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THE ROPING AT PASCO'S.
The Romance of the Cattle Range in
ig There was to be a roping at Pasco's.
Turk McGlory came riding a painted
pony, with his blanket tucked up under
the brow of his saddle cantle, and his
big wheel spurs tinkling to every amb
ling step of the pinto. All the signs
proclaimed that Turk was from Texas.
His saddle was double-cinch, his rope
was of hemp as thick as your thumb
and only half as long as the Arizona
rawhide riata, and there were Colo
rado conchos on his bridle, and a silver
spade bit that cost more than the
He had ridden far, for his eyebrows
were powdered with the fine dust, and
his flannel-clad canteen rubbed light
against his saddle flank. Turk Mc-
Glory was whistling "La Paloma,"
and calculating what he would do with
the prize—which he had already re
garded as won. Turk had big, inno
cent blue eyes that looked straight at
you from the desert wrinkles of his
brown face, a little white mustache,
the first fruits of manhood, and good
humored, firm lips. There was some
thing irresistibly new about him that
Carver, the head judge of the roping,
instinctively called him "the Kid."
You shall see Pasco's; brown 'dobe
huts in the midst of a wide, grey plain
tufted in the foreground like upholst
ery with knobs of sage brush; a rail
road gleaming across it like a chalk
line; dim blue mountains, ragged
along the top, set up in the distance.
Out from the town, on the right, a
dusty road led to a huge corral, used
for a race course, with a steer pen in
one corner. Cow-punchers were saddl
ing, tightening cinches, mounting and
riding up and down in bustling con
fusion ; a crowd was gathering to the
grand-stand on one side; a tall fellow
in a white sombrero was bawling for
bets on the contest; and all over glar
ed the the hot, white Arizona sunshine.
Pasco's was hard at its favorite sport.
Steer-roping is the fine art of the cat
tle ranges; it is also the chief business
of the cowboy. No other great sport is
so closely linked with the daily work
of the soil, no other work has in it so
many of the elements of wild sport.
Turk McGlory, riding into the corral,
felt all the eyes of Pasco's heavy upon
him. It gave him a sense of heat, and
too little air. He felt somehow that
they knew, especially the women
knew, that this was to be his first
public roping. He wished they also
knew of his wild riding and tying with
the Lazy A outfit, and then he was
glad they didn't. Out on the plains he
had felt the strength of every muscle
in his lanky six feet, and he was cer
tain of winning; but now he felt need
lessly large, loose, obstructive, and
for one panicky second he was riding
away prizes to the wind. Then he
clapped his teeth shtu and dismount
"By —," he said, "I'll stay."
Here at the pen, where a dozen wild
steers were crowding and panting,
were knotted the cowboys and their
admirers. Carver and his judges, and
the small men who were betting. With
a throb of the heart, Turk recognized
Bud Oliver, to him the greatest man on
the cattle range. No man between
Texas and Los Angeles was his equal
for roping and riding. Turk McGlory
would have rather been Bud Oliver
than Governor of Texas. Bud was the
champion, receiving his friends like a
king, giving them an off-hand word or
a clap on the back —a hopelessly in
imitable perfection of good fellowship.
And then there was Buster Graham,
the champion of Arizona, and Halver
sen, a square man, with a jaw like a
bulldog's; Doc Mason, who had roped
with Buffalo Bill, and a number of
others whose names were great in the
roping field. Turk's heart went down
and down when he thought of compet
ing with men like these, and then it
suddenly leaped up with the realiza
tion that he was in such company, a
part of it, and he resolved that he
would never leave the field until every
man in it recognized him as a roper,
Little groups of people were drift
ing by to the grand-stand. Here and
there, from the corner of his eye, as
he bent to adjust the saddle cinches,
Turk McGlory caught the glint of a
white skirt or of a flowing ribbon.
Sometimes the girls stopped to dis
cuss the contestants; he heard them
talking of Bud Oliver, and Mason, and
Buster Graham. Suddenly, as he
tightened up a latigo strap, a saucy,
smiling face looked up at him. Her
sister was evidently trying to pull her
away; but she said, half teasingly:
"I'm wearing your colors, Mr. Texas.
You mist win."
He saw nothing but deep black eyes,
and he felt the blood in his face. He
couldn't have spoken if he had known
that it was to save his life, and he
knew that he was smiling foolishly.
She looked back over her shoulder,
raising a mischievous finger.
"Remember!" she said.
Turk took two steps after her, and
then went back to his saddle. She was
in blue and white; he wore a blue and
white silk handkerchief knotted loose
ly, cowboy fashion, about his throat.
Whatever else he saw, he also saw her
until she was in her place in the
Someone shouted, a flagman rode
out from the pen on a sleek city horse,
the admirers and betters slowly work
ed away, leaving the cowboys and the
judges around the pen. The contest
was about to begin. Turk observed
that every contestant except Bud Oli
ver and himself was an Arizona or a
New Mexico man —single cinchers,
white sombreros, rowel-spurs, and all
that. Turk himself wore a big, black
crowned hat, trousers sagging so low
as to make him appear extraordinarily
long-waisted and big shouldered, high
heeled Mexican boots, and a vest, un
buttoned, but no coat. He stepped
with a peculiar roll seen only in these
dwellers on horses, to whom walking
is an uncouth exercise to be avoided.
An attendant was dropping one of
the bars of the pen twenty-five feet in
front, where a log marked the starting
place. Denny Hughes, the first of the
contestants, was sitting on his horse,
bridle rein down, coiling his rope and
fitting the rings to the proper places
between his fingers. In front of him,
a hundred feet from the pen gate, the
flagman sat stiff and still, with flag in
air. The steer was to have a hundred
feet start, and the cowboy was not to
give chase until the flag dropped. As
being a natural sport, the rules were
few and simple. It was to get the
steer, throw him, and tie him so that
he could not get up, and the puncher
who made the best time was the win
ner. It is the every-day task of the
cowman on the range; it is the way all
cattle are caught, either for branding
Three bars were down. A splendid
big steer stepped out with raised head
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and horns high, paused a moment and
looked regally about him. In the hush,
Turk McGlory heard, with a thrill, the
hoarse shout of the pool-seller?"
"What am I offered on Turk Me-
Glory, of Texas, against the field?"
There was dead silence; then dust
rising in the hot air; the steer was off,
a brown streak across the field. Down
dropped the flag; Denny Hughes gave
his horse the spur, and went forward
with a leap, his rope gyrating in long
slow sweeps about his head. Oh! but
it was beautiful to see. The steer
swerved like a bent bow to the right,
and Denny was almost on him; there
was much dust, and an occasional
shout from the stand. Denny leaned
forward and cast, the long rope un
coiling in graceful curves through th€
air. Denny drew in his horse sharply,
the steer wavered as the rope struck
him, then with a shrug he threw it
aside and dashed onward.
"Get him, get him; try him again,"
roared the crowd.
The steer had turned and Denny was
after him again, riding at full speed,
and drawing and coiling his rope at
the same time. Round and round
swept the coil, and hen it shot straight
forward, the loop in the air like a
flattened O. Dennis' horse went back
on his haunches; the steer leaped high
in the air, and fell full length. Denny
was off, pulling the short tying rope
from his belt as he ran. He stooped
over the steer, tying two front and one
rear legs—hog-tying they call it —in
incredibly short time. Then he sprung
to his feet arms in air. It wa sthe sig
nal that the work was finished. The
judges came up and declared the steer
properly tied. The timekeeper called
"One minute, fifty-eight seconds."
"Denny is out of it," observed Bud
Oliver. "He should have made it in
Denny came in, hot and grimy with
dust. The grand-stand was buzzing
again like a trombone heard afar off.
The pool seller bawled his bets, and
Turk McGlory saw a girl in blue and
white in the grand-stand. Turk was
shaking with excitement. He felt
that he never could throw his rope.
What a fool he was to compete with
those old ropers! How they would
laugh at him!
A little fellow in silver spurs and a
feather in his hat came next, and fum
bled his rope so that it was past two
minutes before his steer was down.
He was hopelessly beaten, and he
came in bedraggled, but grinning.
When Buster Graham went to the
line there were shouts of encourage
ment, and aequaintences from the
stand and the pool seller frantically
ran up his bets. Buster and Bud Oli
ver were plainly the favorites, with a
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MAN'S ig |ppP
little leaning toward Bud, as Turk ob
served with rising pride. After all,
there was no man like Bud Oliver, of
Buster Graham was a handsome fel
low, slim and tall, with long black
hair and the smallest feet that ever
went into twenty-dollar Mexican boots.
On his horse he was a very Centaur,
swaying and flowing with every mo
tion like the animal itself. Turk never
had seen a man ride so easily before.
It was a splendid big steer, too, and it
ran as if with a feeling of the sport— a
wild, straight charge across the corall,
swerving neither to right nor to left.
How still the crowd was! Buster
seemed in no especial hurry. There
was a little sign of confusion or dust.
When his horse, nose was nearly over
the steer's flying tail he swerved easi
ly to the left and cast his rope. The
steer seemed to set a front leg in the
noose as if the performance had been
rehearsed. An instant later Buster
was tying, with inimitable swiftness
and deftness, and then his arms were
up, and his long black hair was loose
in the wind. What a gift it is to do
a thing like a young god! And how the
"Buster —Buster Graham!"
The timekeeper could hardly make
his voice heard:
The people were standing up now
and roaring, while Buster came in as
cool and undisturbed as if he had
been riding for an airing.
"That was a good job, Buster," said
Bud Oliver heartily, and the boy in
Turk McGlory spoke out in his eyes
at this big friendliness of a rival, and
he crowded up to Buster to shake
hands and drew back before he had
done it. The betting was now all
against Bud Oliver; but that hero
seemed in nowise concerned, though
he knew it would require the greatest
skill and luck to beat such a record
as Buster had made
When Halversen came up to the
(Continued on piige 1.">.)