"Which merely shows, ma'am, what is possible when you give a sound man twenty-four hours a day in our hills for a few years," he added."Thanks to your nursing he's going to shave through by the narrowest margin possible.I told him to-day that he owed his life to you, Miss Messiter.""I don't think you need have told him that Doctor," returned that young woman, not a little vexed at him, "especially since you have just been telling me that he owes it to Wyoming air and his own soundness of constitution."When she returned to the sickroom to give her patient his medicine hewanted to tell her what the doctor had said, but she cut him off ruthlessly and told him not to talk.

"Mayn't I even say 'Thank you?'" he wanted to know."No; you talk far too much as it is."He smiled "All right.Y'u sit there in that chair, where I can see y'u doing that fancywork and I'll not say a word.It'll keep, all right, what I want to say.""I notice you keep talking," she told him, dryly.

"Yes, ma'am.Y'u had better have let me say what I wanted to, but I'll be good now."He fell asleep watching her, and when he awoke she was still sitting there, though it was beginning to grow dark.He spoke before she knew he was awake.

"I'm going to get well, the doctor thinks." "Yes, he told me," she answered.

"Did he tell y'u it was your nursing saved me?" "Please don't think about that.""What am I to think about? I owe y'u a heap, and it keeps piling up.I reckon y'u do it all because it's your Christian duty?" he demanded.

"It is my duty, isn't it?"

"I didn't say it wasn't, though I expaict Bighorn County will forget to give y'u a unanimous vote of thanks for doing it.I asked if y'u did it because it was your duty?""The reason doesn't matter so that I do it," she answered, steadily."Reasons matter some, too, though they ain't as important as actionsout in this country.Back in Boston they figure more, and since y'u used to go to school back there y'u hadn't ought to throw down your professor of ethics.""Don't you think you have talked enough for the present?" she smiled, and added: "If I make you talk whenever I sit beside you I shall have to stay away.""That's where y'u've ce'tainly got the drop on me, ma'am.I'm a clam till y'u give the word."Before a week he was able to sit up in a chair for an hour or two, andsoon after could limp into the living room with the aid of a walking stick and his hostess.Under the tan he still wore an interesting pallor, but there could be no question that he was on the road to health.

"A man doesn't know what he's missing until he gets shot up and is brought to the Lazy D hospital, so as to let Miss Messiter exercise her Christian duty on him," he drawled, cheerfully, observing the sudden glow on her cheek brought by the reference to his unanswered question.

William MacLeod Raine