“You could not overtake it, and return in time. The Red-Hand would be gone. Besides, you cannot get from this place to the trail taken by the caravan, without going back by the cañon; and there you might meet those from whom you have escaped. You cannot cross that way: the ridge is impassable.”
As she said this, she pointed to the left—the direction which I had intended to take. I could see through a break in the bluff a precipitous mountain spur running north and south—parallel with the ravine I had been threading. It certainly appeared impassable—trending along the sky like the escarpment of some gigantic fortress. If this was true, there would be but little chance of my overtaking the escort in time. I had no longer a hope of being able to effect the rescue of my comrades. The delay, no doubt, would be fatal. In all likelihood, both Wingrove and Sure-shot had ere this been sacrificed to the vengeance of the Arapahoes, freshly excited by my escape. Only from a sense of duty did I purpose returning: rather with the idea of being able to avenge their deaths.
What meant this mysterious maiden? Who possessed the power to rescue my comrades from two hundred savages—the most warlike upon the plains? Who was he that could aid me in avenging them?
“Follow me, and you shall see!” replied the huntress, in answer to my interrogatory. “Your horse! your horse! Hasten, or we shall be too late. The Red-Hand in the valley of the Huerfano! Wa-ka-ra will rejoice at the news. Your horse! your horse!” I hastened back for my Arab, and hurriedly led him up to the spot.
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