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Newspaper Page Text
PROVED BY FIRE
By James Harrison.
'Elmer held Watson guiltless of his
innumerable offenses against him be
cause of Watson's wife.
In the Southwest, where men are
quick to avenge insult, Watson
dwelled unharmed, mouthing impre
cation against Elmer, holding him up
to the scorn of the township. No one
was braver than Watson when chat-
A Thin Column of Smoke Was Rising
ting with his cronies in front of the
Westwood Hotel and boasting what
he would do when he next met Elmer
face to face. But Elmer only laughed
at Watson's threats.
The men were neighbors. Elmer
owned five hundred acres and herded
his cattle upon the government
ranges. Watson was a sheep man,
and that would have been enough to
cause a quarrel had not the long feud
been settled by a line drawn clear
across the state, separating the
spheres of the two antagonists. El
mer, on his arrival at Westwood, had
gone to call upon his neighbor to talk
over their boundaries. But he found
Watson in a drink stupor and a sad
eyed girl of twenty-two cooking upon
the cheap oil stove m the wretched
"Mrs. Watson?" asked Elmer, doff
ing his hat. "I am Elmer. I "have
taken the neighboring range. I came
to talk over " Then he paused vin
embarrassment and saw the wound
ed pride on her face.
"Mr. Watson shall see you tomor
row," said the girl quietly, and El
mer withdrew, wondering and dis
mayed that such a girl should be
bound to such a man.
'He halted at the back of the cabin
to 'fix his boot. Watson, thinking that
he had gone, sat up on the couch.
"You " he yelled, uttering a vile
oath, "I've trapped you at last. You
thought I was sleeping, didn't you,
and that you could bring that man
into my home! I know that you've
been meeting him while I was tend
ing sheep on the range. I'll I'll "
He staggered across the cabin toward
the girl. Elmer heard the cheap tin
ware clatter upon the stove and
strode back into the cabin. Watson
was standing over his wife in an at
titude of impending assault. Elmer
took him by the shoulders and ran
him T)ack across the room.
"I don't believe in interfering be
tween a man and his wife ordinar
ily," Tie said. "But if you ever lay a
finger upon this lady I'll shake your
teeth down your rum-soaked throat,
you hound. Sawee?"
Watson fell back with a groan and
Elmer, releasing him, departed with
sudden realization of the folly "of his
quixotic action. It would go hard.
with Mrs. Watson now. He dared
not look at her as he passed out of
He met her in the town next day
and was relieved to see that she bore
J. no jharks-stf violence, She noddjed