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Title: Girl Scouts in Arizona and New Mexico
Author: Roy, Lillian Elizabeth
Language: English
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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.

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                 GIRL SCOUTS IN ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO

------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration: Sandy rode with Julie.]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 GIRL SCOUTS IN ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO
                                    
                                   BY

                         LILLIAN ELIZABETH ROY

                               Author of
                       THE POLLY BREWSTER BOOKS,
                      THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS BOOKS

                              ILLUSTRATED

                            GROSSET & DUNLAP
                          PUBLISHERS—NEW YORK

                  Made in the United States of America

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Copyright, 1923, by
                         GEORGE SULLY & COMPANY

                        Printed in the U. S. A.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                CONTENTS

        I PLANS FOR THE SOUTHWEST TRIP
       II JULIE’S SECRET AMBITION
      III ON THE OLD SANTA FÉ TRAIL
       IV JULIE MAKES A CONQUEST
        V SANDY HAS HIS SAY
       VI WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PECOS FORESTS
      VII WHERE ARE THE BURROS?
     VIII GILLY TURNS FOREST RANGER
       IX TALLY AND THE RUSTLERS
        X ANCIENT RUINS AND MODERN ROMANCE
       XI PADRE MIGUEL’S STORY
      XII JULIE’S TÊTE-À-TÊTE
     XIII THE ENCHANTED MESA
      XIV AT ST. MICHAEL’S MISSION
       XV THE PAINTED DESERT
      XVI THE REGION OF THE PETRIFIED FORESTS
     XVII BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 GIRL SCOUTS IN ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO



                              CHAPTER ONE

                      PLANS FOR THE SOUTHWEST TRIP


“Verny, haven’t you heard from Gilly since he wrote us that he was
planning the trip to Arizona and New Mexico?” asked Juliet Lee, one of
the girl scouts of Dandelion Troop.

“Only the telegram from Mr. Gilroy, which came yesterday, telling us
that he had mailed a letter of particulars the day before. I did not
expect to receive it from Denver in twenty-four hours’ time, you know,”
was Mrs. Vernon’s smiling reply.

“No; but it ought to arrive to-night or to-morrow morning,” said Julie,
meditatively.

“I hope we start right off, Verny. It would be dreadful if we had to
lose a week of our summer’s vacation,” declared Elizabeth Lee, who was
always known as “Betty” by her family and friends.

“Well, at least, we have our things all ready to pack the moment we
find out when to start and where to meet Gilly,” remarked Joan Allison,
one of the group of scouts that had spent the preceding summer, with Mr.
Gilroy as their host, in the Rocky Mountains.

A mournful wail from Ruth Bentley, another girl in that group of
mountain scouts, prevented Mrs. Vernon from speaking. “I’d _so_ much
rather go with you all and have the wonderful times you will have this
summer, than have to accompany father and mother to Europe! If only Dad
could see that I might be educated better on this scout tour than in
Paris, he might change his mind. But he refuses to _see_!

Julie laughingly added: “Remember the biblical words, Ruth? ‘Eyes have
they and they see not.’”

“Well, that’s Dad!” exclaimed Ruth.

“I am so thankful that I am able to go with you this summer that I am
just keeping quiet and marking time. I feel as if I must wake up and
find it all a dream, should I express my joy as fervently as I want to,”
was Hester Wynant’s humorous declaration.

“We’re all glad with you, Hesty. While we were ‘doing the Rockies’ last
summer, we often said how nice it would be to have had you there,” added
Anne Bailey. “This year you might say as much of me.”

There were other girls in that scout meeting held at Mrs. Vernon’s home
this first day of the summer vacation of the Elmertown school; but
these girls, because they could not be with their chums on the
southwestern tour, seemed too disconsolate to make any remarks about the
proposed interesting trip.

It is taken for granted that the reader has heard of these girl scouts
who, each summer after the closing of school, endeavor to visit a famous
range of mountains, and thus became distinguished as the Mountain
Scouts.

The first summer of their scoutdom they camped upon a ridge of the Blue
Mountains in New Jersey. Here they acquired the knowledge, and tested
their ability, to join the National Organization of Girl Scouts; later
when they had two Patrols, according to rules, they were enrolled and
became known as the Girl Scouts of Dandelion Troop.

It was during their first camping season that they went to Blue Beard’s
cave, one of the local points of interest, and discovered a man who had
been injured by two escaped convicts, who, after robbing him, managed to
get away. The poor man was unconscious and would have died in that dark
and seldom-visited cave on the top of the mountain had it not been for
the timely assistance given him by the scouts and their Captain.

Back in the mountain camp Mr. Gilroy, the convalescing guest of
Dandelion Patrol, explained how he came to visit Blue Beard’s cave that
day. Thus the girls learned that he was a great admirer of scout work
and had been a patron of the Boys’ Scout Organization. The junior scouts
who had rescued him now decided to enlist his interests in the Girls’
Scout Organization, as well.

Mr. Gilroy continued his visit at the Dandelion Camp for a few days
after he felt completely restored to normal strength, and, during this
visit, became deeply interested in Mrs. Vernon’s plans and propositions
for her girls. Because of the first aid rendered him in his hour of
extremity, Mr. Gilroy insisted upon having the Scout Patrol visit his
Adirondack Estate the following summer. To this unexpected proposition
the girls gladly agreed, providing their parents and Mrs. Vernon would
consent and advance the necessary money to defray the costs of the trip.

Hence the second summer of the Dandelion Troop of Girl Scouts was spent
on the shores of First Lake, one of the Fulton Chain of lakes. There was
a boys’ camp a mile away, and Mr. Gilroy divided his time and interest
between the two camps. The girls won such favor, however, that their
host invited them to accompany him the following summer on a camping
trip through the Rocky Mountains.

Mrs. Vernon, who had founded Dandelion Troop, was the Captain of the
scouts; Juliet Lee was their Leader; and Joan Allison was the Corporal.
Since that first enrollment, when there were but four girls, namely:
Julie and Betty Lee; Joan Allison, and Ruth Bentley, there were now two
flourishing Patrols. In Patrol Number One were the first four girls, and
Hester Wynant, Amy Ward, Edith and Judith Blake and Anne Bailey. Patrol
Number Two was larger, but the members were younger. It was Patrol
Number One that had spent the second summer in the Adirondacks.

There were but five girls of Patrol Number One who went to the Rockies
for the third season. They were: Julie and Betty Lee, Joan Allison, Ruth
Bentley and Anne Bailey. Hester Wynant could not go because she had been
needed at home. Mrs. Blake had refused to hear of having her two girls
go and, perhaps, risk their being lost or killed in the wild and woolly
west. Amy Ward’s mother listened to Mrs. Blake; hence Amy Ward had
remained home.

Now, this fourth summer for mountaineering, the plan of visiting Arizona
and New Mexico appealed so strongly to every girl in Dandelion Troop
that mothers had heard nothing, morning, noon, and night, for weeks, but
glowing accounts of this trip. A very important factor brought to bear
in their arguments for this southwestern trip being that not one of
those girls who had gone to the Rockies had been lost or injured as Mrs.
Blake had foretold. Instead of disaster and troubles, the scouts had
returned to Elmertown looking the picture of health and happiness.

Mrs. Blake, however, held up both hands in horror when a trip to New
Mexico and Arizona was suggested; and, through her vehement objections,
she influenced her friend, Mrs. Ward, to keep Amy home this time as
aforetime. Thus, three bitterly rebellious girls sat with their
fellow-scouts that day in Mrs. Vernon’s home, and cried over the fate of
having such unreasoning mothers.

“Our list has dwindled to four girls; one less than we had on the Rocky
Mountain trip. Ruth has to accompany her parents to Europe, but I wish
she could have this rare treat, instead of Paris,” sighed Mrs. Vernon.
“As for Judith and Edith and Amy—well! I dare not say what is in my
heart, but I wish I was their mother, that’s all!”

“How we wish you were, Verny!” exclaimed all three girls.

“If my sister would postpone her wedding day till October, I, too, could
go with you,” remarked Anne Bailey. “But Eleanor says the last week of
July is the only time Henry can take a vacation; so the wedding has to
be then. I’d a heap rather be scouting out west with you girls than be a
bridesmaid at a wedding. If I ever become engaged to marry, I won’t be
so selfish as to insist upon keeping my younger sister home from a
glorious summer-tour for nothing more than a poky ceremony that takes
only five minutes! Just think of me losing all your fun this summer and
moping, instead, about a house that is turned topsy-turvy for a
prospective bride.”

“We will miss you awfully, Anne,” said Julie, teasingly, “because we
won’t know what to do with the left-overs from the camp meals.” Anne was
a healthy, hearty eater, and during the summer in the Rockies had made
the most of every opportunity to eat.

“Perhaps you will command your younger sister as Eleanor now commands
you, Anne, when you are Eleanor’s age and have a beau,” remarked Mrs.
Vernon, smilingly.

“Verny! I want you to wake me up sharply if you find me, at the age of
twenty, hypnotized with any young man that happens to cast an eye upon
my fair face,” laughed Anne. “A girl, now-days, ought to remain single
till she is twenty-five or -six. Then she knows her own mind, and won’t
hanker for a divorce the moment she learns she will have to cook and sew
for a man she thought was to be her permanent supply for candy, flowers,
and theater-parties.”

The scouts laughed merrily; Anne’s views were well known to them,
because she took every opportunity to speak her mind on the subject of
sweethearts. “Without any prospects other than love!” was her usual
conclusion.

“Well, scouts, as I was saying long before all these digressions, the
applicants for this trip are Julie and Betty Lee, Joan Allison, and
Hester Wynant. If you can bring about a change of heart in your parents
before we actually leave here, there will be no difficulty in tucking
you in at the last moment of the last day,” suggested Mrs. Vernon. “Even
should a mother relent later, you can wire us and come on to the nearest
railroad stop, where we can pick you up for the tag end of the tour.”

“Verny, that might answer in my case!” exclaimed Anne Bailey. “If
Eleanor is safely married, I can rush away the last of July and join you
for the month of August. I may not get the whole loaf, but a slice of
bread will be better than none, you know.”

“Besides, mother may relent when she sees the postal cards of all the
beautiful places you visit,” added Amy Ward, eagerly. “Once you are away
from the Grand Canyon that Mrs. Blake is forever harping about, my
parents may consent to let me go with Anne, in August.”

“That would be great, Amy!” exclaimed Joan, gladly.

“Well, then, girls, say we leave the matter open,” said Mrs. Vernon.
“Any scout who can secure the consent of her parents to allow her to
join us out west during this summer that we plan to spend there, will be
told exactly how to reach us. For this purpose I propose Joan, the
scribe, to keep those back home fully informed of our plans and proposed
stopping places each coming week. In this way you can keep tabs on our
movements, and can reach us by telegraph any time we might be in a town
where there is telegraph communication.” As the speaker concluded this
encouraging amendment to the stern parents’ verdict, the maid knocked at
the door of the large living-room.

“Come in, Mary,” called Mrs. Vernon, glancing at the half-opened door.

“Shure, ma’am, it’s onny the letter ye’es was a-lookin’ fer awl ov
yistiddy. Here it be’es.” So saying, Mary handed a thick letter to her
mistress.

“Oh, girls!” exclaimed the scout Captain, “it’s from Mr. Gilroy.”

Exclamations and sounds of delight came from every one present and,
immediately, Mrs. Vernon was surrounded by eager girls. No time was lost
in tearing open the envelope and in removing the typewritten
instructions.

As the Captain unfolded the paper, she said: “How nice it is to have had
this arrive while you were still present. Now we shall read the news
together.”

Realizing that every scout was impatient with eagerness to hear the
contents of the momentous letter, Mrs. Vernon began to read without
further delay.

    “My dear pals of the Rockies:

    I suppose you received my telegram which was sent to prepare
    you for the coming of this volume. Now that I have completed
    it, I am sending it to you without reading it again to see
    that every punctuation mark is in place, and that the i’s
    are dotted, or the t’s crossed, knowing, as I do, that my
    brilliant readers will not find fault with my style no
    matter what errors mark its literary value. After these few
    words of preface, dear readers, I must unburden my soul of
    the weight that is oppressing it.

    The weight, at present, consists of the etcetera of
    preparing a group of lively scouts for a desert life in New
    Mexico and Arizona. Such preparation includes, item: a stock
    of rain and dew that must last us throughout the season
    spent on the hot sands and in the sun-baked atmosphere of
    the Bad Land; also, item: tents inside which you will have
    to crawl to keep your eyes from star-blind; item: the
    Japanese parasols for day use, which must intervene between
    you and the dense shade thrown by the giant cactus plants
    which grow in jungled luxuriance on the southwestern
    deserts.

    Thus far, I have not been able to secure the special brand
    of ice which is guaranteed not to melt in July and August;
    but I have hopes of finding enough of this necessity near
    Gallinas Canyon to last us for our trip of desert touring.
    Now, Captain, and Leader, and Corporal, dears, please read
    the foregoing to the timid parents in Elmertown and assure
    them that such dangers as I have mentioned are positively
    the only ones to be found in the wilderness of this isolated
    corner of the universe. Perhaps my description may influence
    one or more of the mothers to make concessions to their
    daughters’ own wishes to come west and try out the desert.
    Then, verily, would the “desert blossom as a rose,” with a
    bouquet of lovely blossoms as I know Dandelions to be.

    But I must cease my floral flatteries and confine myself to
    the merely practical part of this letter. As a foreword to
    such material information, let me tell you, girls, that our
    old friend Tally has agreed to guide us throughout the
    entire trip; Omney signed up with an English party of
    tourists who are doing Colorado and Wyoming, hence he is now
    breaking his heart because he had not known of our summer
    plans in time to have shared Tally’s joys. I’m sorry for
    him, but glad to have Tally.

    You scouts know quite well what sort of outfit to carry on
    this tour of the southwest; because it will be the same as
    that which you brought last summer for the camping in the
    Rockies. There will be just as cold nights, and the peaks
    just as high as those we had last summer. Because we speak
    of a desert in Arizona, one must not think that it will be
    the broiling heat of the Sahara, though I _will_ say that
    our western deserts can produce a pretty good imitation of
    the Far East patented and copyrighted article. Therefore,
    and whereas, I will add, a change to summer apparel might be
    pleasant if you happen to stray to the middle of one of
    these sand-spots at noon-day. Use your judgment about
    mosquito-netting dresses, but use _my_ judgment about
    flannel underwear, woolen golf-stockings and pure wool
    knickers and shirt-waists.

    We shall not take a French laundress on this trip, neither
    will we establish a hair-dressing and manicuring parlor _de
    luxe_ at every halt, so leave your beauty implements at home
    and resign yourself to trust Nature for the genuine article
    this season.

    Now, having given you an itemized list of what you will
    _not_ need for this outing, I will proceed to give you
    directions of how to find me one week from Monday—the Monday
    I am mailing this letter, and not next Monday week, or two
    weeks before last Monday.

    I know a Proverb—I can hear you laugh, but I really do read
    the Bible—that says, “The better the day the better the
    deed,” so I want to start you off on your summer trip on the
    best day in the week—Sunday. If you take the train from
    Elmertown early Sunday morning you can get the Chicago
    Limited which leaves Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon. I
    figure you will save time and money by going to Philly
    instead of to Trenton, the latter being almost as far east
    from your town as the former is west, but west is your
    destination, hence—well, I need not explain to girl scouts.

    This Limited will stop at Philadelphia, if Julie will stand
    on the track and flag it energetically, after the manner she
    signaled from the bluff that time when she was wrecked in
    the rapids. I’m sure you will find seats on the ocean-side
    of the train to Chicago, if you use one of those sweet scout
    smiles at the gruff old conductor on the train. Tell him you
    are personal friends of mine if you want to get thrown off
    the rear platform of the train at the next water-tank. He
    knows me well, hence he has vowed to use the gilded rule on
    me and mine, and treat all my friends as he would treat me.

    If you can manage to stick to the Limited till she pulls
    into Chi., I’ll meet you at the station and get even with
    your conductor for bringing you safely to your destination.

    If you get those knobs of rock, which the Pullman Company
    designate as feather pillows, and learn that you cannot
    rest your tender heads upon them, use your suit-cases
    instead; you’ll find them much softer and more apt to give
    you pleasant dreams. I’ve used my metal box which I carry
    for mineral specie and I prefer it to those pillows.

    Now, my girls, having written you this valuable advice I
    feel as if I had earned my night’s sleep. There is one more
    item you may wish to know—every one asks this question,
    hence I expect you will: “by which route do we enter the
    enchanted land of the great southwest?” But I must tell you
    that I have not yet decided. The agent who keeps such
    decisions hidden in my subconscious mind expects to let me
    know in a day or two.

    A friend to whom I confided my trouble in selecting a good
    educational route for this trip told me to have you scouts
    swim to the Enchanted Cañon. He tells me the Colorado River
    is unusually wet this season, and will afford you a
    diversion you never yet experienced. I prefer to ride there
    on the Santa Fé railroad, though I believe the swim will be
    much cheaper.

    I am inclosing a short itinerary for the Captain to follow,
    and she will tell you when and where you are to launch this
    summer’s campaign. Now, if that is all you wish to know, I
    had best say good-by to you and to Denver for the present,
    and hie me to Chicago where I will await you on the platform
    of the station next Monday noon. I have a date with the
    oculist in the Loop at Chi. to fit me with goggles that give
    the wearer the faculty of seeing twenty times the focal
    power of one pair of human eyes, as I will need that many
    eyes if I have to keep them on you girls this summer.

    Consider yourselves paternally kissed upon the brows, my
    dear girls, because such kisses, via paper, are guaranteed
    to be strictly hygienic and sanitary. Hence, after this form
    of affection, I bid you adieu till we meet

                                     Gilly-of-the-Dandelioners.”

The scouts had laughed merrily at this letter, but once it was ended
they looked surprised.

“Didn’t he say a word about outfits and routes?” asked Julie, frowning.

“Maybe it is written down on this slip of paper,” said Mrs. Vernon,
opening the folded sheet and glancing over it “Yes, he has all the meat
of the question on this single sheet,” added she.

After reading it, the Captain said: “Oh, I am so glad!”

“What? What did he say?” chorused the scouts, eagerly.

“Why, he heard from your Unk Verny and he says that he expects to meet
us in Kansas City as we go through on the Santa Fé. But Gilly will meet
us in Chicago next Monday—to-day is Tuesday. Tally, our guide, will meet
us at La Junta. Isn’t that splendid?”

Those scouts who had known Tally, the Indian guide, expressed their
delight at the news, and then Mrs. Vernon went on to say: “The main
items on this list seems to be repeated every other line. Gilly wishes
to impress upon our minds that we must travel light. He also says that
he has shopped for all the accessories we might need for the summer, and
we are to bring the least possible change of clothing. If we need more
at any time it will be easy enough to buy.”

“Next Monday?” exclaimed Anne Bailey. “Then there isn’t a chance for us
stay-at-home scouts to convince our parents that they ought to let us go
with you.”

“And it isn’t going to give us much time to pack either,” added Julie,
dancing a fandango around the room.

“We must send the girls at home a postcard every day,” said Betty. “Then
they can use them to make their mothers relent.”

“As long as we are not expected to write. I’ll second that suggestion,”
added Joan.

“Well, scouts, I have a motion to put, also,” remarked Mrs. Vernon, “and
that is, suppose we adjourn this official meeting and convene at an
informal one in the dining-room?”

To this motion every one present cried “aye, aye!” for they knew from
past experiences that such informal meetings in the dining-room meant
but one thing: ice-cream and great slices of home-made layer-cake.
Um-m-m-m!



                              CHAPTER TWO

                        JULIE’S SECRET AMBITION


Pleadings and prayers availed naught for those girls who were yearning
to go southwest, yet dared not oppose parental judgment. Hence the
Captain and four scouts only took the early Sunday train to
Philadelphia, and there boarded the Limited to Chicago.

True to his word, Mr. Gilroy stood waiting at the terminal for the
Dandelion party. “‘Oh, say, can you see,’” he began to sing as a welcome
to the scouts when they ran down the station platform to greet their
friend.

After doing his best to answer the questions of five females who all
spoke at the same time, Mr. Gilroy held up both hands in despair. “I’ll
do anything you say, girls, but spare the remnant of my ear-drums.”

Thus Mrs. Vernon was given a chance to be heard. “Are we to remain in
Chicago for any length of time, Gilly, or do we take a train from here
to-day?”

“We leave here this evening at eight on the Santa Fé; I have the
railroad and Pullman tickets in my pocket. All you will have to do
between now and then is to amuse me,” replied Mr. Gilroy.

“How about taking you for a nice dry walk out on Lake Michigan, as you
suggested in your letter of instructions,” giggled Julie.

“Or better still, give you a deep-sea bath up in North Chicago in the
vicinity of Edgewater Beach,” added Joan.

“I’ve had both those constitutionals this morning, thank you,” returned
Mr. Gilroy instantly.

“Well, then,” declared Mrs. Vernon, “we ought to take you to luncheon
and see how much you can eat for the money we are willing to spend on
you.”

“Now! that’s more to my fancy,” retorted Mr. Gilroy. “I’ll never refuse
an invitation to eat. But, then, you know that, after having hiked the
Rockies in my company last summer.”

Mr. Gilroy, as he spoke, escorted the scouts to the taxi-stand. They
drove from the station and went along Michigan Boulevard to a well-known
caterer’s and there enjoyed the luncheon. Although Mr. Gilroy had been
the invited guest of the scouts he managed to turn the tables on them
when the check was delivered by the waitress. In spite of all protests,
he paid the bill and then laughed at the would-be hostesses.

After leaving the restaurant, Mr. Gilroy secured a large
seven-passenger car and took the scouts for a sight-seeing trip. They
passed the Museum and Public Library, and then drove up the Lake Shore
Drive to Lincoln Park. At the Edgewater Beach hotel they stopped for
afternoon tea.

“As this is the last chance you have for the summer to enjoy the social
cup, I advise you to make the most of it,” suggested Mr. Gilroy, as he
led his party out upon the vast balcony that extends over the Lake.

“How beautiful are the ever-changing colors of the water,” exclaimed
Mrs. Vernon, as she watched the great lake before her.

“It’s said to be one of the most remarkable bodies of water in America,
because of its kaleidoscope manner of merging one color to another in so
short a time. Look out there by the lighthouse, for instance: the water
over there looks quite green. Up to the north it is a deep blue, and
down in front of us it is a tawny yellow. Towards Jackson Park it is
brown—all at the same time,” remarked Mr. Gilroy.

“But you ought to see it in the winter, folks, when the northeasters
tear loose and lash it into a wild beast,” said Mrs. Vernon. “The year
Mr. Vernon and I were here we lived at the Grand Beach Hotel, where my
windows had a fine view of the water.”

The tea and tempting French pastry now appeared and Lake Michigan became
a dry issue to the girls.

Mr. Gilroy and his party boarded the train shortly before the time of
its departure, but they had not dined in the city, therefore they
sought the dining-car soon after the train pulled out of Chicago. Here
they sat and enjoyed the scenery until it was too dark to see anything
from the wide windows.

That night on the Pullman sleeping car Julie decided not to miss one bit
of that wonderful ride. She literally followed Mr. Gilroy’s suggestion
to use the suit-case for her head, but she placed the pillows of the
berth on top of the luggage to enable her to prop up her head and gaze
from the car window. The moon was almost full, and the silvery
translucence which bathed everything seen from the flying train soothed
and rested Julie’s nervous activities as she reposed and enjoyed the
night scenes.

The speed of the train created a breeze which cooled the hot June night;
and, there being little dust along the road bed, not to mention the fact
that the smoke from the engine was blown back on the other side of the
train, added greatly to the exhilarating delight of the trip.

Julie had a secret mission to perform during this summer’s outing, but
she had taken no one into her confidence, not even the Captain, nor her
twin-sister Betty. As she rested in a sitting position in the berth, she
smiled as she thought of how she had to maneuver since leaving Elmertown
on Sunday morning.

“But I did it and no one is the wiser,” murmured Julie to herself. “This
ought to be a fine opportunity to write my impressions of Chicago and
the railroad journey going west.”

Consequently the girl turned on the small electric light in the berth,
and got out a pad of paper and a fountain pen. In a few moments she was
scribbling away as if for dear life. She wrote and wrote exactly as
though the flowing of the ink from her fountain pen caused an automatic
flow of ideas from her brain down to and through her fingers which
guided the pen.

After an hour’s steady writing and the rewriting of certain portions of
the script, Julie sighed with relief.

“There! Another day’s work reeled off for the _Elmertown Record_. I
wonder what Daddy will say when he reads the story of our daily doings
in his own home paper?”

So that was Julie’s secret! One way she had of reaching the mothers of
those scouts who were left behind, to tell them of the wonderful
opportunities they had caused their daughters to miss; at the same time
Julie was earning money—real money—for these contributions to the local
newspaper.

Mr. Vernon was waiting for the train when it pulled into the station at
Kansas City. His welcome was vociferous from the girls, hearty from Mr.
Gilroy, and happy from his wife.

“Well, Gilly, did you fix up the stop-over privileges on your tickets?”
asked Mr. Vernon as they all stood on the platform of the station.

“Yes, I arranged it so that we have all day in Kansas City and leave on
the 10.20 to-night for the west. Did you wire Tally the change of time
when we would arrive at La Junta?”

“Yes, and he wired back that he’d be there on time.”

All that day was spent in seeing the city, and at night the scouts took
the train and, after traveling all night and the following morning,
arrived in La Junta at one o’clock.

There would be no time to lose at the station, hence both Mr. Gilroy and
Mr. Vernon got off to seek Tally and his outfits. In a few moments they
caught sight of the Indian and helped him to board the train. The two
men assisted Tally in carrying the huge packs to the Pullman, and there
the girls eagerly welcomed him.

“Oh, Tally, how do you do?” cried the scouts who had been with the
Indian the previous summer.

“Me pooly well,” grinned Tally, pulling off his cap and bobbing his head
many times.

Mrs. Vernon, approaching, extended her hand and spoke cordially to the
guide, who was devoted to her. With Tally’s advent came also the bulky
bundles, but by that usual persuasive power which operates with public
servants Mr. Gilroy induced the Pullman porter to stow away the outfit
during the remainder of the trip.

The tents, cook-stove, utensils and harness were to be purchased in
Trinidad, the junction where Mr. Gilroy planned to leave the train and
take to the trail.

Soon after they started southward for the Enchanted Lands Mr. Gilroy
began to catechize.

“I see you obeyed my orders to travel light, but I want to know just
what you brought. I may have to supplement the baggage at Trinidad.”

Mrs. Vernon enumerated: “We each have a khaki suit; a pure wool suit;
waterproof coats; cowboy’s slickers; several pairs of wool golf
stockings; three changes of wool underwear—one light weight, two pairs
heavy weight; one pair knee-length rubber boots; one pair scout hiking
shoes, and one pair riding boots. Then we have a few minor items such as
toothbrushes, combs, etcetera.”

As the Captain read from a paper, Mr. Gilroy checked up the items on a
memorandum he had taken from his pocket.

“I see where you’ll need more shoes, Captain. Once we start on the trail
it will be difficult to get the kind I want the scouts to have this
summer. We will try and buy them in Trinidad. Otherwise I shall have to
telephone to Denver and have a sport-shop send them to Santa Fé, where
we can get them from the express-office.”

“What special kind do you want, Gilly?” asked Mr. Vernon, who had been
listening to the conversation.

“Tally says elk-skin boots never shrink when wet, nor do they harden as
they dry. They have broad extension soles which keep the stirrups from
rubbing against the sides of the foot. These soles, made partly of cork,
give a spring and lightness to the hiker, and are thick enough to
protect the soles of the feet from being bruised from the sharp
projections of the rocks. We figure that a pair of these high boots will
last throughout the trip if ordinary care is given them.

“Tally ought to be a competent judge of elk-skin,” returned Mr. Vernon.
“If you tried to get them in New York, the chances are you’d get a
clever imitation which would soak up into a pulp the first time the
girls waded through a stream.”

“That’s why I said nothing about these boots in my letter to the scouts.
I wanted to buy them out here where I knew we should find the genuine
article,” explained Mr. Gilroy.

During this conversation the scouts had been entertaining Tally with the
story of all they had accomplished in their scout work since last he saw
them.

Then Tally began a recital of his thrilling experiences through the
hunting season in the mountains, while pursuing his usual occupation of
trapping and hunting. He had narrated but the first part of these
adventures when Mr. Gilroy called to him.

“Say, Tally! what about the horses and packburros? Will your dealer in
Denver have them waiting for us at Trinidad, as I ordered?”

“No, Boss; he say me hav’ card to fren’ in Santa Fé who have fine hoss,”
replied Tally, showing Mr. Gilroy the note of introduction.

“Great Scott! We want the mounts when we arrive in Trinidad! I have
planned to ride from there over the Raton Mountain, then follow along
the Cimarron River, through the Cimarron Canyon as far as Springer. At
Springer we can take the train to Las Vegas. From there I plan to ride
to the Pecos. So, you see, we’ve got to have horses at Trinidad, Tally.”

“Leaf him to me. Some way we get him fur you all,” promised Tally
confidently. And so it was left.

Nothing of importance occurred during the trainride to Trinidad, though
the wonderful scenery of Colorado caused constant “oh’s” and “ah’s,” or
calls of “look at that” and “come here and see this” from the scouts.

Arriving at Trinidad with his party, Mr. Gilroy despatched Tally at once
to hunt up suitable mounts and burros for the trail he had outlined.
While the guide went upon this quest, the touring party sought for the
desired elk-skin boots.

“Looks as if you’d have to wire to Denver for them,” suggested Mr.
Vernon, as one shop after another was canvassed without success for the
desired boots.

This shopping excursion was very interesting to the scouts; they would
stop to admire or inspect the displays in the stores, or watch with
curiosity any unusual sight on the streets. As all these diversions took
time, it was several hours before Mr. Gilroy turned back to The
Cardenas, the hotel where they had registered.

“As soon as we get there, I’ll have to get in a call on the long
distance ’phone and order those boots from Denver,” Mr. Gilroy was
saying to the girls, when Tally ran up to them.

“Say, Boss; me hope you no got shoes, eh?” exclaimed he, anxiously.

“No such luck, Tally. Why ask?” responded Mr. Gilroy.

“Me fin’ sure Indian what mak’ him fine! One Indian keep hoss-farm down
Raton Mountain way, an’ he take me to house where fam’ly all mek’ fine
shoe. Plenty elk-skin you fin’ dere. So me run back, mebbe you no buy in
store, eh?”

“That’s good news, Tally. Lead on, and we’ll follow gladly,” declared
Mr. Gilroy, with a relieved sigh.

“What about the horses, Tally,” said Mr. Vernon, as they started down
the side street.

“Indian promees he fetch righda-way to Trin’dad. He hully off ’fore me
all tru spick wid heem. Mebbe he not hear me want _tree_ pack burros.”

“Well, let’s hope he can provide us with enough to give us each one
horse,” added Joan.

“Otherwise we might have to leave Gilly and the Vernons behind,” laughed
Julie.

“He say he got plenty fine mule. You no want hoss in Mex’co mountains.
Onny sure-foot mule an’ burro,” explained Tally.

“Tally, when does this ‘righda-way’ mean,” asked Mrs. Vernon, smiling at
the guide.

“Oh, he hully back to fahm what sit down Gray Mine road; ’en he tie rope
along mule an’ hep ’em to Trin’dad,” explained Tally, earnestly.

“When—to-night, or to-morrow, Tally?” repeated Mr. Vernon.

“Mebbe, t’nighd; mebbe, t’mollow,” was Tally’s reply.

At one extreme end of the town the scouts found several Indian families
living in small adobe houses. Each family had a patch of ground highly
cultivated, and each made a living by basket-weaving, bead-embroidery,
and moccasins. One family, the one Tally had found, made elk-skin boots.
These were all sewed by hand and were the softest, most comfortable
things possible to imagine. The sizes were not as true as they might
have been had the pattern been cut in a shoe-factory, but they made up
in style and ease that which they lacked in accurate measurement.

“Ah! I only hope the fellow has enough to fit each one of us with a pair
of these,” whispered Mr. Gilroy in the Captain’s ear.

“I believe I’d buy two pair for myself, if there are any to spare,” said
Mr. Vernon, after examining the quality.

“He mek moocha boot for shop in Santa Fé, an’ way back Denver,” was
Tally’s interpretation of the old Indian’s speech.

“Ask him how many he’s got on hand, Tally,” said Mr. Gilroy.

Tally turned to the little family group that stood at one side of the
low-ceiled room listening to and watching the Eastern people. When Tally
asked them Mr. Gilroy’s question, the old man shoved one of the young
squaws out of the room, at the same time jabbering some lingo to her. In
a few minutes she returned dragging a heavy packing-case at her heels.
In this box were more than a dozen pairs of boots of different sizes.

“Where shall we sit to try them on?” asked Mrs. Vernon, seeing there
were no chairs in the hut.

“On the floor, where the host sits to work or entertain,” laughed Julie.

Meantime Tally had been busy with the foot-wear, and now handed out
pairs of the boots that he thought would fit the various members in his
party. Thus, in half an hour’s time, each one was provided with a pair
of the boots. The men each took two pair, and then insisted that Tally
select a pair for himself. He protested.

“But our guide is more important than our outfits. Keeping you
comfortably shod is an asset for the season,” declared Mrs. Vernon.

Then the girls began to argue with him, till finally, holding aloft both
hands in mimic surrender, Tally accepted the gift.

“Now, how much do we owe your new acquaintance, Tally?” asked Mr.
Vernon, taking a roll of bills from his pocket.

Tally asked the Indian, but that salesman shook his head and replied in
native speech.

“He say he not know onny whad he get f’om agent. Mebbe you not lak pay
so mooch,” explained Tally.

“How much is that a pair?” asked Mr. Gilroy.

Tally interpreted again and told his employer the price.

“Great Scott!” exclaimed Mr. Gilroy, in astonishment. “Tell him to trot
out another case of these same boots, Tally. The scouts will each take
two pair at that price, and we men will take three each.”

But Mr. Gilroy’s greed to buy out the stock at bargain prices was
foiled. There were enough small sizes to supply the scouts each with two
pairs, but no extra ones for the men.

Mr. Vernon gave the man an extra ten dollar bill for his honesty in the
deal, and the old squaw immediately suggested something to Tally.

“She say you want plenty moccasins!”

“We haven’t any!” declared the Captain and the scouts in one breath.

“You’ll need them, on cold nights,” said Mr. Gilroy.

“Yes, I know; but we were going to buy them in Denver,” explained Mrs.
Vernon.

“Gude bis’niz you diden’,” chuckled Tally. “Now you buy fine moccasin
fer same ten dollah money.”

The squaw ran away and in a short time returned with her skirt filled
with exquisitely beaded pairs in all sizes.

“Too beautiful to wear in the wilderness,” sighed Julie, as she handled
a pair with the toes a solid mass of bead-work.

When the “Whites” left that tiny home they left great wealth behind, for
they had each added two pairs of moccasins, thick-skinned and simply
made, to their outfits, and had purchased the elaborate ones to send
home to those scouts who had not come west.



                             CHAPTER THREE

                       ON THE OLD SANTA FÉ TRAIL


True to instinct, the Indian horse-trader came into Trinidad early the
next morning, driving, coaxing, and kicking a string of sleek Mexican
ponies. Then he sent word to the scout-party at the hotel that he was
ready to bargain with the gentlemen.

“Tally, you’ve got to stand by us in this lottery, because we want to
carry off the Grand Prize, you know,” laughed Mr. Vernon, when he heard
the verbal message.

“He no get dead beat f’om my Boss—not if Tally know he’em,” vowed the
guide, fervently. Mr. Vernon and Mr. Gilroy laughed heartily at the
Indian’s ambiguous remark, and Tally, not sure of that word “lottery,”
or “Grand Prize,” laughed, too.

But the trader was not as tricky as his profession painted him. In fact,
Tally managed to secure most excellent terms for his Boss. Mr. Gilroy
contracted with the man for the nine ponies and three burros while in
New Mexico or Arizona at the rate of $20-$30 each per month. This was
more than the rental of the burros was worth, but the owner agreed to
pay freight all the way from Gallup, which is in the western part of New
Mexico, or from Flagstaff or Williams in Arizona, to reclaim his
property. Should Mr. Gilroy decide to rent the animals for a fraction of
a month thereafter he would only pay for the actual time he had the
beasts in use.

“Well!” declared Mr. Vernon, when everything had been satisfactorily
settled, and they were free to start from Trinidad whenever they
pleased, “that is the first honest horse-dealer I ever met, or heard
of.”

“He’em N’ Mex’co injun, da’s why,” said Tally.

“How about those of Arizona?” laughed Mr. Gilroy.

“Oh, he’em alla good. Navajo, Zuñi, Hopi—alle heer mos’ good,” explained
Tally, conscientiously.

Mr. Vernon remembered an important item as the three men returned to the
hotel where the scouts were eagerly waiting to hear the result of the
horse-deal.

“The harness and saddle-bags for those mules and burros would have cost
us more than we’re going to pay in rent,” said he to Mr. Gilroy.

“That’s what I figured when he named his price. We won’t need mounts nor
harness once we are through the outing. Last summer we had to sell the
horses and fittings for a song, when we got back to Estes Park. This
business arrangement is better all-round for us, and relieves us of any
concern when we are through with the animals.

“How about accidents to one of them?” asked Mr. Vernon.

“The trader knows little about insuring his ponies, but I shall do that
before we leave Trinidad.”

Hence Mr. Gilroy sought out an insurance agent, and had him insure not
only the ponies and the burros for three months against injury and
death, but the harness, as well, was insured against loss and damage.
These papers were sent to the Indian to keep in case he had to claim
damages during the period of insurance.

That evening Tally reported that he and his stores were ready for an
early morning start. The scouts had secured the various items they
needed for the outing, and the two men said they were ready at any time.
The night-clerk in the hotel was told to call the tourists at four the
next morning, as they were eager to get away.

Tally had purchased the tents and camp equipment in Trinidad, and had
the ponies saddled and waiting just outside the town proper; the three
little burros, well-laden, looked more like ants carrying elephants than
anything able to crawl up peaks and down perpendicular ravines. As
before, when visiting the Rockies, the girls felt sorry for the little
pack animals that appeared too slender and weak to stand any strain or
fatigue. And, as before, Tally laughed at their misplaced sympathies.

Having had a hearty breakfast with which to start the day, the scouts
were eager for the adventures before them. The horses had the regulation
western saddles and the girls, wearing sensible clothing for
riding—loose flannel shirts, knickerbockers, and high boots—rode
cross-saddle.

Tally led off along the road that followed the railroad to Raton
Mountain; Julie and Joan riding at each side of him while plying him
with questions.

“Tally, do you know the names of our ponies and the burros?” asked
Julie.

“Um-m-m, sure, Mees Jule,” was the guide’s reply, after a short
hesitation.

“Tally! what does that ‘um-m-m’ mean?” demanded Julie, suspiciously.

“Oh, heem! dat mean me try rememmer alla dem names. Nine, ten, ’lefen,
twelf names alla hard,” returned the Indian, innocent of face, but ready
to burst out laughing.

“Tell me the name of mine, and of the three burros, and I won’t bother
you about the others,” said Julie.

“Lem’me see!” began Tally, meditatively. Then he said:

“Oh, yess! me rememmer now. Dat pony you ride have white spot on face,
so my fren’ name him White Star. Dat firs’ burro what carry tents, he
call Slow Poke. Anudder what have cook-stove an’ deeshes he call Spark.
Dat las’ burro is call Nuttin—short fer Good-fer-nuttin’, you see?”

Joan, watching Tally’s expression, tittered aloud now, and the guide
turned to see if she suspected him of guile. She glanced away quickly
and looked around over her shoulder at the cavalcade behind. When she
could control her voice she spoke.

“And what do you call my pony, and your own, Tally?”

“You’se, Miss Jo, iss call Sweetie; an’ my mule iss name Stick. He’em
ack lak’a block of wood, see?” explained Tally, endeavoring to assure
Joan of the truth of his statements.

Both the girls laughed merrily.

“Then Jo’s pony must taste like sugar,” declared Julie, “though,
goodness knows, I’ve heard that mule-steak is awful!”

“Um-m-m! So dey say,” agreed Tally.

At this moment Mr. Gilroy urged his pony forward to join the guide. Mr.
Vernon had told him something he had heard from a man in Kansas City.

“Tally, do you know whether we can get a good view from the peak of
Raton Mountain? Some one told Mr. Vernon it wasn’t worth the climb. I
believed the Old Santa Fé Trail had been converted to a sky-line drive
that runs along the crest of Raton Range for twenty-six miles.”

“Some on he’em man not know better. Mebbe he’em eyes not gude, eh?”
chuckled Tally. “Fines’ view in west we get f’om Raton Crest.”

“If you say it’s worth while we’ll go on, because we’ve got all summer
before us,” returned Mr. Gilroy.

They followed the Old Santa Fé Trail for hours, then, being hungry, they
chose the camp-site for this their first meal out in the open that
season. Julie stood and gazed at the imposing peaks before her.

“Well, Gilly, I really wouldn’t have known we were out of Colorado, or
away from the peaks north of Estes Park. ‘They all look alike to me.’”
Julie sang the last words to the rag-time song.

“You won’t say that when you go farther south in New Mexico or Arizona,”
said Mr. Gilroy.

“It can’t be said that we are over the border of the state-line yet,”
added Mr. Vernon. “I may be in New Mexico and you in Colorado. Perhaps
that is why you can’t see the difference in the scenery.” Shortly after
the amateur mountaineers had prepared to cook the dinner they saw, to
their surprise, a Forest Ranger coming over the trail in the direction
of their camp.

“Good-day, friends,” was the pleasant greeting from the tall young man
in government uniform.

“Good-morning, sir,” responded Mr. Gilroy, acting as speaker for the
group. “I trust we are not breaking the law by camping here?”

“Oh, no! I am on my way up the old trail, but I saw you selecting a
site, and I thought I’d be neighborly and tell you where to hook a few
good fish for dinner.”

“Now that’s mighty good of you! And in return for your favor maybe
you’ll stop and sup with us,” was Mr. Gilroy’s hearty response.

“I’d like to right well, but I am taking a vacation which is granted me
for the purpose of attending to an important investigation for the
Government. It is no secret, therefore I have no hesitation in telling
you that it concerns the future of our Pueblo Indians. I am to meet a
man at Springer who wishes me to give him valuable information which I
am fortunate to have from personal acquaintance with the different
pueblos in New Mexico,” explained the young man frankly.

“How very interesting it would be to have your company with us on this
ride to Springer, for that is the very place we plan to make before
taking the train again,” said Mr. Vernon.

“Have you any idea of the distance, and the riding this trail will mean
for the young ladies?” asked the Ranger in amazement.

“We became acquainted with such trails last summer in the Rockies,”
replied Mr. Gilroy. Then he told the young man of all the trails the
girl scouts had followed in his company and with Tally to guide them. He
spoke of the grizzly which was shot, of the little bear cubs sent to the
zoo in the east, of the canoe trips, and the other wonderful
experiences they had shared in common, and when he had ended his story
the Ranger smiled.

“I reckon you are immune from back-sliding when a night is dark, or when
the sun blazes down on the trail,” said he.

“You have not yet said whether you will join our party,” said Mr.
Vernon, who had taken a sudden fancy to the young fellow.

“You ought to know who I am first. I’m Tom Sanderson, a graduate in the
class of engineering at the University of Albuquerque; I accepted the
post of Forest Ranger for the summer, but I hope to start my real job in
the Fall.”

“Where are you located on forest duty?” asked Mr. Gilroy.

“I have been on the Cimarron Range for a time, now I am to attend to
this Pueblo business, and then go up to Panchuelo and supervise the
Rangers there who will have to construct a few bridges,” explained the
Ranger.

“That’s where we’re bound for. We shall follow this trail over the
mountain and go down through the Cimarron Valley as far as Springer,
then we had expected to take the train to Las Vegas, and from there go
up the Pecos Valley to the mountains,” said Mr. Gilroy.

“As long as we are going the same way it would be pleasant to have you
join us,” said Mr. Vernon.

The young Ranger glanced curiously at Mrs. Vernon and the four
good-looking girls with her, so Mr. Gilroy introduced himself and his
friends in a general way.

“Well, I don’t suppose any one will take me to account for my time if I
should decide to linger along the way with you,” remarked the Ranger. As
he spoke he led his horse over to the group of horses which had been
tethered under the trees. When he came back to the impromptu camp, he
said: “If you’re ready, Mr. Gilroy, I’ll show where the trout are as
thick as flies on molasses.”

“Just a moment, Ranger, till I get my rods and flies,” said Mr. Gilroy,
running to get the tackle.

Mr. Vernon accompanied the two, and soon the three were out of sight in
the forest.

“How do you like the portable cook-stove, Tally?” asked Mrs. Vernon,
walking over to the guide, who was cooking.

“Personally, Verny, I think it will prove a great accelerator of
mealtime,” said Julie laughingly; “but Tally vows he has no use for
new-fangled ways of roughing it.”

Joan added: “Tally’s like the man who swore he’d never pay the bills for
having modern plumbing installed in his home, after his wife had ordered
it; yet he monopolized the bath-tub every morning to the inconvenience
of his family; and he had his meals served on a tray as he sat right
over the register of hot air in the dining-room; the others ate at the
table and shivered.”

“Looks as if he had been swearing at the cost,” chuckled Hester.

“But that isn’t Tally’s case,” retorted Mrs. Vernon. “The burro pays the
price of having a stove in camp; all we do is to unload it and give it
plenty of wood to burn.”

Presently the three men returned with a splendid catch of trout which
they brought over to the Indian to prepare for the lunch. Mr. Gilroy and
Mr. Vernon seemed to have become well acquainted with the Ranger during
their little fishing excursion; and during the luncheon the girl scouts
also came under the spell woven by this interesting young man’s
personality.

There were many a merry laugh and jest during the time the dishes were
being washed and all signs of the midday meal removed; then the Ranger
and Tally destroyed every vestige of the camp fire, before the entire
party climbed into their saddles and rode away from the camping spot.

“How glorious is life up here,” exclaimed Mrs. Vernon, inhaling a deep
breath.

“I should say so!” agreed Mr. Vernon, fervently.

“No wonder you Forest Rangers are such fine chaps. Who could be sickly
or small when living on heights so near to God,” declared Mr. Gilroy,
and Sanderson flushed at such praise.

As they began to climb to the crest of Raton, the birds were flashing
back and forth overhead, industriously seeking dinner for their young.
The fragrant verdure, the slanting sunbeams as they seemed to search
through the crannies of cliffs and chasms, the sudden flash of a wild
thing scuttling away from the trail, all served to exhilarate the
riders.

“This is a mighty good trail,” remarked Mr. Vernon.

“This is the best and greatest trail known,” remarked the Ranger. “Wait
till we gain the crest— I’ll say no more.”

“Mr. Sanderson, we heard last summer that a trail once made by human
feet will forever keep its peculiarity so that it never becomes
completely overgrown again. On the other hand, it is said that the
trails worn by forest creatures will, after being abandoned, become
obliterated by growth of young trees and brush,” said Julie.

“That’s what people say, but I can hardly believe it,” returned
Sanderson. “If you were a Forest Ranger and had to build the roads we
do, you would forget all about these other kind of trails. We Rangers
have to clear away all obstructions in making a trail, and build the
road in such a way that it will be permanent. Then we have to see that
these trails are kept clear of rubbish and undergrowth.”

They came to a belt of forest where the light seemed to take on a
greenish tinge from the thick, interlaced branches overhead. After
riding through this for a time, the sound of rushing, falling waters
could be heard.

“Let’s find it!” exclaimed Julie, eagerly.

“It must be a high fall to make such a noise,” added Betty.

“Tally, you scout for the torrent and, should it be accessible, we will
follow and get a snapshot of it,” advised Mrs. Vernon. Then Sanderson
spoke.

“You’ll find the falls over there, a short half-mile from here; but
you’d better leave the burros out here; the undergrowth is too much for
them. Tally can tether them back there in the bushes. While you go to
the falls, I’ll do a little hunting in these woods for supper.”

“All right, Ranger, that’s a good plan; we’ll all meet you here in
half-hour, eh?” agreed Mr. Gilroy, nodding at the Indian to do as
Sanderson had advised.

With a friendly assent the Ranger rode away, and the others in the party
watched his graceful form disappear behind the trees; then they turned
to ride to the falls. Suddenly Julie turned to Hester and said: “Say!
what did we do with the camera?”

“Captain remembered it, but you didn’t,” laughed she, nodding her head
accusingly at the scout leader.

“My! I felt my heart sink in my shoes then,” sighed Julie, with a
melodramatic roll of her eyes.

“You’re lucky to have such soft elk-skin foot-gear to catch your heart
when it falls,” remarked Mrs. Vernon, teasingly.

The sound of the mountain stream which had called the girls to seek the
falls mellowed to a distinct splashing as they drew nearer the ledge
where the Guide had preceded them. When they reached the place where
Tally stood, his horse’s bridle over one arm, the tourists gazed with
astonishment at the scene of wild beauty.

The water, a small insignificant bit of water had it been running on the
plains, was transformed into a veritable fairy’s veil of white spray,
because of the height from which it fell. The group stood upon a crag
which projected over a ravine and gazed up at the misty cascade which
began its descent about fifty feet higher than the ledge where they
were. It fell sheer down to a rocky basin twenty feet below the ledge,
and thence it fell again to another depth of about fifty feet before it
resumed its rushing career on down to the base of the mountain.

“Hesty, focus the kodak carefully in order to get the entire falls in
the picture,” advised Julie.

“Now, Jo, how is that possible?” exclaimed Hester. “The lens would have
to be automatic and stretch way up, then down, to cover that two hundred
foot fall.”

“I never heard of such an adjustment to a camera, Hessie. Where do they
have them on sale?” remarked Mr. Gilroy.

Hester laughed. “I don’t know, Gilly, because no one ever patented that
idea, that I know of. I was merely telling Julie that the stunt of
stretching the lens was impossible.”

“You ought to know what I meant, Hester,” added Julie. “I meant for you
to get the scenery _across_ the ravine, to bring out the effect of the
falling water against that green background.”

While every one had a different suggestion to make to Hester, how she
ought to take the picture, the scout turned a deaf ear, but kept her
eyes on the work in hand. Hence the snapshot proved to be all right.
After taking a few more pictures, the scouts were about to return to the
trail where the burros had been left, when Julie begged: “Oh, wait! Let
Hester take one more snap, Verny.”

The others stopped and turned, and Julie caught hold of Hester’s arm.
“Come over here, Hessie, and wait till I say ‘ready!’ I’m going to be in
this picture, all right, because I want to develop it and mail it home.”

As she was speaking Julie led Hester to a spot and showed her just what
she was to do after she, Julie, was posed and ready.

“That beautiful hanging tree all draped with creepers, see it—right on
the verge of the cliff? I’ll lean against it gracefully, as if I was
leaning over to look down into the chasm, and then you push the button.
You’ll get the falls as a background, and everything.”

Hester understood perfectly, so Julie rushed over to the crooked,
leaning pine, half-dead, but draped as the scout had said, with long
swinging tendrils of vines.

“Isn’t this going to be a thriller of a picture, Verny?” called Julie,
waving a hand at the wide canyon and the shimmering falls.

“For goodness’ sake, Julie! don’t go so close to the edge,” warned Joan.
But she was too late.

In turning to address the Captain, Julie had inadvertently stepped back
one pace too far. With the wave of her hand at the ravine she lost her
balance. In a panic she flung out both hands to clutch at the nearest
hold. They grasped the swaying vines which immediately tore away from
their frail hold, and in a second’s time Julie was gone.

Every one stood momentarily transfixed with horror. The next second,
however, the girls were screaming, Betty was wringing her hands, and the
Captain flung herself at her husband, beseeching him to save Julie!

Hester still held the camera exactly as she had while waiting for the
signal to snap the picture. She seemed utterly bereft of her senses,
because she was turning the key that rolls the film, and she kept on
turning it in her brain-shock until the entire roll of twelve exposures
was used up. Tally was the only one who seemed to have any presence of
mind.

“Boss, run get rope from packs! Me climb down canyon an’ help Mees
Jule.”

“Tally, I must go with you to help,” called Mr. Gilroy, in opposition to
the guide’s command; “let Mr. Vernon get the rope!”

The two men ran to the edge of the cliff where the crooked tree still
leaned far out over the chasm, but Tally sought and found a place where
he could get a clear unobstructed view of the side of the canyon
directly under the jutting tree. And there he saw a sight that caused
him to scream hysterically, “Julesafed! Julesafed!”

This announcement acted like an electric current on the others. With one
impulse the scouts made a dash for the place where Tally stood, but Mr.
Gilroy barred the way.

“Not much! You-all get back and leave us men do this,” shouted he,
sternly.

Obedient as children caught in mischief, they all fell back without a
thought of doing otherwise. Their minds were intent on every least thing
in this emergency, but the suspense was racking to the nerves.

“Get rope, Mees’s Vern’, tie ’roun’ beeg tree. I go down furder an’ get
Mees Jule. She on ledge right unner dat tree. She not move, so she mus’
faint,” explained Tally, as he rushed past Mr. Gilroy and ran downward
from the place where the others remained.

The moment Tally had vanished in the heavy undergrowth and trees, Mr.
Gilroy leaped over to the point where the guide had had his view. Then
he called and explained to the anxious group of scouts.

“There’s a projecting ledge under the edge of the top of the cliff, but
it is not visible from where we were standing. It is only a few feet
beneath the top, and Julie _can’t_ be hurt by the fall. She has fainted
through fright, I’m sure.”

His words brought back the color to blanched faces, and hope to stricken
hearts. Now he called to them again.

“There goes Tally! He has found a way of reaching the ledge, so it can’t
be a hazard to bring her up. I’ll go the way he went and help.” As he
spoke he started for the slope down which the Indian had disappeared,
but Mrs. Vernon ran over to him with a small vial in her hand.

“Here, Gilly—ammonia! I had it in the small knapsack on my belt,” cried
she, breathlessly, dragging at him.

He took it and hurried away. In a very short time Mr. Vernon returned to
his friends with a blank look upon his face, but the dire news he had
intended to impart to them was driven dean from his mind when he heard
of the possible recovery of Julie.

“Oh, Uncle Verny, Julie’s all right _now_!” Joan assured him.

“Yes, yes, Verny! Gilly says she only fainted. He’s gone to help Tally
carry her back here,” explained Hester, eagerly. Betty was still weeping
nervously.

At such information Mr. Vernon could not control himself, but he ran
over to the outlook point whence the Indian had spied the fallen scout
upon the ledge. He saw the Guide about to pick up the unconscious girl.
In another moment Tally had her upon his back as a trained first aid
would; then, carefully, he picked his way along the narrow shelf of
mossy rock till he reached the place where it ran into the slope. Here
Mr. Gilroy was waiting with the aromatic ammonia. The next thing Mr.
Vernon saw was Julie kicking violently and struggling with the strong
pungent fumes of the ammonia.

“She’s all right! Julie’s come to again!” shouted Mr. Vernon to the
anxious group waiting to hear from him. “Get some water, some one, and
have a glass of water ready to dash in her face, in case she feels faint
again!” But he remained where he was till the last signs of the three on
the slope of the chasm had vanished.

At his order, the scouts ran here and there in vain, then said: “Where
can we find any water, Verny, other than over the falls?”

“Let Unk Verny go get the water if he thinks it is so easy a matter,”
replied Mrs. Vernon, testily, dropping upon the grass and using her
sleeve to dry the beads of anxiety from her brow.

Joan laughed hysterically as she added: “We’ll tell him to use the old
oaken bucket that hangs in the well! It’s so convenient to our hand just
here.” Her laugh broke the tension and every scout present laughed
uproariously, then felt better.

By this time the two rescuers came in sight, helping Julie to use her
shaky limbs. Then Mr. Gilroy called out to his friends:

“Jule’s all right again. She argued to be allowed to walk, so that shows
she is O. K.!”

“Of course, I’m all right! I did that very stunt just to get a good
snapshot of myself going over the edge, and I suppose Hester got so
frightened that she forgot to snap the picture,” said Julie, as she
allowed her helpers to seat her upon the moss.

“Oh, Julie, dear! Did you really! How you frightened me!” wailed Betty,
with the suggestion of a complaint in her tones.

Every one laughed at gullible little Betty, and Julie said, “Yes, of
course I did! If only that picture turns out well!”

Hester had forgotten all about the camera, but being reminded of it she
ran over to pick it up. As she did so she looked at the register to see
how many exposures had been used, and as she did this she gasped.

“Jule! I really believe I did take that stunt! Any way, I must have
turned the key, again and again, until not one single film remains to be
exposed. I’ve reached the end of the reel!”

The laugh that greeted this information acted like a tonic on Julie’s
shaken nerves, and in a little while she felt able to get up and walk to
her horse.

“Think you are strong enough to resume the ride up-trail, dearie?” asked
Mrs. Vernon, solicitously.

“Oh, sure! Strong as a mountain lion,” laughed Julie, as she tried to
jump into the saddle. Then she found she had better wait and receive
assistance. But once she was securely seated upon her horse, she felt
her old self again, and needed no further sympathy for her dramatic
scene at the cliff.

They rode out from the tangled wilderness to the trail, but no Ranger
had arrived. The burros were brought from the nook where they had been
hidden, and everything was in order for a new start, yet no young man
appeared on the scene.

“Great Scott! We can’t sit here all day waiting for a youngster who may
not show up before midnight,” grumbled Mr. Gilroy.

“Suppose we leave a note somewhere where the Ranger will be sure to see
it, and then we can ride on,” suggested Julie.

“Yes, Gilly. You know how long it takes these burros to cover the
ground,” added Joan.

“Oh, very well! But I thought you young ladies would prefer to wait for
such a handsome young chap who is so entertaining,” agreed Mr. Gilroy.

“Gilly, have you ever heard one of us complaining about your age,” asked
Betty in such an earnest manner that every one had to double over in
laughter. But Betty had meant what she said and she could not understand
why they should laugh at her.

In a few more minutes the cavalcade started on the trail, and the note
telling the Ranger where to find them had been left upon a stick which
was stuck in a prominent place on the road.



                              CHAPTER FOUR

                         JULIE MAKES A CONQUEST


The scout party rode on and on along the Sky-line Trail, stopping
frequently to gaze at the wonderful views to be had from this altitude.
Reaching the place where another important trail crossed, Tally, for the
second time in his experience as a Guide, decided upon the wrong trail
as being the one to follow to reach Springer. But he was justified
inasmuch as the trail he chose was the better one of the two from that
point on. They had gone a long distance before any one questioned
whether this could be the Old Santa Fé Trail. As no one could tell they
kept on going, often turning their heads to see if Ranger Sanderson was
in sight. At last the sun was setting and they must locate a camp-site
for the night; then it was decided that, as long as Sanderson had had
all afternoon in which to overtake them, but had not taken advantage of
the time, they would decide upon the first best spot where spring water
was to be found.

Not long afterward Tally’s keen eyesight detected an attractive
pine-grove a short distance off the trail where he declared they would
find water. How he knew this to be so was a wonder to the girls. But
that is the way with these Indian Guides!

Sure enough! in riding to the grove the scouts saw the reflection of
sunbeams sparkling on a body of water. Then as they entered the woods
the lake was lost to view. They rode on a short distance farther and,
suddenly emerging from the girdle of trees, they spied a small lake of
about a mile in length.

“Goot camp, eh, Boss?” said Tally, nodding at the sheet of water.

“Yes, Tally, and we’re ready for supper,” said Mr. Gilroy.

“All right, Boss, but we no camp here,” returned Tally. At the point
where the Guide had discovered the lake, reeds and grasses hugged the
shore, and from the quiet water a faint mist upcurled like a transparent
veil. Gradually this veil spread until silently it enveloped everything
along the edge of the water.

Tally now led the way along a faint wild trail that skirted the lake,
and soon, the scouts came to a rippling stream which the horses had to
ford. The scene was splendidly wild, and isolation hung like a curtain
over everything. Mystic sounds chirruped at them as their horses went
clipclopping over the hardened trail; finally they rode out to an open
place which was enchanting in its beauty. The fast-fading reflections of
the setting sun, purple and rose, which shimmered upon the bosom of the
water touched this mist into a rosy aura.

“Here we mek camp,” announced Tally, reining in his horse.

The rest of the party dismounted and preparations were instantly begun
for a night camp.

“Who will go for the fish?” asked the Captain.

“Oh, Gilly! do let some of us girls go with you!” cried Joan.

“That will have to be as the Captain says,” replied Mr. Gilroy.

“Two of you girls can go with Gilly, and two must remain here to assist
me in making the beds,” said the Captain.

“I don’t want to fish,” said Betty; “I can’t bear to see the poor little
things wriggle on the hook.”

“But you can bear to eat them when somebody else hooks them,” laughed
Julie.

“Mees Betty, you no forget how to mek hemlock bed, eh?” asked Tally, as
he arranged the cook-stove upon which to prepare dinner.

“Indeed I have not! Let the other girls go and fish, Tally, and I will
show you how I can weave the tips as well as ever I did,” bragged Betty.

“I shall remain with Betty to cut the hemlock branches, while she makes
the beds,” said Hester.

“Um-ra-m! me show you-all goot place for sleep,” hinted Tally; as he
spoke he pointed to a sheltered nook made by a huge rock on one side,
and a thick undergrowth of bushes and aspens on the other two sides; the
fourth side was the approach from the clearing.

“Not far over dere you fin’ alla beddin’ you-all need,” explained the
Indian, waving a hand at a clump of fine hemlocks.

Meanwhile Julie and Joan had gone with the two men to find a suitable
place from which to fish. The sun had gone down, and the lake had
changed from a warm rose hue to a chill gray. The silence which could be
felt was broken only by the pulsating sounds from the woods. As they
sought along the lake edge for a good place to stand, quite
unexpectedly, from a tree directly overhead, a loon shrilled a warning
to her mate across the lake. But the mate sent back his wild laughter at
the unbased fears entertained by his wife. As the scouts moved slowly
along, feeling as if they were one with the wild creatures of this spot,
they almost forgot they were sent to fish for their supper.

But in a short time they had caught a goodly mess of fish and returned
to camp. As the first day’s long ride had wearied them, no one wished to
stir after supper, and Mr. Gilroy merely said: “Tally, are the horses
all right for the night?”

“Sure! Tally fix hosses first,” returned the Guide.

Every one was soon asleep that night, and Tally knew not how long he
had been sleeping when he suddenly sat up. He thought he heard one of
the horses whinny, but all was quiet, so he stretched out again. Just
before he dozed off, however, he wondered if, by any chance, a wild
beast could sneak up and attack them. This thought caused him to dream
fitfully and he started up again to satisfy his mind regarding the
animals. Looking at his Ingersoll he found it was one o’clock in the
morning.

Tally got up and found the ponies quiet and safe; but, to his great
surprise, he heard a horse’s hoofs on the river trail. Hastily he
climbed up on a high bowlder and from there he could glimpse the river
sparkling in the last rays of the fading moon.

As he stood watching and listening for new revelations from the trail,
he thought he saw the flash of a pocket searchlight. The whole discovery
seemed so out of the ordinary to the Indian that he decided to creep
along the faint lake-trail made by wild animals and reach the
river-trail before the rider passed the spot where the two trails met.
It was not mere curiosity which induced Tally to do this, but the inborn
wariness of the Guide who feels he is responsible for his party.

He was none too soon, for, immediately after he had secreted himself and
his horse back of some trees and brush, the steady gleaming of an
electric light reflected on the trail along which a horse was heard
approaching. Tally placed his coat over his own horse’s head to keep him
from calling to his comrade on the trail.

When the stranger’s horse reached the place where the two trails joined,
it stopped, turned its head in the direction of the lake and whistled
softly. In a moment the reply from one of the ponies hobbled at the lake
reached Tally’s ears. He swore under his breath at this unexpected
incident, then he had a further surprise.

“Ah, good old Snubby! You’ve told me where to find them,” spoke a young
man’s voice, sounding familiar to the Guide.

“Dat’s Range San’son!” was Tally’s thought, as he hastily caught the
bridle of his horse’s head and led him out to confront the newcomer.

“Halt!” commanded the Ranger, flashing his light over in the direction
of the unexpected horse and rider.

“Is’s onny Tally, Mees’r San’son,” called the Guide.

“Tally! Good for you, old man! Now you can take me to the camp,” replied
Sanderson, eagerly.

“Whad wrong, Mees’r San’son, mek you not ride with scouts?” asked the
Indian.

“Why, Tally, you took the wrong trail, and I rode all the way down the
old Santa Fé Trail only to discover that you had not gone that way. Then
I rode all the way back to the Forks and discovered the tracks your
horses made down the Cimarron Trail.”

“Mees’r San’son, you say I go wrong way?” gasped Tally, dubiously.

“Yes, Tally; but in the long run it will prove to be the pleasanter
route, because the scouts can trail along the Red River which crosses
this road a little farther on, and go almost as far as Springer before
leaving it to travel on the more public road.”

“Now we ride to camp and sleep, eh?” suggested the Indian.

“I’ll be glad to get myself a cup of coffee, as I did not stop to eat or
drink,” remarked the Ranger, turning his horse’s head to follow the
Guide.

“Yeh—too bad!” said Tally, but the night hid his face as he spoke. If it
had not the Ranger might have felt slightly embarrassed at the quizzical
expression in the eyes of the Guide.

The two horses, with their riders, clip-clopped along the trail to the
lake and reached camp, where Tally started to brew the coffee, while
Sanderson led the animals over to corral them with the others.

While enjoying the coffee, the two men whispered of the joys of mountain
trailing: Tally, of his unexpected good fortune in finding such a
splendid company to guide that summer; and Sanderson in having found
such a splendid company with which he could travel. Finally the embers
of the fire were covered, and both men then stretched out upon the grass
to sleep.

Because of Sanderson’s night ride, and because of Tally’s interrupted
sleep, both men slept heavily and never awoke when the scouts began to
move around. Mrs. Vernon and the girls, without a glance in the
direction of the camp fire, ran to the lake and, donning bathing suits,
took an early morning swim. The water was cold as ice, and a plunge was
more than enough to satisfy every one in the party. Consequently,
shivering and with teeth chattering, they rushed back to the small
dressing-tent to have a brisk rub-down in order to start circulation
again.

In a short time they were dressed. Mrs. Vernon, who was buckling her
ridingboots, called after the girls to advise them.

“Betty, you rouse Gilly and Uncle, will you? And Hester, you help Tally
with breakfast, while Julie and Jo go catch a mess of fish.”

The girls ran away to do as their Captain had instructed. But Tally had
anticipated the call, and was already up when Hester came to arouse him.
He turned to her as he was fumbling with the campstove, which was
belching smoke from its little pipe, and said: “Somebuddy go ketch trout
for brekfas’?”

“Yes, Tally, the girls are going, I think,” answered Hester.

[Illustration: The girls helped Tally with the breakfast.]

“Tally, did you try the temperature of the stream just below camp?”
called Mr. Vernon, curling up under his blanket in the chill of the
early morning air.

“Shore! he’em fine an’ warm, Boss,” laughed the Guide.

“All right, then! turn on the faucet and I’ll use my luxurious tiled
bath very shortly,” replied Mr. Vernon.

“He’s right, Tally,” retorted Mr. Gilroy, poking his head out from under
his blankets; “his bath _will_ be short—on this frosty morn.”

“Both you lazy men ought to be ashamed to have five scouts up and
dressed before you even dream of ordering your daily bath,” called Mrs.
Vernon from the tent which had been turned into a ladies’ dressing-room.

“How can we get up, when we have no valet or dressing-room?” replied Mr.
Vernon.

“We are going to fish now, so you men can have the use of our tent while
we are landing the trout,” said Julie, going over to the place where the
fishing tackle had been left by Mr. Vernon and Mr. Gilroy the night
before.

As a clump of trees and bushes intervened between the sleeping quarters
for the scouts and the camp fire, Julie was unaware of a visitor until
she, calling to the Guide, rushed around the screen foliage.

“Tally! I want to borrow your fish-pole! Where is it?”

Sanderson sat bolt upright at the girlish voice. He was accustomed to
sudden and unexpected calls during his sleep, hence he was trained to
rouse quickly.

“Oh!” gasped Julie, surprised at finding the young Ranger there. “Oh,
where did _you_ come from?”

“Good-morning. Miss Julie,” returned he, scrambling to his feet, and
hastily trying to smooth his disheveled hair.

“Me fin’ Mees’r San’son losted las’ night,” said Tally, explaining the
presence of the disconcerted visitor. “He come alla way down, to fin’ us
an’ hees hoss call for help. Poor Ranger! He ride alla night to ketch us
up.”

Then Sanderson added his explanations to those of the Indian and by the
time he had concluded he had regained his composure.

“Well, this isn’t catching fish for breakfast,” returned Julie,
laughingly. “I came for Tally’s rod, and now I find I have another mouth
to fill.”

Tally went over to fetch his rod, but he smiled to himself as he
muttered a contradiction to Julie’s words: “Ye’es, this _iss_ catching
fish! You hook one great beeg fish, Mees Jule, what you not eat for
brekfas’.”

“What did you say, Tally?” demanded Julie. “I heard you say something
about not eating fish for breakfast, but you shall, if I know it!”

Tally chuckled as he handed her the pole and tackle. And the girl sped
away to join Joan, who was on her way to the water.

Mr. Gilroy had heard a stranger’s voice in conversation with Julie and
now he appeared at the camp fire. “Well, for goodness’ sake!” exclaimed
he, when he saw who the stranger was.

Sanderson laughed and flushed, as if all the world must know the true
reason for his being there. He explained about the wrong trail and then
described the attractions of the Red River trail.

“Why, that’s great! We’ll all go this way if you have the time to trail
with us,” was Mr. Gilroy’s hearty endorsement.

Joan and Julie seemed to have bad luck with the fish that morning, but
the truth of the matter was that Julie could not keep quiet. She was too
full of merry gossip about the good-looking Ranger who had appeared so
unexpectedly in camp.

“You know, Jo, he kept looking at me all the time he explained, till
even Tally could see what was doing!” giggled Julie, casting for a trout
in a spot that looked promising.

“He is so tall and handsome, Julie, that I am almost jealous of you,”
declared Joan, her interest entirely engaged by the hope of an imminent
romance instead of the duty of fishing for the present need.

“He certainly seems to be all eyes for me, doesn’t he?” was Julie’s
laughing reply. “I am not quite at ease when he is around, Jo. Now,
Phil Morton, the associate editor on our home paper—you know, the one
who thought I was just cut out for a journalist—showed very plainly how
much he liked me, but he wasn’t forever staring at me and afraid to
speak.”

Joan tittered. “Give Sandy time, Jule; we only met him yesterday,
remember. Most of our afternoon up on Raton passed while the Ranger was
away hunting for food. He only had a few short opportunities in which to
take note of your charms.”

“Oh, stop your nonsense!” retorted Julie, whipping the trout-line back
and forth in the water.

“Look out! Oh, Julie—see there, now!” cried Joan, impatiently, as both
lines and hooks became entangled.

Julie laughed as she hauled in the lines and started to undo the snarl.

“Isn’t this just like love? One minute you’re all right and never
dreaming of a tangle; along comes a fine young Ranger and, pronto! the
tackle jumps around and there you are!”

The two lines were separated as she ended her sermonette; then Joan
said: “Come on back. We can’t fish this morning, while we know Hesty and
Betty have Sanderson all to themselves. Here we are missing all the fun
and they’re right in it”

Without demur, Julie followed after her chum, and soon they appeared in
camp.  “No fish this morning,” declared Julie, as she placed Tally’s
rod against a tree.

“Oh, girls! did you really try?” asked Mrs. Vernon.

“I should say we did! Why, I almost wore out the line while working it,”
declared Julie, positively.

The men stood and gazed at the lake in amazement. Mr. Vernon then said:
“I could swear the lake was full of fish, Gilly.”

“Come on, Sanderson, let’s you and I go try our luck,” responded Mr.
Gilroy. “It will only delay breakfast for a short time.”

So, without another word the two men took the discarded rods and walked
away, while Julie and Joan stood and watched them go, disapproval
plainly expressed on their faces. Tally gave them a look, comprehending
the situation, and smiled to himself as he bent over the fire to turn
the bread-twist.

“Come, girls, let’s pack the duffle-bags and take down the tent while
we’re waiting for breakfast,” suggested Mrs. Vernon, seeing the two
returned fishers had nothing to do.

It was not long before the fishermen were seen coming back, displaying
several fat trophies of trout which had been caught in that short length
of time.

“It doesn’t seem like fishing, Verny, where so many trout are simply
waiting for the hook. If one had a net, they could _scoop_ them
up—they’re that thick,” declared Mr. Gilroy.

“That’s the kind of fishing I like,” laughed the Captain. “Where the
fish swim up to you and quarrel with each other as to which shall be the
first to hook itself.”

Young Sanderson helped serve the breakfast, but most of his attention
was given to Julie’s words and actions. In fact, so apparent was the
good-looking young Ranger’s attraction to the vivacious girl that Mr.
Vernon chuckled as he nudged Mr. Gilroy in the ribs.

“Julie’s made a conquest, all right. I fear we’ll have to take the
Ranger along as an extra guide, because he’ll refuse to be left behind,”
whispered Mr. Gilroy.

Breakfast over, the Captain said: “Gilly, are we going down the Cimarron
trail, or are you thinking of changing our plans?”

“Why, we’ll go on just as Sandy directs, when you’re ready and say the
word,” replied Mr. Gilroy.

Thus they were trailing again by nine o’clock, Ranger Sanderson all
smiles and gayety, riding beside Julie. She, the little minx, enjoyed
his attentions and tantalized him with her mischievous eyes. Now and
then Mr. Gilroy would rein in his horse in order to ride abreast with
these laggards. At such times he tried valiantly to signal Julie that
she must not flirt so heartlessly with the poor chap, but the laughing
girl would give him a whimsical look in return.

The trail was excellent and no adverse conditions arose to impede or
delay the progress of the scouts along the way. The Ranger proved to be
a valuable addition to the party, as he knew most of the ranches near
the trail, and was well versed with legends and stories of every point
of interest to be seen as they rode through this mecca in adventurous
times of the past.

It was Sanderson who made the Old Trail seem to pulse once more with the
life of other days, in which the stage-coach and the great caravans
coming from Kansas City and Denver to Santa Fé had to travel by this
great Sky-line. The girls saw the Indians and the outlaws of those
pioneer days, as they attacked the whites, or raided a traders’ caravan.
But it was through the Ranger’s eyes of the imagination that they saw
these vivid pictures.

He pointed out the El Capulin volcano, which was a short ride from Raton
City, but not to be included in the sight-seeing now. He tried to induce
the tourists to ride to Taos by the ancient trail that ran direct from
Raton, but the scouts preferred to go to the Pecos ruins and cañon
first, then up to the pueblo of Taos later. It was Sanderson who, from
the crest of Raton, pointed out the wonderful view of the Spanish Peaks,
the Taos Range and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. He directed their
gaze to Fisher’s Peak and told how it had been named for the officer in
the Army of the West; how Simpson’s Rest was a monument of nature’s
work in honor of the old pioneer who was buried on its summit. He
pointed to the great bluffs across the Las Animas River where, in 1866,
the Ute Indians fought the settlers. Then he told them how the river
came to have its name. Sanderson spoke Spanish fluently and he
interpreted the meaning of the old name into English for the girls:
“River of Lost Souls”—in memory of the Spaniards who in the eighteenth
century lost their lives in the crossing of the river.

It was not to be wondered at, therefore, that the scouts were intensely
thankful that they had met such a delightful young man to trail with
them, and they each and every one hoped that no untoward act from any
source whatever could ruin this splendid opportunity to enjoy his
company.

Not one of the girls felt jealous of Julie and the “lion’s share” of
attention which Sanderson paid her, but every girl in the group tried to
show the Ranger that she, too, was alive and eager to have his smiles
and expressive glances, when he found it possible to take them from
Julie and share them meagerly with others.

While Sandy enjoyed Julie’s companionship, he remembered the Government
had first claim on his time. His duty was to interpret for and to guide
the man he was to meet at Springer or Las Vegas, and secure such
statistics as would be valuable for the righting of the wrong done the
Pueblo Indians; consequently, he felt that he had no right to pay
attention to a pretty girl, while his work remained unfinished.

Thus the entire scout-party rode into Springer, as the newspapers would
say, “without any casualties,” either to soul or body; but there lurked
a germ of love in Sanderson’s heart, for which no vaccine has yet been
discovered.



                              CHAPTER FIVE

                           SANDY HAS HIS SAY


Having arrived in Springer the scout-party were amazed to find it such a
small place. They had pictured it to be as important a city as Raton,
with buildings as fine and good hotel accommodations. Now they learned
that it was limited to little more than a thousand in population, and
that it paid more attention to its export of flour and fruits to
consumers in all parts of the country than to consumers of the cooked
products who were at their “doors” needing food and shelter. At least,
so Julie described the hungry condition of their party and the reception
awarded them at the hotel.

“Good gracious! Jule, one would think you had never been on a camping
trip before,” was Betty’s rebuke, when her sister complained of minor
matters in connection with the hotel.

Another disappointing incident was that Mr. Burt, the man Sanderson
expected to meet in Springer, failed to appear there, but a wire was
handed the Ranger instead.

“Well! he says that he’s waiting for me at the Castañeda Hotel in Las
Vegas, where he has been detained because of business,” explained the
Ranger to the men in the scout party. “But I’m inclined to think that
Burt had little desire to stop over at a small place with so little to
interest a visitor. Las Vegas will amuse him to his heart’s content.”

“What will you do now?” asked Mr. Vernon.

“Go on with you to-morrow, just as we had planned. I came here as
directed, and Burt is not here. Now he must wait for me.”

The girls exchanged approving looks with each other, because they
admired a man who had enough respect for himself to demand that others
respect him also, by deeds as well as by words.

“I have a plan to propose which you may think a wise one, but you may
think I am too forward for suggesting it,” said the Ranger at supper
that night.

“Out with it, Sandy!” exclaimed Mr. Gilroy. “We’ll not consider you
forward in anything, but being guilty of making all the scouts fall in
love with you. I know that is so, because not one of them has deigned to
send me a smile—they are all saved for you, you rascal.”

The scouts laughed merrily, but Sanderson, in confusion, blushed like a
girl accused of her first love-affair. To cover his embarrassment, the
young man said: “If you send Tally with the burros by freight in the
morning, we can ride to Las Vegas in half the time. Then we can meet
him there and plan later.”

“That’s a fine idea, Sandy! How far is it from Springer?” returned Mr.
Vernon.

“It’s a jaunt of about seventy miles, but we can stop at Wagon Mound,
which is almost half-way to Las Vegas, you know.”

“And should we feel tired of riding we can go on to Las Vegas by train,
can’t we?” added Mrs. Vernon, thinking of her girls, and this unusually
long ride in the saddle.

Thus it was decided, and Tally was so informed after the tourists left
the dining-room. He agreed without demur, but he showed his
disappointment at being shipped on a train when he had looked forward to
trailing all the way to the Grand Cañon without an up-to-date train
doing its part in the trip.

In the morning, therefore, Tally had gone, but not to the train, when
the scouts came downstairs. It was learned that he could not leave
Springer till after eleven that morning, so he had decided to do a
little sight-seeing without escorting his party.

“That’s the way he has of telling us he disapproves of our decision of
sending him with the burros,” said the Captain, a note of sympathy in
her tone.

“We’re sorry as he is, Verny, but what can we do? Ship the slow little
pests on the train without a guard?” said Mr. Gilroy.

“Tally must see that we cannot do otherwise,” added Sandy.

“Thar’s none so blind as them that won’t see,” quoth Julie, nodding her
head sagely.

Of course Sandy turned his head quickly and smiled fatuously, but she
tossed her curly head and grinned back.

The trail that day led the scouts past the State Reformatory which is at
Springer, then on southward to Colmor. They had an excellent view of the
peaks of the Cimarron Mountains, of which Old Baldy is the highest. At
Colmor they saw the Lake Charetts irrigation reservoir from a distance,
but had no inclination to ride nearer to inspect the huge project.

They stopped at a wayside ranch and had the midday meal, then rode on
until Wagon Mound was reached in the late afternoon. Here they stopped
for the night and resumed the trail in the morning.

From Wagon Mound the trail ran through beautiful hills and valleys,
passing through Optimo, a small farming settlement, and then to Valmora,
where a large Sanatorium for tuberculosis is located. At Watrous the
junction of the Mora and Sapello rivers supply water for many industries
and also give the country around ample moisture to grow such verdure as
other sections lack. The Ranger considered the pueblo ruins near the
town worthy of a visit, and also the ruins of Fort Barkley near by.
After visiting the Shoemaker (Mora) Canyon the scouts continued on to
Las Vegas.

It had been a long ride that day, and they were thankful to find a hotel
where every convenience as well as luxury was to be had. They lost no
time in going to their rooms at the Castañeda and enjoying the delight
of warm baths. It was rather late for dinner when they all met again in
the dining-room, hence the usual crowds had dined, and that left the
place more private.

Sandy, as he had come to be called by the scouts, was not to be seen
when Mr. Gilroy led his friends to dinner, but later he hurried in and
excused himself for being tardy.

“I saw Tally and learned that he has stabled his burros in a good place,
so I let him take our mounts there as well. Then I sent word to Mr.
Burt, who was in the billiard-room, and made an appointment to meet him
in the lounge after dinner. I should like to know if you wish to meet
him?” Sandy gazed at Julie, but he had meant his words for every one in
the party.

“Later will be just as well, Sandy. You ought to say your say with him
on the business matter for which he came west. That off the slate, you
can mention us. We will be the ‘refreshments after the meat course,’”
laughed Mr. Gilroy.

But it happened later, that Sandy and Burt were discovered in the
reading-room of the hotel. It had been vacated by the guests who sought
outdoor diversions, and the two men considered they would find the place
quiet enough for them.

Sandy was cracking his closed hand upon the solid table beside him as
Mr. Gilroy came to the door to peep within the room. This conversation
sounded very good to him, so Mr. Gilroy tip-toed across to an armchair
and listened silently. An illustrated newspaper, open upon a table back
of Sanderson, caught his eye, and he leaned over to take it. He saw the
date—November 29, 1922—and he wondered that such an old paper should be
found upon such a modern hotel’s reading-table. He soon understood how
it came there. Mr. Burt had had it in his script case and had shown it
to the Ranger. It was a full-page article on the Pueblo Indians, and the
illustrations were excellent.

Sanderson seemed to know his subject from A to Z, and the newspaper
correspondent soon realized that fact. Both men were so interested in
the debate that neither one had noticed the entrance of Mr. Gilroy. Mr.
Burt took up the discussion and asked his companion many questions
bearing upon the work before them, and Mr. Gilroy, glancing down at the
paper upon his knees, saw a line that seemed to answer a question that
Burt had just asked. Thereupon he became so intent upon reading the
article that he never heard the girls come in quietly and take chairs
near the door.

The Ranger was declaring vehemently at the time in defense of the
Indians. “I tell you, Mr. Burt, that these United States owe the red
Indians more than we citizens can estimate. If that Bursum Bill goes
into effect it will be a lasting disgrace to this nation. How is it
possible that our Senate can be so misinformed as to pass a bill which
will take from the Pueblo Indians in New Mexico thousands of acres of
land upon which they depend for a living—land which was bestowed upon
them by patented land grants and subsequently confirmed by the Republic
of Mexico, and later by the American Government in 1858.

“Should this bill pass the House, the Indians will be deprived not only
of their land rights, but also of legal redress. Why, these guileless
Pueblos will become the target of so many unscrupulous lawyers who will
induce them to sue to recover their land, that the courts of New Mexico
will be congested with their claims.

“The award of these Indian lands to non-Indian claimants leaves no
possibility for defense to the Indians. The Bursum Bill dooms the
agricultural future of the Pueblo Indians; it would also appropriate a
section which strikes at the center of their tribal life. These Indians
have been self-governing, and the judgment of well-informed
investigators who know the form of these tribal governments declare that
this system is the best safeguard of the morale of the race. Destroy
their traditions alike with their tribal government, and you destroy the
moral fiber of the individual Indian.”

“So far you’re right, Mr. Sanderson, but you forget that one white man
is surely worth more than a poor ignorant Indian,” argued Mr. Burt.

“Surely ‘a man’s a man’ no matter what may be his color,” declared the
Ranger. “Eight thousand industrious farmers out there are more valuable
to the United States than eight thousand promoters of graft, be they
white or red. Another unfair thing is the breaking up of the Indians’
form of government, which means, actually, that you affect the vital
community centers of these quiet, peaceable farmers; at the same time it
means that such a step is calculated to so disturb the poor Indian that
he will give up his land the quicker.”

“Oh, Mr. Sanderson, I think you have the wrong slant on this matter,”
objected the newspaper man.

“I think, Mr. Burt, that I have every slant that is possible to get—all
but one slant which I refuse to entertain, and that is the grafters’
slant.”

“Now you _are_ unjust. As far as I have looked into this entire matter I
find a singular absence of anything that would seem like personal reward
for this measure being adopted,” said Mr. Burt.

Sanderson smiled tolerantly. “How about the Mescalers Bill, also
introduced by the Senator of New Mexico, to establish an
All-Year-National-Park, _but_ the bill would include the establishment
of private leaseholds to commercial enterprises. A fine ideal for our
National Parks!”

Mr. Burt seemed ill at ease, but the young Ranger gave him small chance
to offer further opinions on the subject.

“Every fair-minded Westerner recognizes the necessity of clearing up the
conflicting Spanish and American land grants in New Mexico, but we want
this done without illegal treatment of the honest, faithful natives of
the land.

“Many disputants maintain that the Pueblo Indians are so lazy that they
won’t farm what little land they have, so why should they not give up
tracts which they do not live upon. Simple enough to one who will study
the situation fairly: most of the good, irrigable land has been
encroached upon by non-Indian claimants, leaving the arid, unirrigated
portions to the unprotesting Indian farmer who strives pitifully to make
a living for himself and his dependents.”

“Why don’t the fellows protest in a way which will get some one after
the land grabbers?” demanded Mr. Burt. “I am out here to write up the
situation for my paper, not to show partiality to either side.”

“Well, then, Mr. Burt, let me tell you this much—from an impartial
observation of one who has studied the problem for some years, and
visited the Pueblos during all of several summer vacations—the passing
of this Bursum Bill means that the water rights for irrigation belongs
to those who have seized and held such water rights for the past four
years. Can you imagine anything more intolerable, and so open-handed in
its grab as this law? And this in defiance of an existing law of the
United States Supreme Court in 1913 which ruled that no statute of
limitation can operate against the Indians because they are Government
proteges.”

“Gee! I didn’t know this!” exclaimed the newspaper man, apparently
stirred.

“Maybe you didn’t, but this you know: that in New Mexico and Arizona
where water means everything—and any land that cannot get water is
absolutely valueless—any private ownership, or a syndicate’s claim on
water rights, means added taxation, or no water—get me?” fumed
Sanderson.

“Yes, I do. But tell me, Ranger, is there any solution, in your mind,
for this problem?” demanded Burt.

“The solution is _water_! the draining of the waterlogged sections and
the storage of it for irrigation purposes. The mountains of New Mexico,
as well as the Rio Grande and other rivers, supply ample water sources
for all the irrigation needed to make this land more fertile than you
can imagine. Such work will not only redeem the deserts but redeem our
honor, as well, because it will place the Indian above want and deprive
the grafter of one secret way of wringing money from the defenseless.”

“Say, Sanderson, this must be my lucky day. I swore under my breath when
I got word from the boss of our paper to stop off at Springer to wait
for a messenger who would meet me. But I’d rather have met you and heard
more on this subject than have spent the time in Las Vegas, in a
luxurious hotel,” remarked Mr. Burt.

Sanderson smiled. “You didn’t think so when you first began to argue
with me, did you? I have been given leave of absence from duty in order
to accompany you and help you get ‘the right slant’ on this problem.”

“Well,” said Mr. Burt, “had I been given a choice of companions on this
jaunt, I could not have selected one more to my liking.”

During the discussion between Sanderson and the newspaper man, Mr.
Gilroy and the scouts sat perfectly quiet and listened. Julie was not a
little chagrined to learn that she would not be the only attraction now;
and Mr. Gilroy was amazed to learn how much the young man knew of the
subject under debate. At this time Mr. Vernon entered the room and spoke
loud enough to include every one in the party.

“Well! I’ve been going around in search of you people, but I never
expected to find that you-all had turned literary so suddenly. Why all
this mouselike quiet in the reading-room, and not one of you besides
Gilly with a paper in your hands?”

Sanderson turned around and smiled to find his friends seated behind
him. The Ranger now introduced his companion to his friends and
explained his mission in the southwest. The scouts listened eagerly, for
here was a political and also an ethical problem before the people of
the United States, and these girls were about to visit the Indians about
whom the debate had just taken place.

“Lucky no guests came in here to read quietly while you were arguing,”
remarked Mrs. Vernon, laughingly.

Later, while the others were planning for the morrow’s trip, Julie got
the newspaper correspondent in a corner and talked most confidentially
to him. He took several sheets of closely written paper which she showed
him and then he nodded with interest. Sandy, as he pretended to be
listening to Mr. Vernon, watched jealously.

Joan could not hear what was said, nor would she ask her chum to confide
whatever it was she seemed so interested in. After Mr. Burt left the
room, Julie sat at the desk and wrote as if for dear life. Joan watched,
thinking she must be sending a letter to a sweetheart in Elmertown. But
which one? Joan knew Julie had no preference, though she had many
admirers because of her attractive personality.

The bulky letter finished, Julie sealed it carefully and hurried to the
mail-box, without a glance at her chum. Joan would not wait to meet her
but ran upstairs and pretended to be sleeping when Julie came in the
room.



                              CHAPTER SIX

                   WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PECOS FORESTS


The addition of young Sanderson and the hustling young newspaper
reporter to the scout group was hailed by the four misses, as well as
approved by Mr. Gilroy and Mr. Vernon, but the Captain felt dubious over
the daily association of such a handsome young Ranger in the becoming
green uniform of the official forester, and the fascinating entertainer,
Mr. Burt. She noted with trepidation that Julie often seemed to get the
newspaper correspondent by himself and talk confidentially with him.
This was unusual for Julie, and Mrs. Vernon wondered at her, but decided
to withhold any comment for the present.

The atmosphere of Las Vegas is one of its most remarkable attractions.
Looking off toward the Cimarron range, or the Spanish Peaks, the clarity
of the air tints everything with pastel shades. One can see Pike’s Peak
in central Colorado seemingly quite close at hand; and the snow-capped
Northern Rockies, more than two hundred miles away, seem quite near.

At Las Vegas the scouts found three cities in one: first, the ancient
Spanish, then the up-to-date town with its fine hotel called the
Castañeda, and, thirdly, the health resort town with its famous Las
Vegas Hot Springs. At these Springs, which are a paradise for the sick
or for those who believe in prevention of illness, you may sport about
in boiling mineral waters, if you choose, or merely bask in the sunshine
and enjoy the exhilarating air.

The following morning the Ranger led the party along the trail to Hot
Springs, thence on to the Gallinas Cañon where 60,000 tons of ice are
cut and shipped annually to points for 600 miles area. This ice forms at
night, but the walls of the Cañon prevent the rays of the sun from ever
penetrating to the bottom; thus the temperature during the day remains
at the point which keeps the ice from melting.

From Las Vegas a great scenic highway of over eight thousand feet above
sea level was followed by the scouts. This trail skirted forbidden
cañons, sequestered lakes, ran at the base of snow-capped peaks, and
through densest forests of yellow pine.

“Perhaps you do not know that the Rangers have made most of the splendid
trails throughout the mountains,” said Sanderson, when Mr. Burt
commented on the excellence of the road.

“I don’t see how you ever find time with all the other duties you are
supposed to do,” remarked Mrs. Vernon.

“Why, Captain, right in the Pecos Forest alone you will find about six
hundred miles of the finest trails which have been cut by us as our
patrol rounds demanded,” explained Sanderson.

“No wonder you have such muscle and not an ounce of flesh!” laughed Mr.
Vernon, admiring the erect, slender form in front of him.

“Another thing you’ll find in the Pecos—all the game we will need for
food whenever we camp. If you prefer trout, all you have to do is to
camp on the banks of a stream. The trout jump into the frying pan and
cook themselves. Should you prefer wild turkey or quail, even venison,
just wish and there it is!”

“Gee! what wouldn’t I give to have time to go with you on a hunting
trip,” exclaimed Burt.

“You would never enjoy a hunting trip with me,” declared the Ranger,
“for the best of reasons: I never hunt or kill for sport. If I need
food, I take it, but I have yet to kill for the satisfaction of seeing a
wild creature give up its life just because I can use a gun.”

The scouts felt like applauding this polite rebuke to the Tenderfoot’s
zest for hunting, but they knew enough to hide their sentiments.

“How about mountain lions and wildcats? I heard that the Service hailed
those who would help to clean them out of these forests in order to
preserve the deer and harmless wild creatures. I read last winter that
as many as a dozen bears were caught in a few weeks on one ranch alone
out here. That doesn’t look much like protection,” returned Burt.

“Oh, the destructive beasts, you meant! That is all right, but killing
of deer, or wild game birds, for the sake of hunting is quite another
thing,” said the Ranger.

Conversation during the trip from Las Vegas to the next camp that day
was like a game of tennis—the ball was batted back and forth between the
players: the men on the one side and the scouts on the other. But this
conversational ball was made of such stuff as would educate and inform
the girls so that they would the better understand and appreciate the
country and conditions they visited.

At noon, the first day out from Las Vegas, they camped on Bernal Creek
and the scouts listened to Sanderson talk, thus they learned that in the
750,000 acres of land in the Pecos Forest the pine trees stand from
eighty to a hundred and fifty feet in height; that the Rangers have to
protect the young saplings; and harrow the ground where quantities of
pine are cut and removed—this to keep a new growth coming on to replace
the trees taken out.

That night they camped on the Pecos River, near Blanchard. The next day,
having followed the remarkable trail along the Pecos River and passing
many farms which dotted the land, the scout party climbed to an
elevation of 8,000 feet, where they found the little adobe town of
Pecos. It looks more like an ancient village in Spain than an American
settlement in the twentieth century; the people living in the simplest
manner and dressing in picturesque ways: women in full, short skirts,
with gay shawls over their heads or upon their shoulders; children in
red or blue calicos; men with sombreros, loose shirts and bandannas
around their swarthy necks; goats grazing everywhere; old houses, bright
flowers, red sand—all served to paint a picture for the girls.

Here, quite unexpectedly, Sanderson met a Ranger from the Government
Lookout at Panchuelo. He had been at Glorieta to restock the larder from
the meager supply to be had from the grocer. To the surprise of the
Easterners they heard from him that fresh meat could be had there at
prices which were current thirty and forty years ago—before the great
meat trusts choked the individual butcher out of business.

“Mr. Gilroy,” said Sanderson, “I advised Mr. Burt that we go forward to
Santa Fé to get important papers he will need. My friend here says he
will escort you up the forest trail; he knows the country better than I,
and he is a good camp-cook.”

As this was a practical suggestion, it was agreed that the scouts were
to go with Ranger Johnson, while Sanderson and Burt, after attending to
some publicity work in Santa Fé for the Pueblo Indians, would join the
scouts at Taos Pueblo. Thus the two young men said good-by and departed.

Ranger Johnson suggested the Apache Inn, at Valley Ranch, where he knew
the tourists could be entertained for that night. “But,” said the
Ranger, “before we leave for Valley Ranch, Mr. Gilroy, you may wish to
escort the scouts about the town.”

“We might get lost in such a great city,” giggled Joan.

“Lost in wonderment, maybe,” retorted the Ranger. “There’s a little
mission church said to have been built way back in 1600; and the ruins
of a prehistoric Indian Pueblo named Cicuye—it is worth photographing.
Then there’s the Pecos Ruins halfway to Valley Ranch. A view of this
real Mexican town is well worth the trouble of going to see it. The
house where you will stay to-night, with its whitewashed walls
glistening in the sunshine, will make a good picture, too.”

That night the scouts stayed at Apache Inn as planned, and early the
next morning they started off, with Ranger Johnson leading up the Pecos
Cañon. The trail ran close to the edge of the cliffs, but the walls of
the Cañon were heavily wooded to the bottom where ran the Pecos River,
hence the danger, if one went over the edge, was not so great.

Camps and cabins with visitors from everywhere dotted the groves or
parks wherever a good camp-site was to be found along the trail of the
Pecos River. There were many Cañons which forked off from the main one,
and upon the wooden level knolls one could see the tents or the portable
bungalows of the summering visitors.

The trail zig-zagged up through the forest of aspens and sentinel pines,
close by sparkling waterfalls and glistening cascades, past many a cool
trout pool, till the top of Baldy Pecos loomed up far ahead.

“How far is this from Pecos Town, Mr. Johnson?” asked Mr. Gilroy.

“Folks will tell you it is _only_ twenty miles—straight up. But who ever
came up here _straight_! An aëroplane might do it, but not a Mexican
pony! Just think of the way we zig-zag and go round the bluffs.”

“What is our objective for to-day’s trip, Ranger?” asked Julie, gazing
at the peaks which seemed so near but were actually miles farther north.

“Why, I plan to take you to Grass Mountain, where my friend and I have
charge of the branch station. To-morrow I will take you to Panchuelo,
where you will be able to see a view that will never be forgotten. From
the U. S. Forest Rangers’ observatory you can see the entire Pecos
Valley, as well as get closely acquainted with the Santa Fé Range on the
other side of the Pecos Cañon. We’ll spend the night with my friends at
the lookout and start you on the trail early in the morning.”

The air was most exhilarating, but it got to be so cool that the Captain
called a halt in order to make the girls don their heavy sweaters. Even
the men took advantage of the stop to get out their cardigan vests and
slip them on under their coats.

Finally, they reached the top of Grass Mountain and were introduced by
Ranger Johnson to his friend in the service.

The view from this plateau was all that had been said of it, but even
that leaves much to be said, because mere words are so inadequate to
describe such a glory. The scouts stood looking down the Las Vegas
Valley, then they crossed the plateau and looked down the Pecos Valley.
To the north the Santa Fé Range, and in still another direction
stretched the Sangre de Cristo Range.

“Yes, this certainly is worth the effort of coming up,” remarked Mr.
Gilroy, nodding approvingly.

“I don’t see that you made an effort,” retorted Julie; “it was the poor
horse that had to carry you.” The others laughed, and Joan added: “A
hundred and eighty pounds good weight, too!”

As there was ample bedding to be had for the plucking, the scouts
decided to weave their beds and get supper preparations under way before
they accepted the invitation of Ranger Johnson to go up into the
observatory and gaze through the powerful telescopes. By the time the
beds were finished, however, it was too late to see very much, though
the senior Ranger of this station, Mr. Oliver, tried to direct their
gaze to certain points.

Ranger Johnson was told to invite his associates to dine with the
scout-party, and a merry group sat down as the last rays of the setting
sun shot up over the distant peaks and touched the tin dishes,
transforming them suddenly to golden platters.

That evening around the cheerful camp-fire the Rangers told their
adventures; then Mrs. Vernon requested Tally to tell of his winter
experiences. The Guide, eager to oblige, described his escapes from the
blizzards, his fights with the grizzlies, and other thrills of a
trapper’s life. Finally he was persuaded to relate one of his Indian
legends.

“We haven’t heard any of your new stock, you know,” added Joan.

“Oh! wait just a moment, please, before you begin, Tally,” called Julie,
jumping up and running to her bag for a pad and pencil. Returning with
the desired articles she squatted again on the ground in front of the
camp-fire and said: “Now, then—all set!”

The others laughed at the movie term, then Tally said: “Dis gon’a be a
leetle injun tale, ’bout so beeg,” and he held his hands apart for a
length of about six inches to show the size of the story he proposed
telling.

As Tally told the story, Julie wrote quickly, and this is her copy of
it which she sent to the _Elmertown Record_.

“Once upon a time the Beaver and Porcupine were very good friends. They
traveled everywhere together and kept each other informed of all that
happened; and, because of the Porcupine’s sharp quills, other
inhabitants of the woods shunned them both.

“The Bear was in constant fear of the Porcupine; he had experienced the
sharpness of those quills, but he preferred the Beaver for a dinner and
he endeavored to break up a beaver-dam just to catch and eat one of the
family. The Porcupine stayed in the Beaver’s home which is very dry
inside and comfortable to live in; so, when the Bear would try to tear
down the dam to let the water run away and expose the Beavers, the
Porcupine generally came out to object. When the Bear saw his enemy he,
with an apology, would hurry away. Then the Porcupine would jeer and the
Beavers usually came out to hoot at their clumsy adversary.

“But the dam had to be repaired, hence the Porcupine sat and kept guard
during that time. When the dam was almost completed, the Porcupine said:
‘My, but I am hungry! Will you come with me while I get some bark and
sap from yonder tree?’

“Now the Beaver cannot climb trees, so he replied: ‘Friend, I will
remain here at the bottom and wait while you eat your fill.’

“The Porcupine was soon up in the tree enjoying his supper, then the
stealthy old Bear crept back to catch the Beaver. But the wise Beaver
saw him coming and called to his partner:

“‘Brother, the Bear is coming! What shall I do?’

“The Porcupine slid down the tree quickly and said: ‘Lay your head close
to my back and I will help you up the tree.’

“So the Beaver was helped into the crotch of the lower limbs of the
tree, and the Porcupine waited near the ground to drive off the Bear.
After a time, the Bear being gone, the Porcupine jumped down from the
tree, but the Beaver was huddled where the boughs branched from the
trunk.

“‘Oh, come and help me down!’ cried he to the Porcupine, but the little
animal pretended not to hear him.

“‘I will do anything for you, if you will only take me down,’ begged the
Beaver, in great distress.

“The Porcupine, paying no attention to his friend, hurried away. Then a
Squirrel, another friend of the Beaver, brought a number of his colony
and helped the frightened Beaver down safely to the ground.

“‘Where is my partner, the Porcupine?’ asked Beaver of the Squirrels,
after he had thanked them for their aid.

“‘We saw him scurry away to a hole in the rocks where lives a family of
Porcupines. He was telling them of the trick he had played on you and
when they laughed so loudly I heard about the trouble you were in,’ said
the friendly Squirrel.

“The Beaver said nothing, but went his way and resumed work on the dam.
He swam up and down the stream, and cut or carried the alders as he
needed them for the repairs. Then one day the Porcupine came back.

“Beaver saw him coming and called out: ‘Come down to the house and enjoy
yourself.’

“But Porcupine was afraid of getting wet.

“‘Oh, just climb upon my back and I will swim with you,’ suggested
Beaver.

“Then Porcupine climbed upon his host’s back and held on firmly. The
Beaver flapped his broad tail on the water and made a dive, then came to
the surface again. The Porcupine shivered and shook in fear for he did
not like being submerged that way. The Beaver laughed and said, ‘Oh,
that’s nothing! I consider it great fun to dive.’

“Again he went under the water and when he arose to the surface he
flapped his tail energetically so that the water flew over everything.
Finally he swam to an island in the lake and put the Porcupine ashore,
then went flapping away.

“The little Porcupine wandered about the small island, but could not
get away. He climbed a tree and called for the Beaver to come and take
him off, but the Beaver seemed not to hear as he continued building the
dam.

“Then the Porcupine climbed the tree again and cried and cried for help
until a Wolverine heard his call.

“‘What is the matter with you?’ screamed the Wolverine.

“I want the North Wind to blow and freeze the lake, so I can crawl back
to shore and go home.’

“The Wolverine then called all the wild-wood creatures together on the
shore of the lake and began calling to the North Wind.

“The North Wind, cross and sulky, because he was disturbed before his
season for blowing, came out of the cave and whistled furiously for a
time, then blew gustily over the face of the lake. The ice formed and
soon the Porcupine crawled carefully back to land and scampered home.

“But the Beaver and Porcupine were friends no longer, so the Porcupine
made overtures to the Ground-hog and they lived together up on the
mountainside where they could spy upon the men that came hunting.

“One day a man climbed the mountainside to hunt, and the Porcupine sang
out: ‘Up to the home of the Ground-hog! Up to the home of the
Ground-hog!’

“The man heard and followed the sound till he found the spot where the
Ground-hogs lived. He trapped and killed a small Ground-hog and then sat
down to skin it. This done, he made a hot fire between some stones and
was about to roast the hog, when the head plainly sang to him:

“‘My poor little head! my poor little head, you will never fill his
stomach!’

“The hunter was so frightened at hearing the head speak that he jumped
up and started home without tasting the meat. He told his friends about
the queer experience and they marveled.

“The next day the hunter went to look after his beartraps. The
Porcupine, from sheer curiosity, crept over to see if the Bear had been
caught. The man tightened the release of one of the traps, but the
dead-fall came down and struck the Porcupine on the back of the neck.
His head fell off and, as it rolled away under the leaves, a Ground-hog
came from its hole.

“The hunter went his way, but the Ground-hogs said: ‘Oh, the Porcupine’s
head! the Porcupine’s head! It will never trick the Ground-hogs again!’

“The Beavers heard the echo of the cry and hurried to the spot where the
Porcupine’s head lay, and they took up the refrain: ‘Oh, the Porcupine’s
head! the Porcupine’s head! It will never trick the Beavers again!’

“But the old Bear, who was glad, also, that the Porcupine was dead, kept
away from the spot, for he knew the trap was as dangerous as the
quills.”

As Tally concluded his camp-fire tale the scouts looked disappointed,
and Joan said: “Oh, is that all?”

“It was quite long enough,” said Mrs. Vernon. “It is time for bed,
because we wish to get up at dawn and resume the climb to the peak.”

Thus, with the next day’s adventures in mind the girls agreed to go to
bed without offering any protests.

It was so cold up on Grass Mountain that night that the scouts shivered
in their sleep, and all were glad to jump up early in the morning to
bestir themselves and get the blood circulating freely.



                             CHAPTER SEVEN

                         WHERE ARE THE BURROS?


After Tally had the horses ready and waiting for a start in the morning,
Ranger Johnson announced: “Sorry I’m not to be in on this picnic to-day,
friends, but my pal Oliver and I take turn and turn about. And this is
his day off. He says he’ll be delighted to ride over to Lake Park with
you-all and back-trail to Grass Mountain after leaving you in camp up at
Mountain View.”

“Is Lake Park near the trail we plan to follow?” asked Mrs. Vernon.

“Yes; in fact it forms the eastern boundary line of the Park,” explained
Johnson. “By riding to Lake Park you get a wholesale group of sights in
one day. There is Santa Lake, Aspen Mountain, Stewart’s Lake, Santa Fé
Baldy, and Spirit Lake. You ought to be able to get along the up-trail
before sundown and pitch camp at the first good spring or camp-site you
come to. Oliver says he can see you comfortably settled for this night
and then ride back here, as he knows these trails by heart.”

“That’s awfully good of him, Johnson, but we have no right to take his
day like that,” said Mr. Gilroy.

“Why, he’ll enjoy the outing more than any of you. It’s so seldom we get
a chance to picnic with the sort of people who make things pleasant,”
said Johnson.

So it was settled that Oliver should go with them that day, and in less
than ten minutes’ time Johnson was left standing on a bowlder envying
the good times his chum was about to have with the scout-party.

Having ridden down from Grass Mountain and crossed the trail to take a
short cut to Lake Park, it was Oliver’s suggestion to leave the three
packburros hobbled somewhere along the trail. As the scouts could ride
on twice as fast, and be able to get back to the Pecos River trail that
much sooner, this plan was agreed upon, and Oliver showed Tally an
excellent spot where the animals might graze during the day. The packs
were _cached_ under some rocks, and the burros secured, then the scouts
rode away to the park as had been outlined by the Ranger at breakfast
that morning. By four o’clock that afternoon, the scouts sent Tally for
the burros, and then, reaching Winsor, said good-by to Oliver, who
continued on the trail to his station, while they rode on further and
pitched camp on the Pecos River, just south of Panchuelo.

They had been undecided whether, after reaching Panchuelo, to take the
trail that followed the Rio del Pueblo for some distance on the trail to
Taos, or whether to turn northwest and follow the trail to Truchas,
thence northeast to Taos. Therefore at the breakfast, next morning, a
vote was taken and because there was a possibility of having Ranger
Sanderson and Mr. Burt overtake them on that trail from Santa Fé to
Taos, Truchas trail won the election.

Panchuelo was located at the fork of these two Taos trails and the
scouts wished to ride on a short distance to visit Round Mountain and
Pecos Baldy, so they debated what to do with the burros.

“What’s the use of dragging these slow coaches over the trail to the
mountains and back again?” demanded Mr. Gilroy. “Why not do as Oliver
did yesterday—find a place to hobble them and, later, send Tally to get
them?”

“All right!” agreed Mr. Vernon. “Tally, we’ll ride on, and you hide the
burros somewhere along the trail where they can graze till you come for
them.”

“But do not unpack? We won’t be at the peaks more than three hours,”
added Mrs. Vernon.

After breakfast the party rode on to the Forest Station, where they were
cordially received. Not till they stopped to look around were the scouts
aware of the altitude of Panchuelo. Now they stood in the Lookout
gazing upon the peaks of surrounding mountains which stood out clearly
in the morning light; they found that the far-down dots betokened
villages and camps in the valleys. Silvery streams winding here or there
showed where the Pecos and other rivers followed the course of least
resistance.

Having visited and photographed everything of interest at the station
the scouts bid good-by to the Foresters and rode away to the northeast
point of the triangle trail, thence westerly to the Truchas point, where
they were to meet the guide. He was not there.

“How could he be, when he has three burros to push and pull along the
road?” said Julie.

Finally, waiting got to be irksome, and the Captain suggested that some
one return to the Panchuelo point of the trail to see if anything had
happened to the Indian or to the burros.

Then Tally himself came to explain.

“Boss, dem burros all gone!” he gasped. “I hunt and hunt an’ I axe ever’
one what pass, but nobody see dem!”

[Illustration: “Boss, dem burros all gone!” he gasped.]

“Why! Where do you suppose they could have gone?” gasped Mr. Gilroy. But
Tally was already on the way back, so they all turned and followed him.

“Tally, what do _you_ say? did the burros run back to Grass Mountain? If
they did we shall soon know because Oliver will bring them down,” said
Mr. Gilroy.

“Burros go down-trail,” remarked Tally, “Not ’lone; two man-riders drive
’em.”

This amazing information surprised the scouts, and Mr. Gilroy said: “How
do you know.”

Tally explained about faint impressions made by the hoofs of the burros,
and the tracks made by two larger animals.

After a time they came back to the place where the burros had been left.

“Dem men not gone long. He drop ash here, see?” and the guide pointed to
a small rock beside the trail where some one had knocked the ashes from
a smoking-pipe.

“Even that does not prove it to be from a man to-day. That may be from
last night,” returned Mr. Vernon, deeply interested in Tally’s
deductions.

“Dem foot-tracks not last night’s,” said Tally, showing plainly where
the grass had been pressed flat.

“If that had been from last night the dew would have freshened it so
that the blades would have straightened again,” added Betty, her
scout-lore expressing itself.

“Then we’d better ride on and overtake the zealous assistants!” was the
Captain’s advice.

“You mean if they allow us to,” Mr. Gilroy amended.  Tally had jumped
into his saddle and now he started ahead of the others, but he kept his
eyes fixed upon the faint tracks in the trail as he went. Halfway
between Panchuelo and Winsor was a trail which ran along the northly
boundary of Lake Park and so on down to Santa Fé. This they followed,
the guide leading. Just before they reached the foot of Santa Fé Baldy
they came to a rushing torrent with a rough-hewn bridge of logs across
it.

Tally halted, and said: “Burros and riders no go up-trail f’om here.
Mebbe men lead um up brook to fores’,” and the guide pointed to a small
tributary which emptied into the larger stream which was spanned by the
bridge upon which his horse stood.

“Well, Tally, what shall we do?” asked Mr. Gilroy.

“Me scout here for signs if he’em come out. Tally got full gun,” the
Guide patted a Colt’s revolver upon his hip. “Boss take some scouts
up-trail an’ keep look-out for Ranger San’son, en some scout go wid Mr.
Vernon down-trail f’om Winsor en ask eve’y touris’ if dey see men who
got packburros what look familiar, see?”

“Yes, I see, Tally. But they may be down at one of the towns by now, and
the animals with our packs sold. Or they may be hiding in the woods,
waiting for a chance to come out again. Whichever it is we will be
without camping equipment and nowhere to get new things,” worried Mrs.
Vernon.

“You-all got hosses. Always scouts kin ride to hotel and get bed and
board,” was Tally’s practical reply.

“You’re right, Tally; some of us go Lake Park trail, and some ride the
Aspen Mountain trail and wait at Bishop’s Lodge. You stay and hunt man,
but be sure and meet us before dark at the Lodge,” said Mr. Gilroy.

It was sundown that evening, when the girls, accompanied by Mr. Vernon
and the Captain, rode up to Bishop’s Lodge to secure accommodations for
the night. Tally and Mr. Gilroy were out on the trails still hunting for
the men who had stolen the burros. While Mr. Vernon registered, the
girls stood near by talking.

“It’s just like a horrid nightmare where you start for a place and some
unseen foe holds you back,” said Joan.

“I suppose Sandy and Mr. Burt are almost up in Taos by this time,”
wailed Julie.

“Who’s taking our names in vain?” called a genial voice from behind a
wide-open newspaper. The man thus screened, sat in a chair in the
corner. Now he jumped up and laughingly came forward.

“Wby, Sandy! Where did you come from?” cried the girls in one voice.

“Right straight to you from that corner,” said the Ranger, pointing to
the paper on the chair.

“My! but you’re good for sore eyes, old chap,” remarked Mr. Vernon,
shaking hands with the Ranger.

“Yes, eyes sore from hunting for needles lost in a haystack,” laughed
Julie.

Sanderson smiled at her as she spoke. He had not believed Julie so
enchanting as he now found her to be. But the recital of a tale of woe
now demanded his attention. When Mr. Vernon’s story was ended, the
Ranger’s advice was asked.

“Burt and I arrived here not twenty minutes before you came. He is out
somewhere, but I wanted to see the papers before dinner. I saw you come
up to the door and I hid myself to see what you would do when you found
me,” explained Sanderson.

Then he proceeded to outline what could be done to get the burros as
well as the men, common rustlers without a doubt, who had stolen the
animals.

“We have the beasts insured, Sandy, and I’m not worried about _them_,
but we had dandy camping outfits as you know, and we need them for our
entire season,” complained Mr. Vernon.

“Leave it to me, Mr. Vernon, and you’ll get them all back in no time,”
promised Sanderson, “but that means I shall have to leave you here with
Burt while I run back to Santa Fé to pick up a coupla guides who can
find anything in New Mexico.”

Sanderson, merely leaving word for Burt, rode away on his wonderful
horse to Santa Fé, to find the Indians, of whom he had spoken. He said
he would be back at the lodge that night in order to start his men on
the hunt at dawn in the morning.

As long as the scouts had visited the Pecos Region and now were down
where the trail ran north to the Nambe Indian Pueblos, and thence on to
Truchas and northwest to Taos, it was agreed that they would ride with
Sanderson and Burt when they started up that trail.

For various reasons the scouts refused to retire that night. One was,
Sanderson had not yet returned; another was that they fully expected to
have Tally and Mr. Gilroy come in at any moment, and they wished to be
on hand to hear all the news if either party arrived.

“Evidently, Sandy has not had so simple a job in finding his Indians, as
he had expected,” remarked Mr. Burt, glancing at his watch. It was just
eleven.

By eleven-thirty Betty was dozing, and the other girls were doing their
best to stifle sleepy yawns. At a quarter to twelve they heard the sound
of horses’ hoofs in the court-yard outside, and they all ran to the door
to see who it might be.

“Behold the conquering heroes come!” sang Mr. Gilroy, rolling from his
horse and limping up to the scouts.

“Oh, Gilly!” exclaimed the girls, trying to peer through the darkness to
see who was with Mr. Gilroy.

“Ish me, an’ we got burros all fine!” laughed Tally, finding the scouts
could not see him through the darkness of the night.

“And _some_ ride we’ve had from Lake Park here!” grumbled Mr. Gilroy.
“Had it not been for those bully Rangers, Tally and I might have lost
our way again and again.”

“Oh, Boss! Not say so for Tally!” exclaimed the Indian. “You know you
mek me go your trail an’ he’em alius wrong one. But you be Boss, and
Tally have to mind you.”

As every one laughed at this, Burt added: “Come in, Tally, and tell us
all about it. At the same time we’ll see if there’s a chance of getting
at the pantry to find you some supper.”

Burt enlisted the sympathies of the night-clerk who went with the
newspaper man to the culinary regions. Within ten minutes’ time they
both returned.

“Now, then, boys, you come with me and sit down to the impromptu
spread,” was Burt’s hearty invitation to the belated wanderers.

“We’re all coming,” declared Julie; “if we don’t, you’ll hear the whole
story and then we girls’ll have to have it warmed over.”

Mr. Gilroy laughed. “Come on, you’re in the game.”

After sitting down to a table in the corner of the room the two men
spoke not a word but plied knife and fork diligently for a time.
Finally Julie exclaimed: “Don’t use all your power on the supper—spare a
little with which to tell the story.” And Mr. Gilroy obeyed.



                             CHAPTER EIGHT

                       GILLY TURNS FOREST RANGER


“Well, you know, soon after you left us to go down the trail to this
place, Tally rode into the stream to reach the tributary he had
mentioned. This he followed and, soon, I lost all sight and sound of him
and the horse. Then I rode back to Winsor where I expected to turn to go
up Grass Mountain for the two Rangers’ advice, and to make sure the
burros had not strayed back there.

“I had almost reached Winsor, when I noticed smoke drifting up the
trail. I cursed such luck that would call the Rangers to fight a forest
fire just when I wanted to find them. But I rode on hoping I might meet
them.

“Then the thought flashed through my mind that this fire might drive the
horse-thieves to the trail, or burn the slow-going burros with our
packs.

“I had not traveled much farther, before I heard the echo of several
horses’ hoofs pounding down the hard trail.

“In a short time I saw a number of fire-fighters come tearing over the
trail. To my intense relief I saw Oliver and Johnson with them. They
recognized me and called to know if I was lost; I tried to explain, but
they told me to join them. Then Oliver said:

“‘Panchuelo telephoned our station that a tiny spiral of smoke was seen
to rise from the woods at Lake Park. They thought some camper must have
left a fire smoldering and gone away to let it eat into dry timber and
start a flare.

“‘Johnson and I left orders for our subs on Grass Mountain and caught up
our tools, then jumped into the saddle and were off down-trail to meet
the other boys coming from Panchuelo.

“‘When we met they told us you had been there and had marveled at the
view of the surrounding country when seen through the powerful lens we
keep in the observatory. The scouts seemed surprised to hear that a
Ranger’s life was not one of ease and “high-living,” laughed Oliver.

“‘And I’m surprised to hear you chat so unconcernedly, Oliver, while
we’re on our way to a conflagration,’ said I.

“Oliver replied: ‘We’re used to this. But as I was about to say, you
scouts seemed amazed to find that our territory stretches over an area
of 100,000 acres. That we have to patrol this area and watch for timber
thieves, forest fires, floods, and other calamities to which the forest
is subjected; then as a little diversion we construct roads, build
bridges, clean away debris and such.

“Oliver now gave me a chance to explain why I had been alone on the road
when they had found me.

“I heard Johnson say to Oliver, ‘Say, that may explain the presence of
those two disreputable characters that were reported to be camping in
Lake Park.’

“And Oliver replied: ‘If we find them I bet we find the three burros.’

“Well, that was some adventure, girls—that fire!” exclaimed Mr. Gilroy.

“Is that all you’ve got to say about it?” demanded Mr. Vernon,
impatiently.

“Great Scott, no! I haven’t begun yet.”

“Goodness sakes! It’s past midnight now,” retorted Mrs. Vernon; “when do
you expect my girls to sleep if you drag on this way?”

“Oh, Verny! We don’t want any sleep,” declared Joan, and her friends
agreed eagerly with her decision.

“I wish you’d all feel this way in the morning, when I have to pull you
up,” laughed the Captain.

“If you females will only give me your _silence_ for a time, I’ll finish
my story and then you can go to bed,” said Mr. Gilroy, authoritatively.
Burt and Mr. Vernon laughed, but Tally continued eating for dear life.

“Well, Oliver and Johnson and I caught up with the other Rangers by the
time they were ready to leave the trail and break into the woods. They
had drafted every tourist and Indian they met on the road, and we had
quite a squad to fight against the fire. I was given a spade and told to
get busy when the orders were issued.

“Then we were sent in units to different sections.

“We three, Oliver, Johnson and myself, were sent to a point up the trail
for some distance and told to work down to the others.

“Oliver, pausing in the run, said to Johnson: ‘Looks like a mess over
there, Johnny. But the wind is for us to-day; it’s blowing in the
direction of the open trail and the Ruins.’

“Johnson nodded understandingly, but rode on. Later they met a number of
men and several Rangers who had been summoned by the telephone call from
other stations. Tally was not to be found at the bridge, neither had the
aids, when questioned, seen him or his pony.

“The ‘Ruins’ proved to be a vast area of great bowlders with not a green
blade growing there. As this barren, rocky place covered more than five
acres, from the stream on one side and the upward slope of the mountain
on the other, the fire-fighters could devote their entire attention to
that side where the tall trees offered excellent fuel to the fire.

“Working side by side, cutting and chopping away with the double-bitted
axes, spading up fresh earth wherever it was possible to turn under any
inflammable timber, the dauntless men progressed step by step, yard by
yard, till the solid green wall on the up-side began to gap widely.

“But the fire had been advancing, too. Now the men could feel the heat
from the flames, and the air became filled with choking smoke and fine,
falling wood-ashes. Cries and terror-stricken calls from wild denizens
of the forest served to increase the energy and zeal of these systematic
fire-fighters.

“As the men and the fire came nearer each other, the trees seemed to
drip red-hot cinders. The heat became unbearable, and the fire seemed to
win the battle for supremacy, but the wide swath made by the axes now
began to have its effect on the encroaching blaze.

“Ranger Oliver blew his patrol whistle to signal the men away from their
positions. Here and there he saw spots where a little extra work would
save the situation, and to such places he sent his aids.

“Finally these brave men, baffling a peril which menaced all alike,
realized that they had subdued the enemy. The flames found nothing in
its way upon which to feed and advance, hence they began to weaken and
die down, lower and lower, until their roar and hellish heat abated.

“The Ranger now commanded: ‘Go to it, boys, and beat out the ground-fire
with your mats.’

“For an hour more, therefore, every one whipped and smothered the sparks
or kindlings on the ground, till only a blackened, smoking stretch of
woodland remained.

“The night came before the Rangers pronounced the danger to be averted
for that time, and thanked all those who had rendered such valuable
assistance in quenching the fire,” concluded Mr. Gilroy.

“How about our guide and the men found hanging about the Park?” asked
Mr. Vernon of Mr. Gilroy and Tally.

“Why, search as they would, not a sign could the fire-fighters see or
hear of Tally, his pony, or of the outlaws and the stolen property. When
all hope of finding any clews had been abandoned, the men dispersed to
go their respective ways. Then I, with the two Rangers, started to the
protected spot where we had tethered the horses. Climbing into the
saddles, we rode up the trail, discussing meanwhile the possibilities of
Tally’s escape.

“‘You know, if your guide had been acquainted in these mountains he
could safely have taken another trail at that bridge and have made his
way to our lookout by a different trail. We Rangers have to blaze many
trails on our sections in order to facilitate our own riding when we
have to hurry to a blaze. If a trail is impassable it engenders great
areas of forests by giving the fire a chance to spread,’ said Johnson.

“‘Tally is a well-trained guide, and I’d wager anything that he’ll find
a trail even where there isn’t one blazed. If it comes to the worst
he’ll blaze a trail of his own,’ I said.

“‘He must be a pretty wise chap,’ said Oliver.

“‘He’s that wise that I’ll wager you still further if that fire hasn’t
done for those outlaws and the horses, I bet he’ll bring them to time
single-handed!’ I added.

“Twilight was darkening into night before we three weary riders said
good-by to each other and parted—they to go back to their lookout, and I
to ride down here to keep the tryst with you fair ladies.”

As Mr. Gilroy concluded his tale, the scouts cried: “Oh, Gilly! That
isn’t all! Where did you find Tally and the burros?”

“Ah! But that’s another yarn which must be told by the hero himself. Now
Tally, it is your turn to brag of all you did,” chuckled Mr. Gilroy,
leaning back in the chair to hear Tally speak.

At the same time the Guide leaned back in his chair also, and sighing
heavily, remarked with satisfaction: “Ah, dat goot job done clean!” Then
he pushed his polished plate away from before him and wiped his mouth
carefully on the napkin.

The scouts laughed, but Julie added: “Tell us your story.”

“Solly, Mees Jule, but me go fix burros for sleep now,” and with that
the Indian slipped away and could not be urged back.



                              CHAPTER NINE

                         TALLY AND THE RUSTLERS


“That was some fine work our Guide accomplished with those two
horse-thieves,” remarked Mr. Gilroy, enjoying the inquisitive urging of
the girls to make him tell the tale.

“Yes, sir! I won my bet with both those Forest Rangers—or at least I
would have won it had we only laid wagers on the result of this work of
Tally’s,” he added, smiling at the scouts.

After threats and other ways of making him tell his story the girls
finally had him launched.

“Well, it was this way,” he began:

“After I left Tally at the bridge to go up the little brook, while I was
to go on to the lookout, he tells me he took his horse to a good
hiding-place and then pulled his moccasins out of his panniers and put
them upon his feet, then he started.”

“Didn’t he ride his horse?” asked Betty, in surprise.

“No, because a horse with his four hoofs makes more noise than an
Indian’s two feet clad in moccasins. And Tally can creep anywhere
without making a sound once he has on his moccasins, as you all know,”
said Mr. Gilroy.

“But he was taking chances in having those very men get his horse as
well as the burros,” ventured Hester.

“No, because Tally knew they would not come back the way they rode away
with the burros, and he was too good a Guide to hide his animal in a
place easy to find by others.

“Well, he says, he was fully an hour in and out of that stream while
examining both banks carefully for tracks of the pack-animals. Finally
he saw a spot where the bushes were trampled and broken down. Then,
quite unexpectedly, he came to a small clearing where the ashes of a
camp fire had slowly but surely eaten a way through the parched grass
and would have reached in a short time the fringe of woods. He beat it
out before he continued his hunt; and, in thus carefully circling the
clearing to quench the fire, he came across the tracks in the earth of
the quarry he sought. He was confident now that this was the right trail
of the thieves. He also noticed that they were riding the horses which
must have been corraled at their camp when they crept out to get the
burros.

“He could follow the distinct hoof-prints more speedily, knowing they
would lead him to those he was after. But he was careful, while going,
to make sure his revolver and the rifle were in order for a moment’s
need.

“The tracks led in and out as the men tried to find the easiest way
through the forest. At last the trail became so clear that Tally could
increase his pace till, quite suddenly, he came out of the thick forest
to a small clearing where he found what he wanted. One man was just
starting a camp fire, while another was hobbling two horses. The three
burros stood waiting patiently to be unloaded after this arduous trail.

“At sight of the two disreputable, grimy-looking men who had two
magnificent, blooded steeds with costly trappings, Tally immediately
realized that he had a couple of old horse-thieves with whom to deal.
Evidently the rustling of the burros with their well-filled packs was
the means of sustaining the rascals for a longer time in these forest
fastnesses. But Tally despises a horse-thief!

“A full-blooded Indian, descended from a line of famous guides in the
Rockies, such as Tally is, becomes cool and considerate in times of
need. Here were two desperate outlaws, with the goods for evidence, and
here was one young Indian.

“Tally kept behind a tree and watched till the man had finished hobbling
the two horses and was returning to his pal at the camp fire. The three
burros, Tally noted, were almost between himself and the two thieves.
He might spring across the space and screen himself behind the little
fellows, but he wanted to deliver the pack-animals alive to his Boss. If
he used them as a shield they would be certain to be used as a target by
the men.

“After carefully studying the camp-site, Tally decided to skirt the
clearing and make his attack from a point much nearer the men. He wished
to surprise them, and not give them a chance to get their hands on their
guns. Therefore he started to creep noiselessly through the bushes, but
the wise little burros must have sensed the presence of a friend, if the
wagging of their long ears, and the bright eyes watching the woods where
the guide was hidden, proves it.

“As if fortune favored Tally somewhat, one of the men now said: ‘You get
some more wood, Ben. Ain’t got ’nuff here to cook nawthin’.’

“‘You go see what grub them packs is got, whiles I k’lect the
kindlin’s,’ replied Ben, starting for that part of the woods where Tally
waited, hiding behind a pine.

“At the same time, Ben’s partner went for the burros, his thoughts so
engrossed on the desirable items of food he was sure to find in those
bulky packs, that he paid no attention to his pal.

“Ben, watching where he stepped, loped from the clearing into the dense
growth of trees and brush; then, unexpectedly, he heard a faint sound
and looked up—into the cold steel muzzle of a Colt’s automatic
revolver. He knew the game and, so, without uttering a sound, he threw
up both hands. But in doing so, he tried to create a noise with his
feet—a sound which might attract his companion’s attention.

“‘Better not!’ hissed Tally, keeping the gun directed at the fellow’s
head while fumbling in his shirt for the rope he had thought to thrust
there in case of need.

“‘Keep hands over dat head, onless you lak eat bullets,’ was the guide’s
cool warning; then, from behind the man, he deftly tied his arms
together, and pulled him up to a tree to bind him securely to that
stanchion.

“‘I no lak hear much talk. Better show how still you keep,’ mumbled
Tally, taking Ben’s dirty bandanna and gagging his mouth.

“Then the Indian left his prisoner and returned to the camp-site.

“Meanwhile the cook had unbuckled one of the packs, but found it
contained the portable stove. With an impatient oath he leaned over to
feel of the other pannier, when a bright idea seemed to come to him.

“‘Sure ’nuff! why carry the stuff over to the fire, when you lazy
critters kin do it for ole Bill: Gid’dap! As he spoke he yanked at
Good-for-Nuttin’s bridle and dragged her by the head in the direction
of the camp-fire.

“So occupied was Bill in trying to get the three burros to move over to
the fire, that he failed to see the silent shadow which now leapt from
the woods and landed directly behind him. So close, in fact, that Bill,
in taking a backward step while pulling on Nuttin’s harness, felt an
unexpected impediment in his pathway. In a flash he felt a hand on his
hip and his revolver was gone! Instead of wheeling to confront whoever
it was that did this. Bill tried to dash for the burros and get behind
them. Tally was too quick.

“Bill dashed, it is true, but Tally could dash, too. And he did, landing
as close to his second prisoner as he had stood a moment before.

“‘No goot! han’s up!’ commanded Tally, pushing the cold barrel of the
gun up against the temple of the man.

“The rascal’s hands went up, but he turned to see who had captured him.
A wicked gleam of fury shot from his eyes when he recognized the guide
of the party that he had robbed.

“‘Now, meester outlaw, jes’ mosey up to that fine hoss over there,’
commanded Tally, coolly.

“‘Won’t you let me say a word to my pal?’ demanded Bill, trying to seem
brave.

“‘Pooty queek you say lot, but not now. Jes’ now you do lak _I_ say.’
The cold nose of the gun accented this order.

“In a few strides the two men, Captive and Captor, were over beside one
of the hobbled horses.

“‘Now tek rope f’om saddle,’ said Tally. The prisoner obeyed, though
reluctantly.

“‘You mek leetle noose,’ continued the Guide. This was done, then Tally
added: ‘You sleep him ofer two han’s lak bracelet, eh?’

“The Indian covered the man with his gun while giving the rope a twitch
that tightened it securely, around the wrists of the outlaw. Then he
bound his feet likewise.

“‘Now I eat an’ give my hones’ fren’s, the hosses an’ burrors, some
grub; nex’ we plan what to do, eh?” As he outlined his actions, the
Indian deftly opened the pack where he had stored the feed. He gave the
animals each a good drink of water; then hastily thinking and deciding,
he gave each a small measure of oats from the panniers. Then he took a
loaf of camp-bread, and a cold, fried trout left from breakfast, and ate
quickly. Bill watched greedily, but the guide had no idea of wasting
good food on worthless villains.

“After Tally had had a long drink from the spring near by the spot where
the camp had been started, he carefully smothered every vestige of the
camp fire. Then he glared over at Bill.

“‘Da’s what yuh forget to do down th’ trail. Mebbe he’em mek big blaze
ef I not fin’ he’em. Coyotes lak you-all burn down more God Amighdy’s
fine trees ’en the Creeador grow up again in a hunerd years. Mebbe you
lak feel how fire tas’es to some fine tree, eh?’

“Tally knew the value of a rest to his beasts of burden, so, after they
had finished their oats and had had a half hour’s quiet relaxation, he
decided to back-trail the way he had come. He made sure that not a spark
of the fire remained alive, then he went for Ben who had been left tied
to the tree. He led him to the clearing, but Bill groaned aloud when he
saw his pal was in the same plight as himself. The Indian made Ben put a
foot in the stirrup, “Fine! he’em all right. Now clim’ up saddle on dat
beeg hoss,” ordered Tally.

When Ben, hands, feet and body, was secured there, Tally went back to
Bill and drove him over to get up behind his pal. How the rascal managed
to sit upon the shiny rump of the animal was a wonder.

“Then the Guide sprang into the saddle of the other horse and started
his private caravan out of the clearing. He had gone back as far as the
old camp-site where the smoldering fire had been stamped out just in
time to prevent a conflagration, when an ominous sound from ahead and
above reached his acute hearing. Also the instincts of the high-bred
horses caused them to snort and paw the ground. The three little burros
flapped their great ears fearsomely, while the hair on their necks
seemed to stand up like bristles on a brush.

“‘Um-m-mm! murmured Tally, taking in the situation at once. ‘Mebbe you
fine outlaws mek udder fires an’ leave he’em lak you leave one dis
mornin’, so now we have fine beeg fores’ fire!’

“The Indian’s eyes flashed as he spoke. ‘Mebbe now I tie you to jus’
such beeg tree lak you burn down, an’ leaf you to tas’ nice hot fire
what you mek. My burro an’ dese two fine hosses what you steal, we go
down-trail an’ get out after we leaf you here.

“There was no mistaking the signs that the forest was on fire, but the
two cowards who now realized that the blaze was up in the direction of
their camp of yesterday cringed and begged of Tally to hurry and get
them out, else they would be roasted to death.

“‘Da’s goot for men what leaf camp fire smolder! goot for ’em to feel
how fine beeg trees feel when flames roast efery one. Mebbe you know
better when you baked goot and black lak forest after fire,’ Tally
believed in ‘rubbing it in’ once he had the golden opportunity.

“But he kept on down the trail, in spite of his threats to stop and tie
the two outlaws to the trees which now seemed to be doomed by the
fast-spreading fire.

“Finally the going became too precarious even for such a daring guide
as the Indian, and, true to instinct, he swerved away from the blazing
tree-tops above, and broke through an almost impassable jungle of
undergrowth. This wilderness proved to be merely a strip that separated
the winding stream he had followed, from a new trail recently blazed by
the Rangers.

“Following this comparatively easy path now Tally rode on behind his
cortege until he came to a forester’s blaze. Here he read that he was
riding _away_ from the bridge instead of to it. Consequently he drove
his cavalcade back, for a mile or more, to a cross-trail he had seen,
but which had looked too insignificant to take.

“Reaching this he stopped to read the blaze; thus he found he could
climb by the trail and strike into a good hard road where he would pass
by the spot where he had left his horse. This he did and after arduous
climbing he reached the log-bridge.

“He says he was so glad when he got his old horse back that he actually
kissed its nose. There was no sign of the devastating fire at this
section, and the horse had not even sniffed the smoke, and was well
rested and ready for another jaunt.

“Tally had to use the large flash-light all the way down-trail from the
bridge to this Lodge, and he says it was _some_ jaunt! The two outlaws
received no pity from him. Whenever they cried and begged to be allowed
to rest and have some food from the packs he pronounced stern judgment
upon them, and said:

“‘You no care what trouble you mek my frens, who mebbe go hungry when
you steal packs, so now you feel same way! Dat goot for you—it mek you
solly for my frens!” The scouts laughed at Mr. Gilroy’s mimicry of the
Guide.

“Well, girls, you know the rest of the tale: how Tally came across me as
I was ambling in at the gate of this Lodge, and how he met with a friend
who took charge of the horses and men.”

“Oh, Gilly! Is that all there is to the ending?” demanded Hester,
impatiently.

“Didn’t Tally get mixed up in a real honest-to-goodness western fight
that needs a sheriff?” asked Julie, scornfully.

“Why, the whole thing is _flat_, if Tally rode in as tame as all that,
Gilly!” added Joan.

“Well, I’m glad, for one, that the dear little burros and Tally weren’t
scorched by that awful fire!” sighed Betty.

Every one laughed, as they usually did, when Betty voiced an opinion,
and Julie added in disdain: “Pshaw! sounds like a Tenderfoot experience
in some camp-meeting resort instead of a wild west frontier adventure!”

“Maybe you-all will be pleased to hear the grand finalé of Tally’s
home-coming,” suggested Mr. Burt, quizzically.

“You mean the four suppers he managed to tuck away and then say ‘goot
job finish,’” laughed Julie, enjoying that part of the narrative.

“No, Tally ran head-on into Sandy and several men just as he was about
to turn in at the Lodge gate,” explained Burt.

“Why Gilly! You never mentioned Sandy in this story,” was Julie’s
exclamation.

“Not yet, but I am coming to that part of it now,” chuckled Mr. Gilroy.
“You see, Sandy had rushed to Santa Fé to secure a few men he knew in
these parts, and that is how he heard of two rich New Yorkers who had
their horses stolen while going to a spring for a drink of water. These
men had been given a lift in an automobile all the way back to Santa Fé,
where they hired a few recommended forest detectives to find their
animals. They also posted a reward of five hundred dollars for the
return of their horses and the two thieves. Well, as it happened that
the men they hired were the ones Sandy needed on _my_ job, and as it
seemed to be about the same locality where our burros had been led away,
he got all of them to come back with him. They planned to stop at
Bishops Lodge until dawn, then ride on up-trail and find the outlaws.
Tally saved them that trouble, as the two horses belonged to these New
Yorkers, and the two horse-thieves belonged in jail. And there is where
Sandy has conducted them, with the New Yorkers to prefer charges
against them and spare you scouts the trouble of doing so. Tally got the
reward, but he says he won’t keep it. He swears in Indian lingo that it
belongs to ‘um-m-m-m, eh-eh, scout!’”



                              CHAPTER TEN

                    ANCIENT RUINS AND MODERN ROMANCE


It had been unanimously agreed that all would wait at Bishops Lodge
until Sandy got back from Santa Fé, then all would ride to Taos Pueblo
together. Therefore Tally was told to stay in bed as long as he liked
and not get up for breakfast, but it was not necessary to advise the
girls, as they had no idea of going to bed at two o’clock and getting up
at dawn, when there would be nowhere to go. Hence every one slept in the
morning.

At a very late breakfast it was hastily decided to drive out in an
automobile to the Nambe Indian Reservation where Burt could collect such
information as might prove to be valuable for his articles in the paper.
They could all be back at the Lodge in the afternoon by the time Sandy
was expected. The horses and burros would have rested twelve or more
hours then, and could resume the trail.

This plan was carried out, and when the party returned to the Lodge they
were delighted to find the Ranger had arrived shortly before them.

“Hello, friends!” called Sandy coming out to the large porch. “I know
you’re all glad to see me feeling so well and happy.”

The scouts laughed and crowded around him, asking for particulars of the
arrest. Also they were eager to know what the New Yorkers did after the
outlaws were in jail—and what became of the splendid horses?

“Gee, I’m glad I am rested and had dinner,” retorted Sandy. “All those
questions to answer at once.”

“Save yourself, Sandy,” laughed Mrs. Vernon. “Because I’m going to make
the girls go up and gather their belongings. Gilly says we will take the
trail in half-an-hour and camp out to-night.”

“Of course you will come with us?” said Julie.

“I want to,” returned Sandy, his eyes telling the girl how much he
really did want to. “But I must have a word with the Captain alone,
before I decide.”

Therefore the Captain stepped aside and heard what the Ranger had to
say. After a serious talk the two of them entered the Lodge.

“You girls can scoot to your rooms and get your doo-dabs, can’t you?”
asked Mr. Gilroy.

So they went in, but saw nothing of the Captain or Sandy, as they passed
through the main hall. Shortly after they had gone to their rooms, Mrs.
Vernon and Sandy, with two strange young men of Sandy’s age, came out
and spoke to Mr. Vernon and Mr. Gilroy. Hearing the proposition, Mr.
Gilroy said:

“As you say, Captain. It’s your party, you know.”

Therefore the scouts discovered upon their return to the entrance of the
Lodge that two fine-looking young college graduates had been added to
the party. And to their astonishment, and to Tally’s joy, these men
owned and rode the two thoroughbred horses which the Indian had found
and brought back. They had been well cared for in the stable at the
Lodge the previous night, and now were fresh as ever and ready to go on.

Victor Adair, one of the two strangers, was dark, slender and most
entertaining, once he became acquainted. His friend and traveling
companion Godfrey Chase, was very blond and good-natured, but not as
quick-witted as his chum.

“Do we take the trail to Tesuque Creek, thence to the pueblo of
Tesuque?” asked Sandy, when all were ready to start.

“You know best, Sandy. We’ll follow,” said Mr. Gilroy.

“All right then, Tesuque Pueblo is not far, and after visiting there we
may have time to jog along to Cuyamunque where we can pitch camp for the
night,” outlined Sandy.

At Tesuque the scouts found few Spaniards; the citizens mostly were
pure-blooded Indians. The natives make strange pottery which is for
sale, so Mrs. Vernon purchased many curious animal forms of images,
called “gods.” The prehistoric pueblo proved to be interesting, and Burt
and Julie found the visit to be worth the trouble; he gathered some
splendid copy for his article in his paper, and the scout secured
several excellent photographs for her work.

They did not attempt to go farther that night than the fine camp-site at
the forks of Tesuque Creek. Tally made every one go to work and, soon,
they were settled as if camp had been established for a week.

That night was a merry one around the camp fire. Singing, tale-telling,
and star-gazing, to say nothing of the chaff that pleases young folks,
made the time fly until Mr. Gilroy said it was time to say good-night.

The following morning the riders resumed the trail and, quite naturally,
paired off as best suited them. Sandy rode with Julie, Mr. Gilroy and
Betty; Adair and Joan followed; then Hester and Chase. Mrs. Vernon rode
with Burt, and Mr. Vernon with Tally.

The trail led through Cuyamunque, before branching to a north-easterly
direction to touch at Nambe; the two young men recently added to the
scout-party had not seen the old Indian village, so now they visited the
ancient ceremonial kiva, and then went up the rocky gorge to see Nambe
Falls. Thence they rode by Escondillo, and Julie got several good
pictures of the old buildings.

The road now took them through sandstone hills cast in weird shapes.
Later they stopped at Sanctuario to visit its quaint chapel, then
continued on to Chimayo where Mrs. Vernon and Mr. Gilroy purchased a
number of very fine blankets woven on primitive looms by the natives.
That night they camped on the Truchas river, where it crossed the trail,
and in the morning they resumed trailing in an easterly direction to
Trampas then northly to Taos. It was twilight when they reached Ranchos
de Taos where rest and a good supper proved to be most welcome.

Mrs. Vernon had had to keep a vigilant eye on the flirtatious young men
who fully appreciated four sweet, pretty girls, because she was bound to
deliver her young charges heart whole to their mothers. But the scouts
had no concern over such fears, and thus enjoyed to the full the
companionship of the well-bred college boys.

The Pueblo of Taos, divided by the Taos River, proved to be most
interesting, its great walls rising on the river-sides to the height of
seven stories, two stories higher than the famous Zuria pueblo.

Julie and her friends took many splendid pictures of this ancient
fastness of the Taos Indians: the seven kivas; the adobe wall with is
loop-holes which surrounds the village of more than four hundred
natives; the ever artistic groups of Indians; and other appealing
pictures.

Young Adair and his friend Chase had planned to follow the trail from
Taos to Las Vegas, but now they changed their itinerary. Mrs. Vernon
understood why, but Betty said innocently: “Maybe they’re afraid to take
such a long trail alone, Verny; you see, they are perfectly safe with a
party like ours.”

“Well, Betty, I’m not so sure of that!”

“Oh, Verny! you know that not _one_ of us would steal their horses,”
exclaimed Betty, shocked at the Captain’s words.

“No, not their horses, Betty, but how about their hearts?

“Verny! What _do_ you mean,” gasped the girl, turning to look at the
convulsed faces of her scout chums. At the look on her face they lost
all control and burst into laughter. But their very merriment assured
Mrs. Vernon that they had no sentimental ideas concerning the young men.

On the ride back to Santa Fé the scout-party followed the Rio Grande
River, stopping over night at San Juan and Santa Cruz, and from the
latter place riding out to visit the great Puye Ruins. It is located
upon the Pajarito plateau, and is said to have 1600 rooms. It is built
in terraces similar to those at Taos. The caves and shrines are well
preserved and many prehistoric implements have been excavated from the
sands of centuries.

The scouts had a very pleasant visit, because the inhabitants were
friendly and hospitable. Riding down-trail from Española they camped at
San Ildefonso, where the Pojoaque River and the Rio Grande intersect.
The remaining twenty-seven miles to Santa Fé they proposed to make the
next day. As this ride to Taos, with all the side-trips the scouts had
made, was a long though interesting one, the girls were most willing to
give the horses a good rest once they arrived in Santa Fé.

“The animals may rest in peace, but we, with the sight-seeing germ, ‘go
on forever,’” complained Joan, stretching her lithe young form.

“You do not _have_ to, you know,” retorted Julie, “You may stable
yourself for a rest, if you prefer it to ‘going on’ with us.”

“Not much! I don’t want to be left out of any fun,” laughed Joan. “But I
sure will be thankful to be left out of that saddle for a few days.”

“Oh, as for _that_, we’ll all be thankful for that dispensation,” added
Mrs. Vernon.

Mr. Gilroy rode up to the girls at this moment and said: “Captain, Sandy
tells me that he knows of a first-class little ranch house just on the
outskirts of Santa Fé where our party can be accommodated in an
unostentatious way. We won’t have to consider dressing for meals or pay
attention to style. What say you?”

“I should prefer it to any hotel in the city,” replied Mrs. Vernon. “How
about you, girls.”

“Is Sandy and his friends going on to a hotel in the city?” asked Julie.

Mr. Gilroy chuckled. “No, they plan to stop at Belnap Ranch, that’s why
they seem so anxious to have you stay there.”

“Then we’ll stop at Belnap Ranch—just to spare our nerves the rack of
trying to keep up with tourists at a city hotel,” was Joan’s emphatic
reply.

It was with hopes centered upon the fun to be had in the next few days’
visit at Belnap Ranch that the young folks rode forward to the slight
elevation from which they could get a good view of Santa Fé. Sandy acted
as official information bureau now. He pointed out the Museum, the Old
Palace, the Cathedral which was started in 1612, the San Miguel Church,
centuries old, and then he directed their attention to the up-to-date
churches, hotels and business buildings. Finally they turned and rode on
down to Belnap’s Ranch House.

“What narrow streets the city seems to have,” commented Joan.

“Queer, isn’t it, with so much vacant land adjacent to the town?” added
Julie.

“How different it will seem from the mountains,” added Hester.

“You have not really _seen_ Santa Fé, my dears,” said Mrs. Vernon.
“Wait till you have gotten into the spirit of this ancient city and then
judge.”

“The Captain is right. Once you feel the spirit of the ‘City of the Holy
Faith,’ and know its history, you will doubtless decide it is the most
alluring place you have visited this summer,” said Mr. Vernon.

“While Verny and I go out to assist Tally with the horses and burros,
you scouts may as well go about and get a look at things,” suggested Mr.
Glroy.

But Mrs. Vernon hastily interpolated: “Not till after every one has
washed, and brushed away the dust and stains of travel; then we’ll meet
on the piazza and decide what to do.”

“Will the police arrest us for going about the streets in riding
breeches?” questioned Betty, fearfully.

“If the Indians wander in and out of town with scarcely enough on to
cover their bodies, I doubt if any one will stop to notice our togs,”
laughed Joan.

“I shouldn’t advise you to try the main streets and visit the stores, or
stop to see the Museum and the Cathedral,” laughed Mr. Vernon.

Then the scouts hurried to the low-ceiled rooms they were to occupy, and
were soon ridding themselves of the signs of the long trail.



                             CHAPTER ELEVEN

                          PADRE MIGUEL’S STORY


When they reappeared on the piazza in simple tailor-made suits, they
found the young men already there. Sandy was engaged in an interesting
conversation with an aged old priest who had stopped at the mission with
some newspapers. He smiled divinely at the group of girl scouts and his
salute, as he lifted his trembling right hand, seemed like a
benediction.

He went indoors, and instantly Julie turned to her companions and
whispered: “You-all wait here, I’ll be back in a minute.” Before the
Captain could reply the girl disappeared behind the swingdoors. A few
moments later she returned, followed by the mild-looking old priest.

“Captain, this is Padre Miguel of the little ancient chapel we passed
just before coming to the city. He says he would be pleased to tell us
many interesting things which he personally remembers since he came to
Santa Fé in his youth. Padre, this is my scout Captain, Mrs. Vernon,
and these are my friends, Joan, Hester, and my twin-sister, Betty.
Scouts this is Padre Miguel,” was Julie’s explanation. “The young men
you know already.”

The priest acknowledged the introduction in English, but the Spanish
accent was noticeable.

Adair instantly pulled out a wooden chair for the Padre, who very
courteously placed it for Mrs. Vernon, and she, smiling, thanked him and
sat down. At the same time Sandy had discovered a second chair at the
end of the narrow piazza, and now ran to fetch it. The scouts sat on the
top step of the entrance from the pathway, and were anxiously waiting
for the promised tale. The young men seated themselves Indian fashion,
upon the grass at the foot of the steps and seemed more interested in
the girls than in the Padre’s words.

“What a wonderful story you could tell, Padre, if you have lived in
Santa Fé so many years,” began the Captain, encouragingly.

The wrinkled old priest nodded his head.

“Yes, my children, I can. Many, many miracles I see in this city since I
come to be shepherd to my flock in leetle mission seventy year ago. I
now eighty-eight, my children, and it’s mos’ time I called home to
render account of my work.”

“How wonderful! to watch the growth of this city,” breathed Mrs. Vernon.

“Ye’es; to-day she have t’ree railroads, many mails a day, ’lectric
lights an’ telephones, with plenty fine improvement, but then, ah!” the
Padre’s tone was significant.

“The Old Palace—that long, one-story building of Spanish-Moorish
architecture at the Plaza—tell many story if its walls could spik. You
might hear all about our Spanish Warriors of the olden times—so far back
as when the pueblo people use the stone meal-bins and corn caves still
to be seen there, and lived on that same place long before the Spanish
Conquerors came in 1605 to use the site for their own fort.

“So lately as 1912 when Santa Fé say it must cut through some arch and
change inside to make more room, they fine conical fireplaces such like
you see in prehistoric caves in New Mexico—mebbe some Indian t’ousand
years back use dis cave dwelling.

“But Santa Fé not like ’Merican city, and she never will be, ’cause she
child of Old Spain adopted by United States. She not used to ’Merican
ways, so she keep Spanish customs.”

“We haven’t visited your city yet, Padre, but I can judge from the
general view we had, and from this unique mission ranch, that we shall
be intensely interested in all we see and hear at Santa Fé,” remarked
the Captain.

“That old Governor Palace see many tragedy, many melodrama acted—many by
savages, many by Mexican rulers, such tales I could tell—ah!” The Padre
sighed and crossed himself devoutly.

“One tale what mek gr-rand play for history picture, all about Spanish
lady who have seester what marry officer of Viceroy. Thees officer no
good. He beat wife, he take all her gold what is dower, he kill her with
his brutal way. Then seester come to Old Palace, demand justice, but
Viceroy he laugh. What nex’? Do lady sit an’ cry? No, _No_! she get
horse, tek her money, ride all long trail to Mexico City and tell big
men of King. Then she mek justice come to Santa Fé, and every one feel
better for leetle time.

“Oh, ye’es! Many, many such tragedy, many drama, what go on in Old
Palace where history make the West,” repeated the Padre, his weak black
eyes gazing at the famous old building which was just visible beyond the
houses in the foreground.

“You know, signoras, our old Santa Fé trail one of mos’ famous in world
history. Picture, if you please, the Fonda where American caravans come
to exchange goods. Near, too near, the Fonda stand the customs and jail
building. Walls in those days were build five to six feet through of
solid adobe. Walls then have to be refuge for men. In the prison wall
you go see bullet holes, where the gun what shoot at prisoner not kill
him. The man who have charge of Fonda Exchange, he run everything. If he
say to trader ‘$100 duty,’ then trader pay, or go to jail nex’ door.
Mebbe he come out some day, mebbe he get bullet in cell—in brain cell,”
laughed the toothless old Padre, showing he appreciated a sense of
humor.

“You see, Signoras, he mus’ alius pay duty. Why not? If he no pay, he go
to prison an’ somebody tak all his goods for cost of storage. Mebbe he
never come out! So he pay—see?” the Padre shrugged his shoulders, and
the scouts saw only too well.

“Can you shut your eyes, Signoras, as I can, and see a caravan topping
yon ridge. I see white-tented wagons with great heavy wheels, drawn by
yokes of oxen—five, six yokes hitch tandem, with extra mule-teams tie
behind wagon to help out in need. I hear driver swear and shout,
‘stretch out there!’—then he lash a bull-whip what reach first yoke and
all along backs of yokes behind leader, like a serpent covering slimy
trail to hole in groun’. Every caravan have scout out-riders and a
Capitaine what command; and Capitaine have twoscore wagons to look
after. That trip take forty-fifty days to mak over desert and dune. It
were no fun to trek across Indian land those days, where Ute Warriors,
or Comanche savages, lay wait to attack and scalp men, then steal beasts
and burdens—Ye’es, I see it all!” Even so, the scouts, too, saw the
mirage which the Padre painted in such telling words.

“I can see the Old Palace when the grandees have a ball, or a reception.
Such costumes I never see in Madrid, or Granada, or other cities of
Spain. I see them promenade in silks, and velvets, and bejeweled from
crown to ankle. I have seen all such drop to their knees when I have
ring vesper bell. All, all, are gone long ago, yet Padre Miguel
remains.”

The Padre sat humped in his chair, his thin hands clasped laxly between
his knees. The scouts were afraid to speak lest they break the spell
woven by the old man. Finally the priest sighed, then smiled and looked
up.

“You have viseet the pueblo cities of Jemez and Pecos and Taos—yess!”
asked he of Mrs. Vernon.

“No, Padre, only Pecos Cañon, and up to Taos Mountain,” returned the
Captain.

“Ha! you must sure see Jemez, my fren’s. Such wise men have these Pueblo
Indians! No knave there, but hones’, fine rulers. Now some men what play
politics, he try mek all pueblo dwellers bankrupt so they move out and
leave claims to schemers who want such land for money—ah, ye’es—Padre
Miguel know how money make demon of white man!”

“We have a young Ranger in our party who is here with a man from
Chicago—they are about to investigate the bare facts of the situation
regarding this Bursum Bill,” remarked Mrs. Vernon.

“Ye’es! I like to meet him, to tell him much I know ’bout such
business,” said the priest, eagerly. “’Mericans must not let such work
go on, or the day will come when the land about to be stolen from the
Indians will be haunted even as Isleta is—it is protected in times of
danger by the holy friar. You hear of him?” said the priest

“No, what is it, Padre?” returned Mrs. Vernon.

“Every fife-ten year the friar come back to warn his peepul what best to
do. Sometimes the river floods coming bad, and always he warn his flock
in time for them to escape. When we tell unbelievers this they laugh.
However, a number of ’Mericans get permit a few years back, and dig up
grave where holy father’s body rest. They find the heavy log coffin and
friar’s earth-body jus’ so good as when his spirit leave it. All I say
is truth, ’cause I am Padre here, and cannot mistell you this.”

Further reminiscences were impossible, because a number of men were seen
coming up the foot-path to the piazza.

“Well, scouts, how did you pass the hour I left you to your resources?”
called the hearty voice of Mr. Gilroy, as he approached.

“We never thought of you once,” laughed Joan.

“That shows how much we missed you,” added Julie.

“If I was a fine young man in green uniform I suppose I’d have all the
girls sighing for me,” retorted Mr. Gilroy.

That evening, after supper, Sanderson and Burt devoted their time and
attention to Padre Miguel and the important information about the
Pueblos which he gave them. The scouts gathered around and listened for
a time, then, finding that Adair and Chase were equally interested in
the Padre’s tales, they said good-night and went to bed.

“You know, Gilly,” said Mr. Vernon, in an undertone that night, “I think
we’ll let the horses eat their heads off here, where the fodder is the
cheapest thing we can buy, while we hire a touring-car to visit the
places about Santa Fé. We’ll really save money, and in the end, give us
more time to see the really wonderful places when we get to them,
instead of using the time on the road if we use horses,” said Mr.
Vernon.

“Do you know, Verny, I was thinking the same thing to-day, when I saw
the numerous cars go through the city on the way to points of interest
in New Mexico. I was half wishing we had left the horses out of the plan
for this summer and had chosen the automobile instead,” remarked Mr.
Gilroy.

“Don’t regret having decided on horses, Gilly; we can never go in a car
where the four sure feet of mountain-climbing horses can carry us,”
declared Mr. Vernon, emphatically. “But now, I really believe we can do
better by using a machine to cover these long trips, such as forty to
sixty miles a day. In this way we need not miss a single thing around
Santa Fé, and still be on hand in order to meet the other girl scouts
the first of August.”

“That is, if they are allowed to come out here,” added Mr. Gilroy,
doubtfully.

“I’m sure of their joining us later. I wrote letters to their fathers
and expressed myself quite plainly about the way their daughters were
being deprived of traveling and seeing what most young ladies would give
their hats to see. But I haven’t mentioned my letters to the Missus, or
the girls here, understand?”

Mr. Gilroy chuckled. Yes, he understood perfectly!

“Well, I’ll authorize you to go hunt up two large enough cars early
to-morrow morning, to accommodate our party. Then we can compare notes
in a few days, and see if we cover the field better than with horses,”
agreed Mr. Gilroy.

“All right—done!” exclaimed Mr. Vernon, as they got up and started for
their respective rooms to sleep.

At breakfast the following morning, the plan of securing two automobiles
to drive to the points of interest within a radius of Santa Fé was
heartily approved by every one in the party.

“Let me do the bargaining for you,” said the Ranger. “Every one in the
town knows me by sight, and I am sure I will be able to secure better
rates.”

“All right,” agreed Mr. Gilroy; “glad to get rid of the trouble.”

“We’ll go with you, Sandy,” offered Burt, including Adair and Chase in
his glance.

For a few hours that morning, therefore, the scouts were left to amuse
themselves. Sandy had promised to get back with the cars, if they should
find any, before noon. The host of the ranch house had promised to look
after the horses and burros whenever the owners should be absent. Fodder
was cheap and the weather was fine, consequently there was no reason why
the animals should not fare well.

While the young men were absent on their search for two comfortable cars
the two elder men with the scouts were planning various excursions to
the points of interest around Santa Fé. One of these excursions would
follow the trail past Buckman, taking in the Water and Ancho Cañons, and
so on to the Bandelier National Monument. On this route they would
continue to the Frijoles Cañon, thence to the Painted Cave, and further
down the trail visit Cañon de Cochita; the next point of interest would
be a visit to the San Felipe Indian Reservation, and then trail eastward
to the Tiffany Turquoise Mines and the San Marquis Pueblo Ruins.

Within an hour after leaving the ranch house, Sandy and his friends
returned in two comfortable touring cars. The camping outfits were
stowed away, and a supply of food packed in hampers; then having said
good-by to the host, the scout-party got into the two cars and drove
away. Sandy acted as chauffeur in the car where Julie, Hester, Mr.
Gilroy and Mr. Chase were seated. Tally drove the car in which were the
Captain and Mr. Vernon, Betty and Joan, Mr. Burt and Mr. Adair. The
latter car being a seven passenger model, while the former was a five
passenger car.



                             CHAPTER TWELVE

                          JULIE’S TÊTE-À-TÊTE


The distance to the Jemez Forests was about twenty miles over sandy
roads. The trail led across the Rio Grande and then climbed up and up.
Finally it became apparent that, later, the autos would have to be
parked if the scouts wished to visit the “City of the Dead” as they had
outlined, so the cars stopped while all planned.

“Now what? Walk up that awful trail and haul the kitchen on our backs?”
cried Julie, frowning up at the great layers of shelf which seemed to
reach to the heavens.

“No,” giggled Joan, “we’ll leave the ‘kitchen sink’ in the car, but take
everything else.”

“We can drive up much farther than this,” said Mr. Vernon. “The trail
winds and winds and at last brings us to the mesa where we will lunch.
There we will leave Tally to hunt up a suitable cave for his afternoon
siesta, while we climb to the sky.”

Finally the cars came out upon a high mesa—perhaps, thousand of acres of
park, all shaded by yellow pine.

Upon this wonderful tableland the scouts had lunch and then went on to
Frijoles Cañon. When, finally, they came to the end of a road—they had
arrived!

After a time the visitors sighed, and, having broken the spell of awe,
the scouts found their tongues.

“Gracious! what a jumping-off place,” exclaimed Julie, as she gazed at
the two fearful precipices, the sides all pierced with windows and
arched doorways and projecting balconies.

These dwellings, tier upon tier of them, were reached by ladders, and
some by steps cut in the stone. It was once a populous city with the
main street over twelve miles long.

“Think of all the citizens living in this queer place!” exclaimed the
Captain. “Where do you suppose they went after they left here.”

“That’s the question every one asks, and no one has yet answered,”
returned Mr. Gilroy. “But come, let’s go down and visit.”

The scouts visited the sacred chamber where the ancients worshiped the
god of fire and the serpent-guardian of the water-springs. They took
snapshots of the stone circle which the great colony used for its
dances. They went in cave after cave, each one having a new interest to
visitors, and coming out again, wondered at the marvelous view forever
spread out before the front doors of these cliff dwellers of ancient
days.

That day the scouts found several flowers which have not been classified
by botanists. They saw the blood-red cactus that grows high up on the
black rocks; the beautiful mountain pink; the dwarfed field daisy; and
others without names, although they were gathered to be pressed for use
in the girls’ books. It was late that night when the party motored into
Santa Fé, but it was a satisfied party.

A week of visiting such marvelous places as these girls never dreamed
were on earth passed quickly. They had gone to different prominent
pueblos within easy motoring distance of Santa Fé; they had visited the
Tiffany Turquoise Mine; they wondered at the old Bonanza; they hunted
for bits of gold in the Ortiz placers; and they collected specimen of
flowers, minerals, insects and other curios for their scout files at
home. Then they took two days to go to the ancient Aztec City, to Chaco
Cañon, and other pueblo ruins in San Juan county.

“The last trip of all, I have kept as the best,” remarked Mr. Gilroy at
the end of the week’s rental of the automobiles. “But we will leave
Santa Fé behind us when we start out on this jaunt to the west: I am
speaking of a visit to the Enchanted Mesa, to Laguna and Acoma.”

“It’s going to be no joke to reach Acoma, Gilly,” said Mr. Vernon, “but
we have plenty of time, and that is one asset in seeing these strange
places.”

“When do we start from here, Gilly?” asked Joan, eagerly.

“Well, that depends. I expected to meet a few friends in Santa Fé
to-morrow, and I shall have to wait for them. They should have been here
to-day, but I hear they were delayed in Denver by one of the party who
had important business to attend to in that city. To-morrow they will
surely meet me, then I shall be free to go west with you.”

Not one of the scouts suspected who the friends might be, so they took
it for granted that Gilly had business men to meet; but they planned
with Mrs. Vernon what to do in the morning, while Mr. Gilroy met his
friends from Denver.

To the delight of the girls, the four young men and Mr. Vernon were at
breakfast in the morning, when they entered the dining-room. The Ranger
instantly sprang up and welcomed the party.

“I suppose you are all on the _qui vive_ this morning, eh?” asked Mr.
Burt, smilingly.

Mrs. Vernon hurriedly endeavored to signal him to keep the secret, but
the newspaper man did not see.

“We’re trying to kill a morning with nothing to do,” laughed Julie.

“Oh! then you are not going to the station to meet the train that will
bring your chums?” was Mr. Burt’s surprised query.

“To meet whom?” demanded the scouts.

Mr. Burt glanced from one to the other, and finally met the glance from
Mr. Vernon. Too late, he realized that the plan had been to take these
four scouts by surprise.

Julie laughed uproariously, then tried to say: “Isn’t it always thus
when so many know of the surprise party? There’s bound to be one who
lets the cat out of the bag.”

By this time the other girls began to realize what it all meant and then
there was a great hullabaloo.

“Hurry now, and we will go after Gilly to accompany him to the station,”
laughed Mrs. Vernon. No need for such advice, however, as the scouts
were well-nigh choking themselves in their haste to eat and be off.

As the time on the automobiles would not expire till one o’clock that
day, the scouts inveigled the men to drive them to the railroad station.
Such a scene when the train came in! Anne, Judith and Amy jumped off
into outstretched arms, and were welcomed by wagging tongues all talking
and questioning at once. No one heard or understood a word any one else
was saying, but that made no difference to these scouts!

Then the newcomers had to tell in detail how it was possible to persuade
Mrs. Ward to let Amy leave home, and many a merry peal of laughter
echoed in the ancient streets of Santa Fé as the scouts, all wedged into
the automobile, were driven out to the little hotel.

“To tell the truth, it was Julie’s graphic articles in the _Elmertown
Record_ that changed Mrs. Ward’s opinion of the west. Every one said it
was so wonderful for the girls to have such an opportunity that she felt
ashamed of herself,” explained Anne Bailey.

Then the secret of Julie’s journalism came out and her friends applauded
loudly when they heard of her success. After a good dinner, shortly
before noon, Tally led the horses to the piazza, and Mr. Gilroy said it
was time to be off on the trail to the westward. Adair and Chase
expected to ride the trail to Las Vegas, but changed their minds when
they heard Sandy and Burt plan.

“How about horses for the three girls,” asked Joan, as they all started
for the door.

“All ready! Tally had orders long ago, and they arrived this morning,”
said Mr. Vernon.

To the great satisfaction of the scouts it was now learned that the four
young men had decided to ride with them through the marvelous country
west of Santa Fé, where the Zuñi Indians and all the remarkable pueblos
would be found.

The entire party rode along the Rio Grande trail as far as Albuquerque,
camping in the wayside woods, or stopping at the towns on the way, as
best suited their inclinations.

Albuquerque proved to be just the opposite of Santa Fé. There the very
air seemed filled with mysterious spirits of the ancients; here in
Albuquerque, with its strictly up-to-date activities, the girls felt as
though they were back east. The buildings of the University of New
Mexico, where Sanderson had been graduated that year, situated upon a
plateau more than two hundred feet above the city, was one of the places
to be visited by the tourists. The view from that height is beautiful,
and the impressions of the city when seen from here, is lasting.

The scouts stopped at the Alvarado Hotel, a luxurious place with every
modern convenience, though its style of architecture is Old Spanish
Mission. From its verandas the girls could see the peaks of New Mexico
as they sent up their snowy tips to the azure sky.

Being the season when tourists crowded the city, the scouts found things
very lively with dances and plays and drives day and night. They went to
the Musee, to the fashionable restaurants, and forgot they were in the
land of the pueblos.

“Lucky we each packed a decent gown for such an occasion,” remarked
Julie, as they all sat in the brilliant dining-room of the Alvarado and
watched the well-dressed guests, some of whom were dancing to the music
of the palm-screened orchestra.

During the trailing from Santa Fé, Sandy had devoted so much time to
the Pueblo matter and Burt’s articles that Julie believed him to have
been merely flirting with her before this, so now she snubbed him. But
the Ranger never thought of flirting. He was genuinely attracted by the
pretty, intelligent scout. With him, however, duty came before pleasure,
and he had considered it his duty to attend to the various missions upon
which he had been sent in company with Burt. Hence he had not indulged
his fancy as he would have liked. Now that he had accomplished most of
the work of escorting the newspaper man to the pueblos and assisting him
in getting facts first-hand from the Indian chiefs, he relaxed the
tension as he pictured the pleasure before him. He never dreamed that a
girl might become piqued at being left without a word or glance from
him, while he was occupied with getting statistics. But he was to learn
that feminine demands are not to be ignored if the admirer wishes to be
popular.

To the three scouts who had recently arrived, everything was new and
novel, and the Ranger, to them, seemed very handsome and agreeable. They
therefore chided Julie for her manner towards him, because it was
plainly to be seen that he cared nothing for any one in the party but
her.

“Go entertain him yourself, why don’t you?” she would retort. “I’m busy
getting points on journalism from Mr. Burt.”

But this was merely an excuse, as Mr. Burt had been engaged with Mr.
Gilroy and Mr. Vernon, telling them of his hopes in securing justice for
the Indians.

It was not until the party rode into Albuquerque that Sandy said with a
sigh: “Well, my holiday ends here; I’ve got to go back to Panchuelo in a
few days.”

“Oh, really! I thought you were going to accompany Burt to Acoma,” said
Mrs. Vernon.

“No, he won’t need me there, and all the big pueblos of New Mexico have
been visited. I wish I could go with you to Acoma, however, Captain. You
know, it is said that one can make any _good_ wish when first standing
at the Enchanted Mesa, and it will instantly come to pass.”

“What would you wish, Sandy?” asked Joan, mischievously. “Maybe I can
act as proxy for you.”

“Well, you might try it,” returned the Ranger, daringly. “I wish that a
coveted friend might thaw somewhat, from the icy attitude that she
maintains towards me, before I have to say good-by. There are many
important matters I would discuss with this friend, but one has no
inspiration when the chill is so intense as to stop my circulation.”

“That’s a good wish and I’m sure it will be answered. Anyway I promise
you I shall ask it of the guardian spirits of the Mesa,” giggled Joan.

“Lots of good such a wish will do Sandy if he leaves us at Albuquerque,”
said Mr. Gilroy.

“We won’t get to the Enchanted Mesa till after we have said good-by to
the Ranger,” added Mrs. Vernon.

In spite of such innuendoes, Julie failed to “thaw” until the very last
night of Sandy’s stay in Albuquerque. It happened that there was to be a
hop at the hotel that evening, and the seven scouts had frizzed and
frilled for the occasion; consequently they appeared on the scene
looking very fresh and attractive—so thought several young college men
who had been smoking cigarettes and talking to the Ranger. Naturally he
introduced the scouts to his companions and a most enjoyable evening
followed.

If a tenderfoot in the East fancies New Mexico has a climate that is hot
enough to sizzle bacon on a rock, or induce a tourist to go to bed at
night without sheets or blanket to cover him, that one will have another
guess coming. In all the time the scouts had been in New Mexico they had
not felt any too warm, even at noon-day, in their woolen shirts and
khaki breeches. Now, at the hotel dance, they were decidedly cool in
their light dinner gowns, and evening scarfs.

As the young people, chaperoned by the Captain, moved towards the
ball-room, Sandy managed to get beside Julie and ask: “Are you not
feeling cool without a wrap?”

“I’m so icy that sensation is no longer one of my five senses,” returned
she, quickly.

“Perhaps you will thaw out after a dance with me,” suggested Sandy,
giving her a look that pleased her mightily—a look of admiration.

“I never thought dancing was part of a Ranger’s duty,” remarked she,
casually.

“Oh, but it is! When we are supposed to entertain friends—such as we now
are.”

“Who said so? I should say we were mere acquaintances, here to-day, gone
to-morrow.”

“Not so, Miss Julie! If you knew me better you’d know that I do not
believe in to-morrows. I claim the _nows_ of to-days.”

“_Now_ what can you really claim?” demanded Julie, giving him a quick
glance.

The Ranger caught it and smiled. The other members in the group had
joined Mr. Gilroy and Mr. Vernon, who were waiting at the door of the
room, and now were pairing off for the dance. As Julie and her escort
entered the room, the Ranger answered her last question very decidedly.

“You want to know what I claim _now_?—this”—and he swung her away into
the whirl of dancers without as much as asking her would she be pleased.

To Julie’s amazement this partner could dance divinely. She was
considered the most graceful dancer in Elmertown, and many times she
had contributed for charity’s sake, at bazaars, at pageants, etcetera,
the classical Greek and Oriental dances she could do so well. Therefore
she considered herself a good judge of partners.

The two had circled the room and both were enjoying themselves
immensely, when Sandy said in a low tone: “Are you thawing?”

Julie could not control the ripple of laughter, because she knew that
_he_ knew her seeming arrogancy was mere pretense. She was never
patterned for a queen, nor for a charmer that spurned her idolators with
haughty insolence.

The music ceased, but the joyous dancers encored to such a degree that
the orchestra responded. During the interval in the dance Sandy smiled
at Julie, and said: “It will not be necessary for Miss Joan to make that
wish as my proxy at the Enchanted Mesa. The iceberg is no more.”

Julie tried to pout, but her spirits were too effervescent, and it ended
in a laugh, as the Ranger swung her away again in the second half of the
dance.

“Think I’ll stop for breath!” gasped Julie, as they came opposite an
inviting balcony reached by palm-bowered French windows.

Sandy caught her thought and instantly whirled her over to the alluring
tête-à-tête. As fate had it that evening the balcony was unoccupied, so
the Ranger seated Julie in a luxurious wicker chair and took the other
vacant chair beside her.

“Oh, what a marvelous scene!” exclaimed the scout, gazing at the
sea-blue heavens where the brilliant stars twinkled like signal-lights
on unseen vessels riding at anchor in the clear transparency of the
heaven. All about she could see the ghostlike peaks that seemed to
encircle the city, and back of them other peaks, and then back of these
still others, till night swallowed the dim outlines of the Santa Fé
Range, the Pecos, the Sangre de Cristo, and other mountains.

Sandy was silent. He sat and stared at the distant mountains and
pondered. He wished to ask a favor of his companion, but he was not sure
how it would be received.

“Are you trying to see what your friend Oliver is doing up on Grass
Peak?” asked Julie, quizzically, as she waited overlong for the Ranger
to speak.

“I was visualizing myself up there in the cabin after Oliver brings up
the mail-pouch. I will enjoy reading letters, next to being with Mr.
Gilroy’s party.”

“Oh! then I shall see that both the men write you picture post-cards as
we travel westward,” suggested Julie.

“I don’t care about _that_, but I do care about having you write: will
you?”

“Post-cards? Why, I will, if no one else has time,” teased Julie.

“You know very well what I mean. Our time is so short, can’t you be
serious just for a moment? I want you to promise to write _letters_ to
me—tell me what you are doing, where you are going, whom you are seeing!
I want to feel that I am with you when you go through that wonderful
Canyon in Arizona, when you go down Bright Angel, and when you camp in
the bed of the Colorado River. Will you invite me to be with you by
sharing your experiences in a letter?”

Julie had had many boyish admirers in Elmertown. After the Adirondack
Camp the Boy Scouts of Grey Fox wrote frequently, and she answered their
letters. She was too pretty and vivacious a girl to remain in the
background of any society, hence she enjoyed light-hearted flirtations,
and only last winter a few of her sister May’s callers took notice of
her and included her in any party or outing. But this was a very
different kind of a man from the boys she knew. While she was highly
flattered, she was not quite certain whether she ought to encourage his
apparent tendency to become attached to her. Several moments passed in
utter silence while she thought. Sandy understood and waited.

Julie sighed in uncertainty and glanced at the young man who sat and
awaited her answer. She saw how eager he seemed, and she thought of the
life he lived with a much older man all alone on that mountain-top.
Then she had a bright idea.

“I’ll send you the copies of the _Elmertown Record_! There you can read
in print exactly what we are doing, eh?”

“No! I’ll have no cold print. I want personal letters in your
hand-writing, or nothing!” He was certainly getting to speak with
authority, was Julie’s thought. Then she giggled as she heard, in mind,
Joan’s comment.

“Regular cave-man manner, Jule!”

“You’re going to say yes—I know you are,” exulted Sandy.

“Then you know more about it than I do. But I promise to think it over.
You might give me your post office address, because, should I decide to
send you a word, now and then, I’ll have it on hand.”

The Ranger caught Julie’s hand in his pleasure, and his eyes beamed
thrillingly. The situation was becoming very romantic, thought Julie,
when, quite unexpectedly, Mrs. Vernon stepped out upon the balcony.

“Oh, here you are!” said she, glancing quickly from one to the other.
“Mr. Gilroy is waiting to dance with you, Julie, and the girls are
deeply offended because Sandy has not asked one of them to dance. Shall
we go in and join the others?”

They had to follow, but Julie sent one longing glance over her shoulder
at the far-off glimmer that might be Panchuelo; while the Ranger leaned
over and whispered: “Here’s my post office address—Julie, dear!”



                            CHAPTER THIRTEEN

                           THE ENCHANTED MESA


The next day Sandy and the two New Yorkers said lingering farewells and
rode away. Burt would go with the scouts as far as Gallup. He wished to
visit the Zuñi Reservation in the extreme western section of Valencia
County, therefore it would be much pleasanter to travel there with such
an ideal party as this of Mr. Gilroy’s.

Immediately following the Ranger’s departure the scout-party rode away
from Albuquerque and struck the trail leading to Laguna. But the wind
blew such a gale of dust that day that riding was anything rather than
pleasure. It would have been a simple matter for the tourists to take
the train to Laguna, but that was too usual. Perhaps they silently
regretted this decision long before they saw the old pueblo town of
Laguna. The railroad passes through the lower street—“strata”—but the
scouts rode up to the city after having viewed it from afar. Thus its
piled-up tiers of streets, like a conical layer cake, seemed more
interesting to them than it does to one who merely goes “through” on a
train.

After having spent several days at the luxurious hotel in Albuquerque,
and then, as a contrast, camping at night and for three meals each day
on the dusty trail to Laguna, the scouts were relieved to find a
splendid camp-site back of the town, where they would have privacy and
comfort. The Denver gentleman who had welcomed them as they rode into
Laguna that afternoon nodded in the direction of a tiny stream running
through a crevice of the rock, and at a short distance from the site a
good pasturage for the animals.

“You say you will ride to Acoma to-morrow, Mr. Gilroy?” said Mr.
Balmore, wonderingly.

“Yes; it is really not more than twenty miles there, is it?”

“Not that far, to be exact,” returned Mr. Balmore, “but your horses have
had a tough trail and arduous going from Albuquerque, and I should
advise your hiring a couple of teams and driving there. That will give
your animals a whole day in which to rest and freshen up again.”

“We had planned to take the train from here to Gallup—not to ride the
trail,” explained Mr. Gilroy.

“From observation merely I should say that the horses would need
_several_ days’ rest to be able to give you good service in the Navajo
Land. Your man could remain with them for the day, and the drivers on
the wagons can act as guides and camp-cooks.”

“Gilly, Mr. Balmore is right. We will go up in wagons. Besides, I think
it will be more fun for the girls. We need a change from being so much
in the saddle,” said Mrs. Vernon.

“The Captain’s wishes are law with us, Mr. Balmore,” chuckled Mr.
Gilroy. “I’ll go down with you and arrange for the two wagons. Want to
come, Vernon?”

Mr. Vernon had nothing to do and he readily agreed to accompany the two
men into Laguna. The teams and their drivers were engaged, and then Mr.
Balmore went with his companions to see that they were provided with
such food-stuffs as would taste delicious up on the great pueblo of
Acoma.

Early the next morning the scouts hurried to the rendezvous where the
teams were to be. Tally watched them go, dissatisfaction with the
arrangement that left him behind plainly expressed on his face.

“How wonderful that sunrise is in this atmosphere!” exclaimed Mrs.
Vernon, as they all stood for a moment after reaching the verge of the
bluff where the camp was pitched, and breathed in the wonderful air and
gloried in the view.

“The sky is really and truly a turquoise blue, Verny, isn’t it?” asked
Betty.

“Yes, I have never seen anything like it excepting the coloring of sky
and water at Naples, and the coast towns of eastern Italy.”

“Verny, we simply _must_ get some more of the marvelous wild flowers
that are to be found here, to add to our collection,” declared Judith
Blake, who was half-wild over everything she saw in the west.

“If we collect any more specimens of the cactus, our folks back home
will begin to think we plan to launch some sort of Indian patent
medicine,” laughed Julie.

“We wouldn’t be believed by the school children in Elmertown if we told
them that the western deserts of New Mexico and Arizona are not the
broiling waste of sand they picture to themselves,” said Amy Ward.

“I wrote Edith all about it,” added the elder sister, Judith, “and told
her how very different it is from what mother feared. If only Edie could
have come!”

Further regrets were forgotten now, however, as the scouts came to the
meeting-place where they found the teams awaiting them. Then there was
merry laughter and much advice as the girls got in and settled
themselves in the wagons. Finally the drivers cracked their whips, and
started their four-in-hands on the trip.

As such a party was an occasion in Laguna many of the natives were up to
watch the four-in-hands and the joyous scouts start. Women with their
babies in bright-hued shawls slung across their backs, and men with
bronzed bodies wearing only the hip-cloth, and children with no clothes
whatever, stood solemnly watching till the entire party was out of
sight. But Julie had managed to perpetuate the scene by snapshotting the
picturesque group on a film in her camera.

The sun now rose higher, touching the wild poppies, the gorgeous globe
cactus, even the blue forget-me-nots with such ardent love that it was
small wonder these desert blooms glowed with color as no other
wild-flowers can produce.

“Oh, look. See that picture made by the sheep going down to drink,”
called Julie, who was in the first wagon. “Just like pictures in the
Bible.”

The tourists had left Laguna, where the sun was touching the twin-towers
of the church on the crest of the hill as they had their last glimpse of
it, and had been going steadily up the trail for some time before Julie
spoke.

The comparison was true. Far off near an adobe dwelling one could see an
oriental female form with a water-jar upon her head; glimpse the bit of
brilliant color produced by the red shawl; see the sandy stretches of
sandy mesa, dotted with flaring blossoms; the water-hole to which the
flock was now trending; the lavender-tinted hills encircling this great
plain; the purpled mountains rising in protection of its foot-hills; and
then, away off on the distant sky-line, the snow-capped peaks gleaming
in rainbow tints as the light reflected and shimmered on their dazzling,
snowy heads.

“Oh, I feel like crying!” half-sobbed Amy Ward, the effects of the scene
exalting her soul.

The other girls were silent for a time. The drivers, to whom this
country was an everyday matter, never looked up but drove on as if they
were sticks of wood.

At a sudden turn in the trail the tourists saw just ahead that they
would have to go up a forbidding mountain. Mr. Gilroy turned to Mr.
Vernon, who was with him in the second wagon, and frowned.

“No wonder Balmore advised us to rest our horses and keep them fresh for
the Desert and Petrified Forests,” exclaimed he, glancing up at the
towering heights before them.

Then suddenly, the great sides of the mountain seemed to open and they
were entering a vast cut. Directly through this cleft one could see a
marvelous valley; a valley which was encircled by protecting hills and
distant peaks, just as the mesa and the pictured scene Julie had pointed
out before the great mountain had so unexpectedly shut off their view.
Now, presto! the mountain was gone!

Mr. Vernon stared at Mr. Gilroy in blank amazement, and Mr. Gilroy
seemed dazed. The girls rubbed their eyes. From the first wagon, where
Mr. Burt and the Captain supervised the scouts, a chorus rose. A chorus
of “oh” and “ah,” then the familiar sound of Julie’s excited treble.

“Gilly! Gilly! the guide says that that was a mirage. Didn’t you think
we were climbing a great mountain?”

“Well, sir! that’s what it was,” sighed Mr. Gilroy, as the tension
snapped and they all grinned foolishly.

“By the Great-horned Spoon!” ejaculated Mr. Vernon, his jaw dropping as
he realized that the mountain with its ghostlike cleft that ushered them
through its blank walls was _nothing_.

“Vernon, sometimes I wonder if all our earthly problems and sorrows are
really anything more than mirages,” said Mr. Gilroy, as the wagon bumped
over a rut and brought him to a sense of where they were at the moment.

Mr. Vernon laughed. “At least that rut was not a mirage, eh, Joan?”

The sun rose higher, its rays seeming to start mirages in the
lilac-tinted haze which enveloped the plains and peaks. Quite often,
now, one or another in the party would call out to draw attention to a
beautiful lake engirdled by pine groves; to a valley where the flocks or
herds pastured; to a barren mountain where the erosions gave view to
dark masses of rock and waste. Then, in a flash, all this would vanish,
and again the two wagons would be squeaking and rattling up the trail to
Acoma.

“No wonder it is called the Enchanted Mesa!” cried Julie. “The whole
land here is bewitched.”

“Julie, why don’t you get a picture of one of these mirages?” asked Amy
Ward, to whom the west was an unexplored land of possibilities—even its
mirages might turn out to be genuine places!

“How can you photograph air and light?” laughed Julie, from her vast
experiences of the past season in the Rockies.

“It’s a shame that one can’t get it on a plate,” added Judith.

“It is served on a plate,” remarked Mr. Burt, jokingly. “On the
sensitive plate of the vision, and that prints it permanently on our
memories.”

The scouts saw the ancient pueblo of Acoma perched up on its towering
wall of over four hundred feet in height, long before they actually had
arrived. As they came nearer, the tourists saw tiny windows, like the
row of portholes on a vessel, lining the top of the rock. Still nearer,
the girls could see, here and there, heads sticking out of these
windows. The teams were a curiosity to the natives.

The drivers halted their horses and the scouts jumped down, glad to
stretch their limbs.

“First we’ll have a light luncheon of sandwiches and the milk which I
brought in our large thermos bottles,” said Mrs. Vernon, as she had the
men unpack the hamper.

Having enjoyed the “bite” they started up the sandy climb to the
pueblo. This climb to the natives is nothing more than a city block on a
good pavement means to Tenderfeet. But the climb up, and _up_, and UP,
to the scouts, was like going up the side of the Woolworth Building.

Finally, however, they reached the top of the stone steps, and the sandy
reaches, and the high places, where shaky ladders have to be used. Once
up, the tourists gazed around in interest at the dwellings, tier upon
tier, and each tier reached by means of movable ladders.

“No chance for burglaries in those upper flats, if the tenant pulls the
ladder up after him,” laughed Mr. Burt.

The entire village was built upon a solid rock. There were pools of
clear spring water, enough to supply all the inhabitants and their
domestic animals. There were plenty of dogs, and cats, and chickens
wandering about on the shelf-like dooryards of the flats, and of these
Julie got a fine picture of a hen and her brood clucking about up on the
fourth tier of a dwelling.

“What she can find to eat after scratching in that bare adobe is a
caution to me!” cried Joan, watching the energetic ambition of the
mother-hen.

After visiting the church in Acoma, which took forty years to build,
Julie said: “No wonder! with walls ten feet thick.”

Having seen everything and taken photographs of the Enchanted Mesa from
every point of view, as well as of the pueblo of Acoma, the scouts voted
to return to Laguna. It would be dark long before they could expect to
reach camp, but the road was excellent throughout the trip and there was
no danger in following it even at night. Perhaps that return trip under
the dazzling brightness of the stars, and the shooting of meteors across
the heavens, was as enjoyable to the scouts as the eager watching for
mirages on the way up in the morning.

However, there were no protests when they had reached camp and the
Captain said: “Now, all off to bed at once!”

The following morning, shortly after sun-up, the scouts held a council
meeting—nothing formal that would exclude Mr. Burt, but a conference on
ways and means, especially ways.

“I approve of your taking the train from here to Gallup and then trail
into the Zuñi Reservation, and, perhaps, go into the Gila River country
with me,” said Mr. Burt.

“No, and we’ll explain why,” said Mrs. Vernon. “We must now limit our
visit in Arizona to one month. In that time we must trail over the
Painted Desert in Navajo Land, visit the Petrified Forests, do the Grand
Cañon, and come out at the Hualapai Indian Reservation. We expect to
take the train to Prescott Junction and there change to the Prescott and
Central Arizona railroad in order to connect with the Southern Pacific
trains later on. But we hope to secure stop-over privileges on the
tickets to enable us to visit the Salt River Indian as well as the Gila
Indian Reservations, then we plan to follow the Apache Trail and visit
Roosevelt Dam, thence go down to Tucson and so home.”

“But why such a criss-cross trip to get back to the East? Why not go on
the short route, the same as when you came out?” wondered the newspaper
man.

“Because we wish to take the Sunset Route as far as Houston, Texas, and
there go to Galveston, where we hope to get a steamer to New York. It
would be an ideal ending of an ideal summer trail.”

“Would it! Well, I should say,” declared Mr. Burt, emphatically. “Only
wish I was a Girl Scout of Dandelion Troop.”



                            CHAPTER FOURTEEN

                        AT ST. MICHAEL’S MISSION


The scout-party preferred a local train from Laguna to Gallup, as that
would give them more time to see the small towns they passed through, as
well as the San Mateo and Zuñi Mountains.

At the last moment, Mr. Burt decided to remain on the train with them
and stop at Gallup. From there the scouts would go northwest into
Arizona, and he would go south to the Zuñi Indian Reservation.

It was the conductor on the train, who was a very sociable man, who
advised the scouts to be sure and visit the Cañon de Chelly and the
White House, which is a prehistoric dwelling carved in the rock walls
high above the stream. The White House is a wonderful palace ten times
the size of the White House at Washington.

“You know,” said the conductor, “that you might spend a year in the
Painted Desert and then come out realizing that you have only begun the
sightseeing of this wonderful Navajo country. I have been through there
several times, and each time I learn how much more there is to see.”

Consequently the scouts decided to follow the conductor’s advice and
allow themselves more time in the Desert than they had at first planned
for.

Having said good-by to the conductor, and left the train at Gallup,
their next move must be to ascertain when the freight would come in with
Tally and the horses. Until they arrived it would be impossible to ride
to Navajo Land.

“If only you could be sure that Tally’s freight would be delayed, you
might have a chance to get down into Zuñi Land with me,” said Mr. Burt.

But in this hope Mr. Burt was to be disappointed, for the freight agent
informed Mr. Gilroy that there were no night-over stops for the train
between Laguna and Gallup, as there was not much transportation service
to the small towns on the line, hence Tally and his horses could be
looked for soon after midnight.

There being no excuse for Mr. Burt to delay his journey to the Zuñi
Reservation, he now said a reluctant farewell and rode away with a
native Zuñi guide.

At luncheon, in the El Navajo hotel that day, the Captain said: “Gilly,
I’ve been talking to the manager of the hotel and he says it is a good
150 miles to the Painted Desert. That will use up a week of our time in
just going there, because the little burros are _so_ slow.”

“If there is any kind of a patented accelerator to attach to their
hoofs, Verny, I’ll get them at once: just tell me where they are for
sale,” replied Mr. Gilroy.

The girls laughed, but Mrs. Vernon persisted: “Gilly, I am not joking at
all. I really mean what I say, you ought to find some means of conveying
us to the Desert in a day or two. Now do put on your thinking cap!”

“My thinking cap, Verny, has always led others to think I was a clown
that had strayed from a circus. Hence I never use it, in order to spare
my pride.”

“Oh, Gilly! _do_ talk sensibly,” cried Julie, impatiently.

“How is that possible, Jule?” demanded Mr. Vernon.

They all laughed, then Mr. Gilroy threatened: “Just for that I’ll wear
the cap and have strangers wonder what sort of a menagerie I am
conducting across the state.”

A talk with the manager, however, revealed a way in which a day’s time
might be saved.

“I can send you on by motor to St. Michael’s Mission, where you can stay
over night and put in a much pleasanter day than in prosaic Gallup. But,
by taking my advice, you will deprive me of some very desirable
guests,” said the smiling manager.

“You are sure we can find accommodations for so large a party after we
reach St Michael’s?” asked Mrs. Vernon.

“Oh, yes! You will find ‘open house’ at any of the white folks’ ranches,
as well as at the convent school, which is a massive building of stone
and brick, equal to any in our large cities. In fact, Mr. Gilroy, I
doubt if you will want to leave the Mission in a day’s time—there will
be so much to interest you all.”

“We’ve already decided, Gilly! We say accept Mr. Walters’ advice and the
autos, and let us start the first thing to-morrow morning,” declared
Mrs. Vernon.

“Tally ought to be in by then, and I can explain to him about our going
on in advance,” agreed Mr. Gilroy. “If only there was some way to move
those burros over that 150 miles as quickly as a horse can make
it—especially a group of rested horses that will have no riders.”

“Why, I can suggest a way,” ventured Mr. Walters.

“There! I knew we’d find a way out,” exclaimed Mrs. Vernon, sighing.

“Sell your burros here in Gallup and use the saddle-horses from here to
St. Michael’s to carry the packs. Once there, you can buy a splendid
pack-horse from twenty-five to thirty dollars, see?”

“What! a decent horse as cheap as that?” exclaimed Mr. Vernon.

“Yes, because of supply and demand, you know. Be sure, after you select
your pack animals, to bargain for a native guide to go with you through
the Desert. Your own Indian may be a crackerjack but it takes an
experienced Navajo to locate the rare water-holes for a noon-day or
night camp. And water you _must_ have, you know, both for man and
beast.”

“That’s sound advice, Mr. Walters, and I’d follow it without demur, but
we can’t sell the burros. We rented them,” explained Mr. Gilroy.

“Gilly, your lease says you can leave them at Gallup, if you have done
with them, or go on and leave them at some other city, doesn’t it,”
demanded Julie, eagerly.

“Just wait a moment, and I’ll get the agreement out of my bag,” said Mr.
Gilroy, excusing himself and hurrying away from the dining-room.

After a short absence from the room Mr. Gilroy returned with the paper.
“Yes, siree! That was a fine idea, Julie, considering it came from a
girl scout. Now I can rid myself of three slow-going wards, by merely
leaving them here in Gallup. My contract exacts that I pay the fraction
of a month’s hire that I have the animals in use after the first
month’s rental. That lets me off great!”

“This is the fourth week since you rented them at Trinidad,” remarked
Mr. Vernon.

“Yes, and we paid that month in advance, you know, when we signed that
contract. All I will now have to do will be to wire the owner I am
through with the three burros and let him send for them according to
agreement. Then we can buy the pack-horses of a Navajo and go on our way
rejoicing.”

“If you wanted to get an early start in the morning, I can let my
hostler take charge of this little matter for you—the return of the
burros by freight, or whichever way the owner decides,” offered Mr.
Walters.

After another short conference it was decided to act as the manager of
the hotel had advised; then Mr. Gilroy sent a telegram to Trinidad to be
delivered at the horse-ranch of the man who had rented him the animals.

Everything in connection with facilitating the departure of the
scout-party for the Navajo Desert moved along without a hitch. Tally
came in on the freight which was due just after midnight, and Mr. Gilroy
met him to assist in getting the horses over to the stables.

“Boss, dey so fresh dey mek plenty kick on the car from Laguna. Mebbe I
not glad it no so far to Gallop, or dey kick off side of train,”
explained Tally.

“They will have a jaunt to-morrow, my boy, that’ll take out all that
pep!” laughed Mr. Gilroy. Then he outlined the plan as Mr. Walters had
proposed it, and which every one, but Tally, heartily approved of.

“I go ’long all ’lone wid dem fresh horses?” inquired Tally, dubiously.

“You won’t have the three burros to bother with, and the horses will
have the outfit to carry,” explained Mr. Gilroy.

“Mebbe we ’rive at the Mission an’ mebbe we don’. Tally’s money goes on
the gamble dat we never see Mission, so!”

“What then—what would you say?” demanded Mr. Gilroy.

“Boss, you not live wid dem hosses lek me, and now I tell you troof when
I say dey run away on me sure es shootin’. One guide no good holdin’ in
bunch ’a ’leben galavantin’ hosses. No!”

“Think I could help you?”

“Mebbe Boss an’ Meesr Verny do. Mebbe need good extra hand to help,”
said the guide.

“All right, Tally. Mr. Vernon and I will send scouts in automobile and
we will help you drive the animals to St. Michael’s Mission,” agreed Mr.
Gilroy.

This quieted the Indian’s doubts and Mr. Gilroy left him to finish the
last bed for his horses, and went to the hotel to bed.

The only change in the program, therefore, was that both men, instead of
motoring with the scouts over the road which ran to the edge of the
Navajo Land, were to ride with Tally and lead the extra horses to the
Mission. Mr. Walters had secured two cars, one of which was equipped
with a large rack at the back. This suggested a good idea to Julie.

“Verny, why not strap the tents and kitchen stove on that rack?”

“Yes, Captain; gasoline ‘ain’t got no feelin’s,’ but horse-flesh has. By
making the motor do the work we spare our horses,” said Joan.

“Just what we’ll do!” declared the Captain. “Maybe we can pack away the
utensils in Gilly’s and Verny’s places in the car.”

Thus they started: the Captain and four girls with their suit-cases in
one car, three girls and as much of the camp outfit as would go
comfortably into the spare room in the second car.

The road was good, the day was fine, the two automobiles roomy and
comfortable, and the drivers experienced; hence the trip from Gallup to
the Mission was delightful. The scouts kept up a rapidfire of calls to
Mrs. Vernon to look.

“Oh, Verny! Look at that Indian riding across the mesa going like the
West Wind!” called Judith,

“Captain! Do look at that little Navajo babe riding that broncho
_bareback_! How does he manage to stick on?” shouted Joan,

“Quick! Turn around and see that cute little thing minding the flock of
sheep!” gurgled Amy.

“Oh, dear! Just _look_ at that coloring of the mesa! Was ever such
wonderful tones made for us to use in Art?” sighed Betty.

Many more similar demands were made upon Mrs. Vernon’s attention until
she wondered that her head was not twisted off with its continual
turning.

After leaving Gallup the trail ran up to the high northern mesa, higher
and higher, where the air was as exhilarating as the atmosphere at
Acoma. Here the scouts saw as gorgeous flowers as those at the Enchanted
Mesa, and twice they stopped the cars in order to add strange specimens
to their collections at home. One of these odd blossoms was a sort of
snake-plant, said the chauffeur. It had a long seedpod instead of a
flower, and this pod was colored and marked like a diamond-backed
rattler of the Rockies. The other queer plant was the pricklypear cactus
with its great exotic blooms.

The cars resumed their running, and the trail resumed its upward grade.
“I wonder where the jumping-off place might be?” laughed Julie, as they
gazed up and up and still up the mesa.

The machines topped the grade after a time, and suddenly, quite as
unexpectedly as the mountain had vanished and left the valley revealed
before the amazed scouts the day of the trip to the Acoma pueblo, now
the trail seemed to end on top of the world and there——!

“Well! is this another mirage where the lights and shadows play hide and
seek in those ever-changing clouds of blue, lilac, rose and gold
colors?” wondered Mrs. Vernon aloud.

“Look down there! That simply can’t be earth, but an ocean of purple and
green waves constantly rolling over and over each other to break
up—where?” exclaimed Julie.

“Those mountain peaks prove that this is no mirage, Verny, it is the
real thing! However, it doesn’t seem natural, but heavenly,” added Amy
in a whisper.

“That’s the beginning of the Painted Desert,” said the man at the wheel,
then he started the automobile again.

“Why!” gasped Joan, “that isn’t a desert, at all!”

“It looks more like Egypt to me,” said Mrs. Vernon.

“Visitors do say that it reminds them more of the Holy Land than any
place in the world,” explained the driver.

“It’s perfectly marvelous,” breathed Betty, who had been silent
heretofore.

After several hours of further driving through this unusual country, the
car came to a stop at St. Michael’s Mission. Mr. Walters had given Mrs.
Vernon a splendid letter of introduction to the father in charge of the
Mission, and the father, being a staunch friend of the manager’s,
welcomed the guests warmly.

After the drivers had been refreshed with lunch they bid the scouts
good-day and started on their homeward trip. The packs had been left at
the shed of the Mission House, and then the girls, with their Captain,
were shown about the quaint little town. What surprised them most was
the cleanliness and perfect manners of the natives they met.

The three riders with their string of horses rode in at St. Michael’s
long after sundown, without having had any mishaps or delays. Tally was
sent to a low shed with the animals, and the two dusty men were escorted
to a small room where they might brush off and clean up. Water was
scarce in this section of the land; therefore the dry and dusty riders
were warned about wasting a drop of it.

When all were convened again in the Mission’s front room, the father
said he wished them to visit the Navajo School, where the boys and girls
were educated. This, he explained, would interest them all, as the
building would compete with any public school in the East, and the
deportment of the pupils caused visiting teachers to marvel.

“The ladies may remain over-night at the school-convent, and I shall be
delighted to entertain you men as my guests,” added the father, thus
relieving the minds of the scouts as to a possible sleeping place that
night.

The entire party went with the father to see the children and to partake
of supper in the refectory, but it looked as if the sisters had been
warned of the expected guests: the swarthy little Navajos were out in
the playgrounds having a fine time. Some were enjoying true American
games, and some were walking or reading in secluded corners of the
grounds.

Vespers were attended with deep reverence by the little ones who so
shortly before had been racing about like mad. Then, after the evening
prayers, they were taken to supper. Meantime, the Mother Superior came
and welcomed the scout-party with a wonderful smile that glowed in their
hearts because it was genuine hospitality that gave it birth.

“We will now sup in the refectory, my friends,” said the Superior,
leading the way to a room where the table was set for her and the
visitors. And such delicious viands as the girls were given for supper
that night! Julie could not help whispering to Joan, who sat next to
her: “Where do they get the things to cook such wonderful goodies?”

“S-sh!” whispered Joan in reply. “Say nothing, but keep busy at it,
Jule! We shall never have another chance like this.”

“Now, my friends, if you have supped, we will go out and please the
children by watching them at their native games. They particularly
wished to show the girl scouts of the East some new and entertaining
pastimes,” said Superior, rising, and then bending her head in
thanksgiving for the food. Every one in the party did likewise, for each
one felt the joy of giving thanks to the Power that gave others such
love as was being shown in this Navajo Mission by helping those less
fortunate in education and ways of the civilized world.

“Not but that the Indians had their own civilization long before
Americus Vespucius ever discovered the land!” said Julie to Mrs. Vernon.

“Yes, but it isn’t the same kind of civilization, and so it does not
count with the world and its stereotyped laws of society,” whispered the
Captain in reply.

They followed the Superior out to the play-ground where a circle of
sconces made of pitch and a form of cactus fiber lighted the place as
well as any one could expect for an outdoor entertainment. After the
guests were seated upon rude benches the games began.

One of the sweet-faced convent teachers came forward and said: “John
Sweetwater wishes to entertain the visitors by doing a problem play for
them to guess. John, come forward.”

Thereupon a slender, graceful lad came smilingly forward and, without
self-consciousness or egotism, began his story. In the words Julie
wrote for the _Elmertown Record_ it was as follows:

  “White Feather was fine scout who know much of wild-wood life, but
  some time he little know how to apply his lesson to his wants. One
  day he alone in camp. Him friends go on long walk-path, but White
  Feather lazy and no like walk on warm day. He say he get sleep for
  hour when camp quiet.

  “We-e-ll—White Feather find sun very hot as shine on tee pee, and
  it make air too hot for sleep inside. Now he ’member a cool shade
  under pine trees, so he move tee pee over, but now he no find how
  to raise tee pee once again. He work and work and now he pitch so
  it stand alright, but it very difrent like before. And so he make
  it stand: He take the nine pegs and drive ’em in ground like
  this:”

Then John demonstrated the trick. He took nine sticks and pushed them
into the soft earth, then he took a small rope that represented the tent
line, and this he wound back and forth about the sticks till he had
_ten_ straight rows formed of the line. Each row was complete and each
line was part of an angle. Then he looked over at the scouts and smiled
as he said: “How White Feather do?”

With a bow he retired and the sister smiled as she said: “John wants to
know if the girl scouts will try and do his trick?”

The girl scouts, in duty bound, tried to accomplish the trick which had
looked so simple, but they found it was not so easy as it had seemed.
Finally, while the young Navajos smiled delightedly, they had to give it
up. Then the young lad explained how it was done.

“We now will hear a class game which the pupils like very much,”
announced the teacher, glancing at a memorandum she held. She then
called upon certain pupils and they got up with alacrity to take their
places as designated.

“This game, I must explain to the visitors, is called our Nature Game.
Each player chooses a profession for himself, such as canoeman,
forester, birdman, star-gazer, hunter, swimmer and so on. Each one who
chooses his work must be well acquainted with all the lines of that
choice. For instance, the fisherman must know twenty different kinds of
fish and describe them; the birdman must know twenty kinds of birds; the
forester, twenty kinds of trees; and so on through the game.”

The teacher next proceeded to place the players in such a manner that no
one of them could whisper and help another, though the Superior
explained that there was more honor in class studies with these young
Indians than one finds in white schools.

“Now, friends, I begin to tell a story, and during the course of my
telling I find I am at a loss for the information I need, so I have to
call upon my aids to assist me. Are you all ready, aids?” The Navajos
laughingly nodded and waited eagerly for the sister to begin. Then
followed a lively contest between the pupils.

The young Navajos proved to be splendid entertainers in this Nature
Game, as well as in other ways the teachers suggested, and the Girl
Scouts spoke as they felt when it was time to retire: “We wish all our
friends might have been here to-night and have enjoyed this hour as we
have.”



                            CHAPTER FIFTEEN

                           THE PAINTED DESERT


Julie had spoken to Mrs. Vernon about writing to Ranger Sanderson and
the Captain wisely advised: “No harm in writing, Jule, as long as you
stick to general topics of interest. Eliminate personalities and _any_
form of endearing terms.”

Julie had laughed as she answered: “No fear of any swain being able to
produce a letter from me in which I have called him anything more
intimate than the ‘dear sir.’ I’m not wasting any emotions on them,
because I need to conserve my soul-power in accomplishing my main
ambition in life. When I am a successful writer, Verny, then I may
dabble in human emotions in order to be better able to transfer them to
paper.”

This was the first time Julie had actually spoken of her choice of a
profession in life, and Mrs. Vernon smiled as she patted her on the
head. But she was not aware that Julie was sensitive over her choice of
writing and feared the ridicule or amused smiles of her friends, in
case of failure, or partial success.

Consequently, Julie wrote friendly letters to the Ranger, but used
discretion in her manner of addressing him, as well as in her signature.
Before leaving St. Michael’s, therefore, Julie left a long letter
addressed to Sanderson, in which she told of the visit in Gallup and the
subsequent trip and visit to the Mission.

The cavalcade of scouts left their hosts filled with gratitude for the
donation of a check to advance the splendid work in the Mission.

Tally had secured three fine pack-horses, and a Navajo guide as well,
for the Desert trip, and now all rode forward with eager spirits.

“It doesn’t seem a bit like the Desert as I pictured it,” remarked
Hester, glancing at the park-like vista of yellow pine and patches of
wild flowers through which the trail ran.

“If you consider how high we are up on these mesas, you’ll not wonder at
the springs we feel inside us—springs that make us want to jump up and
down in very lightness,” said Joan, comically.

“Talking of springs—I notice there aren’t many to be seen along the
trail,” remarked Mr. Vernon.

“And the lack of water accounts for the absence of birds and beasts, the
guide just told me,” added the Captain.

“I’m glad we followed Lorenzo’s advice and filled our thermos bottles,
as well as the water-bags, before we left the Mission,” said Mr. Gilroy.

That noon they all were glad for that water. After many miles had been
reeled off by the horses’ hoofs on the trail, the Navajo guide, whose
name was Lorenzo shortened to Lo, led the way down from the high mesa.
Down, down, they rode, until, finally, the trail came to an arroyo bed,
where, a short distance ahead, the scouts saw a typical village.

“This call Ganado trading-post. We mek good camp there for night,” said
Lo, riding up to the adobe settlement.

“What a picturesque hamlet,” said Mr. Gilroy, gazing at the graceful
natives—the women in their gay blankets, the children in Mother Nature’s
garb.

“A hamlet without Hamlet,” giggled Joan.

“Hamlet without the ham, you mean,” retorted Julie, laughing. “I see
only goats and sheep.”

It now became apparent why their Navajo guide had chosen the name of
Lorenzo in place of a Navajo name—it was because of the esteem in which
the Indian held the “Great White Man,” Lorenzo Hubbell, the well-known
settler who has made history for Arizona during his life on the edge of
the Desert. Rightly this man has been called “King of Northern Arizona,”
but, unlike many monarchs, this one is beloved and reverenced by his
people, the Navajos.

That night, the second in Navajo Land, the scout party was entertained
by native dances and songs by the Indians in Ganado, and then they
retired to the hospitable Mission House owned by the “King.”

Early the next morning the tourists set out, carrying a pair of
water-kegs slung across the back of one of the pack-horses. The air was
as “heady” as champagne, though the scouts were not acquainted with the
effect of that wine, taking Mr. Gilroy’s word for it that it was a
stimulant that immediately induced the drinker to feel full of life and
free of care, but later would leave traces of wormwood in his soul. Not
so this atmosphere of the mesa.

“No wormwood as an aftermath here,” said Mr. Vernon.

As the trail dropped down from Ganado, the scouts rode past _hogans_
where the sheep were corraled in the most primitive manner. Navajo
children were seen driving their flocks of sheep to the water and back
again.

After riding for a time, Lo pointed out to his party a rim of distant
peaks which looked a lilac and green with snow at the tips—“Them San
Francisco Mountains,” said he.

The scouts traveled over the miles and miles of gray sea of sage-brush,
the delicate perfume of the sage-blossoms greeting their nostrils in a
haunting scent. After riding for hours across the mesa, the wonders ever
increasing, the tourists came to a forest of cedars. Still going on
through these woods that appeared to stretch out and onward forever,
the trail continued to descend without the riders realizing the fact.
Finally Lo reined in his horse at a spring which was guarded by a wall
of stone; upon the face of the stone were stern rules and laws cut in by
“first tourists” regarding the value of water in the desert.

“This water-pool ha’f-way to Keam’s,” said Lo, as Tally and he started
the dinner.

“Where will you camp to-night, Lo?” asked Mrs. Vernon.

“Mek camp here, Captain; plenty water, good shelter for hoss; early
mornin’ we go on trail to Keam’s Cañon. Not to-day. Hard ride all day,
better good rest for scout and beast.”

After dinner the scouts started to explore this wonderful spot, but that
night the scouts found to their surprise that they were muscle sore.

“This is funny, Captain, because we never felt stiff or sore when we
first started on the trail at Raton,” remarked Julie.

“And the three green Tenderfeet—they never seemed to mind the riding at
all; but now look at them limping around like ‘Mrs. Jarley’s Wax
Works,’” commented Joan.

“I know why!” said Hester. “Lo said it was the aftermath of living at
such altitudes in New Mexico, and now coming to lower levels once more.”

The scouts slept out on the open desert that night, the soft
purplish-blue sky seeming to come down to blanket them, and the stars
apparently near enough to be reached and their light switched off, as
one does to the electric lights in a Pullman berth.

But shortly after midnight the air became so cold that Tally and Lo got
up to build a fire, around which the shivering scouts could crowd, and
finally go to sleep again.

After an early breakfast, where the hot coffee proved to be the most
acceptable item on the menu, the scout-party resumed the ride across the
Desert.

They were about ten miles along the trail when Lo reined in his horse
and consulted with Tally in a low tone. The two dashed their horses up
to the crest of a rock and gazed anxiously across the waste to the
lavender-tinted horizon.

“Shure’s shootin’ he’em comin’,” said Tally to his companion.

The scouts had halted their horses to see and hear why the guides had
acted so strangely.

“Lo say one big sand-storm blow up. We get ready queek for he’em. Scouts
get goggles and caps out of bags, ’en we ride far as we can get to rocks
ahead,” said Tally, as soon as he came within hearing.

“Oh, goodness me! I hope this isn’t going to be another experience like
that one on the Bad Lands in the Colorado Rockies!” cried Anne, who
claimed that she never did get over the effects of all the alkali dust
she inhaled that day.

“It may be necessary for us, Anne,” replied Julie, hoping to encourage
the girls. “We’ve not eaten our usual peck of sand this year, you know.
Now we have to have it all in one swallow.”

Meanwhile every one was busy getting ready to battle with the simoon, or
sand-storm, as the Indians call it.

Finally it began to be felt. The wind, which had been increasing in its
velocity ever since the guides returned from the lookout crest, now blew
the dust-like grains of sand across the desert and soon obliterated all
trails and other land-marks. But the horses battled on, urged by their
riders to reach the upthrust of mesa which was now but half a mile
ahead.

Before the scouts could more than hope to reach the scanty protection of
this irregular formation of rock and yellow pumice, the storm was
blowing in all its fury. Several times the horses, first one, then
another, lost footing and slithered half-over in the drifting sand.

Joan’s horse heretofore had been considered one of the best mounts in
the group, but in the test of endurance it failed to measure up to the
Indian ponies bought at the Mission, or with the raw-boned animals the
other scouts were riding.

Every scout was now fighting a single-handed battle with the hurricane,
fighting the stinging, blinding sand while trying to guide the horse
after the Indians who led the way. The great billows of dust were caught
up in clouds and were kept driving over the waste-lands in such volume
as to create a panic in any heart.

Then came the unexpected. From somewhere near by—possibly the whirling
gale brought it from the very same rocky haven they were
seeking—something as large as an orange struck Joan’s horse on the side
of the face. The half-crazed animal failed to respond to his driver,
and, in one leap, was away from the rest of the riders.

Down a hilly declivity dug out by the gale went the mad horse, sliding
upon its haunches with Joan almost standing upright in the stirrups.
Then up a sand-dune, staggering and pulling on the reins till his rider
was dizzy with the swaying. Finally the beast reached a gravel-pit
whence the covering of sand had just been swept up and the next blanket
of sand had not yet been deposited. Momentum sent him sliding down into
this yawning pit.

Instantly Joan saw she must force the breathless animal up out of this
hollow or they both would be buried alive. Her breath came like blasts
from an exhaust pipe, her eyes flamed as with a thousand fiery sparks,
the blood pounded in her head with triphammer regularity, still the
scout could think, and think she did!

With a mighty effort she pulled on the tightly gathered reins and
fairly lifted her horse up the bank of the hollow. His hoofs slipped in
the shifting sand, but at last he stumbled up to the edge. Here, for a
sickening moment, he tottered uncertainly in the blast of the simoon.
Joan leaned far over his neck and commanded. He obeyed. In another
minute he was galloping at the end of the line of horses which was now
turning to the left to the mass of rock.

No one had missed Joan, as the heavy sheets of wind-driven sand had been
so persistent that each rider was fully occupied with his or her horse.
Not until after the storm had blown over were the scouts aware of Joan’s
narrow escape.

Resuming the trail, and gazing again at the wonderful colorings of land
and sky, the scout-party rode on until they hailed the Navajo children,
with their goats and sheep, taking them to drink, and then entered
Ream’s Cañon, where they rested the weary horses and spent the night in
the hospitable shelter provided by the white trader.

The following morning the scouts visited the monument commemorating Kit
Carson, the famous pioneer in the west; they attended the school where
several hundred Navajo and Moki Indian children are taught, and they
secured the necessary permits to continue the trail across the Painted
Desert. Obtaining the permit was not difficult, because every one in
Ream’s Cañon knew Lorenzo and he vouched for his party.

After a visit of a day and the second night with the friendly citizens,
the scout-party rode on to the last lap of the trip over the Desert. As
they rode they discussed the wonderful rugs they had seen in the making,
and the still more wonderful specimens of baskets woven by the Old
Navajos. They spoke of the beautiful filigree silver work these Indian
craftsmen make, and they admired without stint the odd pottery which is
molded, ornamented, and baked by the Indians.

Although a description of the beauties and the ever-changing colors of
the Painted Desert might give a _faint_ idea of what it is like, the
scouts felt that it would be a hard task to try to present to others
what they themselves had seen.

“Julie, how are you going to write it up for the _Record_?” asked Betty,
as they jogged along the trail and heard the girls exclaim at this or
that beauty.

“I shall not even try, Betty. It beggars all description.”

Mr. Gilroy had just come alongside in time to hear Julie’s reply, and he
laughed.

“Julie, ever read Cobb’s book on traveling de luxe to the Grand Cañon?”
asked he.

“No, Gilly; I’ve never even heard of it,” said she.

“You reminded me of it just now, when you told Betty it beggars
description. Cobb’s answer to that was, ‘Well, then, I shall not try
it.’ In your case, you’d better follow the suit of such a clever writer
and thus remain affluent in descriptions.”

Julie laughed heartily, but declared she would risk descriptive poverty
rather than be deprived of the joy of telling the folks back home all
about the adventure.

During the last few days of that trip the scouts passed the great
towering rocks of gypsum and yellow _tufa_ on the tops of which the Moki
Indians build their villages.

“Why under the sun do they select the top of the crags for their homes?”
queried Hester.

“Some say, to enable them to fight off any raiders. Only a Moki can skip
up and down those bald sides of rock as they do, and cart all supplies
up there as well,” said Mr. Gilroy.

Lo asked if the scouts wished to visit the towns. Julie had already
taken pictures of the naked children running up or down the steep
pathways, and the Captain rode over to the spring where a Moki woman was
filling a heavy water-urn before placing it upon her head to carry it up
to her home, but Mr. Gilroy decided they would move on, and perhaps
visit the last of the three villages.

“You say you go through Petrify Fores’ after you through Painted
Desert?” asked Lo.

“Yes, we plan to ride there next, and thence on to the Grand Cañon of
the Colorado. Could you remain with us as far as Flagstaff?” said Mr.
Gilroy.

“I like it, but I no go so far from my own country,” replied Lo, smiling
wisely.

His words, more than anything Lo had said or done since he accepted the
position as guide across the Desert, impressed the scouts with the fact
that for Lo there was but one world, and one country of that world—and
that was Navajo Land!

It was, therefore, with regret that the scouts, also Tally, said good-by
to Lo and watched him ride back on his lonely trail to St. Michael’s
Mission. But Lo would not consider himself lonely; he would have the
music of the desert wind, the company of stars at night, and the close
companionship of the Great Spirit to go with him on the home trail.

So eager were the scouts to reach the Grand Cañon now that they were
daily coming nearer to it, that many beauties and unusual sights on the
trail to Adamana were merely given divided attention by the girls. But
once they had reached Adamana, named after the man who had brought the
public interest to these unique forests, the scouts quite forgot the
Grand Cañon for the time being.

As the trip along the Painted Desert had been long and continued, Tally
said the horses must have a day’s rest.

“Great Scott, Tally! We bought the pack-horses for use, not for resting.
And the rented horses have rested more than they have worked. I’ll bet
a new hat your friend who owns them would have worked them much more
than we have this past month.”

“I onny say so ’cause Boss like good hoss to ride to Grand Cañon,”
argued Tally.

“If that means we lounge around Adamana and lose a whole day while the
animals are recuperating, then we’ll ride them to the Petrified Forest,
and after we come back we’ll take the train to Williams instead of
riding through the San Francisco Mountains as we had planned.”

Tally said nothing more, but saw to it that the horses were well fed and
bedded for the night. The scouts were only too thankful to rest upon
real beds once more, and not one of them objected when the Captain
proposed that they retire early in order to be up at sunrise and get a
good start for the day.



                            CHAPTER SIXTEEN

                  THE REGION OF THE PETRIFIED FORESTS


At breakfast the following morning, Mr. Gilroy outlined the trip. “We’ll
leave here immediately after we’re through eating, and ride to the first
forest, which I’m told is only six miles away. The second forest is
three miles south and east of the first one. But Chalcedony Park, the
third forest, is about thirteen miles south and west of here, and
Rainbow Forest is another two miles in a northwesterly direction from
the third one.

“I’ve learned that the roads are fine, the grades are easy, and camping
facilities are excellent. So why leave the horses here for two or three
days to eat their old heads off while we pay for their holiday and at
the same time have to hire a team or two for the outing? No, sir! We’ll
take our camp outfit with us and give the horses plenty of time in which
to amble to the first and second forests.

“We’ll camp to-night and go on to the third forest to-morrow morning. It
is only a hop, skip and a jump from Chalcedony Park to Rainbow Forests,
so we can do that on our way back to Adamana. Now who wants to object to
my motion?” Mr. Gilroy gazed at his friends but no one opposed the
program. Instead, they all approved, and he added: “Motion made,
seconded and carried by the chairman—he being the whole thing.”

Tally had been told to stock up for a few days’ camp, and this being
done and the horses saddled, he brought them up to the front of the
Forest House and waited. But he had not long to wait.

The scouts came hurrying out while discussing with Mr. Gilroy the
interesting process that took place in order to petrify the trees to
their present state of preservation.

With a smiling good-morning to Tally the scout-party climbed into the
saddles and started on the trail; Tally, with the three pack-horses,
bringing up the rear.

As they rode, Mr. Gilroy explained the cause of the Petrified Forests.
As he had proved to be so interesting in the Rockies the previous summer
when he described the formation of the glaziers, so now he entertained
the girls with his explanations.

“Way back in the days when this earth was young, ages before the grasses
and flowers appeared, and very many aeons before the birds and beasts
were dreamed of, these grand old forest trees stood and flourished.

“The floods had not yet come, though the times were at hand. The rain
began to fall in its customary manner, therefore the trees thought
nothing of such a natural occurrence. But it kept on raining without
cessation; rather, indeed, did the downpour of water increase, and the
wise old fellows of the forest trees began to grumble and wonder ‘when,
in thunder, the bloomin’ thing would end.’” An appreciative giggle told
Mr. Gilroy that every one was attending.

“Then came a torrential emptying of the clouds, and the winds rose,
until, finally, these great monarchs of the forests were torn loose from
their roothold in the steep sides of the mountain and went crashing
down.

“Still the heavens remained open and poured out its fountains of water;
still the wind blew a gale up the deep ravines, and down from the peaks,
and more trees were snapped above the ground, or wrenched loose from
their anchorage, and all were sent upon the torrents which rushed down
the mountain sides to the valleys below.

“The floods increased, until the waters met waters and rushed on,
filling the ravines, the valleys, and all the lowlands about here.

“Upon the bosom of the torrents went the trees, crashing into each
other, being rolled and tossed up and down, back and forth, till all
branches and boughs, all but the trunks, were stripped clean.

“At last they were pitched into a great water-filled valley that looked
like a lake, or inland sea, with its vast area of floods filling it from
mountainside to mountainside, and with no visible outlet. Here the
bereft trees were trapped. No tides to carry them away, no outlet to
drain the water. Some were piled up like jack-straws, others were thrown
off by themselves, but all were torn and stripped of their beauty as
they had stood and defied the world at their feet.

“Then the storms and the gales ceased. But the mountains were now bared.
Without the trees to protect it, the earth on the mountainsides was
washed away in the succeeding storms. Then the naked rocks were seen,
and in time they, too, were washed down into the valley-lake where the
trees were packed this way and that way.

“Hundreds, yea thousands of years passed, and this lake, with its mass
of tree-skeletons, and the variegated waters caused by the escape of
mineral coloring from the rocks, slowly evaporated and slowly deposited
its massed rocks and conglomerate debris into rifts and cañons; many of
the trees were covered with the dirt of centuries and are now being
discovered and revealed to admiring eyes. We see them now, not as the
grand old trees that ruled the forests, but as columns marbled in the
most exquisite colors and patterns, and all dyed by the same process of
Nature’s art-shop.”

As Mr. Gilroy concluded his story of the Petrified Forests, the scouts
realized that they were almost there—at the Inland Lake of primeval
times which had left such marvelous records of the Great Storm.

That day the tourists visited everything worth seeing in the two
Petrified Forests, the second one covering an area of over two thousand
acres. The girls marveled at the huge fallen tree trunks, the old giants
of that long-ago mountainside, now transformed into agate and onyx with
beautiful marblings of rich crimson, pastel greens, royal purples,
dazzling gold—all woven and twisted together. Here and there glistened
crystals, pure and transparent as diamonds. But whence came they?

In the first forest the scattering of the petrified trees gave the
elements a better opportunity to polish them, hence the colors may be
said to be more intense. Also erosion played a big part, and this
created fantastic figures of the petrified mass it carved. In this way
the Eagle’s Head came to be in the first forest.

The Petrified Bridge, also in the first forest, is a great trunk which
crosses a ravine about fifty feet wide. The length of this agate bridge
is about 111 feet, but it is estimated that the full length of the
tree-trunk must have been about 40 or 50 feet before it was broken and
petrified.

That evening, with the sun setting upon the rainbow-colored forests
which were in plain sight of the camp, the scouts ate supper and
speculated on what wonders in Chalcedony Park and Rainbow Forests the
morrow might have in store for them.

Although the third and fourth forests were intensely interesting, they
failed to make the same deep impression on the minds of the scouts as
the first one had done. Nevertheless the entire party found plenty of
things to see to fill a day, and they started back for Adamana with so
many mental pictures of the Petrified Trees that Mr. Gilroy said that
they would surely dream of them that night. However, his prediction
failed to come true, as every one was so healthily tired out that sleep
proved to be too deep for dreams that night.

At the comfortable little inn of Adamana the host said: “You really
ought to visit the Lava Fields and Sunset Crater now that you’re so near
them. Then there’s Diablo Cañon on the trail, and Meteorite Mountain
only ten miles from Diablo. _Then_ take the train to Williams, if you
can’t take time to go horseback through the San Francisco Mountains;
there you can change to the spur that runs to the Grand Cañon.”

Though the scouts were impatient to arrive at the wonderful lode-star
that had beckoned them West, they signified their willingness to defer
that moment when they should stand on the rim of the world and gaze at
the awful rent in Mother Earth’s garment—a rent over a hundred miles in
length, eighteen miles in width, and over a mile in depth, all to be
seen in one sweeping glance from a point which projects from the upper
level of the ground at the top of the Cañon.

“I was going to add,” said the host, “that being this far up the trail
it would be a crime for you not to ride on to Flagstaff, where you ought
to visit the Lowell Observatory. Go there at night, and be introduced to
the stars in the heavens.”

It was due to this man’s suggestions and the scouts’ obedience to his
advice, that the citizens of Elmertown were treated to several articles
signed “Juliet Lee.” The first one read:

“At Sunset Crater and the Lava Fields to-day we could see hundreds of
square miles of volcanic activities. The most interesting of these lava
flows and extinct craters is one which is plainly visible from the Santa
Fé railroad. It shines resplendent as though the sun were casting its
red-gold rays upon the crest of the peak. It is said that the particles
of iron in the rock of which this mountain is formed has oxidized and
now presents the glowing color of sunset; when seen in this remarkable
air of Arizona you can imagine the sun is shining forever upon that
volcano.”

Another day the readers of the _Record_ were treated to a graphic bit
about Meteorite Mountain.

“We rode to Meteorite Mountain, which is a peculiar mound about two
hundred feet high. Even before we reached it we saw pieces of meteoric
iron scattered about, seeming to bear out the theory of our scientists
that the meteor struck here, exploded, and blasted the hole into which
it fell, leaving the great rim of upturned earth two hundred feet high
that constitutes the mound.

“We climbed this mound and found the huge bowl at the top to be more
than a mile deep, with more than forty acres area at the bottom. If you
care to see what the fearful effect would be of hurling a blazing meteor
from the sky and having it strike a soft globe of earth, just climb up
to the steeple of the Elmertown Church and drop a rock about the size of
a water-melon into a large mud-puddle. The rock may not splash, but the
puddle would.

“Fancy, then, this red-hot ball of metal, heated to almost a molten
state by the velocity it had attained in being hurled through a million
miles of space, and being attracted by force of gravitation to our
pleasant little planet!

“On our ride from Meteorite Mountain we collected different pieces of
the particles of Meteoric rock which can be found strewn over the
surrounding area for many miles around. But none of these metallic
pieces had life enough to attract a needle.

“One gentleman whom we met in Cañon Diablo told us there were diamonds
to be found hidden in the small meteorites. Dear friends in Elmertown,
your girl scouts may yet succeed in placing their native place on the
map and have it a head-liner in the great metropolitan daily papers,
for we have collected so many meteorites that it is possible, nay it is
probable, that we shall find diamonds in our samples.”

In another issue of the paper Julie had an article on Cañon Diablo which
they visited the day after going to Meteorite Mountain.

“Although we could have glimpsed the Cañon Diablo from the train which
crosses this chasm on a threadlike steel bridge two hundred and fifty
feet high, we had decided to trail to Flagstaff in order to see
everything on the way, to say nothing of glorying in the air and the
omnipresent coloring of sky and land in this marvelous section of
America.

“Cañon Diablo is a unique result of volcanic eruption. It is a narrow
chasm not much wider than six hundred feet, but it is several miles
long, and from two to three hundred feet deep. Picture to yourself a
jagged, awe-inspiring cleft in our earth which, from the peculiar
coloring of the rocky walls, looks as if a perpetual fire burned there.
Even the atmosphere causes one to fancy that there must be smoke rising
from this scene of Satan’s camp fire.”

There was so much to be seen in every direction all along this wonder
route of New Mexico and Arizona that the scouts felt as if a year would
be all too short a time in which to visit the places they yearned to
see. As for _two months_! Well, that was only a taste of the delights in
touring this land.

For instance, while crossing the Painted Desert Lo had said: “Boss, you
tek fren’s to see Cañon de Chelly sure! I show you dere our Navajo Fort,
and fines’ Cañon scenery in worl’.”

But the tempting offer had to be refused for lack of time. Thinking that
the halting manner in which the refusal was made might be overcome, Lo
added: “You see Monument Cañon, the famous Rainbow Bridge, and the Cañon
del Muerto where mummy caves are viseeted. Mebbe you buy wonder blankets
mek by Navajo up Cañon Chelly, eh?”

Again at Ream’s Cañon, the trader had advised the scouts to be sure to
trail up to Tuba city.

“If you want to see the most wonderful cliff-dwellings in the west, you
really must visit those of Betatakin and Kitsiel on your way to Tuba.

“Then you should take plenty of time to visit the Hopi villages, in
order to get acquainted with them; to get photographs of the squaws
building the houses while their lords sit smoking their pipes and boss
the work. If you are favored, because of the girl scouts here, you may
snap the pictures while the Hopis do their tribal dance. You _may_
persuade one of their shamans, or medicine men, to tell you a thrilling
story of old.”

Mr. Gilroy had to reply regretfully: “We haven’t the time to visit these
interesting places. The girls have to be back home for school by the
middle of September.”

Again, after visiting the Petrified Forests, the scouts were advised to
see, without fail, the many amazing sights to be found in the San
Francisco Mountains.

To this advice from the host, the same answer as given Lo and the
trader, was made: “We haven’t time for all, but we do expect to visit
the Walnut Cañon and the Lava Fields on our way to Flagstaff.”

The final temptation was offered the scouts while they were stopping in
Flagstaff. They had visited the Lowell Observatory at night as had been
advised, and were back at the hotel when the manager addressed Mr.
Gilroy.

“I suppose you are going to take in Montezuma’s Castle and well, so long
as you are here.”

But these interesting points were forty-seven miles south of Flagstaff.
To ride there on horseback or to go in a wagon meant several days’ extra
time, and that much to be deducted from the time on hand in which to
complete this tour. Hence the scouts had to forego the pleasure of that
side trip or stop there when they traveled southward from Ash Fork.

Before leaving Flagstaff Mr. Gilroy telegraphed the horse-dealer at
Trinidad for instructions regarding the return of the saddle-horses
which they would no longer use or need after reaching Williams. The
answer came in a few hours time: “Ship back freight collect.”

“Well, girls, you’ll soon say farewell to the horses, consequently you
may have your choice of riding them to Williams, or sending them home
from here,” said Mr. Gilroy after reading the telegram to them.

The distance from Flagstaff to Williams was so negligible, and the roads
so good, that the scouts preferred riding instead of taking the train.
At Williams, however, the saddle horses were sent home as requested, and
Tally found a buyer for the three pack-horses as well as the outfits for
camping. When he handed the money received for the horses to Mr. Gilroy,
he grinned and said:

“You travel cheapes’ any one I ever see, Boss.”

“Why? What’s all this money for?” asked Mr. Gilroy.

“T’ree pack-horses in St Michael’s cos’ you sixity-fife dollar. Here in
William I sell he’em fer t’irty dollar each, mek ninety. What I sell
camp outfit for you I lose some money, but what you mek on t’ree hoss
more’n mek up loose, see? So now you trail across desert an’ it no cos’
anything,” explained the guide.

“Here, Tally! we shall go fifty-fifty on the profits of this
horse-deal,” declared Mr. Gilroy, sharing the excess money equally.

“Gilly turning horse-trader! Who would have thought it?” laughed Julie,
as they started for the railroad station.



                           CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

                           BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL


On the trail from Williams to the Grand Cañon, the scouts found plenty
to interest and with which to amuse themselves. The interest was to be
had by gazing at the grandeur of the scenery, ever changing from one
aspect to another, as the train passed the San Franciscan Mountains and
climbed the grade which rose steadily. The amusement was furnished by
tourists who seemed possessed in telling others all about the “dos” and
“don’ts” one must obey at the Grand Cañon.

Finally, one tourist, his patience quite gone, asked a woman—a
pinched-faced, narrow-eyed, thin-lipped woman—how many times she had
been through the Cañon. “Perhaps you live there permanently,” said he in
conclusion.

“Me! Why, no. This is my first visit there. What made you ask?”

“Because you _seem_ to know more about the whole length and breadth of
Grand Cañon than all the books ever written on the subject,” retorted
the man, with finality.

Thereafter there was comparative silence in the Pullman, for which the
scouts were duly grateful to the sarcastic man.

“Gilly, are we going to stop at the El Tovar Hotel that woman was
telling about?” asked Betty.

“No, Betsy, I thought you scouts would much rather camp, and go on from
site to site as the spirit moves us, eh?”

A chorus of “Oh, yes, Gilly!” assured the Boss of the party that his
idea was well favored. Then Mr. Vernon said: “How about outfits now that
Tally sold ours in Williams?”

“We’ll join a ‘John Bass Camp’; there being so many in our group we can
manage to secure a guide and the outfits without having strangers thrust
in upon our party. In this way we secure the horses, outfits, and
everything, much cheaper than we could provide them for ourselves,”
explained Mr. Gilroy.

“Oh, I’m just crazy to get there!” cried Judith, who really acted
half-wild over everything in the west.

“What a pity it is our Judy could not have been in the Rockies with us
last summer,” said the Captain.

“I’m glad she wasn’t, Verny. I never should have been the chief actor in
all the thrills Joan and I reeled off for you,” said Julie.

“Maybe it would have been the three ‘J’s’ instead of two jays,” laughed
Joan.

“Girls! some one said we are here!” cried Hester, pressing her face
against the window-screen in order to look for the town of Grand Cañon.
She saw a few scattered dwellings and a railroad station.

Mr. Gilroy had no idea of allowing the scouts to see the Cañon at once.
It was late afternoon when they left the train, and he led them directly
to the hotel where they could wash and brush up and then have afternoon
tea. He planned to show them their first view of the wonderful chasm
with the hues of sunset full upon its walls, and his plan succeeded even
better than he could have hoped for.

The eager and impatient scouts ran out ahead of Mr. Gilroy the sooner to
view the Wonder they had come so far to see. They reached the rail and
looked. The earth lay open before their eyes!

Not a word was uttered. Girlish hands clutched at the rail, and breaths
came in short gasps. The sun was sending slanting beams across the
gigantic gap before them, and dark purple mist was already veiling the
depths of the cañon.

Finally Betty sobbed aloud. The sound seemed to unlock the pent-up
emotion of the other scouts. Every one trembled with the wild thrill of
the scene, and two of the girls laughed hysterically.

Having taken their fill of this their first view of the Cañon, the
scouts followed Mr. Gilroy to a point which jutted out beyond the rest
of the cliff.

“It looks seared and scarred like one of those old shamans back on the
Desert,” commented Joan, gazing down at the ruin-like mass of rock which
apparently held up the promontory upon which they were standing.

“Look, girls! That is what I want you to see,” called Mr. Gilroy, as
they all reached the spot out on the projection of earth. He pointed in
the direction he wished the scouts to gaze.

A fiery ball was just about to rest itself upon a far-off peak, but in
doing so it shed a glory of light over all the crags and chasms, the
pinnacles and plateaus, the mesas and monuments of this Wonderland.
Quite suddenly, this red sphere seemed to roll behind the peak and as
suddenly the glory faded.

Now began the marvelous transformation scene. What had been rocky walls
crimson as blood became purple, then lilac, then scarcely-tinted
lavender ghosts of cliffs. Then the sharp points of all the rocks and
monuments in sight became veiled as with a pale gossamer web so frail
that a breath might waft it away. Finally the night-shadows crept up
from the Cañon to meet the purple curtain from the heavens which now
fell slowly but surely as if drawn by an invisible hand from behind the
scenes.

“Oh!” sighed Julie, as the last flicker of the sunset died away from the
farthest battlement.

“Verny, my knees shake so from all this greatness that I don’t see how
I shall be able to walk back to the hotel,” sighed Amy.

“Then you’ll be glad to hear that you won’t have to walk back, eh, Amy?”
asked Mr. Vernon, catching a glimpse of Tally and a strange guide with a
group of saddle horses waiting at a distance near the bridle path.

“Are you going to make a chair for me of your crossed hands, you and
Gilly?” laughed Amy, following the others as they walked away from the
crag.

“Better than that,” returned Mr. Gilroy; “we all shall ride to camp. I
had Tally go and arrange with the Bass manager for camping
accommodations during our stay in the Grand Cañon.”

It was with relieved minds then, that the scouts climbed into
comfortable saddles and started to ride to the most up-to-date camp they
had ever seen. The question of suitable apparel for the dinner and
evening in such a luxurious hotel as El Tovar had been the only fly in
the ointment while gazing on the Cañon at sunset. Now Gilly had helped
them out of that difficulty by his quick perceptions and realization of
the fitness of things.

The camp-site for that night had been chosen with a view to giving the
scouts the first glimpse of sunrise. Bearing that in mind, Mr. Gilroy
said: “Every one has to be up and ready to come with me before sun-up
in the morning. Therefore, we’d better go to bed early.”

“That’s no punishment for me,” laughed Joan, and the other girls
seconded her declaration.

“We will add,” supplemented Julie, “We’ll go to bed _now_, provided
you’ll send our dinners to us.”

“Not much! One reason I decided to bring you all to camp was to save
myself the expense of tipping for such a crowd. Now you ask me to serve
dinner in your private rooms? That adds extra cost to the charges for
dinner, and I cannot afford it.”

“Oh, does it?” said Betty, her eyes opening wide in surprise.

“Yes, of course, Simple!” laughed her twin sister, winking at the other
girls.

In the high altitudes of the west with its rarified air, one sleeps less
and feels more rested than near the sea-levels where the humidity makes
one heavy-lidded. Therefore the scouts were up at dawn and were waiting
on one of the projecting cliffs to get the first glimpse of the sun.
They saw the Cañon in the early morning as an oriental city, mist-veiled
and shadowy, suggesting haunting mysteries.

Then came up from behind the rim of turrets and towers, a golden light
that bathed the Cañon in a sea of glory. Soon this light grew more
intense, until every point of rock was transformed into a gleaming
spear-point. At last came the sun-burst of gold which instantly
reflected in the Cañon in opalescent tints too beautiful to name.

Having remained spell-bound by the marvel of watching the rising sun
touch and transform everything, from the greatest to the least, the
scouts finally sighed and Mr. Gilroy made a move to get up.

“Sorry to shatter this dream, girls, but I’m sure I smelled frying bacon
from our camp yonder,” said he.

“Oh, Gilly!” exclaimed a chorus of voices in shocked disapproval.

“How can you be so material?” was Joan’s horrified query.

“I can understand how it is,” giggled Anne. “Of course, I am just as
surprised and uplifted over this scene as any one ought to be, but bacon
and eggs also have an appeal.”

“Anne,” said Mr. Gilroy, “these dabblers in rhapsodies will eat their
full share of the ‘common material food’ the moment they get within
reach of that frying-pan. Come on, let’s get there first, Anne.”

During breakfast Mr. Gilroy said: “As soon as we finish here, the guide
proposes taking us down Bright Angel trail to the bottom of the Cañon.
The heavier you are the firmer you will feel while on the burros’ backs,
hence I advise you to eat plenty.”

“Gilly, dear, I think I will remain in camp. I am not going down,”
stammered Betty.

“Not going down! Well, I guess you are!” exclaimed Julie, amazed.

“Julie, I’m afraid,” whimpered the girl.

“Nonsense! What’s there to be afraid of?” demanded her sister.

The adults in the group reasoned with Betty, but Amy and Hester now
said: “We’ll stay here with Betty and keep her company.”

Betty smiled feebly in gratitude to these wonderful friends who were
willing to forego the thrill of such a trip in order to keep her from
being lonely.

“No, you don’t!” retorted Joan. “If you two have the shakes, the only
way to cure you is to drag you down at the heels of the donkeys.”

“If you’re _afraid_ to go down why not up and confess, just as Betty
did? Don’t go and get out of it by saying you’ll sacrifice yourself by
remaining here to keep her company,” was Julie’s sarcastic suggestion.

Mrs. Vernon cut this unpleasant little scene short by saying: “We’re all
ready to start when you are, Gilly. Betty is going too, as she’ll see
once she is on the way that there is nothing to dread.”

Two bright crimson spots began to glow in Betty’s cheeks as she followed
after her friends, but she trembled every time she glanced in the
direction of the Cañon.

There were twenty-three tourists, besides the scout-party, to ride down
Bright Angel trail that morning. Some ladies who were not provided with
riding habits had rented them from the outfit department of the hotel.
Of course, Julie had to say “23 is skiddoo!” Every one had to ride
cross-saddle, but two of the ladies in the cavalcade made a great fuss
over such an immodest sight! The scouts stared in amazement.

Judith whispered: “They ought to remain home on the farm and knit
antimacassors for the chairs.”

Finally they started off, one guide leading, another bringing up the
rear. Tally rode directly in front of Amy, then after Amy came Betty.
Back of Betty rode the Bass Guide, and behind him rode Hester. This
arrangement would place each one of the two guides next to each of the
three timid girls.

The trail, cut and made by hands with infinite labor and patience,
seemed all too narrow for the feet of man. Yet the little burros go up
and down it with perfect security.

“How can they do it, Gilly?” asked Joan, as they started down.

“Because their tiny hoofs take up no room, whatever, as they plant them
down one directly in front of the other. Another thing, they are trained
for this trail, and instinct tells them at what precise place to go
slow, or at what time to hasten. Just trust them and _look up_. Don’t
look down into the chasm, but up and over at the marvels of this place.”

To Amy, there were no more marvels in this Cañon—it was all purgatory
from fear. To Hester it looked like the side of the Woolworth Tower. To
Betty it was just nothing at all, but space, down, down into the bowels
of the earth.

But the donkeys had started down and, perforce, carried the riders with
them. Here and there the Cañon guides called the attention of their
charges to various attractions.

“Gilly, why do all these horrid little burros insist upon walking on the
outer rim of this razor-edge!” called Joan, who had vainly endeavored to
guide her mount nearer the perpendicular wall on the inside of the
trail.

Mr. Gilroy laughed. “They’d much rather you would scrape your thigh than
theirs.”

At this moment a shrill cry came from one of the women who had objected
to the divided skirts, “I got to go back! I just got to—right off!”

“You can’t!” shouted a guide. “You’ll be off, all right, if you don’t
keep quiet and sit tight—Off into space. But you can’t go back now.”

“You’d better turn around and help me get back!” shrilled she. “I’ll sue
you if you don’t do as I wish.”

“Madam, it’s impossible to get back. The trail is only wide enough for a
burro. How in the name of all possessed do you expect this line to turn
around and pass itself in order to lead you up?”

The guide was impatient, but he hushed the threatening female for a
time. Soon after this, the riders came to a broad shelf where all might
relax the tension. Once here, the woman who had wanted to return to the
hotel spoke again.

“Here I stay till you come back! You don’t get me to go no further.”

Then her companion began to remonstrate with her, and the scouts heard
the argument.

“They won’t rebate a cent, Lizzie. All this money for this ride wasted
while you sit here waiting and the mule ain’t workin’, at all!”

Perhaps it was the idea of paying for something she might miss that
induced the complainer to continue down the trail when the guide
proceeded on his route.

In suddenly calling a halt on the trail where it was so narrow that the
riders’ legs on the Cañon side were sheer over the edge, many of the
mules had turned a sharp projecting cliff and were out of sight, while
the rest were still crawling down the trail upon the upper side of the
bluff. At the very moment when the halt was ordered Julie’s mule was
about to turn the corner, and the wise little beast instantly obeyed the
command. His head and forefeet were on the one side of the blade-like
angle of the cliff, and his tail and hindfeet on the other side making
a decided twist in his body. He could adapt himself nicely to such a
squirming necessity, but the saddle did not. Hence Julie was suspended,
more than three-fourths of her, over the edge.

“Tally! Tally!” called she to the guide who was the third rider in
advance, but out of sight back of the cliff, “half of me is on the
down-trail on your side of the cliff, but the other half of me is on the
up-trail on the Captain’s side of it. If you’ll only urge the guide to
move the line along two feet further I’ll be all one side as I should
be.”

Those behind her laughed, because her predicament was exactly as Julie
had described it, but Tally knew the danger of the position and had the
entire line of mules advance a few steps to allow the scout’s mount to
come completely around the curve.

Presently the cavalcade resumed the downward climb. Lower and lower went
the trail, and higher, still higher, rose the walls of the Cañon above
the heads of these tiny dots which clung tenaciously as they crawled
along the face of the cliffs. Finally the advance guide shouted:

“We’re coming to the plateau where are the Indian Gardens. There we will
halt and rest the mules; the riders may stretch their own muscles and
walk around, if they choose.” The riders were glad to do so.

After resuming the ride, the frightened woman who had so recently
insisted upon going back to the hotel, began to chatter of the beauties
seen on this trail, with praise for the one who had named it Bright
Angel Trail.

“Not so long since, Madam, you were sure of falling and turning into an
Angel yourself, eh?” was the remark made by a short fat man directly
back of the spinster.

“Sir!” snapped the offended lady, but she daren’t turn her head.

“Oh, pardon! I didn’t mean a ‘fallen Angel’—not at all; although you
could scarcely hope to become a ‘Bright Angel’,” explained the man.

The woman dared not turn about in her saddle to freeze the speaker with
one of her looks, but she could maintain a very haughty silence, which
she did, to the relief of all the other members of the party.

Jacob’s Ladder, another hair-raising section on the trail, brought forth
renewed cries and shrill calls for the guides to save the two
entertaining females in the party, but he ignored them now.

“The Devil’s Corkscrew must be named for its facility of compelling one
to screw up one’s courage to descend it, eh?” asked Amy, who had managed
to get thus far without fainting in the saddle.

“I should say its name implies exactly what it says,” returned Mr.
Vernon. “That is: the devil of a corkscrew for man and mule.”

[Illustration: The scouts rode up the Bright Angel Trail.]

Mr. Vernon, always so precise and particular in his speech, shocked the
scouts into a merry laugh of amusement at his shortcoming.

“Verny, Verny! I fear your morals will be completely ruined by the time
we are ready to leave the Cañon,” teased Judith.

“You know the adage: ‘Bad associations, etc.’ don’t you?” laughed Mr.
Vernon. “Well, any one can see the effect Gilly has had on us.”

About noon-day they were at the bottom of the stupendous Cañon where the
Colorado roars its tawny torrents through the gorge. After luncheon, and
a long rest, the party began to prepare for the ascent. Mr. Gilroy had
planned to pitch camp down on the sands near the river, but the two
guides having charge of the trip were inclined to vote against such an
idea. At length, however, they were overruled, so the guides found a
stretch of fine clean sand which would answer admirably for sleeping
purposes. While supper was being prepared, the scouts adventured over
the rocks and Julie took snapshots. As there was plenty of driftwood it
was no trouble to keep a camp-fire going till late in the night. The
warmth from this, and the horse blankets proved to be sufficient for the
scouts. That night they stretched upon the sand, and gazed up at the
mile-high towering cliffs which almost hid the dark-blue vault of
heaven.

The following morning the scouts rode up the Bright Angel Trail to the
branching, where the Tonto trail leads down to the Kaibab trail, over
the suspension bridge, and thus along Bright Angel Creek. On this long
ride the guide stopped at Phantom Ranch for dinner and arranged for his
party to spend the night in the cabins. They then rode on through Bright
Angel Cañon, to Ribbon Falls. That evening the scouts enjoyed many tales
of adventure as told by the guide who had lived in the Grand Cañon area
for many years.

Late afternoon, on the third day, the scouts rode out of the Cañon once
more.

“My!” declared Julie, heaving a great sigh, “I feel as though we had
been absent from this upper crust for many weeks.”

“But glad enough to get away from the roar of the Colorado torrent, and
the mad echoes in the vast chasms and crevices of the Cañon,” added Mrs.
Vernon, who felt that living way down in the Gorge for two days was
enough to satisfy anybody.

For a week thereafter the scouts were continually on the go; then they
felt that they had seen everything of any moment in and about the Grand
Cañon, and Tally and the Bass Guide fully agreed with them.

They had gone down Hermit trail, had stopped at the Santa Maria Spring,
seen the Lion Cañon and stayed over-night in the Hermit Cabins. Then
retracing their way as far as Cape Butte they struck the Tonto Trail and
followed the course until they came out upon the Plateau. They had
visited every point from which a view was to be had, and at last Mr.
Gilroy demanded an inventory of Julie.

“Not your apparel or assets, but a count of the rolls of film you have
on hand by this time, waiting to be developed and printed, once we reach
a reasonably priced kodak shop.”

Julie laughed. “Gilly, ‘I dare not tell a lie,’ and I’m afraid to tell
you the truth.”

“Ah!” exclaimed Mr. Gilroy, “Just what I suspected! Now I shall nip all
this photography in the bud by announcing that we bid good-by to
temptation by leaving Grand Cañon in the morning.”

Joan laughed. “No temptation for us to remain, Gilly. Jule’s
photographed every stick and stone and living creature to be found up on
the rim, down in the gorge, and on the sides of all the walls. She even
tried to shoot the sun to-day, but that defied her. Now she’s willing to
depart.”

The girls wished to express the species of flora and pictures of birds
which they had secured for their scout records, consequently they
secured a box and carefully packed the plants and pressed flowers, as
well as the quantities of mineral samples, and the many, many snapshots
taken throughout the trip.

They had pictures of the black-throated song-sparrows, which, winter as
well as summer, in this section of the country never cease their sweet
music; the mountain blue-bird; Bullock’s oriole and the Arizona hooded
oriole; humming-birds, threshers, cardinals and warblers. Then there
were the dusky grouse, known as the pine-hen, because it feeds upon the
pine-nuts of the pinyon; the Alpine three-toed woodpecker; the
white-crowned sparrow; the greve, mallard, blue-winged teal, the coot,
shoveller, ruddy and pintailed ducks; besides these were the whitefaced
ibis, the sora, the stilt, the American avocet, and many, many other
birds. In fact, the girls had added two hundred and forty different
kinds of resident birds to their lists for the scout records. Of course,
many of these had been mentioned already in their records of birds in
the Rockies, and in the Atlantic Coast States; but the environment and
scenery of New Mexico and Arizona were so unusual that the photographs
taken of the birds made them seem very different from those they had of
the same birds in other localities.

To their floral records they had added the odd species of the cactuses,
among which were the hedgehog, fish-hook, barrel-cactus, nigger-head,
candy-cactus, the rainbow and the pin-cushion. The variety of chollas,
which some people class as a cactus, were the prickly pears, the ball
cholla, the common cholla, with its gorgeous flowers of red, pink,
white, and yellow; there were the jumping cholla with flowers a light
rose shade, also many unnamed species with beautiful flowers.

Among the interesting plants which were photographed and sampled, was
the ocatillo, which looks like a clump of gray sticks from ten to twenty
feet high, but with such long thorns their whole length that it is known
as the “Devil’s Claw.” The night blooming cereus was a flower which the
scouts gathered in the desert on one of their camping trips. In the
Grand Cañon they found the rare phacelia, with flowers of a pale violet
color. Similar to the phacelia were the borages with their yellow
flowers in clusters upon rough, hairy stems. There were the neivetas,
the Sactato Gordo, the comb-seed and the stick-seed; gorgeous poppies,
primroses, magnificent sunflowers and the Arizona dandelion. As the girl
scout troop was named after the dandelion, they took a deep interest in
these western dandelions which were very attractive. The plant has
feathery bright green leaves, tinged a deep red, and the flowers are
very beautiful.

They had also gathered many queer kinds of flowers on the mesas, too
numerous to mention individually. So many remarkable species were added
to their records that it is doubtful if any other girl scout in the
country could compete with their collection.

Finally the boxes were insured and shipped to Elmertown, and then came
the last night around the camp fire at Grand Cañon.

“Gilly, when we are away from this fairy-land it will all seem like a
dream to me,” said Betty, sighing.

“At least it will be a pleasant dream, won’t it?” asked he.

“Oh, yes, indeed! I wish it might go on for another summer,” replied
Betty, eagerly.

“That’s one topic I’ve been discussing with the Captain: whether Julie
will make enough money out of that book she proposes to publish, to take
us all on another trip to the west next summer,” ventured Mr. Gilroy,
jokingly. But he had no idea of how near the truth he had ventured when
he spoke of Julie’s book. That was the subject she had eagerly discussed
with Burt, and he had told her that her writing was the kind which would
interest a publisher. Hence she was determined to try the field of
literature soon after she got home.

After bidding the Bass Guide good-by, the scout-party went to the hotel
to wait while Mr. Gilroy sent a few telegrams. When he came back from
the desk he held a handful of letters which he waved at Julie.

“Just think of it, Jule! A broken-hearted young Ranger left a whole week
without a word from you! Here is a letter for every day since he left
Albuquerque—all forwarded from the various towns and left here to
accumulate dust for the past four days.”

Every one laughed at Julie’s amazed expression, but it was soon learned
that the letters were meant for different members in the party. Two
only were for Julie and were postmarked, “Glorieta, New Mexico.”

“Only two, you said,” teased Joan, “but see how thick!”

On the train to Williams, Mr. Gilroy planned to motor the scouts to Ash
Fork, thence to take a local train to Montezuma Castle. Castle Hot
Springs would be their next destination, and then on to Phoenix where
they would follow the plan as at Santa Fé—motor each day to a new point
of interest until all had been visited.

They arrived in Williams and were waiting for Mr. Gilroy to see the
ticket agent about a touring car, when the agent handed him a telegram.
He took it, tore it open, read it, and hurried over to the scouts.

“Say, children, this is the hardest luck of all! I’ve got to leave you
and get back home as quickly as possible,” said he.

“Oh, Gilly!” came a chorus of voices in consternation.

“Yes, and the worst of it is that my lawyer has been trying to catch me
at towns along the railroad line for the past two weeks. That was about
the time we were crossing the Desert. Now I’ve simply got to rush back.”

“Anything serious, Gilly?” asked Mrs. Vernon, deeply concerned.

“Well, it seems there is a legal quibble over my title to the
Adirondack Estate, and my personal presence is needed in Court to
testify. Too much is at stake for me to neglect it. Court opens in
September, you know, and he wishes to consult with me before that date.”

“Gilly, we all go back when you go!” declared Julie, nodding her head at
each of the scouts for their approval to this proposition.

“Yes, indeed, Gilly! that is what I wished to say,” added Mrs. Vernon.

“We won’t miss so very much at that,” said Mr. Vernon. “A mad rush
through Arizona, and then a stampede for the boat to cross the Gulf of
Mexico in hot weather, and then on home. Now we can get on the train and
go through to New York without a care about hotels, and camps, and
timetables.”

“Don’t forget, Gilly, we have several other mountains left in our good
old United States, from which to select our next season’s sojourn,”
declared Joan.

“Don’ leaf Tally outen dat mountain climb, eh?” said the Indian,
anxiously.

“We should say not!” exclaimed Mr. Gilroy, and to this the scouts
chorused, “Motion made and seconded by our chairman, who is the whole
thing.”

“So _he_ says,” laughed Julie, bound to have the last word.





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