halloo which is designed to rouse and start in pursuit
"I don't know," said Lite slowly, looking down and still patting her hand. "Your father and I have both been gone all day. I just got back a few minutes ago and found out about it." His tone, his manner and his words impressed upon Jean the point he wanted her to get,--that her father had not yet returned, and so knew nothing of the crime.
He led her back to where Pard stood, and told her to get on. Without asking him why, Jean obeyed him, with a shudder when her wide eyes strayed fascinated to the open door and to what lay just within. Lite went up and pulled the door shut, and then, walking beside her with an arm over Pard's neck, he led the way down to the stable, and mounted Ranger.
"You can't stay here," he explained, when she looked at him inquiringly. "Do you want to go over and stay at Carl's, or would you rather go back to town?" He rode down toward the gate, and Jean kept beside him.
"I'm going to stay with dad," she told him shakily. "If he stays, I'll--I'll stay."
"You'll not stay," he contradicted her bluntly. "You can't. It wouldn't be right." And he added self-reproachfully: "I never thought of your cutting across the bench and riding down the trail back of the house. I meant to head you off--"
"It's shorter," said Jean briefly. "I--if I can't stay, I'd rather go to town, Lite. I don't like to stay over at Uncle Carl's."
Therefore, when they reached the mouth of the coulee, Lite turned into the trail that led to town. All down the coulee the trail had been dug deep with the hoofprints of a galloping horse; and now, on the town trail, they were as plain as a primer to one schooled in the open. But Jean was too upset to notice them, and for that Lite was thankful. They did not talk much, beyond the commonplace speculations which tragedy always brings to the lips of the bystanders. Comments that were perfectly obvious they made, it is true. Jean said it was perfectly awful, and Lite agreed with her. Jean wondered how it could have happened, and Lite said he didn't know. Neither of them said anything about the effect it would have upon their future; I don't suppose that Jean, at least, could remotely guess at the effect. It is certain that Lite preferred not to do so.
They were no more than half way to town when they met a group of galloping horsemen, their coming heralded for a mile by the dust they kicked out of the trail.