But it needs not that to recognise them as the deadly enemies of Carlos Vizcarra and Roblado. No longer now his enemies. They are his captives! But for what purpose are they thus mounted? What scene of mockery is to be enacted? Scene of mockery! Ha! ha! ha! Observe! the horses upon which they sit are wild mustangs! Observe! they are blinded with tapojos! For what purpose? You shall see.
You may fancy, then, our surprise, when, on looking narrowly at them, we could not make out a single animal exactly resembling any one of the above, with the exception of horses; and even these were unlike the common kind, for they were smaller, and spotted all over like hounds! We knew that they were mustangs the wild horses of the Desert. We glanced at the animals we had taken for black cattle.
First in rank, among the grazing animals, I may name the mustangs, or wild horses, which wander in the natural pastures in herds of hundreds of thousands. They vary in species and size, according to the country where they are found, but those found in California, Sonora, and the western district of Texas, are the finest breed in the world.
He kept champing his bit and stamping his feet. From my post I could see the mustangs flying before a cloud of dust. Jones was turning in his horse behind a large rock in the middle of the canyon, where he evidently intended to hide. Presently successive yells and shots from our comrades blended in a roar which the narrow box-canyon augmented and echoed from wall to wall.
It was then, when the mustangs were pivoting, with the white in the lead, that Jones jumped upon the stone, fired his pistol and roared with all his strength. Taking his cue, I did likewise. The band huddled back again, uncertain and frightened, then broke up the canyon. Jones jumped the ditch with surprising agility, and I followed close at his heels.
They crossed many trails, and went up and down the sides of many shallow canyon. Troops of wild mustangs whistled at them, stood on ridge-tops to watch, and then dashed away with manes and tails flying. Withers rode forward presently and halted the pack-train. He had some conversation with Nas Ta Bega, whereupon the Indian turned his horse and trotted back, to disappear in the cedars.
The others grouped round him, but did not hear a sound except the soft flow of water and the heave of the mustangs. Then the Indian went on. Presently he halted again. And again he listened. This time he threw up his head and upon his dark face shone a light which might have been pride. "Tse ko-n-tsa-igi," he said. The others could not understand, but they were impressed.
I've found fault with you on the King, on your mustangs, an' on this black horse Sarch. But on Wildfire! You grow there." "What will Dad say, and Farlane, and Holley, and Van? Oh, I'll crow over Van," said Lucy. "I'm crazy to ride Wildfire out before all the Indians and ranchers and riders, before the races, just to show him off, to make them stare." "No, Lucy.
I found further proof that these mustangs were all mounted by noticing that they did not stop to graze, as the loose horses did, being kept in constant motion by their riders. What do you think now?" asked George, seeing that Bob began to open his eyes. "It reads like a book, don't it?" was Bob's reply. "But you have forgotten one very important thing.
You had to crawl on our last bet, an' you'll get another chance soon as you're man enough." "Chuck," shouted the cook, and the subject was dropped. Next day the scene of the roundup was changed, and the mustangs were forgotten. A year later the same corner of New Mexico was worked over by the roundup, and again the mustang bunch was seen.
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