But the strangers, apparently unhurt, swept out of sight. Casey leaped to the ground, secured his rifle, and was back in the saddle again in an instant. They sailed into the shallow head of the coulée at a dead run, Casey struggling to refill the clip of his automatic, McHale cursing his horse and himself because he had used the rifle instead of his six-shooter.
Turner, of Salford; the Right Rev. Dr. Brown, of Shrewsbury. There was a somewhat longer list of Irish bishops, viz.: His Eminence Paul, Cardinal-Archbishop of Dublin; the Most Rev. Dr. McGettigan, Primate of all Ireland, Archbishop of Armagh; the Most Rev. Dr. Leahy, Archbishop of Cashel; the Most Rev. Dr. McHale, Archbishop of Tuam; the Right Rev. Dr.
Young McCrae took the lead. In the moccasins he affected he trod noiselessly, making no more sound than a prowling, nocturnal animal. Casey Dunne followed, almost as light-footed. Behind him Oscar clumped along, planting his heavy boots solidly at every step. McHale brought up the rear.
The horses being on picket caused no delay. When Sandy brought them in, McHale had their entire outfit in two heaps, ready to pack. With the skill and swiftness of experience they made the packs, threw the hitches, drew the lash ropes tight. The result was two compact bundles which could not work loose.
Farther off a column of smoke rose. "Cookin' breakfast down in a hole," said McHale. "Playin' it plumb safe. They ain't takin' a chance on your shootin'." "They'd better not," said Sandy. His young face showed grimed and pinched in the growing light, but his eyes were hard and clear. "Do you s'pose I could sneak over and get a stand on them?" "I wouldn't try.
It looks to me like them two boys got to know that somebody was on their back trail, and moved camp sudden. But not so durn sudden they had to leave anything behind. Question is, where have they went to the whole b'ilin' of 'em?" "Down the valley. Otherwise we'd have seen some sign." "I reckon that's so. If Dade works out things the way I have, he knows he's close on to McHale.
The horsemen appeared to be making for the valley, but not by the way in which they had come. "By thunder!" cried McHale, "it looks like they're pullin' out." His further remarks were lost in a rolling fire as Sandy unhooked his entire magazine at the retreating figures. He caught up McHale's rifle and emptied that, too. "Save some ca'tridges for seed," advised McHale.
So I come to get me a cayuse to go the rest of the way." "I'll go with you," said Casey, throwing the harness on a peg. In five minutes they were loping easily along the ditch, with sharp eyes for possible obstructions. As McHale had said, it was running not half full, and seemed to be falling. The strong, deep, gurgling note of a full head of water was gone. Instead was a mere babble.
And that blasted, yeller-hided buzzard head of yours, he don't know no better'n to whale into him with both heels. It wouldn't happen again, not in a million years." "It doesn't need to," said Casey sourly. "We found our meat, and we couldn't stop it." "The laugh is on us," McHale admitted. "For the powder we burned we sure ought to have a scalp or two to show.
Of course we're Scotch. You can tell by the Mac. The only McHale that ever was in Ireland went there to civilize it." "To civ'lize Ireland!" Mr. Quilty cried in derision. "Hear till him! And Ireland the owldest civ'lization in the wurruld, barrin' none, and the best!