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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 291 pages of information about Ranching for Sylvia.

Then he laughed and called to his horses.  He was thinking about matters that did not concern him; his work was to drive the long furrow for Sylvia’s benefit, and he found pleasure in it.  Bright sunshine smote the burnished clods; scattered, white-edged clouds drove across the sky of dazzling blue, flinging down cool gray shadows that sped athwart the stubble; young wheat, wavy lines of bluff, and wide-spread prairie were steeped in glowing color.  The man rejoiced in the rush of the breeze; the play of straining muscles swelling and sinking on the bodies of the team before him was pleasant to watch; he felt at home in the sun and wind, which, tempered as they often were by gentle rain, were staunchly assisting him.  By and by, all the foreground of the picture he gazed upon would be covered with the coppery ears of wheat.  He had once shrunk from returning to Canada; but now, through all the stress of cold and heat, he was growing fond of the new land.  What was more, he felt the power to work at such a task as he was now engaged in to be a privilege.

CHAPTER XXVII

A SIGN FROM FLETT

Summer drew on with swift strides.  Crimson flowers flecked the prairie grass, the wild barley waved its bristling ears along the trails, saskatoons glowed red in the shadows of each bluff.  Day by day swift-moving clouds cast flitting shadows across the sun-scorched plain, but though they shed no moisture the wheat stood nearly waist-high upon the Marston farm.  The sand that whirled about it did the strong stalks no harm.

Earlier in the season there had been drenching thunder showers, and beyond the grain the flax spread in sheets of delicate blue that broke off on the verge of the brown-headed timothy.  Still farther back lay the green of alsike and alfalfa, for the band of red and white cattle that roamed about the bluffs; but while the fodder crop was bountiful George had decided to supplement it with the natural prairie hay.  There was no pause in his exertions; task followed task in swift succession.  Rising in the sharp cold of the dawn, he toiled assiduously until the sunset splendors died out in paling green and crimson on the far rim of the plain.

The early summer was marked by signs of approaching change in Sage Butte affairs.  There were still a few disturbances and Hardie had troubles to face, but he and his supporters noticed that the indifference with which they had been regarded was giving place to sympathy.  When Grant first visited the settlement after his misadventure, he was received with expressions of indignant commiseration, and he afterward told Flora dryly that he was astonished at the number of his friends.  Mrs. Nelson and a few of the stalwarts pressed Hardie to make new and more vigorous efforts toward the expulsion of the offenders, but the clergyman refrained.  Things were going as he wished; it was scarcely wise to expose such a tender thing as

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