It did not take more than half an eye for Belding to see that she was furious.
"Nell, what's come off now?" asked Belding.
"I'm not going to tell you," she replied, and started away, leading Jose toward the corral.
Belding leisurely followed. She went into the corral, removed Jose's bridle, and led him to the watering-trough. Belding came up, and without saying anything began to unbuckle Jose's saddle girths. But he ventured a look at Nell. The red had gone from her face, and he was surprised to see her eyes brimming with tears. Most assuredly this was not one of Nell's tantrums. While taking off Jose's saddle and hanging it in the shed Belding pondered in his slow way. When he came back to the corral Nell had her face against the bars, and she was crying. He slipped a big arm around her and waited. Although it was not often expressed, there was a strong attachment between them.
"Dad, I don't want you to think me a--a baby any more," she said. "I've been insulted."
With a specific fact to make clear thought in Belding's mind he was never slow.
"I knew something unusual had come off. I guess you'd better tell me."
"Not to mention it to mother, not to pack a gun down there, and never, never tell Dick."