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Desert Gold A NEW GALE 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 tn a cave, Cameron dis covers gold, but too late; both men are dying. Cameron leaves evi dence, in the cave, of their dis covery of gold, and personal docu ments. Richard Gale, adventurer, in Casita, Mexican border town, meets George Thorne, lieutenant in the Ninth cavalry, old college friend. Thorne tells Gale he is there to save Mercedes Castaneda, Spanish girl, his affianced wife, from Rojas, Mexican bandit. Gale "rougbhouses” Rojas and his gang, with tbs .help of two American cowboys, and he, Mercedes and Thorne escape. A bugle call from the fort orders Thorne to his regi ment. He leaves ' Mercedes under Gale’s protection. The pair, aided by the cowboys, Charlie Ladd and Jim Lash, arrive in safety at a ranch known as Forlorn River, across the border. The fugitives are at Tom Belding’s home. Beld ing is immigration inspector. Living with him are his wife and step daughter, Nell Burton. Gale, with and Lash, take service with Biding as rangers, Gale telling Belding the cause of his being a wanderer, a misunderstanding with his father concerning the son’s business abilities. CHAPTER V —6— A Desert Rose. When Dick lay down that night he was dully conscious of pain and head ache —that lie did uot feel well. De spite this, and a mind thronging witli memories and anticipations, he suc cumbed to weariness and soon fell asleep. It was light when he awoke, but 2 strange brightness seen through what seemed blurred eyes. A mo ment passed before his mind worked clearly, and then he had to make an effort to think. He was dizzy. When he essayed to lift his right arm, an excruciating pain made him desist. Then he discovered that his arm was badly swollen, and the hand had burst Its bandages. The injured mem ber was red, angry, inflamed, and twice its normal size. He felt hot all over, and a raging headache con sumed him. Belding came stamping Into the room. “Hello, Dick. Do you know it’s lute? How’s the busted fist this morning?” Dick tried to sit up, but his effort was e failure got about half up. the*i felt himself weuafy sliding back. -I guess—l’m pretty sick,” he said. He saw Belding lean over him, feel fils face, and speak, and then every thing seemed to drift, not into dark ness, but into some region where he had dim perceptions of gray moving things, and of voices that were re mote. Then there came an interval when all was blank. When he again unclosed his eyes the room was sunny, and cool with a fragrant breeze that blew through the open door. Dick felt better; but he had no particular desire to move or talk or eat. On the next day'he was very much Improved. “We’ve been afraid of blood poi soning,” said Belding. “But my wife thinks the danger’s past. You’ll have to rest that arm for a while.” Ladd and Jim came peeping in at the door. “Come in, boys. He can have com pany—the more the better—ls It’ll keep him content. He mustn’t move, that’s all.” The cowboys entered, slow, easy, cool, kind-voiced. “Shore It’s tough,” said Ladd, after he had greeted Dick. “You look used up.” Jim Lash wagged his half-bald, sunburned head. “Musta been more’n tough for Rojas.” “Gale, Laddy tells me one of our neighbors, fellow named Carter, Is going to Casita,” put in Belding. “Here’s a chance to get word to your friend the soldier.” “Oh, that will be fine!” exclaimed Dick. “I declare I’d forgotten Thorne. . . . How is Miss Casta neda? I hope—” “She’s all right, Gale. Been up and around the patio for two days. She and Nell made friends at once. I’ll call them In.” Both girls came In, Mercedes lead ing. Like Nell, she wore white, and she had o red rose in her hand. She was swift, impulsive In her move ments to reach Dick’s side. “Senor, I am so sorry you were U1 —so happy you are better.” Dick greeted her, offering his left jand, gravely apologizing for the fact that, owing to a late infirmity, he could not offer the right. Her smile exquisitely combined sympathy, grati tude. admiration. Then Dick spoke to Neil, likewise- offering his hand, tvhlch she took shyly. Her reply was a murmured, unintelligible one; but her eyes were glad, and the tint In her cheeks threatened to rival the hue of the rose she carried. Presently Dick remembered to speak of the matter of getting news to Thorne. “Senor. may I write to him? Will someone take n letter? ... I ■hall bear from him!” she said; and wr whit* hands emphasized her •ords I ZANE GREY Author of Riders of the Purple Sage, Wildfire, Etc. Copyright by Harper & Brothers. "Assuredly. I guess poor Thorne is almost crazy. I’ll write to him. . . . No, I can’t with this crippled hand.” * That’ll be all right, Gale,” said Belding. “Nell will write for you. She writes all my letters. ’ So Belding arranged it; and Merce des flew away to her room to write, while Nell fetched pen and paper and seated herself beside Gale’s bed to lake his dictation. What with watching Nell and try ing to catch her glance, and listening to Belding’s talk with tlie cowboys, Dick was hard put to it to dictate any kind of a creditable letter. Nell met his gaze once, then no more. Belding was talking over the risks in volved In a trip to Casita. "I’ll tell you, boys, I’ll ride In my self with Carter. There’s business I can see to, and I’m curious to know what the rebels are doing. Gale, I’m going to Casita myself. Ought to get back tomorrow some time. I’ll be ready to start in an hour. Have your letter ready. And say—if you want to write home it’s a chance. Sometimes we don’t go to the P. O. in a month.” He tramped out, followed by the tall cowboys, and then Dick was en abled to bring his letter to a close. Mercedes came back, and her eyes were shining. Dick, remembering Belding’s suggestion, decided to profit by it. “May I trouble you to write another for me?” asked Dick, as he received the letter from Nell. “It’s no trouble, I’m sure—l’d be pleased,” she replied. That was altogether a wonderful speech of hers, Dick thought, because the words were the first coherent ones she had spoken to him. He settled back and began. Presently Gale paused, partly be cause of genuine emotion, and stole a look from under his hand at Nell. If she had in the very least been drawn to him— But that was absurd —Im- possible! When Dick finished dictating, his eyes were upon Mercedes, who sat smilingly curious and sympathetic. How responsive she was! He looked at Nell. Presently she rose, holding out his letter. He was just in time to see a wave of red recede from her face. She gave him one swift gaze, unconscious, searching, then averted it and turned away. Shtf left the room with Mercedes before he could express his thanks. But that strange, speaking flash of eyes remained to haunt and torment Gale. It was indescribably sweet, and provocative of thoughts that he believed were wild without warrant. fi bi’lh ' tp i • &'/■'ft hi* gu |fl u lAijfl f j “Hollo, Dlckl Good News and Bad I” It dawned upon him that for the brief Instant when Nell had met hls gaze she had lost her shyness. It was a woman’s questioning eyes that had pierced through him. Next day Dick believed he was well enough to leave hls room; but Mrs. Bekllng would not permit him to do so. She was kind, soft-handed, moth erly, and she was always coming in to minister to hls comfort; yet Gale felt that the friendliness so manifest in the others o£ the household did not extend to her. He was conscious of something that a little thought per suaded him was antagonism. It sur prised and hurt him. He reflected that there might come a time when It would be desirable, far beyond any ground of every-day friendly kindli ness, to have Mrs. Belding be well disposed toward him. So he thought about her, and pondered how to make her like him. It did not take very long for Dick to discover that he liked her. Her face, except when she smiled, was thoughtful and sad. But it seemed too strong, too intense, too nobly lined. It was a face to make one serious. Like a haunting shadow, like a phantom of happier years, the sweetness of Nell’s face was there, and infinitely more of beauty than had been transmitted to the daugh ter. Dick believed Mrs. Belding’s friendship and motherly love were worth much striving to win, entirely aside from any more selfish motive. He decided both would be hard to get. Toward evening Gale heard the tramp of horses and Belding’s hearty voice. Presently the rancher strode in upon Gale, shaking the gray dust from his broad shoulders and waving a letter. “Hello, Dick I Good news and bad!” he said, putting the letter in Dick’s hand. “Had no trouble finding your friend Thome. Looked like he’d been drunk for a week! Say, he nearly threw a fit. I never saw a fel low so wild with joy. He made sure you and Mercedes were lost in the desert. He wrote two letters, which I brought. Casita is one h—l of a place these days. I tried to get your baggage, and think I made a mistake. We’re going to see travel toward Forlorn River. The federal garrison got re-enforcements from somewhere, and Is holding out.” “Do you think we’ll have trouble here?” asked Dick, excitedly. “Sure. Some kind of trouble sooner or Inter,” replied Belding, gloomily. “Anyway, my boy, as soon as you can hold a bridle and a gun you’ll be on the job, don’t mistake me.” “With Laddy and Jim?” asked Dick, trying to be cool. “Sure. With them and me, and by yourself.” Dick drew a deep breath, nnd even after Belding had departed he forgot for a moment about the letter In his hand. Then he unfolded the paper nnd read: “Dear Dick—You’ve more than saved my life. To the end of my days you’ll be the one man to whom I owe every thing. Words fail to express my feelings. “This must be a brief note. Belding Is waiting, and I used up most of the time writing to Mercedes. “I’m leaving Mercedes in your charge, subect, of course, to advice from Belding. Take care of her, Dick, for my life is wrapped up in her. By all means keep her from being seen by Mexicans. We are sitting tight here—nothing doing. “If things quiet down before ihy com mission expires,. I’ll get leave of absence, run out to Forlorn River, marry my beautiful Spanish princess, and take her to a civilized country, where, I opine, every son of a gun who sees her will lose his head, and drive me mad. Dick, harken to these glad words: Rojas is In the hos pital. I was interested to inquire. He had a smashed finger, a dislocated collar bone, three broken ribs, and a fearful gash on his face. He’ll be in the hospital for a month. Dick, when I meet that pig headed dad of yours I’m going to give him the surprise of his life. “Send me a line whenever any on* comes in from F. R., and Inclose Mer cedes’ letter in yours. Take care of her, Dick, and may the future hold in store for you some of the sweetness I know now! Faithfully yours, “THORNE.” While Dick was eating his supper, with appetite rapidly returning to nor mal, Ladd and Jim £ame In, Their friendly advances were singularly welcome to Gale, but he was still backward. allowed himself to show that lie tV'as glad" to" see" tTihfiL and he listened. It fooE fio keen Judge of human nature to see that horses constituted Ladd’s ruling passion. “Shore It’s a cinch Bel din’ is agoln’ to lose some of them animals of his,” he said. “You can search me If I don’t think there’ll be more doin’ on the bor der here than along the Rio Grande.’’ “Look-a-here, Laddy; you caln’t be lieve all you hear,” replied Jim, seri ously. “I reckon we mightn’t have any trouble." “Back up, Jim. Shore you’re stand in’ on your bridle. There’s more doin’ than the raidin’ of a few bosses. An’ Forlorn River Is goln’ hers!” Another dawn found -43 ale so much recovered that he arose and looked after himself; not, however, without considerable difficulty and rather dis heartening twinges of pain. Some time during the morning he heard the girls In the patio and called to ask If he might join them. He re ceived one response, a mellow, “Si, senor.” It was not as much as he wanted, but considering that It was enough, he went out In the shade of a beautiful tree, he found the girls, Mercedes sitting In a hammock, Nell upon a blanket. “What a beautiful tree!” he ex claimed. “I never saw one like that What is it?” “Palo verde,” replied Nell. “Senor, palo r O rde means ’green tree,’ ” added Mercedes. Little by little Dick learned details of Nell’s varied life. She had lived In many places. As a child she re membered Lawrence, Kansas, where she studied for several years. Then she moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, from there to Austin, Texas, and on to Waco, where her mother met and mar ried Belding. They lived In New Mexico awhile, in Tucson, Arizona, in Douglas, and finally had come to lone ly Forlorn River. “Mother could never live In one place any length of time,” said Nell. “And since we’ve been In the South west she has never ceased trying to find some trace of her father. He was last heard of In Nogales fourteen years ago. She thinks grandfather was lost In the Sonora desert. And every place we go Is worse. Oh. I love the desert. But I’d like to go back to Lawrence—or to see Chicago or New York—some of the places Mr. Gale speaks of . . , l remember the college at Lawrence, though I was only twelve. 1 saw races—and once real football . . . Mr. Gale, of course, you’ve seen games?” “Yes, a few,” replied Dick; and he laughed a little. It was on his lips then to tell her about some of the famous games In which he had par ticipated. But he refrained from ex plotting himself. There was I’ttle. however, of the color and sound and cheer, of the violent action and rush and battle incidental to a big college football game that he did not succeed In making Mercedes feel jufct as if they had been there. They hung breathless and wide-eyed upon hls words. Some one else was present at the latter part of Dick’s narrative. The moment he became aware of Mfr. Belding’s presence he remembered fancying he had heard her call, and now he was certain she had done so. Mercedes and Nell, however, had been and still were oblivious to everything except Dick’s recital. He saw Mrs. Belding cast a strange, Intent glance upon Nell, then turn and go silently through the patio. Dick was haunted by the strange ex pression he had caught on Mrs. Beld ing’s face, especially the look In her eyes. It had been one of repressed pain liberated In a flash of certainty. The mother had seen how far he had gone on the road of love. Perhaps she had seen more—even more than he dared hope. CHAPTER VI The Yaqul. Toward evening of a lowering De cember day, some fifty miles west of Forlorn River, a horseman rode along an old, dimly defined trail. This lonely horseman bestrode a steed of magnificent build, perfectly white except for a dark bar of color running down the noble head from ears to nose. Sweat-caked dust stained the long flanks. The horse had been running. He was loan, gaunt, worn, a huge machine of muscle and bone, beautiful only in head and mane, a weight-carrier, a horse strong and fierce like the desert that had bred him. The rider fitted the horse as he fit ted the saddle. -He was a young man of exceedingly powerful physique, wide-shouldered, long-armed, blg legged. His lean face, where It was not red. blistered and peeling, was the hue of bronze. He had a dark eye. a falcon gaze, roving and keen. Ills jaw was prominent nnd set, mastlff llke; hls lips were stern. It was youth with Its softness not yet quite burned and hardened away that kept the whole cast of hls face from being ruthless. This young man was Dick Gale, hut not the listless traveler, nor the loung ing wanderer who, two months before, had by chance dropped Into Casita. The desert had claimed Gale, nnd had drawn him Into its crucible. The desert had multiplied weeks Into rears. Heat, thirst, hunger, loneli ness, toll, fear, ferocity, pain—he knew them all. He had felt them all— the white sun, with Its glazed, coales cing, lurid fire i the caked split lips and rasping, dry-puffed tongue; the sickening ache In the pit of hls atom* ache; the Insupportable alienee, the empty space z the utter desolation, the find «nlt. the tireatl of ambush, the swift fllghf; the fierce pursuit of men wild as Bedouins and as fleet, the willingness to deal Hiidilen death, the pain of poison’ thorn, tlie stinging tear of lead through flesh; and that strange para dox of the burning desert, the cold at night, the piercing Icy wind, the dew that penetrated to the marrow, the numbing desert cold of the dnwn. Ladd's prophecy of trouble on the border had been mild compared to what had become the actuality. With rebel occupancy of the garrison nt Casita, outlaws, bandits, rnlders In rioting bands had spread westward. Many a dark-skinned raider bestrode one of Belding’s fast horses; and. In deed, all except Ills selected white thoroughbreds had been stolen. So the Job of the rangers had become more than a patrolling of the bound ary line to keep Japanese and Chinese from being smuggled Into the United States. On this December afternoon the three rangers, as often, were separ ated. Lash was far to the westward of Sonoyta, somewhere along Camino del Diablo, that terrible Devil's road, where many desert wayfarers had per ished. Ladd had long been overdue In a prearranged meeting with Gale. The fact that Ladd had not shown up miles west of the Papago well was significant. Gale dismounted to lead hls horse, to go forward more slowly. He had ridden sixty miles since morning, and he was tired, and a not entirely healed wound In hie hip made one leg drag a little. A mile up the arroyo, near Its head, lay the Papago well. The need of water for hls horse entailed a risk that otherwise he could have avoided. The well was on Mexican soil. Gale distinguished a faint light flickering through the thin, sharp foliage. Camp ers were at the well, and. whoever they wore, no doubt they had prevent ed I,add from meeting Gale. Ladd had gone back to the next waterhole, or maybe he was hiding In an arroyo to the eastward, awaiting develop ments. Gnle turned hls horse, not without urge of Iron arm and persuasive speech, for the desert steed scented water, and plodded back to the edge of the arroyo, where In a secluded circle of mesquite he halted. The horse snorted hls relief at the removal of the heavy, burdened saddle and ac coutrements. Gale ponred the con tents of hls larger canteen Into hls hat and, held It to the horse's nose. “Drink. Hol" he said. It was but a drop for a thirst; horse. However. Blanco Sol rubbed • wet muzzle against Gale’s hand In ap predation. Gale loved the horse, ant was loved in return. They had saves each other’s Ilves, and had spent lon| days nnd nights of desert solitude to gctlier. The spot of secluded ground vrai covered with bunches of gnlleta great upon which Sol began to graze. Galt made a long halter of hls lariat t< keep the horse from wandering tr 'search of water. Next Gale kicked off thi cumbersome chapparejos, wltl tlielr flapping, tripping folds of lentbei over his feet, nnd drawing a long rlfft from hls saddle sheath, he sllppef away Into the shadows. In the sofl sand hls steps made no sound. Th« twinkling light vanished occasionally like a Jack-o'-lantern, and when It dli show It seemed still a long way off Gale was not seeking trouble or In viting danger. Water was the tiling that drove him. He must see wlir these campers were, and then decide how to give Blanco Sol a drink. Stooping low, with bushy mesqultet between him and the Are. Gule ad vanced. The coyotes were In full cry. Gale heard the tramping, stamp s|SmKb •*• •*S**-»/-^ Z 0 Gale Dismounted to Lead Hls Horse, to Go Forward More Slowly. Ing thumps of ninny hoofa. The sound worried him. Foot by foot he ad vanced, and finally began to crawl. The nearer he approached the head of the arroyo, where the well was lo cated, the thicker grew the desert veg etation. He secured a favorable posi tion. nnd then rose to peep from be hind hls covert. He saw a bright fire, not a cooking fire, for that would have been low nnd red, but a crackling blaze of mes quite. Three men were in sight, all close to the burning sticks. They were Mexicans nnd of the coarse type of raiders, rebels, bandits that Gale had expected to see. A glint of steel caught ids eye. Three short. sb<*jy tarblues lennetj Jghinsr h rock.' A*lit tle to the left, within the circle of light stood a square house made of adobe bricks, This house was a Papngon Indian habitation, and a month before had been occupied by a family that had been murdered or driven off by n roving band of out laws. A rude corral showed dimly In the edge of firelight, nnd from a black mass within came the snort and stamp nnd whinny of horses. Gale took In the scene In one quick glance, then snnk down nt the foot of the mesquite. He had naturally expected to see more men. But the situation was by no means new. This was one. or part of one, of the raider bands harrying the border. They were stealing horses, or driving a herd already stolen. Gale revolved ques. lions In mind. Hud this trio of out laws run across Ladd? It was not likely, for In that event they might not have been so comfortable and care free In camp. Were they waiting for more members of their gang? That was very probable. With Gale, how ever, the most Important considera tion was how to get hls horse to wa ter. Sol must have a drink If It cost a fight. There was stern reason for Gale to hurry eastward along the trail. He thought It best to go back to where lie had left hls horse and not make any decisive move until day light. With the same noiseless care he had exercised In the advance, Gale re treated until It was safe for him to rise and walk on down the arroyo. He found Blanco Sot contentedly grazing. Gale carried hls saddle, blankets nnd bags Into the lee of a little greasewood-covered mound, from around which the wind had cut the soil; and here. In a wash, he risked building a fire. By this time the wind was piercingly cold. Gale's hands were numb, and he moved them to nnd fro In the little blaze. Then he made coffee In a cup. cooked some slices of bacon on the end of n stick, and took a conple of hard biscuits from a sad dlebag. Os these hls meal consisted. After that he removed the halter from Blanco Sol, Inlending to leave him free to graze for a while. ‘■‘A crippled Vaqull Why the h—l did you saddle youratif with him?’ roared Belding." <TO I<B CONTINUED.) Follow the river and you will go t< ■ea. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1922, (Copy for Thto Department Supplied by the American Leeton Newe Service.) OR. BLOOD WON ARMY HONORS National Vice Commander of Legion, Only New Hampshire Physician Who Was Decorated. Advancing with the first wave of 'nfantry nnd establlshlne hls first-aid dressing station only a few steps from the fallen doughboys at C h ate a u-Thlerry, Dr. Robert O. Blood I of Concord. N. H., national vice com mander of the American Legion, was awarded the D. S. C., Croix de Guerre and a di visional citation for bravery. Dr. Blood Is the only New Hampshire Dr. R. O. Blood. doughboys at physicinn w’ho was decorated. He rose from first lieutenant to major during hls World war service. Placed on active service August 7, 1918, Dr. Blood sailed for France In September with the One Hundred Fourth Field hospital attached to the Twenty-sixth division. He was trans ferred to the One Hundred Third Ma chine Gun battalion nnd inter to the One Hundred Third infantry, serving on the Chemih des Dames with the lat ter organization early In 1918. As bat talion medical officer. Dr. Blood wns with the One Hundred Third infantry when It drove the Germans from Bel leau Woods to Trugny. Later Dr. Blood was sent to Base Hospital No. 9 nt Chatereaux, to the American Red Cross Military hospital at Paris, nnd then returned to the Twenty-sixth division near Verdun, act ing ns divisional orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Blood organized the Concord Legion post nnd commanded It for tvo years nnd one-half, with such success that It became the largest post In New Hampshire. He has served on the state executive committee and has been department commander and na tional executive committeeman since January 1, 1922. ELECT LEGION MAN GOVERNOR James G. Scrugham, Leader in Fight for Adjusted Compensation, Vic torious in Nevada. James G. Scrugham, a lender in the American Legion’s fight for adjusted compensation and a former national vice Mmmnnder has beefi elected governor of Ne vada. Born In Lexing ton, Ky., in 1880, Mr. Scrugham was graduated from Kentucky State university in 1900, and re ceived a degree in mechanical engi neering in 1900. He was a Jas. G. Scrugham nor of mechanical engineering until 1914, when he was made dean of the Engineering college of the University of Nevada. He was named state en gineer of Nevada in 1917. Commlsloned a major of artillery In December, 1917, Mr. Scrugham wns assigned as production engineer in the ordnance department at Washington. He served on various special assign ments connected with artillery produc tion until after the signing of the arm istice. Mr. Scrugham Is a member of Dar rell Dunkle Poet No. 1 of the Legion at Reno, Nev., and served as state commander from May until August, 1920. He was a member of the na tional executive committee and was chairman of a special committee that drew up the Legion’s plan for adjust ed compensation which waa later em bodied in the Fordney bill. LEGION SHOWS RAISE FUNDS Carnivale and Other Entertainments Preduee Revenue te Aid Sick and Wounded Mon. From one end of the country to the other summer means the open season on field days, carnivals and tent shows. All of these attractions have their booths and probably th© most univer sal of all the booths In all the shows hnvo been those conducted by posts of the American Legion and the Legion Auxiliary. With 11,000 Legion posts, m<mt of which have auxiliary units. In nearly every community In the country It couldn’t well be otherwise. A booth conducted by the Auxiliary to Brownshllde poet of Buffalo, N. Y„ at a recent community field day In that place, cloned within a few hours after being opened—sold out to the last drop of pink lemonade nnd ounce of candy. The proceeds from the sale of the drinks and eatables went Into the Auxiliary's fund for helping sick and wounded ex-service men, the place where moat of the auxiliary funds go.