The Independent. (Cashion, Okla.), Vol. 15, No. 32, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 14, 1922 Page: 7 of 8
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Author of Riders of
the Purple Sage,
Copyright by Harper & Brothers.
SYNOPSIS.—Seeking sold In the
deaert, "Cameron," solitary pros-
pector, forms a partnership with
an unknown man whom lie later
learns is Jonas Warren, father of
a girl whom Cameron wronged,
but later married, back In Illinois
Cameron's explanations appease
Warren, and the two proceed to-
gether. Taking refuge from a
sandstorm in a cave, Cameron dis-
covers gold, but too late; both men
are dying. Cameron leaves evi-
dence, in the cave, of their dis-
covery of gold, and personal docu-
ments. Richard Gale, adventurer,
in Caslta, Mexican border town,
meets George Thorne, lieutenant In
the Ninth cavalry, old college
friend. Thorne tells Gale he Is
thero to save Mercedes Castaneda,
Spanish girl, his affianced wife,
from Hojas, Mexican bandit- Gale
"roughhouses" Hojas and his gang,
with the help of two American
cowboys, and he, Mercedes and
Thorne escape. A bugle call from
the fort orders Thorne to his regi-
ment. He leaves Mercedes
Gale's protection. The pair, aided
by the cowboys, Charlie Ladd and
Jim Lash, arrive in safety at a
ranch known as Forlorn River,
across the border. The fugitives
are at Tom Relding's home. Beld-
ing is immigration inspector. Living
with hlin are his wife and step-
daughter, Nell Burton. Gale, with
Ladd and Lash, take servlco with
Belding as rangers. Gale telling
Beldlng the cause of his being a
wanderer, a misunderstanding with
his father concerning the son a
business abilities. Mercedes gets
word to Tnorne of her safety
Dick also writes to his parents, in-
forming them of his whereabouts.
Nell's personality, and her kind-
ness, attract Gala. Riding the
range, Gain falls In with a party
of three Mexican raiders encamped
at a water hole. Watching his
opportunity to oust them, he sees
two Indians ride Into tho camp.
One of them, a Yaqul, is evidently
badly wounded, and the Mexicans
seek to kill him In a cruel way.
Dick drives them off, conveying
the wounded Yaqul to lidding b
Nell sat perfectly still.
"Go awuy?" she usked, presently,
with just the fuiutest tremor lu her
"Yes. Sometimes when 1 get blue—
us 1 am today—1 think I'll go. But,
in sober truth, Nell, It's uot likely
that I'll spend all my life here."
There was no answer to tills. Dick
put his hand softly over hers; and
despite her half-hearted struggle to
free it, he held on.
Uer color lied. lie fnw hor lips
part. Then a heavy step on the gravel,
a cheerful, complaining voice Inter-
rupted him, and made him release Nell :
and draw hack. Iteldlng strode Into J
view round the adobe shed.
"Hey, Dick, that darned Yaqul In-
dian can't „e driven or hired or coaxed I
lie caught up with Jim Lash, who
was also leading a white horse.
They reached the corral to find
Belding shaking, roaring like a mad
man. The gate was open, the corral
was empty. "Tom, Where's the Papa-
go?" said Ladd.
"lie's gone, Laddy—gone!"
"Douhie-crcssed us, eh? I see here's
a crowbar lyln* by the gatepost. That
Indian fetched it from the forge. It
was used to pry out the bolts an'
steeples. Tom. I reckon there wasn't
much time lost forctn' that gate."
Daylight made clear some details of
the ruid. The cowboys found tracks
of eight raiders coming up from the
river lied where their horses had been | leading to the asc
left. Evidently the Pupago had been ! inent. When they
false to his trust. Ills few per-
sonal belongings were gone. More
horses were found loose In the fields.
The men soon roi: ded up eleven of
the whites, all more or less fright-
Belding was unconsolable. He
cursed and railed, and finally declared
to ieme Forlorn River. lie's well
enough to travel. I offered hint horse, j 'rail the raldeis.
gun, blanket, grub. But no go."
"That's funny," replied Gale, with
a smile. "L"t him stay—put him to
A great fenced tield of velvety green
alfalfa furnished a rich background
for the drove of nbout twenty white
horses. Blanco Diablo was the only
one in the field that was not free to
roam and graze where he listed. A
Stake and a halter held him to one
corner, where he was severely let
nlone by the other horses. He did not
like this Isolation. Blanco Diablo was
not happy unless he was running, or
fighting a rival. Of the two he would
rather fight. If anything white could
resemble a devil, this horse surely
<lld. He had nothing beautiful about
lilm, yet he drew the gaze and held
It. The look c." him suggested dis-
content. anger, revolt, vlclousness.
When he was not grazing or prancing,
he held his long, lean head level, point-
ing his nose and showing his teeth.
Belding's favorite was almost all the
world to him, and he swore Diablo
could stand more heat nnd thirst and
cactus than any other horse he owned,
and could run down and kill any
horse In the Southwest.
The cowboys admitted some of
Belding's claims for Diablo, hut they
gave loyal and unsliaknble allegiance
to Blanco Sol. As for Dick, he had
to fight himself to keep out of argu-
ments, for he sometimes Imagined he
was unreasonable about the horse.
Though he could not understand him-
self, be knew he loved Sol as a man
loved a friend, n brother. Free of
heavy saddle and the clumsy leg
shields, Blanco Sol was somehow all-
satisfying to the eyes of the rangers
The dazzling whiteness of the desert
sun shone from his <*>at; he had the
fire and spirit of the desert In his
noble head. Its strength and power in
his gigantic frame.
"Belding swears Sol never beat
Diablo," Dick was saying.
"lie believes It," replied Nell. "Dad
Is queer about that horse."
"I've often wondered how Belding
ever came to give Blanco Sol to me,
"I think lie wanted to get rid of
"Maybe. He surely has strange pas
slon for horses. I think I understand
better than 1 used to. I owned
couple of racers once. They were
Just animals to me, I guess. But
Blanco Sol 1"
"Do you love him?" asked Nell; and
now it warm, blue flash of eyes swept
"Do t? Well, rather."
"I'm glad. Sol has been finer, a
, ,ttor horse since you owned him. He
\ Ves you. Dick. Sol always hated
j }ah|o, and never had much use for
1 ad." '
Dick looked up at her.
••It'll be—be pretty hard to leave Sol
. when I go away.
"It doesn't strike me funny. But
I'll tell you what 1 think. Vliat poor,
homeless, heartbroken Indian has
taken a liking to you, Dick. You
saved his lifi That sort of thing
counts big with any Indian, even with
an Apache. With a Yaqul maybe It's
of deep significance. I've heard a
Yaqul say that with Ids tribe r.o debt
to friend or foe ever went unpaid.
Perhaps that's what alls this fellow."
"Dick, don't laugh," said Nell. "I've
noticed the Y'aqul. It's pathetic the
way his great gloomy eyes follow
"You've made a friend," continued
Belding. "A Yaqul could be a real
friend on this desert. If he gets his
strength hack he'll be of service to
you, don't mistake me. lie's elcome
here. But you're responsible for him,
and you'll have trouble keeping him
from massacring all the Greasers In
The probability of a visit from the
raiders, and a dash bolder than usual
on the outskirts <f a ranch, led Beld-
ing to build a ne'.v corral. It was not
sightly to the eye, but It was high and
exceedingly strong. The gate was a
massive affair, swinging on huge
hinges and fastening with heavy
chains and padlocks.
At night Belding locked his white
horses in this corral. The Papago
herdsmen sltpt In the adobe shed ad-
joining. Belding did not Imagine that
any wooden fence, however substan-
tially built, could keep determined
raiders from breaking it down. They
would have tc take time, however, nnd
make considerable noise; and Belding
Saw Her Lips
relied on these factr Belding did not
belle*e a band of night raiders would
hold out against a hot rifle fire. Ladd
did not share Belding's sanguine
One January morning Dick Gale
was awakened by a shrill, menacing
cry. He leaped up bewildered and
frightened. He heard Belding's boom-
ing voice answering shouts, and rapid
steps on flagstones. But these had not
awakened him. Heavy breaths, almost
sobs, seemed at his very door. In
the cold and gray dawn Dick saw
something white. Gun In hand, he
bounded across the room. Just out-
side Ids door stood Blanco Sol.
It was not unusual for Sol to come
poking his head In at Dick's door dur-
ing daylight. But now In the early
dawn, when he had been locked In
the corral, It meant raiders—no Ipss.
Dick called softly lo the snorting
horse; and, hurrie'dly getting Into
clothes and hoots, he went out with a
gun in each hand. Sol was quivering In
every muscle. Like a dog he followed
Dick around the house. Hearing
shouts In the direction of the corrals.
Gale bent swift steus thut way.
Torn, you just ain't agoln' to do
nothln' of t .e kind." said Laddy.
Belding groaned and bowed his head.
"Laddy, you're right," he replied,
presently. "I've got to stand It. I
can't leave the women and my prop-
erty. But it's sure tough. I'm sore
way down deep, and nothln' but blood
would ever satisfy me."
"Leave that to me an' Jltn," said
"What do you mean to do?" demand-
ed Belding, starting up.
"Shore 1 don't kn"w yet. . . . Give
me a light for my pipe. An' Dick, go
fetch out your Yaqul."
The Running of Blanco Sol.
The Y'aqul's strange glance roved
over the corral, the swinging gate
with Its oroken fastenings, the tracks
in the road, and then rested upon Beld
"Malo," he said, and his Spanish
"Shore, YTaqul, about eight bad men.
an' a traitor Indian," said Ladd.
"I think he means my herder," add
ed Belding. "If he does, thut settles
any doubt It might be decent to have
The Y'aqul spread wide his hands.
Then lie bent over the tracks in the
road. They led everywhither, but
gradually he worked out of the thick
net to take tile trail that the cowboys
had followed down to the river. lield-
tng and the rangers kept close at ills
heels. lie 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.
The trail of the raiders took a
southeasterly course over untrodden
desert. The Yaqul spoke In his own
tongue, then in Spanish.
"Think he means slow march," said
Beldlng. "Laddy, from the looiks of
that trail the Greasers are having
trouble with the horses."
"x'oin, 3bore a boy could see that,"
replied Laddy. "Ask Yaqul to tell us
where the raiders are lieadln', an' If
It was wonderful to see the Yaqul
point. With n stick he traced .. 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
Y'aqul, In Spanish; with a word here
and there In English. Beldlng trans-
lated as best he could. The raiders
were heading southeast toward the
rnllroad that ran from Nog! les down
Into Sonora. It was four days' travel,
bad trail, good sure waterhole one
day out; then water not sure for two
days. Raiders, not looking for pur-
suit, 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 mak-
ing hurried preparations for travel.
Blanco Sol and the cowboys' horses
were fed, watered, and saddled. Ladd
refused to ride one of Belding's
whites. He was quick and cold.
"Get me a long-range rifle an' lots
of shells. Rustle, now," he said. "I
want a gun that'll outshoot the dinky
little carbines an' muskets used by
the rebels. Trot one out an' be quick."
"I've got a .405. a long-barreled
heavy rifle that'll shoot a mile. I use
it for mountain sheep. But Laddy,
it'll break that broneh's back."
"His back won't break so easy. . . .
Dick, take plenty of shells for your
Remington. An' don't forget your
In less than an hour after the time
of the raid the three rangers, heavily
armed and superbly mounted on fresh
horses, rode out on the trail. As Gale
turned to look back from the far bank
of Forlorn river, he saw Nell waving
a white scarf. He stood high In Ills
stirrups and waved his sombrero.
Then the mesquite hid the girl's slight
figure, and Gale wheeled grim-faced
to follow the rangers.
They rode In single file with Ladd
in the lead. He took a bee-line course
for the white escarpment pointed out
by the Yaqul; nnd nothing save deep
washes and Impassable patches of
cactus or rocks mad' hliu swerve
At nonn the rangers got out of the
thick cactus. The desert floor inclined
perceptibly upwurd. When Gale got
an unobstructed view of the slope of
the escarpment he located the raiders
and horses. In another hour's travel
the rangers could see with naked eyes
a long, faint moving streak of black-
"They're lieadln' for that yellow
I pass," said Ladd, pointing to a break
1 lu the eastern end of the escarpment.
J "When they get out of sight we'll
| rustle. I'm thinkin' that waterhole
the Y'aqul spoke of lay- In the pass."
| The rangers traveled swiftly over
the remaining miles of level desert 1
t of the escarp
'hleved the gate-
way of the pass the sun wns low In
the west. Ladd gave the word to
tie up horses and go forward on foot.
Tlie narrow neck of the pass opened
and descended Into a valley half a mile
wide, perhaps twice that in length.
It had apparently unscalable slopes of
weathered rock leading up to beetling
"Keep down, boys," snid Ladd.
"There's the waterhole, an' bosses
have sharp eyes. Shore the Yaqul
figgered tills place. 1 never seen Us
like for a trap."
Both white and black horses j'.iowed
against the green, and a thin curling
column of blue smoke rose lazily from
amid the mcsquitcs.
"I reckon e'd better wait till dark,
or mebby daylight," said Jim Lash.
"Let me figgor some. I lick, what
do you make of the outlet to this
hole? Looks rough to me."
With his glass Gale studied the nar-
row construction of walls and rough-
ened rising floor.
"Laddy, It's harder to get out at
that end than here," he replied.
"Shore that's hard enough. Let me
have a look. . . . Well, hoys, It don't
take no flggerln' for this Job. Jim,
I'll want you at the other end hloekin'
the pass when we're ready to start."
"When 'II that be?" Inquired Jim.
"Soon as It's light enough In the
mornin'. That Greaser outfit will hang
till tomorrow. There's no sure water
ahead for two days, you remember."
The rangers stole back from the
vantage point and returned to their
horses, which they untied and left
farther round among broken sections
of cliff. For tile horses It was a dry.
hungry camp, but the rangers built a
fire and had their sli t though
Jim Lash rolled In his saddle
blanket, his feet near the lire, and
went to sleep. Ladd told Gale to do
likewise while ho kept the fire up and
waited until It was late enough for
Jim to undertake circling round the
raiders. When Gale awakened, Jim
was up saddling his horse, and Ladd
was talking low.
With Ladd leading, tlicy moved
away Into tlie gloom. Advance wns
exceedingly slow, careful, silent. Final-
ly the trail showed pale In the gloom,
and eastern stars twinkled between
the lofty ramparts of the pass.
Ladd halted und 3tood silent a mo-
ment. "Luck again I" he whispered.
"The wind's in you; face, Jim. The
horses won't scent you. Try to get up
as high us this at tlie other end. Wait
till daylight before rlskln' a loose
Ladd's cool, easy speech was scarce-
ly significant of the perilous under-
taking. Lash moved very slowly
away, leading hip horse. Then Ladd
touched Dick's arm, and turned buck
up the trail.
Together they picked a wny back
through the winding recesses of cliff.
The campfire was smoldering. Ladd
replenished It and lay down to get a
few hours' sleep, while Gale kept
watch. The after part of the night
wore on till the paling of stars, the
thickening of gloom Indicated the
dark hour before da>vn. Ladd awoke
before the faintest gray appeared.
The rangers ate and drank. When the
black did lighten to gray they sad-
dled the horses and led them out to
the pass and down to the point where
they hud parted with Lash. Here
they awaited daylight.
The valley grew clear of gray
shadow except under leaning walls on
the eastern side. Then a straight col-
umn of smoke rose from among the
mesqultes. Manifestly this was what
Ladd had been awaiting. He took the
long .405 from its sheath i nd tried
the lever. Then he lifted a cartridge
belt from the pommel of his saddle.
Every ring held a shell and these
shells were four Inches loug. He
buckled the belt round him.
"Come on, Dick."
Ladd led the xiiy down the slope
until he reached a position that com-
manded the rising of the trull from
a level. It was the only place a man
or horse could leave the valley for
"Dick, here's y^ur stHnd. If any
raider rides In range take a rrack at
him. . . . Now I want the lend of
"Blanco Sol t" exclaimed Gale, more
In unitize that Ladd should ask for the
horse than In reluctance to lend liltn
"Will you let me have him?" Ladd
repeated, almost curtly.
A smile momentarily chased the
dark, cold gloom that had set upon
j the ranger's lean face.
"Short* I .i.'pr* «'uui
know bow yo'i care for
guess niehlie Charley l.a
a hoss! An' one not so
1 was only tryin' your nervt
asklii' you wlihot.. telliu' m
Sol won't get scratch, you can
gamble on that! I'll ride him dt-wn
into tlie valley ar pull the Greasers
out Into the open. They've uot short-
ranged carbines They can't keep out
of range of the .405 an' i ll i> takln'
the dust of their lead. They can't gain
on Sid, an' he'll run them down when
I want. Can you beat It?"
"No. It's great ... But sup
pose ii raiilei comes out on l'.iatico
"I reckon that's the no tveak place
In my plan. But If they do, well, Sol
can outrun Diablo An' I can always
kill the white devil!"
Ladd's strange hate of the horse
showed In the p..ssion of l.is hist
words. In his hardening Jaw und grim
Gale's hand went swiftly to the
"Laddy. Don't kill Diablo unless
It's lo save your life."
"All ri;bt. lint by G—d, If I get
a chant*' I'll make iilanco Sol run him
off Ids legs 1"
He spoke no more and set about
changing the length of Sol's stirrups.
When he had them adjusted to suit, lie
mounted and rode down the trail and
out upon the level, lie rode leisurely
as If merely going to water his horse.
The lung black rltle lying across his
saddle, however, was ominous.
Gale securely tied the other horse
to a mesquite at hand, and took a
position behind a low rock over which
he could easily see and shoot when
necessary. Ladd rode n quarter of a
mile out upon the tlat before anything
happened. Then a whistle rent the
still, cold air. A horse had seen or
scented Iilanco Sol Tlie whistle was
prolonged, faint, but clear. It made
the blood thrum In Gale's eon. Sol
halted. Ills head shot up with the
old, wild, spirited sweep. Gale leveled
his glass at the patch of mesqultes.
He saw the raiders running to an open
place, pointing, gesticulating. Then
lie got only while and dark gleams of
moving bodies. Evidently that moment
was one of boots, guns and saddles
for the raiders.
Then Gale saw a rider gallop
swiftly from the gioup toward the fur-
ther outlet of the valley. This might
have been owing to characteristic
cowardice; but it was more likely a
move of the raiders to make sure of
retreat. Undoubtedly Ladd saw this
galloping horseman. A few waiting
moments ensued. The galloping horse-
man reached the slope, began to climb,
With naked eyes Gale saw a puff of
white smoke spring out of the rocks.
Then the raider wheeled his plunging
horse back to the level, nnd went rac-
ing wildly down tlie valley.
The compact bunch of bays and
blacks seemed to break apart and
spread rapidly from the edge of the
mesqultes. Puffs of white smoke In-
dicated firing, an.I showed the nature
of the raiders' excitement. They were
far out of ordinary rnnge; but they
spurred toward Ladd, shooting as they
rode. The raiders' bullets, striking
low, were skipping along the hard,
bare floor of the valley. Then Ladd
raised the long rllle. Tin i was no
smoke, but three high, spanglng re-
ports rang out. A gap opened in the
dark line of advancing horsemen;
then a riderless steed sheered off to
the right. Blanco Sol seemed to turn
as on n pivot and charged buck
toward the lower end of the valley.
He circled over to Gale's right and
stretched >tit into his run. Thert^
were now live raiders In pursuit, nnd
they came sweeping down, yelling nnd
shooting, evidently sure of their
quarry. Ladd reserved his lire. He
kept turning from back to front in
Manifestly he intended to try to
lead the raiders round In front of
Gale's position, and, presently, Gale
saw he was going to succeed. The
raiders, riding like vaqtteros, swept
on In a curve, cutting off what dis-
tance they could. Blanco Sol pound-
ed by, his t lipid, rhythmic hoofbents
plainly to hi heard. He was running
Gale tried to still the lump of heart
nnd pulse, and turned h1 ey again
on the nearest pursuer. This raider
„ns crossing In. his enrbine held
muzzle up In his right-hand and he
was coming swiftly.
Gale had not time to ndjust the sights
of the Itemlngton,
gun and, holding
It was a long
of five hundred yards.
hut he knew the
coarsely upon the
bltt he hegnn to shoot,
wns automatic; Gale needed
only to pull the trigger. Swiftly he
worked It. Suddenly the lending
horse leaped convulsively, not up nor
nslde. but straight ahead, and then
he crashed to the ground, throwing his
rider like n catapult, and then slid
nnd rolled, lie halt got up, fell bnck.
nnd kicked ; but his rider never moved.
"•| love Nell,' went on Dick,
simply, 'and I want you to let
me ask her to be my wife.'"
• TO BE CONTINUED.)
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Garnett, A. J. The Independent. (Cashion, Okla.), Vol. 15, No. 32, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 14, 1922, newspaper, December 14, 1922; (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc107599/m1/7/: accessed September 26, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.