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"Has the trip been hard?" he asked.

Chapter 13 "I represent, sir, the citizens of San Tomaso."

They caught sight of Felipa, and both drew rein simultaneously. She was leaning against a post of the wire fence. The baby was carried on her hip, tucked under her arm, the sunbonnet was hanging by the strings around her neck, and her head, with its straight loose hair, was uncovered. The little girl stood beside her, clutching the white wrapper which had trailed in[Pg 314] the spring-house acequia, and from under which a muddy red slipper showed. That she was imposing still, said much for the quality of her beauty. She did not hear the tramp of the two horses, sharp as her ears were, for she was too intent upon watching a fight between two steers. "We have tea at five," Mrs. Kirby told him, as they finished, and her husband started out to superintend and help with the digging of an acequia.

"I didn't. None of your business," she defied him. She sat staring at the white glare of the opening, and listening to his foot-falls upon the sand. Forbes left the ranch after breakfast the next day, and Cairness went with him to Tombstone. He had business there, connected with one of his mines.