|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||Helen Experience|
ft wIm 7,WiiBUfiHi.fii 'Mwmi fcfe Koie RishmoncI, lo-.ns mrr.o'1 lartwcck "What make yu Involve your&elf In i such a thing?" ftlic Mid "It'SRi much etu-.n to Leap out than to Ret out." "Suppose you should loe Robca .no night?" "I choultlu't likoH. Unt, OI Harry, jott lon"t want blood on your hands." "And 1 don't want to lo.c inyhorsao," ho aatd, doggedly. "If It comes to tli.-v, It'H their ov.n fault. Thoy know the riaks thoy take." Helen said no more, llrouson had not Brwn at nil. IIo a<cd an uulmpor-tant uulmpor-tant question or two and then the subject sub-ject dropped. That night every horso worth taking ivu stolen from the Tryon and riron-son riron-son tanch, and with the rest Helen's llebecca. Hut the third day afterward Ki'bocea wan found In tlio morning tied before the door with as handsome a bridle and lady's naddlo natlto country a Honied, nnd with a card appended: ' Captain Gordon's compliments to Helen Tryon." "Ho ought to have bald to the heroine of Pine Gulch," Harry Raid, with deep (llRfftlSt. ' 1'erliaps Mrs. Morso Is In it, too," Ilronfcon suggested, slyly. "You're finite bttro that Cnptnln Got don Isn't a friend of j-ours? Appoarances nro against you. First tlio diamond " nnd bo btopped short ni tho tears rose lit Helen soyen. "I didn't mean any thiug," ho explained ex-plained humbly to Harry afterward. "Whoever supposed you did? Do j ou imagine jott tiro over going to understand under-stand what a woman finds to cry about?" he said, wrathftilly. "They don't know themselves half the time " Hut, after all, it was not Helen at whom he was storming. An extra meeting of tho Horso-Tlilcf League win summoned No rcsulls followed, aud a month w oro n way peaceably. Time did not stand btlll for Helen and 1 1 eh it's lover. He did not ngain refer in words to that declaration of his, but not uit hour spent in bcr society did not plead his cause Ho took It completely for granted that hh lovo for her was a thing complete of itself without hopo of return. lVrhnps that attitude was his strongest plea. Something in his pa tience seemed wonderful to her bho eould ns soon have built tho pyramids. She was one of those positive people to n hotn no Italf-w ay measure is possible. Tl at it man should make such nn avow-ul avow-ul ,ih that, nnd then should let the days go on In such commonplace, cheerful, tviinarhetl fashion, roused a new won-tli won-tli iing Interest in her mind. Kit tie by little, unconscious of the pr-u.illoiis of feeling, her wholo mental attitude changed. She owned now with u shudder that If I'ayno Morso were to croas her path for tlio first time she would probably bo repelled rather than attracted She hail fallen in kno with an lde.il. .mil the living, breathing facts did not bear out lite fancy. Antl tho next bhui.k was to realize that she had not yet done with Ideals, and to-day's lieio w ns In no w Ise like yesterday's. It gave hor a dreadful feollng of un-rcllanco un-rcllanco in herself. That she, who for yenm had lived in u dead calm of uncx-pectant uncx-pectant exhaustion of emotion, should ut'uin bo allowing herself to dreum of sunshine Slio made amends to herself by never acknowledging that Trank Ilronsou had any thing to do with such fancies. I leaily Helen Morso's days of passive suffering were over. Sho was silent ttiil, but her sllenco was dicamy, Instead In-stead of coldly hopeless And most unwonted un-wonted bursts of petulance stirred tlio e.-cn tanor of the days. "What has happened to Helen?" Harry asked vouderlngly one day. "Moll, tiny thing U better than seeing Iter go nbout 1 dco a gilvanlzed corpse, da wo dwl foi three ears." Hut Harry wus too much absorbed in devlslmj schemes whereby Captain Gordon's Gor-don's bund might come to gtlef to heed u.h un.Ul bit of m"lotlrama as falling lu love, lioplosslv or otherwise. One night it cttino to puss that after jno of tho bilof, ttemondous storms of v.nd aad rain peculiar to tho latitude, Helta answered her biothot's hall from tho outer daikness, and opened tho door to Ur.d lilm anil ojio of tlio herders holding betwoon them n motionless lead weight, aud tecogiiiuxl thu white fuv.o as Finnic Ilronsou a "Is ho dead ' she asked, quietly ' 1 don't know; only stunned, 1 fancy. Sift t.aui Lee lo boating water and turn-'nagmg turn-'nagmg our llannela A tiee fell as we were euniuiif through the timber and knocked linn out of his saddle. Whut a tuerey'j'ou ore not of the hcioumtng, fainting kludl" Hurry wus giving explanations and orders in ti sort of runulng uccompaul-mem, uccompaul-mem, that barely Milled bis own mix- . 11. .1 .-. ..nl.. c.l.,..t ..ml lmlnf.il IViy. IIVICU, 1'aiu, viivi... tn... ii.! m. jljeyed implicitly. Wliou lirousoti jponetl his oyh nt last, bar f aco wns the y drtt he saw us his swimming vision steadied itself Ho put out lui hand j and she laid hors within It Thoro was a good dual in Iho ntt sl.o was uot u woman r-'l'(f'll ' ",leu uprolous. r '1 ho hoavj- blue eyes opened w Uli eager l inquiry. i "You must bo very quiet," the said, t wltji a Mnllo. Sho tfid not withdraw t her lignd, anil with a long sigh of ro-lief ro-lief lie turned toward her and fell ( asleep. He wns out and about his business , next tiny, though iu tutlior u shaky fonlilou. All tlay Helen wont about ( with a half guilty, half happy btriiiti of .Yeling on her heart. As the time came , for Ms return sliu went nnd stood lie-ore lie-ore Uer tlaus, for tho Ural time, por-lisps, por-lisps, in years, with a critical und ails-T.u ails-T.u l.jok nt the leUectlon therein lihe s tj. 1 1 1 palei sorrow and luss had loft lor faoia scarred with tholr Uacos vlut had suo to do with love? Tilt lit I If-distrust kit t. c mor m Uer man-att man-att that ei en Hairy uotlcud. "I liollovoyoti am living luck again," ho .ald. "At this rU, Helen, you'll be a s-liool gill again befoie you know it." Her lips quivered In it painful half sialic llo plunged on. "Did Mm ever see any one change so, 1 ink ' urn an1 not lulng backi i . i i. ( in? t . begin over again, my I i ,i lid he t "ipetl llll'l Ill'-'-TtI llT Thoy were uot a demonstrative family, fami-ly, the Tryons. Sho Hushed with a pleased surprise. Aud dinuer being th ex TUTT m sj k-ff- t "VEg, vou wnm: i'.u.ne moiisk." over, ho nnd llrouson rode nway In pursuance of somo of their horse-thief plans. Thoy had not gone many mlnutcn when'tlicro came tho sharp clatter of a horse's hoofs up to the door, nnd llrouson llrou-son (lung himself out of tho saddle. "Is it true?" Iio asked, eagerly. "It Is quite true," slowly and ulninst solemnly. ' Oh, my darling" be had her in lib arms; sho felt his team on her face, his kisses on her lips "what have I done to deserve such happiness?'' Sho clung to him then w it li u little cry. "O, Frank, every thing failed me once. If that comes again I shall die." He held herclose against his breast "It shall never come again," ho said, softly. And then in n minute more he was gone. Alt of this out of doors, w-horo any one might have seen and heard every word. Hut who was there to sco In that wide, green, empty world? Tho silence was absolute. Sho stood listening listen-ing to the clank of his horse u little before be-fore she w cnt back into the house, think-Inn think-Inn with a lianpv smile how the world had changed. Sho sat sew Ing the next day sw Ing-ing Ing-ing lazily In her low rocker, (jam 1-ce was pattering softly about on tho bale boards of his kitchen lloor. The south wind sweeping through tho w ide-opon door tossed her huir about her forehead fore-head Outside tho green nnd sunny sllenco sl-lenco Gccmed rhythmical iu its boundlessness bound-lessness A shadow- fell across tho doorway. Helen, looking up, saw it tall man standing there, clud lu all respects us tho other men of tho region w ere. Tho wide hat, tho blue llanncl shirt with its white oraamental stitchiugs, tho jangling jang-ling spurs and high riding boots wero all common enough. Hut Helen's heart beat a littlo faster as he addressed her after tho stereotyped fashion: "Are tho bosses here?" "Iloth nro on the range. They will not be homo betore night." Shu had risen to answer him, nnd stood with her hands ou tho back of her chair a littlo paler than usual, and a grow Ing look of terror in her widening eyes, lie had not. removed his hat, and his face was heavily bearded. They stood silent for a. littlo space, und then he bared his head w ith a sudden gesture "Helen, don't you know me?" Sho neither cried out nor fainted, sho stared at him with a fixed horror lu her face. "Yes," sho said In a dull sort of way; "you wero I'ayno Morse." "Were? Do you tako me for a ghost? No; I'm all alive. You don't ask me to como In no matter," crossing tho threshold "no matter, I've something to say, nndnow'sthu best time to say it." He crossed tho room nnd closod the door that led to Sain Leo's domain; sho stopd watching him with bloodless faoo and staring eyes. "Don't look so frightened, child." There was something of the old musical ting In his voice that had once been so s'vect In hor cms. With tho memory she bhuddered through all her frnmo. "Do you hate mo us much as that?" facing her nud looking dow n on her w ith half-umuaed pes. "Well, I wob a brute, but we hud been stn.li fools." He paused, iu if waiting for her lo speak "Let me look at you you haven't grown younger And you really thought mo dead.' Well, 1 had a narrow nar-row chance for it Look " lie turned his face and showed Ilia track of a bullet bul-let across tho temple nud sldo of his face. "The oflleers knew Iwttcr, but they let it go nt that thoy didn't care to leport a successful croupe." btlll she stood mute. "Can't you speak? A man might think you weiu not glad to see him." ' It Is such ti surprise," she half whispered, whis-pered, w Ith rigid lips. "No doubt. Is that fellow- golug to marry jou? I happened to bo In tho nHigliborliood last night und got the benefit of that sceno nice thing for a man to bo looking at his own wife, too. I'd a groat mnd tu send it bullet through his head. ' "He did not know. IIo was as Innocent Inno-cent aa I was." "Oh, no doubt quite! No, Helen, that not fair. I always did do jou justlco In my heart, In spito of your Infernal temper. You'io kopt straight, I know. Hut what 1 came hoio for to-diiy vS to ask what he meant." "Ho did moan that I should ho his wltr" Will," doubtfully. Mho luw frees you If he's going to runny you, 1 suppose sup-pose It's all right." "O, 3'ayiie, can't you see? It's all over. How oan I iruirry with jou living? liv-ing? I w us huppy fur the first timo In nil these yours," plteously. "I hae been so hopeless, so despairing, ami it seemed lis if 1 might live on forever ' "Where's the baby?" - -" "Dead," with a littlo moan A faint quiver crossed his face ';It's a good thing, mity be And so you won't marry bause I happen to be 'ali'-"1 Vnl i .u'l.-ut l"' n, either ; PHH LH -VS. Jj.-MaaaBaaaaaaB Women nro queer things. If I'd been sure that he meant honest, I'd lir.vo kept out of the way A man can't sco his own wife Imposed on, oven if holm, gone back on her,' half deprecntlngly. "What nro you going to do?" wildly. "Must I go with jou?" "flo with me"1 No, thank you. I i shail gel nway from herd shortly. 1 had business here, and 1 glvo ytnt my word that I did not hndw yon wero here when I came Hut wo shall finish up shortly now, anl then I'll bo oIY. And iook here, Jou shan't bo fooled I agnln. I'll mnko crrt-itn that jou mo told when I do go She had been sUivting all the while. Ho come cloe to l.er now. ' ,' "Can't you give iiu a klssf stOOpfng his ttlll handsome In -e lownrtl her. "O no no," she shrank tied: shivering. shiver-ing. "And I your husband, too' You took It much more coo'.lv the ttVr nlfht." with a e-siolces laugh. MW.-0! goodbye. good-bye. I shan't fc.e you cguin, moat likely. Keep straignt Helen. I know-men know-men better than jou do. He a hand-somo hand-somo follow not mutli brlur than I wai before I got this bcauty-inark, though and Just as likely to be no bct- tnrinrl." Sho sank down on tho lloor ns ho went out. By nnd bypho pulled down the pillow from the ciuch near by. and lay there sobbing nn shhcrlng. bam Lo, coming In for dlriitions for the oienlng meal found hcrlvlth closed oyes. nn-l fancying her nslclp spread a shawl ocr her and left bcr.i following the devices of his own heart river tho cook stove. Sho heard tho men coming at last, llrouson nnd her brother, and met them at tho door, so white, so desperate-looking, desperate-looking, that both drew rein nnd sat staring nt her spccclilcsaly. HroiiGon sprang to the ground at last nnd took her In Ids arms. She put him away with a trembling band, not look-'ng look-'ng at htm. "Harry, Faytio Morso is alivo " "ilowdo j-otl know?" "I've seen him he has been here " "To-day?" i "Only a littlo while ago it was no mistake: I talkod with him What shall I do? Whatt.hall I do?" llrouson was lcininif back against his horse, a bowildcivd look of agony on Ills face. Hut nH she turned toward him he answered her appeal He came forwaid and put 1 is arm about her "You see, I lovi your sister," bo said to Harry. "She would have been my T-yMi' TM? rKfL 2??ifF-XC??i I 17w?Ps. 1 WMWtmW "HARHV, U'O t'AVNE rAYKK sionsF.l" wife sho shall b?r-nowdi sho wllb Hut whatever slid decides, I love her and always sh-ill " Ho spoke very slowlj-and slowlj-and dlstinctlj'. 'You hear me, Helen; whatever comes I will not fall you to tho end " For ono minute sho laid her head against his shoulder, then with a sob she turned away and entered the house. After nil, human overy-day life Is not a favorable background for trngnlj-Tho trngnlj-Tho awful happenings drop beneath the current and the ripples run over them, and half the time we forget them unless it happens to be our own hearts that aro aching lie fore forty eight hours had passed tho little household was going go-ing on in Its old way apparently. It was on the evening of the second daj- that Harry came back from Ids weekly visit to the post-oillco at the station. "I've got It sure," ho said to Ilronsou. "Tho Dcnvcr"polico have tent mo n photograph cf Certain Gordon. Good-looking Good-looking rascal," handing over tho card. "Wo can't miss with that." llronson scrutinized the likeness carefully. care-fully. "It's a marked face. That scar across tho forehead Is peculiar aud not easily hidden." 'Want to seo It, Helen? If In your walks abroad you meetCaptalnGordon, you'll know him." Sho glanced at It and turned a livid face toward him. "Harrj-, it's Payne Payno Morse." "What tlio dickens am I to do? Poor Hclcu, sho's made trouble for somebody some-body her whole life through. Fin head and fiont of it all, and I can't go ahead w 1th tho thing now, for her sake anil you're no belter oft. I'll go down tonight, to-night, put tlio thiugiutoMason's hands, and clear tho country till it's over witli Wo'll ltao to sturt for Denver tomorrow to-morrow without an hour's delay, nnd Helen will hnvo to stay hcio alone. I'll get Mason's wlfo lo come oier, if sho wlllhnvo her. U'b the best way I seo outif a bail bargain " That was Harry Tryon's way settling every thing off hand, but the plan was e.-irrled out. nnd Helen found herself solitary. Mason's wife came over, but was quickly rocnllod by the uecd of n sick bady. Happily Ilcbn had steady narvos nnd a controllable Imagination. Of real dungcr theio was very little, and sho was glad to be alone. Of what was going on nbout her slm knew nothing. She had never taken much Inlurost in the happenings of the country, und gave no thought to the subject that had been Harry'w gieat Interest In-terest for so long. Sum Leo's wurk bo-Ing bo-Ing done, he hud sauntered olT to the cabins down In tho timber. Helen wns swinging In her hammock us usual, dreaming dreams and seeing l istuns In such dionry fushlnn ns her past ga o reason for. Still, with nil the sadnccs. there wos n dreamy quiet that was not wholly pain, und with tho alien e and tho sttrllght, und the alow , inonoL umu locking of her swinging cradle, she tell anluep. 'HeiHl" "Yos," sho said drowsily, and fell a(loep again. i "Helen!" the word was spoken a Utile Ut-ile loudori n hand touched her; she sjirung up broad nwnko now. Payne iloreo stood be for her. . He was bar-Rs " hI, w itliout his coat, s blood-stained siii.g held his right arm, i torn hund!rehle was knotted tound his head, hewashuggsrd und ghastly She knew it all at once It wi tw 1), i i - hi i l ), i'l hnirl V ' mlt'i ", ' ft t i tlmbt r, and had lain Idly speculating I nbout echoes and tlio dlstanco tho sound had come. "They nri nfter mo. Can you help mo?" ho said, In n, honrso gaip. "What can I do?" but ll was nol ti questlouof helplessness; she was thinking think-ing hard. I "Thoy will comohero," ho enld. "Yob. I Rttpiye" - J'C3, I w 111 do my lt," slotvlyr ' I've toon hung and shot," with a most untalilhful laugh. "Tho ropo Ibrokjnd Iho fool that fired didn't I break tar thing. I ought to get off uiti'Hli-t ' f Mi i.'.wered him tiot a word, but, oft'.i .i ro in nt'a thought: "You can i com in here," opening liio door of her ' rocm One und bad been partitioned , elf as n closet ami storo-rocr.i Sho , drt?grd down a mt tress nnd blankets. I ' I will A j my beit." tho.eald again, 'ilowh She did uot laoV lit hlra; sho spoko uu if h?r lips wero itiftVnod "You're a plucky little soul, lightly Tho tnan'c dare-de-11 recklesoUOf was uppermost again. "You know w ho j ou are outertalnln? not nn angel unawares; un-awares; I'm Captain Gordon." "Yea. I know." "All right, than. Mind ono thing; they aro not likely to use j'ou a woman roughly. If It comes to that I shall appear on the scene." "I'm not afraid. Don't talk any more, please," In n tired sort of way. Then she lighted her room nnd began dressing leisurely. The occupation had its object, sitting still was impossiblo while she waited. Hut when a sharp rap sounded peremptorily per-emptorily through the house, sho started w 1th overj- ncr e. Her voice was steady enough, how c or, as sho went to tho curtained window. "Who Is It?" yS "Moigan, from over Point." "Captain Morgan. Yes, I know. If you will find your wny tu I w 111 join j-oti presently." Sho lieaid tho tramp of feet making their wnj-unccitninly into tho lighted room Mie did not hasten, every soft fold of luce nbout her throat wns settled set-tled carefully to lis place, nnd she went bail: to adjust a slipping brnld of linlr as it the most critical nnd fastidious of morning callers awaited her. Something Some-thing of the dramatic Instinct must have been bom In her Stic stood In the doorway presently, holding tho lamp fur above her heud that she might see hir visitors, it graceful, white-clad shape, with shining eyes and Hushed cheeks. Tlio men rose Involuntarily. "1 am Mm Mo-sc," sho said, quietly "My brother, Mr Tyron, is not at homo.',' "Don't bo alarmed," Captain Morgan said reassuringly. "Wo am tho vigilance vigil-ance committee, searching for tho captain of the horselhlcf gang. He escaped es-caped us a few hours ago nud camo this wnj." She thought of the shooting nnd hanging, hang-ing, while tho soft-voiced vigilante wns making his explanation. Sho moved forward and put her lamp down on n tublo before sho answered. "lie visited us some tlmo since," w 1th lalf-smlle "You know we lost all our liorsos." "I knew you wero here nlone, nnd thought be might tnke ndvantngo of the fact. NobDdy knows how much Information Infor-mation ho has." ! She shook her head. "Captain Gordon hasn't frightened me," sho said, calmly. Then she glanced it the men. They were nil sploshed nnd travel-torn. "Could I offer you any refreshment," said, IiiilMUnldly, "for j-oursclf or j-our horses? I havo hoard my brother speak of you frequently," w Ith the smile that years ago Paj-no Morse had found so bo-witching. bo-witching. bho looked so frail and slight, so entirely en-tirely different from the Southwestern feminine development, that Morgan, a groat, good-natured giant, found himself him-self abashed As to his companions, thoy stood with their gnus la the hollow of their arms, holding their hats awkwardly awk-wardly and uncnslly. They wero rough rldcis and straight shots, but this slender slen-der woman upset their nerves. "We'io nbout plrycd out," Morgan said, "the horses nt least. IIo won't he likely to get far to-night," w ith a sig-ficant sig-ficant glaucc nt the man nearest him, "and wo couldn't do much anyhow. It is going to bo blacker than pitch. If you don't mind our camping on tho place you don't look much like work, .Mrs Morse, but I'm not u bad hand at a frying-pan myself." "Certainty, gentlemen," with sweetest sweet-est courtesy, "You know tho way to tho corncribb, and" putting out a pair of slender brown hands "I'm not ns helpless us I look." So sho nnd Captain Morgan made colTee, fried bacon und baked biscuit, while the men fed tholr horses and arranged ar-ranged sleeping-places for themselves. "Don't that lieat any thing you ever saw iu j-our life iu tho way of a woman'.'" wom-an'.'" one of them said after a long rcconnoissance through the kitchen window. "And there's Morgan," w Ith awe in hla voice, "talking uwuy to her as chipper ns n jay bird " Tiny i ode uway In tho gray of the morning- All day long she ministered to the man who had wieeked her life. There wus littlo talk they could not venture on that. Ho slept llko a worn-out worn-out man, who mnkcH tho most of his chances In snfutj-. When night came again and iignln Sam Leu left tlio bousu nlouo, clad In Hurry Tryon's garments und riding Itcbecca Payno Morse miido his wny to a signal station on the railway, rail-way, ton mites uway. "Oood-bye," ho bald. "You'll not be llkoly to seo or honr of mo again. For j-our sake U'h almost n pity thnt they didn't make an end of me." "Doiit say mat, Payne. Wo'll live out our liveH Yours might havo such chances If j-on cho&o to uso thoui " "Good-byo, my girl." llo btooped and kUscd her check. "If I could go back again woll, wo wouldn't get married." llnrry Tryon camo back three or four days later. Ho knew nbout tho dispersing dispers-ing of the gang, and tho hanging of two or throe of Its members. "Antl Payne?" Helen nsked. "They told mo ho escaped," not meeting meet-ing her i-yce. Then sho told him. "Ily .1,-. Helen! Thoy liovor sti 1 1 toil, lli'il a leitdn. Alter that i voudi-r If there's any thing yuti ian't -t md. LintJii. Payno Morae U doad " Ho had risen, and was holding both hor humU us sho sat before him. "I know It's true," he said, eurnostly. "I saw him He was taken out of the train at the junction where I waited Died of heart disease, they said, w Itliout a strugglo or a word." Ho spoke. bloAly.au If to glvo her tunc trt tik id tip significance of his i words H r face whitened slowly, and ' p. h fli h. b,.pr I at Ills foot tn strait rfiHk ' win "oooo-nvi:," he said, n a faint llko death. Sho was married lu tho dim twilight In tho old church nt homo, with Just her mothor nnd sisters nenr hor, nnd her father watching her with softened eyes. Tho organ murmured In full, soft chords, but there wero no strangers, no bridal display. As sho stepped out Into tho sweet spring ovcnlmr tho young, faint crcscout ol 'the moon rant her eyes "It's the beginning," Frank whispered softly, bending down that sho alotio might hear. , V THE END.