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Kiddie the Scout by Robert Leighton

Rube knew Kiddie pretty well by now


All

the time he was thinking less of his own position as a captive than of Kiddie. He knew very surely that Kiddie would be anxious about him. What would he do? Would he just wait in camp in fretful annoyance?

Rube knew Kiddie pretty well by now; knew that so soon as a reasonable time had gone by he would judge that an accident of some kind had caused the delay, and would set out in search.

"Pity I didn't blaze the trail, somehow," Rube reflected. "Dessay he'll squander heaps of valuable time lookin' fer my dead body along the foot of the cliffs away down in the canyon. Though I reckon he'd foller on my tracks as far's he could. If Kiddie noticed that pair of eagles takin' flight, he'll know it was my bein' near their nest that scared 'em. He'll make for the nest, sure."

Rube was applying Kiddie's method of imagining himself in the other person's place, and, following up this process, he decided that it would not be very long before Kiddie would get on to the track of these Indians.

CHAPTER XVI

THE SIGN OF THE BROKEN FEATHER

When at length the ponies were brought to a halt, Rube was dragged to the ground and left there, lying on his back, with his cramped arms beneath him. He heard the muffled sounds of barking dogs and chattering

squaws, and he judged that he had been brought into the Indians' encampment.

Presently he was turned over and his arms were set free, the tight bandage was taken from his eyes.

He sat up and gazed about him wonderingly, with dim sight and aching forehead.

For the first time in his life he was in an Indian village, surrounded by wigwams, all of them similar to Kiddie's teepee, only that his was cleaner and better made, and decorated with more care.

The village was pitched in the midst of a green valley, through which ran a narrow creek, bordered with willows. Horses and cattle grazed on the neighbouring slopes, and an enclosed cornfield and well-beaten trails showed that the Indians lived here permanently.

Near to where he sat were two lodges larger than the rest. They were decorated with many painted devices and trophies of the chase, and in front of each of them was a high totem pole from which grim-looking scalp locks and skulls and bones were suspended. He conjectured that one of these tents would be the chief's wigwam and the other the Medicine Lodge.

None of the Redskins took much notice of him, passing him with a mere glance, or making a remark in a tongue which he did not understand.

A young squaw approached, carrying water. Rube signed to her, asking for a drink. She stopped and stooped to give him one. He then made further easily understood signs to show that he was very hungry. She spoke to him, but he shook his head.


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