"If only he will lie quietly," Lute breathed aloud, her mind at work on the means of rescue.
But she saw Comanche begin to struggle again, and clear on her vision, it seemed, was the spectral arm of her father clutching the reins and dragging the animal over. Comanche floundered across the hummock, the inert body following, and together, horse and man, they plunged from sight. They did not appear again. They had fetched bottom.
Lute looked about her. She stood alone on the world. Her lover was gone. There was naught to show of his existence, save the marks of Comanche's hoofs on the road and of his body where it had slid over the brink.
"Chris!" she called once, and twice; but she called hopelessly.
Out of the depths, on the windless air, arose only the murmur of bees and of running water
"Chris!" she called yet a third time, and sank slowly down in the dust of the road.
She felt the touch of Dolly's muzzle on her arm, and she leaned her head against the mare's neck and waited. She knew not why she waited, nor for what, only there seemed nothing else but waiting left for her to do.