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CHAPTER I—Arriving at the lonely
little railroad station of El Cajon, New
Mexico, Madeline Hammond, New York
1, finds no one to meet her. While in
waiting room a drunken cowboy en-
ters, asks if she is married, and departs,
leaving her terrified, He returns with a
priest, who goes through some sort of
ceremony, and the cowboy forces her to
“Si.” Asking her name and learning
her identity the cowboy seems dazed. In
& shooting scrape outside the room a
Mexican is killed. The cowboy lets a
rl, “Bonita,” take his horse and escape,
en conducts Madeline to Florence
Kingsley, friend of her brother.
CHAPTER II1.—Florence welcomes her,
learns her story, and dismisses the cow-
boy, Gene Stewart. Next day Alfred
Hammond, Madeline’s brother, takes
Stewart to task. Madeline exonerates
him of any wrong intent.
CHAPTER III.—Alfred, scion of a
wealthy family, had been dismissed from
home because of his dissipation.
Madeline sees that the West has re-
deemed him. She meets Stillwell, Al's
employer, typical western ranchman.
Madeline learns Stewart has gone over
CHAPTER IV.—Danny Mains, one of
Btillwell’s cowboys, has disappeared,
with some of Stillwell’'s money. His
frienas link his name with the girl Bo-
CHAPTER V.—Madeline gets a glimpse
of life on a western ranch,
CHAPTER VI.—Stewart’s horse comes
to the ranch with a note on the saddle
asking Madeline to accept the beautiful
animal. With her brother's consent she
does s0, naming him ‘‘Majesty,” her own
pet nickname. Madeline, independently
rich, arranges to buy Stillwell’s ranch
and that of Don Carlos, a Mexican neigh-
CHAPTER VII.—Madeline feels she
has found her right place, under the light
of the western stars.
CHAPTER VIII.—Learning Stewart had
been hurt in a brawl at Chiricahua, and
knowing her brother's fondness for him,
Madeline visits him and persuades him to
come to the ranch as the boss of her
The New Foreman.
Toward the end of the week Still-
well informed Madeline that Stewart
had arrived at the ranch and had
taken up quarters with Nels.
“Gene’s sick. He looks bad,” said
the old cattleman. “He's so weak an’
shaky he can’t lift a cup. Nels says
that Gene has hed some bad spells. A
little liquor would straighten him up
now. But Nels can’t force him to drink
a drop, an’ has hed to sneak some
liquor in his coffee. Gene's losin’ his
mind, or he’s got somethin’ powerful
strange on it.”
Stewart was really ill. It became
necessary to send for a physician.
Then Stewart began slowly to mend
and presently was able to get up and
about. Stillwell - said the cowboy
lacked interest and seemed to be a
broken man. This statement, however,
the old cattleman modified as Stewart
continued to improve. Then presently
it was a good augury of Stewart's
progress that the cowboys once more
took up the teasing relation which had
been characteristic of them before his
illness. A cowboy was indeed out of
sorts when he could not vent his pecu-
liar humor on somebody or something.
Stewart had evidently become a broad
target for their badinage.
“Wal, the boys are sure after Gene,”
said Stillwell, with his huge smile.
“Joshin’ him all the time about how
he sits around an’ hangs around an’
loafs around jest to get a glimpse of
you, Miss Majesty. Sure all the boys
hev a pretty bad case over their pretty
boss, but none of them is a marker to
Gene. He's got it so bad, Miss Maj-
esty, thet he actooly don't know they
are joshin’ him. It’s the amazin’est
strange thing I ever seen.”
Madeline smiled her amusement. It
had been impossible for her to fail to
observe Stewart's singular behavior.
She never went out to take her cus-
tomary walks and rides without seeing
him somewhere in the distance. She
was aware that he watched for her and
avoided meeting her. When she sat on
the porch during the afternoon or at
sunset Stewart could always be des-
cried at some point near. He idled
listlessly in the sun, lounged on the
porch of his bunkhouse, sat whittling
the top bar of the corral fence, and
always it seemed to Madeline he was
watching her. He was pale, haggard,
drawn. His eyes held a shadow
through which shone a soft, subdued
light; and, once having observed this,
Madeline fancied it was like the light in
Majesty's eyes, in the dumb, worship
ing eyes of her favorite stag-hound.
She told Stewart that she hoped he
would soon be in the saddle again, and
passed on her way.
That Stewart loved her Madeline
could not help but see. When she dis-
covered this she felt a little surprise
and annoyance. Then she interrogated
herself, and concluded that it was not
that Stewart was so different from his
comrades, but that circumstances made
him stand out from them. She re-
called hier meeting with him that night
when he had tried to force her to mar-
ry him. This was unforgettable in fit-
self. She recalled subsequent mention
of him, and found it had been peculiar-
ly memorable, The man and his ac-
tions seemed to hinge on events. Last:
1y, the fact standing clear of all others
in its relation to her interest was that
he had almost been ruined, almost lost,
and she had saved him, That alone
was sufficient to explain why she
thought of him differently. She had
befriended, uplifted the other cowboys;
she hai saved Stewart's life. To be
‘sure, he had been a ruffian, but a
woman could not save the life of even
a ruffian without remembering it with
gladness. Madeline at length decided
her interest in Stewart was natural,
and that her deeper feeling was pity.
Perhaps the interest had been forced
from her; however, she gave the pity
as she gave everything.
Stewart had taken up his duties as
foreman, and his activities were cease-
less. He was absent most of the time,
ranging down toward the Mexican line.
When he returned Stillwell sent for
This was late in the afternoon of a
day in the middle of April. Alfred
and Florence were with Madeline on
Madeline saw the man she remem-
hered, but with a singularly different
aspect. His skin was brown; his eyes
were piercing and dark and steady;
he carried himself erect; he seemed
preoccupied. and there was not a trace
of embarrassment in his manner.
“Wal, Gene, I'm sure glad to see
you,” Stillwell was saying. “Where
do you hail from?”
“Guadalupe canyon,” replied the
“Way down there! You dcn’t mean
vou follered them hoss tracks thet
rancho across the Mexican line.
the way from Don Carlos’
Nick Steele with me. Nick is the best
tracker in the outfit. This trail we
were on led along the foothill valleys.
First we thought whoever made it was
hunting for water. But they passed
two ranches without watering. At
Seaton’s wash they dug for water.
Here they met a pack-train of -burros
that came down the mountain trail.
The burros were heavily loaded. Horse
and burro tracks struck south from
Seaton’s: to. the old California emigrant
road.. We followed the trail through
Guadalupe canyon and across the bor-
der. On the way back we stopped at
Slaughter’s ranch, where the United
States cavalry are camping. There
we met foresters from the Peloncillo
forest reserve. If these fellows knew
anything they kept it to themselves.
So we hit the trail home.”
“Wal, I reckon you know enough?”
inquired Stillwell, slowly. “Miss Ham-
“You Don’t Mean You Follered Them
' Hoss Tracks Thet Far?
mond can’t be kept in the dark much
longer. Make your report to her.”
The cowboy shifted his dark gaze
to Madeline. “We're losing a few cat-
tle on the open range. Night-drives
by vaqueros. Some of these cattle are
driven across the valley, others up in-
to the foothills. So far as I can find
out no cattle are being driven south.
So this raiding is a blind to fool the
cowboys. Don Carlos is a Mexican
rebel. He located his rancho here a
few years ago and pretended to raise
cattle. All that time he has been
smuggling arms and ammunition across
the border. He was for Madero against
Diaz. Now he is against Madero be-
cause he and all the rebels think Ma-
dero failed to keep his promises. There
will be another revolution. And all
the arms go from the States across
the border. Those burros I told about
were packed with’ contraband goods.”
“What is my—my duty? . What has
it to do with me?” inquired Madeline,
“Wal, Miss Majesty, I reckon It
hasn't nothing to do with you,” put in
Stillwell. “Thet’'s my bizness an’ Stew-
art’s. But I jest wanted you to know.
There might be some trouble follerin’
“I want to send Stewart over to fire
Don Carlos an’ his vaquercs off the
range. They've got to go. Don Carlos
is breakin’ the law of the United
States, an’ doin’ it on our property an’
with our hosses. Hev I. your permis-
sion, Miss Hammond?”
“Why, assuredly you have!
well, you know what to do.
what do you think best?”
“It'll make trouble, Majesty, but it’s
got to be done,” replied Alfred. “Here
you have a crowd of eastern friends
due next month. We want the range
to ourselves then. But, Stillwell, if
you drive those vaqueros off, won't
they hang around in the foothills? 1
declare they are a bad lot.”
“He’ll have to be forced off,” replied
Stewart, quietly. “The Don’s pretty
slick, but his vaqueros are bad actors.
It’s just this way: Don Carlos has
vaqueros coming and going all the
time. They're guerrilla bands, that’s
all. And they're getting uglier. There
have been several shooting-scrapes
lately. It’s only a matter of time til!
something stirs up the boys here, Stiil-
well, you know Nels and Monty and
~ “Sure ‘I know ‘em, an’ you're not
wmentionin’ one more particular cowboy
in my outfit,” said Stillwell, with a dry
chuckle and a glance at Stewart.
Madeline divined the covert mean-
tng. “Stewart, I see you carry a gun.”
she said, pointing to a black handle
protruding from a sheath swinging low
along his leather chaps.
“Why do you carry it?” she asked.
“Well,” he said, “it's not a pretty
gun—and it’s heavy.”
She caught the inference. The gun
vas not an ornament. His keen,
steady, dark gaze caused her vague
alarm. What had once seemed cool
and audacious about this cowboy was
wow cold and powerful and mystical,
Both her instinet and her intelligence
realized the steel fiber of the man’s
wature. As she was his employer, she
nad the right to demand that he should
not do what was so chillingly manifest
that he might do. But Madeline could
not demand. She felt curiously young
and weak, and the five months of
western life were as if they had never
teen. She now had to do with a ques:
+ion involving human life. And the
‘-alue she placed upon human life and
its spiritual significance was a matter
€ar from her cowboy’s thoughts, A
strange idea flashed up. Did she place
“a0 much value upon all human life?
he checked that, wondering, almost
horrified at herself. And then her
intuition told her that she possessed
a far stronger power to move these
primitive men than any woman's stern
rule or order.
“Stewart, I do not fully understand
what you hint that Nels and his com-
rades might do. Please be frank with
me. Do you mean Nels would shoot
upon little provocation?”
“Miss Hammond, as far as Nels is
concerned, shooting is now just a mat-
ter of his meeting Don Carlos’
vaqueros. As for Nick Steele and
Monty, they're just bad men, and look-
ing for trouble.”
“How about yourself, Stewart? Still-
well’s remark was not lost upon me,”
said Madeline, prompted by curiosity.
“Stewart, 1 have come to love my
ranch, and I care a great deal for my—
my cowboys. It would be dreadful if
they were to kill anybody, or especial-
ly if one of them should be killed.”
“Miss Hammond, you've changed
things considerable out here, but you
can’t change these men. All that’s
needed to start them is a little trou-
ble. And this Mexican revolution is
bound to make rough times along some
of the wilder passes across the border.
We're in line, that’s all. And the boys
are getting stirred up.”
“Very well, then, I must accept the
inevitable. I am facing a rough time.’
And some of my cowboys cannot be
checked much longer. But human life
is not for any man to sacrifice unless
in self-defense or in protecting those
dependent upon him. What Stillwell
and you hinted makes me afraid of
Nels and Nick Steele and Monty. Can-
not they be controlled? I want to feel
that they will not go gunning for Don
Carlos’ men. I want to avoid all vio-
lence. And yet when my guests come
I want to feel that they will be safe
from danger or fright or even annoy-
ance. May I not rely wholly upon you,
“I hope so, Miss Hammond,” replied
Stewart. It was an instant response,
but none the less fraught with con-
sciousness of responsibility. He wait-
ed a moment, and then, as neither
Stillwell nor Madeline offered further
speech, he bowed and turned down the
path, his long spurs clinking in the
“Wal, wal,” exclaimed Stillwell,
“thet’s no little job you give him, Miss
“It was a woman's cunning, Still-
well,” said Alfred. “Majesty, what-
ever actuated you, it was a stroke of
diplomacy. Stewart has got good stuff
in him. He was down and out. Well,
he’s made a game fight, and it looks as
if he’d win. Trusting him, giving him
responsibility, relying upon him, was
the surest way to strengthen his hold
upon himself. But, Majesty, remem-
ber, he's a composite of tiger breed
and forked lightning, and don’t imag-
ine he has failed you if he gets into a
Don Carlos’ Vaqueros.
Early the following morning Stew-
art, with a company of cowboys, de-
parted for Don Carlos’ rancho. As the
day wore on without any report from
him, Stillwell appeared to grow more
at ease; and at nightfall he told Made-
line that he guessed there was now no
reason for concern.
“Wal, though it's sure amazin’
strange,” he continued, “I've been wor-
ryin’ some about how we was goin’ ta
fire Don Carlos. But Gene has a way
of doin’ things.”
Next day Stillwell and Alfred de
cided to ride over to Don Carlos’ place,
taking Madeline and Florence with
them, and upon the return to stop at
Alfred’s ranch. They started in the
cool, gray dawn, and after three hours’
riding, as the sun began to get bright,
they entered a mesquite grove, sur
rounding corrals and barns, and a
number of low, squat buildings and a
huge, rambling structnr=~ all built of
Then a Crowd of Men Tramped Pell
Mell Out Upon the Porch.
adobe and mostly ¢rumbling to ruin
Only one green spot relieved the bald
red of grounds and walls; and this evils
dently was made by the spring which
bad given both value and fame to Don
Carlos’ range. The approach to the
house was through a wide courtyard
hare, stony, hard packed, with hitch.
ing-rails and watering-troughs in front
of a long porch. Several dusty, tired
horses stood with drooping heads and
pridles down, their wet flanks attesting
+o travel just ended.
“Wal, dog-gone it, Al, if there ain't
Pat Hawe’s hoss I'll eat it,” exclaimed
“What's Pat want here, anyhow?"
growled Alfred. :
, No one was In sight; but Madeline
heard loud voices coming from the
house. Stillwell dismounted at the
porch and stalked in at the door. Al-
fred leaped off his horse, helped Flor-
ence and Madeline down, and, bidding
them rest and wait on the porch, he
From the corridor came the rattling
of spurs, tramping of boots, and loud
voices. Madeline detected Alfred's
quick notes when he was annoyed:
“We'll rustle back home, then,” he
‘said. The answer came, “No!” Made-
line recognized Stewart’s voice. and
she quickly straightened up. “I won't
have them in here,” went on Alfred.
“Outdoors or in, they've got to be
with us!” replied Stewart, sharply.
“Listen, Al,” came the boom of Still-
well’s big voice, “now that we've but-
ted in over hyar with the girls, you let
Stewart run things.”
Then a crowd of men tramped pell-
mell out upon the porch. Stewart,
dark-browed and somber, was in the
lead. Nels hung close to him, and
Madeline's quick glance saw that Nels
had undergone indescribable change.
The grinning, brilliant-eyed Don Car-
los ‘came jostling out beside a giant,
sharp-featured man wearing a silver
shield. This, no doubt, was Pat Hawe.
In the background behind Stillwell and
Alfred stood Nick Steele, head and
shoulders over a number of vaqueros
i “Miss Hammond, I'm sorry you
came,” said Stewart, bluntly. “We're
in a muddle here. I've insisted that
| you and Flo be kept close to us. I'll
explain later. If you can’t stop your
ears I beg you toa overlook rough talk.”
i With that he turned to the men be-
hind him: “Nick, take Booly, go back
to Monty and the boys. Fetch out that
' stuff. All of it. Rustle, now!”
) Stillwell and Alfred disengaged
themselves from the crowd to take up
positions in front of Madeline and
Florence. Pat Hawe leaned against a
post and insolently ogled Madeline and
then Florence. Don Carlos pressed
| forward. His swarthy face showed
dark lines, like cords, under the sur-
face. His little eyes were exceedingly
prominent and glittering. To Made-
line his face seemed to be a bold, hand-
some mask through which his eyes
piercingly betrayed the evil nature of
} He bowed low with elaborate and
sinuous grace. His smile revealed bril-
liant teeth, enhanced the brilliance of
his eyes, He slowly spread deprecatory
“Senoritas, I beg a thousand par-
dons,” he said. How strange it was
for Madeline to hear English spoken
in a soft, whiningly sweet accent!
“The gracious hospitality of Don Car-
los has passed with his house.”
} Stewart stepped forward and, thrust-
ing Don Carlos aside, he called, “Make
The crowd fell back to the tramp of
heavy boots. Cowboys appeared stag-
'gering out of the corridor with long
boxes. These they placed side by side
upon the floor of the porch.
* “Now, Hawe, we'll proceed with our
business,” said Stewart. “You see
these boxes, don’t you?”
i “I reckon I see a good many things
round hyar,” replied Hawe, meaningly.
) “Well, do you intend to open these
koxes upon my say-so?”™
i “No!” retorted Hawe.
“It's not my
place to meddle with property as come
by express an’ all accounted fer regu- |
“ll open them. Here, one of you !
boys, knock the tops off these boxes,”
ordered Stewart. “No, not you, Monty.
You use your eyes.
the ax. Rustle, now!”
Monty Price had jumped out of the
crowd into the middle of the porch. |
The manner in which he gave way to
open them boxes. That's ag’in’ the
law,” protested Hawe, trying to intcr-
Stewart pushed him back. Then Don
Carlos, who had been stunned by the
appearance of the boxes, suddenly be- !
and person. :
came active in speech
Stewart thrust him back also.
Mexican’s excitement increased.
wildly gesticulated; he
shrilly in Spanish. When, however, the |
lids were wrenched open and an inside
packing torn away he grew rigid and |
Madeline raised herself behind |
Stillwell to see that the boxes were !
full of rifles and ammunition.
to take charge of this ranch. 1 found
these boxes hidden in an unused room.
Let Booly handle |
and faced the vaqueros was |
pot significant of friendliness or trust. |
“Stewart, you're dead wrong to bust!
T suspected what they were. Contra-
“Wal, supposin’ they are? 1 dea’t
see any call fer sech all-fired fuss as
you're makin’. Stewart, I calkilate
you're some stuck on your new job un’
want to make a big show before—"
“Hawe, stop slinging that kind of
talk,” interrupted Stewart.
too free with your mouth once befo:e!
“You got |
Now here, I'm supposed to be consult: |
ing an officer of the law. Will you |
take charge of these contraband
“Say, you're holdin’ on high an’
mighty,” replied Hawe, in astonish.
ment that was plainly pretendad. :
“What're you drivin’ at?”
Stewart muttered an imprecation.
He took several swift strides across
the porch; he held out his hands to
Stillwell as if to indicate the hopeless-
ness of intelligent and reasonable arbi-
tration; he looked at Madeline with a
glance eloquent of his regret that he
could not handle the situation to please
her. Then as he wheeled he came face
to face with Nels, who had slipped for-
ward out of the crowd.
Madeline gathered serious impart
from the steel-blue meaning flash of
eyes whereby Nels communicated
something to Stewart. Whatever that
something was, it dispelled Stewart's
impatience. A slight movement of his
hand brought Monty Price forward
with a jump. In these sudden jumps
of Monty's there was a suggestion of
restrained ferocity. Then Nels and
Monty lined up behind Stewart. I¢
was a deliberate action, even to Made-
line, unmistakably formidable. Pat
Hawe's face took on an ugly look; his
eyes had a reddish gleam. Don Carlos
added a pale face and extreme nerv-
ousness to his former expressions of
agitation. The cowboys edged away
from the vaqueros and the bronzed. |
bearded horsemen who were evidently |
“I'm driving at this,” spoke up Stew- :
art. presently; and now he was slow
and caustic. “Here's contraband
war! Hawe, do you get that? Arms
i and ammunition for the rebels across
the border! I charge you as an officer
to confiscate these goods and to arrest
the smuggler—Don Carlos.”
These words of Stewart’s precipitat-
ed a riot among Don Carlos and his
followers, and they surged
around the sheriff. The crowd around
Don Carlos grew louder and denser
with the addition of armed vaqueros
and bare-footed stable-boys and dusty-
booted herdsmen and blanketed Mexi-
cans, the last of whom suddenly
slipped from doors and windows and
round corners. Shrill cries, evidently
from Don Carlos, somewhat quieted
the commotion. Then Don Carlos
could be heard addressing Sheriff
Hawe in an exhortation of mingled
English and Spanish, He denied, he
avowed, he proclaimed, and all in rap-
id, passionate utterance.
It seemed to Madeline that Don
Carlos denied knowledge of the boxes
of contraband goods, then knowledge
of their real contents, then knowledge
of their destination, and, finally, every-
thing except that they were there in
sight, damning witnesses to somebody's
complicity in the breaking of neutral-
ity laws. Passionate as had been his
denial of all this, it was as nothing
compared to his denunciation of Stew-
“Senor Stewart, he keel my va-
quero!” shouted Don Carlos. as. sweat-
ing and spent, he concluded his ar-
raignment of the cowboy. “Him you
must arrest! Senor Stewart a bad
man! He keel my vaquero!”
“Do you hear thet?” yelled Hawe.
“The Don's got you figgered fer thet
little job at El Cajon last fall.”
The clamor burst into a roar. Hawe
began shaking his finger in Stewart's
face and hoarsely shouting. Then a
lithe young vaquero, swift as an In-
dian, glided under Hawe’s uplifted
arm. Whatever the action he intended,
he was too late for its execution.
Stewart lunged out, struck the va-
quero, and knocked him off the porch.
As he fell a dagger glittered in the
sunlight and rolled clinking over the
stones. The man went down hard and
did not move. With the same abrupt
violence, and a manner of contempt,
Stewart threw Hawe off the porch,
then Don Carlos, who, being less sup-
ple, fell heavily. Then the mob backed
before Stewart’s rush until all were
down in the courtyard.
The shuffling of feet ceased, the
clanking of spurs, and the shouting.
Nels and Monty, now re-enforced by
Nick Steele, were as shadows of Stew-
art, so closely did they follow him,
“There, Hawe! What did I tell you?" “Senor Stewart, He Keel My Vaguerol™
“I came over here !
Shouted Don Carlos.
Stewart waved them back and stepped
down into the yard. He was absolute-
ly fearless; but what struck Madeline
so keenly was his magnificent disdain.
Manifestly, he knew the nature of the
men with whom he was dealing. From
the look of him it was natural for
Madeline to expect them to give way
before him, which they did, even Hawe
and his attendants sullenly retreating.
Don Carlos got up to confront Stew-
art. The prostrate vaquero stirred
and moaned, Lut did not rise.
“You needn’t jibber Spanish to me,”
yald Stewart. “You can talk Ameri.
can, and you can understand Ameri-
can. If you start a rough-house here
you and your Greasers will be cleaned
up. You've got to leave this ranch.
You can have the stock, the packs and
traps in the second corral. There's
grub, too. Saddle up and hit the trafl.
Don Carlos, I'm dealing more than
gquare with you. You're lying about
these boxes of guns and catridges.
You're breaking the laws of my coun-
try, and you're doing it on property in
my charge. If I let smuggling go on
here I'd be implicated mygelf. Now
you get off the range. If you don’t
I'll have the United States cavalry
here in six hours, and you can gamble
they'll get what my cowboys leave of
Don Carlos was either a capital ae
tor and gratefully relieved at Stew
art's leniency or else he was thorough:
ly cowed by references to the troops.
“Si, Senor! Gracias, Senor!” he ex-
claimed; and then, turning away, he
called to his men. They hurried after
him; while the fallen vaquero got to
his feet with Stewart’s help and stag-
gered across the courtyard. In a mo-
ment they were gone, leaving Hawe
and his several comrades behind.
Hawe was spitefully ejecting a wad
of tobacco from his mouth and swear-
ing in an undertone about “white-liv-
ered Greasers.” He cocked his red
eye speculatively at Stewart.
“Wal, I reckon as you're so hell-bent
on doin’ it up brown thet you'll try to
fire me off’'n the range, too?”
“If 1 ever do, Pat, you'll need to be
carmed off,” replied Stewart. “Just
now I'm politely inviting you and your
deputy sheriffs to leave.”
“We'll go; but we're comin’ back
' one of these days. an’ when we do
| and let's fight it out.
we'll put you in irons.”
“Hawe, if you've got it in that bad
for me, come over here in ‘the corral
You've got it in
Speak up now
for me, man to man.
and prove you're not
skunk I've always thought you.
called your hand.”
Muttering, cursing, pallid of face,
Hawe climbed astride his horse. His
comrades followed suit. Certain it ap-
peared that the sheriff was contend-
ing with more than fear and wrath.
Savagely he spurred his horse, and as
it snorted and leaped he turned in his
saddle, shaking his fist. His comrades
led the way, with their horses clatter-
ing into a canter. They disappeared
through the gate.
When, later in the day, Madeline and
Florence, accompanied by Alfred and
Stillwell, left Don Carlos’ ranch it was
not any too soon for Madeline. The
inside of the Mexican’'s home was
more unprepossessing and uncomfort-
able than the outside. The halls were
dark, the rooms huge, empty, and
musty ; and there was an air of silence
and secrecy and mystery about them
most fitting to the character Florence
had bestowed upon the place.
On the other hand, Alfred's ranch-
house, where the party halted to spend
the night, was. picturesquely located,
small and cozy, camplike in the ar-
rangement, and altogether agreeable
The day’s long ride and the exciting
events had wearied her. She rested
while Florence and the two men got
supper. During the meal it was not
lost upon Madeline that Florence ap-
peared unusually quiet and thoughtful.
Madeline wondered a little at the
cause. She remembered that Stewart
had wanted to come with them, or de-
tail a few cowboys to accompany them,
but Alfred had laughed at the idea
and would have none of it.
After supper Alfred monopolized the
conversation by describing what he
wanted to do to improve his home be-
fore he and Florence were married.
Then at an early hour they all re-
Madeline's deep slumbers were dis-
turbed by a pounding upon the wall,
and then by Florence's crying out in
answer to a call,
“Get up! Throw some clothes on
and come out!”
(To be continued).