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The Short Cut   By: (1882-1943)

Book cover

First Page:

THE SHORT CUT

by

JACKSON GREGORY

Author of "Under Handicap," "The Outlaw"

With Illustrations by Frank Tenney Johnson

[Frontispiece: Surely the rider was just what the owner of the voice, half laughing, half crooning, tenderly lilting, must be.]

New York Dodd, Mead and Company 1916 Copyright, 1916 by Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc.

TO

"MOTHER" McGLASHAN

AND

GENERAL C. F. McGLASHAN

CONTENTS

I THE TRAGEDY II THE SHADOW III SUSPICION IV THE WHITE HUNTRESS V THE HOME COMING OF RED RECKLESS VI THE PROMISE OF LITTLE SAXON VII THE GLADNESS THAT SINGS VIII "BLUFF, AND THE GAMBLER WINS!" IX THE CONTEMPT OF SLEDGE HUME X SHANDON'S GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY XI WANDA'S DISCOVERY XII THE TALES OF MR. WILLIE DART XIII SLEDGE HUME MAKES A CALL AND LAYS A WAGER XIV IN WANDA'S CAVE XV WILLIE DART PICKS A LOCK XVI AND SOLVES A FASCINATING MYSTERY XVII "WHERE'S THAT TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND?" XVIII THE TRUTH XIX SHANDON TAKES HIS STAND XX HUME PLAYS A TRUMP XXI THE SHORT CUT XXII THE FUGITIVE XXIII HELGA STRAWN PLAYS THE GAME XXIV UNDER THE SURFACE XXV RED RECKLESS ON LITTLE SAXON XXVI THE LAUGHTER OF HELGA STRAWN XXVII HUME RIDES THE ONE OPEN TRAIL XXVIII "IT IS HOME!"

ILLUSTRATIONS

Surely the rider was just what the owner of the voice, half laughing, half crooning, tenderly lilting, must be.

"I want just to smoke and watch you and listen while you talk."

She made herself as comfortable as she could, drew her camera from its case, and waited a patient quarter of an hour.

"I call upon you to give yourself up!" he shouted. "Stop, Red, or I shoot this time!"

THE SHORT CUT

CHAPTER I

THE TRAGEDY

Here was a small stream of water, bright, clear and cool, running its merry way among the tall pines, hurrying to the dense shade of the lower valley. The grass on its banks stood tall, lush and faintly odorous, fresh with the newly come springtime, delicately scented with the thickly strewn field flowers. The sunlight lay bright and warm over all; the sky was blue with a depth of colour intensified by the few great white clouds drifting lazily across it.

No moving thing within all the wide rolling landscape save the sun flecked water, the softly stirring grass and rustling forests, the almost motionless white clouds. For two miles the hills billowed away gently to the northward, where at last they were swept up into the thickly timbered, crag crested mountains. For twice two miles toward the west one might guess the course of the stream before here, too, the mountains shut in, leaving only Echo CaƱon's narrow gap for the cool water to slip through. To the south and to the east ridges and hollows and mountains, and beyond a few fast melting patches of last winter's snow clinging to the lofty summits, looking like fragments broken away from the big white clouds and resting for a moment on the line where land and sky met.

The stillness was too perfect to remain long unbroken. From a trail leading down into the valley from the east a shepherd dog, running eagerly, broke through the waving grass, paused a second looking back expectantly, sniffed and ran on. Then a sound from over the ridge through the trees, the sound of singing, a young voice lilting wordlessly in enraptured gladness that life was so bright this morning. And presently a horse, a dark bay saddle pony moving as lazily as the clouds above, brought its rider down to the stream.

Surely the rider was just what the owner of the voice, half laughing, half crooning, tenderly lilting, must be. It seemed that only since the dawn of today had she become a woman having been a child until the dusk of yesterday. The wide grey eyes, looking out upon a gentle aspect of life, were inclined to be merry and musing at the same time, soft with maidenhood's day dreaming, tender with pleasant thoughts... Continue reading book >>




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