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The Fighting Tenderfoot
By William MacLeod Raine Copyright by William MacT.eod Kaine M NTJ Servlo* CHAPTER XIII —l7 A Round-Up. Brad HELM eased his massive body up from tlie chairs he was occupying. His astonishment at the sight of Boh Quantrell In hand cuffs had not yet had time to sub side. “Why, I can fix you up with a room. Sheriff. I would of liked to of kinda fixed it up some, but that doggone Chink is up to the Gold Nugget playin’ the wheel.” "A room with two beds.” O’Hara said. “There’s that south room. How would that do? The one the belted earl usta have.” “I want a nice, warm, comfort able room. Brad, the best you’ve got in tlie house.” Quantrell said, with his gay impudent grin. “Price no object. This is particular com pany you’re havin’, understand. Guest of the county.” The fat innkeeper grinned nerv ously. He had no Intention of slighting this dangerous guest. “It's a good room. Boh, with a fireplace in it.” lie wheezed. “Well keep it nice an’ warm. If anything d’on’t suit you. just holler.” “Have Charlie cook me some of that rice puddin’ tomorrow, with lots of raisins in it. The county lias got to feed me good if I stay.” “I'll sure see you get it. Bob.” “No objection to that. Brad,” said O’Hara. “But understand that orders come from me and not from Bob. He’s just a prisoner. I’d put him in the jail if it would hold him.” “Just a prisoner, is he?" Quan trell asked with mock politeness, looking down at his slim, long girl ish hands. “An’ how long will he be one. Sheriff?” Brad had picked up a lamp to lead the way to the room. He stopped to listen. There had come the sound of shots, a scattered fusillade of them. “What’s up, do you reckon?” he asked. The sheriff turned to Worrall and spoke quickly. “Take Boh to the room. Steve. Tie him with a lash rope to the bed. If he tries to escape shoot him down. I'll be hack soon as I can.” He ran out of the hotel and down the street in the direction of the Delgado stable. He passed people emerging cautiously from saloons anti gambling houses, tine called to him. “What’s the fireworks about. Sheriff?” He did not answer. His business was to get to the scene of action as soon as possible. Some one in the road hailed him. “Hold on there. Not so fast. This road's closed.” O'Hara recognized the voice of Amen Owen and pulled up. “What’s wrong?” be asked. “This is OHara.- t iittle s>* i*».-n werestand rti* in the »oV< m back of Owen. McCarthy yjioke. “They tried to get »'•* h-vses from the stable. Four pf 'lm. We yelled to throw up tkefc- hands an’ they started shootin*. Course we let ’em have it, an’ when the smoke cleared away two of 'em had lit out. The other two we got. One of the birds is ready for Boot Hill. I’ankey has got a pill in his arm.” The sheriff stooped and looked at the face of the dead man. He rec ognized the man as the cowboy who had been known as Mac, one of those who had been with Quan trell when he raided the Hughes place a year or two before this time. I’ankey spoke up coolly. “D-dead as a s-stuck shote. Sheriff. Yore boys drilled him through. Y-you k-k-kinda out-smarted us that time, looks like.” Some one laughed. I’ankey was a bad egg, hut he was no quitter. . In the current phrase of the time and place, he played his cards the way they were dealt him. The little man walked lame, and would as long as he lived. He owed that to (iarrett O’Hara, a memento of the battle at the Cress ranch, but he cherished no grudge on that ac count. His wound had been given him in fair fight. "Hadn’t been so dark we would have got Deever, too,” said Uwen casually. Almost too casually, in fact It. was Pankey who spoke, after a moment of silence. “C-eiaimin’ they were in this, are you. Amen? G-guess again, old timer.” “We knew who were in it. Pan key. Don t fool yoreself about that. An’ in go\»d time we'll round ’em up like we did you an’ Mac.” “You don’t s-sa.v,” jeered the lit tle rustler. “A liT luck sure goes to some folks’ heads.” “Did they get the horses?" asked O’Hara. “Nary a bronc,” replied one of the Browns. “Good! You and Baldy stay here and make sure they don’t come back. Not much chance of that. I’d say.” O’Hara turned to Owen and v-lcCarthy. “Will you have some one get this body? But first we'll carry Pankey to the Concho house if he's not able to walk.” “I can w-walk all right.” The outlaw spoke up. “Good I We’ll have Doctor Hol loway look after you.” Again the sheriff spoke to his allies. “Get to gether a dozen good citizens and patrol the roads out of town. May be we can catch Deever and Som mers as they try to slip away.” .. “Ao‘ Bob Quantrell —what about him? Ain’t he worth gatherin’ in?” Owen asked with an ironic little grin. “He’s already gathered,” the sheriff said quietly. The look of blank surprise on | the faces about O’Hara gave place i to amazement. There was a chorus of exclamations. "How gathered?” asked McCar thy. “Arrested.” “You mean you've got Bob Quantrell under arrest?” “That’s what I mean.” “An’ lie didn’t kill you? Nor you him?” Baldy Brown asked. “Nothing like that." “Didn't put up any kind of a fight?” “We got him to see reason.” “Where’s he at now?” “Being guarded by Steve Worrall | at the Concho house.” “Well, I’ll be teetotaliy dog | goned !” “How did you arrest him?” Amen | asked. “Oh, just explained he was un der arrest. We found him outside | the Gomez* house. Need any help. | Pankey?” "I can m-mnke out to get along.” | The little outlaw looked at tlie i sheriff with reluctant admiration, j “I n-never saw the b-beat of you. ! O’Hara. You look about as dan ] gerous as a b-brush rabbit, but you j certainly take the watch. When you hit this country you didn’t know s-sic* ’em. hut you sure lit all spraddled out. I got to say you’re a top hand.” Though Pankey had declined his offer of assistance O’Hara slipped a hand under the uninjured arm of tlie outlaw. He did not want to have him shot down while trying to escape in the darkness. It was not likely the lame man would he so foolish, hut one never could tell. Inside of half an hour every road out of town was guarded. Men watched the frails that wound over tlie hills. The houses of suspected Mexicans, those known to he friend ly to the rustlers, were searched by a posse of deputies sworn In for the occasion. But no sign of either Deever or Sommers was found. They had not got away on horse hactc, for no horses were missing. O’Hara, Owen, and Worrall derided that they had probably slipped away immediately after the fracas and were hiding in the chaparral. The one sure thing was that they would try to raid some ranch for mounts upon which to escape. O’Hara could not leave Concho for a few days on account of official business. Judge Warner was hold ing court and it was necessary'for him to he present. The slier iff knew that Bob Quan trell was slippery as a weasel and dangerous as a wolf. Every mo ment he had to he watched. Give him a chance and he would find some way to escape. Therefore O’Hara chose his guards with great eare. He selected three: Steve Worrall, Amen Owen, and Buck Grogan. They were to divide the day and night into relay periods. Tlie first two men he picked be cause they were the best available. Grogan was slower witted, and O’Hara hesitated about appointing him. But tlie man could be relied on not to relax his vigilance. He hated Quantrell too much to give him any opportunity of getting away. The instructions given by O’Hara to his deputies were definite. He warned them, too, against letting the prisoner for a single instant get his hand near a weapon. Owen nodded approval. “Do like the boss says, boys. If Bob ever gets a half a chance you're gone. He’s a wonder with a six-shooter. I’ve seen men with as quick a pull as Bob’s. They claim Jesse James was chain lightnin’ on the draw, an’ I know Ben Thompson was for I’ve seen him. Others I’ve known with as rapid fire, an’ still others as ac curate. Maybe more so. Take Wild Bill. He was more deliberate in gettin’ his guns into action. Fact is, lie was so kinda easy about it he looked slow, but, gents, hush! when he onct started nobody could pump lead faster or straighter. He sure was a wonder. But this Kid Quantrell —take it from me that no man ever lived who had the edge on him in combination quick pull, rapid fire, an' straight shootin’. I’m talkin’ about a .44 or a .45. you understand. I can name a dozen fellows in town can beat him with a rifle.” “The long an’ short of which is that if any of us throws down on his job he’s liable to go to the Happy Huntin’ Ground pronto,” Worrall said. “Speakin' for Num ber One, I’ll say I think too much of myself to get careless.” O’Hara had further doubts as to : the wisdom of his choice of Buck Grogan when he saw the man with tlie prisoner. The bow-legged cow hoy could tiot keep from gloating over Quantrell. “Not long now,” he jeered. “We’re gonna try you down at Au rora for killin’ that kid Turner at tlie Indian agency, an’ then we’ll hang you by the neck till you’re dead. This country’s plumb tired of two-gun men who go struttin’ around with notches on their six shooters, so we aim to make an example of Mr. Boh Quantrell right soon.” “That’ll do, Buck,” ordered O’Hara. “Bob hasn’t been tried yet, and anyhow you’re not here to devil him. If you can’t be civil I’ll take you off and put some one else on." f "Let him shoot off his mouth, Sheriff,” tlie prisoner said in his ! mild way. “Don’t hurt me any, see i ing as I’m not intendin’ to be pres ent at any bangin’ with me as the hangee. You know why he’s sore at me. Because I ha# to kill his brother, the Texas Kid, that time I humped off Sanderson, it was wished on me. You know that, O’Hara, because that same day you called the turn on the same two four-flushers an’ made ’em take water.” Buck Grogan’s face and wrinkled neck turned brick-red. “Anyone’s a liar that claims my brother was a four-flusher!” he sputtered. The pale eyes of Quantrell rest ed on his guard. “Would he call me a liar. Sheriff, if he didn’t have a gun in his hand an’ 1 wasn’t sit tin’ here wearin’ bracelets an’ tied j by a lash rope to my bed?” asked : the outlaw in liis gentlest, most j menacing voice. “It’s going to stop, here and | now,” O’Hara answered. "You know I tills won’t do, Grogan. Either lie pleasant to Bob or don’t talk with him. If I hear of any more of this sort of thing I’ll have to let you go. That’s final.” It was final as far as O’Hara was concerned hut not with the others. Quantrell was more to blame than J|f^ He Enjoyed Stirring the Anger of the Guard. Grogan. He enjoyed stirring the anger of the guard. It helped to pass the hours. Moreover, he was watching always for a chance to escape and he felt that Grogan simmering with rage might offer opportunities that would not be given by the same man unmoved by passion. So when O’Hara asked the pris oner a day or two later whether he had any complaints to make about the treatment he was receiving Quantrell grinned and shook his head. “Nary a one, Sheriff. Grub's O. K. I been improvin’ my mind with tlie books you brought. The boys you leave me so’s I won’t get lone some suit me fine. Especially Buck here. We’re gettin’ to be real til licums, ain’t we. Buck?” Grogan flushed but made no com ment. Quantrell was far more nim ble-witted than he, and had com pletely turned the tables on him. It was the prisoner now who jeered at him, angered him, and led him into verbal traps that made him furious. Yet he did not want to be relieved, exasperating though the situation was. He found in It the same savage pleasure that one with a toothache has when he is impelled to grind upon the throb bing molar in resentment. Nor did Quantrell want him re lieved. He knew there was very little chance of escape during the shifts of Worrall or Owen. Both of these were old-timers who had a healthy respect for his prowess. Neither of them ever gave him any opportunity for a snatch at free dom. They watched him like hawks. Quantrell felt that if he was to make a getaway it would have to be while Grogan was in charge of him. In the darkness of the night shift the outlaw had made a discovery. He was small boned, and he could slip his long narrow hands out of i the cuffs at considerable pain to | himself. When the right moment came he intended to do so. But he had to be sure of his moment. If there was any slip-up. if he did not succeed, O’Hara would see that he never had another chance. Every moment that he was awake, no matter whether he was eating, reading, or devilling Grogan, his mind was busy with tlie problem, planning the best way to divert the guard’s mind and make him for one instant careless. Quantrell played the long shot he had planned one morning soon after Worrall went off duty. He had been playing solitaire at a lit tle table, handling the cards awk wardly with his manacled hands. Now he was apparently tired of tlie game. He began instead the more attractive one of rowelling Grogan’s temper. The guard was sitting opposite him at the table less than three feet away. Quantrell dropped his arms into his lap and leaned forward to THE COOLIDGE EXAMINER jeer at Grogan. He showed his buck teetli in a grin and murmured insults at him. Meanwhile his wrists had slipped down and he was using his knees for a vise to hold tlie iron while he worked his right hand out of the cuff. “. , . you an’ yore whole fam ily, Buck. Pore wdiite trash, I been told. An’ yellow. Every last one of ’em. Kicked outa yore own state for stealin’ sheep, tlie way I heard it.” Grogan flushed to furious anger, lost control of his temper entirely. With an oath his right hand reached across the table and caught the lapel of Quantrell’s coat. Instantly tlie lad’s left hand made a backward circle through the air. the handcuff still attached to tlie wrist. Before Grogan knew what was happening the swinging iron struck the side of his head. Al most at tlie same moment Quantrell rose, leaned forward, and with his right hand snatched the revolver from Us holster beside the guard’s hip. Eyes staring Incredulously, dazed from the blow, still uncertain of what had occurred, Grogan stag gered back a step or two. He stared vacantly at the smiling, de risive face of his enemy. Then he understood—and woke too late to violent action. Like a wild hull he dmrged the menacing gun. Two shots rang out. so close to gether thsrt they sounded like one. The guard s body plunged down on the table, upset it, and slid to the floor. Quantrell stood there, feet apart, wolflslily wary, the hand with the smoking .44 resting on his hip. His shallow cold blue eyes held to the body of the man he had just shot down. He wanted to be sure that his work was thorough. There was no doubt about that. After the first spasmodic twitching of the muscles the huddled figure lay still. Slowly a grin crossed the face of the outlaw. “O’Hara will send a hoy to mill, eh?” he murmured. The killer wasted no time. Some one would hear those shots and the alarm would be spread. He put his hat on, tilted jauntily a little to one side, and walked out of the room into the lobby of the hotel. As usual Brad Helm was sitting there with a couple of cronies. “He was a wiry hook-nosed guy with eyes set too close together,” wheezed the hotel keeper, “an’ I noticed his claybank had sack hob bles tied around its neck. Says I to him, kinda careless — G—ddal mighty!” The last startled exclamation, not at all careless in its inflection, was wrung out of tlie fat man by the sight of Quantrell emerging from the hall. “Mornin’, Brad, an’ gents all,” the outlaw said lightly, his glance stabbing at first one and then an other. The fat man’s heart died under his ribs. “W-where’s Grogan?” he quavered. “Grogan !” Quantrell’s smile was thin and cruel. “Oh, he’s back there in the room. Did you want to see Grogan?” Brad Helm knew now the mean ing of the shots he had heard. Until now they had not disturbed him. He had thought his boy was prac ticing at a target back of the hotel. Swiftly Quantrell stepped back of the home-made office counter and lifted from a nail a belt containing cartridges and a revolver. He broke the Colt’s and saw that it was loaded. “Much obliged, Brad,” he said. “Since you’re so pressin’ I’ll borrow the loan of this for a while.” “Help yoreself, Bob. Yo’re sore welcome. If there’s anything else—” “Where’s O’Hara right .now?” broke in the young desperado. “At the courthouse. Judge War ner’s holdin’ —” “An’ Steve Worrall?” "Why, Steve’s asleep down at the Longhorn corral, I reckon.” “Amen?” “I dunno where Amen’s at, Bob.” Again Quantrell’s shallow eyes, a deadly threat in them, passed from one man to another. “Stay in yore chairs for fifteei minutes. Don’t rise. Don’t call anyone. If you don’t stay put you’ll have to settle with me. Understand?” He passed into the hall, down it. and out the back door. His glance slid to right and left to make sur vey of the prospect. Nobody was in sight except Brad Helm, Junior, and he was too busy roping a post even to notice him. The boy had at that moment arrived from the Longhorn corral, where a vaquero had been taming a wild horse. Quantrell moved swiftly in the di rection of the Gold Nugget. There would be horses, he knew, at the hitch rack in front of the gambling house. How soon tlie news of his escape would he flung broadcast he did not know. It could not be long. He had to get out of town before O’Hara closed the roads and trails, but he had no intention of leaving without first demonstrating his cool ness. That the manner of his achievement, as well as the fact it self, he talked about was demanded by his vanity. (TO BE CONTINUED.) How About It? In New England hardwood and softwood seem to grow invariably in rotation, i. e., when a forest of cuniferous trees, such as spruce or pine is cut, the next growth is of deciduous trees, such as maple or birch.—Exchange. Would Eliminate Black Currants Cultivated Plants Threat en to Destroy White- Pine Forests. (Prepared by the United States Depart ment of Agriculture.) WNU Service. Because of the relatively small value of cultivated black currants in this country and the role of these plants in the spread of white pine blister rust, a disease which threat ens to destroy our white-pine for ests. the United States Department of Agriculture recommends that tanners and nurserymen and the public generally discontinue grow ing these currants in regions where white pines grow. Carriers of Blister Rust. In its tight to save the white pine forests of the country, the department recognizes other vari eties of currants and gooseberries as potential carriers of the hlister rust disease, but the cultivated black currant, sometimes known as the English black currant, is by far tite most susceptible to the rust. This variety is responsible for spread of the disease over long dis tances, department specialists de clare. Compared to cultivated black cur rants other species of currants and gooseberries are relatively resist ant to blister rust, the department says. However, in the course of a season the disease may spread from the original black currant center, to any type of currant or gooseberry. This is caused by successive cycles of the summer stage of the rust. How Disease Is Spread. Farmers’ Bulletin IMOB-F, “Cur rants and Gooseberries: Their <’ul ture and Relation to White Pine Blister Rust,” a publication just issued by the department in revised form, tells how to grow these plants and explains how they spread the rust disease. In some sections cur rants and gooseberries are commer cial crops, and the department does not wish to interfere with this in dustry any more than is necessary to protect the white-pine forests, the bulletin says. So great is the danger from cul tivated black currants, however, that the department is asking state authorities, nurserymen and farm ers to help eliminate this plant en tirely in the Pacific. Rocky moun tain, Atlantic. Appalachian, Ohio valley and upper Mississippi val ley, and Lakes states. Copies of Farmers’ Bulletin 1398-F may he obtained free from the Office of Information, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. Early Plowing Favored for Best Soy Bean Crop As a general rule, the ground should be plowed for soy beans, ac cording to results of tests by the Ohio agricultural experiment sta tion, cited by the farm crops de partment of the Ohio State univer sity. “There are a few exceptions to this general rule,” says one of the bulletins issued by the experi ment station, “as when the soil is naturally loose and when a good seed l>ed can be prepared by disk ing." Kxperiments at Wooster have yielded 10.58 bushels of grain and 1,895 pounds of straw to the acre on disked corn stubbie land, while plowed corn stubble land yielded 15.79 bushels of grain and 2,052 pounds of straw. Early plowing is recommended as the better practice, since it gives time for the seed bed to settle and opportunity to kill one crop of weeds before the soy beans are planted. Late plowing in a dry season may leave the soil so loose and dry that germination will he poor and the early growth of the soy beans stunted. Many growers prepare the seed bed for soy beans before that for corn, but do not plant the soy beans until the corn is In the ground. Korean Lespedeza Best Sown in Early Spring Korean lespedeza is best sown in the spring during late March or early April. It may be sown with oats immediately after the seed grain has been covered, or ten days to two weeks later, after the grain crop is up. The time of seeding of wheat may well be delayed until April, after the danger of severe freezes is past. Seedings should be made, however, before the _ ground has dried out and while the * surface soil is alternately freezing by night and thawing by day. If the sowing is later the wheat ground should be hanwved before the lespedeza seed is put in. Korean lespedeza establishes It self more quickly where the ground is firm and well packed. For that | reason it is more likely to succeed j and make a larger growth the first I season if sown on wheat rather | than with oats. The seed is not j difficult to sow and may be distrib- i uted by a grass-clover seeder, by a j wheelbarrow seeder, or by a grass- | clover attachment on a grain drill. | Intensive Campaign to Control Oriental Moth i Growers in the section in which the oriental fruit moth is already | present are preparing to wage an intensive campaign to control this pest during tlie coming season. As the opening gun in battle the growers will give their orchards a. deep thorough cultivation. This kills those that pass the winter in the soil. This is quite a per cent of the total number that live over. The other methods of control which are suggested by those who have worked on this insect will be used later in the season. It will be a hard battle but unless the grow er wins, this year’s crop in these sections seriously infected will be worth almost nothing. That cold may lead to something serious, if neglected. The time to do something for it is now. Don’t wait until it develops into bronchitis. Take two or three tablets of Baver Aspirin as soon as you feel a cold coming on. Or as soon as possible after it starts. Bayer Aspirin will head off or relieve the aching and feverish feelings—will stop the headache. And if your throat is affected, dissolve two or three tablets in a quarter-glassful of warm water, and gargle. 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Named for English Town The city of Reading, Pa., when founded in 1748, by Thomas and Richard, sons of William Penn, was named after the county town of Berkshire, England. A man who has all the money he wants for travel usually loses the appetite for it.