by William MacLeod Raine
Etext scanned by Mary Starr of Glendale, CA.
A STORY OF THE OUTDOOR WEST
by William MacLeod Raine
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. A DESERT MEETING
2. THE KING OF THE BIG HORN COUNTRY
3. AN INVITATION GIVEN AND ACCEPTED
4. AT THE LAZY D RANCH
5. THE DANCE AT FRASER'S
6. A PARTY CALL
7. THE MAN FROM THE SHOSHONE FASTNESSES
8. IN THE LAZY D HOSPITAL
9. A RESCUE
12. MISTRESS AND MAID
13. THE TWO COUSINS
14. FOR THE WORLD'S CHAMPIONSHIP
15. JUDD MORGAN PASSES
16. HUNTING BIG GAME
17. RUN TO EARTH
18. PLAYING FOR TIME
19. WEST POINT TO THE RESCUE
20. TWO CASES OF DISCIPLINE
21. THE SIGNAL LIGHTS
22. EXIT THE KING
23. JOURNEYS END IN LOVERS' MEETING.
CHAPTER 1. A DESERT MEETING
An automobile shot out from a gash in the hills and slipped
swiftly down to the butte. Here it came to a halt on the white,
dusty road, while its occupant gazed with eager, unsated eyes on
the great panorama that stretched before her. The earth rolled in
waves like a mighty sea to the distant horizon line. From a
wonderful blue sky poured down upon the land a bath of sunbeat.
The air was like wine, pure and strong, and above the desert swam
the rare, untempered light of Wyoming. Surely here was a peace
primeval, a silence unbroken since the birth of creation.
It was all new to her, and wonderfully exhilarating. The infinite
roll of plain, the distant shining mountains, the multitudinous
voices of the desert drowned in a sunlit sea of space--they were
all details of the situation that ministered to a large serenity.
And while she breathed deeply the satisfaction of it, an
exploding rifle echo shattered the stillness. With excited
sputtering came the prompt answer of a fusillade. She was new to
the West; but some instinct stronger than reason told the girl
that here was no playful puncher shooting up the scenery to
ventilate his exuberance. Her imagination conceived something
more deadly; a sinister picture of men pumping lead in a grim,
close-lipped silence; a lusty plainsman, with murder in his
heart, crumpling into a lifeless heap, while the thin
smoke-spiral curled from his hot rifle.
So the girl imagined the scene as she ran swiftly forward through
the pines to the edge of the butte bluff whence she might look
down upon the coulee that nestled against it. Nor had she greatly
erred, for her first sweeping glance showed her the thing she had
In a semicircle, well back from the foot of the butte, half a
dozen men crouched in the cover of the sage-brush and a scattered
group of cottonwoods. They were perhaps fifty yards apart, and
the attention of all of them was focused on a spot directly
beneath her. Even as she looked, in that first swift moment of
apprehension, a spurt of smoke came from one of the rifles and
was flung back from the forked pine at the bottom of the mesa.
She saw him then, kneeling behind his insufficient shelter, a
trapped man making his last stand.