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(Continued from pn^e 11.)
line, Bud Oliver observed that he was
tying his rope, Texas-wise, to the pom
mel of his saddle. The Arizonian or
dinarily used a long rope, sixty feet at
'i.'.c least, and throws it free, at the
last giving the end a hitch around the
saddle pommel, so that he can let go
in case of an accident. The Texan
burns his ships behind him; he uses
a short rope, ties it fast, and takes the
"Look now you tie that rope,"
shouted Bud, good-naturedly.
Halversen paid no heed, and when
the flag went down he was off like a
flash. It was a runty red steer, and
the rope, opening from Halversen's
hand like a coil spring, settled over
the steer's horns. There was a wild,
scrambling rush, Halversen's horse
turning to one side to trip the plung
ing animal. The rope pulled tight
with a snap, and the steer turned a
somersault in the dust; but the strain
on the single-cinch saddle was too
great, and it turned. Halversen, still
clinging to the rope, was jerked to
the ground, his horse leaping to one
side and kicking himself wildly clear
of the saddle. For a single instant
Halversen was able to regain his feet,
and then he went down, and the steer
dragged him in the dust, rolling him
over and over with the saddle. The
crowd was shouting in excitement, the
judges, the flagman and most of the
cowmen came riding hard to help.
Halversen, grit to the backbone, sprang
to his feet, still clinging to the rope.
At that instant the steer, headed off,
turned sharply to the right, and Hal
versen seeing the opportunity, ran to
the left; then, suddenly, he snubbed
hard on the rope, jerking the steer's
feet out from under him. It is a thing
that the best cowboy can do only oc
casionally. Halversen darted forward
to tie; but the steer, having time to
recover from the force of the fall, was
hind feet up when Halversen pounced
upon him, seizing his tail. One foot
to the left of the steer's hind legs, and
a sudden strong pull, and the steer
was down again—all in the space of
two seconds. And, then, too, there
was the wildest kicking and struggling.
Halversen, bulldog that he was, tied
his animal down, and threw up his
bloody arms. He was torn and bruised,
but he had tied his steer. Of course,
he could not win—he had been more
than three minutes at the struggle;
but the crowd made up to him for the
failure in the warmth of its reception.
It had been three minutes of such ex
citement as comes in no other sport.
And so, one after another, the con
testants rode forward to the fall of
the flag—it was a Homeric list; but
one by one they failed to equal the
record of Buster Graham, although a
little red Scotchman named Moorse
came within six seconds of it. Turk
McGlory lost all hope for himself, but
he still felt brave for his hero. Bud
Oliver could do it if anyone could. And
it was now Bud's turn. He and Bud
had been left to the last. The nearer
his time came, the oftener he glanced
up to the grandstand to the girl in
blue and white. The pool-seller was
now crying his name and Bud's to
"What am I offered on Bud Oliver,
champion of Texas —who will give me
even money on Turk McGlory against
It would all have been sweet to
Turk's ears, and embarrassing, too, if
he hadn't been so excited. There was
luck in roping; probably, after all, it
would go against Bud and Texas.
Have you ever seen a cavalryman,
preparing for a charge, turning to tie
his coat to the saddle, rolling up the
sleeves over his muscular arms, draw
ing sabre and twisting his wrist in the
sabre cord, then setting his face grim
ly forward? If you have, you know
now how Bud Oliver looked, cleared
for battle. But no cavalryman ever sat
on his horse with the oneness of Bud
Oliver. To an unschooled observer
the little roan pony seemed undersized
for so large a man; but the cowboys,
whose alphabet is horses, knew well
the prowess of that cat-flanked, rag
ged-necked roan with his ears laid
back and his eyes gleaming half wild.
"Look out for the Texhanna (Tex
as) man," called a voice from the
"We're betting on you, Bud Oliver,"
came other shouts. The Texas men
were not over-popular in Arizona, and
yet it was a sportsmanlike crowd.
The babel of voices ceased sharply.
A wiry little steer, red and white, shot
in the field as if catapulted. Turk Me-
Glory observed how like an antelope it
ran —long-legged and as easily as the
wind blows. The flag fell, and Bud
was off; the judges riding after him
were blurred in his dust. There was
no roper like Bud. He waited long
before raising his rope, bending close
to his saddle, and riding hard; then
in what curlious, loose, slow coils he
swung it! Would he ride clean over
his steer? There, he had reached out
as if to catch the steer by the tail, and
the rope had gone over his head like
a hoop, horns and all. Now he was
paying out to trip up the steer. How
they were running! Turk McGlory
ro.;'e suddenly in his saddle.
"Look out for the fence!" he roared.
But Bud had seen it, too, and the lit
tle roan squatted like a rabbit. The
steer, reaching the rope's end, doubled
up and fell —but fell against the fence.
There had not been quite room enough.
Bud was off saddle, and the little roan,
knowing well what was going on,
walked away like a man, pulling hard
on the rope to keep the steer down. If
it had been a larger steer, or a fatter
one, there would have been no trouble;
but this one fought like a cat, now on
its knees, now on its feet. Bud seized
it by the tail, and with a single fierce
toss he laid it flat, and he tied —and
arms up. Turk Mcpiory waited with
hands clenched to hear the time.
So Bud was beaten by a second, and
beaten because he didn't have a fair
field. How the crowd howled for the
Arizona champion. Bud came up smil
ing and unconcerned.
"Now, McGlory," he said, "you must
make a showing for Texas."
"What am I offered on Turk Mc-
Glory against the field?" shouted the
pool-seller. "Now's your last chance."
"Hurrah for the kid from Texas!"
shouted other voices.
Turk McGlory was at the line, aston
ished to find himself coiling his rope
with so much ease. He felt that he
wasn't doing it himself, but that some
one else was working in him. The sun
blazed hot on the field, but everything
seemed dim and indistinct. To him
all the voices kept shouting:
"Turk McGlory, Turk McGlory, Turk
"Hurrah for Texas and the calico
horse," came a shout from the grand
"Wait till they see you run, pinto,"
Turk said between his teeth, and the
pinto stirred nervously under him.
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"Ready," called Turk McGlory,
though not in Turk McGlory's voice.
He gave one glance behind him. The
grandstand was a picture of a girl in
blue and white; she was the picture,
all the rest was frame.
There was a clatter at the pen, and
the steer shot past him. Instantly he
saw all its points —horns, legs, tail —
and they spoke to him with the mean
ing of familiarity. So must the old
knight have looked for the points of
his adversary's armor. Now that he
was off, Turk's head cleared to his
The steer ran with hind feet swing
ing sideways, hog-like. He remembered
a steer in the Lazy A outfit that had
the same habit, and a bad one it was,
too. How strange that he should
think of such things at such a time!
The steer was swerving swiftly to the
left. The pinto, nose forward and dilat
ing, instantly slackened pace, swerv
ing in the same direction and cutting
off distance. It was much to have a
horse, pinto though he be, that knew
Turk's rope began to swing, but he
was wholly unconscious of it. He
seemed now to see only the legless
body of a steer swimming on a pillow
of dust. The fence! He saw it with
a throb, and he was yet too far off to
throw. And there was the grandstand
above it, and men rising, half in terror,
and a color of women.
The steer had swung almost round.
It was a low rail fence, and between
it and the grandstand lay the race
track. Dimly McGlory heard shouts
of warning. Would the steer plunge
into the stand? Dimly, too, glancing
back, he saw the other cowmen
charging after him to the rescue.
There was a crash; the steer had
gone through the fence as if it were
pasteboard, and the pinto was now
close behind. There was all too little
room here in the track. The steer
would evidently plunge full into the
crowd. Turk McGlory's arm shot for
ward, and the rope sped. The pinto
set sharply back, throwing McGlory
well over the pommel. To those in
the grandstand it seemed as if the
steer, all horns and eyes, was plucked
out of their faces. When they looked
again, McGlory was tying, and the
judges and the other punchers were
swarming through the gap in the
fence. Hands up, and the pinto easing
away on the rope! It was all lost, Mc-
Glory felt. The fence had been in the
way. Why couldn't they provide an
open field, as in Texas? These Ari
zona men couldn't conduct a contest.
The timer lifted his hand, and the
"Thirty-six seconds," he announced.
"What a fool of a timer," thought
Turk McGlory. "It can't be so."
Then he saw Bud Oliver stride up
with outstretched hand and a lump in
his throat. "Good boy!" said Bud.
"You've saved the day for Texas."
And then the crowd pounced on him,
and hooted and shouted: "McGlory!
McGlory!" until he was dizzy with it
all. It was not as he thought it would
be. Two hundred dollars won! And
he, Turk McGlory!
And then a saucy, flushed lace look
ed up at him.
"I knew you would do it, Mr. Texas,"
And with that she pinned a blue and
white ribbon on his vest, and he looked
oft over her head, and trembled.