Canadian Valley Record (Canton, Okla.), Vol. 12, No. 48, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 3, 1917 Page: 2 of 9
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CANADIAN VALLEY RECORD, CANTON. OKLAHOMA
Nan of Music Mountain
By FRANK H. SPEARMAN
WAYS THAW ONE, DE SPAIN TELLS NAN
THAT SOME DAY HE AND SHE WILL BE MARRIED
-SHE DOESN'T LIKE IT.
ge.°eral mima«tr of «"e stage coach line running
th?li lu?. , r' I[,,neg1to 8,eepy Cat- ° railroad division town In
the Rocky Mount,,ns. Is trying to rid the region of a band of hors«
thieves cattle rustlers and gunmen known as the Morgan gang. They
live In Morgan Gap. a fertile valley 20 miles from Sleepy C*t and
near Oiilabasus where the coach horses are changed. De Spain has
killed two of the gang and has been seriously wounded. Pretty Nan
Morgan, niece of the gang leader, has saved his life and he Is trvln*
to make love to her, but receive* no encouragement. „
TlnJ'e me away, Gale," cried Nnn.
"LeAve him here—take me home!
Take me home!"
She caught her cousin's arm. "Stay
right where you are," shouted Mor-
gan, pointing at De Spulu, and follow
■* Nan as she pulled him along.
"When I come back, I'll give you whut
you're looking for."
"Bring your friends," said De Spain
tauntingly. "I'll accommodate four
more of you. Stop!" With one hand
■till on his revolver, be pointed the
way. "Go down that trail first, Mor-
gnu. Stay where you are, girl, till he
gets down that hill. You wonjl pot
ine over her shoulder for a while
Morgan took the path sullenly, De
Spain covering every step he took. Be-
hind De Spain Nan stood waiting for
her cousin to get beyond earshot.
"What," she whispered hurriedly to
De Spain, "will you do?"
Covering Morgan, Who could whirl
on hiin at auy turn In the descent, De
Spain could not look at her in nnswer-
• Ing. "Looks pretty rocky, doesn't Itr*
"He will start the whole gap as soon
. as he gets to his horse."
i He looked at the darkening sky.
"They won't be very active on the Job
Morgan was at a safe distance. De
Spain turned to Nan. Iler eyes were
bent on him as if they would pierce
biro through. "If I save your life—"
•till breathing fast, she hesituted for
words—"you won't trick uie—ever—
8teadlly returning her appealing
gaze, De Spain unswered with delib-
eration : "Don't ever give me u chance
to trick you, Nan."
"Whut do you mean?" she demand-
ed, fear and distrust burning In her
"My life," he said sfowly, "Isn't
"You know—" He could see her res-
olute underllp, pluk with fresh young
blood, quiver with Intensity of feeling
as Bhe faltered. "Too know what ev-
ery man says of every girl—foolish,
trusting, easy to deceive—everything
"May God wither my tongue before
ever It speak* to deceive you. Nan.
"There's not a moment to lose." she
■aid swiftly. "Listen: a trail around
this mountain leads out of the gap.
straight across the face of El Canl
"I can make it."
"A good climber can do It—I have
done It. I'd even go with you, If I
She shook her head angrily at what
he dared show In his eyes. "Oh keen
"I know you'd go. Nan." he declared
unperturbed. "But, believe me. I never
would let you."
"I can't go, because to do any good
I must meet you with a horse out-
He only looked silently at her. and
•he turned her eyes from his gaze
"See," she said, tuklng him eagerly to
the back of the ledge and pointing,
"follow that trail, the one to the east—
you can't get lost; you can reuch El
Capltan before durk—It's very close
Creep carefully across El Capltan on
that narrow trail, and on the other
side there Is a wide one clear down to
the road—oh, do be careful ou El Capl-
"I'll be careful."
"I must watch my chance to get
■way from the corral with a horse, if
1 full It will be because I am locked
up at home, and you must hide and
do the best you can. How much they
will surmise of this, I don't know."
"Go now, this minute," he said, re-
straining his words. "If you don't
come, 1 shall know why."
* Mb* turned without •peaklug, and,
fearless as a chamois, ran down the
. Spa,n' ,OM,n* not a moment.
hobbled rapidly up along the granite-
walled passage that led the way to hla
chance for life.
A Venture In tha Dark.
h ^ way ha8tl|Jr forward
when he could make haste; crawling
slowly on his hands and knees when
held by opposing rock; flattening him-
self like a leech against the face ot
the precipice when the narrowing
■edge left him only Inches under foot:
clinging with torn hands to every fa-
voring crevice, and pausing when the
peril was extreme for fresh strength
De Spain dragged his Injured foot
across the sheer face of El Capltan In
light 8 ' of the dny'a filing
Spent by hla effort. De Spain reached
the rendezvous Nan had Indicated, as
nearly aa the star* would tell hlra, by
ten o clock. It was only after a Iona
mufla?U,blfU' hour that he heard thf
muffled footfalls of a horse. He stood
concealed among the smaller trees un-
II he could distinguish the outlines of
ure h*' eye nn*ht the «*-
ure of the rider.
He Spain stepped out of the trees
and, moving toward Non, caught hw
bund and helped her to the ground.
She enjoined silence, and led the
horse Into the little grove. Stopping
well within It, she stooped and be-
Wsn>arran*lDg the tuufBer8 on ^e
I'm afraid I'm too late," she said.
How long have you been here?" She
face. De Spain with one hand on the
pony s shoulder.
Did you have any falls?"
You see I'm here. You! How
could you get here at all with a horse?"
"They are hiding on both trails oat*
side watching for *ou-und the moon
will be up—" She seemed very anxious.
De Spain made light of her fears. "I'll
get past them—I've got to. Nan. Don't
give It a thought."
"I don't know what you'll think of
IIe beard the troubled note
In her voice.
"What do you mean?"
She began to unbutton her Jacket
Throwing bock the revers, she felt
Inside around her waist, unfastened
after a moment and drew forth a leath-
ern strap. She laid It In De Spuin'a
hands. "This la yours," she said In ■
He felt It questlonlngly, hurriedly,
then with ainaxetnent. "Not a car-
tridge belt I" he exclaimed.
"'It's your own."
, yhef V She made no answer.
Where did you get It, Nan?" he whis-
"Where you left If
"How?" 8he was silent. "When?"
"Huve you been to Calabasas and
Everybody but Sassoon Is |n the
chase," she replied uneasily—as If not
knowing what to say, or how to say It.
They said you should never leave
the gap alive—they are ready with
traps everywhere. I didn't know what
to do. I couldn't bear—after what—
you did for me tonight—to think of
your being shot down like a dog. when
you were only trying to get away."
"I wouldn't have had you take a
ride like that for forty belts!"
"McAlpln showed It to me the last
time I was at the stage barn, hanging
where you left it." He strapped the
cartridges around him.
"You should never have taken that
ride for It. But since you have—"
He bad drawn his revolver from his
waistband. He broke It now and held
It out. "Load It for roe, Nan."
"What do you mean?"
"I'ut four more cartridges In It your-
self. Except for your cartridge, the
teet my life. And If you hMve any
among them whose life ought to come
ahead of mine—name him. or them,
now. Do as I toll you—loud the gun."
I He took hold of her hands und. In
sP'te of her refusal, made her do his
will. He guided her hand to draw the
cartridges, on- after another, from his
belt, waited for her to slip them
In the darkness Into the empty cyl-
inder, to close the breech, and hund
the gun back.
' Now, Nnn," he said, "you know uie.
You may have doubts—they will all
die. You will hear many stories about
me—but you will say: 'I put the car-
tridges In hla revolver with my own
hands, and I know he won't abuse the
means of defense I gave him myself.'
There can never be any real doubts
or misunderstandings between us
again. Nan." He waited for her to
speak, but she remained silent.
"You have given me my life, my de-
fense." he continued, passing from a
subject that he perceived was better
left untouched; "Who is nearest and
dearest to you rt home?"
"My Uncle Duke."
"Then 1 never will raise a hand
against your Uncle Duke. And this
man, tonight—this cousin—Gale? Nun.
what Is that inun?"
"I hate him."
"Thank God! So do I!"
"But he Is a cousin."
"Then I suppose he must be one of
^Unless he tries to kill you.
"lie won't be very long in trying
tnnt. And now, what about yourself?
hat have you got to defend yourself
against him, and against every other
She laid her own pistol without a
word In De Spain's hand. He felt «L
opened, closed, and gave It back!
lhat's a good defender—when It's In
reach. When It's at home It's a poor
"It will never be at home again ex-
cept when I am."
"Shall I tell you a secret?"
"What Is It?" asked Nan unsuspect-
"We are engaged to be married."
She sprang from him like a deer. "It's
a dead secret." he said gravely; "no-
body knows It yet—not even you."
"You need never talk again like
that if you want to be friends with
me," she suid indignantly. "I hate
"Hate It If you will; it's so. And
It began when you handed me that
little bit of lead and brass on the
mountain tonight, to defend your life
1U hate you If you persecute me
the way Gale does. The moon Is
almost up. You must go."
m "You haven't told me," he persisted,
"how you got away at all." They had
walked out of the trees. He looked
reluctantly to the east. "Tell me and
I'll go," he promised.
"After I went up to my room I wait-
ed till the house was all quiet. Then
I started for Calabusas. When I came
back I got up to my room without be-
ing seen, and sat at the .window a long
time. I waited till nil the men stopped
riding past. Then I climbed through
the window and down the kitchen roof,
and let myself down to the ground.
Some more men came past, nnd I hid
on the i*orcb and slipped over to the
horse b^irns and found a hackaniore,
and went down to the corral and hunt-
ed nround till I found this little pinto
—she's the best to ride bareback."
"I could r^de a razorback—why take
all that trouble for me?"
"If you don't start while you have
n chance, you undo everything I have
tried to do to avoid a flght."
The wind, stirring softly, set the
nspen leaves quivering. The stars,
chilled In the thin, clenr night air,
bung diamondlike In the heavens and
the eastern sky across the distant des-
ert paled for the rising moon. The
two, standing at the horse's head, lis-
tened a moment together In the dark-
ness. De Spain, leuning forward, said
something In a low, laughing voice.
Nan made no answer. Then, bending,
he took her hand and, before she could
release It, caught It up to his Hps
brooded upon It. She would have wel-
comed, In her keen suspense, a sound
of some kind, some reminder that be
yet lived and could yet laugh; none
Day was breaking when the night
l>oss, standing in the doorway at the
Calabasas barns, saw a horseman rid-
ing at a leisurely pace up the Thief
River road. The barnman scrutinized
the approaching stranger closely.
There was something strange and
something familiar In the outlines of
the figure. But when the night rider
had dismounted in front of the barn-
door, turned his horse loose, and, limp-
ing stiffly walked forward on foot, the
man rubbed liis eyes hard before he
could believe them. Then he uttered
an Incredulous greeting und led Henry
de Spuln Into the barn office.
"There's friends of yours In your
room upstairs right now." he declared,
bulging with shock. De Spain, sitting
down, forbade the barnman to disturb
them, oi'y asking who they were.
Whrti oe had asked half a dozen
more leisurely questions end avoided
answering twice as many, the barnman
at De Spuln's request helped him u|h
stairs. Beside himself with excite-
ment, the night boss turned, grinning
as he laid one hand on the doorknob
and the other ou De Spuln's shoulder.
'You couldn't have come." he whis-
pered loudly, "at a better time."
The entryway was dark, and from
the silence within the room one might
have thought its occupants, if there
were such, wrapped In slumber. But
at Intervals a faint clicking sound
could be heard. The night man threw
open the door. By the light of two
stage-lamps, one set on the dresser
and the other on a window ledge, four
men sat about a rickety table In a life-'
and-death struggle at cards. No voice
broke the tense silence, not even when
the door was thrown broadly open.
No one—neither Lefever. Scott,
•frank Elpnso nor McAlpln—looked up
Mien De Spain walked Into the room
and. with the night man tiptoeing be-
hind. advanced composedtv toward the
group. Even then his presence would
have passed unnoticed, but that Bob
Scott's ear mechanically recorded the
limping step and transmitted to bis
trained Intelligence merely notice of
Scott, picking up his cards one at a
time as Lefever dealt, raised his eyes.
Startling as the sight of the man
with, struggle with the woman. or girt,
rather—child, even, to his thoughts, so
fragile she was—this girl who had
given him back his life against her
own marauding relatives.
Ills friends saw that something was
absorbing him in an unusual, even an
extraordinary way. yet none could ar-
rive at a certain couciuslon as to what
It was. The one man In the country
who could have surmised the situa-
tion between the two—the barn boar,
McAlpln—If he entertained suspicions,
was fur too puwky to share them witb
When two weeks had passed without
De Spain's having seen Nan or having
heard of her being seen, the conclu-
sion urged Itself on him that she was
either 111 or In trouble—perhaps In
trouble for helping him; a moment
later he was laying plans to get Into
the gap to find out.
Nothing In the way of a venture
could be more foolhardy—this he ad-
mitted t'i himself—nothing, he con-
soled himself by reflecting, but some-
thing stronger than danger could Jus-
tify it. Of uli the motley Morgan fol-
lowing within the mountain fastness
he could count on but one man to help
him In the slightest degree—this was
the derelict, Bull Page. Th<*re was no
choice but to use him. and Ite"-fHfc!
easily enlisted, for the Calabusas affair
had made a heroic flgut-e of De Spain
in the bnrrooms. De Spuln. according-
ly. lay In wait for the old man and
Intercepted him one day on the road
to Sleepy Cat, walking the twenty
miles patiently for his whisky. «
"You must be the only man In the
gap. Bull, that cun't borrow or steal
a horse to tide," remarked De Spain,
stopping him near the river bridge.
Page pushed buck the broken brim
of his hat and looked up. "You
wouldn't believe It." he said. Impart-
ing a cheerful confidence, "but ten
years ago I had horses to lend to every
man 'tween here and Thief river." lie
nodded toward Sleepy Cat with a
wrecked smile, and by a dramatic
chance the broken hat-brim fell with
the words: "They've got 'em all."
"Your fault. Bull."
"Say!" Up went the broken brim,
and the whlskled face lighted with a
shaking smile, "you turned some triclf
on that Calabasas crew—some fight."
"Bull, Is old Duke Morgan a Repub-
Bull looked surprised at the turn of
De Spain's question, but answered In
good faith: "Duke votes 'most any
ticket that's again the railroad."
"How about picking a couple of
good barnmen over In the gap. Bull?"
"What kind of a Job y* got?"
"See McAlpln the next time yoa'ra
over nt Calabasas. How about that
girl that live, with Duke?"
Bull's face lighted. "Nan! Bay I
she's a little hummer!"
"I hear she's gone down to Thief
river, teaching school."
"Come by Duke's less'n three hours
ago. Seen her In the kitchen inakln'
"They're looking for a schoolteacher
down there, anyway. Much sickness In
IMe It: j." 1 'r** nu" * " ■ «*«•. >■
the others, as be had found out for
himself, to find out for themselves
Lefever finished his deal, threw doWn
the pack, and picked up his hand. His
suspicious eyes never rose above the
level of the faces at the table; but
when he hud thumbed his curds and
looked from one to the other of the
remaining players to read the weather
signals, he perceived on Scott's face
an unwonted expression, and looked to
where the scout's gaze wus turned for
an explanation of It. Lefever's own
eyes, at the sight of the thinned fa-
miliar fuce behind Elpaso's chair
starting, opened like full moons. The
big fellow spread one hand out. his
cards hidden within it, and with the
other hand prudently drew down his
pile of chips. "Gentlemen." he said
lightly, "this game Is Interned." He
rose anil put a silent hand across the
table over Elpaso's shoulder. "Henry,"
be exclaimed Impassively, "one ques-
tion, If you please—and only one: How
Id thunder did you do It?"
For a long time after be hud gone
she stood, listening for a shot—won-
dering, breathless at moments, wheth-
er he could get past the waiting trat.s
De Spain, true to all she had ever
heard of his Indianllke stealth, bad
eft her side unabashed and unnfrnld—
Ivlng, laughing, paying bold court to
her even when she stubbornly refused
to be courted-and had made himself
■ . P.r*
gun Is empty. NVhen you do that you ,he slle h a .V eye " purt of
W Dfiy 1 nf uiiii/I . ^ j m "II
jour p~i;r nr.on
One week went to repairs. To a
man of action such a week Is longer
than ten years of service. Rut chained
to a bed In the Sleepy Cat hospital. De
Spain had no escape from one week of
thinking, and for thut week he thought
about Nan Morgan. And the Impulse
that moved him the first moment he
could get out of bed and into n *„,ldle
was to spur his way hard and fast
to her: to make her. against a score
of burly cousins, his own; and never
to release her from his sudden arms
With De Spain to think was to dot
at least to do something, but not with-
out further careful thinking, Ml,d not
without anticipating every chauce of
failure. And his manner wus to cust
up all difficulties and obstacles in a
situation, brush theiu aside, und have
his will if the heavens fell; and he
now set himself, while doing bin rou-
tine work every duy. to do ou* |atr-
ticulur tbiug—u Me, talk to, plead
any chips at all from that Calabasas
"See McAlpln. Bull, next time you're
over Calabasas way. Here"—De Spain
drew some currency from his pocket
and handed a bill to Pnge. "Go get
your hair cut I>on't talk too much-
wear your whiskers long nnd youi
"Take It from old Bull Pnge. he's •
world's wonder of a sucker, bat h«
knows his friends."
"But remember this—you don't know
me. If anybody knows you for a friend
of mine, you are no good to me. Seer
Bull was beyond expressing his com-
prehension In words alone. He winked,
nodded, and screwed his face Into a
thousand wrinkles. De Spain, wheel-
ing, rode away, the old man bllnklui
first after him, and then at the money
In his hnnd. He didn't profess to un-
derstand everything In the high coun-
try, but he could still distinguish the
principal figures nt the end of a bank-
note. When he tramped to Calabasas
the next day to Interview McAlpln h«
received more advice, with a strong
r, about keeping hla own counsel,
j a little expense money to run him
until an op«nlng presented Itself on
the pay roll.
Camas ana of tha big moments
In tha lifa af Henry Oe Spain
and Nan Morgan. You will want
te read abevt it in the next in-
stallment—great stuff I
i to uk continued.)
The New Age.
Fond I'npa—1"Well, son, whnt did
you learn In school today?" Son—"Aw,
not much. dad. We liadda couple of
two reelers in history, u three real
travelogue In geography, and a spill
reel nuture study. They usetn give *M
a wild Weat pitcher one* In s wbU*
but they dou't «lo U M
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Canadian Valley Record (Canton, Okla.), Vol. 12, No. 48, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 3, 1917, newspaper, May 3, 1917; Canton, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc176133/m1/2/: accessed December 9, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.