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Hampton strode up and down the office, the frown gathering upon his usually smooth brows. Plainly if something had happened to Judith the present responsibility lay upon his shoulders as next in authority. "Here I am," announced Carson briefly. "What is it?" "I am a little worried, Carson," said Hampton, "about Miss Sanford." "Huh?" grunted the old cattleman.

Men of imagination fall in love, not with a woman, but with the mystery they make of her. The young cattleman was not yet a lover, but a rumor of the future began to murmur in his ears. Beulah Rutherford was on the surface very simple and direct, but his thoughts were occupied with the soul of her. What was the girl like whose actions functioned in courage and independence and harsh hostility?

What shook his nerve was the fact that he had taken a life, not the certainty of the punishment that must follow. West called to see him at the jail, and to the cattleman Dave told the story exactly as it had happened. The owner of the Fifty-Four Quarter Circle walked up and down the cell rumpling his hair. "Boy, why didn't you let on to me what you was figurin' on pullin' off?

"Come!" she told the cattleman imperiously, and led the way from the cabin in a hurried flight for the porch shadows. They had scarcely reached these when another half-clad figure emerged from the house, rifle in hand, and plunged across the road into the cacti. He, too, headed for the scene of the now intermittent shooting. "Now!" cried Phyllis, and gave her hand to the man huddled beside her.

"I was gonna say you must be mistaken, Mr. Crawford," he whined. Shorty laughed hardily, spat tobacco juice at a knot in the floor, and spoke again. "Third degree stuff, eh? It won't buy you a thing, Crawford. Miller wasn't in that hold-up any more'n I " "Let Miller do his own talkin', Shorty. He don't need any lead from you." Shorty looked hard at the cattleman with unflinching eyes.

She fell back against the wall, as Moran released her, and began to cry softly and brokenly. Snarling with baffled rage and desire, Moran whirled to meet the cattleman. His hand darted, with the swift drop of the practised gun man, toward his hip pocket; but too late, for he was already covered by the short-barreled rifle in Wade's hands.

The old cattleman knew at once why Waring had come, but he had no inkling of what was to follow. The cowboy, Pete, took care of the horses. A little later he clumped into the house and took a seat in a corner. Waring paid no attention to him, but talked with Starr about the grazing and the weather. Just before supper Starr introduced Waring. The cowboy winced at Waring's grip.

He turned, to see standing before him the owner of the Fifty-Four Quarter Circle brand. The boy's surprise fairly leaped from his eyes. "Didn't expect to see me here, I reckon," the cattleman went on. "Well, I hopped a train soon as I got yore first wire. Spill yore story, young man." Dave told his tale, while the ranchman listened in grim silence.

The cattleman rode away in heavy silence, headed toward the cabin at the Upper End, his men riding with him, an eager, watchful crowd. But Carson had his doubts about getting Quinnion, his fears that it would be a long time before he ever put a rope again to Shorty's thick wrists. During the day Emmet Sawyer, the Rocky Bend sheriff, came, and with him Doctor Brannan.

Handed him just one like a squirt of dope, and he's asleep, and no tanbark needed in front of his residence. Fight!" He rattled a bit, coughed, and went on, hardly addressing the cattleman, but rather for the relief of voicing his troubles. "No more dead sure t'ings for me. But Rus Sage himself would have snatched at it.

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