For some reason the desert scene before Lucy Bostil awoke varying emotions a sweet gratitude for the fullness of her life there at the Ford, yet a haunting remorse that she could not be wholly content a vague loneliness of soul a thrill and a fear for the strangely calling future, glorious, unknown. She longed for something to happen. It might be terrible, so long as it was wonderful. This day, when Lucy had stolen away on a forbidden horse, she was eighteen years old. The thought of her mother, who had died long ago on their way into this wilderness, was the one drop of sadness in her joy. Lucy loved everybody at Bostil's Ford and everybody loved her. She loved all the horses except her father's favorite racer, that perverse devil of a horse, the great Sage King.