Desert Gold (Chapter 8, page 2 of 18)


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Chapter 8

"Think he means slow march," said Belding. "Laddy, from the looks of
that trail the Greasers are having trouble with the horses."

"Tom, shore a boy could see that," replied Laddy. "Ask Yaqui to tell
us where the raiders are headin', an' if there's water."

It was wonderful to see the Yaqui point. His dark hand stretched, he
sighted over his stretched finger at a low white escarpment in the
distance. Then with a stick he traced a line in the sand, and then at
the end of that another line at right angles. He made crosses and
marks and holes, and as he drew the rude map he talked in Yaqui, in
Spanish; with a word here and there in English. Belding translated as
best he could. The raiders were heading southeast toward the railroad
that ran from Nogales down into Sonora. It was four days' travel, bad
trail, good sure waterhole one day out; then water not sure for two
days. Raiders traveling slow; bothered by too many horses, not looking
for pursuit; were never pursued, could be headed and ambushed that
night at the first waterhole, a natural trap in a valley.

The men returned to the ranch. The rangers ate and drank while making
hurried preparations for travel. Blanco Sol and the cowboys' horses
were fed, watered, and saddled. Ladd again refused to ride one of
Belding's whites. He was quick and cold.

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