"That's what." "But it's crooked money, Pete. And it ain't lucky. Supposin' we get caught? Who gits the money? The Spider, or Arguilla's bunch, or you or me? Not on your life! The cops get it and keep it." "That's all right. But if I git through, these here pesos goes to that bank. Anyhow, you said it ain't lucky money. So I aim to git away from it pronto.
Moreover, they did not care to spend any great length of time in Sanborn. They had planned to leave their horses at the livery stable to be called for later. At first they talked of the raid, the probable fate of Ortez and his men, and of Arguilla's flight.
"No use arguin'," said Brevoort and Pete caught Brevoort's meaning as another man appeared. "Ask him if Arguilla is here," said Brevoort. And Pete knew that these were Arguilla's men, for none of the Ortez vaquero's carried bolt-action rifles. The sentry replied to Pete's question by poking him in the ribs with the muzzle of his rifle, and telling his to get down muy pronto.
About two hours before sundown one of Arguilla's lieutenants appeared on the edge of the coulee where he could overlook the country. At his signal the soldiers were to join the Ortez riders, but not until Brent and his men had the cattle delivered.
Well, there had been a big fight down along the line, between the northern cattlemen and Arguilla's soldiers. It was rumored that several American cowboys had been killed. He had heard this from the agent at Hermanas, who had "listened in" on the wire to El Paso. Perhaps they had heard about it, though, as they had come up from that way. No? Well, the El Paso papers already had the news, by wire.
When he was handlin' stock from south of the line, in small bunches, and pushin' it through fast, we was all right. The Mexican punchers was doin' the stealin', sellin' the stuff to Brent. And Brent was sellin' to Arguilla's agent which is Ortez. All Ortez did was pay for it and turn it over to Arguilla.
"Right now," he concluded, shrugging his shoulders. "We got trouble of our own," said Brevoort. "Brent tried to run his iron on us but he got hold of the wrong iron. Now the deal will have to go through like The Spider figured. Mebby Brent knows that Arguilla's men are at the Ortez and mebby he don't. But we don't say.
They don't mix much with Arguilla's men." "She's a lovely lay-out," said Pete. "But I'm with you." Circling the ranch, Brevoort and Pete rode far out into the desert, until the camp-fire was hidden by the ranch-buildings. Then they angled in cautiously, edging past the 'dobe outbuildings and the corrals toward the hacienda. "Don't see anybody around.
The sun had almost touched the western sky-line when a solitary rider spurred out from the great gate of the Olla and up to Ortez, who recognized in him one of the young vaqueros that had escaped from Arguilla's guards the preceding night. "Here's our tally." Pete handed Ortez a slip of paper. "Two hundred and three head.
"The Americans have gone," he reported. Arguilla's bloated face went from red to purple, and he reached for his gun which lay on the chair near his bed. But the lieutenant who had reported the escape faced his chief fearlessly. Arguilla hesitated. "Who guarded them?" he asked hoarsely. The lieutenant named the men. "Take them out and shoot them at once."
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