seventeen years. This was done, and thus, with the telephone

In spite of this bold assertion of bravery, there was a sort of break in her voice. She was putting dishes on the table as she talked, and turned some ham in the skillet, and got the children up before the fire, and dropped some eggs in water, -- all with a rapidity that bewildered Henderson.

seventeen years. This was done, and thus, with the telephone

"How long have you been alone?" he asked, softly.

seventeen years. This was done, and thus, with the telephone

"Three months before baby was born, and he's five months old now. I -- I -- you think I can get on here, don't you? There was nothing else to do."

seventeen years. This was done, and thus, with the telephone

She was folding another blanket over the sleeping baby now, and the action brought to her guest the recollection of a thousand tender moments of his dimly remembered youth.

"You'll get on if we have anything to do with it," he cried, suppressing an oath with difficulty, just from pure emotion.

And he told her about the three Johns' ranch, and found it was only three miles distant, and that both were on the same road; only her cabin, having been put up during the past week, had of course been unknown to him. So it ended in a sort of compact that they were to help each other in such ways as they could. Meanwhile the fire got genial, and the coffee filled the cabin with its comfortable scent, and all of them ate together quite merrily, Henderson cut- ting up the ham for the youngsters; and he told how he chanced to come out; and she entertained him with stories of what she thought at first when she was brought a bride to Hamilton, the adjacent village, and convulsed him with stories of the people, whom she saw with humorous eyes.

Henderson marvelled how she could in those few minutes have rescued the cabin from the desolation in which the storm had plunged it. Out of the window he could see the stricken grasses dripping cold moist- ure, and the sky still angrily plunging for- ward like a disturbed sea. Not a tree or a house broke the view. The desolation of it swept over him as it never had before. But within the little ones were chattering to themselves in odd baby dialect, and the mother was laughing with them.

"Women aren't always useless," she said, at parting; "and you tell your chums that when they get hungry for a slice of home- made bread they can get it here. And the next time they go by, I want them to stop in and look at the children. It'll do them good. They may think they won't enjoy themselves, but they will."

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