The Wrong Woman
102 Pages

The Wrong Woman


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Published 08 December 2010
Reads 52
Language English


The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Wrong Woman, by Charles D. Stewart, Illustrated by Harold M. Brett This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: The Wrong Woman Author: Charles D. Stewart Release Date: July 25, 2007 [eBook #22140] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE WRONG WOMAN*** E-text prepared by Al Haines She saw that she would have to continue her journey afoot The Wrong Woman BY Charles D. Stewart THE COPP CLARK COMPANY LIMITED TORONTO COPYRIGHT, 1912, BY CHARLES D. STEWART ALL RIGHTS RESERVED CONTENTS CHAPTER I CHAPTER II CHAPTER III CHAPTER IV CHAPTER V CHAPTER VI CHAPTER VII CHAPTER VIII CHAPTER IX CHAPTER X CHAPTER XI CHAPTER XII ILLUSTRATIONS She saw that she would have to continue her journey afoot (page 13) . . . . . . Frontispiece The stars, a vast audience, had all taken their places "There's number one," Steve remarked casually In the very midst of that dread ordeal, a test From drawings by Harold M. Brett The Wrong Woman CHAPTER I Having made final inspection of the knots of her shoe-laces and the fastenings of her skirt, Janet turned toward her "perfectly horrid" oilcoat, which, as usual, had spent the night on the floor. As it would never come off till she had tortured her fingers on the edges of its big rusty buttons, she always parted from it on unpleasant terms, casting it from her; whereupon this masculine garment fell into the most absurd postures, sprawling about on her bedroom floor, or even sitting up, drunkenly, in the corner,—which latter it could easily do, being as stiff as it was yellow. This time it had caught by one arm on the back of a chair, and it came so near standing alone that it seemed to be on the point of getting along without the chair's assistance. As Janet stood considering its case, she turned her eyes toward the window to see what the weather had decided, and now she saw the farmer leading forth her pony. She went to the window and opened it wider. "Please, Mr. Wanger, make it tight. He always swells himself out when he sees he is going to be saddled. Then, when he has gone a little distance, he lets himself in, and both the girths are hanging loose. That's one of his tricks." She leaned farther out and made further observation of the weather. As the air was mild and the sky serenely blue (though you can never tell about a Texas Norther), she took Sir Slicker by the nape of his collar-band and dropped him out of the window to be lashed to the saddle; then she turned to the mirror again, and, having done the best she could with the hat, she went to take leave of the farmer's family, who, as she judged by certain sounds, were assembled at the front of the house awaiting her departure. But scarcely had she stepped into the adjoining room and shut the door behind her, when the buxom, blue-eyed Lena, rushing in from the porch, met her with a hug that was more like a welcome than a leave-taking. "Oh, goo-o-o-bye, Miss Janey. I am so-o-o sorry. I t'ink you are so-o-o sweet and nice." And then Lena, whose open Swiss nature was either at the summit of happiness or down in the valley of despair, regarded her ruefully for a space, and after one more hug and the shedding of two large healthy tears, accompanied her out to the porch. There the Wangers were waiting and the children standing in line to be kissed—quite as if she were a dear relative, or at least an acquaintance of more than four days' standing. Janet kissed them all; and having done so she proceeded to the hitching-post, followed by the entire family, down to little Jacob, who stationed himself at the very heels of the broncho, and was so far forgotten by them all, in their concern with Janet's affairs, that they did not think to rescue him from his perilous situation till it was everlastingly too late, the horse having by that time moved away. And then Jacob, who had been studying his elders closely, after the manner of his tribe, guessed the meaning of those farewell words which he had not been able to understand; and as she drew away he opened his mouth and bawled. Her route, which lay forty miles before her with but one stream to ford, might be described as simply a fenced road on each side of which was open prairie and the sky; for, though this land was all private property, the holdings were so vast that the rest of the fence could not be seen as far as the eye could reach. As this gave the roadside fence the appearance of not inclosing land at all, but rather of inclosing the traveler as he crossed over the vacant waste from town to town, the stretch of wire seemed to belong to the road itself as properly as a hand-rail belongs to a bridge; and this expansive scene, while it was somewhat rolling, was of so uniform and unaccentuated a character in the whole, and so lacking in features to arrest the eye, that the road might be said to pass nothing but its own fence-posts. For a while Janet's thoughts dwelt upon her experience with the farmer's family, the final scene of which now impressed her more deeply as she realized how promptly these good folk had opened their hearts to receive her, and how genuine was their sorrow at seeing her go; and this reflection imparted so pleasant a flavor to the world that her mind kept reënacting that simple scene of leave-taking. But when she had got well out to sea,—for that is the effect of it except that the stretch of wire puts the mind in a sort of telegraphic touch with the world, —she drifted along contemplating the prairie at large, all putting forth in spring flowers, and for a time she seemed to have ridden quite out of the Past; but finally, recalling her affairs, her mind projected itself forward and she fell to wondering what the Future might have in store. There was nothing to answer her, and little to interrupt her speculations. About the middle of the forenoon, or later, she encountered a fellow-traveler in the person of a cowboy on a bay pony. At