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I knew not what to say or how best to approach this young woman left so strangely to my protection. The very fact, which I now realized, that she was both young and fair added some indefinite burden and complicated the delicate situation. I saw no safety for us but in careful hiding until Craig could return, a squad of hard-riding troopers at his back.

She had that rare quality of stimulating enthusiasm among the men enthusiasm for their work and pride in giving faithful and energetic service pride in accomplishing a little more each day than was asked or expected of them. Louise's youth, her beauty, her sincerity, and, above all, her absolute simplicity of manner commanded admiration and respect among the hard-riding Moonstone boys.

A one-time Master of Foxhounds strongly objected to the presence of a rather near-sighted and very hard-riding friend who at times insisted on riding in the middle of the pack; and on one occasion he earnestly addressed him as follows: "Mr. So and So, would you mind looking at those two dogs, Ploughboy and Melody. They are very valuable, and I really wish you would not jump on them."

If she rode fair and didn't cross men at their fences, still less did she want assistance at any practicable leap. "Childe Harold," too, was indifferent to a lead; so, beholden to none, she rode her own line, and, with her merry smile and gay tongue, with the whole field, from the gallant master to the hard-riding farmer, there were few greater favourites than Harry's cousin Kate.

A traveling midway had cast its tents in a vacant square in competition with the regular attractions of the town, and everywhere the hard-riding punchers were "night herding" in full regalia. There was a big masked ball in the street, and another in the Masonic Hall, while here and there flared the lights of the faker with something to sell.

He had been induced to remain long enough to teach the operating and mechanical technique of the car. And choice fell upon Link Stevens, for the simple reason that of all the cowboys he was the only one with any knack for mechanics. Now Link had been a hard-riding, hard-driving cowboy, and that winter he had sustained an injury to his leg, caused by a bad fall, and was unable to sit his horse.

She would have been sure she could walk her horse across it in an hour. Yet that black, bold range of Chiricahua Mountains was distant a long day's journey for even a hard-riding cowboy. It was only by looking back that Madeline could grasp the true relation of things; she could not be deceived by distance she had covered.

Honor's Carmody grandmother could remember the picturesqueness of his entourage, of James King himself, the hard-riding, hard-drinking, soft-spoken cavalier with his proud, pale wife and his slim, high-stepping horses and his grinning blacks. The general conviction was, Grandmother Carmody said, that he had come or been sent west to make a fresh start.

There remained but Brand Williams the foreman, Collie, and the sturdy, hard-riding Miguel, a young Spanish vaquero who was devoted to but two things in life, his splendid pinto pony, and the Moonstone Ranch. The others had been lured to the new oil-fields up north to the excitement of Goldfield, or to Mexico City, where even more excitement promised.

Hither, at such time, would also repair the hard-riding lads of the hills, to hold secret councils of war with the "ocean chivalry;" and in these nocturnal meetings were concerted many of those daring forays, by land and water, that resounded throughout the border.