“You’d better hurry,” he urged two or three times. “Some one might come any minute.”
Dave looked at him, a little surprised. “What’s the urge, son? We’ve got two six-guns with us if anybody gets too neighborly.”
But Beulah was as keen for the start as Beaudry. She did not want the men escaping from the park to meet with her people. To avoid this, rapid travel was necessary.
As soon as Roy was patched up they started.
Before they reached the mouth of the canon, Dave was supporting the slack body of his friend. When the party came to the aspens, Beulah hurried forward, and by the time the two men emerged she was waiting for them with Blacky.
Roy protested at taking the horse, but the girl cut short his objections imperiously.
“Do you think we’ve only your silly pride to consider? I want you out of the park—where my people can’t reach you. I’m going to see you get out. After that I don’t care what you do.”
Moonlight fell upon the sardonic smile on the pitifully white face of the young man. “I’m to be personally conducted by the Queen of Huerfano. That’s great. I certainly appreciate the honor.”
With the help of Dingwell he pulled himself to the saddle. The exertion started a spurt of warm blood at the shoulder, but Roy clenched his teeth and clung to the pommel to steady himself. The cattleman led the horse and Beulah walked beside him.
“I can get another pony for you at Cameron’s,” she explained. “Just above there is a short cut by way of Dolores Sinks. You ought to be across the divide before morning. I’ll show you the trail.”
What story she told to get the horse from Cameron her companions did not know, but from where they waited in the pines they saw the flickering light of a lantern cross to the stable. Presently Beulah rode up to them on the hillside above the ranch.
By devious paths she led them through chaparral and woodland. Sometimes they followed her over hills and again into gulches. The girl “spelled” Dingwell at riding the second horse, but whether in the saddle or on foot her movements showed such swift certainty that Dave was satisfied she knew where she was going.
Twice she stopped to rest the wounded man, who was now clinging with both hands to the saddle-horn. But the hard gleam of her dark eyes served notice that she was moved by expediency and not sympathy.
It was midnight when at last she stopped near the entrance to the pass.
“The road lies straight before you over the divide. You can’t miss it. Once on the other side keep going till you get into the foothills. All trails will take you down,” she told Dingwell.
“We’re a heap obliged to you, Miss Rutherford,” answered Dingwell. “I reckon neither one of us is liable to forget what you’ve done for us.”