And Buck Daniels, softening his voice as much as he could, answered. “I can find you.”
“Then gimme your hand.”
Buck Daniels slipped his own large hand into the cold fingers of the dying cattleman. An expression of surpassing joy lay on the face of Joe Cumberland.
“Whistlin’ Dan, my Dan,” he murmured faintly, “I’m kind of sleepy, but before I go to sleep, to-night, I got to tell you that I forgive you for your joke—pretendin’ to take Kate away.”
“They’s nothin’ but sleep worth while—and goin’ to sleep, holdin’ your hand, lad—”
Buck Daniels dropped upon his knees and stared into the wide, dead eyes. Through the open window a sound of whistling blew to him. It was a sweet, faint music, and being so light it seemed like a chorus of singing voices among the mountains, for it was as pure and as sharp as the starlight.
Buck Daniels lifted his head to listen, but the sound faded, and the murmur of the night-wind came between.