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 A cloud on the Mountain!

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PostSubject: A cloud on the Mountain!   Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:37 pm

Ruth Mary stood on the high river bank, looking along the beach below to see if her small brother Tommy was lurking anywhere under the willows with his fishing-pole. He had been sent half an hour before to the earth cellar for potatoes, and Ruth Mary's father, Mr. Tully, was waiting for his dinner.

She did not see Tommy; but while she lingered, looking at the river hurrying down the shoot between the hills and curling up over the pebbles of the bar, she saw a team of bay horses and a red-wheeled wagon come rattling down the stony slope of the opposite shore. In the wagon she counted four men. Three of them wore white, helmet-shaped hats that made brilliant spots of light against the bank. The horses were driven half their length into the stream and allowed to drink, as well as they could for the swiftness of the current, while the men seemed to consult together, the two on the front seat turning back to speak with the two behind, and pointing across the river.

Ruth Mary watched them with much interest, for travelers such as these seemed to be seldom came as far up Bear River valley as the Tullys' cattle range. The visitors who came to them were mostly cowboys looking up stray cattle, or miners on their way to the "Banner district," or packers with mule trains going over the mountains, to return in three weeks, or three months, as their journey prospered. Fishermen and hunters came up into the hills in the season of trout and deer, but they came as a rule on horseback, and at a distance were hardly to be distinguished from the cowboys and the miners.

The men in the wagon were evidently strangers to that locality. They had seen Ruth Mary watching them from the hill, and now one of them rose up in the wagon and shouted across to her, pointing to the river.
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A cloud on the Mountain!
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