“What is his big chief one?”

“Sight, maybe. Hearing, maybe. Instinct, maybe. Magic, maybe. Take your choice—grown-ups, twenty- five; children and servants, half price. Now I’ll tell you what he can do. You can start here, and just disappear; you can go and hide wherever you want to, I don’t care where it is, nor how far—and he’ll go straight and put his finger on you.”

“You don’t mean it!”

“I just do, though. Weather’s nothing to him—elemental conditions is nothing to him—he don’t even take notice of them.”

“Oh, come! Dark? Rain? Snow? Hey?”

“It’s all the same to him. He don’t give a damn.”

“Oh, say—including fog, per’aps?”

Fog! he’s got an eye ’t can plunk through it like a bullet.”

“Now, boys, honor bright, what’s he giving me?”

“It’s a fact!” they all shouted. “Go on, Wells-Fargo.”

“Well, sir, you can leave him here, chatting with the boys, and you can slip out and go to any cabin in this camp and open a book—yes, sir, a dozen of them—and take the page in your memory, and he’ll start out and go straight to that cabin and open every one of them books at the right page, and call it off, and never make a mistake.”

“He must be the devil!”

“More than one has thought it. Now I’ll tell you a perfectly wonderful thing that he done. The other night he—”

There was a sudden great murmur of sounds outside, the door flew open, and an excited crowd burst in, with the camp’s one white woman in the lead and crying:

“My child! my child! she’s lost and gone! For the love of God help me to find Archy Stillman; we’ve hunted everywhere!”

Said the barkeeper:

“Sit down, sit down, Mrs. Hogan, and don’t worry. He asked for a bed three hours ago, tuckered out tramping the trails the way he’s always doing, and went upstairs. Ham Sandwich, run up and roust him out; he’s in No. 14.”

The youth was soon downstairs and ready. He asked Mrs. Hogan for particulars.

“Bless you, dear, there ain’t any; I wish there was. I put her to sleep at seven in the evening, and when I went in there an hour ago to go to bed myself, she was gone. I rushed for your cabin, dear, and you wasn’t there, and I’ve hunted for you ever since, at every cabin down the gulch, and now I’ve come up again, and I’m that distracted and scared and heart-broke; but, thanks to God, I’ve found you at last, dear heart, and you’ll find my child. Come on! come quick!”

“Move right along; I’m with you, madam. Go to your cabin first.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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