The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923, June 28, 1923, Image 2
BED CLOUD, NEBRASKA, CHIEF The Light of tPestem Stars "" -4r V Tv.OTYlcl.Tl.CG I successful Issue. Once inorft, for thei I If VT ..v ...... ww "KyC J hundredth time, the lunn'a rellublllty anar MEETS WEST II "Ar Tlii T-mn firmi "K struck Madeline, lie was n door oi AST MEETS WEST SYNOI'SIS.-ArrlvlnR lit the tono ly little railroad atritlon at El Ca inn, New Mexico, Madeline Ham ntond. Now Yorlc noddy Klrl, nridn n5 one to meet her. While In the waltlnff ro..n, b drunken cowboy cntcrH, rh)s If sho Ib married, and dtpartH, leiivlnj? her turrllled. Ho returna with a piient. who koou through some sort of rcremony. and the cowboy fori en her to say "81." Asklnc her namo and learn InK her Idnntlty the cowboy bcoiiih dared. In n nhootliiK scrapo out- . Mdo tho room n. Mexican In Killed. Tho cowboy lets n Klrl. Honlta, talto htn borso nnd uhc.ii c tlion conduit Madeline to riorence KliiKBley; friend of her brother. Kloreneo welcomes her, learns her Htory, nnd dlsmln.ie.H tlm cowboy, One Stewart. Next day Alfred Hammond, Madeline's brother, lal(H Stewart to tank. Madeline exonerate him of nny wronR In tent. Alfied. nclon of n wealthy fatidty. hail been dismissed from hli home lieraimo of Ilia dlH.slptitlon. Madeline sees that tho Went has r deemed him. She meets .Stlllwell, Al's employer, typical western ranchman. Stlllwell tells her bow Stejvait beat up the Hherlff to Hive her from arrest nnd then lit out for the border, ihinny Mains, one of StlllweH'H cowboys, has dlsap peaied, with some of BtlllweU'H money. Ills friends link IiIb namo ullji the Klrl llonlta. Madeline. KCts a Kllmpso of llfo on a western rnmh. Stewart sends Madeline his hoiMj Majesty. She buys out Still well and "Her Majesty's Hancho" beiomes famous. She tlnds her llfo work under "The Until of Western Staro." U'lirnltijr Stewart had been hurt In a brawl at Chlrlcnhua, Madeline visits him and persuades blm to como to tho ranch as tho boss of ber cowboys. Jim Nols, Nick Steclo and "Monty" 1'rlcn nro Mndellnu's chief riders, They have a feud with Don Carlos' vaqueros, who nro roally K'teulllas. Made line makes Stewart promlsu that pcaco Is kept. Thoy raid Don Car Ion' ranch for coutrnbiiud arms. Madeline nnd Florence, returning homo from Alfied's ranch, run Into an nmbush of vaipioros. Kloiunce decoys them away, and Madeline Bets home safely. A raldlnn Kuer rllla hand carries off Madeline. Stewnrt follows alone. Ho releases the Klrl, nrratiKhiK for ransom. Uo turnliiK homo with Stewart, Made line finds herself strangely Btlircd. CHAPTER XI Continued. 9 "I've done the service. Only don't mention pay to me. lint there's one thine I'd like you to know, nnd I 11ml It hard to say. It's prompted, 'maybe, by what I know yon think of me and what I Imut'lno your family nnd friends would think If they knew. It's not prompted by prhlu or conceit. And It's this : Such u woman as you should never have come to this Godforsaken country unless trim meant to forget herself. Hut ns you did come, and hh you wero dragged away by those dev lis, I want you to know that nil your wealth and position and Influence nil that power behind you would never linvo saved you from hell tonight. Only Mich n man ns Nels or Nick Steele or I could have done that." MnriollM; Hammond felt the grent levellnu force of tho truth. Whatever the difference between her and Stew nrt. or whatever tho Imagined differ ence set up by false standards of class und culture, the truth was that here on this wild mountain-side she was only u woman and ho was simply a man. It was n man that she needed, und If her choice could have been con sidered In this extremity It would hae fallen upon hltu who had just faced her In quiet, hitter speech. Here was food for thought. "I reckon we'd better start now," he said, and drew the horse to a large rock. "Come." Madeline's will grently exceeded her strength. For the llrst time she nc kunwicrigcil to herself that she had been hurt. Still, she did not feel much pain except when she moved her shoul der. Once In the saddle, where Stew art lifted her, she drooped weakly. Tho way was rough ; every step the horse tool; hurt her; and tho slope of the ground threw her forward on the pommel. "Here Is the trail," said Stewnrt, nt length. Not far from that point Madellno swayed, and but for Stewart's support would have fallen from the saddle. She heard hhn swear under his breath. , 'Were, this won't do," he said. "Throw your leg over the pommel. The other one there." Then, mounting, he slipped behind her nnd lifted and turned her, and then held ber with his left arm so that she lay across the saddle and his knees, her head against his shoulder. As the horse started Jnto a rapid walk Madeline gradually lost all pain and discomfort when she relaxed her muscles. Presently she let herself go unit lay Inert, greatly to her relief. I'or n little while she seemed to be half drunk with tho gentle swaying of n hammock. Her mind became at once dreamy nnd active, ns If It thought fully iccorded the slow, soft Impro.v slons pouring In from all her senses. Shu could not believe the evidence of the day's happenings. Would any of her people, her friends, ever believe It? Could sho tell It? She remem bered tho ghoulish visages of those starved rebels, and marveled at her blessed foYtuno In escaping them. Stewart's arrival In tho glade, tho ' courage with which ho had faced tho outlnwed men, grew as real to her now as the Iron arm that clasped her. Had It been nn Instinct which hnri Impor tuned her to save this tuan when he lay III and hopeless In the aback nt Qhlrlcahua? In helping him had sho hedged round her forces that had Jusl operated snv ker Uf. w If not TJtj Zane Copyright by Harptr (lint, inoro than llfo wns to her? She believed bo. A heavy lutiguor, like u blanket, be gan to stunl upon her. She wnverod nnd drifted. With tho lust half-con-ncIous sense of a mullled throb nt her our, n something Intangibly sweet, deep-toned, und strange, llko it distant calling boll, Hho foil asleep with her head on Stcwurt's breast. -. '.'-. CHAPTER XII Friends From tho Eaot Throe days after ber return to the ranch Madeline could not dkeover nny physical discomfort ns n tcmlnder of ber adventurous experiences. If It had nn been for the quiet nnd persistent guardianship of hor cowboys sho might almost have forgotten Hon Cnrios t nd Ihe rnhlers. Madeline wiw assured of the .splendid physical fitness to which this much life had developed ber, und (hat she was assltnllntlng something or tho Western disregard of danger. A hard ride, an nccldent, n day In the sun und dust, nn adventure with out laws tlu'se might onco have been unit tors of latge Import, but now for Madeline they were in order with all the rest of her changed life. There was never a day that some thing Interesting was not brought to her notice. Slllwell, who hud cease lessly repronched himself for riding uwny the morning Madellno wns cap tured, grew more like an anxious par ent than u faithful superintendent. He wns never nt ease regarding her unless lie wns near the ranch or had left Stewart there, or cine Nols nnd Nick Steele. Naturally, he trusted more to Stewart than to nny one else. "Miss Majesty, It's suro amazln strange nbottt Gene," said tho old cat tleman, us ho tramped Into Madeline's olllce. "Whnt's tho matter now?" sho In quired. "Wal, Gene hns rustled off Into the mountains again. He's sneaked off, an' Nols, who wns down to the lower trail, saw him meet somebody that looked like Padre Marcos. Wal, I went .town to tho church, und, sure enough, I'ariro Marcos Is gone. Whnt do you think of that, Miss Majesty?" "Maybo Stewart Is getting religious," laughed Madeline. "Let him take his mysterious trips Into the mountains. Here, Stlllwell, I have news for you that inny give you reason for worry. I have letters from home. And my sis ter, with n party of friends, Is coming out to visit me. They are society foil;, and one of them Is an Kngllsh lord. Let me read you a few extracts from my mall." Madeline took up her sister's letter with n strange sensation of how eas ily sight of a crested monogrnni nnd scent of riellcntoly perfumed paper could recall tho brilliant llfo she had given up. Sho scanned the pages of beautiful handwriting. Helen seldom wrote letters, und she never road tiny- For a Little While She Seemed to Be Half Drunk With the Gentle Sway Ing of a Hammock. tiling, not oven popular novels of the day. Sho was ns absolutely Ignorant of the West as tho Englishman, who, rdie said, expected to hunt buffalo and fight Indians. Moreover, there was u satiric note In the letter that Made line did not like, und which roused her spirit. When she finished reading aloud n few paragraphs tho old cattleman snorted nnd his face grew redder. "Hid your sister write that?" ho asked. "Hoes sho think we're u lot of wild men from llorneo?" "Evidently she does. I rather think she la In for n surprise. Now, Stlll well, you nre clever and you can se the situation. I want my guests to on Joy their stay here, but I do not want that to bo at the expense of the feel ings of all of us, or oven nny one. Helen will bring n lively crowd. They'll crnvo excitement tho unusual. Let us seo that they nro not disap pointed. You take tho boys Into your conlldence. Tell them what to expect, and tell them how to meet it. I shall help you In that. I want the boys to be on dress-uurnrie when they ure off Qroij and Brothers duty. I want them to bo on their most elegant behavior. I do not care whnt thoy do, what measures they take to protect themselves, what tricks they contrive, so long as they do not overstep tho limit of kindness and courtesy. I want them to pluy their parts seriously, naturally, ns If they had lived no other way. My guests expect to have fun. Let us moot them with fun. Now whnt do you sny?" Stlllwell rose, his great bulk tower ing, his huge faco beaming. "Wal, I suy It's the most nmnzlti' fine Ideo I ever hcord In my life." "Indw.il, I inn glad you like It," went on Madeline. "Come to mo ngaln, Stlllwell, after you hnvo spoken to the boys. Hut, now that I huvo sug gested It, I am n little nfruld. You know what cowboy fun Is. Perhaps" "Don't you go bad; on that Idee," Interrupted Stlllwell. Ho wns nssttr Ing nnd bland, but his hurry to con vlnco Madellno betrayed hlin. "Leave tho boy to me. Why, don't they nil swenr by you, snino ns tho Mexicans do to tho Virgin? They won't disgrace you, Miss Majesty. They'll be simply Immense. It'll beat any show you ever seen." "I believe It will," replied Mudellne. "Very well, wo will consider It settled. My guests will arrive on May ninth. Meanwhile let us get Her Mnjesty's Ituncho In shapo for this Invasion." On the afternoon of the ninth of May, perhaps half nn hour nfter Made line had received u telephone message from Link Stevens announcing the ur rlvnl of her guests nt El Cnjon, Flor ence cnlleri her out upon tho porch. Stlllwell was there with his fuce wrin kled by his wonderful smile nnd his eaglo eyes riveted upon the distant valley. Far nwuy, perhups twenty miles, n thin streak of white dust rose from the valley floor nnd slanted bky ward. "Look!" said Florence, excitedly. "What Is that?" asked Madeline. "Link Stevens nnd the automobile!" "Oh no! Why, It's only n few min utes since he telephoned saying tho party had Just arrived." "Take n look with the glasses," said Florence. One glance through tho powerful binoculars convinced Madeline that Florence wns right. And nnother glance at Stlllwell told her that he was speechless with delight. "Wal, ns Nels says, I wouldn't be In that there ot tomohllc right now for a million pesos," ho retnnrked. "Why? Is Stevons driving fnst?" "Good Lord I Fnst? Miss Majesty, there hain't ever been nnythln' except a streak of llghtnln' run so fast In this country. I reckon Id like to be hyar when Link drives up, but I wont to bo with the boys down by the bunks. It'll bo soino fun to see Nols tin' Monty when Link conies flyln' along." "I wish Al hud stayed to meet them," said Madeline. Her brothor had rather hurried n shipment of cattle to California; nnd It was Madeline's supposition that ho bad welcomed tho opportunity to ab sent hlm-self from tho ranch. "I am sorry he wouldn't stay," re plied Florence "Hut Al's all business now. And bo's doing finely. It's just ns well, perhaps." "Surely. That was my pride speak ing. I would llko to have nil my fam ily and all my old friends seo what a man Al has become. Well, Link Stev ens Is running llko the wind. The car will 1 e here bofore we know it. Flor ence, we've only a few moments to dress. Hut llrst I want to order ninny nnd various and exceedingly cold re freshments for that approaching party." Less than n half-hour Inter Madeline went ngnln to tho porch nnd found Florence there. "Oh, you look Just lovely!" ex claimed Florence, Impulsively, as she gazed wide-eyed up nt Madeline. "And somehow so different!" Madellno smiled n little sadly. Per haps when sho had put on that ex quisite wblto gown something hnri come to her of the manner which be fitted tho wenrlng of it. Sho could not resist the desire to look fair once more In tho eyes of those hypercritical friends. The sad smile had been for the days that were gone. For she knew that what society had once been pleased to cnil her beauty had trebled since It had last been seen In a drawing-room. Mudellne wore no Jewels, but nt her wnlst she had pinned two great crimson roses. Against the dead white thoy had the life and lite mid redness of the desert. "Link's hit tho old round-up trull," said Florence, "and oh, Isn't he riding that car!" With Florence, ns with most of the cowboys, the car was never driven, tint ridden. A white spot with n long trail of dust showed low down In the valley. It was now headed almost straight for tho ranch. Madeline watched It grow; Ing larger moment by moment, nnd her ploasuralilo emotion grew accord ingly. Then the rapid bent of n horse's hoofs caused her to turn. Stewnrt was riding In on his black j horse. He hud been absent on an im portant mission, nuri hts duty had taken him to the International bound ary line. Ills presence home long be- foro ho was iirpeeted was particularly gratifying to Madeline, for it meant thnt bis mission hud been brought to n successful Issue. Once mor6, for the lil,r.1.iilMi ittitA llm ,(..'(, ...ilt.il. tilt I, Illllllllt UIIL1I IIUJU, lilt; IUUI1 .1 I HIIIM llll J laftMtnl Afnilnlliiu t Tit u'net n ilfini if things. Madollno ndvnnced to tho porch stops. And Stewart, nfter taking parcel of papers from n saddle-bag, turned toward her. "Stewart, yoi: nre tho best of couriers," she said. "I am plensed." Dust streamed from his sombrero ns he doffed It. His duiic face seemed to rise ns he strnlghtened weary shoul ders. "Here nre tho reports, Miss Ham mond," ho replied. As he looked up to sec her standing there, dressed to receive her enstern guests, he checked his ndvnnce with a vIolOHit nctlon which rccnlleri to Madeline the one ho had made on the night she bad mot him, when she dis closed Inn Identity. A man struck by a bullet might have had nn Instant Jerk of tnusculnr control such ns convulsed Stewart. In that Instant, ns hor keen gaze searched his dust-caked face, she met the full, free look of his eyes. Her own did not fall, though she felt n warmth stnl to her cheeks. Madeline very seldom blushed. And now, con scious of her sudden color, u genuine blush flamed on her face. It was lni- And Now, Conscious of Her Sudden Color, a Genuine Blush Flamed on Her Face. tatlng because It was Incomprehensi ble. Sho received the papers from Stewnrt and thanked him. He bowed, then lea the Ijlncl; down the path to ward the corrals. Madeline wntched the weary horso and rider limp down the path. What had mnde her thoughtful? Mostly It wns something new or sudden or Inexpllc. nble that stirred her mind to quick analysis. In this Instance the thing that had struck Madellno wns Stew art's glance. Ho had looked at her, and the old burning, Inscrutable tiro, the dnrkness, hntl left his eyes. Sud denly they hnd been beautiful. Tho look bud not been ono of surprise or udmlratlou; nor had It been one of love. Sho was fnmlllnr, too familiar with all three. It had not been n gnzo of passion, for there was nothing beautiful In that. Madeline pondered. And presently she realized that Stew art's eyes had expressed a strange Joy of pride. That expression Madeline hnd never before encountered In the look of any man. Probably Its strange ness hnd mnde hor notice it nnd nc counteri for her blushing. The longer she lived nmong these outdoor men the more they surprised her. Particu larly, how Incomprehensible was this cowboy Stewart! Why should he have piido or Joy at sight of her? Tho approaching ntitomoblle was on the slope now, some miles down the long gradual Giant. Its velocity wns astounding. Long, gray veils, like pen nants, streamed in the wind. A low rushing sound became perceptible, nnd It grew louder, becntno n roar. The car shot like an arrow past the nlfalfa flelri, by the bunk-houses, where the cowboys waved nnd cheered. The horses and burros In tho corrals began to snort nnd trump nnd race In fright. At tho bnse of the long slope of the foothill Link cut tho speed more than half. Yet the car roared up, rolling the dust, flying capes and veils nnd ul sters, nnd crashed nnd cracked to n halt In the yard before tho porch. Madellno descried u grny, dlshoveled mass of humanity pnekeri Inside the car. Hesldes tho driver there were seven occupants, nnd for u moment they appeared to bo coming to life, moving and exclaiming under the volls nnd wraps nnd dust-shields. Link Stevens stepped out and, re moving heliuet und goggles, coolly looked nt bis watch. "An hour nn' u quarter, Miss Ham mond," lie said. "It's sixty-three miles by the valley road, nn' you know there's u couple of bad hills. I reckon wo mnde fair time, conslderln' you wanted mo to drive slow nn' safe." From the mass of dusty-veiled hu manity In the car came low exclnnm tlons and plaintive feminine walls. . Madeline stepped to the front of the nnrch. Then the deep voices of men hnnri softer voices of women united In ono glad outburst, as much a thanks giving as n greeting, "Majesty!" j Helon Hnmntond was threo years younger than Madeline, and u stealer, pretty girl. Having recovered bur HMiBffitfifwAiiJilfl wfv EjjflH9ilKQaBXi)flyri3l T 'J f hreniii soon aftxr Mmlelinr toox tier i her room, she-began to talk. "Majesty, old girl, I'm. here ; but y.m enn bet I would never have gotten here If I hnd known about that tide from tho railroad. You never wrote that you had u car. I thought this wns out West stige-coach, nnd all that sort of thing. Such n tremendous cart And the rond! What kind of n chauffeur Is ho?" "He's n cowboy. He wns crippled by falling under his horse, so I had him Instructed t run tho car. He can drive, don't you think?" "Drlvo? Good gracious! lie scared us to death, except Cnfctleton. Nothing could scare that cold-blooded little Kngllshman. I urn dizzy yet. Do you know, Mnje.sty, I was delighted when I snw tho car. Then your cowboy driver met us at tho platform. What n queer-looking Individual! He hud u big pistol strapped to those leather trousers.. That mndo me nervous. When he piled us nil in with our grips, he put ate In the scat beside him, whether I liked It or not. I was fool enough to toll him I loved to travel fast. What do you think he said? Well, ho eyed mo in n rnthcr cool and speculative way and said, with n smile, 'Miss, I reckon anything you love nn' want bnd will bo coming to you out here!' I didn't know whether It wns delightful enndor or Impudence. Then ho snld to nil of us: 'Shore you had better wrap up in tho veils nn' duster. It's n long, slow, hot, dusty tide to tho ranch, nn' Miss Hnniuiond's order wns to drive safe.' lie got our baggage checks and glivc thoifi to n man with a huge wngon and n four-horse team. Then he cranked tho car, Jumped In, wrapped his arms round tho wheel, and sank down low In his seat. Thero was n crack, a Jerk, n kind of flash around us, nnd that dirty little town wfls somewhere on the mup behind. For about five minutes I bad n lovely time. Then the wind began to tear mo to pieces. I couldn't henr any thing but the rush of wind nnd roar of tho car. I could see only straight uhenri. What a road I I never saw n road In my life till today. Miles nnd miles nnd miles abend, with not even n post or tree. That big car seemed to leap nt tho miles. It hummed nnd snng. I wns fascinated, then terrified. We went so fast I couldn't catch my breath. The wind went through me, und I expected to be disrobed by It nny minute. I was nfrnld I couldn't hold nny clothes on. Presently nil I could see was n flushing gray wall with a white line In the middle. Then my eyes blurred. My fnce burned. My enrs grow full of n hundred thousand howling devils. I was about ready to die when tho car stopped. I looked nnd looked, nnd when I could see, there you stood!" "nelen, I thought you were fond of speeding," snld Madeline, with n laugh. "I was. Hut I assure you I never before was In a fnst enr; I never met a driver." "Perhaps I mny have a few sur prises for you out here In the wild nnd woolly West." Helen's dark eyes showed a sister's memory of possibilities. "You've started well," she said. "I am simply stunned. I expected to find you, old nnd dowdy. Majesty, you're the handsomest thing I over lnlri eyes on. loirro so spienuiu unu strong, nnd your skin Is like white gold. Whnt's happened to you? What's changed you? This beautiful room, i i ., .. ,. iin.. ii r.n,.i i :wclve tablets cost few cents. Drug ose glorious roses out tnore, tne cool, i , . . ,,,.., . n, , -,rS ...?.''........- nf ti.t. .n,wri , Slsts nlso sell bottles of 21tind 100. tii dark sweetness of tills wonderful bouse! I know you, Majesty,-and, though you never wrote It, I bellovo you hnve made a homo out here. That's the most stunning surprise of J all. Come, confess. I know I've nl- ways been selflsh nnd not much of a sister; but If you nre happy out hero ' I urn glad. You were not happy at i home. Tell me nboiit yourself nnd about Alfred. Then I shall give you all the messages nnd news from the ' East." f It afforded Madeline exceeding pleas ure to have from ono and all of her guests varied encomiums of her beau tiful home, and n real and warm Inter est In whnt promised to bo n delight ful and memorable visit. Of them nil Castloton wns the only one who failed to show surprise. Ho , greeted her precisely ns he hnd when be hnd last seen her In London. Mnde- I line, rather to hor astonishment, found I meeting blm again pleasurable. Sho discovered she liked this Imperturbable t Englishman. Manifestly her cnpnclty for liking nny one hnd Immeasurably enlarged. Quite unexpectedly her old girlish love for her younger sister sprang Into life, nnd with It Interest In these hnlf-forgotten friends, and n i warm regard for Edith Wayne, a chum of college days. "There's a nana of riding on the ranchl" bandits (TO BE CONTINUED.) Being Literal. The child was Inspecting the guest with that frankness that characterizes children of four. Tho guest u good sport who un derstood children, wns submitting gamely to tho inspection. "My papa said sumpln" about you, mister." "Indeed? I hope it was something nice." ' "Ho said, my papa did, that you had sumpln' ubovo your eyes 'sides hair." "Woll, that was line Ho meant to say 1 had brains I I tbonk htm for tho compliment." 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