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For Harlan's action in sheathing his gun convinced Deveny that the man had divined his thoughts from the expression of his eyes before he had veiled them with the lids, and he was convinced that Harlan had sensed the chill of dread that had swept over him at that instant. He was sure of it when he heard Harlan's voice, low and taunting: "You waitin' for a show-down?" Deveny smiled, pallidly.
He paused, and a heavy silence descended. No man moved. A sneer began to wreathe Harlan's lips a twisting, mocking, sardonic sneer that expressed his contempt for the men who faced him. "Not havin' any thoughts, eh?" he jeered. "There's some guys that would rather do their fightin' with women, an' their thoughts wouldn't sound right if they put words around them. I ain't detainin' you no longer.
The man had attempted, in Lamo, a thing that Harlan had always abhorred, and the memory of that time was still vivid in Harlan's brain.
You can't run a camp like this an' not treat the boys right." The wonder that had been aroused in Haydon grew as Harlan talked; it increased in intensity until, when Harlan's voice died away, it developed into suspicion. That was what Harlan had come to the Star for! He wanted to run the camp, to direct the activities of the outlaws in the valley. Power! Authority!
The man's eyes were glowing with interest critical, almost cynical, and they roved over Harlan with a probing intensity that left no doubt in Harlan's mind that the man had heard of him and was examining him with intent to discover what sort of a character he was.
"Bring them on," he sneered: "Ivus Niles and his buck sheep and Enoch Dudley and the rest of the petty rogues that you hired with your corporation money to defeat me." "You're on the wrong trail," replied Spinney. "I can hit you harder than that, and in a tenderer spot." He returned Harlan's amazed stare. "I've been keeping my eyes open down here, Mr.
One man, unable to provoke him by vituperation, and in a frenzy of childish rage because Harlan's calm poise was not disturbed by his outpourings, ran at him and struck him. He was a little man, and though he leaped when he struck, the blow landed no higher than the shoulder that Harlan turned to him.
"They've scared one man out a Pole named Launski from the far end. He pulled stakes an' hit the breeze runnin' sellin' out for a song to a guy named Haydon. I seen Launski when he clumb on the Lamo stage, headin' this way, an' he sure was a heap relieved to get out with a whole skin." Hallowell talked long, and the mystery that seemed to surround Sunset Valley appealed to Harlan's imagination.
He had watched Harlan for years, and knew him for exactly what he was an imaginative, reckless, impulsive spirit who faced danger with the steady, unwavering eye of complete unconcern. As Hallowell had talked of the Rancho Seco he had seen Harlan's eyes gleam; seen his lips curve with a faint smile in which there was a hint of waywardness.