The frontier. (O'Neill City, Holt County, Neb.) 1880-1965, July 31, 1941, Image 3

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    By* At AN LI MAY
W. N.U. Release
Dusty King and Lew Gordon had built
up a vast string of ranches in the West.
Ktng was killed by his powerful and un
scrupulous competitor. Ben Thorpe. Bill
Roper. King's adopted son, was deter
mined to avenge his death in spite of
opposition by his sweetheart, Jody Gor
don, and her father. Roper’s successful
raids against Thorpe's Texas holdings
wiped him out of the state. When Roper
visited Jody one night, she almost con
temptuously called him a cattle thief
and gunman. His determination un
changed, he now turned his attention
toward Thorpe's ranches In Montana.
Jody was secretly visited by Shoshone
Wllce. one al Roper’s men, who warned
that her father's life was In danger.
Jody Gordon’s eyes had darkened
In the dusk, making her face seem
very pale. “What do you want me
to do?”
Shoshone Wilce shrugged. “That
ain’t hardly up to me, Miss Gordon.
But I’ll tell you this: many’s the
time I’ve seen your father go stomp
ing down the board walk right here
in Ogallala, alone, and not even
armed. That won’t do, Miss Gor
don. If I was in your place, I
wouldn’t never let him out of the
house without his gunbelt is strapped
on, and the iron free in its leather.
And wherever he goes, there ought
to be three or four good hard-shoct
ing cowboys with him; because, if
I know Ben Thorpe, he isn't going
into any gunflght alone!"
Jody peered at him intently.
“What made you bring this word to
“I’m a Bill Roper man," Shoshone
Wilce said. “God knows, Miss Gor
don, stringing with Bill Roper has
never done anything for me. But—
well, I just thought Bill Roper would
want you to know. I kind of got the
idea he thinks a heap of you, Miss
And now another pony came slash
ing up to the corral. One of the load
ing foremen had come in.
“I got to be getting along,” Sho
shone Wilce said quickly.
She turned away, but instantly
turned back again, and gripped Sho
shone’s arm just as he was sliding
out of sight.
“Stay around,” she ordered him.
“Stay here until—”
"Miss Gordon,” came the quick
whisper, 'T’ve got to get on to
Miles City. I—”
“I thought so. Bill Roper’s some
where up there, isn’t he? Yes. Well,
I’m going to join my father there—
I’ll ride with you in the morning.”
“Four hundred miles! And no
coach until—”
“Don’t worry about that. It takes
saddle ponies to make time.”
“But—I’m afraid your Paw might
“I don’t know how Bill Roper ever
used you,” Jody said with contempt.
Shoshone winced. “I — I’ll be
He faded into the shadows as Jody
walked out of the stable, her eyes
hard and bright in the dusk.
Bill Roper sat alone at a rear ta
ble in the Palace Bar, in Miles City
—the young, turbulent center of a
vast, raw range, the possibilities of
which were still unknown.
For three months Roper had rid
den through the bitter Montana win
ter. It had been no trouble for him
to sweep together a dozen malcon
tent cowboys who hated Lasham or
Thorpe, or both. Already they knew
Bill Roper’s name.
Against their common enemy
these youngsters could be led, wild,
reckless and crazy for raid; and
Roper had led them as Texas had
taught him.
His new northern wild bunch faced
conditions in many ways bitterly ad
verse. Here in the north were no
ousted cattlemen, no established
population to which he could look for
help. The Canadian border was far
away, and no market awaited the
hard-pushed herds on the other side.
What Montana had that Texas did
not have was a concentration of In
dian tribes, principally Sioux and
Cheyenne, deprived of their hunting
grounds, and dependent for food
upon beef which the government
was pledged to supply. It was to
this circumstance that Roper had
The giant beef contracts which the
government threw upon the market
had inevitably attracted more than
one kind of graft. The result was
famine—pitiful, relentless. Starva
tion stalked through the lodges of
the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Crow
—and with it, Roper’s opportunity.
Scouring the country, Roper
turned up four Indian agents who
were already badly scared. They
had overplayed their hands, and
were now faced with a loss of life
among their charges about which
they could do nothing without re
vealing their own corrupt inefficien
cy. These men had connived with
Lasham in bringing about a condi
tion of tribal starvation; they were
willing to connive with Bill Roper
to cover up their position in any
way they could.
By delivering beef to the reserva
tions under these highly irregular
conditions, Roper’s wild bunch could
little more than make expenses. But
the advantage was this—a beef herd
delivered to an Indian tribe disap
peared over night, leaving little
trace. A thousand hands skinned
out the beef, destroying the portions
of the hides containing the brands.
Constantly changing horses, per
petually in the saddle, Roper’s sad
dle hawks swung across Montana.
They first struck at Muddy Bend,
picking up four hundred head of
steers in the breaks of the Yellow
stone. Three days' hard driving de
livered these to a village of Assinl
boine. Only four days later they
were on the flats of the Little Thun
der, far away. Here, struggling
through a soft blinding snow, they
ran off five hundred head, and a few
days later three hundred more. They
Christmased in company with a herd
of lifted steers somewhere between
Three Sleep and the Little Powder;
and New Year’s found them sifting
the pick of Lasham'a cattle out of
his Lost Soldier range.
By the end of January they had
moved three thousand head—the
very cream of the wintering stock.
Repeatedly they had driven cattle
incredible distances in impossible
Yet he knew his work had only
begun. All their hard riding would
fail of effect unless he could strike
such a smashing blow as would
cause a split between Lasham and
Ben Thorpe.
And Roper had a plan—rash in
scope and method, but savage in ef
fect if it could be fulfilled. Already
he had enough riders in sight to
strike this last desperate blow. But
the men available to his purpose
were wild-eyed fighting kids who
could not be driven and could
scarcely be led; Roper could not
captain his campaign alone. So now
he fretted in Miles City, seeking
three or four outlaw leaders who
would make his preparations com
Still studying everyone who came
into the bar, Roper broke open a
They first struck at Muddy Bend.
deck of cards and laid out a hand of
Now one of the dance hall girls
came to his table, slipping uninvited
into a chair. This was a girl whose
attention bothered and embarrassed
Roper every time he came here.
Her name was Marquita.
He didn’t know what attracted her
to him; he didn’t know what attract
ed any particular woman to any
particular man. It may be that his
very disinterest was what caught
her attention first, and later gave
him the desirability of the unobtain
She spoke to him now in a quiet,
lifeless voice. “Why don’t you like
“I like you all right,” he said.
“No, you don’t. You don’t even
see me at all.”
He noticed now that she looked
different tonight; and after a mo
ment he recognized that this was
because there was no paint on her
face. That would be because he dis
liked paint—though he had no idea
how she had found that out. Her
washed face was a perfectly sym
metrical oval set with black eyes a
little slanted, and her black hair,
parted in the middle, was drawn
back severely, in the fashion of the
mestizo girls of the Texas border.
She leaned toward him now, and
spoke rapidly, her voice low and
compelling. “Listen—I hate Walk
Lasham, too.”
“Listen,” she insisted. “You have
to listen to me. Walk Lasham’s in
town. He came in this afternoon.”
So, Roper thought, the time had
come to move on again, with his
work undone. He didn’t like it,
“Well, thanks,” he said; ‘T’m glad
to know.”
“He knows you’re here—and what
you’re here for.”
“I suppose he does,” Roper said.
“You’re waiting here for Lash
am,” she accused him. “You know
he’ll come here. You’re going to try
shooting it out—”
Roper shrugged and was silent.
“Bill, it’s hopeless! Walk Lasham
is the fastest gunfighter in the
Roper shrugged again. “Walk
wants no fight with me."
"You’re going to force the fight
yourself! That’s what you’ve been
waiting here for, ever since you
came to Miles City. Any moment
Lasham may walk in that door—”
Marquita sat staring at him hope
lessly, in her eyes a fixity of devo
tion which his taciturnity seemed to
increase. Against his will he was
becoming something that was hap
pening to Marquita.
He remained silent; and, in a lit
tle while, she went away.
An hour passed, while Roper,
drinking slowly, played his solitaire
and watched the door.
Then suddenly Marquita was
back. She came behind his chair to
speak close to his ear in a panicky
whisper. "He’s coming! He’s com
ing along the walk—”
"All right."
“Walk has two of his men with
him," she said rapidly. "You
haven’t a chance, not a ghost of a
chance. I can’t bear to see you
killed! I know you don’t care any
thing about me. If you did I'd go
anywhere in the world with you.
But now you have to come out of
here—quick—by the back way. I’ll
do anything—”
Roper turned his head to look up
into her face, very close to his.
There was more to this girl than
there was to the rest of her kind.
Even now he was unable to recog
nize that Marquita was capable of
a sincerity of purpose, and a pas
sionate preoccupation in her pur
pose, not to be expected here. “I
wouldn’t step aside two feet," he
told her, "to pass Walk or any man.
I tell you, Walk won’t fight!"
Suddenly she whimpered. Bill
Roper saw that three men had come
into the front of the Palace Bar.
The first of the three, a dark, lean
man with wide, bowed shoulders,
was Walk Lasham.
Marquita caught Bill’s head in her
arms, forced up his chin, and kissed
him. He was surprised at the unex
pected softness of her lips, hot
against his mouth. Then abruptly
Marquita stooped, and as she sprang
away from him he felt the weight of
his gunbelt ease. She flung over
her shoulder, “It’s for your own
sake!" Her face was white, fright
He half started up, in instant
anger, but the girl was running
down the room. He saw her put
something under the bar, and he
knew it was his gun.
Roper rang his whiskey glass upon
the table, trying to catch a bar
tender’s eye. If Lasham had not
seen what the girl had done, one of
them could bring him his gun be
fore it was too late. But the bar was
thronged; the bartenders were work
ing fast, in the thick of the evening
The bar-flies had made room for
Walk Lasham at the end of the bar,
and Lasham and his two cowboys
had their heads together now, con
One of the cowboys, a man with a
scar across his face that distorted
his mouth in the manner of a hare |
lip, went quickly behind the bar,
hunted beneath it. and returned to
Walk. Roper saw Lasham’s long
face set! He said to himself, “Walk
knows ...”
Walk Lasham was fiddling with
his empty glass on the bar, and the
scar-mouthed man was watching
Roper covertly with one eye from
under the brim of his hat. Lasham j
reached for a bottle, filled his glass,
tossed it off. Then he turned square
ly toward Roper, and came walking
back through the big room.
Roper played his cards, his hands
visible upon the table. It seemed to
take Lasham a long time to walk
the length of the room. Roper
glanced at the lookout chair, where
a salaried gun-fighter usually sat.
It was empty now.
Walk Lasham was standing in
front of him.
‘‘So you,” he said, “are the tough
gunman that’killed Cleve Tanner.”
Bill Roper raised his eyes to Walk
Lasham’s face. "And you,” he said,
“are one of the. dirty cowards that
murdered Dusty King.”
A hush had fallen upon the room,
unbroken by the clink of a glass or
the rattle of a chip. Lasham and
Roper looked at each other through
a moment of silence.
He dropped his eyes to Roper’s
hands, and his own right hand start
ed a tentative movement toward the
butt of his gun. His spread fingers
shook a little as his hand crept down.
But he was grinning now, sure of
his ground.
“Looks a little different to you
now, huh?”
“A coyote always looks like a coy
ote to me.”
The smile dropped from Lasham’s
face. “I’m going to give you every
chance,” he said. His voice swung
in even rhythms, low and sing-song.
"I’m going to count five. Draw and
fire any time you want to; because
on five I’m going to kill you where
you sit.”
"I don’t think you are.”
“One; two—’’ Lasham said.
Slacks and Shorts Outfits
Styled for Every Occasion
'T'HE vogue for slacks
and shorts outfits
has developed into one
of the most significant,
outstanding move
ments in the field of
modern costume de
sign. Beginning some
few seasons ago as a mere experi
ment, the new mode of costume to
day flings a challenge to designers
to give their best to a movement
that is advancing in leaps and
bounds to unqualified acceptance
by women everywhere, women who
recognize the chic, the comfort and
the ease that slack costumes offer.
A few seasons ago the wearing of
slacks was restricted to certain
time, place and occasion and If you
ventured beyond a prescribed pro
gram you were made to feel con
spicuous. Nowadays slacks cos
tumes are so generally worn, noth
ing less than a whole wardrobe of
slacks is.required in order to keep
up with the social and fashion de
mands of the times.
Impetus has also been given to the
slacks costume movement owing
to the spreading of interest in civil
ian defense works which is creating
a new and most exciting demand
for slack outfits, because of the need
of durable workaday clothes.
Among college girls who are taking
courses in "emergency mechanics,”
there is a call for trouser costumes
and coveralls made of denim, gab
ardine and other sturdy materials
that will be increased as the fall
school terms begin.
However, the workaday idea is
but a single phase and a very recent
development of the slacks-trousers
costume theme, and there will be
much to say later in this regard.
Just now a most fascinating story is
being unfolded at vacation resorts
and amid home environs, a story so
thrilling in interest and so wide in
scope it carries through from sun
up to sun-up all through the 24
hours of a calendar day and night.
And so, while the vacation spirit
is going strong throughout the na
tion, fancy turns to cool sleek
streamline types such as the trim
suit pictured to the right. Tailored
with precision and cut to give the
style-correct streamline silhouette,
this is a type that makes instant
appeal to best-dressed women.
Over this smart outfit the wearer
tosses one of those short wool jack
ets, the rage at resorts this sum
In the same category as this
“classy” slacks suit are the ex
quisitely tailored jacket and slacks
suits. Fashioned of gabardine for
the most part in fetching pastel
greens, violet shades, soft blues and
dusky pinks. There is a nicety and
finesse about these suits that indi
cate genuine refinement and appeal
ing femininity. See the pert little
play suit pictured above to the right.
The entire outfit is made of waffle
pique with large stars in red and
Shown to the left in the back
grounds a slacks suit that answers
the call of both chic and comfort.
It is a navy blue gabardine with a
white boxy jacket, falling loosely
over the slacks.
On a hot midseason day, it’s
butcherboy pajamas in checked per
cale (pictured to the left). They will
give you much comfort and ease.
(Released by Western Newspaper Union.)
Button-On-V estee
Soon the time will come when
college and back-to-school ward
robes will be the paramount theme
in every household where school
faring daughters live. Why not look
ahead and, in Idle vacation days,
make up a simple basic wool dress
and brief jacket which will serve
as a suit for a “starter” on the fall
clothes program. The costume pic
tured will prove ideal as a many
purpose outfit.
Button-on vestee is in crisp white
pique and really very easy to copy.
Bright metal buttons make a smart
trim for the dress when the vestee
is removed. To give your costume
a final fillip, knit a smart turban
in white sports yarn.
Quills and Feathers
To Feature Fall Hats
There is much novelty in the new
hat arrivals. The tendency is to
manipulate fabrics in intriguing and
original ways. Among the fabrics
used often is jersey, with an an
gora finish and milliners are creat
ing draped turbans and toques of
long scarf effects in lacy feather
weight woolknit manufactured espe
cially for millinery purposes. These
scarfed novelties will also be worked
into snoods and apron drapes at
the back of hats.
Look for quills and feathers ga
lore, for they are "on the way.” Not
one quill but several, will appear
dramatically posed on a beret or
turban or novelty shape. Feather
adorned felt hats will be very popu
lar this fall.
Bretons still maintain as a favor
ite type in the simpler and wider
brim felts. Sometimes these will
have a crochet edge instead of a rib
bon binding
Belts Cleverly Handled
Reduce Waistline Span
In the march toward smooth sil
houettes designers are manipulating
belts in subtle ways. The latest
move is to inset the belt in a svelte
graceful midriff treatments. When
shopping for the new gown take note
of this, for it is surprising how this
technique takes away inches from
the waistline span.
Braided Effects
Much braiding is appearing
throughout late summer fashions.
It is said this matter of using braid
ed trimmings will be accentuated
throughout fall fashions. An inter
esting reaction to the call for braid
ed effects will be hats with braid
work on off-face brims that corre
sponds with braiding on jacket or
ITS the new frock young Ameri
4 ca loves. You’ll see it every
where this summer in washable
prints. Calico, percale, gingham,
broadcloth and chambray are
ideal for it. The style glorifies fem
inine charms, with its low cut
square neckline, full gathered bod
We Misfits
We shall generally find that the
triangular person has got into the
square hole, the oblong into the
triangular, and a square person
has squeezed himself into the
round hole.—Sydney Smith.
ice, tight girdle waistband, girl
ish puffed sleeves and billowy
gathered skirt. Wear it with •
choker necklace of bright colored
• • •
Pattern No. 8968 is in sizes 12 to SO.
Size 14 requires yards 36-inch fabric
without nap; 714 yards ric rac to trim it
as sketched. For this attracUve pattern,
send your order to:
Room 1324
311 W. Wacker Dr. Chicago
Enclose 13 cents in coins for
Pattern No.Size..
■ ■■ii i ii ■ ■ i . i. i . . -
Not Standing Still
Men cannot be stationary. If a
man is not rising to be an angel,
depend upon it he is sinking down*
wards to be a devil.
shTknows ...
• Fluffy cakes, crisp
waffles, tasty muffins
... ALL your favorite
recipes actually com
out better when Clabber
Girl is used
Test With Reason
Reason is the test of ridicule—
not ridicule the test of truth.—
Sensibility’s Hands
Sensibility would be a good por
tress if she had but one hand;,
with her right she opens the door
to pleasure, but with her left to
i pain.—Colton.
♦Based on actual sales records
from Army Post Exchanges
and Sales Commissaries. Navy
Ships' Stores, Ships' Service
Stores, and Commissaries.
than the average of the 4 other largest*
selling cigarettes tested—less than any
of them—according to independent
scientific tests of the smoke itself!