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.They backed out of the room, returning in minutes with the large, metal tub Cameron had ordered.“I’ll leave you to your bath, ma’am,” he said with a bow.“I’m off to see the sheriff and look around a little.I’ll give you an hour of privacy before supper.Will that do?”“Yes, of course,” Elizabeth said distractedly, hardly able to keep her eyes from the steaming water that filled the tub.“I won’t be long.”“Go ahead and enjoy it,” Cameron said.“I’ll order you a tub from the catalogue once we get to the general store, but it’ll probably be a couple of weeks at least before we get it.More like a month, I imagine.” He shut the door firmly behind himself and then opened it again, poking his head inside the room.“I’m going to lock this thing from the outside, Elizabeth.I’ll use the key when I come back and I’ll knock first.” The door closed again and she was left alone with the promise of a clean body and a good meal to follow, one she did not have to cook, one that would not come from over a campfire.Life was almost perfect.The sheriff was a fount of information, Cameron found.“I know who you’re looking for,” the tall, husky man said.“George Travis came into town with a couple of fellas from a ranch east of here.He’d walked as far as he could, and as luck would have it, those two cowhands found him under a tree, all tuckered out.”“Is he all right?” Cameron asked anxiously.“Where can I find him?”“He’s fine, far as I know,” the sheriff said.“And he’s staying at Ma Brown’s boardinghouse, down the street.” He opened the door of his office and motioned Cameron to step out onto the sidewalk with him.Lifting one hand, he pointed his index finger to the north a ways.“See that sign, past the hotel and post office? It says Boardinghouse on it, and that’s where he’s living.Might not be there now, but it’s likely he’ll show up there by suppertime.”Cameron thanked the lawman and set off on foot to where he’d been directed.The house was large, set back from the road with a large porch across the front.The door was open and Cameron leaned inside, seeking the proprietor of the business.A large lady bustled down the hall from the back, where he assumed the kitchen was, her hands buried in her apron, wiping them dry.“Yes, sir, can I help you?” she asked.“If you’re looking for a room, I’m full up, but I can offer a meal in about an hour.”“I have a room already,” Cameron said, removing his hat and holding it at his side, “but I’m looking for a gentleman named George Travis.Have you heard of him?”The lady grinned widely.“I sure have.He came in here a couple of days ago and took a room and he’s been all over town ever since, trying to find trace of his girl.They were on a wagon train that was attacked and burned.He got away, but when he managed to get back there the next day, there wasn’t no trace of his daughter, not hide nor hair.”The fact that George Travis had sought his Elizabeth’s presence gave a boost of pleasure to Cameron.The man obviously was concerned for the girl, and would be happy to see her.“I know where Elizabeth Travis is,” he told the landlady.“Where can I find her father?”“He’s out scouting around, like I said.But he’ll be back about any time now.He don’t miss a meal, George don’t.Will you join us?”“We had planned on eating in the hotel restaurant, but this sounds like a good idea to me.I know Elizabeth will be happy when I tell her we’ve had success in finding her father.Just don’t spill the beans, all right?”As the woman nodded in understanding, he slapped his hat in place and left the house, his good humor abundant as he imagined Elizabeth’s reaction when he gave her the news.The hotel was only ten minutes away, and Cameron’s long legs carried him there quickly.He gave a quick salute to the desk clerk as he headed for the stairs, and got his key out of his pocket, anxious to open the door where Elizabeth was waiting for him.His quick rap announced his arrival and Elizabeth turned from the dresser with a smile.“I feel like a new woman,” she said.“I’m clean as a whistle, and hungry as a bear.”“I’ve found your father [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]