Early in the morning the whole rodéo outfit adjourned to the parada ground out by the pole corrals, the open spot where they work over the cattle. Hardy danced his sorrel up to the line where the gray was waiting, there was a scamper of feet, a streak of dust, and Bill Lightfoot was out one yearling heifer.
"Of course I've known you knew you when you stood on the steps after you had tied the janitor." "I knew you, too." "Why didn't you say so?" "Did you expect me to make that grand-stand play on the parada a claim on yore kindness? I didn't do a thing for you that day any man wouldn't have done. I happened to be the lucky fellow that got the chance. That's all.
He leaned forward and Bat Wings shot away up the cañon like a charger that sniffs the combat, thundering out across the parada grounds, swinging beneath the giant mesquite, and plunging down the bank that led to the creek. And all the time his rider sat with one hand on the cantle, his white teeth flashing back a wistful smile.
Below him lay the panorama of a mountain valley the steep and rocky walls; the silvery stream writhing down the middle; the green and yellow of flowers along the lowlands; and in the middle, to give it life, a great herd of cattle on the parada ground, weaving and milling before the rushes of yelling horsemen, intent on cutting out every steer in the herd.
Parada is a native of Santander, and writes of his beloved countrymen. Sotilezas, his best-known, and perhaps best, novel, treats of life among the fisher-folk of Santander, before it became an industrial town. Writing in dialect makes many of his stories puzzling, if not impossible for foreign readers.
The bawling of cattle and the shrill yells of the cowboys no longer tempted her to the parada ground she was lonely, and there was no one who cared for her. Yet, somewhere within, she could hear the murmur of voices, and at last when she could endure it no longer she turned and entered quickly.