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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
N ROMANCE FOR MARCH WILL BE
BEGUN A SERIAL STORY BASED ON
REAL INCIDENTS IN AMERICAN LIFE, BY
A NEW WRITER, WHO, IT IS SAFE TO
EST PRAISE AND GIVE GREAT PLEASURE.
The master hand at keeping the reader in suspense --the best writer of one kind of stories, in fact, that we now have is the author of this from the San Francisco Examiner.
TOLD BY A SKELETON.
THERE is an old half-effaced trail among the rocky canyons of the Arizona mountains between Eagle Creek and Rio Prieto. It is a lonely place, with nothing but cactus and the cliff grass for verdure. It is deathly still. There seems to be no life anywhere among those tumbled crags. But pass along the trail, upset a bowlder, throw a rock into a clump of the cliff grass, you will see something alive. Coiled in the dark places are great diamond-backed rattlesnakes.
Disturb one of them and the whole dell will hum with the music of the castanets.
In the bed of the canyon, just above the wash-line, are some bones, polished by the drift of the river, bleached by the fierce sun for years. As you pass from the middle of the heap of ribs, comes the warning rattle of one of the deadly denizens of the glen. The remains of a pack-saddle are there and what might once have been the pack. There is a fragment of blanket with U.S. on it. Near by is the rusted steel of a Winchester rifle. Examine it, and you will find that still sticking fast in the breech is a green and mouldy cartridge.
That tells the story.
Some time back, when this glen, alive with rattlesnakes, was even lonelier and farther out of the world than it is now, some prospector, deserter, or hunter came there driving his pack-mule.
Fifty yards away from the whitening bones, behind that bowlder that juts from the cliff, some empty rifle shells are scattered. There are more of them concealed by that patch of greenwood, and still others among the rocks on the hillside.
Did the traveller with the army blanket know that he was travelling on the hidden trail that only the Apaches knew—that puzzling round-about path that started north and turned back south, the road by which the San Carlos Indians found their way unmolested to the Mexican Sierra Madre, though the soldiers were all around ?