There was no other horse in Lost Valley like the great king! Neither Redbuck nor Golden nor Drumfire! Neither Sweetheart nor Westwind! No, nor any Ironwood Bay that came down from Courtrey's Stronghold, Bolt and Arrow not excepted. Tharon laughed and stroked the king's neck, thewed like steel beneath her hands. She had no fear of Courtrey and his hired killers.

Billy turned Redbuck to face her, dropped his rein. Curly rode up on Drumfire. These two were red roans, dead matches. Bent brought Golden and stood him alongside. From far at the back of the corral they called Conford and Jack, who came wondering, the former on Sweetheart, true sister of El Rey, almost as big, almost as fast, almost as beautiful.

Bigger than Drumfire or Redbuck, he ranked next to El Rey himself in speed, for his slim legs, slapped smartly with the distinguishing finger marks on the outside of the knee, were long and shapely, his back short-coupled and strong, his withers low, his narrow hips high.

She thought how bright the spotted cattle looked, how lithe and graceful the men, and then her eyes lighted as they always did when she beheld the horses of Last's Holding the horses of the Finger Marks. Billy rode Redbuck, Curly Drumfire, and they were princes of a royal blood, albeit Nature's strain alone.

They rode in silence, Conford, Bent, Jack, Curly, Billy and herself, and a thousand thoughts were boiling miserably in two hearts. El Rey, Golden, Redbuck, Drumfire, Westwind and Sweetheart, they went down along the sounding dark plain, a magnificent band.