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And though there's never a grave to tell, Nor a cross to mark his fall, Thank God! we know that he "batted well" In the last great Game of all.
 
 --SERVICE.
 
 
 We left Santa Fé within an hour, and struck out toward the unknown land where Beverly Clarenden, in the midst of uncertain friends, was being hunted down by an Apache band. As our little company passed out on the trail toward Agua Fria, I recalled the day when we had gone with Rex Krane to this little village beside the Santa Fé River. Eloise and Father Josef and Santan and Little Blue Flower were all there that day; and Jondo, although we did not know it then. Rex Krane had told Beverly, going out, that an Indian never forgets. In all the years Santan had not forgotten.
 
 To-day we covered the miles rapidly. Jondo and Father Josef rode ahead, with Esmond Clarenden and Felix Narveo following them; then came Eloise St. Vrain with Sister Gloria; behind them, Aunty Boone, with Rex and myself bringing up the rear. Three pack-mules bearing our equipment went tramping after us with bobbing ears and sturdy gait.
 
 I looked down the line of our little company ahead. The four men in the lead were college chums once, and all of them had loved the mother of the girl behind them. I have said the girl looked best by twilight. I had not seen her in a coarse-gray riding-dress when I said that. I had seen her when she needed protection from her enemies. I had not seen her until to-day, going out to meet hardship fearlessly, for the sake of one who wanted her--only an Indian maiden, but a faithful friend. In the plainest face self-forgetfulness puts a beauty all its own. That beauty shone resplendent now in the beautiful face of Mary Marchland's daughter.
 
 The world can change wonderfully in sixty minutes. As we rode out toward the Rio Grande, the yellow sands, the gray gramma grass, the purple sage, the tall green cliffs, and, high above, the gleaming snow-crowned peaks, took on a beauty never worn for me before. Why should a hope spring up within me that would die as other hopes had died? But back of all my thought was the longing to help Beverly, and a faith in Aunty Boone's weird, prophetic grip on things unseen. He had just "gone out" to her--why not to all of us? I could not understand Little Blue Flower's part in this tragedy, so I let it alone.
 
 A day out from Santa Fé we were joined by the little squad of cavalrymen with whom we had parted company back at the Fort Bent camping-place. With these we had little cause to dread personal danger. The Apache band was a small, vicious gang that could do much harm to the Hopis, but it seemed nothing for us to fear.
 
 Our care was to reach Beverly before the Hopis should rise up against Little Blue Flower, or the band led by Santan should fall upon them. Father Josef had sent a runner on to tell them of our coming and to warn them of the Apache raid. But runners sometimes come to grief.
 
 It is easy enough now to sleep most of the hours away across the and lands that lie between the Rockies and the Coast Range mountains, where the great "through limiteds," swinging down their long trail of steel, sweep farther in one day than we crept in two long, weary weeks in that October fifty years ago. Only Father Josef's unerring Indian accuracy brought us through.
 
 We crawled up rugged mountain trails and skirted the rims of dizzy chasms; we wound through cañons, with only narrow streams for paths, between sheer walls of rock; we pitched our camp at the bases of great, red sand stone mesas, barren of life; we followed long, yellow ways over stretches of unending plain; we wandered in the painted-desert lands, where all the colors God has made bewilder with their beauty, in the barest, dreariest, most unlovely bit of unfinished world that our great continent holds; the lands forgotten, maybe, when, in Creation's busy week, the evening and the morning were the sixth day, and the Great Builder looked on His work and called it good.
 
 We found the Hopi trails, but not the Hopi clan that we were seeking. We found Apache trails behind them, but only dimly marked, as if they blew one moccasin track full of sand before they made another.
 
 The October days were dreams of loveliness, and dawn and sunset on the desert were indescribably beautiful. But the nights were bitterly cold. Eloise and Sister Gloria were native to the Southwest and they knew how to dress warmly for it. Aunty Boone had never felt such chilling night breezes, but not one word of complaint came from her lips in all that journey.
 
 One night we gathered into camp beneath the shelter of a little butte. We had overtaken Father Josef's Indian runner an hour before. He had not found the Hopis yet, and so we held a council.
 
 "The Hopi is ahead of us northwest," the Indian declared.
 
 "Is the Apache following?" Jondo asked.
 
 The runner nodded. "They have been pursued, but they have slipped away; the Apache goes north, they turn north-west. They take the dry lands and the pine forests beyond; their last chance. If they hold out till the Apache leaves, they will return safely. You follow them, wait for them, or go back without them. It is your choice."
 
 We turned toward the three women, one in the bloom of her young womanhood, one with the patient endurance of the nun, one black and strong and always unafraid.
 
 "I do not want to leave Little Blue Flower in her hour of peril," Eloise said.
 
 "I can go where I am needed," Sister Gloria declared.
 
 "This is my land, I never know Africa was right out here. I thought they was oceans on both sides of it. I go where Bev's gone out an then I come here and stay. Whoo-ee!"
 
 We smiled at her mistaken dream of her far African home, and, cheering one another on, when morning came we moved northwest.
 
 Jondo rode beside me all that day, and we talked of many things.
 
 "Gail," he said, "Aunty Boone is right. This is her Africa. I don't believe she will ever leave it."
 
 "She can't stay here, Jondo," I replied.
 
 "She will, though. You will see. Did she ever fail to have her way?"
 
 "No. She is a type of her own, never to be reproduced, but like a great dog in her faithful loyalty," I declared.
 
 "And shrewder than most men," Jondo went on. "She supplied the lost link with Santan for me last night. Years ago, when Little Blue Flower brought me a message from Father Josef on the morning that we took Eloise from Santa Fé, I caught a glimpse of the Apache across the plaza and read the message--_'trust the bearer anywhere'_--to mean that boy. Aunty Boone had just peered out and scared the little girl away. She told me all about it last night, when she was bewailing Beverly's hard fate. How small a thing can open the road to a big tragedy. I trusted that whelp till that day at San Christobal."
 
 "I hope we will finish this soon," I said. "I don't understand Beverly at all and I marvel at Little Blue Flower's love for him. Don't you?"
 
 Jondo looked up with a pathos in his dark-blue eyes.
 
 "Don't hurry, Gail. The trails all end somewhere soon. Life is a stranger thing from day to day, but the one thing that no man will ever fully understand is a woman's love for man. There is only one thing higher, and that is mother-love."
 
 "The kind that you and Uncle Esmond have," I said.
 
 "Oh, I am only a man, but Clarenden has a woman's heart, as you and Beverly and my sister's child all know."
 
 "Your sister's child?" I gasped.
 
 "Yes. When her parents went with yellow fever, too, I could not adopt Mat--you know why. Clarenden did it for me. She has always known that I am her uncle, but Mat was always a self-contained child."
 
 I loved Mat more than ever from that hour.
 
 The next day our trail ran into pine forests, where tall, shapely trees point skyward. Not a dense woodland, but a seemingly endless one. Snows lay in the darker places, and here and there streams trickled out into the sunlight, whose only sources were these melting snows. It was a land of silence and loneliness--a land forgotten or unknown to record. The Hopi trail was stronger here and we followed it eagerly, but night overtook us early in the forest.
 
 That evening we gathered about a huge fire of pine boughs beneath a low stone ridge covered with evergreen trees that sheltered us warmly from the sharp west winds. We heard the cries of night-roving beasts, and in the darkness, now and then, a pair of gleaming eyes, seen for an instant, and then the rush of feet, told us that some wild creature had looked for the first time on fire.
 
 "To-morrow night will see our journey's end," Jondo declared. "The Hopi can't be far away, and I'm sure they are safe yet, and we shall reach them before the Apache does."
 
 The Indian runner's face did not change its blankness, but I felt that he doubted Jondo's judgment. That night he slipped away and we never saw him again.
 
 We were all hopeful that night, and hopeful the next morning when we broke camp early. A trail we had not seen the night before ran up the low ridge to the west of us. Eloise and I followed it up a little way, riding abreast. The ridge really was a narrow, rocky tableland, and beyond it was another higher slope, up which the same trail ran. The trees were growing smaller and the sky flowed broad and blue above their tops. The ground was only rock, with a thin veneer of soil here and there. Gnarled, stunted cedars and gray, twisted cypress clung for a roothold to these barren ledges. The morning breeze swept, sharp and invigorating, out of a broad open space beyond the edge of this rocky woodland height. Eloise and I pushed on a little farther, leaving the others still on the narrow shelf above our camping-place.
 
 Suddenly, as we rode out of the closer timber to where the scattered growths were hardly higher than our heads, the first heaven and the first earth seemed to pass away--not in irreverence I write it--and we stood face to face with a new heaven and a new earth--where, in the Grand Cañon of the Colorado River, the sublimity of the Almighty Builder's beauty and omnipotence was voiced in one stupendous Word, wrought in enduring color in everlasting stone. Cleaving its way westward to some far-off sea, a wide abyss, a dozen miles across from lip to lip, yawned down to the very vitals of the earth. We stood upon the rim of it--a sheer cliff that dropped a thousand feet of solid limestone, in one plummet line, to other cliffs below, that dropped again through furlongs of black gneiss, red sandstone, and gray granite.
 
 Beyond this mighty chasm great forest trees were, to our eyes, only as weeds along its rim. Between that rim and ours we could look down upon high mountain buttes and sloping red tablelands, and dizzy gorges with pinnacled walls and towers and domes--vast forms no pen will ever picture--not hurled in wild confusion by titan fury, but symmetrical and purposeful and calm.
 
 Through slowly crawling millions of patiently wearing years, while stars grew old and perished from the firmament, with cloud, and frost, and wind, and water, and sharp cutting sands, these strata of the old earth's crust were chiseled into gigantic outlines, and all the worn-down, crumbled atoms of debris were swept through long, tortuous leagues of distance toward the sea by a mad river swirling through the lowest depths. A mile straight down, as the crow never flies here, it rushes, but to us the river was a mere creek, seen only where the lower gorges open to the channel.
 
 In the early light of that October morning the weird, vast shapes that filled, the abyss were bathed in a bewildering opulence of color. Pale gold along the farther rim, with pink and amber, blue and gray, and heliotrope and rose--all blending softly, tone on tone. Deeper, the heart of every rift and chasm that flows into the one stupendous mother-rift was full of purple shadows. Not the thin lavender of the upper world where we must live, but tensely, richly regal, beyond words to paint; with silvery mists above, soft, filmy veils that draped the jutting rocks and rounded each harsh edge, melting pink to rose and gray to violet. Eternal silence brooded over all this symbol, wrought in visible form, of His Almightiness, to whom a thousand years are as a day, and in the hollow of whose hand He holds the universe. Measureless, motionless, voiceless, it seemed as if all the cañons of all the mountains of our great contienent might have given to it here their awful depth and height and rugged strength; their picturesqueness, color, graceful outlines, dizzy steeps and awe-inspiring lengths and breadths. And fusing all these into itself, height on height, and breadth on breadth, entrancing charm on charm, with all the hues that the Great Alchemist can throw from His vast prism, it seemed to say:
 
 "'Twas only in a vision that St. John saw the four-square city whose twelve gates are each a single pearl! whose walls are builded on foundation stones of jasper, sapphire, and chalcedony, emerald and topaz, chrysolite and amethyst; whose streets are of pure gold, like unto clear glass; whose light is ever like unto a stone most precious.
 
 "To you who may not dream the vision beautiful, the Mighty Maker of all things sublime has given me a token here in finite stone and earthly coloring of that undreamed sublimity of all things omnipotent."
 
 My companion and I sat on our horses speechless, gazing down at this overwhelming marvel below us. We forgot ourselves, each other, our companions of the journey, its purpose, Beverly, and his enemy Santan, the desert, the brown plains, green prairies, rivers, mountains, the earth itself, as we stood there in the shadow of the Infinite.
 
 At last we turned and looked into each other's eyes for one long moment. In its space we read the old, old story through, and a great, up-leaping joy illumined our faces. God, who had let us know each other, had let us stand by _this_ to feel the barrier of misunderstanding fall away.
 
 * * * * *
 
 A sound of horses' hoofs on the rocky slope below us, a weird Indian call, and a great shout from our calverymen drew us to earth again. The Hopis were coming. Father Josef knew the signal. Our Indian runner had found them in the night and sent them toward us. We dashed into the forest, keeping close together; and here, a mile away, under green pines, surrounded by a little group of a desert Hopi clan, was Beverly Clarenden--big, strong, unhurt and joyful. And Little Blue Flower.
 
 The years since that far night when I had seen two maidens in Grecian robes beside the Flat Rock in the "Moon of the Peach Blossom," had left no trace on Eloise St. Vrain, save to imprint the graces of womanliness on her girlish face. But the picturesque Indian maiden of that night looked aged and sorrowful in the pine forest of her native land, bent, as she was, with the dull existence of her own people; she, who had known and loved a different form of life. Only the big, luminous eyes held their old charm.
 
 We came together in a little open space with pine-trees all about us. The minutes went swiftly then--and I must hurry to what came hurrying on, for much of it is lost in mist and wonder.
 
 In the moment of glad reunion Aunty Boone suddenly gave a whoop the like of which I had never heard before, and, dashing wildly toward Eloise and Sister Gloria, she drove them in a fierce charge straight back into the shelter of the pine-trees.
 
 At the same time a sudden rain of bullets, like a swift hail-storm, and a yell--the Apache cry of vengeance--filled the air. Long afterward we learned that our Indian runner had met this band and tried to turn it back--and failed. He would have saved us if he could.
 
 It was over soon--that encounter in the forest where each tree was a shield. The cavalrymen and maybe, too, we who had been plainsmen, knew how to drive back a villianous handful of Apaches. In any other moment since we had ridden out of Sante Fé we would have laughed at such a struggle. They took us in the most unguarded instant of that fortnight's journey.
 
 The Hopis fled wildly out of sight. Here and there, from the defeated, scattered band, an Apache warrior sprang back and lost himself quickly in the shadows. But Santan, plunging into our very midst, seized Little Blue Flower in his iron grip, and the bullet from a cavalry carbine, meant for him, struck her.
 
 He laughed and threw her back and, whirling, dashed--into the arms of Aunty Boone--and stopped.
 
 We carried our wounded tenderly up the steep wooded slope and out into the sweet sunlight of its crest, where we laid them down beside that wondrous rift with its shimmering mist and velvet shadows, and colorings of splendor, folded all in the magnificence of its immensity and its eternal silence.
 
 We knew that Jondo's wound was mortal, and Father Josef and Eloise and Rex Krane sat beside him, as the brave eyes looked out across the sublimity of earthly beauty toward the far land no eye hath seen, facing, unafraid, the outward-leading trail.
 
 But Beverly was in the prime of young manhood, and we felt sure of him, as Esmond Clarenden and Sister Gloria; and I ministered to his wants.
 
 "It's no use, Gail." My cousin lifted a pleading face to mine a moment, as on that day, years ago on the parade-ground at Fort Leavenworth. Then the bright smile came back to stay.
 
 "Why, Bev, you have a life before you, and you aren't the only Eighteenth Kansas man who deserted. We can pull you through somehow--and people will forget. Even General Sheridan was willing to send a squad with us, on the possibility of a mistake somewhere."
 
 "Deserted!" Beverly's voice was too strong for a dying man's. "Uncle Esmond, Jondo, Eloise--all of you--Gail calls me a deserter. Me! Knock him over that precipice, won't some of you?"
 
 We listened eagerly as he went on:
 
 "Why, don't you know that Charlie Bent and his renegade dogs crawled into camp like snakes and carried me out by force. They had a time of it, too, but never mind. Bent told me he left a note for you. I supposed he would say I was dead. And when Gail stirred, half awake, he went pacing around the camp, looking so near like me I thought it was myself and I was Charlie Bent. I was roped and gagged then, but I could see. Deserter! I'm glad I got that white horse of his on the Prairie Dog Creek, anyhow."
 
 Beverly's face paled suddenly and he lay still a little while.
 
 "I'd better hurry." The smile was winsome. "They didn't give me a ghost of a chance to escape, but they didn't harm a hair. They kept me for a meaner purpose, and, well, I was landed, finally, at Santan's door-step in the Apache-land. Santan offered to let me go free if I'd persuade Little Blue Flower--dead down there--to marry him. He had her come to me on pretense of my sending for her. She hated the brute, and she was a woman, if she was an Indian. I told him I'd see him in hell first, and I told her never to give in. Poor girl! It was a cruel test, but Santan knew how to be cruel. He said he'd fix me, and I guess he has done it."
 
 "Oh no, Bev. You are good for a century," I declared, affectionately, holding his head on my knee.
 
 "Little Blue Flower managed, somehow, to fool the Apache dog, and we escaped and got away to her people," Beverly continued, speaking more slowly, "then she sent word to Father Josef. But the Hopi folks were scared about the Apaches coming against them on account of harboring me, like a Jonah, among 'em; and they were going to make it hard for Little Blue Flower. I don't know heathen ethics in such things, but a handful of us had to cut for it. I'm no deserter, though. Don't forget that. As soon as I could be sure the little Indian woman's life was safe I was going to get away and come home. I could not leave her to be sacrificed after she had saved me from Santan's scalping-knife."
 
 Beverly paused and looked at us. His voice seemed weaker when he spoke again:
 
 "I thought, sometimes, that even if I wasn't to blame for it, I ought to take Little Blue Flower with me when I got away. Dear little girl! she gave me one smile and whispered _'Lolomi'_ before she went just now. I told her long ago I was just everybody's friend. I never meant to spoil anybody's life, and I can meet her down at the end of the trail and never fear."
 
 Just then a half-wailing, half-purring cry came from Aunty Boone, who was standing beside a gnarled cypress-tree.
 
 "I knowed the morning we picked up Little Blue Flower, back at Pawnee Rock, we was pickin' up trouble for the rest of the trail. I see it then. You can trust a nigger 'cause they never no 'count, but you don't know what you gettin' when you trust an Indian. But, Cla'nden, that Apache Indian, Santan, ain't goin' to trouble you no more. When the world ain't no fit place for folks they needs helpin' out of it, and I sees to it they gets it, too. Whoo-ee!" She paused and leaned against the crooked cypress. Half turning her face toward us, she continued in a clear, soft voice:
 
 "That man they call Ramero down in Santy Fee--I knowed him when he was just Fred Ramer back in the rice-fields country. His father, old man Ramer, tried to kill me once, 'cause he said I knowed too much. I helped him into kingdom come right then and saved a lot of misery. They blamed some other folks, I guess, but they never hunted me up at all. Good-by, Clan'den, and you, too, Felix, and Dick Verra. I've knowed you all these years, but nobody takes no 'count of niggers' knowin's. Good-by, Little Lees, and all you boys. I'll see you again pretty soon, I'm goin' back to my desset now. It's over yonder just a little way. Jondo--but you won't be John Doe then. Whoo-ee!"
 
 Aunty Boone slowly settled down beside the cypress, with her face toward her beloved "desset," and when we went to her a little later, her eyes, still looking eastward, saw nothing earthly any more forever.
 
 Jondo's face seemed glorified as he caught Aunty Boone's last words, and his voice was sweet and clear as he looked up at Eloise bending over him.
 
 "Thank God! It is all made right at last. Eloise, the charge of murder against your father's name would have broken the heart of the woman that I always loved--your mother. One of us had to bear the shame. I took the guilt on myself for her sake--and for yours. I have walked the trails of my life a nameless man, but I have kept my soul clean in God's sight, and I know His name will soon be written on my forehead over there."
 
 He gazed out toward the glorious beauty of the view beyond him, then closed his eyes, and, bravely as he had lived, so bravely he went forth on the Long Trail, leaving a name sweet with the perfume of self-sacrifice and love.
 
 We did not speak of him to Beverly, for our boy had suddenly grown restless, and his blood was threshing furiously in his veins, and he was in pain, but only briefly.
 
 Presently he said, "Let us be alone a little." The others drew away.
 
 "Lean down, Gail. I want to tell you something." He smiled sweetly upon me as I bent over him.
 
 "I tried to tell you back on the Smoky Hill, but I'd promised not to. And honor was something to me still. But I'm going pretty soon. So listen! I loved Eloise always--always. But she never cared for me. She was only my good chum. I've been too happy-hearted all my days, though, Gail, to make a cross of anything that would break me down. Men differ so, you know, and I never was a dreamer like you. Turn me a little, won't you, so that I can see that awful beauty down there."
 
 I lifted his shoulders gently and placed him where his eyes could rest on the majestic scene spread out before him.
 
 "Eloise loves you, but she thinks you would not marry her because they say her father was a murderer. I don't believe that, Gail. I told her that you didn't, either, not one little minute. You care for her, I know, and losing her will break your heart. I tried to tell you long ago, but Little Lees made me promise not to say a word that night at Burlingame when you had gone away and I thought maybe I had a half-chance with her. Tell me you'll make her happy, Gail."
 
 "Oh, Beverly, I'll do my best," I murmured, softly.
 
 "Come closer, Gail. Look at those colors there. Is it so far across, or only seeming so? And see the soft white clouds drop purple shadows down. Is that the way the trail runs? How beautiful it must be farther on. Good-by, old boy of my heart's heart, and don't forget, however long the years, and wide away your feet may go, to keep the old trail law. 'Hold fast.'"
 
 We laid them away in the deep pine forest--Aunty Boone, of strange, prophetic vision; Santan, the cruel Indian; the loyal Hopi maiden; Jondo and Beverly. God made them all and in His heaven they will be rightly placed.
 
 Beside the cañon's rim, in the soft twilight hour of that October day, Eloise St. Vrain and I plighted our troth, till death us do part--for just a little while. Plighted it not in happy, selfish affection, such as youth and maiden give, sometimes, each to each; but in the deep, marvelous love of man and woman pledged where, in sacred moments on that day, we had seen the mortal put on immortality. To us there could be no grander, richer, lovelier setting for life's best and holiest hour than here, where, upon things finite, there rests the beneficent uplifting beauty that shadows forth the Infinite.