The Border Legion (Chapter 2, page 1 of 11)


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Chapter 2

"It ain't you--KELLS?"

Roberts's query was a confirmation of his own recognition. And the
other's laugh was an answer, if one were needed.

The three horsemen crossed the wash and again halted, leisurely, as
if time was no object. They were all young, under thirty. The two
who had not spoken were rough-garbed, coarse-featured, and resembled
in general a dozen men Joan saw every day. Kells was of a different
stamp. Until he looked at her he reminded her of someone she had
known back in Missouri; after he looked at her she was aware, in a
curious, sickening way, that no such person as he had ever before
seen her. He was pale, gray-eyed, intelligent, amiable. He appeared
to be a man who had been a gentleman. But there was something
strange, intangible, immense about him. Was that the effect of his
presence or of his name? Kells! It was only a word to Joan. But it
carried a nameless and terrible suggestion. During the last year
many dark tales had gone from camp to camp in Idaho--some too
strange, too horrible for credence--and with every rumor the fame of
Kells had grown, and also a fearful certainty of the rapid growth of
a legion of evil men out on the border. But no one in the village or
from any of the camps ever admitted having seen this Kells. Had fear
kept them silent? Joan was amazed that Roberts evidently knew this
man.

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