North and west, in the direction of Yellow Bird's people, went Jolly Roger and Peter after that night. They traveled slowly and cautiously, and with each day Peter came to understand more clearly there was some reason why they must be constantly on their guard. His master, he noticed, was thrillingly attentive whenever a sound came to their ears—perhaps the cracking of a twig, a mysterious movement of brush, or the tread of a cloven hoof. And instinctively he came to know they were evading Man. He remembered vividly their escape from Cassidy and their quiet hiding for many days in the mass of sun-baked rocks which Jolly Roger had called the Stew-Kettle. The same vigilance seemed to be a part of his master's movements now. He did not laugh, or sing, or whistle, or talk loudly. He built fires so small that at first Peter was absorbed in an almost scientific analysis of them; and instead of shooting game which could have been easily secured he set little snares in the evening, and caught fish in the streams. At night they always slept half a mile or more from the place where they had built their tiny supper-fire. And during these hours of sleep Peter was ready to rouse himself at the slightest sound of movement near them. Scarcely a night passed that his low growl of warning did not bring Jolly Roger out of his slumber, a hand on his gun, and his eyes and ears wide open.

Whether he would have used the gun had the red-coated police suddenly appeared, McKay had not quite assured himself. Day after day the same old fight went on within him. He analyzed his situation from every point of view, and always—no matter how he went about it—eventually found himself face to face with the same definite fact. If the law succeeded in catching Him it would not trouble itself to punish him for stealing back the Treaty Money, or for holding up Government mails, or for any of his other misdemeanors. It would hang him for the murder of Jed Hawkins. And the minions of the law would laugh at the truth, even if he told it—which he never would. More than once his imaginative genius had drawn up a picture of that impossible happening. For it was a truth so inconceivable that he found the absurdity of it a grimly humorous thing. Even Nada believed he had killed her scoundrelly foster-father. Yet it was she—herself—who had killed him! And it was Nada whom the law would hang, if the truth was known—and believed.

Frequently he went back over the scenes of that tragic night at Cragg's Ridge when all the happiness in the world seemed to be offering itself to him—the night when Nada was to go with him to the Missioner's, to become his wife, And then—the dark trail—the disheveled girl staggering to him through the starlight, and her sobbing story of how Jed Hawkins had tried to drag her through the forest to Mooney's cabin, and how—at last—she had saved herself by striking him down with a stick which she had caught up out of the darkness. Would the police believe HIM—an outlaw—if he told the rest of the story?—how he had gone back to give Jed Hawkins the beating of his life, and had found him dead in the trail, where Nada had struck him down? Would they believe him if, in a moment of cowardice, he told them that to protect the girl he loved he had fastened the responsibility of the crime upon himself? No, they would not. He had made the evidence too complete. The world would call him a lying yellow-back if he betrayed what had actually happened on the trail between Cragg's Ridge and Mooney's cabin.

And this, after all, was the one remaining bit of happiness in Jolly Roger's heart, the knowledge that he had made the evidence utterly complete, and that Nada would never know, and the world would never know—the truth. His love for the blue-eyed girl-woman who had given her heart and her soul into his keeping, even when she knew he was an outlaw, was an undying thing, like his love for the mother of years ago. "It will be easy to die for her," he told Peter, and this, in the end, was what he knew he was going to do. Thought of the inevitable did not make him afraid. He was determined to keep his freedom and his life as long as he could, but he was fatalistic enough, and sufficiently acquainted with the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, to know what the ultimate of the thing would be. And yet, with tragedy behind him, and a still grimmer tragedy ahead, the soul of Jolly Roger was not dead or in utter darkness. In it, waking and sleeping, he enshrined the girl who had been willing to give up all other things in the world for him, who had pleaded with him in the last hour of storm down on the edge of civilization that she be given the privilege of accompanying him wherever his fate might lead. That he was an outlaw had not destroyed her faith in him. That he had killed a man—a man unfit to live—had only drawn her arms more closely about him, and had made her more completely a part of him. And a thousand times the maddening thought possessed Jolly Roger—was he wrong, and not right, in refusing to accept the love and companionship which she had begged him to accept, in spite of all that had happened and all that might happen?

Day by day he slowly won for himself, and at last, as they traveled in the direction of Yellow Bird's country, he crushed the final doubt that oppressed him, and knew that he was right. In his selfishness he had not shackled her to an outlaw. He had left her free. Life and hope and other happiness were ahead of her. He had not destroyed her, and this thought would strengthen him and leave something of gladness in his heart, even in that gray dawn when the law would compel him to make his final sacrifice.

It is a strange peace which follows grief, a secret happiness no other soul but one can understand. Out of it excitement and passion have been burned, and it is then the Great God of things comes more closely into the possession of his own. And now, as they went westward and north toward the Wollaston Lake country, this peace possessed Jolly Roger. It mellowed his world. It was half an ache, half a steady and undying pain, but it drew Life nearer to him than he had ever known it before. His love for the sun and the sky, for the trees and flowers and all growing things of the earth was more worship of the divine than a love for physical things, and each day he felt it drawing more closely about him in its comradeship, whispering to him of its might, and of its power to care for him in the darkest hours of stress that might come.

He did not travel fast after he had reached the decision to go to Yellow Bird's people. And he tried to imagine, a great deal of the time, that Nada was with him. He succeeded in a way that bewildered Peter, for quite frequently the man talked to someone who was not there.

The slowness and caution with which they traveled developed Peter's mental faculties with marvelous swiftness. His master, free of egoism and prejudice, had placed him on a plane of intimate equality, and Peter struggled each day to live up a little more to the responsibility of this intimacy and confidence. Instinct, together with human training, taught him woodcraft until in many ways he was more clever than his master. And along with this Jolly Roger slowly but surely impressed upon him the difference between wanton slaughter and necessary killing.

"Everything that's got a breath of life must kill—up to a certain point," Jolly Roger explained to him, repeating the lesson over and over. "And that isn't wrong, Peter. The sin is in killing when you don't have to. See that tree over there, with a vine as big as my wrist winding around it, like a snake? Well, that vine is choking the life out of the tree, and in time the tree will die. But the vine is doing just what God A'mighty meant it to do. It needs a tree to live on. But I'm going to cut the vine, because I think more of the tree than I do the vine. That's my privilege—following my conscience. And we're eating young partridges tonight, because we had to have something to keep us alive. It's the necessity of the thing that counts, Peter. Think you can understand that?"

It was pretty hard for Peter at first, but he was observant, and his mind worked quickly. The crime of destroying birdlings in their nest, or on the ground, was impressed upon him. He began to understand there was a certain humiliating shame attached to an attack upon a creature weaker than himself, unless there was a reason for it. He looked chiefly to his master for decisions in the matter. Snowshoe rabbits, young and half grown, were very tame in this month of August, and ordinarily he would have destroyed many of them in a day's travel. But unless Jolly Roger gave him a signal, or he was hungry, he would pass a snowshoe unconcernedly. This phase of Peter's development interested Jolly Roger greatly. The outlaw's philosophy had not been punctured by the egotistical "I am the only reasoning being" arguments of narrow-gauged nature scientists. He believed that Peter possessed not only a brain and super-instinct, but also a very positive reasoning power which he was helping to develop. And the process was one that fascinated him. When he was not sleeping, or traveling, or teaching Peter he was usually reading the wonderful little red volumes of history which he had purloined from the mail sledge up near the Barren Lands. He knew their contents nearly by heart. His favorites were the life-stories of Napoleon, Margaret of Anjou, and Peter the Great, and always when he compared his own troubles with the difficulties and tragedies over which these people had triumphed he felt a new courage and inspiration, and faced the world with better cheer. If Nature was his God and Bible, and Nada his Angel, these finger-worn little books written by a man half a century dead were voices out of the past urging him on to his best. Their pages were filled with the vivid lessons of sacrifice, of courage and achievement, of loyalty, honor and dishonor—and of the crashing tragedy which comes always with the last supreme egoism and arrogance of man. He marked the dividing lines, and applied them to himself. And he told Peter of his conclusions. He felt a consuming tenderness for the glorious Margaret of Anjou, and his heart thrilled one day when a voice seemed to whisper to him out of the printed page that Nada was another Margaret—only more wonderful because she was not a princess and a queen.

"The only difference," he explained to Peter, "is that Margaret sacrificed and fought and died for a king, and our Nada is willing to do all that for a poor beggar of an outlaw. Which makes Margaret a second-rater compared with Nada," he added. "For Margaret wanted a kingdom along with her husband, and Nada would take—just you and me. And that's where we're pulling some Peter the Great stuff," he tried to laugh. "We won't let her do it!"

And so they went on, day after day, toward the Wollaston waterways—the country of Yellow Bird and her people.

It was early September when they crossed the Geikie and struck up the western shore of Wollaston Lake. The first golden tints were ripening in the canoe-birch leaves, and the tremulous whisper of autumn was in the rustle of the aspen trees. The poplars were yellowing, the ash were blood red with fruit, and in cool, dank thickets wild currants were glossy black and lusciously ripe. It was the season which Jolly Roger loved most of all, and it was the beginning of Peter's first September. The days were still hot, but at night there was a bracing something in the air that stirred the blood, and Peter found a sharp, new note in the voices of the wild. The wolf howled again in the middle of the night. The loon forgot his love-sickness, and screamed raucous defiance at the moon. The big snowshoes were no longer tame, but wary and alert, and the owls seemed to slink deeper into darkness and watch with more cunning. And Jolly Roger knew the human masters of the wilderness were returning from the Posts to their cabins and trap-lines, and he advanced with still greater caution. And as he went, watching for smoke and listening for sound, he began to reflect upon the many changes which five years might have produced among Yellow Bird's people. Possibly other misfortunes had come, other winters of hunger and pestilence, scattering and destroying the tribe. It might even be that Yellow Bird was dead.

For three days he followed slowly the ragged shore of Wollaston Lake, and foreboding of evil was oppressing him when he came upon the fish-racks of the Indians. They had been abandoned for many days, for black bear tracks fairly inundated the place, and Peter saw two of the bears—fat and unafraid—nosing along the shore where the fish offal had been thrown.

It was the next day, in the hour before sunset, that Jolly Roger and Peter came out on the edge of a shelving beach where Indian children were playing in the white sand. Among these children, playing and laughing with them, was a woman. She was tall and slim, with a skirt of soft buckskin that came only a little below her knees, and two shining black braids which tossed like velvety ropes when she ran. And she was running when they first saw her—running away from them, pursued by the children; and then she twisted suddenly, and came toward them, until with a startled cry she stopped almost within the reach of Jolly Roger's hands. Peter was watching. He saw the half frightened look in her face, then the slow widening of her dark eyes, and the quick intake of her breath. And in that moment Jolly Roger cried out a name.

"Yellow Bird!"

He went to her slowly, wondering if it could be possible the years had touched Yellow Bird so lightly; and Yellow Bird reached out her hands to him, her face flaming up with sudden happiness, and Peter wondered what it was all about as he cautiously eyed the half dozen brown-faced little Indian children who had now gathered quietly about them. In another moment there was an interruption. A girl came through the fringe of willows behind them. It was as if another Yellow Bird had come to puzzle Peter—the same slim, graceful little body, the same shining eyes, and yet she was half a dozen years younger than Nada. For the first time Peter was looking at Sun Cloud, the daughter of Yellow Bird. And in that moment he loved her, just as something gave him confidence and faith in the starry-eyed woman whose hands were in his master's. Then Yellow Bird called, and the girl went to her mother, and Jolly Roger hugged her in his arms and kissed her on the scarlet mouth she turned up to him. Then they hurried along the shore toward the fishing camp, the children racing ahead to tell the news, led by Sun Cloud—with Peter running at her heels.

They hurred to the camp, the children racing ahead to tell the news

They hurred to the camp, the children racing ahead to tell the news

Never had Peter heard anything from a man's throat like the two yells that came from Slim Buck, Yellow Bird's husband and chief of the tribe, after he had greeted Jolly Roger McKay. It was a note harking back to the old war trails of the Crees, and what followed it that night was most exciting to Peter. Big fires were built of white driftwood, and there was singing and dancing, and a great deal of laughter and eating, and the interminable howling of half a hundred Siwash dogs. Peter did not like the dogs, but he did no fighting because his love for Sun Cloud kept him close to the touch of her little brown hand.

That night, in the glow of the big fire outside of Slim Buck's tepee, Jolly Roger's heart thrilled with a pleasure which it had not known for a long time. He loved to look at Yellow Bird. Five years had not changed her. Her eyes were starry bright. Her teeth were like milk. The color still came and went in her brown cheeks, even as it did in Sun Cloud's. All of which, in this heart of a wilderness, meant that she had been happy and prosperous. And he also loved to look at Sun Cloud, who possessed all of that rare wildflower beauty sometimes given to the northern Crees. And it did him good to look at Slim Buck. He was a splendid mate, and a royal father, and Jolly Roger found himself strangely happy in their happiness. In the eyes of men and women and little children he saw that happiness all about him. For three winters there had been splendid trapping, Slim Buck told him, and this season they had caught and dried enough fish to carry them through the following winter, even if black days should come. His people were rich. They had many warm blankets, and good clothes, and the best of tepees and guns and sledges, and several treasures besides. Two of these Yellow Bird and her husband disclosed to Jolly Roger this first night. One of them was a sewing machine, and the other—a phonograph! And Jolly Roger listened to "Mother Machree" and "The Rosary" that night as he sat by Wollaston Lake with six hundred miles of wilderness between him and Cragg's Ridge.

Later, when the camp slept, Yellow Bird and Slim Buck and Jolly Roger still sat beside the red embers of their fire, and Jolly Roger told of what had happened down at the edge of civilization. It was what his heart needed, and he left out none of the details. Slim Buck was listening, but Jolly Roger knew he was talking straight at Yellow Bird, and that her warm heart was full of understanding. Softly, in that low Cree voice which is the sweetest of all voices, she asked him many questions about Nada, and gently her slim fingers caressed the tress of Nada's hair which he let her take in her hands. And after a long time, she said.

"I have given her a name. She is Oo-Mee, the Pigeon."

Slim Buck started at the strange note in her voice.

"The Pigeon," he repeated,

"Yes, Oo-Mee, the Pigeon," Yellow Bird nodded. She was not looking at them. In the firelight her eyes were glowing pools. Her body had grown a little tense. Without asking Jolly Roger's permission she placed the tress of Nada's hair in her bosom. "Oo-Mee, the Pigeon," she said again, looking far away. "That is her name, because the Pigeon flies fast and straight and true. Over forests and lakes and worlds the Pigeon flies. It is tireless. It is swift. It always—flies home."

Slim Buck rose quietly to his feet.

"Come," he whispered, looking at Jolly Roger,

Yellow Bird did not look at them or speak to them, and Slim Buck—with his hand on Jolly Roger's arm—pulled him gently away. In his eyes was a little something of fear, and yet along with it a sublime faith.

"Her spirit will be with Oo-Mee, the Pigeon, tonight," he said in a voice struck with awe. "It will go to this place which you have described, and it will live in the body of the girl, and through Yellow Bird it will tell you tomorrow what has happened, and what is going to happen."

In the edge of the shore-willows Jolly Roger stood for a time watching Yellow Bird as she sat under the stars, motionless as a figure graven out of stone. He felt a curious tingling at his heart, something stirring uneasily in his breast, and he stood alone even after Slim Buck had stretched himself out in the soft sand to sleep. He was not superstitious. Yet it was equally a part of his philosophy and his creed to believe in the overwhelming power of the mind. "If you have faith enough, and think hard enough, you can think anything until it comes true," he had told himself more than once. And he knew Yellow Bird possessed that illimitable faith, and that behind her divination lay generations and centuries of an unbreakable certainty in the power of mind over matter. He realized his own limitations, but a mysterious voice in the still night seemed whispering to him that in the crude wisdom of Yellow Bird's brain lay the secret to strange achievement, and that on this night her mind might perform for him what he, in his greater wisdom, would call a miracle. He had seen things like that happen. And he sat down in the sand, sleepless, and with Peter at his feet waited for Yellow Bird to stir.

He could see the dull shimmer of starlight in her hair, but the rest of her was a shadow that gave no sign of life. The camp was asleep. Even the dogs were buried in their wallows of sand, and the last red spark of the fires had died out. The hour passed, and another hour followed, and the lids of Jolly Roger's eyes grew heavier as the fading stars seemed to be sinking deeper into infinity. At last he slept, with his back leaning against a sand-dune the children had made. He dreamed, and was flying through the air with Yellow Bird. She was traveling swift and straight, like an arrow, and he had difficulty in keeping up with her, and at last he cried out for her to wait—that he could go no farther. The cry roused him. He opened his eyes, and found cool, gray dawn in the sky. Peter, alert, was muzzling his hand. Slim Buck lay in the sand, still asleep. There was no stir in the camp. And then, with a sudden catch in his breath, he looked toward Yellow Bird's tepee.

Yellow Bird still sat in the sand. Through the hours of fading starlight and coming dawn she had not moved. Slowly McKay rose to his feet. When he came to her, making no sound, she looked up. The shimmer of glistening dew was in her hair. Her long lashes were wet with it. Her face was very pale, and her eyes so large and dark that for a moment they startled him. She was tired. Exhaustion was in her slim, limp body.

A sigh came from her lips, and her shoulders swayed a little.

"Sit down, Neekewa," she whispered, drawing the ropes of her hair about her as if she were cold.

Then she drew a slim hand over her eyes, and shivered.

"It is well, Neekewa," she spoke softly. "I have gone through the clouds to where lives Oo-Mee, the Pigeon. I found her crying in a trail. I whispered to her and happiness came, and that happiness is going to live—for Neekewa and The Pigeon. It cannot die. It cannot be killed. The Red Coated men of the Great White Father will never destroy it. You will live. She will live. You will meet again—in happiness. And happiness will follow ever after. That much I learned, Neekewa. In happiness—you will meet again."

"Where? When?" whispered Jolly Roger, his heart beating with sudden swiftness.

Again Yellow Bird passed her hand over her eyes, and as she held it there for a moment she bowed her head until Jolly Roger could see only her dew-wet hair and she said,

"In the Country Beyond, Neekewa."

Her eyes were looking at him again, big, dark and filled with mystery.

"And where is this country, Yellow Bird?" he asked, a strange chill driving the warmth out of his heart. "You mean—up there?" And he pointed to the gray sky above them.

"No, it is happiness to come in life, not in death," said Yellow Bird slowly. "It is not beyond the stars. It is—"

He waited, leaning toward her.

"In the Country Beyond," she repeated with a tired little droop of her head. "And where that is I do not know, Neekewa. I could not pass beyond the great white cloud that shut me out. But it is—somewhere, I will find it. And then I will tell you—and The Pigeon."

She stood up, and swayed in the gray light, like one worn out by hard travel. Then she passed into the tepee, and Jolly Roger heard her fall on her blanket-bed.

And still stranger whisperings filled his heart as he faced the east, where the first red blush of day drove back the star-mists of dawn. He heard a step in the soft sand, and Slim Buck stood beside him. And he asked.

"Did you ever hear of the Country Beyond?" Slim Buck shook his head, and both looked in silence toward the rising sun.

Peter was glad when the camp roused itself out of sleep with waking voices, and laughter, and the building of fires. He waited eagerly for Sun Cloud. At last she came out of Yellow Bird's tepee, rubbing her eyes in the face of the glow in the east, and then her white teeth flashed a smile of welcome at him. Together they ran down to the edge of the lake, and Peter wagged his tail while Sun Cloud went out knee-deep and scrubbed her pretty face with handfuls of the cool water. It was a happy day for him. He was different from the Indian dogs, and Sun Cloud and her playmates made much of him. But never, even in their most exciting play, did he entirely lose track of his master.

Jolly Roger, to an extent, forgot Peter. He tried to deaden within him the impulses which Yellow Bird's conjuring had roused. He tried to see in them a menace and a danger, and he repeated to himself the folly of placing credence in Yellow Bird's "medicine." But his efforts were futile, and he was honest enough to admit it. The uneasiness was in his breast. A new hope was rising up. And with that hope were fear and suspense, for deep in him was growing stronger the conviction that what Yellow Bird would tell him would be true. He noted the calm and dignified stiffness with which Slim Buck greeted the day. The young chief passed quietly among his people. A word traveled in whispers, voices and footsteps were muffled and before the sun was an hour high there was no tepee standing but one on that white strip of beach. And the one tepee was Yellow Bird's.

Not until the camp was gone, leaving her alone, did Yellow Bird come out into the day. She saw the food placed at her tepee door. She saw the empty places where the homes of her people had stood, and in the wet sand of the beach the marks of their missing canoes. Then she turned her pale face and tired eyes to the sun, and unbraided her hair so that it streamed glistening all about her and covered the white sand when she sat down again in front of the smoke-darkened canvas that had become her conjurer's house.

Two miles up the beach Slim Buck's people made another camp. But Slim Buck and Jolly Roger remained in the cover of a wooded headland only half a mile from Yellow Bird. They saw her when she came out. They watched for an hour after she sat down in the sand. And then Slim Buck grunted, and with a gesture of his hands said they would go. Jolly Roger protested. It was not safe for Yellow Bird to remain entirely beyond their protection. There were bears prowling about. And human beasts occasionally found their way through the wilderness. But Slim Buck's face was like a bronze carving in its faith and pride.

"Yellow Bird only goes with the good spirits," he assured Jolly Roger. "She does not do witchcraft with the bad. And no harm can come while the good spirits are with her. It is thus she has brought us happiness and prosperity since the days of the famine, Neekewa!"

He spoke these words in Cree, and McKay answered him in Cree as they turned in the direction of the camp. Half way, Sun Cloud came to meet them, with Peter at her side. She put a brown little hand in Jolly Roger's. It was quite new and pleasant to be kissed as Jolly Roger had kissed her, and she held up her mouth to him again. Then she ran ahead, with Peter yipping foolishly and happily at her moccasined heels.

And Jolly Roger said,

"I wish I was your brother, Slim Buck, and Nada was Yellow Bird's sister—and that I had many like her," and his eyes followed Sun Cloud with hungry yearning.

And as he said these words, Yellow Bird sat with bowed head and closed eyes, with the soft tress of Nada's hair in her hands. It was the physical union between them, and all that day, and the night that followed, Yellow Bird held it in her hand or against her breast as she struggled to send out the soul that was in her on its mission to Oo-Mee the Pigeon. In darkness she buried the food that was left her, and stamped on it with her feet. The sacrifice of her body had begun, and for two days thereafter Jolly Roger and Slim Buck saw no movement of life about the lone tepee in the sand.

But the third morning they saw the smoke of a little greenwood fire rising straight up from in front of it.

Slim Buck drew in a deep breath. It was the signal fire.

"She knows," he said, pointing for Jolly Roger to go. "She is calling you!"

The tenseness was gone from the bronze muscles of his face. He was lonely without Yellow Bird, and the signal fire meant she would be with him again soon. Jolly Roger walked swiftly over the white beach. Again he tried to tell himself what folly it all was, and that he was answering the signal-fire only to humor Yellow Bird and Slim Buck. But words, even spoken half aloud, did not quiet the eager beating of his heart.

Not until he was very near did Yellow Bird come out of the tepee. And it was then Jolly Roger stopped short, a gasp on his lips. She was changed. Her radiant hair was still down, polished smooth; but her face was whiter than he had ever seen it, and drawn and pinched almost as in the days of the famine. For two days and two nights she had taken no food, and for two days and two nights she had not slept. But there was triumph in her big, wide-open eyes, and Jolly Roger felt something strange rising up in his breast.

Yellow Bird held out her hands toward him.

"We have been together, The Pigeon and I," she said. "We have slept in each other's arms, and the warmth of her head has lain against my breast. I have learned the secrets, Neekewa—all but one. The spirits will not tell me where lies the Country Beyond. But it is not up there—beyond the stars. It is not in death, but in life you will find it. That they have told me. And you must not go back to where The Pigeon lives, for you will find black desolation there—but always you must keep on and on, seeking for the Country Beyond. You will find it. And there also you will find The Pigeon—and happiness. You cannot fail, Neekewa, yet my heart stings me that I cannot tell you where that strange country is. But when I came to it gold and silver clouds shut it in, and I could see nothing, and yet out of it came the singing of birds and the promise of sweet voices that it shall be found—if you seek faithfully, Neekewa. I am glad."

Each word that she spoke in her soft and tremulous Cree was a new message of hope in the empty heart of Jolly Roger McKay. The world might laugh. Men might tap their heads and smile. His own voice might argue and taunt. But deep in his heart he believed.

Something of the radiance of the new day came into his face, even as it was returning into Yellow Bird's. He looked about him—east, west, north and south—upon the sunlit glory of water and earth, and suddenly he reached out his arms.

"I'll find it, Yellow Bird," he cried. "I'll find this place you call the Country Beyond! And when I do—"

He turned and took one of Yellow Bird's slim hands in both his own.

"And when I do, we'll come back to you, Yellow Bird," he said.

And like a cavalier of old he touched his lips gently to the palm of Yellow Bird's little brown hand.

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