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« YLOWER." AN EPISODE OF THE WEST. Little; FamJ?lo«6r they called her in the,c(", pany--the "Barncr Comedian Troupe," o< which she "IU. a member, Mies Franofs Flower would have- been nuuvh more correct and dignified, no doubt, but by far too stately an address, every ons agreed. Such a pretty little face Fan Flower had, with a look about, it which no one could resist and to which no manager could say nay. A gentle, diminu- tivejnouth, with its .infantile, pathetic underlip; -a. retrows^p,, a pair of soft appealing Gyps, whicfh had never a harsh gleam in them. Who Could resist Bitch a face ? And was she not like her name, with her dark-Line eyes, soft yellowy hair, and the fluted blue capfe-in"which she fluttered about, with a bird- like grace all her, own ? And how she could shrug thosQ pretty little shoulders every one will xemember who knew her. IV%ta ^nerally conceded that little Fan -Flower had; gained a, plncejon the stage more by reason of bar personal chann than from any marked histrionic ability, But abiliiy or the lack of it counted the same at the present epoch of the Barner Coinedians' for- tunes, for the company had failed upon the road. A few of the actors continued on the route further west- yardj liffe^ tQ San .Francisco by the hope of regain- ing success there. -Fan Flower was one of these, but all her. efforts to .secure a position proving vain, she tr set forth "again on the return route, discouraged .and sad at he^t, hoging to find a place, however insignifi- cant, in a company then^touring throngh Illinois, and thus earn her way back to-tfew York. Neair her, I; palace car, was seated one who had th;weHY sad face, with a sympathetic Interer III Its owner whioh at. Jast led to the proffer of Boaie-RMpectful attention. This was a gentleman :n the rrime oK I ife, ivhose complexion wis inibrowne-d hy contllued sojourn in the tropics. Until* Sve years -previoire lie had Spellt most of his time in battling the slings and arrows of outrageous fortnne, so when little Fan Flower told him of her chase after that fickle lady, he understood more thoroughly .than she knew. He read between the lines, and became more and more interested until, on Ùl third, day out, he found himself so deeply in love that. hasked her to marry him. Frances Flower, having been through a sea of troubles during the past season-for times had been hard all through the year—appreciated the sympathy and the honour he paid her. So, although like Juliet., she admonished him that this bud of love was too sudden in its growth, too rash, too like the lightning that. doth cease to be ere one can say it lightens," she, nevertheless, uttered not that baleful nay" which leaves all hope behind in the heart of the suitor. Luck had changed for him during 'the last five years, he d' tetl-> her minee and plantations had come iPltoïltis hands.' It was therefore rtot remark-1- abta-when, out on the plains; his ijiterefet in a ranch made It necessary for him to interrupt his journey at one of the "military posts, Here, under the care of the officers' wives in the fort, Fan Flower decided to await his:retu:rn; and see something of this phase °f Western life. • It was not, however, irntii Colonel palrfat spokff of-Egerton Livermore as one of the leading millionaires of the country, that the little actress discovered what a fortune dainty had stepped toward her out of the clouds of ill-luek. When Livermore returned to the fort it was to announce his intention to give a big time "down on the ranch. Thanksgiving was at hand, and what wore appropriate than a "husking" to be followed by a dance ? Of course the soldiers from the fort, with their Wives, would be present, for festivities thereabout was not so plentiful as to be declined, especially when led off by a man of Egerton Livermore's prestige. So little Miss Flower pulled one of her few fine dresses from her trunk and began to refurbish it for the occasion. When Egerton had proposed that she should visit -this wild spot., surrounded as it was by Indian tribes, Fan Flower had admitted to some feeling of timidity. Assured, however, that peaceable relations now existed, and being placed in a position where fre- quent opportunity occurred for familiar observation \of thesedreaded, redskins, fear merged into interest ,and amusement. On one pretext and another, various ^members of the tribe were constantly coming and ;gomg to and from the post, and Miss Flower soon found herself the object of their special regard. They how-hoWed among themselves over Little White they called her, natil pfrknoel -Fairfax warned her to beware, and related the story of an officer's wife who so captivated the heart of a Sioux Indian that he came to the fort one day with a pony, n two squaws, a dog, and a quantity of other merchan- dise, which he offered in exchange for the white man's squaw.. Among those who visited the fort was a young half-breed, who watched Fan Flower surreptitiously, but never talked of her as did the others. Harry Howe," said the colonel, "is the son of Colonel Henry Howe and a Cheyenne squaw. He was wall broughfc/up, and received a good education at a well-known academy in this West. But his roam- ing disposition asserted itself, and he joined a band of Cheyennes. He occasionally visits his father's ranch, but he is one of the greatest scamps among the Indians. He speaks English perfectly, but nothing will lure him into a civilised life. His intelli- gence and command of English render him a con- venient messenger." Who is that handsome fellow with the Spanish look ?" It was on the occasion of the husking dance, where were gathered all the beauty and the chivalry that section of Stianfc civilisation boasted. "A young Mexican, I am told," replied Mrs. Fair- f to her husband's question." "He came in com- pany with a ypung fellow interested in a ranch on Purgatory Biver." "He is making up to our Flower, I see, went on ) the colonel, glancing toward the spot where Fan ,;Flower stood talking to a tall, picturesque youth, J (wnose flashing black eyes, aquiline nose, romantically long hair, and strange, half-Spanhsh garb gave him an air distinguS, and rendered him a noticeable per- sonality even in that assorted company. » But the colonel's eye followed them uneasily when he saw the two leave the dancing pavilion which had been built for the occasion, and step forth upon the open verandah which led across an out-door space to the ranchmen's cabin where the huskers were engaged. The moonlight fell white over the plains, softening, into ach&in of smooth, glistening opals the surrounding' hills. On one side sounded'the tinkling of the fiddlers; on the other the merry laugh and jest of the huskers. Little wonder if Fan Flower paused there t6 quaff for a ipoment the beauty and silence of the tfight—to feel." the .spell of the place and the hour. Twenty minutes later Egerton Livermore came up to Mfy. Fairfax. ? ".What haVe ybu1 done With my little Fan Flower, adfue .:w.vEfYQu spirited her off? I can dis- cover her nowhere. If sh £ lis jio longer Visible to our mundane vision, ehe hastoeen Vp'tniB away ;liy an agency more iorpbreal thah mine/" laughingly replied th'e lady. For I saw her, ndt long since, in charge of a most fascinating mortal-a veritable Romeo from the banks of the Bio Grande." That confounded Mexican! Everybody here to-night" isJ talking of him. He is probaMVa half- breed. I don't like to have little Fan with'him too Mauch. Nobody knows anything about him And Livermore continued his search, while Mrs. Fairfax Amused herself by wondering if Egerton had > anyBeriqus intentions with regard to Miss trances Plover, or if, as he gave them to understand, he was simply acting as her guardian. For it had been the little actress's, wish that their contemplated relation- ship should 00 kept a secret until their arrival in the ".Ee,st. eitherhad the fact of her professional life t been revealed,it being generally understood that she •was the daughter efcan old friend of Livermore's. But Mrs. Fairfax's .-ijiind had wandered far from these personal, conjectures, when, some time later, the colonel joined her, his brow knit in half-serious perplexity over their proUgte's prolonged absence from the scene. Parhaps one has taken her to the sheds to see the ponies,suggested -Mrs. Fairfax. At that moment a confused noise at the door arrested their attention, and the next instant an Indian, ysrell known at the post, entered, gesticulating vand chattering. "Reduce carry off White DoeL.-take- -her to old equaw lip mountain trail to the hunting-grounds!" •v flow <Jid he know? He had heard young buck tel 'liDg d :sqpa.,w. Who was the red-face ? He Was iHal Howe, white.man's brave. <• And feLHowQ ^n& .the young t M^icdn are °*|e 1" exclaimed M^s. Pai^ai, decisiypy, ?n the • midst of,tlje panic thai, ensnfed. v _^eti Indjan-went on to M Howe was to leave his captive in the retreat, in charge ot the squaw, and return to the- Indian- camp to-night, and that if they pursued at once the cap- tive might be recovered, as he would steal into the forest, and bring them word when the half-breed Lad departed. But no delay, qr Indian would be missed from Uie .village, J c f", There was iiot much delay indeed. Livermore "was .on hi^'best horse and away before the messenger had finished his tale. He had more faith in rapid riding and his revolver than in the story of the Sioux. However, arrived at the trail-,1 he was persuaded into awaiting-the redskin's return, who presently re- -opeared, signalled the pursuers by waving his arm tbri^timesy as agreed, and rode off with-great speed tow&flds the camp. i The officers now followed-up the trail until at last a .-faint light Jn the. -diatonco revealed the retreat jwhem as the Indian hald predicted, the outlaw had encamped* But upon arriving at the spotf-what was their horror and dismay to find the place utterlyLde- -selfted. The camp-fire still smouldered, but-no mortal was to be seen anywhere i» the-vioinity, although search was made in every direction. I believe thewhole business is a mere ruse on the part' of the Indians I" exclaimed the officer. They are .planning some outbreak or devilry, and have adopted this scheme, fancying the force sent from the fort in pursuit of the outlaw will give them an advantage. In my opinion.. We, had better feturn to the fort, otherwise' every ranch-owner for miles ftVound may be butchered, and xiis stock jjarried off. Ctiii- best ftieans of recovering Miss Flower will be to 'nt a price'on Hal Howe in case Of capture, deaa or 'alive. They will retain their captive until convinced ttiat their plan has failed; a council with the chiefs nltiy then effect her release." The soldiers and officers returned to the fort,- with the exception of two;'who reitiafried with Livermore, the latter being bent on dontinfiing the chase. He regarded the sitiiation from a lover's standpoint, and while he sent despatches ih all directions, offering large rewards for the capture of Hal Howe, he 'believed the scoundrel had conspired with -no strategies of principles of warfare save that which h-ts i-,cen practised from time immemorial-narnely, that All is fair-in love and v.;ar. For, although theirs had been a case of love at first sight, the sympathy which existed between Egerton -and Fan Flower-was none the less sincere^ and^the thought of his fiancce's possible fate rendered it im- possible for Egerton to remain passive.' Action, how- ever fruitless, was necessary to him. Bit days, weeks, went by, bringing no rigw. The Indian who had bwii ktiiejr guide and mes- senger reported that Hal Howe had not returned to I he village since the night of the capture. That he had found hiui there upon his return, and that he was certain he-had seen thevAqaw and1" WhiTe Doe," "'bat- that they must have hidden, at the squaw was i,ifraid- of "white man's bmro,and had, perhaps, seen Hftn (the guide) tlW-ougli,ths:trees. sflal'Howe had apparently deserted luii.tribe, and it was suspected-he would ultimately-be heard from ■tm'ong the Comanches. Livermore had; therefore, decided to prosecute his swtrfeh in TeraS, Winter was^ setting In. 0The first snow was whitening the plains, when, pacing his "lodge in a 'vast Nvgderness-on'$-daj t esir,'Ydisety, he gazed forth upon the dreary prospect, and shuddered to think that the delicate little Fan Flower might be perishing of cold in the rough, exposed existence to which she was now subject, if indeed ehe were not already dead. And it was he who wfis responsible for her suffering—he who had brouorht (te-I into this wildcountry. Goadexl by this remorse, so oft repeated, he was re- suming his restless walk and the plans for renewed effort itever aroused, when the flutter of some vague, dark thing caught his eye from the window. Then a feint, distant, sound-was,it the wind? He opened the door of his room, ther an outer door, and, driven in by the wind and the snow, some frail object fell across the threshold at his feet. He lifted it, threw back the dark hood from the face, and bore the slight. form to the fire. By its light/he saw upturned, faintly smiling into his, the fair, sweet eyes of Fan Flower. White, wasted, almost unconscious from weakness though she was, Itlie smile was Fan Flower's own. He believed at first she was dying but there is no 'moré effective restorative than true love, and- und-er its influence the little actress recovered; A year later, Mrs. Fairfax,-by the side of Mrs. Egerton Livermore, bowled* alontf the lendid,road if- hacienda. Around- thefrr'tfae CSftrpo t.1t:' Al- stretched itself, carpeted with soft verdure, ltnd intersected with, lines of young fig-trees, while Aipon either side of them, protected by hedges of 'cactus, coffee-trees breathed their perfume. Little wonder you are happy, Mistress Fan, to live in such a paradise as this," quoth M*s.-Fairfax. And to think you owe this happy conclusion to your 'woful tale all to an old squaw. "Yes, poor creature. She was so kicked about among the tribe, you know, that she was glad to 'leave them, so we have bkought: her with us. You see, that night, after I had told her I loved another brave, she became sympathetic and grew quite fond !of me. I told her everything while he was absent at the village, and she said if I would promise not to try to escape until he was out of the country, she would "hide m'e, but If he caught her he would kill hor. She was mortally afraid of him. For this reason she Would never venture from the bretreat., although I was half starved and half frozen. At last she consented to let me seek the ranch in a rough disguise made from, her blanket." "°And that swarthy Lochinar of yours has at last /been discovered among the Comanches, where he is still known as the worst Indian o» the plains. But woe betide him if he ever encounters any of the soldiers who attended Livermore's husking party."

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