VffOTfWJip .M44 J 'J J I HJL'IMW
what had happened the moment it
awakened, toward daylight, but it
had never expected to share the fate
of the other raided border settle
'ments. Sanders staggered into his clothes
and ran into the street The raiders
were still at work upon the business
section, but the little residential part
was about to be attacked. Isolated
parties were drawing nearer. San
ders and N Tallman and Elsie lived
within a stone's throw of each other.
On reaching the street Sanders
found a small body of men busy
making a barricade. A dozen or so
rifles had been discovered and an im
proptu company ha.d been organized.
Travers, the self-constituted cap
tain, thrust a rifle into Sanders'
"Here, I guess you're man enough
to use this, aren't you?" he asked
Sanders took it and loaded it As
he did so cries wee heard from a
street block away, answered by the
yells of the Mexicans. Another party
had stolen into town by a different
route and was. sweeping forward
with the torch, plundering and set
ting fire to the houses.
A small body of the defenders, driv
en back before them, had been cut
off between the two raiding forces.
Nobody could fire,, for fear of hit
ting their own side.
The defenders were corneredj. Half
a dozen women, shrinking .back
against the houses, two or three men
composed them. Fascinated with
horror, Sanders' party saw a Mex
ican step up toward the little group
and speak, indicating one of the
It was Elsie, and the'man's mean
ing was obvious. He was offering life
and safety to the little group in re
turn for Elsie. And to Sanders' hor
ror Tallman was listening to him.
Sanders saw Tallman waver irres
olutely. He knew what he was say
ing to himself; that the honor of one
girl was of less- worth, than the lives I
of alL Sanders saw the Mexican
stride forward and catch her tri- .
umphantly in his arms, while the
rifles of the raiders covered him and'
the party behind the barricades.
The girl screamed, frantically -as
the brute clutched her. 'And that
was the last .Hung that Sanders re
merabere'd. The rest of the story is
told by witnesses.
They speak of seeing Sanders leap
from behind the barricade as if im
pelled by a spring and rush alone,
through a scattering shower of bul
lets, upon the Mexican who held El
sie Duval in his arms. Sanders
struck him down with the butt, then
ran into the midst of the raiding
horsemen, who numbered perhaps
He felled their leader from his
horse, sprang into the saddle and
cleared a space about him. There
was neither room nor time to'load or
fire. The man seemed to have a
charmed life. He swung his rifle
round and round his head, and, al
thougbrmenaced from every side, the
butt broke a head each time It fell
After him ran the little body of de-fenders-fewer
than twelve men.
Border annals hardly detail a
greater fight against greater odds.
But the frightened horses of the dead
pen confused the Mexicans and the
Americans hewed a pasage through
their midst and back again.
They were covered with wounds,
but they bad lost none of their forces
and suddenly the raiders raise a yalT
of terror and rode for dear life Jown
to the Rio.
Whether they feared the arrival of
reinforcements cannot be known.
The fact remains that Sanders had
saved Santa Rosa, and with an in
He awakened from his trance to
find himself standing beside Elsie in
the street breathless and covered
with blood, and wondering what had
happened to him. All that he re
membered was seeing the girl in the
clutch of the Mexican.
- - " jjaAJtJtAAiLAAAAAAAAAAAAa'1
xml | txt