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HOME > Classical Novels > Dorothy Dale in the West > CHAPTER XX TWO EYES IN THE DARK
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 Now, although there had been no path up the mountain from the dell where the girls had tied their , both Dorothy and Tavia were sure they could their steps easily enough. And as the sun was already nearing the tops of the higher peaks to the , neither of the girls cared to linger longer on the height.  
“It’s all a fizzle,” Tavia. “That’s what I call it. Why! I thought we would be able to look right down into the dooryard at the .”
“It did look so from below. And if we could climb the trees here, I expect we would be able to see much of the range between the mountain and the ranch-house,” agreed Dorothy.
“Well! let us spend no time in vain repinings,” quoth Tavia, briskly. “We’ll tumble down and get into the saddle again. Guess we’re poor mountain climbers, Doro.”
“Oh, I think we have done very well.”
 “Not a bit of it. Regular mountain climbers would have known from the start that nothing could be seen from the top of this mountain.”
“Every one to his trade,” laughed Dorothy.
“And mountain climbing is a trade like everything else. Of course,” added Tavia, whimsically, “to learn any trade, you have to begin at the bottom and work up.”
“Oh, I don’t know. How about parachute jumping?” Dorothy.
“Dear me! how smart you are,” said Tavia. “That reminds me of one my brother Johnny got off—because it is so different! It was when he was going to the little old school in Dalton.”
“What fun we had there,” sighed Dorothy.
“Yea, verily! Ages and ages ago—when we were young,” Tavia. “Anyhow, the teacher asked Johnny to tell what an was. ‘A short, funny tale,’ says Johnny.
“‘True,’ says the teacher. ‘Go to the blackboard and write a sentence containing the word.’
“So Johnny did so,” chuckled Tavia. “He wrote: ‘A rabbit has four legs and one anecdote.’”
“Now, Tavia!” cried Dorothy, panting and laughing, too. “You know that is a made-up story. And I bet you stole it from somewhere.”
“Pshaw!” returned Tavia. “Where do you184 suppose all the funny people since Noah got their jokes?”
“Out of a joke-book published just before the Flood,” Dorothy. “And you certainly must have a copy that you read on the sly.”
Just then the two girls, who had been all this time the hill, burst through a screen of bushes into an opening.
“Here we are!” cried Dorothy, with satisfaction.
“Hi! is this the place?” Tavia. “Of course it is!” she added, answering her own question. “There’s that scarred tree,” pointing to a lightning-riven pine across the .
“Oh, that is so,” admitted Dorothy. Then she suddenly screamed: “Tavia Travers! where are the ponies?”
“Dorothy!” Tavia, in return. “They’ve gone.”
“Goodness!” said Dorothy Dale. “Have they run away—or been stolen?”
“It’s plain to be seen they are not to be seen,” said Tavia. “It’s—it’s dreadfully unfortunate, Doro.”
“And we can’t walk home!” Dorothy.
“All right, Miss. We’ll fly.”
“We’ll find the ponies,” declared the practical Dorothy, recovering to a degree from her panic. “Come on.”
 But the two girls from the East were not familiar with the wilds. As for trailing horses through the woods, they did not know one single thing about that business. They could not even find the spot where the ponies had been tied, side by side.
“My goodness me, Doro,” asked Tavia, at length, “whatever shall we do? The ponies are lost. What will your Aunt Winnie say to that?”
“I guess she won’t trouble much about the loss of the ponies—and I’m not going to,” declared Dorothy. “But we don’t want to get lost.”
“Why! we can’t. We know our way back—.”
“Do we?”
“Right down the hill to the of that where we saw the surveyors; then south to that water-fall. From that point there is a regular trail—you know there is, Doro!”
“Ye—es,” admitted Dorothy, doubtfully. “It sounds simple enough.”
“It’s perfectly all right,” declared Tavia, again. “Come on.”
“Well, dear, I’ll let you lead,” said Dorothy, quietly.
While they had searched about the dell, and discussed the situation, time had been flying. Already the red globe of the sun was disappearing behind a western peak.
186 All the sky there was in rolling clouds. The sun into these wreaths of mist turned them all to gold and . Such a gorgeous sunset would have transfixed the girls with delight at another time.
But, as Tavia said, this was no moment to “worship at the of beauty.” “Oh, Doro! I’m thinking of Mrs. Ledger’s hot biscuit, and ham, and potato chips. Goodness! how hungry I am. Never mind the sunset.”
“I am not minding it,” Dorothy said, quietly. “But you suggested leading the way down this ‘bad eminence’ to which we were reckless enough to climb. Go on.”
Tavia started, and stared about the opening in the trees. It would seem to be a simple matter to leave this place, through the woods to the plateau, and so down the riverside.
But there was not a to guide them. They had not thought to take note of the trees and rocks, in relation to each other, while they made the . Their knowledge of the points of the compass were somewhat vague, despite the view they had of the setting sun.
“Oh, Doro!” wailed Tavia, suddenly. “I’m afraid! I’m afraid of these woods. I’m afraid we’ll get down into that deep gorge where those men were. Oh, dear! Oh, dear! let’s not move from this spot.”
 Tavia was almost . That was the way it was with her—always. If she was startled she lost her self-possession .
But with Dorothy it was different. ............
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