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lntl, IM, . AmiTAN c. fUtUSHIB
A blow from tho outaldo was tho only
rrhot'i right!" shouted Iko m a second
Mow caused tho door to spring on Its
Mages. ''The sooner ye inako n holo
through thot partition, tho moro likely
I am to reach yc!"
He emphaMxcd tho remark by draw
ing the slldo and discharging his revolver
through the nurture. A yell and nnud
4m shuffling of feet without greeted the
For time all was qnlot. Mosely drew
Ike slldo again and roconnoltored. Tlie
result was apparently not satisfactory.
He mapped tho catch back suddenly and
tamed sharply uihu Iluinly Jim.
"It'sjest ea I reckoned," ho aaidquiot
ly. "They're comin back ngin, and thin
WM they've got a timber with 'em, and
wet door is goln in. I reckon we'll make
division of forcea."
He drew the bolt pa the inner door an
Call him," he whispered.
Humly Jim complied. A second later
Brace atepped tlirough the opening. Th
deputy grasped his, revolvers and disap
peared within, Ike Mosely turned and
faced the ranchman in the moonlight.
"Pardner," he said, placing his hands
, npon his shoulders and gasing into his
res, 'ye don't need me to tell ye the!
taia'll be ft close call for yon and me,
and awbbe one or both of us is goln
hone. Bat, by the living God, I'm hers
to tell ye.tbet thar's no man I'd rathet
flffet for or die alongside I"
He pressed pair of shooters into his
otnpankm'a hands a he spoke.
, "2fow,then,"heaa4d, setting his square
ahonlder againat the shoulder of Brnce,
aad cooking his pistols, "let 'em come
on, d 'era! They'll And thoy've got
Mere than they bargained for, or else I've
forgotten how to shoot!"
A rash from without drowned his
words as a blow delivered with tho
force of ft battering ram caused tho door
to leap inward. A shower of dust and
plaster fell to the floor. A aecond rush
aad shock followed. The door fell from
its binges with crash, and tho moon
shone boldly in and streamed upon the
atone pavement. Brace and Mosoly ro
treated into the shadows of the doorway.
Hare, unseen by those without, tbey cov
t ered the entrance with their cocked re
volvers. The moonlight flashed coldly
OS tho glistening barrels f nil in eight of
aa excited crowd of men poising n heavy
. "A aaosnent's pause ensued, The sol.
';', Mete, thiftkiftg that the weapons were
those of tho sheriff and his deputy awl
that Brace was In tho interior of the Jail,
V were, averse to naascsary bloodshed.
i At thk iaetaat thirs was ft crash of mn
hotry w .the-NMr, accompanied by the
Jhutmc of gtoss and tho whistling of
,baUels. , Tho leader of the party held up
r'hsB hand to parley.
' '"I reckon you hear that, Ike Mosely,"
he said, with aa oath. "The boys are
ratta your lockup frosn the windows.
- Yea' ana-lit ea well hand that feller over
quiet and peaceable before they take
him out corpse. We've sworn to string
him up, and ea we're ten to your one ye
',:. might as well be sensible and give in."
'" "Yen think so, do you?" retorted the
.sheruf through his set teeth. "I'll let
you know I think different! ril allow
,', wet me ana dim Kin uoia oniy one end
;'of this jail, but thet's about what we
7s'eakalate to do. Of course ef yon kill
MB W HI MIMIUIW i. Mil fc miWW
, bio, but tho first man of you thet steps
ftorosa tort doorsui u gone in I give
vms that flat!'1
Tho sheriff had hardly spoken when
IhO door of the iaaer room swung quick
far back and Humly Jim appeared. He
was not visible to tho taroag without.
.Closing the door behind hint, he leaned
gainst it His voice cam distinctly to
to tho ears of Mosely aad Bruce. "
1 TW ain't no ase.ror me toltmt ia
) ' aar asoro tta ia aW," he said slowly.
"Tlawau't no prisoner to mara. Least-
thet's likely to tit away.
;Tht last volley settled Lem's account
foe good aad all. X reckon., Th darned
Matte killed tho wrong man. Praps tbet
beta tho case you've got more use for me
Moeely was about to whisper eomehur
ried command to his deputy when a sec-
' ond volley crashed through th inner
room, splintering the woodwork and
beam. Tbe sounds of talsterrino fusil
lade had not entirely ceased before a rod
v den nob borne on the night wind 'came
to their ears from without. A low rum
ble as of distant thunder shook the earth,
aad the windows of the jail rattled with
strong vibratory tremor. The crowd
about tbe shattered door turned in sur
prise. A clear, ringing cheer burst sud
. donly upon th still ahrht. There was a
sound of galloping hoofs aad a murmur
of many voices, and with a sudden rush
aad tumult a mounted cavalcade swept
round tho jail, th moonlight flashing
upon their brandished rifles. Ia an in
stent th building was surrounded.
Th leader of the party charged the
group of soldiers before th doorway at
a gallop, reining up hi bora so fieroely
that th hoof sof the animal struck Irs
n the resisting gravel.
"Fallback abouted the imperative
voioeof Colonel Hunt. "Fall back, now,
alloc you, aad disperse! This
baa gon far enough."
; 'At be aharp command Forakor'a men.
raaUaing tbsywsr now between two
sudden freak o' yonnt for a moonlight
prtsoar sorter took tho nnud out o' thorn
sojors, nntcirauy, uicini ur wiiat nngoi
sent you down our way at this hour o'
Colonel William Hunt removed his
hat, ntid tho moonlight shone full upon
his ftorioun face.
Cynthia Dallas Haggerrd trembling tn
"You've struck it, Mosoly," he said
solemnly. "An out and outnngol and
no mlstako. I ain't no call to tnko t.
myself any credit for this yor nlght'
bitnees. It all belongs to a woman a
little gal ea galloped 10 miles to bring
me word, and notwithstanding hex rid
with us every step of tho way and put
the blush to every man in my troop-ra
gal ea I'd bank on ag'in half tho men I
over see and who's too good adurned
sight for tho best man in tho state."
And even at this moment jmlo, breath
less and dishevelod Cynthia Dallas stag
gered trembling to the doorway and sank
fainting on the threshold.
With tho arrival of tho rangers and
their armed investment of tho jnil at
Bradford post the open animosity agaiusf
Henry Bruco vanished. Such was the
awe inspired by theeo frontier pollcothat
no further attempt at outbreak followed.
At 0 o'clock on the following day u
mounted escort accompanied Bruce to
tho courthouse, and a preliminary exam
ination was held. Phil Kornochan had
arrived during the night, bringing with
him Judge Natchez, the ablest lawyer of
the circuit. The prisoner found himself
surrounded by influential counsel and
Tho presiding justice conducted tho
proceedipgs with that perfect impartiali
ty and absence of judicial dignity for
which he was noted, With his hat on
tho back of his head, a short black pipo
in his month and untranunolod by coat,
cravat or collar, he lent himself serious
ly to the gravity of tho occasion.
How far the judicial mind may have
been influenced by the sullen presence
of the more disaffected of Poraker's men
in the courtroouf and by the armed
demonstration of the 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 tbe state's
representative. But on motion of Judge
Natchea to release Bruce on ball he
cheerfully acquiesced. Ho further agreed
to the application for a chango of vonuo,
holding that tho present stato of popular
reeling was hardly conducive to that
calmness of deliberation which the law
His honor's phraseology is necessarily
lost in the above paraphrase. Ho said,
I believ, that ho "wasn't tryin no case
In no place where everybody was dead
sot on hangin tho prisoner first and hold
In court arterward." But doubtless the
legal principle of abstract justice was
implied in this Lono Star dictum. Tho
trial was set down for tho first week in
September at th neighboring county
seat of Oskaloo.
Sheriff Mosely was overjoyed at thk
"Why, thet's right whar I was born
and brought up," he said to Bruce, slap
ping bias on the back as tbey left the
courtroom. "I own thet place. Yer
band, pardner; I congratulate you on yer
luck. Whoa tbe time come round, I'll
run dowathar and see ef I can't scare up
a reasonable, f a'r minded and onpreju
dioed jury ea'll view this business in a
tru and holy light"
Th confidence of Bruco ia his even
tual acquittal was naturally Increased
by this reassuring statement.
None the was did Phil Kernocban re
lax his exertions in his partner's behalf.
He consulted earnestly with Colonel
Hunt, who with a party of his men 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 aaa possible valuablo ally.
Accordingly a few daya later Kernochan
rode over to tho latter'a ranch and held
a conference with that gentleman.
Mr. Jerrold had been already impor
tuned in behalf of Henry Bruce. 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 tho rescue that followed. Ho pa
thetically had Cynthia wrought upon
the sympathies ef her auditor that Jer
rold' had been unable to resist the ap
peal. Itwaa perhaps proof positive of
thaf oowman's love for Mis Dallas and
hty own generosity of soul that he prom
ised his assistance, although In giving it
he waa awar that he stood in his own
He received Kernochan with that grav
ity of demeanor for which he was noted,
'tempered possibly with a certain resig
nation wmca udiih iue circauuuwcee
Increased the latter'a good opinion. Ker
nochan unfolded his errand in a few
words. Buck Jerrold filled his pipe,
lighted it, aad seating himself on a nail
keg ia the dooryard reviewed the situa
tion solemnly a follows!
"Thar ain't but one argyment to bring
to bear on th towa of Oskaloo," be said,
deliberately eroaalag his legs, "aad thet's
whiakyl Fve been down thar, off aad
on, for th last 10 year, aad I aever
aiittvv nnyuiui uiho to curry toavtcttoa
In (hot thrlvln settlement-onlcss'lt Was
a t)-sliootcr. nnd oven then I reckon
whlsfcy'd Btnnd tho beat show, Yo see,"
ho wild, pullluic uttliostr.ipsof his heavy
bootn and (lancing nt thorn as if fur in
spiration, "tlio poppylation is thet rigid
and nurrcr inluded that it needs suthin
of thet nuturo to got tho milk o' human
kindness to flow. They want uutliln U
"lit I could go down tlmr now in tho in
terests of juutk'i) nnd jestfloat tho town,
jest play tho millionaire and do tho
generous thing It might cost yon uutliln
but I reckon I reckon," nald Mr. Jer
rold cautiously, "wo might net on honor
able t ml scjunr deal, oven In thet benight
"It's ag'in tho natur o' things," con
tinued Mr. Jerrold, "to look for favor
able results ou any other ground. Thorn
fellers down that way, I reckon, are
what Parson Coutrcfltt calls 'postimlstB'
-thoy'ro malarial in their tastes, and
they'd got things crooked on gen'ial
principles. Accordin to their view, ev
erything is crossgraiued from tho start.
Thoy jest tmtch'ally look at things on
tho bios bo to speak.
"They'd allow, for instanco, thot Hen
ry Bruco laid all night for Forakor out
on tho San Morcua roadt that he round
ed him up and started him on tho 'long
trail' because ho was stampedin his
plans nnd prospects. Thet's what they'd
'a' done, and thet's the way thoy'd look
at it. You and mo knows different
thot it waa dono in self defense, i But
it'll need judicious maniporlatin to make
them liberal minded and to git 'em at
all charitably disposed. Thoy must b
elevated to thot p'int. Then yo'll git
justice Thoir moral natur sorter leave
off whero tho rest of us begin."
Ho paused and looked seriously at Ker
nochan to noto tho effect of his words.
Evidently gathering that, from his vis
itor's previous opinion of tho town of Os
kaloo, his logic was beginning to toll on
him, ho summed up his position in a few
"Ef I rco'loct, I was a lootlo onsettled
myself that night in San Marcus, and I
ain't no way sartin thet Honry Bruce
didn't take a gratlfyin contract off my
hands. You go to work, Mr. Kernochan,
nnd engage tho best lawyers and argify
ersthe stato can produce Thoinll be
necessary, as tho prosecuting attorney is
dead ug'in yo from the fust, but ez for
tho Oskaloo part of tho bizness, mo and
Iko Mosoly'U run thet. And I reckon,"
concluded Mr. Jerrold, rising and per
mitting a grim smilo to relax the corners
of his mouth, "I reckon tho jury at thet
trial will bo in compytent hands."
Phil Kernochan rodo back to his 'ranch
under tho impression that the difficulty
of combating local prejudice at Qakaloo
was materially lessening. 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 the Mosquito valley
ranch, she bad detected no change in
his manner toward her. Accustomed
from Infancy to her own way, the" idea
of a rival in the regard she unquestion
ably manifested for tho young ranchman
had probably novor seriously crossed her
She had accepted the interest of
Bruco complacently, laid claim to his at
tentions aa if by a species of divine
right nnd exhibited toward him a cer
tain air of proprietorship with the pre
Bumption of her sex when conscious of
its attractions. To nuoto the words of
Judgo Natchez, who was for profes
sional reasons some timo a guest nt tho
Mosquito vallev ranch, tho voung lndv's
uimuuo wwaru neury isruco waa that
of tho "holder of n first mortgago bond
wherein the equity was decidedly micro
scopic" Miss Stafford very Boon awoko 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 prido in no sense recog
nized aa an equal can well be imag
ined. , Perhaps the first Intimation that Edith
received of a change In Bruco waa in his
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 the sort plainly Irritated
him, and persistence in tho matter pro
voked a retort or possibly a sudden sar
casm. With singular infelicity of epl-
thot Miss Stafford had characterized
Cyuthia's devotion to Bruce during his
Imprisonment as "kind" "really quite
what ono would have expected a girl of
her surroundings to havo done."
It will bo understood that Bruco cher
ished a different sentiment.
His old interest in Cynthla--the inter
est that ho had felt since that first day
when alio 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 of
gratitudo from which, I trust, mankind,
in tho rarity of feminine constancy, is
not entirely exempt. This interest deep
ened aa tho spring advanced and tho
season slipped into summon He grew
quite in tlio 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 waa merely such
as a brother might hold toward an af
fectionate sister, he was often astounded
to discover with what winged feet the
hours flew overhead, and that familiar
objects took on a nudden association and
charm from the witchery of her corn-
It waa doubtless this brotherly later
est In Miss Dallas tliat prompted Henry
Bruce to Instruct her upon the guitar
an Instrument singularly calculated to
overcomo shyness and restraint between
persons of the opposite sex, and aa snch
to be commended. If while thus em.
ployed Cynthia found herself sitting at
times very near Bruce and their fingers
dangerously involved ia compelling mel
ody from tbe refractory string, K was
unquestionably due to her anxiety to be
"-fnrwyy. and U
while playing somo chord or explaining
some accompaniment there stole into tho
gontlemun's faco an expression so win
ning and tender that tho girl's sweet eyca
grew downcast and tremulous it was tho
zeal of tho instructor doubtless that
prompted this. Certainly for its oppor
tunities nnd possibilities tho light guitar
has reason to bo appreciated, and there
slumbers in its strings a sympathy that
proves n powerful ally to sontlment.
nowlK'it, whutovcr may havo been tho
oxiwrionco of her companion, Cynthia
leurncd little from tho instrument of
which hnr heart lmd not been eloquent
before But alio ncquircd a certain dainty
dexterity, nnd as this musical intercourso
gavo rlso to much conversation and con
fidential disclosure it was not long be
fore Bruco was well acquainted with nil
her girlish dreams nnd fancies except
ono, in regard to which Cynthia said
nothing, but preserved tho ovasivo Bllenco
It sliono in her eyes that kindled at his
coining, in tho quick color that mounted
to her cheek at his approach, in tho sud
den delicious tremor that seized her
when ho drow near, and tho indoscrib
ablo thrill that set Iter heart to throb
bing whenever his hand touched hers.
In placo of that dejection that once op-
Eressed her, a glad gayety and light
oartedness attended all her movements.
Joylaughodin tho sunlight, and mirth
camo to her on tho wings of tho wind.
Tho breczo that rocked tho treo tops of
her bower, lotting slip bright shafts of
light to stray within, Mt her all uncon
sciously to singing.
Old man Dallas noted the change nnd
grow reserved and thoughtful. After
Cynthia's daring rido to Bradford post
he had taken occasion to read his charm
ing daughter a long homily on tho "dan
ger of young women showin all to onct
how much store thoy set by any young
foller." According to Alcidrs, it was tho
dnty of tho box to "set back nnd let things
hump themselves according to their
natch'ral coiiino." Cynthia hod accepted
this rebuko meekly. She was now uni
formly affectionate to her father.
Old man Dalian noted the change and
grew retcrved ami thoughtful.
"I reckon them now bonnets sho was
talktn about must have got up to San
Marcus," remarked this cautious skeptic,
who was inclined to refer all feminine
advance to mercenary motives. Find
ing, however, that his daughter's caresses
were quite gratuitous, he shook his head
gravely with renewed distrust. It was
only after a doleful rehearsal upon his
fiddloof his symphony to "Married Lif e"
that ho appeared to havo pierced the
hoart of tho mystery.
It was about this timo that Miss Staf
ford ceased to allude to tho frequency of
tho visits paid Miss Dallas by Henri'
Bruco; it was about this timo that sho
became apparently unaware that any
such young woman existed; it was about
this time that sho began to drop stray
hints iu regard to certain admirers at the
north, for whom sho cherished an ex
travagant interest an interest which
ipeedily began to manifest itself in cor
respondence; It was about this time that
she gave out that these parties were Im
portuning her greatly to return home,
but before doing bo she meditated a coup
d'etat by which she trusted to wring the
heart of her rival, and if posslblo "lure
this tassel gentle back again."
And so the summer days passed by
until September came and with it the
momentous trial at Oskaloo.
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