"If that boy ever grows up to be like Jonathan or Wetzel it will be the death of me," said
the Colonel's wife, who had heard the lad's chatter.
"Don't worry, Bessie. When Noah grows to be a man the Indians will be gone."
Col. Zane heard the galloping of a horse and looking up saw Clarke coming down the
road on his black thoroughbred. The Colonel rose and walked out to the hitching-block,
where Clarke had reined in his fiery steed.
"Ah, Alfred. Been out for a ride?"
"Yes, I have been giving Roger a little exercise."
"That's a magnificent animal. I never get tired watching him move. He's the best bit of
horseflesh on the river. By the way, we have not seen much of you since the siege. Of
course you have been busy. Getting ready to put on the harness, eh? Well, that's what
we want the young men to do. Come over and see us."
"I have been trying to come. You know how it is with me--about Betty, I mean. Col.
Zane, I--I love her. That's all."
"Yes, I know, Alfred, and I don't wonder at your fears. But I have always liked you, and
now I guess it's about time for me to put a spoke in your wheel of fortune. If Betty cares
for you--and I have a sneaking idea she does--I will give her to you."
"I have nothing. I gave up everything when I left home."
"My lad, never mind about that," said the Colonel, laying his hand on Clarke's knee. "We
don't need riches. I have so often said that we need nothing out here on the border but
honest hearts and strong, willing hands. These you have. That is enough for me and for
my people, and as for land, why, I have enough for an army of young men. I got my land
cheap. That whole island there I bought from Cornplanter. You can have that island or
any tract of land along the river. Some day I shall put you at the head of my men. It will
take you years to cut that road through to Maysville. Oh, I have plenty of work for you."
"Col. Zane, I cannot thank you," answered Alfred, with emotion. "I shall try to merit your
friendship and esteem. Will you please tell your sister I shall come over in the morning
and beg to see her alone."
"That I will, Alfred. Goodnight."
Col. Zane strode across his threshold with a happy smile on his face. He loved to joke
and tease, and never lost an opportunity.
"Things seem to be working out all right. Now for some fun with Her Highness," he said