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Had he come to George's horse first he would have done so. But it chanced that the first horse across whose tether he tripped was a big black animal with the white strip from below the ears to the nostrils showing in the gloom to which Drennen's eyes were accustomed now. This was Lieutenant Max's horse, Black Ben! Then the horse he was leading . . .

The girl, sitting, either consciously or through chance, took the attitude in which Drennen had come upon her with the dual fever in his blood. Thus Drennen's idyl began. Ygerne, staring straight out before her with wide, unseeing eyes, spoke swiftly, her voice a low monotone that fitted in well with the musing eyes.

And as she went down the mountain side he dropped back to his rock, his teeth again hard, clamped upon his pipe stem, his eyes steely and bitter and filled with cynical irony. David Drennen's statement concerning the two powerful motives responsible for the presence in the North Woods of the greater portion of her hardy denizens had been essentially truthful.

Lemarc was riding with the jingle of Drennen's money in his pocket and Drennen was glad to think of it. He was helping Ygerne, he was not sorry to help Lemarc at the same time. This morning he had had one hundred thousand dollars! He smiled, then laughed aloud. One hundred thousand dollars! Now he had fifty thousand; already he had opened his hand and poured out fifty thousand dollars!

"I came to find Captain Sefton," was Drennen's slow answer to the lieutenant's challenge. "He is not here. I am waiting for him." "You have killed him!" shouted Max, pushing through the doorway. "I have not," said Drennen quietly. "But I shall." "The Mexican, Garcia!" snapped Max irritably. "And the girl. I have no warrant for them. Hell's bells! Where are the others?"

The old man's stalwart form moved swiftly, coming between Drennen and Sefton. With a quickness which men did not look for in a man of his age, with a strength which drove up from those who saw a little grunt of wonder, he put out his great arms so that they were about Drennen's body, below his shoulders, catching his arms and holding them tight against his ribs.

It's rather strange," and he set his keen eyes searchingly upon Drennen's impassive face, "that they didn't take a chance on you." "I'm called Lucky Drennen nowadays," answered Drennen coolly. "Maybe my luck was just beginning then." The fifth charge lay against Sefton. He had brought an unsavory reputation with him from the States, and there would be other charges against him from that quarter.

Drennen's hand brought from his pocket a canvas bag heavy with gold. There was a goodly pile of money in front of the Mexican. The stakes were doubling fast, the two evidently meant business, and when the dice rolled again they were playing alone and a little knot of men was watching. "You shall see," chuckled the dried-up little man from Moosejaw.

Levitt had stayed twenty-four hours and had gone again, saying that there was nothing for him to do that Sothern could not do as well. He rather thought that Drennen's beautiful physique would pull him through. But it would take time, careful attention, rest and properly administered nourishment. "Can't you get a woman to help?" he asked as he was going. "I don't give a damn what kind she is.

He tore at the rigid muscles below the jaw a moment and the bloody, broken skin of Drennen's neck told with what fury George had striven. But George must hasten now and he knew it. Again his right hand sought Drennen's left, fought at the deadly grip at his own throat. In his reach a quick cunning came to him and his groping fingers passed along Drennen's wrist and did not tarry there.

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