“Pretty dead-lookin’,” the Ramblin’ Kid remarked. “Let’s go down to Sabota’s.”
“All right,” Skinny replied, and they moved down the street.
The pool-room offered nothing of interest. A couple of traveling men, waiting for the early morning train, were playing a listless game of billiards at one of the tables; a pair of Jap sugar-beet workers and a negro section hand sat half-asleep and leaned against the wall; “Red” Jackson, Sabota’s chief lieutenant, with an air of utter boredom, lounged behind the soft-drink bar. Sabota was not there.
“What’s happened to everybody?” Skinny asked; “where’s Mike?”
“Everybody’s got religion, I guess,” Red yawned, “and gone to bed. What do you want with Sabota?” looking suspiciously at the Ramblin’ Kid; “he’s over at Vegas; won’t be back till to-morrow—or to-day it is now, I reckon—evening sometime!”
“Th’ Ramblin’ Kid and me have been out in the rain,” Skinny said suggestively, “and thought we might take cold—”
“Nothing doing!” Red laughed, “ain’t a drop around! When Mike gets back he’ll fix you up, maybe—that’s what he’s gone after!”
“We’d just as well go to bed!” Skinny grumbled disgustedly to the Ramblin’ Kid.
“I reckon,” was the laconic answer.
They returned to the hotel, roused the clerk from his doze, secured a room and retired.
It was eight o’clock when they got up.
Both went directly to the livery stable and saw that Captain Jack and Old Pie Face were properly attended to. While at the barn Skinny took the bundle he had wrapped in the bunk-house at the ranch from the saddle where he had tied it.
“What’s that?” the Ramblin’ Kid queried.
“It’s that darned shirt!” Skinny retorted. “I’m going to make Old Leon eat it—it wasn’t the size Parker asked for!”
The Ramblin’ Kid laughed, but said nothing.
They returned to the hotel and had breakfast. Manilla Endora waited on them. Before Carolyn June and Ophelia came to the Quarter Circle KT Manilla’s yellow hair and blue eyes were the flames that fanned the affections of Skinny. He felt guilty as, sweetly as ever and without a hint of reproach, Manilla took their orders and served them with their ham and eggs and coffee.
After breakfast Skinny and the Ramblin’ Kid explored the town.
Eagle Butte had come to life. The stores were open. Business was brisk. The “dray” was delivering the express accumulated the night before at the depot. Here and there a morning shopper was passing along the street. At the post-office there was quite a crowd.
Skinny carried the shirt, wrapped in the soggy, rain-soaked newspaper. As he and the Ramblin’ Kid came near the dingy, general merchandise establishment kept by the squint-eyed Jew from whom Parker had bought the unfortunate garment a sudden look of cunning gleamed in the eyes of Skinny. He laughed aloud. A box of eggs, ten or twelve dozen it contained, was set, with other farm produce, in a display on the sidewalk at the side of the door of the store.