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CHAPTER I Night had fallen and a warm rain drifting down from the mountains hung in a mist over the railroad yards and obscured the lights of Medicine Bend. Two men dismounting from their drooping horses at the foot of Front Street threw the reins to a man in waiting and made their way on foot across the muddy square to the building which served the new railroad as a station and as division head-quarters. In Medicine Bend, the town, the... more...

THE BESETMENT OF KURT LIEDERS A SILVER rime glistened all down the street. There was a drabble of dead leaves on the sidewalk which was of wood, and on the roadway which was of macadam and stiff mud. The wind blew sharply, for it was a December day and only six in the morning. Nor were the houses high enough to furnish any independent bulwark; they were low, wooden dwellings, the tallest a bare two stories in height, the majority only one... more...

CHAPTER I THE STRANGER AT DRY BOTTOM From the crest of Three Mile Slope the man on the pony could see the town of Dry Bottom straggling across the gray floor of the flat, its low, squat buildings looking like so many old boxes blown there by an idle wind, or unceremoniously dumped there by a careless fate and left, regardless, to carry out the scheme of desolation. Apparently the rider was in no hurry, for, as the pony topped the rise and the... more...

CHAPTER I LET US START AT THE BEGINNING Four trail-worn oxen, their necks bowed to the yoke of patient servitude, should really begin this story. But to follow the trail they made would take several chapters which you certainly would skip—unless you like to hear the tale of how the wilderness was tamed and can thrill at the stern history of those who did the taming while they fought to keep their stomachs fairly well filled with food and... more...

CHAPTER ITHE ARRIVAL OF THE MAN If the passengers on the west-bound train that pulled up at the little red wooden station at Dry Bottom at the close of a June day in 18–, were interested in the young man bearing the two suit cases, they gave no evidence of it. True, they noted his departure; with casual glances they watched him as he stepped down upon the platform; but immediately they forgot his athletic figure and his regular featured,... more...


CHAPTER I ON A STRANGE RANGE Two tired but happy punchers rode into the coast town and dismounted in front of the best hotel. Putting up their horses as quickly as possible they made arrangements for sleeping quarters and then hastened out to attend to business. Buck had been kind to delegate this mission to them and they would feel free to enjoy what pleasures the town might afford. While at that time the city was not what it is now,... more...

CHAPTER ONE THE OLE VIRGINIA The ring around the sun had thickened all day long, and the turquoise blue of the Arizona sky had filmed. Storms in the dry countries are infrequent, but heavy; and this surely meant storm. We had ridden since sun-up over broad mesas, down and out of deep canons, along the base of the mountain in the wildest parts of the territory. The cattle were winding leisurely toward the high country; the jack rabbits had... more...

CHAPTER ONETHE POWER OF CONSOLATION 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... 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...

CHAPTER I "All ready, Miss Welse, though I'm sorry we can't spare one of the steamer's boats." Frona Welse arose with alacrity and came to the first officer's side. "We're so busy," he explained, "and gold-rushers are such perishable freight, at least—" "I understand," she interrupted, "and I, too, am behaving as though I were perishable. And I am sorry for the trouble I am giving you, but—but—" She turned quickly and... more...