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Across the Mesa   By:

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[Illustration: THE PONY PUT HER TWO FOREFEET OVER THE EDGE OF THE DESCENT.]

Across the Mesa

By JARVIS HALL

AUTHOR OF "THROUGH MOCKING BIRD GAP"

Frontispiece by HENRY PITZ

THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY PHILADELPHIA 1922

COPYRIGHT 1922 BY THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY

Across the Mesa

Made in the U. S. A.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I Why Not? 7 II Athens 14 III En Route 30 IV Juan Pachuca 48 V Polly Arrives 65 VI Local Activities 80 VII Miss Chicago 97 VIII The Prisoner 109 IX At Liberty 126 X The Discovery 142 XI Casa Grande 159 XII A Night Ride 179 XIII The Wagon 188 XIV The Trail 208 XV Angel 222 XVI Tom Does a Marathon 238 XVII At Soria's 251 XVIII Back to Athens 276 XIX Polly Makes a New Acquaintance 283 XX Treasure Trove 303

ACROSS THE MESA

CHAPTER I

WHY NOT?

Polly Street drove her little electric down Michigan Boulevard, with bitterness in her heart.

It was a cold wet day in the early spring of 1920, and Chicago was doing her best to show her utter indifference to anyone's opinion as to what spring weather ought to be. It was the sort of day when, if you had any ambition left after a dreary winter, you began to plot desperate things.

Polly hated driving the electric her soul yearned for a gas car. Mrs. Street, however, did not like a gas car without a man to drive it; the son of the family was in Athens, Mexico, at a coal mine; and Mr. Street, Sr., considered that his income did not run to a chauffeur at the present scale of wage. Therefore, Polly tried to forget her prejudice and to imagine that the neat little car was a real machine.

Second among her grievances was the fact that this was Bob's wedding day and she, his adored and adoring sister, was not with him. Bob had been engaged for some months to a girl in Douglas, Arizona. The date of the wedding had been set twice and each time difficulties in Mexico had made it seem unwise either that Bob should leave Athens, where he held the position of superintendent of one of Fiske, Doane & Co.'s mines, or that the bride should venture into the disturbed region.

This time they expected, as Bob wrote, to "pull it off on schedule." Polly had hoped either to go to Douglas for the wedding or to have the bride and groom in Chicago; but Father had been unable to get away, Mother hadn't been well, and the trip had been given up. Then the young couple planned to go immediately to Athens without the formality of a honeymoon. To quote Bob again: "People go on honeymoons to be lonesome, and if anybody can find a better place to be lonesome in than Athens, let him trot it out."

The third grievance held an element of publicity particularly galling to a young lady who was known to her friends not only as a daring horsewoman, a crack swimmer and a golf champion, but as a bit of a belle besides. She and Joyce Henderson had agreed a week ago to break their engagement. The engagement had been a mistake both young people admitted it frankly to each other. The irritating part of it was that Joyce was admitting it to the world.

Instead of taking the matter seriously and considering himself, outwardly at least, as the victim of an unhappy love affair, Joyce had escorted another girl, who shall be nameless, for she does not enter this story except as an element of conflict, to the Mandarin Ball. Now the Mandarin Ball is not the frivolous affair that its name suggests, but a perennial of deep importance, a function to which young men are in the habit of taking their wives, their fiancées, or the girls they rather hope may be their fiancées... Continue reading book >>




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