OCR Interpretation

The Cody enterprise and the Park County enterprise. (Cody, Wyo.) 1921-1923, December 06, 1922, Image 6

Image and text provided by University of Wyoming Libraries

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn92066925/1922-12-06/ed-1/seq-6/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for PAGE SIX

Desert ’
_ Author of
®T Riders of the Purple Sage,
Wildfire, Etc.
Copyright by Harper & Brothers.
SYNOPSIS.—Seeking gold In the
desert, "Cameron." solitary pros
pector, forms a partnership with
an unknown man whom he later
learns is Jonas Warren, father of
a girl whom Cameron wronged,
but later married, back in Illinois.
Cameron's explanations appease
Warren, and the two proceed to
gether. Taking refuge from a
sandstorm in a cave. Cameron
discovers gold, but too late; both
men are dying. Cameron leaves
evidence, in the cave, of their dis
covery of gold, and personal docu
ments. Richard Gale, adventurer,
tn Caslta, Mexican border town,
meets George Thorne, lieutenant
in the Ninth cavalry, old college
friend. Thorne tells Gale he is
there to save Mercedes Castadena,
Spanish girl, his affianced wife,
-from Rojas, Mexican bandit
CHAPTER I.—Continued.
“Dick, think, think I With Mercedes
also It was love* at first sight. My
plan Is to marry her and get her far
ther to the interior, away from the
border. It may not be easy. She’s
watched. So am I. Rojas must have
got word to his friends here; yester
day his gang of cutthroat rebels ar
rived. and today he came. When I
learned that, I took my chance and
left camp; I hunted up a priest. He
promised to come here. It’s time he’s
due. But I’m afraid he’ll be stopped.
You see, we’re over the line—”
“Are we In Mexican territory now?”
queried Gale, sharply.
“I guess yes, old boy. That’s what
complicates it. Rojas and his rebels
have Caslta izi their hands. If Mer
cedes Is really watched—if her iden
tity Is known, which I am sure is the
case—we couldn’t get far from this
house before I’d be knifed and she
“Good heavens! Thorne, can that
sort of thing happen less than a
stone’s throw from the United States
line?” asked Gale, incredulously.
“It can happen, and don’t you forget
It. You don’t seem to realize the
power these guerrilla leaders, these
rebel captains, and particularly these
bandits, exercise over the mass of
Mexicans. I’ve seen Rojas. He’s a
handsome, bold, sneering devil, vainer
than any peacock. He decks himself
in gold lace and silver trappings, in
all the finery lie can steal. He spends
gold like he spills blood. But he is
chiefly famous for abducting women.
The peon girls consider it an honor
to be ridden off with. Rojas has
shown a penchant for girls of the bet
ter class.”
Thome wiped the perspiration from
his pale face and bent a dark gaze
out of the window before he resumed
his talk.
“Consider what the position of Mer
cedes really is. Rojas can turn all the
hidden underground Influences to his
ends. Unless I thwart him he’ll get
Mercedes as easily as he can light a
cigarette. But I’ll kill him or some
of his gang or her before I let him
get her. . . . This is the situation,
Gid friend. I’ve little time to spare.
I face arrest for desertion. Rojas Is
in town. I think I was followed to
this hotel. The priest has betrayed
me or has been stopped. Mercedes is
here alone, waiting, absolutely de
pendent upon me to save her from —
from . . . She’s the sweetest, love
liest girl! ... In a few moments—
sooner or later there’ll be hell here!
Dick, are you with me?”
Dick Gale drew a long, deep breath.
A coldness, a lethargy, and indiffer
ence that had weighed upon him for
months bad passed out of his being.
On the instant he could not speak,
but his hand closed powerfully upon
his friend’s. Thorne’s face changed
wonderfully, the distress, the fear, the
appeal all vanishing in a smile of
passionate gratefulness.
Then Dick’s gaze attracted by some
slight sound, shot ove> his friend’s
shoulder to see a face at the window
—a handsome, bold, sneering 'face,
with glittering dark eyes that flashed
in sinister intentness.
Dick stiffened in his seat. Thorne,
with sudden clenching of hands,
wheeled toward the window.
“Rojas 1” he whispered.
Mercedes Castaneda.
The dark face vanished. Dick Gale
heard footsteps and the tinkle of
spurs. He strode to the window, and
was in time to see a Mexican swag
ger Into the front door of the saloon.
There were men passing in the street,
also several Mexicans lounging
against the hitching rail at the curb.
“Did you see him? Where did he
go?” whispered Thorne, as he joined
Gale. “Those Greasers out there with
’he cartridge belts crossed over their
breasts—they are rebels. I’m afraid
Rojas has the house spotted.”
“If we could only be sure.”
“I’m sure, Dick. Let’s cross the
hall; I want to see how it looks from
the other side of the house.”
Gale followed Thorne out of the res
taurant Into the high-celled corridor
which evidently divided the hotel,
owning Into the street and running
Seek ♦ ‘ a patio. ▲ few dim. yellow
lamps flickered. Thorne entered a
huge chamber which was even more
poorly lighted than the hall. It con
tained a table littered with papers, a
few high-backed chairs, a couple of
couches, and was evidently a parlor.
“Mercedes has been meeting me
here,’’ said Thorne. “At this hour she
comes every moment or so to the head
of. the stair™ there, and if I am here
she comes down. Mostly there are
people in this room a little later. We
go out into the plaza. It faces the
dark side of the house, and that’s the
place I must slip out with her If
there’s any chance at all to get away.”
They peered out of the open win
dow. In a moment, however, Gale
made out a slow-pacing dark form on
the path. Farther down there was
another. No particular keenness was
required to sec tn these forms a sen
tinel-like stealthiness.
Gripping Gale’s arm, Thorne pulled
back from th* window.
“You saw them,” he whispered. “It’s
just as I feared. Rojas has the place
surrounded. I should hav: taken Mer
cedes away. But T had no time —no
chance! I’m bound! . . . There’s
Mercedes now I My G—d 1 . . .
Dick, think, think—think if there’s a
way to get her out of this trap!”
Gale turned as his friend went down
the room. In the dim light at the head
of the stairs stood the slim, muffled
figure of a woman. When she saw
Thorne she flew noiselessly down the
stairway to him. He caught her in
his arms. Then she spoke softly, bro
kenly, in a low, swift voice. It was a
mingling of incoherent Spanish and
English; but to Gale it was mellow,
deep, unutterably tender, a voice full
of joy, fear, passion, hope and love.
Upon Gale it had an unaccountable
effect. He found himself thrilling,
Thorne led the girl to the center of
the room, under the light where Gale
“Mercedes—Dick Gale, an old friend
—the best friend I ever had.”
She swept the mantilla back over
her head, disclosing a lovely face,
strange and striking to Gale in its
pride and fire. Its intensity.
“Senor Gale—ah! I cannot speak
my happiness. His friend!”
“Yes, Mercedes; my friend and
yours,” said Thorne, speaking rapidly.
“We’ll have need of him. Dear,
there’s bad news and no time to break
it gently. The priest did not come.
He must have been detained. And
listen —be brave, dear Mercedes—
Rojas is here!”
She uttered an Inarticulate cry, the
poignant terror of which shook Gale’s
nerve, and swayed as if she would
faint. Thorne caught her and In
husky voice Importuned her to bear
“My darling! For God’s sake don’t
faint—don’t go to pieces! We’d be
lost! We’ve got a chance. We’ll
think of something. Be strong!
It was plain to Gale that Thorne
was distracted. He scarcely knew
what he was saying. Pale and shak
ing. he clasped Mercedes to him.
She cried out In Spanish, beseech
ing him; and as he shook his head,
she changed to English;
“Senor, my lover, I will be strong—
I will fight—l will obey. But swear
“But Swear by My Virgin, If Need Be
to Save Me From Rojas—You Will
Kill Mel”
by iny Virgin, if need be to save me
from Rojas—you will kill me!”
“Mercedes! Yes, I’ll swear,” he re
plied, hoarsely. “I know—l’d rather
have you dead than— But don’t give
up. Rojas can’t be sure of you, or
ho wouldn’t wait. He's in there. He’s
got his men there—all around us. But
he hesitates. A beast like Rojas
doesn’t stand Idle for nothing. I tell
you we’ve a chance. Dick, here, will
think of something. We’ll slip away.
Then he’ll take you somewhere. Daly
—speak to him—show him you won’t
weaken. Mercedes, this is more than
love and happiness for us. It’s life or
She became quiet, and slowly recov
ered control of herself. She wheeled
to face Gale with proud dark eyes,
tragic sweetness of appeal, an exqui
site grace,
“Senor, you are an American. You
cannot' know the Spanish blood—the
peon bandit’s hate and cruelty. I
wish to die before Rojas’ hand touches
me. If he takes me alive, then the
hour, the little day that my life’lasts
afterward will be torture —torture of
hell. If I live two days his brutal men
will have me. If I live three, the dogs
of his camp . . . Senor, have you
a sister whom you love? Help Senor
Thorne to save me. He is a soldier.
He is bound. He must not betray his
honor, his duty, for me. . . . Now,
let me waste no more precious time.
lam ready. I will be brave.”
She came close to Gale, holding out
her white hands, a woman all fire and
soul and passion. To Gale she was
wonderful. His heart leaped. As he
bent over her hands ano kissed them
he seemed to feel himself renewed,
“Senorlta,” he said, “1 am happy to
bo your servant. I can conceive of no
greater pleasure than giving the serv
ice you require.”
“And what Is that?” inquired
Thorne hurriedly.
“That of Incapacitating Senor Rojas
for tonight, and perhaps several
nights to come,” replied Gale. “I’ll
make a row in that saloon. I’ll start
something. I’ll rush Rojas and his
crowd. I’ll —”
“Lord, no; you mustn’t, Dick —
you’ll be knifed!” cried Thorne.
“I’ll take a chance. Maybe I can
surprise that slow Greaser bunch and
get away before they know what’s
happened. . . . You be ready
watching at the window. When the
row starts those fellows out there In
the plaza will run Into the saloon.
Then you slip out, go straight through
the plaza down the street. It’s a dark
street, I remember. I’ll catch up with
you before you get far.”
Thorne gasped, but did not say a
word. Mercedes leaned against him.
her white hands now at her breast,
her great eyes watching Gale as he
went out.
In the corridor Gale stopped long
enough to pull on a pair of heavy
gloves, to muss his hair, and disar
range his collar. Then he stepped
into the restaurant, went through, and
halted in the door leading into the
saloon. No one appeared to notice
him. Gale’s roving glance soon fixed
upon the man he took to be Rojffs.
The Mexican’s face was turned aside.
He was in earnest, excited colloquy
with a dozen or more comrades, most
of whom were sitting round a table.
They were listening, talking, drinking.
The fact that they wore cartridge belts
crossed over their breasts satisfied
Gale that these were the rebels. He
became conscious of an inward fire
that threatened to overrun his cool
ness. Other emotions harried his self
control. It seemed as it sight of the
man liberated or created a devil in
Gale. And at the bottom of his feel
ings there seemed to be a wonder at
himself, a strange satisfaction for the
something that had come to him.
He stepped ojit of the doorway,
down the couple of steps to the floor
of the saloon, and he staggered a
little, simulating drunkenness. He fell
over the pool tables, jostled Mexicans
at the bar, laughed like a maudlin
fool, and, with his hat slouched down,
crowded here and there. Presently
his eye caught sight of the group of
cowboys whom he had before noticed
with such Interest.
They were still in a corner some
what isolated. With fertile mind
working, Gale lurched over to them.
If he were to get any help from these
silent aloof rangers It must be by
striking fire from thttn In one swift
stroke. Planting himself squarely be
fore the two tall cowboys who were
standing, he looked straight into
their lean, bronzed faces. He spared
a full moment for that keen, cool
gaze before he spoke.
“I’m not drunk. I’m throwing a
bluff, and I mean to start a rough
house. I’m going to rush that d—d
bandit Rojas. It’s to save a girl—to
give her lover, who is my friend, a
chance to escape with her. She’s in
tl»e house. Rojas is here to get her.
When I start a row my friend will try
to slip out with her. Every door and
window is watched. I’ve got to raise
h—l to draw the guards in. . , .
Well, you’re my countrymen. We’re
in Mexico. A beautiful girl’s honor
and life are at stake. Now, gentle
men, watch me!”
One cowboy’s eyes narrowed, blink
ing a little, and his lean Jaw dropped;
the other’s hard face rippled with a
fleeting smile.
Gale backed away, and his pulse
leaped when he saw the two cowboys,
as if with one purpose, slowly stride
after him. Then Gale swerved, stag
gering along, brushed against the
tables, kicked over the empty chairs.
The hum of 'the many voices grew
louder, and when Dick lurched
against a table, overturning it and
spilling glasses into the laps of sev
eral Mexicans, there arose a shrill cry.
He had succeeded in attKi'Ung at-
tention, alitost every face turned nis
way. One of the insulted men, a
little tawny fellow, leaped to confront
Gale, and in a frenzy screamed a vol
ley of Spanish, of which Gale distin
guished “Gringo!” Dick swung his
leg and with a swift side kick knocked
the fellow’s feet from under him,
whirling him down with a thud.
The action was performed so sud
denly, so adroitly, it made the Mexi
can such a weakling, so like a tumbled
tenpin, that the shrill jabbering
hushed. Gale knew this to be the
significant moment.
Wheeling, he rushed at Rojas. It
was his old line-breaking plunge. Nei
ther Rojas nor hi* men had time to
move. The black-skinned bandit’s
The Black-Skinned Bandit’s Face
Turned a Dirty White.
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. As he rose his powerful hands
fastened on Rojas. He Jerked the
little bandit off the tangled pile of
struggling, yelling 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 breaking
glass. The room darkened percep
tibly. He flashed a glance backward.
The two cowboys were between him
and the crowd of frantic rebels. One
cowboy held two guns low down, level
In front of him. The other had his
gun raised and aimed. On the Instant
it spouted red and white. With the
crack came the crashing of glass, an
other darkening shade over the room.
With a cry Gale slung the bleeding
Rojas from him. The bandit struck
a table, toppled over It, fell, and lay
Another shot made the room full of
moving shadows, with light only back
of the bar. A white-clad figure rushed
at Gale. He tripped the man, but had
to kick hard to disengage himself
from grasping hands. 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.
Then pandemonium broke loose. The
din became a roar. Gale heard shots
that sounded like dull spats in the
distance. The big lamp behind the
bar seemingly spilt, then sputtered
and went out, leaving the room In
Gale leaped toward the restaurant
door, which was outlined faintly by
the yellow light within. Right and
left he pushed the groping men who
jostled with him. He vaulted a pool
table, sent tables and chairs flying,
and gained the door, to be the first
of a wedging mob to squeeze through.
One sweep of his arm knocked the res
taurant lamp from Its stand; and he
ran out, leaving darkness behind him.
A few bounds took him into the par
lor. It was deserted. Thorne had
gotten away with Mercedes!
It was then Gale slowed up. For
the space of perhaps sixty seconds
he had been moving with startling
velocity. He peered cautiously out
into the plaza. Under a street lamp
at the far end of the path he thought
he saw’ two dark figure's. He ran
faster, and soon reached the street.
The uproar back In the hotel began
to diminish, or else he was getting out
of hearing. The few people he saw
close at hand were ah coming his
way, and only the foremost showed
any excitement. Gale walked swiftly,
peering ahead for two figures. Pres
ently he saw them—one tall, wearing
a cape; the other slight; mantled.
Gale drew a sharp breath of relief.
Thorne and Mercedes were not far
He began to overhaul them; and
soon, when the last lamp had been
passed and the street was dark, he
ventured a whistle. Thorne heard
It, for he turned, whistled a low reply?'
and went on. Not for sorrie distance
beyond, where the street ended In
open country, did they halt to wait.
Then he came up with the fugitives.
“Dick! Are you—all right?” panted
Thorne, grasping Gale.
'Tm—-out of breath—but—O. K.,”
replied Gale.
“Good ! Good 1” choked Tboroa,
was scared—neiptess. . . Dick,
it worked splendidly. We had no
trouble. What on earth did you do?”
“I made the row, all right,” said
Dick. “While I was rushing Rojas
a couple of cowboys shot out the
lamplights. A Mexican who pulled a
knife on me got hurt, I guess. Then
I think there was some shooting from
the rebels after the room was dark.”
Mercedes pressed close to him,
touched his hands, looked up into his
face with wonderful eyes. He thought
he would not soon forget their beautj
—the shadow of pain that had been
the hope dawning so fugltlvely.
“Dear lady,” said Gale, with voles
not wholly steady, “Rojas hhnseil
will hound you no more tonight, noi
for many nights.”
She seemed to shake, to thrill, to
rise with the intelligence. She pressed
his hand close over her heaving breast.
Gale felt the quick throb of her heart.
“Senor! Senor Dick!” she cried
Then her voice failed. But her
hands flew up; quick as a flash she
raised her face—kissed him. ?£hen
she turned and with a so& "oil into
Thome’s arms.
There ensued a silence broßer. only
by Mercedes’ sobbing. Gale walked
some paces away. If he were not
stunned, he certainly was agitated.
The strange, sweet fire of that girl’s
lips remained with him. On the spur
of the moment he Imagined he had a
jealousy of Thome. But presently
this passed. What remained with him
was the splendid glow of gladness
that he had been of service to Thorne.
“Dick, Dick, come here 1” called
Thorne softly. “Let’s pull ourselves
together now. We’ve got a problem
yet. What to do? Where to go? How
to get any place? We’re on good old
U. S. ground this minute, but we’re
not out of danger.”
As he paused, evidently hoping for
a suggestion from G<le, the silence
was broken by the cleai, ringing peal
of a bugle. Thorne gave u violent
“It’s a call, Dick! It’s a call!” he
Gale had no answer to make. Mei*
cedes stood as if stricken. The bugle
call ended. From a distance another
faintly pealed. There were other
sounds too remote to recognize. Then
scattering shots rattled out.
“Dick, the rebels are fighting some
body,” burst out Thorne excitedly.
“The little federal garrison still holds
its stand. Perhaps It is attacked
again. Anyway, there’s something do
ing over the line. Maybe the cfaxy
Greasers are firing on our camp.
We’ve feared it—in the dark. . . .
And here I am, away withoat leave—
practically a deserter!”
“Go back! Go back, before you’re
too late!” cried Mercedes.
"Better make tracks, Thome,*
added Gale. "It can’t help our pre
dicament for you to be arrested. I’ll
take care of Mercedes.”
“No, no, no,” replied Thome. “I
can get away—avoid arrest.”
Mercedes embraced her lovei,
begged him to go. Thorne wavered.
“Dick, I’m up against It,” he said.
“You’re right. If only I can run back
in time. But, oh, I hate to leave her!
Old fellow, you’ve saved her! I al
ready owe you everlasting gratitude.
Keep out of Caslta, Dl'rk. The U. S.
side might be safe, but I’m afraid to
trust It at night. Go out In the des
ert, up in the mountains, in some safe
place. Then come to me in camp.
We’ll plan. I’ll have to confide in
Colonel Weede. Maybe he’ll help us.
Hide her from the rebels—that’s nil.”
He wrung Dick’s handU clasped Mer
cedes tightly In his arms, kissed her,
and murmured low over her, then re
leased her to rush off into the dark
ness. He disappeared in the gloom.
The sound of his dull footfalls grudu
ally died away.
Gale realized that he was between,
the edge of an unknown desert and
the edge of a hostile town. He had
to choose the desert, because, though
he had no doubt that In Caslta there
were many Americans who might be
friend him, he could not chance the
risks of seeking them at night.
He felt a slight touch on his arm,
felt It move down, felt Mercedes slip a
trembling cold little hand into hl«,
Dick looked at her. If the loneliness,
the silence, the desert, the unknown
dangers of the night affected him.
what must they be to this hunted,
driven girl? Gale’s heart swelled. He
was alone with her. He had no weap
on, no money, no food, no drink, no
covering, nothing except his two
hands. He did not know where to
the railroad, or any road or trail,
or whether or not there were towns
near or far. It was a critical, des
perate situation. He thought first of
the girl, and groaned In spirit, prayed
that It would be given him to save
her. When he remembered himself It
was with the stunning consciousness
that he could conceive of no situation
which he would have exchanged for
this one—where fortune had set him
a perilous task of loyalty to a friend,
to a helpless girl,
"Senor, senor!" suddenly whispered
Mercedes, clinging to him. "Listen I
I hear horses coming!"
"Tom Boldin*, he's a gentle
man, an* he could lick you In
in half a second.**
A railroad purchasing ngent writes:
"An oak railroad tie lasts twenty
years. And It takes twenty years to
grow an oak tree to a sl>.e suitable
for ties Observe how finely nature
balances the thing." We lose that bal
ance, however, when we fall to plant
a tree for every one cut down. Tench
your children the wisdom of eenaorv
lag the forveta.
Roughages Furnish Large Amount of
Energy and Are Cheaper Than
“Economical feeding,says J. G.
Fuller of the animal husbandry depart
ment of the University of Wisconsin,
•‘ls the Important thing In caring for
the Idle work horse during the winter
months. Boughage such us hay, corn
stover and straw, fumlsh a large
amount of net energy. They are usual
ly far cheaper feeds than the concen
trates, and when they are of sufficient
ly good quality, the animals may be
maintained on these feeds alone.
“Next to feeding, sufficient exercise
and proper shelter are most Important.
The Arabs have a saying, 'Rest and fat
are the greatest enemies of the horse.’
The horse Is par excellence the crea
ture of motion, and In Its feeding and
management this fact should always
be kept In mind. A mature horse
should i-ccelve regular exercise, travel
ing not less than five or six miles per
day to maintain health. Horses can
be turned Into the pasture until It
FT 1 ; ;
' IhHkSiJlw 1 ’ *•
; * ■' I
A Well-Ventilated Stable.
snows or the ground becomes too soft,
and then into the yard so that they
may have exercise. Cool, well-venti
lated quarters are far preferable to
warm, close stables. In all cases
horses must be protected from drafts
and extreme weather.
“If good quality roughages are not
available in sufficient amount, a small
grain ration may be added. In any
event,” says Mr. Fuller, “no more than
one-half a w’ork ration should be given
which ordinarily ranges from 5 to 8
pounds of grain a day. At the approach
of spring, the grain ration must be
gradually Increased in proportion for
spring's work. A good ration for a
1,400-pound horse In full work Is 13 to
15 pounds of oats and 15 pounds good
quality mixed hay.”
Big Advantage to Have Lambs
Dropped Within Comparatively
Short Period in Spring.
When the ewe flock is gaining in
weight rather than losing at the breed
ing season, they will come in heat
more nearly at the same time and
should breed within three or four
weeks. This is a big advantage In the
spring for then the lambs will all be
dropped within a comparatively short
period and careful attention can prof
itably be given the flock at that time.
When ewes are In a gaining condition
they drop more twins. This has been
proven time after time on the western
range where the lamb crop is largely
determined by conditions at the breed
ing season.
With the beginning of cool weather,
healthy ewes will have a better appe
tite and If feed is provided will nat
urally gain in weight. Ten days be
fore the ram is to be turned into the
flock the ewes should be given a littlij
grain—about half a pound a day—or
else have the run of a good pasture.
Chopped pumpkins and rape make ex
cellent stimulating feeds at this sea
No Ono but a Greenhorn Would At
tempt to Raise Hoge on Corn
Alone—Grass Needed.
The feeding of corn to hogs Is a cus
tom so old and well established that
no Midwest farmer would think of
raising swine without this greatest of
all cereals. While corn Is the best
and cheapest grain for fattening hogs,
no one but a greenhorn would attempt
to raise pigs on corn exclusively.
Feeding Growing Horses.
Proper feeding will accomplish much
where growing horses are concerned.
It is false economy to give a liberal
diet to the best-looking animals only.
One can never tell how the plainer
ones may develop or how they may
turn out If well fed.
Hogs Are Most Important.
Hogs are among the most important
animals to raise on the form for meat
or for profit, and no farm is complete
unless some are kept td aid in the
modern method of firming.

xml | txt