their guns by platoons, and dispersed the court in confusion.
"What for?" Jean still had an air of sullen apathy. "That won't help dad any."
"It'll start the world moving again." Lite forced himself to cheerfulness in the face of his own despondency. "You say it's stopped. It's us that have stopped. We've come to a blind pocket, you might say, in the trail we've been taking through life. We've got to start in a new place, that's all. Now, I know you're dead game, Jean; at least I know you used to be, and I'm gambling on school not taking that outa you. You're maybe thinking about going away off somewhere among strangers; but that wouldn't do at all. Your dad always counted on keeping you away from town life. I'm just going to ride herd on you, Jean, and see to it that you go on the way your dad wanted you to go. He can't be on the job, and so I'm what you might call his foreman. I know how he wants you to grow up; I'm going to make it my business to grow you according to directions."
He saw a little quirk of her lips, at that, and was vastly encouraged thereby.
"Has it struck you that you're liable to have your hands full?" she asked him with a certain drawl that Jean had possessed since she first learned to express herself in words.
"Sure! I'll likely have both hand and my hat full of trouble. But she's going to be done according to contract. I reckon I'll wish you was a bronk before I'm through--"
"What maddens me so that I could run amuck down this street, shooting everybody I saw," Jean flared out suddenly, "is the sickening injustice of it. Dad never did that; you know he never did it." She turned upon him fiercely. "Do you think he did?" she demanded, her eyes boring into his.
"Now, that's a bright question to be asking me, ain't it?" Lite rebuked. "That's a real bright, sensible question, I must say! I reckon you ought to be stood in the corner for that,--but I'll let it go this time. Only don't never spring anything like that again."
Jean looked ashamed. "I could doubt God Himself, right now," she gritted through her teeth.