Send immediately, by express, little brown leather trunk in garret.
The signature at the bottom of it was “Richard Gordon.”
A fisherman was whipping the stream of the Rio Chama.
In his creel were a dozen trout, for the speckled beauties had been rising to the fly that skipped across the top of the riffles as naturally as life. He wore waders, gray flannel shirt, and khaki coat. As he worked up the stream he was oftener in its swirling waters than on the shore. But just now the fish were no longer striking.
“Time to grub, anyhow. I’ll give them a rest for a while. They’ll likely be on the job again soon,” he told himself as he waded ashore.
A draw here ran down to the river, and its sunny hillside tempted him to eat his lunch farther up.
Into the little basin in which he found himself the sun had poured shafts of glory to make a very paradise of color. Down by the riverside the willows were hesitating between green and bronze. Russet and brown and red peppered the slopes, but shades of yellow predominated in the gulch itself.
The angler ate his sandwiches leisurely, and stretched his lithe body luxuriantly on the ground for a siesta. When he resumed his occupation the sun had considerably declined from the meridian. The fish were again biting, and he landed two in as many minutes.
The bed of the river had been growing steeper, and at the upper entrance of the little park he came to the first waterfall he had seen. Above this, on the opposite side, was a hole that looked inviting. He decided that a dead tree lying across the river would, at a pinch, serve for a bridge, and he ventured upon it. Beneath his feet the rotting bark gave way. He found himself falling, tried desperately to balance himself, and plunged head first into the river.
Coming to the surface, he caught at a rock which jutted from the channel. At this point the water was deep and the current swift. Were he to let loose of the boulder he must be swept over the fall before he could reach the shore. Nor could he long maintain his position against the rush of the ice-cold waters fresh from the mountain snow fields.
He had almost made up his mind to take his chances with the fall, when a clear cry came ringing to him:
A figure was flying down the slope toward him—the slim, graceful form of a woman. As she ran she caught up a stick from the ground. This she held out to him from the bank.
He shook his head.
“I would only drag you in.”
She put her fingers to her mouth and gave a clear whistle. Far up on the slope a pony lifted its head and nickered. Again her whistle shrilled, and the bronco trotted down toward her.
“Can you hold on?” she asked in English.