(Continued from last week)
He half started up, in instant
anger, but the girl was running
down the room. He saw her put
something under the bar, and he
knew it was his gun.
Roper rang his-whiskey glass upon
the table, trying to catch a bar
tender’s eye. If Lasham had not
seen what the girl had done, one of
them could bring him his gun be
fore it was too late. But the bar was
thronged the bartenders were work
ing fast, in the thick of the evening
The bar-flies had made room for
Walk Lasham at the end of the bar,
and Lasham and his two cowboys
had their heads together now, con
One of the cowboys, a man with a
scar across his face that distorted
his mouth in the manner of a hare
lip, went quickly behind the bar,
hunted beneath it, and returned to
Walk. Roper saw Lasham’s long
face set. He said to himself, “Walk
Walk Lasham was fiddling with
his empty glass on the bar, and the
scar-mouthed man was watching
Roper covertly with one eye from
under the brim of his hat. Lasham
reached for a bottle, filled his glass,
tossed it off. Then he turned square
ly toward Roper, and came walking
back through the big room.
Roper played his cards, his hands
visible upon the table. It seemed to
take Lasham a long time to walk
the length of the room. Roper
glanced at the lookout chair, where
a salaried gun-fighter usually sat.
It was empty now.
Walk Lasham was standing in
front of him.
“So you,” he said, “are the tough
gunman that killed Cleve Tanner.”
Bill Roper raised his eyes to Walk
Lasham’s face. “And you,” he said,
“are one of the dirty cowards that
murdered Dusty King.”
A hush had fallen upon the room,
unbroken by the clink of a glass or
the rattle of a chip. Lasham and
Roper looked at each other through
a moment of silence.
He dropped his eyes to Roper’s
hands, and his own right hand start
ed a tentative movement toward the
butt of his gun. His spread fingers
shook a little as his hand crept down
But he was grinning now, sure oi
“Looks a little different to you
“A coyote always looks like a coy
ote to me.”
The smile dropped from Lasham’s
face. “I’m going to give you every
chance,” he said. His voice swung
in even rhythms, low and sing-song.
“I’m going to count five. Draw and
fire any time you want to because
on five I’m going to kill you where
“I don’t think you are.”
“One two—” Lasham said.
But now the scar-mouthed man
spoke suddenly from his position
at one side he had dared flick his
eyes to the door. “Walk, look out!
Don’t turn! Watch this buzzard, but
wheel back and stand by me!”
Into the front of the bar two men
had come they came striding back
the length of the room their spurs
ringing brokenly. Roper did not see
their guns come out. But suddenly
the weapons of both of them ap
peared in their hands, smoothly and
easily, from no place. e
The two men were Lee Harnish
and Tex Long.
Tex Long’s .45 clicked in the palm
of his hand as it came to full cock.
He said, “Howdy, Bill. A spic girl
just brought us word. Dave Shan
non and Hat Crick Tommy are up
the street. And Dry Camp Pierce.”
“Gosh,” Lee Harnish said, “we’ve
been hunting you for two months!
You want us to blast these Indians,
Bill Roper drew a deep breath,
and grinned. At first he could not
even appreciate that here, at last,
were the leaders he needed for his
great raid. All he could think of
was that he had been reprieved from
certain death and he knew that life
The tribute implied by the re-gath
ering of the wild bunch leaders was
one of the most extraordinary things
that had ever happened in Bill Rop
er’s life. There was not much to
their story. Driven out of Texas on
the eve of Bill Roper’s victory, for
a while they had gone their separate
ways. But gradually they had drift
ed together again, in the Indian na
tions, at Dodge, in the northern cow
camps. With Cleve Tanner broken
in Texas, and the roots cut from
under Ben Thorpe’s organization by
the loss of his breeding grounds, the
outlaw riders found themselves un
willing to leave their work unfin
ished. So at last they had come
looking for Roper—and had found
The first thing was to get them out
of there. He named as rendezvous a
lonely shanty on Fork Creek.
Roper himself was the last to ride
out of Miles City. Seasoned night
riders though these men might be,
with names now famous the length
of the trail, most of them were
youngsters still. No one of them
could be trusted not to get a skinful
of liquor, and go gunning for Lash
am’s men on his own hook.
Roper was relieved, therefore,
upon riding into the Fork Creek ren
dezvous in the dreary February twi
light, to find his Texas men already
waiting for him there. They were
eating fresh beef, but not their own,
as Ro^er came into the little cab
in, stamping the snow oft his boots.
Lee Harnish looked sheepish.
“Say, I forgot something. I got a
letter for you here.”
Roper took the worn envelope and
stood turning it over in his hands.
The date showed it to be three weeks
old—no great age, everything con
sidered. But what took hold of him,
so that for a full minute he dared
not break the seal, was that the
letter was from Jody Gordon.
Roper ripped open the envelope.
The whole note covered no more
than half a page but as he folded
it and put it into a pocket, his hands
were shaking in a way that would
have cost him his life if he had been
walking into a gunfight then. There
was a long silence.
With a visible effort, Roper
pulled himself together. Briefly he
told them what his new wild bunch
“But we haven’t even scratched
the surface,” he finished. “Unless
we hit Walk Lasham quick and hard,
Thorpe will get his balance again,
and reach his roots back into Texas
and all the work we did down there
will go for nothing.”
“Me,” Tex Long said, “I aim to
swing with you, and try to finish up
what we begun. But, way I see it,
the layout up here is terrible bad,
for our style of work.”
“There isn’t any profit in the way
I figured,” Roper admitted. “I’ve
been taking a pasear up along the
Canadian border I figure it's an
easy drive. If you criminals are
willing to come on and take one
more crack at Thorpe and Lash
“There's no one beyond the bor
der that’s needing any stock,” Dry
Camp Pierce said gloomily.
“Dry Camp,” Bill Roper said,
“I’m thinking of the tribes.”
There was a moment’s silence.
“Granting that Canada’s full of war
paint,” Tex Long said “how the
“I’ve talked to Iron Dog.”
Every one of them, each in his
own way, pricked up his ears at
that. Iron Dog was a famous war
rior chief of the Gros Ventre Sioux.
Ragged and starving, his decimated
band driven far out of their home
country. Iron Dog no longer was the
stubbornly resisting force which had
once made his name. But though
he was broken and helpless now,
remnants of his leadership re
mained his influence extended over
many bands, and more than one
“I don’t hold with dealing with red
niggers, much,” Dave Shannon said.
“These bucks are forced out of
their ranges without any deal made
whereby they get fed,” Roper said.
“Half of them are in as pitiful a
state of starvation as you ever saw.
A big part of the blame for that is
on Walk Lasham. Now I aim to
square the deal.”
“I already made us a rendezvous
with Iron Dog, before I knew you
were in on this,” Bill Roper told
them now. “Inside of a month Iron
Dog will be camped on the Milk Riv
er with anyway seven or eight
“Seven or eight bands!” Tex Long
shouted at him. “My God, there’ll
be worse than a thousand Indians on
“A thousand, hell!” Roper said.
“If there aren’t that many buck war
riors alone, I’ll eat the beef myself!”
The men in this little cabin were
not easily surprised, and less easily
shocked or awed but their usually
unrevealing faces now gave them
“God Almighty!” Dave Shannon
said. It was almost a prayer.
“He’s done it now,” Het Crick
Tommy said slowly. “You know
‘Now I aim to square the deal.”
what happens when you throw that
many loose Indians together? You
got a war on your hands, by God!
They’ll come whooping down Mon
tana—they’ll tear the country wide
open! The whole frontier will go up
in a bust of smoke. Nothing’ll ever
stop ’em, once they get together like
“One thing will.”
“Grub,” said Roper.
“That might be so,” Dave Shan
non admitted. “I never yet see an
Indian go to war on a full stom
A tensity had come into that dark
cabin they were realizing now that
they stood in the shadow’ of events of
a magnitude they had not dreamed.
In the quiet, Rill Roner’s hands, kept
Ifom uouy uoruon.
ness showed on his forehead, but
his fingers acted cold and awkward.
“There’s five of us here,” Tex
Long said. “You expect us to just
suddenly feed every’ Indian in crea
“I’ve got twenty-seven riders wait
ing to throw in with us at the first
“Twenty-seven riders? Where?”
“All over Montana. What do you
think I did all winter? Holed up like
Silence again, while they all stud
“How many you figure to move?”
Tex Long asked at last.
Roper’s voice was so low they
could hardly hear his words. “Be
tween twenty and thirty thousand
Tex Long threw his hat against
the roof poles in a gesture of com
plete impatience. “Dead of winter,”
he said “maybe having to fight
part of the time why, thirty-forty
cowboys couldn’t drive—”
“We don’t have to handle this
stock like fat beef,” Roper remind
ed him. “We don’t have to pull up
for quicksand, or stampede losses,
or high wpter. If a hundred head
get swept down a river, what the
hell? Some different Indians will get
hold of ’em downstream. Working
that way, hard and fast, thirty cow
boys can move every head in Mon
“We’re terrible short of time,”
Tex Long said.
“I know it in another couple of
months their chuck wagons will be
heading out, and the deep grass will
be full of their riders. We have to
move and move quick.”
“It might be,” Dry Camp Pierce
declared himself, “it just could be
done.” A hard gleam was coming
into the old rustler’s wary eyes.
“And if it can—great God! There’s
never been nothing like this!”
The others seemed to have had
the breath knocked out of them by
the unheard-of scope, the bold dar
ing, the headlong all-or-nothing char
acter of the plan.
“This is bigger than the Texas
raids,” Tex Long said wonderingly.
“This is bigger than anything has
Suddenly Dave Shannon smacked
his thigh with his huge hand. “By
God, I believe it’ll bust ’em!”
Over the pack of outlawed young
sters had come a wave of that fa
natic enthusiasm which sometimes
sways men as they face the im
possible, but Roper, strangely, was
unable to share it. The great raid
he had planned all winter now
seemed futile—a plan senseless and
“Bill,” said Lee Harnish, “what’s
the matter with you? You got chills
and fever, or something?”
Roper spoke to Harnish alone, as
if he had forgotten the others. “That
letter was from Jody Gordon,” he
“Bad news, son?”
“I don’t know. She wants me to
come to Ogallala.”
“What for? Does she say?”
“She says she needs me she says
she needs me bad, and right away.
I guess she does, all right. If she
didn’t, I don’t believe she’d ever
write, to me.”
The faces of the wild bunch rid
ers were expressionless, noncommit
tal Roper knew they wouldn’t have
much to say. They were youngsters
still—all except Pierce but their
faces were carved lean and hard by
long riding, and a lot of that riding
had been for him.
He stood up, shaking his shoulders.
“Catch up your ponies.”
“We pulling out? Tonight yet?”
“You bet your life we are. Ought
to make Red Horse Springs by mid
“And after that,” Harnish said
slowly, “what is it, Bill? Is it Ogal
Once more the silence, while they
waited for Bill.
“It's the raid,” Roper said.
(To be continued)
H. S. Tennis Team
Loses To Central
Bluffton High netters lost a 4 to 1
decision to Lima Central’s strong
tennis team Tuesday afternoon on
the Bluffton courts, the victory mark
ing Lima’s 22nd in a row.
In the match Howe lost to Walte
math, 6-3, 6-4 Berky lost to Crevis
ton, 7-5, 6-1 Beidler lost to McAl
lyn, 6-1, 6-4 Howe-Berky defeated
Creviston-McAllyqi 6-4, 6-2 and
Schmidt-Tosh lost to Bergdoll-Har
rod, 6-0, 6-1.
Ada racquet swingers will play
here Wednesday afternoon, and on
Friday Coach Sidney Stettler will
take a singles player and a doubles
team to the Northwestern Ohio dis
trict tournament at Bowling Green.
Thieves Break In
Thieves broke into the Bame hard
ware of Jenera Monday night. This
is the second breaking and entering
in a week reported to the Hancock
county sheriffs’ office.
The Foster hardware store of Mt.
Blanchard was entered Friday night.
Deputies believe the breaks were per
petrated by hoboes. In both cases
the loot was small and included some
Entrance at both places was gained
through windows after which the
thieves apparently walked out the
front doors. No clues were found.
NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT
The State of Ohio,
Allen Conntv, ss.
Estate of* Margaret Jane Ran “bottom. De
James C. Blair of 301-3 Masonic Bldg.,
Lima. Ohio, has been ajiointed and quali
fied as administrator of the estate of Mar
garet Jane Ransbottom, late of Allen County,
Dated this 5th dav of Mav, 941.
RAYMOND P. SMITH.
5 Probate Judge
Third At Ada Meet
Ohio Northern topped Bluffton and
Wittenberg in a triangular collegiate
track meet at Ada last Saturday.
Final score in the event was North
ern, 84 Wittenberg, 52, and Bluffton
Two first-place ribbons were cap
tured by Bluffton tracksters in the
Brown copped the 100-yard dash
in 10.3 seconds, and in the 440-yard
run Soash tied with Shoemaker, of
College Net Team
Wins Nine Loses
Bluffton college netters won a 4
to 1 match from Findlay, and the
Beaver baseball team dropped de
cisions to Toledo university and the
Ohio State “B” outfit in the schedule
of the last week.
Playing at Findlay, the Bluffton
tennis crew’ captured two singles and
two doubles victories. Reichenbach
and Balmer won singles assignments
for the Beavers, and in doubles play
Reichenbach and Simcox and Balmer
and Ramseyer were successful. Sim
cox lost in singles play.
A no-hit, ’ll to 0 victory was
scored over Bluffton’s baseball outfit
last Wednesday on Toledo uni
versity diamond. Bi Nash, Toledo’s
crack negro athlete, uck out 13
Bluffton batsmen in chalking up his
Ohio State “B” bas bailers bested
the Bluffton nine, 13 to 8, in a game
on the local field last Saturday
H. S. Softball Team
Wins Two Loses Two
Bluffton High softball players won
two decisions and lost two during the
last week, with a no-hit pitching per
formance turned in by Byron Fritchie
the outstanding feature of the four
Fritchie’s no-hitter was chalked up
in a 12 to 3 victory over Van Buren,
last Wednesday at Harmon field.
Only 29 men faced Fritchie’s south
paw slants, but faulty support en
abled the visitors to score three un
earned runs. Johnny Herrmann led
the Bluffton hitting attack with three
Bluffton’s first defeat of the sea
son was a 9 to 6 setback in a prac
tice game with the Triplett softball
team last Thursday night.
Rallying to score five runs in the
last two innings, the Pirates defeated
Rawson 5 to 4 Monday evening.
Bluffton was trailing, 4 to 0, going
into the sixth inning, but two runs
in the sixth and three in the seventh
assured victory for them. Don
Clark’s pinch single scored Watkins
with the winning run. The victory
was Pitcher Clyde Fisher’s second
in two starts.
Bluffton lost their first game to a
scholastic foe when Mt. Blanchard
turned back the locals, 6 to 4, at
that place Tuesday. Altho the Pi
rates outhit their foes, eight to sev
en, faulty fielding paved the way for
the setback. Jim Clark got a three
run homer in the second inning.
Coach Dwight Diller has six play
ers hitting better than .300 on his
squad of 10. Those setting the slug
ging pace are: Russ Gratz, .500 Jim
Gratz, .444 Jim Clark, .375 Herr
mann, .315 Watkins, 312 and Hart
Peace Groups Hold
Student peace groups and area
members of the Fellowship of Recon
ciliation met in a peace conference
on the Bluffton college campus Sat
urday and Sunday.
The meetings were addressed by
Don Smucker and John Swomley of
Chicago Dan West of Goshen, Ind.
Dr. C. Henry Smith, Dean-emeritus
N. E. Byers and Prof. Russell Lantz
of Bluffton college.
Delegates were in attendance from
Ohio State university, Heidelberg
college, Purdue university, University
of Illinois, Manchhester college, Earl
ham college, Oberlin college, Witten
berg college, Ohio Wesleyan uni
versity, Wooster college and Uni
versity of Indiana.
LOCAL AND LONG
Every Load Insured
For Vigor and Health—
include meat in your menu.
Always ready to serve you.
Fresh and Salt Meats
To Ohio State, 7-6
An eight-inning rally by the Ohio
State university “B” nine cheated
Bluffton college of an opportunity to
win a well-played ball game, at Co
lumbus, Tuesday, and the Bucks took
the final decision, 7 to 6.
Bluffton teed off with one run in
the first inning, only to have Ohio
come back with two runs in their
half of the same stanza.
Jumping into the lead again with
a four-run splurge in the second
inning, Bluffton led until the unlucky
eighth, adding their sixth run in the
Ohio State scored twice in the
third, and with the score standing 6
to 4 in Bluffton’s favor in the eighth
the home team went ahead to victory
by counting three times in that
It was the Burckymen’s best
played game of the season, and the
timeliness of their hitting is evi
denced in the fact that the crew
fashioned six runs out of eight hits.
Three hurlers were used by both
outfits, with Luginbuhl, Traucht and
Crow' performing on the mound for
Bluffton. Crow was charged with
J. O. Koontz spent several days
at the A. J. Nonnamaker and Anna
Dan Christbaum who had been at
the Findlay hospital was removed
to his home Monday.
Mrs. Ruth Steinman and Mrs.
Seems EVERYEODYS Saying
Steinman Sunday at the Staltzer
A number from here attended the
airplane demonstration at the Lehr
Green flying field Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Lendon Basinger and
children Janet and Gareth spent
Monday evening at the A. J. Non
Union prayer services at Olive
Branch Thursday evening.
Clayton Murray did some plaster
ing at the Ami Nonnamaker home
Rev. Zimmerman called at the A.
J. Nonnamaker and Anna Koontz
home Saturday afternoon.
The Mt. Cory graduating class
left this morning for a trip through
the East. They are expecting to
visit Washington, D. C. and other
points in the Rast.
Mrs. Ruth Steinman and Mrs.
Anna Koontz called on Mr. and
Mrs. Peter Kurtz at the Haven of
Rest in Findlay, on Tuesday of last
Richard Swank and friend of De
troit called Sunday afternoon on
Mrs. Em. Nonnamaker and the Len
don Basinger family.
Mrs. Henry Christman of Bloom
ington, Ind., spent several days last
week with Mr. and Mrs. J. R.
Fisher, and other friends in the
neighborhood. The Christman fam
ily were former residents here.
Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Morrison of
Tulsa, Okla. Mr. and Mrs. M. J.
Stratton were supper guests at the
Wright Klingler home last Wed
Sunday dinner guests in the M.
J. Stratton home were Mr. and Mrs.
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C. F. NISWANDER
Ralph Stratton of West Jefferson.
The Beginners class of the Olive
Branch church had a picnic dinner
on the Church lawm Sunday.
Callers the past week at the M. J.
Stratton home were: Mrs. Goldie
Battles, Mrs. J. C. Christman and
son Edgar and daughter Nancy of
Findlay, Mrs. Henry Christman of
Bloomington, Ind. Mr. and Mrs.
Harry Morrison of Tulsa, Okla.
Miss Mabel Battles, Mrs. Mertz of
Ada Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Klingler
and family, Mr. and Mrs. B. J.
Stratton and family.
C. V. Klingler, wife, daughter
Marilyn, son Howard of near Ada,
spent Sunday afternoon at the Ami
Kenneth Gallant of Columbus was
a dinner guest Wednesday at the
J. R. Fisher home.
Clayton Rupright and wife of
Beaverdam spent Sunday evening
i with Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Fisher.
Wilberforce Nine To
Play Here Friday
Bluffton college has two diamond
contests with Wilberforce university’s
colored nine during the next week,
playing the downstaters at Bluffton
field Friday afternoon and traveling
to that place for a game next Tues
Tennis matches also will be played
by teams of the two schools on the
An Office of Agriculture Defense
Relations has been set up in the
S. Department of Agriculture.
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