At the first glance there appeared to be nothing unusual in the scene confronting Miss Jane Combs as she stood, broad and heavy, in her doorway that May morning, looking up and down the single street of the little Colorado mining town. Jane's house was broad and heavy also a rough, paintless 'shack', which she had built after her own ideals on a treeless 'forty' just beyond the limits of Aguilar. It was like herself in having nothing about it calculated to win the eye. Jane, with her rugged, middle aged face, baggy blouse, hob nailed shoes and man's hat, was so unfeminine a figure as she plowed and planted her little vega, that some village wag had once referred to her as 'Annie Laurie'. Because of its happy absurdity the name long clung to Jane; but despite such small jests every one respected her sterling traits, every one, that is, except Señora Vigil, who lived hard by in a mud house like a bird's nest, and who cherished a grudge against her neighbor. For, years before, when Jane's 'forty' was measured off by the surveyor, it had been developed that the Vigil homestead was out of bounds, and that a small strip of its back yard belonged in the Combs tract. Jane would have waived her right, but the surveyor said that the land office could not 'muddle up' the records in any such way; she must take her land. And Jane had taken it, knowing, however, that thereafter even the youngest Vigil, aged about ten months, would regard her as an enemy.