Gum! we ain't had anythin' like this since Tom Davis was caught in his skimmy over by the dunes twenty-five years back; least we haven't had anythin' like it as bad so early in the Fall." "Come down, Davy," pleaded Janet, "don't stand and hear the poor birds beat themselves to death. To-morrow they will lie thick in the garden. Oh! it is a fearful gale!
"True as gospel," added Skimmy, the third cavalryman. "We caught him less than half an hour ago." Without answering to this, Pawnee Brown turned to the youth. "Tell me your yarn, Dick. I know there is some mistake here." "There is not much to tell, Major. When the lariat broke up at the Devil's Chimney and I couldn't make you reply to my calls I ran off to get help and a rope.
"Do you reckon the boomers know we are on hand to stop them?" questioned Skimmy. "They know nothing," answered Vorlange. "If Pawnee Brown leads his men in this direction they will fall directly into a trap if the lieutenant does as I have advised, and I think he will." "I hope the boomers start to fight and give us a chance to wipe 'em out," muttered Ross.
Pawnee Brown leaped forward and hurled both Ross and Skimmy to the ground. Ere they could rise he had turned upon Tucker. The tall calvary man had his pistol cocked, and now he blazed away almost in Pawnee Brown's face, and then both went down, with the scout on top. The flash of the pistol had scorched the boomer's skin, but the bullet sung over his head, missing him by less than an inch.
"I'll get square with you some day, Pawnee Brown, mark my words!" he muttered between his set teeth. "We'll all get square," said Ross. "I hate the sight of that man." "I understand the boomers have made him their leader," broke in Skimmy. "If they have, he'll try to break through to Oklahoma as sure as guns are guns." "And he'll get shot, too," answered Tucker dryly.
As he came down upon Tucker he hit the cavalryman a terrific blow in the jaw, breaking that member and knocking out several teeth. "On him!" yelled Skimmy, and tried to rise. But now Pawnee Brown was again up, and flung Skimmy on top of Ross. In a moment more he was running along the river bank. He was almost out of sight, when there came two shots, from Ross and Skimmy.
"If you've fretted about me, I've been crazy about you what time I've had to think." Quain deferred to his insistence. "It was simple enough and damned hard," he explained. "I caught the Echo by the skin of my teeth, the skimmy almost sinking under me. She was hard and fast aground, but I managed to get the motor going and backed her off.
He stole my horse. I captured him and Pawnee Brown came to his rescue and made me, Ross and Skimmy give him up," and Tucker gave the particulars in his own version of the affair. "Then you bear the lad no love?" "Love?" The cavalryman grated his teeth. "I was wishing I could get a shot at him." "Then keep that wish in mind, Tucker, when the time for action arrives."
"You must have been dreaming, Tucker. No redskins up here." "All right, I know what I am talking about." "I think I saw something, too," said a third voice, that of Skimmy, the calvary man. The three calvary men were out on a scouting expedition, to learn if the boomers were in the vicinity of the river.
"The lieutenant is having all of the boomers' movements watched." "Pawnee Brown will do his level best to give us the slip, see if he don't," remarked Skimmy. "Four thousand boomers wouldn't make him their leader for nothing." Thus, talking among themselves, the three cavalrymen mounted their horses and rode back to their various picket stations along the boundary line of the Indian Territory.