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GRIT "Mormon" Peters carefully shifted his weighty bulk in the chair that he dared not tilt, gazing dreamily at the saw-toothed mountains shimmering in the distance, sniffing luxuriously the scent of sage. "They oughter spell Arizona with three 'C's,'" he said. "Why?" asked Sandy Bourke, wiping the superfluous oil from the revolver he was meticulously cleaning. "'Count of Climate, Cactus, Cattle—an' Coyotes." "Makin' four, 'stead of... more...

CHAPTER I The soft, muffling dusk settled slowly downward from the darkening blue sky and little by little smothered the weird gleam that rose from the gray-white plain. Away toward the east a range of mountains gloomed faintly, rimming the distance. Another towered against the western horizon. Cactus clumps and bunches of mesquite and greasewood blotted the whitely gleaming earth. In and out among these dark spots a man was slowly riding. Now... more...

COLLARS-AND-CUFFS The windows of the division head-quarters of the Pacific Southwestern at Copah look northward over bald, brown mesas, and across the Pannikin to the eroded cliffs of the Uintah Hills. The prospect, lacking vegetation, artistic atmosphere, and color, is crude and rather harshly aggressive; and to Lidgerwood, glooming thoughtfully out upon it through the weather-worn panes scratched and bedimmed by many desert sandstorms, it... more...

CHAPTER I THE NORTH RAID An hour before, Deal Sanderson had opened his eyes. He had been comfortably wrapped in his blanket; his head had been resting on a saddle seat. His sleep over, he had discovered that the saddle seat felt hard to his cheek. In changing his position he had awakened. His face toward the east, he had seen a gray streak widening on the horizon—a herald of the dawn. Sanderson found what seemed to be a softer spot on... more...

CHAPTER I BACK FROM THE DEAD Westward the little three-car train chugged its way fussily across the brown prairie toward distant mountains which, in that clear atmosphere, loomed so deceptively near. Standing motionless beside the weather-beaten station shed, the solitary passenger watched it absently, brows drawn into a single dark line above the bridge of his straight nose. Tall, lean, with legs spread apart a bit and shoulders slightly... more...


Chapter I "Call Me Jimmie-Go-Get-'Em" The boy had spent the night at a water-hole in a little draw near the foot of the mesa. He had supped on cold rations and slept in his blanket without the comfort of glowing piñon knots. For yesterday he had cut Indian signs and after dark had seen the shadow of Apache camp-fires reflected in the clouds. After eating he swung to the bare back of his pony and climbed to the summit of the butte. His... more...

AT THE BEGINNING. She was in the box; he was far above in the gallery. He looked down and across and saw her sitting there fair as a flower and robed like a royal courtesan in flame and snow. Like a red torch flamed the ruby in her hair. Her shoulders were framed in her cloak, white as marble warmed with firelight. Her gloved hands held an opera glass which also glowed with flashing light. His face grew dark and stern. He looked down at... more...

ACCEPTING A CHALLENGE "Hello! what brought you here, Frank Haywood, I'd like to know?" "Well, I reckon my horse, Buckskin, did, Peg." "And who's this with you—your new chum; the boy from Kentucky?" "That's who it is, Peg—Bob Archer; and he's come out West to see how life on the plains suits him." "Oh! a greenhorn, eh?" "Perhaps some people might call him that, though he knows a heap about horses. But seems to me, Peg, 'twasn't... more...

I Late one fall afternoon, in the year 1898, a train paused for a moment before crossing a bridge over a river. From it descended a heavy-set, elderly man. The train immediately proceeded on its way. The heavy-set man looked about him. The river and the bottom-land growths of willow and hardwood were hemmed in, as far as he could see, by low-wooded hills. Only the railroad bridge, the steep embankment of the right-of-way, and a small,... more...

CHAPTER I YOUNG PETE With the inevitable pinto or calico horse in his string the horse-trader drifted toward the distant town of Concho, accompanied by a lazy cloud of dust, a slat-ribbed dog, and a knock-kneed foal that insisted on getting in the way of the wagon team. Strung out behind this indolently moving aggregation of desert adventurers plodded an indifferent lot of cayuses, their heads lowered and their eyes filled with dust. Young... more...