“Poor Skinny,” Manilla murmured to herself as she went to the kitchen to get his order, “poor cuss—he can’t keep from breaking his heart over every skirt that brushes against him, but”—and she laughed softly—“darn his ugly picture, I like him anyhow!”
After supper Skinny hurried to the Golden Rule store. It was still open.
“Give me a white shirt—number fifteen,” he said to the clerk; “and be blamed sure it’s the right size—they ain’t worth a cuss if they’re too big!”
A GIRL LIKE YOU
Alone rider guided his horse in the early night, among the black lavas, on the desolate desert near Capaline, the dead volcano. He rode to the south, in the direction of the Cimarron. Silently, steadily, like a dark shadow, the broncho picked his way among the fields of fire-blistered rock and held his course, unerringly, through the starlit gloom hanging over the earth before the late moon should flash its silver disk above the sand-hills miles to the east.
The rider was the Ramblin’ Kid; the little horse—Captain Jack.
For a week, following the fight in Eagle Butte, the Ramblin’ Kid had found shelter in the hut of “Indian Jake”—a hermit Navajo who, long ago, turned his face toward the flood of white civilization rolling over the last pitiful remnants of his tribe and drifted far toward the land of the rising sum. Among the scenes of desolation around the grimly cold volcano, alone, the old Indian made his last stand, and in a rude cabin, beside a tiny spring that seeped from under the black rock on the mountain-side, lived in splendid isolation—silent, brooding, desiring only to be left in peace with his few ponies, his small herd of cattle and the memories and traditions of his people.
The Ramblin’ Kid and the lonely Navajo were friends since the Ramblin’ Kid could remember.
The aged Indian’s face was pitted with horrible scars—marks of the same disease that had cost the wandering cowboy his father and left him, years ago, an orphan, almost worshiped, because of the sacrifice his parent had made fighting the epidemic among the tribes of the Southwest.
Often the “Young Whirlwind”—the name by which the Indians knew the Ramblin’ Kid and which old Jake himself always called the cowboy—spent a night, sometimes days, with his stoical friend among the lavas.
To him the cabin door was always open.
As Captain Jack, followed by the bullets from the marshal’s revolver, dashed madly down the street of Eagle Butte, instinctively the Ramblin’ Kid had turned the stallion toward the hut of the old Navajo.
The fugitive cowboy believed Sabota was dead.
Naturally the law would demand vengeance, even though the brutal Greek had deserved to die. Posses, undoubtedly, would scour the country, searching for his slayer. The Quarter Circle KT would be watched.