The Tulameen laughed lightly, easily. "I shall not kill the sire of my wife," he taunted. "One more battle must we have, but your girl-child will come to me."
Then he took his victorious way up the trail, while the old chief walked with slow and springless step down into the canyon.
The next morning the chief's daughter was loitering along the heights, listening to the singing river, and sometimes leaning over the precipice to watch its curling eddies and dancing waterfalls. Suddenly she heard a slight rustle, as though some passing bird's wing had clipt the air. Then at her feet there fell a slender, delicately shaped arrow. It fell with spent force, and her Indian woodcraft told her it had been shot to her, not at her. She started like a wild animal. Then her quick eye caught the outline of a handsome, erect figure that stood on the heights across the river. She did not know him as her father's enemy. She only saw him to be young, stalwart and of extraordinary, manly beauty. The spirit of youth and of a certain savage coquetry awoke within her. Quickly she fitted one of her own dainty arrows to the bow string and sent it winging across the narrow canyon; it fell, spent, at his feet, and he knew she had shot it to him, not at him.
Next morning, woman-like, she crept noiselessly to the brink of the heights. Would she see him again--that handsome brave? Would he speed another arrow to her? She had not yet emerged from the tangle of forest before it fell, its faint-winged flight heralding its coming. Near the feathered end was tied a tassel of beautiful ermine tails. She took from her wrist a string of shell beads, fastened it to one of her little arrows and winged it across the canyon, as yesterday.
The following morning before leaving the ledge she fastened the tassel of ermine tails in her straight, black hair. Would he see them? But no arrow fell at her feet that day, but a clearer message was there on the brink of the precipice. He himself awaited her coming-- he who had never left her thoughts since that first arrow came to her from his bow-string. His eyes burned with warm fires, as she approached, but his lips said simply: "I have crossed the Tulameen River." Together they stood, side by side, and looked down at the depths before them, watching in silence the little torrent rollicking and roystering over its boulders and crags.
"That is my country," he said, looking across the river. "This is the country of your father, and of your brothers; they are my enemies. I return to my own shore tonight. Will you come with me?"
She looked up into his handsome young face. So this was her father's foe--the dreaded Tulameen!
It was in the dark of the moon and through the kindly night he led her far up the rocky shores to the narrow belt of quiet waters, where they crossed in silence into his own country. A week, a month, a long golden summer, slipped by, but the insulted old chief and his enraged sons failed to find her.