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The Californians
written by "Atherton, Gertrude Franklin Horn, 1857-1948"
...ash;yes, I am sure I can if you can." Her Spanish dignity was aghast, but her newborn creative instinct stung her spirit into a sudden overpowering desire for dramatic incident. "Yes, I'll go," she whispered, closer to excitement than Helena had ever, save once, seen her. "I'll go." "Of course! I knew you would. I always knew you were a brick; come! Quick! I'll go first." She slid down the pillar, which she could easily clasp with her long arms and legs; and Magdaléna, after a gasp, followed, shivering with terror, but too proud to utter a sound. Before she had reached the bottom she had lost all interest in the fire; she no longer wanted to write poetry; she wished frantically to be back in the security of her room. But she reached the ground safely; and although she fell in a heap, she quickly pulled herself together and stood up, holding her head higher than ever. And when she was on the sidewalk, in disguise, unattended for the first time in her life, her very nerves sang with exultation, and she was filled with a wild longing for a night replete with adventure. "'Léna!" whispered Helena, ecstatically. "Isn't this gorgeous?" Magdaléna nodded. Her brain and heart were throbbing too loud for speech. "I'm going to fires for the rest of my life," announced Helena, as they turned the corner and walked swiftly down the hill. She was not of the order which is content with one experience, even while that initial experience is yet a matter of delightful anticipation. When they reached the livery stable, Helena marched in, holding Magdaléna firmly by the hand. "I want a hack," she said peremptorily to the man in charge. "And double quick, too." The man stared, but Helena rattled the gold in her pocket, and he called to two men to hitch up. "Upon my soul," he whispered to his associates, "it's those kids of Jack Belmont's and old Yorba's, or I'm a dead man. But it ain't none of my business, and I ain't o...

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