"The Bat-eye Tunnel," repeated Artie. "Why don't you go?" inquired the girl, anxiously. "I ride too heavy; and I know where the tunnel is," I replied. "If anybody else was to go, it would be you. But Artie rides light and sure, and he'll have to ride like hell. Here, put these papers inside your shirt. Be off!" Lights were flickering at the ranch as men ran to and fro with lanterns.
Buck Johnson, in his usual deliberate manner, read all the papers through twice; pondered for some time while the more excited Jed and Windy fidgeted impatiently; and then, his mind made up, acted with his customary decision. Three men he sent to reconnoitre in the direction of the Bat-eye Tunnel with instructions to keep out of trouble and to report promptly.
When we moved in the open we showed up like a train of cars; but, on the other hand, the shadow was a cloak. It was by now nearly one o'clock in the morning. Miss Emory's nerve did not belie the clear, steadfast look of her eye; but she was about all in when we reached the foot of Bat-eye Butte. Tim and I had discussed the procedure as we walked.
You are to take these papers to Señor Buck Johnson, at the Box Springs ranch. That's the next ranch on the fork of the road. Do you remember it?" "Yes," said Brower, who had waked up and seemed quite sober and responsible. "I can get to it." "Wake him up. Show him these papers. Make him read them. Tell him that Miss Emory and I are in the Bat-eye Tunnel. Remember that?"
I cast over the chances in my mind, weighing my knowledge of the country against the probabilities of search. The proportion was small. Most of my riding experience had been farther north and to the west. Such obvious hole-ups as the one I had suggested the Bat-eye Tunnel were of course familiar to our pursuers.