“You don’t always wave to me like you did the other day when I went by,” said “Red,” his lips in Mrs. Quinn’s golden coffee.
“Why should I?” said Angela. “You don’t always have such swell-looking folks with you!”
“Oh, so that’s why you waved!” disappointment in his tone.
“Maybe.” She was teasing him, but he didn’t know it. “Who were they?”
“A Mr. and Mrs. Pell, from New York. They’re lookin’ over property round here.... But I don’t care, Angy. Even if I had to go to Bisbee four times a day and get some good-lookin’ folks to bring down the road, I’d do it if you’d wave to me! Oh, why can’t you always be nice to me?”
“If I was always nice to you, you wouldn’t know how lucky you are!” she countered. “It’s good for you to have your bad days—with me.”
“Well, maybe you’re right. You’re ’most always right; but gosh! a feller does like a little encouragement once in a while. You can be so cruel, Angy!”
“Can I? If you think not waving to you is cruelty, you ought to see some of my other forms of torture.”
“Ugh! I hope I never do!” He drank again from the cup.
“Say,” Angela said, watching him, “you seem to like that coffee a lot more than you like me! That brunette in the cup is my rival!”
He looked at her in blank amazement. He hadn’t much sense of humor. He was as literal-minded as a child. “You certainly are the funniest girl, Angy!” he said, “How could coffee be a girl’s rival?”
“Easier than a fellow in Bisbee—maybe. Better look out, ‘Red,’ or I’ll sue Mrs. Quinn for alienation of affections!”
“Oh, you wouldn’t do that!” said the kindly, honest “Red.”
“What a stupid you are, to be sure!” said Angela, and laughed. “There—eat these hot cakes—though how you can on this beastly warm morning is more than I can see—and then play me some tunes. I’m dying to hear some music. This afternoon Dad says he’s going over to your ranch. I don’t know what for, do you? I do wish people didn’t have to lose their property. Why are mortgages, anyhow?”
“Blamed if I know, Angy! Thanks, Mrs. Quinn.”
“Sure, an’ you’re welcome, me boy.” Angela had gone out on the step. The old Irishwoman saw her chance. “For the love o’ Mike, ‘Red,’ woo her, an’ woo her hard! There is a feller in Bisbee. She’s after lovin’ ye, but you’re too slow—slower’n the molasses I just poured on yer griddle-cakes fer ye!”
“I’ll try,” said the accommodating “Red.” “You’re a good friend, Mrs. Quinn. I won’t forget you when I own this place!”
“Be off, now! Ye’ve got some travelin’ to do before ye’re able to win Angela. Then ye can think of buyin’ a ranch.”
She literally pushed him from her domain; and he found himself by Angela’s side out of doors.
The bright sunlight touched her hair, and they went over to a pergola she had had built, covered with vines. A little fountain tinkled near it, and the heat of the day would not bother them here.