She should hardly know him again. A young man with very bright eyes, a flushed and sunburnt cheek, a kind of fixed look in the face, and no beard; no, none that she could feel. Yet he was not at all like Reuben, not a bit. She took Reuben’s picture from the window, and laid it on her work-box. And to think she did not even know this young man’s name! That was queer. To be kissed by a man whom she might never know! Of course he knew hers. She wondered if he remembered it and her. But of course he was so glad to get off with his life that he never thought of anything else. Yet she did not give more than four or five minutes to these speculations, and, like a sensible girl, thought of something else. Once again, however, in opening the closet, she found the brown holland gown she had worn on the day before; thought it very unbecoming, and regretted that she had not worn her best gown on her visit to Red Pete’s cottage. On such an occasion she really might have been more impressive.
When her father came home that night she asked him the news. No, they had not captured the second horse-thief, who was still at large. Judge Boompointer talked of invoking the aid of the despised law. It remained, then, to see whether the horse-thief was fool enough to try to get rid of the animal. Red Pete’s body had been delivered to his widow. Perhaps it would only be neighborly for Salomy Jane to ride over to the funeral. But Salomy Jane did not take to the suggestion kindly, nor yet did she explain to her father that, as the other man was still living, she did not care to undergo a second disciplining at the widow’s hands. Nevertheless, she contrasted her situation with that of the widow with a new and singular satisfaction. It might have been Red Pete who had escaped. But he had not the grit of the nameless one. She had already settled his heroic quality.
“Ye ain’t harkenin’ to me, Salomy.”
Salomy Jane started.
“Here I’m askin’ ye if ye’ve see that hound Phil Larrabee sneaking by yer to-day?”
Salomy Jane had not. But she became interested and self-reproachful for she knew that Phil Larrabee was one of her father’s enemies. “He wouldn’t dare to go by here unless he knew you were out,” she said quickly.