Desert Gold (Chapter 5, page 1 of 17)


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Chapter 5

Belding assigned Dick to a little room which had no windows but two
doors, one opening into the patio, the other into the yard on the west
side of the house. It contained only the barest necessities for
comfort. Dick mentioned the baggage he had left in the hotel at
Casita, and it was Belding's opinion that to try to recover his
property would be rather risky; on the moment Richard Gale was probably
not popular with the Mexicans at Casita. So Dick bade good-by to fine
suits of clothes and linen with a feeling that, as he had said farewell
to an idle and useless past, it was just as well not to have any old
luxuries as reminders. As he possessed, however, not a thing save the
clothes on his back, and not even a handkerchief, he expressed regret
that he had come to Forlorn River a beggar.

"Beggar hell!" exploded Belding, with his eyes snapping in the
lamplight. "Money's the last thing we think of out here. All the
same, Gale, if you stick you'll be rich."

"It wouldn't surprise me," replied Dick, thoughtfully. But he was not
thinking of material wealth. Then, as he viewed his stained and torn
shirt, he laughed and said "Belding, while I'm getting rich I'd like to
have some respectable clothes."

"We've a little Mex store in town, and what you can't get there the
women folks will make for you."

When Dick lay down he was dully conscious of pain and headache, that he
did not feel well. Despite this, and a mind thronging with memories
and anticipations, he succumbed to weariness and soon fell asleep.

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