XII
CONCERNING AN EMPTY

THE seat he had coveted was vacant. On either side the girl were empty chairs, two or three; for with that clean, shy respect of the frontier that divines and evades a good woman, the dusty company had sat itself at a distance, and Mr. McLean's best seat was open to him. Yet he had veered away to the other side of the table, and his usually roving eye attempted no gallantry. He ate sedately, and it was not until after long weeks and many happenings that Miss Buckner told Lin she had known he was looking at her through the whole of this meal. The strawhatted proprietor came and went, bearing beefsteak hammered flat to make it tender. The girl seemed the one happy person among us; for supper was going forward with the invariable alkali etiquette, all faces brooding and feeding amid a disheartening silence as of guilt or bereavement that springs from I have never been quite sure what--perhaps reversion to the native animal absorbed in his meat, perhaps a little from every guest's uneasiness lest he drink his coffee wrong or stumble in the accepted uses of the fork. In-

-178-

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Lin McLean
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Dedication *
  • Contents *
  • I - "VARIETY, YOU BET!" 1
  • II - HOW LIN WENT EAST 17
  • III - HOME TO THE SAGE-BRUSH 28
  • IV - THE NEW GIRL 42
  • V - THE WINNING OF THE BISCUIT-SHOOTER 62
  • Vl - HONEY-MOON LIN 81
  • VII - "YOU SAGE-BRUSH BIGAMIST!" 93
  • VIII - IN SEARCH OF CHRISTMAS 114
  • IX - SANTA-CLAUS LIN 131
  • X - YOUNG RESPONSIBILITY 145
  • XI - THE TRUE GIRL 161
  • XII - CONCERNING AN EMPTY 178
  • XIII - BROTHER NATE 195
  • XIV - SEPAR'S VIGILANTE 208
  • XV - "NEIGHBOR" 226
  • XVI - RESPONSIBILITY TALKS 236
  • XVII - RE-ENTER THE NEW GIRL 248
  • XVIII - "AMBROSIER. HONEY-DOO." 266
  • XIX - DESTINY AT DRYBONE 277
  • XX - "NEIGHBOR" AGAIN 301
  • IN THE AFTER-DAYS 304
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