"I'm glad. Sol has been finer, a better horse since you owned him. He loves you, Dick. He's always watching for you. See him raise his head. That's for you. I know as much about horses as Dad or Laddy any day. Sol always hated Diablo, and he never had much use for Dad."
"It'll be--be pretty hard to leave Sol--when I go away."
"Go away?" she asked, presently, with just the faintest tremor in her voice.
"Yes. Sometimes when I get blue--as I am to-day--I think I'll go. But, in sober truth, Nell, it's not likely that I'll spend all my life here."
There was no answer to this. Dick put his hand softly over hers; and, despite her half-hearted struggle to free it, he held on.
Her color fled. He saw her lips part. Then a heavy step on the gravel, a cheerful, complaining voice interrupted him, and made him release Nell and draw back. Belding strode into view round the adobe shed.
"Hey, Dick, that darned Yaqui Indian can't be driven or hired or coaxed to leave Forlorn River. He's well enough to travel. I offered him horse, gun, blanket, grub. But no go."
"That's funny," replied Gale, with a smile. "Let him stay--put him to work"