The Texican

Cover of book The Texican
Categories: Fiction » Western

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER IV THE SH


OW-DOWN IT is a great sensation to feel that you are a prospective cattle king, but somehow when Pecos Dalhart rode back to Verde Crossing his accustomed gaiety had fled. There were no bows and smiles for Marcelina, no wordy exchanges with the garrulous Babe ? there is a difference, after all, between stealing cows for eighty dollars a month and stealing for yourself, and while a moralist might fail to see the distinction it showed in its effect on Pecos's spirits. "I 'm goin' down to Geronimo," he grumbled, after an uneasy hour at the store, during which he had tried in vain the cheering power of whiskey; "you can tell Crit I 'll be back tomorrow night for my time," and without volunteering any further information he rodedown to the river, plunged across the rocky ford and was swallowed up in the desert. Two days later he returned, red-eyed and taciturn, and to all Babe's inquiries he observed that the Geronimo saloons were the worst deadfalls west of the Rio Grande, for a certainty. His mood did not improve by waiting, and when Crittenden finally rode in after his long day's work he demanded his money so brusquely that even that old-timer was startled. "Well, sho, sho, boy," he soothed, "don't git excited over nothin'! To be sure I 'll pay you your money." He went down into his overalls with commendable promptitude, but Pecos only watched him in surly silence. Something in his pose seemed to impress the shifty cowman; he drew forth a roll of bills and began to count them out, reluctantly. "Twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, a hundred ? there it is ? now what's all this racket about ?" "Nothin'," responded Pecos, stowing away the greenbacks, "but you can git somebody else to finish up that job." "Well, here," snapped the cowman, warm- ing up a little...

The Texican
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