Tad gazed in awe on the rushing ponies as he pulled his own to a stop. The cowmen, too, seemed to take courage from the moonlight. Some had started to retreat. These whirled about and returned to the charge. "Oh, there goes Mr. Simms!" cried the boy. He saw the rancher waver in the saddle, throw up his hands and slip sideways with head and arms hanging down. "He's shot! He's shot!

The rancher who sits down and worries because he fears it will not rain to-morrow, or it will rain, fails to do the work of to-day ready for whatever the morrow may bring forth.

"Message over 'phone! I.W.W.! Hell to pay!" he cried, excitedly. "What's up? Tell me the message," replied Kurt, calmly. "It just come from Vale. Anderson, the big rancher! He 'phoned to send men out on all roads to stop his car! His daughter's in it! She's been made off with! I.W.W.'s!" Kurt's heart leaped. The bursting blood burned through him and receded to leave him cold, tingling.

But the smile died out when he remembered he, himself, had yet to face the rancher on the delicate subject of his daughter. He remembered only too well Jake's reference to a cyclone, and he made his way to the bunkhouse with no very enlivening thoughts. In the meantime the two men he had just left remained silent until the sound of his footsteps had quite died out. Then Marbolt spoke.

"I thought there was something familiar about you," he commented at last. "I haven't seen you for twenty years; but I remember you now. You're one of the bunch who was with Bill Landor that time he picked up the two kids." It was the guest's turn to make critical inspection. "You wouldn't remember me," explained the rancher. "I came in while you were gone, and only saw you the day you returned."

And so, with no real misgivings, the party had bidden the bluff, good-natured rancher good-by, little dreaming under what circumstances they were to meet again. But all this time we have been allowing our party to travel on without bestowing any attention upon them. As the afternoon wore on, Coyote Pete began to feel real apprehension about reaching their destination that evening.

When alone again Columbine reverted to a mood vastly removed from her apparent levity with the rancher and his son. A grave and inward-searching thought possessed her, and it had to do with the uplift, the spiritual advance, the rise above mere personal welfare, that had strangely come to her through Bent Wade.

Just as soon as something touched her selfish interests she went to pieces. I want to get away from Lost Chief!" Douglas patted her shoulder in silence. It was inexpressibly sweet to have her there. "A girl has a brain, as well as a man," she went on. "She doesn't want to be just a servant to a rough old rancher. She wants to live by her brain as well as he does.

The coroner, a rancher who bred the best horses in the district, called first upon two strangers in plain clothes, who had arrived by the first train from the South that morning. They proved to be the two officers from Nevada.

A man lying on the ground is always a disquieting object to a horse, and this one had already felt the sting of the Indian's anger when the bullet clipped a tiny speck out of his ear. Warren Starr was resolved to learn the truth, and he did so before Jack had advanced a dozen steps. The young rancher was yet some distance from the prostrate foe, when his quick eye discovered something.