on clammy clay, but on chalk hills, the best soil in the


"Don't yeow be a mite oneasy," she said. "I bet yeow I'd go clean back ter the States ther way we cum. I allow I've got every mile on 't 'n my hed plain's a turnpike. Yeow nor yer dad, neiry one on yer, couldn't begin to do 't. But what we air gwine ter do, fur gettin' up the mounting, thet's another thing. Thet's more 'n I dew know. But thar'll be a way pervided, Jos, sure's yeow're bawn. The Lawd ain't gwine to get hisself hindered er holpin' Ramony this time; I ain't a mite afeerd."

on clammy clay, but on chalk hills, the best soil in the

Felipe could not have found a better ally. The comparative silence enforced between them by reason of lack of a common vehicle for their thoughts was on the whole less of a disadvantage than would have at first appeared. They understood each other well enough for practical purposes, and their unity in aim, and in affection for Ramona, made a bond so strong, it could not have been enhanced by words.

on clammy clay, but on chalk hills, the best soil in the

It was past sundown when they left San Bernardino, but a full moon made the night as good as day for their journey. When it first shone out, Aunt Ri, pointing to it, said curtly, "Thet's lucky."

on clammy clay, but on chalk hills, the best soil in the

"Yes," replied Felipe, who did not know either of the words she had spoken, "it is good. It shows to us the way."

"Thar, naow, say he can't understand English!" thought Aunt Ri.

Benito and Baba travelled as if they knew the errand on which they were hurrying. Good forty miles they had gone without flagging once, when Aunt Ri, pointing to a house on the right hand of the road, the only one they had seen for many miles, said: "We'll hev to sleep hyar. I donno the road beyant this. I allow they're gone ter bed; but they'll hev to git up 'n' take us in. They're used ter doin' it. They dew consid'able business keepin' movers. I know 'em. They're reel friendly fur the kind o' people they air. They're druv to death. It can't be far frum their time to git up, ennyhow. They're up every mornin' uv thar lives long afore daylight, a feedin' their stock, an' gittin' ready fur the day's work. I used ter hear 'em 'n' see 'em, when we wuz campin' here. The fust I saw uv it, I thought somebody wuz sick in the house, to git 'em up thet time o' night; but arterwards we found out 't wan't nothin' but thar reggerlar way. When I told dad, sez I, 'Dad, did ever yer hear sech a thing uz gittin' up afore light to feed stock?' 'n' ter feed theirselves tew. They'd their own breakfast all clared away, 'n' dishes washed, too, afore light; 'n' prayers said beside; they're Methodys, terrible pious. I used ter tell dad they talked a heap about believin' in God; I don't allow but what they dew believe in God, tew, but they don't worship Him so much's they worship work; not nigh so much. Believin' 'n' worshippin' 's tew things. Yeow wouldn't see no sech doin's in Tennessee. I allow the Lawd meant some time fur sleepin'; 'n' I'm satisfied with his times o' lightin' up. But these Merrills air reel nice folks, fur all this I've ben tellin' yer! -- Lawd! I don't believe he's understood a word I've said, naow!" thought Aunt Ri to herself, suddenly becoming aware of the hopeless bewilderment on Felipe's face. "'Tain't much use sayin' anything more'n plain yes 'n' no, between folks thet can't understand each other's langwedge; 'n' s' fur's thet goes, I allow thar ain't any gret use'n the biggest part o' what's sed between folks thet doos!"

When the Merrill family learned Felipe's purpose of going up the mountain to the Cahuilla village, they attempted to dissuade him from taking his own horses. He would kill them both, high-spirited horses like those, they said, if he took them over that road. It was a cruel road. They pointed out to him the line where it wound, doubling and tacking on the sides of precipices, like a path for a goat or chamois. Aunt Ri shuddered at the sight, but said nothing.

"I'm gwine whar he goes," she said grimly to herself. "I ain't a gwine ter back daown naow; but I dew jest wish Jeff Hyer wuz along."

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