THE ENCHANTED CANYON

by

HONORÉ WILLSIE

Author of

"The Forbidden Trail," "Still Jim," "The Heart of the Desert," "Lydia of the Pines," etc.

A. L. Burt Company
Publishers ———— New York
Published by arrangement with William Morrow and Company, Inc.
Copyright, 1921, by
Honoré Willsie Morrow
All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign
languages
Printed in the United States of America

CONTENTS

BOOK I

BRIGHT ANGEL
Chapter
I MINETTA LANE II BRIGHT ANGEL

BOOK II

THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
III TWENTY-TWO YEARS LATER IV DIANA ALLEN V A PHOTOGRAPHER OF INDIANS VI A NEWSPAPER REPORTER

BOOK III

THE ENCHANTED CANYON
VII THE DESERT VIII THE COLORADO IX THE CLIFF DWELLING X THE EXPEDITION BEGINS XI THE PERFECT ADVENTURE XII THE END OF THE CRUISE XIII GRANT'S CROSSING XIV LOVE IN THE DESERT

BOOK IV

THE PHANTASM DESTROYED
XV THE FIRING LINE AGAIN XVI CURLY'S REPORT XVII REVENGE IS SWEET

BOOK I

BRIGHT ANGEL

CHAPTER I

MINETTA LANE

"A boy at fourteen needs a mother or the memory of a mother as he does at no other period of his life."—Enoch's Diary.

Except for its few blocks that border Washington Square, MacDougal
Street is about as squalid as any on New York's west side.

Once it was aristocratic enough for any one, but that was nearly a century ago. Alexander Hamilton's mansion and Minetta Brook are less than memories now. The blocks of fine brick houses that covered Richmond Hill are given over to Italian tenements. Minetta Brook, if it sings at all, sings among the sewers far below the dirty pavements.

But Minetta Lane still lives, a short alley that debouches on MacDougal Street. Edgar Allan Poe once strolled on summer evenings through Minetta Lane with his beautiful Annabel Lee. But God pity the sweethearts to-day who must have love in its reeking precincts! It is a lane of ugliness, now; a lane of squalor; a lane of poverty and hopelessness spelled in terms of filth and decay.

About midway in the Lane stands a two-story, red-brick house with an exquisite Georgian doorway. The wrought-iron handrail that borders the crumbling stone steps is still intact. The steps usually are crowded with dirty, quarreling children and a sore-eyed cat or two. Nobody knows and nobody cares who built the house. Enough that it is now the home of poverty and of ways that fear the open light of day. Just when the decay of the old dwelling began there is none to say. But New Yorkers of middle age recall that in their childhood the Lane already had been claimed by the slums, with the Italian influx just beginning.

One winter afternoon a number of years ago a boy stood leaning against the iron newel post of the old house, smoking a cigarette. He was perhaps fourteen or fifteen years of age, but he might have been either older or younger. The city gives even to children a sophisticated look that baffles the casual psychologist.

The children playing on the steps behind the boy were stocky, swarthy Italians. But he was tall and loosely built, with dark red hair and hard blue eyes. He was thin and raw boned. Even his smartly cut clothes could not hide his extreme awkwardness of body, his big loose joints, his flat chest and protruding shoulder blades. His face, too, could not have been an Italian product. The cheek bones were high, the cheeks slightly hollowed, the nose and lips were rough hewn. The suave lines of the three little Latins behind him were entirely alien to this boy's face.

It was warm and thawing so that the dead horse across the street, with the hugely swollen body, threw off an offensive odor.

"Smells like the good ol' summer time," said the boy, nodding his head toward the horse and addressing the rag picker who was pulling a burlap sack into the basement.

"Like ta getta da skin. No good now though," replied Luigi. "You gotta da rent money, Nucky?"

"Got nuttin'," Nucky's voice was bitter. "That brown Liz you let in last night beats the devil shakin' dice."

"We owe three mont' now, Nucky," said the Italian.

"Yes, and how much trade have I pulled into your blank blank second floor for you durin' the time, you blank blank! If I hear any more about the rent, I'll split on you, you—"

But before Nucky could continue his cursing, the Italian broke in with a volubility of oaths that reduced the boy to sullen silence. Having eased his mind, Luigi proceeded to drag the sack into the basement and slammed the door.

"Nucky! Nucky! He's onlucky!" sang one of the small girls on the crumbling steps.

"You dry up, you little alley cat!" roared the boy.

"You're just a bastard!" screamed the child, while her playmates took up the cry.

Nucky lighted a fresh cigarette and moved hurriedly up toward MacDougal Street. Once having turned the corner, he slackened his gait and climbed into an empty chair in the bootblack stand that stood in front of the Café Roma. The bootblack had not finished the first shoe when a policeman hoisted himself into the other chair.

"How are you, Nucky?" he grunted.

"All right, thanks," replied the boy, an uneasy look softening his cold eyes for the moment.

"Didn't keep the job I got you, long," the officer said. "What was the rip this time?"

"Aw, I ain't goin' to hold down ho five-dollar-a-week job. What do you think I am?"

"I think you are a fool headed straight for the devil," answered the officer succinctly. "Now listen to me, Nucky. I've knowed you ever since you started into the school over there. I mind how the teacher told me she was glad to see one brat that looked like an old-fashioned American. And everything the teachers and us guys at the police station could do to keep you headed right, we've done. But you just won't have it. You've growed up with just the same ideas the young toughs have 'round here. All you know about earnin' money is by gambling." Nucky stirred, but the officer put out his hand.

"Hold on now, fer I'm servin' notice on you. You've turned down every job we got you. You want to keep on doing Luigi's dirty work for him. Very well! Go to it! And the next time we get the goods on you, you'll get the limit. So watch yourself!"

"Everybody's against a guy!" muttered the boy,

"Everybody's against a fool that had rather be crooked than straight," returned the officer.

Nucky, his face sullen, descended from the chair, paid the boy and headed up MacDougal Street toward the Square.

A tall, dark woman, dressed in black entered the Square as Nucky crossed from Fourth Street. Nucky overtook her.

"Are you comin' round to-night, Liz?" he asked.

She looked at him with liquid brown eyes over her shoulder.

"Anything better there than there was last night?" she asked.

Nucky nodded eagerly. "You'll be surprised when you see the bird I got lined up."

Liz looked cautiously round the park, at the children shouting on the wet pavements, at the sparrows quarreling in the dirty snow drifts. Then she started, nervously, along the path.

"There comes Foley!" she exclaimed. "What's he doin' off his beat?"

"He's seen us now," said Nucky. "We might as well stand right here."

"Oh, I ain't afraid of that guy!" Liz tossed her head. "I got things on him, all right."

"Why don't you use 'em?" Nucky's voice was skeptical. "He's going down
Waverly Place, the blank, blank!"

Liz grunted. "He's got too much on me! I ain't hopin' to start trouble. You go chase yourself, Nucky. I'll be round about midnight."

Nucky's chasing himself consisted of the purchase of a newspaper which he read for a few minutes in the sunshine of the park. Even as he sat on the park bench, apparently absorbed in the paper, there was an air of sullen unhappiness about the boy. Finally, he tossed the paper aside, and sat with folded arms, his chin on his breast.

Officer Foley, standing on the corner of Washington Place and MacDougal Street waved a pleasant salute to a tall, gray-haired man whose automobile drew up before the corner apartment house.

"How are you, Mr. Seaton?" he asked.

"Rather used up, Foley!" replied the gentleman, "Rather used up!
Aren't you off your beat?"

The officer nodded. "Had business up here and started back. Then I stopped to watch that red-headed kid over there." He indicated the bench on which Nucky sat, all unconscious of the sharp eyes fastened on his back.

"I see the red hair, anyway,"—Mr. Seaton lighted a cigar and puffed it slowly. He and Foley had been friends during Seaton's twenty years' residence on the Square.

"I know you ain't been keen on boys since you lost Jack," the officer said, slowly, "but—well, I can't get this young Nucky off my mind, blast the little crook!"

"So he's a crook, is he? How old is the boy?"

"Oh, 'round fourteen! He's as smart as lightning and as crooked as he is smart. He turned up here when he was a little kid, with a woman who may or may not have been his mother. She lived with a Dago down in Minetta Lane. Guess the boy mighta been six years old when she died and Luigi took him on. We were all kind of proud of him at first. Teachers in school all said he was a wonder. But for two or three years he's been going wrong, stealing and gambling, and now this fellow Luigi's started a den on his second floor that we gotta clean out soon. His rag-picking's a stall. And he's using Nucky like a kid oughtn't to be used."

"Why don't you people have him taken away from the Italian and a proper guardian appointed?"

"Well, he's smart and we kinda hoped he'd pull up himself. We got a settlement worker interested in him and we got jobs for him, but nothing works. Judge Harmon swears he's out of patience with him and'll send him to reform school at his next offense. That'll end Nucky. He'll be a gunman by the time he's twenty."

"You seem fond of the boy in spite of his criminal tendencies," said
Seaton.

"Aw, we all have criminal tendencies, far as that goes," growled Foley; "you and I and all of us. Don't know as I'm what you'd call fond of the kid. Maybe it's his name. Yes, I guess it's his name. Now what is your wildest guess for that little devil's name, Mr. Seaton?"

The gray-hatred man shook his head. "Pat Donahue, by his hair."

"But not by his face, if you could see it. His name is Enoch
Huntingdon. Yes, sir, Enoch Huntingdon! What do you think of that?"

The astonishment expressed in Seaton's eyes was all that the officer could desire.

"Enoch Huntingdon! Why, man, that gutter rat has real blood in him, if he didn't steal the name."

"No kid ever stole such a name as that," said Foley. "And for all he's homely enough to stop traffic, his face sorta lives up to his name. Want a look at him?"

Mr. Seaton hesitated. The tragic death of his own boy a few years before had left him shy of all boys. But his curiosity was roused and with a sigh he nodded.

Foley crossed the street, Seaton following. As they turned into the Square, Nucky saw them out of the tail of his eye. He rose, casually, but Foley forestalled his next move by calling in a voice that carried above the street noises, "Nucky! Wait a moment!"

The boy stopped and stood waiting until the two men came up. Seaton eyed the strongly hewn face while the officer said, "That person you were with a bit ago, Nucky—I don't think much of her. Better cut her out."

"I can't help folks talking to me, can I?" demanded the boy, belligerently.

"Especially the ladies!" snorted Foley. "Regular village cut-up, you are! Well, just mind what I say," find he strolled on, followed by Seaton.

"He'll never be hung for his beauty," said Seaton. "But, Foley, I'll wager you'll find that lad breeds back to Plymouth Rock!"

Foley nodded. "Thought you'd be interested. Every man who's seen him is. But there's nothing doing. Nucky is a hard pill."

"Maybe he needs a woman's hand," suggested Seaton, "Sometimes these hard characters are clay with the right kind of a woman."

"Or the wrong kind," grunted the officer.

"No, the right kind," insisted Mr. Seaton. "I'm telling you, Foley, a good woman is the profoundest influence a man can have. There's a deep within him he never gives over to a bad woman."

Foley's keen gray eyes suddenly softened. He looked for a moment above the tree tops to the clouds sailing across the blue. "I guess you're right, Mr. Seaton," he said, "I guess you're right! Well, poor Nucky! And I must be getting back. Good day, Mr. Seaton."

"Good day, Foley!"

And Nucky, staring curiously from the Square, saw the apartment house door close on the tall, well-dressed stranger, and saw a taxi-cab driver offer a lift to his ancient enemy, Officer Foley.

"Thinks he's smart, don't he!" he muttered aloud, starting slowly back toward the Café Roma. "I wonder what uplifter he's got after me now?"

In the Café Roma, Nucky sat down at a little table and ordered a bowl of ministrone with red wine. He did not devour his food as the normal boy of his age would have done. He ate slowly and without appetite. When he was about half through the meal, a young Irishman in his early twenties sat down opposite him.

"Hello, Nucky! What's doin'?"

"Nothin' worth talking about. What's doin' with you?"

"O, I been helping Marty, the Dude, out. He's going to be alderman from this ward, some day."

"That's the idea!" cried Nucky. "That's what I'd like to be, a politician. I'd rather be Mayor of N' York than king of the world."

"I thought you wanted to be king o' the dice throwers," laughed the young Irishman.

"If I was, I'd buy myself the job of Mayor," returned Nucky. "Coming over to-night?"

"I might, 'long about midnight. Anything good in sight?"

"I hope so," Nucky's hard face looked for a moment boyishly worried.

"Business ain't been good, eh?"

"Not for me," replied Nucky. "Luigi seems to be goin' to the bank regular. You bet that guy don't risk keepin' nothin' in the house."

"I shouldn't think he would with a wonder like you around," said the young Irishman with a certain quality of admiration in his voice.

Nucky's thin chest swelled and he paid the waiter with an air that exactly duplicated the café manner of Marty, the Dude. Then, with a casual nod at Frank, he started back toward Luigi's, for his evening's work.

It began to snow about ten o'clock that night. The piles of dirty ice and rubbish on MacDougal Street turned to fairy mountains. The dead horse in Minetta Lane might have been an Indian mound in miniature. An occasional drunken man or woman, exuding loathsome, broken sentences, reeled past Officer Foley who stood in the shadows opposite Luigi's house. He was joined silently and one at a time by half a dozen other men. Just before midnight, a woman slipped in at the front door. And on the stroke of twelve, Foley gave a whispered order. The group of officers crossed the street and one of them put a shoulder against the door which yielded with a groan.

When the door of the large room on the second floor burst open, Nucky threw down his playing cards and sprang for the window. But Foley forestalled him and slipped handcuffs on him, while Nucky cursed and fought with all the venom that did the eight or ten other occupants of the room. Tables were kicked over. A small roulette board smashed into the sealed fire-place. Brown Liz broke a bottle of whiskey on an officer's helmet and the reek of alcohol merged with that of cigarette smoke and snow-wet clothes. Luigi freed himself for a moment and turned off the gas light roaring as he did so.

"Get out da back room! Da backa room!"

But it was a well-planned raid. No one escaped, and shortly, Nucky was climbing into the patrol wagon that had appeared silently before the door. That night he was locked in a cell with a drunken Greek. It was his first experience in a cell. Hitherto, Officer Foley had protected him from this ignominy. But Officer Foley, as he told Nucky, was through with him.

The Greek, except for an occasional oath, slept soddenly. The boy crouched in a corner of the cell, breathing rapidly and staring into black space. At dawn he had not changed his position or closed his eyes.

It was two days later that Officer Foley found a telephone message awaiting him in the police station. "Mr. John Seaton wants you to call him up, Foley."

Foley picked up the telephone. Mr. Seaton answered at once. "It was nothing in particular, Foley, except that I wanted to tell you that the red-headed boy and his name, particularly that name, in Minetta Lane, have haunted me. If he gets in trouble again, you'd better let me know."

"You're too late, Mr. Seaton! He's in up to his neck, now." The officer described the raid. "The judge has given him eighteen months at the Point and we're taking him there this afternoon."

"You don't mean it! The young whelp! Foley, what he needs is a licking and a mother to love him, not reform school."

"Sure, but no matter how able a New York policeman is, Mr. Seaton, he can't be a mother! And it's too late! The judge is out o' patience."

"Look here, Foley, hasn't he any friends at all?"

"There's several that want to be friends, but he won't have 'em. He's sittin' in his cell for all the world like a bull pup the first time he's tied."

Mr. Seaton cleared his throat. "Foley, let me come round and see him before you send him over the road, will you?"

"Sure, that can be fixed up. Only don't get sore when the kid snubs you."

"Nothing a boy could do could hurt me, Foley. You remember that Jack was not exactly an angel."

"No, that's right, but Jack was always a good sport, Mr. Seaton.
That's why it's so hard to get hold of these young toughs down here!
They ain't sports!" And Foley hung up the receiver with a sigh.

Mr. Seaton preferred to introduce himself to Nucky. The boy was sitting on the edge of his bunk, his red hair a beautiful bronze in the dim daylight that filtered through the high window.

"How are you, Enoch?" said Mr. Seaton. "My name is John Seaton. Officer Foley pointed you out to me the other day as a lad who was making bad use of a good name. That's a wonderful name of yours, do you realize it?"

"Every uplifter I ever met's told me so," replied Nucky, ungraciously, without looking up.

Mr. Seaton smiled. "I'm no uplifter! I'm a New York lawyer! Supposing you take a look at me so's to recognize me when we meet again."

Nucky still kept his gaze on the floor. "I know what you look like. You got gray hair and brown eyes, you're thin and tall and about fifty years old."

"Good work!" exclaimed Enoch's caller. "Now, look here, Enoch, can't I help you out of this scrape?"

"Don't want to be helped out. I was doin' a man's job and I'll take my punishment like a man."

Seaton spoke quickly. "It wasn't a man's job. It was a thief's job.
You're taking your sentence like a common thief, not like a man."

"Aw, dry up and get out o' here!" snarled Nucky, jumping to his feet and looking his caller full in the face.

Seaton did not stir. In spite of its immaturity, its plainness and its sullenness, there was a curious dignity in Nucky's face, that made a strong appeal to his dignified caller.

"You guys always preachin' to me!" Nucky went on, his boyish voice breaking with weariness and excitement. "Why don't you look out for your own kids and let me alone?"

"My only boy is beyond my care. He was killed three years ago," returned Seaton. "I've had nothing to do with boys since. And I don't give a hang about you. It's your name I'm interested in. I hate to see a fine name in the hands of a prospective gunman."

"And you can't get me with the sob stuff, either," Nucky shrugged his shoulders.

Seaton scowled, then he laughed. "You're a regular tough, eh, Enoch? But you know even toughs occasionally use their brains. Do you want to go to reform school?"

"Yes, I do! Go on, get out o' here!"

"You infernal little fool!" blazed Seaton, losing his temper. "Do you think you can handle me the way you have the others? Well, it can't be done! Huntingdon is a real name in this country and if you think any pig-headed, rotten-minded boy can carry that name to the pen, without me putting up a fight, you're mistaken! You've met something more than your match this time, you are pretty sure to find out sooner or later, my sweet young friend. My hair was red, too, before—up to three years ago."

Seaton turned and slammed out of the cell. When Foley came to the door a half hour later, Nucky was again sitting on the edge of the bunk, staring sullenly at the floor.

"Come out o' this, Nucky," said the officer.

Nucky rose, obediently, and followed Foley into the next room. Mr.
Seaton was leaning against the desk, talking with Captain Blackly.

"Look here, Nucky," said Blackly, "this gentleman has been telephoning the judge and the judge has paroled you once more in this gentleman's hands. I think you're a fool, Mr. Seaton, but I believe in giving a kid as young as Huntingdon the benefit of the doubt. We've all failed to find a spark of decent ambition in him. Maybe you can. Just one word for you, young fellow. If you try to get away from Mr. Seaton, we'll get you in a way you'll never forget."

Nucky said nothing. His unboyish eyes traveled from one face to another, then he shrugged his shoulders and dropped his weight to the other hip. John Seaton, whose eyes were still smoldering, tapped Nucky on the arm.

"All right, Enoch! I'm going to take you up to my house to meet Mrs. Seaton. See that you behave like a gentleman," and he led the way into the street. Nucky followed without any outward show of emotion. His new guardian did not speak until they reached the door of the apartment house, then he turned and looked the boy in the eye.

"I'm obstinate, Enoch, and quick tempered. No one but Mrs. Seaton thinks of me as a particularly likable chap. You can do as you please about liking me, but I want you to like my wife. And if I have any reason to think you've been anything but courteous to her, I'll break every bone in your body. You say you don't want sob stuff. You'll get none of it from me."

Not a muscle of Nucky's face quivered. Mr. Seaton did not wait for a reply, but led the way into the elevator. It shot up to the top floor and Nucky followed into the long, dark hall of the apartment.

"Put your hat and coat here," said his guardian, indicating the hat rack on which he was hanging his own overcoat. "Now follow me." He led the boy into the living room.

A small woman sat by the window that overlooked the Square. Her brown hair was just touched with gray. Her small round face was a little faded, with faint lines around eyes and lips. It was not an intellectual face, but it was sweet and patient, from the delicate curve of the lips to the slight downward droop of the eyebrows above the clear blue eyes. All the sweetness and patience was there with which the wives of high tempered, obstinate men are not infrequently blessed.

"Mary, this is young Enoch Huntingdon," said Seaton.

Mrs. Seaton offered her hand, which Nucky took awkwardly and unsmilingly. "How do you do, Enoch! Mr. Seaton told me about your red hair and your fine old name. Are you going to stay with us a little while?"

"I don't know, ma'am," replied Enoch.

"Sit down, Enoch! Sit down!" Seaton waved Enoch impatiently toward a seat while he took the arm chair beside his wife. "Mary, I've got to take that trip to San Francisco, after all. Houghton and Company insist on my looking into that Jameson law-suit for them."

Mary Seaton looked up, a little aghast. "But mercy, John! I can't get away now, with Sister Alice coming!"

"I know that. So I'm going to take Enoch with me."

"Oh!" Mary looked from her husband to Enoch, sitting awkwardly on the edge of the Chippendale chair. His usually pale face was a little flushed and his thin lips were set firmly together. From her scrutiny of Enoch's face, she turned to his hands. They were large and bony and the thumb and first two fingers of his right hand were yellow.

"You don't look as if you'd been eating the right kind of things, Enoch," she said, kindly. "And it's cigarettes that give your lips that bad color. You must let me help you about that. When do you start, John dear?"

"To-morrow night, and I'm afraid I'll be gone the best part of three weeks. By that time, I ought to know something about Enoch, eh?"

For the first time Enoch grinned, a little sheepishly, to be sure, and a little cynically. Nevertheless it was the first sign of tolerance he had shown and Mr. Seaton was cheered by it.

"That will give time to get Enoch outfitted," said Mary. "We'll go up to Best's to-morrow morning."

"This suit is new," said Nucky.

"It looks new," agreed Mrs. Seaton, "but a pronounced check like that isn't nice for traveling. And you'll need other things."

"I got plenty of clothes at home, and I paid for 'em myself," Nucky's voice was resentful.

"Well, drop a line to that Italian you've been living with, and tell him—" began Mr. Seaton.

"Aw, he'll be doin' time in Sing Sing by the time I get back," interrupted Nucky, "and he can't read anyhow. I always 'tended to everything but going to the bank for him."

"Did you really?" There was a pleasant note of admiration in Mrs.
Seaton's voice. "You must try to look out for Mr. Seaton then on this
trip. He is so absent-minded! Come and I'll show you your room,
Enoch. You must get ready for dinner."

She rose, and led the boy down the hall to a small room. It was furnished in oak and chintz. Enoch thought it must have been the dead boy's room for there was a gun over the bureau and photographs of a football team and a college crew on the walls.

"Supper will be ready in ten or fifteen minutes," said Mrs. Seaton, as she left him. A moment later, he heard her speaking earnestly in the living-room. He brushed his hair, then amused himself by examining the contents of the room. The supper bell rang just as he opened the closet door. He closed it, hastily and silently, and a moment later, Mr. Seaton spoke from the hall:

"Come, Enoch!" and the boy followed into the dining-room.

His table manners were bad, of course, but Mrs. Seaton found these less difficult to endure than the boy's unresponsive, watchful ways. At last, as the pudding was being served, she exclaimed:

"What in the world are you watching for, Enoch? Do you expect us to rob you, or what?"

"I dunno, ma'am," answered Nucky,

"Do you enjoy your supper?" asked Mrs. Seaton.

"It's all right, I guess. I'm used to wine with my supper."

"Wine, you young jack-donkey!" cried John Seaton. "And don't you appreciate the difference between a home meal like this and one you pick up in Minetta Lane?"

"I dunno!" Nucky's face darkened sullenly and he pushed his pudding away.

There was silence around the table for a few moments. Mrs. Seaton, quietly watching the boy, thought of what her husband had told her of Officer Foley's account. The boy did act not unlike a bull pup put for the first time on the lead chain. She was relieved and so was Mr. Seaton when Nucky, immediately after the meal was finished, said that he was sleepy, and went to bed.

"I don't envy you your trip, John," said Mary Seaton, as she settled to her embroidery again. "What on earth possesses you to do it? The boy isn't even interesting in his badness."

"He's got the face either of a great leader or a great criminal," said Seaton, shaking out his paper. "He makes me so mad I could tan his hide every ten minutes, but I'm going to see the thing through. It's the first time in three years I've felt interested in anything."

Quick tears sprang to his wife's eyes. "I'm so glad to have you feel that way, John, that I'll swallow even this impossible boy. What makes him so ugly? Did he want to go to reform school?"

"God knows what any boy of his age wants!" replied John briefly. "But I'm going to try in the next three weeks to find out what's frozen him up so."

"Well, I'll dress him so that he won't disgrace you."

Mrs. Seaton smiled and sighed and went on with her careful stitching.

Nobody tried to talk to Nucky at the breakfast table. After the meal was over and Mr. Seaton had left for the office, the boy sat looking out of the window until Mrs. Seaton announced herself ready for the shopping expedition. Then he followed her silently to the waiting automobile.

The little woman took great care in buying the boy's outfit. The task must Have been painful to her. Only three years before she had been buying clothes for Jack from this same clerk. But Mary Seaton was a good soldier and she did a good job. When they reached home in mid-afternoon Nucky was well equipped for his journey.

To Mary's surprise and pleasure he took care of her, helping her in and out of the automobile, and waiting on her vigilantly. He was awkward, to be sure, and silent, but Mary was secretly sure that he was less resentful toward her than he had been the day before. And she began to understand her husband's interest in the strong, immature, sullen face.

The train left at six o'clock. Mrs. Seaton went with them to the very train gates.

"You'll really try to look out for Mr. Seaton, won't you, Enoch?" she said, taking the boy's limp hand, after she had kissed her husband good-by.

"Yes, ma'am," replied Nucky.

"Good-by, Enoch! I truly hope you'll enjoy the trip. Run now, or you'll miss the train. See, Mr. Seaton's far down the platform!"

Nucky turned and ran. Mr. Seaton waited for him at the door of the Pullman. His jaw was set and he looked at Nucky with curiosity not untinged with resentment. Nucky had not melted after a whole day with Mary! Perhaps there were no deeps within the boy. But as the train moved through the tunnel something lonely back of the boy's hard stare touched him and he smiled.

"Well, Enoch, old man, are you glad to go?"

"I dunno," replied Nucky.

CHAPTER II

BRIGHT ANGEL

"I was sure, when I was eighteen, that if I could but give to the world a picture of Boyhood, flagellated by the world's stupidity and brutality, the world would heed. At thirty, I gave up the hope."—Enoch's Diary.

No one could have been a less troublesome traveling companion than Nucky. He ate what was set before him, without comment. He sat for endless hours on the observation platform, smoking cigarettes, his keen eyes on the flying landscape. His blue Norfolk suit and his carefully chosen cap and linen restored a little of the adolescent look of which the flashy clothing of his own choosing had robbed him. No one glanced askance at Mr. Seaton's protegé or asked the lawyer idle questions regarding him.

And yet Nucky was very seldom out of John Seaton's thoughts: Over and over he tried to get the boy into conversation only to be checked by a reply that was half sullen, half impertinent. Finally, the lawyer fell back on surmises. Was Nucky laying some deep scheme for mischief when they reached San Francisco? John had believed fully that he and Nucky would be friends before Chicago was passed. But he had been mistaken. What in the world was he to do with the young gambler in San Francisco, that paradise of gamblers? He could employ a detective to dog Nucky, but that was to acknowledge defeat. If there were only some place along the line where he could leave the boy, giving him a taste of out of door life, such as only the west knows!

For a long time Seaton turned this idea over in his mind. The train was pulling out of Albuquerque when he had a sudden inspiration. He knew Nucky too well by now to ask him for information or for an expression of opinion. But that night, at dinner, he said, casually,

"We're going to leave the main line, at Williams, Enoch, and go up to the Grand Canyon. There's a guide at Bright Angel that I camped with two years ago. It's such bad weather that I don't suppose there'll be many people up there and I telegraphed him this afternoon to give me a week or so. I'm going to turn you over to him and I'll go on to the Coast. I'll pick you up on my way back."

"All right," said Nucky, casually.

Mr. Seaton ground his teeth with impatience and thought of what Jack's enthusiasm would have been over such a program. But he said nothing and strolled out to the observation car.

It was raining and sleeting at Williams. They had to wait for hours in the little station for the connecting train to the Canyon. It came in, finally, and Seaton and Nucky climbed aboard, the only visitors for the usually popular side trip. It was a wild and lonely run to the Canyon's rim. Nucky, sitting with his face pressed against the window, saw only vague forms of cactus and evergreens through the sleet which, as the grade rose steadily, changed to snow. It was mid-afternoon when they reached the rim. A porter led them at once into the hotel and after they were established, Seaton went into Nucky's room. The boy was standing by the window, staring at the storm.

"We can't see the Canyon from our windows," said John. "I took care of that! It isn't a thing you want staring at you day and night! Nucky, I want you to get your first look at the Canyon, alone. One always should. You'd better put on your coat and go out now before the storm gets any worse. Don't wander away. Stick to the view in front of the hotel. I'll be out in a half hour."

Nucky pulled on his overcoat, picked up his cap and went out. A porter was sweeping the walk before the main entrance.

"Say, mister, I want to see the Canyon," said Nucky.

"Nothin' to hinder. Yonder she lies, waiting for you, son!" jerking his thumb over his shoulder.

Nucky looked in the direction indicated. Then he took a deep, shocked breath. The snow flakes were falling into nothingness! A bitter wind was blowing but Nucky felt the sweat start to his forehead. Through the sifting snow flakes, disappearing before his gaze, he saw a void, silver gray, dim in outline, but none the less a void. The earth gaped to its center, naked, awful, before his horrified eyes. Yet, the same urgent need to know the uttermost that forces one to the edge of the skyscraper forced Nucky to the rail. He clutched it. A great gust of wind came up from the Canyon, clearing the view of snow for the moment, and Nucky saw down, down for a mile to the black ribbon of the Colorado below.

"I can't stand it!" he muttered. "I can't stand it!" and turning, he bolted for the hotel. He stopped before the log fire in the lobby. A little group of men and women were sitting before the blaze, reading or chatting. One of the women looked up at the boy and smiled. It seemed impossible to Nucky that human beings could be sitting so calmly, doing quite ordinary things, with that horror lying just a few feet away. For perhaps five minutes he struggled with his sense of panic, then he went slowly out and forced himself to the railing again.

While he had been indoors, it had ceased to storm and the view lay clear and clean before him. Although there was a foot of level snow on the rim, so vast were the ledges and benches below that the drifts served only as high lights for their crimson and black and orange. Just beneath Nucky were tree tops, heavy laden with white. Far, far below were tiny shrubs that the porter said were trees and below these,—orderly strips of brilliant colors and still below, and below—! Nucky moistened his dry lips and once more bolted to the hotel.

Just within the door, John Seaton met him.

"Well, Enoch?"

There was no coldness in Nucky's eyes now. They were the frightened eyes of a child.

"I can't stand that thing!" he panted. "I gotta get back to N' York, now!"

Seaton looked at Nucky curiously. "For heaven's sake, Enoch! Where's your nerve?"

"What good would nerve do a guy lookin' at hell!" gasped Nucky.

"Hell? Why the Canyon is one of the beautiful sights of the world!
You're crazy, Enoch! Come out with me and look again."

"Not on your life!" cried Nucky. "I'm going back to little old N'
York."

"It can't be done, my boy. There'll be no trains out of here for at least twelve hours, because of the storm. And listen, Enoch! No nonsense! Remember that if you wander away from the hotel, you're lost. There are no trolleys in this neck of the woods, and no telephones and no police. Wait a moment, Enoch, there's Frank Allen, the guide."

Seaton hailed a tall, rather heavily built man in corduroys and high laced boots, who had lounged up to the cigar stand. As he approached, Nucky saw that he was middle aged, with a heavily tanned face out of which the blue of his eyes shone conspicuously.

"Here he is, Frank!" exclaimed Seaton. "Nucky, this is the man who is going to look out for you while I'm gone."

"Well, young New York! What're you going to do with the Canyon?"
Frank slapped the boy on the shoulder.

Nucky grinned uncertainly. "I dunno!" he said.

"Had a look at it?" demanded the guide.

"Yes!" Nucky spoke with sudden firmness. "And I don't like it. I want to go back to New York."

"Come on out with Frank and me and get used to it," suggested John
Seaton.

"I'm not going near it again," returned Nucky.

Allen looked at the boy with deliberate interest. He noted the pasty skin, the hollow chest, the strong, unformed features, the thin lips that were trembling, despite the cigarette stained fingers that pressed against them.

"Did you ever talk to Indians?" asked Allen, suddenly.

"No," said Nucky.

"Well, let's forget the Canyon and go over to the hogan, yonder. Is that the best you two can do on shoes? I'm always sorry for you lady-like New Yorkers. Come over here a minute. I guess we can rent some boots to fit you."

"I'm going to write letters, Frank," said Seaton. "You and Enoch'll find me over at one of the desks. Fit the boy out as you think best."

Not long after, Nucky trailed the guide through the lobby. He was wearing high laced boots, with a very self-conscious air. Once outside, in the glory of the westering sun, Frank took a deep breath.

"Great air, boy! Get all you can of it into those flabby bellows of yours. Before we go to the hogan, come over to the corral. My Tom horse has got a saddle sore. A fool tourist rode him all day with a fold in the blanket as big as your fist."

"Is he a bronco?" asked Nucky, with sudden animation.

"He was a bronco. You easterners have the wrong idea. A bronco is a plains pony before he's broken. After he's busted he's a horse. See?"

"Aw, you're dead wrong, Frank!" drawled a voice.

Nucky looked up in astonishment to see a tall man, whose skin was a rich bronze, offering a cigarette to the guide.

"Dry up, Mike!" returned Frank with a grin. "What does a Navaho know about horses! Enoch, this is a sure enough Indian. Mike, let me introduce Mr. Enoch Huntingdon of New York City."

The Navaho nodded and smiled. "You look as if a little Canyon climbing would do you good," said he. "I was looking at Tom horse, Frank. He's in bad shape. How much did that tender-foot weigh that rode him?"

"I don't know. I wasn't here the day they hired him out. I know the cuss would have weighed a good deal less if I'd been here when that saddle was taken off! Going down to-morrow with Miss Planer?"

"Not unless some one breaks trail for us. Are you going to try it?"

"Not unless my young friend here gets his nerve up. Want to try it,
Enoch?"

"Try what?" asked Nucky.

"The trip down Bright Angel."

"Not on your life!" cried Nucky.

Both men laughed, the Indian moving off through the snow in the direction of a dim building among the cedars, while Frank led on to the corral fence. Fifteen or twenty horses and mules were moving about the enclosure. Allen crossed swiftly among them, with Nucky following, apprehensively, close behind him. Frank's horse was in the stable, but while he seemed to examine the sore spot on the animal's back, Frank's real attention was riveted on Nucky. The boy was obviously ill at ease and only half interested in the horse.

"These are the lads that take us down the trail," said Allen finally, slapping a velvety black mule on the flank.

"We can't trust the horses. A mule knows more in a minute than a horse knows all his life."

"Will you go with me to take another look at it?" asked Nucky.

An expression of understanding crossed Frank's weather-beaten face. "Sure I will, boy! Let's walk up the rim a little and see if you can steady your nerves."

"I'd rather stay by the rail," replied Nucky, doggedly.

"All right, old man! Don't take this thing too hard, you know! After all, it's only a crack in the earth."

Nucky grinned feebly, and trudged steadily up to the rail. The sun was setting and the Canyon was like the infinite glory of God. Untiring as was his love for the view Allen preferred, this time, to watch the strange young face beside him. Nucky's pallor was still intense in spite of the stinging wind. His deep set eyes were strained like a child's, listening to a not-to-be-understood explanation of something that frightens him. For a full five minutes he gazed without speaking. Then the sun sank and the Canyon immediately was filled with gloom. Nucky's lips quivered. "I can't stand it!" he muttered again, "I can't stand it!" and once more he bolted.

This time he went directly to his room. Neither Allen nor Seaton attempted to follow him.

"He is some queer kid!" said Frank, taking the cigar Seaton offered him. "He may be a born crook or he may not, but believe me, there's something in him worth finding out about."

"Just what I say!" agreed Seaton. "But don't be sure you're the one that can unlock him. Mrs. Seaton couldn't and if she failed, any woman on earth would. And I still believe that a chap that's got any good in him will open up to a good woman."

"His woman, man! His! Not to somebody else's woman." Allen's tone was impatient.

"His woman! Don't talk like a chump, Frank! Enoch's only fourteen."

"Makes no difference. Your wife is an angel as I learned two years ago, but she may not have Enoch's number, just the same. If I were you, I'd mooch up to the kid's room if he doesn't come down promptly to supper. His nerves are in rotten shape and he oughtn't to be alone too long."

Seaton nodded, and shortly after seven he knocked softly on Nucky's door. There was an inarticulate, "Come in!" Nucky was standing by the window in the dark room.

"Supper's ready, old man. You'd better have it now and get to bed early. Jumping from sea level to a mile in the air makes a chap sleepy. Are you washed up?"

"I'm all ready," mumbled Nucky.

He went to bed shortly after eight. Something forlorn and childish about the boy's look as he said good night moved John Seaton to say,

"Tell a bell boy to open the door between our rooms, will you, Enoch?" and he imagined that a relieved look flickered in Nucky's eyes.

Seaton himself went to bed and to sleep early. He was wakened about midnight by a soft sound from Nucky's room and he lay for a few moments listening. Then he rose and turned on the light in his room, and in Nucky's. The boy hastily jerked the covers over his head. Seaton pulled the extra blanket at the bed foot over his own shoulders, then he sat down on the edge of the bed and put his hand on Nucky's heaving back.

"Don't you think, if it's bad enough to make you cry, that it's time you told a friend about it, Enoch?" he said, his voice a little husky.

For a moment sobs strangled the boy's utterance entirely. Finally, he pulled the covers down but still keeping his head turned away, he said,

"I want to go home!"

"Home, Enoch? Where's your home?"

"N' York's my home. This joint scares me."

"Whom do you want to see in New York, Enoch?"

"Anybody! Nobody! Even the police station'd look better'n that thing.
I can feel it out there now, waitin' and listenin'!"

Seaton stared blankly at the back of Nucky's head. His experiment was not turning out at all as he had planned. Jack often had puzzled him but there had always been something to grasp with Jack. His own boy had been such a good sport! A good sport! Suddenly Seaton cleared his throat.

"Enoch, among the men you know, what is the opinion of a squealer?"

"We hate him," replied the boy, shortly.

"And the other night when you were arrested, you were rather proud of standing up and taking your punishment without breaking down. If one of the men arrested at that time had broken down, you'd all have despised him, I suppose?"

"Sure thing," agreed Nucky, turning his head ever so little toward the man.

"Enoch, why are you breaking down now?"

"Aw, what difference does it make?" demanded the boy. "You despise me anyhow!"

"Oh!" ejaculated Seaton as a sudden light came to his groping mind. "Oh, I see! What a chump you are, old man! Of course, I despise the kind of life you've led, but I blame Minetta Lane for that, not you. And I believe there is so much solid fine stuff in you that I'm giving you this trip to show you that there are people and things outside of Minetta Lane that are more worth a promising boy's time than gambling. But, you won't play the game. You are so vain and ignorant, you refuse to see over your nose."

"I told you, you despised me," said Nucky, sullenly.

The man smiled to himself. Suddenly he took the boy's hand in both his own.

"I suppose if Jack had been reared in Minetta Lane, he'd have been just as wrong in his ideas as you are. Look here, Enoch, I'll make a bargain with you. I want you to try the Canyon for a week or so, until I get back from the Coast. If, at the end of that time, you still want Minetta Lane, I'll land you back there with fifty dollars in your pocket, and you can go your own gait."

Nucky for the first time turned and looked Seaton in the face.
"Honest?" he gasped.

Seaton nodded.

"Do I have to go down the Canyon?" asked Nucky.

"You don't have to do anything except play straight, till I get back."

"I—I guess I could stand it,"—the boy's eyes were a little pitiful in their fear.

"That isn't enough. I want your promise, Enoch!"

Nucky stared into Seaton's steady eyes. "All right, I'll promise.
And—and, Mr. Seaton, would you sit with me till I get to sleep?"

Seaton nodded. Nucky had made no attempt to free his hand from the kindly grasp that imprisoned it. He lay staring at the ceiling for a long moment, then his eyelids fluttered, dropped, and he slept. He did not stir when Seaton rose and went back to his own bed.

It did not snow during the night and the train that had brought Nucky and Mr. Seaton up announced itself as ready for the return trip to Williams, immediately after breakfast. Nucky slept late and only opened his eyes when Frank Allen clumped into the room about nine o'clock.

"Hello, New York! Haven't died, have you? Come on, we're going to break trail down the Canyon, you and I."

"Not on your life!" Nucky roused at once and sat up in bed, his face very pale under its thatch of dark red hair.

"John Seaton turned you over to me. Said to tell you he thought you needed the sleep more than you did to say good-by to him."

"He told me last night," exclaimed Nucky; "that I didn't have to go down the Canyon."

"And you don't, you poor sissy! You aren't afraid to get up and dress, are you?" Allen's grin took away part of the sting of his speech. "Meet me in the lobby in twenty minutes, Enoch," and he turned on his heel.

Nucky was down in less than the time allotted. As he leaned against the office desk, waiting for the guide, the room clerk said, "So you're the kid that's afraid to go down the trail. Usually it's the old ladies that kick up about that. Most boys your age are crazy for the trip."

Nucky muttered something and moved away. In front of the fire the woman who had smiled at him the day before, smiled again.

"Afraid too, aren't you! They can't get me onto that trail, either."

Nucky smiled feebly then looked about a little wildly for Frank Allen. When he espied the guide at the cigar-stand, he crossed to him hurriedly.

"Say now, Mr. Allen, listen!"

"I'm all ears, son!"

"Now don't tell everybody I'm afraid of the trail!"

"Oh, you're the kid!" exclaimed a bell boy. "Say, there was an old lady here once that used to go out every morning and pray to the Lord to close the earth's gap, it made her so nervous! Why don't you try that, kid? Maybe the Lord would take a suggestion from a New Yorker."

Nucky rushed to the dining room. He was too angry and resentful to eat much. He drank two cups of coffee, however, and swallowed some toast.

"Ain't you going to eat your eggs?" demanded the waitress. "What's the matter with you? Folks always stuff themselves, here. Say, don't let the trail scare you. I was that way at first, but finally I got my nerve up and there's nothing to it. Say, let me give you some advice. There's only a few folks here now, so the guides and the hotel people have got plenty of time on their hands. They're awful jokers and they'll tease the life out of you, till you take the trip. You just get on a mule, this morning, and start. Every day you wait, you'll hate it more."

Nucky's vanity had been deeply wounded. Greater than his fear, which was very great indeed, was Nucky's vanity. He gulped the second cup of coffee, then with the air of bravado which belonged to Marty the Dude, he sauntered up to the cigar stand where the guide still lounged.

"All right, Frank," said Nucky. "I'm ready for Bright Angel when you are."

The guide looked at the boy carefully. Two bright red spots were burning in Nucky's cheeks. He was biting his lips, nervously. But his blue eyes were hard and steady.

"I'll be ready in half an hour, Enoch. Meet me at the corral. We'll camp down below for a night or two if you hold out and I'll have to have the grub put up. You go over to the store room yonder and get a flannel shirt and a pair of denim pants to pull on over those you're wearing. Mr. Seaton left his camera for you. I put it on your bureau. Bring that along. Skip now!"

Nucky's cheeks were still burning when he met Allen at the corral. Three mules, one a well loaded pack mule, the others saddled, were waiting. Frank leaned against the bars.

"Enoch," said the man, "there's no danger at all, if you let your mule alone. Don't try to guide him. He knows the trail perfectly. All you have to do is to sit in the saddle and look up, not down! Remember, up, not down! I shall lead. You follow, on Spoons. Old Foolish Face brings up the rear with the pack. Did you ever ride, before?"

"I never touched a horse in my life," replied Nucky, trying to curb the chattering of his teeth.

"You had better mount and ride round the road here, for a bit. Take the reins, so. Stand facing the saddle, so. Now put this foot in the stirrup, seize the pommel, and swing the other leg over as you spring. That's the idea!"

Nucky was awkward, but he landed in the saddle and found the other stirrup, the mule standing fast as a mountain while he did so. Spoons moved off at Allen's bidding, and Nucky grasped at the pommel. But only for a moment.

"Don't he shake any worse than this?" he cried.

"No, but it's not so easy to stay in the saddle when the grade's steep.
Pull on your right rein, Enoch, and bring old Spoons in behind me.
Well done! We're off! See the bunch on the hotel steps! Guess you
fooled 'em this time, New York!"

Half a dozen people, including the clerk were standing on the steps, watching the little cavalcade. As the mules filed by, somebody began to clap.

"What's the excitement, Frank?" demanded Nucky.

Frank turned in his saddle to smile at the boy. "Out in this country we admire physical nerve because we need a lot of it. And you're showing a good quality, old chap. Just sit easy now and when you want me to stop, yell."

Nucky was sitting very straight with his thin chest up, and he managed to maintain this posture as the trail turned down over the rim. Then he grasped the pommel in both hands.

It was a wonderful trail, carved with infinite patience and ingenuity out of the canyon wall. To Allen it was as safe and easy as a flight of stairs. Nucky, trembling in the saddle would have felt quite as comfortable standing on the topmost window ledge of the Flat Iron building, in New York. And, to Nucky, there was no trail! Only a narrow, corkscrew shelf, deep banked with snow into which the mules set their small feet gingerly. For many minutes, the boy saw only this trackless ledge, and the sickening blue depths below.

"I can never stand it!" he muttered. "I can never stand it! If this mule makes just one mis-step, I'm dead." He felt a little nauseated. "I can never stand it! 'Twould have been better if I'd just let 'em tease me. Hey, Frank!"

The guide looked back. The red spots were gone from Nucky's cheeks now.

"We got to go back! I can't get away with it!" cried the boy.

"It's impossible to turn here, Enoch! Look up, man! Look up! And just trust old Spoons! Are you cold? It was only eight above zero, when we left the top. But the snow'll disappear as we go down and when we reach the river it'll be summer. See that lone pine up on the rim to your right? They say an Indian girl jumped from the top of that because she bore a cross-eyed baby. Look up, Enoch, as we round this curve and see that streak of red in the wall. An Indian giant bled to death on the rim and his blood seeped through the solid rock to this point. Watch how the sky gets a deeper blue, the farther down we go. And now, Enoch look out, not down. You may come down Bright Angel a thousand times and never see the colors you see to-day. The snowfall has turned the world into a rainbow, by heck!"

Slowly, very slowly, Nucky turned his head and clinging to the pommel, he stared across the canyon. White of snow; sapphire of sky; black of sharp cut shadow. Mountains rising from the canyon floor thrust scarlet and yellow heads across his line of vision. Close to his left, as the trail curved, a wall of purest rose color lifted from a bank of snow that was as blue as Allen's eyes. Beyond and beyond and ever beyond, the vast orderliness of the multi-colored canyon strata melted into delicate white clouds that now revealed, now concealed the mountain tops.

Nucky gazed and gazed, shuddering, yet enthralled. Another sharp twist in the trail and his knee scraped against the wall. He cried out sharply. Frank turned to look but he did not stop the mules.

"Spoons thinks it's better to amputate your leg, once in a while than to risk getting too close to the outer edge of the trail in all this snow. He's an old warrior, is Spoons! He could carry a grand piano down this trail and never scrape the varnish. Look up, Enoch! We'll soon reach a broad bench where I'll let you rest."

"Don't you think I'll ever get off this brute till we reach bottom!" shuddered Nucky.

The guide laughed and silence fell again. The mules moved as silently through the snow as the mists across the mountain tops. In careful gradation the trail zigzagged downward. The snow lessened in depth with each foot of drop. The bitter cold began to give way to the increasing warmth of the sun. Sensation crept back into Nucky's feet and hands. By a supreme effort for many moments he managed to fix his eyes firmly on Frank's broad back, and though he could not give up his hold on the pommel, he sat a little straighter. Then, of a sudden, Spoons stopped in his tracks, and as suddenly a little avalanche of snow shot down the canyon wall, catching the mule's forelegs. Spoons promptly threw himself inward, against the wall. Nucky gave a startled look at the sickening depths below and when Frank turned in his saddle, Nucky had fainted, half clinging to Spoons' neck, half supported against the wet, rocky wall.

With infinite care, and astonishing speed, Frank slid from his mule and made his way back to the motionless Spoons.

"Always said you were more than human, old chap," said Allen, kicking the snow away from the mule's fore legs. "Easy now! Don't lose your passenger!" The mule regained his balance and stepped carefully forward out of the drift, while the guide, balanced perilously on the outer edge of the trail, kept a supporting hand on Nucky's shoulders.

But there was no need of the flask Frank pulled from his pocket. Nucky opened his eyes almost immediately. Whatever emotion Frank may have felt, he kept to himself. "I told you Spoons was better than a life insurance policy, Enoch."

Enoch slowly pushed himself erect. He looked from Frank's quizzical eyes to Spoons' twitching ears, then at his own shaking hands.

"I fainted, didn't I?" he asked.

Allen nodded, and something in the twist of the man's lips maddened
Nucky. He burst forth wildly:

"You think I'm a blank blank sissy! Well, maybe I am. But if New York couldn't scare me, this blank blank hole out here in this blank blank jumping off place can't. I'm going on down this trail and if I fall and get killed, it's up to you and Mr. Seaton."

"Good work, New York!" responded Allen briefly. He edged his way carefully back to his mule and the cavalcade moved onward. Perhaps five minutes afterward, as they left the snow line, the guide looked back. Nucky was huddled in the saddle, his eyes closed tight, but his thin lips were drawn in a line that caused Allen to change his purpose. He did not speak as he had planned, but led the way on for a long half hour, in silence, his eyes thoughtful.

But Nucky did not keep his eyes closed long. The pull of horror, of mystery, of grandeur was too great. And after the avalanche, his confidence in Spoons was established. He was little more than a child and under his bravado and his watchfulness there was a child's recklessness. If he were to fall, at least he must see whither he was to fall. He forced himself to look from time to time into the depths below. The trail dropped steadily, while higher and higher soared canyon wall and mountain peak. It was still early when the trail met the plateau on which lie the Indian gardens.

Frank's mule suddenly quickened his stride as did Spoons. But Nucky, although he was weary and saddle sore had no intention of crying a halt, now that the trail was level. His pulse began to subside and once more he sat erect in the saddle. When the mules rushed forward to bury their noses in a cress-grown spring, he grinned at Frank.

"Well, here I am, after all!"

Frank grinned in return. "If I could put through a few more stunts like this, you'd look almost like a boy, instead of a potato sprout. Get down and limber up."

Nucky half scrambled, half fell off his mule. "Must be spring down here," he cried, staring about at grass and cottonwood.

"Just about. And it'll be summer when we reach the river."

"That was some trail, wasn't it, Frank! Do many kids take it?"

"Lots of 'em, but only with guides, and you were the worst case of scared boy I've ever seen."

Nucky flushed. "Well, you might give me credit for hanging to it, even if I was scared."

"I'll give you a lot of credit for that, old man. But if the average New York boy has nerves like yours, I'm glad many of them don't come to the Canyon, that's all. Your nerves would disgrace a girl."

"The guys I gamble with never complained of my lack of nerves," cried
Nucky, angrily.

"Gambling! Thunder! What nerve does it take to stack the cards against a dub? But this country out here, let me tell you, it takes a man to stand up to it."

"And I've been through police raids too, and never squealed and I know two gunmen and they say I'm as hard as steel."

"They should have seen you with your arms around Spoons' neck, back up the trail there," said Allen dryly. "Come! Mount again, Enoch! I want to have lunch at the river."

Enoch was sullen as they started on but his sullenness did not last long. As his fear receded, his curiosity increased. He gazed about him with absorbed interest, and he began to bombard the guide with questions in genuine boy fashion.

"How far is it to the river? Do we have any steeper trails than the ones we've been on, already? Did any one ever swim across the river? Was any one ever killed when he minded what the guide told him? What guys camp in the Indian gardens? How much does it cost? Did any one ever climb up the side of the Canyon, say like one yonder where it looked like different colored stair steps going up? Did any one ever find gold in the canyon? How did they know it when they found it? Did Frank ever do any mining? What was placer mining?" And on and on, only the intermittently returning fear of the trail silencing him until Frank ordered him to dismount in a narrow chasm within sight of the roaring, muddy Colorado.

"One of the ways Seaton employed to persuade me to take care of you for a week was by telling me you were a very silent kid," added the guide.

Nucky grinned sheepishly, and turned to stare wonderingly at the black walls that here closed in upon them breathlessly. Their lunch had been prepared at the hotel. Frank fed the mules, then handed Nucky his box lunch and proceeded to open his own.

"Does it make you sore to have me ask you questions?" asked the boy.

"No! I guess it's more natural for a kid than the sulks you've been keeping up with Seaton."

"I'm not such a kid. I'm going on fifteen and I've earned my own way since I was twelve. And I earn it with men, too." Nucky jerked his head belligerently.

Frank ate a hard boiled egg before speaking. Then, with one eyebrow raised, he grunted, "What'd you work at?"

"Cards and dice!" this very proudly.

"You poor nut!" Frank's voice was a mixture of contempt and compassion. Nucky immediately turned sulky and the meal was finished in silence. When the last doughnut had been devoured, Frank stretched himself in the warm sand left among the rocks by the river at flood.

"Must be eighty degrees down here," he yawned. "We'll rest for a half hour, then we'll make the night camp. It's after two now and it will be dark in this narrow rift by four."

Nucky looked about him apprehensively. The Canyon here was little more than a gorge whose walls rose sheer and menacing toward the narrow patch of blue sky above. He could not make up his mind to lie down and relax as Frank had done. All was too new and strange.

"Are there snakes round here?" he demanded.

Frank's grunt might have been either yes or no. Nucky glanced impatiently at the guide's closed eyes, then he began to clamber aimlessly and languidly over the rocks to the river edge. At a distance of perhaps a hundred feet from Frank he stopped, looked at the bleak, blank wall of the river opposite, bit his nails and shuddering turned back. He crouched on a rock, near the guide, smoking one cigarette after another until Frank jumped to his feet.

"Three o'clock, New York! Time to get ready for the night."

"I don't want to stay in this hole all night!" protested Nucky, "I couldn't sleep."

"You'll like it. You've no idea how comfortable I'm going to make you. Now, your job is to gather drift wood and pile it on that flat topped rock yonder. Keep piling till I tell you to quit. The nights are cold and I'll keep a little blaze going late, for you."

"What's the idea?" demanded Nucky. "Why stay down here, like lost dogs, when there's a first class hotel back up there?"

Frank sighed. "Well, the idea is this! A real he man likes camping in the wilds better'n he likes anything on earth. Seaton thought maybe somewhere in that pindling carcass of yours there was the making of a he man and that you'd like the experience. I promised him I'd try you out and I'm trying you, hang you for an ungrateful, cowardly cub."

Nucky turned on his heel and began to pick up drift wood. He was in poor physical trim but the pile, though it grew slowly, grew steadily. By the time Frank announced the camp ready, Nucky's fuel pile was of really imposing dimensions. And dusk was thickening in the gorge.

Before a great flat faced rock that looked toward the river, was a stretch of clean dry sand. Against this rock, the guide had placed a rubber air-mattress and a plentiful supply of blankets. A small folding table stood before a rough stone fire place. A canvas shelter stretched vertically on two strips of driftwood, shut off the night wind that was beginning to sweep through the Canyon. The mules were tethered close to the camp.

"Where'd that mattress come from?" exclaimed Nucky.

"Partly off old Funny Face's back and part out of a bicycle pump. Didn't want to risk your sickly bones on the ground until you harden up a bit. Pretty good pile of timber for an amateur, New York." Frank looked up from the fire he was kindling into Nucky's thin, tired face. "Now, son, you sit down on the end of your bed and take it easy. I'm an old hand at this game and before we've had our week together I'm banking on you being glad to help me. But to-day you've had enough."

"Thanks," mumbled Nucky, as he eagerly followed the guide's suggestions.

The early supper tasted delicious to the boy although every muscle in his body ached. Bacon and flap jacks, coffee and canned peaches he devoured with more appetite than he ever had brought to ministrone and red wine. A queer and inexplicable sense of comfort and a desire to talk came over him after the meal was finished, the camp in order, and the fire replenished.

"This ain't so bad," he said. "I wish some of the guys that used to come to Luigi's could see me now."

"And who was Luigi?" asked Frank, lighting his pipe and stretching himself on a blanket before the fire.

"He was the guy I lived with after my mother died. He ran a gambling joint, and we was fixing the place up for women, too, when we all got pinched." This very boastfully.

"Who were your folks, Enoch?"

"Never heard of none of 'em. Luigi's a Dago. He wouldn't have been so bad if he didn't pinch the pennies so. Were you ever in New York, Frank?" This in a patronizing voice.

"Born there," replied the guide.

Nucky gasped with surprise. "How'd you ever happen to come out here?"

"I can't live anywhere else because of chronic asthma. I don't know now that I'd want to live anywhere else. I used to kick against the pricks, but you get more sense as you grow older—after it's too late."

"I should think you'd rather be dead," said Nucky sincerely. "If I thought I couldn't get back to MacDougal Street I'd want to die."

"MacDougal Street and the dice, I suppose, eh? Enoch, you're on the wrong track and I know, because that's the track I tried myself. And I got stung."

"But—" began Nucky.

"No but about it. It's the wrong track and you can't get to decency or happiness or contentment on it. There's two things a man can never make anything real out of; cards or women."

"I didn't want to make anything out of women. I want to get even with 'em, blank blank 'em all," cried Nucky with sudden fury. And he burst into an obscene tirade against the sex that utterly astonished the guide. He lay with his chin supported on his elbow, staring at the boy, at his thin, strongly marked features, and at the convulsive working of his throat as he talked.

"Here! Dry up!" Frank cried at last. "I'll bet these canyon walls never looked down on such a rotten little cur as you are in all their history. You gambling, indecent little gutter snipe, isn't there a clean spot in you?"

"You were a gambler yourself!" shrieked Nucky.

"Yes, sir, I know cards and I know women, and that's why I know just what a mess of carrion your lovely young soul is. Any kid that can see the glory o' God that you've seen to-day and then sit down and talk like an overflowing sewer isn't fit to live. I didn't know that before I came out to this country, but I know it now. You get to bed. I don't want to hear another word out of you to-night. Pull your boots off. That's all."

Half resentful, half frightened, Nucky obeyed. For a while, with nerves and over-tired muscles twitching, he lay watching the fire. Then he fell asleep.

It was about midnight when he awoke. He had kicked the blankets off and was cold. The fire was out but the full moon sailed high over the gorge. Frank, rolled in his blankets, his feet to the dead fire, slept noisily. Nucky sat up and pulled his blankets over him, but he did not lie down again. He sat staring at the wonder of the Canyon. For a long half hour he was motionless save for the occasional moistening of his lips and turning of his head as he followed the unbelievable contour of the distant silvered peaks. Then of a sudden he jumped from his bed and, stooping over Frank, shook him violently.

"Wake up!" he cried. "Wake up! I gotta tell somebody or the Canyon'll drive me crazy. I'll tell you why I'm bad. It's because my mother was bad before me. She was Luigi's mistress. She was a bad lot. It was born in me."

Frank sat up, instantly on the alert. "How old were you when she died?" he demanded.

"Six," replied Nucky.

"Shucks! you don't know anything about it, then! Who told you she was bad?"

"Luigi! I guess he'd know, wouldn't he?"

"Maybe he did and maybe he didn't. At any rate, I wouldn't take the oath on his deathbed of a fellow who ran a joint like Luigi's and taught a kid what he's taught you. He told you that, of course, to keep a hold on you."

"But she lived with him. I remember that myself."

"I can't help that. I'll bet you my next year's pay, she wasn't your mother!"

"Not my mother?" Nucky drew himself up with a long breath. "Certainly she was my mother."

Frank uncovered some embers from the ashes and threw on wood. "I'll bet she wasn't your mother," he repeated firmly. "Seaton told me that that policeman friend of yours said she might and might not be your mother. Seaton and the policeman both think she wasn't, and I'm with 'em."

"But why? Why?" cried Nucky in an agony of impatience.

"For the simple reason that a fellow with a face like your's doesn't have a bad mother."

In the light of the leaping flames Nucky's face fell. "Aw, what you giving us! Sob stuff?"

"I'm telling you something that's as true as God. You can't see Him or talk to Him, but you know He made this Canyon, don't you?"

Nucky nodded quickly.

"All right, then I'm telling you, every line of your face and head says you didn't come of a breed like the woman that lived with Luigi. I'll bet if you show you have any decent promise, Seaton will clear that point up. A good detective could do it."

"I never thought of such a thing," muttered Nucky. He continued to stare at Frank, his pale boy's face tense with conflicting hope and fear. The guide picked up his blanket, but Nucky cried out:

"Don't go to sleep for a minute, please! I can't stand it alone in this moonlight. I never thought such thoughts in my life as I have down here, about God and who I am and what a human being is. I tell you, I'm going crazy."

Frank nodded, and began to fill his pipe. "Sit down close to the fire, son. That's what the Canyon does to anybody that's thin skinned. I went through it too. I tell you, Nucky, this life here in the Canyon and the thoughts you think here, are the only real things. New York and all that, is just the outer shell of living. Understand me?"

The boy nodded, his eyes fixed on Frank's with pitiful eagerness.

"It's clean out here. This country isn't all messed up with men and women's badness. Everybody starts even and with a clean slate. Lord knows, I was a worthless bunch when I struck here, fifteen years ago. I'd been expelled from Yale in my senior year for gambling. I'd run through the money my father'd left me. I'd gotten into a woman scrape and I'd alienated every member of my family. Just why I thought a deck of cards was worth all that, I can't tell you. But I did. Then I came down here to see what the Canyon could do for my asthma and it cured that, and by the Eternal, it cured my soul, too. Now listen to me, son! You go back and lie down and put yourself to sleep thinking about your real mother. Boys are apt to take their general build from their mothers, so she was probably a big woman, not pretty, but with an intellectual face full of character. Go on, now, Enoch! You need the rest and we've got a full day to-morrow."

Nucky passed his hand unsteadily over his eyes, but rose without a word, and Frank tucked him into his blankets, then sat quietly waiting by the fire. It was not long before deep breaths that were pathetically near to sobs told the guide that Nucky was asleep. Then he rolled himself in his own blankets. The moon passed the Canyon wall and utter darkness enwrapped the Canyon and the river which murmured harshly as it ran.

Nucky wakened the next morning to the smell of coffee. He sat up and eyed Frank soberly.

"Hello, New York! This is the Grand Canyon!" Frank grinned as he lifted the coffee pot from the fire.

Nucky grinned in response. Shortly after, when he sat down to his breakfast the grin had disappeared, but with it had gone the look of sullenness that had seemed habitual.

"Frank," said Nucky, when breakfast was over, "do you care if I talk to you some more about—you know—you know what you said last night? I never talked about it to any one but Luigi, and it makes me feel better."

"Sure, go ahead!" said Frank.

"My mother—" began Nucky.

"You mean Luigi's wife," corrected the guide.

"Luigi's wife was crazy about me. She loved me just as much as any mother could. Luigi's always been jealous about it. That's why he treated me so rotten."

"Bad women can be just as fond of kids as good women," was Frank's comment. "What did she look like? Can you remember?"

"I don't know whether I remember it or if it's just what folks told me.
She had dark blue eyes and dark auburn hair. Luigi said she was
Italian."

"If she was, she was North Italian," mused the guide. "Did any one ever give you any hints about your father?"

A slow, painful red crept over Nucky's pale face. "I never asked but once. Maybe you can guess what Luigi said."

"If Luigi were in this part of the country," growled Allen, "I'd lead a lynching party to call on him." He paused, eying Nucky's boyish face closely, then he asked, "Did you love your mother?"

"I suppose I did. But Luigi kept at me so that now I hate her and all other women. Mrs. Seaton seemed kind of nice, but I suppose she is like the rest of 'em."

"Don't you think it! And did you know that Seaton thinks you were kidnapped?"

Nucky drew a quick breath and the guide went on, "I think so too. You never belonged to an Italian. I can't tell you just why I feel so certain. But I'd take my oath you are of New England stock. John Seaton is a first-class lawyer. As I said to you last night, if you show some decent spirit, he'd try to clear the matter up for you."

Nucky's blue eyes were as eager and as wistful as a little child's.
His thin, mobile lips quivered. "I never thought of such a thing,
Frank!"

"Well, you'd better think of it! Now then, you clean up these dishes for me while I attend to the stock. I want to be off in a half hour."

During the remainder of that very strenuous day, Nucky did not refer again to the matter so near his heart. He was quiet, but no longer sullen, and he was boyishly interested in the wonders of the Canyon. The sun was setting when they at last reached the rim. For an hour Nucky had not spoken. When Allen had turned in the saddle to look at the boy, Nucky had nodded and smiled, then returned to his absorbed watching of the lights and shadows in the Canyon.

They dismounted at the corral. "Now, old man," said Frank, "I want you to go in and tuck away a big supper, take a hot bath and go to bed. To-morrow we'll ride along the rim just long enough to fight off the worst of the saddle stiffness."

"All right!" Nucky nodded. "I'm half dead, that's a fact. But I've got to tell the clerk and the bell boy a thing or two before I do anything."

"Go to it!" Frank laughed, as he followed the mules through the gate.

Nucky did not open his eyes until nine o'clock the next morning. When he had finished breakfast, he found the guide waiting for him in the lobby.

"Hello, Frank!" he shouted. "Come on! Let's start!"

All that day, prowling through the snow after Allen, Nucky might have been any happy boy of fourteen. It was only when Frank again left him at dusk that his face lengthened.

"Can't I be with you this evening, Frank?" he asked.

Frank shook his head. "I've got to be with my wife and little girl."

"But why can't I—" Nucky hesitated as he caught the look in Frank's face. "You'll never forget what I said about women, I suppose!"

"Why should I forget it?" demanded Allen.

The sullen note returned to Nucky's voice. "I wouldn't harm 'em!"

"No, I'll bet you wouldn't!" returned Allen succinctly.

Nucky turned to stare into the Canyon. It seemed to the guide that it was a full five minutes that the boy gazed into the drifting depths before he turned with a smile that was as ingenuous as it was wistful.

"Frank, I guess I made an awful dirty fool of myself! I—I can't like 'em, but I'll take your word that lots of 'em are good. And nobody will ever hear me sling mud at 'em again, so help me God—and the Canyon!"

Frank silently held out his hand and Nucky grasped it. Then the guide said, "You'd better go to bed again as soon as you've eaten your supper. By to-morrow you'll be feeling like a short trip down Bright Angel. Good-night, old top!"

When Nucky came out of the hotel door the next morning, Frank, with a cavalcade of mules, was waiting for him. But he was not alone. Seated on a small mule was a little girl of five or six.

"Enoch," said Frank, "this is my daughter, Diana. She is going down the trail with us."

Nucky gravely doffed his hat, and the little girl laughed, showing two front teeth missing and a charming dimple.

"You've got red hair!" she cried.

Nucky grunted, and mounted his mule.

"Diana will ride directly behind me," said Frank. "You follow her,
Enoch."

"Can that kid go all the way to the river?" demanded Nucky.

"She's been there a good many times," replied Frank, looking proudly at his little daughter.

She was not an especially pretty child, but had Nucky been a judge of feminine charms he would have realized that Diana gave promise of a beautiful womanhood. Her chestnut hair hung in thick curls on her shoulders. Her eyes were large and a clear hazel. Her skin, though tanned, was peculiarly fine in texture. But the greatest promise of her future beauty lay in a sweetness of expression in eye and lip that was extraordinary in so young a child. For the rest, she was thin and straight and wore a boy's corduroy suit.

Diana feared the trail no more than Nucky feared MacDougal Street. She was deeply interested in Nucky, turning and twisting constantly in her saddle to look at him.

"Do you like your mule, Enoch? He's a very nice mule."

"Yes, but don't turn round or you'll fall."

"How can I talk if I don't turn round? Do you like little girls?"

"I don't know any little girls. Turn round, Diana!"

"But you know me!"

"I won't know you long if you don't sit still in that saddle, Miss."

"Do you like me, Enoch?"

Nucky groaned. "Frank, if Diana don't quit twisting, I'll fall myself, even if she don't!"

"Don't bother Enoch, daughter!"

"I'm not bothering Enoch, Daddy. I'm making conversation. I like him, even if he has red hair."

Nucky sighed, and tried to turn the trend of the small girl's ideas.

"I'll bet you don't know what kind of stone that is yonder where the giant dripped blood."

"There isn't any giant's blood!" exclaimed Diana scornfully. "That is just red quartz!"

"Oh, and what's the layer next to it?" demanded Nucky skeptically.

"That's black basalt," answered the little girl. Then, leaning far out of the saddle to point to the depths below, "and that—"

"Frank!" shouted Nucky. "Diana is bound to fall! I just can't stand looking at her."

This time Frank spoke sternly. "Diana, don't turn to look at Enoch again!" and the little girl obeyed.

Had Nucky been other than he was, he might have been amused and not a little charmed by Diana's housewifely ways when they made camp that afternoon. She helped to kindle the fire and to unpack the provisions. She lent a hand at arranging the beds and set the table, all with eager docility and intelligence. But Nucky, after doing the chores Frank set him, wandered off to a seat that commanded a wide view of the trail, where he remained in silent contemplation of the wonders before him until called to supper.

He was silent during the meal, giving no heed to Diana's small attempts at conversation, and wandered early to his blankets. In the morning, however, he was all boy again, even attempting once or twice to tease Diana, in a boy's offhand manner. That small person, however, had become conscious of the fact that Enoch was not interested in her, and she had withdrawn into herself with a pride and self-control that was highly amusing to her father. Nor did she unbend during the day.

The return trip was made with but one untoward incident. This occurred after they had reached the snow line. Much of the snow had thawed and by late afternoon there was ice on the trail. Frank led the way very gingerly and the mules often stopped of their own accord, while the guide roughened the path for them with the axe. In spite of this care, as they rounded one last upper curve, Diana's mule slipped, and it was only Diana's lightning quickness in dismounting and the mule's skill in throwing himself inward that saved them both.

Diana did not utter a sound, but Nucky gave a hoarse oath and, before Frank could accomplish it, Nucky had dismounted, had rushed up the trail and stood holding Diana in his lank, boyish arms, while the mule regained his foothold.

"Now look here, Frank, Diana rides either in your lap or mine!" said
Nucky shortly, his face twitching.

Frank raised his eyebrows at the boy's tone. "Set her down, Enoch! We'll all walk to the top. It's only a short distance, and the ice is getting pretty bad."

Nucky obediently set the little girl on her feet, and Diana tossed her curls and followed her father without a word. And Frank, as he led the procession, wore a puzzled grin on his genial face.

* * * * * *

Exactly ten days after Nucky's first trip down Bright Angel trail, John Seaton descended somewhat wearily from the Pullman that had landed him once more at the Canyon's rim. He had telegraphed the time of his arrival and Nucky ran up to meet him.

"Hello, Mr. Seaton!" he said.

Seaton's jaw dropped. "What on earth—?" Then he grinned.

Nucky was wearing high laced boots, a blue flannel shirt, gauntlet gloves and a huge sombrero.

"Some outfit, Enoch! Been down Bright Angel yet?"

"Three times," replied the boy, with elaborate carelessness. "Say, Mr.
Seaton, can't we stay one more day and you take the trip with us?"

"I think I can arrange it." Seaton was trying not to look at the boy too sharply. "I'll be as sore as a dog, for I haven't been in a saddle since I was out here before. But Bright Angel's worth it."

"Sore!" Nucky laughed. "Say, Mr. Seaton, I just don't try to sit down any more!"

They had reached the hotel desk now and as Seaton signed the register the clerk said, with a wink:

"If you'll leave young Huntingdon behind, we'll take him on as a guide,
Mr. Seaton."

Nucky tossed his head. "Huh! and you might get a worse guide than me, too. Frank says I got the real makings in me and I'll bet Frank knows more about guiding than any white in these parts. Navaho Mike told me so. And Navaho Mike says he knows I could make money out here even at fourteen."

"How, Enoch?" asked Seaton, as they followed the bell boy upstairs. He was not looking at Nucky, for fear he would show surprise. "How? at cards?"

"Aw, no! Placer mining! It don't cost much to outfit and there's millions going to waste in the Colorado! Millions! Frank and Mike say so. You skip, Billy,"—this to the bell boy,—"I'm Mr. Seaton's bell hop."

The boy pocketed the tip Nucky handed him, and closed the door after himself. Nucky opened Seaton's suitcase.

"Shall I unpack for you?" he asked.

"No, thanks, I shan't need anything but my toilet case, for I'm going to get into an outfit like yours, barring the hat and gloves."

"Ain't it a pippin!" giving the hat an admiring glance. "Frank gave it to me. He has two, and I rented the things for you, Mr. Seaton. Here they are," opening the closet door. "Shall I help you with 'em? Will you take a ride along the rim now? Shall I get the horses? Now? I'll be waiting for you at the main entrance with the best pony in the bunch."

He slammed out of the room. John Seaton scratched his head after he had shaken it several times, and made himself ready for his ride. Frank rapped on the door before he had finished and came in, smiling.

"Well, I understand you're to be taken riding!" he said.

"For the love of heaven, Frank, what have you done to the boy?"

"Me? Nothing! It was the Canyon. Let me tell you about that first trip." And he told rapidly but in detail, the story of Nucky's first two days in the Canyon.

Seaton listened with an absorbed interest. "Has he spoken of his mother to you since?" he asked, when Frank had finished.

"No, and he probably never will again. Do you think you can clear the matter up for him?"

"I'll certainly try! Do you like the boy, Frank?"

"Yes, I do. I think he's got the real makings in him. Better leave him out here with me, Seaton."

Seaton's face fell. "I—I hoped he'd want to stick by me. But the decision is up to the boy. If he wants to stay out here, I'll raise no objections."

"I'm sure it would be better for him," said Frank. "Gambling is a persistent disease. He's got years of struggle ahead of him, no matter where he goes."

"I know that, of course. Well, we'll take the trip down the trail to-morrow before we try to make any decisions. I must go along now. He's waiting for me."

"Better put cotton in one ear," suggested Allen, with a smile.

The ride was a long and pleasant one. John Seaton gave secondary heed to the shifting grandeur of the views, for he was engrossed by his endeavor to replace the sullen, unboyish Nucky he had known with this voluble, high strung and entirely adolescent person who bumped along the trail regardless of weariness or the hour.

The trip down Bright Angel the next day was an unqualified success.
They took old Funny Face and camped for the night. After supper, Frank
muttered an excuse and wandered off toward the mules, leaving Nucky and
Seaton by the fire.

"Frank thinks you ought to stay out here with him, Enoch," said Seaton.

"What did you say to him when he told you that?" asked Nucky eagerly.

"I said I hoped you'd go back to New York with me, but that the decision was up to you."

Nucky said nothing for the moment. Seaton watched the fire glow on the boy's strong face. When Nucky looked up at his friend, his eyes were embarrassed and a little miserable.

"Did Frank tell you about our talk down here?"

Seaton nodded.

"Do you know?" the boy's voice trembled with eagerness. "Was she my mother?"

"Foley thinks not. He says she spoke with an accent he thought was Italian. When I get back to New York I'll do what I can to clear the matter up for you. Queer, isn't it, that human beings crave to know even the worst about their breed."

"I got to know! I got to know! Mr. Seaton, I ran away from Luigi one time. I guess I was about eight. I wanted to live in the country. And I got as far as Central Park before they found me. He got the police on my trail right off. And when he had me back in Minetta Lane, first he licked me and then he told me how bad my mother was, and he said if folks knew it, they'd spit on me and throw me out of school, and that I was lower than any low dog. And he told me if I did exactly what he said he'd never let any one know, but if I didn't he'd go over and tell Miss Brannigan. She was a teacher I was awful fond of, and he'd tell the police, and he'd tell all the kids. And after that he was always telling me awful low things about my mother—"

Seaton interrupted firmly. "Not your mother. Call her Luigi's wife."

Nucky moistened his lips. "Luigi's wife. And it used to drive me crazy. And he told me all women was like that only some less and some worse. Mr. Seaton, is that true?"

"Enoch, it's a contemptible, unspeakable lie! The majority of women are pure and sweet as no man can hope to be. I'd like to kill Luigi, blast his soul!"

"Maybe you don't know!" persisted Nucky.

"I know! And what's more, when we get back to New York, I'll prove it to you. The world is full of clean, honest, kindly people, Enoch. I'll prove it to you, old man, if you'll give me the chance."

"But if she was my mother, how can I help being rotten?"

"Look here, Enoch, a fellow might have the rottenest mother and rottenest father on earth, but the Lord will start the fellow out with a clean slate, just the same. Folks aren't born bad. You can't inherit your parents' badness. You could inherit their weak wills, for instance, and if you live in Minetta Lane where there's only badness about you, your weak will wouldn't let you stand out against the badness. But you can't inherit evil. If that were possible, humanity would have degenerated to utter brutality long ago. And, Enoch, you haven't inherited even a weak will. You're as obstinate as old Funny Face!"

"Then you think—" faltered the boy.

"I don't think! I know that you come of fine, upstanding stock! And it's about time you moved out of Minetta Lane and gave your good blood a chance!"

Enoch's lips quivered, and he turned his head toward the fire. Seaton waited, patiently. After a while he said, "Enoch, the most important thing in a man's life is his philosophy. What do you think life is for? By what principles do you think a man ought to be guided? Do you think that the underlying purpose of life is dog eat dog, every man for himself, by whatever method? That's your gambler's philosophy. Or do you think we're put here to make life better than we found it? That was Abraham Lincoln's philosophy. Before you decide for the Grand Canyon or for New York, you ought to discover your philosophy. Do you see what I'm driving at?"

"Yes," said Nucky, "and I don't have to wait to discover it, for I've done that this week. I want to go into politics so I can clean out Minetta Lane."

Seaton looked at the lad keenly. "Good work, Nucky, old man!"

The boy spoke quickly. "Don't call me Nucky! I'm Enoch, from now on!"

"From now on, where?" asked Frank, strolling into the firelight.

"New York!" replied Enoch. "I'd rather stay here, but I got to go back."

"Mr. Seaton, have you been using bribery?" Frank was half laughing, half serious.

"Well, nothing as attractive as guiding on Bright Angel trail!" exclaimed John.

"And that's the only job I was ever offered I really wanted!" cried
Enoch ruefully.

The men both laughed, and suddenly the boy joined them, laughing long and a little hysterically. "O gee!" he said at last, "I feel as free and light as air! I got to take a run up and down the sand," and a moment later they heard his whistle above the endless rushing of the Colorado.

"Ideas are important things," said Seaton, thoughtfully. "Such a one as that beast Luigi has planted in Enoch's mind can warp his entire life. He evidently is of a morbidly sensitive temperament, proud to a fault, high strung and introspective. Until some one can prove to him that his mother was not a harlot, he'll never be entirely normal. And it's been my observation that one of the most fundamentally weakening things for a boy's character is his not being able to respect his father or mother. Luigi caught Enoch when his mind was like modeling clay."

"Do you think you can clear the matter up?" asked Frank.

"I'll try my utmost. It's going to be hard, for Foley's no fool, and he's done a lot of work on it with no results. If I don't settle the matter, Enoch is going to be hag-ridden by Minetta Lane all his life. I know of a chap who was lame for twenty years because when he was about ten, he had a series of extraordinarily vivid dreams portraying a curious accident that he was not able to distinguish from actual happenings. It was not until he was a man and had accidentally come in contact with a psychologist who analyzed the thing down to facts for him that he was cured. I could cite you a hundred cases like this where the crippling was mental as well as physical. And nothing but an absolute and tangible proof of the falsity of the idea will make a cure. Some day there are going to be doctors who will handle nothing but ideas."

"The boy's worth saving!" Frank lighted his pipe thoughtfully.
"There's a power of will there for good or evil that can't be ignored.
And I have faith in any one the Canyon gets a real grip on. It sure
has got this boy. I never saw a more marked case."

The lawyer nodded and both men sat smoking, their eyes on the distant rim.

BOOK II

THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

CHAPTER III

TWENTY-TWO YEARS LATER

"It sometimes seemed to me that the Colorado said as it rushed through the Canyon, 'Nothing matters! Nothing! Nothing!'"—Enoch's Diary.

One burning morning in July, Jonas, in a cool gray seersucker suit, his black face dripping with perspiration, was struggling with the electric fan in the private office of the Secretary of the Interior. The windows were wide open and the hideous uproar of street traffic filled the room. It was a huge, high-ceilinged apartment, with portraits of former Secretaries on the walls. The Secretary's desk, a large, polished conference table, and various leather chairs, with a handsome Oriental rug, completed the furnishings.

As Jonas struggled vainly with the fan, a door from the outer office opened and a young man appeared with the day's mail. Charley Abbott was nearing thirty but he looked like a college boy. He was big and broad and blonde, with freckles disporting themselves frankly on a nose that was still upturned. His eyes were set well apart and his lips were frank. He placed a great pile of opened letters on Enoch's desk.

"Better peg along, Jonas," he said. "The Secretary's due in a minute!"

Jonas gathered the fan to his breast and scuttled out the side door as
Enoch Huntingdon came in at the Secretary's private entrance.

The years had done much for Enoch. He stood six feet one in his socks. He was not heavy but still had something of the rangy look of his boyhood. He was big boned and broad chested. College athletics had developed his lungs and flattened his shoulder blades. His hair was copper-colored, vaguely touched with gray at the temples and very thick and unruly. His features were still rough hewn but time had hardened their immaturity to a rugged incisiveness. His cheek bones were high and his cheeks were slightly hollowed. His eyes were a burning, brilliant blue, deep set under overhanging brows. His mouth was large, thin lipped and exceedingly sensitive; the mouth of the speaker. He wore a white linen suit.

"Good morning, Mr. Abbott," he said, dropping his panama hat on a corner of the conference table.

"Good morning, Mr. Secretary! I hope you are rested after yesterday.
Seems to me that was as hard a day as we ever had."

Enoch dropped into his chair. "Was it really harder, Abbott, or was it this frightful weather?"

"Well, we didn't have more appointments than usual, but some of them were unusually trying. That woman who wanted to be reappointed to the Pension Office, for example."

Enoch nodded. "I'd rather see Satan come into this office than a woman. Try to head them off, Abbott, whenever you can."

"I always do, sir! Will you run through this correspondence, Mr.
Huntingdon, before I call in the Idaho contingent?"

Enoch began rapidly to read letters and to dictate terse replies. They were not more than a third of the way down the pile when a buzzer sounded. Enoch looked up inquiringly.

"I told Jonas to buzz for me at 9:20," explained young Abbott. "I don't dare keep the people in the waiting-room watching the clock longer than that. We'll fit this in at odd times, as usual. Remember, Mr. Secretary, you can't give these people more than fifteen minutes. Shall I come in and speak to you, at that time?"

"Perhaps you'd better," replied Enoch.

Abbott opened the door into the outer room. "Gentlemen, the Secretary
will receive you," he said. "Mr. Secretary, allow me to present Mr.
Reeves, Mr. Carleton, Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Dunkel, Mr. Street, Mr.
Swiftwater and Mr. Manges."

The men filing into the room bowed and mumbled. Enoch looked after Abbott's retreating back admiringly. "I've been hearing Abbott do that sort of thing for two years, but it never fails to rouse my admiration," he said.

"A wonderful memory!" commented one of the visitors.

"Abbott is going into politics later," Enoch went on. "A memory such as his will carry him far."

"Not as far as a silver tongue," suggested another man, with a twinkle in his eye.

"That remains to be seen," smiled Enoch. He had a very pleasant smile, showing even, white teeth. "Well, gentlemen, what can I do for you?"

"Mr. Secretary," said the spokesman of the delegation, "as you know, we represent the business men of the State of Idaho. There is a very bitter controversy going on in our State over your recent ruling on the matter of Water Power Control. We believe your ruling works an injustice on the business men of our state and as nothing came of correspondence, we thought we'd come along East and have a talk with you."

"I'm glad you did," said Enoch. "You see, my work is of such a nature that unless you people on the firing line keep in touch with me, I may go astray on the practical, human side. You are all States' Rights men, of course."

The delegation nodded.

"My ideas on Water Power are simple enough," said Enoch. "The time is approaching when oil, gas, and coal will not supply the power needed in America. We shall have to turn more and more to electricity produced by water power. There is enough water in the streams of this country to turn every wheel in every district. But it must be harnessed, and after it is harnessed it must be sold to the people at a just price. What I want to do is to produce all the available water power latent in our waterways. Then I want the poorest people in America to have access to it. There is enough power at a price possible even to the poorest."

"We all agree with you so far, Mr. Secretary," said the chair-man of the delegation.

"I thought you would!" Enoch's beautiful voice had a curious dignity for all its geniality. "Now my policy aims to embody the idea that the men who develop the water power of America shall not develop for themselves and their associates a water power monopoly."

"We fear that as much as you do, Mr. Secretary," said one of the delegates. "But let the state control that. We fear too much bureaucracy and centralization of authority here in Washington. And don't forget, if it came to a scratch, we could say to Uncle Sam, you own the stream, but you shan't use a street or a town facility reaching it."

Enoch raised his eyebrows. "Uncle Sam doesn't want more power. If the states had not been so careless and so corrupt in regard to their public lands and their waters, there would be no need now for the Department of the Interior to assert its authority. Show me, Mr. Delegate, that there are neither politics nor monopolistic dreams in Idaho's attitude toward her Water Power problem and I'd begin to de-centralize our policy toward your state."

Abbott opened the door and tip-toed to Enoch's desk. "I'm sorry, Mr. Secretary," he said softly, "but Senator Far has been waiting five minutes."

"I'm sorry too," replied Enoch. "Gentlemen, we have used up the time allotted. Will you make arrangements with Mr. Abbott for a longer conference, to-morrow? Come back with the proofs!" He smiled, and the gentlemen from Idaho smiled in return, but a little ruefully. The last one had not turned his back when Enoch began an attack on the pile of letters.

A ruddy-faced, much wrinkled man appeared in the door.

"Senator Far, Mr. Secretary," announced Abbott. Enoch rose and held out his hand. "Senator, you look warm. Oh, Abbott, tell Jonas to turn on the fan. What can I do for Arkansas, Senator?"

Jonas came in hurriedly. "Mr. Secretary, that fan's laid down on me. How come it to do it, I haven't found out yet. I tried to borrow one from a friend of mine, but—"

"Never mind, Jonas," said Enoch. "I don't expect you to be an electrician. Perhaps the power's still off in the building. I noticed there were no lights when I came in."

Jonas' eyes grew as big as saucers. "It sure takes brains to be a
Secretary," he muttered, as he turned to hurry from the room.

The two men grinned at each other. "What I wanted was an appointment for a friend of mine," said Senator Far. "He's done a lot for the party and I want to get him into the Reclamation Service."

"He's an engineer?" asked Enoch, lighting the cigar the Senator gave him.

"I don't think so. He's been playing politics ever since I knew him.
He has a good following in the state."

"Why the Reclamation Service then! By the eternal, Senator, can't you fellows leave one department clear of the spoils system? I'm here to tell you, I'm proud of the Service. It's made up of men with brains. They get their jobs on pure ability. And you fellows—"

"Oh, all right, Mr. Huntingdon!" interrupted Senator Far, rising, "I'm always glad to know where you stand! Good morning!"

He hurried from the room and Enoch sighed, looked out the window, then read a half dozen letters before Abbott announced the next caller, a man who wanted his pension increased and who had managed to reach the Secretary through a letter from the president of a great college. Then followed at five and ten minute intervals a man from Kansas who had ideas on the allotment of Indian lands; a Senator who wanted light on a bill the Secretary wished introduced; a man from Alaska who objected to the government's attitude on Alaskan coal mines; the chairman of a State Central Committee who wanted three appointments, and a well known engineer who had a grievance against the Patent Office. Followed these, an hour's conference with the Attorney General regarding the New Pension Bill, and at noon a conference with the head of the Reclamation Service on the matter of a new dam.

When this conference was over, Enoch once more attacked the correspondence pile which, during the morning, having been constantly fed by the indefatigable Abbott, was now of overwhelming proportions. It was nearly two o'clock when Jonas, having popped his head in and out of the door a half dozen times, evidently waiting for the Boss to look up, entered the room with a tray.

"Luncheon is served, sir," he said.

"Put it right here, Jonas." Enoch did not raise his head.

Jonas set the tray firmly on the conference table. "No, sir, Mr. Secretary, I ain't goin' to sit it there. You're going to git up and come over here and keep your mind on your food. How come you think you got iron insides?"

Enoch sighed. "All right, Jonas, I'm coming." He rose, stretched and moved over to the table. The man ceremoniously pulled out a chair for him, then lifted the towel from the tray and hung it over his arm. On the tray were a bottle of milk, a banana and some shredded wheat biscuit, with two cigars.

"Any time you want me to change your lunch, Mr. Secretary, you say so," said Jonas.

Enoch laughed. "Jonas, old man, how long have I been eating this fodder for lunch?"

"Ever since you was Secretary to the Mayor, boss!"

"And how many times do you suppose you've told me you were willing to change it, Jonas?"

"Every time, boss. How come you think I like to see a smart man like you living on baby food?"

Enoch grunted. "And how many times have I told you the only way for me to live through the banquets I have to attend is to keep to this sort of thing when I am alone?"

Jonas did not reply. Enoch's simple lunches never ceased to trouble him.

"Where do I go to-night, Jonas?"

"The British Ambassador's, Mr. Secretary."

Enoch finished his lunch rapidly and had just lighted the first of the cigars when Abbott appeared.

"There's a woman out here from the Sunday Times, Mr. Secretary. She wants to interview you on your ideas on marriage. She has a letter from Senator Brownlee or I wouldn't have disturbed you. She looks as if she could make trouble, if she wanted to."

"Tell her I'm sorry, but that I have no ideas about marriage and that Jonas is as near a wife as I care to get. He henpecks me enough, don't you, Jonas, old man! Abbott, just remember, once for all, I won't see the women."

"Very well," replied Abbott. "Will you dictate a few moments on your report to the President on the Pension controversy?"

"Yes!" Enoch pulled a handful of notes out of his pocket and began to dictate clearly and rapidly. For ten minutes his voice rose steadily above the raucous uproar that floated in at the window. Then the telephone rang. Abbott answered it.

"The White House, Mr. Secretary," he said. Enoch picked up the receiver. After a few moments' conversation he rose, his face eager.

"Abbott, the Mexican trouble appears to be coming to a crisis and the President has called a cabinet meeting. I doubt if I can get back here until after five. Will you express my regrets to the Argentine delegation and make a new appointment? Is there any one in the waiting-room?"

"Six people. I can get rid of them all except Alton of the Bureau of
Mines. I think you must see him."

"Send him in," said Enoch. "I'll ask him to ride as far as the White House with me. And I'll be back to finish the letters, Abbott. I dare not let them accumulate a single day."

Abbott nodded and hurried out. A tall, bronzed man, wiping the sweat from his bald head, came in just as Jonas announced, "The carriage, Mr. Secretary."

"Come along, Alton," said Enoch. "We'll talk your model coal mine as we go."

It was six o'clock when Enoch appeared again in his office. His linen suit was wrinkled and sweat stained between the shoulders. He tossed his hat on a chair.

"Abbott, will you telephone Señor Juan Cadiz and ask him to meet me at my house at ten thirty to-night? He is at the Willard. Tell Jonas to interrupt us promptly at seven, I mustn't be late to dinner. Now, for this mess."

Once more he began the attack on the day's mail, which Abbott had already reduced to its lowest dimensions. Enoch worked with a power of concentration and a quick decisiveness that were ably seconded by Charley Abbott. It was a quarter before seven when Enoch picked up the last letter. He read it through rapidly, then laid it down slowly, and stared out of the window for a long moment. Abbott gave his chief's face a quick glance, then softly shoved under his hand the pile of letters that were waiting signature. The letter that Enoch had just read was dated at the Grand Canyon.

"Dear Mr. Secretary," it ran, "it is twenty-two years since I took a red-headed New York boy down Bright Angel trail. You and I have never heard from each other since, but, naturally I have followed your career with interest. And now I'm going to ask a favor of you. My daughter Diana wants a job in the Indian Bureau and she's coming to Washington to see you. Don't give her a job! She doesn't have to work. I can take care of her. I'm an old man and selfish and I don't like to be deprived of my daughter for my few remaining years.

"With heart-felt congratulations on your great career,

"I am yours most respectfully,

"FRANK ALLEN."

Enoch drew a deep breath and took up his fountain pen. He signed with a rapid, illegible scrawl that toward the end of the pile became a mere hieroglyphic. Jonas put his black face in at the door just as he finished the last.

"Coming, Jonas!" said the Secretary. "By the way, Abbott, I'll answer that letter from Frank Allen the first thing in the morning. Good night, old man! Rather a lighter day than yesterday, eh?"

"Yes, indeed, Mr. Secretary!" agreed Abbott, as Enoch picked up his hat and went hastily out the door Jonas held open for him.

It was seven twenty when Enoch reached home. His house was small, with a lawn about the size of a saucer in front, and a back yard entirely monopolized by a tiny magnolia tree. Enoch rented the house furnished and it was full of the home atmosphere created by the former diplomat's wife from whom he leased it. Jonas was his steward and his valet. While other servants came and went, Jonas was there forever. He followed Enoch upstairs and turned on the bath water, then hurried to lay out evening clothes. During the entire process of dressing the two men did not exchange a word but Jonas heaved a sigh of satisfaction when at ten minutes before eight he opened the hall door. Enoch smiled, patted him on the shoulders and ran down the stairs.

A dinner at the British Ambassador's was always exceedingly formal as to food and service, exceedingly informal as to conversation. Enoch took in a woman novelist, a woman a little past middle age who was very small and very famous.

"Well," she said, as she pulled off her gloves, "I've been wanting to meet you for a long time."

"I'm not difficult to meet," returned Enoch, with a smile.

"As to that I've had no personal experience but three; several friends of mine have been trampled upon by your secretary. They all were women, of course."

"Why, of course?" demanded Enoch.

"One of the qualities that is said to make you so attractive to my sex is that you are a woman hater. Now just why do you hate us?"

"I don't hate women." Enoch spoke with simple sincerity. "I'm afraid of them."

"Why?"

"I don't think I really know. Do you like men?"

"Yes, I do," replied Mrs. Rotherick promptly.

"Why?" asked Enoch.

"They aren't such cats as women," she chuckled. "Perhaps cat fear is your trouble! What are you going to do about Mexico, Mr. Huntingdon?"

Enoch smiled. "I told the President at great length, this afternoon, what I thought we ought to do. He gave no evidence, however, that he was going to take my advice, or any one else's for that matter."

"Of course, I'm not trying to pick your confidence. Mr. Secretary!"
Mrs. Rotherick spoke quickly. "You know, I've lived for years in
Germany. I say to you, beware of Germany in Mexico, Mr. Huntingdon."

"What kind of people did you know in Germany?" asked Enoch.

"Many kinds! But my most intimate friend was an American woman who was married to a German General, high in the confidence of the Kaiser. I know the Kaiserin well. I know that certain German diplomats are deeply versed in Mexican lore—its geography, its geology, its people. I know that Germany must have more land or burst. Mr. Secretary, remember what I say, Germany is deeply interested in Mexico and she is the cleverest nation in the world to-day."

"What nation is that, Mrs. Rotherick?" asked the Ambassador.

"Germany!" replied the little woman.

"Possibly you look at Germany through the eyes of a fiction writer," suggested the Englishman.

"It's impossible to fictionize Germany," laughed Mrs. Rotherick. "One could much more easily write a rhapsody on—"

"On the Secretary of the Interior," interrupted the Ambassador.

"Or on the Bank of England," laughed Mrs. Rotherick. "Very well, gentlemen! I hope you never will have cause to remember my warning!"

It was just as the ladies were leaving the table that Enoch said to Mrs. Rotherick: "Will you be so kind as to write me a letter telling me of your suspicions of Germany in Mexico? I shall treat it as confidential."

Mrs. Rotherick nodded, and he did not see her again that evening. Just before Enoch departed for his engagement with Señor Cadiz, the Ambassador buttonholed him.

"Look here, Huntingdon," he said, "that little Mrs. Rotherick knows a thing or two. She's better informed on international relations than many chaps in the diplomatic service. If I were you I'd pump her."

"Thanks, Mr. Johns-Eaton," replied Enoch. "Look here, just how much of a row are you fellows going to make about those mines in the Alaskan border country? Why shouldn't Canada take that trouble on?"

"Just how much trouble are you going to make about the seal misunderstanding?" demanded Johns-Eaton.

"Well," replied Enoch, with a wide smile, "I have a new gelding I'd like to try out, to-morrow morning. If you'll join me at seven-thirty on that rack of bones you call a bay mare, I'll tell you all I know."

"You will, like thunder!" laughed Johns-Eaton. "But I'll be there and jolly well give you the opportunity!"

Señor Juan Cadiz was prompt and so was Enoch. For a long hour the two sat in the breathless heat of the July night while the Mexican answered Enoch's terse questions with a flow of dramatic speech, accentuated by wild gestures. Shortly after eleven-thirty Jonas appeared in the doorway with two tinkling glasses.

"You are sure as to your facts about this bandit leader?" asked Enoch in a low voice.

"Of an absolute sureness. If I—"

The Secretary interrupted. "Could you go to Mexico for me, in entire secrecy?"

"Yes! Yes! Yes! If you could but see him and he you! If he could but know an American of your type, your fairness, your kindness, your justice! We have been taught to despise and hate Americans, you must know."

"Who has taught you?"

"Sometimes, I think partly by the Germans who have come among the people. But why should Germany do so?"

"Why indeed?" returned Enoch, and the two men stared at each other, deep intelligence in the gaze of each. Jonas tinkled the glasses again and Señor Cadiz jumped to his feet.

"I know, Señor Jonas!" he laughed. "That is the good night cap, eh!"

Jonas grinned acquiescence, and five minutes later he turned off the lights in the library. Enoch climbed the stairs, somewhat wearily. His room was stifling despite the wide-flung windows and the electric fan. He slowly and thoughtfully got himself into his pajamas, lighted a cigarette, and walked over to the table that stood in the bay window. He unlocked the table drawer and took out a large blank book of loose leafed variety, opened it, and seating himself he picked up his pen and began to write.

"July 17.—Rather an easier day than usual, Lucy, which was fortunate, for the heat has been almost unbearable and at the end of the office day came that which stirred old memories almost intolerably. A letter from Frank Allen! You remember him, Lucy? I told you about him, when I first began my diary. Well, he has written that his daughter, Diana, is coming to Washington to ask me for a job which he does not wish me to give her. I cannot see her! Only you know the pain that such a meeting could give me! It would be like going to Bright Angel again. And while the thought of going back to the Grand Canyon has intrigued me for twenty-two years, I must go in my own way and in my own time. And I am not ready yet. I had forgotten, by the way, that Frank had a daughter. There was, now that I think of it, a little thing of five or six who went down Bright Angel with us. I have only the vaguest recollection of what she looked like.

"Minetta Lane and the Grand Canyon! What a hideous, what a grotesque coupling of names! I have never seen the one of them since I was fourteen and the other but once, yet these two have absolutely made my life. Don't scold me, Lucy! I know you have begged me never to mention Minetta Lane again. But to you, I must. Do you know what I thought to-night after I left the British Ambassador? I thought that I'd like to be in Luigi's second floor again, with a deck of cards and the old gang. The old gang! They've all except Luigi been in Sing-Sing or dead, these many years. Yet the desire was so strong that only the thought of you and your dear, faithful eyes kept me from charging like a wild elephant into a Pullman office and getting a berth to New York."

Enoch dropped his pen and stared long at the only picture in his room, a beautiful Moran painting of Bright Angel trail. Finally, he rose and turned off the light. When Jonas listened at the door at half after midnight, the sound of Enoch's steady, regular breathing sent that faithful soul complacently to bed.

CHAPTER IV

DIANA ALLEN

"If only someone had taught me ethics as Christ taught them, while I was still a little boy, I would be a finer citizen, now."—Enoch's Diary.

It rained the next day and the Secretary of the Interior and the British Ambassador did not attempt the proposed ride. Enoch did his usual half hour's work with the punching bag and reached his office punctual to the minute, with his wonted air of lack of haste and general physical fitness. Before he even glanced at his morning's mail, he dictated a letter to Frank Allen.

"Dear Frank: Your letter roused a host of memories. Some day I shall come to Bright Angel again and you and I will camp once more in the bottom of the Canyon. Whatever success I have had in after life is due to you and John Seaton. I wonder if you know that he has been dead for twenty years and that his devoted wife survived him only by a year?

"I will do my best to carry out your request in regard to your daughter.

"Cordially and gratefully yours,

"ENOCH HUNTINGDON."

After he had finished dictating this, the Secretary stared out of the window thoughtfully. Then he said, "Let me have that at once, Mr. Abbott. Who is waiting this morning?"

"Mr. Reeves of Idaho. I made an appointment yesterday for the delegation to meet you at nine-fifteen. Reeves has turned up alone. He says the committee decided it would get further if you saw him alone."

"Reeves was the short, stout man with small eyes set close together!"

"Yes, Mr. Secretary."

Enoch grunted. "Any one else there you want to tell me about before the procession begins?"

"Do you recall the man Armstrong who was here six months ago with ideas on the functions of the Bureau of Education? I didn't let him see you, but I sent you a memorandum of the matter. He is back to-day and I've promised him ten minutes. I think he's the kind of a man you want in the Bureau. He doesn't want a job, by the way."

"I'll see him," said Enoch. "It you can, let us have fifteen minutes."

Abbott sighed. "It's impossible, Mr. Secretary. I'll bring Reeves in now."

The delegate from Idaho shook hands effusively.

"The rain is a great relief, Mr. Secretary."

"Yes, it is. Washington is difficult to endure, in the summer, isn't it? Well, did you bring in the proofs, Mr. Reeves?" Enoch seated himself and his caller sank into the neighboring chair.

"Mr. Secretary," he began, with a smile, "has it ever occurred to you that we have been stupid in the number and kind of Bureaus we have accumulated in Department of the Interior?"

"Yes," replied Enoch. "I suppose you are thinking of Patents,
Pensions, Parks, Geological Survey, Land, Indians and Education. Do
you know that beside these we have, American Antiquities, the
Superintendent of Capitol Buildings, the Government Hospital for the
Insane, Freedman's Hospital, Howard University, and the Columbia
Institution for the Deaf and Dumb?"

Reeves laughed.

"No, I didn't. But it only goes to prove what I say. It's impossible for the Secretary of the Interior to find time to understand local conditions. Why not let the states manage the water and land problems?"

"It would be illegal," replied Enoch briefly.

"Oh, illegal! You're too good a lawyer, Mr. Secretary, to let that thought hamper your acts!"

"On the contrary," returned Enoch, succinctly, "I was a poor lawyer. In some ways of course it is impossible for me to understand local conditions in Idaho. I am told, though, that your present state administration is corrupt as Tammany understands corruption."

Reeves cleared his throat and would have spoken, but Enoch pushed on.

"I have found, as the head of this complex Department that I must limit myself as much as possible to formulating simple, basic policies and putting these policies into the hands of men who will carry them out. In general, my most important work is to administer the public domain. That is, I must discover how best the natural resources that the Federal Government still controls can be put into public service and public service that is the highest and best. I believe that the water, the land, the mines, ought to be given to the use of the average citizen. I do not think that a corrupt politician nor a favor-seeking business man has the best good of the plain citizen at heart."

"That is very interesting from the dreamer's point of view," said Reeves. "But a government to be successful must be practical. Who's going to develop the water power in our Idaho streams?"

"The people of Idaho, if they show a desire to make a fair interest on their investment. The government of the United States, if the people of Idaho fail to show the proper spirit."

"And who is to be the judge in the matter?" demanded Reeves.

"The Secretary of the Interior will be the judge. And he is not one whit interested in you and your friends growing wealthy. He is interested in Bill Jones getting electricity up on that lonely ranch of his. Never forget, Mr. Reeves, that the ultimate foundations of this nation rest on the wise distribution of its natural resources. The average citizen, Mr. Reeves, must have reason to view the future with hope. If he does not, the nation cannot endure."

"And why do you consider yourself competent to deal with these problems?" asked the caller, with a half-concealed sneer.

"Any man with education and horse sense can handle them, provided that his philosophy is sound. You have come to Washington with the idea, Mr. Reeves, of getting at me, of tempting me with some sort of share in the wealth you see in your streams. Other men have come to the Capitol with the same purpose. I have my temptations, Mr. Reeves, but they do not lie in the desire to graft. I think there are jobs more interesting in life than the job of getting rich. All the grafting in the world couldn't touch in interest the job of directing America's inland destiny. And I have a foolish notion that a man owes his country public service, that he owes it for no reward beyond a living and for no other reason than that he is a man with a brain."

Reeves, whose face had grown redder and redder, half rose from his chair.

"One moment," said Enoch. "Have you a sound, fair, policy for Idaho water power, that will help Bill Jones in the same proportion that it helps you?"

"I had no policy. I came down here to get yours. I've got it all right, and I'm going back and tell my folks they'd better give up any idea of water power during the present administration."

"I wouldn't tell them that," said Enoch, "because it wouldn't be true. I am considering a most interesting proposition from Idaho farmers. I thought perhaps you had something better."

Reeves jumped to his feet. "I'll not be made a monkey of any longer!" he shouted. "But I'll get you for this yet," and he rushed from the office.

Enoch shrugged his shoulders as he turned to the inevitable pile of letters. Abbott came in with a broad smile.

"Mr. Secretary, Miss Diana Allen is in the outer office."

Enoch scowled. "Have I got to see her?"

"Well, she's mighty easy to look at, Mr. Secretary! And more than that, she announces that if you're engaged, she'll wait, a day, a week, or a month."

Enoch groaned. "Show her in, Abbott, and be ready to show her out in five minutes."

Abbott showed her in. She entered the room slowly, a tall woman in a brown silk suit. Everything about her it seemed to Enoch at first was brown, except her eyes. Even her skin was a rich, even cream tint. But her eyes were hazel, the largest, frankest, most intelligent eyes Enoch ever had seen in a woman's head. And with the eyes went an expression of extraordinary sweetness, a sweetness to which every feature contributed, the rather short, straight nose, the full, sensitive lips, with deep, upturned corners, the round chin.

True beauty in a woman is something far deeper, far less tangible than mere perfection of feature. One grows unutterably weary of the Venus de Milo type of face, with its expressionless perfection. And yet, so careless is nature that not twice in a lifetime does one see a woman's face in which are combined fineness of intelligence and of character, and beauty of feature. But Diana was the thrice fortunate possessor of this combination. She was so lovely that one's heart ached while it exulted in looking at her. For it seemed a tragic thing that beauty so deep and so rare should embody itself in a form so ephemeral as the human body.

She was very slender. She was very erect. Her small head with the masses of light brown hair shining beneath the simple hat, was held proudly. Yet there was a matchless simplicity and lack of self-consciousness about Diana that impressed even the careless observer: if there was a careless observer of Diana!

Enoch stood beside his desk in his usual dignified calm. His keen eyes swept Diana from head to foot.

"You are kind to see me so quickly, Mr. Secretary," said Diana, holding out her hand.

Enoch smiled, but only slightly. It seemed to Diana that she never had seen so young a man with so stern a face.

"You must have arrived on the same train with your father's note, Miss
Allen. Is this your first trip east?"

"Yes, Mr. Huntingdon," replied Diana, sinking into the chair opposite Enoch's. "If he had had his way, bless his heart, I wouldn't have had even a first trip. Isn't it strange that he should have such an antipathy to New York and Washington!"

The Secretary looked at the girl thoughtfully. "As I recall your father, he usually had a good reason for whatever he felt or did. You're planning to stay in Washington, are you, Miss Allen?"

"If I can get work in the Indian Bureau!" replied Diana.

"Why the Indian Bureau?" asked Enoch.

"I'm a photographer of Indians," answered Diana simply. "I've been engaged for years in trying to make a lasting pictorial record of the Indians and their ways. I've reached the limit of what I can do without access to records and books and I can't afford a year of study in Washington unless I work. That's why I want work in the Indian Bureau. Killing two birds with one stone, Mr. Secretary."

Enoch did not shift his thoughtful gaze from the sweet face opposite his for a long moment after she had ceased to speak. Then he pressed the desk button and Abbott appeared. He glanced at his chief, then his eyes fastened themselves on Diana's profile.

"Mr. Abbott, will you ask the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to come in? I believe he is with the Assistant Secretary this morning."

Charley nodded and disappeared.

"I brought a little portfolio of some of my prints," Diana spoke hesitatingly. "I left them in the other room. Mr. Abbott thought you might like to see them, but perhaps—you seem so very busy and I think there must be at least a thousand people waiting to see you!"

"There always are," said Enoch, without a smile as he pressed another button. Jonas' black head appeared. "Bring in the portfolio Miss Allen left in the other room, please, Jonas!"

"Yes, Mr. Secretary," replied Jonas, withdrawing his eyes slowly from
Diana's eager face.

The portfolio and the Indian Commissioner arrived together. After the introduction had been made, Enoch said:

"Watkins, do you know anything about Indians?"

"Very little, Mr. Secretary," with a smile.

"Would you be interested in looking at some photographs of Indian life?"

"Made by this young lady?" asked Watkins, looking with unconcealed interest at Diana.

"Yes," said Enoch.

"And shown and explained by her?" asked the Indian Commissioner, a twinkle in his brown eyes.

Diana laughed, and so did Abbott. Enoch's even white teeth flashed for a moment.

"I wish I had time to join you," he said. "What I want to suggest, Mr. Watkins, is that you see if Miss Allen will qualify to take care of some of the research work you received an appropriation for the other day. You were speaking to Abbott, I think, of the difficulty of finding people with authentic knowledge of the Indians."

The Indian Commissioner nodded and tucked Diana's portfolio under his arm. "Come along, Miss Allen!"

Diana rose. "If we don't leave now, I have an idea we will be asked to do so," she said, the corners of her mouth deepening suddenly. "What happens if one doesn't leave when requested?"

"One is cast in a dungeon, deep under the Capitol building," replied
Enoch, holding out his hand.

Diana laughed. "Thank you for seeing me and helping me, Mr. Huntingdon," she said, and a moment later Jonas closed the door behind her and the Commissioner.

"How come that young lady to stay so long, Mr. Abbott?" Jonas asked Charley in a low voice, as he helped the young man bring in a huge pile of Reclamation reports.

"Did you get a good look at her, Jonas?" demanded Abbott in the same tone.

"Yes," replied Jonas.

"Then why ask foolish questions?"

"The boss don't like 'em, no matter what they look like."

"Every man has his breaking point, Jonas," smiled Charley.

Enoch turned from the window where he had been standing for a moment in unprecedented idleness.

"I think you'd better let me have ten or fifteen minutes on that report to the President, Abbott."

"I will, Mr. Secretary. By the way, here is the data you asked me to get for your speech at the Willard to-night."

Enoch nodded, pocketed the notes and began to dictate. The day went on as usual, but it seemed to Jonas, when he helped the Secretary to dress for dinner that night that he was unusually weary.

"How come you to be so tired to-night, boss?" he asked finally.

"I don't know, old man! Jonas, how long since I've had a vacation?"

"Seven years, boss."

"Sometimes I think I need one, Jonas."

"Need one! Boss, they work you to death! They all say so. Your own work's enough to kill three men. And now they do say the President is calling on you for all the hard jobs he don't dare trust nobody else to do. How come he don't do 'em hisself?"

"Oh, I'm not doing more than my share, Jonas! But you and I'll have to have a vacation one of these days, sure. Maybe we'll go to Japan. I'll be home early, if I can make it, Jonas."

Jonas nodded, and looked out the window. "Carriage's here, sir," and Enoch ran quickly down the stairs. It was only eleven o'clock when he reached home. The rain had ceased at sundown and the night was humid and depressing. When Enoch was once more in his pajamas, he unlocked the desk drawer and, taking out the journal, he turned to the first page and began to read with absorbed interest.

"May 12.—This is my eighteenth birthday. I've had a long ride on the top of the bus, thinking about Mr. Seaton. He was a fine chap. He gave me a long lecture once on women. He said a guy must have a few clean, straight women friends to keep normal. Of course he was right, but I couldn't tell him or anybody else how it is with me. He said that if you can share your worries with your friends they're finished. And he was right again. But they're some things a guy can't share. I did it once, back there in the Canyon, and I'll always be glad I did. But I was just a kid then. The hunch that pulled me up straight then wouldn't work now. They never did prove she was not my mother. They never found out a thing about me, except what Luigi and the neighbors had to tell. She was my mother, all right. And I don't feel as if I ever can believe in any of them. I don't want to. All I want of women is for them to let me alone and I'll let them alone. But a few weeks ago I had a fine idea—to invent a girl of my own! I got the idea in English Literature class, from a poem of Wordsworth's.

  "Three years she grew in sun and shower;
  Then nature said, A lovelier flower
  On earth was never sown;
  This child I to myself will take,
  She shall be mine and I will make
  A lady of my own."

"I've invented her and I'm going to keep a journal to her and I'll tell her all the things I'd tell my mother, if she'd been decent, and to my sweetheart, if I could believe in them. I don't know just how old she is. Somewhere in her twenties, I guess. She's tall and slim and she has a creamy kind of skin. Her hair is light brown, almost gold. It's very thick. She has it in braids wound all round her head. Her eyes are hazel and she has a sweet mouth and she is very beautiful. And she is good, and tender, and she understands everything about me. She knows just how bad I've been and the fight I'm putting up to keep straight. And every night before I go to bed, I'll tell her what my day has been. I'll begin to-night by telling her about myself.

"I don't know where I was born, Lucy, or who my father was. My mother was the mistress of an Italian called Luigi Giuseppi. She died a rotten death, leaving me at six to Luigi. He treated me badly but he needed me in his gambling business, and he kept me by telling me how bad my mother was and threatening to tell other people. From the time I was eight till I was fourteen, I don't suppose a day passed without his telling me of the rot I had inherited from my mother. I began gambling for him when I was about ten.

"When I was fourteen I was arrested in a gambling raid and paroled in the care of John Seaton, a lawyer. He took me to the Grand Canyon. He and Frank Allen, a guide, suggested to me the idea that Luigi's mistress was not my mother. Such an idea never had occurred to me before. They first gave it to me in the bottom of the Canyon.

"I can't put into writing what that suggestion, coupled with my first view of the Canyon meant to me. But it was as if I had met God face to face and He had taken pity on a dirty little street mucker and He had lifted me in His great hands and had told me to try to be good and He would help me. I never had believed in God before. And I came back from that trip resolved to put up a fight.

"Mr. Seaton began the search for my folks right off, but he didn't find anything before he died, which was only a year later. But I made him a solemn promise I'd go through college and study law and I'm going to do it. He was not a rich man but he left me enough money to see me through college. In one more year I'll finish the High School. I still play cards once in a while in a joint on Sixth Avenue. I know it's wrong and I'm trying hard to quit. But sometimes I just can't help it, especially when I'm worried.

"Luigi will be in the pen another seven years. When he comes out I am going to beat him up till he tells me about my mother and father. Though perhaps he's been telling the truth!"

"May 13.—Lucy, I made a speech in third year rhetoric to-day and the teacher kept me after class. He said he'd been watching me for some time and he wanted to tell me he thought I'd make a great orator, some day. He's going to give me special training out of school hours, for nothing. I'm darned lucky. If a guy's going into politics, oratory's the biggest help. But to be famous as a speaker isn't why I'm going into politics. I'm going to clean Minetta Lane up. I'm going to try to fix it in New York so's a fellow couldn't have a mother and a stepfather like mine. You know what I mean, don't you? Darn it, a kid suffers so! You know that joint on Sixth Avenue where I go and play cards once in a while? Well, it was raided to-day. I wonder what Mr. Seaton would have said if he'd been alive and I'd been there and got pinched again!

"I'm going to throw no bluffs with you, Lucy. Gambling's in my blood. Luigi used to say I came by my skill straight. And I get the same kind of craving for it that a dope fiend does for dope. I don't care to tell anybody about it, or they'd send me to an insane asylum. When I first came from the Canyon and moved out of Minetta Lane, I swore I'd never put foot in it again until I went in to clean it up. And I haven't and I won't. But for the first year my nails were bitten to the quick. If my mother—but what's the use of that! Mr. Seaton said every man has to have a woman to whom he opens up the deep within him. I have you and you know you've promised to help me."

"June 1.—Lucy, I've got a job tutoring for the summer. The rhetoric teacher got it for me. It's the son of an Episcopal vicar. He is a boy of twelve and they want him taught English and declamation. Lord! If they knew all about me! But the kid is safe in my hands. I know how kids of twelve feel. At least, the Minetta Lane variety. So I'll be at the sea shore all summer. Going some, for Minetta Lane, eh?

"Lucy, I made fifty dollars last night at poker from a Senior in the
Student's Club. This morning I made him take it back."

Enoch closed the book and leaned back in his chair as Jonas appeared at the door with a pitcher of ice water.

"How come you don't try to get a little rest, boss?" asked Jonas, glancing disapprovingly at the black book.

"I am resting, old man! Don't bother your good old head about me, but tumble off to sleep yourself!"

"I don't never sleep before you do. I ain't for thirteen years, and I don't calculate to begin now." Jonas turned the bed covers back and marched out of the room.

Enoch smiled and, opening the book again, he turned the pages slowly till another entry struck his eye.

"February 6.—If I could only see you, touch you, cling to your tender hand to-night, Lucy! You know that I was chosen to represent Columbia in the dedication of the Lincoln statue. It was to have taken place next Wednesday. But the British Ambassador, who was to be the chief Mogul there, was called home to England for some reason or other and they shoved the dedication forward to to-day, so as to catch him before he sailed. And some of the speakers weren't prepared, so it came about that I, an unknown Columbia senior, had to give the chief speech of the day. Not that anybody, let alone myself, realized that it was going to be the chief speech. It just turned out that way. Lucy dear, they went crazy over it! And all the papers to-night gave it in full. It was only a thousand words. Why in the name of all the fiends in Hades do you suppose nothing relieves me in moments of great mental stress but gambling? You notice, don't you, that I talk to you of Minetta Lane only when something tremendous, either good or bad, has happened to me? Other men with the same weakness, you say, turn to drink. I suppose so, poor devils. Oh, Lucy, I wish I were in the Grand Canyon to-night! I wish you and I were together in Frank's camp at the foot of Bright Angel. It is sunset and the Canyon is full of unspeakable wonder. Even the thought of it rests me and makes me strong. . . . Those stars mean that I've torn into a million pieces a hundred-dollar bill I won in Sixth Avenue to-night."

Enoch turned many pages and then paused.

"March 28.—There is a chance, Lucy, that I may be appointed secretary to the reform Mayor of New York. I would be very glad to give up the practice of law. Beyond my gift for pleading and a retentive memory, I have no real talents for a successful legal career. You look at me with those thoughtful, tender gray eyes of yours. Ah, Lucy, you are so much wiser than I, wise with the brooding, mystical wisdom of the Canyon in the starlight. You have intimated to me several times that law was not my end. You are right, as usual. Law has its face forever turned backward. It is searching always for precedent rather than justice. A man who is going into politics should be ever facing the future. He should use the past only in helping him to avoid mistakes in going forward. And, perhaps I am wrong. I am willing to admit that my unfortunate boyhood may have made me over inclined to brood, but it seems to me very difficult to stick to the law, make money, and be morally honest, in the best sense. If I clear Bill Jones, who is, as I know, ethically as guilty as Satan, though legally within his rights, can I face you as a man who is steel true and blade straight? I hope I get that appointment! I was tired to-night, Lucy, but this little talk with you has rested me, as usual."

"March 29.—I have the appointment, Lucy. This is the beginning of my political career—the beginning of the end of Minetta Lane. You have a heavy task before you, dear, to keep me, eyes to the goal, running the race like a thoroughbred. Some day, Lucy, we'll go back to the Canyon, chins up, work done, gentlemen unafraid!"

Enoch turned more pages, covering a year or so of the diary.

"March 30.—I've been in the City Hall two years today. Lucy, the only chance on earth I'll ever have to clean out the rookeries of New York would be to be a Tammany Police Commissioner. And Tammany would certainly send its best gunman after a Police Commissioner who didn't dote on rookeries. Lucy, can't city governments be clean? Is human nature normally and habitually corrupt when it comes to governing a city? The Mayor and all his appointees are simply wading through the vast quagmire of the common citizen's indifference, fought every step by the vile creatures who batten on the administration of the city's affairs. Do you suppose that if the schools laid tremendous stress on clean citizenship and began in the kindergarten to teach children how to govern in the most practical way, it would help? I believe it would. I'm going to tuck that thought in the back of my head and some day I may have opportunity to use it. I wish I could do something for the poor boys of New York. I wish the Grand Canyon were over in Jersey!"

"Sept. 4.—I am unfit to speak to you, but oh, I need you as I never did before. Don't turn those kind, clear-seeing eyes away from me, Lucy! Lucy! It happened this way. I wanted, if possible to make our Police Commissioner see Minetta Lane through my eyes. And I took him down there, three days ago. It's unchanged, in all these years, except for the worse. And Luigi was dragging a sack of rags into his basement. He was gray and bent but it was Luigi. And he recognized me and yelled 'Bastard!' after me. Lucy, I went back and beat him, till the Commissioner hauled me off. And the dirty, spluttering little devil roared my story to all that greedy, listening crowd! I slipped away, Lucy, and I hid myself in a place I know in Chinatown. No! No! I don't drink and I don't hit the pipe. I gamble. My luck is unbelievable. And when the fit is on me, I'd gamble my very soul away. Jonas found me. Jonas is a colored porter in the City Hall who has rather adopted me. And Jonas said, 'Boss, how come you to do a stunt like this? The Police Commissioner say to the Mayor and I hear 'em, an Italian black hander take you for somebody else and he have him run in. I tell 'em you gone down to Atlantic City. You come home with me, Boss.' He put his kind black hand on my shoulder, and Lucy, his eyes were full of tears. I left my winnings with the Chinaman, and came back here with Jonas. Lucy! Oh, if I could really hear your voice!"

"Sept. 5.—I had a long talk with the Police Commissioner to-day. I can trust him the way I used to trust Mr. Seaton, Lucy. I told him the truth about Luigi and me and he promised to do what he could to ferret out the truth about my people. If I could only know that my father was half-way decent, no matter what my mother was, it would make an enormous difference to me."

Enoch turned another year of pages.

"Oct. 12.—Lucy, the Police Commissioner says he has to believe that Luigi's mistress was my mother. He advises me to close that part of my life for good and all and give myself to politics. Easy advice! But I am going to play the game straight in spite of Minetta Lane."

Enoch paused long over this entry, then turned on again.

"Nov. 6.—Well, my dear, shake hands with Congressman Huntingdon. Yes, ma'am! It's true! Aren't you proud of me? And, Lucy, listen! Don't have any illusions on how I got there. It wasn't brains. It wasn't that the people wanted me to put over any particular idea or ideal for them. I simply so intrigued them with flights of oratory that they decided I was a natural born congressman! Well, bless 'em for doing it, anyhow, and I'll play the game for them. If I ever had had a father I'd like to talk politics with him. He must have had some decency in him, or I'd have been all bad, like my mother. Or maybe I'm a throw-back from two degenerate parents. Well, we'll end the breed with me.

"Lucy, it would have been romantic if I could have cleaned out Minetta Lane and other New York rookeries. But it would have been about like satisfying one's self with washing a boy's face when his body was a mass of running sores. We've got to cure the sores and in order to do that we've got to find the cause. No one thing is going to prove a panacea. I wonder if it's possible to teach children so thoroughly that each one owes a certain amount of altruistic, clean service to his local and his federal government that an honest, responsible citizenry would result?"

Enoch drank of the ice water and continued to turn the close-written pages.

"April 12.—I don't boast much about my career as a Congressman. I've been straight and I've gabbed a good deal. That about sums up my history. If I go back as Police Commissioner, I shall feel much more useful.

"Lucy, love is a very important thing in a man's life. Sometimes, I think that the less he has of it, the more important it becomes. I had thought that as I grew older my career would more and more fill my life, that youth and passion were synonymous and that with maturity would come calm and surcease. This is not the truth. The older I grow the more difficult it becomes for me to feel that work can fully satisfy a man. Nor will merely caring for a woman be sufficient. A man must care for a woman whom he knows to be fine, who can meet his mental needs, or love becomes merely physical and never satisfies him. Well, I must not whimper. I have talent and tremendous opportunities, many friends and splendid health. And I have you. And each year you become a more intrinsic part of my life. How patient you have been with me all these years! I've been wondering, lately, if you haven't rather a marked sense of humor. It seems to me that nothing else could make you so patient, so tender and so keen! I'm sure I'm an object of mirth to Jonas at times, so I must be to you. All right! Laugh away! I laugh at myself!

"Lucy, it has been over eighteen months since I touched a card."

Jonas put his head in at the door, but Enoch turned on to the middle of the book.

"Dec. 1.—They won't let me keep it up long, Lucy, but Lord, Lord, hasn't the going been good, my dear, while it lasted! I've twisted Tammany's tail till its head's dropped off! I've 'got long poles and poked out the nests and blocked up the holes. I shall consult with the carpenters and builders and leave in our town not even a trace of the rats.' I've routed out hereditary grafters and looters. I've run down wealthy gunmen and I've turned men's fame to a notoriety that carried a stench. But they'll get me, Lucy! They'll either kill me or send me back to Congress."

Enoch turned more pages.

"Nov. 1.—Congress again, eh, Lucy? And you care for Washington as little as I! Dear, this has been a hard day. I've been saying good-by to the force! By the eternal, but they are men! And now all that wonderful machine, built up, really, by the men themselves, must fall apart! What a waste of human energy! Yet, I've come to the conclusion that the man who devotes himself to public service loses much of his usefulness if he allows himself to grow pessimistic about human nature. If there were not more good than bad in the world, we'd still be monkeys! I have ceased to search for some great single ideal for which I can fight. Whatever abilities I have in me I shall devote to helping to administer government cleanly. After all, we gave New York a great object lesson in the possibilities of cleaning out Tammany's pest house. Perhaps somebody's great-grandchild, inspired by the history of my attempt will try again and be successful for a longer period. And oh, woman! It was a gorgeous fight!

"Jonas is delighted that we are returning to Washington. He says we are to keep house. I am a great responsibility to Jonas. He is very firm with me, but I think he's as fond of me as I am of him.

"Lucy, how am I to go on, year after year like this, with only my dream of you? How am I to do my work like a man, with only half a man's life to live? What can all the admiring plaudits mean to me when I know that you are only a dream, only a dream?"

Enoch sat forward in his chair, laid the book on the desk, opened to the last entry and seized his pen.

"So your name is not Lucy, but Diana! Oh, my dearest, and you did not recognize me at all, while my very heart was paralyzed with emotion! You must have been a very lovely little girl that the memory of you should have been so impressed on my subconsciousness. Oh, how beautiful you are! How beautiful! And to think that I must never let you know what you are to me. Never! Never! The strain stops with me."

He dropped his pen abruptly and, turning off the light, flung himself down on his bed. Jonas, listening long at the door, waited for the full, even breathing that would mark the end of his day's work. But it did not come, and dawn struggling through the hall window found Jonas sitting on the floor beside the half-opened door, his black head drooping on his breast, but his eyes open.

Enoch reached his office on the stroke of nine, as usual. His face was a little haggard and set but he came in briskly and spoke cheerfully to Charley Abbott.

"A little hotter than ever, eh, Abbott? I think you're looking dragged, my boy. When are you going to take your vacation?"

"In the fall, after you have had yours, Mr. Secretary." The two men grinned at each other.

"Did the Indian Commissioner find work for Miss Allen?" asked Enoch abruptly.

"Oh, yes! And she was as surprised and pleased as a child."

"How do you know that?" demanded the Secretary.

Charley looked a little confused. "I took her out to lunch, Mr.
Huntingdon. Jove, she's the most beautiful woman I ever saw!"

"Well, let's finish off that report to the President, Mr. Abbott. That must go to him to-morrow, regardless of whom or what I have to neglect to-day."

Abbott opened his note book. But the dictation hardly had begun when the telephone rang and Enoch was summoned to the White House. It was noon when he left the President. Washington lay as if scorching under a burning glass. The dusty leaves drooped on the trees. Even the carefully cherished White House lawn seemed to have forgotten the recent rains. Enoch dismissed his carriage and crossed slowly to Pennsylvania Avenue. It had occurred to him suddenly that it had been many weeks since he had taken the noon hour outside of his office. He had found that luncheon engagements broke seriously into his day's work. He strolled slowly along the avenue, watching the sweltering noon crowds unseeingly, entirely unconscious of the fact that many people turned to look at him. He paused before a Johnstown Lunch sign, wondering whimsically what Jonas would say if it were reported that the boss had eaten here. And as he paused, the incessantly swinging door emitted Miss Diana Allen.

Enoch's pause became a full stop. "How do you do, Miss Allen?" he said.

Diana flushed a little. "How do you do, Mr. Secretary! Were you looking for a cheap lunch?"

"Jonas provides the cheapest lunch known to Washington," said Enoch.
"I was looking for some one to walk up Pennsylvania Avenue with me."

"You seem to be well provided with company." Diana glanced at the knot of people who were eagerly watching the encounter.

Enoch did not follow her glance. His eyes were fastened on Diana's lovely curving lips. "And I want to hear about the work in the Indian Bureau."

Diana fell into step with him. "I think the work is going to be interesting. Mr. Watkins is more than kind about my pictures. I'm to send home for the best of my collection and he is going to give an exhibition of them."

"Is he giving you a decent salary?" asked Enoch.

"Ample for all my needs," replied Diana.

"Do your needs stop with the Johnstown Lunch?" demanded Enoch.

"Well," replied Diana, "if you'd lived on the trail as much as I have, you'd not complain of the Johnstown Lunch. I've made worse coffee myself, and I've seen more flies, too."

Enoch chuckled. "What does Watkins call your job?"

"I'm a special investigator for the Indian Bureau."

Enoch chuckled again. "Right! And that title Watkins counts as worth at least five dollars a week. The remainder is the equivalent of a stenographer's salary. I know him!"

"He is quite all right," said Diana quickly. "It must be extremely difficult to manage a budget. No matter how large they are, they're always too small. To administer the affairs of a dying race with inadequate funds—"

Diana hesitated.

"And in entire ignorance of the race itself," added Enoch quietly. "I know! But I had to choose between a rattling good administrator and a rattling good ethnologist."

Diana nodded slowly. "Your choice was inevitable, I suppose. And Mr.
Watkins seems very efficient."

"Well, and where does your princely salary permit you to live?" Enoch concluded.

"On New Jersey Avenue, in a brown stone front with pansies in front and cats in the rear, an old Confederate soldier in the basement and rats in the attic. As for odors and furniture, any kind whatever, provided one is not too particular."

"My word! how you are going to miss the Canyon!" exclaimed Enoch.

Diana nodded. "Yes, but after all one's avocation is the most important thing in life."'

"Is it?" asked Enoch. "I've tried to make myself believe that, but so far I've failed."

"You mean," Diana spoke quickly, "that I ought to have stayed with my father?"

"No, I don't!" returned Enoch, quite as quickly. "At least, I mean that I know nothing whatever about that. I would say as a general principle, though, that parents who have adequate means, are selfish to hang on the necks of their grown children."

"Father misses mother so," murmured Diana, with apparent irrelevance.

Enoch said nothing. They were opposite the Post Office now and Diana paused. "I must go to the Post Office! Good-by, Mr. Secretary."

"Good-by, Miss Allen," said Enoch, taking off his hat and holding out his hand. "Let me know if there is anything further I can do for you!"

"Oh, I'm quite all right and shall not bother you again, thank you," replied Diana cheerfully.

Enoch was very warm when he reached his office. Jonas and the bottle of milk were awaiting him. "How come you to be so hot, boss?" demanded Jonas.

"I walked back. It was very foolish," replied Enoch meekly.

"I don't dare to let you out o' my sight," said Jonas severely.

"I think I do need watching," sighed Enoch, beginning his belated luncheon.

That night the Secretary wrote to Diana's father.

"My dear Frank: Diana came and I found a job for her in the Indian office. I feel like a dog to have broken my word with you, but her work is very interesting and very important, and I feel that she ought to have her few months of study in Washington. She is very beautiful, Frank, and very fine. You must try to forgive me. Faithfully yours,

"ENOCH HUNTINGDON."

CHAPTER V

A PHOTOGRAPHER OF INDIANS

"When I tutored boys I wondered most at their selfishness and their generosity. They had so much of both! And I believe that as men they lose none of either."—Enoch's Diary.

Enoch knew what it was to fight himself. Perhaps he knew more about such lonely, unlovely battles than any man of his acquaintance. The average man is usually too vain and too spiritually lazy to fight his inner devils to the death. But Enoch had fought so terribly that it seemed to him that he could surely win this new struggle. Nothing should induce him to break his vow of celibacy. He cursed himself for a weak fool in not obeying Frank Allen's request. Then he gathered together all his resources, to protect Diana from himself.

A week or so went by, during which Enoch made no attempt to see Diana or to hear from her. The office routine ground on and on. The Mexican cloud thickened. Alaska developed a threatening attitude over her coal fields. The farmers of Idaho suddenly withdrew their proposals regarding water power. Calmly and with clear vision, Enoch met each day's problems. But the lines about his mouth deepened.

One day, early in August, Charley Abbott came to the Secretary's desk.
"Miss Diana Allen would like to see you for a few moments, Mr.
Secretary."

Enoch did not look up. "Ask her to excuse me, Mr. Abbott, I am very busy."

Charley hesitated for an instant, then went quickly out.

"Luncheon is served, boss," said Jonas, shortly after.

"Is Abbott gone?" asked Enoch.

"Yes, sir! He's took that Miss Allen to lunch, I guess. He's sure gone on that young lady. How come everybody thinks she's so beautiful, boss?"

"Because she is beautiful, Jonas, very, very beautiful."

The faithful steward looked keenly at the Secretary. He had not missed the appearance of a line in the face that was the whole world to him.

"Boss," he said, "don't you ever think you ought to marry?"

Enoch looked up into Jonas' face. "A man with my particular history had best leave women alone, Jonas."

Jonas' mouth twitched. "They ain't the woman ever born fit to darn your socks, boss."

Enoch smiled and finished his lunch in silence. He would have given a month of his life to know what errand had brought Diana to his office. But Charley Abbott, returning at two o'clock with the complacent look of a man who has lunched with a beautiful girl, showed no intention of mentioning the girl's name. And Enoch went on with his conferences. But it was many days before he opened the black book again.

Diana's exhibition must have been of unusual quality, for jaded and cynical Washington learned of its existence, spoke of it and went to see it. It seemed to Enoch that every one he met took special delight in mentioning it to him.

Even Jonas, one night, as he brought in the bed-time pitcher of ice water, said, "Boss, I saw Miss Allen's pictures this evening. They sure are queersome. That must be hotter'n Washington out there. How come you ain't been, Boss?"

"How do you know I haven't seen them, Jonas?" asked Enoch quickly.

"Don't I know every place you go, boss? Didn't you tell me that was my
job, years ago? How come you think I'd forget?" Jonas was eyeing the
Secretary warily. "Mr. Abbott, he's got a bad case on that Miss Allen.
He's give me at least a dollar's worth of ten cent cigars lately so's
I'll stand and smoke and let him talk to me about her."

Enoch grunted.

"He says she—" Jonas rambled on.

Enoch looked up quickly. "I don't want to hear it, Jonas." Jonas drew himself up stiffly. The Secretary laid his own broad palm over the black hand that still held the handle of the water pitcher. "Spare me that, old friend," he said.

Jonas put his free hand on Enoch's shoulder. "Are you sure you're right, boss?" he asked huskily.

"I know I'm right, Jonas."

"Well, I don't see it your way, boss, but what's right for you is right for me. Good night, sir," and shaking his head, Jonas slowly left the room.

But Enoch was destined to see the pictures after all. One day, after Cabinet meeting, the President, in his friendly way, clapped Enoch on the shoulder.

"First time in a great many years, Huntingdon, that the Indian Bureau has distinguished itself for anything but trouble! I saw Miss Allen's pictures last night. My word! What a sense of heat and peace and, yes, by jove, passion! those photographs tell. The Bureau ought to own those pictures, old man. Especially the huge enlargement of Bright Angel trail and the Navaho hunters. Eh?"

"Well, to tell the truth, Mr. President," said Enoch slowly, "I haven't seen the pictures."

"Not seen them! Why some one said you discovered Miss Allen!"

"In a way I did, but I don't deserve any credit for that."

"Not if he saw her first!" exclaimed the Secretary of State, who had loitered behind the others.

The President nodded. "She is very lovely. I saw her at a distance, and I want to meet her. Now, Mr. Huntingdon, it's very painful for me to have to chide you for dereliction in office. But a man who will neglect those pictures for the—well, the coal fields of Alaska, should be dealt with severely."

"Hear! Hear!" cried the Secretary of State.

The President laughed. "And so I must ask you, Mr. Huntingdon, to bring Miss Allen to see me, after you have gone carefully over the pictures. Jokes aside, you know my keen interest in Indian ethnology?" Enoch nodded, and the President went on. "If this girl has the brains and breadth of vision I'm sure she must have to produce a series of photographs like those, I want to know her and do what I can to push her work. So neglect Mexico and Alaska for a little while, tomorrow, will you, Huntingdon?"

Enoch's laughter was a little grim, but with a quick leap of his heart, he answered. "A man can but obey the Commander in Chief, I suppose!"

As the door swung to behind him, the President said to the Secretary of
State, "Huntingdon is working too hard, I'm afraid. Does he ever play?"

"Horseback riding and golf. But he's a woman hater. At least, if not a hater, an avoider!"

"I like him," said the President. "I want him to play."

That evening Enoch went to see the pictures. There were perhaps a hundred of them, telling the story of the religion of the Navahos. Only one whom the Indians loved and trusted could have procured such intimate, such dramatic photographs. They were as unlike the usual posed portraits of Indian life as is a stage shower unlike an actual thunder storm. There was indeed a subtle passion and poignancy about the pictures that it seemed to Enoch as well as to the President, only a fine mind could have found and captured. He had made the rounds of the little room twice, threading his way abstractedly through the crowd, before he came upon Diana. She was in white, standing before one of the pictures, answering questions that were being put to her by a couple of reporters. She bowed to Enoch and he bowed in return, then stood so obviously waiting for the reporters to finish that they actually withdrew.

Enoch came up and held out his hand. "These are very fine, Miss Allen."

"I thought you were not coming to see them," said Diana. "It makes me very happy to have you here!"

"Does it?" asked Enoch quickly. "Why?"

"Because—" here Diana hesitated and looked from Enoch's stern lips to his blue eyes.

"Yes, go on, do!" urged Enoch. "For heaven's, sake, treat me as if I were a human being and not—"

It was his turn to hesitate.

"Not the Washington Monument?" suggested Diana.

Enoch laughed. "Am I as bad as that?" he asked.

Diana nodded. "Very nearly! Nevertheless, for some reason I don't understand, I've had the feeling that you would like the pictures and get what I was driving at, better than any one."

"Thank you," said Enoch slowly. "I do like them. So much so that I wish that I might own them, instead of the Indian Bureau. The President, to-day, told me the Indian Bureau ought to buy them. And also, he asked me to bring you to see him to-morrow."

A sudden flush made roses in Diana's beautifully modeled cheeks.

"Did he! Mr. Huntingdon, how am I ever going to thank you?"

"I deserve no thanks at all. It was entirely the President's own idea.
In fact, I had not intended to come to your exhibition."

"No? Why not? Do you dislike me so much as that? And, after all, Mr. Secretary, if the pictures are interesting, the fact that a woman took them should not prejudice you against them."

"Abbott's been giving me a bad reputation, I see," said Enoch. "I'll have to get Jonas to tell you what a really gentle and affectionate and er—mild, person I am. I've a notion to reduce Abbott's salary."

"Charley Abbott is a dear, and he's a devoted admirer of yours," Diana exclaimed.

"And of yours," rejoined Enoch.

"He's very discerning," said Diana, her eyes twinkling and the corners of her mouth deepening. "But you shall not evade me this way, Mr. Huntingdon. Why didn't you want to see my pictures?"

"I didn't say that I didn't want to see them. Women are always inaccurate, or at least, so I have heard."

"I would say that Mr. Abbott had a great deal more data on the general subject of women than you, Mr. Secretary. You really ought to get him to check you up! Please, why didn't you intend to come to my exhibition?"

"I have been swamped with extra work of late," answered Enoch.

"Yes?" Diana's eyebrows rose and her intelligent great eyes were fastened on Enoch's with an expression so discerning and so sympathetic, that he bit his lip and turned from her to the Navaho, who prayed in the burning desert before him. The reporters, who had been hovering in the offing, closed in on Diana immediately. When she was free once more, Enoch turned back and held out his hand.

"Good night, Miss Allen. If you don't mind coming over to my office at twelve to-morrow, I can take you to the White House then."

"I shall not mind!—too much! Good night, Mr. Secretary," replied Diana, with the deepening of the corners of her mouth that Enoch now recalled had belonged to the little girl Diana.

Enoch made an entry in the black book that night.

"I wonder, Diana, how much Frank has told you of me and my unhappy history. I wonder how you would feel if a man whose mother was a harlot who died of an unspeakable disease were to ask you to marry him. Oh, my dear, don't be troubled! I shall never, never, ask you. Your pictures moved me more than I dared try to express to you. It was as if you had carried me in a breath to the Canyon and once more I beheld the wonder, the kindliness, the calm, the inevitableness of God's ways. I'm going to try, Diana, to make a friend of you. I believe that I have the strength. What I am very sure of is that I have not the strength to know that you are in Washington and never see you."

The clock struck twelve the next day, when Abbott came to the
Secretary's desk. Enoch was deep in a conference with the Attorney
General.

"Miss Allen is here," he said softly.

"Give me five minutes!" exclaimed the Attorney General.

"I'm sorry." Enoch rose from his desk. "I'm very sorry, old fellow, but this is an appointment with the President. Can you come about three, if that suits Abbott's schedule?"

"Not till to-morrow, I'm afraid," said the Attorney General.

Enoch nodded. "It's just as well. I think I'll have some private advices from Mexico by then that may somewhat change our angle of attack. All right, Jonas! I'm coming. Ask Miss Allen to meet me at the carriage."

But he overtook Diana in the elevator. She wore the brown silk suit, and Enoch thought she looked a little flushed and a little more lovely than usual.

"I'm a marked person, Mr. Secretary," she said, with a twinkle in her eyes. "You'd scarcely believe how many total strangers have asked me to introduce them to you, since you walked up Pennsylvania Avenue with me."

"I'm glad you have an appreciative mind," returned Enoch. "I hope that you are circumspect also, and won't impose on me because of my condescension."

"I'll try not to," Diana answered meekly, as Enoch followed her into the carriage.

They smiled at each other, and Enoch went on, "Of course, I've been feeling rather proud of the opportunity to display myself before Washington with you. I've been called indifferent to women. I'm hoping now that the gossips will say, 'Aha! Huntingdon's a deep one! No wonder he's been indifferent to the average woman!'"

Diana eyed him calmly. "That doesn't sound at all like Washington
Monument," she murmured.

"More like Charley Abbott, I suppose!" retorted Enoch.

"No," answered Diana thoughtfully, "hardly like Mr. Abbott's method. I would say that he belonged to a different school from you."

"Yes? What school does Abbott represent?"

"Well, he has a dash, an ease, that shows long and varied experience. Charley Abbott is a finished ladies' man. It almost discourages me when I contemplate the serried ranks of women that must have contributed to his perfect finesse."

"Discourages you?" queried Enoch.

Diana did not answer. "But," she went on, "while Charley is a graduate of the school of experience and you—"

She paused.

"Yes, and I—," pressed Enoch.

"I won't impose on your condescension by telling you," said Diana.

"Pshaw!" muttered the Secretary of the Interior.

Suddenly Diana laughed. Enoch, after a moment, laughed with her, and they entered the White House grounds still chuckling.

The President did not keep them waiting. "I may not be able to order my wife and daughter about," he said, as he shook hands with Enoch, "but I certainly have my official family well under control. Did you see the pictures, Huntingdon?"

"I saw and was conquered, Mr. President," replied Enoch.

"What would you say, Miss Allen, if I tell you that I had to force this fellow into going to see your wonderful pictures?" the President asked.

"It wouldn't surprise me," replied Diana, in an enigmatical voice that made both men smile.

"I see you understand our Secretary of the Interior," the President said complacently. "Sit down, children, and Miss Allen, talk to me. How long did it take you to make that collection of photographs?"

"I began that particular collection ten years ago. Those pictures have been sifted out of nearly two thousand prints."

"Did you take any other pictures during that period?" asked the
President.

"Oh, yes! I was, I think, fourteen or fifteen when I first determined to give my life to Indian photography. I didn't at that time think of making a living out of it. I had a dream of making a photographic history of the spiritual life of some of the South-western tribes. It didn't occur to me that anything but a museum or possibly a library would care for such a collection. But to my surprise there was a ready market for really good prints of Indians and Indian subjects. So while I have kept always at work on my ultimate idea, I've made and sold many, many pictures of Indians on all sorts of themes."

Enoch looked from Diana's half eager, half abashed eyes, to the
President's keen, hawk-like face, then back to Diana.

"What gave you the idea to begin with?" asked the President.

Diana looked thoughtfully out of the window. Both men watched her with interest. Enoch's rough hewn face, with its unalterably somber expression, was set in an almost painful concentration. The President's eyes were cool, yet eager.

"It is hard for me to put into words just what first led me into the work," said Diana slowly. "I was born in a log house on the rim of the Grand Canyon. My father was a canyon guide."

"Yes, Frank Allen, an old Yale man. I know him."

"Do you remember him?" cried Diana. "He'll be so delighted! He took you down Bright Angel years ago."

"Of course I remember him. Give him my regards when you write to him.
And go on with your story."

"My mother was a California woman, a very good geologist. My nurse was a Navajo woman. Somehow, by the time I was into my teens, I was conscious of the great loss to the world in the disappearance of the spiritual side of Indian life. I knew the Canyon well by then and I knew the Indians well and the beauty of their ceremonies was even then more or less merged in my mind with the beauty of the Canyon. Their mysticism was the Canyon's mysticism. I tried to write it and I couldn't, and I tried to paint it, and I couldn't. And then one day my mother said to me, 'Diana, nobody can interpret Indian or Canyon philosophy. Take your camera and let the naked truth tell the story!'"

Diana paused. "I'm not clever at talking. I'm afraid I've given you no real idea of my purpose."

"One gets your purpose very clearly, when one recalls your Death and the Navajo, for instance, eh, Huntingdon?"

"Yes, Mr. President!"

"I suppose the two leading Indian ethnologists are Arkwind and Sherman, of the Smithsonian, are they not, Miss Allen?" asked the President.

"Oh, without doubt! And they have been very kind to me."

The President nodded. "They both tell me that your work is of extraordinary value. They tell me that you have actually photographed ceremonies so secret, so mystical, that they themselves had only heard vaguely of their existence. And not only, they say, have you photographed them, but you have produced works of art, pictures 'pregnant with celestial fire.'"

Diana's cheeks were a deep crimson. "Oh, I deserve so little credit, after all!" she exclaimed. "I was born in the midst of these things. And the Indians love me for my old nurse's sake! But human nature is weak and what you tell me makes me very happy, sir."

The men glanced at each other and smiled.

"Suppose, Miss Allen," said the President, "that you had the means to outfit an expedition. How long would it take you to complete the entire collection you have in mind?"

Diana's eyes widened. "Why, I could do nothing at all with an expedition! I simply wander about canyon and desert, sometimes with old nurse Na-che, sometimes alone. The Indians have always known me. I'm as much a part of their lives as their own daughters. I—I believe much of their inner hidden religion and so—oh, Mr. President, an expedition would be absurd, for me!"

"Well, then, without an expedition?" insisted the President.

Diana sighed. "You see, I'm not able to give all my time to the work. Mother died five years ago, and father is lonely and, while he thinks his little income is enough for both of us, it's enough only if I stay at home and play about the desert with my camera, cheaply as I do, and keep the house. It does not permit me to leave home. It seems to me, that working as I have in the past, it would take me at least ten years more to complete my work."

"The patience of the artist! It always astounds me!" exclaimed the President. "Miss Allen, I am not a rich man, but I have some wealthy friends. I have one friend in particular, a self-made man, of enormous wealth. The interest he and I have in common is American history in all its aspects. It seems to me that you are doing a truly important work. I want you to let this friend of mine fund you so that you may give all your time to your photography."

"Oh, Mr. President, I don't need funds!" protested Diana. "There is no hurry. This is my life work. Let me take a life-time for it, if necessary."

"That is all very well, Miss Allen, but what if you die, before you have finished? No one could complete your work because no one has your peculiar combination of information and artistic ability. People like you, my dear, belong not to themselves, but to the country."

Enoch spoke suddenly. "Why not arrange the matter with the Indian
Bureau, Mr. President?"

"Why not arrange it with the Circumlocution Office!" exclaimed the President. "I'm surprised at you, Huntingdon! You know what the budget and red tape of Washington does to a temperament like Miss Allen's. On the other hand, here is my friend, who would give her absolutely free rein and take an intense pride in providing the money."

Diana laughed. "You speak, sir, as if I needed some vast fund. It costs a dollar a day in the desert to keep a horse and another dollar to keep a man. Camera plates and clothing—why a hundred dollars a month would be luxury! And I don't need help, truly I don't! The mere fact of your interest is help enough for me."

"A hundred dollars a month for your expenses," said the President, making a memorandum in his notebook, "and what is your time worth?"

"My time? You mean what would I charge somebody for doing this work? Why, Mr. President, this is not a job! It's an avocation! I wouldn't take money for it. It's a labor of love."

The chief executive suddenly rose and Diana, rising too, was surprised at the look that suddenly burned in the hawk-like eyes.

"You are an unusual woman, Miss Allen! Your angle on life is one seldom found in Washington." He took a restless turn up and down the room, glanced at Enoch, who stood beside the desk, utterly absorbed in contemplation of Diana's protesting eyes, then said, "This friend of mine is a disappointed man. He had believed that in amassing a great fortune he would find satisfaction. He has found that money of itself is dust and ashes and it is too late for him to take up a new work. Miss Allen, I too am a disappointed man. I had believed that the President of a great nation was a full man, a contented man. I find myself an automaton, whirled about by the selfish desires of a politically stupid and indifferent constituency. One of the few consolations I find in my high office is that once in a while I come upon some one who is contributing something permanent to this nation's real advancement, and I am able to help that person. Miss Allen, will you not share your great good fortune with my friend and me?"

"Gladly!" exclaimed Diana quickly. Then she added, with a little laugh, "I think I understand now, why you are President of the United States!"

Enoch and the President joined in the laugh, and Diana was still smiling when they descended the steps to the waiting carriage. But the smile faded with a sudden thought.

"The President mustn't think I will take more than expense money!" she exclaimed.

Enoch laughed again as he replied, "I don't think that need bother you,
Miss Allen. I imagine a yearly sum will be placed at your disposal.
You will use what you wish."

Diana shook her head uneasily. "I don't more than half like the idea.
But the President made it very difficult to refuse."

Enoch nodded. The carriage stopped before the Willard Hotel. "Miss
Allen, will you lunch with me?" he asked.

Diana hesitated. "I'll be late getting back to the office," she said.

"I'll ask Watkins not to dock you," said Enoch soberly.

"Docking my salary," touching Enoch's proffered hand lightly as she sprang to the curb, "would be almost like taking something from nothing. I've never lunched in the Willard, Mr. Secretary."

"The Johnstown lunch still holds sway, I suppose!" said Enoch, following Diana down the stairs to Peacock Row.

They were a rather remarkable pair together. At least the occupants of the Row evidently felt so, for there was a breathless craning of necks and a hush in conversations as they passed, Diana, with her heart-searching beauty, Enoch with his great height and his splendid, rugged head. The head waiter did not actually embrace Enoch in welcoming him, but he managed to convey to the dining-room that here was a personal and private god of his own on whom the public had the privilege of gazing only through his generosity. Finally he had them seated to his satisfaction in the quietest and most conspicuous corner of the room.

"Now, my dear Mr. Secretary, what may we give you?" he asked, rubbing his hands together.

Enoch glanced askance at Diana, who shook her head. "This is entirely out of my experience, Mr. Secretary," she said.

"Gustav," said Enoch, "it's not yet one o'clock. We must leave here at five minutes before two. Something very simple, Gustav." He checked several items on the card and gave it to the head waiter with a smile.

Gustav smiled too. "Yes, Mr. Secretary!" he exclaimed, and disappeared.

"And that's settled," said Enoch, "and we can forget it. Miss Allen, when shall you go back to the Canyon?"

"Why," answered Diana, looking a little startled, "not till I've finished the work for Mr. Watkins, and that will take six months, at least."

"I think the President's idea will be that you must get to your own work, at once. Some one else can carry on Watkins' researches."

"I ought to do some studying in the Congressional library," protested
Diana. "Don't you think Washington can endure me a few months longer,
Mr. Secretary?"

"Endure you!" Enoch's voice broke a little, and he gave Diana a glance in which he could not quite conceal the anguish.

A sudden silence fell between the two that was broken by the waiter's appearance with the first course. Then Diana said, casually:

"My father is going to be very happy when I write him about this. Do you remember him at all clearly, Mr. Secretary?"

"Yes," replied Enoch. Then with a quick, direct look, he asked, "Did your father, ever give you the details of his experience with me in the Canyon?"

Diana's voice was low but very steady as she replied, "Yes, Mr. Secretary. He told me long ago, when you made your famous Boyhood on the Rack speech in Congress. It was the first word he had heard of you in all the years and he was deeply moved."

"I'm glad he told you," said Enoch. "I'm glad, because I'd like to ask you to be my friend, and I would want the sort of friend you would make to know the worst as well as the best about me."

"If that is the worst of you—" Diana began quickly, then paused. "As father told me, it was a story of a boy's suffering and the final triumph of his mind and his body."

Enoch stared at Diana with astonishment in every line of his face.
Then he sighed. "He couldn't have told you all," he muttered.

"Yes, he did, all! And nothing, not even what the President said to-day, can mean as much to me as your asking me to be your friend."

Enoch continued to stare at the lovely, tender face opposite him.

Diana smiled. "Don't look so incredulous, Mr. Secretary! It's not polite. You are a very famous person. I am nobody. We are lunching together in a wonderful hotel. I don't even vaguely surmise the names of the things we are eating. Don't look at me doubtingly. Look complacent because you can give a lady so much joy."

Enoch laughed with a quick relief that made his cheeks burn. "And so you are nobody! Curious, then, that you should have impressed yourself on me so deeply even when you were a child!"

It was Diana's turn to laugh. "Oh, come, Mr. Secretary! Of course I don't recall it myself, but Dad has always said that you were bored to death at having a small girl taking the trail with you."

"Do you remember that your mule slipped on the home trail and that I saved your life?" demanded Enoch.

Diana shook her head. "I was too small and there were too many canyon trips and too many tourists. I wish—"

She did not finish her sentence, but Enoch said, with a thread of earnestness in his deep voice that made Diana look at him keenly, "I wish you did remember!"

There was a moment's silence, then Enoch went on, "Shall you carry on your work with the Indians alone as you always have done? I believe I can quite understand your father's uneasiness."

"Oh, yes!" exclaimed Diana, glad of an opportunity to redirect the conversation. "Just as I always have done. I shall have no trouble unless I get soft, living at the Johnstown Lunch! Then I may have to waste time till I get fit again. Have you ever lived on the trail, excepting on your trip to the Grand Canyon, Mr. Secretary?"

"Yes, in Canada and Maine, while I was in college. I used to tutor rich boys, and they had glorious summers, lucky kids! But since getting into national politics, I've had no time for real play."

"Some day," said Diana, "you ought to get up an outfit and go down the
Colorado from the Green River to the Needles. That's a real adventure!
Only a few men have done it since the Powell expeditions."

Enoch's eyes brightened. "I know! Some day, perhaps I shall, if Jonas will let me! How long do you suppose such a trip would take?"

Diana plunged into a description of a recent expedition down the canyons of the Colorado, and she managed to keep the remainder of the luncheon conversation on this topic. But as far as Enoch was concerned, Diana's effort was merely a conversational detour. The luncheon finished and the Gulf of California safely reached, he said as he handed Diana into the carriage:

"I've never had a friendship with a woman before," he said. "What do I do next?"

Diana sighed, while her lips curled at the corners. "Well, Mr. Secretary, I think the next move is to think the matter over for a few days, quietly and alone."

"Do you?" Enoch smiled enigmatically. "I don't know that it's safe for me to rely on your experience after all!" But he said no more.

Enoch spent the evening in his living-room with Señor Juan Cadiz and a small, lean, brown man in an ill-fitting black suit. The latter did not speak English, and Señor Cadiz acted as interpreter. The stranger was uneasy and suspicious, until the very last of the evening. Then, after a long half hour spent in silent scowling while he stared at Enoch and listened to the Secretary's replies to Cadiz's eager questions, he suddenly burst into a passionate torrent of Spanish. A look of great relief came to Cadiz's face, as he said to Enoch:

"Now he says he trusts you and will tell you the names of the Americans who are paying him."

Enoch began to jot down notes. When Cadiz's translation was finished
Enoch said:

"This in brief, then, is the situation. A group of Americans own vast oil fields in Mexico. They have enormous difficulty policing and controlling the fields. The Mexican method of concession making is exceedingly expensive and uncertain. They wish the United States to take Mexico over, either through actual conquest or by mandate. They have hired a group of bandits to keep trouble brewing until the United States is forced by England, Germany, or France, to interfere. This group of men is partly German though all dwell in the United States. Your friend here, and several of his associates, if I personally swear to take care of them, will give me information under oath whenever I wish."

"Yes! Yes! Yes! That is the story!" cried Señor Cadiz. "Oh, Mr. Secretary, if you could only undo the harm that your cursed American method of making the public opinion has done, both here and in Mexico. Why should neighbors hate each other? Mr. Secretary, tell these Americans to get out of Mexico and stay out! We are foolish in many ways, but we want to learn to govern ourselves. There will be much trouble while we learn but for God's sake, Mr. Secretary, force American money to leave us alone while we struggle in our birth throes!"

Enoch stood up to his great height, tossing the heavy copper-colored hair off his forehead. He looked at the two Mexicans earnestly, then he said, holding out his hand, "Señor Cadiz, I'll help you to the best of my ability. I believe in you and in the ultimate ability of your country to govern itself. Now will you let me make an appointment for you with the Secretary of State? Properly, you know, you should have gone to him with this."

The Mexican shook his head. "No! No! Please, Mr. Secretary! We do not know him well. He has shown no willingness to understand us. You! you are the one we believe in! We have watched you for years. We know that you are honest and disinterested."

"But I shall have to give both the President and the Secretary of State this information," insisted Enoch.

"That is in your hands," said Señor Cadiz.

"Then," Enoch nodded as Jonas appeared with the inevitable tinkling glasses, "remain quietly in Washington until you hear from me again."

Jonas held the door open on the departing callers with disapproval in every line of his face.

"How come that colored trash to be setting in the parlors of the government, boss?" asked he.

"They are Mexicans, Jonas," replied Enoch.

"Just a new name for niggers, boss," snapped Jonas, following Enoch up the stairs. "Don't you trust any colored man that ain't willing to call hisself black."

Enoch laughed and settled himself to an entry in the journal.

"This was the happiest day of my life, Diana. We are going to be great friends, are we not! And the philosophers tell us that friendship is the most soul-satisfying of all human relationships. I have been very vacillating in my attitude to you, since you came to Washington. But I cannot lose the feeling that those wise, wistful eyes of yours have seen my trouble and understood. I wonder how soon I can see you again. I'm rather proud of my behavior to-day, Diana, dearest."

CHAPTER VI

A NEWSPAPER REPORTER

"I wonder if Christ ever cared for a woman. He may have, for God wished Him to know and suffer all that men know and suffer, and all love must have been noble in His eyes."—Enoch's Diary.

"Abbott," said Enoch the next day, "do you recall that I have commented to you several times on the fact that some of the southwestern states did not back the Geological Survey in its search for oil fields as we had expected they would?"

"Yes, Mr. Secretary," answered Charley, looking up from his notebook with keen interest in eye and voice. "I have wondered just why the matter bothered you so."

"It has bothered me for several different reasons. It has, to begin with, conflicted with my idea of the fundamental purpose of this office. What could be a stronger reason for being for the Geological Survey than to find and show the public the resources of the public lands? When the Bureau of Mines reports to me that certain oil fields are diminishing at an alarming rate, and when any fool knows that a vital part of our future history is to be written in terms of oil, it behooves the Secretary of the Interior to look for remedial steps. Certain sections of our Southwest are saturated with oil and yet, Abbott, the states resent our locating oil fields. As far as I know now, no open hostility has been shown, unless"—Enoch interrupted himself suddenly,—"do you recall last year that some Indians drove a Survey group out of Apache Canyon and that young Rice was killed and all his data lost?"

"Certainly, I recall it. I knew Rice."

Enoch nodded. "Do you recall that a number of newspapers took occasion then to sneer at government attempts to usurp State and commercial functions?"

"Now you speak of it, I do remember. The Brown papers were especially nasty."

"Yes," agreed Enoch. "Now listen closely, Abbott. When my suspicions had been sufficiently roused, I went to the Secretary of State, and he laughed at me. Then, the Mexico trouble began to come to a head and I told the President what I feared. This was after I'd had that letter from Juan Cadiz. Last night, as you know, I had a session with Cadiz and one of his bandit friends. Here is what I drew from them."

Enoch reviewed rapidly his conversation of the night before. Abbott listened with snapping eyes.

"It looks as if Secretary Fowler would have to stop laughing," he said, when Enoch had finished.

"Abbott," Enoch's voice was very low, "John Fowler, the Secretary of
State, always will laugh at it."

"Why?" asked Charley.

"I don't know," replied Enoch.

The two men stared at each other for a long moment. Then Abbott said,
"I've known for a long time that he was jealous of you, politically.
Also he may own Mexican oil stock or he may merely wish to have the
political backing of the Brown newspapers."

"Can you think of any method of persuading him that I am not a political rival, that I merely want to go to the Senate, when I have finished here?" asked Enoch earnestly.

Abbott shook his head, "He might be convinced that you want to be a Senator. But he's a clever man. And even a fool knows that you are America's man on horseback." Charley's voice rose a little. "Why, even in this rotten, cynical city of Washington, they believe in you, they feel that you are the man of destiny. Mr. Fowler is just clever enough to be jealous of you."

A look of sadness came into Enoch's keen gaze. "I wonder if the game is worth it, after all," murmured he. "Abbott, I'd swap it all for—" he stopped abruptly, looked broodingly out of the window, then said, "Charley, my boy, why are you going into political life?"

The younger man's eyes deepened and he cleared his throat. "A few years ago, if I'd answered that question truthfully, I'd have said for personal aggrandizement! But my intimate association with you, Mr. Huntingdon, has given me a different ideal. I'm going into politics to serve this country in the best way I can."

"Thanks, Abbott," said Enoch. "I've been wanting to say to you for some time that I thought you had served your apprenticeship as a secretary. How would you like an appointment as a special investigator?"

Charley shook his head. "As long as you are Secretary of the Interior, I prefer this job; not only because of my personal feeling for you but because I can learn more here about the way a clean political game can be played than I can anywhere else."

"All right, Abbott! I'm more than grateful and more than satisfied at having you with me. See if I can have a conference with first the Secretary of State and then the President. Now let me finish this report before the Attorney General arrives."

Enoch's conference with Secretary Fowler was inconclusive. The Secretary of State chose to take a humorous attitude toward what he termed the Secretary of the Interior's midnight conference with bandits. Enoch laughed with him and then departed for his audience with the chief executive.

The President listened soberly. When the report was finished, he scowled.

"What attitude does Mr. Fowler take in this?"

"He thinks I'm making mountains out of mole hills. It seems to me, Mr. President, that I must be extremely careful not to encroach on the domain of the Secretary of State. My idea is very deliberately to push the work of the Geological Survey and to follow very carefully any activities against its work."

"All very well, of course," agreed the President, "but what of the big game back of it all—what's the means of fighting that?"

"Publicity," replied Enoch briefly.

"Exactly!" exclaimed the President, "There are other newspapers. Brown does not own them all. As fast as evidence is produced, let the story be told. By Jove, if this war talk grows much more menacing, Huntingdon, I think I'll ask you to go across the country and make a few speeches,—on the Geological Survey!"

"I'm willing!" replied Enoch, with a little sigh.

The President looked at him keenly. "Huntingdon, we're working you too hard! You look tired. I try not to overload you, but—"

"But you are so overloaded yourself that you have to shift some of the load," said Enoch, with a smile. "I'm not seriously tired, Mr. President."

"I hope not, old man. By the way, what did you think of Miss Allen yesterday?"

"I thought her a very interesting young woman," replied Enoch.

"My heavens, man!" exclaimed the chief executive. "What do you want!
Why, Diana Allen is as rare as—as a great poem. Look here,
Huntingdon, you make a mistake to cut all women out of your life. It's
not normal."

"Perhaps not," agreed Enoch briefly. "I would be very glad," he added, as if fearing that he had been too abrupt, "I would be very glad to see more of Miss Allen."

"You ought to make a great effort to do," said the President. "Keep me informed on this Mexican matter, please, and take care of yourself, my boy. Good-by, Mr. Secretary. Think seriously of a speaking tour, won't you?"

"I will," replied Enoch obediently, as he left the room.

The remainder of the day was crowded to the utmost. It was not until midnight that Enoch achieved a free moment. This was when in the privacy of his own room Jonas had bidden him a final good night. Enoch did not open his journal. Instead he scrawled a letter.

"Dear Miss Allen: After deliberating on the matter a somewhat shorter time, I'll admit, than you suggested, but still having deliberated on it, I have decided that friendship is an art that needs attention and study. Will you not dine with me to-morrow, or rather, this evening, at the Ashton, at eight o'clock? Jonas, who will bring you this, can bring your answer. Sincerely yours, Enoch Huntingdon."

He gave the note to Jonas the next morning. Jonas' black eyes, when he saw the superscription, nearly started from their sockets: for during all the years of his service with Enoch, he never had carried a note to a woman. It was mid-morning when he tip-toed to the Secretary's desk and laid a letter on it. Enoch was in conference at the time with Bill Timmins, perhaps the foremost newspaper correspondent in America. He excused himself for a moment and opened the envelope.

"Dear Mr. Secretary: Thank you, yes. Sincerely, Diana Allen."

He slipped the letter into his breast pocket and went on with the interview, his face as somber as ever. But all that day it seemed to the watchful Jonas that the Secretary seemed less tired than he had been for weeks.

There was a little balcony at the Ashton, just big enough for a table for two, and shielded from the view of the main dining-room by palms. It was set well out from the second floor, overlooking a quiet park. Enoch was in the habit of dining here with various men with whom he wished semi-privacy yet whom he did not care to entertain at his own home.

Diana was more than charmed by the arrangement. The corners of her mouth deepened as if she were also amused, but Enoch, engrossed in seating her where the light exactly suited him, did not note the curving lips. He did not know much about women's dress, but he liked Diana's soft white gown, and the curious turquoise necklace she wore interested him. He asked her about it.

"Na-che gave it to me," she said. "It was her mother's. It has no special significance beyond the fact that the workmanship is very fine and that the tracery on the silver means joy."

"Joy? What sort of joy?" asked Enoch.

"Is there more than one sort?" countered Diana, in the bantering voice that Enoch always fancied was half tender.

"Oh, yes!" replied the Secretary. "There's joy in work, play, friends. There are as many kinds of joy as there are kinds of sorrow. Only sorrow is so much more persistent than joy! A sorrow can stay by one forever. But joys pass. They are always short lived."

"Joy in work does not pass, Mr. Secretary," said Diana.

Enoch laid down his spoon. "Please, Miss Allen, don't Mr. Secretary me any more."

Diana merely smiled. "Granted that one has a real friend, I believe joy in friendship is permanent," she went on.

"I hope you're right," said Enoch quietly. "We'll see, you and I."

Diana did not reply. She was, perhaps, a little troubled by Enoch's calm and persistent declaration of principles. It is not easy for a woman even of Diana's poise and simple sincerity to keep in order a gentleman as distinguished and as courteous and as obviously in earnest as Enoch.

Finally, "Do you mind talking your own shop, Mr. Huntingdon?" she asked.

"Not at all," replied Enoch eagerly. "Is there some aspect of my work that interests you?"

"I imagine that all of it would," said Diana. "But I was not thinking of your work as a Cabinet Official. I was thinking of you as Police Commissioner of New York."

Enoch looked surprised.

"Father wrote to me the other day," Diana went on, "and asked me to send him the collection of your speeches. I bought it at Brentano's and I don't mind telling you that it pinched the Johnstown lunches a good bit to do so, but it was worth it, for I read the book before mailing it."

"You're not hinting that I ought to reimburse you, are you?" demanded
Enoch, with a delighted chuckle.

"Well, no—we'll consider that the luncheon and this dinner square the Johnstown pinching, perhaps a trifle more. What I wanted to say was that it struck me as worth comment that after you ceased being Police Commissioner, you never again talked of the impoverished boyhood of America. And yet you were a very successful Commissioner, were you not?"

Enoch looked from Diana out over the balcony rail to the fountain that twinkled in the little park.

"One of the most difficult things in public life," he said slowly, "is to hew straight to the line one laid out at the beginning."

"I should think," Diana suggested, "that the difficulty would depend on what the line was. A man who goes into politics to make himself rich, for example, might easily stick to his original purpose."

"Exactly! But money of itself never interested me!" Here Enoch stopped with a quick breath. There flashed across his inward vision the picture of a boy in Luigi's second story, throwing dice with passionate intensity. Enoch took a long sip of water, then went on. "I wanted to be Police Commissioner of New York because I wanted to make it impossible for other boys to have a boyhood like mine. I don't mean that, quite literally, I thought one man or one generation could accomplish the feat. But I did truly think I could make a beginning. Miss Allen, in spite of the beautiful fights I had, in spite of the spectacular clean-ups we made, I did nothing for the boys that my successor did not wipe out with a single stroke of his pen, his first week in office."

Diana drew a long breath. "I wonder why," she said.

"I think that lack of imagination, poor memory, personal selfishness, is the answer. There is nothing people forget quite so quickly as the griefs of their own childhood. There is nothing more difficult for people to imagine than how things affect a child's mind. And yet, nothing is so important in America to-day as the right kind of education for boys. It has not been found as yet."

"Have you a theory about it?" asked Diana.

"Yes, I have. Have you?"

Diana nodded. "I don't think boys and girls should be educated from the same angle."

"No? Why not?" Enoch's blue eyes were eager.

"Wandering about the desert among the Indians, one has leisure to think and to observe the workings of life under frank and simple conditions. It has seemed to me that the boy approaches life from an entirely different direction from a girl and that our system of education should recognize that. Both are primarily guided by sex, their femaleness or their maleness is always their impelling force. I'm talking now on the matter of the spiritual and moral training, not book education."

"Why not include the mental training? I think you'd be quite right in doing so."

"Perhaps so," replied Diana.

They were silent for a moment, then Enoch said, with a quiet vehemence, "Some day they'll dare to defy the creeds and put God into the public schools. I don't know about girls, but, Miss Allen, the growing boys need Him, more than they need a father. Something to cling to, something high and noble and permanent while sex with all its thousand varied impulses flagellates them! Something to go to with those exquisite, generous fancies that even the worst boy has and that even the best boy will not share even with the best mother. The homes today don't have God in them. The churches with their hide-bound creeds frighten away most men. Think, Miss Allen, think of the travesty of our great educational system which ignores the two great facts of the universe, God and sex."

"You've never put any of this into your public utterances."

"No," replied Enoch, "I've been saving it for you," and he looked at her with a quiet smile.

Diana could but smile in return.

"And so," said Enoch, "returning to the answer to your original question, I have found it hard to keep to any sort of fine idealism, partly because of my own inward struggles and partly because politics is a vile game anyhow."

"We Americans," Diana lifted her chin and looked into Enoch's eyes very directly, "feel that at least one politician has played a clean game. It is a very great privilege for me to know you, Mr. Huntingdon."

"Miss Allen," half whispered Enoch, "if you really knew me, with all my inward devils and my half-achieved dreams, you would realize that it's no privilege at all. Nevertheless, I wish that you did know all about me. It would make me feel that the friendship which we are forming could stand even 'the wreckful siege of battering days'!"

"There was a man who understood friendships!" said Diana quickly. "He said in his sonnets all that could be said about it."

"Now don't disappoint me by agreeing with the idiots who try to prove that Shakespeare wrote the sonnets to a man!" cried Enoch. "Only a woman could have brought forth that beauty of song."

Diana rose nobly to do battle. "What nonsense, Mr. Huntingdon! As if
a man like Shakespeare—" She paused as if struck by a sudden thought.
"That's a curious attitude for a notorious woman hater to take, Mr.
Secretary."

Enoch laid down his fork. "Do you think I'm a woman hater, Miss
Allen?" looking steadily into Diana's eyes.

"I didn't mean to be so personal. Just like a woman!" sighed Diana.

"But do you think I'm a woman hater?" insisted Enoch.

Diana looked up earnestly. "Please, Mr. Huntingdon, if our friendship is to ripen, you must not force it."

Enoch's face grew suddenly white. There swept over him with bitter realism a conception of the falseness of the position into which he was permitting himself to drift. He answered his own question with an attempted lightness of tone.

"I can never marry, but I don't hate women."

Diana's chin lifted and Enoch leaned forward quickly. All the aplomb won through years of suffering and experience deserted him. For the moment he was again the boy in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

"Oh, I am stupid, but let me explain. I want you to—"

"Please don't!" said Diana coldly. "I need no warning, Mr. Huntingdon."

"Oh, my dear Miss Allen, you must not be offended! What can I say?"

"You might ask me if it's not time to go home," suggested Diana, coolly. "You mustn't forget that I'm a wage earner."

Enoch bit his lip and turned to sign the check. Then he followed Diana to the door. Here they came upon the Indian Commissioner and his wife, and all opportunity for explanations was gone for the two invited themselves to walk along to Diana's rooming place. Enoch went up the steps with Diana, however, and asked her tensely:

"Will you lunch with me to-morrow, Miss Allen, that I may explain myself?"

"Thank you, no. I shall be very busy to-morrow, Mr. Huntingdon."

"Let me call here in the evening, then."

"I'd rather you wouldn't," answered the girl, coldly. "Good night, Mr.
Secretary," and she was gone.

Enoch stood as if struck dumb, then he made an excuse to Mr. and Mrs. Watkins, and started homeward. The night was stifling. When Jonas let him into the house, his collar was limp and his hair lay wet on his forehead.

"I'm going to New York to-night, Jonas," he said huskily.

"What's happened, boss?" asked Jonas breathlessly, as he followed Enoch up the stairs.

"Nothing! I'm going to give myself a day's rest. Give me something to travel in," pulling off his coat.

"I'm going with you, boss," not stirring, his black eyes rolling.

"No, I'm going alone, Jonas. Here, I'll pack my own grip. You go on out." This in a voice that sent Jonas, however reluctantly, into the hall, where he walked aimlessly up and down, wringing his hands.

"He ain't been as bad as this in years," he muttered. "I wonder what she did to him!"

Enoch came out of his room shortly. "Tell every one I'm in New York,
Jonas," he said, and was gone.

But Enoch did not go to New York. There was, he found on reaching the station, no train for an hour. He checked his suitcase, and the watching Jonas followed him out into the dark streets. He knew exactly whither the boss was heading, and when Enoch had been admitted into a brick house on a quiet street not a stone's throw from the station, Jonas entered nimbly through the basement.

He had a short conference with a colored man in the kitchen, then he went up to the second floor and sat down in a dark corner of the hall where he could keep an eye on all who entered the rear room. Well dressed men came and went from the room all night. It was nearing six o'clock in the morning when Jonas stopped a waiter who was carrying in a tray of coffee.

"How many's there now?" he demanded.

"Only four," replied the waiter. "That red-headed guy's winning the shirts off their backs. I've seen this kind of a game before. It's good for another day."

"Are any of 'em drinking?" asked Jonas.

"Nothing but coffee. Lord, I'm near dead!"

"Let me take that tray in for you. I want to get word to my boss."

The waiter nodded and, sinking into Jonas' chair, closed his eyes.

Jonas carried the tray into a handsome, smoke filled room, where four men with intent faces were gathered around a card table. Enoch, in his shirt sleeves, was dealing as Jonas set a steaming cup at his elbow. Perhaps the intensity of the colored man's gaze distracted Enoch's attention for a moment from the cards. He looked up and when he met Jonas' eyes he deliberately laid down the deck, rose, took Jonas by the arm and led him to the door.

"Don't try this again, Jonas," he said, and he closed the door after his steward.

Once more Jonas took up his vigil. He left his chair at nine o'clock to telephone Charley Abbott that the Secretary had gone to New York, then he returned to his place. Noon came, afternoon waned. As dusk drew on again, Jonas went once more to the telephone.

"That you, Miss Allen? . . . This is Jonas. . . . Yes, ma'am, I'm well, but the boss is in a dangerous condition. . . . Yes, ma'am, I thought you'd feel bad because you see, it's your fault. . . . No, ma'am, I can't explain over the telephone, but if you'll come to the station and meet me at the news-stand on the corner, I'll tell you. . . . Miss Allen, for God's sake, just trust me and come along. Come now, in a cab, and I'll pay for it. . . . Thank you! Thank you, ma'am! Thank you!"

He banged up the receiver and flew out the basement door. When he reached the news-stand, he stood with his hands twitching, talking to himself for a half hour before Diana appeared. She walked up to him as directly as a man would have done.

"What's happened, Jonas?"

"You and the boss must have quarreled last night. When anything strikes the boss deep, he wants to gamble. Of late years he's mostly fought it off, but once in a while it gets him. He's been at it since last night over yonder, and for the first time in years I can't do anything with him. And if it gets out, you know, Miss Allen, he's ruined. I don't dast to leave him long, that's why I got you to come here."

Diana's chin lifted. "Do you mean to tell me that a man of Mr. Huntingdon's reputation and ability, still stoops to that sort of thing?"

"Stoop! What do you mean, stoop? O Lord, I thought, seeing he sets the world by you, that you was different from the run of women and would understand." Jonas twisted his brown hands together.

"Understand what?" asked Diana, her great eyes fastened on Jonas with pity and scorn struggling in them.

"Understand what it means to him. How it's like a conjur that Luigi wished on him when he was a little boy. How he's pulled himself away from it and he didn't have anybody on earth to help him till I come along. What do you women folks know about how a strong man like him fights Satan? I've seen him walk the floor all night and win, and I've seen him after he's given in, suffer sorrow and hate of himself like a man the Almighty's forgot. That's why he's so good, because he sins and then suffers for it."

As Jonas' husky voice subsided, a sudden gleam of tears shone in
Diana's eyes.

"I'll send him a note, Jonas, and wait here for the answer. If that doesn't bring him, I'll go after him myself."

"The note'll bring him," said Jonas, "and he'll give me thunder for telling."

"Let me have a pencil and get me some paper from the news-stand." She wrote rapidly.

"Dear Mr. Huntingdon:

"I must see you at once on urgent business. I am in the railway station. Could you come to me here?

"DIANA ALLEN."

Jonas all but snatched the note and dashed away. Enoch was scowling at the cards before him when Jonas thrust the note into his hand. Enoch stared at the address, laid the cards down slowly, and read the note.

"All right, gentlemen," he said quietly. "I've had my fun! Good night!" He took his hat from Jonas and strode out of the room. He did not speak as the two walked rapidly to the station. Diana was standing by a cab near the main entrance.

"This is good of you, Mr. Huntingdon," she said gravely, shaking hands.
"Thank you, Jonas!" She entered the cab and Enoch followed her.

"Let me have your suitcase check, boss." Jonas held out a black hand that still shook a little.

"I'll get Miss Allen to drop me at the house, Jonas," said Enoch.

Jonas nodded and heaved a great sigh as the cab started off.

"How did you come to do it?" asked Enoch, looking strangely at Diana.

"I heard you were in New York, Mr. Secretary. Jonas called me up!"

"Jonas had no business to do so. I am humiliated beyond words!"

Enoch spoke with a dreary sort of hopelessness.

"I thought we were friends," said Diana calmly. "It isn't as if we hadn't known each other and all about each other since childhood. You must not say a word against Jonas."

"How could I? He is my guardian angel," said Enoch.

Diana went on still in the commonplace tone of the tea table. "I want to apologize for my fit of temper, Mr. Secretary. I was very stupid and I'm thoroughly ashamed of myself. You may tell me anything you please!"

"I don't deserve it!" Enoch spoke abruptly.

Diana's voice suddenly deepened and softened. "Ah, but you do deserve it, dear Mr. Secretary. You deserve all that grateful citizens can do for you, and even then we cannot expect to discharge our full debt to you. Here's my house. Perhaps when you're not too busy, you'll ask me to dine again with you."

Enoch did not reply. He stood with bared head while she ran up the steps. Then he reentered the cab and was driven home. But it was not till two weeks later that Enoch sent a note to Diana, asking her to take dinner with him. Even his diary during that period showed no record of his inward flagellations. He did not receive an answer until late in the afternoon.

It had been an exceptionally hectic day. Enoch had been summoned before the Senate Committee on appropriations, and with the director of the Reclamation Service had endured a grilling that had had some aspects of the third degree.

After some two hours of it the Director had lost his temper.

"Gentlemen!" he had cried, "treat me as if I were a common thief, attempting to loot the public funds, if you find satisfaction in it, but at least do not humiliate the Secretary of the Interior in the same manner!"

"These people can't humiliate me, Whipple." Enoch had spoken quietly.

The blow had struck home and the Senator who was acting as chairman had apologized.

Enoch had nodded. "I know! You are in the position of having to appropriate funds for the carrying on of a highly specialized business about which you are utterly ignorant. You are uneasy and you mistake impertinent questioning for keen investigation."

"I move we adjourn until to-morrow," a member had said hastily. The motion had carried and Enoch, as though it was already past six o'clock, had started for his office, Whipple accompanying him.

"After all this howl over the proposed Paloma Dam," said Whipple, "we may not be able to build it. There's a bunch of Mexicans both this and the other side of the border that have made serious trouble with the preliminary survey, and I have the feeling that there is some power behind that wants to start something."

"Is that so?" asked Enoch with interest. "Come in and talk to me a few moments about it."

Whipple followed to the Secretary's office. A sealed letter was lying on the desk. Enoch opened it, and read it without ceremony.

"Dear Mr. Huntingdon: I find that some old friends are starting for the Grand Canyon this afternoon and they have given me an opportunity to make one of their party. I have been able to arrange my work to Mr. Watkins' satisfaction and so, I'm off. I want to thank you very deeply for the wonderful openings you have made for me and for the very great personal kindness you have shown me. When I return in the winter, I hope I may see you again.

"Very sincerely yours,

"DIANA ALLEN."

Enoch folded the note and slipped it into his pocket, then he looked at the waiting Director. "I hope you'll excuse me, Whipple, but this is something to which I must give my personal attention," and without a word further, he put on his hat and walked out of the office. He did not go to his waiting carriage but, leaving the building by another door, he walked quickly to the drug store on the corner and, entering a telephone booth, called the railroad station. The train connecting for the Southwest had left an hour before. Enoch hung up the receiver and walked out to the curb, scowling and striking his walking stick against his trouser leg. Finally he got aboard a trolley.

It was a little after three o'clock in the morning when Jonas located him. Enoch was leaning against the wall watching the roulette table.

"Good evening, boss," said Jonas.

Enoch looked round at him. "That you, Jonas? I haven't touched a card or a dollar this evening, Jonas."

Jonas, who had already ascertained this from the owner of the gambling house, nodded.

"Have you had your supper yet, boss?"

Enoch hesitated, thinking heavily. "Why, no, Jonas, I guess not." Then he added irritably, "A man must rest, Jonas. I can't slave all the time."

"Sure!" returned the colored man, holding his trembling hands behind him. "But how come you to think this was rest, boss? You better come back now and let me fix you a bite to eat."

"Jonas, what's the use? Who on earth but you cares what I do? What's the use?"

"Miss Diana Allen," said Jonas softly, "she told Mr. Abbott this noon, at lunch, that you was one of the great men of this country and that he was a lucky dog to spend all his time with you."

Enoch stood, his arms folded on his chest, his massive head bowed.
Finally he said, "All right, old man, I'll try again. But I'm lonely,
Jonas, lonely beyond words, and all the greatness in the world, Jonas,
can't fill an empty heart."

"I know it, boss! I know it!" said Jonas huskily, as he led the way to the street. There, Enoch insisted on walking the three or four miles home.

"All right," agreed Jonas, cheerfully. "I guess ghosteses don't mind travel, and that's all I am, just a ghost."

Enoch stopped abruptly, put a hand on Jonas' shoulder and hailed a passing night prowler. Once in the cab, Jonas said:

"The White House done called you twice to-night. Mr. Secretary. I told 'em you'd call first thing in the morning."

"Thanks!" replied Enoch briefly.

The house was silent when they reached it. Jonas never employed servants who could not sleep in their own homes. By the time the Secretary was ready for bed, Jonas appeared with a tray, Enoch silently and obediently ate and then turned in.

The White House called before the Secretary had finished breakfast.

"You saw last night's papers?" asked the President.

"No! I'm sorry. I—I took a rest last evening."

"I'm glad you did. Well, I think you'd better plan—come up here, will you, at once? I won't try to talk to you over the telephone."

Enoch, in the carriage, glanced over the paper. The Brown paper of the evening before contained a nasty little story of innuendo about the work of the Survey near Paloma. The morning paper declared in glaring headlines that the President by his pacifist policy toward Mexico was tainting the nation's honor and that it would shortly bring England, France and Germany about our ears.

The President was still at breakfast when Enoch was shown in to him.
The chief executive insisted that Enoch have a cup of coffee.

"You don't look to me, my boy, like a man who had enjoyed his rest. And I'm going to ask you to add to your burdens. Could you leave next week for a speaking trip?"

The tired lines around Enoch's mouth deepened. "Yes, Mr. President.
Have you a general route planned?"

"Yes, New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and in between as can be arranged. Take two months to it."

"I shall be glad to be free of office routine for a while," said Enoch.
He sipped his coffee slowly, then rose as he added:

"I shall stick strictly to the work of my department, Mr. President, in the speech making."

"Oh! Absolutely! And let me be of any help to you I may."

"Thank you," Enoch smiled a little grimly. "You might come along and supply records for the phonograph."

"By Jove, I would if it were necessary!" said the President.

Jonas and Abbott each was perfect in his own line. In five days' time Enoch was aboard the private car, with such paraphernalia as was needed for carrying on office work en route. The itinerary had been arranged to the last detail. A few carefully chosen newspaper correspondents were aboard and one hot September evening, a train with the Secretary's car hitched to it, pulled out of Washington.

Of Enoch's speeches on that trip little need be said here. Never before had he spoken with such fire and with such simple eloquence. The group of speeches he made are familiar now to every schoolboy. One cannot read them to-day without realizing that the Secretary was trying as never before to interpret for the public his own ideals of service to the common need. He seemed to Abbott and to the newspaper men who for six weeks were so intimately associated with him to draw inspiration and information from the free air. And there was to all of his speeches an almost wistful persuasiveness, as if, Abbott said, he picked one listener in each audience, each night, and sought anew to make him feel the insidious peril to the nation's soul that lay in personal complacency and indifference to the nation's spiritual welfare. Only Jonas, struggling to induce the Secretary to take a decent amount of sleep, nodded wisely to himself. He knew that Enoch made each speech to a lovely, tender face, that no man who saw ever forgot.

Little by little, the newspapers of the country began to take Enoch's point of view. They not only gave his speeches in full, but they commented on them editorially, at great length, and with the exception of the Brown papers, favorably. By the time Enoch was on his way home, with but two weeks more of speech making before him, it looked as though the thought of war with Mexico had been definitely quashed. And Enoch was tired to the very marrow of his bones.

But the Brown papers were not finished. One evening, in Arizona, shortly after the train had pulled out of a station, Enoch asked for the newspapers that had been brought aboard from the desert city. Charley Abbott, who had been with the newspaper men on the observation platform for an hour or so, answered the Secretary's request with a curiously distraught manner.

"I—that is—Mr. Huntingdon, Jonas says you slept worse than ever last night. Why not save the papers till morning and try to sleep now?"

Enoch looked at his secretary keenly. "Picked up some Brown papers here, eh! Nothing that bunch can say can hurt me, old man."

"Don't you ever think it!" exclaimed Charley vehemently. "You might as well say you were immune to rattler bites, Mr. Huntingdon—" here his voice broke.

"Look here, Abbott," said Enoch, "if it's bad, I've got to fight it, haven't I?"

"But this sort of thing, a man—" Charley suddenly steadied himself. "Mr. Secretary, they've put some nasty personal lies about you in the paper. The country at large and all of us who know you, scorn the lies as much as they do Brown. In a day or so, it we ignore them, the stuff will have been forgotten. I beg of you, don't read any newspapers until I tell you all's clear."

Enoch smiled. "Why, my dear old chap, I've weathered all sorts of mud slinging!"

"But never this particular brand," insisted Charley.

"Let's have the papers, Abbott. I'm not afraid of anything Brown can say."

Charley grimly handed the papers to the Secretary and returned to the observation platform.

A reporter had seen Enoch in the gambling house on the evening of Diana's departure for the Canyon. He had learned something from the gambling house keeper of the Secretary's several trips there. The reporter had then, with devilish ingenuity, followed Enoch back to Minetta Lane, where he had found Luigi. Then followed eight or ten paragraphs in Luigi's own words, giving an account of Enoch and Enoch's mother. The whole story was given with a deadly simplicity, that it seemed to the Secretary must carry conviction with it.

As Enoch had told Abbott, he had weathered much political mud slinging, but even his worst political enemies had spared him this. His adherents had made much of the fact that Enoch was slum bred and self made. That was the sort of story which the inherent democracy of America loved. But the Brown account made of Enoch a creature of the underworld, who still loved his early haunts and returned to them in all their vileness. And in all the years of his political life, no newspaper but this had ever mentioned Enoch's mother. The tale closed with a comment on the fact that Enoch, who shunned all women, had been seen several times in Washington giving marked attention to Miss Diana Allen. Diana and her work were fully identified.

Enoch read the account to the last word, a flush of agonizing humiliation deepening on his face as he did so. When he had finished, he doubled the paper carefully, and laid it on the chair next to his. Then he lighted a cigarette and sat with folded arms, unseeing eyes on the newspaper. When Jonas came in an hour later, the cigarette, unsmoked, was cold between the Secretary's lips. With trembling hands, the colored man picked up the paper and with unbelievable venom gleaming in his black eyes, he carried it to the rear door, spat upon it and flung it out into the desert night. Then he returned to Enoch.

"Mr. Secretary," he said huskily, "let me take your keys."

Mechanically Enoch obeyed. Jonas selected a small key from the bunch and, opening a large leather portfolio, he took out the black diary. This he placed carefully on the folding table which stood at Enoch's elbow. Then he started toward the door.

The Secretary did not look up. Nor did he heed the colloquy which took place at the door between Jonas and Abbott.

"How is he, Jonas?"

"I ain't asked him. He's a sick man."

"God! Let me come in, Jonas."

"No, sir, you ain't! How come you think you kin talk to him when even
I don't dast to?"

"But he mustn't be alone, Jonas."

"He ain't alone. I left him with his Bible. Ain't nobody going to trouble him this night."

"I didn't know he read the Bible that way." Abbott's voice was doubtful.

"I don't mean the regular Lord's Bible. It's a book he's been writing for years and he always turns to it when he's in trouble. I don't know nothing about it. What he don't want me to know, I don't know," and Jonas slammed the door behind him.

It was late when Enoch suddenly straightened himself up and, with an air of resolution, opened the black book. He uncapped his fountain pen and wrote:

"Diana, how could I know, how could I dream that such a thing could happen to you, through me! You must never come back to Washington. Perhaps they will forget. As for myself, I can't seem to think clearly just what I must do. I am so very tired. One thing is certain, you never must see me again. For one wild moment the desire to return to the Canyon, now I am in its neighborhood overwhelmed me. I decided to go up there and see if I could find the peace that I found in my boyhood. Then I realized that you were at home, that all the world would see me go down Bright Angel, and I gave up the idea. But somehow, I must find rest, before I return to Washington. Oh, Diana, Diana!"

It was midnight when Enoch finally lay down in his berth. To Jonas' delight, he fell asleep almost immediately, and the faithful steward, after reporting to the anxious group on the platform, was soon asleep himself.

But it was not one o'clock when the Secretary awoke. The train was rumbling slowly, and he looked from the window. Only the moonlit flats of the desert were to be seen. Enoch rose with sudden energy and dressed himself. He chucked his toilet case, with his diary and a change of underwear, into a satchel, and scrawled a note to Abbott:

"Dear Charley: I'm slipping off into the desert for a little rest. You'll hear from me when I feel better. Give out that I'm sick—I am—and cancel the few speaking engagements left. Tell Jonas he is not to worry. Yours, E. H."

He sealed this note, then he pulled on a soft hat and, as the train stopped at a water tank, he slipped off the platform and stood in the shadow of an old shed. It seemed to him a long time before the engine, with violent puffing and jolting, started the long train on again. But finally the tail lights disappeared in the distance and Enoch was alone in the desert. For a few moments he stood beside the track, drawing in deep breaths of the warm night air. Then he started slowly westward along the railway tracks. He had noted a cluster of adobe houses a mile or so back, and toward these he was headed. In spite of the agony of the blow he had sustained Enoch, gazing from the silver flood of the desert, to the silver arch of the heavens, was conscious of a thrill of excitement and not unpleasant anticipation. Somewhere, somehow, in the desert, he would find peace and sufficient spiritual strength to sustain him when once more he faced Washington and the world.

BOOK III

THE ENCHANTED CANYON

CHAPTER VII

THE DESERT

"If I had a son, I would teach him obedience as heaven's first law, for so only can a man be trained to obey his own better self."—Enoch's Diary.

The Secretary had no intention of waking the strange little village at night. He thought that, once he had relocated it, he would wait until dawn before rousing any one. But he had not counted on the village dogs. These set up such an outcry that, while Enoch leaned quietly against a rude corral fence waiting for the hullaballoo to cease, the door of the house nearest opened, and a man came out. He stood for a moment very deliberately staring at the Secretary, whose polite "Good morning" could not be heard above the dogs' uproar.

Enoch, with a half grin, dropped his satchel and held up both hands. The man, half smiling in response, kicked and cursed the dogs into silence. Then he approached Enoch. He was a small, swarthy chap, clad in overalls and an undershirt.

"You're a Pueblo Indian?" asked the Secretary.

The Indian nodded. "What you want?"

"I want to buy a horse."

"Where you come from?"

"Off that train that went through a while ago."

"This not Ash Fork," said the Indian. "You make mistake. Ash Fork that way," jerking his thumb westward. "You pass through Ash Fork."

Enoch nodded. "You sell me a horse?"

"I rent you horse. You leave him at Hillers' in Ash Fork. I get him."

"No, I want to buy a horse. Now I'm in the desert I guess I'll see a little of it. Maybe I'll ride up that way," waving a careless arm toward the north. "Maybe you'll sell me some camping things, blankets and a coffee pot."

"All right," said the Indian. "When you want 'em?"

"Now, if I can get them."

"All right! I fix 'em."

He spoke to one of the other Indians who were sticking curious heads out of black doorways. In an incredibly short time Enoch was the possessor of a thin, muscular pony, well saddled, two blankets, one an Army, the other a Navajo, a frying pan, a coffee pot, a canteen and enough flour, bacon and coffee to see him through the day. He also achieved possession of a blue flannel shirt and a pair of overalls. He paid without question the price asked by the Indians. Dawn was just breaking when he mounted his horse.

"Where does that trail lead?" he asked, pointing to one that started north from the corral.

"To Eagle Springs, five miles," answered the Indian.

"And after that?"

"East to Allman's ranch, north to Navajo camp."

"Thanks," said Enoch. "Good-by!" and he turned his pony to the trail.

The country became rough and broken almost at once. The trail led up and down through draws and arroyos. There was little verdure save cactus and, when the sun was fully up, Enoch began to realize that a strenuous day was before him. The spring boasted a pepper tree, a lovely thing of delicate foliage, gazing at itself in the mirrored blue of the spring. Enoch allowed the horse to drink its fill, then he unrolled the blankets and clothing and dropped them into the water below the little falls that gushed over the rocks, anchoring them with stones. After this, awkwardly, but recalling more and more clearly his camping lore, he prepared a crude breakfast.

He sat long at this meal. His head felt a little light from the lack of sleep and he was physically weary. But he could not rest. For days a jingling couplet had been running through his mind:

  "Rest is not quitting this busy career.
  Rest is the fitting of self to one's sphere."

Enoch muttered this aloud, then smiled grimly to himself.

"That's the idea!" he added. "There's a bad spot somewhere in my philosophy that'll break me yet. Well, we'll see if I can locate it."

The sun was climbing high and the shade of the pepper tree was grateful. The spring murmured for a few feet beyond the last quivering shadow of the feathery leaves, then was swallowed abruptly by the burning sand. Enoch lifted his tired eyes. Far on every side lay the uneven, rock strewn desert floor, dotted with cactus and greasewood. To the east, vivid against the blue sky, rose a solitary mountain peak, a true purple in color, capped with snow. To the north, a green black shadow was etched against the horizon. Except for the slight rustle of the pepper tree, the vague murmur of the water, the silence was complete.

"It's not a calming atmosphere," thought Enoch, "as I remember the Canyon to have been. It's feverish and restless. But I'll give it a try. For to-day, I'll not think. I'll concern myself entirely with getting to this Navajo camp. First of all, I'll dry the blankets and clothing."

He had pulled off his tweed coat some time before. Now he hung his vest on the pepper tree and went about his laundry work. He draped blankets and garments over the greasewood, then moved by a sudden impulse, undressed himself and lay down under the tiny falls. The water, warmed by its languid trip through the pool above, was refreshing only in its cleansing quality. But Enoch, lying at length in the sand, the water trickling ceaselessly over him, felt his taut muscles relax and a great desire to sleep came upon him. But he was still too close to the railroad and possible discovery to allow himself this luxury. By the time he had finished his bath the overalls were dry and the blue flannel shirt enough so for him to risk donning it. He rolled up his tweed suit and tied it to the saddle, fastened the blankets on in an awkward bunch, the cooking utensils dangling anywhere, the canteen suspended from the pommel. Then he smiled at his reflection in the morning pool.

The overalls, a faded brown, were patched and, of course, wrinkled and drawn. The blue shirt was too small across the chest and Enoch found it impossible to button the collar. The soft hat was in keeping with costume, but the Oxford ties caused him to shake his head.

"A dead give-away! I'll have to negotiate for something else when I find the Navajos. All right, Pablo," to the horse, "we're off," and the pony started northward at a gentle canter.

The desert was new to Enoch. Neither his Grand Canyon experience nor his hunting trips in Canada and Maine had prepared him for the hardships and privations of desert travel. Sitting at ease on the Indian pony, his hat well over his eyes, his pots and pans clanging gently behind him, he was entirely oblivious to the menace that lay behind the intriguing beauty of the burning horizon. He was giving small heed, too, to the details of the landscape about him. He was conscious of the heat and of color, color that glowed and quivered and was ever changing, and he told himself that when he was rested he would find the beauty in the desert that Diana's pictures had said was there. But for now, he was conscious only of pain and shame, the old, old shame that the Canyon had tried to teach him to forget. He was determined that he would stay in the desert until this shame was gone forever.

It was a fall and not a summer sun, so the pony was able to keep a steady pace until noon. Gradually the blur of green that Enoch had observed to the north had outlined itself more and more vividly, and at noon he rode into the shade of a little grove of stunted piñon and juniper. He could find no water but there was a coarse dried grass growing among the trees that the horse cropped eagerly. Enoch removed the saddle and pack from Pablo, and spread his half dried blankets on the ground. Then he threw himself down to rest before preparing his midday meal. In a moment slumber overwhelmed him.

He was wakened at dusk by the soft nuzzling of the pony against his shoulder.

"By Jove!" he exclaimed softly. "What a sleep!" He jumped to his feet and began to gather wood for his fire. He was stiff and his unaccustomed fingers made awkward work of cooking, but he managed, after an hour's endeavor, to produce an unsavory meal, which he devoured hungrily. He wiped out the frying pan with dried grass, repacked his outfit, and hung it on the horse.

"It's up to you, Pablo, old boy, to get us to water, if you want any to-night," he said, as he mounted, and headed Pablo north on the trail.

The pony was quite of Enoch's opinion, and he started forward at an eager trot. The trail was discernible enough in the starlight, but Enoch made no attempt to guide Pablo, who obviously knew the country better than his new owner.

Enoch had dreamed of Diana, and now, the reins drooping limply from his hands, he gave his mind over to thought of her. There was no one on earth whom he desired to see so much or so little as Diana! No one else to whom in his trouble his whole heart and mind turned with such unutterable longing or such iron determination never to see again. He had no intention of searching for her in the desert. He knew that her work would keep her in the Grand Canyon country. He knew that it would be easy to avoid her. And, in spite of the fact that every fiber of his being yearned for her, he had not the slightest desire to see her! She would, he knew, see the Brown story. No matter what her father may have told her, the newspaper story, with its vile innuendoes concerning his adult life, must sicken her. There was one peak of shame which Enoch refused to achieve. He would not submit himself either to Diana's pity or to her scorn. But there was, he was finding, a peculiar solace in merely traveling in Diana's desert. He had complete faith that here he would find something of the sweet philosophy that had written itself in Diana's face.

For Enoch had not come to middle life without learning that on a man's philosophy rests his ultimate chance for happiness, or if not for happiness, content. He knew that until he had sorted and separated from each other the things that mattered and the things that did not matter, he must be the restless plaything of circumstance. In his younger days he had been able to persuade himself that if his point of view on his life work were right and sane, nothing else could hurt him too much. But now, easing himself to the pony's gentle trot and staring into the exquisite blue silence of the desert night, he told himself that he had been a coward, and that his cowardice had made him shun the only real experience of life.

Public service? Yes, it had been right for him to make that his life work. And such service from such men as himself he knew to be the only vital necessity in a nation's life. But the one vital necessity in a man's spiritual life he had missed. If he had had this, he told himself, life's bludgeons, however searching, however devastating, he could have laughed at. A man must have the thought of some good woman's love to sustain him. But for Enoch, the thought of any woman's love, Luigi had tainted at its source. He had neither mother nor mate, and until he had evolved some philosophy which would reconcile him to doing without both, his days must be feverish and at the mercy of the mob.

Pablo broke into a canter and Enoch roused himself to observe a glow of fire far ahead on the trail. His first impulse was to pull the horse in. He did not want either to be identified or to mingle with human beings. Then he smiled ruefully as he recalled the poverty of his outfit and he gave Pablo his way again. In a short time Pablo had reached a spring at a little distance from the fire. As the horse buried his nose in the water, a man came up. Enoch judged by the long hair that he was an Indian.

"Good evening," said Enoch. "Can you tell me where I can buy some food?"

"What kind of grub?" asked the Indian.

"Anything I can cook and eat," replied Enoch, dismounting stiffly.
"What kind of camp is this?"

"Navajo. What your name?"

"Smith. What's yours?"

"John Red Sun. How much you pay for grub?"

"Depends on what kind and how much. Which way are you folks going?"

"We take horses to the railroad," replied John Red Sun. "Me and my brother, that's all, so we haven't got much grub. You come over by the fire." Enoch dropped the reins over Pablo's head and followed to the fire. An Indian, who was boiling coffee at the little blaze, looked up with interest in his black eyes.

"Good evening," said Enoch. "My name is Smith."

The Indian nodded. "You like a cup of coffee? Just done."

"Thanks, yes." Enoch sat down gratefully by the fire. The desert night was sharp.

"Where you going, Mr. Smith?" asked John Red Sun.

"I'm an Easterner, a tenderfoot," replied Enoch. "I am very tired and I thought I'd like to rest in the desert. I was on the train when the idea struck me, and I got off just as I was. I bought the horse and these clothes from an Indian."

"Where you going?" repeated John's brother. "To see Injun villages?"

"No, I don't think so. I just want to be by myself."

"It's foolish for tenderfoot to go alone in desert," said John. "You don't know where to get water, get grub."

"Oh, I'll pick it up as I go."

The Indians stared at Enoch in the firelight. His ruddy hair was tumbled by the night wind. His face was deep lined with fatigue that was mental as well as physical.

"You mustn't go alone in desert." John Red Sun's voice was earnest.
"You sleep here to-night. We'll talk it over."

"You're very kind," said Enoch. "I'll unsaddle my pony. Ought I to hobble him or stake him out?"

"I fix 'im. You drink your coffee." The brother handed Enoch a tin cup as he spoke. "Then you go to sleep. You mucho tired."

Their hospitality touched Enoch. "You're very kind," he repeated gratefully, and he drank the vile coffee without blinking. Then, conscious that he was trembling with weariness, he rolled himself in his blankets. But he slept only fitfully. The sand was hard, and his long afternoon's nap had taken the edge from his appetite for sleep. He spent much of the night wondering what Washington, what the President was saying about him. And his sunburned face was new dyed with his burning sense of shame.

At the first peep of dawn, John Red Sun rose from the other side of the fire, raked the ashes and started a blaze going. Enoch discovered that the camp lay at the foot of a mesa, close in whose shadow a small herd of scraggly, unkempt ponies was staked. The two Indians moved about deftly. They watered the horses, made coffee and cakes and fried bacon. By the time Enoch had shaved, a pie tin was waiting for him in the ashes.

"We sell you two days' grub," said John. "One day north on this trail go two men up to the Canyon, to placer mine. They're good men. I know 'em many years. They got good outfit, but burros go slow, so you can easy overtake 'em to-day. You tell 'im you want a job. Tell 'im John Red Sun send you. Then you get rested in the desert. Not good for any white man to go alone and do nothing in the desert. He'll go loco. See?"

Enoch suddenly smiled. "I do see, yes. And I must say you're mighty kind and sensible. I'll do as you suggest. By the way, will you sell me those boots of yours? I'll swap you mine and anything you say, beside. I believe our feet are the same size."

Red Sun's brother was wearing Navajo moccasins reaching to the knee, but Red Sun was resplendent in a pair of high laced boots, into which were tucked his corduroy pants. The Indians both looked at Enoch's smart Oxford ties with eagerness. Then without a word, Red Sun began rapidly to unlace his boots. It would be difficult to say which made the exchange with the greater satisfaction, Enoch or the Indian. When it was done Enoch, as far as his costume was concerned, might have been a desert miner indeed, looking for a job.

The sun was not over an hour high when Pablo and Enoch started north once more, the little horse loaded with supplies and Enoch loaded with such trail lore as the two Indians could impress upon him in the short time at their command. Enoch was not deeply impressed by their advice except as to one point, which they repeated so often that it really penetrated his distraught and weary mind. He was to keep to the trail. No matter what or whom he thought he saw in the distance, he was to keep to the trail. If a sand storm struck him, he was to camp immediately and on the trail. If he needed water, he was to keep to the trail in order to find it. At night, he must camp on the trail. The trail! It was, they made him understand, a tenderfoot's only chance of life in this section. And, thus equipped, Enoch rode away into the lonely, shimmering, intriguing morning light of the desert.

He rode all the morning without dismounting. The trail was very crooked. It seemed to him at such moments as he took note of this fact, he would save much time by riding due north, but he could not forget the Indian brothers' reiterated warnings. And, although he could not throw off a sense of being driven, the desire to arrive somewhere quickly, still he was strangely content to let Pablo set the pace.

At noon he dismounted, fed Pablo half the small bag of oats John had given him, and ate the cold bacon and biscuits John's brother had urged on him. There was no water for the horse, but Enoch drank deeply from the canteen and allowed Pablo an hour's rest. Then he mounted and pushed on, mindful of the necessity of overtaking the miners.

His mind was less calm than it had been the day before, and his thinking less orderly. He had begun to be nagged by recollections of office details that he should have settled, of important questions that awaited his decision. And something deep within him began to tell him that he was not playing a full man's part in running away. But to this he replied grimly that he was only seeking for strength to go back. And finally he muttered that give him two weeks' respite and he would go back, strength or no strength. And over and about all his broken thinking played an unceasing sense of loss. The public had invaded his last privacy. The stronghold wherein a man fights his secret weakness should be sacred. Not even a clergyman nor a wife should invade its precincts uninvited. Enoch's inner sanctuary had been laid open to the idle view of all the world. The newspaper reporter had pried where no real man would pry. The Brown papers had published that from which a decent editor would turn away for very compassion. Only a very dirty man will with no excuse whatever wantonly and deliberately break another man.

When toward sundown Enoch saw a thread of smoke rising far ahead of him, again his first thought was to stop and make camp. He wished that it were possible for him to spend the next few weeks without seeing a white man. But he did not yield to the impulse and Pablo pushed on steadily.

The camp was set in the shelter of a huge rock pile, purple, black, yellow and crimson in color, with a single giant ocotilla growing from the top. A man in overalls was bending over the fire, while another was bringing a dripping coffee pot from a little spring that bubbled from under the rocks. A number of burros were grazing among the cactus roots.

Enoch rode up slowly and dismounted stiffly. "Good evening," he said.

The two men stared at him frankly. "Good evening, stranger!"

"John Red Sun told me to ask you people for work in return for permission to trail with your outfit."

"Oh, he did, did he!" grunted the older man, eying Enoch intently. "My name is Mackay, and my pardner's is Field."

"Mine is Smith," said Enoch.

"Just Smith?" grinned the man Field.

"Just Smith," repeated Enoch firmly.

"Well, Mr. Just Smith," Mackay nodded affably, as though pleased by his appraisal of the newcomer, "wipe your feet on the door mat and come in and have supper with us. We'll talk while we eat."

"You're very kind," murmured Enoch. "I—er—I'm a tenderfoot, so perhaps you'd tell me, shall I hobble this horse or—"

"I'll take care of him for you," said Field. "You look dead tuckered.
Sit down till supper's ready."

Enoch sat down on a rock and eyed his prospective bosses. Mackay was a tall, thin man of perhaps fifty. He was smooth shaven except for an iron gray mustache. His face was thin, tanned and heavily lined, and his keen gray eyes were deep set under huge, shaggy eyebrows. He wore a gray flannel shirt and a pair of well worn brown corduroys, tucked into the tops of a pair of ordinary shoes. Field was younger, probably about Enoch's own age. He was as tall as Mackey but much heavier. He was smooth shaven and ruddy of skin, with a heavy thatch of curly black hair and fine brown eyes. His clothing was a replica of his partner's.

Mackay gave his whole attention to the preparation of the supper, while
Field unpacked Pablo and hobbled him.

"You're just in time for a darn good meal, Mr. Smith," said Field.
"Mack is a great cook. If he was as good a miner as he is cook—"

"Dry up, Curly, and get Mr. Smith's cup and plate for him. We're shy on china. Grub's ready, folks. Draw up."

They ate sitting in the sand, with their backs against the rocks, their feet toward the fire, for the evening was cold. Curly had not exaggerated Mack's ability. The hot biscuits, baked in a dutch oven, the fried potatoes, stewed tomatoes, the bacon, the coffee were each deliciously prepared. Enoch ate as though half starved, then helped to wash the dishes. After this was finished, the three established themselves with their pipes before the fire.

"Now," said Mack, "we're in a condition to consider your proposition,
Mr. Smith. Just where was you aiming for?"

"I have a two or three weeks' vacation on my hands," replied Enoch, "and I'm pretty well knocked up with office work. I wanted to rest in the desert. I thought I could manage it alone, but it looks as if I were too green. I don't know why John Red Sun thought I could intrude on you folks, unless—" he hesitated.

"John an old friend of yours?" asked Curly.

"No, I met him on the trail. He was exceedingly kind and hospitable."

Curly whistled softly. "You must have been in bad shape. John's not noted for kindness, or hospitality either."

"I wasn't in bad shape at all!" protested Enoch. The two men, eying
Enoch steadily, each suppressed a smile.

"Field and I are on a kind of vacation too," said Mack. "I'm a superintendent of a zinc mine, and he's running the mill for me. We had to shut down for three months—bottom's dropped clean out of the price of zinc. We've been talking about prospecting for placer gold up on the Colorado, for ten years. Now we're giving her a try."

He paused, and both men looked at Enoch expectantly. "In other words," said Enoch, refilling his pipe, "you two fellows are off for the kind of a trip you don't want an utter stranger in on. Well, I don't blame you."

"Depends altogether on what kind of a chap the stranger is," suggested
Curly.

"I have no letters of recommendation." Enoch's smile was grim. "I'd do my share of the work, and pay for my board. I might not be the best of company, for I'm tired. Very tired."

His massive head drooped as he spoke and his thin fine lips betrayed a pain and weariness that even the fitful light of the fire could not conceal. There was a silence for a moment, then a burro screamed, and Mackay got to his feet.

"There's Mamie burro making trouble again. Come and help me catch her,
Curly."

Enoch sat quietly waiting while a low voiced colloquy that did not seem related to the obstreperous Mamie went on in the shadow beyond the rocks. Then the two men came back.

"All right, Smith," said Mack. "We're willing to give it a try. A camping trip's like marriage, you know, terrible trying on the nerves. So if we don't get on together, it's understood you'll turn back, eh?"

"Yes," Enoch nodded.

"All right! We'll charge you a dollar and a half a day for yourself and your horse. We're to share and share alike in the work."

"I'm exceedingly grateful!" exclaimed Enoch.

"All right! We hope you'll get rested," said Curly. "And I advise you to begin now. Have you been sleeping well? How long have you been out?"

"Three nights. I've slept rottenly."

"I thought so. Let me show you how to scoop out sand so's to make a hollow for your hips and your shoulders, and I'll bet you'll sleep."

And Enoch did sleep that night better than for several weeks. He was stiff and muscle sore when he awoke at dawn, but he felt clearer headed and less mentally feverish than he had the previous day. Curly and Mack were still asleep when he stole over to the spring to wash and shave. It was biting cold, but he felt like a new man when he had finished his toilet and stood drawing deep breaths while he watched the dawn approach through the magnificent desert distances. He gathered some greasewood and came back to build the fire, but his camp mates had forestalled him. While he was at the spring the men had both wakened and the fire was blazing merrily.

Breakfast was quickly prepared and eaten. Enoch established himself as the camp dish washer, much to the pleasure of Curly, who hitherto had borne this burden. After he had cleaned and packed the dishes, Enoch went out for Pablo, who had strayed a quarter of a mile in his search for pasturage. After a half hour of futile endeavor Mack came to his rescue, and in a short time the cavalcade was ready to start.

They were not an unimposing outfit. Mack led. The half dozen burros, with their packs followed, next came Curly, and Enoch brought up the rear. There was little talking on the trail. The single file, the heavy dust, and the heat made conversation too great an effort. And Enoch was grateful that this was so.

To-day he made a tremendous endeavor to keep his mind off Luigi and the Brown papers. He found he could do this by thinking of Diana. And so he spent the day with her, and resolved that if opportunity arose that night, to write to her, in the black diary.

The trail, which gradually ascended as they drew north, grew rougher and rougher. During the latter part of the day sand gave way to rock, and the desert appeared full of pot holes which Mack claimed led to subterranean rivers.

They left these behind near sunset, and came upon a huge, rude, cave-like opening in a mesa side. A tiny pool at the back and the evidence of many camp fires in the front announced that this was one of the trail's established oases. There was no possible grazing for the animals, so they were watered, staked, and fed oats from the packs.

"Well, Mr. Just Smith," said Curly, after the supper had been dispatched and cleared up and the trio were established around the fire, pipes glowing, "well, Mr. Just Smith, are you getting rested?" He grinned as he spoke, but Mack watched their guest soberly. Enoch's great head seemed to fascinate him.

"I'm feeling better, thanks. And I'm trying hard to behave."

"You're doing very well," returned Curly. "I can't recommend you yet as a horse wrangler, but if I permit you to bring Mamie in every morning, perhaps you'll sabez better."

"This is sure one devil of a country," said Mack. "The Spanish called it the death trail. Wow! What it must have been before they opened up these springs! Even the Indians couldn't live here."

"I'd like to show it to old Parsons," said Curly. "He claims there ain't a spot in Arizona that couldn't grow crops if you could get water to it. He's a fine old liar! Why, this country don't even grow cactus! I'd like to hobble him out here for a week."

"Those Survey fellows were up here a few years back trying to fix it to get water out of those pot holes," said Mack.

"Nuts! Sounds like a government bunch!" grunted Curly.

"What came of it?" asked Enoch.

"It ended in a funny kind of a row," replied Mack. "Some folks think there's oil up here, and there was a bunch here drilling for wells, when the government men came along. They got interested in the oil idea, and they began to study the country and drill for oil too. And that made these other chaps mad. This was government land, of course, but they didn't want the government to get interested in developing oil wells. Government oil would be too cheap. So they got some Mexicans to start a fight with these Survey lads. But the Survey boys turned out to be well armed and good fighters and, by Jove, they drove the whole bunch of oil prospectors out of here. Everybody got excited, and then it turned out there was no oil here anyhow. That was Fowler's bunch, by the way, that got run out. Nobody ever thought he'd be Secretary of State!"

"But Fowler is not an Arizona man!" exclaimed Enoch.

"No," said Curly, "but he came out here for his health for a few years when he was just out of college. He and my oldest brother were law pardners in Phoenix. I always thought he was crooked. All lawyers are."

Enoch smiled to himself.

"Fowler sent his prospectors into Mexico after that," Mack went on reminiscently. "Curly and I were in charge of the silver mine near Rio Chacita where they struck some gushers. They were one tough crowd. We all slept in tents those days, and I remember none of us dared to light a lamp or candle because if one of those fellows saw it, they'd take a pot shot at it. One of my foremen dug a six-foot pit and set his tent over it. Then he let 'em shoot at will. Those were the days!"

"Government ought to keep out of business," said Curly. "Let the
States manage their own affairs."

"What's Field sore about?" asked Enoch of Mack.

"He's just ignorant," answered Mack calmly. "Hand me some tobacco,
Curly, and quit your beefing. When you make your fortune washing gold
up in the Colorado, you can get yourself elected to Congress and do
Fowler up. In the meantime—"

"Aw, shut up, Mack," drawled Curly good-naturedly. "What are you trying to do, ruin my reputation with Just Smith here? By the way, Just, you haven't told us what your work is."

"I'm a lawyer," said Enoch solemnly.

The three men stared at each other in the fire glow. Suddenly Enoch burst into a hearty laugh, in which the others joined.

"What was the queerest thing you've ever seen in the desert, Mack?" asked Enoch, when they had sobered down.

Mack sat in silence for a time. "That's hard to judge," he said finally. "Once, in the Death Valley country, I saw a blind priest riding a burro fifty miles from anywhere. He had no pack, just a canteen. He said he was doing a penance and if I tried to help him, he'd curse me. So I went off and left him. And once I saw a fat woman in a kimono and white satin high heeled slippers chasing her horse over the trackless desert. Lord!"

"Was that any queerer sight than Just Smith chasing Pablo this morning?" demanded Curly.

"Or than Field tying a stone to Mamie's tail to keep her from braying to-night?" asked Enoch.

"You're improving!" exclaimed Curly, "Dignity's an awful thing to take into the desert for a vacation."

"Let's go to bed," suggested Mack, and in the fewest possible minutes the camp was at rest.

The trail for the next two days grew rougher and rougher, while the brilliancy of color in rock and sand increased in the same ratio as the aridity. Enoch, pounding along at the rear of the parade, hour after hour, was still in too anguished and abstracted a frame of mind to heed details. He knew only that the vast loveliness and the naked austerity of the desert were fit backgrounds, the first for this thought of Diana, the second for his bitter retrospects.

Mid-morning on the third day, after several hours of silent trekking,
Curly turned in his saddle:

"Just, have you noticed the mirage?" pointing to the right.

Far to the east where the desert was most nearly level appeared the sea, waters of brilliant cobalt blue lapping shores clad in richest verdure, waves that broke in foam and ran softly up on quiet shores. Upon the sea, silhouetted against the turquoise sky were ships with sails of white, of crimson, of gold. Then, as the men stared with parted lips, the picture dimmed and the pitiless, burning desert shimmered through.

The unexpected vision lifted Enoch out of himself for a little while and he listened, interested and amused, while Curly, half turned in his saddle, discanted on mirages and their interpretations. Nor did Enoch for several hours after meditate on his troubles. Not an hour after the mirage had disappeared the sky darkened almost to black, then turned a sullen red. Lightning forked across the zenith and the thunder reverberated among the thousand mesas, the entangled gorges, until it seemed almost impossible to endure the uproar. Rain did not begin to fall until noon. There was not a place in sight that would provide shelter, so the men wrapped their Navajos about them and forced the reluctant animals to continue the journey. The storm held with fury until late in the afternoon. The wind, the lightning and the rain vied with one another in punishing the travelers. Again and again, the burros broke from trail.

"Get busy, Just!" Curly would roar. "Come out of your trance!" and Enoch would ride Pablo after the impish Mamie with a skill that developed remarkably as the afternoon wore on. Enoch could not recall ever having been so wretchedly uncomfortable in his life. He was sodden to the skin, aching with weariness, shivering with cold. But he made no murmur of protest. It was Curly who, about five o'clock, called:

"Hey, Mack! I've gone my limit!"

Mack pulled up and seemed to hesitate. As he did so, the storm, with a suddenness that was unbelievable, stopped. A last flare of lightning seemed to blast the clouds from the sky. The rain ceased and the sun enveloped mesas, gorges, trail in a hundred rainbows.

"How about a fire?" asked Mack, grinning, with chattering teeth.

"It must be done somehow," replied Curly. "Come on, Just, shake it up!"

"Look here, Curly," exclaimed Mack, pausing in the act of throwing his leg over the saddle, "I think you ought to treat Mr. Smith with more respect. He ain't your hired help."

"The dickens he isn't!" grinned Curly.

"It's all right, Mack! I enjoy it," said Enoch, dismounting stiffly.

"If you do," Mack gave him a keen look, "you aren't enjoying it the way
Curly thinks you do."

Enoch returned Mack's gaze, smiled, but said nothing further. Mack, however, continued to grumble.

"I'm as good as the next fellow, but I don't believe in giving everybody a slap on the back or a kick in the pants to prove it. You may be a lawyer, all right, Mr. Smith, but I'll bet you're on the bench. You've got that way with you. Not that it's any of my business!"

He was leading the way, as he spoke, toward the face of a mesa that abutted almost on the trail. Curly apparently had not paid the slightest attention to the reproof. He was already hobbling his horse.

They made no attempt to look for a spring. The hollows of the rocks were filled with rain water. But the search for wood was long and arduous. In fact, it was nearly dusk before they had gathered enough to last out the evening. But here and there a tiny cedar or mesquite yielded itself up and at last a good blaze flared up before the mesa. The men shifted to dry underwear, wrung out their outer clothing and put it on again, and drank copiously of the hot coffee. In spite of damp clothing and blankets Enoch slept deeply and dreamlessly, and rose the next day none the worse for the wetting. Even in this short time his physical tone was improving and he felt sure that his mind must follow.

CHAPTER VIII

THE COLORADO

"We had a particularly vile place to raid to-day, and as I listened with sick heart to the report of it, suddenly I saw the Canyon and F.'s broad back on his mule and the glorious line of the rim lifting from opalescent mists."—Enoch's Diary.

They had been a week on the trail when they made camp one night at a spring surrounded by dwarf junipers. Mack, who had taken the trip before, greeted the spring with a shout of satisfaction.

"Ten miles from the river, boys! To-morrow afternoon should see us panning gold."

And to-morrow did, indeed, bring the river. There was a wide view of the Colorado as they approached it. The level which had gradually lifted during the entire week, making each day cooler, rarer, as it came, now sloped downward, while mesa and headland grew higher, the way underfoot more broken, the trail fainter and fainter, and the thermometer rose steadily.

By now deep fissures appeared in the desert floor, and to the north lifted great mountains that were banded in multi-colored strata, across which drifted veils of mist, lavender, blue and gauzy white. Enoch's heart began to beat heavily. It was the Canyon country, indeed! The country of enchantment to which his spirit had returned for so many years.

They ate lunch in a little canyon opening north and south.

"At the north end of this," said Mack, "we make our first sharp drop a thousand feet straight down. She's a devil of a trail, made by Indians nobody knows when. Then we cross a plateau, about a mile wide, as I remember, then it's an easy grade to the river. We've got to go over the girths careful. If anything slips now it's farewell!"

The trail was a nasty one, zig-zagging down the over-hanging face of the wall. Enoch, to his deep-seated satisfaction, felt no sense of panic, although in common with Mack and Curly, he was apprehensive and at times a little giddy. It required an hour to compass the drop. At the bottom was a tiny spring where men and beasts drank deeply, then started on.

The plateau was rough, deep covered with broken rock, but the trail, though faint, held to the edge. At this edge the men paused. The Colorado lay before them.

Fifty feet below them was a wide stretch of sand. Next, the river, smooth brown, slipping rapidly westward. Beyond the water, on the opposite side, a chaos of rocks greater than any Enoch had yet seen, a pile huge as if a mountain had fallen to pieces at the river's edge. Behind the broken rock rose the canyon wall, sheer black, forbidding, two thousand feet into the air. Its top cut straight and sharp across the sky line, the sky line unbroken save where rising behind the wall a mountain peak, snow capped, flecked with scarlet and gold, towered in the sunlight.

"There you are, Curly!" exclaimed Mack. "There's a spring in the cave beneath us. There's drift wood, enough to run a factory with. Have I delivered the goods, or not?"

"Everything is as per advertisement except the gold," replied Curly.

"Oh, well, I don't vouch for the gold!" said Mack. "I just said the Indians claim they get it here. There's some grazing for the critters up here on the plateau, you see, and not a bit below. So we'll drive 'em back up here and leave 'em. With a little feed of oats once in a while, they'll do. Come ahead! It'll be dark in the Canyon inside of two hours."

The cave proved to be a hollow overhang of the plateau ten or fifteen feet deep, and twice as wide. The floor was covered with sand.

"All ready to go to housekeeping!" exclaimed Curly. "Judge, you wrangle firewood while Mack and I just give this placer idea a ten minutes' trial, will you?"

"Go ahead!" said Enoch, "all the gold in the Colorado couldn't tempt me like something to eat. If you aren't ready by the time the fire's going, Mack, I shall start supper."

"Go to it! I can stand it if you can!" returned Mack, who had already unpacked his pan.

From that moment Enoch became the commissary and steward for the expedition. Curly and Mack, whom he had known as mild and jovial companions of many interests and leisurely manners, changed in a twinkling to monomaniacs who during every daylight hour except for the short interim which they snatched for eating, sought for gold. At first Enoch laughed at them and tried to get them to take an occasional half day off in which to explore with him. But they curtly refused to do this, so he fell back on his own resources. And he discovered that the days were all too short. Curly had a gun. There was plenty of ammunition. Quail and cottontails were to be found on the plateau where the stock was grazing. Sometimes on Pablo, sometimes afoot, Enoch with the gun, and sometimes with the black diary rolled in his coat, scoured the surrounding country.

One golden afternoon he edged his way around the shoulder of a gnarled and broken peak, in search of rabbits for supper. Just at the outermost point of the shoulder he came upon a cedar twisting itself about a broad, flat bowlder. Enoch instantly stopped the search for game and dropped upon the rock, his back against the cedar. Lighting his pipe, he gave himself up to contemplation of the view. Below him yawned blue space, flecked with rose colored mists. Beyond this mighty blue chasm lay a mountain of purest gold, banded with white and silhouetted against a sky of palest azure. An eagle dipped lazily across the heavens.

When he had gazed his fill, Enoch put his pipe in his pocket, unrolled the diary and, balancing it oh his knee, began to write:

"Oh, Diana, no wonder you are lovely! No wonder you are serene and pure and reverent!

  'And her's shall be the breathing balm
  And her's the silence and the calm'—

"You remember how it goes, Diana.

"I heard Curly curse yesterday. A thousand echoes sent his words back to him and he looked at the glory of the canyon walls and was ashamed. I saw shame in his eyes.

"It was not cowardice that drove me away for this interval, Diana. Never believe that of me! I was afraid, yes, but of myself, not of the newspapers. If I had stayed on the train, I would have returned at once to Washington and have shot the reporter who wrote the stuff. Perhaps I shall do it yet. But if I do, it will be after the Canyon and I have come to agreement on the subject. I am very sure I shall shoot Brown. Some one should have done it, long ago.

"I wonder what you are doing this afternoon. Somewhere between a hundred and a hundred and fifty miles we are from Bright Angel, Mack says, via the river. And only a handful of explorers, you told me, ever have completed the trip down the Colorado. I would like to try it.

"Diana, you look at me with your gentle, faithful eyes, the corners of your lips a little uncertain as if you want to tell me that I am disappointing you and yet, because you are so gentle, you did not want to hurt me. Diana, don't be troubled about me. I shall go back, long enough at least to discharge my pressing duties. After that, who knows or cares! Oh, Diana! Diana! What is the use? There is nothing left in my life. I am empty—empty!

"Even all this is make believe, for, as soon as you saw that I was beginning to care for you,—beginning is a good word here!—you went away.

"Good-by, Diana."

Enoch's gun made no contribution to the larder that night. Curly uttered loud and bitter comment on the fact.

"You're getting spoiled by high living," said Enoch severely. "What would you have done if I hadn't come along and taken pity on you? Why, you and Mack would have starved to death here in the Canyon, for it's morally certain neither of you would have stopped panning gold long enough to prepare your food."

"Right you are, Judge," replied Curly meekly. "I'm going to try to get Mack to rebate two bits a day on your board, as a token of our appreciation."

"Not when his biscuits have to be broken open with a stone," objected Mack, as he sopped in his coffee one of the gray objects Enoch had served as rolls.

"They say when a woman that's done her own cooking first gets a hired girl, she becomes right picky about her food," rejoined Curly.

"I'd give notice if I had any place to go," said Enoch. "What was the luck to-day, boys?"

"Well, I've about come to the conclusion," replied Mack, "that by working eight hours a day you can just about wash wages out of this sand, and that's all."

"You aren't going to give it up now, are you, Mack?" asked Curly, in alarm.

"No, I'll stay this week out, if you want to, and then move on up to
Devil's Canyon."

They were silently smoking around the fire, a little later, when Curly said:

"I have a hunch that you and I're not going to get independent wealth out of this expedition, Mack."

"What would you do with it, if you had it, Curly?" asked Enoch.

"A lot of things!" Curly ruminated darkly for a few moments, then he looked at Enoch long and keenly. "Smith, you're a lawyer, but I believe you're straight. There's something about you a man can't help trusting, and I think you've been successful. You have that way with you. Do you know what I'd do if I was taken suddenly rich? Well, I'd hire you, at your own price, to give all your time to breaking two men, Fowler and Brown."

"Easy now, Curly!" Mack spoke soothingly. "Don't get het up. What's the use?"

"I'm not het up. I want to get the Judge's opinion of the matter."

"Go ahead. I'm much interested," said Enoch.

"By Brown, I mean the fellow that owns the newspapers. When my brother and Fowler were in law together—"

"You should make an explanation right there," interrupted Mack. "You said all lawyers was crooks."

"My brother Harry was straight and I've just given my opinion of Smith here. I never liked Fowler, but he had great personal charm and Harry never would take any of my warnings about him. Brown was a short-legged Eastern college boy who worked on the local paper for his health. How he and Fowler ever met up, I don't know, but they did, and the law office was Brown's chief hang-out. Now all three of 'em were as poor as this desert. Nobody was paying much for law in Arizona in those days. Our guns was our lawyers. But by some fluke, Harry was made trustee of a big estate—a smelting plant that had been left to a kid. After a few years, the courts called for an accounting, and it turned out that my brother was short about a hundred thousand dollars. He seemed totally bewildered when this was discovered, swore he knew nothing about it and was terribly upset. And this devil of a Fowler turns round and says Harry made way with it and produces Brown as a witness. And, by the lord, the court believed them! My brother killed himself." Curly cleared his throat. "It wasn't six months after that that Fowler and Brown, who left the state right after the tragedy, bought a couple of newspapers. They claimed they got the money from some oil wells they'd struck in Mexico."

"How is it the country at large doesn't know of Fowler's association with Brown?" asked Enoch.

"Oh, they didn't stay pardners as far as the public knows, but a few years. They were too clever! They gave out that they'd had a split and they say nobody ever sees them together. All the same, even when they were seeming to ignore him, the Brown papers have been making Fowler."

"And you want to clear your brother's name," said Enoch thoughtfully. "That ought not to be difficult. You could probably do it yourself, if you could give the time, and were clever at sleuthing. The papers in the case should be accessible to you."

"Shucks!" exclaimed Curly. "I wouldn't go at it that way at all. I got something real on Fowler and Brown and I want to use it to make them confess."

"Sounds like blackmail," said Enoch.

"Sure! That's where I need a lawyer! Now, I happen to know a personal weakness of Fowler's—"

"Don't go after him on that!" Enoch's voice was peremptory. "If he's done evil to some one else, throw the light of day on his crime, but if by his weakness you mean only some sin he commits against himself, keep off. A man, even a crook, has a right to that much privacy."

"Did Brown ever have decency toward a man's seclusion?" demanded Curly.

"No!" half shouted Enoch. "But to punish him don't turn yourself into the same kind of a skunk he is. Kill him if you have to. Don't be a filthy scandal monger like Brown!"

"You speak as if you knew the gentleman," grunted Mack.

"I don't know him," retorted Enoch, "except as the world knows him."

"Then you don't know him, or Fowler either," said Curly. "But I happen to have discovered something that both those gentlemen have been mixed up in, in Mexico, something—oh, by Jove, but it's racy!"

"You've managed to keep it to yourself, so far," said Mack.

"Meaning I'd better continue to do so! Only so long as it serves my purpose, Mack. When I get ready to raise hell about Fowler's and Brown's ears, no consideration for decency will stop me. I'll be just as merciful to them as they were to Harry. No more! I'll string their dirty linen from the Atlantic to the Pacific. His and Brown's! But I want money enough to do it right. No little piker splurge they can buy up! I'll have those two birds weeping blood!"

Enoch moistened his lips. "What's the story, Curly?" he asked evenly.

Curly filled and lighted his pipe. But before he could answer Enoch,
Mack said;

"Sleep on it, Curly. Mud slinging's bad business. Sleep on it!"

"I've a great contempt for Brown," said Enoch. "I'm a good deal tempted to help you out, that is, if it is to the interest of the public that the story be told."

"It will interest the public. You can bet on that!" Curly laughed sardonically. Then he rose, with a yawn. "But it's late and we'll finish the story to-morrow night. Judge, I have a hunch you're my man! I sabez there's heap devil in you, if we could once get you mad."

Enoch shrugged his shoulders. "Perhaps!" he said, and he unrolled his blankets for bed.

But it was long before he slept. The hand of fate was on him, he told himself. How else could he have been led in all the wide desert to find this man who held Brown's future in his hands? Suddenly Enoch saw himself returning to Washington with power to punish as he had been punished. His feeble protests to Curly were swept away. He felt the blood rush to his temples. And anger that had so far been submerged by pain and shame suddenly claimed its hour. His rage was not only at Brown. Luigi, his mother, most of all this woman who had been his mother, claimed his fury. The bitterness and humiliation of a lifetime burst through the gates of his self-control. He stole from the cave to the sandy shore and there he strode up and down like a madman. He was physically exhausted long before the tempest subsided. But gradually he regained his self-control and slipped back into his blankets. There, with the thought of vengeance sweet on his lips, he fell asleep.

Curly was, of course, entirely engrossed the next day by his mining operations. Enoch had not expected or wished him to be otherwise. He felt that he needed the day alone to get a grip on himself.

That afternoon he climbed up the plateau to the entering trail, up the trail to the desert. He was full of energy. He was conscious of a purposefulness and a keen interest in life to which he had long been a stranger. As he filled the gunny sack which he carried for a game bag with quail and rabbits, he occasionally laughed aloud. He was thinking of the expression that would appear on Curly's face if he learned into whose hands he was putting his dynamite?

The sun was setting when he reached the head of the trail on his way campward. All the world to the west, sky, peaks, mesas, sand and rock had turned to a burning rose color. The plateau edge, near his feet, was green. These were the only two colors in all the world. Enoch stood absorbed by beauty when a sound of voices came faintly from behind him.

His first thought was that Mack and Curly had stolen a march on him. His next was that strangers, who might recognize him, were near at hand. He started down the trail as rapidly as he dared. It was dusk when he reached the foot. For the last half of the trip voices had been floating down to him, as the newcomers threaded their way slowly but steadily. Enoch stood panting at the foot of the trail, listening acutely. A voice called. Another voice answered. Enoch suddenly lost all power to move. The full moon sailed silently over the plateau wall. Enoch, grasping his gun and his game bag, stood waiting.

A mule came swiftly down the last turn of the trail and headed for the spring. The man who was riding him pulled him back on his haunches with a "Whoa, you mule!" that echoed like a cannon shot. Then he flung himself off with another cry.

"Oh, boss! Oh, boss! Here he is, Miss Diana! O dear Lord, here he is! Boss! Boss! How come you to treat me so!"

And Jonas threw his arms around Enoch with a sob that could not be repressed.

Enoch put a shaking hand on Jonas' shoulder. "So you found your bad charge, old man, didn't you?"

"Me find you? No, boss, Miss Diana, she found you. Here she is!"

Diana dropped from her horse, slender and tall in her riding clothes.

"So Jonas' pain is relieved, eh, Mr. Huntingdon! Are you having a good holiday?"

"Great!" replied Enoch huskily.

"I told Jonas it was the most sensible thing a man could do, who was as tired as you are, but he would have it you'd die without him. If you don't want him, I'll take him away."

"You'd have to take me feet first, Miss Diana," said Jonas, with a grin. "Where's that Na-che?"

"Here she comes!" laughed Diana. "Poor Na-che! She hates to hurry!
She's got a real grievance against you, Jonas."

Two pack mules lunged down the trail, followed by a squat figure on an
Indian pony.

"This is Na-che, Mr. Huntingdon," said Diana.

Enoch shook hands with the Indian woman, whose face was as dark as Jonas' in the moonlight. "Where's your camp, Mr. Huntingdon?" Diana went on.

"Just a moment!" Enoch had recovered his composure. "I am with two miners, Mackay and Field. To them, I am a lawyer named Smith. I would like very much to remain unknown to them during the remaining two weeks of my vacation."

Jonas heaved a great sigh that sounded curiously like an expression of vast and many sided relief. Then he chuckled. "Easy enough for me. You can't never be nothing but Boss to me."

But Diana was troubled. "I thought we'd camp with your outfit to-night. But we'd better not. I'd be sure to make a break. Are you positive that these men don't know you?"

"Positive!" exclaimed Enoch. "Why, just look at me, Miss Allen!"

Diana glanced at boots, overalls and flannel shirt, coming to pause at the fine lion-like head. "Of course, your disguise is very impressive," she laughed. "But I would say that it was impressive in that it accents your own peculiarities."

"That outfit is something fierce, boss. I brung you some riding breeches," exclaimed Jonas.

"I don't want 'em," said Enoch. "Miss Allen, Field calls me Judge.
How would that do?"

"Well, I'll try it," agreed Diana reluctantly. "I know both the men, by the way. Mack, especially, is well known among the Indians. What explanation shall we make them?"

"Why not the truth?" asked Enoch. "I mean, tell them that I slipped away from my friends and that Jonas tagged."

"Very well!" Diana and Jonas both nodded.

"And now," Enoch lifted his game bag, "let's get on. My partners are going to be worried. And I'm the cook for the outfit, too."

"Boss," Jonas took the game bag, "you take my mule and go on with Miss
Diana and Na-che and I'll come along with the rest of the cattle."

Enoch obediently mounted, Diana fell in beside him, and looked anxiously into his face. "Please, Judge, are you very cross with me for breaking in on you? But poor Jonas was consumed with fear for you."

Enoch put his hand on Diana's as it rested on her knee. "You must know!" he said, and was silent.

"Then it's all right," sighed Diana, after a moment.

"Yes, it's quite all right! How did Jonas find you?"

"It seems that he and Charley concluded that you must have headed toward Bright Angel. Charley went on to Washington to keep things in order there. Jonas went up to El Tovar. I had just outfitted for a trip into the Hopi country when Jonas came to me. He had talked to no one. He is wonderfully circumspect, but he was frantic beneath his calm. He begged me to find you for him and—well, I was a little anxious myself—so I didn't need much urging. We had only been out a week when we met John Red Sun. The rest was easy. If a person sticks to the trails in Arizona it's difficult not to trace them. Look, Judge, your friends have lighted a signal fire."

"Poor chaps! They're starved and worried!" Enoch quickened his mule's pace and Diana fell in behind him.

Mack and Curly were standing beside the blaze at the edge of the plateau. Enoch jumped from the saddle.

"I'm awfully sorry, fellows! But you see, I was detained by a lady!"

"For heaven's sake, Diana!" cried Mack. "Where did you come from?"

"Hello, Mack! Hello, Curly!" Diana dismounted and shook hands. "Well, the Judge gave his friends the slip. Everybody was satisfied but his colored man, Jonas. He was absolutely certain the Judge wouldn't keep his face clean or his feet dry and he so worked on my feelings that I trailed you people. I was going into the Hopi country anyhow."

Curly gave Enoch a knowing glance. "We thought he was putting something over on us. What is he, Diana, a member of the Supreme Bench?"

"Huh! Hardly!"

Everybody laughed at Diana's derisive tone and Curly added, "Anyhow, he's a rotten cook. I was thinking of putting Mack back on his old job."

"Don't intrude, Curly," said Enoch. "I've been out and brought in an assistant who's an expert."

"That's you, I suppose, Diana!" Mack chuckled.

"No, it's Jonas, the colored man. He'll be along with Na-che in a moment. This isn't your camp?"

"Come along, Miss Allen!" exclaimed Enoch. "I'll show you a camp that's run by an expert."

Mack and Curly groaned and followed Enoch and Diana down to the cave, Jonas and Na-che appearing shortly. Jonas, hobbling to the cave opening stood for a moment, gazing at the group around the fire in silent despair. Finally he said:

"When I get back to Washington, if I live to get there, they'll put me out of the Baptist Church as a liar, if I try to tell 'em what I been through. Boss, what you trying to do?"

"Dress these quail," grunted Enoch.

Jonas gave Curly and Mack a withering glance, started to speak, swallowed something and said, "How come you to think you was a butcher, boss? Leave me get my hands on those birds. I should think you done enough, killing 'em."

"No," said Enoch, "I'm the cook for to-night. But, Jonas, old man, if you aren't too knocked up, you might make some biscuit."

"Jonas looks to me," suggested Mack, "like a cup of coffee and a seat by the fire was about his limit to-night. I'll get the rest of the grub, if you'll tend to the quail, Judge. Curly, you go out and unpack for Diana. We'll turn the cave over to you and Na-che to-night, Diana."

Diana, who was sitting on a rock by the fire, long, slender legs crossed, hands clasping one knee, an amused spectator of the scene, looked up at Mack with a smile.

"Indeed you won't, Mack. Na-che and I have our tent. We'll put it up in the sand, as usual. And tomorrow, having delivered our prize package, we'll be on our way."

Enoch looked up quickly. "Don't be selfish, Miss Allen!" he exclaimed.

"That's the idea!" Mack joined in vehemently. Then he added, with a
grin, "The Judge has plumb ruined our quiet little expedition anyhow.
And after two weeks of him and Curly, I'm darn glad to see you, Diana.
How's your Dad?"

"Very well, indeed! If he had had any idea that I was going on this sort of trip, though, I think he'd have insisted on coming with me. Judge, let me finish those birds. You're ruining them."

"Whose quail are these, I'd like to know?" demanded Enoch.

"Yours," replied Diana meekly, "but I had thought that some edible portion besides the pope's nose and the neck ought to be left on them."

Jonas, who had been crouching uneasily on a rock, a disapproving spectator of the scene, groaned audibly. Na-che now came into the glow of the fire. She was a comely-faced woman, of perhaps forty-five, neatly dressed in a denim suit. Her black eyes twinkled as she took in the situation.

"Na-che, you come over here and sit down by me," said Jonas. "If I can't help, neither can you."

Na-che smiled, showing strong white teeth. "You feel sick from the saddle, eh, Jonas?"

"Don't you worry about that, woman! I'll show you I'm as good as any
Indian buck that ever lived!"

Na-che grunted incredulously, but sat down beside Jonas nevertheless.

In spite of the gibes, supper was ready eventually and was devoured with approval. When the meal was finished, Na-che and Jonas cleared up, then Jonas took his blanket and retired to a corner of the cave, whence emerged almost immediately the sound of regular snoring. The others sat around the fire only a short time.

"You'll stick around for a little while, won't you, Diana?" said Curly, as he filled his first pipe.

"I really ought to pull out in the morning," replied Diana. "There are some very special pictures I want to get at Oraibai about now."

"There is a cliff dwelling down the river about three miles," said Enoch. "I haven't found the trail into it yet, but I saw the dwelling distinctly from a curve on the top of the Canyon wall. It's a huge construction."

"Is that so?" exclaimed Diana eagerly. "Why, those must be the Gray ruins. I didn't realize we were so close to them. Well, you've tempted me and I've fallen. I really must give a day to those remains. Only one or two whites have ever gone through them."

Enoch smiled complacently.

"How long have you and the Judge known each other, Diana?" asked Curly suddenly.

Diana hesitated but Enoch spoke quickly. "The first time I saw Miss
Allen she was a baby of five or six on Bright Angel trail."

Curly whistled. "Then you've got it on the rest of us. I first saw her when she was a sassy miss in school at Tucson."

"Nothing on me!" said Mack. "I held her in my arms when she was ten days old, and my wife was with her mother and Na-che when she was born. You were a red-faced, squalling brat, Diana."

"She was a beautiful baby! She never cried," contradicted Na-che flatly.

Diana laughed and rose. "This is getting too personal. I'm going to bed," she said. The men looked at her, admiration in every face.

"Anything any of us can do for your comfort, Diana?" asked Curly.
"Na-che seemed satisfied with the place I put your tent in."

"Everything is fine, thank you," Diana held out her hand, "Good night,
Curly. I really think you're handsomer than ever."

"Lots of good that'll do me," retorted Curly.

Diana made a little grimace at him and turned to Mack. "Good night,
Mack. I'll bet you're homesick for Mrs. Mack this minute."

"She's a pretty darned fine old woman!" Mack nodded soberly.

"Old!" said Diana scornfully. "You ought to have your ears boxed!
Good night, Judge!"

"Good night, Miss Allen!"

The three men watched the tall figure swing out into the moonlight.

"There goes the most beautiful human being I ever hope to see," said
Curly, turning to unroll his blankets.

"If I was a painter and wanted to tell what this here country was really like, at its best, I'd paint Diana." Mack's voice was very earnest.

"Shucks!" sniffed Curly, "that isn't saying anything, is it, Judge?"

"It's hard to put her into words," replied Enoch carefully. "Curly, are you too tired to continue our last night's talk?"

"Oh, let's put it over till to-morrow! We've lots of time!" Curly gave a great yawn.

Enoch said nothing more but rolled himself in his blankets, with the full intention of formulating his line of conduct toward Diana before going to sleep. He stretched himself luxuriously in the sand and the next thing he heard was Diana's laugh outside. He opened his eyes in bewilderment. It was dawn without the cave. Jonas was hobbling down toward the river.

"Oh, Jonas, you poor thing! Do let Na-che give you a good rubdown before you try to do anything!"

"No, Miss Diana. If the boss can stand these goings on, I can. How come he ever thought this was sport, I don't know. I'll never live to get him back home!"

"Where are you going, Jonas?" called Curly.

Jonas paused. "I ain't going to turn myself round, unless I have to.
What's wanted?"

"I just wanted to warn you that the Colorado's no place for a morning swim," Curly said.

"I'm just going to get the boss's shaving water."

"There's a hint for you, Judge," Curly turned to Enoch. "I hope you plan to give more attention to your toilet after this."

"You go to blazes, Curly," said Enoch amiably. "I haven't got the reputation for pulchritude to live up to that you have."

"Diana's imagination was in working order last night," volunteered Mack. "To my positive knowledge Curly ain't washed or shaved for three days."

"You've drunk of the Hassayampa too, Mack!" Curly ran the comb through his black locks vindictively.

"What's the effect of that draught?" asked Enoch.

"You never tell the truth again," said Curly.

Na-che's voice floated in. "Jonas, you tell the men I got breakfast already for 'em. Tell 'em to bring their own cups and plates."

"Sounds rotten, huh?" Curly sauntered out of the cave.

It was a very pleasant meal. To Enoch it was all a dream. It seemed impossible for him to absorb the fact that he and Diana were together in the Colorado Canyon. When the last of the coffee was gone, Curly looked at his watch, then turned severely to Enoch.

"We're an hour earlier than we've ever been, and all because of women!
Aren't you ashamed?"

"Run along and wash dirt," returned Enoch. "For two cents I'd tell how long it took me to get you up yesterday morning."

"What's your program, Diana?" asked Mack.

"Na-che and I are going over to the cliff dwelling. We'll be gone all day."

"I'll act as guide," said Enoch with alacrity.

"It's not necessary!" exclaimed Diana. "I don't want to interrupt your camp routine at all. You just give us directions, Judge. Na-che and I are old hands at this, you know."

"Oh, take him along, Diana! He'll be crying in a minute," sniffed
Curly. "Jonas, you'll stay and give us a feed, won't you?"

"I got to look out for the boss," Jonas spoke anxiously.

A shout went up. "Jonas, old boy," said Enoch, "you stay in camp to-day and er—look over my clothes."

"I will, boss," with intense relief, "and I'll make you a stew out of those rabbits nobody'll forget in a hurry."

Mack and Curly hurried off to the river's edge. Na-che and Jonas went into the cave. Enoch looked at Diana. She was standing by the breakfast fire slender and straight in her brown corduroy riding suit, her wide, intelligent eyes studying Enoch's face. There was a glow of crimson in the cream of her cheeks, for the morning air held frost in its touch.

"May I go with you?" repeated Enoch. "I'll be very good!"

Diana did not reply at first. Moonlight and firelight had not permitted her before to read clearly the story of suffering that was in Enoch's face. During breakfast he had been laughing and chatting constantly. But now, as he stood before her, she was appalled by what she saw in the rugged face. There were two straight, deep lines between his brows. The lines from nostril to lip corner were doubly pronounced. The thin, sensitive lips were compressed. The clear, kindly blue eyes were contracted as if Enoch were enduring actual physical pain. Tall and powerful, his dark red hair tossed back from his forehead, his look of trouble did not detract from the peculiar forcefulness of his personality.

"If you hesitate so long," he said, "I shall—"

Diana laughed. "Begin to cry, as Curly said? Oh, don't do that! I shall be very happy to have you with me, but before we start, I think I shall develop some of the films I exposed on the way over. A ten o'clock start will be early enough, won't it? I have a developing machine with me. It may not take me even until ten."

Enoch nodded. "How does the work go?" he asked eagerly. "Did you attend the ceremony Na-che sent word to you about?"

"Yes! Out of a hundred exposures I made there, I think I got one fairly satisfactory picture." Diana sighed. "After all, the camera tells the story no better than words, and words are futile. Look! What medium could one use to tell the world of that?"

She swept her arm to embrace the view before them. The tiny sandy beach was on a curve of the river so sharp that above and below them the rushing waters seemed to drive into blind canyon walls. To the right, the Canyon on both sides was so sheer, the river bed so narrow that nothing but sky was to be seen above and beyond. But to the left, the south canyon wall terraced back at perhaps a thousand feet in a series of magnificent strata, yellow, purple and crimson. Still south of this, lifted great weathered buttes and mesas, fortifications of the gods against time itself. The morning sun had not yet reached the camp, but it shone warm and vivid on the peaks to the south, burning through the drifting mists from the river, in colors that thrilled the heart like music.

Enoch's eyes followed Diana's gesture. "I know," he said, softly. "It's impossible to express it. I've thought of you and your work so often, down here. Somehow, though, you do suggest the unattainable in your pictures. It's what makes them great."

Diana shook her head and turned toward her tent, while Enoch lighted his pipe and began his never-ending task of bringing in drift wood. He paused, a log on his shoulder, before Curly, who was squatting beside his muddy pan.

"Curly," he said, "is that stuff you have on Fowler and Brown, political, financial, or a matter of personal morals?"

"Personal morals and worse!" grunted Curly. "It's some story!"

Enoch turned away without comment. But the lines between his eyes deepened.

CHAPTER IX

THE CLIFF DWELLING

"Love! that which turns the meanest man to a god in some one's eyes! Yet I must not know it! Suppose I cast my responsibility to the winds and . . . and yet that sense of responsibility is all that differentiates me from Minetta Lane."—Enoch's Diary.

Diana began work on her films on a little folding table beside the spring. Enoch, throwing down his log close to the cave opening, paused to watch her. Jonas and Na-che, putting the cave in order, talked quietly to each other. Suddenly from the river, to the right, there rose a man's half choking, agonized shout and around the curve shot a skiff, bottom up, a man clinging to the gunwale. The water was too wild and swift for swimming.

"The rope, Judge, the rope!" cried Mack.

Enoch picked up a coil of rope, used for staking the horses, and ran to Mack who snatched it, twirled it round his head and as the boat rushed by him, the noosed end shot across the gunwale. The man caught it over his wrist and it was the work of but a few moments to pull him ashore.

He was a young man, with a two days' beard on his face, clad in the universal overalls and blue flannel shirt. He lay on the sand, too exhausted to move for perhaps five minutes, while Jonas pulled off his sodden shoes, and Na-che ran to kindle a fire and heat water. After a moment, however the stranger began to talk.

"Almost got me that time! Forgot to put my life preserver on. Don't bother about me. I'm drowned every day. Another boat with the rest of us should be along shortly. Hope they salvaged some of the stuff."

"What in time are you trying to do on the river, anyhow?" demanded
Curly. "There's simpler ways of committing suicide."

The young man laughed. "Oh, we're some more fools trying to get from
Green River to Needles!"

"On a bet?" asked Mack.

"Hardly! On a job! Geological Survey! Four of us! There they come!
Whoo—ee!"

He staggered to his feet, as another boat shot around the curve. But this one came through in proper style, right side up, two men manning the oars and a third with a steering paddle. With an answering shout, they ran quickly up on the shore. They were a rough-bearded, overalled lot, young men, all of them.

"Gee whiz, Harden! We thought you were finished!" exclaimed the tallest of the trio.

"I would have been, but for these folks," replied Harden. "Here, let's make some introductions!"

They were stalwart fellows. Milton, the leader, was sandy-haired and freckled, a University of California man. Agnew was stocky and swarthy, an old Princeton graduate and Forrester, a thin, blonde chap had worked in New York City before he joined the Geological Survey. They were astonished by this meeting in the Canyon, but delighted beyond measure. They had been on the river for seven months and up to this time had met no one except when they went out for supplies.

"We camped up above those rapids, last night," said Milton. "Of course we didn't know of this spot. We really had nothing but a ledge, up there. This morning Harden undertook to patch his boat, with this result." He nodded toward the shivering cast-a-way, who had crowded himself to Na-che's fire. "Have you folks any objection to our stopping here to make repairs?"

"Lord, no! Glad to have you!" said Mack.

Enoch laughed. "Mack, it's no use! You and Curly are doomed to take on guests as surely as a dog takes on fleas. They started out alone, Milton, for a little vacation prospecting trip. I caught them a few days out and made them take me on. Then Miss Allen came along last night, and now your outfit! I'm sorry for you, Mack."

"I'll try to live through it," grinned Mack.

"Did you fellows find any pay gravel, coming down?" asked Curly.

"We didn't look for any," answered Agnew, "But a few years ago, I picked this out of the river bed."

He showed Curly a nugget as large as a pea. "Where the devil did you find that?" exclaimed Curly, eagerly.

"I can show you on our map," replied Agnew.

"I'll go fifty-fifty with you," proffered Curly. "Me to do all the work."

"No, you won't," laughed Agnew. "Say, old man, I put in four years, trying to make money out of the Colorado and I swear, the only real cash I've ever made on it has been the magnificent wages the Secretary of the Interior allows me. I'll keep the nugget. You can have whatever else you find there. Believe me, you'll earn it, before you get it!"

"You're foolish but I'm on! Mack, when shall we move?"

"I want to know a lot more before I break up my happy home." Mack's voice was dry. "In the meantime you fellows make yourselves comfortable. Come on, Curly. Let's get back to work!"

"Mr. Curly," said Jonas, "will you let me see that nugget?"

"Sure, Jonas, here it is!"

Jonas turned it over on his brown palm. "You mean to say you pick up gold like that, down here?"

"That's what I did," replied Agnew.

"Kin any one do it?"

"Yes, sir!"

"How come it everybody ain't down here doing it right now?"

"The going is pretty stiff," said Harden, with a grin, glancing at his steaming legs.

"Boss," Jonas turned the nugget over and over, "let's have a try at these ructions, before we go back!"

"Are you game to take to the boats, Jonas?" asked Enoch.

"No, boss, we'll just go over the hills, like Miss Diana does. For the
Lord's sake, who'd want to go back to—"

"Jonas," interrupted Diana. "If you and Na-che will put together a lunch for us, the Judge and I will get started."

"I didn't quite get your name, sir," said Milton to Enoch.

"Just Smith," called Curly, from over his pan of gravel. "Mr. Just
Smith! Judge, for short."

"Oh!" Milton continued to stare at Enoch in a puzzled way. "I beg your pardon! Come on, Harden, you're pretty well steamed out. Let's go back and see what we can salvage, while Ag and Forr begin to overhaul the stuff we've already pulled out."

Not a half hour later, Enoch, Diana and Na-che were making their way slowly up the plateau trail, not however, to climb up the old trail to the main land. They turned midway toward their right. There was no trail, but Enoch knew the way by the distant peaks. They traveled afoot, single file, each with a canteen, a little packet of food and Na-che with the camera tripod, while Enoch insisted on toting the camera and the coil of rope. The sun was hot on the plateau and the way very rough. They climbed constantly over ragged boulders, and chaotic rock heaps, or rounded deep fissures that cut the plateau like spider webs. Muscular and in good form as was the trio, frequent rests were necessary. They had one mishap. Na-che, lagging behind, slipped into a fissure. Enoch and Diana blanched at her sudden scream and ran back as she disappeared. Mercifully a great rock had tumbled into the crevice some time before and Na-che landed squarely on this, six feet below the surface. When Diana and Enoch peered over, she was sitting calmly on the rock, still clinging to the tripod.

"I lost my lunch!" she grumbled as she looked up at them.

Diana laughed. "You may have mine! Better no lunch than no Na-che.
Give us hold of the end of the tripod, honey, and we'll help you out."

A few moments of strenuous scrambling and pulling and Na-che was on the plateau brushing the sand from her clothes.

"Sit down and get your breath, Na-che," said Enoch.

"I'm fine! I don't need to sit," answered Na-che. "Let's get along."
She started on briskly.

"I suppose things like that are of daily occurrence!" exclaimed Enoch.
"Miss Allen, don't you think you could be more careful!"

Again Diana laughed. "It wasn't I who slipped into the crevice!"

"No, but I'll wager you've had many an accident."

"That's where part of the fun comes in. Why, only yesterday we had the most thrilling escape. We—"

"Please! I don't want to hear it!" protested Enoch,

"Pshaw! There's no more daily risk here, than there is in the streets of a large city."

Enoch grunted and followed as Diana hurried after Na-che. The course now led along the edge of the plateau which here hung directly above the river. The water twisted far below like a sinuous brown ribbon. The nooning sky was bronze blue and burning hot. The world seemed very huge, to Enoch; the three of them, toiling so carefully over the yellow plateau, very small and insignificant. He did not talk much during the rest intervals. He would light his pipe and smoke as if in physical contentment, but his deep blue eyes were burning and somber as they rested on the vast emptiness about them. Na-che always dozed during the stops. Diana, after she had observed the look in Enoch's eyes, occupied herself in writing up her note book.

It was just noon when they came to an old trail which Enoch believed dropped to the cliff dwelling. Before descending it, they ate their lunch, Enoch and Diana sharing with Na-che. This done, they began to work carefully down the faint old trail. For ten or fifteen minutes, they wormed zig-zag downward, the angle of descent so great that frequently they were obliged to sit down and slide, controlling their speed by clinging to the rocks on either side. They could not see the cliff dwelling; only the river winding so remotely below. But at the end of the fifteen minutes the trail stopped abruptly. So unexpectedly, in fact, that Enoch clung to a rock while his legs dangled over the abyss. He shouted to the others to wait while he peered dizzily below. A great section of the wall had broken away and the trail could not be taken up again until a sheer gap of twenty feet had been bridged.

Diana crept close behind Enoch and peered over his shoulders.

"If we tie the rope to this pointed rock, I think we can lower ourselves, don't you?" he asked.

"Easily!" agreed Diana. "I'll go first."

"Well, hardly! I'll go first and Na-che can bring up the rear, as usual."

They knotted the rope around the rock and Enoch and Diana quickly and easily made the descent. Na-che lowered the camera and tripod to them, then examined, with a sudden exclamation, the rock to which the rope was tied. "That rock will give way any minute," she cried. "Your weight has cracked it."

Even as she spoke, the rock suddenly tilted and slid, then bounded out to the depths below, carrying the rope with it. For a moment no one spoke, then Na-che, her round brown face wrinkled with amusement, said,

"Almost no Na-che, no Diana, no Judge, eh?"

"Jove, what an escape!" breathed Enoch.

"Na-che," said Diana, "you'll just have to return to the camp for another rope. You'd better ride back here. In the meantime, the Judge and I'll explore the dwelling."

Na-che nodded and without another word, disappeared. Diana turned to
Enoch. "Lead ahead, Judge!"

The trail now led around a curve in the wall. Enoch edged gingerly beyond this and paused. The trail again was broken, but they were in full view of the cliff dwelling, which was snuggled in an inward curve of the Canyon, filling entirely a gigantic gap in the gray wall.

Diana exclaimed over its mute beauty. "I must see it!" she said. "But we can't bridge this gap without more ropes and more people to help."

"It looks to me," Enoch spoke with a sudden smile, "as though the Lord intended me to have a few moments alone with you!"

Diana smiled in return. "It does, indeed," she agreed.

"Let's try to settle ourselves comfortably here in view of the dwelling. I like to look at it. We can hear Na-che when she calls."

The trail was several feet wide at this point. Diana sat down on a rock, her back to the wall, clasping one knee with her brown fingers. For a little while Enoch stood looking from the dwelling to Diana, then far out to the glowing peaks across the Canyon to the north. Finally, he turned to silent contemplation of the lovely, slender figure against the wall. Diana's dignity, her utter sweetness, the something quieting and steadying in her personality never had seemed more pronounced to Enoch than in this country of magnificent heights and depths.

"Well," said Diana, finally, "after you've finished your inspection, perhaps you'll sit down and talk."

Enoch smiled and established himself beside her. He refilled his pipe, lighted it and laid it down. "Miss Allen," he said abruptly, "you saw the article in the Brown papers?"

"Yes," replied Diana.

"What did you think of it?"

"I thought what others think, that Brown is an unspeakable cur."

"I can't tell you how keenly I feel for you in the matter, Miss Allen.
I would have given anything to have saved you from it."

"Would you? I'm not so sure that I would! You see, I'm just enough of a hero worshiper to be proud to have my name coupled in friendship with that of a great man."

"A great man!" repeated Enoch quietly, yet with a bitterness in his voice that wrung Diana's heart.

"Yes, Mr. Huntingdon," Diana's voice broke a little and she turned her head away.

The utter silence of the Canyon enveloped them.

At last Enoch said, "You have a big soul, Miss Allen, but you shall not sacrifice one smallest fragment of—of your perfection for me. If it is necessary for me to kill Brown, I shall do so."

Diana gasped, "Enoch!"

Enoch, at the sound of his name on her lips, touched her hand quickly and softly with his own, and as quickly drew it away, jumped to his feet and began to pace the trail.

"Yes, kill him, the cur! Diana, he did not even leave me a mother in the public mind! He maligned you. The burdens that I have carried for all the years, the horrors that I've wrestled with, the secret shames that I've hidden, he's exposed them all in the open marketplace. And he dragged you into my mire! Diana, each man must be broken in a different way. Some are broken by money, some by physical fear, some by spiritual fear, some—"

Diana interrupted. "Enoch, are you a friend of mine?"

Enoch turned his tortured eyes to hers. "I shall never tell you how much a friend I am to you, Diana. But my friendship is a fact you may draw on all the days of your life, as heavily as you will."

"And I am your friend. Though I know you so little, no friend is as dear to me as you are." She rose and coming to his side, she took his hand in both of hers.

"Dear Enoch, what a man like Brown can say of you in an article or two, has no permanent weight with the public. Scurrilous stories of that type kill themselves by their very scurrility. No matter how eagerly the public may lap up the stuff, it cannot really heed it for, Enoch, America knows you and your service. America loves you. Brown cannot dislodge you by slandering your mother. The real importance and danger of that story lies in its reaction on you. I—I could not help recalling the story of that tormented, red-haired boy who went down Bright Angel trail with my father and I had to come to help him, if I could. O Enoch, if the Canyon could only, once more, wipe Luigi Guiseppi out of your life!"

Enoch watched Diana's wide gray eyes with a look of painful eagerness.

"Nothing matters, nothing can matter, Enoch, except that you find the strength in the Canyon to go back to your work and that you leave Brown alone. That is what I want to demand of your friendship, that you promise me to do those two things."

"I shall go back, of course," replied Enoch, gravely. "I had no thought of doing otherwise. But about Brown, I cannot promise."

"Then will you agree not to go back until you have talked to me again?"

"Again? But I expect to talk to you many times, Diana! You are not going away, are you?"

Diana nodded. "I'm using another person's money and I must get on, to-morrow, with the work I agreed to do. Promise me, Enoch."

"But, Diana—O Diana! Diana! Let me go with you!"

Diana turned to face the dwelling. "The Canyon can do more for you than I can, Enoch. But we'll meet, say at El Tovar before you go back to Washington. Promise me, Enoch."

"Of course, I promise. But, Diana, how can I let you go!"

Enoch put his arm across Diana's shoulders and stood beside her, staring at the silent, deserted dwelling. It seemed to Enoch, standing so, that this was the sweetest and saddest moment of his life; saddest because he felt that in nothing more than friendship must he ever touch her hand with his: sweetest because for the first time in his history he was beginning to understand the depth and beauty that can exist in a friendship between a man and a woman.

"Diana," he said at last, "you may take yourself away from me, but nevertheless, I shall carry with me the thought of your loveliness, like a rod and a staff to sustain me."

When Diana turned to look at him there were tears in her eyes.

"I've always been glad that I was not ugly," she said, "but now,"—smiling through wet lashes—"you make me proud of it, though I can't see how the thought of it can—"

She paused and Enoch went on eagerly: "It's a seamy, rough world, Diana, all higgledy-piggledy. The beautiful souls are misplaced in ugly carcasses and the ugly souls in beautiful. Those who might be friends and lovers too often meet only to grieve that it is too late for their joy. In such a world, when one beholds a body that nature has chiseled and molded and polished to loveliness like yours and discovers that that loveliness is a true index of the intelligence and fineness of the character dwelling in the body—well, Diana, it gives one a new thought about God. It does, indeed!"

"Enoch, I don't deserve it! I truly don't!" looking at him with that curious mingling of tenderness and courtesy and understanding in her wide eyes that made Diana unique.

Enoch only smiled and again silence fell between them. Finally, Enoch said,

"I would like to go down the river with Milton and his crowd."

Diana's voice was startled. "O no, Enoch! It's a frightfully dangerous trip! You risk your life every moment."

"I want to risk my life," returned Enoch. "I want a real man's adventure. I've got a battle inside of me to fight that will rend me unless I have one of equal proportions to fight, externally."

A loud halloo sounded from above. "There's Na-che!" exclaimed Diana.
"We'll talk this over later, Enoch."

But Enoch shook his head. "No, Diana, please! I've dreamed all my life of this canyon trip. You mustn't dissuade me. Milton will be starting to-morrow and I'm going to crowd in, somehow."

Na-che called again. Diana turned silently and in silence they returned to the end of the broken trail. Here they explained to Na-che the conditions of the trail beyond and that they had determined to give up the expedition for that day.

"I doubt if I try to investigate it at all, on this trip," said Diana, when they had made the difficult ascent to the plateau. "I really ought to get into the Hopi country. My conscience is troubling me."

Na-che looked disappointed. "That is a good camp, by the river," she said. "But maybe," eagerly, "the Judge and Jonas will come with us."

"You like Jonas, don't you, Na-che?" asked Enoch.

The Indian woman laughed and tossed her head, but did not answer.

It was only four o'clock when they reached camp, but already dusk was settling in the Canyon. A good fire was going in front of the cave and Jonas was guarding his stew which simmered over a smaller blaze near Diana's tent. Na-che lifted the lid of the kettle, sniffed and turned away with a shrug of her shoulders.

"What's troubling you, woman?" demanded Jonas.

"I thought you was making stew," replied Na-che.

"Oh, you did! Well, what do you think now?"

"Oh, I guess you're just boiling the mud out of the river water. You give me the kettle and I'll show you how to make rabbit stew."

"I'll give you a piece of my mind, Miss Na-che, that's what I'll give you. How come you to think you can sass a Washington man, huh, a government man, huh? How come you suppose I don't know women, huh? Why child, I was taking girls to fancy dress balls when you Indians was still wearing nothing but strings. I was—"

"O Jonas!" called Enoch, who had been standing by the cave fire, an amused auditor of Jonas' tirade; "treat Na-che gently. She's leaving to-morrow."

"Leaving? Don't we go, too, boss?" asked Jonas.

"No, I'm going to see if I can go down river with the boats."

Curly, who was cleaning up in the cave, came out, comb in hand.

"You haven't gone crazy, have you, Judge?"

"No more than usual, Curly. How about it, Milton?" as that sturdy personage came up from the river and dropped wearily down by the fire. "Don't you need another man?"

"Yes, Judge, we're two short. One of our fellows broke an arm a week ago and we had to send him out, with another chap to help him."

"Will you let me work my passage as far as Bright Angel?" asked Enoch.

Milton scowled thoughtfully. "It's a god-awful job. You realize that, do you?"

Enoch nodded. Milton turned to Harden and the other two men. "What do you fellows think?"

"We're awful short-handed," replied Harden, cautiously. "Can you swim,
Judge?"

"I'm a strong swimmer."

"But gee willikums, Judge, what're we going to do without you?" demanded Mack. "Ain't that just the usual luck? You get a cook trained and off he goes!"

"And how about that deal of ours, Smith?" asked Curly, in a low voice.

"I haven't forgotten it for a moment, Curly," Enoch replied. "I'll talk to you about it, to-night. How about it, Milton?"

"Can you stand rotten hard luck without belly-aching?" asked Agnew.

"Yes, he can!" exclaimed Mack, "but he's a darn fool to think of going. It's as risky as the devil and nobody that's got a family dependent on 'em ought to consider it for a moment."

"I have no one," said Enoch quietly. "And I'm strong and hard as nails."

"What fool ever sent you folks out?" asked Curly.

"It's not a fool trip, really," expostulated Milton. "It's very necessary for a good many reasons that the government have more accurate geographical and geological knowledge of this section."

"What part of the government do you work for?" asked Mack.

"The Geological Survey. It's a bureau in the Department of the
Interior."

"Oh, then Huntingdon's your Big Boss!" exclaimed Mack. "Do you know him?"

"Never met him," replied Milton. "He doesn't know the small fry in his department."

"He sits in Washington and gets the glory while you guys do the work, eh!" said Curly.

"I don't think you should put it that way, Curly," protested Mack. "Enoch Huntingdon's a big man and he's done more real solid work for his country than any man in Washington to-day and I'll bet you on it."

"Right you are!" exclaimed Forrester. "My oldest brother was in college with Huntingdon. Says he was a good fellow, a brilliant student and even then he could make a speech that would break your heart. His one vice was gambling. He—"

"My father knew Huntingdon!" Diana spoke quickly. "He knew him when he was a long-legged, red-headed boy of fourteen. My father was his guide down Bright Angel trail. Dad always said that he never met as interesting a human being as that boy."

"Queer thing about personal charm," contributed Agnew. "I heard
Huntingdon make one of his great speeches when he was Police
Commissioner. I was just a little kid and he was a big, homely,
red-headed chap, but I remember how my kid heart warmed to him and how
I wished I could get up on the stage and get to know him."

"So he was a gambler, was he?" Curly spoke in a musing voice. "Well, if he was once, he is now. It's a worse vice than drink."

"How come you say that, Mr. Curly?" demanded Jonas.

"In the meantime," interrupted Enoch, gruffly, "how about my trip down the Canyon?"

"Well," replied Milton, "if you go at it with your eyes open, I don't see why you can't try it as far as Grant's Crossing. That's seventy-five miles west of here. Barring accidents, we should reach there in a week, cleaning up the survey as we go along. If you live to reach there, you can either go out or come along, as you wish. But understand that from the time we leave here till we reach Grant's Crossing, there's no way out of the Canyon, at least as far as the maps indicate."

"Say, the placer where I found my nugget is just above Grant's!" exclaimed Harden. "Why don't you placer fans start on west and we'll all try to meet there in a week's time. I couldn't tell Field where it was in a hundred years."

"Suits me!" exclaimed Curly.

"Me too!" echoed Mack.

"Then," said Enoch, "will you take Jonas along as cook, Mack?"

"You bet!" cried Mack.

"Does that suit you, Jonas?" asked Enoch.

"No, boss, it don't suit me. I've gotta go with you. I ain't never going to live through it, but I'll die praying."

A shout went up of laughter and expostulation, but Jonas, though grim with terror, was entirely unmoved. Nothing, not even mortal horror of the Colorado could break his determination never to be separated from Enoch again. His agitation was so deep and so obvious that Enoch and Milton finally gave in to him.

"All right!" said Milton. "A daylight start will about suit us all, I guess. I don't think I can give you much previous instruction, Judge, that will help you. We'll put Jonas in Harden's boat and you in mine. You must wear your life preserver all the time that we are on the water. When we are in the boat, do as I tell you, instantly, and you'll soon pick up what small technique we have. It's mostly horse sense and brute strength that we use. No two rapids are alike and the portages are nearly all difficult beyond words."

"My Gawd!" muttered Jonas.

"You go over to the Hopi country with us," said Na-che, softly.

"I dassen't do it!" groaned Jonas. "You'll have to serve that stew, Na-che. My nerves is just too upset. I gotta go off and sit down somewhere."

"Don't you worry," whispered Na-che, "I'll give you a Navajo charm.
You can't drown if you wear it."

Jonas' black face grew less tense. "Honest, Na-che?"

Na-che nodded emphatically.

"Well," said Jonas, "I had a warming of my heart to you the minute I laid eyes on you, up there at the Grand Canyon. Any woman as handsome as you is, Na-che, is bound to be a comfort to a man in his hours of trouble."

Again Na-che nodded and began to dish the stew, which came quite up to
Jonas' estimate of it. After supper, the big fire was replenished and
Mack produced a deck of cards.

"Who said draw-poker?" he inquired.

"Most any of our crowd will shout," said Agnew.

"Judge?" Mack looked at Enoch, who was sitting before the fire, arms clasped about his knees.

Enoch pulled his pipe out of his mouth to answer. "No!" with a look of repugnance that caused Milton to exclaim, "Got conscientious scruples against cards, Judge?"

"Yes, but don't stop your game for me," replied Enoch, harshly. Then his voice softened. "Miss Allen, the moon is shining, up on the plateau. While these chaps play, will you take a walk with me?"

"I'd like to very much!" Diana spoke quickly.

"Well, don't be gone over an hour, children," said Curly. "Cards don't draw me like a good gab round the fire. And Diana's our best gabber."

"An hour's the bargain then," said Enoch. "Come along, Miss Allen!"

It was, indeed, glorious moonlight on the plateau. The two did not speak until they reached the upper level, then Enoch laughed.

"Jove! This is the greatest luck a game of cards ever brought me! Think, Diana, three days ago I was fighting my despair at the thought that I must never see you again and that you despised me. And here I am, with moonlight and you and a whole hour. Are you a little bit glad, Diana?"

"A little bit! I'd be gladder if I weren't so disturbed at the thought of the trip you are to begin to-morrow!"

"Nonsense, Diana! I'm learning more about my own Department every day. Aren't they a fine lot of fellows? Milton scares me to death. I don't doubt for a moment that if he tells me to dash to destruction in a whirlpool, I shall do so. There's a chap that could exact obedience from a mule. I'll look up his record when I get back to Washington."

"Shall you reveal your identity before you leave them?" asked Diana.

"No, certainly not! Not for worlds would I have them know who I am.
And now tell me, Diana, just what are your plans?"

"Oh, nothing at all exciting! I am going to make some studies of Indian children's games. They are picturesque and ethnologically, very interesting. I shall come home across the Painted Desert and take some pictures in color. My adventures will be very mild compared with yours."

"And you and Na-che will be quite alone, out in this trackless country!
I shall worry about you, Diana."

Diana laughed. "Enoch, you have no idea of what you are undertaking! You'll have no time to give me a thought. For a week you're going to struggle as you never did before to keep breath in your body."

"Oh, it'll not be that bad!" exclaimed Enoch. "Are you cold, Diana? I thought you shivered. What a strange, ghostlike country it is! It would be horrible up here alone, wouldn't it!"

They paused to gaze out over the fantastic landscape.

In the gray light the strangely weathered mesas were ruined castles, stupendous in bulk; the mighty buttes and crumbled peaks were colossal cities overthrown by the cataclysm of time. It seemed to Enoch, that nowhere else in the world could one behold such epic loneliness. The excitement that had buoyed him up since Diana's arrival suddenly departed, and his life with all its ugly facts was vividly in his consciousness again.

"Diana," he said, abruptly, "when you were talking to me this afternoon, you spoke of the Brown matter in the plural. Was there more than one article about me?"

Diana turned her tender eyes to Enoch's. "Let's not spoil this beautiful evening," she pleaded.

"I don't want to bother you, Diana. Just tell me the facts and we'll drop it."

"I'd rather not talk about it," replied Diana.

"Please, Diana! Whatever fight I have down here, whatever conclusion I reach, I want to work with my eyes open, so that my decisions shall be final. I don't want to have to revamp and revise when I get out."

"As far as I know," said Diana, in a low voice, "there was but one other reference to the matter. The day after the first article appeared, Brown published a photograph of you and me in front of a Johnstown lunch place. There was a long caption, which said that you had always been proud that you were slum-reared and a woman hater. That you had persisted in keeping some of your early habits, perhaps out of bravado. That Miss Allen was an intimate friend, the only woman friend you had made and kept. That was all."

"All!" echoed Enoch. The pale, silver landscape danced in a crimson mist before him. He stood, clenching and unclenching his fists, breathing rapidly.

"Oh, Enoch! Enoch! Since you had to know, it was better for you to know from me than any one else. And as far as I am concerned, as I told you before, I'm only amused. It's only for the reaction on you that I'm troubled."

"You mustn't be troubled, Diana." said Enoch, huskily. "But I'd be less than a man, if I didn't pay that yellow cur up. You see that, don't you?"

"A Dutch family I have heard of has this family motto: 'Eagles do not see flies.'"

Enoch gave a dry, mirthless laugh. For a long time they tramped in silence. Then Diana said, "We've been out half an hour, Enoch."

Enoch turned at once, taking Diana's hand as he did so. He did not release it until they had reached the edge of the trail and the sound of men's voices floated up to them. Then taking off his hat, he lifted the slender fingers to his lips. "This is our real good-by, Diana, for we'll not be alone, again. If anything should happen to me, I want you to have my diary, if they save it. I'll have it with me, on the trip."

Diana's lips quivered. "God keep you, Enoch, and help you." Then she turned and led the way to the cave.

CHAPTER X

THE EXPEDITION BEGINS

"After all, there is a place still untouched by humanity, where skies are unmarred and the way leads through uncharted beauty. When I have earned the right, I shall go there again."—Enoch's Diary.

Before dawn the camp fires were lighted and the various breakfasts were in preparation. When these had been eaten there was light from the pale sky above by which to complete the packing of the boats.

These were strongly built, wooden skiffs with three water tight compartments in each; one amidships, one fore and one aft, with decks flush with the gunwales. There was room between the middle and end compartments for the oarsmen to sit. The man who worked the steersman's oar sat on the rear compartment. In these compartments were packed all the dunnage, clothing, food, tools, surveying and geological instruments and cameras. Each man was allowed about fifty pounds of personal luggage. Everything that water could hurt was packed in rubber bags.

Milton was troubled when he found that Enoch had no change of shoes.

"You'll reach camp each night," said he, "soaked to the skin. You must have warm, dry clothing to change to. Shoes are especially important. Jonas must have them, too."

"How about Indian moccasins, Mr. Milton?" asked Jonas. "I bought three pairs while I was with Miss Diana."

"Well, they're better than nothing," grumbled Milton. "Are you ready,
Harden?"

"Aye! Aye! sir!" said Harden, pulling his belt in tightly. "Are you all set, Ag and Jonas?"

"All set, Harden," Agnew picked up his oar. "Are you ready, Matey?" to
Jonas, who was saying good-by in a whisper to Na-che.

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be, Mr. Agnew," groaned Jonas. "Good-by, everybody!" stepping gingerly into the boat.

"All aboard then, Judge and Forr," cried Milton. "I'll shove off."

"Good-by, Diana! Good-by, Curly and Mack!" Enoch waved his hand and took his place, and the racing water seized the boats. Hardly had Enoch turned to look once more at the four watching on the beach, when the boats shot round the curving western wall. For the first half hour, the water was smooth and swift, sweeping between walls that were abrupt and verdureless and offered not so much as a finger hold for a landing place.

Enoch, following instruction did not try to row at first. He sat quietly watching the swift changing scenery, feeling awkward and a little helpless in his life preserver.

"We're due, sometime this morning, to strike some pretty stiff cataracts," said Milton, "but the records show that we can shoot most of them. Keep in to the left wall, Forr, I want to squint at that bend in the strata."

They swung across the stream, and as they did so they caught a glimpse of Jonas. He was crouched in the bottom of the boat, his eyes rolling above his life preserver.

"Didn't Na-che give you that Navaho charm, Jonas?" called Forrester.

"It'll take more than a charm to help poor old Jonas," said Enoch. "I really think he'll like it in a day or so. He's got good pluck."

"He's only showing what all of us felt on our maiden trip," chuckled
Milton. Then he added, quickly, "Listen, Forr!"

Above the splash of the oars and the swift rush of the river rose a sound like the far roar of street traffic.

"Our little vacation is over," commented Forrester.

"Easy now, Forr! We'll land for observation before we tackle a racket like that. Let the current carry us. Be ready to back water when I shout." He raised his voice. "Harden, don't follow too closely! You know your failing!"

They rounded a curving wall, the current carrying them, Milton said, at least ten miles an hour. A short distance now, and they saw spray breaking high in the middle of the stream.

"We'll land here," said Milton, steering to a great pile of bowlders against the right wall.

Enoch watched with keen interest the preparation for the descent. First sticks were thrown into the water, to catch the trend of the main current. Milton pointed out to Enoch that if the stick were deflected against one wall or another, great care had to be exercised to prevent the boats being dashed against the walls in like manner. But, he said, if the current seemed to run a fairly unobstructed course, it was hopeful that the boats would go through. There were a number of rocks protruding from the water, but the current appeared to round these cleanly and Milton gave the order to proceed. They worked back upstream a short distance so as to catch the current straight prow on, and in a moment they were dashing through a sea of roaring waves that drenched them to the skin.

Forrester and Milton steered a zigzag course about the menacing rocks, grazing and bumping them now and again, but emerging finally, without accident, in quieter waters. Here they hugged the shore and waited for Harden's boat, the Mary, to come down. And come it did, balancing uncannily on the top of the waves, with Jonas' yells sounding even above the uproar of the waters.

"More of it below, Harden," said Milton as the Mary shot alongside.

More indeed! It seemed to Enoch that the first rapid was child's play to the one that followed. The jutting rocks were more frequent. The fall greater. The waves more menacing. But they shot it safely until they reached its foot and there an eddy caught them and carried them back upstream in spite of all that could be done. Enoch seized the oars that were in readiness beside him and pulled with all his might but to no avail. And suddenly the Mary rushed out of the mist striking them fairly amidship. The Ida half turned over, but righted herself and the Mary darted off. Milton shouted hoarsely, Forrester and Enoch obeyed blindly and after what seemed to Enoch an endless struggle, spray and waves suddenly ceased and they found themselves in quieter waters where the Mary awaited them.

Harden and Agnew were laughing. "Thought you knew an eddy when you saw one, Milt!" cried Agnew.

"I don't know anything!" grinned Milton, "except that Jonas is going to be too scared to cook."

"If ever I get to land," retorted Jonas, "I'll cook something for a thanksgiving to the Lord that you all will never forget."

They examined the next fall and passed through it successfully. The Canyon was widening now and an occasional cedar tree could be seen. Enoch was vaguely conscious, too, that the colors of the walls were more brilliant. But the ardors of the rapids gave small opportunity for aesthetic observations.

Curiously enough, after the passage of this last fall the waters did not subside in speed, though the waves disappeared. The spray of another fall was to be seen beyond.

"We mustn't risk shooting her without observation," cried Milton.
"Make for that spit of sand with the cedars on it, fellows."

Enoch and Forrester put their backs into their strokes in their endeavor to guide the Ida to the place indicated, which appeared to be the one available landing spot. But the current carried them at such velocity that when within half a dozen feet of the shore it seemed impossible to stop and make the landing.

"Overboard!" shouted Milton.

All three plunged into the water, clinging to the gunwale. The water was waist deep. For a few feet boat and men were dragged onward. Then they found secure foothold on the rocky river bottom and, with huge effort, beached the Ida. Scarcely was this done, when the Mary hove in view and with Milton shouting directions, they rushed once more into the current to help with the landing.

"The cook and the bacon both are in your boat, Harden!" chuckled
Milton, "or you'd be getting no such delicate attentions from the Ida."

Jonas crawled stiffly out of his compartment. Enoch began preparation for a fire, white the others busied themselves with notes and observations. It was 90 degrees on the little sandy beach and the wet clothing was not chilling. They ate enormously of Jonas's dinner, then the Survey men scattered to their work for an hour or so, while Enoch explored the region. There was no getting to the top of the walls, so he contented himself with crawling gingerly over the rocks to a point where a little spring bubbled out of a narrow cave opening. Peering through this, Enoch saw that it was dimly lighted, and he crawled through the water.

To his astonishment, he was in a great circular amphitheater, a hundred feet in diameter, domed to an enormous height, with the blue sky showing through a rift at the top. The little spring trickled down the wall, now dropping sheer in spray, now trickling in a delicate, glistening sheet. But the greatest wonder of the cave was in the texture of its walls, which appeared to Enoch to be of purest marble of a deep shell pink and translucent creamy white. Moisture had collected on the walls and each tiny globule of water seemed to hold a miniature rainbow in its heart. There was a holy sort of loveliness about the spot, and before he returned to the rugged adventure outside, Enoch pulled off his hat and christened the place Diana's Chapel. Nor did he, on his arrival at the camp, tell of his find.

Shortly after two o'clock Milton ordered all hands aboard. But before this he had shown them all the map, adding a rough sketch of his own. The next rapid appeared to be no more dangerous than the previous one. But below it the river widened out into a circular bay, a great tureen within which the waters moved with an oil-like smoothness. But when Milton threw a stick into this strange basin, it was whirled the entire circumference of the bay with a velocity that all the men agreed boded ill for any boat that did not cling to the wall. The west end of the bay, where it was all but blocked by the closing in of the Canyon sides, could not be seen from the rocks where the men stood. But the old maps reported a steep fall which must be portaged.

"Cling to the right-hand wall," ordered Milton. "If you steer out, Harden, for the sake of the short cut, you may be lost. The reports show that two other boats were lost here. Cling to the wall! When we reach the mouth we must go ashore again and examine the falls. Be sure your life preservers are strapped securely."

"Mr. Milton," said Jonas, "you better let me get my hands on a oar. If
I got to die, I'm going to die fighting."

"Good stuff, Jonas!" exclaimed Harden. "Can you row?"

"Brought up on the Potomac," replied Jonas.

"All right, folks," cried Milton. "We're off."

The Ida would have shot the rapid successfully, but for one important point. It was necessary, in order to land on the right side of the whirlpool, to steer to the right of a tall, finger-like rock, that protruded from the water at the bottom of the rapids. About a boat's length from this rock, however, a sudden wave shot six feet into the air, throwing the Ida off its course, and drenching the crew, so that they entered the churning tureen at a speed of twenty miles an hour and almost at the middle of the stream.

"Pull to the right wall! To the right!" roared Milton. But he might as well have roared to the wind. Enoch and Forrester rose from their seats and threw the whole weight of their bodies on their oars. But the noiseless power of the whirlpool thrust the Ida mercilessly toward the center.

"Harder!" panted Milton, straining with all his might at the steering oar. "Put your back into her, Judge! Bend to it, Forr!"

Enoch's breath came in gasps. His palms, the cords of his wrists felt powerless. His toe muscles cramped in agony. As in a mist he saw the right wall recede, felt the boat twist under his knees like a disobedient horse. Suddenly there was a crack as of a pistol shot behind him. One of Forrester's oars had snapped. Forrester drew in the other and crawled back to add his weight to the steering oar.

"It's up to you, Judge!" cried Milton.

They were in the center of the bay now and the boat began to spin. For one terrible moment it seemed as if an overturn were imminent. Out of the tail of his eyes, Enoch saw the Mary hugging the right wall.

"Judge!" shouted Milton. "If you can back water into that rough spot six feet to your right, I think we can stop the spin."

Enoch was too spent to reply but he gathered every resource in his body to make one more effort. The boat slowly edged into the rough spot and for a moment the spin ceased.

"Now shoot her downstream! We'll have to trust to the Mary to keep us from entering the falls," Milton shouted.

With Enoch giving all that was left in him to the oars, and Forrester and Milton steering with their united strength and skill, the Ida slowly worked toward the narrow opening which marked the head of the falls. The crew of the Mary had landed and Harden stood on the outermost rock at the opening, swinging a coil of rope, while Agnew crawled up behind him with another. Jonas hung onto the Mary's rope.

Perhaps a half dozen boat lengths from the falls the whirling motion of the water ceased, and it leaped ferociously toward the narrow opening. When the Ida felt this straight pull, Milton roared:

"Back her, Judge, back her! Now the rope, Harden! You too, Ag!"

Her prow was beyond the opening before the speed of the Ida was stopped by the ropes. A moment later her crew had dropped flat on the rocks, panting and exhausted.

"Well, Milt, of all the darn fools!" exclaimed Harden. "After telling us to keep to the right, what did you try to do yourself? If you'd gone inside that big finger rock at the end of the rapid you'd have had no trouble."

"I never had a chance to go inside that rock," panted Milton. "A pot-hole spouted a boat's length ahead and threw me clear to the left."

"Say," said Agnew, "we got some crew in our boat now. Jonas, you are some little oarsman!"

"Scared as ever, Jonas?" asked Enoch.

"I wasn't never so much scared, you know, boss, as I was nervous. But this charm is sure a good one. If we can live through this here day, we can live through anything. I want you to wear it, to-morrow, boss. Seems like the head boat needs it more'n us folks."

Jonas' liquid black eyes twinkled. Enoch laughed. "If I hadn't known you were a good sport, Jonas, I'd never have let you come with us. Keep your charm, old man. I don't expect ever to gather together enough strength to get into the boat again!"

"Nobody's going to try to get in to-night," said Milton, without lifting his head from the rocks on which he lay. "We camp right here. It's four o'clock anyhow."

"Then I've something still left to be thankful for!" Enoch closed his eyes with a deep sigh of relief.

When he next opened them it was dusk. Above him, on the narrow canyon top, gleamed the wonder of the desert stars. There was a glow of firelight on the rocks about him. Enoch sat up. It was an inhospitable spot for a camp. The roar of the falls was harsh and menacing. The canyon walls shot two thousand feet into the air on either side of the sliding waters. Enoch was suddenly oppressed by a vague sense of suffocation. He realized, fully, for the first time that the menace of the Canyon was very real; that should a sudden rise of the waters come at this point, there was no climbing out, no going back; that should the boats be lost—— He shook himself, rose stiffly and joined the group around the fire.

"Ship ahoy, Judge!" cried Harden. "Are you still traveling in circles?"

"Humph!" grunted Milton. "The Judge may be a tenderfoot in the Canyon, but he's no tenderfoot in a boat. Ever on a college crew, Judge?"

"Yes, Columbia," replied Enoch.

"I thought you'd raced! Jove, how you did heave the old tub round!
Jonas, how about grub for the Judge?"

"How come you to think you have to tell me to look out for my boss, Mr. Milton?" grumbled Jonas, coming up with a pie tin loaded with beans and bacon.

"Hello, Jonas, old man! What do you think of this parlor, bedroom and bath?" asked Enoch.

"I feel like Joseph in the pit, boss! Folks back home wouldn't never believe me if Mr. Agnew hadn't promised to take some pictures of me and my boat. That's an awful good boat, the Mary, boss. She is some boat! Did you see me jerk her round?"

"No, I missed that, Jonas. I was a little preoccupied at the time. Is to-day a fair sample of every day, you fellows?"

"Lately, yes," replied Forrester. "To-morrow'll be a bell ringer too, from the looks of that portage. Need any help on those dishes, Jonas, before I go to bed?"

"All done, thanks," answered Jonas. "Say, Mr. Milton, you know what I was thinking? Mary's no name for a sassy, gritty boat like ours. Let me give her a good name."

"What name, for instance?" demanded Harden.

Jonas cleared his throat. "I was thinking of the Na-che."

"My word!" exclaimed Harden. "Say, Ag, would you want our boat renamed the Na-che?"

"Who'd repaint the name?" asked Agnew carefully. "That's the point with me."

"The trouble with you, Ag," said Harden, "is that you haven't any soul."

"I'd do the painting," Jonas went on eagerly. "I was thinking of getting her all fixed up with that can of paint I see to-day. Red paint, it was."

"Do you think that Na-che would mind our making free with her name?"
Milton's tone was serious.

"Mind!" cried Jonas. "Well, if you knew women like I do you'd never ask a question like that! A woman would rather have a boat or a race horse named after her any time than have a baby named for her. I know women!"

"In that case, let's rename the Mary," said Milton. "Everybody ready to turn in?"

"I am, sir," replied Harden. "Jonas, you turn off the lights and put the cat down cellar. Good night, everybody!"

Jonas chuckled and hobbled off to his blankets. It was not seven o'clock when the rude camp was silent and every soul in it in profound slumber.

Enoch was stiff and muscle-sore in the morning but he ate breakfast with a ravenous appetite and with a keen interest in the day's program. In response to his questions Milton said:

"We unload the boats and make the dunnage up into fifty pound loads. Then we look over the trail. Sometimes we have merely to get up on our two legs and walk it. Other times we have to make trail even for ourselves, let alone for the boats. Sometimes we can portage the freight and lower the boats through the water by tow ropes. But for this falls, there's nothing to do but to make trail and drag the boats over it."

"It's no trip for babes!" exclaimed Enoch. "That's certain! Do you like the work, Milton?"

"It's a work no one would do voluntarily without liking it," replied the young man. "I like it. I wouldn't want to give my life to it, but—" he paused to look over toward the others busily unloading the Na-che,—"but nothing will ever do again for me what this experience has."

"And may I ask what that is?" Enoch's voice was eager.

Milton searched Enoch's face carefully, then answered slowly. "Sometime when we are having a rest, I'll tell you, if you really want to know."

"Thanks! And now set me to work, Captain," said Enoch.

The way beside the falls was nothing more than a narrow ledge completely covered with giant bowlders. Beyond the falls, the river hurled itself for a quarter of a mile against broken rocks that made the passage of a boat impossible. It was a long portage. After the bowlder-strewn ledge was passed, however, it was not necessary to make trail, for although the shore was strewn with broken rock and driftwood, the way was fairly open.

After the contents of the boats had been made up into rough packs, both crews attacked the trail-making. It was mid-morning before pick-ax, shovel and crowbar had opened up a way which Jonas claimed was fit only for kangaroos or elephants. Rough as it was, when Milton declared it fit for their purposes, the rest without protest heaved the packs to their shoulders.

It was hot at midday in the Canyon. The thermometer registered 98 degrees in the shade. Enoch, following Milton, dropped his third pack at the end of the quarter mile portage and sat down beside it.

"Old man!" he groaned, "you've got to give me a ten minutes' rest."

Milton grinned and nodded sympathetically. "Take all the time you want, Judge!"

"I'm ashamed," said Enoch, "but don't forget you fellows have had ten months of this, as against my two days."

"I don't forget for a minute, Judge. And just let me tell you that if ever I were on trial for a serious offense of any kind I'd be perfectly satisfied to be tried before a real he-man, like you." And Milton disappeared over the trail, leaving Enoch with a warm glow in his heart, such as he had scarcely felt since his first public speech won the praise of the newspapers.

For a quarter of an hour he sat with his back against a half buried mesquite log smoking, and now eying the magnificent sheer crimson wall which lay across the river, now wondering where Diana was and now contemplating curiously the sense of his own unimportance which the Canyon was thrusting into his consciousness more persistently every hour. Jonas joined him for the last part of his rest, but when Milton announced that they had finished the packing and must now portage the boats, Jonas was on the alert.

"That name isn't dry yet!" he exclaimed. "I got to watch the prow of my boat myself," and he started hurriedly back over the trail, Enoch following him more slowly.

Sometimes lifting, sometimes skidding on drift logs, sometimes dragging by main strength, the six men finally landed the Ida and the Na-che in quiet waters. Jonas and Agnew prepared a simple dinner and immediately after they embarked. For two hours the river flowed swiftly and quietly between sheer walls of stratified granite, white and pale yellow, shot with rose. Now and again a cedar, dwarfed and distorted, found toe hold between the strata and etched its deep green against the white and yellow.

About four o'clock the river widened and the walls were broken by lateral canyons that led back darkly and mysteriously into the bowels of the desert. For half an hour more Milton guided the Ida onward. Then Enoch cried, "Milton, see that brook!" and he pointed to a tumbling little stream that issued from one of the side canyons.

Milton at once called for a landing on the grassy shore beside the brook. Never was there a sweeter spot than this. Willows bent over the brook and long grass mirrored itself within its pebbly depths for a moment before the crystal water joined the muddy Colorado. The Canyon no longer overhung the river suffocatingly, but opened widely, showing behind the fissured white granite peaks, crimson and snow capped and appalling in their bigness.

"Here's where we put in a day, boys!" exclaimed Milton. "I'm sure we can scramble to the top here, somehow, and get a general idea of the country."

His crew cheered this statement enthusiastically. The landing was easily made and the boats were beached and unloaded.

"Never thought I could unload a boat again without bursting into tears," said Enoch, grunting under three bed rolls he was carrying up to the willows, "but here I am, full of enthusiasm!"

"You need a lot of it down here, I can tell you," growled Forrester, who had skinned his chin badly in a fall that morning.

"You look like a goat, Forr," said Harden, sympathetically, as he set a folding table close to the spot where Jonas was kindling a fire.

"I'd rather look like a goat than a jack-ass," returned Forrester with an edge to his voice.

"Forr," said Milton, "don't you want to try your luck at some fish for supper? The salmon ought to be interested in a spot like this."

Forrester's voice cleared at once. "Sure! I'd be glad to," he said, and went off to unload his fishing tackle. When he was out of hearing, Milton said sharply to Harden:

"Why can't you let him alone, Hard! You know how touchy he is when anything's the matter with him."

"I'm sorry," replied Harden shortly.

Enoch glanced with interest from one man to the other, but said nothing, not even when, Milton's back being turned, Harden winked at him. And when Forrester returned with a four-pound river salmon, there was no sign of irritation in his face or manner.

This night, for the first time, they sat around the fire, luxuriating in the thought that for the next twenty-four hours they were free of the terrible demands of the river. Forrester possessed a good tenor voice and sang, Jonas joining with his mellow baritone. Harden, lying close to the flames, read a chapter from "David Harum," the one book of the expedition. Agnew, on request, told a long and involved story of a Chinese laundryman and a San Francisco broker which evoked much laughter. Then Milton, as master of ceremonies, turned to Enoch:

"Now then, Judge, do your duty!"

"I haven't a parlor trick to my name," protested Enoch.

"I like what you call our efforts!" cried Harden. "Hit him for me, Ag!
He's closest to you."

"Not after the way he wallops the Ida," grunted Agnew. "Let Milt do it."

"Boss," said Jonas suddenly, "tell 'em that poem about mercy I heard you give at—at that banquet at our house."

Enoch smiled, took his pipe from his lips, and began:

  "'The quality of mercy is not strained,
  It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
  Upon the place beneath—'"

Enoch paused a moment. The words held a new and soul-shattering significance for him. Then as the others waited breathlessly, he went on. His beautiful, mellow voice, his remarkable enunciation, the magnetism of his personality stirred his little audience, just as thousands of greater audiences had been stirred by these same qualities.

When he had finished, there was a profound silence until Milton said:

"That's the only thing I have heard said in the Canyon that didn't sound paltry."

"If any of the rest of us had repeated it, though, it might have sounded so." Harden's tone was dry.

"Shakespeare couldn't sound paltry anywhere!" exclaimed Enoch.

"Hum!" sniffed Agnew. "Depends on what and when you're quoting. Give us another, Judge."

Enoch gazed thoughtfully at the fire for a moment, then slowly and quietly he gave them the prayer of Habakkuk. The liquid phrases rolled from his lips, echoed in the Canyon, then dropped into silence. Enoch sat with his great head bowed, his sensitive mouth compressed as if with pain. His friends stared from him to one another, then one by one slipped away to their blankets. When Enoch looked up, only Milton was left.

"And so," said Enoch, "the Canyon has been a great experience for you,
Milton!"

"Yes, Judge. I became engaged to a girl who is a Catholic. I am a Protestant, one of the easy going kind that never goes to church. Yet, do you know, when she insisted that I turn Catholic, I wouldn't do it? We had a fearful time! I didn't have any idea there was so much creed in me as I discovered I had. In the midst of it the opportunity came for this Canyon work, and this trip has changed the whole outlook of life for me. Judge, creeds don't matter any more than bridges do to a stream. They are just a way of getting across, that's all. Creeds may come and creeds may go, but God goes on forever. Nothing changes true religion. Christ promulgated the greatest system of ethics the world has known. The ethics of God. He put them into practical working form for human beings. Whatever creed helps you to live the teachings of Christ most truly, that's the true creed for you. That's what the Canyon's done for me. And when I get out, I'm going back to Alice and let her make of me whatever will help her most. I'm safe. I've got the creed of the Colorado Canyon!"

Enoch looked at the freckled, ruddy face and smiled. "Thank you,
Milton. You've given me something to think about."

"I doubt if you lack subjects," replied Milton drily. "But—well, I have an idea you came out here looking for something. There are lines around your eyes that say that. So I just thought I'd hand on to you what I got."

Enoch nodded and the two smoked for a while in silence. Then Enoch said in a low voice:

"Do you have trouble with Forrester and Harden?"

"Yes, constant friction. They're both fine fellows, but naturally antagonistic to each other."

"A fellow may be ever so fine," said Enoch, "yet lack the sense of team play that is absolutely essential in a job like this."

"Exactly," replied Milton. "The great difficulty is that you can't judge men until they're undergoing the trial. Then it's too late. In Powell's first expedition, soon after the Civil War, there was constant friction between Powell and three of his men. At last, although they had signed a contract to stick by him, they deserted him."

"How was that?" asked Enoch with interest.

"They simply insisted on being put ashore and they climbed out of the Canyon with the idea of getting to some of the Mormon settlements. But the Indians killed them almost at once, poor devils! Powell got the story of it on his second expedition. The history of those two expeditions, I think, are as glorious as any chapter in our American annals."

"Was it so much harder than the work you are doing?"

"There is no comparison! We're simply following the trail that Powell blazed. Think of his superb courage! These terrible waters were enshrouded in mystery and fear. He did not know even what kind of boats could live in them. Hostile Indians marauded on either hand. And as near as I recall the only settlements he could call on, if he succeeded in clambering out of the Canyon, were Ft. Defiance in New Mexico, and Mormon settlements, miles across the desert in Utah."

"Hum!" said Enoch slowly, "it doesn't seem to me that things are so much better now, that we need to boast about them. There are no Indians, to be sure, but the river is about all human endurance and ingenuity can cope with, just as it was in Powell's day."

"She's a bird, all right!" sighed Milton. "Well, Judge, I'm going to turn in. To-morrow's another day! Good night."

"Good night, Captain!" replied Enoch. He threw another stick of driftwood on the fire and after a moment's thought fetched the black diary from his rubber dunnage bag. When the fire was clear and bright, he began to write.

"Diana, you were wrong. No matter how strenuous the work is, you are never out of the background of my thoughts. But at least I am having surcease from grieving for you. I have had no time to dwell on the fact that you cannot belong to me. I am afraid to come out of the Canyon. Afraid that when these wonderful days of adventure are over, the knowledge that I must not ask you to marry me will descend on me like a stifling fog. As for Brown! Diana, why not let me kill him! I'd be willing to stand before any jury in the world with his blood on my hands. What he has done to me is typical of Brown and all his works. He is unclean and clever, a frightful combination. Consider the class of readers he has! The majority of the people who read Brown, read only Brown. His readers are the great commonalty of America, the source, once, of all that was best in our life. Brown tells them nasty stories, not about people alone, but about systems; systems of money, systems of work, systems of government. And because nasty stories are always luscious reading, and because it is easier to believe evil than good about anything, twice every day, as he produces his morning and evening editions, Brown is polluting the head waters of our national existence. I say, why not let me kill him? What more useful and direct thing could I do than rid the nation of him? And O Diana, when I think of the smut to which he coupled your loveliness, I feel that I am less than a man to have hesitated this long."

Enoch closed the book, replaced it in the bag, and sat for a long hour staring into the fire. Then he went to bed.

CHAPTER XI

THE PERFECT ADVENTURE

"Who cares whether or not my hands are clean? Does God? Wouldn't God expect me to punish evil? God is mercilessly just, is He not? Else why disease and grief in the world? If you could only tell me!"—Enoch's Diary.

It was nipping cold in the morning. Ice encrusted the edges of the little brook. But by the time breakfast was finished, the sun had appeared over the distant mountain peaks and the long warm rays soon brought the thermometer up to summer heat. Milton expounded his program at breakfast. Jonas was to keep the camp. Enoch and Milton were to climb to the rim for topographical information. Harden was to look for fossils. Agnew and Forrester were to make a geological report on the strata of the section.

Jonas was extraordinarily well pleased with his assignment.

"I'm going to finish painting the Na-che," he said. "Mr. Milton, have you got anything I can mend the tarpaulins with that go over the decks?"

"Needles and twine in the bag labeled Repairs," replied Milton. "How about giving the Ida the once over, too, Jonas."

"All right! If I get around to it!" Jonas' manner was vague.

"Can't love but one boat at a time, eh, Jonas?" asked Enoch.

"I always wanted to have a boat to fix up," said Jonas. "When I was a kid my folks had an old flat-bottom tub, but I never earned enough for a can of paint. Will you folks be home by twelve for dinner?"

There was a chorus of assent as the crew scattered to its several tasks. Milton and Enoch started at once up the edge of the brook, hoping that the ascent might be made more easily thus. But the crevice, out of which the little stream found its way to the Colorado, narrowed rapidly to the point where it became impossible for the two men to work their way into it. They were obliged, after a half hour's struggle, to return to the camp and start again.

A very steep slope of bright orange sand led from the shore to a scarcely less oblique terrace of sharp broken rock. There were several hundred feet of the sand and, as it was dry and loose, it caused a constant slipping and falling that consumed both time and strength. The rocky terrace was far easier to manage, and they covered that rapidly, although Enoch had a nasty fall, cutting his knee. They were brought to pause, however, when the broken rock gave way to a sheer hard wall, which offered neither crack nor projection for hand or foot hold.

Milton led the way carefully along its foot for a quarter of a mile until they reached a fissure wide enough for them to enter. The walls of this were crossed by transverse cracks. By utilizing these, now pulling, now boosting each other, they finally emerged on a flat, smooth tableland, of which fissures had made a complete island. At the southern end of the island rose an abrupt black peak.

"If we can get to the top of that," said Milton, "it ought to bring us to the general desert level. Is your knee bothering you, Judge?"

"Not enough to stop the parade," replied Enoch. "How high do you think that peak is, Milton?"

"Not less than a thousand feet, I would guess. I bet it's as easy to climb as a greased pole, too."

The pinnacle, when they reached it, appeared very little less difficult than Milton had guessed it would be. The north side offered no hope whatever. It rose smooth and perpendicular toward the heavens. But the south side was rough and though a yawning fissure at its base added five hundred feet to its southern height they determined to try their fortunes here. Ledges and jutting rocks, cracks and depressions finally made the ascent possible. The top, when they achieved it, was not twenty feet in diameter. They dropped on it, panting.

The view which met their eyes was superb. To the south lay the desert, rainbow colored. Rising abruptly from its level were isolated peaks of bright purple, all of them snow capped, many of them with crevices marked by the brilliant white of snow. Miles to the south of the isolated peaks lay a long range of mountains, dull black against the blue sky, but with the white of snow caps showing even at this distance. To the north, the river gorge wound like a snake; the gorge and one huge mountain dominating the entire northern landscape. Satiated by wonders as Milton was, he exclaimed over the beauty of this giant, sleeping in the desert sun.

A sprawling cone in outline, there was nothing extraordinary about it in contour, but its size and color surpassed anything that Enoch had as yet seen. From base to apex it was a perfect rose tint, deepening where its great shoulders bent, to crimson. As if still not satisfied with her work, nature had sent a recent snow storm to embellish the verdureless rock, and the mountain was lightly powdered with white which here was of a gauze-like texture permitting pale rose to glimmer through, there lay in drifts, white defined against crimson.

Enoch sat gazing about him while Milton worked rapidly with his note book and instruments. Finally he slipped his pencil into his pocket with a sigh.

"And that's done! What do you say to a return for lunch, Judge?"

"I'm very much with you," replied Enoch. "Here! Hold up, old man!
What's the matter?" For Milton was swaying and would have fallen if
Enoch had not caught him.

Milton clung to Enoch's broad shoulder for a moment, then straightened himself with a jerk.

"Sorry, Judge. It's that infernal vertigo again!"

"What's the cause of it?" asked Enoch. "Might be rather serious, might it not, on a trip such as yours?"

"I think the water we have to drink must be affecting my kidneys," replied Milton. "I never had anything of the sort before this trip, but I've been troubled this way a dozen times lately. It only lasts for a minute."

"But in that minute," Enoch's voice was grave, "you might fall down a mountain or out of the boat."

"Oh, I don't get it that bad! And anyhow, I haven't gone off alone since these things began. When we get to El Tovar I'll try to locate a doctor."

Enoch looked admiringly at the grim young freckled face beneath the faded hat. "I see I shall have to appoint myself bodyguard," he said. "I'd suggest Jonas, only he's deserted me for the Na-che, and I doubt if you could win him from her."

Milton laughed. "Nothing on earth can equal the joy of puddling about in boats, to the right kind of a chap, as the Wind in the Willows has it. And Jonas certainly is the right kind of a chap!"

"Jonas is a man, every inch of him," agreed Enoch. "Shall we try the descent now, Milton?"

"I'm ready," replied the young man, and the slow and arduous task was begun.

Jonas was just lifting the frying pan from the fire when they slid down the orange sand bank. The rest of the crew was ready and waiting around the flat rock that served as dining table.

"What's the matter with your knee, boss?" cried Jonas, standing with the coffee pot in his hand.

Enoch laughed as he glanced down at his torn and blood-stained overalls. "Of course, if you were giving me half the care you give your boat, Jonas, these things wouldn't happen to me!"

"You better let me fix you up, before you eat, boss," said Jonas.

"Not on your life, old man! Food will do this knee more good than a bandage."

"It's a wonder you wouldn't offer to help the rest of us out once in a while, Jonas!" Harden looked up from his plate of fish. "Look at this scratch on my cheek! I might get blood poisoning, but lots you care if my fatal beauty was destroyed! As it is, I look as much like an inmate of a menagerie as old goat Forrester here."

"Too bad the scratch didn't injure your tongue, Harden," returned
Forrester, sarcastically.

"Nothing seems able to stop your chin, though, Forr! Why do you have to get sore every time I speak to you?"

"Because you're always going out of your way to say something insulting to me."

"Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill, Forr," said Milton. "If you fellows aren't careful you'll have a real quarrel, and that's the last thing I'm going to stand for, I warn you."

"Very well, Milt," replied Forrester, "if you don't want trouble make
Harden keep his tongue off me."

"The fault is primarily yours, Hard," Milton went on. "You know Forrester is foolishly sensitive and you can't control your love of teasing. Now, once for all, I ask you not to speak to Forrester except on the business of the survey."

Harden shrugged his shoulders and Forrester scowled a little sheepishly. Agnew, a serene, kindly fellow, began one of his endless Irish stories, and the incident appeared to be closed. The work assigned for the day was accomplished in shorter order than Milton had anticipated. By two o'clock all hands were back in camp and Milton decided to embark and move on as far as possible before nightfall. But scarcely had they finished loading the boats and tied on the tarpaulins when a heavy rain began to fall, accompanied by lightning and tremendous peals of thunder that echoed through the Canyon deafeningly.

Milton, in his anxiety to get on with his task, would have continued in spite of the rain, but the others protested so vigorously that he gave in and the whole party crawled under a sheltering ledge beside the brook. For an hour the storm raged. A few flakes of snow mingled with the descending rain drops. Then with a superb flash of lightning and crash of thunder the storm passed as suddenly as it had come, though for hours after they heard it reverberate among the distant peaks.

At last they embarked and proceeded along a smooth, swift-flowing river for a short time. Then, however, the familiar roar of falls was heard, the current increased rapidly in velocity and Milton made a landing for observation.

They were at the head of the wildest falls that Enoch had yet seen. The Canyon walls were smooth and perpendicular. There was no possibility of a portage. The river was full of rocks against which dashed waves ten to twelve feet high.

"We'll have to run it!" shouted Milton above the din of the waters.
"Powell did it and so can we. Give the Ida five minutes' start, Hard.
Then profit by the mistakes you see us make. All ready, Judge and
Forr!"

Under Milton's directions, they rowed back upstream far enough to gain complete control of the boat before entering the falls. Then they shot forward. Instantly the oars became useless. They were carried upward on the crest of a wave that seemed about to drop them down an unbelievable depth to a jagged rock. But at this point, another wave seized them and hurled them sidewise, half rolled them over, then uptilted them until the Ida's nose was deep in the water.

They bailed like mad but to little avail for the waves broke over the sides constantly. They could see little for the air was full of blinding spray. Suddenly, after what had seemed an eternity but was really five minutes of time, there was a rending crash and the Ida slid into quieter water, turning completely over as she did so.

Enoch, as the sucking current seized him, was convinced that his hour had come, and a quick relief was his first sensation. Then Diana's wistful eyes flashed before him and he began to fight the Colorado. As his head emerged from the water, he saw the Na-che land on all fours from the top of a wave upon the overturned Ida, then whirl away. He began to swim with all his strength. The mud forever suspended in the Colorado weighed down his clothing. But little by little he drew near the Ida, to which he could see two dark bodies clinging. The Na-che, struggling to cross a whirlpool toward him, made slow progress. He had, indeed, dizzily grasped the Ida, before the other boat came up.

"We can hang on, Hard!" gasped Milton. "Give us a tow to that sand spit yonder."

They reached the sand spit and staggered to land, while Harden and his crew turned the Ida over and beached her. She had a six-inch gap in her side.

"Well," panted Enoch, "I'm glad we managed to keep dry during the rainstorm!"

"My Lord, Judge!" exclaimed Milton, "your own mother wouldn't own you now! I don't see how one human being could carry so much mud on his face!"

"I'll bet it's not as bad as yours at that," returned Enoch. "Jonas, as long as it's not the Na-che that's hurt—"

"Coming, boss, coming!" cried Jonas. "Here's your moccasins and here's your suit. Sure you aren't hurt any?"

"Jonas," replied Enoch in a low voice that the others might not hear,
"Jonas, I'm having the greatest time of my life!"

"So am I, Mr. Secretary! Honest, I'm so paralyzed afraid that I enjoy it!" And Jonas hurried away to inspect the Ida.

It was so biting cold, now that the afternoon was late, that all the wrecked crew changed clothing before attempting to make camp or unload the Ida.

"How many miles have we made by this venture, Milton?" called Enoch, as he pulled on his moccasins.

"One and a half!"

Enoch grinned, then he began to laugh. The others looked at him, then joined him, and Homeric laughter echoed for a long minute above the snarl of the water. Fortunately the hole in the Ida did not open into one of the compartments, so there was no damage done to the baggage. It was too dark by the time this had been ascertained to attempt repairs that night, so Milton agreed to call it a day, and after supper was over every one but Enoch and Milton went to bed. These two sat long in silence before the fire, smoking and enjoying the sense of companionship that was developing between them. Finally Enoch spoke in a low voice:

"You're going to have trouble between Forrester and Harden."

"It certainly looks like it, I've tried every sort of appeal to each of them, but trouble keeps on smoldering." Milton shook his head. "That's one of the trivial things that can wreck an expedition like this; just incompatibility among the men. What would you do about it, Judge?"

"I'd put it to them that they could either keep the peace or draw lots to see which of them should leave the expedition at the Ferry. In fact, I don't believe I'd temporize even that much. I'd certainly set one of them ashore. My experience with men leads me to believe that with a certain type of men, there is no appeal. As you say, they're both nice chaps but they have a childish streak in them. The majority of men have. A leader must not be too patient."

"You're right," agreed Milton. "Judge, couldn't you complete the trip with us?"

"How long will you be out?" asked Enoch.

"Another six months!"

Enoch laughed, then said slowly: "There's nothing I'd like to do better, but I must go home, from the Ferry."

Milton gazed at Enoch for a time without speaking. Then he said, a little wistfully, "I suppose that while this is the most important experience so far in my life, to you it is the merest episode, that you'll forget the moment you get into the Pullman for the East."

"Why should you think that?" asked Enoch.

"I can't quite tell you why. But there's something about you that makes me believe that in your own section of the country, you're a power. Perhaps it's merely your facial expression. I don't know—you look like some one whom I can't recall. Perhaps that some one has the power and I confuse the two of you, but—I beg your pardon, Judge!" as Enoch's eyebrows went up.

"You have nothing to beg it for, Milton. But you're wrong when you think this trip is merely an episode to me. All my life I have longed for just such an experience in the Canyon. It's like enchantment to really find myself here."

Milton smiled. "Well, we all have our Carcasonnes."

"What's yours?" demanded Enoch.

The younger man hesitated. "It's so absurd—but—well, I've always wanted to be Chief of the Geological Survey."

"Why?"

"Why did you dream of a wild trip down the Colorado as the realization of your greatest desire?" asked Milton.

"I couldn't put it into words," answered Enoch. "But I suppose it's the pioneer in me or something elemental that never quite dies in any of us, of Anglo-Saxon blood."

Milton nodded. "The Chief of the Geological Survey's job is to administer nature in the raw. I'd like to have a chance at it."

"I believe you'd get away with it, too, Milton," Enoch replied thoughtfully.

Milton laughed. "Too bad you aren't Secretary of the Interior! Well,
I'm all in! Let's go to bed."

"You go ahead. I'll sit here with my pipe a bit longer."

But, after all, Enoch did not write in his diary that night. Before
Milton had established himself in his blankets, Harden rose and went to
a canteen for a drink of water. On his return he stumbled over
Forrester's feet. Instantly Forrester sat erect.

"What're you doing, you clumsy dub foot?" he shouted.

"Oh, dry up, Forr; I didn't mean to hurt you, you great boob!"

"We'll settle this right now!" Forrester was on his feet and his fist had landed on Harden's cheek before Enoch could cross the camp. And before he or Milton could separate the combatants, Harden had returned the blow with interest, and with a muttered:

"Take that, you sore-headed dog, you!"

Forrester tried to twist away from Enoch, but could not do so. Harden freed himself from Milton's grasp, but did not attempt to go on with the fight.

"One or the other of you," said Milton briefly, "leaves the expedition at the Ferry. I'll tell you later which it will be. I'm ashamed of both of you."

"I'd like to know what's made a tin god of you, Jim Milton!" shouted Forrester. "You don't own us, body and soul. I've been in the Survey longer than you! I joined this expedition before you did. And I'll leave it when I get ready!"

"You'll leave it at the Ferry, Forrester!" Milton's voice was quiet, but his nostrils dilated.

"And I'm telling you, I'll leave it when I please, which will be at
Needles! If any one goes, it'll be that skunk of a Harden."

Harden laughed, turned on his heel and deliberately rolled himself in his blankets. Forrester stood for a moment, muttering to himself, then he took his blankets off to an obscure corner of the sand. And Enoch forgot his diary and went to bed, to ponder until shortly sleep overtook him, on the perversity of the male animal.

In the morning Jonas constituted himself ship's carpenter and mended the Ida very creditably. Forrester was surly and avoided every one. Harden was cheerful, as usual, but did not speak to his adversary. The sun was just entering the Canyon when the two boats were launched and once more faced the hazards of the river.

During the morning the going was easy. The river was swift and led through a long series of broken buttes, between which one caught wild views of a tortured country; twisted strata, strange distorted cedar and cactus, uncanny shapes of rock pinnacles, in colors somber and strange. They stopped at noon in the shadow of a weathered overhanging rock, with the profile of a witch. The atmosphere of dissension had by this time permeated the crew and this meal, usually so jovial, was eaten with no general conversation and all were glad to take to the boats as soon as the dishes were washed.

The character of the river now changed again. It grew broader and once more smooth canyon walls closed it in. As the river broadened, however, it became more shallow and rocks began to appear above the surface at more and more frequent intervals. At last the Na-che went aground amid-stream on a sharp rock. The Ida turned back to her assistance but Enoch and Milton had to go overboard, along with the crew of the Na-che, in order to drag and lift her into clear water. Then for nearly two hours, all thought of rowing must be given up. Both crews remained in the water, pushing the boats over the rough bottom.

It was heartbreaking work. For a few moments the boats would float, plunging the men beyond their depths. They would swim and flounder perhaps a boat's length, clinging to the gunwale, before the boat would once more run aground. Again they would drag their clumsy burden a hundred yards over sand that sucked hungrily at their sodden boots. This passed, came many yards of smooth rock a few inches below the surface of the water, which was so muddy that it was impossible to see the pot holes into which some one of the crew plunged constantly.

Jonas suffered agonies during this period; not for himself, though he took his full share of falls. His agony was for the Na-che, whose freshly painted bottom was abraded, scraped, gorged and otherwise defaced almost beyond Jonas's power of endurance.

"Look out! Don't drag her! Lift her! Lift her!" he would shout. "Oh, my Lord, see that sharp rock you drag her onto, Mr. Hard! Ain't you got any heart?"

Once, when all three of the Na-che's crew had taken a bad plunge, and Jonas had come up with an audible crack of his black head against the gunwale, he began to scold while the others were still fighting for breath.

"You shouldn't ship her full of water like that! All that good paint I put on her insides is gone! Hey, Mr. Agnew, don't drip that blood off your hand on her!"

"Shut up, Jonas," coughed Agnew good-naturedly.

"Let him alone, Ag!" exclaimed Harden, between a strangling cough and a sneeze. "What do you want to divulge your cold-heartedness for? Go to it, Jonas! You're some lover, all right!"

The shallows ended in a rapid which they shot without more than the usual difficulties. They then had an hour of quiet rowing through gorges that grew more narrow and more dusky as they proceeded. About four o'clock snow began to fall. It was a light enough powder, at first, but shortly it thickened until it was impossible to guide the boats. They edged in shore where a ledge overhanging a heap of broken rock offered a meager shelter. Here they planned to spend the night. The shore was too precipitous to beach the boats. Much to Jonas' sorrow, they could only anchor them before the ledge. There was plenty of driftwood, and a brisk fire dispelled some of the discomfort of the snow, while a change to dry clothing did the rest.

To Enoch it was a strange evening. The foolish quarrel between Harden and Forrester was sufficient to upset the equanimity of the whole group which before had seemed so harmonious. The situation was keenly irritating to Enoch. He wanted nothing to intrude on the wild beauty of the trip, save his own inward struggle. The snow continued to fall long after the others had gone to sleep. Enoch, with his diary on his knees, wrote slowly, pausing long between sentences to watch the snow and to listen to the solemn rush of waters so close to his feet.

"I've been sitting before the fire, Diana, thinking of our various conversations. How few they have been, after all! And I've concluded that in your heart you must look on me as presumptuous and stupid. You never have given me the slightest indication that you cared for me. You have been, even in the short time we have known each other, a gallant and tender friend. A wonderful friend! And you are as unconscious of my passion for you, of the rending agony of my giving you up as the Canyon is of the travail of Milton and his little group. And I'm glad that this is so. If I can go on through life feeling that you are serene and happy it will help me to keep my secret. Strange that with every natural inclination within me to be otherwise, I should be the custodian of ugly secrets; secrets that are only the uglier because they are my own. It seems a sacrilegious thing to add my beautiful love for you to the sinister collection. But it must be so.

"I am so glad that I am going to see you so soon after I emerge from the Canyon. There will be much to tell you. I thought I knew men. But I am learning them anew. And I thought I had a fair conception of the wonders of the Colorado. Diana, it is beyond human imagination to conceive or human tongue to describe."

Enoch had looked forward with eager pleasure to seeing the Canyon snowbound. But he was doomed to disappointment. During the night the snow turned to rain. The rain, in turn, ceased before dawn and the camp woke to winding mists that whirled with the wind up and out of the Canyon top. The going, during the morning, offered no great difficulties. But toward noon, as the boats rounded a curve, a reef presented itself with the water of the river boiling threateningly on either side. As the Canyon walls offered no landing it was necessary to make one here and Forrester volunteered to jump with a rope to a flat rock which projected from the near end of the reef.

"Leap just before we are opposite the rock, Forr," directed Milton. "When that rough water catches us, we're going to rip through at top speed."

Forrester nodded and, after shipping his oars, he clambered up onto the forward compartment.

"Now," shouted Milton.

Forrester leaped, jumped a little short, and splashed into the boiling river. The Ida, in spite of Enoch madly backing water, shot forward, dragging Forrester, who had not let go the rope, with her. Milton relinquished the steering oar, dropped on his stomach on the compartment deck, his arms over the stern, and began to haul with might and main on the rope. Now and again Forrester, red and fighting for breath, showed a distorted face above the waves. The Na-che shot by at uncontrollable speed, her crew shouting directions as she passed. Milton at last, just as the Ida entered a roaring fall, brought Forrester to the gunwale, but having achieved this, the end of the rope dropped from his fingers and he lay inert, his eyes closed. Forrester clung to the edge of the boat and roared to Enoch:

"Milt's fainted!"

But Enoch, fighting to guide the Ida, dared not stop rowing. The falls were short, with a vicious whirlpool at the foot. One glance showed the Na-che broken and inverted, dancing in this. Enoch bent to his right oar and by a miracle of luck this, with a wave from a pot hole, threw them clear of the sucking whirlpool, but dashed them so violently against the rocky shore that the Ida's stern was stove in and Milton rolled off into the water. Enoch dropped his oars, seized the stern rope, jumped for the rocks and sprawled upon one. He made a quick turn of the rope, then leaped back for Milton, whose head showed a boat's length downstream.

Forrester staggered ashore, then with a life preserver on the end of a rope, he started along the river's edge. Half a dozen strokes brought Enoch to Milton. He lifted the unconscious man's mouth out of water and caught the life preserver that Forrester threw him. It seemed for a moment as if poor Forrester had reached the limit of his strength, but Enoch, after a violent effort, brought Milton into a quiet eddy and here Forrester was able to give help and Milton was dragged up on the rocks.

At this moment, Jonas, his eyes rolling, clothes torn and dripping, clambered round a rocky projection, just beyond where they were placing Milton.

"Got 'em ashore!" he panted, "but they can't walk yet."

"Anybody hurt?" asked Enoch.

"Nobody but the Na-che. I gotta take the Ida out after her."

"She's beyond help, Jonas," said Enoch. "Go up to the Ida and bring me the medicine chest."

He was unbuttoning Milton's shirt as he spoke, and feeling for his heart.

"He's alive!" exclaimed Forrester, who was holding Milton's wrist.

"Yes, thank God! But I don't like that!" pointing to Milton's left leg.

"It's broken!" cried Forrester. "Poor old Milt!"

Poor old Milt, indeed! When he finally opened his eyes, he was lying on his blankets on a flat rock, and Jonas and Harden, still dripping, were finishing the fastenings of a rude splint around his left leg. Enoch was kindling a fire. Forrester and Agnew were unloading the Ida. He tried to sit up.

"What the deuce happened?" he demanded.

"That's what we want to know!" exclaimed Harden cheerfully.

"You had a dizzy attack after you pulled Forr in," said Enoch, "and rolled off the boat. Just how you broke your leg, we don't know."

"Broke my leg!" Dismay and disbelief struggled in Milton's face.
"Broke my leg! Why, but I can't break my leg!"

"That's good news," said Agnew unsmilingly, "and it would be important if it were only true."

"But I can't!" insisted Milton. "What becomes of the work?"

"The work stops till you get well." Harden stood up to survey his and Jonas's surgical job with considerable satisfaction. "We'll hurry on down to the Ferry and get you to a doctor."

Milton sank back with a groan, then hoisted himself to his elbow to say:

"You fellows change your clothes quick, now."

The men looked at each other, half guilty.

"What is it!" cried Milton. "What are you keeping from me."

"The Na-che's gone!" Jonas spoke huskily.

"How'd she go?" demanded Milton.

"A sucking whirlpool up there took her, after we struck a rock at the bottom of the falls," answered Harden. "We struck at such speed that it stove in her bottom and threw us clear of the whirlpool. But she's gone and everything in her."

"How about the Ida?" Milton's face was white and his lips were compressed.

"She'll do, with some patching," replied Enoch.

"Some leader, I am, eh?" Milton lay back on his blanket.

"I think I've heard of a number of other leaders losing boats on this trip," said Enoch. "Now, you fellows can dry off piecemeal. This fire would dry anything. We've got to shift Milton's clothes somehow. Lucky for you your clothes were in the Ida, Milt. Mine were in the Na-che."

"And two thirds of the grub in the Na-che, too!" exclaimed Agnew.

Jonas had rooted out Milton's change of clothing and very tenderly, if awkwardly, Agnew and Harden helping, he was made dry and propped up where he could direct proceedings.

"Forrester, I wish you'd bring the whole grub supply here," Milton said, when his nurses had finished.

It was a pitifully small collection that was placed on the edge of the blanket.

"I wonder how many times," said Milton, "I've told you chaps to load the grub half and half between the boats? Somebody blundered. I'm not going to ask who because I'm the chief blunderer myself, for neglecting to check you over, at every loading. With care, we've about two days' very scanty rations here, and only beans and coffee, at that. With the best of luck and no stops for Survey work we're five days from the Ferry."

"Guess I'd better get busy with my fishing tackle!" exclaimed Forrester.

"Ain't any fishing tackle," said Jonas succinctly. "She must 'a' washed out of the hole in the Ida. I was just looking for it myself."

"Suppose you put us on half rations," suggested Enoch, "and one of us will try to get to the top, with the gun."

Milton nodded. "Judge, are you any good with a gun?"

"Yes, I've hunted a good deal," replied Enoch.

"Very well, we'll make you the camp hunter. The rest understand the river work better than you. Forrester, you and Agnew and Jonas, patch up the Ida; and Harden, you stay with me and let's see what the maps say about the chances of our getting out before we reach the Ferry. When the rest have finished the patch, you and Agnew row downstream and see if you can pick up any wreckage from the Na-che."

Jonas made some coffee and Enoch, after resting for a half hour, took the gun and started slowly along the river's edge.

His course was necessarily downstream for, above the heap of stones where he had tied the Ida, the river washed against a wall on which a fly could scarcely have found foothold. There was a depression in the wall, where the camp was set. Enoch worked out of this depression and found a foothold on the bottom-most of the deep weathered, narrow strata that here formed a fifty-foot terrace. These terraced strata gave back for half a mile in uneven and brittle striations that were not unlike rude steps. Above them rose a sheer orange wall, straight to the sky. Far below a great shale bank sloped from the river's edge up to a gigantic black butte, whose terraced front seemed to Enoch to offer some hope of his reaching the top.

He slung the gun across his back and began gingerly to clamber along the stratified terrace. He found the rock extremely brittle and he was a long hour reaching the green shale. He was panting and weary and his hands were bleeding when he finally flung himself down to rest at the foot of the black butte.

A near view of this massive structure was not encouraging; terraces, turrets, fortifications, castles and above Enoch's head a deep cavern, out of which the wind rushed with a mighty blast of sound that drowned the sullen roar of the falls. Beyond a glance in at the black void, Enoch did not attempt to investigate the cave. He crept past the opening on a narrow shelf of rock, into a crevice up which he climbed to the top of the terrace above the cavern. Here a stratum of dull purple projected horizontally from the black face of the butte. With his face inward, his breast hard pressed against the rock, hands and feet feeling carefully for each shift forward, Enoch passed on this slowly around the sharp western edge of the butte.

Here he nearly lost his balance, for there was a rush of wings close to the back of his head. He started, then looked up carefully. Far above him an eagle's nest clung to the lonely rock. The purple stratum continued its way to a depression wide enough to give Enoch sitting room. Here he rested for a short moment. The back of the depression offered an easy assent for two or three hundred feet, to the top of another terrace along whose broad top Enoch walked comfortably for a quarter of a mile to the point where the butte projected from the main canyon wall. The slope here was not too steep to climb and Enoch made fair speed to the top.

The view here was superb but Enoch gave small heed to this. To his deep disappointment, there was no sign of life, either animal or vegetable, as far as his eye could reach. He stood, gun in hand, the wind tossing his ruddy hair, his great shoulders drooping with weariness, his keen eyes sweeping the landscape until he became conscious that the sun was low in the west. With a start, he realized that dusk must already be peering into the bottom of the Canyon.

Then he bethought himself of the eagle's nest. It was a terrible climb, before he lay on a ledge peering ever into the guano-stained structure of sticks from which the eagle soared again at his approach. As he looked, he laughed. The forequarters of a mountain goat lay in the nest. Hanging perilously by one hand, Enoch grasped the long, bloody hair and then, rolling back on to the ledge, he stuffed his loot into his game bag and started campward.

The way back was swifter but more nerve wracking than the upward climb had been. By the time he reached the green shale, Enoch was trembling from muscle and nerve strain. It was purple dusk now, by the river, with the castellated tops of butte and mountain molten gold in the evening sun. When he reached the brittle strata, the water reflected firelight from the still unseen camp blaze. Enoch, clinging perilously to the breaking rock, half faint with hunger, his fingers numb with the cold, laughed again, to himself, and said aloud:

  "'. . . . . . . . . . . . . And yet
  Dauntless the slug horn to my lips I set
  And blew, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.'"

CHAPTER XII

THE END OF THE CRUISE

"Christ could forgive the unforgivable, but the Colorado in the Canyon is like the voice of God, inevitable, inexorable."—Enoch's Diary.

Jonas stood on a projecting rock peering anxiously down the river.
Enoch, staggering wearily into the firelight, called to him cheerfully:

"Ship ahoy, Jonas!"

"My Gawd, boss!" exclaimed Jonas, running up to take the gunny sack and the gun. "Don't you never go off like that alone again. How come you stayed so late?"

"Now the Na-che's gone I suppose I'll have a few attentions again!" said Enoch. "How are you, Milton?"

He turned toward the stalwart figure that lay on the shadowy rock beyond the fire.

"Better than I deserve, Judge," replied Milton.

"What luck, Judge?" cried Harden, who had been watching a game of poker between Agnew and Forrester.

"My Lawdy Lawd!" shouted Jonas, emptying the gunny sack on the rock which served as table.

There was a chorus of surprise.

"What happened, Judge! Did you eat the rest raw?"

"A goat, by Jove! Where on earth did it come from?"

"What difference does that make? Get it into the pot, Jonas, for the love of heaven!"

"As a family provider, Judge, you are to be highly recommended."

Enoch squatted against Milton's rock and complacently lighted his pipe, then told his story.

"There are goats still here, then! I wish we'd see some," said Milton, when Enoch had finished.

"But what would they live on?" asked Enoch.

"That's easy," replied Milton. "There are hidden canyons and gulches in this Colorado country that are veritable little paradises, with all the verdure any one could ask for."

"Wish we could locate one," sighed Forrester.

"That wouldn't help me much," grunted Milton.

"What luck with the Ida?" Enoch turned to Agnew who, next to Jonas, took the greatest interest in ship repair and building.

"The forward compartment was pretty well smashed, but another hour's work in the morning will make the old girl as good as ever."

"She'll never be the boat the Na-che was," groaned Jonas mournfully from his fire. "What are we all going to do now, with just one boat?"

For a moment no one spoke, then Enoch said drily, "Well, Jonas, seeing that you and I don't really belong to the expedition anyhow and that we invited ourselves, I think it's up to us to walk."

There was a chorus of protests at this. But Enoch silenced the others by saying with great earnestness:

"Milton, you know I'm right, don't you?"

Milton, who had been saying nothing, now raised himself on his elbow.

"Two of you fellows will have to walk it; which two we'd better decide by lot. We're up against a rotten situation. It would be bad, even if I weren't hurt. But with a cripple on your hands, well—it's awful for you chaps! Simply awful!"

"With good luck, and no Survey work, how many days are we from the
Ferry?" asked Enoch.

"Between four and five, is what Milton and I calculated this afternoon," replied Harden.

"What's the nearest help by way of land?"

"There's a ranch, about eighty miles south of here. I guess the traveling would be about as bad as anybody would hope for. The fellows that go out have got to be used to desert work, like me." Harden scratched a match and by its unsteady light scrutinized the detail map spread open on his knee.

"Isn't Miss Allen working nearer than eighty miles from here?" asked
Agnew.

"She's in the Hopi country, whatever distance that may be," replied Enoch. "I should suppose it would be rather risky trying to catch some one who is moving about, as she is."

"I guess maybe she's on her way to the Ferry now." Jonas straightened up from his stew pot. "Leastways, Na-che kind of promised to kind of see if maybe they couldn't reach there about the time we did."

The other men laughed. "I guess we won't gamble too heavily on the women folks," exclaimed Forrester.

"I guess Miss Allen's the kind you don't connect gambling with," retorted Agnew.

Enoch cut in hastily. "Then two of us are to go out. What about those who stay?"

"Well, you have to get my helpless carcass aboard the Ida and we'll make our way to the Ferry, as rapidly as we can. The food problem is serious, but we won't starve in four days. We won't attempt any more hunting expeditions but we may pot something as we go along. It's the fellows who go out who'll have the worst of it."

Enoch had been eying Milton closely. "Look here, Milton, I believe you're running a good deal of temperature. Why don't you lie down and rest both mind and body until supper's ready? After you've eaten, we'll make the final decisions."

"I don't want any food," replied Milton, dropping back on his blankets, nevertheless.

"The beans is done but you only get a handful of them in the stew, to-night," said Jonas, firmly. "I'm cooking all the meat, 'cause it won't keep, but you only get half of that now."

Agnew groaned. "Well, there doesn't seem much to look forward to.
Let's finish that game of poker, Forr. Take a hand, Judge and Hard?"

"No, thanks," replied Enoch. "I'll just rest my old bones right here."

"I'll help you out, if Forr won't pick on me." Harden glanced at Milton, but the freckled face gave no sign that Harden's remark had been heeded.

Enoch quietly took the injured man's pulse. It was rapid and weak. Enoch shook his head, laid the sturdy hand down and gave his attention to his pipe and the card game. It was not long before an altercation between Forrester and Harden began. Several times Agnew interfered but finally Forrester sprang to his feet with an oath.

"No man on earth can call me that!" shouted Harden, "Take it back and apologize, you rotter!"

"A rotter, am I?" sneered Forrester. "And what are you? You come of a family of rotters. I know your sister's history! I know—"

Enoch laid a hand on Agnew's arm. "Don't interfere! Nothing but blood will wipe that out."

But Milton roared suddenly, "Stop that fight! Stop it! Judge! Agnew!
I'm still head of this expedition!"

Reluctantly the two moved toward the swaying figures. It was not an easy matter to stop the battle. Forrester and Harden were clinched but Enoch and Agnew were larger than either of the combatants and at a word from Enoch, Jonas seized Forrester, with Agnew. After a scuffle, Harden stood silent and scowling beside Enoch, while Forrester panted between Agnew and Jonas.

"I'm ashamed of you fellows," shouted Milton. "Ashamed! You know the chief's due in the morning." He stopped abruptly. "I'm ashamed of you. You know what I mean. The chief—God, fellows, I'm a sick man!" He fell back heavily on his blankets.

Enoch and Harden hurried to his side. "Quit your fighting, Judge! Quit your fighting!" muttered Milton. "Here! I'll make you stop!" He tried to rise and Jonas rushed to hold the injured leg while Harden and Enoch pressed the broad shoulders back against the flinty bed. It was several moments before he ceased to struggle and dropped into a dull state of coma.

"It doesn't seem as if a broken leg ought to do all that to a man as husky as Milt!" said Agnew, who had joined them with a proffer of water.

"I'm afraid he was sickening with something before the accident," Enoch shook his head. "Those dizzy spells were all wrong, you know."

"We'd better get this boy to a doctor as soon as we can," said Agnew. "Poor old Milton! I swear it's a shame! His whole heart was set on putting this trip through."

"He'll do it yet," Enoch patted the sick man's arm.

"Yes, but he'll be laid up for months and his whole idea was to put it through without a break. The Department never condones accidents, you know."

"I guess I can give you all some supper now," said Jonas. "Better get it while he's laying quiet."

"Where's Forrester?" asked Enoch as they gathered round the stew pot.

"He mumbled something about going outside to cool down," replied Agnew.
"Better let him alone for a while."

"Too bad you couldn't have kept the peace, under the circumstances,
Harden," said Enoch.

"You heard what he said to me?" demanded Harden fiercely.

"Yes, I did and I heard you deliberately tease him into a fury. Of course, after what he finally said there was nothing left to do but to smash him," said Enoch.

"I don't see why," Agnew spoke in his calm way. "I never could understand why a bloody nose wiped out an insult. A thing that's said is said. Shooting a man even doesn't unsay a dirty speech. It's not common sense. Why ruin your own life in the effort to punish a man for something that's better forgotten?"

"So you would swallow an insult and smile?" sneered Harden.

"Not at all! I wouldn't hear the alleged insult, in most cases. But if the thing was so raw that the man had to be punished, I'd really hurt him."

"How?" asked Enoch.

"I'd do him a favor."

"Slush!" grunted Harden.

Agnew shrugged his shoulders and the scanty meal was finished in silence. When Jonas had collected the pie tins and cups, Enoch said,

"While you're outside with those, Jonas, you'd better persuade
Forrester to come in to supper. Tell him no one will bother him.
Boys, I think we ought to sit up with Milton for a while. I'll take
the first watch, if you'll take the second, Harden."

Harden nodded. "I'll get to bed at once. Call me when you want me."

He rolled himself in his blanket, Agnew following his example. A moment or so later Jonas could be heard calling,

"Mr. Forrester! Ohee! Mr. Forrester!" The Canyon echoed the call, but there was no answer, Enoch strolled down to the river's edge where Jonas was standing with his arms full of dishes. "What's up, Jonas?" he asked.

"Boss, I think he's lit out!"

"Lit out? Where, Jonas?"

"Well, there's only one way, like you went this afternoon. But his canteen's gone. And he had his shoes drying by the fire. He must have sneaked 'em while we was working over Mr. Milton, because they're gone, and so's his coat that was lying by the Ida, with the rest of the clothes."

Enoch lifted his great voice. "Forrester! Forrester!"

A thousand echoes replied while Agnew joined them and in a moment,
Harden. Jonas repeated his story.

"No use yelling!" exclaimed Enoch. "Let's build a fire out here."

"Do you suppose he's had an accident?" Enoch's voice was apprehensive.

"No, I don't," replied Agnew, stoutly. "He's told me two or three times that if he had any real trouble with Hard, he'd get out. What a fool to start off, this way!"

"You fellows go to bed," Harden spoke abruptly.

"I'll keep a fire going and if Milt needs more than me, I'll call. The Judge had a heavy afternoon and I was resting. And this row is mine anyhow."

Enoch, who was dropping with fatigue needed no urging. He rolled himself in his blanket and instantly was deep in the marvelous slumber that had blessed him since the voyage began.

It was dawn when he woke. He started to his feet, contritely, wondering who of the others had sacrificed sleep for him. But Enoch was the only one awake. Milton was tossing and muttering but his eyes were closed. Jonas lay with his feet in last night's ashes. Agnew was curled up at Milton's feet. Harden was not to be seen. Enoch hurried to the river's edge. A sheet of paper fluttered from the split end of a stake that had been stuck in a conspicuous spot. It was unaddressed and Enoch opened it.

"I have gone to find Forrester, and help him out. I took one-third of the grub and one of the guns and a third of the shells. If we have good luck, you'll hear of us at the Ferry. I have the detail map of this section.

"C. L. HARDEN."

Enoch looked from the note up to the golden pink of the sky. Far above the butte an eagle soared. The dawn wind ruffled his hair. He drew a deep breath and turned to wake Jonas and Agnew, and show them the note.

"Did you folks go to sleep when I did?" asked Enoch when they had read the note in silence.

Jonas and Agnew nodded.

"Then he must have left at once. No fire has been built out in front."

"Well, it's solved the problem of who walks," remarked Agnew, drily.

"How come Mr. Harden to think he could find him?" demanded Jonas, excitedly.

"Well, they both will have had to start where I did, yesterday. And neither could have gone very far in the dark." Enoch spoke thoughtfully. "If they don't kill each other!"

"They won't," interrupted Agnew comfortingly. "Neither of them is the killing kind."

"Then I suggest," said Enoch, "that with all the dispatch possible we get on our way. You two tackle the Ida and I'll take care of Milton and the breakfast."

"Aye! Aye, sir!" Agnew turned quickly toward the boat, followed eagerly by Jonas.

Milton opened his eyes when Enoch bent over him. "Let me give you a sip of this hot broth, old man," said Enoch. "Come! just to please me!" as Milton shook his head. "You've got to keep your strength and a clear head in order to direct the voyage."

Milton sipped at the warm decoction, and in a moment his eyes brightened.

"Tastes pretty good. Too bad we haven't several gallons of it. Tell the bunch to draw lots for who goes out."

Enoch shook his head. "That's all settled!" and he gave Milton the details of the trouble of the night before.

"Well, can you beat that?" demanded Milton. "The two fools! Why, there were a hundred things I had to tell the pair who went out. Judge, they'll never make it!"

"They've got as good a fighting chance as we have," insisted Enoch, stoutly. "Quit worrying about them, Milton. You've got your hands full keeping the rest of us from being too foolish."

But try as he would, Milton could do little in the way of directing his depleted crew. His leg and his back pained him excruciatingly, and the vertigo was with him constantly. Enoch after trying several times to get coherent commands from the sufferer finally gave up. As soon as the scanty breakfast of coffee and a tiny portion of boiled beans was over, Enoch divided the rations into four portions and stowed away all but that day's share, in the Ida. Then he discussed with Agnew and Jonas the best method of placing Milton on the boat.

They finally built a rough but strong framework on the forward compartment against which Milton could recline while seated on the deck, the broken leg supported within the rower's space. They padded this crude couch with blankets. This finished, they made a stretcher of the blanket on which Milton lay, by nailing the sides to two small cedar trunks which they routed out of the drift wood. When they had lifted him carefully and had placed him in the Ida, stretcher and all, he was far more comfortable, he said, than he had been on his rigid bed of stone.

By eight o'clock, all was ready and they pushed slowly out into the stream. Agnew took the steering oar, Enoch, his usual place, with Jonas behind him.

The river was wild and swift here, but, after they had worked carefully and painfully out of the aftermath of the falls, the current was unobstructed for several hours. All the morning, Jonas watched eagerly for traces of the Na-che but up to noon, none appeared. The sky was cloudy, threatening rain. The walls, now smooth, now broken by pinnacles and shoulders, were sad and gray in color. Milton sometimes slept uneasily, but for the most part he lay with lips compressed, eyes on the gliding cliffs.

About an hour before noon, the familiar warning roar of rapids reached their ears. Rounding a curve, carefully, they snubbed the Ida to a rock while Agnew clambered ashore for an observation. Just below them a black wall appeared to cut at right angles across the river bed. The river sweeping round the curve which the Ida had just compassed, rushed like the waters of a mill race against the unexpected obstacle and waves ten to twenty feet high told of the force of the meeting. Agnew with great difficulty crawled along the shore until he could look down on this turmoil of waters. Then, with infinite pains, he returned.

"It's impossible to portage," he reported, "but the waves simply fill the gorge for two hundred feet."

"Tie me in the boat," said Milton. "The rest of you get out on the rocks and let the boat down with ropes."

Agnew looked questioningly at Enoch, who shook his head.

"Agnew," he said, "can you and Jonas manage to let the Ida down, with both Milton and me aboard?"

"No, sir, we can't!" exclaimed Jonas. "That ain't to be thought of!"

"Right you are, Jonas!" agreed Agnew, while Milton nodded in agreement.

"Then," said Enoch, "let's land Milton and the loose dunnage on this rock, let the boat down, come back and carry Milton round."

"It's the only way," agreed Agnew, "but I think we can take a hundred feet off the portage, if you fellows are willing to risk rowing down to a bench of rock below here. You take the steering oar, Judge. I'll stay ashore and catch a rope from you at the bench."

Cautiously, Jonas backing water and Enoch keeping the Ida almost scraping the shore, they made their way to the spot where Agnew caught the rope, throwing the whole weight of his body back against the pull of the boat, even then being almost dragged from the ledge. Milton was lifted out as carefully as possible, the loose dunnage was piled beside him, then the three men, each with a rope attached to the Ida, began their difficult climb.

There was nothing that could be called a trail. They made their way by clinging to projecting rocks, or stepping perilously from crack to crevice, from shelf to hollow. The pull of the helpless Ida was tremendous, and they snubbed her wherever projecting rocks made this possible. She danced dizzily from crest to crest of waves. She slid helplessly into whirlpools, she twisted over and under and fought like a wild thing against the straining ropes. But at the end of a half hour, she was moored in safe water, on a spit of sand on which a cotton wood grew.

"Agnew," said Enoch, "I think we were fools not to have broken a rough trail before we attempted this. It's obviously impossible to carry Milton over that wall as it is."

"I thought the three of us might make it, taking turns carrying Milt on our backs. It wastes a lot of time making trail and time is a worse enemy to us now than the Colorado."

"That's true," agreed Enoch, "but I'm not willing to risk Milton's vertigo on our backs."

He took a pick-ax out of the rear compartment of the boat, as he spoke and began to break trail. The others followed suit. The rock proved unexpectedly easy to work and in another hour, Enoch announced himself willing to risk Milton and the stretcher on the rude path they had hacked out.

Milton did not speak during his passage. His fortitude and endurance were very touching to Enoch whose admiration for the young leader increased from hour to hour. Jonas boiled the coffee and heated the noon portions of beans and goat. It was entirely inadequate for the appetites of the hard working crew. Enoch wondered if the others felt as hollow and uncertain-kneed, as he did, but he said nothing nor did they.

There was considerable drift wood lodged against the spit of sand and from it, Jonas, with a shout that was half a sob, dragged a broken board on which appeared in red letters, "-a-che."

"All that's left of the prettiest, spunkiest little boat that ever fought a dirty river!" he mourned. "I'm going to put this in my dunnage bag and if we ever do get home, I'll have it framed."

The others smiled in sympathy. "I wonder if Hard has found Forr, yet?" said Milton, uneasily. "I can't keep them off my mind."

"I wouldn't be surprised if they both had run on Curly and Mack's outfit by this time," Agnew answered cheerfully. "It's funny we didn't think of them instead of Diana Allen, last night."

"Not so very funny, either," returned Milton with an attempt at a smile. "I'll bet most of us have thought of Miss Allen forty times to once of the men, ever since we met her."

"She's the most beautiful woman I ever saw," said Agnew, dreamily.

"Lawdy!" groaned Jonas, suddenly, "if I only had something to fish with! When we make camp to-night, I'm a-going to try to rig up some kind of a line."

"I'm glad the tobacco supply was in the Ida." Enoch rose with a yawn and knocked the ashes from his pipe. "Well, boys, shall we move?"

Again they embarked. The river behaved in a most friendly manner until afternoon, when she offered by way of variety a series of sand bars, across which they were obliged to drag the Ida by main strength. These continued at intervals for several miles. In the midst of them, the rain that had been threatening all day began to fall while the wind that never left the Canyon, rose to drive the icy waters more vehemently through their sodden clothing. Milton, snugly covered with blankets, begged them feverishly to go into camp. "I'll have you all sick, to-night!" he insisted. "You can't take the risk of pneumonia on starvation rations that you did on plenty of grub."

"I'm willing," said Agnew, finally, as he staggered to his feet after a ducking under the Ida's side.

"Oh, let's keep going, as long as there's any light to see by," begged
Enoch.

As if to reward his persistence, just as dusk settled fully upon them, a little canyon opened from the main wall at the right, a small stream, tumbling eagerly from it into the Colorado. They turned the Ida quickly into this and managed to push upward on it for several minutes. Then they put ashore under some dim cottonwoods, where grass was ankle deep. The mere feeling of vegetation about them was cheering, and the trees, with a blanket stretched between made a partial shelter from the rain.

"I'll sure cook grass for you all for breakfast!" said Jonas. "How come folks not to bile grass for greens, I don't see. Maybe birds here, too. Whoever's the fancy shot, put the gun close to his hand."

"I've done some fair shooting in my day," said Agnew, "but I never potted a goat in an eagle's nest. You'd better give the gun to the Judge." He polished off his pie tin, scraped the last grain of sugar from his tin cup and lighted a cigarette.

"I'm trying to bear my blushing honors modestly," grinned Enoch, crowding closer to the great fire. "Milton, I've a bone to pick with you."

"Where'd you get it?" demanded Agnew.

Enoch smiled but went on. "I accuse you of deliberately starving yourself for the rest of us. It won't do, sir. I'm going to set your share aside and by Jove, if you refuse it, I'll throw it in the river!"

Milton rose indignantly on one elbow. "Judge, I forbid you to do anything of the kind! You fellows have got to have food to work on. All I need is plenty of water."

"Especially as you think the water is making you sick," returned Enoch drily. "You can't get away with it, Milton. Am I not right, Agnew and Jonas?"

"Absolutely!" Agnew exclaimed, while Jonas nodded, vigorously.

"So, beginning to-morrow morning, you're to do your share of eating,"
Enoch concluded, cheerfully.

But in spite of all efforts to keep a stiff upper lip, the night was wretched. The rain fell in torrents. The only way to keep the fire alight was by keeping it under the blanket shelter, and Milton was half smothered with smoke. He insisted on the others going to sleep, but in spite of their utter weariness, the men would not do this. Hunger made them restless and the rain crept through their blankets. Enoch finally gave up the attempt to sleep. He crouched by Milton, feeding the fire and trying as best he could to ease the patient's misery of mind and body.

It was long after midnight when Milton said, "Judge, I've been thinking it over and I've come to a conclusion. I want you folks to go on for help and leave me here."

"I don't like to hear you talk suicide, Milton." Enoch shook his head. "As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't consider such a suggestion for a minute."

"But don't you see," insisted Milton, "I'm imperilling all your lives.
Without me, you could have made twice the distance you did to-day."

"That's probably true," agreed Enoch. "What of it? Would you leave me in your fix, thinking you might bring help back?"

"That's different! You're a tenderfoot and I'm not. Moreover, greater care on my part would probably have prevented this whole series of accidents."

"Now you are talking nonsense!" Enoch threw another log on the fire. "Your illness is undermining your common sense, Milton. We've got a tough few days ahead of us but we'll tackle it together. If we fail we fail together. But I can see no reason why if we run as few risks as we did to-day, we should get into serious trouble. We're going to lose strength for lack of food, so we've got to move more and more slowly and carefully, and we'll be feeling weak and done up when we reach the Ferry. But I anticipate nothing worse than that."

Milton sighed and was silent, for a time. Then he said, "I could have managed Forr and Harden better, if I'd been willing to believe they were the pair of kids they proved to be. As it is—"

"As it is," interrupted Enoch, firmly, "both chaps are learning a lesson that will probably cure them for all time of their foolishness."

Milton looked long at Enoch's tired face; then he lifted himself on one elbow.

"All right, Judge, I'm through belly-aching! We'll put it through somehow and if I have decent luck, early Spring will see me right here, beginning where I left off. After all, Powell had to take two trials at it."

"That's more like you, Milton! Is that dawn breaking yonder?"

"Yes," replied Milton. "Keep your ear and eye out for any sort of critters in this little spot, Judge."

But, though Enoch, and the others, when he had roused them, beat the tiny blind alley thoroughly, not so much as a cottontail reward their efforts.

"Curious!" grumbled Enoch, "up at Mack's camp where we really needed nothing, I found all the game in the world. The perversity of nature is incomprehensible. Even the fish have left this part of the river," as Jonas with a sigh of discouragement tossed his improvised fishing tackle into the fire.

Agnew pulled his belt a notch tighter. His brown face was beginning to look sagged and lined. "Well," cheerfully, "there are some advantages in being fat. I've still several days to go before I reach your's and Jonas' state of slats, Judge."

"Don't get sot up about it, Ag," returned Enoch. "You look a good deal like a collapsed balloon, you know! Shall we launch the good ship Ida, fellows?"

"She ain't anything to what the Na-che was," sighed Jonas, "but she's pretty good at that. If I ain't too tired, to-night, I may clean her up a little."

Even Milton joined in the laughter at this and the day's journey was begun with great good humor.

It was the easiest day's course that had been experienced since Enoch had joined the expedition. There were three rapids during the day but they rode these with no difficulties. Enoch and Jonas rowed fairly steadily in the morning, but in the afternoon, they spelled each other. The light rations were making themselves felt. The going was so smooth that dusk was upon them before they made camp. Milton had been wretchedly sick, all day, but he made no complaint and forced down the handful of boiled beans and the tin cup of pale coffee that was his share of each meal.

They made camp languidly. Enoch found the task of piling fire wood arduous and as the camp was in dry sand and the blankets had dried out during the day, they did not attempt the usual great blaze. Jonas insisted on acting as night nurse for Milton, and Enoch was asleep before he had more then swallowed his supper. He had bad dreams and woke with a dull headache, and wondered if Jonas and Agnew felt as weak and light-headed as he did. But although both the men moved about slowly and Jonas made no attempt to clean up the Ida, they uttered no complaints. Milton was feeling a little better. Before the day's journey was begun, he and Agnew plotted their position on the map.

"Well, does to-morrow see us at the Ferry?" asked Enoch, cheerfully, when Agnew put up his pencil with an abstracted air.

"No, Judge," sighed Milton, "that rotten first day after the wreck, cost us a good many miles. I thought we'd make up for it, yesterday. But we're a full day behind."

"That is," exclaimed Enoch, "we must take that grub pile and redivide it, stretching it over three days instead of two!"

"Yes," replied Milton, grimly.

"Jove, Agnew, you're going to be positively fairy like, before we're through with this," said Enoch. "Jonas, get out the grub supply, will you?"

Jonas, standing on a rock that projected over the water, did not respond. He was watching eagerly as his new fishline of ravelled rope pulled taut in the stream. Suddenly he gave a roar and jerked the line so violently that the fish landed on Milton's blanket.

"Must weigh two pounds!" cried Agnew.

"You start her broiling, Mr. Agnew!" shouted Jonas, "while I keep on a-fishing."

"What changed your luck, Jonas?" asked Enoch. "You're using beans and bent wire, just as you did yesterday."

"Aha! not just as I did yesterday, boss! This time I tied Na-che's charm just above the hook. No fish could stand that, once they got an eye on it."

But evidently no second fish cast an eye on the irresistible charm, and Enoch was unwilling to wait for further luck longer than was necessary to cook the fish and eat it. But during the day Jonas trolled whenever the water made trolling possible, hopefully spitting on the hook each time he cast it over, casting always from the right hand and muttering Fish! Fish! Fish! three times for each venture. Yet no other fish responded to Na-che's charm that day.

But the river treated them kindly. If their strength had been equal to hard and steady rowing they might have made up for the lost miles. As it was they knocked off at night with just the number of miles for the day that Milton had planned on in the beginning, and were still a day behind their schedule. Milton grew no worse, though he was weaker and obviously a very sick man. A light snow fell during the night but the next morning was clear and invigorating.

They encountered two difficult rapids on the fourth day. The first one they portaged. The trail was not difficult but in their weakened condition the boat and poor Milton were heavy burdens and it took them three times as long to accomplish the portage as it would have taken had they been in normal condition. The second rapids, they shot easily in the afternoon. The waves were high and every one was saturated with the icy water. Enoch dared not risk Milton's remaining wet and as soon as they found a likely place for the camp they went ashore. The huge pile of drift wood had helped them to decide on this rather unhospitable ledge for what they hoped would be their last night out.

They kindled a big fire and sat about it, steaming and silent, but with the feeling that the worst was behind them.

They rose in a cold driving rain the next morning, ate the last of the beans, drank the last of the coffee, covered Milton as well as could be with blankets and launched the boat. It was a day of unspeakable misery. They made one portage, and one let down, and dragged the boat with almost impossible labor over a long series of shallows. By mid-afternoon they had made up their minds to another night of wretchedness and Agnew was beginning to watch for a camping place, when suddenly he exclaimed,

"Fellows, there's the Ferry!"

"How do you know?" demanded Enoch.

"I've been here before, Judge. Yes, by Jove, there's old Grant's cabin. I wonder if any one's reached here yet!"

"Well, Milton, old man, here's thanks and congratulations," cried Enoch.

"You'd better thank the Almighty," returned Milton. "I certainly had very little to do with our getting here."

The rain had prevented Agnew's recognizing their haven until they were fairly upon it. Even now all that Enoch could see was a wide lateral canyon with a rough unpainted shack above the waterline. A group of cottonwoods loomed dimly through the mist beside a fence that surrounded the house.

Jonas, who had seemed overcome with joy at Agnew's announcement, recovered his power of speech by the time the boat was headed shoreward and he raised a shout that echoed from wall to wall.

"Na-che! Ohee, Na-che! Here we are, Na-che!"

Agnew opened his lips to comment, but before he uttered the first syllable there rose a shrill, clear call from the mists.

"Jonas! Ohee, Jonas!"

Enoch's pulse leaped. With sudden strength, he bent to his oars, and the Ida slid softly upon the sandy shore. As she did so, two figures came running through the rain.

"Diana!" cried Enoch, making no attempt for a moment to step from the boat.

"Oh, what has happened!" exclaimed Diana, putting a hand under Milton's head as he struggled to raise it.

"Just a broken leg, Miss Allen," he said, his parched lips parting in a smile. "Have Forr and Hard turned up?"

"No! And Curly and Mack aren't here, either! O you poor things! Here, let me help! Na-che, take hold of this stretcher, there, on the other side with the Judge and Jonas. Finished short of grub, didn't you! Let's bring Mr. Milton right up to the cabin."

The cabin consisted of but one room with an adobe fireplace at one end and bunks on two sides. There was a warm glow of fire and the smell of meat cooking. They laid Milton tenderly on a bunk and as they did so Jonas gave a great sob:

"Welcome home, I say, boss, welcome home!"

CHAPTER XIII

GRANT'S CROSSING

"Perfect memories! They are more precious than hope, more priceless than dreams of the future."—Enoch's Diary.

"Now, every one of you get into dry clothes as quickly as you can," said Diana. "No! Don't one of you try to stir from the cabin! Come, Na-che, we'll bring the men's bags up and go out to our tent while they shift."

The two women were gone before the men could protest. They were back with the bags in a few moments and in almost less time than it takes to tell, the crew of the Ida was reclothed, Enoch in the riding suit that Jonas had left with some of his own clothes in Na-che's care. When this was done, Na-che put on the coffee pot, while Diana served each of them with a plate of hot rabbit stew.

"Don't try to talk," she said, "until you get this down. You'd better help Mr. Milton, Na-che. Here, it will take two of us. Oh, you poor dear! You're burning with fever."

"Don't you worry about me," protested Milton, weakly, as, with his head resting on Diana's arm, he sipped the teaspoonsful of stew Na-che fed him. "This is as near heaven as I want to get."

"I should hope so!" grunted Agnew. "Jonas, don't ever try to put up a stew in competition with Na-che again."

"Not me, sir!" chuckled Jonas. "That gal can sure cook!"

"And make charms," added Enoch. "Don't fail to realize that you're still alive, Jonas."

"I'm going to bathe Mr. Milton's face for him," said Na-che, with a fine air of indifference. "I can set a broken leg, too."

"It's set," said Agnew and Enoch together, "but," added Enoch, "that isn't saying that Milton mustn't be gotten to a doctor with all speed."

Diana nodded. "Where are Mr. Forrester and Mr. Harden?" she asked.

"We lost the Na-che—" said Agnew.

"The what?" demanded Diana.

"Jonas rechristened the Mary, the Na-che," Agnew replied. "We lost her in a whirlpool six days back. Most of the food was in her. Two of us had to go out and Harden and Forrester volunteered. We are very much worried about them."

"And when did Mr. Milton break his leg?"

"On that same black day! The water's been disagreeing with him, making him dizzy, and he took a header from the Ida, after rescuing Forrester from some rapids," said Enoch.

"Doesn't sound much, when you tell it, does it!" Agnew smiled as he sighed. "But it really has been quite a busy five days."

"One can look at your faces and read much between the lines," said Diana, quietly. "Now, while Na-che works with Mr. Milton, I'm going to give you each some coffee."

"Diana, how far are we from the nearest doctor?" asked Enoch.

"There's one over on the Navajo reservation," replied Diana.

"Wouldn't it be better to keep Milton right here and one of us go for the doctor?"

"Much better," agreed Diana and Agnew.

"Lord," sighed Milton, "what bliss!"

"Then," said Enoch, "I'm going to start for the doctor, now."

"Nonsense!" exclaimed Diana, "that's my job. We've been here two days and we and our outfit are as fresh as daisies."

"I'm going, myself," Agnew rose as firmly as his weak and weary legs would permit.

It was Na-che who settled the matter. "That's an Indian's job," she said. "You take care of Mr. Milton, Diana, while I go."

"That's sensible," agreed Diana. "Start now, Na-che. You should reach
Wilson's by to-morrow night and telephone to the Agent's house.
That'll save you forty miles."

Jonas' face which had fallen greatly suddenly brightened. "Somebody's coming!" he cried. "I hope it's our folks!"

The door opened abruptly and in walked Curly and Mack.

"Here's the whole family!" exclaimed Curly. "Well, if you folks don't look like Siberian convicts, whiskers and all! Some trip, eh?"

Mack, shaking hands all round, stopped beside Milton's bunk. "What went wrong, bud? and where's the rest of the bunch?"

Enoch told the story, this time. Mack shook his head as the final plans were outlined.

"Na-che had better stay and nurse Milton. I'm feeling fine. We just loafed along down here. I'll start out right away. I should reach Wilson's to-morrow night, as you say, and telephone the doctor. Then I'll load up with grub at Wilson's and turn back. Do you find much game round here?"

Diana nodded. "Plenty of rabbit and quail, and we have some bacon and coffee."

"I guess I'd better go out and look for the two foot-passengers," suggested Curly. "I'll stay out to-night and report to-morrow evening."

"We'll be in shape by morning to start on the search," said Enoch.

Curly turned to his former cook with a grin. "Well, Judge, is your little vacation giving you the rest you wanted?"

Enoch, gaunt, unshaven, exhausted, his blue eyes blood-shot, nodded contentedly. "I'm having the time of my life, Curly."

"I had a bull dog once," said Curly. "If I'd take a barrel stave and pound him with it, saying all the time, 'Nice doggie, isn't this fun! Isn't this a nice little stick! Don't you like these little love pats?' he'd wag his tail and slobber and tell me how much he enjoyed it and beg for more. But, if I took a straw and tapped him with it, telling him he was a poor dog, that nobody loved him, that I was breaking his ribs which he richly deserved, why that bull pup nearly died of suffering of body and anguish of mind."

Enoch shook his head sadly. "A great evangelist was lost when you took to placer mining, Curly."

Mack had been talking quietly to Milton. "I don't believe it was the river water, that upset you. I think you have drunk from some poison spring. I did that once, up in this country, and it took me six months to get over it, because I couldn't get to a doctor. But I believe a doctor could fix you right up. Do you recall drinking water the other men didn't?"

"Any number of times, on exploring trips to the river!" Milton looked immensely cheered. "I think you may be right, Mack."

"I'll bet you two bits that's all that ails you, son!" Mack rose from the edge of the bunk. "Well, folks, I'm off! Look for me when you see me!"

"I'll mooch along too," Curly rose and stretched himself.

"I'm not going to try to thank all you folks!" Milton's weak voice was husky.

"That's what us Arizonians always wait for before we do the decent thing," said Mack, with a smile. "Come along, Curly, you lazy chuckawalla you!" And the door slammed behind them.

"They're stem winders, both of them!" exclaimed Agnew.

"Diana," said Enoch, "I wish you'd sit down. You've done enough for us."

Diana smiled and shook her head. "I struck the camp first, so I'm boss. Na-che and I are going out to see that everything's all right for the night and that Mack and Curly get a good start. While we're out, you're all going to bed. Then Na-che is coming in to make Mr. Milton as comfortable as she can. Our tent is under the cottonwoods and if you want anything during the night, Mr. Milton, all you have to do is to call through the window. Neither of us will undress so we can be on duty, instantly. There is plenty of stew still simmering in the pot, and cold biscuit on the table. Good night, all of you."

"Na-che, she don't need to bother. I'll look out for Mr. Milton," said
Jonas, suddenly rousing from his chair where he had been dozing.

"You go to bed and to sleep, Jonas," ordered Diana. "Good night,
Judge."

"Good night, Diana!"

The door closed softly and Diana was seen no more that night. The rain ceased at midnight and the stars shone forth clear and cold, but Milton was the only person in the camp to be conscious of the fact. Just as the dawn wind was rising, though, and the cottonwoods were outlining themselves against the eastern sky, stumbling footsteps near the tent wakened both Diana and Na-che, and they opened the tent flap, hastily.

Forrester was clinging to a cottonwood tree. At least it was a worn, bleached, ragged counterfeit of Forrester.

"Hard's back on the trail apiece. I came on for help," he said huskily.

"Is he sick or hurt?" cried Diana.

"No, just all in."

"I'll take a horse for him, right off," said Na-che. "You help Mr.
Forrester into the house, Diana."

"Call Jonas!" said Diana, supporting Forrester against the tree. "One of the men had better go for Mr. Harden."

"Then they got here!" exclaimed Forrester. "Thank God! How's Milton?
Any other accident?"

"Everything's all right! Here they all come!" For Jonas, then Agnew and Enoch were rushing from the door and amid the hubbub of exclamations, Forrester was landed in a bunk while Agnew started up the trail indicated by Forrester. But he hardly had set out before he met Curly, leading his horse with Harden clinging to the saddle. Both the wanderers were fed and put to bed and told to sleep, before they tried to tell their story. The day was warm and clear and Na-che and Jonas prepared breakfast outside, serving it on the rough table, under the cottonwoods. Enoch and Agnew, washed and shaved, were new men, though still weak, Enoch, particularly, being muscle sore and weary. Harden and Forrester woke for more food, at noon, then slept again. Milton dozed and woke, drank feverishly of the water brought from the spring near the cabin, and gazed with a look of complete satisfaction on the unshaved dirty faces in the bunks across the room.

Agnew and Curly played poker all day long. Jonas and Na-che found endless small tasks around the camp that required long consultations between them and much laughter. When Enoch returned after breakfast from a languid inspection of the Ida, Diana was not to be seen. She had gone out to get some quail, Na-che said. She returned in an hour or so, with a good bag of rabbit and birds.

"To-morrow, that will be my job," said Enoch.

"If she wouldn't let me go, she mustn't let you!" called Curly, from his poker game, under the trees.

"Yes, I'll let any of you take it over, to-morrow," replied Diana, giving Na-che gun and bag. "To-morrow, Na-che and I turn the rescue mission over to you men and start for Bright Angel."

"Oh, where's your heart, Miss Allen!" cried Agnew. "Aren't you going to wait to learn what the doctor says about Milton?"

"And Diana," urged Enoch, "Jonas and I want to go up to Bright Angel with you and Na-che. Won't you wait a day longer, just till we're a little more fit?"

Diana, in her worn corduroy habit, her soft hat pulled well over her
great eyes, looked from Agnew to Enoch, smiled and did not reply.
Enoch waited impatiently without the door while she made a call on
Milton.

"Diana!" he exclaimed, when she came out, "aren't you going to talk to me even? Do come down by the Ida and see if we can't be rid of this horde of people for a while."

"I've been wanting to see just how badly you'd treated the poor old boat," said Diana, following Enoch toward the shore.

But Enoch had not the slightest intention of holding an inquest on the
Ida. In the shade of a gnarled cedar to which the boat was tied as a
precaution against high water, he had placed a box. Thither he led
Diana.

"Do sit down, Diana, and let me sit here at your feet. I'll admit it should be unexpected joy enough just to find you here. But I'm greedy. I want you to myself, and I want to tell you a thousand things."

"All right, Judge, begin," returned Diana amiably, as she clasped her knee with both hands and smiled at him. But Enoch could not begin, immediately. Sitting in the sand with his back against the cedar he looked out at the Colorado flowing so placidly, at the pale gray green of the far canyon walls and a sense of all that the river signified to him, all that it had brought to him, all that it would mean to him to leave it and with it Diana,—Diana who had been his other self since he was a lad of eighteen,—made him speechless for a time.

Diana waited, patiently. At last, Enoch turned to her, "All the things
I want to say most, can't be said, Diana!"

"Are you glad you took the trip down the river, Judge?"

"Glad! Was Roland glad he made his adventure in search of the Dark
Tower?"

"Yes, he was, only, Judge—"

Enoch interrupted. "Has our friendship grown less since we camped at the placer mine?"

Diana flushed slightly and went on, "Only, Enoch, surely the end of your adventure is not a Dark Tower ending!"

"Yes, it is, Diana! It can never be any other." Enoch's fingers trembled a little as he toyed with his pipe bowl. Diana slowly looked away from him, her eyes fastening themselves on a buzzard that circled over the peaks across the river. After a moment, she said, "Then you are going to shoot Brown?"

Enoch started a little. "I'm not thinking of Brown just now. I'm thinking of you and me."

He paused again and again Diana waited until she felt the silence becoming too painful. Then she said,

"Aren't you going to tell me some of the details of your trip?"

"I want to, Diana, but hang it, words fail me! It was as you warned me, an hourly struggle with death. And we fought, I think, not because life was so unutterably sweet to any of us, but because there was such wonderful zest to the fighting. The beauty of the Canyon, the awfulness of it, the unbelievable rapidity with which event piled on event. Why, Diana, I feel as if I'd lived a lifetime since I first put foot on the Ida! And the glory of the battle! Diana, we were so puny, so insignificant, so stupid, and the Canyon was so colossal and so diabolically quick and clever! What a fight!"

Enoch laughed joyfully.

"You're a new man!" said Diana, softly.

Enoch nodded. "And now I'm to have the ride back to El Tovar with you and the trip down Bright Angel with you and your father! For once Diana, Fate is minding her own business and letting me mind mine."

Jonas approached hesitatingly. "Na-che said I had to tell you, boss, though I didn't want to disturb you, she said I had to though she wouldn't do it herself. Dinner is on the table. And you know, boss, you ain't like you was when a bowl of cereal would do you."

"I shouldn't have tempted fate, Diana!" Enoch sighed, as he rose and followed her to the cottonwood.

Try as he would, during the afternoon, he could not bring about another tête-a-tête with Diana. Finally as dusk drew near, he threw himself down, under the cedar tree, his eyes sadly watching the evening mists rise over the river. His dark figure merged with the shadow of the cedar and Na-che and Jonas, establishing themselves on the gunwale of the Ida for one of their confidential chats did not perceive him. He himself gave them no heed until he heard Jonas say vehemently:

"You're crazy, Na-che! I'm telling you the boss won't never marry."

"How do you know what's in your boss's mind?" demanded Na-che.

"I know all right. And I know he thinks a lot of Miss Diana, too, but
I know he won't marry her. He won't marry anybody."

"But why?" urged the Indian woman, sadly, "Why should things be so wrong? When he loves her and she loves him and they were made for each other!"

"How come you to think she loves him?" demanded Jonas.

"Don't I know the mind of my Diana? Isn't she my little child, even if her mother did bear her. Don't I see her kiss that little picture she has of him in her locket every night when she says her prayers?"

"Well—" began Jonas, but he was interrupted by a call from Curly.

"Whoever's minding the stew might be interested in knowing that it's boiling over!"

"Coming! Coming!" cried Jonas and Na-che.

Darkness had now settled on the river. Enoch lay motionless until they called him in to supper. When he entered the cabin where the table was set, Curly cried, "Hello, Judge! Where've you been? I swear you look as if you'd been walking with a ghost."

"Perhaps I have," Enoch replied, grimly, as he took his seat.

Harden and Forrester, none too energetic, but shaven and in order, were at the table, where their story was eagerly picked from them.

Forrester had slept the first night in the cavern Enoch had noted. Harden never even saw the cavern but had spent the night crawling steadily toward the rim. At dawn, Forrester had made his way to the top of the butte by the same route Enoch had followed, and had seen Harden, a black speck moving laboriously on the southern horizon. He had not recognized him, and set out to overtake him. It was not until noon that he had done so. Even after he realized whom he was pursuing, he had not given up, for by that time he was rueing bitterly his hasty and ill-equipped departure.

None of the auditors of the two men needed detailed description either of the ardors of that trip nor of the embarrassment of the meeting. Nor did Forrester or Harden attempt any. After they had met they tried to keep a course that moved southwest. There were no trails. For endless miles, fissures and buttes, precipices to be scaled, mountains to be climbed, canyons to be crossed. For one day they were without water, but the morning following they found a pot hole, full of water. Weakness from lack of food added much to the peril of the trip, one cottontail being the sole contribution of the gun to their larder. They did not strike the trail until the day previous to their arrival in the camp.

"Have you had enough desert to last you the rest of your life?" asked
Curly as Harden ended the tale.

"Not I!" said Forrester, "nor Canyon either! I'm going to find some method of getting Milt to let me finish the trip with him."

"Me too," added Harden.

"How much quarreling did you do?" asked Milton, abruptly, from the bunk.

Neither man answered for a moment, then Forrester, flushing deeply, said, "All we ask of you, Milt, is to give us a trial. Set us ashore if you aren't satisfied with us."

Milton grunted and Diana said, quickly, "What are you people going to do until Mr. Milton gets well?"

All of the crew looked toward the leader's bunk. "Wait till we get the doctor's report," said Milton. "Hard, you were going to show Curly a placer claim around here, weren't you?"

"Yes, if I can be spared for a couple of days. We can undertake that, day after to-morrow."

"You're on!" exclaimed Curly. "Judge, don't forget you and I are due to have a little conversation before we separate."

"I haven't forgotten it," replied Enoch.

"Sometime to-morrow then. To-night I've got to get my revenge on Agnew. He's a wild cat, that's what he is. Must have been born in a gambling den. Sit in with us, Judge or anybody!"

"Not I," said Enoch, shortly.

"Still disapprove, don't you, Judge!" gibed Curly. "How about the rest of you? Diana, can you play poker?"

"Thanks, Curly! My early education in that line was neglected." Diana smiled and turned to Enoch. "Judge, do you think you'll feel up to starting to-morrow afternoon? There's a spring five miles west that we could make if we leave here at two o'clock and I'd like to feel that I'd at least made a start, to-morrow. My father is going to be very much worried about me. I'm nearly a week overdue, now."

"I'll be ready whenever you are, Diana. How about you, Jonas?"

"I'm always on hand, boss. Mr. Milton, can I have the broken oar blade we kept to patch the Ida with?"

"What do you want it for, Jonas?" asked Milton.

"I'm going to have it framed. And Mr. Harden and Mr. Agnew, don't forget those fillums!"

"Lucky for you the films were stored in the Ida, Jonas!" exclaimed Agnew. "I'll develop some of those in the morning, and see what sort of a show you put up."

Diana rose. "Well, good night to you all! Mr. Milton, is there anything Na-che or I can do for you?"

"No, thank you, Miss Allen, I think I'm in good hands."

Enoch rose to open the door for Diana. "Thank you, Judge," she said,
"Good night!"

"Diana," said Enoch, under cover of the conversation at the table, "before we start to-morrow, will you give me half an hour alone with you?"

There was pain and determination both in Enoch's voice. Diana glanced at him a little anxiously as she answered, "Yes, I will, Enoch."

"Good night, Diana," and Enoch retired to his bunk, where he lay wide awake long after the card game was ended and the room in darkness save for the dull glow of the fire.

He made no attempt the next day to obtain the half hour Diana had promised him. He helped Jonas with their meager preparations for the trip, then took a gun and started along the trail which led up the Ferry canyon to the desert. But he had not gone a hundred yards, when Diana called.

"Wait a moment, Judge! I'll go with you."

She joined him shortly with her gun and game bag. "We'll have Na-che cook us a day's supply of meat before we start," she said. "The hunting is apt to be poor on the trail we're to take home."

Enoch nodded but said nothing. Something of the old grim look was in his eyes again. He paused at the point where the canyon gave place to the desert. Here a gnarled mesquite tree and an old half-buried log beneath it, offered mute evidence of a gigantic flooding of the river.

"Let's sit here for a little while, Diana," he said.

They put their guns against the mesquite tree and sat down facing the distant river.

"Diana," Enoch began abruptly, "in spite of what your father and John Seaton believed and wanted me to believe, the things that the Brown papers said about my mother are true. Only, Brown did not tell all. He did not give the details of her death. I suppose even Luigi hesitated to tell that because I almost beat him to death the last time he tried it.

"Seaton and I never talked much about the matter. He tried to ferret out facts, but had no luck. By the time I was seventeen or eighteen I realized that no man with a mother like mine had a right to marry. But I missed the friendship of women, I suppose, for when I was perhaps eighteen or nineteen I made a discovery. I found that somewhere in my heart I was carrying the image of a girl, a slender girl, with braids of light brown hair wrapped round her head, a girl with the largest, most intelligent, most tender gray eyes in the world, and a lovely curving mouth, with deep corners. I named her Lucy, because I'd been reading Wordsworth and I began to keep a diary to her. I've kept it ever since.

"You can have no idea, how real, how vivid, how vital a part of my life Lucy became to me. She was in the very deepest truth my better self, for years. And then this summer, a miracle occurred! Lucy walked into my office! Beauty, serenity, intelligence, sweetness, gaiety, and gallantry—these were Lucy's in the flesh as I could not even dream for Lucy of the spirit. Only in one particular though had I made an actual error. Her name was not Lucy, it was Diana! Diana! the little girl of Bright Angel who had entered my turbulent boyish heart, all unknown to me, never to leave it! . . . Diana! Lucy! I love you and God help me, I must not marry!"

Enoch, his nails cutting deep into his palms turned from the river, at which he had been staring steadily while speaking, to Diana. Her eyes which had been fastened on Enoch's profile, now gazed deep into his, pain speaking to pain, agony to agony.

"If," Enoch went on, huskily, "there is no probability of your growing to care for me, then I think our friendship can endure. I can crowd back the lover and be merely your friend. But if you might grow to care, even ever so little, then, I think at the thought of your pain, my heart would break. So, I thought before it is too late—"

Suddenly Diana's lips which had grown white, trembled a little. "It is too late!" she whispered. "It is too late!" and she put her slender, sunburned hands over her face.

"Don't! Oh, don't!" groaned Enoch. He took her hands down, gently. Diana's eyes were dry. Her cheeks were burning. Enoch looked at her steadily, his breath coming a little quickly, then he rose and with both her hands in his lifted her to her feet.

"Do you love me, Diana?" he whispered.

She looked up into his eyes. "Yes, Enoch! Oh, yes!" she answered, brokenly.

"How much do you love me, dear?" he persisted.

She smiled with a tragic beauty in droop of lips and anguish of eyes.
"With all there is in me to give to love, Enoch."

"Then," said Enoch, "this at least may be mine," and he laid his lips to hers.

When he lifted his head, he smoothed her hair back from her face. "Remember, I am not deceiving myself, Diana," he said huskily. "I have acted like a selfish, unprincipled brute. If I had not, in Washington, let you see that I cared, you would have escaped all this."

"I did not want to escape it, Enoch," she said, smiling again while her lips quivered. "Yet I thought I would have strength enough to go away, without permitting you to tell me about it. But I was not strong enough. However," stepping away from Enoch, "now we both understand, and I'll go home. And we must never see each other again, Enoch."

"Never see each other again!" he repeated. Then his voice deepened. "Go about our day's work year after year, without even a memory to ease the gnawing pain. God, Diana, do you think we are machines to be driven at will?"

Diana drew a long breath and her voice was very steady as she answered. "Don't let's lose our grip on ourselves, Enoch. It only makes a hard situation harder. Now that we understand each other, let us kiss the cross, and go on."

Enoch, arms folded on his chest, great head bowed, walked up and down under the trees slowly for a moment. When he paused before her, it was to speak with his customary calm and decision, though his eyes smoldered.

"Diana, I want to take the trip with you, just as we planned, and go down Bright Angel with your father and you. I want those few days in the desert with you to carry me through the rest of my life. You need not fear, dear, that for one moment I will lose grip on myself."

Diana looked at him as if she never had seen him before. She looked at the gaunt, strong features, the massive chin, the sensitive, firm mouth, the lines of self-control and purposefulness around eyes and lips, and over all the deep-seated sadness that made Enoch's face unforgettable. Slowly she turned from him to the desert, and after a moment, as if she had gathered strength from the far horizon, she answered him, still with the little note of steadiness in her voice:

"I think we'll have to have those last few days, together, Enoch."

Enoch heaved a deep sigh then smiled, brilliantly. "And now," he said, "I dare not go back to camp without at least discharging my gun, do you?"

"No, Judge!" replied Diana, picking up her gun, with a little laugh.

"Don't call me Judge, when we're alone!" protested Enoch.

Diana with something sweeter than tenderness shining in her great eyes, touched his hand softly with hers.

"No, dear!" she whispered.

Enoch looked at her, drew a deep breath, then put his gun across his arm and followed Diana to the yucca thicket where quail was to be found. They were very silent during the hour of hunting. They bagged a pair of cottontails and a number of quail, and when they did speak, it was only regarding the hunt or the preparations for the coming exodus. They reached camp, just before dinner, Diana disappearing into the tent, and Enoch tramping prosaically and wearily into the cabin to throw himself down on his bunk. He had not yet recovered from the last days in the Canyon.

"You shouldn't have tackled that tramp this morning, Judge," said
Milton. "You should have saved yourself for this afternoon."

"You saw who his side pardner was, didn't you?" asked Curly.

"Yes," replied Milton, grinning.

"Then why make foolish comments?"

"I am a fool!" agreed Milton.

"Judge," asked Curly, "how about you and me having our conflab right after dinner?"

"That will suit me," replied Enoch, "if you can drag yourself from
Agnew and poker that long."

"I'll make a superhuman effort," returned Curly.

The conference, which took place under the cedar near the Ida, did not last long.

"Curly," said Enoch, lighting his pipe, "I haven't made up my mind yet, whether I want you to give me the information about Fowler and Brown or not."

"What's the difficulty?" demanded Curly.

"Well, there's a number of personal reasons that I don't like to go into. But I've a suggestion to make. You say you're trying to get money together with which to retain a lawyer and carry out a campaign, so you aren't in a hurry, anyway. Now you write down in a letter all that you know about the two men, and send the letter to me, I'll treat it as absolutely confidential, and will return the material to you without reading it if I decide not to use it."

Curly puffed thoughtfully at his cigarette. "That's fair enough, Judge. As you say there's no great hurry and I always get het up, anyhow, when I talk about it. I'd better put it down in cool black and white. Where can I reach you?"

"No. 814 Blank Avenue, Washington, D. C.," replied Enoch.

Curly pulled an old note book out of his hip pocket and set down the address:

"All right, Judge, you'll hear from me sometime in the next few weeks.
I'll go back now and polish Agnew off."

And he hurried away, leaving Enoch to smoke his pipe thoughtfully as he stared at the Ida.

CHAPTER XIV

LOVE IN THE DESERT

"While I was teaching my boy obedience, I would teach him his next great obligation, service. So only could his manhood be a full one."—Enoch's Diary.

Shortly after two o'clock, Diana announced that she was ready to start. But the good-bys consumed considerable time and it was nearly three before they were really on their way. Enoch's eyes were a little dim as he shook hands with Milton.

"Curly has my address, Milton," he said, "drop me a line once in a while. I shall be more deeply interested in your success than you can realize."

"I'll do it, Judge, and when I get back East, I'll look you up. You're a good sport, old man!"

"You're more than that, Milton! Good-by!" and Enoch hurried out in response to Jonas' call.

They were finally mounted and permitted to go. Na-che rode first, leading a pack mule, Jonas second, leading two mules, Diana followed, Enoch bringing up the rear. Much to Jonas' satisfaction, Enoch had been obliged to abandon the overalls and flannel shirt which he had worn into the Canyon. Even the tweed suit was too ragged and shrunk to be used again. So he was clad in the corduroy riding breeches and coat that Jonas had brought. But John Red Sun's boots were still doing notable service and the soft hat, faded and shapeless, was pulled down over his eyes in comfort if not in beauty.

There was a vague trail to the spring which lay southwest of the Ferry. It led through the familiar country of fissures and draws that made travel slow and heavy. The trail rose, very gradually, wound around a number of multi-colored peaks and paused at last at the foot of a smooth-faced, purple butte. Here grew a cottonwood, sheltering from sun and sand a lava bowl, eroded by time and by the tiny stream of water that dripped into it gently. There was little or no view from the spring, for peaks and buttes closely hemmed it in. The November shadows deepened early on the strange, winding, almost subterranean trail, and although when they reached the cottonwood, it was not sundown, they made camp at once. Diana's tent was set up in the sand to the right of the spring. Enoch collected a meager supply of wood and before five o'clock supper had been prepared and eaten.

For a time, after this was done, Enoch and Diana sat before the tiny eye of fire, listening to the subdued chatter with which Jonas and Na-che cleared up the meal.

Suddenly, Enoch said, "Diana, how brilliant the stars are, to-night! Why can't we climb to the top of the butte for a little while? I feel smothered here. It's far worse than the river bottom."

"Aren't you too tired?" asked Diana.

"Not too tired for as short a climb as that, unless you are feeling done up!"

"I!" laughed Diana. "Why, Na-che will vouch for it that I've never had such a lazy trip before! Na-che, the Judge and I are going up the butte. Just keep a little glow of fire for us, will you, so that we can locate the camp easily."

"Yes, Diana, and don't be frightened if you hear noises. I'm going to teach Jonas a Navajo song."

"We'll try not to be," replied Diana, laughing as she rose.

It was an ascent of several hundred feet, but easily made and the view from the top more than repaid them for the effort. In all his desert nights, Enoch never had seen the stars so vivid. For miles about them the shadowy peaks and chasms were discernible. And Diana's face was delicately clear cut as she seated herself on a block of stone and looked up at him.

"Diana," said Enoch, abruptly, "you make me wish that I were a poet, instead of a politician."

"But you aren't a politician!" protested Diana. "You shall not malign yourself so."

"A pleasant comment on our American politics!" exclaimed Enoch. "Well, whatever I am, words fail me utterly when I try to describe the appeal of your beauty."

"Enoch," there was a note of protest in Diana's voice, "you aren't going to make love to me on this trip, are you?"

Enoch's voice expressed entire astonishment. "Why certainly I am,
Diana!"

"You'll make it very hard for me!" sighed Diana.

Enoch knelt in the sand before her and lifted her hands against his cheek.

"Sweetheart," he said softly, his great voice, rich and mellow although it hardly rose above a whisper, "my only sweetheart, not for all the love in the world would I make it hard for you. Not for all your love would I even attempt to leave you with one memory that is not all that is sweet and noble. Only in these days I want you to learn all there is in my heart, as I must learn all that is in yours. For, after that, Diana, we must never see each other again."

Diana freed one of her hands and brushed the tumbled hair from Enoch's forehead.

"Do you realize," he said, quietly, "that in all the years of my memory no woman has caressed me so? I am starved, Diana, for just such a gentle touch as that."

"Then you shall be starved no more, dearest. Sit down in the sand before me and lean your head against my knee. There!" as Enoch turned and obeyed her. "Now we can both look out at the stars and I can smooth your hair. What a mass of it you have, Enoch! And you must have been a real carrot top when you were a little boy."

"I was an ugly brat," said Enoch, comfortably. "A red-headed, freckled-faced, awkward brat! And unhappy and disagreeable as I was ugly."

"It seems so unfair!" Diana smoothed the broad forehead, tenderly. "I had such a happy childhood. I didn't go to school until I was twelve. Until then I lived the life of a little Indian, out of doors, taking the trail trips with dad or geologizing with mother. I don't know how many horses and dogs I had. Their number was limited only by what mother and father felt they could afford to feed."

"There was nothing unfair in your having had all the joy that could be crammed into your childhood," protested Enoch. "Nature and circumstance were helping to make you what you are. I don't see that anything could have been omitted. Listen, Diana."

Plaintively from below rose Na-che's voice in a slow sweet chant. Jonas's baritone hesitatingly repeated the strain, and after a moment they softly sang it together.

"Oh, this is perfect!" murmured Enoch. "Perfect!" Then he drew
Diana's hand to his lips.

How long they sat in silence listening to the wistful notes that floated up to them, neither could have told. But when the singing finally ceased, Diana, with a sudden shiver said,

"Enoch, I want to go back to the camp."

Enoch rose at once, with a rueful little laugh. "Our first precious evening is ended, and we've said nothing!"

"Nothing!" exclaimed Diana. "Enoch, what was there left to say when I could touch your hair and forehead so? We can talk on the trail."

"Starlight and you and Na-che's little song," murmured Enoch; "I am hard to satisfy, am I not?" He put his arms about Diana and kissed her softly, then let her lead the way down to the spring. And shortly, rolled in his blankets, his feet to the dying fire, Enoch was deep in sleep.

Sun-up found them on the trail again. All day the way wound through country that had been profoundly eroded. Na-che led by instinct, it seemed, to Enoch, for when they were a few miles from the spring, as far as he, at least, could observe, the trail disappeared, entirely. During the morning, they walked much, for the over-hanging ledges and sudden chasms along which Na-che guided them made even the horses hesitate. They were obliged to depend on their canteens for water and there was no sign of forage for the horses and mules. Every one was glad when the noon hour came.

"It will be better, to-night," explained Diana. "There are water holes known as Indian's Cups that we should reach before dark. They're sure to be full of water, for it has rained so much lately. The way will be far easier to-morrow, Enoch, so that we can talk as we go."

They were standing by the horses, waiting for Jonas and Na-che to put the dishes in one of the packs.

"Diana, do you realize that you made no comment whatever on what I told you yesterday? Didn't the story of Lucy seem wonderful to you?"

"I was too deeply moved to make any very sane comment," replied Diana.
"Enoch, will you let me see the diary?"

"When I die, it is to be yours, but—" he hesitated, "it tells so many of my weaknesses, that I wouldn't like to be alive and feel that you know so much about them." He laughed a little sadly.

"Yet you told Lucy them, didn't you?" insisted Diana with a smile.
"Don't make me jealous of that person, Enoch!"

"She was you!" returned Enoch, briefly. "To-night, I'll tell you,
Lucy, some of the things you have forgotten."

"You're a dear," murmured Diana, under her breath, turning to mount as
Jonas and Na-che clambered into their saddles.

All the afternoon, Enoch, riding under the burning sun, through the ever shifting miracles of color, rested in his happy dream. The past and the future did not exist for him. It was enough that Diana, straight and slender and unflagging rode before him. It was enough that that evening after the years of yearning he would feel the touch of Lucy's hand on his burning forehead. For the first time in his life, Enoch's spirit was at peace.

The pools were well up on the desert, where pinnacles and buttes had given way at last to a roughly level country, with only occasional fissures as reminders of the canyon. Bear grass and yucca, barrel and fish-hook cactus as well as the ocotilla appeared. The sun was sinking when the horses smelled water and cantered to the shallow but grateful basins. Far to the south, the chaos out of which they had labored was black, and mysterious with drifting vapors. The wind which whirled forever among the chasms was left behind. They had entered into silence and tranquillity.

After supper and while the last glow of the sunsets still clung to the western horizon, Na-che said,

"Jonas, you want to see the great Navajo charm, made by Navajo god when he made these waterholes?"

Jonas pricked up his ears. "Is it a good charm or a hoo-doo?"

"If you come at it right, it means you never die," Na-che nodded her head solemnly.

Jonas put a cat's claw root on the fire. "All right! You see, woman, that I come at it right."

Na-che smiled and led the way eastward.

"Bless them!" exclaimed Enoch. "They're doing the very best they can for us!"

"And they're having a beautiful time with each other," added Diana. "I think Jonas loves you as much as Na-che loves me."

"I don't deserve that much love," said Enoch, watching the fire glow on
Diana's face. "But he is the truest friend I have on earth."

Diana gave him a quick, wide-eyed glance.

"Ah, but you don't know me, as Jonas does! I wouldn't want you to know me as he does!" exclaimed Enoch.

"I'll not admit either Lucy or Jonas as serious rivals," protested
Diana.

Enoch laughed. "Dearest, I have told you things that Jonas would not dream existed. I have poured out my heart to you, night after night. All a boy's aching dreams, all a man's hopes and fears, I've shared with you. Jonas was not that kind of friend. I first met him when I became secretary to the Mayor of New York. He was a sort of porter or doorman at the City Hall. He gradually began to do little personal things for me and before I realized just how it was accomplished, he became my valet and steward, and was keeping house for me in a little flat up on Fourth Avenue.

"And then, when I was still in the City Hall I had a row with Luigi.
He spoke of my mother to a group of officials I was taking through
Minetta Lane.

"Diana, it was Luigi who taught me to gamble when I was not over eight years old. I took to it with devilish skill. What drink or dope or women have been to other men, gambling has been to me. After I came back from the Grand Canyon with John Seaton, I began to fight against it. But, although I waited on table for my board, I really put myself through the High School on my earnings at craps and draw poker. As I grew older I ceased to gamble as a means of subsistence but whenever I was overtaxed mentally I was drawn irresistibly to a gambling den. And so after the fight with Luigi—"

Enoch paused, his face knotted. His strong hands, clasping his knees as he sat in the sand, opposite Diana, were tense and hard. Diana, looking at him thought of what this man meant to the nation, of what his service had been and would be: she thought of the great gifts with which nature had endowed him and she could not bear to have him humble himself to her.

She sprang to her feet. "Enoch! Enoch!" she cried. "Don't tell me any more! You are entitled to your personal weaknesses. Even I must not intrude! I asked you about them because, oh, because, Enoch, you are letting your only real weakness come between you and me."

Enoch had risen with Diana, and now he came around the fire and put his hands on her shoulders. "No! No! Diana! not my weaknesses keep us apart, bitterly as they mortify me."

Diana looked up at him steadily. "Enoch, your great weakness is not gambling. Who cares whether you play cards or not? No one but Brown! But your weakness is that you have let those early years and Luigi's vicious stories warp your vision of the sweetest thing in life."

"Diana! I thought you understood. My mother—"

"Don't!" interrupted Diana, quickly. "Don't! I understand and because I do, I tell you that you are warped. You are America's only real statesman, the man with a vision great enough to mold ideals for the nation. Still you are not normal, not sane, about yourself."

Enoch dropped his hands from her shoulders and stood staring at her sadly.

"I thought you understood!" he whispered, brokenly.

Diana wrung her hands, turned and walked swiftly toward a neighboring heap of rocks whose shadows swallowed her. Enoch breathed hard for a moment, then followed. He found Diana, a vague heap on a great stone, her face buried in her hands. Enoch sat down beside her and took her in his arms.

"Sweetheart," he whispered, "what have I done?"

Diana, shaken by dry sobs, did not reply. But she put her arms about his neck and clung to him as though she could never let him go. Enoch sat holding her in an ecstasy that was half pain. Dusk thickened into night and the stars burned richly above them. Enoch could see that Diana's face against his breast was quiet, her great eyes fastened on the desert. He whispered again,

"Diana, what have I done?"

"You have made me love you so that I cannot bear to think of the future," she replied. "It was not wise of us to take this trip together, Enoch."

Enoch's arms tightened about her. "We'll be thankful all our lives for it, Diana. And you haven't really answered my question, darling!"

Diana drew herself away from him. "Enoch, let's never mention the subject again. The things you understand by weakness—why, I don't care if you have a thousand of them! But, dear, I want the diary. When you leave El Tovar, leave that much of yourself with me."

Enoch's voice was troubled. "I have been so curiously lonely! You can have no idea of what the diary has meant to me."

"I won't ask you for it, Enoch!" exclaimed Diana. Suddenly she leaned forward in the moonlight and kissed him softly on the lips.

Enoch drew her to him and kissed her fiercely. "The diary! It is yours, Diana, yours in a thousand ways. When you read it, you will understand why I hesitated to give it to you."

"I'll find some way to thank you," breathed Diana.

"I know a way. Give me some of your desert photographs. Choose those that you think tell the most. And don't forget Death and the Navajo."

"Oh, Enoch! What a splendid suggestion! You've no idea how I shall enjoy making the collection for you. It will take several months to complete it, you know."

"Don't wait to complete the collection. Send the prints one at a time, as you finish them. Send them to my house, not my office."

Soft voices sounded from the camping place. "We must go back," said
Diana.

"Another evening gone, forever," said Enoch. "How many more have we,
Diana?"

"Three or four. One never knows, in the Canyon country."

They moved slowly, hand in hand, toward the firelight. Just before they came within its zone, Enoch lifted Diana's hand to his lips.

"Good night, Diana!"

"Good night, Enoch!"

Jonas and Na-che, standing by the fire like two brown genii of the desert, looked up smiling as the two appeared.

"Ain't they a handsome pair, Na-che?" asked Jonas, softly. "Ain't he a grand looking man?"

Na-che assented. "I wish I could get each of 'em to wear a love ring.
I could get two the best medicine man in the desert country made."

"Where are they?" demanded Jonas eagerly.

"Up near Bright Angel."

"You get 'em and I'll pay for 'em," urged Jonas.

"We can't buy 'em! They got to be taken."

"Well, how come you to think I couldn't take 'em, woman? You show me where they are. I'll do the rest."

"All right," said Na-che. "Diana, don't you feel tired?"

"Tired enough to go to bed, anyway," replied Diana. "It's going to be a very cold night. Be sure that you and the Judge have plenty of blankets, Jonas. Good night!" and she disappeared into the tent.

The night was stinging cold. Ice formed on the rain pools and they ate breakfast with numbed hands. As usual, however, the mercury began to climb with the sun and when at mid-morning, they entered a huge purple depression in the desert, coats were peeled and gloves discarded.

The depression was an ancient lava bed, deep with lavender dust that rose chokingly about them. There was a heavy wind that increased as they rode deeper into the great bowl and this, with the swirling sand, made the noon meal an unpleasant duty. But, in spite of these discomforts, Enoch managed to ride many miles, during the day, with his horse beside Diana's. And he talked to her as though he must in the short five days make up for a life time of reticence.

He told her of the Seatons and all that John Seaton had done for him. He told her of his years of dreaming of the Canyon and of his days as Police Commissioner. He told of dreams he had had as a Congressman and as a Senator and of the great hopes with which he had taken up the work of the Secretary of the Interior. And finally, as the wind began to lessen with the sinking sun, and the tired horses slowed to the trail's lifting from the bowl, he told her of his last speaking trip, of its purpose and of its results.

"The more I know you," said Diana, "the more I am confirmed in the opinion I had of you years before I met you. And that is that however our great Departments need men of your administrative capacity and integrity—and I'm perfectly willing to admit that their need is dire—your place, Enoch Huntingdon, is in the Senate. Yet I suppose your party will insist on pushing you on into the White House. And it will be a mistake."

"Why?" asked Enoch quickly.

"Because," replied Diana, brushing the lavender dust from her brown hands thoughtfully, "your gift of oratory, your fundamental, sane dreams for the nation, your admirable character, impose a particular and peculiar duty on you. It has been many generations since the nation had a spokesman. Patrick Henry, Daniel Webster, have been dead a long time. Most of our orators since have killed their own influence by fanatical clinging to some partisan cause. You should be bigger than any party, Enoch. And in the White House you cannot be. Our spoils system has achieved that. But in the Senate is your great, natural opportunity."

Enoch smiled. "Without the flourishes of praise, I've reached about the same conclusion that you have," he said. "I have been told," he hesitated, "that I could have the party nomination for the presidency, if I wished it. You know that practically assures election."

Diana nodded. "And it's a temptation, of course!"

"Yes and no!" replied Enoch. "No man could help being moved and flattered, yes, and tempted by the suggestion. And yet when I think of the loneliness of a man like me in the White House, the loneliness, and the gradual disillusionment such as the President spoke of you, the temptation has very little effect on me."

"How kind he was that day!" exclaimed Diana, "and how many years ago it seems!"

They rode on in silence for a few moments, then Diana exclaimed, "Look,
Enoch dear!"

Ahead of them, along the rim of the bowl, an Indian rode. His long hair was flying in the wind. Both he and his horse were silhouetted sharply against the brilliant western sky.

"Make a picture of it, Diana!" cried Enoch.

Diana shook her head. "I could make nothing of it!"

Na-che gave a long, shrill call, which the Indian returned, then pulled up his horse to wait for them. When Enoch and Diana reached the rim, the others already had overtaken him.

"It's Wee-tah!" exclaimed Diana, then as she shook hands, she added:
"Where are you going so fast, Wee-tah?"

The Indian, a handsome young buck, his hair bound with a knotted handkerchief, glanced at Enoch and answered Diana in Navajo.

Diana nodded, then said: "Judge, this is Wee-tah, a friend of mine."

Enoch and the Indian shook hands gravely, and Diana said, "Can't you take supper with us, Wee-tah?"

"You stay, Wee-tah," Na-che put in abruptly. "Jonas and I want you to help us with a charm."

"Na-che says you know a heap about charms, Mr. Wee-tah!" exclaimed
Jonas.

Wee-tah grinned affably. "I stay," he said. "Only the whites have to hurry. Good water hole right there." He jerked his thumb over his shoulder, then turned his pony and led the way a few hundred yards to a low outcropping of stones, the hollowed top of which held a few precious gallons of rain water.

"My Lordy!" exclaimed Jonas, as he and Enoch were hobbling their horses, "if I don't have some charms and hoo-doos to put over on those Baptist folks back home! Why, these Indians have got even a Georgia nigger beat for knowing the spirits."

"Jonas, you're an old fool, but I love you!" said Enoch.

Jonas chuckled, and hurried off to help Na-che with the supper. The stunted cat's claw and mesquite which grew here plentifully made possible a glorious fire that was most welcome, for the evening was cold. Enoch undertook to keep the big blaze going while Wee-tah prepared a small fire at a little distance for cooking purposes. After supper the two Indians and Jonas gathered round this while Enoch and Diana remained at what Jonas designated as the front room stove.

"What solitary trip was Wee-tah undertaking?" asked Enoch. "Or mustn't
I inquire?"

"On one of the buttes in the canyon country," replied Diana, "Wee-tah's grandfather, a great chief, was killed, years ago. Wee-tah is going up to that butte to pray for his little son who has never been born."

"Ah!" said Enoch, and fell silent. Diana, in her favorite attitude, hands clasping her knees, watched the fire. At last Enoch roused himself.

"Shall you come to Washington this winter, Diana?"

"I ought to, but I may not. I may go into the Havesupai country for two months, after you go East, and put Washington off until late spring."

"Don't fear that I shall disturb you, when you come, dear." Enoch looked at Diana with troubled eyes.

She looked at him, but said nothing, and again there was silence.
Enoch emptied his pipe and put it in his pocket.

"After you have finished this work for the President, then what, Diana?"

She shook her head. "There is plenty of time to plan for that. If I go into the angle of the children's games and their possible relations to religious ceremonies, there's no telling when I shall wind up! Then there are their superstitions that careful study might separate clearly from their true spiritism. The great danger in work like mine is that it is apt to grow academic. In the pursuit of dry ethnological facts one forgets the artistry needed to preserve it and present it to the world."

"Whew!" sighed Enoch. "I'm afraid you're a fearful highbrow, Diana!
Hello, Jonas, what can I do for you?"

"We all are going down the desert a piece with Wee-tah. They's a charm down there he knows about. They think we'll be gone about an hour. But don't worry about us."

"Don't let the ghosts get you, old man,", said Enoch. "After all you've lived through, that would be too simple."

Jonas grinned, and followed the Indians out into the darkness.

"Now," inquired Enoch, "is that tact or superstition?"

"Both, I should say," replied Diana. "We'll have to agree that Na-che and Jonas are doing all they can to make the match. I gather from what Na-che says that they're working mostly on love charms for us."

"More power to 'em," said Enoch grimly. "Diana, let's walk out under the stars for a little while. The fire dims them."

They rose, and Enoch put his arm about the girl and said, with a tenderness in his beautiful voice that seemed to Diana a very part of the harmony of the glowing stars:

"Diana! Oh, Diana! Diana!"

She wondered as they moved slowly away from the fire, if Enoch had any conception of the beauty of his voice. It seemed to her to express the man even more fully than his face. All the sweetness, all the virility, all the suffering, all the capacity for joy that was written in Enoch's face was expressed in his voice, with the addition of a melodiousness that only tone could give. Although she never had heard him make a speech she knew how even his most commonplace sentence must wing home to the very heart of the hearer.

They said less, in this hour alone together, than they said in any evening of their journey. And yet they both felt as if it was the most nearly perfect of their hours.

Perhaps it was because the sky was more magnificent than it had been before; the stars larger and nearer and the sky more deeply, richly blue.

Perhaps it was because after the dusk and heat of the day, the uproar of the sand and wind, the cool silence was doubly impressive and thrice grateful.

And perhaps it was because of some wordless, intangible reason, that only lovers know, which made Diana seem more beautiful, more pure, her touch more sacred, and Enoch stronger, finer, tenderer than ever before.

At any rate, walking slowly, with their arms about each other, they were deeply happy.

And Enoch said, "Diana, I know now that not one moment of the loneliness and the bitterness of the years, would I part with. All of it serves to make this moment more perfect."

And suddenly Diana said, "Enoch, hold me close to you again, here, under the stars, so that I may never again look at them, when I'm alone in the desert, without feeling your dear arms about me, and your dear cheek against mine."

And when they were back by the fire again, Enoch once more leaned against Diana's knee and felt the soft touch of her hand on his hair and forehead.

The three magic-makers returned, chanting softly, as magic-makers should. Faint and far across the desert sounded the intriguing rhythm long before the three dark faces were caught by the firelight. When they finally appeared, Jonas was bearing an eagle's feather.

"Miss Diana," he said solemnly, "will you give me one of your long hairs?"

Quite as solemnly, Diana plucked a long chestnut spear and Jonas wrapped it round the stem of the feather. Then he joined the other two at the water hole. Enoch and Diana looked at each other with a smile.

"Do you think it will work, Diana?" asked Enoch.

"Eagle feather magic is strong magic," replied Diana. "I shall go to sleep believing in it. Good night, Enoch."

"Good night, Diana."

Wee-tah left them after breakfast, cantering away briskly on his pony, his long hair blowing, Na-che and Jonas shouting laughingly after him.

It was a brisk, clear morning, with ribbons of mist blowing across the distant ranges. By noon, their way was leading through scattered growths of stunted cedar and juniper with an occasional gnarled, undersized oak in which grew mistletoe thick-hung with ivory berries. Bear grass and bunch grass dotted the sand. Orioles and robins sang as they foraged for the blue cedar berry. All the afternoon the trees increased in size and when they made camp at night, it was under a giant pine whose kindred stretched in every direction as far as the eye could pierce through the dusk. There was water in a tiny rivulet near by.

"It's heavenly, Diana!" exclaimed Enoch, as he returned from hobbling the horses. "We must be getting well up as to elevation. There is a tang to the air that says so."

Diana nodded a little sadly. "One night more, after this, then you'll sleep at El Tovar, Enoch."

"I'm not thinking even of to-morrow, Diana. This moment is enough.
Are you tired?"

"Tired? No!" but the eyes she lifted to Enoch's were faintly shadowed. "Perhaps," she suggested, "I'm not living quite so completely in the present as you are."

"Necessity hasn't trained you during the years, as it has me," said Enoch. "If the trail had not been so bad to-day and I could have ridden beside you, I think I could have kept your thoughts here, sweetheart."

"I think you could have, Enoch," agreed Diana, with a wistful smile.

The hunting had been good that day. Amongst them, the travelers had bagged numerous quail and cottontails, and Jonas had brought in at noon a huge jack rabbit. This they could not eat but its left hind foot, Jonas claimed, would make a sensation in Washington. Supper was a festive meal, Na-che producing a rabbit soup, and Jonas broiling the quail, which he served with hot biscuit that the most accomplished chef might have envied.

After the meal was finished and Enoch and Diana were standing before the fire, debating the feasibility of a walk under the pines, Jonas and Na-che approached them solemnly.

Jonas cleared his throat. "Boss and Miss Diana, Na-che and me, we want you to do something for us. We know you all trust us both and so we don't want you to ask the why or the wherefore, but just go ahead and do it."

"What is it, Jonas?" asked Diana.

"Well, up ahead a spell in these woods, there's a round open space and in the middle of it under a big rock an Injun and his sweetheart is buried. Something like a million years ago he stole her from over yonder from the—" he hesitated, and Na-che said softly:

"Hopis."

"Yes, the Hopis. And her tribe come lickety-cut after her, and overtook 'em at that spot yonder, and her father give her the choice of coming back or both of 'em dying right there. They chose to die, and there they are. Wee-tah and Na-che and all the Injuns believe—"

Na-che pulled at his sleeve.

"Oh, I forgot! We ain't going to tell you what they believe, because whites don't never have the right kind of faith. Let me alone, Na-che. How come you think I can't tell this story? But what we ask of you is, will you and Miss Allen, boss, go up to that stone yonder, and lay this eagle's feather beside it, then sit on the stone until a star falls."

Enoch and Diana looked at each other, half smiling.

"Don't say no," urged Na-che. "You want to take a walk, anyhow."

"And what happens, if the star falls?" asked Diana.

"Something mighty good," replied Jonas.

"It's pretty cold for sitting still so long, isn't Jonas?" asked Enoch.

"You can take a blanket to wrap round yourselves. Do it, boss! You know you and Miss Diana don't care where you are as long as you get a little time alone together."

Enoch laughed. "Come along, Diana! Who knows what Indian magic might do for us!"

"That's right," Na-che nodded approval. "There's an old trail to it, see!" she led Diana beyond the camp pine, and pointed to the faint black line, that was traceable in the sand under the trees. The pine forest was absolutely clear of undergrowth.

"Come on, Enoch," laughed Diana, and Enoch, chuckling, joined her, while the two magicians stood by the fire, interest and satisfaction showing in every line of their faces.

Diana had little difficulty following the trail. To Enoch's unaccustomed eyes and feet, the ease with which she led the way was astonishing. She walked swiftly under the trees for ten minutes, then paused on the edge of a wide amphitheater, rich in starlight. In the center lay a huge flat stone. They made their way through the sand to this. Dimly they could discern that the sides of the rock were covered with hieroglyphics. Diana laid the eagle's feather in a crevice at the end of the rock.

"See!" exclaimed Enoch. "Other lovers have been here before!" He pointed to feathers at different points in the rock. "It must indeed be strong magic!"

He folded one blanket for a seat, another he pulled over their shoulders, for in spite of the brisk walk, they both were shivering with the cold.

"What do you suppose the world at large would say," chuckled Diana, "if it would see the Secretary of the Interior, at this moment."

"I think it would say that as a human being, it was beginning to have hope of him," replied Enoch.

Then they fell silent. The great trees that widely encircled them were motionless. The heavens seemed made of stars. Enoch drew Diana close against him, and leaned his cheek upon her hair. Slowly a jack rabbit loped toward the ancient grave, stopped to gaze with burning eyes at the two motionless figures, twitched his ears and slowly hopped away. Shortly a cottontail deliberately crossed the circle, then another and another. Suddenly Diana touched Enoch's hand softly.

"In the trees, opposite!" she breathed.

Two pairs of fiery eyes moved slowly out until the starlight revealed two tiny antelope, gray, graceful shadows of the desert night. The pair stared motionless at the ancient grave, then gently trotted away. Now came a long interval in which neither sound nor motion was perceptible in the silvery dusk. Then like little gray ghosts with glowing eyes half a dozen antelope moved tranquilly across the amphitheater. Enoch and Diana watched breathlessly but for many moments more there was no sign of living creature. And suddenly a great star flashed across the radiant heavens.

"The magic!" whispered Diana, "the desert magic!"

"Diana," murmured Enoch in reply, "this is as near heaven as mortals may hope to reach."

"Desert magic!" repeated Diana softly. "Come, dear, we must go back to camp."

Enoch rose reluctantly and put his hands on Diana's shoulders. "Those lovers, long ago," he said, his deep voice tender and wistful, "those lovers long ago were not far wrong in their decision. I'm sure, in the years to come, when I think of this evening, and this journey, I shall feel so."

Diana touched his cheek softly with her hand. "I love you, Enoch," was all she said, and they returned in silence to the camp.

"We saw the star fall!" exclaimed Jonas, waiting by the fire with
Na-che.

Enoch nodded and, after a glance at his face, Jonas said nothing more.

All the next day they penetrated deeper and deeper into the mighty forest. All day long the trail lifted gradually, the air growing rarer and colder as they went.

It was biting cold when they made their night camp deep in the woods. But a glorious fire before a giant tree trunk made the last evening on the trail one of comfort. Na-che and Jonas had run out of excuses for leaving the lovers alone, but nothing daunted, after supper was cleared off they made their own camp fire at a distance and sat before it, singing and laughing even after Diana had withdrawn to her tent.

"Enoch," said Diana, "I have something that I want to say to you, but I'll admit that it takes more courage than I've been able to gather together until now. But this is our last evening and I must relieve my mind."

Enoch, surprised by the earnestness of Diana's voice, laid down his pipe and put his hand over hers. "I don't see why you need courage to say anything under heaven to me!"

"But I do on this subject," returned Diana, raising wide, troubled eyes to his. "Enoch, you have made me love you and then have told me that you cannot marry me. I think that I have the right to tell you that you are abnormal toward marriage. You are spoiling our two lives and I am entering a most solemn protest against your doing so."

"But, Diana—" began Enoch.

"No!" interrupted Diana. "You must hear me through in silence, Enoch. I remember my father telling me that Seaton believed that you had been made the victim of almost hypnotic suggestion by that beast, Luigi. Not that Luigi knew anything about auto-suggestion or anything of the sort! He simply wanted to enslave a boy who was a clever gambler. And so he planted the vicious suggestion in your mind that you were necessarily bad because your mother was. And all these years, that suggestion has held, not to make you bad but to make you fear that your children would be or that disease, mental or physical, is latent in you which marriage would uncover. Enoch, have you never talked your case over with a psychologist?"

"No!" replied Enoch. "I've always felt that I was perfectly normal and I still feel so. Moreover, I've wanted to bury my mother's history a thousand fathoms deep. Consider too, that I've never wanted to marry any woman till I met you."

"And having met me," said Diana bitterly, "you allow a preconceived idea to wreck us both. You astonish me almost as much as you make me suffer. Enoch, did you ever try to trace your father?"

"Diana, what chance would I have of finding my father when you consider what my mother was? Nevertheless, I have tried." And Enoch told in detail both Seaton's and the Police Commissioner's efforts in his behalf.

Diana rose and paced restlessly up and down before the fire. Enoch rose with her and stood leaning against the tree trunk, watching her with tragic eyes. Finally Diana said:

"I'm not clever at argument, but every woman has a right to fight for her mate. I insist that your reasons for not marrying are chimeras. And if I'm willing to risk marrying the man who may or may not be the son of Luigi's mistress, he should be willing to risk marrying me."

"But, you see, you do admit it's a risk!" exclaimed Enoch.

"No more a risk than marriage always is," declared Diana, with a smile that had no humor in it. "Enoch, let's not be cowardly. Let's 'set the slug horn dauntless to our lips.'"

Enoch covered his eyes with his hands. Cold sweat stood on his brow. All the ugly, menacing suggestions of thirty years crowded his answer to his lips.

"Diana, we must not!" he groaned.

Diana drew a quick breath, then said, "Enoch, I cannot submit tamely to such a decision. I have a friend in Boston who is one of the great psycho-analysts of the country. When I return to Washington in the spring I shall go to see him."

"God! Shall I never be able to bury Minetta Lane?" cried Enoch.

"Not until you dig the grave yourself, my dear! Yours has been a case for a mind specialist, all these years, not a detective. I, for one, refuse to let Minetta Lane hag ride me if it is possible to escape it." Suddenly she smiled again. "I'll admit I'm not at all Victorian in my attitude."

"You couldn't be anything that was not fine," returned Enoch sadly.
"But I cannot bear to have you buoy yourself with false hopes."

"A drowning woman grasps at straws, I suppose," said Diana, a little brokenly. "Good night, my dearest," and Diana went into the tent, leaving Enoch to ponder heavily over the fire until the cold drove him to his blankets.

Breaking camp the next morning was dreary and arduous enough. Snow was still falling, the mules were recalcitrant and a bitter wind had piled drifts in every direction. The four travelers were in a subdued mood, although Enoch heartened himself considerably by urging Diana to remember that they had still to look forward to the trip down Bright Angel.

They floundered through the snow for two heavy hours before Diana looked back at Enoch to say,

"We're only a mile from the cabin now, Enoch!"

"Only a mile!" exclaimed Enoch. "Diana, I wonder what your father will say when he sees me!"

"He thinks you are two thousand miles from here!" laughed Diana.
"We'll see what he will say."

"And so," murmured Enoch to himself, "any perfect journey is ended."

BOOK IV

THE PHANTASM DESTROYED

CHAPTER XV

THE FIRING LINE AGAIN

"When I shall have given you up, Diana, I shall love my own solitude as never before. For you will dwell there and he who has lovely thoughts is never lonely."—Enoch's Diary.

The cabin was built of cedar logs. Frank had added to it as necessity arose or his means permitted, and it sprawled pleasantly under the pines, as if it belonged there and enjoyed being there. Na-che gave her peculiar, far-carrying call, some moments before the cabin came into view, and when the little cavalcade jingled up to the door, it was wide open, a ruddy faced, white-haired man standing before it.

"Hello, Diana!" he shouted. "Where in seven thunders have you been!
You're a week late!"

Then his eyes fastened wonderingly on Enoch's face. He came slowly across the porch and down the steps. Enoch did not speak, and for a long moment the two men stared at each other while time turned back its hands for a quarter of a century. Suddenly Frank's hand shot out.

"My God! It's Enoch Huntingdon!"

"Yes, Frank, it's he," replied Enoch.

"Where on earth did you come from? Come in, Mr. Secretary! Come in!
Or do you want to go up to the hotel?"

"Hotel! Frank, don't try to put on dog with me or snub me either!" exclaimed Enoch, dismounting. "And I am Enoch to you, just as that cowardly kid was, twenty-two years ago!"

"Cowardly!" roared Frank. "Well, come in! Come in before I get started on that."

"This is Jonas," said Na-che gravely.

"I know who Jonas is," said Frank, shaking hands. "Come in! Come in! Before I burst with curiosity! Diana girl, I've been worried sick about you. I swear once more this is the last trip you shall take without me."

The living-room was huge and beautiful. A fire roared in the great fireplace. Indian blankets and rugs covered the floor. There were some fine paintings on the walls and books and photographs everywhere. After Enoch and Diana had removed their snowy coats, Frank impatiently forced them into the arm-chairs before the fire, while he stood on the bearskin before them.

"For the love of heaven, Diana, where did you folks meet?"

"You begin, Enoch," said Diana quietly.

At the use of the Secretary's name, Frank glanced at Diana quickly, then turned back to Enoch.

"Well, Frank, I was on a speaking trip, and the pressure of things got so bad that I decided to slip away from everybody and give myself a trip to the Canyon. That was about a month ago. I outfitted at a little village on the railroad, and shortly after that I joined some miners who were going up to the Canyon to placer prospect. We had been at the Canyon several days when Jonas and Diana and Na-che found us. Diana stayed a day or so, then Jonas and I went with a Geological Survey crew for a boating trip down the river. We had sundry adventures, finally landing at Grant's Ferry, our leader, Milton, with a broken leg. Here we found Diana and Na-che. Jonas and I left the others and came on here because I want to go down the trail with you. That, in brief, is my story."

"Devilish brief!" snorted Frank. "Thank you for nothing! Diana, suppose you pad the skeleton a little."

"Yes, I will, Dad, if you'll let Enoch go to his room and get into some dry clothes. I told Na-che to help herself for him from your supply."

"Surely! Surely! What a rough bronco, I am! Let me show you to the guest room, Mr. Secretary—Enoch, I should say," and Frank led the way to a comfortable room whose windows gave a distant view of the Canyon rim.

When Enoch returned to the living-room after a bath and some strenuous grooming at Jonas' hands, Diana had disappeared and Frank was standing before the fire, smoking a cigarette. He tossed it into the flames at Enoch's approach.

"Enoch, my boy!" he said, then his voice broke, and the two men stood silently grasping each other's hands.

Enoch was the first to find his voice. "Except for the white hair,
Frank, the years have forgotten you."

"Not quite, Enoch! Not quite! I don't take those trails as easily as
I did once. You, yourself are changed, but one would expect that!
Fourteen to thirty-six, isn't it?"

Enoch nodded. "Will the snow make Bright Angel too difficult for you,
Frank?"

"Me? My Lord, no! Do I look a tenderfoot? We'll start to-morrow morning and take two days to it. Sit down, do! I've a thousand questions to ask you."

"Before I begin to answer them, Frank, tell me if there is any way in which I can send a telegram. I must let my office know where I am, much as I regret the necessity."

"You can telephone a message to the hotel," replied Frank. "They'll take care of it. But you realize that your traveling incog. will be all out if you do that?"

"Not necessarily!" Enoch chuckled.

Frank called the hotel on the telephone and handed the instrument to
Enoch, who smiled as he gave the message.

"Mr. Charles Abbott, 8946 Blank Street, Washington, D. C. The boss can be reached now at El Tovar, Jonas."

"But won't Abbott wire you?" asked Frank.

"No, he'll wire Jonas. See if he doesn't," replied Enoch. "And now for the questions. Oh, Diana!" rising as Diana, in a brown silk house frock, came into the room. "How lovely you look! Doesn't she, Frank?"

"She looks like her mother," said Frank. "Only she'll never be quite as beautiful as Helen was."

"'Whose beauty launched a thousand ships'!" Enoch exclaimed, smiling at
Diana. "My boyish memoir of Mrs. Allen is that she was dark."

"She was darker than Diana, and not so tall. Just as high as my breast; a fine mind in a lovely body!" Frank sighed deeply and stared at the fire.

Enoch, lying back in the great arm-chair, watched Diana with thoughtful, wistful eyes, until Frank roused himself, saying abruptly, "And now once more for the questions. Enoch, what started you in politics?"

"Well," replied Enoch, "that's a large order, but I'll try to tell the story." He began the tale, but was so constantly interrupted by Frank's questions that luncheon was announced by Na-che, just as he finished.

After luncheon they returned again to the fire, and Frank, urged on by Enoch, told the story of his early days at the Canyon. Perhaps Frank guessed that Enoch and Diana were in no mood for speech themselves, for he talked on and on, interrupted only by Enoch's laughter, or quick word of sympathy. Diana, her hands clasped loosely in her lap, watched the fire or stared at the snow drifts that the wind was piling against the window. It seemed to Enoch that the shadows about her great eyes were deepening as the hours went on.

Suddenly Frank looked at his watch. "Four o'clock! I must go out to the corral. Want to come along, Enoch?"

"I think not, Frank. I'll sit here with Diana, if you don't mind."

"I can stand it, if Diana can," chuckled Frank, and a moment later a door slammed after him.

Enoch turned at once to Diana. "Are you happy, dear?"

"Happy and unhappy; unbearably so!" replied Diana.

"Don't forget for a moment," said Enoch quickly, "that we have two whole days after to-day."

"I don't," Diana smiled a little uncertainly. "Enoch, I wonder if you know how well you look! You are so tanned and so clear-eyed! I'm going to be jealous of the women at every dinner party I imagine you attending!"

Enoch laughed. "Diana, my reputation as a woman hater is going to be increased every year. See if it's not!"

The telephone rang and Diana answered the call.

"Yes! Yes, Jonas is here, Fred Jonas—I'll take the message." There was a pause, then Diana said steadily, "See if I repeat correctly. Tell the Boss the President wishes him to take first train East, making all possible speed. Wire at once date of arrival. Signed Abbott."

Diana hung up the receiver and turned to Enoch, who had risen and was standing beside her.

"Orders, eh, Enoch?" she said, trying to smile with white lips.

Enoch did not answer. He stood staring at the girl's quivering mouth, while his own lips stiffened. Then he said quietly: "Will you tell me where I can find Jonas, Diana?"

"He's in the kitchen with Na-che. I'll go bring him in."

"No, stay here, Diana, sweetheart. Your face tells too much. I'll be back in a moment."

Jonas looked up from the potatoes he was peeling, as Enoch came into the kitchen. "Jonas, I've just had a reply from the wire I sent Abbott this morning. The President wants me at once. Will you go up to the hotel and arrange for transportation out of here tonight? Remember, I don't want it known who I am."

"Yes, Mr. Secretary!" exclaimed Jonas. Hastily wiping his hands, he murmured to Na-che, as Enoch turned away: "No trip down Bright Angel, Na-che. Ain't it a shame to think that love ring—" But Enoch heard no more.

Diana stood before the fire in the gathering twilight. "Is there anything Dad or I can do to facilitate your start, Enoch?"

"Nothing, Diana. Jonas is a past master in this sort of thing, and he prefers to do it all himself. You and I have only to think of each other until I have to leave."

He took Diana's face between his hands and gazed at it hungrily. "How beautiful, how beautiful you are!" he said, his rich voice dying in a sigh.

"Don't sigh, Enoch!" exclaimed Diana. "We must not make this last moment sad. You are going back into the arena, fit for the fight. That makes me very, very glad. And while you have told me nothing as to your intentions concerning Brown, I know that your decision, when it comes, will be right."

"I don't know what that decision will be, Diana. I have given my whole mind to you for many days. But I shall do nothing rash, nor without long thought. My dearest, I wish I could make you understand what you mean to me. I had thought when we were in the Canyon to-morrow I could tell you something of my boyhood, so that you would understand me, and what you mean to me. But all that must remain unsaid. Perhaps it's just as well."

Enoch sighed again and, turning to the table, picked up the flat package he had laid there on entering the room.

"This is my diary, Diana," placing it in her hands. "Be as gentle as you can in judging me, as you read it. If we were to be married, I think I would not have let you see it, but as it is, I am giving to you the most intimate thing in my possession, and I feel somehow as if in so doing I am tying myself to you forever."

Diana clasped the book to her heart, and laid her burning cheek against Enoch's. But she did not speak. Enoch held her slender body against his and the firelight flickered on the two motionless forms.

"Diana," said Enoch huskily, "you are going on with your work, as earnestly as ever, are you not?"

"Not quite so earnestly because, after I reach the East again, Minetta
Lane will be my job."

"Oh, Diana, I beg of you, don't soil your hands with that!" groaned
Enoch.

"I must! I must, Enoch!" Then Diana's voice broke and again the room was silent. They stood clinging to each other until Frank's voice was heard in the rear of the house.

"It's an infernal shame, I say. President or no President!"

"I'm going to my room for a little while," whispered Diana. And when Frank stamped into the room, Enoch was standing alone, his great head bowed in the firelight.

"Can't you stall 'em off a little while?" demanded Frank.

Enoch shook his head with a smile. "I've played truant too long to dictate now. Jonas and I must pull out to-night. Perhaps it's best, after all, Frank, and yet, it seemed for a moment as if it were physically impossible for me to give up that trip down Bright Angel. I've dreamed of it for twenty-two years. And to go down with Diana and you—"

"It's life!" said Frank briefly. He sank into an armchair and neither man spoke until Na-che announced supper.

Diana appeared then, her cheeks and eyes bright and her voice steady. Enoch never had seen her in a more whimsical mood and the meal, which he had dreaded, passed off quickly and pleasantly.

Not long after dinner, Frank announced the buck-board ready for the drive to the station. He slammed the door after this announcement, and Enoch took Diana in his arms and kissed her passionately.

"Good-by, Diana."

"Good-by, Enoch!" and the last golden moment was gone.

Enoch had no very clear recollection of his farewells to Na-che and Frank. Outwardly calm and collected, within he was a tempest. He obeyed Jonas automatically, went to his berth at once, and toward dawn fell asleep to the rumble of the train. The trip across the continent was accomplished without untoward incident. Enoch was, of course, recognized by the trainmen, but he kept to the stateroom that Jonas had procured and refused to see the reporters who boarded the train at Kansas City and again at Chicago. After the first twenty-four hours of grief over the parting with Diana, Enoch began to recover his mental poise. He was able to crowd back some of his sorrow and to begin to contemplate his whole adventure. Nor could he contemplate it without beginning to exult, and little by little his spirits lifted and even the tragedy of giving up Diana became a sacred and a beautiful thing. His grief became a righteous part of his life, a thing he would not give up any more than he would have given up a joy.

Undoubtedly Jonas enjoyed this trip more than any railway journey of his experience. Certainly he was a marked man. He wore the broadest brimmed hat in Frank Allen's collection, and John Red Sun's high laced boots. Strapped to his suitcase were the Ida's broken paddle and the battered board with "a-che" on it. These stood conspicuously in his seat in the Pullman, where he held a daily reception to all the porters on the train. True to his orders, he never mentioned Enoch's name in connection with his tale of the Canyon, but his own adventures lost nothing by that.

Enoch did not wire the exact time of his arrival in Washington, as he wished no one to meet the train. It was not quite three o'clock of a cold December day when Charley Abbott, arranging the papers in Enoch's private office, looked up as the inner door opened. Enoch, tanned and vigorous, came in, followed by Jonas, in all his western glory.

Charley sprang forward to meet Enoch's extended hand. "Mr. Huntingdon!
Thank the Lord!"

"All set, Abbott!" exclaimed Enoch, "and ready to steam ahead. Let me introduce old Canyon Bill, formerly known as Jonas!"

Charley clasped Jonas' hand, burst out laughing, and slapped him on the back. "Some story goes with that outfit, eh, Jonas, old boy! Say! if you let the rest of the doormen and messengers see you, there won't be a stroke of work done for the rest of the day."

"I'm going to look Harry up, right now, if you don't need me, boss!" exclaimed Jonas.

"Take the rest of the day, Jonas!"

"No, I'll be back prompt at six, boss!" and Jonas, with his luggage, disappeared.

Enoch pulled off his overcoat and seated himself at the desk, then looked up at Charley with a smile.

"I had a great trip, Abbott. I went with a mining outfit up to the Canyon country. With Miss Allen's help, Jonas located me at the placer mine, and after several adventures, we came back with her to El Tovar, where I wired you."

Abbott looked at Enoch keenly. "You're a new man, Mr. Secretary."

Enoch nodded. "I'm in good trim. What happens first, Abbott?"

"I didn't know what time you'd be in to-day, so your appointments don't begin until to-morrow. But the President wants you to call him at your earliest convenience. Shall I get in touch with the White House?"

"If you please. In the meantime, I may as well begin to go through these letters."

"I kept them down pretty well, I think," said Abbott, with justifiable pride, as he picked up the telephone. After several moments he reported that the President would see Enoch at five o'clock.

"Very well," Enoch nodded. "Then you'd better tell me the things I need to know."

Abbott went into the outer office for his note book and, returning with
it, for an hour he reported to Enoch on the business of the Department.
Enoch, puffing on a cigar, asked questions and made notes himself.
When Charley had finished, he said:

"Thank you, Abbott! I don't see but what I could have remained away indefinitely. Matters seem in excellent shape."

"Not everything, Mr. Secretary. Your oil bill has been unaccountably blocked in the Senate. The intervention in Mexico talk has begun again. The Geological Survey is in a mix-up and it looks as if a scandal were about to burst on poor old Cheney's head. I'm afraid he's outlived his usefulness anyhow. The newspapers in California are starting a new states-rights campaign for water power control and, every day since I've returned, Secretary Fowler's office has called and asked for the date of your return."

"Interested in me, aren't they!" smiled Enoch. "Why is the President in such a hurry to see me, Abbott?"

"I don't know, sir. I promised his secretary that the moment I heard from you I'd send such a message as I did send you."

"All right, Abbott, I'll start along. Don't wait or let Jonas wait after six. I'll go directly home if I'm detained after that."

The President looked at Enoch intently as he crossed the long room.

"Wherever you've been, Huntingdon, it has done you good."

"I took a trip through the Canyon country, Mr. President. I've always wanted it."

The President waited as if he expected Enoch to say more, but the younger man stood silently contemplating the open fire.

"How about this tale of Brown's?" the Chief Executive asked finally. "I dislike mentioning it to you, Huntingdon, but you are the most trusted member of my Cabinet, and you have issued no denial to a very nasty scandal about yourself."

Enoch turned grave eyes toward the President. "I shall issue no denial, Mr. President. But there is one man in the world I wish to know the whole truth. If you have the time, sir, will you permit me to go over the whole miserable story?"

The President studied the Secretary's face. "It will be a painful thing for both of us, Huntingdon," he said after a moment, "but for the sake of our future confidential relationship, I think I shall have to ask you to go over it with me. Sit down, won't you?"

Enoch shook his head and, standing with his back to the fire, his burning eyes never leaving the President's face, he told the story of Minetta Lane. He ceased only at the moment when he dropped off the train into the desert. He did not spare himself. And yet when the quiet, eloquent voice stopped, there were tears in the President's eyes. He made no comment until Enoch turned to the fire, then he said, with a curious smile:

"A public man cannot afford private vices."

"I know that now," replied Enoch. "You may have my resignation whenever you wish it. I think it probable that I'll never touch a card again. But I dare not promise."

"I'm told," said the Chief Executive drily, "that you were not without good company in Blank Street; that a certain famous person from the British Legation, a certain Admiral of our own navy and an Italian prince contributed their share to the entertainment."

Enoch flushed slightly, but did not speak.

"I don't want your resignation, Huntingdon. It's a most unfortunate affair, but we cannot afford to lose you. Brown is a whelp, also he's a power that must be reckoned with. That article turned Washington over for a while. The talk has quieted now. It was the gambling that the populace rolled under its tongue. Only he and the scandal mongers like Brown gave any but a pitying glance at the other story. The fears that I have about the affair are first as to its reaction on you and second as to the sort of capital the opposite party will make of it. I think you let it hit you too hard, Huntingdon."

Enoch lifted sad eyes to the chief executive. His lips were painfully compressed and the President said, huskily:

"I know, my boy! I sensed long ago that you were a man who had drunk of a bitter cup. I wish I could have helped you bear it!" There was silence for a moment, then the President went on:

"What are you going to do to Brown, Huntingdon?"

"I haven't decided yet," replied Enoch slowly. "But I shall not let him go unpunished."

The President shook his head and sighed. "You must feel that way, of course, but before we talk about that let's review the political situation. I'm ending my second term. For years, as you know, a large portion of the party has had its eye on you to succeed me. In fact, as the head of the party, I may modestly claim to have been your first endorser! Long ago I recognized the fact that unless youth and virility and sane idealism were injected into the old machine, it would fall apart and radicalism would take its place."

"Or Tammanyism!" interjected Enoch.

"They are equally menacing in my mind," said the older man. "As you know, too, Huntingdon, there has been a quiet but very active minority very much against you. They have spent years trying to get something on you, and they've never succeeded. But—well, you understand mob psychology better than I do—if Brown evolves a slogan, a clever phrase, built about your gambling propensities, it will damn you far more effectively than if he had proved that you played crooked politics or did something really harmful to the country."

Enoch nodded. "Whom do you think Brown is for, Mr. President?"

"Has it ever occurred to you that Brown often picks up Fowler's policies and quietly pushes them?"

Again Enoch nodded and the President went on, "Brown never actively plays Fowler's game. There's an old story that an ancient quarrel separates them. But word has been carefully passed about that there is to be a dinner at the Willard to-morrow night, of the nature of a love feast, at which Fowler and Brown are to fall on each other's necks with tears."

Enoch got up from his chair and prowled about the great room restlessly, then he stood before the chief executive.

"Mr. President, why shouldn't Fowler go to the White House? He's a brilliant man. He's done notable service as Secretary of State. I don't think the cabinet has contained his equal for twenty-five years. He has given our diplomatic service a distinction in Europe that it never had before. He has a good following in the party. Perhaps the best of the old conservatives are for him. I don't like his attitude on the Mexican trouble and sometimes I have felt uneasy as to his entire loyalty to you. Yet, I am not convinced that he would not make a far more able chief executive than I?"

"Suppose that he openly ties to Brown, Huntingdon?"

"In that case," replied Enoch slowly, "I would feel in duty bound to interfere."

"And if you do interfere," persisted the President, "you realize fully that it will be a nasty fight?"

"Perhaps it would be!" Enoch's lips tightened as he shrugged his shoulders.

The President's eyes glowed as he watched the grim lines deepen in Enoch's face. Then he said, "Huntingdon, I'm giving a dinner to-morrow night too! The British Ambassador and the French Ambassador want to meet Señor Juan Cadiz. Did you know that your friend Cadiz is the greatest living authority on Aztec worship and a hectic fan for bullfighting as a national sport? My little party is entirely informal, one of the things the newspapers ordinarily don't comment on. You know I insist on my right to cease to be President on occasions when I can arrange for three or four real people to meet each other. This is one of those occasions. You are to come to the dinner too, Huntingdon. And if the conversation drifts from bullfighting and Aztec gods to Mexico and England's and France's ideas about your recent speeches, I shall not complain."

"Thank you, Mr. President," said Enoch.

"I would do as much for you personally, of course," the older man nodded, as he rose, "but in this instance, I'm playing politics even more than I'm putting my hand on your shoulder. It's good to have you back, Huntingdon! Good night!" and a few minutes later Enoch was out on the snowy street.

It was after six and he went directly home. He spent the evening going over accumulated reports. At ten o'clock Jonas came to the library door.

"Boss, how would you feel about going to bed? You know we got into early hours in the Canyon."

"I feel that I'm going immediately!" Enoch laughed. "Jonas, what have your friends to say about your trip?" as he went slowly up the stairs.

"Boss, I'm the foremost colored man in Washington to-night. I'm invited to give a lecture on my trip in the Baptist Church. They offered me five bones for it and I laughed at 'em. How come you to think, I asked 'em, that money could make me talk about my life blood's escape. No, sir, I give my services for patriotism. I can't have the paddle nor the name board framed till I've showed 'em at the lecture. I'm requested to wear my costume."

"Good work, Jonas! Remember one thing, though! Leave me and Miss
Diana absolutely out of the story."

Jonas nodded. "I understand, Mr. Secretary."

When Enoch reached his office the next morning he said to Charley Abbott: "When or if Secretary Fowler's office calls with the usual inquiry, make no reply but connect whomever calls directly with me."

Charley grinned. "Very well, Mr. Secretary. Shall we go after those letters?"

"Whenever you say so. You'd better make an appointment as soon as possible with Cheney. He—" The telephone interrupted and Abbott took the call, then silently passed the instrument to Enoch.

"Yes, this is the Secretary's office," said Enoch. "Who is wanted? . . . This is Mr. Huntingdon speaking. Please connect me with Mr. Fowler. . . . Good morning, Mr. Fowler! I'm sorry to have made your office so much trouble. I understand you've been calling me daily. . . . Oh, yes, I thought it was a mistake. . . . Late this afternoon, at the French Ambassador's? Yes, I'll look you up there. Good-by."

Enoch hung up the receiver. "Was I to go to tea at Madame Foret's this afternoon, Abbott?"

"Yes, Mr. Secretary. Madame Foret called me up a few days ago and was so kind and so explicit—"

"It's quite all right, Abbott. Mr. Fowler wondered, he said, if I was to be invited!"

The two men looked at each other, then without further comment Enoch began to dictate his long-delayed letters. The day was hectic but Enoch turned off his work with zest.

Shortly after lunch the Director of the Geological Survey appeared.
Enoch greeted him cordially, and after a few generalities said, "Mr.
Cheney, what bomb are they preparing to explode now?"

Cheney ran his fingers through his white hair and sighed. "I guess I'm getting too old for modern politics, Mr. Secretary. You'd better send me back into the field. Neither you nor I knew it, but it seems that I've been using those fellows out in the field for my own personal ends. I have a group mining for me in the Grand Canyon and another group locating oil fields for me in Texas."

Enoch laughed, then said seriously: "What's the idea, Mr. Cheney? Have you a theory?"

Cheney shook his head. "Just innate deviltry, I suppose, on the part of Congress."

"You've been chief of the Survey fifteen years, haven't you, Mr.
Cheney?"

"Yes, too long for my own good. Times have changed. People realized once that men who go high in the technical world very seldom are crooked. But your modern politician would believe evil of the Almighty."

"What sort of timber are you developing among your field men, Cheney?"

"Only so-so! Young men aren't what they were in my day."

Enoch eyed the tired face under the white hair sympathetically. "Mr. Cheney, you're letting these people get under your skin. And that is exactly what they are aiming to do. You aren't the man you were a few months ago. My advice to you is, take a vacation. When you come back turn over the field work to a younger man and devote yourself to finding who is after you and why. I have an idea that the gang is not interested in you, personally."

Cheney suddenly sat up very straight. "You think that you—" then he hesitated. "No, Mr. Secretary, this is a young man's fight. I'd better resign."

"Perhaps, later on, but not now. After years of such honorable service as yours, go because you have reached the fullness of years and have earned your rest. Don't let these fellows smirch your name and the name of the Service. Clear both before you go."

"What do I care for what they say of me!" cried Cheney with sudden fire. "I know what I've given to the government since I first ran surveys in Utah! You're an eastern man and a city man, Mr. Secretary. If you had any idea of what a field man, in Utah, for example, or New Mexico, or Arizona endures, of the love he has for his work, you'd see why my pride won't let me justify my existence to a Congressional Committee."

"And yet," insisted Enoch, "I am going to ask you to do that very thing, Mr. Cheney. I am asking you to do it not for me or for yourself, but for the good of the Survey. Find out who, what and why. And tell me. Will you do it, Mr. Cheney?"

There was something winning as well as compelling in Enoch's voice. The director of the Survey rose slowly, and with a half smile held out his hand to the Secretary.

"I'll do it, Mr. Secretary, but for just one reason, because of my admiration and friendship for you."

Enoch smiled. "Not the best of reasons, I'm afraid, but I'm grateful anyhow. Will you let me know facts as you turn them up?"

Cheney nodded. "Good day, Mr. Secretary!" and Enoch turned to meet his next visitor.

Shortly before six o'clock Enoch shook hands with Madame Foret in her crowded drawing-room. He seemed to be quite unconscious of the more than usually interested and inquiring glances that were directed toward him.

"You had a charming vacation, so your smile says, Mr. Huntingdon!" exclaimed Madame Foret. "I am so glad! Where did you go?"

"Into the desert, Madame Foret."

"Oh, into the desert of that beautiful Miss Allen! She and her pictures together made me feel that that was one part of America I must not miss. She promised me that she would show me what she called the Painted Desert, and I shall hold her to the promise!"

"No one could show you quite so wonderfully as Miss Allen, I'm sure," said Enoch.

"Now, just what did you do to kill time in the desert, Huntingdon?" asked Mr. Johns-Eaton, the British Ambassador. "Why didn't you go where there was some real sport?"

"Oh, I found sport of a sort!" returned Enoch solemnly.

Johns-Eaton gave Enoch a keen look. "I'll wager you did!" he exclaimed. "Any hunting?"

"Some small game and a great deal of boating!"

"Boating! Now you are spoofing me! Listen, Mr. Fowler, here's a man who says he was boating in the desert!"

Fowler and Enoch bowed and, after a moment's more general conversation, they drew aside.

"About this Mexican trouble, Huntingdon," said Fowler slowly. "I said nothing as to your speaking trip, until your return, for various reasons. But I want to tell you now, that I considered it an intrusion upon my prerogatives."

"Have you told the President so?" asked Enoch.

"The President did not make the tour," replied Fowler.

"Just why," Enoch sipped his cup of tea calmly, "did you choose this occasion to tell me of your resentment?"

"Because," replied Fowler, in a voice tense with repressed anger, "it is my express purpose never to set foot in your office again, nor to permit you to appear in mine. When we are forced to meet, we will meet on neutral ground."

"Well," said Enoch mildly, "that's perfectly agreeable to me. But, excepting on cabinet days, why meet at all?"

"You are agreed that it shall be war between us, then?" demanded Fowler eagerly.

"Oh, quite so! Only not exactly the kind of war you think it will be, Mr. Secretary!" said Enoch, and he walked calmly back to the tea table for his second cup.

He stayed for some time longer, chatting with different people, taking his leave after the Secretary of State had driven away. Then he went home, thoughtfully, to prepare for the President's dinner.

The chief executive was a remarkable host, tactful, resourceful, and witty. The dinner was devoted entirely at first to Juan Cadiz and his wonderful stories of Aztec gods and of bullfighting. Gradually, however, Cadiz turned to modern conditions in Mexico, and Mr. Johns-Eaton, with sudden fire, spoke of England's feeling about the chaos that reigned beyond the Texan border lines. Monsieur Foret did not fully agree with the Englishman's general attitude, but when Cadiz quoted from one of Enoch's speeches, the ambassadors united in praise of the sanity of Enoch's arguments. The President did not commit himself in any way. But when he said good night to Enoch, he added in the hearing of the others:

"Thank you, old man! I wish I had a hundred like you!"

Enoch walked home through a light snow that was falling. And although his mind grappled during the entire walk with the new problem at hand, he was conscious every moment of the fact that a week before he had tramped through falling snow with Diana always within hand touch.

Jonas, brushing the snow from Enoch's broad shoulders, said casually: "I had a telegram from Na-che this evening, boss. She and Miss Diana start for Havasu canyon to-morrow."

Enoch started. "Why, how'd she happen to wire you, Jonas?"

"I done told her to," replied Jonas coolly, "and moreover, I left the money for her to do it with."

Enoch said nothing until he was standing in his dressing-gown before his bedroom fire. Then he turned to Jonas and said:

"Old man, it won't do. I can't stand it. I must not be able to follow her movements or I shall not be able to keep my mind on matters here. I shall never marry, Jonas. All the charms and all the affectionate desires of you and Na-che cannot change that."

Jonas gave Enoch a long, reproachful look that was at the same time well-tinctured with obstinacy. Without a word he left the room.

CHAPTER XVI

CURLY'S REPORT

"And now my house-mate is Grief. But she is wise and beautiful as the
Canyon is wise and beautiful and I claim both as my own."—Enoch's
Diary
.

The Washington papers, the next morning, contained the accounts of two very interesting dinner parties. One was a detailed story of the President's dinner. The other told of the public meeting and reconciliation of Secretary Fowler and Hancock Brown. The evening papers contained, as did the morning editions the day following, widely varied comment on the two episodes.

Enoch did not see the President for nearly a week after the dinner party, excepting at the cabinet meeting. Then, in response to a telephone call one evening, he went to the White House and told the President of his break with Fowler.

"That was a curious thing for him to do," commented the chief executive. "It looks to me like a plain case of losing his temper."

"It struck me so," agreed Enoch.

"Do you think that he had anything to do with the publishing of that canard about you, Huntingdon?"

"I would not be surprised if he had. If I find that he was mixed up in it, Mr. President, I shall have to punish him as well as Brown."

"Horsewhipping is what Brown deserves," growled the President.
"Huntingdon, why are they after Cheney?"

"I've told him to find out," replied Enoch. "I want him to put himself in the position of being able to give them the lie direct, and then resign."

"Who is after him?"

"I believe, if we can probe far enough, we'll find this same Mexican controversy at the bottom of it. Cheney has been immensely interested in the fuel problem. He's given signal help to the Bureau of Mines."

The telephone rang, and the President answered it. He returned to his arm-chair shortly, with a curious smile on his face.

"Secretary Fowler wants to see me. I did not tell him that you are calling. As far as he has informed me, you and he are still on a friendly basis. He will be along shortly, and I shall be keenly interested in observing the meeting."

Enoch smoked his cigar in silence for some moments before he said, with a chuckle:

"I like a fight, if only it's in the open."

"So do I!" exclaimed the President.

The conversation was desultory until the door opened, admitting the Secretary of State. He gave Enoch a glance and greeted the chief executive, then bowed formally to Enoch, and stood waiting.

"Sit down, Fowler! Try one of those cigars! They haven't killed
Huntingdon yet."

"I beg your pardon, Mr. President," stiffly, "it is quite impossible for me to make any pretense of friendship for the present Secretary of the Interior."

The President raised his eyebrows. "What's the trouble, Fowler?"

"You may have heard," Fowler's voice was sardonic, "that your Secretary of the Interior swung around the circle on a speech-making trip this fall!"

"I heard of it," replied the chief executive, "probably before you did, because I asked Mr. Huntingdon to make the trip."

"And may I ask, Mr. President, why you asked this gentleman to interfere with my prerogatives?"

"Come! Come, Fowler! You are too clever a man to attempt the hoity-toity manner with me! You undoubtedly read all of Huntingdon's speeches with care, and you observed that his entire plea was for the states to allow the Federal Government to proceed in its normal function of developing the water power and oil resources of this country; that a few American business men should not be permitted to hog the water power of the state for private gain, nor to embroil us in war with Mexico because of private oil holdings there. You will recall that whatever information he used, he procured himself and, before using, laid it in your hands. You laughed at it. You will recall that I asked you, a month before Huntingdon went out, if you would not swing round the circle, and you begged to be excused."

Still standing, the Secretary of State bowed and said, "Mr. Huntingdon has too distinguished an advocate to permit me to argue the matter here."

Enoch spoke suddenly. "Although I'm grateful to the President, Mr. Fowler, I need no advocate. What in thunder are you angry about? If you and I are to quarrel, why not let me know the casus belli!"

"I've stated my grievance," said Fowler flatly.

"Your new attitude toward me has nothing to do, I suppose," suggested
Enoch, lighting a fresh cigar, "with the fact that you dined with
Hancock Brown the other evening?"

Fowler tapped his foot softly on the rug, but did not reply. Enoch went on. "I don't want to quarrel with you, Fowler. I'm a sincere admirer of yours. But I'm going to tell you frankly, that I don't like Brown and that Brown must keep his tongue off of me. And I'm deeply disappointed in you. You did not need Brown to add to your prestige in America."

"I don't know what the idea is, Fowler," said the President suddenly, "but I do know that the aplomb and finesse with which you conduct your official business are entirely lacking in this affair. It looks to me as if you had a personal grievance here. Come, Fowler, old man, you are too brilliant, too valuable—"

The Secretary of State interrupted by bowing once more. "I very much appreciate my scolding, Mr. President. With your permission, I'll withdraw until you feel more kindly toward me."

The President and Enoch did not speak for several minutes after Fowler had left. Then the President said, "Enoch, how are you going to handle Brown?"

"I haven't fully made up my mind," replied Enoch.

"The bitterest pill you could make him swallow would be to put yourself in the White House at the next election."

"I'm afraid Brown would look on that as less a punishment than a misfortune." Enoch smiled, as he rose and said-good night.

Nearly a month passed before Enoch heard from Cheney. During that time neither from Fowler nor from the Brown papers was there any intimation of consciousness of Enoch's existence. He believed that as long as he chose to remain silent on the Mexican situation that they would continue to ignore him. There could be little doubt that both Brown and the public looked on Enoch's sudden silence following the Luigi statement as complete rout. Enoch knew this and writhed under the knowledge as he bided his time.

On a morning early in January, Charley Abbott answered a telephone call which interrupted him while was taking the Secretary's dictation.

"It's Mr. Cheney!" he said, "He's very anxious to see you for ten minutes, Mr. Secretary."

"Crowd him in, Abbott," replied Enoch.

Abbott nodded, and in less than half an hour the director of the Survey came in.

"Mr. Secretary," he began without preliminaries, "I took your advice and began investigating the trouble spots. Among other steps I took, I detached two men temporarily from a Colorado River expedition and sent them into Texas to discover if possible what the ordinary oil prospectors felt toward the Survey."

Enoch's face brightened. "That was an interesting move!" he exclaimed.
"Were these experienced oil men?"

"One of them, Harden, knew something of drilling. Well, they struck up some sort of a pseudo partnership with a man, a miner, name Field, and the three of them undertook to locate some wells in southern Texas. They were near the Mexican border and were heckled constantly by bands of Mexicans. Finally, as the man Field, Curly, Harden calls him in his report, was standing guard over the horses one night, he was shot through the abdomen. Three days later, he died."

"Died!" exclaimed Enoch. "Are you sure of that?"

"So Harden reports. Field knew that his wound was fatal. He was perfectly cool and conscious to the last, and he spent the greater part of the period before his death, dictating to Harden a long story about Hancock Brown's early activities in Mexico. He swore Harden to absolute secrecy as to details and made him promise to send the story to some lawyer here in Washington, who seems to have taken a small portion of the Canyon trip with the expedition and who had prospected with Field."

"And Curly Field is dead!" repeated Enoch.

"Yes, poor fellow! Now then, here's the point, both Harden and Forrester, the other Survey man, are morally certain that there is a well-organized gang whose business is to make oil prospecting on the border unhealthy. They have several lists of names they want investigated, and they suggest that Secret Service men be put on the job, at once. There was a small item in Texas papers about the killing and a New York paper was after me this morning for the story. That's why I hurried to you."

"Did you gather that Field's story had anything to do with the present trouble with Mexico?" asked Enoch.

The Director shook his head. "No, Mr. Secretary. I merely brought that detail in because Brown is known to be your enemy and—"

He hesitated as he saw the grim lines deepening around Enoch's mouth.
The Secretary tapped the desk thoughtfully with his pencil, then said:

"Keep it all out of the papers, Mr. Cheney, if you please. Or, rather if you are willing, let the publicity end be handled from this office. Send the newspaper men to Mr. Abbott."

"That will be a relief!" exclaimed Cheney. "Shall I go ahead on the lines indicated?"

"Yes, and bring me your next budget of news!"

As Cheney went out, Enoch rang for Jonas. "Jonas, I wish you'd go home and see if there is any mail there for Judge Smith. If there is, lock it in the desk in my room," tossing Jonas the key.

"Yes, Mr. Secretary," exclaimed Jonas, disappearing out the door. He returned shortly to report that mail had arrived for Judge Smith, and that it was safely locked away.

Enoch had no engagement that evening. When he had finished his solitary dinner he went to his room and took out of the desk drawer a large document envelope and a letter. The letter he opened.

"My dear Judge: Forrester and I have just completed a sad bit of work, the taking of poor Curly's body back to Arizona for burial. Soon after you left, we took Milton over to Wilson's ranch and left Ag to look out for him. He's coming along fine, by the way. We wired our dilemma to our Chief in Washington and he told us to go into southern Texas and investigate some conditions there for him. To our surprise, Curly wanted to go along, as soon as he found we were later going into Mexico to an old stamping ground of his. Well, we had a great time on the Border. It wasn't so bad until the hombres began to get nasty, and as you may recall, neither Curly nor my now good pal Forr stand well under sniping. It got so finally that we had to stand watch over our outfit at night, and Curly got a bullet in his bladder. He bled so we couldn't move him and Forr went out, thirty miles, after a doctor. While we waited, Curly got me to set down the stuff I am sending you under separate cover. He also made his will and left you his mining claims, all merely prospects so far. He says you know how he came to feel as he does about Brown and Fowler. However that may be, it certainly is the dirtiest story I ever heard one man tell on others and, dying though he was, I begged Curly to let me tear the paper up and let the story go into the grave with him. But he held me to my promise, so I'm sending it to you, with this apology for contaminating either of us with the dope. Poor old Curly! He was a man who'd been a little embittered by some early trouble, but he was a good scout, for all that.

"We all missed you and Jonas,—don't forget Jonas!—very much, after you left. Milton said half a dozen times that when he gets in shape to go on with the work in the spring, he was going to try to persuade you to finish the trip with us. So say we all! With best wishes, sincerely yours, C. L. Harden."

After Enoch had finished Harden's letter he replaced it in its envelope slowly and dropped it into the desk drawer. Next, as slowly, he picked up the bulkier envelope and placed it on edge on the mantel under the Moran painting. Then he began to walk the floor.

He knew that, in that dingy envelope, lay the whip by which he could drive Brown to public apology. As far as fearing any publicity with which Brown could retaliate, Enoch felt immune. He believed that he had sounded the uttermost depths of humiliation. And at first he gloated over the thought that now Brown could be made to suffer as he had suffered. He would give the story to the newspapers, exactly as it had come to him. And what a setting! Curly shot from ambush, by creatures, it was highly probable, who were ignorantly actuated by Brown's own crooked Mexican policy. Curly flinging, with his dying hands, the boomerang that was to strike Brown down. That incidentally it would pull Fowler down, moved Enoch little. Fowler too would be hoist by his own petard.

For a long hour Enoch paced the floor. Then he came to a sudden pause before the mantel and turned on the light above the painting of Bright Angel trail. Outside the room sounded the clatter of Washington's streets. Enoch did not hear it. Once more a passionate, sullen boy, he was clinging to his mule on the twisting trail. Once more swept over him the horror of the Canyon and of human beings that had tortured the soul of the boy, Enoch, on that first visit into the Canyon's depths. The sweat started to his forehead and, as he stared, he grasped the mantel with both hands. Then he picked up the envelope. His hand shook as he inserted a finger under the flap, lifting his eyes as he did so, once more to the painting.

He paused. Unearthly calm, drifting mists, colors too ephemeral, too subtle for words—drawn in the Canyon!

The lift of the Ida under his knees, the eager welter of the whirlpool, the sting of the icy Colorado dragging him under, the flash of Diana's face and his winning fight with death.

The chaos of the river and two tiny figures staggering hour after hour over the hopeless, impossible chasms and buttes; Harden going to the rescue of Forrester.

Starlight on the desert. Diana's touch on his forehead, her tender, gentle fingers smoothing his hair as they gazed together at the mysterious shadowy depth beyond which flowed the Colorado; that tender touch on his hair and forehead and the desert stars thrilling near, infinitely remote.

Suddenly Enoch, resting his arm on the mantel, dropped his forehead upon it and stood so, the wonderful glowing colors of the painting seeming to shimmer on his bronze hair. At last, at the sound of Jonas's footstep in the hall, he lifted his head, turned off the light above the painting, crossed to his desk and, dropping the still unopened envelope into a secret drawer, locked it and put the key in his pocket.

The following morning Senator Havisham came to see Enoch. He was one of the leading members of Enoch's party, a virile, progressive man, very little older than the Secretary himself. After shaking hands with Enoch and taking one of his cigars, he sat staring at him as if he scarcely knew how to begin.

Enoch smiled half sadly. "Go ahead, Senator," he said. "You and I have known each other a long time."

The Senator smiled in return. "Yes, we have, Huntingdon, and I'm proud of the fact. That is why I was asked to undertake this errand which has an unpleasant as well as a pleasant side. We want you to run as our presidential nominee. But before we pass the word around, we want you to issue a denial of the Brown canard that will settle that kind of mud slinging at you for good and all."

Enoch's face was a cold mask. "I can't deny it, Havisham. The facts stated are true. The inferences drawn as to my character are false. The bringing of Miss Allen into the story was a blasphemy. All things considered, as far as publicity goes, utter silence is my only recourse. As for my private retaliation on Brown, that's another and a personal matter."

Senator Havisham looked at Enoch through half-shut eyes.

"Huntingdon, let me issue that statement, exactly as you have made it."

"No," replied Enoch flatly. "The less reference made by us to the
Brown canard, the better chance of its being forgotten."

The Senator puffed silently, then said, "Why does Brown hate you?"

"I have fought his Mexican policy."

"Yes, I know, but is that the only reason?"

"As far as my knowledge goes," replied Enoch. "Of course, now that he's openly committed to Fowler, he has an added grievance."

"There is nothing personal between you?"

"I never laid eyes on the man in my life. I never did him an intentional injury. I am merely in his way. I always have despised his papers and now I despise him. Understand, Senator, that, without regard to diplomacy, Brown and I must have it out."

Havisham shook his head. "You'd better let him alone, Huntingdon. He has an awful weapon in his papers and he can smear you in the public mind no matter how obviously false his stories may be."

Enoch's lips tightened. "I'm not afraid of Brown. But all things considered, Havisham, you'd better leave me out of your list of presidential possibilities."

"There is no list! Or, at least, you're the list!" The Senator's laugh was a little rueful.

"And," Enoch went on, "strange as it may seem, I'm not sure that I want the Presidency. It seems to me that I might be far more useful in the Capitol than in the White House."

"Not to the party!" exclaimed Havisham quickly.

"No, to the country!"

"Perhaps, but it's a debatable matter, which I don't intend to debate. You are our man. If you won't deny the Brown canard, then we must go ahead without the denial."

Enoch looked thoughtfully from the window, then turned back to the Senator. "There is no great hurry, is there? Give me a month to get matters clear in my own mind."

"There is no hurry, except that the Brown papers work while others sleep, and Fowler is Brown's nominee. However, take your month, old man. I don't doubt that you have troubles of your own!"

Enoch nodded. Havisham shook hands heartily and departed, and the Secretary turned to his loaded desk. The Alaskan situation was causing him keen anxiety. The old war between private ownership, with all its greed and unfairness to the common citizen, and government control, with all its cumbersome and often inefficient methods, had reached acute proportions in the great northern province. Enoch was faced with the necessity of deciding between the two. It must be a long distance decision and any verdict he rendered was predestined to have in it elements of injustice. For days Enoch thrust, as far as possible, his personal problem into the background while he struggled with this greater one. It was only at night that the thought of Diana overwhelmed all else to torture him and yet to fill him with the joy of perfect memories.

It was on the morning after he had given his Alaskan decision that
Charley Abbott, eyebrows raised, laid a Brown paper before the
Secretary, with the comment:

"Either Cheney or some one in Cheney's office has leaked."

It was a twisted story of Curly's death. Curly, according to this version, had been doing his utmost to keep two Survey men, Harden and Forrester, from hogging for obscure government purposes, certain oil lands, belonging to Curly. In the ill feeling that had resulted, Curly had been shot. Before his death, however, he had been able to write a statement of the affair which had been sent to a well-known lawyer in Washington. He also had left sufficient property to the lawyer to enable him to expose the workings of the Geological Survey to its bones.

Enoch's face reddened. "I don't know what there is about a piece of work like this that gets under my skin so intolerably!" he exclaimed. "Whether it's the cruelty of it, or the dishonesty or the brute selfishness, I don't know. But we are going to answer this, Abbott."

"How shall we go about it, sir? We might find out if Cheney knows these men personally and have him make a statement."

"Have him tell of their previous records," said Enoch. "Let the world know the heroism and the self-sacrifice of those men. And at the end let him give the lie direct to the Brown papers. Tell him I'll sign it for him."

"That will give Brown just the opening he's looking for, Mr. Secretary,
I'm afraid," said Abbott, doubtfully. "I mean, your signature."

"I'm ready for Brown," replied Enoch shortly.

Still Charley hesitated. "What is it, Abbott?" asked the Secretary.

"It's Miss Allen I'm thinking about," blurted out the younger man.
"You've gone through the worst that they can hand to a man, so you've
nothing more to fear. But if they bring her into it again, Mr.
Secretary, I'll go crazy!"

The veins stood up on Enoch's forehead, and he said, with a cold vehemence that made Abbott recoil, "If Miss Allen's name is brought up with mine in that manner again, I shall kill Brown."

Charley moistened his lips. "Well, but after all, Mr. Huntingdon, Harden and Forrester are just a couple of unknown chaps. Is your championing them worth the risk to Miss Allen?"

"Miss Allen would be the last person to desire that kind of shielding. I've reached my limit, Abbott, as far as the Brown papers are concerned. They've got to keep their foul pens off the Department of the Interior. I'd a little rather kill Brown than not. Why should decent citizens live in fear of his dirty newsmongers? Life is not so sweet to me, Abbott, nor the future so full of promise that I greatly mind sacrificing either."

"It's just—it's just that I care so much about Miss Allen," reiterated
Charley, miserably and doggedly.

Enoch drew a quick breath. The two men stared at each other, pain and hopelessness in both faces. Enoch recovered himself quickly.

"I'm sorry, my boy," he said gently, "but life, particularly public life, is full of bitter situations like this. Brown must be stopped somewhere by somebody. Let's not count the cost. Get in touch with Cheney and have that statement ready for the morning paper."

He turned back to his letters and Abbott left the room. Before he went home that night, Enoch had signed the very readable account of some of Harden's and Forrester's exploits in the Survey and had added, before signing, a line to the effect that the slurs and insinuations regarding the two men which had appeared in the morning papers were entirely untrue.

For several days there was no reply from the Brown camp. Enoch's friends commented to him freely on his temerity in deliberately drawing Brown on, but Enoch only smiled and shrugged his shoulders, while Curly's statement lay unopened in his drawer. But underneath his calm, the still raw wound of Brown's earlier attack tingled as it awaited the rubbing in of the salt.

Finally, one morning, Charley laid a Brown paper on Enoch's desk. The Secretary of the Interior, said the account, had denied the truth of certain statements made by the publication. A repetition of the story followed. A careful reinvestigation of the facts, the account went on, showed the case to be as originally stated. The well-known lawyer had been interviewed. He had told the reporter that the contents of Field's letter were surprising beyond words and that as soon as he had made full preparations some arrests would follow that would startle the country. The lawyer, whose name was withheld for obvious reasons, was a man whose integrity was beyond question. He had no intention of using the funds willed him by Field, for he and Field had grown up together in a little New England town. The money would be put in trust for Field's son, who would be sent to college with the lawyer's own boy. In the meantime, the Secretary of the Interior would not be beyond a most respectful and discriminating investigation himself. It was known that he had cut short an unsuccessful speaking tour for very good reasons, and had disappeared into the desert country for a month. Where had he been?

Enoch suddenly laughed as he laid the paper down. "It is so childish, so preposterous, that even a fool wouldn't swallow it!" he exclaimed.

"It's just the sort of thing that people swallow whole," returned
Abbott.

"Even at that, it's absolutely unimportant," said Enoch. Again Charley disagreed with him. "Mr. Secretary, it's very important, for it's a threat. It says that if you don't keep still, they will investigate your desert trip. And you know what they could make of that!"

"Let them keep their tongues off my Department, then," said Enoch, sternly. Nevertheless when Abbott had left him alone he did not turn immediately to his work. His cigar grew cold, and the ink dried on his pen, while he sat with the look of grim determination in his eyes and lips, deepening.

He dined out that night and was tired and depressed when he returned home. Jonas was smiling when he let the Secretary in and took his coat.

"Boss, they's a nice little surprise waiting for you up on your desk."

"Who'd be surprising me, Jonas? No one on earth but you, I'm afraid."

Jonas chuckled. "You're a bad guesser, boss! A bad guesser! How come you to think I could do anything to surprise you?"

Enoch went into his brightly lighted room and stopped before his desk with a low exclamation of pleasure. A large photograph stood against the book rack. Three little naked Indian children with feathers in their hair were dancing in the foreground. Behind them lay an ancient cliff dwelling half in ruins. To the left an Indian warrior, arms folded on his broad chest stood watching the children, his face full of an inscrutable sadness. The children were extraordinarily beautiful. Diana had worked with a very rapid lens and had caught them atilt, in the full abandonment of the child to joy in motion. The shadowed, mysterious, pathetic outline of the cliff dwelling, the somber figure of the chief only enhanced the vivid sense of motion and glee in the children. The picture was intrinsically lovely even without that haunting sense of the desert's significance that made Diana's work doubly intriguing.

Enoch's depression dropped from him as if it had never been. "Oh, my dearest!" he murmured, "you did not forget, did you! It is your very self you have sent me, your own whimsical joyousness!"

Jonas tapped softly on the door.

"Come in, Jonas! Isn't it fine! How do you suppose a photograph can tell so much!"

"It's Miss Diana, it ain't the camera!" exclaimed Jonas, with a chuckle. "Na-che says she ain't never seen her when she couldn't smile. That buck looks like that fellow Wee-tah. Boss, do you remember the night he took me out to see that desert charm?"

"Tell me about it, Jonas. It will rest me more than sleep."

Enoch sank back in his chair where he could face the photograph, and Jonas established himself on the hearth rug and told his story with gusto. "I got a lot of faith in Injun charms," he said, when he had finished.

"They didn't get us our trip down Bright Angel," sighed Enoch, even as he smiled.

"We'll get it yet, see if we don't!" protested Jonas stoutly. "Na-che and I ain't give up for a minute. Don't laugh about it, boss."

"I'm not laughing," replied Enoch gravely. "I'm thinking how fortunate
I am in my friends, you being among those present, Jonas."

"As I always aim to be," agreed Jonas. "Do you think you could maybe sleep now, boss?"

"Yes, I think so, Jonas," and Enoch was as good as his word.

Nearly two weeks passed before the attack on the Department of the Interior was renewed. This time it was a deliberate assault on Enoch's honesty. The Alaskan decision served as a text. This was held up as a model of corruption and an example of the type of decision to be expected from a gambling lawyer. Followed a list of half a dozen of Enoch's rulings on water power control, on forest conservation and on coal mining, each one interpreted in the light of Enoch's mania for gambling. A man, the article said in closing, may, if he wishes, take chances with his own fortune or his own reputation, but what right has he to risk the public domain?

Several days went by after the appearance of this edifying story, but
Enoch made no move. Then the President summoned him to the White House.

"Enoch, shall you let that screed go unchallenged?" he demanded.

"What can I say, Mr. President?" asked Enoch. "And really, that sort of thing doesn't bother me much. It is only the usual political mud slinging. They are feeling me out. They want more than anything to get me into a newspaper controversy with them. I am going to be difficult to get."

"So I see!" retorted the President. "If you are not careful, old man, people will begin to think Brown is right and you are afraid."

Enoch laughed. "I am not afraid of him or any other skunk. But also, in spite of my red hair, I have a good deal of patience. I am waiting for our friends to trot out their whole bag of tricks."

"What do you hear from Fowler?" asked the President.

"Nothing. I am desperately sorry that he has got mixed up with Brown. He is a brilliant man and the party needs him. I hope his attitude toward me has made no break in the pleasant relationship between you and him, Mr. President."

"It did for a short time. But we got together over the Dutch Guiana matter and he's quite himself again. As you say, the party can ill afford to lose him. But a man who works with Brown I consider lost to the party, no matter if he keeps the name."

"Fowler used to like me," said Enoch, thoughtfully.

"He certainly did. But the reason that Fowler will always be a politician and not a statesman is that he is still blind to the fact that the biggest thing a man can do for himself politically is to forget himself and work for the party."

"You mean for the country, do you not?" asked Enoch.

"It should be the same thing. If Fowler can get beyond himself, he'll be a statesman. But he's fifty and characters solidify at fifty. He's been a first rate Secretary of State, because he's a first rate international lawyer, because his tact is beyond reproach and because he is forced by the nature of his work to think nationally and not personally."

"I'm sorry he's taken up with Brown," repeated Enoch. "There never was such a dearth of good men in national politics before."

"I've known him for many years," the President said thoughtfully, "and I never knew him to do a dishonest thing. He's full of horse sense. I've heard rumors that in his early days in the Far West he got in with a bad crowd, but he threw them off and any one that knew details has decently forgotten them. I've tried several times to speak to him about this new alliance but although he's never shown temper as he did that night when you were here, I get nowhere with him. His ideas for the party are sane and sound and constructive."

"You mean for the country, do you not, sir?" asked Enoch again with a smile.

The older man smiled too. "Hanged if I don't mean both!" he exclaimed.

"What do you think of Havisham as presidential material?" asked Enoch.

"Too good-natured! A splendid fellow but not quite enough chin! By the way, I understand you refused to commit yourself to him the other day."

Enoch rose with a sigh. "Life to some people seems to be a simple aye! aye! nay! nay! proposition. It never has been to me. Each problem of my life presents many facets, and the older I grow the more I realize that most of my decisions concerning myself have been made for one facet and not for all. This time I'm trying to make a multiple decision, as it were."

"I think I understand," said the Chief executive. "Good night, Enoch."

And Enoch went home to the waiting Jonas.

CHAPTER XVII

REVENGE IS SWEET

"And then, after that day on the Colorado was ended, after the agony of toil, the wrestling with death while our little boats withstood the shock of destiny itself, oh, then, the wonder and the peace of the night's camp. Rest! Rest at last!"—Enoch's Diary.

January slipped swiftly by and February, with its alternate rain and snow came on. The splendid mental and physical poise that Enoch had brought back with him from the Canyon stood him in good stead under the pressure of office business which never had been so heavy. One morning, late in February, Cheney came to see the Secretary.

"Well, Mr. Cheney, have you made your discovery?" asked Enoch.

Cheney nodded slowly. "But I didn't make it until last night, Mr. Huntingdon. I've followed up all sorts of leads that landed me nowhere. Last night, a newspaper reporter came to my house. He's with the News now, but he used to be with Brown. He came round to learn something about our men finding gold in the Grand Canyon. He wanted the usual fool thing, an expression of opinion from me as Director. As soon as he let slip that he'd been on the Brown papers, I began to question him and I found that he'd been fired because he'd refused to go out to Arizona and follow up your vacation trip. But, he said, two weeks ago they started another fellow on the job."

Enoch did not stir by so much as an eye wink.

"I thought you ought to know this, although, personally, it may be a matter of indifference to you."

Enoch nodded. "And what are your conclusions, Mr. Cheney?"

"That Brown is determined to discredit the Department of the Interior and you, until you are ousted and a man in sympathy with his Mexican policy is put in."

"I agree with you, entirely. And what are your plans?"

"I shall stick by my Bureau until we lick him. I haven't the slightest desire to desert my Chief. When I thought it was I they were after, I felt differently."

"Thanks, Mr. Cheney! Will you give me the name of the reporter of whom you were speaking."

"James C. Capp. He's not a bad chap, I think."

Enoch nodded and Cheney took his departure. There were several important conferences after this which Enoch cleared off rapidly and with his usual efficiency. When, however, Jonas announced luncheon, Abbott asked for a little delay.

"Here is an interesting item from this morning's Brown," he said.
Enoch read the clipping carefully.

"The visitor to El Tovar, the rim hotel of the Grand Canyon receives some curious impressions of our governmental prerogatives. Recently a government expedition down the Colorado was too well equipped with spirits and had some severe smash-ups. Two of the men became disgusted and quit, but nothing daunted, Milton, the leader took on two fugitives from justice in Utah and proceeded on his way. A week later, however, there was a complete smash-up both moral and material. The boats were lost and the expedition disbanded. The expensive equipment lies in the bottom of the Colorado. So much for the efficiency and morale of the U. S. Geological Survey."

Enoch laughed, but there was an unpleasant twist to his mouth as he did it.

"Abbott," he said, "will you please find out if Brown is in New York. Wherever he is, I am going to see him, immediately and I want you to go with me. No, don't be alarmed! There will be no personal violence, yet."

The locating of the newspaper publisher was a simple task. An hour after lunch, Charley reported Brown as in his New York office.

"Very well," said Enoch, "telegraph him that we will meet him at his office at nine to-night. We will take the three o'clock train and return at midnight."

It was not quite nine o'clock when Enoch and Charley entered Hancock Brown's office. The building was buzzing with newspaper activities, but the publisher's office was quiet. A sleepy office attendant was awaiting them. With considerable ceremony he ushered the two across the elaborate reception room and throwing open a door, said:

"The Secretary of the Interior, sir."

A small man, with a Van Dyke beard and gentle brown eyes crossed the room with his hand outstretched.

"Mr. Huntingdon! this is a pleasure and an honor!"

"It is neither, sir," said Enoch, giving no heed to the outstretched hand.

Brown raised his eyebrow. "Will you be seated, Mr. Huntingdon?"

"Not in your office, sir. Mr. Brown, I have endured from your hands that which no man would think to make another endure." Enoch's beautiful voice was low but its resonance filled the office. His eyes were like blue ice. "I have remained silent, for reasons of my own, under your personal attacks on me, but now I have come to tell you that the attacks on the Department of the Interior and on my personal life must cease."

Hancock Brown looked at Enoch with gentle reproach in his eyes.
"Surely you don't want to muzzle the press, Mr. Huntingdon?"

"We're not speaking of the press," returned Enoch, "I have sincere admiration for the press of this country."

Brown flushed a little at this. "I shall continue on exactly the line
I have laid down," he said quietly.

"If," said Enoch, clearly, "Miss Allen is brought into your publication again either directly or by implication, I shall come to your office, Mr. Brown, and shoot you. Abbott, you are the witness to what I say and to the conversation that has led to it."

"I am, Mr. Secretary," said Charley. "And if for any reason you should be unable to attend to the matter, I would do the shooting for you."

"This will make interesting copy," said Brown.

"I have within my control," Enoch went on, steadily, "the means to force you to cease to put out lies concerning the Department of the Interior and me. I seriously consider not waiting for your next move, but of making use of this in retaliation for what you have done to me. As to that, I have reached no conclusion. This is all I have to say."

Enoch turned on his heel and closely followed by Charley left the office. As they entered the taxicab, Abbott said, "Gee, that did me more good than getting my salary doubled! I thought you were going to use this morning's item as a text!"

"You'd better have Cheney prepare a reply to that, for me to sign," said Enoch and he lapsed into silence. They went directly to their train and to bed and the next morning office routine began promptly at nine as usual.

February slipped into March. One cold, rainy morning Abbott, with a broad smile on his face, came in to take dictation.

"What's happened, Abbott?" asked Enoch. "Some one left you some money?"

"Better than that!" exclaimed Charley. "I dined at the Indian
Commissioner's last night and whom do you think I took out? Miss
Allen!"

A slow red suffused Enoch's forehead and died out. "When did she return to Washington?" he asked, quietly.

"A day or so ago. She is studying at the Smithsonian. She says she'll be here two months."

"She is well, I hope," said Enoch.

"She looks simply glorious!"

Enoch nodded. "Instead of dictating letters, this morning, Abbott, suppose you start the visitors this way. Somehow, the thought of wading through that pile, right now, sickens me."

Charley's face showed surprise, but he rose at once. "Mr. Cheney's been waiting for an hour out there with an interesting chap from the western field. Perhaps you'd better see them before I let the committee from California in."

Cheney came first. "Mr. Secretary, one of my men is in from Arizona. He is very much worked up over Brown's last effort and he's got so much to say that I thought you'd better meet him. Incidentally, he's a very fine geologist."

"Bring him in," said Enoch.

The Director swung open the door and moving slowly on a cane, Milton came into the room.

"Mr. Secretary, Mr. Milton," said Cheney. "He—" then he stopped with his mouth open for Milton had turned white and the Secretary was laughing.

"Judge!" gasped Milton.

Enoch left his desk and crossing the room seized both Milton's hands, cane and all.

"Milton, old boy, there's no man in the world I'd rather see than you."

"Why, are you two old friends?" asked Cheney.

"Intimate friends!" exclaimed Enoch. "Cheney, I'll remember the favor all my life, if you'll leave me alone with Milton for a little while."

"Why certainly! Certainly! I didn't know Milton was trying to spring a surprise on you. I'll be just outside when I'm needed."

"Sit down, Milton," said Enoch, soberly, when they were alone. "Don't hold my deception against me. I was not spying. It was the blindest fate in the world that brought me to the Canyon and to your expedition."

Milton's freckled face was still pale. "Hold it against you! Of course not! But you've rattled me, Judge,—Mr. Secretary."

"No one but Abbott knows of my trip and he in baldest outline. Keep my secret for me, old man, as long as you possibly can. I suppose it will leak out eventually."

Milton was staring at Enoch. "Think of all we said and did!" he gasped.

"Especially what we did! Oh, it was glorious! Glorious!" cried Enoch.
"It did all for me that you thought it might, Milton. Do you remember?"

"Yes, I remember. And I remember telling you my personal ambitions!
I'd rather have cut out my tongue!"

"And once you all told what you thought of Enoch Huntingdon!" The Secretary burst out laughing, and Milton joined him with a great "Ha! ha!"

"So you were the fugitive from justice, that joined my drunken crew," chuckled Milton, wiping the tears from his eyes. "And I came over to try to put myself straight as to that with the Big Boss!"

"The best part of it all is that excepting Abbott and Jonas and now you, not a living soul knew it was the Secretary of the Interior who took the trip."

"Of course, there was Miss Allen!" added Milton. "Don't forget her!
But she's as safe as the Canyon itself at keeping a secret."

"How about the reporter who's said to be on my trail?" asked Enoch.

"He's prowling round on the river, running up an expense account twenty-three hours and making up lies on the twenty-fourth. Capp told Mr. Cheney that this reporter, whose name is Ames, I believe, was to write nothing until his return to New York. Mr. Secretary, can't something be done to shut him off?"

"Yes," replied Enoch, sternly. The two men were silent for a moment, then Enoch said with a sudden lighting of his blue eyes. "Where are you stopping, old man."

"I haven't located the cheapest hotel in Washington yet. When I do, that'll be where I'll stop. You remember we used to speak our minds on the salaries the Department paid."

"I remember," chuckled Enoch. "Well, Milton, the cheapest stopping place in Washington is over at Judge Smith's place. I believe you have the address. By the way, have you seen Jonas?"

"No, but I want to," replied Milton.

Enoch pressed the button, and Jonas' black head popped in at the door.
As his eyes fell on Milton, they began to bulge.

"The Lord have mercy! How come you didn't tell me, boss—" he began.
Then he rushed across the room and shook hands. "Mr. Milton, I'd
rather see you than my own brother. Did you find any pieces of the
Na-che?"

"No, Jonas, but I've got some fine pictures in my trunk of you shooting rapids in the old boat."

"No! My Lordy! Where's your trunk, Mr. Milton?"

"Jonas," said Enoch, "you get Mr. Milton's trunk check and—but he says he's going to a hotel."

Jonas looked at Milton, indignantly. "Going to a hotel! How come you to try to insult the boss' and my house, Mr. Milton? Huh! Hotel! Huh!"

He took the check and left the room, still snorting. Milton rose. "I mustn't intrude any longer, Mr. Secretary."

"Luckily I'm free, to-night," said Enoch. "We'll have a great talk.
Ask Cheney to come in, please."

"Mr. Cheney," asked Enoch, when Milton had gone, "do you think you could find out whether or not that fellow Ames has returned from Arizona?"

"Yes, we can do that without much trouble. Was Milton able to straighten matters up with you, Mr. Secretary?"

"He didn't have to. I'm an ardent admirer of Milton's. He's going to stop at my house, while he's in Washington. Why don't you take him out of the field and begin to groom him for your job, Mr. Cheney? He should be ready for it in a few years."

Cheney nodded. "He's a good man. I'll think it over. And I will telephone Abbott about Ames."

It was fortunate for Enoch that Milton was with him that evening, for the knowledge that Diana was in Washington and that he could not see her was quite as agonizing as he had suspected it would be. Yet it was impossible not to enjoy Milton's continual surprise and pleasure at the change in the Judge's identity and it was a real delight to make once more the voyage to the Ferry not only for its own sake but because with the landing at the Ferry came much conversation on the part of Jonas and Milton about Diana. But Enoch did not sleep well that night and reached his office in the morning, heavy-eyed and grim.

Abbott, standing beside the Secretary's desk was even more grim. "Mr. Cheney was too slow getting us the information about Ames," he said, pointing to the newspaper that lay on the desk.

Enoch lighted a cigar very deliberately, then began to read. It was a detailed account of the vacation trip of the Secretary of the Interior. It was written with devilish ingenuity, purporting to show that Enoch in his hours of relaxation was a thorough-going good fellow. The account said that Enoch had picked up a mining outfit made up of two notorious gamblers. That the three had then annexed two Indian bucks and a squaw and had slowly made their way into the Grand Canyon, ostensibly to placer mine, actually to play cards and hunt. The story was witty, and contained some good word pictures of the Canyon country. It was subtle in its wording, but it was from first to last an unforgettable smirching of Enoch's character.

Enoch laid the paper down. "Abbott," he said slowly, "the time has come to act. I want Mr. Fowler, Mr. Brown, this fellow Ames, or whatever reporter wrote the first article about me to come to my office tomorrow afternoon at five o'clock. If it is necessary to ask the President for authority to bring them here, I shall ask for it."

Abbott's eyes glowed. "Thank God, at last!" he exclaimed. "Shall I prepare a denial of this stuff."

"No! At least they have left Miss Allen out. We may be thankful and let it stand at that. Now, start the procession in, Abbott. I'm in no mood to dictate letters."

Enoch threw himself into the day's work with burning intensity. About three o'clock, he told Abbott to deny all visitors that he might devote himself to an Alaskan report.

"Mr. Milton just rushed in. Will you let him have a moment?" asked
Charley.

"Yes, but—" here Milton came in unceremoniously.

"Mr. Huntingdon," he said, "I've just finished lunching with Miss Allen. We are both nearly frantic over this morning's paper. You must let us publish the truth."

"No," thundered Enoch. "You know the Brown papers. If they discovered what Miss Allen did for us all at the Ferry, how she led me back to El Tovar, what would they do with it?"

Abbott looked from Enoch to Milton in astonishment. Milton started to speak, but Enoch interrupted, "You are, of course, thinking that I should have thought of that long before, when I asked her to let me go back to El Tovar with her. But I didn't! I had been in the Canyon long enough to have forgotten what could be made of my adventure by bad minds. I was a cursed fool, moving in a fool's paradise and I must take my punishment. If ever—"

Jonas opened the door from the outer office. "The President, Mr.
Secretary," he said.

Enoch started toward the telephone, but Jonas spoke impatiently—"No!
No! not that."

"The President of what, Jonas!" asked Abbott.

Jonas lifted his chest and flung the door wide. "The President of the
United States of America," he announced, and the President came in.

Enoch rose. "Don't let me disturb you, Mr. Secretary. I can wait," said the chief executive.

"We were quite finished, Mr. President. May I, I wonder, introduce Mr. Milton to you, the geologist whom Brown said headed the drunken expedition down the Colorado."

The President looked keenly at Milton as they shook hands. "Mr.
Huntingdon took great pains to deny that story, publicly," he said.
"Can't you persuade him, Mr. Milton, to do as much for himself, to-day."

"That's exactly why I'm here, Mr. President!" exclaimed Milton. "But he's absolutely obdurate!"

Jonas came into the room and spoke to Enoch softly. "Mr. Fowler's office is on the outside wire, Mr. Secretary. I wouldn't connect in here while the President was here. Mr. Fowler wants to speak to you, hisself, before he catches a train."

"I'll go into your office to get it, Abbott," said Enoch. "May I detain you, a moment, Mr. President? Mr. Fowler wants to speak to me."

The President raised his eyebrows with a little smile. "Yes, if you tell me what's happened to Fowler."

Enoch's smile was twisted as he went out. Milton immediately began to speak.

"Mr. President, can't you make Mr. Huntingdon tell about his vacation?"

The chief executive shook his head. "Perhaps it's not best. Perhaps he did have a lapse into his boyhood habits. Not that it makes any difference to me."

"No! No! Mr. President. I know—" began Charley.

But Milton interrupted, "Mr. President, he was with me and part of the time Miss Diana Allen, a wonderful woman, was with us. And Mr. Huntingdon is afraid they'll turn their dirty tongues on her."

The President's face lighted as if he had received good news. "Really!
With you!"

"Yes, with me for a week and more. And I want to tell you, sir, that for nerve and endurance and skill in a boat and as a pal and friend under life and death conditions I've never seen any one to surpass him. He scorned cards while he was with us. We had no liquor. We admired him beyond words and had no idea who he was."

"No!" cried the President, delightedly. "Why, there must be a real story in this! Go on with it, Milton! Enoch," as the Secretary came in, "I'm winning the truth out of your old cruising pal, here!"

"I can't help it, Mr. Huntingdon!" cried Milton as Enoch turned toward him indignantly. "Miss Diana said this noon that if you didn't tell the story, she would."

"There you are!" exclaimed the President. "Wouldn't you know she'd take it that way? And on second thoughts I think I'd rather hear the story from her than any one else."

"But she can't tell you about the voyage, sir," protested Milton.

"That's true," agreed the President. "I shall have to arrange one of my choice little dinners and have you and Miss Diana Allen there to pad out the Secretary's account." Then, with a sudden change of voice, he walked over to Enoch and put his hand on the younger man's shoulder. Abbott nodded to Milton and the two slipped out.

"You are a bit twisted about women, dear old man! Come, you must let
Milton put out the right kind of a denial of Brown's story."

"Brown will put the denial out for himself," said Enoch sternly. "I've reached my limit. Mr. President, I have asked Mr. Fowler, Brown, and the reporter who's been maligning me to come to my office to-morrow afternoon. I think I shall be able to settle this matter. I would perhaps have done it before but I could not settle in my own mind just how I wanted to go about it. Fowler refused to come until I told him the purpose of the meeting."

"And you know now how to end this miserable affair?" asked the
President, wonderingly.

"Yes," replied Enoch. "And now, Mr. President, what can I do for you?"

"Exactly what you are doing, Enoch. Clear up this disgusting matter."

"You came to see me for that, sir?"

The President smiled. "You do not seem to realize that a great many people, people who never saw you, are deeply troubled about you. You do not belong to yourself but to us, Mr. Secretary."

"Perhaps you are right, sir," said Enoch humbly. "I thank you most sincerely for coming."

"Will you come to me as soon as you have finished, to-morrow, Enoch?"

"Yes, Mr. President! Abbott, will you show the President out?" Then when Charley had returned, he said, "Abbott, the Secretary of State will be here. How about Brown?"

"He will be here," replied Charley. "I used the President's name pretty freely, but I think I finally got him curious enough and worried enough."

Enoch nodded. "Abbott, for the first time since I've been in this office, I'm going to quit early and go for a ride."

"It's what you ought to do every day," said Abbott.

"Look here, Abbott, if I get this beastly matter settled to-morrow, I want you to go away for two months' vacation."

"Well," said Charley, doubtfully, "if you get it settled!"

"Don't let that worry you," said Enoch grimly as he pulled on his overcoat and left the office. "I'll settle it."

Promptly at three o'clock, the next day, Abbott ushered three men into the Secretary's office. Enoch rose and bowed to Secretary Fowler, to Hancock Brown, and to Ames, the reporter. The last was a clear cut young fellow with a nose a little too sharp and eyes set a trifle too close together.

"If you will be seated, gentlemen, I'll tell you the object of this call upon your time. Mr. Abbott, please remain in the room.

"On the third of November, Mr. Brown, you published in one of your evening papers an article about me written under your direction by Ames. The facts in that article were in the main true. The deductions you drew from them were vilely false. It is not, Mr. Brown, a pleasant knowledge for a man to carry through life that his mother was what my mother was. I have suffered from that knowledge as it is obviously quite beyond your power to comprehend. I say obviously, because no men with decency or the most ordinary imagination would have dared to harrow a man's secret soul as you harrowed mine. Even in my many battles with Tammany, my unfortunate birth has been respected. It remained for you to write the unwriteable.

"As for my gambling, that too is true, to a certain extent. I have played cards perhaps half a dozen times in as many years. I was taught to play by the Luigi whom you interviewed. I have a gambler's instinct, but since I was fourteen I have fought as men can fight and latterly I have been winning the battle.

"Your insinuations as to my adult relationship to the underworld and to women are lies. And your dragging Miss Allen into the dirty tale was a gratuitous insult which it is fortunate for both of you, her father has not yet seen. It happened that while I was on the vacation recently in which you have taken so impertinent an interest, that I joined the camp of two miners. One of them, Curly Field, told me an interesting story. He probably would not have told me had I not been calling myself Smith and had he not discovered that I am a lawyer."

The smile suddenly disappeared from Brown's face.

"That fellow Curly always was a liar," he said.

Enoch shrugged his shoulders. "You should be a good judge of liars,
Brown. Curly told me that Mr. Fowler was his brother-in-law's partner."

Fowler spoke, his face drawn. "Spare me that story, Mr. Huntingdon, I beg of you."

"Did you beg Brown to spare me?" demanded Enoch, sternly.

"Pshaw!" exclaimed Brown, "that is old stuff. It couldn't be proved that we had anything to do with it."

"No?" queried Enoch. "What would you say to my taking the fund left Judge Smith by Curly and employing a first-class lawyer and a detective to go on the trail of those mis-appropriated funds?" Brown did not answer and Enoch went on: "Curly's idea was to get even with Fowler. It was, in fact, a type of mania with him. He told me that for years he had been in possession of facts concerning certain doings of Brown and Fowler in Mexico, which if they were properly blazed across the country would utterly ruin both of them. He wanted to put me in possession of those facts."

Suddenly Fowler rose and went to stand at a window, his back to the group around the Secretary's desk. Enoch continued, clearly and firmly:

"I could scarcely believe my good fortune. Here was my chance to pay
Brown in kind."

"Did Curly give you the facts?" asked Brown, who had grown a little white around the mouth.

Enoch did not heed him. "I asked Curly if the story was a reflection on these two men morally or financially. He said, morally; that it was bad beyond words. At this point I weakened and told him that I had no desire to display any man's weakness in the market place. And Curly laughed at me and asked me what mercy Fowler had shown his brother? But still I could not make up my mind to take those facts from Curly."

Mr. Brown eased back in his chair with a sneering smile. Young Ames sat sickly pale, his mouth open.

"But when I left him," the calm, rich voice went on, "I told him that he could write down the story and send it to my house in Washington. Now the chances are that having drifted so many years without telling it, he would have drifted on indefinitely. But fate intervened. Curly went to the Mexican border. Certain gentlemen have seen to it that the Mexican border is not safe. Curly was shot and he made it his death-bed duty to dictate this delectable tale to a friend. In due course of time, the document reached my house in Washington, and here it is!" He tapped the upper drawer of his desk.

There was utter silence in the room while Enoch lighted a cigarette.

"Have you told any one the er—tale?" demanded Brown, hoarsely. "I can prove that not a word of it is true!"

"Can you?" Enoch squared round on him. "Are you willing to risk having the story told with the idea of disproving it, afterward? Isn't your system of scandal mongering built on the idea that mud once slung always leaves a stain in the public mind? And Curly was an eye witness. He is dead, but I do not believe all the other eye witnesses are dead. At any rate—"

Brown suddenly leaned forward in his chair. "Mr. Huntingdon, I'll give you my check for $100,000, if you will give me that document and swear to keep your mouth shut."

"Your bribe is not large enough," Enoch answered tersely.

"Five hundred thousand! I'll agree to make a public retraction of everything I said about you and to work for you with all the power of my newspapers."

"Not enough!" repeated Enoch, watching Brown's white face, keenly.

"What do you want?" demanded the newspaper publisher.

"First," Enoch threw his cigarette away, "I want Secretary Fowler to break with you, absolutely and completely."

"Curly can't implicate me, in that Mexican affair!" cried Fowler.
"Why, my whole attitude was one of disapproval and disgust. I told
Brown over and over, that he was a fool and after the shooting I broke
with him, absolutely, for years. I am—"

Enoch interrupted. "Brown, was Fowler in on the trouble?"

"No!" replied Brown, sullenly.

"I'm very glad to hear it," Enoch exclaimed. "Mr. Fowler, as far as I am concerned all that I learned from Field regarding you is a closed book and forgotten if you will break with Brown."

"I'd break with him, gladly, if he'd cease to blackmail me about the Field matter," said Fowler. "Good God! How many of us are there who've not committed sins that we never forgive ourselves?"

"None of us!" said Enoch. "Mr. Fowler, why did you break with me?"

"Didn't you do your best to undermine me with the President? Didn't you go to Ambassador Johns-Eaton and tell him—" Here, catching a curious flickering of young Ames' eyelids, Fowler interrupted himself to demand, "Or was that more of your dirty work, Ames?"

"Answer, Ames!" Enoch's voice was not to be ignored.

"Brown paid me for it," muttered Ames.

Fowler groaned and looked at Enoch, who was lighting a fresh cigarette.

"Will you agree, Brown, to an absolute break with Fowler and no come backs?" asked Enoch.

"Yes," said Brown eagerly. "What else?"

"You are to go out of the newspaper business."

There was another silence. Then Brown said, "I'll not do it!"

"Very well," returned Enoch, "then the Mexican affair will be published as Curly has written it with all the attendant circumstances."

Again there was silence, with all the eyes in the room focused on the pale, gentle face, opposite Enoch. The noise of street traffic beat against the windows. Telephones sounded remotely in the outer office. For ten minutes this was all. Then Brown in a husky voice said,

"Very well! Give me the document!"

"Not at all," returned Enoch, coolly. "This document goes into my safety deposit box. In case of my death, it will be left to responsible parties. When you die, it will be destroyed. I am not a rich man, Mr. Brown, but I shall devote a part of my income to having you watched; watched lest indirectly and by the underhand methods you know so well you again attempt to influence public opinion. After to-morrow, you are through."

"To-morrow! Impossible!" gasped Brown.

"Nothing is impossible except decency to a man of your capacity," said
Enoch. "To-morrow you publish a complete denial of your lies about me
and this Department and then you are no longer a newspaper publisher.
That is all I have to say to you, Mr. Brown." He pressed a button,
"Jonas, please show Mr. Brown out."

Jonas' black eyes snapped. "How come you think I'd soil my shadow letting that viper trail it, boss? I never disobeyed you before, Mr. Secretary, but that trash can show hisself out!" and Jonas withdrew to his own office, while Brown, shrugging his shoulders, opened and closed the door for himself.

Ames would have followed him, but Enoch said, "One moment, Ames! What assurance are you going to give me that you will keep your mouth shut as to what you've heard this afternoon?"

"I give you my word," began Ames, eagerly.

Enoch raised his hand. "Don't be silly, Ames. Do you know that I can make serious legal trouble for you for your part in libelling me and the Department?"

"But Brown said his lawyers—"

"Brown's lawyers? Do you think Brown's lawyers will fight for you now?"

"No, Mr. Secretary," muttered the reporter.

"Very well! Keep your mouth shut and you'll have no trouble from this, but let me trace one syllable to you and I shall have no bowels of compassion. One word more, Ames. You are clever or Brown would not have used you as he did. Get a job on a clean paper. There is no finer profession in the world than that of being a good newspaper man. Newspaper men wield a more potent influence in our American life than any other single factor. Use your talent nobly, not ignobly, Ames. And above all things never tell a vile tale about any man's mother. Don't do it, Ames!" and here Enoch's voice for the first time broke.

Ames, his hands trembling, picked up his hat. His face had turned an agonized red. Biting his lips, he made his way blindly from the room.

"And now," said Enoch, "if you'll leave Mr. Fowler and me alone for a few minutes, Abbott, I'll appreciate it." As the door closed after Charley he said, "Sit down, Fowler. I'm sorry to have put you through such an ordeal, but I knew no other way."

"I deserve it, I guess." Fowler sat down wearily. "I was an unlicked whelp in my youth, Huntingdon, but though I got into rotten company, I never did anything actually crooked."

"I believe you," Enoch nodded. "Let the guiltless throw the first stone. We both have paid in our heart's blood, I guess, for all that we wrought in boyhood."

"A thousand-fold," agreed Fowler. "Huntingdon, let me try to express my regret for—"

"Don't!" interrupted Enoch. "If you are half as eager as I am to forget it all you'll never mention it even to yourself. But I do want to talk candidly to you about our political aspirations. Mr. Fowler, I don't want to go to the White House! I have a number of reasons that I don't think would interest you particularly. But I want to go back to the Senate when I finish here. Fowler, if you were not so jealous and so personal in your ambitions I would be glad to see you get the party nomination."

Fowler's fine, tired face expressed incredulity mingled with bewilderment.

Enoch went on, "You and I are talking frankly as men rarely talk and as we probably never shall again. So perhaps you will forgive me if I make some personal comments. It seems to me that the only permanent satisfaction a man gets out of public life is the feeling that he has added in greater or less degree to the sum total of his country's progress and stability. I think your weakness is that you place yourself first and your country second."

"No!" said Fowler, eagerly. "You don't understand me, Huntingdon! My own aim in life is to make my service to my country compensate for the selfishness and foolishness of my youth. My methods may, as you say, have been open to misinterpretation. But God knows my impulses have been disinterested. And you must realize now, Huntingdon, that it has been the business of certain people to see that you and I misunderstand each other."

"That's true," said Enoch, thoughtfully. "Well, I doubt if that is possible again."

"It is absolutely impossible!" exclaimed Fowler. "I am yours to command!"

"No, you're not!" laughed Enoch. "Brown is finished and you're your own man. I look for great things from you, Fowler. I wanted to tell you that and to tell you that in me you have no rival."

"No," Fowler spoke slowly, "no, because no one can win, no one deserves to win the place in the hearts of America that you have. Huntingdon, your kindness and courtesy is the most exquisite punishment you could visit upon me."

Enoch looked quickly from the Secretary of State to the opposite wall. But he did not see the wall. He saw a crude camp in the bottom of the Canyon. He heard the epic rush of waters and the sigh of eternal winds and he saw again the picture of Harden fighting his way up the menacing walls to rescue Forrester. It seemed to Fowler that the silence had lasted five minutes before Enoch turned to him with his flashing smile.

"We are friends, Fowler, are we not?"

The older man rose and held out his hand. "Yes, Huntingdon, as long as we live," and he slowly left the room.

Enoch sank back on his chair, wearily, and opening the top drawer of his desk, took out the familiar envelope. The seal was still unbroken! He placed it in a heavy document envelope, sealed this and wrote a memorandum on it, and dropped it on the desk. Then for a long time he sat staring into the dusk. At last, as if the full realization of the loneliness of his life had swept over him he dropped his head on his desk with a groan.

"O Diana! Diana!"

He did not hear the door open softly. Abbott with Ames just behind him, stood on the threshold. The two young men looked at each other, abashed, and Abbott would have withdrawn, but Ames went doggedly into the room.

"Mr. Secretary!" he said, hesitatingly.

Enoch sat erect. Abbott flashed on the light. "Mr. Ames insists on seeing you again, Mr. Huntingdon," Charley spoke hesitatingly.

"Come in, Ames," said Enoch, coldly. "Abbott, see that this envelope is put in a safe place."

Abbott left them alone. Ames advanced to the desk, where he stood, his face eager.

"Mr. Secretary, you've been so decent. You,—you—well, you're such a man! I—I want to tell you something but I don't know how you'll take it. The truth is, I believe that I could prove that Luigi's mistress was not your mother!"

Enoch clutched his desk and his face turned to stone. "Don't you think you went far enough with that matter before?" he asked sternly.

Ames stumbled on, doggedly. "This last trip out West I just thought I'd go down to Brown's early stamping grounds and see what kind of a reputation he had there. I was getting a little fed up on him and I thought it couldn't hurt me to have a little something on him against a rainy day, as it were. You see I never did know what this Curly Field stuff was, but it didn't take me long to run that story down, even if it was a generation old. Of course, I don't know what Curly told you, but certainly the official reports of the Field scandal never proved anything on either Brown or Fowler."

Enoch moved impatiently. But young Ames, standing rigidly before his desk exclaimed, "Just a moment longer, please, Mr. Secretary! Some of these facts you know unless Field was so obsessed with the thought of his brother's alleged wrongs that he did not mention them, but I'll state them anyhow. The mining and smelting property that caused the whole row was originally owned by an old timer named Post who struck it rich late in life, married and died soon after, leaving everything to his son, a little chap named Arthur. This is the child Field was supposed to have robbed. Little Arthur died a couple of years after Field's suicide but by that time there was nothing left of the property and no one paid any attention to the child's death. But in reading old Post's will, something piqued my curiosity. In the event of Arthur's death, the property was to go to old Post's baby nephew, Huntingdon Post."

Enoch knit his brows quickly but he did not speak and Ames went on, "Being, of course, in a suspicious state of mind, it struck me as an unusual coincidence that this child should have died, too. So I made some inquiries. It was difficult to trace the facts because there were no relatives. Old Post seemed to have been just a solitary prowler, coming from nowhere, like so many of the old timers. But finally, I found an old fellow in the back country who had known old Post. He told me that little Hunt Post, as he called him, had been killed with his father and mother in a railway accident. I asked where they got the child's name and he said the mother's name was Huntingdon. He knew her when she was a girl living alone with her father in the Kanab country, north of the Grand Canyon. He said her father died when she was ten or eleven and a family named Smith sort of brought her up and she was known as Mary Smith. But when she married, she named the boy after her father who was a raw boned, red headed man named Enoch Huntingdon."

Enoch gave Ames a long steady look and the younger man relaxed a little.

"Now," Ames went on, "knowing Brown as I do, I wonder if little Hunt Post, who, like his mother was red headed and blue eyed, was burned up in a railroad accident. Did Field speak of the child?"

Enoch pressed the desk button and Abbott came. "Give me the Field envelope, please, Abbott."

When the envelope was in his hands, Enoch tore the flap up and began to read the close written pages. When he had finished, he put the manuscript back with steady hands. "Most of the letter," he said quietly, "is taken up by the recital of Brown's shady moral career in Mexico. At the end he speaks of a Mexican woman with red hair and violet eyes who lived with Brown for some months. She left to act as nurse to little Hunt Post. Some time after the railroad accident, Curly was the unsuspected witness to a secret meeting between this Anita and Brown. The woman demanded money and Brown demanded proof that little Hunt was dead. The conference ended only when Anita produced a box containing the child's body. Curly did not know how much Brown paid her or where she went."

Ames gave an ugly laugh. "Hoist with his own petard! Think of him starting me after the Luigi scandal!"

"Tell Abbott what you've just told me," said Enoch.

He did not stir while Ames repeated the story. Charley's eyes blazed. When Ames finished, Charley started to speak but the young reporter interrupted.

"Mr. Secretary, I want you to let me tie up the loose ends for you.
We've got to put the screws on Luigi and I'll take another trip West."

"Wait a bit!" exclaimed Charley. "Mr. Secretary, I'm going to claim that long deferred vacation. Let me spend it with Ames clearing this matter up for you."

Enoch drew a quick breath. "When could you begin, you two?"

"Now!" the two young men said together.

Enoch smiled. "Wait until to-morrow. I've more important work to-night, and I want to go over every detail with you before you start out. In the meantime, Abbott, guard this envelope as you would your life."

"What won't we do to Brown!" exclaimed Charley.

"I've punished Brown," said Enoch. "He'll never hurt me again. As soon as this thing is cleared, we'll forget him."

Again Ames laughed. "Believe me, he's going to be good the rest of his life. Think of your reading that stuff about little Hunt, Mr. Secretary, and never realizing its import!"

"God knows, I didn't want to read the story of another man's ignominy!" said Enoch, earnestly, "and I never would have, had not—" he paused, then said as if to himself, "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform!"

The two younger men stood in silence. Then Enoch said, "Thank you,
Ames, I'll see you at nine o'clock to-morrow morning. Abbott, get the
White House for me and then go home to dinner."

A few minutes later Enoch was speaking to the President. "I have to report victory, Mr. President, all along the line. . . . Yes, sir, it's a long story and I want to tell it to you to-morrow, not to-night. Mr. President, I'm going to find Miss Allen and dine with her, to-night, if I have to take her from a state function. . . . Yes, you may chuckle if you wish. I thought you'd understand. . . . Thank you! Good night, Mr. President."

Enoch hung up the receiver and sat looking at the floor, his face as white as marble. For five minutes he did not stir, then he heaved a great sigh and the tense muscles of his face relaxed. He tossed back the hair from his forehead, sprang to his feet and began to pace the floor. After a short time of this, he rang for Jonas.

"Jonas, do you know where Miss Diana is stopping?"

Jonas did not seem to hear the question. He stood staring at Enoch with eyes that seemed to start from their sockets.

"My Lordy, boss, what's happened? You look like I never hoped to see you look!" Then he paused for he could not express what he saw in the Secretary's shining eyes.

"Jonas, old man, I've had the greatest news of my life, but I can't tell even you, first."

"Miss Diana!" ejaculated Jonas. "Boss, she's at the Larson; one of these boarding houses that calls themselves a name. Didn't I tell you Injun charms was strong? Tell me! Huh!"

"All right, Jonas! I won't be home to dinner. Better sit up for me though, for I'll want to talk to you."

"Did I ever not sit up for you?" demanded Jonas as he gave Enoch his coat.

Enoch paced the floor of the Larson while a slatternly maid went in search of Diana. When, a little pale and breathless, Diana appeared in the doorway, Enoch did not stir for a moment from under the chandelier. Nor did he speak. Diana gazed at him as if she never had seen him before. His eyes were blazing. His lips quivered. He was very pale.

Suddenly, tossing his hat and cane to a chair, he crossed the room. He tried to smile.

"Diana, have you seen your friend, the psychologist yet?"

"No, Enoch, but I have an appointment with him for next week."

Enoch seized her hands and held them both against his heart. "You need never see him, Diana, I have been made whole. I—" his voice broke hoarsely—"I have something to tell you. Diana, you are going to dine with me."

"Yes, Enoch!"

"Diana! Oh, how lovely you are! Diana, it's a wonderful night, with a full moon. I want you to walk with me to the Eastern Club. I have something to tell you. And while I'm telling you, no four walls must hem us in."

Diana, her great eyes shining in response to Enoch's, turned without a word and went back upstairs. She returned at once, clad for the walk. Enoch opened the street door and paused to look down into her face with a trembling smile. Then they descended the steps into the moonlight together.