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The Lone Star Ranger
A Fine Tale of the Open Country ByZANE GREY CHAPTER XXIV Continued. 14 it not, hate, then assuredly great jtnssion toward Pogirln manifest! It. nclf In Knell's scornful, flcry address, In tho shaking hand ho thrust beforo Poggln's face. In tho cnsulne silent nounu in nis cars that was not all mo rusn of tho wind. Something drag ged nt him. Apparently ono eldo of his mind was I nnniieramy fixed, while tho other was a hurrying conglomeration of flashes! or tnought, reception of Ronsatlons. pauso Knclt's panting could bo plainly Ho could not get calmness. By and by.' Beard. Tho other men npm nn!n. almost fnvnliintnii.r i. I . ".ivimiuunj, im iiuiiiuu luniur llllndroil tlnl.lnl.... ...... . v ..,.iuiUb-DiviiL uTuiuuons. uo i no wns came Tin mi meant to tnko nnv rlk mhr ., h . c.. Uo hnd tho courage . , ,lUi. uuuno wormeu nis tanco to that mm. nn.. . to kill him. iiv . nongstrctn, listen," cried Dunne, swiftly. "Tho game's up. You're ilone. But think nt nm Of way to tho edgo of the shrubbery and crouched low to watch for his oppor tunity. Longstreth looked-haggard and thin. no was in his shlrt-sleovcs, and ho Ing, had endured tho long hours made him leap. " ?8, n fnst tra,n. yet tho rldo ocvuicu HIOW. rn UiU "ot speak to Lomrstreth a . - . i j nun iuu luaiui . . . i - jwui uuuL'iirnr i i nnn ' . wuicntui, cauuously edging cither way on. Action seemed to make his state . . wns ln ma shlrt-sleovcs, and ho HI sparo your life I'll try to i hi . B . w u, car changed w uio won, leaving tho principals and icss oppressive; It cased tho weight " . wmo out w,tn n Run In h's hand, ou rrcedom on ono condition For i I . oeil,nJ 's prisoner. Hnnna In 4 1. - . I Y) .. 1. 4 1. . I "P)i I a fin In 1.1 Mn . 1. 1 . . .. hn. ..t.. i x1 Uil XUG drift AAr In n r. I .. .. . , T " OKU- u-ur uy nnu were palo but composed. ."n1?,.d',lnot sPcnk t0 Longstrcth "Bum un me train stopped nt Vnl f uuu, Ouane ln tho corner of tho room, upring his nnme, then, you" said foggin, violently with a curse. Strangely Knell did not even look at Uio man ho was about to denounce. lie leaned toward Poggln, his hands, his body, hlo long head all somewhat expressive of what his faco disguised. "Buck Duanol" ho yelled, suddenly. Tho name did not mako any differ ence In Poggln. But Knell's passionate, twin uttcrnnco carried tho suggestion uiat uio nnmo ought to bring Poggln to quick action. It was possible, too, that Knell's manner, tho Import of his ucnuncinuon, the meaning bnck of nil bis passion held Poggln bound moro than tho surprise. For tho outlaw cer tainly wns surprised, perhaps stagger v M at tho Idea that he, Poggln, had ncen anout to stand sponsor with rictchcr for n famous outlaw hatcl ana feared by all outlaws. Knell waited a long moment, nnd then his fnco broko Its cold Immobility In an extraordinary expression of aevlllsh ,gIeo. no had hounded tho reat Poggln Into something that gave ww vicious, monstrous Joy, "Buck Dunnot Yes," ho broko out, hotly. "Tho Nueces gunmnnl That two-shot, nco-of-spades lone-wolf! Tan an' I wo'vo heard a thousand times of him talked about him often. hero ho Is In front of you I Poggln, foil wero backin Fletcher's now pnrd, Back Duane. An ho'd fooled yon bstfe but for me. But I know him. a I know why ho drifted In hero. xo uasn a gun on Ohescldlno on you a mo I Bah! Don't tell mo ho wasted to join tho gang. You know a Jtwaaan, for you're ono yourself. wea c you always want to meet a real own, not a four-flush? It's tho mad ww oi uio gunman, an' I know It wm, Duane faced you called you wnen i sprung his namo, what wsgnc you have dono? What would we boas-anybody hnvo expected of rogginf ma you throw your gun. wux, use you nave so often? Nawj feu froze. An why? Because hero's a man with tho kind of nervo you'd we u nave. Because ho's great ecun' us hero alono. Because you mnvw iios a wonder with a gun on' yea' lovo life. Becnuso you an' I an' ffrery dnmncd man hero has to tnko ms rront, ench to hlmsolf. If wo all wew wo u kui him. Suro! But who's Sin' to lcnd7 Who wns goln' to be esc? wno was goln' to make him raw? wot you, Poggln I You lenvo ac rer a lessor man mo who'vo Mve to sco you a coward. It comes ce to every gunman, You'vo mot yeur match ln Buck Dunne. An', by wiu, x in giaui jicrea once I show ru up r Tbe hoarse, taunting voice failed. Knelt stepped back from tho comrndo fce hated. Ho was wet, slinking, hag tta. but magnificent "Buck Duano, do you remember Hardin?" he asked, ln scarcely audlblo foicc. "yes," replied Duano, and a flash of Uwlght.made clear Knell's attitude "You mot him forced him to draw -killed him?" Yea." "Hardin was the best pard I ever tad," Ills teeth clicked together tight, nnd Ms Hps set In a thin line. Tho room grow still. Even brcnthlng cwftsod. Tho tltno for words hnd A. In that long moment of siiBpcnso aeirs oouy gradually stllToned, and t las tho quivering censed. Ho rouched. Ills eyes had u soul-plerc- Dunno watched him. no wnitoii Wo caught tlio thought tho breaking 3C Kncll'a muBcle-bound rigidity, Then re orow. Through tho smoke of his gun ho iw two red spurts of flnmo. Knoll's ballets thudded Into tho celling, no U with a scream llko a wild thing m agony. uuane aid not seo Knell die, lie watched Poggln. And Poggln, llko a ttrickea and astounded man, looked owa upon his prostruto comrade. Fletcher ran at Duano with hnnds aloft "lilt the trail, you liar, or you'll hev to kill mo I" ho yelled. With hands still up, ho shouldered and bodied Duano out of tho room. Duano leaped on his' horse, spurred, aad plunged away, But tho farther ho went on tho harder ic was to continue. Had ho turned his nncn upon love, happiness, perhaps on mo icsciry Thero seemed no uso to tro on far. thcr until ho was absolutely miro of himself. Duane received a clear warning thought that such work as This ho laid on a tnblo near tho wnll. Ho wore no belt Lawson wan red. bloated. hirW. lipped, nil flery nnd sweaty from drink, wiougn sooer on tho moment, nnd ho hnd the expression of a desnernto In his last stand. It was his last stand, though ho wns Ignorant of that "What's your nows? You needn't h afraid of my feelings," said Lawson. liny confessed to nn Interest In this ranger," replied Longstreth. Duano thought Lawson would rhnkn. Ho wns thlck-nccked nnywny, and the rusn or wood rando him tear nt tho sort collar of his shirt Duane awaited his chance, patient, cold, all his feel ings shut in a vise. ner sake I I've got you nnllniinii , proofs. Thero lies Lawson. You'ro alone. Pvo Morton nnd Give up. Surrender. Consent to de mands, nnd I'll sparo you. Maybo I can persuade MncNclly to let you go free back to your old country. It's forltny'ssnke! Her life, perhaps her nnpplnesfi, can bo saved I Hurry "mi iuur answer i" They got off tho car, nnd the girls followed ns naturally as ordinary xno station wns a good deal larger thnn that nt Bradford, nnd thero was considerable ncUnn nrwi "Supposo I refuse?" ho queried, with U8,tl0 lncldent to tho arrival of tho UUI " icrriDio carne.qtnn "Then I'll kill you In your tracks! L Dui ju can't movo n hand I Your word - ccs' You ur ueuuu urry, Longstreth I Bo n mnnl For her sukol Quick I An- omer seconu now I'll kill youl" uuano's swccnlnc crazo snrliPl rested unon n mnn who laminar. This fellow's look, too, was that of ono who knew Dunne, but wns wniung ror a sign, n cue. Then Duano, "But why should your dnughter meet word '" ho snld nn(1 deliberately walk "All right Buck Dunne, I give my recmlzed him MacNelly, clean-shav- demanded Lawson, this ranger?" harshly. "She's In lovo with him. nnd hrf in lovo with her." Dunno reveled In Lawson' tlon. The statement mlchf tho forco of a Juggernaut Wnn strcth sincere? What was hl c.m Lawson, flndine his Bay, cursed tne ranger, then T,nn. stroth. "You dnmncd selfish fnnii" .,in.i Longstreth In bitter scorn. "AH you think of Is yourself your loss of tho girl. Think once of me my home my life I" Then tho connection by Longstreth apparently dawned up on the other. Somehow thmmrh thi. t. i . . Kr ner miner and cousin were to bo betrayed. Duano got that Impression, though ho could not tell how trim u was. Certainly Lnwson's Jealousy was uia paramount emotion, Duane Saw Red Flashes. nuuiucu naunting and driving him lomu never Do enrried out In the mood under which ho labored. He hung on to that thought. Several times he j muwcu up, then stopped, only to go on uhimi. AX ICnCtU. nn hn mmtntml n od to tlio chair and fell Into It Longstreth looked strangely nt the bloody blot on Dunne's shoulder. "Thero como the girls I" ho sudden ly exclnlmed. "Can you help mo drag Lawson Inside? They musn't see him." t Duano was facing down tho porchi toward tho court and corrals. Miss Longstreth and Ruth had como, ln sight wero swiftly approaching, evi dently nlarmed. Tho two men suc ceeded In drawing Lawson into tho nouso ncforo the girls saw him. "Duano, you'ro not hard hit?" said Longstreth. Beckon not" replied Dunne. "'m sorry. If only you could hnvo told mo sooner I LnwsonI Always rvo split over him 1" Bnt the last time, Longstreth." Yes, nnd I came near driving you to kill me, too. Dunne, you talked mo OUt Of It For nny's sAkft Shn'll his I'll hnvo her, or nobody else wilt I" xou never will." returned T.nn. strcth, stridently. "So help me God I'd rather see her tho ranger's wlfo thnn yours I" "Willie Lawson low ridge, Fnlrdalo lav lirirhf nn,i Longstreth leaned tnwnni Mm -n f green before him, not far nway, nnd hnte and menace in his mien. tllO Sight WAR n onnnlunl... -1 1. I "LniVSnn vn . -r a. To hell with you 1" burst out Tw. ,n hcro In n minute. . This Ml h hnrd. son, Incoherently. He wns frenzied. cr tnnn cing a gun." But I hope It '11 turn "Hnrd now. OUt nil 1-lirJlf" 'T)uane, will you do mo n favor?" ho asked, nnd ho seemed shamefaced. "Sure." "Let nay nnd Ruth think Lawson shot you. Ho's dead. It can't matter. uunc, mo old side of my life Is coming bnck. It's been comintr. And. en. Without mnstnrlm hn different, younger. When MncNclly saw that Duano in tended to greet him, hurried forward to meet him. A keen light flashed from his eyes. Ho was glad, eager, yet suppressing himself, and tho glances ho sent bnck nnd forth from Dunno to Longstreth Wero rmpoHnnlnrr doubtful. Certainly Longstreth did not look tho part of nn outlaw. "Duane I Lord, I'm glad to see you," was the Captain's greeting. Then nt closer look Into Dunne's faco his Warmth fled something he saw there checked his enthusiasm, or at least Its utterance. "MacNelly, shako hands with Chcs eldinc," snid Duane, low-voiced. Tho ranger stood dumb, motionless. But he saw Longstreth's Instant no tion, nnd awkwnrdly he reached for tne outstretched hand. "Any of your men down here?" queried Dunne, shnrply. "No. They're up-town." "Come. MacNelly, you walk with him. We've Indlnn In tha rnfr Tni w.w u.bj A. 14 come Denind with them." iney set off up-town. Longstreth walked as If he wero with friends on the wny to dinner. The girls were mute. MncNclly walked like n mnn in n trance. There wns not n word poKcn m four blocks. iiuBi-uuy ijunne espied n stone Win.. ... ' VilUtll.. -I .1M.HU 1IU WIlUl X Ulll, B ""Vn.. 0 UlTH COII11HIT. Ana, K..H ll OIUUU xiiero woro mesqultcs on tho ridge, continued Longstreth. "I bncked you ?d chnngo places with Lawson if I bu,ld'nK on n corner of the broad and Dunno sought tho slmdo beneath shielded you. You'ro Chcseldinc If 'could I" . styeet There was a big sign, "Ranch- ji wiih uio nnnn.iimip uriti. i. iuu trum in fniri r Nn it'., j...... nun aim no wind, nero Duano ,,uu: yu- ra dono!" i.i 10 nnvo out his light. Dunne wns "tterly unlike hlmholfj ho could not bring tho old self back; ho wns not uio same man ho nnm imii i.nnn t.. vuum understand why. It wns be .miHo or ny Longstreth. Temptation ra. to hnvo her his wlfo I it was Impossible. ..l.ll .. . ' "'"hlW "US .-..uiuusiy niiunng. Dunne pictured n home, no saw himself riding through tho cotton nnd rico nnd enne, homo to ft stately old mnnslon, whero long- nuuiiua Duven mm ivnm nn,t .. . L. ... . . " " V,V. ,7u . 100Kca ror "Im and mot mm with hannv ami hnntitini mi, . , . - - ............... owiiiWJ. -vvu inignt more would bo children Anu somethlni? nnw oonn founding with its omMi . .Inn.. 1 . """ W Mil i , """no's heart Thero would bo children! Rny their mother! Tho kind of life a. lonely ' ui unci novir nniii Tin ... It. l, .. "UYf i mi, ten it nil. nut beyond nnd nlmvn nil i.n- It CHAPTER XXV. Duano returned to Fnlrdnlo nnd rapcd In tho mosquito till tho twenty, tfclrd of tho month. The fow duya eemed endless. All ho could think f was that tlio hour In which ho must lgrnco Uny Longstreth was slowly but Inexorably coming. In that wait lag timo ho learned what lovo was ed also duty. When tho day at last fawned he rode like one ponsossed wn the rough slope, ; .hurling ptoues ltd crashing through tho bush, with claims came Cnntnln MnNiiv'. was then thero was snmnHiin-- nni.i ..,i muhhko in uunno's soul. For ho knew whatever happened, of ono tlilnc- hn was suro ho would hnvo to kill either Longstreth or Lawson. Longstreth "mill, no trapped Into nrrcst 5 but Lnw sou hud no sense, no control, no fear. Ho would snnrl llko n tin n Hint mul for his gun, and ho would hnvo to ho klllod. This, of nil consummations, wns mo ono to uo calculated upon. Duano enmo out of it nil Mn- ,i callous nnd sore In tho most fitting of 10 miuortnKo n dilllcult nnd deadly enterprise. Ho hnd fallen upon his old, Btrnnge, futllo dreams, now Luuureu poignant by reason of lovo. Ho drove away those dreams. In their place carao tho Imnges of tho olive skinned LongstrcUi with his sharp eyes and tho dark, ovll-faccd Lawson, und then returned tenfold moro thrill ing and sinister tho old strnngo pns slon to meet Poggln. It was about ono o'clock whm Dunne rode into Fulrdalo. Tho stroo'ts for tho most part wero deserted. Ho went directly to And Morton and dim mer, no found them nt length, rest less, somber, anxious, bnt uimwnro of tho part he had played nt Ord. They said Longstreth was homo too. It wns possible that Longstroth had ur rlvcd homo In Ignorance. Dunne told them to bo on hand in towu with their men In Cnso lin tiilnlil need' them, nnd then with ids teeth locked ho set off for Longstreth's ranch. Duano strode through tho Inmlioq nnd trees, nnd when noiirlni? m... nnwh ho heard loud, angry, familiar voices. Longstreth and Lawson wero quarrel lug again, now Dunno's lucky star guided him I He had no plan for nc tlou but his brain was ooimi t .. faces .uieir gray nas.ston.onniori wore still ns stones. "Gentlemen I" Dunno cnllcd In for rcnchlng voice ns ho stepped out. "You'ro both dono!" They wheeled to confront Duane. "Don't movo 1 Not a muscle I Not a finger!" ho warned. Longstreth read what Lnwson hud not tho mind to read, nis faco turned from gray to nshen. "What d'ye mean?" yelled Lnwson, fiercely, sjirllly. It was not ln him to oooy n command, to seo Impending death. All quivering and strung, yet with perfect control. Dunno rained his loft hand to turn bnck n lapel of his open vest Tho silver stnr flashed brightly. Lnwson howled llko n lnn. WlHi barbarous nnd insnno fury, with sheer impotent folly, ho swont n clnwini? hand for his gun. Dunne's shot broko his nction. Before Lnwson oven totterod. hofnr no loosed tlio gun, Longstreth leaped Wad you Said thnt. T.nniat..nth replied Duane. "And sure Lawson Plugged me. It's our secret" Just then Ray nnd Ruth entered tho room. Dunno henrd two low cries, so different in tone, nnd ho snw two WhltO fnCPS. Tinv -' j vuuiu iu Ills oiUU I . . She ,,ftcd shaking hand to point. at LVS l mu uiuou upon nis nrenst Whito nnd mute, sho gazed from thnt to hor father. "Papal" cried Ray, wringing her hnnds. "Don't give wny," he replied, husk ily. "Both you girls will need your nervo. Dunno isn't, badly hurt But Floyd is is dead. Listen. Lot mo tell It quick. There's been n fight It it was Lawson it wns Lnwson's gun that shot Duane. Dunno let me off. In fact, Ray, he snved mo. I'm to divide my property return so far ns possible what I'vo stolen leave Texas at onco with Duane, under nr rcst Ho says maybo ho can got Mnc Nclly, tho rnngcr cnptnln, to let mo go. For your suko 1" Sho stood there, realizing her deliver er's Bnnk." "There's tho hotel," snid MacNelly. Some of my men are there. Wo'vo scattered around." mi. xuuj- crossea tup street, went mrougii omce nnd lobby, nnd then uunno nsked MncNeJIy to take them iu u private room. Without n word tho Captain comnllod. Whnn wero nil Inside Dunno closed tho door, nnd, drawing n deep breath as If of rener, ne raced them calmly. U-r imss longstreth, you nnd Miss xiiuin try to make yourselves comfort noio now," he said. "And don't be dis tressed." Then he tiirnoii in hi .. fnln Mir t . . ... mm. aiacneiiy, tnis girl Is the uuugntcr or uio mnn I've brought to juu, unu mis ono Is his niece." mi y-. . . aiiuu uuane Drielly related Long- "'a niory, nnu, tnough he did not sparo tho rustler chief, he was genor- UU8i wnen i went nfter Lonirsirnh concluded Dunne, "It was either to m mm or oner nim his freedom on cona tlons. So I cjioso tho latter for ma uuugiuors suko. Ho has niro,w behind him, clasped him with left arm, nncc. with tho dnrk and tragic ciory dlsnosed of his property. I believe iiuiiininir icrKPd tno Liin from both clutching fingers nnd sheath. Longstreth protected himself with tho body of tho dend man. Duano saw red Hashes, puffs of smoko: ho henrd quick reports. Something stung his left iirm. Then n blow llko wind, llcht of sound yet shocking In Impact, struck him, staggered him. Tho hot rend of lend followed tho blow. Duano's heart seemed to explode, yet his mind kept cxtrnordinnrllv clenr ai)d rapid. Duano heard Loncstrcth work llin action of Lnwson's cun. no hoard hn nammer click, fall upon empty shell of her eyes passing from her father to Dunne. "You must rlso nbovo this," said Duano to her. "I expected this to ruin you. But your father is nllve. Ho will llvo It down. I'm suro I enn promise you he'll bo free. Perhnps back thero ln Louisiana tho dishonor will nover bo known. This matter of lnnd, wnter, n fow stray hend of stock hnd to bo decided out of court To protect himself ho bound men to htm. Ho could not control them. Ho be- enmo involved with them, nnd so ho grow Into tlio lender becnuso he wns tho strongest Whntover ho Is to bo CHAPTER XXVI. - "-V w... . r, ' v. M io IU UU Longstreth hnd used up all tho loads Judged for, I think ho could have been in wiwsoirs gun. Ho cursed as a man Infinitely worse." cureeu nt defeat Dunno waited, cool nnd sure now. Longstreth tried to lift tlio dend mnn, to edeo him closer to ward tho table whero his own gun lay. But considering tho norll of vr. posing himself, ho found tho tusk be yond him. Ho bont peering nt Dunno under Lnwson's arm. which flonnmi out from his side, Longstreth's eyes wero Uio eyes of n mnn who meaut to kill. Thero wns nover nnv mlshitr. On tho morning of tho twenty-sixth Duano rodo Into Bradford in timo to cntch tho enrly train, nis wound did not seriously incapacitate him. Long streth was with him. And Miss Long streth nnd Ruth ncrbert would not bo left behind. They wero nil lenvlng irnlrilnlo tnriwnr T nn "g tho strango and terrlblo light of turned over tho whole of his property ujes iiko tiioso. Moro thnn onco to Morton, who wns to divide It as ho Dunno had n chnnco to nlm nt tlmm. nnd his fnmmflng. linllnvn.l 4o lit tho top Of LoilCStrOth's hond. nt n Dunno lwul ln TTnllnln -.m. -strip of his side. party by nlcht. tiasscd throneh Sm,w. Longstreth flung Lnwson's body off, son in tho enrly hours of dawn, nnd Hut even as It dropped, beforo Loug- reached Bradford as ho had planned, strotn could lout), as ho Ktirniv iA. Thnt fnni mn-n , him nnii i I F1 Dunuo covore(1 outwardly calm, but Inwardly he wafi ::r"." . i"vuK'y nun: m n tumult. Ho wnntcd to rush to MncNelJy beckonni to his mcii. They crowded close, eager, like hounds, ready to run. Thoy all tnlked at once, nnd the word most significant and frequent in their speech was "outlaws." MacNelly claimed his fls in hi. - - ' - BU AX hand. "This '11 mnko tho ndjutnnt slclt wltli Joy. Maybo ho won't have It on tho Governor I Wo'll show them about the ranger service. Dunno I how'd you ever do It?" "Now, Cnptnln, not tho hnlf Ror tho quarter of this Job's done. The gang's coming down tho rond. They'll rldo In to town on tho dot two-thirty.'' "now ninny?" nsked MncNclly. "Poggln, Blossom Knne, Pnnhandle Smith, Boldt, Jim Flotclier. nnd nn. other man I don't know." ."Poggln thnt's tho hnrd nut tn crack 1 I'vo heard their record since I'vo been in Vnl Verde. Who' Knell?" "Knell's dead." ' "Ah!" exclaimed MacNellv. nnMv. Then ho grow businesslike, cool, nnd of harder nspect "Dunne, It's youi game to-day. We'ro nil under yost orders." "You understand there's no Ron t. trying to nrrest Poggln, Kane nnd that lot?" queried Duanc. "No, I don't undcrstnnd thnt." r. piled MncNelly, bluntly. it cant bo dono. The dron cnni bo got on such men. Poggln I That outlnw has no equal with n gun us less Ho's got to be killed oniric They'll nil hnvo to bo killed. They're nil bad, desperate, know no fonr. m lightning ln nction." Very well, Duano: then It's n flhfi That '11 be easier, perhaps. Tho boyi are spoiling for n fight Out with raw plan, now." "Put ono mnn nt ench end of thli street, Just nt tho odge of town. Pi four men up In that room over the bnnk two nt each open window. Let them hido till tho gamo begins. Tk rest of your men put insldo behind tho counters, whero they'll hide. Now go over to tlio bank, spring tho thlna on tho bnnk ofllclnls, send your mca over one by one. No hurry, no er. cltement no unusunl thing to attract notice In tho bnnk." "All right Thnt's great Tell mo whero do you intend to wnlt?" Dunno heard MacNelly's question, and it struck him pecullnrly. Ho had seemed to bo planning nnd speakiai mechanicnlly. As ho was confroatefl by the fact it npnplused him some what nnd he became thoughtful with lowered head. "Whero '11 you wnlt Dunno?" sisted MncNelly, with keen eyw speculntlng. 'Til wait ln front Just Inside tin door," replied Dunne, .with nn effort "But will you hido?" nsked Mao Nelly. Duane wns silent MacNelly stared, and then a strange, comprehending light seemed to flit over his fnce. "Dunne, I can give you no orden to-day," ho said, distinctly. Tm onU offering advice. Need you take anj moro risks? You've redeemed vour self. The governor, tho ndjutant-ge eral the whole state will riso up and honor you. I say, as a ranger, need you take moro risk than your can-tain?" Still Dunno remnlncd silent Hi was locked between two forces. And one, n tide thnt was bursting at; 1U bounds, seemed about to ovcrwholn- him. Finally that side of him, the retreating self, the weaker, found voice. "Captain, Just what I'll do or wh I'll be I can't say vot. Tn mooting llko this tho moment decido.q. rtn I'll bo thero I" MacNelly spread wldo his hnnrta looked helplessly at Ids curious nnd sympathetic rangers, and shook hi head. "NOW you'vo dono your wnrlrVnlil tho trup is this strange movo Of vnnw going to be fair to Miss Longstreth?' nsked MacNelly. in Slcnlfipnnt- lnw voice. Like n great tree chonDod nt. thi roots Duano vibrated to thn. looked up as if he hud seen n ghost Mercilessly tho ranger captain wen? on-: 'ou can win her. Duanol Oh you can't fool ine. I wns wise In minute. Fight with US from ou'll be free, honored, hnnnv. Timi girl loves ysul I saw it ln her pys She's" But Duano cut him short a llerco gesture. He lunge t,p to hii feet, nnd tho rangers feU jack. Dark silent, grim cs ho hai? been, still thert was n transformation singularly niorf sinister, stranger. "Enough, J'd done," ho said, som berly. "Jtb planned. Do we ngrcc or sltf.li I meet Poggln and his gann affile?" 8 MncNelJy cursed nnd up his hnnds, this time in baffled cliugrln. There wns deep regret In ma uurn. eyes as they Duane. rested upon "Duane! Lord, I Am Qlad to See You!" he'll live up to tho conditions. He's iu ii-uvu xwcas never to return. Ches "Don't i l r S lo ",m; . m n mmuit. Ho wanted to rush to cldlnw has been n mystery nnd now it ll kin JT c r U, iunl D(m tJ Vnl Verd0- WouId Cuntnlt MacNelly 51 fade." -ycry, nnd now it 1 1 kill oul Suro ns God I'll kill bo there with his rangers, ns Duano A few moments later , had planned for them to bo? Memory M MacNelly to a largo room llko of that tawny Poggln returned with hall, and hero wero men readinc and thorn rangers I you I Longstreth Stood nnrltnn n .... from tho table where his gun lay. Duane saw him calculating chances. Stninrr.1 nnvelnn n 1....1 1 . "-"K UU - n - , w... u.i.' uuiiiu i niiiiiKiiiir uiinnn Lnnn. i.- i ....... - I " w uuura uuu wccks unu momns or wait- Duano was left alone. Nover hnd his mind j clear, so wonderful in its understanding I of what hnd heretofore been intricate nnd elusive Impulses of his strange nature. His determination was to meef I'oggln; meet him beforo anyone else .i """" i'oggln first and then In'T', ,H Wtt8 as "Uerable of Its acceptance ho had become stone. (TO DEI CONTINUED.) , Tamo Performance. Did tho speaker mako much of an Impression on you?" "No." mud!"1 1 Undcrst00d he some "Well, If ho did, It wn freo from bac terln nnd guaranteed not to soil 2 clothcs'-BIrmlngham Age-Hertdd.