|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||The Big-Town Round Up|
& Tlie BigTown Round Up ) j f By WILLIAM MACLEOD RAINE r i R Copyright by William MacLeod Ralne I 1 ; ' ' U " I '" a - tbe Pullman conductor. He drifted to him now on the search for Information. Informa-tion. "The hard-faced guy with the little girl?" , he asked casually after the proffer of a cigar. "The one with the muscles bulging out all over him who is he?" "lie comes by that tough mug honestly. hon-estly. That's Jerry Durand." "The prize-fighter?" "Yep. Used to be. He's a gang leader in New York now. Runs a gambling house of his own, I've beard. You can't prove It by me." . When Lindsay returned to his place he settled himself with a magazine In a seat where he could see Kitty and her new friend. The very vitality of the girl's young life was no doubt a temptation to this man. The sofi, rounded throat line, the oval cheek's rich coloring so easily moved to ebb and flow, the carmine of the full red lips ; every detail helped to confirm the impression of a sensuous young creature, crea-ture, Innocent as a wild thing of the forests and as yet almost as un-splritunl. un-splritunl. Durand took the girl in to dinner with him and they sat not far from Lindsay. Kitty was lost to any mem- BACK TO NATURE AND THE SIMPLE LIFE The slapping of the wind against the tent awakened Beatrice. She could hear it coughing gently through the branches of the live oaks. An outflung hvn discovered Clay missing. - Tier questing glbmce found him busy over the mesquite fire upon whkh he was cooi&ng breakfast. She watched him move about, ' PlQd.Jtigld-aiidrong, and her heart lifted with sheer joy jurr' ""o? the mate she had chosen yt,-.., , And she was amazingly, raa'iaffky happy. What did motor cars or wine suppers or raris gowns matter? they were the trappings that stressed her slavery. Here she moved beside her mate without fear or doubt in a world wonderful. Eye to eye, they spoke the truth to each other after the fashion of brave, simple souls. Glowing from the ice-cold bath of water from a mountain stream, she stepped down the slope into a slant of sunshine to join ; Clay. lie looked tip from the fire and waved a spoon gayly at her. For too, was as jocund as the day which stood tiptoe on the misty , mountain tops. They had com into the hills to spend their honeymoon honey-moon alone together, and life spoke to him in accents wholly joyous. Hi-yi-ya-a! Ride him, Cowboy I This it a cowboy yarn, with reverse English. In other word it ii an Arizona cattle-puncher who bring off a round-up in little old New York. And ay tbe adventures adven-tures he had And the girl he wintl The extract quoted, is right at the end of the story. Isn't right to le'l how it ends? No harm done at ail. 'It pleases the ladies, who always read the end first. Beside, this isn't a mystery story; it's action, action, action! Anyway, who wants a story that doesn't come ' out right? Read the forewordright on this same page and you'll get a pi mpe of four of the principal figures of the yarn, the hero, the girl, her father and the villain-rival. 'Twas one way at the Arizona round up cf cattle) 'tis another in the New York round up of humans except that the girl is as lovely as ever and the cowboy just at efficient. Beside, in the end country wins oyer city the simple life orer a life too complex to be sane, safe or sober. And this pleases a lot of us. The author? Wby, none other than William MacLeod Ralne, writer of half-a-dozen stirring western stories that 'most everyone knows and like. , . .' . I don't know how I can ever pay you for saving , . ." "Forget It !" snapped the brown man curtly. He was au even-tempered youth, as genial and friendly as a half-grown half-grown pup, but just now the word "pay" irritated him as a red rag does a sulky bull. "If there's anything at all I can do for you " . "Not a thing." The Nev Yorker felt that he was not expressing himself at all happily. What lie wanted was to show tlds young fellow that he had put him under un-der a lifelong obligation he could nev er hope to wipe out. v., . ; "If you ever come to New York" "I'm not lluble to go there. I don't belong there any more than you do here. Better drift back to Tucson, stranger. Take a fool's advice and hit the trail for town pronto before you bump into more trouble." ' The rider swung round his pony and cantered back to the beef herd, v He left behind him a much-annoyed clubman, a perplexed and distressed father, and a girl both hurt and Indignant In-dignant at his brusque rejection of her father's friendly advances. The episode of the fifty-dollar bill had taken place entirely under cover. The man who had given the note and the one who had refused to accept it were the only ones who knew of It. The girl saw bnly that this splendid horseman who had snatched her from under the very feet of. the ludlno had shown a boor-i boor-i Ish discourtesy. The savor had gone nut of her adventure. Her heart was sick wil.i disappointment aud indignation. Johnnie was his slave, the echo of his opinions, the booster of his merits, tie asked no greater happiness than to trail in the wake of his friend and get a kind word occasionally. The Runt had chosen as his Admirable Admir-able Crlchton a most engaging youth. It never had been hard for any girl to look at Clay Lindsay. His sun-tunned sun-tunned good looks, the warmth of his gay smile, the poise and the easy stride of him, made Lindsay a marked man even in a country where men of splendid splen-did physique were no exception. His eyes now were watching the leap of the Are glow. The talk of New York had carried him back to a night on the round-up three years before. He was thinking about a slim girl standing on a sand spit with a wild steer rushing toward her, of her warm, slender body lying In his arms for five immortal seconds, of her dark, shy eyes shining out of the dusk at hlm'llke live coals. He remembered and it hurt hhu to recall it how his wounded pride had Inslied out in resentment of the patronage patron-age of these New Yorkers. The younger young-er man had Insulted him, but he knew in his heart now that the girl's father had meant nothing of . the kind. Of course the girl had forgotten him long since. - '. "Question is, could you land a Job In New York If you wanted one," explained ex-plained Stace to the dreamer. ; "If it's neck meat or nothln' a fellow fel-low can 'most always get somethin' to do," said Lindsay In the gentle voice he used. The vague impulses of many days crystallzed suddenly Into a resolution. reso-lution. "Anyhow I'm goln' to try. Soon as the rodeo Is over I'm goln' to hit tl.Q trail trr hn V.t tn... man In Graham county than ClnJ Lindsay, but he recognized that tliM was a delicate affair in which he must move warily. r On his way to the diner at noon the range-rider passed her again. She was alone for the moment and as she leaned back her soft round throat showed a beating pulse. Her cheeks were burning and her starry eyes were looking Into the future with a happy smile. "You pore little maverik" the man commented silently. The two had the table opposite hl.;-;'''--;'" As the wheels raced over a culvert to 1 the comparative quiet of the ballasted track beyond, the words of the mau reached C3ay. ". . . and we'll have all day to see the city, Kid." Kitty shook her head. There was hesitation in her manner, and the man was quick to make the most of it. "And it won't cost you a cent, girlie," he added. But the long lashes of the girl lifted and her baby-blue eyes met his with shy reproach. "I don't think I ought," she breathed, color sweeping her face In a vivid flame. "You should worry," he scoffed. Llndsny knew the girl was weaken-lng. weaken-lng. She was no match for this big, dominant, two-fisted man. The Jaw of the cow puncher set. This child was not fair game for a man like Durand. When Clay rose to leave the diner he knew that he meant to sit In and take a hand. The train was creeping through the thickly settled quarter where the poorer poor-er people are herded when Clay FOREWORD i . 1- The driver of the big car throttled down. Since he had swung away from the tliiKty rond to follow a wagon truck across the desert, the speedom-Vter speedom-Vter hud registered many miles. Ills eyes' starched the ground In front to civ whether the track, led up the brow j f the hill or dipped inio the sandy t.i wash. ' . On the breeze there floated to him the ; faint, Insistent bawl of thirsty cattle. i The enr lenped forward again, climbed TV hill, and closed In upon a renttida t horses watched by two wranglers. , ' The chauffeur stopped the machine mid shouted a question at the nearest rider, who swung his mount and cantered can-tered up. He was a lean, tanned youth In overulls, Jumper, wide sombrero. Mch-lieeled boots, and shiny lenther i hups. A girl In the tonneau appraised vltii quick, eBger eyes this horseman of the plains. Perhaps she found hhn less plcturepque thsn she had hoped. He wns not there for moving picture purpo-es. Notidng on horse or man held Its place for any reason except WtllltT. "Where's the round up?" asked the driver. The coffee-brown youth gave n little lift of his head to the right. He was Apparently a man of few words. Th car moved forward to the edge of the mesa and dropped Into the valley. val-ley. The girl la the back seat gave a little scream of dellgtit Here at last , was the West she had read about In books and seen on the screen. This was Cattleland's hour of hours. The paruda grounds were occupied by two circles of cattle, each fenced by eicht or ten horsemen. The nearer Above the bellowing of the herd she heard another yell. "Ill-yl-ya-a 1" A red-eyed steer,' tall up, was crashing crash-ing 'through the smull brush toward the branders. There was a wild scurry scur-ry for safety! The men dropped iron and ropes and fled to their saddles. Deflected De-flected by pursuers, the animal turned. By chance It thundered straight for the girl on the sand spit. She stood paralyzed for a moment. Out of the gathering darkness a voice came to her sharp and clear. "Don't move I" It rang so vibrant with crisp command that the girl, poid for flight, stood still and waited in white terror while the huge steer lumbered toward her. . - A cow pony, wheeled as on a dollar, dol-lar, Jumped to an instant gallop. The man riding It was the one who hud wanted her back to the car. Horse and ladlno pounded over the ground toward her. Each stride brought them closer to each other as they converged toward the sand spit. It came to her with a gust of panicky despair that they would collide on the very spot where she stood. Yet she did not run. The rider, lifting his bronco forward at full speed, won by a fraction of a second. He guided In such a way as to bring his horse between her and the steer. Without slackening his pace In the least as he swept past, the man stooped low, caught the girl beneath the armpits, and swung her In front of him to the back of the horse. The steer pounded past so close behind that one of its horns grazed the tall of the cow pony. It was a superb piece of horsemanship, horseman-ship, perfectly timed, as perfectly executed. UM Ar I lH I A Street Twelve Miles Long. "I like yore outfit," Red Holllster grumbled. "You're nice boys, and good to yore mothers what few of you uln't wore their gray hairs to the grave with yore frolicsome woya. You know yore business and you got a good cook. But I'm darned if I like this thing of two meals a day, one at a quarter to twelve at night and the other i quarter past twelve, also and likewise at night." Bed's grumbling was a pretense. U would not have been anywhere else for twice the pay. This wus what he lived 1 for. Johnnie Oreen, commonly known ns "the Runt," helped himself to another flank- steak. He was not much of a cow-hand, but when It came to entlri!; Johnnie wus always conscientiously on the Job. "These here New Yorkers must be awful hardy," he ventured, apropos of nothing. "Seems like they're night birds for fair. Never do go to td, far as I can muke out. They tramp the streets all day and dunce at tnem cnl-by-rets all night. My feet would be all wore out." ' Stace Wallls grinned. "So would my pockethook. I've heard tell how a fellow fel-low can pny as high ns four or Ave dollars for an eat at them places." Clay Llndsny laughed. "You boys know a lot about New York, Just about as much as I do. I've read that a guy enn drop a hundred dollars a night In a cabaret If lie has a friend or two along, and never make a ripple on Broadway." "Well, I rend there's a street there twelve miles long. If a fellow started at one end of that street with a thirst ava. Ui "Tucson?" interpreted Johnnie dubiously. dubi-ously. "New York." The bow legged little puncher looked at his friend and gasped. Clay flushed on him the warm smile that endeared him to all his friends. "I'm goln' to ride down Broadway and shoot up the town, Johnnie. Want to come along?" CHAPTER 11 1 f Clay Appoints Himself Chaperon. As he traveled east Cluy begun to slough the outward murks of his calling. call-ing. He gave his spurs to Johnnie before be-fore he left the ranch. At Tucson he sited his chaps and left them in care of a friend at the Loughorn corral. The six-gun with which he had shot rattlesnakes he packed into his suitcase suit-case at El Paso. His wide-rimmed felt hut flew off while the heud beneath It was stuck out of a window of the coach somewhere south of Denver. Before Be-fore he passed under the Welcome arch In that city the silk kerchief had been removed from his brown neck and retired to the hip pocket which ! formerly held his forty-Ove. The young cattleman began to flatter himself that nobody could now tell he was a wild man from the hills who had never been curried. He might have spared himself the Illusion. The lightness of his stride, the breadth of the well-packed shoulders, the frankness frank-ness of the steady eyes, all advertised him as a son of Arizona. It was Just before noon at one of the small plains towns east of Denver that a girl got on the train and was taken by the porter to a section back of Clay Lindsay.. The man from Arizona no-... no-... i . t. . . i touched Durand on the shoulder. "Like to see you a moment In the vestibule," he said In his gentle voice. The eyes of the two men met and the gambler knew at once that this man and he were destined to be enemies. en-emies. No man had ever said that Jerry Durand was not game. He rose promptly prompt-ly and followed the westerner from the car, swinging along with the light, catlike cat-like tread acquired by many pugilists. The floor of the vestibule had been raised and the outer door of the car opened. Durand found time to woifc derwhy. " wThe covrjmfteheFturned on htm with an abrupt question. "Can you swim?" The eyes of the ward boss narrowed. "What's that to you?" he demanded truculently. "Nothln' to me, bat a good deal to you. I'm almln' to drop you la the river when we cross." "Is that sor "snarled Durand. "You're quite a Joker, ain't you? Weil, suit me. But let's get this clear so we'll know where we're at What's ailln you, rjjbe?" "I don't like the color., of yore hair or the cut of yore clothes," drawled Lindsay. "You've got a sure-enough bad eye, and I'm tired of travello' la yore company. Let's get off, me or you one." In the slitted eyes of the Bowery graduate there was no heat at all. They were bleak as a heavy winter morn. "Suits me fine. You'll not travel with me much farther. Here's where you beat the place." The professional lashed out suddenly sudden-ly with his left But Clay was not at the receiving end of the blow. Alwaya quick as lightning, be had ducked and Kitty Was Lost to Any Memory of Those About Her. ory of those about her. She was flirting flirt-ing Joyously with a sense of newly awakened powers. The man from Graham Gra-ham county, Arizona, felt uneasy In his mind. The girl was flushed with life. In a way she was celebrating her escape es-cape from the narrow horizon In which she had lived. In her unsophlstlcatlon danger lay. For she was plainly easily Influenced, and In the beat of her healthy young blood probably there was latent passion. They left the diner before Clay. He passed them later in the vestibule of the sleeper. They were looking out together to-gether on the moonlit plain through which the train was rushing. The arm of the man was stretched behind her to the railing and with the motion of the car the girl swayed back slightly against him. Again Clay sought the smoking com- wl mm .,-pe was the beef herd, beyond this niiM closer to the mouth of the canyon froiii" which they had all recently been driven was a mess of closely packed rows and calves. " Several men were busy branding and . . marking the calves dragged to them from the herd by the horsemen who were roping the frightened little blatters. blat-ters. Vitl a movement of her wrist the girl opened the door and stepped down from the car. A man sitting beside the chauffeur turned In his seat "You'd better stay where you are, honey." I!e had an , Idea Mint this was not exactly the v scere a girl of seventeen ouj;ht to see vv, at close rnnge. xVl v Hnt to get the klnk out of my muscles, Dud," the girl culled buck. "I'll not go far." She walked along a rldje that ran from the mesa into Mie valley line an outstretched tongue. There wus a touch, of unstudied jnimtlness In the way tlie tips of her golden curls es-rnpvd es-rnpvd from beneath the little brown - toqi o she woie. A young limn guard- ., lng he beef herd watched her cuil- oiix.iv. Something In the poise of the linl.t. boyish figure struck a spark fiom Ills Imnplnutioii. As she stood on the spit of the rldgi, a slim, lllit figure silhouetted anlnst the okyllne, the young mini guarding the beef herd called something to her that was lost In the ImvUing of the cuttle. I-'iomi the motion of his hand she knew that he was telling her to net tmck to the cur. lint the jjlrl saw no nwon for obeying the orders of a nume-ililer lie had never seen before mid never expected to see naln. No-body No-body had ever told her that a rider Is laiily among thP wildest hill cat- tie, t,ui , f,,, H i;.,!,!,. ( . ' 1- at any time when a hi'ii i ex-tiled. ex-tiled. A "limit of warning startled her. The girl lay breathless In the arms of the man, her heart beating against his, her face burled in his shoulder. She was dazed, half fainting from the reaction of her fear. The next she remembered clearly was being lowered Into the arms of her father. He held her tight, his face tortured with emotion. She was the very light of his soul, and she had shaved death by i hair's hreuuiii. A miracle had saved her, but he would never forget the terror that Imd gripped him. The girl snuggled closer to him, her urms round Ids neck. A young man descended from the car, handsome, trim, and well got up. lie had been tailored by the best man's outfitter In New York. Nobody on Broadway could order a dinner better than he. The latest dunces he could do perfectly. He had the reputation of kuovs!ng exactly the best thing to say on every occasion. Now lie proceeded to say It. "Corking bit of riding never caw better. I'll give you my hand on thut. my man." The cowpuncher found a bunch of manicured lingers In his rough, brown paw. He found something else, for after the pink iiand hud gone there remained n fifty-dollar bill. He looked at It helplessly for a" moment ; then, beneath the brown outdoor tun, a Hush of anger beat Into Ills face. Without a word lie leaned forward and pressed the note Into the mouth of the bronco. Tbe buckskin knew Its muster for u very good friend. If he gave it something some-thing to eat well, there was no barm In trying It once. The buckskin chewed placidly for a few seconds, decided de-cided that tins wus u practical Joke, in,. I ejected from its mouth n slimy green ,uli that had recently been a In .wiry note. Tbe father stammered his thanks to the reseller of the fcirl. "t don't knooiv what I can ever do to let you know uitu mm iir was rrtrrsiiingiy pretty In an unsophisticated way. A little later he had a chance to confirm this Judgment for the dining-car dining-car manager seated her opposite him at a table for two. When Clay handed her the menu card she murmurod "Thank you !" with a rush of color to her cheeks and looked helplessly at the list in her hand. Quite plainly she wus taking her first long Journey. The co puncher helped her Hit the j order curd. She put herself entirely In his hands and was willing to eat whatever what-ever he suggested unblused by preferences prefer-ences of her own. She was a round, soft, little person with constant lutlijiutions of a childhood child-hood not long outgrown. 1 hiring the course of lunch she conllded thut her uuaie was Kitty Mason, that she was an orpnun, and thut she was on her way to New York to study at u school lor moving picture uctresscs. "1 sent my photograph und the manager man-ager wrote buck tnut my face was one hundred per cent perfect for the movies." the girl explained. It wus clear that she was expecting to be manufactured Into a film stur In u week or two. After they had finished eating, the rimge-rlder turned In at the smoking compartment and enjoyed a cigar. I fell Into casual talk with an army otll-cer otll-cer who hud nerved In the Southwest, und It wus three hours later when he returned to his own sent In the car. A hard faced man In u suit of checks more than a shade too loud whs sitting sit-ting In the section beside the girl from Brush. He whs making talk In an assured, as-sured, familiar way, and the girl wus listening to him shyly und yet eagerly. The man was u variation of a type known to Lindsay. Thut type was the Arizona luid-nian. If this expensively dressed fellow was not the eastern equivalent of the western gunman, Oiny's experience v. as hnd'y nt fault. (.'lay had alreudy made frlr nds with partment ana was led into talk by the officer. It was well past eleven when he rose, yawned, and announced, "I'm goln to hit the hay." Most of the berths were made up and It was with a little shock of surprise sur-prise that his eyes fell on Kitty Mason and her new friend, the sleek black head of the man close to her fair cuns, his steady eyes holding her like a charmed bird while his cnresslng voice wove the fairy tale of New York to which she yielded herself In strange delight. "Don't you-all ant yo' berth made vp, lady?" It was the Impatient porter who Interrupted In-terrupted them. The girl sprang up tremulously to accept "Oh, please. Is It late?" Her glance swept down the cur and took in the fact thut her section alone was not made up. "I didn't know why, what time Is It?" "Most twelve, ma'am," replied the aggrieved porter severely. She flushed a ItKik of reproach at her companion and blushed again as she fled with her bag to the ladles' dressing room. The train was rolling through the cornfields of the Middle West when the Arizona n awoke. He was up early, but not long before Kitty Mason, who was Joined at once by Durand. "Shucks I Nothln' to It a-tull," the range-rider assured himself. "That II I' girl must have the number of this guy. She's fllrtln' with him to beut three of a kind, but I'll bet a dogle she knows right where she's nt." Clay did not In tbe least believe his own argument. If he had come from a city he would have dismissed the matter mat-ter as none of his business. But he came from the clean Southwest where every straight girl is under the pro-ecth pro-ecth n of every decent mnn. If she mis in danger because of her Inno-eiice Inno-eiice it was iijt to him to look after her. There wus no more competent cunciieu. ins steei-musciea arms tightened tight-ened about the waist of the other. A short-arm Jolt to the cheek he disregarded. disre-garded. Before Durand had set himself t meet the plunge he found himself flying fly-ing through space. The gambler caught at the rail, missed It, landed on the cinders beside the roadbed, was flung Instantly from bis feet, and rolled over and over down an Incline to a muddy guUy. ? Cluy, hanging to the brass railing, leaned out and looked back. Durand had staggered to his feet, plastered with mud from head to knees, and was -shaking furiously a fist at him. The face of the mun was venomous with rage. The cowpuncher waved a debonair hand and mounted the steps again. The pprter wus standing In the vestibule vesti-bule looking at him with amazement "You throwed a man off'n this truln, mlstah," lie charged. "So I did." admitted Cluy, and to save his life he could not keep from smiling. The porter sputtered. This beat any. thing In his previous experience. "But but It ain't allowed to open up the cah. Was you-all havln' trouble?" "No trouble a-tnJI. He bet me a cigar I couldn't put him off." Clay palmed a dollar and handed It to the porter as he pussed into the cur. The eyes of that outraged official rolled after him. The book of rules did not say anything about wrestling mutches In the vestibule. Besides, It happened that Durand had called him down sharply not an hour before, lis decided to brush off his passengers and forget whnt he had seen. . . "What are you going to do? I You'll be arrested, you know." i. (TO BIE CONTINUED.) He Culded In Such a Way as to Bring His Horse Between Her and the Steer. he'd sure be salivated before i.e reached the other end of It," Stace said with n grin. "Wonder If a fellow could get fi job there. They wouldn't be no use lor a puncher, I reckon," Slim druwleo. "lietcha Clay cot Id get t Job nil right," answered. Johnnie ;reen promptly. "I!e;d be top liana anywhere, any-where, Clay Would." Johnnie was the lost thg f the in a i'.nx nun h. It was his nature to follow somebody and lick l! lunul vbeiieve.- i! was permitted, Th some lmdy.be followed wafc Clay Umlmy.