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come right on. Have a trace of his land. Before him a light and a few cattle thief. Ned (Ranger).”
more yards and they were standing in "But I thought Ned wasn't letting his yard in a pool of slush and rain. me know about the herd, Pablo. Did “Who goes there?" It was the Manuel say anything else?”.
ranger himself. “Si, Senor, Manuel say ‘Mister “Carter Gleason!” He had not finGleason must go right down. You tellished repeating his name when Ned 'em, Pablo'."
approached him. Gleason hesitated a moment, tapped “Mean work, Mister Gleason. We the note against the saddle, and looked had a devil of a time forcing her open down at Pablo who was obediently but you've found us able, I guess.” awaiting orders.
“More than able, Ned. It's mighty "You go, Senor ?".
fine of you, old man, but how about "Yes. I'm hitting the road tonight. the herd. You're good to have kept Right now, Pablo. Let me have the me unawares. I'd a gone crazy if I'd stuff." And he reached down and a known it sooner. Nela told me just pulled the package of clothing to the tonight. What about them?” Gleason saddle. “Tell Nela, I'll be sending had alighted and was nervously conher a message when I'll be making fused. He led his horse back to the the trail to return. She'll understand.” stable, accompanied by the ranger, And Gleason touched the reins to his and having found it shelter for the horse.
night, they dropped back to the cabin. "Adois! Senor. I fix 'em all right.” They entered and placed themselves He was on the veranda again.
on the couch before the open fire. As the lower gate closed some Gleason looked at his watch again. sparks fell over it. He puffed on his “Don't know what makes me watch pipe in the drizzle that covered him. my time all the while-I've been
"Stay with it, Pal. We've got to keeping my eye on that watch a dozpass that cut pretty quickly. We'll call en or more times tonight.” it quits at Ned's cabin and you'll have Ned glanced at the alarm clock in all the rest you ever want. It's not so the corner, instinctively. 'Three A. M." long now.”
"You've got to work fast, Mister They jolted on together. The snow Gleason, can you do it?” had started to melt into a slidy slush “Work fast, what do you mean, but the horse found herself equal to Ned?" the journey. Gleason looked at his "I mean that we got a trace of that watch by the light his dimly burning cattle thief up here tonight. I 'phoned pipe afforded.
Manuel to give you the word. Did you "Quarter to three!” They were get it?” swinging into the snow-bound sec- “Sure I got the message, but what tion, and timber was strewn in shat about it?" Gleason was plainly tered bits on either side of the trail. alarmed. The path was open but uncertain. "Well, it's a fellow that's been They wandered somewhat slowly, un hanging out down below at Arrowtil voices reached them.
head. A flashy fellow. He's been “We've made it, Pal. A bit more prowling around these parts pretendand we'll be under the roof at Ned's.” ing to buy a ranch and we traced him No sooner had Gleason spoken than up to the second ranch today where they were winding past driftwood and that new rancher just came in, and he shattered trees that the blast had cast was making arrangements to unload aside, and he heard the Mexican lingo your whole herd on him. He acted floating across the cold air to him. like he was your agent. I sent one of He now began to recognize the way my boys to head him off, but he's a and before many minutes was on the slick fellow. Not much of a mounhomeward stretch into the Ranger's taineer, for he had a hard time dodging us on his horse, but he slipped us couch again, then across the room to up, I'm ashamed to admit. He told the telephone. "So, that's his game, is the rancher up there that he was re- it? The dirty thief. Take my cattle turning on the three-thirty limited, then take my girl ?" He hesitated, that west-bound train this morning, for he had composure under his manly and would take the money with him. self-control. Your cattle are up there, all corralled, "What do you mean, Mister Gleasafe and sound, but that scoundrel's son, do you know this fellow ?” somewhere down below. He didn't Gleason was silent. He had rung have time to get the money. We slip- a number on the automatic. He waited ped in on him just as he was closing for response. “Know him? I couldn't the deal. I wanted you to come on miss him on that description." down tonight just for the reason that The ranger watched him intently I want you to get him before he flys and pricked up his ears for the conthe coop. Will you do it?" "Climb in, Mister Gleason. Bundle “Looking for me? What do you up!" He had already climbed in. mean?” She was curious.
versation. Gleason was sharply aroused and “Hello-Hello!" Gleason was confused beyond discussion. “Who is squirming. “Is this Arrowhead? Yes, he, Ned? Did you get his name?" yes. Well, this is Carter Gleason.”
"Nope, don't know his name. But He clicked the receiver. "He's gone, he told the rancher that there was a Ned. He's gone." Gleason was deswoman down at Arrowhead that was perate. He listened furtively with waiting for him—maybe his wife, we his mouth against the telephone. He don't know—and that he'd have to looked at his watch. "Three-thirteen close the deal up and hurry back A. M." Then he clutched the receiver 'cause she was waiting on him. They as he heard the voice at the other end had to make that train.”
of the wire. "Yes, this is Car-t-" They were talking fast now. Ned he did not finish. “A message for me was up and starting for the door. -read it-yes read-quickly." It Gleason after him. “You gotta travel came over the wire to him. fast, Mister Gleason. You've gotta get "When you get this we'll be hitting that fellow."
the ties for the city. Be a sport and Gleason stopped short and put his take the litle joke. I did you a good hand on Ned's shoulder, looking him turn and moved your cattle farther up squarely in the eye. “Wait a minute, the range. She is going to be my Ned! Before I go what about this wife.-Graham Glenn." woman? What was her name?"
Gleason snapped the receiver "Dunno, Mister Gleason. What dif against its rack. He was awkwardly ference does that make ? Come along." dizzy, but he pulled himself together.
Gleason stood still. He was reserv- His face was white as a sheet and his edly determined in his answer and teeth were set against his pinched lips. slower in his speech.
"He's double crossed ine, Ned. "It makes a lot of difference, Ned. That fellow's forcing my hand. It's I've got to know that."
three-fifteen. I've got to make that "Well, he intimated something to three-thirty at San Ber'do. Ne've got the rancher about her coming up to to, Ned, we've got to." Gleasun was meet some big rancher and that they infuriated with his nervous tension. were to be married shortly at the ho Ned had already opened the door tel below. He explained about some and motioned Gleason toward him. old romance that sprung up a long “Come along, Lad. He can't beat two time ago, and ventured that he was sons of the low Sierras.” here to beat the other man's time. He A minute later and they were tearput on a lot of airs about being a pros- ing the tarpaulin from the powerful perous cattle owner when he brought Curtis biplane that lay anxiously your herd in there.”
propped for the mission it was headed Gleason had reeled back to the for.
The ranger spun the engine. It hum- “Yes. Looking for you. I knew you med a powerful tune against the driz- would come to me when you heard of zle and breeze. He likewise found his my misfortune." place, and behind the wheel.
“But how did you know I was "Wait a second. Who's that prowl- there?” ing up back there?" And Gleason “I follow the papers. Three days ago motioned toward the shanty.
I read of your return from abroad; "Oh, that's just old man Bell. He's your intended journey to Arrowhead, the sheriff of these parts now. Came and then your—well, you know the down to help us get this guy.”
rest. And then I got to thinking of “Hey there! Old man Bell!” Glea- our love affair some many moons ago. son was calling his loudest.
I figured it all out. He never liked me. Bell approached on a run. "What I always hated him. He's not the do you want of him, Mister Gleason?” right man for you. You want someone
Gleason was on his feet, had the that's got an established way about sheriff around the waist and hoisted them-not a slinking mountaineerhim into the biplane.
you—" “Let 'er go, Sheriff!" It was Glea- “Don't. That's enough, Graham. son that hollered.
If you're going to talk that way, I With a burst they shot off into the shall get right out in this rain and snapping air that caught them. Ned, travel every step of the way to the Mister Gleason and Sheriff Bell were hotel." hitting the air for the three-thirty "You can't do that. You promised west-bound Limited.
the doctor you would help me catch When Graham Glenn and the girl my train. Now you're going to do it.” had made their departure from the He sat closer to her, guiding the car Arrowhead Hotel and rolled down the with his left hand. His arm stole about road a ways from the illuminated her and he hugged her tightly to him. hostelry they fell to talking in a more She screamed. detailed manner.
“Graham Glenn, you'll stop that! I "How long did it take you to make came along to help you—it doesn't the trip up on the stage this evening, look as though you were very helpless Gladys ?"
now does it?” She was truly fright"About three hours, Graham. It was ened but with some composure. very wet on the grade and we had to “The doctor might have thought it. take it easy in places."
I never felt healthier in all my life. I "We can make it better than that. could have made this journey a dozen We've got to. Our train goes at times tonight, but I managed it so that three-thirty. We'll speed ahead.” we would make it together. You're goAnd he put his foot on the gas.. ing down with me. He'll find out soon
"Our train?” She laughed, for his enough when he hits the hotel tomorexpression seemed odd. She looked row.” He was sitting closer to her forward, as though frightened with now and speaking his words emthe move.
phatically. “Why, of course, our train.” She “Find out what? What do you said nothing; now she was watching mean?" him closely for they were driving “The note. I left that note with the rather rapidly.
page, addressed to him. He'll retrace "Tell me something, Graham. How his steps quick enough when he does it happen that you were not finds you've promised to be my wife." more surprised to see me, when I She swooned. Then realizing her sitspoke to the doctor tonight?”.
uation, sat rigidly upright, turned "Because I was looking for you.” slightly in the seat and shot a pierc
its Hells a fast pace ade from some
ing look at him. She was dazed and at him, and her mouth twitched and terrified, but she was herself.
she pushed herself to the far side of "He's out of luck. Snowed-in the seat. She wished she might jump tighter than a trap, but he'll make the out, but she was unwrought and hotel by the time we make the city- powerless. He held the speedometer and when he does, he'll have the one at forty and fairly slid down the big surprise of his young life." Glenn splattered highway. The lights of the laughed cynically.
village were more discernible. She was losing ground. She felt She spoke. “Who else knows herself reel, then regained her senses, this ?” and resolved to fight her way through. "He does—perhaps. I dropped a “How can you do that? You've no way word, unintentionally at a ranch house to force me into this. I'll show you.” up above. But the snow-bound are Her teeth locked in defiance.
out of luck up there. Maybe it was his He laughed again. Then spoke more house that slid the cliff—it was in decidedly. “Oh, I guess I can. We'll that direction.” His remarks were see about that." A train whistle heartless. They had their desired efsounded from afar. “Do you hear fect, for she was coldly excited. that? That's the west-bound Limited They wheeled around another curve. now. It's crossing the Cajon Pass; per- Far ahead the searchlight of the Limhaps on the down-grade from Sum- ited lighted up the darkened roadbed. mitt. It's a fast race but we'll make “That's the one-see it?" And he it.” He talked with graceful confi- pointed exultantly toward the oncomdence.
ing train. “We'll have to step to make She was unstrung with words and it. She crosses the road a mile down thoughts. “You'll be sorry for this. here. We've gotta cross that grade first You can't do this.” Her expressions or we miss the train.” He stepped were clearly nerve wrought and shaky. with cowardly bravado on the throttle
"Oh, yes, I can. He's on that train and the car jumped forward anew. right now, and he'll do the little deed She was thinking. They crawled closer -you wait and see.”
and closer to the approaching train. "Whose on that train? What do The whistle Sounded-clearer now, you mean?"
and the lights of the cars were visible. "The minister from Devore. He's an At right angles they were making even old friend of mine—we went to col- time. He was bent on crossing firstlege together. I wired him the word to make the switchback and reach the and he's flagged the Limited-prob- station on time. He placed his watch ably what she blew her whistle for a before the dash light again. She was while ago."
watching him. The whistle blew more The car rolled on; the grade was vibrantly. An idea struck her, as he almost finished. It was still drizzling pulled his arm back from the wheel. and the wind-shield was covered with She was frenzied, the train but twenty dew. They swung down and out of yards away. Down went her hand to the last canyon. He held his wrist, the dashboard and the lights of the watch down against the light on the machine flashed out. dash-board. “Three A. M. and twenty “Look out—my God!” he screamed miles to go. That means work.” He a terrified shriek, instinctively snapthrew on more gas and the car slid and ping his feet to the clutch and brakes. tossed over the bumpy gulches. She Her hand was on the limousine door. was frightened, although she said It opened, and she shut her eyes as nothing. As they wheeled around a she heard the crash. She had jumped sharp corner that brought them out —she knew not where. The car had upon the highway he heaved a sigh of met the oncoming engine on its own relief, and he chuckled lowly. It was terms. lowly too, for she cast her weary eyes “What do you suppose that is down