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smiled to himself as he recognized
the diminuitive little lady as a being
with a spirit of her own. Then lie
rode on his way, thinking of another
certain little lady who filled his mind
continually. It was a rough commu
nity among which he had cast his lot
at the gulch, but he had found a jewel
rare amid the incongruous environ
ment. It was Velma Dalton, the
daughter of the district judga. Grif
fiths, as a rising young lawyer, had
won the good opinion of the judge.
The latter represented the reform
element of the border settlement It
was by his influence and support that
Griffiths had been elected mayor.
That position was proving anything
but a bed of roses. The rough ele
ment of the gulch was opposed to in
novations. Defeated at the polls, they
went about cross-grained and venge
ful. There were mutterings of dis
content and veiled threats. The out
cast element, however, feared the
law, and the dignity and determina
tion of the judge had so far prevent
ed any serious outbreak.
Griffiths reached the gulch just aft
er dark. As he passed the Red Beaver
tavern he caught the echoes of some
wild jubilation. He learned its cause
when he reached home. His landlady
looked frightened and agitated.
"Oh, I am so glad you have gotten
home safe," she exclaimed. "They
have been here."
"Who has been here?" questioned
"The committee from the rustlers.
It's about renewing the license of the
dance hall, sir."
"I answered them once," spoke
Griffiths, his lips setting firmly.
"They have my ultimatum."
"Yes, sir; but they threaten a big
row. They had Giant Gabe with
them, and his gang. It seems they've
hired him to come here and upset
the town, if you don't give way."
"Not an inch!" pronounced Grif
''Then, sir, don't show yourself on
the streets. The mob is drunk and 1
ugly, and bound to do you up if youJ
don't grant that license."
Griffiths paid no attention to this
warning. He felt it beneath his dig
nity. He called upon Vehna that
same evening. Her father was seri
ous and she was anxious over the sit
uation. Neither, however, attempted
to influence him to recede one step
from his fixed position regarding the
carrying out of the law.
The next morning Griffiths pro
ceeded quietly to his office. He had
heard of a wild debauch at the tav
ern and of this imported bravo, Giant
Gabe, and his gang. It seems they
had appeared in similar circumstanc
es as hirelings to help the half-subdued
rowdy element of the towns
voting for reform, hoping to intimi
date the champions of the new move
The convivialists of the evening
previous were sleeping off the effects
of their debauch during the morning.
Just after noon, however, as Grif
fiths was crossing the public square,
he saw a hooting, straggling mob
pouring out through the doors of the
At their head was a red-shirted,
brawny-fisted fellow over six feet
in height and viciously intoxicated.
Griffiths doubted not that this was
Giant Gabe. Urged by the crowd he
hustled along to the spot where Grif
fith had halted. He squared off in
front of him, egged on by his turbu
"You're the mayor, they tell me!"
he bellowed. "Well, I'm nominated
by the people to protect their liber
ties. Rattlesnakes I eat 'em!"
Giant Gabe glared horribly, leaped
two feet in the air and cracked his
"Dynamite!" he roared. "I sleep
over a box of it"
Calmly Griffiths regarded the
mouthy demagogue, but planted
fifmly, his glance noting every move
ment of the raging bully.
"Powder and shot my chewing
gum! You goody-goody specimen 05