Desert Gold (Chapter 8, page 1 of 18)


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Chapter 8

The Yaqui's strange dark glance roved over the corral, the swinging
gate with its broken fastenings, the tracks in the road, and then
rested upon Belding.

"Malo," he said, and his Spanish was clear.

"Shore Yaqui, about eight bad men, an' a traitor Indian," said Ladd.

"I think he means my herder," added Belding. "If he does, that settles
any doubt it might be decent to have--Yaqui--malo Papago--Si?"

The Yaqui spread wide his hands. Then he bent over the tracks in the
road. They led everywhither, but gradually he worked out of the thick
net to take the trail that the cowboys had followed down to the river.
Belding and the rangers kept close at his heels. Occasionally Dick lent
a helping hand to the still feeble Indian. He found a trampled spot
where the raiders had left their horses. From this point a deeply
defined narrow trail led across the dry river bed.

Belding asked the Yaqui where the raiders would head for in the Sonora
Desert. For answer the Indian followed the trail across the stream of
sand, through willows and mesquite, up to the level of rock and cactus.
At this point he halted. A sand-filled, almost obliterated trail led
off to the left, and evidently went round to the east of No Name
Mountains. To the right stretched the road toward Papago Well and the
Sonoyta Oasis. The trail of the raiders took a southeasterly course
over untrodden desert. The Yaqui spoke in his own tongue, then in
Spanish.

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