Desert Gold (Chapter 3, page 2 of 14)


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Chapter 3

"It shore was, Laddy, it shore was," came a voice out of the darkness.
"Rough house! Laddy, since wire fences drove us out of Texas we ain't
seen the like of that. An' we never had such a call."

"Call? It was a burnin' roast," replied another voice. "I felt low
down. He vamoosed some sudden, an' I hope he an' his friends shook the
dust of Casita. That's a rotten town Jim."

Gale jumped up in joy. What luck! The speakers were none other than
the two cowboys whom he had accosted in the Mexican hotel.

"Hold on, fellows," he called out, and strode into the road.

The horses snorted and stamped. Then followed swift rustling sounds--a
clinking of spurs, then silence. The figures loomed clearer in the
gloom.. Gale saw five or six horses, two with riders, and one other, at
least, carrying a pack. When Gale got within fifteen feet of the group
the foremost horseman said: "I reckon that's close enough, stranger."

Something in the cowboy's hand glinted darkly bright in the starlight.

"You'd recognize me, if it wasn't so dark," replied Gale, halting. "I
spoke to you a little while ago--in the saloon back there."

"Come over an' let's see you," said the cowboy curtly.

Gale advanced till he was close to the horse. The cowboy leaned over
the saddle and peered into Gale's face. Then, without a word, he
sheathed the gun and held out his hand. Gale met a grip of steel that
warmed his blood. The other cowboy got off his nervous, spirited horse
and threw the bridle. He, too, peered closely into Gale's face.

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