Betty Zane HTML version
Betty stood still one moment staring at the door through which he had gone before she
realized that her overtures of friendship had been politely, but coldly, ignored. She had
actually been snubbed. The impossible had happened to Elizabeth Zane. Her first
sensation after she recovered from her momentary bewilderment was one of
amusement, and she laughed in a constrained manner; but, presently, two bright red
spots appeared in her cheeks, and she looked quickly around to see if any of the others
had noticed the incident. None of them had been paying any attention to her and she
breathed a sigh of relief. It was bad enough to be snubbed without having others see it.
That would have been too humiliating. Her eyes flashed fire as she remembered the
disdain in Clarke's face, and that she had not been clever enough to see it in time.
"Tige, come here!" called Colonel Zane. "What ails the dog?"
The dog had jumped to his feet and ran to the door, where he sniffed at the crack over
the threshold. His aspect was fierce and threatening. He uttered low growls and then
two short barks. Those in the room heard a soft moccasined footfall outside. The next
instant the door opened wide and a tall figure stood disclosed.
"Wetzel!" exclaimed Colonel Zane. A hush fell on the little company after that
exclamation, and all eyes were fastened on the new comer.
Well did the stranger merit close attention. He stalked into the room, leaned his long rifle
against the mantelpiece and spread out his hands to the fire. He was clad from head to
foot in fringed and beaded buckskin, which showed evidence of a long and arduous
tramp. It was torn and wet and covered with mud. He was a magnificently made man,
six feet in height, and stood straight as an arrow. His wide shoulders, and his muscular,
though not heavy, limbs denoted wonderful strength and activity. His long hair, black as
a raven's wing, hung far down his shoulders. Presently he turned and the light shone on
a remarkable face. So calm and cold and stern it was that it seemed chiselled out of
marble. The most striking features were its unusual pallor, and the eyes, which were
coal black, and piercing as the dagger's point.
"If you have any bad news out with it," cried Colonel Zane, impatiently.
"No need fer alarm," said Wetzel. He smiled slightly as he saw Betty's apprehensive
face. "Don't look scared, Betty. The redskins are miles away and goin' fer the Kanawha