The Short Cut
Gypsy, warming to the race, carried her mistress valiantly the half a dozen miles from the ridge she had crossed to the knoll crowned with great boled, sky seeking cedars where her father's ranch house stood. Half a mile away the girl made out the wide verandahs, the long flight of steps, the hammock where she had read and dozed last night, yes, and dreamed the tender, half wistful, yet rose tinted dreams of maidenhood. She saw, too, the stables at the base of the knoll, to the northward, where one of the boys, Charlie or Jim, was harnessing the greys, preparatory to hitching them to the big wagon. The thought flashed through her mind that he counted upon going out for a load of wood, and that he would be called upon first to bring in another burden that he would never forget.
Her eyes went back to the house. There was some one sitting in a rocker in t