, still with the little note of steadiness in her voice:

"I think we'll have to have those last few days, together, Enoch."

Enoch heaved a deep sigh then smiled, brilliantly.  "And now," he said,
"I dare not go back to camp without at least discharging my gun, do
you?"

"No, Judge!" replied Diana, picking up her gun, with a little laugh.

"Don't call me Judge, when we're alone!" protested Enoch.

Diana with something sweeter than tenderness shining in her great eyes,
touched his hand softly with hers.

"No, dear!" she whispered.

Enoch looked at her, drew a deep breath, then put his gun across his
arm and followed Diana to the yucca thicket where quail was to be
found.  They were very silent during the hour of hunting.  They bagged
a pair of cottontails and a number of quail, and when they did speak,
it was only regarding the hunt or the preparations for the coming
exodus.  They reached camp, just before dinner, Diana disappearing into
the tent, and Enoch tramping prosaically and wearily into the cabin to
throw himself down on his bunk.  He had not yet recovered from the last
days in the Canyon.

"You shouldn't have tackled that tramp this morning, Judge," said
Milton.  "You should have saved yourself for this afternoon."

"You saw who his side pardner was, didn't you?" asked Curly.

"Yes," replied Milton, grinning.

"Then why make foolish comments?"

"I am a fool!" agreed Milton.

"Judge," asked Curly, "how about you and me having our conflab right
after dinner?"

"That will suit me," replied Enoch, "if you can drag yourself from
Agnew and poker that long."

"I'll make a superhuman effort," returned Curly.

The conference, which took place under the cedar near the Ida, did not
last long.

"Curly," said Enoch, lighting his pipe, "I haven't made up my mind yet,
whether I want you to give me the information about Fowler and Brown or
not."

"What's the difficulty?" demanded Curly.

"Well, there's a number of personal reasons that I don't like to go
into.  But I've a suggestion to make.  You say you're trying to get
money together with which to retain a lawyer and carry out a campaign,
so you aren't in a hurry, anyway.  Now you write down in a letter all
that you know about the two men, and send the letter to me, I'll treat
it as absolutely confidential, and will return the material to you
without reading it if I decide not to use it."

Curly puffed thoughtfully at his cigarette.  "That's fair enough,
Judge.  As you say there's no great hurry and I always get het up,
anyhow, when I talk about it.  I'd better put it down in cool black and
white.  Where can I reach you?"

"No. 814 Blank Avenue, Washington, D. C.," replied Enoch.

Curly pulled an old note book out of his hip pocket and set down the
address:

"All right, Judge, you'll hear from me sometime in the next few weeks.
I'll go back now and polish Agnew off."

And he hurried away, leaving Enoch to smoke his pipe thoughtfully as he
stared at the Ida.



CHAPTER XIV

LOVE IN THE DESERT


"While I was teaching my boy obedience, I would teach him his next
great obligation, service.  So only could his manhood be a full
one."--_Enoch's Diary_.


Shortly after two o'clock, Diana announced that she was ready to start.
But the good-bys consumed considerable time and it was nearly three
before they were really on their way.  Enoch's eyes were a little dim
as he shook hands with Milton.

"Curly has my address, Milton," he said, "drop me a line once in a
while.  I shall be more deeply interested in your success than you can
realize."

"I'll do it, Judge, and when I get back East, I'll look you up.  You're
a good sport, old man!"

"You're more than that, Milton!  Good-by!" and Enoch hurried out in
response to Jonas' call.

They were finally mounted and permitted to go.  Na-che rode first,
leading a pack mule, Jonas second, leading two mules, Diana followed,
Enoch bringing up the rear.  Much to Jonas' satisfaction, Enoch had
been obliged to abandon the overalls and flannel shirt which he had
worn into the Canyon.  Even the tweed suit was too ragged and shrunk to
be used again.  So he was clad in the corduroy riding breeches and coat
that Jonas had brought.  But John Red Sun's boots were still doing
notable service and the soft hat, faded and shapeless, was pulled down
over his eyes in comfort if not in beauty.

There was a vague trail to the spring which lay southwest of the Ferry.
It led through the familiar country of fissures and draws that made
travel slow and heavy.  The trail rose, very gradually, wound around a
number of multi-colored peaks and paused at last at the foot of a
smooth-faced, purple butte.  Here grew a cottonwood, sheltering from
sun and sand a lava bowl, eroded by time and by the tiny stream of
water that dripped into it gently.  There was little or no view from
the spring, for peaks and buttes closely hemmed it in.  The November
shadows deepened early on the strange, winding, almost subterranean
trail, and although when they reached the cottonwood, it was not
sundown, they made camp at once.  Diana's tent was set up in the sand
to the right of the spring.  Enoch collected a meager supply of wood
and before five o'clock supper had been prepared and eaten.

For a time, after this was done, Enoch and Diana sat before the tiny
eye of fire, listening to the subdued chatter with which Jonas and
Na-che cleared up the meal.

Suddenly, Enoch said, "Diana, how brilliant the stars are, to-night!
Why can't we climb to the top of the butte for a little while?  I feel
smothered here.  It's far worse than the river bottom."

"Aren't you too tired?" asked Diana.

"Not too tired for as short a climb as that, unless you are feeling
done up!"

"I!" laughed Diana.  "Why, Na-che will vouch for it that I've never had
such a lazy trip before!  Na-che, the Judge and I are going up the
butte.  Just keep a little glow of fire for us, will you, so that we
can locate the camp easily."

"Yes, Diana, and don't be frightened if you hear noises.  I'm going to
teach Jonas a Navajo song."

"We'll try not to be," replied Diana, laughing as she rose.

It was an ascent of several hundred feet, but easily made and the view
from the top more than repaid them for the effort.  In all his desert
nights, Enoch never had seen the stars so vivid.  For miles about them
the shadowy peaks and chasms were discernible.  And Diana's face was
delicately clear cut as she seated herself on a block of stone and
looked up at him.

"Diana," said Enoch, abruptly, "you make me wish that I were a poet,
instead of a politician."

"But you aren't a politician!" protested Diana.  "You shall not malign
yourself so."

"A pleasant comment on our American politics!" exclaimed Enoch.  "Well,
whatever I am, words fail me utterly when I try to describe the appeal
of your beauty."

"Enoch," there was a note of protest in Diana's voice, "you aren't
going to make love to me on this trip, are you?"

Enoch's voice expressed entire astonishment.  "Why certainly I am,
Diana!"

"You'll make it very hard for me!" sighed Diana.

Enoch knelt in the sand before her and lifted her hands against his
cheek.

"Sweetheart," he said softly, his great voice, rich and mellow although
it hardly rose above a whisper, "my only sweetheart, not for all the
love in the world would I make it hard for you.  Not for all your love
would I even attempt to leave you with one memory that is not all that
is sweet and noble.  Only in these days I want you to learn all there
is in my heart, as I must learn all that is in yours.  For, after that,
Diana, we must never see each other again."

Diana freed one of her hands and brushed the tumbled hair from Enoch's
forehead.

"Do you realize," he said, quietly, "that in all the years of my memory
no woman has caressed me so?  I am starved, Diana, for just such a
gentle touch as that."

"Then you shall be starved no more, dearest.  Sit down in the sand
before me and lean your head against my knee.  There!" as Enoch turned
and obeyed her.  "Now we can both look out at the stars and I can
smooth your hair.  What a mass of it you have, Enoch!  And you must
have been a real carrot top when you were a little boy."

"I was an ugly brat," said Enoch, comfortably.  "A red-headed,
freckled-faced, awkward brat!  And unhappy and disagreeable as I was
ugly."

"It seems so unfair!"  Diana smoothed the broad forehead, tenderly.  "I
had such a happy childhood.  I didn't go to school until I was twelve.
Until then I lived the life of a little Indian, out of doors, taking
the trail trips with dad or geologizing with mother.  I don't know how
many horses and dogs I had.  Their number was limited only by what
mother and father felt they could afford to feed."

"There was nothing unfair in your having had all the joy that could be
crammed into your childhood," protested Enoch.  "Nature and
circumstance were helping to make you what you are.  I don't see that
anything could have been omitted.  Listen, Diana."

Plaintively from below rose Na-che's voice in a slow sweet chant.
Jonas's baritone hesitatingly repeated the strain, and after a moment
they softly sang it together.

"Oh, this is perfect!" murmured Enoch.  "Perfect!"  Then he drew
Diana's hand to his lips.

How long they sat in silence listening to the wistful notes that
floated up to them, neither could have told.  But when the singing
finally ceased, Diana, with a sudden shiver said,

"Enoch, I want to go back to the camp."

Enoch rose at once, with a rueful little laugh.  "Our first precious
evening is ended, and we've said nothing!"

"Nothing!" exclaimed Diana.  "Enoch, what was there left to say when I
could touch your hair and forehead so?  We can talk on the trail."

"Starlight and you and Na-che's little song," murmured Enoch; "I am
hard to satisfy, am I not?"  He put his arms about Diana and kissed her
softly, then let her lead the way down to the spring.  And shortly,
rolled in his blankets, his feet to the dying fire, Enoch was deep in
sleep.

Sun-up found them on the trail again.  All day the way wound through
country that had been profoundly eroded.  Na-che led by instinct, it
seemed, to Enoch, for when they were a few miles from the spring, as
far as he, at least, could observe, the trail disappeared, entirely.
During the morning, they walked much, for the over-hanging ledges and
sudden chasms along which Na-che guided them made even the horses
hesitate.  They were obliged to depend on their canteens for water and
there was no sign of forage for the horses and mules.  Every one was
glad when the noon hour came.

"It will be better, to-night," explained Diana.  "There are water holes
known as Indian's Cups that we should reach before dark.  They're sure
to be full of water, for it has rained so much lately.  The way will be
far easier to-morrow, Enoch, so that we can talk as we go."

They were standing by the horses, waiting for Jonas and Na-che to put
the dishes in one of the packs.

"Diana, do you realize that you made no comment whatever on what I told
you yesterday?  Didn't the story of Lucy seem wonderful to you?"

"I was too deeply moved to make any very sane comment," replied Diana.
"Enoch, will you let me see the diary?"

"When I die, it is to be yours, but--" he hesitated, "it tells so many
of my weaknesses, that I wouldn't like to be alive and feel that you
know so much about them."  He laughed a little sadly.

"Yet you told Lucy them, didn't you?" insisted Diana with a smile.
"Don't make me jealous of that person, Enoch!"

"She was you!" returned Enoch, briefly.  "To-night, I'll tell you,
Lucy, some of the things you have forgotten."

"You're a dear," murmured Diana, under her breath, turning to mount as
Jonas and Na-che clambered into their saddles.

All the afternoon, Enoch, riding under the burning sun, through the
ever shifting miracles of color, rested in his happy dream.  The past
and the future did not exist for him.  It was enough that Diana,
straight and slender and unflagging rode before him.  It was enough
that that evening after the years of yearning he would feel the touch
of Lucy's hand on his burning forehead.  For the first time in his
life, Enoch's spirit was at peace.

The pools were well up on the desert, where pinnacles and buttes had
given way at last to a roughly level country, with only occasional
fissures as reminders of the canyon.  Bear grass and yucca, barrel and
fish-hook cactus as well as the ocotilla appeared.  The sun was sinking
when the horses smelled water and cantered to the shallow but grateful
basins.  Far to the south, the chaos out of which they had labored was
black, and mysterious with drifting vapors.  The wind which whirled
forever among the chasms was left behind.  They had entered into
silence and tranquillity.

After supper and while the last glow of the sunsets still clung to the
western horizon, Na-che said,

"Jonas, you want to see the great Navajo charm, made by Navajo god when
he made these waterholes?"

Jonas pricked up his ears.  "Is it a good charm or a hoo-doo?"

"If you come at it right, it means you never die," Na-che nodded her
head solemnly.

Jonas put a cat's claw root on the fire.  "All right!  You see, woman,
that I come at it right."

Na-che smiled and led the way eastward.

"Bless them!" exclaimed Enoch.  "They're doing the very best they can
for us!"

"And they're having a beautiful time with each other," added Diana.  "I
think Jonas loves you as much as Na-che loves me."

"I don't deserve that much love," said Enoch, watching the fire glow on
Diana's face.  "But he is the truest friend I have on earth."

Diana gave him a quick, wide-eyed glance.

"Ah, but you don't know me, as Jonas does!  I wouldn't want you to know
me as he does!" exclaimed Enoch.

"I'll not admit either Lucy or Jonas as serious rivals," protested
Diana.

Enoch laughed.  "Dearest, I have told you things that Jonas would not
dream existed.  I have poured out my heart to you, night after night.
All a boy's aching dreams, all a man's hopes and fears, I've shared
with you.  Jonas was not that kind of friend.  I first met him when I
became secretary to the Mayor of New York.  He was a sort of porter or
doorman at the City Hall.  He gradually began to do little personal
things for me and before I realized just how it was accomplished, he
became my valet and steward, and was keeping house for me in a little
flat up on Fourth Avenue.

"And then, when I was still in the City Hall I had a row with Luigi.
He spoke of my mother to a group of officials I was taking through
Minetta Lane.

"Diana, it was Luigi who taught me to gamble when I was not over eight
years old.  I took to it with devilish skill.  What drink or dope or
women have been to other men, gambling has been to me.  After I came
back from the Grand Canyon with John Seaton, I began to fight against
it.  But, although I waited on table for my board, I really put myself
through the High School on my earnings at craps and draw poker.  As I
grew older I ceased to gamble as a means of subsistence but whenever I
was overtaxed mentally I was drawn irresistibly to a gambling den.  And
so after the fight with Luigi--"

Enoch paused, his face knotted.  His strong hands, clasping his knees
as he sat in the sand, opposite Diana, were tense and hard.  Diana,
looking at him thought of what this man meant to the nation, of what
his service had been and would be: she thought of the great gifts with
which nature had endowed him and she could not bear to have him humble
himself to her.

She sprang to her feet.  "Enoch!  Enoch!" she cried.  "Don't tell me
any more!  You are entitled to your personal weaknesses.  Even I must
not intrude!  I asked you about them because, oh, because, Enoch, you
are letting your only real weakness come between you and me."

Enoch had risen with Diana, and now he came around the fire and put his
hands on her shoulders.  "No!  No!  Diana! not my weaknesses keep us
apart, bitterly as they mortify me."

Diana looked up at him steadily.  "Enoch, your great weakness is not
gambling.  Who cares whether you play cards or not?  No one but Brown!
But your weakness is that you have let those early years and Luigi's
vicious stories warp your vision of the sweetest thing in life."

"Diana!  I thought you understood.  My mother--"

"Don't!" interrupted Diana, quickly.  "Don't!  I understand and because
I do, I tell you that you are warped.  You are America's only real
statesman, the man with a vision great enough to mold ideals for the
nation.  Still you are not normal, not sane, about yourself."

Enoch dropped his hands from her shoulders and stood staring at her
sadly.

"I thought you understood!" he whispered, brokenly.

Diana wrung her hands, turned and walked swiftly toward a neighboring
heap of rocks whose shadows swallowed her.  Enoch breathed hard for a
moment, then followed.  He found Diana, a vague heap on a great stone,
her face buried in her hands.  Enoch sat down beside her and took her
in his arms.

"Sweetheart," he whispered, "what have I done?"

Diana, shaken by dry sobs, did not reply.  But she put her arms about
his neck and clung to him as though she could never let him go.  Enoch
sat holding her in an ecstasy that was half pain.  Dusk thickened into
night and the stars burned richly above them.  Enoch could see that
Diana's face against his breast was quiet, her great eyes fastened on
the desert.  He whispered again,

"Diana, what have I done?"

"You have made me love you so that I cannot bear to think of the
future," she replied.  "It was not wise of us to take this trip
together, Enoch."

Enoch's arms tightened about her.  "We'll be thankful all our lives for
it, Diana.  And you haven't really answered my question, darling!"

Diana drew herself away from him.  "Enoch, let's never mention the
subject again.  The things you understand by weakness--why, I don't
care if you have a thousand of them!  But, dear, I want the diary.
When you leave El Tovar, leave that much of yourself with me."

Enoch's voice was troubled.  "I have been so curiously lonely!  You can
have no idea of what the diary has meant to me."

"I won't ask you for it, Enoch!" exclaimed Diana.  Suddenly she leaned
forward in the moonlight and kissed him softly on the lips.

Enoch drew her to him and kissed her fiercely.  "The diary!  It is
yours, Diana, yours in a thousand ways.  When you read it, you will
understand why I hesitated to give it to you."

"I'll find some way to thank you," breathed Diana.

"I know a way.  Give me some of your desert photographs.  Choose those
that you think tell the most.  And don't forget Death and the Navajo."

"Oh, Enoch!  What a splendid suggestion!  You've no idea how I shall
enjoy making the collection for you.  It will take several months to
complete it, you know."

"Don't wait to complete the collection.  Send the prints one at a time,
as you finish them.  Send them to my house, not my office."

Soft voices sounded from the camping place.  "We must go back," said
Diana.

"Another evening gone, forever," said Enoch.  "How many more have we,
Diana?"

"Three or four.  One never knows, in the Canyon country."

They moved slowly, hand in hand, toward the firelight.  Just before
they came within its zone, Enoch lifted Diana's hand to his lips.

"Good night, Diana!"

"Good night, Enoch!"

Jonas and Na-che, standing by the fire like two brown genii of the
desert, looked up smiling as the two appeared.

"Ain't they a handsome pair, Na-che?" asked Jonas, softly.  "Ain't he a
grand looking man?"

Na-che assented.  "I wish I could get each of 'em to wear a love ring.
I could get two the best medicine man in the desert country made."

"Where are they?" demanded Jonas eagerly.

"Up near Bright Angel."

"You get 'em and I'll pay for 'em," urged Jonas.

"We can't buy 'em!  They got to be taken."

"Well, how come you to think I couldn't take 'em, woman?  You show me
where they are.  I'll do the rest."

"All right," said Na-che.  "Diana, don't you feel tired?"

"Tired enough to go to bed, anyway," replied Diana.  "It's going to be
a very cold night.  Be sure that you and the Judge have plenty of
blankets, Jonas.  Good night!" and she disappeared into the tent.

The night was stinging cold.  Ice formed on the rain pools and they ate
breakfast with numbed hands.  As usual, however, the mercury began to
climb with the sun and when at mid-morning, they entered a huge purple
depression in the desert, coats were peeled and gloves discarded.

The depression was an ancient lava bed, deep with lavender dust that
rose chokingly about them.  There was a heavy wind that increased as
they rode deeper into the great bowl and this, with the swirling sand,
made the noon meal an unpleasant duty.  But, in spite of these
discomforts, Enoch managed to ride many miles, during the day, with his
horse beside Diana's.  And he talked to her as though he must in the
short five days make up for a life time of reticence.


He told her of the Seatons and all that John Seaton had done for him.
He told her of his years of dreaming of the Canyon and of his days as
Police Commissioner.  He told of dreams he had had as a Congressman and
as a Senator and of the great hopes with which he had taken up the work
of the Secretary of the Interior.  And finally, as the wind began to
lessen with the sinking sun, and the tired horses slowed to the trail's
lifting from the bowl, he told her of his last speaking trip, of its
purpose and of its results.

"The more I know you," said Diana, "the more I am confirmed in the
opinion I had of you years before I met you.  And that is that however
our great Departments need men of your administrative capacity and
integrity--and I'm perfectly willing to admit that their need is
dire--your place, Enoch Huntingdon, is in the Senate.  Yet I suppose
your party will insist on pushing you on into the White House.  And it
will be a mistake."

"Why?" asked Enoch quickly.

"Because," replied Diana, brushing the lavender dust from her brown
hands thoughtfully, "your gift of oratory, your fundamental, sane
dreams for the nation, your admirable character, impose a particular
and peculiar duty on you.  It has been many generations since the
nation had a spokesman.  Patrick Henry, Daniel Webster, have been dead
a long time.  Most of our orators since have killed their own influence
by fanatical clinging to some partisan cause.  You should be bigger
than any party, Enoch.  And in the White House you cannot be.  Our
spoils system has achieved that.  But in the Senate is your great,
natural opportunity."

Enoch smiled.  "Without the flourishes of praise, I've reached about
the same conclusion that you have," he said.  "I have been told," he
hesitated, "that I could have the party nomination for the presidency,
if I wished it.  You know that practically assures election."

Diana nodded.  "And it's a temptation, of course!"

"Yes and no!" replied Enoch.  "No man could help being moved and
flattered, yes, and tempted by the suggestion.  And yet when I think of
the loneliness of a man like me in the White House, the loneliness, and
the gradual disillusionment such as the President spoke of you, the
temptation has very little effect on me."

"How kind he was that day!" exclaimed Diana, "and how many years ago it
seems!"

They rode on in silence for a few moments, then Diana exclaimed, "Look,
Enoch dear!"

Ahead of them, along the rim of the bowl, an Indian rode.  His long
hair was flying in the wind.  Both he and his horse were silhouetted
sharply against the brilliant western sky.

"Make a picture of it, Diana!" cried Enoch.

Diana shook her head.  "I could make nothing of it!"

Na-che gave a long, shrill call, which the Indian returned, then pulled
up his horse to wait for them.  When Enoch and Diana reached the rim,
the others already had overtaken him.

"It's Wee-tah!" exclaimed Diana, then as she shook hands, she added:
"Where are you going so fast, Wee-tah?"

The Indian, a handsome young buck, his hair bound with a knotted
handkerchief, glanced at Enoch and answered Diana in Navajo.

Diana nodded, then said: "Judge, this is Wee-tah, a friend of mine."

Enoch and the Indian shook hands gravely, and Diana said, "Can't you
take supper with us, Wee-tah?"

"You stay, Wee-tah," Na-che put in abruptly.  "Jonas and I want you to
help us with a charm."

"Na-che says you know a heap about charms, Mr. Wee-tah!" exclaimed
Jonas.

Wee-tah grinned affably.  "I stay," he said.  "Only the whites have to
hurry.  Good water hole right there."  He jerked his thumb over his
shoulder, then turned his pony and led the way a few hundred yards to a
low outcropping of stones, the hollowed top of which held a few
precious gallons of rain water.

"My Lordy!" exclaimed Jonas, as he and Enoch were hobbling their
horses, "if I don't have some charms and hoo-doos to put over on those
Baptist folks back home!  Why, these Indians have got even a Georgia
nigger beat for knowing the spirits."

"Jonas, you're an old fool, but I love you!" said Enoch.

Jonas chuckled, and hurried off to help Na-che with the supper.  The
stunted cat's claw and mesquite which grew here plentifully made
possible a glorious fire that was most welcome, for the evening was
cold.  Enoch undertook to keep the big blaze going while Wee-tah
prepared a small fire at a little distance for cooking purposes.  After
supper the two Indians and Jonas gathered round this while Enoch and
Diana remained at what Jonas designated as the front room stove.

"What solitary trip was Wee-tah undertaking?" asked Enoch.  "Or mustn't
I inquire?"

"On one of the buttes in the canyon country," replied Diana, "Wee-tah's
grandfather, a great chief, was killed, years ago.  Wee-tah is going up
to that butte to pray for his little son who has never been born."

"Ah!" said Enoch, and fell silent.  Diana, in her favorite attitude,
hands clasping her knees, watched the fire.  At last Enoch roused
himself.

"Shall you come to Washington this winter, Diana?"

"I ought to, but I may not.  I may go into the Havesupai country for
two months, after you go East, and put Washington off until late
spring."

"Don't fear that I shall disturb you, when you come, dear."  Enoch
looked at Diana with troubled eyes.

She looked at him, but said nothing, and again there was silence.
Enoch emptied his pipe and put it in his pocket.

"After you have finished this work for the President, then what, Diana?"

She shook her head.  "There is plenty of time to plan for that.  If I
go into the angle of the children's games and their possible relations
to religious ceremonies, there's no telling when I shall wind up!  Then
there are their superstitions that careful study might separate clearly
from their true spiritism.  The great danger in work like mine is that
it is apt to grow academic.  In the pursuit of dry ethnological facts
one forgets the artistry needed to preserve it and present it to the
world."

"Whew!" sighed Enoch.  "I'm afraid you're a fearful highbrow, Diana!
Hello, Jonas, what can I do for you?"

"We all are going down the desert a piece with Wee-tah.  They's a charm
down there he knows about.  They think we'll be gone about an hour.
But don't worry about us."

"Don't let the ghosts get you, old man,", said Enoch.  "After all
you've lived through, that would be too simple."

Jonas grinned, and followed the Indians out into the darkness.

"Now," inquired Enoch, "is that tact or superstition?"

"Both, I should say," replied Diana.  "We'll have to agree that Na-che
and Jonas are doing all they can to make the match.  I gather from what
Na-che says that they're working mostly on love charms for us."

"More power to 'em," said Enoch grimly.  "Diana, let's walk out under
the stars for a little while.  The fire dims them."

They rose, and Enoch put his arm about the girl and said, with a
tenderness in his beautiful voice that seemed to Diana a very part of
the harmony of the glowing stars:

"Diana!  Oh, Diana!  Diana!"

She wondered as they moved slowly away from the fire, if Enoch had any
conception of the beauty of his voice.  It seemed to her to express the
man even more fully than his face.  All the sweetness, all the
virility, all the suffering, all the capacity for joy that was written
in Enoch's face was expressed in his voice, with the addition of a
melodiousness that only tone could give.  Although she never had heard
him make a speech she knew how even his most commonplace sentence must
wing home to the very heart of the hearer.

They said less, in this hour alone together, than they said in any
evening of their journey.  And yet they both felt as if it was the most
nearly perfect of their hours.

Perhaps it was because the sky was more magnificent than it had been
before; the stars larger and nearer and the sky more deeply, richly
blue.

Perhaps it was because after the dusk and heat of the day, the uproar
of the sand and wind, the cool silence was doubly impressive and thrice
grateful.

And perhaps it was because of some wordless, intangible reason, that
only lovers know, which made Diana seem more beautiful, more pure, her
touch more sacred, and Enoch stronger, finer, tenderer than ever before.

At any rate, walking slowly, with their arms about each other, they
were deeply happy.

And Enoch said, "Diana, I know now that not one moment of the
loneliness and the bitterness of the years, would I part with.  All of
it serves to make this moment more perfect."

And suddenly Diana said, "Enoch, hold me close to you again, here,
under the stars, so that I may never again look at them, when I'm alone
in the desert, without feeling your dear arms about me, and your dear
cheek against mine."

And when they were back by the fire again, Enoch once more leaned
against Diana's knee and felt the soft touch of her hand on his hair
and forehead.

The three magic-makers returned, chanting softly, as magic-makers
should.  Faint and far across the desert sounded the intriguing rhythm
long before the three dark faces were caught by the firelight.  When
they finally appeared, Jonas was bearing an eagle's feather.

"Miss Diana," he said solemnly, "will you give me one of your long
hairs?"

Quite as solemnly, Diana plucked a long chestnut spear and Jonas
wrapped it round the stem of the feather.  Then he joined the other two
at the water hole.  Enoch and Diana looked at each other with a smile.

"Do you think it will work, Diana?" asked Enoch.

"Eagle feather magic is strong magic," replied Diana.  "I shall go to
sleep believing in it.  Good night, Enoch."

"Good night, Diana."

Wee-tah left them after breakfast, cantering away briskly on his pony,
his long hair blowing, Na-che and Jonas shouting laughingly after him.

It was a brisk, clear morning, with ribbons of mist blowing across the
distant ranges.  By noon, their way was leading through scattered
growths of stunted cedar and juniper with an occasional gnarled,
undersized oak in which grew mistletoe thick-hung with ivory berries.
Bear grass and bunch grass dotted the sand.  Orioles and robins sang as
they foraged for the blue cedar berry.  All the afternoon the trees
increased in size and when they made camp at night, it was under a
giant pine whose kindred stretched in every direction as far as the eye
could pierce through the dusk.  There was water in a tiny rivulet near
by.

"It's heavenly, Diana!" exclaimed Enoch, as he returned from hobbling
the horses.  "We must be getting well up as to elevation.  There is a
tang to the air that says so."

Diana nodded a little sadly.  "One night more, after this, then you'll
sleep at El Tovar, Enoch."

"I'm not thinking even of to-morrow, Diana.  This moment is enough.
Are you tired?"

"Tired?  No!" but the eyes she lifted to Enoch's were faintly shadowed.
"Perhaps," she suggested, "I'm not living quite so completely in the
present as you are."

"Necessity hasn't trained you during the years, as it has me," said
Enoch.  "If the trail had not been so bad to-day and I could have
ridden beside you, I think I could have kept your thoughts here,
sweetheart."

"I think you could have, Enoch," agreed Diana, with a wistful smile.

The hunting had been good that day.  Amongst them, the travelers had
bagged numerous quail and cottontails, and Jonas had brought in at noon
a huge jack rabbit.  This they could not eat but its left hind foot,
Jonas claimed, would make a sensation in Washington.  Supper was a
festive meal, Na-che producing a rabbit soup, and Jonas broiling the
quail, which he served with hot biscuit that the most accomplished chef
might have envied.

After the meal was finished and Enoch and Diana were standing before
the fire, debating the feasibility of a walk under the pines, Jonas and
Na-che approached them solemnly.

Jonas cleared his throat.  "Boss and Miss Diana, Na-che and me, we want
you to do something for us.  We know you all trust us both and so we
don't want you to ask the why or the wherefore, but just go ahead and
do it."

"What is it, Jonas?" asked Diana.

"Well, up ahead a spell in these woods, there's a round open space and
in the middle of it under a big rock an Injun and his sweetheart is
buried.  Something like a million years ago he stole her from over
yonder from the--" he hesitated, and Na-che said softly:

"Hopis."

"Yes, the Hopis.  And her tribe come lickety-cut after her, and
overtook 'em at that spot yonder, and her father give her the choice of
coming back or both of 'em dying right there.  They chose to die, and
there they are.  Wee-tah and Na-che and all the Injuns believe--"

Na-che pulled at his sleeve.

"Oh, I forgot!  We ain't going to tell you what they believe, because
whites don't never have the right kind of faith.  Let me alone, Na-che.
How come you think I can't tell this story?  But what we ask of you is,
will you and Miss Allen, boss, go up to that stone yonder, and lay this
eagle's feather beside it, then sit on the stone until a star falls."

Enoch and Diana looked at each other, half smiling.

"Don't say no," urged Na-che.  "You want to take a walk, anyhow."

"And what happens, if the star falls?" asked Diana.

"Something mighty good," replied Jonas.

"It's pretty cold for sitting still so long, isn't Jonas?" asked Enoch.

"You can take a blanket to wrap round yourselves.  Do it, boss!  You
know you and Miss Diana don't care where you are as long as you get a
little time alone together."

Enoch laughed.  "Come along, Diana!  Who knows what Indian magic might
do for us!"

"That's right," Na-che nodded approval.  "There's an old trail to it,
see!" she led Diana beyond the camp pine, and pointed to the faint
black line, that was traceable in the sand under the trees.  The pine
forest was absolutely clear of undergrowth.

"Come on, Enoch," laughed Diana, and Enoch, chuckling, joined her,
while the two magicians stood by the fire, interest and satisfaction
showing in every line of their faces.

Diana had little difficulty following the trail.  To Enoch's
unaccustomed eyes and feet, the ease with which she led the way was
astonishing.  She walked swiftly under the trees for ten minutes, then
paused on the edge of a wide amphitheater, rich in starlight.  In the
center lay a huge flat stone.  They made their way through the sand to
this.  Dimly they could discern that the sides of the rock were covered
with hieroglyphics.  Diana laid the eagle's feather in a crevice at the
end of the rock.

"See!" exclaimed Enoch.  "Other lovers have been here before!"  He
pointed to feathers at different points in the rock.  "It must indeed
be strong magic!"

He folded one blanket for a seat, another he pulled over their
shoulders, for in spite of the brisk walk, they both were shivering
with the cold.

"What do you suppose the world at large would say," chuckled Diana, "if
it would see the Secretary of the Interior, at this moment."

"I think it would say that as a human being, it was beginning to have
hope of him," replied Enoch.

Then they fell silent.  The great trees that widely encircled them were
motionless.  The heavens seemed made of stars.  Enoch drew Diana close
against him, and leaned his cheek upon her hair.  Slowly a jack rabbit
loped toward the ancient grave, stopped to gaze with burning eyes at
the two motionless figures, twitched his ears and slowly hopped away.
Shortly a cottontail deliberately crossed the circle, then another and
another.  Suddenly Diana touched Enoch's hand softly.

"In the trees, opposite!" she breathed.

Two pairs of fiery eyes moved slowly out until the starlight revealed
two tiny antelope, gray, graceful shadows of the desert night.  The
pair stared motionless at the ancient grave, then gently trotted away.
Now came a long interval in which neither sound nor motion was
perceptible in the silvery dusk.  Then like little gray ghosts with
glowing eyes half a dozen antelope moved tranquilly across the
amphitheater.  Enoch and Diana watched breathlessly but for many
moments more there was no sign of living creature.  And suddenly a
great star flashed across the radiant heavens.

"The magic!" whispered Diana, "the desert magic!"

"Diana," murmured Enoch in reply, "this is as near heaven as mortals
may hope to reach."

"Desert magic!" repeated Diana softly.  "Come, dear, we must go back to
camp."

Enoch rose reluctantly and put his hands on Diana's shoulders.  "Those
lovers, long ago," he said, his deep voice tender and wistful, "those
lovers long ago were not far wrong in their decision.  I'm sure, in the
years to come, when I think of this evening, and this journey, I shall
feel so."

Diana touched his cheek softly with her hand.  "I love you, Enoch," was
all she said, and they returned in silence to the camp.

"We saw the star fall!" exclaimed Jonas, waiting by the fire with
Na-che.

Enoch nodded and, after a glance at his face, Jonas said nothing more.

All the next day they penetrated deeper and deeper into the mighty
forest.  All day long the trail lifted gradually, the air growing rarer
and colder as they went.

It was biting cold when they made their night camp deep in the woods.
But a glorious fire before a giant tree trunk made the last evening on
the trail one of comfort.  Na-che and Jonas had run out of excuses for
leaving the lovers alone, but nothing daunted, after supper was cleared
off they made their own camp fire at a distance and sat before it,
singing and laughing even after Diana had withdrawn to her tent.

"Enoch," said Diana, "I have something that I want to say to you, but
I'll admit that it takes more courage than I've been able to gather
together until now.  But this is our last evening and I must relieve my
mind."

Enoch, surprised by the earnestness of Diana's voice, laid down his
pipe and put his hand over hers.  "I don't see why you need courage to
say anything under heaven to me!"

"But I do on this subject," returned Diana, raising wide, troubled eyes
to his.  "Enoch, you have made me love you and then have told me that
you cannot marry me.  I think that I have the right to tell you that
you are abnormal toward marriage.  You are spoiling our two lives and I
am entering a most solemn protest against your doing so."

"But, Diana--" began Enoch.

"No!" interrupted Diana.  "You must hear me through in silence, Enoch.
I remember my father telling me that Seaton believed that you had been
made the victim of almost hypnotic suggestion by that beast, Luigi.
Not that Luigi knew anything about auto-suggestion or anything of the
sort!  He simply wanted to enslave a boy who was a clever gambler.  And
so he planted the vicious suggestion in your mind that you were
necessarily bad because your mother was.  And all these years, that
suggestion has held, not to make you bad but to make you fear that your
children would be or that disease, mental or physical, is latent in you
which marriage would uncover.  Enoch, have you never talked your case
over with a psychologist?"

"No!" replied Enoch.  "I've always felt that I was perfectly normal and
I still feel so.  Moreover, I've wanted to bury my mother's history a
thousand fathoms deep.  Consider too, that I've never wanted to marry
any woman till I met you."

"And having met me," said Diana bitterly, "you allow a preconceived
idea to wreck us both.  You astonish me almost as much as you make me
suffer.  Enoch, did you ever try to trace your father?"

"Diana, what chance would I have of finding my father when you consider
what my mother was?  Nevertheless, I have tried."  And Enoch told in
detail both Seaton's and the Police Commissioner's efforts in his
behalf.

Diana rose and paced restlessly up and down before the fire.  Enoch
rose with her and stood leaning against the tree trunk, watching her
with tragic eyes.  Finally Diana said:

"I'm not clever at argument, but every woman has a right to fight for
her mate.  I insist that your reasons for not marrying are chimeras.
And if I'm willing to risk marrying the man who may or may not be the
son of Luigi's mistress, he should be willing to risk marrying me."

"But, you see, you do admit it's a risk!" exclaimed Enoch.

"No more a risk than marriage always is," declared Diana, with a smile
that had no humor in it.  "Enoch, let's not be cowardly.  Let's 'set
the slug horn dauntless to our lips.'"

Enoch covered his eyes with his hands.  Cold sweat stood on his brow.
All the ugly, menacing suggestions of thirty years crowded his answer
to his lips.

"Diana, we must not!" he groaned.

Diana drew a quick breath, then said, "Enoch, I cannot submit tamely to
such a decision.  I have a friend in Boston who is one of the great
psycho-analysts of the country.  When I return to Washington in the
spring I shall go to see him."

"God!  Shall I never be able to bury Minetta Lane?" cried Enoch.

"Not until you dig the grave yourself, my dear!  Yours has been a case
for a mind specialist, all these years, not a detective.  I, for one,
refuse to let Minetta Lane hag ride me if it is possible to escape it."
Suddenly she smiled again.  "I'll admit I'm not at all Victorian in my
attitude."

"You couldn't be anything that was not fine," returned Enoch sadly.
"But I cannot bear to have you buoy yourself with false hopes."

"A drowning woman grasps at straws, I suppose," said Diana, a little
brokenly.  "Good night, my dearest," and Diana went into the tent,
leaving Enoch to ponder heavily over the fire until the cold drove him
to his blankets.

Breaking camp the next morning was dreary and arduous enough.  Snow was
still falling, the mules were recalcitrant and a bitter wind had piled
drifts in every direction.  The four travelers were in a subdued mood,
although Enoch heartened himself considerably by urging Diana to
remember that they had still to look forward to the trip down Bright
Angel.

They floundered through the snow for two heavy hours before Diana
looked back at Enoch to say,

"We're only a mile from the cabin now, Enoch!"

"Only a mile!" exclaimed Enoch.  "Diana, I wonder what your father will
say when he sees me!"

"He thinks you are two thousand miles from here!" laughed Diana.
"We'll see what he will say."

"And so," murmured Enoch to himself, "any perfect journey is ended."



BOOK IV

THE PHANTASM DESTROYED



CHAPTER XV

THE FIRING LINE AGAIN


"When I shall have given you up, Diana, I shall love my own solitude as
never before.  For you will dwell there and he who has lovely thoughts
is never lonely."--_Enoch's Diary_.


The cabin was built of cedar logs.  Frank had added to it as necessity
arose or his means permitted, and it sprawled pleasantly under the
pines, as if it belonged there and enjoyed being there.  Na-che gave
her peculiar, far-carrying call, some moments before the cabin came
into view, and when the little cavalcade jingled up to the door, it was
wide open, a ruddy faced, white-haired man standing before it.

"Hello, Diana!" he shouted.  "Where in seven thunders have you been!
You're a week late!"

Then his eyes fastened wonderingly on Enoch's face.  He came slowly
across the porch and down the steps.  Enoch did not speak, and for a
long moment the two men stared at each other while time turned back its
hands for a quarter of a century.  Suddenly Frank's hand shot out.

"My God!  It's Enoch Huntingdon!"

"Yes, Frank, it's he," replied Enoch.

"Where on earth did you come from?  Come in, Mr. Secretary!  Come in!
Or do you want to go up to the hotel?"

"Hotel!  Frank, don't try to put on dog with me or snub me either!"
exclaimed Enoch, dismounting.  "And I am Enoch to you, just as that
cowardly kid was, twenty-two years ago!"

"Cowardly!" roared Frank.  "Well, come in!  Come in before I get
started on that."

"This is Jonas," said Na-che gravely.

"I know who Jonas is," said Frank, shaking hands.  "Come in!  Come in!
Before I burst with curiosity!  Diana girl, I've been worried sick
about you.  I swear once more this is the last trip you shall take
without me."

The living-room was huge and beautiful.  A fire roared in the great
fireplace.  Indian blankets and rugs covered the floor.  There were
some fine paintings on the walls and books and photographs everywhere.
After Enoch and Diana had removed their snowy coats, Frank impatiently
forced them into the arm-chairs before the fire, while he stood on the
bearskin before them.

"For the love of heaven, Diana, where did you folks meet?"

"You begin, Enoch," said Diana quietly.

At the use of the Secretary's name, Frank glanced at Diana quickly,
then turned back to Enoch.

"Well, Frank, I was on a speaking trip, and the pressure of things got
so bad that I decided to slip away from everybody and give myself a
trip to the Canyon.  That was about a month ago.  I outfitted at a
little village on the railroad, and shortly after that I joined some
miners who were going up to the Canyon to placer prospect.  We had been
at the Canyon several days when Jonas and Diana and Na-che found us.
Diana stayed a day or so, then Jonas and I went with a Geological
Survey crew for a boating trip down the river.  We had sundry
adventures, finally landing at Grant's Ferry, our leader, Milton, with
a broken leg.  Here we found Diana and Na-che.  Jonas and I left the
others and came on here because I want to go down the trail with you.
That, in brief, is my story."

"Devilish brief!" snorted Frank.  "Thank you for nothing!  Diana,
suppose you pad the skeleton a little."

"Yes, I will, Dad, if you'll let Enoch go to his room and get into some
dry clothes.  I told Na-che to help herself for him from your supply."

"Surely!  Surely!  What a rough bronco, I am!  Let me show you to the
guest room, Mr. Secretary--Enoch, I should say," and Frank led the way
to a comfortable room whose windows gave a distant view of the Canyon
rim.

When Enoch returned to the living-room after a bath and some strenuous
grooming at Jonas' hands, Diana had disappeared and Frank was standing
before the fire, smoking a cigarette.  He tossed it into the flames at
Enoch's approach.

"Enoch, my boy!" he said, then his voice broke, and the two men stood
silently grasping each other's hands.

Enoch was the first to find his voice.  "Except for the white hair,
Frank, the years have forgotten you."

"Not quite, Enoch!  Not quite!  I don't take those trails as easily as
I did once.  You, yourself are changed, but one would expect that!
Fourteen to thirty-six, isn't it?"

Enoch nodded.  "Will the snow make Bright Angel too difficult for you,
Frank?"

"Me?  My Lord, no!  Do I look a tenderfoot?  We'll start to-morrow
morning and take two days to it.  Sit down, do!  I've a thousand
questions to ask you."

"Before I begin to answer them, Frank, tell me if there is any way in
which I can send a telegram.  I must let my office know where I am,
much as I regret the necessity."

"You can telephone a message to the hotel," replied Frank.  "They'll
take care of it.  But you realize that your traveling incog. will be
all out if you do that?"

"Not necessarily!" Enoch chuckled.

Frank called the hotel on the telephone and handed the instrument to
Enoch, who smiled as he gave the message.

"Mr. Charles Abbott, 8946 Blank Street, Washington, D. C.  The boss can
be reached now at El Tovar, Jonas."

"But won't Abbott wire you?" asked Frank.

"No, he'll wire Jonas.  See if he doesn't," replied Enoch.  "And now
for the questions.  Oh, Diana!" rising as Diana, in a brown silk house
frock, came into the room.  "How lovely you look!  Doesn't she, Frank?"

"She looks like her mother," said Frank.  "Only she'll never be quite
as beautiful as Helen was."

"'Whose beauty launched a thousand ships'!" Enoch exclaimed, smiling at
Diana.  "My boyish memoir of Mrs. Allen is that she was dark."

"She was darker than Diana, and not so tall.  Just as high as my
breast; a fine mind in a lovely body!"  Frank sighed deeply and stared
at the fire.

Enoch, lying back in the great arm-chair, watched Diana with
thoughtful, wistful eyes, until Frank roused himself, saying abruptly,
"And now once more for the questions.  Enoch, what started you in
politics?"

"Well," replied Enoch, "that's a large order, but I'll try to tell the
story."  He began the tale, but was so constantly interrupted by
Frank's questions that luncheon was announced by Na-che, just as he
finished.

After luncheon they returned again to the fire, and Frank, urged on by
Enoch, told the story of his early days at the Canyon.  Perhaps Frank
guessed that Enoch and Diana were in no mood for speech themselves, for
he talked on and on, interrupted only by Enoch's laughter, or quick
word of sympathy.  Diana, her hands clasped loosely in her lap, watched
the fire or stared at the snow drifts that the wind was piling against
the window.  It seemed to Enoch that the shadows about her great eyes
were deepening as the hours went on.

Suddenly Frank looked at his watch.  "Four o'clock!  I must go out to
the corral.  Want to come along, Enoch?"

"I think not, Frank.  I'll sit here with Diana, if you don't mind."

"I can stand it, if Diana can," chuckled Frank, and a moment later a
door slammed after him.

Enoch turned at once to Diana.  "Are you happy, dear?"

"Happy and unhappy; unbearably so!" replied Diana.

"Don't forget for a moment," said Enoch quickly, "that we have two
whole days after to-day."

"I don't," Diana smiled a little uncertainly.  "Enoch, I wonder if you
know how well you look!  You are so tanned and so clear-eyed!  I'm
going to be jealous of the women at every dinner party I imagine you
attending!"

Enoch laughed.  "Diana, my reputation as a woman hater is going to be
increased every year.  See if it's not!"

The telephone rang and Diana answered the call.

"Yes!  Yes, Jonas is here, Fred Jonas--I'll take the message."  There
was a pause, then Diana said steadily, "See if I repeat correctly.
Tell the Boss the President wishes him to take first train East, making
all possible speed.  Wire at once date of arrival.  Signed Abbott."

Diana hung up the receiver and turned to Enoch, who had risen and was
standing beside her.

"Orders, eh, Enoch?" she said, trying to smile with white lips.

Enoch did not answer.  He stood staring at the girl's quivering mouth,
while his own lips stiffened.  Then he said quietly: "Will you tell me
where I can find Jonas, Diana?"

"He's in the kitchen with Na-che.  I'll go bring him in."

"No, stay here, Diana, sweetheart.  Your face tells too much.  I'll be
back in a moment."

Jonas looked up from the potatoes he was peeling, as Enoch came into
the kitchen.  "Jonas, I've just had a reply from the wire I sent Abbott
this morning.  The President wants me at once.  Will you go up to the
hotel and arrange for transportation out of here tonight?  Remember, I
don't want it known who I am."

"Yes, Mr. Secretary!" exclaimed Jonas.  Hastily wiping his hands, he
murmured to Na-che, as Enoch turned away: "No trip down Bright Angel,
Na-che.  Ain't it a shame to think that love ring--"  But Enoch heard
no more.

Diana stood before the fire in the gathering twilight.  "Is there
anything Dad or I can do to facilitate your start, Enoch?"

"Nothing, Diana.  Jonas is a past master in this sort of thing, and he
prefers to do it all himself.  You and I have only to think of each
other until I have to leave."

He took Diana's face between his hands and gazed at it hungrily.  "How
beautiful, how beautiful you are!" he said, his rich voice dying in a
sigh.

"Don't sigh, Enoch!" exclaimed Diana.  "We must not make this last
moment sad.  You are going back into the arena, fit for the fight.
That makes me very, very glad.  And while you have told me nothing as
to your intentions concerning Brown, I know that your decision, when it
comes, will be right."

"I don't know what that decision will be, Diana.  I have given my whole
mind to you for many days.  But I shall do nothing rash, nor without
long thought.  My dearest, I wish I could make you understand what you
mean to me.  I had thought when we were in the Canyon to-morrow I could
tell you something of my boyhood, so that you would understand me, and
what you mean to me.  But all that must remain unsaid.  Perhaps it's
just as well."

Enoch sighed again and, turning to the table, picked up the flat
package he had laid there on entering the room.

"This is my diary, Diana," placing it in her hands.  "Be as gentle as
you can in judging me, as you read it.  If we were to be married, I
think I would not have let you see it, but as it is, I am giving to you
the most intimate thing in my possession, and I feel somehow as if in
so doing I am tying myself to you forever."

Diana clasped the book to her heart, and laid her burning cheek against
Enoch's.  But she did not speak.  Enoch held her slender body against
his and the firelight flickered on the two motionless forms.

"Diana," said Enoch huskily, "you are going on with your work, as
earnestly as ever, are you not?"

"Not quite so earnestly because, after I reach the East again, Minetta
Lane will be my job."

"Oh, Diana, I beg of you, don't soil your hands with that!" groaned
Enoch.

"I must!  I must, Enoch!"  Then Diana's voice broke and again the room
was silent.  They stood clinging to each other until Frank's voice was
heard in the rear of the house.

"It's an infernal shame, I say.  President or no President!"

"I'm going to my room for a little while," whispered Diana.  And when
Frank stamped into the room, Enoch was standing alone, his great head
bowed in the firelight.

"Can't you stall 'em off a little while?" demanded Frank.

Enoch shook his head with a smile.  "I've played truant too long to
dictate now.  Jonas and I must pull out to-night.  Perhaps it's best,
after all, Frank, and yet, it seemed for a moment as if it were
physically impossible for me to give up that trip down Bright Angel.
I've dreamed of it for twenty-two years.  And to go down with Diana and
you--"

"It's life!" said Frank briefly.  He sank into an armchair and neither
man spoke until Na-che announced supper.

Diana appeared then, her cheeks and eyes bright and her voice steady.
Enoch never had seen her in a more whimsical mood and the meal, which
he had dreaded, passed off quickly and pleasantly.

Not long after dinner, Frank announced the buck-board ready for the
drive to the station.  He slammed the door after this announcement, and
Enoch took Diana in his arms and kissed her passionately.

"Good-by, Diana."

"Good-by, Enoch!" and the last golden moment was gone.

Enoch had no very clear recollection of his farewells to Na-che and
Frank.  Outwardly calm and collected, within he was a tempest.  He
obeyed Jonas automatically, went to his berth at once, and toward dawn
fell asleep to the rumble of the train.  The trip across the continent
was accomplished without untoward incident.  Enoch was, of course,
recognized by the trainmen, but he kept to the stateroom that Jonas had
procured and refused to see the reporters who boarded the train at
Kansas City and again at Chicago.  After the first twenty-four hours of
grief over the parting with Diana, Enoch began to recover his mental
poise.  He was able to crowd back some of his sorrow and to begin to
contemplate his whole adventure.  Nor could he contemplate it without
beginning to exult, and little by little his spirits lifted and even
the tragedy of giving up Diana became a sacred and a beautiful thing.
His grief became a righteous part of his life, a thing he would not
give up any more than he would have given up a joy.

Undoubtedly Jonas enjoyed this trip more than any railway journey of
his experience.  Certainly he was a marked man.  He wore the broadest
brimmed hat in Frank Allen's collection, and John Red Sun's high laced
boots.  Strapped to his suitcase were the Ida's broken paddle and the
battered board with "a-che" on it.  These stood conspicuously in his
seat in the Pullman, where he held a daily reception to all the porters
on the train.  True to his orders, he never mentioned Enoch's name in
connection with his tale of the Canyon, but his own adventures lost
nothing by that.

Enoch did not wire the exact time of his arrival in Washington, as he
wished no one to meet the train.  It was not quite three o'clock of a
cold December day when Charley Abbott, arranging the papers in Enoch's
private office, looked up as the inner door opened.  Enoch, tanned and
vigorous, came in, followed by Jonas, in all his western glory.

Charley sprang forward to meet Enoch's extended hand.  "Mr. Huntingdon!
Thank the Lord!"

"All set, Abbott!" exclaimed Enoch, "and ready to steam ahead.  Let me
introduce old Canyon Bill, formerly known as Jonas!"

Charley clasped Jonas' hand, burst out laughing, and slapped him on the
back.  "Some story goes with that outfit, eh, Jonas, old boy!  Say! if
you let the rest of the doormen and messengers see you, there won't be
a stroke of work done for the rest of the day."

"I'm going to look Harry up, right now, if you don't need me, boss!"
exclaimed Jonas.

"Take the rest of the day, Jonas!"

"No, I'll be back prompt at six, boss!" and Jonas, with his luggage,
disappeared.

Enoch pulled off his overcoat and seated himself at the desk, then
looked up at Charley with a smile.

"I had a great trip, Abbott.  I went with a mining outfit up to the
Canyon country.  With Miss Allen's help, Jonas located me at the placer
mine, and after several adventures, we came back with her to El Tovar,
where I wired you."

Abbott looked at Enoch keenly.  "You're a new man, Mr. Secretary."

Enoch nodded.  "I'm in good trim.  What happens first, Abbott?"

"I didn't know what time you'd be in to-day, so your appointments don't
begin until to-morrow.  But the President wants you to call him at your
earliest convenience.  Shall I get in touch with the White House?"

"If you please.  In the meantime, I may as well begin to go through
these letters."

"I kept them down pretty well, I think," said Abbott, with justifiable
pride, as he picked up the telephone.  After several moments he
reported that the President would see Enoch at five o'clock.

"Very well," Enoch nodded.  "Then you'd better tell me the things I
need to know."

Abbott went into the outer office for his note book and, returning with
it, for an hour he reported to Enoch on the business of the Department.
Enoch, puffing on a cigar, asked questions and made notes himself.
When Charley had finished, he said:

"Thank you, Abbott!  I don't see but what I could have remained away
indefinitely.  Matters seem in excellent shape."

"Not everything, Mr. Secretary.  Your oil bill has been unaccountably
blocked in the Senate.  The intervention in Mexico talk has begun
again.  The Geological Survey is in a mix-up and it looks as if a
scandal were about to burst on poor old Cheney's head.  I'm afraid he's
outlived his usefulness anyhow.  The newspapers in California are
starting a new states-rights campaign for water power control and,
every day since I've returned, Secretary Fowler's office has called and
asked for the date of your return."

"Interested in me, aren't they!" smiled Enoch.  "Why is the President
in such a hurry to see me, Abbott?"

"I don't know, sir.  I promised his secretary that the moment I heard
from you I'd send such a message as I did send you."

"All right, Abbott, I'll start along.  Don't wait or let Jonas wait
after six.  I'll go directly home if I'm detained after that."

The President looked at Enoch intently as he crossed the long room.

"Wherever you've been, Huntingdon, it has done you good."

"I took a trip through the Canyon country, Mr. President.  I've always
wanted it."

The President waited as if he expected Enoch to say more, but the
younger man stood silently contemplating the open fire.

"How about this tale of Brown's?" the Chief Executive asked finally.
"I dislike mentioning it to you, Huntingdon, but you are the most
trusted member of my Cabinet, and you have issued no denial to a very
nasty scandal about yourself."

Enoch turned grave eyes toward the President.  "I shall issue no
denial, Mr. President.  But there is one man in the world I wish to
know the whole truth.  If you have the time, sir, will you permit me to
go over the whole miserable story?"

The President studied the Secretary's face.  "It will be a painful
thing for both of us, Huntingdon," he said after a moment, "but for the
sake of our future confidential relationship, I think I shall have to
ask you to go over it with me.  Sit down, won't you?"

Enoch shook his head and, standing with his back to the fire, his
burning eyes never leaving the President's face, he told the story of
Minetta Lane.  He ceased only at the moment when he dropped off the
train into the desert.  He did not spare himself.  And yet when the
quiet, eloquent voice stopped, there were tears in the President's
eyes.  He made no comment until Enoch turned to the fire, then he said,
with a curious smile:

"A public man cannot afford private vices."

"I know that now," replied Enoch.  "You may have my resignation
whenever you wish it.  I think it probable that I'll never touch a card
again.  But I dare not promise."

"I'm told," said the Chief Executive drily, "that you were not without
good company in Blank Street; that a certain famous person from the
British Legation, a certain Admiral of our own navy and an Italian
prince contributed their share to the entertainment."

Enoch flushed slightly, but did not speak.

"I don't want your resignation, Huntingdon.  It's a most unfortunate
affair, but we cannot afford to lose you.  Brown is a whelp, also he's
a power that must be reckoned with.  That article turned Washington
over for a while.  The talk has quieted now.  It was the gambling that
the populace rolled under its tongue.  Only he and the scandal mongers
like Brown gave any but a pitying glance at the other story.  The fears
that I have about the affair are first as to its reaction on you and
second as to the sort of capital the opposite party will make of it.  I
think you let it hit you too hard, Huntingdon."

Enoch lifted sad eyes to the chief executive.  His lips were painfully
compressed and the President said, huskily:

"I know, my boy!  I sensed long ago that you were a man who had drunk
of a bitter cup.  I wish I could have helped you bear it!"  There was
silence for a moment, then the President went on:

"What are you going to do to Brown, Huntingdon?"

"I haven't decided yet," replied Enoch slowly.  "But I shall not let
him go unpunished."

The President shook his head and sighed.  "You must feel that way, of
course, but before we talk about that let's review the political
situation.  I'm ending my second term.  For years, as you know, a large
portion of the party has had its eye on you to succeed me.  In fact, as
the head of the party, I may modestly claim to have been your first
endorser!  Long ago I recognized the fact that unless youth and
virility and sane idealism were injected into the old machine, it would
fall apart and radicalism would take its place."

"Or Tammanyism!" interjected Enoch.

"They are equally menacing in my mind," said the older man.  "As you
know, too, Huntingdon, there has been a quiet but very active minority
very much against you.  They have spent years trying to get something
on you, and they've never succeeded.  But--well, you understand mob
psychology better than I do--if Brown evolves a slogan, a clever
phrase, built about your gambling propensities, it will damn you far
more effectively than if he had proved that you played crooked politics
or did something really harmful to the country."

Enoch nodded.  "Whom do you think Brown is for, Mr. President?"

"Has it ever occurred to you that Brown often picks up Fowler's
policies and quietly pushes them?"

Again Enoch nodded and the President went on, "Brown never actively
plays Fowler's game.  There's an old story that an ancient quarrel
separates them.  But word has been carefully passed about that there is
to be a dinner at the Willard to-morrow night, of the nature of a love
feast, at which Fowler and Brown are to fall on each other's necks with
tears."

Enoch got up from his chair and prowled about the great room
restlessly, then he stood before the chief executive.

"Mr. President, why shouldn't Fowler go to the White House?  He's a
brilliant man.  He's done notable service as Secretary of State.  I
don't think the cabinet has contained his equal for twenty-five years.
He has given our diplomatic service a distinction in Europe that it
never had before.  He has a good following in the party.  Perhaps the
best of the old conservatives are for him.  I don't like his attitude
on the Mexican trouble and sometimes I have felt uneasy as to his
entire loyalty to you.  Yet, I am not convinced that he would not make
a far more able chief executive than I?"

"Suppose that he openly ties to Brown, Huntingdon?"

"In that case," replied Enoch slowly, "I would feel in duty bound to
interfere."

"And if you do interfere," persisted the President, "you realize fully
that it will be a nasty fight?"

"Perhaps it would be!"  Enoch's lips tightened as he shrugged his
shoulders.

The President's eyes glowed as he watched the grim lines deepen in
Enoch's face.  Then he said, "Huntingdon, I'm giving a dinner to-morrow
night too!  The British Ambassador and the French Ambassador want to
meet Señor Juan Cadiz.  Did you know that your friend Cadiz is the
greatest living authority on Aztec worship and a hectic fan for
bullfighting as a national sport?  My little party is entirely
informal, one of the things the newspapers ordinarily don't comment on.
You know I insist on my right to cease to be President on occasions
when I can arrange for three or four real people to meet each other.
This is one of those occasions.  You are to come to the dinner too,
Huntingdon.  And if the conversation drifts from bullfighting and Aztec
gods to Mexico and England's and France's ideas about your recent
speeches, I shall not complain."

"Thank you, Mr. President," said Enoch.

"I would do as much for you personally, of course," the older man
nodded, as he rose, "but in this instance, I'm playing politics even
more than I'm putting my hand on your shoulder.  It's good to have you
back, Huntingdon!  Good night!" and a few minutes later Enoch was out
on the snowy street.

It was after six and he went directly home.  He spent the evening going
over accumulated reports.  At ten o'clock Jonas came to the library
door.

"Boss, how would you feel about going to bed?  You know we got into
early hours in the Canyon."

"I feel that I'm going immediately!" Enoch laughed.  "Jonas, what have
your friends to say about your trip?" as he went slowly up the stairs.

"Boss, I'm the foremost colored man in Washington to-night.  I'm
invited to give a lecture on my trip in the Baptist Church.  They
offered me five bones for it and I laughed at 'em.  How come you to
think, I asked 'em, that money could make me talk about my life blood's
escape.  No, sir, I give my services for patriotism.  I can't have the
paddle nor the name board framed till I've showed 'em at the lecture.
I'm requested to wear my costume."

"Good work, Jonas!  Remember one thing, though!  Leave me and Miss
Diana absolutely out of the story."

Jonas nodded.  "I understand, Mr. Secretary."

When Enoch reached his office the next morning he said to Charley
Abbott: "When or if Secretary Fowler's office calls with the usual
inquiry, make no reply but connect whomever calls directly with me."

Charley grinned.  "Very well, Mr. Secretary.  Shall we go after those
letters?"

"Whenever you say so.  You'd better make an appointment as soon as
possible with Cheney.  He--" The telephone interrupted and Abbott took
the call, then silently passed the instrument to Enoch.

"Yes, this is the Secretary's office," said Enoch.  "Who is
wanted? . . .  This is Mr. Huntingdon speaking.  Please connect me with
Mr. Fowler. . . . Good morning, Mr. Fowler!  I'm sorry to have made
your office so much trouble.  I understand you've been calling me
daily. . . .  Oh, yes, I thought it was a mistake. . . .  Late this
afternoon, at the French Ambassador's?  Yes, I'll look you up there.
Good-by."

Enoch hung up the receiver.  "Was I to go to tea at Madame Foret's this
afternoon, Abbott?"

"Yes, Mr. Secretary.  Madame Foret called me up a few days ago and was
so kind and so explicit--"

"It's quite all right, Abbott.  Mr. Fowler wondered, he said, if I was
to be invited!"

The two men looked at each other, then without further comment Enoch
began to dictate his long-delayed letters.  The day was hectic but
Enoch turned off his work with zest.

Shortly after lunch the Director of the Geological Survey appeared.
Enoch greeted him cordially, and after a few generalities said, "Mr.
Cheney, what bomb are they preparing to explode now?"

Cheney ran his fingers through his white hair and sighed.  "I guess I'm
getting too old for modern politics, Mr. Secretary.  You'd better send
me back into the field.  Neither you nor I knew it, but it seems that
I've been using those fellows out in the field for my own personal
ends.  I have a group mining for me in the Grand Canyon and another
group locating oil fields for me in Texas."

Enoch laughed, then said seriously: "What's the idea, Mr. Cheney?  Have
you a theory?"

Cheney shook his head.  "Just innate deviltry, I suppose, on the part
of Congress."

"You've been chief of the Survey fifteen years, haven't you, Mr.
Cheney?"

"Yes, too long for my own good.  Times have changed.  People realized
once that men who go high in the technical world very seldom are
crooked.  But your modern politician would believe evil of the
Almighty."

"What sort of timber are you developing among your field men, Cheney?"

"Only so-so!  Young men aren't what they were in my day."

Enoch eyed the tired face under the white hair sympathetically.  "Mr.
Cheney, you're letting these people get under your skin.  And that is
exactly what they are aiming to do.  You aren't the man you were a few
months ago.  My advice to you is, take a vacation.  When you come back
turn over the field work to a younger man and devote yourself to
finding who is after you and why.  I have an idea that the gang is not
interested in you, personally."

Cheney suddenly sat up very straight.  "You think that you--" then he
hesitated.  "No, Mr. Secretary, this is a young man's fight.  I'd
better resign."

"Perhaps, later on, but not now.  After years of such honorable service
as yours, go because you have reached the fullness of years and have
earned your rest.  Don't let these fellows smirch your name and the
name of the Service.  Clear both before you go."

"What do I care for what they say of me!" cried Cheney with sudden
fire.  "I know what I've given to the government since I first ran
surveys in Utah!  You're an eastern man and a city man, Mr. Secretary.
If you had any idea of what a field man, in Utah, for example, or New
Mexico, or Arizona endures, of the love he has for his work, you'd see
why my pride won't let me justify my existence to a Congressional
Committee."

"And yet," insisted Enoch, "I am going to ask you to do that very
thing, Mr. Cheney.  I am asking you to do it not for me or for
yourself, but for the good of the Survey.  Find out who, what and why.
And tell me.  Will you do it, Mr. Cheney?"

There was something winning as well as compelling in Enoch's voice.
The director of the Survey rose slowly, and with a half smile held out
his hand to the Secretary.

"I'll do it, Mr. Secretary, but for just one reason, because of my
admiration and friendship for you."

Enoch smiled.  "Not the best of reasons, I'm afraid, but I'm grateful
anyhow.  Will you let me know facts as you turn them up?"

Cheney nodded.  "Good day, Mr. Secretary!" and Enoch turned to meet his
next visitor.

Shortly before six o'clock Enoch shook hands with Madame Foret in her
crowded drawing-room.  He seemed to be quite unconscious of the more
than usually interested and inquiring glances that were directed toward
him.

"You had a charming vacation, so your smile says, Mr. Huntingdon!"
exclaimed Madame Foret.  "I am so glad!  Where did you go?"

"Into the desert, Madame Foret."

"Oh, into the desert of that beautiful Miss Allen!  She and her
pictures together made me feel that that was one part of America I must
not miss.  She promised me that she would show me what she called the
Painted Desert, and I shall hold her to the promise!"

"No one could show you quite so wonderfully as Miss Allen, I'm sure,"
said Enoch.

"Now, just what did you do to kill time in the desert, Huntingdon?"
asked Mr. Johns-Eaton, the British Ambassador.  "Why didn't you go
where there was some real sport?"

"Oh, I found sport of a sort!" returned Enoch solemnly.

Johns-Eaton gave Enoch a keen look.  "I'll wager you did!" he
exclaimed.  "Any hunting?"

"Some small game and a great deal of boating!"

"Boating!  Now you are spoofing me!  Listen, Mr. Fowler, here's a man
who says he was boating in the desert!"

Fowler and Enoch bowed and, after a moment's more general conversation,
they drew aside.

"About this Mexican trouble, Huntingdon," said Fowler slowly.  "I said
nothing as to your speaking trip, until your return, for various
reasons.  But I want to tell you now, that I considered it an intrusion
upon my prerogatives."

"Have you told the President so?" asked Enoch.

"The President did not make the tour," replied Fowler.

"Just why," Enoch sipped his cup of tea calmly, "did you choose this
occasion to tell me of your resentment?"

"Because," replied Fowler, in a voice tense with repressed anger, "it
is my express purpose never to set foot in your office again, nor to
permit you to appear in mine.  When we are forced to meet, we will meet
on neutral ground."

"Well," said Enoch mildly, "that's perfectly agreeable to me.  But,
excepting on cabinet days, why meet at all?"

"You are agreed that it shall be war between us, then?" demanded Fowler
eagerly.

"Oh, quite so!  Only not exactly the kind of war you think it will be,
Mr. Secretary!" said Enoch, and he walked calmly back to the tea table
for his second cup.

He stayed for some time longer, chatting with different people, taking
his leave after the Secretary of State had driven away.  Then he went
home, thoughtfully, to prepare for the President's dinner.

The chief executive was a remarkable host, tactful, resourceful, and
witty.  The dinner was devoted entirely at first to Juan Cadiz and his
wonderful stories of Aztec gods and of bullfighting.  Gradually,
however, Cadiz turned to modern conditions in Mexico, and Mr.
Johns-Eaton, with sudden fire, spoke of England's feeling about the
chaos that reigned beyond the Texan border lines.  Monsieur Foret did
not fully agree with the Englishman's general attitude, but when Cadiz
quoted from one of Enoch's speeches, the ambassadors united in praise
of the sanity of Enoch's arguments.  The President did not commit
himself in any way.  But when he said good night to Enoch, he added in
the hearing of the others:

"Thank you, old man!  I wish I had a hundred like you!"

Enoch walked home through a light snow that was falling.  And although
his mind grappled during the entire walk with the new problem at hand,
he was conscious every moment of the fact that a week before he had
tramped through falling snow with Diana always within hand touch.

Jonas, brushing the snow from Enoch's broad shoulders, said casually:
"I had a telegram from Na-che this evening, boss.  She and Miss Diana
start for Havasu canyon to-morrow."

Enoch started.  "Why, how'd she happen to wire you, Jonas?"

"I done told her to," replied Jonas coolly, "and moreover, I left the
money for her to do it with."

Enoch said nothing until he was standing in his dressing-gown before
his bedroom fire.  Then he turned to Jonas and said:

"Old man, it won't do.  I can't stand it.  I must not be able to follow
her movements or I shall not be able to keep my mind on matters here.
I shall never marry, Jonas.  All the charms and all the affectionate
desires of you and Na-che cannot change that."

Jonas gave Enoch a long, reproachful look that was at the same time
well-tinctured with obstinacy.  Without a word he left the room.



CHAPTER XVI

CURLY'S REPORT


"And now my house-mate is Grief.  But she is wise and beautiful as the
Canyon is wise and beautiful and I claim both as my own."--_Enoch's
Diary_.


The Washington papers, the next morning, contained the accounts of two
very interesting dinner parties.  One was a detailed story of the
President's dinner.  The other told of the public meeting and
reconciliation of Secretary Fowler and Hancock Brown.  The evening
papers contained, as did the morning editions the day following, widely
varied comment on the two episodes.

Enoch did not see the President for nearly a week after the dinner
party, excepting at the cabinet meeting.  Then, in response to a
telephone call one evening, he went to the White House and told the
President of his break with Fowler.

"That was a curious thing for him to do," commented the chief
executive.  "It looks to me like a plain case of losing his temper."

"It struck me so," agreed Enoch.

"Do you think that he had anything to do with the publishing of that
canard about you, Huntingdon?"

"I would not be surprised if he had.  If I find that he was mixed up in
it, Mr. President, I shall have to punish him as well as Brown."

"Horsewhipping is what Brown deserves," growled the President.
"Huntingdon, why are they after Cheney?"

"I've told him to find out," replied Enoch.  "I want him to put himself
in the position of being able to give them the lie direct, and then
resign."

"Who is after him?"

"I believe, if we can probe far enough, we'll find this same Mexican
controversy at the bottom of it.  Cheney has been immensely interested
in the fuel problem.  He's given signal help to the Bureau of Mines."

The telephone rang, and the President answered it.  He returned to his
arm-chair shortly, with a curious smile on his face.

"Secretary Fowler wants to see me.  I did not tell him that you are
calling.  As far as he has informed me, you and he are still on a
friendly basis.  He will be along shortly, and I shall be keenly
interested in observing the meeting."

Enoch smoked his cigar in silence for some moments before he said, with
a chuckle:

"I like a fight, if only it's in the open."

"So do I!" exclaimed the President.

The conversation was desultory until the door opened, admitting the
Secretary of State.  He gave Enoch a glance and greeted the chief
executive, then bowed formally to Enoch, and stood waiting.

"Sit down, Fowler!  Try one of those cigars!  They haven't killed
Huntingdon yet."

"I beg your pardon, Mr. President," stiffly, "it is quite impossible
for me to make any pretense of friendship for the present Secretary of
the Interior."

The President raised his eyebrows.  "What's the trouble, Fowler?"

"You may have heard," Fowler's voice was sardonic, "that your Secretary
of the Interior swung around the circle on a speech-making trip this
fall!"

"I heard of it," replied the chief executive, "probably before you did,
because I asked Mr. Huntingdon to make the trip."

"And may I ask, Mr. President, why you asked this gentleman to
interfere with my prerogatives?"

"Come!  Come, Fowler!  You are too clever a man to attempt the
hoity-toity manner with me!  You undoubtedly read all of Huntingdon's
speeches with care, and you observed that his entire plea was for the
states to allow the Federal Government to proceed in its normal
function of developing the water power and oil resources of this
country; that a few American business men should not be permitted to
hog the water power of the state for private gain, nor to embroil us in
war with Mexico because of private oil holdings there.  You will recall
that whatever information he used, he procured himself and, before
using, laid it in your hands.  You laughed at it.  You will recall that
I asked you, a month before Huntingdon went out, if you would not swing
round the circle, and you begged to be excused."

Still standing, the Secretary of State bowed and said, "Mr. Huntingdon
has too distinguished an advocate to permit me to argue the matter
here."

Enoch spoke suddenly.  "Although I'm grateful to the President, Mr.
Fowler, I need no advocate.  What in thunder are you angry about?  If
you and I are to quarrel, why not let me know the _casus belli_!"

"I've stated my grievance," said Fowler flatly.

"Your new attitude toward me has nothing to do, I suppose," suggested
Enoch, lighting a fresh cigar, "with the fact that you dined with
Hancock Brown the other evening?"

Fowler tapped his foot softly on the rug, but did not reply.  Enoch
went on.  "I don't want to quarrel with you, Fowler.  I'm a sincere
admirer of yours.  But I'm going to tell you frankly, that I don't like
Brown and that Brown must keep his tongue off of me.  And I'm deeply
disappointed in you.  You did not need Brown to add to your prestige in
America."

"I don't know what the idea is, Fowler," said the President suddenly,
"but I do know that the aplomb and finesse with which you conduct your
official business are entirely lacking in this affair.  It looks to me
as if you had a personal grievance here.  Come, Fowler, old man, you
are too brilliant, too valuable--"

The Secretary of State interrupted by bowing once more.  "I very much
appreciate my scolding, Mr. President.  With your permission, I'll
withdraw until you feel more kindly toward me."

The President and Enoch did not speak for several minutes after Fowler
had left.  Then the President said, "Enoch, how are you going to handle
Brown?"

"I haven't fully made up my mind," replied Enoch.

"The bitterest pill you could make him swallow would be to put yourself
in the White House at the next election."

"I'm afraid Brown would look on that as less a punishment than a
misfortune."  Enoch smiled, as he rose and said-good night.

Nearly a month passed before Enoch heard from Cheney.  During that time
neither from Fowler nor from the Brown papers was there any intimation
of consciousness of Enoch's existence.  He believed that as long as he
chose to remain silent on the Mexican situation that they would
continue to ignore him.  There could be little doubt that both Brown
and the public looked on Enoch's sudden silence following the Luigi
statement as complete rout.  Enoch knew this and writhed under the
knowledge as he bided his time.

On a morning early in January, Charley Abbott answered a telephone call
which interrupted him while was taking the Secretary's dictation.

"It's Mr. Cheney!" he said, "He's very anxious to see you for ten
minutes, Mr. Secretary."

"Crowd him in, Abbott," replied Enoch.

Abbott nodded, and in less than half an hour the director of the Survey
came in.

"Mr. Secretary," he began without preliminaries, "I took your advice
and began investigating the trouble spots.  Among other steps I took, I
detached two men temporarily from a Colorado River expedition and sent
them into Texas to discover if possible what the ordinary oil
prospectors felt toward the Survey."

Enoch's face brightened.  "That was an interesting move!" he exclaimed.
"Were these experienced oil men?"

"One of them, Harden, knew something of drilling.  Well, they struck up
some sort of a pseudo partnership with a man, a miner, name Field, and
the three of them undertook to locate some wells in southern Texas.
They were near the Mexican border and were heckled constantly by bands
of Mexicans.  Finally, as the man Field, Curly, Harden calls him in his
report, was standing guard over the horses one night, he was shot
through the abdomen.  Three days later, he died."

"Died!" exclaimed Enoch.  "Are you sure of that?"

"So Harden reports.  Field knew that his wound was fatal.  He was
perfectly cool and conscious to the last, and he spent the greater part
of the period before his death, dictating to Harden a long story about
Hancock Brown's early activities in Mexico.  He swore Harden to
absolute secrecy as to details and made him promise to send the story
to some lawyer here in Washington, who seems to have taken a small
portion of the Canyon trip with the expedition and who had prospected
with Field."

"And Curly Field is dead!" repeated Enoch.

"Yes, poor fellow!  Now then, here's the point, both Harden and
Forrester, the other Survey man, are morally certain that there is a
well-organized gang whose business is to make oil prospecting on the
border unhealthy.  They have several lists of names they want
investigated, and they suggest that Secret Service men be put on the
job, at once.  There was a small item in Texas papers about the killing
and a New York paper was after me this morning for the story.  That's
why I hurried to you."

"Did you gather that Field's story had anything to do with the present
trouble with Mexico?" asked Enoch.

The Director shook his head.  "No, Mr. Secretary.  I merely brought
that detail in because Brown is known to be your enemy and--"

He hesitated as he saw the grim lines deepening around Enoch's mouth.
The Secretary tapped the desk thoughtfully with his pencil, then said:

"Keep it all out of the papers, Mr. Cheney, if you please.  Or, rather
if you are willing, let the publicity end be handled from this office.
Send the newspaper men to Mr. Abbott."

"That will be a relief!" exclaimed Cheney.  "Shall I go ahead on the
lines indicated?"

"Yes, and bring me your next budget of news!"

As Cheney went out, Enoch rang for Jonas.  "Jonas, I wish you'd go home
and see if there is any mail there for Judge Smith.  If there is, lock
it in the desk in my room," tossing Jonas the key.

"Yes, Mr. Secretary," exclaimed Jonas, disappearing out the door.  He
returned shortly to report that mail had arrived for Judge Smith, and
that it was safely locked away.

Enoch had no engagement that evening.  When he had finished his
solitary dinner he went to his room and took out of the desk drawer a
large document envelope and a letter.  The letter he opened.


"My dear Judge: Forrester and I have just completed a sad bit of work,
the taking of poor Curly's body back to Arizona for burial.  Soon after
you left, we took Milton over to Wilson's ranch and left Ag to look out
for him.  He's coming along fine, by the way.  We wired our dilemma to
our Chief in Washington and he told us to go into southern Texas and
investigate some conditions there for him.  To our surprise, Curly
wanted to go along, as soon as he found we were later going into Mexico
to an old stamping ground of his.  Well, we had a great time on the
Border.  It wasn't so bad until the hombres began to get nasty, and as
you may recall, neither Curly nor my now good pal Forr stand well under
sniping.  It got so finally that we had to stand watch over our outfit
at night, and Curly got a bullet in his bladder.  He bled so we
couldn't move him and Forr went out, thirty miles, after a doctor.
While we waited, Curly got me to set down the stuff I am sending you
under separate cover.  He also made his will and left you his mining
claims, all merely prospects so far.  He says you know how he came to
feel as he does about Brown and Fowler.  However that may be, it
certainly is the dirtiest story I ever heard one man tell on others
and, dying though he was, I begged Curly to let me tear the paper up
and let the story go into the grave with him.  But he held me to my
promise, so I'm sending it to you, with this apology for contaminating
either of us with the dope.  Poor old Curly!  He was a man who'd been a
little embittered by some early trouble, but he was a good scout, for
all that.

"We all missed you and Jonas,--don't forget Jonas!--very much, after
you left.  Milton said half a dozen times that when he gets in shape to
go on with the work in the spring, he was going to try to persuade you
to finish the trip with us.  So say we all!  With best wishes,
sincerely yours, C. L. Harden."


After Enoch had finished Harden's letter he replaced it in its envelope
slowly and dropped it into the desk drawer.  Next, as slowly, he picked
up the bulkier envelope and placed it on edge on the mantel under the
Moran painting.  Then he began to walk the floor.

He knew that, in that dingy envelope, lay the whip by which he could
drive Brown to public apology.  As far as fearing any publicity with
which Brown could retaliate, Enoch felt immune.  He believed that he
had sounded the uttermost depths of humiliation.  And at first he
gloated over the thought that now Brown could be made to suffer as he
had suffered.  He would give the story to the newspapers, exactly as it
had come to him.  And what a setting!  Curly shot from ambush, by
creatures, it was highly probable, who were ignorantly actuated by
Brown's own crooked Mexican policy.  Curly flinging, with his dying
hands, the boomerang that was to strike Brown down.  That incidentally
it would pull Fowler down, moved Enoch little.  Fowler too would be
hoist by his own petard.

For a long hour Enoch paced the floor.  Then he came to a sudden pause
before the mantel and turned on the light above the painting of Bright
Angel trail.  Outside the room sounded the clatter of Washington's
streets.  Enoch did not hear it.  Once more a passionate, sullen boy,
he was clinging to his mule on the twisting trail.  Once more swept
over him the horror of the Canyon and of human beings that had tortured
the soul of the boy, Enoch, on that first visit into the Canyon's
depths.  The sweat started to his forehead and, as he stared, he
grasped the mantel with both hands.  Then he picked up the envelope.
His hand shook as he inserted a finger under the flap, lifting his eyes
as he did so, once more to the painting.

He paused.  Unearthly calm, drifting mists, colors too ephemeral, too
subtle for words--drawn in the Canyon!

The lift of the Ida under his knees, the eager welter of the whirlpool,
the sting of the icy Colorado dragging him under, the flash of Diana's
face and his winning fight with death.

The chaos of the river and two tiny figures staggering hour after hour
over the hopeless, impossible chasms and buttes; Harden going to the
rescue of Forrester.

Starlight on the desert.  Diana's touch on his forehead, her tender,
gentle fingers smoothing his hair as they gazed together at the
mysterious shadowy depth beyond which flowed the Colorado; that tender
touch on his hair and forehead and the desert stars thrilling near,
infinitely remote.

Suddenly Enoch, resting his arm on the mantel, dropped his forehead
upon it and stood so, the wonderful glowing colors of the painting
seeming to shimmer on his bronze hair.  At last, at the sound of
Jonas's footstep in the hall, he lifted his head, turned off the light
above the painting, crossed to his desk and, dropping the still
unopened envelope into a secret drawer, locked it and put the key in
his pocket.

The following morning Senator Havisham came to see Enoch.  He was one
of the leading members of Enoch's party, a virile, progressive man,
very little older than the Secretary himself.  After shaking hands with
Enoch and taking one of his cigars, he sat staring at him as if he
scarcely knew how to begin.

Enoch smiled half sadly.  "Go ahead, Senator," he said.  "You and I
have known each other a long time."

The Senator smiled in return.  "Yes, we have, Huntingdon, and I'm proud
of the fact.  That is why I was asked to undertake this errand which
has an unpleasant as well as a pleasant side.  We want you to run as
our presidential nominee.  But before we pass the word around, we want
you to issue a denial of the Brown canard that will settle that kind of
mud slinging at you for good and all."

Enoch's face was a cold mask.  "I can't deny it, Havisham.  The facts
stated are true.  The inferences drawn as to my character are false.
The bringing of Miss Allen into the story was a blasphemy.  All things
considered, as far as publicity goes, utter silence is my only
recourse.  As for my private retaliation on Brown, that's another and a
personal matter."

Senator Havisham looked at Enoch through half-shut eyes.

"Huntingdon, let me issue that statement, exactly as you have made it."

"No," replied Enoch flatly.  "The less reference made by us to the
Brown canard, the better chance of its being forgotten."

The Senator puffed silently, then said, "Why does Brown hate you?"

"I have fought his Mexican policy."

"Yes, I know, but is that the only reason?"

"As far as my knowledge goes," replied Enoch.  "Of course, now that
he's openly committed to Fowler, he has an added grievance."

"There is nothing personal between you?"

"I never laid eyes on the man in my life.  I never did him an
intentional injury.  I am merely in his way.  I always have despised
his papers and now I despise him.  Understand, Senator, that, without
regard to diplomacy, Brown and I must have it out."

Havisham shook his head.  "You'd better let him alone, Huntingdon.  He
has an awful weapon in his papers and he can smear you in the public
mind no matter how obviously false his stories may be."

Enoch's lips tightened.  "I'm not afraid of Brown.  But all things
considered, Havisham, you'd better leave me out of your list of
presidential possibilities."

"There is no list!  Or, at least, you're the list!"  The Senator's
laugh was a little rueful.

"And," Enoch went on, "strange as it may seem, I'm not sure that I want
the Presidency.  It seems to me that I might be far more useful in the
Capitol than in the White House."

"Not to the party!" exclaimed Havisham quickly.

"No, to the country!"

"Perhaps, but it's a debatable matter, which I don't intend to debate.
You are our man.  If you won't deny the Brown canard, then we must go
ahead without the denial."

Enoch looked thoughtfully from the window, then turned back to the
Senator.  "There is no great hurry, is there?  Give me a month to get
matters clear in my own mind."

"There is no hurry, except that the Brown papers work while others
sleep, and Fowler is Brown's nominee.  However, take your month, old
man.  I don't doubt that you have troubles of your own!"

Enoch nodded.  Havisham shook hands heartily and departed, and the
Secretary turned to his loaded desk.  The Alaskan situation was causing
him keen anxiety.  The old war between private ownership, with all its
greed and unfairness to the common citizen, and government control,
with all its cumbersome and often inefficient methods, had reached
acute proportions in the great northern province.  Enoch was faced with
the necessity of deciding between the two.  It must be a long distance
decision and any verdict he rendered was predestined to have in it
elements of injustice.  For days Enoch thrust, as far as possible, his
personal problem into the background while he struggled with this
greater one.  It was only at night that the thought of Diana
overwhelmed all else to torture him and yet to fill him with the joy of
perfect memories.

It was on the morning after he had given his Alaskan decision that
Charley Abbott, eyebrows raised, laid a Brown paper before the
Secretary, with the comment:

"Either Cheney or some one in Cheney's office has leaked."

It was a twisted story of Curly's death.  Curly, according to this
version, had been doing his utmost to keep two Survey men, Harden and
Forrester, from hogging for obscure government purposes, certain oil
lands, belonging to Curly.  In the ill feeling that had resulted, Curly
had been shot.  Before his death, however, he had been able to write a
statement of the affair which had been sent to a well-known lawyer in
Washington.  He also had left sufficient property to the lawyer to
enable him to expose the workings of the Geological Survey to its bones.

Enoch's face reddened.  "I don't know what there is about a piece of
work like this that gets under my skin so intolerably!" he exclaimed.
"Whether it's the cruelty of it, or the dishonesty or the brute
selfishness, I don't know.  But we are going to answer this, Abbott."

"How shall we go about it, sir?  We might find out if Cheney knows
these men personally and have him make a statement."

"Have him tell of their previous records," said Enoch.  "Let the world
know the heroism and the self-sacrifice of those men.  And at the end
let him give the lie direct to the Brown papers.  Tell him I'll sign it
for him."

"That will give Brown just the opening he's looking for, Mr. Secretary,
I'm afraid," said Abbott, doubtfully.  "I mean, your signature."

"I'm ready for Brown," replied Enoch shortly.

Still Charley hesitated.  "What is it, Abbott?" asked the Secretary.

"It's Miss Allen I'm thinking about," blurted out the younger man.
"You've gone through the worst that they can hand to a man, so you've
nothing more to fear.  But if they bring her into it again, Mr.
Secretary, I'll go crazy!"

The veins stood up on Enoch's forehead, and he said, with a cold
vehemence that made Abbott recoil, "If Miss Allen's name is brought up
with mine in that manner again, I shall kill Brown."

Charley moistened his lips.  "Well, but after all, Mr. Huntingdon,
Harden and Forrester are just a couple of unknown chaps.  Is your
championing them worth the risk to Miss Allen?"

"Miss Allen would be the last person to desire that kind of shielding.
I've reached my limit, Abbott, as far as the Brown papers are
concerned.  They've got to keep their foul pens off the Department of
the Interior.  I'd a little rather kill Brown than not.  Why should
decent citizens live in fear of his dirty newsmongers?  Life is not so
sweet to me, Abbott, nor the future so full of promise that I greatly
mind sacrificing either."

"It's just--it's just that I care so much about Miss Allen," reiterated
Charley, miserably and doggedly.

Enoch drew a quick breath.  The two men stared at each other, pain and
hopelessness in both faces.  Enoch recovered himself quickly.

"I'm sorry, my boy," he said gently, "but life, particularly public
life, is full of bitter situations like this.  Brown must be stopped
somewhere by somebody.  Let's not count the cost.  Get in touch with
Cheney and have that statement ready for the morning paper."

He turned back to his letters and Abbott left the room.  Before he went
home that night, Enoch had signed the very readable account of some of
Harden's and Forrester's exploits in the Survey and had added, before
signing, a line to the effect that the slurs and insinuations regarding
the two men which had appeared in the morning papers were entirely
untrue.

For several days there was no reply from the Brown camp.  Enoch's
friends commented to him freely on his temerity in deliberately drawing
Brown on, but Enoch only smiled and shrugged his shoulders, while
Curly's statement lay unopened in his drawer.  But underneath his calm,
the still raw wound of Brown's earlier attack tingled as it awaited the
rubbing in of the salt.

Finally, one morning, Charley laid a Brown paper on Enoch's desk.  The
Secretary of the Interior, said the account, had denied the truth of
certain statements made by the publication.  A repetition of the story
followed.  A careful reinvestigation of the facts, the account went on,
showed the case to be as originally stated.  The well-known lawyer had
been interviewed.  He had told the reporter that the contents of
Field's letter were surprising beyond words and that as soon as he had
made full preparations some arrests would follow that would startle the
country.  The lawyer, whose name was withheld for obvious reasons, was
a man whose integrity was beyond question.  He had no intention of
using the funds willed him by Field, for he and Field had grown up
together in a little New England town.  The money would be put in trust
for Field's son, who would be sent to college with the lawyer's own
boy.  In the meantime, the Secretary of the Interior would not be
beyond a most respectful and discriminating investigation himself.  It
was known that he had cut short an unsuccessful speaking tour for very
good reasons, and had disappeared into the desert country for a month.
Where had he been?

Enoch suddenly laughed as he laid the paper down.  "It is so childish,
so preposterous, that even a fool wouldn't swallow it!" he exclaimed.

"It's just the sort of thing that people swallow whole," returned
Abbott.

"Even at that, it's absolutely unimportant," said Enoch.  Again Charley
disagreed with him.  "Mr. Secretary, it's very important, for it's a
threat.  It says that if you don't keep still, they will investigate
your desert trip.  And you know what they could make of that!"

"Let them keep their tongues off my Department, then," said Enoch,
sternly.  Nevertheless when Abbott had left him alone he did not turn
immediately to his work.  His cigar grew cold, and the ink dried on his
pen, while he sat with the look of grim determination in his eyes and
lips, deepening.

He dined out that night and was tired and depressed when he returned
home.  Jonas was smiling when he let the Secretary in and took his coat.

"Boss, they's a nice little surprise waiting for you up on your desk."

"Who'd be surprising me, Jonas?  No one on earth but you, I'm afraid."

Jonas chuckled.  "You're a bad guesser, boss!  A bad guesser!  How come
you to think I could do anything to surprise you?"

Enoch went into his brightly lighted room and stopped before his desk
with a low exclamation of pleasure.  A large photograph stood against
the book rack.  Three little naked Indian children with feathers in
their hair were dancing in the foreground.  Behind them lay an ancient
cliff dwelling half in ruins.  To the left an Indian warrior, arms
folded on his broad chest stood watching the children, his face full of
an inscrutable sadness.  The children were extraordinarily beautiful.
Diana had worked with a very rapid lens and had caught them atilt, in
the full abandonment of the child to joy in motion.  The shadowed,
mysterious, pathetic outline of the cliff dwelling, the somber figure
of the chief only enhanced the vivid sense of motion and glee in the
children.  The picture was intrinsically lovely even without that
haunting sense of the desert's significance that made Diana's work
doubly intriguing.

Enoch's depression dropped from him as if it had never been.  "Oh, my
dearest!" he murmured, "you did not forget, did you!  It is your very
self you have sent me, your own whimsical joyousness!"

Jonas tapped softly on the door.

"Come in, Jonas!  Isn't it fine!  How do you suppose a photograph can
tell so much!"

"It's Miss Diana, it ain't the camera!" exclaimed Jonas, with a
chuckle.  "Na-che says she ain't never seen her when she couldn't
smile.  That buck looks like that fellow Wee-tah.  Boss, do you
remember the night he took me out to see that desert charm?"

"Tell me about it, Jonas.  It will rest me more than sleep."

Enoch sank back in his chair where he could face the photograph, and
Jonas established himself on the hearth rug and told his story with
gusto.  "I got a lot of faith in Injun charms," he said, when he had
finished.

"They didn't get us our trip down Bright Angel," sighed Enoch, even as
he smiled.

"We'll get it yet, see if we don't!" protested Jonas stoutly.  "Na-che
and I ain't give up for a minute.  Don't laugh about it, boss."

"I'm not laughing," replied Enoch gravely.  "I'm thinking how fortunate
I am in my friends, you being among those present, Jonas."

"As I always aim to be," agreed Jonas.  "Do you think you could maybe
sleep now, boss?"

"Yes, I think so, Jonas," and Enoch was as good as his word.

Nearly two weeks passed before the attack on the Department of the
Interior was renewed.  This time it was a deliberate assault on Enoch's
honesty.  The Alaskan decision served as a text.  This was held up as a
model of corruption and an example of the type of decision to be
expected from a gambling lawyer.  Followed a list of half a dozen of
Enoch's rulings on water power control, on forest conservation and on
coal mining, each one interpreted in the light of Enoch's mania for
gambling.  A man, the article said in closing, may, if he wishes, take
chances with his own fortune or his own reputation, but what right has
he to risk the public domain?

Several days went by after the appearance of this edifying story, but
Enoch made no move.  Then the President summoned him to the White House.

"Enoch, shall you let that screed go unchallenged?" he demanded.

"What can I say, Mr. President?" asked Enoch.  "And really, that sort
of thing doesn't bother me much.  It is only the usual political mud
slinging.  They are feeling me out.  They want more than anything to
get me into a newspaper controversy with them.  I am going to be
difficult to get."

"So I see!" retorted the President.  "If you are not careful, old man,
people will begin to think Brown is right and you are afraid."

Enoch laughed.  "I am not afraid of him or any other skunk.  But also,
in spite of my red hair, I have a good deal of patience.  I am waiting
for our friends to trot out their whole bag of tricks."

"What do you hear from Fowler?" asked the President.

"Nothing.  I am desperately sorry that he has got mixed up with Brown.
He is a brilliant man and the party needs him.  I hope his attitude
toward me has made no break in the pleasant relationship between you
and him, Mr. President."

"It did for a short time.  But we got together over the Dutch Guiana
matter and he's quite himself again.  As you say, the party can ill
afford to lose him.  But a man who works with Brown I consider lost to
the party, no matter if he keeps the name."

"Fowler used to like me," said Enoch, thoughtfully.

"He certainly did.  But the reason that Fowler will always be a
politician and not a statesman is that he is still blind to the fact
that the biggest thing a man can do for himself politically is to
forget himself and work for the party."

"You mean for the country, do you not?" asked Enoch.

"It should be the same thing.  If Fowler can get beyond himself, he'll
be a statesman.  But he's fifty and characters solidify at fifty.  He's
been a first rate Secretary of State, because he's a first rate
international lawyer, because his tact is beyond reproach and because
he is forced by the nature of his work to think nationally and not
personally."

"I'm sorry he's taken up with Brown," repeated Enoch.  "There never was
such a dearth of good men in national politics before."

"I've known him for many years," the President said thoughtfully, "and
I never knew him to do a dishonest thing.  He's full of horse sense.
I've heard rumors that in his early days in the Far West he got in with
a bad crowd, but he threw them off and any one that knew details has
decently forgotten them.  I've tried several times to speak to him
about this new alliance but although he's never shown temper as he did
that night when you were here, I get nowhere with him.  His ideas for
the party are sane and sound and constructive."

"You mean for the country, do you not, sir?" asked Enoch again with a
smile.

The older man smiled too.  "Hanged if I don't mean both!" he exclaimed.

"What do you think of Havisham as presidential material?" asked Enoch.

"Too good-natured!  A splendid fellow but not quite enough chin!  By
the way, I understand you refused to commit yourself to him the other
day."

Enoch rose with a sigh.  "Life to some people seems to be a simple aye!
aye! nay! nay! proposition.  It never has been to me.  Each problem of
my life presents many facets, and the older I grow the more I realize
that most of my decisions concerning myself have been made for one
facet and not for all.  This time I'm trying to make a multiple
decision, as it were."

"I think I understand," said the Chief executive.  "Good night, Enoch."

And Enoch went home to the waiting Jonas.



CHAPTER XVII

REVENGE IS SWEET


"And then, after that day on the Colorado was ended, after the agony of
toil, the wrestling with death while our little boats withstood the
shock of destiny itself, oh, then, the wonder and the peace of the
night's camp.  Rest!  Rest at last!"--_Enoch's Diary_.


January slipped swiftly by and February, with its alternate rain and
snow came on.  The splendid mental and physical poise that Enoch had
brought back with him from the Canyon stood him in good stead under the
pressure of office business which never had been so heavy.  One
morning, late in February, Cheney came to see the Secretary.

"Well, Mr. Cheney, have you made your discovery?" asked Enoch.

Cheney nodded slowly.  "But I didn't make it until last night, Mr.
Huntingdon.  I've followed up all sorts of leads that landed me
nowhere.  Last night, a newspaper reporter came to my house.  He's with
the News now, but he used to be with Brown.  He came round to learn
something about our men finding gold in the Grand Canyon.  He wanted
the usual fool thing, an expression of opinion from me as Director.  As
soon as he let slip that he'd been on the Brown papers, I began to
question him and I found that he'd been fired because he'd refused to
go out to Arizona and follow up your vacation trip.  But, he said, two
weeks ago they started another fellow on the job."

Enoch did not stir by so much as an eye wink.

"I thought you ought to know this, although, personally, it may be a
matter of indifference to you."

Enoch nodded.  "And what are your conclusions, Mr. Cheney?"

"That Brown is determined to discredit the Department of the Interior
and you, until you are ousted and a man in sympathy with his Mexican
policy is put in."

"I agree with you, entirely.  And what are your plans?"

"I shall stick by my Bureau until we lick him.  I haven't the slightest
desire to desert my Chief.  When I thought it was I they were after, I
felt differently."

"Thanks, Mr. Cheney!  Will you give me the name of the reporter of whom
you were speaking."

"James C. Capp.  He's not a bad chap, I think."

Enoch nodded and Cheney took his departure.  There were several
important conferences after this which Enoch cleared off rapidly and
with his usual efficiency.  When, however, Jonas announced luncheon,
Abbott asked for a little delay.

"Here is an interesting item from this morning's Brown," he said.
Enoch read the clipping carefully.

"The visitor to El Tovar, the rim hotel of the Grand Canyon receives
some curious impressions of our governmental prerogatives.  Recently a
government expedition down the Colorado was too well equipped with
spirits and had some severe smash-ups.  Two of the men became disgusted
and quit, but nothing daunted, Milton, the leader took on two fugitives
from justice in Utah and proceeded on his way.  A week later, however,
there was a complete smash-up both moral and material.  The boats were
lost and the expedition disbanded.  The expensive equipment lies in the
bottom of the Colorado.  So much for the efficiency and morale of the
U. S. Geological Survey."

Enoch laughed, but there was an unpleasant twist to his mouth as he did
it.

"Abbott," he said, "will you please find out if Brown is in New York.
Wherever he is, I am going to see him, immediately and I want you to go
with me.  No, don't be alarmed!  There will be no personal violence,
yet."

The locating of the newspaper publisher was a simple task.  An hour
after lunch, Charley reported Brown as in his New York office.

"Very well," said Enoch, "telegraph him that we will meet him at his
office at nine to-night.  We will take the three o'clock train and
return at midnight."

It was not quite nine o'clock when Enoch and Charley entered Hancock
Brown's office.  The building was buzzing with newspaper activities,
but the publisher's office was quiet.  A sleepy office attendant was
awaiting them.  With considerable ceremony he ushered the two across
the elaborate reception room and throwing open a door, said:

"The Secretary of the Interior, sir."

A small man, with a Van Dyke beard and gentle brown eyes crossed the
room with his hand outstretched.

"Mr. Huntingdon! this is a pleasure and an honor!"

"It is neither, sir," said Enoch, giving no heed to the outstretched
hand.

Brown raised his eyebrow.  "Will you be seated, Mr. Huntingdon?"

"Not in your office, sir.  Mr. Brown, I have endured from your hands
that which no _man_ would think to make another endure."  Enoch's
beautiful voice was low but its resonance filled the office.  His eyes
were like blue ice.  "I have remained silent, for reasons of my own,
under your personal attacks on me, but now I have come to tell you that
the attacks on the Department of the Interior and on my personal life
must cease."

Hancock Brown looked at Enoch with gentle reproach in his eyes.
"Surely you don't want to muzzle the press, Mr. Huntingdon?"

"We're not speaking of the press," returned Enoch, "I have sincere
admiration for the press of this country."

Brown flushed a little at this.  "I shall continue on exactly the line
I have laid down," he said quietly.

"If," said Enoch, clearly, "Miss Allen is brought into your publication
again either directly or by implication, I shall come to your office,
Mr. Brown, and shoot you.  Abbott, you are the witness to what I say
and to the conversation that has led to it."

"I am, Mr. Secretary," said Charley.  "And if for any reason you should
be unable to attend to the matter, I would do the shooting for you."

"This will make interesting copy," said Brown.

"I have within my control," Enoch went on, steadily, "the means to
force you to cease to put out lies concerning the Department of the
Interior and me.  I seriously consider not waiting for your next move,
but of making use of this in retaliation for what you have done to me.
As to that, I have reached no conclusion.  This is all I have to say."

Enoch turned on his heel and closely followed by Charley left the
office.  As they entered the taxicab, Abbott said, "Gee, that did me
more good than getting my salary doubled!  I thought you were going to
use this morning's item as a text!"

"You'd better have Cheney prepare a reply to that, for me to sign,"
said Enoch and he lapsed into silence.  They went directly to their
train and to bed and the next morning office routine began promptly at
nine as usual.

February slipped into March.  One cold, rainy morning Abbott, with a
broad smile on his face, came in to take dictation.

"What's happened, Abbott?" asked Enoch.  "Some one left you some money?"

"Better than that!" exclaimed Charley.  "I dined at the Indian
Commissioner's last night and whom do you think I took out?  Miss
Allen!"

A slow red suffused Enoch's forehead and died out.  "When did she
return to Washington?" he asked, quietly.

"A day or so ago.  She is studying at the Smithsonian.  She says she'll
be here two months."

"She is well, I hope," said Enoch.

"She looks simply glorious!"

Enoch nodded.  "Instead of dictating letters, this morning, Abbott,
suppose you start the visitors this way.  Somehow, the thought of
wading through that pile, right now, sickens me."

Charley's face showed surprise, but he rose at once.  "Mr. Cheney's
been waiting for an hour out there with an interesting chap from the
western field.  Perhaps you'd better see them before I let the
committee from California in."

Cheney came first.  "Mr. Secretary, one of my men is in from Arizona.
He is very much worked up over Brown's last effort and he's got so much
to say that I thought you'd better meet him.  Incidentally, he's a very
fine geologist."

"Bring him in," said Enoch.

The Director swung open the door and moving slowly on a cane, Milton
came into the room.

"Mr. Secretary, Mr. Milton," said Cheney.  "He--" then he stopped with
his mouth open for Milton had turned white and the Secretary was
laughing.

"Judge!" gasped Milton.

Enoch left his desk and crossing the room seized both Milton's hands,
cane and all.

"Milton, old boy, there's no man in the world I'd rather see than you."

"Why, are you two old friends?" asked Cheney.

"Intimate friends!" exclaimed Enoch.  "Cheney, I'll remember the favor
all my life, if you'll leave me alone with Milton for a little while."

"Why certainly!  Certainly!  I didn't know Milton was trying to spring
a surprise on you.  I'll be just outside when I'm needed."

"Sit down, Milton," said Enoch, soberly, when they were alone.  "Don't
hold my deception against me.  I was not spying.  It was the blindest
fate in the world that brought me to the Canyon and to your expedition."

Milton's freckled face was still pale.  "Hold it against you!  Of
course not!  But you've rattled me, Judge,--Mr. Secretary."

"No one but Abbott knows of my trip and he in baldest outline.  Keep my
secret for me, old man, as long as you possibly can.  I suppose it will
leak out eventually."

Milton was staring at Enoch.  "Think of all we said and did!" he gasped.

"Especially what we did!  Oh, it was glorious!  Glorious!" cried Enoch.
"It did all for me that you thought it might, Milton.  Do you remember?"

"Yes, I remember.  And I remember telling you my personal ambitions!
I'd rather have cut out my tongue!"

"And once you all told what you thought of Enoch Huntingdon!"  The
Secretary burst out laughing, and Milton joined him with a great "Ha!
ha!"

"So you were the fugitive from justice, that joined my drunken crew,"
chuckled Milton, wiping the tears from his eyes.  "And I came over to
try to put myself straight as to that with the Big Boss!"

"The best part of it all is that excepting Abbott and Jonas and now
you, not a living soul knew it was the Secretary of the Interior who
took the trip."

"Of course, there was Miss Allen!" added Milton.  "Don't forget her!
But she's as safe as the Canyon itself at keeping a secret."

"How about the reporter who's said to be on my trail?" asked Enoch.

"He's prowling round on the river, running up an expense account
twenty-three hours and making up lies on the twenty-fourth.  Capp told
Mr. Cheney that this reporter, whose name is Ames, I believe, was to
write nothing until his return to New York.  Mr. Secretary, can't
something be done to shut him off?"

"Yes," replied Enoch, sternly.  The two men were silent for a moment,
then Enoch said with a sudden lighting of his blue eyes.  "Where are
you stopping, old man."

"I haven't located the cheapest hotel in Washington yet.  When I do,
that'll be where I'll stop.  You remember we used to speak our minds on
the salaries the Department paid."

"I remember," chuckled Enoch.  "Well, Milton, the cheapest stopping
place in Washington is over at Judge Smith's place.  I believe you have
the address.  By the way, have you seen Jonas?"

"No, but I want to," replied Milton.

Enoch pressed the button, and Jonas' black head popped in at the door.
As his eyes fell on Milton, they began to bulge.

"The Lord have mercy!  How come you didn't tell me, boss--" he began.
Then he rushed across the room and shook hands.  "Mr. Milton, I'd
rather see you than my own brother.  Did you find any pieces of the
Na-che?"

"No, Jonas, but I've got some fine pictures in my trunk of you shooting
rapids in the old boat."

"No!  My Lordy!  Where's your trunk, Mr. Milton?"

"Jonas," said Enoch, "you get Mr. Milton's trunk check and--but he says
he's going to a hotel."

Jonas looked at Milton, indignantly.  "Going to a hotel!  How come you
to try to insult the boss' and my house, Mr. Milton?  Huh!  Hotel!
Huh!"

He took the check and left the room, still snorting.  Milton rose.  "I
mustn't intrude any longer, Mr. Secretary."

"Luckily I'm free, to-night," said Enoch.  "We'll have a great talk.
Ask Cheney to come in, please."

"Mr. Cheney," asked Enoch, when Milton had gone, "do you think you
could find out whether or not that fellow Ames has returned from
Arizona?"

"Yes, we can do that without much trouble.  Was Milton able to
straighten matters up with you, Mr. Secretary?"

"He didn't have to.  I'm an ardent admirer of Milton's.  He's going to
stop at my house, while he's in Washington.  Why don't you take him out
of the field and begin to groom him for your job, Mr. Cheney?  He
should be ready for it in a few years."

Cheney nodded.  "He's a good man.  I'll think it over.  And I will
telephone Abbott about Ames."

It was fortunate for Enoch that Milton was with him that evening, for
the knowledge that Diana was in Washington and that he could not see
her was quite as agonizing as he had suspected it would be.  Yet it was
impossible not to enjoy Milton's continual surprise and pleasure at the
change in the Judge's identity and it was a real delight to make once
more the voyage to the Ferry not only for its own sake but because with
the landing at the Ferry came much conversation on the part of Jonas
and Milton about Diana.  But Enoch did not sleep well that night and
reached his office in the morning, heavy-eyed and grim.

Abbott, standing beside the Secretary's desk was even more grim.  "Mr.
Cheney was too slow getting us the information about Ames," he said,
pointing to the newspaper that lay on the desk.

Enoch lighted a cigar very deliberately, then began to read.  It was a
detailed account of the vacation trip of the Secretary of the Interior.
It was written with devilish ingenuity, purporting to show that Enoch
in his hours of relaxation was a thorough-going good fellow.  The
account said that Enoch had picked up a mining outfit made up of two
notorious gamblers.  That the three had then annexed two Indian bucks
and a squaw and had slowly made their way into the Grand Canyon,
ostensibly to placer mine, actually to play cards and hunt.  The story
was witty, and contained some good word pictures of the Canyon country.
It was subtle in its wording, but it was from first to last an
unforgettable smirching of Enoch's character.

Enoch laid the paper down.  "Abbott," he said slowly, "the time has
come to act.  I want Mr. Fowler, Mr. Brown, this fellow Ames, or
whatever reporter wrote the first article about me to come to my office
tomorrow afternoon at five o'clock.  If it is necessary to ask the
President for authority to bring them here, I shall ask for it."

Abbott's eyes glowed.  "Thank God, at last!" he exclaimed.  "Shall I
prepare a denial of this stuff."

"No!  At least they have left Miss Allen out.  We may be thankful and
let it stand at that.  Now, start the procession in, Abbott.  I'm in no
mood to dictate letters."

Enoch threw himself into the day's work with burning intensity.  About
three o'clock, he told Abbott to deny all visitors that he might devote
himself to an Alaskan report.

"Mr. Milton just rushed in.  Will you let him have a moment?" asked
Charley.

"Yes, but--" here Milton came in unceremoniously.

"Mr. Huntingdon," he said, "I've just finished lunching with Miss
Allen.  We are both nearly frantic over this morning's paper.  You must
let us publish the truth."

"No," thundered Enoch.  "You know the Brown papers.  If they discovered
what Miss Allen did for us all at the Ferry, how she led me back to El
Tovar, what would they do with it?"

Abbott looked from Enoch to Milton in astonishment.  Milton started to
speak, but Enoch interrupted, "You are, of course, thinking that I
should have thought of that long before, when I asked her to let me go
back to El Tovar with her.  But I didn't!  I had been in the Canyon
long enough to have forgotten what could be made of my adventure by bad
minds.  I was a cursed fool, moving in a fool's paradise and I must
take my punishment.  If ever--"

Jonas opened the door from the outer office.  "The President, Mr.
Secretary," he said.

Enoch started toward the telephone, but Jonas spoke impatiently--"No!
No! not that."

"The President of what, Jonas!" asked Abbott.

Jonas lifted his chest and flung the door wide.  "The President of the
United States of America," he announced, and the President came in.

Enoch rose.  "Don't let me disturb you, Mr. Secretary.  I can wait,"
said the chief executive.

"We were quite finished, Mr. President.  May I, I wonder, introduce Mr.
Milton to you, the geologist whom Brown said headed the drunken
expedition down the Colorado."

The President looked keenly at Milton as they shook hands.  "Mr.
Huntingdon took great pains to deny that story, publicly," he said.
"Can't you persuade him, Mr. Milton, to do as much for himself, to-day."

"That's exactly why I'm here, Mr. President!" exclaimed Milton.  "But
he's absolutely obdurate!"

Jonas came into the room and spoke to Enoch softly.  "Mr. Fowler's
office is on the outside wire, Mr. Secretary.  I wouldn't connect in
here while the President was here.  Mr. Fowler wants to speak to you,
hisself, before he catches a train."

"I'll go into your office to get it, Abbott," said Enoch.  "May I
detain you, a moment, Mr. President?  Mr. Fowler wants to speak to me."

The President raised his eyebrows with a little smile.  "Yes, if you
tell me what's happened to Fowler."

Enoch's smile was twisted as he went out.  Milton immediately began to
speak.

"Mr. President, can't you make Mr. Huntingdon tell about his vacation?"

The chief executive shook his head.  "Perhaps it's not best.  Perhaps
he did have a lapse into his boyhood habits.  Not that it makes any
difference to me."

"No!  No!  Mr. President.  I know--" began Charley.

But Milton interrupted, "Mr. President, he was with me and part of the
time Miss Diana Allen, a wonderful woman, was with us.  And Mr.
Huntingdon is afraid they'll turn their dirty tongues on her."

The President's face lighted as if he had received good news.  "Really!
With you!"

"Yes, with me for a week and more.  And I want to tell you, sir, that
for nerve and endurance and skill in a boat and as a pal and friend
under life and death conditions I've never seen any one to surpass him.
He scorned cards while he was with us.  We had no liquor.  We admired
him beyond words and had no idea who he was."

"No!" cried the President, delightedly.  "Why, there must be a real
story in this!  Go on with it, Milton!  Enoch," as the Secretary came
in, "I'm winning the truth out of your old cruising pal, here!"

"I can't help it, Mr. Huntingdon!" cried Milton as Enoch turned toward
him indignantly.  "Miss Diana said this noon that if you didn't tell
the story, she would."

"There you are!"  exclaimed the President.  "Wouldn't you know she'd
take it that way?  And on second thoughts I think I'd rather hear the
story from her than any one else."

"But she can't tell you about the voyage, sir," protested Milton.

"That's true," agreed the President.  "I shall have to arrange one of
my choice little dinners and have you and Miss Diana Allen there to pad
out the Secretary's account."  Then, with a sudden change of voice, he
walked over to Enoch and put his hand on the younger man's shoulder.
Abbott nodded to Milton and the two slipped out.

"You are a bit twisted about women, dear old man!  Come, you must let
Milton put out the right kind of a denial of Brown's story."

"Brown will put the denial out for himself," said Enoch sternly.  "I've
reached my limit.  Mr. President, I have asked Mr. Fowler, Brown, and
the reporter who's been maligning me to come to my office to-morrow
afternoon.  I think I shall be able to settle this matter.  I would
perhaps have done it before but I could not settle in my own mind just
how I wanted to go about it.  Fowler refused to come until I told him
the purpose of the meeting."

"And you know now how to end this miserable affair?" asked the
President, wonderingly.

"Yes," replied Enoch.  "And now, Mr. President, what can I do for you?"

"Exactly what you are doing, Enoch.  Clear up this disgusting matter."

"You came to see me for that, sir?"

The President smiled.  "You do not seem to realize that a great many
people, people who never saw you, are deeply troubled about you.  You
do not belong to yourself but to us, Mr. Secretary."

"Perhaps you are right, sir," said Enoch humbly.  "I thank you most
sincerely for coming."

"Will you come to me as soon as you have finished, to-morrow, Enoch?"

"Yes, Mr. President!  Abbott, will you show the President out?"  Then
when Charley had returned, he said, "Abbott, the Secretary of State
will be here.  How about Brown?"

"He will be here," replied Charley.  "I used the President's name
pretty freely, but I think I finally got him curious enough and worried
enough."

Enoch nodded.  "Abbott, for the first time since I've been in this
office, I'm going to quit early and go for a ride."

"It's what you ought to do every day," said Abbott.

"Look here, Abbott, if I get this beastly matter settled to-morrow, I
want you to go away for two months' vacation."

"Well," said Charley, doubtfully, "if you get it settled!"

"Don't let that worry you," said Enoch grimly as he pulled on his
overcoat and left the office.  "I'll settle it."

Promptly at three o'clock, the next day, Abbott ushered three men into
the Secretary's office.  Enoch rose and bowed to Secretary Fowler, to
Hancock Brown, and to Ames, the reporter.  The last was a clear cut
young fellow with a nose a little too sharp and eyes set a trifle too
close together.

"If you will be seated, gentlemen, I'll tell you the object of this
call upon your time.  Mr. Abbott, please remain in the room.

"On the third of November, Mr. Brown, you published in one of your
evening papers an article about me written under your direction by
Ames.  The facts in that article were in the main true.  The deductions
you drew from them were vilely false.  It is not, Mr. Brown, a pleasant
knowledge for a man to carry through life that his mother was what my
mother was.  I have suffered from that knowledge as it is obviously
quite beyond your power to comprehend.  I say obviously, because no men
with decency or the most ordinary imagination would have dared to
harrow a man's secret soul as you harrowed mine.  Even in my many
battles with Tammany, my unfortunate birth has been respected.  It
remained for you to write the unwriteable.

"As for my gambling, that too is true, to a certain extent.  I have
played cards perhaps half a dozen times in as many years.  I was taught
to play by the Luigi whom you interviewed.  I have a gambler's
instinct, but since I was fourteen I have fought as men can fight and
latterly I have been winning the battle.

"Your insinuations as to my adult relationship to the underworld and to
women are lies.  And your dragging Miss Allen into the dirty tale was a
gratuitous insult which it is fortunate for both of you, her father has
not yet seen.  It happened that while I was on the vacation recently in
which you have taken so impertinent an interest, that I joined the camp
of two miners.  One of them, Curly Field, told me an interesting story.
He probably would not have told me had I not been calling myself Smith
and had he not discovered that I am a lawyer."

The smile suddenly disappeared from Brown's face.

"That fellow Curly always was a liar," he said.

Enoch shrugged his shoulders.  "You should be a good judge of liars,
Brown.  Curly told me that Mr. Fowler was his brother-in-law's partner."

Fowler spoke, his face drawn.  "Spare me that story, Mr. Huntingdon, I
beg of you."

"Did you beg Brown to spare me?" demanded Enoch, sternly.

"Pshaw!" exclaimed Brown, "that is old stuff.  It couldn't be proved
that we had anything to do with it."

"No?" queried Enoch.  "What would you say to my taking the fund left
Judge Smith by Curly and employing a first-class lawyer and a detective
to go on the trail of those mis-appropriated funds?"  Brown did not
answer and Enoch went on: "Curly's idea was to get even with Fowler.
It was, in fact, a type of mania with him.  He told me that for years
he had been in possession of facts concerning certain doings of Brown
and Fowler in Mexico, which if they were properly blazed across the
country would utterly ruin both of them.  He wanted to put me in
possession of those facts."

Suddenly Fowler rose and went to stand at a window, his back to the
group around the Secretary's desk.  Enoch continued, clearly and firmly:

"I could scarcely believe my good fortune.  Here was my chance to pay
Brown in kind."

"Did Curly give you the facts?" asked Brown, who had grown a little
white around the mouth.

Enoch did not heed him.  "I asked Curly if the story was a reflection
on these two men morally or financially.  He said, morally; that it was
bad beyond words.  At this point I weakened and told him that I had no
desire to display any man's weakness in the market place.  And Curly
laughed at me and asked me what mercy Fowler had shown his brother?
But still I could not make up my mind to take those facts from Curly."

Mr. Brown eased back in his chair with a sneering smile.  Young Ames
sat sickly pale, his mouth open.

"But when I left him," the calm, rich voice went on, "I told him that
he could write down the story and send it to my house in Washington.
Now the chances are that having drifted so many years without telling
it, he would have drifted on indefinitely.  But fate intervened.  Curly
went to the Mexican border.  Certain gentlemen have seen to it that the
Mexican border is not safe.  Curly was shot and he made it his
death-bed duty to dictate this delectable tale to a friend.  In due
course of time, the document reached my house in Washington, and here
it is!"  He tapped the upper drawer of his desk.

There was utter silence in the room while Enoch lighted a cigarette.

"Have you told any one the er--tale?" demanded Brown, hoarsely.  "I can
prove that not a word of it is true!"

"Can you?" Enoch squared round on him.  "Are you willing to risk having
the story told with the idea of disproving it, afterward?  Isn't your
system of scandal mongering built on the idea that mud once slung
always leaves a stain in the public mind?  And Curly was an eye
witness.  He is dead, but I do not believe all the other eye witnesses
are dead.  At any rate--"

Brown suddenly leaned forward in his chair.  "Mr. Huntingdon, I'll give
you my check for $100,000, if you will give me that document and swear
to keep your mouth shut."

"Your bribe is not large enough," Enoch answered tersely.

"Five hundred thousand!  I'll agree to make a public retraction of
everything I said about you and to work for you with all the power of
my newspapers."

"Not enough!" repeated Enoch, watching Brown's white face, keenly.

"What do you want?" demanded the newspaper publisher.

"First," Enoch threw his cigarette away, "I want Secretary Fowler to
break with you, absolutely and completely."

"Curly can't implicate me, in that Mexican affair!" cried Fowler.
"Why, my whole attitude was one of disapproval and disgust.  I told
Brown over and over, that he was a fool and after the shooting I broke
with him, absolutely, for years.  I am--"

Enoch interrupted.  "Brown, was Fowler in on the trouble?"

"No!" replied Brown, sullenly.

"I'm very glad to hear it," Enoch exclaimed.  "Mr. Fowler, as far as I
am concerned all that I learned from Field regarding you is a closed
book and forgotten if you will break with Brown."

"I'd break with him, gladly, if he'd cease to blackmail me about the
Field matter," said Fowler.  "Good God!  How many of us are there
who've not committed sins that we never forgive ourselves?"

"None of us!" said Enoch.  "Mr. Fowler, why did you break with me?"

"Didn't you do your best to undermine me with the President?  Didn't
you go to Ambassador Johns-Eaton and tell him--"  Here, catching a
curious flickering of young Ames' eyelids, Fowler interrupted himself
to demand, "Or was that more of your dirty work, Ames?"

"Answer, Ames!"  Enoch's voice was not to be ignored.

"Brown paid me for it," muttered Ames.

Fowler groaned and looked at Enoch, who was lighting a fresh cigarette.

"Will you agree, Brown, to an absolute break with Fowler and no come
backs?" asked Enoch.

"Yes," said Brown eagerly.  "What else?"

"You are to go out of the newspaper business."

There was another silence.  Then Brown said, "I'll not do it!"

"Very well," returned Enoch, "then the Mexican affair will be published
as Curly has written it with all the attendant circumstances."

Again there was silence, with all the eyes in the room focused on the
pale, gentle face, opposite Enoch.  The noise of street traffic beat
against the windows.  Telephones sounded remotely in the outer office.
For ten minutes this was all.  Then Brown in a husky voice said,

"Very well!  Give me the document!"

"Not at all," returned Enoch, coolly.  "This document goes into my
safety deposit box.  In case of my death, it will be left to
responsible parties.  When you die, it will be destroyed.  I am not a
rich man, Mr. Brown, but I shall devote a part of my income to having
you watched; watched lest indirectly and by the underhand methods you
know so well you again attempt to influence public opinion.  After
to-morrow, you are through."

"To-morrow!  Impossible!" gasped Brown.

"Nothing is impossible except decency to a man of your capacity," said
Enoch.  "To-morrow you publish a complete denial of your lies about me
and this Department and then you are no longer a newspaper publisher.
That is all I have to say to you, Mr. Brown."  He pressed a button,
"Jonas, please show Mr. Brown out."

Jonas' black eyes snapped.  "How come you think I'd soil my shadow
letting that viper trail it, boss?  I never disobeyed you before, Mr.
Secretary, but that trash can show hisself out!" and Jonas withdrew to
his own office, while Brown, shrugging his shoulders, opened and closed
the door for himself.

Ames would have followed him, but Enoch said, "One moment, Ames!  What
assurance are you going to give me that you will keep your mouth shut
as to what you've heard this afternoon?"

"I give you my word," began Ames, eagerly.

Enoch raised his hand.  "Don't be silly, Ames.  Do you know that I can
make serious legal trouble for you for your part in libelling me and
the Department?"

"But Brown said his lawyers--"

"Brown's lawyers?  Do you think Brown's lawyers will fight for you now?"

"No, Mr. Secretary," muttered the reporter.

"Very well!  Keep your mouth shut and you'll have no trouble from this,
but let me trace one syllable to you and I shall have no bowels of
compassion.  One word more, Ames.  You are clever or Brown would not
have used you as he did.  Get a job on a clean paper.  There is no
finer profession in the world than that of being a good newspaper man.
Newspaper men wield a more potent influence in our American life than
any other single factor.  Use your talent nobly, not ignobly, Ames.
And above all things never tell a vile tale about any man's mother.
Don't do it, Ames!" and here Enoch's voice for the first time broke.

Ames, his hands trembling, picked up his hat.  His face had turned an
agonized red.  Biting his lips, he made his way blindly from the room.

"And now," said Enoch, "if you'll leave Mr. Fowler and me alone for a
few minutes, Abbott, I'll appreciate it."  As the door closed after
Charley he said, "Sit down, Fowler.  I'm sorry to have put you through
such an ordeal, but I knew no other way."

"I deserve it, I guess."  Fowler sat down wearily.  "I was an unlicked
whelp in my youth, Huntingdon, but though I got into rotten company, I
never did anything actually crooked."

"I believe you," Enoch nodded.  "Let the guiltless throw the first
stone.  We both have paid in our heart's blood, I guess, for all that
we wrought in boyhood."

"A thousand-fold," agreed Fowler.  "Huntingdon, let me try to express
my regret for--"

"Don't!" interrupted Enoch.  "If you are half as eager as I am to
forget it all you'll never mention it even to yourself.  But I do want
to talk candidly to you about our political aspirations.  Mr. Fowler, I
don't want to go to the White House!  I have a number of reasons that I
don't think would interest you particularly.  But I want to go back to
the Senate when I finish here.  Fowler, if you were not so jealous and
so personal in your ambitions I would be glad to see you get the party
nomination."

Fowler's fine, tired face expressed incredulity mingled with
bewilderment.

Enoch went on, "You and I are talking frankly as men rarely talk and as
we probably never shall again.  So perhaps you will forgive me if I
make some personal comments.  It seems to me that the only permanent
satisfaction a man gets out of public life is the feeling that he has
added in greater or less degree to the sum total of his country's
progress and stability.  I think your weakness is that you place
yourself first and your country second."

"No!" said Fowler, eagerly.  "You don't understand me, Huntingdon!  My
own aim in life is to make my service to my country compensate for the
selfishness and foolishness of my youth.  My methods may, as you say,
have been open to misinterpretation.  But God knows my impulses have
been disinterested.  And you must realize now, Huntingdon, that it has
been the business of certain people to see that you and I misunderstand
each other."

"That's true," said Enoch, thoughtfully.  "Well, I doubt if that is
possible again."

"It is absolutely impossible!" exclaimed Fowler.  "I am yours to
command!"

"No, you're not!" laughed Enoch.  "Brown is finished and you're your
own man.  I look for great things from you, Fowler.  I wanted to tell
you that and to tell you that in me you have no rival."

"No," Fowler spoke slowly, "no, because no one can win, no one deserves
to win the place in the hearts of America that you have.  Huntingdon,
your kindness and courtesy is the most exquisite punishment you could
visit upon me."

Enoch looked quickly from the Secretary of State to the opposite wall.
But he did not see the wall.  He saw a crude camp in the bottom of the
Canyon.  He heard the epic rush of waters and the sigh of eternal winds
and he saw again the picture of Harden fighting his way up the menacing
walls to rescue Forrester.  It seemed to Fowler that the silence had
lasted five minutes before Enoch turned to him with his flashing smile.

"We are friends, Fowler, are we not?"

The older man rose and held out his hand.  "Yes, Huntingdon, as long as
we live," and he slowly left the room.

Enoch sank back on his chair, wearily, and opening the top drawer of
his desk, took out the familiar envelope.  _The seal was still
unbroken_!  He placed it in a heavy document envelope, sealed this and
wrote a memorandum on it, and dropped it on the desk.  Then for a long
time he sat staring into the dusk.  At last, as if the full realization
of the loneliness of his life had swept over him he dropped his head on
his desk with a groan.

"O Diana!  Diana!"

He did not hear the door open softly.  Abbott with Ames just behind
him, stood on the threshold.  The two young men looked at each other,
abashed, and Abbott would have withdrawn, but Ames went doggedly into
the room.

"Mr. Secretary!" he said, hesitatingly.

Enoch sat erect.  Abbott flashed on the light.  "Mr. Ames insists on
seeing you again, Mr. Huntingdon," Charley spoke hesitatingly.

"Come in, Ames," said Enoch, coldly.  "Abbott, see that this envelope
is put in a safe place."

Abbott left them alone.  Ames advanced to the desk, where he stood, his
face eager.

"Mr. Secretary, you've been so decent.  You,--you--well, you're such a
man!  I--I want to tell you something but I don't know how you'll take
it.  The truth is, I believe that I could prove that Luigi's mistress
was not your mother!"

Enoch clutched his desk and his face turned to stone.  "Don't you think
you went far enough with that matter before?" he asked sternly.

Ames stumbled on, doggedly.  "This last trip out West I just thought
I'd go down to Brown's early stamping grounds and see what kind of a
reputation he had there.  I was getting a little fed up on him and I
thought it couldn't hurt me to have a little something on him against a
rainy day, as it were.  You see I never did know what this Curly Field
stuff was, but it didn't take me long to run that story down, even if
it was a generation old.  Of course, I don't know what Curly told you,
but certainly the official reports of the Field scandal never proved
anything on either Brown or Fowler."

Enoch moved impatiently.  But young Ames, standing rigidly before his
desk exclaimed, "Just a moment longer, please, Mr. Secretary!  Some of
these facts you know unless Field was so obsessed with the thought of
his brother's alleged wrongs that he did not mention them, but I'll
state them anyhow.  The mining and smelting property that caused the
whole row was originally owned by an old timer named Post who struck it
rich late in life, married and died soon after, leaving everything to
his son, a little chap named Arthur.  This is the child Field was
supposed to have robbed.  Little Arthur died a couple of years after
Field's suicide but by that time there was nothing left of the property
and no one paid any attention to the child's death.  But in reading old
Post's will, something piqued my curiosity.  In the event of Arthur's
death, the property was to go to old Post's baby nephew, Huntingdon
Post."

Enoch knit his brows quickly but he did not speak and Ames went on,
"Being, of course, in a suspicious state of mind, it struck me as an
unusual coincidence that this child should have died, too.  So I made
some inquiries.  It was difficult to trace the facts because there were
no relatives.  Old Post seemed to have been just a solitary prowler,
coming from nowhere, like so many of the old timers.  But finally, I
found an old fellow in the back country who had known old Post.  He
told me that little Hunt Post, as he called him, had been killed with
his father and mother in a railway accident.  I asked where they got
the child's name and he said the mother's name was Huntingdon.  He knew
her when she was a girl living alone with her father in the Kanab
country, north of the Grand Canyon.  He said her father died when she
was ten or eleven and a family named Smith sort of brought her up and
she was known as Mary Smith.  But when she married, she named the boy
after her father who was a raw boned, red headed man named Enoch
Huntingdon."

Enoch gave Ames a long steady look and the younger man relaxed a little.

"Now," Ames went on, "knowing Brown as I do, I wonder if little Hunt
Post, who, like his mother was red headed and blue eyed, was burned up
in a railroad accident.  Did Field speak of the child?"

Enoch pressed the desk button and Abbott came.  "Give me the Field
envelope, please, Abbott."

When the envelope was in his hands, Enoch tore the flap up and began to
read the close written pages.  When he had finished, he put the
manuscript back with steady hands.  "Most of the letter," he said
quietly, "is taken up by the recital of Brown's shady moral career in
Mexico.  At the end he speaks of a Mexican woman with red hair and
violet eyes who lived with Brown for some months.  She left to act as
nurse to little Hunt Post.  Some time after the railroad accident,
Curly was the unsuspected witness to a secret meeting between this
Anita and Brown.  The woman demanded money and Brown demanded proof
that little Hunt was dead.  The conference ended only when Anita
produced a box containing the child's body.  Curly did not know how
much Brown paid her or where she went."

Ames gave an ugly laugh.  "Hoist with his own petard!  Think of him
starting me after the Luigi scandal!"

"Tell Abbott what you've just told me," said Enoch.

He did not stir while Ames repeated the story.  Charley's eyes blazed.
When Ames finished, Charley started to speak but the young reporter
interrupted.

"Mr. Secretary, I want you to let me tie up the loose ends for you.
We've got to put the screws on Luigi and I'll take another trip West."

"Wait a bit!" exclaimed Charley.  "Mr. Secretary, I'm going to claim
that long deferred vacation.  Let me spend it with Ames clearing this
matter up for you."

Enoch drew a quick breath.  "When could you begin, you two?"

"Now!" the two young men said together.

Enoch smiled.  "Wait until to-morrow.  I've more important work
to-night, and I want to go over every detail with you before you start
out.  In the meantime, Abbott, guard this envelope as you would your
life."

"What won't we do to Brown!" exclaimed Charley.

"I've punished Brown," said Enoch.  "He'll never hurt me again.  As
soon as this thing is cleared, we'll forget him."

Again Ames laughed.  "Believe me, he's going to be good the rest of his
life.  Think of your reading that stuff about little Hunt, Mr.
Secretary, and never realizing its import!"

"God knows, I didn't want to read the story of another man's ignominy!"
said Enoch, earnestly, "and I never would have, had not--" he paused,
then said as if to himself, "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders
to perform!"

The two younger men stood in silence.  Then Enoch said, "Thank you,
Ames, I'll see you at nine o'clock to-morrow morning.  Abbott, get the
White House for me and then go home to dinner."

A few minutes later Enoch was speaking to the President.  "I have to
report victory, Mr. President, all along the line. . . .  Yes, sir,
it's a long story and I want to tell it to you to-morrow, not to-night.
Mr. President, I'm going to find Miss Allen and dine with her,
to-night, if I have to take her from a state function. . . .  Yes, you
may chuckle if you wish.  I thought you'd understand. . . .  Thank you!
Good night, Mr. President."

Enoch hung up the receiver and sat looking at the floor, his face as
white as marble.  For five minutes he did not stir, then he heaved a
great sigh and the tense muscles of his face relaxed.  He tossed back
the hair from his forehead, sprang to his feet and began to pace the
floor.  After a short time of this, he rang for Jonas.

"Jonas, do you know where Miss Diana is stopping?"

Jonas did not seem to hear the question.  He stood staring at Enoch
with eyes that seemed to start from their sockets.

"My Lordy, boss, what's happened?  You look like I never hoped to see
you look!"  Then he paused for he could not express what he saw in the
Secretary's shining eyes.

"Jonas, old man, I've had the greatest news of my life, but I can't
tell even you, first."

"Miss Diana!" ejaculated Jonas.  "Boss, she's at the Larson; one of
these boarding houses that calls themselves a name.  Didn't I tell you
Injun charms was strong?  Tell me!  Huh!"

"All right, Jonas!  I won't be home to dinner.  Better sit up for me
though, for I'll want to talk to you."

"Did I ever not sit up for you?" demanded Jonas as he gave Enoch his
coat.

Enoch paced the floor of the Larson while a slatternly maid went in
search of Diana.  When, a little pale and breathless, Diana appeared in
the doorway, Enoch did not stir for a moment from under the chandelier.
Nor did he speak.  Diana gazed at him as if she never had seen him
before.  His eyes were blazing.  His lips quivered.  He was very pale.

Suddenly, tossing his hat and cane to a chair, he crossed the room.  He
tried to smile.

"Diana, have you seen your friend, the psychologist yet?"

"No, Enoch, but I have an appointment with him for next week."

Enoch seized her hands and held them both against his heart.  "You need
never see him, Diana, I have been made whole.  I--" his voice broke
hoarsely--"I have something to tell you.  Diana, you are going to dine
with me."

"Yes, Enoch!"

"Diana!  Oh, how lovely you are!  Diana, it's a wonderful night, with a
full moon.  I want you to walk with me to the Eastern Club.  I have
something to tell you.  And while I'm telling you, no four walls must
hem us in."

Diana, her great eyes shining in response to Enoch's, turned without a
word and went back upstairs.  She returned at once, clad for the walk.
Enoch opened the street door and paused to look down into her face with
a trembling smile.  Then they descended the steps into the moonlight
together.





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