Although they had looked down the stern slopes to the lower Rockies, they did not see the girl who followed the loosely winding trail. She was partly sheltered by the firs and came out just above them. They began moiling at the stump again, sweating, cursing, and the girl halted her horse near by. The profanity did not distress her. She was so accustomed to it that the words had lost all edge and point for her; but her freckled face stirred to a smile of pleasure at the sight of their strength, as they alternately smote at the taproot and then strove in creaking, grunting unison to work it loose.
They remained so long oblivious of her presence that at length she called, "Why don't you dig a bigger hole, boys?"
She laughed in delight as they jerked up their heads in astonishment. Her laughter was young and sweet to the ear, but there was not a great deal outside her laughter that was attractive about her.