I. Red Lake.
II. The Sagi.
IV. New friends.
V. On the trail.
VI. In the hidden valley.
VIII. The hogan of Nas Ta Bega.
IX. In the desert crucible.
XI. After the trial.
XII. The revelation.
XIII. The story of surprise valley.
XIV. The Navajo.
XV. Wild justice.
XVI. Surprise valley.
XVII. The trail to Nonnezoshe.
XVIII. At the foot of the rainbow.
XIX. The grand canyon of the Colorado.
XX. Willow springs.
The spell of the desert comes back to me, as it always will come. I see the veils, like purple smoke, in the canyon, and I feel the silence. And it seems that again I must try to pierce both and to get at the strange wild life of the last American wilderness— wild still, almost, as it ever was.
While this romance is an independent story, yet readers of “Riders of the Purple Sage” will find in it an answer to a question often asked.
I wish to say also this story has appeared serially
in a different
form in one of the monthly magazines under the title of “The Desert
I. RED LAKE
Shefford halted his tired horse and gazed with slowly realizing eyes.
A league-long slope of sage rolled and billowed down to Red Lake, a dry red basin, denuded and glistening, a hollow in the desert, a lonely and desolate door to the vast, wild, and broken upland beyond.
All day Shefford had plodded onward with the clear horizon-line a thing unattainable; and for days before that he had ridden the wild bare flats and climbed the rocky desert benches. The great colored reaches and steps had led endlessly onward and upward through dim and deceiving distance.
A hundred miles of desert travel, with its mistakes and lessons and intimations, had not prepared him for what he now saw. He beheld what seemed a world that knew only magnitude. Wonder and awe fixed his gaze, and thought remained aloof. Then that dark and unknown northland flung a menace at him. An irresistible call had drawn him to this seamed and peaked border of Arizona, this broken battlemented wilderness of Utah upland; and at first sight they frowned upon him, as if to warn him not to search for what lay hidden beyond the ranges. But Shefford thrilled with both fear and exultation. That was the country which had been described to him. Far across the red valley, far beyond the ragged line of black mesa and yellow range, lay the wild canyon with its haunting secret.