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1 V. V
A blow from tho outsldo was tho only
Shot's right!'' shouted IkrfM a second
Mow caused tlio door (o npring on it
Mngea. f'Tlio sooner yo mnko n lioln
through thet partition, the mora likely
I am to reach yol"
He ennilmMrcd tho remark by draw
ing tho slldo and rilvchnrging lil.i revolver
through the aperture. A yoll imd n and
4en hurtling of feet without greeted the
For tlmo all was quiet. Mosely drew
the alido again and reconnoitorod. The
twiltWM npporently not HiiHnfactory.
He snapped tho catch back nuddonly and
turned sharply upon Iluinly Jim.
"It's Jest ei I reckoned," ho wild qulot
It. "They're comin back ngin, nnd thin
time they've got ft timber with 'cm, and
tbet door ia goin in. I reckon wo'll make
dWiaion of forces."
Be drew the bolU on tho inner door a
Cull him," ho whispered.
Uumly Jim complied. A second later
Brace atepped through the opening. Th
taputy grasped hU, revolvers and disap
peared within. Ike Mosely turned and
faced tho ranchman in the moonlight.
"Pardnor," he said, plaoing his hands
, upon his shoulders and gating into his
yes, "ye don't need me to toll ye thel
thk'll be close call for you and me,
and niebbe one or both of us is goin
home. But; by the living God, I'm here
to tell yethct thar's no man I'd rathet
tght for or die alongside!"
He pressed ft pair of 6-snooters into his
companion's hands as ho spoke.
"Now then," he said, setting his square
shoulder against the shoulder of Brnco,
and cooking his pistols, "lot 'em come
oft, d 'eral They'll find thoy've got
era than they bargained for, or elso I've
forgotten how to shootl"
A nuh from without drownod his
words as blow delivered with tho
force of a battering ram caused tho door
to leap inward. A shower of dust and
plaster fell to tho floor. A second rush
aad shock followed. Tho door full from
it hinges with crash, and tho moon
shone boldly in and streamed upon tho
tone pavement. Bruce and Mosely ro
treated into the shadows of tho doorway.
Hera, unseen by those without, they cov
ered the entrance with their cocked re
, tolvers. The moonlight flashed coldly
on the glistening barrels full in sight of
an wcotted crowd of men poising a heavy
v 'A moment's 'pause ensued. The sol
Mm, thinking that the weapons were
those of the sheriff and his deputy and
that Brace waa in the Interior of the jail,
were. averse to unnecessary bloodshed.
At this inssjmt that waa crash of nraa
katanr ht.the rear, accompanied by the
Jtafttag of ghuM and tbewhkUing of
ballets, , The leader of the party held op
his hand to parley.
'"I reckon Ton bear that, Ike Mosely."
ha ssid, with an oath. "The boys are
rafeia your lockup front the windows.
You might et well baud that feller over
quiet and peaceable before they tako
him out corpse. We' vo sworn to string
him up, and es we're ten to your one yo
might as well be sensible and give in."
"Yen think so, do you?" retorted the
sheriff through bis set teeth. "I'll let
you know, I think different! I'll allow
. 'rthet me find Jim kin hold only ono end
-.of this jail, but thet'a alxmt what we
.calculate to do. Of course ef you kill
, him in th meantime 1 ain't responsi
ble, but the first man of you thot steps
cross tbet doorslll ia gone In I give
tou that flail"
' The sheriff had hardly spoken when
tfea floor of the inner room swung quick
ly, back and HumlyJim appeared. He
waa not visible to the throng without.
Closing the door behind him, ha leaned
gainst It HU voice came distinctly to
to tha ears of II osaly and Bruoe.
i'Thar alnt no use for ta toipnt In
ay aiora ttaaa In thar," ha said slowly.
"Thar ain't no prisoner to guard. Least
wise none thet'a likely to git away.
The last volley settled Leu's account
for good and all, I reckon. The darned
Mtita killed tho wrong man. P'raps tbet
bein the case you've got more use for ine
here in front."
Mosely waa about to whisper some hur
rled command to his deputy when a sec
ond volley crashed through the inner
room, splintering the woodwork and
beams. The sounds of this terrlflo fusil
lade had not entirely ceased before a sud
den noise borne on the night wind 'came
to their ears from without. A low rum
ble as of distant thunder shook tho earth,
and the windows of the jail rattled with
strong vibratory tremor. The , crowd
about the shattered door turned in sur
prise. A clear, ringing cheer burst sud
denly upon the still night. There waa a
sound of galloping hoofs and murmur
of many yokes, and with a sudden rush
and tumult mounted cavalcade swept
round the jail, the moonlight flashing
upon their brandished rifles. In an in
tout tha building was surrounded.
Tha leader of the party charged the
group, of soldiers before tha doorway at
gallop, reining up bis horse so fiercely
that the hoofs of the animal struck fire
In tha resisting gravel.
"Fallback!" shouted the imperative
voioe of Colonel Hunt "Fall back, now,
all of you, and disperse! This business
has gone far enough."
At tha sharp command Forakar'a men,
musing they were now between two
sndden freak o' yonrn for n moonlight
pasoar sorter took tho wind out o' thorn
sojont, nntch'ally, didn't it? What nngol
aent yon down our way at this hour o'
Colonel William Hunt removed his
hat, nnd tho moonlight shono full upon
his serious face.
Cynthia Dallas staggered trembling to
"You've struck it, Mosely," ho said
solemnly. "An out and out nngol ar.d
no mistake I nin't no call to tnho to
myself any crodit for this yer night'
bhencss. It all belongs to a woman u
little gal ei galloped 10 miles to bring
me word, and notwithstanding hex rid
with ns every step of tho way and put
the blush to every man in my troop-ra
gal es I'd bank on ag'in half tho mon I
ever see and who's too good ndnrned
sight for tho best man in tho state."
And oven nt this moment palo, breath
less and disheveled Cynthia Dallas stag
gered trembling to tho doorway and sank
fainting on the threshold.
CHAPTER XIII. t
With tho arrival of tho rangers and
tholr armed investment of tho jail at
Bradford post tho open animosity agains
Henry Bruco vanished. Such waa the
awe inspired by these frontier pollco that
no further attempt at outbreak followed.
At 0 o'clock on tho following day h
mounted escort accompanied Bruco to
tha courthouse, and a preliminary exam
ination was held. Phil Kernochan had
arrived during the night, bringing with
him Jiulgo Hatches, tho ablest lawyer of
tho circuit. The prisoner found himself
surrounded by influential counsel and
Tho presiding justice conducted tho
proceedings with that perfect impartiali
ty and absence of judicial dignity fur
which he was noted. With his hat on
tho back of his head, a short black pipo
in his month and untrammolod by coat,
cravat or collar, ho lent himself serious
ly to the gravity of tho occasion.
How far the judicial mind may havo
been influenced by tho sullen presence
of the more disaffected of J? orakcr'a men
in the courtroonl and by tho armed
demonstration of tho night before it is
Impossible to determine, Judge Pember
ton smoked alike impassively through
the eloquent argument of the prisoner's
counsel and the fiery appeal of theatate'a
representative. But on motion of Judge
Natchei to release Bruce on bail he
cheerfully acquiesced. Ho further agreed
to the application for n change of venue,
holding that tho present stnto of popular
feeling was hardly conducivo to that
calmness of deliberation which tho law
His honor's phraseology is necessarily
lost in tho ubovo paraphrase. Ho said,
I boliovf, that ho "wasn't tryin no case
In no place where everybody waa dead
sot on hangin tho prisoner first and hold
in court arterward." But doubtless $ho
legal principle of abstract justice was
implied in this Lono Star dictum, Tho
trial was set down for tho first weok in
September at the neighboring county
seat of Oskaloo.
Sheriff Mosely was overjoyed at this
"Why, thet'a right whar I was born
and brought up," he said to Bruce, slap
ping hint on the back as they left the
courtroom. "I own thet puce. Yer
hand, pardners I congratulate you on yer
luck. When the time comes round, I'll
ran down thar and see ef I can't scare up
reasonable, fa'r minded and onpreju
dioed jury rn'll view this business in a
true and holy light"
Tha confidence of Bruce in his even
tual acquittal was naturally increased
by this reassuring statement.
None the leas did Phil Kernochan re
lax his exertions in bis partner's behalf.
He consulted earnestly with Colonel
Hunt, who with a party of his mon con
ducted them back to the Mosquito val
ley ranch. Judge Natchez a man of
wide experience in Texan practice and
pleading outlined several modes of ac
tion, but was inclined to lay groat stress
upon Sheriff Mosoly's co-operation and
suggested that Mr. Buck Jerrold bo
approached as a possible valuablo ally.
Accordingly a few daya later Keruochan
rode over to tho hitter's ranch and held
a conferenco with that gentleman.
Mr. Jerrold had been already impor
tuned in behalf of Henry Bruco. He
had paid a visit to the Dallas ranch the
previous evening and had heard from
Cynthia's own lips an account of the
storming of the jail at Bradford post
and the rescue that followed. So pa
thetically had Cynthia wrought upon
the sympathies of her auditor that Jer
rold bad been unable to resist tho ap
peal. It was perhaps proof positive of
tha cowman's lpve for Miss Dallas and
his own generosity of soul that he prom
ised his assistance, although in giving it
be waa aware that he stood in Ids own
He received Kernochan with that grav
ity of demeanor for which he was noted,
'tempered possibly with a cortaln resig
nation which under the circumstances
increased tho tatter's good opinion. Ker
nochan unfolded his errand in a few
wards. Buck Jerrold filled his pipe,
lighted it, and seating himself on a nail
keg in the dooryard reviewed the situa
tion solemnly as follows;
"Thar ain't but one argyment to bring
to bear on the town of Oskaloo," be said,
deliberately crossing his legs, "and that's
whisky! fve been down thar, off and
on, for tho last 10 years, aad I never
LiBFarW Jfil M' ' Y'M
aKsaBSHB BSMI fcBrJxESBH BBSm
autiw iiuyimii who to carry conviction
In thet thrivln settlement onlewi it was
a fl.shooler, nnd even thin I reckon
whlshy'd stand tho best show. Yo see,"
ho snld, pulling atthostr.ipsof his heavy
boots nnd glancing nt them its if for in
spiration, "tho poppylntion is thet rigid
and imrrvr minded that it needs suthin
of thet nature to get tho milk o' human
klndneon to'llow, They want suthin lo
"VA I could go down thar now in tho in
tercet h of juutk'j nnd jest float tho town,
jest play tho millionaire nnd do tho
generous thing It might cost yon suthin
but I reckon I reckon," said Mr. Jer
rold cautiously, "Wo might got nn honor
able i ml squnr duul, oven in thet benight
"It's ag'in tho imtur o' things," con
tinued Mr. Jerrold, "to look for favor
able results on any other ground. Them
fellers down that wny, I reckon, aro
what Purson Centrefltt calls 'postimists'
-thoy'ro malarial in their tastes, and
thoy'd got things crooked on gen 'ml
principles. Accordiu to their view, ev
erything la crossgrniucd from tho start.
They jest nntch'ally look at things on
tho bios so to speak.
"Thoy'd allow, for instanco, thot Hen
ry Bruco laid all night for Forakor out
on tho San Morcus road; that he round
ed him up nnd started him on tho 'long
trail' becauso ho was stampedln his
plans nnd prospects. Thot's what they'd
'a' done, and thet'n tho way they'd look
at it. You nnd mo knows different
thet it was douo in self defense. But
it'll need judicious maniporlatin to make
them liberal minded and to git 'em at
all charitably disposed. They must be
elevated to thet p'int. Then yo'll git
justice Tholr moral natur sorter leave
off whero tho rest of us begin."
Ho paused and looked seriously at Ker
nochnn to noto tho effect of his words.
Evidently gathering that, from his vis
itor's previous opinion of tho town of f
kaloo, his logic was beginning to toll on
him, ho summed up his position in a few
"Ef I reo'lect, I wus a lootle onsettled
myself that night in San Marcus, and I
ain't no wny snrtin thot Henry Bruce
didn't take a grntifyin contract off my
hands. You go to work, Mr. Kernochan,
and cngngo tho best lawyors and argify
era the stuto can produce. Them'U be
necessary, ns tho prosecuting attorney in
dead ag'in yo from the fust, but ez for
tho Oskaloo part of tho bizuess, mo and
Iko Mosely'll run thot. And I reckon,"
concluded Mr. Jerrold, rising and per
mitting n grim smtlo to relax tho corners
of his month, "I reckon tho jury at thet
trial will bo in couipytent hands."
Phil Kernochan rodo back to his ranch
under tho impression that tho difficulty
of combating local prejudice at Oskaloo
waa materially lessoning, But Mr. Buck
Jerrold was gloomy and dispirited all the
It was not long before tho delight with
which Miss Stafford greeted tho release
of Henry Bruco gave placo to a very dif
ferent state of mind. In the enthusiasm
of his return to tho Mesqulte valley
rancn, sue bad detected no change in
his manner toward her. Accustomed
from infancy to her own way, the idea
of a rival in tho regard she unquestion
ably manifested for tho young ranchman
had probably never seriously crossed her
Sho had accepted the interest of
Brnco complacently, laid claim to his at
tentions as if by a species of divine
right and exhibited toward him a cer
tain air of proprietorship with tho pro
sumption of her sex when conscious of
Its attractions. To quote the words of
Judgo Natchez, who was for profes
sional reasons somo tlmo a guest nt tho
Mesuuite vallov ranch, tho young lmlv's
Htuiuue toward nenry uruco waa that
of tho "holder of a first inortgago bond
wherein the equity was decidedly micro
scopic." Miss Stafford very soon awoke to an
Intelligent distrust of her position, and
then to a conviction that her power was
on the wane. Her mortification and
chagrin to find herself supplanted by
ono whom her pride in no sense recog
nized as an equal can well be lmag
bed. Perhaps the first intimation that Edith
received of a change in Bruce waa in bis
manner of receiving her slighting allu
sions and half contemptuous mention of
Miss Dallas, Originally he had passed
these over with the good humored cyn
icism of a man of the world. But now
anything of tho sort plainly irritated
him, and persistence in tho matter pro
voked a retort or possibly a sudden sar
casm. With singular infelicity of epi
thet Miss Stafford had characterized
Cynthia's devotion to Bruce during his
imprisonment as "kind" "really quite
what ono would havo expected a girl of
her surroundings to havo dono."
It will be understood that Bruco cher
ished a different sentiment.
His old intorest in Cynthla-'-the inter
est that ho had felt sinco that first day
when sho had pooped down upon him in
the gloomy chasm with her fragrant
suggestions of hemlock and pine woke
anew in his heart, nnd with it a sense or
gratitudo from which, I trust, mankind,
in tho rarity of feminine constancy, is
not entirely exempt. This interest deep
ened aa the spring advanced and the
season slipped into summon Ho grew
quite in tho habit of riding over to the
Dallas ranch and passing tho morning
in Cynthia's society. Hero, although he
persuaded himself that his attitude to
ward the young lady was merely such
as a brother might hold toward an af
fectionate sister, ho was often astounded
to discover with what winged feet the
hours flew overhead, and that familiar
objects took on a sudden association and
charm from tho witchery of her com-
It was doubtless this brotherly inter
est in Miss Dallas that prompted Henry
Bruce to instruct her upon the guitar
an instrument Bingularly calculated to
overconio shyness and restraint between
persons of the opposite sex, and as snch
to be commended. If while thus em
ployed Cynthia found herself Bitting at
times very near Bruce and their fingers
dangerously involved in compelling mel
ody from the refractory strings,' it was
unquestionably due to her anxiety tobe-jjjpj3QCtalj!nd-lif
while playing somo chord or explaining
soino nccomjmnlment there stolo into tho
gontlcinan'ri fned an expression bo win
ning and tondor that tho girl's sweet eyea
grow downcast nnd tremulous it was tho
zeal of tho instructor doubtlciis tlmt
prompted this. Certainly for its oppor
tunities nnd possibilities tho light guitar
haa reason to bo appreciated, and there
slumbers in its strings a sympathy that
prove1! n powerful nlly to sentiment.
llowlxjit, whatever may have been tho
oxiierienco of her companion, Cynthia
learned llttlo from tho instrument of
which hnr heart had not been eloquent
before. But sho acquired n certain dainty
dexterity, nnd nsthUniUHlcal Intercourse
gavo riso to much conversation nnd con
fidential disclosure it wni not long be
fore Bruco wns well acquainted with nil
her girlish dreumn nnd fancies except
ono, in regard to which Cynthia said
nothing, but preserved tho ovasivo silence
It shono in hor eyes that kindled nt his
coming, in tho quick color that mounted
to her cheek nt his approach, in tho sud
den delicious tremor that seized her
when ho drow near, and tho indescrib
able thrill that set her heart to throb
bing whenever his hand touched hers.
In placo of that dejection that once op-
Eressed her, a glad gayety and light
oartodness attended nil her movements.
Joy laughod in tho sunlight, and mirth
camo to her on tho wings of tho wind.
Tho brcozo that rocked tho treo tops of
her bower, lotting slip bright shafts of
light to stray within,.sot hor all uncon
sciously to singing.
Old man Dallas noted the change nnd
grow reserved and thoughtful. After
Cynthia's daring rido to Bradford post
ho had taken occasion to read his charm
ing daughter a long homily on tho "dan
ger of young women ahowin all to onct
how much storo they Bet by any young
feller." According to Alcldos, it wns tho
duty of thO box to "set back and let things
hump themselves according to their
natch'rnl courso." Cynthia had accepted
this rebuko meekly. She wns now uni
formly affectionate to her father.
Old man Dallas noted the change and
grew reserved and thoughtful.
"I reckon them now bonnets Bho was
talkin about must havo got up to San
Marcus," remnrked this cautious skeptic,
who was inclined to refer nil feminine
advances to mercenary motives. Find
ing, howover, that his daughter's caresses
were quito gratuitous, ho shook his head
gravely with renewed distrust. It was
only after a doleful rehearsal upon his
fiddloof his symphony to "Married Life"
that ho appeared to havo pierced the
heart of tho mystery.
It was nbout this tlmo that Miss Staf
ford ceased to alludo to the frequency of
the visits paid Miss Dallas by Henry
Bruce; it was about this tiino that sho
became apparently unaware that any
such young woman existed; it wan about
this time that sho began to drop stray
hints in regard to certain admirers at the
north, for whom sho cherished an ex
travagant intorest nn interest which
tpeedily begau lo manifest itself in cor
respondence; It was atmnt this time that
she gavo out that these parties were im
portuning hor greatly to return homo,
but before doing bo she meditated a coup
d'etat by which she trusted to wring the
heart of hor rival, and if poasiblo "lure
this tassel gentle back again."
And bo the summer days passed by
until September came and with it the
momentous trial at Oskaloo.
to nr. continued.!
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