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spirited craven; but I promised moth
er, and I have kept my word!"
It was on her death bed that Mrs.
Warden had drawn her Bon to the
sacred pledge regarding two things
drink and fighting. Her own father
had been a victim to the wine cup.
Ralph's dead father had suffered
death in a hot border fight brought
about by a mere trifling remark.
Mrs. Warden had died with a satis
fied smile, when her loyal son had
promised . never to raise his hand
against another in temper or hate.
And the whirling of time had gone
on, Ralph had drifted .to another
town. He was not very successful in
'getting work. One day a sudden reso
lution came into his mind; he would
jdin the regular army. Thus it was
that one year after this last sight of
the only woman he had ever loved,
he was a sergeant at Fort Danger,
under the orders of the man he had
considered a rival a rival no longer,
"I wronged you once, Warden,"
admitted the lieutenant voluntarily
the day Ralph came to the fort "I
thought you a poltroon, and said bo.
Later it leaked out to all of us about
your sacred promise to your mother.
I respect you for it I think: that dis
covery made pretty MIsb Lynd edge
away from me. No hearts broken,
though, for I am now engaged toa
girl who owns three ranches, and
when my term of service is out, I am
going td settle down to an easy life."
The whirligig of time brought
about another" strange happening
Pauper Joe, no longer a drinker, the
. fond, fervent-friend of the man who
had been kind to him, was also sta
tioned at Port Danger.
The place had been truly named.
Situated on the edge of an almost
impassable desert, the nearest fort
two hundred miles tllstant, it was
isolated among Indians who had the
habit of a periodical- blood-tliirgty
Another strange coincidence In the
Ethel Lynd was now at Fort Blain,
where her father was making a gov
It waB late of a blazing hot summer
afternoon, when as she sat In the
breezy corner of the fort scanning
the broad plain with a field glass,
Ethel made ouF"a horseman in the.
distance, going at tearing speed. She
informed the officer in charge
Twenty minutes later there dashed
into the fort a reeking horse. In the
saddle was a man, tattered sun
blistered, with a gaping wound in
one arm, and propped up in front
of him another man, seemingly dy
ing. The rider was Ralph Warden, his
helpless burden Pauper Joe. The
horse reeled and fell to its knees.
The rider toppled in a dead faint
lntOxthe arms of two Boldiers. They
lifted Pauper Joe gently to the
"Water, for the love of heaven!"
he- pleaded, Then, with the cooling
draught had passed his efvered lips:
"Care for him, the sergeant the
hero! I must tell the story quick, for
I'm done for."
What a story it was! Fort Danger,
surrounded hy Indians, cut off from
civilization, with only a week's sup
plies, was hemmed in. Most of the
soldiers, desperate, mad for fight,
had got at the liquor stores. They
would fight like demons, but when
the food gave out they were doomed.
Ralph Warden, Pauper Joe and
two others had made the only at
tempt possible for relief a dash
across the arid desert One man had
gone mad from thirst and had died
in his tracks. Another, fancying he
saw water at the bottom of a ravine,
had plunged headlong to death in his
delirium. Indians had attacked them,
Ralph had shielded Joe, grabbed him
up to his saddle at the risk of his life,
"He was my only friend a hero,
the sole survivor," breathed Joe,
"Heaven bless him!" and died.
Fort Danger was relieved and Sav
Whirligig of time was the fact that I
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