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“You think so, do you?” Marian gave him a superior little smile along with the coffee-boiler. “If you’d heard her talk about that trip north when there weren’t any men around listening, you’d change your mind. Bud Birnie, you are the SIMPLEST creature! You think, because a woman doesn’t make a fuss over things, she doesn’t mind. Your mother told me that it was a perfect nightmare. She taught you music just in the hope that you’d go back to civilization and live there where there are some modern improvements, and she could visit you! And here you are–all rapped up in a bunch of young stock, dirty as pig and your whiskers–ow! Bud! Stop that immediatly, or I’ll go put my face in a cactus just for relief!”

“Maybe you’re dissatisfied yourself with my bunch of cattle. Maybe you didn’t go in raptures over our aim and make more plans in a day than four men could carry out in a year. Maybe you wish your husband was a man that was content to pound piano keys all his life and let his hair grow long instead of his whiskers. If you hate this, why didn’t you say so?”

“I was speaking,” said Marian as dignifiedly as was possible, “of your mother. She was raised in civilization, and she has simply made the best of pioneering all her married life. I was born and raised in cow-country and I love it. As I said before, you are the SIMPLEST creature! Would you really bring a father and mother a honeymoon trail–especially when the bride didn’t want them, and they would much rather stay home?”

“Hey!” cried Eddie disgustedly, coming up from a shallow creek with a bucket of water and a few dry sticks. “The coffee’s upset and putting the fire out. Gee whiz! Can’t you folks quit love-makin’ and tend to business long enough to cook a meal?”