"I'd like to know what you mean by that!" Carl caught Pard by the bridle-rein and looked up at her in a white fury that startled even Jean, accustomed as she was to his sudden rages that contrasted with his sullen attitude toward the world.
"What do you think I would mean? Let go my bridle. I don't want to quarrel with you."
"What did you mean by proving--what do you expect to prove?" His hand was heavy on the rein, so that Pard began to fret under the restraint. "You've got to quit running around all over the country with them show folks, and stay at home and behave yourself. You've got to quit hanging out at the Lazy A. I've stood as much as I'm going to stand of your performances. You get down off that horse and go into the house and behave yourself; that's what you'll do! If you haven't got any shame or decency--"
Jean scarcely knew what she did, just then. She must have dug Pard with her spurs, because the first thing that she realized was the lunge he gave. Carl's hold slipped from the rein, as he was jerked sidewise. He made an ineffective grab at Jean's skirt, and he called her a name she had never heard spoken before in her life. A rod or so away she pulled up and turned to face him, but the words she would have spoken stuck in her throat. She had never seen Carl Douglas look like that; she had seen him when he was furious, she had seen him when he sulked, but she had never seen him look like that.
He called her to come back. He made threats of what he would do if she refused to obey him. He shook his fist at her. He behaved like a man temporarily robbed of his reason; his eyes, as he came up glaring at her, were the eyes of a madman.
Jean felt a tremor of dread while she looked at him and listened to him. He was almost within reach of her again when she wheeled and went off up the trail at a run. She looked back often, half fearing that he would get a horse and follow her, but he stood just where she had left him, and he seemed to be still uttering threats and groundless accusations as long as she was in sight.
FOR ONCE AT LEAST LITE HAD HIS WAY
Half a mile she galloped, and met Lite coming home. She glanced over her shoulder before she pulled Pard down to a walk, and Lite's greeting, as he turned and rode alongside her, was a question. He wanted to know what was the matter with her. He listened with his old manner of repression while she told him, and he made no comment whatever until she had finished.