Tales Of Lonely Trails (1996)

Tales Of Lonely Trails (1996) by Zane Grey Read Free Book Online

Book: Tales Of Lonely Trails (1996) by Zane Grey Read Free Book Online
Authors: Zane Grey
was the sorrel. As I saw it, he heedlessly went too near the cow, which we now called Bossy, and she acted somewhat like a Spanish Bull, to the effect that the sorrel was scared and angered at once. He began to run and plunge and buck right into the other pack animals, dropping articles from his pack as he dashed along. He stampeded the train, and gave the saddle horses a scare. When order was restored and the whole outfit gathered together again a full hour had been lost. By this time all the horses were tired, and that facilitated progress, because there were no more serious breaks.
    Down in the valley it was hot, and the ride grew long and wearisome.
    Nevertheless, the scenery was beautiful. The valley was green and level, and a meandering stream formed many little lakes. On one side was a steep hill of sage and aspens, and on the other a black, spear-pointed spruce forest, rising sheer to a bold, blunt peak patched with snow-banks, and bronze and gray in the clear light. Huge white clouds sailed aloft, making dark moving shadows along the great slopes.
    We reached our turning-off place about five o'clock, and again entered the fragrant, quiet forest--a welcome change. We climbed and climbed, at length coming into an open park of slopes and green borders of forest, with a lake in the center. We pitched camp on the skirt of the western slope, under the spruces, and worked hard to get the tents up and boughs cut for beds. Darkness caught us with our hands still full, and we ate supper in the light of a camp-fire, with the black, deep forest behind, and the pale afterglow across the lake.
    I had a bad night, being too tired to sleep well. Many times I saw the moon shadows of spruce branches trembling on the tent walls, and the flickering shadows of the dying camp-fire. I heard the melodious tinkle of the bells on the hobbled horses. Bossy bawled often--a discordant break in the serenity of the night. Occasionally the hounds bayed her.
    Toward morning I slept some, and awakened with what seemed a broken back. All, except R. C., were slow in crawling out. The sun rose hot.
    This lower altitude was appreciated by all. After breakfast we set to work to put the camp in order.
    That afternoon we rode off to look over the ground. We crossed the park and worked up a timbered ridge remarkable for mossy, bare ground, and higher up for its almost total absence of grass or flowers. On the other side of this we had a fine view of Mt. Dome, a high peak across a valley. Then we worked down into the valley, which was full of parks and ponds and running streams. We found some fresh sign of deer, and a good deal of old elk and deer sign. But we saw no game of any kind. It was a tedious ride back through thick forest, where I observed many trees that had been barked by porcupines. Some patches were four feet from the ground, indicating that the porcupine had sat on the snow when he gnawed those particular places.
    "Safie resolved to remain with her father until the moment of his departure, before which time the Turk renewed his promise that she should be united to his deliverer; and Felix remained with them in expectation of that event; and in the meantime he enjoyed the society of the Arabian, who exhibited towards him the simplest and tenderest affection. They conversed with one another through the means of an interpreter, and sometimes with the interpretation of looks; and Safie sang to him the divine airs of her native country.
    On our return the strange creeping chill, that must be a descendant of the old elemental fear, caught me at all obscure curves in the trail.
    [Illustration: A HUNTER'S CABIN ON A FROSTY MORNING]
    Next day we started off early, and climbed through the woods and into the parks under the Dome. We scared a deer that had evidently been drinking. His fresh tracks led before us, but we could not catch a glimpse of him.
    [Illustration: THE TROUBLESOME COUNTRY, NOTED FOR GRIZZLY BEARS]
    We climbed out of the parks, up onto

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