That afternoon, as Bud came from luncheon at the hotel, a townsman accosted him in the street. During their chat the townsman commented upon the watch-chain. Bud drew the watch from his pocket and exhibited it proudly.
“Just a little present from a lady friend. And her name is inside the cover, along with mine.”
“A lady friend, eh? Now, I thought it was politics mebby?”
“Nope. Strictly pussonel.”
“Well, Bud, you want to watch out.”
“If you’re meanin’ that for a joke,” retorted Bud, “it’s that kind of a joke what’s foundered in its front laigs and can’t do nothin’ but walk around itself. I got the same almanac over to my office.”
The occasional raw winds of spring softened to the warm calm of summer. The horses had shed their winter coats, and grew sleek and fat on the lush grasses of the mesa. The mesa stream cleared from a ropy red to a sparkling thread of silver banked with vivid green. If infrequent thunderstorms left a haze in the canons, it soon vanished in the light air.
Bronson found it difficult to keep Dorothy from over-exerting herself. They arose at daybreak and went to bed at dusk, save when Lorry came for an after-dinner chat or when he prevailed upon Dorothy to play for them in his cabin. On such occasions she would entertain them with old melodies played softly as they smoked and listened, the lamp unlighted and the door wide open to the stars.
One evening, when Dorothy had ceased to play for them, Lorry mentioned that he was to leave on the following day for an indefinite time. There had been some trouble about a new outfit that was grazing cattle far to the south. Shoop had already sent word to the foreman, who had ignored the message. Lorry had been deputized to see the man and have an understanding with him. The complaint had been brought to Shoop by one of the Apache police that some cowboys had been grazing stock and killing game on the Indian reservation.
Dorothy realized that Lorry might be away for some time. She would miss him. And that night she asked her father if she might not invite a girl friend up for the summer. They were established. And Dorothy was much stronger and able to attend to the housekeeping. Bronson was quite willing. He realized that he was busy most of the time, writing. He was not much of a companion except at the table. So Dorothy wrote to her friend, who was in Los Angeles and had already planned to drive East when the roads became passable.
Lorry was roping the packs next morning when Dorothy appeared in her new silver-gray corduroy riding-habit—a surprise that she had kept for an occasion. She was proud of the well-tailored coat and breeches, the snug-fitting black boots, and the small, new Stetson. Her gray silk waist was brightened by a narrow four-in-hand of rich blue, and her tiny gauntlets of soft gray buckskin were stitched with blue silk.