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THE MA BIS ON I A N
, CDPYR I 3HT 193 O' -BY KaPPggc' BROTHERS t - v . , . ..... : ... i ...... -; SYNOPSIS. Cowboys of th Flying Heart ranch are ??t?rota- over the loss:f their mueh prlfted phonograph by the defeat of their ehsmplon in a foot-race with the cook of tive re?.tlPeJ?e ranch. A house party is on At the Flj-ing. Heart. J. Wallingford fejd cheer leader at Tale. and. Culver CYlngton. Inter-collegiate champion run ner, are expected. ;, CHAPTER I. Continued. "Nonsense! Robert Keap is only twenty-three. Why, she hardly knew lier husband, even! It was one of those sudden, impulsive affairs that xrould overwhelm any irl who hadn't een a man for four years. And then he enlisted in the Spanish War, tad was killed." "Considerate chap!" y "Roberta, you know. Is my best mend, after Helen. Do be nice to her. Jack." Miss Chapin sighed. "It Is too bad the others couldn't come." "Yes, a small house-party has its disadvantages. By-the-way. what's , that gold thing on your frock?" "It's a medal. Culver sent it me." "Another?" to Yes. he won the intercollegiate championship again." Miss Chapin proudly extended the emblem on its ribbon. - "I wish to goodness Covington had been here to take Humpy Joe's place, aid the young cattle-man as he turned It over. "The boys are Just broken-hearted over losing that pho nograph." "IH get him to run and win it back,' Jean offered; easily. Her brother laughed. "Take my ad- rice. Sis, and don't let Culver mix up in this game ! The stakes are too high. I think that Centipede cook is a professional runner, myself, and if our boys were beaten again well, you add mother and I would have to move otit of New Mexico, that's all. No, ' Ve'd better let the memory of that defeat die out as quickly as possible. You warn Fresno not to joke about It any more, and I'll take Mrs. Keap off - your hands. She may be a widow, she . may even be the . chaperon, but I'll do it; I will do it," promised Jack "for my sister's sake." CHAPTER II. rr-TTELEN BLAKE was undenl ably bored The sultry aft ernoon was very long long er even than Berkeley Fres no's autobiography, and quite as dry. It was too hot and dusty to . ride, so she took refuge in the latest "best seller," and sought out a hammock on the vine- shaded, gallery, ' where Jean' Chapin was writing letters, while the discon solate Fresno, banished, wandered at large, vaguely injured at her lack of appreciation. Absent-mindedly, . the girls dipped Into the box of bonbons between them Jean finished her correspondence and essayed conversation, but her compan . Ion's blond head- was bowed over the book in her lap, and the effort met with no response. Lulled by the som niferous droning of Insects and lazy echoes from afar. Miss Chapin was on the verge- of slumber, ' when she aw her guest rapidly turn the last pages of her novel, then, with a choco late between her teeth, read wide- yed to the finish. Miss Blake closed the book reluctantly, uncurled slowly, then : stared out . through, the dancing beat-waves, her blue "eyes shadowed with romance. "Did she marry him?", queried Jean "No; no ! " Helen Blake sighed, bliss fully. "It was Infinitely finer. She Wiled herself.". .' "I like to" see them get married." "Naturally. You are at that .stage But I think suicide is more glorious, in many cases." Miss Chapin yawned openly. "Speak ing of . suicideB, isn't this ranch the -deadest place ?" - V ' v "Oh, I don't think so at all." - Oh yes, you do, and you needn't be polite Just heause. you're a guest," "Well, then, to be as truthful, as a boarder, it la a . little, dull. Not for our ' chaperon, though.- The time , doesnt seem . to 4ag- on her hands Jack certainly is. asking it pleasant for. her."- - . ' "If you call taking her out to watch . lot of bellowing calves get branded, entertainment," Miss Chapin- sighed. : MIbs Blake leaned forward and read the inscription on her companion's medal. "Oh, isn't it heavy!" feeling It reverently. r-Pure gold, like himself! . You chould have seen him when he won it Why, at the finish of that race all the jnen but Culver . were making the most horrible faces. ; They were sim ply .dead." '- .--'tr-i''- Miss Blake's hands were clasped rin her lap. . "They all make faces," said che. "Have you told Roberta about your engagement?"; "No, ehe doesa't dream of It, and I don't want her te know. I'm so afraid faell thin k, sc , that another has gone, that I asked her here Just as a chaperon. Perhaps I'll tell Tux when Culver comes." ;f ? '1 have heard Culver speak of him. but never as an athlete. ; Have you and -Mr. Speed settled thingB. between you, Helen? I mean, has he Slid any thing?" V Miss Blake flushed. "Not exactly." She adjusted a cushion to cover her confusion, then leaned hack complacently. "But he has stuttered dangerously -several times." ' A musical tinkle of silver spurs sounded in the distance, and around the corner of the cook-house opposite came Carara, the Mexican, his wide, Bpangled sombrero tipped rakishly over one ear. a corn-hubk tjigarette drooping from his lips. ...-,-; "It's that romantic Spaniard!" whte pered Helen. "What does b(i want?" "It's his afternoon call fri Marie- detta, the maid," Baid Jeaft. "They; meet there twice a day, morning and afternoon." v . "A lovers' tryst!" breathed Miss Blake, eagerly. "Isn't he graceful and picturesque! Can we watch them?" "'Sh-h! There she comet!" From the opposite direction ap peared a slim, .swarthy Mexican girl, an Indian water-jug balanced upon her shoulders. She was clad in the straight-hanging native garment, belt ed In with a sash; her feet were in sandals, and she moved as silently as a shadow. During- the four days v since'" Miss Blake's arrival at the Flying Heart Ranch she had seen Marie detta flit ting noiselessly, here and there, but had never heard her speak. The pret ty, expressionless face beneath the straight black hair had ever retained its wooden stolidity, the velvety eyes had not laughed nor frowned nor sparkled. She seemed- to be merely a part of this far southwestern pic ture; a bit of inanimate yet breath ing local color. Now, however, the girl dropped her jug, and with a low cry glided to her lover, who tossed aside his cigarette and took her in his arms. N From this distance their words were' indistinguishable. j "How perfectly romantic," said the Eastern girl, breathlessly. , "I had no idea Mariedetta could love anybody." "She Is a volcano," Jean answered. . "Why, it's like a play!" "And it goes on all the time." "How gentle and sweet he is! I think" he is charming. He is. not at all like the other cowboys, is "he?"' While the two witnesses . of the scene were eagerly discussing it, Joy, the Chinese cook, emerged, from the kitchen bearing a bucket of water, his presence hidden from the lovers by the corner of the building. Carara languidly released his inamorata from his embrace and lounged out of sight around the building, pausing' at. the farther corner to waft a graceful kiss from the ends of his fingers, as with a farewell flash of his white teeth he disappeared. Mariedetta recovered her water-jug and glided onward into the court in front of the cook-house, her face masklike, her movements de liberate as usual. Joy, spying the girl, grinned at her. She tossed her head coquettishly and her step slackened, whereupon the cook, with a sly glance- around, tapped her gently on the arm, and said: "Nice 111 gaily." ' "The idea!" indignantly exclaimed Miss Blake from her hammock. " But Mariedetta was . not offended. Instead she smiled over her shoulder "it's a Medal; Culver Sent It to Me." as she had smiled at her; lover an in stant before, v . . , "Me' like you fine. ' You like pie? Joy nodded toward tho door of the culinary "department,, as ix to maite free of his hospitality, 'at the-'instant that Carara. who had circled the build ing, came into view from the opposite side, a . fresh cigarette J'Detween ms lips.' . His ' languor vanished vat the . . f m u n t.iiono ' onH ' ha first- glimpse vl i" ,o,s, i strode toward the whitindad celesUaL 1 who dove through the open door Ilfc prairie dog into his hole. Carara followed at his heels. - -"..; " I It serves him right!" cried Miss Blake, rising. "I hope M. Carara" A din of falling pots and pans is sued from the cook-house, mingled with shrill cries and soft Spanish im precations; then, with one long-drawn wail, thepandemonium ceased as sud denly as it had commenced, and Ca rara issued forth, black with anger. Ha!" said -v he, scowling at Marie detta, who had retreated, her . hand upon. her bosom. He exhaled a lung ful of cigarette smoke . through his nostrils fiercely. "You play wit me, eh?". No, no!" Mariedetta ran to him. and, seizing his arm, cooed amorously in Spanish. Bah! Vamos!" Carara flung her from him, and stalked away. J "Well, of all the outrageous things!" said Miss Blake. ; "Why, she was actu ally flirting with that Chinaman." ' "Mariedetta flirts with' every man she can find," 'said Jean, calmly, "but she doesn't mean any harm. " Shell marry Carara some time if ,he doesn't kill her." . "Kill her!" Miss Blake's eyes were found. "He wouldn't jdo that!".. - "Indeed, yes. He is a Mexican, and he has a terrible temper." Miss Blake sank back into the ham mock. "How perfectly dreadful 1 ;And yet it must 'be heavenly to love a man who would kill you." .. - Miss Chapin lost herself In medita tion for an instant, "Culver is almost like that when he is angry. Hello, here comes our foreman!" Stover, a tall, gangling cattle-man with drooping grizzled mustache, came shambling up to the steps. He dusted his boots with his sombrero and cleared his throat " 'Evening, Miss Jean. Is Mr. Cha pin around?" "I think youH find him down by the spring-house. Can I do anythinig for you?" , '. "Nope!" Stover sighed heavily, and got his frame gradually into motion- again. "You're not looking well, Stover. "This Grubslinaer Thinks He Can - Run." Are you ill?" inquired Miss Chapin. "Not physical," said the foreman, checking the movement which had not yet comunicated Itself the entire length of his frame. "I reckon my sperret's broke, that's all." "Haven't you recovered from that foot-race?" ' "I have not, and I never will,, so long ; as that ornery Centipede outfit has got it on us." "Nonsense, Stover!" - "Wnat have they done Inquired iiss Blake, -curiously. . "I haven't M heard about any foot-race." "You tell her," said the man, with another sigh, and a hopeless gesture that told the depth of his feelings. , "Why, Stover hired a fellow a couple of months ago. as. a horse-wrangler. The man said he was hungry, and made a good impression, so we put tim on." . Here Stover slowly raised one boot ed foot and kicked -his other calf. "The boys nicknamed him Humpy Joe" "Why, poor thing! Was he hump backed?" inquired Helen. "No," 'answered Still BUL "Hump back is lucky. . We called him Humpy Joe. because .when it came to running he cottld-aure' hump himself." - "Son after Joseph went to work," Jean continued, "the Centipede outfit hired a new ' cook. You know the Centipede Ranch the one you see over yonder by the foot-hills." "It was'nt ,4soon after,' it was si multaneous," - said Sterver, darkly. "We're beginnin' to see plain at last" He went on as if to air the injury that was gnawing him. "One day we hear that this grub-slinger over -yon-, der thinks he can run. which same is as welcome to us as the smell of flow ers on a. spring breeze, for Humpy Joe had amused lis in his idle hours by running jack-rabbits to earth " "Not really?" said MIsb Flake. . '. "Well, ' no, but from 'what we see we judge he'd ought to limp a hun dred yards in about nothing and three-fifths seconds, no we frame a race between him and the Centipede Cook. With tumulchouB joy we bet our wages and all the loose gear we have, ahd in a burst of childish en thusiasm we put up the talking-machine." : v " "A phonograph?" "Yes An Echo' Phonograph" " said Miss Chapin. . ' - ' "Of New York and Paris." said Sto- vef. - "Our boys won it from this very Centipede outfit at a bronco-busUug tournament Jn Cheyenne." ' , r "Wyomipgi" .Stover made the loc tion definite. , (TO BS CONTINUEDJ 'Wmm:--!res Br the hat w . SYNOPSIS- . .. - ' ' . . Orwboya of the Flying Heart ranch are heartbroken over the losa of their much prlreO. phonograph by the defeat of their chamJMon in a foot-race with the cook of the, X: tntipede ranch, v A houee party is. on at the Flying Heart. J. Wallingford Speed, heer leader at Yale, and Culver Covington, inter-collegiate champion run ner, (ire expected. Helen Blake, Speed's weet heart, becomes Interested In the loss f thij phonograph. , CHAPTER IL-Continued. "The Centipede crowd took their flefeat badly on Frontier Day, and wore to get even." "And - was Humpy Joe defeated?" asked Helen. - "Was he?" Still Eill shook his" head aadlj-, and sighed for a third time. "It looked like he was running backward, miss ' - "But really he was only beaten a foot It was a wonderful race. I saw it," said Jean. "It made me think of the races at college." " Miss Blake puckered her brows try ing to think. "Joseph," she said. "No. I don't think I have seen him." Stover's lips met grimly. "I don't reckon you have, miss. Since that race he has been hard to descry. He pasfied from view., hurriedly, so to spe.k, headed toward the foot-hills, and leaping from crag to crag like the hardy shamrock of the Swiss Alps " - Miss Blake giggled. "What made him hurry so?" "Us!" Stover gazed at her solemn ly. "We ain't none of us been the same since that foot-race. You see, it tdn't the financial value of that Echo Phonograph, 'nor the 'double croijs' that'hurts: it's the fact that the mangiest outfit in the Territory has trimmed us out of the one-thing that stands lor honor and excellence and 'scientific attainment,' as the judge said when we won it. That talking machine meant more to us than you Eastern folks can understand, I reckon." ' "If I were you I would cheer up," said Miss Blake, kindly, and with some importance. "Miss Chapin has a college friend coming this week, and he can win back your trophy." S'tover glanced up at Jean quickly. 'Is that right, Miss Chapin?" 'He can if he will," Jean asserted. 'Can he run?" "He is the Intercollegiate champion," fleclared that young lady, with proud dignity. "And do you reckon he'd run for as and the Echo Phonograph of New York and Paris, If we framed a race? It'a an honor!" r . But Miss Chapin recalled her brother's caution of the day before. ,and hesitated. - "I I don't think" he would. You. see, he is an amateur he might be out of training " . - "The idea!" exclaimed Miss Blake, indignantly. . "If Culver won't run.- I kr.ow who will!" She closed her lips firmly, and turned to the foreman. "You tell your friends that we'll see you get your trophy -back." "Helen, I" "I mean it!" declared Miss Blake, with spirit - Stover bowed loosely. "Thank you, miss. The very thought of it will cheer op J the gang. Life 'round here is blacker .'n a spade flush. I think I'll tell Willie." He shambled rapidly, off around the house. "Helen dear, ' I don't want Culver to get mixed up m tnis affair, ex plained .Miss Chapin. as soon as they were alone. "It's all utterly, foolish. Jack doesn't, want him to. either. ,"Very well. v If Culver doesn't feel that 'he can beat that' cook funning, I know who will try." Mr. Speed will do anything I ask. It's a shame the way taose men have been treated." V . ; "But Mr. Speed isn't asprinter." ; "Indeed!" Miss Blake bridled. "Per- fcaps Culver Covington isn't the only athlete in Yale College. I happen to know what I'm talking about" "t don't think he will consent when tie, learns the truth.' ; -.,' J s , '5 "V assure ydu.'i- said Miss Blake. tiweetly, "be will be delighted." . CHAPTER III. T was still early, in the after- hoon when Jack Chaphr and the youthful chaperon found the other young people to gether1 on the- gallery.-: - "Here's a telegram from Speed," began Jack. r -'ll's terribly funny." said Mrs. Keap. ."That Mexican brought it to us down at the spring- house." ' ' I Miss Blake lost her bored expres Rlon and sat up in ibV hammock. '' " 'Mr. Jack Chapin " red the owner Fivlne Heart Ranch. "Dear Jack: I, couldnt wait for -Covington eo meet with brass-band and fireworks this afternoon. Have flowers in bloom in the little park beside the depot, and I see that the .daisies nod to me. J 1 WfllHrford Speed.'" A I "pflrir eh?' said Fresno, dryly ? "Telegraph office, water-tank, and v T : 1 cattle-chute. Where - does thf a fellow think he is?" "Here's a postcrlpt" added Chapin. " 'I have a valet who does not seem to enjoy the trip. Divide a kiss among the girls.' " , ' "Well, well! He's stingy with his kisses," observed Berkeley. "Who is this humorous party?" "He" was a Freshman at Yale the year I graduated," explained. Jack. "Too bad he never got put of that class." It was evident that Mr. Speed's levity made no impression upon the Glee Club tenor. "He hates to talk about himself, doesn't he?" "I think he is., very clever," said Miss Blake, warmly. "How well do you know him?" "Not as well as I'd like to." Fresno puffed at his little pipe with out remarkiug at this. "Well, who wants to go and 'meet him?" queried Jack. "Won't you?" asked his stater, "I can't I've Just got word from the Eleven X that I'm wanted. The foreman Is hurt. I may not be back for some time." "Nigger Mike met me," observed Fresno, darkly. "Then Nigger Mike for Speed, laughed the cattle-man. "I've told Carara to hitch up the pintos for me I must be going." "I'll see that you are safely started," said the young widow; and leaving the trio on the gallery, they entered the house. When they had gone Jean smiled wisely at Helen. "Roberta's such a thoughtful chaperon," she observed, whereupon Miss Blake giggled. As for Mrs. Keap, she was inquiring of Jack with genuine solicitude: "Do you really mean that you may be gone for some time?" "I do. It may be a week; it may be longer; I can't tell until I get over there." "I'm sorry." Mrs. Keap'B face show ed some disappointment f "So am I." "I shall have to look out for these young people all by1 myself." "What a queer little way you have of talking, as if you were years and years old:" "I do -feel as if I were. I I well, have .had an unhappy experience. You know unhapplness builds months into years." . "When Jean got up this - house- party, young Chapin began, absently. I thought I should be bored to death. But I haven't been. You know, don't want to go over there?" He nodded vaguely toward the south. "I thought perhaps . it suited your convenience." His companion watched him gravely., "Are you quite sure that your sister's guests have not had something to do with this sudden determination?" "I am quite sure. I never liked the old Flying Heart so much as I do to day. I never regretted leaving it so "We've Got Another Foot-Runner." much' as I do-at this, moment' r "We may-be gone - before you re turn." , . -: : : Young., Chapin started.. "You don't mean that; really.? :-;;' - , i Mrs. Keap nodded . her;.. dark; head.- "It "was "all very well for1 me to chap eron" Helen, on.. the-war out -from- -the eastrlbutr-lt Isn't exactly, regular for me ta play that, part here, with other young people to look after." "But' yod understand, of course Jean must have explained to you. Mother was called away suddenly, and she can't get back now. You surely won't leave you can't" Chapin add ed, hopefully: "Why. you would break up' Jean's party. Tsu see, there's no body around here to take your place." "But V - "Nonsense! This is, an unconven- ifnnal country. What's - wrong with vou as a chaperon, anyway?. Nobody out Jbere even knows what a chaperon la. - And I'll be back as soon as I can "Do, ou . really think" that cwould help?? Roberta's eyes laughed numor- ously. ;- ;4' - - "' , Tm not thinking of the other. rta thinking of myself." declared th young matf, boldly. I don't want you, to go before I return.' You must not!! If you go, I I shall follow you." " H grasped her hand impulsively. "Oh!" exclaimed the chaperon "This makes it even more impossible.. Go! Go!" She pushed him away, her color surging. "Go to your old Elevenj: X Ranch right away." "But I mean it," he declared, earn estly. Then, as she retreated farther:) "It's no use, I shan't go now untiJ " "You have known me less than "That is long enough. Roberta " Mrs,- Keap" spoke with : honest em what a situation this is? If Jean an& Helen should ever discover " "Jean planned it all; even this." Mrs. Keap stared at him in horrifietf silence. ' j ' You: do love me, Roberta?" Chapin- undertook to remove the girl's hands from her face, when a slight cough la the hall behind caused him to turn: suddenly, in time to see Berkeley Frea no passing the open door. "There! You see!" Mrs. Keap's face. was tragic. "You see!" She turned and fled, leaving the master of the- ranch in the middle of: the floor, be wildered, .but a bit Inclined to b ' happy. A moment later the plump face, of Berkeley Fresno appeared cau tiously around the door-Jamb. He coughed again gravely. "I happened to be passing," said he.. You'll pardon me?" "This is the most thickly settled spot in New Mexico!" Chapin declared- with an artificial laugh, choking hJQ indignation. Fresno slowly brought his rouud body out from concealment "I came in to get a match." "Why don't you carry matches?"" f Tesno punea compiacenuy upon nw, pipe. "This," he mused, as his host- departed, "eliminates the chaperon and that helps some." Still Bill Stover lost no time la breaking the news to the boyB. "There's something cominVoff," he advised Willie. "We've got another foot-runner!" If he had hoped for an outburst or rapture on the part of the little gun man he was disappointed, for Willio shlfted - his . holster, smiled evilly through his glasses, and inquired, with, ominous restraint: "Where is he?" Being the one man on the Flyingr Heart who had occasion to wear s gun, Willie seldom smiled from a sense of humor. Here it may be said that, deceived at first by his scholarly appearance, his fellow-laborers had Jibed at Willie's affectation of a swing ing holster, but the custom had lan guished abruptly. When It became known who he was, the other ranch hands had volubly declared that this was a free country, where a man might exercise a wide discretion In the choice of personal adornment; and as for them, they avowed unani mously that the practice of packing a. Colts was one which met with thelr most cordial approbation. In time Willie's six-shooter had become ac cepted as a part of the local scenery, and,. like the: scenery, no one thought of remarking upon it, least of all those -who best-knew his lack of humor. Ho had come to them out of the Nowhere, some four years previously, and whilo he . never spoke of himself, and dis couraged reminiscence in others, it -became known through those vague-- ur.charted channels by which news travels on the ! frontier, that back la the - Texas Panhandle there was & limping marshal who felt regrets at" mention of his name,. and that farther north were other men who had a su perstitious dread of undersized cow men with spectacles. "This here Is a real foot-runner,"" said Stover. "Exactly," agreed the other. ''Wheto- Is he?" "He'll be here this afternoon. Nig ger Mike's bringln him over from th railroad. He's a guest" "Oh!" ' ,"Yep! He's Intercollegit chainpeea of Yale." "Yale?" repeated the near-sighted: man. - "Don't kaow's I . ever been there. Much of a town? . "I ain't never traveled east myself, but Miss Jean and the little yaller haired girl say he's the fastest man in . the "world. ! figgered we might rib up something; with tha , Coutlpede."' Still. Bill Vlnked sagely. . "See here; do you reckon he'd run?"' "Sure! He's a friend of the.boesv And he'll run on the level too. Ha can't be nothin' like Humpy." "If he is. I'll git him." said the cow boy. "Oh, 111 git him sure, guest ob no guest But how about the phono graph?" "The Centipede will put it up quick, enough; there ain't n sentiment la that outfit" " - "Then it sounds good." . "An it ,11 work. Gallagher's anxiou ' to trim" us -again. ' Some folks can' stand prosperity." ' ; Willie spat unerringly" at: a grasa-, hopper. A "Lcfrd!'" said he, "it's too. good! It don't sound possible." - "Well, ' If 'is,! and- our 'man - will b here -this eveuin. Watch out for Nig ger Mike, ard when he drives up let's give this "party a welcome that it warm his heart on the Jump. There's! nothin like a good impression." "I'll be on the Job,", assured Willi "But I state right here and now, if w . do get a race there ain't a-goin" to time." .:; :.' :. . " And . Stover ; went on - his way to. spread the 'tidings. . '.TO BB2 CONTINUED.) The man who flatters himself that . he leaves little to be desired should remember that , a burglar does tin same thing.