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A Mountain Europa by John Fox
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A Mountain Europa
By John Fox, Jr.

TO JAMES LANE ALLEN

I

As Clayton rose to his feet in the still air, the tree-tops began to
tremble in the gap below him, and a rippling ran through the
leaves up the mountain-side. Drawing off his hat he stretched out
his arms to meet it, and his eyes closed as the cool wind struck his
throat and face and lifted the hair from his forehead. About him
the mountains lay like a tumultuous sea-the Jellico Spur, stilled
gradually on every side into vague, purple shapes against the
broken rim of the sky, and Pine Mountain and the Cumberland
Range racing in like breakers from the north. Under him lay
Jellico Valley, and just visible in a wooded cove, whence Indian
Creek crept into sight, was a mining-camp-a cluster of white
cabins-from which he had climbed that afternoon. At that distance
the wagon-road narrowed to a bridle-path, and the figure moving
slowly along it and entering the forest at the base of the mountain
was shrunk to a toy. For a moment Clayton stood with his face to
the west, drinking in the air; then tightening his belt, he caught the
pliant body of a sapling and swung loose from the rock. As the
tree flew back, his dog sprang after him. The descent was sharp. At
times he was forced to cling to the birch-tops till they lay flat on
the mountain-side.

Breathless, he reached at last a bowlder from which the path was
easy to the valley below, and he leaned quivering against the soft