THE BINGHAM NEWS j Wt Rimrock Trail By J.ALLAN DUNN ' Author of "A Mam to Hit Matt"tit. Copyright, 18B, by 1. Alias Puna two riders who bad last talked with Sandy rode out of a straggling thicket of cactus and skirted the lava flow. Each led a spare horse, unsaddled. will I don't see Be harm in taklrf the gel vlslttn', anyway." n conclud-ed as he took an extra seat la the to neau. Jordan made no answer but started the engine. The way zigzagged for half a mile and then they came to a second fence. No buckboard was in sight Leaning against a post stood Soda-Wate- r Sam, smoking a cigarette, his gun holster hitched forward, the butt of the weapon close to one hand. Jordan and his men leaped out as the car stopped, Mormon following more slowly. "Afternoon, hombres all," said Sam. "Joy-rldln- T Jordan wasted no more explana-tions.. "You take down this fence," he fairly shouted. "What foT "Ask yore partner." "Sheriff claims we're cumberin' the landscape with our 111 corral, Sam," said Mormon. "He's got a paper that gives him right of way, he says. Seen anything of Molly Ctsey?" "Not for quite a spelL Go easy with them wires, Sheriff. Price of wire's ris considerable." The second barrier down and the car through, Jordan ordered Sam to get In the car. "Jump, or I'll put the cuffs on you," he said. "Not this trip." replied Sam coolly. "No sense In my climbin' In there. Me A BENCH WARRANT SYNOPSIS. To ths Three-Ba- r ranch, Arizona, owned Jointly by Bandy Bourke, "Mormon" Peters and "Soda-Wat- er Sara" Manning, a fine collie makes lta way, In the last (t&ffei of exhaustion. Inscrip-tion on 1U collar aay Its name la Orlt, "property of P. Casejr" Scenting a desert tragedy, Bourke and Sam mount and let the dog lead them. The two find a dying man, Patrick Casey, pinned under an overturned wagon. Kneeling beside the wagon la his young daughter Molly, fifteen. They ex-tricate the old prospector, who dies repeating "Molly mlnesl" "I'll look out for that, pardner," says Bandy. It Is agreed that Molly stays as mascot of the ranch, she and the "Three Musketeers" be-coming partners In the mines. Bandy Insists upon an education for Molly. Jim Pllmsoll, gambjer, visiting the ranch, Insults Molly. He claims he grubstaked Casey, which made him the old man's partner. Mormon drives him off. Starting with a gold eagle, Molly's luck piece, Eandy, with Sam, plays faro at PllmsoU's place, winning tlO.MO. It Is arranged that Molly shall ro East to be "eddlcated." A neighbor, Miranda Bailey, warns tha ranchers that Jim Pllmsoll, as Patrick Casey's "partner," claims guardianship of Molly, and the au-thorities atand in with him. Sandy determines to take the girl to New Mexico, to an old friend, Barbara Iteddlng, for advice. CHAPTER VII Bolsa Gap. Sheriff Jordan had a high-powere- d car purchased, not so much from the fees of his office as with his perqui-sites, a word covering a wide range of possibilities, all of which the sher-iff made the most ot He had taken up his brother-in-law'- s grievance with the greater seat since he bad a half-Intere- st in PllmsoU's Good Luck pool parlors, a share that had cost him good money. On top of that had come Sandy's flouting of him on the bridge In front of the sheriff's own followers. He had to save his face, politically as well as personally. Armed with the necessary warrant, backed by an assurance that, unless some extraordinary bowl went up, the girl would be given Into the custody of Jim Pllmsoll as guardian, by virtue of his claim to partnership with her father, the sheriff, Pllmsoll and two others, all three deputized for the oc-casion, started the car from Hereford at a quarter of twelve, after an early lunch. At a few minutes after twelve they reached Three Star, where Buck, seated on the porch, his saddle astride a sawhorse, stitched away at a cinch. Buck played his part well, allowing Jordan to ferret out Information to his own satisfaction. It appeared plain that all three partners had taken flight with the girl In the buckboard. "Someone tipped this thing off," Jordan said sternly to Buck. "Who was It?" "Meanln' this visit's offlshuir asked Buck. "What's It fo Sheriff? Moon-shine or hawss stealln'?" He spoke In a jesting note, his weathered face Impassive as the shell of a walnut, but Pllmsoll scowled, noting the turn of Buck's bland countenance In his direction for the first time. It was whispered that the brands on Pllm-soU's horse ranch were not those usu-ally known In the county, nor even In the counties adjoining. There were rumors, smothered by PllmsoU's stand with the authorities, of bands of horses, driven by strangers, arriving wenrled and always by night at his corrals. CHAPTER VI Continued. Molly came out on the porch corry-tn- g a small grip packed with her few belongings, Grit beside her. Sandy nodded to her, busy giving Instruc-tions to two riders. Mormon and Rum waved and she went over to them, winging up to the roll beside them. "Jim," said Sandy, "I want you should ride out to'ards Hereford an' hide out atop of Bold butte. You don't need to stay there any later than noon. Take a flash-glas- s with you. If any of the sheriffs crowd comes erlong, anyone who looks like he might be servin' papers, sube, you flash a message. Make It a five-flas- h fo' anything suspicious, a three-flas- h fo' anyone shackin' this way, even If you flggvr they're plumb harmless." "Seguro, Miguel." With the slang phrase, Jim, an upstanding young chap, despite his horse-bowe- d legs, walked over to the bunk house for flush-mirr- and gun, came back to his already caught-u- p and saddled horse, and vent streaming off for the Bald butte In a cloud of dust. Sandy called to Buck Terehes, oldest of his riders, whose exposed skin matched the leather of his saddle. headln', Phil?" he asked. "Is there a cat or a pass through the mesa?" "Dam'flno. One thing's sure an' cer-tain. Them fellers from the Three Star usually know where tbey are headln'. Trail's plain." "Sure Is." But Jordan scratched his head a trifle doubtfully. If Sandy Bourke and his chums had been tipped off, this trail was a little too plain to be true. "They're on about os gettln' the pa-pers," said PllmsolL He had not said much on the trip eo far. "Too much talk nowadays. Bourke sabes that getting the girl out of the county won't do any good ; he alms to get her out of the state and any Arizona court or sheriff Jurisdiction. He's the brains of the outfit. We've got to get her, Jordan." "You ain't tellin' me a thing I don't know, Jim. But there's one thing you can tell me. Is that tip you got about Dynamite a sure one?" Pllmsoll, sitting beside Jordan, flashed him a look of contempt "Do you think I'm chasing this girl because I'm stuck on her? One of the party with this eastern crowd dropped Into my place and talked. Here Is where I get back the money I put up to grubstake Casey." Jordan gave him a grin of derision. "You an' yore grubstake," he Jeered. Pllmsoll said nothing more. .."No shootln' In thlB deal," Jordan warned. "Come to a showdown, Bourke won't buck the law Boon's we show papers. So long's he ain't been notified the court Is makln' a ward of the girl they ain't done nothin' wrong. But If he resists, that's dif-ferent" "I ain't goin' to be awful anxious to start shootln'," said Jim. "Sandy Bourke'a a d lead flinger an' Soda-Wate- r Sura's no slouch. Nel-ther- 'a Mormon. Me, I'll be peaceable 'less It's forced on me otherwise." They entered the split In the mesa. The floor was fairly smooth, swept clean by occasional cloudbursts, save for the skeleton of a tree and another of a ioo-fa- r wandering steer, both blanched white as the alkali-cruste- d bowlders. It was nearly level going and the car pounded along, all the oc-cupants looking for trail sign. "Keep an eye peeled for rain," said Jordan. "I'd sure hate to get caught In here with a cloudburst." Ahead was an abrupt turn. Jordan slowed. Making the curve, a fence stretched across the gorge, reaching from wall to wall, a four-stran- d bar-rier of barbed-wire- , strung on patent steel posts. Jordan braked with emer-gency. The sight of such a fence In such a place was as unexpected as the sun-drie- d carcass of a steer would be on Broadway. Pllmsoll and Jordan cursed, the former In pure anger, the latter with some appreciation of the stratagem for delay. "We can tear it down qulcker'n they fixed It," he said. "I've got a pair of nippers In the tool kit They can't have driven In those posts deep. Come on." A voice floated down to them. "You leave that fence alone, gents, If you please. I went to a heap of trouble puttln' up that fence. It's my fence." They looked up, to see Mormon seated on the top of a great bowlder that had land-slippe- from the cliff Into the gorge. From thirty feet above them he looked down, amiably enough, though there was a glint of blued metal In his right hand. Jordan advanced to the foot of the rock, producing his papers. "I have a bench warrant here to bring Into court for the appointment of a proper guardiun, the child Molly Casey, she being a minor and without natural or legal protectors. I've got yore name on these popers. Mormon Peters, as one of the three parties with whom the girl Is now domiciled. I warn you that you are obstructing the process of the law by yore actions. You put up that gun an' come down here an' help to pull down this fence, Illegally erected on property not yore own. Otherwise you're subject to arrest." "That Is sure an awful long speech fo a hot day," said Mormon equably. "But I don't sabe that talk at all. Molly Casey ain't here, to begin with. Nor she ain't been here. An' I don't sabe no obstruction of the law by settln' up a fence In a mesa canyon to round up broom-tails.- " One of the deputies snickered. "Broom-tails?- " cried Jordan. "That's too thin. There's no mustangs hangln round a mesa like this, 'thout feed or water." He flushed angrily. "You never kin tell about wild hawses, or even branded ones," Raid Mormon pleasantly. "Ask Pllmsoll. He picks 'em up In all sorts of places." Pllmsoll cursed. Mormon still held his gun conspicuously, and he re-strained his own Impulse to draw. "You crane down on' help remove this fence," Jordan shouted up at the smiling Mormon, "or I'll stmt some-thing. It sln't on yore property and it's hindering the' carrying out of my warrant." "It ain't on a public highway retorted Mormon. "But I'll come down. Don't go to cllppln' those wires nn' destroyln wlint is my prop-erty." He slid down the rock and commenced to unbend the metal straps that held tho wire In place. Jordan and one of his men followed suit with pliers from the motor kit. The job took several minutes. , "You'll come along with us." enid Jordan. "You lied about the girl cotnln' this way. I've a notion to tal;e you In for that. But I reckon you can go back In the buckboard with yore partners." "Beckon I'll travel in the buek-bonr-rvhen you catch up with it," said Mormon. "But I'll come erlong with you to1-- a-- spell of my own free "It don't matter to you what It's for," answered Jordan. "Ill overhaul 'em an' bring "em back. Ef they try hide-ou- t tactics or put up a scrap, It'll be kldnapln' an' that's a penal of-fense." Buck whistled. "Thought you wasn't goin' to let me know," he said. "It's the get" "Who's been here to tip It Off?" asked Jordan. Buck looked at him serenely, took a plug of chewing from his pocket, took his knife, opened It deliberately and slowly cut off a corner of the tobacco. "Search me," he drawled. "Me, I don't stay up to the house." Jordan, temporarily discomfited but still confident of bringing back his quarry, marked the trail of the buck-boar- d In the alkali soil, noted the hoof prints of the diverging riders and nodded with the semi-smil- e and hnlf-close- d eyes of conscious superiority. He had already elicited apparently reluctant Information from Pedro as to the four passengers In the buck-boar- "You 'tendin' ranch?" Jordan asked Buck. "Yep. Till I get fresh orders." "I'll bring you back those orders, also yore bosses, before sundown." Buck permitted himself his first grin. "You'll hove to go some," he said. "Goin' to bring 'em back In Irons? Flggerin' on nbductlo?" Jordan gave no hint of how Buck's shaft might have targeted his Inten- - "Buck, ef any visitors arrives while we're gone, you entertain 'em same as I w'ud. I w'udn't be sur-prised but what Jim Pllmsoll 'ud be inoseyln erlong, with Sheriff Jordan an' mebbe one or two mo'. Mo' the merrier. They'll be lookln fo' me an' Miss Molly with some read In' matter that's got a seal to the bottom of It We won't be to home. You'll be the only one to home 'ccpt Pedro an' Joe. They've got their Instructions to know nothin'. You you've stayed to the ranch to do some flxln' of yore saddle. Started, but come back when yore cinch bu'sted Sabe? All the rest of the riders Is on the range 'tendin' business. WUen they left an' when you left with 'em, me an Mormon an' Sam, with Miss Molly, was all here. So you supposed. Don't let 'em think yo're planted to feed 'em Info'matlon. Up to you, Buck, to act natcherul." "I'll sure do that. I sabe the play." "Then we'll light out soon's we're packed. Got yore war-ba- Molly?" "I haven't said good-b- y to Dad, or Orlt," she said. Sandy nodded. "Beckon you'd like to do that alone. Suppose you take Orlt with you to the spring an' then leave him up In yore room." "He knows I'm goin'. I told him last night, b&t he knew It 'thout that" Molly spoke In a monotone. She was pule and her eyes showed lack of sleep, but she had fought the thing out with herself and she was going to be game. She gave Sandy her grip and walked off toward the cotton-wood- s. Grit nosed along In her shadow, his muzzle touching her skirt It was still cool, the dust rose about them In eddies as the three Musketeers and Molly crossed the slowly descend-ing slope of the sink that presently mounted again toward the fur-of- f Jordan Advanced to the Foot of thi Rock, Producing His Papers. an' Mormon's through with our HI Job. We'll go back In the buckboard. It's round the bend. I was Jest goin' to hitch up." "Yo're sure goin' to have trouble turnln yore car right here," Sam went on Imperturbably. "Kind of mean to back down, too. Ifs worse higher up. Matter of fac the gap peters out Jest round the turn. Look for yo'self, If you don't believe me." Jordan and Pllmsoll strode on up the pitch. Mormon followed, Sum stayed with the two deputies. Around the bend stood the buckboard with the buckskins in a patch of Bhadow under a scoop In the ending wall that turned the pass to a box canyon. "I told you the gel warn't erlung," said Mormon. "She and Sandy was with us fo a spell. But they're goin' vlsltln' an' they shifted to saddle way back, out there by the spring beside the lava strip." Mormon's bland smile masked a sterner Intent than showed In bis eyes. Jordan, furious at being out-witted, dared not provoke open com-bat Mormon hitched up the buck-skins, but followed the sheriff and the scowling, silent Pllmsoll back to the car. "See that notch, woy over to the no'th?" said Mormon, bent on exploit-ing the situation to the full. "I reckon Sandy and the gel's shackin' through there about now. Hawss trail only. Frald you won't catch him, Sheriff. They aim to ketch the seven o'clock train at Caroca. It's the on'y pass over the mesa. If Sandy had knowed you wanted him he might have waited. Why didn't you phone? Ninety mile' around the mesa, nearest way, an' it must be all of five o'clock now, by the sun." "Catch the seven o'clock train at Caroca?" said Jordan. "Thanks for the Information, Mormon. That schedule was changed last week when they pulled off two trains on the main line. The train leaves at nlne-tblrt-un If I can't make ninety miles in four hours an' a half, I'll make you a present of my cur. stand back, both of you. No monkey business with my tires. Cover 'ein, boys. Tha law's on my side, you two 'gabbing " He handled the car wonderfully, backing mid turning her, and, while Mormon nnd Sam stood powerless, the former, crest fallen, the latter sardon-ically gazing at his partner, the ma-chine went tilting, snorting down the gorge. "You sure spilled the beans, Mor-mon- ," said Sam finally. "I'd j,ave thought them three wives of yores 'ud have taught you the vally of silence." "I ain't got a d- -d word to say Sam. But I'd be obliged if you'd kick me good. Use yore heels. I see you got yore spurs on." 41 nil"". Kither Mormon or Sam sat always with neck twisted, watching for a flash-sign- from the butte. Some-times Molly relieved them as lookout but hour nf,tor hour passed without sign. Close to noon they reached a water-ing hole, with water none too cool or sweet, but still welcome. There the buckskins were unhitched, rubbed down and, after they hud cooled off, given water and grain. As they ate cactus, Sandy suddenly gave a grunt of satisfaction, pointing with out-stretched forefinger to the butte. Five flushes hud flickered up. They were repented. Jim had signaled a suspi-cious party on their way to Three Star. The sheriff was out with his Jjapers. "We got five hours' utaht," said Sandy. "Made close to thirty mile'. They've got thirty-fiv- e to muke. Take 'em mo'n two hours, couutln" ques-tions with Buck. Good enough. See anything of the lioys, Sam? They ought to be showln' up. I told 'em noon." "On time," announced Sam. The But Hour After Hour Passed Without Sign. tions, but climbed Into the car and started It. Benching the lava strip where the buckboard had halted for water and the noon men!, they found the trail skirting the flow toward the south. The main mass of the mesa, broken up Into gorges, gaps, slalr-wo- y cliffs, niorked by purple shad-ows, scanty in tiie early afternoon but gradually widening, was about fifty miles away. 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