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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about The Call of the Canyon.
to support her weight.  How could she endure another mile?  Alas! there might be many miles.  Suddenly a terrible shock seemed to rack her.  But it was only that Spillbeans had once again taken to a trot.  Frantically she pulled on the bridle.  He was not to be thwarted.  Opening her eyes, she saw a cabin far ahead which probably was the destination for the night.  Carley knew she would never reach it, yet she clung on desperately.  What she dreaded was the return of that stablike pain in her side.  It came, and life seemed something abject and monstrous.  She rode stiff legged, with her hands propping her stiffly above the pommel, but the stabbing pain went right on, and in deeper.  When the mustang halted his trot beside the other horses Carley was in the last extremity.  Yet as Glenn came to her, offering a hand, she still hid her agony.  Then Flo called out gayly:  “Carley, you’ve done twenty-five miles on as rotten a day as I remember.  Shore we all hand it to you.  And I’m confessing I didn’t think you’d ever stay the ride out.  Spillbeans is the meanest nag we’ve got and he has the hardest gait.”

CHAPTER V

Later Carley leaned back in a comfortable seat, before a blazing fire that happily sent its acrid smoke up the chimney, pondering ideas in her mind.

There could be a relation to familiar things that was astounding in its revelation.  To get off a horse that had tortured her, to discover an almost insatiable appetite, to rest weary, aching body before the genial warmth of a beautiful fire—­these were experiences which Carley found to have been hitherto unknown delights.  It struck her suddenly and strangely that to know the real truth about anything in life might require infinite experience and understanding.  How could one feel immense gratitude and relief, or the delight of satisfying acute hunger, or the sweet comfort of rest, unless there had been circumstances of extreme contrast?  She had been compelled to suffer cruelly on horseback in order to make her appreciate how good it was to get down on the ground.  Otherwise she never would have known.  She wondered, then, how true that principle might be in all experience.  It gave strong food for thought.  There were things in the world never before dreamed of in her philosophy.

Carley was wondering if she were narrow and dense to circumstances of life differing from her own when a remark of Flo’s gave pause to her reflections.

“Shore the worst is yet to come.”  Flo had drawled.

Carley wondered if this distressing statement had to do in some way with the rest of the trip.  She stifled her curiosity.  Painful knowledge of that sort would come quickly enough.

“Flo, are you girls going to sleep here in the cabin?” inquired Glenn.

“Shore.  It’s cold and wet outside,” replied Flo.

“Well, Felix, the Mexican herder, told me some Navajos had been bunking here.”

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