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Down a winding mountain trail, a girl of sixteen was riding on Comrade, her wiry red-brown pony. It was a glorious morning. The sky above was a gleaming cloudless blue, the desert, below, stretching to the far horizon, shimmered white in the sunlight, while some bird in a canon near was caroling a tipsy song of joy, but these things Virginia Davis did not see or hear, for her eyes were gazing at the rugged trail and her thoughts were puzzling over the contents of a letter which her brother Malcolm had brought to her that morning when he had returned from the town of Douglas which was twenty miles away. Her father’s best friend had died the year before, and had left a motherless girl all alone in the world.