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About The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 24, 1916)
THE 8EMI-WEEKLY TRIBUNE, NORTH PLATTE, NEBRA8KA.
A Fine Tale of the Open
Tfift time of the atorr: about 1875. The
place: The Texan coir country. The chief
character: Buckley Dunne, a young man
who has Inherited a I tut to kill, which tin
aupprosRoa. In self-defense he snoots dead
, drunken bully and Is forced to flee to
the wild cnantry where he Joins Bland's
outlaw Sand. Euchre, an amiable rascal,
tells Mm about Jennlt, a you tiff girl who
had been abducted and sold to Uland for a
tnd fate. They determine to rencue tho
arlrl and restore her to civilization. Ku
chre Is klllod. Buck kills Bland and is
dangerously wounded by Mrs, Uland. but
scapes with Jennto.
Considering all the domestic1
troubles, family scandals and
love affairs that turn out badly,
one mlqht be cynical Indeed
about tho power of woman's af
fection and trust to keep a man
on tho path of honor In the face
of alluring temptation. But
there comes Into Buck Duane'o
life a feminine Influence so flno
-as depicted by the author
that the reader of "The Lone
Star Ranger" cannot resist the
charm of It alt. If you want tho
cream of romance and adven-
turn, rfnn't miss this Inttf alfmAttf
CHAPTER X Continued.
Buck and Jenjiie are sitting in the
Wilderness cabin discussing their fu
ture. "I've been brought up In Testis. I
remember what n hnrd lot tho men of
Biy family had. But poor as they
Were, they had u roof over .their heads,
hearth with Arc, a warm bcl
Homebody to lore them. And .you,
Dunne oh, my Ood ! What must your
life bo? You must rldo, and hldo nud
She ended with a sob and dropped
Iter head on lior knees. Duano was
unitized, deeply touched.
"My girl, thank you for that thought
f me," he said, with a tremor In hla
tojee. "You don't know how much
that menus to ran."
She raised her face, and It was tear
sftatned, eloquent, beautiful.
"I've heard tell tho best of men
Co to tho bad ovt there, You won't,
promise mo yow won't I never
know any manHike you. I 1- wo
way novcr sco eh other again after
Jto-day. I'll never forget you. I'll pray
for you, and I'll never give up trying
to to do something. Don't despair.
It's never too late. It wns my hope
thai kept mo alive out there, at
Bland's beforo you came. I was only
it poor weak girl. But It I could hope
so can you. Stay away from men.
Be a lono wolf. Fight for your life,
fltlck out your exile and maybo
omo duy "
Then she lost tier voice. Duano
clasped her luind and with feeling as
deep as hers promised to remember
her words. la her despair for him sho
bad spoken wisdom pointed out tho
Dunne's vigilance, "momentarily
broken by emotion, had no sooner re
asserted Itself ttmn ho discovered tho
hoy horse, the one Jennie roilo, had
broken his halter and gone off. Tho
soft wet earth bad deadened the sound
of Ids hoofs. LIU tracks were plain
u the mud.
Dncue did not want to leavo Jennto
lono In tho cnbla so near tho road,
So he put her- oa his horso nnd hndo
, her follow. Th rain had ceased for
tho Unto being, though evidently tho
atonn was not yet over. Tho trilcks
led up n wash to a wide tint whero
wesqulte, prickly penr, nnd thorn-bush
grew so thickly that Jennlo could not
ride into IL IIo could not expect her
to Hcrutnblu quickly through that brake
on foot. Therefore ho decided to risk
leaving her at the edge of tho thicket
ami go tu nlono.
As lie went In a sound startled" Ulm.
WfttM It tho breaking of a branch Tib
Iha stepped on 6t thrust aside? Ho
4icnrJ the Impatient pound of his
Uiorso's hoofs. Then all was quiet.
Willi liu listened, not wholly sntlsllod,
lUo wns novcr satisOed Id regard to
fffeiy ; ho know too woll that thoro
HevereSu1(l bo snfoty for him In this
country. Certnln ho was now that
kotao klud of dangor threatened.
Suddenly there! came fiu unmistak
able thump of horses' hoofs off somo
where to tho fore. Then a scroain rent
4he air. It ended abruptly. Dunne
leaped forward, tore his way through
the thorny brake. lie heard Jennlo
(try again an appealing call quickly
pushed. It seemed, nioro to his right,
find he plunged that way. He hurst
Into a glade where a smoldering lire
and ground covered with footprints
.nd tracks showed thnt campers had
lately been. Bushing across this, ho
Broke his passage out to tho open
put he was too late. Ills horso hail
ftfJMupeared. Jennto was gone, TherU
were no riders In sight. There, was no
found. There was a heavy trail of
feorsea going north. Jennie had been
arrtc4 oft probably by outlaws
Dumie realised that pursuit was out
pt the question that Jennie was lost.
A. hundred tulles from tho haunts
af.imt fiihilllnr with Duune's deeds, far
Up wj.ffe the Nueces ruu a trickling
Lone Star Ranger
clear stream between yellow cliffs,
stood a small deserted shack of cover
ed mcRqiilte poles. It had been mado
long ngo, but was well preserved. A
door faced tho overgrown trail, and
another faced down Into a gorgo of
dense thickets. On tho bprder fugi
tives from law and men who hid In
fear of someone thoy lind wronged
never lived In hpuaeu with only ono
It was a wild spot, lonely, not lit
for human habitation except for tho
On clear dnys and rnre Indeed wero
cloudy days with the subsiding of tho
wind at sunset a hush seemed to fall
around tho little hut Far-distant dim
blue mountains stood gold-rlmmed
gradually to fade with the shading of
At this quiet hour a man climbed
up out of the gorge and sat In the
westward door of the hut. This lonely
watcher of tho west and listener to tho
silenco wns Duane. And this hut was
the ono whero, three years before,
Jennlo had nursed him back to life.
Tho killing of a man named Sellers,
and the combination of circumstances
that had mado tho tragedy a memor
able regret, had marked, if not n
change, at least n cessation In Dunne's
activities. IIo had trailed Sellers to
kill. him for the supposed abducting
of Jennie. Vague rumors, a few words
hero and there, unnuthcntlcatcd stor
ies wero nil that Duane had gathered
In years to substantiate his belief
that Jennlo died shortly after tho be
ginning of her second captivity.
Sellers might havp told him. Duano
expected, If not to force It from him
at the end, to rend It In his eyes. But
the bullet went too unerringly; It
locked his lips and fixed his eyes.
After that meeting Duane lny long
at tho ranch-house of n friend, and
when ho recovered from tho wound
Sellers had given htm ho started with
two horses and a puck for tho lonely
gorgo on tho Nueces. There he had
been hidden for months, n prey to re
morse, a dreumer, n victim of
It took work for him to find sub
sistence In that rocky fastness. And
work, action, helped to pass the hours.
But ho could not work all tho time,
oven If ho had found It to do. Then
In his Idle moments and at night his
task was to live with tho hell In his
Tho sunset nnd tho twilight hour
mado all tho rest bearable. The little
hut on tho rim of tho gorgo seemed to
hold Jennie's presence. It was not
as If ho felt her spirit If It had been
ho would hnvo been suru of her death.
Ho hoped Jennlo had not survived her
second misfortune; and that intenso
hopo hud burned Into belief, If not
A strnngo fcaturo of tills memory
of Jennlo was tho freshness of It tho
failure of years, toll, strife, death-
dealing to dim It to deaden tho
thought of what might have been. IIo
had a marvelous gift of visualization.
IIo could shut his eyes nnd see Jennlo
before him Just as clearly as If sho
had stood there In tho flesh. For
For Hours He Did That, Dreaming.
hours ht did that, dreaming, dreaming
of life he had never tasted and now
never would tusto. He thought of her
beauty and sweetness, of tho few
things which hud coiuo to mean to
him that sho must hnvo loved him;
and ho trained himself to think of
tbeao hi preference to her life at
Bland's, tho cscnuo with him. and
then her recapture, because such mem
ories led to bitter, fruitless puln. Ho
hud to fight suffering because It wuu
eating out his heart
Sitting there, eyes wide open ho
dreamed of tho old homestead and hla
whlte-hnlrnd mother. Ho saw tho old
homo-life, sweetenud and filled by dear
now fncea and added Joys, go on be
foro hla eyes with him 11 part of It
Then In tho luevltnblu reaction, In
tl?o rellux of bitter roulUy, ho yvould
send out n voiceless cry no less
poignant because It was silent:
"Poor fool I No, I shall never see
mother again never go home never
hnvc n home. I am Dunne, the Lono
A group of specters trooped out of
the shadows of dusk and, gathering
round him. escorted him to his bed.
Every one of his victims, singly nnd
collectively, returned to him for ever,
It seemed, In cold, passionless, accus
ing domination. They did not accuse
him of dishonor or cowardice or brutal
ity or murder; they only accused him
of death. It wns ns If they knew more
thnn when they were nllvc, had learn
ed thnt life wns n divine mysterious
gift not to ho taken. They thronged
about him with their voiceless clamor
ing, drifted around him with their
After nearly six months In tho
Nueces gorge the loneliness nnd Inac
tion of his life drove Duano out upon
tho trails seeking nnythlng rather
thnn to hide longer alone, a prey to
the scourge of his thoughts. The mo
ment he rode Into sight of men n rc
marlinblo transformation occurred In
him. A strange warmth stirred In him
a longing to see tho faces of people,
to hear their voices a pleasurable
emotion find nnd strange. But It vns
only n precursor of. his old bitter,
sleepless, and eternal vigilance.
Mercer was the first village ho rode
Into. Ho had many friends there.
Mercer claimed to owo Dunne n debt
On tho outskirts of tho vlllnge there
wns a grave overgrown by brush so
thnt the rude-lettered post which
mnrked It wua scarcely visible to
Dunne us he rode by. IIo had never
rend tho inscription. But he thought
now of Hardin. For mnny yenrs Hnrd
in hnd harassed the stockmen und
ranchers In nnd n round Mercer. On
un evil day for him ho or his outlaws
hnd bentcn nnd robbed u man who
onco succored Duano when soro In
need. Dunne met Hardin In the llttlo
plaza of the village, called him overy
nnmo known to border men, taunted
him to draw, and killed him In tho act
Dunne went to tho house of ono
Jones, u Texnn who hud known I1I3
father, nnd there he wns warmly re
ceived. The feel of an honest hnnd,
the voice of n friend, tho prnttlo of
children who wero not afraid of him1
or his gun, good wholesome food, and
changa of clothes theso things for
the time being mado n changed man
of Duane. To be sure, ho did not often
speak. The prlco of his head and the
weight of his burden made him silent
But cngcrly ho drank In nil the news
that was told htm. In the years of his
absence from homo he had never heard
n word nbout his mother or uncle.
Thoso who wero his real friends on
the border would have been tho hist'
to muko Inquiries, to write or recelvo
letters thnt might give n clue to
Duano remained nil duy with this
hospitable Jones, nnd ns twilight fell
wns loath to go and yielded to n press
ing Invitation to remain overnight It
wns seldom Indeed thnt punqe sjept
unfler a roof. Early In the evening,
while Duane sat on tho porch with two
awed and hero-worshiping sons of the
house, Jones returned from a quick
visit down to tho postoillcc. Summar
ily ho sent the boys off. He labored
under Intenso excitement
"Duane, there's rangers In town," he
whispered. "It's all over town, too,
that you're hero. You rodo In long
nfter sunup, Lots of pcoplo saw you. I
don't bellovo there's a mnu or boy that
'd squeal on you. But tho women
might". They gossip, and theso rangers
are handsome fellows devils with tho
"What company of rangers?" asked
"Company A, uudor Cnntnln Mac-
Nelly, that new ranger. Ho mado n
big nnmo In the war. And slnco he's
been lu tho range servlco he's dono
wonders. He's cleaned ui somo bad
places south, and he's working north."
"MucNelly. I've henrd of him. De
scribe him to me."
"Sllght-bullt chun. but wiry nnd
tough. Chum face, blnck mustncho nnd
hair. Shurp black eyes. He's got a
look of authority. MacNclly's u flno
man, Dunne. Belongs to a good
Southern family. I'd hate to have him
look y 1 up."
Dunne did not speak.
"MacNclly's got nerve, and his rang-
ers uro all experienced men. If they
And out you'ro hero they'll como after
you. MacNclly's no gun-flghtcr, but
he wouldn't hcsltuto to do his duty.
even If ho faced sure death. Which
ho would In this case. Dunne, you
mustn't meet Cuptnln MucNelly. Your
record Is elenn, if It Is terrible. You
nover met a ranger or any offlcer ex
cept a rotten sheriff now and then.
llko Itod Brown."
Still Duano kept silence. Ho wns
not thinking of dunger, but of tho fact
of how fleeting must bo his stay
"I've ulrcudy flxed up n puck of
grub," weut on Jones. "I'll slip out
to snddld your horse. You watch here."
Ho had scurcely uttered tho lust
words when Bort, swift footsteps
sounded on the hnrd path. A mun
A . 'l A 1 .... . . .
uiruuu m uio giue. Hie light was
dim, yet clear enough to disclose an
By ZANE GREY
unusually tall figure. When it ap
peared nearer ho was seen to ho walk
ing with both nrms raised, hands high.
He slowed his stride.
"Docs Burt Jones live here?" ho
asked, In a low, hurried voice.
"I reckon. I'm Burt What can I
do for you?" replied Jones.
The stranger peered, around, stealth-
lly came close- U1 with his hands up.
"It Is know;i that Buck Duane Is
here. Captain MucNelly's camping on
tho river just out of town. He sends
word to Duane to como out there after
The stranger wheeled nnd departed
ns swiftly nnd strangely as ho had
"Bust me 1 Dunne, whntever do you
mnko of that?" exclaimed Jones.
"A new one on me," replied Duane,
"First fool thing I ever heard of
MacNelly doing. Cun't mnke hend nor
talis of It. I'd have said off-hand
that MacNelly wouldn't double-cross
anybody. He struck mo n square man,
sand nil through. But hell I ho must
nicnn treuchery. I cun't see nnythlng
else In that deal."
"Mnybo the Captain wants to give
mo n fnlr chance to surrender without
bloodshed," observed Diwine. "Pretty
decent of him, If he mcunt that."
"IIo Invites you to come to his enmp
nfter dnrk. Something strange about
this, Dunne. But MncNelly's a new
man out here. IIo docs somo queer
things. Perhaps he's getting a swelled
head, Well, whatever his Intentions,
his presence around Mercer Is enough
for us. Duane, you lilt the road uud
piy; some miles between you and tho
umlnblc Ctiptnln before dnyllght. To
morrow I'll gg out there nnd ask hint
what In tho devil he meant"
"Thnt messenger he sent he was a
ranger," said Duane.
"Sure he was, nnd n nervy one! It
must have taken sand to come bracing
you that wny. Dunne, the fellow
didn't pnek n gun. I'll swear to that
Pretty odd, thls trlck. But you can't
trust It Hit the road, Duane."
A llttlo Inter n black horse with
muffled hoofs, bearing a tall dark rider
who peered keenly Into every shadow,
trotted down a pasture laue back of
Jones' house, turned Into tho road,
nnd then, breaking Into swifter gnlt,
rapidly left Mercer behind.
Next morning Duuue wns oft ngnln,
working south. During the next few
days' he paid brief visits to several
villages thnt lny in his path. And In
each some particular friend hud a
piece of news to Impart thnt made
Duane profoundly thoughtful. A
ranger hud mude 11 quiet, unobtrusive
call upon these friends and left tills
message, "Tell Buck Dunne to rldo
Into Cnptuln MucNelly's enmp some
time nfter night"
Dunne concluded, and his friends all
agreed with him, that the new ranger's
mnln purpose In the Nueces country
wns to capture or kill Buck Dunne,
and thnt this mcssugo wns simply an
oHglnul and striking ruse, the during
of which might nppcal to certain out
laws. But It did not nppcal to Duane. His
curiosity wns nrouscd ; it did not, how
ever, tempt him -to nny foolhardy net.
He turned southwest and rode a hun
dred miles until he ugaln reached tho
sparsely settled country. Here ho
heard no more of rangers.
He got Into rough country, rode for
three days without covering much
ground, but believed thnt ho wns get
ting on sufer territory. Twice ho cnino
to a wldo bottom-land green with wil
low nhd cottonwood and thick as
chaparral, somewhere through tho
mlddlo of which ran a river he de
cided must bo the lower Nueces.
Ono evening ns he stole out from
a covert whero he hnd cumped, ho saw
tho lights of a village. Ho tried to
pass It on tho left hut ns ho mounted
a rldgo he noted thnt tho rond mude a
sharp turn, nnd he could not see what
was beyond It. Ho slowed up uud
wns muklng the turn, which wns down
hill between high bnnks of yellow
clny, when his mettlesome horso henrd
something to frighten him or shied at
something nnd bolted.
Tho few bounds I16 took beforo
Duano's iron arm checked him wero
enough to reach tho curve. Ono
flashing glnnce showed Dunne the open
ouco more, n little valley below with a
wldo, shallow, rocky stream, a clump
of cottonwoods beyond, a somber
group of men facing him, and two
dark, limp strangely grotesque figures
hanging from branches.
The sight wus common enough In
southwest Texas, but Duane had never
before found himself so unpleasantly
A hoarse voice pcnled out: "By holll
thero's uuother one 1"
"Stranger, rldo down an' account fer
yourself 1" yelled unothcr,
, "Hands-up 1"
"Thet's right, Jack; don't take no
chances. Plug him 1"
Theso remarks were so swiftly ut
tered as almost to bo continuous,
Dunne was wheeling his homo when a
rifle cracked. The bullet struck his
left forearm and h thought broko It,
for ho dropped tho rolu. Tho frighten
ed horse leaped. Another bullet
whistled past Duane. Then the bend
In tho rond saved him probably from
certnln death. Like tho wind his fleet
steed went down tho long hill.
Dunno wns In no hurry to look bnck.
no knew what to expect His chief
concern of the moment wns for his
Injured arm. Ho found that the bones
were still Intact; but the wound, hav
ing been mado by a soft bullet, was an
exceedingly bud one. Blood poured
from It Giving tho horso his head,
Dunne wound his scarf tightly round
tho holes, nnd with teeth and hand
tied It tightly. That done, he looked
back over his shoulder.
Riders wero making the dyst fly on
the hlllsldo road. There were moro
coming round tho cut where the road
curved. Duane needed only one glnnce
to tell him thnt they wero fnst nnd
hard-rldlng cowboys In a land where
all riders are good. They would not
have owned nny but strong, swift
horses. Moreover, It wns a district
where ranchers hnd suffered beyond
nil endurance tho greed nnd brutality
of outlaws. Duano hnd simply been so
unfortunnto ns to run right Into a
lynching party at a time of nil times
when any stranger would be In dnngcr
nnd nny outlnw put to his limit to
escape with his life.
Duane did not look back again till
he had crossed the ridgy plcco of
ground nnd hnd gotten to the level
road. He had gained upon his pur
suers. When ho ascertained this ho
tried to save his horse, to check a little
thnt killing gnlt. This horse wns n
mngnlilcent animal, big, strong, fast;
but his endurance had never been put
to a grueling test And that worried
Dunno. His life had made It Im
possible to keep ono horse very long
at n time, and this one wns nn un
Dunne hnd only one plnn the only
plnn possible In this cuse nnd thnt
wns to make the river-bottoms, where
he might elude his pursuers In the
willow brakes. Fifteen miles or so
would brlug him to the river, nnd this
Was not a hopeless distance for any
good horso If not too closely pressed.
He began to hope and look for a trail
or a road turning off to right or left
There was none. A rough, mesqulte
dotted nnd yuccn-splred country ex
tended away on either side. Duane
believed thnt he would be compelled to
take to this hard going. One thing
wns certnln ho had to go round the
village. Tho river, however, was on
the outskirts of the village; and onco
In the willows, he would be safe.
Dust-clouds far ahead caused his
alarm to grow. He watched with his
eyes strained; he hoped to seo a
wagon, a few stray cattle. But no,
ho soon descried several horsemen.
Shots and yells behind him attested
to the fact that his pursuers likewise
had seen these newcomers on tho scene.
More than a mile scpnratejL.these two
parties "yet that distance did' notkeep
them from soon understanding each
other. Duuno wnltcd only to see thlsi
new fnctor show signs of sudden, quick
nction, and then, with a muttered
curse, he spurred his horse off tho
road Into, the brush.
He chose the right side, because the
river lay neurer that way and put his
horse to his best efforts, straight
ahead. He had to pass thoso men.
When this wns seemingly mude Im
possible by a deep wash from which
he had to tiyn, Duane begun to feel
cold nnd sick. Almost ho lost his hear
ings, nnd finally would hnve ridden
toward his enemies had not good
fortune favored him in the matter of
un open burned-over stretch of
Hero he saw both groups of pur
suers, one on each side and almost
within gunshot Their sharp yells, as
much as his cruel spurs, drove his
horso Into that puco which now meant
life or dentli for him. And never hnd
Dunne bestrode a gamer, swifter,
stuncher beast He seemed nbout to
accomplish the impossible. In tho
drugging sund ho wus fur superior to
uny horse In pursuit, nnd on this suudy
open stretch he gained enough to spuro
a little In tho brush beyond. Heated
now und thoroughly terrorized, ho kept
the pace through thickets that utmost
tore Dunne from his saddle. Some
thing weighty and grim eused off
Duane. Ho was going to get out In
front 1 Tho horso hud speed, fire,
A race begnn then, a dusty, crashing
drive through gray mesqulte. Duane
could scarcely see, he was so blinded
by stlngiug branches across his eyes.
Tho hollow wind roared In his cars.
IIo lost Ids seuso of the nearness of
his pursuers. But they must have
been close. Did they shoot at him? Ho
Imagined ho heard shots. But that
might have been tho cracking of dead
snags. His left ami hung limp, al
most useless; he handled the rein
with Ids right; and most of the time
he hung low over the pommel.
Suddenly he burst out of 11 lino of
mesqulte Into tho roud. A long Btretch
of lonely roudl How fiercely, with
hot, strange Joy, he wheeled his horbc
upon It I Then he wus sweeping along,
sure now that ho wns out in front.
His horse still hud strength und speed,
but showed signs of breaking. Pre-
1 sently Dunno looked bnck. Pursuers- -j
he could not count how many wero
oping along In his renr. Ho paid no
moro attention to them, nnd with teeth
sat he faced nhend, grlmmor now in
h'.s determination to foil them.
Sight of tho vlljago ahead surprised
Dunne. He reached It sooner thnn ht
expected. Then ho mndo a discovery
he hnd entered the zono of wlro fences.
As ho dnrcd not turn bnck now, ho
kept on, intending to rldo through the
vlllnge. Looking bnckwnrd, he saw
thnt his pursuers wero half a mllo
dlstunt, too far to nlarm any villagers
In tlmo to Intercept him In his flight
As ho rode by tho first houses hh
horse broko and began to labor.
Dunne did not believe he would lasl
long enough to gq through tho Tillage.
Saddled horses In front of a store
gave Duane an Idea, not by nny means
new, und ono ho had carried out suc
cessfully before. As he pulled In his
heaving mount and leaped off, a couple
of ranchers enmo out of tho place, and
one of them stepped to a clean-limbed,
The Sight Was Common Enough,
fiery bay. Ho was about to get into
his saddle when he saw Duane, and '
hen he halted, a foot In the stirrup.
Duuno strodo forwnrd, grasped tin
bridle of this man's horse.
"Mine's done but not killed," he
panted. "Trade with me."
"Wul, stranger, I'm shore always
ready to trade," drawled the man.
"But ain't you a little swift?"
Duane glanced back, up the road.
His pursuers were entering tho vlllnge.
"I'm Duuue Buck Duunc," he cried,
mcnnclngly. "Will you trade7 Hurry I"
Tho rancher, turned white, dropped
his foot from tho stirrup and fell back.
"I reckon I'll trade," ho said.
Bounding up, Duane dug spurs Into
the bay's flunks. The horse snorted
In fright, plunged into a run. He was
fresh, swift, half wild. Duane flashed
by the remaining houses on the street
out into the open. But tho road ended
at that village or else led out from
some other qunrter, for he had ridden
straight Into the fields and from them
Into rough desert When he readied
the cover of mesqulte once more he
looked buck to And six horsemen with
in rifle shot of him, and more coming
His" new horse had not had tinio to
get warm before Duune reached a high
sandy bluff below which lay the willow
brakes. As far as he could seo extend
ed an immense flat strip or red-tinged
willow. How welcome it was to his
eye I He felt llko a hunted wolf that,
weary and lame, had reached his hole
In the rocks. Zigzagging down the
soft slope, he put the bay to the dense
wall of leaf und oranch. But tho
There was lltle tlmo to lose. Dis
mounting he dragged tho stubborn
beast into the thicket This was
harder and slower work than Duane
cared to risk. If he had not been rush
ed he might have had better success.
So he had to abandon the horse n
circumstance that only such sore
straits could have driven him to. Then
ho went slipping swiftly through the
Ho had not got under cover any
too soon. For he heard his pursuers
piling over the bluff, loud-voiced, con
fident brutal. They crashed into the
"HI, Sid 1 Henh's your boss I" called
one, evSdently to the man Dunne hnd
forced Into a trade.
"Say, If you locoed gents '11 hold up
a llttlo I'll tell you Bomcthln'," replied
a voice from tho bluff.
"Come on, Sid! We've got him
corralled," said tho first speaker.
"Wul, raebbc, an' if you hev It'a lia
ble to bo dnmn hot. Thet feller was
Absolute silenco followed that state
ment Presently It was broken by a
rattling of looso gravel and then low
"Ho can't git acrost tho river, I tell
you," came to Dunne's ears. "He's
corralled In tho brake. I know thot
Then Doane, gilding silently and
svriftly through the willows, heard no
more from his pursuers. He headed"
straight for the river. Threading a
passage through n vtllow brake was
an old tr.rik for him. Many dnys nnd
nights had gone to tho ncratrtng of a
skill that might hnvo been envied by
Do you believe that Captain
McNelly Is trying to lure Duane
to his camn at nloht time In
der to shoot him from ambush?
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