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DESERT GOLD MHW>>>>>^W*'**^********'***^^**'****ll**>~*^^^****>><^S^***'****<*B>ll> I Jiuthor of Riders of the Purple Sage, Wildfire, Etc. iM i Copyright by Harper i Brothers. C4| GALE RUSHES ROJAS, THE BANDIT Wheeling, Gale rushed at Rojas. It was his old line-breaking plunge. Neither Rojas nor his men had time to move. The black skinned bandit’s face turned a dirty white; his jaw dropped; he would have shrieked if Gale had not hit him. The blow swept him backward against his men. Then Gale's heavy body, swiftly fol lowing with the momentum of that rush, struck the little group of rebels. They went down with the table and chairs in a sliding crash. Gale, carried by his plunge, went with them. Like a cat he landed on top. 4s he rose his powerful hands faster., d on Rojas. He jerked the little bandit off the tangled pile of struggling, yell ing men. and, swinging him with terrific force, let go his hold. Rojas slid along the floor, knocking over tables and chairs. Gale bounded back, dragged Rojas up. handling him as if he were a limp sack. A shot rang out above the yells, Gale heard the jingle of break ing glass. The room darkened perceptibly. He flashed a glance backward. The two cowboys were between him and the crowd of frantic rebels. With a cry Gale slung the bleeding Rojas from him. The bandit struck a table, toppled over it, fell, and lay prone. Another figure closed in on Gale. This one was dark, swift. A blade glinted—described a circle aloft. Simultaneously with a close, red flash the knife wavered; the man wielding it stumbled backward. The din became a roar. Gale heard shots that sounded like dull spats in the distance. The big lamp behind the bar seem ingly split, then sputtered and went out. leaving the room in darkness. That's how Dick Gale, American, rushes Rojas, the Mexican bandit, in “No Man’s Land,” just over the border. He is doing it to give Lieut. George Thorne, American cavalryman, a chance to get his Spanish sweetheart, Mercedes Castaneda, out of the bandit's clutches. It’s a pretty tale, this romance of George and Mercedes. And still more ro mantic is the love story of Dick and Nell Burton. For Dick, to save Mercedes for Thorne, cast* his lot with the two American cowboys who shot out the lights and goes into a new world of adventure in which he finds hardship, romance, desperate endeavor, fighting, love and gold. The author? Why, no less a writer than Zane Grey, author of “The Heritage of the Desert,” “Riders of the Purple Sage” and more than a dozen other first-class tales of the West. Os pioneer stock, with a college education and wide athletic and outdoor experience, his literary work since 1904 has made him probably the most widely-read author of western stories of adventure. PROLOGUE —l— A face haunted Cameron —a wom an’s face. It was there In the white heart of the dying campfire; it hung in the shadows that hovered over the flickering light; it drifted in the dark ness beyond. Th*s hour, when the day had closed am ;ne lonely desert night set in with its dead silence, was oue in which Cameron’s mind was thronged with memories of a time long past—of a home back in Peoria, ot a woman he had wronged and lost, and loved too late. He was a prospector for gold, a hunter of solitude, a lover of the dread, rock-ribbed infinitude, because he wanted to be alnne to remember. Then a snarp clink of metal on stone and soft pads of hoofs in sand prompted Cameron to reach for his gun, and to move out of the light of the waning campfire. Figures darker than the gloom ap proached and took shape, and in the light turned out to be those of a white man and a heavily packed burro. “Hello th are,” the man called, as he came to a halt and gazed about him. “I saw your fire. May I make camp here?” Cameron came forth out of the shadow and greeted his visitor, whom he took for a prospector like himself. Cameron resented the breaking of his lonely campfire vigil, but he respect ed the law of the desert. The stranger thanked him, and then slipped the pack from his burro. Then he rolled out his pack and began preparations for a meal. The camp fire' burst into a bright blaze, and by Its light Cameron saw a man whose gray hair somehow did not seem to make him old, and whose stooped shoulders did not detract from an im pression of rugged strength. Another of those strange desert prospectors in whom there was some relentless driving power besides the lust for gold I Cameron felt that be tween this man and himself there was a subtle affinity, vague and undefined, perhaps bora of the divination that here was a desert wanderer like him self, perhaps born of a deeper, an un intelligible relation having Its roots back In the past. A long-forgotten sensation stirred in Cameron’s breast, one so long forgotten that he could not recognize 1L But it was akin to pain. ■ When he awakened he found, to his surprise, that his companion had de parted. A trail in the sand led off to the north. There was no water In that direction. Cameron shrugged his shoulders; it was not his affair; he had his own problems. And stralght **ay he forgot his strange visitor. Cameron began his day, grateful for the solitude that was now unbroken, for the canon-furrowed, cactus-spired scene that now showed no sign of life. While It was yet light, and he was digging in a moist white-bordered wash for water, he was brought sharply up by hearing the crack of hard hoofs on stone. There down the canon came a man on a burro. Cam eron recognized them. "Hello, friend,” called the man, halt- Ing. “Our trails crossed again—that’s good.” “Hello,” replied Cameron slowly. “Any mineral sign today?” “No.” They made camp together, ate their frugal meal, smoked a pipe, and rolled in their blankets without exchanging many words. In the morning the same reticence, the same aloofness charac terized the manner of both. But Cam eron’s companion, when he had packed his burro and was ready to start, faced about and said: “We might stay to gether, if it’s all right with you.” “I never take a partner,” replied Cameron. “You’re alone; I’m alone,” said the other mildly. “It’s a big place. If we find gold there’ll be enough for two.” “I don’t go down into the desert for gold alone,” rejoined Cameron. His companion’s deep-set, luminous eyes emitted a singular flash. It moved Cameron to say that in the years of bls wandering he had met no man who could endure equally with him the blasting heat, the blinding KW “Hello, Friend,” Called the Man, Halt- Ing. “Our Trails Crossed Again— That’s Good.” dust storms, the wilderness of sand and rock and lava and cactus, the ter rible silence and desolation of the desert. “I may strike through the Sonora desert. I may head for Plna cate or north for the Colorado basin. You are an old man.” “I don’t know the country, but to me one place is the same as another,” replied his companion. Then with gentle slaps he drove his burro in be hind Cameron. “Yes, I’m old. I’m lonely, too. It’s come to me just lately. But, friend, I can still travel, and for a few days my company won’t hurt you.” “Have It your way," said Cameron. They began a slow march down into the desert. At sunset they camped under the lee of a low mesa. Cam- eron was glad his comrade had the habit of silence. Another day’s travel found the prospectors deep In the wilderness. Then there came a breaking of reserve, noticeable In the elder man, almost Imperceptibly grad ual In Cameron. And so, as Cameron began to respond to the Influence of a desert less lonely than habitual, he began to take keener note of his com rade, and found him different from any other he had ever encountered In the wilderness. This man never grumbled at the heat, the glare, the driving sand, the sour water, the scant fare. He was tireless, patient, brooding. Cameron’s awakened interest brought home to him the realization that for years he had shunned companionship. In those years only three men had wandered into the desert with him, and these had left their bones to bleach in the shifting sands. Cameron had not cared to know their secrets. But the more he studied this latest comrade the more he began to suspect that he might have missed something In the others. In his own driving pas sion to take his secret into the limit less abode of silence and desolation, where he could be alone with it, he had forgotten that life dealt shocks to other men. Somehow this silent com rade reminded him. One afternoon late, after they had toiled up a white, winding wash of sand and gravel, they came upon a dry waterhole. Cameron dug deep Into the sand, but without avail. He was turning to retrace weary steps back to the last water when his com rade asked him to wait. Cameron watched him search in his bring forth what appeared to be a small, forked branch of a peach tree. He grasped the prongs of I e fork and held them before him with the end standing straight out, and then he began to walk along the stream bed. Cameron, at first amused, then amazed, then pitying, and at last cu rious, kept pace with the prospector. He saw a strong tension of his com rade’s wrists, as if he was holding hard against a considerable force. The end of the peach branch began to quiver and turn, kept turning, and at length pointed to the ground. “Dig here,” said the prospector. “What!” ejaculated Cameron. Had the man lost his mind? Then Cameron stood by while his comrade dug in the san a. Three feet he dug—four—five, and the sand grew dark, then moist. At six feet water began to seep through. “Get the little basket Ln my pack,” he said. Cameron complied, and saw his comrade drop thO basket Into the deep hole, where it kept the sides from caving in and allowed the water to seep through. While Cameron watched, the basket filled. Os ail t-.e strange Incidents of his desert career this was the strangest. Curiously he picked up the peach branch and ]jeld it as he had seen It held. The thing, how ever, was dead in his hands. “I see you haven’t got it,” remarked his comrade. “Few men have. Back In Illinois an old German used to do that to locate wells. He showed me I had the same power. I can’t ex plain. The old German I spoke of made money traveling round with his peach fork.” “What a gift for a man in the des ert I” Cameron’s comrade smiled —the sec ond time in all those days. They entered a region where min eral abounded, and their march be came slower. Generally they took the course of a wash, one on each side, and let the burros travel leisurely along nipping at the bleached blades of scant grass, or at sage or cactus, while they searched In the canons and under the ledges for signs of gold. Each succeeding day and night Cameron felt himself more and more drawn to this strange man. He found that after hours of burning toil he had Insensibly grown nearer to his com rade. He reflected that after a few weeks in the desert he had always become a different man. In civiliza tion, In the rough mining camps, he had been a prey to unrest and gloom. But once down on the great billowing sweep of this lonely world, he could look into his unquiet soul without bit terness. So now he did not marvel at a slow stir stealing warmer along his veins, and nt the premonition that per haps he and this man, alone on the desert, driven there by life’s mysteri ous and remorseless motive, were to see each other through God’s eyes. One night they were encamped at the head of a canon. The day had been exceedingly hot, and long after sundown the radiations of heat from the rocks persisted. Cameron watched his comrade, and yielded to Interest he ha'd not heretofore voiced. “Pardner, what drives you Into the desert? Do you come to forget?” “Yes.” “Ah I” softly exclaimed Cameron. Always he seemed to have known that. He said no more, but grew acutely conscious of the pang In hts own breast, of the fire in his heart, the strife and torment of his passion driven soul. He had come into the desert to remember a woman. She appeared to him then as she had looked when first she entered his life —a golden-haired girl, blue-eyed, white-skinned, red-lipped, tall and slender and beautiful. He had never forgotten, and an old, sickening re morse knocked at his heart. He rose and climbed out of the canon and to the top of the mesa, where he paced to and fro and looked down Into the weird and mystic shadows, like the darkness of his passion, and farther on down the moon track and the glit tering stretches that vanished In the cold blue horizon. In that endless, silent hall of desert there was a spirit; and Cameron felt hovering near him what he Imagined to be phantoms of peace. He returned to camp and sought his comrade. "I reckon we’re two of a kind," he said. "It was a woman who drove me into the desert. But I come to re member. The desert's the only place I can do that.” "Was she your wife?" asked the elder man. "No." A long silence ensued. The camp fire wore down to a ruddy ashen heap. "I had a daughter,” said Cameron’s comrade. "She lost her mother at birth. And I—l didn’t know how to bring up a girl. She was pretty and gay. It was the —the old story." His words were peculiarly signlfl. cant to Cameron. They distressed him. He had been wrapped up In his remorse. If ever in the past he had thought of anyone connected with the girl he had wronged, he had long forgotten. But the consequences of such wrong were far-reaching. They struck at the roots of a home. “Well, tell me more? asked Cam eron earnestly. "It was the old, old story. My girl was pretty and free. The young bucks ran after her. I guess she did not run away from them. And I was away a good deal —working in another town. She was in love with a wild fellow. I knew nothing of it till too late. He was engaged to marry her. But he didn’t come back. And when the dis grace became plain to all, my girl left home. She went west. After a while I heard from her. She was well — working—living for her baby. A long time passed. I had no ties. I drifted west. Her lover had also gone west. In those days everybody went west. I trailed him, intending to kill him. But I lost his trail. Neither could I find any trace of her. She moved on, driven, no doubt, by the hound of her past. Since that I have taken to the wilds, hunting gold on the desert." "Yes, it’s the old, old story, only sadder, I think," said Cameron; and his voice was strained and unnatural. "Pardner, what Illinois town was It you hailed from?" "Peoria." "And your—your name?" went on Cameron, huskily. "Warren —Jonas Warren." That name might as well have been a bullet. Cameron stood erect, mo tionless, as men sometimes stand mo mentarily when shot straight through the heart. In an instant, when thoughts resurged like blinding flashes of lightning through his mind, he was a swaying, quivering, terror-stricken man. He mumbled something hoarse ly and backed into the shadow. But he need not have feared discovery, however surely his agitation might have betrayed him. Warren sat brood ing over the campfire, oblivious of his comrade, absorbed in the past. Cameron swiftly walked away In the gloom, with the blood thrumming thick in his ears, whispering over and over: "Merciful G—d I Nell was his daugh ter!" 11l As thought and feeling multiplied, Cameron was overwhelmed. Beyond belief, Indeed, was it that out of the millions of men In the world two who had never seen each other could have been driven into the desert by memory of the same woman. It brought the past so close. It showed Cameron how inevitably all his spiritual life was governed by what had happened long ago. That which made life sig nificant to him was a wandering in silent places where no eye could see him with his secret. Some fateful chance had thrown him with the fa ther of the girl he had wrecked. It was Incomprehensible; it was terrible. It was the one thing of all possible happenings in the world of chance that both father and lover would have found unendurable. Something within him cried out to him to reveal his identity. Wnrren would kill him; but it was not *nr of death that put Cameron on the rack. He bad faced death too often to be afraid. It was the thought of adding torture to this long-suffering man. All at once Cameron swore that he would not augment Warren’s trouble, or let him stain his hands with blood. He would tell the truth of Nell’s sad story and his own, and make what amends he could. Then Cameron’s thought shifted from father to daughter. She was somewhere beyond the dim horizon line. In those past lonely hours by the campfire his fancy had tortured him with pictures of Nell. Bu£ his remorseful and cruel fancy htyl Hod to him. Nell had struggled upward out of menacing depths. She had re constructed a broken life. And now she was fighting for the name and happiness of her child. Little Nell 1 Cameron experienced a shuddering ripple In all his being—the physical rack of an emotion born of a new and strange consciousness. He felt that it had been given him to help Warren with his burden. He returned to camp trying to evolve a plan. All night he lay awake thinking. In the morning, when Wnrren brought the burros to camp and began preparations for the usual packing, Caitieron broke silence. “Pardner. your story last night made me think. I want to tell you some thing about myself. In my younger days—it seems long now, yet It’s not so many years—l was wild. I wronged the sweetest and loveliest girl I ever know. I went away not dreaming that any disgrace might come to her. Along about that time I fell into terrlt.le moods—l changed—l learned I really loved her. Then came a letter I should have gotten months before. It told of her trouble—lmportuned me to hurry to save her. Half frantic with shame and fear, I got a marriage cer tificate and rushed back to her town. "Warren Hold On I Give Me —a Minute—l Married Nell—Didn’t You Know That?” She was gone—had been gone for w’eeks, and her disgrace was known. Friends warned me to keep out of reach of her father. I trailed her— found her. I married her. But too late! . . . She would not live with me. She left me—l followed her west, but never found her." Warren leaned forward a little and looked into Cameron’s eyes, ns if searching there for the repentance that might make him less deserving of a man’s scorn. Cameron met the gaze unflinchingly, and again began to speak: "You know, of course, how men out here sometimes lose old names, old Identities. It won’t surprise you much to learn my name isn’t really Cam eron, as I once told you.” Warren stiffened upright. It seemed that there might have been a blank, a suspension, between his grave In terest and some strange mood to come. Cameron felt hls heart bulge and contract in hls breast; all hls body grew cold; and it took tremendous effort for him to make his lips form words. "Wnrren, I’m the man you’re hunt ing. I’m Burton. I was Nell’s lover I" The old man rose and towered over Cameron, and then plunged down upon him, and clutched hls throat with terrible, stifling hands. The harsh cortfact, the pain awakened Cameron to hls peril before it was too late. Desperate fighting saved him from being hurled to the ground and stamped and crushed. Warren seemed a maddened giant. There was a reeling, swaying, wrestling struggle before the elder man began to weaken. Then Cameron, buffeted, bloody, half-stunned, panted for speech. "Warren—hold on! Give me—-a minute. I married Nell. Didn't you know that? ... I saved the child!” Cameron felt the shock that vibrated through Warren. He repeated the words again and again. As If com pelled by some resistless power, War ren released Cameron, and, staggering back, stood with uplifted, shaking hands. In his face was a horrible darkness. "Warren! Wait—listen!” panted Cameron. *Tve got that marriage certificate—l’ve had it by me all these years. I kept It—to prove to myself I did right.” The old man uttered a broken cry. "And when I saw hen—l went atark, staring, raving mad over her.” (TO MV CONTINUED.) WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1922. (Copg for Thia Department Supplied by American Txnrlon New Service.) THE LEGION OATMEAL COOKIE Recipe Submitted by Mrs. Frederick Gehlman, Springfield, 111-, Wins international Contest. Mrs. Frederick Gehlman of Sprlng field, 111., presents the national cookie to the country. Os the 400 recipes which have been pouring into na tional headquar ters of the •Jltoer ican Legion aS^. : lliary during the'' past two months, the Gehlman “Oat meal Cookie" has been selected to fill the Jars in military hospitals throughout the United States. Although no prize whatever was offered in this unique con test, recipes came in from every state in the Union and from Hawaii, Alaska, Canada •'I Mrs. Merbert Pin nell. and Paris besides. So it was really an international contest, but the winner halls from our own Middle West. The judges selected Mrs. Gehlman’s cookie recipe for use in the hospitals, be cause it best combines food value with little fat content. It makes a mighty good tasting cookie, too. Here it Is: * 2 cupfuls sugar 1 cupful raisins 3 cupfuls flour (cut with scls- 1 teaspoonful soda sors) 2 teaspoonfuls bak- 1 cupful lard or Ing powder butter 3 cupfuls rolled 1 cupful sour milk oats (ground) 1 ess (well beaten) Process: Flour the raisins. Cream the fat in a mixing bowl, adding the sugar gradually. Add the egg, then the milk, then the dry ingredients after lifting them together, then oats, and lastly the floured Using a teaspoon, put onto a greased and floured baking sheet. Put into a fairly hot oven (350 degrees) and leave 10 to 15 minutes. Mrs. W. J. Marks of Indianapolis, widely recognized domestic science ex pert, and the members of her “flour" class acted as judges for the contest. They selected as an alternate to ,the Gehlman hospital cookie, another "oatmeal cookie" which they would recommend for general vise. It con tains a larger percentage of fat and no milk. Mrs. A. O. Wiggin, Lima, Ohio, sent it in. The vote gave Mrs. Mary B. Snod grass of Highland Park, Mich., second ranking without a rival. She sent In an “orange cookie” recipe. The Judges selected as the third ranking recipe a "cream cookie” with small fat content, sent in by Miss Mary E. Robinson, Walla Walla, Wash ington. ’ Mrs. Herbert Plnnell of Indianapo- Us is shown mixing the dough for the National Cookie. She was one of the elass of Judges and—secret—she hasn’t been mixing dough for Husband Pln aell so very long. OHIO LEGION MAN MISSING Clair A. Anthony Is Being Sought by Toledo Poet, No. 319—Hls Family Needs Him. Joseph Baker Post, No. 319, Toledo, 0., is seeking the whereabouts of Clair A. Anthony, who has disappeared from his home in that city, and , whose wife and children are in destitute circum stances. Anthony is described as twenty-nine years old, five feet six inches in height, weight 180 j pounds, ruddy l complexion, dark hair, blue eyes. He walks with a i ' I Clair A. Anthony. alight limp In the left leg. Anyone having information concern ing Anthony is asked to communicate with Leland M. Beatley, commander of the post, 4112 North Haven street, Toledo, O. Circumstantial Only. On the complaint of a farmer, old Ephraim had been haled into court charged with chicken shooting. Hls lawyer had made a fairly good case for him and for a clincher had the plaintiff recalled, hoping to make him contradict his own testimony. "See here," he said, scowling sav agely. "will you swear that it was Ephraim who shot your chicken?" “Wai," said the farmer mildly, "I won’t swear to it, but I suspect him." "That’s not enough to convict a man. What makes you suspect him?” "Wai, I saw him In the chicken yard with a gun, then I heard the gun g<» off, and then I saw him putting the chicken into a bag—and it didn't somehow seem sensible to Agger the bird committed suicide.” —American Legion Weekly.