Muriel Gay was a conscientious worker who tried hard to please her director. Sometimes it seemed to her that her director demanded impossibilities of her; that he was absolutely soulless where picture-effects were concerned. Her riding had all along been a subject of discord between them. She had learned to ride very well along the bridle-paths of Golden Gate Park, but Robert Grant Burns seemed to expect her to ride-- well, like this girl, for instance, which was unjust.
One could not blame her for glaring jealously while Jean tightened the cinch and remounted, tying her rope to the saddle horn, all ready to pull; with her muscles tensed for the coming struggle with the sand,--and perhaps with her horse as well,--and with every line of her figure showing how absolutely at home she was in the saddle, and how sure of herself.
"I've tied my rope, Lite," Jean drawled, with a little laugh at what might happen.
Lite turned his face toward her. "You better not," be warned. "Things are liable to start a-popping when that engine wakes up."
"Well, then I'll want both hands for Pard. I've taken a couple of half-hitches, anyway."
"You folks want to be ready at the wheels," Lite directed, waiving the argument. "When we start, you all want to heave-ho together. Good team-work will do it.
"All set?" he called to Jean, when Pete Lowry bent his back to start the engine. "Business'll be pickin' up, directly!"
"All set," replied Jean cheerfully.