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Essex County herald. [volume] (Guildhall, Vt.) 1873-1964, December 21, 1922, Image 2

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SYNOPSIS. -Peeking gold in the
desert, "Cameron," solitary pros
pector, forms a partnership with
mi unknown man whom he later
learns Is Jonas Warren, father of
a girl whom Cameron wronged,
hut later married, back In Illinois.
Cameron's explanations appease
Wurren, anil the two proceed to
gether. Taking refuse from a
sandstorm in a cave, Cameron dis
covers gold, but too late; both men
are dying. Camoron leaves evi
dence. In the cave, of their dis
covery of gold, and personal docu
ments, diehard Gale, adventurer,
In Casita, Mexican border town,
meets George Thorne, lieutenant in
the Ninth cavalry, old college
friend. Thorne tells Gale he Is
there to save Mercedes Castaneda,
Spanish girl, his afllanced wife,
from ttojas, Mexican bandit. Gale
"roughhouses" Rojas and his gang,
with the help of two American
cowboys, and he, Mercedes and
Thorne escape. A bugle call from
the fort orders Thorne to his regi
ment. He leaves Mercedes under
Gale's protection. The pair, aided
by the cowboys, Charlie Ladd and
Jim Iash. arrive In safety at a
ranch known as Forlorn River,
across the border. The fugitives
art at Tom Reldlng's home. Beld
lng is immigration Inspector. Living
with him are his wife and step
daughter, Nell Burton. Gale, with
Ladd and Lash, take service with
Holding as rangers, Gale telling
Belding the cause of his being a
wanderer, a misunderstanding with
his father concerning the son's
business abilities.
A Desert Rose.
When Dick lay down thnt night he
wns dully conscious of pain and head
ache that lie dill not feel well. De
spite tills, and ii mind thronging with
memories anil anticipations, he suc
cumbed to weariness and soon fell
It was light when he nwoke, but
n strange brightness seen through
what seemed blurred eyes. A mo
ment passed before his mind worked
clearly, and then he had to make an
effort to think.- lie was dizzy. When
he essayed to lift his right arm, an
excruciating pain made him desist.
Then be discovered that his arm was
badly swollen, and the hand had
burst Its bandages. The injured mem
ber was red, angry, inflamed, and
twice its normal size. He felt hot all
over, and a raging headache con
sumed blni.
Belding came stamping into the
"Hello, Dick. Do you know It's
late? I low's the busted list this
DIck tried to sit up, but his effort
was a failure. lie got about half up,
then felt himself weakly sliding back
"I guess I'm pretty sick," be said,
lie saw Holding lean over him, feel
his face, and speak, nnd then every
thing seemed to drift, not into dark
ness, but Into some region where he
had dim perceptions of gray moving
things, and of voices that were re
mote. Then there came an interval
when all was blank. When he again
unclosed his eyes the room was sunny,
nnd cool with a fragrant breeze that
blew through the open door. Dick
felt better; but he had no particular
desire to move or talk or eat.
On the next day he was very much
"We've been afraid of blood poi
soning," said P.elding. "But my wife
thinks the danger's past. You'll have
to rest thnt arm for a while."
Ladd and Jim came peeping In at
the floor.
"Come In, boys. lie can have com
pany the more the better if it'll
keep him content. lie mustn't move,
that's all."
The cowboys entered, slow, easy,
nnl. kind-voiced.
"Shore It's tough," said Ladd, after
he had greeted Dick. "You look used
Tim Lash wagged his half-bald,
sunburned bead. "Musta been more'n
tough for Rojas."
"Gale. Laddy tells me one of our
neighbors, fellow nnmed Cnrter, Is
going to Casita," put In Holding.
"Here's a chance to get word to your
friend the soldier."
"Oh, that will be fine!" exclaimed
Dick. "I declare I'd forgotten
Thorne. . . . How Is Miss Casta
neda? I hope "
"She's nil right, Gnle. Been up nnd
around the patio for two days. She
and Nell mnde friends at once. I'll
call them In."
Both girls came In, Mercedes lend
ing. Like Nell, she wore white, nnd
she hnd a red rose In her hnnd. She
was swift, Impulsive In her move
ments to reach Dick's side.
"Senor, I am so sorry you were
111 so happy you nre better."
Dick greeted her, offering his left
hnnd, gravely apologizing for the fact
that, owing to a late Infirmity, he
could not offer the right. Her smile
exquisitely combined sympathy, grati
tude, admiration. Then Dick spoke
to Nell. likewise offering his hnnd,
which she took shyly. Her reply was
a murmured, unintelligible one; but
her eyes were glad, nnd the tint In
her cheeks threatened to rival the
hue of the rose she carried.
Presently Dick remembered to
speak of the matter of getting news
to Thorne.
"Senor, may I write to him? Will
someone take a letter? ... I
shall hear from him!" she said; and
her while hands emphasized her
Author of
Riders of the Purple Sage,
Wildfire, Etc
Copyright by Harper & Brothers.
"Assuredly. I guess poor Thorne
Is almost crazy. I'll write to him. . . .
No, I can't with this crippled hand."
"That'll be all right, Gale," snld
Belding. "Nell will write for you.
She writes all my letters.'
So Belding arranged It; and Merce
des flew away to her room to write,
while Nell fetched pen nnd paper and
seated herself beside Gale's bed to
take his dictation.
What with watching Nell nnd try
ing to catch her glance, and listening
to Belding's talk with the cowboys,
Dick was hard put to It to dictate
any kind of a creditable letter. Nell
met his gaze once, then no more.
Belding was talking over the risks in
volved in a trip to Casita.
"I'll tell you, boys, I'll ride' In my
self with Carter. There's business
I can see to, and I'm curious to
know what the rebels are doing.
Gale, I'm going to Casita myself.
Ought to get back tomorrow some
time. I'll be ready to start In an hour.
Have your letter ready. And sny if
you want to write home It's a chance.
Sometimes we don't go to the P. O.
In a month."
He tramped out, followed by the
tall cowboys, and then Dick was en
abled to bring his letter to a close.
Mercedes came back, and her eyes
were shining. Dick, remembering
Belding's suggestion, decided to profit
by it.
"May I trouble you to write nnother
for me?" asked Dick, as he received
the letter from Nell.
"It's no trouble, I'm sure I'd be
pleased," she replied.
That was altogether a wonderful
speech of hers, Dick thought, because
the words were the first coherent
ones she had spoken to him.
He settled back and began.
Presently Gale paused, partly be
cause of genuine emotion, and stole
a look from under his hand at Nell.
If she had In the very least been drawn
to him But that was absurd Im
possible !
When Dick finished dictating, his
eyes were upon Mercedes, who sat
smilingly curious nnd sympathetic.
How responsive she was! He looked
at Nell. Presently she rose, holding
out his letter. lie was Just In time
to see a wave of red recede from her
face. She gave him one swift gaze,
unconscious, searching, then averted
It and turned away. She left the
room with Mercedes before he could
express his thanks.
But that strange, speaking flash of
eyes remained to haunt and torment
Gale. It was Indescribably sweet,
and provocative of thoughts that he
believed were wild without warrant.
"Hello. Dickl Good News and Bad!"
It dawned upon him that for the brief
Instant when Nell had met his gnze
she had lost her shyness. It was a
woman's questioning eyes that had
pierced through him.
Next (lay Dick believed he was well
enough to lenve his room; but Mrs.
Belding would not permit him to do
so. She was kind, soft-handed, moth
erly, and she was always coming in
to minister to his comfort; yet Gale
felt that the friendliness so manifest
In the others of the household did not
extend to her. He was conscious of
something that a little thought per
suaded him was antagonism. It sur
prised nnd hurt him. He reflected
that there might come a time when
It would be desirable, far beyond any
ground of every-day friendly kindli
ness, to have Mrs. Belding be well
disposed toward him. So he thought
about her, and pondered how to make
her like him. It did not take very
long for Dick to discover that he
liked her. Her face, except when she
smiled, was thoughtful and sad. But
It seemed too strong, too Intense, too
nobly lined. It was a face to make
one serious. Like a haunting shadow,
like a phantom of happier years, the
sweetness of Nell's face was there,
and infinitely more of beauty than
had been transmitted to the daugh
ter. Dick believed Mrs. Belding's
friendship and motherly love were
worth much striving to win, entirely
aside from any more selfish motive.
He decided both would be hard to
Toward evening Gale heard the
tramp of horses nnd Belding's hearty
voice. Presently the rancher, strode
In upon Gale, shaking the gray dust
from his broad shoulders and waving
a letter.
"Hello, Dick! Good news and
bad !" he said, putting the letter In
Dick's hnnd. "Had no trouble finding
your friend Thorne. Looked like he'd
been drunk for a week! Say, he
nearly threw a fit. I never saw a fel
low so wild with Joy. He made sure
you nnd Mercedes were lost in the
desert. He wrote two letters, which
I brought. Casita is one li 1 of n
place these days. I tried to get your
baggage, and think I made a mistake.
We're going to see travel toward
Forlorn River. The federnl garrison
got re-enforcements from somewhere,
and Is holding out."
"Do you think we'll have trouble
here?" asked Dick, excitedly.
"Sure. Some kind of trouble
sooner or later," replied Belding,
gloomily. "Anyway, my boy, as soon
as you can hold a bridle and a gun
you'll be on the job, don't mistake
"With Laddy and Jim?" asked
Dick, trying to he cool.
"Sure. With them nnd me, and by
Dick drew a deep breath, and even
after Belding had departed he forgot
for a moment about the letter in his
hand. Then he unfolded the paper
and reud :
"Dear Dick You've more than caved
my life. To the end of my days you'll
be the one man to whom I owe every
thing. Words fail to express my feelings.
"This must be a brief note. Belding is
waiting, and I used up most of the time
writing to Mercedes.
"I'm leaving Mercedes In your charge,
subect, of course, to advice from Belding.
Take care of her, Dick, for my life Is
wrapped up In her. By all means keep
her from being seen by Mexicans. We
are sitting tight here nothing doing.
"If things quiet down before my com
mission expires, I'll get leave of absence,
run out to Forlorn River, marry my
beautiful Spanish princess, and take her
to a civilized country, where, 1 opine,
every son of a gun who sees her will lose
his head, and drive me mad. Dick, harken
to these glad words: Rojas Is In the hos
pital. I was Interested to inquire. He
had a smashed finger, a dislocated collar
bone, three broken ribs, and a fearful
gash on his face. He'll be in the hospital
for a month. Dick, when I meet that pig
headed dad of yours I'm going to give
him the surprise of his life.
"Send me a line whenever any one
comes in from F. R-, and Inclose Mer
cedes' letter In yours. Take care of her,
Dick, and may the future hold In store
for you some of the sweetness I know
now! Faithfully yours,
While Dick was eating his supper,
with appetite rapidly returning (,o nor
mal, Ladd and Jim came In. Their
friendly advances were singularly
welcome to Gale, hut he was still
backward. He allowed himself to
show thnt he was glad to see them,
nnd he listened. It took no keen judge
of human nature to see that horses
constituted Ladd's ruling passion.
"Shore It's a cinch Beldin' Is agoin'
to lose some of them animals of his,"
he said. "You can search me If I don't
think there'll be more doln on the bor
der here than along the Rfo Grande."
"Look-a-here, Laddy; you caln't be
lieve all you hear," replied Jim, seri
ously. "I reckon we mightn't have
any trouble."
"Back up, Jim. Shore you're stand
In on your bridle. There's more doln'
than the raidin of a few bosses. An'
Forlorn River Is goln' to get hers!"
Another dawn found Gale so much
recovered that he arose and looked
after himself; not, however, without
considerable difficulty and rather dis
heartening twinges of pnln.
Some time during the morning he
heard the girls In the pntlo nnd called
to ask if he might Join them. He re
ceived one response, a mellow, "SI,
senor." It was not as much as he
wanted, but considering thnt it wns
enough, he went out. In the shnde of
a beautiful tree, he found the girls,
Mercedes sitting In a hammock, Nell
upon a blanket.
"Whnt n beautiful tree!" he ex
claimed. "I never saw one like that.
What is It?"
"Palo verde," replied Nell.
"Senor, palo verde means 'green
tree,'" added Mercedes.
Little by little Dick learned details
of Nell's varied life. She had lived
In many places. As n child she re
membered Lawrence, Kansas, where
she studied for several years. Then
she moved to Stlllwnter, Oklahoma,
from there to Austin, Texns, and on to
Waco, w here her mother met nnd mar
ried Belding. They lived In New
Mexico awhile, In Tucson, Arizona, in
Douglas, nnd finally had come to lone
ly Forlorn River.
"Mother could never live In one
place any length of time," said Nell.
"And since we've been In the South
west she has never ceased trying to
find some trace of her father. lie
wns last heard of In Nogales fourteen
years ago. She thinks grandfather
wns lost In the Sonora desert. . , .
And every place wo go Is worse. Oh,
I love the desert. But I'd like to go
back to Lnwrence or to see Chicago
or New York some of the plnces Mr.
Gnle speaks of ... I remember
the college at Lawrence, though I was
only twelve. I saw races-rand one
real football . . s Mr. Gal ef
course, you've seen Fames?"
"Tes, a few," replied pick; and he
laughed a little. It was on his lips
then to tell her about some of the
famous games In which he had par
ticipated. But he refrained from ex
ploiting himself. There was little,
however, of the color nnd sound and
cheer, of the violent action nnd rush
and battle incidental to a big college
football game that he did not succeed
In making Mercedes nnd Nell feel Just
as If they had been there. They hung
breathless and wide-eyed upon his
Some one else was present at the
latter part of Dick's narrative. The
moment he became nware of Mrs.
Belding's presence he remembered
fancying he had heard her call, and
now he was certain she had done so.
Mercedes and Nell, however, had been
and still were oblivious to everything
except Dick's recital. He saw Mrs.
Belding cast a strange, intent glance
upon Nell, then turn and go silently
through the patio.
Dick wns haunted by the strnnge ex
pression he hnd caught on Mrs. Beld
ing's face, especially the look in her
eyes. It had been one of repressed
pnln liberated In a flash of certnlnty.
The mother had seen how far he had
gone on the road of love. Perhaps she
had seen more even more tliun he
dared hope.
The Yaqui.
Toward evening of a lowering De
cember day, some fifty miles west of
Forlorn River, a horseman rode along
an old, dimly defined trail.
This lonely horseman bestrode a
steed of magnificent build, perfectly
white except for a dark bar of color
running down the noble head from
ears to nose. Sweat-caked dust
stRlned the long flanks. The horse
had been running. He wns lean,
gaunt, worn, a huge machine of muscle
and bone, beautiful only In head and
mane, a weight-carrier, a horse strong
and fierce like the desert that had
bred him.
The rider fitted the horse as he fit
ted the saddle. He was a young man
of exceedingly powerful physique,
wide-shouldered, long-armed, big
legged. His lean face, where It was
not red, blistered and peeling, was the
hue of bronze. He had a dark eye. a
falcon gaze, roving and keen. His
law wns prominent and set, mastlff
llke; his lips were stern. It was youth
with Its softness not yet quite burned
and hardened away that kept the
whole cast of his face from being
This young man was Dick Gnle, but
not the listless traveler, nor the loung
ing wanderer who, two months before,
had by cbnnce dropped into Casita.
The desert hnd claimed Gale, and had
drawn him Into Its crucible. The
desert had multiplied weeks Into
years. Heat, thirst, hunger, loneli
ness, toll, fear, ferocity, pnln he
knew them nil. He hnd felt them nil
the white sun, with Its glazed, coales
cing, lurid fire; the caked split lips
nnd rasping, dry-puffed tongue; the
sickening ache In the pit of his stom
nche; the insupportable silence, the
empty space, the utter desolation, the
contempt of life; the wntch nnd wait,
the dread of ambush, the swift flight ;
the fierce pursuit of men wild as
Bedouins and as fleet, the willingness
to deal sudden death, the pnln of
poison thorn, the stinging tear of lend
through flesh ; nnd thnt strange para
dox of the burning desert, the cold nt
night, the piercing Icy wind, the dew
thnt penetrated to the marrow, the
numbing desert cold of the dawn.
Ladd's prophecy of trouble on the
border hnd been mild compnred to
whnt had become the actuality. With
rebel occupancy of the gnrrlson nt
Casita, outlaws, bandits, raiders in
rioting bands had spread westward.
Many a dark-skinned raider bestrode
one of Belding's fast horses; nnd, In
deed, nil except his selected white
thoroughbreds hnd been stolen. So
the Job of the rangers hnd become
more than n patrolling of the bound
ary line to keep Japanese and Chinese
from being smuggled Into the United
On this December afternoon the
three rangers, ns often, were separ
ated. Lash was far to the westward
of Sonoyta, somewhere along Camlno
del Diablo, thnt terrible Devil's road,
where many desert wnyfnrers hnd per
ished. Ladd hnd long been overdue
In a prenrranged meeting with Gale,
The fact that Ladd had not shown up
miles west of the Pnpngo well was
Gale dismounted to lead his horse,
to go forward more slowly. He had
ridden sixty miles since morning, and
he was tired, nnd a not entirely healed
wound In his hip made one leg drng a
little. A mile up the arroyo, near Its
head, lay the Tapago well. The need
of water for his horse entnlled a risk
thnt otherwise he could hnve avoided.
The well wns on Mexican soil. Gale
distinguished a faint light flickering
through the thin, sharp foliage. Camp
ers were at the well, nnd, whoever
they were, no doubt they hnd prevent
ed Lndd from meeting Gnlo. Lndd
hnd gone bnck to the next wnterhole,
or mnybe he wns hiding In an nrroyo
to the enstward, awaiting develop
ments. Gnle turned his horse, not without
urge of iron arm and persuasive
speech, for the desert steed scented
water, nnd plodded back to the edge
of the nrroyo, where In n secluded
circle of mesqulte he halted. The
horse snorted his relief nt the removnl
of the heavy, burdened saddle nnd ac
coutrements. Gale poured the con-
j tenia hi ins larger canit-cii inro ms
I hat nnd held it to the horse's nose.
"Drink, Sol," be suid. '
It waa but a drop for a thirsty
horse. However, Blanco Sol rubbed a
wet muwle against Gale's hand In ap
preciation. Gale loved the horse, and
was loved In return. They had saved
each other's lives, and had spent long
days and nights of desert solitude to
gether. The spot of secluded ground was
covered with bunches of galleta grass
upon which Sol began to graze. Gale
made a long halter of his lariat to
keep the horse from wandering In
search of water. Next Gale kicked
off the cumbersome chappnrejos, with
their flapping, tripping folds of leather
over his feet, nnd drawing a long rifle
from his saddle sheath, he slipped
away into the shadows. In the soft
sand his steps made no sound. The
twinkling light vanished occasionally,
like a Jack-o'-lantern, and when It did
show It seemed still a long way off.
Gale was not seeking trouble or In
viting danger. Water was the thing
that drove him. He must see who
these campers were, nnd then decide
how to give Blanco Sol a "drink.
Stooping low, with bushy mesquites
between him and the Are, Gale ad
vanced. The coyotes were In full
cry. Gale heard the tramping, stamp-
Gale Dismounted to Lead His Horse,
to Go Forward More Slowly.
lng thumps of many hoofs. The sound
worried him. Foot by foot he ad
vanced, nnd finally began to crawl.
The nearer he approached the head
of the nrroyo, where the well was lo
cated, the thicker grew the desert veg
etation. He secured a favorable posi
tion, and then rose to peep from be
hind his covert.
He saw a bright fire, not a cooklng
flre, for that would have been low and
red, but n crackling blaze of mes
qulte. Three men were In sight, all
close to the burning sticks. They were
Mexicans and of the coarse type of
raiders, rebels, bandits that Gale had
expected to see. A glint of steel
caught his eye. Thre6 short, shiny
carbines leaned against n rock. A lit
tle to the left, within the circle of
light, stood a square bouse made of
adobe bricks. This house was a
Papagon Indian habitation, nnd a
month before had been occupied by a
family thnt had been murdered or
driven off by a roving band of out
laws. A rude corral showed dimly In
the edge of firelight, and from n black
mass within came the snort and stamp
and whinny of horses.
Gale took In the scene in one quick
glance, then snnk down at the foot
of the mesqulte. He had naturally
expected to see more men. But the
situation was by no means new. This
wns one, or part of one, of the raider
bands harrying the border. They
were stealing horses, or driving n herd
already stolen. Gale revolved ques
tions in mind. Had this trio of out
laws run across Ladd? It wns not
likely, for In that event they might
not have been so comfortable nnd care
free In camp. Were they waiting for
more members of their gang? That
was very probable. With Gale, how
ever, the most Important considera
tion was how to get his horse to wa
ter. Sol must have n drink If it cost
a fight. There was stem reason for
Gale to hurry eastward along the trail.
He thought it best to go back to
where he had left his horse nnd not
mnke any decisive move until day-
With the snme noiseless enre he
had exercised In the advance, Gnle re
treated until It wus safe for him to
rise nnd wnlk on down the arroyo.
He found Blanco Sol contentedly
grazing. Gnle carried his saddle
blankets nnd hags into the lee of n
little greasewood-covered mound, from
around which the wind hnd cut the
soli ; and here, in a wash, he risked
building a fire. By this time the wind
was piercingly cold. Gale's hands were
numb, and he moved them to and fro
In the little blaze. Then he made
coffee In a cup, cooked some slices of
bacon on the end of n stick, and took
a couple of hard biscuits from a sad
dlebag. Of these his meal consisted
After that he removed the halter from
Blanco Sol, intending to leave him
free to graze for a while.
'"A crippled Yaqull Why the
h I did you saddle yourself with
him? roared Belding."
Follow the river and you will go to
An argument was in progress. Pri
vate Smart claimed that the tallest
man was in his regiment, while Pri
vate White upheld his own regiment's
claims. '
"Why," said the first, "we've a chap
In our lot who can light a cigarette
from a lamp post." .
"That's nothing," replied the other.
"A fellow In my company's so tall that
he has to kneel down when he wants
to put his hands in Ills trousers
Popmore There! What do you
think of thoee for triplets?
Sourbatch That one In the middle
Is the be6t I'd keep him, If any.
There was a married couple
Who never had a fuss.
The woman, a' e went crazy.
The man ain't worth a cuss.
The Main Thing.
"My poor man," said the sympa
thetic prison visitor, "do let me send
you some cake."
"Thank you, mum. That would suit
me fine."
"What kind would you prefer?"
"Any kind, mum," said the prisoner,
lowering his voice to u whisper, "just
so it's got a file in it."
An Aid to Packing.
Friend Come home to dinner with
me tonight, old chap.
Fatlelgh Does your wife know you
are inviting me?
Friend Well, not you, especially,
but you see she's going away on a
visit und she asked me to be sure and
bring home some heavyweight to sit
on her trunk.
Speeding a Guest.
"You didn't stay long with your rela
tives in the city.
"No," said Uncle Jeremiah Scroggs
by. "I was plannin' to spend about a
month doln' th' town with my nevvy's
folks, but when I'd been there about a
week somebody put a calendar in my
room with some figures on it a foot
Hard to Believe.
"I told him plainly just what I
thought," she said.
"Land sakes!" her grandmother ex
claimed; "how could you say such aw
ful things to a man?"
"There goes a girl of the period."
"She brought you to a full stop, all
"Her name is 'Dot.'"
"Oh, comma long!"
The Flaw.
"There Is no particular pleasure in
motoring these days."
"Too many cars, eh?"
"No, too few pedestrians."
She: J Aren't you afraid we'll fall
He:. I've already fallen In love.)
Ask Dad; He Knows.
Take a tip from father.
Although It causes pain
Fall In love with the pretty girls.
But marry one that's plain.
Jock "Did Clara keep that secret
under her hat?" Marie "Yes, right
on the end of her tongue."
And His Pisnt.
Mne I wouldn't marry hnt artist If
I were you, dear. Why, you know
nothing whatever of his pnU.
June Perhaps not, but when he's
my husband I'll know something of his
Hit Business.
"Aren't your questions rather per
sonal? Suppose you mind your own
"I am doing so. I make It my busi
ness to keep Informed on what other
people nre doing."

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