and a hunting coat. In a drawer at the bottom of the wardrobe

time:2023-11-28 18:07:32 author:power

Carew, trained on the football field, took to the foot drill as a duck takes to water. Weldon was in his glory on mounted parade. One summer spent on an Alberta ranch had taught him the tricks of the broncho-buster, and five o'clock invariably found him pirouetting across the parade ground on the back of the most vicious mount to be found within the limits of Maitland. More than once there had been a breathless pause while the entire squadron had waited to watch the killing of Trooper Weldon; more than once there had been an utterly profane pause while the officers had waited for Trooper Weldon to bring his bolting steed back into some semblance of alignment. The pause always ended with Weldon upright in his saddle, his face beaming with jovial smiles and his horse ranged up with mathematical precision. The delays were by no means helpful to discipline. Nevertheless, the officers yielded to the inevitable with the better grace, inasmuch as no one else would voluntarily trust life and limb to the vicious beasts in which Weldon's soul delighted.

and a hunting coat. In a drawer at the bottom of the wardrobe

Twice already, during the past five days, Weldon had handed over to the authorities a chastened and obedient pony, and had made petition to select a fresh and untrammelled spirit. The one of the afternoon before had been the most untrammelled he had as yet attempted. The contest had begun with the first touch of the saddle. It had continued with Weldon's being borne across the camp on the back of a little gray broncho who was making tentative motions towards a complete handspring. By the time the pony was convinced of the proper function of her own hind legs, Weldon found himself being driven from the door of the cooking tent by Paddy and a volley of potatoes. The broncho surveyed Paddy with scorn, rose to her hind legs and strolled towards the corner of the camp sacred to visitors. There she delivered herself of one final, mighty buck. When Weldon regained the perpendicular, he found himself directly facing the merry, admiring eyes of Ethel Dent. By Ethel's side, mounted on a huge khaki-colored horse, sat the man he had met, only the week before, in the driveway of the Dents' home.

and a hunting coat. In a drawer at the bottom of the wardrobe

Scarlet with his exertions, grimly aware that his sleeve was pulled from its armhole and his left puttie was strained out of its usual compact folds, nevertheless Weldon saluted her smilingly and, his mount well in hand, galloped off in search of his squadron. That night, however, his clear baritone voice was missing from the usual chorus about the camp fire; and, as he thoughtfully drained his tin billy of coffee, next morning, he was revolving in mind the relative merits of his banker and a dead mother-in-law, as excuses for demanding a pass to town, that afternoon.

and a hunting coat. In a drawer at the bottom of the wardrobe

However, afternoon found him moodily riding about the camp. His body was on a subdued gray broncho; his mind was solely upon Ethel and her companion. He liked the girl for herself, as well as for the fact that, in this remote corner of the world, she represented the sole bit of feminine companionship which is the rightful heritage of every son of Eve. True, there was Miss Arthur; but Miss Arthur was antediluvian. Under these conditions, it was galling to Weldon to see Ethel absorbed by a comrade who, he frankly admitted to himself, was far the more personable man of the two. And the girl's blue eyes had laughed up into the eyes of the stranger just exactly as, two short weeks before, they had laughed up into his own. Then the little gray broncho jumped cornerwise, and Weldon had difficulty in impressing upon her that handsprings were not an approved form of cavalry tactics. Nevertheless, he did it with a word of apology. For the moment, the broncho was not wholly responsible for her return to evil ways.

Over their breakfast, next morning, his five tentmates fell to catechising him as to his pensive mood, and their catechism was largely intermingled with chaff.

"Paddy's compliments, and roll up for your tucker," the mess orderly proclaimed, as he came into the tent, brandishing a coffee pot in one hand, the frying pan in the other.

Fork in hand, Carew nevertheless paused to take exception to the word.

"I confess I can't see why Tucker, when it is supposed to untuck the creases of us," he observed. "Hermit, shall I serve you in the corner; or will you deign to join us about the festive frying pan?"


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